Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

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Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:31 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0825.shtml

What are the legal implications of a manufacturer being able to disable your smart device -- either deliberately or through negligence?

What rights do you actually have when it comes to the control of your smart device?

Are you simply buying the hardware and leasing the software via a lease that can be terminated at any time?

This aspect of computer-based appliances and devices is becoming increasingly important but little considered by consumers or the law.

What do you think?
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Re: Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby Hiro Protagonist » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:17 am

"Even the "tube" was good for four or five years of average viewing."

A bit pessimistic - a CRT lifetime in excess of 20 years was unremarkable.

But as for "smart" devices, I prefer the smarts to be under my control - my TV is dumb as a brick, and if one day I need a replacement and "smart" is the only option, it ain't ever going to get plugged into a network. I'll stick with a raspberry pi for the smart side of things.

Back in the day of TVs that used firebottles, I used to know a guy who wouldn't have a TV in the house as he said the govt would use the TV to spy on you - a bit of a sad old nutter.

If he was still alive today he wouldn't be a nutter any more...
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Re: Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby retroman33366 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:44 am

Them Dastardly Smart devices! The comment was the EULA, about 5 years ago I got a smart Bluray player the EULA took over 3 mins to read. I Videoed it. When you read it fully You do not own and can only use the player in ways they seem fit. Ok you only see it once after you say yes it disappears and you can not even get a copy from the manufacture I tried just to prove a point and yes a lawyer had a good laugh about it too as it would be unenforceable if it where not for the enormous reserves of cash of that manufacturer. When they where talking about life and death and death as well as nuclear power plants and mission critical operations I was in hysterics and yes they can remove features as they see fit!

I did post the EULA On YouTube!
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Re: Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby Screw » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:15 am

Ah them good ole daze! And the rose-coloured glasses!

I built my first TV using an eight inch Sillyscope tube. I was getting the TV from Auckland away up north of Kaitaia. Then came the 60's and later the 70's with colour TV. Angela D'Audny, Jenny Goodwin, Rhonda Familton and a very, very young Judy Bailey!

I have the first model LCD TV here and a first model projector, still going well. No smarts for me. Peeps are their own worst enemies, they don't realise that today they don't "own" anything, just rent it!
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Re: Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby hagfish » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:19 am

Welcome to the wonderful world of 'Hardware as a Service', I suppose. Anything that offers over-the-air updates is capable of being spontaneously bricked. Once in a while, people kick up a fuss about Amazon remotely deleting stuff from their Kindles. If a device is connected, it's important that there's some facility for updating it, or it eventually becomes an unprotected attack vector. Abandoned smart dishwashers etc don't stay smart for long.

As for the hardware inside the average smart TV; surely it's nothing too fancy - just stripped-down phone. Even a feeble Raspberry Pi 2 (RevB) is up to streaming 1080p content (allegedly). If they can throw in $5 worth of smarts, and charge an extra $500, they might as well. Our Samsung smart tv from 2012 takes a while to boot, but it still gets (annoyingly) regular updates, and has no problem running Netflix and Lightbox. I fully expect to get 10 years out of it, by which time there might be some reason to upgrade to 4K.
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Re: Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby joeseph » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:33 am

My Sony TV livens up it's network port every morning at 3am, presumably to check it's firmware is up to date (or else log our viewing habits to someone in Romania)
I've taken the liberty of blocking it's I/P address outbound on the firewall.
The only reason I keep the TV on the LAN is that the kids watch movies from the media-server.
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Re: Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby goosemoose » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:55 pm

The first rule of EULA is the EULA is never in your favour. Ever. The EULA never giveth. Never ever. The EULA always taketh. Always. The end.

The Mrs wanted a gnormous TV, a smart one. Convinced her to buy an el-cheapo dumb Warehouse one. Oh and a Raspberry Pi. Much cheaper and under your control. No devices I own ever go on the network.
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Re: Expensive bricks (25 Aug, 2017)

Postby roygbiv » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:18 pm

Regarding the people who paid 1400 squid for a Samsung where it ceased to work after a short period. If I were them, tele back in box, back to shop, money back or exchange for one that does work (Sony, LG - whatever, but not Samsung), same as here in NZ, a legal entitlement where Mr shopowner would have to oblige. Software / hardware upgrades - that is all just a smokescreen.
I have huge reservations about my Smart Tele, it does seem to have its own operating system in it, and does upgrades as and when it wants, apart from the odd hiccup, no problems so far. But, with all that built in 'intelligence', it is a single point of failure, any one of the many software component could bring it to a halt, a code upgrade in the case of Samsung.
My old tele had a Google Chrome hooked up to it to give me just about all the functionality of the new one all controlled by my phone (smart). That was the better solution as if Google Chrome died I could still have my bluRay/DVD or media player to watch stuff. Plus, Google Chrome is easier to carry back to the tele shop.
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