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Amazon Taking Bids for Computing Resources

Amazon’s new cloud computing product auctions off processing power.
December 15, 2009

Amazon has launched a new product that offers up cloud computing possibilities in a model reminiscent of Google AdWords.

Called Spot Instances, it allows users to specify the price they want to pay for access to to resources in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. Users can set other parameters, too, such as the region where they’d like a job to run.

For its part, Amazon gives its unused resources a “spot price” which fluctuates based on how heavily its cloud is being used at a given time. When a user’s bid exceeds the spot price, the job runs.

This is obviously a great deal for Amazon, since the company can ensure that it’s getting paid for as much of its capacity as possible at any given moment. It’s interesting to see the auction model popularized by Google’s wildly successful advertising network moving into other types of Internet business.

Deep Dive

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

Work reinvented: Tech will drive the office evolution

As organizations navigate a new world of hybrid work, tech innovation will be crucial for employee connection and collaboration.

lucid dreaming concept
lucid dreaming concept

I taught myself to lucid dream. You can too.

We still don’t know much about the experience of being aware that you’re dreaming—but a few researchers think it could help us find out more about how the brain works.

panpsychism concept
panpsychism concept

Is everything in the world a little bit conscious?

The idea that consciousness is widespread is attractive to many for intellectual and, perhaps, also emotional
reasons. But can it be tested? Surprisingly, perhaps it can.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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