Hi to everyone again!
I have been extremely busy lately and it seems I will also be in the near future.
I also wanted to experiment and see how peaceful the forum can be without me and
the KOs dramas.
(some of you knew this already)
Since I returned from Singapore and Hong Kong, my duty backlog is so great, that it
is time and energy draining. I was even called to be part of the Jury for the local court!!!
But efficiency is always there and everything is on a good track! I also need to clarify a few
points to ensure misunderstandings will not happen again in this forum, in the future. Here we go:
Beware that this forum is full of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs,
attitudes, religions, and races. We need to carefully think before posting.
Note, I said "we", not "you". I am including myself, ok? (2).
Regarding the ridiculous belief that I am "anti-Chinese":(a)
I don't hate anyone, and even the word "hate" is not part of my every day dictionary.People who hate tend to waste their lives and achieve nothing until they die. (b)
In my daily life, 80% of my friends are Chinese, 10% Greek/Australian, and the other
10% are other nationalities. Or you may have a look at this video, where me and some
long term friends (they are ALL Chinese and of them some I know for almost a decade
- and some look younger than they really are!) are having a nice dinner 20 days ago:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7mQzTUfMLA
(I look serious in this video because I am actually trying to solve the Aquadron!!!)(c)
Every country has good and bad people. Denying this fact, only reveals some
sort of over-patriotism. For example, I love Greece, but I admit there is
corruption. And trust me, I REALLY love Greece, as I travel there from Australia
every single year! Also, China still has some serious problems with KO manufacturing
and this is clearly shown by official Chinese business articles where 20,000 cases
of infringements are in queue. It is a huge country, but that does not make all
Chinese people bad, just like not all Greek people are bad and corrupt. Some Chinese,
like Daqing Bao, have been recently coming up with some excellent new designs. Another
example is SmaZ (Michael) with some BRILLIANT detailed designs. Leslie also did an
impressive 12x12x12, and I am sorry of he was a victim of the anti-KO avalanche.
I never said he did anything illegal, and I hope he realises that personally, I am not against anyone. (d)
I can even openly admit my girlfriend's nationality, but by now, I think you already understand
that in fact, I like and respect Chinese people more than thought. It is the influence of those who
make fakes that I am against. Even MindStrat Puzzles has people from so many different countries,
that it is amazing. (3).
I passionately have been, am, and will be against selling KOs, more as a designer,
than as a businessman. My YouTube puzzle videos do not only include my own puzzles,
but they also include puzzles from all ages, countries and types.
I understand that there are many young people who cannot afford expensive puzzles
(custom, rare, or new mechanisms) and would buy KOs, and I cannot force anyone to
stop buying fakes. It is your choice and your guilt. At least, I can meet any designer
in the world and look straight into their eyes without feeling uncomfortable. (4).
Panagiotis Verdes is a noble man, who during the release of the V-cubes,
had some serious health problems, and he still suffers from them. The latest news
(in general) have not helped the situation. The reason Konstantinos (his son) seems
so protective is exactly because of this. Panagiotis (even if he wanted to) cannot
be part of "debates", and he only expresses some wishes, which sadly, many times are
not heard. It is beyond my mind why not. This person has revolutionised the puzzle world
with his internal structure idea. For more than 20 years we were all stuck on the
5x5x5 cube. And suddenly, we can see 6x6x6s, 7x7x7s, even 11x11x11 (KOs or not).
Moreover, thanks to Drew's skills extending the mechanism, some designs like the Teraminx
and the Petaminx which 3-4 years ago only seemed like an illusion, have rocked not just
the puzzle world, but the entire world. And I am sure there will be more in the future.
The latest request from Verdes is simple: "Since now the "awe" for the 11x11x11 is gone
(which is the most impressive part of the patent), is it possible for everyone to focus
on new internal designs?". A lot of damage is done already anyway. I was there in Hong
Kong and I played with an 11x11x11. We even acquired a couple for legal/lawyer proof,
photo evidence, and other reasons. I went more than once and spoke to the people at the booth
which was selling the KOs long before and
after the lawyer issued a warning.
I am not an enemy of people, so I always try to find ways to reason. They were surprised I went
there again, but when they saw me solving a few of their cubes, they realised I am a puzzler,
not a policeman or a judge. They returned their kindness by giving me some cubes for a gift!
Those people selling the 11x11x11 were simple people from mainland China, they
were not criminals. Some of them did not even know what a patent is. My partner (Siva)
was shocked when I invited them to our (MindStrat Puzzles) booth where I showed them
the original V-Cubes which have written the list with all the worldwide patents. They understood
the case, but they also did not know what to do, as they did not bring many other products to
promote for their business. I am not sure how many would have done this. But I am PROUD I did.
Other people will probably make a big fuss or even provoke a fist fight, which is wrong.
(Trust me, my eyes have witness all sorts of bizarre encounters!!!).
Moreover, I have a deep respect for people who come up with new internal designs
ON THEIR OWN, and I am sure many of you will agree with me. I am saying this, because I met
some of them in Hong Kong from different parts of the world (Rox, remember the sliding 2x2x2
and the hollow layer puzzles?). So come on, let's be creative!(5).
Some may say that my anti-KOs stance is too rigid. The reality is, even with such rigid
stance, the KO problem is still big. But at least now, most of you know the KO problem well.
If during this unpleasant (for everyone) process I managed to make you think even a
little bit more about the ethics, then I am happy enough. And although I have been in
the receiving end of personal attacks, I tried my best to not be personal in return.
Of course, I am not perfect, no one is, so a couple of times I may had overdone it
(although I have been pressing the red button so many times, I have been driving the
admins/moderators nuts!). But my imperfection will always be accompanied by a golden rule,
that I never do to others what I don't want them to do to me
. Add to that, that I would
never ever attempt to make a design (including personal build) without the permission
from the original designer, and you can see where I am coming from. I am not going to debate with anyone about KOs anymore, but I may quote this post for my answer. (6).
The Jade Club seems like a nice initiative, but we should all be patient.
My objection is about paying to join a club. I am honored to already belong to
certain astounding puzzle groups, and was never asked to pay anything. The Uni
MMPC (Mechanical and Mathematical Puzzle Club) is also a free one (it has always
been free since I made it), while (as hinted in March 2009), we plan to create the
Puzzle Ninja Team, which will focus on the puzzles from an ethical point of view,
while there will be some nice discounts. Of course, people not joining the Jade Club,
will miss out on some excellent puzzles, so it is more of a personal choice and most
importantly, a matter of how much free time you have! As for the Jade Club puzzles,
they surely look absolutely great and I had the chance to secretly play with one during
a long and honest private chat with Uwe. This guy gets younger every year! LOL
And by all means, that doesn't mean I don't want to be part of the Jade Club. There
are many more "diplomatic" reasons in the background, and just like Rox, I am trying
hard to make many people happy at the same time!(7).
If you feel any of my comments have hurt you, simply send me a PM. This has worked
in almost all cases (except when both parties were fuming LOL). On a public thread, if our views are
vertically different, then it would be wise for both of us to avoid direct replies. This will also save a lot
of time for the admins/moderators who are some of the best people you could ever know. So respect them. (8).
Please read (1) again.
(Now I need a new keyboard!!!!)