December 31, 2012 |
Amazon is apologizing for a prolonged disruption last week that affected Netflix and other companies that use the e-commerce giant's cloud-computing services. "We want to apologize," Amazon said in a statement posted on its website. "We know how critical our services are to our customers' businesses, and we know this disruption came at an inopportune time for some of our customers. We will do everything we can to learn from this event and use it to drive further improvement. " In its lengthy apology and summary of events, Seattle-based Amazon said that the service disruption began on Dec. 24 at an East Coast data center and affected its Elastic Load Balancing Service.
April 25, 2013 |
Amazon's TV "pilots" (see my previous post and this relevant website ) come in two flavors: grown up comedies, most of which betray basic-cable (and even premium-cable) values in terms of content and language, and children's shows, which, conversely, are largely aimed at the youngest of the young and contain a mandated educational component. We'll take the small-fry series first. They are meant to be realized in a number of forms -- animation, puppet animation, puppets, CGI and live-action -- but are presented for the most part as rough-sketch, storyboard-like "animatics," with each series containing a snippet or two of what the show would look like if it is fully produced.
June 11, 2013 |
What would you order from Amazon's new grocery project ? For some of us, it's almost an existential question. Just as millions of Americans have taken to food shopping as a form of recreation (witness the crowds at your neighborhood farmers market), along comes a plan that treats it as drudgery and promises to relieve you of the burden. Drudgery? Well, sure, in some cases. But which ones? I have to admit the first time I read about the program, my first thought was: “The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills delivered to my doorstep?
October 23, 2009 |
Most people think of Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle as a slim piece of hardware the size of a very thin paperback book. In fact, Kindle is also a piece of software that displays digital books on any device Amazon chooses. On Thursday, the Seattle online retailing giant unveiled a Kindle version for computers. The application was part of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system launch event Thursday in New York. Expected to be released in November, the program will also run on Microsoft's earlier operating systems, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
July 23, 2012 |
Want to work in one of Amazon's warehouses? What if the company paid for the cost of your higher education? The e-commerce giant on Monday announced its new Career Choice Program in a lengthy letter that was posted on Amazon's homepage. To reward its hourly workers and help them learn new skills, Amazon said it would offer a tuition reimbursement program, paying up to 95% of the tuition, textbook and associated fees for such courses as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies and nursing.
December 5, 2013 |
Jeff Bezos' announcement that Amazon hopes to eventually deliver packages to customers using little flying drones has caused a mini-uproar. From journalists to members of Congress, people are telling Bezos, "Wait just a gosh darn minute, mister!" Among those forwarding legislation to deal with the issue is Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas). In comments on the floor of the House of Representatives, Poe said: "Think of how many drones could soon be flying around the sky. Here a drone, there a drone, everywhere a drone in the United States.… The issue of concern, Mr. Speaker, is surveillance, not the delivery of packages.
July 11, 2012 |
Amazon could start producing its own smartphone as soon as this year, according to a second report that claims the online retailer is working on a smartphone. The Seattle-based company along with suppliers in Asia are testing a smartphone, the report says, citing "people familiar with the situation. " The report also says Amazon might start production either this year or early 2013. Details are sketchy, but the new report, by the Wall Street Journal , says the device is expected to have a screen somewhere in the 4- to 5-inch range.
July 17, 2011 |
Greed, we are told by the moral philosophers, brings out the worst in human beings. As Amazon.com is about to prove, the same rule applies to big corporations. Last week, the giant online retailer announced that it was backing a ballot referendum to overturn a new state law mandating that it collect the sales tax due on purchases by its California customers. That law, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown at the end of June, was designed to eliminate the price advantage enjoyed by Amazon, and many other online retailers, over brick-and-mortar stores.
August 30, 2012 |
Here is today's Consumer Confidential segment from KTLA-TV. We looked at the announcement from Amazon that its Kindle Fire tablet is now sold out. Really? Could that have anything to do with a mysterious news conference the company has scheduled for next week? We also look at how Americans get off easier at the gas pump than people in other countries, and a recall of more than 600,000 Mr. Coffee machines.
December 16, 2013 |
Amazon workers in Germany went on strike Monday, protesting the working conditions at the online retailer's shipping centers. The workers' union, Ver.di, also sent a delegation to the company's Seattle offices. "The Amazon system is characterized by low wages, permanent performance pressure and short-term contracts," Ver.di said in a statement. Amazon employs about 9,000 workers in Germany plus an additional 14,000 seasonal workers; not all of them are union members. According to estimates, about 1,600 people took part in the strikes Monday at three German locations: Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, and Graben.