Big Brother is watching you - via Alexa?

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  • This is the Amazon Echo Show, the new smart tech video/speaker that responds to your voice, makes video calls and can be linked up with your lighting, heating, entertainment system and more. However...


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    Today I discovered this Video Version of the Amazon Echo has an "always on" camera that activates whenever it detects motion -- no "alexa" wake up word, just movement to track you.


    As soon as you're within its field of vision it springs to life. :eek:


    It can also be activated remotely by anyone allowed on your calling list classed as "drop in" contacts. You don't get to accept calls, you get 10 seconds to reject them or they just connect and the visitor gets to see whatever the camera sees.


    I've got an audio Echo already which is quite good fun and great for music and some of my geekier moments - and according to my router it's not transmitting data when it sleeps - but an "always on" camera really does seem a little bit sinister.


    A little bit more than the baby/granny monitor it's being marketed as. :shock:


  • I dont like these kind of things tbh.I like the technological abilities of it but im hugely suspicious of it....or not so much it as the use it can be put to.


    Cant help feeling these things are subliminally programming us to accept being personally monitored 24/7.


    Once we accept the machine in the room will we ever notice the elephant there too.?

    Elephant being govt or corporate surveillance orgs ...



    Interestingly since the last couple of android updates ive got a couple of apps flagging up (one is my video camera function) that they're unable to record as theres already an ongoing recording process going on in another app.:shock:


    Ive been through all apps that might have a data record function and found nothing so installed a detector app and hey presto its googleplay thats 'recording' so..whats its function?

    This is why im deeply distrustful of these devices like alexa because they can quite easily push updates to the device to change the way it functions and what it monitors without you even being aware the parameters have been changed.

  • I'm worried about this possible invasion of privacy, I also do not trust these devices.

    At the moment I use an old and out of date iphone4 which struggles to do much other than make calls and text, ~The only other feature I like to use is the sat nav, which although mostly works, is seriously laging behind on the non existant updates.

    My laptop is also way back, good old windows 7 but the ever increasing demand to update everything to "I'm so advanced I can even count the number of times you take a shit" status is also slightly worrying.


    Everything these days seems to have a lifespan of not very long and and the constant need to update things is almost a pressure to succeed - if you don't have the latest iphone x then you are yesterdays news and are behind in the race.


    I can see where the fun lies in these advances in technology ie selecting your playlist by a voice command and / or turning down the lighting and what not, but at what stage is it considered a step too far? Is there going to come a time where someone say decides to pull a sickie but is then caught out and sacked by their boss as they've been spotted sat on sofa watching tv instead.?

    I think that time is maybe upon us.

  • This may ...or may not be a very trivial question. I guess it depends on where you stand on social/cyber psychology.


    I also apologise if anyone thinks this is trivialising the issue.


    However, has anyone noticed how all of these applications/devices have feminine 'names' - alexa, siri, cortana


    OK the name isn't strongly feminine but the 'a' ending etc., the emphasis is assuredly more on the female than the male.


    Can I ask what is the default voice? I assume it is female.


    I also assume it is possible to change the voice but like most applications such as this people do not realise how to change the settings or cannot be bothered.


    It is a small point, I apologise for interrupting the discussion.


    I'll get one when they call it fred.

  • You dont particularly have to have the latest devices -I certainly havent nor feel any need to have the latest- but it concerns me that using -or continuing to use things- like googlemaps for instance requires compliance(you MUST accept the T&Cs of use or you cannot use it).


    Accepting the ever increasing T&Cs means sharing location and other personal data with google and its partners.You have hobsons choice over accepting the conditions because if you dont the app is pretty useless.

    Acceptance is not voluntary nor informed (as youve very little idea what data theyre vacuuming up or what theyre doing with it) its coerced acceptance.


    I wouldnt mind so much if devices like Alexa had no internet or wifi connectivity and were entirely autonomous and separate of outside comms channels but it seems there is no such option.

    The clandestine use possibilities for these things is endless... including for criminal activity once people lesrn how to.hack into the data feed and monitor your movements( when youre in or out) etc

    Not good IMO

  • To me this shit being pushed on us is more 'big brother' vibes. Like Ebay, I look at something then pass it over as I don't want it only to get 'reminder' emails that it's still available or offering me something similar. Likewise I've looked at items in Goggle search only to get Amazon emails offering me the item.


    Maybe I'm too distrusting but to me our lives and privacy are being subtlety infiltrated by other parties and it's not for the greater good.


    I don't use Cortana as I don't trust it but it's fact that our every action on computers is capable of being monitored and recorded.


    If I had money to waste on one of these companion type gizmos I wouldn't want that boring sickly voice but would opt for Billy Connelly or Brian Blessed and an attitude pattern like

    Me ''Billy''

    Billy ''wha tha fuck do ya wan now you lazy git?''.................:beard:

  • Wow?I'd hate that intrusion of privacy! I don't even like the fact my neighbours can see me in part of my garden from their upstairs windows,let alone people I know watching my every move!:thumbdown:

  • I have Windows 10 on my computer and one of the idiot things did try to introduce itself originally - Cortana?


    I decided to have some fun with it as I'm like Cobra, an intruding nippy little electronic voice of any gender was going have a happy end.


    Cortana doesn't appear to 'do' pharmacology or chemistry, past a very superficial level.


    Never heard from it again since....

  • Tactically an excellent idea.


    However often enough small cogs in an organisation are too small to know what the master plan is or even who is running the show.


    This is unless Cortana et. al. aren't working FOR anyone...


    Does anyone think that something that does everything might be a good way to manipulate people....

  • As soon as you're within its field of vision it springs to life. :eek:


    It can also be activated remotely by anyone allowed on your calling list classed as "drop in" contacts. You don't get to accept calls, you get 10 seconds to reject them or they just connect and the visitor gets to see whatever the camera sees.


    A little bit more than the baby/granny monitor it's being marketed as. :shock:

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    The MIL always calls at the most inconvient times. :rolleyes:

  • Great idea tech wise, but really don't like the privacy issues. My laptop doesn't have a webcam, and is generally linked up via a VPN - so I can be in Finland, Germany, wherever I want. Really screws with the adverts on YouTube!

    However, has anyone noticed how all of these applications/devices have feminine 'names' - alexa, siri, cortana


    OK the name isn't strongly feminine but the 'a' ending etc., the emphasis is assuredly more on the female than the male.


    Can I ask what is the default voice? I assume it is female.

    I don't think it's by accident. Female voices are seen to be more calming and trusting. Probably a throwback to 2001 Space Odyssey with that crazy HAL computer...


    Though if I *had* to have a robot thing, I'd want the voice and attitude of Holly off Red Dwarf :D

  • I wouldnt mind so much if devices like Alexa had no internet or wifi connectivity and were entirely autonomous and separate of outside comms channels but it seems there is no such option.


    There was a similar outcry with smart tvs a couple of years ago IIRC.


    Maybe use mac filtering on your router and deny it wan access, lan only? That should satisfy those who cant be arsed to get up and turn the lights down, change your music or whatever the fuck these things do.


    Maybe it uses a particular ip address to communicate with amazon - use nmap to find out if it does, and if so block it on your router.


    This is the same way that you can block updates to amazon devices, eg a rooted fire tv box with kodi*.. :whistle:




    *For legal streams only. :oldtimer:

  • It's a bit like the Telescreens in Orwells 1984!

  • Or more simple method..dont buy one...to me these devices are only of value to people with limited mobility or some other disability.I.cant imagine why anyone else would want one (unless of course they just cant be arsed to do the things it does, themselves - which seems to be getting more common- maybe its the technoligy thats driving the laziness,like remotes save you getting off your arse and actually walking 10 feet...the film WallE springs to mind as the perfect parody of our modern life but increasingly becoming the reality.


    I dont like smart devices much because they tend to take over how you use the device and interfere,open programs you dont want opening,share content to sites you dont want to share etc...Sony are about the worst for that and ive had to disable virtually evetything of theirs on my phone (consequently i wont be buying another sony product) but google are just as invasive so im looking now at what other platforms there are (Ive tried windows -its shite )


    It may all be clever stuff but the twats who design this smart stuff must think we're all incapable of functioning on an independent level and need everything organised for us...maybe some people are incapable,but im not and i dont want or need the technology so i dont buy it.) for its smart capabilities i just want a phone and a computer I dont need all the smart garbage that comes with them.

    I just think its bizarre that the big tech giants seem to think our lives will be utterly incomplete without owning something like Alexa.

  • It may save the average punter time,to request music,ask what the weathers doing etc,but people need to ask themselves...why havent I got time to do these things myself?No one works 24/7,and it seems to me,all these gadgets etc are made to save you time,when in reality,if you turned all the gadgets off,including your tv,and bloody phones,you'd have more time!:D

  • We are already monitored 24/7 .already told edited reality.i dont think the minute info is of use or interest except to theives that can hack that data.Population and consumer control is useful to a goverment though.Imagine if we all broke free at once.:gpac::peaceman::flowerpower::hippie::stoner::dready::cnd::lollol:

  • Too right! I won't be buying it either!!

  • Post by HippieMcHipFace ().

    This post was deleted by the author themselves ().
  • If it wasn't for the stupid price tag I would seriously be tempted by a kettle that you can boil just by speaking to it. Yes, I really am that lazy :hippy:


    http://amzn.to/2AIu0HY



    lol Does it also fill itself?:/ Imagine how annoying all these things would be if you had kids?The mind boggles!The kids constantly asking "Alexa"stuff,the kids asking the kettle to boil when its only just boiled! Annoying as hey?:D

  • Hitting giggle mode atm.......People after Xmas talking to their new Alexa's......"Alexa,can you think for me,cause I've lost the skills to do that for myself"!8o

  • If it wasn't for the stupid price tag I would seriously be tempted by a kettle that you can boil just by speaking to it. Yes, I really am that lazy :hippy:


    http://amzn.to/2AIu0HY



    See this is what i dont get. What is the point? You have to get off your arse to fill it, and when its boiled you still have to put your own teabag in a mug and pour the water in so what are you actually achieving? Minbd you, im sure that there are plenty of idiots out there buying them with money that they dont have..


    Same with all this hive (and copies) shit that allow you to control your heating whilst you are out or from your armchair - if your cold get up and turn it up, the exercise will do you good, if your out turn the heating off before you go. For years weve managed with programmable thermostats..


    And these bullshit smartphone controlled LED lights and sockets...


    I think this thread deserves moving to the anger management section!