Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Round up #194: AI shopping list, device sale

June 21, 2020

Round up #194: AI shopping list, device sale

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

Alexa devices on sale for Fathers’ Day

Amazon device sale (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

There are a number of devices on sale right now in the USA. Check the price before you click/tap/eye gaze that buy button…the price may not apply in your market, and you may see this after the sale. Just a couple of highlights:

  • The Echo Auto, which is an important part of my week, is $29.99 instead of $49.99 (40% off). It’s hands-free Alexa in the car. I use it for a lot of things, but mostly to have it read me my Kindle books with text-to-speech and to hear the news (including my own Alex Flash Briefing skills…I don’t do that every day, but I do like to hear what they should like
  • The Kindle Paperwhite, which I think is my most comfortable way to read (including paper), is $124.99 rather than $159.99 (22% off)

By the way, the second gen Alexa remote is an amazing improvement over the old one…it has volume buttons for the TV, a mute button, and a button to turn on the TV! I got my Significant Other one when we had to replace a remote, but I borrow it a lot. It’s not on sale (it costs $29.99) but you can get it and a Fire TV Stick for that price because the Stick is on sale!

Sideloading HBO Max

Out of all the streaming services out there, HBO Max has perhaps the best collection of movies for buffs. There is a free trial, and we get it free as part of AT&T. Unfortunately, Amazon and HBO haven’t worked out a deal yet to get the app on to Fire TV devices (the same is true for Roku). Fortunately, it’s not that hard to “sideload” it. First, on your Fire TV, go to the Settings. Go to My Fire TV. Under Developer Options, turn on Apps from Unknown Sources.

Next, you need the “Downloader App”. If you search for it, it should show up pretty easily. It’s got a downward pointing arrow and sort of a peach color.

When you open it, go to the Browser option. You are going to go to APKMirror (I don’t take responsibility for them, or really, for any of this, but that one is well-known).

There, you’ll search for the HBO Max app. Download and install the one for an “Android TV”.

That’s it: worked fine for us. The only weird thing is that the icon is for HBO Now, rather than HBO Max, but once it opens, it’s fine.

You’ll log into the account the same way you would on another device: either through your service (we used AT&T or with an account you’ve created).

Amazon and the pandemic

It might seem like the pandemic would be a boon for Amazon, and in some ways, it is. However, they also have supply chain disruptions, and reconfigured markets. Like many companies, they are giving some things away free. Certainly, Amazon will eventually come out ahead when the economy (not just the stock market) really recovers, but there are undeniably challenges in the short run. We’ve noticed that their delivery speeds have, for many things, gotten back to where they were before.

AI categorization of items on the Alexa shopping list

This was a surprise and I wasn’t quite sure what was happening at first. One of the features we used the most on Alexa is the shopping list. We actually don’t tend to use it through Alexa, but it in the Alexa app.

Recently, I noticed that items were categorized: tortillas under Beans & Grains, for example. I thought my Significant Other had been using some new feature, but then I noticed it does automatically.

Interestingly it didn’t put “Fujis” under produce…until I called it “Fuji apples”. 🙂


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (3 January) to…

January 3, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (3 January) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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.

Happy bookish birthdays (26 December) to…

December 26, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (26 December) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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! 

Happy bookish birthdays (11 December) to…

December 11, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (11 December) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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! :)

 

Happy bookish birthdays (December 3) to…

December 3, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (December 3) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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! :)

Happy bookish birthdays (27 November) to…

November 27, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (27 November) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (20 November) to…

November 20, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (20 November) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (19 November) to…

November 19, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (19 November) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

2019 ILMK Amazon Black Friday & Gift Guide

November 18, 2019

2019 ILMK Amazon Black Friday & Gift Guide

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the biggest sales days of the year in the USA. The name derives from the ability for stores to get out of debt…negative accounting numbers were traditionally written in red ink, positive in black. When I was a retail manager (a bookstore, a gamestore…), we might make more in sales in November, December, and January (the last because of returns and gift cards/gift certificates/money as gifts) than we did in the rest of the year.

It really is an excellent time to get bargains, although, of course, you have to be careful that something doesn’t just appear to be a sale.

Amazon isn’t the only place to get Black Friday bargains, of course. There are a lot of general resources…this site is my favorite:

BlackFriday.fm (recently rebranded)

They have an app, which we’ve used when shopping in stores in the past.

Amazon already has a

Holiday Deals page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

In addition, we know what some of the deals will be.

What I’m going to do in this post is make some suggestions/recommendations for Amazon gift items. I’ll try to highlight some bargains as they become available, but for now, I’ll give you guidance as to what I think could make good gifts.

Echo & Alexa (at AmazonSmile*)

There are so many options in this category this year! I use Alexa every day, and it probably won’t surprise long time readers of this blog, but by time, my biggest use is having Alexa read me Kindle books in the car. It’s so easy to be driving and say, “Alexa, read my Kindle book [title].” No buttons to push, and it comes through the car’s sound system. I switch up between that, news on TuneIn, directions, phone calls…seriously, having the Echo Auto is amazing! We have two, one in each car. The list price is $49.99, but it will be on sale…Best Buy is expected to have it for $29.99. My guess is that it will be available for $24.99 from Amazon (maybe only to Prime members) during the Black Friday sales. Here are some of my other thoughts:

  • My favorite Amazon gift of the 2019 Holiday season: Echo Auto (list price $49.99).
  • Echo Flex (at AmazonSmile*) (list price $24.99). This is an Alexa device which just plugs into your regular wall outlets in your home, giving you Alexa anywhere. It also has a USB outlet, so you could charge a phone, or buy a night light or motion sensor for it. I expect to see it very inexpensively priced briefly, maybe even bundled with something else. This could be really good as a gift exchange at work, or an “emergency gift”
  • Echo Show 8 (at AmazonSmile*) (list price $129.99, on sale for $99.99 at time of writing). While we don’t this newest model, we do use our Echo Show all the time (and I have the small Echo Spot at work)

Other choices here would include the cutting edge/experimental Echo Frames or Echo Buds, the Echo Glow, the high end Echo Studio, and the new Echo Dot with the clock.

Kindle EBRs (at AmazonSmile*)

This is where this blog started, more than ten years ago. Amazon really lists three main models of E-Book Reader at this point:

  • The basic Kindle $89.99 at time of writing: I’m not expecting big discounts on this, but it’s possible
  • The Kindle Paperwhite (list price: $129.99). This is my favorite model…expect it to go to $99.99 at some point this seaon
  • The Kindle Oasis (list price: $249.99). This is the “luxury” model, and I do think we’ll see a discount on it

Note that the prices can vary when you add additional options. There are also kids’ versions and bundle.

Fire Tablets (at AmazonSmile*)

Generally, Fire tablets are good workhorse models, but they do have a plus over others: hand-free Alexa. Again, I use one frequently, although mine is several generations back (which says something positive about their durability).

There are three basic models, with a kids edition of each for an additional $50 at time of writing:

  • Fire 7 (list price $49.99)
  • Fire HD 8 ($79.99)
  • Fire HD 10 ($149.99)

I think those are all reasonable choices. The HDs have some real advantages over the Fire 7…then, it’s a question of size. However, the Fire 7 will give some one a serviceable tablet.

Fire TV family (at AmazonSmile*)

Another Amazon device I use every day. In fact, I was watching The Love Bug (the original Herbie movie) on Disney+ on a Fire TV Cube while I was writing this. In another room, though, we use a Fire TV Stick. The Cube is in a class by itself, having Alexa and device control. I can walk in the room and say, “Alexa, turn on the TV”), and it happens. The Stick is fine, but I use a remote and it doesn’t control my devices. Giving a family a Fire TV device and a Disney+ subscription would be a wonderful gift, in my opinion. These are Alexa devices, so they can also answer questions and control your SmartHome.

  • Fire TV Stick (list price: $34.99…expect to see it under $30 during the sales)
  • Fire TV Stick 4K (list price $49.99)
  • Fire TV Cube (list price $119.99)

There are more choices beyond the basic streamer: a soundbar for $229.99, the Fire TV Recast “over-the-air” DVR (again, $229.99)…and even TVs with Alexa.

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile*)

This is Amazon’s “all-you-can-read” subser (subscription service) and they have a very good gifting deal this year: 6 months for $29.97, which could be life-changing. They’ve really improved the selection, and it includes magazines and audiobooks.

I could keep going, but I’ll just highlight the

SmartHome (at AmazonSmile*)

That’s where you’ll find some practical things (we love our Ring Doorcam…we’ve seen deer practically come up to the front door in the middle of the night, and we aren’t in a place where you would expect to see them at all during the day), and smart doorlocks. There are also the more offbeat, though: a Christmas tree you can control with Alexa, a 360 degree meeting videocamera, baby monitors that give you sleep stats, and so on.

Happy shopping!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (November 14) to…

November 14, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (November 14) to…

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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. To support this or other organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)


%d bloggers like this: