Alexa Web Search - WebReference Update - 020509 | WebReference

Alexa Web Search - WebReference Update - 020509

((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) May 9, 2002

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This week we review Alexa's new Web Search search engine. Or is it a directory? Or both? In other voices SitePoint interviews Zeldman, IBM finds open source religion, Sarode optimizes Oracle, and the WDVL excerpts "Skip Intro." In the news this week Digimarc patents watermarking, TBL poo-poos patents, and Spider-Man weaves a web any size. He's got radioactive eyes.

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New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. SITE REVIEW: Alexa Web Search 2. OTHER VOICES: * Interview: Jeffrey Zeldman * This Is Your Father's IBM, Only Smarter * Oracle Performance Tuning Series - Part 2 * Skip Intro: Flash Usability and Interface Design 3. NET NEWS: * Digimarc obtains patents for digital watermarking * Berners-Lee: Keep the Web Royalty-Free * Old MS .doc bug hibernates on the Net * 'Spider-Man' spins digital Web

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. SITE REVIEW: Alexa Web Search

How do you index and review the entire Web? Many companies have tried, and all have failed, except perhaps for DMOZ. Has Amazon cracked this holy grail? See for yourself. Behold Netizens, I give you Alexa Web Search:

http://info.alexa.com/

Alexa Web Search is a search engine that wants to be a directory. Combining technology from Google, Alexa's toolbar, Alexa's Internet Archive (the "Wayback Machine"), and owner Amazon's backend, Alexa Web Search combines the power of Google's PageRanked results with user reviews and other useful data.

Search on a topic and like Google you'll get a page with the most relevant results. But unlike Google you can click for more information on the site, compliments of Alexa's site database. The "related info" pages look a lot like Amazon's book pages, but with information about the site, not a book. Everything from 5-star user reviews, traffic rankings, related sites (sorted by popularity), backlinks, age, and contact info can be found on this useful page.

The last two results are no doubt harvested from the Whois database, which can be misleading for sites that have changed hands. The age really shows you how long the current owner has had the site, not necessarily how long the site has been on the Web.

Click on the "history" link and you'll be transported back in time with Alexa's Wayback Machine which archives pages way back to 1996. It's an interesting blend of search engine and auto- reviewed sites that makes this worth a visit.

Alexa/Amazon has integrated the site ranking data from their toolbar (what's related, etc.) with Google's search results to create a kind of hybrid auto-generating directory/search engine.

Unfortunately, the data from Alexa can be sparse and out of date. Presumably as more users discover the service this problem will fade. Like the original "what's related" each page within a site also seems to take on the rank of the busiest page.

It's an interesting combination that shows promise, especially if it becomes popular, and Amazon can induce people to review more sites like they do with book reviews (top 100, 1000, 2000 reviewers).

http://info.alexa.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. OTHER VOICES: Interview: Jeffrey Zeldman, This Is Your Father's IBM, Only Smarter, Oracle Performance Tuning Series - Part 2, Skip Intro: Flash Usability and Interface Design

* Interview: Jeffrey Zeldman

SitePoint talks to the Z-man in a wide-ranging interview about standards, WaSP I and II, his new book, and more. Hat tip: Meryl.net. http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/750/ Webmasterbase.com, May 8, 2002

* This Is Your Father's IBM, Only Smarter

Business 2.0 has a good story in this month's issue on IBM. Learn how big blue has got open source religion and changed its proprietary ways to embrace Java and Web services. In a related story on Wednesday IBM announced it was going to cater to other end of the market with a new program and product bundles aimed at small and medium-size business accounts. http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/02/05/09/020509hnibmsmb.xml http://www.business2.com/articles/mag/0,1640,39361,FF.html Infoworld/Business2.0, May 2002

* Oracle Performance Tuning Series - Part 2

The second of a nine-part series from Prashant Sarode on writing more efficient SQL queries. The series is a compendium of more than fifty tips and tricks database administrators can use to get the maximum performance from their Oracle database queries. http://dbasupport.com/oracle/ora9i/performance/ DBAsupport.com, May 8, 2002

* Skip Intro: Flash Usability and Interface Design

You know you need good user interface design. You've heard that 99% of Flash is bad. You want to start creating Flash sites with a good UI, but you just don't know where to start. If so then this is the book you've been looking for. From New Riders. http://wdvl.internet.com/Multimedia/Flash/SkipIntro/ WDVL.com, May 8, 2002

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. NET NEWS: Digimarc obtains patents for digital watermarking, Berners-Lee: Keep the Web Royalty-Free, Old MS .doc bug hibernates on the Net, 'Spider-Man' spins digital Web

* Digimarc obtains patents for digital watermarking

The U.S. Patent Office has granted Digimarc seven patents for digital watermarking technology used to protect the copyrights of audio, video and other content files, the company announced Wednesday. http://digimarc.com/news/release.asp?id=269 http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/02/05/08/020508hndigimarc.xml Infoworld.com, May 8, 2002

* Berners-Lee: Keep the Web Royalty-Free

In a related story, Tim Berners-Lee made a strong appeal Wednesday for the development of the Web to continue unencumbered by patent royalties. TBL gave the opening keynote Wednesday at the Twelfth World Wide Web Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/1390 O'Reilly's Edd Dumbill, May 8, 2002

* Old MS .doc bug hibernates on the Net

A security hole affecting old copies of some Microsoft Office applications may have left a legacy of data leaks with the potential to reveal sensitive information and weaken security on government and commercial Web sites around the world. Deleted information is still in Word documents. Multiple undos anyone? http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105-900681.html ZDNet.com, May 7, 2002

* 'Spider-Man' spins digital Web

"Spins a web, any size." Spider-Man is weaving himself into movie history through the savvy use of the Web some analysts say. Well, if any action hero could master the Web, it would be Spider-Man right? The movie set a box office record last weekend with $115 million netted the first three days with rave reviews. I've seen it myself and it is a very good movie. http://www.spiderman.sonypictures.com/ http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1106-900166.html ZDNet.com, May 6, 2002

That's it for this Thursday, see you next time.

Andrew King Newsletter Editor, WebReference.com aking at internet dot com

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