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exastronaut Name Tom
Location Northampton, MA, US
Level Ski Bum  (1404 points)
Member Since 3/12/2009
exastronaut is Offline
"Yeah? Well, you know, that's just like uhh... your opinion man." 
weekend warrior
general knowledge
Gender: Male
Age: 32
Languages: English
Years Riding: 6
Average Days/Year: 20
Skill Level: advanced
Riding Style: all mountain
Area of Expertise: view all expertise
Preferred Terrain: powder, backcountry
Sizing Info  
Height/Weight: 6'2, 215 lbs
Board Size: 164
Boot Size: 10
Clothing Size: L
Jacket Size: L
Pants Size: L
Thermal Size: L
Ride with Me  
Region: East Coast
Location: Vermont
Resort: Sugarbush
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Forum Threads
Date Threads
11/4/2013 10:29:19 AM Thought I'd get this started now. I know Killington is already open, and it looks like many resorts are making snow since we've been having consistently low night time temperatures. If you know of a resort opening date (or maybe one that's already open) post it below!
12/16/2012 3:04:51 PM Clearing out some old stuff and a new jacket too. All prices O.B.O. include shipping to the lower 48 states. I'll mention that again later, because I know the internet and reading comprehension don't always go together. Planet Earth Gabriel Jacket: BNWT, Size L Bought this jacket at a spring sale. As I was unpacking my gear for this season I realized that I'm an idiot and this is my third black shell jacket. I considered selling one of the others, but I like them just fine, and I can hopefully get at least most of my money back on this one. 15k/15k, recycled materials, all the pockets gaiters, etc, that you would expect. 'Progressive Long' fit, so the body is 2" longer than standard. $300 new, some places are still selling it for that much. Cheapest I saw was $240. Asking $120 shipped OBO. 686/ ACC Syndicate Insulated Jacket: Used, Size L A few seasons light use on this one. There is a small stain on the back of the jacket that is hard to see. In my opinion, the flash in the picture really makes it look worse than in person. Cool Chinese Zodiac Tiger themed liner. Super warm. Another long jacket. I like it because it actually covered my butt and I'm just shy of 6' 3". I didn't wear this jacket much, because I'm a pretty warm person and this thing is really well insulated. Wore this with only a base layer a few times. Other than the small stain, no defects/ blemishes that I noticed. Retail on this was around $270. Looking for $65 shipped OBO. Peak Performance Insulated Pants: Used, Size L Similar to the 686 jacket, these pants are insulated and quite warm. A little too warm for me, and I don't really need a 3rd pair of pants right now. These are technically ski pants, but I like the color-block style. Very little wear on these. The white isn't perfectly bright white, but it still looks very good. Virtually no wear on the cuffs. Just a little fuzzy on the edges. One small dark spot on the back, and your jacket may cover that anyway. Retail on these was something absurd like $350. Asking $80 shipped OBO. Forum Kicker SLR Boots: Used, Size 11 Dual-Zone speed lacing system. I have a new pair of BOA style boots, but I think the next pair I'll be going back to this style. Stiff materials and construction for a freestyle boot, but has an articulated cuff that's easy to flex, so it ends up being a good all-mountain choice. Plenty of days on these, but still in good shape. Definitely used but not abused. Paid $230 for them back in the day. Asking $50 shipped OBO. You know the drill- PM me for paypal info/ offers.
11/18/2012 9:10:12 PM The title says it all. Right now I have 4 boards and 2 pairs of bindings. I've got a board in mind for each of them. I don't care about color or condition, as long as they aren't totally beat up. Heck, even totally beat up I'd take for the right price. I know I'd have more luck if I was looking for Forces or Cartels, but I really like the canted footbeds and the toe strap on Ride bindings. I've got some Double Agents, and I'm looking to add more.
10/24/2012 11:12:43 PM I'm looking to round out my quiver with a pow board. I live in MA and mostly ride in VT, so I'm not looking for a fish or a swallowtail or anything too crazy like that. It's rare that we get super deep days, and I'd like something that'll be acceptable on occasional groomers.  I'm thinking of something with more traditional shape, but tapered a bit. I have a YES G.D.O.H., so I'm not interested in a rockered twin deck: I'm looking for something directional. I spend most of my time in the trees, so I'm looking for something that's maneuverable. I'm a big guy, about 200#, so I'm looking for something in the 162-166 range. That's where all of my current boards fall.  I'm not looking to shell out a lot of cash on a new deck. A used but not abused board will be fine for me. So, any thoughts? A Malolo if I can find one? Charlie Slasher? I'd love to try a Nidecker Megalight, but they're damn near impossible to find. I know the Burton Barracuda is out there too, but I don't think I could get one for a decent price.
8/16/2012 7:56:59 AM If you aren't connected to Smuggler's Notch on facebook, you may not have seen this yet, but they are creating a new park area for this winter: "Finally - a word on parks for the winter 2013. Never fear, the Zone will still be in place on Sterling. PLUS - new this winter is Knight's Revenge Park in the Knight's Revenge glades on Madonna. This natural feature park will contain log slides, quarterpipes, bank turns, rock jumps, and more for freestyle fun."   I'm not much of a park rat, but some rock jumps, banked turns, etc, in the woods sound pretty good to me.  They're putting the park on the lower half of the mountain, so it might see a lot of traffic, but that also means you could do a nice top-to-bottom glade run and have some fun features to hit at the end. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
11/29/2011 7:54:46 PM So I just picked up a pair of Ride Double Agent bindings (thanks Snowjab) that come with the wedgie 3.0 and 4.0 footbeds and I had a thought-   One the deep days when you move your stance back, wouldn't it make sense to put the 4.0 in the front binding and the 3.0 in the back? This is assuming that you're just going for directional, freeride kind of setup. Obviously it would be strange to do something like that if you were riding a twin.   My thought is that if you are leaning back and weighting (is weighting a word?) that foot a little more, it would make sense to have the front footbed rise up a little bit more. It seems to me like that would help since you aren't riding in a neutral, balanced stance. If you're leaning back, why not set up your footbeds so they're doing the same thing?   Am I wrong? I don't think I am, but I have been once or twice before. I'm going to try it anyway, I'm just curious to see what people think.
11/21/2011 1:48:24 PM Bataleon Omni 167 & Large Burton Cartel Bindings. First the board- Batelon Omni 167 Used about 8 days last season as my 'at least 6 inches of fresh' board. In very good shape. Some very minor dings on topsheet, light marks where bindings were mounted. No deep scratches on the base, one tiny dent. I took pictures of even the tiniest little blemishes, and there's not much to see. Good pop from the camber, very springy board. Nice, consistent medium flex. TBT keeps most of the nose and tail off of the snow until you put the board on edge. With the freeride TBT, only the middle 1/3 makes contact when riding flat based. Very surfy and loose in new snow, but holds a nice edge on groomers. Keeps my fat ass (220#) up, and we actually got some big storms on the East Coast last winter.   Unfortunately, for me, it's just a little too wide at 260. That helps keep me afloat, but I just moved to Massachusetts so I probably won't see much pow. On top of that, I bought two other boards this fall, so I'm looking to thin the herd. If I lived somewhere with more snow, or hadn't moved down to a size 10 boot and medium binding, I'd hang on to it, but I'm facing facts, and it's just not quite what I need. It's a great all-mountain board for a bigger dude.   Bindings- Burton Cartel Size Large [Non-EST] Winterfesh Mismatch   I probably don't have to say much about these bindings because most of you know about them and there plenty of reviews out there. The 'Mismatch' colorway gives it a bit of a frakenbinder look without the hassle of doing it yourself. These have been used quite a few days, but they still look and work great. I'd just made the classic rookie mistake of buying boots that were too big and then i got bindings to match. Now that I've moved down a full boot size, they don't fit as well and I snagged a pair of Mediums. There are some scratches on the highbacks, and some of the padding on the inside of the highbacks is starting to fray. Straps and buckles are damn near immaculate. Honestly, when I pulled them out of the closet I realized that they look better than I thought they would.   Sorry no pics in the post. The uploader keeps telling me that it can't post my .jpg's because they aren't .jpg's....?   Board- $200 shipped Bindings- $75 shipped Combo- $250 shipped
11/16/2011 7:38:26 AM Hey all- I thought I'd start this off since some mountains will hopefully be opening soon. If you know of an official opening date, or even just a projected one, throw it up here. Browsing the website of every ski area in the region is a little time consuming, so it would be cool if we could consolidate all of the information here. I'll mostly be riding at Berkshire East this year, but their projected opening date is just 'Early December'. I wish it was a little more specific than that, but it's still too early to tell.
9/23/2011 3:01:56 PM I just moved from VT to MA and I'm dealing with the fact that my home mountain is Berkshire East instead of Smuggs and Sugarbush. Not that I'm complaining too much. I'm sure a lot of you would be happy to have the B.East as your home mountain. I'm 6'2", 215lbs, size 10 boots, on the advanced side of intermediate, except for park, where I haven't really even attempted much. I know that this winter I will be spending a lot more time in the park. I have two boards right now. A 164 Ride Concept TMS (camber, directional twin, med-stiff flex, responsive, great carving board) and a 167 Bataleon Omni (TBT, directional, medium flex, mid-wide, powder floater). They are both big and average at best for the park. On top of wanting to get into the park more, I'm also going to be getting my 3 year old son out on the mountain this winter, and neither of my boards are good for slow speed maneuvers. So what I'm looking for is a true twin that is a little shorter, but still able to hold me at speed, and a little softer, but not a limp noodle. I'm just planning on grabbing a board from last year and seeing how it goes. I've got my eye on the Yes 162, NS 161, & K2 160. I'm still a fanboy of the NS Proto CT despite never having ridden it before, but I think it might be a bit stiffer than I want. I don't know that for sure, and I'd really like to buy that board, but I don't know if it fits my needs as well as one of those others I mentioned. I've ridden a NS RC board, so I've got an idea of how the Evo/ Proto would feel tip to tail, but I haven't been on a CamRock board before. I'm guessing the K2 jib rocker/ flat camber isn't too different from a cambered board, though maybe I'm wrong. Ok, I'm done talking now. What do you think?
2/14/2011 5:24:51 PM Brand New pair of Rome S90's. I won these in the daily giveaway, but they don't really fit my needs because the highback doesn't have a lot forward lean. If I was more of a park rider instead of freeride, they'd be great. They have never been ridden. I took them out of the box, mounted and adjusted them to fit my boot, then realized that they weren't going to fit my needs. They will be shipped in the original box with all of the hardware/ paperwork, etc. They are the Green and Blue colorway, size L/XL. A nice looking, quality pair of bindings, but they just aren't going to work for me. I will ship them within 24 hours of receiving payment. $115 Shipped.
2/12/2011 7:42:30 PM So I've been riding Cartel's for a few years now, and I really like them. I remember that the first time I tried them out was in lesson, and my instructor commented on how much he liked that you could crank the forward lean down. I didn't think much of it at the time, but as I check out other bindings, I've come to realize that with forward lean, not all bindings are created equal. I'm a taller dude (6'2") so I have to crouch and bend my knees a bit more to get lower to the ground and more stable. That makes me bend at the ankles more to keep my weight centered. For this reason, I like the forward lean on my bindings to be cranked down pretty far. I'm maybe halfway down, or a little more so, on my Cartels and that does the job well. I got a pair of Union Contacts, and I couldn't get them to a sharp enough angle. That little extra distance the back of my boot had to travel to make full contact with the highback made them feel a little slow to respond, and a little bit soft. The problem was only made worse by the fact that I've been riding a Bataleon board. Since the contact points are raised, you have to push the board just a little bit more to get on edge. On my cambered board with Cartel bindings, as soon as I try to go to my heel edge, I'm on it. There's no delay before I make solid contact with the highback, or before the contact points hit the snow. So I sold the Contacts, and ended up getting a pair of Sierra/ Rome S90's... And I'm having the same problem. I just can't get the forward lean far enough forward. So now I have to sell my S90's and try again. I'd like to get away from buying Burton bindings, and find something else, but my Cartels are the right flex, adjustable, and I can get all of the forward lean I want out of them and more. So what bindings out there have a substantial forward lean? Park oriented bindings aren't going to fly for me. I need something on the stiff end of the freestyle spectrum, or something more set up for freeride. Outside of the Burton product line, I was considering Ride SPI's. So ultimately the question is this: What's a quality, stiff, adjustable, all-mountain freestyle binding that has a good amount of forward lean?
1/21/2011 8:20:29 PM Never Summer Raptor 169, ridden with Burton Cartel bindings, Forum Kicker boots. I'm an intermediate/ advanced rider, around 6'2" and 215#. I'd be very happy if I could always find fresh snow in the trees. I got on this board at a demo at Smuggler's Notch. I rode it for a little over 3 hours, mostly off-trail. They had gotten a few inches of fresh stuff overnight, and since it was a Wednesday, there was plenty of untracked snow around from the last few days of snowfall. I took the day off of work specifically because of the Never Summer demo. I wanted to ride the Heritage, but they only had it up to a 162, so I figured I'd go all out and ride the biggest thing they had. I figured that if I didn't like it, I'd swap it out for a smaller Premier. I liked it, so I didn't. My first impression was that it's a really good looking board. Not flashy and loud, a bit more understated, but definitely well made. The topsheet has a textured carbon fiber look that doesn't look nearly as good in pictures. I was surprised at how narrow the waist on the board was. 254mm on a board of this length looks really skinny. Given it's size, it felt pretty light. Once I got on the board, I first noticed the rocker contact point between the bindings. I've been riding cambered boards all season, so I felt it immediately. Once I started riding, I wasn't really as concious of it. It was easy to lift the nose off of the snow, but it didn't come up a long way. Just enough to get a little extra float. The narrow waist width makes this board very fast from edge to edge. That really helped make it feel shorter. I never thought that the board was too long or sluggish. Just cruising around on the groomers it was stable, but I did notice that the nose would wobble a little bit in the chop. It wasn't the fastest board on the mountain, but there is a lot of board touching the snow on a 169, and I don't really know how recently it was waxed. It certainly wasn't slow, but maybe I had really high expectations. I could lock into a carve fairly easily, and it held an edge really well. Not surprisingly, it wasn't very easy to ride switch, but it was doable. So on trail it was pretty good, but it's clearly not a board designed for tooling around on resort cruisers. I didn't even come near the park on this thing, and there really wasn't any reason to. It has pretty good pop off of natural features, but I didn't think it was as good as a regular camber board. Really, it's a little bit of a different feeling. The front foot pops up a bit easier, but the spring action off of the back foot isn't as good. It was stable on landings, and just like riding it regularly, jumps were better with more speed. Once I got the board in the trees, I was really happy. It was a lot of length for doing jump turns and really hard turns in the steep stuff, but the nose stayed up nicely and I didn't have to worry about burying it. Since it's a bit narrower, this board isn't designed to hold you up on top of the snow by having a big surface area. The long nose stays out on top of the snow with help from the rocker being shifted toward the back, and the narrow waist allows it to make fast turns, so the perfect conditions for this board are to be in pow riding with some speed. When you have it pointed down the fall line and you just flick it from edge to edge to get around whatever is in your path, it's amazing. I was really impressed with how nimble this board was considering the length. It rides best when you pick your line and charge down it, and that made me want to keep my speed up and really go for it. I let out a genuine 'Wooo-hoo!' or two while riding this thing, and I spent most of the day smiling. This is definitely a board I'd consider adding to my quiver, matched up with something a little bit stiffer than my current boot and binding setup. I wouldn't make it my primary board here in VT, but there are days where it would be a total blast to ride. They say 'he who hesitates is lost' and that could be the slogan for this board. If you are aggressive and don't hesitate to claim your line, this board will reward you with an amazing ride.
1/12/2011 7:42:10 PM Just like the title says, a Bataleon Jam up for sale. Board is a 2008 Jam 161. As far as I know this board is no different from the current model in dimensions, though there may be some slight differences in construction. Topsheet is in excellent shape, no delamination, a few faint scratches, no stickers, stomp pad, stains, etc. Base has light scratches that should be expected on a used board. No deep gouges, no core shots. Sidewalls and edges are in good shape, no separation from the sidewall, big dings, dents, etc. I like the board, but it's too short for me, so I went big and bought a Bataleon Omni 167, and I no longer ride this one. Can't find this board now for less than $570, but I'm selling it for $175. Get yourself on a triple base board without shelling out a ton of cash!                  
1/4/2011 8:39:48 PM Bataleon Jam 161. Ridden with both Union Contacts and Burton Cartels. I'm assuming everyone knows the story with Bataleon and Triple Base Technology. If you don't, swing by their website to see and hear their description of the tech. I got pretty detailed in this review, so if you get bored, just skip to the last paragraph. A quick about me to start: Intermediate/ Advanced rider, around 6'2" and 215#. I'm not really into the park. I'll pass through it on the way to the lift, maybe pop off of a couple hits and slide a box or two, but it's not really my thing. I'd be happy if I could always find fresh snow in the trees. My first impression of the board isn't all that great. It feels loose, and not in a particularly good way. Once I get a little speed going, I don't notice it so much. 'Catch-free' is an understatement. I never really felt that cambered boards were at all 'catchy' so this board feels very slippery. If you are riding flat based, the edges are not contacting the snow at all, so it's like you're standing on a saucer sled. When I'm on a long traverse or carrying through a spot that flats out, I tend to apply just a little bit of pressure on my toe edge to hold my line. I can't do that on this board. A little bit of pressure is not enough for the edge to make contact. In fact, this just rocks the board toward the side base a bit, and you have less contact with the snow, and the board has more of a tendency to slide around on you (typically the tail starts coming around backside). This is something you have to get used to with this board, and it took some time for me. When I fell I didn't fall while riding at speed, I fell while riding flat based in situations where I wanted to just lean on an edge lightly, but not actually start into a carve. Ok, so that's the big downside for me. You're either on edge or you aren't. There really isn't anything in the middle. You can't just check your edge a little bit. Besides traversing, I realized that I tend to check my toeside edge when landing jumps, and that doesn't work too well either. My technique was to go lightly to my toe edge, then come heelside to slow/ see what's in front of me. Now, sometimes I go lightly to my toe edge, then come straight down onto my face. Maybe the issue is that I have bad landing technique, but I really can't do it the same way on this board. The other downside of this board for me is the effective edge length. The effective edge on Bataleon boards is a bit shorter than comparable boards of the same size. This board is already on the shorter side for me, plus a shorter than average effective edge makes it less stable at speed. I knew this when I bought the board, so I can't really consider it a fault, but it is something to keep in mind if you're looking for one. If you're not sure of which size to go with, I'd recommend sizing up. This board rides shorter and won't hold as well as many comparable boards at the same length. My first positive impression was how well this board floated in powder. Now it isn't going to replace a pow-specific tapered board, but it certainly does a better job than traditional camber. I really saw the snow flying out and away from my front foot, instead of coming up over the contact points and piling up in front of my binding. I was skeptical that a few millimeters would really make a big difference, but it did. This helps a lot in the trees, where I sometimes end up plowing the nose of my cambered board under. I can keep my weight more forward on this board without worrying about the contact point catching, digging under, and getting me all jacked up. You can still initiate turns with the front foot in new snow. The lack of stability while cruising flat based isn't at all noticeable when you start laying down some carves. On edge, it feels good (minus the issue of short effective edge). When you start going from edge to edge, you notice a little bit of a rolling sensation as you go from edge, to side base, to flat, to side base, to edge again. It's not a big difference and the transition is very smooth. I actually kind of like it. On a flat board, your board goes edge, flat, edge. The curve of the side bases makes that transition feel really smooth. I feel like there's a little extra pep in my turns as I roll from edge to edge. Tight turns are easier to make on this board. This is especially true in the bumps and trees. The shorter effective edge is a positive here, as there is less edge to get caught up and slow you down. I feel like the upturned contact points also allow you to get your body and your weight shifted just a bit more into the turn before the edge catches and pulls you around. That's pretty key when you're in the trees and bumps and almost always changing direction. Again, being able to say a little bit more forward because you're not worrying about catching the nose makes things more stable. This board is fairly stiff, not your best option for the park, but it'll do the job. The TBT means you can still run some sharp edges out at the contact points because they're turned away from the boxes and rails. Lifting the contact points off of the snow also makes flat spins effortless and though it's not the best board to press, it is butterable, and basically just soft enough to take in the park without having to fight it too much. So, in summary, the downsides of TBT can be forgiven because they have upsides as well. The short effective edge sacrifices high-speed edge hold on big carves for agility and quickness when it comes to making turns in the trees and bumps. The TBT makes it almost impossible to just 'check' an edge or put light pressure on it at low speed, but it makes for very smooth, rolling transitions from edge to edge at high speed. You get better powder float than a traditional cambered board without sacrificing all of it's stability. It spins nicely, and is fast when you point it straight and ride flat because there is less contact with the snow. This board won't replace my longer cambered board for groomers and high-speed carving, but when there's a little bit of fresh snow and I want to ride something bumpy or full of trees, this will be my go-to board. If I had to do it all again, I'd buy a 164 knowing how short this board feels. But I bought it used and that wasn't an option anyway. Get yourself a Bataleon Jam if you like getting off of the groomers and out of the park because that's where it excels, and it'll take care of business on the cruisers and the boxes when you need it to.
10/1/2010 8:18:33 PM So Never Summer has received a patent regarding their RC tech. Mervin is apparently due to receive one for their banana tech. Mervin's C2 banana is very nearly Never Summer's RC. Both sides seem to be talking nice for the most part, but these patents could have big implications for both companies, as well as others. (Like Burton who has copied both technologies.) Reading the patents give me a headache, but my brother is a patent examiner, so I'm going to ask him to look at the patents just to satisfy my curiosity. I read the article and both interviews, and basically what I get is this. Tracey of Never Summer says 'We created RC Tech and thought it was really cool, so we wanted to do what we could to protect it. We hired so good lawyers we knew so we could get a  patent for it as soon as possible. We checked out what other companies we were doing to make sure we didn't file for a patent we couldn't get, and decided our product was different enough to go for it. We submitted a very specific patent because we knew what they were looking for. Mervin asked us to not us the 'ReCurve name, so we didn't. Mervin copied our RC tech to make C2' Mike of Mervin says 'We created banana tech, and thought it was really cool, so we wanted to do what we could to protect it. We hired a very friendly, knowledgeable lawyer who had been an examiner in the past. We kept our patent vague because we know how they like to pick your patent apart, so we wanted to still be left with some options on appeal. We were already making RC/ C2 style boards before Never Summer, but didn't try to patent that specific tech at that time. Never Summer should have known that we were doing that. Our lawyers have probably never even heard of Never Summer. If NS were just nice guys, they would've let us patent all of this tech for ourselves and then we would've let NS use it in return for some free pizza. Now I don't ride, nor have I ever ridden a Never Summer or Mervin snowboard and don't have any bias, but it seems to me like Mike is trying very hard to paint Mervin as being incredibly nice and friendly. Like, how many times does he make it a point to say they let people use their patented tech for next to nothing? (He even implies that some companies owe them, but in a non-chalant, 'we're too laid back to even hit them up for the pizza they owe us for using Magne-Traction' way.) But he also implies how business-savvy they are, despite the fact that apparently none of their legal team has ever heard of Never Summer. Tracey never feels the need to tell you how cool and laid-back they are. Which kind of leads me to believe that he is cooler, and probably not as passive-aggressive. They went for a more direct approach on their patent, in the hopes of streamlining the process. Both companies knew the economy wasn't so hot and the market was a bit stagnant, so having new technology, and holding the patents to it, becomes even more important. Mervin's strategy is fairly common. The less information you give the less they can reject. You can't be completely vague, but you don't want to paint yourself into a corner either. Patent examiners are basically told that they should reject everything that comes across their desk for the first time. Not because they're being dicks, but because if you do award a patent that is very vague, someone else can come along and get a more specific patent and potentially muscle you out. For example, you make a cambered snowboard like we know them today, curved at tip and tail with a sidecut, but you only apply for and get a vague patent for the overall shape and sidecut. Someone else comes along and uses camber and curves at the tip and tail, and gets the patent for it. Sure, you were doing it all along, but you didn't lay claim to it, and now they can. (And now they can potentially make you pay for using it.) Which pretty much seems to be what Mervin is saying. 'We were doing it first, but we didn't patent it.' Unfortunately, in legal terms, that means very little. The patent is power. Getting patents can be highly competitive. Sure, Mervin can say 'We're cool, and we totally let cool people use our patents. Never Summer should've just let us do our thing. We deserve their patent' but that's just like saying 'I'm cool, and I think you're cool too. You should let me be king, and I'll tell you what to do. But don't worry, I'll be cool to you.' What they're saying may well be true, but it doesn't change the fact that at any time Mervin can say 'Sorry guys, you can't use our technology anymore.' or 'You can use out technology, but it's going to cost you. A lot.' I'd personally rather have the power myself and not give up control to someone else.

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