The Next Risk In Buying An IOT Product Is Having It Bricked By A Patent Dispute

from the patently-lame dept

In the world of the Internet of Broken Things, there is nothing more impressive to me than the fact that these things actually sell as well as they do. The risks associated with internet-connected devices seem insurmountable, save for the fact that we are all cattle being marched along to the slaughterhouse, our faces as serene as could be. Between companies simply deciding that supporting these products isn't worth it any longer and reducing functionality, firing off firmware updates that simply kill off selling-point features, or leaving security holes wide enough to drive a malicious creepster through, it seems that very little thought goes into the fact that customers are, you know, buying these things. Once that purchase is made, how long that purchase is functional and secure appears to be an afterthought.

But the risks apparently don't end there. Let's say you bought an IoBT device. Let's say you enjoyed using it for months, or years. And then let's say that the company you bought it from suddenly got sued for patent infringement, settled with the plaintiff, and part of that settlement is, oops, your shit doesn't work any longer? Well, in that case, you're an owner of a Flywheel home exercise bike, which settled for patent infringement with nevermind-you-already-know-who.

Every morning at 4:30AM, Shani Maxwell would throw on her Flywheel T-shirt and hop on her Fly Anywhere bike. An avid fan who’s been riding with Flywheel since 2013, she’d leapt at the chance to own the company’s branded bike when the company released its Peloton competitor in 2017.

So it came as a surprise when she received an email from Peloton, not Flywheel, informing her that her $1,999 bike would no longer function by the end of next month. Flywheel settled a patent dispute with Peloton earlier in February and decided after the lawsuit to discontinue the at-home bike product.

“It shocked me,” Maxwell says. “We knew the lawsuit was in progress and we heard the settlement had been reached — we just didn’t realize they would shut down. ”

In fact, I'm sure Maxwell wasn't even aware that it was a possibility that the product she bought just wouldn't work anymore some day. Due to some intellectual property dispute to which she wasn't a party. To be clear, there wasn't any real choice given in any of this, either. The settlement included having Peleton reach out and offer to replace the Flywheel bike with a refurbished Peleton. If the customer didn't want the used Peleton bike, well, they could fuck right off with no recompense.

It's important to keep in mind at this point that people paid for these bikes and the service they came with. Paid very real money for a product that, poof, disappeared one day. Most Flywheel customers apparently took the deal with Peleton. After all, the other option sucks out loud. Some of them were quite mad about it.

But most? Well, serene-faced cattle marched towards the slaughterhouse.

For Podnos, the Flywheel experience was just another lesson in taking a chance with the Internet of Things. “It’s the risk you take when signing up for a platform that is still in development. It was a risk factor that we weighed from the onset, and were comfortable with,” he said. “I don’t think it will dissuade me from trying new IoT services, but it’s certainly a cautionary tale that consumers should be aware of.”

This is why we can't have nice things. Or things at all, it seems.

Filed Under: bikes, broken things, internet connected bikes, iot, ownership, patents
Companies: flywheel, peloton


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 20 Feb 2020 @ 5:33pm

    'Greeting suck- honored potential investor...'

    For Podnos, the Flywheel experience was just another lesson in taking a chance with the Internet of Things. “It’s the risk you take when signing up for a platform that is still in development. It was a risk factor that we weighed from the onset, and were comfortable with,” he said. “I don’t think it will dissuade me from trying new IoT services, but it’s certainly a cautionary tale that consumers should be aware of.”

    That thundering noise you may be hearing is a horde of nigerian princes rushing to their computers, eager to offer a lucrative investment opportunity to someone who apparently is willing to get screwed over and give a pass to the one who did it because they're willing to take 'risks'.

    A 'risk factor' for a product is the product not quite working as designed due to bugs that need to be worked through, or funding a project even if it might not result in what's promised. Once you widen that category to include 'someone else sued the maker and as a result the working product you paid for is going to be rendered useless' congrats, you just legitimized that ridiculous practice and made it more likely to happen in the future due to it being seen as acceptable.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Feb 2020 @ 8:04pm

      Re: 'Greeting suck- honored potential investor...'

      That thundering noise you may be hearing is a horde of nigerian princes rushing to their computers, eager to offer a lucrative investment opportunity to someone who apparently is willing to get screwed over and give a pass to the one who did it because they're willing to take 'risks'.

      Somewhere in Nigeria, there is a very confused prince sitting at a computer wondering why no one wants to share in his good fortune...

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 7:12am

        Re: Re: 'Greeting suck- honored potential investor...'

        "Somewhere in Nigeria, there is a very confused prince sitting at a computer wondering why no one wants to share in his good fortune..."

        And probably thinking; "Unbelievable. The english-speaking part of the world must HATE money..."

        /s

        I wish i didn't have to add that sarcasm tag...

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 7:27am

          Re: Re: Re: 'Greeting suck- honored potential investor...'

          "The english-speaking part of the world "

          Just a heads up, that would technically include Nigeria (English is their official national language, though obviously they have a lot of other tribal languages) ;)

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Feb 2020 @ 3:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Greeting suck- honored potential investor...'

            "Just a heads up, that would technically include Nigeria..."

            I stand corrected. :)

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  • icon
    hij (profile), 20 Feb 2020 @ 6:14pm

    They can patent the display of your own performance?

    The idea that they can patent the display of personal performance measures is ridiculous, let alone patenting the idea of on-line work outs. The on-line displays are no different than displaying stock performance on an investing site, and on-line classes have been a thing since bandwidth became fast enough to stream audio.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 8:20am

      Re: They can patent the display of your own performance?

      BbBut, it's personal performance measures on the internet!!!!!!!!!!!!1! Look our patent is right here.....

      Never let common sense / morality / ethics get in the way of good business. Greed is king.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Feb 2020 @ 10:51pm

    "For Podnos, the Flywheel experience was just another lesson in taking a chance with the Internet of Things. “It’s the risk you take when signing up for a platform that is still in development. It was a risk factor that we weighed from the onset, and were comfortable with,” he said. “I don’t think it will dissuade me from trying new IoT services, but it’s certainly a cautionary tale that consumers should be aware of.”

    Well since you're willing to take risks I have a real estate proposition you're gonna love...

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  • icon
    TKnarr (profile), 20 Feb 2020 @ 10:56pm

    I'd have to see what they mean by "no longer works". If it still functions as an exercise bike and it's just the on-line service that's gone, I'd probably just keep the hardware. If it won't work as an exercise bike, though, then my response would be "Settlement? What settlement? I don't recall being involved in a lawsuit against you or agreeing to any settlement. You want to render your product inoperative, you refund 100% of my money. You balk, I'll send you the bill and file in small claims court and let the local judge sort you out.". After spending $2 grand on the bike, a couple hundred in filing fees and a few hours in court are worth it. Only caveat is that I want to make sure they're really rendering it unusable as a stand-alone exercise bike first before I ask a judge for a full refund plus costs and fees. If they're just disabling all the fancy features like adjustable resistance, then I'll make sure to ask for the difference between their price and the retail price of a basic bike with no more features than what's left on the Flywheel.

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 20 Feb 2020 @ 10:58pm

    As far as I'm concerned, they can take IOT products and shove them. I would never buy a product that requires a monthly subscription to be useful or that the company can change after the fact. Which is why I'll never install Steam or Windows 10 (at least not on an internet connected system)

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    • identicon
      Pixelation, 21 Feb 2020 @ 2:22am

      Re:

      " Which is why I'll never install Steam or Windows 10"

      Microsoft has an answer for that. They'll just install Windows 10 on your computer, even if you don't want it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re:

        "They'll just install Windows 10 on your computer, even if you don't want it."
        Not sure how they would accomplish that task on a non MS OS

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      • identicon
        Rekrul, 24 Feb 2020 @ 4:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Microsoft has an answer for that. They'll just install Windows 10 on your computer, even if you don't want it.

        I have an old system that still has XP on it. So far there have been no attempts by Microsoft to change it in any way.

        It's also my understanding that while they were trying to force upgrade Win7 systems, they stopped that due to all the negative backlash.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 25 Feb 2020 @ 12:46am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I have an old system that still has XP on it. So far there have been no attempts by Microsoft to change it in any way."

          Which, for the record, does include fixing the many bugs still extant on those systems. It's fine if you have a working system but I hope you do have adequate protection if it's on the open internet in this day and age.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Feb 2020 @ 4:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "It's fine if you have a working system but I hope you do have adequate protection if it's on the open internet in this day and age."

            Well, it'll end up inherently protected once the malware can no longer run on XP. Never thought i'd find a pov where MS's screwed-up "compatibility mode" could be seen as a feature.

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          • identicon
            Rekrul, 27 Feb 2020 @ 9:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Which, for the record, does include fixing the many bugs still extant on those systems.

            When MS was still issuing security patches and updates, they were always optional. Also, while yes technically they "changed" the OS, they didn't do so in any significant way as far as usability was concerned. They fixed incorrect functioning of existing features. It wasn't as if any of them removed main features or changed how the system looked and acted.

            It's fine if you have a working system but I hope you do have adequate protection if it's on the open internet in this day and age.

            Anti-virus installed with up to date definitions. Hosts file blocking most ad and malware sites. Flash turned off by default in all browsers. Javascript turned off whenever possible (although in this day and age, web designers seem to be incapable of making a web site that functions without it). Third party firewall that blocks all incoming and outgoing connections unless I allow them. MalwareBytes installed and up to date (0 detections). All downloaded programs scanned on the VirusTotal web site, even if they're from a trusted source like GitHub.

            I don't claim to be an expert on security, but I try to be as careful as possible.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 12:17pm

              MS Security Updates

              Sadly, paranoia of Microsoft Windows updates is now warranted, even though Big MS' abuse of the system was (is?) uncommon, it still happened.

              Most egregious was the addition of the spyware features of Windows 10 into Windows 8 and 7 But it was the ubiquitous Windows 10 advertising campaign that was so obvious and frustrating. Microsoft passed GWX (get Windows 10) through security updates and made it difficult to uninstall. GWX also tried to trick users into upgrading by making it opt-out and then obfuscating access to the opt-out options. There was a run of how to opt out of automatic Windows 10 upgrade articles, because we needed instructions.

              Eventually UltimateOutsider (bless his heart) made the GWX control panel (here) to disable GWX once and for all and remove that infernal taskbar icon.

              These days, I'm in permanent facepalm because large businesses with large business secrets eventually conceded and now use Windows 10 like it's any normal operating system. (It does have a nice interface and that makes it...more seductive.) Meanwhile, it phones home to Microsoft extensive intel on its activity which Microsoft then sells to affiliates and law enforcement, and no small number of US national security departments.

              I'd think $10+ million companies would be able to hire a tech guru to at least block their OSes from snitching on them, but I know of more than one that doesn't worry about it, even though the US has been known to play favorites with commercial corporations connected to officials.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 10:26pm

                Re: MS Security Updates

                "Sadly, paranoia of Microsoft Windows updates is now warranted, even though Big MS' abuse of the system was (is?) uncommon, it still happened."

                This is the other part of the issue. Due to widespread problems related to XP< Microsoft had to enforce some patching. Unfortunately, instead of keeping it to security updates they couldn't resist some messing around with optional features, which included reinstalling components that the user was deliberately removing. It's a damn shame that even the new, friendlier face of Microsoft is still not trustworthy, but at least they have reasonable competition in most areas today.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 27 Feb 2020 @ 10:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "When MS was still issuing security patches and updates, they were always optional."

              ...which is a big part of the reason why unpatched XP boxes became such a lucrative malware honeypot, and why MS had to start enforcing certain patches. It was quite common for new malware to be widely exploiting something that had been patched months previously, but people didn't bother installing the patches until after infection.

              "I don't claim to be an expert on security, but I try to be as careful as possible."

              Sounds like you're doing a reasonable job, although you seem to be doing a lot of manual labour to keep it that way and are at the mercy of continuing support from external applications to a degree. I do question why you'd do that rather than upgrading, or just using a more secure OS with XP running in a VM for any applications you actually need, but that's your decision. Just know that you are most certainly still a target, and if certain types of exploit are found potentially an easy one.

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              • identicon
                Rekrul, 28 Feb 2020 @ 5:45pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                ...which is a big part of the reason why unpatched XP boxes became such a lucrative malware honeypot, and why MS had to start enforcing certain patches. It was quite common for new malware to be widely exploiting something that had been patched months previously, but people didn't bother installing the patches until after infection.

                I usually installed all security updates after checking the net about them. The ones I hesitated to install where the ones that claimed some vague enhancement of some part of Windows.

                Sounds like you're doing a reasonable job, although you seem to be doing a lot of manual labour to keep it that way and are at the mercy of continuing support from external applications to a degree.

                Yes, that's one problem. I can't run the latest browser versions and more and more sites are becoming non-functional. I don't mean that I can't use certain features, I mean that some sites come up completely blank. I have a version of Opera installed, which is slightly more up to date, but it's a POS. I encounter many sites that it claims it can't establish a secure connection to and won't go past the error page. The kicker being that many of these sites will display in Firefox and Pale Moon that I have, even if they don't function correctly (which is why I was trying to use Opera in the first place!).

                I also can't run most of the latest game system emulators any more. I'm actually surprised that MEDNAFEN still runs.

                I do question why you'd do that rather than upgrading, or just using a more secure OS with XP running in a VM for any applications you actually need, but that's your decision.

                Mainly because I hate setting up things from scratch. I've only ever installed Windows once and that was XP on a friend's laptop. It was a PITA having to install it, download and install like 100+ updates, then re-install all her software, setup the internet connection again, etc. This system might not be the best, but it doesn't have any major problems, so I'd rather not nuke it and start over if I don't have to.

                I'd like to get a faster, more powerful system with Windows 7 on it (yes, I know, no longer supported), but money is a little tight. There are refurbished systems with Win7 on them, but as I'd want to be able to run games and emulators on it, you need to figure in at least another $150-200 minimum for a decent graphics card, possibly more memory.

                Add to that, that I really don't know what to buy. Put a pile of parts in front of me and I can probably assemble them into a working system, but ask me what parts are best to get and I don't have a clue. I don't know what motherboard architecture is best, which lower model CPUs beat higher model CPUs in speed/power, etc. All my systems in the past have either been assembled for me by someone who knows what they're doing, or in the case of this system, bought from an online retailer (refurbished) and all I've added were a $100 graphics card (described as being "budget") and a second hard drive.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      Or a Tesla

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  • identicon
    Carlie Coats, 21 Feb 2020 @ 4:38am

    Amazon Kindle book-bricking

    A few months ago, I checked out Spencer Quinn's "To Fetch a Thief" under Amazon Kindle. I was about halfway through reading it. Then the publisher, Simon and Schuster, decided to pull this book from Kindle. And also to have Amazon delete it from devices to which it had been lent -- including my tablet. As far as I am concerned, this is part of a contract; all of the essential parts are there: they made an offer, I paid my consideration, and I took possession of the relevant item. Their removal of it from my tablet constitutes breach of contract. For which they should be held responsible, and for which they should be condemned strongly. And if they are freely willing to breach contracts once, should they ever be trusted again?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 5:35am

      Re: Amazon Kindle book-bricking

      It's for this reason that I looked into 3rd party options for backing up purchases, so that the publisher can't claw back what I've paid for at their whim.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 5:49am

      Re: Amazon Kindle book-bricking

      "devices to which it had been lent"

      Operative word. If you rented rather than bought the book, different terms apply. Especially if you used Kindle Unlimited (which I'm assuming from your description), in which case they only guarantee access to a library of titles, not specific titles.

      Now, I'm sure the above sucks for you, but there are obviously very different rules that apply to renting vs. purchase. Amazon not allowing you to continue borrowing something after the publisher has removed permission for them to lend it to you is not a breach of contract. It would be a problem if it was a purchase, but your description suggests that was not the case.

      "Their removal of it from my tablet constitutes breach of contract"

      If I'm right about the above, you probably need to read that contract a bit closer.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 7:14am

      Re: Amazon Kindle book-bricking

      "As far as I am concerned, this is part of a contract; all of the essential parts are there: they made an offer, I paid my consideration, and I took possession of the relevant item. Their removal of it from my tablet constitutes breach of contract."

      Welcome to copyright law where your "property" really isn't.

      ONE of the more obvious insanities of IP law is the way it tends to render actual ownership of physical property uncertain or conditional.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 9:13am

    Damned if I ever get suckered in like that. Only two 'smart' things in my home: A $500 TV and a $250 garage door opener. Both have been 'dumb'ed down by being denied Wi-Fi access. I don't want a garage door opener 'app' on my phone. I don't want a TV with an OS that I don't trust. $%#@ off, IoT snake oil peddlers!

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    • identicon
      Glen, 21 Feb 2020 @ 9:23am

      Re:

      Sad thing is if anyone tried to disconnect their exercise equipment now, it probably won't do any good since I bet they updated the stuff to brick already and just made the public announcement after the fact.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 2:43pm

      Re:

      Both have been 'dumb'ed down by being denied Wi-Fi access.

      How did you accomplish that? Are you sure they won't automatically connect to any open hotspots in range?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re:

        They may try that. But by not installing app, I am not allowing the garage door to be operated over wi-fi/internet. By not connecting TV to my home wi-fi, I am not allowing the 'smart' part of the TV to snoop on me. As far as that TV is concerned, its only input is coming via an HDMI port.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 3:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That is effective at anti snooping, but if it can connect to an open wifi it could still get remotely bricked. I don't think I've heard a solution to that short of opening up the device and physically damaging or removing the antenna. Or maybe wrapping it in foil.

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 3:54pm

            Connecting to WiFi without user consent

            While this is a common mechanism of DRM and spyware which will navigate known firewalls to phone home, I've not heard of a device bricking itself without a user-initiated WiFi connection. Has it happened?

            It can. Hello Barbie will log onto any available open WiFi connection to ToyTalk and requires the connection in order to talk with its owner. I don't know of what other devices are so eager to get online as to not require user setup.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 9:27am

    Is it even possible anymore to purchase some whatever item that does not connect to the internet?

    I look forward to my new fangled internet connected worthless piece of crap.

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    • icon
      Cynyr (profile), 22 Feb 2020 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      I bought a bike trainer thing to put the rear wheel of my bike in. It has a Bowden cable to assist the resistance. That's the closest it gets to being connected.

      There are something I'm not sure you can get without the smart part, TVs, home voice assistants, but you can still get normal versions of lots of things

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  • icon
    Tim R (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 9:39am

    I can remember, it doesn't seem like that long ago, back in 2010, when Sony (a Techdirt darling) without notice, removed the ability to load Linux onto a Playstation unit. Notably, a Playstation unit that used this functionality as one of its selling points. Non-hackers brushed it off, wondering why they would even need to worry about such a thing. It's just a trivial feature for a tiny sliver of Linux fanboys that don't matter much anyway in a Microsoft- and Apple-dominated world.

    My, how far we've come.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      "Sony (a Techdirt darling)'"

      Huh?

      "It's just a trivial feature for a tiny sliver of Linux fanboys that don't matter much "

      Except to people who bought the console expressly for that advertised feature, which included the US military. But hey, as long as the people being screwed aren't your people who cares what they get away with right? Until you find yourself in that group anyway.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 2:33pm

        The US military's playstation uses.

        I'd think that it would be a really bad idea for Sony to piss off the US military. That might warrant a day of really wild misses during artillery practice. Nice factory you had here, Sony. Sorry about that.

        I wonder if they came to a deal behind closed doors.

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      • icon
        Tim R (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 8:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Sorry, I must have left my snarky sarcasm tags in my other pants...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Feb 2020 @ 5:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Sorry, I must have left my snarky sarcasm tags in my other pants..."

          You should have realized by now that here on TD no matter how insane you make yourself sound, it's pretty given that someone like TP or Jhon/blue/bobmail - these staunch antropomorpic personifications of Poe's Law - has already tried to push for a similar or identical argument - in earnest.

          The /s is sadly necessary.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 9:39am

    Long ago figured out that digital sales of music, movies, books, and most IoTs just isn't worth the cost.

    It's implied you own it but when it comes down to authorizing servers to keep it working, changing terms of licensing so you wind up getting less for more cost, having DRM added after the purchase, such as Phillip's Hue lighting system and their adding DRM after the purchase and install so you had to buy only their bulbs at higher cost, are just a few of the worries of having the privilege of owning IoTs items.

    I like hard wired to my internet work. It's faster, more dependable, and just works. I don't need any spies in the house, such as a tv or Alexa tied in. I want the items I buy to work until they wear out, not because of some business dispute ends their working.

    I've stayed away from digital purchasing and IoT for these reasons, many that have already been mentioned here by others as well. If it's not mine then I want rental prices for what I don't own. If it is mine then when something like this is pulled I want the company severely punished to serve as a example to other companies on what not to do.

    Till then I can do without.

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  • icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 10:07am

    What's Bricked?

    The Flywheel website says the home bike costs $1699 or $1999 for one with a built-in tablet. So it's $300 of bricked hardware since the streaming classes are what's being retired; I assume the bike will still bike. Having to find new videos to watch while you exercise sounds like a pain, but it's not quite as bad as having your bike stolen.

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    • identicon
      Bobvious, 21 Feb 2020 @ 1:44pm

      Re: What's Bricked?

      bike will still bike.

      There might be a blonde female country crossover singer (or her lawyers) who want a swift word with you.

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 11:55am

    Malicious Creepster

    That is now the name of an overly large hypothetical off-road vehicle.

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 12:03pm

    I'm surprised it took this long.

    When Microsoft and Valve started there use-only-with-permission policies, I figured it was just a matter of time before one company had the ability to make ruin of another company's control, in which point a moral hazard arises and the end users.

    This is why Windows Loader is not maintained by nefarious pirate communities but teams of engineers. And this is why IP piracy isn't going away until IP law goes away.

    Something tells me the Flywheel jailbreaking project has just recruited dozens, if not hundreds, of devoted hackers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Feb 2020 @ 2:14pm

    Google Stadia is a good example of this.

    When the servers shut down on October 3rd, 2020. (Oops! Spoiler), all Stadia hardware and applications will become instantly unuseable.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 2:29pm

      Bricked hardware

      In the aughts we had countless DRM-locked mp3 players that bricked whenever the supporting company decided to update its format.

      We should remember our old Zune wounds when considering IoT offerings. But the consumer populace have a short attention span.

      I had a Rokbox (sp? I can't find the product) which became useless after a Windows Media Player update meaning its protocol was no longer supported. It's in a box of electronics waste now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 25 Feb 2020 @ 12:43am

        Re: Bricked hardware

        "We should remember our old Zune wounds when considering IoT offerings. But the consumer populace have a short attention span."

        ...or the reason it failed is because not that many people actually bought the things. I'd prefer the lessons being that the failure of Microsoft DRMed products ultimately led to record labels accepting DRM-free music on other devices, and allowed for much more competition in the space than was possible with DRM.

        "I had a Rokbox (sp? I can't find the product) which became useless after a Windows Media Player update"

        If so, I wouldn't so much be questioning the Microsoft choices, as much as why out of all the options out there you chose a player that was incapable of playing MP3 or other non-DRM formats. Or, are you saying it needs the software to manage it and there wasn't a 3rd party option?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 Feb 2020 @ 12:33am

      Re:

      "Google Stadia is a good example of this"

      No, it's really not. Stadia is a streaming service, meaning you have nothing to access locally. When their service goes down, you have nothing to access. That's a completely different situation to having things to access locally, but DRM/IoT issues preventing you from doing so. They are very different issues.

      I understand you guys don't feel like such big men if you have to keep the conversation relevant, rather than derailing to whatever you want to whine about instead, but you do nothing for your arguments by misrepresenting or derailing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bergman (profile), 21 Feb 2020 @ 9:00pm

    Possibly a class action here

    If the settlement for the Flywheel bike wasn't merely to stop selling the (allegedly) patent-infringing equipment but actually bricking the already-sold ones, I'd think that the customers who got screwed have a pretty good case for a class action lawsuit here.

    After all, they were harmed by the actions of the company, and those actions were not mandated by a court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nerdrage (profile), 23 Feb 2020 @ 10:02am

    yeah sure

    Fine by me. Most things don't need to be on the internet, so get a "dumb" version and be happy.

    Bicycles, toasters, washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators etc - they need electrical power (in some cases) but internet? Pfft.

    Keep the internet to the computers, phones, smart TVs that have a legit reason to need them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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