A9, a new search service from Amazon, has launched in beta. Amazon chose to break the story through John Battelle so that, in his words, “[the news would] move from the blogosphere out, as opposed the WSJ in”. Battelle’s got some good thoughts on it in his post. They’re using Google’s search results, display book search results alongside, have a search toolbar, keeps track of your past search results and what you’ve visited already, and more. Toolbar includes a diary feature with which you can annotate any Web page you visit (a la E-Quill). My first thought: how about some contrast? The cream background and gray text ain’t working for me.
A9 has a generic version of their search service that doesn’t track you via cookies or use your data in their analysis.
Steven has whipped up a Firefox search plugin for A9.
Erik Benson, an Amazon employee, has some thoughts on A9.
As an aside, I have to say the idea of a complete, lifetime record of a person’s searches and browsing history - which by the way that person can edit - is an extraordinary concept. It’s taking the idea of the database of intentions to the utmost granular level of history - the individual. What, I wonder, happens to a person’s search history when they die? Do they have a right to own it? Does it get passed down as a keepsake to his or her children?