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Amazon & UPS To Deliver Packages Via Drones

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Amazon is excited to share Prime Air — something the team has been working on in their next generation R&D lab. The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as they advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations.

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World’s largest parcel service, UPS, also been experimenting with its own version of flying parcel carriers.

UPS has kept quiet about its plans, perhaps because any drone delivery project is years away from being legal and operational. UPS has a number of different ways it might utilize drones. It could offer something similar to Amazon’s Prime Air, or it might use them to help move packages around its own warehouses. In some ways, say industry experts, this is no surprise. “I would be shocked if a company like UPS wasn’t considering this,” says Ryan Calo, a law professor specializing in drones and robotics. “If you want to compete in logistics and delivery, drones and unmanned robots have to be part of the conversation about where things are headed.” Calo was skeptical of the video offered up by Amazon, where a drone drops off a package in a family’s suburban driveway. “I think from both a tech and a policy perspective, delivering to consumers in residential areas is going to be tough thing to accomplish any time soon,” says  Ryan Calo, a law professor specializing in drones and robotics. “But a company like UPS could use drones to bring packages quickly and cheaply from a major airport or city to pick-up centers in more remote locations, speeding up delivery for a lot of customers.”

Amazons Demand Fro Trustworthy IT Professionals As It Bids For CIA’s Cloud

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Amazon has more than 100 job openings for people who can get a top secret clearance, which includes a U.S. government administered polygraph examination. It needs software developers, operations managers and cloud support engineers, among others.Amazon’s hiring effort includes an invitation-only recruiting event for systems support engineers at its Herndon, Va., facility on Sept. 24 and 25. Amazon was initially selected by the U.S. over IBM to build a cloud platform. IBM protested the award and prevailed in an administrative ruling. Amazon filed a 61-page complaint in federal court last month challenging the decision to re-bid this project. 

The vendors were required to address hypothetical scenarios. In one instance, it involved the processing of 100 terabytes of data. But the scenario was ambiguous, and the vendors priced it in different ways, making it impossible to compare prices, wrote Moran.

There were other issues with the bid, but overall the Ptak Noel report said the CIA “did a poor job with a poorly worded” request for proposals. The Ptak Noel report goes further and argues that the “CIA showed bias in favor of Amazon,” but it also faulted IBM, saying the company needed to do a better job of writing and presenting its proposal. IBM said it did not pay for the Ptak Noel report.

Amazon describes IBM as “a traditional fixed IT infrastructure provider and late entrant to the cloud computing market.”

IT’s analyst Charles King, says he’s “a bit uncomfortable with Amazon’s positioning” in the lawsuit of cloud services “as something new that a vendor like IBM is somehow incapable of delivering.”

The government was apparently willing to pay a premium for Amazon’s cloud implementation. The amount of the bid by the vendors wasn’t disclosed, but government evaluation of the bids put the prices at $148 million for Amazon versus $93 million for IBM.

Analysis of this dispute is difficult because the government has redacted parts of the information around it. But Bill Moran, an analyst at Ptak Noel & Associates, describes in a report, some of the problems the vendors faced.

 

Shoppers Flock To You Tube For Pre & Post Purchase Discussions

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More and more, users are flocking to YouTube  for all of their pre- and post-purchase discussions.  On YouTube, any product can be reviewed. There are no limits. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of products and services that you simply won’t find on Amazon or your favorite e-commerce site; those sites are limited to reviews of products they sell. YouTube is loaded with popular commercial product reviews . It’s not just about the volume and depth of YouTube reviews; it’s about the quality and the experience. Video reviews get viewed, commented on and shared (and sometime even go viral) on YouTube more than any other platform, which then sparks immediate discussion and product buzz for brands.

 

Copyright Making Books Disappear?

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A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows three times more books initially published in the 1850’s are for sale than new books from the 1950’s. Why? Professor Paul J. Heald, of the University of Illinois College of Law, and visiting professor at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) at Britain’s Bournemouth University conducted a study. The study presents new data on How Copyright  Make Books and Music Disappear, (and How Secondary Liability Rules Help Resurrect Old Songs). 

 Heald took “a random sample of 2300 new books for sale on Amazon.com,” also performing a similar analysis on music. He concluded that “Copyright status correlates highly with absence from the Amazon shelf,”  “Together with publishing business models, copyright law seems to stifle distribution and access.”

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