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Holier than thou Joel Mueller's latest pompous move.

Dear Rixstep,

MacUpdate is excited to announce the release of our new MacUpdate Developer Tools section. We encourage you to visit our website and sign-up your company for a new developer account (which is currently free).

Go to the Developer tab:

Being a MacUpdate Developer allows you to gain access to your software listings on MacUpdate. You can then:

    * Download History: Dynamically built charts that graphic the variations in downloads for each of your products, on a daily and weekly basis. (This page has some really sleek dynamic CSS coding and caching if that kind of thing interests you).

    * Star Ratings: View a breakdown of each of your products' star ratings based on a particular version released.

    * Comments Manager: Better manage, search and sort your user comment and reviews for each of your products.

    * Custom Polls: Create your own Poll questionnaires. These polls will appear on the download page of MacUpdate, just above the User Reviews sidebar area. You get to design as many polls as you'd like for each of your products. Let MacUpdate handle the data generation and graphing of results.

    * RSS Feeds: Custom RSS feeds are available for each of your product listings, allowing you to better promote your products by displaying a dynamically updated MacUpdate Star Rating for each of your products on your own site. We give you in-depth examples for getting it working using a number of different technologies. We chose RSS for this because it allows you to completely customize the way your star ratings look, so they fit in with your site.

We plan to add additional features in the near future. Right now this service is completely free, and ultimately we'd like to keep it that way. We only ask (not demand) that you keep MacUpdate in mind for exclusive releases of your software products. Any lead time you can give us before releases your Press Releases mutually helps both of us. We'll even volunteer to host your archive for you during this exclusive time period.

Showing you thanks for your own effort by our continual improvement of MacUpdate,

-the MacUpdate Team

 [If you receive multiple emails of this message, we apologize. We may have multiple email addresses in our DB for your products.]

There are of course several things wrong with this letter.

  • There is no subscription list. Developers were never asked if they wanted letters like this. Exploiting registered vendor addresses in this fashion is spamming and it's illegal in the United States.
  • There is no 'opt-out' from this abusive system either. That's two laws broken.
  • Multiple messages are sent because the 'MacUpdate team' (Joel Mueller in other words) lack the cerebral wherewithal or the consideration and goodwill to prune the (illegal) mailing lists in the first place.
  • The message is an exact byte for byte duplicate of earlier messages sent out as much as two years ago.
  • Recipients of earlier messages who attempted to 'opt out' were ignored. The 'DB' still has 'multiple email addresses'.
  • As always with Joel Mueller, there is a hint - and a tangible threat - of 'bait and switch': Mueller likes to lure people in and later when they're caught make them pay.
  • 'Hosting an archive' is asking for it from a security perspective. Mueller also has a long history of paranoid delusion that everyone's software belongs to him. Software is not safe in the hands of Joel Mueller.

A Unique Perspective on Ethics © Joel Mueller

From the hinterland of inclement Michigan USA right wing christian crusader Joel Mueller - who believes every crime and transgression he commits is OK in the eyes of his 'lord' - has systematically set about destroying the hegemony of Version Tracker and sparing no thought of ethics in so doing.

  • He started by designing a better user interface - which was no real challenge as the Version Tracker interface was designed by Perversion Tracker [sic].
  • He demanded no login or authentication for anything on the site - meaning anyone at any time could go in and announce new products and updates to existing ones without having any connection to those products [sic].
  • This of course led to competing vendors exploiting the system to harm one another. Mueller just kept the system going - he wanted to close in on Version Tracker.
  • Vendors have of course also astroturfed intensively because of the lack of controls, upping their own star ratings and pushing down those of their competitors. The long standing chaos was ignored by Mueller.
  • Mueller arbitrarily renames products, places them in new categories as he thinks is best, and even attaches price tags to freeware products if he feels like it. [He also studiously removes 'bad' but accurate user comments. See here.]
  • Mueller does not respond to mail from vendors. Should a vendor contact him with information about errors at MacUpdate, Mueller will ignore them. He doesn't have time - he's out to get Version Tracker.
  • At the holiday season last year Mueller aligned with a right wing christian group in Australia and preempted the entire MacUpdate site for forty eight hours with biblical tales of why christians and Jesus are so good. This of course inflamed ordinary visitors (not to mention Jews Muslims Hindus and atheists) but Mueller never offered a comment.
  • Mueller was later found policing his own software listings to remove any product that could in any way be construed as negative comment on George W Bush [sic].
  • Mueller claims he lists everything first but has been found out to steal product listings from Version Tracker on a regular basis. Mueller doesn't take a chance: he goes into vendor proprietary information and changes it himself.
  • Mueller now takes to spamming and gives recipients no way to opt out - something which hopefully will lead to his prosecution.

Boycotting MacUpdate

For these reasons (and others) Rixstep have boycotted MacUpdate for the past year. Nevertheless as you will see if you wander over, MacUpdate have listings for the latest products from Rixstep: Mueller steals the listings from Version Tracker [sic].

Rixstep encourage all vendors - and all users - to boycott MacUpdate. At the end of the day the UI at Version Tracker may be no winner, but the people are friendly and helpful and have their feet on the ground.

Boycott Joel Mueller and MacUpdate. Do it for your own good.

Postscript: Response to your complaint

Subject: Response to your complaint

   Thank you for visiting the FTC's web page and for using our NEW electronic Talk To Us form. Here's what happened to your information after you sent it to us:

   One of our consumer counselors reviewed the information you sent us. If it was related to the FTC's law enforcement responsibilities, we entered it into our shared law enforcement data system. We share this data system with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada. Attached is your electronic response, which includes your reference number. Any enclosures can be found at www.FTC.GOV under the News Releases, Publications, Speeches option.

   Information from consumers like you helps Federal, State and Local authorities investigate possible illegal practices and enforce our laws. Someone from the Federal Trade Commission or another law enforcement agency may contact you if they need additional information to help them in an investigation.

   Thank you for using our Talk To Us form, and please continue to use the FTC's web page, www.ftc.gov, to get free information to help you avoid costly consumer problems.

Visit www.ftc.gov and file a complaint against Joel Mueller and MacUpdate. Do it now.

See Also
MacUpdate 'Updates'
MacUpdate Goes George Jesus Bush
Joel Mueller: Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunitiion

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