Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Why Wait 'Til 16 If You Can "Buy It Now"?

[Posted by reader_iam]

There's plenty of time to get a drivers license (and a job) later, after all.
Jack Neal briefly became the proud owner of a pink convertible car after he managed to buy it for 9,000 pounds ($17,000) on the Internet despite being only three years old.

Jack's mother told the BBC she had left her password for the eBay auction site in her computer and her son used the "buy it now" option to complete the purchase.

The kid's mom was fortunate that the seller had a sense of humor to go along with his car, which he agreed to repost for sale to someone else.

We have beaucoup computers in this household, but there's just one--mostly stripped down, and with extra security--that my son's permitted to use (and it's right in the literal center of our home, with no privacy and next to where I keep my laptop). He's proving to be pretty savvy and adept himself (and requests specific urls, properly stated), but is still naive enough to call me if he accidentally gets to a site in some way other than one of the shortcuts on the desktop.

That won't last, and don't I know it. Now, as I peer to my left over his shoulder as he plays an internet-based game (via Disney), I notice that--eek! how did these two get by us?--both eBay and Amazon buttons appear on his browser toolbar, at eye level.

I'd be shocked if there were stored passwords anywhere on his computer (which we don't personally use for purposes where we'd do that). But still--you know what? I'm all for learning from the mistakes of others, especially parents. Gonna go do a bit o' admin as soon as I hit publish here... .