Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Hey Alexa, what are you doing with those recordings of me?

July 23, 2021

Do you have a smart speaker? At least 20% of U.S. households do. Those speakers are recording you and yours all the time. What happens to those files?

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Amazon HQ2 Helix Looms Over Virginia

April 26, 2021

Amazon HQ2 Helix Looms Over Virginia

After saner jurisdictions rejected the project, Amazon selected Northern Virginia for the site of its HQ2 development. Some neighborhoods under the retail behemoth’s footprint will change their names to protect the innocent.

The flagship of this tax-break-enabled building bonanza will be The Helix, a 350 foot tower resembling the Poop Emoji, with an outdoor spiral of landscaped trees available to hikers who relish a pointless trek to nowhere, very Zen. Suggested seasonal uses of the Helix’s outdoor path include a water slide and ski run, or perhaps it will follow the lead of the 150-foot tall Vessel scultpture at New York’s Hudson Yards and become a world-class suicide swan-dive magnet.

The best views of the giant tower will probably be across the Potomac in DC, where residents can shudder and draw the drapes.

More:

“Amazon’s next headquarters is a glass poop emoji covered in trees,” Jacob Kastrenakes,The Verge

“Soft Serve Cone Or Christmas Tree? Amazon HQ2 Helix Sparks Debate,” Michael O’Connell, Arlington Patch

“The Helix is a distraction. Amazon’s new headquarters will change more than just its Arlington neighborhood.,” Philip Kennicott, Washington Post

Update:

“Amazon’s ‘The Helix’ is too tall for airport standards, officials say,” Kristen Schneider, WJLA-TV 7

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Image (“Amazon HQ2 Helix Concept, after Jan Luyken and Willem Goeree, 1682″) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Amazon Drones On the Horizon?

September 3, 2020

Amazon Drones On the Horizon?

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a package. Amazon has received FAA approval to use drones to deliver packages:

“Amazon did not say when customers could expect drones to drop packages at their doorsteps. Obtaining the F.A.A. certificate was an ‘important step,’ the company said, adding that it would continue to test the technology, which has been in development for years.” — “Drone Delivery? Amazon Moves Closer With F.A.A. Approval,” Concepción de León, New York Times

Alphabet’s Wing and UPS already have FAA approval for drone delivery.

More:

“Amazon Prime Air lands FAA approval for drone deliveries,” Carrie Mihalcik CNET

“Amazon receives U.S. regulatory approval to start drone delivery trials,” Nilanjana Basu and Neha Malara, Reuters

Update:

“No, Amazon Won’t Deliver You a Burrito by Drone Anytime Soon,” Aarian Marshal, Wired

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Amazon: Escape From New York!

February 14, 2019

Amazon: Escape From New York!

In a corporate blog post on Valentine’s Day, Amazon announced it won’t build a publicly-subsidized headquarters campus in New York City after all. The Long Island City project was popular with local real estate developers and top politicians but elicited vocal protests from residents and unions as well as NY State Senator Mike Gianaris and celebrity Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Amazon intends to expand its planned Northern Virginia HQ2 instead. Maybe.

More:

“Amazon Pulls Out of Planned New York City Headquarters,”

“Amazon pulls out of $3 billion deal to bring HQ2 to NYC,” Bob Fredericks, New  York Post

“Amazon won’t be building HQ2 in New York City after all,” Gaby Del Valle, Vox

“Why Amazon Bailed on Its New York Headquarters,” Josh Barro, New York Magazine

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jubilantly trumpets Amazon’s cancelled HQ2 plans,” Summer Meza, The Week

“Amazon’s Winning Streak Ends in New York,” Shira Ovide, Bloomberg

“Jeff Bezos Is Right at Home in the D.C. Swamp, but Amazon Might Have Bit Off More Than It Can Chew with the Big Apple,” Joel Kotkin, Daily Beast

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Image by Mike Licht (with apologies to Barry E. Jackson). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Displacement is not community development.

November 13, 2018

One reaction to Amazon’s pending HQ2/2 project in New York’s Long Island City.

More:

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not thrilled about Amazon coming to Queens,” Melissa Locker, Fast Company

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Amazon’s Low-Paid Employees Need Food Stamps

August 30, 2018

Amazon's Low-Paid Employees Need Food Stamps

“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will soon introduce legislation that would require large employers such as Amazon, Walmart and McDonald’s to fully cover the cost of food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other federal assistance received by their employees. The goal, he says, is to force corporations to pay a living wage and curb about $150 billion in taxpayer dollars that go to funding federal assistance programs for low-wage workers each year.”

— “Thousands of Amazon workers receive food stamps. Now Bernie Sanders wants the company to pay up.” Abha Bhattarai, Washington Post

Think about that on Labor Day Weekend.

More:

“Amazon urges employees to tell Bernie Sanders how much they love working there,” Summer Meza, The Week

“Amazon gets huge subsidies to provide good jobs—but it’s a top employer of SNAP recipients in at least five states,”  H. Claire Brown, New Food Economy

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Resistance Radio

March 17, 2017

“At SXSW in Austin last week, as part of a marketing campaign for ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ Amazon launched ‘Resistance Radio,’ a fake Internet-based radio station broadcast by the fictional American ‘Resistance’ from the show.

‘Hijacking the airwaves, a secret network of DJs broadcast messages of hope to keep the memory of a former America alive,’ the website said. Click through, and an interactive image of an antique, dual-knob radio appears while mod tunes drift through your computer’s speakers. In between songs, DJs on three different stations speak about how to fight the ‘Reich’ in America.

Soon #ResistanceRadio, the campaign’s sponsored hashtag, spread like wildfire on Twitter. Some Trump supporters seemingly mistook it for an anti-Trump radio station and expressed their displeasure. (Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)”

— “Amazon launched a fake radio station to promote ‘The Man in the High Castle.’ Angry Trump supporters thought it was real.” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

More: 

“The High Castle’s anti-Nazi radio station,” Sean O’Neal, A.V. Club

Resistance Radio: Tune in here.

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Amazon. Airborne!

February 2, 2016

Amazon. Airborne!

Press Release:

“Amazon Prime Air is a future service that will deliver packages up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less using small drones. Flying under 400 feet and weighing less than 55 pounds, Prime Air vehicles will take advantage of sophisticated ‘sense and avoid’ technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of 10 miles or more.”

What could possibly go wrong?

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Washington Post — Now With Special Offers!

August 6, 2013

Washington Post -- Now With Special Offers!

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is buying the Washington Post. Responses to the surprise deal are noted by Jim Romenesko (here and here) and Ed Kilgore; journo tweets Storified by Mallary Tenore.  Reactions by Hamilton NolanLydia DePillis, Neil Irwin, Andy Borowitz, Ezra KleinPost publisher Donald Graham and Jeff Bezos. Paul Farhi wrote the story for WaPo.

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Bio Optical Organized Knowledge device

September 29, 2010

Bio Optical Organized Knowledge Device

Forget the Kindle™, Nook™,  Kobo™, and Sony Reader.™ A new technology writes the final chapter in solid-state reading devices.

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