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Comment: Re:What do they spend the money on? (Score 1) 125

by SeaFox (#48438793) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Better to just never, ever change, right?

Well, if your user base is happy with how things are... why should you change? To piss off them off when they are used to the old interface, to interrupt their workflow? Wouldn't they appreciate the time (and money in this case) be instead spent on things they do want -- like a faster browser, or less memory usage, since those are the two thing people are always crowing about.

Change for change's sake is the sort of thing Microsoft does -- when they're desperate to try and get people to pay attention to them.
The Australius UI and version number jump just shows how lost Mozilla is. They're chasing Chrome users and forgetting they have a userbase that is with them specifically because they aren't Chrome.

Whereby "real users" are... who exactly? What obscure bug have you hit, and how does my not hitting it make me not a "real user."

My current beef is actually with Thunderbird. But it's funny that comes up, since Thunderbird is not quite good enough for Mozilla anymore.

I use Unified Folders view, and since Thunderbird 31 I have three issues
1) Sorting order on unified folders is no longer remembered -- it changes to Date:Ascending on every launch.
2) Column views are no longer maintained -- I had the "Location" column hidden and the "Account" column displayed (obviously a more useful substitution when in this view), and on restart they change back to the other, original, column choices.
3) Unread messages are being double-counted on the Inbox (two new emails are listed as four unread on the folder indicator) -- I don't know if that has even been since 31, I feel like it just started more recently.

These issues are on two different installs of Thunderbird on two different platforms (Win 8 and OSX), and the OSX build isn't even regular Thunderbird -- but the TenFourFox third-party build.

These aren't large bugs. I even found an extension to work around #1.
I don't have much faith in them getting fixed, though.

But if we go though Firefox's bug tracker, how many of those bugs have been open for years and years without any activity? If Mozilla has time and money to waste, they can start by auditing their bug list and just start knocking them out, oldest first (if they're still a problem).

Comment: Re:What do they spend the money on? (Score 4, Insightful) 125

by SeaFox (#48438179) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Isn't it interesting how, as Mozilla becomes more and more corporate, their software seems to become less and less what people really want? Stupid features and interface changes no one wants are landing in the code and bugs from real users go unresolved.

Comment: Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better! (Score 5, Insightful) 160

by SeaFox (#48435781) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

Neowin speculates that this large jump in version number is likely related to the massive overhaul of the underlying components of the OS to make it the core for all of Microsoft's products.

Really?

I think "make the version number match what the marketing dept wants" is the more likely reason.

Comment: Re:I used to want something kind of like this (Score 1) 97

by SeaFox (#48431543) Attached to: Intel Planning Thumb-Sized PCs For Next Year

You missed the whole having to plug it into a working computer part.
This IS the computer. All you need is a display and a keyboard/mouse.

Actually, given that you would still need an input device, they should just build this into a keyboard, with a trackpad.
Then you just plug a long HDMI cable in so you can sit at a comfortable distance from the screen, add power...

Comment: Re:Porting a completed app (Score 1) 468

by SeaFox (#48413519) Attached to: Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

"We've produced a PC game, which you can buy now at example.com. But we think it would be an even better experience on a non-PC platform. Please help us fund a port of our game to $console." This isn't exactly the same as "production" because you can see almost "the exact form of the game" by playing the PC version with an Xbox 360 controller or by watching the video of the PC version. But it isn't exactly the same as "distribution" either because some engineering is still needed for the port. Under your criteria, would porting a completed application to another platform be closer to "distribution" or "production"?

Distribution. Because the game itself already exists. The key point is the purpose of porting is to allow close to the same experience on a different platform.

Some of the Kickstarters I fund are for international releases of anime that are currently only available in Japan. I don't know what the packaging or menu structure of the disc for the final product will be verses the Japanese release. Maybe it will be a simple Amray case, maybe it will be the same packaging as the Japanese release, Maybe it will be unique for this region. Maybe there will be special packaging for only Kickstarter backers that will not be produced again later -- making the Kickstarter edition collectable and potentially more valuable. These are creative points that have to be realized, but these are still Distribution campaigns because the core product (the anime itself) is already there. I know what the video and audio content will be, and that is what I'm really paying for. It's not an "investment", IMHO. I am expecting a copy of the anime for my contribution so it is a purchase for all intents and purposes once my card is charged.

My mistake for using the term "distinct" before is there are campaigns that can be more one than the other.
For example: I actually did fund a game production campaign despite just saying I usually avoid these. But the game is being released freeware. In fact, the first two parts are already released at this point and you can get it from Steam and other sources.

Because the game is available for all and I don't really need to take part in the crowd-sourcing campaign to get it, or buy it later, I actually considered this a Charity campaign. I didn't spend much, and what I got for my contribution was access to beta builds. To me, even if the game turned into something way different I wouldn't be bothered so much, because I frame the whole thing as helping creative individuals realize a dream, so to speak. This is a bit different than people contributing larger sums with a promise of a playable game they personally want and have certain expectations for, expectations that may not be met given the creative process.

Comment: Re:Buyer Beware (Score 5, Insightful) 468

by SeaFox (#48409399) Attached to: Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

You could say that (and in a way it's true), but technically there is no "buyer" since it's NOT a purchase, it's financial backing of a project.

I don't think it's possible to apply a blanket label to Kickstarter, which is the first mistake people seem to make with comments on Kickstarter stories.

In my mind there are three distinct types of Kickstarter campaigns.

1. The Distribution Campaign - This is for a tangle good generally, and it's an item the maker already has planned and maybe prototyped as well. The reason for these campaigns is lots of times "we can't get this mass produced unless we order at least x units". So they take the minimum number of units and multiply by the price they want to charge and that becomes the funding goal. These are very straight-forward and the goals are, too. You will get one of the (widgets) in (color) for this backer level. There's little way you wont know what you're getting or for the maker to "rip you off". It's clearly defined what you get. These Kickstarters also have fairly short turnaround times between funding ending and backers getting rewards, because it's a pre-sale drive for the most part.

2. The Charity Campaign - This is a campaign that oftentimes is for a visual art, theater, or dance companies. The money is used to fund a tour for a play to be performed by a company, or a series of exhibits, and another popular example as of late is small independent movie chains being caught with their pants down with the end of film-reel distribution of movies (forced upgrade to digital projection). The rewards are often times simple thank-you's, shout-outs on official websites or Facebook. You name on a "wall of fame" at the business. The higher dollar rewards for these might be admission to a show, or if you're a real high funder, actual face-time (dinners or private Skype discussions) with important individuals about the project. Most backers don't really get any "thing" so there's little to dispute about (unless someone embezzles the money and runs off).

3. The Production Campaign - This is the one that causes the most issues, generally because the goals are not very concrete. Lots of times it's "we want to make a video game and we have these ideas and here's some characters sketches and maybe even some initial computer graphics work, but we can't really focus on this because we have to maintain our day jobs. Please give us monies so we can stop taking all these freelance gigs to pay the rent." Lots of times the backer rewards are copies of said game when it gets released. But the exact form of the game is something that can change during production, which can be delayed, too. This is also the type of Kickstarter that generally can take years to get rewards to its' backers because it requires the people who started it to actually spend time creating something from scratch something afterwards. Another example of this is musicians pre-selling an EP or new full-length studio album they haven't recorded yet. They might have a song or two to demo to you, but the Kickstarter is to front the money needed for studio time, engineering, and disc production of the album.

The problem is lots of people get involved in Kickstarter and don't recognize campaigns for the type they are, and adjust their expectations accordingly. They back one campaign and expect every campaign to be as clear cut or easy as the last, completely ignoring what Kickstarter is -- a showroom for completely unrelated groups of people to reach a geographically diverse audience to seek financial support. They each have their own unique work ethic, and definition of meeting expectations.

I personally avoid Production-type Kickstarters because of the long turn-around times and lack of clear-cut goals. I fund some Donation-types, but mostly focus on Distribution-type campaigns and I generally am very satisfied with what I get in all of them.

Comment: Re:Who cares (Score 2) 77

by SeaFox (#48390799) Attached to: Microsoft Aims To Offer Windows 10 Upgrades For All Windows Phone 8 Lumias

about Windows phones, anyway?

I'd say "who cares about Windows Phones" because that's kinda not the problem here. It's not Windows Phone 8 that the 10 upgrade is sorely needed on. Windows 8 (the desktop OS) is the failure that needs to be fixed here. Precisely because a computer isn't a phone.

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