Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

…or in other words, how to rent an army of slaves on demand.

Quoting from Amazon Web Services (emphasis mine):

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence. The Mechanical Turk web service enables companies to programmatically access this marketplace and a diverse, on-demand workforce. Developers can leverage this service to build human intelligence directly into their applications.
While computing technology continues to improve, there are still many things that human beings can do much more effectively than computers, such as identifying objects in a photo or video, performing data de-duplication, transcribing audio recordings or researching data details. Traditionally, tasks like this have been accomplished by hiring a large temporary workforce (which is time consuming, expensive and difficult to scale) or have gone undone.
Mechanical Turk aims to make accessing human intelligence simple, scalable, and cost-effective. Businesses or developers needing tasks done (called Human Intelligence Tasks or “HITs”) can use the robust Mechanical Turk APIs to access thousands of high quality, low cost, global, on-demand workers — and then programmatically integrate the results of that work directly into their business processes and systems. Mechanical Turk enables developers and businesses to achieve their goals more quickly and at a lower cost than was previously possible.

I can imagine requests being transparently serviced by an army of slaves somewhere in this world.
It always happened but now this army of slaves can be rented transparently, through a well defined API!

  • On-Demand/Elastic Workforce
  • Quality Management Tools
  • Lower Cost Structure

A very interesting idea, that somehow does not put a smile in my face for some reason…

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Creating rich Internet applications on Linux with WebKit

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080303-creating-rich-internet-applications-on-linux-with-webkit.html

The title says it all. It mostly talks about WebKit integration on Linux with the open-source GTK and Qt development toolkit. Is it just my idea, or that Internet applications has waaaaaaay too much material to read…. 😉

Amazon for developers

Amazon Web Services and Amazon Business Solutions. They offer the following infrastructure services for developers:

  • EC2=Elastic Compute Cloud (Computing/processing in a cloud)
  • S3 = Storage in a cloud
  • SQS=Simple Queue Service (Messaging between different parts of applications)
  • SDB=Simple Database (Database in a cloud)
  • Flexible Payment Service (Money processing. They don’t call it FPS for some reason 🙂 )

Above those services they offer Dev Pay which allows developers to put their own business model over the infrastructure.
Very interesting business model for Amazon.

A video interview by fastcompany.tv of Jeff Barr, Amazon’s evangelist for its Web Services team.

The server side of Ajax

From ajaxian.com

In this podcast interview, Justin discusses all that has to happen on the server side in order to render Ajax and its related technologies on the client side, what the shift toward RESTful-style apps means for developers, why there’s an increased focus on security as it pertains to what ends up in the browser — and how all of this, and much more, will be covered in-depth at TSSJS.

Dont have time to hear it but look interesting…