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Cloud Input Devices Games Hardware

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

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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  • by akiwiguy ( 1113293 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:36PM (#41927305) Homepage
    razercfg! []
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I see. With Linux you're guaranteed to not have fully functional drivers regardless.
      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:44AM (#41932323) Homepage Journal

        With Linux you're guranteed that underhanded shit like this doesn't happen.

        As to the topic at hand, Why would a mouse need to connect to the internet? Why, to buy cheese from Amazon, of course.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      The default mouse control tools for each distro work OK with the Razer mice anyway. I've got a pile of them in the office and not many people realise that they are actually gaming mice. It started off when I got a good deal on ten of a discontinued model, then after that is just became the default because people liked them. It's similar to CAD work so they move their mice around a lot.
  • 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
    • Re:razer synapse (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cyko_01 ( 1092499 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:48PM (#41927405) Homepage
      why not just add an sdcard to the mouse and store the settings ON the device.
      • Re:razer synapse (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Formalin ( 1945560 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:53PM (#41927437)

        Or 10 cents worth of EEPROM.

        • Or 10 cents worth of EEPROM.

          Boss: Let's see, 10c * 1,000,000 production run = $100,000 to replace a web interface that costs us nothing because we can sell customers usage patterns to advertisers?

          Boss: You're fired.

          • by hazem ( 472289 )

            Boss: Let's see, you shipped our high-end mice with drivers that can't be activated without an internet connection and now all I see on the internet is outrage that our mice are defective because they require the internet to work.

            Boss: You're fired.

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

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:56PM (#41927465) Journal

        Adding a gigabyte of flash might increase the BOM cost by a dollar! Also, we won't be able to track all your keyboard and mouse activity and monetize your little consumer ass. One of those...

        • This was the first question that popped into my head when I saw Razer pushing Synapse (I have a Naga, which is now dead): "What the hell are they going to do with the information they're collecting?" It's useless. Mindbogglingly, completely useless. Unless they're stealing other data, mouse button assignments have no possible marketing utility. It's bizarre.
          • What the hell are they going to do with the information they're collecting?

            Biometric data-gathering and subsequent profiling?

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

            by SpazmodeusG ( 1334705 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:28PM (#41928207)

            have no possible marketing utility

            Well the new synapse drivers have Facebook and Twitter integration. I'm not kidding - open the mouse configuration page and down the bottom right there's a row of social media icons.

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

        by Cinder6 ( 894572 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:56PM (#41927473)

        Well, the cloud solution lets you have multiple mice all automatically use the same settings without toting around SD cards or adding expense and bulk to the mice themselves.

        I use Razer Synapse. I was really annoyed at having to use it at first, but the next day when I moved my Naga mouse over to a different system, I saw how useful it was. My only complaint now is that updates for the software are quite frequent, and require reboots, which is pretty obnoxious.

        • 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.
        • There you go. They did it to encourage people to buy multiple products from a company that's forward thinking is "garner information from customers". /snark

          Last I checked, online/cloud storage isn't that difficult a thing to get hold of. They could have designed a driver that will let you select config files from remote locations. Not that mounting a remote drive is a complex process. Offering a remote storage account for config files as part of buying the device would have made me think they were actua

      • More expensive and complex hardware. The mouse already has a USB interface.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:55PM (#41927459)

      Logging into someones computer and having your *mouse* setup from the cloud is basically the easiest way to declare your permanent virginity.

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

      by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:02PM (#41928011) Journal
      My Logitech G700 stores settings on the mouse itself. I can hop from win to mac to linux and all the mappings are the same.
    • Really? I realize you're a shill but really? That's the best you have?

      Is the market for this mouse so anal retentive they'd sooner bring an $80 mouse with them to school or a friend's house lest they suffer from another mouse?

  • the mice are blocking teh tubes!
    on a more serious note, this sounds like a cartload of crap.
  • With stories like this one [] I wasn't sure if this was about hardware or if there were rodents demanding to be on line.
  • And the next step? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crazy-San ( 2746941 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:43PM (#41927369)
    So at the current trend of technology am I going to have to start paying a monthly fee to use my mouse, or at least the more advanced features of it. All it would take is a Firmware update, which they can force if the mouse is connected to the internet. I can see it now, a little popup inviting me to take advantage of all the great features available with RAZER Plus.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:40PM (#41927825)

      It's worse than that: less than 1 week after installing stupid Synapse 2.0 my original Razer Mamba's IR stopped tracking. The buttons work, but it doesn't move the mouse pointer. Razer claims they can't find my registration, and urges me to buy a new Razer Mamba 2012. Sad thing is that it was a great mouse until the 'cloud' killed it. Correlation is not causation, but when you spend $189 on a mouse you'd think the IR would last more than 1 year...

      So I downgraded to a $49 Razer Deathadder. Basically the same form-factor as the Mamba, but no wireless and less DPI. The Mamba came with this Apple-like thick plastic mount so it's like a small piece of art now, back on its original pedestal. :(

      • by z0idberg ( 888892 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:49PM (#41927887)

        So you only gave a LITTLE more money rather than a LOT more money.

        That should teach them. Go you!

  • by Datamonstar ( 845886 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:44PM (#41927377)
    Razor products are just shitty. I've purchased only one item from them, a copperhead mouse, but that'll be all I ever buy. I returned that thing three times for three different problems. All of them were known issues that they just chalked up to being part of the process of owning a Razor product. Logitech gets my money now. It's a mouse that only does mouse stuff and does it well.
    • by Cinder6 ( 894572 )

      I love my Razer Naga mouse. It gives you loads more control on MMOs, in particular, and being able to give it custom programming and macros for each app I use is a real nice plus.

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      Logitech is good, but basing your evaluation on a sample size of one, while fine for your own subjective and emotional purchasing patterns, does not a proper objective review make. I have seen both bad and good Razor products. I have seen both bad and good linux distributions. I have seen both bad and good Star Trek movies. And you know what, I still enjoy Start Trek and Linux even though there are not so good products available under both names.
      • Logitech software sucks. Their customer support is great though, where as Razers customer support is basically "fuck you, you broke it"

    • Owning a Logitech mouse, it also comes with software that needs to connect online to pointlessly update itself. It does it constantly.
  • I have a Logitech, and I have an account for it. When I move computers, I log into the "cloud" and it download's my config and remaps all the buttons. I could swap computers, software, reinstall and all that, and I still have the config saved "somewhere." If I don't do that, then I get default config.
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      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.

      • by Cinder6 ( 894572 )

        What if you have multiple computers, each of which has the same mouse? With the cloud configuration option, all changes are propagated immediately, unlike settings stored locally on the mouse.

        • by PPH ( 736903 )
          Why would you need to propagate mouse settings to a computer before you connect the mouse to it?
          • i'm pretty sure the poster was describing a scenario where each computer had it's own mouse. They are all the same model.
      • 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.

      • 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 EdZ ( 755139 )
      What Logitech device do you have? My MX revolution happily works offline with no problems, as did my last keyboard (Logitech Illuninated). Not even a sign-in page in sight.
  • 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.

    • On the other hand, maybe the strong criticism in a high profile website like Slashdot will hopefully make them improve their behavior. Their design is a bit childish, but some of the ergonomic requirements of a gamer apply for anyone that spends a long time at a desktop PC.

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )
      Lefty gamer here, and I have switched to Logitech. I'm using the G300 [] now, and am quite happy with it. The setup software is a bit wonky, and has to be twiddled with every time I come back from sleep or reboot for some reason (?), but otherwise it Just Works. My last 3 Razer mice all got unreliable on one axis after about 6 months or so. I'd expect that from a $20 beater mouse, but not a supposed "gaming" mouse. I won't put up with a peice of hardware I can't rely on.
  • I bought one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:52PM (#41927431) Journal

    ... and returned it!

    Basically the mouse is so hypersensitive with insane DPI that you have to run their software to mod it down. The reason the internet is required is because it uses a cloud to load your mouse settings. No you did not misread that?!

    It gets worse

    The profile and cloud service are several services that depend on each other and take almost a minute on my fast 2.8 ghz Phenom II and meanwhile the cursor is flying all over the machine due to the high dpi settings. Razor made it so light too which excaberates the problem. They have added weights for their $130 and it is their way of saying a Fuck you for being cheap by buying the $80 mouse??? Since when is $80 cheap? So you just have to set their and wayt for your mouse to connect to the cloud to slow down a simple setting. Sigh

    This cloud obsession is silly and getting too far. I can't use logitech because they are too small for my hands. Microsoft explorer mosue 2 is big enough but htey no longer have the scroll mouse. Just a touch button that will hurt after rubbing my fingers for several hours. My dying MS mouse I will keep for now as I am disapointed in razor. It is rediculous.

    • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:05PM (#41927555)

      Basically the mouse is so hypersensitive with insane DPI that you have to run their software to mod it down.

      Based on my experience, a few beers and half an Ambien also works.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Basically the mouse is so hypersensitive with insane DPI that you have to run their software to mod it down.

      The ones I got had a DPI switch on the bottom. The middle setting was OK for most and for others I showed the users how to change it in the default mouse configuration tool for their OS, and haven't heard back from them since. They are not the top end lightweight ones with extra weights or whatever but just a nicer than usual consumer mouse about the shape of the wide old Logitech "Microsoft" Intell

    • Not necessarily the idea of having a remote profile. That could be nice in some situations, but that it has to download it every time.

      One of the things I like about my G500 is that it stores the profile on the mouse itself. You have to have Logitech's driver installed to change the profile (and the mouse has to be associated with that computer) but you can then take the programmed mouse, hook it in to another computer, and it'll retain all its settings.

      Very nice way of doing things IMO because it means the

  • The Logitech Harmony remotes require you to register online just to use them. There is no way to program the remote offline or without an account with Logitech. It makes sense that they don't want you having to download a massive database for every ir device you can posibly use but they should at least let you download a basic database for the devices you own.

    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

    • by plover ( 150551 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:03AM (#41928865) Homepage Journal

      When I first bought a Harmony, I thought as you did. Online? Why not a CD-ROM full of codes? I don't want to be online for this.

      But having used and programmed a half dozen of them now, I'd say they produced a very good answer to an ancient technology issue. IR codes are awful ways to control devices, they're non-standard, non-portable, and change continually as new products are introduced. There are no standards for publishing IR codes. There is often no way to get an IR code for a lost remote, especially on a 20 year old receiver.

      What Harmony did was to crowd-source the discovery of IR codes. By getting enough people buying the remotes, and having them continually programming and updating them, they can offer those now to every customer. Having the software be online-only ensures that not only does everyone contribute, but everyone benefits. When I went to configure the 20 year old receiver that was missing a remote, Logitech's database had no trouble delivering.

      Another time I needed a specific Levitron remote in order to teach 4 IR codes to a LIRC client. Rather than spend a ridiculous $100 list for a five button remote I would never use a second time, I told my Harmony's configuration that it was controlling a Levitron switch, then blinked it at the learning device. Instant success, no cost.

      I've come to the conclusion that sometimes, a vendor's server is not the worst answer. But only sometimes. I'd still ditch the Harmony software in an instant for an Open Source programmer that accessed a public database of blinky codes.

  • by TheInternetGuy ( 2006682 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:53PM (#41927435)

    Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet?

    It probably wants to use your credit card number to place a giant order at []

  • by humanrev ( 2606607 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:53PM (#41927439)

    I recently purchased a Logitech Harmony 700 programmable remote to use on my HTPC (it's a highly recommended remote by XBMC users). The problem however is that there are only two ways to configure it:

    (1) The official way is that you go to [] and register an account. Once done, you log into the site and it opens up a Silverlight interface (that's right, Silverlight - not HTML/HTML5, not even Flash, but a rarely used Microsoft plugin who's Linux equivalent, Moonlight, doesn't work properly anyway) that allows some coarse configuration but not much in the way of fine grained options.

    (2) The less official way is to download the Logitech control application (Windows only, of course), which still requires an account. It also feels very much like a web application in a native window since it's still slow as it loads up various pages from the Internet anyway. But at least you get full control using it.

    Point is that in both scenarios, you MUST have an account to program the remote. Now of course having this data available in the "cloud" means that should you reformat or otherwise need to reconfigure your remote after a reinstall of the software, you can still obtain your carefully-configured settings. The other idea is that Logitech have a database of pre-configured devices that can be uploaded to the remote which is continaully updated with newer models, but it's not like the native application couldn't just obtain that info without requiring an account.

    Logitech deliberately made it so that they must know how your remote is being used. Not that they'll work out anything interesting with it, except perhaps what devices I use and how I use them. But fuck me, this is not a good direction to go with - requiring registration over one's hardware before it can be used fully.

    • 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.

      • I didn't know the history of the Harmony line, so I always appreciate having my ignorance corrected.

        Having said that, I am aware of how Logitech's database of codes is continually updated for newer models and devices (as I said in my post). But this shouldn't mean that the user needs a mandatory account with Logitech for the database to be used by a native application. There's no technical reason that I can see for not having the extra functionality OPTIONAL, rather than required.

        I'm also not really suggest

        • by plover ( 150551 )

          Something else to consider is that they built up the IR database at considerable expense, and so they treat it like Intellectual Property. They don't want to send out the full copy of every device's codes, because they don't want a dump of it ending up in LIRC or on A custom client helps keep their full database out of our spying hands. Registered users allow them to make sure that nobody's downloading their entire database.

          As a customer, it still makes me feel somewhat screwed over, k

    • by adolf ( 21054 )

      The other idea is that Logitech have a database of pre-configured devices that can be uploaded to the remote which is continaully updated with newer models

      And where do you think they got that cloud-based database of continual improvement? Oh, right: They crowdsourced it from folks who both had devices and were willing to use their Harmony remote to learn the IR codes from the original remote.

      When accepting input from strangers, it's nice to be able to track its origins on a user basis. Hence, accounts.


  • Hmmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @09:55PM (#41927453) Journal

    I, for one, can't think of any reason why having a driver that enjoys unfettered(and low level) access to one or more of my computer's human input devices also being internet connnected at all times could possibly pose a problem...

    In fact, I'm fairly sure that the Razer Synapse2 system will make Bonzibuddy 83% more fun to be with, and any future updates that allow me to log my keystrokes to the cloud will be a lifesaver when I forget the password to my AOL account!

  • Great. Create another account for another useless thing because I don't already have enough of those.

    If you worry about taking your settings and profiles with you STORE THEM ON THE DAMN DEVICE! It works for the N52TE which they bought from Belkin and that thing allows you to save all stored profiles back on your HD.
    Why add another layer of complexity on configuration software? Especially if that extra layer includes stuff you can't control(like internet connectivity) and adds a single point of failure fo
  • by klingers48 ( 968406 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:20PM (#41927669)
    ...On some of the extra functionality, but this is one reason why I will never, as a blanket-rule, install any peripheral device's shitware on my PC if I can get away with it. I'll either settle for the functionality provided by Windows built-in drivers or if that's not feasible then I'll trawl around support sites and community forums looking for a link to the most cut-drown driver package I can get my hands on. I say this as someone with a Razer DeathAdder and BlackWidow that I use every day and love as devices.

    Every printer suite, every Adobe extention, every gamepad, mouse and keyboard driver package, every pile of crapware, even iTunes agents, Bonjour, Java, all of it that we load onto our PC is just one more thing to slow down our user experience, waste bandwidth and throw annoying popups in our faces. Not to mention all the new potential infection vectors and opportunities to have our use-habits aggregated and sent off god-knows-where into the ether.

    It's much, much easier to just forgo some macro buttons on the side of a keyboard that is very nice unto itself as a piece of hardware.
    • Good god I do the same exact thing.

      I think it was the HP printer drivers that finally pushed me over the edge. 400MB for a printer driver, sweet Jesus.

      • by plover ( 150551 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:49AM (#41929107) Homepage Journal

        HP printer drivers drove me so far over the edge that I swore never to buy another one of their damned products, ever, ever again. They may have the greatest printers/plotters/scanners/laptops in the world, and I'll never know because I wouldn't consider one. So when I heard they came out with the chipped cartridges that thwarted ink and toner refilling, I just got to laugh at all those poor suckers. Meg Whitman isn't the only disaster causing the failure of a once mighty engineering company.

        When I shop for devices now, I look at the company and their track record with devices and drivers before buying. I currently own a Brother printer, with plain old plastic ink tanks, and a straightforward TCP socket based control program. Brother has never forgot their embedded machine roots and remains good at making their stuff have very tiny footprints, and no weird DRM crap. Unless they screw that up, they've got me as a customer for life.

  • Take it back. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Vote with your wallet. Take it back to the store because it's non-functional.

  • what gamer buying a 80 to 100$+ mouse with 42 buttons on the fucker is going to have any issue with memory space (or storage space, which is what they meant, but apparently are next to clueless)

    my freaking work laptop has 8gigs and a TB hard disk ... sure it can handle some fucking macro's (not that I am paying 80$ for a mouse, I hate paying 5 for a overstock OEM Logitech from the computer store)

  • easy answer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @10:49PM (#41927891) Homepage

    because customers rarely care about this sort of thing and generally just click "yes."

    if youre a religious economist youll grant the invisible hand time to offer an alternative market of "unlocked" mice, much like cellphones. they will probably still be tracked by your operating system (microsoft or apple, possibly ubuntu these days under crazy shuttleworth) but youll get to use them as you wish on any OS of your choice or against the original constructs of the walled garden it seems this peripheral maker is trying to grow.

    theyll be called developer mice, or IDE mice, or some other wretched name implying only the nerdiest would ever want such a thing. youll pay a premium for it, it wont be supported by the game you want to play when its registered during startup and the OS will probably require hefty drivers or partially functioning ones for it to work.

    the bottom line is there is very little money in peripherals. there is a fucking boat-load of cash in services because as we evolve through the 21st century our technology has increasingly grown to coddle us as though we were children. give up your freedom and the corporation will relieve the burden on your weary mind of having to think about computers or networks or any of that nonsense youve been heralding about the latest iDevice but loathe to discuss on a deeply technical level greater than a few buzzwords picked up at the bus stop billboard.

    and nerds geeks and slashdotters will grumble as dogs will bark. we will adapt as we always have technology to suit our needs. windows keys will be co-opted into our operating systems as a pivotal extension of our will through tools like AwesomeWM, to never again be considered anything more than a simple stroke or clack on the way to greatness. ACPI will kneel to our demands as our resources are governed by our inherent lust for knowledge and achievement. and this "device" that so rudely begged a pittance of our precious bandwidth in the service of its master will its back have been broken, its mighty spirit crushed under the inexorable weight of our technological expertise as we have so pulverized most any attempt by a salesman with a greasegun to convince us otherwise that the PC is not personal. It will kneel, as VRRP, DVD, Blu-Ray, SCSI RAID, wireless cards, and a sea of countless E and I prefixed devices have in the service of their true master, the Nerd.

  • If you get the Roku player, you also have to register it online even if you don't intend to use any online streaming. And the TivO works the same way: it needs to call the mothership for subscription/program guide data in order to keep functioning viably.
  • by FatLittleMonkey ( 1341387 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @11:04PM (#41928025)

    It's to stop people burning an unauthorised copy onto a blank mouse.

  • Oh, wait a sec... you meant a computer mouse... Never mind.
  • So the grad students running the experiment with electrodes implanted in the mice brains can have their results automatically appear on facebook.

    FutureDoc just harvested a crop of Marijuana on FarmVille!
    62 people like this
    FutureDoc's mouse found the cheese!
    PETA likes this

  • ... around our right to own things. First it came in the form of DRM for games and whatnot and now other companies want to remove the publics right to own anything and license/monitor/datamine everything. The whole "online requirement" is all about customer datamining. The same thing Steam has been doing, it provides valve exact customer data.

  • I have a TV remote that, before it could be programmed, required one to create an account and spill the beans about everything about themselves in order to be able to use a single button. Want to reprogram something? Plug it in, install the software and re-log in.

    Problem was solved by a VM, USB passthrough, a proxy, and fake info, however I'm not surprised that more things are going this route -- customer profiles and info is big cash to sell.

  • by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @12:08AM (#41928529) Homepage

    Let me guess their response: "Our executives are retarded. They learned in their freshman business class that getting customers to register their e-mail addresses increased their chances of of buying new products from the same company. They were unaware that forcing customers to do this for basic functionality is the equivalent of eating your entree with your foot, while playing host to the Royal family of England. They are simply incapable of understanding the level of faux pas they have committed, coming up with the two-year old's excuse of 'if it's so bad, why are other people doing it,' and, in light of the bonuses they will no doubt receive shortly before customers permanently turn away from this company, they won't care. Again, we apologize for what passes as an education in this country, and promise, after the glorious revolution, to never speak of it again."

  • Of course it needs internet access! How else do you think it will keep its anti-virus software current?

  • 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.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong