back to article Rejecting Sonos' private data slurp basically bricks bloke's boombox

In August, when wireless speaker maker Sonos decided to update its privacy policy to allow it to gather more data on its customers from their devices, it characterized the consequences of refusing to accept the change as being left out of future feature upgrades. Sonos' policy change, outlined by chief legal officer Craig …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About as clear a GDPR violation as you can get, shirley? Stick the German ICO on them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      GDPR isn't in force yet. You're right though, they are asking for trouble as they can't even identify who accepts the privacy terms so any and all PII collected will be illegally obtained. The Sonos seems to collect a lot too.

      Seems like good sport to get a 4 year old to accept and upgrade then sue the pants off them for listening to your house and uploading recordings. Wouldn't even have to ask the child, they'd be led to accept terms just by trying to listen to a song in the new app which won't play until the upgrade happens.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        "... get a 4 year old to accept and upgrade then sue the pants off them ..."

        A child is legally incapable of entering into any contract or binding agreement.

        1. Kevin Fairhurst

          I do believe that was the point... your child may not be able to agree to the terms, but they are capable of clicking “ok” buttons to get things working again...

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Exactly, Kevin.

            We had a similar case, an underage child had taken out a subscription by listening to free material (a typical scam in the late 2000s, you offer something, E.g. a tune, for free and with blue text on a blue background you say that by clicking on the download button you are agreeing to a 50€ a month subscription) and a lawyer sent a letter asking for payment. A return letter from our lawyer, pointing out that a 12 year old cannot enter into such a contract, ended the matter.

            1. JimboSmith Silver badge

              E.g. a tune, for free and with blue text on a blue background you say that by clicking on the download button you are agreeing to a 50€ a month subscription) and a lawyer sent a letter asking for payment. A return letter from our lawyer, pointing out that a 12 year old cannot enter into such a contract, ended the matter.

              Had a friend who was duped into signing up for something that I charitably described as a scam where the cancellation process involved sending a fax. She had signed up for a sample of a product with the terms and conditions written in the smallest font size/closest colour to the background they could get away with. Despite only thinking she was paying a small amount for shipping of the trial she'd signed up to £50 a month in product (teeth whitening kit) that she didn't want. When I found out we called the number listed on the website only to be told that the first months product was already waiting to be shipped and the trial started when you signed up not when you got the product. Yes we could cancel but only in writing and they didn't take email, we could fax or write to them. I told her to just cancel the card she'd used telling the card company that she thought someone else might have the details.

              She initially said she wouldn't bother and I said I wasn't going to let her go home unless she did it. I said if you don't they can legally take money from you card each month. She then cancelled it because "it seems like you might know what you're talking about". Next day she called me and said she'd worked it out last night in bed that it was £600 a year they could nick from her. She only lost £50 but it was a good lesson in reading the small print. When the sample and first months product arrived apparently they were so tiny it wasn't worth bothering with.

        2. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

          My cat accepts all the EULAs for me. He just loves walking over the keys on the keyboard so all I need to do is just put it on the floor and within a few minutes, bam, he's hit the right key. At least most of the time.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. big_D Silver badge

      It doesn't need GDPR, it would still be illegal under current German DP laws.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It doesn't need GDPR, it would still be illegal under current German DP laws."

        Yeah but if we wait six months we get to give them a real fine instead of a €40k slap on the wrist.

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @AC Definitely a lawsuit waiting to happen...

      There are two issues at play...

      1) SONOS clearly wants to remain relevant and compete with Amazon, therefore they are attempting to morph their speakers in to a new product that you already have in your home.

      2) Metadata capture is a way to further gain value from you. Your data has value and they can then use it to help identify information that they can sell/rent to advertising agencies.

      3) A future product... adding adverts to the streams... ;-) (Think about that one for a second....)

      But all of this comes at a risk.

      If they don't provide security and protect the information that they capture... they will be sued in to oblivion. .

      We can look at half a dozen major financial companies that have taken multi-billion dollar hits over data breaches and the impact to their bottom line.

      As many have already put out there... there are other solutions like blue tooth speakers, or I'd prefer actual wires. My old Adcom had A/B unfortunately after 20 year... it died and it was cheaper to replace it with an A/V receiver which had the same thing, which again died and replaced it with a new A/V receiver which I keep in my office with a nice pair of wired bookshelf speakers. ( Vienna Acoustics that I picked up on sale at a steep discount because the stereo store was closing and they were floor models. )

      So I'll pass on Sonos and wait for the lawsuit that is definitely coming to a courtroom near you. ;-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Start writing your Data Access Requests

      And send them on May 28th 2018. That's the beauty of the GDPR, protection of personal data is a Right for European citizens and it leverages the game.

      1. RegGuy1
        FAIL

        The beauty of the GDPR: protection of personal data is a Right for European citizens

        That's the UK fucked then.

        1. Rhospid

          Re: The beauty of the GDPR: protection of personal data is a Right for European citizens

          Thankfully UK gov has confirmed they will fully implement GDPR.

          1. Mark 65

            Re: The beauty of the GDPR: protection of personal data is a Right for European citizens

            Thankfully UK gov has confirmed they will fully implement GDPR.

            and likely waive the fines

  2. hitmouse

    Re: "Fall Creators Update"

    Issues have been raised with Sonos in years past that guests on your network can force updates that create incompatibilities with other users and firmware. There is no admin role that gates local updates.

    Sonos software will also pester you with update reminders when you're trying to use your device until you finally give in.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: "Fall Creators Update"

      Agree on point 1. Point 2 - isn't that everything ever thats need to be updated, I would rather be reminded than not. Its not like theres nothing good in the updates and they onl;y take a couple of minutes.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: "Fall Creators Update"

        Except when the software refuses to work without the update, yet the update won't install on your device (such as a dedicated iPod for controlling your Sonos for example) because they now require a level of IOS that your device can no longer be upgraded to.

        It's a speaker app, not Doom 4 ffs.

    2. Randy Hudson

      Re: "Fall Creators Update"

      "Sonos software will also pester you with update reminders when you're trying to use your device until you finally give in."

      So, just like iOS.

  3. Cynical Observer

    Crap like this...

    ...reaffirms my belief that picking a simple Bluetooth speaker with half decent sound quality was probably the right decision in the long run. Yes it may be limited in functionality compared to the Sonos - but it's a damn sight cheaper and will continue to function quite happily for many years - at least until the Bluetooth specs deviate wildly at some future date.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Crap like this...

      The big advantage with Sonos is the multiroom synchronised sound. If you don't need that you are absolutely better off with standalone systems.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Crap like this...

        Hmm, the A/B button on my 1970s hi-fi did the same thing...

        1. What? Me worry?

          Re: Crap like this...

          Yup, harmon/kardon 730 Twin Powered speaker A/B push button, as does my AV receiver from around 2002 and probably practically any other decent receiver from who knows how far back. Bang & Olufsen were really big in their adverts from eighties or so in promoting this. I remember they had an advert with a Beolab speaker shown mounted over the doorway to a kitchen so that you could listen to the Beovision in living room, over in the kitchen. Which, I thought was the coolest party trick ever, and then I found out how much B&O systems cost! :)

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Crap like this...

            "Which, I thought was the coolest party trick ever, and then I found out how much B&O systems cost!"

            The coolest party trick ever was getting people to pay their prices.

          2. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: Crap like this...

            When I was a kid in the 70's, my fathers receiver had A/B, and it was 15 years old then...

        2. Blitheringeejit
          Megaphone

          Re: Crap like this...

          My volume knob goes up to 11, and with my modest 125dB speakers, it all works beautifully as a multi-room system. Even the neighbours get the benefit!

          Icon, obviously -----------------------------------------------------------------------------^

      2. Cynical Observer
        Trollface

        Re: Crap like this...

        @Mark 110

        Given the way the teenagers hide out - we don't need that. For some reason they seem to think that my taste in music leaves a lot to be desired.

      3. Lusty

        Re: Crap like this...

        "The big advantage with Sonos WAS the multiroom synchronised sound. "

        There, fixed that for you. That's not been a USP for years, and frankly the way Sonos abuse your wifi network is archaic. They don't even support devices on differing SSIDs on the same network!

        1. EvadS

          Re: Crap like this...

          Must be something wrong with your setup then, I have 2 Sonos on different SSIDs on the same network and can control and access them both just fine whichever SSID I am connected to on the controlling app

      4. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: Crap like this...

        Not necessarily. My Yamaha network stereo amp has their Musicast system that works seamlessly and perfectly all over my house with music synchronised to all end speakers, or I can route or stream different music and/or sources to different rooms using the app.

        With the amp and 3 endpoints it still cost 1/2 the price of the equivalent Sonos, with much more flexibility and functionality.

      5. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Crap like this...

        You can get synched multiroom a few ways, Chromecast Audio, or there's Airfoil on a PC or Mac, it's something I keep toying with, and never quite getting around to, like building a mezzanine level in my Summer house and attaching a projector to the underside.....

        1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: Crap like this...

          You can get synched multiroom a few ways, Chromecast Audio

          If you're concerned about exfiltration of private data, then Google products are probably not your best choice.

      6. Chrissy

        Re: Crap like this...

        I can get multi-room synchronised sound for about £5..... a pair of headphones.

      7. Kiwi Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Crap like this...

        The big advantage with Sonos is the multiroom synchronised sound.

        I've done that in a couple of ways..

        1) The volume control. Till the neighbours complained anyway.

        2) A cheap FM transmitter, with stereos in other rooms being tuned in.

        No need for a company to be able to slurp my private date etc for that. For that matter, no need to spend more than a tenner...

    2. tin 2

      Re: Crap like this...

      "simple Bluetooth speaker with half decent sound quality was probably the right decision in the long run"

      probably the app you're using to drive the bluetooth speaker is leaking the same information though.

      1. Cynical Observer

        Re: Crap like this...

        @tin 2

        Doubt it.

        The App was discontinued by its original authors when they sold it. The new authors never successfully brought the "New Super Revised Improved Version" to market.

        The installed version (on my and the other's devices) was installed from an APK and the permissions were subsequently stripped.

        To use your words from another post in this thread ...

        Also means that nobody thought to put in a billion lines of every-movement code by then so we're good :)

    3. jj_0

      Logitech Squeezecenter

      Is sufficiently Sonos-like (has synchronisation, does Spotify, Internet radio, local music collection). The server software (runs on various NAS, Pi & alikes etc) is still mainatined. The player devices need to be sourced on eBay though (Squuezebox Radio, Boom, Player) or 'handbuilt' form Pi/alikes + DAC + speakers.

      1. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Logitech Squeezecenter

        I wish someone would take on development again of (Logitech) Squeezecenter and SqueezeBox, it worked brilliantly.

        I still don't understand why Logitech killed it off, something I suspect they are going to regret as the IoT market explodes and they're left behind.

        1. Lloyd

          Re: Logitech Squeezecenter

          Yep, I've got 3 squeezebox radios and a squeezebox controller/receiver on my stereo, all running off an HP microserver running squeezebox server, it's been like that for 10 years or so, not a problem so far.

          1. thegambles

            Re: Logitech Squeezecenter

            I also took the Slimdevices / Squeezebox route a long time ago with many hundreds of CDs stored in FLAC (and Apple Lossless for those stupid devices) on a couple of servers at home (Heavily upgraded MediaSmart and a QNAP TS-453A). I was very sad that they discontinued them. I still have a pre-logitech Slim Devices Squeezebox, One of the LCD touch screen ones and two Booms. The biggest issue with them is frankly something unforgivable that has happened with many other things including £300 Philips shavers - the rubberised finish on the remotes and Booms has de-vulvanised making them sticky and prone to collecting dust. They must have selected cheap / untested rubbers which breaks down over a relatively short life. The hardware should be fine for many years to come. I also understand that some have had problems with the Boom speakers with separating cones - again a clear manufacturing fault. As a result the Booms have now been locked away and replaced with the HEOS7s. Unacceptable really.

            I have since upgraded my Denon (largely to support 4K and DV) to a 4400 which has HEOS support. That works well and I've added to HEOS7s to other rooms. I can either control everything from the Amp or each speaker from the HEOS App. The kids connect over BT, and I use WiFi / ethernet to stream the same FLAC files to the speaker. Works great and has no privacy issues I've seen so far. The audio is at the high end of what Sonos deliver - some would say better.

      2. BenDwire

        Re: Logitech Squeezecenter

        Google "piCorePlayer" and you'll find an excellent project that emulates a Squeezebox player. Audio out on the HDMI port stuck straight into the AV amp, and even shows what's being played on the telly. Admittedly the low accuracy clock on the Pi sometimes drifts when synced up to several players, but for just a £30 outlay I can put up with that.

      3. thegambles

        Re: Logitech Squeezecenter

        I still run SqueezeCenter on a MediaSmart with a backup on a new QNAP VM in case the former fails to support my two Squeezebox Booms, one Touch and one original Squeezebox. They run beautifully with Flak lossless and provide good TuneIn integration.

        I do have to be honest though, they sometimes drop off the network for no good reason and the UI is less than perfect. My wife now has an Echo Dot connected to her Kitchen Boom with Line In always enabled so she can more reliably listen to Radio 4 Extra.

        Paul

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Crap like this...

        Yeah I have a bluetooth speaker and a Hifi adapter that allows me to use a something as basic as feature phone to play music. Yes it's somewhat limited in terms of features but it works.

        Friends have a load of these to do multiroom. They've got a bigger house than me whereas in mine the bluetooth signal reaches the entire house it doesn't in theirs.

    5. Madeye

      Re: Crap like this...

      Too damn right. For the price of a Sonos you can buy a bluetooth receiver, old school analogue amp/speakers and a cheap Chinese tablet to control it all with money left over to cover a Spotify Premium subscription.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Meh

      Which makes the point that "new", "shiny", and "connected" isn't always the best. Much like light bulbs, door bells, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Best" - but for who?

        " "new", "shiny", and "connected" isn't always the best. "

        It may not be the best in terms of the interests of the people paying for and using it.

        But without these Interweb of Tat and related shiny products and secret services, what would Tomorrow's World (or modern equivalent) be writing/vlogging/etc about? What would the marketing communications people, the product+service evangelists, and so on, do all day to earn a crust?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Connected?

        Good luck with your unconnected light bulb.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Connected?

          Good luck with your unconnected light bulb.

          Unconnected to data? That's standard. No internet of things at home for me, thanks.

          Unconnected to the mains? That's a torch.

          Personally, at the end of the day when I get home I don't want a bunch of bleeding edge equipment that I have to spend the evening debugging. I just want nice reliable equipment that >WORKS<.

          If that means some of it (especially speakers) is ten years older than me, then so be it.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Connected?

          "Good luck with your unconnected light bulb."

          Great idea. It never burns out.

        3. Scroticus Canis

          Re: Good luck with your unconnected light bulb.

          Uncle Fester hold this for a while...

  5. Mephistro Silver badge
    Flame

    "...Sonos' spokesperson clarified that the company isn't offering a refund to all privacy policy holdouts. Rather the audio gear biz intends to work with affected customers on a case-by-case basis...."

    Case-by-case, depending on what, exactly? Whether the customer is famous or not? Whether the customer is raising hell in some blog? Gender? Race? Distance from Sonos HQ? Zodiac sign?

    This statement is as hollow and stupid as it can be. As most company statements that include the expression "on a case-by-case basis". Sigh...

    After reading this article, Sonos is in the list of companies with which I don't want any business, ever.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Distance from Sonos HQ?"

      Well, since Sonos have asked the affected users to "reach out", that may well be pertinent for those who live more than an arms length away from customer service. It seems they no longer have phones or email where they can be contacted.

  6. RJG

    Extortion?

    In Scotland, clamping a car and demanding money to free it is regarded as extortion, and is illegal.

    If data has value, then this would seem to fall under the same legislaton.

    It is perhaps time for someone to bring a private prosecution against Sonos, as happened with the car clampers.

    1. Fihart

      Re: Extortion?

      I may be wrong, but isn't there legislation regarding retrospective disabling of software ?

      In Sonos' case may be accidental or incidental but it really is time that buyers asserted the fact that they have bought a product, own it, and won't tolerate the manufacturer messing with post purchase.

      Microsoft -- I'm looking at you.

      1. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge

        Re: Extortion?

        Looks like Sonos just fucked up the update process by allowing the app to update without the required firmware, and it appears (albeit inconvenient) that they are assisting anyone who is broken.

        Now that they've added a block to ensure the software and firmware remain sync'd then nothing is disabled, you just don't get future updates, and almost everything has a life after which you don't get updates.

        Still sucks that they now require so much personal information, glad I don't have a Sonos.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Extortion?

          "Now that they've added a block to ensure the software and firmware remain sync'd then nothing is disabled"

          Er, no. This just means that you have to accept the privacy policy to fix the issue. Which is still the issue...

          And while it's true that all things eventually lose support, things current in the range and bought last week absolutely mustn't lose critical security patch type support. That's madness, but that's what Sonos have done here. Anyone who bought a player just before the change will never receive the security updates to which they are entitled and to which they had a valid contract unless they agree to new contract terms. Illegal.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Extortion?

          allowing the app to update

          Surely that's an App Store function and thus outside of Sonos' control?

  7. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    New Update:

    SONOS will now be collecting key hashes of all media streamed through your speakers. Just so we can *analyze* the quality of sound reproduction and plan improvement in the near future.

    New New Update:

    Streamed media *sources* will be tracked and validated against your account with SONOS to ensure that no one is violating your privacy and security.

    WallStreetJournal Announces SONOS to be acquired by International Association of Entertainment Lawyers.

    (I'm sorry, did that sound *cough* cynical?)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IoT - A warning from history...

    This news hurts the entire IoT industry. I wont ever be buying this shit...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Needed a music system for home recently

      I'd read warnings from history on the Reg, so I went old-school and bought gear with wires ( Stagepas). It does what it says on the tin. There's no BT syncing or driver issues to worry about, no privacy gotchas, and you can plug in guitars / instruments too. IoT is run by sick people. Someone needs to take the entire industry behind a shed, lets hear the shots around the world!

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: IoT - A warning from history...

      IoT hurts the IoT industry in general...

      Lack of standards

      Lack of security

      Lack of continuity (support for devices is dropped before the delivery man can click on OK after you have signed for it)

      Fly-by-nights

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IoT is no different to renting...

    Goes to prove once again that IoT, Cloud, and anything-as-a-service / subscription is basically the same as renting. Look forward to eviction...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IoT is no different to renting...

      Renting what exactly? I've been renting my house for the last 12 years, landlords a decent guy who as long as I pay the rent on time has never given me a moments trouble (or even increased the rent).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IoT is no different to renting...

        My last landlord decided to stop his meds and self-medicate with alcohol, which resulted in him being sectioned for wielding a massive bread knife in public. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, the silly bugger was so mashed he hadn't even managed to take it out of the plastic wrapper. Up to that point he had been absolutely fine with me, but it just goes to show that, like software, wetware can change without notice.

        1. My other car is an IAV Stryker
          Holmes

          Re: Software v. wetware

          Software/firmware: garbage in, garbage out.

          Wetware: garbage ("drugs" from alcohol to over-the-counter meds to prescriptions to the wide range of opiods, amphetamines and hallucinogenics; also junk food and "large" doses of caffeine) in, garbage (insanity) out.

          Indeed, the principle works.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Software v. wetware

            "drugs" from alcohol to over-the-counter meds to prescriptions to the wide range of opiods

            Nonsense. According to your standard I'm a raving nutcase (quiet at the back there!) - after all, I enjoy a glass[1] of wine or two and am prescribed opiod[2]-based painkillers (and one that has a clear mind-altering effect[3]).

            Indeed, the principle is a hell of a lot more complex than you seem to understand.

            [1] Bottles are glass too - right?

            [2] The gateway drug that is codeine. Been taking it for years. I've yet to have a craving for heroin or cocaine..

            [3] Prescribed for neuropathic pain and as a migraine-prophylactic. In much larger doses, it was used for depression.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Software v. wetware

              "According to your standard I'm a raving nutcase"

              That's what your handle says.

            2. My other car is an IAV Stryker
              Pint

              Re: Software v. wetware

              I am sure you are balancing all that against a nutritious intake of other chemicals we usually call "food", with the scales in favor of the food, not the drugs & wine. Should it be the other way around, I would expect health effects -- as I said, garbage out (insanity being just one possible outcome). And tolerances may vary; I thought that went without saying. (Disclaimer: I Am Not A Doctor.)

              Whatever gets you through the day -- cheers!

              (I fully believe my blood pressure medication has a mental/emotional effect as well as physical effects, which isn't hard to argue if one believes the brain is nothing more than a chemical stew. Oh, the effect? I'm calm... for now.)

            3. Someone Else Silver badge
              Happy

              @CrazyOldCatMan -- Re: Software v. wetware

              Regardless of your post, I upvoted you simply because of your handle.

              And your post....

            4. Alistair Silver badge
              Windows

              Re: Software v. wetware

              I'll second that one CoCM;

              Caffeine is after all a drug and I keep my blood levels suppressed in my caffeine stream.

              Anti-inflamatory that has been considered for a number of other uses including as an anti-depressant, and lately periodic (emergency only) opioid for those moments when my left leg turns to concrete. Then there's all the pasta, since its covered in a nightshade derivative compound, and lately I've added new fermentation products to my diet, oh my. Cabernet's, Rum, Scotches and terrible things like .... centrum forte!

              (If you get out that way -> 5 Paddles, Whitby, Ontario, CA. check em out)

  10. Cameron Colley

    So, is Sonos in trouble financially then?

    I thought that their kit was relatively expensive so they should be capable of making a profit selling it. However, this suggests that may not be the case and they need to sell personal data to make any money?

    Or they could just be greedy, pathetic scum?

    1. Mark 110
      Meh

      Re: So, is Sonos in trouble financially then?

      I am not entirely sure what possible benefit they can be getting from this. The only data they could possibly be getting they can match with my email address / IP address is:

      1. I listen to Radio 4 a lot

      2. My music taste is not 'down with the kids'

      No clue how they then do anything with that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, is Sonos in trouble financially then?

        Then they know when (not if) it ties in with advertising, they know what adverts to sell you.

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: So, is Sonos in trouble financially then?

        That is the same argument is "I don't care if they spy on me, I have nothing to hide". It's false, EVERYBODY has something to hide. Similarly those 2 points are exactly what make the data valuable for sale, as it shows they can better target you with non-generic ads.

    2. dl

      Financial trouble? No, they just launched a speaker that has builtin Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. So the privacy policy needs to be updated to allow those to function and they are too lazy to break it out for different products.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @dl yes that's why they changed the policy, obviously.

        Now explain why they broke their customers systems if those updated terms weren't accepted. Illegally forcing updated contract terms is not OK. Ceasing critical security updates is not OK. Suggesting users can "fix" the issue by turning off security updates...NOT OK!

  11. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Hmmm never did consider sonos but have been looking at some other similar kit(teufel being an interesting option) - I wonder if other such kits have similar issues???

    El-reg research idea???

    1. Mephistro Silver badge

      (@ Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik)

      "teufel being an interesting option"

      There's a name that inspires confidence! ;^)

      "I wonder if other such kits have similar issues??? [...] ElReg's research idea???"

      Don't bother, all of them do, at least potentially. Any product that relies in updates and/o external servers to function properly can receive the same treatment, when some management asshat decides to "create value for the investors" by ripping off their customers one way or another.

      So, it's basically a Russian roulette, with few empty chambers. :-(

      I, personally, favour the option of not buying -among other things- IoT tat.

  12. Julian 8

    Squeezebox

    Glad I still have this little beauties running even though they sold out to Logitech who dumped the whole shebang.

    With the new EUDPA next year you just tell Sonos they have to remove ll the data they have and you do not give consent.

    Cal then a week later ask for what they have on you and then if they have anything report them and hope the ICO or whoever use their teeth with the level of fines they can impose with the new act

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Re: Squeezebox

      Thumbs-up for the Squeezebox.

      I have a Squeezebox 2 and 3 Booms. Love them, and with the open-sourced server anyone can jump in and make a device. It'd be nice to be able to buy an off-the-shelf device that would work with it...

      I know you can slap together a Pi with SqueezeLite, and there are half-decent DACs and amps you can hook into it, but a nice, neat turnkey box (like a Sonos) would be great.

      1. sad_loser

        Re: Squeezebox

        Had a couple of these, but binned when they got taken over and software pain.

        Now: Plex + [ device ] + Bluetooth 4.0 + denon ceol

      2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: Squeezebox

        a nice, neat turnkey box (like a Sonos) would be great

        It sure would. It is nice to have a purpose built rig rather than a lash-up. Where someone shares the love for what it is, has taken the time to make their products look nice and iron out the kinks, and delivers something which one considers well worth paying for.

        Unfortunately it always seems to start with good intentions but turn to shit when someone decides there's money to be made, customers to be monetized, or it can be flogged to someone who doesn't have the same respect for their customers.

        It's good, honest, decent business practices we are losing these days. They are serving themselves, not serving their customers. Just because they can, it doesn't mean they should.

    2. tin 2

      Re: Squeezebox

      Agree, still have 11 squeezeboxes dotted around the house and garden and some of them are in use daily, although recently the Touch died and a Boom killed it's PSU. They're getting old :(

      The software's still cranky and refuses to co-operate from time to time, but that's not bad for something that's been discontinued for 5+ years. Also means that nobody thought to put in a billion lines of every-movement code by then so we're good :)

      Congrats to the strategy morons out there in Logitech, you could be owning this market segment now & not pissed off a legion of fiercely loyal customers.

      They still command ridiculous prices on ebay so there's love out there for them.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Squeezebox

        Eleven???!

        That is quite a lot.

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: Squeezebox

          "Eleven???! That is quite a lot."

          Indeed. Tin - where do you live, and when are you going on holiday?

          I'll... umm... water your plants - that's it!

        2. tin 2

          Re: Squeezebox

          Indeed :) The synchronised sound is AWESOME!

          That's a lie, I've never tried it on all 11.

          I might have a problem.

  13. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Meh

    "The sound was better"

    There's the rub - irrespective of whether or not one feels the need for a wireless sound system or control it from one's phone, Sonos just isn't very good audio gear (imho). Maybe the former is more important to some people than the latter, and that's fine, but it's not for me.

    1. Mark Allen

      Re: "The sound was better"

      Same as Beats headphones - cheap tatt rebadged with a brand name sells. There are some good salesmen out there who can sell anything. Amazing what people will accept when dressed up in fancy words.

      My main hifi is wired up, but for other rooms I make use of Bluetooth adapters on decent speakers then just use KODI to push the audio to the different rooms as needed. £10 of Bluetooth parts added to speakers I already owned. Never at risk to updates killing the system.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: "The sound was better"

        Same as Beats headphones - cheap tatt rebadged with a brand name sells.

        I always thought the name was a reference to the mugging the purchaser just got.

        Then again, maybe it's a reference to their quality, as in "everything else beats them"

        I tried some briefly with a track I know well. Worst shit I've ever fed into my ears (the sound from the headphones, not the track).

        --> The worst of these gives better audio quality than the best of the "beats" rubbish.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: "The sound was better"

      I rely on the simple fact that my house is not large and the AV system is and I can hear it anywhere.

    3. Mark 110

      Re: "The sound was better"

      My main room has a Sonos Connect outputting to my NAD digital amp and very nice speakers I got off a Jehovahs Witness selling up to go and be a missionary in Sierra Leone (hope he survived the hurricane - he was quite chatty).

      Its not like Sonos don't make stuff you can use, with optical I/o, with proper digitally designed audio equipment. I chose quite carefully. Not a small investment for a over a grands worth of audio kit on my day rate.

      And the other two bits of Sonos kit which I already owned do their job just fine. Horses for courses.

  14. krivine

    Roll your own

    Raspberry Pi +amp, Logitech Media Server, speakers, Squeezelite on phone. It's possible to do multi room sync, but our house is not big enough to need it.

    http://www.gerrelt.nl/RaspberryPi/wordpress/tutorial-stand-alone-squeezebox-server-and-player-for-bbq/

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Roll your own

      Thanks for that link, it's been bookmarked. I love his retro portable player, I'm going to have to make one of those!

      http://www.gerrelt.nl/RaspberryPi/wordpress/portable-retro-squeezelite-player/

      P.S. I use an Akai tuner/amp which I bought for £4 in a jumble sale 23 years ago. The tuner's stereo decoder has recently failed but the amp still sounds great.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Roll your own

        If you're after something easier to set up take a look at PiCorePlayer. It comes set up with squeezelite and a web interface to configure everything easily. There are presets for most of the DAC, SPDIF and amp boards, and it works with any DAC with a standard USB input, although some of them nees a manual setting to get the best out of them. It also has options for adding the server, and a touchscreen interface on the Pi, much like the SqueezeBox Touch.

        https://sites.google.com/site/picoreplayer/home

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Roll your own

          I had a bit of a play with this a while ago.

          It works fine as long as you don't want to run windows and Linux or apple clients at the same time. They don't seem to be able to sync at all!

          Fine with Windows and android.

  15. Kraggy

    So why did he buy them in the first place?

    "I'm probably going back to a traditional setup with buttons, stereo speakers, and wires. The sound was better, control better, and it still works after 20 years,"

    Totally agree, so I wonder why he bought it!

    Sonos, like most other boutique branded mini-hi-fi gear, has always been more about the 'cache' [insert accented 'e' if you know how!] (otherwise known as 'w' waving) than the quality.

    1. Ralph the Wonder Llama

      You don't need an accent, just a t

      cachet ;)

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: So why did he buy them in the first place?

      "insert accented 'e' if you know how"

      Oh, do come on... laziness can be refined to a fine art. Google "e acute", select first result, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V...

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: So why did he buy them in the first place?

      'cache' [insert accented 'e' if you know how!]

      It's 'cachet', you inerudite commentard.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: So why did he buy them in the first place?

        @DropBear was more polite.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: So why did he buy them in the first place?

          @DropBear was more polite.

          We'll 'ave non of that there politeness round 'ere. We's commentards dammit!

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: So why did he buy them in the first place?

          @DropBear was more polite.

          Just correcting the wrong problem.

  16. Kevin Fairhurst

    I'm not sure why Sonos haven't...

    Enabled firmware updates with a new *feature* that can be enabled/disabled, depending on whether or not you agree to the dta slurp.

    Oh wait, that would mean very few people would agree to it, whereas with this method, people are coerced into agreeing!

    I wonder how many T&C changes there have been where this kind of thing hasn't been noticed... how many jokingly added the Human Centipede clause? Does one unworkable clause render the whole agreement null and void?

  17. Elmer Phud

    nice

    Users = the kit I bought wont work unless I let you rummage, can I please use the kit I paid for?

    Sonos = piss off.

  18. timcroydon

    Contempt for users

    Sonos are showing huge contempt for their users. I love the core system, and it works well for my listening habits so made perfect sense when I bought into it 7-8 years ago (been working faultlessly and sounds great btw).

    Where I take great issue with them recently is:

    - lack of SMB2+ support. They're STILL insisting on SMB1 for network shares despite all the security concerns and they fact their support line is going to get hammered when MS drop it shortly and everyone updates their NAS boxes.

    - privacy creep and focus on a million streaming services rather than making them plugins you add to support just the ones you want to use

    - I had a Sonos device stolen in a burglary. I reported the serial number (which is the MAC address) asking them to disable the device or report it to me/police if they saw it. They refused, saying they'd only get involved if they got a request from law enforcement. I consider that an absolutely appalling attitude.

    - they bullshitted me about compatibility of an IR remote against their soundbar thing, claiming it used a non-standard frequency, despite me showing them evidence that wasn't the case by building a IR test thing with a breadboard and RaspPi

    Customer service is not their forté - they're going for the easy money from streaming platforms I guess.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Contempt for users

      Not to argue with any of the above (it sounds awful) but remote IR did indeed used to use a handful of carrier frequencies like 36/38/40/56 KHz which are at least in theory indeed incompatible on a hardware level with each other. Practically of course the receivers with the most ubiquitous 38 KHz typically received the neighbouring other two more or less just fine, but that's a different story...

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Contempt for users

      Sonos are showing huge contempt for their users.

      It's the New Way. Companies like HP and Sony paved the way ("you *will* buy our ink" and SuperFish spring to mind).

    3. Jeremy Allison

      Re: Contempt for users

      > lack of SMB2+ support. They're STILL insisting on SMB1 for network shares

      > despite all the security concerns and they fact their support line is going to get

      > hammered when MS drop it shortly and everyone updates their NAS boxes.

      Not only that, I've contacted their support line and email and personally offered support and help to move them onto SMB2+ (they're using Steve French's Linux kernel client and Steve and I can certainly fix this for them). I got a "thanks" back, but no follow up.

      This tells me they're probably trying to figure out how to orphan people who are running their own NAS boxes and force everyone onto shitty-quality streaming cloud music, for whatever reasons (probably trying to get a cut of that sweet rental revenue). If that happens I'm ditching my SONOS stuff on eBay - which will hurt, I've spent a *LOT* of money on them over the years and previously was a very happy customer until the abomination of their latest Android app update.

      The latest app update makes the system virtually unusable from a UI/usability point of view (my wife has already given up on it).

    4. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      @timcroydon -- Re: Contempt for users

      Customer service is not their forté

      It's not even their mezzo-piano...

    5. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Contempt for users

      They refused, saying they'd only get involved if they got a request from law enforcement. I consider that an absolutely appalling attitude.

      I've known a few people who've had someone try to get their stuff/account/car etc stopped by reporting to the maker/ISP etc that it's stolen/being used illegally/other T&C breaches. I can quite understand wanting a request from LEO rather than from a jilted lovervictim of theft.

  19. Alan Sharkey

    It’s not for El Reg readers, is it.

    I have a Sqeezebox Touch and couple of SB Radios. They connect to my Synology NAS box which has all the music I need. [The wife listens to radio 2 in the kitchen]. I have some “real” hifi in the lounge (with a CD player and a Denon deck).

    I don’t see the need for Bluetooth stuff connected to my phone. How is that a quality service? Maybe for teenagers - but they won’t care about T’s & C’s. Maybe that’s the market Sonos want - so when they grow up they are used to invasive conditions.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: It’s not for El Reg readers, is it.

      Maybe for teenagers - but they won’t care about T’s & C’s.

      The problem is not teenagers ... it is the 80's+ generation ... kids no longer learn history at school or do not understand history the same way as we do. Mass surveillance to them is acceptable, some even think it is desirable. We even have adults on here (Yes, I know, I know) supporting the "nothing to hide" stance ... Niemöller had nothing to hide ... worse, some are USians, I know, I know, the ONLY Western world country with political prisoners ... I know, I know ... Cannot fix dumb.

      Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it ... I have to teach this to my kids ... something I would have expected the teachers to teach everybody in secondary school ... Shit, kids do not even learn about the difference between official and real causes of historical events ...

      Like the conservatives in the UK who thought surveillance in GDR was terrible, however, are more than happy to pass laws for even more efficient surveillance than that in the GDR, here, in the UK, today ...

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: It’s not for El Reg readers, is it.

        Speaking as someone from the UK born in 1980 and educated in the state school system, I must have been really lucky. My history teacher made us go through sources, and construct what had happened versus what was claimed to have happened.

        I learnt more about how the UK functions, how Parliament works, the mechanics of sovereignty in a constitutional monarchy*, the various struggles to get the vote for groups other than wealthy male landowners, Peterloo and the general reformation movement. This was all in year 7-9, so before it became an elective, thus we all got a piece of it.

        In various debates online, it's clear that there is a great deficit in understanding civics in the UK, unless you went to one of the schools for the future ruling class. It's almost like there's been a long ongoing struggle between those elites who hold the majority of the capital (and power), their lackeys, and the rest of the population.

        Most of the millennials I've talked to about the surveillance stuff are just as bothered about it as the old farts, they are just resigned to the fact that governments will do what they want, and when caught will punish the whistle blowers and then change the laws to retroactively legalise their actions. They also assume that they can and will be tracked, and that protesting doesn't change anything.

        As for which generation is at fault, it's the boomers. Sorry if you're part of it, but they've managed to screw over the previous and future generations by taking getting their kids to pay for their education, healthcare and pensions, whilst cutting the same for the following generations. For every $1 in tax the boomers paid, they received $4 of government spending. But don't you worry, it's all gen x/y/millenials fault :)

        * Broadly speaking the monarch is sovereign, on the condition that they leave the actual running of things to the government formed of the majority of the elected representatives. Thus sovereignty passes from the Crown to parliament at the start of each session. Makes the Queens speech more interesting, as that's her formally handing over her rule each time.

        1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Most of the millennials ... just as bothered about it as the old farts

          Yet they pump out huge plumes of personal guff to the servers of surveillance capitalists. Do they not realise they have a choice about this and that, if they were to choose differently, the snoopers of officialdom would have to do the work themselves, at a much slower, more targeted rate?

          It might also mean that companies such as Sonos would think twice about jumping on the slurping bandwagon. (I'm a GenX kid before you ask.)

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: It’s not for El Reg readers, is it.

          "They also assume that they can and will be tracked, and that protesting doesn't change anything."

          They probably don't believe that voting doesn't change anything either. Or they didn't until a year or so ago.

  20. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Sonos joins the long list of arsehole companies, like Microsoft, Sony, Lenovo, Samsung, LG ... who's next ?

    1. defiler Silver badge
  21. Martin M

    I use Roon as a very slick alternative to Sonos. It's expensive ($120/year or $500 for life) but you can offset against much cheaper zone hardware. RoonLab's privacy policy seems pretty proportionate - https://kb.roonlabs.com/Privacy_Policy . The UX is absolutely beautiful.

    I use a Pi with iQaudio PiDAC+ in the sitting room with an existing AV receiver and speakers - £90 all in (including a nice little case) vs £350 for a Sonos CONNECT. Bedroom is a Pi/iQaudio PiAMP+ - £110 vs £500 for a CONNECT:AMP. Both sound better than Sonos and are easily assembled in about 15 mins. Office is my existing Mac mini and speakers.

    Or, as others have pointed out, there are some very good Pi audio distros (Volumio etc.) that can be combined with the free Logitech Media Server to give you a system entirely within your control that doesn't leak any information. Albeit less slick.

    The downside is that all of the above need an always on PC or server, but that's the price you pay for not doing everything in the cloud.

  22. Anonymal coward

    Or you could do -it-yourself *and* fel superior...

    I'd push this sort of thing (https://www.hifiberry.com/beocreate); the HFB stuff works very nicely, the spread of RPi-based things is good, and reusing Bang & Olufsen kit is always a Good Thing...

  23. diggerb

    Another hold out here stung by the app update. Had to uninstall and head off to one of the APK sites to get the old version which has sorted the short term issue out, but having been more than happy with the ease of use of Sonos I'm considering selling up and heading back to something more hacky. Annoying as I've got plenty of other hacky stuff I'd rather be doing.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sonos again El Reg?

    Huge supporter of the venerable El Reg, but over the years, I've read articles about Sonos way too often for their technological or social impact on the average reader. Perhaps someone at the towers has some sonos kit and likes it, perhaps sonos lends their stuff out to El Reg hacks. But for your average Joe, Sonos is an irrelevancy. It's not unique, it's not interesting technologically, it's a backwater.

  25. adam payne Silver badge

    'We've also been told that an app update is planned by the end of the week that will prevent firmware and software versions from getting out of sync and creating this situation in the first place.'

    Sounds like Sonos were just expecting people to accept the terms and not think about it.

  26. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Sonos can just feck off.

  27. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    This is actually the customer-data-is-also-a-product-we-can-sell business model.

    How much does this s**t cost to buy?

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: This is actually the customer-data-is-also-a-product-we-can-sell business model.

      I suspect that they have come to realise that the long-term costs at their end are higher than expected (those golf buggies for the CEO don't come cheap y'know) and the cost of the hardware hasn't paid for the cost of the service.

      Either that, or someone in Marketing is getting greedy and seeing large bonus signs for raising corporate cashflow..

  28. Downside
    Pint

    Soooo up tight

    You lot happily use google, whatsapp, mobile phones but THIS grinds your gears? Oh, cue the replies with folsk who still dig out their 1994 yellow Pages instead of Google, only use their original Nokia 3210 and still send postcards.

    So Sonos updated the firmware, the user didnt and now the mobile app has got out of sync? I thought the perp in the piece was technically savvy? Just click yes-yes-yes and update all the software. Do you read every page of the updated T&C's for Sky, Virgin, EE, Apple's itunes, Googles play store etc?

    Yup, I'm a happy Sonos user and could not give a tinkers cuss about the T&Cs, so long as it works. Just wish it also had BT streaming, but aside from that, I'm really happy with them. Life's got plenty to get up tight about, without getting all salty about Sonos.

  29. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    Not for me.

    Portable battery radio in the kitchen - late 1960s.

    Home built tunar-amp + mid-fi speakers in the office - mid 1970s.

    Serious quality tuner-amp + dual capstan cassette recorded + full size ported speakers in the lounge - mid 1980s

    Additional DVD/CD player for lounge - early 1990s.

    All in fine condition and in daily use... and nobody gets any information at all about our use.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "reach out to Sonos customer care"

    More HR consultant gorm-bollocks. What's wrong with "ask Sonos customer care"

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: "reach out to Sonos customer care"

      Are you seriously and seditiously suggesting not using newspeak? You thought criminal!

      ;)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sure have yourself in a tizzy

    You guys have yourself a tempest in a teapot.

    Sonos is and continues to be the best home audio product i've used over the last 10 years.

    They updated their privacy policy to what it needs to be to do things like work with Alexa, Spotify connect etc. Read their blog post on the new privacy policy it is not about selling advertising its about being part of an ecosystem.

    I'm happy to have spotify connect and alexa etc available if i want to use them. Happy to continue to be a Sonos customer listening to great music 12 hours a day...

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Sure have yourself in a tizzy

      Read their blog post on the new privacy policy it is not about selling advertising its about being part of an ecosystem.

      [Emphasis added]

      Ooooh, so that's what it is, then? Can't possibly be about a naked monitization grab because it's an ecosystem!

      Boy, you fanbois are gullible lot, aren't you?

    2. commonsense

      Re: Sure have yourself in a tizzy

      "Sonos is and continues to be the best home audio product i've used over the last 10 years."

      You should try using other products.

  32. Clod

    Who wants my money?

    I've got $400 to spend on smart speakers. Up till now I was waffling between Echo and nothing. HomePod sounds like what I want but I was open to options. Was studying Echo but found out they're just slurps. Google Home as well. Now it looks like Sonos is slurping even more than Echo.

    Apple is literally the only one I'm willing to even consider at this point. If they dare fail me then I'm going homebrew.

  33. Someone Else Silver badge

    First Rule of Computer Science (which also applies to using results of said Computer Science)

    If it works, don't fix it!

    So "Dave" had to go and update to the latest shiny shiny, chose to configure it to suit his needs (not that of the Corporation), and Lo! he was rewarded by converting his kit to a piece of adobe (not Adobe).

    I don't claim to know "Dave" or what motivated him to update both his speakers and his control app. But I suspect it wasn't because the existing kit wasn't working, or wasn't working acceptably, but because he wanted all the latest shiny, whatever it was. And he got bitten by the First Rule.

    I guess "Dave" isn't old enough to have been bitten, and bitten, and bitten again by trying to keep on the bleedin' edge of Micros~1 stuff back in the 80's (and 90's and ...).

    "Dave"! See the First Rule above! Live by it, and you will be a happier man!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: First Rule of Computer Science (which also applies to using results of said Computer Science)

      Actually "Dave", or Dave as I prefer to be called, had apps set to update automatically because being an IT professional for 20 years has taught me that security updates are less of a headache than security issues. I watched many customers get spanked by Conficker for instance, simply because they hadn't applied the patch which had been available for years.

      Sonos are suggesting that security updates are unnecessary, and that I should turn off app updating and take my chances just in case they try to screw me over again or change the terms of my contract with them. They are wrong. They have illegally ceased support for their products, which in the EU must be supported for a reasonable amount of time. For some reason they thought that they were entitled to change terms and force them on customers, this is illegal and unenforceable, and if I had the money to spend on lawyers I would have taken them to court and given them a sound beating. I don't have that much spare money so figured that a public pantsing would be a reasonable compromise.

      I've since bought a Bose which has better sound, albeit with a slightly less functional app. The Bose also offers the convenience of modern wifi sound through my 20 year old stereo system too.

      And no, he didn't make me up, I really did contact Tom and send him the mail from Sonos as a follow up to his previous article on the subject. Posting anon because I don't want my Reg account associated with this.

  34. d3vy

    One of the main reasons I never bought any sonos gear is that I was concerned about future compatibility..

    My main concern being that in 5 years they might drop support for any of their hardware that I own and it will cease to work with the supported version of their mobile app on the OS de jour.

    Seems that this was perfectly reasonable, if they drop support for a line of speakers but continue to push updates to the app I guess the speakers stop working?

    If I ever need to stream audio that badly Ill buy a chromecast audio.. it has exactly the same issue but at least its not £200!

  35. Mark Solaris

    Internet of Extortion

    Pretty much this:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CunPfirVMAYjAB3.jpg

    There's a lot to be said for a lack of a TCP/IP stack in your coffee maker.

  36. David Gosnell

    "the system goes into limited compatibility mode"

    Best euphemism yet?

  37. Kiwi Silver badge

    Another for the NIMH list..

    Not In My House - as in I will not buy from Sonos nor will I allow anyone to bring any of their stuff into my home.

    Not many products have reached that point with me, let alone entire companies. But this "changing terms after product is brought" means that, should I ever have money, sonos won't see a cent of it.

    (That said, as "fun" as it can be routing the bloody things, I much prefer wires myself and even go to the extent that each speaker has the same length of wire as every other speaker - but I will also buy the cheapest grade wire that's up to the task, and lighting cable usually is plenty enough :) )

  38. Drew Scriver

    Sonos isn't the only one...

    I ran into a similar issue with GE. Got their Bluetooth-controlled light bulbs since I don't want my bulbs to leak data. Couldn't get their app to work, though - turns out my firewall was blocking it since it was connecting to a Chinese domain.

    As others have noted, the issue with Sonos (and GE, and others) brings up an interesting legal issue. Do consumers have any rights if the manufacturer changes the functionality or terms of use? GE, for instance, advertised their bulbs with a "follow the sun"-feature that would mimic the sunrise and sunset. However, they have since removed the option from their app.

    In addition, what happens if a company suddenly fails on security? Case in point, GE currently gets an "F" from Qualys on one of their API-servers (https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=api-ge.xlink.cn&latest). Prudence would lead consumers to stop using the app, but that would leave them without the means to control their light bulbs (beyond turning them on and off).

    Is this covered under warranty? Tricky legal question...

    1. Brew

      Sonos Crack Needed

      I wish someone would release a Sonos crack which would allow you to match a Sonos 3 with a Sonos 5 for stereo, make the new Sonos 5's work with the 1st gen Sonos 5's in Stereo and allow Sonos to keep working if the company ever goes out of business. Or maybe Sonos itself could jump on that bandwagon.

  39. hayzoos

    Self-centered

    All these comments fail to cover the affect of the Internet at large. Sonos has created a situation where potentially large numbers of their (unpatched) devices can be enlisted into a cyber army battalion. Yet another reason why this IoT mindset is bad.

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