Amazonia for June 10, 2019

June 10, 2019

Grind. Grind. Grind. This is the sound of the Amazon bulldozer. It complements the buzz of the Amazon delivery drone. Enjoy news of the world’s favorite online book store.

FedEx Express: Not for Amazon

Jeff Bezos got fired. by FedEx. A tough message to accept from FedEx’s MBAs.

FedEx, despite its confidence in Amazon as a customer, seems to be doing a rethink. “FedEx Will No Longer Provide Express Shipping for Amazon in the US” revealed that the company conceived in an MBA class:

decided not to renew its express U.S. shipping contract with Amazon. The company said in a statement that it was a “strategic decision” and that the change won’t affect other existing contracts with Amazon, including international shipping.

With Amazon refurbing the Cincinnati / Covington airport (a bit of a white elephant), FedEx is edging toward the realization that Amazon wants some or all of FedEx’s business. DarkCyber once used FedEx several times a week. I can’t recall the last time I sent or received a FedEx envelope. The deal affects air deliveries, but when Amazon rolls out its smart electric delivery devices, FedEx may have to check out another MBA class, but even these are becoming unattractive. Students find that many courses are taught by worn shoe types or are no longer offered. Imagine. An MBA taking a class in ethics. When it has to absolutely, positively get there overnight, we use email or just wait for the Amazon delivery. We received a surprise same day delivery. That’s speedy. DarkCyber has to instruct Amazon to deliver on certain days to make sure there is someone around to collect the box. The cute but invasive magic door bell does not ding dong for us.

Amazon Usurps the Sidewalks of Suburbia

Not really. More accurately, not yet. “How Amazon’s Delivery Robots Will Navigate Your Sidewalk” explains that cute, rolling breadboxes with six wheels, will delivery products to customers. How the little cute breadboxes will get up steps, enter apartments, avoid testosterone fueled teens, street robbers, old people who push the machines into the gutter with their electric wheelchairs, and other assorted actions is not clear. Assume that the breadbox does trundle up in front of a dwelling. How does the package get from the Amazon wheeled vehicle to the consumer. Will a couple of disgruntled youth baseball players carrying aluminum bats vent their frustration on the cute but smart vehicles? Interesting idea. I wonder if Amazon spends much time checking out the real world.

Amazon Embraces Diversity

CNBC, a surprising news source, revealed that the “elite S Team” has a new member. Before you ask, “Who?”, it is Rick DeSantis. Mr. DeSantis has worked in the jungle for more than 20 years. DeSantis has held various engineering positions, but he’s best known for helping launch Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the cloud service that lets other businesses offload much of their data center needs to Amazon. He joins 18 other Amazon chieftains. This band of elite individuals make key business decisions. How many women are members of the S team? Guess. [a] one, [b] one, [c] one. Time’s up.  Amazon suggests that it is into diversity. There are, after all, four women among the top 48 Amazon executives.

Amazon Telephone & Telegraph

NoJitter provides more information about Amazon’s communications initiative. “AWS Gets Serious about Cloud Communications” explains that Chime unified communications or UC in phone lingo is getting more beef. Among the enhancements are speech analytics, including translation capabilities. The article explains:

The Amazon Chime updates revolve around broader voice capabilities. Chime already has rich chat, meetings, and collaboration features. Now AWS is adding two new features. The first is business calling capabilities that enable users to place and receive calls and text messages in more than 100 countries directly from the Chime desktop application, mobile client, or Web interface. Callers can use the integrated keypad or click or tap to call on a Chime contact. Incoming calls will ring wherever a user is logged in, so if a worker has the desktop app and mobile client logged in, it will simultaneously ring on both devices. The addition of native calling puts AWS in the competitive crosshairs of all the UCaaS vendors. In addition, the company is trying to disrupt the market by changing the pricing model. Instead of pre-paying per user, businesses only pay for the minutes used. Administrators can provision as many phone numbers as they need to but only pay for calls made. If a worker makes no calls on a number in a particular month, the business isn’t charged. There are no minimum fees or long-term contracts.

Are AT&T, T Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon listening? Why should they? The Motley Fool has spelled out four reasons why Amazon is not into the telephone business. And the reasons? Well, being a phone company is expensive. Second, Amazon will focus on drones autonomous vehicles. Third, telcos are low margin businesses. (Groceries apparently are not, DarkCyber concludes.) Finally, the crack regulatory legal eagles would block that sort of move. NoJitter? Obviously unrelated.

UAW Banking Work: Off the Radar for a Reason

Amazon Teams with Emirates NBD to streamline banking services. This is an important announcement. Amazon is applying its technology outside the US. At some point, the services will find their way to other countries. What services can Amazon offer as a financial partner? Credit checks, anyone? Supplementary data for tax purposes? Source: Marketwatch

High Street Could Become Low Street

Amazon Sellers to Hit UK High Streets in Year Long Pop Up Pilot” makes it clear that Amazon is testing the robustness of High Street vendors. A “high street” is a row of shops selling everything from UK food faves like McVitie’s biscuits to a washing machine the size of a bread box in my grandmother’s kitchen.

According to the write up:

Internet shopping has been blamed for boarding up high streets across the UK. So it looks politically judicious for Amazon, the original ecommerce behemoth, to now be attaching its brand name to a pilot project aimed at sparking a little commercial life in denuded UK towns and cities by parachuting online SMEs into pop-up shops around the country.

DarkCyber sees the test as way for Amazon to figure out how to capture more UK shoppers’ money. If the test works, the high streets may be renamed Baja Close. Will an Amazon pop up merchant offer gilded lilies?

Amazon Channels Sears’ DIY Houses

Amazon Is Selling Entire Houses for Less than $20,000 — with Free Shipping” reports that Amazon is embracing the past. Even though the Bezos bulldozer crushed dear, old Sears & Roebuck, Amazon’s canny executives flipped through a dead tree catalog from the now moribund mail order company and found inspiration.

This is the Amazon five star Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit | 540 SQF + Loft (Triple Glass Windows and Doors) for $33,990 and free shipping. Like the original Sears’ customers are do it yourselfers. But some people will want to have expertise in handling trivial tasks like plumbing, electrical work, and the site preparation. Basic skills.


Amazon’s search system makes it tough to locate these products. Persevere or write us at darkcyber333 at yandex dot com. We can help, but we do charge money. Payment in Amazon fractional “points” is not accepted at this time. In case you don’t recall the printed Sears’s catalog from 1908, here’s what one of its house ads looked like:


What happens if Amazon bundles a house building service with its kit? Sounds like a possible play if the tiny houses sell.

Vroom. NASCAR Selects the Amazon Cloud: No Rain Days

Yahoo, a go to source for big time news, reported that NASCAR picked Amazon as its cloud provider. DarkCyber learned:

AWS has been selected by National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) as its cloud-based machine learning and artificial intelligence workload provider. This highlights the power and reliability of AWS services.

NASCAR and artificial intelligence plus automobile racing videos. What will SageMaker discover?

Ama-Drones Aloft

Techcrunch reports:

It’s an ingenious hexagonal hybrid design, though, that has very few moving parts and uses the shroud that protects its blades as its wings when it transitions from vertical, helicopter-like flight at takeoff to its airplane-like mode.


DarkCyber call it an Ama-Drone. Some may prefer this type of design dating from the mid 2000s, however.

Snap and Buy

Fancy someone’s duds? Now you can take a picture on your mobile phone and Amazon will find the product or a near match. You can then buy it. Why spend time selecting clothes or doing the hunter-gatherer procedure. Source: The Verge

Alexa: Talk and Apps

Why search? Talk and use Alexa apps. Typing is so yesterday. Smart software and speech recognition with a dash of personalized data analysis. Magic. Source: Wired

Amazon: A Top Artificial Intelligence Company

According to Datamation, Amazon is the number four AI company. Keep in mind that this is an alphabetical list. The write up states:

The online retail giant offers both consumer and business-oriented AI products and services and many of its professional AI services are built on consumer products. Amazon Echo brings artificial intelligence into the home through the intelligent voice server, Alexa. For AWS, the company has three primary services: Lex, a business version of Alexa, Polly, which turns text to speech, and Rekognition, an image recognition service.

Partners and Integrators
  • AnythingIT. We’re not sure we know how one recovers cloud assets. Nevertheless, the company doe it with Amazon. Source: Finanzen
  • CrowdMachine offers ASW to its customers. CloudMachine eliminates complexity and brings data to life. Source: Host Review
  • Cruz Street is an Amazon QuickSight provider. Source: Digital Journal
  • Ricoh has expanded its relationship with Amazon. Source: Business Insider’s Market Insider. (Note that you may have to pay to read the story.)
  • ScaleGrid can now handle “bring your own cloud” to the new computing paradigm which is timesharing sort of. Source: Yahoo
  • Lemongrass Consulting is able to do SAP things in the Amazon cloud. Source: Virtual Strategy
  • McAfee (not the fellow staying out of the spotlight except when he is not) will add security to the Amazon AWS cloud. Not a moment too son, we think. Source: Yahoo
  • Modiface allows a mobile user to try on a new lipstick. Source: Chain Store Age
  • Tripwire is in the Amazon jungle. Source: Yahoo
  • Northwest Vista College is an Amazon “teach ‘em to code the Bezos way.” Move along, code doggies. Source: Yahoo

Stephen E Arnold, June 10, 2019


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