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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Reinstated

From Amazon:
Thank you for your email concerning the status of your account.

The most recent message we sent to you regarding ASIN B06XFQ24QC was incorrect.

Based on your appeal, we are reinstating your account and you will receive any applicable royalties.
Thank you all for your support. This is not a fight we wanted or sought, and we're pleased to be able to put it behind us. I'll be discussing the matter on the Darkstream. And if you want to know what all the fuss was all about, you can now buy CORROSION: The Corroding Empire, Book One, at Arkhaven. It's actually a good SF novel, a lot better than the book it was originally published to parody.

Galactic society is ruled by algorithms. From interstellar travel and planetary terraforming to artificial intelligence and agriculture, every human endeavor has become completely dependent upon the hypercomplex equations that optimize the activities making life possible across hundreds of inhabited worlds. Throughout the galaxy, Man has become dependent upon the reliable operation of 10 million different automated systems.

And when things begin to go wrong and mysterious accidents begin to occur, no one has any idea what is happening, except for a sentient medical drone and the First Technocrat of Continox. But their ability to even begin to try fixing the unthinkably complicated problem of galaxy-wide algorithmic decay is made considerably more difficult by the fact the former is an outlaw and the latter is facing a death sentence.

Johan Kalsi is Finland’s hottest science fiction author. An accomplished geneticist as well as a 6’3″ ex-Finnish Marine, in Corrosion, Kalsi rips off Asimov even better than Scalzi rips off Heinlein!

128 comments:

  1. Tends to be, when the war parties start to be seen scouting.

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  2. My hat is off to you! I think you may be one of the few people in the world who Amazon would have done this for.

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  3. Praise be to God on High.

    Isn't it amazing how quickly the enemy breaks.

    Its like he was waiting to be defeated. Satan knows, in the back of his mind, that his place is to be crushed under the Son's heel.

    For the Glory of God, and all his Saints.

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  4. It's like the World Trade Center, once they've targeted something it'll never come off the list.

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  5. Great! Curious how they recovered something they said was deleted and couldn't be. Gets the noggin jogging.

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  6. Love to have been a fly on the wall on THAT Telco...

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  7. I look forward to hearing about the fallout in the form of limited-edition Amazon brand SJW Skulls

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  8. Do you still want chat transcripts with Amazon, Vox?

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  9. phantastic, I guess they somehow noticed that Vox is not alone in this world.

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  10. As I have explained, the data was only unavailable to branches other than KDP, and the problem is that you can't really get in contact with KDP. They can only get in contact with you. It was always obvious to me that KDP itself would have the ability to bring the data back. But the problem was that we couldn't prove to the normal contact channels that we were ever even a client to Amazon. The data was gone from their view.

    Since someone clearly told KDP that they have to return the data, after that I expect it to have been simple. Since they actually have direct access to the database. Everyone else would only have had a guest view.

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  11. These lower level employees are just going to keep trying this, unless they fire people and make it clear they aren't going to accept rogue SJW activism.

    This makes me wonder if Roosh fought hard enough. Seems like he just kinda complained on Twitter and accepted his fate.

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  12. It's like I take data that was previously on a web server out of it, and then put it on a local portable hard drive in my drawer. From everyone else's perspective it might as well be gone from the face of the earth. But I can return it trivially.

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  13. I suspect that, once a more senior suit realized the implications of this f***ery, he realized that this was the sort of thing that could get the IRS, CFPB, and SEC all looking VERY closely at Amazon.

    Amazon suddenly had a (very tiny, admittedly) pile of money that they couldn't account for. Someone at the IRS would likely say "Ex nihilo, nihil fit," and proceed on the assumption that there was MORE money out there that they couldn't account for. LOTS more. Like, maybe enough to get him promoted from GS-15 to a supergrade.

    SEC would be interested in potential Sarbanes-Oxley violations.

    CFPB would LOVE to rack up fines on a major credit card issuer.

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  14. Jeroth wrote:This makes me wonder if Roosh fought hard enough. Seems like he just kinda complained on Twitter and accepted his fate.

    Much like the God-Emperor, part of Vox's service is revealing the weaknesses of these Goliaths we think untouchable.

    If it bleeds we can kill it.

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  15. @13: Concur. How many hours did it take from problem emergence to resolution? Fewer than 8? And is that a faster resolution time than previous attacks? If yes, then we can say with some confidence that Vox and Crew passed this SJW shit test with flying colors. FWIW: I'm impressed by how quickly the swarm of push back emerged here and elsewhere.

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  16. No, about 14 hours, IIRC. We didn't post immediately.

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  17. Glad to see it's been restored.
    Your books were unavailable for purchase at the start of my chat with support, but were available by the end of it.

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  18. Well, thanks Markku and VD for going to town on this and fighting for all of us. We appreciate it.

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  19. I interpret what happened here: a low level SJW who wants corporate power to put down 'wrongvthinkers'

    However, Amazon is a different internet company than Google or Facebook. Commitment to freedom of written expression is part of Amazon's brand. Heck, one can buy reviled books from Amazon.

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  20. OT: I heard tell the pair of men Ruth Vader Corpseberg "married" as a publicity stunt or whatever before SCOTUS shockingly made gay "marriage" compulsory (as their masters instructed them) have been arrested for raping a boy. Which stands to reason.

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  21. Unbelievable. I would love to know who it was that started this.

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  22. What I suspect is that a corporate lawyer took a single look at the facts at hand. Especially the explicit statement that it was a copyright violation which is the ONE reason (according to their TOS) that would have allowed us to go to court instead of arbitration, and then we'd probably have been talking one or two orders of magnitude bigger sums. And as a cherry on top, the claim was trivially demonstrated as false because the email they referred to said something entirely different. But still, since it was THEIR claim, false or not, it would have been court.

    I very much doubt that after that one look, fighting was on the table anymore. What they were probably trying to figure out is what to say, so that it would lead to as little liability as possible. I note that they were very explicit about having been mistaken about copyright violation. This response clearly came from someone who knew a thing or two.

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  23. For a little bit of money from a small business risk a lawsuit because some lunatic SJW run rampant, and then risk lost business in their cloud business.

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  24. @21- Yes, one can. All the smut you want, of course, and even whatever it is people find truly perverse these days. Holocaust denial or 200 Years Together, and so forth.

    But I wonder, is that because it's part of the "brand," or because they know most people won't bother, especially with hard copiee. But a going concern of new material with publicity, that's something else.

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  25. @Markku Can you answer if that means there wont be any litigation going on?

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  26. I'll leave that question for our lawyers to decide. I wasted about twelve hours in total on this nonsense. I'm not happy about that. But I'm not going to think about that now.

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  27. @24

    One other thing to consider: do they really want a court fight over the fact that their internal controls for things that have to be retained for tax audit purposes are demonstrably not working?

    Whenever Mister Taxman sees one pile of money he can't account for, no matter how tiny, he assumes it's an iceberg.

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  28. I'd expect that they would argue that the data was never lost to KDP, just to all the other branches, and hence there was never any danger.

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  29. Idk what anybody else figures, so I'll ask. Will you email Amazon and thank them for the resolution? I'm a believer (lol I know how that word goes here) in respect for the enemy. That means rewarding diplomatic solutions openly and frankly.

    >Hey I just found out that CH was reinstated. Thanks for the speedy resolution. Much appreciated. Great customer service. Have a good weekend.

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    1. Not unless I am assured that the idiot involved has been canned.

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  30. Well, I personally thanked them. But that's up to everyone's personality.

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  31. My opinion is, say what you're ACTUALLY feeling. Anything else will come across as disingenuous.

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  32. So you have the data to distribute royalties properly?

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  33. Yep, it's all there. Nothing appears to be gone. So, clearly KDP was holding on to the data somewhere, while other departments sweated.

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  34. I agree, Markku. A breezy thank you with a wish for something nice in the near future to happen for them is genuinely how I feel about Amazon at the moment. I am impressed that CH was made whole within one business day. They deserve to know that their swiftness and fairness are appreciated AND noted.

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  35. Do you still want chat transcripts with Amazon, Vox?

    Sure, if you have it already. It can't hurt to have one more pebble for the sling.

    Can you answer if that means there wont be any litigation going on?

    It is unlikely. Other than losing one day of sales there, we don't have much to complain about.

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  36. @14: Markku, given the size of Amazon, I cannot imagine that one low level employee could effectively delete all the data, including financial transactions, with a supplier. Keep in mind that some of those data have tax implications. All but the most screwed up governments are very good about collecting taxes (hey, that's how they got Capone). Amazon will do a lot of things, but they won't risk an IRS inquisition.

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  37. You'd be surprised what one employee can do if he's willing to go down in flames. I would ask, given that this is a problem, if they are taking remedial action.

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  38. This is good news most of all for the different authors you represent.

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  39. It's down again. B06XFQ24QC gives me a 404 error.

    https://www.amazon.com/Corrosion-Corroding-Empire-Book-1-ebook/dp/B06XFQ24QC

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  40. Yes, as Vox said in the Darkstream, we decided that we'd just put the book into the Arkhaven store and take it off Amazon. It's been an attack vector long enough. Yes, we won, but I sure could have used the last 12 hours more productively. Let's just call it an Arkhaven Exclusive.

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  41. Given that taking down the book Corrosion has happened repeatedly, I wonder if taking down that book is some sort of SJW initiation ritual inside Amazon KDP.

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  42. Now mind you, even though the cover and the author name may be a bit humorous for certain historical reasons, this is actually a serious piece of literature. It's not a joke. So I would definitely recommend buying it from the Arkhaven store. I don't know if it's there yet, but it will be soon if not.

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  43. Parody and art are not necessarily exclusive.

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  44. Bloody well and swiftly done.

    Regards,

    Ivan

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  45. It is impressive and instructional how you guys handled this, lost time aside.

    Time to buy some books from the Castalia store.

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  46. It appears, then, that someone changed permissions or account ststus as to who could access/see Castalia House kindle offering specifically. IOW, CH was targeted whether data was deleted/undeleted or permissios/status restored.

    Maybe Drudge gave Amazon a call.

    Good outcome. Stay vigilant.

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  47. It is unlikely. Other than losing one day of sales there, we don't have much to complain about.

    This is good. But maybe you should finish the war council and have a n immediate response ready for the next time?

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    1. They actually attempted to steal existing earnings. Plus, this is part of a pattern of harassment. Really, really, consider pushing this further.

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  48. Is there an audiobook of Corrosion yet?

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  49. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  50. Yes, the recording exists, and now it just needs to be converted to the mp4 format of our store. We only just took it off Audible, for the same reason as Kindle. I don't know where it is in our conversion pipeline.

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  51. The software that puts the chapter marks into the mp4 works only on a Mac, and very few of us have a Mac. Hence these don't come immediately.

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  52. 1. Don't try to hijack threads like these with OT posts.

    2. DO NOT use all bold for your comments. You're on my list now.

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  53. @38 a Twitter twat suspended Trump.

    The problem is even low level employees can wreak havoc. Twice I have been employed at places (you could google the names as big companies) with good firewalls. Twice I could with a bit of Linux Fu create "access anything" pipes through them. That doesn't count the time ... Lets just say I could get into a large number of 401ks of employees...

    I don't think this was even sophisticated, just someone with "delete whole account privileges" was Scalzied.

    Imagine what happens when this gets serious and some MAGA red hat and neck gets annoyed and shuts down the grid during a polar vortex.

    Leave me alone. You really want to leave me alone. If you don't leave me alone, I will search and destroy everyone to insure I will be left alone going forward.

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  54. Is there a mp4 (m4a?) spec so it could be added to Audacity as a plugin?

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  55. The standard is actually m4b. You can easily find m4a software for PC, but for some reason not m4b. There is one very old program, but it forbids commercial use in the license, and the author is probably no longer around to receive payment for being allowed commercial use.

    The standard is not particularly complicated. Nobody has just done it.

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  56. @56: I believe that no one needs a Mac!

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  57. Crew wrote:@56: I believe that no one needs a Mac!

    It's the best desktop Unix at this time. I have hated every update since OS X 10.5, but it is still the best desktop Unix.

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  58. m4b is designed in such a way that if a program doesn't understand the additional layer that makes it b, it can still play it as m4a. The only problem is that such programs don't usually realize the .m4b file is audio at all, and therefore don't show it in the file open menu. That's why we name them .mp4 . That gives the maximum range of programs that can open it one way or the other. But if you want to be REALLY correct, rename our files into .m4b

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  59. tz wrote:The problem is even low level employees can wreak havoc.

    Capability security or bust.

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  60. I had to make a choice. I could call it .m4a or .mp4 . Both would make old programs recognize it. But .m4a is implicitly a claim that it is specifically the a -standard, as opposed to the b. On the other hand, .mp4 is typically a video file. I chose the latter as less wrong.

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  61. Security yes, but trust is how we work. I'm sorry to hear you have to make a tactical retreat but I understand. In the meantime, there is so much good Arkhaven stuff you should dig in.

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  62. This incident is behind you this week. But, the SJWa will continue to pick at your platform. The little cowpies are everywhere. Build your own platforms.

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  63. I like to think my tiny contribution had some effect. I had very strong words delivered in a sure, strong voice and very little profanity.
    Not too bad if I say so myself. Now, I've got to go and buy more Knob Creek; should bill Amazon for it.

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  64. given the size of Amazon, I cannot imagine that one low level employee could effectively delete all the data, including financial transactions, with a supplier.

    I doubt they did delete all the data. If nothing else, it was probably sitting in a Kafka queue or an S3 bucket somewhere. All they probably did was de-link it from whatever admin tools the ops and support teams use so they couldn't easily find it and fix the problem. Possibly some of the support people are part of their cabal and played dumb too (given the responses).

    At some point, the Amazon execs will realize that allowing these rogueOps to go on has to stop. Either they have to adopt a corporate policy about what things to censor (which will leak), or they have to put the hammer down on the SJWs pulling this. The last thing they really want is for their staffing to become a magnet for political axe-grinders looking for an opportunity to conduct digital terrorism against their opponents. They won't be able to control that - it's SJWs now, but eventually it'll be 1488ers, OWS and maybe even mobsters looking to branch out the protection racket business.

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  65. Jack Ward wrote:I like to think my tiny contribution had some effect. I had very strong words delivered in a sure, strong voice and very little profanity.

    Not too bad if I say so myself. Now, I've got to go and buy more Knob Creek; should bill Amazon for it.


    Thank you for standing with Castalia House.

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  66. I just looked up this book on Amazon, and it is only showing up as an audiobook. There is no ebook or paperback. Is that correct?

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  67. @64: Then you and I will have to agree to disagree.

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  68. We decided to remove this attack vector from the SJW's as it really started to not be worth it, and made the ebook exclusive to Our own store. There has never been a hardcopy of it.

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  69. @41

    For the moment, the Audible audiobook at https://www.amazon.com/Corrosion-Corroding-Empire-Book-1/dp/B075SDRSCZ/ works.

    Also it notes that I have purchased the Kindle version.

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  70. The Audible edition will disappear very soon. Then there's probably going to be a few days, and then it will appear on our own store too.

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  71. If you haven't already, I would ask the people in Amazon management the following question, in e-mail:

    "What assurance can you give me that the employee responsible for this act will never do this, or any other act of hostility against us, again?"

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  72. Could be another example of the desperation the Sorosian left is to provoke us to act, so that they can continue their victim narrative. But deep down. the left is scared. Their own actions and principles are closing in on them. Each day, the fear that the dark money will dry up and they will be exposed sends them into deeper states of depression.

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  73. You Tube severely screwed up Big Bear's stream tonight. Made it unwatchable with constant cut ins of the stream intro ID.

    A new level of interference.

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  74. BB abandoned the stream. He did not know what they where doing.

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  75. It's only a shame that Kalsi hasn't got any more stories planned in that 'verse.

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  76. I just purchased two Castalia books. They had been unavailable during this. I wasn't planning on buying anything at all.

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  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  78. So, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being highest), how similar is this book to Asimov's Foundation series?

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  79. Rex Leroy KingJanuary 31, 2019 9:26 PM
    1. Don't try to hijack threads like these with OT posts.

    2. DO NOT use all bold for your comments. You're on my list now.

    I apologize for missing these rules in comment to my post. Won't happen again, OT or html abuse. If someone could direct me to acceptable html use I'd greatly appreciate that.

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  80. Bought another copy from arkhaven. Will put on alternative reader (kobo).

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  81. @89 Maybe 5? Noticeable thematic/setting similarities, but it's not at all a pastiche.

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  82. The people attracted to doing evil are often fairly stupid (no comparison to their master). 3 reasons:
    1. Persons who think that the best way to get through life is lying and stealing are in many cases too stupid to build a good life based on learning, skills and hard work.
    2. They are eaten up by envy, and their only way to get even with the more successful is by lying and stealing.
    3. Lying violates logical laws regarding the truth and therefore have a natural tendency to come out - to base your efforts on lies therefore is very risky. And no, JF, lies are not just other viewpoints which might be true in many other universes imaginable by you, all at least 980000 trillion light years away from earth.

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  83. I believe Amazon Cloud Service has gotten a contract with our illustrious DoD, so we will be lucky in the future that our soldiers are not trying to drink jet fuel while our airforce is trying to fly jets on orange juice.

    Or if I were Howard Shultz I would be wary of putting my data with Amazon at this particular moment.

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  84. @95 You wrote "Or if I were Howard Shultz I would be wary of putting my data with Amazon at this particular moment."
    Also he should avoid buying his sex toys through Amazon.

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  85. Hey, Castalia House Team, Great Work, I guess you are all tired today after yesterday's adrenaline rush. Have a very good weekend, hope you have a chance to chill!

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  86. @72

    These kinds of shenanigans and f***ery are the sort of things that tax-collection agencies do not find amusing.

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  87. > I suspect that, once a more senior suit realized the implications of this f***ery, he realized that this was the sort of thing that could get the IRS, CFPB, and SEC all looking VERY closely at Amazon.

    Absolutely correct. And since Amazon is an international company dealing with international authors... Well, you can figure it out from there.

    > ...do they really want a court fight over the fact that their internal controls for things that have to be retained for tax audit purposes are demonstrably not working?

    Actually this demonstrates that their recovery mechanisms work properly. You can't ensure no employee is every going to delete something. Accidents do happen (especially with GUI's, I can't count how many times I've had to find files that were moved by someone's inadvertent click. The fact this was a malicious act is somewhat beside the point in that regard.

    > These kinds of shenanigans and f***ery are the sort of things that tax-collection agencies do not find amusing.

    Yep. Which is probably why it was fixed so quickly.

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  88. I am currently unable to find this book for my Kindle on Amazon. :( There appears to be other Castalia House titles available, though.

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  89. We decided to remove this attack vector from the SJW's as it really started to not be worth it, and made the ebook exclusive to Our own store. There has never been a hardcopy of it.

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  90. Thought occurred to me. What if this whole episode was a stealth effort by forces of Qanon to force a wedge into the armor of Amazon that would, legally allow the PTB [this, the good guys; I hope] to tear into them via IRS and other investigations. No doubt the abilities of Q could pull this off. Especially as there would be little chance of lasting harm to Castalia House, whom they must see as an ally. Someday I hope to read the books on this period in history.

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  91. Really, really, consider pushing this further.

    No. We're already in a significant legal battle with Indiegogo. We will not take on any additional conflict unless it is forced on us. Nor are we interested in going to war against our own distribution channel.

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  92. Awesome. Great to hear, still going to buy Castalia's books physically from Arkhaven from now on though. Would rather you guys get the net share of the profits than Amazon.

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  93. Because of this episode, and the fear of the next one, I'm going to move away from the Kindle and Amazon as much as possible. My next e-reader is definitely going to be a Kobo. I wanted something without blue light at night and be able to work with Overdrive directly anyway.

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  94. "We decided to remove this attack vector from the SJW's as it really started to not be worth it..."


    Markku, you know that was a shot across the bow, they'll be back.

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  95. Of course we know that. But the sales had dropped so low on it (because people seem to connect it only with the Scalzi events, which isn't really fair. Again, it's an actual, serious book) that removing that tool from them had more value than having the title there. And it's still available on our own site, from which we keep 100% of the revenue instead of 70%.

    When it's a title that matters, we will fight.

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  96. Also, if this had been an author who actually wanted to keep it on Amazon, we would also have fought. But it wasn't.

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  97. There's also a LOT more to this than what we can say publicly. We aren't sharing any communications that come with names attached. What I can say is that we are now in a much stronger position than we were before.

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  98. In 2048 when Markku, Jr. is dealing with Amazon Kindle’s requests for a deal because Castslia House is the last publisher in business, have him randomly block their access periodically then apologize profusely.

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  99. What I can say is that we are now in a much stronger position than we were before.

    I thought you would be. Kindle management shot itself in the foot here.

    I also recorded a chat with customer service, but there was nothing really helpful, the three representatives I spoke with as I moved up the chain, Ronit, Vijay and Priyadharshini, all just repeated that they didn't have any information, couldn't tell me when or why the book (I asked about Jordanetics) was removed or when it would be back.

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  100. I will emphasize what Markku is saying.

    THIS IS AN EXCELLENT BOOK IN ITS OWN RIGHT.

    Regardless of anything to do with puppies or Amazon or Scalzi, this is an excellent book. You should read it.

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  101. Markku, you know that was a shot across the bow, they'll be back.

    If they are, we'll be even better prepared than we were this time. Thanks to the strong loyalty of our core readers and our determination to not be dependent upon a single channel, Amazon represents a much lower percentage of our sales than most publishers.

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  102. VD/Markku: It appears the audiobook is still on Amazon, if you weren't aware:

    https://www.amazon.com/Corrosion-Corroding-Empire-Book-1/dp/B075SDRSCZ/

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  103. We have put in a request to Audible for them to take it down, but it may take a while.

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  104. Seeing as I am not affiliated with Castalia House or the author, perhaps I will create an Amazon-only ebook version of this title and throw it back up on Amazon. That would be some good karma.

    Do I have the permission of Castalia House and Johan Kalsi? Wait, probably better not to answer that.

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  105. It hasn't been re-instated on www.amazon.co.uk - I had previously viewed it but when I look now I get a "Page Not Found" response.

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  106. We decided to remove this attack vector from the SJW's as it really started to not be worth it, and made the ebook exclusive to Our own store. There has never been a hardcopy of it.

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  107. This may have happened to other Castalia House books.

    As an example I can only find "Somewither" as an audiobook. When I attempt to go to the Store page from "My Content and Devices" it gives me a 404.

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  108. If I recall correctly, Somewhither was one of the books that we offered back to John C. Wright some time ago. I think he wanted to finish the trilogy himself.

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  109. 42. Markku January 31, 2019 8:29 PM
    Yes, as Vox said in the Darkstream, we decided that we'd just put the book into the Arkhaven store and take it off Amazon.

    That's a shame.

    Because Amazon lets me read a free sample, and Arkhaven does not appear to offer such.

    No way to find out if I'll like the writing? No sale.

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