There’s a time-tested rule that if someone gives a child an easy way to unwittingly spend your money, you will soon be looking at a thick bill containing a large number of tiny purchases. Today, a federal court ruled that Amazon failed to do enough to alert Kindle Fire owners — and users of Amazon’s Android appstore — that “Free” apps could still allow kids to make costly in-app transactions. [More]
free isn’t free
I don’t really want to sit here writing painfully obvious sentences, but here’s the thing. A penny isn’t very much money. It is, however, more than zero, so an item that costs one cent is not free. In practical terms, it might as well be free, but it still isn’t. Which is why Mark found this bit of math confusion on a
Verizon T-Mobile phone purchase page through Costco so amusing. “Even though the difference between .01 and .00 is quite small,” he writes, “it’s still not infinitesimal enough to be considered ‘free,’ right?” No, not yet.
When you’re cruising for a hotspot at a coffee shop, never click on the “Free Public Wifi” wireless network. “Free Public Wifi” is a Windows XP quirk; when a computer can’t find any of its favorite networks it creates a network on-the-fly, but it doesn’t go anywhere. At best, you’ll never connect to the internet. At worst, you could be exposing your computer to hackers.