OT:Echo dot

User Forum Topic
Submitted by moneymaker on January 6, 2017 - 8:07pm

Anybody have it? Wife just ordered it, so will be playing with it tomorrow when it gets here. Home automation here we go! Anybody have any interesting uses for it?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 10, 2017 - 10:27am.

spdrun wrote:
I don't care to know whether I'm out of eggs. Any place that I will forseeably live in the future will have a grocery or bodega within 2-3 blocks, and walking three minutes is not a hardship.

That's a good lifestyle, spdrun. I plan to live that too.

But that's not lifestyle to maximize productivity and wealth. If your groceries are automatically delivered, you have more time to work, earn money, or spend time with your kids.

Submitted by millennial on January 10, 2017 - 10:49am.

There's a lot of talk about privacy vs. technology and I found everyone has different thoughts about it. My belief is whether you choose to or not, in the very near future (if not already) personal privacy will be a thing of the past to make way for convenience and productivity for the masses. Almost every item on the market has a cloud/smart/internet connected component which can be hacked into.

http://www.infowars.com/samsung-tvs-can-...

So either you get over it and say "whomever wants to watch me eat breakfast in my drawers in the morning are more than welcome to", or you can do the opposite and become a recluse.

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 11:37am.

FlyerInHI: I'd rather live in a poorer immigrant neighborhood where people pay cash, mind their own fuckin business, and where housing is relatively cheap. Cash/underground economy for life!

Cheap housing cost means that I have to work less. Far more effective than saving 5 min buying groceries. I don't really care about others' perceptions of me and where I live.

millennial: why be a recluse? Just hammer a large icepick into the camera and mic of the TV and continue as before. BTW, if anything, such tech is likely to turn us into recluses, since it will reduce the perceived need for human interaction. Almost everyone will be a recluse -- the people who avoid that sort of shit will be the ones with the most real social interaction.

Submitted by millennial on January 10, 2017 - 11:49am.

spdrun wrote:

millennial: why be a recluse? Just hammer a large icepick into the camera and mic of the TV and continue as before. BTW, if anything, such tech is likely to turn us into recluses, since it will reduce the perceived need for human interaction. Almost everyone will be a recluse -- the people who avoid that sort of shit will be the ones with the most real social interaction.

You are naïve if you believe that putting an ice pick in your camera will stop it. If you have internet, a smart phone...shit if your neighbor has internet or a smartphone you can be traced. Anything that you post online can be traced to you. Anything that you click on people can sell you.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/...

ha ha... putting a pick in a TV. You will need to do a lot more than that buddy.

Your thoughts on human interaction is pretty asinine also. There are so many ways to socially interact now. You have the old fashioned ways like going to the bar/church/school, or you can also rant on a blog at any time and have people from around the world discuss things with you. If anything, it gives those introverts and OCD people a way to interact. It also allows extroverts a way to find more people to meet up with. To label people that use technology to interact as not "real" is pretty ignorant on your part.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 10, 2017 - 12:11pm.

spdrun wrote:
BTW, if anything, such tech is likely to turn us into recluses, since it will reduce the perceived need for human interaction. Almost everyone will be a recluse -- the people who avoid that sort of shit will be the ones with the most real social interaction.

I have friend who turned like that. Orders everything online. Has a short fuze dealing with people. Turned into a fat ass alcoholic horder. Really sad to see because he was a star athlete in college.

BTW, my dad worked aboard so I lived in Thailand, Taiwan and other countries. Love street life and small mom and pop stores. I remember in Bangkok, we lived in a walled villa but it wasn't far from the shack stores by the river. Us kids would walk over and buy groceries and snacks. Maybe that's the way to happiness.

But corporate America is the way to wealth. Standardize and monetize everything. Try to find ways to generate transactions and consumption that's why tech is going the subscription model. Same as real estate rent that generate infinite flow of income. Don't you want that?

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 2:40pm.

I have zero interest in being part of that world or profiting from it. Real estate is enough, innovation in that area is over-rated and not something I'd enjoy being part of.

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 2:44pm.

millennial: my smart phone is either off or in flight mode most of the time unless I'm on call or working.

There's also a big difference between a camera that's sitting on a shelf facing up as the phone charges and one facing the front of a TV with a clear view of the room. The latter needs an icepick through it. Or at least some black tape.

I wasn't speaking to interaction as much as non-interaction. Interaction through online forums can be great. The problem is people who use delivery of everything to AVOID interaction.

Submitted by millennial on January 10, 2017 - 3:12pm.

spdrun wrote:
millennial: my smart phone is either off or in flight mode most of the time unless I'm on call or working.

There's also a big difference between a camera that's sitting on a shelf facing up as the phone charges and one facing the front of a TV with a clear view of the room. The latter needs an icepick through it. Or at least some black tape.

I see, so in terms of privacy you just mean being able to literally watch you while you stroll around your living room. Well everyone has different degrees of tolerability. Just to be clear though, my point is that privacy is a pretty subjective term and the degree of seclusion associated is significantly less than it was 5 years ago and will be significantly less in another year. Personally, I don't think it's a good thing, but it is what it is and we just need to accept it and move on.

spdrun wrote:
I wasn't speaking to interaction as much as non-interaction. Interaction through online forums can be great. The problem is people who use delivery of everything to AVOID interaction.
Well like anything there are always positives and negatives. My point is that "real interaction" happens everywhere; online and otherwise. In terms of using the internet to AVOID interaction (introverts/antisocial people/hermits), well you can see it as a negative, or a positive. I would say the majority (>80%) of people buy stuff online cause it's convenient, including me. I hate going to the malls to price compare and have to deal with coupons and biannual sales and lines and parking; it really is a big pain in the ass. I agree that there may be some people that do it to avoid interaction (such as the alcoholic horder), but I think those people would be the same way regardless. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think that technology creates those people. At the very least, it avoids having the alcoholic from having to drive to get his booze, or me having to deal with him.

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 3:48pm.

Why accept it? There's no added value for me in having a TV with a room-facing camera. None.

I don't see the problem with having to use a remote control. In fact, my 2008-era 20" LCD screen does exactly what I want it to, and not a bit more or less.

Same goes for an Amazon Echo. I got a trial of an Amazon Prime account because I needed to order something specific for work. For the rest of the month, I didn't feel moved to order anything else via Amazon, so I dumped the membership.

I can buy 99% of what I need for cash within 5 min walking distance of my home, so what do I need a bug in my room for? Frankly, I don't want shopping to be entirely easy or convenient -- if it's either, it would mean that I'd consume more, and I'd rather keep my consumption to a minimum.

BTW - I don't go to malls either. For housewares, there's a big hardware store that also sells home goods. For hardware, there's another hardware store. For groceries, there are a few grocery stores and supermarkets. Clothing, there's a whole street of random clothing and shoe stores near where my GF lives, it's great.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 10, 2017 - 3:45pm.

Yep, it is what it is.
Can't expect companies to sell things at give away commodity prices without a subscription or information gathering/marketing component.
Corporations are always looking to squeeze out the next marginal dollar. What better way to do that than a connected device that can be updated with software to provide additional sales and services?

Maybe with IPv6 there an opportunity for competitors to provide non cloud solutions for home automation. They could charge a lot more. People concerned about privacy would like that.

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 3:50pm.

It's not a huge deal with ipv4, quite frankly. The only role of a server needs to be as a dynamic DNS, and the router can open a VPN channel for whatever outside device needs it.

(This can be an automated process that's simple to set up and secured with long public/private keys.)

Submitted by millennial on January 10, 2017 - 4:48pm.

spdrun wrote:

Same goes for an Amazon Echo. I got a trial of an Amazon Prime account because I needed to order something specific for work. For the rest of the month, I didn't feel moved to order anything else via Amazon, so I dumped the membership.
...

Good for you man. According to the WSJ roughly 22 million households in America feel the same way for a lot of the reasons you mention.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/not-everyone...

According to the demographics, these are the people that holdout.

"Those Amazon holdouts tend to be older than U.S. shoppers overall, with an average age of 57 versus 49, respectively, according to Kantar, and they tend to earn less—$45,700 in annual income, compared with $62,800 among all shoppers. They are less likely to have or live with children."

Not sure if you fit in this, but from what you said it seems like you may. This being said, you need to understand that there are many people that do not fall within this demographic and just because they don't, doesn't make them antisocial nor wrong for doing so.

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 5:00pm.

I sspect that the real number is higher than 22 million once you add in the numbers of the undocumented and unbanked, who are also unlikely to get contacted by interviewers.

Also, I wonder how good the results from online surveys are -- many media outlets do the "answer these questions to continue reading" thing. I deliberately answer the questions randomly (pick a box without reading) to feed the pollsters erroneous data.

Are Amazon users antisocial? No idea.
Are they wrong to support a service that's destroying decent jobs, destroying privacy, etc? At the very least, they don't care about the harm their shopping habits are causing.

Submitted by millennial on January 10, 2017 - 5:01pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Maybe with IPv6 there an opportunity for competitors to provide non cloud solutions for home automation. They could charge a lot more. People concerned about privacy would like that.

There are a lot of non-cloud solutions out there for home automation, just run a search and you can find them.

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 5:08pm.

I've heard good things about Vera.

Submitted by millennial on January 10, 2017 - 5:09pm.

spdrun wrote:

Are Amazon users antisocial? No idea.
Are they wrong to support a service that's destroying decent jobs, destroying privacy, etc? At the very least, they don't care about the harm their shopping habits are causing.

Probably opening Pandora's box, but how does shopping on amazon destroy privacy, and "decent" jobs? Also what harm is this causing? Are we talking about big corp. versus local retailers like everyone was worried about 15 years ago (aka Walmart/Budweiser/McDonalds). Well we can see what happened with that now that sales and market share of all 3 have been consistently sliding. Privacy? Well like I said, privacy is a very subjective and individual thing; and should be handled as such. If you want more of it, feel free to not use internet; abstain from social media; move to the woods and live off the land.

Submitted by millennial on January 10, 2017 - 5:14pm.

spdrun wrote:
I've heard good things about Vera.

I have too, but unfortunately bought the SmartHub a year or so ago. Right now have that working with Alexa for my home automation. Btw, my wife hates Alexa since it only listens to me. I keep telling her she can always just use the lights manually if she wants...she doesn't listen. I kinda like Alexa more now, at least she listens...

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 5:23pm.

Need I really list the ways?
(1) Amazon warehouse jobs are utter fucking crap, even as compared to the black pit of awfulness that's brick-and-mortar retail. Utter monotonous work without even an opportunity to interact with interesting customers occasionally. Warehouse workers are basically bio-robots, soon to be replaced by real robots...

http://gizmodo.com/tell-us-your-horror-s...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...

(2) Amazon doesn't allow for anonymous (cash) payment, and in fact, makes money tracking users' purchase habits. Local stores simply don't have the same kind of computing power behind them. Thankfully.

Lastly, I have no interest in living in the woods. I have more interest living in a less-developed part of the world where technology is significantly behind that of the US suburbs. And where cash and other anonymous means of payment are commonly accepted by necessity.

I like being around people. I can do without corporate and/or goverment snooping, which makes my ideal area a poorer one, where there's less money to be made marketing to it, and where people don't care enough to focus government resources on it.

Probably opening Pandora's box, but how does shopping on amazon destroy privacy, and "decent" jobs? Also what harm is this causing? Are we talking about big corp. versus local retailers like everyone was worried about 15 years ago (aka Walmart/Budweiser/McDonalds). Well we can see what happened with that now that sales and market share of all 3 have been consistently sliding. Privacy? Well like I said, privacy is a very subjective and individual thing; and should be handled as such. If you want more of it, feel free to not use internet; abstain from social media; move to the woods and live off the land.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 10, 2017 - 7:00pm.

I see your point spd. But amazon has some good products you can't find in stores.
For example modern door handles (i hate the transitional curvy ones at the home
store), noise dampening blankets which I will get sewn to the drapes at my condo near by busy road.

I'm enjoying the avaialabilty of all kinds of products at commodity prices. In the past only the very rich could have good design. Many things had to be custom fabricated. In the future, we will have custom fabrication by robots for cheap. Humans will be able to sit back and enjoy leisure (sarcastic here, don't bet on it)

Submitted by spdrun on January 10, 2017 - 7:01pm.

Actually, I like the idea of custom fabrication if it can be done locally (the robots are cheap enough). This would actually help local businesses -- think about being fitted for a suit at your local robo-tailor shop, with a human helping you pick designs and doing final adjustments.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 12, 2017 - 11:52am.

I have not yet used the Apple Home app.
Anyone like it? And how does it compare to the other home automation solutions out there?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 15, 2017 - 4:37pm.

Spd, I had the Vera lite which I now use in a different place. But it's not like there is no third party you're so worried about (BTW I don't like it either, but it is what it is).

I just finished changing all the switches and outlets in my apartment. Need to install door sensors. I went with wink hub, because I like the Wink Relay which is a wall mounted control screen. Looks modern Jetsons like. I may pair it to an Amazon echo later so I can listen to NPR and music via voice command. Still thinking about it.

Apple HomeKit is still new and lacking support. Plus for now, I'd rather not support the big powerful guys Apple and Google. It's actually a good thing that amazon is the leader with Alexa.

Home automation wise, the holy grail for me is smart glass because I really hate window shades and drapes. I hope good cheap solutions come to market soon.

Submitted by spdrun on January 15, 2017 - 5:38pm.

Electrochromic glass doesn't need "smarts", just a switch to supply power or not.

I'm not so crippled that I can't get up and turn a switch off. Home automation = tits on a boar.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 15, 2017 - 5:49pm.

Smarts saves time and enhance quality of life. When you go away, everything turns off and the windows darken automatically.

Rich people have servants to do things for them. We can use smart devices as our servants.

Submitted by spdrun on January 15, 2017 - 6:33pm.

Same problem with servants as with cloud-crap automation.

You're sharing a home with something that's all up in your business. If it's just a question of turning things off when you leave, no need for cloud-crap -- a few wireless relays would do just fine without the privacy implications.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 15, 2017 - 10:14pm.

I guess if you're worried about privacy you could setup on the LAN and forego remote control.

I think home automation is a good thing because that will deter burglaries, maybe do away with them entirely.

Want to monitor you daughter? Or worriy she'll be molested by intruder? Get an alarm when a window opens or when her bedroom light comes on at night. Haha... so many things for the paranoid.

I would like a device to record the MAC address of people who walk by my house then gives me a report on how often and when.

Submitted by ucodegen on January 16, 2017 - 1:44am.

FlyerInHi wrote:

I think home automation is a good thing because that will deter burglaries, maybe do away with them entirely.

I only wish that 'open standards' would be mandated as well as not having 'tie-in' with cable companies - giving them access to your privies as well (as well as potentially your daughter).

FlyerInHi wrote:

I would like a device to record the MAC address of people who walk by my house then gives me a report on how often and when.
That statement brings back memories - because I worked on such a system, but we monitored MAC addresses from over 1 mile away using a high gain directional antenna. Kind of 'spook'y stuff. One thing about WiFi, for the most part, whether you get the MAC depends if the person's client WiFi is trying to make a connection. If the client WiFi is set to only connect to known 'routers'/'hubs' - then it will generally be silent until is sees it. Constant querying burns through power on cell phones. However, there is a way to 'ping' a client side WiFi - and make it reveal itself in some cases.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 16, 2017 - 1:41pm.

FYI, for those concerned about security. I did some reading on local control without internet.

Wink allows you to that. The Wink Relay would work as the control module like back in 1980s. The article says the Hub works offline, so the app should too since that's the way to access the Hub. I will have to test it.

http://www.techhive.com/article/3031251/...

Samsung SmartThings will also run locally, with limitations.
https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-us...

Obviously, Alexa, Siri, Google won't work locally.

Submitted by spdrun on January 16, 2017 - 5:01pm.

I think home automation is a good thing because that will deter burglaries, maybe do away with them entirely.

Want to monitor you daughter? Or worriy she'll be molested by intruder? Get an alarm when a window opens or when her bedroom light comes on at night. Haha... so many things for the paranoid.

I would like a device to record the MAC address of people who walk by my house then gives me a report on how often and when.

I don't want to totally deter property crime -- it keeps the rich and powerful honest.

Home invasions are extremely rare, so rare as to be a non-issue.

Recording MAC addresses -- no thanks, no plans to be a stalker :)

Submitted by FlyerInHi on April 22, 2017 - 12:03am.

I was looking at some listings of "state af the arts" homes from more than a decade ago.
The TVs look old and useless. The smart home features are outdated. We can do so much more today with consumer products. The old useless stuff needs to be ripped out. But some people still think they old stuff is worth something near what they paid, haha..

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