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rboeAdministrator

*****

Reged: 03/16/02

Loc: Phx, AZ
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6093715 - 09/21/13 03:58 PM

Just an observation here. If a relatively inexperienced user checks out two pieces of software and in his initial estimation makes some erroneous judgement calls then just maybe the fault lies not with him but with the software and the difficulty in learning how to use it properly.

I submit that a vendor that is truly concerned with his customer base would take this opportunity to ask themselves where they could have done a better job with the software to prevent such misunderstandings in the future.

Now the answer may indeed be that the software demands a minimum level of sophistication on the users part. But maybe they are missing a vital customer base, the newbie, that could start out with an easy to use and learn software package that could be upgraded over time as their tastes, equipment and experience grew.

I can only imagine the experience a fellow new to photography and looking at photo software and tried to compare Paint to Photoshop. There are terms in Photoshop the newbie will have no idea what they mean much less what they are to do and we're to fault him for thinking Paint is a much friendlier package?

For all you experts out there that were so quick to point out errors and faults in the article; I don't see you writing up articles describing and reviewing your favorite software. You'll find that it is much easier to critique work than to actually write up something from scratch.

I double dog dare each and everyone of you to write an article.


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theskyhound
Vendor (Skyhound)
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: Cloudcroft, New Mexico
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6093768 - 09/21/13 04:35 PM

Quote:

Greg,

Here is my stance again, for the final time, as more bandwidth is being used on back and forth repeat explanations then the original content took up.

The opinions expressed in the “review” is that solely of the author and not the opinions of Cloudy Nights, LLC, their volunteer staff, or anyone associated with Cloudy Nights directly or indirectly. ...





I looked this up.

The legal precedent is quite clear. As the host of the site, unless you take action to correct harmful factual errors then you can be sued for defamation. If you don't believe me, ask a lawyer.

There is a legal difference between an opinion, which is free expression, and defamation, which is the intentional spreading of misleading information that harms someone's reputation. It becomes intentional on your part if you refuse to offer a remedy.

This whole thing should have been avoided. The moment I contacted you and pointed out the errors you should have acted.

Every negative remark about my software was a factual error. For example, it was said that SkyTools couldn't export lists for SkySafari. Except that it most certainly can. And for the poster here who snarkily suggested this was somehow my fault for the software design, please see the screen capture I posted. There is no possible way to miss this feature.

To put this in terms that you can understand, imagine if someone wrote a comparative review of Astronomics and OPT. In that review they stated that OPT sponsors an online forum, but Astronomics does not. And that OPT accepts product returns, but Astronomics does not. And that OPT sells telescopes over 10 inches in aperture, but that Astronomics does not. Ask yourself, how you would react to that. Would it matter if the reviewer also claimed that Astronomics had a slightly better telescope selection?

I think not. You would respond just as I have. Even the slightest suggestion that I have somehow made a stink just because I didn't like the conclusions of the review, or the opinions of the reviewer is off the mark, and personally insulting to me.


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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
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Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: theskyhound]
      #6093794 - 09/21/13 04:54 PM

We actually have an attorney on staff and my wife in an attorney. I can kindly ask you to please stop the badgering about a review that is purely the opinion of another member of the site. My stance has been above board and honest in its approach. If you would like to further discuss the matter feel free to contact me. It would be the first contact in this matter directly to me through phone, e-mail, or private message. Again, I don't have a dog in this fight and this is really starting to drag on when the reviewer said the product was good. I don't really get it. Any error of fact has been corrected by you or by other users. This is starting to become a squabble fest and is not productive for anybody. I will simply say again, this is the last I have to say on the matter. We can lock the thread and prevent it from going any farther. We don't want to delete the thread to take away your rebuttal in the matter.

I will kindly ask for a fourth time, that someone who is familiar with your product to write a review.


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theskyhound
Vendor (Skyhound)
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: Cloudcroft, New Mexico
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6093811 - 09/21/13 05:06 PM

Quote:

We actually have an attorney on staff and my wife in an attorney. I can kindly ask you to please stop the badgering about a review that is purely the opinion of another member of the site. My stance has been above board and honest in its approach. If you would like to further discuss the matter feel free to contact me. It would be the first contact in this matter directly to me through phone, e-mail, or private message. Again, I don't have a dog in this fight and this is really starting to drag on when the reviewer said the product was good. I don't really get it. Any error of fact has been corrected by you or by other users. This is starting to become a squabble fest and is not productive for anybody. I will simply say again, this is the last I have to say on the matter. We can lock the thread and prevent it from going any farther. We don't want to delete the thread to take away your rebuttal in the matter.

I will kindly ask for a fourth time, that someone who is familiar with your product to write a review.




Not much I can say is there? I will say this and take my leave. I have always had the utmost respect for both Astronomics and Cloudy Nights. And although this was shaken when this shoddy hatchet job of a review appeared, my faith was somewhat restored when a remedy was finally offered, even if somewhat imperfect. But your comments here...


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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
*****

Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: theskyhound]
      #6093821 - 09/21/13 05:16 PM

Feel free to take your leave sir. My comments were simply a response to the manner you felt you were slighted. I thought a fair and honest solution was offered. I didn't really see an issue with it, but somehow I have offended your sensibilities and that was not my intention. This actually all started for me, when you called for a personal boycott of Astronomics which it seems others may have followed causing me direct damage when I did literally nothing to you. So before you cast stones against a person that did nothing directly to you, please look back at your posts and how it started to unravel against us.

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theskyhound
Vendor (Skyhound)
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: Cloudcroft, New Mexico
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6093837 - 09/21/13 05:26 PM

For the record, I did not call for a boycott of Astronomics. I simply said that if my concerns were not going to be addressed then I'd personally shop elsewhere. Please keep in mind that this was out of frustration over the fact than 5 days had passed since I had contacted the editor and admin without any reply at all.

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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
*****

Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: theskyhound]
      #6093852 - 09/21/13 05:38 PM

As volunteers they don't have the chance to get to things right away, so you need to give them a chance. Also, the post in question had said something along the lines that you had spent money with us in the past, but after this you would spend no more money with us. That to my brain says boycott. I think I have just as much right to respond to that statement as you had to respond to the "confusion" in the comparison.

The entire thing can be addressed by writing a review. I don't understand why that keeps getting glossed over.


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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
*****

Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6093858 - 09/21/13 05:41 PM

This discussion for me is closed. I have to get to Mike Loffland's, the IT/Web Guru here, wedding. If nobody wants to write another review, so be it. Just let the back and forth die. The points have been addressed ad nauseum and the "confusion" has been cleaned up with screen shots and vows of support from members of the community.

I have a grand idea, why not contact the guy that wrote the article, point out the fixes he couldn't find and ask him to edit his review. Solves everything.


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Natty Bumppo
member


Reged: 08/30/13

Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6093894 - 09/21/13 06:07 PM

Quote:

I have a grand idea, why not contact the guy that wrote the article, point out the fixes he couldn't find and ask him to edit his review. Solves everything.




Hi Mike and Moderators.
That's been one of the problems initially mentioned but with no reply on. The author appears to have another CN username than what was used to publish the article. I found one Tom Fowler but no posts or activity so no way of knowing if it's the right one; and apparently they don't want to respond or come by this thread to discuss their article or represent themselves. We can't get in touch and moderators haven't helped do so yet.

And yes you are right I did misrepresent your business and your shipping policy. Much like this article but at least you can contact and get reply from us to correct it; we so far haven't.

Anyway I also feel like I'm done here. Have a good time at the wedding.


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theskyhound
Vendor (Skyhound)
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: Cloudcroft, New Mexico
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6093950 - 09/21/13 06:50 PM

Michael, You asked (and implied) some questions; here are my answers. I'm just clearing the air some more. No need to respond.

Quote:


As volunteers they don't have the chance to get to things right away, so you need to give them a chance.





All they had to do was tell me that they were talking it over. It appeared that I was being blown off, particularly after the editor stopped responding to me.

You underestimate the power of a review here. Each day that went buy was costing me money in sales and harming my reputation. I don't understand why you don't recognize that, and I must admit this is a considerable source of personal frustration.

Quote:


I have a grand idea, why not contact the guy that wrote the article, point out the fixes he couldn't find and ask him to edit his review. Solves everything.





Right. That was my initial thought. I tried to contact the author, but got the editor instead. I asked the editor to pass my message on. For reasons I don't understand, none of us have been successful in finding contact info for the author here on Cloudy Nights. His link only shows his other reviews. He does not appear in the listings. I don't understand why the errors weren't fixed ten days ago. Again, this is not a matter of minor details or simple opinion. These were major, harmful, glaring errors. I simply asked that the errors be fixed, privately, and I agree that would have solved everything.

Quote:


The entire thing can be addressed by writing a review. I don't understand why that keeps getting glossed over.





As a vendor I can't write a review here. All I can do is ask for any obvious errors to be addressed, something for which I have never previously had the need; I might have disagreed with a statement here or there in other reviews, but none had so many harmful errors. I get the feeling that you believe I and others have overreacted and are exaggerating. Believe me, the errors in this review are the real issue. If you want to be angry with someone, please be angry at the reviewer, if not for the poor review, then for not simply fixing the errors.


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Tom TAdministrator

*****

Reged: 02/26/02

Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: theskyhound]
      #6093982 - 09/21/13 07:11 PM

Greg I was not aware you were not contacted. We dropped the ball on that one.

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Kyphoron
member
*****

Reged: 04/05/05

Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6094185 - 09/21/13 10:19 PM

Just thinking out loud here, but I am left to wonder if an article that was titled "Buying from online Astro sites" was written in which Astronomics was giving an unfair review if that would ever get posted or if when facts were found to be wrong if the article would be retracted.

Again as Astronomics has pointed out it would be just the authors opinion and they didn't get paid for it so I guess it would get posted but I have to wonder would it?

You say the author is entitled to an opinion and you are correct, they are entitle to their opinion. That is why in a newspaper you will see it called an editorial and not a review. An Editorial is based on someone's opinion and when I read it I am well aware that its an opinion. BUT when I read a review that is not an opinion it should be based on a fair side by side comparison. That is why it is called a review.

Now I think a better disclaimer at the bottom of the article by CN should read. "After many user comments on the forum, many factual errors were found and the article should be looked at as an editorial and based solely on the authors opinions." Please go to the forums correction of these errors.


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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
*****

Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Kyphoron]
      #6094215 - 09/21/13 10:45 PM

I have stated my stance now multiple times.

Greg: I am not and have not asked you to write the review as a review from a vendor for their own product is not a review but an ad. I did ask for one of the nice people that responded in this thread to write a review. They have already fleshed out a great idea that could be wrapped up in a great review if thought out properly.

There have been plenty of things said about us over the years on s.s.a. We either let them slide as I didn't want to put out the energy or we did as you all did here and list what we believed as wrong.

Look, I am not the bad guy. I didn't write the darn thing. Heck, I didn't post the darn thing. The review says that both products are great. The review says to try them both out and decided. The review doesn't say don't buy X or that X is terrible. So the guy couldn't find something, or couldn't get it to work as HE thought it should. You all have pointed out his errors even using screenshots. We are going out of our way to contact him. Maybe you all should give someone a chance to get something figured out rather then 8 hours on a Saturday before you circle the wagons and tell them what an unfair piece of pooh the company I have given my life to build over the past 34 years. And no I am not being dramatic as I have been here since I was 6 working doing manual inventory in the beginning to purchasing this site and pouring buckets of money into so you all have a place to tell me how I wronged someone, when I had nothing to do with it.


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theskyhound
Vendor (Skyhound)
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: Cloudcroft, New Mexico
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Astronomics]
      #6094413 - 09/22/13 01:42 AM

Michael, for goodness sakes, chill. I don't have any issue with you except one: you seem to be going out of your way to ignore/deny that any harm has been done. I'm not suing you or boycotting you. So cut me a little slack.

Please, all I want is to be treated fairly. This review has been up for 13 days now. Please, just listen for a moment. In my business people make purchase decisions based on features. The review claimed that many features were missing in my product--features that can make or break a sale. That has hurt my business. Hopefully that is over now. I would prefer to see the review corrected, but I do accept the link at the bottom of the review. So why are we not done here?

Like I said, I have no issue with you. But a lot of people loyal to my product are rather upset right now, and to be frank, your posts appear to be goading them on. I will be happy to ask them to back off. All I ask in return is that you stop telling me that this is much ado about nothing, and for us to work together in a friendly, respectful manner.

Deal?


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: theskyhound]
      #6094653 - 09/22/13 08:44 AM

Where I moderator I would lock this tread in a heartbeat.

I was seriously considering buying Sky Tools.
After reading these treads and all this whining. Now not so much. Not because of the review
But because of what seems to be the community that supports this tool.
I’m sure the product is fine but the people not so much.

Atstronomics are doing a wonderful thing here keeping up a forum for us to share our hobby please do not waste their time.. really!

This is the Internet get over it!


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theskyhound
Vendor (Skyhound)
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: Cloudcroft, New Mexico
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: Gert K A]
      #6094740 - 09/22/13 09:59 AM

Quote:

Where I moderator I would lock this tread in a heartbeat.

I was seriously considering buying Sky Tools.
After reading these treads and all this whining. Now not so much. Not because of the review
But because of what seems to be the community that supports this tool.
I’m sure the product is fine but the people not so much.

Atstronomics are doing a wonderful thing here keeping up a forum for us to share our hobby please do not waste their time.. really!

This is the Internet get over it!




There's always one on every forum isn't there? You, sir, are why I gave up on USENET a long time ago.


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software new [Re: theskyhound]
      #6094814 - 09/22/13 10:46 AM

You really don’t get how destructive you are, do you?
You got a huge user base her on CN, you get free advertising every day by your users here
I would not complain at all if I were you, but rather eat the good with the bad so to speak,
and maybe realise that there still are improvements to be done with your product:
Reading the review, clearly not all newcomers understand all of your cool features.


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Tom TAdministrator

*****

Reged: 02/26/02

Re: Comparative review - observatory planning software [Re: Gert K A]
      #6095005 - 09/22/13 12:38 PM

Ok folks we are going to lock this thread for a while so everyone can take a step back. When (and if) we unlock it we will also consider some judicious editing to allow corrections to the software's abilities to remain, but remove a lot of the unpleasantness.

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