Kindle Fire versus “our stuff”?

I bought a 16GB Kindle Fire recently. It certainly works as advertised – nice screen, hdmi out, good onboard sound. But the whole ‘cloud content’ world doesn’t actually fit well with my family world.

The Kindle Fire must be registered to one, and only one, Amazon account at a time. There’s no concept of it being a multi-user device. If it’s registered to me, anyone else using it will get ‘my’ view of the internet .. my browsing history, my books, my recommendations. We actually registered our Kindle Fire to my other half’s account, which leads to the next problem.

In years gone by, we had a pile of CDs which anyone in the family could pick up and listen to. Then when I ripped them all into iTunes, we could still all access them via Sharing. But now, in the glorious cloud future, I’ve imported all my music into Amazon’s cloud player under my account and paid £22 for the year (it’s cheaper than having mp3s backed up in s3). Nobody else in my family can listen to the cloudplayer music except for me, unless I tell everyone my Amazon login details (violating the ToS). Furthermore, I can’t use our Kindle Fire to listen to my, I mean our, music .. because it’s registered to my other half’s account.

Photo sharing is done via Amazon’s cloud drive. Again, that’s a per-account thing. My family has ‘our’ photographs which everyone wants to look at. Photo albums used to sit on shelfs, for anyone to look at. Now ‘our’ photos are silo’d into an individual’s cloud account.

So, all in all, it’s a bit of a mess. Does the ‘cloud content’ world assume that we’re all single 20-somethings living silo’d lives? What about all these cases where “my stuff” is actually “our stuff”?


I bought a textbook on fluid mechanics recently, having a rough plan to learn more about weather patterns by writing a simulation. Expecting a theoretical physics text, I was a bit unsettled to read the following on the first page of the introduction:

“The theory is often frustrating”

“viscocity .. gives rise, at frustratingly small velocities .. to turbulence”

“The theory of turbulent flow is crude .. yet it can be quite serviceable as an engineering estimate”

Crude? Frustrating? “Engineering estimate”? These are not words I’ve ever read in a book about theory before. I’m a bit scared!