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The Morning Coffee – 19 May 2014

Top stories this morning include book vending machines (link), a nuanced look at Amazon's new photography patent (link), a new trade group for authors (link), why PDFs are wonderful (link), and more.

4 Comments on The Morning Coffee – 19 May 2014

  1. Interesting article on the Amazon Studio Patent.
    The key is to remember that patents are for specific processes and that is what Amazon has developed: a way to capture background-free catalog pictures for 2-D, 3D, and video.
    It’s practically an assembly line: place object, shoot, remove object.
    No fiddling, no post processing.
    When you maintain a catalog of millions of items with multiple images each there’s actual money savings there and Amazon is nothing if not cheap.

    Most interesting is that they thought to look for savings and a competitive advantage there. Makes me wonder if they’re going to reinvent janitorial services next. :)

  2. Rebecca Allen // 19 May, 2014 at 9:54 am //

    Larry Page might reinvent janitorial services. 😉

    “Early Google HR boss Heather Cairns remembers once spotting Page talking intently with Google’s janitor after work hours.

    She later asked Page what they were talking about so seriously.

    “I want to know how everyone does their job,” he replied, going on to offer a detailed recitation of the janitor’s method for placing empty trash bags at the bottom of each barrel so he could replace them easily.

    “It’s very efficient,” Page said approvingly, “and he saves time doing that, and I learned from that.””

  3. I’ve seen the “trashbags in the bottom” trick before. It is widespread enough not even Amazon can get it patented. I understand it was invented at Xerox PARC.

  4. Ah, Xerox PARC. Famous for not patenting their innovations.

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