Bricking. From the Wikipedia:
"The word "brick", when used in reference to consumer electronics, describes an electronic device such as smartphone, game console, router, or tablet computer that, due to a serious misconfiguration, corrupted firmware, or a hardware problem, can no longer function, hence, is as technologically useful as a brick."
Bricking can also be used to intentionally disable computers or hardware that have been modified to play "Unauthorized" content or run unauthorized apps. Consider Apple's "Error 53" - which ruins all iPhones repaired by unauthorized dealers. I'm not making this up. They are, apparently, well within their legal rights to do so. Do you own the phone?
And an interesting article on Google's acquisition of a tech company, and product, and then subsequent announcement that upon the end of the warranty on the product it would "Brick" it. Meaning Kill it. Read the full article here: https://medium.com/@arlogilbert/the-time-that-tony-fadell-sold-me-a-container-of-hummus-cb0941c762c1#.1lfxbvyf5.
This type of corporate ethos makes me increasingly uncomfortable, and raises some interesting questions regarding ownership. Do you really every own the product if the company that sold it to you (or it's subsequent acquiring company) can destroy it at will and without repercussion? What does ownership now mean? Do you own things, or are you owned by the companies that sold them to you? Consider Keurig, the idiots choice for mediocre coffee. Or GM's claim to own the software inside your car, or John Deere's ownership of your tractor. Or Monsanto's ownership of your farm, crops and grain. Three links here: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130513/12113523062/monsanto-wins-case-seed-patents-planting-your-own-legally-purchased-grown-seeds-can-be-infringing.shtml && https://thegranddisillusion.wordpress.com/monsanto-vs-farmer/ && http://www.cnbc.com/id/100464458. In fact the evils of Monsanto are far too long to be listed here, and would require months of your own research and hair pulling. It's good to be aware, but be warned you're treading now the thin line between awareness and insanity...
The intrusion of technology into our lives, increasingly, daily, has raised some complex moral and ethical dilemmas that are consistently being resolved in favor of the companies selling us these products. We own less, and in a way, after the companies fashion, rent more of our lives. For the company, this is great, we are now the lifetime consumer. But for us, maybe, not so good...
Think about it. Do you want to own your life, or merely rent it from a company?