Logitech plans to brick its internet-connected Harmony Link devices next year


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/08/logitech-plans-to-brick-its-in.html


#2

Whenever I read about forum censorship I get ■■■■■ with anger.


#3

I wonder if they were selling lifetime memberships? Boing Boing store used to have lots of those…


#4


#5

I once fell for the ‘lifetime’ trick. The small print said they meant the ‘lifetime’ of the gadget I bought, which was defined to be 2 years. (Which confirmed my suspicion they designed the thing to break straight after the warranty ran out).


#6

whew… I had a panic attack there for a second until I read the whole thing and found out that ‘Harmony Link’ is not the same thing as ‘Harmony Hub.’ I’m heavily invested in my harmony hub and Alexa integration and that would have been a big downer today.


#7

Well, one more gadget I am glad I never bought. Getting harder and harder to be a technophile with this sort of nonsense in unending streams in multiple forms.

I’m waiting to see how long it takes for someone to get robbed blind or assaulted with that Amazon can now let people into your home device.


#8

Just wait a few more years.


#9

At least Simple.TV had the common courtesy to go out of business when they killed all their devices.


#10

That’s ok, by then I’ll have hopefully moved on. My prediction is at that point all TVs and STBs will have automation support completely built in so I can use any voice assistant and say ‘turn on Netflix’ or ‘turn on channel 4’ or '‘Watch the movie SpaceBalls’ and I won’t need this type of device in the middle. For now, though, it’s perfect at bridging that gap for the devices I have.


#11

That’s generally how I feel, too. There are certainly cases of things shutting down early and disappointing or angering a lot of people, but there’s also cases of things shutting down long after 99% of the users have moved on, which I’m fine with for the most part.

People can say “But it should work forever as long as you have the device!” which is true, but in my circumstances, very rarely does it mean something. I COULD go hook up my Commodore 64 and play games on it, but there are much easier ways to do the same thing.

I realize others may feel differently, but I’ve never had a service shutting down affect me that much personally being a user of it. (I bet it’s just a matter of time though.) And the only things I do really care about, like music and movies, I have copies that I will be able to use in the future even if the suppliers were to shut down today.

tldr: While technically a bad thing, I don’t find internet connected devices which stop functioning all that different from devices which simply get too old and I’ve moved on from. (Other people may have very different circumstances than me, though.)


#12

I don’t suppose it would be worth reverse-engineering their API (probably illegal too), simulating their mothership on a local Raspberry Pi and re-empower a lot of cheap Harmony Link gear?

The device and its cloud-based system allow users to control home theater and sound equipment from a mobile app.

Does anyone need to do that further away than wifi distance? (The people who need to can figure out how poke a port through the router.)


#13

On second thought, let it die. Roll a Pi project from scratch, and support Bluetooth too.


#14

Yup, pretty much agree. Except for when EyeFi shut down their service that really should not have required internet connectivity at all. The EyeFi card would simply connect to my desktop over WiFi and offload it’s images. I never used their online account functions. However, they decided to shutdown the online service which killed the local connectivity, too. So I grumbled and bought one of their newer cards, only to find out that service only works if I pay a fee after the short free trial, even if I just want to do it locally. And while that was happening, they go ahead and decide to re-enable the local connectivity for the older cards and it was too late for me to return my new card. Now that was a frustrating experience that affected a lot of folks that I’m still not happy about, and right now I’m left with transferring images from DSLR manually. I suppose there’s a hack out there or I could go back to the older, smaller card, I’m just too lazy to deal with it at the moment.


#15

Just FTR, I own a SqueezeBox Radio, and it’s still one of the best internet radio devices I came across.
But bloody Spotify decided this summer to change their API and drop support, so no Spotify any more on the Squeeze.


#16

You have to love contemporary embedded devices. All the autonomy, predictability, and privacy of ‘the cloud’; but with on premises hardware you have to buy. It’s truly a glorious thing.


#17

Bad, bad, bad PR.


#18

Hack it back in!

I love my squeezeboxen.


#19

Don’t think that’s possible. The forums keep talking about running a service on your NAS, as a bridge to Spotify. But I think mine might be a bit weak on the CPU for that.


#20

Does this help? (Skip to [update] for the meat)