[BCAB] Really useful skills on the Amazon Echo

Jonathan H digitaltoast at gmail.com
Sun Mar 11 16:41:05 GMT 2018


Hi all,

Sorry to slightly hijack this thread, but I'm still working on version two
of the Talking Newspaper skill and would appreciate ideas for adding to the
next version.

A lot more people are using it for podcasts and streams than I expected, so
the first major improvement is the removal of the requirement to save a
favourite talking newspaper before you can listen to podcasts.

That said, while I still want it to primarily be a talking newspaper finder
and player and not get TOO bloated with general podcasts, I'm very open to
adding stuff which either isn't available or easily findable elsewhere.

So if you know of any podcasts or radio which is not available on TuneIn or
other apps, please let me know!
I am also looking for a list of other blind friendly skills in the UK which
would appeal to your typical talking newspaper listener, who may be a
little nervous of new technology, might not own a computer or tablet, but
would still like to easily find information.

Please note that none of the following will suddenly appear overnight - any
changes to a skill need to go through a laborious approval process, so give
it a couple of weeks!

There now follows a list of podcasts which I am in the process of adding or
have added as they are not easily findable elsewhere:

Braillecast
dot 2 dot
infosound select
and the following, all from the RNIB:
Tech Talk Episodes
Tech Talk Features
Read On Episodes
Read On Features
Craic On
The Weekly Connect
The Weekly Connect Features

The following have been requested, but I have not yet been persuaded for
the reasons given:

The Blindside podcasts and Mushroom FM and RNIB Connect Radio are available
from Tune In.
Ouch Disability and In Touch podcasts are available from the BBC Skill.
Cool Blind Tech is not on TuneIn but is it too America-centric? You can
help me decide that one!

Any more suggestions? Remember, the purpose of this is NOT to duplicate
other skills or where podcasts are available from the dot in other ways.
That said, I am happy to maintain a list of podcasts and skills which would
point at other very relevant skills, again, not looking to duplicate what
Robin does on dot 2 dot or anything.

Thanks,

Jonathan

On 11 March 2018 at 14:45, Clive Lever <clive.lever1955 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Barry,
>
> First time out, you say "Enable Harry Potter Letters". From the second
> time onwards, you'll be able to say 'Play Harry Potter Letters"
>
> Best,
> Clive
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Barry Toner [mailto:barry at tonermail.co.uk]
> Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2018 1:43 PM
> To: BCAB Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [BCAB] Really useful skills on the Amazon Echo
>
> Hi ya,
>
> How do you start Harry Potter Letters?
> I’ve tried Open Harry Potter Letters, Start Harry Potter Letters, Play
> Harry Potter Letters.  Echo appears to think I’m asking for an audio book
> as it comes back that it couldn’t find Harry Potter Letters in Barrys
> Library.
>
> Thanks,
> Barry.
>
> > HOn 9 Mar 2018, at 16:23, Yusuf Osman <yusuf.osman at yusufosman.org.uk>
> wrote:
> >
> > I think probably my favourite skills are, and in no particular order,
> > Hive, Ocado, Harry Potter letters, Audible, Kindle and Question of the
> > Day (although I suppose that one is debatable) Yusuf I've set up a
> FundMe account to help cover the ongoing costs of my PhD. I'd be very
> grateful if you'd consider donating. Thank you!
> > https://www.gofundme.com/lhj928
> > Why not follow me on Twitter at:
> > yusuf_oy
> > Facebook:
> > /yusuf.osman.188
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Graham Page <gpage at useit.plus.com>
> > Sent: 09 March 2018 14:39
> > To: 'BCAB Discussion List' <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
> > Subject: Re: [BCAB] Really useful skills on the Amazon Echo
> >
> > Hi all.
> >
> > First there is the Dot to Dot podcast.  This does have a wealth of
> > useful skills that are reviewed which is potentially very useful.  The
> > problem is that the guy who presents the podcast, Robin
> > Christopherson, sometimes seems more bothered about getting out a
> > podcast everyday rather than looking to see if anyone is likely to
> > find the podcast useful.  Of course, what is useful is often quite
> > subjective but I'm not sure that a skill that throws one of a number
> > of insults at you when asked is really worth including in any serious
> > skill list and there are quite a few of these.  There's now over
> > 300 of them and they don't seem to be sorted in any kind of order.
> >
> > Games that I have tried that are worth playing include the Milionair
> > game skill, based on Who wants to be a millionaire game.
> > The Path of Discovery Europa is a SciFi game with plenty of sound
> > effects that looks quite promising.  There's also Magic Door which I
> > know quite a lot of people have played.  This is an adventure game.
> >
> > There's also a skill called Daily Log which allows you to make a
> > number of short recordings, save them, and search them by word.  I
> > haven't really played with this  extensively but it looks interesting
> > as a way of making short notes.
> >
> > There is also the My Talking Newspaper skill produced by Jonathan H
> > which is potentially really good, though it depends how many talking
> > newspapers sign up over time.  You can listen to podcasts  such as Dot
> > to Dot with this skill too as well as listening to RNIB Connect Radio.
> >
> > In London I use the Tube Planner app which can tell you how to do a
> > journey by Underground and there is the Fast Tube Status skill which
> > lets you find out about delays on individual lines.
> >
> > Cheers
> >
> > Graham
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Clive Lever [mailto:clive.lever1955 at gmail.com]
> > Sent: 09 March 2018 13:33
> > To: BCAB Discussion List
> > Subject: [BCAB] Really useful skills on the Amazon Echo
> >
> > Hi all,
> >
> >
> >
> > There have been some comments to the effect that the skills
> > highlighted in the weekly 'what's new in Alexa" emails are mainly too
> > trivial. It's a shame thatthey don't include more Skills which are of
> > particular value to us as blind and partially-sighted people.
> >
> >
> >
> > So, if you have any favourite, genuinely useful skills to alert us to,
> > please write on or off-list. I plan to think of ways the best of them
> > could be included in an item, possibly a regular feature on our
> > podcast. If you can send audio files of you actually calling up your
> > favourite ones, so much the better. Those would be best sent off-list
> though.
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Clive
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
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