Tuesday News: Amazon, Apple, Netflix, comics, and princesses
Millions of Americans Have Free Amazon Credits. Here’s How to Check Yours – A friendly reminder that if you have unused Apple settlement credits, they will expire Saturday, June 24th, 2017. I’m not sure that mainstream publishing even remembers the trouble they faced, given current e-book prices (or maybe because they remember it all too well?), but if you’ve forgotten, make sure you exhaust any e-book credit you received by Saturday.
You can look up how much credit logging into your Amazon account on this page. The credit applies to e-books bought on the online retailer between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. As Inc. points out, be sure to log into any e-mail address you used from 2010 to 2012 to be sure you’re getting the full amount.
At Barnes and Noble, credits that came as a result of the lawsuit are automatically activated when customers purchase something online at BN.com or on a Nook device. – Money
Netflix Launches ‘Puss in Book,’ Its First Interactive Kids Story – In yet another example of storytelling’s continuous evolution, Netflix is experimenting with the ‘choose your adventure’ narrative. Two titles, “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale” and “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile,” have been completed, with “Stretch Armstrong” in development for next year. If you have an older television, Apple TV, Chromecast, or an Android phone/tablet, you will probably not be able to view the new technology, nor can the technology be access via web viewing. So it’s not taking over quite yet. Still, the technology is high priority for Netflix, and I think we’re going to see a lot more experimentation like this.
The two first interactive adventures both feature a number of dual choices, giving viewers 10 to 15 seconds to make up their minds and then take a pick with their TV remote or game controller, or simply by interacting with a touch screen. Can’t decide? Then Netflix will make the choice for you and continue with the story.
Netflix kick-started its interactive content project two years ago, with dozens of employees working on the technology for the better part of a year, albeit some on a part-time basis. “This is very different for Netflix,” said Fisher. Not only did the company have to tweak some of its back-end technology to integrate interactive content into its catalog, Netflix and its studio partners also had to figure out how to best tell these kinds of stories. – Variety
Groceries are the last hurdle in Amazon’s quest to sell you everything – I’m sure you’ve heard about Amazon’s $1.37 billion purchase of Whole Foods, and as this article points out, it’s not just about boosting Amazon’s chances of success in the grocery business. It’s also about shoring up Whole Foods, which is no longer the only (and often most expensive) organic food store in town. There is a lot of fear right now that Amazon will be doing away with human cashiers, especially with the store already providing almost half of the revenue ($14-15B) that Amazon will need to make the grocery venture a success ($30B+). Although Whole Foods does not have the best reputation for treating its staff with the same concern it apparently provides its produce, so it’s going to be an interesting evolution for both retailers.
By purchasing Whole Foods, Amazon buys its way into a business it’s long been trying to crack, sets itself in a much stronger position for online grocery sales, and acquires 460-plus retail stores that can be used for an assortment of operational purchases, from holding delivery lockers to becoming distribution centers for food deliveries.
The grocery business is a more than $600 billion a year industry in the US alone. And the industry isn’t very concentrated. Aside from Walmart, which controls close to a fifth of all food and beverage sales according to figures assembled by Bloomberg, no other grocery chain has more than a tenth of the market. Only three others manage to grab more than 5 percent of total sales. – The Verge
One Scholar On What Comic Books Reveal About Attitudes Toward Muslims – A very interesting interview with A. David Lewis and his new book, Muslim Superheroes: Comics, Islam, and Representation (co-edited with Martin Lund and published by Harvard University Press – view the Table of Contents). Lewis, who also writes comic books and graphic novels, talks about the long but very fraught history of Muslim characters in comics, with representation changing in response to (primarily non-Muslim) anxieties and concerns about Muslims (much like the Romance genre?). There is definitely a lot here to discuss, including this (although I encourage you to listen to the interview in full):
On the superhero genre’s role
“One thing that I’ve always loved about the superhero genre in comics is that it really has been an immigrant’s genre. We have Superman from another planet, we have Wonder Woman from her paradise island, we have aliens, we have sorcerers, and they all seem to come together in a sense of unity, in a sense of shared space. Yes, this is a great space and a great place for Muslims, and for Arabs — particularly if they’re seen as other — to display non-otherness, to display a sense of shared humanity.” – WBUR
Little girl mistakes bride for a real-life princess, and the photos are adorable – Yes, I get that we’re still fetishizing the princess (and the bride, for that matter). But just look at the pictures and tell me you’re not smiling at how sweet and lovely they are.
This bride from Seattle, US, was posing for photos following her wedding ceremony, when a two-year-old girl and her mother walked by. . . .
“My wife and I got married last February, and during the photo shoot this little girl and her mom happened to be walking by,” he wrote. “The little girl thought my beautiful wife was the Princess from her favourite book (the one she’s holding).” – Yahoo Style UK