Spotify Install

Some thoughts on Spotify’s setup and install…

  • Why are zipcode, gender, and birthday required? Zipcode doesn’t really bother me, but gender and birthday is rather annoying. If you don’t have a compelling reason (i.e. key functionality will break) you should make collection of information optional. (I’d probably put it in there anyway, but you’d be a better global citizen.)
  • Creating a start menu item and creating a desktop icon should be two options in the installer, not one. Guess what, I don’t necessarily need an icon for EVERYTHING on my damn desktop.
  • Really, Facebook is the only way to “get social” on your platform? Guess what… A) I don’t really want Facebook to be hooked to everything I do on the planet & B) I want to connect to music friends who I don’t want to share my Facebook life with.

Facebook App Bullshit

Capture

I really get annoyed by the fact that I can’t even look at an app on someone’s profile without granting that app access to my info. I want to read an “Interview” on a friend’s profile, but I can’t see what she answered without adding it to my own page. That’s just viral privacy invasion.

Of course, Facebook’s app platform allows any app to add stories to my newsfeed. So I can’t read anything I want to read, but I get spammed with bullshit about mafia wars, “You friend completed the blah blah blah quiz”, and fantasy farm league.

It’s like the perfect storm of stupidity… but it’s still better than MySpace.

Hypocrisy Watch: Internet Monitoring

Apparently Senators Schumer and Graham are upset enough about Iran’s efforts to monitor it’s citizens’ Internet activities that they want to ban Seimens and Nokia from future contracts with the federal government. According to Graham…

“The Internet has proven to be one of the strongest weapons in the hands of the Iranian people seeking freedom and trying to chart a new destiny for their country. Companies that provide technology to the Iranian regime to control the Internet must be forced to pay a heavy price.”

Why aren’t the Senators going after NSA’s activities in the Pinwale program with the same fervor? Or is it only wrong to meddle with the Internet when you’re not the US government?

Clearly Screwed

The Clear Registered Traveler program was a service that basically collected a bunch of information about you, ran a background check, then gave you a card that let you skip to the front of the security line at 20 airports around the country. Since Dulles International Airport was one of them, I signed up for the card a little over a year ago. I’d had good experiences with it, and renewed it for $179 in May this year.

Then on June 22nd, Clear abruptly announced that they were closing operations effective immediately. (News which I learned about via Twitter before I learned about it from Clear’s customer service email. Viva la revolution!) The first order of business was to call American Express and dispute the charge from Clear. Clear has since announced that they won’t be issuing refunds due to the “financial condition of the company”. (In other words, they be broke.) This is why you should always use a credit card for purchases, kids. It’s a lot easier to dispute a charge on a credit card than a debit card.
Anyway, the more disturbing thing about the Clear closure is that they have a huge amount of personal information about their customers – iris photos, fingerprints, names, addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc. It’s really their most valuable asset – to a prospective purchaser or to a hacker. I reviewed their privacy policy again the day I found out about the closure, and it seems to indicate that they can’t sell the data. But as this Wired article points out, the policy isn’t explicit about what happens if the company is liquidated or acquired.

So now I’m wondering if I should try to get an injunction against them transferring all my personal information to a third party… Good luck with that, right?