Operator extension for Firefox

Operator is an interesting extension for Firefox that enables the browser to process select microformats.

Operator lets you combine pieces of information on Web sites with applications in ways that are useful. For instance, Flickr + Google Maps, Upcoming.org + Google Calendar, Yahoo! Local + your address book, and many more possibilities and permutations. All of these scenarios are possible due to Microformats, an emerging standard for injecting semantics into HTML.

For an example of how this works, check out the screenshot of Yahoo! Local, which supports hcard. The search results page returns the normal search results page, but because the results have microformat encoded data the Operator extension picks them up and enables the dropdown on the menubar which makes it possible for me to pass the data to the “handler” designated for that format, in this case my address book app.


While the vcard and hcard formats are interesting, I actually found the rel-tag capabilities more useful because on any webpage I could drop down del.icio.us, flickr. and technorati menus prepopulated with tag data.


This extension points to a future scenario where the browser is doing a lot more heavy lifting to move data from one web service to another. I would think it would be really useful to be able to take a browser window with a number of tabs open and move data from one to another based on the formats that are generated and capable of being consumed.

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Senators seek bigger stem-cell royalties

It’s taxpayer money, instead of “get rich quick” schemes the state should only require these research projects to pay back the original grant plus whatever interest is accrued on the bond supporting the grant. This is just one more reason why government should stay out of venture capital and more evidence that the stem cell initiative was a bad idea.

MercuryNews.com | 02/23/2007 | Senators seek bigger stem-cell royalties:
A bill expected to be introduced as early as today would require companies doing business with California’s $3 billion stem-cell institute to give the state a larger portion of their revenue than the institute has proposed.

Google Apps Compete with Non-Consumption

Exactly, Phil nails it. As it was put to me at lunch today, “why should I pay for MS Office just to give to a retail clerk who is using it once a week to check their inbox?”.

» Google Apps Doesn’t Compete | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com:
Google isn’t competing with Office. They’re competing with non-consumption. That is, they’re enabling uses that don’t exist today. In this world, Office and Apps can live side-by-side and both succeed–no one has to lose.

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