Tag Archives: Kindle

Have online services finally figured out the idea of a family?

Holly and I use a lot of online services – video watching, e-book reading, gaming, music, apps… And all of these work off of individual accounts. When we met, we already had accounts with a lot of the big names – Apple, Amazon, things like that. As we started to grow collections like Kindle books and iPhone apps, we were doing so in parallel accounts.

That meant for us to share Kindle books, we were having to use each other’s Kindles, for Apps we’ve had to buy a number of duplicates. For music, we’d have to burn a CD to share, which we often forgot to do so it was hard to share music. For downloading movies or TV shows, we always had to figure out which account or computer to put it on.

However, of late this problem seems to be going away. I’m not sure how long all of these options have been a thing, but once we found one, we went hunting for others and were not disappointed.

I think it started with Apple, who were advertising their new Family accounts earlier this year. This let us finally connect our Apple accounts, giving us access to each others’ Apps (useful for, for instance, the Board Game apps we had only bought on one account each) and music (great for all those albums we had never shared). It also meant that who had which TV shows or movies didn’t matter, and we could make those decisions more on whose computer has more HD space.

Then we went and looked at Amazon, and found that it finally also has family accounts! Which is great, and was just in time – we could both have easy access to the baby-related Kindle books we’ve gotten, and things like that. It also removes a lot of the issue with us making one of our two accounts into a Prime account. Sadly, we have not found any way to really run a joint Wish List yet, so there’s room for improvement on Amazon yet!

There’s family Gold now on X-Box, though we dropped Gold there just because we haven’t had a ton of gaming time there (and have been on the PS3 more). When we added NetFlix back recently the account can be set up with different viewers – which was bad when it came to setting up the data settings, as Holly mentioned, and which is good with the Kids option which we’ll eventually make use of.

All in all, it feels like the Internet finally has some idea of taking these individual user accounts, and linking them within a household. Which is the sort of thing that users have been awkwardly trying to do for ages. It’s going to happen, so it’s good that they’ve made ways to try and make it easy.

How about you – any services like this that you’ve found, or any you wish would add a family option? Let us know in the comments below!

A to Z Reaction and All The Things in April!

Last week we finished up the April A to Z blogging challenge, with 26 Character Studies! We hope you enjoyed them; we certainly had a good time writing them. Welcome to all our new followers from the challenge, and thank you to everyone who stopped by and were reading and commenting!

survivor-atoz [2014]

Of course, what this also means is we have a whole month of things that have been happening that we have left pretty much untouched. We did a post for International TableTop Day, but otherwise it was the challenge. 

And then we went on a weekend trip to Seattle, to visit our friends and occasional guest bloggers @Odorunara and @Briantific. They each did a great guest post – Leah on Hannibal, which we now have to watch (sounds pretty good!), and Brian on ESO, in which he has gotten much further than we have and has taught us much of what we know about the game. Thank you again to them, and make sure you read their posts!

So we have a ton we want to talk about and want to catch up on and share with you and we didn’t really know where to start. So, here’s some thoughts on things that have been going on we want to talk about, or will be soon!

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Moving to the Cloud

I know this has been going on for a while, but recently with the Xbox One announcements it has made me think about it more and more. There are so many things moving to download online and you either buy the code to authorize the download or you tie it to a login account. I have friends who do not have any cable and just have Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others where they get and either watch or download movies and tv shows. We are moving away from owning a physical copy of something and either having a digital copy or paying for continued access to an online version.

David and I have moved toward watching more stuff online, but we still pay for a lot of physical items as well. We do e-books, download tv shows, rent movies, but we still buy the blu-ray of certain shows and we also like to support local book stores (woohoo Tattered Cover). There is some level of trust that is there with keeping stuff in the cloud. If you truly keep everything in the cloud you have to trust that the company you bought stuff from is going to be around for a good long while. There is some trust that we put into Amazon when we buy their e-books because they store the books for us and we can download it for us, but they have to be around for us to continue to download the books we have already bought from them.

The secondary issue is that not too long ago, in a ploy to stop piracy, many internet providers have decided to move away from unlimited download size. They are increasing the price to be able to download at a decent speed and to be able to download enough data. With moving to the cloud, more and more people will need / want faster internet and higher limits. It is not only downloading that becomes an issue, but video chat, online games, etc. We are moving towards a world of being online (original Xbox One design) and the internet providers do not seem to have a model that is conducive to being an online society. Continue reading

Science Fiction Today – Geek Culture and Consumerism, Round 2

I wrote a piece a while back talking about geek culture, and its relationship to consumerism. I feel like I had some good points, but in talking to people since then I feel like there are more terms we need to use to discuss this topic.

What has me thinking of this right now is the X-Box One, which plans on having all of the games in digital format on the system – where you can loan a game to a friend digitally, but not resell it as used. But you also avoid the costs and hassle of the physical object.

How has geek culture responded? In a mixed fashion. I don’t tend to sell back many (any) games, so owning them forever works out for me alright. However, does this just make me a consumer creature? What is going on?

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Science Fiction Today – Geek Culture and Consumerism

I had been trying to figure out how to talk about a question that had been bugging me lately. The question: Is geek culture just a culture of consumerism?

Then I saw this video, as Felicia Day introduces Geek and Sundry season 2. And she helped frame it a bit.

We are more than what we consume, more than what is advertised to us, more than physical things made. But we do still consume culture… so I suppose a couple of things.

  • What is consumerism?
  • What does geek culture consume?
  • What might this consumption look like in the future?
  • What are some pitfalls that this future has?

So, let’s take this idea, and take it into the future: Geek Culture and Consumerism!

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