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Author Topic: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.  (Read 3254 times)

Colin Bishop

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Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« on: July 08, 2019, 11:31:11 am »

I recently renewed my BT Broadbamd contract to avoid an upcoming price increase and was told I would be sent a Google Home Speaker (one of those virtual assistants like Amazon's Alexa.)

This amazing device was delivered this morning and from reading the blurb that came with it and doing a bit of online research It appears that there is nothing it can do that I could possibly want. In short it is utterly useless to me and I haven't even bothered to take it out of the box, next destination may be the recycling.

Has anyone else got one of these gadgets and if so has it enriched their lives?

Colin  >>:-(
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dougal99

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2019, 11:40:36 am »


What?! You mean you don't stream your music? Incredible!1 This is the 21st century you know. It's new technology so it must be good!!!
I bet you don't even have a smart meter.  :police: :police: :police:














Just joking. Leave it in the box or let someone under the age of 25 have it. :-))
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tigertiger

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2019, 11:49:06 am »

My cousin and his wife, both 60 and not techy, use Alexa a lot. Mostly for general knowledge and fact checking and other questions they have about tv while they watch. They just ask Alexa, which saves getting up to look stuff up on Wikipedia. They also use it to ask what is on telly as using the TV guide on a cable box is a bit of a drag. You can also ask Alexa where you can buy glue, or what time Tesco closes if you want a late night pie.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 11:55:50 am »

I won't have a smart meter until they are comptatible with all the energy suppliers which doesn't look like being anytime soon! I was sent a free monitoring meter years ago which clamps on the meter power supply and gives an indication of current being used but of course that doesn't specifically save you money if you are aware that turning things on actually uses electricity, something which a significant element of the population are assumed to be unaware of.

I have no problem with new technology as long as it does something genuinely useful. I have a device which beams music from my PC Itunes library directly into my hearing aids without the need to disturb. I also have an app on my phone which enables me to change programmes on the aids andto focus the sound pickup in a particular direction, all of which is of practical use.

Colin
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 11:59:13 am »

You can also ask Alexa where you can buy glue, or what time Tesco closes if you want a late night pie.

Not much of a payload for all that complex technology....
Colin
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2019, 11:59:31 am »

Are you aware that Alexa remembers every conversation that has triggered it into action & unless you do something never ever forgets them. Alexa conversations have already been used in criminal trials but perhaps for most of us it is the security implications that are awful.

Listening devices - anything with speech commands or a microphone are not something that I will allow to operate around me.

Just part of big data - which should worry us all & no I am not a mad conspiracy theorist.
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dougal99

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2019, 12:00:24 pm »


Colin,


I as being ironic, or so I thought. Read the last line.


Doug
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2019, 12:02:03 pm »

Quote
Listening devices - anything with speech commands or a microphone are not something that I will allow to operate around me.

Completely agree with that.

Doug, yes I know you were being ironic, sorry, I was just sounding off a bit more!

Colin
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dougal99

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 12:05:14 pm »


Colin,


No problem. I try to keep my grumbling to myself as I seem to alienate the wunderkind.



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plastic

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2019, 12:42:24 pm »

Are you aware that Alexa remembers every conversation that has triggered it into action & unless you do something never ever forgets them. Alexa conversations have already been used in criminal trials but perhaps for most of us it is the security implications that are awful.

Listening devices - anything with speech commands or a microphone are not something that I will allow to operate around me.

Just part of big data - which should worry us all & no I am not a mad conspiracy theorist.
Lucky you don't have a mobile phone then......
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2019, 01:02:23 pm »

Lucky you don't have a mobile phone then......
I don't. Actually I do but it is switched off & kept in the car in case I break down & even then GPS is switched off.
And yes I try to allow the internet to know as much about me as I choose - and as much inaccurate & confusing information about me as I choose  %) .
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grendel

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2019, 04:54:24 pm »

Quote
I won't have a smart meter until they are comptatible with all the energy suppliers which doesn't look like being anytime soon! I was sent a free monitoring meter years ago which clamps on the meter power supply and gives an indication of current being used but of course that doesn't specifically save you money if you are aware that turning things on actually uses electricity, something which a significant element of the population are assumed to be unaware of.
even a smart meter only saves you money if you pay attention to it and turn things off. all the advertising is just hype and thats all they do, show how much vrious things are using- I too have an owl monitor that clamps on the cable and shows me how much I am using.
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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2019, 05:01:50 pm »

Alexa, Siri, and her Sisters are
all connected to GCHQ and Menwith Hill
 :police: :police: :police: :police:
Ned
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2019, 06:00:33 pm »

Ended up with a new phone last week also.
It has taken me a week to figure out how to disconnect Google from actively operating in the background.
Yesterday it suddenly alerted me to an email, and I have only had the account to satisfy having an account.
I found four years of spam, and worked furiously as to how I could un-sync the phone and disconnect the account.

 {:-{ %)

Mark T

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2019, 06:03:00 pm »

I'm so glad someone has said exactly this.  I like technology but what on earth do these things do?  They can alter the sound on your TV - well I can do that.  They can change your heating in your house - well I can do that too.  They can stream music to your home - well blow me down I can do that as well.  From what I've seen they don't do anything new at all - except collect data for their masters.  I won't be having one anytime soon.

justboatonic

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2019, 07:19:15 pm »

LOL. I saw this scam by BT in my in box. "Your BT Sports package is set to increase by 4 a month, renew you deal for another 18 months to keep your current pricing!" In small print it said a new BT Sport agreement will need a new BT Broadband agreement.

So I contacted BT and said, you know this half price broadband deal you gave me 6 months ago, if I renew to save 4 a month on my Sports package, will I retain the broad band discount that has 12 months to run? Erm no, said BT, your half price discount will end on the broadband but you'll save 4 a month on BT Sport!
Well seeing as Im saving over 24 a month on my current broadband & sports deal, my maths says I'll still be saving 20 a month so, thanks but no thanks.
Anyway, I want to drop BT Sport when my current contract runs out so signing up for another 18 months is a non starter.
Oh btw, the speakers on modern thin tvs are rather poor so a quality sound bar will make a noticable difference when set up right.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2019, 07:23:51 pm »

I just have the basic BT unrestricted broadband, fibre to the local box and the last bit on copper. It is the fastest option around here at the moment.

Constantly bombarded to take up BT sport and get a BT mobile phone but I don't follow sport and have an independent mobile phone contract.

Colin
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kinmel

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2019, 08:04:45 pm »

I have never worked out how a smart meter will save me some money.
I only use electricity to do things that are to my advantage. Turning a piece of equipment off doesn't save me money it simply stops me doing things I have decided to do.
If I switch on my 3Kw kettle, it will cost me about 45p an hour to run, I don't need  a "stupid people's" meter to tell me that.
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Baldrick

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2019, 08:29:50 pm »

I have never worked out how a smart meter will save me some money.
I only use electricity to do things that are to my advantage. Turning a piece of equipment off doesn't save me money it simply stops me doing things I have decided to do.
If I switch on my 3Kw kettle, it will cost me about 45p an hour to run, I don't need  a "stupid people's" meter to tell me that.


It won't save you any money but your energy supplier can sack all their meter readers and be quids in .. As an aside Octopus energy do not push smart meters but rely on the customers readings.
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Subculture

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2019, 08:33:16 pm »

Home hubs are still relatively nascent technology. Smart devices will eventually be totally integrated, so everything can be controlled from one source, which is voice activated. End of having to type things in, learn operating systems, use remote controls etc. Standards will be integrated- things like smart meters have been botched- the networking systems aren't quite there yet for that kind of thing to work seamlessly. This will change I think with the roll out of 5g technology, but it's going to take a decade at least before that's everywhere.

Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2019, 08:52:02 pm »

The box I got today extolled the fact that the gadget could switch your iron on. Our Iron lives in a cupboard in the kitchen. In order to use it my Wife has to retrieve the ironing board from the boiler compartment, unfold it, get the iron out of the kitchen , put it on the board, connect it to the mains and switch it on to heat up before it can be used.

The Google gadget requires a smart plug (at a cost) which my wife will still need to plug in and then say 'OK Google' turn on my iron' instead of simply plugging the thing in and pressing the switch.

In what way does that represent an efficiency improvement?  %%

Colin
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Subculture

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2019, 09:31:20 pm »

No. It's a poor example though. Let's say you had one connected to your fridge and your hub was able to let you know perhaps by sending a txt to your mobile  that the the fridge was getting warmer, indicating a potential fault, or a loss of power. This could help you save a fridge or freezer full of food.

Then there is the advantage of voice control and a common operating system that I mentioned before. Instead of learning different manufacturers operating systems, you just have one, and it's naturally intuitive. At the moment the technology is still very raw, kind of like where home computers were at in the early 1980's, but they'll improve fast, and tomorrows interfaces will be transparent, like talking to a person rather than a machine.

Colin Bishop

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2019, 09:40:38 pm »

A freezer warning wouldn't help much if I was hundreds of miles away on holiday and if I was at home I'd probably notice anyway.

I agree that at some time in the future the internet of things might be useful but there is still some way to go at the moment. If I want to turn off a light it is not exactly any hardship to flick a switch and gives me some useful exercise in doing so.

These devices seem to be aimed at couch potatoes at the moment.

I have stayed at hotels with automated controls in the room which have generally proved to be totally frustrating especially when all you want to do is to get to sleep after a long day's travel and you can't work out how to turn the lights off!

Sometime less is more and it goes wrong less often.

Colin
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2019, 10:02:08 pm »

A freezer warning wouldn't help much if I was hundreds of miles away on holiday and if I was at home I'd probably notice anyway.

..........................I agree that at some time in the future the internet of things might be useful but there is still some way to go at the moment. If I want to turn off a light it is not exactly any hardship to flick a switch and gives me some useful exercise in doing so.............


Colin
I suspect that you remember TV's before remote controls, cars before central locking, phones that were fixed to one location in the house, slide rules to do complex maths etc. I knew of houses that had one electrical socket for the whole house - why on earth would you want more? None of the changes that have happened are essential but we all get used to them and many are now regarded as basic human rights - try stopping people using mobile phones if you doubt this.


When computers first arrived the expectation was that the total world demand would be less than 10 computers - now most cars have 15-20 and there are goodness knows how many billion in daily use world wide - and beyond. It is quite possible that the real killer applications have not been developed for intelligent hubs yet but I have a feeling that given time we will all regard them as a central part of life but it is all going to need to be wireless or the cost will be horrific. Price is critical - the cheaper it gets the more uses will appear.
I agree that the early users appear couch potato oriented but lets review this in 10 years.
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KitS

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Re: Google Home - Utterly pointless device.
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2019, 10:15:42 pm »


 This will change I think with the roll out of 5g technology, but it's going to take a decade at least before that's everywhere.


Will it EVER get everywhere? Here in the Forest of Dean there are places where you can't even get a 3G signal, and they've been telling us for ages that 4G will be 'just round the corner'.

Yeah, right...............  :((
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