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Cloud Input Devices Games Hardware

Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet? 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the bring-me-my-bluetooth-spoon dept.
jbrodkin writes "In this hyper-connected, networked world, many more of our devices are getting linked to the cloud, whether we want them to or not. That's sometimes good, and sometimes bad, so when a basic device like a mouse requires a user to go online and set up an account to activate all of its functionality, people are understandably going to ask why? The latest entry in the saga of 'Why the hell does this thing need to connect to the Internet?' comes from Razer, which has caused an uproar by asking users to register gaming mice on the Internet. While it's mainly for syncing settings across devices, gamers are complaining that certain functionality might not be available unless you create an online account for your mouse. Razer has responded to the controversy, but its answers aren't entirely satisfactory."
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Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet?

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  • razer synapse (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xicor (2738029) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:39PM (#41927331)
    i believe razer synapse is what it is called... i use it quite a lot, and it is really nice for multiple computers... or even going to a friend's house or a computer lab with your mouse. it automatically syncs all settings. of course.... it isnt necessary to use synapse, you CAN manually set up your mouse every time
  • by TellarHK (159748) <tellarhk AT hotmail DOT com> on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:44PM (#41927383) Homepage Journal

    Never before have I had as much of a love/hate relationship with a company, and this includes Apple. Razer makes some great peripherals, that usually all have some crazy, simple, fixable flaw that they ignore for months before finally getting around to in a half-assed way. Why do I love them so much? I'm a left-handed gamer, and the pickings are pretty slim for me. So I'm stuck with them for a good left-handed gaming mouse.

    Examples in the past: The Lycosa keyboards, which had a defect where the touch panel for volume and LED control would stop working after a month or less. It took over a month to get them to acknowledge a problem. Another, the drivers for the Death Adder mouse line. For four months, it was impossible to get a combination of working drivers that allowed you to rebind the left and right buttons to one another (because Razer defaulted to the primary click being on the right, for the LH models).

    Razer takes forever to respond to anything, and when they do, it's typically poorly communicated and badly handled. This is a company that is just mindblowingly TERRIBLE at customer relations.

  • Re:razer synapse (Score:5, Informative)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:00PM (#41927503) Homepage
    Do they require reboots, or does it just ask you to reboot. Because I find that 90% of the stuff that asks you to reboot doesn't actually require a reboot. It's just something developers put in, "just in case" but most of the time it's completely unnecessary. I think the only reason I reboot anymore is so Windows will stop complaining and install it's own updates.
  • by Cinder6 (894572) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:03PM (#41927533)

    Oh, it gets even worse with the Harmony remotes. Have two of them? Well, you can't register two remotes to the same account--not and have them control different equipment, that is. No, Logitech forced me to set up two accounts in order to control my two remotes. This was a year ago; hopefully they realized how idiotic that was.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:12PM (#41927601)

    I did, I see that they have partial or no support for half the models listed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:22PM (#41927685)

    Oh, it gets even worse with the Harmony remotes. Have two of them? Well, you can't register two remotes to the same account--not and have them control different equipment, that is. No, Logitech forced me to set up two accounts in order to control my two remotes. This was a year ago; hopefully they realized how idiotic that was.

    As of 2 months ago, they were still that dumb.

  • Re:Razor products (Score:3, Informative)

    by Caffinated (38013) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:44PM (#41927857) Homepage
    I've had both and would heartily recommend the Logitech.
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:02PM (#41928005)

    The Harmony remotes worked that way when Logitech bought them (they were a separate company, Logitech decided they'd like to own it). It has been that way for a long time.

    The reason is for device code updates. As new devices come out the stuff can be added, including by users. Much of their support is something a user has submitted, which is also why sometimes it won't work 100% right. Also some models can have a TV guide on them, but it requires regular updates for that to work (it can only store like 2 weeks of data).

    I see no big issue. It isn't like there's some evil conspiracy here to break you remote. Once programmed, you can never hook it up again if you like. Mine hasn't seen their site for like 2 years.

    It does the job well, and there was no reason to redevelop the whole backend once they bought the company.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:06PM (#41928041)

    I have a Logitech G500 and the config is stored in the mouse firmware itself. If you hook it up to a new system, all your settings and buttons are correct, even with no driver. You have to associate it with a system (which wipes the config in the firmware) to program it, but once programmed it is self contained. Their G700 works the same way.

    I haven't encountered a Logitech cloud mouse, but I can't imagine it is mandatory to use that. The G500 and G700 are both current products, as is the M570 I use on my laptop and none of them need to be net connected. If you install the drivers and let them auto-update, they will connect to check periodicly, but they don't have to, and the mouse functions without problem with no drivers as just a HID class device.

  • Re:razer synapse (Score:4, Informative)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:30AM (#41928685) Homepage Journal
    Ew, ew, ew. Fortunately if you dig a little, you can still get the pre-Synapse (presynaptic?) software [battle.net].
  • by PixetaledPikachu (1007305) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:37AM (#41928729)

    Save it inside the mouse?

    It would be trivially easy to add USB/Bluetooth removable storage to the little rodent sufficient to hold all the configuration settings, drivers and whatnot that you'd even need.

    The Razer Synapse 1.0 actually did that. All (or almost all) Razer mice has onboard memory that used to be use for storing synapse settings. They moved it to the cloud on synapse 2.0 upgrade

  • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:02AM (#41928853)

    I use this one:

    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/trackballs/wireless-trackball-m570 [logitech.com]

    It works great for Civilization, Warcraft, Total Annihilation... but then again, I haven't ever tried it on an FPS. (Playing Morrowind on this trackball's grandaddy was pleasant enough, though.) I'm left handed too. :) I have been unimpressed with mice since the old logitech cordless ones (with real balls... heh.)

  • Re:razer synapse (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cinder6 (894572) on Friday November 09, 2012 @03:01AM (#41929497)

    Oh Jesus Christ, it just asked me to update right after posting that. Now I can test if reboots are really required.

    *waiting*

    Okay, it told me I needed to restart. Clicked "no thanks". That closed me out of Synapse completely, so I reopened the application, and it seems to work just fine. Guess it was a lot less pushy about restarting than I was thinking, though it can still be fairly pesky with those update reminders.

  • by jimicus (737525) on Friday November 09, 2012 @05:34AM (#41930099)

    Here's a secret that a lot of people on /. seem to be unaware of:

    Marketing - the process of getting people to say "I'm interesting in buying something from you" - is hard.

    It's not a particularly exact science at the best of times - sure, you can run two different ads and see which one gets the best response, but nobody's yet figured out why it might get the best response and been able to turn that into a formula. Get it wrong, and you can actually turn prospective customers against you.

    That being said, there are a few people you can target who are far more likely to buy from you.

    One of the easiest markets to sell to is people who have already bought something from you once. Problem is, a manufacturer might know which distributors and even which resellers are stocking their product but they probably only have a vague idea which customers are buying it. On the face of it, using a driver that connects to the Internet (and requires compulsory registration) is a great way for a manufacturer to solve this problem and develop very tightly targeted marketing campaigns.

    (This, by the way, is also why you're encouraged to "register" your warranty even though in many countries consumer protection law makes this totally unnecessary)

    Of course, as I said if you get it wrong you can turn prospective customers against you. Which is precisely what's happening here.

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