Oh no, what have I done?
In a weak moment, whilst perusing the Black Friday offerings on Amazon.com, I ordered one:
Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam-forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.The features listed with the photo are only a few of the key features. Follow the link for more info, embedded videos, reviews, FAQ and more.
Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word. [...]
It, "Alexa", arrives tomorrow. I wonder if it will be anything like HAL from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey? That would be kinda cool, I guess. As long as she isn't the Beta version that murders you while you sleep.
UPDATE 12-08-15: So far, so good. It does everything they said it would. Only complaint, it can't attach to external speakers (but I knew that before I bought it.) It was very easy to set up, it's very easy to use. The voice recognition is really excellent. I can play radio stations from all over the world. When I want info about a song or music, I can ask Alexa, and she will tell me.
There are more features available if I sign up for Amazon Prime ($100 per year, which works out to $8.50 a month). I'm thinking about it.