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Thermostat

7 Comments and 16 Shares
Your problem is so terrible, I worry that, if I help you, I risk drawing the attention of whatever god of technology inflicted it on you.
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DaftDoki
8 days ago
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STEVE!
Seattle
snm77
15 hours ago
Now you know why I don't have one.
popular
12 days ago
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6 public comments
daanzu_alt_text_bot
2 days ago
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Your problem is so terrible, I worry that, if I help you, I risk drawing the attention of whatever god of technology inflicted it on you.
brico
11 days ago
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Too real
Brooklyn, NY
petrilli
14 days ago
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The future we create.
Arlington, VA
Covarr
14 days ago
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I have a friend who is regularly on both sides of this.
Moses Lake, WA
diannemharris
14 days ago
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This is the stuff that happens to me all the time. Luckily most of the time it is because I'm QA.
chrisminett
15 days ago
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This is the sort of crap that happens to my Dad
Milton Keynes, UK

New Spot Deluxe outlet wall mount for Echo Dot is simple and minimalistic

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A few months ago I posted about The Spot, which lets you hang an Amazon Echo Dot from its power adapter. The creator of it has just released its successor, The Spot Deluxe, which improves on the concept in numerous ways. The new Spot Deluxe incorporates its own power adapter into the mount to greatly reduce the overall size of the device. It’s easily the most minimalistic outlet mount available. A nice touch is including a dummy ground plug on the included power adapter to improve the mount’s rigidity. This new improved mount also no longer blocks the adjacent outlet, which was a common complaint of the first version. The kit includes the mount, power adapter, and a perfectly sized tiny USB cable, providing everything you need to mount a 2nd Gen Echo Dot to a wall outlet. You can buy The Spot Deluxe for $14.99 from Amazon, which is a very reasonable price, considering it comes with its own power adapter.

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DaftDoki
9 days ago
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Seattle
MotherHydra
2 days ago
Thank you I need this.
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Ecobee4 thermostat with built-in Alexa now supports Echo Spatial Perception

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The ecobee4 Smart Thermostat is the first and only thermostat to provide full-fledged Alexa capabilities directly from the device itself, thanks to its array of far-field microphones, built-in speaker, and LED light bar. The only issue is that, since it’s not an Amazon product, it did not have Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), which is what allows Amazon’s line of Echo smart speakers to know which device is closest to the speaker so that only one responds. A new software update for the ecobee4 has now addressed this issue by making it, to my knowledge, the first non-Amazon product to support ESP.

For a house with two or more far-field Alexa devices, having ESP on all of them is a must-have requirement. Without ESP, all of the Alexa devices that hear a command will respond to the speaker and each will try to execute the request. At best, this results in a confusing mess with multiple Alexa devices speaking over each other, and at worst, a requested action will be performed multiple times, requiring you to straighten things out afterward.

The lack of ESP on the Eufy Genie, which I otherwise consider to be a great alternative to the Amazon Echo Dot, is why I simply couldn’t recommend the device in my review to anyone who already owns an Echo product. No ESP is the main reason I personally never considered picking up an ecobee4, despite it seeming like a very appealing device and worth replacement to my Nest thermostat.

Ecobee has now announced that a software update is starting to roll out to ecobee4 devices that adds support for ESP. With its new ESP capabilities, the ecobee4 will communicate with Echo devices in the vicinity to determine if it or a different Alexa device is closest to the person speaking, so that only one Alexa device responds. This is great news, not only because it makes the ecobee4 a viable option for people with other Alexa devices, but it also means there’s hope that other Alexa devices not made by Amazon, like the aforementioned Eufy Genie, will also gain ESP some day.

The ecobee4 softwre update that ads ESP is version 4.2.0.171, which you can check by going to MENU > ABOUT on the thermostat. Ecobee says to email them at updates@ecobee.com if your device is not updating. Big thanks to smart thermostat connoisseur Dave Zatz for the heads up on the good news.

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DaftDoki
9 days ago
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Nice. This makes these useful.
Seattle
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Animal Crossing Smartphone App Will Be the Focus of New Nintendo Direct Coming This Week

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Following Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Super Mario Run, Nintendo appears finally ready to reveal details for its fourth iOS gaming app, Animal Crossing. The company has confirmed on its Japanese website [Google Translate] that a new Animal Crossing-focused Nintendo Direct will debut this Wednesday, October 25 at 12 p.m. local time in Japan, meaning the direct will take place on October 24 in the United States at 8 p.m. PT (via GameSpot).

The announcement has so far been shared through Nintendo's Japanese and Animal Crossing UK Twitter accounts. Anyone will be able to watch the broadcast worldwide on Nintendo's Japanese YouTube channel right here, and the company's English language YouTube channel should see the new Direct posted around the same time.

Image via Nintendo Japan

The pre-recorded broadcast will last 15 minutes and will focus on Animal Crossing's iOS application, with no news coming at this time for 3DS or Switch versions of the franchise. There also won't be any details on any other smartphone apps, according to the company's website.

Animal Crossing for iOS was first announced in April 2016, alongside Fire Emblem's iOS game, as the two newest titles in Nintendo's original goal to release five smartphone apps before March 2017. When Animal Crossing didn't show up for its original fall 2016 launch window, Nintendo delayed the game in January 2017 until its next fiscal year, running from April 2017 to March 2018. So, with the upcoming Nintendo Direct, it appears that the company is ready to debut Animal Crossing as its next iOS game, potentially before the end of the year.

After Animal Crossing -- which will be the fourth game in Nintendo's partnership with iOS developer DeNA -- rumors have suggested that the final fifth game will be one set in The Legend of Zelda universe. Sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal in May predicted that Animal Crossing will hit iOS sometime "in the latter half of 2017," and a smartphone version of The Legend of Zelda would launch afterwards, so if the Animal Crossing release window is accurate there may be some veracity to Zelda being the next Nintendo IP to come to iOS devices.


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DaftDoki
28 days ago
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paging @CrazyCatLady
Seattle
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MotherHydra
28 days ago
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OMG OMG OMG OMG.

P.S.
OMFG

P.P.S.
Animal Crossing for Switch please!
Space City, USA

The Polestar 1 is a 600-horsepower hybrid sports coupe from Volvo

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While Volvo has taken several steps in recent years to reinvent itself as an upscale and technological automaker, its newly created Polestar brand is about to show off how performance and electrification will work together in the future. The Polestar 1, shown Tuesday at an event in Shanghai, will go on sale in mid-2019 as a limited production sports coupe that will be the first of three new cars dedicated to Volvo’s new performance division.

But the Polestar 1 is about what’s under the skin. Volvo pledged to introduce only electrified vehicles from 2019, and that also includes the Polestar models. Therefore, the Polestar 1 has up to 600 horsepower through its gasoline-hybrid powertrain. Two electric motors at the back make a combined...

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DaftDoki
34 days ago
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nngggghhhhhhhh
Seattle
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Everything that’s affected when you teach Amazon’s Alexa to recognize your voice

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This week, Amazon made it possible to teach Alexa to recognize your voice. Once you’ve completed the voice training process and created a voice profile, Alexa will be able to distinguish your voice from the voice of others who use the same Echo devices. Here’s a detailed breakdown of Alexa’s various features that are affected when the voice assistant recognizes the speaker. Most changes focus on improving Alexa use in a multi-user household, but somes actually improve Alexa even if you’re the only one using your devices.

Before getting into the details of how Alexa changes once it recognizes the speaker, it’s important to know that, currently, only the Amazon Echo (1st & 2nd gen), Echo Dot (1st & 2nd gen), Echo Show, and the upcoming Echo Spot and Echo Plus are the only devices that support voice recognition. Alexa on Fire TV devices, Fire tablets, Amazon Tap, Dash Wand, and in the Amazon app will not recognize who is speaking.

Listening to Messages

If a recognized speaker asks Alexa to “play my messages,” Alexa will only play messages that were sent to the recognized speaker and skip all other pending messages. This is equivalent to saying “Play messages for [household member name]” if you don’t have a voice profile configured. Having voice recognition enabled does not add any security or restrictions to messages because a recognized speaker can still request to hear messages sent to other people.

Sending Messages

If a recognized speaker asks Alexa to “Send a message to [contact name],” Alexa will automatically mark the message as coming from the recognized speaker and announce the sender’s name when playing the message to the recipient.

Making Alexa-to-Alexa Calls

If a recognized speaker asks Alexa to “Call [contact name]’s Echo,” the recognized speaker’s name will be announced on the recipients Echo device as the caller by saying “[Caller’s name] us calling.” The recognized speaker’s contact list will also automatically be used to place the Alexa-to-Alexa call.

Making Phone Calls

If a recognized speaker asks Alexa to “Call [contact name/phone number],” the recognized speaker’s mobile number will appear on the caller ID of the recipient’s phone. The recognized speaker’s contact list will also automatically be used to locate the phone number to call if a contact name is used when placing the call.

Playing Music

When a recognized speaker requests Amazon music, Alexa automatically uses the user’s listening history to learn their music taste. The more a recognized speaker asks for music, the more Alexa will learn about what they like to listen to. If a recognized speaker makes a non-specific request for music, Alexa will use their music profile to play customized music selections. Vague music requests include saying “Play music,” “Play a station,” “Play a playlist,” and “Play an album.” Amazon says that voice profiles work best to provide playback personalization for customers subscribed to an Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan, but will also work, to a limited extent, for customers with individual Music Unlimited subscriptions and Prime members listening to Prime Music.

Voice recognition does not make a difference when requesting music from 3rd-party providers like Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio. Alexa will always use the active profile’s 3rd-party music accounts when someone requests music from those services, even if a recognized speaker makes the request. For example, if Jack and Jill have both created voice profiles and Jack’s profile is the one that is currently active, Jill still has to say “Switch to Jill’s profile” in order to listen to her own Pandora account. If Jill, as a recognized speaker, requests one of her Pandora stations while Jack’s profile is active, the station will be played from Jack’s Pandora account.

Voice Shopping

If you’ve configured Alexa to require a PIN be spoken before making a voice purchase, the first time a recognized speaker asks to make a purchase, Alexa will ask for the PIN but then will no longer require a PIN be spoken for future purchases by the same recognized speaker. This is the default behavior, but you can go into the Alexa app and change the settings to always require a PIN be spoken, regardless of whether the speaker is recognized.

Playing Flash Briefings

When a recognized speaker asks Alexa to play their flash briefing, Alexa will only play news that the recognized speaker haven’t already heard. This lets you continue your flash briefing where you last left off without your place being affected by others who listen to the same flash briefing. As a recognized speaker, if you prefer to listen to your flash briefing from the beginning, you can always say “Play all my Flash Briefing” or “Play all my news” to replay news that you’ve already heard.

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DaftDoki
34 days ago
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Seattle
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