Microsoft Pivot: a new way to browse and arrange massive amounts of data online

In its endless quest to categorize all information available (just like Google), Microsoft Live Labs has come up with Pivot:

Here at Live Labs we’re all about experiments, and Pivot is our most ambitious to date. Pivot makes it easier to interact with massive amounts of data in ways that are powerful, informative, and fun. We tried to step back and design an interaction model that accommodates the complexity and scale of information rather than the traditional structure of the Web.

Sounds ambitious indeed, but looks cool and handy too I have to admit. Gary Flake, founder and director of Live Labs, did a TED presentation on the Pivot features (spectacular zooms in and out of web databases, discovery of patterns and links, …) that you absolutely, definitely have to see:

Will this become the new search, will this kind of applications revolutionize the way we think about search? Or will it change the way we browse the web?

Hey YouTube, I don’t want to search before watching an embedded video!

As YouTube stated, almost 44% of all YouTube videos are watched embedded on other websites. No need to say the YouTube guys are looking for ways to seduce those embedded viewers into watching more videos and thus spending more indirect time on YouTube.

And that’s why in the beginning of november a few new features were launched, including a search box at the end of the video you just watched:

YouTube embedded search box at the end of the movie

Smart and handy if you ask me. I’m sure this extra feature will increase the time users spend watching YouTube videos. But today I saw a little variation I haven’t been able to reproduce yet. On a page with three different embedded YouTube movie, one of the three had a search box added to the player at the beginning of the movie (hey, I don’t want to start a search before watching the video…). I don’t know whether it was just a test or something they plan to roll out in the near future. It looks something like this:

YouTube embedded search box at the start of the movie

Looks strange, doesn’t it? Maybe you can reproduce it or know something more about it. So far, I found several articles and posts about a search box at the end of the movie, but I didn’t manage to find one about a search box before the movie starts…