ICYMI: April 5, 2016 Getty Images

ICYMI: April 5, 2016

Hello! Read on to find out about pitfalls of the Internet of Things and more.


The biggest story of yesterday: Alphabet subsidiary Nest will be deliberately bricking some of its customers' devices as of May 15, 2016.

The devices in question are $300 Revolv smart home hubs; Revolv was bought by Nest in October 2014. The company has not updated its $300 device since the acquisition, and says now that it's allocating resources toward future devices and will not maintain current customer services. Although the number of customers affected is undisclosed, Nest's decision to brick customer devices raises larger questions about customer rights as they apply to the Internet of Things:

When software and hardware are intertwined, does a warranty mean you stop supporting the hardware or does it mean that the manufacturer can intentionally disable it without consequence?

Is the era of IoT bringing an end to the concept of ownership? Are we just buying intentionally temporary hardware?

This isn't the first instance of IoT customers discovering their devices were useless without supporting, server-based software. In early 2013, customers of the smart alarm clock headband Zeo discovered the company had gone out of business and they were left without access to any of the data they had generated or the ability to use their device to collect future data.

Between the loss of service on $300 devices, the possibility of your smart TV's manufacturer making a little extra dough by forcing unwanted ads to stream across your shows, and your smart TV eavesdropping on your conversations and supplying them to third parties, there is an interesting conversation to be had about the control a consumer has -- or does not have -- over the smart devices and services they pay for.


Also worth paying attention to: Business Insider's Matt Rosoff conducted an interview with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and there are simply too many great quotes to pull. But one of special interest to this crowd:

We have only one Windows. We don't have multiple Windows. They run across multiple form factors, but it's one developer platform, one store, one tool chain for developers. And you adapt it for different screen sizes and different input and output. 


The most useful news:

Set time limits for user accounts in Windows.

Identify the apps draining battery life in Windows.

Remove a lot of hard page breaks in a Word document.

Change your XBox gamertag name in Windows 10.

Enable right-clicking on websites that otherwise block it.

Combine all the images in a PDF file in Windows.


And here's what we've been publishing:

Six Ways to Master the Google Play Store

Build 2016 – New Features for Windows 10 Mobile in Anniversary Update

HoloLens Re-Experienced at Build 2016

Build 2016 - Visiting the Hub Expo Floor

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