Feeds

Panasonic patches cameras to block rivals' batteries

DRM-like tech implemented for 'customer safety'

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Panasonic has used a firmware update to prevent punters using batteries bought from other suppliers in its digital cameras.

The update, which applies to 16 cameras which between them use three models of Panasonic battery, was posted this week.

The company claimed the move had been made to protect its customers, though some will argue that the protecting profits was the motivation behind the move.

"Panasonic developed this technology after it was discovered that some aftermarket third-party batteries do not meet the rigid safety standards Panasonic uses," the company said.

It stated these are "imitation" battery packs.

"Some of these aftermarket batteries are not equipped with internal protective devices to guard against overcharging, internal heating and short circuit. If these aftermarket battery packs were used, it could lead to an accident causing damage to your camera or personal injury."

That's undoubtedly true, but not in the case of all third-party batteries. Even if that were the case, is it really Panasonic's job to mandate what power packs customers can and can't use? After all, if a third-party battery is used and it does fail the way Panasonic describes, that's a matter for the user and the battery maker, not Panasonic's responsibility.

Buyers could, of course, opt not to apply the firmware update, but in the case of some models, the update's details do not state that the new software has this effect. No, that's mentioned on a separate page.

This page is present on Panasonic's global camera downloads page, but below the announcements for the software updates. Panasonic isn't hiding the information, but it would be easy to overlook, especially if you went straight to the update download page. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.