Tag Archives | Amazon

Loggers Allegedly Burn 8-Year-Old Amazon Tribe Girl Alive

File:Brazilian_indians_000Hey, they need their jobs!  Raf Sanchez reports in the Telegraph:

The child was said to have wandered away from her village, where around 60 members of the Awá tribe live in complete isolation from the modern world, and fallen into the hands of the loggers.

Luis Carlos Guajajaras, a local leader from a separate tribe, told a Brazilian news website that they tied to her a tree and set her alight as a warning to other natives, who live in a protected reserve in the north-eastern state of Maranhão .

“She was from another tribe, they live deep in the jungle, and have no contact with the outside world. It would have been the first time she had ever seen white men. We heard that they laughed as they burned her to death,” he said.

Reports of the killing, which was said to have happened in October or November last year, were seconded by the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), a Catholic group which said it had seen footage of her charred remains…

[continues in the Telegraph]… Read the rest

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eBook Readers Live in a Different Universe of Books

Bezos Kindle TouchAmazon’s released their list of 2011′s best-selling books, revealing that 40% of the best-selling ebooks didn’t even make it onto their list of the best-selling print books!

The #1 and #2 best-selling ebooks of the year weren’t even available in print editions, while four of the top 10 best-selling print books didn’t make it into the top 100 best-selling ebooks. “It couldn’t be more clear that Kindle owners are choosing their material from an entirely different universe of books,” notes one Kindle site, which points out that five of the best-selling ebooks came from two million-selling ebook authors — Amanda Hocking and John Locke — who are still awaiting the release of their books in print. And five of Amazon’s best-selling ebooks were Kindle-only “Singles,” including a Stephen King short story which actually outsold another King novel that he’d released in both ebook and print formats. And Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde” was Amazon’s #99 best-selling print book of 2011, though it didn’t even make it onto their list of the 100 best-selling ebooks of the year.… Read the rest

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Alberto Villoldo On Ayahuasca

Alberto Villoldo

Alberto Villoldo

Disinformation’s sister video label True Mind has just released a documentary film featuring Alberto Villoldo, Amazonia: Healing With Sacred Plants. Dr. Alberto Villoldo writes for True Mind about his film:

I started out in the brain laboratory at San Francisco State University – literally surrounded by hundreds of formaldehyde preserved brains. We were studying how we develop psychosomatic disease, and how we could create psychosomatic health.

One day I realized that I had been looking out of the wrong end of the microscope, becoming caught in the minutiae of neurons and brain chemistry, and missing the larger picture of the mind. I decided to leave my lab and travelled to the Amazon, to work and study with medicine men who had no MRI’s and brain scans, only the power of the mind and local herbs to heal their patients.

For twenty-five years, I apprenticed with extraordinary shamans and healers, and learned the use of the fabled vine of the dead, ayahuasca.

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Will Librarians Revolt Over Amazon’s Kindle Lending Program?

Amazon Kindle FamilyA California librarian is urging librarians to complain to Amazon over issues with privacy and advertising in Amazon’s new Kindle ebook lending program for libraries. “In our greedy attempt to get content into our users’ hands, we have failed to uphold the highest principle of our profession, which is intellectual freedom,” she argues in a 10-minute video. (Read the transcript here):

Kindle has allowed Amazon to harvest all of this borrowing data, so it’s an instant violation of all of our privacy policies … [I]f they’re using a Kindle, Amazon’s keeping friggin’ everything. And we haven’t told people that, and we need to tell people that.

She argues Amazon’s retention of your reading history may violate, for example, California’s Reader Privacy Act, and she also complains that the check-out and renewal process include unacceptable promotional content about Amazon’s for-sale ebooks. Though she owns a Kindle and loves ebooks, she’s urging librarians to speak up.… Read the rest

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Selling Wikipedia Pages As Kindle eBooks

WikiFocus BooksThis article identifies a supposed ebook “author” whose 887 different ebooks were all apparently cut-and-pasted directly from Wikipedia entries!

The “WikiFocus” series targets obscure niches with few competing ebooks, like Hello Kitty, Aquaman, or the comic strip Archie.

“Of the 887 ebooks, all but 10 earned terrible reviews, averaging one star or less,” this article notes, “or received no reviews at all.”

A typical review? “This ‘book’ is just a word for word copy of the Wikipedia page.”

(And a least one other “author” has attempt the same trick, trying to pass off a Wikipedia page about Charlie Sheen as an $18.95 biography!)… Read the rest

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Will Bookstores Boycott Amazon-Published Books?

AmazonEncoreAmazon has begun signing their own authors and then publishing the books themselves, leaving booksellers “wary” as Amazon “tries to have it all,” according to a Boston newspaper. The co-owner of an independent bookstore near Cambridge considered boycotting Amazon’s new line of books, complaining “They are a huge competitor, and they don’t collect sales tax, giving them an unfair advantage.”

A children’s bookstore noted that “the pie is getting cut into fewer pieces. I’d be nervous if I were an adult book publisher.” Borders bookstore has already declared bankruptcy, leaving The Daily Show to joke that bookstores should simply become “digital downloading” stations — or a “living history” museum where future generations can learn what “a magazine rack” was.”… Read the rest

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Google Earth Begins Mapping Amazon Rainforest

Photo: Alex Guerrero (CC)

Photo: Alex Guerrero (CC)

Not sure if ‘street view’ is the right term for it, but Google has begun mapping the Amazon much like it does streets in cities and towns. Via The Australian:

Two women washed clothes in the dark water of the Rio Negro as a boat glided past with a camera-laden Google tricycle strapped to the roof, destined to give the world a window into the Amazon rainforest.

A “trike” typically used to capture street scenes for Google’s free online mapping service launched last Thursday from the village of Tumbira in a first-ever project to let web users virtually explore the world’s largest river, its wildlife and its communities.

The project was the brainchild of Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), which two years ago went to Google Earth with a vision of turning “Street View” into a river view in the lush and precious Amazon Basin.

[Continues at The Australian]Read the rest

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The Most Well-Read U.S. Cities (According to Amazon.com)

SealofcambridgemaAmazon.com just crunched their sales data for 2011, and calculated the 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America. (Click here to see all 20 cities on a map.)

The #1 city on Amazon’s list (and the top purchaser of non-fiction titles) is Cambridge, Massachusetts, while four of the top five cities are college towns. This suggests students may be shopping online for cheaper text books – another bad sign for the future of the bookstore.

But the #2 city was Alexandria, Virginia, one of three cities on the list within 10 miles of Washington D.C. — which surprisingly, was also reported by Amazon as the city which purchased the most children’s picture book.… Read the rest

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Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 Textbook About Flies

The Making Of A FlyNew copies are still going for around a grand. Interesting story: Michael Eisen writes on it is NOT Junk:

A few weeks ago a postdoc in my lab logged on to Amazon to buy the lab an extra copy of Peter Lawrence’s The Making of a Fly — a classic work in developmental biology that we – and most other Drosophila developmental biologists — consult regularly. The book, published in 1992, is out of print. But Amazon listed 17 copies for sale: 15 used from $35.54, and 2 new from $1,730,045.91 (+$3.99 shipping).

I sent a screen capture to the author — who was appropriate amused and intrigued. But I doubt even he would argue the book is worth THAT much.

At first I thought it was a joke — a graduate student with too much time on their hands. But there were TWO new copies for sale, each be offered for well over a million dollars.

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Chevron Fined $8 Billion For Polluting Amazon

340px-Chevron_LogoIt’s taken decades but finally the Amazonian Indians whose environment was despoiled by Texaco have won their lengthy court battle with successor corporation Chevron. Mind you, it’s an Ecuadorian court and no doubt the plaintiffs will have a tough time enforcing the judgment in the United States and actually collecting the money. Look forward to years more litigation while the people of the Amazon suffer for the oil giant’s wreckess conduct. BBC News reports on the judgment:

A court in Ecuador has fined US oil giant Chevron a reported $8bn (£5bn) for polluting a large part of the country’s Amazon region.

The oil firm Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, was accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic materials into unlined pits and Amazon rivers.

Campaigners say crops were damaged and farm animals killed, and that local cancer rates increased.

Condemning the ruling as fraudulent, Chevron said it would appeal.

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