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Amazon Archives

Not fake news: Amazon ruined by fake reviews

Posted at age 29.

Amazon pioneered consumer confidence with their product ratings system, but my confidence in that system is greatly diminished. As if the SEO driven keyword soup product titles were not bad enough, many vendors now differentiate their products with false descriptions and claims backed by fake five star reviews. The products are often cheap enough customers likely don’t bother with returns or complaints, but at the same time I am surprised the fake reviews are submitted by accounts that did not first buy the product. It would only cost vendors the small Amazon fee to ask their employees to actually buy the products and give them back to the seller. Clearly vendors see no point in even that small expense since Amazon’s system enables fake, unverified reviews to drive search and sales. As it stands, you can only filter by verified purchase status and eliminate many of the fakes once you are on the product page. It’s a shame Amazon includes the fake reviews in the ratings by default and forbids filtering out the fake reviews from the product search.

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Switching from Backblaze to Arq+Amazon

Posted at age 28.

These plans already have been foiled: Amazon Drive failure to launch

Having recently reformatted my desktop to document my setup in my dotfiles and hackintosh Git repositories, I needed to reinitiate my backup process. It became clear Backblaze was not going to work for me any longer due to the fragility of their architecture. After admittedly minimal research (I have pursued far too many tangents lately!), I am ditching Backblaze and trying Arq+Amazon Cloud Drive instead. Backblaze was at least kind enough to give a refund for my unused time.

Backblaze Inherit Backup State / Backblaze failed to make this computer inherit your backup state.  / ERR_error_unknown

Backblaze Inherit Backup State / Backblaze failed to make this computer inherit your backup state. / ERR_error_unknown

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Amazon product questions poorly designed

Posted at age 27.

I’ve noticed and commented on this many times, so it should probably be documented so I can remember how hard life was in 2016. The customer answers to product questions on Amazon are mostly useless, thanks to a process flaw on Amazon’s part.

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Amazon Marketplace getting super annoying

Posted at age 27.

I’m having a bit of a moral dilemma dealing with Amazon merchants.

I’m certainly contributing to the demise of small brick and mortar businesses by ordering nearly everything on Amazon. This I know and accept. But to the extent I can help small businesses that do sell on Amazon, I should be happy to. Yet I find myself rarely rating products, and when emailed by the merchants following an order, I find myself only getting annoyed, and never going to rate the product. I don’t know if this is a problem with incentives or presentation on Amazon’s part, or if I am just an evil person. I wouldn’t have a problem rating the products if it were simpler and more part of my usual Amazon process. But the emails just drive me nuts.

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Blogging barriers

Posted at age 27.

I initially sat down to write briefly of how I was having an enjoyable morning getting organized and working sporadically on the many things I want to do today: potting plants I bought on Amazon, processing photos from the past several months, and perhaps blogging. This all seems rather trivial considering today we bombed a hospital, yesterday we lost a ship and 33 people to Hurricane Joaquin, Thursday we had a mass shooting, and Wednesday fricken Congress almost shut down the government, again… but you have to make the best of things.

Anyway, I got the idea to take a photo of myself doing work at my desk so I could later reminisce. That wasn’t too difficult, though it did require my “Hobby Creek Helping Hands Third Hand Kit Soldering Tool” to hold my GoPro HERO4 balanced on top of the closet door.


My bedroom, a work in progress

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I hate USPS and FedEx

Posted at age 25.

I order a ton of stuff via Amazon’s "1-Click" ordering, and unfortunately Amazon does not give you the option to choose a specific courier for the shipment. If they did, I would ban USPS and FedEx from ever handling my shipments.


I never receive packages shipped via FedEx or USPS, and always receive UPS and Ontrac packages on the first attempt. How is it that the doorbell never works for two couriers? Or perhaps they don’t even bother ringing me.

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Amazon CloudSearch could improve its unhelpful errors

Posted at age 24.

I was setting up a search domain last night, and went to bed while the latest draft of my SDF file generated. This morning I tried to upload it on the "Create a New Search Domain" dialog, and got this new error.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 10.23.06.jpg

Amazon CloudSearch's "Create New Search Domain" dialog. I didn't take a screen shot of the error, though. :-(

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