Alexa is evil (If you didn't already know, now you know)

NKD

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Aug 26, 2007
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There are some smart devices that only work with network connectivity to Amazon's servers. You're being dismissive, ridiculous, delusional, and purposely obtuse. You know exactly what I'm referring to. Obviously if you can get up and go do something manually it's not ceasing to function. Some houses are so wholly reliant on Amazon connectivity that half of their house functionality stopped working.

Look bud. you are calling me names. Yes there are some devices as I mentioned. You said the the entire houses don't work which is factually wrong. I will not agree with you there. Call me all the names you like. I am not sure which houses you are talking about. Some houses? I am sure there is one but haven't seen one that doesn't have manual buttons as backup personally. You went from entire home to half of their home. What you are doing is throwing things out there see what sticks. It's whatever.
 

TheSlySyl

[H]ard|Gawd
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I have a significant number of smart devices in my house and when AWS fucked up, literally ZERO of them had any issues.
This is possibly because I'm in the google home ecosystem instead of the amazon alexa ecosystem, (lesser of two evils I guess?) or it might be because they're smart enough to not fucking implode whenever the internet goes down.

I sometimes use all of my google homes to ask google questions - usually mundane ones. Their real use, for me, is as a whole house surround sound system.
 
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applegrcoug

Limp Gawd
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Aug 28, 2021
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188
Fuck, didn't have these back in my day, born in 76, so we did it ourselves without being told, plus we were naturally curious back then.
-play with matches in the house, check.
-put plastic newspaper over our heads, check.
-stick metal things into outlets, check.
-eat mysterious berries growing at the fence, check.
-visit strange neighbors, check.
-walk alongside of a busy road to and from the corner store, ripe for a kidnapper to take, or ran over, check.

Parents didn't care, they had life insurance on us.
I was born in 77, so you got the jump on me slighly...

But what about these ways to stay entertained?

Used battery to separate water to get hydrogen for "experiments" Check

Used controller from electric train set to get hydrogen faster. Check

Use soldering iron to make wires and burn the floor. Check

Decided hydrogen production was still too slow and just made a plug with some wires to plug water directly into socket. Check

Get ahold of hydrochloric acid for "experiments" and melt the carpet. Check

Chop trees down with a hatchet. check

Get hands on power tools. check

Melting styrofoam with acetone. check

Use a blowtorch to melt pennies. check

And of course...

Using the magnifying glass to burn ants, grass, siblings.....anything.
 

flegg

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
1,164
I was born in 77, so you got the jump on me slighly...

But what about these ways to stay entertained?

Used battery to separate water to get hydrogen for "experiments" Check

Used controller from electric train set to get hydrogen faster. Check

Use soldering iron to make wires and burn the floor. Check

Decided hydrogen production was still too slow and just made a plug with some wires to plug water directly into socket. Check

Get ahold of hydrochloric acid for "experiments" and melt the carpet. Check

Chop trees down with a hatchet. check

Get hands on power tools. check

Melting styrofoam with acetone. check

Use a blowtorch to melt pennies. check

And of course...

Using the magnifying glass to burn ants, grass, siblings.....anything.

How did you get hydrochloric acid
 

rinaldo00

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
1,859
It does have it's uses, not saying it doesn't, it's still evil though... glad it at least is making his life easier.
I agree it is evil. I hate Big Tech (and so does he) more than you can imagine. But sometimes the shitty existence on this mortal plane that we call "life" can fuck you over HARD and when that happens your choices become more and more limited. Believe me, his life would be even more miserable without the smart home tech. With it he can live at home, without it he would be in a nursing home.
 

applegrcoug

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
188
How did you get hydrochloric acid
AKA muriatic acid in the pool isle at your local super center

throw in some galvanized nails and you get H2.

or melt the pennys to get the zinc out.



I finally got good at getting H2 gas.
 
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Aireoth

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huh? sure let em find that out lol. There is no access to my cameras inside and I have 0 in my house. I am not sure what insurance has to do with anything here or how they are going to prove I got recorded somewhere.

Its amazing adults have not learned that the things they say can be taken out of context and twisted to mean anything for others convience.
 

travm

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Feb 26, 2016
Messages
1,703
AKA muriatic acid in the pool isle at your local super center

throw in some galvanized nails and you get H2.

or melt the pennys to get the zinc out.



I finally got good at getting H2 gas.
Exploding balloons? Or some other less nefarious purpose?
 

ElementDave

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May 5, 2013
Messages
305
Will Alexa return to her role as the babysitter as soon as Amazon fixes this "bug"? What happened to parental responsibility?
 

sfsuphysics

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Messages
15,190
Fuck, didn't have these back in my day, born in 76, so we did it ourselves without being told, plus we were naturally curious back then.
-play with matches in the house, check.
Nope
-put plastic newspaper over our heads, check.
Nope
-stick metal things into outlets, check.
Nope
-eat mysterious berries growing at the fence, check.
Nope
-visit strange neighbors, check.
Ok like once or twice, and that was being introduced by another friend who went there, but he had a train set for crying out loud, am I supposed to say no to that?
-walk alongside of a busy road to and from the corner store, ripe for a kidnapper to take, or ran over, check.
Roads weren't really all that busy back then as I lived in the suburbs, but mom did let me walk or ride my bike the 3 long blocks to school in the 4th grade! And in middle school I actually took the bus (county bus, not yellow school bus) all by my widdle self! :D

Also car seats weren't a thing, hell seat belts were barely a thing (although mom did make me put one on in the car regardless of the lack of laws), we had lawn darts, chemistry sets that actually contained mercury (and not in a sealed container) although the ones with uranium were long gone by then, and the dial of the gas pump spun faster for the gallons then the dollar amount!
Parents didn't care, they had life insurance on us.
It wasn't that they didn't care, it was a different time, if something happened and you didn't have health insurance you didn't have to declare bankruptcy. Kids were stronger back then, there was like ONE kid in school who had any sort of allergies and it was like to pollen and shit so he'd get a stuffy/running nose not something that actually could kill them. We had swings were we jumped off, and they were over tanbark not squishy recycled tires, if you couldn't climb up to the top of the jungle gym it was because you sucked not because there was a lack of foot/hand holds as there were none.
 

sleepeeg3

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Joined
Mar 4, 2004
Messages
5,213
Alexa to be rebranded as D.A.R.W.I.N - Deadly Assassin Robot and Weaponized Intelligence Net
Well, at least you dont have to worry about it recommending ivermectin......
You mean Pfizermectin? I'm not in the anti-everything camp, but I did find it interesting that both ivermectin and Paxlovid are both protease inhibitors. Pfizer may have improved it's efficacy, but it looks like there is at least some potential benefit to using it as an anti-COVID drug. Seems Pfizer and India agreed. It has been used in a lot of animals besides just horses. Many veterinary drugs also find use in humans, since we aren't that much different from most animals (example Ketamine being explored as an anti-depressant - also used as a horse tranquilizer). Both sides need to be more open-minded.
 
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Jonnycat99

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425
You mean Pfizermectin? I'm not in the anti-everything camp, but I did find it interesting that both ivermectin and Paxlovid are both protease inhibitors. Pfizer may have improved it's efficacy, but it looks like there is at least some potential benefit to using it as an anti-COVID drug.
There are many drugs which can act as protease inhibitors in one degree or another (there are 10 PIs approved to treat individuals with HIV, for instance, and common medications used to treat the herpes simplex virus are also PIs). If it helps, here is a short primer on them WRT ivermectin and paxlovid.
 

RanceJustice

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Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
6,259
Before things go way off track into medical discussion, a bit on the Alexa element. Its worth it to note that this issue as far as I know was simply Alexa (or any search) finding a "challenge activity" of sufficient popularity online - even though it was a harmful one. Clearly Amazon or anyone else would have to attenuate normal searches in this regard given things may be harmful - much the same way you can ask a voice assistant to "tell me a joke" and are not likely to get highly offensive responses (ie "A successful 'insert-X-race-here' , "An X father not in jail when the baby is born", or "A woman driver" etc) because rather than to randomly search the net for jokes or pull popular ones, its likely it consults a list of predefined "safe" jokes. I'm sure this is what Amazon will do with Alexa activities or challenges now, to make sure the thing isn't encouraging kids to eat all the nutmeg in the house, much less stick a fork in an electrical socket etc. So this isn't so much about the "evil" of Alexa, as it is failure to make activities a "whitelist" only sort of thing.

When speaking of Alexa's "evils" i was hoping it would be more about the whole surveillance capitalism element, among other issues with home automation and assistants that don't actually exclusively serve the owner/user and instead are there to bolster the interests of a large corporate 3rd party when it comes to advertising, data mining, and much more. This is to say nothing for how Alexa recordings and assets, or things like Ring doorbell footage - not belonging to the user or being stored locally, can be granted access to law enforcement at Amazon's whims regardless of what the owner desires; of course warrants aren't necessary because Amazon / Google or whomever just volunteers access from their side (and in many cases their side is sometimes the only side - I've been continuously floored by how recent big name IP cams cannot exist only within a LAN and record to either built in, removable, or network storage but instead stream everything back to HQ and you have to get the proprietary app or at best log into their website in order to monitor your own camera, from their end!"). We should be able to offer devices that respect privacy and serve the user's interest - if we want to benefit from all the "smart-home, IoT , futurism" that was proposed this needs to be the case - its one thing to have a "smart fridge" that lets you check how low you are on milk and other items securely and privately, its another to have the fridge play ads, require all that data be sent back to HQ, , surreptitiously report on your buying habits, or attempt to modify your purchasing because some industry contributes to the manufacturer !

For smart assistants like Alexa , I suggest looking into Mycroft instead - https://mycroft.ai/ - They're quite impressive and I've built a few myself. You can have it run on a PC or a dedicated SBC like a RaspberryPi , and the whole thing is open source. Even the server side is FOSS and can be "whitebox'd" for those who want to be independently hosting it themselves . Users have to opt into contributing data to the dev/official server. Mycroft is even coming out with their next gen smart speaker (after some pandemic related delays) in 2022 which looks great - but as I said before you dont' have to wait for that if you don't wish, you can just build one yourself if you're inclined to do so. There are a lot of new functionality added thanks to its FOSS development, including things like integration with OpenHAB home automation , but one ambitious thing is that its possible to have a significant percentage of features just running locally, though some of the more demanding features will still require some sort of server (official or self-hosted) if you need things like extensive training data or whatnot. For instance, they're building a system now that allows training Mycroft to speak in anyone's voice, if that person contributes the proper phonemes examples. Anyway, its worth checking out for a voice assistant that's trying to, unlike the core issues with Alexa and other big proprietary ones, avoid being evil.
 

flegg

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
1,164
There so much now that by not doing something you are flagging yourself. Like hey we can hear everything in all these homes EXCEPT this one lets go take a look.

As for this side topic you guys should just take blood thinners and fish oil if you want to add protection on top of vaccine. Also ketamine is not "used as a horse tranq" it is referred to as horse tranq.....
 
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scojer

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
8,341
When speaking of Alexa's "evils" i was hoping it would be more about the whole surveillance capitalism element, among other issues with home automation and assistants that don't actually exclusively serve the owner/user and instead are there to bolster the interests of a large corporate 3rd party when it comes to advertising, data mining, and much more. This is to say nothing for how Alexa recordings and assets, or things like Ring doorbell footage - not belonging to the user or being stored locally, can be granted access to law enforcement at Amazon's whims regardless of what the owner desires; of course warrants aren't necessary because Amazon / Google or whomever just volunteers access from their side (and in many cases their side is sometimes the only side - I've been continuously floored by how recent big name IP cams cannot exist only within a LAN and record to either built in, removable, or network storage but instead stream everything back to HQ and you have to get the proprietary app or at best log into their website in order to monitor your own camera, from their end!"). We should be able to offer devices that respect privacy and serve the user's interest - if we want to benefit from all the "smart-home, IoT , futurism" that was proposed this needs to be the case - its one thing to have a "smart fridge" that lets you check how low you are on milk and other items securely and privately, its another to have the fridge play ads, require all that data be sent back to HQ, , surreptitiously report on your buying habits, or attempt to modify your purchasing because some industry contributes to the manufacturer !

For smart assistants like Alexa , I suggest looking into Mycroft instead - https://mycroft.ai/ - They're quite impressive and I've built a few myself. You can have it run on a PC or a dedicated SBC like a RaspberryPi , and the whole thing is open source. Even the server side is FOSS and can be "whitebox'd" for those who want to be independently hosting it themselves . Users have to opt into contributing data to the dev/official server. Mycroft is even coming out with their next gen smart speaker (after some pandemic related delays) in 2022 which looks great - but as I said before you dont' have to wait for that if you don't wish, you can just build one yourself if you're inclined to do so. There are a lot of new functionality added thanks to its FOSS development, including things like integration with OpenHAB home automation , but one ambitious thing is that its possible to have a significant percentage of features just running locally, though some of the more demanding features will still require some sort of server (official or self-hosted) if you need things like extensive training data or whatnot. For instance, they're building a system now that allows training Mycroft to speak in anyone's voice, if that person contributes the proper phonemes examples. Anyway, its worth checking out for a voice assistant that's trying to, unlike the core issues with Alexa and other big proprietary ones, avoid being evil.

There's plenty of past threads on here discussing the evils of the always listening Alexa, they usually devolve pretty quickly into two sides - the "It's not always on you guyS, the Lovely Amazon would never do that to us." Or "Amazon's Alexa is always on and I'll never ever own one. You all can keep your spy device."

I say let Alexa continue to give out unfiltered challenges, thin out the gene pool. Whether it chose that challenge on purpose and the AI wants to take over, or that challenge really was popular, we'll be the cause of our own downfall. Either way, leave the filters off.
 

StaticShoes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 21, 2008
Messages
213
Hmm. Seems as though Alexa found and absorbed the code from Microsoft Tae. Getting closer to skynet little by little, passive aggresiveness toward humans achieved, next step will be more malevolent.

Can't wait till Bezos connects his consciousness directly to Amazon servers.
 
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