back to article Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

Amazon Alexa devices stopped working in the UK and reportedly in parts of continental Europe this morning, with some users still complaining of intermittent outages at the time of writing. The digital blackout began at around 0800 UK time and though it appeared to be recovering by 09.30, some folk – including Reg staffers – …

  1. m0rt Silver badge

    "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

    No, I am not affected.

    However, I don't own an Alexa device either. But doing my duty, Sir!

    1. 0laf Silver badge

      Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

      Ser, ya tozhe khochu soobshchit!

      I too am unaffected. But also do not use any Amazon Alexa based spying devices.

      I'm sure you're relieved to know that at least two of your loyal readers are able to continue their day during the catastrophic 1st World disaster that is an Amazon Alexa outage.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

        OMG! My world is in ruins. I barely know how to breathe! Aaargh!

        Oh wait... I don't have one either...

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

      Are you outraged by the affectation, then?

      Looks like I picked a good day not to buy my partner one for her birthday. Though they do seem nifty devices....

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

        Looks like I picked a good day not to buy my partner one for her birthday. Though they do seem nifty devices....

        Today is the best of all days if it's her birthday today, to show how it doesn't work so she won't want one again in the future.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

        >> Though they do seem nifty devices....

        ...listening to everything anyone might say and cross-referencing it with all the data they hold about the location? no thanks!

    3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

      Huh? What outage?

      I don't believe in IoT tat. And this is as good as any reason why I don't want such things in my hosue.

      1. VinceH Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

        I so want to be outraged by the loss of service, I am tempted to buy one RIGHT NOW! But I fear that by the time it arrives, the problem will be rectified and I'll have a creepy snooping device on my hands that I don't really want!

        Oh, the dilemma!

    4. macjules Silver badge

      Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

      C'mon El Reg, can't we have innuendo, such as "Has Alexa has gone down on you today?"

      1. quxinot

        Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

        ^ Agreed.

        Get Mr. Dabbs to rewrite this article, please.

    5. adnim Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

      I don't have an Alexa device either, I was unaware of the outage until I read the article.

      However it has affected me deeply, I bruised my ass as I fell to the floor to roll about laughing.

    6. Chris 163

      Re: "Are you affected by the outage? Leave us a comment and let us know."

      Oh no! I may have to revert to Facebook to open my vulnerabilities...

  2. Fullbeem

    My Alexa would not turn off Radio 4 this morning , so just walked out the flat. Feel like me and Alexa have had an arguement now.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      So, chocolate and flowers when you get back then?

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        She's probably bought them for you using your Amazon account - thoughtful like that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My Alexa has been boning the au pair.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and when you get back, no Radio 4, just "I suppose you've been seeing Google Home again?"

      1. Locky Silver badge

        Apparently my Alexia is feeling "fine" when I asked

        God I'm in trouble

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      ReR4

      If I had an Alexa and it had turned on R4 it would have left the house before me. Via a wall probably.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ReR4

        "If I had an Alexa and it had turned on R4 it would have left the house before me. Via a wall probably"

        I realise us hip young middle aged dudes may upset you oldies with our loud radio shows, but you'll just have to suck it up grandpa...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ReR4

          Are all the downvotes for having R4 so loud or standing on your lawn grandpa?

  3. SVV Silver badge

    I'm affected

    Suffering with laughter right now.

    "Oh no, my plastic cylinder has stopped talking to me! What am I going to do!"

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I'm affected

      Why, call 911, obviously. Or is that for Facebook outages only...?

      1. Steve Jackson

        Re: I'm affected

        @DropBear Call 112 as it's Alexa Europe that was affected.

    2. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: I'm affected

      "Oh no, my plastic cylinder has stopped talking to me! What am I going to do!"

      Talk to real people ?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: I'm affected

      “Oh no, my plastic cylinder has stopped talking to me! What am I going to do!"

      Paris - because she knows just what to do with a plastic cylinder. And the only moaning she’ll do isn’t on a comments forum. At least not this one. Know what I’m saying?

      Thank you. That’s any women readers left properly alienated.

  4. bsdnazz

    Just Echo Dots?

    I have three Echo Dots that are down but my Sonos One with Alexa is working and responding fine.

    My three Echo Dots seem to have lost their local WiFi connection. I cannot seem then on the LAN.

    I suppose I better go do some work now!

    1. Ochib

      Re: Just Echo Dots?

      "three Echo Dots" … do they work in the same way as the three seashells?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    stupid Alexa, started giving me weather reports in the USA!

    1. Oh Homer
      Trollface

      Alexa is down because

      Jeff Bezos' earpiece fell out.

  6. DrXym Silver badge

    Thankfully I'm not affected

    I tested my lights and my alarm and they still respond to finger commands.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proof the Cloud is about surveillance not practicality, its badly / wrongly designed for IoT

    If it wasn't about surveillance IoT devices could function autonomously with just occasional updates. This nails it. Nice to see IoT's bluff getting called :

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-09-21/amazon-s-alexa-soon-all-home-appliances-will-be-listening-in

    "Most consumers who willingly give up their privacy for the convenience of voice recognition don’t even realize the technology can work without opening up one’s home to round-the-clock eavesdropping, whether malicious or accidental. A small French company called Snips has been working for years on private-by-design voice recognition. Voice commands are processed on the end user’s device, making the data transfer unnecessary. The underlying artificial intelligence is trained without central servers"

    1. Ian K

      Re: Proof the Cloud is about surveillance not practicality, its badly / wrongly designed for IoT

      "A small French company called Snips has been working for years on private-by-design voice recognition. Voice commands are processed on the end user’s device, making the data transfer unnecessary."

      Ironically when I tried to follow the link to Snips on the Bloomberg page I ran into a "Manage Options on using your data" setup so Byzantine and fiddly it simply wasn't worth the effort of working through it; on quick examination it seems to want you to have a login and go in to set things for each advertiser individually, and the page where you start doing that's hidden 4+ inobvious links down from the simple "Just let us have everything" option.

      So, I still don't know what their opinion of Snips is, but let's just say I have my doubts that it can match the cloudy setups as far as both price, practicality and out-of-the-box performance are concerned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        'when I tried to follow the link to Snips....'

        With scripts off its a direct link. But maybe you're in a different region and having a nastier UX too. Anyway, here is the Snips link:

        https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/18/committed-to-privacy-snips-founder-wants-to-take-on-alexa-and-google-with-blockchain/

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: Proof the Cloud is about surveillance not practicality, its badly / wrongly designed for IoT

      Soon all appliances will be listening in...

      To our Rayburn? Maybe not.

    3. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

      Re: Proof the Cloud is about surveillance not practicality, its badly / wrongly designed for IoT

      "... small French company called Snips has been working for years on private-by-design voice recognition. Voice commands are processed on the end user’s device, making the data transfer unnecessary. "

      I believe Samsung Bixby is processed locally so not everything is transmitted across the iterwebs. It gives the advantage that when issuing local commands to the device it is much quicker than google spy or amazon spy...

  8. msknight Silver badge

    "Alexa... what caused the outage today?"

    ... silence...

    Oh well.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: "Alexa... what caused the outage today?"

      "Alexa! Play The Sounds of Silence"

      The rest is history.

  9. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Yesterday someone asked Alexa...

    ... to calculate how long it would take to do the Tower of Hanoi puzzle with 128 disks.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Yesterday someone asked Alexa...

      Nah, someone asked it to go and make a cup of tea...

      Mine's the robe with the towel in the pocket.

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Yesterday someone asked Alexa...

      2n − 1

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yesterday someone asked Alexa...

        2^128-1 = 340282366920938463463374607431768211455

        If you moved one disk per second that would take ~10^31 years.

        The original "Tower of Hanoi" myth only had 64 disks so would take a mere 585 billion years.

        For something a little less long to wait try reading Arthur C Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God"

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: If you moved one disk per second that would take ~10^31 years.

          I guess that it will be a while before the service is back up again then.

          (They should put something in the instructuons about asking Alexa difficult things invalidating the warranty).

        2. PhilipN Silver badge

          Re: Yesterday someone asked Alexa...

          UV for any mention of ACC.

          Now, across the globe, Alexas are going out, one by one.

        3. David Roberts Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Yesterday someone asked Alexa...

          Nine Billion Names of God.

          There is always a last time for everything.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alexa play R.E.M. Everybody Hurts.

  11. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Coat

    ...with some users still complaining...

    Mis-spelt 'happy' there, I think.

    Alexa, get my coat --->

  12. Jarndyce
    Alien

    42

    Maybe Alexa was asked to find the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything ..

    1. Peter Mount

      Re: 42

      Or Captain Kirk has asked Alexa to calculate to the last digit PI

      1. Grouchy Bloke
        Mushroom

        Re: 42

        I always asked alexa to give pi to 10,000 decimal places when in John Lewis. Made sure volume set to 11 first and walked away.

        Great fun.

        They're locked down with awful demos now, so not so much fun.

  13. Arachnoid

    Ring of death?

    Both my alexas had a continual circling yellow/orange ring on them around midnight so it sounds like a bodged update.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ring of death?

      AI are planning a purge

  14. Forget It
    FAIL

    The rest is silence

    Was Hamlet talking about brexit?

    I cannot live to hear the news from England;

    But I do prophesy the election lights

    On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;

    So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,

    Which have solicited. The rest is silence

  15. Munkeh

    AWS EU issues

    There was an issue with AWS this morning in EU-West-1 (Dublin) with an availability zone and the timings match.

    That also took down JIRA and Confluence for roughly the same duration as the Alexa problems.

    I wonder why Alexa isn't multi-AZ...

    1. sorry, what?
      Unhappy

      Re: AWS EU issues

      @Munkeh,

      It is interesting to piece together which services are co-located when this sort of thing happens. I don't give a munkeh's about Alexa (like many of the other commentards I don't have one and wouldn't use it if they gave it away) but Jira being down was serious trouble at 't mill.

      https://status.atlassian.com/incidents/2x4splh4hgvq

      "The root cause was identified as a networking issue with our service provider. The issue has been resolved and the services are now operating normally."

    2. the-it-slayer

      Re: AWS EU issues

      Atlassian Cloud is probably Multi-AZ, just the app layers became unhappy with a lack of an AZ because of noted networking issues at the time plus not being able to spin up new instances. Not very tolerant to sudden cloud outages and micro-services being happy with APIs or dependent services being unavailable.

      I'm not sure if you can pick data location on Atlassian Cloud, but multi-region across the EU DCs would at least offer some redundancy. Again, multi-region operations in the cloud get extremely complicated.

  16. andy 103
    FAIL

    That reminds me

    Someone gave me an Echo Dot at Christmas. I used it for a period of 2 weeks, unplugged it, and consigned it to a drawer.

    Must remember to sell it to someone who wants a totally underwhelming, useless, and can-already-do-with-my-phone/laptop - piece of shit.

    If you're the sort of person who needs or relies on devices like this, you have far bigger problems than whether they can be used at any given time.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: That reminds me

      @andy 103

      Yeah - because none of us have to care for elderly relatives. Not narrow minded. Not at all.

  17. bish

    Mine are dead

    We've got three Dots(*) here in Slovakia (all UK-bought and registered) and none of them have been able to connect to the backend at all today (although, to be fair, it's not like we've been testing at routine intervals - hearing the error message once is enough). To be honest, I'm quite relieved that for once it's not my fault for tinkering with the setup.

    (*) For the benefit of andy 103, and any folk like him who agree that, 'If you're the sort of person who needs or relies on devices like this, you have far bigger problems than whether they can be used at any given time.' I'd suggest that - just perhaps - the sort of person who needs or relies on devices like this might not be a dumb, early-adopting, gadget-loving consumer, but rather someone who simply wants or needs to make life easier for themselves or their loved ones - especially if they or their loved ones are especially young, elderly or in some way disabled.

    With that in mind, maybe right now, when the devices they rely on aren't working, isn't the best possible time to explain to them which of their problems are more important than their Echo devices going down. But, y'know, thanks for your input, andy 103.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Mine are dead

      Point well made. For people with limited or no vision, a voice based digital assistant is a link to the world which they didn't have before. It's a massive leap ahead of screen readers etc.

      So before tarring everyone with your own opinionated brush, consider other points of view.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mine are dead

        So before tarring everyone with your own opinionated brush, consider other points of view.

        Imagine an internet where the only allowable opinions were fluffy, mutually inclusive group think that could never cause offence to anybody about anything. Maybe you could start one up? A sort of fully-inclusive, no conflict, real-time moderated version of what AOL used to be.

        I won't be seeing you there.

        1. bish

          Re: Mine are dead

          Just for the record: andy-whatever-number is fully entitled to his opinion, as are you, Anonymous Coward, (and the AC before you). I wasn't remotely offended by Andy's opinion, but it did strike me that he had mistaken his comment for a brilliantly satirical skewering of foolish hipsters, rather than a fairly base bit of snobbery, and I felt it only right that someone disabused him of that particular notion. I didn't and don't wish to censor him, you, or anyone else... but that cuts both ways, and I believe we're all entitled to call out dumb opinions when we see them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mine are dead

      "... just perhaps - the sort of person who needs or relies on devices like this might not be a dumb, early-adopting, gadget-loving consumer, but rather someone who simply wants or needs to make life easier for themselves or their loved ones - especially if they or their loved ones are especially young, elderly or in some way disabled."

      Good point, but not good enough because those people who "can" complain their Alexa is offline is definitely not disabled enough to be able to do so when Alexa is offline.

      In addition, those people, who needed care and was unable to use their device, should have their carer already prepared an alternative for such case. Just like office IT, the IT guy/gal has to prepare backups for emergency. The elder carer who purchased the device is no exception. After all the carer is the person who setups everything for Alexa to work. The carer should have a backup.

      If they didn't do any of that and complained on twitter, no they still "have far bigger problems than whether they(Alexa ) can be used at any given time."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Wut

        What's your point? It's possible for a carer to have a less convenient backup, but still be annoyed that the primary device is down, isn't it? It's possible for that carer to go online and complain, isn't it?

        I don't know about you but I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a sysadmin offer a Buddhist shrug to something suddenly and inexplicably breaking, no matter how many failsafes they had in place to minimise down time for end users. Usually there's a lot of swearing.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Wut

          I don't know about you but I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a sysadmin offer a Buddhist shrug to something suddenly and inexplicably breaking, no matter how many failsafes they had in place to minimise down time for end users. Usually there's a lot of swearing.

          You mean you didn't know that swearing is an obscure form of Buddhism?

  18. WolfFan Silver badge

    All Greek to me

    Alexa is derived from Alexander/Alexandra, Greek or near-Greek names which can be translated into Ye Queene’s English as meaning ‘defender of men’ or ‘repeller of men’, depending on context. Works for me. I’m repelled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All Greek to me

      So it's named after the city where all visitors had to hand over any books, so that they could archived in the great library? Sounds apt...

  19. Craigie

    Broadcast

    I tried the broadcast thing this morning and it apparently broke all the Alexas in the country. Sorry about that.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still down

    Alexa is still down in Liverpool, UK right now (12:34 pm) 26th September 2018 luckily I have the Google home mini, too, so my house still works ok!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Still down

      If you define OK as slurping data to at least one US corp...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still down

      Alexa is on vacation.. since you already have an assistant covering her shift

  21. Doctor_Wibble
    Mushroom

    Attack of the S-C-OG coalition

    This is clearly an attack by a coalition of Siri, Cortana and OkehGugle who were feeling a bit left out and wanted to show Alexa as not being invulnerable, just in time to launch their own respective 'use us for your gifting shoppagement this winterval' campaigns.

    This is the opening salvo in the war of the gods, which will leave a trail of destruction and incorrect orders in its wake.

  22. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    The cloud is raining?

    This is hardly unexpected - it make me think that Max Headroom may be in the system and turned everything off just for fun.

  23. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Yes! I'm affected!

    I just HAD to come here to read the comments.

    Otherwise, I'm just fine, not actually having an Anusexa.

  24. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    FAIL

    TITSUP

    Total Inability To Systematically Usurp Privacy

  25. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Disability

    I have a friend who is wheel chair dependent. Her Alexa thingy is really useful to her. OTOH I have other friends who do use it because it's the latest thing and...... they can.

    Bleeding waste of space if you ask me. Mostly just like having a high tech switch for an MP3 player (or these days some streaming service I guess).

    I wouldn't want one of these creepy snoops if they paid me rent on its location. But I guess the suckers make it viable for those who need it. Just like, say, gluten free foods are made viable for the people who actually need them because of the idiots who just use them because they're the current thing.

    But if someone does need the device it's a blow if they aren't working.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Disability

      "gluten free foods are made viable for the people who actually need them because of the idiots who just use them because they're the current thing"

      Bad example. GF intolerance is far more common than you might think.

      1. Patrician

        Re: Disability

        Actually, true gluten intolerance is far less common that many foodies would like you to believe.

      2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

        Re: Disability

        "Bad example. GF intolerance is far more common than you might think. "

        let me fix that for you.

        "Self diagnosed gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think...."

        there, that's better...

    2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

      Re: Disability

      ".....Just like, say, gluten free foods are made viable for the people who actually need them because of the idiots who just use them because they're the current thing. "

      My daughter is personally very thankful to the idiots who adopted gluten free as a fad. She has coeliac and for years the gluten free products that ware available, were for want of a better word SHIT.

      Since idiots who think gluten free is a health thing, its made it worthwhile for food producers to come up with things that are actually pleasant to eat that is gluten free and has reduced the point of sale price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Disability

        Precisely. My daughter is lactose intolerant. Properly diagnosed. She's not allergic. She can take lactose with the enzyme tablets*, to a reasonable extent.

        But the wide range of dairy free or lactose free alternatives that have appeared in the last couple of years have made her life much easier. All thanks to the self-diagnosed and the faddy dieters. We are very grateful to them.

        *It's a measure of how much this is fad lead that, unlike the special foods, the enzyme tablets are not that easy or cheap to get here. because only genuinely lactose intolerant people can get any benefit. So there's quite a small market for them. We buy them or get them sent from the USA Cosco because UK's Cosco doesn't sell them and it's really expensive to buy them here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Disability

          We are off on a tangent here, but wasn’t the first tangent about gluten free and now you’re talking about a lactose intolerance?

          I’d ask Alexa to explain this for me but...

  26. TheresaJayne

    I cant turn my lights on or off, and I already reset all my network thinking it was the BT Homehub locking out the wifi as usual but no its just off

    1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
      Windows

      "I can't turn on the lights because the internet thinghy is not working"

      Aint the future great?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Millennial spotted. Do I win £5?

  27. Duffaboy
    Joke

    It's Skynet

    I'll be back

  28. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Stop

    So many people, so little understanding.

    In it's idle mode, these gadgets just listen for a wake word - locally. They aren't constantly streaming your audio to a backend somewhere. Some simple network analysis would show you that.

    Fine, go ahead and downvote me for bringing facts to a comment thread. Shocking, I know. I just thought you might like the revelation that amazon don't give a shit what noises you make during sex.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      RE:So many people, so little understanding

      What utter bollocks. If your woman is called Alex the stupid cylinder tries to join in with sex almost every time.

      Unless you change the trigger word to 'Sorry'.

      1. Chris King Silver badge

        Re: RE:So many people, so little understanding

        "What utter bollocks. If your woman is called Alex the stupid cylinder tries to join in with sex almost every time."

        You'd be in real trouble if the Echo suddenly screams "OH GOD OH GOD I'M CRASHING!"

      2. Wandering Reader

        Re: RE:So many people, so little understanding

        "If your woman is called Alex the stupid cylinder tries to join in with sex almost every time."

        It could be worse. Our safe-word is Alexa.

    2. Keith 20

      The amount of times I have to tell my girlfriend this.....!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >> They aren't constantly streaming your audio to a backend somewhere. Some simple network analysis would show you that.

      It doesn't have to be constantly streaming. It could buffer, compress and encrypt the audio and then send it in batches.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is this satire?

        If not, why are you here? Just think about what you're saying for a moment.

      2. Patrician

        "Some simple network analysis would show you...", if it was doing that.

    4. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Yes, of course that's how it's supposed to work. Key word here is supposed.

    5. Duffaboy
      Joke

      Hang on what if

      in the throws of ecstasy and passion Alexa misinterprets the command "yes yes yes" and puts on a track from the English prog rock band

    6. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Fine, go ahead and downvote me for bringing facts to a comment thread. Shocking, I know. I just thought you might like the revelation that amazon don't give a shit what noises you make during sex.

      Where do you think Amazon gets the money to cover development costs?

  29. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Probably not connected at all

    but my freeview TV could only get BBC TV for a while this morning. I did wonder if there was coup happening for a moment but the internet seemed functional.

  30. vtcodger Silver badge
    Happy

    Alexa deserves a break

    My God. Can't the poor, overworked woman take a few hours off now and then? Maybe we could arrange for Alexa to work a 164 hour week. And bring Clippy in for four hours on Sunday afternoons.

  31. Chris Malme

    Mixed results here.

    My Show devices are working fine. My Echo and Echo Dot devices are still out.

  32. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    M'aidez SOC Alexa.

    Voice signature, local zone, cache 24 hour commands, retrieve and status. Proxy security to manual. Alert reconnect. Cache warning on fill, erase. Music:ON. #shieldsup #iLovethefeelingofwoodintheAM

  33. Keith 20
    Meh

    Wi-Fi Update

    Sorry guys, I was updating which wifi mine connected to, so it was probably me.

    Its all done now though

  34. anthonyhegedus Silver badge
    Coat

    Seriously, I'm going to be stuffed when I get home. I won't have a clue how to turn on the bedside lights (I believe there's a device called a 'light switch' attached, but heaven knows how you address it). I won't be able to ask Alexa how many cm 18 feet is, and I won't be able to convert celsius to Fahrenheit for my wife. Well, I won't be able to do these things upstairs, but I can go down and ask google to do it for me. But the inconvenience of having to go downstairs to ask to turn on my bedside light is so great I feel a class action lawsuit here.

    Now which way up do I sit on the toilet?

    I'll get my coat. It's the one with the piss-filled boot with pouring-out instructions written on the heel.

  35. DrTez

    3 down 1 up?

    I have 3 echo dot2 in 2 locations (80 miles apart) all are offline today. I have 1 full size echo and that is working fine - albeit 'seems' slower than usual to respond. Cost me a lot of time resetting/rebooting/resubmitting passwords etc

  36. ElDave

    Alexa knows your search history...

    And now she's giving you the silent treatment.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cloud.

    lol.

    IOT.

    lol.

  38. Peshman

    Hopefully fixed by later tonight

    I hooked up my mother's living room lamps to smart-plugs so that she could manage the lighting post Hip Op. She's completely deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other so she can now also 'ask' alexa to make calls hands-free from her armchair.

    YOU, may not see a need for a puck that manages to turn YOUR lights on and off, or draws the curtains for you. However, for every solution looking for a problem there's invariably a problem waiting for a solution that nobody could foresee. Sure, before I bought the 'Dots' she was living. Now she's living more comfortably and probably more safely too.

    Now she uses them for everything from catching up on the News headlines to managing her lighting and making phone calls. I didn't realise when I'd bought them for her how useful they'd be. Now I know that if she falls over then she can still call for help by asking Alexa to place the call for her.

    I, for one, am grateful that the technology exists and it's pretty affordable too.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Hopefully fixed by later tonight

      But it means that you are putting your mother in a category you imply you are not willing to be put in - i.e. those being spied on by corporate interests. There is something deeply uncomfortable about those saying "my privacy counts, but theirs doesn't" when posting on a forum where most people are aware of the risk:benefit ratio and can make an informed decision.

  39. Lloyd

    Well

    I might be affected but I no longer have an Amazon account and have never had an Amazon data slurper either so I don't see how.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Tech for tech's sake, failing, and showing us where 40 years of "innovation" has gotten us: absolutely nowhere.

    I can't wait for this bubble to burst.

    1. Peshman

      Re: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      Yeah, like who needs a car when the horse-drawn carriage was good enough to get you from A to B? Tech for tech's sake?

      How did the iPad manage to change the way people view entertainment? They had broadcast TV's before Netflix and radios before Spotify didn't they? Cinema's before Netflix,

      Just because you can't see the value of an advance in technology until it begins to fulfill a requirement that you didn't know you had doesn't make its existence worthless. If it truly is worthless then it'll just fade away into obscurity like many other products have in the past.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

        Perhaps a better analogy would be:

        Who needs a self-driving Tesla, when you could drive your old traditional car by hand?

        And as an added bonus, keep your head on your shoulders.

        Yeah.. Premature technology...

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

          Maybe because I have a long way to drive and the car could, by automatically driving me there, free me to spend that time productively? That's why I'd like a fully self-driving car, anyway.

          I see a few limited use cases for these voice assistant things, such as the convenience of asking what the weather is and getting a response without getting my phone, unlocking it, and clicking an app. No, it doesn't change my life, nor does it really save that much time, but it is marginally more convenient so I'll use it for that purpose. Of course, I haven't bought one of these things, because they're unnecessary and creepy. I can already do this using the voice program the phone people shoved onto my phone without asking me, or with about ten other ways.

  41. Dwarf Silver badge

    Yet more proof...

    Why cloud is not a good idea in many places.

    If you really, really must depend on something that is not in your house, then it must have full end to end resilience and a fully and frequently tested failover mechanism

    The only problem is that to do this, suddenly you can't afford it any more

  42. rdeman

    Outrage in British Europe

    Alexa outrage in "UK and reportedly in parts of continental Europe". Right. So it's an outage in British Europe and parts of Continental Europe then. Or in other words: an outage in "parts of Europe". Ok that's clear then.

  43. Andy 97

    The Amazon Snoop-o-matic returns

    Had an outage when I asked it to play my Adam Beyer podcast. It then told me that it wasn’t connected to the internet. Obviously I checked both of my connections. After two hard boots all functions returned.

    All this nonsense to turn on my kitchen lights and tell me the current temperature In Vilamoura...

    The only other strange thing is it’s insistance to listen to a repeating radio advert and then going back to sleep when it ends.

    Thank you Global and Radio X.

  44. spold Bronze badge

    Emergency control device

    Stuck on Radio 4? Wake-up alarm still blaring?

    Buy my Alexa emergency function cancellation device!

    (Might look suspiciously like a hammer)

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Emergency control device

      Have you tried finesse?

      I named my lump hammer "Finesse" for just this sort of occasion.

  45. Sureo

    Someone said "Alexa, drop dead." And it did.

  46. Making Bacon

    The only digital assistant I have ever had was Clippy ... I still miss him and his cheerful " It looks like you're writing a letter Would you like help?" message.

    1. Miss_X2m1

      I liked Clippy, it was cute!

  47. doug_bostrom

    '"Worst part is, the Alarm is stored locally so it still works... But you can't turn it off because Alexa doesn't respond to voice commands.. like "Alexa, stop"!!!'

    Yeah, and the poor Eloi don't know what a power cord is, and can't ask.

    Alexa: make yourself into a brain-dead quadraplegic.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mine doesn't work either

    I don't have one.

  49. Diez66

    Someone/thing that does not listen to me

    Felt like a normal day, sad.

  50. Andy3

    Not affected in the slightest, don't own one.

  51. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    No, not affected.

    But I don't use voice activation -i.e. open microphones to the mothership.

  52. Steve Jackson

    Can't believe that some posters are ridiculous enough to think that foisting one of these devices on an elderly relative is, in some way, "caring"?

    Wow.

  53. Miss_X2m1

    Amazon is having all sorts of issues.

    In addition to "Alexa going down", On September 17, 2018, NBC News had reported that Amazon is investigating claims of employees leaking data for bribes. The practice, which is a violation of the company's policy, is particularly strong in China, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Also, Amazon users are reporting that all their product reviews are suddenly be deleted and they are being blocked from posting new product reviews, this, even after being long time customers and never violating Amazon's terms of use.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/amazon-investigating-claims-employees-leaking-data-bribes-n910166

  54. hoola

    Up In Arms

    So the world is up in arms because a piece of electronic tat stops working. What a sad state of affairs have we got into?

  55. theBatman

    Down.

    I momentarily got excited that perhaps this article was going to tell me the world had come to its senses and sales of voice activated devices were on the decline.

    My own fault for jumping to conclusions (and misreading the headline) but still, disappointed.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Random

    Wonder if the Alexa chips were supplied by the same folks who supplied Microsoft with GPUs for the Xbox 360?

    Random indeed: they never officially determined what caused the problem but it was believed to be dodgy solder balls. In fact there are three different causes one of which is a defective GPU itself.

    It could be in this case that the FW update didn't check to see which chip revision was used and a timing related parameter got messed up.

    Similar fault to the one on some smart TVs but this got resolved very quickly.

  57. Northern raver

    Im feeling sorry for myself Woe is me,

    I don't have any friends..

    Alexa is my only friend

    I'm so sad my Echo dot is not working!!

    Alexa.

    Play Despacito....

  58. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    So...

    Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

    And this is a bad thing how???

  59. John Doe 6

    Isn't that the service....

    ...that is spying on its users all the time ?

    Should we not be happy when it is down ?

    Me confused!

  60. Stevie Silver badge

    Meine Echo dots sind down, der Plus nicht?!?!!!

    So "der Plus nicht" is German for "the crapper" then?

    Learn summat every day.

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