2k18 what's the worst enormous tech company?

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shouldn't this be a poll?

sleeve, Wednesday, 3 January 2018 17:04 (seven months ago) Permalink

🎵 More than meets the eye 🎵 pic.twitter.com/RTXp19lAB1

— drewtoothpaste (@drewtoothpaste) January 3, 2018

j., Wednesday, 3 January 2018 17:33 (seven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i haven't finished reading this, but i was not aware of this



Karl Malone, Sunday, 11 February 2018 23:43 (six months ago) Permalink

The Four have so much power over our lives that most of us would be rocked to the core if one or more of them were to disappear. Imagine not being able to have an iPhone, or having to use Yahoo or Bing for search, or losing years’ worth of memories you’ve posted on Facebook. What if you could no longer order something with one click on the Amazon app and have it arrive tomorrow?

i can't even imagine

sleepingbag, Monday, 12 February 2018 00:19 (six months ago) Permalink

I don't know that breaking them up is the *only* logical conclusion...

Simon H., Monday, 12 February 2018 10:14 (six months ago) Permalink

would be fun to go back in time to any point in history and pose these questions to random folks see what their reaction would be.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 12 February 2018 12:07 (six months ago) Permalink

Imagine if you could no longer contact your friends through SixDegrees, or if you couldn't discuss the latest episode of Space Ghost on irc. Just imagine, and try not to have a breakdown while imagining.

Nonsense Ape Debones His Foot (Old Lunch), Monday, 12 February 2018 13:08 (six months ago) Permalink

the core


j., Monday, 12 February 2018 16:18 (six months ago) Permalink


The online retail giant has built its business model on tax avoidance, and its latest financial filing makes it clear that Amazon continues to be insulated from the nation’s tax system. In 2017, Amazon reported $5.6 billion of U.S. profits and didn’t pay a dime of federal income taxes on it. The company’s financial statement suggests that various tax credits and tax breaks for executive stock options are responsible for zeroing out the company’s tax this year.

The company’s zero percent rate in 2017 reflects a longer term trend. During the previous five years, Amazon reported U.S. profits of $8.2 billion and paid an effective federal income tax rate of just 11.4 percent. This means the company was able to shelter more than two-thirds of its profits from tax during that five year period.

Incredibly, Amazon’s corporate tax goose egg for 2017 doesn’t include the effect of a second big tax disclosure: the $789 million one-time tax break the company projects it will receive due to the new tax law. While the Trump Administration’s corporate tax cuts generally took effect on January 1st, the law includes a grandfather clause for companies that (like Amazon) have managed to defer or postpone tax liability from prior years.

Instead of paying these deferred taxes at the previous 35 percent rate, Amazon now gets an extra reward for postponing the taxation of this income: a 40 percent discount from 35 to 21 percent. This is the source of Amazon’s $789 million windfall.

Millennial Whoop, wanna fight about it? (Phil D.), Friday, 23 February 2018 14:34 (five months ago) Permalink

For whatever reason Google is not listed as a sponsor on the CPAC website, but is listed in the paper booklets handed out at the conference. https://t.co/ky7FmAEKHF pic.twitter.com/oiDfnCMIs4

— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 22, 2018

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 23 February 2018 17:33 (five months ago) Permalink

@shannonrwatts someone at the CPAC conference just sent me the sponsors list. Google is side-by-side with the NRA as a lead sponsor. So much for their "do no evil" mantra. pic.twitter.com/lbpWP2sB3O

— Kevin Grandia (@kgrandia) February 22, 2018

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 23 February 2018 17:34 (five months ago) Permalink

"we support innovation, including initiatives that may or may not be evil"

i remember the corned beef of my childhood (Karl Malone), Friday, 23 February 2018 18:30 (five months ago) Permalink

Apple is a fun hip progressive company that's all about self-expression and helping the Chinese government construct a nightmarish, dystopian panopticon https://t.co/HsLJwrcg6T

— Jon Schwarz (@schwarz) February 24, 2018

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 17:27 (five months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...


“This was unequivocally not a data breach,” tweeted Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook executive. “No systems were infiltrated, no passwords or information were stolen or hacked.”
Mr. Bosworth argued on Twitter that a violation had been committed only by Cambridge Analytica and Mr. Kogan, whose app “did not follow the data agreements.”

Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, issued a similar defense in a series of tweets that have since been deleted.

“The recent Cambridge Analytica stories by the NY Times and The Guardian are important and powerful, but it is incorrect to call this a ‘breach’ under any reasonable definition of the term,” Mr. Stamos tweeted.

yeah neither of you is a lawyer huh. I hope you guys are fucked

El Tomboto, Monday, 19 March 2018 02:36 (four months ago) Permalink

dozens of articles yesterday announcing YouTube's plan to "fight conspiracy theories" no one seems the least bit concerned with how Google–the second largest company in the world–will determine what is and isn't a "conspiracy theory" pic.twitter.com/hbPv5SGGpk

— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) March 14, 2018

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 March 2018 16:42 (four months ago) Permalink

Has anyone availed themselves of these alternatives to Big Tech products? from Mark Hurst of WFMU and elsewhere:


ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Monday, 19 March 2018 17:31 (four months ago) Permalink

I use DuckDuckGo by default for searching and only fall back to Google if it's for work and I come up empty. DuckDuckGo works most of the time and has this cool feature for searching other sites.

I've been a FastMail customer for several years and highly recommend them.

valorous wokelord (silby), Monday, 19 March 2018 18:15 (four months ago) Permalink

Fuck Google.

Milking the Soft Power Dividend (dandydonweiner), Monday, 19 March 2018 18:19 (four months ago) Permalink

Also, while I'm here, fuck Theranos and all the reporters who fell for that.

Milking the Soft Power Dividend (dandydonweiner), Monday, 19 March 2018 18:20 (four months ago) Permalink

destroy facebook

F# A# (∞), Monday, 19 March 2018 20:05 (four months ago) Permalink

as for alternatives:

search -- duckduckgo
email -- airmail
browser -- dolphin on iphone / safari or firefox on macbook
music -- unfortunately still spotify but tbh it's not as bad as people say compared to bandcamp/apple music/google play/youtube/etc
social media -- none

though i still use youtube

F# A# (∞), Monday, 19 March 2018 20:09 (four months ago) Permalink

at work it's completely different btw

F# A# (∞), Monday, 19 March 2018 20:10 (four months ago) Permalink

music -- unfortunately still spotify but tbh it's not as bad as people say compared to bandcamp/apple music/google play/youtube/etc

What is wrong with bandcamp? I sometimes see people criticizing it, followed by someone else saying “what is wrong with bandcamp?”, followed by the first person saying “actually bandcamp is fine”

Karl Malone, Monday, 19 March 2018 20:11 (four months ago) Permalink

I think lemniscate means it's not dramatically worse for the world than the listed alternatives such that they feel like it's incumbent upon them to avoid Spotify.

valorous wokelord (silby), Monday, 19 March 2018 20:31 (four months ago) Permalink

this by no means is a simple answer obviously, because there are so many variables but

the percent of revenue sales bandcamp gets is something like 15% plus paypal fees, and while this sounds wonderful on paper, the number of people who buy and how much they spend on that platform is very low

there's a source (see http://www.metalinjection.net/its-just-business/one-indie-artist-broke-down-what-he-makes-from-spotify-youtube-itunes-bandcamp-etc) that says a bandcamp artist wasn't able to sell his music pretty cheaply to more than 75% of his listeners, and i have read a lot of these types of cases online actually, so most people end up giving away their music for free on it, which is what a lot of people recommend. it's a platform to build better relationships with your fanbase, and the free model seems to work really well for this

also bandcamp has very little of the market when lumped with streaming services

so check out https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/07/24/what-streaming-music-services-pay-updated-for-2017/

when compared to other services, spotify has a huge piece of the market, and is more accessible to users, i.e., more people use spotify basically, so while they pay a pittance per stream, you have a larger pool of users who might like your music, as opposed to bandcamp's niche that hardly buys

in the end spotify and youtube are better for revenue (stream and ads respectively), while bandcamp is best for building a dedicated following

F# A# (∞), Monday, 19 March 2018 20:42 (four months ago) Permalink

I've bounced between the streaming services, but if you really care about revenue making it to the artist, buy something.

I don't really count bandcamp as "streaming" because 99% of the music I listen to from it is stuff I've purchased, even if I'm streaming it because it's not currently on my phone.

The pure-streaming platforms, even if they let you download music within the app, are kind of a different animal, imo

mh, Monday, 19 March 2018 21:22 (four months ago) Permalink

I'm also hesitant to qualify Amazon overall as a "tech" company because half their business is "Wal-Mart, but online" and the other half is divided between gadgets that gather metrics to get you to buy more things and a platform that's basically a spun-off datacenter in a box offering

mh, Monday, 19 March 2018 21:25 (four months ago) Permalink

that is, the latter is a tech company and fucks up infrastructure in a completely different way from the warehouse fuckery

mh, Monday, 19 March 2018 21:26 (four months ago) Permalink

yeah they're more like the worst enormous company

rob, Monday, 19 March 2018 21:29 (four months ago) Permalink

mh you do realize amazon is more than online walmart right?

out of its many subsidiaries and products, twitch, streaming video, and amazon echo, which does home automation, just to name a few

F# A# (∞), Monday, 19 March 2018 21:36 (four months ago) Permalink

amazon cloud is a huge part of its business, they're very much a tech company

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 19 March 2018 21:43 (four months ago) Permalink

all that's true, I just think calling them a "tech" company diminishes the true extent of their ambitions. I mean they also own physical grocery stores and run a movie/TV studio; they want to expand into healthcare and shipping. They're basically unprecedented afaict

rob, Monday, 19 March 2018 23:03 (four months ago) Permalink

I kind of lumped the digital entertainment stuff in with the latter, which is tech

I mean, I did mention gadgets! The music business seems ephemeral compared to their other ventures, the studios are definitely a disruptive straight-to-market thing in the netflix mold

I think “tech” as a descriptor becomes less of a qualifier as existing companies use the same underlying technology. The common thread outside of actual technology use is “disruptive” market targeting and ridiculous stock valuation

So I’d grandfather companies actually making computers/software as their core business in, but that’s probably a personal bias

all that is keeping Tesla from being GM with shoddier QA is their computer stuck in the middle of the dash

mh, Monday, 19 March 2018 23:26 (four months ago) Permalink

we’re only a couple decades removed from the time when cable television was really disruptive tech

mh, Monday, 19 March 2018 23:28 (four months ago) Permalink

we're only a couple decade removed from the concept of owning a personal computer being a niche thing

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 19 March 2018 23:49 (four months ago) Permalink

Gak! disrupted my 1990s

Karl Malone, Monday, 19 March 2018 23:54 (four months ago) Permalink


I somehow include Dell in “tech” but they’re not by this definition. I don’t think they innovate in any significant way. They’re a commodity appliance company.

mh, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 00:39 (four months ago) Permalink

IBM probably manages to spend more on R&D than Dell still, despite their best efforts to become a company that sells nothing to nobody.

valorous wokelord (silby), Tuesday, 20 March 2018 00:42 (four months ago) Permalink

IBM does r&d but it’s the tiniest slice of their business

Of the products they sell for $$$ to large corporations, software-wise, they bought 80% of it through acquisitions

I use a bunch of their crap daily and the utility of most of it is being eclipsed by open source or more robust upstarts. I think one of their largest accounts is their message queuing server and associated software sales to wal-mart

mh, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 01:10 (four months ago) Permalink

not really the place to post this but my facebook quit lasted a whole three days. too much good stuff (all or mostly from ilxors) with an unspecified amount of me being lonely mixed in. don’t hate the players hate the game or something.

map, Monday, 26 March 2018 04:01 (four months ago) Permalink

4. https://t.co/QRfgwkNj80 Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lbs in one day?) and income

— Dylan Curran (@iamdylancurran) March 24, 2018

Stunning that more people don't know this.

Milking the Soft Power Dividend (dandydonweiner), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 22:18 (four months ago) Permalink

I mean Google Takeout will wake most people out of their slumber if they are not lazy.

Milking the Soft Power Dividend (dandydonweiner), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 22:18 (four months ago) Permalink

mh otm Watson & WebMQ are like the whole company now

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 22:20 (four months ago) Permalink

it’s so fucking weird, we were evaluating products implementing a certain enterprise authorization standard and IBM has one, but they integrated it into an appliance and none of the support pages have been updated for over five years

their “let’s get modern” approach for a long time was to just buy a company making a tool people need now, then never updating that product ever again. they aren’t alone in that approach but they’re one of the worst offenders. also, the appliance crap is exactly what hbo’s Silicon Valley show is parodying and they’re otm

mh, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 22:41 (four months ago) Permalink

They're basically unprecedented afaict

they're sears-roebuck

j., Wednesday, 28 March 2018 01:00 (four months ago) Permalink

hot take, no tech company should be "reminding" me of old posts or photos at any time ever. apple photos ffs just pinged "you have a new memory" with a shitty picture i've skipped over hundreds of times for a reason.

map, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 04:06 (four months ago) Permalink

mark zuckerberg otm

Karl Malone, Thursday, 29 March 2018 21:14 (four months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

People think Amazon has the most positive impact on society out of any major tech company
CEO Jeff Bezos’s decisions also have the greatest impact on their daily lives.

mookieproof, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 23:43 (three months ago) Permalink

lol tesla tho

mookieproof, Tuesday, 24 April 2018 23:44 (three months ago) Permalink

#branding #marketing

I feel like it’s almost anti-branding at this point that Apple actually does have decent security practices and a lack of interest in ads other than providing an app ads thing that developer companies demand

mh, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 01:27 (three months ago) Permalink

Facebook confirmed that it had a confidential agreement with Kogan, signed when he provided records showing he had deleted the app data.

He sent them this photo so it's cool


lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 25 April 2018 07:12 (three months ago) Permalink

We live in an era where I can’t tell if this story belongs here, in the “quiddities & agonies” rolling how-fucking-useless-is-the-NYT thread, or some old Campbell Brown C/D thread I can’t be bothered to revive, if it exists at all, because there’s so search on Zing and laziness rules all:


But fuck Facebook, fuck “school choice” ghouls, and fuck “profile” stories about fake ass American Mendicants with fake ass shitty overpaid jobs. Fuck all y’all.

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 25 April 2018 10:49 (three months ago) Permalink

Amazon hardly pays tax anywhere, systematically uses 'burn & churn' on its own employees, kills its competitors, has been making losses for decades to get here and now they finally make money, they don't even know what to do with it! Why does this company even exist? 🙄😡 https://t.co/Lmp0J2oVhw

— Stonehead (@stonehead) May 2, 2018

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 2 May 2018 08:56 (three months ago) Permalink


— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) May 1, 2018

lbi's life of limitless european glamour (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 2 May 2018 08:56 (three months ago) Permalink

And yet still not as horrible a tech company as Google.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:17 (three months ago) Permalink

583,000,000? Would this put their claimed user base back under a billion?

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:20 (three months ago) Permalink

one would think, at least for DAU


Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:26 (three months ago) Permalink

Despite protests from employees, Google is still charging ahead with a Department of Defense collaboration to produce machine-learning software for drones... now a report from Gizmodo says "about a dozen" employees have resigned over the issue. https://t.co/y03rJkrTbJ

— Ars Technica (@arstechnica) May 20, 2018

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 21 May 2018 03:47 (two months ago) Permalink

"Don't be evil."

*attorney whispers in their ear*

"It has come to our attention that being extremely evil will probably be more profitable in the long run. All we do is spy on you and construct killer robots now, hope you enjoyed finding out who the dad on Alf was faster than ever before."

21st savagery fox (m bison), Monday, 21 May 2018 03:56 (two months ago) Permalink

BREAKING: The ACLU has obtained records showing Amazon helping governments deploy a dangerous new facial recognition system that can track people in real time against huge databases. Our investigation: https://t.co/6aJ3Vjm21L

— Matt Cagle (@Matt_Cagle) May 22, 2018

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 23 May 2018 03:30 (two months ago) Permalink

But Amazon may save The Expanse. They can recognize my face while I'm watching it and sell me whatever.

Jeff, Wednesday, 23 May 2018 09:32 (two months ago) Permalink

It's Netflix. I think they've had the worst effect on my life for the last year or so. So many shite shows. So much scrolling and time wasted on awful content that should never have been made.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 23 May 2018 10:31 (two months ago) Permalink

there's a gradual, really sad development going on with amazon and their echo spot devices and advertising


so it's being sold to old people as an easy way to stay in touch with their family that their young tech-friendly descendants will definitely be into. and maybe there are a few families out there who are like this. but for most families, this hypothetical grandma/children/grandchildren call is going to happen exactly once, tops. the grandchildren will quickly learn to try to get out of it, or commit only to a handful of seconds a quick "hi grandma" and run away, at best. eventually she'll call and they'll stop picking up, but the devices will remain there as a constant reminder to grandma that even when she tries to communicate with her family in a more futuristic way, they are now too far apart to understand one another. amazon is the platform of choice for this newest painful phase of domestic self-realization!

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Friday, 25 May 2018 00:13 (two months ago) Permalink

Amazon Echo is a horrible grease fire of shitty tech designed by thrown-together d-teams of overworked schmucks who have barely any idea what they’re actually supposed to be doing. Definitely put one in your house and let it listen to everything you say.

El Tomboto, Friday, 25 May 2018 02:35 (two months ago) Permalink

If I ever meet a person in my field who starts a sentence with “so my Echo...” I think I’ll just say “Oh, so you keep your compost pile in the dining room?”

El Tomboto, Friday, 25 May 2018 02:43 (two months ago) Permalink

“Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa’. Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?’ At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customer’s contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?’ Alexa then interpreted background conversation as ‘right’.”


lana del boy (ledge), Friday, 25 May 2018 08:05 (two months ago) Permalink

couldn't afford a car so she woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like 'alexa'

difficult listening hour, Friday, 25 May 2018 08:21 (two months ago) Permalink

Karl Malone not otm imo re. grandma / grandkid interaction these days. my kids play jackbox over twitch with my mom. People in their 70s can be pretty tech-savvy.

and tbh my kids call grandparents out of their own volition more than weekly, in addition to our weekly calls. My daughter came out to my mother before she did to me!

droit au butt (Euler), Friday, 25 May 2018 09:27 (two months ago) Permalink

and this isn’t unusual in my experience but I know ilx is not home for happy families so I’ll stop posting

droit au butt (Euler), Friday, 25 May 2018 09:28 (two months ago) Permalink

my coworkers at the end of the aisle got the alexa business starter pack and are wiring up some alerts and notifications from internal application statistics because someone higher up thought it sounded interesting

tbh having a few more flashing lights that are responsive when app infrastucture is crashing isn't a horrible idea

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ (mh), Friday, 25 May 2018 13:33 (two months ago) Permalink


no, you're totally right, euler. the % of ilx posts that i regret immediately upon posting has slightly dropped over the years, but it's still up there. i was just projecting my weird family bullshit (which isn't even necessarily true in my own family! my niece and nephew love texting with my mom, for example). and even if it were true, it's not like the amazon spot is the first consumer device capable of reminding people of the difficulty they have communicating with their own family. sometimes i just post too much :o

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Friday, 25 May 2018 15:17 (two months ago) Permalink

I use all kinds of digital communication things with my parents, who are definitely old enough to be grandparents now

my friends use facetime with their parents so they can video chat with their two year old all the time

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻ (mh), Friday, 25 May 2018 15:26 (two months ago) Permalink

my association with these kinds of home listening devices to amazon is apparently already outdated


obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Friday, 25 May 2018 16:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Amazon echo returned after it announced unprompted in silent middle of the night "here are some Santana songs" & cranked Black Magic Woman.

— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) May 23, 2017

ciderpress, Friday, 25 May 2018 20:32 (two months ago) Permalink

i do that sometimes

brimstead, Friday, 25 May 2018 21:11 (two months ago) Permalink

"Amazon echo returned after it announced unprompted in silent middle of the night "here are some Santana songs" & cranked Black Magic Woman."


Arch Bacon (rushomancy), Saturday, 26 May 2018 00:32 (two months ago) Permalink

personally i'm down with santana abraxas but if my amazon echo isn't hip enough to know "black magic woman" is a fleetwood mac song it has no place in my home

Arch Bacon (rushomancy), Saturday, 26 May 2018 00:33 (two months ago) Permalink

A Washington-based advocacy group that claims to be a voice for tech startups is actually a sock puppet for Google, according to a new report that itself is funded by a rival. https://t.co/25QAYcFtom by @ddayen

— Jon Schwarz (@schwarz) May 31, 2018

the ignatius rock of ignorance (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:49 (two months ago) Permalink

frequent Trump-suer, the Attorney-General of Washington, is suing Google and Facebook on a small scale for destroying Western democracy on a major scale

we used to get our kicks reading surfing MAGAzines (sic), Monday, 4 June 2018 22:19 (two months ago) Permalink

I feel like we need an opposite thread to this so we can congratulate Microsoft on saving open source

El Tomboto, Monday, 4 June 2018 22:21 (two months ago) Permalink

Is that what they’ve done

valorous wokelord (silby), Monday, 4 June 2018 22:32 (two months ago) Permalink

I can’t tell but what a clusterfuck

El Tomboto, Monday, 4 June 2018 22:45 (two months ago) Permalink

Fucking cognitive dissonance playing hell with me right now.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 7 June 2018 02:57 (two months ago) Permalink

Due to Facebook and Google not complying with WA electoral law on political ad disclosure, the state passed a rule clarifying that this applies to digital ads.

It "takes effect" today (the law has been in effect since 1972). As of today, Google will no longer take ads aimed at influencing ballot measures or elections....... in Washington State only.

we used to get our kicks reading surfing MAGAzines (sic), Thursday, 7 June 2018 17:28 (two months ago) Permalink

yay democracy is saved

and TOWERS MONACO as 'seaman' (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 7 June 2018 17:31 (two months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Fuck Google, still the worst ever

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Wednesday, 15 August 2018 02:10 (yesterday) Permalink

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