Back in January, annoyed by the number of people wanting a password lock built into the Kindle - an idea that is frankly naive and problematical - I sat down and wrote what I thought Amazon ought to do, based upon my experience working in security and e-commerce. It became quite a long blog article, which can be found here: "If *I* Was Amazon".
Well, blow me down - they've only gone and done it!
Amazon Whispercast is Amazon's back-end administration tool for organizational users of the Kindle, such as schools, colleges and companies - but it looks as though it would work for families as well. Many of the features will appeal to organizations deploying the new models of Kindles - especially the Kindle Fire HD and Fire HD 8.9" models - such as automatic configuration of wi-fi network connections, VPN configuration, ActiveSync with Exchange servers, etc.
But the basic ability to centralize book-buying, organize users into groups and automatically deploy books to the Kindles is very like the "parental control" requirement. And there's also the ability to create named policies which selectively block access to the Kindle store, block access to social networks, etc.
All in all, it looks like Amazon have done a lot of work on the back end, just as I predicted. I can't wait to check it out, in depth.