An ongoing concern with voice assistants is what they share. With Mycroft Mark II ($99 DIY or $129 pre-built), sharing extends to capabilities, not data. This personal assistant won’t convert your ramblings into targeted ads, but is backed by a community keen to extend its capabilities – which you can check in on by asking: “What’s new today?” But even out of the box, Mycroft doesn’t skimp. You can set alarms and timers, check the weather, and play music. There’s a 10W speaker, an advanced six-mic array for hearing your barked orders from across the room, USB-A and SD card slots, and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi support. You can even change Mycroft’s name, personality and appearance – although one option resembles WALL·E’s EVE if you removed her arms; so watch out if ‘she’ takes umbrage at that and starts ‘accidentally’ waking you at 4 a.m.