Amazon and Google’s True Advantage

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My colleagues have written about it Number of eye sales coming from US tech superstars, Which includes Google, Facebook and Amazon. Their sales and profits this year, in the midst of an epidemic, are really hard to fathom. That’s a lot of money, you guys.

But these companies too To spend Gobs of money, which in turn helps them make more money.

The ability to spend like crazy – because Big Tech has money and rarely questions how companies spend it – is one of the mysteries of why it is so difficult to unify tech industry giants.

Some examples: Amazon hires 250,000 full-time and part-time employees – on average, 2,800 Everyday In the 90 days ended in September – and again in October, about 100,000 more people said. Google has spent about $ 17 billion this year, such as shaking computer equipment – this is comparable to Exxon’s comparable spending figure for digging oil and gas from the ground.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg spoke enthusiastically on Thursday about whoever spends on future projects like glasses that overlay virtual images with the real world. Imagine walking down the street and looking at a virtual list of menu items for the taco shop on the corner.

Some of this stuff, yes, can immediately help companies generate those eye-popping sales and profits that my colleagues wrote about. When Amazon hires people to work in their warehouses or drive trucks, those workers help push more packages to your door this Christmas.

But a lot of this stuff, honestly, who knows. What is Apple doing for cooking in its research labs, on which it spent $ 19 billion last year? Can Facebook get us to buy into the future of our world mixed with virtual images? Are Amazon’s gazillions of new package warehouses, transportation depots and computer centers really justified? This is an item that can never be paid.

And that’s one of the reasons why Big Tech is so different. Some big companies are mostly patted on the back for spending money – to pay or not to pay.

This is part of the final dilemma about these technology giants who dominate our lives and often our leisure and work hours. They make tons of money, meaning they have more money to stay on top. (Also, governments and competitors say that these companies break the rules to benefit themselves at the expense of competitors, harming consumers like us.)

“Lament” is one of the most cringe-inducing words in the business. This means that a company has some unique benefits – a globally recognized brand name for Coca-Cola, or a unique technology that helps move Uber around efficiently – which makes it easier to demonize. The filled water provides an inaccessible boundary.

It is a terrible, overused piece of jargon. But the tech superstar has a trench. (Imagine me cringing as I wrote.) Their unique advantage is access to huge stacks of money. And they are using it to dig that watery trench of monsters even deeper.

Send your questions: We want to hear your election technical questions. Are you curious or worried about how tech companies are handling election-related misinformation, or how secure America’s election technology is? Send your questions to ontech@nytimes.com, And we will answer a selection. Please include your full name and location.


Retailers really, really, really want you to start your holiday shopping early, because – well, Read this about possible holiday package shipping delays. This means that Black Friday and other preholid sales have begun. The problem is many when the website screams Not really a good deal.

Nathan Burrow These tips, from The New York Times product review website, Wirecutter, ensure that we are not fooled by something that promises a discount but is a bad buy:

Comparison shop: Hot item that the website says you can’t get any less elsewhere? Yes, you probably can. Type the product name in the shopping search in your web browser. (If you’re considering an online “flash” sale, first add the item to your shopping cart. Often you have up to 15 minutes to check out, enough time to check the price.)

Read reviews: customer review Are not always reliable. So there is a product that you read on intrigue from many publications – Can i suggest wirecutterThe It is not a guarantee that you are getting a good price, but it will help you to get excited with the sale and avoid buying junk products.

Use (free!) Shopping tool: Websites like CamelCamelCamel.com or Keep Will give you a useful, albeit imperfect, idea of ​​how much a given item has sold for Amazon over time. This is a good sign whether you are getting a good deal right now, or can wait.

Even when you are not shopping on Amazon, you can test how well the retailer is priced, by comparing how much to sell the same product on Amazon.

Make an informed plan: Do not believe the publicity, be patient and know that there should be good discounts. You may only need to cut through the noise to find them.


  • He is a star on Facebook. They are not sure why: My colleague Kevin Rose talked to right-wing commentator Dan Bongino, who said he couldn’t really explain why he went from the B-list pundit One of the most popular figures on facebook. Kevin writes that it’s both fascinating and terrifying that people like Bongino grow up on Facebook, YouTube, and Tickcock because of their “person to fit the platform algorithm.”

  • Listen to understand the lethality case against Big Tech: Leena Khan helped rethink the legal views on how antitrust laws apply to large technology companies. On the podcast of my colleague Cara Swisher, “Sway,” Khan wrote a The big technology companies believe that it is clear how we all hurt, And it gave a glimpse inside the Congress’ recent investigation into Big Tech power.

  • Ahh. Emoji is not a good solution to math problems: Bloomberg news Writing Teachers in the Philippines have improved remote classrooms with handouts and lessons printed on Facebook Messenger, as most households in the country have limited Internet access. A teacher started his students a daily math problem lesson using emojis instead of numbers.

The best moment of my week was reading This article About those who suffer from a $ 300 12-foot Halloween skeleton sold by Home Depot. (Hello for this too Video of Home Depot skeleton crashed into Mini Cooper’s roof.)


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