GoPro Karma

The new GoPro Karma looks like the most versatile drone yet

GoPro Hero 5

The new $399 GoPro Hero5 is waterproof without a case, and can be operated using your voice

Amazon Echo in Canada

It’s time for a post! I know I haven’t posted anything in awhile, but this product is pretty cool. I know us Canadians are late to the party since this product STILL isn’t available, but I thought I would share my experience.

Product: Amazon Echo

About 90% of this product will work just fine in Canada if you use Spotify instead of Amazon Prime Music. The only problem you might run into would be the locale (used for timezone, weather, local news and traffic). You can get around this a couple ways:

  1. Specify the city when making these requests “Alexa, tell me the weather in Kelowna BC”
  2. Since my timezone was off, step one didn’t cut it for me. For some reason changing my city to Seattle didn’t update the timezone. Follow this guide to “hack” the Echo’s location to allow an outside the US locale.

First download this Chrome Extension called Request Maker.

Now visit the Alexa website and go to Settings -> click on your Device -> click edit beside your Device Location and change your zip code to a US zip code. Now you can click on the Request Maker extension and you will see a PUT to “”, click on this and you will see the raw text that was sent to Amazon. Using these flags you can set your timezone and device local.

To see which timezone is correct for you visit this Amazon page.

Here is an example from Echotalk forums:

{"deviceAccountId":"DONOTCHANGE","deviceAddress":"23 Wenlock Road, London, N17","deviceAddressModel":{"city":"London","countryCode":"UK","county":"London","district":"Hackney","houseNumber":"901","label":"23 WA-305 NE, Bainbridge Island, N1 7SZ, United Kingdom","postalCode":"N1 7SZ","state":"London","street":"WA-305 NE"},"deviceSerialNumber":"DONOTCHANGE","deviceType":"AB72C64C86AW2","firstRunCompleted":true,"postalCode":"98110","responseStyle":"CONCISE","searchCustomerId":"DONOTCHANGE","temperatureScale":"CELSIUS","timeZoneId":"Europe/London","voiceCastEnabled":null,"autocastToThisClient":false,"isSaveInFlight":true}

Once you have made these changes click SEND and test out Alexa by asking “What’s the weather” or “What’s the time”.

This makes the ECHO almost 100% working in Canada and it’s a really cool product. Now I can control my lights, doors, media centre, temperature, SONOS (official support soon) and get information via jokes or Wikipedia. If you really want to enhance Alexa, try using IFTTT and Home Assistant.

Until Google Home is released, this speaker is a wicked solution.


Another idea I had awhile back

Ekko sound pods stream audio to several headphones at once…

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