From a WiFi-enabled smart outlet plug that allows you to turn things on and off in your house remotely via an app to a set of extra-long silicone oven mitts that will keep your hands, wrist, and forearms from getting burned during a kitchen mishap, the list of brilliant and practical items you can gift from Amazon is basically endless. In fact, part of what makes these kinds of presents so fun to receive is that they help make everyday tasks simpler and less annoying to do, and who doesn't want that?
The new feature illustrates the growing tension between Amazon and the many big and small brands that have become reliant on the site because of its dominance in e-commerce. Amazon is becoming a direct competitor for more sellers, raising questions around how the company's use of its marketplace sales data could potentially give it an unfair advantage over other brands and merchants.
If fighting over the last hot tech item in stock or waiting in hour-long check-out lines sounds like your worst nightmare, buying directly from Amazon is your best bet. And if you’re not already a Prime member (which gets you free, two-day shipping on pretty much everything you could ever need), we recommend it — especially if you’re not a plan-ahead kind of shopper.
Customers who are guests of another membership aren't eligible for the following benefits unless they are eligible through their Amazon Household: membership sharing, Kindle Owners' Lending Library, Prime Video, Prime Music, and shopping discounts provided by Amazon Family such as 20% off diapers and 15% Baby Registry Completion discount. Customers who are guests of another membership aren't eligible for Prime Photos.
Ai is not a man you can easily cow. If you’ve read about his trials in China, or watched Alison Klayman’s excellent 2012 documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, then you know this well enough. But watching his mettle in action in Human Flow inspires a different reaction than it does in Never Sorry. Rather than admire his boldness, we’re invited to search out that boldness in ourselves. The problem that Human Flow documents is massive and gaining in scope, chronicled first as a trickle, then a stream, then a torrent, now a deluge—soon a tsunami. The crisis of our refugees all over the world isn’t a problem one fixes merely by, for instance, banging away at a keyboard or saying pretty things in public spaces. Instead, the problem requires action, and Human Flow, generously taken at face value, is a tribute to those in the trenches: relief workers, volunteers, doctors, academics and lawmakers fighting to give refugees fleeing disease, famine and violence unimaginable to many of us the respect and protection they deserve. In turn, the film asks the audience to what lengths they would go to safeguard innocent people from harm, to give them opportunities to make their lives better. Ai has no vanity; he does not position himself as the hero. Through his devotion to his subjects, Human Flow reminds us how much work it is to help the helpless. The tragic conclusion is that we’re not doing enough. —Andy Crump
On top of 4-star, Amazon has expanded its retail presence beyond its Whole Foods purchase. Amazon opened its first bookstore in 2015 and now boasts over 15 Amazon Books locations throughout the U.S., with plans to open more. Furthermore, the e-commerce power runs four cashierless convenience store-style, Amazon-Go locations along with pop-up stores.
In April 2015, Amazon rolled out a new travel site called Amazon Destinations, which focuses on helping customers find "getaway destinations" within driving distance of their homes. Amazon Destinations featured hotel selections in three United States metro areas: L.A., New York and Seattle. Later that year, Amazon discontinued the service.
The service debuted on September 7, 2006 as Amazon Unbox in the United States. On September 4, 2008, the service was renamed Amazon Video on Demand. The Unbox name still refers to the local program, which as of August 2014 is no longer available for downloading purchased instant videos. On February 22, 2011, the service rebranded as Amazon Instant Video and added access to 5,000 movies and TV shows for Amazon Prime members.
Amazon’s retail presence has continued to grow with a diverse mix of outlets. The company now operates 17 brick-and-mortar bookstores, Amazon Fresh grocery pickup locations, pop-up stores it locates in shopping malls, and four Amazon Go grab-and-leave bodegas. In 2017, Amazon acquired the Whole Foods supermarket chain, which currently operates 470 locations.
In 2005, Amazon announced the creation of Amazon Prime, a membership offering free two-day shipping within the contiguous United States on all eligible purchases for a flat annual fee of $79 (equivalent to $99 in 2017), as well as discounted one-day shipping rates. Amazon launched the program in Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom in 2007; in France (as "Amazon Premium") in 2008, in Italy in 2011, in Canada in 2013, and in India on July 26, 2016.