Alexa

Got given one of these by someone who, for some reason, had two. 

What on earth do you use it for? 

 

The question is: what do they use it for? Do you really want Amazon to put a listening device in your home?

Tricky you basically have a listening device in your home already if you have any kind of recent mobile phone so I would not worry about it.

I have one of these as my brother bought me one but I don't really use if for much other than listening to music and as an alarm clock.

I thought they might be handy in the kitchen for setting timers and asking how many grams in 2 1/3 tablespoons when my hands are covered in raw chicken.

got so annoyed by ours butting into conversations I got rid of it

 I use the alarm clock version - I can set the alarm, turn it off and change music/radio stations/audio books/podcasts without opening my eyes.

Yes. She even laughs at people sarcastically when they say something stupid.

yep. Would keep piping up with 'sorry, I don't know that' and offering 'helpful' suggestions (often trying to sell things) instead when it hadn't even been asked anything. It really did feel like a listening device

I am going to ask alexa why guy crouchback is such a penis.

so basically, you are talking to your OH/friend, about, say, Indonesia, and alexa will tell you where to buy a holiday package????? and you even pay for having that in your living room???

You have to say her name, she is like Walter White in that and possibly other respects

DD just because you don’t understand how something works doesn’t make it shit. 

Yeah all that stuff put me off for ages ???.  We bought new sonos stuff at xmas though and Alexa is pre-installed on there.   I am sort of a convert for accessing music as the the voice control is pretty good and easier than searching for something on spotify or an ipad or phone (particularly when cooking)

I don't think I would want my whole house connected up to it though. The data you give away is crazy. 

Queenie, is your dog called Alexa or summat?

And what Supes said.  I love Alexa.

 

Alexa makes you feel like you are living in an 80s/90s sci fi film - whats not to love?

I've got one in the kitchen and it's decent. Setting timers, adding stuff to a shopping list, changing radio stations and music etc. It ties into Audible very well. It's a mild convenience rather than anything life changing. 

Timers, measurements, music, controlling the heating, alarm clock, turning lights on and off and the weather. 

I think that’s the main things we do with ours (5 and counting). 

That's the thing - we were not saying 'Alexa' or anything that sounded like 'Alexa' and it kept butting in

changing it to 'Echo' or whatever the other option was didn't help

also annoyed me as I rarely used it and when I did it never knew the bloody answer anyway

and even for the kids there's only so many times you can play 20 questions or 'ask for a fart'

I'm sucked into surveillance capitalism the whole time.

e.g. I use Amazon a lot. On Facebook a friend posted a picture of her fire, I liked it; I then a few weeks later I kept seeing an Amazon advert for coloured fir cones for the fire. Guess what? I bought them.

There's just something extra creepy about Alexa seemingly listening to you

in Germany in the 8 o' clock news yesterday, they showed how they teach kids in primary school to be careful when online cos some sinister folks who cannot be trusted wanna find out everything about you.

great stuff!

I am not sure what the downside is of giving your data away?   Personally I quite like getting targeted advertising of things I am interested in.

It's getting targetted advertising of things you weren't interested in that is the money here Guy.

yep everything Google and Facebook do is about harvesting data

Amazon's is about its cloud products and its logistics - the stuff they sell is secondary

"It's getting targetted advertising of things you weren't interested in that is the money here Guy."

 

Why would anyone want to target me to advertise stuff I am not interested in?  Presumably the more data they have the  more likely the targeting will be accurate."

Guy Crouchback06 Feb 19 14:19

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I am not sure what the downside is of giving your data away?   Personally I quite like getting targeted advertising of things I am interested in.

 

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cos you can do all sorts of shit with the data such as swinging elections

I trust myself not to be overly swayed by targeted political advertising so not worried about that.

 

I am not saying big data is not in itself troublesome and capable of abuse but I don't really know why I personally should worry about giving away my data.

Stuff you are already interested in you will buy anyway. You will need persuading to buy something you don;t yet know you are interested in.

The data they collect can tell them what that is and when and where to pitch it to you. 

guy, how about giving away the information that you are set in your views and left-leaning? that too will help them, the info is just as good or almost as good as the info that you may be a swing voter

quite apart from the fact that if - if - you personally and specifically somehow get in the crosshairs of people who have access to your data, they can do whatever they want with you, e.g. destroy your relationship, make you lose your job, whatever

I would love to know how they use the info from the wang's alexa to swing an election

mummy, on luigi's mansion 5 you have to kill a dragon

oh really? 

mummy I need a poo.

daddy on luigi's mansion 4 you have to kill a gold dragon

*maniacal laugh*

*daddy sings suspicious minds badly*

mummy why have the Japenese started whaling again?

"Stuff you are already interested in you will buy anyway. You will need persuading to buy something you don;t yet know you are interested in."

 

That's not true - I don't know about a lot of stuff of interest to me that I see advertised on Facebook.

My m7 had the google version. There were some things it would only do if it recognised her voice. And it had lots of weird games you could play. I found "four words" particularly amusing!

Guy, I bought colour changing fir cones FFS. I didn't even know such a thing existed or that I wanted it, but that I could buy them on Amazon. 

Facebook is brilliant for suggesting things you didn't know you wanted based on your data

Wang:

"darling, shall we fly to SA later this year?"

--> they have money

"dunno, I was actually looking forward to spend some time with the kids at my mum's"

--> they have kids and a wider family

 

...and so forth

 

"Facebook is brilliant for suggesting things you didn't know you wanted based on your data"

Er, because you didn't really want them in the first place, but had your behavior curated in the right direction...

 

 

There seems to be an assumption that all advertising is bad - and yes there is a lot of bad exploitative advertising that sells shyte you don't need but I now get targeted adverts from small businesses who could not afford mass mainstream advertising that I am interested in.   Advertising is not in itself evil and is a necessary form of communication in a capitalist society.  Indeed I would argue targeted social media advertising helps break the stranglehold of the big brands.

I jolly well do jokes as I please. e.g. this one:

tony and mony are going on a date

after dinner, tony asks: "want coffee?"

but prim mony says: "if I have coffee now, I can't sleep later when I get back home"

tony: "with me, it's the opposite. when I sleep I cannot have coffee"

 

 

I werry nisely fankew

Guy listen to the radio 4 programme then read Shoshana Zuboff's book then have another think about it.

I did listen to that radio programme and I repeat I am not saying there are not issues with big data to be concerned about.  What I am saying is that my personal experience of people having access to my data has been positive.

DD your example to Wang is just plain wrong. 

Firstly Alexa only hears you if she is activated. You have to activate her. No one activates Alexa when talking to their partner about holiday plans. 

Secondly even if you told her to google flights to SA she would not deduce that you had money the device isn’t that intelligent.  It may however deduce  you wanted to flights to SA. But only if you asked it directly. 

Much like when you google flights to SA you are then targeted with flights or holidays to SA not lambos. 

 

"I would argue targeted social media advertising helps break the stranglehold of the big brands."

It's created something of a duopoly in the online advertising market.

I trust myself not to be overly swayed by targeted political advertising so not worried about that.

Guy, it's not just you though, is it? 

To pluck an example randomly out of the air - look at how easily people were swayed to vote for brexit, ffs.

 

Wouldn’t trust it ever . And do you know that it was uncovered that Facebook can listen to your calls . Facebook said “we are shocked this can happen, although we doubt it has , we are looking into it” yeah of course they didn’t know.

i was speaking to the law society about locating a specialist law firm in a very niche area. 20 minutes later on my FB feed was a very specific law firm that suited exactly what I was looking for. Coincidence, nah .

"Firstly Alexa only hears you if she is activated. You have to activate her. No one activates Alexa when talking to their partner about holiday plans."

I don't believe that.

"Secondly even if you told her to google flights to SA she would not deduce that you had money the device isn’t that intelligent."

it jolly well is. do you really think they do not Analyse your consumption? that they don't wanna know which income bracket you are etc?

 

“I don’t believe that” - that’s fine :)

 

”it jolly well is” - it isn’t - the device itself can do none of that. It can’t even store any recordings on the device. Amazons back end algorithms might be able to do that and probably can but that would happen if you were to google the SA flights, for example. They have publically stated Alexa data is not reused to target individuals but even if it was... say you didn’t have an Alexa you would google that info and the outcome would be the same. 

The device itself is not adding to that problem in my opinion. The problem already exists via the internet anyway so I don’t see the issue. 

Coupled with the fact that nothing is actually being listened to anyway which is a fact unless you prompt the device I don’t see the problem. 

I understand being fearful of the device but that is a different argument. 

"unless you prompt the device"

 

see queenie e's post above and also I do not believe it

 

"say you didn’t have an Alexa you would google that info and the outcome would be the same."

 

that way, google and amazon have your data as opposed to google only.

Correction - Apparently recordings can be stored on the device but only when the wake command is activated and these can then be deleted. 

I’d much rather amazon had my data than google to be honest. 

only when this is activated and only when that is activated - BS

the device is listening to your every word, m8, and the devices makes notes and sends data to analysis

btw both google and amazon are most scary companies with megalomaniac designs on humanity

I was actually conceding a point there but w/e.

Well you might be right m7 and if tomorrow I am targeted with a load of DD bra ads whilst simultaneously being sold bellends I’ll let you know. 

Classic RoF: 

"What can I use this widget for?"
"Don't. It's evil."

children speak to me like an electrical device regularly. 

Baby shark do do do do