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A Visit to Vonage Labs Part1 | TalkingPointz
Not a bad idea - using Alexa with Amazon Chime for meetings
vonage  sme  voice2  aws  chime  alexa  ovum 
yesterday by yorksranter
Alexa is a revelation for the blind • The Atlantic
Ian Bogost:
<p>Sure, Dad [who is almost completely blind after a car accident in 1954] can still pick up the phone and call people. But who talks on the phone anymore?

Now, at 82—and with a different technology on offer—Dad is willing to adapt. After his initial fumbles with the Echo, he begins to get the hang of it, asking Alexa for football scores and stock-market updates, or to tell him who the president of Venezuela is. He discovers that, for some reason, Alexa isn’t set up to report the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s Nikkei index, and he begins to enjoy posing questions the device can’t answer. He taunts it the way everyone else does: “Alexa, what would you like for breakfast?”

Dad’s background as a psychologist makes his initial error of address—Electra rather than Alexa—accidentally funny. Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, coined the Electra complex to name a girl’s competition with her mother for the attention of her father—the feminine corollary of the Oedipus complex. But unlike in Jung’s formulation, my mother relishes this new interloper. For decades, Mom has facilitated my father’s access to news and information—and she’s happy to be unseated by a rival, even if it’s just a fabric-covered cylinder with a light on top. Even so, this new setup is not perfect. “Dad often gets his commands wrong,” Mom reports, “and he gets frustrated when she does not understand him.”

When I was younger, Dad would write me letters—big, weird, angular script on stationery left over from his private practice. That became harder for him over time, as his vision and dexterity degraded—and I was never a very good written correspondent anyway. Then email and text messaging came along, and communication began to channel through computers—and for Dad, through my mother. There’s a difference between being read a letter addressed to you, and being a secondary party to communications on someone else’s personal device.

The Echo promised to rectify this slight. Dad can dictate a message to Alexa, and it will arrive on my Echo, as well as in an app on my phone, as both a recording and a transcribed text message.</p>
amazon  blind  alexa 
2 days ago by charlesarthur
Surprise, Echo Owners, You're Now Part of Amazon's Random Social Network
"In May, Amazon pushed a software update that added features called “Drop in” and “Alexa calling and messaging,” which let you connect to other people’s Echos. The communal device, used by all members of a given household, suddenly became a telephone and answering machine, much like an old-school landline shared by a family, except this one emits a pulsing yellow light when you have a message.

This is a unique aspect to being a consumer of the Internet of Things: The things stay connected to the company you bought them from, which means the company can push down an update from afar and change them into, well, other things. Overnight, the Echo went from being a voice-activated Google search to a device that could be networked to a bunch of other devices."

Well, what could possibly go wrong.
trustmark  iot  privacy  voice  alexa  amazon  newsletter 
3 days ago by thewavingcat
Just saw a commercial heavily featuring that I thought it was an Alexa commercial until the Ford brand…
Alexa  from twitter_favs
5 days ago by sinned
Alexa, can you get my kid to brush his teeth? (Oh, and Alexa? How exactly can I make money with you?) » Nieman Journalism Lab
Chompers emerges against an Alexa development environment that happens to ban all third-party ads(with some exceptions for music and flash briefing apps). It’s also an environment that seems to encourage advertisers and brands to directly create or commission skills themselves; a sort of Alexa-skill equivalent of the branded podcast. For further consideration of this, I highly recommend this Wired piece, “Amazon’s Alexa Wants You To Talk To Your Ads,” from December.

All of this amounts to a deeply uncertain context for audio publishers thinking about investing time and resources in creating a presence on the platform. Even if the smart speaker category feels really exciting in general, it’s incredibly hard for publishers to figure out a decent way to yield returns — a problem exacerbated by Amazon’s total and often opaque governance of the Alexa platform
Alexa  bm  voice  s  t 
6 days ago by paulbradshaw

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