From a practical point of view, I think I will stick with my Fitbit wearables and my Fitbit Aria scale. The scale especially: why would one want to go through the trouble of taking photos of themselves to determine their body fat when they can just step on a scale?
I’ve seen many instances where a sudden outrage occurs because some ecommerce site like Amazon or some T shirt store ends up selling some product which an outrageous message on it. People will howl: how could they choose to do something so stupid? This article gives a good explanation of just how such stupidity occurs: How Amazon Ended Up With Auschwitz Christmas Ornaments for Sale | WIRED
In a nutshell, things are automated to the point that many of these platforms take on products with little if no review. The cost of review would be much much higher than the occasional cost of having to deal with these exceptions. Given that, expect more and more of this to occur until some legislation comes into play.
Lots of people on twitter giving Chase heat for this tweet today:
Part of me understands that. I mean, how could a company that received such a big bailout have the nerve to tweet that? But the other part of me knows that big organizations work in silos and compartments. There is likely no-one at a high level at Chase scrutinizes low level communications like tweets. You know how Amazon sometimes sells T shirts with offensive messages? Same problem.
People believe big organizations are homogenous and aware of every aspect of the people who work there and what they are doing. This belief is wrong. Some orgs may be that way, but the majority are not.
Something to think about the next time this occurs.
According to the New York Times, the Frightful Five are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent company. What makes them frightening?
(The Frightful Five) have experienced astounding growth over the last few years, making them the world’s five most valuable public companies. Because they own the technology that will dominate much of life for the foreseeable future, they are also gaining vast social and political power over much of the world beyond tech.
These companies are getting alot more scrutiny lately. Any organization as wealthy and powerful as they are warrant it. Especially so because we aren’t even certain what impact they have on our societies. I hope the Times and other newspapers continue to give them focus and question their power. And I hope more writers like Scott Galloway examine what these companies do in books like the one he has just written. Most importantly, I hope you continue to seek out information on these companies and question how you interact with them, either directly or indirectly as a member of society.
Book sellers have become more competitive. In Canada, Indigo’s prices seem to be much lower and they sell books using low prices stamped prominently on the cover.
He doesn’t say it, but the author hints that Apple should step in and make their own Kindle. I certainly would like to see Apple step up and make their own Kindle. The device and the user experience would be great, I am certain. It would blow the Kindle out of the water and likely make me switch over to becoming a bigger ebook reader.
Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs. There is nothing in the NYTimes.com article that gives any inkling that they are. If anything, they have all the downside of being an entrepreneurs with little if any of the upside. If someone can point out an article showing how Amazon consistently rewards employees as if they are true entrepreneurs, I’d love to read it.
There’s nothing wrong with being an entrepreneur. In fact, for some people, being an entrepreneur is the best type of work there is. Everything about it appeals to them, and working for a large corporation would kill them.
The Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs. If you want to be an entrepreneur, be one. Don’t try to be one working at a large corporation. That is antithetical to what being an entrepreneur is.
I just cleaned up an environment I had set up in Amazon years ago for a client. (The client wanted to use Amazon, so we did.) In doing so, I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind which would cause me to continue getting billed even though I was no longer actively using EC2. I believe that the following checklist was useful in insuring this.
My EC2 cleanup checkist:
Delete my Elastic IPs
Terminated instances – running and non-running (I did this before deleting volumes, since it deleted alot of them for me)
Delete remaining volumes
Delete my security groups ( 1 will be left – the default one)
Delete snapshots (you need to deregister your AMIs before you do this)
Check your account balance
In a few days, check your account balance to see if there are any charges you haven’t accounted for
After following this checklist, my EC2 environment was cleaned up. Depending on how you are using EC2, you may have more things to delete. Checking your account balance will help there: if you left things behind, they may incur charges. An increase in your account balance will help flush them out.
One thing to consider: you may delete something, but it doesn’t show in admin console. If that is the case, logout and then in. I did that when I was having trouble deregistering my AMIs. I logged out and then in and when I checked them, they were now deregistered.
If you are a man (or someone who like to wear shoes traditionally associated with men) who doesn’t want to wear shoes from leather, don’t want to wear Converse or Toms shoes but do want to wear dress shoes, you have what I think is a good alternative: Delli Aldo shoes. I came across them via Cool Tools (a newsletter and a section of Kevin Kelly’s website) and I think they are great for a number of reasons:
they are very stylish
they come in a wide range of styles
they are low cost
they are vegan
Beware: they run large (e.g. if you wear 8, consider getting the size 7 or 6.5) and they stink the first few days you get them (then apparently they do not).
For more information, check out the link to Cool Tools or go right to Amazon and pick up a pair.
Over at The Motley Fool, there is this article, The Big Losers in the Cloud Pricing Wars, that talks about recent price drops for services at Amazon and Google and how these price drops will affect the cloud computing business. (The Cloud Pricing Wars is very dramatic – I am not sure it is an all out battle at this point: we need more time to see if that becomes the case)
Anyone interested in cloud computing should check it out.