Thursday, November 19, 2015

FCC Response To Complaint Against Epicurious

Well, the FCC finally responded to my complaint. I wonder why big corporations like this can violate the law with no consequences, when, you know, there's no consequences. I'm really glad to hear that no further action is required, even though Epicurious continues to send me email almost two months after I pressed the unsubscribe button.

Oh, and I filed an FTC complaint the same day I filed the FCC complaint. I'm not holding my breath. Meanwhile, they send me spam every single day, weekends and holidays included.

FCC Consumer Complaints (FCC Complaints)
Nov 17, 10:32 AM
Hi Mark
Thank you for your submission. Your complaint provides the FCC with important information we can use to develop policies to protect consumers, remedy violations of the Communications Act, and encourage future compliance with the law.
The FCC appreciates the information you’ve shared with us. It appears that the Federal Trade Commission will be better able to assist you.
We urge you to contact that agency about this matter.
Please go to the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer website at You can review educational materials or file a complaint.

As such, no further action is required by the FCC. Your complaint was closed as of today.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Android Explained: New Google Now Voice Commands

For anyone who ever said "Siri is nice, but Apple isn't my flavor of koolaid," then you will like some of the recent voice commands for Google Now. The voice commands were rudimentary at first, mostly focused on navigation. But in recent months, they have been really buffing it out with stuff you would expect to be there, like sending texts and alarms and such.

Being Google, there are some really cool commands in there like "do I need a jacket today?" and "turn on wifi".

Having suffered a neck injury a couple years ago, it affected one of my hands and made it hurt to text. Now it's easy to text someone by saying "OK Google text this person" and then you dictate the message with your voice, confirming at the end to send. This feature is still a little more basic than it should be, but already incredibly useful to someone like me who won't drink the Apple koolaid no matter how much it hurts to type.

Another of my favorite new voice commands is "OK Google set alarm for 9 AM"

Here is a really good writeup of the new commands as well. All you have to do is say "OK Google" to active a voice command. One of the commenters claimed that you can say "Ok dude" but that doesn't work for me.

Some of my useful favorites:

"What's the weather?"
"What time is it in [place]?"
"Navigate me to [place]"
"Send a text to [person]"
"Wake me up at [time]"
"Do I need a jacket?"
"What is the next turn?"
"What time will I get there?"
"Call [person]"
"Go go gadget [app]"
"Do I need an umbrella?"
"Read the last text"
"Are we there yet?"
"How far is [place]?"

Some of my fun favorite "easter eggs":

"Beam me up, Scotty"
"What does the fox say?"
"Who's on first?"
"Make me a sandwich"
"What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen Swallow?"
"What is the loneliest number?"
"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Some of my interesting favorites:

"Flip a coin"
"How old is [person]?"
"Who is [person] married to?"
"Who wrote [book]?"
"When is [holiday]?"
"When is the next episode of [tv show]?"
"What is the tip for [amount]?"
"What is the word for [word] in [language]?"
"Is John Snow dead?"