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AOL Invests $100M In Amazon 94

jeffsenter writes "AOL is investing 100M USD in Amazon. CNET story. AOL and Amazon began partnering in 1997. AOL plans to integrate Amazon into its shopping channels further and Amazon will promote AOL as its exclusive ISP. The deal did not include purchases of advertising by Amazon from AOL as many such partnerships do." The money part I'm actually not that interested in - what I do think is interesting that given AOL's size and mass, the partnership of they and Amazon is going to be a pivotal one, complimenting each other very well.
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AOL Invests $100M In Amazon

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  • >We trade one evil for another. Netscape will save us from evil Microsoft, in turn becomes part of AOL who is now trying to out-evil even Microsoft.

    >So do they wait until Amazon goes bankrupt or is on the verge of it to buy them outright, or do they just pay Amazon enough money not to associate with MSN thereby depriving Microsoft of an ally?

  • We trade one evil for another. Netscape will save us from evil Microsoft, in turn becomes part of AOL who is now trying to out-evil even Microsoft.

    Turn and face the light!!! The Great Prophet Linus will save us from the enslavery of the Evil Microsoft and the AOL Heathens!!!

    Bend your knee and worship the Glorious Penguin of Power!!!

    Praise "Bob"!

  • there will be so much bandwidth consumed by people mentioning the full name of the combined AOL empire, there won't be any left for the rest of us!

    I still think they should have called it
    T ime
    W arner
    A OL
    T urner

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Keep in mind that a large portion (all?) of AOL's losses were goodwill/intangibles related to the merger/purchase of Time Warner. Meaning they still have a lot of money, and didn't have to pay taxes.
  • If AOL distributed their software on CDRW, which nearly all PC users drives can read now, AOL would be reducing trashin the landfills because people could blank the CDRW and reuse it if they don't want AOL's software. I used to do this when AOL came on floppy disk.

    AOL: Why don't you want to help the environment?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I view this as a threat to the future of the Internet. sure, it seems benign now, but think about 20 years from now.. there will be so much bandwidth consumed by people mentioning the full name of the combined AOL empire, there won't be any left for the rest of us!
  • by Sturm ( 914 )
    Cool. That gives me one more reason not to use Amazon.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @08:18AM (#65695) Homepage Journal
    Despite the fact that some people here don't like AOL, this is good news... and here's why.

    Amazon is a very high profile e-commerce site. People pay attention to what Amazon is doing... both technology people and business people. Amazon is perceived as a leader. And now that they're hooked up with AOL, the 'leader' will most certainly not become a Passport/Hailstorm site.

    I've seen signs of an AOL/Netscape equivalent to that, actually. I'd be happy to see Amazon be part of that family. Not because I'd use it (I wouldn't), but because it would establish that Passport isn't the only game in town. Web sites could end up offering their users a choice of centralized authentication/payment services, much like you can walk into any store and pay with your choice of major credit cards today. Imagine: "We accept Microsoft Passport, AOL [whatever], GNU [whatever], or self pay..."

    That's where I want to go today.
  • Let's see... according to Yahoo [], AOL posted a net loss of $2.10 BILLION for the last six months (up 8%), and Amazon posted a loss of $392 million. Between them, they've got about enough cash for another year or so.

    Perhaps AOL was concerned that they weren't losing money fast enough, and needed some help from the world's #1 dot-bomber: Jeff Bezos.

    "complimenting each other very well", indeed.

    I fail to be impressed by either company - it really doesn't take much hard work, or brainpower, to lose this much money, although it does take a certain... panache to convince the masses to fork it over. For all of those anxiously fearing the worldwide domination of AOL, don't you fret - just wait a year or two, and watch the demise.

    "But there's potential!" people say. Um, didn't we hear all about this a year or so ago? Look what happened...

    (nope, I'm not a bitter investor, just an old-fashioned engineer who thinks wealth should be created, and earned. I've never owned a stock in my life, just for the record.)
  • Exxonmobile bought BP a while ago...
  • what I do think is interesting that given AOL's size and mass

    Were you trying to say "what I do think is interesting is that given AOL's size and mass..."?

    the partnership of they and Amazon

    Try "them and Amazon". This might not seem like a big error, but Americans (at least in my region) typically get this one right. It's typically best to stick to standard grammar, but if you're going to be less formal, at least a substitute that's widely accepted in the vernacular...

    To an extent, I agree with the AC. Hemos et al are the editors for a respected site with a large following. There's no reason why they shouldn't use correct grammar (or, like I said above, some reasonable substitute). Before I gripe too much about grammar, though, how about having the editors take more than just a glance at the articles before posting bogus headlines? (See "pager spam" [].)

    Another victim of the analytical knife
  • Where's the monopoly? Or is this just one of those words that a lot of people around here throw out whenever something happens that they don't like?


  • I'm a stickler for accuracy, and it gets tiring seeing everybody running around and screaming monopoly every time they don't like something. I'm not blowing off your well-thought out reply with this post, I just don't have time to write anymore right now./p.


  • by wangi ( 16741 ) < minus pi> on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:00AM (#65701) Homepage
    What we're going to be doing at Shop@AOL now is combining a lot of elements of Amazon's shopping platform to enhance the experience of the users of Shop@AOL
    So they're getting '1 Click Shopping' then?

    Rather confused why Amazon would want AOL search technology too - it's search facilities are the best of the online book stores...

  • of course I knew I would make a mistake. surely, you jest, instead of surely, you just. :)

    -2 penalty for me I guess.. doh.
  • yes, i do realize that, but that's certainly no excuse to keep doing it today.
  • by BilldaCat ( 19181 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:20AM (#65704) Homepage
    what? an editorial error on slashdot? surely, you just.

    hey.. with fantasy football season just around the corner, this has got me thinking.. how about fantasy slashdot?

    All grammatical errors: 3 points
    All spelling errors: 2 points
    Forgetting to close the italic tag: 5 points
    Smart-ass comments from the author in the story: 5 points
    Using the l key to symbolize the number 1: 5 points
    Improper abbreviations: 2 points


    Jon Katz posts an article of less than 3 paragraphs: 20 points
    Your author actually comments in a story: 10 points

    I'll take CmdrTaco .. of course, that's kinda like fantasy golf, whoever picks Tiger Woods wins...
  • Looking at the morning's pre market 9% drop of AMZN following their quarterly "earnings" report, $100 million is a little more than 20% of the .523 Billion shaved off the AMZN market cap this morning.
  • by mac123 ( 25118 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:07AM (#65706)
    18 months ago, when AMZN was over 100, this would have meant a tiny fraction of the company.

    Now with the market cap under 6B, it means a whole lot more.

    18 months ago, the same stake would have cost ~$700M!
  • That this will put the kibosh on Wal-Mart's [] plans of outdoing Amazon, or suing them [] if they can't outcompete them...
  • Wasn't Q3 supposed to be when Amazon would make a profit at last? Or is that every quarter? Ah, no, it's the fourth quarter []. So that's all right then.
  • That's it. AOL invest in snail mail services all around the world as a method of leveraging the distribution of their CDs. It is, after all their core business.

    The truth is that the CDs are the larval form of an alien species which inhabit AOL parasitically. When there is one in every home they will spontaneously mature and eliminate all humans. Fear the Day of The Great Hatching.

  • You seem to be forgetting that AOL isn't a .com - it's part of Time Warner.
  • Amazon wants to survive (before this, my prediction had been that they wouldn't live for long). AOL's 100 million is what they wanted, and AOL's search technology probably didn't matter.

    The more-interesting question is what effect (if any) this will/won't have on the one-click controversy, and I don't profess to know anything about that!

  • Great, so now with every book you get a free cappuccino and another AOL Coaster, I mean CD.


  • Future, my swivel-chair spread! You left out GE. (Conglomco.)
  • what I do think is interesting that given AOL's size and mass, the partnership of they and Amazon is going to be a pivotal one

    How about: "what I do think is interesting that, given AOL's size and mass, the partnership is going to be a pivotal one"

    -1, dump it, bad grammar, edit and re-submit.

    Sorry, I was just over at K5 []

  • Amazon will promote AOL as its exclusive ISP

    Why does Amazon need an exclusive ISP? What does that mean anyway? It seems hardly likely that Amazon would reject book orders that didn't come in over AOL.

  • "the partnership of they and Amazon is going to be a pivotal one," In the 'circle jerk' sense, maybe.
  • I think you mean Amoco
  • Just think - now AOHell has all the user data Amazon accumulated. The now know what you buy, when, and how much you are willing to pay. They know what you listen to, and what you read.

    I just wonder if Amazon actually deleted my information when I cancelled my account with them.

    Oh well, I could use some AOL CDs now - shingle your house with them and you lower your air conditioning bill immensely!
  • by adubey ( 82183 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:24AM (#65719)
    Pray tell, how is buying a stake in a company that is pegged to go under anti-competitive?

  • Wow, another $100 million for Amazon to flush away! Now I get to wait ANOTHER three months before FuckedCompany final lists Amazon as dead and gone, and investors finally realize that the days of the DotCom are really, really over.
  • One more reason to buy from Barnes and [].

    Contrary to popular belief there are other booksellers out there. Some of which may not have sold their soul to the devil.

    Barnes and Noble also bought up [] so their selection for /.'ers should be pretty good.
  • "Promote AOL as Amazon's exclusive ISP"

    WTF? Amazon is not in the ISP business... how does this have anything to do with Amazon? How can Amazon have an exclusive ISP?

    This just doesn't make sense.
  • Oh, by the way...

    I just remembered reading something vaguely relevant on The Register - EU to investigate anti-trust Internet music companies [] . "The future of Internet music delivery has basically been put in the hands of just two companies: MusicNet, run by AOL Time Warner, EMI and Bertlesmann; and Duet, run by Sony and Vivendi". But it's likely to end in a merge between the two, not war - the two have already admitted to being in talks with one another.

    If you haven't read this article already, read it; it's worth the time.

  • by kaiidth ( 104315 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:39AM (#65724)
    AOL-Time Warner have interesting business habits... in the last couple of months, their assimilation's been looking like this:

    • Online music [] and Internet radio
    • Partner with Bertelsmann AG, EMI, and RealNetworks for MusicNet
    • A bunch of other usual suspect movie studios like Universal Pictures, who basically have to pay AOL-Time Warner for advertising airtime (although of course they're associated with Vivendi which probably means they have power all to their own)
    • Books- AOL have $100 million in Amazon...
    • Advertising- they're the US's second-largest advertiser, apparently.
    • Truly awful television (Popstars 2 out this fall)
    • Cisco, Swatch and Oxygen (marketing alliances)
    • Magazine publishing (UK publisher IPC acquired for 1.1 billion UKP)
    • EarthLink high-speed cable, Juno and High Speed Access on their broadband systems...
    • The subscription video-on-demand market in Columbia, SC (with HBO)
    • Grab the set-top box market with AOLTV/TiVo(TM)
    • Oh, and a bunch of US magazines, obviously
    • Your local supermarket (over 12,000 retail outlets have apparently signed distribution agreements to promote AOL... including Wal-Mart...)
    • There's even an AOL mobile service...
    • A strategic alliance with Sony for the PlayStation 2 (so you can use Instant Messenger, if it ever actually works)
    • Chinese top computer maker Legend (joint venture)
    • and a whole bunch of other stuff, including sponsoring Madonna's latest world tour...

    But then, their financial report [] for the second quarter of '01 claims that they're intending to "expand agressively", and see themselves as "The world's first internet-powered media and communications company, whose industry-leading businesses include interactive services, cable systems, publishing, music, networks and filmed entertainment".

    Oh, apparently AOL 7.0 will offer a new level of convenience, ease of use and other marketdroid speak that will make the service "central to members' lives". Can't wait.

    What, no Linux version? Darn. Looks like I'll have to after all.

  • The bombing will begin in five minutes.
    No way - weighed down by all those corporate logos the bombers will never manage to take off.

    Anyway, each side would know exactly what the other side was doing because they'd both be using their own propriety encryption protocols developed by the Adobe (AY ROT-13 ABTU) arm and Microsoft (Security? Huh?) arm of the respective zaibatsus, which would no doubt have already been cracked wide open by noncons (non-consumers) and publicised on the evil underground internet outside of the AOL and MSN borders. Senior ranking officers from Mega-Corp and The Conglomerate would just read each others emails ("You have corporate secrets!" / "Who do you want to spy on today?"), then dodge any attacks.

  • hasn't been updated in months... Any alternatives?

    ICQ 77863057
  • No, we're definitely playing the capitalist game here. Amazon is a capitalist entity that we want to defeat using capitalist methods. listed alternatives to that we could frequent to drive it home to them. Unfortunately, it's a bit dated.

    ICQ 77863057
  • the partnership of they and Amazon is going to be a pivotal one, complimenting each other very well.

    Bezos: Why, thank you, AOL.
    Case: Oh, thank you, Amazon.
    Bezos: No, no, thank you, AOL.
    Case: Oh I insist, thank you, Amazon.
    Bezos: Please please, thank you AOL.
    Case: Look, we gave you the money, so we get to give the thanks. thank you, Amazon.

    Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO.
    Steve Case, AOL CEO.
    Compliment: An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation.
    Complement: Something that completes, makes up a whole, or brings to perfection.


  • Ummmm... No.

    Exxon Mobil(largest company in the world, revenues of over $210 billion last year) has not bought BP(7th largest company in the world, revenues of almost $150 billion last year.

    Perhaps you were thinking of BP's takeover of Amoco a few years ago (ok then, merger *cough*).

  • Sorry to have sounded inept, but I do know what zaibatsu are. I lived in Japan for a while, and got to see them in action up-close and personal. I know that a bunch of merged comapnies isn't exactly the same thing as a zaibatsu, but I think it's reasonable to say that they would comprise the American equivilant of one.

    Anyway, it's only a joke, intended to be amusing before accurate. Also, it seemed a lot funnier at 4 AM when I posted it. ^_^


  • by rneches ( 160120 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:08AM (#65731) Homepage
    AOL Time Warner CNN General Motors Ford AT&T Glaxo Smithkline Beecham Amazon Sony Adobe ExxonMobile Texaco Chase Manhattan Hathaway Newport News Inc. (popularly known as Mega-Corp) has announced that it has declared that its rival, Microsoft Daimler Chrisler American Home Products Catapillar BP ABCDisney Barns and Noble Fox Viacom Novartis Boeing CitiGroup Lockheed ADM Sunoco John Deere Enron Apple Gerber A.G. (also known as The Conglomerate) is illegal. The bombing will begin in five minutes.

    Just what America needs. Zibatsu.


  • AOL owns HBO, which has without a doubt the finest original programming on TV. When CBS is rolling out crap like Big Brother2, NBC has The Weakest Link...HBO puts out gems like Six Feet Under.

    Added to which, on HBO I get the bonus of actually getting nearly an hour of programming per hour of viewing, as there are no commercial breaks. I am definitely willing to pay for this.

  • by Ars-Fartsica ( 166957 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @07:13AM (#65733)
    Firstly, click here [] for actual quarterly numbers from AOL.

    Secondly, there was never any expectation that AOL would not show a loss within one year after one of the largest mergers in history.

    TW ad revenues are up (when most other ad supported businesses are sucking), AOL has sewn up the consumer ISP market, and through partnerships continues to acquire vast swaths of the consumer landscape.

    It doens't take a rocket scientist to figure out that over time this will translate into an incredible amount of control and obscene profit margins.

    As for you "never owning a stock" - don't brag about that too much, even in days like this, stocks are still your best way to make money (yes kids, Priceline is up 400% in the last couple of months). Take on some risk man, you could get hit by a cement truck tomorrow.

  • I can see this as being the basis for the next big leap forawrd in computer technologies:

    Marketing Systems (as opposed to Operating Systems)

    Marketing Systems are systems designed purely for marketing purposes, with operations being hardly even secondary considerations.

    Where the have you been sticking your head? This is exactly what all the Personalization [] hype is about.
  • The dumb, steaming masses, however..

    Yes, I know this topic has come up a hundred times before, but why in the name of all that is holy is it that if someone isn't a friggin computer geek that admins at least 5 computers in their own bedroom is dumb?

    I think it is highly ignorant that if someone isn't as well versed in what YOU consider the ultimate in intelligence, they are labeled "dumb". Do people in other fields call everyone else ignorant and stupid if they don't devote their lives to that profession?

    If there were a slashdot for neurosurgeons, would they say things like "Those dumb, steaming masses who just go to Rite Aid and get aspirin for their headaches instead of cutting their skull open and actually fixing the damn problem...they will always be clueless." If that were the case, I think the universe might just collapse on top of itself due to its own arrogance.

    Just a rant, nothing more. Everyone continue saying people who aren't Linux admins must be stupid.

  • What kind of hypocritical thinking is that ?

    I think you're confusing me with the same people who had a big problem with the questions on the Census last year, decrying that it was an invasion of privacy by the government. Of course, at the same time, the same people were filing their income taxes, giving the government far more information that what was on the census forms.

    I'm not being hypocritical--as far as Amazon goes (which was what my post was about), they can use what CDs I buy or what type of RAM i use for whatever they want. THAT information isn't really sensitive.

    delete the traces they have innocently left in the early years on public forums without thinking much about the consequences.

    You know what, if someone posts a message to a PUBLIC forum, why should everyone who now has a copy of that have to delete it, just because the author now decides he doesn't want that to be public? It reminds me of a friend who posted pictures of him and his girlfriend doing the nasty on the internet, and then didn't want anyone to know about it. You know what? If you want something to be private, DON'T PUT IT ON THE INTERNET.

  • But everyone here seems to miss the point that these "dumb, steaming masses" have lives that don't revolve around computers or their OS. Most probably don't know what an OS is, or even care to know.

    When you go buy a car, do you really buy it for the fuel injection system, or is it mostly based on the way it looks and what amenities it has?

  • Agreed. Although I have to point out that an OS is probably more analogous to the engine, and a mouse/keyboard to a steering wheel.

    Of course, most people reallyy think that a cdrom tray is analogous to a cup holder, and use it that way.

  • I think you're taking my comments on AOL/Amazon and extrapolating them out to cover just about everything in existence.

    You and me and everyone else may not like this, but the fact of the matter is that when you post on Slashdot, or buy something on Amazon, you are bound by some agreement (explicit or implicit), that the information you are providing can be used in certain ways. Slashdot and Amazon are private entities, and can do certain things with the information, granted they inform you of it. If you don't like it, basically, you can post on your private message board or go to your local bookstore to purchase a book with cash.

    Saying that you want the right to VOTE to what happens in a private organization/corporation is just never going to happen, hence the term "private". Beyond that, you are represented in this wacky government of ours through the normal congress/president channels. If you want to have a more active role, run for an office! Please, someone with your views should be heard and *should* be making these types of laws.

    Unfortunately, in our not-so-perfect world, we have Strom Thurmond making laws about technology that he has probably never had any interaction with. But, so goes the world.

  • Just think - now AOHell has all the user data Amazon accumulated.

    Personally, I have no problem with this, it's not as if they are using your bank account balances, prescriptions, or any other actual sensitive information. Amazon's use of what I buy and shop for really makes their site so much more useful. When I go to the front page, there are actually items there I would like to have.

    I just wonder if Amazon actually deleted my information when I cancelled my account with them.

    And really, what privacy-trouncing action could they take with your information if they didn't delete it all with your account. So what, so AOL now knows you bought the 2nd Spice Girls CD. Well, I guess I see your point about that one.

  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:14AM (#65741) Journal
    I can see this as being the basis for the next big leap forawrd in computer technologies:

    Marketing Systems (as opposed to Operating Systems)

    Marketing Systems are systems designed purely for marketing purposes, with operations being hardly even secondary considerations.

    We have seen the gradual development of this type of thing with Microsoft. AOL and Amazon have the capabilities to really bring it to maturity.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • Found on Amazon's Associates Program page []... "Some of the most respected sites on the Internet are already Associates, including"

    If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
  • Yes. Didn't you see "Pi"?
  • actually, the spelling is the thing most obviously at fault:

    • compliment: an expression of praise of admiration
    • complement: a useful or appropriate addition to

    well, amazon and AOL might praise each other all day long, but i don't think that's what was meant in the original article. i agree with mr. anonymous, above: the slashdot contributors should learn to spell.

  • Amazon owns Alexa, Alexa owns the complete usenet and web archives of the first couple of years.
    Early at least offered nuke options for users to delete the traces they have innocently left in the early years on public forums without thinking much about the consequences. Since it was bought by Google, a same option has not been implemented. Just wait til Google sells its stuff to AOL. How much more blinded do you want to get ?

    The info lands in the hand of corporations. That is what is wrong with it.

    Strangely enough, if someone suggest that the people in the U.S. should register their place of residence (as it is done in other European countries), you hear an outcry of Americans protesting that their privacy and freedom would be restricted.

    But when corporation thrive on any information they can get about you, then it's ok.

    What kind of hypocritical thinking is that ?

    Quite frankly, corporations which don't delete the accounts of their customers, because they are just too plain lazy to do it, can go to hell. It should be mandatory.
  • Blech. It's the lame excuse of people, who can't find a better argument as to assume that all motivation for my point of view is rooted in some feeling of personal embarrassment, because one might have said something one regrets later, or in a some paranoia about Amazon or AOL logging my last purchase of a CD among zillions of other data.

    If the issue were that lame, I and, I assume, also you, would not fight over it.

    The meaning of PUBLIC forum goes much deeper than that.

    The whole idea that, what used to be defined loosely as PUBLIC forum in the pre-internet days, when most of our privacy laws were created, can be nilly-willy extended over to a world-wide accessible, indexable, searchable and storable medium of the internet, is just short-sighted.

    In pre-internet age content, generated for public usage on a publicly accessible medium, like a published book, a newspaper, a radio broadcast, in a wire transcript of a town meeting etc, was limited to your town, your newspaper-, film-, or library archives and bookstores. The distribution of archived material was limited to certain physical locations and their storage limited timewise. Before something was decided to be kept in public libraries (paid for by your government and my tax dollars) for good, librarians filtered it and made decisions about its relevance. Books have natural lifetime and go through an editorial process, as well as newspaper articles.

    There was not ONE medium in the pre-internet time, where material stored was not limited, compressed, managed, edited and filtered by some human brain. And if it was not done by a human brain, it was done by time. Sources fade away. Grass grows over things. The world goes on, repeating itself. People could count on that.

    All those pre-internet time archives had a clearly defined ownership. Either it was the government or a private entity or a corporation. For each of those entities, there was a legal framework of what they were allowed to collect and archive AGAINST the will of the people, who provide the things or content they collected. There was also a legal framework to regulate distribution, access and broadcasting of that content. In addition there were clear regulations about who was allowed to access this information and that people, who had the right to access the information, had to identify themselves.

    Nothing of that is regulated on the internet medium. Nowhere has it been decided upon BY THE PEOPLE, which represents the PUBLIC, who owns the archives generated on the "Public" forum of the web. I am member of the public. I don't own the archives, I even don't own my own comments. Right now, someone (VALinux) owns this comment. What is public about it ? It's private property of the VALinux corporation. The only thing public about it, is the fact that VALinux has decided to leave access to this comment on their servers open for world wide reading and searching for a yet undetermined length of time. It's their decicison, which they could make, because they own the archives, and NOT the PUBLIC. The fact that, as soon as VALinux to provide a world-wide readable web forum, it can't control the content anymore from being archived, logged, mirrored once it is out by someone else, does not mean by default that WE, the people, agree to give up that control of the content as well.

    It's not the government, who decides, which rights the government has to archive information they gather. It's the people who make the laws, which govern the government. The people decide that WE, the people, have the right to access all information, WE allowed the government to gather about US.

    If corporations (or the government) are gathering information about us, they find on the internet, and archive them, WE, the people, have NOT decided, that THEY are allowed to do that, nor have WE (yet) decided, that WE have a right to access all information, which was generated on the internet by US.
  • Saying that you want the right to VOTE to what happens in a private organization/corporation is just never going to happen, hence the term "private".

    Well then, if they are private, they are private and they should be allowed to do on their *private network* whatever they want with content provided by its users. But they should not be allowed to do whatever they want with the user provided content on the complete network of the internet, which they only own partly.

    Instead of demanding from me to use a private network, if I don't like their way of providing too little control over the content I provide to them, they should be asked to use their private network, where they then can have rightfully complete control user provided content.

    What do you deduct from the fact that they are private entities, but use the worldwide network publicly, as if the complete internet were owned by them in its entirety ? Neither VALinux, AOL/Amazon or the government own the internet alone, therefore neither should be allowed to decide about the distribution of content on the internet in a manner, as if the complete network were owned by just one of them.

    Let's say if the total of all existing servers on the internet were x million and the total of all available bandwidth were y million and VALinux would own 1/100 000 of the total number of servers and 2/100 000 of the total existing bandwidth, why should they have total units of control over the content distribution and not just 1/100 000 units of control, which would be their weighted shares of ownership on the total network ?

    Why is public usage and public ownership of the internet understood as if it actually would exist?

    I don't see any public ownership and almost no laws, which would govern that public property's usage by the people. I see only public usage without public control. Even if they own the content, they don't own the complete network on which they are distributing and allow uncontrolled third party usage of that content to happen.

    This is BTW not at all VALinux or Amazon bashing. It's just one example to make a point.

    So, what is the logic in supporting on the one hand the transparency and openess of the source code for the public, but at the same token accepting that publicly provided content is not free and not under public control ?

  • Is AOLs announcement [] of their new service plan. That could be very pivotal too.
  • Bad grammer, spelling and punctuation for it's [sic] own sake.
    Engilsh is it's own rweard.
  • (psst! don't let Amazon know!! :) LOLOLOL)
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    On referring to my notes I see that it was upon the
    14th of April that I received a telegram from Lyons
    which informed me that Holmes was lying ill in the
    Hotel Dulong. Within twenty-four hours I was in his
    sick-room, and was relieved to find that there was
    nothing formidable in his symptoms. Even his iron
    constitution, however, had broken down under the
    strain of an investigation which had extended over two
    months, during which period he had never worked less
    than fifteen hours a day, and had more than once, as
    he assured me, kept to his task for five days at a
    stretch. Even the triumphant issue of his labors
    could not save him from reaction after so terrible an
    exertion, and at a time when Europe was ringing with
    his name and when his room was literally ankle-deep
    with congratulatory telegrams I found him a prey to
    the blackest depression. Even the knowledge that he
    had succeeded where the police of three countries had
    failed, and that he had outmanoeuvred at every point
    the most accomplished swindler in Europe, was
    insufficient to rouse him from his nervous

    Three days later we were back in Baker Street
    together; but it was evident that my friend would be
    much the better for a change, and the thought of a
    week of spring time in the country was full of
    attractions to me also. My old friend, Colonel
    Hayter, who had come under my professional care in
    Afghanistan, had now taken a house near Reigate in
    Surrey, and had frequently asked me to come down to
    him upon a visit. On the last occasion he had
    remarked that if my friend would only come with me he
    would be glad to extend his hospitality to him also.
    A little diplomacy was needed, but when Holmes
    understood that the establishment was a bachelor one,
    and that he would be allowed the fullest freedom, he
    fell in with my plans and a week after our return from
    Lyons we were under the Colonel's roof. Hayter was a
    fine old soldier who had seen much of the world, and
    he soon found, as I had expected, that Holmes and he
    had much in common.

    On the evening of our arrival we were sitting in the
    Colonel's gun-room after dinner, Holmes stretched upon
    the sofa, while Hayter and I looked over his little
    armory of Eastern weapons.

    "By the way," said he suddenly, "I think I'll take one
    of these pistols upstairs with me in case we have an

    "An alarm!" said I.
  • Actually, on old typewriters, you created a "1" using the letter "l"

    Thank you, drive through.

  • Try "them and Amazon". This might not seem like a big error, but Americans (at least in my region) typically get this one right. It's typically best to stick to standard grammar, but if you're going to be less formal, at least a substitute that's widely accepted in the vernacular...
    Did you mean "use a substitute?" I always find it funny when a person corrects somebody else's grammar and munges their own.

    Of course, I probably just did the same without realizing it :)

  • by sstammer ( 235235 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:03AM (#65754)
    So that should last Amazon about 2 months to pay for their losses ($168M for the last quarter).
  • and what if amazon and aol refuse to play the .net game?
  • D*mn, I thought if they just tagged that onto their pro forma results they might come out a nickel or two ahead...

  • Improper abbreviations: 2 points

    wht's wrng w/ imprpr abbr's?

    How about an obfuscated english contest?
  • We trade one evil for another. Netscape will save us from evil Microsoft, in turn becomes part of AOL who is now trying to out-evil even Microsoft.

    It does seem that they want to lock down our connection, our content, and soon where we can shop.

    So do they wait until Amazon goes bankrupt or is on the verge of it to buy them outright, or do they just pay Amazon enough money not to associate with MSN thereby depriving Microsoft of an ally?

    I really wonder just how big the Feds are going to allow AOL/TW to get, and how many "special" contracts they will be permitted.

    The common theorey is, let them get entrenched so we //justice// can establish a pattern of behaviour, then label it anti-competitive, make them pay the Federal Government and States for daring to be uncompetitive, and tell the public how much safer they are... (even though prosecution is just a ruse to tax people via a third party)

    So how much more can they get away with before some state or the Feds come a knocking?

  • by baptiste ( 256004 ) <> on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @04:20AM (#65759) Homepage Journal
    Hey - at least AOL knows what they have is pretty lame and they are going to get the technology to improve their shopping services - at least they chose a decent company - the trouble I see is if AOL decides to exert more influence and buy more of Amazon - I mean, its scary teh subtle changes you see. Once the Time/Warner - AOL deal was done, I was amazed at how the numerous "go to URL to chat/read more/post, etc" that were at teh end of each TIME magazine article quickly disappeared and were replaced by just AOL keywords - which doesn't do me squat. Personally I think that they are hurting themselves. Not all TIME subscribers are AOL members - if they think stuff like that is gonna force me to be one - ha - not likely. I thought TIME was doing a good job trying to integrate their Internet properties with teh maagzine - now its all AOLacized which is sad.

    But such is life. Same goes for CNN, I think it has changed drastically and not for the better. It used to be a hefty site with lots of goodies and tons of links on teh main page. The 'new look' feels to AOLacized - simpler, lots of flashy color backgrounds, and MUCH fewer links to choose from. That and it seems like the news quality and quantity of news reports has decreased. Again - a shame.

    So while this investment isn't AOL buying Amazon, if they ever do, I shudder to think what will happen as AOL 'simplifies' the look and feel of Amazon, reducing its usability that so many have come to enjoy

  • Amazon owns Alexa, Alexa owns the complete usenet and web archives of the first couple of years. Early at least offered nuke options for users to delete the traces they have innocently left in the early years on public forums without thinking much about the consequences. Since it was bought by Google, a same option has not been implemented. Just wait til Google sells its stuff to AOL. How much more blinded do you want to get ?
    The ability to delete your old posts never should have been included. Usenet has always been a public forum with some amount of memory. DejaNews and now Google have just extended the length of the memory. I've posted a couple of things that I wish I hadn't, but I would never consider deleting it. Time goes on and people (sometimes) mature, everybody has done something they wish they hadn't, sometimes people do these things in spectacularly public ways.

    Even if you can pull a post, you can't pull the 20 or 30 posts that quote you and point out that you're an imbecile. If it teaches people to think before they speak then its a valuable lesson.

    People embarass themselves on slashdot all the time. Slashdot is archived and indexed by google. Should google provide opt-out on a per post basis? Should slashdot allow you to delete your old posts or articles?

  • It was an AC post, just like this one. They start at zero. I don't think it got modded at all, though it is Funny/Insightful.
  • Oops...apparently I wasn't posting anonymously there. :P
  • "the partnership of they and Amazon is going to be a pivotal one, complimenting each other very well. "

    Yeah, "pivotal..." So you've got Time Warner on content, AOL on internet, Time-Warner/Roadrunner on broadband, Amazon on sales. No monopolies here, no sir, just a little friendly synergy.

  • Mmm, maybe you've got me here. I'm bitching about old news - the AOL/Time Warner merger - and throwing a measly $100 Million at Amazon doesn't really affect things much. So somebody for god's sake moderate my comments out of existence as irrelevant. C'mon, get with the program, people!

    Still, as long as we're on the topic, I'm one of those who wasn't too happy to see one of the tiny handful of huge content providers (from books to blockbusters) merging with THE huge ISP, and having the FCC ask a copule questiones about whether Time Warner would still sell cable access through other ISPs and what AOL was up to with instant messenger servicing (suing the phoneme IM into submission, among other things) and then saying, hey, go for it guys.

    Once upon a time there was a theory that too much media power concentrated in the hands of a few was a BAD THING because the truth would take a back seat to the private interests of that small group of people. Some of the remedies for this were to limit how many media outlets a single entity can own and to separate the PRODUCTION of content from the DISTRIBUTION of content. Maybe "monopoly" is not the best word to throw around in this context but SOMETHING should be said when the single clearest example of the violation of this principle starts throwing money at (arguably) the most recognized vendor on the web.

    One may justifiably ask, are these concerns legitimate? Is there evidence that the media is exercising undue influence? You tell me - I couldn't help but notice that when Congress passed the abhorent 1996 Telecommunications act, there was vanishingly little media converage of the widespread dissent to this legislation. The massive free giveaway of the digital television spectrum barely registered a blip on commercial TV news - although those of us who chose to watch that bad ol' liberal-bias public television got the scoop. One of those mealy-mouthed liberal politicians did take note of the situation, and gravely (and as it turned out, correctly) predicted that the mainstream news would fail to cover the issue. What was that guy's name again? Oh yeah - Bob Dole.

    So what exactly is your beef, Zico? Just a stickler for terminology, or do you actually this kind of business is a GOOD thing?

  • So since AOL and Amazon partner up, and M$ and AOL are tring to hash it out...does that mean Amazon will stop selling Linux stuff?
  • by CrackElf ( 318113 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2001 @05:03AM (#65766) Homepage
    I agree with this prognosis, since they both base their business on ripping off the less intelligent.
  • No, but if you're lucky, you might just get 1000 free hours of AOL with every order! Yippie!
  • That's 'zaibatsu' with two a's. And you really should do a bit more research into what they actually are (or were, since they theoretically ended with the American occupation). For one, there were many more than two- that would not have provided too much oppurtunity for backstabbing, double ganging and triple dealing so typical of the real zaibatsu. And which companies would make up the bottom ends of the families? Adobe and John Deere?!?
  • Mmmmmm kay. I know the '4am funny' syndrome. BTW they mostly survived the Americans during the occupation (corruption, you gotta love it) but they are generally known as 'keiretsu' nowadays. Keep up the good fight, buddy.

  • Just wonderful. From the same executives that screwed up the Redskins and the Capitals.
  • No worries, you have a shiny new coaster to rest your coffee on as you read your new book.

  • Amazon will promote AOL as its exclusive ISP

    I wonder how many busy signals Amazon will put up with before they go get a real ISP?

  • It's like a washing car machine with a exclusive brand of shampoo.
  • 1-click for AOL and a massive user database for amazon, and more taxes deductions for AOL (for the donation to amazon)
  • With Amazon's announcement that they have just finished their 17th quarter of straight losses, and have dimished expectations for income revenue for the rest of this year, you have to wonder. Clearly, AOL isn't doing this for the short term, but more for the clout that this sort of consolidation relationship brings.

    So, the multinationals just keep growing. Big surprise, eh?

    Like my economics profs always said..."In the long run, we're all dead." But I'm not quite sure that's what they meant....

  • I remember getting AOL floppies and just formatting them and relabeling them. AOL should use CD-RW's so at least the 9 billion of their disks that are not going to be used to install AOL can be used for something more usefull.
    Recyling instead of wasting.

  • I hope this will help Amazone lower their prizes. Then this will benefit all of us who actually do use their online store

    "Are traditional advertisers going to spend money there?" Styponias asked rhetorically. "That's what keeps me up at night watching AOL. That and their subscriber growth."


    If it's wet, Drink it! []
  • Ya got tons of cash, America Online... you might as well spread it around. Why give some to me too? And let me take this time to thank you for supporting Winamp, thanks to you, AOL, I can enjoy my tunes for free.
  • yup, they're slowly but surely tying up the distribution channels for all media. I Heard of a project 4 years ago where Time-Warner tried to create pay-per-view channels that ONLY showed time-warner flix.. it bombed of course, Fair Game ran for 3 months. Knowing what Time-Warner wants, and seeing AOL-Time-Warner get Amazon underneath their thumb is scary.
  • and they said we didn't need the StarWars missle defense program...
  • That since amazon has my email to confirm my order that I will be getting aol advertisements (IE: spam) and all kinds of porno email that was akin to even daring to enter a chat in aol? Just curious ;)

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.