Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fire!

Everyone knows by now that Facebook is trying to capture everything you do online. But did you catch what Amazon is doing?

From cdespinoa's posterous:
"Fire"
http://cdespinosa.posterous.com/fire

"...Amazon will use its EC2 back end to pre-cache user web browsing, using its fat back-end pipes to grab all the web content at once so the lightweight Fire-based browser has to only download one simple stream from Amazon’s servers. But what this means is that Amazon will capture and control every Web transaction performed by Fire users. Every page they see, every link they follow, every click they make, every ad they see is going to be intermediated by one of the largest server farms on the planet. People who cringe at the privacy and data-mining implications of the Facebook Timeline ought to be just floored by the magnitude of Amazon’s opportunity here. Amazon now has what every storefront lusts for: the knowledge of what other stores your customers are shopping in and what prices they’re being offered there. What’s more, Amazon is getting this not by expensive, proactive scraping the Web, like Google has to do; they’re getting it passively by offering a simple caching service, and letting Fire users do the hard work of crawling the Web. In essence the Fire user base is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, scraping the Web for free and providing Amazon with the most valuable cache of user behavior in existence."

And the last sentence:
"This is the first shot in the new war for replacing the Internet with a privatized merchant data-aggregation network."

Someday you'll be able to tell your kids that you remember back when the internet was open and free, and not controlled by online merchants who know everything about you.