Wesley James announces Mojo!

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/30/06 03:08 PM

Today, Wesley James officially announced that he will be producing a brand new all-digital magazine entitled Mojo. The first issue will be sent to subscribers in mid-November. For details on the magazine and how to subscribe, check out: Mojo

-Jim
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Postby Ian Kendall » 10/31/06 01:21 AM

I've a feeling refusing to take Paypal will limit their overseas subscribers. I would have gone for it, but not now :(

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 01:58 AM

My understanding is that these pdf's will not allow printing and will require the password to be entered with every access.

I'm not quite sure how it would work, but I've also seen information (from Wesley) that the PDF's might be using machine limited passwords in some way. Not quite sure how that'll work as it isn't covered in the sales page. Perhaps Wesley can give us the particulars in case I've misunderstood any of the above.

Wesley says he\'ll eventually sell the issues combined (a years worth) in hard copy form to subscribers for a price slightly above cost. It's my understanding that this cost would be above and beyond the subscription cost. That and the fact that one would have to wait (seemingly) a year before being able to have a printed copy, causes me to question his assertion that the disallowing of printing in the first place is merely "a short term nuisance".

I've no doubt that the material itself will be good, and I'd like to see Wesley sell a lot of subscriptions and have satisfied customers.

But the stated digital rights management measures seem to place a rather harsh burden on legitimate subscribers while likely not slowing down the pirates much at all.
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 03:12 AM

Originally posted by Ian Kendall:
I've a feeling refusing to take Paypal will limit their overseas subscribers.
Agreed. But that's only for the initial subscription - once WJ knows who you are and where you are, subsequent subscriptions can be by credit card.

Dave
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/31/06 07:28 AM

Chris,
I brought your concerns to Wes's attention. I'll let you know his response, if he doesn't reply here directly.

Also, just an FYI, it looks like the link you provided is only viewable by members of your forum.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 08:24 AM

I love Wesley's thinking and would like to subscribe, but I'm not comfortable reading a magazine from a computer. I always print things out. Never know when the crash bug might hit....

Tom
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 10:37 AM

Originally posted by Ian Kendall:
I've a feeling refusing to take Paypal will limit their overseas subscribers. I would have gone for it, but not now :(

Take care, Ian
Same here. Too much hassle to send money overseas without using PayPal or a credit card.

Can someone clarify? Is it true that the files will be protected to prevent them from being printed (too easily)? That'd be another loss of loads of subscribers I think.

No doubt it'll be a great magazine though as Wesley James has some incredibly good thinking.

/Tomas
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 10:46 AM

I too prefer 'hardcopy' magazines. I don't like reading off a PC; you can't beat reading in the bath, on a plane, in a train, pub, cafe etc...

Also, I love the 'feel' of a magazine; especially a non-glossy one.

And, getting money to US by check is too complicated from the UK.

Oh well...my loss, I guess!

Paul Gordon
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 11:37 AM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
Chris,
I brought your concerns to Wes's attention. I'll let you know his response, if he doesn't reply here directly.
It's OK, as the concerns posted here mirror those posted over at my forums in more detail to which Wesley has already replied. I (and others) had privately expressed similar concerns to Wesley before he made the announcement. So yes, he's more than aware at this point.

Also, just an FYI, it looks like the link you provided is only viewable by members of your forum.

-Jim
True. Because many members here are also members there and I didn't feel comfortable copy/pasting Wesley's response. ;)
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/31/06 12:17 PM

Well, I guess I'm just a bit slow to join up, then (looking forward to checking it out, though). Just in case anyone here has not signed up over at Conjure Nation, Wes did confirm in an e-mail to me that you have the details correct: printing will be disallowed and the password must be entered each time you open the file. I can certainly understand the frustrations with this. It is worth noting that the password restriction, at least, is similar to what users currently experience with digital files such as The Phoenix or The Jinx magazine files. The print restriction can be annoying, but since I spend most of my day in front of a computer anyway, I don't really have much objection to having to read off the computer screen. I do understand that this may turn some people off, though.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 12:34 PM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
It is worth noting that the password restriction, at least, is similar to what users currently experience with digital files such as The Phoenix or The Jinx magazine files.
I've had more than a few people tell me publicly and privately that the protections used with those products drive them nuts. I don't think password protected PDFS were good idea for those products (or for most products), so using that as example doesn't make for a particularly compelling argument.

Why should legit subscribers be thrilled to pay for a crippled product, when the pirates will simply remove the protections and actually end up with a superior end user experience? Not that I support that kind of thing, but it seems a bit inequitable to me knowing that the dishonest will likely be able to enjoy the material in a way legit subscribers probably never will.

And why are the full extent of the limitations (no printing, forced p/w access, etc.) not currently posted up on the sales page in full so that potential subscribers can make a truly informed purchasing decision?

I do understand that this may turn some people off, though.
I think limiting the material to being read off a computer screen will turn off more than a few.

It's my view that Wesley is really underestimating the needs of his subscribers in his zeal to protect his material. Which is a shame, as I have no doubt that the material will be interesting.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/31/06 12:36 PM

Hmmm, let's see.
It's double the price of Genii.
You only get a tiny fraction of the amount of pages you get in Genii.
You can't print it out.
If you want to buy a printed version you have to wait a year and then pay AGAIN.
Sounds like a bust to me.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 10/31/06 01:10 PM

Richard,
I don't think Mojo is intended to be comparable to Genii. If you think of it more along the lines of something like Antinomy, then you'll see that the price per page is roughly comparable.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 01:20 PM

I think he'd have a lot more success if he'd at least forget the no print feature. Not being able to print the file then having to pay again to get a printed copy doesn't seem likely to attract subscribers.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/31/06 02:06 PM

Yes, Jim, but you're not getting a beautifully printed magazine like Antinomy. When you subscribe to Antinomy you can see where your money goes, not only to print the magazine, but also for the CD-ROM that contains lots of extra features at the end of the year.

Wesley's got the whole thing backwards: you need to print first, then give electronic information later. Wasshuber doesn't understand that, either.

The thing about most small-run trick magazines is that they don't make the publishers much money because of printing and shipping. Cutting out the printing and shipping means the price of a subscription should be very small--but it's not very small here, in fact it's very expensive. Seems hard to justify.
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 02:28 PM

Originally posted by Dave Le Fevre:
Originally posted by Ian Kendall:
[b]I've a feeling refusing to take Paypal will limit their overseas subscribers.
Agreed. But that's only for the initial subscription - once WJ knows who you are and where you are, subsequent subscriptions can be by credit card.

Dave [/b]
Dave,

Paypal's Address Confirmation gives the seller exactly that, my address is verified against my address held at the credit-card company, this would let Wesley know who I am and where I am.

How is this less secure than sending him a money order with a scrap of paper with my address on?

Also with Barclays to get a IMO it would be a cost of 8 almost a third again on top of the $50, I would be prepared to pay the $50 for the material, but not at the extra cost to me of sending him the money, unless you know of a cheaper way to send US funds from the UK?

It is unacceptable in this day and age to try and sell an electronic product touted as being 21st Century without offering even basic e-commerce facilities and then try and excuse it for security purposes, when in fact those very facilities are hundreds of times more secure and reliable than the postal system!
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 02:52 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Cutting out the printing and shipping means the price of a subscription should be very small--but it's not very small here, in fact it's very expensive. Seems hard to justify.
I agree. Wesley has made it pretty clear (over at my forums) that he feels the quality of his offering is such that it's his hope that subscribers will have no problem accepting the restrictions put upon their subscriptions. (no printing, passwords, not taking paypal, etc.)

I don't particularly agree with him.
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 02:59 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Yes, Jim, but you're not getting a beautifully printed magazine like Antinomy. When you subscribe to Antinomy you can see where your money goes, not only to print the magazine, but also for the CD-ROM that contains lots of extra features at the end of the year.

Wesley's got the whole thing backwards: you need to print first, then give electronic information later. Wasshuber doesn't understand that, either.

The thing about most small-run trick magazines is that they don't make the publishers much money because of printing and shipping. Cutting out the printing and shipping means the price of a subscription should be very small--but it's not very small here, in fact it's very expensive. Seems hard to justify.
I agree, an electronic publication should be cheaper than a print version only makes sense. Mr. James justification for the higher price seems to be that the content will be of exceptionally high quality. I dont doubt him on that point, but in his ad copy hes not being very precise about what the content will be. He says we but doesnt provide a list of contributors. Will the material be primarily his own?

You mentioned Antinomy, and while Im not a subscriber I have bought a couple of copies and love the look of it. I also found the quality to be very high. So a very well produced quality magic publication I can hold in my hands versus an electronic file I wont be able to print and which I cant order via PayPal or credit card. Seems like a tough sell.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/31/06 03:03 PM

Humble, huh?
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 03:27 PM

Overly protected software is a royal pain in the ass. Overly protected PDF's are in the same category.

We're being asked to send a check or MO for $50.00 to Mr. James and we'll receive --- hopefully --- 6 issues. But he obviously doesn't trust US enough and therefore, he overly complicates the reading of the newsheet.

Or, perhaps he just likes to make people jump through hoops.

Just my pennies worth.
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Postby Guest » 10/31/06 11:16 PM

I guess my biggest reason to opt out is for the printing. If I want to work through a great effect, in front of the computer is not where I want to be....

Tom
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 12:00 AM

No response from Wesley here yet.

He's already spewed quite a bit of self serving, condescending [censored] over at my forums and also at the cafe.

He's making it quite clear that anyone with any expectation of being able to print out their pricey new PDF (or in any way have any "fair use" of said PDF) is someone who doesn't (in his view) understand "the law" and perhaps holds ethical standards inferior to his own. :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 12:14 AM

Originally posted by Chris Aguilar:
No response from Wesley here yet.

He's already spewed quite a bit of self serving, condescending [censored] over at my forums and also at the cafe.

He's making it quite clear that anyone with any expectation of being able to print out their pricey new PDF (or in any way have any "fair use" of said PDF) is someone who doesn't (in his view) understand "the law" and perhaps holds ethical standards inferior to his own. :rolleyes:
What I find troubling about his posts at Conjure Nation is his seeming indifference to the honest concerns expressed by potential subscribers he shows no willingness to compromise at all on the issues raised. Maybe Im old fashioned, but customer service means a lot to me, and if his attitude now is a harbinger of things to come, forget it. I shell out fifty dollars I would expect to at least be treated as an honest subscriber and not a potential thief.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 02:17 AM

Originally posted by Chris Aguilar:
No response from Wesley here yet.

He's already spewed quite a bit of self serving, condescending [censored] over at my forums and also at the cafe.

He's making it quite clear that anyone with any expectation of being able to print out their pricey new PDF (or in any way have any "fair use" of said PDF) is someone who doesn't (in his view) understand "the law" and perhaps holds ethical standards inferior to his own. :rolleyes:
:sleep: Why don't you remove your password protection from your forum so we can read it?

*holds up a pot and a kettle*
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 02:42 AM

For those interested, a link to some of Mr. James comments.

Some choice bits.

Let's start by implying that those who disagree with our particular (and rather narrow) point of view have an inferior ethical standard.

Wesley James wrote:

It is clear that some of you draw your ethical lines differently and don't seem to much care about IP law.
Or why not assume that the rather modest expectation of being able to print out the pricey pdf one has purchased is somehow unreasonable.

Wesley James wrote:

The problem seems to be that those who object to my protection scheme seem to feel they are entitled to copy the material as many times as they wish and duplicate it in printed form.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 03:21 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Wesley's got the whole thing backwards: you need to print first, then give electronic information later. Wasshuber doesn't understand that, either.
Richard, you got that all wrong. Wasshuber thinks you only need electronic information and let customers do the printing themselves if they so desire.

Think about it, desktop printing has made in the past years huge progress in terms of quality and cost. One can get an HP 600dpi laser printer for below $129. Total page costs including paper and toner are below 1 cent per page. Even a laser color page costs only a few dollars and the printer itself less than $300. And even professional grade 1200dpi to 2400dpi color printers are becoming affordable around $1000-$3000. Or if you prefer, take your PDF to Kinkos and let them do the job.

From a pure print quality point of view there is no difference between what a professional printer offers to what a good quality laser or solid ink printer produces. The only remaining difference is binding. It is currently not so easy to produce a well bound book at home. But I would be surprized if there isn't a good and cheap desktop solution being offered a few years down the road. The desktop machines I have seen which can produce completely automated books (printing/binding/trimming) are still in the $30k range. But there is fundamentally no reason why that shouldn't be possible for $3k.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 03:44 AM

Originally posted by Rich Morrell:
Originally posted by Dave Le Fevre:
[b]
Originally posted by Ian Kendall:
[b]I've a feeling refusing to take Paypal will limit their overseas subscribers.
Agreed. But that's only for the initial subscription - once WJ knows who you are and where you are, subsequent subscriptions can be by credit card.

Dave [/b]
Dave,

Paypal's Address Confirmation gives the seller exactly that, my address is verified against my address held at the credit-card company, this would let Wesley know who I am and where I am.

How is this less secure than sending him a money order with a scrap of paper with my address on?
[/b]
You're quite right - I hadn't considered that. And maybe when WJ reads your post, he'll consider it too, and will decide accept PayPal and credit cards.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 04:33 AM

Originally posted by Dave Le Fevre:
You're quite right - I hadn't considered that. And maybe when WJ reads your post, he'll consider it too, and will decide accept PayPal and credit cards.

Dave
He has already categorically ruled it out. (Even after reading Rich Morrell's point) And now that he's expounded on ita bit, I see his point.

Basically, it seems he doesn't trust paypal, having been burned by them in the past. I can certainly understand being angry at them for some of their well publicized (and I believe fairly ongoing) customer service failures.

Whatever the reasons though, it doesn't much change the reality that barring paypal, and credit cards in general for first time purchasers is yet another hoop that I suspect many folks will not be eager to jump through.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 05:08 AM

The equation Wes should consider is:

honest_customer_inconvenience * number_of_honest_customers < hurdles_for_pirates * number_of_pirates

My interpretation of this inequality is that it currently does not hold. But that is just my opinion. Wes is a good man and he has his good reasons to do what he proposes to do. It's his material and his effort. So give the man a break and let him do whatever he want's to do.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 05:24 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:

It's his material and his effort.

So give the man a break and let him do whatever he want's to do.
I don't recall anyone suggesting that Wesley can't do as he pleases. I'm seeing folks trying to express to him that his current plan could cost him subscribers, which is a something else completely.

That being said, I see no reason to abrogate the discussion as there are obviously multiple folks (potential subscribers) with valid questions/concerns that I'm sure they'd be interested in having Wesley address. More detail about this offer can only be good for those wishing to make an informed purchase wouldn't you say?

I do think Wesley has shoveled his fair share of [censored] concerning this subject, and he seems a rather stubborn fellow, not above some rather casual condescension toward those not sharing some of his narrower viewpoints.

But I've not seen anyone here suggest that he was not a "good man", that his material isn't truly the fruit of his efforts or that he couldn't ultimately do as he pleases with it.

Did Wesley request "a break"? And why would we assume he needs one? ;)
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 06:35 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
honest_customer_inconvenience * number_of_honest_customers < hurdles_for_pirates * number_of_pirates
An excellent summary of how such decisions are arrived at - thanks Chris.

However, there one further factor by which the right-hand side must be multiplied, and that is How_much_the_product_creator_is_personally_affronted_by_the_concept_of_piracy. Many product creators would shrug their shoulders regarding the small amount of piracy, your original equation would balance, and everybody would be relatively happy. However, a product creator who loathes piracy with a burning hatred won't just shrug his shoulders, and so the equation doesn't balance the same way.

I'm not in any way suggesting that that's how WJ decided what to do. I merely observe that it depends on the personal feelings of the product creator.

Dave
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 08:32 AM

Dave, you are certainly correct about this. My main point with the equation was that often even a small inconvenience for honest customers adds up collectively to a big problem which at least in my books does not justify to try to inhibit pirates in this way. Pirates can be dealt with in different ways much more effectively without a burden to honest customers.

Although I disagree philosophically with Wesley on this point, I think the way some keep pounding on him is pretty mean spirited. I am not sure what their motivation is. It is great to make Wesley clearly define his offer. But once he has explained it, and he has done several times in public, it should be enough for everyone to make his decision.

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 09:14 AM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:
Although I disagree philosophically with Wesley on this point, I think the way some keep pounding on him is pretty mean spirited. I am not sure what their motivation is. It is great to make Wesley clearly define his offer. But once he has explained it, and he has done several times in public, it should be enough for everyone to make his decision.
At this time, Wesley has not posted the particulars of the DRM and so on at his site at all, even though he said he would. It's takes what? A minute or two to copy paste some of the stuff here to the official page?

If you consider the seriously lacking information at his site (which does not cover the full limitations of the product, including the inability to print or access these on multiple computers) enough to make an informed purchase, I can't agree with you.

As far as my "mean spirited" questionable "motives", I suggest you read my posts here and over at my forums. I have reiterated them ad nauseam.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 11/01/06 09:21 AM

Chris A., you seem to have missed the following line on the Mojo site:

Once you have received your password, you'll send us an acknowledgement and we'll send you the double password protected watermarked file (protected with Adobe's standard options, disabling Save, Cut & Paste and Print).

That has been there at least since I got into work this morning.

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 09:37 AM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
Chris A., you seem to have missed the following line on the Mojo site:

Once you have received your password, you'll send us an acknowledgement and we'll send you the double password protected watermarked file (protected with Adobe's standard options, disabling Save, Cut & Paste and Print).
That's great! And something I definitely felt important in terms of letting people know what they're actually buying.

I cleared my cache and it shows up now.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Kudos to Wesley for adding this very important bit of information.

The DRM still stinks to high heaven in my view (really, is it that crazy to allow personal hard copies knowing that they'll be available that way a year later?), but at least potential subscribers will have no excuse for not knowing that they're buying crippled product.

Wesley could be considerably clearer about any technology locking the pdf to a certain computer though. It's pretty vague on his site and something that could be pretty important to some.

I see the following which isn't that clear to me at all.

Mojo will also only be readable by subscribers. Each issue will be password protected in a number of ways, so that it can't be disseminated to those who haven't subscribed and we'll be watermarking each page with both open and secret marks, so we'll know if someone starts distributing Mojo and we cut off their subscription.
Does it mean it'll only be available for viewing on the computer it's download to? If so, how can one transfer the license to their laptop or extra computer? What happens if the license is lost and Wesley is incapacitated and can't reactivate it?

You might want to tell Wesley that he's misspelled "acknowledgment" on that main page.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 11/01/06 09:45 AM

From www.m-w.com:
Main Entry: acknowledgment
Variant(s): or acknowledgement

So he's good. :)

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 09:47 AM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
From www.m-w.com:
Main Entry: acknowledgment
Variant(s): or acknowledgement

So he's good. :)

-Jim
Great. I had always been taught it was spelled the other way and figured others might see it as a misspelling also. Never a good thing on a sales page.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 11/01/06 09:48 AM

I agree that misspellings are bad on a sales page -- bugs the heck out of me. I've seen it both ways, but wanted to look it up to make sure. For what it's worth, Firefox agrees with you. ;)

-Jim
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 10:19 AM

What's up with hard copies one year later?

I assume that's deliberate -- but why?

Is it the reverse of, say, Antinomy? (Printed copies first, then a CD annual later?)

Or is this a component of the DRM?
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Postby Guest » 11/01/06 10:47 AM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
That has been there at least since I got into work this morning.
Jim, it has been there at least since yesterday.

Not to Jim, the screamers should check their facts before they start screaming. Why do some assume everything has to happen the moment they complain? Maybe Wes doesn't switch on his computer every day? Thought about that possibility for a second?

Best,
Chris....
www.lybrary.com
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