Open "Chromecast killer" committed suicide-by-DRM


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2015/08/04/open-chromecast-killer-com.html


#2

Which, from what I saw yesterday on the KS page, was pretty much every backer commenting.

Did they just use the KS as an interest-free loan? How can they refund everyone unless they have money from elsewhere?


#3

Perhaps this means that they would lose just lose money making the dongles, and always knew they would?

DRM


#4

Losing money is cheaper than paying people to burn it!


#5

Well at least nobody saw a video they didn’t pay for, so there’s a bright side.


#6

Thanks. Now I have to go buy a new sarcasm meter:


#7

This is very vexing indeed(and here I was thinking I might see mine one of these days).

I can understand why they felt pressure to add DRM(going toe-to-toe with outfits who have no compunction about doing so could get awkward otherwise); but if you realize that that isn’t going to work; just bloody ship the product. Your long-term commercial viability is dubious(see also, Firefox OS generally); but at least the backers get what they signed up for. Damn it.


#8

Why should they ship a product that they aren’t happy with?


#9

Because the customers are likely to be happy with it?


#10

Because the alternative is to not ship anything and make most of their supporters even less happy?


#11

@doctorow, the rumors swirling is that the entire company was acquihired by an entity that I won’t name and that killing their product was a result of that. After all, they’re giving full refunds after blowing through cash for a year. How can they afford that?


#12

That would also explain the addition of DRM


#13

Uhm, no. The DRM addition was a long time ago and seemed to be part of a “business” decision by them. The folding of the project and the rumored acquihire was in the last month. Not related.

Basically, they may be using the DRM issue as an excuse but they couldn’t afford to be doing refunds if someone hadn’t just bought them out. The math makes no sense otherwise.


#14

If they weren’t going to refund the money, I would agree with you. If they had unlimited time, I might also agree with you. But time is limited and so the opportunity cost is probably just too high for them.

When you have the skills these guys have, opportunities abound.


#15

The ironic thing is Netflix is super easy to rip, most WebRip versions are from Netflix. DRM only ever screws the paying customer.


#16

And remember, that’s what’s really important.


#17

So back product.
Now can’t get product as they can’t add a feature I neither asked for or wanted.
The wonders of the tech industry.


#18

That doesn’t make it any better to disappoint the hopes of the buyers. They were deprived of access to their money for a period of time, and, worse, did not get what they asked for and got promised. For a stupid reason.

Thought… What about a FPGA-containing device that’d be designed overtly for handling HDMI signal, and after it gets produced and enough are sold, a rogue firmware update appears that turns it into a HDCP stripper? Could be handy for all sorts of shenanigans, including display overlays and streaming over LAN and other uses that should be normal but aren’t because some bastard in suit’n’tie decided so.


#19

That’s pretty much how it went down. I don’t know of any market for EZ-but-not-a-circumvention-device-honest-officer! stuff specifically(given how much inspection random pacific rim gizmos don’t exactly get at the border, people who just want to crack HDCP would be more cheaply served by an ‘HDMI amplifier’ or ‘HDMI splitter’ that…just so happened…to have a tragic flaw in its implementation.

Among real FPGA dev boards, HDMI interfaces aren’t terribly uncommon; but those also tend to be pretty expensive, because a punchy FPGA will run you real money for the silicon alone.


#20

That doesn’t make it any better to disappoint the hopes of the buyers.

Not buyers, backers. Kickstarter tries very hard to dissuade people from thinking of the place as a store.