Prime Day 2018 – Echo Palooza

Prime Day 2018, It came and it left so swiftly, it was longer than 24 hours though.. started around 3pm EST.. there were traffic jams, the amazon servers were crashing.. not too many ECS’s were going online 😉

I bought a few Amazon Echos for a steal! 40-50% off on the Echo and the Echo Dots, the 2-device bundle for the Echo was 40% off and 2-device bundle for Echo Dots came to 50% off.

Amazon Echo that I got came the next day. It’s the model that includes a decent speaker so you can listen to music, news and other voice based responses.

Amazon Echo Dot is the smaller version without the big speaker music focused but has all the other goodness of an Alexa system.

I got a total of 8 alexa enabled device 4 Echos and 4 Echo Dots (2 for gifting purposes) and the rest would go in around all of my house, here’s a list of where these alexa enabled devices would go:

  1.  Master bedroom 1x Echo
  2. Family room 1x Echo
  3. Kids room 1x Echo Dot connected to Sound Blaster Airwave speaker via bluetooth
  4. Basement workshop 1x Echo
  5. Basement office: 1x Echo Dot connected to speakers via Aux
  6. Living Room 1x Echo
  7. Library Bose Soundtouch 20 speaker via Wifi to Alexa

The above setup leaves some speakers that work with AirPlay and Also cover areas where I have no speakers yet.

Now since I already worked pretty hard to get AirPlay enabled speakers around the house to use with iTunes on the desktop (in the basement or library). I’m able to play music through out the house using AirPlay enabled speakers with Apple Music subscription in most of the rooms I’ve mentioned above so lets list those out.

  1. Master bedroom: Sound Blaster Roar Pro bluetooth speaker connected to AirPlay receiver via 3.5mm aux cable
  2. Family room iHome iW1 Airplay speaker (8 hour battery)
  3. Basement workshop: iHome iW1 Airplay speaker (8 hour battery)
  4. Kids room: Sound Blaster Air Wave bluetooth speaker connected to AirPlay receiver via 3.5mm aux cable
  5. Kitchen: iHome iW2 Airplay speaker
  6. Library: Bose SoundTouch 20 Series II (wifi enabled + airplay via receiver)
  7. Basement Office: Logitech Z2300 connect to a desktop with iTunes.

When setting up Alexa it was fun adding skills (not really) since the “app” is simply pulling up a mobile web page to walk through and add skills. Then I realized that I’m not able to connect Alexa to the Apple Music service, nor will it detect Wifi speakers unless they had software update to work with Alexa protocol, for example the Bose SoundTouch speaker was easily added to Alexa via the Bose skill. So does that mean that Apple needs to create an Airplay or Apple Music skill?

Anyhow due to this reason, I’m going to test the Alexa speakers for a few days and see how effective it is in controlling my smart home.

Reading up around the internet there’s a few services available that’ll let me connect my iTunes library to Alexa via a skill, but again they all require that I have a service running on my desktop that enables it as a living library for Alexa to read and play from.

Thanks for reading! feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me via Twitter @superjunaid.

Square’s door opens for public trial for the iPhone

If interested park your way over to Square’s website, and be the first to experience on the  go iPhone payments. I can hear your wallet begging you not to click the link… but hit that link to sign up, don’t forget to check out the detailed video after the break… Beware its full of hipsters.

Square Trial Sign Up

Continue reading “Square’s door opens for public trial for the iPhone”

Google: a love/hate relationship

But then on the other side; Google knows everything about me, anytime something is mentioned online about me it indexes it and saves a little copy of it on their servers. It knows what I search, when I searched it, where I’m searching from and that’s just search. Google couples that with my email – Gmail, my web browser – Chrome, my phone – Google Voice, and now Google Buzz, that pretty much sums of my life and possibly yours. If you use any of Google’s products: Maps, Froogle, Earth, Chat, Voice, You Tube, News, Chrome and more; then they know where you’re going, what you’re trying to buy, who you’re talking to online, what videos you’re interested in, which news you like, and which websites you visit. Google most likely knows more about us than the United States Government. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Government sits on Google’s board.

What makes Google more deceiving is that they create these services, do a much better job of it, and offer it for free. My question to Google is “what’s the catch?” The catch is that you use our products we index it and soon we’ll control the entire world with your information. Google if they wanted too could sway information that could help Sarah Palin get elected in 2012, or convert Democrats to Republicans. If Google wanted too it could probably solve the worlds hunger problem. Why don’t they? Because then they would give up their cover. There are countless stories where Google altered or limited they’re search results to users for various reasons. Whatever those reasons maybe they still altered search results.

In the end, I hope that Google uses their powers for the greater humanity and I’m partially confident they will. But it’s still a little scary to know what Google knows.

google.com/profiles/syedanishahmed

Inside Look Centricly Be Followed: Reinventing Business

“…by mashing up relevant information with social media networks.”

What does this mean?!

Simply put, Centricly will take information that you care about (i.e. exclusive deals, promos, coupons, events) as a consumer, from your local restaurants, retailers, professional services (such as dry cleaners, salon) and give you access to it instantaneously over the web, and on your mobile phone.

Centricly is a free social networking suite for small businesses. Centricly enables local businesses to post real-time deals, manage their social media profiles (twitter/facebook) from one location, and interact with their customers.

Consumers will be able to search exclusive, real-time deals within their local area. Centricly brings consumers exclusive- discounted offers from local small businesses.

Deal Examples:

  • 50%+ off lunch between 2:00pm – 5:00pm.
  • Mani-Pedi Specials
  • Trial Offers
  • Exclusive product offering.
  • Clearance items at local retailers.
  • Notification of soon to expire products
  • Discounted event tickets.

Deals are “now” centric; they will expire within 2-24 hours, creating a real-time purchasing environment. Centricly is being launched in the first quarter of 2010, in Orange County, California by Centric Media, LLC.

www.centricly.com

www.facebook.com/centricly

twitter.com/centricly

AT&T Upgrades its network as wireless traffic increases.

AT&T has just announced the will be upgrading their speed and performance of its network to HSPA 7.2 technology which promises faster mobile broadband speed, if you have the new iPhone 3GS, you should be set for this. These upgrades are expected to be complete by next year. A total of 1,900 cell sites are to be added by the end of next year.

This announcement comes for the whole lawsuit going on between AT&T and Verizon over the whole idea portrayed by Verizon, which basically shows AT&T’s network coverage is horrible. AT&T again complains the ad is misleading and tricks consumers into thinking AT&T coverage offers no coverage.

Verizon responded by saying “AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business and the usefulness of its service to smarthphone users has suffered accordingly.”

Another thing is the San Fransico area has seen a very high increase in its 3G coverage, AT&T estimates over 2000 percent since last year. So, overall United States network traffic has quadrupled in the past couple of years.

Verizon Responds to AT&T “The Truth Hurts”

The latest filling was by Verizon on behalf of AT&T’s, which is basically summarized as “False and Misleading”.  because they confuse customers into believing that AT&T Coverage is blank in most areas of the network. Verizon final conclusion filled Monday in Atlanta court basically tells AT&T to suck it up.

In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon’s side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T’s confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly. AT&T may not like the message that the ads send, but this Court should reject its efforts to silence the messenger.

AT&T also as mention before released an issued response directly to its customers, saying the ads “so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T’s wireless data coverage” AT&T then went on a highlight the speed of its network and the total coverage of its 3G and EDGE Networks.

The thing that I don’t understand is why AT&T is doing this, I mean its a commercial of course ads, and going to try and prove there service/product is better than the latter, and a mere 30 seconds. What AT&T has to do is drop lawsuits and not calls. 3G is great in most areas, I usually never get EDGE, and I think AT&T and there customers know that. What Verizon should have focused on in the ads was not there data coverage, but there main weakness, Calls. Drop Calls. I can’t tell how many dropped calls I have had through AT&T’s network.

Fix your mistakes, or your users will make a mistake not switching sooner.

AT&T’s and Verizon ‘s Fiasco

These past couple of weeks have been really berserk over the whole AT&T and Verizon. AT&T has argued, that Verizon’s advertisements are misleading, showing users maps of AT&T network coverage with blank areas that represent no signal at all. Verizon then shows its own map with a higher amount coverage, while AT&T portrayed much smaller.

AT&T Response to “Island of Misfit Toys”  ad. AT&T told court this “the image of the sad and wilting iPhone on an island of misfit toys falsely communicates that the iPhone is a broken device because it cannot browse the Web or download applications when outside of AT&T’s depicted coverage area.”

AT&T then tells its customers through an online letter in response to the Verizon “misleading” advertisements.

To Our Customers:

As the U.S. market leader in wireless data service, we typically don’t respond to competitors’ advertising. However, some recent ads from Verizon are so blatantly false and misleading, that we want to set the record straight about AT&T’s wireless data coverage.

The key facts are:

AT&T’s wireless data coverage reaches 303 million people – or 97% of the U.S. population, where they live and work. Our data coverage consists of 3 different types of technology:

3G. 233 million people or 75% of the population are covered by AT&T’s 3G network, the nation’s fastest.

EDGE. 301 million people or more than 96% of the population are covered by EDGE.

With both 3G and EDGE coverage, customers can access the Internet, send e-mail, surf the Web, stream music, download videos, send photos, text, talk and more. The only difference – with some data applications, 3G is faster than EDGE

GPRS. Covers 303 million people, allowing you to talk, text, e-mail and access basic websites optimized for wireless.

AT&T is the #1 network for smartphones, with twice the number of smartphone customers than Verizon, our closest competitor. Some of the reasons include:

Most popular smartphones. Unlike Verizon, AT&T offers the most popular smartphones in the industry.

More wireless apps. Unlike Verizon, AT&T customers have access to more than 100,000 applications, more than with any other wireless company.

Talk and E-mail at the same time. Unlike Verizon, AT&T’s 3G network lets wireless customers simultaneously talk and surf the web or do e-mail.

Fastest 3G in the nation. Unlike Verizon, AT&T has the nation’s fastest 3G network.

Thank you for allowing us to set the record straight. We appreciate your business and will continue to work hard to deliver the best wireless data experience in the industry.

Your AT&T Team

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Cover Action Pro 2