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    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2012 edited
    Well if you want to donate to something that's not Kickstarter and not for Penny Arcade and that gives you the option of not giving any money to the site that organizes the donations (though it seems like a good site to give to):

    Music photographer Jeff Winterberg has brain cancer and needs help paying for treatment.

    If you kick in $50 or more, you get prints of some of his photographs. His chemo and surgery have affected his vision & motors kills, so he's having a harder time doing his job.

    Fuck Penny Arcade, give to this dude.

    Edited to add: sorry if this doesn't exactly qualify as news. I know it is probably sort of spammy, so delete if you will, or suggest a better place for me to post this.
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2012
    Regarding the Penny Arcade kickstarter, I really don't see a problem with it ethically or in any sense of "fairness". Kickstarter isn't just for underdogs. If it were just for underdogs, it would be doomed. If existing, viable businesses see advantages in using it, that can only strengthen the platform for everyone.

    However, it does make me a little bit sad. The thing I've admired for years about Penny Arcade was the way in which Robert Khoo grew it from its two guys in a shitty apartment with a PayPal button origins to the full fledged entertainment channel it is today. It is a new media success beyond any other that I know of, in that it formed a brand that expanded out beyond the comic itself to include an office reality video series, several comedy video series, a series of video games, a bicoastal mega-convention and a multi-million dollar charity, with many smaller side projects.

    This was all done on the strength of sales of merchandise, contracting the creators out for carefully curated work-for-hire, and carefully curated advertisements on the site. The fact that the brand is so well respected and popular allows them to only accept ads on their terms, which ey feel are relevant to their audience. The ads on the site were never intrusive.

    In fact, I've always felt the way they handled advertisement has been a sign of maturity and an engine for their so-far constant growth, to the point they have a staff of several full-time employees, legit, paid and with benefits, employees that keeps growing, to run the business.

    By returning to what is essentially the equivalent of an annual pledge drive really seems like a step backward for them. It seems like something that could choke their growth at a time that they seem to be on an upswing.

    Of course I don't know what their actual ad revenue looks like, and Robert Khoo has been a magnificently savvy entrepreneur so far. I can't believe he will have allowed them to go down this road if he didn't see a good reason. Maybe their ad revenue has leveled out. Maybe the games industry is not buying ads like they used to, and Penny Arcade is looking at compromising their standards on ad curation in order to keep the number high enough, so they felt there was value in trying crowdfunding instead. Who knows?

    But it seems like a retreat from business maturity to me.

    That said, how many times have many of us faced with favorite TV shows being cancelled wished that the community of fans could support the show directly by paying the cast and crew directly to make it? Take the entertainment we love out of the commercial market altogether and allow it to be made directly for us?

    That hasn't really been possible, as the amount of money necessary for that hasn't been directly collectible.

    The Indy Games industry has made the first inroads into this model, though, and now a games related entertainment channel is trying.

    Maybe they'll succeed. Maybe they know what they're doing.

    I'll be following with interest.
    • CommentAuthorKradlum
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2012
    More probably, the post at PA will drive a certain fraction of their (gargantuan) audience to Kickstarter to donate.

    I think this is the only good thing about it. I read an article recently (might have been on the Kickstarter blog) that looked at the effects of the 2 recent big games Kickstarters and the Order of the Stick Kickstarter that showed that new people attracted by these projects went on to pledge to other projects so that the net effect was that everyone benefited.

    It looks like they have added downloads of Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness as a reward since yesterday. I can't believe 273 people have signed up for the $150 T-shirt, it makes the 5 people who have signed up for the 12 T-shirts at $83.33 each look sane.
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2012
    I too find the PA Kickstarter suspicious.

    Why would they want to give Kickstarter 5% and Amazon another 5% when they have a large trusting audience who they could solicit money from directly. Considering the rewards offered.... what? Is it a joke that got out of hand?

    Is it simply that Kickstarter is "cool" now?

    But it seems like a retreat from business maturity to me.

    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2012

    This argument seems to suppose that donors to the PA fund will be people who were just browsing around Kickstarter looking for things to donate to. By accepting donations, PA would be sucking up the stream of money that could be going to smaller concerns.

    Is that really plausible?

    My argument is that it will further damage Kickstarter's reputation by dilluting the website's purpose, its legitimacy and draw attention (in regards to retweets, Kickstarter fatigue etc.) away from more worthy creative endeavours. This, in turn, will worsen conditions for legitimate Kickstarters.

    More probably, the post at PA will drive a certain fraction of their (gargantuan) audience to Kickstarter to donate. I don't know if many of those people will look around and find other projects they're interested in funding, but it is evident: Popular and successful campaigns are what make Kickstarter work. They are also free advertising for Kickstarter.

    This is certainly possible, but I'm not sure that Kickstarter hasn't already gotten enough publicity among PA's targeted audience. It's simply not worth it, when having Kickstarter's purpose in mind. (The money brought in by the 5% might be though). But now we're discussing Kickstarter as a business and not as a instrument for creators and I'm not interested in whether or not Kickstarter, the corporation, makes money, unless it's to further aid creators using Kickstarter.

    Kickstarter is intended to fund creative products - removing ads cannot be considered creative in the slightest. And Penny Arcade is financially viable enough to begin with, and the current ad approach doesn't in anyway affect the creative content. It's completely fueled by profit and not any form of creative desire.
  1.  (10727.6)
    Regarding the P. Craig Russell Kickstarter... Apparently 3 people within the last day all pledged $2000 for the top tier package (now sold out). Definitely not struggling to reach it's goal now.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2012 edited
    I've resurrected the Kickstarter thread under the idea that maybe we should move the Penny Arcade discussion down there.
  2.  (10727.8)
    herp derp
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2012 edited
    • CommentAuthorcardo
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2012
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2012
    Been too busy to post here much but I found this interesing:

    Millions of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or amputees could soon interact with their computers and surroundings using just their eyes, thanks to a new device that costs less than £40.

    Composed from off-the-shelf materials, the new device can work out exactly where a person is looking by tracking their eye movements, allowing them to control a cursor on a screen just like a normal computer mouse. The technology comprises an eye-tracking device and "smart" software that have been presented today in the Journal of Neural Engineering. Researchers from Imperial College London demonstrated its functionality by getting a group of people to play the classic computer game Pong without any kind of handset. In addition users were able to browse the web and write emails "hands-off".
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2012
    Is this some sort of divinely poetic sense of justice?

    Egyptian Journalist Dies on Live TV While Defending Syrian Regime
    On Wednesday, an Egyptian journalist died on live TV while defending Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The bizarre moment occurred on an Iraqi TV station during a heated on-air phone debate between the Egyptian 56-year-old, Adel Al-Gogary, and Brigadier-General Hossama, a member of the Free Syrian Army, who Al-Gogari called a "fugitive soldier" and a paid mercenary for Israel shortly before he died. According to the UAE's daily newspaper al-Bayan, he suffered from a blood clot Wednesday night and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Cairo.
  3.  (10727.13)
    Hey let's make a hard disk that lasts for a million years!

    Using sapphire discs etched in platinum. €25,000 to make.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2012
    Up to 10,000 criminal convictions in the US will be reviewed following evidence that many forensic tests are unreliable.

    Since this review is being done by the FBI I assume it relates only to Federal convictions - and the great bulk of prosecutions in the US are at the state level so we should multiply that number many times.
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2012
    Pirate Bay block effectiveness short-lived, data suggests
    A drop in file-sharing following a court ordered block of the Pirate Bay was short-lived, data seen by the BBC suggests.
    A major UK internet service provider (ISP) said peer-to-peer (P2P) activity on its network returned to just below normal only a week after the measures were enforced earlier this year.
  4.  (10727.16)
    Sorry, Iran. I Didn’t Mean to Invade You

    A new type of malware is attacking computers in Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. The delivery device? An emailed attachment of my story!
  5.  (10727.17)
    Guy who wears digital glasses to assist with his vision goes to McDonalds in Paris and gets beaten up by staff members...

    Physical assault by McDonald's for wearing Digital Eye Glass
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2012 edited
    Picture of the Hail-Cylcone which hit Manhattan this afternoon, taken from a plane out of LeGuardia:

    Serious Michael Bay Level Shit
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2012
    @StefanJ, in my office we were all crowding up against the window. It was AWESOME.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2012