From Pine View Farm

They Know What You Want 4

And you were worried about NSA surveillance:

Here’s how it works: based on the company’s (Amazon–ed.) substantial database that includes customers’ previous orders, product searches, wish lists and online shopping cart contents, Amazon will determine which items customers are expected to want to buy, and then ship those products to warehouses geographically closer to those customers. Even a customer’s mouse lingering over an item is catalogued and could be used to anticipate demand, the company says.

If you think this sounds a little terrifying — that a company to which you’ve unwittingly handed over reams of detailed, personal information about yourself is now taking that very information to essentially get inside your head and anticipate what you’re going to do before you’re even aware of it yourself — don’t worry, you’re right! And Amazon knows you think that!

They are stopping short of just shipping you stuff and billing your credit card.

For now.



  1. George Smith

    January 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Outside of Mechanical Turk which I am compelled to use by circumstances beyond my control, I haven’t bought anything from Amazon in years. Made the decision a couple back that Jeff Bezos and his empire, and all the employees in the upper tier in Seattle, were evil. It is not pleasant to note that his fulfillment warehouses killed two low wage workers this year during the shopping season, at the same time he was planning and doing his little dog and pony show on drone delivery for 60 Minutes. And then there was the kidney stones in the Galapagos incident…

  2. Frank

    January 23, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I remember when Amazon was new and a lot of the folks on the old TRDEV-L mailing list (training and development, out of Penn State) were excited at the central clearing house it provided for books.
    That was then, when Amazon was an on-line bookstore.
    I have occasionally purchased things through Amazon, probably at a rate of less than once a year, but only when I haven’t been able to find them elsewhere.  Any profile they have of me would be way off the mark (but they could buy the rest from Google, which knows everything about everybody with a keyboard).
    Indeed, there was a kerfuffle about Google on LQ the past couple of days, sparked by someone who doesn’t understand how Google does what it does.

  3. George Smith

    January 23, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    I’ve written about how Google properties hose me and others, on a technical level, for awhile The last time, very recently, was when it swiped my pic off one account and took it for the account I abandoned when I ditched Blogger years ago, all because it wanted fusion and more data. Google will never help the great mean or the little person. I find many of its projects entirely laughable, stuff aimed at the haves and of little consequence in terms of human improvement. Contact lenses allegedly for measuring blood sugar (diabetics rejoice, Goofle is your savior), the inescapable driver-less car (hilarious if you live in the LA metroplex), wi-fi internet furnishing blimps, cow-less meat. They were good at one thing, as were others who failed in that race, and the people who continue to expand that great one thing are all about using code and global networks to disempower the majority, distribute risk from the owners of capital to those who have none, and mega-amplification of the American freedom-to-shop experience.   

  4. Frank

    January 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    By giving away kewl free stuff that works, they have managed to seduce a bunch of credulous geeks.


    It takes me aback that so many folks who know how this stuff works are so easily distracted by kewl toyz.