from the in-the-dog-house dept.
Humans have been forced to temporarily interact with their dogs or cats -- perhaps both -- after PetNet's internet-controlled smart feeder system suffered a blackout.
For $149, the company provides a web-enabled dog/cat feeder that is pre-programmed to dispense food stuffs at certain time and portion sizes.
But PetNet warned customers [...] that all was not well in its virtual animal kingdom as it was "experiencing some minor difficulties with a third party server. This is being investigated."
[...] "You may experience a loss of scheduled feeds and failed remote feedings. Please ensure that your pets have been fed manually until we have resolved this issue."
Source: The Register .
-- submitted from IRC
Cloud-connected, "smart" automated pet-feeder system Petnet has had a rough spring. The service not only went offline in February, but all its customer service vanished, too, leaving users in the dark until the company apologized and pushed a patch more than a week later. The service briefly returned for some users but fell off again in March. Now, after weeks of silence, the company is blaming COVID-19 for driving it offline for good—even though its problems started weeks or months before the novel coronavirus became a significant concern.
[...] "Last week on April 14, 2020, we briefed all of our customers regarding one of our third-party connected vendor's inability to fully resource their company and stay functionally online," the message reads. "As of this writing, this situation remains unresolved but we are confident it will be overcome soon."
But due to the exceptional circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic has created, Petnet went on, many of its vendors—largely startups like itself—were "severely and negatively affected in their day to day operations." In short: the funding dried up. Due to a lack of funds, Petnet said, it "re-prioritized and reorganized [its] resources," including:
- We have furloughed 100% of our remaining staff
- We have ceased all future product development, including bug fixes
- We have turned off all non-infrastructure related expenses
- We have terminated our office lease and are working remotely
- We have applied for all available CARES stimulus funding
(2020-02-28) Petnet's Smart Pet Feeder System Back after Week-Long Outage
(2016-07-30) Cats, Dogs Go Hungry as Internet-Connected PetNet Plays Dead