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30 Dec 2011 11:48


Tech: Amazon sold a bunch of Kindles, but don’t expect a specific count

  • 4 million Kindles sold in December … well, at least we think so source
  • » It’s an estimate based off of Amazon’s evasiveness. They said that customers “purchased well over 1 million Kindle devices per week” in the month of December. Sales of Kindle e-books were up 175% from last year’s period between Black Friday and Christmas; so while Amazon may not give us clear numbers, the company seems to be doing well in the fields it created.

11 Dec 2011 11:03


Biz: Amazon’s controversial price-check app draws Senator’s ire

  • Amazon’s promotion — paying consumers to visit small businesses and leave empty-handed — is an attack on Main Street businesses that employ workers in our communities. Small businesses are fighting everyday to compete with giant retailers, such as Amazon, and incentivizing consumers to spy on local shops is a bridge too far.
  • Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) • Openly criticizing Amazon’s new price-check app, which allows users to go in stores, scan the barcodes and see if Amazon has lower prices than said shops do — for a discounted price at Amazon. With the location feature turned on, consumers effectively can let Amazon know what their brick-and-mortar competitors are selling something for. What do you all think? Clever or sketchy? Does it empower the consumer or hurt small businesses? source

03 Nov 2011 23:19


Tech: Ever wanted to rent a book on your Kindle? Well, now you can!

  • Kindle and Kindle Fire to have a lending library: The program, which launched today, allows readers to borrow one title at a time per month; when they rent a new title, the previous one will leave their device. Sounds like…not the best plan in the world. The library has over 5,000 titles for readers to choose from, so it’s a little limited. Also, the service is only available to users of Amazon’s Prime service, which costs $79 a year. Stock up! source

23 Oct 2011 20:40


World: One long march later, Bolivia’s indigenous people score major victory

  • cause Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, backed building a major road to link Brazil with the Pacific Ocean, it’d go through the Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory National Park.
  • reaction The highway proved very controversial to many indigenous people; some protesters walked hundreds of miles to the country’s capitol, La Paz — a two-month trek that galvanized opposition.
  • result On Wednesday, they completed their trek; on Friday, Morales promised that the bridge, which will still get built, will not cut through the reserve as originally planned. source

16 Oct 2011 23:47


Biz: Publishers freak out because Amazon’s cutting into their territory

  • cause Amazon, with its growing clout as an e-book outlet and ability to work around the traditional system, has made significant inroads as a publisher of books, with at least one bestseller to its name. They will publish 122 books this fall in electronic and physical form.
  • reaction Large publishers and agents are starting to freak out. In one case, Hawaiian writer Kiana Davenport angered the publisher of a forthcoming book and got sued because she dared use Amazon to self-publish an old anthology no publisher wanted. source

30 Sep 2011 14:58


Tech: Report: Amazon’s Kindle Fire losing money with every single device

  • $199 the amount the Amazon Kindle Fire, launched earlier this week, costs
  • $209.63 the amount the Amazon Kindle Fire’s parts are estimated to cost source
  • » Loss leader vs. straight-up leader: Amazon knows that the thing that was going to get the Kindle Fire to sell was the price, and it appears that even though the device is going to sell at a $10 loss per unit, they’ll make that back quickly through the sale of music and other stuff. This is a situation unlike that of Apple, which sells its devices at a profit and makes money through the sale of content. But that said, Jeff Bezos is looking particularly Jobsian these days.

29 Sep 2011 18:12


Tech: Amazon Silk getting privacy complaints: Why this is pretty bunk

  • This makes Amazon like your ISP. Every site, everything you do online [through Silk] will go through Amazon. That’s a new role for someone like them, and I don’t think it’s at all clear that Amazon can step into that, or that it will be apparent to consumers.
  • Center for Democracy & Technology spokesperson Aaron Brauer-Rieke • Offering up this claim that Amazon will use Silk, which Amazon claims will help speed up Web sites on the Amazon Kindle Fire, as a tracking tool. To that, we say this: Are you guys familiar with this Web browser called Opera Mini? It’s not as common as it once was, but for people using old-school phones, it was a bit of a lifesaver. It made the Motorola Razr, for example, a far more usable phone for surfing the Web, due to the way it handles content — through the company’s own servers, which cleared out all the extra stuff and sped up the sites you were downloading. Sound familiar? It’s exactly what Amazon Silk claims to do. Not buying this whole privacy argument. source

28 Sep 2011 23:56


Tech: Voltaire? Really, Kindle? That’s how you’re gonna play this?

  • “Fire” still looks cool, though: We kind of hate the pretentiousness of this entire ad. Amazon just released this ad to promote the new Kindle Fire … which appears to imply that a Voltaire quote inspired the name. Steve Jobs is probably cursing the hipster marketers at Amazon for just being so dang indie. How can the iPad compete with that?! source

28 Sep 2011 09:58


Tech: Amazon’s Kindle Fire: What it has and doesn’t have

  • included Amazon’s foray into the whole tablet thing (photo here) will be a totally affordable $199 and based on a slick Android-based interface that’s been face-lifted specifically for this freakin’ tablet.
  • missing It’s only 7 inches — a bit small for you iPad fans — and lacks such amenities as a microphone or camera. On top of this, the device is wifi-only — no 3G. Is no 3G a deal-breaker, guys? source

20 Sep 2011 21:00


Biz, Tech: Amazon faces complaints, scrutiny over factory working conditions

  • I never felt like passing out in a warehouse and I never felt treated like a piece of crap in any other warehouse but this one. They can do that because there aren’t any jobs in the area.
  • Former Amazon factory worker Elmer Goris • Complaining about the conditions at the Allentown, Pa. Amazon warehouse facility, which handles East Coast orders. The problem? It was really freaking hot this summer, and the factory didn’t have air conditioning, turning the working conditions somewhat nightmarish. People reportedly fainted from heat exhaustion. In the wake of the lengthy Morning Call article that brought the allegations to light, Amazon appears to have put up a job posting for on-support medical staff, and now plans to install an air conditioner in the plant. In their defense, average temperatures throughout the year are reasonably cool, so the situation this summer was somewhat unexpected. Still, though. source