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giddyup

Anyone using an Echo Dot?

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A friend from the US brought me one over, but they are available from Amazon. I love this thing, I have it connected to my stereo so I just ask Alexa to play whatever internet radio station I want, at present it's Soma FM Left Coast 70's, or I can ask Alexa any general knowledge question, mathematics, geography, read a book, etc, etc.

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1 minute ago, johng said:

You know of course  that its constantly listing to everything and connected to the internet which  means someone  on the internet could possibly be hearing everything that Alexa hears :shock1:

https://www.the-ambient.com/features/weird-ways-echo-can-be-hacked-how-to-stop-it-231

 

No I don't use one.

Oops! I shouldn't have mentioned where I buried the gold.

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Just now, giddyup said:

Oops! I shouldn't have mentioned where I buried the gold.

Too late now  every gold digger on the net knows 😋

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, johng said:

You know of course  that its constantly listing to everything and connected to the internet which  means someone  on the internet could possibly be hearing everything that Alexa hears :shock1:

https://www.the-ambient.com/features/weird-ways-echo-can-be-hacked-how-to-stop-it-231

 

No I don't use one.

 

Amazon just added a feature update to the Alexa software that gives the user the option to NOT allow any human review of recorded Alexa content. (Amazon had gotten bad press lately when it was revealed that Amazon staff were listening to a tiny portion of Alexa recorded content to test and evaluate how well the system recognizes users' requests.)

 

Also, within the Alexa system, the user can delete their request history any time they choose.

 

I like the Alexa devices, have a couple Echo Dots at home, and use them all the time, generally in exactly the manner described by the OP, which is to serve as a voice command interface for playing music via a connected stereo or Bluetooth speaker.

 

They're also handy as a voice command system for doing things like setting alarms or reminders.... when cooking, doing the laundry, etc etc...

 

And, they work perfectly fine here -- no issues when connecting to a Thai IP address, though some services you might use with the Alexa device might themselves require a non-Thai IP address.

 

PS - In the article you posted above, the way in which the eavesdropping occurred was thru a physical hack to the device itself that involved soldering and other modifications on an early model, and is something no longer possible on later models.

 

 

Quote

 

The small print is that the rubber bottom and external access connection is only present on the first edition Echos as sold in 2015 and 2016. Later models don’t have that feature.

Barnes’s Echo might have looked a bit suspicious with all those wires sticking out of it but there’s plenty of scope for fine tuning the hack to keep all the bits and pieces invisible.

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

And, they work perfectly fine here -- no issues when connecting to a Thai IP address, though some services you might use with the Alexa device might themselves require a non-Thai IP address.

 

  One thing I can't do is request a particular song, but with an unlimited choice of music, literally thousand of stations playing any style of music I want, that's no big concern.

Edited by giddyup

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4 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

serve as a voice command interface

I understand and like the idea of being able to use voice commands to control  things..just don't like the "cloud server" bit.

maybe there is a workaround.

https://forums.developer.amazon.com/questions/57883/i-want-to-integrate-alexa-into-my-own-non-cloud-ba.html

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/5enq9j/is_there_a_home_server_version_of_ok/

 

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6 minutes ago, giddyup said:

  One thing I can't do is request a particular song, but with an unlimited choice of music, literally thousand of stations playing any style of music I want, that's no big concern.

 

You certainly can request and get a specific song via the Echo devices.... But, you need to have an available music service/subscription that allows you to do that.

 

Amazon Music supports that for Amazon Prime members, either with a limited music library for regular subscribers, or with a full music library for those who pay monthly for Amazon Music. You can also do it with a Pandora account from the U.S. And I believe you also can do with via Spotify, But generally, you have to set up those service, i.e., link them to your Alexa device using either an Alexa skill or within the Alexa music player settings.

 

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I believe google assistant can do similar?

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BTW, there's another very cool service for Alexa that allows you to use it to play ANY of the digital music you may have stored at home on a PC, including requesting by artist, album, song etc....

 

https://www.mymediaalexa.com/

 

It works great. I use it all the time. Basic use is a whopping $5 per year fee.

 

"Alexa, ask MyMedia to play..."

 

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2 minutes ago, losworld said:

I believe google assistant can do similar?

 

It has some of the same features, but AFAIK, has never really worked as well at music playing as Alexa/Echo devices has.

 

One of the big drawbacks I've encountered is I have tons of my own digital music stored/uploaded in my own Google Play Music account, which allows you to keep and store tens of thousands of songs for free.

 

There was a time when Google Assistant somewhat allowed you to request to play your own music via Google Play Music. But then later, that seemed to stop working and I think Google supposedly restricted that playback feature to PAYING Google Music subscribers....  So I basically gave up on that, and haven't monkeyed with it lately.

 

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29 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

the way in which the eavesdropping occurred was thru a physical hack

errrrrr yes but.....

29 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

Amazon just added a feature update to the Alexa software that gives the user the option to NOT allow any human review of recorded Alexa content. (Amazon had gotten bad press lately when it was revealed that Amazon staff were listening to a tiny portion of Alexa recorded content to test and evaluate how well the system recognizes users' requests.)

 

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I must be special 🙂 

I obviously have superior time management skills to most and am able to do all the mundane tasks quite easily and efficiently that a "machine" can do 👍

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4 minutes ago, CGW said:

I must be special 🙂 

I obviously have superior time management skills to most and am able to do all the mundane tasks quite easily and efficiently that a "machine" can do 👍

 

You can play back basically any song in the world of digital music in a matter of 2 seconds just by asking for it by name?  You must be very talented!  :clap2:

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8 minutes ago, johng said:

errrrrr yes but.....

 

 

The audio/data that gets stored on Amazon's servers is what you say or ask for AFTER you say, "ALEXA....."  It's not like there's a 24/7 recording running of all audio in the room.

 

So, yes, somewhere on the Amazon's network of servers, there's probably recordings of me saying...

 

Alexa, play Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen...

 

or...

 

Alexa, set an alarm for 30 minutes....

 

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