Alexa Hoodies

This is, I guess, the wrap-up to the previous Alexa post.  In a weirdly timely fashion, I got the hoodie ready for a cool week in Orlando.  35 degree weather is cold here!

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It may not be a green jacket but I like gray best.  Publish an Alexa Skill; get a Hoodie!

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Alexa Skill Published

Turnaround time from submission to Amazon response was but a few days. My skill was rejected because I hadn’t properly setup ‘out’ links from skill.

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The root cause was that my links were going to the rss page itself.  I did not know why I even needed links; I thought it was part of the RSS Feed Spec Amazon required.  However,  In the Amazon Website, you can click ‘read more’ for ever news item read

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This was an easy enough fix.  I just used Google to take care of the outbound link and resubmitted my skill.  I also added a case for when there hasn’t been a notable death in a while.

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I got a response in a few days telling me that now my skill has been approved and you can see it in Alexa’s Skill site.

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I am really impressed with the Alexa Development Ecosystem and the capabilities of the platform.  It has been a breeze to find my way around.  This changes everything in development.  I believe it will not take long before there’s Alexa’s everywhere doing so many useful things.

Building An Alexa Skill – Who Passed Away?

Motivation often comes when multiple things come together.  I started running three years ago when my (first and second) doctor said I was fat, Zombies was all the craze and Zombies Run, the phone app, was created.  I’ve since made running a part of my life and my life is much better now but I digress.

Sometimes, the end results are not this significant.  Regardless, Amazon recently discounted the  Amazon Echo to $40, I had a week of forced vacations at work and also had to sit house while some tile work.  On a very sour side note, a lot of notable people are passing away.  This past week, George Micheal, Carrie Fisher (and Carrie’s mom, Debbie Reynolds) and Vera Rubin left us.  Having been playing with Alexa for a few days, I wondered: ‘How difficult would it be? – to have Alexa tell me who just died’.

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