Cinesift is a handy way to find great movies by platform

sinesigty

Whenever I think I've exhausted the possibilities of Netflix or Amazon Prime, I jump on Cinesift and use their handy filters for a deep dive into the vaults.

Read the rest

Elon Musk Says Humans Will Go To Mars by 2024

Elon Musk (Reuters / Stephen Lam)

In my weekly segment on KCRW's “Press Play” news program with host Madeleine Brand, we listen to Elon Musk wax poetic about artificial intelligence and whether life might be a dream--and his plans to send humans to Mars by 2025.

Read the rest

Amazon is suing its own retailers over fake reviews

REUTERS

If you're an Amazon seller and you pay people to review your products on Amazon, the company may sue you. The online commerce giant sued three sellers today for using sockpuppet accounts to post glowing but phony product reviews.

Read the rest

What Amazon's Jeff Bezos thinks about Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker

bez

In this video from the Recode conference, an interesting reveal of what Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos thinks of the legal battle between Peter Thiel and Gawker, with Hulk Hogan as a most unfortunate proxy. Bezos is full of surprising insights here, and offers Thiel some tough love.

The only effective defense public figures like Thiel have against their critics, says Bezos: “Develop a thick skin.”

Read the rest

Report: Google to introduce Amazon Echo competitor device called 'Google Home'

REUTERS
Anonymous sources quoted in the New York Times and elsewhere today said Google will introduce a competitor to Amazon's Echo on Wednesday. Its long-anticipated entry into the voice-activated home device market is said to be named Google Home.

Read the rest

Peace in Our Time: how publishers, libraries and writers could work together

FairTrade-Logo.svg

Publishing is in a weird place: ebook sales are stagnating; publishing has shrunk to five major publishers; libraries and publishers are at each others' throats over ebook pricing; and major writers' groups are up in arms over ebook royalties, and, of course, we only have one major book retailer left -- what is to be done? Read the rest

Amazon is liable for in-app charges racked up by pesky children, federal judge rules

REUTERS

A federal judge ruled that Amazon is responsible for billing parents unauthorized charges that kids made within apps, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

Read the rest

Kindle Unlimited is being flooded with 3,000-page garbage books that suck money out of the system

open-book-1361527426SZ4

Amazon's Kindle Unlimited service allows subscribers to download as many books as they want, and then pays writers based on the number of their pages that readers have read. Read the rest

As Apple fights the FBI tooth and nail, Amazon drops Kindle encryption

TwFCy5vGnq2PQJQw.medium

Amazon's Kindle devices run a custom version of Android that, until today, supported full-disk encryption. Now they don't. Read the rest

Howto social-engineer someone's address and other sensitive info from Amazon

phone-call-plausible-fan-theory-ferris-bueller-was-all-in-cameron-s-head-jpeg-139386

Eric Springer is a former Amazon engineer and a heavy AWS user. He's posted a long, terrifying explanation of how identity thieves have been able to repeatedly extract his personal info from Amazon's customer service reps by following a simple script. Read the rest

Amazon's serious about drones: Prime Air UAVs will carry 5-lb. packages 10 miles in 30 minutes

031922a369bd5bd086b26637bc3de8135cfc7ca7

Amazon is advancing its drone program with great speed. This is not a joke. Say goodbye to the brown trucks.

Read the rest

Amazon is suing more than 1000 people for posting shill reviews

a367201e0946d86e2063019787a78c8974059169

Fiverr.com is a website where people will do all sorts of things for as little as $5. People will draw illustrations, fix problems with website code, promote things on their blog, or compose a podcast jingles. Some people offer to write a 5-star review for any book or product on Amazon for $5. It is against Amazon's rules to write shill reviews, and now more than 1000 alleged shill reviewers are getting sued. Amazon has sued websites that offer shill reviews in the past, but this is the first time the company has gone after individuals.

From CNN:

Court documents say Amazon conducted an "extensive investigation" into the Fiverr users. It claims some tried to dodge Amazon.com's review controls by posting from different accounts and IP addresses.

"In at least one instance, the seller of a 'Verified Review' was willing to receive an empty envelop, not the product itself, simply to create a shipping record," the court filing says.

Read the rest

Amazon launches “Etsy-killer” Handmade at Amazon, a marketplace for handmade goods

ha-collage-broadway_v03

Online retail giant Amazon just launched a marketplace for handcrafted goods: Handmade at Amazon. It's “an arts-and-crafts bazaar online that squarely takes aim at a niche but growing market dominated by the Brooklyn-based Etsy,” as the New York Times puts it.

Handmade at Amazon went live early Thursday more than 80,000 items from roughly 5,000 sellers in 60 countries around the world. They're launching with only 6 categories — home, jewelry, artwork, stationery and party supplies, kitchen and dining, and baby.

Crafters can sell their crocheted pants or 3D-printed succulent cozies on the new Amazon marketplace, just as they've been able to for years at Etsy, a $2bn-a-year business .

Amazon's business is a lot bigger: $75 billion in annual sales. And Amazon's is growing, while Etsy appears to be challenged. One recent change at Etsy that allowed sellers to outsource their production to others is seen by many as a move away from its maker/seller roots.

Amazon, on the other hand, promises “Genuinely Handmade.” In the launch announcement, Amazon emphasizes that everything will be “crafted and sold directly from artisans.”

“We only approve artisans whose products are handcrafted,” said Amazon in a statement. “We are factory-free.”

Them's fighting words. Is this the end of Etsy as we know it? I hope not, I love Etsy.

Here's the full Amazon press release. And here's a snip from the Times story:

Amazon will start out with six categories — home, jewelry, artwork, stationery and party supplies, kitchen and dining, and baby — Mr.

Read the rest

New $50 Kindle Fire won't recognize sideloaded ebooks on SD cards

61tpxOYuK4L._SL1000_

The Kindle Fire comes with a SDXC card slot that outclasses every other tablet in its price range, accommodating storage cards that can hold as much as 128GB of media -- but it won't read ebooks from the slot. Read the rest

Amazon Prime is on sale today only for $67/year

Man-with-head-in-mailbox
Today, Friday, until 11:59pm PT you can sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription for $67. I use the hell out of Amazon Prime's free two-day shipping on everything from huge boxes of toilet paper to books and records to holiday gifts shipped to family and friends. They should set up a distribution facility at the bottom of my driveway. My kids also take advantage of Prime Video streaming of movies and TV shows on our tablet. (Amazon Prime also includes unlimited photo storage, streaming music, and free Kindle books, but I've never tried those features.) For the usual $99/year, my family absolutely gets our money's worth. It's a steal for $67/year. Amazon Prime Read the rest

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others join to create royalty-free video codecs for all

beb84431d309ecb28445a46f6739d159
The group plans to develop a new generation of royalty-free open source digital media formats for video, audio, and still images.

Amazon cutting back on making consumer devices, reports WSJ

amazonfire

After failed smartphones and other gadgets, Amazon's laying off people who work on consumer electronics.

Amazon.com Inc. flamed out with critics and consumers last year in its first attempt at a smartphone. Now, rather than forge ahead, as it has with other projects, such as its Kindle tablets, the online retailer is retrenching.

In recent weeks Amazon has dismissed dozens of engineers who worked on its Fire phone at Lab126, its secretive hardware-development center in Silicon Valley, according to people familiar with the matter.

For Amazon to quit, it must be very sure there's no place for it in whatever business it's muscled in on.

Read the rest

More posts