Almost 5000 dead and counting

No, not from the Indonesian earthquake – indeed a terrible tragedy. Global warming? Ha – not even the most alarmist proponents make this claim. Nope, not from terrorism, which tragically took perhaps 5 or even 10 lives today despite *trillions* of dollars spent fighting wars and providing security across thousands of first world venues.

Malaria killed the 5000. Today. And yesterday. And tomorrow. 1-3 Million per year with some indications the count has been historically too low on this disease.

But let's not worry about Malaria because the cost to dramatically reduce transmission is …. $2.50 for nets that protect people while they sleep. $5.50 for the really good nets that can protect people for 5 years.

More death news you won't see on CNN or FOX. Yet today (nor yesterday or the days before) I didn't see anything on CNN or FOX about this ongoing life and death battle with parasitic diseases where the death toll eclipses that of *all wars ever fought for all time*.

CNN did, however, have a long report lamenting the fact that that about 100 people per week die waiting for organ transplants. We better get to work on that, because why spend $2.50 for a net to save a kid's life when you can spend $250,000.00 giving a rich guy a extra few years?

Watch out for the … Amazon!

Over at Webmasterworld someone was noting Amazon's new free commercial website service and wondering if they were watering down their brand with all the new online services Amazon is offering. 

To the contrary I think the Amazon strategy is brilliant and the idea is to water down the OTHER brands by commoditizing things like commercial sites and search. The relationships they are establishing will pay modest but very long lasting dividends.

The global search niche, by comparison, is hugely profitable but is always threatened by "the next best thing" since users will tend to jump to the best search having little stake in the brand itself.

Amazon has nothing to lose in the areas of free website, storage, web services, etc. I think they are very clever to provide complex, data intensive services.

They are also lucky to have one of the best tech evangelists in the form of Jeff Barr who is spreading the word about some of the new services in his excellent presentations such as the one he gave at MIX06