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Google Home....Alexa...Echo....whatever......


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#1 AllseeingEye

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 08:42 PM

So I came home the other day to find not one but two Google Home units installed in the house, one in the living room and one in the main bedroom. Mrs ASE thought they would be 'cool'; she now spends more time talking to them than she does to me (perhaps an unintended feature for some of us?) :)

 

Have to admit its a bit unnerving knowing these devices are essentially always-on albeit in passive mode waiting on the acoustic signature of the 'wake words' ("Hey.." or "OK Google" in the case of the units at our place). I know too that only when it receives this activation command does it actually and truly 'wake up' to relay the command to the cloud and in the process fetch response(s) from Google (or Amazon’s etc.,) servers.

 

That all said *were* I part of a nefarious shadow organization bent on world control I_might be inclined to promote the Echo-Alexa-Home units to facilitate their insidious spread throughout the world, thereby ensuring a form of 'mass global surveillance'. Hm...maybe I'll just pull the damn plug whenever I don't want to take a chance on it hearing, recording and storing 'somewhere' something I don't want it to. They're impressive devices: its like interacting with another human in normal real-time conversation, a little unnerving since the algorithm is designed to be a learning unit and interact even more naturally over time, but also a bit scary. Its kind of like "1984".....34 years later. SkyNet Jr. anyone?


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#2 lanforod

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 09:23 PM

Just keep talking about your fishing trips and back-country jaunts. She'll return them fast enough once that's all she sees for advertising when she's online.


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#3 Mike K.

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 09:47 PM

Lol.

Get rid of that crap, ASE.
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#4 Sparky

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 12:42 PM

Geezus Mrs. ASE has to be the only woman on the planet with a tech savvy husband that would just bring one of those home unannounced.

There has to be more to the story here.

You don’t talk in your sleep by any chance do you?
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#5 Rob Randall

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:20 PM

We got a couple for Christmas, too. They're pretty freaky, how they work.

 

I remember as a kid, sitting by the radio all afternoon hoping for your favourite new song to get played. Now you just lie in bed in the dark and tell you to play anything. I've been testing it by asking it increasingly obscure and old songs.


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#6 Cassidy

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:28 PM

I spent the festive season saying "Alexa ... turn on the outside Christmas lights" ... never got wet, never got cold ... and never had to leave my favorite home-theatre chair or put down my beer!

 

I love these things.


Edited by Cassidy, 09 January 2019 - 01:29 PM.


#7 todd

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:35 PM

I spent the festive season saying "Alexa ... turn on the outside Christmas lights" ... never got wet, never got cold ... and never had to leave my favorite home-theatre chair or put down my beer!
 
I love these things.


I had to go all the way down to the basement to flip the two breaker switches. It was hell.
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#8 Rob Randall

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:37 PM

Here's some good fun to play on a friend. When visiting their house, discreetly whisper into the device:

 

"Alexa, add "_____" to my shopping list"

 

In place of the blank space, use your favourite embarrassing item. I recommend any product related to the anus or rectum.


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#9 Cassidy

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:42 PM

I had to go all the way down to the basement to flip the two breaker switches. It was hell.

Agreed ... you would have been able to keep holding on to your beer ... BUT ... you did have to get out of your favorite chair.

 

So ... yeah ... hell :)



#10 todd

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 01:57 PM

Agreed ... you would have been able to keep holding on to your beer ... BUT ... you did have to get out of your favorite chair.
 
So ... yeah ... hell :)


However I do keep the beer fridge in the basement anyway I’m killing two reindeer with one stone.

#11 AllseeingEye

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 02:52 PM

We got a couple for Christmas, too. They're pretty freaky, how they work.

 

I remember as a kid, sitting by the radio all afternoon hoping for your favourite new song to get played. Now you just lie in bed in the dark and tell you to play anything. I've been testing it by asking it increasingly obscure and old songs.

"Heart Full of Soul" - Yardbirds - 1966: thought I might have had it with that one but nope its immediate response was "Heart Full of Soul" by the Yardbirds - Sure!" Good stuff. I guess it then figured I was an oldies fan (I am) and it then launched "Indian Reservation" by Paul Revere and the Raiders. I might get to like this thing. Good sound too....



#12 todd

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 03:34 PM

Lol.
Get rid of that crap, ASE.


VV Assist?

#13 exc911ence

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:00 PM

merlin_135847308_098289a6-90ee-461b-88e2-20920469f96a-articleLarge.jpg



#14 AllseeingEye

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 07:26 PM

/\.....ah yes the HAL 9000, good name for a 'home assistant'......


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#15 sebberry

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:07 PM

Not that long ago, we wondered if the government was spying on us through our TVs and cable boxes.  Now we happily ask the spyware if cats eat pancakes.

 

I'll admit it - I bought a Google Home Mini over the holidays.    It first started with some Lutron Caseta wireless in-wall dimmer switches so I could control the hallway, kitchen, dining and bathroom lights from my phone.  Then the Philips Hue kit came along with some white and colour ambiance bulbs to liven the place up a bit.  Then the Google Home Mini to tie it together.  Oh, then there was the Apple TV to automate the Homekit functions of the Lutron and Phillips devices, like being able to turn on the lights from the elevator before I get home.


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#16 AllseeingEye

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:55 PM

Some interesting insight into user concerns regarding these devices from the Guardian in the UK: 

 

https://www.theguard...azon-show-alexa



#17 nagel

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:00 AM

Wife won't let these things in the house and I don't blame her.

 

All kids seem to think they're the coolest thing ever.



#18 tjv

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:41 AM

I spent the festive season saying "Alexa ... turn on the outside Christmas lights" ... never got wet, never got cold ... and never had to leave my favorite home-theatre chair or put down my beer!

 

I love these things.

Or you could put that circuit on a timer and never worry about it again.  During the rest of the year my soffit lights come on at sunset and the time automatically adjusts the sunset time

 

I got an Alexa last Christmas and quickly found it annoying.  When I asked it to play a song it would only play a snippet because I quickly realized the song was copyrighted.  My smartphone has the weather, etc on the home page and I don't really need to Wikipedia things on Alexa that bad.  Complete waste of money IMO

 

On another note I got a Sonos Play 5 speaker for Christmas.  Great sound, but when I tried to hook it up to Spotify it said I had to upgrade my account from the free basic version to $10/month to play on the Sonos speaker.  What are people's thoughts, I don't see it worth paying $10 a month to listen to music



#19 sdwright.vic

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:18 AM

I have Google Play... the fact that I don't have to buy music anymore covers the subscription fee.
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#20 RFS

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 09:32 AM

ya all things considered,  $10/ month is pretty reasonable for unlimited access to music across multiple devices


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