Google Releases mod_pagespeed for Apache Web Servers

Last year Google released Page Speed — a suite of tools to make webpages load faster. There is a Page Speed extension for Firefox/Firebug which helps web developers see how their web pages and web applications are being loaded and the time it takes for each piece of the page to load.

Today they announced the release of mod_pagespeed, a module for Apache Web Servers. Google notes, “(the module)…perform many speed optimizations automatically. We’re starting with more than 15 on-the-fly optimizations that address various aspects of web performance, including optimizing caching, minimizing client-server round trips and minimizing payload size. We’ve seen mod_pagespeed reduce page load times by up to 50% (an average across a rough sample of sites we tried) — in other words, essentially speeding up websites by about 2x, and sometimes even faster.”

Google is working with GoDaddy to get mod_pagespeed installed on all of their webservers.

Here’s a simple video from Google to show you a basic webpage and the difference in loading time with and without using mod_pagespeed.

Where’d My Stats Go?

Google had a grand announcement the other day that many people probably didn’t even notice: Google Search over SSL.  If you’re not sure what this means, Wikipedia has a decent article on SSL but here’s a quick blurb:

…Secure Socket Layer (SSL), [is a] cryptographic protocol that provides security for communications over networks such as the Internet. …SSL encrypts the segments of network connections at the Transport Layer.

In English this means is that SSL protects data between your computer and the server that you’re connecting to (in this case, Google’s servers).  While I agree that securing your connection is smart for those times when you’re browsing on an unprotected hot spot, there are also some technical implications that this has on your browsing experience.  Google pages may load slower and many of the links to services that your normally get won’t appear (at least until they have SSL enabled too).

Pubwich – Aggregate Your Social Data

Pubwich LogoThe other day, AJ Batac posted on Friendfeed about Pubwich, an “open-source online data aggregation PHP application.” I was intrigued, so I decided to check it out. The application is still very young, with a lot of work to be done, but it’s a great idea.

Initially, I was hoping that Pubwich would actually aggregate data from multiple sources into a single interface (the way Friendfeed does), but I soon learned that it actually just allows you to place information from multiple sources on a single page. Still, though, I think it’s a great idea and shows a lot of promise. In my case, at work, we have five Facebook fan pages, a Twitter account, a Flickr account, a YouTube account and at least two major RSS feeds. Rather than simply providing our users with links to each of those accounts, Pubwich provides me with an easy way to show our newest information to our visitors in one place.

Moogo Offers Inexpensive & Professional Website Creation

Moogo lets you create professional looking websites with a range of design and layout options for almost any type of content site. There are a wide range of options inside the Moogo portal and site creation is very quick and easy. It’s just three simple steps and if you can use Microsoft Word, you will be able to use Moogo.

The only thing you need to decide with Moogo is what features you want to use. Moogo offers you a Free Website with minimal options and features, something very basis if you are not ready for a full web presence. Then there are paid options ranging from $4.99/month to $14.99/month. I wont go into explaining the offerings for each of the paid plans, but I will explain the steps on how to setup the Personal Website plan:

Selecting a Layout

The first step is all about selecting the correct layout for your site. Moogo offers a variety of layouts from which you can select the one that best suits your needs. Assign the headers, the header is the top image on your page and you can select from a variety of categories, from Interests to Information Technology. You can preview your selections on the right side to see the picture of what the page looks like.

iCheckMovies – What Movies Have You Watched?

The other day, one of my Friendfeed friends posted a link to a new site called iCheckMovies. I popped on over and signed up for an account to see what it’s all about. I love the idea of being able to keep track of movies I’ve watched, share them with others and keep a list of the ones I want to see. For a while, I tried to use Flixter on Facebook to do the same thing (and I think it still has potential, but there’s so much else going on both on Facebook and in the Flixter app, that it’s hard to concentrate).

Basically, the service allows you to search their database of movies and indicate whether or not you’ve seen the film. You can then indicate if a movie is one of your favorites or if you disliked the movie. If you haven’t seen a movie, you can add it to a “watch list” indicating that you want to see it in the future. Apparently, once you’ve entered enough data, iCheckMovies will even begin recommending movies that you should see. You can even go directly to the movie’s page on Amazon so you can buy it right away.

The PhotoShop Content Aware Fill Demo

This might be the most impressive demo I’ve ever seen for a PhotoShop feature. It’s from a PhotoShop team member showing off a feature that will be available in the upcoming PhotoShop CS5. It’s called “content aware fill” and can basically take ANYTHING out of a photo. It’s like an eraser with a brain.

Just imagine – you breakup with  your girlfriend or boyfriend and instantly remove him or her from every photo ever…or as the demo shows, you can easily remove trees from scenery as if they were never there.

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