Amazon's Echo gadgets have exploded in popularity over the past couple years, but some folks have been reluctant about the idea of having an always-listening speaker in their home. Thanks to a report out of Seattle, a lot more people might switch to that mindset. According to KIRO 7 News, an Echo Dot recorded the private conversation of a husband and wife in Portland, Oregon and sent it to the husband's colleague all the way in Seattle. The colleague then called Danielle (the woman involved) and told her to immediately unplug all of her Echo speakers. Per KIRO 7 — "We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house," she said. "At first, my husband was, like, 'no you didn't!' And the (recipient of the message) said 'You sat there talking about hardwood floors.' And we said, 'oh gosh, you really did hear us.'" Danielle proceeded to call Amazon about why this had happened, and according to a representative … [Read more...] about An Amazon Echo sent someone’s private conversation to one of their contacts
Amazon echo or dot
I own too many Amazon Echo speakers. From the original Echo to the Echo Dot and the newfangled Echo Show with its screen and camera. Plus the Amazon Tap, and Echo Look, which you can't even buy without an invitation. (And you probably shouldn't but it, for reasons I'll get into in a second.) This isn't a cookie-cutter list of all the Echo speakers and why you should buy them. Hell, a couple I think you probably should stay away from. This is a list of how I see things after having used them all for months and months. Hit the links below to jump on down to the Echo that tickles your fancy. Echo Dot: The best Amazon Echo for starting out Start simple. If you're just not sure about this whole Alexa thing and really don't know how much you'll get out of an Amazon Echo, it's best to not spend a lot of money. Start with an Echo Dot. The Echo Dot costs $49 retail, but it's not uncommon to see it on sale for as low as $30. And at that price it's kind of a no-brainer. Buy one and give it a go. … [Read more...] about Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap vs. Spot vs. Show: Which should you buy?
Amazon's Echo smart speaker is a great device for music listening, setting timers and reminders, and ordering stuff you probably don't need from Amazon's vast online store, but the best thing about Echo — at least in my opinion — is its ability to control smart home devices. Alexa, the intelligent assistant baked into the Echo, is compatible with a wide array of smart home devices; owning one means being able to control your entire connected household with your voice. Pretty cool! Many people who are getting into the whole "smart home" thing like to start with a wireless bulb or two. Turning on and off your bulbs with your voice isn't just a damn good party trick (the first few times), it's the perfect starting point for budding home automation enthusiasts. Which Amazon Echo is right for you? See at Amazon Once you've snagged an Amazon Echo (or Dot/Tap), you can follow below to learn how to set up your connected lighting! Controlling your lights with Amazon Echo and Alexa … [Read more...] about How to Control your Lights with Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo is the biggest tech breakout in recent memory -- a voice-activated, internet-connected "smart speaker" with a built-in virtual assistant named Alexa that can answer your questions, follow your instructions and control your smart home devices. As Amazon likes to put it, the Echo is a Star Trek computer for your home. Now approaching its fourth year, the Echo and its multiple offshoots, including the mini-sized Echo Dot and the touchscreen-equipped Echo Show, have found their way into millions of homes around the world. If they've found their way into yours and you don't know what to do with them, or if you're just curious about whether or not you should also buy in, then you, my friend, have come to the right post. What is the Amazon Echo, and how does it work? Let's start at the beginning. Amazon introduced the Echo smart speaker at the end of 2014. It's a standalone Bluetooth speaker with an array of "far-field" microphones that can hear you at a moderate … [Read more...] about Everything you need to know about the Amazon Echo
I have a confession to make. I ordered the Amazon Echo Buttons when they were first announced. And I didn't take them out of the box for months. Months. That's not usually the sort of thing you'd expect to read in a post asking if these things are worth it. I know. So let's flip things on their head yet again: Yes, Amazon Echo Buttons are worth it. If you actually use them. What are Amazon Echo Buttons? Ah! Good question. An Amazon Echo Button is a $20 pair of buttons that work with an Amazon Echo. Actually, these things maybe should have been called Amazon Echo Buzzers. Because they're basically like a battery-powered game-show buzzer that works with an Amazon Echo. But it's probably a good thing they didn't called Amazon Echo Buzzer. That just sounds weird. Anyway. You'll connect up to four of these things to the Amazon Echo, and fire up a game on the Echo that takes advantage of them. You versus ... someone. You hit the button to chime in. First button-presser gets to answer. Oh, … [Read more...] about Are Amazon Echo Buttons worth it?
You can change your default music service for Alexa, so that it'll play from whatever service you prefer.That's handy if you don't subscribe to Amazon Music and maybe prefer, say, Spotify. Luckily, changing the default option to Spotify is super easy. It only requires a few taps within the Amazon Alexa app. Here's what you need to do so that you can ask Alexa to start playing tunes and playlists from Spotify, rather than from some other service.How to connect Spotify to AlexaFirst, make sure your Amazon Echo or Alexa device is already set up. If you need to set it up, check out Pocket-lint's handy guide about how to do that. Next, open the Amazon Alexa app, then go to Music & Media under Settings, link your Spotify account (this requires logging with your Spotify credentials), and set it as your default service.Alexa mobile users Open the Amazon Alexa mobile app. Select Settings, then Music & Media. Choose default music services. Under Default music library, tap the pull-down … [Read more...] about How to connect Spotify to Alexa or Amazon Echo
March 12, 2018 - Written By Alexander Maxham Amazon has discounted its Echo Dot and Echo smart speakers, knocking $10 and $15 off of them, respectively. This brings both of these back down to their holiday season prices, that were seen just a few months ago. And if you did miss out on grabbing one during the holidays, now is definitely the time to pick one up. The Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are pretty similar in functionality, but the main difference is that the Echo Dot is much smaller and doesn’t have as great of a speaker inside. While the Echo has a much better speaker – and it’s tuned by Dolby Atmos – as well as having a nice fabric covering on it which looks great. Otherwise, both smart speakers do have Amazon Alexa built-in, which allows you to ask Alexa to do a number of things, like finding out the weather, what’s on your calendar, and even controlling your smart home. Of course, Alexa can also do messaging and calling now, which is also nice to … [Read more...] about Deal: Amazon Echo Dot for $40, Echo (2nd Gen) for $85
By Malcolm Owen Wednesday, March 07, 2018, 10:21 am PT (01:21 pm ET) Reports of a strange error from owners of Amazon's Echo device range have surfaced, claiming the Alexa digital assistant is making an odd 'laugh' sound at random times, with the noises sometimes made without any verbal prompts, commands, or external forces interacting with the voice-activated speakers. Posts to Reddit and Twitter found by Buzzfeed tell of instances where the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo, and other Echo hardware emits a laugh. While Alexa does have a laughing sound available by request, the noise produced in these instances have been described as "evil" and "creepy," unlike the built-in recording. For some users, they say the sound was produced seemingly by Alexa itself, with no verbal prompting made by nearby listeners. Checks of the companion app also showed no indication that the Echo heard a command, not even a potential response to environmental sounds. In some cases, users claim the sound has been … [Read more...] about Amazon Echo users report strange ‘laugh’ sound randomly played by Alexa [u]
A year ago, I walked into a Best Buy store in San Francisco and bought myself an Echo Dot. It was late at night and the store was full of feckless shoppers pawing at rows of HDMI cables trying to decide what to buy. But I knew what I wanted. I wanted an Echo -- that tantalising portal to the world of Amazon. And I was on the other side of the world trying to get it. Small problem: The Echo wasn't going to work in Australia. At the time, Australia didn't even have Amazon online let alone the full ecosystem to support a smart home device designed for Americans. I bought one anyway, and smuggled it back to Australia, but soon discovered that set up was a Sisyphean exercise in concealing my location, spoofing my credit card details and generally trying to pretend I wasn't Australian. Now the Amazon Echo has finally arrived Down Under and those struggles are a thing of the past. So, if you've bought an Amazon Echo (or the Amazon Echo Plus or Echo Dot), how do you get the most out … [Read more...] about How to get the most out of the Amazon Echo in Australia
CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Smart speakers are all kinds of awesome but, man, some of them are ugly. (I'm looking at you, Apple HomePod.) Indeed, I'd say most of them stick out: "I'm a piece of tech, not a part of your decor." If you own a first-gen Amazon Echo or second-gen Echo Dot, the folks at Toast have a fix: real-wood sleeves that turn Alexa from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. Interested? Today and tomorrow only, Cheapskate readers can save 30 percent on any Toast for Echo or Dot with coupon code CNETSK8TST18 -- and bag free shipping to boot! That means a Dot sleeve will run you just $13.30, while the Echo sleeve drops to $23.80. Each one is available in four different grains: walnut, ash, bamboo and ebony. These are truly lovely. I … [Read more...] about Give your Amazon Echo or Dot a makeover for 30 percent off