373 posts tagged with amazon.
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Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory...

Because going to the store buying things online is such a chore. First there was the monolith to put on your coffee table and allow to listen to everything you say. Now comes Amazon's most aggressive move yet towards frictionless purchasing: logo-emblazoned physical buttons that buy things. Plus an SDK that makes your other things buy things, without your input. [more inside]
posted by fifthrider on Apr 28, 2015 - 64 comments

Making More Time For Work

The Shut-In Economy The dream of on-demand, delivery everything is splitting tech-centered cities into two new classes: shut-ins and servants.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 27, 2015 - 64 comments

Either I'm a sexual deviant, or they're wrong

Did Amazon Sink the Queen of Online Erotica? - Phoebe Reilly, Vulture
"Engler is an underappreciated pioneer, a self-proclaimed feminist in furry-cat slippers. To put her crowning achievement demurely, she challenged the book-publishing industry's denial of women's appetite for sexually explicit books. She wrote tawdry, lowbrow novels, and published hundreds of others, that freed romance from its lame euphemisms well before Fifty Shades of Grey, and she did so in a digital format long before the Kindle and the iPad allowed e-books to flourish.

"To put it less demurely: There were readers out there, lots of them, who didn't want to read about thick manroots. They wanted hard cocks. So that's what Ellora's Cave gave them. Easily and often."

posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 2, 2015 - 52 comments

Science meets professional subjects

Amazon's Mechanical Turk has become an important tool for social science research, but a fascinating piece by PBS Newshour discusses why this might be a problem, with a great profile of professional survey takers, who average hundreds, even thousands of social science surveys each. This is not just idle speculation, recent research [PDF] shows that experienced Turkers no longer have typical "gut reactions" to social experiments, creating a struggle with how to deal with non-naivete [PDF]. Take a look at the questions that professional Tukers are asked the most, and be sure to take the survey in the middle of the first article! [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 16, 2015 - 46 comments

Homeward

When Hugo Lucitante was a boy, his tribe sent him away to learn about the outside world so that, one day, he might return and save their village. Can he live up to their hopes? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 14, 2015 - 2 comments

Radio Shack: goodbye

Wire: Dear RadioShack, This Is Why We Adored You. Love, WIRED. "The time is near to bid farewell to that old security blanket, RadioShack. When the remote control broke, it was there. When we needed a cable or 20, it was there. But soon, it won’t be. The company is about to file for bankruptcy. Shares of its stock have been suspended from trading. We are forced to acknowledge that the era of personal electronics championed by the franchise stores that sold soldering gear and robots and had a Battery of the Month Club is really and truly over." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 4, 2015 - 129 comments

Maura is a “she.” It’s one of the central points of the show.

It’s time to learn how to write about transgender people [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 23, 2015 - 72 comments

“They were actually commenting on the choices I’d made in my life.”

Amazon’s disruption of the traditional publishing model is well-documented. Self-published authors on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited are seeing their incomes plummet by as much as 75%. Citizen-reviewers have wrested the reins of criticism from established newspaper and magazine critics, much to authors’ dismay. But one writer found online reviewing a way to reclaim her identity as a writer—even if she was reviewing a crappy mattress purchase on Amazon. How A Bad Amazon Review Totally Changed My Career. [more inside]
posted by pipti on Dec 28, 2014 - 30 comments

Amazon One-hour Delivery

Amazon has worked diligently on improving its product delivery process. Same-day delivery is pretty standard now in parts of the country where they have closer distribution centers. They have also implemented lockers for pickup and have been working on developing a delivery method by remote control. In Manhattan, they have now implemented a one-hour delivery service for $7.99 (and two-hour delivery is free). Coming soon to a city near you. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 25, 2014 - 74 comments

Greetings from the South Pole

James O. Thach has an amazing array of life experiences, as proven through remarkable Amazon reviews. Here he is proving his conservative bona fides as he pronounces Ann Coulter's newest book "a steaming cauldron of truth"; waxing rhapsodic on cardamom, "nectar of the gods, breath of the immortals"; and researching penguins with only a Justin Bieber Singing Toothbrush for company.
posted by shivohum on Dec 9, 2014 - 16 comments

Ursula K. Le Guin on writing and freedom at the National Book Awards

On Wed Nov 19, 2014, in an awards ceremony emceed by Daniel Handler-aka-Lemony Snicket, Ursula K. Le Guin gave "the most ferocious speech ever given at the National Book Awards." Le Guin's acceptance speech for the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters touched on the Amazon vs Hachette throwdown and the practice of art in an age of capitalism. Video. Transcription.
Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable; so did the divine right of kings.

posted by spamandkimchi on Nov 21, 2014 - 35 comments

Dumping Smartphones on West Africa is a Bad Idea

At this point I believe it might be better to dump the container of smartphones into the ocean than to dump them onto the Ebola emergency response. The leader of UNICEF's innovation unit explains why Amazon's offer to donate unsold Fire phones to West Africa will likely cause more harm than good.
posted by girlgenius on Nov 17, 2014 - 44 comments

"Enjoy the clean air."

Warehouse Empire Behind the largest undercover bribe the FBI ever paid to a public official is the story of how our whole consumer economy has been transformed, bringing lung-stunting pollution and, in some cases political corruption.
posted by sio42 on Nov 6, 2014 - 22 comments

An internet of firsts, some of them still online

The Webpage FX blog compiled a list of 13 internet "firsts," from the first email sent (1971) and the first spam, sent out to 400 people (1978), to the first photo posted online (1992) and much later, the first Instagram photo, (2010).
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 28, 2014 - 20 comments

An enthusiastic public reading journal.....

In Praise of Anne Rice's Amazon Reviews
posted by The Whelk on Oct 19, 2014 - 30 comments

No more mojo

Amazon has shuttered BoxOfficeMojo.com. [more inside]
posted by lewedswiver on Oct 10, 2014 - 46 comments

Where have all the good movies gone?

Between the limited amount of titles on streaming services and the fact that Netflix seems to be shifting away from DVDs altogether, are you just out of luck if you want to watch a non-blockbuster like "Sweet Sweetbacks' Baadasssss Song" or "Raising Arizona"? KQED investigates.
posted by Clustercuss on Sep 23, 2014 - 112 comments

What in the name of Bezos is going on here?

Amazon's formula for literary success is, as far as I can deduce: Write as many books as you can, and then sell them cheaply and in bulk. Even though none of my books has sold more than 15,000-ish copies, Amazon continues to pay me to write them. The idea is that eventually one of my efforts will hit, and then the backlist will rise. I'm a writer, and my experience with this supposedly evil corporate behemoth has been fantastic.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 10, 2014 - 57 comments

Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works)

Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works) [more inside]
posted by gwint on Sep 5, 2014 - 93 comments

SPOOOOON!

The Tick is a big, blue, nigh-invulnerable, possibly brain-damaged super-hero created by Ben Edlund in 1986. He has appeared in comic books (1988), animated TV (1994), and live action TV (2001). According to The Wrap, Patrick Warburton has worked out a deal with Sony to create a new Tick pilot for Amazon.
posted by Guy Smiley on Aug 31, 2014 - 99 comments

Project Wing

Inside Google's Secret Drone Delivery Programme The Australian test flight and 30 others like it conducted in mid-August are the culmination of the first phase of Project Wing, a secret drone program that’s been running for two years at Google X, the company’s whoa-inducing, long-range research lab.
posted by modernnomad on Aug 28, 2014 - 37 comments

Big big names on the small small screen

Some pretty big names are wading into the Amazon waters with a group of new instant video pilots debuting today. Marc Forster ("World War Z") directed Hand of God, "a psychological drama about a morally corrupt judge who suffers a breakdown and believes God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice"; David Gordon Green ("George Washington," "Pineapple Express") helmed Red Oaks, "a coming-of-age comedy set in the 'go-go' 80s about a college student enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end--and the future begins"; Whit Stillman ("Metropolitan") turns in The Cosmopolitans, "a dramatic comedy about a group of young American expats in Paris searching for love and friendship and an ocean of distance from their past"; and Jay Chandrasekhar ("Super Troopers") is responsible for Really, "a funny, honest, behind-the-curtain look at the psychological and emotional complexities of marriage and the charged dynamics of a tight-knit group of friends grasping on to what's left of their youth." There's also Otto Bathurst's Hysteria, "an investigative thriller about a haunted young doctor who is summoned back to her hometown to investigate an epidemic that may be linked to social media - and her own tragic past." User reviews determine which pilots get picked up for series.
posted by Clustercuss on Aug 28, 2014 - 28 comments

Victor Gama: exploring musical terra incognita with unique instruments

Victor Gama is a self-taught composer and musician who has expanded his process of composing music for himself and others to perform into creating new or modified instruments, and is also involved with traveling to hard to access regions of Angola and recording local music, as documented on his website Tsikaya: Músicos do Interior. You can read an outstanding interview of Victor with Ned Sublette for Afropop, or read more on his creation of instruments as part of his creative process, or you can experience his performances on YouTube and his music on Soundcloud. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 22, 2014 - 3 comments

Amazon vs. Hachette, an Epic Battle Faught with Letters and Addresses

Best Selling author Douglas Preston, along with 907 other authors, signed a letter that ran as a double full-page ad in yesterday’s print edition of the New York Times, asking Amazon to stop blocking or delaying the sale of books on their site as a tactic to lower the e-book prices that Amazon is charged by the publisher Hachette.* The three month dispute between Hachette and Amazon previously prompted a response by Amazon’s self-published authors and readers, but it took an odd turn Saturday night when Amazon posted this letter on a site called ReadersUnited.com, after sending it as an email to all of its Kindle Direct Publishing authors. In that letter they include Hachette’s CEO’s email, and have asked their KDP authors to write to Hachette’s CEO telling him what they think about cheaper ebooks. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Aug 11, 2014 - 146 comments

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon announced today a service called Kindle Unlimited, giving access to over 600,000 books and audiobooks (on any device) for $.9.99/month. There are other services similar that exist (like Scribd and Oyster), but Amazon may have an advantage with its audio service. Is it worth it? Perhaps if you are in the habit of buying more than the average five books per year. In any case, there's a 30 day free trial "so you can test your binge-reading capabilities before committing to pay for the service."
posted by SpacemanStix on Jul 18, 2014 - 68 comments

Heart of the Amazon, City of the Forest

For 350 years Manaus has stood sentinal at the dramatic Meeting of the Waters, where the dark Rio Negro and the sandy Rio Solimões (or the Upper Amazon) meet to form the headwaters of the Amazon River. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Jul 10, 2014 - 10 comments

Woot? Meh.

This Internet Millionaire Has a New Deal For You
So there sat Bezos at the breakfast table, faced with a question for which he was apparently unprepared. Many painful seconds passed without an answer. Rutledge let the pause lengthen as long as he could bear it and was just about to tell his host to forget it, when Bezos finally spoke. He looked down at his plate. Bezos had ordered a dish called Tom’s Big Breakfast, a preparation of Mediterranean octopus that includes potatoes, bacon, green garlic yogurt, and a poached egg. “You’re the octopus that I’m having for breakfast,” Rutledge remembers Bezos saying. “When I look at the menu, you’re the thing I don’t understand, the thing I’ve never had. I must have the breakfast octopus.” Not until Rutledge had returned to Dallas and related the story to his anxious employees—now Amazon’s employees—did he realize just how absurd that explanation sounded. Before it can be eaten, generally, the breakfast octopus must be killed.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 6, 2014 - 38 comments

"Free markets killed capitalism," Or really, the other way around.

Monopoly is back: Barry Lynn on the concentration of American economic power — and how we can restore fairness. Highlights: [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jun 30, 2014 - 47 comments

800, give or take

Tony Horwitz: I was a digital bestseller! [NYT] It netted me nothing!
David Gaughran: No, you weren't. (Your publisher duped you and you're stretching the truth.)
Tony Horwitz: OK, fine.

Previously: Amazon v. Hachette. Currently: Salon weighs in. (Gaughran not amused.)
posted by psoas on Jun 26, 2014 - 38 comments

Nice books you got there. It'd be a shame if nobody bought them.

Amazon is deprecating books published by the French publisher Hachette after Hachette refused to drop wholesale prices to Amazon in recent negotiations. Per the NY Times, Amazon is reporting delays on Hachette books, increasing their prices, and suggesting alternatives. Hachette has maintained silence on the issue to their authors but royalty statements and examining their listings on Amazon reveals the truth. Affected authors and their professional associations are speaking out to pressure Amazon. Meanwhile, Amazon is raising the stakes by refusing to accept pre-orders for some books on Hachette imprints, including those by popular authors like Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).
posted by immlass on May 23, 2014 - 83 comments

HBO content to be available via Amazon Prime

"Amazon and HBO on Wednesday announced a first-of-its-kind deal that will make HBO content available to Amazon Prime subscribers. ... Content covered in the new deal includes The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Treme, Band of Brothers, John Adams, and early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood." No Game of Thrones yet, however. Read more here. And here.
posted by SpacemanStix on Apr 23, 2014 - 158 comments

The joy of seeing your work in print

I Sold My Undergraduate Thesis to a Print Content Farm: A trip through the shadowy, surreal world of an academic book mill.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 24, 2014 - 46 comments

Netflix vs Hulu Plus vs Amazon Prime vs ...

Lifehacker: "One of the more annoying things about Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon's television streaming libraries is the vast difference between the selection available. It would be almost impossible to get a thorough idea of who has the better library without searching for hundreds of TV shows on each service and comparing them manually. So we did just that." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Mar 4, 2014 - 105 comments

relentless.com

Is Amazon Bad For Books?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 11, 2014 - 91 comments

I could not find a DVD player to play it

Amazon Critics: a glimpse into a future without professional film criticism. [single link tumblr]
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Jan 7, 2014 - 109 comments

The shameless pursuit of discounts

How To Save Money On Amazon With a Fake Baby.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 29, 2013 - 67 comments

Getting Shit Done

A new iteration of the august tradition of fictional Amazon.com product reviews has arrived: The 2-in-1iPotty Activity Seat for iPad. (scroll down for reviews)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 9, 2013 - 36 comments

Bias for Action

I am working at the new Amazon fulfillment center in Haslet, Texas as a seasonal, part-time picker.  It is winter. We aren’t workers here: we are associates. It is a job that I can do hung-over and high and I can make just enough money here to technically have my own apartment, a place to store all my empty beer cans and all my crumpled Taco Cabana wrappers and all my stacks of shitty sci-fi novels. - Fulfillment
posted by Artw on Dec 3, 2013 - 87 comments

Suck it, Amazon and your stupid drones!

Waterstones announces their Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service, a brand new way to receive your favourite books. Per the FAQ: Q. Isn’t this just what they did in Harry Potter? A: Yes, this is exactly what they did in Harry Potter. You’re asking that as if this is a bad thing
posted by scolbath on Dec 2, 2013 - 27 comments

It’s a symphony of robots now.

Amazon Prime Air. Like Amazon Prime, but with robots. 60 Minutes reports.
posted by un petit cadeau on Dec 1, 2013 - 188 comments

Shocking exposé

Cloud services that power email and other technologies we use each day are themselves massive energy consumers. Gigaom reporters have written a pair of in-depth articles about efforts by Amazon and Apple to build infrastructure and source their own energy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 18, 2013 - 16 comments

On Amazon and world retail domination.

Ex-Amazon employee Eugene Wei on Amazon's "profitless business model" fallacy, and why the claims that Amazon is not profitable are fundamentally wrong. "If Amazon has so many businesses that do make a profit, then why is it still showing quarterly losses, and why has even free cash flow decreased in recent years? Because Amazon has boundless ambition. It wants to eat global retail. This is one area where the press and pundits accept Amazon's statements at face value. Given that giant mission, Amazon has decided to continue to invest to arm itself for a much larger scale of business. If it were purely a software business, its fixed cost investments for this journey would be lower, but the amount of capital required to grow a business that has to ship millions of packages to customers all over the world quickly is something only a handful of companies in the world could even afford." Wei also previously touched on this in Amazon, Apple, and the beauty of low margins.
posted by jaduncan on Oct 27, 2013 - 36 comments

King of diamonds, king of spades! Bezos was king of the kingdom of work

The Secrets of Bezos: How Amazon Became the Everything Store, Brad Stone (Businessweek) "Amazon’s culture is notoriously confrontational, and it begins with Bezos, who believes that truth shakes out when ideas and perspectives are banged against each other. Wilke and his colleagues argued that lubricants were available in supermarkets and drugstores and were not that embarrassing. They also pointed out that Amazon generated a significant volume of sales with such e-mails. Bezos didn’t care; no amount of revenue was worth jeopardizing customer trust. “Who in this room needs to get up and shut down the channel?” he snapped." [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on Oct 10, 2013 - 48 comments

Andrew Wylie on publishing

"Not very many people read. Most of them drag their knuckles around and quarrel and make money. We’re selling books. It’s a tiny little business. It doesn’t have to be Walmartized." Superagent Andrew Wylie, who represents Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Elmore Leonard, and Philip Roth, among others, talks about the future of publishing, his on-again-off-again relationship with Amazon, and "effete, educated snobs who read," with the New Republic.
posted by escabeche on Oct 7, 2013 - 30 comments

Giant Bomb

PayPal locked down the developer’s account, and said it could only have 50% of the funds. The rest would be released as development continued, based on PayPal’s assessment of the situation. PayPal was, essentially, going to become a producer going forward. Crowdfunding's Secret Enemy is PayPal
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 20, 2013 - 73 comments

Good fences make good neighbors

Something or someone is building tiny towers and fences in the Peruvian Amazon. And nobody knows who, or what they are, or why they're being built.
posted by kinnakeet on Sep 6, 2013 - 64 comments

Amazon MatchBook

Amazon has announced that "MatchBook" will launch in October, allowing you to buy Kindle versions of select physical books you've purchased from Amazon, for $2.99 or less. The service will be retroactive to 1995. Reactions from TechHive, Time, and Engadget.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Sep 4, 2013 - 120 comments

Who am I? Am I Yanomami or am I nabuh [Westerner]?

The son of a Yanomami tribeswoman returns to the jungle to look for her. David Good is the child of an American anthropologist and the Yanomami woman he married while doing field research in the remote Amazon rainforest. Raised in the US, he returns to find his mother. [may be nsfw - images of unclothed tribespeople]
posted by desjardins on Aug 29, 2013 - 30 comments

Mark your calendars

Launching my first product : Brand, Make, Sell Sell, Make, Brand
posted by Gyan on Aug 29, 2013 - 31 comments

Amazon’s practices are detrimental to the nation’s economy

President Obama visited an Amazon facility in Tennessee today giving a speech proposing a "grand bargain for middle-class jobs" that would cut the U.S. corporate tax rate and use billions of dollars in revenues generated by a business tax overhaul to fund projects aimed at creating jobs. The American Booksellers Association is not happy about the visit and called him out on it.
posted by dukes909 on Jul 30, 2013 - 233 comments

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