Amazon Alexa

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Aimee
Aimee's picture
Amazon Alexa

I caved in and bought a Dot. I don't have a "smart" home, frankly I am using it for weather reports and radio function. You can set it up to play dozens of radio stations for free, from around the world. It's a pretty cool function. I plug it in to an outlet in the bedroom when I'm getting ready in the morning so I can listen to news and traffic reports while I get ready. I might have not bought one but a little stereo we got as a wedding gift burned out the display (so you can't see what station is playing, it is digital display) - which is likely repairable, but who knows how long it will take me to get around to it. Spending $30 was faster (I got one off eBay rather than buying direct from Amazon, so I saved a couple of bucks). Of course there was a news report this morning that people were reporting that the darn thing was letting out a creepy laugh in the dark, all by itself. Knowing that this device is "always on" and listening if you have it plugged in (and don't shut the speaker off), I unplug it when I'm not using it. I'm not paranoid, but no need for Amazon to passively listen to whatever.

Anyhow, it's a fun little toy. Of course Michael seems to think if he shouts at it, it will understand him better. And he is prone to asking it to do goofy things, like sing the Star Spangled Banner. I think they could be used with some as of yet undeveloped app to monitor Senior Citizen's homes (like the Life Alert thing) - so they could say "Alexa, I need an ambulance" and it could call for help. I'm sure that is in development, it seems a no-brainer.

Aimee
Aimee's picture
Dot

the one thing I like is I enabled the "skill" called "Question of the Day". Every morning I ask for the question of the day and Alexa gives a question from a category (general knowledge, history, geography, sports, etc.) and there are 4 multiple choice answers to choose from. So you have a fighting chance if you don't really "know" the answer you can often guess the correct one (like the SAT's!). And if you answer correctly, you get a bonus question. Good way to wake up the brain.

It's not how...it's how many

DON
ONE question for you Aimee. 

ONE question for you Aimee.  Do you have to do this BEFORE you have a cup of coffee to wake up or can you do it after you cup of wake up juice ???

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Aimee
Aimee's picture
wake up

Don, I do usually ask the question after a cup of coffee, but that's more a function of how my morning routine goes.

It's not how...it's how many

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I love My Amazon Alexa

I love My Amazon Alexa devices.  I have like 5 of them.  including one at work.  I use them for lots of stuff.   Even - I know this is lazy but - have my coffee pot hooked up so I can tell Alexa to turn on the coffee pot.  So by the time I get to the kitchen, hot coffee awaits.  LOL!

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DON
Did either of you hear about

Did either of you hear about the voice recording that was made by a persons Alexa Unknown to the person that owned it, that was later transmitted to some of that persons freinds and others all without the knowledge of the person that owned the device? Seems that some of thw words spoken by the person was "Confused" as "Ordres" for Alexa to record what was being spoken, and then transmit it to others/ According to Amazon, they are working on a FIX to this problem so it will not happer as easily as it did. Not sure I'd be happy if what I say at home might become public over the internet due to an error by an Alexa device in my home. I doubt anyonw would. 

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I had not heard about it. 

I had not heard about it.  But the things aren't infallable I'm sure.  I actually once for about 3 seconds heard someone else coming through my Alexa.  not sure if somewhere the IP addresses got crossed in the network somewhere but then it was gone and never heard it again.  Actually heard it because I heard someone connect to it via bluetooth, because she says outloud "connect to bluetooth".  When I looked at my old Android phone, and looked at the Alexa device in their app, there was a paired device that wasn't mine.   Not sure how it gets connected because if I scan for bluetooth devices in the area, I don't see it.    I just checked all my devices in the app, and found that phone (PC's Phone) was again paired with one of my echo's.   I have gone through and deleted it a couple times.  Could be my daughter's phone for some reason is labelled "PC's phone".  but I'm going to watch it and keep checking.  But it's strange.   So I keep a watch on it just to make sure nothing unusual seems to be happening. 

Golf is a game that can only be played...

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Aimee
Aimee's picture
Alexa

When I am not using Alexa, I mute it so it can't receive voice commands. I think that also disconnects it from the Internet, but I'm not sure. There are certain settings you can play with online (on the App) to enable/disable certain functions. I generally keep my devices to the bare minimum functionality. I don't have a Smart Home so I don't interconnect anything.

It's not how...it's how many