Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Lawsuit, Citing EPIC, Alleges Amazon Locks Customers Into Prime Subscriptions With Dark Patterns

What your boss gets paid: The APS secretaries’ salaries list

A joint-agency police investigation into the importation of prohibited drugs has resulted in the seizure of more than $2.5 million in cash and more than 300kg of methylamphetamine and cocaine.

Lawsuit, Citing EPIC, Alleges Amazon Locks Customers Into Prime Subscriptions With Dark Patterns EPIC: “A recent class action filed in Washington alleges that Amazon used dark patterns to make cancelling customers’ Prime subscriptions more difficult. 

Dark patterns “are design features used to deceive, steer, or manipulate users into behavior that is profitable for an online service, but often harmful to users or contrary to their intent.” The lawsuit cites to EPIC’s 2021 complaint to the D.C. Attorney General’s office, which explains how Amazon’s deceptive cancellation interface effectively prevents Prime subscribers from ending their memberships, leads to further subscription fees, and allows the company to continue collecting, retaining, and using the personal data of misdirected subscribers. 

The class action alleges that Amazon violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act and asks the court to enjoin Amazon from using dark patterns in the Prime cancellation process. EPIC has repeatedly highlightedAmazon’s unfair and deceptive use of dark patterns and has advocated for enforcement action against companies that trick consumers with deceptive design.”

Arnett, Chaz, Data, the New Cotton (June 6, 2022). Just Tech: Social Science Research Council (May 25, 2022), U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-07, Available at SSRN:

“The early transformation of the United States into an industrial power is often attributed to our innovative capitalist system. “Capitalism” is a convenient abstraction that we often neglect to concretize because when we do, it becomes clear that the economic success of the nation was, in truth, extracted from, and built upon the enslavement and exploitation of black bodies in the cotton industry. 

This enslavement and exploitation was popularly justified through calculated feedback loops of racial subjugation, demonization, and dehumanization. Even after the end of non-carceral slavery, the capitalist economic system continued to actively incentivize the maintenance of these feedback loops. The products changed, but the system essentially remained the same. In the present day, the United States’ wealth is largely built and maintained by a “data economy” involving the extraction, processing, and sale of human data. 

The products and processes may seem benign as abstractions, but once concretized, we see the same patterns of racialized subjugation and exploitation in the data economy as we did in the cotton industry. This essay is intended to ground some of these abstract processes in reality, and demonstrate how plantation logics are currently alive and well in the modern data economy. 

The reader is encouraged to use this essay as an entry point into exploring and understanding how the interplay of race, capitalism, big data, and surveillance incentivizes and maintains the subjugation and exploitation of African Americans in the modern United States.”

Brian Frange is a comedian and writer who has been yelling about apples for years. He started yelling about apples professionally in 2016 while working on Comedy Central’s Not Safe with Nikki Glaser while serving as co-host on the Not Safe Podcast. Shortly after that he started the Tumblr apple review blog The Appleist and it became popular, I guess. 

Since then he’s yelled about apples on stages across America and radio shows across the world. What started as a bit revolving around his love of apples has now become a full-time job where Brian makes $700,000,000,000 per week providing apple advice for wealthy fruit enthusiasts.  Brian is not in the pocket of big apple and all reviews are inarguably accurate and not corrupted by corporate influence.  He also makes cartoons. Please visit his website:

Note – All Kidding Aside: The Envy Apple is terrific – give it a try! Another suggestion – Buy several of each type of apple you like, and make applesauce – core and chop up the apples, add to a covered pot on a low flame – add cinnamon and raisins and slow cook.

The Official Apple Rankings Brian Frange

 Rolling Stone is shocked to discover: DOJ Investigated Journalists for Insider Trading, Stalking … and Worse.

The Biden administration has taken pains to distance itself from Donald Trump’s treatment of the media — which the 45th president delighted in railing against as “the enemy of the people.”

And in late October, Attorney General Merrick Garland officially announcedthat the Department of Justice will no longer investigate members of the media for their news reporting — including for the possession of  classified information. In his remarks, Garland celebrated an independent press as “vital to the functioning of our democracy.”

On the surface, this new policy — initially published in July, 2021 — represents a sea change from the chilling tactics of the Trump era. A little-noticed DOJ report documenting federal warrants and subpoenas against reporters over the course of 2021 appears to show a cease-fire in government hostilities against acts of journalism.

But that same report also records a significant number of federal investigations against reporters for other crimes — including financial crimes, stalking, and child exploitation, according to records reviewed by Rolling Stone. In each and every case, the Justice Department asserts, “the suspected criminal conduct was wholly outside the scope” of the journalist’s “newsgathering activities.”

These contrasting facts leave skeptics with concerns: Could any of the recent criminal investigations against journalists mask payback for unwanted reporting?

Why would Rolling Stone be shocked that Obama administration retreads are hostile to Democratic party operatives with bylines? As Michael Barone noted in 2013: Obama administration cracks down on journalists more than any since Woodrow Wilson.