Category Archive 'Amazon'
13 Mar 2021
Amazon.com Inc. said it recently removed a three-year-old book about transgender issues from its platforms because it decided not to sell books that frame transgender and other sexual identities as mental illnesses.
The company explained its decision in a letter Thursday to Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana and Josh Hawley of Missouri, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The senators had written last month to Chief Executive Jeff Bezos requesting an explanation of why “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment” was no longer available on Amazon nor on its Kindle and Audible platforms.
“As to your specific question about When Harry Became Sally, we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness,” Amazon said in the letter, which was signed by Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, referring to sexual identities that include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, among others.
“When Harry Became Sally,” written by the conservative scholar Ryan T. Anderson, was published in February 2018. The book focuses on a variety of issues including gender identity.
“Everyone agrees that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that causes great suffering,” said Mr. Anderson and Roger Kimball, the publisher of Encounter Books, the New York-based nonprofit that published the book, in a statement Thursday in response to Amazon’s letter.
“There is a debate, however, which Amazon is seeking to shut down, about how best to treat patients who experience gender dysphoria,” they added, calling their book “an important contribution” to that conversation. “Amazon is using its massive power to distort the marketplace of ideas and is deceiving its own customers in the process,” they said.
Amazon’s decision comes as the nation’s largest tech platforms are under increased scrutiny regarding the decisions they make over which content is acceptable.
There are many intensely-charged cultural and political issues on which rational, well-educated men will inevitably disagree.
The etiology and moral status of homosexuality and gender dysphoria is a striking example of just such a controversy.
So, how has it come to pass that large consumer corporations, like Amazon, have recently appointed themselves as dictators and Platonic Guardians in charge of deciding in favor of the preferred position of the Radical Left, and using their business platforms and strategic position in Society to shut down debate and outlaw the very existence of an alternative viewpoint in polite society?
We shop at Amazon, but nobody elected Mark Zuckerberg or Brian Huseman to any position in charge of “public policy” of any kind.
If the owner of my local grocery or hardware store got too big for his britches and started telling customers how to vote and what to think, he obviously wouldn’t stay in business very long.
The Big Tech billionaires, sitting on top of companies currently enjoying accidental and ephemeral de facto monopolies are flushed with wine and insolence. They must have read too many left-wing sophisters and economists who tell you that such marketplace predominance is totally defensible, permanent, and secure. They are dead wrong. Alta Vista, not so very long ago, was the cat’s pajamas of search engines. Yahoo and AOL used to be hot stuff. The examples of absolutely sector dominant companies that are now one with Nineveh and Tyre is limitless.
Amazon can be replaced, and I have news for Mr. Zuckerberg: he has pissed away serious quantities of customer loyalty and good will. I used to like and admire Amazon. I preferred shopping with Amazon. Not anymore. Venture Capitol, just offer me any reasonable alternative and I will be delighted to drop Amazon and all the rest of today’s Big Tech Dictatorships permanently. That happy day is coming. Count on it, Amazon!
04 Mar 2021
Woke hypersensitivity and downright insanity keeps on coming every day, as this NY Post story proves.
Amazon has changed its new smartphone app logo after critics said the earlier incarnation was a dead ringer for Adolf Hitler.
The e-commerce giant introduced the new icon in January to replace the symbol of a shopping cart with one featuring a brown box with a jagged piece of blue tape above the company’s iconic smile-shaped arrow.
But sharp-eyed users noticed the tape disturbingly recalled the Führer’s toothbrush mustache. [!???- JDZ]
“It’s not just a ripped scotch tape, it’s a ripped scotch tape that has a similar shape and is right on top of a smiling mouth. Looks like a happy little cardboard Adolf to me,” one person said on Twitter.
“Amazon’s new app logo be lookin like they’re the THIRD most downloaded in the ‘Reich’ section,” another said, referring to the Nazi regime.
Users also took note of Amazon’s tweak, in which the blue tape was made to look folded over.
“lmao I completely missed that amazon quietly tweaked its new icon to make it look… less like hitler,” one wrote.
“Unsurprisingly they did not send out a press release to announce the second redesign.”
One thing that has obviously changed in America in recent years is that the adults have all died off or retired and our institutions and consumer corporations are now all run by sniveling sheep who can be stampeded in any direction, who can be intimidated into making preposterous concessions, by noisy crazies.
If somebody had come along a few decades ago and proposed tearing down statues of Columbus, George Washington, or Robert E. Lee, if some looney took offense at Uncle Ben or Aunt Jemima, the people in charge would have made circular motions with an index figure beside their temple or responded with cuckoo noises. Today, the nonentities and poltroons running the world instantly grovel and hasten to comply with the demands of the sort of people who used to be locked up safely in rooms with mattresses on the walls in lunatic asylums. If I said this on Facebook today, I’d probably get 30 days in Facebook jail for using the phrase “lunatic asylum.”
03 Jan 2021
Colossal has photos of the recently discovered Amazonian petroglyphs: Tens of thousands of paintings of animals and humans, made up to 12,600 years ago, found on an eight-mile rock surface along the Guayabero River in the Colombian Amazon.
The paintings include drawings of large mammals, birds, fish, lizards, handprints, and masked figures of dancing humans. The ancient paintings also record interactions between humans and extinct species of giant Ice Age mammals like mastodons.
07 Oct 2020
is J.R.R. Tolkien spinning in his grave. Amazon has plans for its new version of his earlier Age of Middle Earth that the author would not like one bit.
Amazon Studiosâ€™ LOTR Series Heads Into Uncharted Carnal Waters with Casting Call for Nudity and an â€œIntimacy Coordinatorâ€
This might be a singularly surprising or even upsetting concept to present to Tolkien fans. If I were to address this reality to Star Wars, or Harry Potter, or even Miyazaki fandom it would raise eyebrows or outright alarm. But gather â€™round the campfire and hear my tremulous words:
â€œPrepare for a newly-sexualized version of your favorite fantasy world.â€
Itâ€™s the equivalent of saying: â€œGet ready to watch Anakin and Padme do something onscreen that will forever alter the way you see Star Wars. Sorry about the sand. It gets everywhere.â€
Is this a real lightning rod issue? Depends on your temperament. I have to be really careful about presumed gatekeeping (which is not my intention) or any semblance of that; I just want this discussion WAY out in the open. Letâ€™s get to the heart of this, because it is a thing now.
We must clearly ask ourselves what we want and donâ€™t want from a billion-dollar Tolkien TV adaptation, because the tracks are laid and that train is headed straight for us, via your streaming device and paid subscription.
13 Mar 2018
Google employees eat lubch in Kendall Square Cafeteria, Cambridge, Massachusetts
A long-time Google manager, at Marginal Revolution, describes life at Google, and critiques other major tech companies.
I joined Google [earlier]â€¦as an Engineering Director. This was, as I understand it, soon after an event where Larry either suggested or tried to fire all of the managers, believing they didnâ€™t do much that was productive. (Iâ€™d say it was apocryphal but it did get written up in a Doc that had a bunch of Google lore, so it got enough oversight that it was probably at least somewhat accurate.)
At that time people were hammering on the doors trying to get in and some reasonably large subset, carefully vetted with stringent â€œsmart testsâ€ were being let in. The official mantra was, â€œhire the smartest people and theyâ€™ll figure out the right thing to do.â€ People were generally allowed to sign up for any project that interested them (there was a database where engineers could literally add your name to a project that interested you) and there was quite a bit of encouragement for people to relocate to remote offices. Someone (not Eric, I think it probably was Sergey) proposed opening offices anyplace there were smart people so that we could vacuum them up. Almost anything would be considered as a new project unless it was considered to be â€œnot ambitious enough.â€ The food was fabulous. Recruiters, reportedly, told people they could work on â€œanything they wanted to.â€ There were microkitchens stocked with fabulous treats every 500â€² and the toilets were fancy Japaneseâ€¦uhâ€¦auto cleaning and drying types.
Andâ€¦ infrastructure projects and unglamorous projects went wanting for people to work on them. They had a half day meeting to review file system projects becauseâ€¦it turns out that many, many top computer scientists evidently dream of writing their own file systems. The level of entitlement displayed around things like which treats were provided at the microkitchens wasâ€¦intense. (Later, there was a tragicomic story of when they changed bus schedules so that people couldnâ€™t exploit the kitchens by getting meals for themselves [and familyâ€¦seen that with my own eyes!] â€œto goâ€ and take them home with them on the Google Bus â€” someone actually complained in a company meeting that the new schedulesâ€¦meant they couldnâ€™t get their meals to go. And they changed the bus schedule back, even though their intent was to reduce the abuse of the free food.)
Now, most of all that came from two sources not exclusively related to the question at hand:
Google (largely Larry I think) was fearless about trying new things. There was a general notion that we were so smart we could figure out a new, better way to do anything. That was really awesome. Iâ€™d say, overall, that it mostly didnâ€™t pan outâ€¦but it did once in a while and it may well be that just thinking that way made working there so much fun, that it did make an atmosphere where, overall, great things happened.
Google was awash in money and happy to spray it all over its employees. Also awesome, but not something you can generalize for all businesses. Amazon, of course, took a very different tack. (Itâ€™s pretty painful to hear the stories in The Everything Store or similar books about the relatively Spartan conditions Amazon maintained. I was the site lead for the Google [xxxx] office for a while and we hired a fair number of Amazon refugees. They were really happy to be in Google, generallyâ€¦not necessarily to either of our benefit.)
26 Oct 2017
Only $8,999.99 with Free Two-Day Shipping!
From Amazon, of course.
Some questions and customer reviews:
Can I carry out drone strikes with this thing? Looks the part doesn’t it.
This system is not designed for field deployment and likely has not been evaluated by any person or entity operating armed UAVs for this purpose. For approved civilian UAV operation, there should be no problem.
By XOTIC PC SELLER on September 6, 2017
4.0 out of 5 starsThere are some trade-offs to buying this device.
ByAmazon Customeron July 27, 2017
Bought this product with the equivalent of a home loan. The moment I set it on my lap to use as a “laptop” like the product title and information states, both of my legs were immediately lost of all blood flow what so ever. It only took me a couple of minuets to realize that in fact the only thing that was keeping my legs upright and attached to my body was the laptop itself just by it’s sheer weight.
I have no legs.
I cannot reproduce.
I cannot walk.
I was able to sell my legs to cover most of the cost of the laptop.
GeForce GTX 1080 SLI
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Great for multi-tasking
ByAmazon Customeron May 23, 2017
I love this computer mainly because of the carrying case. I can now lug around all my weapons and check facebook at the same time. Thank you Acer! -Agent 47
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ByAmazon Customeron September 27, 2017
I love this thing it, had to murder a man to buy it but totally worth it
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Great PC, but it cant run Minecraft or Minesweeper …
ByAmazon Customeron October 9, 2017
I was able to get ahold of a cartel working with the black market and sold my kidney for upwards of 18 grand. Bought the laptop and used the other half to buy a new car. Great PC, but it cant run Minecraft or Minesweeper so Im probably going to return it.
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Best bang for your non existent buck
ByAmazon Customeron September 3, 2017
I was able to sell my soul to the devil for this one. He gave me immortality but all I wanted was this laptop. I highly recommend getting this laptop from beelzebub, as he will offer you the best value. It runs minecraft at 1,000,000,000,000 fps, but unfortunately is unable to run minesweeper. RIP
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HT: The Passive Voice via Karen L. Myers.
23 Mar 2017
Vox Day yesterday explained that it wasn’t Jeff Bezos or Amazon officially that took down the “Johan Kalsi” parody of John Scalzi’s latest screed. Little SJW nerds buried deep in the Amazon machine are suspected.
Since some people seem to want to go on the warpath, let me be perfectly clear here: Amazon is not to blame. I even suspect that it is entirely possible that Tor Books is not to blame either, based on a) when the book was pulled and b) the fact that the book has shown as Live for nearly 24 hours but still does not have a page on any Amazon site. The most likely scenario, in my opinion, is a rogue low-level SJW employee, possibly two, in a specific department.
I have already spoken to the manager of one department and they have begun to investigate why Corrosion is Live but not available. They’ve done everything we asked and we have no problem with the way we have been treated.
Civil War in Amazon IT Department
The Corroding Empire was up this morning, but SuperversiveSF found that it has been going up and down.
The Corroding Empire isnâ€™t out of the woods yet, because following that conversation, it was blocked again, reinstated again and blocked a third time in short order.
Superversive links another Vox post which reports:
As we suspected, there appear to have been internal shenanigans taking place at Amazon, as one or more SJWs appear to have abused their positions to interfere with our ability to sell THE CORRODING EMPIRE. …
Thank you for your support and for holding fire while we sorted out who was, and who was not, responsible for the removal of THE CORRODING EMPIRE. The very helpful KDP representative to whom I spoke said that he did not believe there was anything improper or misleading about the title, the name, or the cover, but we’re going to wait to get explicit permission on all three elements before settling on a final edition that will see print.
Mr. Amazon SJW just blocked it again. Unsigned, of course. SJWs always double down.
We’re writing to let you know that readers have reported a problem in your book. The error significantly impacts the readability of your book. We have temporarily removed it from sale so that more readers don’t experience the same problem in your book
Error Category: Wrong_Content; Comments: The content of your book is a different edition than what the detail page indicates. Because this could be a serious issue for many customers, we have had to temporarily block your book from sale. Please correct the image so that we can make it available for sale again.
UPDATE: Another phone call and we’re back up again.
UPDATE: And blocked again, albeit this time UNDER REVIEW, not memory-holed.
UPDATE: Finally got to speak to a supervisor. She’s not only escalated the matter to legal, but has assured me that the book will be unblocked, stay unblocked, and that the matter will be fully investigated. It’s not just the three blocks, the culprit(s) also put the book on the Excluded list for Amazon Associates, which prevents others from being paid when someone buys the book.
UPDATE: The book is live, and is now locked for a fourth time. SJWs really do double down.
Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
21 Mar 2017
John Scalzi’s latest, The Collapsing Empire, released today by Tor Books, apparently has some resemblances to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.
Scalzi and the publishers of Tor books are both prominent on the Social Justice Warrior side in the current and ongoing political conflicts within the Sci Fi-Fantasy community.
Consequently, Vox Day’s Castalia House released yesterday a parody, titled “The Corroding Empire,” purportedly written by one Johan Kalsi, described by Vox Day as, “Finland’s hottest science fiction author. An accomplished geneticist as well as a 6’3″ ex-Finnish Marine.”
The cover of “The Corroding Empire,” as you can see above, has a recognizable resemblance to the cover of “The Collapsing Empire,” and features the imaginary plug line: “Kalzi rips off Asimov even better than Scalzi rips off Heinlein!”
All this seems rather funny, but Tor Books was not amused and (who knew that such a minor publisher had that kind of power?) promptly prevailed on the great and powerful Amazon to remove the parody.
Tor Books author John Scalzi announced a book, which he turned in late, titled The Collapsing Empire.
Castalia House quickly and effectively put out a parody book titled The Corroding Empire by Johan Kalsi, which beat out Scalziâ€™s actual work in pre-orders for several days.
The parody, The Corroding Empire released today, to much fanfare (Iâ€™ve read a little myself, it is good science fiction work).
Tor sent Amazon an ultimatum telling them to take it down.
Amazon complied and sent Castalia House a notification that they were taking it down because they were pretending to be John Scalzi.
Castalia House had their book removed, and thereâ€™s nothing they can do about it.
Wow! Amazon sucks with a leftwing conformist vacuum about as powerful as that of Mozilla, Target, Starbuck’s, ESPN, &c.
Vox Day apparently foresaw the possibility of censorship, and cleverly had ready an alternative cover, title, and auctorial pseudonym: “Harry Seldon” referencing Hari Seldon, the mathematician hero of Asimov’s “Foundation.” (see below). But… you won’t find “Corrosion” on offer at Amazon this morning either.
Here’s where both titles were pre-release yesterday on Amazon’s bestseller list:
Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
16 Sep 2016
Hillary’s new campaign book has unaccountably been unfavorably received by the Amazon reading audience, gathering 83% 1-star unfavorable reviews.
But there was at least one astute reader capable of appreciating it. DB raves:
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a key that unlocks doors to life!!,
September 15, 2016 By DB
What a fantastic book! I see that Amazon has this for under $20, but I paid slightly more. I bought this directly from the Clinton foundation for $3.5 million. Once I read this book it’s like everything in my life clicked. The state department released funds from an “associate” of mine who for some odd reason was mistakenly put on the terrorist watchlist. He then invested in my “housing development” project in Saudi Arabia. Also 14 of my relatives were able to get permanant resident status and my niece got a job at a US Embassy! I suppose I could’ve saved some money by buying the version from Amazon, but by buying directly from the Clinton foundation I got a special edition that is much thicker and has pages hollowed out for future “uses”. I hope this book has an audio version because I would love to pay for play…ing it.
25 Jun 2015
I sent this email this morning to Amazon PR:
If you look at my account, you will see that I am a very active Amazon customer. Additionally, I had been linking Amazon books via my blog and am an Amazon Associate.
In response to Amazon’s absurd removal of Confederate flag-related merchandise in contemptible obedience to the whims of the radical left, I will be removing my blog links to Amazon and purchasing absolutely nothing from Amazon for one month.
I’m sending a similar email to Ebay, where I am also a very active customer. I don’t actually shop at KMart or Walmart, and I mean to make a point of continuing not to do so.