Amazon, land of 1 million things you need and 5 million options for each of them, has quickly become the one-stop shop for an insane amount of online purchases. For me, that's because they have a wide selection, carry most of the brands I want, list them at near the lowest or the lowest prices I've seen in price comparison research (with shipping in mind), and, last but absolutely not least, because I'm a Prime member and the internet has made me a glutton for instant gratification — something that 2-Day (or two-hour) shipping panders well to.
But as Amazon uses its powerful platform to bolster its private-label business, there is also debate in legal circles whether some of its activities could be viewed as monopolistic in nature. Some say Amazon could face a legal challenge akin in size and scope to when the Department of Justice two decades ago filed antitrust charges against Microsoft for bundling its own browser into its software, making it difficult for consumers to install a browser from Microsoft’s top competitor, Netscape. Microsoft lost that court battle.
Try as you might to rationalize Darren Aronofsky’s mother!, mother! does not accept rationalization. There’s little reasonable ways to construct a single cohesive interpretation of what the movie tries to tell us. There is no evidence of Aronosfky’s intention beyond what we’ve intuited from watching his films since the ’90s—as well as how often Aronofsky loves to talk about his own work, which is usually worth avoiding, because Aronofsky likes thinking the movie is about everything. The most ironclad comment you can make about mother! is that it’s basically a matryoshka doll layered with batshit insanity. Unpack the first, and you’re met immediately by the next tier of crazy, and then the next, and so on, until you’ve unpacked the whole thing and seen it for what it is: A spiritual rumination on the divine ego, a plea for environmental stewardship, an indictment of entitled invasiveness, an apocalyptic vision of America in 2017, a demonstration of man’s tendency to leech everything from the women they love until they’re nothing but a carbonized husk, a very triggering reenactment of the worst house party you’ve ever thrown. mother! is a kitchen sink movie in the most literal sense: There’s an actual kitchen sink here, Aronofsky’s idea of a joke, perhaps, or just a necessarily transparent warning. mother!, though, is about everything. Maybe the end result is that it’s also about nothing. But it’s really about whatever you can yank out of it, its elasticity the most terrifying thing about it. —Andy Crump
A.: Yes. Amazon recently began experimenting with making some purchases eligible only Prime members. For instance, popular video games such as FIFA 16 can only be purchased from Amazon if you're a Prime subscriber. Similarly, earlier this year when Amazon restocked its Nintendo Switch inventory, the console was only available for Prime members. This may be a sign of things to come where Amazon becomes more like Costco or Walmart, requiring membership before you can shop.
Feedvisor: Very expensive algorithmic repricer that optimizes your margin by trying to win the Buy Box most of the time and takes into account other factors that affect who wins the Buy Box aside from price. Unlike any other repricer, it will raise your price (again, within limits) if you can still win the Buy Box despite the higher price. It also has a bunch of other great reporting and tools.
In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service in which members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.