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

NYT report: Amazon is hell to work at

bezos_surprise

The New York Times exposes a brutal, cultlike environment of midnight phone calls, mind-numbing jargon and sadistic management. Read the rest

Apple and Amazon spend big bucks to keep Cook and Bezos out of harm's way

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple spends nearly $700,000 to protect Tim Cook, Read the rest

How Amazon became a larger company than Walmart

renonews
The plain truth, courtesy of anchor John Potter of KTVN in Reno. Read the rest

Amazon finally "bigger" than Walmart

bezos_surprise
Amazon's value on the stock market surged past Walmart's last night—a long-expected sign of changing times that will nonetheless generate a lot of pageviews today. Read the rest

Brace yourself for Amazon Prime Day 2: Electric Boogaloo

KYLM1L
Watch this fun parody of Amazon's much-mocked Prime Day.

Amazon Fire Phone for $159, includes one year of Prime

Amazon-Fire-Phone4

On June 23, I posted that an Amazon Fire Phone (32GB, Unlocked GSM) was selling for $179. I almost bought one, because it includes a year of Amazon Prime, which I pay $100 per year for. That meant the real cost of the phone was $79.

Today, Amazon is offering the same phone for $159, including the same one year of Prime deal. That did it for me. I bought one. I'm going to use it as my international travel phone (my iPhone is locked by AT&T so I can't use another carrier's SIM card) and a replacement phone for when my daughter drops her iPhone in the toilet. Read the rest

Amazon will pay authors based on number of e-book pages read

kb-slate-04-lg._V325416456_

Authors who self-publish through Amazon’s KDP Select Program will start getting paid based on the number of book pages that are read, as opposed to how many books are borrowed through two different Kindle services. Read the rest

The fate of the big box store

kmart

What happens to all the Wal-marts when we have every last Q-tip droned in from Amazon warehouses? Read the rest

Amazon will finally start paying tax in the UK

The company will abandon the pretense that its UK sales are consummated in Luxembourg and that the money floats in a state of taxless grace in the middle of the Irish Sea. Read the rest

Amazon drops "Boy" and "Girl" categories from toy listings

Amazon's toys category is no longer sorted into "Boys" toys and "Girls" toys. Read the rest

Stream Season 1 of Transparent FREE today only (24 January)

61sDBYDr+PL._SX940_

If you have not seen it yet, you can enjoy the first season of Amazon's hit series Transparent for free today, Saturday 24 January. A great way to spend your Saturday afternoon or evening! Read the rest

Downpour.com: audiobooks without the DRM

I love audiobooks, but I hate DRM (actually, I think it's an existential threat to humanity), and since Audible requires all its books to be sold with DRM (even when the publishers object), that's left me with limited options -- until 2014, when I discovered Downpour. Read the rest

Hideous $10,000 plastic Christmas tree

Grad writes, "While cruising Amazon looking for some new Christmas tree magic for my family, I ran across what must be the world's most expensive Christmas tree." Read the rest

Amazon and Hachette kiss and make up

After nearly a year of Amazon (the largest bookseller on earth) refusing to sell books from one of the largest publishers on earth, they've finally made peace. Read the rest

Kindle Original vs Kindle Voyage

Jason Weisberger finally upgraded. Did seven years make much difference? The answer will probably not surprise you, but the details might.

Amazon vs Hachette is nothing: just WAIT for the audiobook wars!

In my latest Locus column, Audible, Comixology, Amazon, and Doctorow’s First Law, I unpick the technological forces at work in the fight between Amazon and Hachette, one of the "big five" publishers, whose books have not been normally available through Amazon for months now, as the publisher and the bookseller go to war over the terms on which Amazon will sell books in the future. Read the rest

More posts