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Razer Synapse 2.0 Used For Always-On Data Mining

SWAT_Glock

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Source: By channelx99 at overclock.net
(http://www.overclock.net/t/1323093/razer-razer-synapse-2-0-used-for-always-on-data-mining)


Thought this should be brought to the attention of a broader audience. What theyre doing is revolting.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1319323/...internet-connection-or-their-servers-are-down

This really took me by surprise. Just bought a new Naga 2012 mouse, installed the software and get greeted by a login screen right after. No option to bypass it to use the software to configure the mouse, set the options, sensitivity, shortcuts, macros etc.

So I go ahead and create an account and try to log in. Nothing. Try several more times, and still nothing. Try to make new accounts with different email addresses and it still wont work.

Finally call Razer who tells me the activation server is down, and I wont be able to use the mouse until it goes back up and will only be able to use it as a standard plug and play mouse til then. I ask about a workaround to use the mouse offline and they say there is none. Supposedly once the mouse is activated on the computer offline mode will work, but it needs to upload my profile and activate my account first and since their server is down its not going to happen. I ask for a supervisor to confirm this is the case and ask again for a workaround to use it offline. He said sorry theres nothing they can do, tells me the call center is closing and hangs up on me.

Im pretty shocked Razer thought it was a good idea to do this to customers. Nowhere on the box does it say anything about needing an internet connection to "activate" a mouse. If the servers go down in the future, anyone who buys this mouse is out of luck.

Honestly the last time I buy a Razer product. Absolutely ridiculous.


**Update**

Thought I would clarify a few things since Ive been asked about this a lot.

Razer forces you to create an account with them before you can use the software with the mouse. You cant configure the mouse in any way until you make an account with them and activate your computer and account through their server. If they decide to take down their activation server for any reason, you will never be able to use the software. If you live somewhere without access to internet, you will not be able to activate and use the software. If you work somewhere that has a network behind firewalls, chances are even though you can download the Synapse software, the firewall may also block you from activating and using the software as well.

If your connection drops out for any reason, the Synapse software will make a habbit of locking up on you while it transitions to offline mode. During that time your settings may revert or possibly not be saved.

Yes, you can use the mouse as plug and play with basic functionality if you choose not to make an account and activate your computer, but who pays $80 for a basic plug and play mouse? The reason people buy the Naga 2012 is the configurable buttons and to change the DPI, polling rate, set up macros and profiles along with everything else. Razer has no right to lock this away from customers who paid for these features. For the Naga 2012 mouse, there is no other offline drivers to revert to. Synapse 2.0 is your only option.

Razers Synapse 2.0 software is always online. If you have an internet connection active, Razer will be constantly using it constantly downloading updates and interrupting your full screen applications. Not only that, as I suspected, the Synapse 2.0 software is spying on you

From the Razer Synapse TOS agreement:

“User Generated Information” means any information made available to Razer through your use of the Software. Subject to the Privacy Policy mentioned above, you expressly grant Razer the complete and irrevocable right to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, distribute, transmit, broadcast, and otherwise communicate, and publicly display and perform the User Generated Information and derivative works thereof in any form, anywhere, with or without attribution to you, and without any notice or compensation to you of any kind.

By using Razer Synapse 2.0 (“Synapse”), the Subscriber agrees that Razer may collect aggregate information, individual information, and personally identifiable information. Razer may share aggregate information and individual information with other parties. Razer shall not share personally identifiable information with other parties, except as described in the policy below.

http://www.razerzone.com/synapse2/subscriber-agreement
http://www.razerzone.com/synapse2/privacy-policy

The Synapse 2.0 software was not created to benefit customers in any way. It was a ploy to get into your computer and watch what you do and profit off this info.
 

VagrantXeth

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Mar 4, 2012
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Wow, that is good to know. I will never buy another razr product again. It is sad that they would resort to tactics like this to spy on their customers. They should be ashamed of themselves!
 

MattyB

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That's crazy! The amazing thing is that a bunch of people all got in a room together and thought it was a good idea!

I'll stick with my R.A.T's I think........until they decide to do it......
 
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Just read this on AWA posted by one of the aforementioned source's friend. As a long time Razer fan this is very disappointing and probably the last time I'm getting any of their such stuff :/ DRM on games is worse enough followed by music, movies and now this? on mice? hardware? >_<

edit:

Razer's response to the whole situation

We invented onboard memory for gaming mice many years ago and called it Synapse to allow gamers to bring their profiles with them on the go. However, we realized that we ran into another issue where we had to keep increasing the amount of memory onboard to provide for more storage and this resulted in higher and higher prices for gamers.

We then invented Synapse 2.0 where we could provide almost limitless amount of storage for profiles, macros, etc in the cloud as opposed to being limited by physical memory.

We wanted to avoid raising prices to gamers for higher memory space onboard (think about it like having to buy bigger and bigger hard drives as opposed to having all your storage on the cloud) and provide a much better service for our users.

Synapse 2.0 is NOT DRM. Our products work perfectly well out of the box without Synapse 2.0. Synapse 2.0 provides ADDITIONAL functionality of almost limitless memory in the cloud as opposed to taking away functionality (which is what DRM is).

We recognize that gamers will want to be able to use their gear without an online connection, and that's why Synapse 2.0 has an OFFLINE mode. Basically you have to register, create an account, save your initial settings and if you so prefer, you can stay in offline mode all the time without going online.

I realize that we have had issues with the activation server, and we're making sure we get that sorted out.
 

MattyB

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Mar 19, 2012
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Coming from the worlds biggest Razer man, that's a big call!

I'm sure if they get enough backlash, they will do a 180 on it quickly.
 

AeonSoul

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Feb 21, 2012
Messages
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Well let me just call bullshit on that.
What if I don't have an internet connection or a firewalled one? (It's an extreme I know, but still it might happen) It's the same deal of Diablo III, you get an expensive piece of hardware that works as a paperweight.
I demand sovereign on what I buy with my money, I do not want to deal with online registration and stuff like that.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
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Yes, if they don't "fix" it (as they put it) they are going to receive a lot of hate now, which is quite justified. Everyone doesn't have good internet and in some cases don't.
 

VagrantXeth

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Mar 4, 2012
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I call BS on the storage issue. Profiles for your peripherals are not going to be large enough to put your hard drive space in jeapordy. Hell, even most save game files do not take up that much space. I am not buying that response, sounds more like a defensive stance for shady practices.
 
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The CEO posted this on his facebook page for more clarification

I wanted to provide some further clarification on Synapse 2.0:
SYNAPSE 1.0 vs SYNAPSE 2.0

Razer was the first to recognize the need for gamers to save their mouse configurations and settings onboard their peripherals. To that end, we created Synapse 1.0, which utilized onboard memory to store settings inside Razer products. This ability has now become one of the de facto features used in gaming mice worldwide.

Over time, we realized that as firmware, profiles, macros and other settings stored in onboard memory became more complex, more memory space was required. On top of that, other features that we wanted to include, such as inter-device drivers and profile exchanging, were not possible with the Synapse 1.0 architecture.

To give gamers the same benefits provided in Synapse 1.0 and more, we invented Synapse 2.0. Instead of having mouse settings limited by the space in onboard memory, Synapse 2.0 allows gamers to now have almost unlimited space for their profiles and macros. Moreover, other new functionalities such as being able to interact with other peripherals on the same architecture (i.e. keymaps between mice and keyboards) are now possible. Now gamers are also able to easily import and export profiles with their friends.

Another benefit to Synapse 2.0 is that if you purchase an additional Synapse 2.0 mouse for another system, it will not have to set it up all over again; it will be instantaneously customized to one’s stored settings. Such features would not be possible with Synapse 1.0.

We also believe in continuing to support our earlier products with software updates. We believe in providing additional value to our customers as opposed to only providing such features for our new hardware. For example, the Razer Naga MMO gaming mouse created with the Synapse 1.0 architecture was recently updated through Synapse 2.0 to include keymapping, unlimited profiles, and import/export functions. These updates would have taxed memory beyond the original capacity of the mouse using just Synapse 1.0. With Synapse 2.0, every Naga user can have his or her mouse upgraded directly from the cloud without having to go out and purchase another mouse or recreate macros and user-created content.

Synapse 2.0 offers these types of benefit and we’re happy to add features to our products for dedicated gamers looking for continued value after purchase.

However, we recognize that there may be some users of legacy Razer products who prefer to use Synapse 1.0 drivers. While we will still be making these available (see below), we do not want to penalize the vast majority of gamers who want to see our new products and legacy products upgraded to the Synapse 2.0 platform.

Synapse 2.0 vs. DRM

Our products work perfectly out of the box. Unlike DRM games or other media that require an always-on connection, you can use any of our peripherals right out of the box, even if someone doesn’t install Synapse 2.0, and whether a user is offline or online.

Synapse 2.0 provides for additional functionality in the form of cloud storage for settings, inter-device communications, etc. Once registered, Synapse 2.0 provides additional functionality of almost limitless memory in the cloud. It does the same with mapping physical functions, affording myriad options for an array of applications. The amount of information required to register the product is minimal. Again, we make a range of products that, to some degree or another, benefit from cloud-based functionality, but it is not a requirement for our products to work. There are great gamers out there that don’t regularly use Synapse 2.0, which speaks to the inherent quality of our products.

Synapse 2.0 works OFFLINE

One of the biggest misunderstandings is the equation of Synapse 2.0 to always-on DRM. It’s a popular notion that anything requiring a login has DRM included in it, and this misconception is one that easily gets the community fired up. In this case however, it’s incorrect.

Once registered, Synapse 2.0 works offline and never needs to be online again. So basically, a user creates an account, saves initial settings, and if there’s no internet connection, it doesn’t matter - settings are saved on the client PC and are not synced to the cloud. Synapse 2.0 works offline.

We understand that this still might be confusing. We will continue to take steps to clarify and to ensure that our users have the correct information (see below).

Server Outages

Finally, as far as the Synapse 2.0 activation server goes, we realize that we have had intermittent issues with it due to server usage spikes and, most recently, because of Hurricane Sandy – not uncommon challenges with server-based functions, especially given the severity of the storm – and we’re working on increasing server reliability.

We had an issue for four hours recently when users were unable to register for new Synapse 2.0 accounts. Current users of Synapse 2.0 were unaffected. We are working on new ways to keep these types of issues from occurring.

Steps to clarify the situation

1. Legacy or Synapse 1.0 drivers (for applicable legacy products) will be made available shortly on the Razer Support Site. We will continue to develop applicable Synapse 2.0 drivers for our other legacy products, as the vast majority of users of our products have been asking for Synapse 2.0 features. Again, if those products are already Synapse 1.0 supported, we will make both Synapse 1.0 and Synapse 2.0 drivers available to them.

All future Razer products will support Synapse 2.0 and other future platforms.

2. Manual Offline mode will be made available shortly. At this time, Synapse 2.0 works seamlessly between online and offline mode, and is unobtrusive to the user. If an internet connection goes down and if the user has enabled offline mode by checking the “stay logged in” box, Synapse 2.0 automatically goes into offline mode.

Through listening to our community we have added many new features to Synapse, and we have been working on putting in place a more robust manual offline mode for Synapse 2.0, letting users choose to go into offline mode with a click of a button. This functionality will be rolled into an upcoming update.

We value the feedback from the community and we hope the above statement helps to clarify any issues.
 
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