Amazon MP3 store is much cheaper than Apple iTunes

The Amazon MP3 store has arrived in the UK, and I’ve noticed that it is much cheaper than Apple iTunes for many items, particularly when buying complete albums. Here’s an example: Day & Age by Killers. £7.99 on iTunes:

and £3.00 on Amazon:

That’s 62% cheaper. Amazon also sells the CD

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Windows Azure: since PDC, how is it going?

At the Professional Developers Conference 2008, held at the end of October 2008, Microsoft unveiled Windows Azure, its new cloud platform. I was there, and got the impression that this is a big deal for Microsoft; arguably the future of the company depends on it. It is likely that the industry will reduce its use

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BBC iPlayer AIR app brings downloads to Mac and Linux

I’ve successfully installed the new BBC iPlayer AIR application on Windows, Mac and Linux – and I’m mostly impressed so far. The main snag is that you have to click the Labs tester button on a separate page before the  download works – but this isn’t mentioned on the download page. Another usability issue is

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Vista’s mysterious compatibility settings: what do they do?

I hate this Program compatibility Assistant in Vista. Why?

First, because it applies settings whether you like it or not. There’s no option to say, “I was happy with how it ran, just leave it alone”.

Second, because it does not tell you what it has done. Sure, there is a link that says,

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First steps with Adobe Alchemy: good news and bad

I’m fascinated by Adobe’s Alchemy project, which compiles C and C++ code into ActionScript, and stayed up late last night to give it a try. I used Ubuntu Linux, which felt brave since the instructions are for Windows (using Cygwin, which enables somewhat Unix-like development) or Mac.

Techie note: It took me a while

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Former eBay scientist complains of “Dilbertian compromises”

Former eBay scientist Raghav Gupta – who composed a farewell poem – has given an interview in which he talks about the difficulty of getting innovations deployed at eBay:

There is actually a lot of good innovation happening nowadays in terms of demos and prototypes and contests, but hardly anything worthwhile ever makes it out.

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Top ten sites where developers hang out

Someone asked me today where developers hang out on the Net. Excluding platform-specific sites like MSDN, here’s my first go at a top ten list, in alphabetical order – but I’d love to hear other suggestions.

Coding Horror Jeff Attwood’s site. Both Attwood and Spolsky are on the Stack Overflow team

Dzone –

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Why Audio Matters: Greg Calbi and others on “this age of bad sound”

The Philoctetes center in New York, which is dedicated to “The multidisciplinary study of imagination”, hosted a round table entitled “Deep Listening: Why Audio Quality Matters”, which you view online or download – 2 and a half hours long. It is moderated by Greg Calbi, mastering engineer from Sterling Sound. Other participants are Steve Berkowitz

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Microsoft’s three ways to store stuff online

Windows Live Sync has just been released. This is an update to FolderShare, a file synchronization service which Microsoft acquired from Byte Taxi in 2005. The new version supports up to 20 folders and 20,000 files, supports Unicode, and still works on both Windows and Mac. It has also been migrated to Windows Live ID,

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BBC looking at OpenID for iPlayer social network

At Adobe’s MAX conference in Milan last week I spoke to the BBC’s Anthony Rose, who runs iPlayer at the BBC, and wrote this up for today’s Guardian. One of the things we discussed is social networking planned for iPlayer, where you will be able to see comments, ratings and recommendations from your friends. I

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