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Joel Mueller: Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition
Censorship is a good thing - as long as it furthers the cause.
Joel Mueller is the proprietor of MacUpdate. He lives in the great metropolis of Kalamazoo Michigan, otherwise most known for a Gibson guitar subsidiary. The kinds of songs played on these guitars are not the type of melodic strains Joel Mueller likes to hear.
Joel Mueller is a George Jesus Bush fanatic. Besides running his site, he does all in his power to censor protest against the current US administration and his all time best friend ever Jesus.
On Xmas day he let his software archive site be hijacked by the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. This was no accident. This was no site defacement. This was intentional.
Reactions were strong, and many people have since decided they don't like the company of Joel Mueller and refuse to come back again.
The story gets worse however, for it turns out Joel Mueller censors anti-Bush and anti-Jesus software as well. And if you click that link and read that whole story, the spectre of what you saw over the holidays is going to go as pale as a KKK hat.
A widget detailing US fatalities and wounded in Iraq - which of course is one sided and doesn't come close to covering the total destruction - was removed by Joel Mueller. Again, you can read the sordid details at the above link.
MacUpdate in a Nutshell
But MacUpdate may be more than George Jesus Bush freaks. From the outset a 'come from behind' site with Version Tracker way out in front, MacUpdate promised to post faster than anyone else.
But from a security standpoint the system is left wide open: no authentication is needed to introduce a new product or update details on an existing one. Anyone can at anytime go in and sabotage their competitors by posting erroneous information.
This is hardly a news flash for Joel Mueller, but when one wants to edge past Version Tracker, such sensitivities can hamper one's ambitions.
Likewise it has always been possible to post comments without authentication, and Mueller, convinced software authors have reviewed their own products, has issued a dire warning - which he of course is incapable of backing up.
Brother Can You Lend a Product?
But Mueller doesn't wait for software authors to post first to his site either - it's far better to augment one's listings by being a regular at Version Tracker and 'stealing' the listings from there.
As the listings of software products have never been controlled by their authors - and no authentication is necessary - Mueller can go in and create his own products and write his own product updates.
Bait and Switch
Mueller must think he has the market in his grasp, for now the Holy One has instituted a commercial scheme to participate in the MacUpdate forums. Starting now all visitors wishing to add comments for a particular product must send hard earned cash in the direction of Kalamazoo Michigan.
And that money doesn't go to the guitar factory.
By way of contrast, the crew at Version Tracker seem a cool lot, able to keep their calm in the face of adversity. And they would probably be the first to welcome competition in the software archive business, but colleagues like Joel Mueller are not what anyone has in mind.
With time other websites like Version Tracker will emerge; one can only hope they show better judgement and less fascistic leanings than Joel Mueller's MacUpdate.