Amazon has closed a chapter of its history that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has called “stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles.” Bezos was, of course, referring to Amazon’s removing, without warning, copies of Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from the Kindles of nearly 2000 customers.
Almost a year ago, Amazon introduce its frustration free packaging. Now Amazon wants you to let them know how they’re doing, with the Amazon Packaging Feedback program, through which you can let Amazon know whether your order arrived in packaging that was too big, too small, or just right.
In a scene that seems straight out of, well, 1984, Amazon reached out across its WhisperNet network and removed all copies of Animal Farm and 1984 itself from every Kindle and Kindle 2 which had purchased and downloaded the books from Amazon. So high school student Justin Gawronski has sued them, claiming in his lawsuit that the loss of his copy of 1984 has cost him far more than the cost of the book, and includes the loss of all of the notes he’d taken and attached to the book on his Kindle, and the value of the effort in creating them.
It seems like only yesterday we were reporting that, due to California’s legislature (among others) being poised to pass a tax on affiliate programs (which some were also calling an “advertising tax”) such as those run by Amazon and Overstock, these and other companies were resorting to dumping the affiliates in those states and that, in fact, Overstock had just dumped all of their California affiliates for that very reason. In fact, it was yesterday. And in response, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the tax increase which the California legislators had passed, including the problematic affiliate tax provision.
With ever more states either passing or contemplating passing an Internet affiliate program sales tax, the two edges of that particular sword are being felt from coast-to-coast, as associates are being slashed from the lucrative affiliate programs of some of the largest Internet companies.
Following in New York’s footsteps, North Carolina is set to enact a similar Amazon Affiliate Tax, by which we mean that sales generated by someone in North Carolina via an affiliate program will be taxed (New York enacted an affiliate sales tax last year, over which New York was promptly sued).
Amazon has rolled out a new service that lets you read your books online as soon as you purchase them. Not only does Amazon’s new service let you read newly purchased books online, but you can also highlight, tag, and bookmark pages – and you can even print pages, and copy and paste text from the pages of your new book! All before you ever receive the actual hardcopy of the book – in fact, you can start reading it online instantly, as soon as you purchase it, using the Amazon Online Reader (which is really just an interface for your web browser).
Last week dozens of thousands of books quietly disappeared from Amazon’s listings and ranking system. What they all had in common was that they had either gay or ‘adult’ themes.
Amazon Remembers is a new iPhone application that lets you send a picture of anything to Amazon, and if it is at all available for sale within Amazon’s huge network of products, they will send you a link to purchase it within 24 hours.
While we often tout Amazon on these pages, today we’d like to direct your attention to a fabulous – but little known – Internet-based service provided by another bookstore: Barnes & Noble.
Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is Amazon’s online storage service. Costing mere pennies per gig, many are turning to Amazon’s S3 service for their image and video hosting needs. It’s easy to sign up for Amazon’s S3 service, and also easy to set up. In fact, the hardest thing about using S3 to host your videos and images is figuring out how to link to your video and image files hosted on Amazon S3! So, we are going to tell you how to host videos on Amazon S3 right now! And we answer the question “what URL do I use to link to my video or image on Amazon S3?”
Amazon has just rolled out a new service, “Amazon Shorts”. Amazon Shorts are, according to the Amazon Shorts page itself, “never-before-seen short works from a wide variety of well-known authors, available only on Amazon.com. Try a new genre or a new author — there’s something for everyone.