Thursday, April 23, 2015

Initial Impressions

of my new Fire HD 7, 7" HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - Includes Special Offers, Black that I impulse purchased for well less than half price because dammit, I needed a present.

I got home on time and the package was on my front balcony. I carried it in and resisted the urge to tear it open. The dogs needed walkies. Finally, after the living creatures were satisfied, I opened the package. My account was pre-loaded and it had 3/4 power right out of the box, so I started to customize my apps. First up (and it offered itself up to me) Facebook.

So I started to log into Facebook when I got a message. Paraphrasing here, but not exaggerating. Amazon wanted access to my friends, all of my friends' contact information including phone numbers, wanted to be able to post to Facebook on my behalf, and wanted to be able to claim the cutest firstborn child born to anyone on my friend list (okay, the last one is just a bit of snarky hyperbole). It was a lengthy list of things it intended to do to people I know, who didn't consent to this. I could not find a way to bypass this and access my own account without opening up everyone I've friended to intrusion. Lots of apps ask if they can access your friends, but still let you use them if you say no. Not this one, apparently. Seriously, this was the most egregious invasion of OTHER people's privacy I've run into yet, and I've been on these here internets since Compuserve was the hot new thing.

I am not a privacy paranoiac. I remember the great wailing and gnashing of teeth when Target came out with its Cartwheel app, and it was - oh, the HORROR - linked to Facebook! And I looked into it, shrugged, and signed up. I could go into my FB settings to stop it from posting an annoying update every time I bought toothpaste, and keep my purchases private, and of course it didn't really matter if it did get hacked. I didn't give a crap who knew what toothpaste I bought, and it really is a handy app that saves me a few bucks a month. The only privacy invaded is my own, and I am comfortable with that.

I am aware of privacy concerns, I take appropriate precautions, but if you want to know what I bought at Target last week or what I found amusing enough to save to Pinterest, I'll be happy to share. That's not an invasion of privacy to me, but that's my standard.

But when confronted with Amazon's all-encompassing, "Log into Facebook from here and Amazon OWNS your friends!" sign-in wall, I passed. I couldn't find a way to bypass it, and I didn't trust that I could undo it with changes to my privacy settings from inside Facebook. (If that is possible, please let me know how.) I didn't want to open up my small Facebook friend list, which consists of people I actually like, and allow the long arm of Amazon to data mine them forever, right down to the size of their underwear if it wanted to, while filling their feed with Amazon promotions I allegedly liked. Nuh-huh. No. No Effing Way. So I'm pretty annoyed that I will not be using Facebook from my Kindle Fire, at least until I can find a way around that shit.

The Good: Nice. Light. Great screen, easy on the eyes. Easy navigation. Decent selection of apps. None of the other apps have wanted to assault my Facebook friend list as a condition of access. I think I will learn to love it, and as an everyday thing to carry in my purse, it's fine. I can get into my recipes pinned on Pinterest, I can even watch HBO. I can check my mail, and of course read books on a nice, bright, clear screen. I'll keep it and use it until I have enough spare change in the jar to get an iPad mini, then I'll hand it down to a grandchild. It does have some very nice family sharing settings that make it more appropriate for a child than an iPad. I got it for half price and then some, so I can't complain. Except about that Facebook thing, because DAMN!


k said...

I got the ipad mini, and Facebook is weird on there, at least for me. But it doesn't ask to out all my friends, and I spend enough time on Facebook as it it.
By the way, my neighbors got a Boston Terrier pup, and she is so cute! She's almost entirely white, though. I don't think I've ever seen one that wasn't mostly black. She is a cute little bug, and perfectly happy.

Catherine said...

Yeah, I'm regretting not getting the mini when I could have scored it at my last job. I love my iPad like a pet, but it is not a purse pet. This Kindle is light and will be useful. I just didn't expect to be hit with that intrusive Facebook login.

Anonymous said...

Amazon is the main reason I decided to buy a Kobo e-reader (now four y.o. and completely without bells and whistles). Love it to bits, even though I will always prefer a book. But for travelling, waiting rooms, and collecting o.o.p. English detective novels - superb!

We hope that Murphy is feeling better,

Gae, in Callala Bay