March 29, 2013 |
Over at the social reading website Goodreads, people take pleasure in writing reviews. Usually, they write about the books they're reading. But in the last 24 hours, many have taken to reviewing Goodreads itself, and its sale to the book behemoth Amazon. And the reviews are not good. "I'm devastated by this news," wrote a user named Bryn in a Goodreads forum . "I have a really bad feeling about this," wrote Terri. "I am actually feeling sick to the stomach. " The sale was announced Thursday.
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.
August 7, 2012 |
Amazon.com Inc. has launched a new textbook rental program, this time with old-fashioned print books. The program sends the print copies to students, for a fee, with the stipulation that they be returned in reasonably good condition within 130 days unless other arrangements are made. The e-commerce giant has a digital textbook rental service that began last year. Amazon said the fees it's charging to rent the print books represent savings of up to 70% compared with retail purchase prices.
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?
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.
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.
August 9, 2013 |
Commenters on Amazon can be brutal toward books, even those they haven't read. But when faced with an author accused of committing a horrible crime, they've turned to humor. Derek Medina was arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder on Friday in Florida. On Thursday, he allegedly posted a photograph of his dead wife on Facebook and the note, “Im going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife love you guys, miss you guys takecare Facebook people you will see me in the news.” Later that day he turned himself in to police; the postings, meanwhile, went viral.
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.
September 4, 2012 |
A best-selling British author has been caught red-handed slamming others' books on Amazon while praising his own under a number of pseudonyms. It was the assiduous work of Jeremy Duns, another writer, that laid out a case demonstrating that prize-winning mystery writer R.J. Ellory had been writing the "sock puppet" reviews on Amazon. Ellory has admitted to using the sock puppetry -- pseudonymous handles to post positive Amazon reviews of his own books and one-star reviews of others'.
October 24, 2013 |
A Seattle city review board has given the thumbs-up to an ambitious and unusual biodome design proposed by Amazon as part of its new downtown campus. On Wednesday, Seattle's Design Review Board approved the design by architectural firm NBBJ. According to Geekwire , the architects persuaded the review board that the design would be "engaging and inviting to the public passing by. " Amazon is just one of many tech companies pursuing a distinctive new campus design. Apple's spaceship campus was just recently approved by the City Council of Cupertino, Calif.