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Follow-up on Amazon weirdness

April 13th, 2009 (11:00 pm)
chipper

current mood: chipper

Hmm... some interesting drama over this whole thing over the course of the day. Some of it (sic the post from a guy claiming responsibility for hacking Amazon and creating the mess) seems to have since disappeared. (The claim, while deemed plausible in certain aspects was generally debunked as unlikely in posts from people familiar with databases and coding; sorry no links although you can probably find them if you really want through the links I'd given yesterday and some hunting among subsequent links... if they're still up.) In any case, here's The NY Times article with official comment from Amazon. There was another article from... a Seattle paper(?) with more comment about the behind the scenes aspect of what happened.

From what I've seen, the few titles I'd checked out previously are back up (and Heather Has Two Mommies is back to being a regular import book and not listed in the adult section on the .co.jp site) and seem to be back to normal. I wonder if Amazon will say anything further about what happened in the days to come, but I have my doubts. My main curiosity still remains the loss of searchability from the main page for the various books on the .com site when the sales rank was lost from the titles since that would have the greatest impact on me as a consumer (were I to actually use the .com site. The .ca and .co.jp sites didn't share this behaviour).

And completely unrelated... (yes, I know there's absolutely no connection between these two...) I has an invite code! ^o^ I need to decide on what to use for a user name or if I should stick with 'kagedreams'. ^^; (I'm not sure what to do for that...) Will have to decide soon though. :P And for those who have no idea what I'm talking about, it's an invite to Dreamwidth, the alternative that started being heard a lot more after last year's LJ fiasco with basic accounts and... wasn't it the removal of especially GLBT from the interest lists? There have been a number of updates that have been trickling out as the site went into closed beta earlier and is set for open beta at the end of the month. (Yes, other sites like IJ were also mentioned last year as alternatives, but this one was really interesting because of all the development that was to be put into the site's platform.)

For those people who are really wanting to check things out and / or are really hoping to get an invite, try logging in over there with your OpenID and validate your email addy. That's what I did. You never know if you might get lucky. (They've been handing out invites to a number of email validated OpenID users every day as they ramp up towards open beta.) ^_^ I've been poking around a bit every now and again over there trying to get a feel for how the site works and its differences from LJ.

Comments

Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: April 14th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
geek

DW envy: I has it. Be sure to let us know the username you settle on?

I remain sceptical about Amazon. It stinks too much of shenanigans.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 15th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)

*laughs* I managed to get my 'name', so that's what I currently have set up. Shall see if I go for 'kagedreams' later on, but for now, I'm 'shadow' over there. ^_^

>.> I don't think I trust Amazon any further than I can kick a 50t concrete block. Quite frankly, there are too many weird things that happened along with the de-listing and the overall timeline of events is rather fishy, too (if you believe the de-listing that happened in Feb).

(FWIW, the abrupt switch from Amazon to Dreamwidth in my post is because I literally got the invite in my inbox at that point. I immediately became more interested in Dreamwidth at that point. :P)

Seriously though, I don't have an issue with the concept of listing certain things as 'adult' or '18+' or whatever you want to call it , especially for the .com or .co.jp sites. (Doesn't affect the .ca site quite as much since there's much less merchandise available there in comparison.) But when anything with the meta-tag 'gay' gets re-classified? Uh huh...

Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: April 15th, 2009 10:40 am (UTC)
geek

Worse than just "gay" as the meta-tag, it's "accepting teh ghei". People who put far more time into this than I did pointed out that the anti-gay stuff still had all its listing information. :(

I'd much rather focus on "eeeeeee!! Dreamwidth" than "buu, Amazon". ^_~

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 16th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)

They did, but from one thing I read over the weekend (especially WRT the book for parents on preventing homosexuality) was that the metadata for unaffected books (including het porn) didn't actually mention any of the words that were hit, thus... :/ Since I didn't look much at the metadata after things were fixed, I have no idea what sort of metadata would've resulted in books for the disabled or books on paganism to be targeted. *boggles*

Dreamwidth is much more interesting. ^_^ BTW, are you getting the news updates for them? I know you really want to get in there, but I have to admit that there's a lot of construction dust everywhere. Since I wasn't on LJ when it was expanding via invite, I have no idea how limited things might've been here. I will admit, I'm often lost over there and I really must bookmark the quick guide someone wrote up for dreamwidth codes vs LJ ones. ^^;

Posted by: Too cute for evil (ginny_t)
Posted at: April 16th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
geek

Well, it *is* closed beta, so that's not construction dust--it's construction. Hope you have a hard hat!

Posted by: Because loving ONE Seki-sama isn't good enough! (sekitx2)
Posted at: April 14th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
NyankoTorchit

Interesting... don't buy it Amazon. .com, .ca and .jp DBs all got the same kind of glitch? BS.

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: April 15th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)

Actually, the idea of the various DBs sharing info to a degree doesn't particularly surprise me since I would expect each to be in charge of their country's items and those versions info being shared for import items in other countries. (Does that make sense? For example, .co.uk and .com each have entries for item X for their own country while .co.jp might list both X(.co.uk) and X(.com) as import items available for purchase.) The thing is, why did the .com site remove items from the mainpage search? (That didn't happen on .ca or .co.jp.) Could it be there were some other effects of removing sales rankings that weren't immediately obvious on the other sites? It's hard to say.

I find the blaming of someone over in France (handling .com's data??) as a bit convenient. Why is .fr handling/setting that sort of (meta-)data for .com goods? I'm no techie, but to me, it makes sense that .fr should be able to affect how .com items are displayed on .fr's site (different countries have different laws, after all), but it shouldn't be able to affect the primary .com (meta-)data and affect how it's displayed in the entire amazon network. It's like giving a data-entry clerk root access on the entire system; doesn't make sense.

......Or is that what you meant by not buying what they were saying? ^^;

Edited at 2009-04-15 08:36 am (UTC)

Posted by: Because loving ONE Seki-sama isn't good enough! (sekitx2)
Posted at: April 15th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
Vol10

In a way, yes ^^ Sharing information for sure maybe even same code/server structures but each country must have it's own server/DB (no way sharing). I'm not tech saavy enough either but we have a LAN and a few other independent servers to run different products for clients (and we're not that big a company). It's pretty hard to have a glitch (I think anyway) that amazon claims unless they've been ridiculously careless like you say.

.JP and .ca definitely didn't have as much "damage" as .com ... nah, too many years of X-Files says cover-up ^^

Posted by: Tam Chronin (tamchronin)
Posted at: April 14th, 2009 05:19 pm (UTC)
Inara

Oooh, Dreamwidth envy in massive amounts, here. I think I'll wait and get a paid account when I can actually afford it, myself. I've been waiting for that site for ages!

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