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Boycott ASUS ? $comment_count ?>
OK, time to jump on the bandwagon once again against the nefarious activities of the incredibly EVIL ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. (ASUS) (Taiwan) (IRRESPONSIBLE COMPANY).
I thought we already went through all of this last year (around July 2000) when Riva 3D broke the news that ASUS were "exploring" transparency features. The resulting uproar appeared to work, as ASUS decided to withdraw two of the features included in their "3DseeThrough Technologies" driver.
However, just recently they're back at it again, probably because they spent too much money on development to let it go. Suddenly it's ground hog day once more with ASUS trying to pass off cheating as a way to "help novice players to have a faster learning curve in playing 3D games" and to "let skilled players to have a chance [sic] to test their skills with a new challenge".
They've got their dumb-assed poll up again and, when I checked it out only 4,353 people had voted, of which 88% said "NO" to ASUS. On the one hand, that's not a lot of people protesting. ASUS is a company with Annual Gross Sales Revenue of more than US$1,500 million. Each month, it sells over 1,000,000 mainboards, and 50,000 notebooks. On the other hand, 88% is a large majority, and they will *hopefully* recognise that the costs still outweigh the benefits of proceeding.
So what else can you do? Well, unless they wake up and begin acting properly and responsibly, boycott every ASUS product you might have buying power over. Someone said - "but this doesn't concern motherboards does it?". TOO RIGHT IT DOES. This concerns EVERY ASUS product:
Boycott them all. What's more, ASUS might not be aware of it but many serious online gamers are by now IT Professionals and in charge of the company IT budget. Loads of gamers work for ISPs, tech companies, and in the IT departments of large companies. If you are in this position, feel free to email ASUS and inform them that you are inclined to boycott their products in future unless they act responsibly.
Use your persuasive powers to convince your fellow IT Professionals and gamers that ASUS stinks. If you go to a LAN or play in an online league, spread the word that using ASUS is the "sign of the cheater". If anyone asks you for your opinion on a good motherboard, tell them that ASUS unfortunately do not deserve to considered. The smell of cheating has turned the name of ASUS into a steaming pile of poo.
Spread the word: ASUS have lost face in a BIG WAY with online gamers and the demographic of gamers is NOT just kids any longer. So much for being a responsible company. Until they change their ways, boycott them.
I saw that Tony Ray over at Punkbuster has "declared war on ASUS". Punkbuster now includes "the ASUS Cheat (PunkBuster violation #113)". Tony also reports that game developers (alongside gamers, those most directly impacted by this ASUS crap) are not that keen to publically criticise ASUS:
"PunkBuster is trying (so far with little success) to get game designers to unite together in order to present a strong, clear message to Asus to "Quit messing with the online game communities". The game designers are (off the record of course) afraid to publicly criticize Asus because of "existing business relationships". I guess it's ok for Asus to rip their software products apart but it's not ok to publicly stand up to Asus for their bad behavior. Last I checked, Asus is a 1.5 Billion dollar corporation ... I wonder how much of that goes to the games industry to leave Asus alone regarding their destructive tactics. The losers are the "little guy" gamers who spend their hard earned money and their valuable time competing daily online only to see the level playing field and competition get flushed so Asus can see their stock go up".
If someone out there wants to make a button with something like "BOYCOTT ASUS" and "COALITION AGAINST ASUS CHEATING" then I will be very happy to stick it somewhere prominant on Challenge.WORLD. I think all gaming websites involved with online gaming and competition have to take the strongest possible stand and fight this irresponsible company. The more websites that display a protest the better, and a button would be a simple but highly visible (and hence effective) means to do so. If you feel strongly about this issue and maybe the Challenge Network can help in some way.
See-Through Drivers and Asus SUCK ASS for ever offering them to anyone, thus allowing them to be leaked. Truly a sad day in the hardware/gaming community. Not much else to say, except I hope that they are not improved upon." Kyle Bennett, Hard OCP.
As most of you know, the truth is that ASUS already fucked us over with the "leaked" drivers they "removed" last year. The drivers spread over the Internet and AFAIK even the new ones can be "hacked" reasonably easily if you know how.
Bear in mind that the company is Taiwan-based so if you want to complain direct to them use language about "losing face" and "being irresponsible". There are three main divisions, so if you live in the neighbourhood why not organise a protest march! Seriously, get together some CS clans, as they are mostly affected at the moment, and go down there and protest loudly outside the front gate. Call the local media and especially the gaming-related press. Just don't do anything illegal or dangerous because in real life - you don't respawn.
And don't try and h4x0r your way into the ASUS mainframe to delete all of the companies mission-critical files, as that will land you in jail for many many years. ASUS are bound to have world-class anti-hacker protection anyway, so I imagine that any elite hacker group out there who considered ASUS fair game would never be able to penetrate their defences. There's no way that I would ever condone hacking the ASUS web-page, for example, or launching highly illegal DOS attacks and the like. That sort of "cyber-warfare" is not what the online gaming community is about.
UPDATE: For some counter-views, see also discussion on Slashdot.org.
[M]aybe it's too late to stop cheating among Asus buyers. The company already distributed drivers with the cheat code in them and these drivers (version 12.x) can be used with the newest GeForce 2 MX and GeForce 3 video cards. They will probably circulate around the web as long as they work with current high-end cards and current DirectX versions. And the cheating detection as explained by Chien in his mail, can be disabled by a skilled programmer. So probably Asus opened the Pandora box and now faces a gamer's nightmare it can't stop anymore.
I didn't realise ASUS had actually released the cheating drivers this time (I knew they did last time). This puts a different complexion on things. I have to agree with godsmurf over at Clanbase that this has been a cynical manipulation of online gamers all along. It is my firm belief that ASUS always intended to release the cheating drivers, "unofficially", and this whole "poll" and "removal" stuff is just a sham designed to advertise the fact.
What really makes me angry is this quote by ASUS from The Register:
"There are three special weapons for ASUS VGA cards' users -- Transparent View, Wireframe View, and Extra Light. If you do not have an ASUS VGA card -- be careful! Never compete in the 3D games with anyone who has an ASUS VGA card. Because the only result is to loose (sic)."
So, with even more reason than before, the boycott stands. BOYCOTT ASUS!. Spread the word. Make them pay.