Amazon Echo

Explain to me why I need this when I have a phone that (more or less) does the exact same thing?

Also, it carries a $200 price tag. Prime members are getting $100 off for what appears to be a limited time.

Nevin73 wrote:

Explain to me why I need this when I have a phone that (more or less) does the exact same thing?

Because you don't want to be laughed at and thought of as uncool.

The reason for wanting one of these would fall into that "(more or less)" caveat. Think of it as being more like a voice-controlled boombox that will also tell you the weather if you ask it nicely.

It's a slippery slope until its Skynet people..

For this to be useful, it needs to be in every room unless you like in a studio. Even the bad commercial shows it in every room. i will stick to my phone.

IMAGE(http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/5600000/Echo-dollhouse-5630937-1280-962.jpg)

A bit of NSFW language...

You mean like the one in your cellphone

My cellphone doesn't have an always-on microphone, and I run a custom ROM as well. Further, if the mic is being used as a monitor, I'll know it, because standby time will drop so much.

and the one on your laptop

A little piece of scotch tape works wonders.

and the one on your Xbox?

I don't use Kinect, for the exact same reason.

edit: also, my 360 hasn't been plugged in for like a year, now.

And I should point out: if I'd told you two years ago that the NSA was recording everything you do online, you would all have laughed in the exact same way.

Well, here it is 2014, and you should know to listen when I remind you that putting an always-on microphone into your house is a very, very bad idea.

Adding that tap into their databases would be absolutely trivial, and it will happen.

At this point, everyone (here, at least) knows what they would be getting into if they got an Echo in their house. The risk of having Amazon know that I ask about the football team's schedule, or want to listen to Cake's greatest hits is acceptable, even if the NSA gets a hold of that database. The world operates on advertising and these databases are a way to make the ads more relevant, better targeted and (hopefully) less annoying; people who care about these things already know all this. People who don't care are not going to begin to care because now a new company is jumping into the cloud. This tech could be used for evil, it could give Skynet all of the tools it needs to most efficiently annihilate American consumers, it could let AlQuida know which products to poison, Joker-style, to kill us all. I don't see much point in worrying about those kind of threats, but I appreciate that you do. I just like the idea of having information and media available to me at a moment's notice with a simple audio request, and I like cool toys.

Atras wrote:

and I like cool toys.

This is where I am. I want the Star Trek computer. Ask anything about anything - book. Answered! Heck, some episodes it's flying the Enterprise (real inconsistent early on on what they allowed the computer to do).

I get the creepy factor, and can definitely see where some might be concerned. Malor, you're probably right. But. Cool toy!

I often think "I've got nothing to hide!" But, what about those websites one accidentally stumbled upon.

Accidentally.

even if the NSA gets a hold of that database

Do you really want law enforcement attention because someone was using specific language in your house that triggered a computer alert? Because that sh*t will happen. It will happen... and you might not even know why you're being suddenly spied on so closely, because the NSA passes along info to the FBI, which then invents plausible excuses to have found that information on their own. (this is called 'parallel construction').

This is known to happen already, it is not a hypothetical scenario.

You are actively inviting Big Brother into your home with these products. It's not being imposed on you, you're asking for it.

Storing everything you say around one of these devices, forever, is really not that hard.

Zoso1701 wrote:

I often think "I've got nothing to hide!"

I see that kind of quote quite a lot and I tend to think people need to rephrase it. It's not 'I've got nothing to hide' it's 'Who decides what is worth hiding?'

1Dgaf wrote:
Zoso1701 wrote:

I often think "I've got nothing to hide!"

I see that kind of quote quite a lot and I tend to think people need to rephrase it. It's not 'I've got nothing to hide' it's 'Who decides what is worth hiding?'

That's the real question to sometimes ask... And it is important. There may always be someone who wants to under freedom of thoughts and words.

Maybe it's my liberalism, maybe it is idiocy, but I have trust in big brother that they're not going to get me... Yet.

I understand people's concerns but it doesn't seem like this particular device will be that much different than Google. It saves me from having to sit down at the PC, and type but it really doesn't change the fact that my request for information is leaving my home via companies/wires/carriers that I don't control to get the information and bring it back to me. It feels like blaming the wrong party in this scenario.

Anyway I still want one!

I think it's safe to say that in this day and age of information monitoring this particular device is far away from being the "straw that broke the camels back". It's certain that Comcast and Verizon are monitoring every packet that leaves your home over their network. Regardless of your input method.

This is a cool idea, but if it's anything like Siri and Google Voice, the technology is not quite there yet. We need technology that can easily understand plain spoken language without having to learn all of its commands. I also am not confident that the mics will work as advertised. I'd much rather have a button I press and hold to speak and release when I'm finished speaking. They should've built this tech into the Fire TV.

I'm afraid this device will fail yet again for Amazon. They definitely have some cool ideas, but their implementation isn't so great. I don't think they don't have the luxury to fail publicly anymore and not have it affect them.

I'm with you guys. What info can anybody possibly get from this thing? That my alarm goes off at 4:15 every morning? That I check the weather for Thursday every Wednesday night so I know how it'll be on my first day off work? That my friends and I bs about movies while we play games on Xbox Live? Who cares?

It's all a lot of useless noise.

I'm not pacing around the room reciting my bank account and social security numbers. There is actually nothing anybody can get from this thing in my case. If this nefarious "they" are capable of getting info from a device like the echo then they're almost guaranteed to be capable of getting actually valuable information from other sources in a far more efficient way.

Malor wrote:
even if the NSA gets a hold of that database

Do you really want law enforcement attention because someone was using specific language in your house that triggered a computer alert? Because that sh*t will happen. It will happen...

I am in a bit of a different position from the general public, in that I have a security clearance, and I have basically already told the government that I am fine with them investigating me; they have done so at least twice that I am aware of. So the specific threat, in my case, isn't there. I personally have signed up for the "I have nothing to hide" path, but I hate hate HATE that argument with regards to every other person in out country. It seems like a clear-cut case of invoking the Fourth Amendment when we presume a right to some privacy, at least from the government, and how the crazy amount of surveillance gets hand-waved away is infuriating. I can understand politicians pushing for heavy overwatch, they are in the public eye, so they have little to lose, and it lets them claim being tough on terror. I can understand Joe the Plumber accepting it, because it only registers as an occasional news story that sounds paranoid. I can't understand serious judges being okay with it, nor Constitutional Professors.

It's not that I don't care about privacy, it's just that they already have access to basically whatever they want anyway. Given that, why should I worry about significantly less important bits? This is a device that I would find convenient on a somewhat regular basis, and it can't compromise any information that's truly important to me any more than that information is almost guaranteed to already be compromised.

Also... I work in the secured area of an airport. As I recall I signed paperwork basically saying they can look at whatever they want to whenever they feel like it.

Needless to say I put my name on the list to be a guinea pig early adopter for the thing.

What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

Malor wrote:
What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

Right. I don't even see the government as the only or even worst offender, here. Some idiots will hack Celebrity A's Echo and record her saying some private stuff that no one else needs to know but TMZ will publish anyway, and then she'll get blamed for not knowing better while the hackers get a stupid laugh. I don't see the value-add here.

Also, a 2.5" woofer that "delivers deep bass response"? Bezos please...

Malor wrote:
What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

At some point, the collection people are going to start realizing that collecting everything without context is counter-productive. It's a terrible long-term solution, but waiting for that saturation point is just about our best bet right now to fix things.

Malor wrote:
What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

Most of these systems have an activation phrase though. Sure, it's listening all the time, but presumably it is not processing anything prior to the activation. All someone would need to do is open-source this code to prove this to allay any fears. It may even take future regulation of some sort as technology continues to evolve.

but presumably it is not processing anything prior to the activation.

It's not under your control; you have no way to know. And even if it's only doing keywords now, Amazon can change it anytime they want.

It's not really your device; you don't get to decide what it does.

Malor wrote:
but presumably it is not processing anything prior to the activation.

It's not under your control; you have no way to know. And even if it's only doing keywords now, Amazon can change it anytime they want.

It's not really your device; you don't get to decide what it does.

Right now I don't. I was talking about down the road after someone has abused the technology - and you know someone will at some point.

Did you know sites like Amazon and Facebook even track mouse movements? They can tell what buttons you hovered over and then decided not to click.

Malor wrote:
What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

It seriously can't get anything that I either don't advertise to the internet at large on my own or just isn't important.

So... sure. If it makes some small parts of my life more convenient, absolutely.

Thin_J wrote:
Malor wrote:
What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

It seriously can't get anything that I either don't advertise to the internet at large on my own or just isn't important.

So... sure. If it makes some small parts of my life more convenient, absolutely.

You say that now but once the NSA knows you secretly like to sing Justin Beiber songs while making your coffee in the morning you are all but marked for the FEMA death camps

TheGameguru wrote:
Thin_J wrote:
Malor wrote:
What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

It seriously can't get anything that I either don't advertise to the internet at large on my own or just isn't important.

So... sure. If it makes some small parts of my life more convenient, absolutely.

You say that now but once the NSA knows you secretly like to sing Justin Beiber songs while making your coffee in the morning you are all but marked for the FEMA death camps

o/

TheGameguru wrote:
Thin_J wrote:
Malor wrote:
What info can anybody possibly get from this thing?

It's a constant live mike. Anything you say can be captured. And you don't get to decide what gets chosen.

Do you really want a 24x7x365 microphone on in your house?

It seriously can't get anything that I either don't advertise to the internet at large on my own or just isn't important.

So... sure. If it makes some small parts of my life more convenient, absolutely.

You say that now but once the NSA knows you secretly like to sing Justin Beiber songs while making your coffee in the morning you are all but marked for the FEMA death camps

I'm more of a "Lady Gaga while vacuuming" kinda guy.