Technology Archives - Dadstractions

Damn It, I Backed A Kickstarter

Jun 11, 13 Damn It, I Backed A Kickstarter

Posted by in Gaming, Kickstart(er) my <3

I’ve been interested in Kickstarter (and other crowd funding services) ever since I heard of it. The concept of small (and sometimes large) companies taking big ideas or pet projects to the public in order to get it funded sound awesome to me. People could find things they really believed in and back those concepts to show their support; a pretty awesome business model. I’ve seen some Kickstarters from time to time that really drew my attention but I purposefully stayed away from backing those. Why? I felt like after I backed my first project, it would be easier and easier to talk myself into backing more and more. Soon, I’d spiral out of control and I’d end up in a debtors prison with all the stuffs I accumulated from Kickstarter goals.  And, unless one of those things I backed was a bakery that delivered cakes with files in them, I was going to be screwed. So, I saw many opportunities pass me by. The Ouya gaming console (which I’m still kicking myself for not backing), SmartThings, Let’s Build A Goddamn Tesla Museum (OK, this one is IndieGoGo but, still…) and many others I can’t think of right now. But, now that Leonard F Chikarason has been writing a regular Kickstarter series for this site, I’ve been getting lured into crowd funding more and more. Recently, a Kickstarter opportunity found its way into my email inbox and I just couldn’t pass it up. I only found out about three hours prior to the Kickstarter closing but I HAD to back it – It was right up my nerd alley. It was for a digital Trading Card Game / Role Playing Game called “Hex” I was completely blown away by the videos I saw about the product. It’s a project by an established games publisher who wanted to make a purely digital TCG; something without physical limitations. This meant that they could have elements in the game that couldn’t actually be in a physical product....

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Kickstarter My Heart – The Big One

May 14, 13 Kickstarter My Heart – The Big One

Posted by in Kickstart(er) my <3

By Leonard F Chikarason Last week, I spoke at great length about my very first Kickstarter experience and how poorly it went. I’m not usually that (publicly) negative, but reviewing my history with that project really brought back some bad feelings. This time, it’s all about positivity. Two of my favorite creators in all of comic-dom are Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, best known for their DC Comics books, Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, Vol. 1. They have a very accessible writing and art style that appeals to kids of any age and always sneak in a little something extra for the grown-ups. I’ve had the pleasure to meet them in person several times and it’s always been a great experience. So, this past July when they announced they would be doing their first self-published work in sometime, Aw Yeah Comics, I willingly pre-ordered the first issue. Two months passed & I was contacted by them stating the printing of these issues had hit a snafu. They still sent me a bunch of puns and patches based on their new character designs and informed me once the printing concern was resolved, I’d be one of the first to know. Flash forward another two months and I got an email letting me know they would be launching a Kickstarter and what I paid in July for the original issue could be applied to whatever I pledged or if I was unhappy, I would get a full refund plus the first issue. My plan was to support the Art & Franco cause regardless so I was happy to wait. And unfortunately wait. Through their dealings, other friends’ dealings and my own project owner dealing with Kickstarter, I know from first hand experience that sometimes the approval process is very quick and sometimes it takes FOREVER. The Kickstarter did not go live until February of this year, starting at the goal of $15,000 to cover the printing cost of the first six issue of Aw Yeah Comics. Goals were as simple...

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Kickstarter My Heart – My First Time

By Leonard F. Chikarason So Kickstarter, the crowd funding online hub that has gotten some buzz of late due to huge projects from Zach Braff and the makers of Veronica Mars. I’ll be using this article to talk about my trials and tribulations in supporting a variety of projects as well as pointing you in the direction of projects that catch my eye and I think would interest the readership. The very first project I backed was for a web comic, which I will not name here as the experience I had was not favorable and I try and remain positive. There will be enough information provided that if you REALLY want to know, the pieces are all there. Thanks to my day job, which involves super-secret science, gives me a lot of time to listen to podcasts. I listen to a TON of them. That could be its own separate article. One of my favorites is War Rocket Ajax by Chris Sims and Matt D Wilson, both of whom review comics and are published authors in their own right. An artist who provided posters to go along with their weekly episodes suffered the loss of his lap top. And in May 2010, he started a Kickstarter to replace this lap top, what he used to create his web comic. His target goal was $1000, so he wasn’t asking for the world, or even a Cray and ended up at over $400 above his goal. He achieved this goal with pledge limits ranging from $1 (thanks!) to $50 (a signed, custom three panel color cartoon). I felt the $5 I pledged for a signed custom sketch was low risk enough that I could support part of a podcast I was such a huge fan of and joined the 101 other people who also pledged support. Part of the Kickstarter experience is once you pledge, you are now part of process. You get to see where your money goes, see the project build and come to fruition. After the...

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Kickstart(er) my <3

I asked a friend of mine, Leonard, if he would like to write a guest article for this site and he said he would be more than happy to (sucker!) I’ve known Leonard since we were in short pants. Geography has separated us but no amount of distance can keep our nerdery from binding us together. This is the first of what I hope will be a regular spot from Leonard.  Please let us know what you think! Hello everyone and welcome to the first installment of (hopefully) many articles about Kickstarter, the most popular ‘crowd funding’ site today. The first question already raises a few questions: What’s a Kickstarter? What is ‘crowd funding’? What’s that rattle? Kickstarter is one of two major sites, the other being Indie Go-Go, where everyone from amateur film makers, professional writers, comic book creators to A list celebrities go to raise money for projects they cannot get made within the system. Crowd funding is when these afore mentioned parties make their pitch to you, John and Jane Q Blog Reader. Where in you pledge X amount of dollars towards getting this project made where the greater X is, the better your rewards is. (No one said there’d be math, sorry about that.) The big difference between Kickstarter and Indie Go-Go, if the goal for the project is not reached through Kickstarter, the project starter gets no money and you aren’t out a dime, whereas through Indie Go-Go, even if the goal is not met, the project starter still gets the money. Now, being that you are reading a blog, perhaps you already know about these crowd sourcing sites. But you’d be surprised of how many people who are ‘internet savvy’ have never listened to a podcast, never watched a video on Vine or never re-pinned a lovely bowl filled with decorative pine cones. I’m not a Kickstarter expert by any means, however, I have contributed to twelve different projects in the last three years, of varying amounts and...

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Why Aereo is Such a Big Deal

As I’ve mentioned before, I cut the the cord in December of 2011.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made financially.  I kept my high speed internet connection, picked up a Hulu subscription (I already had Amazon Prime for shipping purposes, and I’ve been using Netflix since their inception) and I was on my way.  I use my XBox for my streaming device  and I bought a digital antenna to bring Over The Air (OTA) broadcasts into my home.  I also hooked that antenna into my Tivo DVR to record OTA shows if I wanted to. Yes, I found most people didn’t know that you can, in fact, still pick up TV shows over antenna and, better yet, they are in HD!  Granted, it’s the basic channel line-up (CBS, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc…) but at a one-time price of an antenna, you can’t beat it. Here’s where Aereo comes in. Don’t want to buy an antenna?  Don’t want to bother with TiVo? Aereo is a service that allows you to stream OTA shows via the internet.  How is this possible?  They’ve set up data centers with thousands of antennas, they pull in OTA broadcasts, and they can either stream it to you live, or you can have them DVR it on their end and stream it at your leisure.  They have reasonable monthly fee to offset the recording/storage demands. On April 9, 2013, a top executive at FOX broadcast network threatened to change FOX network to a Pay-TV model if Aereo didn’t stop “stealing” their OTA signal and selling it to consumers.  This was in response to a preliminary ruling stating that Aereo isn’t subject to retransmission fees because it relies on thousands of antennas to pick up the OTA signal and they aren’t receiving a “feed” directly from FOX themselves (as most local broadcast affiliates do). What Aereo is doing is renting each individual a teeny-tiny antenna and a DVR.  That’s it.  This is no different than what I am...

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Looking to save some money? Try cutting the cord on cable!

In December 2011, I finally had it with my cable company.  There wasn’t anything wrong with the service they provided – the cable rarely went out and besides a few blips when I started my service, there hadn’t been any major problems.  When I did have the occasional issue, their customer service department was (usually) very helpful and resolved my issue.  The only thing I had against my cable company was the exorbitant amount they were charging for their services. I had HD TV, I had HD DVR, I had High Speed Internet.  I didn’t have any premium channels.  When I started my cable service four years prior, I was paying a little under $100 a month.  By the time I decided to drop them, i was paying over $130.   This was after a year with two price increases!  I had had enough. I had thought about it many times leading up to my final decision but never imagined it would be a viable endeavor. I didn’t want to go install an antenna on my roof! What about Food Network?!? And, no time delay of shows. Sigh. I went about methodically searching for information about “cutting the cord” and I found some promising news.  Things weren’t as bleak as I was making them out to be. Now, cutting the cord is not for everyone.  There will be some sacrifices. But, I weighed the sacrifices versus the extra cash in my pocket and there was no contest.  Here’s how I went about cutting the cord on cable. Research: Lots and lots of research.  I’m the person who searches for reviews online until my eyes are bleeding.  My wife is happy that I am diligent in my research but hates how long it takes me to finally pull the trigger on something.  What can I say, I like to be thorough.  During my research I came across CordCutterGuide.com.  This site is very informative and I would suggest that anyone seriously thinking about ditching cable should give this...

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