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Old 08-26-2019, 10:38 AM   #3901
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Ruth Ware's latest suspense novel, The Turn of the Key, has some amusing scenes where a new nanny in a smart home is frustrated by trying to figure out how to operate lights, music, doors, etc. by voice control after minimal instruction.

(My own home is still quite dumb, and that's how I like it.)
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:00 PM   #3902
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Ruth Ware's latest suspense novel, The Turn of the Key, has some amusing scenes where a new nanny in a smart home is frustrated by trying to figure out how to operate lights, music, doors, etc. by voice control after minimal instruction.

(My own home is still quite dumb, and that's how I like it.)
She needs a parrot

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Old 09-04-2019, 01:58 PM   #3903
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Just got my invitation to buy Echo Auto. Still at the original offer price. They must have had real problems getting this thing to work if it took more than a year to actually ship it in any quantities!

Will be a few weeks until I can pick it up and try it out. I'll be interested to see just how good (or bad!) it is.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:50 PM   #3904
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Just got my invitation to buy Echo Auto. Still at the original offer price. They must have had real problems getting this thing to work if it took more than a year to actually ship it in any quantities!

Will be a few weeks until I can pick it up and try it out. I'll be interested to see just how good (or bad!) it is.
I requested and invitation months ago, and have not yet received one. Standing by.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:19 PM   #3905
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I requested and invitation months ago, and have not yet received one. Standing by.
I requested the invitation in the first couple of days it was a offered. That was quite a while ago. Sadly, they're only shipping to the US so far, so even though it will be shipped in today, I won't be able to get to my US mail box to pick it up for a few weeks. I was patient when it wasn't even really shipping. But now? I can't stand the wait.
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:03 AM   #3906
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Just got my invitation to buy Echo Auto. Still at the original offer price. They must have had real problems getting this thing to work if it took more than a year to actually ship it in any quantities!

Will be a few weeks until I can pick it up and try it out. I'll be interested to see just how good (or bad!) it is.
Give Audible a call and see if they'll extend your membership by three months or give you three credits. It's only fair that they reward current members with these offers.

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To receive your free 3-month trial of Audible:

1. Add an Echo Auto to your Shopping Cart and complete the purchase.
2. When your order ships, you will receive an email with a link to redeem this special offer.
3. Click the link and follow the instructions to start listening.
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Terms & Conditions:

Offer is available by invitation only and for a limited time. Offer available only to new customers of Audible.com who purchase an Echo Auto device. Canceling or terminating your order may disqualify you from receiving the promotional offer. You will receive an email when your qualifying device ships with a unique link to redeem the offer. Offer must be redeemed by 11:59PM PT on January 31, 2020. Eligible customers purchasing an Echo Auto device will receive a 3-month Audible free trial that includes 3 credits as part of the standard Audible Monthly Gold Membership Plan. At the end of the free trial, your membership will continue until cancelled at the then current full price (currently $14.95/mo.) with your designated credit card or another available card on file. Cancel anytime by visiting the Account Details page. Audible reserves the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time. Offer is limited to one per customer and account, is non-transferable and may not be resold. Audible and Amazon reserve the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time. If you violate any of these terms the offer will be invalid.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:56 AM   #3907
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All-new Fire TV Cube, hands-free with Alexa and 4K Ultra HD, streaming media player

Amazon just released an new version of the All-new Fire TV Cube, hands-free with Alexa and 4K Ultra HD, streaming media player.

The new FTV Cube is supposed to be twice as fast, which I guess translates into it being able to screw up your commands and push ads at you twice as fast as before! I still find Alexa to be nearly useless with my Fire TVs.

Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition

Amazon also announced the 3rd party Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition, 4K HDR Support, 2.1 Channel, Built-In Subwoofers, Alexa Built-In.

The soundbar with FTV built-in might appeal to some, until you look at the ports and realize it only works with a TV (one HDMI output, zero HDMI inputs). I'll stick with my Sony soundbase that allows me to hookup my FTV, Roku, and two more devices via 4 HDMI inputs. Personally I never cared much for devices like TVs and soundbars that have FTV, or any other flavor, built-in. I prefer just adding the latest FTV device. Those devices get updated nearly every year and they tend to work better than the software versions built-in to a TV or soundbar. Plus with built-in services, you are at the mercy of the manufacturer to update those services. Amazon cannot force the manufacturer to update their FTV service.

Looks like it is WiFi only--no ethernet port.

The USB-A Port is "for Factory Upgrades ONLY."


Last edited by OtinG; 09-05-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:38 AM   #3908
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Does the TV cube have eithernet? I don't see it in the specs.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:34 AM   #3909
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Does the TV cube have eithernet? I don't see it in the specs.
Check out this link to an image showing everything included in the box. The image was too big to embed here.

The answer is yes. It can be connected to ethernet via the Amazon Ethernet Adapter which is included in the box. The Amazon Ethernet Adapter plugs into the micro-USB port on the back of the FTV Cube. Kluge to say the least, especially for a FTV Cube which has plenty of room to have included an ethernet port. I understand using the Amazon Ethernet Adapter for the FTV Sticks/dongles, but it seems ridiculous to need one for a FTV Cube.

BTW, the Amazon Ethernet Adapter is 10/100 only, so it will only work up to about 100 Mbps speed. In my case I have 200 Mbps internet so it only uses about half of what my service can provide. Apple uses Gigabit ethernet in their Apple TV, but Amazon and Roku stuck with 10/100. It probably doesn't matter though as 100 Mbps should be more than adequate. I think most streaming issues I've encountered on any device are due to issues on the streaming service(s) servers or issues with my internet service provider, and not due to my equipment.

Last edited by OtinG; 09-06-2019 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:30 PM   #3910
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Check out this link to an image showing everything included in the box. The image was too big to embed here.

The answer is yes. It can be connected to ethernet via the Amazon Ethernet Adapter which is included in the box. The Amazon Ethernet Adapter plugs into the micro-USB port on the back of the FTV Cube. Kluge to say the least, especially for a FTV Cube which has plenty of room to have included an ethernet port. I understand using the Amazon Ethernet Adapter for the FTV Sticks/dongles, but it seems ridiculous to need one for a FTV Cube.

BTW, the Amazon Ethernet Adapter is 10/100 only, so it will only work up to about 100 Mbps speed. In my case I have 200 Mbps internet so it only uses about half of what my service can provide. Apple uses Gigabit ethernet in their Apple TV, but Amazon and Roku stuck with 10/100. It probably doesn't matter though as 100 Mbps should be more than adequate. I think most streaming issues I've encountered on any device are due to issues on the streaming service(s) servers or issues with my internet service provider, and not due to my equipment.
The micro-USB probably doesn't support the full 100 mbps much less gigabit. But even a slow ethernet connection is preferable to wifi since I mostly play local content from NAS. Smart switches free up most of the router bandwidth for other uses.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:53 PM   #3911
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The micro-USB probably doesn't support the full 100 mbps much less gigabit. But even a slow ethernet connection is preferable to wifi since I mostly play local content from NAS. Smart switches free up most of the router bandwidth for other uses.
I measured 103 Mbps with my Amazon Ethernet Adapter connected to my FTV Stick 4K, so the micro-USB is capable supporting the 100 Mbps. I prefer the ethernet too because my four surveillance cameras are using WiFi and I don’t want to over tax the router with streaming and cameras and web surfing on my iThingies all going on at the same time.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:43 AM   #3912
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I was disappointed yesterday morning on checking the weather to learn that the AccuWeather skill is no longer available. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good weather skill? I find the native skill doesn't provide enough info.

I'm trying Big Sky and I think it's needlessly chatty, but the potential dealbreaker is that I don't think its location reading is accurate and I can't override it with the free version.

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Old 09-17-2019, 06:17 PM   #3913
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The complete list of Alexa commands for your Amazon Echo

See article for list of commands.

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Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa, is infiltrating your home, your beach trips and even your ride to work. Now that there are many ways to interact with Alexa -- with the Tap, Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Look, Echo Show, Dash Wand and the Amazon Fire TV -- you might find yourself talking to her more often.

The list of commands is expanding rapidly, as is the number of third-party services and devices that Alexa officially (and unofficially) supports.

Here is the (almost) complete list of Amazon Alexa commands.

>> snip <<

Editors' note: Originally published on April 13, 2016, this article is regularly updated to include new Alexa commands, features and information.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:42 PM   #3914
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Asking is one thing. Getting a useful answer or command executed is often quite another. Alexa is currently having a resurgence of stupidity, at my house anyway. It is frustrating to see Alexa get somewhat more reliable then regress. One step forward and two steps back... You can only hear, “Hmm, I’m not sure about that one,” so many times per day before it makes you wonder why you bought so many Alexas enabled devices when they never seem to be more than marginally successful at understanding and executing your commands.
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Old Today, 02:24 AM   #3915
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Tired of hearing Alexa wishing a good day

For a few months my Tap Alexa has been saying "Have a Good Weekend" if I ask it something on a Saturday, say what is the weather or what time is it. Now she's coming out with a lot of similar comments. Today it was "Enjoy the sunshine!" If I could, I would get it to stop this. She would probably say, "Hmmm, I don't know that one."
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