It was not hard to predict this particular backlash. A Kickstarter darling, one of the golden children of the video gaming world and a particular favorite of the notoriously clannish PC gaming community, got bought by painfully mainstream social media empire Facebook for $2 billion. Geeky bleeding edge tech, meet ubiquitous Silicon Valley titan and platform for both Farmville and Cityville. The ever-wary video game community began to rage.
The company in question is modern virtual reality standard-bearer Oculus Rift, once among the most popular entities in the video game community, now shunned by its early supporters in hopes of gaining broader acceptance. Sort of like Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls.
When a fledgeling Christian video game company called Phoenix Interactive Studios wanted to bring the sacred stories of The Old Testament into our homes, they turned to Kickstarter for help. When that Kickstarter managed to raise less than ten percent of its $100,000 goal, who did they blame?
The powers of Hell, of course.
I worked for many years in a corporate environment before starting Albino Dragon. In that time there was a vicious animal that always found its way into projects: scope creep. Let’s look at the what Wikipedia has to say about it first:
Typically, the scope increase consists of either new products or new features of already approved product designs, without corresponding increases in resources, schedule, or budget.
Ah Kickstarter, a vast wasteland of ideas purported by money hungry and lazy people who don’t want to leave their computers. And occasionally some of them are hungry, like Noboru Bitoy who created a campaign begging people to pay for his meal from Chipotle.
A new piece of wearable technology streams high-quality video directly into your eyes, and doesn’t make you look quite as much like a wiener as you do with Google Glass.
Avegant’s new product Glyph looks like a pair of ordinary noise-canceling headphones, except the band connecting the two ear pieces stretches across your eyes, instead of over the top of your head, making you look like some kind of creature from Star Wars. Using a technology called virtual retinal display (basically, a display with no screen), Glyph—which has raised a ton of funding through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign—projects video into your eyes that looks totally un-pixellated and freakishly real.
Here is an example of a product that should have been on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2013 list instead of, say, a fugly wristwatch that describes your emails.
It’s called the MEMI, and it’s a “chic iPhone-compatible smartbracelet that discreetly vibrates when you receive important phone calls, text messages and calendar alerts,” the gadget’s website says.
Ignore that Facebook raked in $2 billion revenue last quarter and instead let’s freak out that teens are fleeing the social network. “We remain close to fully penetrated among teens in the U.S,” it, uh, reassured. [Business Insider]
In light of Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz’s departure, Square announced that a former Goldman Sachs CFO will replace him on the board of directors. [AllThingsD]
Kickstarter announced a series of top-level changes. Cofounder Yancey Strickler is the new CEO, with Perry Chen moving into a chairman position. [Kickstarter Blog]
Google’s Glasses accessory store quietly swung its doors open yesterday. Everything is very expensive, like a fabric pouch that will set you back $50. [TNW]
With Amazon’s new charity program, a generous 0.5 percent of selected purchases will be donated to nonprofits. [Digital Trends]
Not to get all BuzzFeed nostalgia vertical over here, but one very important landmark of a nerdy 90s childhood is Myst, the perplexing computer game that left you stranded on a dock on a weird island and forced you to figure it out from there.
This year the game turns 20 (ouch), but it’s been a long, long time since the game’s creators at Cyan have had a big hit. They’re still around, though, and now they’re turning to Kickstarter to raise $1.1 million for the development of Obduction, which they’re billing as a “spiritual successor to the experience that Myst provided, without necessarily tying ourselves to that same storyline.”
Here’s something to chew on: Every day that passes means you’re one day closer to death. But the question of when, exactly, you are going to die is hazy, so leave it to a project on Kickstarter to ballpark the date of your funeral. Meet Tikker, a morbid smartwatch that guesses when you’re going to die down to the second.
Justine Tunney is a New York-based software engineer at Google, but she’s also a prolific activist who was and continues to be instrumental to the Occupy Wall Street movement. A “transgender anarchist,” she founded OccupyWallStreet.org and continues to maintain the @OccupyWallSt Twitter handle; her Github account has an Occupy Wall Street specific repository that boasts the tagline, “Stomping out capitalism, one line of code at a time.” And she also has an interesting new approach to crowdfunding.