Amazon Echo

How Can I Remotely Control Devices?

Fire TV Cube

Episode 1618

Brock from Bellingham, WA

Brock wants to be able to turn off appliances and lights remotely for his elderly mother. He wants to be able to see her with a Wyze cam and then remotely control devices from where he lives. Leo says that's a great idea. One thing is, that if she has a Fire TV Cube, it's voice-activated, so if she can speak, she can tell the TV to turn on/off and change channels. But if that's an issue, he can change the channel remotely using the Infinity X1.

What's an Alternative to the Echo Spot?

Spot

Episode 1600

Craig from Newport News, VA

Harold has noticed that the screen on the Echo Spot has started to flicker. Of course, his warranty has run out and the best that Amazon can do is offer him a 50% discount.  Leo says that if he's all in on the Amazon Ecosystem, then the Echo Show is a good option. But why is it broken? The Echo Spot isn't very expensive and they don't use the best screen hardware. So it may have just worn out. 

Doctor Mom ... Erased

Amazon Echo Show 5

Episode 1596

This week, Amazon has announced users have the option to delete any recordings Alexa has made. It's in Settings-Alexa Account-Alexa Privacy-Review Voice History. 

Amazon has also announced the new Echo Show 5. But Doctor Mom says it's way too small to watch video on it. Leo says it's a direct competitor to the Google Home Hub.

Is There an Open Source Alternative to Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1595

Grant from St. Paul, MN

Grant thinks that home assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Echo are great for home automation, but he hates talking to a box and knowing that it listens to everything he says. He wants more control over what it hears and what it doesn't. Leo says that there is an open source version called OpenHab, that is highly customizable and completely internal. And it runs on Raspberry Pi. There's also Mycroft.

Why am I Getting Ads From Another Town in My Stream?

Amazon

Episode 1594

Patti from Los Angeles, CA

Patti listens to the Tech Guy with her Amazon Echo and noticed that she gets commercials from San Diego, not LA. What gives? Leo says that when listening to the stream, the radio station sometimes uses specially sold ads for the internet stream that are more regional, or national in design. So that's likely why she heard ads from San Diego. Her device may also not really know your location, so if she can go into the app, she can add the location and get more accurate ads and weather forecasts.