"amazon" entries

Four short links: 12 June 2012

Four short links: 12 June 2012

Amazon Royalties Suck, Learn Electronics, Microtasks, and Finance Considered Harmful

  1. Amazon’s Insanely Crap Royalties (Andrew Hyde) — Amazon offers high royalty rate to you, but that’s before a grim hidden “delivery fee”. Check out Andrew’s graph of the different pay rates to the author from each medium.
  2. SparkFun Education — learn electronics from the good folks at SparkFun.
  3. TaskRabbitconnects you with friendly, reliable people right in your neighborhood who can help you get the items on your To-Do list done. Lots of people and projects sniffing around this space of outsourced small tasks, distributed to people via a web site.
  4. Henry Ford on Bootstrapping (Amy Hoy) — Amy has unearthed a fascinating rant by Henry Ford against speculative investment and finance. I determined absolutely that never would I join a company in which finance came before the work or in which bankers or financiers had a part. And further that, if there were no way to get started in the kind of business that I thought could be managed in the interest of the public, then I simply would not get started at all. For my own short experience, together with what I saw going on around me, was quite enough proof that business as a mere money-making game was not worth giving much thought to and was distinctly no place for a man who wanted to accomplish anything. Also it did not seem to me to be the way to make money. I have yet to have it demonstrated that it is the way. For the only foundation of real business is service.

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Four short links: 6 June 2012

Four short links: 6 June 2012

Lagging Latency, Don't Take the Extra Cookie, Amazon's Print Plans, and Maker Schools

  1. Why Latency Lags Bandwidth (PDF) — across disk, memory, and networking we see bandwidth growing faster than latency comes down. This paper covers why and what we can do about it. (via Ryan Dahl)
  2. Michael Lewis’s Princeton Commencement Speech — a subtle variation on “work on stuff that matters” that I simply love. Commencement speeches fly around this time of the year, but this one is actually worth reading.
  3. The Amazon Effect (The Nation) — Readers of e-books are especially drawn to escapist and overtly commercial genres (romance, mysteries and thrillers, science fiction), and in these categories e-book sales have bulked up to as large as 60 percent. […] Amazon swiftly struck an alliance with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to handle placing its books in physical stores. In a transparent subterfuge aimed at protecting its tax-avoidance strategies, Amazon intends to publish many of its books under a subsidiary imprint of Houghton’s called New Harvest, thus keeping alive the increasingly threadbare fiction that it has no physical presence in states where it does business online. I did not know these things. (via Jim Stogdill)
  4. Learn by Doing (Slate) — Dale Dougherty’s excellent call to arms to turn away from zombie-producing standardised test classes to learning by making real things. The empty campus on test day horrified me.
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Amazon, ebooks and advertising

Amazon, ebooks and advertising

Amazon's adoption of ad-supported ebooks is shifting from possible to likely.

Amazon already sells ads on the Kindle. Joe Wikert explains why ad-supported ebooks are a logical next step for the company.

Comments: 6
Publishing News: Kindle Fire and "your ad here"

Publishing News: Kindle Fire and "your ad here"

Amazon pitches Kindle Fire home screen ads, Apple says DOJ complaint is "fundamentally flawed," and Craig Mod muses on covers.

Amazon is reportedly peddling new ad space on its Kindle Fire home screen, Apple responds to the DOJ, and Craig Mod says its time to hack digital book covers.

Comments: 3
Publishing News: Another publisher ends its app fling

Publishing News: Another publisher ends its app fling

MIT's Technology Review ditch apps for HTML5, B&N needs to balance sales, and Sara Nelson heads to Amazon.

The publisher of MIT's Technology Review talks apps and HTML5, RWW's Antone Gonsalves reviews B&N's chances of survival, and Amazon hires Sara Nelson.

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Publishing News: Nook gets Microsoft, and soon NFC

Publishing News: Nook gets Microsoft, and soon NFC

Microsoft invests in B&N, Target evicts Amazon, and ebooks teeter on the brink of extinction (perhaps).

B&N’s Nook gets Microsoft’s bankroll and will soon incorporate NFC, Amazon loses its shelf space at Target, and a publishing platform architect makes a strong argument for the end of ebooks.

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B&N and Microsoft: The potential beyond digital

Thoughts on how Microsoft could play a role in Barnes & Noble's stores.

Joe Wikert: Microsoft should use its investment in B&N's digital business to create an end-to-end consumer experience that rivals Apple's.

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The anchor on ebook prices is gone. Now we'll see where they float

The anchor on ebook prices is gone. Now we'll see where they float

Don Linn on the DOJ's lawsuit and the shifting ebook landscape.

Don Linn, president at Firebrand Associates, shares insights into the DOJ lawsuit and offers his take on what lies ahead for publishers and readers.

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Four short links: 16 April 2012

Four short links: 16 April 2012

Competition, Creation, Minimalism, and Monop{ol,son}y

  1. Peter Thiel’s Class 4 Notesin perfect competition, marginal revenues equal marginal costs. So high margins for big companies suggest that two or more businesses might be combined: a core monopoly business (search, for Google), and then a bunch of other various efforts (robotic cars, TV, etc.). Cash builds up because it turns out that it doesn’t cost all that much to run the monopoly piece, and it doesn’t make sense to pump it into all the side projects. In a competitive world, you would have to be funding a lot more side projects to stay even. In a monopoly world, you should pour less into side projects, unless politics demand that the cash be spread around. Amazon currently needs to reinvest just 3% of its profits. It has to keep running to stay ahead, but it’s more easy jog than intense sprint. I liked the whole lecture, but this bit really stood out for me.
  2. Kickstarter Disrupting Consumer Electronics (Amanda Peyton) — good point that most people wouldn’t have thought that consumer electronics would lend itself to the same funding system as CDs of a one-act play about artisanal beadwork comic characters. Consumer electronics as a market has been ripe for disruption all along. That said, it’s ridiculously not obvious that disruption would come from the same place that allows an artist with a sharpie, a hotel room and a webcam a way to make the art she wants.
  3. OmniOS — OmniTI’s JEOS. Their team are engineers par excellence, so this promises to be good.
  4. Understanding Amazon’s Ebook Strategy (Charlie Stross) — By foolishly insisting on DRM, and then selling to Amazon on a wholesale basis, the publishers handed Amazon a monopoly on their customers—and thereby empowered a predatory monopsony. So very accurate.
Comment: 1
Publishing News: DoJ lawsuit is great news for Amazon

Publishing News: DoJ lawsuit is great news for Amazon

The DoJ sues Apple and five major publishers, Yahoo files patents to put ads in ebooks, and B&N one-ups Amazon.

Amazon does a happy dance as five of the Big Six publishers and Apple are sued by the DoJ. Elsewhere, Yahoo looks to increase revenues with ebook ads, and B&N lights up its Nook.

Comment: 1