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Comment Re:Go Work for the Competition (Score 1) 192

I suspect he's saying that "UX", as measured by number of people who are using the term, is no longer statistically real.

Sort of like the how the number of people who use the term "agile" correctly (with respect to programming) has grown by a factor of 3. Unfortunately, the number of people who use the term "agile" because it's hot and it sounds cool has grown by 300. Thus at this point, the odds of hearing "agile" in conversation, and it not being marketing buzz-speak, now approaches zero.

It's not that it grown less important - it's just the term has been eaten by the buzzword seekers.

Comment Re:Another example (Score 3, Insightful) 728

Whenever Islam does something reprehensible, of course.

Because Islam doesn't do *anything*. It's a belief. And among the billion *people* who hold that belief, a few of them are reprehensible.

And if we're talking about deaths of Westerners, then why don't we point fingers at some of the most efficient killers of Europeans: Europeans who initiated two world wars.

Compared to us, the feeble attempts by fundamentalists are laughable. If you really want to kill nearly 100 million Europeans/North Americans, you know who the real dangers are.

And if we're going to look at raw numbers killed in the current Middle East conflict, still no contest - we have ISIS beat 100:1 in civilian casualties. Now of course, we don't deliberately target civilians, they are just an *inevitable* outcome from prosecuting a war/blockade, so that let's us off the hook for literally any number of civilian casualties we cause.

At least this leftist doesn't go after Islam because Islam doesn't do anything - people do. And I don't pretend that the policies that I support to contain ISIS don't cause far more civilian casualties than ISIS has ever inflicted on the West.

If you cannot see the massive in-your-face crimes of your own culture, how on earth would you see yourself as fit to judge the crimes of another?

Does it mean ignore terrorism and terrorists? Of course not, but let's put it in proper perspective.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 166

Have you tried reporting the pirate links...

You can play an infinite game of whack-a-mole with these sites.

My wife's an author, and while she had the good grace to just ignore it, I was irritated enough to write polite letters to the first half-dozen sites when pirate book sites started to appear. One actually wrote an apology and took it down. Another replied in broken English to indicate what would happen if I tried to further interfere with his revenue stream (most pirate sites generate revenue in the form of ads). When another half-dozen new sites popped up in the next week, I realized my wife was right.

All you can do is hope that not *too* many young adults have adopted the motto "Only stupid people pay when they don't have to."

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 166

It certainly doesn't help when (as I witnessed) a salesman tried to persuade someone to drop the iPhone they were considering buying and buy a Samsung using the sales line "With iPhone, you have to buy your apps. With Android, everyone gets them for free.."

There's an eye-opening amount of piracy on iPhone (I was amazed at the numbers), but from what I've read from developers and the numbers in general, it pales in comparison with the piracy rates on Android.

The idea that a large number of people pirate at 0.99 puts lie to the old canard "if you make it cheap and convenient enough, people will buy instead of pirate".

Comment Re: Duh... (Score 1) 109

Even fewer banks will lend you money when you say "I want to manufacture 10,000 of these, and *if* I can, I can pay you back."

Agreed. It is why you already need to have the manufacturing contracts in hand. Thus you know the costs, the delivery dates, etc.

Kickstarter/IndieGoGo are for projects so speculative that they can't even attract venture capital.

The problem with that is that is not how they're seen at this point in time by the vast majority of the customers and many of the sponsors. The howls of outrage when projects fail to ship make it clear that the majority of customers do not distinguish between simple order fulfillment and a speculative venture. Nor does KS et al make any great effort to make the difference between such projects clear to the customer.

Perhaps KS could calve off another company for the majority of sponsors who in fact are only using KS to accumulate a minimum order for their product, but have manufacturing contracts, delivery contracts, etc. in hand. That way the truly speculative ventures aren't gaining supporters through customer misperception. After all, I'm happy to gamble, but I want to know when I'm doing so and the crowd-funders aren't making it easy to tell the difference.

My proposal was simply an idea to clearly differentiate the two. One has guaranteed delivery or a full refund, the other most certainly does not.

Comment Re: Duh... (Score 1) 109

If someone were able to personally obtain a loan for the product anyway, why would they approach Kickstarter/Indiegogo?

The problem is that very few banks will lend you money when you say "I want to manufacture 10,000 of these, and *if* I can sell them, I can pay you back." The service that "OF" provides is that it already has all the funds in escrow. "If I manufacture 10,000 of these, I have a guaranteed payment of $500K" is something that specialized banks finance on a fairly regular basis.

Comment Re: Duh... (Score 1) 109

How is a product supposed to be developed and manufactured when the owners don't have the money they raised from the crowd funding?

I guess my point wasn't clear - Call the new company "OF" for "Order Fulfillment". You see something on the OF page and you order, then you get charged if minimum order size is made (and there's probably a maximum order size as well). The money is collected by "OF" and held in escrow. It will be paid once the customer receives the product within a specified time. If the customer doesn't, then he or she is refunded the whole amount.

The project sponsor now has a guaranteed sales. If he has contracts in hand with the manufacturers to make the stuff, and minimal reputation, he then goes to the bank to get a loan. (Loans for this sort of thing are common in business.) Of course, if he fails, then he is *personally* on the hook for the loan. The bank will only loan money if everything is in place for simple order fulfillment.

The consumer then has real transparency - order from "OF" - you only pay if minimum orders reached, and you get full refund if no product within the time specified.

Otherwise, you can still fund KS projects and accept a 50-75% failure rate (because most 'safe' projects go "OF" route), and maybe get neat stuff. If you aren't willing to take the risk, then you don't fund.

The whole point is to make *what* you are funding transparent and to strip away the ambiguity from both the project runners and the funders ("I'm funding development, but without any risk!").

Comment Re:Duh... (Score 4, Insightful) 109

I think KickStarter, et al, have perhaps unintentionally blurred the lines between research, development, and order fulfillment.

Ostensibly these organizations are supporting development, but by essentially treating projects as order fulfillment, they ignore the fact that development can fail.

Now in this case it appears that, whether they knew it or not, people were funding research, and of course research can (and in fact usually does) fail.

Obviously greater transparency would help, but I'm not sure that crowd-funding would survive that reality. I suspect the majority of crowd-funding participants want the feeling of actually investing/participating in development, but they don't want any of the associated risks - they just want order fulfillment.

Personally, I'm waiting for someone like Amazon or Alibaba to optimize the order fulfillment part of they system by holding the money in escrow. The manufacturers have to get a loan based on the money held in escrow, which should be doable if (1) they have the manufacturing contracts in hand, (2) some reputation, and (3) guaranteed payment by a reputable company. Probably means there's a minimum and maximum order size, but the option of guaranteed deliverable or 100% refund would probably cause mass migration, leaving KS and others doing actual crowd-funding, with all the risks it implies.

Comment Re:Record number in 15 years... (Score 1) 151

Location and weather matters. We're close to a school and had mild weather this year, so we got a little over 500 (normally it's closer to 400). Currently we're in a young kid boom, and because there are lots of munchkins about, lots of families with young kids move in, so the kid density does perpetuate.

Still, neighbourhoods also age out. I remember that my parents got about 150 when I was a kid, but it had dropped to half that by the time my sister, who was 5 years younger, was doing the rounds. It then moved back up about a decade later.

Comment Re:Basic income (Score 2) 674

because the mob can gang up and kidnap and kill any singular individual.

Welcome to reality. The only morality that exists in any meaningful way is the morality shared by those with enough power to enforce it. In our society, neither you nor I have that power.

In which case, your only hope is to influence enough people by persuasion to make your morality the dominant one.

Given the way of government growth, you've failed in that task.

Persuade harder.

Comment Re:the lard of hosts for fat ads (Score 1) 352

Once ad blocking becomes truly ubiquitous (I give it a year) and most of the independent web sites die, how are we block ads once the Internet = Facebook?

Facebook hosts all the content and all the ads (and it gets 30% of any hosted site's revenue for its trouble).

The rise of Ad-Blocking was inevitable, but boy, I'm not looking forward to having a Facebook account just to surf the remaining sites that keep trying to make a go of it.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982