Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Echo and the Future

Last night, I found myself pondering the purchase of an Amazon Echo Dot. I know someone whose daughter has one, and here I am pondering the purchase of one.  I could sure use a digital assistant always connected to the Internet, and ready to make my every wish come true, couldn't I?

Now that few of us could imagine a life without the Internet, it can be informative to look back and see the types of predictions that were made in the 1980's and 1990's about online life (yes, there was online life before the Internet).

Check out these predictions from 1990-1995. 

But what seems to be missing is the realization that evil hacks into what we now call The Internet of Things could change our world in an instant.  Or that technology could take us over if we weren't careful.  Imagine a homicidal Dot.  Go to Amazon's Echo Dot page and read the comments.  Interesting.

Or, read a book called 1984.

Or just think of the possibility that hackers influenced the outcome of our recent Presidential election in the United States.  At this time, all that is certain is that all our elections need to be audited, according to some experts, although at least one state has agreed to a recount.  Electronic elections are just too vulnerable not to have safeguards. But just the fact that we are having this conversation tells us something.

The future is here, whether we like it or not.  And we'd better pay close attention.

Finally:

I originally blogged about Newspapers Circa 1981 - Cutting Edge! in January of 2010. Just think - newspapers trying to position themselves online. Little could they have known....and perhaps it is best that they didn't know.

Hey, it's the wave of the future! 



Too bad the reporter didn't have a crystal ball.  Or a link into the future.  If he did, he'd hear a lot of laid off newspaper people screaming to him "Don't do it!"


Watch the person dial into an online service (CompuServe?) using a rotary phone and then reading a paper online.  It only took two hours to download.

If the man in this clip is still around he may be wondering "What was I thinking?  I should have waited for 2016 and bought an Echo Dot!"

Did the late Steve Jobs know something the rest of us didn't?  You decide. 

But, as for that Echo Dot - I'll let you know.

Day 29 of NaBloPoMo.

15 comments:

  1. Ok I didn't know what Echo dot was. Had to google and find out :) The technology is changing so fast these days that what was impossible just few years ago, is happening now. Yes, this is the future :)

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    1. I'll know, in just a few days, if I made a mistake or not.

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  2. I received an Echo for my birthday. I can check the weather and ask Alexa to play music. But she does not know the answer to many questions we have asked. If she hears her name mentioned on TV, she responds that she doesn't understand the question. Pretty funny once you get used to her popping up and speaking. Our recount will start here in Michigan. Apparently, over 84,000 ballots had NO vote for President recorded. Even I think that sound high. And Trump only won the state by 10,000 votes.

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    1. We decided to get the Dot - sounds like the same thing as the Echo except no speaker. I don't subscribe to any online music and you now have to pay for the Amazon "Prime" music service. We'll see one we try to use it. I know someone who loves the Echo. As for the other info - interesting indeed.

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  3. That is a great video clip! Enjoyed it this morning!

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  4. I don't need an echo (once is enough :-) ) and I'll make my own home. I pass on these "improvements", even though I am a first adopter. Because these simply serve as commercialism gone wrong to me.

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    1. Well, will see. It's only $40 and I may resell it if I don't like it. I know someone with an Echo who loves it, and maybe she would like a Dot, too.

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  5. Good job getting (almost) through NaBloPoMo! Interesting piece.

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    1. My son loves learning about technology older than he is (mid 20's) and he would be fascinated by this.

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  6. We live in the future. It's amazing what we can access and do nowadays.

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    1. You are right - sometimes I feel like I am living in a science fiction novel.

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  7. Hmmmm not sure if he did, but interesting thought... we can always be more aware and on alert and IN our lives, I feel... Interesting read:-)

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    1. Too many of us are not aware enough! You can get "news briefings" from the Echo Dot - will see if the device lives up to its advertising.

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  8. Reading your post, I quickly checked what is an Echo Dot and it does sound cool. We have landed on such smart products over the last decade that I wonder what's the next innovation will be.
    Let us know if you make the purchase :)

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