125 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2021
    1. Working Backwards

      这个标题来自于一本关于 Amazon 的新书。这本书的特别之处在于,它的作者是 Amazon 的两位前高管 Colin Bryar 和 Bill Carr。书中讲到了著名的 6 页纸 memo 取代 PPT 的做法。两位作者在接受 A16Z podcast 访谈的时候讲到,memo 的叙事性写作要比 PPT 演示更难,作者需要在有限的篇幅内讲清楚逻辑,并用数据和事实支撑观点;它也要求读者深入阅读,才能理解背后的逻辑。相比之下,PPT 则会有意的突出强调少数观点(所以叫做 Power Points),而简化大部分细节——这也是职业经理人被多年训练的结果。

  2. Feb 2021
    1. Amazon represents the state-of-the-art in deploying an integrated strategy machine. It has at least 21 data science systems, which include several supply chain optimization systems, an inventory forecasting system, a sales forecasting system, a profit optimization system, a recommendation engine, and many others. These systems are closely intertwined with each other and with human strategists to create an integrated, well-oiled machine. If the sales forecasting system detects that the popularity of an item is increasing, it starts a cascade of changes throughout the system: The inventory forecast is updated, causing the supply chain system to optimize inventory across its warehouses; the recommendation engine pushes the item more, causing sales forecasts to increase; the profit optimization system adjusts pricing, again updating the sales forecast. Further second- and third-order interactions occur downstream. While many of these operations happen automatically, human beings play a vital role in designing experiments and reviewing data traces to continue to learn and evolve the design of the machine.

      在综合战略机器部署方面亚马逊是最先进的。它有至少 21 个数据科学系统,其中包括若干供应链优化系统、一个库存预测系统、一个销售预测系统、一个利润优化系统、一个推荐引擎和许多其它系统。这些系统既和其他系统也和人类战略师紧密交织,创造了一个综合的、运转良好的机器。如果销售预测系统检测到一种产品的受欢迎程度正在上升,它就会启动一个贯穿整个系统的级联变化:更新库存预测,导致供应链系统优化其仓库的库存;推荐引擎会更多推送这一商品,导致销售预测增加;利润优化系统调整价格,再一次更新销售预测。进一步的第二和第三次交互作用继续向下游发生。尽管许多这些操作都是自动进行的,但人类在设计实验和审查数据痕迹以继续学习和改进机器的设计方面具有关键的作用。

    1. Buss, Lewis F., Carlos A. Prete, Claudia M. M. Abrahim, Alfredo Mendrone, Tassila Salomon, Cesar de Almeida-Neto, Rafael F. O. França, et al. ‘Three-Quarters Attack Rate of SARS-CoV-2 in the Brazilian Amazon during a Largely Unmitigated Epidemic’. Science 371, no. 6526 (15 January 2021): 288–92. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abe9728.

    1. 这个 PPT 的精彩之处是在第 31 页到第 36 页。Evans 的 PPT 都很简洁,但他也附上了一个由他讲解的视频,帮助理解。

      这几页幻灯片是从 Amazon 上超过 60% 的 GMV 来自于第三方卖家开始的,而这其中,超过 40% 的第三方卖家都是来自中国的。这背后的含义是,「中国制造」正在跳过原有的中间商,通过亚马逊的平台直接接触消费者。与此同时,在 Amazon 之外,Shopify 在 2020 年前三个季度的 GMV 已经超过 800 亿美元(vs. Amazon 2020 全年 GMV 预计在 4000-5000 亿美元)。

    1. When Bezos describes his primary goals for the Amazon.com interface, he becomes a whistle-stop campaigner for a new politics of consumerism. "We want to turn visitors into customers, and we want to make the experience as welcoming as possible," he says. He insists that the lures and aids Amazon.com provides for its online shoppers - the one-click ordering system that stores credit card and shipping information; the variety of helpful suggestions and information that seem configured to exploit a customer's most impulsive tendencies - are far removed from the world's entrenched consumerist come-ons.

      当贝佐斯描述了他对亚马逊界面的主要目标时,他成了一个新的消费主义政治的哨兵。"我们要把访问者变成顾客,我们想让体验尽可能的受欢迎,"他说。他坚持认为,Amazon.com为其在线购物者提供的诱惑和帮助——存储信用卡和运输信息的一键下单系统;各种有用的建议和信息,似乎被配置成利用顾客最冲动的倾向——与世界上根深蒂固的消费主义者的诱惑相去甚远。

    2. The vast bulk of store-bought goods - food staples, paper products, cleaning supplies, and the like - you will order electronically. Some physical storefronts will survive, but they'll have to offer at least one of two things: entertainment value or immediate convenience.

      2020年,顾客以电子化的方式订购大量商品,包括食品主食、纸制品和清洁用品等。而实体店面为维持生存,必须提供娱乐价值或即时便利至少一种选项。

    1. It’s tempting to argue that Amazon’s true innovation has been the ruthless exploitation of human labour in service of speed and efficiency, but that’s really only part of the picture: the aim is removing humans – with their need for toilet breaks, their stubborn insistence on sleeping, their tendency to unionise – as much as possible from the equation; the grim specifics of the labour conditions are only ever a byproduct of that aim. This has been an aim of capitalism since at least as far back as Henry Ford, and in an obvious sense it’s precisely the dynamic you experience every time you wind up with unexpected items in the bagging area at Tesco. As usual with Amazon, it’s not that something new is happening – it’s that an old thing is happening with unprecedented force, speed and efficiency.

      人们很容易认为,亚马逊真正的创新是为了提高速度和效率而无情地剥削人类劳动,但这其实只是其中的一部分:其目的是尽可能地将人类——他们需要上厕所,他们固执地坚持睡觉,他们倾向于加入工会——从这个等式中剔除;苛刻的劳动条件只是这个目标的副产品。至少从亨利·福特开始,这就是资本主义的一个目标,很明显,这正是你每次在乐购的装袋区买到意想不到的东西时所经历的动态。和往常一样,亚马逊并不是在发生什么新事情,而是一件老事情正在以前所未有的力量、速度和效率发生着。

    2. If you believe that capitalism is an inherently just and meritocratic system, whereby the most worthy people – the hardest-working, the cleverest, the most innovative – amass the greatest wealth, then it stands to reason that you would have to make some kind of argument for a man who had amassed more than $180bn in personal wealth as a presiding genius of our time. And just as Hegel looked at Napoleon and saw the world-soul on horseback, Isaacson views Bezos in similarly heroic light: the world-soul dispatched by delivery drone. The effort to portray him as such is, though, inevitably beset by bathos. “An example of how Bezos innovates and operates,” he writes, “was the launch of Amazon Prime, which transformed the way Americans think about how quickly and cheaply they can be gratified by ordering online.” There is no question that the introduction of Amazon Prime marked a major moment in the history of buying stuff off the internet, but to present it as the work of an ingenious inventor seems a stretch. For all the vastness of Bezos’s wealth and power, the banality of its foundation is undeniable. (There is, here, an unintended comedy to Isaacson’s hagiography, taking on as it does an almost mock-heroic tone: Bezos fomenting a kind of revolution in consciousness, around how “quickly and cheaply” consumers can get the stuff they order off the internet.)

      如果你相信资本主义是一种天生公正和择优制度,在这种制度下,最有价值的人——最勤奋、最聪明、最创新的人——积累了最多的财富,那么,你就不得不为一个拥有逾1800亿美元个人财富的人,作为我们这个时代的杰出天才,提出某种理由了。就像黑格尔看拿破仑,看到的是骑在马背上的世界灵魂一样,艾萨克森也同样以英雄的眼光看待贝佐斯:由无人机运送的世界灵魂。然而,把他描绘成这样的努力,不可避免地受到虚幻的包围。"贝佐斯如何创新和运营的一个例子,"他写道,"是Amazon Prime的推出,它改变了美国人的思维方式,让他们知道在网上订购是多么快捷、多么便宜。" 毫无疑问,Amazon Prime的推出标志着从互联网上购买东西的历史上的一个重要时刻,但把它说成是一个天才发明家的作品,似乎有些牵强。尽管贝佐斯拥有巨大的财富和权力,但其基础的平庸是不可否认的。(在艾萨克森的传记中,有一种意想不到的喜剧,几乎用了一种模仿英雄主义的口吻:贝佐斯正在酝酿一场意识革命,围绕着消费者如何能“快速而廉价”地从网上买到他们订购的东西。)

    1. Amzn nearly died in 2000-2003. But without this crisis, it's unlikely the company would have made the hard decision to shift to a completely new architecture. And without that shift, AWS may never have happened. Never let a good crisis go to waste!

      亚马逊在2000-2003年几乎死亡。但是如果没有这场危机,公司不太可能会做出艰难的决定,转向一个全新的架构。如果没有这种转变,AWS 可能永远不会发生。所以,永远不要浪费危机带来的机会!

    2. Around this same time, Jeff was also interested in decoupling internal dependencies so teams could build without being gated by other teams. The architectural changes required to enable this loosely coupled model became the API primitives for AWS.

      与此同时,他还对解耦内部的依赖关系感兴趣,一个团队可以在不受其他团队约束的情况下进行工作。整个公司开始启用松散的低耦合模型,随之而来的架构更改成为后来 AWS 的基础。

    3. As a retailer we had always faced huge seasonality, with traffic and revenue surging every Nov/Dec. Jeff started to think - we have all this excess server capacity for 46 weeks/year, why not rent it out to other companies?

      作为商品零售商,我们的销售额有巨大的季节性,每年的11月和12月的流量和收入都会激增。CEO 贝佐斯开始思考:每年当中,我们有46周的服务器容量是多余的,为什么不将其出租给其他公司呢?

    4. 2000年互联网泡沫破灭时,我在亚马逊工作。

      当时,资本市场已经枯竭了,无法融资,而我们每年的开销是10亿美元。最大的支出是数据中心那些昂贵的 Sun 服务器,那时 Sun 公司真是如日中天,它们的服务器是最可靠的,所有的互联网公司都在使用,但是非常昂贵。

      公司高层最终决定,使用 Linux 服务器替换 Sun 服务器。Linux 那时还是一种相当新颖的方案,使用它有一定的冒险性。我们把公司的未来押宝在它上面。

    1. The bottom line is this: We humans have to adapt to the machines as much as the machines have to adapt to us. Our careers depend on it. Amazon runs simulations to figure out how to keep their human workers comfortable when loading robots with packages. This includes their range of movement from an ergonomics standpoint and their safety. Or such questions as how best for a human to grab a parcel, scan it, place it, and reach over to hit the button that sends the robot on its way. “There's an art to making it feel seamless between what the robot is doing and what the humans are doing,” says Brad Porter, VP of robotics at Amazon.It’s the kind of dynamic environment that’s perfect for the development of Amazon’s next iteration of its system. The company is working on a new modular robot called Xanthus with different attachments, say to hold containers instead of using a conveyor belt. This machine will in a sense bridge the divide between fulfillment centers, where humans are loading products into boxes by hand, and sorting centers, where they’re mostly working with those assembled boxes.

      底线是: 我们人类必须适应机器,就像机器必须适应我们一样。我们的事业就靠它了。

      亚马逊进行模拟,找出如何让工人在给机器人装载包裹时感到舒适。这包括他们的运动范围,从人体工程学的角度和他们的安全。或者是这样的问题,比如人类如何最好地拿起包裹,扫描它,放置它,然后按下按钮送机器人上路。亚马逊机器人副总裁布拉德·波特(Brad Porter)说:"让机器人和人类的动作无缝衔接,这是一门艺术"。

      这种动态环境非常适合亚马逊下一个系统迭代的开发。该公司正在研制一种新型的模块化机器人,名为 Xanthus,它有不同的附件,比如用容器代替传送带。这台机器将在某种意义上弥合物流中心和分拣中心之间的鸿沟,前者是人类用手工将产品装入箱子,后者主要是处理这些组装好的箱子。

    2. To map out all this madness, Amazon runs simulations. Those in turn inform how the drives themselves should be performing. What’s the optimal speed? What’s the optimal acceleration and deceleration, given you want the deliveries to be as efficient as possible while keeping the robots from smashing into one another? After all, a bump might toss a package to the ground, which other robots would spot with their vision sensors and route around, adding yet another layer of complexity to the field. (The robots have sensors on either end of their conveyor belt, by the way, so if a package starts to slip off the side, the belt automatically engages to pull the package back on.)

      为了描绘出所有这些疯狂的行为,亚马逊进行了模拟。这些信息反过来告诉驱动器本身应该如何运行。最佳速度是多少?考虑到你想要在保证机器人不撞到对方的前提下,尽可能有效地运送,那么最佳的加速和减速是多少呢?毕竟,一个碰撞可能会把一个包裹扔到地上,其他机器人会用它们的视觉传感器发现并绕行,这又给现场增加了一层复杂性。(顺便说一下,机器人在传送带的两端都有传感器,所以如果包裹开始从一边滑落,传送带就会自动啮合,把包裹拉回来)。

    1. When an item is collected by hand, the picker scans it with a handheld device to ensure that the correct object has been taken. And every item’s progress throughout the warehouse is constantly monitored thanks to a series of points at which it is scanned again – for example at the moment of being labelled with the customer’s name and address. “We are able to track where the item is at any one time at the fulfilment centre,” says Low, who is both confident and clearly proud of the attention to detail.

      当一件物品被人拣选时,拣货员会用手持设备扫描,以确保拿到的物品是正确的。在整个仓库中,每个物品的状态都会被不断地监控,这要归功于一系列再次扫描的点——例如当被贴上客户姓名和地址的标签时。"在物流中心,我们可以随时追踪物品的位置。"Low说,他对这种对细节的关注既自信又自豪。

    1. “Retail is fickle, especially when you are shipping to individual customers like you and me (rather than, say, stores),” says John Bartholdi, a professor of industrial and systems engineering at Georgia Tech. “Both Amazon and Walmart have huge populations of product and move lots of it, a few pieces at a time. There is huge product churn as they reconfigure their offerings constantly. It is impossible to plan and manage space in such a dynamic environment.” With products offered in stores changing quickly, it makes even less sense to save dedicated space for one product or another.

      "零售业是变化无常的,特别是当你向你我这样的个人客户(而不是商店)发货时,,"佐治亚理工学院工业和系统工程教授John Bartholdi说。"亚马逊(Amazon)和沃尔玛(Walmart)都拥有庞大的产品数量,并且每次都要运送大量的产品。随着他们不断地重新配置他们的产品,会有大量的产品流失。在这样一个动态的环境中规划和管理空间是不可能的。" 商店里提供的产品变化很快,为一种产品或另一种产品保留专门的空间就更没有意义了。

  3. Dec 2020
  4. Oct 2020
    1. Learning & Development Best Practices from the Top Silicon Valley Companies

      Interesting read about what top tech companies are doing to promote a growth mindset within their company. From Google to Amazon each company has a different approach that is working for them.

      7/10

    1. To have, but maybe not to read. Like Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time,” “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” seems to have been an “event” book that many buyers didn’t stick with; an analysis of Kindle highlights suggested that the typical reader got through only around 26 of its 700 pages. Still, Piketty was undaunted.

      Interesting use of digital highlights--determining how "read" a particular book is.

    1. I find it somewhat interesting to note that with 246 public annotations on this page using Hypothes.is, that from what I can tell as of 4/2/2019 only one of them is a simple highlight. All the rest are highlights with an annotation or response of some sort.

      It makes me curious to know what the percentage distribution these two types have on the platform. Is it the case that in classroom settings, which many of these annotations appear to have been made, that much of the use of the platform dictates more annotations (versus simple highlights) due to the performative nature of the process?

      Is it possible that there are a significant number of highlights which are simply hidden because the platform automatically defaults these to private? Is the friction of making highlights so high that people don't bother?

      I know that Amazon will indicate heavily highlighted passages in e-books as a feature to draw attention to the interest relating to those passages. Perhaps it would be useful/nice if Hypothes.is would do something similar, but make the author of the highlights anonymous? (From a privacy perspective, this may not work well on articles with a small number of annotators as the presumption could be that the "private" highlights would most likely be directly attributed to those who also made public annotations.

      Perhaps the better solution is to default highlights to public and provide friction-free UI to make them private?

      A heavily highlighted section by a broad community can be a valuable thing, but surfacing it can be a difficult thing to do.

    1. For the company that takes Goodreads' crown, “the possibilities are so much greater”. 

      With discovery and aggregation, the possibilities are really just being bought out again by Amazon and stagnating.

      We need some monopoly busting here to help real competion.

  5. Sep 2020
    1. A Flex driver who has been monitoring the activity said the company needs to take steps to make sure all drivers are treated fairly.“Amazon knows about it,” the driver said, “but does nothing.”

      Orders don't necessarily need to be proximity based at the level of 20 feet, so Amazon should be able to make the changes at the level of several miles to prevent against something like this.

    2. They believe an unidentified person or entity is acting as an intermediary between Amazon and the drivers and charging drivers to secure more routes, which is against Amazon’s policies.

      Surely this would be the case as someone would potentially need to watch the phones in the tree to ensure they aren't stolen. That may represent a larger cost in potential loss that the potential gain.

    1. Amazon pushes teams to escalate one-way door decisions – those that can’t be reversed and may have long-term consequences.  However, with “two-way” decisions, managers are coached to make these decisions themselves.

      Amazon encourages employees to escalate decisions that are irreversible (one-way door decisions) and to delegate decisions that are not. The idea being that if you can act quickly, even if you make more mistakes, it will benefit the system as a whole.

  6. Aug 2020
  7. Jul 2020
  8. Jun 2020
  9. May 2020
    1. It's no less beyond the pale than when apple actively sabotaged people's devices to force them to upgrade or amazon deleted people's already bought and downloaded ebooks. It's completely unacceptable and frankly should fall under consumer rights laws.
  10. Apr 2020
    1. In one instance, Amazon employees accessed documents and data about a bestselling car-trunk organizer sold by a third-party vendor. The information included total sales, how much the vendor paid Amazon for marketing and shipping, and how much Amazon made on each sale. Amazon’s private-label arm later introduced its own car-trunk organizers. “Like other retailers, we look at sales and store data to provide our customers with the best possible experience,” Amazon said in a written statement. “However, we strictly prohibit our employees from using nonpublic, seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch.”

      Case study:

      • build a marketplace
      • get other companies to figure out which cakes are the hottest to sell
      • sell those cakes yourself
      • charge other companies to advertise and get favorable placement "Fortem spends as much as $60,000 a month"
      • put your products on top... because you own the platform

      Amazon’s private-label business encompasses more than 45 brands with some 243,000 products, from AmazonBasics batteries to Stone & Beam furniture. Amazon says those brands account for 1% of its $158 billion in annual retail sales, not counting Amazon’s devices such as its Echo speakers, Kindle e-readers and Ring doorbell cameras.

    1. Over two million songs, ad freeGet access to an exclusive library of songs from Amazon Music without any ads.
    2. Prime members read FREEPrime members can now read as much as they want from over a thousand books, magazines, comics, Kindle Singles, and more
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    1. Great strategic investments + avoiding taxes + stiffing supplies with a longer payment cycle = cheaper capital + huge and growing FCF

      Free cash flow (yellow line) is a bit like profit, except it doesn’t assume that Amazon has to pay for everything in the same time frame it sells it. And thanks to how Amazon’s payment cycle works, it usually gets money for selling an item long before it has to pay for that item. Last quarter, for example, it took Walmart on average two days to receive payment for goods after it paid its suppliers, while Amazon on average received payment 20 days before it paid its suppliers, according to cash conversion cycle data from the financial research platform Sentieo.

      Amazon keeps profit and free cash flows artificially low by investing money right back into its business in the form of capital expenses, like building data centers, upgrading distribution networks, and creating wind and solar farms. It can do so without having to borrow money, which means it won’t incur interest costs.

    1. Walmart can be thought of as a bounded search for the optimal selection, inventory, and pricing of SKUs that a local market could support. It was bound, or constrained, by the characteristics of the local economy, and so each Walmart location was a direct reflection of the local market dynamics. The immensely difficult job of the local management team was to predict and implement the optimal mix that could theoretically have been found if every possible permutation were tested by the local economy. Undershooting or overshooting – that is, having too few or many SKUs, or too little or much inventory – would be a costly mistake. By the same token, higher-level managers were responsible for estimating the optimal size and location of the building itself, and for choosing the best associates to manage it, and so on. Each level of management, then, was tasked with managing their own level of the algorithm.

      Bezos, in other words, wanted to build an unbounded Walmart. By removing the constraint of geography – and therefore the local economy – and by adding search functionality, the new formula became simpler: the more SKUs it added, the more items would be discovered by customers; the more items that customers discovered, the more items they would buy. In this world of infinite shelf space, it wasn’t the quality of the selection that mattered – it was pure quantity. And with this insight, Amazon did not need to be nearly as good – let alone better – than Walmart at Walmart’s masterful game of vendor and SKU selection. Amazon just needed to be faster at aggregating SKUs – and therefore faster at onboarding vendors.

      To make sense of what started to happen after Amazon rolled out Marketplace, you have to understand that things get really weird when you run an unbounded search at internet-scale. When you remove “normal” constraints imposed by the physical world, the scale can get so massive that all of the normal approaches start to break down.

      So, what is Amazon? It started as an unbound Walmart, an algorithm for running an unbound search for global optima in the world of physical products. It became a platform for adapting that algorithm to any opportunity for customer-centric value creation that it encountered. If it devises a way to keep its incentive structures intact as it exposes itself through its ever-expanding external interfaces, it – or its various split-off subsidiaries – will dominate the economy for a generation. And if not, it’ll be just another company that seemed unstoppable until it wasn’t.

    1. There are “literally zero hoops,” one user in 4chan’s /pol/ forum told another in 2015. “Just sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing and publish away. It’s shocking how simple it is, actually.” Even Breivik, at the start of the 1,500-page manifesto that accompanied his terrorist attacks, suggested that his followers use KDP’s paperback service, among others, to publicize his message.
  11. Feb 2020
    1. I hope Vine reviewers will not be too upset with these next comments, as these reviewers may perform a useful function for an item that has no reviewers.However, those of us who pay for our books have more "skin in the game" than Vine reviewers. We "buyers", perhaps, read our purchases more carefully, and are less tolerant if a book has problems and probably less hesitant to point out its weaknesses.I often rely on reviews to make a purchase decision. Unfortunately, here the ratio of Vine reviewers compared to "real" buyers seems disproportionate and inappropriately high.The number of positive ratings a book receives often correlates to the chronology of posted reviews and their evaluation. For example, reviews made before a book has many "real" buyers tend to be high. That is the case here, where most of the highly rated reviews, the leading review is an example, are from Vine reviewers who apparently received the book before many "real buyers" did. This may be a cautionary sign.
  12. Jan 2020
  13. Dec 2019
    1. On-Demand T-shirt Printing - A New Business Idea To Lead the Market

      On-demand t-shirt printing is the best business you can have these days. With innovating business ideas and perfect marketing strategies, you can make your business successful in lesser time.

    1. Best Freelancing Websites for Graphic Designers [Top 5]

      Today designers can build their careers easily in the graphics design field if they follow proper path and focus. There are many graphics designing companies and websites that hire graphic designers as remote or inhouse to work for them.

    1. Merch by Amazon :: Know How It’s Works, Tips, Tools

      Are you a designer? If yes. This article helps you to earn straightforward money.

      You just need to upload design and listing, materiel, print, and ship will be handle by Amazon.

      For 2020 these ideas best to earn money.

      Here is a guide for "How Does Merch by Amazon Works"

    1. Merch by Amazon is OnDemand T-shirt Print Services platform where the designer needs to upload design as per Amazon guidance and rest will be held by Amazon. If you want to know each information about it and how you succeed then refer one best guide "How Merch by Amazon Works".

  14. Nov 2019
    1. Speaking with MIT Technology Review, Rohit Prasad, Alexa’s head scientist, has now revealed further details about where Alexa is headed next. The crux of the plan is for the voice assistant to move from passive to proactive interactions. Rather than wait for and respond to requests, Alexa will anticipate what the user might want. The idea is to turn Alexa into an omnipresent companion that actively shapes and orchestrates your life. This will require Alexa to get to know you better than ever before.

      This is some next-level onslaught.

    1. If the apparatus of total surveillance that we have described here were deliberate, centralized, and explicit, a Big Brother machine toggling between cameras, it would demand revolt, and we could conceive of a life outside the totalitarian microscope.
    1. The FBI is currently collecting data about our faces, irises, walking patterns, and voices, permitting the government to pervasively identify, track, and monitor us. The agency can match or request a match of our faces against at least 640 million images of adults living in the U.S. And it is reportedly piloting Amazon’s flawed face recognition surveillance technology.

      FBI and Amazon are being sued because of surveillance of people living in the USA.

  15. Oct 2019
    1. “We hear a lot about the role of women, but what are we going to tell her? ‘Yes, you’re very good, but …’ We need concrete solutions, and so I’m thinking of the female diaconate.”

      So this is coming about as a 'practical solution' to a perceived problem, and not as the fruit of much prayer and discernment?

    1. A highly interesting article where a well-known company prefers blood money to allowing employees to talk about politics. This is capitalism at its core: all profit, no empathy.

    2. Meanwhile at Microsoft's GitHub, employees at both companies have objected to GitHub's business with ICE, not to mention Microsoft's government contracts. Employees at Amazon have also urged the company not to sell its facial recognition technology to police and the military.
    1. Amazon doesn’t tell customers much about its troubleshooting process for Cloud Cam. In its terms and conditions, the company reserves the right to process images, audio and video captured by devices to improve its products and services.
    2. Nowhere in the Cloud Cam user terms and conditions does Amazon explicitly tell customers that human beings are training the algorithms behind their motion detection software.
    3. An Amazon team also transcribes and annotates commands recorded in customers’ homes by the company’s Alexa digital assistant
    4. Dozens of Amazon workers based in India and Romania review select clips captured by Cloud Cam, according to five people who have worked on the program or have direct knowledge of it.
  16. Sep 2019
    1. Goodreads is nearly useless for finding recommendations

      I believe that the point of Goodreads—since Amazon bought the site—is lost here.

      The point of Goodreads is to make people buy books from Amazon. They're capitalists. They don't care about the common good, or about making people find books that they can truly benefit from.

  17. Aug 2019
    1. Netflix vs Amazon Prime: Which platform is the best for you? So in order to find out which platform is suitable for you, I would be comparing them both on price, features, UI and content. 

      Netflix vs Amazon Prime: Which platform is the best for you? So in order to find out which platform is suitable for you, I would be comparing them both on price, features, UI and content.

  18. Jul 2019
    1. Amazon.com Announces Second Quarter Sales up 20% to $63.4 Billion

      Do note that this page mentions nothing on worker rights nor worker wages.

      See this page on the matter.

    2. AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Personalize, a fully-managed machine learning service that trains, tunes, and deploys custom, private machine learning models.

      Is this more of commoditising human experience so that Jeff Bezos can be even more rich?

    3. Amazon announced that it will hire nearly 12,000 new employees across Europe in 2019, taking its permanent workforce in Europe to nearly 95,000 by the end of 2019. Amazon pledged to upskill 100,000 of its employees across the U.S. by 2025, dedicating over $700 million to provide employees across its corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network with access to training programs that will help them move into more highly-skilled roles within or outside of the company. Programs include Machine Learning University, Amazon Technical Academy, and Career Choice.

      More workers that can practically be enslaved in 55-hour-work weeks and sleep standing up: yeay!

    4. The number of Alexa-compatible smart home devices continues to grow, with more than 60,000 smart home products from over 7,400 unique brands
    5. Amazon introduced the all-new Echo Show 5
    6. Amazon introduced the all-new Kindle Oasis

      This Mashable review says it all:

      Amazon barely tried [...] With the exception of a new warm light feature, Amazon's 2019 Kindle Oasis is virtually unchanged, which is extremely disappointing.

    1. Döpfner: Last week we had Bill Gates for dinner here and he said in a self-ironic manner that he has a ridiculous amount of money and it is so hard to find appropriate ways to spend that money reasonably and to do good with the money. So what does money mean for you, being the first person in history who has a net worth of a three-digit amount of billions. Bezos: The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it.

      Why fix the issues with how many Amazon workers are basically wage slaves, working 55-hour weeks, while falling asleep during work?

      For more information:

    1. Amazon (AMZN) disclosed in a filing Wednesday that the median pay for its employees was just $28,446 in 2017. Put another way: half of Amazon's employees earned less than that amount.
    1. they are calling for better working conditions, pay and health benefits.
    2. hundreds of Amazon workers in Italy and Germany went on strike, saying they were under “high pressure to create more and more in less time."
    3. labor unions have been on the front lines of calling for workers' rights at the company’s warehouse facilities, where physical demands can be grueling and temperatures can reach extremes.
  19. Jun 2019
    1. By comparison, Amazon’s Best Seller badges, which flag the most popular products based on sales and are updated hourly, are far more straightforward. For third-party sellers, “that’s a lot more powerful than this Choice badge, which is totally algorithmically calculated and sometimes it’s totally off,” says Bryant.

      "Amazon's Choice" is made by an algorithm.

      Essentially, "Amazon" is Skynet.

  20. May 2019
  21. Apr 2019
    1. drivers delivering Amazon packages have reported feeling so pressured that they speed through neighborhoods, blow by stop signs, and pee in bottles in the trucks or outside
    2. Amazon's system tracks a metric called "time off task," meaning how much time workers pause or take breaks, The Verge reported. It has been previously reported that some workers feel so pressured that they don't take bathroom breaks.
    3. Amazon employs a system that not only tracks warehouse workers' productivity but also can automatically fire them for failing to meet expectations.

      The bots now fire humans. AI 2.0.

    1. Amazon said it was using automated technology to weed out false reviews.It said it invested "significant resources" to protect its review system "because we know customers value the insights and experiences shared by fellow shoppers". /**/ (function() { if (window.bbcdotcom && bbcdotcom.adverts && bbcdotcom.adverts.slotAsync) { bbcdotcom.adverts.slotAsync('mpu', [1,2,3]); } })(); /**/ "Even one inauthentic review is one too many," it added.But Which?'s probe suggested fake reviews were commonplace.

      "Online retail giant Amazon's website is flooded with fake five-star reviews for products from unfamiliar brands, consumer group Which? has claimed."

    1. “In contrast to Dr. Wood’s claims, bias found in one system is cause for concern in the other, particularly in use cases that could severely impact people’s lives, such as law enforcement applications,” they wrote.

      This is more important than most people probably realise. Recognition bias will decide if a person dies or not, when implemented at substantial scale, which isn't far away.

    1. Amazon.com Inc. is positioning Alexa, its artificial-intelligence assistant, to track consumers’ prescriptions and relay personal health information, in a bid to insert the technology into everyday health care.

      Surveillance capitalism, anyone?

    1. Amazon’s technology struggles more than some peers’ to identify the gender of individuals with darker skin, prompting fears of unjust arrests. Amazon has defended its work and said all users must follow the law.

      Draw any parallel to "The Handmaid's Tale" and you're right.

    2. U.S. securities regulators shot down attempts by Amazon.com Inc to stop its investors from considering two shareholder proposals about the company’s controversial sale of a facial recognition service, a sign of growing scrutiny of the technology.

      Surveillance capitalism at its worst; this behemoth tries to have the people who own it not make decisions.

      Capitalism is like Skynet, an organism that's taken flight on its own, bound to make solipsistic and egoistic judgments and choices.

    1. technology companies have made it work that way. Ebook stores from Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Barnes and Noble all follow broadly the same rules. You’re buying a licence to read, not a licence to own.

      Bear in mind that this "ownership" is common practice with Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and other ones as well.

      It's not this way with non-DRM books, that you can download, and reuse as with physical books.

  22. Mar 2019
    1. In a perfect world, the author would sell you a license to the book and you'd just read it on whatever platform suited you. For now, the leading ebook providers are not making this easy so I end up with some titles (and associated annotations) on one platform and other titles on another, which is far more complicated than it needs to be.

    1. Amazon has been beta testing the ads on Apple Inc.’s iOS platform for several months, according to people familiar with the plan. A similar product for Google’s Android platform is planned for later this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to share the information publicly.

      Sounds like one of the best reasons I've ever heard to run Brave Browser both on desktop and mobile. https://brave.com/

  23. Jul 2018
  24. Jan 2018
  25. Dec 2017
    1. And though warehouse jobs were physically taxing—not an obvious fit for older bodies—recruiters came to see Camper­Force workers’ maturity as an asset. These were diligent, responsible employees. Their attendance rates were excellent.

      How is this not more widely known?

  26. Nov 2017
    1. The internet will survive longer than the Web will. GOOG-FB-AMZN will still depend on submarine internet cables (the “Backbone”), because it is a technical success. That said, many aspects of the internet will lose their relevance, and the underlying infrastructure could be optimized only for GOOG traffic, FB traffic, and AMZN traffic. It wouldn’t conceptually be anymore a “network of networks”, but just a “network of three networks”, the Trinet, if you will.
    2. Similarly, while AMZN’s business still relies on traffic to their desktop web portal (accounting for 33% of sales), a large portion (25%) of their sales happen through mobile apps, not to mention Amazon Echo. Like Google Home, Amazon Echo bypasses the Web and uses the internet just for communication between cloud and end user. In these new non-web contexts, tech giants have more authority over data traffic.
  27. Sep 2017
  28. Jun 2017
    1. When David Limp thinks about the future of Alexa, the AI assistant he oversees at Amazon, he imagines a world not unlike Star Trek—a future in which you could be anywhere, asking anything, and an ambient computer would be there to fulfill your every need.

      We've all been waiting for that for a long time!

  29. May 2017
    1. Amazon calls the default seller in the Buy Box — the one who gets the business when a customer clicks “Add to Cart” without looking for more options — the “Buy Box winner.”

      This is wacky...

  30. Apr 2017
    1. The Echo Look suffers from two dovetailing issues: the overwhelming potential for invasive data collection, and Amazon’s lack of a clear policy on how it might prevent that.

      Important to remember. Amazon shares very little about what it collects and what it does with what it collects.

    2. Previously, Alexa lived inside speakers. Now, it’s in a camera.

      Natural evolution, I'd say...

    1. The first was his gargantuan vision. He did not see himself merely chipping away at Barnes & Noble’s share of retail book sales; he saw himself developing one of the greatest retailers in history, on the scale of Sears Roebuck or Walmart. Secondly, Bezos focused relentlessly on customer service — low prices, ease of use on his website, boundless inventory, and reliable shipping. To this day, Amazon is remarkably successful at pleasing customers.

      Important to note about Amazon and still true 2 1/2 years later.

  31. Mar 2017
    1. But for the many tourists who visit Madidi National Park, the crown jewel of Bolivia’s protected rainforests, an excursion into its depths is not so much a danger but an exhilarating prospect.

      Exploring the Amazon is not for amateurs!

    1. the internet giant is "exploring" the possibility of appliance and furniture stores with a technological angle.

      Not a new idea though.

    1. “At the heart of that First Amendment protection is the right to browse and purchase expressive materials anonymously, without fear of government discovery,” Amazon wrote in its memorandum of law.  

      Amazon doesn't provide information about a murder to protect users from the government. This must be a joke!

  32. Feb 2017
    1. After conducting radiocarbon testing and carrying out measurements during the winter solstice, scholars in the field of archaeoastronomy determined that an indigenous culture arranged the megaliths into an astronomical observatory about 1,000 years ago, or five centuries before the European conquest of the Americas began.

      I'm amazed that I never heard about this!

  33. Jul 2016
    1. While this segment has a strong potential to become an independent revenue stream for the company, a free education market place with a look and feel similar to its e commerce segment can definitely provide a boost to Amazon’s existing products in the short term.

      ancillary market . . . OER as a means to selling other stuff

    1. What will these services mean for school districts and teachers? And, more important questions linger, such as, “Should teachers and school districts be trying to create their own content when so much is available online already? If not, who curates OER content?”

      Distribution trumps creation? Framing the OER question.

    1. “With the technology, content and expertise that Amazon has, we believed we could provide value,” he said.

      A Walmart tactic? E.g. leverage size and scale to muscle out rivals, including non-profits like Merlot etc.?

    1. But the other, more troubling development that is implied by the issues surrounding the very avoidable errors with the Inspire platform is that the platform focuses on the least interesting element of open educational resources: distribution. It would have been great to see a high-profile effort that simplified and supported authorship and remixing. The current conversations about OER remain mired in the very narrow vision of textbook replacement. The transformational potential of OER will come when we embrace the potential of both teacher and learner as creator. Open licensing makes this potential easier to realize, as it removes many of the barriers enshrined within traditional publishing and licensing schemes. 

      distribution vs. authoring/remix as critical problem in OER

    1. As the Google leaders indicated, however, a major challenge is content curation in the OER world.

      the "discovery problem" . . .emerging as the common sense business criticism of OER

    1. “Their business model is probably more about serving ancillary products around the free resources. If you’re interested in a resource about science and there are practical elements to the lesson, you might be offered a bundle of the things you need in order to deliver that lesson: batteries, wires, lightbulbs, and that sort of thing.”

      vampire capitalism

    2. For Esposito, the answer to that question is likely to involve data: “Inspire is a stalking horse to build a database of material on the K-12 professional community.”

      The payoff is in the data.

  34. Mar 2016
    1. Since the mid 1960s and the explosion of electronics, telephony, and the computer chip, corporate profit over net worth has been declining. This doesn’t mean that corporations have stopped making money. Profits in many sectors are still going up. But the most apparently successful companies are also sitting on more cash — real and borrowed — than ever before. Corporations have been great at extracting money from all corners of the world, but they don’t really have great ways of spending or investing it. The cash does nothing but collect.
  35. Sep 2015
  36. Jun 2015
    1. possible with modern technology,

      This is terrifying but also fascinating. Imagine the data for MFA programs on the content/style whatever on the last page readers thumbed before stopping the turning!

      Also, couldn't this system be easily gamed: creating bots to "peruse" texts at the right pace repeatedly?

    1. You touch a button on your phone and something happens in the world.

      This is profound, but it's also obvious. Obvious as in it makes this basic aspect of technology readily apparent to the end user.

      Actually, when we press most buttons, lots of things happen in the world. One click on Amazon begins a complex process of labor and energy consumption, but this is conveniently hidden from the end user.