Amazon Echo Dot, My New Gadget

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Yvonne Smith, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I was just reading this story about a little girl who asked Alexa to play dolls and get her a doll house and some cookies. Alexa ordered a $160 doll house and 4 lbs of cookies, and a couple of days later, the surprised family (and happy little girl) received the doll house and cookies.
    Naturally, this made the local news. However, when the story was played over the television, many listeners called in and complained because they too had an Amazon Echo, and their device also tried to order the dollhouse and cookies when the story was on television and Amazon Echos everywhere tried to obey the prompt for the merchandise.
    Apparently, there is a control in the app so that you can stop Alexa from making an automatic order when she hears you talking about something, and her name is mentioned.
    Now, I am trying to figure out how to tell @Bobby Cole about this without ordering a dollhouse and 4 lbs of cookies as soon as I mention that Alexa ordered those for a little girl.
    I guess he will just have to read it here on the forum, like everyone else is doing.......

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/01/06/...ollhouses-for-owners-after-hearing-tv-report/
     
    #16
  2. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I don't know if I want something like that in my house...what if I said "Fire!" and it burned down my house...or worse! :p

    All kidding aside @Yvonne Smith I did see a commercial on TV promoting that Echo Dot or something like it. But I'm with @Patsy Faye as long as I can get up and play my own music on my CD's, etc. I am fine with that. I didn't even like the Kindle my girls gave me to read books on....I like real books and being able to turn the pages myself, etc. Some things to me just don't need "updating".

    But on the other hand, since your daughter is "gifting" you with these new gadgets I can see how you are probably enjoying "playing" with them. :p
     
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  3. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Sounds like my brother. He doesn't like today's "techy" stuff at all. We have some and love the ones we do have.

    One thing for sure, some love new "techy" stuff while others are fine with still using old stuff.

    Not to change the OP, but some folks will buy a new car and are totally amazed/shocked at all the "techy" stuff in it. When we bought our 2005 Durango, in 2005, it had a DVD Player in it and a set of headphones. Can only be viewed from the two rear seating areas, but can be heard thru the radio if the headphones aren't used. We've used it a few times, but think it's mainly for kids entertainment.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I used to be good at learning new things, now I don't seem to want to
    There's so much to remember with computers, that's about all I can handle :)

    @Cody Fousnaugh
     
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  5. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Veteran Member
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    Just what everyone needs a propaganda source right in your house? At least the TV has a choice of what propaganda you want. Will it be biases of course will you be thinking of that when you listen to it no. All these new devices are great but the caveat is they all are connected to Google in one way or another.
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I think that the Echo is connected to Amazon because that is who markets the Echo. It is not something that I would have ever spent any money to own, nor do we use it very often, and when we do , it is just to play music through the stereo. Basically, the Echo does about the same things as SIRI does for Apple, but the Echo is a free-standing unit and has its own speakers. Alexa also works with the Amazon Fire TV box; and can findtelevision programs for people when using that application for it.
    Amazon was sending me an email each week to explain new things that the Echo can do; but really, we are not interested in interacting with it.

    Bobby listens to the radio most mornings, and one program that he was listening to was talking about using Alexa. The announcer mentioned asking Alexa what the capitol of some state was, and Bobby was totally shocked when OUR Alexa answered the question and told him what the capitol was for that state. He said for an instant, he thought someone strange was in the house talking to him, and then he realized that the radio announcer had "triggered" the Echo when he said the word "Alexa".
    Ordering things online is definitely NOT something that we want the Echo to be doing ! !
     
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  7. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Oooer - this Alexa hears everything you say :eek:
    Ooo no, gives me the heeby jeebies
    :p
     
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  8. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Sounds like this thing could be/would be a very interesting item to have. Will have to check into it.

    Be nice to have someone (something) to talk to while wife is at work.
     
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  9. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Veteran Member
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    Everything you say will be on the web good idea???
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I tend to agree with you, @Patsy Faye ! Even though Amazon is not the only company who makes this kind of device, any of the other brands, like Apple or Google, would also basically be a listening device that hears, and possibly records what is said in the vicinity. Because the device only responds when you activate that by speaking their "name" (such as SIRI or Alexa), you only realize that they are listening when you actively speak to them for some reason. However, it seems to me that the device has to be listening all of the time so that it can know when to activate.
    Most of the voice-activated products seem to be used for remotely controlling the television by voice; and Alexa is the first one that I have seen that will actually order products from Amazon when you ask her to do so.
    I think that our automatic ordering must be turned off. The other day, Bobby asked Alexa to make "fireplace sounds" to go along with the electric fireplace heater that is part of the television cabinet. Now, I see that we have a list called Alexa wish list, or something similar to that, and on the list is "fireplace sounds". Thankfully, the automatic ordering is off or Bobby would have accidentally ordered some kind of an app for his ipad that plays fireplace sounds .
    The snooping implications are what is really concerning though, much more so than accidentally ordering something online might be. Even though we don't say anything that would be of interest to anyone, just the thought that everything we say might be being recorded and stored, is worrisome. "Big Brother" has certainly arrived, and like they are saying , most people are happy with the technology that could be enslaving them.
     
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  11. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Agree !!
     
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  12. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    One of the assets that I have been checking on is that your home can be married up with Alexa in order to verbally control the air conditioning, drapes, lights and even the coffee maker and microwave.

    Now, one thing I do not know is if our thingy in question can take on a name change and voice that is user specific.
    I am sure that ya'll have read Yvonne's post about the strange woman in the house incident in which all it took was a radio announcer giving an example of what Alexa can do. The announcer was bemusing the idea that our youth no longer has to hit the books or even google information but instead just say "Alexa, what is the capital of Argentina" and bang, the answer is forthcoming. Having the voice of a strange woman in my house is compelling but not when I am not expecting it and definitely not at 5 a.m. In the morning. If I could change her name to something like Rumplestiltskin I might fare a bit better at accidental occurances.

    Another thing I am not sure of is how much Alexa can take before it gets miffed like Siri does. I am sure that Alexa, like her counterpart does not know the meaning of life nor can tell me who put the bop in the bop-shebop-shebop but unlike Siri, I will not push for an answer. Siri get's an attitude with me and even gives me the silent treatment for asking her what appears to be trivial questions but to me are all too important.
    Who would Not want to know who put the bop in the bop-shebop-shebop and who among us would not want to know with finality what the true meaning of life is other than talking to some devious Artificial Intelligence bent on making us all a bunch of slovenly lumps of couch potatoes?
     
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  13. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole - I've heard of the 'other woman' but you have two ! ?
    Bloomin' eck :p
     
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  14. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Kinda sorta. Siri is a cross gender kind of critter. She can go from a sexy woman to a guy with a near baritone voice by the click of a button. That said, the guy gets as testy with me the same as his female side does.
     
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  15. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Oh ! That made me giggle ! :p
     
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