Categories
Thoughts

What happened to Jeff Bezos’ face?

I keep tabs on Blue Origin because I’m interested in human space flight. Blue Origin released a video where Jeff Bezos announces in a weird reality show type video that he invited his brother to go along on the first flight with human passengers on New Shephard. I was so distracted with Jeff Bezos’ face and his speech pattern that I had to watch it three times. He’s no longer speaking clearly and his face is puffed out to where it doesn’t look like his face anymore. What happened? Take a look.

Categories
Thoughts

I guess Amazon isn’t the terrible workplace the media and labor unions make it out to be

Amazon’s PR says it’s not a win for Amazon. What can be said is this vote was a huge defeat for labor unions. The way this thing was hyped up I was sure it was going to go in the union’s favor. But, 71% against?!? That’s a giant slap in the union’s face.

Workers at the Bessemer warehouse overwhelmingly rejected unionization, with 71% casting ballots not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Some who voted no said they didn’t see how a union would substantially improve their pay and benefits.

“Amazon didn’t win—our employees made the choice to vote against joining a union,” the company said Friday.

The rejection is a blow to efforts to increase union membership in the private sector nationally, which has experienced a decades-long decline. The Amazon facility represented an opportunity to organize workers at the second-largest U.S. employer, in a fast-growing industry and in an environment where labor unions have thrived in the past—a large blue-collar site where many employees do similar jobs.

Wall Street Journal

The labor unions have outlived their usefulness. They were needed a time ago but now most of the changes to labor laws are set in stone and no one needs the labor union to stand in between. Especially since the unions use their dues primarily for poltics.

“A lot of us are in agreement that we don’t need anybody there to speak for us and take our money,” said Cori Jennings, 40 years old, who works there and voted against unionizing. Ms. Jennings, who talked to The Wall Street Journal before the results were final, said she and many of her colleagues were also eager for the national attention to fade: “We want our lives to go back to normal.”

The outcome underscores unions’ difficulties in boosting their ranks in the U.S. private sector, where they represent just 6.3% of workers, down from 24.2% in 1973, according to the earliest available data from Georgia State University’s union stats database. Of total U.S. workers, 10.8% were union members last year, according to the Labor Department.

Wall Street Journal

The troubling unions are the public employee unions. They unionized against the public and in my view should be illegal because there is no way for their true employers, the taxpayers, to have direct negotiations. Instead elected politicians, which get tons of funding from public employee labor unions, rubber stamp their new contracts.

I’m sure this union and it’s members were big critics of Trump and Trump voters for wanting to look into the 2020 election for fraud. This is an assumption of course but I feel it’s a safe one. But lookee here. They are contesting the results of the vote and want it overturned. Hmmmm.

The union said it would appeal the vote, accusing Amazon of violating legal restrictions governing unionization campaigns. Amazon has said it followed the law in communicating with employees before and during the election.

The appeal would seek to overturn results of the election or have it held again. The union is expected to take issue with meetings Amazon held with Bessemer employees and a mailbox the company pushed to install outside the facility.

“We won’t rest until workers’ voices are heard fairly under the law. When they are, we believe they will be victorious in this historic and critical fight to unionize the first Amazon warehouse in the United States,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said.

Wall Street Journal

Let’s keep our eye on this one. Hahahaha.

Image by kirstyfields from Pixabay
Categories
Thoughts

Amazon canceling books

Market dominance is a big problem. Amazon has the monopoly on book selling. I was behind Amazon when Apple colluded with book publishers on pricing. But, now Amazon has gone too far where they are shadow banning books. It’s a shadow ban because the book is available… just not on Amazon. The publisher should sue them.

Search for it on Amazon and you’re greeted with books that are the opposite of what you want. I’m a long time customer of Amazon. I’ve been buying books from them almost from the beginning. This is just not right.

The book is available at Barnes and Nobel

It’s also available direct from the publisher.

Categories
Thoughts

Is Amazon racist?

At the beginning of Black History Month Amazon pulled a documentary about a prominent black man in America. They have given no explanation for doing what they did. Other documentaries about prominent people are still up on the site ready to stream. But not this one even though it was more popular.

The documentary began airing on PBS in May 2020 and streaming on Amazon in October. But it was taken down by Amazon on Feb. 8, according to the director, Michael Pack, and he has never been told why. “Our distributor, who’s the one who made the deal with Amazon, has repeatedly asked them for explanations but they haven’t given any,” Mr. Pack told me by phone this week. “They have the right to pull anything from their site, and they don’t have to give an explanation. So it’s not a contract violation. But many people have complained, and they haven’t put it back up.”

Wall Street Journal

Who is the documentary about? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. It’s titled, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words”. I guess not all documentaries are created equal.

Is Amazon racist or are they now only ideologically driven? The hardest person to be in the United States seems to be a black conservative. Not only do you have to deal with actual racist people but you have to deal with the burden of being shunned by people of your own race because of your political beliefs.

I’ve been a customer of Amazon almost from the beginning and I love their service. But, how much longer can I use them in good conscience if they are going on a crusade against conservative voices?

Image by Javier Robles from Pixabay
Categories
Technology

YouTube Music Review

Google is at it once again. For some unknown reason, later this year, they are deprecating Google Play Music (GPM) for YouTube Music (YM). What the hell is wrong with this company? They always feel the need to fix things that aren’t broken or to kill off products. I’ve been using GPM since it was first available and it was by far the easiest way to listen to my music library. Today I received the link to transfer my library and playlists from one to the other. So far I am not impressed whatsoever with YM.

YM is too graphic heavy. It’s pushing video all the time. There are three tabs on the bottom. Home, Explore, and Library. On the home screen I’m greeted with junk. Today is Juneteenth (which is a dumb name and should be changed to Emancipation Day or something else more appropriate because Juneteenth is not a word and doesn’t mean anything) and front and center are things relating to Juneteenth. I don’t care! I just want to get to my music and not be pushed to engage in stuff that doesn’t matter to me.

Next I hop on over to the Library tab. I’m greeted with what YM thinks is my most recent activity. It is not correct. The recent activity also included the Billboard Top 50 Christian Songs Playlist. I have never listened to this playlist… EVER. There is no way to get rid of that selection either.

Frequently I go to either a playlist I set up or I go directly to the artist I want to hear. In YM I tap on the Artists tab and the next screen has two tabs at the top. YT Music and Uploads. But let’s start with the list of Recently Added things. Who the fuck is Chris August? I’ve never heard of him and never listened to him. I don’t want to click on it either to find out in fear that Google’s algorithm will somehow think it’s something I want. Forgetting about Mr. August for a moment. The list is not what I recently added. It’s not the same as the recent activity on the last screen either. Shouldn’t the two things be related?

Let’s say I want to listen to Lianne La Havas. I tap on her name in the recently added list and I’m presented with a giant picture of her links to shuffle play, radio, an icon for her latest release, and the beginnings of her top songs. In GPM you would see the artists top songs right away and more than just one would be present. But scrolling down isn’t much better. After a few more of her tops songs the next thing you see is simply Albums and after that simply Singles. Are these all her albums and singles? Are they part of my library? What are they? After that you get the categories of Videos, Featured On, and Fans might also like.

You know what I want when I get to the artists page? I want to know if they have released anything new (which is fine here) and I want to get to the tracks in my library. After all that’s why I’m in the Library section of the app. But nowhere can I tell what is supposed to be in my library. In GPM there is a section on the artists page that shows exactly what’s in your library. I don’t have to guess or remember what is mine and what is other stuff in their catalog.

The next tab on the artists page is Uploads. This is a totally useless tab. It lists everything I’ve uploaded by artist alphabetically. But it’s not smart at all. In the pic above take a look at the bottom two uploads. They are separate tracks from the same album and YM lists them as if they are from different artists even though they are from the same artist and album. The metadata on the song lists the artist as being different on these two tracks because Alicia Keys gives credit to other artists that are on each track. This is stupid. It does that for several artists and albums. Any time an artist is featuring another artist and it’s in the metadata it will list it as if it is a different artist. This makes this tab unusable.

All I can say is thank you to Google. They are going to save me $9.99 per month because I will be cancelling my Play Music subscription as soon as the GPM app disappears. I’m not paying for YM and it’s pain in the ass music app.

I’ve already started to migrate over to using my own cloud media server from Subsonic. This is simple software that you install on your computer, tell it where your media files are located, install an app on your phone, and access your own music library anywhere in the world. It’s not as elegant as GPM and not as user friendly but the premium version only costs $1/month.

For other music that I want to sample I’ll use Amazon Music. I already pay for Prime. If I want new music I’ll buy it, download it to my PC, and stream it using my own personal cloud.

I’m so sick of Google doing this to their apps and services. I already stopped using Chrome and mostly stopped using Google.com for search. Next I have to figure out how to extricate myself from Gmail. If it wasn’t for their superior spam filtering I would have stopped using that long ago.

Back to wrapping up my opinion on YM. Don’t use it. It sucks balls.