back to article Logitech: We're gonna brick your Harmony Link gizmos next year

One more reason to avoid cloud-reliant Internet of Things – as if you didn't have enough already. Owners of Logitech's universal remote controller have been told the product will stop working after March next year. Harmony Link is one of a range of home hub products offered by Logitech. Link owners have been offered a discount …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CloudFog and IoT

    The perfect nightmare couple.

  2. Dwarf Silver badge

    Idiots !

    I wonder if their marketing people are expecting previous customers to buy any successor products ?

    I think that the expression "what goes around, comes around" is probably applicable at this point.

    I also wonder how many cloud evangelists are now so happy with the cloud disabled bricks.

    Perhaps the right course here is to send all the now defunct products back to their CEO at their home address, so that they can dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way and to show what customers think about the marketing and support strategy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idiots !

      One word: Apple

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Idiots !

        I had one of their Squeezebox thingies. Really nice product, but failed buy Logitech who were always ready to release a successor.

        Last time I buy from Logitech. I'm sure both the users of their universal remote will say the same.

        1. Julian 8

          Re: Idiots !

          Still use mine, though buggered when they go pop.

          Sonos scare me, but they are still going strong here and the server code has had a few upgrades

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Idiots !

            "Sonos scare me, but they are still going strong here and the server code has had a few upgrades"

            You mean this Sonos, which stops updating unless you agree to giving away any sense of privacy...

            Sonos Privacy

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Idiots !

          Last time I buy from Logitech. I'm sure both the users of their universal remote will say the same.

          Last time I'll buy a remote from Logitech, but if my Anywhere MX mouse dies I'll simply get the latest version again. That was good when it was first released, the update was good too and the new one appears to continue along that upwards path (although I don't have 3 separate devices that need a mouse,

          And if they stop making them I'll buy the last few I can find - they're *good*.

          BTW, IMHO Griffin is actually worse re. product lifecycle management. When they discontinue products, they fully disappear from sight. Software, drivers, manuals - any trace of it simply vanishes as if it has never existed. At Logitech you can at least still find info on older products.

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: Idiots !

            "but if my Anywhere MX mouse dies I'll simply get the latest version again."

            The next version will probably require an always-on connection to the cloud service that is used to "continuously calibrate the device for best performance" (/s) .

        3. Richard Boyce

          Re: Idiots !

          Squeezeboxes were developed by Slim Devices. Logitech acquired them and things went downhill from there. I still use a lovely version 3 player, thanks to community support.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Idiots !

            Logitech have been going downhill for years. I have a Hub so I'm safe for now but it's a salutary warning.

            But right now I'd happy if Logitech could fix the hub so that it doesn't keep losing connection with my LAN every few days. Someone once figured out that it was failing to renew its DHCP properly. But whatever the reason there's no good excuse for a network reliant bit of kit not being able to stay connected 24/7 :-/

            Hell hath no fury like me wanting to skip an advert break and finding my remote unresponsive.

            1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Idiots !

              For those who end up with orphaned Harmony remotes that they still want to make use of, may I suggest looking into a FLIRC dongle.

              Excellent little dongle product which can pair with most IR remotes (including the harmony) and works with all sorts of media (and other) stuff seamlessly and easily as it emulates a keyboard input.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idiots !

      @Dwarf

      Albeit I hate the words 'cloud', 'evangelist', etc. I think you are just broadly tarring everyone with the same brush.

      Don't confuse proper use of 3rd party off-prem virtualisation solution with the marketing ploy of the manufacturer of peripherals who just wants to flog more stuff and reliase that 'cloud v1' is good for noting and they want to bin it in exchange of 'cloud v2'.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: Idiots !

        @AC.

        I get your logic and indeed cloud done right and on the right systems where there is a demonstrable need is fine, but marketing a product with the word cloud in its description and not supporting it for a reasonable period (which BTW is 7 years in the UK if we use the returns policy on faulty goods as a reference.) then cloud services or anything else for that matter should offer the same or better services.

        What we are seeing reported regularly in the press is all the pointless products collapsing in the steaming pile of poo that they are - due to reliability; security; performance issues or being dropped by the manufacturer. I fully expect more to follow in the coming year.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Idiots !

        > Don't confuse proper use of 3rd party off-prem virtualisation solution with the marketting ploy

        LOL

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Idiots !

      I wonder if their marketing people are expecting previous customers to buy any successor products ? I think that the expression "what goes around, comes around" is probably applicable at this point.

      True, but it depends on the product. I had one of these universal remotes, but I got rid of it because I was forced to pollute my system with Microsoft Silverlight to configure it, and which was a major reason to drop the product PDQ.

      I get that a web based database for configs is probably a good idea to draw parameters from, but (1) you can cache user equipment locally, maybe with a quick peek to see if the parameter file has been upgraded and (2) you should not have to depend on online facilities to reconfigure the device itself.

      Add to that that the UI and workflow was flat out horrific (by way fo comparison, it made adding the ribbon interface to MS Office look benign) and I was glad to get rid of it. One day, if I find time, I'm going to figure out how to do it on a Raspberry Pi and make a web interface so I can control anything from a smartphone, tablet or whatever comes into my head. All this bespoke stuff annoys me.

      If someone has already done it I'm game, I just haven't had the time to look for it yet.

      [Edit: temptation.. A quick Google shows that people have indeed been working on this. Now I'm facing the challenge of restraining myself - I have other things to finish first :) ]

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Idiots !

      No, you should take it back to your retailer for a refund.

      They might decide to stop selling Logitech products if they get too many reutrns.

    5. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Idiots !

      When they bork the "update the devices used" facility on my Harmony remote I'll be bloody cross. I was assuming however that the length of time it would take them to do this would be long enough for something to have gone wrong with the remote and:

      i) I'd be in the market for something else.

      ii) We wouldn't be using a physical remote control anymore and we'll be using mind control or watching the one propaganda channel that the new totalitarian government allows/forces us to watch.

      iii) Someone has become so pissed off they've reverse engineered the devices and releases a stand alone version of the "update your device" software.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    While watching the TV last night I saw an advert for AO.com and them touting Hoover's WiFi enabled range of appliances. Ranging from a washing machine through to an oven with a built in camera to check on the food you're cooking.

    The wife, who doesn't cook and quite literally can burn water, says "Oh wow that's brilliant, we should get one of them". I look at her and ask her "Why? Do you want to watch your food burn in real time now?".

    She wasn't impressed, but then again neither was I. What problems do devices who utilise the cloud solve? Like the people who bought the Harmony who have discovered they've been shafted by a company who can't be arsed to provide support to keep it working, what happens to the rest of the clowns who buy these WiFi/cloud devices and after 2 years discover the device is toast because the company have bricked them?

    I'm not a luddite, I may be a few pennies short of a tin foil hat wearer, but the less technology in my house the better. No smart meters. No internet connected printers. No WiFi enabled cookers. No. I want a computer to connect to the internet, maybe a phone and maybe a set top box for the TV, but the rest can go to hell.

    1. Ol' Grumpy
      Thumb Up

      "The wife, who doesn't cook and quite literally can burn water"

      Brilliant and definitely my Quote of the day. Well done sir! :D

    2. AJ MacLeod

      Glad it's not just me... often people are slightly surprised by my hatred of short-lived pointless gimmicky gadgetry (though obviously they don't see it as that!) and the complete absence of such from our house, despite my obvious happiness with working in IT all these years.

      In fact, you can't even see a TV or electronics of any kind in the living room, even the screen and media player are hidden away in an alcove cupboard and only pulled out on their arm when actually wanted (the speakers are discretely hidden elsewhere in the room.)

      I actually sometimes feel slightly nauseous when I think of the sheer volume of horrible toxic, non-biodegradable tat that gets churned out, bought and then ditched only months later.

      Logitech make decent and cheap keyboards and mice, but for anything else I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole...

      1. jb99

        Seems to me that those who are least interested in all this wifi / cloud enabled tat are those who you might have most expected to be early adopters.

        I like the idea of a lot of these things, but the implemention is abusive and beyond awful.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Indeed. The mother in law came round recently extolling the virtures of the Amazon Alexa, how her friend has one and it's "brilliant" because you can ask it to do stuff and it'll do it. "It's also listening in to everything you say, how is that brilliant?". "What do you mean?" she asks. I point out that it's voice controlled, and once it hears Alexa it'll listen to whatever command you give it. But for it to listen to it's name, it's going to listening to you all the time and all the conversations you have with people.

        "Why would you want that in your house?" Insert generic comment that indicates their view on personal privacy.

        A side note about the "burning water" quip. That near enough happened. The wife was hard boiling eggs, and I didn't know about it until I hear "popping" sounds from the kitchen. I investigate, as it sounded electrical and I thought something was on fire. There I see my copper pan, on the biggest ring on the cooker, which is set to full blast heat, with 3 eggs in the now red hot dry molting pan. "Oh sorry I forgot".

        1. ma1010 Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Been there, done that

          But I don't have what was left of the pan anymore. I threw out the wreckage.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          A side note about the "burning water" quip. That near enough happened. The wife was hard boiling eggs, and I didn't know about it until I hear "popping" sounds from the kitchen.

          I wonder if you ever lived next door to me where that happened more than once.

    3. Pirate Dave
      Pint

      ""Why? Do you want to watch your food burn in real time now?".

      Ballsy, man. That took some guts. I salute you sir.

    4. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      One advantage of a universal remote linked to 'the cloud' is that it can transfer your settings to replacements very easily. I've had two versions of the Harmony One and now a Harmony Hub and all I had to do was logon to my account and register the new remotes. I have six devices and five activities and they were downloaded to the new remotes in seconds.

      Another advantage is that if you need assistance they can sort problems out remotely. I've had to use that twice via online chat and it's quite handy. Logon, start the chat, explain a problem and wait. Their support staff are actually very good.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Difference in terminology

        Between "linked to" i.e. can transfer settings to/from and "dependent on" which it seems is the case here if the product will simply quit functioning entirely after a certain date.

        Does their universal remote support bluetooth? If so, it could support local save/restore and need not have any connection to the cloud. Or heck, put an SD slot in it for settings transfer.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Difference in terminology

            Well shadeister that's certainly the free market wet dream.

          2. Wayland Bronze badge

            Re: Difference in terminology

            One of the challenges of allowing Internet access to the device in your home over the Internet is getting past your router.

            Traditionally us techies would open a port and subscribe to DynDNS allowing direct access.

            However when selling consumer devices it's very hard to get people to set up these things on all the different types of router out there.

            The solution is for the device to log itself into a 'Cloud' service where the consumer can simply accesses it via a website and a username.

            ASUS go part of the way to solving this problem with their routers because they provide their own dynamic DNS service providing you go in and set it up. Even with IPv6 I suspect this problem will always be solved by 'The Cloud'.

        2. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: Difference in terminology

          Doug,

          Well obviously if all it does is store settings in 'The Cloud' then theoretically it can store settings anywhere. But the whole point was to find a reason why it needs 'The Cloud' and now they are having 2nd thoughts on their commitment.

          What they ought to do before switching it off is update the firmware to allow it to save settings locally. Perhaps allow you to set a different 'Cloud'.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: Difference in terminology

            "What they ought to do before switching it off is update the firmware to allow it to save settings locally. Perhaps allow you to set a different 'Cloud'."

            Or just say "no more cloud, sorry". But why cease working?

        3. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Difference in terminology

          The remotes have (or at least the one I have does) only got a USB connection for updating.

      2. eldakka Silver badge
        Holmes

        One advantage of a universal remote linked to 'the cloud' is that it can transfer your settings to replacements very easily. I've had two versions of the Harmony One and now a Harmony Hub and all I had to do was logon to my account and register the new remotes. I have six devices and five activities and they were downloaded to the new remotes in seconds.

        What's wrong with being able to backup the configuration to a file that can be stored locally, or copied/synced to your own preferred, personally chosen cloud storage service (onedrive, google drive, dropbox, whatever service YOU feel happy with using, set up the way YOU like it (e.g. encrypted files stored up there so the service can't see them, etc))? Then being able to load that saved config back into the existing device or a new, compatible device - without having logitech eavesdropping on the entire thing? without having to have an account with Logitech?

        And if it's backed up in some sort of config file - XML, json, .txt, whatever - then even if you don't have a 'compatible remote' with that original system, since it's a text file you might be able to convert it (or have 3rd-party programs that can do the conversion) to other formats for use in other manufacturers devices.

        Doing it any other way - propriety unreadable formats, have to use their cloud service that requires an account and registered devices from their product lineup - is nothing more than vendor lock-in and vendor spying on you so that on top of having paid them for the product you are also the product as well.

      3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        "Another advantage is that if you need assistance they can sort problems out remotely. I've had to use that twice via online chat and it's quite handy. Logon, start the chat, explain a problem and wait. Their support staff are actually very good."

        Its a remote control, over engineered to act as an information collection tool. It should be so simple to use that chats with the manufacturer are unnecessary. I may be cynical but the more difficult they make it to use the more personal data can be captured.

        My take, from the UK, is that the item is clearly not fit for purpose after March next year. Go down to the local civil court and file a small claim - you have up to 6 years from purchase. Remember to sue the vendor, not Logitech, if enough people get on the back of PC World, John Lewis, Amazon etc perhaps Logitech will get the message from them.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Of course, when they drop support for it then they no longer need remote access. Not a reason to make it stop working entirely.

        2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          They count on people being lazy, and unfortunately here in the UK consumers are meek as sheep. We need proper class actions in the UK, and some real consumer organisations with some teeth.

    5. ecofeco Silver badge

      Smart TVs suffer the problems. Ehat once cool is now no longer supported after a few years.

      A pox on all of them.

  4. nijam

    Given that this is a deliberate haqk that has not been requested or authorised by the owner/user, how come it doesn't fall under the Computer Misuse Act?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Logitech make a habit of this - avoid

    I had a perfectly good ( it was expensive enough ) webcam that Logitech refused to make work with the next version of Windows.

    $200 just thrown away.

    Spread the word, because until people are made aware and start voting with their wallets, companies will keep doing these dirty tricks.

    1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: Logitech make a habit of this - avoid

      At the risk of starting a war, would the camera have worked with a Linux distribution?

  6. 0laf Silver badge
    FAIL

    Welcome to the future of landfill.

    We've had old devices made of metal and wood and sweat and blood which were expensive and not all that efficient but lasted a long time.

    Then we got cheap and cheerful. thing that worked quite well but didn't last as long and would wear out after a while.

    Now we've got stuff that isn't that cheap and will stop working while they are still mechanically sound because the manufacturer can't be arsed to continue to support the software or they only work with a 24/7 link back to the hive.

    I think we need by statute a minimum duration of software support. Say 5yr on small appliances and 10yr on cars and the core functions must continue without support or connectivity .

  7. Baldrickk Silver badge

    This is where I'm an advocate of open-source.

    I recognise that not all applications need, and in some cases should ever be open sourced.

    But no consumer device should rely on an external service to the extent that it cannot be re-purposed at least.

    Amazon echo etc? really just a speaker and microphone with a small computer attached. What happens if Amazon suspend the cloud service that runs it? Users should be able to connect to google's service instead, as an example.

    The device and the service should be separate.

    where open source can help here is even if the company providing the service drops it, then someone can 'fix' it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is where I'm an advocate of open-source....but it won't help you

      This is where I'm an advocate of open-source.

      Given the short lived nature of many Logitech peripheral devices I've owned, I doubt that having the source code would help you get much more life out of one of their products. In my experience, Logitech stuff isn't the cheapest, usually looks good, initially works well, comes nicely packaged, but has rubbish software, and mysteriously breaks or stops working properly after a couple of years. Its been a few years now, but I decided that I would consciously avoid all Logitech products (although since I'm with Wolfetone on the matter of home automation, I would never have bought anybody else's home hub either).

      Think of it as "feature consolidation": they've rolled the "stops working after a couple of years" into the "rubbish software" element. From Logitech's point of view, they've integrated two downsides into one.

      1. Sebastian P.

        Never do this

        That could be an interesting solution. Do you want to obsolete your product earlier than, let's say, 5 or 10 years? Fine, you can do that, but you're obligated to make available ALL source code and tooling for compiling and installing the software on the device, so that customers can keep using and updating their devices. And no, "intellectual property" cannot be a reason for not releasing the code.

        So a simple choice for vendors: you either support the products long-term, or release the code (and IP).

        Seems fair to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Never do this

          And no, "intellectual property" cannot be a reason for not releasing the code.

          Against the backdrop of the EU's 50 & 70 year copyright rules, I suspect you're piddling in the wind. Software has for many years taken totally unwarranted advantage of copyright and licensing laws that were intended for completely different purposes. Sadly, I believe it is now too late to bring the piano lid down firmly on software "owner's" thieving fingers, much as that may be deserved.

        2. David 132 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Never do this

          A sensible, reasonable, customer-friendly compromise solution.

          And therefore, it will never happen.

          Still, one can dream.

  8. tony72

    Unnecessary cloud linkage

    Completely unnecessary cloud linkage of products is one of those things that's going to come to a head one of these days. I have one of those Anova Culinary Precision Cookers, and earlier in the year they updated their app and all of a sudden, you had to create an account online and sign in to use the app, a requirement which they dropped on users with no warning or explanation. Bear in mind that all this app fundamentally does is set a temperature and a time on the cooker. They subsequently claimed it was something to do with security improvements and Google Home integration, but somehow requiring signing in to a cloud account in order to set a timer between two devices on my own LAN seems like more of a security hole than an improvement, maybe it's just me. Fortunately the thing can be used on manual, and as far as I can tell they can't do remote firmware updates, so they can't brick it. But this kind of thing just seems stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unnecessary cloud linkage

      " Bear in mind that all this app fundamentally does is set a temperature and a time on the cooker. "

      My cooker has things called buttons and dials for that.

      Unless the app puts the food in the oven as well, its fucking pointless.

      1. tony72

        Re: Unnecessary cloud linkage

        There is a tiny bit of rationale to it, albeit not much. This is a sous vide cooker, and cooking times can be several hours (I've done a 24 hour pulled pork recipe). If you had a two hour cook, for example, you could prep it before you went to work, and then start it with the app two hours before you head home, and that would work even if you weren't sure beforehand what time you'd be heading home. Never done that, but you could.

  9. Fading Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Gerald Ratner moment?

    Whilst I don't own the Harmony Hub I do have a Harmony IR remote. When it dies I would have considered buying the latest equivalent from Logitech but after this announcement I will go elsewhere. Planning to kill devices because you no longer want to support them is not a business practice I can condone.

    1. NonSSL-Login

      Re: Gerald Ratner moment?

      They could pull the Harmony web server configuration tool offline (not that it works if you use Linux) or stop the app connecting to a database for remote configs at any time. All it takes is a meeting where they decide to get out the remote business.

      The problem is who else makes a customisable remote at a decent price and doesn't need remote servers of some kind for configuration or is planning future cloud integration for PR and advertising reasons.

      Truly stuck what to do when my Harmony finally bites the dust.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Gerald Ratner moment?

      Frankly, there should be some interest from authorities about this practice of obsoleting perfectly good stuff. There is an environment aspect to this, as well as various consumer laws that go beyond simple warranties. The items haven't broken down. The manufacturer has broken them for the consumer!!!

  10. TonyJ Silver badge
    FAIL

    SOP for Logitech, I am afraid

    After they bought Slim Devices and made a hash of the direction of the Squeeze Players they closed that down too.

    Wouldn't touch Logitech for this very reason - it wouldn't be so bad if they even retired a product line, then after some years decided to retire it but they just drop the axe.

    1. wyatt

      Re: SOP for Logitech, I am afraid

      Same here, mine are on their last legs and whilst I like them, I will see what else is about.

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: SOP for Logitech, I am afraid

        "..Same here, mine are on their last legs and whilst I like them, I will see what else is about..."

        I have some you can buy in super condition - two Squeezebox Boom's, a SB3 and a very old (only any good for wired connections) SB1 wtih SB2 display. ;-p

        They're slowly being retired now.

        All joking aside, at the time there was nothing to touch them.

        1. tin 2

          Re: SOP for Logitech, I am afraid

          The only thing that makes logitech's behaviour regard the harmony even weirder is that mysqueezebox.com is still live, although clearly on life-support.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: SOP for Logitech, I am afraid

            I have an old SB3 and a Touch. The SB3 is in my study and doesn't get much use so hopefully it'll be fine. the Touch gets a lot of use but shows no signs of trouble. I recently replaced my receiver so now I could use that instead. Unfortunately the receiver has a rubbishy one line display so I'd have to switch the TV on to get a decent interface which seems silly just to listen to music.

            I also don't know if the receiver's implementation supports random shuffle by album. A lot of them don't :(

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: SOP for Logitech, I am afraid

      they just drop the axe

      The allegation on Reddit - which I have no means of verifying - is that Logitech sold off its remaining stocks in the US with a reduced 90-day warranty because the axe was already swinging. If true, that would be more calculated than a sudden loss of interest.

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: SOP for Logitech, I am afraid

      I didn't envy the Slim Devices guys some payout, but many who had contributed a lot to the product's popularity by basically working as free support, and giving a lot of feedback and even perhaps implemented some stuff, were less than pleased with the sell-off to gigantic "couldn't care less" Logitech.

  11. Len Goddard

    Official info?

    I can abate my panic slightly, for now, as this is the link not the hub. However, there is nothing I could see on the UK site about this. The harmony elite + hub (which I own) are still on sale although marked "out of stock" which doesn't give me a warm feeling.

    Time, I think, to put all my old Logitech gear (squeezebox/radio/controllers/remote) in a box and head for the dump. Shame, most of it was pretty good while it worked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Official info?

      Is the dump the nearest office? I'd suggest that's where the owners dump them.

    2. Martin
      Stop

      Re: Official info?

      Time, I think, to put all my old Logitech gear (squeezebox/radio/controllers/remote) in a box and head for the dump.

      Don't do that! There are still people who want them (like me). I have two squeezeboxes and two radios, and they just keep working. They don't NEED to connect to the internet to work - they just need to connect to the server software.

      If you really don't want them, you'll get a few quid for them on eBay.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Official info?

        Yeah, I have two SB3s.

        They work fine, and everything is opens software as well, so there will probably be replacement services.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. mesaka

      Re: Official info?

      I thought the same as you at first but the HUB is still, as I understand it, going to be supported, its the LINK that is being dropped. Not that that is acceptable at all for owners of the link (and it is then worrying for logitech product owners in the future) but you should still be able to use your hub.

      1. MonkeyBob

        Re: Official info?

        It looks like the hub =! link, there are seperate apps in the play store for them and I haven't received any notification about my harmony ultimate being dscontinued. I might try diconnecting my internet tonight anbd see if it still works, just to see if it will.

        It looks like a lot of people on here have bad experiences with logitech but mine is the opposite. I've got a keyboard and mouse still going after about 10 years and a harmony 525 which is still supported (yes I can still download remote codes) after more than 10 years.

        Still shit for Link users though.

    5. tin 2

      Re: Official info?

      definitely put them on eBay, they still go for really good money - radios for example pretty much the same I paid for mine new!

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It should be obvious

    If a one-off purchase requires some on-going expenditure by the vendor to keep working it's always going to end in tears.

    There are only two ways it could be made to work:

    - the initial price is high enough to provide an annuity that will support the service in the future and at present interest rates that's going to price it out of the market.

    - the purchaser is going to be the product.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It should be obvious

    If a one-off purchase requires some on-going expenditure by the vendor to keep working it's always going to end in tears.

    There are only two ways it could be made to work:

    - the initial price is high enough to provide an annuity that will support the service in the future and at present interest rates that's going to price it out of the market.

    - the purchaser is going to be the product in which case it could be given away.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: It should be obvious

      "If a one-off purchase requires some on-going expenditure by the vendor to keep working it's always going to end in tears."

      They could always offer 5 years free, and an optional non-free subscription after that.

      They don't even have the imagination to offer a subscription to the users, or sell the server side stuff to someone who could.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Isn't that obvious?

    Why, you wonder, does a remote controller need access to The Cloud?

    1) To get any possible information about you.

    2) To brick the item.

    1. Sebastian P.

      Re: Isn't that obvious?

      Well, there is one reason: for the controller to download IR codes from the centralized database (as opposed to having to manually learn them from other remotes, which is a pain).

      Of course, not saying that that's the ONLY reason for which they are using the connection.

      1. ChrisC

        Re: Isn't that obvious?

        That's not a reason for *needing* cloud access, though, nor sufficient justification for causing the Link to turn into a brick once its cloud service is shut down - even if this was the only way to add *new* IR codes to the Link, existing customers really ought to at least be able to continue using their Links with their existing products for which it'd already learned the codes...

  16. DrXym Silver badge

    Not the way to go about it

    I realise Logitech needs to make money and maybe these devices are at the end of their commercial life. But actively selling remaining stock while simultaneously working to kill it off is just a terrible dickish thing to do.

    The correct way is to discontinue sales, wait a reasonable amount of time and then give another period of grace for discontinuation. And discontinuation means just the cloud stuff, then they should preserve any functionality the device is still capable of. e.g. if the device can still work as an AV hub, or an IR channel switcher.

    And if they wanted to be cool about it they'd even release keys that allowed people to write their own apps that talked with the device, or even keys to hack the now-obsolete device to do something else.

    Maybe in so doing, it might make Logitech seem like they cared about their customers instead of fleecing them as they sell them a duff device.

  17. jahill

    I can't help but feel that anyone who bought the device in the UK going back over the last three to five years would indeed have a valid claim under what was the Sale of Goods Act (I believe this is now the Consumer Rights Act).

    I also wonder whether deliberately bricking a device (as opposed to merely dropping cloud support) would fall under either the Computer Misuse Act or Criminal Damage (and I'm sure there are similar laws elsewhere in the world). Wasn't there a USB->serial port chip manufacturer who did this to cloned devices and realised pretty quickly they had to stop?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Was thinking about extortion, but it does not come close to that.

  18. Aseries

    Happy Harmony User

    Remember Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: DON'T PANIC.

    I daily use a number of Logitech products, wireless Mice, Keyboards and several Harmony products. I am quite satisfied with the operations of the devices and the support. I have seen other suppliers stuff come and go and Logitech is still here. I am on my third Harmony, a cheap one, but it does way more than any other such product, It even operates a really obscure HDMI switch that actually shocked me when I gave it a try and it worked.

    EVERYBODY CALM DOWN!

  19. macaroo

    View on the Hub.

    I own a LogiTech 2nd generation hub so I should be safe for now. It was an uphill battle to get the damm thing to even recognize all my TV related hardware. It wasn't until an unspecified firm ware update that the device started to function. Even though, it is limited in it's functionality. Customer Service and I got to know each other fairly well. As I stated on their website: it is a work in process; good idea, piss poor implementation.

  20. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    And the reason why it will stop working is...

    Logitech don't want to renew a digital certificate when it expires in 2018. link

    So, think on that before buying your next piece of smart tat from Logitech.

  21. James O'Shea Silver badge

    I own a Harmony remote

    I bought it from CompUSA before they became TigerDirect and then went extinct, which should show you how long ago that was. There was some kind of web site available to allow me to configure the thing quickly. Using the site required installing Silverlight. I declined, and configured it the hard way. I have been using the remote for nearly a decade now; the original rechargeable batteries in it died and I've replaced them. I haven't even attempted to connect it to the site since the initial Silverlight debacle. I was totally unaware that it had any features requiring internet connections, other than initial setup. I feel that I've got my money's worth out of it by now, and in the event that it stops working tomorrow I'll simply dig out the remotes that the assorted thingies came with until I can replace it with a new (and probably far cheaper) universal remote. Not from Logitech, that ship's sailed. When I first got it, I used it to control my assorted systems; I had a DVD player, later replaced by a Blu-Ray player, a VHS, a set-top box first from Comcast then AT&T, and one, later two, computers attached to various ports on a largish monitor. The Logitech allowed me to flip between them all. I haven't used the VHS in years, and use one of the computers to remote into the other, and rarely use the Blu-Ray drive, one computer has a Blu-Ray drive which behaves much better. I simply no longer care about many of the features on the remote.

  22. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Hmm.. Lot's of Harmony stuff around. I only have a lowly (not lovely) Harmony One, which I only just put in use again out of necessity.

    The software is pretty awful, relying 100% on being on-line to do anything. I can't even rearrange the Devices list any longer. (Which is why I stopped using it for years.)

    I have no idea if this affect the Harmony One or not?

    My AlertMe setup quit working end of last month. No prior warning. They (British Gas, of course) just switched off the server, which apparently was only serving a few hundred users anyway. Why the hell couldn't they just let it run on? They haven't done ANY changes to it for many years (including before BG bought the stuff for £50m from AlertMe.)

    Yeah, this whole connected things really is quite sh*tty.

  23. Seajay#

    Cloud lesson

    I don't think the lesson here is never buy anything which relies on a service run by someone else to be useful, because actually in this instance it's absolutely fine. If you have an in warranty link, it gets upgraded to a harmony hub for free. Great. If it's out of warranty you've been given notice and you get a discount. Not great but fine.

    Contrast that with pebble, where your watch just stops working.

    So the lesson is, if you're going to rely on someone else's service continuing to run, make sure they're a big company with a reputation to protect.

  24. Rosie

    I've 5 Logitech Squeeze devices still going strong (with help from the great dev community) - was a great concept and an excellent product designed by the Slim Devices guys.

    Logitech bought out SD and just didn't get it - marketing didn't understand it so they canned it. Genius.

    I don't buy Logitech anymore.

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