check

If you’re trying to track down a Retina iPad Mini, there’s a new stock tracker on the block – hiding out on the rather unlikely location of the Global Seat Turtle Network website!

The obscure location may simply be an Apple enthusiast running the website (update: it is, see below), or an attempt to hide it from Apple, which recently issued a DCMA takedown notice to the Apple Tracker website on the basis that screen-scraping the Apple website was an infringement of the terms of use. The owner of that site understandably decided to promptly comply.

The tracker uses a particularly useful grid format, enabling you to see which models are in stock where. Note that the numbers are not the quantity of stock available – there’s no way for anyone but Apple to know that – but the number of minutes since that cell was last checked.¬†You can update a check by clicking on any of the blue numbers or column headings.

Now that the word is out on this one, don’t expect it to last too long, even with its claim that it uses a publicly-available XML tool rather than screen-scraping to gather the data, but it may prove helpful in the meantime.

Update: The site told CNET:

Because we are Apple fanboys and we want to know when our favorite iPhone model will be available! Also, SEATURTLE.ORG runs on Apple products. From the Xserve that powers this website, to the iMac where most of the programming happens, and the iDevices that allow us to keep tabs on the sea turtle world from where ever we are.