from the internet-of-things-that-shouldn't-need-internet dept.
Peloton Outage Prevents Customers From Using $2,500 Exercise Bikes:
Peloton hasn't been having a great run lately. While business boomed during the pandemic, things have taken a sour turn of late on a bizarre host of fronts.
[...] adding insult to injury, connectivity issues this week prevented Peloton bike and treadmill owners from being able to use their $2000-$5000 luxury exercise equipment for several hours Tuesday morning. The official Peloton Twitter account tried to downplay the scope of the issues:
We are currently investigating an issue with Peloton services. This may impact your ability to take classes or access pages on the web.
We apologize for any impact this may have on your workout and appreciate your patience. Please check https://t.co/Dxcht2tQB0 for updates.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) February 22, 2022
[...] For much of Tuesday morning the pricey equipment simply wouldn't work. While the company's app still worked (For some people), Bike, Bike+, and Peloton Tread owners not only couldn't ride in live classes, they couldn't participate in recorded classes because there's no way to download a class to local storage (despite the devices being glorified Android tablets). The outage (which occurred at the same time as a major Slack outage) was ultimately resolved after several hours, but not before owners got another notable reminder that dumb tech can often be the smarter option.
Perhaps one day in the future, scientists will invent a way to make exercise machines that do not require internet access. Such a fantastic invention would be locked up behind patents.
Peloton Admits It's in Hot Water With DOJ, DHS, and SEC Over Its Treadmill Mess
Peloton treadmill owners will be able to run again without a subscription
Peloton disabled a free running feature on its treadmills, forcing owners to pay up
Peloton disabled a free feature on its $4,000 Tread+, forcing owners to pay a $39 monthly fee to use the machine
Peloton faces backlash after disabling free running feature on its $4,000 treadmills
Music Publishers Say Peloton Stole Even More Music, Ask for $300 Million
Peloton's Countersuit Against Music Publishers Over Song Copyrights Just Got Thrown Out
The National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) has asked the courts to allow it to double its claims against exercise bike and treadmill startup Peloton, after discovering more unlicensed music — including songs by Taylor Swift and Kesha — being used in workout videos that play on the bikes' built-in screens. It's now seeking $300 million in damages, as reported by Forbes.
The original complaint, filed in March, accused Peloton of using over 1,000 songs without getting the proper license. At the time, NMPA requested $150 million in damages. After the lawsuit was filed, the offending songs conveniently disappeared, upsetting connected exercise equipment owners who'd gotten used to their beloved playlists.
But not all the songs disappeared, as reported by The Verge. Here's what the NMPA now has to say about that:
Indeed, it is only as a result of initial discovery in this lawsuit that the full scope and extent of Peloton's unlawful infringement has started to come into focus, revealing more than 1,000 additional musical works [...] those newly discovered works include some of the most famous and popular songs ever recorded, such as "Georgia On My Mind," "I Can See For Miles" and "I Saw Her Standing There."
Peloton's countersuit against music publishers over song copyrights just got thrown out:
A US district judge has squashed Peloton's counter lawsuit today, against music publishers who claimed the fitness company violated rights to use select artists' music in its workout videos. Peloton hosts live cycling and running classes that are performed to a curated playlist, but the National Music Publishers' Association claimed that because Peloton classes can be streamed on bikes, treadmills, or mobile apps, it did not have sufficient licensing to broadcast the music over the air.
In a lawsuit filed last March, the NMPA's complaint alleged Peloton needed the more expansive (and expensive) "sync license," which allows music to be played to match its visual media output. Peloton classes are often conducted to the progression of each songs, such as standing up off the bike during the chorus, slowing down during an instrumental break, or turning up a treadmill speed each time a word is mentioned in the song lyrics, so songs can't simply be replaced by other music playlists when streamed on-demand. The lawsuit originally sought damage charges of $150 million, but doubled to $300 million in September after the NMPA discovered more improperly licensed music.
As a result, Peloton customers have seen many classes removed from their library, and claim that the quality of music has deteriorated since the lawsuit.
[...] In a countersuit, Peloton argued the NMPA's lawsuit was itself violating federal antitrust laws by conspiring to "fix prices and to engage in a concerted refusal to deal with Peloton." But while Peloton laid out the case at length, the company wasn't able to convince US district judge Denise Cote, who dismissed the case yesterday.
You can read the full opinion here on Scribd.
Peloton treadmill owners will be able to run again without a subscription:
After a spate of accidents on its Tread+ treadmill, Peloton temporarily moved the basic running mode of Tread+ behind a paywall so non-authorized users couldn't gain access. Now, all users will be able to use the "Just Run" feature without a subscription [...]
[...] after several reports of injuries and one death. The company subsequently released a software update that required a passcode to use the basic running mode, but the feature was only available to subscribers.
[...] The Tread Lock feature locks the device if you haven't used the treadmill in 45 seconds and aren't in a class. You then need to input a four-digit code before it can be used again.
[...] While the update was inconvenient for non-subscribers who purchased the $4,000+ devices, Peloton did make it possible to do basic running without paying.
Putting the primary function of an expensive product behind a paywall is a way to prevent accidents.
TechDirt: Not Even Your 'Smart' Jacuzzi Is Safe From The Internet Of Broken Things
The Internet of things — aka the tendency to bring Internet connectivity to devices whether they need them or not — has provided no shortage of both tragedy and comedy. "Smart" locks that are easy to bypass, "smart" fridges that leak your email credentials, or even "smart" barbies that spy on toddlers are all pretty much par for the course in an industry with lax privacy and security standards.
Even your traditional hot tub isn't immune from the stupidity. Hot tub vendor SmartTub thought it might be nice to control your hot tub from your phone (because walking to the tub and quickly turning a dial is clearly too much to ask).
But like so many IOT vendors more interested in the marketing potential than the reality, they allegedly implemented it without including basic levels of security standards for their website administration panel, allowing hackers to access and control hot tubs, all over the planet. And not just SmartTub brands, but numerous brands from numerous manufacturers, everywhere [. . . .]
For those who need reminders, let us not forget prior SN (horror) stories:
- IoT Pet feeders that stop feeding pets
- Peloton treadmills
- Insteon smart home lighting and other controls
- Smart male chastity devices that won't unlock, need metal grinder to remove
(Score: 5, Interesting) by bradley13 on Friday February 25 2022, @09:19AM (8 children)
Does this imply that you cannot use the bike in any sort of "local" mode? You have no interface but a web interface?
I mean, I understand if you want to participate in a class riding some virtual trail, that's a nice option. But you would expect some local control "set resistance to 3"? No?
Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @01:27PM (4 children)
Pretty sure that for the lowest tier of service contract the answer to:
"set resistance to 3"
"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that"
Separate comment--my guess is that many Peloton owners live in high-rise apartment buildings, which have stairs. Running up stairs is a great workout...
(Score: 5, Funny) by DannyB on Friday February 25 2022, @03:18PM (3 children)
Why would someone exercise by running up the stairs when they could buy a $2500 machine that requires internet access?
Roll models predict friction of different each type of bareing.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26 2022, @12:32AM
Bravo! You win the internet tonight.
(Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Saturday February 26 2022, @03:11AM
I'll go that one better. Why all this exercise for the sake of exercise? Think of all the dung you could shovel out of a stable, instead of just spinning your wheels.
The exercise bike is the ultimate degradation, somehow turning "spinning your wheels" and going nowhere into a virtuous activity. We're so doomed.
(Score: 2) by krishnoid on Sunday February 27 2022, @10:00PM
Why not both [youtu.be]?
(Score: 2) by drussell on Friday February 25 2022, @02:59PM (1 child)
Otherwise people might actually try to use their equipment (gasp) without paying a monthly subscription fee!!!
(The saga of silliness continues in the next story, label printer requires DRM-enabled labels provided only by the manufacturer.)
I realize we're typically a little more technically astute around here, but how do "normal consumers" not find all this absolutely absurd?!
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @03:09PM
they're probably really fit but not so smart? i can see them being sad trying to exercise whilst educating themselfs by watching videos on how-to setup wifi access points that require internet connection to do so, or for that matter install the "peleton-os: monthy kb brain teasers for your entertainment" that works-out similar...
(Score: 3, Informative) by rigrig on Friday February 25 2022, @03:21PM
Don't be silly, that would mean people could use Peloton's equipment without paying the monthly fee.
No one remembers the singer.
(Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @09:30AM (5 children)
The degenerative case of capitalism is feudalism, and we have arrived at that spot. This is just another data point in evidence thereof.
Bow to your feudal lords, so that you may be able to use your trinkets, lest they take them away from you... be they peloton bikes, phones, cars, tractors, seeds, or really anything else.
Really, these rent-seeking fuckers and their mentality needs to be stopped.
(Score: 2) by crafoo on Friday February 25 2022, @12:57PM
Their product was obvious trash. They are doing a fine service, parting stupid people from their money. No one forced you to buy their trash. Honestly, your screed read like something found on an mental hospital's wall.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @04:01PM
The degenerative case of every socioeconomic system is feudalism, and the mechanism is always the same: corruption in the halls of power. Product tying like this and in the printer thread is already illegal, but the courts won't enforce the law.
(Score: 1) by anubi on Saturday February 26 2022, @12:01PM (1 child)
How can the courts stop this?
The problem is US!
We buy the crap! We agree to their terms.
Not enough of us have been had yet, and are still quite naive and gullible to those pulling fast ones on us.
Eventually, we wise up and refuse to pull grandpa's finger anymore.
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
(Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday February 26 2022, @02:46PM
The problem with that is as time goes on, products that are NOT like this disappear. It starts when other brands flip the evil bit without notice.
Consider the Toyota keyfob. They even set it up with a few years for free so nobody would notice until they had already sold a metric assload of cars.
It's hard to buy an inkjet style printer that doesn't have obnoxious DRM on the ink cart.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26 2022, @02:41PM
Some people are born as natural slaves. To them Life is the mere act of breathing and digestion. Others are not born as slaves and Life is meaningless if it is not rich, expressive, and growing. You can blame the feudal lord's, but they are simply exploiting the 'great mass' as they always have. Failure to acknowledge this segment of humanity, this 'great mass', leaves you doomed to not rise above them.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @09:45AM (6 children)
Obsessed, you are.
(Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @09:51AM
This is where having a few aristarchus subs around would be handy.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @12:58PM (1 child)
There has been a lot of Peloton bashing lately. I wonder is this them effing up a lot, or are these stories being planted by competitors?
(Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @01:31PM
Their competitors (I believe) mostly market to the hard core cyclist market where there are regular trainers that can include internet-served entertainment (and some interactive control--pedaling load increases on up-hills).
Peloton aimed at the trendy gym members and won big when gyms were closed for covid.
Not a chance that business model was sustainable once the gyms re-opened.
(Score: 2) by esperto123 on Friday February 25 2022, @01:01PM
more likely someone has a very big short position and is feeding news stories to outlets as a smear campain, feels very much alike the VW scandal.
Don't get me wrong, pelotons is not inocent and I would never buy their product, but the news for quite a long time seem to have be directed
(Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 25 2022, @03:20PM (1 child)
The Russians paided me to submit another story about Peloton. Seems like SN hasn't had enough of them already. (See the See Also links in TFA)
Roll models predict friction of different each type of bareing.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @03:28PM
I'm not russian to judge your motives.
(Score: 5, Interesting) by Ingar on Friday February 25 2022, @10:51AM (11 children)
If Service Is Down, There Is No Stuff. Think of it as a taste of the coming era of network-connected electric cars.
Drove my bike to work this morning as usual. There was a decent headwind, got quite the workout.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @11:26AM (7 children)
Ah... but you did not get to partake in the "experience" of being yelled at about how good you are doing by your personal trainer that doesn't know who you are and is just yelling platitudes into a screen in front of them to keep you entertained and 'motivated' to stay on your bike that goes no-where.
I mean, did you even contemplate missing out on this unique experience? I bet you didn't and you should feel worse for that...
(Score: 5, Touché) by Ingar on Friday February 25 2022, @11:37AM (5 children)
No need for a personal trainer, traffic keeps you on your toes.
One mistake and you're dead. Keeps the adrenaline going.
(Score: 4, Informative) by Thexalon on Friday February 25 2022, @02:20PM (4 children)
The big danger for people on bicycles isn't making a mistake on the bike, it's somebody surrounded by a couple of tons of metal making a mistake, or being intentionally dangerous.
For example, one of the most common sources of bicycle injuries is somebody who is parked opening the door without looking and hitting the bike or the biker. Now, I've made that kind of mistake and hit a car, and that cost me some dents or a mirror, but if you do that to a bike you've probably just sent your victim into traffic or onto the ground, and quite possibly to the hospital.
In another incident, one of my sisters got rammed by a driver while riding to work, very intentionally. She managed to note the license plate number, the cops arrived and immediately concluded that no crime had taken place.
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
(Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @08:40PM (1 child)
Another big danger is hitting pedestrians on sidewalks and especially hiking trails. Apparently yelling "ON YOUR LEFT" three seconds before impact is sufficient to indemnify them from blame. Bonus points if they curse at you as they ride away for making them break their momentum.
(Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26 2022, @12:46AM
After ~40 years as an adult cyclist, I've concluded that "On your left" is confusing to pedestrians and other cyclists being passed. First you have to remember which side is *left*, then move to the *right*. Many times the walkers in front of me have moved left after hearing my request. Or, they turn around to see which side I'm on, while still blocking the bike path.
Instead, I just say "Passing" in a raised, singsong and (hopefully) friendly, voice. Everyone here seems to recognize that you pass on the left, so they move right instinctively.
Bonus, "Passing" should work in any country...in the countries where they drive on the other side, it's also common to pass on the other side (for both cars and bicycles).
(Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26 2022, @01:06PM (1 child)
Actually, it is very easy to prevent that kind of an accident if you are riding a bicycle. Just don't ride in the door zone. It is actually quite easy to learn the typical mistakes car drivers make and ride a bicycle safely, I've been doing it for 15 years. Going to work back and forth daily. The real danger is now all the new bicycle segregation, where they make special bike lanes which of course contradict all the simple road rules. Now we need to also learn about the design mistakes to avoid them.
(Score: 2) by Thexalon on Saturday February 26 2022, @07:56PM
Yeah, that sounds great in theory, except for one major problem: The "door zone" you describe is precisely where both traffic laws and many specialized bike lanes require that bikes spend their time (all too often, between traffic and parked cars).
The way to make biking a lot safer would involve not only dedicated lanes, but dedicated lanes well-separated from cars, with their own traffic signals so they don't get taken out by somebody turning right on a green light. And it's not like we'd have to invent all the techniques from scratch, since the Netherlands has been doing this for decades. But it's a lot easier to just paint down "bike lane" on the street than it is to either enforce that lane actually be dedicated to bikes instead of parked delivery trucks, or build something that would be actually safe.
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @03:30PM
Have you tried Rent-A-DI (tm) maggot?
(Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday February 25 2022, @03:41PM (2 children)
I have a couple of business model ideas that could be patented. (Now that business methods can be patented.)
1. An internet connected pet feeder. You control the settings via an app on your phone. The cloud contacts the pet feeder with a message to dispense a certain amount of food. What could possibly go wrong? [soylentnews.org]
2. An internet connected electric blanket. You control the settings via an app on your phone. You set a dial from 1 to 10 that will affect the duty cycle of the electric blanket. The cloud sends a message to the blanket to turn on or off the heating element. An important modification, worthy of its own separate patent, is to have a dual control blanket so that two people on opposite sides of the bed can have their own setting for how much heat they want. The person in the middle of the bed has no control. The best thing is that you can control your blanket from the living room without having to actually make the long walk to the bedroom to turn it on an hour before bedtime. Another patent could be for a feature to enable setting a schedule in the cloud that knows when each of the three people's bedtime is.
Roll models predict friction of different each type of bareing.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @03:57PM (1 child)
Three people in one bed? What kind of weirdo are you? :-))
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26 2022, @09:38AM
Snow? Thus the need for electric blankets. Canada can be cold, recently.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25 2022, @02:14PM
Was it Rust related?
(Score: 3, Funny) by drussell on Friday February 25 2022, @02:49PM (2 children)
Peloton is the Juicero of exercise equipment.
(Juicero was a short-lived, extremely expensive, internet-connected, DRM-enabled "juicer" for rich weirdos.)
Yet another absurd farce!
Perhaps this is "end-stage" capitalism run amok, or is it just silly, gullible, ignorant people with far too much money?
(Score: 5, Interesting) by FatPhil on Friday February 25 2022, @03:41PM (1 child)
I just wish I had some london bridges to sell...
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
(Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Friday February 25 2022, @07:19PM
"Snake oil" dates back to early C20th...
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26 2022, @01:41PM (1 child)
Reverse engineer and publish schematics, s/w architecture and programming manual.
Make a replacement set of s/w for the propprietary parts on top of Android.
If the restrictive parts of the ULA draw their legal support from the s/w copyright, then they should end there.
If they draw from a patent, did you buy the right to practice that art when you bought the bike in the first place?
No doubt, this plan would feed may lawyers, but it might make a better world if others took note and became more reasonable.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 26 2022, @06:26PM
The problem with this sort of plan is it almost entirely depends on suitably motivated hobbyists.
And there is probably approximately zero overlap between the sort of people who spend $2500 on an internet-connected exercise bike and the sort of people who would be interested in reverse engineering it.
The reason is that it is probably cheaper, easier and much more rewarding to just pick up a cheap bike from a thrift store and modify it.