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TOPIC: amazon


Look At This Crap! The "Enshittification" Theory Of Why The Internet Is Broken

The term was coined by journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the fatal drift of major Internet platforms: if they were ever useful and user-friendly, they will inevitably end up being odious.


The universe tends toward chaos. Ultimately, everything degenerates. These immutable laws are even more true of the Internet .

In the case of media platforms, everything you once thought was a good service will, sooner or later, disgust you. This trend has been given a name: enshittification . The term was coined by Canadian blogger and journalist Cory Doctorow to explain the inevitable drift of technological giants toward... well.

The explanation is in line with the most basic tenets of Marxism. All digital companies have investors (essentially the bourgeoisie, people who don't perform any work and take the lion's share of the profits), and these investors want to see the percentage of their gains grow year after year. This pushes companies to make decisions that affect the service they provide to their customers. Although they don't do it unwillingly, quite the opposite.

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Annoying customers is just another part of the business plan. Look at Netflix , for example. The streaming giant has long been riddling how to monetize shared Netflix accounts. Option 1: adding a premium option to its regular price. Next, it asked for verification through text messages. After that, it considered raising the total subscription price. It also mulled adding advertising to the mix, and so on. These endless maneuvers irritated its audience, even as the company has been unable to decide which way it wants to go. So, slowly but surely, we see it drifting toward enshittification.

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Amazon Greenwashing: How The World's Largest Retailer Hides Its Carbon Footprint In Plain Sight

An investigation reveals that the company does not own any of the three renewable power plants it claims to operate in Spain — as well as a scheme allowing Amazon to dodge full regulatory oversight of its projects.

MADRID — Elías Bendodo, who was then Minister of the Presidency for the regional government of Andalusia, Spain, wore a reflective vest with the initials "AWS" when he inaugurated the Cabrera Solar photovoltaic plant in June 2021. This plant is located in the municipality of Alcalá de Guadaíra, near Seville.

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services, which is Amazon's cloud services brand. This "Amazon solar plant" — how it was described by the Andalusian government in their press release at the inauguration — has a capacity of 200 MW, and was designed to provide energy to as many as 120,000 households.

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On its official website, the multinational company led by Jeff Bezos features an interactive map titled "Our Renewable Energy Projects Worldwide." In Spain, it counts 45 projects. Most are solar panels installed on the rooftops of Amazon facilities, while 18 projects are more substantial, including solar and wind farms.

Amazon also periodically issues press releases that sound something like this: "Amazon surpasses 1.55 GW of renewable capacity in Spain with two new solar plants in Castilla y León and a new solar roof in Catalonia."

So far, everything appears normal. These are common strategies for any company. However, as La Marea has been able to verify, Amazon does not in fact own at least some of these projects.

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This Happened — August 21: Amazon Wildfires

Brazil reports fires burning in the Amazon Rainforest at unprecedented rate on this day in 2019.

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How Amazon Worker Exploitation Looks In Small-Town Italy

In the Italian province of Rovigo, Amazon’s arrival appeared to be an opportunity to revive the area's economy and create jobs. But two and a half years later, it's clear that the giant has had a negative impact on the struggling area.

CASTELGUGLIELMO — When he works the morning shift, Matteo Tacconi* is out of bed by 5 a.m.. He grabs a coffee , jumps into his old car and travels 30 kilometers from his rented home to the Amazon plant in this small tow in the northern Italian province of Rovigo .

At 52, he has only been able to find two types of work in the southern city where he was born: "Agriculture, or black market agriculture." Both are precarious, poorly paid jobs, and so after an interview with an agency that provides temporary workers for Amazon, he didn't think twice, and moved north with his family to accept a three-month job. “The hope was that after a few more temporary contracts, they would eventually decide to hire me," he says.

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In The News
Marine Béguin, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Sophie Jacquier and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Ukraine Targets Crimea, Pope & Lula, Musk v. Zuck

👋 Dumela!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Ukraine says it has struck a road in Russian-occupied Ukraine that leads to Crimea, time is running out in the search for the missing submarine and Lula meets Pope Francis, just back from the hospital. Meanwhile, Alfonso Masoliver, for Spanish daily La Razón , travels with Rwandan fishermen on the silent waters of one of Africa's largest lakes.

[*Tswana, Botswana and South Africa]

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In The News
Renate Mattar, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Putin’s Hypersonic Missiles, Pope Benedict’s Funeral, Will & Harry’s Brawl

👋 ¡Ola!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly deploys hypersonic missiles, the funeral for Pope Benedict is held in Rome, and Prince Harry accuses his brother William of a physical attack. Meanwhile, Stephane Frachet in business daily Les Echos has everything you knead to know about France’s baguette battle.

[*Galician, Spain]

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Daniel Henryk Rasolt

Brazil, A Laboratory For The Boost Of Investing In Science — And The  Bust When You Don't

More than a decade ago, with the economy growing and political capital committed to public research and development, Brazil was the poster child for investing in the future. It was all bound to drop out quickly once the winds changed.

In 2010, Brazil’s economy was booming , students were entering higher education institutions at unprecedented rates , and quality research output was soaring .

At the time, I was visiting the country as a physics Ph.D. student, and I was struck by the enthusiastic optimism of the Brazilian researchers I met. Backed by increased government investment in science, they felt they were part of Brazil’s long-term transformation into a scientific and technological powerhouse, and a budding international hub of innovation.

Times have certainly changed.

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In The News
Renate Mattar, Bertrand Hauger and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Poland Missile Strike Was Accident, Trump’s Back, NASA’s Moon Shot

👋 Ello!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Poland says it has no indication the deadly missile near Ukraine's border was sent intentionally, Donald Trump announces he’s running in 2024, and NASA makes one not-so-small step toward returning to the Moon. In Buenos Aires-based daily Clarin, Mara Resio also looks at the recent legal landmark for the country’s multi-parental families, and what it means for parents and children.

[* Jamaican Patois ]

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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

UK’s New Prime Minister, Saskatchewan Manhunt, Chile Says “No” To New Constitution

👋 Bonjour!*

Welcome to Monday, where Liz Truss is the new British prime minister, Chileans reject drastic changes to the country’s Constitution, and the new Lord of the Rings series becomes Amazon Prime's biggest premiere. Meanwhile, German daily Die Welt and Ukraine's Livy Bereg show how the Ukraine grain deal may actually play in Putin’s hands.


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In The News

Le Weekend ➡️ History In The Making? A Photo Op À Trois On The Way To Kyiv

June 18-19

  • Rethinking Europe
  • Murder investigation in the Amazon
  • Australia’s dancing goalie
  • … and much more.
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Ciro Barros, Rubens Valente, Avener Prado, José Medeiros

In The Amazon, Retracing The Last Steps Of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

The murder of Brazil indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips is shocking. Still, once looking more closely, it is not necessarily a surprise considering both the violence in Brazil and the situation in the rain forest under President Jair Bolsonaro.

Worldcrunch has turned to independent Brazilian media Agência Pública for special coverage of the murder of Brazil indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips in Brazil’s Amazon. And their deaths is not a coincidence, nor fully unexpected. Thousands of environmentalist and land-defenders have been killed worldwide over the past two decades, with Brazil being one of the most murderous countries.

In Brazil, the situation in the Amazon worsened under President Jair Bolsonaro , who has pushed to develop the Amazon as well as cut funds to protection and indigenous government bodies. During a 2019 press conference , Bolsonaro responded to a question posed by Phillips by saying: “The Amazon is ours, not yours.”

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Fiorella Montaño and Leslie Searles

The Power Of A Child's Imagination To Bring The Amazon Back To Life

Illegal mining and deforestation are destroying parts of the Amazon and devastating indigenous people's lives. As laws and governments fail to protect the environment and vulnerable communities, locals have turned to the imagination of the future generation.

What do the children of the Amazon dream of? How do they observe the destruction of the forests around them? How do they imagine those areas if the situation were different? Ojo Público supported a local effort that brought together a group of children from the Awajún indigenous community in northern Peru to draw on photographs of devastated forests the elements that they imagined should be there.

Illegal activities are destroying the forests of the Amazon and polluting its rivers. On the landscapes destroyed by illegal mining and deforestation, they painted huge trees, plants, animals in the forest and fish in pristine rivers.

"The trees suffer," says Suely Apika, a 12-year-old Awajún girl, while she draws a hunting scene in the forest on top of a photograph of an empty terrain. Where there were once trees, now only a yellowish mud remains.

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