Amazon continues to push the boundaries of web services and people's tolerance for clever branding with its recently launched "Elastic Compute Cloud", offering easily scalable computing on demand to developers. The service works in conjunction with Amazon's Simple Storage Service (otherwise known as S3), giving developers a virtual computing environment within which they can do what they please. Each virtual server instance they get gives 'em the equivalent of a 1.7Ghz Xeon CPU, with 1.75GB of RAM, 160GB of disk space, and 250Mb/s of network bandwidth, of which they can of course get as many as they like (or can afford), with prices starting at just $0.10 per instance-hour consumed and $0.20 per GB of data transferred outside of Amazon. Sure seems cheap compared to what it'd cost to get up and running on your own, although it'll obviously still add up pretty quickly if you're working on large scale projects.
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