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Comment Re:tl;dr - it's just like a business (Score 1) 128

Thanks, TheGavster! For me, I had sufficient cash flow and overall income from the main business relative to the size of the Kickstarter that we could have weathered it if we hadn't had a perfect alignment as we did.

I don't mean to sound totally hapless. I had put a reserve of cash away for taxes and estimated *too high* for the state taxes as it turned out. But I didn't plan as thoroughly as I should have, and I have seen this bite a lot of other people I know, too.

Comment Re:Medium (Score 2) 128

If it's interesting and useful, and I submit it under my name, and it gets posted to the home page by people with full awareness, it seems like you're engaging in meta-moderation within a thread.

I don't post B.S. to Slashdot; I've been using it since it started (not under this ID at the very beginning). The moderators and other tools prevent useless stuff from rising to the top.


Comment Re:Context (Score 3, Informative) 128

I completely understand that! But it's difficult to say "clickbait" if you haven't visited the site.

Medium is no panacea, and this is a period when they're spending money to figure stuff out before they plug in a revenue pipe (see public statements by Ev Williams). However, you're seeing a ton of links to Medium because it's got a great front-end for writing and publishing. I've been working with Web-based content-management systems (CMSes) and sadly wrote a few myself for nearly 18 years, since the first formal ones arose. And Medium is pretty fantastic for writers and publishers.

I think it's very good for readers, because it doesn't have cruft. It's words, no ads, photos/video well presented. So people have raced to write there if they don't want to use blogging software because it's just the story.

Yes, there are a lot of SEO marketing types writing stuff at Medium. But there's a lot of good work (not tooting my own horn as I'm about 0.001% of the content of Medium) that's there, too.

Comment Re:Medium (Score 5, Informative) 128

It's difficult to claim "clickbait" when there are no ads!

I wrote the article in this link, and edit a publication called The Magazine. Medium pays us to write new content and post archived material from our publication to their site while they learn about what people read. They're looking at a lot of data (which anyone who uses the site, even as a blog platform, can see in the stats page) to figure out whether people read entire articles, etc.

I wrote 4,000 words from months of dealing with tax and business issues related to Kickstarter. I didn't realize that would be considered *thrilling clickbait headlines*. Instead, I though Slashdot readers, among others, would be a likely audience working in and around crowdfunding, and might like to get some information before launching one about the tax and accounting side of things.

The "multiuser blog" is a collection of related articles, some of them run by publications like mine.

Submission + - Kicktaxing: the crazy complexity of paying tax correctly on crowdfunding (medium.com)

eggboard writes: I thought I knew what I was doing when I budgeted for a Kickstarter campaign. I spent weeks sorting out details, set a number ($48,000) that included expenses, Kickstarter fees, and a margin of error. In the end, we raised over $56,000. But my tax planning nearly put a crimp in cash flow, and could have been real problem. It all worked out, but I've written a detailed guide for people for before and after a campaign to avoid my mistakes.

Submission + - The anti-selfie: a slow, antique photographic process doesn't let you hide (medium.com)

eggboard writes: A tintype is a form of wet-plate collodion photography, which requires exposing a metal plate covered in fluid chemicals within a short period of time after applying the emulsion. The process is receptive only to blue light, which tends to emphasize wrinkles and capillaries. The results are both gorgeous and unforgiving, the opposite of the selfie that tries to blur, hide, or present the subject in the best light. It may be old fashioned, but more and more shops have sprung up to offer slow photography. One in San Francisco has produced piles of prints, but is shutting down as its owners pursue other endeavors.

Submission + - Contracept-apps (medium.com)

eggboard writes: There are a bunch of apps that help women (and their partners) manage fertility, to make it easier to conceive a child. But Natali Morris, the mother of two and planning no more, explains that they can be used for the opposite: contraception through careful measurement of vital statistics. For now, she'd rather avoid devices, hormones, and surgeries, and is using an app instead. It requires commitment and the scientific method, but it's not a quack idea; it conforms with modern knowledge of fertility cycles.

Submission + - Scott McNulty casts a spell of +10 confidence (medium.com)

eggboard writes: Scott McNulty has found that his decades of playing Dungeons & Dragons took him, a natural introvert, out of his shell rather than giving him an excuse to stay inside it. For Scott, like many of us who played and play D&D and other roleplaying games, he built his comfort level with other people when he can don a different mantle (whether paladin or a mage betrayer who sold his soul to the devil).

Submission + - Disabled Britons build campaign on Twitter about disability cuts (medium.com)

eggboard writes: If you can't easily leave the house for days, or even your bed, it might be hard to help spread the word that the funds that literally allow you to stay alive and function are likely to be taken away with little recourse. Two women (among many people) in the UK use Twitter and other social media to rally people online and for rallies to explain how the Tory-led government's new testing programs for disability will drop hundreds of thousands of people who are incapable of working at all or full time. (There's some fraud, of course, but the program is designed to cut deserving and healthy alike.)

Submission + - How Role-Playing Games Arrived in Japan with Black Onyx (medium.com)

eggboard writes: Henk Rogers was a Dutchman who arrived in Japan in the 1980s following a girlfriend (later, his wife). An inveterate D&D player, he became enthralled with the NEC-8801, and nearly killed himself trying to create a D&D-like world that he released as The Black Onyx. No one initially knew what to make of it, and the game sold slowly at first. Through savvy pricing, packaging, and press attention, sales grew, and the game jumpstarted RPGs in Japan. Rogers got left behind, though, as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy hit a local nerve better than his efforts. "I also realized that I didn’t quite understand the Japanese aesthetic and way. These games were quite different to mine, and just struck a more effective cultural chord.” Rogers went on to license Tetris to Nintendo, though, so he did just fine.

Submission + - Public libraries tinker with offering makerspaces (medium.com)

eggboard writes: Public libraries are starting to build temporary and permanent labs that let patrons experiment with new arts, crafts, and sciences, many of them associated with the maker movement. It's a way to bring this technology and training to those without the money or time to join makerspaces or buy gear themselves. It seems to extend the mission of libraries to educate, inform, and enrich, but is a seemingly rare move in the direction of teaching people to create for pleasure and professionally. Many libraries are experimenting with experimenting.

Submission + - Fixing broken links with the Internet Archive (medium.com)

eggboard writes: The Internet Archive has copies of Web pages corresponding to 378 billion URLs. It's working on several efforts, some of them quite recent, to help deter or assist with link rot, when links go bad. Through an API for developers, WordPress integration, a Chrome plug-in, and a JavaScript lookup, the Archive hopes to help people find at least the most recent copy of a missing or deleted page. More ambitiously, they instantly cache any link added to Wikipedia, and want to become integrated into browsers as a fallback rather than showing a 404 page.

Comment Re:Criticisms Are Largely Off The Mark (Score 1) 332

On fees: fees are generally charged, but they are tiny. However, all those involved in Bitcoin (including miners and software developers I spoke with) know that fees will rise and mechanisms are being created to make that simpler. The production of Bitcoins will halve in 2016, and miners are, over time, expected to derive the rewards that drive investment and operation of the system's functions (operating nodes, mining, "burying" transactions in the block chain, all interrelated) from fees rather than coins.

If you read Andreessen's piece and my essay, you'll see that he properly discusses essentially counterfeit payment from one party to another, but doesn't address fraudulent payment and the infrastructure to ensure that the party paying owns the funds used to pay. That is, if Bitcoins are stolen and used to pay for goods, a merchant faces the same trouble as if cash were stolen and used to pay. Except cash can be untraceable, and Bitcoin transactions can be tracked, even if the party isn't directly known who engaged in the transaction. Law enforcement could prove funds are stolen even if they can't recover the goods or services purchased with the funds, and clawback the funds from the seller/merchant.

None of that is addressed in Andreessen's essay, in which he proposes that Bitcoin by having very low or no fees on Bitcoin-to-Bitcoin transactions removes the necessity for any per-transaction fees as are charged to deal with fraud and overhead in a credit-card system.

Most merchants are going to be more likely to deal with an intermediary Bitcoin operator who will handle transactions on their behalf and charge a fee for chargebacks and theft recovery.

Submission + - Rebutting Andreessen's Bitcoin Dreams (medium.com)

eggboard writes: Marc Andreessen wrote an essay in the New York Times that appeared today, in which he tried to make the case for Bitcoin going mainstream for payments, if not as a currency. After comparing Bitcoin to the rise of personal computers and the Internet, he tries to explain how it eliminates fraud and will solve global money transfers and the plight of the unbanked. I wrote a critique of these and other points in his essay:

Bitcoin doesn’t eliminate fraudulent transactions; it only eliminates counterfeit payments. This can, of course, save many tens or hundreds of billions of dollars a year globally and translate to more efficiency in commerce. But removing the intermediary also removes recourse outside of courts, and the cost and nature of that can’t be determined.

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