Amazon is becoming less reputable than eBay at this point... at least with eBay, the seller has individual ratings and is not hidden behind whatever brand of product they are selling.
If I want to find some used auto part for a MY2001 car, Ebay is the first place I'll look, and I'll probably find it there, because tons of auto recyclers use Ebay to sell their parts. If I want to buy a small quantity of some odd item, or some item only available in other countries, Ebay is again the first place to check. In short, Ebay is perfect for finding weird things you won't find anywhere else. You do have to be careful who you buy from though, but the feedback ratings do a tolerably good job of helping you here, and you won't find this on some independent website.
Amazon has indeed gotten pretty bad in a lot of ways, because you actually don't know what you're going to get, depending on who ships the thing to you. It's still OK I think with sellers that are more independent and ship their own stuff, but for those the prices aren't usually very good and you might as well just go to Ebay.
I reported it to ebay, they reset passwords and set in motion the case to refund me. I removed the perpetrator's address info, changed everything, and two days later it repeated again (because no real 2FA, again). After this happened twice within the same week, i got tired of it, finally got my refund, and closed down my ebay account.
You would think that in this scenario, ebay would block the perpetrator by IP or would at least lock the ability to set the delivery address to the same one that the perpetrator used the first time around, but they did nothing of that sort, allowed that person to order more stuff through my account illegally, and left me with a lot of headache.
You used to be able to use your PayPal football back in the day (a paypal branded verisign hardware 2FA) or the VIP app but they have slowly been removing that in favour of SMS 2FA to the point where I don’t think you can even add a VIP token if you tried (used to be that you could add one, but they would try their hardest to make you use SMS instead).
If you had it enabled back in the day, it’s still active on your account (both on eBay and PayPal) but you will often find your login in flow disrupted if you still use the “old style” 2FA. (Example on some login pages but not all you are able to login by amending your code to your password. But it’s hit and miss and iirc you can’t use the PayPal app at all if you have 2FA enabled and have to do business via the website.
Note: I’m aware that PayPal and eBay are 2 separate companies now. But for the longest time they acted as one that their application flow feels every similar to each other even still.
In fact, I don’t think I really even have a product category blacklist anymore; it’s more of a whitelist. The only thing I will buy at Amazon are products that should be impossible to fake (beyond the industrial design), like an iOS device.
This book scanning junk is definitely a next level problem. Wow.
They've been doing this for years. That's what Fulfilled By Amazon is. And no, they don't reliably check product authenticity.
so I read a lot. Mostly on the kindle. Lots of public domain classics; I love Conrad and Melville.
I'm also pretty happy to kick in ten or fifteen bucks to avoid spending time finding the best formatted/least incorrect copy, even if the book is public domain.
but you know what? when I buy public domain e-books, there's so much crap mixed in that is worse than gutenberg that I often end up going with Gutenberg first these days, if my favorite publishing houses don't have a copy.
It's actually easier, I think, for me to find quality e-books of books that are still under copyright.
I mean, this is mostly me complaining about amazon and how they aren't really serving my needs even when I'm begging them to take more of my money... but it's also a point that finding reputable public domain copies is awful hard.
For those of my taste looking... my favorite publishing house for that sort of thing is Melville house publishing; but they have something of a limited selection of public domain reprints. (they do have their 'art of the novella' series, which comes out in the cutest little paperbacks. And their kindle formatting is consistently good.)
on the other hand gutenberg formatting isn't great, but it's consistently not terrible, which is more than I can say for a lot of the dreck you find in the kindle store. And a lot of people have a different time/money equation, and sometimes books under copyright aren't available on the kindle at all and paper copies can get pricy (and are way harder to read, for me at least) so certainly public domain is a good thing that should be preserved. I'm just saying, it's not a panacea when it comes to badly-done e-books
Not sure exactly how it would work, you'd probably only want to run it against the main text so there would remain some flexibility for chapter headings, forewards, etc.
At first glance, most people would think of chapter text and headings but even that can vary from edition to edition and printing to printing and country to country and translation to translation. How are typos/corrections handled and who has the right to make them?
Then we need the schema/structure for the content. And that schema has to preserve whitespace because while it's not important most of the time, other times it's vital like in poetry. Obviously, we need to be careful of character encodings too.
But most artists and writers consider their "work" to not just be the final product itself but the things that go around it like cover art, dedications, etc.
At first glance, this is an "easy" problem but gets ugly quickly. It's also fascinating though.
* I spent a few years at the Library of Congress working on their digital preservation project so lived and breathed these questions. When we worked with records (as in the musical kind), the album and cover art was just as important as the actual music most of the time.
Right. See this incredible example. Both versions are authentic, in a way.
> Mitchell himself explains the reasons for the discrepancies in an interview quoted in Eve’s paper: they occurred because the manuscript of Cloud Atlas sat unedited for around three months in the US, after an editor there left Random House. Meanwhile in the UK, Mitchell and his editor and copy editor worked on the manuscript, but the changes were not passed on to the US.
Search engines also seem to do something like this already as well https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MinHash. MinHashing is also used in genomics. White space, if handled appropriately are just more characters.
But most literature won't be available via flat text files I imagine. Some sort of image -> text converter would be needed, which I bet exists, but may require tweaking to allow more fine grained representation of white spaces.
Authors publishing new texts could release some kind of checksum to go with it ... or to venture into waters that I don't know much about ... could blockchain be used in some way to keep a record of edits to text?
I'm sure someone out there has put a lot of thought into guaranteeing the authenticity of a text.
Edit to add:
This is interesting to think about in terms of all media. Wasn't it just last week that there was a headline about Boris Johnson editing some of his old videos? How do you guarantee that the information that you viewed a year ago is the same today as a year ago?
What would the MVP of this be? What if we had a register of signed checksums with reputation and community selection (I trust these folks, but not these folks, verified artist wins)?
The publisher could supply a manuscript. It could be compared against the manuscript database (note: not with a checksum), and if it's too similar to other copyrighted works then it should flagged for manual review, and rejected if identical. That way you leave the door open for new translations/editions from different publishers, which should be treated as separate products.
Then when the shipment of physical books arrive, you sample them via OCR + text differences and if it's outside your standards, reject it.
But like the article mentions, that's expensive.
Nature, June 6, has a very interesting article on attribution of authorship, that seems relevant and is on my reading list:
Credit Data Generators for Data Reuse, pp. 30-32.
Sure, if you me or Joe Doe opens an online store and have 1% of counterfeit problem than Bezos currently has, you would be SWAT-teamed, locked in jail and probably without bail too, with your finances frozen so you barely can afford a lawyer. But that's corporate America. This is business and that's how things work here in grand scheme of things when you become too big to jail/litigate.
nothing in the article points to intentional alteration, like the tone of the article suggests
If your in the game of monopolising online sales, your not here for a long time, your here for a good time.
Fake items have made alot of people rich. Amazon needs a cut of that pie. How else do you maintain growth year in and year out?