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- Amazon puts the web up for rent
December 15, 2005, 11:43 pm
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Amazon is giving people a chance to rent a copy of the net for
Via its subsidiary Alexa, the e-commerce firm is letting people get at
a regularly updated copy of much of the information found on the web.
Via the Alexa service, anyone with a basic knowledge of programming
will be able to search 4.5 billion web pages from more than 16 million
websites for whatever they want.
Prices for the service start at $1 per processor per hour to crunch
Those signing up for the service get access to the copy of the web
that Alexa refreshes every month, which comprises up to 300 terabytes
of data. Users also get at the infrastructure Alexa maintains to
crunch through the data for interesting information.
In a statement Alexa said that it expected a lot of interest from
entrepreneurs keen to use web search systems for their own
applications or services.
As examples of what can be done with a copy of the web Alexa showed
off an image search application and a service called Musipedia.
The image search allows people to query all the metadata that digital
cameras attach to snapshots which record when a picture was taken,
which model and make of camera was used and the image's size.
The Musipedia service lets people search for song melodies and lets
them whistle a query and submit it to the database.
Industry experts said Alexa's move could change the search industry
because the cost of setting up a global infrastructure to scan and
index the web was prohibitive.
By contrast Alexa said that running searches via a copy of the entire
web should cost a few thousand dollars.
Users pay for the amount of computer processors they use to crunch
through data, by gigabyte of storage they need and how much data they
The move comes as a challenge to search giants such as Google and
Yahoo which do let coders get at their net data but only via closely
controlled programming interfaces.
WEB SEARCH COSTS
$1 per processor hour
$1 per gigabyte/year of user storage
$1 per 50 gigabytes of data processed
$1 per gigabyte uploaded/downloaded
I wonder if it will also contain spyware ?
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