Amazon Instant Video Prime Nightmares

Dear Amazon:

I’ve ordered episodes and seasons of Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe so many times in the past few months, it’s a wonder I don’t have the full collection. Ah, but I do. I own most of the Stargate series on VHS, DVD, and even BlueRay. That’s not the point. I wanted to watch them one after another as part of a nostalgic bent of mine lately, and I wanted to watch them as I was doing other things, so I started watching them on my phone and tablet.

Amazon Prime allows me to watch tons of shows and movies for free as a member, yet you still do not have a video watching app, and it can be tricky to set up your mobile device to watch the shows.

For those reading a home, to watch Amazon Prime Instant Videos on your phone or tablet, open your web browser and set it to Desktop Mode. Then prepare to spend too much time with Amazon Customer Support getting refunds for your accidental digital orders.

Amazon Instant Video Prime  - Poor Interface design allows purchases when pushing play buttons.

Call it “fat fingers” as Google recently did when they changed their Google Ad system to ask if you meant to click an ad instead of automatically billing the ad owner every time you accidentally clicked on an ad. Call it a slip of fingers. Call it poor UI. Whatever you want to call it, I’m sick of finding out that I bought an episode or the entire series when I did not mean to.

Come on, Amazon. The videos on Amazon Prime Instant Video are free. That’s part of our membership. Continue reading

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Whom Should I Allow to Own Me

With the release of the Amazon Fire tablet and the eco-system they’ve created for it, it has me questioning who should I allow to own me.

As I travel the highways and byways of the web, the gate I pass through owns my data. It owns my experience. The information collected about what I do, how I do it, and what I do it with, is collected, collated, and distributed along with the data from my fellow gate travelers and used by the gate keepers then sold to companies of all kinds around the world for them to make sweeping decisions about what I do, how I do it, what I do with it, and how they can make money with me or because of me.

The gate keepers are Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google, for the most part.

My life is already reluctantly owned by Google as I use Gmail, Google Docs, Google Apps, Google+, YouTube, Chrome, and the list goes on and on.

While my computer life started out a prisoner of Apple, I’ve years invested in ownership by Microsoft through Windows and so many of their products and hardware, including the keyboard I use to type this blog post.

Amazon, you’ve had me since the first book. Growing up in Seattle, you and Microsoft grew up with me, entering my life in college and continuing forward through today and into the future. As Amazon grew, my allegiance grew with it.

With Amazon’s Fire tablet using Google’s Android, the lines are getting blurrier and blurrier, but if I go with Fire, the flames will mostly be fueled by Amazon.

I need to get a new phone, so maybe I’ll be back with my old owner, Apple, again, reviving our connection from the 1970s and 80s.

So maybe my question is moot. Maybe I’ve unwittingly been owned by all of them.

Maybe what I’m really asking myself is which owner should I sell my soul to next.