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Amazon Gets Increasingly Nervous

Posted on August 11th, 2014 at 10:52 by John Sinteur in category: Amazon


In sum and once again: Amazon is not your friend. Neither is any other corporation. It and they do what they do for their own interest and are more than willing to try to make you try believe that what they do for their own benefit is in fact for yours. It’s not. In this particular case, this is not about readers or authors or anyone else but Amazon wanting eBooks capped at $9.99 for its own purposes. It should stop pretending that this is about anything other than that. Readers, authors, and everyone else should stop pretending it’s about anything other than that, too.

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  1. I can’t wait for the movie. That deep booming promo voice:

    “In a world where dark forces are constantly trying to enslave us all; one man, leading a tiny band of heroes, is struggling against all odds to overcome a many-headed monster of the deep…”

    Apple did that one price per track thing. Is this different?

  2. Well, yes and no. I agree with Gruber on this: I think Apple cares about music in a way that Amazon does not care about books. Maybe only because Steve Jobs personally cared about music in a serious way, but now it’s ingrained in Apple’s culture.

    (And if we want to be cynical, let’s admit that it’s possible for Apple to care about music for music’s sake because they sell tens of millions of expensive gadgets on which we listen to music every quarter.)

  3. Speaking as someone who self-publishes ebooks (and who sets his own prices), I would like to point out that it was Apple that forced Amazon to pay higher royalties on ebook sales. Apple drove the royalties up from 35% to 70% and Amazon has already had to scramble to remain competitive. There are other, smaller sites like Smashwords or Lulu that pay even higher royalties.

  4. Fits on the cynical bit – Apple makes more money from the devices they sell with the iBooks app on it than from e-book sales, so it is in their interest to make the authors pick them over Amazon. They probably ran the numbers on the best (for them) royalty percentage to give to authors, and 70% for the authors makes them the most money.

  5. @Mudak: What does Apple pay 70% royalties on? And to whom, publishers or authors?

As Publishers Fight Amazon, Books Vanish

Posted on May 24th, 2014 at 11:47 by John Sinteur in category: Amazon, Apple


Amazon’s power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Now it has started wielding its might in a more brazen way than ever before.

Seeking ever-higher payments from publishers to bolster its anemic bottom line, Amazon is holding books and authors hostage on two continents by delaying shipments and raising prices. The literary community is fearful and outraged — and practically begging for government intervention.

“How is this not extortion? You know, the thing that is illegal when the Mafia does it,” asked Dennis Loy Johnson of Melville House, echoing remarks being made across social media.

Amazon is, as usual, staying mum. “We talk when we have something to say,” Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive, said at the company’s annual meeting this week.

It’s a good thing the Justice Department fixed the ebook antitrust issues. Perhaps they need to punish Apple some more to take care of this?

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Why is Amazon paying workers up to $5K to quit?

Posted on April 12th, 2014 at 13:42 by John Sinteur in category: Amazon


Amazon.com hopes the workers in its scores of fulfillment centers across the USA are happy in their jobs.

But if they’re not and would rather be doing something else, Amazon has a deal: The company will pay them a bonus — up to $5,000 — to leave.

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I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Fucking Ecosystem

Posted on November 23rd, 2012 at 14:50 by Desiato in category: Amazon, Apple, Commentary, Software


Imagine, just for a moment, that your Sony DVD player would only play Sony Movies’ films. When you decided to buy a new DVD player from Samsung, none of those media files would work on your new kit without some serious fiddling.

That’s the walled garden that so many companies are now trying to drag us into. And I think it stinks.

On a mobile phone network in the UK, you can use any phone you want. Hardware and services are totally divorced. It promotes competition because customers know that if they have a poor experience with HTC, they can move to Nokia and everything will carry on working just as it did before.

But, if all of your contacts, entertainment services, and backups are chained into HTC – well, then you’re just shit out of luck if you want to move.

I want to see a complete separation of church and state here. Hardware should be separate from software. Software should be separate from services.

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  1. Good article. This is important for the health of the corporate ecosystems too. They don’t think so – on their stampede to the next quarterly results – but their long-term survival depends on competition.

Amazon confirms there’s no way to opt out of Kindle Fire ads

Posted on September 8th, 2012 at 13:22 by John Sinteur in category: Amazon


Since Amazon announced its new line of Kindle Fire tablets, there’s been confusion over whether the company would allow users to avoid seeing “Special Offer” promotions on their lock screens. According to CNET, an Amazon spokesperson has now confirmed that there is no system for disabling ads on new models of the Kindle Fire.

Amazon is mistaken. I haven’t seen a single ad on a Kindle Fire, ever. And I’m pretty sure I will never say one in the future either.

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  1. You have one? Nope. So they are not mistaken. Refusing to buy one is not a “system for disabling ads”.

  2. How many seconds after the new Fires are released will some hacker unlock them so you can change the lock screen? I think they can be counted in the 10’s…

  3. Actually, if it will be based on the Amazon recommendation system, then there is a chance that it actually will be useful.
    But god forbid they make money. Showing ads when you are not reading. Gasp.

  4. Apparently I’m not the only one who said “I don’t want one if that’s the case”. The backpedaling has started

  5. Yes, makes sense that people don’t want it.
    Mind you, with a few exceptions, a lot of these same people say “Gosh, I didn’t even know that! Why nobody told me??” when they miss their favourite book on the £1.99 sale, and such annoying things.

  6. It’s the same as with Skype: during a voice call, we show ads on that black spot that you don’t even look at Instant outrage. I don’t look at it but don’t you dare put anything there because, well, I won’t see it anyway, but don’t!

    Sometimes I wonder if people are a bit overdoing some things without stopping to think for 5 seconds.

  7. @Roland: you can throw all the rational arguments at it you want, but fact is I don’t want any ads on the lockscreen on my device.

    Somehow it doesn’t even feel equivalent to be extorted for money after you buy the device to get rid of the ads, rather than be offered two different prices up front at device purchase time.

    In general, though, nice to at least have choices.

  8. P.S., interesting bit from interview with Bezos:


    How does special offers, or the advertising, play a role in the price point?

    We had it on our E-Ink devices, but haven’t had it on the Kindle Fire. For those, it’s very good, no one really buys the non-special-offers version. Everyone buys the special-offers version. There aren’t two versions of this (pointing to the new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD). That was a decision we made because no one is willing to buy the non-special-offers version.

    So Bezos’ claim is that Amazon decided to simplify the product lineup because too few people were buying the non-ad supported regular Kindles.

  9. @Desiato It’s not an argument, it’s just an opinion. I understand that you don’t want such a device.
    However “I don’t want” and “I decry it as an evil, despicable act” are two different things.

    I see the point where people don’t want to buy it. I don’t see the point where people start to bash it as evil and such.

    I don’t like brusselsprouts, but I don’t call it the vegetable of the Devil 🙂

  10. no one really buys the non-special-offers version

    Is that a bit like that good old Hitch Hikers’ quote?

    “No one is really poor. At least no one worth speaking of….”

Amazon Yesterday Shipping

Posted on July 19th, 2012 at 18:41 by John Sinteur in category: Amazon

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  1. Pure genius.

Amazon will make its own TV shows

Posted on May 3rd, 2012 at 10:35 by John Sinteur in category: Amazon, Apple


For months, the technology world has wondered when — not if — Amazon would get into original TV programing by soliciting scripts and beefing up its nascent in-house staff. Now, it’s official: Amazon (AMZN) will produce original television content.

On Wednesday, the company announced its intentions to develop original comedy and children shows that will be distributed by way of its online streaming service, Amazon Instant Video. “Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love,” Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, said in a release. “In the course of developing movies, we’ve heard a lot of interest from content creators who want to develop original series in the comedy and children’s genres. We are excited to bring writers, animators and directors this new opportunity to develop original series.”


So I guess this means the Justice Department is about to investigate Apple TV.

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Good Quarter for Amazon

Posted on April 27th, 2012 at 9:06 by John Sinteur in category: Amazon, Apple


So 16 percent of bestselling titles are exclusive to the Kindle Store — and the Department of Justice is investigating Apple’s iBookstore. Got it.

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  1. In other non-news, what percentage of bestselling iOS apps is exclusive to Apple?