As if the traffic situation isn’t about to be a nightmare IRL with President Obama arriving at LAX around 2:30 p.m., an outage affecting web apps and services dependent on Amazon’s EC2 servers has crashed many of our favorite online procrastinatory tools and destinations.
What does this mean? We haven’t been able to monitor our social networks with Hootsuite, check in on Foursquare, ask questions on Quora, or check in on the real news of the day at Reddit for… going on twelve hours!
When can we freely procrastinate again? Amazon’s latest update asks us to give them “a few hours.” But that’s just a “high-level ballpark estimate.”
Certainly Verizon would have service in my area, everybody raves about VZW and after all it’s been 5 years since I last did my trials and found that I live in a cell service black hole, in spite of living roughly 3 miles from downtown LA and just over the hill from Dodger Stadium. This was not the case. Verizon service was equally as non-existent for voice calls as was AT&T. The difference being that AT&T offered me a femtocell signal booster (the 3G Microcell) for free whereas Verizon wanted me to pay $250 for their extender. In fact, when I talked to their technical department, I learned that my area is a known trouble zone and that NO TOWER upgrades were scheduled — it would be at least two years before there was any [better] service.
Internet giant Amazon.com will acquireZappos.com in a deal worth more than $800 million, according to an official announcement today. After growing into an e-commerce behemoth with a legendary customer service record, it comes as little surprise that Zappos was acquired by the likes of Amazon. There really is no better match when it comes to e-commerce, product, service, and technology.
This deal confirms the groudbreaking success that Zappos achieved through widely publicized corporate policies, happy employees, and impeccable customer service which often includes free next day shipping, and always a 365-days-a-year free-return-shipping guarantee. Amazon clearly gains from Zappos ability to literally obsess over customers, be inventive, and think long term (while growing year over year since being founded in June 1999.
Zappos will receive $807 million worth of Amazon stock and $40 million in cash as part of the deal. The purchase price could value as much as $920 million, assuming the deal is for 10 million shares (shares of AMZN opened today at $88.54), according to Sarah Lacy at Techcrunch.
The news comes on the eve of Amazon’s Q2 earnings call and on the heels of heated rumors of an Amazon / Netflix deal.
Huge story here. Watch the video below from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, read the blog post by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and read the official Лаптоп Магазин р лаптопpress release. And let’s discuss!
I was surprised to jump to Amazon.com just now and find the Ooma box as the top featured item. I’ve been using Ooma as my “land” line for about a year-and-a-half as a Beta tester and have been awaiting reports of improved sales of the VOIP boxes since they recently started promoting it for about half of the original $399 sticker price. I found it a bit ironic that it was featured alongside Amazon’s Kindle — which is so overhyped on the site and perpetually claimed to be “out of stock” ala recent Nintendo Wii marketing ploys.
When I first learned of Ooma, the idea of having a box at home through which to make phone calls (for free) and having access to messages online and via e-mail was intriguing. I do not have a personal land line and was tired of paying for Skype. I was using GrandCentral but wanted an alternative since cell reception at my house is so spotty. I was lucky to meet Andrew Frame, founder of Ooma, for a tour of Ooma’s HQ in Palo Alto in the summer of 2007, when I was an intern at the San Jose Mercury News (video below).
When I returned to Los Angeles, I signed up as a beta tester and was impressed with the quality, and loved having a phone number that I could remember (909-0090 nearly trumped the AT&T land line number I had when I first moved to LA — 669-9969). I’d recommend it to anyone who uses VOiP and incurs charges above and beyond ooma’s one-time-only charge for their Core system — now $219.90 at Amazon. If it means anything to you, Ooma still has the endorsement of the almighty Michael Arrington as well.
So is Ooma about to take off into the mainstream?
Or is it nearing its last gasp?