Linked List: Cyber Monday

Let’s read the Internet.

To begin, let’s read along with everything below this paragraph. Highlight all the text below the paragraph, starting and then hold control and press the ‘C’ key. Then,
– open a text editor like Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (OS X)
– paste the article
– highlight the text again (CTRL+A)
– either:
– on OS X, the Edit -> Speech -> Start Speaking toolbar option.
– on Windows, seach Narrator in the Start Menu
– return to this window, and read along within the link provided.

Start Highlighting Here

The holidays are always arriving earlier every year. Be sure to notice the drear of Gray Thursday:

a term… being bantered around more often as retailers nudge the traditional kickoff to the shopping season into Thanksgiving evening. In Bellingham, Walmart, Sears and Kmart are expected to have 8 p.m. openings on Thanksgiving Day, while Target will have a 9 p.m. event. Several other big-box stores, as well as many stores in Bellis Fair, are sticking with a midnight opening.

Published by The News Tribune

It’s even easier to escape the savings stampeed this year, using WalMart to do holiday shopping online. Cyber Monday provides agoraphobic shoppers the treat of sweet deals with discounts on online shopping. Slowly, everyone joined the festitivies. Nowhere is this more true than Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer.

Statista reports:

The most popular online shopping website is Amazon.com. The website started off in 1995 as an online bookstore but soon started selling CDs, DVDs, and video games. Over the years, Amazon continued to broaden its range and is now selling electronics, toys and other products. Additionally, Amazon has built a digital content business, which it supports with its own range of digital media consumption devices. In 2011, Amazon.com generated more than 48 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, which means its revenue has more than tripled since 2007. Usage statistics from online shopping websites in the United States reaffirm Amazon’s leading position. In the second quarter of 2012, Amazon’s websites averaged 100.4 million unique visitors per month, compared to 23.2 million visitors to Target’s website and 18.3 million visitors to Best Buy’s online presence.

Published by Statista

Amazon, the market leader, is always looking for a way to gain a stronger foothold over competitors. Farhad Manjoo thinks he’s figured out their strategy; he wrote:

[Their] grand strategy has been to set up distribution centers in faraway, low-cost states and then ship stuff to people in more populous, high-cost states. When I order stuff from Amazon, for instance, it gets shipped to California from one of the company’s massive warehouses in Kentucky or Nevada.
But now Amazon has a new game. Now that it has agreed to collect sales taxes, the company can legally set up warehouses right inside some of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Why would it want to do that? Because Amazon’s new goal is to get stuff to you immediately—as soon as a few hours after you hit Buy.

Published by Slate

Amazon’s biggest bottleneck is its foundation in real world products. As it pushes harder against this limit, some have returned the pressure. Spencer Soper reports:

More than 12,600 people pledged to boycott online retailer Amazon.com this holiday season to protest “sweatshop” working conditions at its Lehigh Valley warehouses, according to the union advocacy group American Rights at Work.
Working conditions at Amazon’s Breinigsville shipping hub gained national attention and a public response from the company after a Sept. 18 article in The Morning Call revealed employee complaints about heat in the warehouse complex and rapid production requirements many could not sustain. Amazon hired ambulance crews to park outside the complex on hot summer days in case workers experienced heat-related problems. A local emergency room doctor who treated Amazon workers for heat stress reported an “unsafe environment” to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which inspected and recommended corrective steps.

Published by The Morning Call

Mac McClelland, journalist for Mother Jones, got herself a job as a product-fectcher at an unnamed online shopping behemoth’s warehouse in Midwestern America. She went on to experience:

Amalgamated has estimated that we pickers speed-walk an average of 12 miles a day on cold concrete, and the twinge in my legs blurs into the heavy soreness in my feet that complements the pinch in my hips when I crouch to the floor—the pickers’ shelving runs from the floor to seven feet high or so—to retrieve an iPad protective case. iPad anti-glare protector. iPad one-hand grip-holder device. Thing that looks like a landline phone handset that plugs into your iPad so you can pretend that rather than talking via iPad you are talking on a phone. And dildos. Really, a staggering number of dildos.

Published by Mother Jones

On Black Friday, Americans join together in a crazed mass around shopping malls, clawing at locked doors as they reenact Dawn of the Dead. On Cyber Monday, as we point and click, we drag warehouse pickers across multi-acre complexes like a game of The Sims.

In June 2012, Amazon began the installation of a $52 million investment in cooling its warehouses around the country, a major cost for the company equivalent to 8.2 percent of Amazon’s 2011 total earnings. Experts speculated Amazon made such a massive investment either to dampen negative publicity over workers conditions, and/or to better protect goods in the warehouse such as food and electronics equipment.

Epilogue provided by Wikipedia.

Allan Lasser

Allan Lasser is a CAS senior double majoring in Computer Science and American Studies. He publishes The Quad, but that doesn't mean you can send him angry/solicitous emails.

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