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Answers from Big-O Software

Post by Big-O Mark »

All the answers we have time to give will be posted here, along with a quote of the question to make things easy to follow.
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Post by Big-O Mark »

Blade311 wrote:Why not as a courtesy release an AIM+ that is AIM 5.x compliant. If you alreay have it completed you should let all of your loyal fans enjoy it.

All of us have supported you from the beginning and to get our hopes up by giving us false dreams of a release and then dropping AIM+ all together just doesn't seem fair to your fans.

What would it hurt to release it. These so called "Harrassers" can't do any more damage if you release the program you've already completed.

So why not just do all your fans a Big-O favor and release AIM+ 3.0? Please consider it.


I think a 2.x release of AIM+ that would simply be AIM 5.x compliant would certainly be a huge let down for us compared to what we wanted to do.

As for a release of AIM+ 3.0+, we certainly do not have any plans for that.[/quote]
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Post by Big-O Mark »

Cards wrote:Is all the secrecy about what's going on due to legal reasons?


No.
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Post by Big-O Ryan »

t0ne wrote:What i was wondering is why did you wait all the way until the 11th to shut down the site then come back and tell us it was messed up?...and if you need any help on the site or anything i can help you out....i know you prolly dont but the offer is always out there =]

Well, we simply didn't make the decision until a few days before. We're used to problems, AIM+ has never been easy - but things escalated quickly as the due date got near. We really hadn't considered it until the crap we had to deal with got pretty intense.

When we set the release date a month in advance, we wanted to hype it up - it was certainly one of our goals.. it's fun. :) And the last thing we wanted to do was bail on all that hype -- really, I'm quite certain that we'd be having more fun now if we'd released a new AIM+ last week. Deciding to cancel the release really wasn't something we wanted to do, and while the decision wasn't precisely last minute, it was awfully close..
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Post by Big-O Mark »

PsykoGuitarist wrote:Could you put in detail why you won't release it?


We're hoping to do just that with tonight's chat :). We've received many questions in that direction so far, and hopefully this thread will help clear things up!
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Post by Big-O Mark »

a big sombrero wrote:Can you tell us who is behind the 'attacks' and threats?Also, what would happen if you did release 3.0? lawsuits? hacked site?


We're not going to disclose who is behind the attacks at this time because we want to keep all our options open. If AIM+ 3.0 were released, I don't think there'd be any lawsuits. An unreachable and / or hacked site wouldn't surprise, and would probably be the least of our concerns.
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Post by Big-O Mark »

reoplex wrote:Is there anything we (your fans) can do to help, maybe there is someway those who attacked you guys will get some kind of punishment. And maybe we can help.


If there's anything the fans can do to help, it will definitely be posted here on the forums for everyone to read.

For now, all we can ask is that the fans hang out here on the forums with us while times are rough. Keep checking back. We have a lot of exciting plans for the future, and even if it's not AIM+ 3.0, we definitely think it's worth sticking around for.
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Post by Big-O Mark »

DADINK13 wrote:If the source does get released, are you guys gonna pass the torch onto somebody else, or is it gonne be come as open-source as Ogg-Vorbis?


IF the source were released, it would most likely be open to anyone who wants to use it, as we haven't really considered passing the torch to one person or one team.
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Post by Big-O Ryan »

ZildjianB wrote:Can you disclose any more details regarding the harassment/events that led to the indefinite postponement of AIM+ 3.0?

For starters, hopefully everyone understands that attacks that take place over the internet are pretty non-threatening to us.. Our servers have suffered DoS attacks almost regularly for as long as we've been around, e-mail is just e-mail, and the internet takes place in a little box on my desk -- it's hard for me to worry about things that take place only inside such a small box.

I'm not entirely certain what my options are legally at this point, but I'm told that keeping the details off the internet is probably for the best. So we're not going to point fingers right now, though we have a perfectly good understanding of the situation ourselves.

Seriously, what it comes down to is this - and I hope this sheds some light on this for people. All of the sudden it's very easy to find a lot of personal information about us on the internet. I didn't put anything on the internet that I wouldn't want you to know, but it got there. And while the people who put it there are certainly bastards, the people who find interesting things to do with that information are the real problem. I can understand that it's fun to find the ScreenName of people you've only read about on the internet, and I'm sure lots of you are guilty of that, but whatever (see my previous paragraph about things that take place on the internet).

OK, so totally unacceptable things happened, and AIM+ started to affecting real life in very negative ways. And I'll try to explain the thought process that led from there to the cancellation of AIM+, though I might not convince you to agree with us. All I know is that if I'd never released AIM+, the last couple weeks would have been a lot better (and, obviously, the last couple weeks could have been really cool and fun if we'd released AIM+ 3.0 -- but they weren't).

I know there's plenty of other ways that you can look at this situation, and lots of other conclusions to draw.. but that's where we ended up.
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Post by Big-O Mark »

ITALY69 wrote:: there are many conspiracy theorys out there...i was wondering if you could clear some of them up...

1. AOL has some sort of law suit against you (for add removal, editing copyrighted software, etc.)
2. Hackers closed down the site (possibly the same ones that harrassad you)
3. You guys plain old tricked us (i knwo this isnt true but for the ppl who dont know you)
4. Your lives were in danger if 3.0 was released
5. competators (deadaim, myaim, etc.) were the harrassers
6. no info is being released due to a pending investigation/lawsuit
7. the whole thing was a fake...hence the errors with the mysql errors..

i know some of these aren't true(#1, #3), but it would be nice to be reasured. and would u mind letting us know how sever the harassers were, and if there were threats involved


1. No
2. DoS (Denial of Service) attacks are the worst web attack we've suffered. These attacks certainly can make the site unresponsive and can break MySQL as well. Unfortunately, it's pretty tricky to find the guilty party in this type of attack. Choopa (our webhost) agrees with us that the site was under attack most of last week.
3. No, we see no real advantage to tricking you. If AIM+ 3.0 simply weren't ready, we could have announced a delay and perhaps release some features and/or bugfixes to help hold everyone over. In the past, releasing new versions has been much more fun than cancelling this release, so we would have preferred to release AIM+ 3.0 over cancelling it.
4. Ryan responded to this in another post
5. Ryan responded to this in another post, we want to keep all our options open, so we will not be naming the suspected attackers.
6. Same response as to question 5 ...
7. Same response as to question 3 ...
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Post by Big-O Mark »

PsykoGuitarist wrote:Is there a way to hex edit to make AIM+ 2.2.1 AIM 5.0 compatable?


We only wish updating AIM+ were that easy :).
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Post by Big-O Mark »

MCaussade9 wrote: if there isnt any plans for any kind of release of an AIM+ compatible with 5.x then what do you recommend that your local AIM+ users do?
Should we wait and stick with 4.8 and yur current version and never upgrade or just try out an alternative add on which basically dont compare to AIM+ anyway?


If you prefer the 4.x versions of AIM, then by all means, continue to use the current version of AIM+ as it is fully compatible.

If you'd like to try the new AIM 5.x releases, there are still a lot things AIM+ can do. However, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't try another add-on if you feel AIM+ isn't cutting it.
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Post by Big-O Mark »

Cards wrote:After Ryan's most recent answer...I wonder, is your goal in discontinuing AIM+ to actually make yourselves less popular online, so there won't be as much attention paid to you, so in turn there won't be so many assholes tryin to bother you?


Sort of, I guess, yeah.

We truly enjoy spending time on the forums interacting with the users, it's really made this whole experience incredible. If the forums dwindle in popularity, we will definitely miss this aspect of AIM+.

However, there is a very small percentage of the online population that we want absolutely nothing to do with.
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Post by Big-O Ryan »

ZildjianB wrote:(2) What is the possibility of future AIM+ releases if the harassment ceases?

Well, we're not really considering this.

ZildjianB wrote:(3) If there is absolutely no chance of future AIM+ releases, could you release the source code or compile a tutorial (“How To” guide) that would aid aspiring programmers attempting to edit AIM?

Ah, the open-source question. Well, it's not something I've ever considered, until we had to start thinking about the end of AIM+.

At this point, we've seriously considered probably everything that you can think of, and that includes open source. Seeing AIM+ simply die was really near the bottom of our wishlist. I'm pretty sure we're not going to make it open-source right now, but it's certainly not an impossibility.

(For the record, though, I don't think I need to be convinced of the benefits of open-source. I'm really quite familiar with it, and the advantages, especially at this point in our 'game', are obvious)
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Post by Big-O Mark »

a big sombrero wrote:Has the option of joining up with another program company crossed your mind? To have more developers and make it a larger magnitude operation?


Working with each other for the last year has been a blast. We have recently added some forum moderators to our team and it has been a big plus to Big-O Software thus far.

The only trouble with adding new members to a team is how they will affect the existing chemistry. Our last cooperative effort was a huge failure that took many months to resolve.
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