Making Search (and Everything Else) More Ubiquitous

By Zak Knudson, Director of Production

I’ve often laid in bed at night wishing there was an easier way to get things done on the web. I search, I email, I tweet (that’s the Twitter verb for all you neophytes), but I do them all through their own unique user interfaces. Even with an insane number of extensions and a completely tricked out list of search engines (for Firefox’s top right search box), I’m left unsatisfied by how many clicks it can take to do a simple web search or send an email containing directions to a local restaurant.

I’m unsatisfied no more. Mozilla just launched their prototype version of Ubiquity – a Firefox plug-in for controlling the web through a convenient natural-language command-line interface. Now when I want to find out more about Chicago’s awesome microbrews I simply open Ubiquity and type “google goose island” and before I’ve even hit enter the tool shows me Google’s top 3 search results. Yahoo, MSN, Wikipedia, IMDB and other search engines are built in as well. Search is now officially less than a click away.

Ubiquity also integrates with your email, your calendar, your contacts, Twitter, Google Maps, TinyURL and more. Now when I want to tweet about a new website or want to email a friend the newest XKCD, I can do it with one simple command in Ubiquity. The only thing that could make it better is if I could speak the commands instead of type them.

The most amazing thing is that this is Ubiquity 0.1 and I’m already getting a solid amount of use from the tool today. By the time this thing is an official release, I can’t imagine ever being more than a quick command away from the information I need.


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