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Comment Re:Sleeper hit? (Score 1) 100

I considered getting one but I just don't like Amazon and I'm neck deep in Google services (which I like) and the Echo does't work with them. I will be looking closely at the Google version and just might get it of not to expensive.

They did add Google calendar functionality to the Echo last month. Usage instructions here.

Comment Re:Sleeper hit? (Score 1) 100

You also own 5 Nest devices. You aren't normal. You just like shiny tech. That is fine, but don't pretend there are many people like you.

Six now, since adding a thermostat to the bedroom (its heating/cooling system is separate from the rest of the house.) I got quite a chuckle out of the thought of you searching my history for that little nugget of information; you're taking this very personally.

And we're discussing this on slashdot, where I'd argue that most readers have an interest in shiny tech, though I know two other people (who are not gadget nerds like me) that own Echos.

Comment Re:Sleeper hit? (Score 3, Informative) 100

You do this multiple times a day? You have a problem.

Since you know so much about me, you know that our weather actually changes from day to day, sometimes even in the same 24-hour period. I've even checked the weather, wanted to hear the news headlines of the hour, and set a tea timer within mere minutes of each other. Craziness, I know!

cause switches you walk by are hard ...

We don't actually walk by the switches for the lights in question. One is mounted in an area that's inaccessible because the refrigerator we installed is larger than ones the kitchen was designed for in 1963. I installed a Lutron switch with a remote control that's affixed to the front of the fridge with a magnet. Call it laziness, poor kitchen design, or whatever...it works (very well) for us and we like it.

Because this is easier and faster than reading it ...

Yes, actually. I don't have to get out , wake it from sleep, then launch or navigate to . Our local newspaper isn't worth the price of the paper it's printed on, so I simply say "Alexa, what's in the news?" while making my tea or coffee and she plays the briefing within 3 seconds.

My "excuses" are simply my use cases. It's a convenience for us and it was well worth the $99 they were charging for the Echo at the time. It's not quite the impulse buy it used to be at its current price point, but if mine were to die out of warranty, I'd likely replace it with another.

Comment Re:Sleeper hit? (Score 4, Interesting) 100

Echo isn't impressive, if you can find anyone with one of these 'sleeper hits' for more than a week, ask them how much they use it ... and then I dare you to find me the person who doesn't regret wasting the money after the first month is over.

Okay, I'll bite. My girlfriend and I use Echo several times a day, every day. Whether it's to ask the forecast for that day or the next, to set a timer for tea, to turn the lights on/off when we walk into the kitchen (where our Echo lives), or for the latest news brief from NPR and BBC (though you can set different ones). I've also used it for unit conversions while cooking or baking and it's used fairly frequently for playing Pandora stations or something from Amazon's music service since it's actually got a very nice speaker built into it.

I find it much, much more reliable than Siri (which is disappointing, being an Apple user) and fairly close to Google's Now as far as speed and accuracy. They're constantly adding new features and send an email every Friday letting you know what's new and how to use it.

Comment Re:What NDA? (Score 4, Informative) 366

No, they are not. At the moment you can only buy one if you are a registered developer and are willing to sign an NDA.

Not even that. They held a lottery for registered developers and gave the winning developers a developer kit. As a registered developer who was not selected for the lottery, I cannot even buy an early-access unit.

iFixIt signed up for that lottery and was picked to receive a developer kit. I remember when I signed up for the same kit, I did a very cursory skimming of the NDA and it was pretty explicitly stated that I wasn't allowed to publicly publish pictures or even publicly discuss the unit/software.

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