We are back after the US Thanksgiving weekend break with all of the gadgets that we purchased during the Black Friday sales! Jim also tells the story of his Drobo 5N failing and how he recovered it as well as a move to Google Photos for all his pictures. All this and more! Join Jim Collison / @jcollison and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #380 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network
Black Friday is coming up in the United States and Mike and I cover some deals that you might be interested ; Join Jim Collison / @jcollison and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #379 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network
Jim Collison / @jcollison is joined by Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #347 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network Jim Collison / @jcollison is joined by Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #347 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Full show notes and video at Tags: Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Stephen Hawking, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Crypto Currency, Bitcoin, Gaming, Fortnite, PUBG News The death of Stephen Hawking The Google and Amazon battle. Google continues to not publish a YouTube app on the amazon platform. The New way to sell video games – a free “beta” – Fortnite and PUBG may have found a more successful way to sell video games. If you haven’t seen it yet, John Oliver’s explanation of Bitcoin is spot on, and super funny. YouTube now has Dark mode, and its great. What am I working on? Jim – Back from the Microsoft MVP Summit. Great Stuff. Now switching from Windows 10 in S mode to Windows 10 pro will always be free Skype – making changes away from all the social squiggles Jim – Sarah said to me this week, “The next house we are getting will have a Nest in it, right?” I about fell down. Mike – Preparing to cut cable and switch to YouTube TV. Catch the post-show for the Crypto conversation. Lots of talk about Burst. If you are starting on Burst and need a faucet or coins to get your started, I have provided a solid faucet. Get the Home Gadget Geeks Mobile Apps at is powered by Maplegrove Partners web hosting. Get secure, reliable, high-speed hosting from people you know and trust. For more information visit
Addy Saucedo found on twitter @podcastplanner and The Podcast Planner joins Jim Collison, @jcollison for show #331 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network Addy Saucedo found on twitter @podcastplanner and The Podcast Planner joins Jim Collison, @jcollison for show #331 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network Please leave a REVIEW (iPhone or iPad) at ;type=Podcast&ls=1&mt=1 WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Full show notes and video at Tags: Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Trello, Amazon, Auphonic, SquareSpace We want to welcome Addy back to the program. She has been on now 3 times. HGG 187, 233 and now 332. Here is a link to the other two in case you missed them. T-Shirts – link first in the newsletter – get signed up at We talk tools and services: Trello – Dropbox / Google drive Auphonic – Audiogram creator – Squarespace – Along with the importance of archiving all of a podcasters assets on a hard drive and cloud. Podcast Junkies with Jim- If you want to try out – drop Jim a note at Get the Home Gadget Geeks Mobile Apps at is powered by Maplegrove Partners web hosting. Get secure, reliable, high-speed hosting from people you know and trust. For more information visit
Listen Mobile: Jim Collison is joined by Mike Wieger and Brian Friedlander for show #317 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network. Please leave a REVIEW (iPhone or iPad) at WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Full show notes and video at Amazon Echo Show – Would you like to see how Echo Show works? Hands free and with a screen. Music, shopping lists, movie trailer, alarms–learn about these features and more. Watch now I have been on the fence about the new Echo Show. Not sure if I really need it with a screen. Been listening to Dave McCabe video review it over at and can see the benefits of it both ways. At $229, the price is a little steep for me. Might wait till I can find a $199 deal in a few months. What about you? Would you buy a 2 pack to get the better price? Amazon Dash Wand is now available from Amazon. Catch the link below. Right now you can get it for $20 with a $20 Amazon credit. If you choose the slow shipping, you can get an additional $5 credit off your next order. And a Review The Wand is now on order and is shipping next week. Will try it out with Sarah and see if it can make a difference in our food orders. I have not really trusted the Dash buttons in the past due to the fact that I can’t see the price. Not sure if this will change anything. eBeam Smartmarker – Interactive Digital Whiteboard – No Special Markers – Portable – Create a Digital Copy of your Whiteboard Notes Great examples on how to use these in the show. Very expensive for just a toy. Would be great for work. C- Pen Card Reader – Get the Home Gadget Geeks Mobile Apps at is powered by Maplegrove Partners web hosting. Get secure, reliable, high-speed hosting from people you know and trust. For more information visit Catch all the subscription links at Facebook Group: Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
Mike Wieger from and the Open Mike Night Podcast #160; and Jim for show #222 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network, part of community. Please leave a REVIEW (iPhone or iPad) at ;type=Podcast&ls=1&mt=1 Support the Average Guy Tech Scholarship Fund: or if you are in Canada, use WANT TO SUBSCRIBE? Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at or call in your questions or comments to be played on the show at (402) 478-8450 Full show notes and video at Listen Mobile: Bitcoin on the Silicon Prairie – Edward Weniger – Infotec 2015 – Cyber Frontiers – Amazon Prime Day on July #160; Did you take part in it? It came in with mixed #160; Not as many deals as people #160; Mike picked up a Tascam DR040 dr40 . They had Echo’s were on sale too at $#160; Get an Echo at You can find a Know IT Guyde for the Echo at complete with release notes direct from #160; Sales Tax Free day for the State of Iowa – Many folks from Nebraska head across the river to get the no sales tax deals. There is also a Windows 10 Know IT #160; #160; Send me your updates of helpful links you #160; The upgrade to Windows 10 is going to be #160; Get the details here The Windows Mobile Apps – A really good podcast that is covering Windows 10 is Windows Observer – What is the status of the Digital Wallet for most consumers? Gallup did a survey of 15000 consumers and ask a bunch of questions Visit the Gallup News Site – ;utm_medium=topic&utm_campaign=tiles ;utm_medium=topic&utm_campaign=tiles Make and Share Payments at Venmo – Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passes away at 55 Home Server Show Meetup – Officially at Holiday Inn Express, Fishers Indiana. September 12 Catch all the subscription links at Facebook Group: Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact the show at Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
The Amazon Echo was first announced in the Fall of 2014 and became available to US residents in the Winter of ; The Echo is a information, music, audiobook, news, weather, traffic and sports digital assistant that is always on, always listening and connect to home and home automation via ; It is voice controlled and hands-free and uses far-field voice recognition to hear you from almost anywhere in your ; It connect to Amazon at all times so it is always up to date and Amazon is adding features at a very rapid pace as of this ; With a 360 degree omni-directional audio, it fills any room with good sound that can be called on demand from Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn options available with ; Compatible with select Wink, Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue connected devices, you can connect the Echo to remote control lights and switches with your voice. If you want to add anything to this list, email The Echo at Amazon: We received our Echo on May 16, 2015. Podcasts: Home Gadget Geeks 213 – Home Gadget Geeks 217 – Videos: How to set up your Amazon Echo – ;feature= Social Media Links Google+ Group – Facebook Group – Pinterest – Helpful Links Getting Started – ;nodeId=201399130 Echo Help Videos – Things to Try – ;ref=ods_em_dplr_whatsnew&ref_=pe_1840220_143053280 Black not your color? Try a new skin for your echo – The Amazon Echo: Everything You Might Need to Know – Access you Echo from a PC or Mac – How to turn Amazon Echo into the brains of your smarthome – How To Echo – Change Logs May 6, 2016 Syfy fans, we’ve got you covered—with the new Alexa skill from Syfy, you can get recaps, sneak peeks, and schedule information for Syfy’s original shows like 12 Monkeys, Hunters, or The Magicians. Enable the skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, ask Syfy, what happens in the next episode of ’12 Monkeys’?Alexa, ask Syfy, what happened on the latest episode of ‘The Magicians’?More to try you have an smart home system, you can now add voice control with the new skill for Alexa. Arm your security system, check your locks and garage doors, and control your thermostats, lights, and video cameras. Enable the skill in your Alexa App, link your account, then just ask: Alexa, ask Alarm dot com for help. Triby: a new way to enjoy AlexaMeet Triby—an Alexa-enabled device from Invoxia. Triby is a portable speaker that lets you play music, make calls, or share doodles and messages with your family. And now, Triby owners can enjoy Alexa features like skills and voice control of smart-home more about Triby. What’s playing Songs to celebrate MomThis Mother’s Day, throw Mom a party with these all-time-great celebration tunes—she deserves it. Just ask: Alexa, play ’50 Great Songs for Celebrating’ from sure to listen May 6 – May 19 for the chance to win one of 14 Amazon Tap devices! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends 5/19 Official Rules for details and alternate method of entry. #AskAlexa Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and thanks so much for all that you do. And now, moms (and dads), we want to hear from you – how do you use Alexa at home? Tweet us a picture, video, or a tip with the hashtag #AskAlexa. April 28, 2016 1-800-FlowersJust in time for Mother’s Day—you can now order bouquets for your loved ones via Alexa, thanks to the new 1-800-Flowers skill. Choose from among four different arrangements to say happy Mother’s Day, happy birthday, I love you, or thanks. To get started, enable the skill from your Alexa App and link a 1-800-Flowers account. Then just ask: Alexa, ask 1-800-Flowers to send Becky to try Alexa loves Star WarsWednesday, May the Fourth is Star Wars Day. Celebrate with Alexa—just ask: Alexa, give me a ‘Star Wars’ , give me a ‘Star Wars’ #8217;s playing Top PopFind today’s most popular pop artists, from Kelly to Justin and many more, all in one place. Just ask: Alexa, play the Top Pop station in Prime Music. Alexa can help you throw some pretty epic dance parties—of both the human and robot variety. Thanks to user Ron for demonstrating with a video! April 22, 2016 You can now ask Alexa to add events directly to your Google Calendar, making it even easier to manage your schedule. Go to “Settings” in your Alexa App and tap “#8221; Once you’re set up, just ask: Alexa, add an event to my , add ‘brunch with Mom’ to my calendar for Saturday at 10 can also check your Google Calendar for events—just ask: Alexa, when is my next event?Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?More to try Get exclusive with The VoiceFans of The Voice, rejoice: Alexa can now help you stay in-the-know between shows with exclusive interviews with current Voice artists, hosted by Season 7’s Matt McAndrew. Add “Inside The Voice” to your Flash Briefing, along with content already available from the Huffington Post, ESPN, Discovery, TMZ, and more. Then just ask: Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?What’s playing The Great OutdoorsEarth Day is on Friday, April 22. Celebrate with this nature-themed playlist of enchanting songs by indie and folk artists like Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, and more. To listen, just ask: Alexa, play ‘The Great Outdoors’ from has some other ideas on how to honor the planet—just ask: Alexa, what can I do for Earth Day?#AskAlexa Last week, we introduced you to Tyeena—a parrot who loves to say hello to Alexa—and asked you to tweet us photos of your Alexa-loving pets with the hashtag #AskAlexa. Thanks to @Socially_Gold, @cmarkevich, and @josephcoughlin for introducing us to Rigby, Ruby, and Mr. Cupcake! April 19, 2016 Go Big Red Skill To use the GBR skill, try saying… Alexa, ask Go Big Red for Fight Song Alexa, ask Go Big Red for Tunnel Walk Alexa, ask Go Big Red for Touchdown Tommie Frazier GBR will play various Nebraska Cornhusker songs and sound clips. Full list of supported clips: Fight Song (There is No Place Like Nebraska) Hail Varsity Tunnel Walk Touchdown Tommie Frazier Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers April 15, 2016 KidsMD has health answersParents can now use the KidsMD skill for Alexa to ask children’s health questions and get answers prepared by physicians from Boston Children’s Hospital. You can ask whether symptoms like fever, cough, or headache warrant a call to the doctor, or get weight- or age-specific dosing guidelines for acetaminophen or ibuprofen. To get started, enable the KidsMD skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, ask KidsMD about , ask KidsMD about to try Help from HomeAdvisorSink backed up? Need an air conditioner installed? The new HomeAdvisor skill for Alexa can connect you with pre-screened home service pros for help on hundreds of home projects. Launch the skill and say what kind of help you need, and HomeAdvisor will have a local expert from its nationwide network of more than 100,000 background-checked pros call you on the phone. To get started, enable the HomeAdvisor skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, launch , ask HomeAdvisor to find me a plumber. Alexa haikus, do you?Sunday is the dayAlexa hails the haiku—That tiny poem. International Haiku Poetry Day is April 17. Celebrate it with Alexa—just ask: Alexa, give me a #8217;s playing Coachella 2016Get ready for the festival in the desert by listening to artists on this year’s bill, from veterans like Guns N’ Roses and Rancid to hot acts A$AP Rocky and Of Monsters and Men. To listen, just ask:#AskAlexa You don’t need hands to enjoy hands-free music and information. Lorrie and Mark of Milford, CT tell us that their African Grey parrot Tyeena loves saying hello to Alexa. Do you have a pet that likes hanging out with Alexa? Tweet us a photo with the hashtag #AskAlexa. April 8, 2016 Lutron’s wireless dimmers and switches now work with Alexa. Turn your lights on and off, brighten them, or dim them—just ask. To see all of the lighting you can control with Alexa, including LIFX bulbs, Philips Hue kits, and WeMo light switches, visit our Smart Home Store. To control your dimmers and switches with Alexa, go to “Smart Home” in your Alexa App and link your device. Then just ask: More to try Art of War Start your day with an insightful quote from General Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Enable the skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Poems from AlexaApril is National Poetry Month and Alexa’s getting into the literary spirit. Every day in April, Alexa can introduce you to a new poem. Just ask: Alexa loves scienceDon’t let your right brain have all the fun—Alexa’s also a great partner for exploring the world of math and science. Just ask: What’s playing Weezer’s new albumThey’re back: Pop-rock nerds Weezer have returned with their 10th studio album—and this time, the SoCal musicians have recaptured the hooky, emotion-filled magic from their ’90s heyday. To listen, just ask: CatastropheSeason 2 of the hit series Catastrophe is premiering exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. The show’s creators and stars, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, have crafted a show-inspired playlist full of songs to help you embrace a romantic calamity. Just ask:#AskAlexa Echo Dot lets you add Alexa to any room. But jpsabo didn’t stop there—watch as he sets up an Echo Dot in his car, for the ultimate in hands-free entertainment and assistance. To get an Echo Dot, just ask: April 1, 2016 Alexa can now make your mornings a little easier, with alarms that repeat daily or on the same day every week. You can also set one alarm for weekdays and another for the weekend, depending on your snoozing preferences. Just ask: To edit your alarms or set a new default sound—including custom tones by Alec Baldwin and Missy Elliott, and brand-new ones from Jason Schwartzman and Dan Marino—visit the Alexa App. More to try Washington Postelection updatesYou can now get essential election news as part of your daily news briefing, with a politics update written exclusively for Alexa by Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza. Add the Washington Post’s Politics Brief to your Flash Briefing, along with content already available from CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, and more. To get started, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on the Washington Post. Once you’ve personalized your Flash Briefing, just ask: Alexa’s comedy clubThis April Fools’ Day, celebrate and laugh with Alexa. Listen to comedy albums on Prime Music, like stand-up albums from Jim Gaffigan or the satirical song stylings of “Weird Al” Yankovic. Or check out popular podcasts on TuneIn, like Marc Maron’s critically acclaimed interview show or the surreal, fake-news program “Welcome to Night #8221; Just ask: Alexa is yourApril Fools’ assistantIf it just doesn’t feel like April Fools’ without a solid prank or two,Alexa can help. Just ask: Order Dash ButtonsNever run out of your everyday essentials. In addition to reordering past Amazon purchases using Alexa, you can simply press a Dash Button, and Amazon will reorder and deliver your favorite items. There are now over 100+ Amazon Dash Buttons available exclusively for Prime members. Buy a Dash Button for $ and receive a $ credit after your first press of the button. See all Dash Button selection here. If you’re a Prime member, Alexa can help you stock up on Dash Buttons—just ask: Smart life,Smart home Light up with LifXLifX bulbs now work with Alexa directly. Turn your LifX bulbs on and off, brighten them, or dim them—just ask. To see all of the lighting you can control with Alexa, including Philips Hue kits and WeMo light switches, visit our Smart Home Store. To control your bulbs with Alexa, go to “Smart Home” in your Alexa App and link your device. Then just ask: What’s playing Fool Me OnceAs you plot the hoaxes and practical jokes you want to pull on your loved ones, you should have an inspiring soundtrack. Listen to “Fool Me Once,” our playlist featuring tales of fools and foolishness, from the Beatles and Ike and Tina Turner to Elvis Costello, The Strokes, and Natalie ask:#AskAlexa Last week, we announced that Alexa and Nest now work together. Thanks to @manishseattle for demonstrating how you can change the setting of your Nest thermostat using just your voice. And thanks to actress Allison Williams for demonstrating how great Alexa is for listening to music. We can’t guarantee you’ll get quite the same results that she does, but you can try. Just ask: March 25, 2016Alexa and Nest keep things cozy Alexa and Nest now work together. With a Nest Learning thermostat, you can raise, lower, or set a target temperature—just ask. To see all of the thermostats you can control with Alexa, including the ecobee thermostat and the Sensi thermostat from Emerson, visit our Smart Home Store. To control your thermostat with Alexa, go to your Alexa App and link your device. Then just ask: Alexa, set my home temperature to 65. Alexa, increase the temperature TO TRYMore to TryEnglish Premier League GamesYou can now keep tabs on soccer—sorry, football—games in the English Premier League. Just ask: Alexa, when is the next Chelsea game? Alexa, what’s the score of the Man United game? You can also create a personalized Sports Update to get scores and schedules for your favorite teams’ Premier League games, along with teams playing in the WNBA, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NFL, and NCAA. Select “Settings” and then “Sports Update” in your Alexa App. Once you have personalized your update, just ask: Alexa, give me my Sports Update March MadnessIf you can’t get enough of the NCAA Tournament, Alexa can help. Wondering when your favorite team is playing? Just ask:Alexa, when do the North Carolina Tar Heels play next? Alexa, who won the Kansas Jayhawks game?Alexa’s Favorite Easter EggsBy hunting messages that Alexa has hidden away, you can celebrate Easter all year long. Here are a few of our favorite Easter eggs. Did we miss yours? Share them with the hashtag #AskAlexa. Alexa, rap for me. Alexa, Earl Grey tea, hot. Alexa, which came first: the chicken or the egg? Alexa, would you like a chocolate bunny?WHAT’S PLAYING What’s Playing Solid SoundsGet your vibe on with a 50-song playlist of rock, soul, and roots music by a range of world-class artists, from folk strummers The Lumineers and Ray LaMontagne to psychedelic boundary-pushers My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes, Beck and beyond. Just ask: Alexa, play the Solid Sounds playlist from Prime. Thanks to user @magitisa for demonstrating the L Train skill, which can tell you when the next New York City L Train is arriving at your station. You can find a range of other public transportation skills in the Alexa App—click “Skills” to search for them. March 18, 2016Alexa gets fit Stay motivated on your fitness journey with the new Fitbit skill for Alexa. This skill works with Fitbit trackers and smart scales to give you updates on your daily activity, weight, and more. To get started, enable the Fitbit skill in your Alexa App. When you’ve linked your Fitbit account, just ask:. Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today. Alexa, ask Fitbit how many steps I’ve taken. Alexa, ask Fitbit how I slept last night. Alexa, ask Fitbit about my TO TRYMore to TryEaster ShoppingEaster is next week—let Alexa help you stock up on some essentials. Just ask: Alexa, order Easter candy. Alexa, order a chocolate bunny. March MadnessAlexa can also help you with another rite of spring: predicting the Madness of March. Want to hear Alexa’s predictions? Just ask: Alexa, who will be in the Elite Eight? Alexa, who is in your Final Four? Alexa, who will win March Madness? Alexa, who is your favorite college basketball team?WHAT’S PLAYING What’s Playing South by SouthwestIt’s time for South by Southwest—aka SXSW—the annual musical mecca for young bands looking to make a name for themselves. To get to know some of the acts we’re most excited to see at this year’s festival, just ask: Alexa, play the South by Southwest playlist from Prime. Alexa can help you answer tricky questions, as @nickristiansson discovered, or entertain you with podcasts, as @E_Meds demonstrates by asking Alexa to play the show she hosts, TV Hangover. Sometimes, though, Alexa is just nice to come home to—thanks to @aquino_amy, star of Amazon’s Bosch, for the reminder. March 11, 2016 Mornings with Alexa Start your day with news from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Huffington Post, now available in your Flash Briefing along with content from CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, and more. Before you get out of bed, have Alexa turn on your appliances. Alexa now works directly with TP-LINK Smart Plugs—plug your lamp or coffeemaker into one, and you can turn it on or off using just your voice. To see all of the outlets and switches that work with Alexa, visit our Smart Home Store. To customize your Flash Briefing, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on Huffington Post. Then just ask: Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing? To control your smart plug with Alexa, go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, click “Connected Home,” and link your device. Then just ask: Alexa, turn on the lamp. MORE TO TRY New Skill: Capital One Capital OneCapital One customers can now use Alexa to stay on top of their credit card, checking, or savings accounts. To get started, first enable the Capital One skill in the Alexa App. You’ll be prompted to sign into your Capital One account and create a personal key for extra security. Once you’ve linked your account, just ask: Alexa, ask Capital One what’s my current credit card balance? Alexa, ask Capital One when is my current credit card bill due? Alexa, ask Capital One, what are my recent transactions? Alexa, ask Capital One, what is my overall account summary?Alexa SkillsOpen the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to useEmail AssistantTraveling for spring break? Link your email account, and Email Assistant can talk to your mailbox to tell you about upcoming flight, hotel, and rental car reservations. Enable the Email Assistant skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, ask Email Assistant for my hotel reservation details. You can also ask Alexa to check the weather at your spring break destination. Just ask: Alexa, what’s the weather in Honolulu? Alexa, what’s the weather in San Diego for this weekend?WHAT’S PLAYING What’s Playing Smashing PumpkinsHappy birthday to Smashing Pumpkins frontman and alt-rock icon Billy Corgan. Celebrate with the band’s finest release, 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, featuring their best known singles “1979,” “Tonight, Tonight,” and “#8221; Just ask: Alexa, play ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ from Prime Music. Last week we introduced two new ways to enjoy Alexa: Echo Dot and Amazon Tap. Thanks to @rossman for demonstrating how to order an Echo Dot, exclusively from Alexa. To order yours, just ask: Alexa, order an Echo Dot. Alexa, order an Amazon Tap. March 4, 2016 Alexa warms upAlexa now works directly with the Sensi thermostat from Emerson. In addition to the ecobee thermostat, you can use the Sensi thermostat to raise, lower, or set a target temperature—just ask. Visit our Smart Home Store to learn more about devices and hubs from brands like Wink, SmartThings, and Insteon, which let you control lights, switches, and thermostats with Alexa. To control your thermostat with Alexa, go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, click “Connected Home,” and link your device. Then just ask: Alexa, when is the next primary? Alexa, when is the Massachusetts primary?MORE TO TRY New Skill: The Wayne Investigation Batman v SupermanIn this new audio game from the makers of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you play a detective searching Gotham for clues about the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Tell Alexa which paths you want to take, and see if you can crack the case at the heart of the Batman myth. Enable “The Wayne Investigation” skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, open the Wayne Investigation. Alexa can also help you gear up for the March 25 premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by telling you fun facts about its characters. Just ask: Alexa, tell me a fact about Batman v Superman. New Skill: Election Updatesfrom NBC News This election season, the new NBC News skill for Alexa will keep you up-to-date on key campaign news. Get top headlines, information about how your favorite candidate is doing, candidate bios, and ongoing election updates. Enable the NBC News skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, ask NBC News for headlines. Alexa, ask NBC News how Donald Trump is doing. Alexa, ask NBC News for Hillary Clinton’s bio. Alexa, ask NBC News, which candidates are ahead in the primaries?NEW WAYS TO ENJOY ALEXA Introducing Echo Dot Introducing Echo DotEcho Dot is a new product from Amazon that uses the same far-field voice recognition as Echo. You can directly connect Echo Dot to your speakers through the included audio cable or via Bluetooth to add voice control to your home stereo system. Learn more about Echo Dot. Echo Dot is available for $ in limited quantities, exclusively for Prime members through Alexa Voice Shopping. Limit 1 per order, 2 per customer. To order your Echo Dot, just ask: Alexa, order an Echo Dot. Introducing Amazon Tap Introducing Amazon TapAmazon Tap is an Alexa-enabled portable Bluetooth speaker that gives you rich, full-range sound powered by Dolby and access to Alexa wherever there’s Wi-Fi. Learn more about Amazon #8217;S PLAYING What’s Playing ColdplayHappy birthday to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Celebrate by listening to songs from the British pop-rock band’s nearly two-decade career, from their 2000 debut to their most recent release, 2015’s A Head Full of Dreams. To hear their heart-swelling, arena-filling ballads, just ask: Alexa, play the Coldplay station on Prime Music.#AskAlexa #AskAlexaThanks, @justJENN, for showing us how you’re using your new Amazon Echo, autographed by Alec Baldwin, to listen to the Nerdist podcast. We think Echo and Wolverine make a nice pair, too. February 26, 2016 Flash Briefing Updates andElection NewsThe Wall Street Journal is bringing headline news along with money and tech updates to Alexa through Flash Briefing. To listen, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on the Wall Street Journal. Once you’ve personalized your Flash Briefing, just ask: Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?With Super Tuesday heating up the election season next week, Alexa can also help you keep up with the primaries. Just ask: Alexa, when is the next primary? Alexa, when is the Massachusetts primary?MORE TO TRY ecobee and EchoThe OscarsThe 88th annual Academy Awards are this Sunday, and Alexa has a few predictions to help you fill out your Oscar ballot. Alexa can also give you the scoop on who won Oscars in past years. Just ask:Alexa, who will win an Oscar? Alexa, what will win Best Picture? Alexa, what Oscars has Matt Damon won? Alexa, what won Best Picture in 2006?Alexa goes to the moviesAlexa can also help you with movie information all year-round. Get showtimes or ask questions about movie stars, writers, and directors. Alexa, when is Deadpool playing? Alexa, what romantic movies are playing this Saturday? Alexa, who stars in Mad Max: Fury Road? Alexa, is the movie The Big Short a good movie?Alexa SkillsOpen the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to useMagic DoorThe Magic Door is an Alexa-powered adventure game. Tell Alexa what choices to make as you navigate a forest, a garden, or an ancient temple. Enable the Magic Door skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, open the Magic you have a lyric stuck in your head but can’t remember what song it’s from, Lyrical is here to help. Enable the Lyrical skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, ask Lyrical what song goes, we will rock you?WHAT’S PLAYING What’s Playing MacklemoreIt’s the return of the Mack. After 2012’s massive hit The Heist, the Seattle rapper and his producer, Ryan Lewis, are back with their follow-up, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, featuring the single “#8221; Just ask: Alexa, play the album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made by Macklemore Alexa can help you find the perfect rhyme, as @abustamante discovered. Alexa can give you a weather forecast, as @xeau2 demonstrates. Sometimes, though, when you ask for Alexa’s help, you get more wisdom than you bargained for. Thanks, @juliaclavien, for trying out the Crystal Ball skill and sharing the results. February 19, 2016 Updated Flash Briefing Love hearing awesome science news about everything from robotic arms to glow-in-the-dark plants? You can now add Discovery News to your Flash Briefing, along with content already available from CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, and more. To get started, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on Discovery. Once you’ve personalized your Flash Briefing, just ask: Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing? MORE TO TRY Alexa SkillsOpen the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use RhymeZone Give RhymeZone an English word and it can give you words that rhyme, as well as adjectives and related words. Enable the RhymeZone skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, ask RhymeZone what rhymes with banana? Baby Names Ask Baby Names about popular names in the going back to 1880. Enable the Baby Names skill in your Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, ask Baby Names, how popular was Emma in 2014? Get to Know EchoEcho makes it easy to listen to podcasts while you’re cooking or hanging around the house. Explore them in your Alexa App, under TuneIn and then Podcasts. As the host of the podcast Here’s The Thing, Alec Baldwin interviews artists, celebrities, and policymakers. To listen to it on your Echo, just ask: Alexa, play ‘Here’s The Thing’ on #8217;S PLAYING What’s Playing GRAMMY-Winning PopThe stars of the music world turned out for the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards this week. Check out trophy-taking pop songs from the past and the present. Just ask: Alexa, play the GRAMMY-Winning Pop Playlist Last week, Alexa had a few sweet things to say about love and romance. Thanks @kropserkel and @JessicaPark24 for helping Alexa celebrate Valentine’s Day and then capturing it on video. February 12, 2016 Alexa turns up the heat You can now manage the temperature in your home with just your voice and a simple set of commands. The ecobee thermostat is the first thermostat to work directly with Alexa, allowing you to raise or lower the temperature or set a target temperature, just by asking. Once you have linked your ecobee thermostat, just ask:Alexa, set my bedroom temperature to 65. Alexa, increase the temperature in my TO TRY Alexa SkillsOpen the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to usePresidential TriviaIn honor of President’s Day, you can now test your knowledge of presidents, from Washington to Obama. Enable the skill in the Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, start Presidential #8217;s DayWondering what Alexa’s opinions on love and romance are? Just ask:Alexa, will you be my valentine? Alexa, who do you love? Alexa, do you like candy? Alexa, happy Singles Awareness DayWHAT’S PLAYING What’s Playing Best Music of the YearThe 58th annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony is almost here. Get to know some of the best music from the past year with a selection of artists nominated at the biggest night in music. Just ask: Alexa, play the GRAMMY playlist from Prime Music. February 5, 2016 Ordering your favorite pizza just became easier, with Echo and the new skill from Domino’s. Just ask Alexa for your saved Easy Order or re-order your most recent order. Plus, you can easily track the status of an order you’ve already placed. To get started, enable the Domino’s skill using the Alexa App, then link your Domino’s Pizza Profile account. Don’t have a profile? Create your Domino’s Pizza Profile, and once you’re set up, just ask:Alexa, open Domino’s and place my Easy Order. Alexa, ask Domino’s to track my Ask Alexa for a ride Alexa can now call you a car. Whether you’re off to the airport or a big night out, get a reliable ride in minutes. Choose among Uber’s various ride options, from low-cost to premium. To get started, set your Echo’s location under “Settings” in your Alexa App, then enable the Uber skill and link your Uber account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to create one. Once set up, just ask:Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride. Alexa, ask Uber to request an TO TRY Spotify Spotify is now available on Echo, joining Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Spotify Premium subscribers can listen to their favorite playlists, genres, and over 30 million songs from the Spotify catalog. To get started, simply link your Spotify Premium account using the Alexa App. Once connected, just ask: Alexa, play ‘jazz’ on Spotify. Alexa, play the Today’s Top Hits playlist on Game Ultimate Trivia Quiz This skill quizzes you on the history of football’s biggest game. Enable the skill in the Alexa App, then just ask: Alexa, start Big Game. WHAT’S PLAYING What’s Playing Missy’s Party Popping PlaylistWhen Missy Elliott heads to Alec Baldwin’s Super Bowl party, she’s bringing a playlist full of artists she loves and knows can get the party started—artists like Mary J. Blige, OutKast, and Kendrick Lamar....