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"Sandbox" is getting thrown around here a lot. What does it mean? The hardware? The software? What exactly is involved and how does a normal user do it (if a normal user can)?
"Sandboxing" in this context would mean to isolate the device such that it can't be affected by external factors, such as the mothership trying to "upgrade" its software. In this context, it might mean isolating its access to the Internet, such that its local network cannot reach out/be reached externally....
 



Might the term "air-gapped" be more well known and accurate?
Air gap means that there is no physical connection from that computer / network / whatever to the broader internet (some military machines are secured this way). The idea is that without a physical connection, it's more difficult to exfiltrate data, hack, or otherwise harm the air-gapped machines. As the Stuxnet attack on Natanz illustrated, even air-gaps can be overcome with enough effort.

While air-gapping a Sonos after its initial setup is a possibility, an air-gapped Sonos would be difficult to stream music with. The likely closest approach is using the "audio in" from a computer or AirPort Express? Seems clunky. However, you can block access to/from Sonos.com and and enjoy streaming content via:
  • Port-blocking: Updating cannot happen, because the relevant ports in your firewall are closed. You can further refine this by assigning fixed IP addresses to your Sonos equipment and only block the relevant ports for that IP address range. This will allow other home equipment to still use those ports.
  • DNS-blackholing: Basically, treat Sonos.com and its many sub-domains as malware/spam/naughty sites. When your Sonos equipment tries to look up Sonos-related DNS addresses, it is sent to 0.0.0.0 instead. This happens hundreds of times per day yet, the equipment works just fine.
I do both, because I'd rather not rely on one approach alone. Plus, DNS blackholing is easy to test – just try to bring up the Sonos web site on your home computer or iPhone; it shouldn't work and time out instead. Testing port-blocking is a bit more involved.

My usage is likely not the most accurate definition of a sandbox (see the Wikipedia definition) but the intent is similar - allow the local Sonos equipment to run in a controlled environment that will hopefully protect it, as well as my privacy.

#security
 


Looks like Sonos got a message from the user-base. While the company is not backing down from obsoleting a large number of products; i.e. "the original Zone Players, the Connect and Connect:Amp, the first-generation Play:5, the CR200, and Bridge", it looks as though they are now reversing their stance on one firmware for all products.
Gizmodo said:
Instead of intentionally bricking legacy products (like their CR100 handheld controllers), Sonos allegedly now plans to classify the above products as "legacy", eliminating them from future firmware updates. Over time, the expectation is that stuff will start to break as providers like Spotify update their networks, something that the streamers among us may care about. However, crucially, Sonos will allegedly allow legacy products to coexist alongside newer firmware products.

No surprise that this is possible, since SonoPhone has shown that it can address devices running newer and older firmwares without issue. If a third-party app developer can do it, so can Sonos. I applaud Sonos for finally reversing their rote stand re forced obsolescence and coming back into line with most hardware/software OEMs.

I suspect the flood of bad press combined with a low uptake on their paltry "Trade Up" discount convinced Sonos management that they'd finally pushed their user base too far. I wonder how many folk threw up their hands, sold their existing systems, and defected to other platforms... I'd wager the money they got on eBay for used, functional Sonos equipment far exceeded the discount offered by Sonos.

Sonos management likely hates that their traditional markets are saturated, that old products still faithfully fulfill their tasks, and that other competitors are likely eating their lunch (and profit margins) in the segments that have growth left in them. But instead of coming up with artificial reasons to brick existing, functional hardware, Sonos should focus on developing new compelling products that consumers would want to upgrade to.
 


Just purchased a CARPLAY2air dongle that plugs in to the console USB port. It pairs using Bluetooth to install. Once paired, it works beautifully, enabling me to keep my phone in my pocket.

Some may say, at $159, it's expensive, but it works. My car is a VW Golf Mk7 and phone is iPhone 6s Plus. (Note: it took about 10 days to come to the UK and was delivered by Royal Mail. Price seems to include duty.)

[CARPLAY2air apparently requires CarPlay support in the car's audio system and can't add that to older cars. -Ric Ford]
 


... [CARPLAY2air apparently requires CarPlay support in the car's audio system and can't add that to older cars. -Ric Ford]
Yes, I already had CarPlay installed by the VW dealer, but it was wired, so I thought I would try this device. It does not add CarPlay, if the vehicle is not fitted, but just eliminates plugging the iPhone in.
 


Yes, I already had CarPlay installed by the VW dealer, but it was wired, so I thought I would try this device. It does not add CarPlay, if the vehicle is not fitted, but just eliminates plugging the iPhone in.
I bought one, as well, for my 2019 Honda Fit. Works OK (I mostly bought it to save waer and tear on the Lightning port on my phone), but I have had to work with their customer support to overcome connection issues. Plus the icon for it in Carplay is a VW logo, which looks odd on my Honda's display.
 


I bought one, as well, for my 2019 Honda Fit. Works OK (I mostly bought it to save waer and tear on the Lightning port on my phone), but I have had to work with their customer support to overcome connection issues. Plus the icon for it in Carplay is a VW logo, which looks odd on my Honda's display.
I haven't heard or read of any comments on the life of the lightning port, but I have an iPod Touch and an original iPad Mini, both more than seven years old and subject to heavy use, and haven't had any problems with them connecting. I have had problems with the cables and have replaced them with cables from MonoPrice but otherwise, all is well.
 


I haven't heard or read of any comments on the life of the lightning port, but I have an iPod Touch and an original iPad Mini, both more than seven years old and subject to heavy use, and haven't had any problems with them connecting. I have had problems with the cables and have replaced them with cables from MonoPrice but otherwise, all is well.
My three-year-old iPhone 7's lightning port lost the click-to-secure part about six months ago, and Apple wanted $350 to fix it. I bought an iPhone 11 instead.
 


My three-year-old iPhone 7's lightning port lost the click-to-secure part about six months ago, and Apple wanted $350 to fix it. I bought an iPhone 11 instead.
I also have an iPhone 7, although not that old. I hope the lightning port holds up as well as with the other devices. I do try to take care when inserting and removing the lightning plug, as I was also worried about that. I don't blame you for the upgrade. That quoted repair price is more than I paid for my iPhone 7 (TracPhone deal).
 


Two things about the lightning port:
  1. if lint gets in there, it can interfere with the plug seating nicely. Use a wooden / non-metallic toothpick to dig out any lint
  2. The lightning port assembly is replaceable (see how to do it at iFixit, including parts), but the cost is relatively high at $45 for the kit, and the repair is rated at difficult, so unless you've done something like this before.... That said, if you combine repairs (new battery and new connector), then it may make sense again.
In other audio news, Sonos has started a streaming service for music that imitates other successful streaming services such as Spotify and Apple.
The Verge said:
It is ad-supported, features a number of artist-curated streams, etc. and apparently takes Sonos's snooping on customers to such a high level that it requires a new terms of service agreement. Implementation as usual, via firmware upgrade.

This move was entirely predictable as Sonos is casting about for new revenue streams now that forcing customers to upgrade their hardware has fallen out of favor in their C-suite.
Gizmodo said:
I'll bet an ice-cream sandwich that the Sonos radio service will be prominently marketed in the Sonos UI, yet another reason not to upgrade ones firmware. So much for Sonos being a content-neutral delivery platform!
 


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