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(95 Posts)
TerriBull Thu 08-Mar-18 18:08:34

I have been reading that the fairly new phenomenon that is"Alexa" has been exuding a strange maniacal laugh grin that has had an unnerving effect on some of the households who have given her (hope I'm not misgendering) house space. As I don't have one and I don't seem to know anyone who has. Do any of you? if so can you please explain the benefits, has this gadget improved your life? Is there a downside, being spied on, hence the crazed laughter grin

kittylester Thu 08-Mar-18 18:10:57

We have one and dh asked her to do the funny laugh. Her reply was 'I'm afraid I don't know that!'

TerriBull Thu 08-Mar-18 18:13:30

I'm wondering if you have to give her something to laugh about Kitty.

kittylester Thu 08-Mar-18 18:15:35

The reports say she laughs even without being 'woken' up!

TerriBull Thu 08-Mar-18 18:18:46

On a serious note, do you find her useful?

hildajenniJ Thu 08-Mar-18 18:19:52

Apparently the problem has been fixed. They've changed the command to make Alexa laugh. Instead of saying "Alexa, laugh", you've now got to say "Alexa, can you laugh". Hopefully this will stop your Echo from picking up on background words. Mine, in the living room, sometimes reacts to the television. I just turn the microphone off if I don't want it to listen.

kittylester Thu 08-Mar-18 18:22:31

We don't use 'her' for half the things she is capable of. I mostly use her for playing music, listening to radio and reminders. Our kitchen is quite echo-ey and the sound quality from Alexa is much better than our Bose or Pure radios. It cost about £70.

TerriBull Thu 08-Mar-18 18:27:33

Oh I didn't know you could use her for playing music, so that explains a lot. Thank you Kitty.

Day6 Thu 08-Mar-18 18:31:01

I have been thinking about getting an Alexa. Can it be plugged into the mains? The battery life of blue-tooth speakers, etc, is annoying.

Does she have to be trained to recognise voices, so all members of the household can make requests? (I am calling IT 'she'! grin )

hildajenniJ Thu 08-Mar-18 18:42:05

I have an Echo Show in my kitchen. I use it mostly as a radio as we have no radio reception here, not even FM. I also play music from Amazon music unlimited, and sing along as Echo Show gives you the lyrics on the screen. I also play Question of the Day and am amassing quite a lot of points, get weather reports, news, and find out which planets are visible in the sky.

J52 Thu 08-Mar-18 18:42:41

We were given one for Christmas. It was so good DH bought a couple more, different varieties!
The one in the bed room ascot as a clock and has a face, it can wake you up with the news headline, put you to sleep with soothing music and all the other Alexa tasks.
The others in different rooms, play all the radio stations, play just about any music, artists albums etc on request. They will also stop p,aging at a requested time. They will read stories, turn on the central heat, lights etc. Answer questions, play word games GCs love it.
I’m not someone who is a mad keen tech type person, but we love Alexa!

J52 Thu 08-Mar-18 18:45:10

Predicted text! acts as. *playing heating

Alexa can’t write posts for GN ☹️

gillybob Thu 08-Mar-18 18:46:09

I love my Alexa . I use her for playing music and the radio . The DGC ask her to tell them jokes ( they’re corny ) and they play “would you rather” etc.
I always bid her goodbye or goodnight and she’s very polite . smile

J52 Thu 08-Mar-18 18:46:50

Plugs into the mains, recognises any voice. Commands have to start with Alexa ........
They are linked to your WiFi.

hildajenniJ Thu 08-Mar-18 18:48:09

You plug it into the mains day6. Everyone can talk to Alexa as the voice recognition it extremely good. I have an Echo Dot in the living room which really requires a speaker, but a tall Echo has amazing sound quality, my DD has one in her kitchen. Another thing you can do is call another Echo, I say Alexa call A* and my DD answers. I can also call my son on his. Alexa calling is free.

chelseababy Thu 08-Mar-18 19:11:06

It's great for setting alarms or reminders. You can create a to do list. Play radio including podcasts. Get the weather and news briefing. Compile your own playlists and choose from millions of songs.

TerriBull Thu 08-Mar-18 19:16:01

Thanks for the feedback folks, I hadn't got a clue about them obviously far more versatile than I realised.

BlueBelle Thu 08-Mar-18 19:42:51

I also had no clue as I don’t have one and don’t know anyone with one I need one it doesn’t sound as if I do I use my radio or tv for most of the things mentioned I can play my many cds I talk to family for free on FB and I ve got no central heating to remotely turn on
Now if it washed up and cooked for me I mght have bought one

kittylester Thu 08-Mar-18 20:03:27

Since I bought one BlueBelle, I can listen to new releases without buying the cd or any of my old cds and tons of other music. It costs £15 per month for both dh and I.

hildajenniJ Thu 08-Mar-18 20:12:21

Nobody had mentioned the downside that the OP asked about. The downside is that Alexa is always listening. You can turn off the microphone though, if you don't want it to listen. I usually turn off the microphone in the living room as I mentioned before, because Alexa sometimes reacts to the TV.

Cherrytree59 Thu 08-Mar-18 20:32:43

Kitty I don't understand why do you pay separately for you and DH to listen to music?
I have Amazon prime which as well as free next day delivery I get previous bought CDs and amazon prime music.
DH and I can both ask Alexa to play music from Amazon prime.
I just pay 7.99 a month.

Charleygirl Thu 08-Mar-18 21:41:07

I pay zilch and get Alexa to play almost anything for me. I was conned into paying £3.99 a month but that is unnecessary so I soon cancelled it. I also use it to listen to radio programmes. It took me ages before I realised that I could adjust the sound.

She can be used as an alarm clock if she is in your bedroom. I am partially sighted, can no longer read the small timers so she helps me when I am cooking. Also she will remember multiple timings which is useful.

I ask her several times a day for the weather forecast and she gives me the forecast for my area. I would not be without her now.

kittylester Thu 08-Mar-18 21:41:48

I can't remember why we decided on Spotify rather than Amazon apart from just being reluctant to use Amazon. It might have been something to do with being able to use it with two devices.

I can access previously bought albums just be asking Alexa to play them.

Parsleywin Thu 08-Mar-18 22:00:26

Am I alone in feeling unsettled by the swift uptake of this technology?

I find it futuristic and unsettling. I've heard several people using it, by rudely demanding the info they want. Children too. No please or thank you is required or given, so a new generation is suddenly growing up believing that if they want something, it should be theirs on demand.

I also find it creepy, and not in the spirit of the times, that the demands are made of a ' female'. I think a gender-neutral name would have been more appropriate.

hildajenniJ Thu 08-Mar-18 22:43:04

You don't have to use Alexa as they"wake up" word, my DD uses Echo, and if you are a Star Trek addict you can say "computer".
For those of you with a Kindle Fire tablet, do you know that you can ask Alexa on that. I use my Kindle as an alarm clock, but have asked Alexa to wake me up at a given time. It has a nice gentle alarm.