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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday December 25 2014, @06:20PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Home-of-the-Future dept.

Jorge Lopez writes that as a cat lover he's always wanted an automatic cat litter box and finally found one called the CatGenie, a fully automated self-washing litter box connected to water, electricity and the sewer that cleans itself with water and soap. "It’s the Rolls Royce of cat litter boxes, a hefty device that scoops, cleans, and disposes of the waste all on it’s own. It’s completely automated, even senses when a cat poops and cleans up afterwards." But there's trouble in paradise. "Life with the CatGenie was great, but not quite perfect," writes Lopez after discovering that CatGenie uses a smart cartridge that is only available from the manufacturer. "I found that the “Smart” in SmartCartridge is that it has an RFID chip inside of it to keep track of how much solution it has, and once it runs out, well, you can't refill. I honestly did not believe this and tore one of the cartridges apart, and there it was, looking back at me, a tiny chip holding up it’s little metal finger." Fortunately there are some amazing people helping the CatGenie community who have released products like the custom firmware CatGenious and CartridgeGenius which allows you to use whatever solution you want. "The cost savings is great, but isn't the biggest driver for me, it’s mainly the principle that I don't own the device I paid for, and I'm really tired of having cat litter everything in my home."

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @06:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @06:37PM (#129127)

    cradling a cat while standing on the podium lecturing about the free software

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Thursday December 25 2014, @08:29PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Thursday December 25 2014, @08:29PM (#129149) Journal

      I started to read this story, just as I was biting into my 3rd piece of Christmas Almond Roca... Thanks for the image, SoylentNews!

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @10:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @10:19PM (#129167)

      It is widely known that Stallman eats cats.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by zocalo on Thursday December 25 2014, @10:32PM

      by zocalo (302) on Thursday December 25 2014, @10:32PM (#129168)
      Yes, a fluffy white cat, and saying something like "No, Mr. Closed Source, I expect you to die!
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:07PM (#129131)

    Cat people are used to abusive relationships. This product is a good fit.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Covalent on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:16PM

    by Covalent (43) on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:16PM (#129132) Journal

    As usual, a company tries to lock you in to a proprietary mess, and the nerd community comes to the rescue with a work around.

    Will they never learn?

    --
    You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:23PM (#129136)

      That works great until the lawsuits start.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @11:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @11:36PM (#129180)

        ...as the recent developments with The Pirate Bay demonstrate.

        The future is distributed. Embrace that meme.
        Those trying to fight it will look foolish and be forever branded as such.

        -- gewg_

  • (Score: -1) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:20PM (#129135)

    Everywhere

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @07:26PM (#129137)

      The true laziness is accepting the DRM, and not doing a damned thing about it.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Snotnose on Friday December 26 2014, @03:13AM

        by Snotnose (1623) on Friday December 26 2014, @03:13AM (#129220)

        How many people realize the DRM is there before the warranty exipires? Which lasts longer, the warranty or the DRM'd component?

        --
        Why can't I age like a fine wine, instead of last week's milk?
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by tibman on Thursday December 25 2014, @09:08PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 25 2014, @09:08PM (#129153)

      Just remember that thought the next time you reach for the tv remote : )

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by danomac on Friday December 26 2014, @05:03PM

        by danomac (979) on Friday December 26 2014, @05:03PM (#129295)
        This is assuming you can actually control the device manually without a remote. Many devices have gone to a simple design with a single power button on the box itself, so if you lose the remote you are screwed...
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by zocalo on Thursday December 25 2014, @10:41PM

    by zocalo (302) on Thursday December 25 2014, @10:41PM (#129171)
    Maybe something like the Keurig coffeemaker hack would work here too. Removing a RFID from a genuine cartridge, then taping it to a fake cartridge or the device itself? If it's tracking the usage of each cartridge by its tag rather than just using them to ID genuine cartridges then you might need to cycle through a few tags before it forgets the oldest one though, although I doubt it would need too many before you could start reusing them.
    --
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @11:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 25 2014, @11:49PM (#129185)

      Chipped printer ink cartridges might be a better analogy.
      The things would record (poorly) what flowed out.
      One trick, apparently, was to continually swap out partially-used cartridges.
      Perhaps someone will discover a similar "hack" for the DRM'd litter box.
      (I never bought into the inkjet scam, so any insight I have there is second-hand.)

      -- gewg_

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by novak on Friday December 26 2014, @01:28AM

    by novak (4683) on Friday December 26 2014, @01:28AM (#129200) Homepage

    I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Douglas Adams, STOP WRITING THE NEWS! It's like everything that happens in technology could be considered a bad joke if said in the right tone of voice.

    --
    novak
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Friday December 26 2014, @01:50AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday December 26 2014, @01:50AM (#129205) Journal

    Anyone has a description of how the CatGenie works internally?

    Regarding to workaround the inkjet-alike scam. Why not simple replace the firmware? then it won't check for any RFID junk.

    Btw, cat-b - The Cathedral and the Bazaar [wikipedia.org] ;-)

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26 2014, @01:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26 2014, @01:24PM (#129272)

    Problem solved.