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Surreal trip through the $175 B Amazon Marketplace

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(courtesy of The Verge)

When you buy something on Amazon, the odds are, you aren’t buying it from Amazon at all. Plansky is one of 6 million sellers on Amazon Marketplace, the company’s third-party platform. They are largely hidden from customers, but behind any item for sale, there could be dozens of sellers, all competing for your click. This year, Marketplace sales were almost double those of Amazon retail itself, according to Marketplace Pulse, making the seller platform alone the largest e-commerce business in the world.

For sellers, Amazon is a quasi-state. They rely on its infrastructure — its warehouses, shipping network, financial systems, and portal to millions of customers — and pay taxes in the form of fees. They also live in terror of its rules, which often change and are harshly enforced. A cryptic email like the one Plansky received can send a seller’s business into bankruptcy, with few avenues for appeal.

Sellers are more worried about a case being opened on Amazon than in actual court, says Dave Bryant, an Amazon seller and blogger. Amazon’s judgment is swifter and less predictable, and now that the company controls nearly half of the online retail market in the US, its rulings can instantly determine the success or failure of your business, he says. “Amazon is the judge, the jury, and the executioner.”

That and more on the specific instance in the article that sounds Hellish and arbitrary at the Verge.

I purchase a lot off Amazon.  I did the vast majority of my Christmas shopping there.  I use Subscribe & Save, Prime Pantry, Prime Reload, Twitch Prime, and a lot of other Amazon programs.  I try to stay away from Kindle, but even have books there now, and excised Alexa in favor of Google Home (though it's really two devils in that case, rather than a devil and an angel).  But seeing these articles, it makes it hard to support them.  But so far, the convenience outweighs my conscience.  That, and knowing people who make a lot more money in that way than they ever were able to through Mail Order, eBay, and Brick and Mortar.


Anyone trying Flutter? (Android/ios cross platform dev tool from google)

Screenshot - 12_5_2018 , 5_37_50 AM_thumb001.png
Anyone trying Flutter? (Android/ios cross platform dev tool from google)

https://news.slashdo...ment-with-flutter-10

"Google has launched Flutter 1.0, the first stable release of its open source, cross-platform UI toolkit and SDK. "Flutter lets developers share a single code base across Android and iOS apps, with a focus on speed and maintaining a native feel," reports Ars Technica... Flutter apps are written in Dart, and the SDK offers programmers nice quality-of-life benefits like the "stateful hot reload," a way to instantly make code changes appear in the emulator. For IDEs, there are plugins for Visual Studio Code, Android Studio, and IntelliJ. "

See also https://arstechnica....nt-with-flutter-1-0/


World Chase Tag - The Game of Tag as a Sport

Pretty cool actually, World Chase Tag - The Game of Tag as a Sport




Funny Video: Multiplayer Flight Simulator Air Traffic Control Job

Here's an example of one of those things that illustrates the incredibly amazing age we live in, and an example of exactly the kind of humor that makes me smile to the core of my being.
It's a multiplayer flight simulator (Flight Simulator X) where people can take on different roles, including as pilots and air traffic controllers, without rules and governed only by their own love of the protocols of the real world jobs they are performing.
They play around with the real lingo and rules, and put their own psychotic little twists on things. LOVE IT.




Nice round up of recent new essays on computer gaming

rps.png
Rock Paper Shotgun's weekly roundup of computer gaming reading is filled with some particularly interesting reading this week:

https://www.rockpape...e-sunday-papers-506/

Of note is the link to a very long and  review of Red Dead Redemption 2: https://kotaku.com/r...ku-review-1829984369


DonationCoder featured on list of "9 Safest Free Software Download Sites"

Screenshot - 11_7_2018 , 5_15_10 AM.png
MakeUseOf.com featured us on "The 9 Safest Free Software Download Sites for Windows"  :Thmbsup:

Free software download sites can be dangerous. Visiting a bad site could end up with you smothered in fake download buttons and fake virus and malware warnings, which are usually malware in disguise... Donation Coder prides itself on providing free and clean software in exchange for nothing but donations.

https://www.makeuseo...ee-software-windows/


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