Chuck got an Amazon Echo for Christmas and he's learned that he can control his stereo with it. Leo says that for $99, the Logitech Harmony Hub will not only control his stereo, but also his TV, cable box, and AV receiver, everything. It's designed to work with your smartphone, but it also works with the Echo too.
Leo did not go to CES this year, and he's glad he didn't because it's filling up with insignificant junky stuff that looks like people desperate to find something interesting. There was a Gameboy Nintendo remade by a Chinese company called "HyperKin." Samsung did not announce the Galaxy S9, but said it'll probably be announced in March. There were some leaks about the S9 that make it sound like it's mostly the same as the S8, but it'll have a new camera that will do dual apertures with a single lens. Samsung did announce a Bluetooth speaker that aims at your ears without headphones.
Joe wants to know which Amazon Echo he should buy. Leo says that the Alexa Echo has its own speaker and costs $100. The more affordable Echo is under $50 and he would need to connect a speaker to it. Should he buy Google Home instead? Google does a lot of the same things, but it isn't as advanced and mature as the Echo in terms of skills. But the Google Home is smarter for answering questions. Leo says he prefers the Echo, so he should get that.
Ron fell down and broke his hip. He used Amazon Echo to call his brother. So it saved his life. Leo says that's the beauty of the Echo's voice calling and everyone should do that, just in case.
Brian is having issues typing because of nerve damage. Can he use the Amazon Echo to dictate what he types? The Echo has over 15,000 skills, so there's bound to be something that it can do for him, and he can always write his own skills as well.
Leo got the Amazon Echo Show this past week. This has a 7" screen, with high quality stereo speakers in it. It also has a camera and microphone. This means it can do things like play video content in Flash Briefings, and has video calling. It also has a 'drop-in' feature, which is kind of like an intercom. When you drop-in on someone, you'll be able to hear the other person's audio right away, but they will have to accept to send video.
Kenny wants to integrate his Amazon Echo with his Sonos system. Leo says that the challenge is that it has a proprietary networking system between speakers. Sonos has promised that integration soon, but it isn't been released yet. When it does, it should be awesome. Meanwhile, Kenny could try the Chromecast Audio.
Steven is worried that his Amazon Dot could be hacked since it becomes a Wi-Fi access point during setup. Leo says it only becomes an access point during that setup process, and after that it turns off. This does bring up an interesting issue, however, about how the Dot communicates with the device used for setup. Is that communication encrypted? Leo thinks it probably is, but there's no password required to access the Dot during setup, so we don't really know.
Louie has a laptop that has an echo. Leo says that there may be a sound enhancement setting enabled in the audio settings. Also, make sure the microphone is turned off, and it may also be that there's a mic pass-through option that's enabled. That would definitely cause it.