Monday, August 4, 2008

Mediamax comment

Steve Iversen posted the following comment on the blog entry:
http://nirvanixusers.blogspot.com/2008/08/way-forward.html

---Quote begins
MediaMax has tried to avoid adding more fuel to our bad-PR fire because we do not have any new, useful information to add beyond what has been posted on our official blog, but I do feel it is now necessary to correct some new misinformation.

I'll start now with a short clarification now, and will try and follow up in a couple days with more details.

First, I'm sorry if there has been false hope given that additional access will be made to customer files. This is simply not the case. Only the files that are currently in your account are the files that will be available for download through this Friday. I think Nirvanix is in panic-mode and is, not surprisingly, trying to divert all responsibility to MediaMax. There is nothing we can do. If any of this were possible we would not be closing our business.

Many of Nirvanix's claims are not true. Given that we now have zero employees, no money, and are shutting down in 5 days, MediaMax is an easy target. Nirvanix also has millions of dollars to continue their PR campaign and has indirectly threatened John and I with personal lawsuits. If continuing this fight would bring back customer files or fix problems of the past, I would do so. But, at this point, there is nothing to gain and the major problems cannot be fixed. Answering questions or "telling our side of the story" is not going to provide any true benefit to anyone (get customer files back), and exposes me to significant personal liability. Right or wrong, this is America and they can sue anyone for anything, and John and I and trying to move on with life and find new jobs. Further, I think Nirvanix has learned that I may be going to work for one of their competitors, and they are doing their best to discredit me and the value that I bring to a competitor.

Regardless, to clarify Nirvanix's most recent campaign of misinformation:

- As I stated above, the "MediaMax front-end" or database is not a solution to the problem. We do not have access to the files. Nirvanix knows this is our position. I could go on for hours about the technical problems involved and solutions attempted and place blame elsewhere, but at this point, it really doesn't matter whose fault it is. Fundamentally, MediaMax is responsible because you are our customer, and the biggest mistake we made was to trust Nirvanix to manage our customer data - yes, it was on the "old Streamload system", and not their new Nirvanix SDN, but I believe the care and attention that was required was not there and was beyond unprofessional.

- I am in communication with Nirvanix, and to state otherwise is patently wrong. In fact, I sent their CEO emails (and cc'd 3 other Nirvanix employees, including a direct report to Jonathan Buckley) on 7/21, 7/25, and 7/30 (Wed), and received a reply on 7/31 (Thursday) and another email from their CFO on 8/1 (Friday). After reading your blog post last night (Sunday), I emailed Jonathan Buckley and have now heard from him and their CFO again this morning (Monday). Jonathan has my contact info and he probably works with 15 people daily who also have my contact info if he had misplaced it.

- And irrelevant of solving customer problems, I will note that Nirvanix is actually not a creditor of MediaMax as Jonathan claimed as they have been paid in full for their services.

The popular thing for me to do would be to say "yes, all will be fine if Nirvanix can just get their act together" and divert attention back to them, but that's not the case. It's game over, and there is no new information since our last "official" TLU blog post. It's not the popular statement, but it's reality and it's unfortunate for everyone involved.
---quote ends

31 comments:

Tom Bassett said...

GROUNDBREAKING news. Everyone who has been following this matter needs to read this!

This is progress - at last the truth is being told. All the efforts put in by posters and commenters on the various sites who REFUSED to give up and REFUSED to believe the lies - those efforts are now paying off.

We may not see our files come back, but at least the truth is coming out, the guilty parties are being exposed, and some justice might be done - if not in a court of law, at least in the pocketbooks of those who did us wrong.

Luzo Orbit said...

Sorry if the post on my discussion with Nirvanix got people's hopes up.

I'm now feeling caught in the middle of the differing information from Mediamax and Nirvanix.

I would still like some clarity on why Mediamax cannot be restarted, even if it does have to get technical.

The data exists. If the database was backed up, then why isn't it possible to access the data?

Jabash said...

Yes, as I have been asking a long time I would like some explanation as to why MM cannot be restarted. Days before I got the tlu transfer notice all my files were on MM and MM was working better than ever. I am not a 'techie' but I can only imagine something got corrupted to the database that prevents the frontend from reading it. Surely the actual MM program is somewhere it could not have just been deleted when tlu was started.

Also, I wonder exactly what they mean by 'access' If the raw data is on Nirvanix then surely all that is needed to access it is a program that can read the data and proper permissions and procedures to login and read Nirvanix data.

It would be nice to just have a straight answer as to where the MM is. Maybe they can release it to the public domain as free software.

I am also disappointed there was no mention of talks with other companies about a possible rescue as the ElephantDrive blog claims to have contacted tlu.

What a heartbreaker....

ellie said...

So let me get this straight... This is in regards to the old files that were stored in the "old Streamload system" and I'm just assuming that these are the files that weren't tranferred to the new TLU. So Nirvanix can't give access to the files in their server because they need Mediamax's "front-end" however Mediamax said that it wouldn't matter because they can't access the files in Nirvanix?

"As I stated above, the "MediaMax front-end" or database is not a solution to the problem. We do not have access to the files. Nirvanix knows this is our position."

Sorry, it just seems to me that they're just pointing fingers at each other which would get us nowhere. Someone, please tell me otherwise. So, all in all, we really can only access the files in TLU but never for the old files we have in Mediamax.


By Jabash: "Also, I wonder exactly what they mean by 'access' If the raw data is on Nirvanix then surely all that is needed to access it is a program that can read the data and proper permissions and procedures to login and read Nirvanix data."


I'm also not a "techie" but this is what I understood, Nirvanix said they need Mediamax/TLU "front-end" to tell them which users owns which files that is in their server and Mediamax/TLU "has this front-end." Someone correct me if I'm wrong.


By Jabash: "It would be nice to just have a straight answer as to where the MM is. Maybe they can release it to the public domain as free software."

No because according to Mediamax/TLU, even if they release the software or database or whatever, they're not given access to the files in Nirvanix. With no access, even firing up the software again won't help. See? It's like pointing fingers. Someone tell me otherwise.

By Luzo: "I would still like some clarity on why Mediamax cannot be restarted, even if it does have to get technical."

He just said that it's not the solution to the problem. He didn't confirm if it can or cannot be restarted. So whether it can or cannot, it's just not the solution because, as he said, "...We do not have access to the files."


"Further, I think Nirvanix has learned that I may be going to work for one of their competitors, and they are doing their best to discredit me and the value that I bring to a competitor."

You know he's setting himself up to some possible ridicule, right?

McB said...

What a sad situation this has turned into. For everyone involved.

The major loss of files for me was when Streamload turned into MM. In the shift into TLU I was very lucky and got my entire account moved (such as it was) minus just a few files. Since I don't have a huge amount of data I was able to download everything over a few days already before the move, despite the very short notice (and fortunately I did at least get a notice). After the move I downloaded everything again since some files previously inaccessible had turned up.

Now I will be deleting all files in the account prior to Friday. I almost feel guilty that I can sit here and delete while others have lost everything. I also did not loose too much money since I had to pay for only 3 more months which was almost exactly the amount of time TLU existed.

As you may remember I also got the entire account of someone else plus some extra files not belonging to me. These had already been added to my MM account prior to the move, don't know when (I discovered it as I was downloading prior to the move). It seems the system thought my account was a good dumping ground for things it didn't know where else to put lol.

I wonder if maybe the database is too corrupt it will be like opening a can of worms to give users access to it again.

Despite the initial loss of files (irreplaceable personal photos) I believe I can consider myself lucky compared to many others.

Anonymous said...

There is something about Iverson's post that really irks me, and I'm not quite sure what it is.

I really hope something happens where you people can get your files back, I really do.

But having read Iverson's comments I can't help but think he's posted here to try and rally support for his sorry ass.

After all the lies and everything else we have had to put with, does anyone really trust this man?

"MediaMax has tried to avoid adding more fuel to our bad-PR fire because we do not have any new, useful information to add beyond what has been posted on our official blog, but I do feel it is now necessary to correct some new misinformation."

Steve, we couldn't careless about your PR, people want their files and money back, it's not our problem that your PR is so bad, you made that hole for yourself so don't come crying to us, you won't get any sympathy here, we were your customers, remember?

As for your officail blog, it wasn't worth the HTML it was written with.

"I think Nirvanix has learned that I may be going to work for one of their competitors, and they are doing their best to discredit me and the value that I bring to a competitor."

What value will you bring to a competitor Steve, god help anyone who gives you a job, you discredited yourself with the way you took money from paying customers without providing a service we paid for and then lied wholesale about it, if I ran my IT department like you ran your company I would be on the dole.

"Fundamentally, MediaMax is responsible because you are our customer, and the biggest mistake we made was to trust Nirvanix to manage our customer data - yes, it was on the "old Streamload system", and not their new Nirvanix SDN, but I believe the care and attention that was required was not there and was beyond unprofessional."

Again this begs the question I asked the other day, if the two companies are not connected in any way as they have been so quick to point out, how did Nirvanix have access to Streamload / Mediamax customers data?

"The popular thing for me to do would be to say "yes, all will be fine if Nirvanix can just get their act together" and divert attention back to them, but that's not the case. It's game over, and there is no new information since our last "official" TLU blog post. It's not the popular statement, but it's reality and it's unfortunate for everyone involved."

As stated before Steve the mud slinging between you and Nirvanix is up to you, people don't care, they just want THEIR files back, that they paid and trusted YOU with.

Having said all that, I have figured out what irks me about your post, and do you know what it is?

You have not once said sorry.

Sorry to all the people that gave you money in good faith for a product that didn't work.

Sorry to people who's data you lost.

Sorry to the people you constantly lied to.

Sorry to the people who wasted hours dealing with your customer support.

You haven't offered anything in the way of compensation for all the money you took and the lies we had to put with.

It's my guess that you will have done alright out of this whole sham financially wise, so lets see some refunds been issued, let's see some of the money that you were paid given back to customers.

Hmmm, and lets watch hell freeze over.

Dave.
wordpress.partyoflife

JD said...

Interesting comment of Steve but Steve if you really want to start fresh again then you should give the whole story to us and not again suggestion because that happened too often

Jabash said...

I think there must be some problem with the Streamload/MM data on Nirvanix. Perhaps in creating the new Nirvanix file system access to old data became impossible and Nirvanix doesn't want to support the old system.

It is the front end that I believe holds all the file info such as account ownership. I also believe MM frontend works because in the months prior to TLU it was working better than ever which is what finally convinced me that they got their act together and commit to using it as my backup for a large amount of files while traveling.

It seems the data is there and I can't see why Nirvanix would not allow access to the data unless it created some problem for them like having to spend more money or labor to support the old system. And I do not think there is anything wrong with MM because it was working fine days before TLU.

I wonder if MM could issue some sort of database table or field definition that would help a third party identify the data.

There is obviously a lot of bad blood between the two companies and this has really hurt us as well as destroying a company that could have been very successful.

Luzo Orbit said...

Nirvanix was very clear in saying that the data that did not transfer from the Mediamax system to The Linkup remains on their servers and they will continue to store it after 8 August while a solution is sought. Nirvanix has said this data can be accessed with the Mediamax database. I imagine there are multiple backups of the database from different times, so even if one was somehow corrupted, we could return to an earlier snapshot of the data Nirvanix tells us it is maintaining on its servers.

Rather than arguing that Nirvanix is being inaccurate in saying the data is available on its servers, it seems to me that the best route for Mediamax is to agree to provide access to the database. The next move is then for Nirvanix.

IceAge said...

I agree with Luzo's last comment.

There would be multiple backups to the MM Database. If the company is going bust, then so be it. Hand the front end over to Nirvanix.

Nirvanix charge us to get to the files back.

I still think they screwed the hardware up.

Anyone notice the Box.net advertising on TLU website. Maybe that's where steve thinks he's going. Good job I don't have an account there!

If TLU is hoping to sell their front end MM DB then give it to Nirvanix for a fixed period first. Show some decency.

The longer this goes on the more it discredits Nirvanix. TLU is already dust. HAnding the the front end over will at least me good for you morally

Tom Bassett said...

Maybe that's where steve thinks he's going. Good job I don't have an account there!

I have an account at Box.net and it works great for me. I don't think Iverson is the guy who lost all our files, but he shares some of the blame for the lies & obfuscation. If he does go to Box.net, I'm sure it won't be in a management position, after the Mediamax debacle.

Why is he coming clean NOW? Maybe because he is under attack from Nirvanix? Well, whatever - at least the truth is coming out - better late than never, I guess. If it takes a war between the two companies - so be it.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago someone tried to post a comment on my blog from a company called The Box offering special rates to old Mediamax users in the wake of all the fallout.

I now see they are 'advertising' on The Linkup website.

Now call me suspicious......but...this smells a little to me!

Tom, I see you say you have an account with them, can you have a dig around and see if there is any connection to Iverson and the rest of his cronies?

Dave.
wordpress.partyoflife

Anonymous said...

Katie here.
Kudos to Dave of Wordpress for his 'review' of Iverson's comments. Mud-slinging, indeed.

As is usually the case, if it would cost either the old MM management or Nirvanix any MONEY to access the MM database, they aren't going to 'go there'. Bankruptcy or not, I bet TLU's upper management did well financially, and they have no intention of parting with any of it.

Many thanks to Luzo Orbit for his hard work and dedication, along with the other posters here.

Tom Bassett said...

I have not found any connection between the two companies.

I think that Box.net is trying to capitalize on the issue - they know there are thousands of disgruntled MM/TLU/SL users looking for new storage solutions and they're trying to take advantage. Which is smart. They're offering former MM members a discount.

I didn't take them up on it - I'm using the "free" account, which gives you (I think) about 1 GB of storage for free. I've had it for about 6 months and so far I like it. But I learned my lesson and am now backing up all my stuff to another location, as well - not storing all my eggs in one basket.

Jabash said...

ElephantDrive has a entry on their blog reaching out to TLU users although I do not think they offer a special deal. They do claim to have contacted tlu about trying to find a solution.
http://elephantdrive.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/help-users-migrate-from-thelinkup-to-elephantdrive/#comments

JD said...

I have been in contact with the box sales trying to work out a deal.
They sounded positive but they couldn't present an offer

EPG said...

Hi Luzo, I posted this comment mistakenly in an older blog entry, but it belongs here (delete the duplicate if you like, I believe it is in the July 18 post)


I just saw this article:

http://www.thestandard.com/news/2008/07/31/mediamax-thelinkup-death-spiral-dogs-nirvanix

Judging from the quoted Steve Iverson at the end, it seems that the real reason we won't be seeing our files is simply that: it is not economically viable.

That's the reason, folks. It is not a technical issue, it is not a fingerpointing issue, it is not a storage issue.

What is happening is, Steve Iverson is off to some other employer. John Hood no longer works at TLU, and Patrick Harr is CEO of "different" company Nirvanix which is modestly (it appears) successful (or at least has 12 million--gasp! That much for a company so mired in muck!!--in venture capital to ride on).

Bottom line is: Streamload/Mediamax/TLU has no money, so who would pay engineers to fix their software that retrieves the files?

We the disgruntled users, unfortunately, cannot force them, as given they declared banktrupcy, I don't see how we could force them to get the funds to hire a compentent engineering team. They wriggled themselves out of the whole fiasco!

Only hope is to get NIRVANIX (that has the money) to cough up our files.

AND make sure the story is out there. Patrick Harr ignored Streamload customers (paying and non) because they brought nothing in revenue, thus the split in the first place and the move from Streamload to Mediamax. He put profits ahead of his customers, and the gamble paid off, at least for the Nirvanix side (i.e. Harr's side!).

Up to the voices on the internet to make sure Harr doesn't get away with it.

Neither Iverson nor John Hood.

Make sure no one ever hires them again. Get our stories out there!

Anonymous said...

Today I started deleting my TLU files and soon discovered that even more files that were previously not there have now arrived. So I will be downloading everything a third time just to be sure.

John Hood said long time ago that nothing else would be transferred but that's not the case for me.

McB

Elisa said...

By the way, if you still haven't got your files out of TLU, try using a fast download manager. I found this one:

http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/download.htm

Very good and easy to use (and it is VERY fast!!).

Just pop it open, then on your TLU web browser window, select the folder you want to download, and click "download". On the download page click on "copy links to clipboard". Then, on the FDM window, go File->import->import list of URL from clipboard, then "o.k.". Downloads begin automatically.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Finally! Everything sorted, downloaded and deleted. Good bye SL/MM/TLU!

And, I'm very sorry to say, good bye to all of my files that went missing when SL became MM.

I will continue to read this blog to se how things turn out.

McB

IceAge said...

Hey Luzo, was there any response from Nirvanix to Iverson's comments?

IceAge said...

A recent email from TLU about the closure on the 8th. Amazing how they are sending this out frequently but never did the same for the move over and loss of files.

Quote-(For a reliable alternative, please check out www.box.net or keep reading.)

However, we are pleased to recommend a reliable alternative service: Box.net. Trusted by nearly 2 million people and in business since 2005, Box.net can meet your file storage and sharing needs. Box.net is offering a 14-day Free Trial on its premium subscription plans so you can try it without any risk. Please click here (http://www.box.net) to register and begin uploading your files. / end quote

To put this much advertising in. Both on the site, and now in email, I would say a deal has been done there. Either that or Box.net is capitlizing on the closure and offered to pay for the advertising. Or TLU staff are hoping for jobs there. I think it's the paid advertising.

This rubs me slightly the wrong way as TLU is allegedly filing for bankruptcy but still making money in that case based on our losses. I am now with several other online storage companies and am quite happy. Neither of whome is Box.net which is nothing to do with this affiliation to TLU. Though it wouldn't help either.

Jabash said...

Another email from TLU that they are closing with a discount for us from Box.net. Just spitting on us now.

Trying to be constructive, if Mirvanix claims the data is accessible with a frontend what would it take to build another on. It wouldn't have to be anything fancy, no gui, just something simple to get a file list. Could that be done without MM or would it still need data from the front end to access the data.

We need to watch who if anyone ever sues MM or we need to do something just to try to get MM or the data needed to access Nirvanix.

EPG said...

Don't know if you guys saw this already, but might be a good place to consolidate efforts. Around 500 signatories so far, a petition to the BBB against Streamload/Mediamax/TLU:

http://www.petitiononline.com/15pop121/petition.html

And other horror stories from other users can be found here:

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/07/11/mediamax-is-dead-the-linkup-is-dead-streamload-is-dead/

(The stories from the lawyer are especially frightening)

Unhappy reading. :( .

Anonymous said...

What I'm really curious is that Streamload worked fine and things started going downhill with MediaMax.

I know its pointless now, but can someone from StreamLoad/MediaMax/TheLinkup explain the reason for switching? Did you guys really feel that MediaMax was so much more superior? It was pretty evident right from the start that MediaMax sucked. Did you guys not do any serious load testing?

Jabash said...

Yes, and MM was finally working will just before TLU and why they thought TLU was a good idea is baffling. Just a online file sharing service with no other added value in a market now with many other similar companies.

We need to try to do something while, I hope, the files still exist. I am willing to help and perhaps even pay for a programmer but I do not have the contacts or technical knowledge. If I new exactly what needed to be done I would at least try to help. I was researching programmings and the Streamload SDK and api but then I realized no programmer could do anything without the MM frontend itself activate. Is it possible to build another program that can access the data. Would Nirvanix and/or MM help-- at least provide guidance. I mean where is MM frontend now.

IceAge said...

RIP TLU

"Unfortunately The Linkup service is no longer available. Please visit box.net for your storage needs."

Well it's dead. Now there is a flash animation displaying MM screen shots etc. Which strangely if you click it takes you to a tetris like game?!!!

Run by a Per Cederberg. Software engineer for Ongame Studios.

Plus the BOX.net promos. In fact the two sites look more an more linked everyday...

I would have thought there would have been some new by now. 2 days after all our files were officaly taken off TLU?? And Iverson's announcement. Nirvanix not's going to budge in helping us get files back, nor TLU. Which is dead now.

RIP the lot

EPG said...

@anonymous.

From what I understand, the reason Streamload switched to Mediamax was as follows.

Patrick Harr was brought in after 4successful years of Streamload, mostly to attract more VC. Streamload had a lot of free and/or inactive users that were just consuming space and bandwidth and weren't making Streamload much revenue. Additionally, the Streamload system was not scalable to bigger/more users.

So Patric Harr along with some VCs decide to split the company into mediamax, (i.e. all the non-profitable users of Streamload, that's us) and Nirvanix.

At around this time Nirvanix redesigns the backend. Streamload tries to scale/redesign into Mediamax. Big screwup, many files lost.

Mediamax never working, still lots of free users hanging on hoping things get better. Mediamax moves to TLU, another disaster, non-profitable customers finally gone.

The way I see it, it was a premeditated, well-planned out move for a company to get rid of its non-profitable users. Their strategy worked. Mediamax/TLU gone, Nirvanix comes off smelling like roses, lots of big corporate clients, at the sacrifice of us, the non-profitable customers.

Badly handled for us, but obviously from the point of view of Streamload->Nirvanix, it is brilliant. They have 12 million in VC funding.

Note I am not a SL/MM/TL/Nirvanix employee, this is just simply what I deduce from the news articles.

Anonymous said...

@epg

Thanks for your comment. But I find it hard to comprehend that they'd engineer the screwup just to get rid of the users. They could have easily split up into Nirvanix and continue to use the old Streamload software as the basis for MediaMax and then maybe just decide to shut it down once Nirvanix was up.

No need to blow the whole thing up. I'm not even referring on the lost data fiasco. MediaMax it self, even with new data was not working properly. So it just seems like they launched it without any real testing - which is a shame.

Anonymous said...

Nirvanix are boasting on their news section about how they have been listed as one of the companies to watch according to this website -

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/073108-10-storage-companies.html?page=2

The website accepts comments....I expect you all to do your bit lol.

I have just posted this -

Nirvanix as a one to watch eh?

This would be the same company that spun off from Streamload / Mediamax and The Linkup who have just declared themselves bankrupt.

This would be the same Nirvanix that "allegedly" deleted thousands of paying customers files, files that they "allegedly" should never have had access to if they aren't anything to do with Streamload and Mediamax.

They are claiming, according to their blog that they are nothing to do with Streamload / Mediamax and The Linkup, well if that's so how come they "allegedly" had access to Mediamax customers data, that they "allegedly" deleted.

This would be the same Patrick Harr who was involved at the highest levels in the Mediamax and Streamload companies.

I would strongly suggest before you give Nirvanix your data you do your homework on them.

You can read about Nirvanix here - http://nirvanixusers.blogspot.com/

I don't know if they will accept it but we have to try!

Dave.
wordpress.partyoflife

Luzo Orbit said...

I have tried to get answers to some of these question in a conversation with Steve Iverson on the last day of operation of The Linkup 'service'.

See the next post for details.