[IAEP] [support-gang] [UKids] Amzn Fire Sale No More: pricing rises 86% !

Adam Holt holt at laptop.org
Mon Nov 30 11:45:24 EST 2015

On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 10:13 AM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com>

> The "special offers" appear only on the startup screen, no where else. Not
> a big deal,

Yes I agree for older students who've had media training, understanding
(better) who is branding/manipulating them and why.  But is commercial
advertising appropriate in schools on startup screens exposed to very
youngest kids seeking 21st century literacy ?

Does the Amazon Fire, a very worthy device in its domain of freemium
(advertising-centric) entertainment, abide by
http://studentdataprinciples.org, developed by some of the most thoughtful
educators?  How can we and our educational communities audit and trust
these principles, via open source code or legally-binding procedures with
teeth?  This may be the 21st century, but has anything really changed from
50 years ago --- do we really want to delegate babysitting of our youngest
citizens to de-facto TV commercial interests beyond our control?  When do
we move beyond blind trust to "Benign By Design" ?

Entirely separately, Amazon made a couple serious "mistakes" in the past 24
hours, loudly beating the drum hyping up its largest sales volume in
history: (today, apparently, if all goes well for them)

   - $34.99 Cyber Monday Amazon Tablet Fire offer was yanked (no doubt due
   to Christmas shortages, but there are laws about honoring promises
   pricing/dates/quantities).  An apology goes a long way.  Thanks to the
   several media outlets who communicated the apology.
   - Erroneously portraying a $15 "Special Offer" tablet savings in the
   attached screenshot, as if this is a Limited-Time-Offer $49.99 off of the
   regular $64.99 price, for delivery around Christmas Day:

While Limited-Time-Offers are illegal when they boil down to False
Advertising, let's give Amazon the benefit of the doubt in both cases,
assuming they are not jerking our chains with Bait-and-Switch.  In the
longer-term it will be democracy's interest in speaking with our Attorneys
General (in each of the 50 US states, and other jurisdictions worldwide) to
so this planet does not forget ICT4Entertainment and ICT4Education MAY
often (increasingly?) overlap, but they have entirely different underlying
assumptions as to where society is going and why.  Be That Change !!

Thanks Sora for clarifying to me what Amazon really means by "Special
Offers" -- they don't mean a Christmastime sale as I understood in the
above screenshot -- they mean advertising-in-kids-faces whenever you pick
up the tablet:

Fine, Freemium has its place in the entertianment world.  But we should not
be blissfully unaware of how advertising targets our children:

Let us hope that Amazon develops less "accidentally deceitful" offerings
for schools in future, perhaps modeled on:

Sent from my iPhone
> On Nov 30, 2015, at 6:32 AM, Sora Edwards-Thro <sora at unleashkids.org>
> wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 9:21 AM, Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org> wrote:
>> FWIW "$64.99 Amazon Prime without special offers" is Amazon's very own
>> language, an 86% rise over the price-for-everyone on many recent days.
> As far as I understand, that's *always *been the situation. When I bought
> tablets back in September, I had the option of paying $15 more per tablet
> to avoid ads, but I didn't consider that an essential feature so I didn't
> pay extra for it. Is there any reason it would be essential, especially in
> an offline situation where there's no potential to actually click-'n-'buy
> anything?
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