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Amazon Hacks For Fun and Money

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the sadly-no-hacking-of-prices dept.

Software 249

An anonymous reader writes "There's a new BusinessWeek article looking at some of the cool hacks coming out of Amazon's open API and XML feed policy. Some nifty stuff - 27,000 developers have apparently signed up to build hacks on Amazon data. It seems '..most are only part-timers and hobbyists, but a growing number are serious programmers who seek to make a living selling products based on the data Amazon is offering on a silver platter.'"

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FP? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299956)

Fp master say...

"Suck me, beautiful."

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299971)

image this on a beowolf cluster!

YOU PATHETIC FAILURE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299994)

You have brought shame upon your ancestors, and curesed your sons to be Dirty GNU Hippies for 3 generations!

YOU FAIL IT!

Re:YOU PATHETIC FAILURE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300031)

*YOU* FAIL IT.

I fart in your general direction.

where's the first poster? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299973)

Did I miss him?

yes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300218)

!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!i!

asdfghjklqwertyuiopxcvbnm

Lameness Filter Encounted! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299975)

Post Aborted! Reason: CowboyNeal is Too Fat

Slashdot post formula (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299976)


if ((strstr(submission, "open") || (strstr(submission, "RIAA") || (strstr(submission, "SCO"))
{
PostStory(submission);
}

Re:Slashdot post formula (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300194)

you forgot:

(strstr(submission, "Linux") || (strstr(submission, "patent") || (strstr(submission, "case mod"))

How long until... (3, Troll)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6299979)

How long until Amazon patents "software to provide price comparison on cell phones and other portable devices". Surprised they haven't put out a patent already.

Re:How long until... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300021)

They have already applied for the patent, but it won't be granted until 2012! Mike

Re:How long until... (5, Informative)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300040)

I suspect it's already been done. A quick USPTO search on "software and price and comparison and internet" yields over 1000 results.

Side note: How can a patent with over 20 references be considered new and innovative? Seriously, that's not genius or inspiration, it's adding 1+1. Looking through the software patents, it's a joke that most of them got granted - the Cheif Patent Officer must be Obvious Guy.

Re:How long until... (4, Insightful)

saden1 (581102) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300215)

What is really even more sad is how incompetent the people at the USPTO are. There lot of competent software engineers out of work out there who should be hired by the buffoons that run the place. Maybe then will shit like one-click get rejected at the first glance.

Re:How long until... (2, Interesting)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300051)

Why doesn't some OSS body patent Two-Click purchaces? Really, no one wants a One-Click process. They want "Buy, Confirm" process.

Re:How long until... (1)

dbrutus (71639) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300228)

Congratulations, you now have prior art.

Actually... (4, Insightful)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300254)

...speaking seriously, a rich pro-open-source organisation should patent that and then get it legally made public domain (if possible). At least then we know that a large corporation will actually patent that first.

Re:How long until... (1)

uberchicken (121048) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300235)

How exactly was this doom-and-gloom prediction "Insightful"?

We need a new moderator classification:
"predictable bash" or "boring" or "cliche".

hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299981)

I just farted.

Re:hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300025)

that was a queef

O'Reilly book on Amazon Hacks (4, Informative)

jefflinwood (20955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6299982)

O'Reilly is publishing a book on these Amazon Hacks in August, to go with Mac OS X Hacks, Linux Server Hacks, Google Hacks, and Tivo Hacks (upcoming).
It's mentioned in the article, but this is slashdot....

Amazon Hacks [oreilly.com]

How long... (4, Funny)

appleLaserWriter (91994) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300013)

until some federal genius decides to label O'Reilly as a terrorist organization due to their sponsorship of "hacking"?

Re:How long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300125)

Yeah, their book promotes using your brain to think, and that'll be a security risk in Rumsfeld's New World. Just sit there, and do what we tell you to do.. just consume, consume.

Re:O'Reilly book on Amazon Hacks (3, Funny)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300072)

And you'll now be able to compare the price of Amazon Hacks using Amazon hacks.

Since when... (0, Troll)

KU_Fletch (678324) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300249)

When did we start calling programming hacking? Am I missing something. You took an XML feed and made an aplet to manipulate it. OOOOOOH. It's ccalled programming. Hacking implies that it is forbidden, agressive, or both. Stupid mainstream press with their coopting of our phrases.

Re:Since when... (5, Informative)

JesterXXV (680142) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300262)

Hacking implies that it is forbidden, agressive, or both.

No, it doesn't. [astrian.net]

Amazon (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299983)

Okay, when I read the title I pictured a busty female warrior sitting infront of a computer hacking away at some hapless souls files. She was sexy too.

Re:Amazon (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300049)

HAHAHA! We ALL know that women can't use a computer! Ha, women using computers, what's next?

Re:Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300203)

the preceding post was modded down by the only computer literate (and extremely ugly) woman on earth.

Re:Amazon (2, Informative)

Discordantus (654486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300281)

hmmm. busty and beautiful? An Amazon warrior? I suppose you don't realize that they lopped off their right breasts when they become warriors. Presumably to make archery easier...

Well, I suppose some guys might think that's sexy.

insert tech company here (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299986)

has begun to allow others access to its private data, its most valuable asset after the collapse of the technology industry. It looks like Amazon is just the latest in this trend.

--
Getting too much pr0n? [porn-free.org]

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299991)

Communism is back, so all you greedy capitalist pigs better watch out! fuckas!

oh oh.. I wants to be modded up but i didn't read (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6299995)

i didn't read the article, but watch, after 5 minutes i'm guarenteed at least a point. simple 5 step guide to being modded up on /. 1. post early 2. say microsoft stinks, and they're meany heads who don't play nice 3. bash microsoft once more since once is never enough 4. say something witty, with banter. (insert witty banter here) 5. say something even more funny and almost on topic. 6. For bonus points combine all 5. microsoft is stinky, and i'm witty, and it's nice that there's stuff being given out on silver platters by amazon... unlike microsoft who still smells funny... uhh.. did i do it right?.. oh well... i had my mindless fun. I'm off to read the article and post on topic next round ;)

-1, Redundant (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300007)

I wonder (5, Funny)

chunkwhite86 (593696) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300003)

I wonder if they include their highly advanced "one-click" technology in with this? It would truly be a gift to experience a technical achievement of this magnitude.

I mean, who would have thunk it? "one-click"! This certainly is the pinnacle of innovation and ingenuity. Sure is a good thing they patented this... otherwise who knows what might happen if such power was available to mere mortals? Inconcievable!

Re:I wonder (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300028)

Sure is a good thing they patented this... otherwise who knows what might happen if such power was available to mere mortals? Inconcievable!


I do not think this word means what you think it means.

Re:I wonder (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300115)

you are a gay ass hat. the words mean what they mean and only that, there is nothing else anyone could possibley think they mean. you are a fag

Re:I wonder (3, Funny)

skraps (650379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300149)

I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?

Re:I wonder (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300147)

Hmm hasn't anyone patented a zero-click buying technology yet? It should be pretty simple using JavaScript's onmouseover event, and if you're afraid someone might accidentally trigger it because their cursor accidentally flew over the hotspot, JS also has a timer/wait event.

Imagine that, no clicking required. "Move your cursor over this surface to purchase this item". Someone patent this before Jeff Bezos does.

The Mcdonald analogy (1, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300009)

Imagine mcdonald wanting to be a better franchise and hired annoying teenagers to cause problems in and outside the restaurant to see how they can improve.

Give amazon some credit, cause few businesses nowadays besides financial institutions would go the distance to improve themselves.

Now... if they can get rid of that Jeff Be...

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300057)

wow, that made NO sense what so fucking ever.

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (0, Offtopic)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300101)

Imagine mcdonald wanting to be a better franchise and hired annoying teenagers to cause problems in and outside the restaurant to see how they can improve.

Somewhat off topic... But, imagine the fun of a job where McD's paid you to reak havoc in Burger King and Wendy's resturants :-P

I wonder what the interview for that job would consist of...

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (3, Interesting)

zwoelfk (586211) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300213)

Somewhat off topic... But, imagine the fun of a job where McD's paid you to reak havoc in Burger King and Wendy's resturants :-P

It already happens. All of the big chains (PepsiCo (i.e. TacoBell, PizzaHut, HotNNow, etc.), McDonalds, etc.) use simulations+data/video to improve their drive-through /walk-in throughput.

Some corps decided that a pure FIFO is best on average, where McD decided to let people get out of line and wait (if the order is unusual) -- So it has been reported that some McD people (who knows? franchise owners? managers?) send people out to nieghboring places with large custom orders at rush hour that totally screw up a pure FIFO system.

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (4, Interesting)

alptraum (239135) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300102)

Give amazon some credit, cause few businesses nowadays besides financial institutions would go the distance to improve themselves.


Utter BS. More so than ever companies are realizing that continuous improvement is neccesary to remain competitive. Do a google on "six sigma", an process improvement methodology which started out at Motorola after a Arizona State Univ. PhD came up with the program and has balooned in the number of companies that use the six sigma methodology. For many Deming, Juran and Taguchi, the classic gurus of quality, are praised as gods. Or check out www.asq.org (American Socity of Quality) Engineers are just starting to realize the power of Experimental Design (DoE) and statistics, which current computer technology now allows even those with just basic statistical backgrounds to perform advanced statistical tests and interpret the results easily. The list goes on. Improvement is the norm, not the exception in countries such as Japan, which were in a full on quality revolution in the 60's-70's with the help of Deming, leaving America aghast and having American companies beg for his help after turning him away in the 50's and 60's. Only fairly recently has America started to catch on to quality.

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300272)

Soooo....

All of that crap? maybe you said? Might be true.

I'm just going to go over here, for a while, and stand next to these tires and explosiives.

What, you like puppies now?

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300179)

who cares. McDonalds still sucks. Crappy American shit smothered between two fat drenched buns. Mmmm, delicious, I'm sure.

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300258)

umm... methinks someone didn't RTFA.

Re:The Mcdonald analogy (1)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300260)

Note to parent and all those that modded this up:

RTFA!

The analogy makes no sense at all. In fact I'm at a loss as to how any analogy involving Macca's and annoying teenagers would work in this situation.

amazon's strategy (5, Informative)

Tancred (3904) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300011)

They've known for the last couple years at least (at least since that's how long I've known insiders) that selling their own merchandise would be a small part of their long term strategy. It did get them the infrastructure, though. After that came the hosting of other large e-commerce sites. Now they're recruiting an army of channel sales / resellers. Very smart people over there. Wish they'd stop patenting business processes though.

Is it genius? (2, Interesting)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300014)

...or were they just too stupid to do this earlier?

Basically they are letting independent developers come up with new ways to sell their stuff, without Amazon having to pay those developers.

Why weren't they doing this already?

Re:Is it genius? (4, Insightful)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300050)

Part, I think, of the reason they weren't doing this before is the question of "name recognition" and their desire to build a brand.

By first establishing themselves as a complete "product", i.e. "Amazon", people will now recognize these portal'd Amazon links as something new but still part of the Amazon-whole.

If they had simply introduced this ability from the beginning, they risked other companies somehow taking advantage of it to make it appear as if the "store" was the secondary-site, as opposed to Amazon itself.

Amazon is one of many (5, Insightful)

yintercept (517362) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300232)

They've been doing this from the start with an open associate program. People have been able to link to Amazon.com books and get a commission since the 90s.

The idea of product datafeeds isn't really that new either. You will find the hotel industry allowing datafeeds and other low level integration.

Amazon is giving better quality lower level access to data than many others. But are not as many leagues ahead as the Business Week article seems to indicate.

I guess I should mention the annoying thing. The people playing this amazon datafeed game are creating millions upon millions of web pages with different terms optimized for the search engines. The general result is a marked increase in the number of webpages to index, and a decrease in the quality of search engine results.

Uses... (4, Interesting)

idontneedanickname (570477) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300018)

I can think many useful things can come out of this. For exaple, a product which let you access/search the vast amounts of information they have on each of their products could be quite useful. (Although this could be constructed as a simple (well, sort of) script that retrieves certain parts of the pages Amazon has on each product.) Now, let's hope no disputes arise between Amazon and the people who want to use their information. This could range anywhere from people not giving credit to Amazon for the information, or claiming as their own, to disputes about money that's made selling products to access this information in the certain way. This could be viewed by some as selling the information. (Don't you think Amazon will want in on large amounts of money that's made from their own data?)

Re:Uses... (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300114)

Don't you think Amazon will want in on large amounts of money that's made from their own data?

They would be seriously bucking the trend if they didn't. I don't know people can bet their finances on "terms and conditions which may change without notice". What's to stop Amazon from taking someone's idea and implementing it themselves? After they do, why would someone want to use the "other" site when they can stay within the Amazon.com domain?

That's how Amazon beats Ebay (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300132)

This has already been done! Amazon already advertises on their Web Services page products that were designed to help their sellers for example.

Check out Seller Engine [sellerengine.com]

It uses the data feed from Amazon to allow Amazon sellers to create new listings and to reprice their current inventory by getting uptodate data from Amazon. You can just enter an ISBN number and you can see the sales rank of that book, the minimum price on Amazon, the availability, the list of sellers offering it, etc...

I sell books on Amazon and have been using this for about a year now. It is a lot easier than selling on Ebay because it is much faster to put your inventory for sale, you don't have to pay to list something for sale and you can make sure your products are always competitive by using a tool like SellerEngine.

Will Amazon own the "hacks"? (4, Interesting)

Cirrius (304487) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300023)

Since it's all being created from/based on their data?

Ahh the sound of a thousand rushing patents...

Re:Will Amazon own the "hacks"? (5, Informative)

jamestedrick (681552) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300131)

Actually, the creator retains the property, according to Amazon's Web Services Licensing Agreement [amazon.com] (Section 2). If you submit any info to Amazon (like "in use" shots of products), they are given an irrevocable license to use.

Holy shit! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300024)

I just downloaded Revolution OS (There's no way I'm giving Thinkgeek my money for this shit) and I saw Malda on an couch bald and fucking scary looking shit it was... What does Fent see in this loser?

This looks interesting. (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300033)

I think I can do something with this.
I suppose I'll have to look into this.
I was not aware of this at all before.
Thanks folks!

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300036)

Lennin, Trotsky and Stalin get the boot and the workers take over to control their own lives.

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300082)

spell lenin correctly next time and we'll talk, you capitalist swine. -jFFmn

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300089)

who said i was capitalist, you facist pig?

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300167)

oink, oink

RIAA Radar (5, Interesting)

Stormie (708) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300039)

RIAA Radar [magnetbox.com] is a site which may be of interest to Slashdotters, which I presume is done using this Amazon API.. check if a CD was release by an RIAA member label before you buy it!

Re:RIAA Radar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300142)

the truth shall kill you

Web Services Ignition (4, Insightful)

jimmyCarter (56088) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300044)

I love how the industry first hypes and then later wonders where the surge in web services is.

They still don't get it. You can't force an industry. It's usually the guys on the ground level making cool things with the technology that drive it's success.

Becaus of this, the Amazon [amazon.com] and Google [google.com] services are going to be huge in driving the web services industry.

hmm interesting (1)

jr87 (653146) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300046)

I think it is nice that they are trying to improve themselves but I think that they would have profitted more by doing this earlier.

Re:hmm interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300070)

who knows?

Re:hmm interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300154)

i do. but i'm not going to tell you. trance music is best on X

For example this site... (5, Informative)

wherley (42799) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300064)

Gold-Stores [gold-stores.net] seems to use the XML interface to allow the user to shop seamlessly at Amazon yet use payment mechanisms, such as Moneybookers, e-gold, E-bullion, Pecunix, and EvoCash, that Amazon does not directly accept.

Neat!

Re:For example this site... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300110)

Amazing prices on computers!
Look at these deals:

Manufacturer: Toshiba
List Price: $1,099.99
Our Price: $1,099.99


Wow! they're selling laptops at list price! They should patent that! Oh... wait, I found an even better deal:

Manufacturer: Apple Computer
List Price: $1,300.00
Our Price: $1,294.99

That's $5.01 off a $1300 purchase! Amazing, the deals just keep coming.

Re:For example this site... (3, Funny)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300227)

This site is powered by something called "StoreBuilder." I love what StoreBuilder has to say about how they chose to use Amazon's XML over HTTP interface rather than the SOAP interface: "XML over HTTP, no SOAP interaction overheads"

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300066)

Amazon hacks YOU!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (1)

deadsaijinx* (637410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300197)

DEAR GOD MODDERATOR! Do you know what you have done? by modding a Soviet Russia joke up, you have defied the very laws of the universe, thereby causing them to collapse into themselves creating one giant implosion the will engulf the entire universe, destroying us all! jerk ;p

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (1)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300231)

I dunno...I'll be out and about and will see a sign some where like "saves you 20%" and the first thing that pops in my head is "In soviet russia 20% saves you" or something.

Anyone know the origin of these?

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (0)

crazysim (669230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300264)

Read the title, doesn't it already say that? "Amazon hacks for fun and money"

Cool hacks (4, Interesting)

MrWa (144753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300067)

Regardless of what you think about Amazon opening up its API and inventory data, this [ipilot.net] is a nifty product. Scan something anywhere and get the Amazon data on it. Now I comparision shop Amazon with BestBuy, Circuit City, or B&N while I am at the store. Wait?! Is this illegal under the DMCA?

This would be great if they guy hooked it up to Froogle and made it work on a PDA - you could buy anything you saw, anywhere, for the cheapest price you could find on the web, while you were in a real store!

(runs off to fill out a patent form...)

Re:Cool hacks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300145)

Ipilot would be cool if it actually existed as a product. It looks like vaporware for now. They just have a little flash demo which doesn't actually do anuthing

I have been contacting them for 2 months now and they keep saying they will have the scanners or the DSK available really soon.

Re:Cool hacks (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300175)

Regardless of what you think about Amazon opening up its API and inventory data, this is a nifty product. Scan something anywhere and get the Amazon data on it. Now I comparision shop Amazon with BestBuy, Circuit City, or B&N while I am at the store. Wait?! Is this illegal under the DMCA?

This would be great if they guy hooked it up to Froogle and made it work on a PDA - you could buy anything you saw, anywhere, for the cheapest price you could find on the web, while you were in a real store!

(runs off to fill out a patent form...)


* Moderating...

Let's see:

- Bashed DMCA... Check (pointlessly, but all the better)

- Bashed Patents... Check

- Bashed SCO... FAIL

- Bashed Microsoft... FAIL

- Bashed **AA... FAIL

- Referenced "Good Technology (tm)", eg. Linux/Google/GNU/GPL... Check

- Referenced Geek Toy... FAIL (Close, but "PDA" is not "Zaurus")

You had a good post, but it could have looked like this:

--------------------

Regardless of what you think about Amzaon opening up it's API and inventory data, this [ipilot.net] is a nifty product. Scan something anywhere and get the Amazon data on it. Now I comparision shop Amazon with BestBuy, Circuit City, or B&N while I am at the store. (Ha! I bet the bigwigs at M$ would LOVE if I comparison shopped Linux vs. XPee, let's not even MENTION SCO!)

This would be great if they guy hooked it up to Froogle and made it work on a Zaurus - you could buy anything you saw, anywhere, for the cheapest price you could find on the web, while you were in a real store! (I bet the RIAA would object, though, what with their PRICE FIXING WAYS. Bastards.)

(runs off to fill out a patent form... before Amazon does!)

Oh, also, I HATE THE DMCA!!!! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!

--------------------

Learn from the master.

From the Amazon licensing agreement (5, Interesting)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300111)

We may modify any of the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement, at any time and in our sole discretion, by posting a change notice or a new agreement on our site. If an modification is unacceptable to you, your only recourse is to terminate this agreement. Your continued use of amazon.com web services or the amazon.com properties following our posting of a change notice or new agreement on our site will constitute binding acceptance of the change.

Given Amazon's track record I suggest you developers check the license daily. [amazon.com]

Compare it to Ebay (3, Informative)

dmoynihan (468668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300135)

Whose API charges beacoup fees [ebay.com] , and makes it pretty much impossible to, say, write an open source shopping cart [oscommerce.com] that'll sync with Ebay auctions (for the 10-50,000 people that sell on ebay and our own sites and might want to keep track of stock).

They (meaning idiot analysts for the most part) always say the real battle is between Ebay and Amazon for the future of online commerce. Amazon's got the right idea here, at least when it comes to getting their brand out free. Too bad it costs so much to list...

Re:Compare it to Ebay (3, Informative)

Yawning (684697) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300251)

It doesn't really cost anything to list on Amazon. When you start out as a seller you only pay Amazon a comission if you sell something. You can list as many items as you want for free.

If you sell in volume then you pay 40$ a month to list and have access to inventory tools etc... If you would list on Ebay you would pay much more than 40$ a month in listing fee for the same volume of listings.

eBay Strikes Me As Very Vulnerable... (3, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300275)

eBay Strikes Me As Very Vulnerable... to a distributed auction service run through Kazaa or something. Probably the only thing that stops someone from totally killing eBay with distributed auctions is a silly patent; but even silly patents will run out within most of our lifetimes.

Of course, verifying who is who on a p2p network is a challenge, but picture this: The RIAA et. al. may force p2p networks to provide user identification.

Don't see that as a crisis--see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to kill PayPal.

Of course eBay has tremendous brand recognition, but what happens if somebody starts streaming price comparisons (from Amazon?) through a p2p? Commision-free auctions are just one click from there, if you'll pardon my pun. Then, the patent issue devolves into what it really is, which is just a brawl between corporate legal budgets. Amazon/p2p/hackers vs. eBay/Paypal sounds like a great main event after all the warmup fights we've seen.

Of course eBay has brand recognition. So did Studebaker and DuMont.

I'd better hurry up and patent my business method of taking online wagers based on the size of corporate legal's payroll. Oh... wait... a bunch of online brokers have prior art.

Are they still... (4, Informative)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300144)

Are they still doing different prices for different regions? If so, can you check out the prices for each of the different regions with this?

I'd rather scrape... (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300148)

If you are interested in storing Amazon.com Properties for longer than 24 hours, you may only do so with the written consent of Amazon.com. If you fail to obtain written consent, Amazon.com reserves the right to take legal action.

Sorry, I'd rather scrape the data. Then I can keep it for longer than 24 hours.

You know it... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300166)

In other news, a league of hackers who took up Amazon.com's challenge to "hack" its web services have announced a new technology called "zero-click."

Said m0rp3us, leader of the group "3y3 0f th3 d0g," "zero-click" will order various items automatically using already stored in a user's billing info.

"All they have to do is sign-in once and they're done. The stuff basically orders itself after that," he said, " and delivered to your home. It's like Christmas every day!"

When asked if he will patent the new technology, Jeff Bezos declined comment, but did mention that the technology was responsible for three new automobiles and a new town that he was going to play with later.

Amazon.com's shares were up with the news.

Query? (5, Interesting)

MadBiologist (657155) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300174)

I've got a ton of books, CD's and assorted merch (VHS tapes, Games, DVD's) that I'd like to catalog. These items all have barcodes, and theoretically Amazon sells a good chunck of them. Is there an app that would sync to Amazon and gather all the pesky details for these items from a simple barcode swipe? I know the there exist such a product as DVD Profiler for my DVD's... but I'd like to stop duplicate purchases if possible. If there isn't, how hard is it to program with Amazon's API? Many Thanks!

Re:Query? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300212)

does anyone remember the cuecat? radioshack tried to seell them as the wave of the future that could be used on any barcode and special barcodes in magazines that would lead people directly to a website. too bad they had spyware built in to the hardware of the cuecat (which could be declawed if anyone remembers that issue of 2600) but even though the company and system is defunct, the hardware still will print whatever barcode u scan to notepad if u have it connected and have notepad open when u run it over a barcode
maybe someone could ghetto rig one of these to do what you were suggesting. it takes a S2 keyboard port tho. and they look kinda dumb shaped like a cat

Re:Query? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300226)

I recently wrote a program that uses a cuecat to scan barcodes/cds/games to use with Guzzlefish.com

And I riced out my cuecat, added an on/off switch, disabled the serial number, and put a Type R sticker

(kidding about the type r sticker)

Seller Engine will do that (1)

Yawning (684697) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300238)

Seller Engine [sellerengine.com] will do that for you.

When you buy the software you get a CueCat for free and you can go ahead and scan them in one by one and see on the screen the details that you want about those items. You can also export the data in a tab delimited text format.

The program is actually more directed towards people who sell on Amazon.

Perl (4, Informative)

pirodude (54707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300188)

Any perl programmers looking to play around with this should checkout the Net::Amazon module.

I wish Google would listen up. (2, Insightful)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300191)

While Amazon allows (mostly) free and open access to its API and data, Google, on the other hand, limits everyone to 1000 queries a day.

This means that coders who have tools that are based on Google results (say, some sort of link popularity checking tool) then have to either grab Google the regular way and try their darn best to pretend they're a regular visitor.. or get multiple API keys, which is against the T&Cs.

Of course, I can see why Google is doing this, simply because there's no benefit for them if people just leech their results, but....

useful and fun stuff (3, Interesting)

slothdog (3329) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300195)

There's a lot of cool things you can do with their API. I wrote a script to look up CD cover art [grunews.com] , then ran it against my webradio station's playlist, and came up with a nifty "now playing" box. Check it out.... [slothradio.com]

Use of "Hacker" (1, Offtopic)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300206)

Nice to see the word "Hacker" used properly, to mean someone pushing the limits of X tech, as opposed to the usual "Hacker = Criminal".

For many years I've seen the negative responses, as a self-confessed computer hacker. Its only in the past few years I've noticed more recognition of the true meaning of hacker from people.

Jonah Hex

feels like amazon coming home (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300209)

if you are up on your amazon history, it's greatest business move was hooking up with all of the mom and pops out there in the mid-90s, and having them link back to the mothership that was the amazon bookseller

this is that, all over again

Re:feels like amazon coming home (1)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300224)

Wow...I'd almost forgotten about that - the old Amazon Used Book service. It helped me track down a few things. Made it a lot easier than having to pop around to tons of used book stores, some which were a pain to deal with for various reasons (annoying owners, no ac, etc...)

This is interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6300219)

Amazon becomes a platform. The web site turns into infrastructure.

I'm impressed. Really impressed. I feel compelled to play with it, see what comes out of it.

This is my favorite Amazon hack (4, Informative)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300250)

Clutter [sprote.com] from Sprote Research. It does live cover lookups of CD's playing in iTunes from Amazon's music site. Very cool and an easy way to find the cover art for CDs to put into your MP3 tag info.

allconsuming.net (1)

tornadron (543533) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300270)

AllConsuming.Net [allconsuming.net] makes great use of the amazon APIs, along with those provided by google, and various blog interfaces.
...its sort of like an All Music Guide [allmusic.com] for books.

I predict the death of SOAP (1)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6300292)

"...either SOAP or XML over HTTP..."

and given this free choice, I predict that SOAP will quickly become a second choice to XML over HTTP (presumably XML/RPC).

Never liked SOAP, so this is a gloat. /gloat

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