I’ve long been a fan of Amazon’s emerging webservices such as S3 or the mechanical turk – without doubt they are doing some of the most interesting things with web services anywhere on the Internet.
The mechanical turk is bridge between people who want work done, and people who want to do work. It handles payments, verification, matching qualifications etc. One of the first examples of it’s use was the art project to have drawings of 10,000 sheep done by people all over the world. Now Amazon have used the turk to help search for missing Microsoft Employee Jim Gray.
The turk is distributing satellite imagery of the area in which Jim’s boat went missing – and anyone with an Amazon account can help them out. I’m sure you can find worse things to do with ten spare minutes during your lunch hour.