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Analysis and Comment (19)

La Grande Danse Macabre, printed by Matthias Huss, Lyons, 1499. La Grande Danse Macabre, printed by Matthias Huss, Lyons, 1499. British Library

Hachette v Amazon, the death of print and the future of the book

The public clash between Hachette and Amazon has been making headlines for a while now, most recently around J K Rowling’s latest novel. Amazon bowed to consumer pressure after complaints that the book…
Outside the box. Amazon’s new direction makes sense. Outside the box. Amazon’s new direction makes sense. Uwe Zucchi/EPA

Amazon’s smartphone launch offers a prudent platform for growth

Amazon, the e-commerce internet giant, is launching its first smartphone. Media attention is focusing on whether the phone’s features, such as its rumoured 3D interface, are really as cool as portrayed…
Amazon data centres like these power the internet. Amazon data centres like these power the internet. Eric Hunsaker

The key to a green internet lies beyond Amazon’s data centres

Environmental group Greenpeace has slammed Amazon for its environmental practices in its latest report on the green credentials of the technology industry. Greenpeace is concerned that Amazon Web services…
MongoDB co-founder and chairman Dwight Merriman still writes code. MongoDB co-founder and chairman Dwight Merriman still writes code. TechCrunch/Flickr

The new technologies needed for dealing with big data

While much focus and discussion of the so-called “Big Data revolution” has been on the data itself and the exciting new applications it is enabling — from Google’s self-driving cars through to CSIRO and…
Lush’s gripe with Amazon is an explosive issue and it’s not just about ethics. Lush’s gripe with Amazon is an explosive issue and it’s not just about ethics. firepile

We might regret backing Lush over Amazon in trade mark wars

The ongoing battle between cosmetics company Lush and internet retailer Amazon is starting to give off a distinctly unsavoury odour. At the beginning, many supported plucky little Lush as it sought to…
That’s one way to get around Facebook’s facial recognition. That’s one way to get around Facebook’s facial recognition. mw238

Privacy 2013: from Snowden to Facebook to Amazon’s drones

While every year since the advent of the internet has had its share of privacy stories, 2013 has been a cornucopia of news about surveillance and personal data. Undoubtedly, the biggest story of the year…
A race to the bottom on cloud costs sounds good on the surface, but it could also drive volatility for cloud users. A race to the bottom on cloud costs sounds good on the surface, but it could also drive volatility for cloud users. shutterstock.com

Cloud price wars could drive ‘volatility as a service’

Since Google announced the launch of its Compute Engine in mid 2012, the competition for this lucrative slice of the cloud market has heated up. Amazon AWS, which has the lion’s share of the cloud infrastructure…
You can wait a long time for a postman to show up in the country. You can wait a long time for a postman to show up in the country. amandabhslater

Small businesses think smart to keep up with Amazon drones

The biggest names in internet retail appear to be dramatically stepping up efforts to make delivering your online orders, fast, reliable and extremely hi-tech. But in a week in which Amazon talked up its…
Amazon worker wraps someone else’s Christmas present. Amazon worker wraps someone else’s Christmas present. Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Moral outrage at Amazon is cancelled with a click

If there’s any time of year that retail companies fear bad press it’s in the run-up to Christmas, so undercover footage revealing gruelling work conditions which was broadcast last week and the ongoing…
UAVs as small as 10cm by 2.5cm are already in use for surveillance by the military. What are the privacy implications if these devices become easily accessible? UAVs as small as 10cm by 2.5cm are already in use for surveillance by the military. What are the privacy implications if these devices become easily accessible? Defence Images/Flickr

Amazon’s eyes in the sky and pig farmers might fly

What happens when an Amazon drone drops through your roof or lands on the neighbour’s toddler while delivering a parcel? Can an unhappy pig farmer shoot down a drone operated by animal rights activists…
Not quite ready for your Christmas orders. Not quite ready for your Christmas orders.

Don’t count on Amazon drone deliveries just yet

Apparently keen to inject a bit of fun into its image after a damaging few weeks of press coverage, online retail giant Amazon has announced that it is experimenting with the use of drones to deliver its…
Dell and IBM are two companies feeling the pinch by the growing corporate shift towards cloud computing. Dell and IBM are two companies feeling the pinch by the growing corporate shift towards cloud computing. Mauritz Antin/EPA

Clouds bear down on computer hardware companies

When Amazon, known by most as an online department store, extended its web services business into Australia in 2012, few outside the IT sector noticed. Data released last week by the Australian Securities…
Megafauna such as Glyptodon were muck-spreaders. Megafauna such as Glyptodon were muck-spreaders. Pavel Riha

Megafauna extinction affects ecosystems 12,000 years later

If Earth were like a human body, large animals might be its arteries, moving nutrients from where they’re abundant to where they’re needed. Currently the planet has large regions where life is limited…
The internet sent newspapers back to the drawing board. The internet sent newspapers back to the drawing board. Achifaifa

Washington Post sale points to a quality future for newspapers

Perhaps the proverbial tipping point in US print journalism has been reached. With the US$250m acquisition this week of The Washington Post by Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos, the US newspaper…
Washington Post: yours for a mere $250m. Washington Post: yours for a mere $250m. Daniel X O Neil

Why would anyone buy a newspaper?

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, has bought iconic newspaper The Washington Post for US$250m. Cash. The first question to ask, then, in age where newspaper readership and sales are plummeting…
Companies can keep on ducking tax, despite what the OECD says. Companies can keep on ducking tax, despite what the OECD says. Yahoo! Inc

OECD tax avoidance plan is no quick fix for EU

The long awaited report on combating corporate tax avoidance by the OECD sadly has to deal with a corporate tax system which is unfit for purpose. It is a follow-up to the G8 meeting last month in Ireland…
Tax protests outside a Starbucks in London. But do people really care enough to make a difference? Tax protests outside a Starbucks in London. But do people really care enough to make a difference? Steve Parsons/PA

Consumers won’t boycott Apple or Google over tax … yet

The tax arrangements of major brands such as Google, Apple and Amazon have prompted a fierce debate over questions of organisational ethics, social justice and international co-operation. But as a consumer…
Online retailer Amazon has come in for criticism since it was revealed they electronically tag their factory workers - does this represent the ‘new world’ of work? Online retailer Amazon has come in for criticism since it was revealed they electronically tag their factory workers - does this represent the ‘new world’ of work? Scottish Government

The brave new world of work: where employees are treated as criminals

Every age has its estimate of the pressures and perils of work. Adam Smith, writing in the 18th century, focused on the toil and trauma of work. Karl Marx, writing in the 19th century, spoke of the alienation…
When it comes to IT products, Australian consumers pay more than their American counterparts. When it comes to IT products, Australian consumers pay more than their American counterparts. AAP

When the price is not right: technology price gouging in Australia

Apple Inc. has often portrayed itself as the champion of consumers, with its advertising campaigns on “1984”, “Think Different”, and “Rip, Mix, Burn”. However, this reputation has been called into question…

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