GOOD

TV Anchor Accidentally Triggers Wave Of Amazon Dollhouse Purchases

Alexa, can I get a refund?

(CW-6)

“Alexa,” the voice-activated service from Amazon, is a really cool product feature. With a simple command, it can tell your wireless devices to play music, check the weather, dim your lights or even make a purchase from the online realtor.


However, it turns out that last feature, which is automatically enabled on all Alexa-equipped devices, also works even when the speaker isn’t in the same room.

A number of TV viewers discovered this the hard way when a local broadcaster demonstrated how Alexa works during a broadcast, triggering the purchase feature on people’s computers who were watching the San Diego newscast on CW-6.

Ironically, the news feature was about a 6-year-old girl from Texas who racked up thousands of dollars in purchases, without her parents’ permission or knowledge, asking the gadget, “Can you play dollhouse with me and get me a dollhouse?"

(CW-6)

(KidKraft/Amazon)

That request alone led to an order of a $160 KidKraft “Sparkle Mansion” and four pounds of sugar cookies, according to the network report. Not a bad haul for one enthusiastic 6-year-old.

However, when anchor Jim Patton himself complimented the girl’s ingenuity, remarking, "I love the little girl, saying 'Alexa ordered me a dollhouse,'" the spoken command triggered the Alexa service for several viewers who have the service set up in their own homes. It’s unclear how many, if any, of the purchases actually went through. “As for the number of people affected - I don't know,” Patton told the Verge. “Personally, I've seen one other email and have been told there were others, as well as calls to our news desk with similar stories.”

Regardless, it’s a good reminder to change your Alexa settings before you end up with an unwanted dollhouse. Then again, this may be just the perfect excuse to justify that questionable purchase when your significant other asks how in the world it ended up on your doorstep.

Articles
via

Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading
Business