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.
October 16, 2013 |
The editors of the British website the Kernel bought a copy of the e-book "Naughty Daughter Abducted ... (taboo daddy daughter erotica)" on Amazon, and did not like what they saw. "The book is a sick rape fantasy with language and details too graphic for a family-friendly publication to reproduce," they wrote in a story about pornographic e-books being sold by the online retailer. In its heated report ("How Amazon Cashes in on Kindle Filth"), the Kernel found hundreds of e-books that include scenarios of rape, incest and "forced sex" with young girls -- findings that have led to an outcry in Britain . Here in the United States, the 1st Amendment protects some such works as free speech.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 10, 2010 |
As a novelist, I am used to having complete control over the world on my computer screen. Life, death, sin, redemption: My characters' lives are in my hands. But last week, I got yet another reminder of my utter powerlessness once the book leaves home. Amazon.com took away my "buy" button. I'm not the only author I know who obsessively checks her Amazon rankings. It's not that I have any real idea what they mean: how they translate into how many books have sold or what kind of royalties I can expect.