My price comparison tool Shoptimate.com got hit a few months back. It's not Amazon only so I can keep the lights on but it sucks for Pricenoia.
Amazon has been changing the rules lately. They're not allowing installable software anymore and only allowing mobile apps that are not focused on shopping. They also refuse websites optimized for mobile. This is after they excluded affiliates over the state tax issues in the US.
Wikipedia says that Amazon gets 40% of their revenue from affiliates. They're probably dominant enough that they don't need to rely on affiliates as much as they used to.
Wiki is incorrectly characterizing their cited source. 40% is from third party sellers. (Actually I believe it is much higher now, but the way amazon breaks it out makes it hard to tell how much of their total revenue stream it is, as they only report their commissions). I've made the wiki changes.
I believe Amazon has realized that with their dominate place in the market most people would have gone to Amazon anyways, and they no longer need to pay to get people in the door.
This isn't a new thing. Amazon hasnt allowed installable software (without prior approval) nor have they allowed price comparison sites for years and years and years. Actually, have they ever allowed it?
But it used to say:
"You will not include on your site, display, or otherwise use Special Links or Content in connection with any spyware, malware, virus, worm, Trojan horse, or other malicious or harmful code, or any software application not expressly and knowingly authorized by users prior to being downloaded or installed on their computer or other electronic device."
I use an Acer C720P as a backup dev machine for a Django project.
With crouton you have access to traditional Unix tools so if most of what you need is command-line tools and a text editor, you can manage. It's not amazingly fast and the screen resolution is a bit limiting. But it's still a great machine : cheap, light and powerful enough for web dev. I don't regret buying one.
VAT varies by country. However if you sell from one EU country to another EU country, depending on the volume (which I think also differ per pair of countries), you'll need to apply the seller's VAT (low volume of sales) or the buyer's VAT (high volume of sales)
Maybe one way to look at it is to compare it to owning some land.
Some people are rich because their ancestors claimed a large piece a long long time ago. One could argue that they pulled out a lot of money out of thin air.
yea but that involves work in a sense. You have to tend to this land and develop communities or the land is worthless. I'm sure the value grew over time as the residents were able to make it into a nicer place.
They didn't just buy a few bytes of data & see the value appreciate by 9billion% just for sitting on their fat asses.
And that's the other issue. Land is an ACTUALLY limited resource. We don't know how to pull it out of thin air. The Bitcoin currency is artificially limited just to force a supply/demand situation. People can make other competing currencies just by forking the code.
What about everyone who bought a .com domain early....
Or really anyone who buys a stock early for a company that becomes huge.
I mean, if you buy bitcoins right now you are speculating that it will become a stable currency at some point. It offers a bunch of interesting and disruptive features that cut out a lot of middle men.
eh I hear what you're saying but i just don't believe this one.
.com addresses appreciated in value because they are an actual good -- an address on the web that only 1 person can own. Bitcoin is a currency that isn't serving its purpose yet and whose function can be easily mimicked. All it is is an open source codebase & some infrastructure. If another coin (Litecoin, for example) were to take off, they would just add support for that too no big deal.
Point being, it isn't the sole implementation of this concept. .com addresses are by nature unique.
hah sure there are alternate DNS systems but there's only one that matters... the one recognized by the major ISPs.
I don't want to get into the other thing. There are a ton of things that distinguish gold from BTC. For one, it has an intrinsic value. As in, "worst case scenario I have to sell this gold to a metalworker/scientist/jeweler/whoever who worse with gold".
If Bitcoin doomsday hits who is gonna pay a cent for one more file on their system. Useless bytes of data are not a commodity.
I'm building Shoptimate.com  and I'm in Europe. Amazon isn't as huge as in the US (and the multiple local Amazon sort of compete with each other).
But I also gave up on the website to build a browser extension. Shoptimate is bootstrapped and mainly active in Europe so I can execute more slowly and without the pressure of VC-money. But even then, it's a tough space.