Internet-Connected Pet Feeder Goes Offline, Pets Probably Very Hungry

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Here lies Sir Meows-A-Lot, beloved pet of Sally, Ted, Nancy, and Job. He was a good cat who was stolen from us too early. Maybe if we hadn’t bought an internet connected pet feeder before our vacation to the Bahamas, Sir Meows-A-Lot would still be here today. But we did, and then a network outage cut off his food supply. Rest in peace, buddy.

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Sir Meows-A-Lot is a fictional cat I made up in order to write this blog, but if recent events are any indication, he could be coming soon to a pet cemetery near you. The Telegraph reports that Petnet—makers of a $150 smartphone-connected pet food dispenser—suffered a service outage yesterday that reportedly left some pets without food for 10 hours.

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Petnet CEO Carlos Herrera told the Guardian that the problem stemmed from the company’s third-party server service—apparently rented from Google—which went down.

Per the Guardian:

Herrera claimed that about 10% of PetNet users were affected, and that the feeders can operate on previously set schedules without this particular third-party service, though users lose the ability to feed remotely or change the feeding schedule.

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The automated feeder is connected to an app, which lets users control portion sizes and meal times, among other things. The company apparently advised customers to feed their pets themselves during the outage, which, you know, sort of defeats the point of having an app-connected pet dispenser.

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According to Petnet, the servers eventually went back online:

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Ten hours, of course, isn’t a horrifically long time to go without food, but it doesn’t bode particularly well for pets and the Internet of Things. What’s next, babies? Oh.

[The Telegraph]

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Sophie is a former news editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

bkilburn
ArtistAtLarge

Cloud. Derp derp.

Cloud is one of the worst ideas to come back to computing. I say back, because it’s nothing more than the old mainframe/dumb terminal model all over again.

Now we want to put it in charge of critical processes AND hacking is worse than ever in the history of computing?

This will not end well. Because it’s the kind of stupid that can’t be fixed.