Tag: bezos

Save the planet and make stuff in outer-space

pigs in spaceNever mind outsourcing manufacturing to foreign parts, it is a better idea to outsource into outer space, according to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Talking to the Code Conference Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that we have to start bringing parts of the industrial economy to space in order “to save Earth”.

He said that Earth was the best planet and we need to protect it and the only way to do that is by going out into space.

“You don’t want to live in a retrograde world where we have to freeze population growth.”

Tasks that require lots of energy shouldn’t be handled on Earth. Instead, we should perform them in space, and he thinks that will happen within the next few hundred years.

“Energy is limited here. In at least a few hundred years … all of our heavy industry will be moved off-planet. Earth will be zoned residential and light industrial. You shouldn’t be doing heavy energy on earth. We can build gigantic chip factories in space.”

Solar energy, for instance, is more practical for factories in space, he said.

“We don’t have to actually build them here. The Earth shades itself, [whereas] in space you can get solar power 24/7. … The problem with other planets … people will visit Mars, and we will settle Mars, and people should because it’s cool, but for heavy industry, I would actually put it in space.”

Of course there is the small matter of getting product’s cheaply back to the earth’s surface and the construction materials to the factories, but we are sure Bezos’ team at Amazon will have worked that out in a few hundred years.

Fire disaster was a good thing claims Bezos

Hindenburg3Budget bookseller Jeff Bezos has been telling the world that the Fire Phone disaster was good for the company.

Amazon’s wizard idea to start flogging a smartphone, the Fire Phone, was a major flop that cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.

But according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the Fire Phone was a “tiny little blip” compared to some of the larger experiments his company is working on now.

“If you think that’s a big failure, we’re working on much bigger failures right now. And I am not kidding. And some of them are going to make the Fire Phone look like a tiny little blip,” Bezos said.

He said that the size of mistakes needed to grow along with the company, Bezos said. “If it doesn’t, you’re not going to be inventing at scale that can actually move the needle.”

The great thing is when you take this approach, a small number of winners pay for dozens, hundreds of failures. And so every single important thing that we have done has taken a lot of risk taking, perseverance, guts, and some of them have worked out, most of them have not, he said.

Other failed projects included the hotel-booking site, Amazon Destinations, and auction site, Amazon Auction. But it’s also led to massive successes, such as its Amazon Web Services and the Amazon Echo, which is why Bezos likes to call the company “the best place in the world to fail”.


Trump threatens Amazon with antitrust charges

trumpuckerComedy US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has threatened that Amazon will be facing antitrust charges if he is elected.

Trump claims that Amazon.com, the world’s biggest online retailer, has “a huge antitrust problem.” Trump also said Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, is using the newspaper to influence politicians in Washington to help Amazon on taxes.

“The Washington Post is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed,” Trump said.

“He’s using the Washington Post … for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of antitrust,” Trump said.

“He thinks I’ll go after him for antitrust. Because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much, Amazon is controlling so much of what they are doing,” Trump said.

Clearly he does not really care that he just gave Amazon a reason to sink as much money as is reasonable into rival candidates, but then again he has a lot of money already.


Jeff Bezos buys the Washington Post

Analysts claim that Jeffrey Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post is a chance for the newspaper industry to evolve into something more relevant to the 20th century.

The Amazon founder wrote a $250 million cheque for the Washington Post and is believed to have a cunning plan to save newspapers.

In a statement, Bezos said that he is very optimistic about the future of the paper.

To many this means Bezos wants to try to change newspapers in the same way he did the book business.

The Post has seen a rapid decline in print advertising, a loss of subscribers and challenges in building up online revenue.

Bezos indicated that he wouldn’t make radical changes in editorial operations and would continue to emphasise accountability journalism.

But he said that the paper will need to “invent” and to “experiment,” focusing on the internet and tailored content, to address the changing habits of readers.

The LA Times said that this is the first time a true digital native is buying a newspaper publishing company.

It quoted Alan Mutter, a media consultant and former newspaper editor, as saying that Bezos had the means, motive and opportunity to re-envision what it means to be a newspaper in the digital era.

Bezos will own the Post outright, buying it with his own money, not Amazon’s. By taking it private, he won’t be subject to shareholders who want a quick buck. 

Figures prove that patent wars are killing tech industry

It is starting to look like Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is right – patent wars are killing the tech industry.

Bezos, who famously encouraged his staff to file for controversial web patents on obvious ideas like “one click to buy”, appears to have had a change of heart and is turning into an advocate for patent reform.

Now new research, seen by InfoWorld and published as a consequence of the America Invents Act, supports Bezos’ worries.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted a study on the effects of patent trolls on the economy by using figures squeezed from the Stanford IP Clearinghouse (now called Lex Machina).

Covering five-years from 2007 to 2011, the report identifies and classifies patent activities across all industries and uses a statistically significant sample to draw conclusions.

The researchers concluded that the number of patent troll law suits have increased significantly over the five-year period.

Four of the top five patent litigants in America exist solely to file lawsuits.

In most cases the claims never reached court, and the main impact of patent trolls was probably in the costs they impose way before litigation commences.

The main goal of patent trolls is to extract money from their victims without ever going to court.

Most of defendants settle because patent litigation is risky, disruptive, and expensive, regardless of the merits. Patent trolls set their royalty demands strategically well below litigation costs to make the business decision to settle an obvious one.

Technology industry cases constitute half of all patent suits and in the software industry, internet-related patents were litigated 7.5 to 9.5 times more frequently than non-internet patents.

When cases actually go to court, they are often unsuccessful, but since most lawsuits from patent assertion entities are settled out of court that does not really matter.

The figures show that most patent trollage is conducted in secret with lots of NDAs floating around.

One in six patents covers smartphones and these make up the bulk of the cases.

The report suggests that software patents are far too easy to obtain and are poor quality, with prior art invalidating them if one is able to check. But fighting them is too expensive for start-ups who will often go under instead. 

Amazon puts Kindle on Macs

Online retailer Amazon.com has unveiled “Kindle for Mac”, an application which lets regular Mac users buy and read books on their PC, instead of having to shell out for a Kindle ebook reader. Discerning Apple munchers who don’t want to spend money on a lesser-specced iPad can simply head over to www.amazon.com/kindleformac and download Kindle for Mac, for free.

Amazon.com claims the Mac bunch can have a looksee and choose from over 450.000 books and oh-so many New York Times bestsellers. Bookmarks and notes will be automatically synchronized over various devices, so if you hit page 417 of Umberto Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum” you won’t have to fiddle around on 23 various devices until you get there. Full text search and notes aren’t part of Mac for Kindle yet, but  those features will be added in the future.

Steve Jobs won’t be seen using Kindle for Mac, as he’ll be showcasing his flashy new iPad, trying to convince people how revolutionary his tablet and ebook reader will be. However, Amazon is going to put Kindle software on the iPad, so one might indeed catch a glimpse of Steve-O secretly reading the Financial Times on an app that doesn’t place the publisher into a walled garden surrounded by Apple watchtowers.