Google found a place in my Home

Google found a place in my Home

I’ve had an Amazon Echo (Alexa) in my house for quite a while.  One of “Alexa’s” biggest disappointments is her lack of knowledge.  Often, after hearing Alexa say “I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question you asked.”, I found myself turning to Google on my phone for the answer.

The Google Home is an Echo-like assistant for your home that has the knowledge base of Google behind it.  I can also control my IoT devices like WeMo, SmartThings and Philips like my Echo does. After using it since November, I feel I have a decent understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using it vs. the Amazon Echo.


  • Smarter – It has the power of Google Search behind it so it can answer far more questions than the Amazon Echo.  Google Assistant can be a useful tool.
  • Better Looking – Sure, it does look like an air freshener but it’s better looking than the original Amazon Echo.  You can also change the color of the Google Home if you are into that type of thing.
  • Music – It works seamlessly with Google Music, which I like better than Amazon’s alternative.  Services like Spotify and Pandora work on either unit.
  • Sound – Music sounds a lot better coming from the Google Home speaker than the original Amazon Echo.  *I also have an Echo dot.  Using the Echo dot with an external speaker is a nice feature.
  • Chromecast Support – We have 6 Chromecasts in our house.  I love that I can say:
    • Play 80’s rock music in the Living Room
    • Play Justin Timberlake music upstairs
    • Play Studio C videos on the Family Room TV


  • It’s younger than Amazon Echo.  Since the Echo has been around longer there are far more devices and partners that work with it.  They both are adding new features all the time but since the Echo had a head start, it had the advantage.
  • Ordering product.  There’s something really nice about saying “Alexa, order more AA batteries” when you are running low that makes the Echo very nice.  Amazon has a great advantage here.

Overall, I really like the Google Home.  Unless you want the ability to order directly from Amazon with your internet connected assistant, I would suggest the Google Home over the Alexa.  For now, both devices have a place in my home.

Republicans Select New Strong Arm

Republicans Select New Strong Arm

John Boehner resigned.

Kevin McCarthy unexpectedly withdrew from the race.

Jason Chaffetz and Bill Flores also ran, and now are also-rans.

Daniel Webster ran, and is still running, along with Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

Paul Ryan said no.  Paul Ryan said no again.  Paul Ryan said maybe.  Paul Ryan said yes, only if I get my way.

Then Paul Ryan jumped in the race, once he knew he would win.

The drama has ended.  Paul Ryan has been nominated as his party’s selection for Speaker of the House.  His appointment is all but guaranteed, as all Republicans have agreed to vote for him in tomorrow’s formal election in the House of Representatives.

The “campaign” has been long and arduous following Boehner’s surprise resignation announcement, not just as Speaker, but from the House of Representatives.  Boehner’s popularity has waned in recent years, and demonstrated yet again why he is disliked by many in the House, when he negotiated a 2-year $8 trillion budget deal as part of his “barn cleaning” before leaving office.

Ryan, in spite of being considered a Washington insider and friend to Boehner, is supported by many in the House, who are willing to give him a fresh start.

It sounds like Ryan will be popular on both sides of the aisle.  It’s been reported that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer thinks Ryan will be an “outstanding” Speaker.  Even Senator Harry Reid speaks highly of Ryan, saying he is a “fan.”

Support from both sides of the aisle, as well as Democrats in the Senate.  Is that a good thing for the GOP?  Only time will tell . . .

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