Right now on Amazon, it costs more to purchase the MP3's for Neko Case's new album than it does to buy the CD and have it shipped to you. It's as if they're discounting the CD to compensate for the hassle of it's physical form factor taking up space in your home, having to be packed for your next move, etc. This is the opposite of what has been the rule to date, which is that it's cheaper to buy the digital good because they pass through the savings of foregoing shipping and handling of an actual good.
Silicon Alley Insider reports with seeming surprise that Jeff Bezos is working in an Amazon distribution center for a week. That shouldn't surprise anyone--almost everyone at Amazon went to work in the distribution centers over the holidays for many years to help handle the spike in holiday orders (at the time, there wasn't enough temporary labor in any of the markets where the DCs were located to handle the seasonal volume surge, though in this economy it might be different). With increased distribution capacity and automation, such stints are no longer required annually, but when I left Amazon every new employee spent at least some amount of time working in customer service inquiries and the distribution centers. It was always part of being the world's most customer-centric company.
I'm with Khoi Vinh on this one: the SXSW badges, program, and maps this year were all but unusable. Not to minimize the difficulty of producing these with a volunteer team, but one thought on how to leverage some talent is to ask for help from one of the many participating design firms or panelists in exchange for prominent credits on the materials, and maybe some free advertising inventory. One's work would certainly reach a very chatty and influential crowd there.