There is still time to get that Christmas gadget this year, and the sales season has begun with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One thing is for sure: mobile computer toys are much more affordable gifts nowadays: e-readers for less than $100; tablets from $150 in any size you want, 6”, 8”, and 10” that run Android, Apple and Microsoft software; and laptops from $250 that feature the Google Chromebook. You can even get a 32” TV for $168.
But while the choice this year is fantastic, the devices we purchase come with a lot of user restrictions. We don’t have a lot of the freedoms with digital tech that we have with other products—freedoms that we take for granted.
My Christmas Wish List is all about digital freedom: the freedom to choose the device I want and consume the content I want, in the same way I would with a toaster. I can plug a new toaster in anywhere and can use any type of bread I want from any baker. I can even bake the bread myself. Is that too much to ask?
It is ironic that a purchaser has more rights when they buy toasters than they do buying smartphones, tablets, computers, software and digital content. So this year, to promote digital freedom, I have created a Toaster Bill of Rights for Digital Freedom for my Xmas wish list.
Toaster Purchaser Rights
The purchaser has the right to buy a toaster that fits the purchaser’s needs and tastes. The toaster can be used with any electrical service provider offering a competitive price in any location of the purchaser’s choosing.
The purchaser can remain anonymous to the manufacturer and does need to register with the manufacturer to use the toaster during the ownership period of the toaster purchased.
The toaster manufacturer does not have the right to monitor, without consent, via any technical device, the purchaser’s use of the toaster, including what type of bread is being used, what times the toaster is used, and if the purchaser shares the toaster with a friend or family member.
The manufacturer cannot charge the purchaser for each additional person using the toaster.
If the toaster is sold with an electrical services contract, the purchaser has the right to substitute a toaster of his or her own choosing, from any vendor, if the toaster is lost, stolen or damaged.
If the toaster breaks, parts and service will be readily available at a reasonable price and the manufacturer cannot stop supplying parts for the said product. Charges for a repair cannot cost more than a new device.
The toaster manufacturer will provide a warranty to the toaster purchaser that in event of a new product being launched, bread can still be purchased for the toaster purchased.
The manufacturer gives up all rights at the time of purchase for further charges to the purchaser in the form an annual usage charge during the ownership period of the toaster.
The toaster purchaser can pay for electrical power service for the toaster based on actual consumption, as a purchase option, at a reasonable rate. In case of bulk fixed rate contracts, where there is a rotating monthly time of expiration, a credit to the account will be applied to the purchaser for any unused amounts.
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I know this is a pretty big Xmas wish list. I just found it very surprising how much personal freedom we give up sometimes when buying digital content and devices. For recommendations on specific gadgets for this holiday season, check out some my blog postings
from the past couple years.
Dear Santa, meet the Tesla
But secretly, what I want for Christmas this year is a 17” in-car tablet computer for my car, like you see in the Tesla Electric Car. (And a new toaster of course.) This tablet computer connects to the internet, your smartphone, and the car’s computer systems for navigation, music and dashboard diagnostic monitors. Now that would be the ultimate gadget for me this year.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes to you this Christmas Season.