Emergent Tech

Internet of Things

Online outrage makes Logitech drop a brick: Now it will replace slain Harmony Link gizmos

And tries to explain 'class action lawsuit' forum censorship

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco


Logitech is now offering to replace free of charge the connected home hubs it will automatically brick early next year.

In a hasty U-turn, the electronics slinger said it will exchange Harmony Link control hubs with a similar product, the Harmony Hub. Both units allow punters to set up remote controls for various connected appliances via a combination of Wi-Fi and IR hardware. The Link was sold between 2011 and 2015, and has since been replaced in Logitech's lineup by the Harmony Hub.

This offer comes after owners exploded with fury this week upon learning that the manufacturer will effectively kill off most of the functionality for the Harmony Link next March when its SSL/TLS encryption certificate expires.

At the time, Logitech told Link owners it would offer them a 35 per cent discount on a new Hub unit. That has since been changed to a free replacement, and anyone who already used the discount to buy a hub will be able to get a refund on what they paid.

"We understand that services are important to you," Logitech explained.

"Because the certificate that’s expiring relates to security, we would be acting irresponsibly by continuing the service knowing its potential/future vulnerability."

Logitech also defended its policy of censoring the words "class action lawsuit" in its support forums, replacing those words with asterisks, claiming the rule was not an attempt to silence angry customers, but rather an anti-spam tool.

"Our intention is to ensure our forums help our customers when they need support. This includes keeping the conversation productive by monitoring the language used and automatically blocking profanity or personal attacks," said Logitech.

"The words 'class action lawsuit' were blocked as our Community Terms of Use do not allow solicitation, including legal solicitation. We have unblocked the terms and are reviewing our list of blocked terms."

Logitech said it has since disabled the censorship, so customers can flaunt the forbidden legal term all they want for the time being. In the meantime, Logitech says it will contact registered Harmony Link owners between now and March to arrange for a new device to be shipped.

Internet one, Logitech zero. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

New era for Japan, familiar problems: Microsoft withdraws crash-tastic patches

Upcoming calendar change more than Office can handle

Check out this link! It's not like it'll crash your iPhone or anything (Hint: Of course it will)

A few lines of code that Apple's browser simply can't handle

Logitech's security cams allegedly suck so bad, this US bloke is suing it

Class-action suit claims gadget maker dragged its heels to fix gear to run out warranty clock

Logitech: We're gonna brick your Harmony Link gizmos next year

Updated Built-in obsolescence, meet kill switch

Cops: Autonomous Uber driver may have been streaming The Voice before death crash

Reports say she was watching reality TV at time of fatal impact

Apache Hadoop spins cracking code injection vulnerability YARN

Loose .zips sink chips 2: Electric Boogaloo

Batten down the ports: Linux networking bug SegmentSmack could remotely crash systems

Patches incoming for kernel versions 4.9 and up

SoftNAS no longer a soft touch for hackers (for now)... Remote-hijacking vulnerability patched

Your files are someone else's files, too, thanks to storage bug

Microsoft's Jet crash: Zero-day flaw drops after deadline passes

Updated Don't click on that dodgy link, people

Git security vulnerability could lead to an attack of the (repo) clones

Best git patching y'all