frank's blog

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.

Wow – 1 in every 13 People on Earth are on Facebook. Great Stats Video

Posted in Animation, internet, Media by aldorf on March 2, 2011

Thanks Alex Trimpe for putting this video together. Brilliant work and a helpful source in terms of Facebook stats.

The world is obsessed with Facebook, but it’s hard to fathom just how obsessed until you’ve seen the numbers. Video wizard Alex Trimpe lays bare our collective Facebook-loving souls in a new video called, appropriately enough, “The World is Obsessed With Facebook.”

The stats are beautifully laid out and animated. 500 million active Facebook users. 750 million photos uploaded in one weekend. 48% of us checking Facebook right when we wake up. And if that’s not scary enough, check out Trimpe’s snapshot of the activity on the site every 20 minutes. It’s insane. (via urlesque.com)

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