Some Changes Coming To Cuenca Tech Life 2017

It’s with some sadness that I am ending my participation in the Cuenca iPad Users Group that I started more than 5 years ago. I just sold my iPad Mini. I am now vested in the Android Nexus Google Phone, The Echo and Dot smart speakers and the Amazon Fire 8 Tablet.

This forum will continue to be platform agnostic but my involvement with the iPad sadly will end.

I will also not be teaching any courses. My involvement in my new Salmon business is more than I planned. All these changes are positive and I look forward to your feedback.

I will also be doing a monthly recommendation on new businesses in the Cuenca area. As always I welcome your suggestions.

Happy New Year to the CuencaTechlife subscribers and readers.

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Voice Is The Next Big Platform

It’s been a month since I installed my Amazon Echo and 2 dots. I certainly could live without them but I don’t want to and here’s why I’m listening to more music because it just so natural to say “Alexa, play smooth jazz, or Alexa play songs from Spyro Gyra or play The Kindle Chronicles on Tunein radio”.

I don’t wear a watch so I can ask Alexa the time here or in Madrid Spain (where my Spanish Teacher is living).  Raise your hand if you can spell phosphorescent. Alexa can.

I don’t have to go to the NPR or BBC website to get my news – Alexa gets it for me.

I never have to worry about forgetting my shopping list when I’m in SuperMaxi because Alexa never forgets. She also reminds me about appointments, timers and holidays.

So I agree with the article below. It’s a must read. What do you think

Voice Is The Next Big Platform And Alexa Will Own It

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One Heck Of A Paradigm Shift – Amazon Go

A paradigm shift is defined as a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions. Standing in line at a supermarket cashier to pay is the way all of us understand and have practiced for years. For me its over 50 years of shopping and standing in line.

My conservative estimate is that I have spent 10 days of my life standing in line to pay. Amazon Go is going to change that paradigm at least for Supermarkets.

What do you think of this new paradigm?

 

Amazon Echo And Dot In Ecuador

In my last post I mentioned that I acquired an Amazon Echo and Dot Smart Speaker. I have installed the two devices and what follows are the benefits and one challenge that has developed in the last several days.

I installed the Echo in the living room next to the T.V. The Echo will pick up our voices from the living room, hall, kitchen, dining room and sun room. So far we have used the Echo to:

  • listen to our (separate) Amazon Prime Music collections
  • Kitchen times
  • News Updates
  • Calendar and todo lists
  • Manage our Capital One Account including making payments
  • Listen to Podcasts
  • Movia Trivia

The Dot which is the smaller and less expensiveversion of the Echo is paired with a Speaker and is upstairs in Sharon’s Office. She mainly uses the Dot to listen to her music but she likes the “Good Morning Command” which is has an interesting fact of a synopsis of some famous person’s life usually when it is their birthday.

So far the one challenge that the app requires a zip code so you can’t get traffic or listings of restaurants.

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Amazon Echo – Alexa, Play My Favorite Music

Thanks to my mother-in-law, Sharon and I are now the proud owners of an Amazon Echo. Ok, hands up CTL subscribers how many of you have no idea what an Echo is.

Amazon Echo is a smart speaker connected via wifi to The Internet. It can do the following very well:

  • Play your music or music form Pandora and other apps.
  • Give you weather forecasts from any place in the world
  • Updated news headlines
  • Voice access to Wikipedia and Bing
  • Spanish Dictionary
  • Timers, Alarms, calendar events, todos
  • Most importantly the Echo through the Alexa app begins to learn your routines

The Echo has over 3000 developers that have skills that can be loaded into the Amazon Clouds. Here are some examples

  • NPR news updates
  • Jeopardy TV game
  • Capital one Credit Accounts
  • Airport Info
  • The Economist
  • The Wall St. Journal
  • Interactive Games

My 98 year old mother-in-law is facing some memory challenges. She lives alone but my brother-in-law is just a block away. She often forgets what day it is and has reminders to take medication as well as important phone number.s

In my next post I will explain in detail how I’m using echo in Cuenca.

Alexa, tell me how to play better poker please.

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Friends In Foreign Places

Yesterday Sharon and I had the privilege of attending the launch party of the Kindle Anthology – Friends In Foreign Places. All the proceeds for this book go to the Ecuador Earthquake Relief Fund.  Sharon and I have stories in the 5 volume anthology.

  • Sharon: “I Never Met A Stranger”
  • Lenny: “My Teacher, My Friend”

So for $5.99 you get to help the Earthquake victims and read 36 great short stories. Such a deal.

Here is the link to purchase the book.

ffp