Round up #224: 12 Days of Deals, $20 donations
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Buy a Kindle Fire HDX 7″ on AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate $20 to a non-profit of your choice
My readers have embraced AmazonSmile, a new program which allows you to benefit the non-profit of your choice by shopping at a special Amazon mirror site. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it feels just like shopping at Amazon (you’ll use the same account).
Amazon donates half a percent of the purchase price of eligible items, and you can change your non-profit whenever you want.
Half a percent isn’t much, of course…spend $100, and your non-profit gets fifty cents. However, every small bit can help (I was formerly on the Board of a non-profit, and you’d be surprised how much difference $10 can make).
Today, Amazon announced a great promotion!
If you buy a
at AmazonSmile through Sunday, December 8th, Amazon will donate $20 to your designated non-profit! That’s in addition to the normal half a percent.
That could really make a difference. If five of these Fires are bought for your preferred organization, that’s more than $100 donated.
I would send this post or the
to any non-profits you support, so they can publicize it with their supporters…I’m going to do that with some I know.
Amazon “floats” a “pie in the sky” idea
This may be the most positive (or at least, not negative) publicity Amazon has ever gotten.
In a 60 Minutes
with Charlie Rose (Amazon’s best friend in the media), CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Jeff Bezos revealed PrimeAir, an “R&D” (Research and Development) stage idea to have small “octocopters” deliver Amazon packages to your door. This is how it might work:
Every major news outlet seems to have carried the story, although I think they were sometimes a bit fuzzy on the reporting.
First, this is not going to happen on “your next order”, as I saw one headline say. It won’t happen before 2015 at the earliest (they need FAA…Federal Aviation Administration approval), and Bezos was indicating it could be years away.
Second, it’s worth being clear that these would not be remotely piloted. You would give them the coordinates (presumably, the small helicopter would read them off a label), and then it would make its own decisions about how to get there.
I have been most amused about people’s immediate concerns about them being shot down: I suspect using the term “drone” had something to do with that. That’s not to say it wouldn’t happen: people have been known to shine lasers at piloted helicopters, a very dangerous practice.
It’s just that other methods also have a risk of robbery.
Suppose, as was suggested, you could place an order online and have the PrimeAir delivery in half an hour (if you live in certain areas near a fulfillment center). I would guess that poses less of a risk of theft (since you’d be waiting for it) than the package being left on your doorstep for eight hours while you are at work. I think it may become fairly easy to catch people actually shooting at microaircraft, as they become more commercially necessary.
It won’t stop entirely: people shoot at UPS trucks, too.
Certainly, dogs would pose a risk, as might bird strikes (perhaps even intentional ones, in the case of a raptor), but I’m not convinced it would be inherently more risky.
It also obviously wouldn’t work with everything…you aren’t going to get a 25 pound bag of dog food that way, since the projected carry limit is five pounds.
The real question for me is why Amazon showed it on a national TV program now.
They usually won’t even tell us what they are releasing next week. For that matter, they sometimes don’t even tell us what is in an update after they’ve released it.
It’s just not typical for them to tease something by years…they are a pretty secretive company.
The most likely thing to me is that it is to use public opinion to sway the FAA and other entities to approve the project. It may also be to force the package delivery companies to develop something similar. How much is Amazon’s business worth to UPS? If Amazon can do, oh, ten percent of its deliveries itself, that would really hurt Brown’s profitability, I would think.
Amazon threatening to disrupt your industry has got to make you seriously consider taking preemptive action.
That sort of move on Amazon and Jeff Bezos’ parts is why this
makes so much sense. Covert makes the great point that Jeff Bezos is not the “next Steve Jobs”. They are very, very different. Jobs masterminded great hardware, and yes, absolutely influenced how people see and use technology.
For Bezos, hardware is simply one more tool to use in reshaping commercial society.
Jeff Bezos is more like Henry Ford. Ford didn’t just make cars. Ford remade how people make cars…and so many other things. It’s important to note that Henry Ford didn’t invent the assembly line concept, but saw a practical use for it. Bezos didn’t invent autonomous microaircraft, or even the use of them for product delivery. It’s figuring out how they can serve Amazon’s three tenets of Service, Selection, and Price that show the genius of Jeff.
“20 Things That Happen When You’re a Book Nerd”
This is a fun
I agree with quite a few of them, and I’m sure many of you will, too. I really like that it isn’t limited just to p-books (paperbooks). In my experience, the more you love books, the more you love e-books. I mean, you’d read books on soap bubbles, if somebody could figure out a way to do that.
Supreme Court declines to hear internet tax case
Amazon wants a national sales tax policy (not a national sales tax).
They’ve testified in favor of it.
What they don’t want is a bunch of different rules in a bunch of different places, and they don’t want states to simply act on their own, imposing whatever rules they want.
That’s why Amazon challenged New York’s “Amazon Law”. It got up to the doorstep of the Supreme Court, but they declined to hear it.
That should make a bigger push to get something through Congress.
I’ve written a lot about equal collection legislation before.
There are important constitutional issues here, but it could be resolved by Congress passing a law (it doesn’t require an amendment).
Believe it or not, that actually could happen.
Amazon’s 12 Days of Deals for books
Today is the first day of the second annual 12 Days of Deals for books at Amazon:
These are limited time (and quantity) deals on new and popular books…there are three of them today, and they’ll change each day.
One thing this really drives home for me: how much cheaper Kindle store books can be than the hardback equivalents! The first deal (on as I write this…check the price before you click or tap the Buy button) is for
It’s $2.99 as a Kindle book…$8.99 (just about three times as much) as a hardback. As I write this, 17% of the latter have been claimed, with about 3 1/2 hours left to go.
Certainly, they may sell out: many people prefer to give hardbacks as gifts, and (at least among traditionally published books), paper still sells more than digital if we look at all channels.
Still, if you just want to read it, there is a big economic argument to go with e-books.
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.