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Old 06-11-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
wizwor
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$6,600 Kindle!

from heritage.org...

I guess this settles it -- kindle is better than ipad

Quote:
Competing devices such as the Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader Daily and Kobe e-Reader were unsuitable as they couldn’t offer the same the text-to-speech function, battery life and global Wi-Fi connectivity, according to a government document.

The Apple iPads offered unnecessary functions that presented “unacceptable security and usability risks for the government’s needs in this particular project,” the documents said. iPads also fell short on battery life requirements and would not allow the State Department the same control over the dissemination of content, the notice added.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
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They're nuts!!! But then this is the government we're talking about.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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Yes. I immediately forwarded the story to my senator and insisted she block the purchase. I love the e-reader as a tool for disseminating information, but if you're going to single sourch a kindle, check Amazon's price.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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The story isn't true. FACTS People FACTS

Correction: State Department Not Paying Amazon $6,600 for a Kindle

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/globa...00-each/53407/

Good Lord
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
Yes. I immediately forwarded the story to my senator and insisted she block the purchase. I love the e-reader as a tool for disseminating information, but if you're going to single sourch a kindle, check Amazon's price.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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Here is a quote from the revised story...
Quote:
But back to the price: That's an enormous mark-up for each device. PaidContent's Laura Hazard Owen explains what the government is getting for its money, in addition to the hardware:

Amazon is responsible for shipping the Kindles, providing 24-7 customer service, sharing data on how the Kindles are used to access content and pushing serialized content to the Kindles regularly. Amazon is also responsible for disabling "standard features, as as [sic.] requested by DoS, for the device such as individual purchasing ability."

And all for just a 35-fold markup. What a steal.
My kindles shipped for free and included 24-7 support and a manual. I had to disable some features myself. All of my kindles were at least 20% off retail.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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at that price, those kindles should have a lifetime warranty...and maybe some caviar too
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:43 PM   #8
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What a shocker, the Heritage Foundation using a poorly researched story to take a potshot at the government.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
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Well, the article included a link to the procurement record and a link to the J&A. Seems like pretty sound reporting to me. The followup is an unsubstantiated response from the state department.
Quote:
Solicitation Number:
SAQMMA12R0272 Notice Type:
Justification and Approval (J&A) J&A Statutory Authority:
FAR 6.302-1 - Only one responsible source (except brand name)
Contract Award Date:
June 19, 2012
Contract Award Number:
SAQMMA12D0131
Synopsis:
Added: Jun 07, 2012 4:44 pm
The US Department of State intends to award an indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity commercial items contract on or about June 19, 2012, on a sole source basis to Amazon Digital Services, Inc. of Seattle WA for the commercial supplies and services described below. The anticipated value is $16,500,000 over the life of the contract, which shall be one base year plus 4 option years. See attached Sole Source Justification documented and approved in accordance with FAR 6.302-1.

Notwithstanding the Sole Source Justification attached and in accordance with FAR 5.207(16)(iii), all responsible sources may submit a capability statement, proposal, or quotation which shall be considered by the agency.

The solicitation will not be made available through the GPE, but may be obtained by e-mail request to the contracting officer identified in this Synopsis.

One or more of the items under this acquisition is subject to World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement and Free Trade Agreement.

************************************************** ***********

DESCRIPTION OF WORK


The Contractor shall provide supplies and services, at the prices stated in the schedule, meeting the following requirements.



Devices


1. The Contractor shall provide a content distribution and management platform to centrally manage an unlimited number of e-reader/tablet devices.


2. The Contractor shall deliver devices meeting the specifications of the Kindle Touch, as follows: must provide at least a 6" diagonal E Ink display, optimized with proprietary waveform and font technology, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale; must hold up to 1,400 books or have at least 2GB of internal memory; must be accessible to public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS); must not connect to WPA and WPA2 secured networks using 802.1X authentication methods; must not connect to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks; and must include a front light feature.


3. The Contractor shall deliver the latest generation devices that have audio and video capabilities and include 3G and Wi-Fi services.


4. The Contractor shall provide 3G services globally. The Contractor is responsible for all costs associated with 3G services globally (i.e., downloading content and access to the Internet Browser).


5. The Contractor shall provide a public-facing, online bookstore of third-party content.


6. The Contractor shall provide an exclusive, private online document repository from which the Department of State may distribute USG public domain material accesible via 3G or Wi-Fi from the locations listed in Attachment A.


7. The device shall support an Internet browser that is connected to Wi-Fi and/or 3G to support the countries listed in Attachment A.


8. The device shall have a text-to-speech capability in English so that users are able to listen to content on the device. Also, the device should have a Voice Guide feature for menus and book listings and support for audio books.


9. The device shall be light, compact, portable, durable with reinforced screens, and have extended battery life. Preferred specifications: weight equal to or less than 15 ounces, and approximate dimensions of 8" by 5" by 0.5". The battery life shall be no less than 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback.


10. The device shall have an organizing feature to sort the content into collections identified by the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.


11. The device shall have a built-in and integrated English language dictionary.


12. The device shall support the display of foreign language script and texts.


13. The device shall support audio (e.g., podcasts, Audible.com, MP3 files, etc.) and it is preferred that the device support video (e.g., MPG, MOV, WMV, RM, etc.)


14. The device shall support the display of a variety of file formats, including PDF, TXT, MOBI, PRC, HTML, DOC(X), JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP.


15. Devices shall be supplied with the appropriate country or region specific power adapter.


16. The device shall provide content sharing across devices (IOS, Android, and Kindle App).


17. The device shall have an available large font size to meet user needs.


18. The Contractor shall provide a protective cover with each device.


19. The Contractor shall be responsible for upgrading and phasing in updated software of the device product as updates are deployed. The Contractor shall ensure that software updates are compatible with e-reader devices currently in the field.


Content Management


1. USG published materials, as well as third-party content, shall be disseminated by the Contractor to all or some of the purchased or supported devices as requested by the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs so that our overseas Missions will be provided with efficient, effective, instant access to all our content along with the latest updates.


2. All audio and video files, both USG-produced and 3rd party materials, shall be downloadable to the device via 3G and/or Wi-Fi, located in the United States and overseas.


3. The Contractor will supply content to the device delivered under this contract, but shall also support the delivery of content to the following other devices currently utilized by the Department of State: Apple iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle, RIM Blackberry, PC, and MAC.


4. The device shall support and the Contractor shall provide the ability for locations listed in Attachment A to select and purchase additional content from a public-facing online bookstore.


5. The device shall support and the Contractor shall provide centralized content purchases, management and dissemination for any number of or subset of Department of State devices (e.g., Apple iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle, RIM Blackberry, PC, and MAC) deployed around the world.


6. The Contractor shall provide centrally managed content delivery and shall disable standard features, as requested by DoS, for the device such as individual purchasing ability.


7. The Contractor shall provide a dedicated 24/7 help desk to support inquires from the Department of State and its partners in countries specified in Attachment A.


8. The Contractor shall push serialized content via 3G or Wi-Fi on a periodic (weekly, monthly, quarterly) basis.


9. The Contractor shall provide monthly reports on shipping dates, receipt dates, e-reader registration, policy download, e-reader loss and e-reader breakage (to the extent this can be reported remotely or through help desk). Format for reporting will be developed with and approved by the Department of State but will include reporting by country and serial number.


10. The Contractor shall provide data on how content is accessed on the e-reader. The information will include content accessed, content not accessed, length of time that content is viewed, e-reader features used and content downloaded. The format for reporting will be developed with and approved by the Department of State but will include reporting by country and e-reader serial number.


11. The Contractor shall provide support in the installation and use of user surveys, whether they are proprietary or third party. The Contractor will advise on the appropriate format and timing of surveys. The format for reporting will be developed with and approved by the Department of State but will include reporting by country and e-reader serial number.


12. In order to provide timely and comprehensive data on the e-reader program and accommodate new programming, the Contractor shall ensure that there is sufficient staff support to develop any surveys to be used on the e-reader, respond to data requests on shipping, Kindle registration, loss and breakage reporting and the purchase and download of content.


13. The Contractor shall pass on to the Government all 3rd party discounts (i.e. Government-specific discounts from content providers) offered to the Contractor for the benefit of the USG.


Logistics


1. The Contractor is responsible for labeling, configuring, and shipping the devices to the locations identified in Attachment A, with the requested content, in coordination with the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.


2. The Department of State will provide separate shipping addresses and points of contact, at the order level, for all locations listed in Attachment A.


3. The Contractor is responsible for all aspects of shipping the devices via commercial couriers (e.g., FedEx, DHL, UPS, airline cargo etc.) to the locations in Attachment A. The use of Dispatch agencies may be required. In that event, the Department of State will provide separate funding to the Dispatch agencies for freight forwarding costs, and the order shall include only the Contractor's costs from origin to the Dispatch agency. If Dispatch agencies are used, the Contractor is responsible for labeling, configuring, and shipping the e-readers to the Dispatch agencies.


4. All special shipping instructions provided by the Department of State shall be followed exactly to avoid customs delays and fees.


5. The Contractor shall mark all shipping containers with labels indicating that its content is a "Diplomatic Shipment."


6. All language to be included on commercial invoices, packing lists and purchase orders shall be approved by the Department of State before shipping can commence.


7. To ensure efficient receipt by the locations listed in Attachment A, the Contractor shall supply all Airway Bills, tracking numbers and commercial invoices to the Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs within one business day of shipping via a specific DoS email address.
Quote:
3. A description of the supplies or services required to meet the Department’s needs: The DoS has an ongoing, repetitive requirement for e-Readers and content meeting certain key specifications, including an immediate need for approximately 2,500 e-Readers and 50 titles of content. The DoS has identified the Amazon Kindle as the only e-Reader on the market that meets the Government’s needs, and Amazon as the only company possessing the essential capabilities required by the Government, as identified below.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:08 PM   #10
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When I saw the title of this thread the first thing that came to mind was this Kindle...

http://www.amosucouture.com/products.php?cid=19&id=209

...but even that's not $6,600.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:51 PM   #11
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The cost of the contract includes a whole private content distribution platform, 24/7 dedicated support, usage reports....

They'll probably also save a bundle compared to doing this all with paper.
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:59 PM   #12
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I thought it was going to be like the $6,000,000.00 iphone.

[QUOTEThe world’s most expensive phone with a total construction cost of £5 million. The bezel is handmade from rose with approx 500 individual flawless diamonds which total over 100ct.The rear section is formed using rose gold with the added touch of its rose gold Apple logo and 53 diamonds. The main navigation is made from platinum which holds a single cut 7.4ct pink diamond. Also included (not shown in picture) is a rare 8ct single cut Flawless diamond which can replace the pink one. The chest which houses this unique handset is made from a single block of Granite , in Imperial Pink with the inner lined with Nubuck top grain leather , which weight is a massive 7kg.The handset is 32gb and limited edition of only 2 to be ever made.][/QUOTE]
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:11 PM   #13
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You citizens just don't understand, Government Procurement.

And then there is Military Procurement.

The $10,000 Individual Sanitary Retractor for example.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:40 PM   #14
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another 16.5 million of the taxpayers money down the rat hole.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hn333 View Post
The story isn't true. FACTS People FACTS

Correction: State Department Not Paying Amazon $6,600 for a Kindle

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/globa...00-each/53407/

Good Lord
I thought that story sounded a bit like something that would be found on certain websites, so I did a bit of searching and quickly found the same link. Expect to see more corrections soon—but not from those websites who enjoy reporting a good story more than the facts.
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