Author Topic: Alexa, bring me a Festool...  (Read 7086 times)

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Online Naildrivingman

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Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« on: December 29, 2017, 07:21 PM »
I only wish.

Actually wondering if any fellow FOGgers have an Alexa. I’m looking for tips, tricks and add-ones.

I have to say the technology fascinates me and scares me in the same moment. Oh well, it’s fun to have.
Dance with who brung ya...

Online Peter Halle

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 07:29 PM »
I've had one since they first came out.  Present, I didn't buy it.  Use it to play music and general stuff.  Weird when it starts an interaction with you versus the other way.  Interesting to see suggestions pop up on Amazon after having a kitchen conversation at home without talking to "her'"

Peter

Offline copcarcollector

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 07:32 PM »
Do you really want a device in the house that is ALWAYS listening ...?

Online Naildrivingman

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 08:08 PM »
Do you really want a device in the house that is ALWAYS listening ...?
I’ve had a smart phone for 10 years...I’m used to it.

AND

I’ve been married for 19 years...I’m REALLY used to it.
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline neilc

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 08:38 PM »
I have several.  Useful for checking the weather, controlling my Nest thermostat, adding items to a shopping or to-do list, controlling lights with appropriate smart home hubs.  It's also a hands-free timer, an alarm in the morning and many many other things.  I was surprised I use it as much as I do but have one in the kitchen, one in the workshop and one next to the bed for an alarm.  One of the easiest ways to stream music to either a bluetooth or wired powered speaker connected to them.  I think there are something over 15,000 'skills' out now for the unit to extend it's capabilities.

Offline jtwood

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 10:51 PM »
I have been using them for quite a while, and have 3 in my house:  1 usable in the living room and kitchen, 1 in the bedroom, and 1 in the garage/workshop.

The more you have them, the more you'll use them.  They keep adding a lot of new features.  Recently, you can enable calling between people that have them.  I gave my brother a set of 3 of the Dots, for less than $100, for Xmas, and all I have to do to call him is ask Alexa to do so.  Don't have to pick up the phone.

Also useful for woodworking:  Alexa, how many millimeters is 58 1/2" ?  Lots of conversions available.

As far as listening all the time, it is listening for the "wake word", Alexa (it can be changed to two other words) and, if you want, you can go online and delete everything it has heard in the past.

Once you buy one and install it (requires an app on your mobile phone), Amazon will send you a weekly email with new things it does, and another good source is CNET.com.  You can sign up for their weekly Alexa email.

Steve

Offline McNally Family

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 12:11 AM »

As far as listening all the time, it is listening for the "wake word", Alexa

Steve

you could be in trouble if your spouse was named "Alexa"
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Offline Bob D.

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 06:01 AM »
One in the kitchen and one in the shop. Enable the intercom feature and you can call from the shop to the house if you need help (injury or whatever) or just to find out when dinner will be ready or order another beer.  [big grin]

Turn on the Drop In feature and you can make speakerphone style calls between your home and others over the internet. There are a few knobs and dials to tweak to enable this for security reasons but it's not difficult. Everything you say can be hear din one way or another on any communications medium you choose so I don't see it as any more risky than other forms of communication. POTS and cell phones are easily intercepted, email too. The only privacy you have is what you THINK you have anymore, it's all in your imagination.

Enable the smart home skills and tie it to your HA system. Then you can control lights, adjust thermostat, and such by voice commands.

Set up your Flash Briefing with your favorite news source (NPR, CBS, what have you) and weather report if you want. Then just ask for your Flash Briefing and get a one or two minute update of what's going on in the world.
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Online six-point socket II

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 09:29 AM »
Hi!

No Alexa, Siri, Cortana etc. for me.

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline eeeesh

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2017, 12:06 PM »
Also have had once since we were 'allowed' to purchase them  (you had to get on a waiting list when they first come out).  Currently have 4 Alexa's and 2 dots.  The dots just don't have a large speaker but they do have bluetooth to connect with an external speaker

The dot actually comes in very handy in the garage.  It has the ability to set timers and alarms.  Alexa set a 30 minute glue up timer.  Alexa set a 60 minute recoat timer,  Alexa, play some classic rock - you get the idea

Works great with my Honeywell Wifi Thermostats.  Alexa, what is the temperature.  Alexa set the thermostat to ** degrees 
Also controls about 30 Z-Wave devices - mainly lights

As noted, built in intercom, can play music to multiple rooms at the same time.  Has the ability to create 'routines' - when you get up Alexa, good morning - turns on water heater recirculator to get the hot water flowing, turns on lights, plays radio station, gives the weather report, etc

You can change the wake word to Echo, Amazon, Computer

You can actually access a lot (but not all) of the settings from a PC, which I find to be easier

If you don't have one, you are really missing out.  At least buy an Echo Dot to play around with while they are still on sale for $30

Offline Resendes

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 11:05 AM »
My son wanted to get us Alexa for Christmas. Call me old fashioned, but I'm kind of spooked by a thing that listens to you all the time. Unless you unplug it of course, but what's the use for it then.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 07:28 PM »
My son wanted to get us Alexa for Christmas. Call me old fashioned, but I'm kind of spooked by a thing that listens to you all the time. Unless you unplug it of course, but what's the use for it then.

You don't have to unplug it unless you want to, there is a mute button that disables the microphones.

Yeah, that's what they want you to believe. :-)
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Offline bkharman

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 09:14 PM »
This is (nerdy) funny.



Cheers. Bryan.


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People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 11:41 PM »
Well that should keep the two of them busy for a while  [big grin]

Seth

Offline lunchman

  • Posts: 91
Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 08:10 AM »
That video woke mine up when I played it.  :) It also happens if someone mentions her name on tv or if I ask my sister on the phone how her granddaughter Alexis is doing.  Yeah,  it's a close enough match. I've started using a Harry Potter reference when talking about her and say "she who shall not be named".

I bought two Echo Dots during the Christmas discount,  find them quite useful.  I even bought tp-link wi-fi leds and can control some lights in the house.  They turn on and off automatically and are dimmable.

I know it sounds lazy but I use the shopping list feature the most.  In the past, I'd think of something to add and when I finally went to do so with the paper list would forget what it was. Side effect of being old. Or I'd get to the store and forgotten the list at home.  Now it's always with me since I always carry my phone.

Could I live without it?  Sure.  But it's fun to have.

Offline estley

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2018, 06:03 AM »
i have three thru the house, paired with the smartthings. They're really useful, as others have said, timers and alarms, music, for the first time we have a shopping list that's actually used, and the lights....


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Offline Gregor

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2018, 05:50 PM »
I'm at a complete loss why someone would ever want to have a listening device in his living room, or even pay money to install one.

Online GoingMyWay

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2018, 06:49 PM »
I'm at a complete loss why someone would ever want to have a listening device in his living room, or even pay money to install one.

I couldn't agree more!
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Offline Alex

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2018, 02:44 AM »
Same here. Especially now it's becomming clearer these big internet companies use everything they can to spy on you.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2018, 07:55 AM »
I tend to acquire gadgets unannounced to the rest of the household. SWMBO has pointedly asked more than once "We don't have any of those things anywhere in the house, do we?" This coming from a woman with blue painters tape covering the cameras on her i-stuff and Surface. Needless to say we don't have one.

I am more of the "let them listen to me and die of boredom" school of thought.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Tinker

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Re: Alexa, bring me a Festool...
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2018, 08:26 AM »
The Boss and I were at our son's house for Easter dinner. After dinner, we were sitting around the living room and the subject of music came up. All the music I can hear are crickets, katydids and sometimes cicadas, so I have no idea how the subject came up. My wife is a fan of Wagner and she was telling a little of history of the German composer.  Finally, my son asked, "Would you like to hear some Wagner music, Mom?"

"I would love it." She is always ready to hear music from any of the old German composers and has many of their biographies committed to memory.

My son said, loud and clear, "Elizabeth, play some Wagner."  With that, the record player came on, went thru the motions to change a record (Hey, I grew up with the ancient 78's. I still have a cabinet my dad built for the old handcrank job with the horn on top. I don't have any idea what all this modern stuff is called. Y'all get the idea, I am sure) Suddenly, we were listening to Wagner.

I just figured my son had the whole thing set up and had a remote in his pocket.  I just came across this thread that explains all to me. I don't think I care for it. My wife would have the whole thing set up in our house so I would have to listen to her. My crickets and katydids would no longer be an excuse.  Ugh! :o
Wayne H. Tinker