In the news today is the story of a gamer who bought a Razer Naga 2012 mouse and found out that the peripheral requires an Internet connection to activate the mouse's extra functionality. So far so good, but Razer's activation server was down when he tried to activate his mouse and a call to Razer revealed there's no workaround to use the mouse offline if it's not activated;
The Naga 2012 uses Synapse 2.0, the idea behind this software is to store your settings in the cloud, it removes the need for onboard memory and lets you store a nearly limitless amount of profiles, macros, etc. You need to register online before being able to use the mouse offline, and that doesn't work if Razer's servers are down for whatever reason.
There are other issues as well, users complain the software has a habit of locking up on you if your Internet connection drops out for any reason, and that when you try using the mouse on a different PC (at a LAN for instance), you won't be able to use the mouse's extra functionality without an Internet connection due to the lack of onboard memory.
So, why would a mouse need an internet connection to be usable? Well, it's supposed to be a feature, but it's behaving more like a bug. A forum member at Overclock.net explains the problem with his new ~$80 mouse:
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.
I'm 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.