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Amazon Hacks
by Paul Bausch

1 edition
August 2003
302 pages

Reviewed by Jason Menard, September 2003
  (9 of 10)

While we all know that is a massive online retailer, it is capable of much more than just helping a customer load up on new DVDs. In fact, learning to effectively use Amazon allows the user to harness an incredible array of information concerning an enormous variety of consumer products. While more intrepid adventurers may be content to machete their way through a jungle of online help documentation, searching for that ever-elusive nugget of information to aid them in their quest, those of us not a part of the "bullwhip and fedora" crowd would prefer to have Amazon's secrets laid bare for us without all the hassle. If you are such a person, then "Amazon Hacks" is the treasure you've been searching for.

"Amazon Hacks" gives the reader the tools to make Amazon work to their advantage. Even if all you ever want to do is make purchases or find product information, there is something in this book for you. The more-than-casual Amazon user will want to make use of Amazon's community features, and once again this book shows how to get the most out of these. If you wish to sell something on Amazon, or if you are an Amazon associate, then the information in this book is a goldmine. For web application developers, Amazon Hacks discusses Amazon's Web Services API, allowing them to leverage Amazon's database for their own applications.

I would have liked to see more information about how Amazon's recommender systems work, and I would have liked to see some acknowledgement of Java in the numerous code examples, but these are minor quibbles. If you are seeking to bend to your will and force it to do your bidding, there really is no better place to start than "Amazon Hacks".

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