“Alexa and Siri, rival voice assistants on Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s iPhone, don’t directly communicate with one another. But the Amazon executive in charge of Alexa and the Amazon Echo said he’d welcome the idea,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today. “‘You should be able to tell ‘Alexa, ask Siri X,” said David Limp, senior vice president of devices at Amazon.” “‘If Apple or Google want to come calling, my phone number is out there, they can call… I don’t know if I can envision it but I hope that will happen on behalf of customers,’ Limp told a Click Here to Read more
(WSB TV): Voice assistants like Siri, Google Home and Amazon Echo take convenience to a new level, but does that convenience come with a price? Channel 2 Consumer Advisor Clark Howard says the in-home technology could impact your privacy. The assistants work by listening for the “wake word.” For Echo, that word is “Alexa,” for Google Home it’s “OK Google” and for Siri it’s “Hey Siri.” After it detects the wake word it begins recording the interaction. As those recordings build up the device becomes more efficient, but with that convenience comes constant monitoring. What these devices record, accidental or otherwise, Click Here to Read more
(Eater): Starbucks is making it ever easier to order your $7 morning latte. Today the chain launches voice ordering on two platforms: its iOS mobile app and Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa. When utilizing the mobile order and pay feature on the My Starbucks app, users can now speak their full order instead of selecting it on-screen. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the app should in theory have no problem taking your order for an extra-complicated venti two-pump half-caf extra-hot skinny vanilla almond milk latte. The feature is currently in beta, and is currently only available to 1,000 customers nationwide; it will be rolled out Click Here to Read more
For those of us who long for the day when we can say the word “Computer” and our Amazon Echo would respond, that day has finally come! Now Alexa users can change their ‘wake word’ from the generic ‘Alexa’ to ‘Computer’. Here’s how to change it: Logon to the Alexa app (http://alexa.amazon.com). Select Settings > [name of Alexa device]. Select Edit at the Wake Word section. From the Drop Down menu, select the Computer wake word. Click Save. You can now use that word to wake up Alexa. Note: Amazon.com is in the process of pushing out this update. You’ll not be able to do the above until Amazon Click Here to Read more
(CNN): Some Ford owners will soon be able to start their car will Amazon Alexa. The company announced Wednesday at CES 2017 its newer vehicles will work alongsideAmazon’s popular Echo smart speaker and its voice assistant Alexa. The move will allow select Ford owners to make voice requests via the Echo such as “Alexa, ask MyFord Mobile to start my car,” provided they’re within earshot of the smart home device. Other capabilities include the ability to turn off the car, lock or unlock the doors and check a vehicle’s battery power level. The technology could also be useful for those who want to loan a Click Here to Read more
There’s a common gripe with the Amazon Echo, Google Home and other voice-guided helpers: You have to stand within their listening range to make use of them. Not quite the Star Trek future you were promised, is it? NVIDIA, however, might have a fix: It just introduced the Spot, a hybrid mic and speaker that brings Google Assistant to every nook and cranny in your home. You need the new Shield TV to serve as the central hub, but you’re otherwise free to turn on lights, ask questions and otherwise use Assistant knowing that you’ll be heard. The catch: Spot costs $50 per unit, and NVIDIA will only say Click Here to Read more
The Amazon Alexa device has been getting some not-so-good press lately. Questions have been raised about Alexa’s always on feature. Some privacy experts have expressed concerns about the device’s “always-on” feature so it’ll respond to one’s voice when thy say the activation name. But what the media didn’t mention is, there IS A WAY to disable the always-on feature. Granted, you’ll not be able to activate her from across the room, but if you’re really concerned about privacy, here’s what to do: On top of the device are two buttons (the Alexa Dot has four) – one is for power, and Click Here to Read more
New technology is never perfect,” Alyssa Pereira reports for The San Francisco Chronicle. “Amazon, one of the latest companies forced to reckon with such imperfections in their own products, is now finding itself apologizing to a family for an embarrassing snafu.” “The family’s parents, who recently bought an Echo Dot equipped with ‘Alexa,’ Amazon’s virtual personal assistant software, were shocked to watch as it tried to serve their child porn,” Pereira reports. “The young boy was attempting to ask Alexa to pull up a game he was calling ‘Digger Digger’ when Alexa misidentified his words, thinking he was asking for something much Click Here to Read more
When I reviewed the Amazon Echo 13 months ago, I predicted that people would want one in every room. The Echo can control your home’s lighting, play music, estimate your commute time, operate a timer, answer trivia questions, read books and news bulletins to you, tell you which movies are at your local theater, and so much more. You can order a pizza from Dominoes, a ride from Uber, or virtually anything from Amazon. You’d want one in every room so you didn’t need to walk to the room it was in to use it, or yell “Alexa!” from across Click Here to Read more
According to the Alexa online portal, Amazon.com has given the device the ability to highlight special deals for the Holidays that will only be available via the Amazon Echo device. To find out the latest Holiday deals, just ask Alexa: “Alexa, what are your deals?” When Alexa announces a product, the user can say the word “YES” to purchase the item.
Early Wednesday, Amazon.com launched Amazon Music Unlimited. Amazon Music Unlimited offers tens of millions of songs anytime, anywhere with one low price for Prime and non-Prime members. All prices can be seen at the end of this article. The monthly memberships also offers skip and commercial free listening. Use the Amazon Echo (or other devices) to gain access to content such as music and other content. The pricing plans are as follows: Individual (one account for all of your devices): $7.99 / Month or $79.00 / Year. Amazon Echo Plan (all of the benefits of the above on a single Click Here to Read more
Many people are going to be watching tonight’s Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on TV. But they can also watch it from their iPhone, iPad, and even Apple TV. Here’s how: Download any of the national news apps (CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, etc.) for your device. Install the app as normal. Go into the app. There will usually be a LIVE button somewhere in the app, tap that. The app may ask you to verify your TV cable or satellite provider. After that, you’re all set. You can also listen to the debates via the Amazon Echo. Just Click Here to Read more
Early Wednesday, Amazon.com sent an email to all registered Amazon Echo customers about the availability of its second generation Amazon Echo Dot. The $49.00 Dot is just like the original, but is smaller in size, has two color choices, and a port on the back so the device can be connected to stereo speakers. Interested customers can pre-order the dot which will be made available to the public on October 20th, 2016. For more information, click here.
According to The Verge, Amazon has sent out a mysterious invite to the United Kingdom publications on Friday morning, hinting that the company may be launching its Amazon Echo product in that country. The company’s invite doesn’t drop too many hints, but if you ask Alexa (Echo’s voice assistant) what’s happening on September 14th, you get a good idea. “I promised I wouldn’t tell,” replies Alexa. in a video posted by Engadget editor Matt Brian. “A visit to London has always been on my bucket list.” The press invite comes just weeks after a blogger found that Bing was caching a mysterious URL on Amazon’s UK Click Here to Read more
Besides being the owner of this great web site, I am also a self-employed computer programmer. As such, I have decided to do my own shameless plug for a few Amazon Echo skills that I have developed and are now available to add to your Alexa enabled device. They are: – CP FACT: Facts and information about the disability Cerebral Palsy. – GEEK STAR TRIVIA: Comprehensive Trivia Game about Star Trek. Yes, more are on the way – so keep your eye out for skills by Connecting People Software Co. Please download and try them, and let me know how you like Click Here to Read more