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Comment Re:Follow the money (Score 2) 211

3.5m - 5% for failed Pledges = 175k - 10% for Kickstarter and Credit Processor Fees = 350k - 20% for Taxes (this is income!) = 700k Total received budget ~= 2.28m Now, figure 30% of that is shipping (684k), 40% of it is manufacturing (912k). Left over: $684K Now, common wisdom is that hiring one guy at $60k a year costs you $100k a year total in physical plant, HR, Payroll, benefits, etc. While I doubt they had ALL of that, let's say they're five guys, so now they have $184k to absorb any unexpected expenses and such. So if you have to do thee site visits due to QC issues, or have a supplier disappear (not entirely unlikely, but one of the less well known issues), or have to hire two or three extra people to handle the volume you just weren't prepared for, that's gone, you don't have any flex left. And those are the more common issues - imagine you do two site visits and then have to pay to have someone else do your manufacturing at 50% more: because it turns out everyone was lowballing their quotes, and when you go back to the other companies they tell you that they can't do it at that price. Not excusing them, but people tend to go "How could they lose [LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY]" when the answer is "Most of what the campaign made was already earmarked to known costs - each pledge did not make them a lot of money, because what they were doing was expensive!" And they made the same scheduling and budgeting mistakes everyone makes.

Comment SSN never really intended for current use (Score 1) 214

After they were originally issued in the 30s and 40s, there was a fad where people would have their SSN tattooed on their body as the government emphasized the importance of remembering them. The semi-public nature of the SSN is kind of interesting. Originally, they were basically intended to track your contribution to Social Security - what would you do, fraudulently contribute to someone else's retirement? Thus far, I don't believe they've been reissued, but we're likely pretty close, since they're NOT just random number combinations. Now, it only took them a few years before things went... strangely, but not badly, but their continued flow into general life means that a system designed to be semi-public has now gotten tendrils everywhere, and protection on them is not as good as it should be.

Comment Re:abusive? (Score 2) 212

There's still plenty of room for improvement. Spacing out races and/or changing rules to prevent horses from competing in 'back to back' races would be more humane with very limited impact on the sport. Switching races to synthetic courses which have been shown to reduce the number of horses who need to be put down. Hell, switch to a team based model where you decide who's going to race 48 hours before the event, so there's some room for unexpected injuries and such to be healed.... oh, wait, gambling would take a big hit there, so that'll never happen.

Comment Re:Not ignoring the story is a good start! (Score 1) 384

I think people are getting hung up on some (admittedly bad) phrasing. The statement "Editor's note: I just got back from a busy weekend to see that a bunch of people are freaking out that we're "burying" this story, so here it is." isn't why they delayed the story, but why they're posting it now. That is, they were trying to gather information before the weekend, the weekend happened, they came back, and posted it without the additional info because they were seeing the freakout.

Comment Re:I was surprised he was convicted on hate charge (Score 1) 683

Most hate crime laws are based on racketeering charges - effectively a hate crime is one which targets one person as a means to target a larger group. Racketeering was used against criminals who attack one business to make others pay up protection money. When shooting someone who is gay/black/jewish/russian, because they're gay/black/jewish/russian, the message that gets communicated to the rest of the gay/black/jewish/russian community is 'You are not safe, we will kill you, unless you leave'. Generally speaking, most of the time, Hate Crime laws aren't applied, largely because you need to establish that the goal wasn't just to get the person, but because you wanted to have a chilling effect on people who are gay/black/jewish/russian as well. In the US, as well, hate crimes typically have to be Punishment Enhancing - that is, they can only attach to an existing crime, not on their own, and make the sentence worse.

Submission + - CCP investigates player panel that encouraged cyber-bullying

An anonymous reader writes: GoonSwarm alliance speaker and second-time CSM chairman Alexander "The Mittani" Gianturco gave a talk on some of the year's most memorable alliance activities, from shutting down Ice Mining operations across several regions to scamming people with fake supercapital ship trades. As part of the talk, Alex aired a private correspondence in which a victim revealed that he'd been severely depressed following a divorce and expressed suicidal thoughts. "We're sure that he's not dead," Alex flippantly remarked during the talk before adding that "he might have committed suicide."

Submission + - News Corp. pirated rival's DRM to bankrupt them 4

An anonymous reader writes: In a story that exceeds any conspiracy theory, the BBC's Panorama reports that a News Corp. subsidiary (of which James Murdoch was a non-executive officer) hacked the DRM of rival ONdigital and hired warez site THOIC to distribute it for up to 60,000 GPB ($95,000) per year. News Corp's defense: The hacking was for research purposes and they paid THOIC's operator "for his expertise so information from THOIC could be used to trap and catch hackers and pirates." The Guardian covers the story here. Remember the same people publish America's most popular cable news channel and newspaper!

Comment Re:Damn unfortunate (Score 1) 714

Hate Crime laws exist because the purpose of certain crimes isn't to simply hurt a specific person, but to intimidate and modify the behavior of a group. The secondary charges are typically very similar to Racketeering, like a protection racket, because they have the same goal - to perform a SINGLE crime (shame about that merchandise) which affects a larger population (you heard about Bob's merchandise). Most Hate Crime legislation is just an expansion of Racketeering charges to explicitly allow them to be brought in the case where the crime was both motivated by bias and intended to intimidate the group.

Comment Obligitory Quasi-Legal Bit (Score 2) 332

Bethesda are required to provide the court with a comprehensive list of points of similarity, including minor ones. If they do not provide a point of similarity, it can be used against them as evidence that their claim is incomplete, that they concede certain elements of similarity do not infringe, or that their understanding of the property is incomplete. The Judge is expected to filter through this list and determine which elements are co-incidental and which contribute to possible infringement, as well as evaluating them for any potential damages, if it comes to that.

Comment Legal Stuffs (Score 5, Informative) 72

IANALBIFWI, "Twitter will be barred for 20 years ..." does NOT mean that twenty years from now they have the right to mislead. It means that if the Government finds out they're misleading within the next 20 years it does not need to have a trial to take action - they can just slam them as violating the existing ruling. This is, functionally, a suspended sentence (thus third party review of their new security measures).

Comment The Change has a Reason (Score 1) 409

Largely, the change was made so that if they made, say, a Facebook TV commerical and they flashed your picture on the screen, they didn't have to pull the TV ad if you deleted your account. Or if they made a commerical where you see thousands of statuses in the background, or a Quiz a user made is referenced. Is it a good reason, I basically think so - it's not so they can claim your data after you close the account, but a CYA so users can't grief them when they do their next marketing push. The company doesn't WANT your data.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus