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Old 27-03-2018, 11:28   #1
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The death of Active Captain

I am sure that most of you already know that Active Captain was sold to Garmin a few months ago. Almost immediately after the sale I found that I could not update any of my navigation apps on my iPad except for the one I almost never used - Garmin. All I got from all of my other apps was "Unable to connect to Active Captain server. I emailed Jeff to see what was going on and the only response I could get was "There is nothing wrong with our servers".
My favorite iPad navigation app was PolarView from Polar Navy, so I queried them. They had no solution for the iPad app, but for $69.00 sold me an update for my PolarView program on my Windows based laptop (which I also could not update) so it would update again. Now, just a few months later I see that I wasted my $69.00 as I see now that Garmin has terminated their agreement with PolarView also.
Anyone else care to comment on this situation?


I just sent the following email to Jeff Segal, the creator of Active Captain:

Jeff

I just found this on Polar Navy's website:

Polar Navy Support
ActiveCaptain discontinuation
March 07, 2018 07:39PM Admin
Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,011

We received the following notice from Garmin wrt. ActiveCaptain data availability:

"As permitted by our existing agreement, the current product will be discontinued on May 23, 2018 and will no longer be available. Due to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements we are unable to keep this product. This letter is providing you notice of termination of that product and our existing agreement."
Based on this notice, ActiveCaptain data will no longer be available for download after May 23, 2018.
Your existing downloaded data will continue to be available in the PolarView.
Additional discussion of this topic can be found in the following thread: [support.polarnavy.com]

Polar Navy Support

------------------------

PolarView has been my number one iPad and iPhone app for years. It is the last one of my navigation apps that will update Active Captain. After May 23rd it, and none of my other apps, except Garmin will update the Active Captain apps and (IM[maybe not so]HO) the Garmin app sucks!

See now what you have done. You have sold your child to the devil for a few pieces of gold.

You can tell the folks at Garmin that because of this I will never recommend or buy another piece of Garmin gear!!

Al Judy, S/V Finlandia
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Old 27-03-2018, 11:33   #2
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Re: The death of Active Captain

"The report of my death was an exaggeration"
Mark Twain

You might want to do some more research. I think you'll find the limited information provided by Polar Navy was not the whole picture (some might even say it was misleading.)
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Old 27-03-2018, 12:40   #3
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Re: The death of Active Captain

Tom
That is quite possible.
I just got this reply from Jeff:

You might want to see the article on panbo.com about it. PolarView took 2 paragraphs from the letter out of context. Nothing bad is going to happen but if the developer doesn't want to keep their product up to date, there's nothing that can be done.

You're wrong about Garmin. They're taking ActiveCaptain to the next level. Give it a chance and stop jumping to wrong conclusions.

Jeffrey Siegel, Lead Product Manager and Chief ActiveCaptain Cheerleader

But my question to Jeff was:

PolarView did not seem to have a problem when you owned Active Captain - Why now do they have a problem with Garmin???
Also, why has Active Captain support disappeared from several other navigation apps?

Al
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Old 27-03-2018, 12:53   #4
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Re: The death of Active Captain

Al,I am semi computer illiterate,but I know that,on May 25, GDPR takes effect.This imposes strict privacy restrictions governing collection and use of personal data of EU citizens. Compliance is required for ANY company that has data on any EU citizens. Garmin ,I believe ,are making some changes to be legal with the new EU rule. I believe they plan for active captain to be up and running again once they have figured out the compliance issue.
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Old 27-03-2018, 13:16   #5
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Re: The death of Active Captain

OK all:

Jeffery just referred me to what I feel is one of the most respected authorities on boating electronics "for the rest of the story".
It can be found at: https://www.panbo.com/archives/2018/...s_assured.html

I am still wondering why none of my other navigation apps will not update and why I haven't heard more about this.

Here is my latest reply to Jeff Siegal:

OK Jeff

I read PAMBO's article and see that in some ways I fired my cannon before fully adjusting my sights.
I always appreciated your newsletters which kept all of your Active Captain user's up to date on everything that was going on with AC, but of course that stopped as soon as AC was sold to Garmin.

If Garmin had better communication skills the whole thing would surely have gone more smoothly, but as one responder to the article says:

Thanks for the article. I hope that Ken and Rob from Garmin were a little panicky and more than a little embarrassed about having to do this damage control on Panbo. This whole Polar Navy episode is horrible PR and product management.

When will Garmin release ANY info about the new API, so that developers can start to adapt? Currently, the AC developer page ( https://activecaptain.com/help/developers-index ) is completely empty. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.
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Old 27-03-2018, 14:32   #6
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Re: The death of Active Captain

So you all know it was Jeff's product to sell and/or do whatever he wanted to with it don't you? Now it is Garmin's product and they can do whatever they want with it, which I'm sure is to help their brand make money with it.

I'm not personally happy about it, but that's the way it works!
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Old 27-03-2018, 14:53   #7
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Re: The death of Active Captain

Quote:
Originally Posted by svfinlandia View Post
I am still wondering why none of my other navigation apps will not update and why I haven't heard more about this.

I updated AC markers on all three apps we use (1 on a laptap, 2 on two different Android tablets and an Android phone) with no problems.

There were a couple more AC-focused threads here, a few weeks back... with all that PolarNav, GDPR, and Panbo info...

-Chris
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Old 27-03-2018, 14:59   #8
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Re: The death of Active Captain

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So you all know it was Jeff's product to sell and/or do whatever he wanted to with it don't you? Now it is Garmin's product and they can do whatever they want with it, which I'm sure is to help their brand make money with it.
I'm not personally happy about it, but that's the way it works!
Unfortunately you are correct. Commerce has no conscience.

Al, S/V Finlandia
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Old 27-03-2018, 15:06   #9
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Re: The death of Active Captain

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I updated AC markers on all three apps we use (1 on a laptap, 2 on two different Android tablets and an Android phone) with no problems.
There were a couple more AC-focused threads here, a few weeks back... with all that PolarNav, GDPR, and Panbo info...
-Chris
Sorry, I didn't see the other threads or I would not have started a new one. Would just have added to the old ones.

What apps are you using on your laptop and your other devices?
I am an IOS user and have not had good results at all updating any of my apps except for the Garmin one. They all come back and say "Cannoct connect to Active Captain server".

Al, S/V Finlandia
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Old 27-03-2018, 18:42   #10
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Re: The death of Active Captain

Why can't the PR team at Garmin put out a a simple press release outlining the future of Active Captain and it's availability on the web and products other than Garmin branded ones? As a guy who was married to a high profile PR person for many years this current lack of clarity would be unacceptable. They are damaging their brand, encouraging people to migrate to the inferior Waterways Guide, and basically showing the PR policy of amateurs. Tsk tsk.
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Old 27-03-2018, 18:52   #11
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Re: The death of Active Captain

We should all be clear that since Garmin paid money for AC, they have a plan on how to make this acquisition profitable for them. The reason why there is little information about the future direction of AC is most likely that Garmin have not decided how hard to cut-off the free users and they are adjusting the strategy based on the feedback from customers.

I am not happy about that either, especially since we all contributed to making AC a valuable resource. Unfortunately, the same approach is likely true for this forum as well. We contribute valuable information and experiences (and get valuable information in return) while the owners of the site make money through ads and possibly selling some of the activity data. As long as we derive value from the information sharing, it is all good but I would hate to see CF going the way of AC one day.

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Old 27-03-2018, 19:03   #12
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Re: The death of Active Captain

It's been about a year since they bought AC right? The fact they have no credible public relations strategy outlining the future or even their reasoning for buying it in the first place is a gross sign of incompetence.

They bought Delorme and as a result they got the excellent InReach product. Go to their website and you don't even see that product or their equivalent. To me they have become a company with too much cash that are just buying up all their competitors without a clear vision for the future. Kinda sad.
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Old 27-03-2018, 19:26   #13
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Re: The death of Active Captain

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Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
We should all be clear that since Garmin paid money for AC, they have a plan on how to make this acquisition profitable for them. The reason why there is little information about the future direction of AC is most likely that Garmin have not decided how hard to cut-off the free users and they are adjusting the strategy based on the feedback from customers.
It's my understanding from all the communication to date that their intent is still to keep ActiveCaptain free to users (such as via their website and apps) and through the new API... when it appears. According to the Panbo thread, the API is supposed to be available around April 1... so we'll see soon, I hope.
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Old 28-03-2018, 04:34   #14
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Re: The death of Active Captain

I just went to the website and it's working just fine
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Old 28-03-2018, 04:52   #15
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Re: The death of Active Captain

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So you all know it was Jeff's product to sell and/or do whatever he wanted to with it don't you? Now it is Garmin's product and they can do whatever they want with it, which I'm sure is to help their brand make money with it.

I'm not personally happy about it, but that's the way it works!
I don't think anyone is (or should) object to Jeff or Garmin making a reasonable profit for the work they put into the system.

I think the difference here is Jeff didn't go out to each of these sites, collect the data and code it into the system. As such users who entered data have certain feelings of ownership...so even if Jeff can legally sell the database, it leaves people feeling a bit used.

Really the system is the easy part. The database of reviews is the value. Just about any GIS platform could develop an equivalent system in a few weeks. Garmin could easily have built their own system but it wouldn't have reviews, so no one would use it.

As someone else mentioned, this is a major PR snafu on Garmin's part. It would be SO EASY to put out a simple notice indicating that they ran afoul of new EU rules and plan to get things back up and running as soon as they can comply. This is incompetence on Garmin's end.
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