Felix Schwarz
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Felix Schwarz (developer) commented on 26 Sep 2007

there's no heavy networking or secret "calling home" here. Remote Buddy verifies a license code once - and only once - when you enter the license code with our website.

I know other software vendors don't implement online verification features in a consumer friendly way.

Remote Buddy, however, is different:

- it does not send any personal information
- it does not send any details of your hardware
- it informs you about exactly what is being sent and it asks for your explicit permission
- it will not keep you from reinstalling and using your Remote Buddy license 1000 times on your Mac each and every day, if you so wish
- it will not lock you to a single machine
- it will not get in your way if you reinstalled your machine and have no internet access (as Remote Buddy has a 30 day trial period without any feature limitations - within which you most certainly get across an internet connection)

And most importantly: it has, and I can't stress this enough - not in a single case - prevented the usage of Remote Buddy by legitimate users.

All of this info is, btw, also available in our FAQ.

I understand your general concerns, seeing that other companys are incapable of implementing a scheme that is both user friendly and respects your privacy.

However, these concerns are not justified in Remote Buddy's case. It is both user friendly, always requests your permission and informs you - in detail - about what is transfered, and it fully respects your privacy.

Remote Buddy did start without online verification in the first place. It is only the rampant piracy that followed and had almost killed the project, that made me decide to go - and not light heartedly - for online verification. This decision was made for - not against - customers as (sadly) only this way enough revenue can be generated to support the steady growth of Remote Buddy and the implementation of innovative, new features.

Best regards,
Felix Schwarz
[Version 1.1]

Felix Schwarz (developer) commented on 06 May 2007
Hello Herve 5,

I'm sorry to say, but you are making wrong claims here (not intentionally, I guess, though):

- "intrusive, new online re-registration"

Remote Buddy now requires online activation after rampant attempts to use pirated license codes. If I see sales going down by 75 percent within days after the latest attempt and the support desk gets flooded by support inquiries that are apparantly from people using this code, with severe adverse effects on both reply time to those who have bought a license and the overall development, uncalculable financial risks and a threat to the existance of the company, a reaction has to follow. I don't think, anybody (other than competitors of course) would have been happy, if I had chosen the other possible option: stop development.

As with regards to the "intrusive" claim, please have a look at the changelog. All that is transmitted is a MD5 checksum of the license code and an MD5 checksum of a non-unique machine identifier. This can be used to verify a license code (by comparing the MD5 checksum with precomputed checksums of valid license codes on the server), but otherwise no information at all can't be extracted from it. This isn't exactly intrusive.

- "locks the application to one single machine"

Not true at all. The activation will not stop you to activate Remote Buddy on your collection of 30 Macs if you so want. The activation is designed with very generous and liberal, *time-based* limits. So unless you activate it like, 3000 times within 10 days, you will never have an issue.

- "ugly warnings"

It's a common disclaimer that is also part of every realworld license. I see no problem with that. The kernel extension was made necessary by two facts:

1) Operating a Wii Remote reliably just out of user space is not possible.

2) Apple made changes in OS 10.4.9 that make the Apple Remote behave undesirable for many users (i.e. a menu button press launches both Front Row and any app that listens to it - not limited to Remote Buddy). I think, that providing a clean fix for this problem is only in the interest of the users, who could otherwise not continue to use the software. I've seen other "fixes" for this elsewhere, which remove system files and disable default system functionality altogether. Remote Buddy takes a clean approach and actually solves the problem without messing with or changing the system software. Again, I don't see any bad thing here.

3) Emulation of an Apple Remote. Compatibility with iAlertU and all other apps that listen to the events of an Apple Remote. This is only possible in kernel space, too.

- "takes forever to setup"

1st click for the "Welcome screen", "second click on install", "third click on confirm", "enter password", done. Three clicks and entering your password once does not match my definition of "takes forever", sorry. It could be broken down to just one click for sure, but I want to inform the user first before my application installs a kernel extension. At least I want to be asked before doing such a thing.

I hope that clears things up for you - and everybody else reading your post. Please feel free to email me at any time if you have further questions.

Best regards,
Felix Schwarz
[Version 1.0rc2]

1 Reply


Felix Schwarz (developer) replied on 06 May 2007
Sorry for a few typos. It must of course read

".. no information can be extracted from it." and "two facts and one extra feature".

I'm in a hurry right now. Sorry.

Best regards,
Felix Schwarz
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