If you’ve never heard of the West Memphis Three, do some research before you begin—you’ll want to be prepared. Within only a minute of the film’s opening, as Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” noodles forebodingly over pixelated camcorder videos, intolerable images taken straight from police evidence glance across frame, so quickly and frankly you’ll immediately question if they are, in fact, real. Of course, they are—they are images no person should ever have to see, and yet Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky use them only to expose the unbelievable horror at the heart of the appropriately named Paradise Lost. What unfolds over the following two and a half hours is just as heartbreaking: a trio of teenage boys (one with an IQ of 72) is put on trial for the brutal murders of three prepubescent boys, the only evidence against them a seemingly forced confession by the young kid with the below-average IQ, and laughably circumstantial physical proof. The film explores the context of West Memphis, its blindly devoted Christian population and how the fact that these teenagers dressed in black and listened to Metallica somehow led to their predictable fates at the hands of a comprehensively broken justice system. With surprising access to everyone involved in the trial, as well as a deft eye for the subtle exigencies of any criminal case such as this, Paradise Lost is a thorough, infuriating glimpse of the kind of mundane evil that mounts in some of America’s quietest corners. Welcome home. —Dom Sinacola
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A.: Prime members save $2 per month on this subscription service that offers thousands of books, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games for children ages 3 to 10 years old. Recently, Amazon expanded the ages, to also include specialty content for kids ages 9 to 12. Owners of a new Fire Kids Tablet automatically receive one year free. FreeTime Unlimited is accessible through Fire tablets, Fire TV and Kindle e-readers. Parents can granularly sort and filter content based on their own judgement as to what's appropriate.
This new $24.99 product is exactly what the name suggests: it’s a plug that goes into an outlet and is compatible with Alexa. So you can tell Alexa to turn on or turn off whatever’s plugged into the Smart Plug from wherever you are. And it supports the automatic Wi-Fi setup mentioned above. Preorders kick off today, and the $24.99 Smart Plug will be available in October.
In January 2008, Amazon began distributing its MP3 service to subsidiary websites worldwide and, in December 2008, Amazon MP3 was made available in the UK. At the launch of Amazon MP3 in the UK, over 3 million Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free songs were made available to consumers, with prices that started at 59p, compared to Apple's 79p starting price.
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
If you haven't heard of biltong, they're those thick, flavorful strips of air-dried meat that put stringy, chewy, and additive-packed beef jerky to shame. These peppery little slabs are made from grass-fed beef, air-dried for 14 days, and spiced with a blend of cayenne and chili powder to add some heat without overwhelming your palate. They’re also sugar-free, full of protein, and super simple to toss in your bag.
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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.
While the marketplace infrastructure has many advantages, it’s important to remember that it can cut both ways. Marketplaces don’t exist to help you, but to help themselves. They want the focus to be on the products, not the sellers. And that means they might restrict the degree to which you can brand your presence, communicate with customers, dictate what items you can and cannot sell, and so on.
In this report, we showcase the findings of our recent online survey of US consumers, a sizable proportion of whom had bought clothing or footwear on Amazon during the past 12 months. We explore how many US consumers are buying apparel on Amazon, which retailers these shoppers have switched their spending from, what clothing and footwear brands and categories they are buying on Amazon, their attitudes toward Amazon Fashion and its offerings, and where else, besides Amazon Fashion, they shop for apparel. Throughout this report, “apparel” refers to both clothing and footwear.
On May 10, 2016, Amazon launched a Video Service called Amazon Video Direct which allows users to place videos available to rent or own, to view free with ads, or to be bundled together, and offered as an ad-on subscription. Amazon will pay creators 50% of the revenue earned from rental or sale of the videos, but for ad-supported videos, the makers will get a portion of ad receipts.
I started selling furniture on Craigslist 18 months ago. While searching for pieces I actually needed, I began to notice, “Hey, the desk this guy is asking $50 for would totally sell for $150.” Being freshly unemployed, I slid into the furniture flip game, and now I buy lamps off of Amazon and resell them on Craigslist for twice (sometimes five times) as much. Last month, lamps paid my rent. 2018 has become the year of my Lamp Baronry.
Anyone who spends much time on the Amazon site can see the answer to that question. The company now has roughly 100 private label brands for sale on its huge online marketplace, of which more than five dozen have been introduced in the past year alone. But few of those are sold under the Amazon brand. Instead, they have been given a variety of anodyne, disposable names like Spotted Zebra (kids clothes), Good Brief (men’s underwear), Wag (dog food) and Rivet (home furnishings). Want to buy a stylish but affordable cap-sleeve dress? A flared version from Lark & Ro ($39), maybe in millennial pink, might be just what you’re looking for.
In a voice test of various categories using the Amazon Echo devices last year, researchers at Bain & Co., found in categories in which Amazon offered a private-label product, Alexa recommended those products 17 percent of the time. Noting that the private label goods represent only about 2 percent of total volume sold, the Bain researchers said, “the online retailer clearly positions its own private labels favorably in voice shopping.”
One example is the entry zone at the front of the store - you'd think that's a prime location for signage, deals, brochures, etc. But when you're headed through the door into the store you see almost nothing and stop for almost nothing, and then (in America) you tend to drift to the right and then you're 'in' the store. If you put a store directory just inside the door, nobody uses it. Move it back a bit so you can find it once you're into the store and suddenly it's heavily utilized. He has hard observational data for all these, so they're compelling in addition to being fascinating.
Snapchat could use the help. It’s now losing users and money, down from 191 million to 188 million daily active users last quarter while burning $353 million. Partnering instead of trying to build all its technology in-house could help reduce that financial loss, while added utility could aid with user growth. And if Snap can convince advertisers, they might pay to educate people on how to scan their products with Snapchat.
Elena Ledoux is the founder of MommyGO, a company which makes natural energy products for busy moms that are sold on Amazon. “There is a lot of negative sentiment around Amazon's unfair advantage, which is justified,” says Ledoux, commenting on Amazon’s ability to drive more product reviews for its own stable of brands. “However, everyone forgets about a fair advantage that a product maker can have - to have a superior product. At the end of the day, you can be successful even with fewer reviews if your product is legitimately better.”
Around 2009, Amazon quietly entered the private label business by offering a handful of items under a new brand called AmazonBasics. Early offerings were the kinds of unglamorous products that consumers typically bought at their local hardware store: power cords and cables for electronics and, in particular, batteries — with prices roughly 30 percent lower than that of national brands like Energizer and Duracell.
Promising review: "I'm a pro gardener and a total plant geek, so reading all about the wicked deeds of the plants I know and love (and learning some new ones as well!) was a blast. But you don't have to know or even care much about plants to enjoy this book. Amy blends the human stories and the plant details with such humor and depth; as she says, 'I looked for plants that had an interesting backstory. There had to be a victim — a body count... These are plants you do not want to meet in a dark alley.'" —Gen of North Coast Gardening
Amazon probably isn’t the only reason Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is spending $13 billion on content this year — but it’s one of the biggest reasons. The goal of Netflix’s content strategy is clear. Netflix wants to give subscribers everything they want — and more content they perhaps didn’t even know they wanted. That will drive subscriber growth and cement Netflix’s dominance in the space. From there, Amazon, Disney (NYSE:DIS), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and everyone else can play for second.
Holiday shopping is not exactly stress-free. From the mad dashes on Black Friday to the last-minute running around town, it can really take a toll. This holiday season, take a deep breath, pour yourself a mug of hot apple cider, and get to work on your gift list with Amazon — you'll be done before you know it. From highly-anticipated tech and gadgets to luxe candles to trendy beauty products, the mega e-retailer has quite an expansive offering. Even better: With Amazon Prime, you can get everything on your list (and household essentials) with free two-day shipping, too. Pretty nice, right? Get ready to make this holiday season the simplest, easiest, most fuss-free one ever. And for other great gift ideas, check out Allure's other picks for presents.
Is there a method to our madness when it comes to shopping? Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a Sherlock Holmes for retailers," author and research company CEO Paco Underhill answers with a definitive "yes" in this witty, eye-opening report on our ever-evolving consumer culture. Why We Buy is based on hard data gleaned from thousands of hours of field research -- in shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets across America. With his team of sleuths tracking our every move, from sweater displays at the mall to the beverage cooler at the drugstore, Paco Underhill lays bare the struggle among merchants, marketers, and increasingly knowledgeable consumers for control.
In which we bask in Vince Vaughn’s hugeness, witnessing S. Craig Zahler’s pitch-perfect ode to grindhouse cinema draw the best of extremes out of an actor who’s had a rough couple years crawling out from under the parody of himself. This is not Vince Vaughn playing Bradley Thomas, stolid brute willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family, it is the silhouette of Vince Vaughn, silent and bigger than everyone else in the room, a spectre of bruised flesh—so much flesh—descending circle by circle into Hades, his odyssey heralded by the likes of Don Johnson and Udo Kier (both seemingly born to be in this endlessly compelling, awfully fucked-up movie) and soundtracked by soul/RnB icons like the O’Jays and Butch Tavares. It confirms that Zahler—along with Bone Tomahawk—is on some Tarantino levels of modern genre filmmaking—which could honestly be a pejorative, were Brawl in Cell Block 99 less finely tuned, less patient and less breathlessly violent. By the time Bradley lurches into irrevocable action, foreshadowed by an opening scene in which he rips apart a car with his bare hands, which is exactly as that sounds, every life force he snuffs out with maximum barbarity also comes with pure satisfaction, the Id of anyone who’s into this kind of thing stroked to completion. —Dom Sinacola
The feature functions similarly to Pinterest’s Lens visual search tool. In the video demo above, you can see Snapchat identifying Under Armour’s HOVR shoe (amongst all its other models), and the barcode for CoverGirl’s clean matte liquid makeup. That matches our scoop based on code dug out of Snapchat’s Android app by TechCrunch tipster Ishan Agarwal. Snapchat’s shares popped three percent the day we published that scoop, and again this morning before falling back to half that gain.
The question at this point is valuation. At roughly 10x revenue and 63x forward EPS, ETSY isn’t cheap, even by the standards of high-margin platform stocks. As Josh Enomoto pointed out in August, the arts & crafts industry isn’t growing. Industry leader Michaels Companies (NASDAQ:MIK) has said the same thing — and it’s rolling out an Etsy competitor of its own next year.
On January 24, 2016, Amazon launched a new subscription program aimed at parents called STEM Club, which delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month. And by "STEM", toys will be hand-picked and focused on the area of science, technology, engineering and math. The toys will range from robotics to natural sciences and will include items exclusive to Amazon. STEM toy subscription club is only available in the United States.
A.: Most gamers are already familiar with Twitch, the popular game-stream broadcast service, but may not know about Twitch Prime. Amazon Prime users also get access to Twitch Prime, which allows them to watch Twitch streams completely ad-free. However, Amazon recently announced that new members will not get ad-free viewing beginning September 14. Existing members, however, can continue to enjoy ad-free viewing up until their subscription renewal, at which point they too will lose the feature. Monthly in-game bonuses and "Free Games With Prime" — a selection of free titles for Prime members — will continue.
You should never share your debit or credit card password with any Amazon seller unless you are at the checkout page requiring you to enter these details. And besides, the only card password you'll need aren't any passwords you set up online - the three digit pin that can be found on the front or back of the card are those digits you'll need to input for the purchase to be sent out Amazon's door.
Amazon Cash (in the United States and Canada) and Amazon Top Up (in the United Kingdom) are services allowing Amazon shoppers to add money to their Amazon account at a physical retail store. The service, launched in April 2017, allows users to add between $5 and $500 (£5 and £250) to their accounts by paying with cash at a participating retailer, who scans a barcode linked to a customer's Amazon account. Users can present the app on paper, on the Amazon app, or as a text message sent by the Amazon website. Participating retailers in the United States include 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, and GameStop. In Canada, reloads can only be made at Canada Post post offices. In the United Kingdom, reloads can only be made at PayPoint locations.
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Sports brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Adidas are among the most-bought brands bought on Amazon. These brands’ presence across both clothing and footwear likely supports their leading positions—and, as we discuss later, footwear is a very popular category on Amazon Fashion. Lower-cost casualwear also ranks highly, as do underwear brands such as Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, implying that Amazon is popular for basics.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is a fearsome competitor. No company has posted the growth that it has for so many years off such a large base. And no stock has been given so much leeway by investors. It’s remained on pretty much every list of best stocks to buy, and traded at huge valuations. That patience has allowed Amazon to trade near-term margins for long-term market share. Its reach has become so vast that it almost seems that there are no Amazon-proof stocks left.
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.
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.
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.