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Among its many services, Amazon.com offers hosting for websites in the form of data storage. When Wikileaks dumped a massive cache of diplomatic cables onto the Internet, it didn't take long for some technologically minded people to find out that Amazon had been hosting Wikileaks' data and content for quite some time. Yet, after the blow up over the cables, Amazon tossed Wikileaks from their servers, siting violations of their terms of service.
Amazon is backpedaling after initially coming to the defense of one of its electronic book authors, a man selling a how-to-guide for pedophiles.
"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," the company said in a statement. However, after receving massive media attention, the book self-published by Phillip R. Greaves II, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover's Code of Conduct, has been removed quietly from the Kindle store.
This latest action further highlights how Amazon seemingly has no idea how to defuse a public relations nightmare; has sketchy business ethics; and apparently lacks a quality control mechanism to prevent more of these publicity headaches. Here are some takeaways from Amazon's fiasco.
Amazon.com Inc. is selling a self-published guide that offers advice to pedophiles, generating threats to boycott the retailer.
The availability of The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct calls into question whether Amazon has any procedures — or even an obligation — to vet books before they are sold in its online stores. Amazon did not respond to multiple e-mails and phone messages.
Amazon Has a Reported Deal to Buy Parent of Diapers.com
Amazon.com plans to announce Monday that it will acquire Quidsi, the e-commerce company that runs Diapers.com, for about $540 million, (Man! Half a billion for this.) according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The acquisition suggests how far Amazon will go to maintain its edge in many corners of e-commerce, including sales of bulky household items for which it competes against Walmart.com and online drugstores.
In addition to Diapers.com, which sells baby supplies, Quidsi, based in Jersey City, recently started Soap.com, which sells drugstore products, and BeautyBar.com, which sells makeup and skin and hair products.
In a guest post on James Fallows blog at The Atlantic, David Rothman makes the case for a national digital library,
"Might the time have finally come for a well-stocked national digital library system (NDLS) for the United States--a cause I've publicly advocated since 1992 in Computerworld, a 1996 MIT Press information science collection, the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere, including my national information stimulus plan here in the Fallows blog? That's the topic of this essay, and many of the same concepts could apply to other countries, including Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, China, India, Brazil, and various other nations. Perhaps national digital library systems could interconnect, forming a global one. But for simplicity's sake and reasons of self interest, I'll focus here on a digital system for the United States, which, in national digital library planning and execution, lags far behind the diligent Chinese, among others."
E-readers and smartphones have brought big changes to the publishing industry, but Amazon.com is aiming to bring some more with a new format for shorter and cheaper e-books.
Amazon said in a press release that Kindle Singles could be “twice the length of a New Yorker feature or as much as a few chapters of a typical book,” and would be priced much less than standard books.
Among the hardcovers and paperbacks at the Lunenburg Public Library is a different kind of book, for which dozens of people are on a reserved waiting list.
Earlier this year, Lunenburg Public Library added three Kindles — a hand-held electronic device that can hold entire books — to its lending collection. Each Kindle holds 28 different titles.
“They have been absolutely amazing. They are very popular,” said Amy Sadkin, director of the Lunenburg Public Library. “We have more than 15 holds on the three Kindles, and have just ordered two more through the Friends of the Library which will be available in five or six months.”
In recent years, e-readers have become one of the popular must-have technologies. The Kindle, an e-reader offered by Amazon.com, is the most popular of the electronic devices. It is about the thickness of a pencil and can hold more than 3,500 downloaded books. The Kindle offers classic books for free, with other titles at $9.99.
There are two other similar devices — the Barnes & Noble Nook, and the Sony Reader, both of which allow owners to download books at local public libraries through the library consortium, the Central-Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing.
Source: The Telegram.
E-book readers are used to paying less, but new titles from Ken Follett and James Patterson have bucked that trend.
Full article in the NYT
Excerpt: Customers, unaccustomed to seeing a digital edition more expensive than the hardcover, howled at the price discrepancy, and promptly voiced their outrage with negative comments and one-star reviews on Amazon.
“Really, James Patterson?” wrote one reader from Elgin, Ill. “Why would it possibly cost more for a digital download than printed and bound ink on paper?”