The right of the subject of an experiment to understand and consent to it has been a key ethical consideration since the famous Milgram experiment, in 1963. Nearly 50 years later, Facebook used their users as guinea pigs in a study where their news feeds were manipulated in order to see how it affected the mood expressed in their subsequent posts. Besides being questionable in terms of experimental ethics, this is about like Google manipulating their search results.
Facebook's brand is about letting you know what's most important in the posts from your friends and family. Manipulating that information for research purposes undermines trust in the brand. More so than the intensive data mining which Facebook (and Google!) already subjects all of their users to.
For many years, Amazon was rewarded by the marketplace for losing money. The reason for this was a perception that Amazon would crush its competition. This perception was probably justified, given that Amazon's competitors were required to make money, while Amazon was able to lose money quarter after quarter without being punished by the market. This created an unlevel playing field as well as a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Having conquered consumer retail, Amazon now has its eyes set on B2B. Their goal is to be the Standard Oil of the internet. They want to be the main player in all content delivery. Ultimately, they will probably go after Google's search business as well.
While Obama's presidency has been far from perfect, one has to grant that he came into office under far more difficult circumstances than did Bush. Where Bush inherited a nation at peace, a shaky economy, and a budget surplus, Obama inherited a nation fighting two wars, an economy in total freefall, and a huge budget deficit. Obama also inherited a government which had been highly politicized. He also faced an opposition party intent on sabotaging his presidency.
Bush converted peace, prosperity, and black ink, into war, hard times, and red ink. It's easy to find fault with Obama for not completely turning things around, but look at it this way. He could have made things much worse, and mostly he didn't. In areas where Obama's policies have seemed anti-democratic and draconian, such as excessive secrecy, the surveillance state, and drone attacks, he has mostly been extending the policies of the prior administration. In areas where congressional cooperation is necessary, Republican obstructionism prevented much in the way of meaningful change or reform.
What could Obama's administration have done differently, which didn't require Republican cooperation? Here are some ideas:
Vigorously prosecute fraud at high levels in the big financial firms.
End the counter-productive drone attacks.
Restore the bureaucracy by weeding out political ideologues at all levels of government.
Cease unconstitutional surveillance (conducted without a warrant) by U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement.
Too many people still are not aware that Giuliani, the erstwhile hero of 9/11, likely cost the lives of many first-responders by foolishly locating the emergency response command center inside the World Trade Center, which was known to be one of the most likely targets for a terrorist attack (and had in fact already been attacked in 1993). This was gross criminal negligence, and it also explains why Giuliani was walking around the streets of NYC on 9/11. Because his emergency response command center was a pile of rubble. Check out the video.