Amazon

AP Images

Amazon shares jumped more than 5 percent after the company provided results for its cloud-computing business for the first time and showed it to be more profitable than investors expected.

Profits have long been elusive for Amazon, and the company posted another loss in the most recent quarter. Amazon said it had a net loss of $57 million, or 12 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with net income of $108 million, or 23 cents, a year earlier.

But now Amazon has provided financial details for its cloud division, known as Amazon Web Services, that allows businesses to use Amazon’s computers instead of running their own. AWS net sales totaled $1.57 billion, with an operating profit of $265 million.

Seattle Police Department

 

One of Amazon's top executives is walking away from the corporate world to join the payroll at the Seattle Police Department. The agency is thrilled to have someone join its upper ranks  who does not come from law enforcement.

Greg Russell, an outgoing Vice President at Amazon's who oversaw the company's corporate applications, will be the Seattle Police Department’s new Chief Information Officer. Russell was one of more than 200 applicants for the newly created position.

 

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Amazon shares jumped 13 percent in after-hours trading on news that the company returned to profitability in the fourth quarter. Strength in the cloud-computing business was an especially bright spot.

Cloud computing means hiring a company such as Amazon to run your computer system remotely instead of managing all those machines and software in-house.

Amazon and rivals such as Microsoft have been spending a lot to build big computer server farms. In spite of that expense, IDC analyst Al Hilwa says it’s an attractive business for Amazon.

Amazon.com.

 

A new letter from Amazon to the Federal Aviation Administration indicates the e-commerce giant is getting frustrated with the wait for approval to test package delivery drones.

Jason Brackins / Flickr

Amazon disappointed investors Thursday by posting a bigger loss than expected, sending its shares down 11 percent in after-hours trading.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

Amazon's latest innovations weren't the draw for security guards who attended the company's annual shareholders' meeting Wednesday to address CEO Jeff Bezos directly about workers' rights. 

Among those gathered was security officer Daivon Young, who works for a company called Security Industry Specialists and is hired to guard Amazon headquarters. 

Paul Sakuma / AP Photo

From car dealers to appliance stores, businesses know tax refund season is an important time of year. The average tax refund so far this year is $3,200 and more than three-quarters of taxpayers get a refund. 

Seattle's Amazon.com undoubtedly gets a boost already from that influx of cash. But this year, the company is aiming for more.

Employees at an Amazon.com facility have decided against forming a labor union. The vote last night was the first of its kind in Amazon's history.

City of Seattle

City planners have approved the plans for three large globes that will be part of the new headquarters for Amazon.com in downtown Seattle.

The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports the connected globes will range from 80 to 95-feet tall and house retail space open to the public.

Tim RT / flickr.com

The holiday season will be great for pads and tablets, but not so great for smartphones, says Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson.

AP Photo

Amazon says it is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.

The Seattle company says Sunday delivery will be available to customers in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas at first. Amazon and the Postal Service plan to roll out service to "a large portion of the U.S. population" next year, including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix.

AP Photo

Amazon has launched a new website for its online store that will donate a fraction of shoppers' purchase amounts to charity.

Amazon.com Inc. launched the site, smile.amazon.com, on Wednesday. The world's largest online retailer says people will find the same items and the same prices that they would on its regular site or mobile app, with some exceptions.

AP Photo

Amazon.com says that its fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed as revenue grew 24 percent to more than $17 billion.

The Seattle-based online retailer also said Thursday that it expects growth in its fourth-quarter revenue, indicating confidence as it enters the key holiday shopping season.

Amazon.com says it is hiring 70,000 full-time seasonal workers around the U.S. to fill orders during the holiday season.

The world's largest online retailer says the hires are an increase of 40 percent over last year's 50,000 workers. Seasonal employees at Amazon.com Inc. order fulfillment centers are eligible for health care benefits and, on average, earn 94 percent of the wages of regular employees.

Amazon Unveils Kindle Fire HDX with 24/7 Live Help

Sep 25, 2013
AP Photo

Amazon is refreshing its lineup of tablet computers with new devices called Kindle Fire HDX, which are significantly faster and lighter than the previous generation.

The 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions also have sharper, more colorful displays than older models, and both have more pixels per inch than the latest iPad.

Alan Alfaro

Amazon has signed a deal with Viacom for online rights to hundreds of TV shows. But the most important shows are ones geared toward kids.

If you:

1. Live in a state that charges sales tax

and

2. Buy something from an online store that does not charge you sales tax,

then you are supposed to:

3. Calculate the sales tax yourself and add it onto your annual state tax bill.

Not surprisingly, as we reported last week, almost no one actually does this.

Update at 7:23 p.m. ET. The Surface:

Saying that Microsoft wanted to give its new operating system "its own hardware," CEO Steve Ballmer announced "Surface," Microsoft's foray into the tablet world.

The Verge reports:

Ashley Gross / KPLU

"Today we saw a huge victory..."

Michelle Wilson, a Senior Vice President at Amazon, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting today in Seattle that Amazon would drop its support for the controversial group ALEC because the public policy organization had made decisions unrelated to Amazon’s business.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, also told shareholders that the company would spend $52 million to add air-conditioning to its packaging facilities this year.

With the Occupy Seattle protests having morphed into a movement targeting banks and companies that protesters believe do not live up to progressive ideals, the local protest movement self-dubbed “Working Washington” says it will be at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday in force.

And, with continual protests focusing on its Seattle offices, as Seattle tech blog Geekwire reports, the company is warning protesters to stay off its property.

Chris Eaton / Greenpeace via Twitter

Calling attention to its recent study showing server farms, the basis for cloud computing, consume as much electricity as small cities, Greenpeace this morning put up a sign on Amazon's new building in Seattle:

"How green is your cloud?"

The Associated Press

Three Seattleites are among the 220 new members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year: Melinda Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Dr. Larry Corey, president and director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Read more on Humanosphere.

Unlike traditional publishing companies, self-publishing programs like Amazon's Kindle Select lack the keen eyes of publishers, leaving room for copyright violations — and plagiarism.

Sharazade is the pen name of a writer and editor who is a rising star on Amazon's erotica section.

"I do a lot of traveling, and most of my stories are travel-based in some way, either set in an exotic location or having to do with modes of transportation ... or airports, airplanes, buses," she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

Booksellers and publishers are worried that Amazon is going to devour their industry. The giant online retailer seems to have its hands in all aspects of the business, from publishing books to selling them — and that has some in the book world wondering if there is any end to Amazon's influence.

Michael Nienaltowski / flickr.com

Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson is predicting the technology sector will end the year on a relatively high note. But, as he tells KPLU's Dave Meyer on The Digital Future, he's worried about the first quarter of 2012.

Cheuk-man Kong / Flikr

Amazon.com has been thriving, despite the economic downturn. Shares in the company are now worth more than five times a much as they were five years ago, thanks in part to innovations such as its electronic book reader, the Kindle, or its move into data storage of all kinds of things "in the cloud."

But it's just these futuristic lines of business that have some shareholders worried. 

Achim Hepp / flickr.com

Microsoft is appealing a $1.3 billion fine from European antitrust regulators. But its antitrust worries in the United States appear to be over. The consent decree with the US Justice Department expired May 11th. A lot has changed since Microsoft crushed Netscape in the browser wars of the 1990s. This month on The Digital Future, Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson says Microsoft has transformed itself into a much better corporate citizen.

Bellamy Pailthorp photo / KPLU

One of Seattle's most famous employers is moving. City leaders are celebrating…because online-retailing giant Amazon.com is only moving a few miles across town. 

The new headquarters complex is large enough to house several thousand employees.

Technology that enables good results for searches on the Internet is at the heart of two patent lawsuits brought against online retailer Amazon.com and search-giant Google.

San Francisco-based MasterObjects has filed federal complaints against both companies, saying they're stealing its technology.

TED.com

The popular TED Talks series is sprouting a new arm: TED Books.  Seattle-based Amazon began selling the short (10,000 to 20,000 word) digital books today. They are available on the Kindle platform.

The first three ebooks with the new imprint are based on materials from popular Talks series speakers: