Amazon vs. The World
In the middle of a fight with a major book publisher, Amazon is also flexing its muscles against one of the world’s biggest media conglomerates — Disney. Amazon has halted preorders of nearly all of Disney’s Blu-Ray and DVD discs to pressure the media company to reduce its prices, in a tactic already deployed against the Hachette book publishing firm and Warner Bros. Home Media Magazine first reported last week that the Seattle-based retail giant suddenly dropped the preorder options for discs of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent and several others. (But you can still preorder the online-streaming versions to watch on Amazon Instant Prime.)
Bloomberg News today called the Disney move a sign that Amazon is becoming more willing to pressure its suppliers. Amazon itself is under pressure from investors to reduce its financial losses. While Amazon asked the public to email Hachette asking it to sell books more cheaply; GeekWire reported that the book firm’s CEO, Michael Pietsch, spent part of Sunday emailing those who wrote him on Amazon’s behalf. Pietsch thanked the writers for caring about books and suggested that they “call on Amazon to withdraw the sanctions against Hachette’s authors.” — M.L.
Are wildfires getting worse?
Think fires are bad this year? Let’s go back to the days of horse-drawn wagons. Despite global warming, fires today are smaller and less severe overall than fires the West’s early settlers had to deal with, according to a KUOW report. However, over recent decades, the number of acres burned by wildfires has been increasing significantly.
History books aside, the immediate dangers continue. According to a Wenatchee World report, dry lightning and wind expected today through Wednesday could challenge firefighters’ efforts to contain fires across North Central Washington. — E.W.
Washington new green business
There’s something green about marijuana sales, and isn’t the pot leaves. It’s the color of $3.6 million that flowed through Washington’s pot businesses in the first month of legal sales. The Olympian reports that of that total, the state received $889,000 in tax revenue. All those sales come in spite of a supply shortage from 150 growers who haven’t been operating long enough to grow, harvest, package and ship the amount of pot needed to meet demand. — M.L.
Are your selfies book-worthy?
Maybe Kim Kardashian shouldn’t have followed the advice of the 25-foot neon sculpture hanging from the trees of Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, proclaiming “just be your selfie.” The 33-year-old reality starlet is set to debut a hardcover book next spring, featuring 352 of her "best" selfies, according to a New York Daily News report. We just wonder if her book, titled “Selfish,” contains even 352 words. — E.W.
"Just Be Your Selfie" by Dylan Neuwirth, in Pioneer Square's Occidental Park. Photo: Tim Lennon
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