Thursday, April 6, 2017

#Garadget, You Played Yourself

Ello ello, and welcome to BaicunnPress. I hope you're all having a fan-fucking-tastic day! Thank you for stopping by the site. Today, the Internet has gifted a very special thing; a good laugh and a whole new door to a possible vulnerability in IoT. It feels a bit dickish to laugh at watching an entrepreneur unravel over a couple days, but meh. In short, you're gonna love this shit.

A little background is needed to grasp the full majesty of the situation. Garadget is an IoT device that allows users to incorporate their garage door into their home automation, allowing remote open/ close operation and providing notifications. If it sounds lame, it's bc it kinda is, as it has no other real off the shelf application. However, Garadget was able to raise $63,059 on it's Indiegogo campaign in February of last year, and are currently selling for $99 on Amazon (with 71% favorable reviews as of writing this). 

On April 1st (yes... the April Fools Day), an Amazon user named R.Martin took to the product review page for Garadget to unleash his fury. R.Martin was incensed at the alleged instability of the companion iOS app, and decided that shenanigans would stop with him by posting the following review:

Martin also took to the Indiegogo Community Board to start the following thread about the product and iOS app:

It's not clear which came first, but hilarity ensues with Garadget's following responses:

When confronted by another thread user about effectively bricking Martin's device Garadget responded with this nugget of purely juvenile genius:

Technically, Garadget is being a bit of a dick, but more surprisingly civil chatter happens before Garadget, in an apparent attempt to apologize?... let slip the cherry on the cake:

OK, calm down everybody, Garadget is being dramatic. Save your pitchforks and torches for your elected representatives. Please, no death threats. And in case you're curious about the link to the quote, it's actually the following tweet by Ellon Musk:

Can we get a golf clap for the brilliant mind behind the creation and slow death spiral behind this startup. It takes a pretty big set of brass balls, and a pretty hefty background in rocket surgery to play your brand so boldly. But c'mon man, this is the internet, and it's gonna shut that shit down.  

As far as the possible new IoT threat... Think about what could happen if a device manufacturer in the future weasels an anti negative review clause into their terms or service. With the lack of consumer protections in regards to technology in the US, there's a lot of people that might get locked out of their homes. It's an unlikely threat given the potential for blow back, but a potential threat it still is.

The Indiegogo Community thread has been taken down, but down below you can find the link to the Google cached page, the Amazon review thread, and the Indiegogo campaign page :

Amazon Review

Cached Indiegogo Community Thread

Indiegogo Campaign Page

Thanks for stopping by. As always I appreciate your support. Keep an eye out for new content, and follow @BaicunnPress on Twitter for new content alerts. I'll see you wonderful people tomorrow.

-Chali Baicunn