Alexa Voice Control is Coming to Denon HEOS in 2017 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 35 Old 09-20-2016, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Alexa Voice Control is Coming to Denon HEOS in 2017

A just-announced collaboration between Amazon and Denon aims to bring Alexa voice control to Denon's HEOS wireless, multi-room audio platform. The hands-free voice service from Amazon is modeled after the supercomputer in Star Trek, and it specializes in far-field voice recognition.


Denon HEOS, soon to be controllable with Amazon Alexa.

Commenting on this latest development, Brendon Stead, SVP product development at Denon, stated that the company "Has a 100-year history of performance, innovation and design, we have always been driven to provide the best audio experience to our customers—and we’re doing that with Amazon Alexa. We see the recent shift towards voice as the preferred interface for searching, retrieving, and controlling music as a compelling arena, where we can focus that heritage of technical excellence and innovation to deliver completely new experiences."

With Alexa in control, users won't need to find their smart phone or tablet in order to request their favorite tunes, or even get answers to search queries and control connected smart home devices. This capability will be implemented in all HEOS devices sometime during the first quarter of 2017.

Steve Rabuchin, VP, Amazon Alexa said "Amazon shares with Denon a passion for innovation and design. We are excited to collaborate with them to bring hands-free voice control to premium audio products early next year. Soon HEOS and Amazon Alexa customers will be able to enjoy the convenience of the Alexa voice service plus high-quality home audio."

It's a brave new world, folks. We're not too far away from being able to say "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot. Plus some Beethoven please," and have a digital genie named Alexa make it so.
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-20-2016, 08:09 PM
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...I wonder what Alexa will say when a user asks "where are the front wides"?
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-21-2016, 09:25 AM
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Any word as to whether Alexa will be added to the current Heos models via a firmware update, or will new hardware be required in 2017?

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post #4 of 35 Old 09-21-2016, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mr. Mxyzptlk View Post
Any word as to whether Alexa will be added to the current Heos models via a firmware update, or will new hardware be required in 2017?
My impression of the wording is all HEOS devices will get it. Such is the beauty of software upgrades.

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post #5 of 35 Old 01-24-2017, 11:05 AM
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Any more insights into this capability?

I'm new to Alexa and HEOS, but am interested in the possibilities.

One feature I haven't explored yet, is using a DNLA server in conjunction with HEOS, and having that integrated with Alexa. For example, I currently use a Squeezebox ecosystem. I'm thinking that in the future, I could replace LMS with a DNLA server, have all of that available to my HEOS devices, then use Alexa to search for any song in my local library. Too far fetched?
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post #6 of 35 Old 03-04-2017, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam S View Post
Any more insights into this capability?



I'm new to Alexa and HEOS, but am interested in the possibilities.



One feature I haven't explored yet, is using a DNLA server in conjunction with HEOS, and having that integrated with Alexa. For example, I currently use a Squeezebox ecosystem. I'm thinking that in the future, I could replace LMS with a DNLA server, have all of that available to my HEOS devices, then use Alexa to search for any song in my local library. Too far fetched?


I use lms with Heos right now, no issues, let's see what Alexa adds for search


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post #7 of 35 Old 03-05-2017, 04:54 AM
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This is great.

I received an Echo as a x-mass gift and one thing that occurs to me is it needs a nearly silent room in order to "hear" clearly what I'm asking it to do. So, as a type of remote for a sound system there is an obvious problem that will be interesting to solve. The other obvious problem is it will mis-hear song titles constantly providing me tracks I didn't ask for... so, Alexa still has a lot to learn but as it goes more mainstream I imagine it will be improved.
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post #8 of 35 Old 03-23-2017, 02:49 PM
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Anyone hear anything more about the release of this update? Indications were 1st quarter 2017, and that is rapidly closing.

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post #9 of 35 Old 03-23-2017, 05:02 PM
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I use a Echo dot with Alexa everyday. It works with a harmony hub. Just install the 2 skills in Alexa for Harmony. Instructions are fairly clear.

I can turn on my entire 7.2.4 system and tell it what I want it to play. FE. If I say "Alexa turn on Tivo", it turns on my Denon 4300H, Sony 940D, and puts in on the correct inputs. I can use it for my Roku Ultra, Sony UBP X800 UHD, XBox One, PS3 with proper adaptor, and my old Yamaha CD 1300 hard drive CD player. I do not use any of the HDMI control features on the components. It ends up being just like a harmony remote but with voice. I can pause, skip, fwd, volume control, eject and of course: "Alexa turn off Entertainment center" shuts everything off.

I have been using it for 2 months. If you can set up a Harmony remote you can set this up with a hub and echo. I have 3 echo's. The original and 2 dots, one 1st gen and one second gen. The 2nd get dot is what I use for the HT system.
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post #10 of 35 Old 04-08-2017, 07:27 PM
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Does anyone know how to connect a HEOS Drive to an Echo Dot? I can only find information on connecting a HEOS speaker.
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post #11 of 35 Old 04-13-2017, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by stangflyer View Post
I use a Echo dot with Alexa everyday. It works with a harmony hub. Just install the 2 skills in Alexa for Harmony. Instructions are fairly clear.

I can turn on my entire 7.2.4 system and tell it what I want it to play. FE. If I say "Alexa turn on Tivo", it turns on my Denon 4300H, Sony 940D, and puts in on the correct inputs. I can use it for my Roku Ultra, Sony UBP X800 UHD, XBox One, PS3 with proper adaptor, and my old Yamaha CD 1300 hard drive CD player. I do not use any of the HDMI control features on the components. It ends up being just like a harmony remote but with voice. I can pause, skip, fwd, volume control, eject and of course: "Alexa turn off Entertainment center" shuts everything off.

I have been using it for 2 months. If you can set up a Harmony remote you can set this up with a hub and echo. I have 3 echo's. The original and 2 dots, one 1st gen and one second gen. The 2nd get dot is what I use for the HT system.
The Harmony integration is certainly improving, it's controlling my Pana TV, Yamaha amp and other products + the Philips Hue lights.
Syncing the lights to be at a certain brightness and colour during different times of the day is killer.
True Heos / MusicCast / Sonos / PlayFi integration will mean easy linking from room to room... that will actually be of less importance to me than the Harmony integration.
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post #12 of 35 Old 05-09-2017, 01:16 PM
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It'll be weird when Alexa starts developing her own personality on an individual basis. We don't need our houses getting angry at us haha.
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post #13 of 35 Old 05-12-2017, 11:06 AM
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What I am curious about is if this will lead to hardware changes in HEOS speakers and related components...that is, will next generation Alexa enabled HEOS speakers include a microphone to pick up Alexa commands directly? Will we be speaking commands into our phones and tablets or will this require the Echos, Echo Dots etc. to complete the integration?

This truly has the potential to simplify the interface to an otherwise complex AV set up, but even so until the underlying privacy related legal questions are ironed out Alexa is a non-starter as far as my wife is concerned.

"You keep using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means."
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post #14 of 35 Old 05-12-2017, 02:31 PM
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This truly has the potential to simplify the interface to an otherwise complex AV set up, but even so until the underlying privacy related legal questions are ironed out Alexa is a non-starter as far as my wife is concerned.
Not sure if i should post this or not,but if AVS Forum doesn't like it,they'll remove it,so here goes.

Since you brought up the privacy question concerning Alexa,i have a story to relate.

I watched a video where a man with an Alexa unit asked it some questions.
For each question that was asked Alexa had a quick answer,so far so good.

Then the guy asked Alexa if it was connected in any way to the NSA or CIA....Alexa,for the first time DID NOT ANSWER.
He asked the same question a second time,but still no answer from Alexa....hmmm

I have no way of knowing if the video was faked or not,but it sure made me think twice,then a third time about ever buying one of those...things.

I guess the old saying applies....buyer beware.

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post #15 of 35 Old 05-14-2017, 04:25 PM
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I have both an echo and an google home. I prefer the google home, but is it looking like the echo ecosystem is going to be better for home theater applications?
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post #16 of 35 Old 05-19-2017, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by shesaidsam View Post
I have both an echo and an google home. I prefer the google home, but is it looking like the echo ecosystem is going to be better for home theater applications?
I prefer GH as well, it just came later than Alexa. I find this kind of news bittersweet, I wish they could announce support for both. Or google home currently "in the works".
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post #17 of 35 Old 05-21-2017, 03:16 PM
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All of these home integrations with Alexa sound cool and scary. I'm not sure I want her listening to everything that goes on in every room of my house.
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post #18 of 35 Old 05-22-2017, 02:55 PM
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All of these home integrations with Alexa sound cool and scary. I'm not sure I want her listening to everything that goes on in every room of my house.
I can't wrap my head around why Anybody would knowingly buy a piece of electronic equipment who's primary function is to be a data collection device for the intelligence agencies.
Alexa and other similar devices are there to gather information about you.Forget the "cool" factor,Alexa is NOT your friend ...jmo.
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post #19 of 35 Old 05-23-2017, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by greaser View Post
I can't wrap my head around why Anybody would knowingly buy a piece of electronic equipment who's primary function is to be a data collection device for the intelligence agencies.
Alexa and other similar devices are there to gather information about you.Forget the "cool" factor,Alexa is NOT your friend ...jmo.
Maybe not everyone wears the same tin foil hat brand as you?

Please share your information source that confirms what you're purporting.
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Maybe not everyone wears the same tin foil hat brand as you?

Please share your information source that confirms what you're purporting.
It's a known fact that Alexa is a data collector,that's not in contention.I think almost everybody knows that.If they don't then they should.

What's in contention is whether the intell agencies can or would access the information for their private uses.

What do you think...think critically.

I for one think that intell agencies can and will access the info for whatever reasons anytime they darn well please.Niceties like legalities not a consideration.

If you like having a known data collector in your home listening to everything you say,with nothing more than the manufacturer's word for it that no-one can or will access your Alexa unit for any nefarious purpose,then go for it....intell agencies...hackers and who knows else,yikes...if you like it you can have it...jmo...ymmv
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When you say that it's primary function is to be a data collection service for the intelligence agencies, you lose all credibility.

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Originally Posted by greaser View Post
It's a known fact that Alexa is a data collector,that's not in contention.I think almost everybody knows that.If they don't then they should.

What's in contention is whether the intell agencies can or would access the information for their private uses.

What do you think...think critically.

I for one think that intell agencies can and will access the info for whatever reasons anytime they darn well please.Niceties like legalities not a consideration.

If you like having a known data collector in your home listening to everything you say,with nothing more than the manufacturer's word for it that no-one can or will access your Alexa unit for any nefarious purpose,then go for it....intell agencies...hackers and who knows else,yikes...if you like it you can have it...jmo...ymmv
When you say this

Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser
"I watched a video where a man with an Alexa unit asked it some questions.
For each question that was asked Alexa had a quick answer,so far so good.

Then the guy asked Alexa if it was connected in any way to the NSA or CIA....Alexa,for the first time DID NOT ANSWER.
He asked the same question a second time,but still no answer from Alexa....hmmm

I have no way of knowing if the video was faked or not,but it sure made me think twice,then a third time about ever buying one of those...things.

I guess the old saying applies....buyer beware.
I imagine this



If you're that concerned that our intelligence agencies give 2 cents about what you have to say/think, why are you using a computer, own a phone, possibly own a smart tv, etc? Hell they could be parked outside your door using a laser microphone to listen in on you. For some reason I think they aren't going to waste their time and money on you or me for that matter.
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Originally Posted by sthompson View Post
When you say that it's primary function is to be a data collection service for the intelligence agencies, you lose all credibility.

If you're that concerned that our intelligence agencies give 2 cents about what you have to say/think, why are you using a computer, own a phone, possibly own a smart tv, etc? Hell they could be parked outside your door using a laser microphone to listen in on you. For some reason I think they aren't going to waste their time and money on you or me for that matter.
The verbiage and tenor of your post shows me you may have lost the ability to think deeply or critically about things.
Blindly accepting what you're told isn't thinking.
Can you tell me why you believe that Alexa is Not a danger to personal privacy??...and why do you hold such a cavalier attitude towards protecting personal privacy.You talk as though there's nothing to be concerned about and anybody who does take their privacy seriously must be wearing a tin-foil hat.
As far as i can tell,You are the one wearing the tin-foil hat.I think you may be suffering from normalcy bias.

But go ahead,believe what you will...makes no diff to me,but you're blind if you can't understand the nefarious potential for privacy abuses that Alexa represents.
And yes,intell agencies are interested in what you and i and everybody else say and think and do.But you'll Never figure out why in a million years.
Wanna know why you'll never figure it out??....it's cuz you aren't thinking deeply or critically.Just accept what yer told,take the blue pill,lay down,go back to sleep.When you wake up everything will be *NORMAL*.


BTW,Agents sitting outside people's homes wearing dark sunglasses and black suit and tie,trying to look inconspicuous isn't how it's done anymore,that was their 1950's/60's/70'S MO,now it's all done using high tech means.Most info is gathered and collated by super computers(quantum computers),not individual agents crouching by a mic in a dark corner somewhere.I don't own a cell phone nor a "smart" tv.I also don't have a"smart"meter on my house or"smart"refrigerator or"smart"washing machine.My laptop is basic,no camera,but it does have speakers.

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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser View Post
The verbiage and tenor of your post shows me you may have lost the ability to think deeply or critically about things.
Blindly accepting what you're told isn't thinking.
Can you tell me why you believe that Alexa is Not a danger to personal privacy??...and why do you hold such a cavalier attitude towards protecting personal privacy.You talk as though there's nothing to be concerned about and anybody who does take their privacy seriously must be wearing a tin-foil hat.
As far as i can tell,You are the one wearing the tin-foil hat.I think you may be suffering from normalcy bias.

But go ahead,believe what you will...makes no diff to me,but you're blind if you can't understand the nefarious potential for privacy abuses that Alexa represents.
And yes,intell agencies are interested in what you and i and everybody else say and think and do.But you'll Never figure out why in a million years.
Wanna know why you'll never figure it out??....it's cuz you aren't thinking deeply or critically.Just accept what yer told,take the blue pill,lay down,go back to sleep.When you wake up everything will be *NORMAL*.


BTW,Agents sitting outside people's homes wearing dark sunglasses and black suit and tie,trying to look inconspicuous isn't how it's done anymore,that was their 1950's/60's/70'S MO,now it's all done using high tech means.Most info is gathered and collated by super computers(quantum computers),not individual agents crouching by a mic in a dark corner somewhere.I don't own a cell phone nor a "smart" tv.I also don't have a"smart"meter on my house or"smart"refrigerator or"smart"washing machine.My laptop is basic,no camera,but it does have speakers.
have you listened to yourself ,i believe in if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear ,all i ask alexa is turn lights on /off ,play music in general. National security and intelligence agency in the uk, can listen all day to me they would soon get bored but if they do listen to other people and it helps to catch the bad guy's /women in this world is that not a good thing .
any way lets hope we get some news on the alexa /denon update soon
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post #24 of 35 Old 05-24-2017, 04:57 PM
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Thumbs up

Greaser

Can you answer one question for me, who did you vote for president in our last election? I'll leave the rest of your comments stand as they are - no point in arguing with you.
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post #25 of 35 Old 05-26-2017, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smdelaney View Post
What I am curious about is if this will lead to hardware changes in HEOS speakers and related components...that is, will next generation Alexa enabled HEOS speakers include a microphone to pick up Alexa commands directly? Will we be speaking commands into our phones and tablets or will this require the Echos, Echo Dots etc. to complete the integration?
My understanding is that if you were to integrate a microphone into the likes of a Heos / Sonos etc, it can add up to $10 US at the time of manufacturing. Stretch that out to the retail price (by the time it comes from the factory, is shipped etc etc) and it makes the product immediately over-priced. I know some manufacturers put 'Dot sized' holes in the products they showed off at CES, but it was a curiosity, nothing 'serious' at this point.
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post #26 of 35 Old 05-27-2017, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser View Post

Then the guy asked Alexa if it was connected in any way to the NSA or CIA....Alexa,for the first time DID NOT ANSWER.
He asked the same question a second time,but still no answer from Alexa....hmmm
I just asked Alexa that very same question and she responded, "no I work for Amazon".

Since I'm in the U.K. perhaps I should have replaced with MI5 and MI6

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post #27 of 35 Old 05-29-2017, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by greaser View Post
Not sure if i should post this or not,but if AVS Forum doesn't like it,they'll remove it,so here goes.

Since you brought up the privacy question concerning Alexa,i have a story to relate.

I watched a video where a man with an Alexa unit asked it some questions.
For each question that was asked Alexa had a quick answer,so far so good.

Then the guy asked Alexa if it was connected in any way to the NSA or CIA....Alexa,for the first time DID NOT ANSWER.
He asked the same question a second time,but still no answer from Alexa....hmmm

I have no way of knowing if the video was faked or not,but it sure made me think twice,then a third time about ever buying one of those...things.

I guess the old saying applies....buyer beware.
Indeed! Figure EVERYTHING you say to these "smart" devices is being recorded an analyzed, at least for marketing reasons if not for more nefarious ones.

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Originally Posted by shesaidsam View Post
I have both an echo and an google home. I prefer the google home, but is it looking like the echo ecosystem is going to be better for home theater applications?
I say SCREW them both. Just use your remote. How hard is it? Has the human race truly come to this, dependency on these these devices? I can't emphasize exactly how much I can't stand Google anything, but each to their own. It's nothing personal or directed at any one individual.

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Originally Posted by greaser View Post
I can't wrap my head around why Anybody would knowingly buy a piece of electronic equipment who's primary function is to be a data collection device for the intelligence agencies.
Alexa and other similar devices are there to gather information about you.Forget the "cool" factor,Alexa is NOT your friend ...jmo.
AMEN brother!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sthompson View Post
Maybe not everyone wears the same tin foil hat brand as you?

Please share your information source that confirms what you're purporting.
What, you honestly think they are totally innocuous? Trust me, they only exist in the best interests of Google and/or Amazon, not YOU. They'd sell you out in a heartbeat for any profit in it.

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Greaser

Can you answer one question for me, who did you vote for president in our last election? I'll leave the rest of your comments stand as they are - no point in arguing with you.
Irrelevant. Who did you vote for for President?

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I just asked Alexa that very same question and she responded, "no I work for Amazon".

Since I'm in the U.K. perhaps I should have replaced with MI5 and MI6

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post #28 of 35 Old 05-29-2017, 07:11 PM
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Indeed! Figure EVERYTHING you say to these "smart" devices is being recorded an analyzed, at least for marketing reasons if not for more nefarious ones.



I say SCREW them both. Just use your remote. How hard is it? Has the human race truly come to this, dependency on these these devices? I can't emphasize exactly how much I can't stand Google anything, but each to their own. It's nothing personal or directed at any one individual.



AMEN brother!



What, you honestly think they are totally innocuous? Trust me, they only exist in the best interests of Google and/or Amazon, not YOU. They'd sell you out in a heartbeat for any profit in it.



Irrelevant. Who did you vote for for President?



I don't think they are totally innocuous - never said that. I work in the software industry and I'm well aware of what our intelligence agencies along with white/black/grey hat hackers are capable of. I don't think you nor Greaser do though. If you were that concerned about your "security" you wouldn't be posting online/own a computer, own a smartphone, own any connected device with a microphone and/or camera. The fact is I have nothing to hide and the convenience that Alexa offers over the possibility that our intelligence agencies could be listening in is a cost I'm willing to pay.

Let's think critically about Amazon and Google selling that data for a minute. Why would they risk the negligible profit they would earn from that if the public found out - and they would at some point. Google and Amazon are big data companies at heart - they want you to feel comfortable sharing that data and aren't going to risk it for something as meaningless as that. They need all the data they can get - their future is dependent on it.

Regarding my question about who Greaser voted for is relevant to me, in fact I have a bet riding on it

What annoys me more then anything else are "saviors" such as yourself and greaser trying to shield us all from the big bad wolves. Reading a few articles and watching some you-tube videos does not make you an expert. When you post evidence like the video cited above, it tells me you might want to take some time and read articles like the following.
http://lifehacker.com/how-to-train-y...you-1516998286

Anyways this is off topic and uninteresting to most of the people on this thread - PM me if you want to discuss this further.
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post #29 of 35 Old 05-29-2017, 07:28 PM
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I don't think they are totally innocuous - never said that. I work in the software industry and I'm well aware of what our intelligence agencies along with white/black/grey hat hackers are capable of. I don't think you nor Greaser do though. If you were that concerned about your "security" you wouldn't be posting online/own a computer, own a smartphone, own any connected device with a microphone and/or camera. The fact is I have nothing to hide and the convenience that Alexa offers over the possibility that our intelligence agencies could be listening in is a cost I'm willing to pay.
Let me just say, I know I LOT more than you think I do. And I'm probably a lot older and more familiar with the industry than you think I might be, but that is neither here not there. Security is matter if degree - what is posted in public on various forums vs. what is not, and what devices and methods are used to do so - I'm acutely aware of the ramifications as such. And if you have nothing to hide, more power to you! If you find that those advantages outweigh the potential negatives, then have at it. This will be the case for many. Nothing wrong with that, but beware the path you wander or the less astute.

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Let's think critically about Amazon and Google selling that data for a minute. Why would they risk the negligible profit they would earn from that if the public found out - and they would at some point. Google and Amazon are big data companies at heart - they want you to feel comfortable sharing that data and aren't going to risk it for something as meaningless as that. They need all the data they can get - their future is dependent on it.
Your error is in assuming that the profit is negligible. The public is largely apathetic, and they know that.

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Regarding my question about who Greaser voted for is relevant to me, in fact I have a bet riding on it
Interesting, and curious to know the details, if you'd be so kind as to indulge me......

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Originally Posted by sthompson View Post
What annoys me more then anything else are "saviors" such as yourself and greaser trying to shield us all from the big bad wolves. Reading a few articles and watching some you-tube videos does not make you an expert. When you post evidence like the video cited above, it tells me you might want to take some time and read articles like the following.
http://lifehacker.com/how-to-train-y...you-1516998286
What annoys me more than anything is people making such ignorant assumptions such as that which you have made. Saviors? I don't give a S**T about you or your decisions to do what you will. But yes, it is fascinating.

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Anyways this is off topic and uninteresting to most of the people on this thread - PM me if you want to discuss this further.
I'd guess it might be more interesting to people than you think. Yo don't give enough credit where credit might be due. REMEMBER too - as I stated - it wasn't a personal attack on you or anybody, just really a statement more rooted in observation, and largely opinion, so take it for what it's worth (which isn't much to you, nor in the grand scheme of things). Not worth taking into a PM, it's just fine in the public arena where others can chime in or a moderator can shut it down.

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post #30 of 35 Old 05-29-2017, 10:17 PM
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The well publicised case last year between Apple and the FBI regarding access to the San Berdino bombers Iphone shows that the security services do not have automatic easy and routine access to private technology. They needed to obtain a court order to compel Apple to help them unblock the phone, which they dropped in the end. Intelligence services still have to work within a legal framework otherwise they could be breaking the law themselves regardless of their technical capability.

As to Amazon's marketing, you can turn that off and stop them listening to your conversations from within the Alexa app, nothing under the table about that. The convenience of these devices outweigh's any privacy issue to me and as said, anyone so worried about the intelligence services listening in should not bother owning a phone, PC, satnav or whatever.

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