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Tuesday Tech Tip: Give Alexa some skills

July 08 | BY Michael Sauers, Director of Technology

If you have an Amazon Alexa in your home, (whether an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Tap,) did you know that there are many more skills that you can add to your device beyond what's built in by default? Just head on over to the Alexa Skills page and take a look at what's available. Here's just a few that I've found interesting. (The usefulness of any of these may be up for debate...)

I'm Bored
If you've ever been bored, this skill is for you! Simply tell Alexa that you're bored and she'll respond with an interesting fact that will hopefully help you with your boredom

Sleep & Relaxation Sounds
Sleep Sounds lets you play ambient sounds to help you sleep peacefully or block out unwanted noise at work or home. With over 40 high quality sounds to choose from, you'll be able to sleep better, stay focused, study without interruption, relax quickly, meditate more effectively, and get your baby to go to sleep faster! 

Yes Sire
Needy peasants. A backstabbing nobility. A king who is never satisfied. Nobody said that running a feudal fiefdom would be easy. But with this Alexa game, it is bound to be entertaining. Are you prepared to make some of the hardest decisions of your (soon to be short) life? You sit as a medieval lord of the realm, presented with an ever-expanding array of difficulty choices. Make good choices and stay in power as long as you can!

Hellman's Best Recipies
Hungry? Not sure what to make with the ingredients you have on hand? We can help! Just tell us what you have to work with, and we'll share 3 delicious recipes that match your ingredients. Use the Best Recipes skill to: get up to 3 recipes that match your 3 chosen ingredients, narrow down recipe options by dish, like breakfast, lunch or dinner,  browse recipes and descriptions to choose the one you like the most,  receive an email with a link to your selected recipe and ingredient list.

Powerball Number Generator
Open our Powerball Number Generator skill and Alexa will help choose a random selection of numbers for your ticket. You can also ask "Alexa ask Powerball helper for last lottery numbers" and this will return the latest winning numbers!

7-Minute Workout
The 7-Minute Workout is a scientifically proven set of exercises designed to increase metabolism, improve energy, lower stress, and best of all, remove fat! It's a small daily commitment for such enormous benefits.

Dog Data
Dog Data keeps track of the last time you fed, walked, let out, and gave medication to your dog. This skill is great for making communication between members of your family easier, regarding whether the dog has been fed.