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Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet?

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the bring-me-my-bluetooth-spoon dept.

Cloud 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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249 comments

This is why I use Linux. (5, Interesting)

akiwiguy (1113293) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927305)

razercfg! [bues.ch]

Re:This is why I use Linux. (2, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927353)

I see. With Linux you're guaranteed to not have fully functional drivers regardless.

Re:This is why I use Linux. (-1, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927447)

The only thing that your mindless trolling demonstrates is the fact that you don't bother to actually read what you respond to.

Re:This is why I use Linux. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927601)

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

Re:This is why I use Linux. (0, Troll)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927837)

I suppose that means you should probably choose from the OTHER half, doesn't it?

Re:This is why I use Linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927747)

Did you?

Stable: 6
Stable but missing minor features: 3
Broken: 2
Everything else: Unsupported

Re:This is why I use Linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41928063)

He's just showing he doesn't have fully functional drivers to operate his brain properly.

Re:This is why I use Linux. (2, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928133)

Oh, I'm trolling because companies write crappy quicky drivers that don't fully work for Linux? Yeah, whatever. Keep living in your little bubble where the world is perfect and everything in Linux runs flawlessly.

Re:This is why I use Linux. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927861)

Mice, why do people still use those antiquated devices? Hello, 17-years ago Logitech invented the Cordless Marble Optical track-ball http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/trackballs/cordless-trackMan-optical

Get a Clue! Oh, and if your left-handed then i guess your stuck with using a mouse{that sucks}

Re:This is why I use Linux. (2)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928111)

Trackballs are nice for laptops (too bad the new ones don't have them built in), but are awful for gaming.

Re:This is why I use Linux. (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927765)

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.

Look up cats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927319)

There are mice in the clouds and it might start raining.

razer synapse (4, Informative)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927405)

why not just add an sdcard to the mouse and store the settings ON the device.

Re:razer synapse (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927465)

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...

Re:razer synapse (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927705)

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.

Re:razer synapse (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928037)

What the hell are they going to do with the information they're collecting?

Biometric data-gathering and subsequent profiling?

Re:razer synapse (5, Interesting)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927983)

A GIGABYTE of flash storage? Why the hell would you do that? Do you want to store movies inside your mouse or something?

Formalin was spot-on when he said "10 cents worth of EEPROM".

Re:razer synapse (5, Interesting)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (5, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927503)

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.

Re:razer synapse (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928203)

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 actually forward thinking. IMHO, it is pretty obvious where their thinking is heading.

Re:razer synapse (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928011)

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.

Re:razer synapse (2)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928319)

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?

And the next step? (5, Insightful)

Crazy-San (2746941) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:And the next step? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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. :(

Re:And the next step? (5, Insightful)

z0idberg (888892) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927887)

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

That should teach them. Go you!

Razor products (2)

Datamonstar (845886) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Razor products (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927451)

Roccat is better.

Re:Razor products (2)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927487)

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.

Re:Razor products (3, Interesting)

Zagnar (722415) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927563)

I also loved my Naga, until owning it for just over a year when the buttons wore out and stopped reliably clicking. Mind you, the cord's braiding was faulty from day one and my regular optical mouse has better tracking on most surfaces. Still, great shape and idea. I just wish Logitech would make a gaming mouse with a bajillion buttons so I wouldn't have to put up with Razer's poor quality.

Re:Razor products (5, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927725)

Re:Razor products (-1, Troll)

lucm (889690) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927521)

Razor products are just shitty. I've purchased only one item from them

I guess you were filling the RMA form for your mouse instead of going to school the day they taught statistical inference. Also maybe instead of getting a Razer mouse you actually got a "Razor" mouse which may be a chinese knockoff, that would explain the low quality.

Re:Razor products (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927741)

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.

Re:Razor products (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927941)

Logitech software sucks. Their customer support is great though, where as Razers customer support is basically "fuck you, you broke it"

Re:Razor products (0)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927927)

SOME Razer products are shitty. BTW, its Razer, not Razor or Razor 1911 :P

Razer's blackwidow line of keyboards are very good actually. They're the best most widely available mechanical keyboard you can pick up just about anywhere in a hurry.

Re:Razor products (2)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927995)

Owning a Logitech mouse, it also comes with software that needs to connect online to pointlessly update itself. It does it constantly.

Re:Razor products (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928019)

I'm still using an old Logitech M-BA47. It's got a wire and a ball. No stupid batteries, no interferences and I could use it on top of a glass desktop if I ever wanted to.

Logitech does this (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927381)

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.

Re:Logitech does this (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927427)

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.

Re:Logitech does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927477)

And who wants to go through that to retain settings? What a horrible solution

Re:Logitech does this (2)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927495)

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.

Re:Logitech does this (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927735)

Why would you need to propagate mouse settings to a computer before you connect the mouse to it?

Re:Logitech does this (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927793)

i'm pretty sure the poster was describing a scenario where each computer had it's own mouse. They are all the same model.

That's how they do it on some of their mice (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#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:Logitech does this (1)

EdZ (755139) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927919)

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.

Razer's comments are NEVER satisfactory. (5, Informative)

TellarHK (159748) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927383)

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.

To sell information to advertisers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927391)

Here buy a logitech mouse:

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/mice/gaming-mouse-g500

Onboard memory for saving settings. The. End.

I bought one (5, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927431)

... 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.

Re:I bought one (4, Funny)

lucm (889690) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:I bought one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41928357)

Of course, most systems with large screens currently use mouse-acceleration and a lower dpi. So if you can have a 3200 dpi mouse at 1x accel, it's going to act similar to an 800 dpi mouse at 4x accel. But it will be a little smoother for precision operations.

Re:I bought one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927827)

Actually, that makes some sense. These are gaming mouses, where precise movement is advantageous. Basically, you have a certain resolution of monitor. Say, 1920x1200 and any mouse can be used with it. However, if you want to aim quickly, you don't want to move the mouse a ton to make the adjustment, you want to move the mouse as little as possible, while still hitting the spot.

So, I think it makes some sense for them to require adjustment that normal mouses wouldn't. However, requiring it to be stored in the cloud seems a bit odd.

Re:I bought one (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927839)

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" Intellimouse.

Re:I bought one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41928069)

I thought most gaming mice would have DPI selectors at a convenient place. My USD20 a4tech mouse has a DPI selector button near the mouse wheel. Set it to 1000Hz updates and 3ms mouse button latency FTW. Interestingly I'm allowed to specify a 1ms button latency, not sure if really goes down that low, there certainly is a difference between 3ms and another normal mouse (>10ms) when I do those reaction time tests. My PS/2 keyboard seems slower too.

That is retarded (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928089)

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 mouse is always consistent, even if you are booted off a boot disc or installing a new OS and so on.

Logitech remotes are worse... (1)

Zakabog (603757) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927433)

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.

Re:Logitech remotes are worse... (4, Informative)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year and a half ago | (#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:Logitech remotes are worse... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Internet? (5, Funny)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 http://www.thecheeseshed.com/ [thecheeseshed.com]

Re:Why Would a Mouse Need To Connect To the Intern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41928271)

500 - Internal server error.
There is a problem with the resource you are looking for, and it cannot be displayed.

I hope you're happy. You slashdotted an entirely unrlated, innocent website.

Logitech hardware too (3, Insightful)

humanrev (2606607) | about a year and a half ago | (#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 http://www.myharmony.com/ [myharmony.com] 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.

Re:Logitech hardware too (1)

g051051 (71145) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927855)

Don't blame Logitech for this. They inherited this model when they bought Intrigue Technologies, the company that created the Harmony Line (when it was called EasyZapper).

Re:Logitech hardware too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927871)

I have a Logitech Harmary remote and had the same issues. Coupled with the fact that I am in New Zealand, and so the network latency killed the performance of the control app. I got it to work eventually, but it was so painfully to configure. There are buttons I would like to change, but I'm not going to attempt it.

If only it would download the IR commands for the devices I specified and then run locally.....

Re:Logitech hardware too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927883)

That's very discouraging to hear. I was in the market for a good HTPC remote. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative? I absolutely HATE most 'simplified' methods for programming my equipment. There is little much more infuriating to me than knowing that a piece of hardware, which is physically capable of performing a task, is 'blocked' from doing that task because the vendor never bothered to implement the feature in their UI.

A real bitch of a UI/interface annoyance for me was when NVIDIA decided that the video card should pay more attention to the EDID it thinks it was receiving rather than just outputting the audio over HDMI (or not) if I tell it to. For a while, the Video Card would determine that my monitor was capable of receiving audio (technically it could). The problem is that my video card would then disable the audio path from my PC to my audio receiver (standard 1/8" plugs) and instead try to send the audio over HDMI to the television (which I just wanted to be a television with no speakers) The video card never did this before, and even had an option to DISABLE HDMI audio, but for a while, the drivers NVIDIA released forgot to put that option on the menu (ie: the checkbox was missing for a good number of releases).

The only solution was to manually edit the drivers and trick it into interpreting the EDID from my television as one which did NOT support audio, and therefore it would NOT disable my normal audio system. I had to do this every single time I wanted to update my drivers or re-install something.

Re:Logitech hardware too (2)

humanrev (2606607) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928169)

Do you have any suggestions for an alternative?

Not at the moment. The other issue with this remote is that there is a slight lag between when you press a button and when it sends out the IR code. People have been experimenting with the delay settings of the remote, but there seems to be a minimum delay of about 200ms between button push and transmission. Seems to be due to the remote's processor being a bit slow in creating the required code after each button press.

No, nothing sinister here, just convenience (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:No, nothing sinister here, just convenience (1)

humanrev (2606607) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928101)

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 suggesting some conspiracy issue here either. I just have a healthy distrust over tying myself into online services when they shouldn't be necessary to obtain basic functionality. There have been too many cases (such as the one in the article) where said services aren't available when the user actually needs them the most. It's the same reason I don't buy games with Steam and prefer DRM-free stuff like GOG.

So fix the problem (0)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928035)

Drop a Beagle USB bus analyzer between the mouse and the host, try changing all the settings you posibly can, and use the recorded results to write a libusb client application that can set all of the settings. Problem solved.

I hate that people complaint about eminently solvable software engineering problems simply because they don't want to be the ones to solve them.

Re:So fix the problem (4, Insightful)

humanrev (2606607) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928129)

You really think I want to go to that effort? Just because it's technically possible with a lot of work, doesn't mean it should be necessary in the first place. Your criticism is exactly the same reason why people avoid Linux like the plague - not everyone wants to have to be a fucking geek to get things done. And it shouldn't be necessary for them to do so. It's a fucking consumer product.

Re:So fix the problem (2)

humanrev (2606607) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928341)

I apologise for the roughness/profanity in my previous post. But I just want you to understand - your post basically turns the onus on the customer rather than the company to provide what is missing (i.e. the ability to program the remote without requiring access to Logitech). It's belittling because it defuses any complains anyone can have with, well, anything.

It's the same damn problem I see time and time again in the Linux community - does such-and-such open source program lack functionality already existent in a Windows program? Don't complain, learn programming and improve the code yourself! It's open source! No, I think not. I'd rather go back to Windows where I don't have to expend the extra time for no real benefit apart from being able to say "I run Linux". And then people like yourself get angry because they can't understand why people don't want to expend their valuable spare time in performing such a task compared to, say, having sex or playing games.

Your comment doesn't help because it makes the user appear like he's complaining about something that could be made just a bit better. As if they shouldn't be complaining at all, regardless of whether it's PRACTICAL for the user to have to make the changes themselves. Maybe you've been a geek for too long. I'm trying to avoid losing touch with how regular folks work myself.

Hmmm... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927453)

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!

Design bugs are neat (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927591)

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 for all your customers. Maintenance of that cloud thing can't cost less than adding lokal storage to your devices. Unless of course you skimp on the high-availability requirement.

Congrats! You screwed up on every design aspect with that new and great scheme just to ad the "cloud" buzzword to your marketing blurb.

It's very simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927609)

A company like Razor may require online registration to unlock features because both it gives the company more information and greater consumer dependence. Such things are easily converted to profit later.

Of course, such an act damages the user experience but, as I gather from the various comments here, Razor simply has no competition from a hardware/ergonomics point of view. Maintaining, or worse improving the user experience, will just eat into profits.

Why do Razor's actions perplex so many of the people commenting here?

I might be missing out... (3, Insightful)

klingers48 (968406) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:I might be missing out... (2)

egranlund (1827406) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927863)

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.

Re:I might be missing out... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41928141)

I had a printer connected to my Mac a bunch of years ago that refused to work until the software was installed, so I finally gave in and installed it. Boy was that a mistake. That damn software invaded my system in a way a Trojan maker would be proud of. It had windows popping up in every account, services running, all sorts of crap going on. When you deleted or turned off something, it would reinstall from some secret place or turn it back on. There was no obvious way to get rid of it. The 'uninstall' software didn't work. I had that shit popping up all over the place on that system until I sold it, years later. God help the person who bought it.

Re:I might be missing out... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41928259)

Same.

And its a damn saving grace that the Logitech mice have a built-in memory for storing their profiles. This is also great because it means they are not at all dependant on the host machine to work. (Which also means the profiles work on absolutely everything, whether a Windows or Linux PC, or even a damn PS3)

With good profiles, it also means you never need to setup sensitivity in-game. Hit "Default" and its been correctly setup. Which has the further benefit of not introducing the lag / skipping associated with using the non-default sensitivity setting in almost every engine.

Its a trivial thing, but oh so convenient.

Their keyboards too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927699)

Their keyboards require this shit as well if you want them to do anything beyond what's stamped on the keys. Sad, sad stuff. I bought it for the Cherry MX blues so at least I still have a nice click but sheesh...

Take it back. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41927849)

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

more memory space was required (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927875)

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 (3, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927891)

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.

It's the same for the Roku an dTiVo (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41927909)

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.

Answwer: to find the best price for cheese? (1)

cpotoso (606303) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928083)

Oh, wait a sec... you meant a computer mouse... Never mind.

It's All About Blurring the Lines (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928131)

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

Congratulations On You New Baby... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41928337)

Would you like to register online:

( ) Now

( ) Kindergarten

( ) When getting drivers license

Companies are trying to do an end run... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928391)

... 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.

Not the first device to need Internet access... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year and a half ago | (#41928433)

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.

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