Alexa New Skill

Carlos, has been in the United States for almost a year now since moving from Guatemala. He is a SJSU student  majoring in engineering.  It has not been easy moving from a different country and balancing all the new changes in his life. From getting used to his surroundings and going to school, it can get hectic. Since attending SJSU Carlos has joined a fraternity on campus and has managed to be involved in the engineering department.

At times Carlos can forget when he has to do certain things with all the things he has to juggle. I would like to build a skill that can sync into his calendar and make sure not only is Alexa reading out loud his schedule in the morning but also sends alerts to his phone. A way to set an alarm and as soon as the alarm is snoozed Alexa would list all the things on the calendar according to each day. This skill will also have the ability to send alerts when things change in the schedule that way if you’re a busy person like Carlos you can stay informed on what you need to get done.

Week 3 Assignment

San Jose State baseball head coach Jason Hawkins submitted his letter of resignation on Monday. Back in January, the university placed Hawkins on administrative leave. This came after allegations grew that Hawkins was holding illegal practices last year. Hawkins was head coach for one year. During the 2017 season, Hawkins lead the Spartans to a 19-35-1 overall record.


San Jose State University receives five million dollar gift from alumni. Philanthropists Larry and Deidre Solari’s gift is among the biggest ever for SJSU athletics. The gift will support SJSU football personnel and facilities which include plans to install a new football operations center on the east side of CEFCU Stadium.


San Jose Mayor, Sam Liccardo was interrupted by protesters at the State of City Address. Protesters made it known that they are against the plans for Google to build a mega-campus in downtown. Affordable housing has been an ongoing issue in San Jose and people are saying that they are fighting to stay in the city they grew up in.

Alexa Skill

Roman Stopper is a man of many strengths. Muscle memory, however, is not one of them. Not only does he sometimes forget his wallet before leaving his house, but he’ll forget to write down personal reminders for himself. Yeah, timed reminders could help, but if his schedule changes he’ll just forget about the reminder. It might sound like Roman has dementia, but let me be clear, he remembers only what he wants to.

If Alexa had a “Don’t Forget” skill, Roman’s life would run with a lot less “oh shoot, I forgot” moments. First, Roman would tell Alexa what he needs to be reminded of and what day, without a specific time. This skill would enable every time Roman says “Alexa, I’m heading out.” Alexa would then remind him of what needs to be done and to make sure he has everything he needs. For example, if Roman is going to the grocery store and he uses this skill, Alexa would remind him to bring his grocery list.

Assignment 3

With only a couple of days until the season opener, San Jose State University’s baseball team is still searching for a new head coach. Their previous coach stepped down from the position after being accused of holding illegal practices. In the meantime, assistant coach Brad Sanfilippo, will be filling in as head coach until a permanent replacement is found.

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition in hopes to change Bank of America’s policies. The petition was created in hopes for customers to stop being charged for online banking fees. Bank of America adds a 12 dollar fee to accounts that are either under 1,500 dollars or does not have at least 250 dollars direct deposited to an account.

San Jose State University’s football team has received a generous donation of 5 million dollars this past week. This is one of the largest donations the team has ever recieved. The donation came from alumni Larry and Deirdre Solari. The football team’s head coach plans to use the money on facilities, including a locker room and a players lounge.

Assignment 2

  1. KPIX 5 San Francisco Bay Area is a local news skill published by CBS Local. The skill gives local news headlines about the events happening in and around the San Francisco bay area. The skill is read by San Francisco KPIX 5 news anchors. This skill is perfect for someone looking to get a quick summery of local news. However I did find it was missing some news headlines I would like to know about, for example there was no local weather forecast, or sports. Also the skill only touched on a few headlines which all seem to be business now while this may have just been that day’s news if felt like there were other topics that were left out.

  1. Good Morning Beautiful is a skill published by Learyce. This skill is designed to help you start your day off right by giving an inspirational or positive out look on life and the day. This skill was tailored made for people who need to hear how beautiful they are on both the inside and the outside. The skill will say a one line or phrase about how beautiful you are as a person. The sayings are a little cheese for me and sound like some you would here on a bad TV show.

  1. The Fandango Skill is a must have for any movie buff. Published by Fandango, Inc. this skill will integrate with your Fandango account, allowing you to buy tickets to movies. Not only will it let you buy tickets for movies the skill will also remind you of any upcoming shows you have bought tickets for. The skill will read off theaters near you to pick from, once you select a theater the skill will list the movies, after you select a movie it will give you the show times. The skill is pretty straightforward and easy to use. In no time I had a bought tickets for my self and a few friends and charged it to my account. The only thing I would like to have that was missing from the skill was a brief description of each movie after each title was read. As well as a little more of a pause in between each movie title sometimes it sounded like one long title.


Week 2 Assignment

This week I wanted to try a some skills that could really inform me or help me. I installed the find my phone skill by TrackR. This skill allows you to use Alexa to help you find your lost phone. You must download the TrackR app first before using the skill. Once the app is installed along with Alexa you can then ask Alexa to find your phone. Alexa will send a call to your cell and unless it is on silent or do not disturb, you should hear your phone. I seem to lose my phone all the time in my room, so I wanted to see if Alexa could help. I was surprised just how convenient the skill can be and will be using it a lot more.


Another skill that I installed was NBC Bay Area’s flash briefing. I currently work at NBC Bay Area and wanted to see how they stacked up against others. To my pleasant surprise I enjoyed their flash briefing more than the CNN one. Although not narrated by a well-known news anchor it was told by Alexa. I liked that it was local news which helps me to stay up to date on whats going on around me. I enjoyed the small summary that came with every news story. I found this skill very helpful and informative.

For my last skill I installed “Black History History Facts”. I am going on a trip for MLK’s 50th anniversary of his assassination and wanted to catch up on some black history before I left. You simply ask Alexa to open up “Black History Facts” and you would hear different facts from different famous people. Although I wished the app did more, it got the job done with what exactly its name says. I will be using this skill a lot in the upcoming weeks.

Assignment 2

Going to the gym is easier said than done. Especially with a tight schedule. I aim to go to the gym about five days a week but sometimes a day will slip by where I don’t go. Either I’m wrapped up in assignments or I honestly don’t feel like going. Then the guilt starts kicking in during the late night and there’s no turning back. I came across the skill “7 Minute Workout” and decided to try it out. There’s a choice of either doing a simple workout or a workout that is made custom for you. I chose to have a custom workout. Alexa asked me a series of questions regarding my weight, age, gender and how often I workout. The 7 Minute Workout made me do various workouts such as army crawls for 30 seconds each. She plays music while I do the workout, which I enjoy very much. This is an interactive skill both verbally and physically. Even though this app is not equivalent to my workouts at the gym, this is a good fill in on a lazy day. I definitely will be using this skill on the days I decide I want to skip the gym or want to add a little extra workout to my day.

I was raised to love sports since before I could even walk. After living on my own and away from my dad, I realized I lost my connection to the sports world. I like being in the loop so I decided to enable the “247sports Flash Briefing.” I discovered this skill by going to the sports section of the skills. This was one of the highest rated sports skills and I’m disappointed by the quality. I’m not sure what I was going to expect through this skill but I’m not that big of a fan. All of the flash briefings sounded more like headlines. I think I like the energy of the sports anchors rather that Alexa talking to me about sports. I like to read consumer reviews with a grain of salt but I should have listened to the reviews of this skill. There were only five reviews but all but one of them were negative. Then again, you could tell the difference from the sports junkies and the person who only watches the Super Bowl. This skill is effective if I want to know if anything major is going on in the sports world and Alexa can tell me rather than having to search for it myself. I came to the conclusion that Alexa is useful in many ways, just not with sports news.

I am moving out of my sorority house this summer and moving into a house with some close friends. It is my time to finally become a dog mom. Although I know I want my first son to be a Blue French Bulldog, I like knowing facts about other dogs. Let’s be honest, all dogs are the best. So, I enabled the skill “Dog Facts.” The first fact Alexa told me was that Chihuahuas are born like humans in the fact that they first have bald spots and they get covered as they get older. My Chihuahua had puppies when I was a kid so I already knew  that fact but it was still cool to hear. This skill has about 80 reviews which were all positive for the most part. When the skill was first designed, they were still adding dog facts to Alexa, so there wasn’t a big variety. However, since those reviews, they added a lot more dog facts. I think kids would enjoy this skill a lot. I could see my niece loving this skill, so I’m definitely going to tell her about it. I chose this skill as one of my “fun” skills. I probably won’t use it that much but it is a fun skill to have.