Beatles fans can now download the Fab Four's tracks legally for free. But there's one catch: they can only do it by subscribing to, and downloading, a podcast from Norwegian Broadcasting. According to a deal inked by the organization late last year, Norwegian Broadcasting can offer podcasts containing music as long as no more than 70 percent of the entire duration of the show contains music. Using that to its advantage, the organization has started offering daily podcast episodes that feature a three-minute discussion about an individual Beatles track and the actual recording of that track subsequent to … Read more
Amazon's video service will become the first non-Netflix "channel" to be available on the Roku box. The service, formerly known as Amazon Unbox, offers more than 40,000 movies and TV shows.
While that dwarfs the 12,000 or so streaming titles currently available via Netflix--and includes many newer titles as they're released on DVD--they're available on a pay-per-view basis rather than the flat-fee subscription of the Netflix.
LightInTheBox.com, a China-based global online distribution company that competes with Amazon.com, announced Wednesday that it too witnessed record holiday sales over the past month. According to the company, it tripled its fourth-quarter sales over last year. LightInTheBox would not divulge any more financial information, but its executives were quick to note that Amazon's increase--16 percent--was substantially lower than that of their own company. Regardless, Amazon is still a much larger company.
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels recently revisited a post titled 'Eventually Consistent' , about building consistency models for globally distributed systems and the trade-offs required to process trillions of transactions. It's a little heady, but definitely worth a read if you are trying to figure out how to architect applications for the Cloud or other large system architectures.Whether or not inconsistencies are acceptable depends on the client application. In all cases the developer needs to be aware that consistency guarantees are provided by the storage systems and need to be taken into account when developing applications. There are a number … Read more
The right way to think about these figures is in Schumpeterian terms: With retail sales down across the board, whose businesses are being destroyed here, and what is the future of physical retail? Amazon is merely goosing this process along, of course, and may not even end up being a survivor.
Such is the nature of business: some people lose while others win. It's not exactly a zero-sum game, but it can sure feel that way at times.
While the Web … Read more
Amazon.com posted its biggest holiday season sales in history, the company reported Friday. According to data it compiled from witnessed sales, over 6.3 million items were ordered on December 15, its "peak" day, representing 72.9 items ordered per second. It shipped 5.6 million units that day, as well. Amazon shipped products to more than 210 countries and more than 99 percent of orders were sent in time to meet holiday deadlines worldwide. The Samsung 52-inch 1080p LCD HDTV with RED Touch of Color was the top-seller in consumer electronics, followed by the 8GB iPod … Read more
Remember Sony and Microsoft? No? Well, neither does the average Amazon customer.
According to a release sent out by the online retail giant Friday, the Nintendo Wii and all its accessories dominated video game sales during the holiday shopping rush and not one mention was made of Sony's Playstation 3 or Microsoft's Xbox 360.
"Nintendo Wii dominated the top sellers in video games and hardware, including the Wii console, the Wii remote controller and the Wii nunchuk controller," the release reports.
What about all its competitors? Have they somehow entered the realm of irrelevance?
I'm starting to wonder if they have.… Read more
Examples of architectures designed to run on Amazon Web Services are a great way to illustrate the necessary design changes and patterns associated with a cloud deployment methodology.
Soocial.com, a "one address book solution to contact management" runs entirely on AWS and uses some interesting technologies to make their service work, including RabbitMQ, an open-source implementation of AMQP, the emerging standard for high-performance enterprise messaging. (I've written about AMQP and RabbitMQ here, and here in the past.)
One of the most interesting things is how the architecture isn't dramatically different than it would be if … Read more
You can't always judge an e-book reader by its cover--or at least its model name. If you've been perusing gadget blogs in recent days you may have noticed that another e-book reader, the eSlick, from Foxit Software, has entered the digital reader fray.
The eSlick's claim to fame is that when it's released early next year, it'll be cheaper than the Amazon Kindle or any Sony Reader. Whether it will be slicker is another story, as a couple of bloggers have opined that it's not the foxiest looking reader in the world.
The eSlick, … Read more
Last week Oracle and Amazon Web Services held a webinar to outline how Oracle works on Amazon's EC2, including database backups to the Cloud.
Running Oracle on EC2 is not too thrilling, though it's likely welcome for many organizations. Oracle database licensing fees are similar to on-premises pricing with no immediate way to leverage an on-demand usage model. Basically, if you want/need to run Oracle in the Cloud you can. But you aren't looking at a huge cost advantage.
More interesting is the ability to run backups to the Cloud and take advantage of Amazon's … Read more