• E-Commerce Sales Up 23 Percent in Third Quarter

    E-Commerce Sales Up 23 Percent in Third Quarter

    We tend to focus so much on online advertising that it is easy to forget there are other ways to make money online. Like good old-fashioned sales. Online sales in the third quarter across all categories (excluding travel) rise 23 percent to $28.4 billion, according to comScore. (Including travel, e-commerce sales are up 18 percent to $48.6 billion). Total e-commerce sales for the year are… Read More

  • Powerset Testing Search Results At Mechanical Turk

    A reader noticed that stealth search engine Powerset is using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to gauge user reactions to search results. See the screen shot (click for larger view) – users are shown a query and a number of results and are asked to evaluate the relevancy of each result from five choices. In this case, the query is “revealing bikinis.” Users are asked… Read More

  • CrunchDeals: Save $20 on Leopard via Amazon

    CrunchDeals: Save $20 on Leopard via Amazon

    Hey, Mac users, we know you’re all kinds of stoked to get your hands on Leopard in a few days. To save money, you can try Vince’s controversial “hack” (which may be is dishonest). Or, you could reserve your copy on Amazon today, which is selling the software for $20 less than pretty much anyone else, including direct from Apple. We’re not sure if it’s a sale… Read More

  • Win a Heroes edition Xbox 360 from Amazon

    Win a Heroes edition Xbox 360 from Amazon

    The good folks over at Amazon have teamed up with artist Tim Sale to bring 90 lucky winners a limited edition silk-screened Heroes edition Xbox 360, Xbox 360 HD DVD drive and Heroes Season One on HD DVD. The contest started this last Monday and runs through till November 15th. Three winners will be plucked at random each day for the hot and exclusive bundle. If you’re a n00b to HD then… Read More

  • Amazon's $100,000 Startup Challenge

    Amazon's $100,000 Startup Challenge

    Anyone out there with a great idea for building a startup around Amazon Web Services can enter a $100,000 challenge that Amazon is sponsoring. Amazon’s collection of Web infrastructure services include hosted storage (S3), compute cycles (EC2), computer-to-computer messaging (SQS), payments (FPS), and an on-demand workforce (Mechanical Turk). AWS has already attracted more than… Read More

  • Apple lowers iTunes Plus price

    Apple lowers iTunes Plus price

    Get your music off iTunes but often opt for the DRM-laden versions due to the cheaper price of $.99? Worry no more, friend. Apple has officially lowered the price of iTunes Plus tracks to 99-cents, down from $1.29. The move comes as competitors like Universal and have started offering DRM-free alternatives to iTunes. Now that DRM-free tunes are cheaper, will you seek them out in bulk? Read More

  • Amazon Takes Another Step Towards The Web OS With Dynamo

    Amazon Takes Another Step Towards The Web OS With Dynamo

    Amazon chief technology officer Werner Vogels just released a very technical paper about a Web storage system being tested internally at Amazon called Dynamo. As applications move to massive grids of computers on the Web (like the ones that power Amazon’s e-commerce site or Google’s search engine and online apps), a new type of Web operating system is developing that treats all… Read More

  • Game On: A Real Alternative To iTunes

    Game On: A Real Alternative To iTunes

    It may have taken Amazon a few years, but they got it right: their new music store is DRM free and songs, starting at $0.89/track, are cheaper than at Apple’s iTunes. The top 100 best-selling albums are priced no higher than $8.99. Songs are delivered in MP3 format, meaning they’ll work on any music player, including the iPod. The store opens with 2 million songs from 80,000… Read More

  • Amazon Killing ECS Access From Mobile Services (Updated)

    Amazon Killing ECS Access From Mobile Services (Updated)

    This is coming in late on a Saturday, so we only have one side of the story so far. But Canadian startup TXTReviews, which allows people to get book and movie user ratings via text message, says they’re being shut out of Amazon web services. In a message on their website, the company is actually saying Amazon has banned all mobile startups from accessing web services, but I can’t… Read More

  • Search For Steve Fossett Expands To Amazon's Mechanical Turk

    It’s been five days since adventurer Steve Fossett disappeared in the Nevada desert. So far, searchers have found half a dozen previously unknown crash sites, but no sign of Fossett’s plane. Earlier we reported that his friend Richard Branson was using Google Earth to try to located him. Amazon is now involved as well, and has set up a Mechanical Turk project where volunteers can… Read More

  • Amazon & Google To Enter eBook Business

    The New York Times is reporting that both Amazon and Google are entering the eBook business this year, joining Sony and others who already have products (the image to the right is Sony’s Reader). The new Amazon product and service will be called The Kindle and will compete directly with Sony. Google will begin charging users to read the full text of some of the books they have… Read More

  • Can Google Do What Amazon Couldn't? The Search For Steve Fossett In The Nevada Desert

    When computer scientist Jim Gray was lost at sea earlier this year, Amazon stepped in to help. They arranged for a satellite sweep of the area and stored the images on their S3 storage service. They then created a task on their Mechanical Turk service to allow volunteers to scan the images to look for the boat. Thousands of people joined the search, but he was never found. Now Steve Fossett, a… Read More

  • Nirvanix Launches To Compete With Amazon S3 Storage Service

    As anticipated earlier this month, San Diego based Nirvanix has launched and will offer an alternative to Amazon’s S3 storage service, which is growing rapidly. The company is positioning itself against Amazon by saying it’s easier to integrate than S3 and they offer a service level agreement to guarantee 99/9% uptime (Amazon does not offer an SLA). Pricing is $0.18/GB/month… Read More

  • NBC Runs From iTunes Into The Arms Of Amazon

    NBC Runs From iTunes Into The Arms Of Amazon

    Last week a lot of drama developed between Apple and NBC over who broke up with who. All we really know is that the pair allegedly split over conflicts around DRM and pricing control. It was quite a hit for Apple, with NBC making up 40% or iTune’s digital video downloads. Today NBC found a friend in Amazon, announcing a deal to sell the network’s digital TV content. Amazon… Read More

  • Anorexic PSPs On Amazon

    Anorexic PSPs On Amazon

    If you’ve been anxiously waiting for the slimmed down PSPs to hit stores then hold on just a little while longer. All three versions (piano black, ice silver and ceramic white) have appeared on Amazon with launch dates. The piano black version won’t be pre-packaged with anything fun, but it ships September 10 for $169.99. The ice silver unit is apart of the Daxter Entertainment… Read More

  • Amazon Fresh Shopping Bag Spotted In The Wild

    Amazon Fresh Shopping Bag Spotted In The Wild

    Finally, pictures are starting to come in of Amazon Fresh, the new Webvan-like grocery delivery service that launched in Seattle last month. What I’d really like to see is a review of the service by someone who lives in Seattle. And a picture of the delivery van everyone keeps spotting. Or even better, just video the whole delivery experience. I have very fond memories of Webvan and… Read More

  • Sorta Worth It, Xbox 360 HD DVD Bundle

    Sorta Worth It, Xbox 360 HD DVD Bundle

    One of these days I’ll decide on a next-gen gaming console, but in the mean time I thought I’d pass along this great deal over at Amazon. The HD Bundle gets you the Elite system, HD DVD player and copies of King Kong and 300 plus five HD DVDs for free (mail-in BS). That’s a pretty damn good deal for $599 or you could spend over $800 if you purchased everything… Read More

  • Oops: Pre-prod HTC Units Possibly Sent To Retailers

    Oops: Pre-prod HTC Units Possibly Sent To Retailers

    Uh oh. It seems as though the new HTC Advantage has been shipped to CompUSA,, and possibly elsewhere as pre-production units. Users are being greeted with the message “test only, not for sale” when the device is booted up for the first time. The glitch can easily be fixed by updating the software via a PC but if these devices aren’t yet ready for production from… Read More

  • CrunchDeals: Xbox 360 Premium, $329.99

    CrunchDeals: Xbox 360 Premium, $329.99

    That price drop the Xbox 360 had this week? Amazon thought it wasn’t enough, so it’s dropping it some more. Right now, you can get an Xbox 360 Premium for $329.99, new. That’s about how much they were going for used on Craigslist just a few days ago. I know, because I’m fruitlessly trying to get a good deal on one. This price is good enough I’m very tempted to just… Read More

  • Amazon Flexible Payments Service Launches

    As predicted, Amazon launched a new payments web service today called Amazon Flexible Payments Service, or FPS. It will compete with Paypal and Google Checkout. FPS, Amazon says, “is the first payments service designed from the ground up specifically for developers” and “unmatched flexibility in how they can structure payment instructions.” Payments can be made by… Read More