Jesse Andrews has built Book Burro, a Firefox extension to display competitive pricing information for books. The information is presented in an inobstrusive, semi-transparent popup window.
In order to install this you will need Firefox and Greasemonkey. Greasemonkey allows your browser to run client-side scripts against any web page. Think of it as local post-processing after the page has been downloaded.
As an aside, it is pretty cool to see what Jesse has done with less than 300 lines of script -- he's making asychronous calls to multiple web services, capturing the results, and creating a nice UI.
The Simple Queue Service has been updated with performance and bugs fixes, most of it driven from the developer community that has helped shape it since its introduction in November, 2004.
The Amazon Simple Queue Service Beta 2 provides a means for web service applications to quickly and reliably queue resources generated by a component to be consumed by another component. A queue can serve as a buffer for data flowing from one component to another even when the producer is generating output faster than the consumer is retrieving it. Also, a single queue can be used simultaneously by many distributed application components with no need for those components to coordinate with each other to share the queue.
The following new features are available:
Improved Error Reporting and Handling - A new XSD along with more descriptive and complete error messages has been added.
Random Access to Queue Entries - A new operation has been added which allows the Queue API caller to read up to 25 queue entries using an entry.s ID value.
Entry-Specific Read-Lock - The ReadLock call enables locking on a specific set of entries.
API for Number of Entries in a Queue - Returns the estimated number of entries present in a specified queue.
To make it really easy to get started with Whidbey, you should also investigate the Amazon-Enabled Movie Collection Starter Kit, available for C# and Visual Basic. This is a complete, running, ECS-powered application. You can use it as-is, or you can use it as the basis of your own application, as desired.
Author and long-time AWS developer Jason Levitt has just released his new book, The Web Developer's Guide to Amazon E-Commerce Service. Weighing in at 1.5 lbs and covering 492 pages, the book is centered around the use of PHP to create applications using ECS 4. All of the important base technologies are covered, including versions 4 and 5 of PHP, XSLT, REST, and SOAP.
Jason covers the E-Commerce Service, AIMS (Amazon Inventory Management System) and the Merchants@ API.
The book will soon be listed on Amazon.com; in the meantime you can order it directly.
Concord USA has developed and released, free-of-charge, an Amazon
course item module for colleges and schools that use the learning management
system from Blackboard Inc. This module allows course developers to include
books and other items from amazon.com in their Blackboard online
Here's how they describe their product:
The easy-to-install Concord Masterfile software module will provide the thousands of
educational institutions currently using Blackboard with the potential to
generate referral fee revenue from Amazon’s associate program, by having their
students order recommended items from amazon.com from within each online course.
For example, instructors can include recommended books in the relevant section
of a course and have the details, thumbnail and price shown automatically. A
student need only click on the item in the course to be connected to amazon.com
and complete the purchase transaction. The institution can specify their Amazon
associate ID as part of the easy setup.
Francis Shanahan has created Zollage. Zollage uses a target picture and a set of product images drawn from one or more Amazon.com product categories to create a clickable collage. The image on the right was taken from a collection of pictures on FlickR.