Archive for April, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (30 April) to…

April 30, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (30 April) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

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Happy bookish birthdays (April 29) to…

April 29, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (April 29) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (28 April) to…

April 28, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (28 April) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Round up #189: Gene Wolfe, Amazon Key for Garages

April 28, 2019

Round up #189: Gene Wolfe, Amazon Key for Garages

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

What a difference a day makes…

Amazon announced recently that

Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

members will soon get 1-day shipping for free on most items (cutting the time in half from the current 2-day). This, by the way, will not apply just to the USA, but will eventually roll out to more countries.

Is this a big deal?

Everybody is certainly acting like it is. Stocks of some other big retailers have actually dropped, perhaps related to this (and perhaps related to what was seen as a good financial report from Amazon).

Will I care?

There have been a few times when I’ve paid more to get something in one day.

I’ve already seen this, although it wasn’t necessarily the commitment. I ordered something today at about 2:47 PM (on a Saturday), and I’m supposed to get it tomorrow…and that would have been true if I’d ordered it up to 7 hours later, according to them.

One of the things that certainly may happen is people may procrastinate more. It may also increase sales around holidays, when you hear last minute about someone else attending a function. We usually keep a few “mystery guest” gift items around for just that reason. Rather than running out to the store, they could order from Amazon.

Why can Amazon do this?

Supposedly, because logistics are getting better. Some Chinese retailers already have 1-day shipping within China (Axios article by Erica Pandey). Robots may be paying off, but Amazon is also going to invest $800 million on this…much of that will have to do with controlling the door to door process, buying trucks (eventually, self-driving), planes, and more. They’ll also get more employees…and I would expect more investment in non-human workers.

I’ve seen some very odd negative comments on this.

One said that Amazon was “continually” (or “continuously”…I forget which) raising Prime prices. Amazon has raised Prime prices twice…in about fourteen years. If a fountain was supposed to be running continually, and it only worked on average once every seven years, I think I’d be a bit disappointed. 😉

Yes, the amount of time between the first and the second raise was a lot shorter, but I don’t think that’s a solid indicator that it’s going to continue to speed up.

Another person commented on how Amazon’s profit machine was still humming along…when the e-tailer didn’t make any profit for so long in their first years that I heard someone describe Amazon stock as like a “Ponzi scheme.” 🙂

I do understand people expressing concern that this may be harder on workers, but again, Amazon has said that they will increase staff…and increased efficiency should mean less work for the employees (essentially, better efficiency is getting the same product with less work).

Just sounds like another reason for me to be happy with Prime!

What about returns?

While Amazon has made it easier to return items, people still don’t like having to box them up for the returns. I always wait to break down the boxes (for recycling) from a shipment until I’ve tried out the items to make sure they work and are as expected.

One idea I had recently…I’ll bet Amazon could develop reusable boxes. We’d take out our products, flatten them somehow, and Amazon would pick them up with the next shipment. They’d be able to pop them back open, and use them again (probably not cardboard). I don’t know how all that would happen exactly, but I think it would be a big hit for the way it would save on packaging. Even when you recycle a box, it’s certainly not with 100% return to use. I always feel a bit of remorse about all the boxes we get, even though we recycle diligently. Amazon’s recent introduction of allowing you to choose a weekly delivery date, so you can get fewer boxes, helps, but this would be even better. I think it just hasn’t occurred to most people in the past because an order tended to be a one time thing, or at least rare. With Amazon, many people get orders every week. You’re welcome to the idea, Amazon! 🙂

However, with a recent announcement, you don’t have to box them up at all!

You can simply take them to certain Kohl’s stores (currently in Chicago, Los Angeles, or Milwaukee) for return (Kohl’s page.

Starting this July, that service will expand to any Kohl’s store in the USA! (Chris Welch article in The Verge)

Reportedly, the vast majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a Kohl’s.

Why would Kohl’s do this? Isn’t Amazon a competitor?

I assume the return centers are in the back of the store, so you have to pass by other merchandise on the way or the way back. I don’t know that, but it would make sense. Some people may buy from Kohl’s when returning Amazon items (oh, worth noting…not all items are returnable that way).

I probably should have mentioned this under my first part of this on shipping: third-party merchants. Third-party merchant items aren’t returnable this way…and Jeff Bezos has said they are more than 50% of the sales now.

The reason I should have brought that up with the shipping is that 1-day is the shipping…not the turnaround time from when you order. We’ve noticed that many items with Prime are taking a lot longer than two-days to get to us; we’ve had it be more than a week. That’s because of the third-party part…Amazon gets the shipping done within two days, but may not get it from the seller for several days.

Amazon Key for Garages

You’ve been able to get Amazon packages delivered inside your home (even when you aren’t there ), and in the trunk of your car (with certain types of cars), once you get the necessary software and hardware.

Now, they are promoting getting packages delivered inside your garage.

Amazon Key for Garage (at AmazonSmile*)

This one also makes a lot of sense to me. We keep our garage door (into the house) locked…ever since we had that break-in:

Eight of our Kindles stolen

That’s how they got into the house: they broke a door into the garage from the outside, then came through that inner door. Couldn’t they break down the inner door, too? Yes, but I think that’s a lot higher risk that someone will hear it happening if they are wrong and someone is home. If you have dogs (we do now…it was a real anomaly in our lives that we didn’t have dogs when they broke in before), they’ll also be alerted. Your average dog doesn’t consider the garage their territory, so they are less concerned about it.

The hardware is on sale (in the USA) as I write this.

Gene Wolfe

I wanted to note the passing of science fiction/fantasy writer

Gene Wolfe (Gene Wolfe)

Wolfe started as a short story in the 1950s, saw a rise of interest in the 1970s, but it was really The Book of the New Sun series in the 1980s which cemented the author’s status. Wolfe didn’t write easy, “popcorn” books, which is an accusation often levied at science fiction and fantasy. Those books do exist there, certainly…and there are times that’s what you want. Wolfe is more complex than that…and there are times that’s what you want, too.

What do you think? Is it worth it for Amazon to cut Prime Shipping time from 2 days to 1? If that resulted in a rise in the Prime subscription price (I don’t think it will), would that be okay? Are you using Amazon Key? Does the garage access make it more likely? Have you already returned an Amazon item at a Kohl’s? If not, is that attractive to you? Do you shop at Kohl’s now? Is there a Gene Wolfe book you’d recommend to someone trying the author? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (27 April) to…

April 27, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (27 April) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (26 April) to…

April 26, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (26 April) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (25 April) to…

April 25, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (25 April) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (24 April) to…

April 24, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (24 April) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (23 April) to…

April 23, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (23 April) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (22 April) to…

April 23, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (22 April) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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


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