Google rightly gets a pile of credit for its rapid innovatory pace. But people tend not to focus on how well Amazon is doing in the innovation stakes. Their impressive S3 has been around for a while and is very good value in providing deep infrastructure for developers. But lots is happening at Amazon. Three typical developments caught our attention in the last week.

  1. Amazon Flexible Payments System enters beta. From the description, this sounds like a very serious and useful piece of infrastructure for e-commerce. It led us to wonder whether major libraries are already using Amazon services. If they do, Amazon FPS would be a very important framework for new library services (eg IP address-based access to consumer magazines). Do libraries order books via Amazon? I feel I ought to know, but my awareness of the library supply market is very rusty.
  2. Amazon do a rather nice click through on front covers for the magazines they sell in the US market. We had never noticed this before and it may have been going for a while. This is a tiny feature but since it touches on magazines we were intrigued. Amazon will surely do more with magazines one day.
  3. PersonaNonData led us to review their Books On Demand service. It certainly looks like a very appropriate part of their range of services.