Art bought an Amazon Fire TV and wants to know if he can hardwire it for security. Leo says that a standard FireTV is wifi only. The FireTV Cube offers an adapter dongle for it. And if your FireTV has an ethernet can do it. But if it doesn't, then you can't. Is it more secure? Leo says no. But it is faster and more consistent since you don't have to deal with congestion. Is a buy your own modem more secure? Leo says probably not. But you can save a lot of money in the long run by not renting your ISP's modem.
Amazon Prime Day is this week, starting Monday at 3PM Eastern and runs through all of Tuesday. The theory behind Prime Day is that there are lots of deals updated every hour on Amazon, but you have to be an Amazon Prime member. This encourages people to become a Prime member for $99 a year. There are lots of benefits to Amazon Prime, with the chief benefit being free 2-day shipping to get things fast. Prime Day deals are not always great deals, however. Here are a couple of places to go to be sure you're finding the best deals:
Lillian says that you can use your old Fire tablet as an Echo Show now thanks to a new Pogo dock by Amazon. Leo says it sounds like just a charging dock and with an software update, it would turn it into an Echo Show. But the dock doesn't have any speakers, and the screen isn't all that great. So it's an interesting device if you have a surplus Fire tablet lying around, and for $35 it's not too bad.
Brian wants to know about the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Leo says he recently ordered one and it looks great. Plus, it's very affordable. It'll also have Alexa built-in with no remote control. It's completely voice operated. But it can also control other devices via infrared. It's a very interesting concept. Stay tuned, Leo will be reviewing it.
Luke has heard that Amazon is getting into health insurance. Leo says that they've partnered with Berkshire Hathaway to do just that for their employees. Amazon has great ambitions and it would be no surprise if Amazon is getting into that business. They want to get into everything.
Doctor Mom heard about Amazon Alexa recording conversations and sending them to contacts by mistake. How can she make sure that doesn't happen, since she is a doctor and has HIPPA concerns? Leo says Business Insider has a piece on how to prevent it, here.
Maurice says that Echo is a great idea, and Amazon's $35 Connect box makes it possible to call 911 in emergency situations. Rich says that Echo is designed to not dial 911 because the infrastructure isn't set up for it yet. That's why the optional connect box is a good idea until they get it figured out. But it also has to do with location services for 911. It has to know where the emergency really is.
Heather wants to listen to the Tech Guy on her Echo, but she can't get it to play. Leo says that's because Amazon has changed the syntax, and now she has to say "Echo, listen to TuneIn TWiT Live." She should try to say the name of the app first, and then the podcast name.
Brian keeps trying to log into his Amazon account on his Fire Stick, but the remote keeps locking up. Leo says that it's possible there's a bad remote or Fire Stick that's causing the remote to crash. If the remote locks up, the Fire Stick can work with an external Bluetooth keyboard as well. So that's an option as a workaround. But Leo suspects that it's just a bad one, and Amazon will replace it pretty quickly.
The chatroom suggests using the Amazon Fire Stick app on the smartphone.
Ken is in Canada and bought a US Amazon Echo through his sister, but most of the functions won't work with Canada's Amazon website. Leo says that features like Audible have different rights according to each country and it may be that they don't support those features due to copyright restrictions. Ken tried using a US Amazon account and everything worked. But even then, he may not be able to stream music or videos depending on the rights. Using the US site is a good workaround, though.