November 08, 2019

SiriusXM Now (Finally!) Available On Google (Updated)

Google is finally in the process of rolling out the ability to listen to SiriusXM on their devices. It has been available on Amazon devices for quite some time. 

If you have a SiriusXM All Access or Streaming subscription, you can now connect that to your Google (Nest) Home devices. If you don't have SirusXM, they are offering 3 months free of either Premier Streaming or All Access.

To connect, open the Google Home app and go to Settings/Radio.

As of this writing, if the service is available where you are, there will be a choice to get a free 3-month SiriusXM subscription. Select that even if you already have a subscription. The next screen will give you the opportunity to connect your existing account.

Enjoy!


Note: If you have a non-Google-branded speaker or if the speaker doesn't recognize that you have connected your SiriusXM account in the Home app, you may need to reset your device and add it back to your home group (or whatever group you may have created). See the instructions for your device on how to reset it. Disconnecting it from the power source and then reconnecting it is not a reset.

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In the event you missed previous articles about Google and Amazon devices, you can find them here:


https://www.thekuperreport.com/2018/11/review-google-home-mini-vs-amazon-echo.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2018/12/part-2-review-google-home-mini-vs.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/01/google-home-adds-feels-like-temperature.html


https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/04/alexa-why-arent-you-doing-what-i-ask.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/07/real-youtube-app-added-to-amazon-fire-tv.html



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Richard L. Kuper

The Kuper Report



November 07, 2019

Google Speaker Alarm vs. Alarm Clock After Power Outage

This morning I was awakened by loud flights overhead. That usually only occurs when flights have been redirected due to weather conditions. There is an airport about five miles away.

Apparently there was some kind of power surge that tripped the circuit breaker and turned off power that included my bedroom. Only that one circuit breaker was tripped for some reason.

I did some quick research and discovered that there were indeed Con-Ed power outages in parts of New York City and Westchester, but no news reports. (For those served by Con-Ed, here's the link to the Con-Ed Storm Center: https://apps.coned.com/stormcenter/external/default.html).

I reset the circuit breaker. The Google Speaker came back. I asked it the time and it responded properly. I asked if there was an alarm set and it confirmed the alarm was still set. The alarm clocks in the room, however, were a different story. When the power turned back on, the clocks blinked 12:00, which means that any alarm that might have been set on the alarm clocks would not be ringing at the correct time.

Of course, if I had not discovered the power outage prior to when I needed to wake up I may have missed an appointment today. It's good to know that when power was restored my Google speaker was still prepared to ring my alarm at the correct time and I didn't have to reset everything like I will need to do for each alarm clock. (I did not also have an Amazon speaker alarm set, but I will make an assumption here that it would also have still remembered any alarm settings.)



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In the event you missed previous articles about Google and Amazon devices, you can find them here:

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2018/11/review-google-home-mini-vs-amazon-echo.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2018/12/part-2-review-google-home-mini-vs.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/01/google-home-adds-feels-like-temperature.html


https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/04/alexa-why-arent-you-doing-what-i-ask.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/07/real-youtube-app-added-to-amazon-fire-tv.html



Subscribe to The KUPER Report by Email
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  • You will be asked for the email address you want to subscribe with and to confirm you are not a robot.
  • You will then get an email with a link to click in order to confirm your subscription. The email will come from Feedburner.
  • You will need to open that email and click the provided link in order to actually be subscribed.

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Richard L. Kuper

The Kuper Report


August 16, 2019

Amazon Echo Input

If you have a stereo system or even just an external speaker that you want to communicate with via Amazon Alexa, then the Amazon Echo Input may be the device for you. The simplest way to describe it is to say that it is just like an Amazon Echo, but without the speaker -- which leaves you with a flat disk.



It sets up just like an Amazon Echo via the Alexa app. The major difference is that you need to connect it to a speaker in order to be able to use it.

If you have an external speaker, plug it in. If you are connecting it to the receiver on a stereo system, you will need to connect it to the left and right line out ports (e.g., AUX or some other available lines out of the audio receiver) with the included cable or a separately purchased one if it is not long enough.

For connections to a receiver or to a speaker that has it's own volume control, make sure you set the volume on the Echo Input to 10 (e.g., "Alexa, set volume to 10"). Then control the volume from the volume control of your receiver or speaker. Otherwise, if connecting to a speaker that does not have it's own volume control, you would control the volume from the Echo Input.


Of course, whatever you connect it to needs to be turned on. If connecting to a receiver, not only does it need to be turned on, you also need to remember to select the associated output (e.g., AUX) that you connected to the Echo Input.


The Echo Input also connects to Bluetooth speakers by using the "pairing" option in the Alexa app. I did not test that feature, but here is a link to compatible speakers: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=18007819011.

Once you are set up, just use the device like any other Amazon Echo device. You can ask it for the time or the weather, for example, but the point for such a connection is to enjoy music through better speakers/sound systems, and if you've connected to stereo speakers, then of course you will hear stereo - not something you can do with a standard Echo device. 


The Amazon Echo Input can typically be found on sale for less than an Amazon Echo Dot. For example, during Amazon Prime days, it was on sale for $15.00.

Enjoy.


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In the event you missed previous articles about Google and Amazon devices, you can find them here:

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2018/11/review-google-home-mini-vs-amazon-echo.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2018/12/part-2-review-google-home-mini-vs.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/01/google-home-adds-feels-like-temperature.html


https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/04/alexa-why-arent-you-doing-what-i-ask.html

https://www.thekuperreport.com/2019/07/real-youtube-app-added-to-amazon-fire-tv.html



Subscribe to The KUPER Report by Email
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  • You will be asked for the email address you want to subscribe with and to confirm you are not a robot.
  • You will then get an email with a link to click in order to confirm your subscription. The email will come from Feedburner.
  • You will need to open that email and click the provided link in order to actually be subscribed.

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Richard L. Kuper

The Kuper Report

July 13, 2019

Real YouTube App Added To Amazon Fire TV

It seems that Amazon and Google may be being more cooperative with each other. Previously there was a YouTube app that was not terribly useful and did not respond well to audio commands from the remote for the Amazon Fire TV stick.

If you have the old app, delete it and install the new official YouTube app. Then you can use the remote to play whatever it is you want on your TV from YouTube -- just like you could have been doing all this time if you had a Chromecast and a Google Home device.

(Choose this link to read my previous review on the Google Chromecast.)

Subscribe to The KUPER Report by Email
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Richard L. Kuper
The Kuper Report


June 10, 2019

Commentary: "Data Security" is Still an Oxymoron and An Ongoing Threat

Back in May of 2006 I gave a presentation on Data Security titled: "Data Security: An Oxymoron." I then followed up with an article in The Kuper Report and wrote more articles over several years regarding data security, including about security problems with voting machines. I've included links to some of those articles at the end of this commentary.

Fast forward to today. We are still experiencing many of the very same data security issues, such as credit card numbers and tax IDs and other personal information being hacked/stolen. There are also still many vulnerable voting machines around the country that are being (and have been) hacked, resulting in fraudulent elections. (Here is a link to a current article in TechCrunch about one voting machine vendor finally offering to create machines with paper backups after refusing to do so despite it being demonstrated by the white hat hacking community that their machines could easily be hacked to change votes. Note that nowhere in the article does it say they will fix the existing machines currently being used.)

The failures by companies to acknowledge all these data security issues and truly fix them these many years later is both mind-boggling and an ongoing serious threat. The failure of Congress and the other branches of the government of the United States to take action on these issues of individual privacy and security and the integrity of our elections continues to cause serious damage to our safety, security, and indeed, our democracy.

It is way past time that these issues were addressed and resolved. 

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Links to articles written between 2006 and 2008 regarding data privacy and security. As you read them you will come to realize that most of the problems are still with us.

May 2006: Data Security: An Oxymoron

August 2006: Data Security: An Oxymoron - continued

January 2007: So how secure is your PC?

March 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: Stolen Data from TJX (T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores) since 2003 Used in $8M Scheme Before Breach Discovery

April 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: More Security/Identity Breaches and Issues 

May 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: University of Missouri Hacked For Second Time This Year

May 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: IBM loses tapes with personal information on current and former employees

September 2007: Privacy and Security Watch: Are you giving away your personal or corporate data to thieves?

May 2008: Updated: Privacy & Security Watch: Beware of fake emails appearing to be from the IRS

June  2008: Privacy & Security Watch: TJX Fires Employee for Disclosing Security Problems

June 2008: Privacy & Security Watch: Diebold Summer Sale Offers Used Voting Machines

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Richard L. Kuper
The Kuper Report






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