Echo dot gizmo

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hootsmonhootsmon Frets: 9307
This is new tae me...

Teh wife is askin' for one......is it a stand alone device, does it have tae be connected to something or a wireless speaker set up...is there running costs?
tae be or not tae be
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  • quarkyquarky Frets: 2389
    edited December 2
    Pugged into the power and connected via wifi I think. Bought a couple for Xmas myself but haven't opened them yet! No additional running costs, but I assume you have an amazon account?
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 390
    Had one for a couple of years.  Connects wireless to your WiFi.
    its brilliant for playing music if you have say Spotify, don’t have to search, just ask to play the song. Great therefore when you’ve got a guitar in your hands 
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2165
    If you have prime music it's great because you can play virtually any music on it. If you don't have something like that you might not get a lot out of it. 
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2364
    Yeah agree with the consensus, they are great if you have Spotify or Amazon Music but nearly useless otherwise.
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • sinbaadisinbaadi Frets: 832
    They're great.  I have one of the latest version.

    They pack a decent punch for something so diminutive.  Excellent sound quality, I have one on the bedside table.  The Alexa stuff is fun, but mostly I use it to play Spotify and sometimes connect my phone to it.  
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  • hootsmonhootsmon Frets: 9307
    No i don't have Spotify or an Amazon account .......what is the Alexa thing.......wife says you can ask questions??//
    tae be or not tae be
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2165
    You can ask what the weather is going to be or how to boil an egg or tell you a joke etc. It's most useful for music. If you have two it's good to send announcements to the other one like waking my daughter up. 
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  • hootsmonhootsmon Frets: 9307
    ^ Does it have tae be connected the my wi fi internet for that side of things?
    tae be or not tae be
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2165
    Yes but it's fairly easy to pair. 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3405
    I understand they basically do a load of stuff you can already do, but in one thing

    Water, come drown me, I'm done

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  • hootsmonhootsmon Frets: 9307
    I don't require an Amazon account tae operate the thing?

    Oh and i should get the 3rd generation one, yeah?
    tae be or not tae be
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2138
    Had one for a year. Good for weather/news/opening and closing times/timetables and also for a running grocery list; ‘Alexa - add a stack of Sauvignon to the shopping list please’. Kids use Spotify with it. Not exactly an essential adjunct to modern life but reasonably useful.
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2165
    I seem to remember you do have to use an amazon account. I've got a first and a second gen and have bought my son a third. Couldn't tell you the difference. 
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  • ShrewsShrews Frets: 338
    "Alexa, can you run my entire life for me?"

    "No, do it yer fucking self."


    Fair point, well made.

    Each to their own, but this is something that we don't really need IMO and money that could be used more wisely elsewhere.  
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  • ewalewal Frets: 803
    edited December 2
    It's one of the current crop of gimmick devices being marketed by the global tech monopolies, the aim of which is get you to buy more of their stuff. Proprietary vendor lock-in - what Amazon, Apple and Google are good at.

    Oh and Alexa is my mum's name, not some fecking Amazon sales bot.
    The Scrambler-EE Walk soundcloud experience
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  • ewalewal Frets: 803
    You do need an Amazon account much as you must have an Amazon account for a Kindle
    The Scrambler-EE Walk soundcloud experience
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  • tone1tone1 Frets: 1684
    edited December 3
    I’ve told me kids that they can have one of these Amazon dot echo, Alexa type things when.......I’m dead B
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  • MikeSMikeS Frets: 315
    edited December 3
    I work with a guy, who gets genuinely excited showing me the app on his phone that allows him to adjust his heating and lights in the house whilst he's at work. He plays with it, and squeals with delight every time he makes an adjustment. He's a nice guy, so I act interested, but within feel like maybe as a nation we've gone a bit brain numb.

    He's young, It's a current trend, I get that. But WTF?
    Cheers,

    Michael.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 9363
    Shrews said:
    "Alexa, can you run my entire life for me?"

    "No, do it yer fucking self."


    Fair point, well made.

    Each to their own, but this is something that we don't really need IMO and money that could be used more wisely elsewhere.  
    It's amazing technology for the disabled, but I wouldn't want the heating or curtains in my house to be voice activated any more than I'd want a wheelchair or respiratory equipment. 

    All it proves to me is that nerdy tech designers grew up watching Star Trek and are thrilled that we can now have all this pointless stuff. 
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  • thecolourboxthecolourbox Frets: 3405
    edited December 3
    I've somewhat reluctantly joined this silly "smart tech" club yesterday, as we needed our heating fixing and the man pointed out we didn't have a thermostat. So we now have Hive and the mobile heating app thing and we get a "free" echo dot arriving in January. Which we've both agreed will basically just be a radio to play classical FM on, which I'm happy with to an extent. The app for the Hive thing is good but once you've taken the five minutes to set your timers up then the novelty wears off.

    I'm sceptical about the Echo Dot thing though as I'm used to the adage that if something is free, you're the product yourself. Ie they must be selling our using your recorded data, and Alexa seems quite a malicious character

    Water, come drown me, I'm done

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14739
    I like the Alexa thing. Whenever you go to someone's house that has one, you can say "Alexa, add dildoes to the shopping basket". 
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • I've got one and as mentioned above it great if you have a spotify account, you can ask it random questions or get it to read you stories.

    It's not so good with Scottish accents, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orD-e_W6Pic
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 5303
    My bro in law has got one of the Alexa things. He’s got it next to his tv so every time an ad comes on that mentions Alexa, it gets confused and says “sorry, I didn’t understand that”. 
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  • JerkMoansJerkMoans Frets: 2138
    Self-confessed Blues Lawyer
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  • BabonesBabones Frets: 902
    Sporky said:
    I like the Alexa thing. Whenever you go to someone's house that has one, you can say "Alexa, add dildoes to the shopping basket". 
    Yup, that's what I do. Followed by "Alexa, read back the shopping list" for a long chortle.
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 2456

    I have one, got it in one of the sales for 20 quid or something. Its alright, I use it for radio and music. It is paired to my AV system, which is neat, so I can listen to 6 Music nice and loud. I also use it for weather, news, music, cinema listings, gigs etc. I had this grand idea of controlling the whole house (whatever that means) with it, but that hasn't happened. Yet. I have just got a few Arlo cameras, which I will get round to setting up, and have great plans for Alexa domination of that. Which again, I am sure, will be a great let down.

    Had this masterplan to control the lights, heating etc etc with it. However, I quickly realised that its just as easy, and lot cheaper to (guess what its amazing this) program my heating via the thermostat (who'd have thunk?) and actually switch the lights on by hand!

    I could probably use it for Amazon stuff, and Kindle, but I just can't be arsed really, when I can see it all on my ipad, and there is less danger of accidentally ordering load of stuff I don't need, want, especially when fuelled by alcohol.

    Hey Alexa, buy me a new hifi etc etc....

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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2165
    One thing worth noting you can disable its ability to purchase via your amazon acct, my autistic son would have spent us into oblivion if he could have bought stuff by telling alexa to get it!
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2581
    I wouldn't want something in my house that is constantly listening (even if it's only for me to say 'Alexa'). Scary devices.
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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 1439
    JezWynd said:
    I wouldn't want something in my house that is constantly listening (even if it's only for me to say 'Alexa'). Scary devices.
    Exactly.

     I've got a wife to do that.
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  • MyrandaMyranda Frets: 2734
    Sporky said:
    I like the Alexa thing. Whenever you go to someone's house that has one, you can say "Alexa, add dildoes to the shopping basket". 
    Friend at uni did his industry placement with IBM who were working on some voice control AI stuff, so they bought a bunch of Alexa devices and had team members using them (on the IBM Amazon account)... he popped into the uni lab where I was doing my placement with an Echo and we were playing around with things before we worked out you could tell it to buy silly things "Alexa, buy heroine" for instance results both in "I could not find Heroine, would you like to add heroine to the IBM business account" and "Alexa STOP, NO NO STOP STOP!!!"... also, "Alexa, buy prostitutes" has a similar result.. then a red faced student frantically unplugs it 

    Not sure I have a use-case for an Alexa based thing myself - I like the idea of using it to voice control my PC and have my PC connected to decent a DAC & Amp and also with all my dvds/blurays ripped to a big NAS and have all my media accessible by voice command - but music on the Echo stuff is done through the Amazon app and will output from the device, and video done the way I'd like requires multiple separate programs - which aren't part of the Echo so probably an update to one might cause all the others to stop working... that doesn't sound ideal. And then to have Amazon listen to everything you think and try to steal you soul... 

    ewal said:

    Oh and Alexa is my mum's name, not some fecking Amazon sales bot.
    See, I thought Alexa was a name, but having typed it several times and each time Google put red wiggly lines under it. So apparently all the Alexas out there have been misspelling their own name it should be "Alex a" ... Thanks Google.
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