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Rescooped by Sue Mather from Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
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Amazon's history should teach us to beware 'friendly' internet giants | TheGuardian.com

Amazon's history should teach us to beware 'friendly' internet giants | TheGuardian.com | Trends | Scoop.it
When corporate types gather to schmooze at expensive watering holes they talk about competition as an unalloyed public good. It's seen in Darwinian terms – companies engaged in a ceaseless battle for survival, with only the fittest emerging triumphant. But generally the discussion is couched in agreeably vague, general terms. The sordid realities of Darwinian competition – nature red in tooth and claw – are generally eschewed on the golf course and at the poolside.Except at amazon.com. Like the other titans of the online world – Google, Facebook, Yahoo and to a lesser extent, Microsoft – Amazon is driven by data and algorithms. But not entirely. What many of its customers may not realise is that the results generated by Amazon's search engine are partly determined by promotional fees extracted from publishers. In his book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Brad Stone describes one campaign to exert pressure for better terms on the more vulnerable publishers. It was known internally as the gazelle project, after Bezos suggested "that Amazon should approach these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle". (With a nice Orwellian touch, company lawyers later changed the name to the "small publisher negotiation programme".)That's a revealing metaphor: capitalism red in tooth and claw. And it's a useful antidote to the soothing PR of the corporations that now dominate our networked world. Up to now, they have succeeded in branding themselves as different in important ways from the bad old industrial behemoths of the past. Google has its much-vaunted "don't be evil" slogan, for example. Facebook just wants to help everyone to hook up to "share" and "like" stuff. (Strangely, there is no "dislike" button on Planet Facebook.) Amazon is fanatically committed to the philosophy that you – the customer – are always right. And so on.As a public relations posture this branding strategy has been a brilliant success. We loathe, fear or suspect many of the companies that dominate the offline world – energy utilities, oil companies and banks, to name just three sectors. Yet the giants of cyberspace seem to escape such opprobrium. Instead, it seems that we cannot get enough of the "free" services that they offer.Click headline to read more--
Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Sue Mather's insight:
Skepticism is not only healthy, but required in this day and age. In fact, probably always. There have always been people whose values have differed from others within the community, regardless of the time & place. To just blindly trust that another person, much less a company - which mandate, legally, required it to make a profit! - is naive, if not blatantly ignorant of people and life. Amazon has worried me ever since I read the Mother Jones' expose about the journalist who, while undercover, discovered the terrible conditions of all Amazon workers. At least those who pack our boxes with these goods, all of which seve, at such low prices, to undercut U.S. Markets at bricks&Morter stores, thus making Amazon even bigger and more powerful. She worked at one of Amazon's 57-58(?) 'Fulfillment Warehouses' that are mainly located in rural areas in the United States, paying low wages, requiring full-time employees to work just under the 'full-time' cutoff so they never receive health or other benefits, who are told via a handheld device how many steps to take in order to complete the process of fulfilling the next customer's invoice requirements, packing the box, taping it up , etc. And this over-educated, high-achieving employee said, "This is the first time in my life where, one, I've been told my best wasn't good enough, where my entire day was spent literally jogging and then climbing up then down ladders, then running to beat the clock, and never ever being good enough." We receive our "stuff" at others expense, and it's at emotional, physical, financial expense -- and since they're rural, it's the only 'game' around. I can't help but think of it as a modern type of work camp for the uneducated, the lower classes which have grown dramatically since the beginning of the 'new' century. If we were to propose a better way, instead of docilely and obediently waiting to follow the lead of others, what would you suggest? A solution, I mean?
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My Secret Gratitude Book

My Secret Gratitude Book | Trends | Scoop.it
“Today I sat down to write in my gratitude journal and I struggled a bit because I have had a few things on my mind that have been wearing me down. I decided to put them to bed by appreciating them. I know that being grateful has been enriching for me in a...”
Sue Mather's insight:
This reminds me again (today) how much it helps me to have a daily gratitude 'practice'. It reminds me of sociologist Brene Brown, UofTexas professor, researcher and the TED speaker whose TED speech went viral, who found after a decade-plus of studying 'whole-hearted' people that every single one of these people with great lives shared a daily commitment to expressing gratitude about their current life, in a disciplined way. (Through journal writing, going round the table with family members, one by one sharing what they feel grateful for, whatever. As Rollo May wrote in the book, Courage to Create, one must 'engage in the process'.)
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Rescooped by Sue Mather from Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
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Apple Security Flaw Is “As Bad As You Could Imagine”

Apple Security Flaw Is “As Bad As You Could Imagine” | Trends | Scoop.it
Apple acknowledged a major security flaw in its software for mobile devices on Friday but did so in such a low-key way that most users likely aren’t aware of just how at risk they might be if they fail to update their software.Plus, experts are saying that Mac computers could be even more exposed to attacks than the mobile software. So what is the problem? A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) vulnerability allowing hackers to intercept information that was supposed to encrypted.
24/7 Wall Street explains:Click headline to read more--

Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Sue Mather's insight:
Another reminder why, in this new era of Internet this & Internet that, to remember to keep your software UPDATED. Yet I must admit, in this age of lowered accountability, how will consumers really know what they/we must if such transgressions remain hidden, mysterious, or vaguely defined. Do we need to create harsher penalties for hackers so that others can be 'safe' online? What do you think would help?
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Rescooped by Sue Mather from Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
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Apple Is Already Building Its Next Massive Business And No One Seems To Have Noticed | BizInsider.com

Apple Is Already Building Its Next Massive Business And No One Seems To Have Noticed | BizInsider.com | Trends | Scoop.it
Spot quiz: What is Apple's fastest-growing product by total dollar sales?If you thought iPhones or iPads, you'd be wrong. Growth of both of those is in decline.It's actually e-commerce — via iTunes, iBooks and the app stores. Sales of extra, non-Apple "stuff" via Apple's products were up 19% to $4.4 billion in Q1 2014.This business is one of Apple's smaller lines, of course. But it's still impressive: If there was a standalone tech startup that was doing greater than $16 billion a year in digital e-commerce sales, and growing at nearly 20% a year, everyone would be talking about it.It would be the hottest company on the planet. It certainly dwarfs Zappos, an e-commerce company whose last reported annual revenues were just over $2 billion.While the tech press is obsessed with Apple's plans for an iWatch and a new Apple TV device, it's instructive to pay closer attention to the business CEO Tim Cook is actually already building. Because it looks an awful lot like Apple's future growth might come from online and mobile retail, not from creating new product categories with new, yet-to-be-invented products.Click headline to read more--
Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Sue Mather's insight:
Is ecommerce really lowering barriers to entry, so that the faltering middle class can regain its financial footing? And Apple since Steve Jobs ... was he able to leave a leadership that will continue to stay focused & innovative in combining marketing, quality and products that exude that certain je nais sais quoi? I hope so. (And yes, I just wanted to be able to use the phrase 'je nais sais quoi'. I wonder what its current equivalent phrase is? Here's an invite to all others who love words, sentences and the like. Any suggestions?)
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