I saw the Mycroft v2 recently and had a look through the kickstarter page to learn a little more.
It looks promising but after some research and some tweets, I remembered the mycroft.ai is something I looked at previously and was interested in installing on a RaspberryPi to see if I could create what I really need. Its one of my many projects I wanted to do with my holidays sometime. Its clear voice and hue lights could be very good, especially for guests but I don’t want google and philips to be involved in that process.
I also suggested mycroft and betty to Databox team, when we talked about voice in the living room of the future. It seems like a perfect match right?
Anyway, I think I might back the second one only because I don’t really want to do the hard work making it work on a Raspberry Pi.
When I bought my Google Pixel 2, I received a free Google Home Mini as part of the pre-order deal. While in Madeira it finally came and today I went to Irlam to go get it.
I’ve never liked the idea of the Amazon Alexia and all devices which are listening for an activation word. I get the convenance but it doesn’t equal the given up privacy in my view. I turn off on my phones unless my screen is unlocked and I’m on the home screen (actively using the phone). I’ve been watching and reading how The Google Home mini has already received a ton of privacy strikes and disabled the touch controls.
My justification for getting the Google Home mini was purely to connect it to my Philips Hue lights. They are great but only if you have the app as the controls on the wall are way too simplistic to change colours, brighten and dim.
Unboxing the Google Home mini and getting it online, was pretty straight forward. I currently have it set with the mic on mute and the touch controls seem pretty basic (volume only). I’m surprised its powered with a micro USB cable not USB C and if I had a choice of colours, would have picked a darker colour instead of Chalk. Out of the box the home mini’s top touch fuctionality is disabled, I assume the firmware was updated when I setup the wifi.
I’m dispointment that there seems to be no way to connect the google home mini to the hue lights without doing it via the Philips Hue web. I currently blocking external access at my router for hue lights, so theres no way to control them remotely, although everything is on the same network. Honestly find it annoying that it can’t talk locally, especially since there is a good API via the Hue Bridge. I understand it needs internet access to do some processing but to control the lights? Sure this can be done locally?
I’m keeping an eye on dev sites to see what might come up, but right now its little use and I’d like to see more ways to muzzle its use to keep things local unless essential.
Anybody who loves dance music MUST watch this BBC Radio 1 special from the BBC Proms in the Albert Hall.
Who says electronic music and classical don’t mix? Well Dance music was elevated to one of the highest levels at the Proms.
Pete Tong takes charge of the BBC Radio 1 Prom and decides to employ the Heritage Orchestra to play a selection of Ibiza classics. The Royal Albert Hall has never seen anything like it!
Jules Buckley conducts the orchestra through dance masterpieces by Fatboy Slim, Eric Prydz, Shapeshifters, Robert Miles, ATB, Moby, Frankie Knuckles, Orbital, Inner City, Daft Punk, Faithless, Stardust and so many more, with the help of Ella Eyre and John Newman.
I had this playing out over BBC iPlayer with my Philips Hue lights dancing along side the music. My favourite part has to be Orbital’s Belfast which stokes up many memories for me, although I would have love it if they did Chime instead.
Amazing to watch and certainly another chapter in the continuing cultural domination of dance music.