Amazonia, July 22, 2019

July 22, 2019

About that JEDI contract? The big news is that President Trump is going to check out the $10 billion deal for the Department of Defense’s cloud computing initiative. The driver of the Bezos bulldozer owns the Washington Post. Allegedly Mr. Trump refers to the prestigious “real news” outfit as “Amazon’s Washington Post.” A good sign? Who knows. Other Amazon items the DarkCyber team processed this week were less interesting. Here’s a few which seemed intriguing.


Amazon wants patient data. (Note: With the patient data comes useful information about the prescription itself. Doctors in Florida, are you paying attention?) CNBC, which continues to surprise as a source of useful information, published “Amazon Threatens to Sue Major Pharmacy Player If It Prevents PillPack from Accessing Patient Drug Data.” We noted this statement in the write up:

PillPack was informed this week that it will soon be cut off from accessing that data via a third-party entity, ReMy Health — a move that could seriously complicate its business. Amazon is considering legal action against Surescripts to halt those efforts, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. One person told CNBC that PillPack has already sent a cease-and-desist letter to Surescripts.

Several observations:

  • Executives are fearful of Amazon. For a reason, read “Amazon Brand Control” below
  • These data feed into other Amazon “areas of interest”. DarkCyber speculates that delivery information, compliance data, and policeware services may benefit
  • Amazon doesn’t have a direct deal with Surescripts.

DarkCyber believes that Amazon’s “customers” may provide a bit of shadow power to make “sure” the information is provided. And if Surescripts decides to sue Amazon in an expensive, lengthy court battle? A deal may result. Worth monitoring this pharma-SUE-tical matter? Yep.

The Pesky EU and Amazon

Antitrust: Commission Opens Investigation into Possible Anti-Competitive Conduct of Amazon” makes clear that the European Commission has a new project for some of its lawyers, INSEAD graduates, and accountants: Amazon. Here’s the problem:

Amazon has a dual role as a platform: (i) it sells products on its website as a retailer; and (ii) it provides a marketplace where independent sellers can sell products directly to consumers.

Is Amazon a monopoly? Judge for yourself by reading “Amazon Brand Control.”

Amazon Brand Control

The Rupert Murdoch “real news” outfit published “Amazon Seeks More Brand Control.” DarkCyber thought the story left an important point unstated; for example, monopolies exercise their power directly and by fiat. The “real news” outfit reported:

The program — which allows brand rights to be bought for a fixed price on 60 days’; notice—… is part of a push by Amazon to obtain a stable of exclusive brands for the platform.

What happens if a “brand” does not want to play ball? Well, there’s eBay, driving for Uber, or an Amazon warehouse job. You can read the write up for free if you can find the dead tree version of the Murdoch property for Friday, July 19, 2019, B-1. If not, you can click here but you may have to pay. “Cutting out the middleman” is a nice way of saying, “My way or the highway.” A rose by any other name is still a  — Prime day rose?

Bloomberg Identifies Amazon’s Most Serious Research Project

Bloomberg’s judgment can be measured against its reports of spy chips on motherboards. Now the company has turned its attention to Amazon’s research projects. Forget the policeware and intelware activities. The rubber hits the door mat with Amazon’s retail store experiments. You can get the Bloomberg analysis of Amazon’s “most ambitious research project” in this July 18, 2019, essay/analysis. Note that you may have to pay for this insight. The write up states:

Will all this work be worth it? Some Go stores seem almost deserted except for the lunchtime rush. Employees familiar with Amazon’s internal projections say the outlets in Chicago, in particular, are falling short of expectations, and the company has had to resort to raffles and giveaways of tote bags and other branded goodies. Yet, as the turbulent history of the project suggests, the Go store isn’t so much the culmination of the company’s efforts but something closer to an ongoing experiment.

Plus, there’s a picture:


DarkCyber heard that in one Go store, humans were added because theft was an issue.

Amazon Police Map

Here’s The Most Complete Map So Far Of Amazon’s Ring Camera Surveillance Partnerships With Local Police” looks like this:


Is Amazon in the policeware business? You judge for yourself by checking out this mostly ignored item. Also, how many of these “installations” are trials, freebies, and demonstrations? Some trial are ending; for example, Orlando’s.


For more on this topic, DarkCyber offers a for fee webinar on this topic. Write us at darkcyber333 at yandex dot com.

Prime Day Data

DarkCyber has no way of knowing if the data in “Amazon Just Announced Prime Day Data, and the Staggering Numbers Beat Black Friday and Cyber Monday Combined” are accurate. But the numbers do seem to be beefier than those reported by Nordstrom and other outfits of that ilk.

So how big? Well…

  • 175 million items sold
  • 175 million Prime members
  • Each Prime member bought 1.75 items

Do these numbers look similar? Sophisticated analysis for sure.

First Transnational Bank of Amazon

The FTBA does not exist yet, but some think it may arrive. “Can Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon Transform Banking? Yes, and They’re Closer Than You Think” states:

Amazon’s competitive advantage is its ability to build cloud-banking much more securely than banks. It’s leading in the cloud, so this means your banking would no longer need to be local, it can be global. One account for all currencies.

The write up even suggests that one obtain a consultant’s research report to make the case for FTBA. Objective? Sure. DarkCyber believes everything its team reads on the Internet, including ITPortal’s analyses.

Amazon Fee Triggers

Amazon published in April 2019 a paper called “AWS Reliability Primer.” The idea is that one must consider how much of each of these “values” an AWS developer requires:

  • Operational excellence
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Performance efficiency
  • Cost optimization.

From a technical or architectural point of view, the write up provides useful information about the linkage between what Amazon can deliver and what one’s budget can tolerate.

DarkCyber thinks that this list of five factors explained in 62 pages of text highlights where costs can skyrocket if the AWS “customer” makes bad decisions.

Best practices or we warned you? You decide.

Amazon Stock Value

Seeking Alpha knows that fear, uncertainty, and doubt are good for some businesses. “Amazon’s Slowing Growth May Sink The Stock Following Results” opines:

AMZN is seeing a deceleration of growth in many of its business units. It could result in the stock pulling back following the results to around $1,800 based on an analysis of the chart.

Disaster looms, but one can tap Seeking Alpha for financial advice.

Amazon Satellites

Is this a $100 billion per year business? Motley Fool (“fool” in shorthand) states:

Amazon confirmed its plans, saying, “Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world,” according to an Amazon spokesperson.

Satellites may be more reliable than floating Loon balloons.

Amazon Sales Reorg

Seeking Alpha published “AWS Reorganizes Sales Leader.” The site reported:

Web Services shuffled its sales team’s senior leadership earlier this year to clarify roles and eliminate confusion of multiple pitches to the same customer.

Criticism of AWS Firecracker?

Tech Republic’s “The Clearest Sign of AWS’ Open Source Success Wasn’t Built by Amazon” seems to be critical of the Bezos bulldozer. The write up states:

AWS Firecracker is great open source technology, but the best indication of its open source success is what Weaveworks built on top of it.

We think this means that Amazon provided a foundation, and another company used that foundation to create a successful solution.

The write up is a bit convoluted, and it preserves Tech Republic’s ability to keep the doors open to content sponsors.

Partners and Integrators

Datadog is now competent in AWS migration. Source: MarketWatch

Northern Virginia Community College will train US Marines to use AWS. Amazon seems to have some confidence in its winning the JEDI competition. Or, this could just be another “train people to use Amazon” play. Source: World Socialist Web Site (real news all the time we assume)

SnapLogic offers a quick start for those wanting to put a data lake on AWS. It appears that SnapLogic will work with Agilisium. Source: Help Net Security

ZenDesk moves to make customer data more actionable. We are not sure what “actionable” means, but with an expanded AWS service, DarkCyber has high hopes for understanding the concept. Source: Yahoo

Stephen E Arnold, July 22, 2019


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