Round up #182: Digital Day, Alexa reads your e-mail (to you)

Round up #182: Digital Day, Alexa reads your e-mail (to you)

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Alexa reads your e-mail (to you)

…and it’s a good thing. 😉 People obviously have privacy concerns about smart devices, and that’s reasonable. After all, there was a widely-reported case recently (in Germany) where Amazon (not Alexa) sent a link to a customer which allowed that person to download over 1,500 recordings…made of another customer.

Washington Post story via Chicago Tribune by Hamza Shaban

While someone sent that to me as a sort of “Ah, ha, told you so!” story, I actually found it quite reassuring. I suspect we hear about major breaches, and this one appears to have been human error…which Amazon has said it has taken steps to limit in the future. I suppose it’s reasonable to be concerned that Amazon had over 1,500 recordings, but Alexa didn’t send it to someone else…a person did. If there was a systemic problem, I think we’d know.

You can also delete your recordings if you want: one way to do that is by going to Settings – Alexa Account – Alexa Privacy in your Alexa app.

I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t be surprised if Alexa was clandestinely reading your e-mail (Google reads your Gmail, but tells you it does…Dragon Naturally Speaking asked me if it could, to be better informed on things like quirky names), but that’s not at all what this new feature does.

You connect your e-mail to Alexa through that Alexa app: Settings-Email & Calendar. It gives you a choice of Google and/or Microsoft (you can have multiple accounts) for e-mail (you can also have Apple or Microsoft for calendars). I’m using it with my Outlook from work.

It will read you your unread e-mail which you have received in the past 24 hours. You can then: read; reply; delete; archive; or next. I’ve used it, and it works really well! At this point, you can’t initiate an e-mail (only respond), but I find it quite useful…and cool. 😉

Echo and Alexa devices (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (might not work on all devices)

Kindle Unlimited: up to 40% off (including existing members)

I always keep an eye open for a sale on

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

We’ve been happy members since it started…it’s well worth the usual price of about $10 a month (when you buy a two-year membership), what with over a million e-book titles, plus magazines and audiobooks, but at 40% off? That’s about $6 a month! You can buy it as a gift, or extend your own membership…and the latter isn’t always available.

The offers are here:

Kindle Unlimited offers (at AmazonSmile*)

This deal is good through January 1st, 2019 (have you started practicing typing “2019” yet?). 😉 Hm…I also just saw the date of January 11th, but through January 1st for sure.

Your pictures as the screensaver on Fire TVs

Amazon has also added a nice, easy-to-use new feature for the

Fire TV family (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Your device will ask you, but you can set to use your own pictures as your “screensaver”. They made this simple: your Prime Photos app has a Groups choice at the bottom. Each of your Fire TVs that you authorize gets its own group. You just add photos into that, and that’s it. There’s a plus in your bottom right when you are in the group, or in when you are in “Yours”, you can choose Select from your top right corner, tap on the ones you want, then go back to your top right to “Add to Group”. You can add to more than one group at the same time (we use two Fire TVs).

Friday is “Digital Day”

This Friday, December 28 2018, is Amazon’s

Digital Day (at AmazonSmile*)

The sales will start on the 26th, but this

press release

says the biggest deals are on the 28th. These are deals on digital content: e-books, e-magazines, apps, utility software, and so on.

In years past, some of the deals haven’t interested me much, but there have been some good things as well…and you might have gotten Amazon gift cards to spend. 🙂

Comments or questions? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog

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One Response to “Round up #182: Digital Day, Alexa reads your e-mail (to you)”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I was surprised that for today’s Kindle Daily Deal, 6 of the books were over $5. Still, I picked up two books that were on my wish list: “How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals” by
    Sy Montgomery &Rebecca Green, and “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – 10th anniversary edition: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp, & Lily Hopp Kingsolver for a grand total of $5.98.

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