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2018-07-16 13:06 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 95 references
[Comments enabled]  

There's utterly no reason to "shop" on so-called Prime Day, says this column.

As a long-time defender of shopping holidays like Black Friday, and as an avid Amazon.com shopper, I should be the natural audience for Amazon’s “Prime Day.” Yet despite being a lover of deals, I don’t do any “Prime Day” shopping.

Every year the hype around the sale swells and the actual day is a big disappointment.

Well that's because you fail to understand the purpose of "Prime Day."

It's not to offer you some sort of deal on things you actually want or need.  It's to psych you into paying upward of $100 a year for something you don't need -- an intangible membership that brings nothing of real value beyond "faster, sometimes" shipping, along with conning you into placing spying devices with always-active microphones (or worse, cameras) in your house!

In other words it's simply a sop to get you to fork up money for something of no value or worse.

Why shouldn't Bezos take advantage of people being stupid?  If you want to shower money on the guy who has done more to screw US small business than anyone else in the history of the country, and has reaped billions by ****ing Americans out of their jobs and companies, well have at it.

Frankly were I a small businessman I'd find a way to discover if a potential customer was a PRIME member and, if they were, charge 'em an extra 20% on everything they bought in my store.  Why not when that sort of price discrimination is not only legal the exact same sort of thing is used by Spamazon to screw American businesses in order to favor Chinese ones!

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Oops....

KOREAN BEHEMOTH OF MOBILE Samsung is reportedly rushing to fix a bug in its messaging service which is causing photos to be sent without the user asking.

The Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ and Note 8 have all shown evidence of the glitch, which is causing the Samsung Messages app to send photos - sometimes one, sometimes the entire ruddy gallery - on, sometimes before you've even noticed it's happening.

Here's the really scary bit - you might not even know it has happened, unless the recipient is honest about it with you, and given some of the stuff you store of your smartphone (we all know, we are everywhere), that could lead to some slightly, erm, awkward conversations.

Don't worry, there's nothing on your device you care about -- right?

Like.... nude pictures of your girl/boyfriend/whatever?

Or.... even worse?

That's almost-certainly not a carrier problem by the way.  Indeed, the likely culprit is a programming problem, and the more-malicious (and much darker) possibility is that it's due to an "intent" action being exposed that shouldn't be coupled with someone who knows about it.

For the uninitiated you can pass data between parts of an app this way.  You're not supposed to do it via open (e.g. not process-local) broadcasts, at least not without very good attention to security (and there's no reason to do it anyway within an app because using a system-wide facility makes the OS do a lot more work than it really needs to.)

But if Samsung is trying to pass this capability between apps they provide then it gets dicier indeed, especially if the issue isn't that they screwed up directly but rather that they left the door open and someone knows about it.

Why's that really bad?  Because it would allow that "someone" to not only trigger it but, potentially, choose where they go too.

Surprise!

PS: Don't expect any level of detailed disclosure on this when it gets fixed -- especially if it's the latter problem..... 

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2018-06-28 14:45 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 179 references
[Comments enabled]  

Beelzebezos is getting even more-brazen.  Having played that game with sales taxes up to the point that the Supreme Court came down on his head he is now turning to labor law and seeing how far he can push that edge.

The online retailer says it will offer incentives to get entrepreneurs to set up their own small package-delivery businesses as part of Amazon's latest effort to solve the challenge of getting goods to customer doorsteps.

Amazon unveiled one of the dark gray Prime-logoed vans that it wants to lease to delivery businesses on what it says are attractive terms.

It also said it would provide uniforms, fueling plans and insurance programs for fleet operators and even offer classes on tax, payroll and other small-business challenges.

Except they're not independent contractors.

They're a captive business and, as a result, in the end analysis, employees.

Now granted, the dodge here they're attempting is that they are trying to get people to run multiple vans.  This of course means more than one person, since I've yet to figure out how to drive more than one vehicle at a time.

That's how, I assume, they'll get around whether those "entrepreneurs" correctly classify said drivers and whether there's a wee wage, hour, working condition and similar problem (like, for example, unemployment insurance costs, liability insurance, etc.) and having it blow up on them if and when that's not done as it should be.

This should be absolutely disallowed -- under the basic principle of agency if you set the terms of the engagement to the degree that a putative "business" is effectively a captive part of your firm in that it works for nobody else then legally the liability should be jointly yours (and the captive's.)

 Amazon says qualified entrepreneurs could start businesses with as little as $10,000, although that does not include the cost of hiring drivers.

What Amazon was willing to pay per delivery, per mile driven or per month was not disclosed.

Of course not.

Here's the problem -- these are "captive companies", much like a company town's "store" that claims to be "independent."

It's not, yet there's a cute game going on here called "You're gonna get screwed in the ass and I will talk you into saying it's ok because you're too inexperienced to realize you're about to get ****ed, so you'll sign up for it 'willingly'."

If there was a viable business here why would Amazon pay some other company to do this on a captive, Amazon-only basis?  Yet you're sure not going to be allowed to deliver for other than an Amazon-owned enterprise in a truck plastered with Amazon logos!

Think about it folks.  UPS and FexEx, of course, serve millions of customers as shippers.  It works for that specific reason.  Nobody works for free and the first rule of business is that the more hands money passes through in performance of a task the more it costs.

Amazon isn't going to pay more than they could otherwise pay.  Nobody does that on purpose.  Therefore this "opportunity" is almost-certainly deceptive in some form or fashion because if it wasn't, and if you could really run 40 trucks and make $200,000 a year after paying all the expenses why wouldn't Amazon just keep the $200,000 times however many "entrepreneurs" they are going to allegedly "empower"?

The answer is that there's a screwing -- either known or believed -- embedded in there that you're not being told about and if you knew about and fully understood it you wouldn't do it.  Consider this folks -- Jeff Beelzebezos thinks that screwing is in there or he'd simply do this internally by hiring Amazon employees to drive said trucks!

Of course nobody in the so-called "business media" has pointed that simple little mathematical fact out -- that this so-called "opportunity" makes about as much sense as the "opportunity" to buy a time-share in Orlando does.

PS: The other acquisition?  It's whacked all the pharmacy companies today but my question has to be this: How much margin is there really in a company that takes pills and puts them in little "daily dose" sorts of packaging?  I got the slant-eye response when thinking about this one being a profitable venture.....

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2017-07-20 15:38 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 257 references
[Comments enabled]  

How do you stop Zuckerpig's privacy invasions?

Boycott anyone who advertises on those sites -- do not buy and do not do business with in any other way.  How do you know they're advertising?  You see "Sponsored" or any sort of video ad from a given entity.

This post is exempt and will never go away.  I will add to it as I see new companies, and if you do and can confirm it to me I'll add them.  Here's my pledge: If I see an ad from your firm on any of Zuckerpig's properties or sufficient confirmation (e.g. seeing such an ad on someone else's device in the app) I will never buy anything from you.

You choose -- you advertise and pay that company to do so, you lose my business.  To get it back you must permanently pledge to never again advertise on any Facebook-owned property, in public, via a formal press release or other similarly-verifiable and public method.

Oh and you get one second chance, never more.

Advertising is legal.  So is refusing to do business with you because you are the primary and in fact nearly the sole source of funds for a company that does things I consider detestable.

So here is the start of it folks, and yes, it will grow.... check back often!

  • Best Buy (Oh well; I've bought plenty there)
  • REI (this one hurts; I like them.... but no more!)
  • Big Green Egg (Sorry *******s, I was interested but NOT NOW!)
  • Southwest Airlines (all airlines SUCK, but now these ****ers are on my blackball list)
  • Consumer Reports
  • Inked Magazine
  • Runner's World (oh well!)
  • 30A clothing company (oops -- that one's local)
  • The Heritage Foundation (oops again!)
  • Huffington Post (no loss there)
  • A&E TV
  • We Are The Mighty (Military-oriented news org)
  • Orbitz
  • LinkedIN (be a paying customer and you're blackballed - as employer or employee!)
  • iHeartDogs.Com
  • Pensacola Runners Association (ouch; they sponsor races I'd run in...)
  • National Geographic (oh well)
  • CNet (Bleh)
  • 22 Words (Clickbait garbage, but heh)
  • Theclymb.com
  • Active.com (oops again; and I have bought quite a lot from gearup...)
  • 12 Tomatoes
  • The Penny Hoarder (yeah, another clickbait garbage site, but..)
  • SoWal (oops -- bye-bye Walton County beach businesses..)
  • Innermost House (San Fran Non-profit... good for some west coasters)
  • NTD Television
  • The New York Times (shock - NOT!)
  • Conservative Tribune (news)
  • Netgear (Router/ipCam/etc manufacturer)
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