Thursday, April 21, 2005

Filangy and searching your web history

Gary Price posts on Filangy, a toolbar that keeps track of every web page you've visited and lets you search over your web browsing history.

One curious feature of Filangy is that your history is stored on their servers, not on your PC. The advantage of this is that your history can be combined and accessed from multiple computers. The disadvantage is that the snapshot of the page Filangy indexes may not be the page you actually viewed.

For example, if you go to Amazon's home page, you'll see a personalized page with content picked just for you. When Filangy retrieves the Amazon page from their servers and stores it, it appears that the page they retrieve will be the generic page, not the page you just viewed.

It's a little strange to have a search of your browsing history that searches pages you never actually saw.

About a year ago, I posted about a similar toolbar called Seruku and the Microsoft Research "Stuff I've Seen" project, both of which try to make it easy to find anything you've found before.

Since then, Google launched its desktop search. Unlike the desktop search tools from MSN and Yahoo, Google Desktop Search indexes your web history (at least the cached last few days of it), a very useful feature.

Search over your browsing history brings us closer toward Memex, the memory extender. In the near feature, you will be able to easily recall anything you've seen on your computer. Filangy, Seruku, MSR's "Stuff I've Seen" and Google Desktop Search are bringing us closer to that future.

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