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Amazon Alexa as a Shack Companion

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by M0PSX, Nov 22, 2017.

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  1. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wouldn't Google or your ISP be a better source of this info than Alexa? Alexa only processes what you ask. Amazon already knows what I buy because I was buying it on Amazon before Alexa. Google (or Bing, etc.) knows a lot about what folks are looking at - the search engine is a double edged sword.

    All of what you describe happens now, and Alexa is not the cause. Targeted advertising has been going on before the Internet was invented - it just got much more efficient and direct.

    There are several distinctions to make here. Alexa is a tool - just like using a iPhone to access Google. There is very little that is piped thru this tunnel at my house; Alexa is my alarm clock, reports on the weather, and turns on/off my house audio in the morning. In the kitchen, she answers random questions, tells a joke, and manages timers. Unless you're arguing that Alexa/Amazon is recording everything, which is simply not true and I have verified it. It's a very limited portal.

    My computer and smartphone, on the other hand, have my taxes, bank account info, every e-mail I have sent, etc. Huge amount of data. Alexa, not so much.

    The issue some folks were making was about Alexa being an always on recorder sending your conversations to who knows where. This is not the case, and is easily verified with tools readily available. It wasn't about Samsung - I don't have a Samsung TV, and I don't know the particulars, nor can I test.

    Like you point out, we freely "give up" TONS if information for services. Gmail looks at my e-mail, and makes calendar reminders for airline tickets, for example. Very convenient, but has security implications. That's not what this thread is about, it's about Alexa. And my point - dovetailed into yours - is Alexa is the least of your worries. :p
    N0TZU likes this.
  2. K6BRN

    K6BRN XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    This thread blossomed into a privacy issue based on one or two comments that seem to have struck a chord with many, many users. That issue concerns Alexa and many similar devices, both audio and video that are extending privacy invasion ever deeper into our lives. You are actually extending this direction with every post you make refuting the invasion of privacy these devices are achieving.

    And if you think Alexa and its kin (video, audio, internet, etc.) are simply tools for you to use, I'd say your gullibility metric has just hit "95" out of 100 (watch out for home improvement phone calls - coming to you, soon). Because their main reason to exist, and where most funding comes from, is data mining. Date is the primary currency of the 21st century, since we've learned to extract, pre-process, package and sell it so very efficiently.

    If you object to this direction, I'm perfectly willing to drop the topic. The point has been made. I'm done.

    Time to go to the Auto Show! Have a good day.

    Brian - K6BRN
  3. ND4AA

    ND4AA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had to ask "Who's da Man? Otherwise I kept getting the description of Demand from an economic perspective.
  4. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So moves the invisible hand ;-)
    ND4AA likes this.
  5. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well I'm really enjoying having Alexa around in two Echos. Mostly we use it for music, getting the latest headlines, or answers to simple reference questions. Haven't found a compelling ham radio use yet though.

    It isn't perfect but so far it puts Siri to shame, who seems to be stuck in a time warp from 5 years ago. The Amazon streaming music service is very easy to use and cheaper than Apple especially since we already have Amazon Prime. Sonos is too pricey, and I was tired of waiting for an Apple solution, probably pricey and which has now been delayed to "sometime" in 2018 - what the heck?!
  6. W5JPT

    W5JPT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's what I've found too. Amazon music is very reasonably priced. Even the unlimited plan is cheaper than Rhapsody/Napster that I had before. 99% of the time I use it for streaming music at work. The other 1% is me asking Alexa "Who's the boss" and she happily replies, "You are". There is some satisfaction in that.:) The only ham use I have found is asking Alexa "What's the current solar cycle". There may be others but I have not tried any other.
  7. MI6NIR

    MI6NIR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice one Jason. 73s
  8. KC9EE

    KC9EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was visiting friends over Thanksgiving and everyone wanted Alexa to do something different simultaneously. Turns out Alexa isn't too bad at pileup management. Tailenders were forced to wait there turn. QRO and proximity were important factors. A future firmware includes ability to work by zones(rooms). 73 & Merry Christmas, Gary KC9EE
  9. W5JPT

    W5JPT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can do that now with Echo Dot. I'm not sure about Echo though. That might be the firmware update that's coming.
  10. KJ4RZZ

    KJ4RZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

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