Coronavirus economics could tilt the scales in favor of Amazon — permanently. As Americans try to stay home to help prevent the coronavirus from spreading further, Amazon is seeing a lot more demand from listless shoppers who don't want to go out if they don't have to and have time to kill.
While Amazon is seeing an increase in demand, small businesses around the country are being forced to close indefinitely or are seeing far fewer customers, and business owners are worried about if this emergency could bankrupt them. Amazon was already driving down demand for many of these businesses, and this pandemic could permanently tilt the scales in Amazon's favor. Amazon announced on this week that it will hire 100,000 new workers to help meet the demand its currently seeing.
The company will also be increasing wages for its workers. It was also reported on this week that Amazon will stop receiving shipments of anything but medical and household goods until April 5, so there is enough supply available to meet people's needs. Amazon hit with lawsuit after personal camera hacks confirm worst fears. Home security company Ring and its parent corporation Amazon were hit with a lawsuit in federal court Thursday alleging that their cameras have been hacked on numerous occasions due to inadequate protections, confirming privacy advocates’ fears about the devices.
John Baker Orange of Alabama, the plaintiff in the case, said in the lawsuit (pdf) that his Ring security camera was recently hacked while his children were playing basketball outside of his home. “Mr. Orange’s children were playing basketball when a voice came on through the camera’s two-way speaker system,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. “An unknown person engaged with Mr. “Ring does not fulfill its core promise of providing privacy and security for its customers, as its camera systems are fatally flawed,” the lawsuit states. Ocasio-Cortez takes victory lap after Amazon goes to NYC — even after she helped block $3 billion in subsidies. Rep.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the progressive leaders in New York City credited with blocking $3 billion in public subsidies for Amazon to open an additional headquarters. But Amazon is moving into NYC despite the lack of subsidies. “The giant online retailer said it has signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet on the city’s west side in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, where it will have more than 1,500 employees,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Missing Piece of Amazon’s New York Debacle: It Kept a Burn Book. Then there was the burn book.
In a private dossier kept at the time, whose existence has gone previously unreported, Amazon executives cataloged in minute detail the insults they saw coming from New York politicians and labor leaders, according to a copy viewed by The Wall Street Journal. New Amazon Service Lets Customers Boost Shipping Speed With Easy One-Click Charge To Whip Delivery Person. SEATTLE—Celebrating the motivational effort as a major leap forward in worker-flagellation technology, Amazon introduced an easy single-click feature Thursday for customers who want to boost shipping speeds by whipping a delivery person.
“We’re excited to announce that our Same-Day Deliveries will now ship even faster thanks to Amazon Flog, a simple but effective pain-based solution that stimulates couriers into picking up the pace,” said spokesperson Linda Fowler, outlining how users can choose between the basic 99-cent Single-Tail Lash and premium $2.99 Multi-Tail Lash on every shipping drop-down menu. “To further expedite the process, consumers will be able to successively select ‘Beat My Laborer With A Switch Again’ as many times as needed and, of course, track the number of bloody gashes on their delivery person’s back at any point during the low-wage worker’s journey. Naturally, Prime members will also be able to choose between belting, spanking, paddling, or caning.”
Amazon’s Most Ambitious Research Project Is a Convenience Store. In the fall of 2015, Amazon executives in charge of a top-secret project to revolutionize grocery stores invited Jeff Bezos to evaluate their work.
They’d leased a warehouse in south Seattle and converted part of the ground floor into a 15,000-square-foot mock supermarket, with plywood walls, shelves, and turnstiles, mimicking technology that would scan shoppers’ smartphones when they walked in. The Amazon chief executive officer and several assistants pretended to shop, pushing grocery carts down aisles stocked with canned food and plastic fruit and vegetables. There were specialty counters where Amazon employees posing as baristas, butchers, and cheesemongers took orders and added items to Bezos’ imaginary bill. Amazon: Carbon emissions from our Australian bit barns aren't for public viewing. Amazon has refused to publish data about the energy consumption and carbon emissions of its business in Australia, including vast server farms, claiming its contribution to climate change is a trade secret.
The company has asked the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) – the country's agency tasked with regulating carbon emissions and encouraging clean energy use – to keep its data from publication, arguing that this involves proprietary information on reducing energy use. Amazon's cloudy offspring AWS landed in Australia in 2012, setting up a region in Sydney – each region consists of at least two isolated data centres. Today, AWS has also added three edge locations across the country. The CER administers the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme, collecting statutory reports from any corporation that emits at least 50kt of greenhouse gases, produces at least 200TJ of energy (~55,556MWh), or consumes at least 200TJ.
John Oliver Makes Us Think About What Happens When We Click Amazon's Buy Button. John Oliver is maybe the only powerful media figure who regularly stands up for workers, and this week, he took a look at the "brutal" working conditions inside Amazon warehouses "The more you look at Amazon, the more you realize its convenience comes with a real cost," he said. (We know, John. We know.) "Because, think about it, we used to have to drive to stores to buy things. Glenn Greenwald: As Bezos Protests Invasion of His Privacy, Amazon Builds Global Surveillance State. This is a rush transcript.
Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: We begin today’s show looking at the ongoing fight between the world’s richest man and the National Enquirer. Last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos publicly accused the owner of the tabloid newspaper of “extortion and blackmail,” weeks after the paper revealed details about his extramarital affair. Bezos had recently hired a private investigator to determine how the tabloid newspaper, the National Enquirer, obtained private text messages between him and his lover, and whether the paper’s actions were politically motivated.
The National Enquirer's parent company, American Media, Inc., responded to Bezos's investigation by threatening to publish revealing photos of Bezos if he did not agree to publicly state that the National Enquirer’s coverage is not politically motivated or influenced by political forces. ELKAN ABRAMOWITZ: Both Bezos and AMI had interests in resolving their differences. Packaging Is Killing Us, and the Holidays Are the Worst. Amazon Targets Unprofitable Items, With a Sharper Focus on the Bottom Line. NY Students Aren’t Buying Amazon’s Sweetheart Deal. Why people are calling to cancel Amazon Prime subscriptions. I’ve covered Amazon for the past few years, but now something feels different.
Sure, there are still the infinite roundups of Amazon’s best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals — which won’t be going anywhere as long as publishers are able to monetize them. But what I haven’t seen as much prior to this year are media companies and people — largely New Yorkers who work for media companies and can afford to shop at the city’s many stores — encouraging people to cancel their subscriptions and openly discouraging readers from shopping at Amazon. There was this Ringer piece on how to wean yourself off by using other online retailers, and a story from the tech site Gizmodo, which previously called Prime “the best deal in tech,” calling for a Prime Day boycott.
The economic opportunity New York traded away in its deal with Amazon could have been better spent. Word last week that New York State and the City of New York pledged $3 billion dollars to Amazon, one of the world’s fastest growing corporate behemoths, was more evidence of the race to the bottom underway between the world’s governments to attract capital that has no allegiance to any particular place.
This marks the continued acceleration of this global trend where taxing authorities outbid each other to seduce stateless capital with promises of single digit or a zero-tax rate and “off-shore” secrecy laws which help the owners of the capital amass ever greater wealth while evading their tax obligations in other jurisdictions. Between American states, counties and municipalities this macro-trend is manifested in a dazzling array of so-called ‘economic development incentives’ offered to the holders of capital that take the form of loans, grants, tax credits, or cheap land in exchange for local employment and investment. Don’t worry, though. Here Are Some Of The Most Outrageous Perks Cities Offered Amazon.
‘You Are All Inside Amazon’s Second Headquarters,’ Jeff Bezos Announces To Horrified Americans As Massive Dome Envelops Nation. SEATTLE—After a search for a new location lasting more than a year, a massive dome was seen descending from the sky and enclosing the whole nation Friday as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced to a horrified American populace that it was now living inside his company’s second headquarters. The impenetrable steel dome, which reportedly stretches from coast to coast and from the Mexican to the Canadian border, will house a state-of-the-art campus that serves as the online retailer’s long-awaited new base of operations. Amazon executives said that while they were impressed with the many proposals they received from cities across the country, they ultimately decided the location best suited to their ever-growing needs was the entirety of the continental United States.
“Now, please, begin working—all of you,” Bezos added as a dark cloud of buzzing drones appeared on the horizon, depositing uniforms, orientation packets, and a pile of boxes to sort on the doorstep of every American home. Untitled. The undercover author who discovered Amazon warehouse workers were peeing in bottles tells us the culture was like a 'prison' It makes perfect sense that Trump would take on Amazon — but Amazon is going to be a brutal foe. Businessinsider. Untitled. With the Super Bowl now behind us, America eagerly awaits the next big event: the announcement of the winner in Jeff Bezos’ contest to determine which combination of state and local governments is prepared to give him the most money to be home to Amazon’s new headquarters. Narrowed from a field of more than 200 applications, 20 finalists now wait with bated breath for the news, expected sometime later this year.
But while the politicians who join Bezos for the photo op are going to be treated as big winners, it is likely that the taxpayers they represent will be big losers, dishing out more to Amazon than they will ever get back in benefits. Bezos’ “HQ2” contest is simply an extension of a game that corporations have been playing with state and local governments for the last four decades. Amazon set to open its grocery store without a checkout line to the public. ‘Without Them You Could Buy Anything,’ Whispers Amazon Echo As Man Stares Blankly At Family. Whole Foods Announces It Balancing Out Lower Prices On Most Items By Jacking Cost Of Pita Chips Way Up. Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices as Much as 43% on First Day - Bloomberg. Amazon.com Inc. spent its first day as the owner of a brick-and-mortar grocery chain cutting prices at Whole Foods Market as much as 43 percent. In a sign of how the retailer is changing, the Amazon Echo, a voice-activated electronic assistant, was also for sale, for $99.99 -- a sharp pivot into electronics for a company known for kale and quinoa.
The Echo Dot, a smaller version, was advertised for $44.99. The tech giant’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods has sent shock waves through the already changing $800 billion supermarket industry. The wedding between Amazon and the upscale grocery promises to upend the way customers shop for groceries. Cutting prices at the chain with such an entrenched reputation for high cost that its nickname is Whole Paycheck is a sign that Amazon is serious about taking on competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. Amazon Instant Pickup service gives you orders in 2 minutes. My Advice To Anyone Starting A Business Is To Remember That Someday I Will Crush You. Godzilla Amazon: The Amount of Power in Jeff Bezos’ Hands Should Frighten All Americans. Grocery stocks are getting clobbered after Amazon-Whole Foods deal - Jun. 16, 2017. The stocks of traditional grocery stores like Kroger were clobbered Friday after the deal was announced.
Amazon files patent for flying warehouse. Image copyright USPTO. Pando. In what is quickly becoming the age of Prime, why do investors still hate Amazon? For the first 20 years of its existence, Amazon was a difficult company to appraise. It increased its dominance of online retailing without actually making a profit, banking on future market shares being worth more than cash at hand — and its strategy worked. The what’s for dinner shakeout: Would you rather be killed by churn or Amazon? Companies attempting to “solve” dinner closed more rounds of funding in the last five years than any other on demand category. And, yet, here we are in 2016: I’ve spent months trying most of the major ones-- eight of them at last count. Untitled. (Image via Robert Scoble)
Amazon demonstrates its delivery drone platform - prime air. Nov 30, 2015. Why the New York Times’s Amazon story is so controversial, explained. On Sunday, the New York Times published a massive exposé of Amazon's "punishing" work culture. The company, the Times alleged, "is conducting a little-known experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers, redrawing the boundaries of what is acceptable. " Amazon launching Amazon Coins currency for use on Kindle Fire. In May, Amazon will give Kindle Fire owners 'tens of millions of dollars' worth of virtual coins (coins image: Shutterstock) Amazon sells its line of Kindle Fire tablets (roughly) at cost, betting that each owner will buy enough books, music, movies, and apps to make a tidy profit.
Amazon Plans To Ship Items Before You Buy Them. Amazon's hachette job evokes George Orwell in ebook price fight.