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Thread: I Found A Listening Device In My Home

  1. #1
    Die Another Day BondJmsBond's Avatar
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    I Found A Listening Device In My Home

    It looks like this:



    I got it for free along with a tablet I bought. Been playing with it about 2 weeks now and it's limited but actually some fun and useful too if you check out what you can do with it.

    I changed the alert word to "Computer" because that lets me pretend to be Kirk (it's strangely satisfying); also "alexa" has too many variations when you've had a few

    It can be used as kind of a google that you yell at and it tells you the answer. It's very useful for alarms and reminders, I'm doing that a lot but you have to speak very clearly to it for the reminders' subject - it takes what it heard your voice say and then uses the alexa voice to repeat it back, so I had one reminder where alexa said "Reminder - Don't forget prfilbirz." Pretty funny, fortunately I remembered what it was. It was "pick up stove"

    I use it in the bedroom, it has bluetooth so I run a speaker from it there for better sound. Tell it to play whatever music and out it comes. I've just discovered the magic of ambient sounds - man, put on 'distant thunderstorm' at the right volume and I'm out like a light.
    It has what are called 'skills' - kind of retarded apps that do one thing but some are good.
    My tablet has alexa voice too, I use that in the shop for music/video etc. In general I like it and find it useful and fun.

    But....the privacy issues, I damn sure don't trust Bezos - I can tell by my router this echo dot thing is constantly communicating back and forth to the amazom mothership and actually slowing down my downloads and gameplay etc., have to unplug the damn thing, what's up with that? Furthermore my tablet, an amazon fire, does the same thing even with wireless turned off - I have to power it down completely to stop it.
    The Amazon Ecosystem is pretty cool, with prime, you do get many usable benefits with it, but after 5 years I'm starting to squirm. Especially since they have raised the yearly prime fee to $119.
    It's nice, but I can certainly live without it just fine.

    Do any of you more informed guys use this or know about it and have input?
    I'm just a simple man, easily taken in by a smooth-talking round piece of plastic.
    Last edited by BondJmsBond; 05-02-2018 at 09:47 PM.

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  3. #2
    ಠ_ಠ defrabbit's Avatar
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    you could call it "pucky".

    BTW, does this thing have lights on it? because I believe the sci-fi
    convention is that if the lights turn red it means the device is now evil.

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  5. #3
    Die Another Day BondJmsBond's Avatar
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    yes the top rim is lit, different colors and patterns that spin and flash in different ways, I'm supposed to know what they mean.

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    Yup, I couldn't resist getting Alexa either lol. It was fun for a while and now I'm just paranoid, like you. I don't like the perma online aspect of it, honestly. I hate that in all the devices, even phones.

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    I work here..? Frosty's Avatar
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    My HEVC/H.265/x265 videos can be played with either VLC or MPC-HC



    "Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere, angel..."

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    Cartel Lagerlout's Avatar
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    I have a friend who has quite a few family members in the State Police and Federal Police here. When they are talking shop I sit very quietly listening. What they can do and get up to now with tech would totally freak you out. I know it does me
    Nice gals are nice ... Bad gals are much much better

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  13. #7

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    My son is called Alex.
    After getting an Echo for Christmas we had the hilarious situation where I ended up in a three way arguement with my son and the Echo.
    From the bottom of the stairs I screemed "Alex, about time you cleaned your room"
    Alexa told me it didn't understand, my son told me he couldn't be bothered and I went out to the shed to get drunk away from children and nosy always listening tech.

    I've since decided that one of them needs to go; and Alexa is sometimes useful.

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    Die Another Day BondJmsBond's Avatar
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    ^ That's hilarious

    Today is prime day; those with it can get killer deals, especially, of course, for Amazon stuff.

    7" Fire tablet for $29; it's a great reader, way worth it just for that and you can shmooze around the proprietary Amazon OS ecosystem to side load it with your own free pirated ebooks/music/video etc.
    Same goes for the larger Fire tablets, if you want one now is the time to get it. I have a 10", got it cheap and with a free dot too; and love the hell out of it. I keep my old 7" for a backup.
    Fire tv stick with alexa voice remote $19.99, if I had a valid use for it I'd get it, but I bear in mind to get good use you'd have to subscribe to pay services, so not for me.
    Toshiba Fire tv 50" 4K $289.99. If I needed a big tv this would be it.

    I like this Echo and Prime stuff and what you can do with it, but I'm still very leery and will probably quit prime with the $119 a year, I've leached much of what is available already from Prime.
    My dream of a total voice activated home is crumbling to dust, and if I ever do it it will be with a self-contained wireless system and not one that works through the internet.
    One exception would be on of those ring video doorbell things because it would be really cool to see and yell at people at your door while you're somewhere else, but with my luck it would be stolen as I watch and pointlessly protest. - "Hey! Come back here with that!" - I could possibly watch my expensive doorbell running down the street until the wireless got out of range..

    Meanwhile they just updated the Fire OS so my tablet now can work just like the $229 Echo Show (now on sale for $129 for prime members); and it's pretty cool.

    So, I'm still using and enjoying the Echo stuff but turn it off when not using it so it doesn't eat my internet and listen to me all day.
    Privacy and using up my bandwidth are major problems.
    Last edited by BondJmsBond; 07-16-2018 at 12:26 PM.

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  17. #9
    ಠ_ಠ defrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BondJmsBond View Post
    My dream of a total voice activated home is crumbling to dust...
    if you are watching tv and a character says something like, "Lights out for you, Mugsy"
    would your automated home turn out the lights?

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  19. #10
    Super Moderator Misrule's Avatar
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    Here's one to try on your listening device.
    Ask it: "Alexa (or whatever it is called), are you friends with my children?"
    It would be interesting to know how it responds. Could also be used with the Microsoft thingy - Cortana, is it?

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