[ExI] Amazon's Mechanical Turk, and the REST...

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 01:36:27 UTC 2007

I'm surprised I haven't seen anything about this before... I just
stumbled across it because they used it in the search for Steve


Amazon Mechanical Turk (Amazon MTurk) - Beta


"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."


But that's not all. Amazon seems to have a bunch of quite stunning web
services (in the sense of "a service delivered over the web", rather
than "a technical thing that suits bang on about but don't

Temporarily need a lot of processing power in a hurry?


Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) - Limited Beta



With this thing, you make a virtual machine (1.7Ghz x86 processor,
1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of local disk, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth),
install OS and software of your choice, upload it, then kick off as
many instances of it as you like, running for as long as you like, all
controlled via an Amazon webservice. 10 cents per instance per hour
(plus some fees for bandwidth usage).

Or, try this one:


Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

"Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make
web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to
store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on
the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable,
reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon
uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to
maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to


This thing is giving you access to online storage, guaranteeing that
every piece of data is stored in multiple places, there's security or
not as you desire, and the kicker is it's priced at 15 cents per
gigabyte per month (plus some data transfer fees). For example, that's
$180 per year for 100gb, or $1800 per year for a terrabyte.

This is the service I'm primarily interested in at the moment. I
currently pay for a DataDepositBox.com account for backing up my PCs
online, which I thought was exceedingly cheap at $2 per gigabyte per
month; this changes things (but I have to write my own software, of
course, which is underway). At the prices they are providing this
storage for, you can start looking at serious, large online storage.

And there's more... a Queue service, a payments service (extremely
flexible use of Amazon's commerce stuff), etc. Someone has let the
geeks off the chain at Amazon! Awesome stuff.



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