sechilds + amazon   31

On Amazon’s Time
To reduce overhead but continue to sop up performance-based incentives from the local governments it operates in, Amazon has become increasingly reliant on a work scheduling scheme that often coerces workers into leaving their shifts early or turns them away at the door without notice. “During November, as we hire tens of thousands of seasonal employees we have the opportunity to offer voluntary time-off (VTO) as a benefit to associates to take some time off before the holiday volume kicks in,” an Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo last December. In an email forwarded to Gizmodo, a site leader told one of his associates that VTO isn’t a respite but a responsibility that falls on middle mile—meaning Sortation Centers, which are staffed largely by part-timers—as the main variability point in the supply chain. Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers, the largest and most complex facilities in the company’s supply chain, can occupy a million or more square feet, and handle everything from inbound inventory, and storage, to packing and shipping items back out. The obvious line of questioning when faced with similar testimony of multiple associates operating in separate facilities is what Amazon accomplishes with VTO that couldn’t be achieved by simply reducing its staff.
amazon  labour 
june 2018 by sechilds
Amazon Studios has been looking for a way to duplicate HBO’s success with Game of Thrones , and the company may have found a solution: adapting J.R.R. Variety reports that the company is currently in talks with Warner Bros. Television and the late author’s estate, and while discussions are said to be in “very early stages,” it is clearly a high priority, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos himself involved in the negotiations. Earlier this year, Bezos reportedly got involved with the creative direction of the studio, tasking the group with finding high-profile dramas like the hit HBO series that could have a broad, global appeal. While the adaptation is far from certain — the deal hasn’t even been closed yet — this is the kind of project that could bring Amazon Studios a significant amount of attention, and draw in viewers across the world. While The Lord of the Rings would certainly check all the Game of Thrones boxes when it comes to fantasy and adventure, it is also worth noting that the books aren’t really known for being filled with the kind of sex-and-violence antics that HBO’s show has become synonymous with.
fantasy  amazon  tv 
november 2017 by sechilds
Amazon Completes New Suspension Tank To House Psychic Beings Who Foresee Customers’ Future Orders - The Onion - America's Finest News Source
SEATTLE—Explaining that the larger containment center was necessary to keep up with increased demand, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Thursday the completion of a new suspension tank that will allow the online retailer to house even more of the psychic beings who foresee each shopper’s future orders. The glass-walled vat reportedly takes up five stories of a building in Amazon’s downtown Seattle campus and holds 750,000 gallons of the psychoactive nutrient fluid necessary to sustain the 256 pale, hairless humanoids who, every day, predict the online purchases of millions of consumers across the world. He explained that because no one empath can focus on the entirety of Amazon’s product offerings, they must specialize, with the psychic beings occupying separate sectors of the suspension tank specifically dedicated to areas such as books, electronics, pet supplies, Prime customers, gift-card balances, or Kindle downloads. “Within a fraction of a second after a patio-and-garden clairvoyant has received a premonition, it will search through thousands of different wind chimes, bird feeders, or bug zappers to locate it,” said Bezos, noting that orders available exclusively from third-party vendors might take a seer slightly longer to foretell. According to company sources, construction on the new, upgraded suspension tank was expedited to ensure completion well before the 2017 holiday shopping season, as the number of last-minute gift orders placed last December overtaxed the psych
amazon  funny 
july 2017 by sechilds
ProQuest ends dissertation sales through Amazon @insidehighered
Accidental Exposure ProQuest will no longer sell the dissertations in its database through third-party retailers such as Amazon, the company announced on…
amazon  academic:journals  from instapaper
november 2014 by sechilds
Amazon's Jeff Bezos looks to the future - CBS News
>There has never been a company quite like Amazon. Conceived as an online book seller, Amazon has reinvented itself time and again, changing the way the world shops, reads and computes. Amazon has 225 million customers around the world. Its goal is to sell everything to everyone. The brainchild of Jeff Bezos, Amazon prides itself on disrupting the traditional way of doing things. A few weeks ago the company announced it was launching Sunday delivery.
amazon  from instapaper
december 2013 by sechilds
How Amazon is building substations, laying fiber and generally doing everything to keep cloud costs down
If there’s anyone still left wondering how it is that large cloud providers can keep on rolling out new features and lowering their prices even when no one is complaining about them, Amazon Web Services Vice President and Distinguished Engineer James Hamilton spelled out the answer in one word during a presentation Thursday at the company’s re:Invent conference: Scale.

Scale is the enabler of everything at AWS. To express the type of scale he’s talking about, Hamilton noted an oft-cited statistic — that AWS adds enough capacity every day to power the entirety of when was it was a $7 billion business. “In fact, it’s way bigger than that,” he added. “It’s way bigger than that every day.”

Seven days a week, the global cycle of building, testing, shipping, racking and deploying AWS’s computing gear “just keeps cranking,” Hamilton said. AWS now has servers deployed in nine regions across the world, and some of those regions include multiple data centers. The more you build, the better you get and the less risk-averse you get, he explained, and “the best thing you can do for innovation is drive the risk of failure down and make the cycle quicker.”
amazon  from instapaper
november 2013 by sechilds
"FCF is evil" — Benedict Evans
It seems pretty clear that Amazon is optimising its cashflow to zero: pushing it as low as it is possible to go and still run the business. This is rather like Tim Cook at Apple managing inventory to zero: Amazon manages cashflow and profits to zero.

The really striking thing is if you compare this to revenue, in this indexed chart.

Over the last 3 years, Amazon revenue is up 130% and it's chosen profitability metric is down by two thirds. This is not a coincidence.

Jeff Bezos says that "your margin is my opportunity": this is what that means.
january 2013 by sechilds
Boto is a Python package that provides interfaces to Amazon Web Services. At the moment, boto supports:

Simple Storage Service (S3)
SimpleQueue Service (SQS)
Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
Mechanical Turk
Elastic Load Balancer (ELB)
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
Elastic Map Reduce (EMR)
Relational Data Service (RDS)
Simple Notification Server (SNS)
Google Storage
Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Route53 DNS Service (route53)
Simple Email Service (SES)
Flexible Payment Service (FPS)
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon SimpleWorkflow
Marketplace Web Services
The goal of boto is to support the full breadth and depth of Amazon Web Services. In addition, boto provides support for other public services such as Google Storage in addition to private cloud systems like Eucalyptus, OpenStack and Open Nebula.

Boto is developed mainly using Python 2.6.6 and Python 2.7.1 on Mac OSX and Ubuntu Maverick. It is known to work on other Linux distributions and on Windows. Boto requires no additional libraries or packages other than those that are distributed with Python. Efforts are made to keep boto compatible with Python 2.5.x but no guarantees are made.
amazon  Python 
august 2012 by sechilds
Amazon fixes security flaw hackers used against Wired's Mat Honan
This followup report reveals that Amazon has issued a policy change that fixes the security hole by no longer allowing people to call Amazon and change account settings like credit cards and e-mail addresses. Previously, Amazon's phone policy essentially allowed hackers to use social engineering tricks on support representatives to learn sensitive information about targets like Honan.
Amazon  Apple  security:computer  security:internet  from instapaper
august 2012 by sechilds
Apple: Amazon's Appstore isn't an 'app store'
Bloomberg reports that Apple has filed new papers with a federal court in Oakland, California stating that Amazon's Appstore for Android can't possibly be an "app store." According to the filing, "Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words 'app store' together denote a store for apps. The term isn't commonly used by businesses to describe download services and, because the mark 'app store' isn't generic, Amazon's Appstore for Android service isn't an 'app store'."

Since earlier this year, both Amazon and Microsoft have been hoping to overturn Apple's "app store" trademark. Both companies contend the term is too generic. Recently, the fight over the trademark has extended to Europe as well. There are many arguments for and against the term's generic nature, but perhaps the most positive evidence in Apple's holding of the term is John Paczkowski's Google trend line showing that the "app store" phrase didn't enter the vernacular until 2008 -- which was about the time that Apple began popularizing it.
Apple  Amazon  from instapaper
may 2011 by sechilds
Large Retailers Push Amazon on Taxes -
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and other large retailers are ratcheting up a political campaign to force <a…
Amazon  from instapaper
march 2011 by sechilds
Online Backup for Mac | Arq | Haystack Software
Arq backs up the critical files on your Mac to the Internet.

Your backups are stored at Amazon S3 ("Simple Storage Service"), the gold standard of reliable online storage in the industry, backed by, a large stable company.

Backups of your Mac are complete and accurate, including all "metadata" -- something that many other online backup offerings can't claim (see results).
amazon  backup 
january 2011 by sechilds
What Motivates Amazon's Hardcore Raters? - Nicholas Jackson - Technology - The Atlantic
Harriet Klausner is a speed reader. It's a gift she was born with, according to her profile, where she also claims to go through two books a day. Even at that speed it would take more than 31 years to read the 22,824 novels Klausner had reviewed as of this writing. But why does she do it?

After earning her master's degree in library science, Klausner moved around the United States with her husband, a palm reader. This, according to a personal website she maintains with a complete archive of her reviews. (Klausner didn't respond to an interview request.) "I also watched my book reviewing career begin to take shape," she writes, noting that, with each city she moved to, she always found work with a library or bookstore. "I take immense pleasure informing other readers about newcomers or unknown authors who have written superb novels."

Beth Cholette, a psychologist who works at a college counseling center, also sees her Amazon profile as a way to inform others. A self-described "fitness enthusiast," Cholette reviews exercise DVDs, the occasional "chick lit novel" and some other products -- "like a protein bar." She does it "to help others," she told me. "That's it."
Amazon  review  from instapaper
october 2010 by sechilds
Amazon + Facebook = A Perfect Storm of Recommendations
Amazon and Facebook are doing some technological partnering to bring you a new layer in product recommendations.

Now Amazon users will be able to link their Facebookaccount to their Amazon account. At the outset, this will allow Amazon to show you recommendations based on your Facebook interests and activity.

This integration will also help you figure out what kinds of gifts your friends might like by letting you better search for your Facebook friends’ Amazon Wish Lists and by pulling in information from your friends’ profiles. Of course, it will remind you of Facebook friends’ birthdays, too. It will show you interests you have in common with your friends, and it will show you which items are popular with all the people in your social graph.

When it comes to protecting your purchase information and privacy, Amazon says it will not share your Amazon account information with Facebook. It won’t reveal what items you’re buying, and it won’t contact your Facebook friends. And if you do
Facebook  Amazon 
july 2010 by sechilds
Daring Fireball Linked List: An Outsider's Guide to the Amazon/Macmillan Fight
An Outsider’s Guide to the Amazon/Macmillan Fight
Charlie Stross on the fight between Amazon and book publisher Macmillan. After reading this, I take it back about saying that Amazon might be happy with a popular Kindle app for the iPad.
Amazon  John_Gruber  from delicious
february 2010 by sechilds
Amazon Allows Some Publishers and Authors to Opt Out of E-Book DRM
Amazon quietly made a major change to its Digital Text Platform last week that went largely unnoticed: Small publishers and individual authors who use the Digital Text Platform can now opt out of the Kindle's digital rights management (DRM) program. While this change only affects a relatively small number of publishers and authors for now, this move could hint at a larger change in Amazon's DRM policy. Right now, Amazon's DRM policy means that its customers can't transfer their books to a non-Kindle e-reader.

Update: Amazon just contacted us to let us know that a DRM-free option always existed for publishers using the Digital Text Platform. Amazon just added new functionality that makes it easier for publishers to set these options.

For Amazon, it makes sense to experiment with this new option on the Digital Text Platform. Given that this is a self-publishing tool, the company doesn't have to explain this change to its partners in the publishing industry while allowing the company to
DRM  amazon  kindle  from delicious
january 2010 by sechilds
PriceDrop - track Amazon price drops with a Firefox extension
PriceDrop is a Firefox extension which allows you to track product prices at Amazon shops , and get notifications whenever they drop - straight into your browser.
amazon  browser  firefox  shopping  deals 
june 2008 by sechilds

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