Amazon.com

$20 Amazon gift certificate for $10

Website "Living Social" has a deal today where you can get an Amazon $20 gift certificate for $10.

See: https://livingsocial.com/deals/21336?ref=personalized-link-box-4278462&rpi=4278462

USA Today had a piece about this deal: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2011/01/livingsocial-offering-da...

Huffington post has this article: Living Social Amazon Deal Explodes In Hours, Slows Website
See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/19/living-social-amazon_n_811077.html

Update: There is an article in the NYT Bits Blog that indicates that "Living Social" may be taking a loss on this deal. See: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/livingsocial-gets-attention-for-amazon-discount/?re...

The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems

The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems is on sale for 1 day for $2.99 on Amazon.

Book is published by Harvard Business Press

Book description:

Think of the toughest problems in your organization or community. What if they'd already been solved and you didn't even know it?

In The Power of Positive Deviance, the authors present a counterintuitive new approach to problem-solving. Their advice? Leverage positive deviants--the few individuals in a group who find unique ways to look at, and overcome, seemingly insoluble difficulties. By seeing solutions where others don't, positive deviants spread and sustain needed change.

With vivid, firsthand stories of how positive deviance has alleviated some of the world's toughest problems (malnutrition in Vietnam, staph infections in hospitals), the authors illuminate its core practices, including:

· Mobilizing communities to discover "invisible" solutions in their midst

· Using innovative designs to "act" your way into a new way of thinking instead of thinking your way into a new way of acting

· Confounding the organizational "immune response" seeking to sustain the status quo

Amazon Deletes Items from Kindles... Again

It's like 1984 all over again.

From ArsTechnica:

Amazon may be in the process of stirring up some more trouble for itself thanks to reports that the company is deleting certain kinds of erotica from both the online store and users' devices. The erotica in question is controversial: it talks about certain acts of incest. Judging from Amazon's most recent bouts with book "censorship," users who have already paid for the deleted content are likely to get fired up.

The article goes on to say how one customer who complained about how their content that they paid for disappeared from their Kindle received only chastising remarks from Amazon about the severity of the item they purchased.

Meanwhile, the Strict Leather Forced Orgasm Belt remains on the virtual shelves of online retailer.

Amazon Provides a Dose of Humor

Pogue's Post at NYT.com

Anyway, there’s one peculiar strand of humor, one tiny, specific corner of the Internet, that gets me every time: it’s when everybody gangs up on some obscure or ridiculous product on Amazon.com and leaves bogus reviews for it. It’s awe-inspiring how people seem to arrive as though orchestrated by a leader who doesn’t exist, and how their reviews seem legitimate at first glance but become screamingly hilarious once you figure out what’s going on.

Full article

Amazon Selling Kindle Version of Wikileaks

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.

So make of this what you will, but Amazon UK is selling a Kindle version of the Wikileaks data. You can also have a look at the customer comments.

5 Things to Learn From Amazon's Latest PR Disaster

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.

Full blog post here

Pedophilia Guide Sold On Amazon Stirs Outrage

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.

Full story on NPR

You may not give a sh*t

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.

Full article in the NYT

Why We Can't Afford Not to Create a Well-Stocked National Digital Library System

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."

Stars fall in Amazon protest about ebook prices

Story at Guardian.co.uk

Readers give authors including Stephen King one-star reviews in concerted campaign against price rises for Kindle digital editions

Full article here

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