Skip to main content

Review - Google Home vs Amazon Tap

I was originally introduced to Alexa at a friends house where they had an Amazon Echo (tethered for power) in the kitchen. I was intrigued by the audio quality and the non-trivial depth of responses. So after some investigation I made my first Alexa purchase - Amazon Tap.

One nice feature of the tethered models is that Alexa is voice activated "Alexa..." where the Amazon Tap requires the operator to tap the microphone button. The echo and tap models have nice sound and volume where the dot is weaker.

Recently we ware watching tv when a Google Home advert played. One thing that caught our attention was the ability to ask google to translate or answer in different languages. Granted it was a pretty superficial demo but I placed our order right away.

Amazon Tap - $99, WiFi, smartphone app, Battery, requires Amazon Prime account $99/yr with limited access to music. Amazon offers two music subscriptions... $7.99/mo individual, $14.99/mo family.

Google Home - $99, WiFi, smartphone app, Since I have an android phone with a FREE custom domain it worked out of the box. Since I listen to google music on my phone and computer I already had an unlimited Google Music account $9.99/mo (I consider this a push because I already had the service)

The Alexa smartphone app is kinda smoke and mirrors. It's clear that Alexa was meant to capture spontaneous purchases and the app was either the way to consummate the request or give the user a way to be reminded of some search or media that might have been requested. It's clearly about up-selling.

Google Home's smartphone app seems more about the experience and less about selling although it is a portal to media and apps. But I have yet to see Google's app tell me about the price of toilet paper.

One criticism I have for this type of device is that [a] it leaks personal information [b] supports one primary user... so it's not multi tenant. The personal info leakage happens when you ask for calendar or contact info. There may also be access to previous purchases or even email... I shudder to think that there is a "read email" command. Google Home will also share search history with your browser across all devices... yikes.

Needs some killer features
- multi tenant
- voice recognition
- sync play on multiple devices including chromecast (google home has this)

Popular posts from this blog

Prometheus vs Bosun

In conclusion... while Bosun(B) is still not the ideal monitoring system neither is Prometheus(P).


I am running Bosun in a Docker container hosted on CoreOS. Fleet service/unit files keep it running. However in once case I have experienced at least one severe crash as a result of a disk full condition. That it is implemented as part golang, java and python is an annoyance. The MIT license is about the only good thing.

I am trying to integrate Prometheus into my pipeline but losing steam fast. The Prometheus design seems to desire that you integrate your own cache inside your application and then allow the server to scrape the data, however, if the interval between scrapes is shorter than the longest transient session of your application then you need a gateway. A place to shuttle your data that will be a little more persistent.

(1) storing the data in my application might get me started more quickly
(2) getting the server to pull the data might be more secure
(3) using a push g…

Entry level cost for CoreOS+Tectonic

CoreOS and Tectonic start their pricing at 10 servers. Managed CoreOS starts at $1000 per month for those first 10 servers and Tectonic is $5000 for the same 10 servers. Annualized that is $85K or at least one employee depending on your market. As a single employee company I'd rather hire the employee. Specially since I only have 3 servers.

The pricing is biased toward the largest servers with the largest capacities; my dual core 32GB i5 IntelNuc can never be mistaken for a 96-CPU dual or quad core DELL

If CoreOS does not figure out a different barrier of entry they are going to follow the Borland path to obscurity.

Weave vs Flannel

While Weave and Flannel have some features in common weave includes DNS for service discovery and a wrapper process for capturing that info. In order to get some parity you'd need to add a DNS service like SkyDNS and then write your own script to weave the two together.
In Weave your fleet file might have some of this:
[Service] . . . ExecStartPre=/opt/bin/weave run --net=host --name bob ncx/bob ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker attach bob
In sky + flannel it might look like:
[Service] . . . ExecStartPre=docker run -d --net=host --name bob ncx/bob ExecStartPre=etcdctl set /skydns/local/ncx/bob '{"host":"`docker inspect --format '{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}' bob`","port":8080}' ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker attach bob
I'd like it to look like this:
[Service] . . . ExecStartPre=skyrun --net=host --name bob ncx/bob ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker attach bob
That's the intent anyway. I'm not sure the exact commands will work and that's partly why we…