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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Twitch has been sold to...

    Amazon!

    For $970m

    Discuss...

  2. #2
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    p.s. Adding my own 10p separate to the topic header - I find Amazon a vile company to deal with but I find people who use Twitch to be pretty vile too so I might not be too bothered about this ;0

    A sale to Google/YouTube was the more expected outcome but Google are also pretty hateful to deal with (tho nowhere near Amazon - yet!)

    I must get myself into the mindset that my ideas just need to sell to some idiot for a gajillion quid instead of - y'know - making it a viable business and all that FIRST ;0

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    What's the problem with Amazon? I always thought they took really good care of their customers. Been using them for maybe six years and never had an issue aside from that 'malfunction' in the reviews when Spore came out.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    It's... good? I mean, Google controlling everything with moving images on the internet would probably be a bad thing. Although, I was under the impression that Google/Youtube had already purchased Twitch.

    EDIT: I very rarely visit Twitch, so my interest in this is mainly from a competitiveness standpoint.

  5. #5
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    I'm speaking as an Android developer and as a (former) user of Amazon's computing platforms rather than someone who buys shit from them ;0

    I can't really go into specifics without boring people to death - the short version is that Amazon's computing platforms/APIs are often poorly documented, buggy and their support is terrible. Amazon also have to weird and wonderful terms in their small print - I recently discovered that I if I wish to remove an App from their Appstore, I'm required to remove it from ALL OTHER APPSTORES at the same time (and I cannot do it manually - I have to raise a ticket - there's no "remove your APP" function for developers!!)

    Support tickets are a problem in themselves - most are "one-way streets" in that you raise a ticket, they reply and you CANNOT reply back - so if they didn't fix it (90% of the time) you have to raise ANOTHER ticket which goes to ANOTHER rep and you'll quickly end-up repeating yourself or going in circles (and it often takes DAYS for a reply to arrive which doesn't help either)

    Google aren't a lot better but there's a wider ecosystem which enables you to get the support you need and fix the issues.

    and I LONG since walked away from Amazon's computing solutions simply on the basis of cost vs effectiveness and the need for a system of pricing and service levels which doesn't require a degree to understand!

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    ..could've gone worse?
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Ah ok then. So Amazon are the buyers eh? I didn't see that coming. Everyone was too focused on what would happen to the Twitch platform if Google took it over.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    I feel this is better than Google buying it if only from a competitiveness point of view, but we'll have to wait and see how this affects Twitch in the future, and whether or not they truly are free, as the CEO's letter says.

  9. #9
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    Amazon are unfortunately a necessary EVIL for me.

    Twitch... I don't get it at all, so I will be totally unaffected. Slightly sad to see another step in the rise of the amazon megacorp though.

    When the Amazon and Google megacorps rule the world, will we finally get all the cool stuff in Shadowrun so we can take them down?

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    What's the problem with Amazon? I always thought they took really good care of their customers. Been using them for maybe six years and never had an issue aside from that 'malfunction' in the reviews when Spore came out.
    Amazon is wonderful to their consumer customers. They are problematic in a broader economic context, and a vile company in some of their practices toward other businesses.

    Their supreme-court-sancioned ebook scam comes to mind.

    There's also their mad scramble for server and warehouse space so they can dominate cloud storage and continue to be the preeminent national delivery company, their carrot-and-stick bullying of the Post Office into Sunday deliveries (though I don't care about Sundays because they're Sundays), the whole delivery drone nonsense, and Amazon's dedicated muscling-out of even other bulk-sale companies through (... I guess reverse?) price gouging. Amazon is a highly irresponsible and predatory company; I'm not a buy-local-or-dont-but kind of person, but Amazon's horizontal integration terrifies me. One company shouldn't own that much and at first they got there based on genuine innovation and excellent customer relations but now they're abusing that position for explicitly unethical means and they're using their older and less questionable tactics to further expand and then there's just some of the weird stuff that's also helping them expand without otherwise being good or bad.

    Put it all together and ... well, it's like Disney buying Star Wars. I'm going to be booing from the sidelines with every single Amazon acquisition because there's a point where size alone is bad enough and Amazon blazed past that line years ago--it just isn't about Disney or Amazon's ability to do well by the property they are acquiring. That Amazon already started abusing their immense power over (in the US especially) the economic landscape just adds to the cyberpunk nightmare of it all.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 26-08-2014 at 12:57 AM.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Yeah, yeah, but ...Oculus?
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Yeah, yeah, but ...Oculus?
    More surreal than distressing, for my part.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  13. #13
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    @Drake Sigar: Wasn't there a massive fuss in the UK last year about Amazon, particularly related to their tax-avoidance practices, but also their employment practices?

    AFAIK all my relatives in the UK are boycotting amazon.
    I'm not that keen on them myself, but from the viewpoint of someone living overseas and having to deal with products/stores in another culture/language, they are often my only viable option.
    So yeah, they are very convenient and pretty great for their consumers, but pretty bad for everyone else.

  14. #14
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    It's worth comparing Amazon and Google as companies to understand their way of approaching things.

    Google was a tech startup which got rich and threw a lot of that into developing or buying some genuinely innovative stuff. They then let-in the suits who turned it into a greedy short-termist business which you're better-off keeping away from 0 but the foundations were, at least, noble.

    Amazon was a commercial venture from day 1 - their aim was to dominate "selling stuff on the Internet" and they've plowed every penny taken into ensuring they remain the 'apex predator' in that market. They've innovated NOTHING - they consume and amalgamate like a snowball heading down the mountain from the very top.

  15. #15
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    It make some sort of sense. Amazon is a good at the whole server business. So this is one of the few things that can generate some good synergy.

    Too bad the copyright angle. They are going to enforce it even more, pissing people.

    Also the culture of Twitch is weird and crazy, so its weird that a corporation owns it now. Like if Microsoft bought 4chan.

    *note to self: mention kappa somewhere in the post*

  16. #16
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    As a semi-regular watcher of Twitch, what this buyout means is that Twitch's software won't get any better. Sob.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriendlyFire View Post
    As a semi-regular watcher of Twitch, what this buyout means is that Twitch's software won't get any better. Sob.
    I'd tend to have the same thoughts - tho you never know, they might do to Twitch what they did to Android when they rebranded it 'FireOS' and that's - well - that would be turning Twitch into Steam then ;0

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tei View Post
    It make some sort of sense. Amazon is a good at the whole server business. So this is one of the few things that can generate some good synergy.
    Roud here we lynch folks what uses terms like 'synergy' - you'll be swingin long before these peoples fill-up that there bullshit bingo card ;0

  19. #19
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    Amazon plays Twitch.
    New! The Fall of Infinite Games 2014 - A handy release schedule for the dark season.
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    to wound the autumnal city.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tei View Post
    It make some sort of sense. Amazon is a good at the whole server business. So this is one of the few things that can generate some good synergy.
    Amazon isn't good at the whole server business. They just buy a crap ton of servers and then buy the techniques to run them. I'm sure they do some in-house stuff too--their house is far too large for them not to--but as with most aspects of their company their success comes through attrition. Their customer support works through attrition--they actually have the manpower to put a person who has a vague idea of what they're doing on the phone or in chat with you while Google and Microsoft don't. It's great for me as a customer to get a real, understanding human response (I know some people especially in other countries aren't so lucky even with Amazon) and it's great to be able to return pretty much anything for pretty much any reason at stupidly cheap shipping rates ... but that's all attrition. There's no innovation there--UPS does the heavy lifting on those returns both literally and figuratively, and small franchised UPS Stores have to handle a high volume of drop-off packages which take up valuable time and (depending on regional and local policies) tape and so forth that those small business owners have to account for. And UPS won't say no because it brings them so much money ... but it's a devil's bargain because it's a lot of money often a mercilessly low margin. Ditto for bulying USPS into Sunday deliveries. Ditto for pretty much every damn thing Amazon does that looks great for their customers--it's done through scale and attrition and it's often done at the expense of third parties with a brutal offer-you-can't-refuse strategy.

    They aren't good at running servers. They're prolific purchasers of servers and companies that can run them.

    Just like what they're doing with Twitch.

    They don't create, they purchase. In general, there's nothing wrong with that. Or rather ... my problem with that has nothing to do with a romantic view of labor, craft and just deserts; rather there is a practical difference between a company that is built and a company that is bought, between a service that is understood form the bottom up and a service that is understood from the top down. That difference matters particularly much for an entity like Amazon that has so much power. It's possible to, understanding that difference, acquire assets responsibly and seamlessly. Amazon is, however, a blunt instrument that cares only about one seamless face--the one customers look at. The rest of it can be stitched and torn and trashed as much as necessary. It's going to come back to haunt them eventually, and hopefully before they've done too much damage to the systems they represent so that when they collapse there won't be a big gaping hole of mangled structural beams.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

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