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Comment Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 68

Do you really want me to make a list of all the bullshit projects that have shown up on Kickstarter in the last few months?

Sure, if it makes you happy.

No guarantee that a successful project will ship anything either.

According to the updates and comments of the project you linked, it shipped. Tsk.

$700,000 for this?

Well, when 5000 people buy something in the ~$100 and above dollar range, yes, the result is a lot of money.

What are you whining about, are you jealous?

Comment Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 68

Ask yourself this question: same guys that raise $250k on Kickstarter for a board game sell that board game on their own web site and make jack shit. Why?

Because of the reasons outlined in my previous post, and that I repeat below.

Kickstarter adds nothing to the project. Why does the cash register ring only on Kickstarter but not on the project's own web site?

If you're unable to read, or to comprehend what is written, what's the point of asking? I'll answer again, in case it sinks in this time: because kickstarter doesn't allow obviously bad projects, doesn't take my money if the project doesn't make enough, and isn't under the control of the project's owner, allowing tricky questions to remain visible to potential donors.

On the project's own site, none of those things are assured. There's no guarantee that a failed project will give me my money back, there's no guarantee that the people who run it will not pretend inconvenient questions aren't being asked, and there's no guarantee that the project achieved a minimum amount of planning to make sure it at least has some chance of succeeding.

Comment Re:Good Luck (Score 4, Insightful) 68

Better hope Indiegogo likes your project or it will get buried and rendered invisible by about day three.

You have to get it noticed by other websites of course. Like Slashdot, for instance.

Crowdfunding sites do absolutely nothing to help indie projects get off the ground. They collect their cut while they make rude gestures, and that's it.

Crowdfunding sites are about the only reason why I pay those projects in the first place. If it's not on kickstarter or on indiegogo, your chances of getting my money are very close to 0.

Frankly, I can't understand why anyone uses those sites. They're going to do all the work themselves. Why not keep all the money?

For the project starter, it offers a way to host the information, communicate with contributors, and receive money. All those things take time to do on your own, and the people doing the project would rather spend time on it, and not on setting up Apache, web sites, and working out how to deal with card payments.

For the contributor, it offers a filter that rejects the obvious crap. Also provides an intermediary that helps me waste less of my money. If a random project needs $100K to be viable and I donate through paypal, if they only make $10K, I can't really expect to get my money back. On kickstarter, that is assured.

On the project's own site, they control the interaction. They can ignore annoying questions and pretend everything is going great. On sites like kickstarter and indiegogo they can't do that, and it works as a great indicator to potential contributors about whether there's anything fishy about the project.

And I also don't believe for one fucking second that a bunch of clowns can put up a web page and raise $250,000 for a board game in four weeks. The fragrance coming off that shit makes my scam alarm strip naked and run into traffic.

And that's precisely why kickstarter and indiegogo are so awesome. You see what the project wants upfront. You lose no money if the required amount is not reached. People digging into the details of the project can post about it, and you can read their warnings.

There is still considerable risk of course, but so far I've not seen anything better than this. It's certainly loads better than to just send money through paypal to some random person.

Comment Re:I wouldn't (Score 1) 213

Ok, since you liked it, I decided I'll think on this some more and give some more feedback. So:

Something I've learned is that marketing and complexity don't mix, so I agree our communication strategy is not optimal. We are trying to talk to too many audiences and doing a bad job with all of them. We'll try harder.

You need a good reason for why I would want this right off the start. And right now it's not there. Look at FON, who did part of what you are, much more successfully. The immediate question for something like this is "Why would I want to share my connection?", and FON answered "You'll earn money!". There, that's nice and sensible.

They also gave out their hardware at a ridiculously cheap price. They were selling those at a Linux convention and though the pretty much unanimous opinion was that the idea was silly, a lot of people still got one, because it was so cheap.

It's a server/router hybrid. We need to be clearer about that. The specs are competitive with what you'd find in the market for regular computers, but we thought it would be distracting to break them down because some of them are subject to change.

Does every single person need a server? I don't think most people do. There's also questions like how does this work, exactly? If I bought this thing and hooked it up, who is it serving to? Myself and perhaps whoever finds an open AP and connects to it? Seems like a waste of money. I don't really have anything to serve to random passers-by.

Why have a powerful router? Why not something with the power of a Raspberry Pi, that you stick a SD card or flash drive into, if you want? The few people needing a serious server capable of more than serving cat photos can buy it separately.

Because at scale, the idea turns your internet acquisition cost into a one time cost.

Only if there are tens of millions of these things around. Otherwise you pay for this and you pay your usual ISP.

Sharing your connection: For better performance and your privacy.

Many ISPs have rules against this. How does sharing your connection and allowing random people to torrent things improve performance? It maybe improves privacy in the sense of confusing what you're accessing and what other people do, but these days that means that one day the police will break in, grab all your hardware and try to figure out whether it was you or not who downloaded child porn. There's a good reason why few people run tor exit nodes.

Oh yeah, this thing apparently runs tor. If it runs an exit node, you're not going to have better performance at all, as well as making it risky for the owner. If it doesn't, and this is successful, you're going to overload the tor network.

I admit there are critical mass issues, and this is a very legitimate criticism of the project. Our strategy to bootstrap this network is to run our network over the regular internet until such time that it spreads to someone near you in physical proximity.

Is it really going to work in a city? I live in one. My wifi signal is junk at the most distant room and I finally had to give up and just run some cable. Pretty much every single house with internet access in a city has a wifi router, because that's what an ISP gives you. Which means every possible channel is already clogged. I don't see this reaching any useful distance.

It's also a very niche, geeky, and expensive thing. I'm sure that in my building I'm the only person who has the slightest chance of being interested in such a thing, and given the wifi quality around here it can't possibly reach any nearby ones.

I don't think it's nonsense. We are trying to turn internet acquisition into a one time cost. It's a high price, why we were asking people to get in touch with internet.org for us and ask them to talk to us. We've now made contact with them, and hope something comes of it.

Ok, but who can afford $400 one time things? Not poor people, and not the developing world, certainly. The people who can afford something like this are rich nerds living in Silicon Valley, which is not a place where people need help getting an internet connection.

If aiming to give "internet to the people", you have to be absolutely dirt cheap. And maybe rugged and solar powered, too, depending on where it's going to be used.

For an example, look at the OLPC project, which does mesh networking.

If everybody does get one, how does this work once people stop paying their ISP? Does it magically route through tens of thousands of hops to the other side of the world? I have serious doubts that's going to work. What about communication across seas and oceans? Does it result in overwhelming the connection of the people who keep paying their ISP? That one seems very likely.

If you are serious about solving this problem you have to look at it from a lot of different angles.

The problem is that you're trying to solve everything you want at once, and most people don't need that.

Also most WIFI hardware sold out there has closed source drivers, even on Linux.

Most, but are you sure it's all? For a small fraction of what you're asking you could hire a good programmer to make you a driver. It seems awfully ambitious to do both hardware and complicated software. Even FON didn't do that, they made their own firmware for the WRT54G.

Final thoughts:

  • This needs to be much, much cheaper. Look more into existing hardware. There's likely something you can take advantage of, like existing access points or Raspberry Pi-like devices.
  • You need to give people a good reason to want to participate. There has to be an immediate benefit, that doesn't require all my neighbours to get one to happen
  • For a mesh network, you need mass deployment. Can't you take advantage of existing phones and laptops?
  • For the geeks you need clear information: how does this work, does this try to create a parallel internet, what does it serve and to who, is there central control, how do you host a website on this, etc
  • For the privacy advocates you have to explain how does this improve your privacy
  • It seems to me that the "one time internet payment" is the very, very last benefit this is going to have. It's not going to materialize until a huge amount of adoption happens, if it's actually technically possible at all. You have to give people other things first, and forget about this for the time being

Comment Re:I wouldn't (Score 2) 213

Some comments:

"Upliink"? Took me a while to notice there are two "i"s there for some bizarre reason. As a result, googling for it failed. If you're going to make up words, at least don't make them confusingly similar to normal ones.

Half a million is an awful lot of money. $430 is a lot for a router.

It's not clear at all what it does. IPv6 internet? What is that?

Sharing the connection with nearby people? Why would I want to?

Mesh networking. How is this going to scale? What performance and latency do you expect? How likely is it that two users will find one another? You need a huge amount of deployed devices for this to work, especially for ones in fixed locations.

There's some nonsense in the video about the number of people in the world without internet access. A $430 device sold in first world countries won't do anything to address that.

It's an enormous mish-mash of things. Android, mesh networking, some nebulous IPv6 internet, a web browser, an API for I don't know what... seriously, I'm well versed in tech, but I have no clue what is all this about. And that is a bad sign.

TL;DR: it's unclear what it does, why would I want to participate, and it's very expensive. Why aren't you developing alternative firmware for cheap wifi routers, for instance?

Comment Re:I wouldn't (Score 1) 213

Who cares? A consumer router is going to run well enough with either, and won't have a 10 page long list of firewall rules to slow things down.

I have a router running Linux and it deals with a 100 Mbps fiber line just fine. Running BSD on it isn't going to make any difference except for me having to learn how to do things in FreeBSD.

Comment Trust for what purpose? (Score 3, Interesting) 213

For ensuring the safety of your outgoing traffic, it doesn't matter at all whether you can trust your router or not. It's just one step away from a router at your ISP, which you can't trust, and which can be assumed to be malicious.

It's a bit different for ensuring the safety of your internal network, though. If you think there might be any reason why the NSA, government or whoever might want to reach inside your personal network, then you certainly should avoid any closed solutions and keep it under as much control as possible. That router might well hiddenly allow people that know how to access your network without permission.

Router manufacturers also have been caught rewriting pages to insert ads. Here is one example of such a thing.

Comment Re:imho (Score 1) 87

No, this kind of thing will be needed.

The Oculus, as awesome as it is, only works well with linear movement. It's great for space, mech, plane and car sims. Basically any game where you're in a cabin. Once you want to walk around like a real person you find out that you can't turn around, and moving the camera out of sync with the head is disorienting.

I considered getting an Omni, but in the end decided not to because: it's very heavy and would cost a fortune to ship, it takes a lot of space that I don't have, and I'm not sold on the whole slippery surface with special shoes thing.

But I do absolutely think that an omnidirectional treadmill would be a great addition. Just probably not this particular one.

Comment Re:Thank you (Score 5, Insightful) 242

It is entirely unimportant whether he's a coward or not. He released information that needed to be released, and that had an effect.

"anyone with half a brain realizes that the very definition of a spy agency is that it spies on people" -- of course, but there are some important bits here:

1. For a long time, people thought it only spied on foreigners. Americans supposedly had a right to privacy and needed a court order
2. Then people figured out that Americans were spied on too, and tried to go to the courts to stop it. But the courts refused because you need to have evidence of it happening. And how do you get evidence of that a secret government program is spying on you?

It's ridiculous to pretend that Snowden didn't release anything new. If he didn't, why are we talking about this? Why is there a panel, and why is the industry trying to convince the US President to have it stopped?

Comment Re:You readers are lame (Score 1) 114

The squirrel on speed is part of the problem, the other is turning around, which is going to be needed in pretty much any FPS.

Something as simple as walking around corners in HL2 doesn't work. On the first turn you can sort of manage, but it's uncomfortable. On reaching the second corner in the same direction you have to look backwards from where you started, and are getting tangled in whatever wires you're attached to. Using a keyboard doesn't work.

So the alternative is using the mouse and moving the camera while your head is in place -- that's right when nausea starts setting in.

Navigating a 3D world comfortably seems to almost require an omnidirectional treadmill, unfortunately.

Comment Re:You readers are lame (Score 2) 114

Yep, I agree. HL2 is a bad fit for the Oculus.

My findings so far is that anything that's like a FPS where you have to run around like mad and turn around constantly is going to make you very sick, very fast. And HL2 also has things like the screen freezing when the next area is being loaded, which is absolutely vomit inducing.

What seems to work best is constant linear movement, like the roller coaster. The next best thing is slow, reflexive games, where you move at human speeds and have time to gawk at the environment.

I think FPSes are going to need something like the Virtuix Omni. With that, you can turn around completely without forcing the camera to move out of sync, and that should fix most of the problem.

Comment Does it actually print, or does it cut? (Score 1) 199

It's not really clear what it's doing. The photos show square bits of metal, and no signs of any kind of additive manufacturing. This looks more like a computer controlled metal cutter. Which is nice and all, but not really a 3D printer.

When I heard "metal printer" I thought it was a laser sintering machine or something of that kind.

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