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Amazon

Flickr Photo/Ted Leung

What happens when you become a star and then you’re not anymore? Where do you go after that?

Seattle guitarist Dave Dederer was a member of The Presidents of the United States of America. In the '90s they had three top-40 hits, two Grammy nominations and a platinum album.

Dederer’s star has faded but his career hasn’t. Now he’s at Amazon as the head of music programming. Bill Radke asked Dederer what made him switch careers.

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.

Flickr Photo/Ron Doke

Amazon has partnered with the United States Postal Service to offer Sunday package delivery in New York City and Los Angeles. The initiative is believed to be mutually beneficial. The USPS gets to expand one of the only areas where it is actually making money – package shipment. Amazon can more closely compete with the brick and mortar stores that boast Sunday hours.

Amazon's business is built on three basic concepts: faster delivery, greater selection, and cheaper prices.

In service of that, it has built enormous warehouses staffed largely by robots that shuttle around, pulling goods out of bins at remarkable speed. It can take just a matter of minutes to go from order to shipment.

And lately it's pursuing a program where Amazon goes directly into manufacturers and manages their logistics and online retailing.

The inside of the elevators at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. People who work at Amazon refer to themselves as Amazonians.
Flickr File Photo/cheukiecfu CC BY-NC-ND: http://bit.ly/1MUXs0y

There was big news from our region’s tech giants this week: Microsoft's profits are up nearly 17 percent over the past year, and Amazon now has more than 110,000 employees — passing Microsoft for the first time ever.

Nick Wingfield covers technology for The New York Times. He talks with Marcie Sillman about the latest tech news coming out of Seattle.

Brad Stone's book "The Everything Store."

Amazon is envisioned as a one-stop shop for anything you might wish to buy. Jeff Bezos is the overseer of the massive website, keeping a heavy finger on operations, staying focused on the customer and thinking on a very long time scale. Journalist Brad Stone profiles Bezos in his new book, “The Everything Store.” He talks with Steve Scher.

KUOW Photo/Jake Warga

Technology companies have been among the bright spots for job growth in the region. They are hiring a lot of one particular kind of employee—software engineers. Those are the people who design, develop and test systems and software.

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has purchased the Washington Post for $250 million, and that has a lot of people wondering what's next for the legacy media company.

Brad Stone, senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, has written a book about the mega-entrepreneur. It's called, "The Everything Store,” due out in October. He said the sale was a surprise for many, but in keeping with the way Bezos thinks.

KUOW Photo

Brian Carver is one of two candidates challenging 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin in the August 6 primary. The other is Socialist Alternative Party candidate Kshama Sawant.

Carver holds the title principle product manager at Amazon's Kindle direct publishing division. He has an MBA and an engineering master's degree from the University of Washington.

Carver ran unsuccessfully for an open City Council seat in 2009. He's been a local Democratic Party activist in the 43rd Legislative District. He says improving the city's schools is his top priority.

On the web:

Brian Carver's campaign website

Amazon And The Business of Selling Books

Jul 9, 2013
Flickr Photo/Zhao !

  Seattle’s own Amazon is the largest bookseller in the United States. Amazon enjoys a market share of 25 percent in print books and 60 percent in e-books. Recently, some of their prices have gone up. Ross Reynolds talks with a researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance about how she thinks Amazon’s market share changes the business of selling books.

RIP Retail: Will Amazon's New Game Plan Change Shopping As We Know It?

Jun 20, 2013
Flickr Photo/Stephen Cannon

  Amazon has a new game plan: same-day delivery. By building warehouses in the middle of large metropolitan areas, Amazon wants to bring you groceries and goods immediately. That’s big competition for traditional retailand some people are speculating it could mean the end of traditional retail. David Hyde talks to Patty Edwards, retail analyst and the chief investment officer for Trutina Financial about how Amazon is changing consumerism.

Canada, Culture And Commerce

May 1, 2013
The Canadian flag.
Flickr Photo/Christopher Policarpio (CC BY 2.0)

BC’s Premier Candidates Meet In First Debate
The four candidates who want to be British Columbia’s next premier met for their first TV debate on Monday night. Jobs and the economy topped the agenda. Analysts say the embattled Liberal Party premier didn’t get the knock out she needed to hold on to her job. Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun joins us to discuss the election.

When Words Don’t Matter: The Non-Verbal In Movies
The classic science fiction film from Stanley Kubrick, "2001: A Space Odyssey," told much of its story through image, gesture and sound. The spoken word was often secondary to the plot. According to film critic Robert Horton, a new film, "Renoir," relies on images to convey mood and feeling to moderate success.

Grocery Delivery Services Benefit The Environment
A new University of Washington study suggests that deliveries by trucks are actually better for the environment than each of us driving to the store in our own cars. That might be good news for Amazon Fresh. The company has been testing this grocery delivery service in Seattle since 2007. There are indications Amazon is planning to expand Fresh to other markets. Todd Bishop explores how Amazon Fresh and other grocery delivery services are faring.

Why Does Amazon Support Online Sales Taxes?

Apr 2, 2013
AP Photo/Scott Sady

It's rare that you get Republicans and Democrats agreeing on taxes, but that's what's happening in the other Washington and it might impact us here in the evergreen state.

The tax bill known as the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 would require Internet retailers who make more than $1 million in sales annually to collect sales taxes even if the retailer isn't physically located in that state.

What In The World Is Turkopticon?

Mar 20, 2013
Flickr Photo/Matt Wetzler

When we think of crowd sourcing, we often think about Wikipedia or Youtube, but  Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a different type of crowd sourcing.

Mechanical Turk is an online marketplace where employers can hire thousands of workers to complete tiny tasks such as identifying objects in a photo or editing a description.  Workers are offered no benefits and are not protected by minimum wage laws. They are paid per task, often as little as 20 cents, occasionally as much as $5. But sometimes, they aren’t paid at all.

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

The Mechanical Turk was a fake chess playing robot that fooled Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin. Today the Mechanical Turk is a service Amazon provides, linking workers with people who need tasks done. Some pay as little as a penny. Critics call Mechanical Turk a digital sweatshop. Ross Reynolds talks with Jonathan Zittrain, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, about working for points, Mechanical Turk and artificial-artificial intelligence.

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