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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is Kindle Now Now getting really, really busy now?  For the past few weeks, every question I ask takes many hours if not 12 hours to get a response.  It used to take the 10 minutes or so to get a response.  I know if I ask a medical question, it takes awhile. 

About 5 hours ago I asked why the dorsal fin of some killer whales are bent over and if it also can happen to sharks.  I don't think that is a hard question for the experts to surf the net and find the answer. 

Is Kindle Now Now, now down.....brown cow.


Yogini2
 

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They are busy answering all the Oprah viewers' questions about the Kindle; that Oprah failed to explain on her show when showing it off.
 

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Apparently there is also some issue with how they are paid and now now workers aren't working as much...or something...

Hey, ask your question here, I am sure someone will find an answer!

L
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, Kindle board members:

Why do some Killer whales have a bent dorsal fin?  Shouldn't they all be straight up?  Birth defect?  Ran into a rock as a baby whale?  Also, Does it also occur in sharks?  Maybe not.  Smaller fin. 

I've heard there are about 60 people from around the world who are available to answer questions.  Interesting that it might be because of poor pay.  It's a nice service...they usually are registered at a lot of sites that the rest of us have limited access.

[email protected]
 

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From SeaWorld:

F. Dorsal fin.

1. Like the flukes, the dorsal fin is made of dense, fibrous connective tissue, with no bones or cartilage.

2. The dorsal fin acts as a keel. The dorsal fin probably helps stabilize a killer whale as it swims at high speeds but is not essential to a whale's stability.

3. The dorsal fins of male killer whales are the tallest of any cetacean in the world, growing up to 1.8 m (6 ft.). Female dorsal fins are smaller at about 0.9 to 1.2 m (3-4 ft.) and may be slightly curved back.

4. For male killer whales, dorsal fin growth is thought to be a secondary sexual characteristic as peak growth of the fin coincides approximately with the onset of sexual maturity.

5. Female and male killer whales can have dorsal fins that may be curved, wavy, twisted, scarred, and completely bent over. Some may even have bullet holes in them.

6. No one is exactly sure why the dorsal fins of killer whales bend, but it may have to do with genetics, injuries, or because the fins can be taller than many humans without any hard bones or muscles for support.

7. A recent survey of killer whales around New Zealand has documented that 23% of wild males had bent fins.

8. Because of the huge diversity of killer whale dorsal fins and the adjacent saddle patch, researchers take pictures of these fins to identify individuals and their pods, much like fingerprints are taken to identify humans.

Let me do a bit more research on the shark thing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Leslie!

Less than 10 minutes.  They must not be paying the Kindle Now Now experts anything at all.  Someone told me that only the ones in captivity have bent dorsal fins.  That turns out to be untrue.

Yogini2
 

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Here's a quick wikipedia search result; hope it helps!
:)

From Wikipwdia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orca):

Dorsal fin collapse

Scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have reported that "the collapsed dorsal fins commonly seen in captive killer whales do not result from a pathogenic condition, but are instead thought to most likely originate from an irreversible structural change in the fin's collagen over time. Possible explanations for this include (1) alterations in water balance caused by the stresses of captivity dietary changes, (2) lowered blood pressure due to reduced activity patterns, or (3) overheating of the collagen brought on by greater exposure of the fin to the ambient air."[35] According to SeaWorld's website, another reason for the fin to bend may be the greater amount of time that captive whales spend at the surface, where the fin is not supported by water pressure.[36] The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society says that dorsal fin collapse is largely explained by captive Orcas swimming in small circles due to having inadequate space in which to swim.[37] SeaWorld says, "Neither the shape nor the droop of a whale's dorsal fin are indicators of a killer whale's health or well-being."[36]

Collapsed or collapsing dorsal fins are rare in most wild populations and usually result from a serious injury to the fin, such as from being shot or colliding with a vessel.[35] After the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the dorsal fins of two male Resident Orcas who had been exposed to the oil collapsed, and the animals subsequently died. In 2002, the dorsal fin of a stranded Orca showed signs of collapse after three days but regained its natural upright appearance as soon as it resumed strong normal swimming upon release.[35]

Although it has been reported that 7 out of 30 (23%) wild adult male Orcas from New Zealand waters have bent dorsal fins,[38][36] this figure includes a variety of dorsal fin abnormalities, including rippled or twisted fins in addition to simple one-sided collapse.[39] The New Zealand study noted that, in addition to the high prevalence of dorsal fin deformities, 2 of the 30 adult males in this population also had prolific body scarring that were consistent with teeth marks from other Orcas.[39] The prevalence of dorsal fin deformities is 4.7% among adult males in British Columbia and 0.57% in Norway.[39] Amongst the well-studied wild Orcas off the coast of British Columbia, the rate of dorsal fin collapse is around 1%.[13]
 

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Actually, anybody can register to answer Now-Now questions. Search Amazon for Mechanical Turk and fill out the forms. I think they kick you out pretty quick if your answers get consistently poor ratings. (Maybe that's why I haven't answered anything yet?   ::))
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Sweet Pea.

That means my friend was pretty much correct that it occurs in captivity only.....but not quite.

I hope the Kindle Now Now service does not disappear or become unreliable.  I really like the service. 

I use it whenever a question comes up in conversation where no one knows the answer.  Like this question about whales.

Kathy
 

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Well, even if the NowNow service goes defunct, don't forget that you can access Wikipedia from the Kindle directly...so maybe you can still answer most those random questions!

Wish I could give a better, personal description of how to go about it...but I'm still waiting on my Kindle to arrive; it's been ordered, finally!!!  ;D

In the meantime, I've been lurking around the forums to learn as much as I can.  Chapter 4 of Amazon's User Guide covers Wikipedia, and I'm sure it's in Leslie's FAQ book, as well.
 

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I actually haven't used Wikipedia on my Kindle much at all. I've more or less stayed away from the web browsing feature. In case anyone hasn't figured out, I am chained to my laptop and Firefox 24/7...no need to add another device to the mix.

I've signed up for Mechanical Turk and made a whopping 65 cents! I had to rewrite some sentences and once I had to classify a bunch of pictures of desks. The jobs they have are very odd. I haven't done the qualifying process for NowNow yet. They pay in the range of 2 cents/answer.

L
 

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I've done work as a Turker, and let me tell you, the impersonality of the tasks are what finally decided me on bagging the experiment. I found it too much like receiving a text message, then putting my answer into a bottle and throwing it out to sea. The folks asking NowNow questions really should provide feedback (whether it was a Great Answer, a Good Answer, etc), and the ability is provided as links at the bottom of the replies they receive. But, in cases like NowNow and the ilk, people like the instant gratification, without thinking to send their appreciation to those who provide the service. The money is a non-issue. When it takes somebody two days to earn $7.00, you better believe there should at the very least be an atta-boy in the offing.

I get enough non-feedback in my day job.
 

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Someone was complaining (I think on the Amazon board. Where else?) that they would never use NowNow again because they got rude bordering on obscene answers to their question! I thought *that* was bizarre but I guess at 2 cents/answer someone felt like they could blow off some steam...or something.

I have heard a number of people say that they asked really hard or really obscure questions just to "test" the service.

L
 

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Ha, Leslie!

Most of the questions asked fell into one of two categories: asinine or esoteric. NowNow was, I'm sure, meant to be a service to get, say, movie times, the locations of decent restaurants in the area, etc. It quickly became the place to ask "How many ground rule doubles were hit during the 1997 season in the National League?"* and "In Pokemon Diamond, how do I get past the dungeon on the third level?"**

Anybody who complains about the response he or she gets from NowNow needs to take a good, close look at the question posited. If it is something that requires any sort of philosophy degree, physics degree, mathematics degree, severe brain-trauma, and cannot be cut/pasted from a Google search in ten-seconds flat, then the question was Fail.

*Nobody freakin' knows.
**Nobody freakin' cares, and does your mommy know you are using her Kindle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've always had good luck with Kindle NowNow.  If it was an easy question, I would just do the research myself.  I can google and wikipedia with the best of them.  But, the questions I would ask would be for a more thorough answer than I could dig up myself.  Most of the people that end up with my question have access to web sites I do not.  By the third answer, it is usually very detailed and well researched.  Most of the time I fill out the feedback question.

Yogini2
 

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Hi, I'm an mTurker... I work only on NowNow questions. I thought I'd drop a note about a few things...

- GOOD NowNow workers get 25 cents per approved answer for Kindle questions, 3 cents for regular NowNow questions (sent by cell phone or email or nownow.com), and 2 cents for Askville.com questions. An approved answer receives a good or great vote, or the asker doesn't bother voting and it gets auto-approved after 7 days. At the end of the week the 30 users with the most great votes win bonus money, from $100 down to $17 (I think). So voting is very important to us.

- Right now there are almost 1000 Kindle NowNow questions waiting in the queue to be answered. Either they're too hard, incomplete, just not attractive to whomever is answering, or we're just slogging through to get to them. Before the Oprah episode there were 131.

- If your question isn't answered within 48 hours, try resubmitting it with more details. Please don't send a question through telling us we're rude for not answering, that makes us sad. :(

- Make sure to include all the details! So many questions say "what time do the polls close here?"... where's here? We can't see anything about you, your question is completely anonymous so you have to fill in the blanks.

- None of us are actual employees at Amazon, so we didn't really have any warning for what was coming. We're doing our best to slog through the backlog but it might take a bit. My recommendation? Stop asking questions and start Googling ;) That's all we're doing anyway! Just kidding, we love your questions...
 

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spamgirl said:
Hi, I'm an mTurker... I work only on NowNow questions. I thought I'd drop a note about a few things...

- GOOD NowNow workers get 25 cents per approved answer for Kindle questions, 3 cents for regular NowNow questions (sent by cell phone or email or nownow.com), and 2 cents for Askville.com questions. An approved answer receives a good or great vote, or the asker doesn't bother voting and it gets auto-approved after 7 days. At the end of the week the 30 users with the most great votes win bonus money, from $100 down to $17 (I think). So voting is very important to us.

- Right now there are almost 1000 Kindle NowNow questions waiting in the queue to be answered. Either they're too hard, incomplete, just not attractive to whomever is answering, or we're just slogging through to get to them. Before the Oprah episode there were 131.

- If your question isn't answered within 48 hours, try resubmitting it with more details. Please don't send a question through telling us we're rude for not answering, that makes us sad. :(

- Make sure to include all the details! So many questions say "what time do the polls close here?"... where's here? We can't see anything about you, your question is completely anonymous so you have to fill in the blanks.

- None of us are actual employees at Amazon, so we didn't really have any warning for what was coming. We're doing our best to slog through the backlog but it might take a bit. My recommendation? Stop asking questions and start Googling ;) That's all we're doing anyway! Just kidding, we love your questions...
Thanks for tell us, I had no clue how the now now work.
Good luck
Jodi :)
 

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Well, here's a little more detail:

NowNow.com has a website which accepts questions from registered users. At this time it is in beta, which means only Amazon employees and their friends and family are able to sign up, and only through invitations. Kindle users may use NowNow but only through their Kindle and not through the website.

When someone submits a question to NowNow, either through their cell phone, Kindle, email, or on a computer, the question is then sent to mTurk.com.

mTurk.com is a public site available to anyone worldwide. Answerers can log in when they have some free time and can find many "HITs", or work, to complete. One of the "requesters", a company which submits work for completion on mTurk, is Amazon NowNow.com. When a question arrives at mTurk it is called "Research Question" and becomes available for a worker, or "Turker" as we call ourselves, to complete. We then accept the work, or "HIT", and begin to research the answer. We have 60 minutes to do so, at which time we lose the HIT if it isn't submitted and someone else can work on it.

Once completed, the answer returns to NowNow.com and is emailed to the answerer (or sent to their Kindle). Once the answerer receives at least three answers, the question disappears from mTurk.com and the answers appear on NowNow.com for public viewing UNLESS it's a Kindle-asked question, then the answers ONLY appear on that Kindle and are never made public.

We are paid 25 cents for each Kindle answer that is approved - either getting a great or good vote, or answers which go unvoted (after 7 days they auto-approve.) We get 3 cents for each NowNow answer asked through a cell phone, email, or NowNow.com. Lastly, we get 2 cents for each Askville.com answer.

The 30 people with the most "points" at the end of the week (Friday) receive a cash prize. You get ONE point for a Kindle answer that is given a Great vote by the asker, TEN points for an Askville.com answer which receives a "best answer" award, and ONE point for a NowNow.com answer which receives a Great vote. First place is $100, while last (30th) place is $13. If you are not in the top 30, you do not get a reward.
 

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NowNow is finished.  According to Amazon's help page: Kindle NowNow was a free experimental feature that is no longer available. As part of our Experimental efforts, we remove or add Experimental features based on customer interest and focus on features that Kindle customers are excited about.
 

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spamgirl said:
Hi, I'm an mTurker... I work only on NowNow questions. I thought I'd drop a note about a few things...

- GOOD NowNow workers get 25 cents per approved answer for Kindle questions, 3 cents for regular NowNow questions (sent by cell phone or email or nownow.com), and 2 cents for Askville.com questions. An approved answer receives a good or great vote, or the asker doesn't bother voting and it gets auto-approved after 7 days. At the end of the week the 30 users with the most great votes win bonus money, from $100 down to $17 (I think). So voting is very important to us.

- Right now there are almost 1000 Kindle NowNow questions waiting in the queue to be answered. Either they're too hard, incomplete, just not attractive to whomever is answering, or we're just slogging through to get to them. Before the Oprah episode there were 131.

- If your question isn't answered within 48 hours, try resubmitting it with more details. Please don't send a question through telling us we're rude for not answering, that makes us sad. :(

- Make sure to include all the details! So many questions say "what time do the polls close here?"... where's here? We can't see anything about you, your question is completely anonymous so you have to fill in the blanks.

- None of us are actual employees at Amazon, so we didn't really have any warning for what was coming. We're doing our best to slog through the backlog but it might take a bit. My recommendation? Stop asking questions and start Googling ;) That's all we're doing anyway! Just kidding, we love your questions...
There's also a service called ChaCha it is totally text based so you'd need to use a cell phone but you can ask questions to 242242 and they can usually reply within a few minutes. The only down side to this is because it is text base questions and answers are limited to 160 characters. You can check out the web site at www.chacha.com
 
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