Friday, February 06, 2009

Looking back

I was just logging on to make a post and was amazed to see the Blogger Dashboard tell me this blog has 1,509 posts on it. That seems like a lot for my silly little personal blog. So I was looking back to my first posts in June 2004 and this one made me giggle. No, it's not that funny. I think it just strikes me that way because I'm currently writing my annual review at a different company, while on maternity leave. The (self-)evaluation never ends. I have two (theoretically) more sustantial posts currently borking in the Flickr-Blogger web services morass. More fun for you when those are working again.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mossberg on My Work

Last week I mentioned that we launched Amazon Video On Demand (a project I've been working on). Today Walt Mossberg reviewed Amazon Video On Demand in The Wall Street Journal's Personal Technology section. His review was largely favorable, and the things he didn't like weren't under my control. He had a few complimentary things to say about my UI. :)

"The user interface is clean and smart, the quality is good if you have a fast Internet connection, and there are some clever features....

Amazon's user interface for the new service is very nice. All of your purchased videos are available in a library stored on the company's servers, so you can easily watch them again and again if they are purchased, or resume a partly watched rental. And the service remembers where you stopped watching a video and resumes it at that point, even if you started it on, say, a Dell, and resumed it on a Mac."

Read the full article (or watch the video): New Amazon Service Streams TV Shows And Films to PCs.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

A big project launches

Amazon Video On Demand - Watch Now - Commercial-free - Mac or PC

A project I've been working on for some time now launched this week. It's the re-branding and change of direction of Amazon Unbox, now called Amazon Video On Demand. Rather than just offering digital video downloads to Windows PCs and TiVo DVRs, we now also offer instant streaming in the web browser on PC and Mac (or really any device with the latest and greatest version of Adobe Flash).

It's a pretty exciting change in direction and I'm really glad to have this initial version launched (especially before I go on maternity leave). You can check it out yourself or read about it in the press. The first 2 minutes of most videos are free, but there are also some free TV shows right now you can check out for a more extended freeview--they're featured on the home page linked above. :)

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today's best thing

My mom likes to ask what your "best thing" is each day. When she asked me this question at 11:30am today all I had to offer was snuggling in the bed with the dog this morning.

While my day is still pretty far from over, I have a much more substantial "best thing" to offer now: Amazon announced this morning that, effective August 1st, they're increasing the percentage of salary paid and extending the duration of pay during maternity leave. That's great news at a great time for me. Woohoo!

I welcome additional great things to continue happening for the rest of the day (and beyond).

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Workplace customizations

Someone who works on the same floor in my office has outfitted our kitchen with a Hamilton Beach meat grill. This person uses it often to heat up some sort of meat pockets.

It's a bit smelly for those of us who share the kitchen, but probably produced tasty results for a "brown bag" lunch. And the smell is nothing when compared with microwaved fish...

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Not work safe?

Photo titled Not work safe? Not work safe? by Corinne S.

I watch/listen to a lot of TV shows while I work. This is one of the benefits of working in the digital TV and movie space. ;-) So I'm sitting here watching an episode of Psych (a perfectly harmless show), when I find the need to pause it so I can listen to son other audio. I then forgot about the show and went about working. When my coworker came over to ask a question he asked "what in the heck are you watching over there?" when he saw this paused image on my screen. LOL.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yummy office space and benefits

Drool. (That's my drool. Maple would be drooling over it too, though.) Read the article: Inside look at Google Seattle: Puppies, lava lamps, etc.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Amazon Will Move to South Lake Union in 2010

Today Amazon announced that their Seattle corporate offices will be relocating to the South Lake Union neighborhood in mid 2010, with full occupancy in 2011. The buildings will be constructed using LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines, which means they will be environmentally and sustainably built. Good news: employees will be able to bring their dogs to the new offices. :-) See the Amazon Press Room for more information.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Amazon Kindle

Cover of Newsweek featuring Jeff Bezos with an Amazon KindleThe Digital Media group at Amazon, of which I am part, just launched a cool new product today. It's called Amazon Kindle and it's an e-Book reader with wireless (cell tower) connectivity to download books. It uses "electronic ink" to redraw the page each time you "turn the page" and it has no back light, so it's more like reading on paper than a normal screen is and it uses very little battery power. For more info, check out the details about Kindle on the Amazon Kindle product detail page--particularly entertaining are the drop test videos about 80% of the way down the page. I have a Kindle I get to play around with at home. Yippee for being in the right place at the right time. :) Oh, and the digital media team is hiring if you're interested in working on Kindle 2.0, the Amazon MP3 Music, Amazon Unbox, Search Inside the Book, Amazon Mobile, or other cool "digital technology" efforts at Amazon. If you know me well enough to know my email address, then ping me about the openings. ;-)

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

New navigation just released a new --and in my opinion dramatically improved--global navigation system. It's actually been up for a while, but was only shown to a percentage of customers. Today it's the official navigation shown to all site visitors. It's not perfect, but I'm a fan. Here's a quick tour of the new nav.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Working hard

Subscribe to season with 1-Click(r) button In addition to all the swimming, I've been working hard at my new job. Since we launched the Unbox video player 2.0 in July, we've added the ability to pre-order videos and subscribe to TV seasons in progress. Unbox was also big in the news recently because NBC announced it will no longer sell its shows on iTunes, but will sell them through Amazon Unbox. To prove it, they're offering free premieres of 4 new shows (including Bionic Woman) two weeks prior to when their air on TV for the first time. We're all pretty jazzed about it. Now I'm at work on another project to make Amazon Unbox better and it launches in October. It's great to be delivering features to customers on such a regular basis. :-)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

You know it's real when...

Windows XP password expiration warning dialog This week I've gotten some indicators that I've been at Amazon long enough now to qualify as a "real" employee instead of a "new" employee.
  1. I have to reset my password in the next n days
  2. My Exchange mailbox has exceeded the allowed size
  3. My personal network share has exceeded the allowed size

This is the daily life of a designer at a high tech company. I swear.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My new desk

Photo titled My new desk My new desk by Corinne S.

My new desk (at Amazon) isn't as fancy as my office at MS, but I talk to my coworkers a lot more (for business and pleasure) and I like my keyboard tray a lot. :-)

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Unbox video player 2.0 launched

I failed to blog about this sooner--the final 2.0 version of the Amazon Unbox video player has released and is available online. You can download the software free anytime, but you should probably buy or rent a video from the Unbox store first so you have something to watch. You can also watch Unbox videos on your TiVo if it's a Series 2 or 3 Tivo (not a DirecTV Tivo like mine). As an extra enticement to try it out, selected video rentals are on sale for 99 cents on the weekend (Friday-Sunday). The rental period is 30 days from purchase. Once you start watching the video, you have 24 hours to complete it. And sorry Richard--Unbox is currently only available in the US due to licensing restrictions. If you're curious what I've watched via Unbox so far, check out my items tagged Unbox on All Consuming. :)

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Unbox Beta Test Program

Amazon Unbox logo If you're interested, you can now join in the public beta for the 2.0 version of the Amazon Unbox video player for Windows. Since I only started at Amazon a month ago, I didn't contribute much to this release, but my team would still welcome your feedback on the beta. Unbox Video: Unbox Beta Test Program

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Too busy for...

I didn't get a chance to blog the London portion of our trip. I still hope to, but memories do fade. I posted a precious few photos from the trip on Flickr, and there will be more one of these days. Last Monday I started my new job at I'm working in the Digital Media team on Amazon Unbox. That's Amazon's ~year old digital video download store--movies, tv shows, etc. They're fast at work on some projects so it's been busy for me from the get-go. I still have remnants of my cold from the trip and I'm working long-ish hours, so I'm exhausted and haven't had much time for blogging. Hopefully I will see some of you Friday night for anime night. For others, let's get together in person to relax and chat. I'll be blogging and photo-posting as I can, but if it's quiet for a while, you'll know why. Change is good for the soul, but it's hard work!

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