New Jersey mom and dad open Amazon diaper order and discover poopy diapers

On Amazon, the box was described as “Used: like new.” Read the rest

Multiple Amazon employees have been fired for spying on Ring owners' cameras

Ring's response to a group of US senators who questioned the company about its privacy practices reveals that the Amazon subsidiary has had to fire multiple employees who were caught spying on customers' surveillance doorbell cameras and other Ring surveillance footage. Read the rest

Amazon used "security" to sell Ring doorbells, then blamed customers when hackers broke into them

[Amazon's surveillance doorbell company Ring sells "security" -- the sense that surveilling your porch or your driveway or your home can make you safe. But when the company experienced a grotesque and completely predictable breach that saw hackers breaking into Ring cameras and spying on and tormenting their owners, Amazon blamed their customers for recycling passwords. In this outstanding Deeplinks post, my EFF colleagues, Cooper Quintin and Bill Budington explain just how odious this victim-blaming really is. -Cory]

Just a week after hackers broke into a Ring camera in a childs’ bedroom taunting the child and sparking serious concerns about the company’s security practices, Buzzfeed News is reporting that over 3,600 Ring owners’ email addresses, passwords, camera locations, and camera names were dumped online. This Includes cameras recording private spaces inside homes. Read the rest

CHOAM parody logo tees, mugs and housewares

Last-minute stocking stuffer! After many requests I have finally made the Choam-azon logo available on tees, mugs and housewares, with absolutely no-one's permission.

Celebrate the crushing monopoly on interstellar trade enjoyed by Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles with this handsome design evoking its distant origins on Old Earth. Shipped directly by Guild Heighliner to your sietch!

For those not in the know, it's a parody of the Amazon logo referring to CHOAM, the overwhelming retail cartel from the Dune universe. But of course, abominations that you are, you already knew that.

CHOAM logo parody merch [redbubble]

Read the rest

Family puts Ring camera in children's room, discovers that hacker is watching their kids 24/7, taunting them through the speaker

A family in DeSoto County, Mississippi, bought a Ring security camera so they could keep an eye on their three young girls in their bedroom. Four days later, they learned that a hacker had broken into the camera and subjected their children to continuous bedroom surveillance, taunting the children through the camera's built-in speaker. Read the rest

2019 was the year of voice assistant privacy dumpster fires

2019 was the "I Told You So" year for privacy advocates and voice assistants: the year in which every company that wanted you to trust them to put an always-on mic in the most intimate places in your home was revealed to have allowed thousands of low-waged contractors to listen in on millions of clips, many of them accidentally recorded: first it was Amazon (and again!), then Google, then Apple, then Microsoft. Read the rest

Amazon's Ring surveillance doorbell leaks its customers' home addresses, linked to their doorbell videos

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "A new investigation from Gizmodo just revealed that anyone, anywhere can get geographic coordinates of Ring devices from Amazon’s Neighbors App. Not only can someone find out where users live, they can use footage to track bystanders, locate children, and monitor people going into buildings, like clinics, for private appointments. Amazon sells these devices under the guise of keeping us safe. They’re lying. Their surveillance devices and network puts us all in danger. We need lawmakers to fully investigate the threats associated with Amazon’s dragnet and its impact on our privacy, security, and civil liberties. Fight for the Future has launched a campaign calling for Congress to investigate Amazon's surveillance practices. You can add your name here." (Image: Dan Calacci/MIT) Read the rest

Amazon removes Auschwitz-themed Christmas ornaments

You can sell anything on Amazon, until you get noticed, and in the age of computer-generated copycats it can pretend not to even know what's for sale there. So it comes to pass that Amazon has now removed the Auschwitz-themed Christmas ornaments, which have been noticed.

The Christmas merchandise featured images from Auschwitz including the railway line leading to its infamous gates, the barbed wire fences and the buildings where it housed victims - mainly Jews. The memorial and museum later posted an update to say the items had been removed and thanked social media users for their "activity and response" after the post attracted thousands of retweets.

Sadly, Stephen Miller's christmas is not yet ruined. Similar products are still available to those who know what they're looking for.

But later Auschwitz Memorial posted again to say "sadly, it's not over yet".

It said it had found a "disturbing online product" from another seller - a computer mouse-pad bearing the image of a freight train used for deporting people to the concentration camps.

Read the rest

Amazon secretly planned to use facial recognition and Ring doorbells to create neighborhood "watch lists"

Ring is Amazon's surveillance doorbell division, and a big part of their sales strategy involves terrifying people about the possibility of crime, partnering with police to assist in terrorizing Ring owners, and to provide police with warrantless, permanent, shareable access to surveillance doorbell footage (something the company has repeatedly lied about). Hundred of police departments have now partnered with Ring and they act as buzz-marketing teams for the company in exchange for freebies and access. Read the rest

Trump pledged that Amazon would be forced to pay its taxes; thanks to his #taxscam, their profits went up and their taxes stayed $0.00

Amazon's tax bill in 2017 was $0. Trump was very vocal in his disgust at this situation and pledged he would make them pay their fair share. It's been a year, and Amazon's profits are way up ($11.2 billion!) but their tax bill remains precisely $0.00. Thank the #taxscam. Read the rest

How to add the Google Play Store to your 2019 Amazon Fire 10 HD tablet

The very first thing I did with my new Amazon Fire HD 10 was to install the Google Play Store.

I love Amazon's bargain tablets, they are a cheap Android device with heavy integration into Amazon. I ignore the shopping and love the Prime Video. Installing Google Play store gives me access to all the stuff Amazon doesn't provide: Gmail, Chrome and thousands of Android apps.

The process is very simple and only requires you download and permit four .apks to install (all files come from APK Mirror):

You will have to permit the files to be installed as Amazon doesn't love Google as a source.

First: Google Account Manager 7.1.2 (Android 6.0+) Second: Google Services Framework 9 (Android 9.0+) Third: Google Play services 19.6.29 (100300-278422107) (100300) Fourth: Google Play Store 17.5.18-all [0] [PR] 280467566 (nodpi) (Android 4.1+)

This is my fourth such Amazon tablet and I have never had an issue with Amazon trying to block this activity.

The new Amazon Fire HD 10 has some decent CPU and memory upgrades. I am trying it out this week and will review soon. Thus far, its the same as the old one but faster and with a slightly better screen.

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet (10.1" 1080p full HD display, 32 GB) via Amazon Read the rest

Amazon unhappy Microsoft won $10 billion 'war cloud' Pentagon contract

Donald Trump has long made a sport of mocking Amazon founder and Washington Post newspaper owner Jeff Bezos, and Jeff Bezos is well aware of this. Read the rest

Amazon spent a fortune to block a socialist candidate's re-election to Seattle city council; she won anyway

Former tech worker Kshama Sawant (previously) won an unprecedented victory in 2013 by running for Seattle city council as on the Socialist Alternative ticket, raising unprecedented sums in small-money donations, and then winning the election after a last-minute surge in the polls. Read the rest

Amazon PR accidentally confirms the existence of a fictional dystopian Amazon technology

The New York Times has been publishing a series of "Op-Eds From The Future," giving fiction writers a chance to imagine our hellish circumstances to come. Read the rest

Did "The Phantom Menace" actually predict the rise of Jeff Bezos and Amazon?

Well, no, probably not. Also the dialogue remains objectively terrible. But tumblr user swan2swan makes a fairly convincing argument that the actual plot of Star Wars Episode 1 is eerily reminiscent of our present predicament:

https://swan2swan.tumblr.com/post/171120920177/the-phantom-menace-is-the-best-movie-ever-because

 

The Phantom Menace is the best movie ever because the entire premise is essentially “Amazon has obtained its own private army and now two future samurai have to stop it from forcing Natalie Portman’s planet to use its services by cutting through Jeff Bezos’s army of robots and attempting to convince Congress to do something about it SPOILER WARNING Congress doesn’t do jack so Natalie Portman has to take matters into her own hands also the day is saved by a redneck kid the samurai picked up when the car broke down”.

And I thought it was bad enough just thinking about how Trump could use Palpatine's tactics to cancel Election Day 2020.

Image via Hannford/Flickr and DoD/Flickr Read the rest

10,000 people are calling for Congress to investigate Amazon Ring

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Amazon Ring's surveillance doorbell partnerships with police are spreading like a virus. There are already more than 500 of them across the country. We can fight them at the local level, but at this scale we need Congress to intervene. Amazon is refusing to be transparent about its own policies and relationships with law enforcement. That's why more than 10,000 people have already called on Congress to investigate and demand answers about the impact these partnerships have on our privacy and civil liberties. If you're concerned, you can add your voice here." Read the rest

What's cooler than being cool? Hundreds of musicians protesting ICE and Amazon

Stop, collaborate, and listen: Amazon's complicit in ICE's extraditions (plus other abuses of human rights enabled by that agency's authoritarian agenda)

That's why hundreds of musicians—nearly 500, at the time of this writing, though it was just over 100 when news broke Thursday morning—have signed onto an open letter pledging to boycott Amazon festivals, events, and other exclusive deals until the tech giant stops enabling the systematic abuses of Immigration Customs Enforcement. The list of signatories includes Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, as well as Ted Leo, Immortal Technique, Downtown Boys, Thursday, WHY?, Jeff Rosenstock, the Mowglis, War on Women, Diet Cig, Tim Kasher (of Cursive/The Good Life), and many more.

These are the demands for Amazon, directly from that open letter:

Terminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit human rights abuses

Stop providing Cloud services & tools to organizations (such as Palantir) that power the US government's deportation machine

End projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon's facial recognition product

Reject future engagements w/ aforementioned bad actors.

I signed my own band onto the list earlier this week, after catching wind of the movement on Twitter. (I tried to pull our songs from all Amazon-affiliated services, but our distro service makes that difficult to do.) My friends in the Kominas mentioned something about it, and then I noticed Deerhoof interacting with Sadie Dupois of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13, following up on the recent op-ed by Tom Morello and Evan Greer of Fight For The Future (both musicians and activists in their own rights). Read the rest

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