All posts by Margo

Are Smart Speakers Listening?

Latest Coronavirus Update: Friday 3/20

State campground closures are forcing thousands of RVers out of their campgrounds to find other accommodations. Complicating the issue, this is the middle of Spring Break (now through early April depending on the school) and the busy snowbird season. It could be extremely difficult to find alternate campsites at local, federal and private campgrounds.

SIGN THE PETITION TO KEEP NATIONAL, STATE, LOCAL AND PRIVATE RV CAMPGROUNDS OPEN THROUGH THE CORONAVIRUS SITUATION.

CoronaVirus Alert! Boondockers Welcome is there for you

Several Boondockers Welcome hosts have already reached out to us to ask that we let people know they’re still accepting guests, even those under quarantine. This amazing generosity may help many, especially in a time when campgrounds and state parks are no longer allowing overnight camping.
 
But we need to protect ourselves and each other as well. Boondockers Welcome – Be My Guest RV Parking. Click BLOG to read our blog post, and follow the direction from the CDC, Health Canada or your local health unit on appropriate precautions to take.

Smart Speaker Devices-Are They Listening?

That is a Yes, your smart speaker devices are listening. What are they recording? Find out exactly by tapping into each manufacturer’s online database.

Amazon: Amazon provides instructions on how to listen and view transcripts of your Alexa recording. If you want to delete the audio and/or opt out of having your audio recording reviewed by humans, in your Alexa account, visit Settings => Alexa Privacy. Or click HERE.

Google Home: Google privacy controls allows you to review and delete recordings. Turn off ad personalization to opt out of the targeted ads.

Apple Siri: Opt out of having your interactions with Apple’s Siri stored and reviewed. If you want to help Apple improve their devices, Settings=> Privacy => Analytics & Improvement => Improve Siri & Dictation.

Apple does not let you review the recordings, so it is an opportunity lost to find out the information stored. Here are some of keywords recorded:

  • Contact names, nicknames and relationships

  • Music books, and podcasts

  • Names of devices listed in Family Sharing

  • In the Home app, names of devices and members

  • Names of your photo albums, apps installed on your device, and shortcuts

  • Current location

  • Turn off Siri and Dictation which triggers Apple to delete the data. Settings => Siri History => Delete Siri & Dictation History.

Microsoft’s Cortana:  Microsoft’s privacy policy doesn’t say whether it lets users opt out of having their recordings stored or reviewed. Review recordings through its privacy dashboard.

For the complete story, visit this site.

Walmart Banning RV Stays

While planning your spring and summer get-aways, be prepared to cross Walmart off your list of overnight stays. The ability to be spontaneous while moving around this beautiful country is dwindling rapidly. RV parks in the popular settings are booked for the year already. With Walmart out of the equation, future planning is essential.

Ten to twelve years ago about 80% of the Walmarts in the USA and Canada allowed overnight RV parking. Today, it’s about 65%. There are several reasons for this. One significant cause is the behavior of RVers themselves. In literally hundreds of conversations with Walmart managers over the past 12 years, they’ve told me again and again that their issues are with RVer’s actions while staying overnight.

The rest of the story. . .


Perfect for Millennials, Gen X and Boomer Generations
Condo-on-Wheels Luxury RV Home Under $30,000

Condo-on-Wheels coverLooking for a home that fits into your ever-changing plans? Unsure of what the future holds for you? “Condo-on-Wheels, Luxury RV Homes Under $30,000” previews a mobile choice. This form of living is easy to turn green.

  • Concerned about job insecurity or opportunities that may require moving, often far from familiar territory?
  • Worried how climate change may disrupt your life?
  • Tired of spending sleepless nights trying to reach a decision whether to buy or keep renting?

Because of the time factor and the hassle of buying and selling property, a new class of mobile homeowners was created. “Condo-on-Wheels” reviews a little-known housing choice that offers a luxury home for under $30,000. These high-quality homes are designed to last for many years with beautiful cabinetry, plush carpeting, and completely furnished.

The author, Margo Armstrong, is a full-time RVer with 25 years living on the road. Her fourth and last RV is a condo-on-wheels home, the model for this book. Her collection of RV Lifestyle books is available on Amazon.

[Not associated with any home sales organization.]