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Thread: Smart Parts Patent Will Destroy Paintball! - Read!

  1. #301
    Originally posted by shartley

    This has NOTHING to do with SP wanting the sport to grow or not. It has to do with them thinking they have a right to something and are now attempting to enforce that right. We may not agree with it, and they may be wrong in thinking they have a right… but they deserve to be able to state their case in court.

    Again… if AGD, WGP, or ANY other company (aside from BE, since folks seem to hate them as well… for running their BUSINESS like a BUSINESS), were to aggressively enforce what THEY thought were their rights, folks would cheer them for it. Enforcing what you consider your rights does not mean you don’t want the sport to grow. Heck, it would actually be to your benefit if it DID grow, all the while getting what you deserve from its growth.

    Folks just want to be polarized on this issue because of personal feelings… I can understand that. But at least be honest about it. I don’t think any company listed, if held up to scrutiny on each and every decision they made, would walk away shiny and clean under the same standards folks want to hold the “bad guys” to.

    This has nothing to do with who wants the sport to grow or not. But of course, as in most cases, it is common practice to make the other side “look” bad…. whether they truly are or not. It is easier to form a “like” or “dislike” about a person or company, than it is to just look at what is actually happening….. that is why not everyone makes good Police Officers, or Judges.
    well, you are absolutly right on a lot of things. However the point of this is not a company enforcing their rights.. it's a discussion about if they should have the right. Does SP have the right to patent the electro? Other companies HAVE patented things, and noone has thrown a fit about it. Does anyone think it's ok to copy the shocker or Imp? NO. Don't go making those clones, but the basis for the design is public knowledge, and has been for some time.

    And as for this being competitive and just standard jockying in business, that's not true. Patents are inherently anti-competitive. They are there to promote innovation. If noone has the assurance that their ideas won't be stolen, it gives them less incentive to design new things. Patents don't make things more competitve, they eliminate competition. That's not necessarily bad, as you can see, innovation is a good thing. However when someone patents an invention that isn't theirs, what do you do?

    So no, this isn't all just a polarization, whipped up by emotional exuberance. It's about intellectual property rights, and their affect on an industry many use and depend on for goods. The argument is that SP shouldn't be allowed to force others to stop producing, because they have no legitimate claim to the invention of these products.

    not a major disagreement, I try to be as unbiased as possible. But I've seen enough to know that SP knows that what they are doing is shady, and yet they continue.

    DK1

  2. #302
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    Its my opinion that paintball will never see the light of day compared to tennis, football, or baseball. No one will be interested as long as there is inter-industry fighting. the paintball industry cant agree to help paintball. Companies only want to help themselves.
    Well I doubt paintball will ever be as possible as those sports but I do know that there will always be interindustry fighting, there is in every sport. In baseball theres always competetion for the best bat. Louisville Slugger is always competetive with Rowlings and other bat makers for the title of best bat.

    In basketball theres interindustry competition for who makes the best shoe. Interindustry competition will always exist.

  3. #303
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    Originally posted by DK1
    well, for those who are saying that this will help mechanical markers, I'm sure you're right. But do you think that the onslaught of cheap electros had anything to do with the affordability of mech's nowadays? I remember my brother bought his first spyder for $140. Powerfeed, m16 grip, and just a regular bottomline. Now what does $140 get you? Prolly a vert feed egrip with a regulator. You can get a BKO for $250 now... stock cockers can be found for just a little over $300, and that's with vert feed and a 45 swing frame. Cockers used to be $400 for rf and a old crappy grip. Even more the further you go back. Not to mention the details that they added, like drilling the bodies to adjust the sear lug, valve jam nuts, and decent stock pneumatics.

    The mag has undergone constant renovation during this time, and the price has still declined.

    Mags and cockers, while also affected heavily by the vert bodies and lvl10, have gotten cheaper because of electros.

    If the sport goes back to the day when there are no electros, do you think the now ultra-competitive mechs are going to keep their prices low? Maybe, Tom Kaye is a nice guy, but from a business standpoint, I just don't see it happening industry wide. Think also of the paint consumption... that might affect your playing price a little when RPS and ProCaps can't sell as much paint. Might be slight, but it will affect it.

    So no, it might not kill the sport, and paintball did exist before the advent of the electro, but I don't want to go back to paying those prices.

    DK1
    I know many people who dump a lot of paint with mechanical markers. Don’t confuse what the Tournament scene is, with what “paintball” as a sport is. Tournament style of play is still the smaller segment of the sport. And I don’t see paint consumption being affected to the point where it will increase the price of paint.

    Another think I would like to say is that I don’t for a second think that even if SP WINS any patent case that it will stop electronic markers from being made and sold. I think the demand is too high to allow that. It would however, force everyone involved to go to the bargaining table. If all (or most) of the other manufactures can’t or won’t pay what is asked (or could be asked) then NO ONE makes money. And if anyone thinks ANY paintball business is in business just to be a good guy and making money is not at the core of the issue, they are wrong.

    If you own a business it is ALWAYS about making money. But it is always better to be able to make money in an industry you love, or doing something you love. That does not, however, negate the need to, nor the drive to, make money in the business.

    My prediction…. No matter WHAT happens, paintball players will still be able to purchase an electronic marker. Price increase? Who knows. Many of us think the prices asked TODAY are too high anyways… but the consumer continues to purchase them and thus justifies the prices. It will be remain the same no matter how this turns out.

  4. #304
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    Another think I would like to say is that I don’t for a second think that even if SP WINS any patent case that it will stop electronic markers from being made and sold.
    True but there would be a huge price increase that would all but accomplish that for SP. Doc Nickel has a good article about that, hang on while I find it.Doc's article There.

  5. #305
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    all of you guys keep talking about electros like smart parts is gonna take every persons gun and throw it in a barn fire. even if sp does win and less electros are made anymore, the fact is that there are still hundreds of thousands of electro markers out there being used every year already, and smart parts cant do ANYTHING about electro guns that the people already own and use. so i dont really see how a lot of people think that all the electros will just dissapear. and every electro thats already out there will still be around for a long time.
    Good Buyers: rhetor22

    "AHHH Yet another "long" time cocker user wakes up, and comes to his senses. What can I say, Welcome to the intelligent side of paintball." - Creative Mayhem
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  6. #306
    Originally posted by shartley
    My prediction…. No matter WHAT happens, paintball players will still be able to purchase an electronic marker. Price increase? Who knows. Many of us think the prices asked TODAY are too high anyways… but the consumer continues to purchase them and thus justifies the prices. It will be remain the same no matter how this turns out.
    Shartley nice comments, also just wanted to add that IF the prices were to increase to cover the extras being forced, and SP would sale their markers cheaper to under cut the competition (which any smart business would do whether its right or wrong, good or bad ethics whatever), then there would be a fade on electronic based companies such as WDP, they would have to adapt with a mechanical marker to make up for loss of sales, or fade to non-existance. IF SP were to win, and the prices jump, several companies, WDP inpeticular would have a hard time surviving. They're already one of the most expensive markers, and the 3 markers they have (lcd, speed, ir3) are all high priced. Adding more $$ on to that to cover fees and etc, would possibly cause a company collapse and they go outta business. kinda like alot of smaller computer companies did because of microsoft, they just couldnt compete because microsoft had monopolized the industry basically and undercut everyone to the point they ran out of business over time. Maybe it wouldnt be fast, but like slowly fade and say 5 years later be gone. Electro's won't stop, because everything is going to computer's, but there are some companies that will take great loses and stradle the fence of going out of business or not, especially the electro-based ones without mechanical counterparts.

    But anyways great points

  7. #307
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    all of you guys keep talking about electros like smart parts is gonna take every persons gun and throw it in a barn fire. even if sp does win and less electros are made anymore, the fact is that there are still hundreds of thousands of electro markers out there being used every year already, and smart parts cant do ANYTHING about electro guns that the people already own and use. so i dont really see how a lot of people think that all the electros will just dissapear. and every electro thats already out there will still be around for a long time.
    While that is a good point, you would have to buy a new electro eventually(unless you own an Emag)and unless you want to pay a lot of money for one it would have to be SP.

    Even with all the electros out there, manufacturers would stop making money, and new ppl buy electros every day, and if SP wins most of which would be their products.

  8. #308
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    Originally posted by Johnny_Reb
    Well I doubt paintball will ever be as possible as those sports but I do know that there will always be interindustry fighting, there is in every sport. In baseball theres always competetion for the best bat. Louisville Slugger is always competetive with Rowlings and other bat makers for the title of best bat.

    In basketball theres interindustry competition for who makes the best shoe. Interindustry competition will always exist.
    AARRRGGG... You guys are missing the point... or at least my point. Paintball is the only sport that is pretty much run by the manufacturers of the products. We buy more products than most sports. Products run the game. Painball IS about buying stuff. Most other sports deal mainly with Team owners, Players, and Stadium owners. The manufacturers of products (baseball bats, shoes, helmets) have very little control over where the sport actually goes. If Franklin sues Rallings, it doesnt effect where the Giants will play. If Nike decides it wants out of Baseball, baseball wont take a hit compared to WDP pulling out of paintball.

    Thats my point. We are different because we are controlled by the companies that make our product driven sport. If Miami Effect wins three majors in a row, Empire, and Draxxus win out because they sponsor Effect. Where as if the Niners win the superbowl, no one thinks of Owens' cleats.

    And yes, rec ball may be the bigger money draw in painball, but its not the part of paintball that will grow in public notariety any time soon. Tourney ball will. Tourney ball teams stand to grow in public popularity if paintball ever goes mainstream. But with Big Name Companies running the sport according to their own interests, I dont see it happening. I'm not talking about companies being concerned with money. Of course they are. But they dont seem to be the least bit concerned about the greater good of the the sport they run.

  9. #309
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    AARRRGGG... You guys are missing the point... or at least my point. Paintball is the only sport that is pretty much run by the manufacturers of the products. We buy more products than most sports. Products run the game. Painball IS about buying stuff
    Sorry for us missing your point buddy, but look at BMX is pretty much run by the manufacturers. So is skateboarding, but they are still successful sports. If Im still missing your point Ill drop it here.

  10. #310
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    Originally posted by Johnny_Reb
    Sorry for us missing your point buddy, but look at BMX is pretty much run by the manufacturers. So is skateboarding, but they are still successful sports. If Im still missing your point Ill drop it here.
    Haha, its ok. You have a good point about BMX and skateboarding. They are similar, but they both seemed to have reached a point where they promote the sport with their business interests. Paintball companies dont seem to have that understanding yet.

  11. #311
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    Paintball companies dont seem to have that understanding yet.
    Exactly, last time I checked paintball had more particpants than BMX, but paintball companies have been more"underground" about advertising paintball, and in order for paintball to grow like BMX and Skateboarding it will take an understanding between the companies and not trying to sue eachother.

    EDIT:BTW I think this thread should be made a classic

  12. #312
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    Originally posted by DK1


    well, you are absolutly right on a lot of things. However the point of this is not a company enforcing their rights.. it's a discussion about if they should have the right. Does SP have the right to patent the electro? Other companies HAVE patented things, and noone has thrown a fit about it. Does anyone think it's ok to copy the shocker or Imp? NO. Don't go making those clones, but the basis for the design is public knowledge, and has been for some time.

    And as for this being competitive and just standard jockying in business, that's not true. Patents are inherently anti-competitive. They are there to promote innovation. If noone has the assurance that their ideas won't be stolen, it gives them less incentive to design new things. Patents don't make things more competitve, they eliminate competition. That's not necessarily bad, as you can see, innovation is a good thing. However when someone patents an invention that isn't theirs, what do you do?

    So no, this isn't all just a polarization, whipped up by emotional exuberance. It's about intellectual property rights, and their affect on an industry many use and depend on for goods. The argument is that SP shouldn't be allowed to force others to stop producing, because they have no legitimate claim to the invention of these products.

    not a major disagreement, I try to be as unbiased as possible. But I've seen enough to know that SP knows that what they are doing is shady, and yet they continue.

    DK1
    This is partially true, and I agree with much of it. However, the part I don’t agree with is that the general public has ANY say as to what is correct in a patent or not. If you don’t like the patent system, then argue that. But as it stands we have it… and folks should not bash others for USING it.

    If SP has a legal right to the patent and its enforcement, that will be determined in COURT, not on an online forum. And THAT is were the issue of polarization by emotion comes into play. And guess what? If the COURTS find they have a right to the technology or its use as it pertains to paintball, SP has EVERY right to expect all other companies to pay them for it. We would expect nothing less for ANY company, or person.

    So the issue is about whether they have a legal right or not. The DO have a legal right to pursue the issue however.

    Do I hope they are entitled to what they claim they are? I have mixed feelings about that. However, I do think they should be afforded the same rights we would want for ourselves to protect what we think are OUR rights to things. If they honestly know they don’t deserve the rights to this technology, then yes, that can be considered “sleazy”… but we have seen other companies in other industries do MUCH worse

    As for when someone patents an idea or product that is not theirs, and what do you do… you prove them wrong. This is not uncommon, and copyrights, patents, trademarks, and other such things are disputed on a regular basis, and often it is shown that they were granted to the WRONG person(s). Just because you file something does not mean you HAVE the rights to it, the same as if d.you DON’T file it does not mean you DON’T have the rights to it. The system is not perfect, and filing is not the final determining factor… otherwise no one would have to go to court to uphold their claims. A judge would simply see that it was filed for and that would be that……… but it isn’t.
    Originally posted by Johnny_Reb
    True but there would be a huge price increase that would all but accomplish that for SP. Doc Nickel has a good article about that, hang on while I find it.Doc's article There.
    Interesting article… and it hinges on things (and numbers) that have not been verified or even settled on. It is sort of like putting the cart in front of the horse… it is best to have hard data THEN make your articles. It is a fine article…. But in my opinion it hinges on fears and numbers that have not been establish at this point.

    And businesses consider licensing fees and other such fees all the time in industries. It is a part of business that it seems every industry BUT the paintball industry seems to be comfortable with, or even considers. This can be a GOOD thing as well for paintball. Think of X company who comes out with a new product, heck every other industry would run it for themselves for a period of time and THEN allow others to make it too… for a fee. When done correctly, it helps everyone. And in most industries, the consumer does not know about any of it.

    GREED is what makes things bad. If company A sells a product for 50% profit, and then is UNWILLING to sell that at the same price and only make 25-30% profit, then the consumer blames the “rights owner”? I would call that greed all around. Heck, I would LOVE to make 30% profit on products (and no, material costs do not count as your base for determining profit… you have labor, materials, equipment, and other things).

    And we forget that most products when they first come out are higher than they are years later. That is to help offset many things to include initial production and R&D. And if a product has already been on the market for some time, and has made up the initial investments, why can’t it be lowered? GREED. But where are the folks standing up saying how this is wrong too? Oh yeah, the industry as a whole has really cared about YOU the player.. right? Am I saying the industry is BAD? No. But folks need to look at it for what it is… a business. And as a business, it will get away with what YOU let it get away with… and what is legal.

    Originally posted by icegod

    But anyways great points
    Thank you.

    What I think some folks are missing is that I am NOT taking sides here… in fact quite the opposite. I think the same rights and privileges should be applied to everyone and every company regardless if people like them or not, or whether the “populous” agrees with it or not. I can’t see a single company worth a darn that would NOT go after enforcing what they perceive to be their rights. What is comes down to now is what the court things is their rights.

    From what I have been reading, and what I have seen, I don’t think they will win the case. But everything else is emotional rhetoric that is being unevenly distributed making one party the bad guy and everyone else the good guys. Rarely is that ever the actual truth to the matter. The gray area that businesses swim in is vast, and deep. And while I don’t condone taking what is not yours, I also don’t advocate letting what you think IS yours pass you by. There is a difference between being business savvy and getting what you can, and being a bad guy or company. This means you don’t have to be “nice” to be RIGHT. And often times “nice” businesses or people are wrong. Such is life and such is business.
    Last edited by shartley; 07-22-2003 at 11:21 AM.

  13. #313
    It's taking a while and there are probably many lawsuits to come but sooner or later it will have to come together in the paintball industry or it will die off.
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  14. #314
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    hmmm anyone else notice how this is one of the larger threads on ao and it happened over night?


    anyway for playing i could see good coming out of no electronic guns(no more debates about bounce etc thats coming on electros) however it would cause the death of many small businesses

  15. #315
    What a bunch of homo's!!!!!
    Even though i shoot a imp that is stupid!!

  16. #316
    Many people are talking about the "rights" SP has under our patent laws. I do not really feel that this is a matter of rights.

    I look at this purely from the standpoint of ethics. OJ didnt spend time in Jail for the murder of his ex wife, but later he was found responsible for it.

    I think SP weather its legal a right or not shouldn't persue enforcing the owning of the rights for basically any and all electronic paintball guns.

    Like others have said it is about money and not about the sport.

    As far as im concerned the process and method they used to receive the patents they did were dishonest in the first place. Weather covered bye law or not that doesn't mean its right.

    I guess I didn't originally want to add to this post because there are plenty of educated people posting with opinions similar to mine, but to think there are people who feel that if Smart Parts wins legally then they should be able to do what there doing is beyond me.

    Basically it is a mockery of our legal system.

    Money wins and innovation gets crushed.

    Support anti Smart Parts talk not because of legal reasons but because of ethical reasons.

    Josh Gore

  17. #317
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    SP is done for...most all players are against them now, so even if they do drop the suit, they will go under. THey should count their loses and drop from PB forever
    The South Will Rise Again

    Boycott Smart Parts

  18. #318
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    Originally posted by Surreal



    the thing that really is just annoying to see, most of the people who post in these threads are 14 year old kids who don't know jack crap about anything and they are just bobbing their head like a mime and repeating what these 'powerful' people are saying. most of them are just followers, get some personality and make your own decisions.



    I agree. What the hell is with these ridiculous swasticas. take them out of your sig, its stupid and IMO, a racial picture.
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  19. #319
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    Originally posted by Kraemer
    SP is done for...most all players are against them now, so even if they do drop the suit, they will go under. THey should count their loses and drop from PB forever
    Nope. Smart Parts will still be able to sell its goods to the people. Many people who buy smart parts buy them in pro shops locally, and pro shops will do everything they can to stay in buiseness, even if it means selling smart parts goods.

    There are millions of paintballers ou there, and i am willing to bet that not even 1/3 would never buy anything from smart parts in the future.

    And while there are many paintballers browsing online forums and finding out about this, there are many more who go to the feilds every other weekend or once a month who know nothing about it and never will, and they will still buy smart parts.

  20. #320
    Official SP response, sort of:

    http://www.midatlanticpb.com/sp/dir/sp.mp3

    1:25 pm, tuesday july 22nd

  21. #321
    WickedAirSportz Guest
    Interesting... obviously Smart Parts must be getting bombarded with emails and phone calls, if they already have a canned statement about a boycott.

  22. #322
    Either that or they know nothing about it and there is a furious scurry in the office right now :P

  23. #323
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    Originally posted by Kraemer
    SP is done for...most all players are against them now, so even if they do drop the suit, they will go under. THey should count their loses and drop from PB forever
    Don't count on it. Anyone remember Salm? He is already back and involved in paintball again.

    Oh how we forgive, or forget.

  24. #324
    I didn't think the salm thing was a big deal when it happened though

  25. #325
    Is this the on/off switch to turn the marker on or off. Or is this the switch that the trigger hits that (in one way or another) causes the marker to fire?

    Either way, isn't there a way around it? I mean if it's the on/off switch to turn the gun on or off. Then couldn't you just use a button instead? And if it's the switch to cause the marker to fire, there has to be another way. Like an Eye, or magnets?
    Moderator @ pbreview.com

  26. #326
    WickedAirSportz Guest
    "..and electrical on/off switch.."

    This would mean anything that could change the state of power (toggle switch, push button, etc.)

  27. #327
    Originally posted by shartley

    This is partially true, and I agree with much of it. However, the part I don?t agree with is that the general public has ANY say as to what is correct in a patent or not. If you don?t like the patent system, then argue that. But as it stands we have it? and folks should not bash others for USING it.


    No, but that is the discussion. Should this take place. Is it ethical, is it "right." Just because something is legal doesn't make it right to me.

    If SP has a legal right to the patent and its enforcement, that will be determined in COURT, not on an online forum. And THAT is were the issue of polarization by emotion comes into play. And guess what? If the COURTS find they have a right to the technology or its use as it pertains to paintball, SP has EVERY right to expect all other companies to pay them for it. We would expect nothing less for ANY company, or person.

    Making a judgment based on information isn't emotional polarization, it's making a decision based on the things presented to you. From the information presented, it appears that Smart Parts has knowingly left things off patents to GET them into court. So, it SHOULDN'T be decided by a court case, it should have already been decided by a "no" from the application process. And I wouldn't expect less from Smart Parts or anyone else... I'd expect better. Just because you have to make money doesn't mean you have to screw people, even if you can get away with it.

    So the issue is about whether they have a legal right or not. The DO have a legal right to pursue the issue however.

    Do I hope they are entitled to what they claim they are? I have mixed feelings about that. However, I do think they should be afforded the same rights we would want for ourselves to protect what we think are OUR rights to things. If they honestly know they don?t deserve the rights to this technology, then yes, that can be considered ?sleazy?? but we have seen other companies in other industries do MUCH worse


    Sure, but I've already covered the part about their legal right to pursue. We're simply stating that we would perfer that to NOT happen here. It is sleazy. It's cheap, and it's unfair. Again, legally you might be liable for shooting someone who broke into your home, that doesn't make it a good thing. Just because we say we think this is bad, and will do whatever we can as consumers and those who play this sport, doesn't make us controlled by emotions. I'm not whipped into a frenzy. I've felt this way about smart parts for years now. It's not like this just all happened in the past month. If anything, it's ethical and intellectual, two things that may very well constantly conflict with my emotions.

    As for when someone patents an idea or product that is not theirs, and what do you do? you prove them wrong. This is not uncommon, and copyrights, patents, trademarks, and other such things are disputed on a regular basis, and often it is shown that they were granted to the WRONG person(s). Just because you file something does not mean you HAVE the rights to it, the same as if d.you DON?T file it does not mean you DON?T have the rights to it. The system is not perfect, and filing is not the final determining factor? otherwise no one would have to go to court to uphold their claims. A judge would simply see that it was filed for and that would be that??? but it isn?t.

    Exactly, that's what we are trying to help with. Judges can make decisions in patent cases on a multitude of grounds, one of which happens to be logical progession. We, as concerned consumers see that this patent not only interferes with the technological progression of our sport, it is a blatant infringement upon the public knowledge in the industry. Perhaps we might dig something up or have some information that the defendants don't yet have access to, nor would if this we're as well publicized.


    I truly see your points, I simply can't agree that it's emotional rifraff. From what I've seen, SP has little to no reason whatsoever to think that they deserve the rights to these patents. Actually, I see that they have done things underhandedly for the specific intent of getting these rights without having to go through the proper procedures. Does that make them a worse than everyone else. Maybe. I'm not concerned with everyone else right now. I'm concerned with SP and this lawsuit.

    I'm not against patents at all. I'm not against the system that grants and enforces them. Without them, there would be little incentive for people to come up with things like the RT valve and the Uber-loader. However, I'm quite against companies who intentionally abuse the system, and do so knowing that it will detriment the people they sell their products to.

    Maybe electro's won't dissapear entirely, but they will dissapear to me. I don't have the jack to spring for a new angel or xmag. Tack on another $150 to everything that's out their right now in licensing fees, and there's a much larger group that gets added to the list of stuff I can't afford. And why? Not because of everyone else's greed, because of Smart Part's. It's a direct link. Manufacturing processes aside, competition drives down prices as much as anything else.
    DK1

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  28. #328
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    In Japan (i think it was) gambling for money is illegal.

    They have "video games" in arcades kinda like a slot machines where you win these little marbles (kinda like a token in an arcade or a ticket). After your done playing you take all your marbles up to the prize counter where they have all sorts of stuffed animals, radios, etc like a normal arcade but they also have these little decorative coins.

    People trade in their marbles for the coins and then just go out and accross the street from the "arcade" theres a little booth that pays cash for the coins.

    Pretty neat way to get around the gambling law eh? There's probably ways to get around the patents but it may take some money to get them started.

  29. #329
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    1,260
    this wouldn't solve anything accept for getting around the on off of the marker, but here is my idea for that:
    You could have an automatic sut off of like 30 minutes and then have an over ride button if you were playing scenarios or big games and stuff. Then you could hit the over ride button again to make the gun go back to the 30 second shut off. again that might not work, but that is just an idea and probably doesn't solve any problems.

    *Warning: Sig too big* -Miscue
    Last edited by Miscue; 07-22-2003 at 04:49 PM.

  30. #330
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    stockton,california
    Posts
    436
    everyone should ust stop talking about it cause we arent gonna know anything until it happens.unless tom decides he wants to tell us something only top people like him know about

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