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Home automation (and Alexa) *experts needed*


I was one of the first Echo customers back in '14 when they rolled them out. I get the thought of it being a wiretap, but then, so many of the apps on our devices are data mining constantly as well. The thought of a microphone rather than a little piece of software somehow makes it feel ‘worse’. In reality, with these things being headless, nothing is stored locally, other than WiFi credentials and the cloud destination. When in the normal operating mode, it is ‘listening’ all the time (unless you mute it) but it is not recording. Only when the wake word is spoken is data recorded and sent to the cloud for interpretation. In that respect, no, Amazon is not simply hitting the record button on our lives, with some drooling dweeb in the cloud wearing headphones cherry picking goodies to wank off to. Using Siri for example is the same thing, only you press a button to initiate rather than speaking a wake word. And don’t forget… many apps require ‘permission’ to access the camera and microphone on your phone, so how do you know they are not surreptitiously listening in or recording video whenever they feel like it?

I’ve found our small Echo farm to be quite useful. From streaming music, to verbalizing requests and responses, using it as an intercom system, alarm, and of course smart home automation, I’ve enjoyed having it around. It’s easy. Sure, I make the Amazon People happy by giving them marketing nuggets, which is their primary target, but I dig all the Jetson’s stuff I can do. Today’s convenience comes with a price.

Well, that hardly solves your problem, Sparks. Sorry.


You should just get her a few of these, no security threat at all. They run completely “offline”. No cloud connection!


I have one of these Amazon tablets (fire hd 8?) and at the beginning it was super fascinating, was about to buy everything they have too offer.

From light switches to door bells to automatically turning on coffee maker and washing machine. But I decided not too because after only 2 days, this tablet got on my nerves.

Listens to everything without somebody even saying “alexa” then all the sudden it searches sh… for you or starts talking lol.

I’m not a newb when it comes to electronic or well pcs and such, and I did configure it at the end, but it was extremely creepy lol.

Can just imagine how it must feel having the whole house wired to Alexa but I’m glad you are looking out for your mum. Some people even like that kind of modern stuff, I’m just always a private kind of person and sadly don’t like to trust them.


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Definitely appreciate the additional input!

Looks like this has potential, but (still digging deeper, and reading up on) part of their approach (which, so far, doesn’t appear mandatory) involves a subscription service (though a partner website). Though they appear to have a decent privacy policy!

Appreciate your adding to the options!

/side note
Once again though, it looks like even this option requires you to have an account with Tuya before it’ll ID the devices I currently have (Maxcio, which are obviously rebranded Tuya products).

So, yeah. These are going back. =/
That’s what I get for impulse buying the sockets on Black Friday…


If you want offline you need a echo plus second gen, and then you can run a pi server for the house. The Echo plus second gen isn’t headless.


Oh and if you put hass.io on the pi it doesn’t matter if the internet goes down, is free and open source, also you don’t have to let Alexa out of the cage.