Hundreds of pets go hungry after server outages render PetNet's feeders useless

petnet server outages leave pets hungry feeder petnet2
PetNet
When PetNet, the automatic pet feeder billed as “the smartest way to feed your pet,” burst on the scene last year, it aimed to revolutionize the way people cared for their beloved cats and dogs. However, despite the company packing the $149 system to the gills with smart tech and automation, a recent server outage did the exact opposite of the device’s purpose, leaving hundreds of pets hungry. Needless to say, owners of the device — along with their pets — weren’t terribly pleased with a mere server glitch disrupting the entire system.

According to PetNet, the issue stemmed from a third-party server the company said was experiencing “minor difficulties.” Despite the company saying it was currently investigating the glitch, hosts of PetNet users were chafed about the outage. The typical response seen among owners and across the web was one of disbelief at how Internet of Things-powered devices could be rendered useless so easily. During the outage, PetNet attempted to comfort worried pet owners via an email.

“We are experiencing some difficulty with one of our third-party servers,” read the email. “This is currently being investigated and we will provide you with more information as we receive it from our partners. 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. We’ll continue to update you with our progress on resolving this issue.”

According to The Guardian, PetNet CEO Carlos Herrera admitted that the third-party server had been down for roughly 10 hours. Moreover, the server — which PetNet apparently rents from Google — featured no redundancy backups (hence the continued outage), though Herrera said the company plans on implementing a workaround. It is worth pointing out that Herrera added that only around 10 percent of PetNet users were affected by the wonky server, saying previously set schedules don’t have to utilize the third-party server to operate.

At the time of this writing, PetNet assured its customers that all of its systems were back online and functioning properly. Furthermore, it said it would closely monitor the function of its servers and would be sending out a more detailed email in the next few days.

Social Media

Tumblr promises it fixed a bug that left user data exposed

A bug on blogging site Tumblr left user data exposed. The company says that once it learned of the flaw, it acted quickly to fix it, adding that it's confident no data linked to its users' accounts was stolen.
Movies & TV

MoviePass saga: Parent company investigated for allegedly misleading investors

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.
Emerging Tech

Drop everything and watch Boston Dynamics’ robo-dog dance to ‘Uptown Funk’

After a few years of Earthbound training, Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robot dog is ready to take on Mars. Bruno Mars, to be precise. Check out Skynet's future pet as you've never seen it before.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Glass,’ ‘Mortal Engines,’ ‘Pet Sematary’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best ones each week. On tap this week: New trailers for Pet Sematary, Glass, Mortal Engines, and other upcoming films.
Deals

Save energy and money with a $45 discount on the Nest smart thermostat

If you were looking for a smart thermostat, Amazon is offering up to $45 in savings on the popular Nest Learning Thermostat. Use stainless steel thermostat to the keep your home warm and cozy this fall and save energy by scheduling the…
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Product Review

Philip Hue’s versatile outdoor light strip makes drab yards, holiday decor dazzle

Philips Hue fans can at last enjoy the brilliance of this weatherproof light strip, which offers simple, versatile positioning, a rich selection of 16 million color options, and bright, vibrant illumination.
Smart Home

Softly spoken interactions with Alexa now possible with new Whisper Mode

Amazon's Whisper Mode for Alexa has gone live, so now you can talk more softly to Alexa and it'll respond in kind. The feature will most likely come in handy around napping babies or for bed partners you don't want to wake.
Smart Home

Add some nature to your tech with Mui, a wood panel that’s also a smart display

Are you so immersed in technology that you long for a touch of nature in your home? You could get some potted plants -- or you could invest in Mui, a wood panel that is also an internet-connected smart display.
Smart Home

One in 10 smart home device owners report unresolved technical problems

According to a recent survey from Parks Associates, more than one in 10 consumers report they have experienced technical errors with their connected devices that have yet to be resolved.
Smart Home

New Nuimo Click gives one-touch control over smart home devices

Berlin-based technology company Senic has announced the Nuimo Click, a smart switch that harvests kinetic energy to power itself without the need for cables or batteries. The Nuimo Click will begin shipping in December.
Smart Home

SiriusXM, Amazon team up for two Echo Dot deals with freebies

Amazon and SiriusXM partnered on two joint promotions. New SiriusXM subscribers can receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. People who already own an Echo device can sign up for new SiriusXM subscription with the first three months free.
Emerging Tech

A Fitbit for your cat shit: Automatic litter box tracks your kitty’s health

It may look like a sci-fi teleportation chamber, but Footloose is a high-tech litter box that promises to be the most cutting-edge way for your kitty to take a dump. Here's how it works.
Smart Home

Angee’s security service switches from sales to subscriptions

Angee, a successful startup that raised nearly half a million dollars for its home security hub, has pivoted its business model to offer its home security platform as a subscription rather than a smart home product.