Memory Safe Languages in Android 13

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moolcool 12d
It runs deeper than just everything being an ad. It's also completely flooded with rebadged junk from dropshippers. A few weeks ago, I was looking for a new whetstone, and this is what I got when I searched Amazon

https://i.imgur.com/1Utp2dF.png

The results keep going like that. You see constant repetition of the exact same units with slightly different branding, often with the same stock photography, repeated for page after page. It used to be that you could count on Amazon to give you pretty solid results when you wanted something. It was great, it really took the fuss out of shopping when you didn't have to do 10 google searches when you needed to buy a USB cable or something. Now Amazon is nothing more than AliExpress with faster shipping. Shame.

jabo 12d
I recently had to buy something mundane - a light bulb, with a specific lumen and color temperature spec. Weeding out all the junk listings, ads and clearly fake reviews, I ended up spending an hour trying to get to the one I wanted to buy.

Had a very similar experience for another product as well.

At this point, I hesitate to look up stuff on Amazon just considering the time it takes to find stuff. I much rather prefer a curated list of products so someone else has done the weeding out.

It seems like Amazon’s philosophy of having the widest set of options for every product is actually not that useful in practice, at least for me.

Mistletoe 12d
It’s refreshing to see this in the Washington Post, owned by Bezos. Tiny beacon of hope going out into the darkness.

Search ads on shopping websites are just capitalism taken to the natural end. Hopefully degradation of user experience will curb it somewhat. Our only other option is some sort of new Internet Bill of Rights being passed and I’m not optimistic lobbyists would ever allow it. We need some sort of fund for humanity that hires lobbyists with greater funds. We need voters that vote for candidates that would support the human right to freedom from manipulation from corporations.

UltraViolence 12d
The article speaks of a tipping point and has aided in pulling it forward.

Unlimited greed is what eventually sinks a company. We saw it with AltaVista in the '90's (when the search results were all ads) and Google is slowly repeating this opening a space for a competitor to jump into.

aslilac 12d
Amazon is unusable at this point, and I don’t get how they have so many customers. Free and fast shipping is no longer exclusive to them, and there are others out there with far nicer websites and no shitty ad listings.
proee 12d
Would it be possible to create an Amazon "Ad blocker" of sorts that hides all the sponsored products and store promotions?
eljimmy 12d
My spending on Amazon has diminished significantly due to the flood of Chinese copycat brands and products on there.

Wish there was a way to filter out products by their country of origin. Is there any alternative out there?

hermannj314 12d
This article was full of ads, many of which had no relationship to the article I was reading.

In the early 2000s, I dont remember this being a problem.

It is not your imagination, reading on WaPo has gotten worse.

notamy 12d
https://archive.ph/YMyrH

https://web.archive.org/web/20221124034213/https://www.washi...

Note: Some parts of the archive don't render correctly? Unsure why. You will get better results clearing cookies + localstorage for washingtonpost.com.

strathmeyer 12d
Amazon will also do something where certain drugs will be the top of searches for other drugs or sometimes for example drugs for cats will show up even if you search "for dogs" so if you aren't paying complete attention you might not realize your mistake.
CosmicShadow 12d
Scamazon just sucks now. It was once good, but every time I go to use it I waste time and get frustrated. I now only seem to buy stuff where the trade off on research vs going to store is not worth it and buy their probably crappy prime brand batteries.

I've been floating like $100+ of amazon credits for months because I keep getting damn gift cards and more credit from returns. Sure there is things I kind of want, but I end up saving it for things I need, and then when I waste time researching what to buy on Amazon, I end up not buying it on Amazon because of their awful fake reviews and cloned YGGFSS named brand items.

It's a real shame that brick-and-mortar stores don't realize their advantage is that I'd rather pay more and drive to pick something up TODAY than waste time waiting and risking garbage on prime, yet they flood their own stores with "online seller marketplace items" or nothing is ever in stock.

KyleBrandt 12d
"Amazon has turned shill results into its next big thing. After selling $31 billion in ads last year, Amazon became the third-largest online ad company in the United States, trailing only Google and Facebook".

Got my attention more than than anything else. Seems to really be pushing antitrust to new heights?

PaulHoule 12d
I have contacted AMZN support about obviously bogus and word salad product listings but they say they won’t do anything unless you bought the product.

I don’t think they understand that when more than 50% of listings are obviously bogus you don’t have much confidence in the ones that remain. For me AMZN went from the first place I looked to the last.

mk89 12d
Search engines have overall become terrible due to ads. Amazon is finally a search engine with the extra step of selling a material good.

I have to admit that it has become difficult also for me to find a simple item without too much bias on Amazon. Last search I did a few days ago was for some beard balms and things like that. Finally, for some items I bought a known "safe" brand, while for other things I couldn't decide on I chose a local shop nearby. Yes, this exclusively because of the issue described in the article.

So it seems: if you don't know ahead what to buy, Amazon is not a good place to search for things. On the other hand, it's convenient for subscriptions to items you know you want and need (pampers, toilet paper, etc.)

...and don't get me started on "let's search for products made in XYZ" to narrow down the search. It's just impossible.

Zufriedenheit 12d
I do my online shopping almost exclusively through comparison sites (idealo and geizhals). They have much better filter options. This also overcomes the problem with dynamic pricing where in some cases shops show me >25% higher price if I navigate to them directly as they show me when coming through a price comparison site.
rzimmerman 11d
Watching my parents get duped by Amazon results is maddening. They’re used to being able to trust a retailer or at least some consequences for scams and poor quality. People less scam-savvy than myself get understandably confused by “Amazon recommend” or a slightly lower price. But the minute I search for something on Amazon a dread comes over me of “here we go”. My danger center kicks in and I have to keep your wits about me. It’s a symptom of our (American at least) obsession with getting “the best deal” no matter what and it’s just awful.
nottorp 12d
That's funny. I was scrolling down and after a while the article got covered by a popup ad with something about black friday! subscribe now!

And back to Amazon, i just don't search for generic products name on there. I just go to check if they have a specific product.

Same for the iOS app store etc. You just can't trust them.

fmajid 11d
Amazon is the third largest advertising company after Google and Meta. Its ad revenue is $32B (and growing fast, the run rate is $40B). That is half the revenue of AWS, which is worth 70% of Amazon's market cap. The inescapable conclusion is that Amazon's advertising is worth the remaining 30% of Amazon's market cap and Amazon's e-commerce arm is deemed worthless by Wall Street, its only purpose being to support the advertising business, just what Google Search is to Alphabet.

Think on that for a moment. The other inescapable conclusion is that whenever the quality of the shopping experience on Amazon and the needs of Amazon's advertising business clash, advertising will win (just as it has on Google). That's an even more foregone conclusion since Andy Jassy took on the top job, he's from AWS and owes no special allegiance to the historical e-commerce business.

sanitycheck 11d
My process for getting usable results on Amazon (.co.uk, presumably the others too):

1. Search for thing

2. Filter by department (necessary for 3)

3. Filter by Seller: only Amazon

4: Filter by reviews: 4 stars+

5: Sort by price, Low > High

6: (Further filters as appropriate)

7: Look at only products with a high number of reviews

8: For every product, "See all reviews" and filter on "Verified purchase only" and "Show only reviews for {the product variant you're actually looking at}". Closely scrutinise 1 and 2 star reviews.

But sometimes even this _still_ doesn't get me quite what I want, because when an item is sold both by Amazon and a 3rd-party it can be sorted based on the non-Amazon price.

It does feel just a little like Amazon's goals might not be perfectly aligned with those of the customer.

syliconadder 11d
I think most comments here are America centric where Amazon might've peaked. Even without Prime, Amazon has been the best e-commerce site I've used in Europe or India. The customer support itself warrants the price they ask for and it's usually the cheapest in the market. It is possible that it will head the same direction with market saturation but for now the promise still lives up.
SoftAnnaLee 11d
> Here’s a modest proposal: No more than half of any screen we see at any given time — be it on desktop web or a smartphone — should contain ads.

I have to say, we have gotten extremely complacent if “half” your page being filled with ads is considered acceptable. I can understand the unfortunate reality that online services need ads to survive, but surely half of a screen is still far from acceptable.

mannschott 11d
I was shocked by how spammy Amazon.com's search results seemed compared to what I'm accustomed to from Amazon.de. I'm not a regular user of Amazon.com but have had occasion to do so since I'm visiting family in the US. Amazon.de is the "local" Amazon where I live.

Is this an affect of differing laws in the EU versus the USA? Differences in leadership of Amazon.com versus Amazon.de? Differences in perceived market expectations? Perhaps the average American consumer is expected to be more tolerant of this kind of thing? (I wonder because I compare the robo-call-infested hellscape that we've made of our telephone system compared to the rarity of such abuse where I live in Europe and wonder if we, in the US, are just more prone to behave in a way that produces tragedies of the commons.)

yalogin 11d
Over the last few years Amazon has been overwhelmed by Chinese goods and over time the search results has become similar to aliexpress. I would have never heard the manufacturer’s name and will never remember them either. All of them have close to 5 star rating and there is no way to even judge if they are any good. You buy if you accept that. Feels like it’s time for this to be disrupted.
donaldbough 11d
After starting up at Amazon ( biased opinion), it really is impressive to see the relentless customer focus. Even at the cost of short term profit or wall street gains, they have historical proof of putting the customer first.

Lots of Amazon ads? Sure. But they're generally useful, and the teams building the "not as profitable e-commerce" will be making something people love.

thefourthchime 11d
I have uBlock and fakespoter installed on my browser. I had to open another browser where I wasn’t logged in and had no extensions to reproduce the results.

I don’t know if the filtered results are that much better. But it is free from blatant ads.

andrewyates2020 11d
I worked on ad load optimization and founded a company that specializes in ad load optimization, here's an explainer video: https://www.promoted.ai/videos/unified-ads-search-and-feed-o...).

The cynical comments here align with my experience: when leadership demands now revenue, there is an iterative game where the only correct answer is "increase revenue now." If you run enough A/B tests and ask this question enough times over a large enough organization, more ads and 3p always result.

Most companies are trying hard to produce a great user experience. However, it's hard to measure subtle degradations to buyer experiences, especially when those degradations happen after the purchase or quality metrics corrupted by motivated sellers or advertisers. This is one reason obsession with A/B testing drives this poor user experience: it's hard to measure. Revenue now is easy to measure.

Another aspect you may not see as a buyer is that when the market is down, sellers are SCREAMING at their platforms to fix the problem. Same iterated game: give boost (discount, ad credits etc.), less screaming (for that team right now). What you see as bad as a buyer may be trying to appease sellers.

BetterGeiger 11d
I manufacture and sell one unique product. I started with direct sales, doing okay, but it was clear that Amazon is where the real action is, so I tried to sell there. Getting the listing up was a slow and painful experience due to horrible seller service (this is typical). Finally it's listed. Around 15% of revenue is fees. That's with me doing my own fulfillment! Hardly any sales at first, so I had no choice but to advertise. It looks like another 15% of revenue will end up going to amazon ads. Amazon will probably end up making more money than me, just for being the middle man. That's if I'm lucky, because sales are still just a trickle, and I'll probably have to up my ad spend to get any real traction. It seems like the system is designed to put comparable products competing against each other and the one that rises to the top is he one that Amazon can squeeze the most blood out of, unrelated to what the user might benefit from. It's www.bettergeiger.com if you're curious.
aenis 11d
Interesting in how it resembles the situation in traditional retail.

FMCG companies typically pay a lot of money in so called trade funds to the likes of Walmart, Tesco, and others. One company I worked for spent Approx 20pct of its topline a year on that - double digit billions. Ostensibly, this is to place the product on the right shelves, run promos and have the products featured in the chains' newsletters.

The real reason is, however, efficient taxation. The "trade funds" make all the profit for legacy retailers. Branded products are sold at near zero, or sometimes - if allowed - negative margins. The operating companies make near-zero taxable profits. The marketing spend is typically channeled to different legal entities than actual sales and taxed "efficiently". I think it might be the same with Amazon.

geuis 11d
I ran into a similar issue a couple days ago. I was searching for 3D printing supplies and literally everything had the price as "from (some amount of money)". Then when I go into a product, literally nothing was marked at that price. Most of them had multiple versions of the same product all at slightly different prices, all of which were much higher than whatever the original "from" price was set as.
Vanit 11d
Amazon search results are nigh useless for me; it absolutely refuses to constrain the results based on my terms and just fills the results with vaguely related ads that aren't even what I want.

For example, I've been trying to find what 5k2k/WUHD monitors they have, but it completely ignores that and returns WQHD/etc, so I'm no better off than just scrolling through the entire monitor category myself.

cookiengineer 11d
I write it again: I am so glad that the geizhals.eu (.de/.at and skinflint.co.uk) website exists in Europe.

It's probably the best price comparison website that I've seen, and it has soooo many dedicated filters for each category.

I don't know how to buy hardware when geizhals is gone, because both amazon and ebay are the most ignorant searches that I've used. No matter what you type in there, no matter how often, no matter what you "quote".

Everything gets pushed aside for the sake of useless ads that have nothing to do with the things you are searching there.

With geizhals, you see the price history, a lot of similar products, and a lot of feature based comparions that you can do when you're undecided on what to get. And a lot of private/ company online shops that are included in their dataset, so you can support them.

For example, take a look at the filter options in the CPU categories. It's insane what kind of development went into it. [1]

[1] https://skinflint.co.uk/?cat=cpuamdam4

[2] https://geizhals.eu

kypro 11d
Off-topic, but does anyone know how these dynamic articles are created? I assume it's a manual process, but always been curious.