You Don't Own What You Buy Episode 9,000: Philips' Light Bulbs Lose Functionality

from the I'm-sorry-I-can't-do-that,-Dave dept

One of the common themes here at Techdirt over the last decade is how in the digital and internet-connected era, the very meaning of "ownership" and "property" has changed -- often for the worse. In the broadband-connected era, firmware updates can often eliminate functionality promised to you at launch, as we saw with the Sony Playstation 3. And with everything now relying on internet-connectivity, companies can often give up on supporting devices entirely, often leaving users with very expensive paperweights as we saw after Google acquired Revolv.

The latest example of this phenomenon comes courtesy of Philips, who this week announced it would be discontinuing its support of the first generation of its Hue Bridge on April 29. The Bridge is the heart of Philips' internet-connected lighting system, helping you manage all of the fancy new "smart" light bulbs you've installed around the house. And while the decision won't "brick" the hardware as we've seen from other companies, it will erode overall functionality of the platform, preventing them from connecting to the internet (the entire point):

"Philips won’t brick the original Hue Bridges, but it will stop updating their software. That means the Bridges, and the lights they’re connected to, will no longer be able to use any of Philips’ online services, which is, of course, one of the whole purposes of buying the lights in the first place.

When users began asking why this was necessary, Philips flatly indicated that the company wanted to focus on supporting newer models of the same platform:

The company also insisted this new version of the bridge would be "future proof":

Which of course isn't true. In a few years the company will move on from that product as well, leaving many users with "smart" hardware that slowly bleeds functionality until it's a shadow of its original marketing promises. Worse, as these products fall out of support, they often stop receiving essential security updates, putting users, and the internet in general, at risk.

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Filed Under: end of life, hue, hue bridge, iot, ownership, property rights, smart homes, smart lightbulbs
Companies: philips


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  • icon
    slap (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:03am

    Future proof?

    "We have designed the Bridge V2 to be future proof."

    Future proof - proof that it won't work in the future.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:10am

      Re: Future proof?

      There needs to be a law which causes IoT software to immediately become open source the moment that the manufacturer stops support and/or goes bankrupt.

      Large companies used to require SW companies to put their SW into escrow precisely for the reason that SW companies are flakey and go out of business w/o warning, leaving customers high & dry.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:16am

        Re: Re: Future proof?

        They used to ask a lot of hardware companies too. "In 1981, IBM created its PC, and wanted Intel's x86 processors, but only under the condition that Intel also provide a second-source manufacturer for its patented x86 microprocessors. Intel and AMD entered into a 10-year technology exchange agreement, first signed in October 1981" (Wikipedia)—and that's the basis for the bulk of AMD's current business.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:47am

        Re: Re: Future proof?

        It would be a bit trickier today, because software publishing has changed so radically. Instead of "the software that gets shipped", we have an "agile" stream of updates; just look at how often you need to restart Windows, or your browser, or Steam, to get the latest version.

        The history of the code as it's worked on is generally tracked by a "source control" system such as Git or SVN, and kept in a source control management server called a repository. What we really need is a way to mirror repositories into an escrow system, and that's trickier than it sounds. (It can, and should, be done, but it's not easy!)

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 12:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: Future proof?

          The history of the code as it's worked on is generally tracked by a "source control" system such as Git or SVN, and kept in a source control management server called a repository. What we really need is a way to mirror repositories into an escrow system, and that's trickier than it sounds.

          What's hard about it? Mirroring a repository is exactly what "git clone" does. It was harder before source control existed. Software Heritage plans "to collect and preserve all publicly available source code". The only difficult thing might be archiving code while trying to keep it secret, which is a self-inflicted problem.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Future proof?

            Mirroring the current state of a repository is exactly what "git clone" does. Keeping it up to date as ongoing development continues requires additional work.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 2:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Future proof?

              That additional work being a script to regularly update the cloned copies, and so easily fully automated.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 8:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Future proof?

                A script that calls git pull on the repository once a week... nah, that'd be too difficult.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Future proof?

      "We have designed the Bridge V2 to be future proof."

      As I'm sure they will eventually say about Bridge V3, or V4, .... or Vn.

      It's the new normal: When you want your suckers....err.... customers to buy the next iteration of your product, you break the old ones. What's that? Planned Obsolescence? That required designing crap to wear out and having new products ready when that happened. Today is the future! We design it so that it breaks when our shareholders push the button.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:13am

    Why?

    will no longer be able to use any of Philips’ online services, which is, of course, one of the whole purposes of buying the lights in the first place.

    Are people really buying it for that? In what way is it useful? Local control lets you choose color temperature, put light switches where you can't run wires, and other useful things. What's the benefit to controlling the lights over the internet?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:41am

      Re: Why?

      What's the benefit to controlling the lights over the internet?

      Let's say you're working, and because of daylight fucking savings time, it gets dark at 4:30pm. You get out of work at 5, and you have your pet dog at home patiently waiting for you.

      You want your little buddy to not have to sit home in the dark, so you log on and turn the light on at 4:15.

      That's just one example.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:54am

        Re: Re: Why?

        That's an example of something that worked 50 years ago with mechanical timers and photodiodes. Both of which are immune to DST.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why?

          That's an example of something that worked 50 years ago with mechanical timers and photodiodes.

          I'm sure there's someone out there who lugs his vacuum tube radio to the beach just to try and prove the same point.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 2:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

            Ham radio operators, of course, but what's your point? It's not like the old devices stopped working or stopped being produced. You can get them with digital LCD clocks if you prefer. Brand new LED streetlights detect darkness the same way they always did.

            So far, the examples given have ranged from "kind of neat" to "stuff we can already do". I wouldn't mind playing with tech like this, but I'm not convinced it's important enough to fully buy into this throwaway ecosystem.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 5:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

            Newer is not always better. A device that can detect light levels and automatically switch a light on and off would not only be a lot cheaper and easier to make than Phillips' product but would be completely immune to the fails of IoT, work without needing updates and work without needing any kind of attention. It is pretty situationally appropriate as a product but for those that want their pets to have light it's a much better solution than a Hue.

            I'm sure there's someone out there who lugs his vacuum tube radio to the beach just to try and prove the same point.

            To further your analogy, there seem to be plenty of people out there stupid enough to buy IoT products and then dumb enough to complain when they stop working a year or two later, leaving them with a pile of expensive landfill. But they sure feel cool, despite all the hassle, before they get their data hacked or their device bricked!

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 6:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

              There are two great fools: the one who says "this is old, and therefore good," and the one who says "this is new, and therefore better."

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 10:34pm

                No alms for prophet in "old" products

                A burglar tore the back door off over 20 years ago, the Gas Co. overcharged for 'Natural Gas' when we used zero (their supply pipes are more than 100 years paid for) so we cut them off, and the ceder ship-lap on this house breathes. Siting at this machine in the winter was fine with a 1960's desk lamp and a 1990's tungsten halogen incandescent light bulb to gently warm the hands. Now the new LED bulb leaves me chilled, it's "new-better" PWM power supply screams in my ear, strobes when i jerk my head & the blue-UV-yellow fake "white" light excites the vitreous and oxidizes my cornea. My bad. As a https://green.republican/ the drawer full of old lightbulbs stays closed:(

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2020 @ 5:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

              A device that can detect light levels and automatically switch a light on and off would not only be a lot cheaper and easier to make than Phillips' product but would be completely immune to the fails of IoT, work without needing updates and work without needing any kind of attention.

              Well sure - that would work just fine in the OP's scenario. What if the room didn't have a source of natural light? How well does your photodiode work in the dark?

              What if the outlet to plug it in is behind a piece of furniture?

              And before you say "well the mechanical timer would take care of it" let me come back with "Right - it'll turn the light on and off at a certain time. If you decide to turn it off early, you then need to remember to turn it back on, otherwise the timer is doing nothing."

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

              • identicon
                bobob, 12 Mar 2020 @ 8:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

                IOT lightbulbs are not a cure for stupidity and laziness. They just create new and novel ways to stupid and lazy.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2020 @ 8:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

                  IOT lightbulbs are not a cure for stupidity and laziness.

                  IOW, put your furniture in a place where the photo-diode can have access to light, and if that's not enough, break through a wall to allow natural light in the room.

                  Thanks, but I'll just be stupid and lazy. You go move shit around and break walls.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 13 Mar 2020 @ 11:00am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

                    You've never actually looked at those systems, have you? If there's no source of light in the room, why should your lights be controlled based on the outdoor light level? If there is, the photodiode usually has a cord that can reach to a window. Or there are timers, motion sensors, etc.

                    Or, sure, buy internet-connected lights and (for some reason) log in and work them manually every day for the next few years until the manufacturer shuts them all down. It's just kind of interesting that, with all these comments, nobody's given a particularly good example where they excel compared to old tech. I would actually like to see one, because if we ignore all the politics, the technology is cool.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Mar 2020 @ 7:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

            "I'm sure there's someone out there who lugs his vacuum tube radio to the beach just to try and prove the same point."

            That's a bit different.

            If the new tech is barely as convenient and introduces far more risk than your pre-existing tech you really have no motive for switching in the first place.

            I can see vacuum tubes go right back in fashion the very second microchips and transistors start failing because they're no longer supported by the OEM.

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

            • identicon
              OGquaker, 12 Mar 2020 @ 10:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ok, Boomer

              I swiped your phrase 'vacuum tube', "googled" it, and the first thing to pop up was a single audio tube, new for $1,695.
              When i wanted to buy a $500 used motorized base for my 12" Newtonian reflector, the retail dealer begged me to trade a 60 year old tube Macintosh amp to him instead; he could sell it for $thousands. When a forest fire ripped through my Brother's house, his first complaint was his loss of 5,000 old glass electron tubes, "My retirement is gone". Cellphones? we had VW size piles of cell phones covered with blue tarps, market-driven by the newest fashion, I sold tons for $0.04 a pound. Computers? $5 per PU truck load. IOT? landfill.

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

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Mar 2020 @ 9:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ok, Boomer

                "IOT? landfill."

                There is a lot to be said about tech which actually works as compared to the newest model of <whatever> which burns out within two years.

                There's an interesting anecdote about a conversation between a US general and a former soviet one, right after the USSR fell.

                US: "So I've always been meaning to ask, how come you kept right on using vacuum tubes in the bulk of your jets, tanks and subs? Your newest models all had sensible electronics..."

                USSR: "Is easy - in small skirmishes in middle east and on border we've got enough new models to fight"

                US: "Yeah, but what if you ended up in a large-scale war with us or China?"

                USSR: "Standard military doctrine if new great patriotic war. We cover sky with high-altitude nuclear explosions. EMP takes out everything. Then the only things that fly or drive bear hammer and sickle. We build for long winter."

                US: "o_O"

                Interestingly though, consumer devices out-of-the-box are usually designed to be obsolete in a year or two, but computer parts meant for enthusiasts to build their own rigs often have long lifespans as a direct selling point, and some take pride in being able to re-use motherboards and PSU's for as long as possible.

                I guess those with an interest in actually running the tech value it actually working well over how new it is.

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

          • identicon
            bobob, 12 Mar 2020 @ 8:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

            Capacitors were invented several hundred years ago and people lug those things around even more than ever before. Soldering was invented thousands of years ago and believe it or not, there is solder in every electronics device. Things like IOT lightbulbs seem to mostly fascinate people who think of technology as magic and hip.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2020 @ 8:45am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

              Capacitors were invented several hundred years ago and people lug those things around even more than ever before.

              I wouldn't consider a handful of surface-mount ceramic chip capacitors something I need to "lug" around. Should they continue to use electrolytics because people have gotten lazy and used to carrying something that can fit in their pocket versus something that you need to tow in a wagon behind you?

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

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Mar 2020 @ 9:15am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why?

                "Should they continue to use electrolytics because people have gotten lazy and used to carrying something that can fit in their pocket versus something that you need to tow in a wagon behind you?"

                Depends on whether it's easier to sustainably get the gadget in your pocket to work than it is to lug that wagonload of cranky old museum piece around.

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

        • icon
          fairuse (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 10:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: Why?

          Got outside garage light with motion sensor. The box is setup mechanical - on/off 24hr wheel where time tab trips relay. Can't claim any wire connect for PC, that would require controller with 422 232 serial ports.

          Wait Philips cloud service is send a text easy. (guessing never used it)

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re: Why?

        That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:47am

      Re: Why?

      Because the internet connected camera - that you absolutely have to have - doesn't work in the dark?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re: Why?

        The dark won't save you from those spy cameras. They usually include infrared LEDs to light the room invisibly.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:09pm

      Re: Why?

      I've got some Hue lights at home, they are only connected to the internet for security updates. Hue has some proximity controls so you can get the lights to turn on when you get X distance from home. You can also control them remotely, the dog in the dark example above. Otherwise they work fine without an internet connection.

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

  • identicon
    hausjam, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:27am

    no thanks

    call me crazy, but I will stick with plain old wall switches, regular old light bulbs, and honeywell thermostat. You can keep your hackable, perishable, IoT crap.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 12:49pm

      Re: no thanks

      Sorry, but your regular old light bulbs have been declared illegal. You now have to buy either fluorescent bulbs (compact or otherwise), or any of various LED-based bulbs.

      Or, I guess, gas lanterns, candles, or the old stand-by: accelerant induced house fire.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re: no thanks

        Or smuggle bulbs from Canada, where they're in theory not allowed but are widely available in dollar stores and in "specialty bulb" form (oven bulbs, 3-way bulbs, halogens, etc).

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 5:26pm

        Re: Re: no thanks

        Sorry but you can still buy incandescent light bulbs. Your information is wrong.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2020 @ 6:34am

        Re: Re: no thanks

        Do all LED bulbs have this particular problem?

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

    • icon
      Graham J (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:41pm

      Re: no thanks

      That doesn't make you crazy, it makes you a Luddite.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 5:30pm

        Re: Re: no thanks

        Interesting. I've worked in tech as an electronics and software engineer for 30+ years. I spend a lot of my time at home playing games on PC and various mobile devices. Tech is my life. But I also stick with wall switches, a non-IoT thermostat and some of my bulbs are still incandescent (I replace them as they burn out but only because LED bulbs last so much longer). Apart from streaming devices and computers, nothing in my house is connected to the internet. I hardly think I'm a luddite but I agree with all of hausjam's comment. What does that say about you and your name-calling?

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 12 Mar 2020 @ 7:59am

          Re: Re: Re: no thanks

          "What does that say about you and your name-calling?"

          That he's the type of person Microsoft liked to use as unpaid beta testers of their new software?

          I find that anyone with experience in tech, especially IT, tends to love the old stuff which fails predictably since this saves them so very much diagnostic and restore effort. If I'm to spend hours painstakingly ironing the various bugs out of untested soft- or hardware I expect to get paid.

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

      • identicon
        OGquaker, 11 Mar 2020 @ 11:16pm

        Re: Yep, in suport of the Luddites, and proudly!

        England forced thousands off independent home farms into the mills, and stole the food from Ireland at the point of a gun to feed the new Job (read the book) holders. A "Minimum Wage Bill" of 1808 decreased the minimum wage and the "Combination Acts" banned trade unions. By 1812, the new machinery was forcing thousands out of their new "Jobs", to starve or move to America. Within days of the Luddite uprising, Parliament passed laws and In 1813, 14 Luddites were hanged. Capital was king. Investors are the only sub-set of humans that are respected, the rest of us are pork-bellys to be hedged or bet.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2020 @ 6:38am

        Re: Re: no thanks

        A luddite rejects new things because they are new things, the person to which you responded apparently rejects IOT because it is not secure. Can you see the difference? If not, then perhaps it is you who are not entirely sane ... but who is these days?

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

  • icon
    Graham J (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:40pm

    Wrong title

    The title is not correct. The bulbs have the same functionality they always did.

    Still it's lame Phillips has decided to "focus" on the newer device, as if tweaking the codebase for the old one would be that onerous.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 1:54pm

      Re: Wrong title

      "The bulbs have the same functionality they always did."

      That would depend upon what functionality connection to the online services provided.

      From Philips:

      "That means the Bridges, and the lights they’re connected to, will no longer be able to use any of Philips’ online services,..."

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re: Wrong title

        Is it feasible to run your own service to do all the stuff their service could do?

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 3:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wrong title

          I wouldn't know, I don't intend on finding myself in the need to know either. At the same time I think there would be serious (expensive) IP complaints from Philips if one tried it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 8:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Wrong title

          You could try to catch the network traffic and build the API (no way are they just going to publish it or the server code) so you can run your own servers. Of course if the Google vs Oracle ruling stands in Oracle's favor, even that may be illegal now.

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

  • identicon
    mrharrysan, 11 Mar 2020 @ 2:12pm

    Lightify

    I have a Hue system and I have a Lightify system as well.
    Osram/Sylvania is seriously bricking their system in August of next year.

    https://www.osram.com/cb/lightify/index.jsp

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 11 Mar 2020 @ 2:38pm

    Why is it that all these IOT devices seem to need the parent company's support to function? The devices connect to the net, you access the devices over the net from your phone or a computer. What function does the company serve? Are you forced to connect to the devices through the company servers only? And if so WHY???

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 2:42pm

      Re:

      You know why.

      1. So they can collect your usage data;
      2. To make it harder for you to switch to a competitor.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 5:34pm

      Re:

      These devices don't offer up their own server on the net that you connect to with an app. They connect to HQ which collects all your data while providing a webserver for the app to connect to. It would be far too difficult for the average person to figure out how to connect an app to a server running on their home network. It's actually pretty simple but auto-config is not only easier but allows the manufacturer to collect tasty data they can sell to all comers.

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

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 12 Mar 2020 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re:

        It would be far too difficult for the average person to figure out how to connect an app to a server running on their home network.

        It would be too difficult for them to enter an IP address? In my mind, I'm comparing it to a classic, non-web interface, router. You plug in the router, enter its IP address in a browser and the router config screen comes up. Simple direction connection.

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

  • icon
    Miles (profile), 11 Mar 2020 @ 4:49pm

    "Worse, as these products fall out of support, they often stop receiving essential security updates..."

    When have these bozos ever put out essential security updates, or even cared about security in the first place.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2020 @ 8:28pm

    Phillips a while back put DRM in their Hue system as an after market update so you could only use their bulbs, sort of like what Kurig did their coffee.

    Sometime back I decided to no longer buy digital music for this reason back when Rio and then later Microsoft got out of the retail music business. Both shut their authorizing services down. If you didn't have it already burned to disc, what you paid was gone.

    Then Amazon did much the same with their ebooks. People complaining about this or that title containing something they didn't like got them pulled from your bookshelf where they kept the ebooks you'd spent money on. At that point I had realized I did a good thing to no longer buy digital over the internet.

    Now I look at IoT as the same. Not worth buying. Is always a question of when they will kill the functionality of that product, long before it wears out. I don't need the cost of rentals at the price of purchase with no guarantee it will continue to work until worn out. So I no longer consider purchasing anything with IoT.

    We won't even get into the security issue of IoT as another nonstarter for purchasing.

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

  • identicon
    Avideogameplayer, 12 Mar 2020 @ 2:38am

    How many people does it take to change a lightbulb? Thanks to Phillips, I still don't know.

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

  • identicon
    bobob, 12 Mar 2020 @ 7:04am

    I consider this development a plus. Just because you can connect something to the internet and amaze technical illiterates with the magical ability to use their phones to operate those things, doesn't mean it's a good idea or of any value. After wasting enough money and time on things that are suddenly unsupported, some people might stop and ask themselves why exactly they need an internet connected lightbulb.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Mar 2020 @ 8:17am

    strange how companies seem to have all the 'rights' and we, after paying out our hard earned cash to those companies, have 'no rights' whatsoever! i still wonder how much the judge in the geohot/sony case got for arriving at such a customer arse kicking judgement! it certainly started the downward spiral for us!

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

  • icon
    tom (profile), 12 Mar 2020 @ 8:28am

    At least in this case, it appears that it is only the Bridge gizmo being declared EOL. Looks like the actual devices like bulbs and such will work with the Bridge 2+. Better result than how a lot of these IOT things turn out.

    But this should still stand as yet another warning about IOT things that require a 3rd party C&C server or software in order to operate the various gizmos in your house.

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

  • identicon
    SomeoneInTheNorth, 10 Sep 2020 @ 1:39am

    Guess people misunderstand

    Most of you misunderstand the consequences of this, they're smaller than you think.

    The only thing that is discontinued in the V1 bridge is the online services. I can't remember the last time I connected to my home to change the lights remotely. I could easily just block my bridge in the UniFi firewall and still be able to use it as normal. I do have a V2 bridge and I'm not worried that all my 60 lights will just stop working. I've got lots of bridges as backup since buying starter packs with three bulbs and a bridge is cheaper than buying the three bulbs individually. Also, upgrading to a V3 bridge doesn't mean all my bulbs won't work. They're all backwards compatible, V1 bulbs works fine on my V2 bridge.

    My outdoor lights are controlled by sunrise/sunset, indoor lights are controlled by schedules so I don't need to worry "did I turn my lights off?".

    So there is literally nothing to worry about. Chill.

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


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