2018-04-02 05:09:17

Orko wrote:

Maybe voice recognition isn't the right word, some examples of what frequently happens.

I ask Alexa to play the Trine soundtrack which is in Amazon's library, and I get things like For Crying Out Loud, or something else other than what I asked for. I try adding the artist so I'm asking for Trine soundtrack by Ari Pulkkinen and Alexa reports that it can't find it, yet there it is, in Amazon's digital library and it even says that you can stream it on the Echo. Nope! No matter what I do or how carefully I enunciate the words, Alexa simply refuses to find it or play the right thing.

Or I'll ask Alexa to play WSMR, a local radio station, from Tune In, and it plays WMOR instead.

And then there's the features that don't work properly. One of them is the ability to have Alexa notify you when an order is out for delivery or has been delivered. Numerous times I've had Alexa tell me an order will be delivered today when it is still days away, or tell me that an order has been delivered when no package has arrived. This make the notifications practically worthless, so I turned them off.

And that's just some of the many problems I've had with the Alexa service.

And the iOS Alexa companion app, needed to set up the Echo's, it has constant problems with buttons and controls that don't work when Voice Over is turned on, and it must be pretty bad without it too, because it has only a 1.5 out of 5 star rating in the app store, the last time I looked, plus I've heard the Android version isn't much better.

If hadi's remark that Amazon is hiring more developers than Google is right, it wouldn't surprise me one bit, if the quality of Alexa and the companion app are any indication, Amazon desperately needs those developers, let's just hope that these new developers are better than the ones they already have or it's just going to be more of the same crap from them. Google on the other hand has been a development company from day one, so they already have a ton of developers in their employ and don't need as many as Amazon apparently does.

Simba, you're from Europe, ever listen to a European voice compared to an American voice? You Europeans enunciate your words differently than we Americans do, and for voice recognition that can make a very big difference. I'm actually surprised that you didn't realize or consider that.

I got it to work  by spelling out the album name and the first artist name.  IT worked just fine on the nose when trying it.  That's what I do when I cannot prtonounce a name properly simply if I have never heard it before.

Recording artist @ Bass Mekanik Records.  Albums available Wherever digital albums are sold.
My YouTube Channel
Drum Covers | Video Game Covers

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2018-04-02 07:54:05

The only annoying thing about that Pay With Chip thing is it requires your physical card, unless there's an option to use your number instead. Why in the world would I want to hook up a reader to my computer and then get my card out every time I want to buy something? That's not very convenient. Again, i'm assuming the reader isn't optional. I haven't actually tried it.

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2018-04-02 12:18:48

Draq, That's just silly when you are in a store, you have to pull out your card to every time you make a purchase, do you complain about that too? How is this any different?

I personally like the security of knowing that the only time the marketplace and software have access to my card's information is when it's inserted. This means I can browse to my heart's content without worrying about accidently ordering something, it's simply not possible without your card in the reader. And if you have a spare USB port, as I do, there's no need to unplug the reader.

I had to laugh! When I went into the Alexa companion app to deregister my Echo, I noticed that Amazon or Alexa added a new feature you can optionally turn on or leave off called conversation mode. This is where if you are talking back and forth to Alexa, you don't have to say Alexa in front of every thing you say to it. The funny part is that Google Home has had this feature from day one.

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2018-04-02 13:30:59

I am curious, what accessibility problems do you guys have with the amazon website or app? I am mostly purchasing through the app because browsing is easier, and there I haven't yet encountered any accessibility issues like unlabeled buttons or things of that nature.
I am sometimes ordering through the website on my computer, and till now, everything worked fine for me there, maybe I am overlooking something that I don't need and which you guys have to use frequently, so I am curious what#s the problem with amazon.
Greetings Moritz.

Hömma, willze watt von mir oder wie, weil wenn nich, dann lass dir mal sagen, laber mir kein Kottlett anne Wange und hömma, wo wir gerade dabei sind, dann iss hier hängen im Schacht, sonns klapp ich dir hier die Fingernägel auf links, datt kannze mir mal glaubn.

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2018-04-02 15:31:49

The two main problems I have with Amazon is unlabeled buttons that they've been told about years ago that they simply don't fix.

The other problems I've encountered is lines of controls coded in a way that prevents screen readers from being able to separate out the individual controls, so you can't manipulate them, For example, when returning an item, you have to select from the list of things you've ordered recently, the items you want to return by checking a checkbox. The problem is the way the product lines are coded, screen readers don't see the checkbox as a separate control so you can't check it, except with a mouse.

And then on some pages, you can click on buttons but they don't do anything, but when you click on them with a mouse, they work.

Even worse, the supposedly screen reader optimized web site has the same accessibility problems! The only thing optimized on that site is the number of links, there are a lot fewer of them, and functionality, it's functionality is very limited.

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2018-04-02 18:58:00

Why would anyone want to have to put their card in a reader each time they want to make a purchase in their own home, that's just dumb.

WThis signature was updated from my iPhone.

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2018-04-02 19:18:00

Have you people trashing this card reader considered that one of the advantages of the chip reader is that it frees the visually impaired from having to read the card number or worse the CVV or security code on the back of their card?

I've used it several times already and do not find it an inconvenience at all to have to get my card to make a purchase, even though I've memorized all the information on my card, so I could just as easily type it in.

I don't understand this trashing something you haven't even tried, just like a small child that won't eat their vegetables, I think it's stupid.

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2018-04-02 19:33:40 (edited by jack 2018-04-02 19:36:24)

And the point is that it makes it more secure. You know where all that card info is stored if you have an autofill? Cookies. And don't quote me on this, but I've never seen any 2048bit rsa, ssl/tls encryption on those. It all seems to be aes256bit, the industry standard. Everyone knows about that, from companies who use it to hackers that exploit it. If it has to swipe your card, the card info is cached once to make a purchase, and then it's done. You guys keep taking convenience over security and you may end up on the tailend of a breach or hacking attempt as a lot of people eventually end up getting. And as for Pay with Chip, don't the reader won't cost you a dime, so if you don't like it you have absolutely nothing to lose.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2018-04-02 19:55:50

its possible to OCR the card and get the information off of it.

What's to try, I don't want a damn card reader in my house. Also, you have no room to talk about people acting like children.

Yeah, its a trade off, convenience versus security, the key is to find the optimal balance between the two where you are reasonably secure, and not overly inconvenienced.

WThis signature was updated from my iPhone.

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2018-04-02 20:27:18

The simplest way to put all this is:

Everyone has things they like or like to do.  Not everyone will agree on style, taste and   what they consider to be  convenient.

Some people like chunky peanut butter, some like smooth, and some don't like it at all.

We all have methods that work for us, but it doesn't mean it's right or wrong.    I know I have what works for me, and I've had no problems, and if I do have one, I will find a way to resolve it.   I don't see the problem with why it matters how something gets done.    As long as the results are satisfactory for the user,  where's the problem?

Just my $.02`

Recording artist @ Bass Mekanik Records.  Albums available Wherever digital albums are sold.
My YouTube Channel
Drum Covers | Video Game Covers

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2018-04-02 20:42:09 (edited by jack 2018-04-02 20:44:15)

@G-rad I see where you're going. However @ironcross32 the cardreader is not cashregister size if that's what you're thinking. It's literally just as big as a usb sd card reader. Even so, spending hours on the Walmart site because of its deficiencies is not fun in the slightest. The marketplace is entirely menu-based and clutter-free. And if you're wondering about platforms, it's going to hit mobile soon, and there's a wireless cardreader with fingerprint sensor in the making. You can rest assured that when it's out, it will work with bot the pc and the phone so you don't have to plug it in. And I would never trust ocr-ing a card. Not for something that precise at least. What if it messes up your numbers just a bit? I doubt two people could have extremely similar card numbers, but there's always that concern. Plus that's subjective, as not everyone has a good camera on their phone for ocr. My Pixel2 is a prime example of getting spoiled by a good camera. Might I also point out that it literally takes under a minute to get out your card and your reader, and it takes typically less than 3 seconds to scan your card. That's about the same time, if not less, that it takes for one to type in their order info on a given site. And again, like I said, if you don't like it that's fine, you're not short any extra money. The service is completely free.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2018-04-02 20:50:07

Interesting discussion about cards. I've been wondering what I'm going to do in the future about card details. I personally would love things to go down the road of having to insert my hcard into a device and not have to enter the info. I see that as no less convenient than having to type out the details on a web form using a screen reader. At the moment I can just about get the info off the front using my thumbnail to identify the raised numbers, even though the start/expiry dates are tough, but I can't get the security code off the back. I've never had any luck with OCR and cards. So I have to get a sighted person to tell me, then memorize the info. Like most blind people, through necessity, I have a good memory, and can memorize big serial numbers and stuff, and hold on to that info for a long time with scant use. But I'm 45 now, and in just the last year I've noticed my short term memory is showing the first signs of not being as good as it once was. In 10 or 20 years time I very much doubt I'll find it so easy to memorize card info and still be able to retrieve it after a couple of months without use. Though I imagine by then we'll all have the chips in our foreheads anyway, so it probably won't matter lol.

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2018-04-02 21:41:22


OK, I challenge you to take a credit or debit card you've never seen before and OCR it and get the card number, the expiration date, and (LOL) the CVV or security code off of it accurately.

You won't be able to get the card number or expiration date because most card these days aren't a plain color, instead they have some kind of pattern or texture in their colors that will screw up OCR every time.

And forget the CVV code, it's printed with translucent ink using a font with lines so fat they almost run together on a paper strip covered with text. OCR is completely useless here.

Your argument about doing this is so completely laughable that it makes you look like you are grasping at straws to make a point because you are out of legitimate arguments.


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2018-04-02 22:16:52

A store in Romania or the UK will be the best.

I am your friend, your spam bot reporter, I am what ever do you wan a be to you, but if it is not good, I will not be!
And please, give me a tumbsup, it makes me happy to see one.
Angel Productions, the producer of nothing :)

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2018-04-03 00:28:42

Right, you know everything, master of the universe as always. God, what's wrong with me I haven't knelt down to you already. As always, whenever someone opposes your view point, you throw a little hissy fit.

OCRing the front of a card is possible, but challenging, because doing it straight on means that the camera will pick up the glare, so you have to do it at an angle. Getting the CVV off the back is also possible.

WThis signature was updated from my iPhone.

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2018-04-03 01:32:41

@ironcross32 and @orco both fair points, but again I say the successrate of ocr varies greatly with the camera you have. Might I suggest Brandon you lighten it a bit as ocr is what I'd call a workaround at this point, and the pay with chip is guaranteed to work at least in the states. And what are you in a fit over anyway, as I said before, the thing doesn't cost you a dime, so why rip on the concept so much? If you don't want o use it that is totally, utterly and absolutely fine, just don't give it crap and we're all good.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2018-04-03 02:49:13

I don't care one way or another, I'm just not gonna let this dude aggro on me and not say anything.

WThis signature was updated from my iPhone.

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2018-04-03 03:48:42 (edited by jack 2018-04-03 03:49:56)

Now, to lighten up the mood a bit, a montage of all 4 of the Alexa April Fools pranks since April1st has come and gone. I say 4 because an interesting bug/accidental unscheduled thing happened in round 3 that I totally did not stage.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2018-04-03 05:12:53

Right, well, I would like the option of not having to swipe my card through a reader if I'm shopping from home. That's the only thing I was getting at. It's cool that you can use your card in any case. My main concern would really be if the reader breaks. If it does, you're unable to use the service even though you have a working computer, and even if you know your numbers. No reader, no shopping for you. There should be a backup option.

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2018-04-03 05:21:35

@draq:If your reader breaks, you request a new one. I don't think they've had to deal with broken readers but if they pass them out like they're candy, I'm sure they will accommodate you if it were to break. The cardreader is free of charge.

I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!

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2018-04-03 05:39:46

A shame it’s not available in the UK. This sounds really interesting.

2018-04-03 05:52:54


@Ironcross and Orko, if I could bang your heads together right now I would!
by Lord Vader's dark and all powerful elbow! can we not just have a civil discussion please! whatever happened to amicable disagreement!

Okay moderation hat coming off now.

Myself, I had a fair few issues with the amazon site back when i was using internet explorer, indeed it was one of the few sites which wouldn't work correctly with nvda, but would work with supernova, which was very strange. That being said,once I've switched to chrome a lot of the problems seem to go away, it was rather similar to issues I had with Paypal, though in Amazon's case even more so (heck I couldn't even get my account and credit card details changed until I started using Chrome instead of Ie since the forms acted so oddly.

Now it seems okay though, and all of the ordering I've done has worked out fine, indeed now that my speakers are up and its possible for Mrs. Dark and I to use the computer we're probably going to be using amazon for grocery shopping.

I have encountered a little strangeness on the amazon ap using chrome,  namely the initigration of graphics and links since usually I have to use g to get to the next graphic to skip between skills, but once your aware of that it's not so hard to use one extra key, though I do wish the ap would list latest skills by genre a bit better making it easier to find latest games.

About this alternative site thing I'm not sure. I like amazon prime with the next day delibery and tracking and I've not really had issues with the site, besides, since the market place you mention isn't available in the Uk yet its relatively academic, apart from the fact that since I've already paid for amazon prime I might as well get my money's worth out of it anyway big_smile.

I don't know about a card reader. I follow a fairly simple system online, namely I have a credit card with an extremely low limit and do not! do online banking, indeed I'm now sorry I had to tie paypal to my bank account since they were charging such ridiculous amounts for credit card processing.

Apart from Paypal, I keep all bank details off my computer entirely. I have a few pasted penfriend notes with the numbers on taped to my desk if I need to look up either my credit card or bank details, though I've generally memorised all of them, which  secure enough.

Would a usb card reader be useful? In terms of not having to actually type  my credit card details every single time yes, but would it be essential/ probably not.
I suspect I would only invest in one if A, enough services that I tend to use were using one, and B, they were relatively cheap to buy, since hay I'm happy using the old brain box myself, and its a way to keep the gears from getting rusty big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2018-04-03 06:07:50

I gave up trying to shop with amazon on the pc ages ago. These days I normally just use the IOS app, or Alexa for that matter. More accessible, and in the case of Alexa, saves me from using that small amount of energy it takes to type my card info on my phone. :d.

2018-04-03 06:18:27

Getting her to play certain albums, especially non popular ones is nearly impossible, I don't like that aspect of it. Doesn't matter what or how you say it, she just doesn't do it.

WThis signature was updated from my iPhone.

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2018-04-03 06:30:51 (edited by cmerry 2018-04-03 06:31:52)

Agreed, but I wouldn’t normally use it for that sort of stuff anyway. I have lots of songs in different playlists, so when i’m in a shit mood, i’ll put my sad playlist on, for example. Point being, if I have a playlist full of shit I want to listen to, I don’t need to get Alexa to play anything since it’s all right there when i need it.