back to article Ham-fisted: Chap's radio app killed remotely after posting bad review

A US ham radio software developer has admitted a support staffer disabled a customer's copy of its application after he posted a negative review online. The owners of HRD Software today told The Register they have since reinstated the user's license, claiming the revenge move was made by an outside support staffer. Here's …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I have to wonder if any of the phone/computer/OS/software companies* will try this now... the idea is out there. Yes, there's the law but the excuse will be the same... "it was a mistake"...

    *The list is too long to name names.. we've all read the reviews and comments.

    1. as2003

      I doubt it. This is a truly terrible way of responding to criticism, and I think most companies are smart enough to realise the negative PR would cost them far more.

      1. Adam 1 Silver badge

        > I think most companies are smart enough to realise the negative PR would cost them far more.

        So you're suggesting that Oracle will probably try it?

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
          Coat

          > I think most companies are smart enough to realise the negative PR would cost them far more.

          So you're suggesting that Oracle will probably try it?

          I really hope so. I'm going to post as many damning reviews of Java as I possibly can. Then just wait until it stops working and never works again.

          Maybe I should also try this with Adobe Flash??? :)

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        This is a truly terrible way of responding to criticism, and I think most companies are smart enough to realise the negative PR would cost them far more.

        Especially when you do it to a member of a community whose particular interest is communication...

      3. mstreet

        "I think most companies are smart enough"

        "Company" must mean something different on your side of the pond. My experience has revealed that for the most part, "Smart" and "[insert company name here]", seldom go together in the same sentence.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I doubt it. This is a truly terrible way of responding to criticism, and I think most companies are smart enough to realise the negative PR would cost them far more."

        But isn;t that the point of the new law referenced in the story? US companies *are* putting out T&Cs which specifically prohibit negative reviews and are taking action on them.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "I have to wonder if any of the phone/computer/OS/software companies* will try this now... the idea is out there."

      In most instances, I doubt that a company could link a review to a user licence code without some awfully deep digging. In the case of the Ham radio guy, he most likely used his callsign in his email sigs, on the review, and many other public places, likely also in his communications with the company involved and so probably very easy to identify.

  2. Brian Miller

    Before the law was passed ...

    What was HRD Software doing? Usually the support people do things according to a script. It isn't too often that they start screwing with the customers just for fun.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Before the law was passed ...

      > Usually the support people do things according to a script

      I wouldn't say "usually", especially not with smaller companies or more specialised software with a small installed user base.

      Aside from that, it is not unknown for humans not to follow instructions, especially when they get emotional.

      > What was HRD Software doing?

      To me, and I hate to say this and sound like a busybody paper pusher (which I'm not) but reading between the lines it looks like they might have had poor processes in place. A possible solution would have been for only managers to be able to deactivate licences before they expire. Then again, it may just be that it didn't occur to them that one of their guys would go rogue (perhaps he thought he was helping). It could even be, going into conspiracy territory, that this actually came from management and now they're trying to throw someone under the bus, à la Volkswagen, who knows?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Before the law was passed ...

      I don't think HRD is a particularly large company… so it's not like they'll have a dedicated support helpdesk that you ring up. Think more like the support you'd get from an open-source project, except that HAM Radio Deluxe is commercial software.

      AFAIK their primary support is through online forums or by email, and while it's not assumed that the audience is fully computer savvy, some technical knowledge can be assumed since you need such knowledge to pass a radio license.

    3. mstreet

      Re: Before the law was passed ...

      "...screwing with the customers just for fun..."

      I just don't buy their excuse. If by "outside support staff", they mean a call center or paid help desk, I just don't believe their story.

      I've worked in 2 companies with call centers, and they are pretty much sweatshops with a turnstile. Defending the honor of the company, just doesn't sound like something low paid support staff are likely to do. I'd be more inclined to believe the support people would agree with the customer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Before the law was passed ...

        > Defending the honor of the company, just doesn't sound like something low paid support staff are likely to do

        I can't imagine what it might have been like calling this company's support line a couple centuries back when duels were all the rage (pardon the pun).

  3. Haku

    Ratner effect.

    HRD Software should read up about that.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Say that again, Jerry ... I can't hear you over HRD's bullshit

    … might help if you do one of:

    1. unplug the headphones

    2. put them on

    Yes, I own one of those radios, and it is patently obvious that something is plugged into the headphone jack right next to the microphone.

    1. Paul J Turner

      Re: Say that again, Jerry ... I can't hear you over HRD's bullshit

      " it is patently obvious that something is plugged into the headphone jack right next to the microphone."

      That would be the headphones resting on top of the rig then? (just a wild guess)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Say that again, Jerry ... I can't hear you over HRD's bullshit

        In all probability, yes. It could be something else but the smart money is that plug connects to the headphones in shot.

  5. Captain DaFt

    -admitting that a support staffer had disabled the customer's software key in response to the poor review.

    "This does not reflect the policies or procedures of our company. But it was said. It was a mistake," he said.-

    So they're claiming,It wasn't me, honest! A bad boy did it, then he ran away!"?

  6. waldo kitty
    Pirate

    no way to get away with it anyway

    i watched this unfolding in real time and then archived at the Internet Archive... the IA especially made sure to archive the forum topic so that it wouldn't disappear like was attempted when the topic was deleted and the blacklist stuff was also cleared... that was last week... how did it take the Reg so long to glomb onto the situation?

    1. Notas Badoff

      Re: no way to get away with it anyway

      "... how did it take the Reg so long ..."

      Umm, you forgot to send them a message? Contacts, news desk... Works for me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: no way to get away with it anyway

        I wouldn't rely on IA to preserve evidence. Not immune to takedown requests.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Fuzz

          Re: no way to get away with it anyway

          Doesn't even need a takedown request. You just adjust your robots.txt and it's gone.

      2. waldo kitty
        Angel

        Re: no way to get away with it anyway

        nope... i didn't forget... they watch some of the same feeds that i watch ;)

  7. GrapeBunch Silver badge

    non-RAM memories

    I was a mostly happy customer of a company whose originator was also CEO and chief programmer. I sent a terse email regarding a particular issue to tech support, to discover that the boss also sometimes manned the tech email. I think he got my complaint, which was fact-based, mixed up with another person's complaint which was mostly rant-based. But in the end we worked it all out. He was quick to take offence, but also quick to make amends. Aaaaah, the good old days. But events bore out the conclusion that a company founder should not moonlight as tech support.

  8. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Ah, the Volkswagen Defense.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Open source has its shortcomings

    But license key shenanigans ain't one of 'em.

  10. Peter Prof Fox

    Run your business how you like...

    But there are laws. (And common sense)

    Most business are trying and learn (Not TalkTalk)

    And another thing:

    Good for waldo kitty to catch the moment... (If you don't the evidence is lost)

    Good for the Reg to wait until determining some background on which to pin facts. (El Reg is, like Private Eye, one of the few places where reporting and journalism are not synonymous.)

  11. JaitcH
    Unhappy

    I remember when ...

    Amateur Radio operators used to build their own rigs. From ordering an alumin(i)um chassis from Radio Spares (now RS Components), cutting holes for valves/tubes in them with Greenlee** holes cutters, then wiring up the whole thing. We even used inverted baking/roasting pans when money was tight.

    What more fun than could be had than waiting in anticipation for the valves/tubes heaters to glow and for the rig to actually work!

    What better hand warmer can be found than an 807 power beam tetrode valve/tube?

    Many of today's Amateurs are little better than box operators and now Apps!

    At least many have to erect their own HF antennae - I have a long-wire receiving antenna that runs across the farmers field next door.

    P.S. If you need to cut smaller-sized holes in wood or metal few things beat a "Stepped" drill bit. Magical. And RS doesn't sell alumin(i)um chassis any more.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I remember when ...

      Home built rigs are a dying art.

      Thanks for the memories. Have an up vote.

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I remember when ...

      Glowing valves? Luxury... I recall, as a child, cat's-whisker point contact diodes and miles of wire all over the garden...

      1. Snar

        Re: I remember when ...

        Cat's whiskers...Luxury! I remember having to chew down bits of rusty nail to make the filings for my coherer.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: I remember when ...

          I could never catch our cat - got wise after the first time!

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            Re: I remember when ...

            I could never catch our cat - got wise after the first time!

            Comments like these make me long for more upvotes to give :)

          2. Nick Ryan Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: I remember when ...

            Was it you or the car that got wise?

          3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: I remember when ...

            "I could never catch our cat - got wise after the first time!"

            We used our cat to repair the old tennis racquet. She was never the same again after that!

        2. vincent himpe

          Re: I remember when ...

          we had to walk 2 miles through the snow to get to the internet ... and now , kids these days, one click and they are on it ...

      2. JaitcH
        Happy

        Re: I remember when ...

        I actually used chips of coal as a diode!

        1. AlbertH

          Re: I remember when ...

          We all did!

          I made grid bias batteries by breaking open hand-lamp batteries and taking a couple of cells out, then wrapping them in paper and insulting tape. They would last for months. I also made HT (B+) battery stacks out of hand-lamp batteries hacked together for 120V. The heater batteries were "U2" torch cells, and would be the ones that were replaced weekly - I used to buy four U2 cells with my pocket money! A little later, I started to use a 6V motorcycle battery for the heaters, and my dad built a charger to replenish the charge over night.

          My receiver began as a 2-valve TRF with regeneration, and grew into a dual-conversion 12-valve monster which included three 7360 switched beam tetrodes - one for the front end mixer, one for the second mixer and a third for the product detector for resolving SSB. It's still the best receiver I've ever used!

          1. W4YBO

            Re: I remember when ...

            @AlbertH

            I think I have a problem. Reading your post about the gear from your youth gave me a semi. Oh well, I'm getting older.

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: I remember when ...

            wrapping them in paper and insulting tape

            Was that just common invective or military grade?

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: I remember when ...

      Glowing valve electronic hobbyism is alive still in the world of guitar amplification and there are quite a few specialist little companies that can provide a blank chassis.

      1. JaitcH
        Happy

        Re: I remember when ...

        An old friend who believes in guitars and Williamson Amplifiers (1947-1949) (featured in the late lamented Wireless World in the late 1940s) now has an audio amplifier with a pair of 807s as a final, push-pull pairs in class AB1 or AB2 giving up to 120 watts of usable power.

        See: > http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/239713-low-cost-class-hi-fi-amplifier-807-s-e-ultralinear-pentode-drivers-6g6g.html < and still available > http://www.tubes-store.com/product_info.php?products_id=309 <.

        The 807 was the backbone of the military. The No. 19 tank set had one; the British Amplifier No, 2 Mk 2 had a pair of 807s;

    4. Mike Banahan

      What better hand warmer can be found than an 807 power beam tetrode valve/tube?

      807? Pah! A pair of 813s with 2.5kv on the anodes. 100 watts just for the filaments.

      I remember a conversation with (names redacted):

      X: How are you getting on at your new location?

      Y: It's ok but I'm having trouble with the street lights.

      X: What, lots of RF noise coming out of them?

      Y: No, they go out on voice peaks when I'm running full power

      (He did have a 'surplus' 10 KW Marconi transmitter in his cellar).

    5. Bp968

      Re: I remember when ...

      I totally disagree that it's a dying art, it's just changing. Look up the mcHF, a complete all mode 1.8-30mhz SDR based QRP tranciever kit! Or check out the FaradayRF stuff, or any of the things currently going on with the DMR uhf radios and all the development there. I think whats going on is your seeing a change in what's being homebrewed. Instead of people making trancievers from scratch we are seeing a large amount of growth in open source and homebrewed software solutions. With SDR becoming so accessible we are only going to see more and more of this. It's pretty amazing what can be done with a 20$ DDS and a ARM processor or an FPGA now. No need for specialized crystals or single frequency designs. Now you can have a wide frequency tuning range with a cheap DDS unit.

      The growth and development in the digital modes is pretty amazing as well. Check out WSPR or codec2/freedv.

  12. dan1980

    For me, the most alarming - and actionable thing - is that the vendor expressly directed the customer to a special piece of software that would disable the application - presumably in concert with the key block.

    What that implies is that his software was usable, though buggy, but after the installation of the 'update' the support team instructed him to install, it was rendered inoperable.

    I.e. - the vendor conned the customer into installing a piece of computer code designed to negatively impact his computer and did so for the express reason of negatively impacting it. This wasn't some unintended consequence of an update/patch that was suggested in good faith: the vendor actively conned the customer into crippling the software on his PC.

    1. nichomach

      In principle...

      ...I don't see any difference between this company and the fake "Microsoft Support" guy who talks your Nan into downloading ransomware onto their PC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In principle...

        ...I don't see any difference between this company and the fake "Microsoft Support" guy who talks your Nan into downloading ransomware onto their PC.

        I do. The company disabled only their own software, nothing else. It's still a fantastically stupid thing to do, not just because of bad PR but also because you could construe this as fraud (taking money and then remove the functionality licensed to the customer without a refund process in play), but at least they contained their stupidity to their own software and nothing more.

        Things get different if you're an OS provider and screw over a system's ability to, for instance, pick up a DHCP issued IP address and do so on a global scale. That buggers up complete platforms, yet has zero consequences for the provider because you're by now used to that - they trained you into accepting utter crap and then still buy the upgrade.

        I mainly have questions about the thinking of people who deem withdrawing service via remote control in any way, shape or form an acceptable reaction to a bad review. Not only is that combining a Ratner's with the Streisand effect, but it's also not a decision to be taken by a support droid.

        1. JaitcH
          Meh

          Re: In principle...

          QUOTE: "The company disabled only their own software, nothing else. It's still a fantastically stupid thing to do, not just because of bad PR but also because you could construe this as fraud "

          Perhaps Samsung should think about this with respect to their mainly crippled Note 7s.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: In principle...

            The company disabled only their own software, nothing else. It's still a fantastically stupid thing to do, not just because of bad PR but also because you could construe this as fraud

            In the UK this would be illegal under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. (ss 1, 3 Unauthorised modification - Denial of access.) There have been convictions for it, some of which have even made the press.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In principle...

              In the UK this would be illegal under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. (ss 1, 3 Unauthorised modification - Denial of access.)

              Not always. The key is the word 'Unauthorised". If you agreed to this capability in the Terms that came with the package/service/software you will have no leg to stand on. Which is IMHO a shame because it would offer lots of entertainment with Microsoft's licensing scams schemes.

              That said, I personally hope that sales of this product will fall off a cliff now people have pointed out more usable software with less idiotic support staff.

          2. NoSpam4me

            Re: In principle...

            Samsung doesn't just disable their crippled Note 7s ,they set them on fire.

  13. Jabba

    Crapware

    Ham Radio Deluxe (or HRD) was a cracking piece of software till Simon Brown HB9DRV sold it to these muppets, who "monetized" it. I tried the paid for version and the majority of it stopped working properly. I was a pain in the arse to install from what I remember. I gave up and went back to the free version which is still kicking about on the interwebs which is still working flawlessly, even with my all singing and dancing Icom 7300 SDR box. (and yes I built my own fan dipole HF antenna)

    Perhaps the worse thing is you have to continue to pay for upgrades and fixes. If you churn out crap at least make updates free. Without a doubt, HRD deserves a bad review.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Crapware

      Yes, the last version I tried was rubbish. The Simon Brown era versions (free) were fine. Also SW like this needs to support ancient versions of windows (perhaps for old laptop ONLY used as a screen for the radio and not connected to the internet.

      You see this with lots of Software that is bought out, gets poorer quality and more expensive.

      Paint Shop Pro: JASC to Corel. I went back to V7, the Version 10 is a mess and incompatible with Win7. I'm gradually changing to The Gimp.

      Sun stuff to Oracle. The Java download debacle etc.

      Skype: To eBay then Microsoft. (P.S. you CAN block the adverts and get rid of home screen)

      Probably loads of other examples.

      Paying for upgrades? Win7 should have been free for Vista users. Why does Win10 delete Win7 after 10 days?

      1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

        Re: Crapware

        Agreed on a lot of what you posted but I can offer a small ray of hope, after making attempts to get on with Win 10, I wiped it and restored Win 7 from the 'recovery' partition and can confirm the Win 7 licence still activates correctly.

        Unless MS does something spectacular with Win11 then it'll be Linux next time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Crapware

          If you're considering switching to Linux, the longer I use MX Linux the better I like it. I've been a distro hopper for years. I still throw iso images onto a usb to try new versions of distros but MX Linux is really worth a try. As a largely non-technical but interested computer user it will probably be worth my time to learn to run isos from VMs. I was a long time CrunchBang user and when the founder gave that up I started looking for another distro. MX is more graphical but very good.

          Not related to MX Linux in any way other than as a happy user.

          1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

            Re: Crapware

            I think it is the natural progression of small closed-source software: original developer gets bored and wants to move to new things, but not before monetizing on the old success.

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Crapware

          Win 10 deleted the Lenovo Win7 recovery.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge
        Go

        @Mage -- Re: Crapware

        Skype: To eBay then Microsoft. (P.S. you CAN block the adverts and get rid of home screen)

        What is the magic incantation to do that?

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: @Mage Block Skype ads

          Search block skype advert settings

          it's basically:

          1) Splt windows, then close stupid "home" screen or it doesn't go away

          2) Using MS Internet settings in Control Panel (or via IE) block two sites. Add two websites to the list of restricted addresses: apps.skype.com and g.msn.com

          3) Edit the Skype Users appdata roaming: C:\users\[your user name]\App Data\Roaming\Skype\[your Skype username]. You should see a config.xml file in this directory. Right-click it and choose Edit, then find the line that says <AdvertPlaceholder> Change value to 0.

          Enjoy :)

  14. Alien Doctor 1.1

    "At that point, the customer is free to use another product."

    Am I the only one to find that statement odd and arrogant?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Am I the only one to find that statement odd and arrogant?

      No :)

  15. Chozo
    Big Brother

    A canary by any other name?

    If the manufacturer can shut down the rig remotely then what's to stop a government doing the same in a time of civil unrest? Makes you wonder about all those cheap Baofeng handhelds that are so popular in the prepping community.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A canary by any other name?

      The radios are generally fully working without HRD, all HRD does is allow you to control the radio from a computer.

      The only thing you lose by HRD not working is being able to control the radio from the computer with that specific software.

      The radio still works and there are other ways of controlling from a PC but for "preppers" the simplest most reliable, supply friendly way to use is it is without a PC (I'd have thought).

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: A canary by any other name?

        And integrated logging. That's the useful bit if you do competitions and awards etc.

    2. SilverCommentard

      Re: A canary by any other name?

      The government already has that right, in the UK at least. It's a licence condition that notice can be served on all amateur radio licencees to shutdown their stations. During WW2 they even had to surrender their equipment!

      But in this case it was the software that was disabled, not the radio.

    3. Jess--

      Re: A canary by any other name?

      HRD is not the rig, it's just a bit of software on a computer (which will shut down if it's license expires or is revoked)

      I don't see how a radio manufacturer would be able to remotely kill their radio's as there is no simple control method meaning any shutdown would have to be done over the air on frequencies supported by the radio, the baofeng ones you mention (like many other cheap handhelds) are vhf/uhf units which means in normal use they have a range that is a little more than line of sight (possibly a 30-50 mile radius but usually much less), the sheer number of transmitters needed to cover a country would make it a poor choice

  16. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    Hmmm, sure it was a "mistake"!

    It was policy to blacklist people before and it then became a "mistake" when the story started getting attention and the company was put in the spotlight and made to look like what they are, a small time software company with a nasty problem that thinks they can treat their customers like dirt.

  17. Daniel Bower

    Commcat

    Is the best piece of ham radio software going. Tried HRD and thought it terrible!

    Howard (Nurse) author of Commcat provides first class support also. Usually responds to me within a couple of hours regardless of time differences.

    Not affiliated with him at all-just putting it out there as an alternative!

    73 de Danny M0SDB

  18. Jim-234

    Now I know who not to buy software from.

    That saved be a bit of time, I've been looking for some new HAM software & now I know where not to put my money.

    When I buy something, I expect it to work, not to have some little brat be able to feel all powerful because they can remotely disable something I bought to use.

    Most previously useful software seems to be going down the road of how can we make you beg us and give us gifts of endless money for the wondrous privilege of using our craptastic bug ridden ugly flat new interface program... Oh and if you ever loose connection with our servers, tough luck if you want to run the program.

    Some days I so want to sentence some of these idiots that think up these things to... my daily commute...

  19. John Doe 12

    Balance Of Judgement

    I run my own company and we are subjected to online reviews sometimes. All I can say is that review the customer posted about HRD was well mannered and not shitty in any way so really I don't see the need to flame the poor guy and blacklist his license.

    We have had one or two people who WOULD deserve such treatment. One guy posted a really nasty and negative review simply because he didn't believe the good feedback we had (we are a small ISP) and at the same time emailed us asking to connect him to our service. I told him that there would be no way we would deal with him after that.

    Another person who actually WAS our customer double posted a really unpleasant review and so I contacted them via email and said we would refund their install and a few months service and take back the equipment and call it quits. Their reply was that they had no problems with the service and didn't want to leave!!

    So I know what a true douchebag review looks like and this Jim Giercyk was nothing but respectful.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Revenge is Human Nature

    A bad review resulted in revenge action? Say it isn't so! But it is so and common, it can also have major consequences.

    An example in the USA is the Wells Fargo scandal that included the company blacklisting employees on a "U5" database of financial workers. The U5 database was meant to alert finance institutions to "problem" workers (just those that broke the law of course) and was checked before hiring someone new. Wells Fargo used it to blackball those workers who tried to expose the Well Fargo Scandal.

    Recently found out that the move to electronic health records, resulting in a single file on a patient (needed to prevent drug interactions and other medical errors) gives Doctors and other health care professionals a very convenient form of revenge. Should a patient be "difficult" or equally likely the healthcare professional due to excessive work load was not in a mood to receive a negative comment or deal with a difficult personality can feel a little better by placing comments in the file the patient will either never see or only see after it is too late.

    Of course that might not just be revenge as it can be used to defend oneself against future malpractice claims.

    There are many ways to prevent revenge actions for those wanting to report possible criminal activity, malpractice, or fraud but our laws are written and enforced to best benefit those funding political campaigns or ensuring those in office are well compensated.

    That and business has learned from the US government itself that attacking those trying to expose misdeeds is the best first reaction. Until we can get governments that answer to the people, and not our Elite, we can expect little support for those that try to speak out, be it violations of a Constitution or software fraud.

  21. Bill Gates

    Replace it with open source NOW

    HRD desperately needs to be replaced by an open source software package owned and developed by the ham radio community at large.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Replace it with open source NOW

      Also boycott "D-star"? Nasty codec that's expensive and proprietary.

  22. NoSpam4me

    It's not one staffer or one guy.

    The PDF in response from the software vendor is filled with half-truths and outright lies. HRD aggressively monitors review sites and routinely disables the software of people who post negative reviews. And their program returns the term "blacklisted" when queried.

    Further, the license is tied to the user's callsign which is not trivially changed. This is not an isolated instance, it is not one contract employee, the software vendor indeed uses the term "blacklist" when disabling the software of those posting bad reviews, and then blackmails the users into removing the bad reviews in order to re-enable it. See Imgur snapshot of reviews and queries of license status.

    http://i.imgur.com/QZlREaJ.png

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: It's not one staffer or one guy.

      Yeah, we're writing a follow-up right now.

      C.

  23. Death Boffin
    Thumb Up

    Not open source, but close

    DXLab by AA6YQ covers most of the functions of HRD. Dave is pretty responsive on the DXLab mail group on Yahoo. I use it for both general logging and radio control.

    The N1MM software is good for contesting and integrates well with DXLab.

    73

  24. raving angry loony

    Anonymity

    OK, who still thinks that anonymity isn't required any more because hey, if you're done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide? Or do those people consider publicly voicing disapproval to be "doing something wrong that merits being penalized"?

    Far as I'm concerned any corporation or government official that lobbies for an end to online anonymity is little more than a jackbooted corporatist or police state enthusiast, who just wants an easier way to crush any and all dissent. And the punters who support that view are just pinheaded idiots without a clue.

  25. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Let them find my call name!

    Is there an independent forum where one can post reviews of products made by this great chip-in-the-shoulder company?

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