If you bothered to RTFA, CO2 emissions was the only metric used in the report. Hence the context.
Actually most CS PhD's out there don't do too heavy theoretical work. They do, however, write more proof-of-concept level programs and systems, than actually producing engineering quality programs.
Try to pick up a paper in non-theoretical journals or conference proceedings you'll see most of them describing a new concept or application of theory, and then its implementation. A lot PhD students come up with the concepts and write the code, which are sometimes referred to as "experiments". Many projects are even about making the programs themselves.
On the other hand, I agree a lot of theoreticians don't like to code, but a lot of them were also once quite good at it. They maybe did so much coding since before school that they began to hate it, or simply have little interest in pure engineering. Then you'll find some who still retain an interest in coding, and I think they are quite easy to spot.
Except you can now compare Kobo not with Amazon, but the e-book department of Amazon.
I didn't really buy into the CEO's comments because I believe Amazon would have had an e-book team larger than their entire company. But I didn't think his conclusions must be wrong, because indeed the Amazon would adjust its e-book related operations to serve the enterprise's other interests.
Now that I know Rakuten owns it, it's a different story.
It is interesting to note that politicians who claim to want the best for big business are NEVER themselves successful big business owners
I would worry about some other things when a powerful politician, who can deal with policies about businesses, also runs a successful business.
$125 is close to the median household income in the US
median household income per day
$125 is close to the median household income in the US. In other words, it's enough to sustain an average family for one day, covering taxes, food, mortgage, petrol, other non-essential stuff, and then some change to the bank. All for a silly number (more precisely a record over an international database) that won't take much more than a phone call, and in some cases just by clicking a few buttons online - it probably doesn't even directly cost them cash, as many governments use tax money to help sustain the system.
Then it's not the only cost to publish a book. You'd probably need to pay up front for marketing, distribution; other middle-men such as retail would at least take a cut from the final sales. It's like a store taking $1 per day just for the privilege to let a book to sit on a shelf in an obscure position. Looks cheap but it makes many paper-back books less than worthless to the author in a few days. If an author pays $125 for such triviality like an ISBN and it's "cheap", then I guess bankruptcy is also cheap. So it's got to be expensive.
The only way they could charge even $25 per number is because they have some kind of absolute power of granting ISBNs, and take advantage of the information asymmetry against "naive authors". The ridiculous $125 price tag, on the other hand, is probably more of a way to make $25 look cheap, as a common marketing technique.