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

Caryl Bigenho cbigenho at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 30 12:30:30 EST 2015

Hi All,
Well,  in spite of the ads, I am enjoying my tablet (for which I paid $49.99). I ignore the ads. Like Sora, I felt I could put up with them for $15. I am enjoying reading a book (not quite as good as Ed's Kindle Paperwhite but still excellent). And, on flights to and from Texas I watched a few movies.
I tried a few of the free apps from the "Underground." Not bad. Asked Lionel why Sugarizer isn't there… he said it is because only apps that are not free on the regular app page can be offered for free in the Underground. I can see the logic… how can you advertise something as a special free "deal" if it is always free? But still…. too bad he can't charge $.01 on the regular site to get it in the Underground!
I haven't hacked in and rooted it yet. I wanted to see what I could do without doing that. I wanted to get an app from Google Play that son Chris and family (in TX) are having a lot of fun with: LightBot. There is a free Hour of Code version, but I wanted the whole thing. They bought me a Google play gift card as a surprise so I could get it. I had a day to play with the tablet while they were all at school and I learned a lot of things. I was able to make several changes so I can now download non-official apps (including Google Play), and I can use the micro usb port for a usb cable to transfer files from my computer. There was a "script" to do all this but so many people were trying to get it that I kept getting a "connection overload" error message (This was last week… before the $35 price). I found another YouTube video that led me through the steps for getting GooglePlay without the script. Here's a link (and I notice there are several more YouTube videos about the tablet… I'll watch them when I get time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAIBOXzeEk4
P.S. So far we still need candidates for the SugarLabs election (we may have to delay it until we have enough real candidates). The list you see on the page is from over a year ago and some of the folks on it may no longer be interested. It is easy to add your name! Just go to this page and put it in!http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board/2015-2016-candidates

Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:45:24 -0500
From: holt at laptop.org
To: unleashkids at googlegroups.com; support-gang at lists.laptop.org; iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org; server-devel at lists.laptop.org
Subject: Re: [support-gang] [UKids] Amzn Fire Sale No More: pricing rises	86% !

On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 10:13 AM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com> wrote:
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: http://imgur.com/TwTUh0M.pngWhile 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: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200671290

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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