amazon.com’s online reader service

Amazon.com is once again beginning to amaze (scoff!) me. I just recently started paying attention to the American giant again (I’ve been hanging out on Amazon.ca for the past few years, which is sufficiently behind its parent as to be still stuck in the late 90s – or so it feels) and I cannot believe the amount of features it now boasts.

Not only does it have flashy interface thingamabobbers (yummy bubbly menu buttons and rolling-out-pop-ups of super-information over some links), but it’s gone truly wiki-like in style. Buyers and sellers can now edit every product page, submit their own images of products (or the way they use those products), search inside the text from all the books enrolled in that program on their site (can you imagine the amount of data they have to store for that? image files of every page really add up)… they are even launching a video program on their site this summer!

The latest feature is a further development of the Search Inside program – the Amazon Online Reader. It’s a more sophisticated version of what they had before – allowing you to now zoom in and out of the pages, highlight or bookmark sections of the book for later, copy text, print it… don’t just listen to me talk about it, take a look for yourself! [Warning: you may have to log in to get the gadget to work.]
I suppose it’s all part of the program that will soon allow readers to purchase online versions of books and also read them there.

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