Fury Friday: Media center extenders that can't 'phone home'

Summary:Fury Friday: I'll be jumping on the soapbox each Friday and letting rip into the things of the week that have annoyed the living daylights out of me. This week: Media center extenders

Every Friday, I'll be jumping on the soapbox and letting rip into the things of the week that have annoyed the living daylights out of me. Think of a dumbed down version of Peter Griffin’s 'Grind my Gears'.

I for one am a big fan of media center extenders. Don't get me wrong; I don't collect them like some nutter who shouts at pigeons as they fly past my bedroom window. I own just the one. Above all else they make perfect sense for student consumer.

You go ahead and (probably illegally, I know what you're like) download all of your television series' for the week into a shared drive, pop the kettle on and sit in front of the telly in the front room of your student house.

Wrong. For two parts, in that many of those who bought the seemingly 'bog standard' Linksys DMA2100 media extender is now dead because of a phone-home situation gone horribly wrong, and secondly because now there aren't any decent extenders on the market for less than $200.

Nice going there, technology industry. You've really screwed us over this time.

Now students who have extenders are either stuck without one, with what is now an expensive paperweight, or facing the Amazon electronics section with a heavy heart and a depressed credit card. Yes, plastic has feelings, at very least during times of crisis.

I know, for some people 'the DNS trick' worked and they can carry onas if nothing but a mild inconvenience occurred. For me however, seemingly the only man on the planet this didn't work for, is stressed out of his face because now he's chained to his desk in a chair with lumbar support but with cold feet. My fireplace is in the living room where it should be.

So this is a plea to the people at Linksys, and a reminded to all the other idiots out there thinking of screwing over consumers in this way. Either sort out the problem with your phone-home hardware, or how about this - don't do it in the first place? Kill switches in a theory to the right minded individual may be a great idea, but when it happens to you, it gets really bloody annoying.

Mega rawwrrwrr.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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