While our survey has long shown seasonal fluctuations in Prime membership levels, we have now seen four months of—at best—flatlining membership rates. Moreover, in July last year, Prime Day prompted a month-over-month increase in membership numbers, but this year we saw no such jump. This August, the proportion of consumers we recorded holding a Prime membership was the lowest we had seen in a year.
Some of the best parts of shopping on Amazon are the wide selections and low costs, but those things can also make it difficult to root out what's really worth spending your money on before you've stretched your checkbook too thin. It can also be hard to tell which affordable options are similar (or better) in performance to their higher-priced competitors to save you some money. The huge selection and low costs can be a great advantage if you have the inside scoop needed to navigate them confidently — if not, it can be a huge drain on time scrolling through reviews and trying to parse out who means what they're saying.
Target has lost the most in terms of apparel shoppers who have switched some or all of their apparel spending to Amazon, with Walmart in second place. This is the reverse of these two retailers’ overall ranking in terms of apparel retail, as Walmart is a significantly bigger clothing and footwear retailer than Target, as measured by both sales and shopper numbers.
For better or for worse, Amazon has some of the most brutally honest reviewers on the internet. If there's something to be said about an item, they'll say it. That's why it's especially impressive when Amazon products have thousands of reviews and the vast majority of them are positive. What does that mean for you? Gone are the days of picking things off the shelves at department stores and hoping they're good.
Amazon is still by far the biggest cloud computing firm, with its high-margin AWS business jumping 49% to $6.12 billion in the second quarter. Amazon held the top spot in terms of market share at 34%, which came in well-above second-place Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) 14%, IBM’s (IBM - Free Report) 8%, Google’s 6%, and Alibaba’s (BABA - Free Report) 4%, according to Synergy Research Group.
Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement co-stars in and co-directs this clever mockumentary about the banal bummers of the afterlife, when vampires stop being polite and start getting real. As “documented” by a camera crew, Clement and collaborator Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok) share a flat with fellow bloodsuckers who, when they aren’t bickering over dish duty and rent, are schooling a green new vamp—who in turn brings the centuries-old creatures into the technology age. The New Zealand-made horror-comedy is deeply self-aware, reveling in its silly practicalities: It’s tough to go clubbing when your undead identity requires that you be invited inside. When you’ve got nothing but time, the mundane becomes even more ridiculous, and Shadows’ way with the absurd is spot-on. (And that’s before we meet a pack of smug rivals who refuse to lower themselves to “swearwolves.”) What the genre- and cliché-bending film lacks in plot it more than makes up for in tongue-in-cheek charm. Who would’ve thought vampires were such dorks? —Amanda Schurr
In December 2016, the first Amazon Go store was opened to Amazon employees in Seattle. The 1,800 sq ft store uses a variety of sensors and automatically charges a shopper's Amazon account when they walk out of the store. It stocks ready-made meals and meal boxes; in addition to a full grocery store. The store was planned to open for the general public in early 2017 but it has not done so due to issues with the technology tracking over twenty people at one time. The store opened to the public on January 22, 2018.
What’s perhaps most refreshing in Green Room is writer-director Jeremy Saulnier’s lack of interest in the kind of moralizing that made his last film, Blue Ruin, ultimately seem conventional. Instead, Saulnier simply presents us this nutty scenario without feeling the need to lard it up with anything as cumbersome as topical commentary or moral ambiguity. He proceeds to wring as much tension and suspense from its pulpy retro plot as possible, adding a few entertaining grace notes along the way, which can best be seen in its performances. In the ensemble-based Green Room, Saulnier revels in the contrasts of personalities and styles: band bassist Pat’s (Anton Yelchin) Bill Paxton-like desperation, for instance, set alongside the weary, near-drugged-out deadpan of Amber (Imogen Poots), a friend of the woman whose murder sets off the film’s violent chain of events; or the imperial calm of Darcy (Patrick Stewart), the ruthless leader of the band of white supremacists who attempt to kill Pat, Amber and the rest. It’d be a stretch to call these characters three-dimensional, but nevertheless, under Saulnier’s writing and direction, they all manage to stand out just enough as individuals for us to become emotionally involved in their fates. Meanwhile, Saulnier supports these characters and plot turns with filmmaking that is remarkable for its economy and patience. D.P. Sean Porter gets a lot of mileage out of the cramped quarters and grimy lighting of the bar, lending its wide (2.35:1) frames an appropriately nightmarish feel amidst many suspenseful set pieces. In those ways, the lean, mean Green Room stands as one of the best B-movie genre exercises in many years. —Kenji Fujishima
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We find the deals -- you shop, save and enjoy. Prime Student works with hundreds of vendors to surface great deals just for Students. Whether you are headed to college yourself, have a child going to college, or are looking for the perfect gift for a college student, we have you covered. From laptops and video games to study snacks and office supplies, you'll find it here. Happy Off-to-College shopping!
Promising review: "This will be the most emotional review I’ve ever written. There are millions of different toys to choose from on this planet but to find toys that satisfy my children is quite an accomplishment. I have three boys with Autism, so for me to find a toy that is so good for their motor skills and dexterity is amazing. This has to be the most brilliant toy I have ever purchased. To this company: Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. From this moment forward you have a lifelong customer.” —christina piemonte
Amazon squeezes small publishers. For instance, Amazon cut off Swindle sales for an independent book distributor in order to press for bigger discounts. (The article ends by promoting ebooks for another platform, the Shnook from Barnes and Noble. While that company is not as nasty to small publishers, its ebooks do violate your freedom in most of the same ways.)
Amazon Key In-Car is a service allowing owners of vehicles with OnStar (that are 2015+ models) or Volvo on Call, to get packages delivered in their vehicle's trunk. The service is available in the same areas as Amazon Key's In-Home delivery, but requires no additional hardware. Customers are provided with a four-hour delivery window. During that time, their vehicle must be located in a publicly accessible area.