Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
I was contacted by an employee of Dimitri's in China looking for help as they are owed a significant amount of money - lots of interesting information and Dimitri is now making pizza in Shenzen http://www.szdaily.com/content/2016-04/01/content_12984935.htm
This project was the biggest scam. I wish there was a way to bring a lawsuit against Dimitri Albino (if that is really his name). I sit here with $450 worth of worthless "Yellow" junk ... No manuals, no code, no more wiki, no github, nothing.
I would like to see this A-hole nailed to a judicial wall and forced to pay every backer back for the fees that they committed to this project along with damages.
Has anyone heard of a lawsuit against this guy yet?
Success in Washington by their AG and consumer protection division against a dodgy Kickstarter, Asylum Playing Cards :
If you made a complaint against Smartmaker and Dimtri Albino then now is the time to follow it up with an email to the Florida AG's office and the Consumer Protection Devision to find out where our claims stand and try and push this forward. Quote those news articles and the official court record which is here :
Don't let this snake get away, spend 5 mins chasing your complaints up or making one if you haven't already and lets hope Florida follows Washington's lead.
DON'T let Albino get away with this and the 1/2 $Million he has stolen thru all his campaigns and website.
I've started doing some work with Yellow crap. It's terrible. Still I'd hat for it to go to waste, so if anyone has any documentation, wiki, or code archived please let me know in PM. Also I'm starting teaching kids some robotics/electronics in my comunity centre. So if anyone has some yellow stuff they are not using and would like to donate them please let me know also.
@Jason, there is some info left online thanks to Archive.org: http://web.archive.org/web/20140208021943/http://forums.smartmaker.com/
Not much left of the wiki, but it wasn't very accurate anyway. The biggest problem with the boards are the missing channel selectors. There's no way to use the Ethernet and Memory boards on the same bus because their CS pins will be hardwired together. Dimitri claimed a separate switching/channel select board made available "soon" just before he disappeared completely. I guess it would likely have been similar to the MIX UP router boards they also sold (I have two of those but they only fit Arduino shields). If you are more handy than me at making your own PCBs and have some spare connectors and DIP switches, you could perhaps make some for the bus.
Does anyone have a copy of documentation/wiki?
I did receive stuff, not all, from them but never had time to play with the stuff. It was a bit outdated when I received it anyway. But now I would like to use it for something but I don't have any docs on how and what.
Thank you Sixy ! As always...timely, insightful and most useful information.
Heartening to see you haven't altered course despite your total lack of
Flashback Friday - File with the FTC https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
Yes it's yet another 'form' to fill out but if there's anyone still out there that would like to finally see some well deserved justice directed at Dimitri and Harold it's worth the few minutes it takes to add your voices.
The scams mentioned in the assorted articles just now being published pale in comparison with dollar amounts, egregious lies, numbers of victims and multiple "campaigns" across two different CS platforms of the two clowns we were unfortunate enough to support.
This article may be interesting to backers of the Smartmaker campaign.
"Game over: FTC goes after board game Kickstarter gone wrong in first crowdfunding case"
I did receive a portion of the package - today I threw them in the trash.
No refunds, no shipment, nothing. Scam.
Well Sixy, speaking from high atop one of your fields of 'mole hills'...I wish you inner peace with a long and happy life.
(But please, not as any sort of 'fact checker' !!!)
Funny how all the Dimitri and Harold advocates have slithered back into their holes now that over 16k teachers, students and nonprofits have been swindled.
I bet the real trolls are proud of the way they helped the scam grow to such gigantic proportions; either there were idiots posting or they were paid... not hard to figure out.
In the latest news, while backers on Indiegogo are screaming into the ether, Dimitri is selling the kits all everyone paid for on eBay, over 2500 sold so far! http://kicksucker2013.blogspot.com/2015/03/crowdfunding-fraudsters-smartmaker.html
Dimitri Albino and Smartmaker never shipped anything to me, despite promises. Dimitri Albino never refunded anything to me, despite refund requests.
I notice the website is down, now we're stuck with this lump of $hit product and no documentation? heh
You stole from us! U stole from u! No project will work for you until you return what you stole!
Looks like a Smartmaker kit escaped and had it away with one of Ken's fantastic TinyDuino kits and it spawned this horrible creation... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mopusworks/tweeq-micro-sized-arduino-compatible-platform-and/
Globally counting those taken for a ride by Mr Albino and his family of scammers inc dear old mom. Made partially with some Yellow Sh@te...
Rewind to October 2012, the great yellow smARtDUINO campaign was launched on Kickstarter by the soon to be infamous Dimitri Albino
The project launch made a lot of big claims about great things.. The project creator’s depth of experience seemed like a solid, credible base… and having had an amazing KS experience, it never occurred to me to question the great marketing I and 982 unsuspecting backers dove for…
Over half of the backers added and doubled their financial commitments after the campaign because the updates commercials kept coming… An almost carbon copy of what is currently happening on @Indiegogo
I happened across several articles of bad press shortly after the campaign closed which made me suspect, but I wasn’t worried about it so much until 5 months in when nothing quite added up.
The big red flag
Dimitri says: “For years we manufactured the @ARDUINO in Italy. Now we created a new Open System: modular, scalable, the world’s cheapest and smallest!”
Founder of Arduino says: "I’ve never heard of this person I’ve emailed immediately the factory asking if they knew him. Nobody had ever heard of him…"
These guys wrote about it: http://hackaday.com/2012/11/27/kickstarter-incurs-the-wrath-of-arduino-creator/#comment-893409
Odd things popped up in the comments like Dimitri’s various screen personas that some folks caught when he slipped and double posted under different names
These guys wrote about it: http://makezine.com/2012/11/26/what-should-kickstarter-do/
One particular reply in the comments stayed with me from the link above:
Reply ↓Soul on February 13th, 2013 at 5:49 am said:
"Probably nobody of you know, but Mr. Albino stole money to many many people here in Italy. In far 2005/2006 he sold hundreds of mp3 players on ebay. At that time iPod was the biggest innovation, and cheap mp3 players were impossible to find here. So many many people bought them from him, 100€ each one. Someone received it, but me, as me, didn’t. He simply disappeared and claims to ebay were useles. There has been a very long thread on ebay community about him, but now is not there anymore. So I’m not surprised about this…"
Soul on February 13th, 2013 at 5:51 am said:
“Someone received it, but many, as me, didn’t”
Reply ↓Soul on February 13th, 2013 at 6:08 am said:
Try to google for “cinachiamaitalia ebay feedback”
cinachiamaitalia was his eBay account in those years
What a happenstance that someone duped in Italy in 2006 posts 7 years later?…
In the 3 links above Dimitri commented often, aggressively positioning himself as a victim, often blaming of language translation issues yet never with a straight answer or accepting ownership when caught in a lie… Which said so much more than his actual words
Lots of inconsistencies and warnings but nothing I had time or real interest in pursuing… Until about 5 months after the campaign was done and funded and 53 updates worth of commercials to buy more stuff and tell us about all of his flights, new hires, the Engadget competition but nothing remotely resembling production.
***The Engadget comments were really insightful as SME’s in medical technology made it clear Dimitri didn’t understand what his newest project was, how it functioned.. oh… and that it wasn’t his, it was an existing knockoff product.
Dimitri’s response to some of the comments over there were interesting. One that really made me realize I should have just lit my cash on fire was when he cited his research source… Wikipedia.
Nothing screams credibility like basing your entire scope of knowledge from Wikipedia.
So now 5 months past funding, here is my first ever comment that began several months worth of personal attacks, name calling and lies from the creator
Dimitri says:"You are proud to share the love for your daughter (I suppose)" < Strike
Dimitri pledges: “I would like to offer to you, and to anyone else think that what you wrote reflect his or her feelings, a full, unconditioned and immediate refund of the pledge.”
No one requested a refund, it was offered… Great, let’s move on…
03/18/13 Dimitri, unsolicited offers all unsatisfied backers a full and immediate refund. < PERFECT!
03/19/13 > I say Yes please.
03/21/13 Dimitri cries victim and repeats his “compliment” towards my daughter (supposedly) - No mention of refund
03/27/13 > Another couple backers call b.s. and question project timeline
03/28/13 Dimitri says: shipping Mid April - references his expertise - No mention of refund
03/29/13 > I call out some inconsistencies, provide specific verifiable data (because credibility is now a looming concern) and remind Dimitri that he, unsolicited offered a refund
04/03/13 > After 2 weeks listening to the sound of crickets regarding the refund offered, I attempted to resolve through Amazon who sends me to my bank where I submit a claim simply stating “items not received”
04/07/13 > Another backer calls b.s.
04/08/13 > Some more folks are concerned
04/08/13 Dimitri says: “I’m not giving a s**t to this discussion on the forum because I think is silly plus I should say pretty bad things to liars or people that are not brave enough to say in public that they have filled a charge back request to their credit card company, shame on them!” Seriously?
04/10/13 > A backer request an update
04/10/13 Dimitri says: “@Leon,as you wrote clearly, the frequent updates that I was thinking were an added value to this project were actually been felt as spam. You just felt it, others wrote it, someone even too much clearly.This is the reason there are no updates running out recently. I’ve received more complains that requests for more updates, so I have to suppose that are unwelcome.Anyway we are going anhead with the production and I can confirm that during the next days we will start with shipments.”
04/13/13 Dimitri says: Next update will take a day to write, you want your stuff so no time for updates This is intriguing as according to the Optimize logistics guide he expertly crafted for eBay years ago he can “produce 10 - 15 pages and hour”
04/14/13 Dimitri says: “And after being treated like a s**t for working 24/7 by people that have the time to be fathers, because they are so better than me in their job, I’ve also chosen to give even higher priority to the family.” Seriously?!
04/21/13 Dimitri says: “We are organizing the logistics and sorting the almost 1,200 orders all different and based on 3 different warehouses… I hate myself for having this idea! :-)” Perhaps leveraging the eBay guide he wrote title “Optimize logistics… some advice” http://recensioni.ebay.it/Venditori-ottimizzare-la-logistica-e-spedire-meglio…
04/25/13 > Another backer wants a refund and another request refund via private message
This next one really became the straw that broke the camels back for several folks
04/25/13 Dimitri says:
" Few weeks ago, with a very bad mood because accused to be a jerk and to spend your money having a fancy life (!) I’ve wrote that I was willing to offer refund to who ask for it. It’s in the public board, visible for anyone.Did I write something that makes sense? No. It was a mistake."
"The second case is what I think the worst one. A backer sent a charge back request to his credit card company. This is mean. (I know you are reading and it was easy to understand who you are from the amount pledged, shame on you). This is something like invite a friend for dinner and then run away leaving the unpaid check on the table when he goes to the washroom."
"What is Kickstarter? First of all is a place for trust. You trust on the person and the ideas that he propose. This person trust on your commitment to offer help." Fascinating
Some more superfluous blathering and he cites KS Accountability guidelines
"So we go back to the original topic. The requests for refund. If, for any reason, I will not be able to fulfill the rewards, I must offer a refund. This is the rule. Of course. We are late (few weeks late right now not a year) we haven’t gave up."
"Kickstarter is a very public place. Anyone can see what others do. Anyone can se who pledge on which project and if he give comments or wathever. It’s interesting to see people that are not getting yet their rewards from other projects’ creators that are five
I never received anything. As expected after seeing his lies only a few months into the project.
It's a shame. $500 down the drain.
I guess they could be good for SMD desoldering practice though.
Chris, I'm not sure it's worth it. Atmel microcontroller chips are extremely cheap, even in small order quantities. Chances are pretty good that they will be damaged during removal unless you have the proper desoldering gear. When I spend $10 on a custom board and have to wait a couple weeks to get it, I don't want to ruin it by soldering a salvaged mcu to it.
This would have been soooo much better. Straightforward and to the point.....
ALSO, if it will make you feel any better, the stuff you should have gotten was total bullshirt anyway. I haven't found anything worthwhile to do with any of it, and the couple of pieces I did try to do anything with haven't held up to any kind of repetitive use. the connectors are so damn tight they eventually tear off the boards......
I have started removing components to use in other projects........
just my final 2 cents worth.....
unless anyone has any good suggestions for removing the atmel ic's from the yellow crap they are stuck too?
good luck to all my smartmaded friends in all your future crowd funded adventures....
May the force be with you.
To confirm, Anyone who ever reads this ever in the future who has either Dimitri Albino or Harold Timmis working for them or applying for a job etc... AVOID THEM!!!
The pair of them have STOLEN over $300,000 via International wire fraud using the old confidence long con using a loophole in the crowd-funding website Indigogo to rip off around 5000 people and targeted teachers and students by marketing their non existent product as an "Educational Tool" including video lessons and an educational book to go with the promised hardware.
To this date (11 months past due) there have been ZERO rewards received and little contact from Harold Timmis who had to take 4 weeks off at one point becasue he had a 'Cold'... He has proven to be lazy and makes himself unreachable when he feels like it.
Dimitiri Albino is even worse!!! He set up 2 dodgy companies in the US (Smartmaker and Aldi Holdings) and from day one he based them on a stack of lies that grew bigger and bigger.
He is a proven compulsive lier and a fraud.
He gained over $250,000 in support of a crowd funding camaign and website sales and failed to deliver AT LEAST 65% of items with no refunds or even an apology.
Soon after he was evicted from his office and maker space for non-payment of rent and then shut down all his websites and business interests in the US before heading back to the Shezhen District of China where he is currently hiding out in a new factory location (likely planning his next scam).
He is so low that he dragged his elderly mother as well as some close family and even some in-laws into a massive web of lies that was investigated and found out to be a scam and was publicly outed right here as well as several major maker community sites.
If you do business with either Harold Timmis or Dimitri Albino then you must be nuts and be prepared to loose something... Money, Equipment, Business credit line/account, Reputation or even your wife/husband.
Between the pair they have STOLEN over Half a Million Dollars US ($500,000) that we know of and thats a conservative estimate!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
To anyone who ever stumbles upon this page. To this day I've received neither complete order nor the refund from Dimitri Albino. Please be advised that they are scammer, and everything associated with Smartmaker - for example Borderless Electronics, are also not fulfilling orders and dodging responsibility.
Received this, it takes about 5 minutes to compete take a moment to help her out and share your thoughts
I am a student at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom pursuing a masters degree in Strategy and Innovation .
I got your email from Kickstarter while going through the comments on the Radiate Athletics page. I also noticed you are trying to warn others about other "funny" projects and I also checked out your blog. Great work.
I am currently working on a dissertation about crowdfunding. The focus is on the issue surrounding project delivery delay/failure which has probably become an area of concern for you as well as other backers. For my dissertation, I will be looking at this risk associated with Crowdfunding (i.e. the impact of the delay in project rewards on backers )
I would sincerely appreciate if you can complete my survey -
https://www.esurveycreator.com/s/c0c66f7 and share the link with other backers in the comment section of projects you've backed and on your blog.
This advice goes for Harold Timmis too.
I think D is on the run. We need to keep applying presure and expose any new ventures as extensions of his fraudulent empire built with our money. Don't let him come up for air for even a second.
It looks like it was renewed until 7/1/15. Also, apparently Orlando is now in Alabama. He didn't pay the fee for private registration.
well that sucks....
Boarderless domains has expired...
http://www.borderlesselectronics.org/ now states : NOTICE: This domain name expired on 01/07/2014 and is pending renewal or deletion.
A quick reverse whois of the owner (Harold Timmis) shows :
Registered Domain – Expiry Date – Registrar
borderlesselectronics.com – 2014-07-01 - GODADDY.COM, LLC
borderlesselectronics.info – 2014-07-01 - GODADDY.COM, LLC
borderlesselectronics.net – 2014-07-01 - GODADDY.COM, LLC
borderlesselectronics.org – 2014-07-01 - GODADDY.COM, LLC
Interesting to see if they will be renewed.
According to IP address lookup, that IP points to an EC2 node in the Amazon cloud.
I don't use EC2 (all of my cloud work is on Azure) but my understanding is that they are virtualized server nodes with unique IP addresses that aren't shared with other hosting customers. In other words, if two websites are hosted at the same EC2 node then they are 100% "owned" by the same person.
Now the gotcha there is that the owner of a DNS registration can point it to any IP address they want. I could take one of my domains and point it to that server if I felt like it. So the fact that two domains point to the same IP certainly makes it extremely likely that both are owned by the same registrant, but doesn't prove it. If the two sites were both online at the same time while hosted at the same IP then it would be a 100% proven association.
And both websites are online right now. Smartmaker.com displays an "under maintenance" page while all4makers.com simply responds with an ascii "OK" on port 80.
So without a doubt, these two domains are owned by the same registrant and that registrant is using Amazon EC2 as a hosting provider. I find that to be a slightly interesting twist as all of our money also went through Amazon Payments nearly two years ago.
smartmaker.com and all4makers.com clearly have the same IP. Just ping the two of them from a command line.
hahaha, Charlie, GREAT pic you dug up!
It looks like Sunsky "does it yellow..." ;-) LOL!
@Six - Have you had a look into Sunsky Technology based in Shenzhen?
I have their name keep popping up with various things related to Dimitri's business in China including some info on various registered domains. Juliet Zhu, a sales manager there seems to appear on a few things I have found when digging through searches and is also the named holder of a few smartmaker based domains.
Do you know what the Address of Smartmaker in China is registered as?
smartmaker.com IP address is 126.96.36.199 which is now set to all4makers.com
Domain Name: ALL4MAKERS.COM
Registry Domain ID: 1854265813_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.godaddy.com
Registrar URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Update Date: 2014-04-11 01:30:49
Creation Date: 2014-04-11 01:30:49
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2015-04-11 01:30:49
Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 146
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.480-624-2505
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Domain Status: clientRenewProhibited
Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: ROSA LI
Registrant Organization: ALL 4 MAKERS
Registrant Street: A-05 6F19-25 SHANMEI ST
Registrant Street: UNIVERSAL INDUSTRIAL CENTRE
Registrant City: SHATIN
Registrant State/Province: HK
Registrant Postal Code: 1000
Registrant Country: Hong Kong
Registrant Phone: +852.55735489
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: email@example.com
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: ROSA LI
Admin Organization: ALL 4 MAKERS
Admin Street: A-05 6F19-25 SHANMEI ST
Admin Street: UNIVERSAL INDUSTRIAL CENTRE
Admin City: SHATIN
Admin State/Province: HK
Admin Postal Code: 1000
Admin Country: Hong Kong
Admin Phone: +852.55735489
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: ROSA LI
Tech Organization: ALL 4 MAKERS
Tech Street: A-05 6F19-25 SHANMEI ST
Tech Street: UNIVERSAL INDUSTRIAL CENTRE
Tech City: SHATIN
Tech State/Province: HK
Tech Postal Code: 1000
Tech Country: Hong Kong
Tech Phone: +852.55735489
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: email@example.com
Name Server: NS19.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
Name Server: NS20.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/
Last update of WHOIS database: 2014-07-02T20:00:00Z
Harold's BorderlessElectronics.org domain is gone too. Looks like the backers who called this a scam were correct. Thankfully I got my charge back done long ago.
Guess what's down?
You get a message saying:
"nothing to see here!"
So, guess that's it? Time to move on?
I'm trying my very best here, not to be mean to you.
Your "detective skills" are sorely wanting.
If you really are that bored with your existence please let me know so we can arrange a more suitable outlet for your energies.
Be happy ! Life's too short.
Yet another remarkable "coincidence" that the www.meetup.com/Smartmaker/ which had 62 members and no organizer 7 days ago (including Tom.me / fishandchimps under a different identity and location per his comments) is now blocked with only 61 members
Meetup data pre-lockdown/modification http://bit.ly/smARtMAKER_Meetup
From that article, the reasons given by KS for taking the iFind project down (all of which seems to have likely happened here to some degree):
* A related party posing as an independent, supportive party in project comments or elsewhere
* Misrepresenting support by pledging to your own project
* Misrepresenting or failing to disclose relevant facts about the project or its creator
* Providing inaccurate or incomplete user information to Kickstarter or one of our partners
I saw this story today and thought it was interesting and (if only tangentially) relevant to here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/27/ifind_kickstarter_cancelled/
Too bad this one didn't warrant similar attention from KS management. Probably because the iFind project managed to draw some real public criticism from major media outlets, and it seems that if there is one thing that can kick KS in the pants, it's negative media publicity.
Hi Nial, Six,
Thanks for the info, that is very useful. I'll probably go for Adafruit, I order their Neopixel strips there. I wonder where the name 'April Board' comes from. The only reference I saw was in the comments section. On Sparkfun, it's calles Bob, not April, hahaha. Anyway, thanks guys!
@Thierry - Good to hear your son is getting hands on with Arduinos. TBH the Uno/Leo/Mega/Due are the best and easiest way to learn rather then "Arduino Based" stuff like this project, also cheaper! The only exception in my experience is the DigiSpark by DigiStump (3 fantastic Kickstarter campaigns under their belt) and the Adafruit Trinket which is similar. Both are great for projects that you want to leave an Arduino inside/connected.
Imp wise, I use Electric Imps alot and 90% of the time I just use the very basic April breakout board that you can buy from Sparkfun, Adafruit and many other stores around the world for about $12-$15 https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11400
The smartmaker Impy Arduino shield is usefull for connecting up to a 'duino but not essential as you can just use jumper wires from the April breakout to an Arduino of any type. If you need a shield then Sparkfun also make one here : https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11401
(I would go for the April breakout as it has more connection options.)
Check out the Electric Imp store on Tindie https://www.tindie.com/m/ElectricImp/
Six, Nial, I have to admit, you were totally right from the start, unfortunately. I DID get a package of stuff initially, but incomplete and never did get anything else. What I did get needs more work getting it to work than was promised. My son is handling Arduino's easily now, but I will not let him get lost in the Yellow stuff, which is what I pledged for in the first place. Still have an IMP laying around WITHOUT the promised SmartIMP holder, guess I'll have to find something else to plug that in.