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21 clever Alexa commands you will use again and again

More than any other device, Alexa has become our closest approximation of artificial intelligence. She has a voice and personality, and if you ask the right question, she’ll even get sassy with you. Users even refer to Alexa as “she.” We usually prefer to say her name, rather than the name of the device itself, Amazon Echo. For many owners, Alexa is more than a mere virtual assistant; she has become something like a domestic companion, a Rosie or R2-D2 that can also order takeout.
Columns: Tips and Tricks
June 2, 2018

The best Alexa commands to try with your new Echo

No matter how many Amazon Echo commercials you see, it takes a little time to adjust to Alexa. Putting a virtual assistant in your home signals a change in lifestyle, sort of like adopting a puppy. There will be a lot of trial-and-error, but once you find your rhythm, you’ll forget what life was like without her.
Columns: general interest
December 23, 2017

Q&A with Kim: Essential Windows apps, secret Alexa commands, and more

In my weekly Q&A, I answer my listeners' most important questions. Learn how to test your system for security holes, alternatives to Microsoft Office, tasks Alexa can do for you and so much more.
Columns: general interest July 15, 2017

How to listen to what Amazon Echo has ever recorded you saying

If you own an Amazon Echo, you probably know its strange secret. On the upside, this amazing technology puts instant information a voice command away. The downside is that Amazon stores an audio recording of every voice command you’ve issued to Alexa, not just in the device itself, but on Amazon’s servers. What does Amazon plan to do with these recordings?
Columns: Tips and Tricks May 27, 2018

Kim's Opinion: The iPhone body cam

Wouldn't it be great to have a personal assistant? Somebody who would do everything for you, so you didn't have to bother with the routine…
Columns October 4, 2018

Q&A with Kim: Spy Cams, iPhone Batteries, Alexa Commands, and More

I receive so many questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital. Answering your questions is the best part of my job. This week, I address questions about disguising spy cams in different objects, upgrading iPhone batteries, what are the coolest Alexa commands, and more.
Columns: Q&A January 7, 2018

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home in a virtual standoff

For decades, we've seen science fiction movies in which people talk to computers. Dave spoke to HAL, Michael Knight was assisted by KITT, and the list goes on. The computers were smart, and (usually) did what they were told. Now Amazon Echo and Google Home are making the dream come true. But which one is better? I've tried both Amazon Echo and Google Home, and I can tell you.
Columns: Buying Advice
December 24, 2016

How to stop your devices from listening to (and saving) everything you say

Yes, voice technology is amazing. You can ask your phone a question. You can talk to your speaker system and even book an Uber. With the right setup, you can verbally lock the doors in your house, dim the lights, and change the thermostat. Virtual assistants are handy, but they’re always listening. So what happens to the audio files they gather?
Columns: Computers
October 1, 2017

6 pro Alexa skills you’ll use every day

Alexa is no longer "new." The smart-tech revolution is now in full swing, and Amazon Echo is at the heart of it. According to Edison Research, nearly 40 million people own voice-activated speakers, which is about 1 in 6 U.S. adults. Now it's time to see what Alexa can really do. Most users know how to select songs and search the internet for information. These skills are handy, but they're only the tip of the digital iceberg.
Columns: Tips and Tricks
October 6, 2018

7 unexpected Amazon Alexa abilities

When Amazon's Echo first hit the market, it was basically just a voice-operated speaker. Now it's better than ever, but a lot of people only ask Alexa a few basic questions. The question I get over and over again: What else can Alexa do? Read my column and I'll show you seven amazing commands Alexa can tackle for you.
Columns: general interest
January 14, 2017
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