[IAEP] XO Veterans/Remembrance Day..is our Legacy on FIRE?

Adam Holt holt at laptop.org
Wed Nov 11 11:57:35 EST 2015

I've spoken a dozen different people suddenly VERY interested in rooting
the new "$34.99" Amazon Fire tablet for schools, orphanages, libraries and
maker spaces across the developing world, since this became possible
earlier this week, beyond just installing .APK's on Amazon's transmogrified
Android, which is also thankfully now possible:

Not yet leaving Raspberry Pi and the admirable http://Kano.me in the dust,
but let's be honest and face the music.  This appears to be the #1 best
selling "computer" on Amazon since it was released in September, blowing
the doors off other tablets, with AMZN happy to give these away
(essentially true: Give1Get1's Canada shipping costs alone were higher ;)
to establish a beachhead infinitely more solid than the confusion
surrounding http://xotablet.com ?

Not sure how long the "$34.99" price will last after Nov 26, but the
regular price has been $41.66 = $249.96/6 if you buy
Conceivably the total cost will be $29.16 if the 6-units-for-the-price-of-5
offer continues to apply after US Thanksgiving.  Amazon's beginning to
explicitly target price-sensitive (AKA poor) schools/educators, and
multi-user features/accounts demanded by so many -- pushing beyond Amazon's
traditional soccer mom/dad client base, much like Chromebooks were
repositioned from a corporate offering to a school offering over the past
several years.

So...Many People are now asking me privately, if we as the XO/Sugar support
volunteer community will consider this as a de facto successor to the
so-called $100 laptop, if we will properly pull together a coherent
community, authentically moving beyond the device's obvious FireOS
infotainment walled-garden.......and $51 "free" 6-month subscription to
washingtonpost.com etc.  Many questions, much food for thought, for years
to come.  But just 4 questions for today:

   - Beyond the obvious ethical challenges of disposable "$34.99"
   easier-to-replace-than-repair tablets trashing the 3rd World with e-waste,
   how viable is the long-term strategy of rooting Amazon devices, when Amazon
   can and will continuously change the boot architecture year-by-year if not
   more often?
   - Can the 3rd World actually afford keyboard and hinges (AKA laptop,
   quadrupling the price) as insulting and tragic of a question as that is,
   when cut-throat capitalism does not equal justice, but nor does an empty
   slogan that "one laptop per child" is making rapid headway?  With all due
   respect to Chromebooks' huge inroads in US schools (the next leading
   contender, since Australia's modular XO Infinite is not available today)
   and self-serving Project Loon/Internet.org hype, high-bandwidth is
   completely non-viable and unaffordable across the poorest lands of our
   planet for years if not decades to come.
   - When the younger generation itself tells us they no longer always need
   grandpa's keyboard, where/how do we need to reconsider our most
   closely-held "program or be programmed" assumptions?
   - Might Amazon ever consider a non-parasitic relationship with
   "post-OLPC" communities, getting legitimately organized To Do This Right??
   (e.g. Can Amazon develop an ethical streak to address 3rd World e-waste
   beyond lip-service, likewise deepening it relationship with free-learning &
   free-content initiatives without trying to force everything into its
   (ware)house?  Beyond the bad jokes about "Education Fufillment By Amazon,"
   this may be difficult for such a famously precision/logistics-driven
   company like Amazon, to tolerate a more fertile/open
   university/school-style cultural diversity, but time will tell?)

Unsung Heroes of OLPC, interviewed live @ http://unleashkids.org !
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