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Kickstarter

Kickstarter is an attempt at modern, crowd-sourced fundraising. Post a project or idea with a set timeframe, and people can pledge cash. If your fundraising goal gets reached, you get the money. If it doesn’t, then everyone gets a refund. Check out the introduction video.

I could really see using this in the future.

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Last.fm Introduces Radio Subscriptions

Users outside of the US, UK, and Germany will now have to pay 3 euros per month to keep streaming music from the popular site. The user backlash has already begun.

As more and more VC-funded startups have to start showing balance sheets, there’s going to be a lot fewer freebies around.

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How to Brew Beer in a Coffee Maker, Using Only Materials Commonly Found on a Modestly Sized Oceanographic Research Vessel

Now that’s what I call science. Ingredients include: Raisin Bran, Vegemite, Alfalfa, and baker’s or brewer’s yeast.

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How moot “Won” the Time 100 Poll

Paul Lamere’s coverage of the Time 100 hack continues with this in-depth examination of the how-they-did-it variety. It includes a lot of Time-bashing, as evidenced by the following parenthetical:

(And if you have any doubt about Time’s incompetence, take a close look at the Poll. Notice that Oprah Winfrey and Ratan Tata have the exact same number of votes. That’s because they both shared the same ID in the poll. A vote for either one was a vote for the other. Same goes for Michael Bloomberg and Gustavo Dudamel. If you vote for one, you vote for the other.)

Previously: 4chan’s precision hack of the Time 100.

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Intercounty Baseball League

Canada’s answer to minor league baseball, established 1919. The Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club play 5 minutes away from my house.

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A Crank 2 Review Done In The Style of… Crank 2

Awesome! Awesome! Where are my wraparound mirrored sunglasses?

…I’m horny.

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How the Other Half Writes: In Defense of Twitter

This is the best, serious, essay smacking down the Twitter-hate going on among the terrified old guard media. It’s note-taking technology:

Imagine a world where everyone uses typewriters: they write novels, manifestos, historical surveys, and so on, but they do it all using typewriters.

Now the ball-point pen comes along. People use it to write down grocery lists and street addresses and recipes and love notes. What is this awful new technology? the literary users of typewriters say. Ball-point pens are the death of humanism.

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Old Woodworking Machine Logos

High-quality downloadables, for refurbishing your Old Woodworking Machine, or what have you. These are all beautiful.

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iPhone Anthology Fiction

Warren Ellis’s recent postings about Papernet and my always-on interest in Print-On-Demand gave me this idea, which I’m jotting down here in case I never get to do it.

So you’ve got your iPhone, and they sell tons of old books and comics and even new eBooks. Why not magazines? I’m not talking about Better Homes and Gardens, really, but new, modern, magazine-like content.

I think there’s definitely room for, as example, a monthly sci-fi ‘zine posted on the iTunes store or available as a PDF download for the same, reasonable, price or just post the plain text for free. You could commission new work and pull from the Public Domain or Creative Commons licensed works to fill the thing out, perhaps make each issue themed, with some art for each story. I’m talking Weird Tales or the like. Short stories to read on the ride home. Sell it for a buck or two.

You could even give the thing away, and just sell art prints or print-on-demand copies or shirts or, every 6 months, a nice perfect-bound edition of the previous 6 issues.

All you’d really need is a cover artist and enough time to lash the thing together each month.

Yes, it seems to me like you could make some very interesting iPhone Anthology Fiction…

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PBS Video on demand

This is fantastic. PBS, in honor of it’s 40th anniversary, is putting up tons of content onto it’s site, viewable on-demand. Including: American Masters, Frontline, and the biggest draw to me right now: Nova.

The problem: Like most video sites, it’s region-locked. Can’t be viewed outside the US. Shame.

by way of the blue

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Maureen Dowd’s Absurd Interview With Twitter’s Founders

Biz gives the best answers to her dismissive/hostile questions. A sample:

ME: If you were out with a girl and she started twittering about it in the middle, would that be a deal-breaker or a turn-on?

BIZ (dryly): In the middle of what?

They really turned it around on her, and I love it.

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Last Year’s Model

Their tagline is “Saving the planet through sheer laziness,” but I think “and not having tons of expendable cash” counts, too.

via, as it so often is, Andy Baio

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Amazon.com Now Selling WiiWare Game Codes

Following the Xbox Live Arcade codes, this is no surprise, but nice to see. Also of interest to me: Amazon does not allow their associates to get commissions on these cards. Profit margin must be close to zero, if not into the red.

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Tal Leming on Embedded Web Fonts

A rare take on embedded web fonts from someone who actually makes fonts and sells them for a living. He suggests a DRM system using a “root table” that says what fonts can be used on what domains, but then says this:

There is nothing that can be done about this. All we can do is present a person with a fork in the road. The person can license the font to give the designer the respect he/she deserves for creating something that the person likes and wants to use. Or, they can ignore the Golden Rule and hack the font.

If that’s the case, and he knows it’s the case, then why not forget the DRM entirely? Why not trust people to do the right thing from the start, and call them out on it when they don’t?

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Ego 1.3 Now Uses Official Google Analytics API

So announced Garrett Murray on twitter. The API was launched by Google today. Glad to see it.

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Birdfeeder and FETHR

Birdfeeder is the prototype implementation of a RESTful, interoperable, Internet-scale microblogging protocol, tentatively called FETHR (Featherweight Entangled Timelines over HTTP Requests).”

See also: Why Twitter in 2009 is like CompuServe Email in 1983.

(via Waxy)

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Windows 7 Starter Edition Only Runs 3 Applications At Once

This seems like a joke, but it is legitimate. Microsoft is not only pushing this incredibly anti-user “functionality”, but they’re selling it specifically to poor, developing nations.

I guess their hope is once they need more than 3 applications open, the poor fucks will pony up for Windows 7 Pro Starter Extreme Edition or whatever.

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App Store Customers Are Neither Bad Nor Good by Default

Garret Murray’s most recent post on his blog, the land where posts do not have titles, is about what happened last week with his (lovely) application, Ego. In it, he basically vents about being a single developer caught between a rock (customers angry that something stopped working) and a hard place (Apple’s arcane approvals process). His frustration is completely understandable with regards to Apple, but I think his larger concern is wrong. In the post, he says this:

This kind of thing continually reinforces something I’ve thought about a lot since the App store was released, which sounds horrible to say but it might be true: Apple is creating an ecosystem of the kind of customers I don’t want.

John Gruber thought it important enough to link to the post using that link as illustration, with the title “Are App Store Customers Good Customers?” This time, though, I think the question is already answered: No, not realy. But the App Store doesn’t create Good or Bad Customers, either. Sturgeon’s Law just as well here as anywhere. What the App Store does do is make it very easy for a user to complain when the mood strikes them.

It’s hard not be frustrated when you have to wait for something beyond your control, but the simple facts are these:

  1. Garrett charged money for an application.

  2. The amount of money is irrelevant.

  3. The application sold Google Analytics support in the same breath as support for other applications that have solid developer APIs

  4. In doing so created an expectation that GA support was “stable” and “not likely to break at the whims of Google with no warning.”

  5. You cannot blame any customer for being angry when that happened.

Do I agree that the users leaving many of these comments are probably huge assholes? Yes. Could Apple do more to mitigate the costs for Developers when something goes wrong? Yes. But the frustration that made Mr. Murray write his blog post is the very same kind of frustration that made those customers, assholes or not, write their negative reviews.

More users means more sales means more assholes.

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Free Star Trek Icon Set From The Iconfactory

Well-detailed and as beautiful as you’d expect from the Iconfactory.

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NYT Bits Blog on The Cost of Bandwidth

Hint: It’s falling, not rising. Time Warner got into a big shit-fight over imposing bandwidth caps, which Rogers has already done here in Canada.

Here’s an exercise to illustrate how fucked the telecom industry is: Raise your hand if you believe a word that comes from Comcast, Time Warner, or AT&T.