Amazon apparently still working on the 1-day grocery delivery program
Geekwire's Todd Bishop report that at the annual meeting of shareholders, Jeff Bezos assured shareholders that "They have made progress on the economics over the last year" and are "making good progress" in this area.
Bishop writes that there have been a series of clues - most recently the report that Amazon has been installing refrigeration systems at more of its distribution centers across the nation, presumably to support a wider grocery rollout.
I wonder about the demand for that. I have Safeway delivery available but used it just twice, preferring to pick out items, lazy as I am.
Catching up on some news
Amazon's TV pilots program
Verge's Chris Welch reports that for Amazon's pilot TV programs tested with Amazon customer reviewers, their final picks included "Alpha House (starring John Goodman) and Betas (centered around a Silicon Valley startup)," the latter "easily our favorite."
Zombieland won't be among those to be greenlit. What was interesting was the reaction by Writer/producer Rhett Reese who went on Twitter (@RhettReese) to tweet,
"I'll never understand the vehement hate the pilot received from die-hard Zombieland fans. You guys successfully hated it out of existence."
Browsers is another one that didn't make the cut.
Have you heard of Big Library Read?
It's almost over, but Overdrive explains it this way:
' Big Library Read is a pilot program in which libraries worldwide offer a single eBook to their patrons. In addition to creating a global “library book club,” Big Library Read is designed to demonstrate the positive exposure and sales influence library eBook catalogs provide to authors and publishers. It will spotlight one title for a set time period for library patrons around the world to read simultaneously. The program is sponsored by OverDrive, with initial support and participation from Sourcebooks, Inc., a leading US independent publisher. 'The first one is by Michael Malone and is available on OverDrive Read, Kindle (US only), EPub, and PDF.
Library partners were invited to participate in the pilot program beginning May 15 - June 1, 2013 and, according to a column by Wright Stat U's libraries, 7,500 libraries around the world were participating on opening day.
They say their "Lending Model" is "Simultaneous Use for May 15–June 1, 2013 and then one copy/one user following the pilot program" and for the pilot period, "the eBook will be simultaneously available for any and all readers with a library card to browse, sample, and borrow."
You can read more about how it works at Overdrive's page. This is a late report I'm adding but there are a (very) few more days, for anyone interested, to try it. And look toward the next one.
US DOJ lawsuit against Apple (Big 5 Publishers settled) doesn't look promising for Apple
Reader Edward Boyhan alerted us to a Reuters report that U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, the federal judge who is set to oversee the trial beginning June 3, gave her tentative, preliminary view on the case during a pretrial hearing Thursday but 'stressed that the view was not final and that she had only so far read some of the evidence,' per Reuters' writeup. A quote:
' I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that 'An Apple's attorney said, "We strongly disagree with the court's preliminary statements about the case today."
I imagine Apple will use its plentiful funds to appeal, to the highest court who will hear it, any adverse ebook-pricing lawsuit judgment, since Apple has apparently gone to amazing lengths to avoid what many consider its fair share of U.S. taxes to support what is available in this country to companies and individuals.
"The Corrosive Effect of Apple's "Tax Avoidance" -
That's the headline for The New York Times's article by Floyd Norris on May 23, adding another loud voice to reactions country-wide. His commentary is on the fact that corporations can now choose how much tax they will pay (which loopholes to use), an accepted strategy.
' The news was that Apple had found a way to move a large part of its income to subsidiaries that claimed to not exist anywhere, at least when it came to paying taxes.You can read a lot more at the NY Times article
Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, had good reason to call that the holy grail of tax avoidance.
Senator Levin, and the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, John McCain, tried to make the point, again and again, about how unfair the current system is to domestic companies, which cannot hide profits overseas, and to ordinary taxpayers, whose income is derived from salaries and investments that are automatically reported to the Internal Revenue Service. '
Boston Herald's Marie Szaniszio reports on the assertion by Citizens for Tax Justice's that in shipping "$102 billion in profits offshore into non-existent companies in Ireland," Apple has avoided paying $35 billion in taxes.
We understand the use of loopholes -- but using "non-existent companies" in another country to avoid paying taxes to your home country that provides the opportunity to make that income? The main problems are in the tax code and the reality that most individuals cannot access these benefits and as a result will wind up paying more of the taxes lost to those loopholes.
The Guardian writes that "Apple chief executive Tim Cook warned Congress that he would refuse to repatriate a total of $100bn stashed offshore unless it acted to slash the 35% US rate." The report added that
' Cook's testimony to a Senate sub-committee investigating multinational tax practices largely confirmed its findings that Apple had taken tax avoidance to a new extreme by structuring these companies so they did not incur tax liabilities anywhere. 'There are over 800 comments to the article.
If interested, see more available stories and general reaction.
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