Deleting Your Voice Recordings

A few months ago, the Gotham Gal asked me to disconnect the Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices we have in our family room.

I complied with that request.

This is what the two devices look like now:

At some point, I will remove them and either do something else with them or dispose of them.

If anyone in our house is uncomfortable with devices listening to our conversations, I don’t want to subject them to that.

I do plan to go look at our voice recording history and delete anything that seems off limits.

Here is how you do that with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

This raises a broader question about these voice devices which is whether the value they offer outweighs the creepiness they create in the home.

For us, the answer has been a resounding no, as evidenced by that photograph.

#voice interfaces

Comments (Archived):

  1. Tom Labus

    Great move. Never put them in because of weird factor.TWTR is awake too!

  2. David A. Frankel

    We have a bunch of Echoes, and right now it is not super concerning to us. I checked out history (particularly the ones that “text was not available”) and the questionable ones were mostly false starts, kids arguing over who was going to ask Alexa a question, picking up conversations on TV and at least one of someone snoring.I’m not naive to think that there isn’t bigger potential for snooping as this technology becomes widespread (wait until you go into a smart enabled hotel room on vacation). But, instead of unplugging, I think as early adopters we should be participating in how Amazon and Google make these tools both convenient and safe. Just speaks to the bigger issue of awareness, control and security of our personal information and data — which will no doubt be a huge market opportunity in the years to come.

    1. Elia Freedman

      It’s what they are not telling you that worries me. Government surveillance through private court orders that are never available for our ears is way too possible. And we don’t even need the government to install the devices! We are happy to do it in the name of convenience!(I’m not normally a conspiracy person but… it doesn’t take much of a stretch to see this one as obvious.)There’s a new housing development being built near here where one of the selling points is that they are pre-installing Alexa devices all over the house, like in the walls. That’s nuts, both because technology goes obsolete and I’m having a hard time seeing this as something I would ever want. I wouldn’t touch one of these houses myself.

      1. David A. Frankel

        Yes, for Gen-X and older, sure. But I think you are discounting that for Millennials (who I bet are a target of the housing development you are mentioning), convenience largely outweigh security concerns. Look at how far we have already come with posting and sharing personal information in just 10 years. The train has left the station on this one — not to say we would never disconnect our devices in our house, but I guess I’d rather be a part of the dialogue that makes sure we demand safety and security than put our heads in the sand and avoid it.

        1. Elia Freedman

          I hear you and appreciate your position. I’ll choose to vote with my dollars on this one.As for houses aimed at millennials… don’t know a lot of millenials who can afford to buy these houses.

        2. Erin

          I sometimes question if it’s too late for the train to go back to the station. I work in an elementary school, and one day a little girl in grade 3 or 4 told me we should be able to get a hold of her dad because “he’s always on his phone”. It made me wonder if the pendulum of the generation of kids raised by adults obsessed with their phones will swing the other way. Of course, there has been distracted parenting as long as there have been parents, but might some kids grow up targeting their anger at being ignored at the phone?

          1. PhilipSugar

            The saddest thing I see is a family sit down at a restaurant and everybody immediately pulls out their phones. I have a strict policy I will get up and leave: The phone never leaves your pocket or purse unless you state a reason why you need to look at it to everyone or you are using it to share a photo or lookup a fact we are all discussing and you share it with everyone.

          2. Erin

            Yeah, telling people what you’re using your phone for- I think that’s good etiquette.

          3. PhilipSugar

            It can be as urgent as my wife is nine months pregnant if she calls I’m out of here, or my son is placing baseball I’m an assistant coach and we are on the road, I want to watch the box score live. (they have an app for that) I’m totally fine with both.

          4. falicon


          5. PhilipSugar

            Yes, I wasn’t going to plug it but not surprisingly he lives in Pittsburgh next to Dick’s CMO. I will admit he is a bit competitive. He was texting the coach that the catcher was weak and he needed to send the kid on third base to steal home. This for 11 year olds. He is not an obnoxious parent but he is a really competitive sales guy.Here is my point: You want to tell me to my face that your son’s baseball game is more important than paying 100% attention to me? I am fine. Seriously. From the bottom of my heart. I get it. We are on the road in CA. I have no issue. Just tell me. Give me the choice and the heads up. And I say: I am great, let’s follow the game.

          6. falicon

            GameChanger is great! I’m friends with one of the founders (and now a tiny investor in his newest startup since they sold to Dick’s and moved onto other things)…they worked relentlessly to get that thing off the ground and to where it is today…was such a great story to watch develop over the years (hopefully this next thing will also eventually work out for him) 😉

          7. PhilipSugar

            It is great. You don’t know how much it means to parents that have to be on the road. When the game ends, he can call his son and have a great discussion even though he has to travel. It really means a lot to both of them.

          8. PhilipSugar

            You know Trevor (sales guy) and I talked about this and he talked to the CMO of Dick’s.That has to be one of the greatest concepts of giving away a valuable service for free getting a huge base in a market and then having somebody that makes a ton of money from that market, buying that attention.If they did it on purpose they are pure geniuses. Business pure geniuses.If they did it just for love and it morphed that is awesomeness too.I always think of the business side and then use tech to solve the problem. I am racking my brain for other use cases. You give customers of BigCo a really valuable service for free. BigCo never will even think about it. Build a dominate brand. Then sell to BigCo.

          9. LE

            At a restaurant? That actually doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is in business if you are talking to someone and they check their phone/texts etc. Or even my wife. If I am talking to her and she starts to look at her phone I will not continue talking.But to your point there was a salesman that I deal with that would always check his phone. He asked me out to lunch. I typically don’t do that at all. I don’t need your free meal. In this case I decided I would. Why? Because I was going to go all ‘Phil Sugar’ on him the minute he tried that at the restaurant. But amazingly he turned his phone off. So I had to sit through the entire lunch.Was that admirable on his part? No it probably just showed that he knew he had a problem and had lost some deals by getting distracted in a previous meeting.

          10. PhilipSugar

            To me sharing food is a sacred event. Maybe different for others. I will not eat with you if I don’t like you.

          11. jason wright

            Generation Orphonic.

  3. jamiew

    So you weren’t using them at all? Has there been any moments of plugging them back in?

    1. fredwilson


  4. kidmercury

    I’ve accepted the “privacy for internet” trade as a part of life, so long as the platform is trusted. I have to trust Google (I’m too far in), and not trusting amazon would increasingly be a very large burden. Anyway, only a matter of time before we get a crypto-based platform with better governance (rights, elections, due process, etc).Increasingly I see voice as an inevitable, irresistible ux. Eventually we’ll all talk to robots and they’ll need to be able to hear us.

    1. kenberger

      yes, I accepted 20+ years ago that We Live In Public; it’s no use to even try to have privacy. live by the sword, die by the sword, and you’re only deceiving yourself to think you have safety just because you’ve been “careful”.

      1. kidmercury

        i do avoid some platforms, like i really minimize my fb usage (only on desktop from certain browsers). but i need whatsapp so even then my efforts are probably futile

  5. falicon

    I suspect this is going to be a generational acceptance thing (much like banking, credit, the internet itself, then social, then mobile, etc. etc. etc.).

    1. jason wright

      inviting the snooper in is the cultural hurdle. it’s quite high even for the Xers.

      1. falicon

        Agree but as a bunch of other’s have mentioned here, the snooper is already in most places (mobile devices, many ‘smart devices’, and basically every where public).

        1. jason wright

          the humble landline home telephone (a microphone and speaker combo) has been that ever present and little suspected agent of big brother for a very long time. we accepted it without thought or fear, and you’re right, in time we will accept its modern equivalent as just another piece of domestic ‘furniture’. what do we have to hide? actually quite a few things. my thesis is that human societies function around secrets not widely shared. secrecy is a currency. secrets need to be shared.

  6. kenberger

    mmm, but you’d need to ditch your phones too. Or at least switch off the “Hey Google” or “Hey Siri” functionality, which the mic’s are always listening for, and you might have other apps always listening that you didn’t realize were doing that, or forgot about it. (or possibly have a rogue/spyware on your phone which is doing worse than what Alexa or Home does)one cool thing with the Pixel 2 is you can turn that “hey google” feature off, and just squeeze it instead

    1. Erin

      I’ve never found a reason to talk to my phone, never found Alexa’s use case compelling enough. Also learned about fb’s passive listening in avc and never installed it. I’ve turned off as many tracking features on my apps as I know how. The only reason I can think of to activate the voice thing on your phone is if you need to know infomation while you’re driving and you’ve got both your hands on the wheel. I’ve never had a situation that I couldn’t pull over for though.

    2. creative group

      kenberger:we found with the WIN10 the Bing search box continues to activate the voice unrequested. The off feature really isn’t that easy to deactivate this feature. What is your experience if you even use WIN10.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  7. LIAD

    also saving voice dictation.most freaky is when you see they have your exact location history. everywhere you’ve been, every single journey you’ve taken. that’s fucked privacy is one example where android sucks. google tracks every single thing you do on your phone. as in each app you use and when and for how long. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. creative group

      LIAD:Turn the location feature off and delete any history.If we require a map search us a search engine.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  8. Martin Kupp

    You might want to take a look into , a french start-up building voice assistants that are privacy by design in the sense that they are not connected to the cloud. Everything you say stays on device. Might be a game changer …

  9. Duncan van der Waals

    Your cell phones are also listening to you all the time. And your TVs and laptops. I find that equally disturbing, yet most people draw a clear line between those devices and devices like the ones you unplugged. Is it because Alexa etc are so blatant about listening? Ironically much more thought has been put into limiting the ways they can abuse your privacy than for these other devices that people have no problems with.

  10. Yann LECHELLE

    @Fred this is why we are building our voice assistant tech on-device. We’ve announced a consumer device that should please you and Gotham Gal 😉

  11. Dave

    I think it’s terrible that you have to delete items one at a time. If you click on Help and Feedback, it says you can delete all voice recordings at once, but the sentence stops short of finishing (missing a word) and leaves one guessing!

    1. John Herron

      Love it! What privacy concerns do we still hold as inviolable? How long will it take for us to acquiesce – in the name of convenience – on those limits? Keyboards suck. And GDPR was birthed for a reason – because we (tech) asked for it by not acting ethically in the first place.

    2. Guy Lepage

      The 60’s paranoia has not 100% disappeared. But instead there is an expectation that you are being recorded. Because you are. Which causes a very small amount of paranoia. I don’t know a very many people who do chat on the phone in “full confidence” about personal and private events.I would not like to have that same minor paranoia at home as well. “Hey, hun, let’s go outside to discuss that, away from the recording device.” The invasiveness of a home device FAR outweighs the convenience. Can’t see that changing for a long time. And by then a decentralized solution should have come along. 🙂

      1. Gary Culliss

        Totally agree.

      2. LE

        The 60’s paranoia has not 100% disappeared.The 60’s paranoia was from fear of invaders from outside (the Russians) not at our government at least not by the large amount of Americans. Sure there were groups that were concerned about surveillance but it was definitely not the everyday person living in the Suburbs (that is where they lived they didn’t live in cities).Separately you wiretap a phone (or similar transmission line ie ‘internet’) but ‘bug’ a house.

    3. Mac

      In the 50’s it was Ethel listening in from the town switchboard. We’ve come a long, long way since then.

    4. JamesHRH

      And no one gets that the President is the perfect leader for our times?He denies everything.He is actually not ashamed of anything.He has such a massive track record of denying things he is not ashamed of in order to preserve his career viability that nearly half the voters in the country don’t care.There’s your wiretap teflon.

  12. Ed Lyon

    We’ve had ours on a remote operated plug like this one for about a year now to deal with the privacy issues:…We keep it off 95% of the time, but when we want to make use of the cool features (music, podcasts, news, mostly) it is still available, albeit with a short delay to boot up. We find that to be an acceptable way to deal with the privacy concerns. Too creepy otherwise because clearly Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google lack credibility on the privacy front.

  13. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:The question was asked why would anyone want their communication recorded anyway when the report of law enforcement subpoenaed the voice recordings in a criminal case.…(Doesn’t require a criminal case, it could be a civil case from a shareholder, founder, etc.) Why, why, why would anyone want to have that around them?Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  14. PhilipSugar

    My thing is this. Yes my phone has a microphone and camera and I have turned off all voice recognition and cover the front camera. Now people will point out to me that Apple or Google could turn on that microphone and they are right (or a rogue app). But that means they are doing something wrong. As opposed to me having an Alexa in my house, where I agree to the fact it is listening.People say Privacy is dead just live with it. I don’t buy that argument. That is like saying there is racism and sexism just live with it. I still can put up the fight and I will.

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      Also, you don’t have to be faster than bear, only than the slower guy in the group 🙂 By taking some measures like the ones you mention, you avoid the most egregious abuses, that always affect the most unprotected.Privacy is a gradient, each step is worth taking. Same than health. We don’t surrender to death, we try to eat healthy and work out, even if we don’t have perfect habits.

      1. PhilipSugar

        We could not agree more.This “just accept it” meme is being perpetuated by those that want to abuse it.

  15. JLM

    .Read up on two legal intrusions – “national security letters” and “two hop.”A national security letter allows law enforcement to obtain our Internet info (phones, emails, texts, everything) if they are simply “relevant” to an authorized national security investigation.A NSL does not require a judge’s approval. As an example, the FBI can just grab whatever you have and, thereafter, decide whether it’s relevant. This is authorized by The Stored Communications act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the The Right to Privacy Act.Theoretically, they can only “store” the metadata, but they can take whatever they want to get to the metadata. Wink, wink.The second is the “two hop” rule related to similar investigations. This is why the FBI’s classification of their original “counter intel” investigation starting with George Popadopoulos is so explosive.As a FISA 1 investigation, they can intercept everything in his world his plus two hops – two layers of contact from GP out to the rest of the world. Plus, under certain circumstances, they can also “two hop” from “hot leads.”As an example, if the FBI were looking at me and I had emailed Freddie (hop #1) they could get Freddie’s stuff plus everybody he ever contacted (hop #2).If anybody on either of those “hops” was “hot” they could start hopping yet again.Rob’t Mueller was assigned an existing FISA 1 counter intel investigation which meant he had a two hop authority starting theoretically with Georgie P.Then, he also received four FISA 3 investigations (FISA warrants approved by a FISA Ct Judge) which gave him a two hop authority from two different directions.If Carter Page emailed to someone like Bannon, Kushner, Lewandowski (which, apparently, he did) — then the FBI got a hop from them which brings them directly to the rest of the campaign.BTW, Candidate DJT and President DJT does not use email, but he does use a cell phone.This is criminal behavior on the behalf of our gov’t which got started post-9-11. It has just gotten worse since then. They used to have three hop authority which, essentially, covered the entire world. Remember, this is being done with no Judge involved most of the time (NSLs).Once they — the NSA, the FBI, the CIA — obtains info, they store it …………… forever. At some future date, they can access the info and use it against you.Unlawful search, anybody?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. BillMcNeely

      Seems like the technology that the military and intelligence services were using in the war on terrorism in prototype was being developed in parallel by commercial entities and is now perfected. When I left Iraq in 2011 it was possible to turn on cellphones remotely so I am not surprised.

      1. JLM

        .We have no idea of the limits of such technology.I was in Houston this past weekend for a wedding. Someone left their iPhone at the wedding and used some “Find Me” app to locate their phone.It pinpointed the location sufficiently that the phone losing person was able to drive to the location shown on the app, tap on the door, and get their phone back which was in the person’s (one of the wedding planners) car.Luckily, it was an innocent enough thing and a nice part of Houston.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. BillMcNeely

          As an Uber driver a lost phone hat is my worst nightmare. Usually PAX shows up with a police officer making you feel like a criminal

        2. LE

          Most people don’t realize that photos they take on (as only one example) an iphone contain full info on a host of details such as exact location, hours that the device has been powered up, gps coordinates, date of photo, iphone model, shutter speed, velocity and much more (so let’s say velocity could indicate speed of travel as well as direction when combined with other info).See attached below (see pin drop it’s at Shops of Bar Harbour where it’s one click to find out what you need to know.) I am talking about photos you send someone and/or share or upload by the way. Not the fact that the data is on your phone…. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          1. LE

            Wow that’s great thanks for that link.

      2. jason wright

        war is terror. we must be clear about that.

    2. LE

      BTW, Candidate DJT and President DJT does not use email, but he does use a cell phone.I think this is not so much ‘luddite’ as ‘old school’ on his part.He correctly recognizes that he stands more to lose (business wise) by putting things in writing than he stands to gain in efficiency. Something he puts in writing (for business) can be used against him at a future date in whole or in part. While a conversation could be taped (NY is a ‘one party’ state) [1] it is unavoidable and far less likely to happen or be used against you. Would be also interesting to see what he would say when in his office vs. out of his office to that point. If someone else says it in writing (an employee) he has a leg to stand on and wiggle out of a tight spot.Will say there are certain things that an adviser will say over the phone vs. by email from my experience (and I am sure you would agree). If you have a particular question that you think could be interpreted the wrong way you do it by phone not as an email question.[1]

    3. sigmaalgebra

      9-11: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”So, UBL caused (1)As of June 29, 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,424 total deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 31,952 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom.(2) squander in net present value ballpark $7 T, and(3) trash much of the letter and spirit of our Constitution.There’s a good, one word summary of the US response to 9/11. And that word is, may I have the envelope, please [drum roll], and the word is “STUPID”.A fool and his blood, money, and freedom are soon parted.

  16. curtissumpter

    My boss gave me one for Christmas. It’s still sitting in it’s original box at work.It’s a permanent listening post in your house. It’s listening to your most intimate moments and most critical details of your life constantly.A cell phone is bad enough but Jesus. This was always a bridge too far for me. How can anyone complain about privacy with this thing in your house?

  17. JLM

    .One of the often overlooked l’Affaire Edward Snowdon revelations was that the intel racket had the capability to access any Internet accessible camera using a bit of tech wizardry.If the camera was also audible, then they got sound and pics.This was once a highly classified bit of intel.Think about the possibilities.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  18. DJL

    Congratulations! Better to have analog communication within the family.To me these are novelty items and they soon wear off.

  19. Joe Lazarus

    Out of curiosity, what is your concern with these devices? That Google / Amazon would use the data inappropriately? That some bug might inadvertently share a private conversation?

  20. William Mougayar

    You all heard about the Alexa that recorded a couple’s conversation and sent it to a random contact? Read how Amazon explained how it happened.

  21. Anne McCrossan

    With you on this Fred. AI governance and ethics are a wild west… and need to get much better. I also think human initiative and self-agency are worth preserving over algorithmically controlled ease and convenience.

  22. Richard

    Kitten up luddites, anyone listensing to my recording is in for a lot of, and I mean a lot of fun.

  23. Mac

    I’m wondering what this bodes for developers and startups in the IOT space.

  24. Nick Rovisa

    So does this mean you and your family deleted Instagram too?

  25. LE

    I agree that it’s a creepy and that it doesn’t feel right but I think people are over reacting (what I call ‘whiny tech’) about this issue.The truth is there is almost certainly not an actual person that is listening to what you are saying it’s a machine. And honestly do you really care that a machine is listening to you?If you are in a hotel room and you see someone at another window (across the street) looking at you it’s creepy and dis-tonic. But if you don’t see them and they see you without clothes on does it really matter? Who cares? Why does it matter? If you rent an airbnb (I don’t) and the landlord is taping you it’s creepy and it would freak you out. But if you don’t know it’s going on then has their been any harm (assumes it is not shared on the internet of course..). Sure it’s illegal and for sure he would go to jail for that but if you didn’t know he was doing it it’s like the tree in the Forrest is my point. Do you know every time you are on the street and someone is staring at you? Do you care? Only if you know it is happening (you are aware) does it matter.And let’s take the worse case scenario. You actually say something that violates some law of the government. Do you think the government has the resources to pin down and charge all the people who are making similar type statements? Not only don’t they there is no way they would ever have the resources to prosecute (and it would have to be legal) like activities. They don’t even ticket all speeders which would be so easy to do.Test this out. You can stand on a street corner in NYC or any major city and claim to have cheated on your taxes and give actual details of what you have done. Then see how quickly the government comes after you. You can walk into any FBI office and tell them that you have proof that your neighbor is cheating on their taxes. And you can see how quickly they care about that. Would make either interesting ‘performance art’ and/or a Kickstarter film project. (If someone does that I will back it for sure at a major level..)

    1. PhilipSugar

      Here is the problem. If you have all sorts of info on me without context that is a problem. As I said I know for a fact some really big companies reverse append email addresses and store info they should not.Out of context there are huge problems with that.

      1. LE

        really big companies reverse append email addresses and store info they should notIn what sense?The problem with the government getting involved in this is that we end up with some huge HIPAA like clusterfuck that ends up making criminals out of what should just be reasonable usage. Because with laws that are written they don’t end up recognizing any nuance. Or same with the disabilities act and handicap access. It just ends up going way beyond what is normal and reasonable and, like the bible, a song or a movie, is subject to a host of nefarious legal interpretations that just end up adding to cost. (Or like GD(fucking)PR).Look I recognize what ‘creepy’ is and try to work around it if possible. I had a case where I found out by a simple search with fully public data that a realtor that was a buyer’s agent also owned a property right next to where my mother owned one. I found that out because I am both curious but also I (typically) vet people that I deal with and find out what I can about them. Most people would be freaked out by this since they don’t understand the mind of a curious (and protective type) person. It’s a large part of how I earn a living and why I am good at what I do. Someone who is not like me will either think it’s smart, devious or wrong, screwy or think there are ulterior motives.Anyway recognizing that I couldn’t reveal what I knew (but that I wanted to use the info in the future to my benefit) I simply asked the realtor where she lived. And she told me and then I said ‘oh my mom lives right next door!’. Problem solved! She then told me that the tenant there was a really nice guy and that she really liked him (and that will end up saving him money in the future if I buy that property).Anyway I am obviously biased since freely available info is valuable to me in many ways and I use it to further my business goals in a host of areas.

  26. Gustavo Melo

    Are you not comfortable pressing the mute button and knowing it isn’t listening when the red ring light is on? Honest question.

  27. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:The conspiracy theory nut jobs continue to justify with the lob from Hannity and the contributor nut jobs on Fox. The criminal behavior by those who plead guilty to Federal crimes (lying) isn’t based upon the Government malfeasance but the criminal gang. (The US Government represents the interests of citizens of the country unless you are a criminal attempting to justify criminal activity).How a federal guilty pled is defined:https://www.federalcriminal…DJT appointees who have pled guilty to Federal crimes or are under lawful indictment:http://www.businessinsider….https://www.washingtonpost….No essays or Fox commentators and Rightwing unpatriotic contributors on Fox can summarize the criminal activity away.Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

    1. JLM

      .The US Gov’t routinely conducts its business in violation of norms of decency justifying its behavior based on the offensive conduct of what they judge to be the other party.As an example, an FBI investigator can routinely lie to a “target”, a “subject”, and a “witness.” An FBI investigator can lie without any consequences.To keep this straight, a “target” is what the name implies – someone who is in the crosshairs of an FBI investigation.A “subject” is someone whose presence is within the scope of an investigation, but not the target of the investigation. A subject can become a target as the investigation progresses.A “witness” is someone who possess information which may or may not be useful to an investigation. A witness may become a subject or a target as the investigation progresses.The government may also intimidate a target/subject/witness — lying to them as to the degree of seriousness of an alleged crime is a common example — and may conduct an interview without the presence of an attorney. The FBI can speak to a target/subject/witness without even informing them they are being interviewed or that there is an allegation of a crime – what happened with Lt Gen Flynn.They do not make any attempt to place a target/subject/witness under oath relying instead on a law which states that any person lying to a Federal investigator is guilty of a crime.In the case of George Papadopoulos, they prepared a voluminous criminal charge filled to overflowing with discussion and narrative to charge him with an incredibly small “crime.”It was a marketing stunt and nothing more.You may read the actual charging document here:…The charging document could have been a single page, but the Mueller lawyer (former lawyer for the Clinton Foundation) used it as a soapbox from which to scream collusion with the Russians far and wide.In fact, the charge has NOTHING to do with the Russians, the campaign, or collusion (which isn’t even a crime under any Federal statute).GP lied about a date. That’s it.GP is charged with lying about the date upon which he first met an individual. He said it was BEFORE he was appointed as a campaign adviser. The FBI contends it was AFTER he was appointed as a campaign adviser.In any event, it is clear that it was BEFORE his appointment was announced by the campaign.1. GP said he met the individual in early March. In fact, it was in mid-March.2. GP became aware he was going to be appointed to the campaign advisory team as an unpaid advisor just before he met the individual.3. The campaign announced GP’s appointment well after GP had the conversation with the individual.The FBI contends this was a “material” false statement and a “material” false omission. Perhaps, you can explain its materiality? Nobody with any experience suggests it rose to a level of materiality.The FBI scared the crap out of Papadopoulous and allowed him to plead guilty. Arguably, he was poorly represented.In the next breath, it would probably have cost more than $100K to take this to trial to contest the standard of materiality.This is what is at the core of the Mueller investigation thus far — charges against Manafort which predate the campaign by a decade, a series of unrelated false statements which are unrelated to the campaign or collusion, and a lawsuit against Russian companies and individuals for Facebook spoofing who are beyond the legal jurisdiction of the US legal system.It is nothing.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Legally it’s “nothing”. For getting lots of headlines and maybe more Democrat seats in Congress in 2018 and 2020 it is something. With more seats in the House, the Ds can send a bill of impeachment to the Senate. With the timing just right, that might influence the 2020 election.So, it’s just politics, trying any way they can to win elections and get power.Two reasons the Mueller team is not going to court: (1) The team has nothing significant and (2) any good judge would soon throw the Mueller team out of the court and onto the street.

  28. RichardF

    Surely your Android phone is sharing way more activity Fred, unless you switch off all your activity (even then who knows if you’ve really switched it off)

  29. Lawrence Brass

    Why? What changed from the initial (trusted) assumption?Can you identify what link in the trust chain was broken?Or the initial assumption was never valid?

    1. jason wright

      he was blinded by the light of discovery, now faded.

  30. awaldstein

    Moved last week and honestly have not installed them yet.Samthecat missed the music more than i do.

  31. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:This is the nothing that dishonest, erroneous, fallacious, false, misleading, knowing untrue essays and talking points from the unpatriotic American citizens doing Russian bidding is attempting to explain away as the Mueller (A registered Republican appointed by Republicans) investigation being nothing.…Captain Obvious!#UNEQUIVOCALLYUNAPOLOGETICALLYINDEPENDENT

  32. goldwerger

    Vendors are underestimating the escalation in user sensitivity to privacy. If this reaches earlier adopters like you, imagine the ripple waves going down the curve… a tsunami is building up

  33. sigmaalgebra

    In your picture, first I noticed the REALLY nice brick laying work. Next was the equally nice fitting of the window. Then the fitting of the HVAC and the drywall were immaculate.Glad you saw the “No”. Good for you. You’re not fully the “loser” some people might have thought you were from your seemingly high interest in goofy, maybe creepy, faddish nonsense!Disclosure: I saw the “creepy” part right at the beginning, the creepy and the nonsense that such devices would have any significant utility. The invasion of privacy issue was 50 pounds of cold wet rags at 50 MPH right in the face. Certainly I’m not, now or ever, going speak to some such device and say “Order up our dinner delivered from Chungking Chinese, Salerno Pizza Italiano, Bistro Place Vendôme, or Munich Hofbräuhaus. “. Not a chance.The future value of microprocessors and the Internet are staggering, IMHO no doubt the biggest step up in economic productivity, quality of life, culture, and democracy in all of earth’s history.E.g., Trump on Twitter has revolutionized US government, POTUS leadership, and political news and information.Please, God, let Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Mika and Joe, the panel on The View, etc. just fill the Internet with just everything they can think to say!!!!!In particular, apparently the field is wide open for some perceptive, articulate people to post some really nice videos on how to cook Chinese, Italian, French, and German food, with high, actual INSTRUCTIONAL value — no sitcom or Food Network producers or directors or cookbook editors or authors need apply!But along with this progress will be some creepy, sleazy, slimy, greedy, silly detritus we need to deposit in the dumpster or better yet, as I did in this case, just to avoid to begin with.From Google and Amazon, once again the hacker culture makes a mess. In Jurassic Park how did that go? IIRC, “I HATE that hacker crap.”. Hollywood again looked, was perceptive, and saw the cultural truth.

  34. jason wright

    can’t you hack them to talk to each other while you’re out?yet more objects of desire we don’t really need, but are told we so want. isn’t it time we became a little wiser to that message, don’t you think?

  35. John Frankel

    Would you unplug an Apple device, if you had one in your house, such as the HomePod?

  36. David Cole

    Seeing those devices on the window sill, unplugged, unconnected, looks both unfortunate and like right thing to do.Is it that different than servers and companies in wherever knowing when you are unlocking your door? In principle no, but the intimacy of eavesdropping magnifies the issues by orders of magnitude (the 10,000 cuts) that we ignore in the daily tracking that goes on with the computers in our pockets.I work in education and had the chance to attend an IoT Escape Room event put on by Mozilla as part of its NSF Gigabit grant. It was a hands-on experience about Internet Health. It was a public conversation and active reflection on the tech and how we use it that in some aspects may have mirrored Wilson family conversations that put those voice assistants on the windowsill.Read about in the Medium link below by Mozilla presenter, Chad Sansing. There’s a good overview of the ethos and thinking that went into the session. There’s a Github repo as well if you’re interested in seeing how the session got put together. (#IoTEscapeRoom has some images of what went on. Here’s a URL for that:…One especially great detail about the session, which was attended by educators, librarians, tech folks, community leaders, was the fact that Mycroft sent their the lead engineer and one of his team members and the group hacked on the device, got it running side by side with an Alexa as part of the challenge.Mycroft is an open source voice assistant and a start at a different conversation about these devices and surveillance tech at large. They had a Kickstarter a little while ago. Learn more about that here:

  37. PIggle

    These thing are only not listening when they are unplugged.

  38. Kusalwin Kularatne

    i apologize in advance for my shameless plug.i work at mycroft. we built an open-source smart speaker using our own open-source AI that we developed. and mycroft does NOT store ANY data or

  39. David Cole

    New post from Mozilla – “New Organs” – a call for new mkting and survellance stories: