November 10, 2013

Coming soon, a #Kindle Sparks, ie, a Kindle Junior?

Actually, I'm surprised that Jeff Bezos and his Amazon minions haven't already come out with a Kindle targeted at teens, maybe even joined by a Kindle Glow for pre-teens.

But, he may have more reason to do this now.

Amazon recently bought online math education company TenMarks, and wants to use it to make math apps. So why wouldn't it build off this to make a teen-based version of the Kindle Fire?
The move is interesting on a couple of levels, as Amazon flat out says that it will be building its own education-oriented apps for ‘multiple platforms’. I don’t doubt that those platforms will begin with the Kindle Fire and perhaps even Kindle. Amazon has shown little reluctance to ship apps on other platforms in the past, and currently offers Kindle on iOS and ‘stock Android’.
Especially since Intel just bought a similar company, and, in that story, Tech Crunch says that Microsoft and Apple may be prowling for similar buys, Amazon is probably in a hurry.

In the bigger sense, especially with Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, this is a horrible dark side of the Internet problem. It plays right into neoliberal ideas of how technology should be used to improve education, meaning that Obamiac-type Democrats, like Gavin Newsom out in California, and surely our newest Messianic senator, Cory Booker, will give carte blanche to these companies to pass out discounted versions of their tablets to public schools. The companies, in turn, get malleable young minds to turn into hypercapitalist mush.

It's probably too late for Amazon to crank out a Kindle Sparks in time for Christmas this year. But, don't be surprised if this happens about 11 months from now. Besides the education apps, you could preload it with Mozart Effect stuff and other drivel guaranteed to make helicopter moms start drooling and lusting.

Remember, you heard it here first.

And, missing in the hypercapitalist names above? Google.

Sure, Android is nice, but, by being too open to individualization, Google may be cutting its own throat. Google's been slow to develop Google Plus into an overall "platform," and clunky at best in recent attempts to speed up that pace. And, online ad rates, including for Google Ads, continue to fall. Google's eventually going to have to look at some new software, or else creating its own "device" of some sort besides Google Glass, I think.

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