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Amazon's Special Thank-You 175

Posted by Zonk
from the i'm-old dept.
theodp writes "To commemorate its 10th Anniversary, Amazon.com announced that on July 16th customers will receive a special thank-you - a concert featuring Bob Dylan and Norah Jones. Of course, customers will be squinting at streaming video while Amazon employees actually attend the concert at Seattle's Benaroya Hall, but isn't it the thought that counts?"
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Amazon's Special Thank-You

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, 2005 @04:15AM (#12855198)
    now stop trying to patent mouse clicking, you noob.
    • now stop trying to patent mouse clicking, you noob.

      I just patented playing with my self! SO hahah BITCH!
  • You know (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, 2005 @04:15AM (#12855199)
    I would've accepted a coupon or something.
  • by bloko (888358) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @04:18AM (#12855205) Homepage
    Man if only i could be that lucky to be a amazon.com customer!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...round numbers of years until the one-click-shopping patent expires.
  • http://phx.corporate-ir.net [corporate-ir.net]???
    • Re:Amazon? (Score:3, Informative)

      by James_G (71902)
      Amazon outsources its investor site to CCBN/Thomson. This is a very common practice. It saves having to host your own SEC feeds, handle sending out of documents on request (10K, for example) and many other things.

      Some sites embed it in their own pages (like this [tyco.com]) and others just point to the remote URL, (like this [corporate-ir.net]). Obviously, Amazon has done the latter.

  • WOW!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mangus_angus (873781)
    A free concert I can't goto and with 2 people I probably wouldn't go see anyway! Gee wiz Amazon you really pulled out the stops on this one!!


    Seriously wouldnt offering free 2 or 3 day shipping on all items for the weekend have been better?
    • Yes, but.... (Score:2, Informative)

      That would have cost them money.

      Streaming a video, on the other hand, only costs them about $50 in bandwidth.
      • $50 to upload? Fuck. I assume it's only uploading, because I can't imagine anyone willingly downloading it.
        • Re:Yes, but.... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by adpowers (153922) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @01:50PM (#12856940)
          Okay, damn. I wasn't going to say anything, but after seeing so many comments, I just have to? What the fuck is wrong with Bob Dylan? You guys are acting like he's the backstreet boys are something. He is one of the most influential artists of the last century and was a very prolific songwriter. His voice may not be the best, but he has great music.
          • Re:Yes, but.... (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Farrell (564771)
            It's more the fact that they're basically offering to stream us a concert for their 10th anniversery, instead of, you know, giving us something we'd want. And then on top of that, they're acting like we should be worshiping them for it.
          • He's done, he's finished. Kaput. He's still holding concerts though. If he was holding a lecture regarding theoretical underpinnings associated with his brilliant and fascinating career, it'd be worth mentioning, perhaps even admiring, but the man can't sing anymore. And he's holding concerts like it's something to be excited about it. That's pathetic, sad and is all about nostalgic image recreation rather than something contemporaneously worthwhile, hence the mockery.
  • Bob Dylan? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BinBoy (164798)
    Is Bob Dylan trendy again or is he so untrendy that it's cool to like him? Or was he just cheap and available? They should have at least tried to get an 80's band.

    • Re:Bob Dylan? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsroNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 19, 2005 @04:44AM (#12855266) Journal
      Bob Dylan doing some celebratory concert for Amazon to me says he has finally, totally Sold out.
      The times they are A-changin indeed
      • by ZosX (517789)
        This is truly quite sad. Oh how the mighty have fallen indeed. A folk HERO singing a benefit for Amazon. I hope they at least sold a lot of his goddamned albums.

        Dylan was really at his best in his early years. After his tragic motorcycle accident all of his albums steadily declined in quality. He was easily the most influential singer/songwriter of the 60s.

        I almost died when I saw him do those horrible Klein commercials. Or was it the GAP?

        Bob Dylan. Sellout.

        That's all I gotta say.
      • for whatever trendy protest movement of the day doesn't pay the rent.. dudes gotta make a living... its tough to be a 90 million record selling singer/songwriter these days! ;)
    • Re:Bob Dylan? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kirth (183) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @05:27AM (#12855349) Homepage
      Bob Dylan is an asshole. He lobbied for the extension of the copyright-terms -- and guess who exactly is playing old traditionals which copyright has expired? Exactly. What a hipocrite.
  • Screw em (Score:3, Interesting)

    by njcoder (657816) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @04:29AM (#12855239)
    From now on I'm buying all my books from local bookstores. I'll just use amazon.com to help filter through titles, then go to a local shop, sit down and go over the books enjoying the coffee and wifi until I decide on my purchases. I'll even take a picture of me handing the money to the other boostore and send it to amazon.

    That's one thing I hate, corps rewarding their employees and making it seem like they're doing it for the consumer. Why don't they post pictures of the company picnic too.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      As an Amazon.com employee, I'd be more than happy to send you some pictures of the company picnic. ;-P
      • " As an Amazon.com employee, I'd be more than happy to send you some pictures of the company picnic. ;-P"

        I'll pass on that but I did a search of Norah Jones on images.google.com. Feel free to take photos at the concert in case there are any wardrobe malfunctions.

        Hmm.. that reminds me. I think the last book I bought from amazon was on concert photography and that was years ago before I moved. I started becoming skeptical of women that are taller than me and didn't want them to have my new address.

    • From now on I'm buying all my books from local bookstores. I'll just use amazon.com to help filter through titles, then go to a local shop, sit down and go over the books enjoying the coffee and wifi until I decide on my purchases.

      Why would you ever do otherwise? Amazon's prices aren't so much better than brick and mortar stores (and being in WA state, I have to pay sales tax at Amazon like I would in a local store), and you don't have to pay shipping and handling if you buy locally. Maybe you don't

      • yes, kudos for instead of supporting a big mean comgomerate like Amazon, you support your local Barnes and Noble and drinking your locally licensed Starbucks coffee and local Wifi provider. I actually suggest if you are in the Seattle area, go shop at the University Bookstore, as they have free Wifi, free shipping, and their coffee is only sort of made by starbucks. Also 10% back if you are alumni.
        • yes, kudos for instead of supporting a big mean comgomerate like Amazon, you support your local Barnes and Noble and drinking your locally licensed Starbucks coffee and local Wifi provider. I actually suggest if you are in the Seattle area, go shop at the University Bookstore, as they have free Wifi, free shipping, and their coffee is only sort of made by starbucks. Also 10% back if you are alumni.

          Ah, you've mistaken me for an anti-corporate hippy. I could see how you could come to that conclusion bas

      • Re:Screw em (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Guppy06 (410832) *
        "Amazon's prices aren't so much better than brick and mortar stores (and being in WA state, I have to pay sales tax at Amazon like I would in a local store), and you don't have to pay shipping and handling if you buy locally."

        The selection sucks. You can't get Maison Ikkoku DVDs or Video Girl Ai books around here, for example.

        Of course, for those I'd go directly to Viz' website, but still, those are two examples where, if I could find them locally, would happily buy them locally.
      • Re:Screw em (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xugumad (39311) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @06:26AM (#12855473)
        Here I have one bookstore literally around the corner from where I live, from which I could get pretty much any fiction title I am likely to want, and there's a larger store within about 40 minutes travelling.

        However:

        1. Neither of them come even close to the range of computing books I need. Even the larger store is almost entirely beginners books, or Windows-focused stuff, none of which is useful to me.

        2. Amazon.co.uk generally ship stuff to me for the next day, and with enough of a discount that it wipes out S&H.

        3. Travelling to the larger store is more expensive than S&H anyway, not to mention generally not wanting to spend an hour travelling to buy a book or two.
        • Call the bookstore.
          "Hey, can you order title X,yan z for me?"
          BOokstores are 90% of the time willing to order books they dont have in stock for you, espscially the smaller ones. Yeah, its not gonna beat amazon on price or speed, but at least youre helping out someone besides a faceless corporation.
      • Why would you ever do otherwise? Amazon's prices aren't so much better than brick and mortar stores (and being in WA state, I have to pay sales tax at Amazon like I would in a local store), and you don't have to pay shipping and handling if you buy locally.

        Which is well and good if you read the sort of books Borders or B&N have in stock. But if you want to, say, read the latest Charlie Stross novel, you're screwed (I have a Borders and B&N within a mile of my house; neither carry anything other th
    • I'd do this as well. If, y'know. My local bookstore^H^H^H if I had a local bookstore (I don't call 30mins away local, I call the local supermarket local), that had the same range of books as Amazon.

      Perhaps in America you can get anything you want at a bookstore, but here in Australia there are plenty of American authors that I'm unable to get [deep-magic.net] locally.
      • Re:Screw em (Score:3, Funny)

        by njcoder (657816)
        People have been able to do a lot with carrier pigeons. I'm surprised you guys never figured out how to take that to another level with kangaroos. That would solve your problem. You guys have an abundance of a natural dellivery person roaming around. Do something with it. You can't just keep waiting for inovation to fall from the sky. [bbc.co.uk]

        :)

    • Re:Screw em (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wow. So when Amazon decides to reward their employees, it's ok. When they try to share this with the world as well, it's arrogant? It's a concert for Christ's sake! They're streaming a (formerly) private concert and showing to the whole world, and you're complaining? Don't tune in then!

      It's amazing how people can spin such a simple gesture into some sort of grudge-worthy action. I can only imagine what sort of hatemongering you'll engage in at the bookstore.

    • Oh come on, how could they give all their customers a noticeable "thank you" gift without having the costs go through the roof? The usual is that they don't even give as little as a video feed.
    • Re:Screw em (Score:3, Insightful)

      My local bookstore has 470 copies of "The DaVinci Code" and one copy of "DOS for Dummies" with a ripped cover. That's it. I'll stick to Amazon.
    • Arguably, if the employees are happy, they work better. That normally reflects itself in better service. You know, service to you, the customer. If they also let you see the concerts, I don't see a reason to whine. Some people might not like the two artists involved, but that's hardly amazon's fault.
    • You do that.

      From now on I'll continue to buy all my books from Amazon, filter through the selection using their website and order effortlessly and easily from home. Oh, and I'll first sit down and go over the books using their preview feature whilst enjoying my tea (I hate coffee) and access the internet until I decide on my purchaes. And I'll get my stuff at a 25% or more discount (usually).

      But yeah, you support an unnecessary anachronism.
  • No

    If I want to see the damn concert I would download the bootleg file on bittorrent. :)

    /sacasam

    You never know...people on /. are not known for their sense of humor...
  • Company A makes a shedload of cash so throws a huge celebrity party to celebrate how much money its customers gave it. Not only that, they broadcast video of its employees having fun accross the whole world. Why exactly is this so generous?
    Maybe Enron could release footage of their last stockholders party so we can look at streaming footage of the champagne being quaffed?

    Dont get me wrong, I'm a fan of amazon, but if this was microsoft, people would be shouting them down.
    • I suspect if you add up Amazon's profits and their losses, you'd have a very large negative number. The reason they're making money now has something to do with the billions thrown their way during the dot-com boom and self-fullfilling stock calls made by guys like this [forbes.com].
      • Blodget's calls were hardly "self-fulfilling." The advent of the Internet as a "money engine" was a peculiar circumstance which would have inevitably made rich men and paupers even without the Greek chorus of analysts. If anything, the Blodgets sped up the process, and by doing so may have actually limited the damage incurred when it was found that simply throwing money at the Internet did not make you rich. It was a discovery that would have been necessary in any circumstance. As the parabola of Internet
        • Long term, you're right. After the stock went from the hundreds down to well below fifty, he corrected himself. At the time though, it was self fullfilling. He made a call, people said 'oooh, i have to get me some of that', and the price went into the stratosphere. At the time the Internet was an unknown, or at least no one had been burned yet, and blodget was the first to make that kind of call - so people jumped.
    • You're right up until the last line. At least on /. up though the time I hit reply, the response has been entirely negative. Some people, it seems, are shouting them down even though they aren't Microsoft.
  • by retro128 (318602) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @04:40AM (#12855262)
    Well I guess Amazon's servers have nothing to worry about. But those poor employees....
  • What is this, some sort of, "Look at the perks that our employees get, thanks to massive investment and you customers" kind of advertising? Is it "come work for amazon" or "hah! we own!"?
  • I suggest purchasing the services of exotic dancers for an "Amazonian" themed brouhaha. Certainly nobody would turn down a live feed of the cultural tribute...
  • They don't have to do anything, even if it is some sham they say is "for the customers," they don't have to do shit to show they appreciate the business and people will still buy from them.
  • From a purely business perspective, how on Earth are Amazon able to afford this?

    Okay, so it is 10 years since they were founded, but in that time, how much of a profit have they turned? I understood that there were hundreds of millions of dollars worth of sunk costs with the company, where the only possible return is in the stock price, but I thought that Amazon was still producing negative returns on the balance sheet.

    If I was one of the VC firms that initially funded Amazon I would have dragged Bezos o

    • Your lack of understanding on how businesses work and what investors considered important, paired to your will to voice your opinions in an authoritative way astonishes me.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They've been in the black for a couple of years now...

      http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=AMZN&annual [yahoo.com]
    • From a purely business perspective, how on Earth are Amazon able to afford this?

      Maybe if you had a look at their Quarterly Results [corporate-ir.net] then you might know? But then again this is Slashdot and so nobody actually bothers to research their posts.
    • It's like that time the government went $6 trillion in debt, and decided to celebrate by occupying a bunch of foreign countries.

      At least Amazon.com is using the proceeds from that copy of "I, Robot" I bought to throw a party. I'd be really upset if the money I spend on science fiction books was going towards missile defense and the planned invasion of Canada...
    • Yeah, so it's bad form to reply to one's self, but it seems the best way to address the comments brought up.

      Before people flame me for wild ass guesses, note that I said 'I thought...', not 'Amazon is definitely...', so they are opinions based on common media reporting.

      Okay, 2 years of profitibility in 10, and only the most recent two. Congratulations, so they now have a viable business model. I doubt that many companies can repeat their ability to absorb 8 years of losses before turning a profit. Ye

      • The most common reasons for failure are under-capitalisation (i.e. never establishing a viable cash flow) and over-capitalisation (not wisely reinvesting the profit), so the fact that Amazon could pull this off is amazing.

        It might have something to do with Bezos being an investment banker.

    • how much of a profit have they turned?

      Well, last year alone, half a billion dollars net.


      Granted, they had a VERY rocky start, but they have become the online store. Sure, you have other niche stores like NewEgg, and electronic versions of physical stores like WalMart.com, but when most people think to themselves "Can I get that cheaper online", they go straight to Amazon.com.

      And now that shopping online has grown into more than just a faddish thing we geeks do, that means huge profits for Amazon. It
      • Granted, they had a VERY rocky start, but they have become the online store. Sure, you have other niche stores like NewEgg, and electronic versions of physical stores like WalMart.com, but when most people think to themselves "Can I get that cheaper online", they go straight to Amazon.com.

        Which makes me wonder if people are looking at the prices when they use Amazon. Amazon seems to be charging cover price on most paperbacks now, and their CDs are about the same price as Circuit City and Best Buy -- and t
        • Amazon seems to be charging cover price on most paperbacks now, and their CDs are about the same price as Circuit City and Best Buy -- and that's before S&H.

          In general, I try to support small and/or local businesses. And I'll always try to spend my money with them first... But as you mention, for selection, no physical store can possibly compete.

          As for price...

          For CDs, I agree, most of what Amazon has costs pretty much the same as anywhere else. But for books...Perhaps we buy totally different
  • For creating an innovative TAX WRITEOFF, disguised as a party for your employees and customers.
  • by chillmost (648301) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @05:31AM (#12855358) Homepage
    Tambourine man....(buffering)...(buffering)....play a song...(buffering)...(buffering)...for me. I'm not slee...(buffering)...(buffering)...py and there is no...(buffering)...(buffering)...place I'm going to.
    • by 40000 (445957) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @06:53AM (#12855526) Homepage
      " Tambourine man....(buffering)...(buffering)....play a song...(buffering)...(buffering)...for me."

      That's not a bandwidth problem, you're listening to the William Shatner cover.
    • "Tambourine man....(buffering)...(buffering)....play a song...(buffering)...(buffering)...for me. I'm not slee...(buffering)...(buffering)...py and there is no...(buffering)...(buffering)...place I'm going to."

      Anyone else reminded of this [amazon.com]. Spooky... I can almost hear it!

      • Anyone else reminded of this. Spooky... I can almost hear it!

        On that page ("The Transformed Man, William Shatner"), below: "3 people recommended Has Been instead of The Transformed Man" :)

    • Tambourine man....(buffering)...(buffering)....play a song...(buffering)...(buffering)...for me. I'm not slee...(buffering)...(buffering)...py and there is no...(buffering)...(buffering)...place I'm going to.

      If it made sense, it wouldn'r be Dylan.
  • Surely they will be all to knackered having just shipped goodness knows how many copies of the new Harry Potter novel to attend a pop concert :)
  • I get to see a crappy streaming video of a company party. w00t! Can I see it really good on my dial-up? Will I even hear it on my dial-up? Maybe I shouldn't buy anything on amazon and pay for broadband instead? I get it amazon, I shouldn't do any shopping there anymore. Now do the other poor saps that might even be excited to see and hear Dylan and Jones get screwed because they don't have a fast enough connection? Amazon is clearly run by really smart people.
  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @07:33AM (#12855590) Homepage Journal

    For real, why is everyone bashing Amazon? I buy stuff from them all the time. The prices are very competitive on most items, and the selection of stuff is hard to beat. I've been a pretty loyal customer since 1998, and unless something is significantly cheaper somewhere else, I almost always buy anything I need that they sell there.

    If you don't like Bob Dylan or Norah Jones, then don't watch the frickin' concert! Jesus, you'd think that they were having John Ashcroft in concert or something, the way everyone is reacting! ("Let the eagle soar!..." Ugh.)

    My company, a large Fortune 100, does this periodically. For special occasions, it will sponsor a concert for the employees and VIPs. Chances are that Amazon was going to have the concert anyway, and decided to Webcast it just to be nice, so give 'em a frickin' break, already!

    Sheesh, talk about no good deed going unpunished...

    • Actually, the reason has little to do with Amazon's policies, and more with any company that publically masterbates in front of a croud, and tells us that it's a present for us. If this was just a company party, that'd be one thing. Pushing it as a "Show of Thanks" or gift to the customers is a joke, and they're getting called on it, big time.

      Imagine it on a personal level. Imagine that your wife or whoever your significant other is comes home, and you invite them into the bedroom. Tell them "This is to
    • The only reason they're not well-liked is that they're contributing to the current patent situation that is destroying our livelihoods. That's all.

      I think they do pretty good otherwise.
    • Blah blah blah patent blah blah...

      Okay fine, hate them for the patent stuff, that's a valid answer to my question. But that's not what everyone was complaining about. A quick search on the front comment page for the word "patent" picked up three comments about it. All the others are stuff like this:

      A free concert I can't goto and with 2 people I probably wouldn't go see anyway...

      ...a 30% discount on my next 10 purchases would suffice!

      Why don't they post pictures of the company picnic too.

      • Since I'm one of the people you quoted, let me try and explain my opinion.

        Amazon.com is calling this a "Thank You" to it's customers. The title of the press release is "Amazon.com to Thank Customers with 10th Anniversary Event Featuring Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, and Bill Maher"

        They're kind of creating an anniversary special like you would see for some TV shows. But if someone like David Letterman creates an anniversary special, he's going above and beyond to deliver a better product (TV show) to his co

        • Well, like I said, I didn't mean to pick on you, but I do disagree with the attitude that what they're doing is aggrandizing.

          First of all, everyone seems to be assuming that they're holding a big-time concert for the employees, and as long as they're doing that, maybe they can make a few brownie points (and extra sales) with customers by Webcasting it, too.

          I don't think that's necessarily a valid assumption. According to the promo site, "Amazon.com is pleased to invite you to help us celebrate our 10th

  • Flagrant self-angrandizement.
  • by Stu Charlton (1311) on Sunday June 19, 2005 @07:44AM (#12855606) Homepage
    Amazon puts up a free concert, and Slashdot idiots go nuclear. What a surprise.

    This isn't deserving of thanks or, 'gee look how kind they are' -- I think of it as an extra service provided by a company. Some will enjoy it, some won't. Why is it deserving of such scorn?

    When AOL did this several times over the past years, with the Rolling Stones, for example, did that deserve scorn?

    Music is highly subjective, but it's the height of adolescent immaturity to slag off Bob Dylan and Norah Jones as crap if you don't like their style of music.

    Get the fuck over yourselves.

    (It was time to burn the karma anyway)
    • by fishbowl (7759)
      "Amazon puts up a free concert, and Slashdot idiots go nuclear."

      Amazon treats its employees to a picnic but tries to frame it as some kind of service to the customers.

      "We're taking your sister to Six Flags -- don't worry, we'll show some pictures of some of the rides, aren't you excited?"
      • Amazon treats its employees to a picnic but tries to frame it as some kind of service to the customers.

        It is a service. Some people will enjoy it, and thus they win, and Amazon wins.

        Others will be cynical about any form of marketing and pissed off that people actually like this sort of thing. They take comfort that in In The New Geek World Order, das ist verboten! They re-read the GNU manifesto and tear up.

        And the greatest number are those that don't care either way. No harm, no foul.
    • No, height of immaturity would be saying that they pooped themselves, or making some other joke about a bodily function / natural act.

      Also, that music doesn't suck - it's just that it's not good enough to offend much of anyone. I argree that it sucks, and that the opportunity to watch a video of the concert is a suck-ass gift. It's like giving lottery tickets as a gift. "Surprise, I probably didn't get you anything! Happy father's day!"

      For the record, all of those "free concerts" are a load of crap.
  • That must be a record of some kind, even for Amazon.

  • I haven't done business with Amazon since I had my lawyer send them a warning not to use their unilaterally "revised" privacy policy to release my personal info without my explicit authorization. Watching Dylan sing about "Maggie's Farm" [bobdylan.com] and a "Neighborhood Bully" [bobdylan.com] with an Amazon logo would really bring me down.
  • Is this a live stream? If so, would it even be worth watching? Granted, Dylan has lost his voice so much you might not be able to tell the difference, but I have yet to view any real-time video stream that was worth the time and effort. If Amazon really wanted to reward their customers, how about making the binary files for the DVD available for download?
  • ...as long as it doesn't affect the real important event of the day... the release of the new Harry Potter book!

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