In the blog entry yesterday for the Kindle contract story, I included a link to the State Department document justifying the no-bid contract. I'd not read it though and then forgot about it.
The vigilant Felix Torres, in his comment today to Teleread.Com's story on this, addresses the mistaken idea by many writers that the contract was just for x number of Kindle Touch devices x 50 Kindle books for each.
He explains that you could just read the government specs and rationale to find what it does require:
' ...they need an *integrated* system for “push”-deployment of DoS in-house documents as well as licensed 3rd party commercial content, worldwide, via WiFi *and* 3G for in-the-field use.
Now, oh wise Amazon haters: who else can deliver those features today, at *all*?
Push deliver + 3G? “Hello? Bueller?” '
He adds that it's an election year and
"Of course the thing was vetted to within an inch of the Contracting Officer’s life! They have a need and they found an answer, they jumped through all legal hoops and signed the deal. End of story. Almost..."
Then he casually tosses in the key portion for those wondering if the Kindle Touch with built-in light is just another rumor.
' Oh, and by the way: lost in all the grumbling and Proxmiring is the real news: Amazon is going to ship Kindles with *front lights* to the State Department.
AKA, Kindle 6.
Not a rumor, not a hoax; it’s right there in the contract.'
Those contract requirements
The contract requirements section is #3 and it shows clearly what the Kindle Touch can do, as needed for this project, and the type of very complex, integrated services and support Amazon must be able to provide and, as Felix says, who else can?
One thing I just noticed is that "3G wireless costs must be not separately priced."
Re Service and Support:
Besides quite involved central management internationally, "the Contractor must be able to provide a dedicated 24/7 help desk to support inquires [sic]."
It's interesting to see that a 2-year warranty must be included with replacements for any device failures, [adding even] accidental danage, with free shipping both ways for damaged and replacement device.
Amazon must upgrade and phase in updated versions of the e-Reader product "at least every two years so that the technology stays up to date for users."
And here's the requirement that Felix noted and that will probably be of most interest -- under e-Reader Device subsection, the requirements itemized include this:
The device must include a front light feature.
My bolded emphasis of course.
Bear in mind that even the most praising of reviews of the Nook Glowlight mention the lighter display contrast when the front-light technology used is included in an e-Ink device. Some are bothered by it, some aren't, and there's no question that many will really like having a front light, no matter how uneven or somewhat lighter the text if one can read it in dimmer light without an external light.
I got the DX Graphite and Kindle 3 and then the Touch for the quality of that screen contrast after becoming frustrated with the lighter Kindle 2 contrast. Am pretty sure I'd not want to give that up, since it's my biggest pleasure when switching to e-Ink reading. But others will not care about darker font readability if the difference is not noticeable unless the devices are held side by side.
So, there it is. It's a reality. Thanks to Felix for the alert !
Kindle Fire 7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
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The Kindle Daily Deal
What is 3G? and "WiFi"? Battery Care
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U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
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