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Comment Re:But what do you do? (Score 1) 167

An alternative could be "Okay, you got funded! Here's a google docs spreadsheet, accessible to all backers, that you can fill with - roughly - what you spent this week, and for what. You have to update it at least once a week. If more than X% of your backers vote to look more indepth, we will look more indepth."

What I did for my indiegogo was update the page with how far along I was ("Today the heat sinks came in! Today we finished machining holes in them! Today the PCBs came in! Today I bought a toaster oven to use for SMD soldering! Today I converted the oven! Today I finished SMD soldering! Today I finished soldering the through-hole parts by hand!"). People were generally happy. When there was a shipping delay because I didn't want to ship lasers out if they didn't have safety glasses included, and the glasses did not come in fast enough, I let people know and this made life a lot easier. Overall I had all of 2 people demand a refund (one was legitimately unhappy with the device, and one was basically trying to keep the laser and also get the money back). Here it is/was. You can see these all over the place now, made in china obviously, some even still use my circuit :) I've moved on to a much more powerful design, which I still sell. Not posting my current website since I'm not trying to advertise :)

I like to think that I did thing right.

Comment Annoying for small projects (Score 4, Interesting) 167

Kickstarter and Indiegogo exist for funding, well, indie efforts or attempts to start a business. These high-profile failures (these guys, Fontus, Juicero) make it hard for those who play by the rules to do well.

Three years ago I did a small crowdfund for a solid state laser cutter; we got 300% funded, delivered our backers' orders in 120 days, and everyone was happy. Small problem: I tell people this now, and nobody takes me seriously because "oh, crowdfunding? must have been a scam of some kind".

I'm ready to go with my next product and since my last one was "too small scale" investors won't talk to me.

As usual, a cool new ecosystem was ruined by parasitoids and saprophytes.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 167

A couple years ago I saw a roadside fire, probably caused by a cigarette butt. I called 911, and then stopped and proceeded to use my truck's fire extinguisher to start dealing with it (California during the drought, plenty of dry grass so you want to catch those as soon as possible). Cop shows up. Starts questioning me very aggressively about whether I started the fire. I tell the guy that I don't smoke, and also tell him to go get HIS fire extinguisher and help me. He keeps hovering around me and asking me whether I started the fire, instead of helping. Eventually demands that I pay attention to him rather than the fire, and grabs my shoulder when I keep dealing with the fire after telling him that we can just talk like that. That doesn't work because I'm a fairly big critter, so grabbing me by the shoulder only works if I allow it to work. Cop keeps yelling. Eventually a fire truck shows up. The fireman shakes my hand for a job well done and tells me where to go to get a free refill for my extinguisher. When I left the cop was still yelling at one of the firemen while the others got rid of the fire. Very weird experience.

Comment Re:The scientist fantasy (Score 4, Funny) 82

If scientists end up in Hell they will terraform it, given an eternity of time.

Lake of fire? OK.

Lake means it has shores, somewhere to colonize. Fire means a recognizable chemistry, which implies a recognizable physics, AND a fairly rapid and high-volume energy transfer from the lake to the atmosphere.

By the time scientists and engineers are done with the place (and I remind you that they have forever to do it, so it WILL get done) you won't be able to afford rent there.

Submission + - Brianna Wu Is A Harsh Mistress ( 2

Applehu Akbar writes: A transgender-issues activist and Democratic candidate for Congress says the advent of the space tourism industry could give private corporations a “frightening amount of power” to destroy the Earth with rocks because of the Moon’s military importance.
Brianna Wu, a prominent “social justice warrior” in the “Gamergate” controversy who now is running for the House seat in Massachusetts’ 8th District, suggested in a since-deleted tweet that companies could drop rocks from the Moon.
“The moon is probably the most tactically valuable military ground for earth,” the tweet said. “Rocks dropped from there have power of 100s of nuclear bombs.”

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