Google App Engine is growing a step more mature, with Google planning on Tuesday to begin allowing people using the cloud-computing foundation to pay for heavy use.
When Google launched App Engine last April, it was available only as a free service with caps on computing and network resource usage. Free use is still available for lower-traffic sites, but Google now lets users pay for higher access as needed.
"It's been one of our biggest developer requests," said Pete Koomen, Google App Engine product manager.
The billing feature makes Google App Engine useful for those who want … Read more
O'Reilly Media founder Tim O'Reilly makes a provocative claim relative to Amazon's successful e-book reader, the Kindle: embrace open e-book standards, or be run over by them.
It's a bold prediction, considering what Apple has demonstrated with the iPhone. It may also be wrong.
Indeed, though I'd like O'Reilly to be right on this, I think that the iPhone, which he uses to prove his point, actually demonstrates against it. O'Reilly writes:
(Apple) seems to have a knack for balancing the benefits of both open and closed architectures that Amazon has yet to … Read more
SEATTLE--Amazon wanted to make the Kindle 2 hot, but not too hot.
It gave it a slimmer design and more storage, but there are a lot of things Amazon could have added, but didn't. Things like a color display not only would make the device pricier and give it a shorter battery life, but would also make the gadget uncomfortable to hold.
"One of the great things about Kindle is it doesn't ever get hot," Amazon Vice President Ian Freed said in an interview at Amazon's downtown office here. That's important, Freed said, given that the company has one main goal with the Kindle--making the product as invisible to users as possible when they are reading.
"The most important thing for the Kindle to do is to disappear," Freed said. That was the goal with the first device and was also a key factor in deciding what would go in the sequel, which started shipping on Monday. There are the obvious factors, like the thinner, sleeker design. But there are also things like an improved cellular modem. As a result, Kindle users will find themselves out of range in fewer places to get updates or buy a new book. … Read more
I admit that I nearly got caught up in my former colleague James Urquhart's excellent analysis of Canonical's Ubuntu 9.10 release, code-named Karmic Koala. I saw the word "open" laced heavily through the post, and given Canonical's commitment to fully open-source Ubuntu experience, I played along.
But something doesn't quite fit in Canonical's story.
It's called Amazon.com. Yes, Ubuntu 9.10 will give users an option to build its own Elastic Compute Cloud-style service, using open-source Eucalyptus (or another cloud provider), but the intent certainly seems to seamlessly plug users … Read more
About two years ago, Jeff Bezos used the occasion of his appearance at the Web 2.0 Summit to talk up the merits of EC2 and S3, Amazon's entries into the then-nascent area of cloud computing.
The predictably perky CEO was enthusiastically regaling a standing-room-only ballroom about a future in which his company would sell data storage infrastructure and server capacity by subscription: the idea being that customers of the new services could move quickly from idea conception to a successful product by farming out the infrastructure side for Web scale computing to Amazon.
"We make muck so … Read more
If you're itching to get the lowdown on just everything the Kindle 2 can--and can't do--Amazon's now posted the user manual. It's on both the Kindle 2 product page as part of the specs (clicking on the link will make the PDF pop up on your screen) or in Amazon's special Kindle documentation section where existing Kindle owners can download the AZW version to transfer to their original Kindles for reading and weeping (sorry, it always hurts a little to own a first-gen device when the new one comes out--but it'll be OK, I … Read more
Cheap tools to help independent musicians sell their music online are proliferating like mushrooms after a rainstorm: last month I wrote about Audiolife, which gives bands an online store to sell CDs and merchandise with absolutely no up-front costs (they take a cut of sales as you make them). Since then, Audiolife was kind enough to send me a sample CD and t-shirts, and they look and sound adequately professional--certainly fine for independent musicians on a limited budget, although nobody's going to confuse them with the deluxe version of the latest U2 album.
But Audiolife's download store is … Read more
The company sells an easy to use Windows program that connects directly with Amazon's S3 backup servers. The software costs $50 and the storage costs 20 cents per gigabyte per month.
Everyone's talking about the new Kindle, but here's a product that may present an even more radical innovation in the e-book sector: The Talking Book, created and distributed by the non-profit Literacy Bridge, is a low cost audio player/recorder with special features for Knowledge Sharing and Literacy Learning. It was developed entirely by volunteers and costs less than $10. The device involves an ecosystem to produce and share locally relevant audio content, allowing users to record their own messages and distribute them within local networks through a device-to-device copying capability. Other features include slow play for reading … Read more