Google Kills Nest Secure, Can't Be Bothered To Explain Support Roadmap

from the you-don't-own-what-you-buy dept

Three years ago, Google jumped into the home security market. After a troubled development cycle it launched Nest Secure, a $500 home security system that competes with the likes of Abode and Simplisafe. But things didn’t go quite as planned. Last year, the company took some deserved heat for failing to mention the system’s “Nest Guard” keypad control base included a hidden microphone, creating ample paranoia among owners. Google also took heat for failing to really deploy updates at the same pace that other Nest products had seen, and for making changes that locked you into the Google ecosystem at the cost of interoperability.

Last week the company quietly told Android Police it would be killing the Nest Secure completely. The company didn’t really explain why, or what happens next, only to state that the product will still work. For now. Of course when Ars Technica pressed the company as to how long existing users can expect their expensive security service to get support, the company apparently couldn’t be bothered to answer:

“We tried asking Google about all this a few days ago when we got a tip that the Nest Secure was listed as “no longer available” (thanks, Bill!) but the company wouldn’t answer. Included in our email were questions about what the future looks like for existing Nest Secure users, like if they’ll ever be able to buy more sensors or replacement sensors for their existing setups (these have been out of stock for a while now) or how much longer the Nest Secure will be supported for. Even if Google doesn’t immediately turn off the software support, a system with no replacement parts can only die a slow death.”

So not just murky answers, but no answers at all.

Hyping products and entire ecosystems, then destroying them with a casual wave without transparent communications isn’t a great way to develop consumer trust. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s part and parcel for a hardware industry that routinely bricks or stops supporting hardware and ecosystems you just got done shelling out hundreds to thousands of dollars for. That’s especially true in home automation and security, where users have to shell out an arm and a leg for various household sensors that in many instances won’t work with any other systems due to companies that view interoperability as a threat to walled gardens.

In this case, users have invested upwards of thousands of dollars for a home security ecosystem with an uncertain support future. And despite the fact that Google may be cooking up a new system with its partners at ADT, when it inevitably comes time to replace these expensive systems, or invest hundreds to thousands of dollars in a new ecosystem (be it Stadia game streaming or anything else), the message being sent is that you can’t trust Google to stick around and truly support the ecosystems their marketing department just got done claiming you couldn’t live without.

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Companies: google, nest

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Comments on “Google Kills Nest Secure, Can't Be Bothered To Explain Support Roadmap”

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39 Comments
Anonymoussays:

This is one main reason I’ve stopped buying digital. There’s been many previous examples why it’s no longer smart to buy such items, be that digital music/movies/or digitally supported products.

You paid purchase price for a rental property. A rental that the use can be withdrawn at any time, leaving you with a physical shell at best that no longer works. We don’t even have to talk about the security issues that come with digital. You know, a spy in the home, be that Siri, Nest, or any of the other products that require internet connections to get the full function.

As soon as a company decides it’s no longer making enough money off that item or it becomes some kind of a problem they dump support servers and you’re left with equipment that doesn’t function as it was sold to you, if it functions at all.

Given all the examples from music to hardware of dropping support, thank you but no thank you. I want no part of it. If there’s a choice between analog that simply functions till it wears out or digital that functions till support is pulled, l’ll pick the one that is going to last long term and likely to be cheaper to boot.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

If there’s a choice between analog that simply functions till it wears out or digital that functions till support is pulled

There are also digital devices that function till they wear out. Digital thermostats have been around for at least 30 years, and I know of several 30-year-old ones still working fine. They can be programmed to warm up the house just before you’d normally wake up, which can be a minor convenience. (Also, when someone makes the mistake of buying a Nest, you might get their old thermostat for free in the trash or cheap in a thrift store.)

Anonymoussays:

Hyping products and entire ecosystems, then destroying them with a casual wave without transparent communications isn’t a great way to develop consumer trust.

No, but it is standard Google operating procedure. They’ve done this many, many times with other products. Why would anyone think they’d stop now?

Never hitch your wagon to Google horses.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

It’s not just Google. All cloud services are unreliable.

Never, ever invest in any cloud service at all for anything at all, unless you can pick up and move seamlessly to a competitor any time you feel like it, or you really, truly don’t give a shit about whatever you’re using it for.

No cloud-dependent IOT devices, especially not for any kind of security. No cloud apps (yes, including that one). Nothing central to your reputation or livelihood. For God’s sake, NO EMAIL.

You’re probably safe to use raw compute services if they’re standards-based and easy to migrate away from, and if you have your own backups of all the data. You’re probably safe to use raw storage if you have copies on multiple providers. Encrypt those copies, by the way.

If you’re forced to use some "platform" to promote something you’re doing, do your damnedest to form an independent connection with anybody you reach through that platform. Make sure all your critical URLs are your own. And if you’re a promote-ee, show some social responsibility. At least try to make off-platform connections from your own end… as well as maybe even, you know, trying to find whatever you’re looking somewhere other than the biggest monopoly middleman you can find.

It’s completely normal for any cloud provider to "alter the deal" whenever it’s convenient for them.

They change their offerings and break things you rely on. They shut people down without warning over trivial or completely imagined ToS violations. They knuckle under to threats. They do business deals that destroy their usefulness to you. They lose your content through incompetence. They put your users/friends/correspondents/collaborators/whatever at risk with shit security and/or privacy practices. They go out of business without warning. If they’re in your revenue path, they will turn the screws as soon as you’re locked in and/or whenever they start to feel like they’re not making enough money. That’s what they do.

Michael Longsays:

I wrote a Medium article describing several of the reasons why I thought people shouldn’t use Flutter, one of Google’s cross-platform development tools.

And high on the list was the fact that Google rather notoriously runs hot and cold on projects. What’s up-and-coming one month can be flushed down the drain the next. Often with little to no warning.

As we see again here. Software, Servers. APIs, Hardware. Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t meet some internal threshold for success and boom. You’re outta here!

Brendan 'Skunkie' O'Dornigansays:

"you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

GOOGLE is just a legal fiction, a literal money-machine.

Projecting onto it ANY human characteristics is exactly like doing so on a brick.

Just think of all the data that GOOGLE has on your Internet activity: searches and EVERY site visited at the least, along with enough to uniquely identify your browser — and that’s WITHOUT allowing javascript, let alone using a Google OS or browser! You pirates know full well that Google has enough to literally get a search warrant to allow armed police to come into your physical premises and seize your computers, and with evidence of infringement on them, to handily convict you.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

"Just think of all the data that GOOGLE has on your Internet activity: searches and EVERY site visited at the least"

Bullshit. They have records of every search you performed on Google servers and every time you clicked through from Google’s servers, but they won’t have everything you did outside of them. Especially if you’re smart enough to be blocking their tracking cookies. There’s not a problem for Google to have logs of what you did while on their property.

"along with enough to uniquely identify your browser — and that’s WITHOUT allowing javascript, let alone using a Google OS or browser"

Congratulations on learning how web server logs and connection headers work, technology and data that existed well before Google did, and is stored on every site you visit.

Though, it funny how you’re specifically ranting about Google, while also admitting that this is not unique to Google. Almost as if you’re trying to deliberately mislead people as to the real information that stops Google from being a specific problem…

" You pirates "

But, of course, you only have positions that depend on lies. Accepting the truth of the situation makes you look as pathetic as you are.

" a search warrant to allow armed police to come into your physical premises and seize your computers"

With your level of overcompensation, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re confessing to something here.

cradesays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

wasn’t meant as one. I simply read your statement in quotes, and it sounded fundamentally incorrect and I tried to articulate why I felt that way in a way that wasn’t too long. Much of the "logging" you are talking about is info that people consider private and that many people haven’t consented to have logged, don’t know is being logged and don’t want logged and in my humble opinion it doesn’t matter all that much that you are "on google’s property". Notwithstanding any token non-agreements.

Certainly there are arguments as to why "it’s completely different" but I don’t personally really buy them

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

If you have a problem with the way Google operates, why are you using them to search for things like that rather than their more privacy-focussed competitors? Is it perhaps because they return better results as a result of their weighting on the results of the searches of other users?

cradesays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

I didn’t say it was but they log both things and more and keep them together. The browser info is part of the identifying info they use and associate with the search queries.

Then they use this to analyse your activities so they can target you with the most manipulative ads they can, use it for who know what other current projects, keep it in their back pocket for who knows what future project, potentially sell or accidentally lose to more nefarious parties. I don’t know everything google logs about people who visit their sites nor do I know everything they use that info for, but we know enough to know they log what you search for and use it for far more than harmless temporary iis logs used for troubleshooting app errors

anonymous-data-not-all-anonymous

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD

You seem to be conflating that actions of tracking cookies with HTTP header info and reaching some incorrect conclusions.

"I don’t know everything google logs "

I’d look into it if I were you because you seem to be making a number of faulty assumptions about what is collected, how it’s gathered and how it’s associated with search history.

Although, if it bothers you that much, why are you using them and not using a more anonymised competitor?

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD

"Then they use this to analyse your activities so they can target you with the most manipulative ads they can, use it for who know what other current projects, keep it in their back pocket for who knows what future project, potentially sell or accidentally lose to more nefarious parties."

You mean to say that if you go to someone else’s house and they don’t monitor that house you won’t have to put on a pair of pants or watch what you say and in which company you say it?

It frustrates me to no end that so very much of the online debate around privacy is centered around a bunch of nudists flailing their junk around and insisting people stop taking notice of that rather than actually dress themselves to fit their intended measure of exposure.

Here’s the comparisons, in real life; If you give some random restaurant your card number and your personal details then you’ll get faster and more expedient service and less hassle. You can also bet Vinnie the Knife running the protection racket for that street knows those same details. If dropping your card with the doorman is your standard M.O. then your shopping will be easier than otherwise. And your details known to everyone.
Hence why cash is still a preferred small-sales intermediate which allows you full anonymity.

Similarly if you walk into that restaurant and some creep takes an upskirt picture then that’s a violation of your privacy. If you walk in stark naked to begin with, you don’t have any expectation of that privacy to begin with.

Get a scriptblocker and anti-fingerprinting add-on. Set your browser to not save cookies between sessions. Put on some god damn pants. THEN start talking about the creep trying to sneak his camera down those pants because at that point your expected privacy is violated.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PE

The actual frustrating part is that he has so many options – use one of Google’s competitors, some of which have built their image specifically on not tracking you. Take basic precautions, and use Google competitors in other areas. Also go to the goddamn doctor if you think you have a tumour rather than taking some random web search at face value (which will tell you that you have a tumour no matter which symptom you put in) and use other methods to find whatever kinky shit you’re in to.

Like with the anti-section 230 arguments, all the complaints here are easily remedied with a choice to do something about it. But, some people would rather whine that Google are evil for doing what they do, instead of utilising the choice they have not to use Google.

cradesays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google"

I’m not anti google by any means, I use their competitors sometimes, and google often as well they are one of my favorite companies. It’s not like logging your data and not telling you what they do with it is some google specific thing.

Competition can’t deal with the issue because companies generally don’t have to disclose what they log about people or what they do with your data in any meaningful way so people can’t make decisions about who to use based on what is going to be collected about them and how it will be used.

I wear shorts under my skirt with a big middle finger printed on them; it’s not about me

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Goo

My point is that if you’re whining about Google’s business practices but are using them instead of, say, DuckDuckGo, you’re part of your own problem. Google won’t change if you still use them, and the complaints ring rather hollow when your complaints boil down to Google keeping logs about their own platform. Especially since one class of data you’re complaining about them collecting is something that every website collects. Your IP and browser identification is being collected right here.

"companies generally don’t have to disclose what they log about people or what they do with your data in any meaningful way"

They don’t have to, but some of Google’s competitors make it their main selling point that they do not do things in the way you object to.

"I wear shorts under my skirt with a big middle finger printed on them; it’s not about me"

That’s your fetish. Others choose to not wear the skirt or not go to the places where the cameras are installed.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

"Much of the "logging" you are talking about is info that people consider private"

I was talking about the logging of browser and IP information, which every site logs, and Google logging info about what you used their software to search for, which is a well known fundamental part of the way they design their search algorithm. None of which anyone choosing to use Google should have any logical problem with.

What the hell were you talking about?

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

"Much of the "logging" you are talking about is info that people consider private and that many people haven’t consented to have logged…"

So much to unpack here, crade. Briefly put, taking an upskirt picture is intrusion of expected privacy. Here’s the issue; the girl walked into your house stark naked. your normal security cameras now have her full frontal.

What is more reasonable? Demanding tech companies stop monitoring their house or putting on the equivalent of a pair of god damn pants?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

Bullshit. They have records of every search you performed on Google servers and every time you clicked through from Google’s servers, but they won’t have everything you did outside of them.

Everything? No. Much of it? Yes. They have your history on every site that uses Google Analytics, or that uses Google signin, or that embeds images or videos from Google properties, or that embeds Google searcyh, or that uses any number of "free" JavaScript and related assets provided from Google servers. And those are just the ones I know of off the top of my head.

YOU know about them too. You know very well that Google can see a huge amount of what people do that no sane person would characterize as being "on their property. Why are you trying to pretend?

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

Yes, they have knowledge of things you’ve allowed them to know through the allowance of tracking cookies and ads and JS and other things you’ve chosen not to block. These are trivial to remedy.

Google may be gathering more than people are comfortable with, but if those same people are using Chrome to search on Google while not enabling the built-in options to stop tracking, that’s on them.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: "you can't trust Google", PERIOD.

So, what you are saying is that you are too damn lazy to set your browser to clean out the cookie cache at shutdown and too ignorant to install a scriptblocker and fingerprint obfuscator?

Yeah, Baghdad Bob, if you run naked down the street with your personal information tattooed to your buttocks there will be people noting down that information! Who’da thunk it, eh?

"You pirates know full well that Google has enough to literally get a search warrant to allow armed police to come into your physical premises and seize your computers, and with evidence of infringement on them, to handily convict you."

Nope. I think we debunked those claims of yours when you first tried to run with them back on Torrentfreak, but here we go again; If that bad, bad copyright infringer sits himself right down and googles for the pirate bay then google will note that ip address x.x.x.x queried the pirate bay and the google server gave the person that url.

That’s where what google has access to, ends. Full stop. As far as "conviction" goes you are applying the logic here that a person googling for the "metamphetamine" wiki page could similarly "handily be convicted" for drug dealing.

"…and that’s WITHOUT allowing javascript, let alone using a Google OS or browser!"

The dangers of javascript is fairly well known. It’s a cross-functional platform which means javascript malware runs just as well on a Mac as it does on a PC and has a foot in through the AV security already. As per usual you don’t know what the actual fuck you’re talking about when it comes to tech. But that’s ok, we’re used to that.

As for the open source browser and OS being vehicles of track-and-trace callbacks to google. Honestly, just no. I’d be way more wary about windows 10 if that was the case, and even moreso about MacOS.

The common methods of establishing fundamental privacy and anonymity – whether you’re a pirate, an online drug dealer, or the normal average citizen disinclined to walking naked through the online environment – is fundamentally very simple; Set your browser to clean out all the caches at shutdown. Install decent scriptblock and anti-fingerprinting add-ons. Have a sensible AV suite installed. Use a VPN whenever you want your online habits not to be open to every onlooker.

That’s it.

Judging by the way you flipflop your Tor link to obtain new origin addresses all the damn time I’m guessing you’ve learned at least that much. Do remember to clean your browser history between every attempt as well unless you want all the tracking cookies to link that new login to your old one though.

If Google had a tenth of the pull you envision there is no way the RIAA and the MPAA wouldn’t be leaning on Google with ten thousand discovery motions. They don’t because even the inept copyright trolls brown-nosing for the copyright cult have a better grasp by far on what the internet is and how it works than you do.

Brendan 'Skunkie' O'Dornigansays:

The day is coming when GOOGLE routinely "shares" your data

… with the evil ??AAs. Your privacy will be just another source of revenue.

Yet you persist in ignoring the danger, think GOOGLE is your "friend", helping you to steal content.

By the way, since you made me the hated commentor ever here, I’ve been pointing out that and other reasonable positions in part so that you kids will automatically gainsay and then can’t ever take those positions because I’ll HOOT you mercilessly. — As usual, you kids don’t even grasp basics of the game, that’s why you’re LOSING on all fronts.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: The day is coming when GOOGLE routinely "shares" your data

"Yet you persist in ignoring the danger, think GOOGLE is your "friend", helping you to steal content."

Damn, blast from the past. Have you gotten stuck so far down your pipe dream you’ve started copypasting the long-debunked arguments you ran with 5 years ago?

1) You don’t befriend a library index.
2) Pirates simply adopt the same privacy habits I wish everyone online would – scrpitblock/fingerprinting prevention add-ons, and a VPN. Thus there is no danger.
3) Copying is not theft anymore than baking cookies at home would be "nicking oreos from wal-marts shelves".

"…since you made me the hated commentor ever here…"

No one can "make" you the most hated commenter. And frankly speaking, you’re not. You may be the most pathetic. You may be the saddest and most tragic case of runaway dunning-kruger ever, and you may be the personification of online Tourettes.

But we reserve "hate" for people who are knowingly malicious. Not the sad cases of deranged morons who obviously can’t help themselves and know no better.

That One Guysays:

And this is why Stadia was DOA...

Actions like this are part of what resulted in Stadia being DOA, because on top of a terrible business model and offerings Google also had to deal with their well earned reputation of simply dropping anything that wasn’t working out well, which in the case of Stadia had the potential of turning an already bad product into a downright horrible one, with people out potentially hundreds that they could have spent on other consoles and games.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: And this is why Stadia was DOA...

The problem was as much marketing and timing as it was business model. If this was marketed as an neat add-on to Chromecast, with the ability to carry over game purchases from other platforms it could have been a winner. But, they essentially marketed it as another console, with the requirement for a subscription and needing to rebuy games on top. That’s bad.

But, I think the real nail in the coffin is xCloud. Why would you buy into the above, when you can get access to hundreds of games via Game Pass and play on a device you already own (essentially free of charge if you’re already a subscriber, use and existing controller – and Apple are the ones blocking universal device support).

We will see if Game Pass / xCloud is truly the thing that will "win" the next gen for XBox, but there’ no doubt that few people will look at the options available and decide they really need to buy into Stadia instead of XBox. It’s a fairly niche market anyway at the moment, and putting extra barriers to entry in place is not a good strategy. I can see what they were attempting, but it’s too little too late.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why Stadia was DOA...

True, there is no practical reason why a streaming service should require specific hardware at all.

But even if Stadia was just another game store that worked on existing hardware, people would’ve been rightly wary of spending their money on it because of Google’s reputation for nuking products at will.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why Stadia was DOA...

"But even if Stadia was just another game store that worked on existing hardware, people would’ve been rightly wary of spending their money on it because of Google’s reputation for nuking products at will."

Most of what google does is the result of some "20% project". I think they still encourage their employees to run, on company time, a personal pet project and present updates to their line manager. Most of those projects scale horribly, don’t work too well, are supremely redundant…but there’s always that one in a hundred humdinger which turns out to be the next cash cow or market winner. So you should always expect that anything Google launches as open beta will be a trial version likely to get canned unless it turns out to be an instant winner.

Google will no doubt find use out of their development work around stadia…I recall an old heated debate I had with PaulIT about this to the conclusion that even if Google doesn’t run a game streaming service themselves, their expertise and the code they’ve built will be valuable enough.

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