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Old 12-02-2018, 10:57 AM   #3301
OtinG
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Yep, the new Alexa app is so different in look and navigation that it is difficult to find stuff now. The old app wasn't that great, but at least we had grown accustomed to where everything was. Now we have to search a while to find the function/feature we need. I also hate how it constantly requested me to activate voice control until I finally did. That feature is now on iOS devices too. And those stupid icons across the bottom of the app page are anything but intuitive!

@Catlady, a year or so ago I bought a cheap 6" Fire on sale to use along with my Echos to visually see which songs were playing while listening to music. I too thought it would work better with Echos than 3rd party tablets like my iPads. Boy was I wrong. It sucked big time and kept stalling out during music play, so I sold it and started using my iPad Mini instead. One might think Fires would be the ultimate tablet reading experience with Kindle books too, but turns out the iOS Kindle app blows it out of the water. I don't think the various device departments at Amazon actually communicate much with each other. I wonder if each device category might be designed offsite by 3rd party contractors. This reminds me of the Apollo 13 design fiasco when the CO2 scrubbers on the Command Module and the Lander were incompatible with one another as far as filters because the Command Module and the Lander had been designed by a different companies. Thankfully NASA and the astronauts were able to rig up a solution with plastic bags and duct tape!

Last edited by OtinG; 12-02-2018 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:23 AM   #3302
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Did you see my post about using the Amazon Smartplug with Amazon Alexa? Clearly we're both delusional.

Btw,.while it worked perfectly last year, tonight our Wemo smart plug would not work with Alexa at all. I suspect recent updates by Belkin (wemo) and/or Amazon have broken stuff.
I agree with OtinG, the new Alexa app is a huge step backwards.
Oh great, the smart plug I have is a Wemo mini, which has been sitting in its box since forever; I bought it on sale with the intention of using it for Christmas lights. I guess I'll find out later today if it works.

I have rarely used the Alexa app; I am pretty sure I've only used the Fire tablet version. It's not even installed on my current phone. So I have no basis for comparison. Don't know if I should use the Fire tablet or the Android phone to add the smart plug.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:40 AM   #3303
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Alexa like [so-called] AI in Space

This is a funny article about a German AI robot called CIMON, a German made AI robot being tested on the International Space Station (ISS), "'Don't be so mean': CIMON the European Space Robot Cops an Attitude"

CIMON runs a version of IBM Watson's artificial intelligence. Apparently CIMON has some attitude and like Alexa goes off on tangents of its own. Hmm, a German AI robot with bad attitude on the ISS, nothing could go wrong with that, right?

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CIMON runs a version of IBM Watson's artificial intelligence. Apparently CIMON has some attitude and like Alexa goes off on tangents of its own. Hmm, a German AI robot with bad attitude on the ISS, nothing could go wrong with that right? :rolleyes

CIMON properly acknowledges Gerst's commands to stop playing music and to start taking video with its front camera. But then it says, "Let's sing along with those favorite hits." When Gerst orders it again to stop playing music, CIMON, sounding somewhat petulant, replies: "I love music you can dance to. All right. Favorite hits incoming."

Gerst tries again to stop CIMON from spinning records, to which it replies: "I understood do you like the music. I understand that."

Gerst explains to a colleague that while CIMON is properly playing the requested video stream, it's not only "still talking about music," but it's also stubbornly floating back to a position in the cabin that it appears to prefer.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:18 PM   #3304
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I'd think testing out CIMON's conversational abilities could be done on Earth, not taking valuable time on the ISS. Send it up there AFTER they break the stubborn streak....
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:05 PM   #3305
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Just swear at it; works for Alexa.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:26 PM   #3306
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Alexa can now make Skype calls

The latest Alexa update apparently includes the ability to make Skype calls.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:57 PM   #3307
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Alexa is implementing self-learning techniques to better understand users

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Since this fall, Amazon has been working on self-learning techniques that teach Alexa to automatically recover from its own errors. The system has been in beta until now, and it launched in the US this week. It doesn’t require any human annotation, and, according to Sarikaya, it uses customers’ “implicit or explicit contextual signals to detect unsatisfactory interactions or failures of understanding.” The contextual signals range from customers’ historical activity, preferences, and what Alexa skills they use to where the Alexa device is located in the home and what kind of Alexa device it is.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:58 PM   #3308
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I'm now the owner of a Google Home Mini. It should arrive just after Christmas. I got one for free via this offer - here | here.

I have no intention of switching platforms, I can't pass up a free offer, even if it's an enemy platform

Meanwhile, I still await the 4 Echo Dot 3s and 2 Echo 2s I ordered over BF/CM. Why so many? Gifts.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:39 AM   #3309
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I'm now the owner of a Google Home Mini. It should arrive just after Christmas. I got one for free via this offer - here | here.

I have no intention of switching platforms, I can't pass up a free offer, even if it's an enemy platform

Meanwhile, I still await the 4 Echo Dot 3s and 2 Echo 2s I ordered over BF/CM. Why so many? Gifts.
Yeah I feel a bit unfaithful, too.

However I've made up for it, not with anything Echo, but by ordering most of my Christmas presents from Amazon.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:15 AM   #3310
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I'm now the owner of a Google Home Mini. It should arrive just after Christmas. I got one for free via this offer - here | here.

I have no intention of switching platforms, I can't pass up a free offer, even if it's an enemy platform

Meanwhile, I still await the 4 Echo Dot 3s and 2 Echo 2s I ordered over BF/CM. Why so many? Gifts.
I've got an Echo Dot 3 and am quite impressed. Significant improvement in sound compared to earlier dots. But has abandoned usb power and now requires 12 volts. I was given a Google Mini last Christmas. I prefer Alexa and have all my content on Amazon, but the Google is a nice device. It is better at answering general questions than Alexa, but Alexa seems better at everything else. I'm about to score a second free one from a local telecom as part of renewing a plan. Already completed everything and they then said by the way, we will be sending you a Google Mini!
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:29 AM   #3311
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Yeah I feel a bit unfaithful, too.

However I've made up for it, not with anything Echo, but by ordering most of my Christmas presents from Amazon.
I went the other direction. Not only did I get a Home Mini, but I rewarded Amazon by NOT renewing my Prime membership and by ordering most of my BF/CM haul from other stores. Even the Echos were from other stores.

I don't think Jeff's gonna send me a Christmas card this year
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:39 AM   #3312
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I'm about to score a second free one from a local telecom as part of renewing a plan. Already completed everything and they then said by the way, we will be sending you a Google Mini!
Amazon pretty much owns this market, but it looks like Google is trying to make inroads by cutting sweetheart deals with various companies like Spotify and your telecom.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:07 AM   #3313
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I went the other direction. Not only did I get a Home Mini, but I rewarded Amazon by NOT renewing my Prime membership and by ordering most of my BF/CM haul from other stores. Even the Echos were from other stores.

I don't think Jeff's gonna send me a Christmas card this year
I went the other direction: got my first echo dot, a Harmony Hub, and I've been ordering a ton of Christmas stuff, all at Amazon.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:26 AM   #3314
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I went the other direction: got my first echo dot, a Harmony Hub, and I've been ordering a ton of Christmas stuff, all at Amazon.
Hulu made me an offer I couldn't refuse ($0.99/mo x 12mo), so I parted ways with Amazon Prime. I used the money renewing Prime would've cost me ($119 - $12 Hulu) to buy 2 Echo 2s from QVC and still have change left over.

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Old 12-08-2018, 08:50 AM   #3315
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Hulu made me an offer I couldn't refuse ($0.99/mo x 12mo), so I parted ways with Amazon Prime. I used the money renewing Prime would've cost me ($119 - $12 Hulu) to buy 2 Echo 2s from QVC and still have change left over.

Although Hulu is nice, I don't see it as a replacement for Prime, so I have both.
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