04 April 2016

Why You Cannot Rely on the Cloud

Google, or more accurately its evil twin Alphabet, bought the a leader in the "smart home" industry, Nest.  

Flush with money, Nest bought competitor Revolv, but they didn't want the technology, they just wanted the staff.

And now Google/Alphabet/Nest has announced that they will be shutting down all Revolv home control units.

I don't mean that they will stop supporting the units, I mean that they will shut the units down.

They will go dark.

They are now door stops:
Nest, a smart-home company owned by Google's holding company Alphabet, is dropping support for a line of products — and will make customers' existing devices completely useless.

It's a move that has infuriated some customers, and raises worrying questions about the rights of consumers in the ever-more connected future.

In October 2014, Nest acquired Revolv, a smart-home device maker, nine months after it was itself bought by Google. The terms of the Revolv deal were not disclosed, and as Re/code reported at the time, the deal was an acqui-hire — buying a company for its talent rather than its products or users.

Nest cofounder Matt Rogers praised Revolv as "the best team out there," and Revolv immediately stopped selling its $300 (£210) home hub, which could be used to control lights, doors, alarms, and so on.

Revolv's team was to work on "Work with Nest," Nest's API program, but customers' existing Revolv products continued to be supported — until recently.

Just over a month ago, Revolv updated its website to announce that it is closing down completely, pulling the plug on its existing products in May. "We’re pouring all our energy into Works with Nest and are incredibly excited about what we’re making," wrote Revolv founders Tim Enwall and Mike Soucie. "Unfortunately, that means we can’t allocate resources to Revolv anymore and we have to shut down the service."

Shutting down Revolv does not mean that Nest is ceasing to support its products, leaving them vulnerable to bugs and other unpatched issues. It means that the $300 devices and accompanying apps will stop working completely.

As one customer puts it, Google parent company Alphabet is "intentionally bricking" the devices on May 15, 2016.

Arlo Gilbert, CEO of medical app company Televero, is infuriated by Nest's decision. He has written a Medium post about the impending closure, labelling it a "pretty blatant 'f--k you' to every person who trusted in them and bought their hardware."
I've experienced this on a smaller scale, when "upgrades" to blogger have made the product less capable and less powerful.

But this is just a blog, and until such time I own/rent my own server, I have to live with this.

If you let Google or cloud type company control your business or your phone, they are going to f%$# like a drunk sorority girl, whether it is product shutdowns, or upgrades that you hate.

I still use Office 2003, but if I used Google docs, I would be forced to work when they changed their interface and went with their low contrast "flat design", and it would no longer support Office 2003 formats.

If you want to control how you get your work done, you cannot rely on the cloud.


Post a Comment