June 25th, 2015

Saturn Ring Blues


I ordered an Amazon Echo a couple of months ago, and have been using it for a week. There's lots to like about an always on, voice-activated timer, music player, alarm setter, Wikipedia and several other functions. It will even tell me jokes.

Plus, I really, really like the idea that I'm living in a future I imagined. If I had the right equipment, I would also be controlling my lights in the house through Echo or my phone.

Here's what Echo doesn't do (yet), but I think it should:

1. It won't let me add things to my Google calendar, although it will tell me about my upcoming events if I ask.
2. It won't read me poetry (I HAVE to have it read me Sara Teasdale's "There Will Come Soft Rains").
3. It won't read me stuff from Project Gutenburg.
4. It won't play old time radio shows.
5. It won't converse.
6. It won't text message or send e-mails.

Also, I try not to think of the possibility that I've just effectively bugged my living room.

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam-forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that...