frank's blog :::: we’ve all got stories to tell and things to sell

Posted in ideas, web by aldorf on January 3, 2012

Neverlikeditanyway is a new website “where once loved gifts from once loved partners get a second chance… We’ve all been there. We’ve all got stories to tell and things to sell. This is a place full of marvelous deals. And tales of the mild, mutual and monstrous.”

Amazon Signing Authors Directly – Cutting Out The Publisher

Posted in internet, Media by aldorf on October 17, 2011

After years of turning the traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore business on its head, online retail giantAmazon is now taking aim at the publishing business by getting writers to ditch their publishers in favor of Amazon.

The company is scheduled to publish 122 books this fall in print and e-book form, according to a report from the New York Times. The move puts Amazon in more direct competition with some of its largest suppliers, like Penguin, Random House and MacMillan. Read full story here.

Why Amazon Keeps Spending Billions On Amazon R&D

Posted in innovation, internet, Media, pioneers by aldorf on April 29, 2011

In his annual letter to shareholders, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explains why his company continues to re-invest in technology.

Random forests, naïve Bayesian estimators, RESTful services, gossip protocols, eventual consistency, data sharding, anti-entropy, Byzantine quorum, erasure coding, vector clocks … walk into certain Amazon meetings, and you may momentarily think you’ve stumbled into a computer science lecture.

Look inside a current textbook on software architecture, and you’ll find few patterns that we don’t apply at Amazon. We use high-performance transactions systems, complex rendering and object caching, workflow and queuing systems, business intelligence and data analytics, machine learning and pattern recognition, neural networks and probabilistic decision making, and a wide variety of other techniques. And while many of our systems are based on the latest in computer science research, this often hasn’t been sufficient: our architects and engineers have had to advance research in directions that no academic had yet taken. Many of the problems we face have no textbook solutions, and so we — happily — invent new approaches…Read full article.

All the effort we put into technology might not matter that much if we kept technology off to the side in some sort of R&D department, but we don’t take that approach. Technology infuses all of our teams, all of our processes, our decision-making, and our approach to innovation in each of our businesses. It is deeply integrated into everything we do.

A Pretty Good Day For Trees: E-Books Selling Faster Than Hardcovers At Amazon

Posted in Media, web by aldorf on July 27, 2010

(photo via

In fact, e-books took the lead three month ago, since which time Amazon says it’s sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books. What’s more, leaving their physical counterparts in the proverbial dust, e-books have outsold hardcovers at a rate of 180-to-100 over the last four weeks. (via mediapost)

The news marked “a day for the history books — if those will even exist in the future,” quipped The New York Times.

Watch ‘Avatar’ in the Amazon

Posted in film by aldorf on February 4, 2010

A group of indigenous leaders from the Amazon in Ecuador’s capital Quito, saw the film “Avatar” on the big screen in 3D.

After the screening Mayra Vega, head of the Women’s Association of the Shuar Nation said: “It left a huge impression on us. For example, the movies are almost real. It’s an example that makes us think a lot because the indigenous are defending their rights. We have to defend, just as the indigenous so clearly defended in the movie. We had an uprising; we had a confrontation with gases. It’s the same as what we just saw in the movie.”

Read the full article here.

youtube video here.

80legs, Webcrawling For The Masses

Posted in ideas, Media, web by aldorf on January 12, 2010

Web crawling means browsing and indexing online content in an automated fashion. Its most prominent usage is in creating the databases for search engines like Google, but it’s important for anyone who wants to find content on the web, such as a movie studio that wants to find pirated footage, or an ad network that wants to see where its ads are being placed. For now, the main options are to build your own web crawler, usually using your own data center, or to take advantage of online services like Amazon Elastic MapReduce, says 80legs chief executive Shion Deysarkar.

You just make your choices from several menus, telling 80legs where you want it to crawl and what you want it to look for, and it returns a data file with your results.

80legs can crawl 2 billion pages a day!

You can track your brand in every nook. You can initiate new data crunching initiatives that would never have been funded otherwise. The service is like having a “mini-Google” at your disposal.

80legs is also opening an application store, where developers sell apps that further refine the web crawling results. For example, Deysarkar says, developers could sell apps that perform sentiment analysis, look for video fingerprints, or analyze sentence structure.

Similar webcrawling tools are Crimson HexagonRadian6

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