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Monday, November 24, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
Compiled by Seattle Times technology staff
Each year since 2000, Amazon.com has marked the holiday shopping season with the effusive-sounding Delight-O-Meter, an approximate running total of the items ordered on its retail sites worldwide.
This year, the Delight-O-Meter is MIA.
In its stead (we think) is the Holiday A-List, a daily dose of exclusive content and gift recommendations from celebrities. (Think Mary J. Blige, Jack Black and Newt Gingrich.)
An Amazon spokesman, asked about the apparent change, invoked the company's long-standing rule not to comment on future plans. (If it decided to can the Delight-O-Meter, you'll just have to wait long enough to get the hint.)
The Delight-O-Meter served as a fascination (and distraction) to Wall Street. Financial analysts tried, year after year, to dissect the running total for insight into the online retail giant's financial picture always to no avail.
Big bytes: Maybe it just takes too long to extract Delight-O-Meter results from the company's outrageously huge database. Amazon now has the fifth-largest corporate database, with 13 terabytes on its Oracle system, according to a contest run by Waltham, Mass.-based consulting firm Winter Corp.
France Telecom had the world's biggest data store, with 29.2 terabytes, followed by AT&T, SBC and an anonymous entrant.
Oh, yes, a terabyte is more than 1 trillion bytes.
He's baaaack: Henry Blodget is back, but he's not covering Amazon and InfoSpace, at least not yet. Slate, the online magazine, has hired the ousted Merrill Lynch tech-stock analyst to cover Martha Stewart's securities-fraud trial in January.
One paragraph of his recent report was devoted to the trial; the rest consisted of Blodget's observations about last week's scene in court, where a judge refused to dismiss the charge, and the chatty press corps. He also had full disclosure of his previous encounters with Stewart, including the time his child threw up on her shoes.
Blodget used to save the juicy tidbits for interoffice e-mail with his pals at Merrill mail that the Securities and Exchange Commission found when it was investigating him and the brokerage for conflicts of interest. If his research reports were as candid as his magazine story, perhaps he'd still be allowed to work on Wall Street.
Peek-a-box: To get ahead of Sony's upcoming PS3 console unveiling, Microsoft will give peeks of Xbox 2 at the Game Developers Conference in March, according to a report last week by Computer Buyer magazine.
But only a select few will be invited to the closed-door viewings. Everyone else will have to wait to see the box at the E3 conference in May when Sony will also take the wraps off its PS3.
Blogsplosion: That clattering sound you've heard over the plains is the sound of a million bloggers typing out their daily journals. Blog tracker Technorati.com told CBS Marketwatch.com last week that it's adding 8,000 to 9,000 new blogs a day to its database, which at the time included 1.2 million blogs.
Quote of the week: "It's not like I'm going to buy more hamburgers or something," Bill Gates said in the Nov. 24 issue of Newsweek. It was part of his response to a question about estate-tax changes; he said any gains in his wealth will benefit his charitable foundation.
Download is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff. We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or email@example.com
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