[tz] (no subject)

Dale Harris rodmur at gmail.com
Fri Oct 7 14:29:26 UTC 2011

So something like the TZ database can be taken down by some hokum like
astrology?  Wonderful...

On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 6:12 AM, Zoidiasoft Tech
<tech at astrology-x-files.com> wrote:
> I suggest you let your opinion known here:
> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Astrolabe-Astrology-Software-and-Services/52527078715?sk=wall&filter=1
> -------
> This lawsuit is in part a vendetta against me and my use of the Olson time
> zone database for the Terran Atlas and you will see why below.
> In 2005, my software had breakthrough success because the implementations
> that I had suggested to Astrolabe, Esoteric Technologies, etc since 1995
> went unheeded and I eventually decided to program it for myself.  That is
> the same time (2005) the offers for hiring came from several of the top
> companies including Astrolabe.
> Gary Christen (CEO of Astrolabe) tried to hire me on three separate
> occasions and I refused.  When Astrolabe obtained the ACS Atlas (when ACS
> went bankrupt in July 2008), I was concerned that I wouldn't have an atlas
> for my software anymore.  The last time that they tried to hire me, the ACS
> Atlas became leverage to coerce me into working for them because I had no
> guarantee that they would give me access to the ACS Atlas.  When I refused
> the last time, I managed to obtain a verbal agreement that I would send my
> customers to them for a special discount on the ACS Atlas and was relieved
> for a while.  But over the next several months, my customers started
> complaining about the run around they were getting on the special deal that
> Gary promised my customers.  Eventually one of my customers said that he
> thought that Astrolabe was trying to make me look bad and disadvantage my
> business by making it difficult to obtain the stand alone version of the ACS
> Atlas which is required by my software (but not Solar Fire which has the ACS
> Atlas bound with it).  He was so fed up with the run around Astrolabe gave
> him that he formatted a database of latitudes and longitudes for me and
> asked me to add it to my software.  That got me back on the issue of
> researching time zones after which I found the Olson time zone database.  I
> subsequently found from the Olson sources that the ACS data was extremely
> unreliable, much more than I previously thought.
> A few days after I released the Terran Atlas I got the following email from
> Gary Christen (which has inaccuracies in it, but keep in mind this copy was
> forwarded to his lawyers):
> -------
> Hi Curt,
> Kirk Kahn just sent this link to me and it is very disturbing.
> http://astrology-x-files.com/terranatlas.html
> You, of all people know that we have invested serious $ into the ACS
> Atlas and have given you and your customers very good pricing for its
> purchase. We have also been doing serious investment into re-writing
> this copyrighted code.
> We have an obligation to the Michelsen-Simms Trust and to ourselves to
> legally protect this data base. While another entity may have illegally
> published some of this material into the public domain, that does make
> subsidiary use of pirated material legal for any party.
> We will be investigating the Olsen work, as it has just come to our
> attention. There is no instance where any portion of the Atlas has been
> given permission to be brought into the public domain. Such use is
> theft, as we understand it.
> The research into the past time zone changes and time usage by Neil
> Michelsen, Thomas Shanks, the Pottenger brothers and countless hired
> researchers was financially paid for by ACS at great expense and went on
> for many years. Many of the sources used, we know, are no longer extent
> and cannot be re-created by any means. The bankruptcy of ACS and the
> years leading up to it have been a low point in the ACS Atlas research
> and development. Since assuming ownership 2 years ago, we have been
> involved in legal proceedings concerning the Atlas and have spent the
> time since this spring doing major upgrades to the entire code base.
> While we are correcting some errors in overseas tables, these areas are
> being greatly expanded.
> It is very easy to take what seems to be public information and cobble
> together something new. One only has to copy and do the details.
> However, the historical information underlying the time tables is still
> owned by Astrolabe and the Michelsen-Simms Trust and re-creating it
> without the aid of copying Thomas Shanks' life work would be very hard
> indeed. And he, as well as the Pottenger brothers still get royalties
> for all uses of the work, so this is stealing from them as well.
> One can self justify for any activity and twist morals at will. You are
> quite aware that this is an ethical violation as well as a legal one as
> you made no attempt to consult with us as to rights and legalities. What
> looks like a loophole is, in turn, a sleazy rat hole that reveals poorly
> thought out intentions and damaging actions.
> Astrolabe wants you to withdraw this product and publish a disclaimer.
> We will be legally following up on this and the sources. The fact that
> the authors you have utilized publish their sources and cite ACS will
> not sit well and is not an excuse for usage. This area is not about
> academic material where simple citing of other people's work allows
> reference. The providence of ownership of this material is well documented.
> Thank you for your attention,
> Gary Christen, President, Astrolabe, Inc.
> -------
> The reality is that when I visited Cape Cod, I was never told about any
> financial dealings involving the ACS Atlas.  They wanted me to do tech
> support and possibly reformat the ACS database or have Ray White do it.  But
> I was given no guarantees.  They offered me 20% on sales of Delphic Oracle
> but saying not to expect much in the way of sales because it was a fringe
> market.  Then they asked me to load my software onto one of their computers
> without an agreement in place in Oct 2008 and that is when I knew that I
> couldn't go through with it because I could have been fired or laid
> off without recourse 3 weeks later lacking access to even my own code.
> I also have reason to believe that ACS was well aware of the existence of
> the Olson time zone database and they made no attempt to sue.  It was one of
> their bragging rights saying that it was in use outside of the astrology
> industry as an indication of how accurate it was!  I have not been able to
> locate this statement but it might still be on the waybackmachine for ACS
> (Astro Communications Services which should be astrocom.com).
> Their goal is to keep myself and other astrology software developers from
> developing their own time zone databases in order to force us into their
> monopoly and maintain the supremacy of Solar Fire over other applications.
> The story is a long ugly one dating back to about 1995 with many attempts to
> steal my work, but the truth will come out and Arthur and myself will be
> vindicated.
> Let me know if I can be of any help.
> Sincerely,
> Curtis Manwaring
> CEO / software engineer
> Zoidiasoft Technologies, LLC

Dale Harris
rodmur at maybe.org
rodmur at gmail.com

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