Posts Tagged ‘last’
Indiegogo co-founder and CEO Slava Rubin took the stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe 2013, and he shared some interesting stats about the crowdfunding platform’s progress to date, and he specifically addressed some of the company’s international growth. Over the past year, Indiegogo has managed to expand its business 300 percent in Europe over the past year, and international funding now accounts for a full 30 percent of its platform activity.
A lot of the hard work about that came around adding new languages, Rubin said, and then it was also challenging because of the various currencies that had to be incorporated into the platform. Most of the heavy lifting is around working out how to take and receive payments in different countries, Rubin said, and adding a number of new international capabilities in that regard has really helped speed up their growth.
The international growth is actually a core part of Indiegogo’s vision, for an open and democratized future of funding.
“It’s really simple, we want to democratize funding across the world, the only way to do that is to be open,” Rubin said. “To be open is hard [...] The only way to create an open platform is to be totally global, if you only focus on one vertical or one country, you’re only creating liquidity in that space.”
It’s hard because you need to reach as many people as possible, you need to build a product that’s both open to all submissions but also reliable and consistent, and because you have to defend against fraud, which is hugely complicated when you’re trying to be open.
Yet defend against fraud is exactly what Indiegogo has done. The crowdfunding company has faced numerous fraud attempts since 2008, but Rubin says that they’ve had “virtually zero” actually carried out successful. Its net of anti-fraud detection, which includes community monitoring, advanced fraud detection algorithms, and people to track down and follow-up with flagged incidents, is so far pretty bulletproof, Rubin says.
As to what this means in terms of actually delivering funding to project creators, Rubin says that there’s now “millions” being distributed to between 70 and 100 different countries per week. Indiegogo may have strong competition in the form of Kickstarter, but it’s clearly focus on growing internationally quickly and covering as much ground as possible while Kickstarter moves a little more slowly on reaching new countries.
- Developed by Naughty Dog, creators of the best-selling Uncharted series
- Genre-defining experience that blends survival and action elements
- Character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague
Abandoned cities reclaimed by nature. A population decimated by a modern plague. Survivors are killing each other for food, weapons; whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a brutal survivor, and Ellie, a young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years, must work together if they hope to survive their journey across the US.
The Last of Us is a third-person Survival-Action game and PlayStation 3 exclusive featuring a unique character action driven storyline focused on the unlikely pairing of a young girl and a hardened scavenger in a post-apocalyptic gameworld. The game utilizes multiple gameplay mechanics, including “Dynamic Stealth,” allowing differing possible strategies and techniques in conflicts, resulting in different possible outcomes. Additional game features include AI that adapts to choices and situations, a variety of enemies, a live inventory system, and beautiful graphics.
20 years after a pandemic has radically changed known civilization, infected humans run wild and survivors are killing each other for food, weapons – whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a violent survivor, is hired to smuggle a 14 year-old girl, Ellie, out of an oppressive military quarantine zone, but what starts as a small job soon transforms into a brutal journey across the U.S.
The Last of Us is a third-person Survival-Action game that utilizes choices in gameplay action to develop the game storyline, as well as the relationship between the two main characters, Joel and Ellie. The game features a combination of combat, exploration, stealth and platforming game mechanics. Although Joel and Ellie are both residents of a post-apocalyptic world, they have had different experiences that affect the way they see the world around them, and feel about what they see and do. Joel had a life before the pandemic, while the world of the pandemic is all that Ellie has ever known. As part of Joel’s job to smuggle Ellie out of the quarantine zone, players have to make choices in how they deal with enemies, which include, roving gangs of human scavengers not unlike themselves, military elements and infected civilians. Player also have opportunity to together interact with elements of the world around them, which helps to build the bond between Joel and Ellie. Resources in the game are scarce, making overwhelming use of firepower unlikely and unwise in conflicts, and resource gathering missions. In addition, most other residents of the ruined world that are encountered are just trying to survive – blurring the line between good guys and bad guys. Finally, game AI react differently depending on the specifics of the player’s actions, making choice in gameplay a major consideration.
Key Game Features
- Third-person oriented gameplay that blends survival and action elements into a genre-defining video game experience
- Character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague, and the resulting ambiguity of good and evil
- A unique blend of exploration, platforming, stealth, and combat game mechanics
- “Dynamic Stealth,” which allows for multiple strategies and techniques to use in situations, resulting in different possible outcomes
- AI (artificial intelligence) that adapts depending on the situation, player actions, and weapons/tactics used
- A live inventory system in which the game actions and dangers continue as players organize, combine, and select items
- Developed by Naughty Dog, creators of the best-selling Uncharted series
Choice & consequence of actions.
A post apocalyptic world.
Survive a variety of dangers.
AI that adapts to situations.
List Price: $ 59.99
Price: $ 47.00
Mysteries Debunked. Scores Settled. Lessons Learned.
Over at Rap Genius, they’ve built a clever little tool called Rap Stats, which indexes a a compendium of rap lyrics and allows just about anyone chart the frequency of just about anything over the last twenty-odd years of rap songs.
But as Rap Genius notes itself, the tool is much more than that and, in many ways, offers up a salient lens from which to view the last few decades in popular culture. The rise of the iPhone and the demise of Blackberry? The sudden boom of the club drug Molly? The ages-old debate surrounding the virtues of money, power, and respect? They're all captured here in exquisite detail.
2Pac vs Biggie
Proof that there's really no right answer, here.
Glock vs AK-47
The Kalashnikov may be the weapon of choice for warlords, but the Glock won the 90's and hasn't really looked back.
While the world was discussing its IPO, Twitter was making a case to justify massive tax breaks it received from the city of San Francisco.
Robert Galbraith / Reuters
Last night, while the tech and business world pored over Twitter’s freshly released IPO filing, the company quietly made a different pitch in a hearing room in San Francisco's City Hall. The meeting regarded Twitter's charity work in San Francisco, which the company promised in exchange for large, multi-year tax breaks from the city. It was a six-month checkup, and the mood was less than celebratory.
Colin Crowell, Twitter's head of global public policy, stood behind a podium in front of a city's Citizen Advisory Board to defend the company's efforts — just the latest installment in the city's heated debate over the tech industry's economic and cultural effects, now carried out in polite committee jargon under florescent lights. (Jenna Sampson, the local community liaison, was out of town.)
The question: What has Twitter really done in exchange for the ongoing tax breaks, estimated in 2011 to be worth about $ 22 million over a multi-year term?
So far, Twitter's list of charity efforts includes one mass volunteer day, $ 75,000 and 40 computers donated to non-profits, scores of summer internships, ongoing one-on-one volunteering and tutoring, legal help for citizens fighting evictions, and personal tech assistance to over 30 local organizations. Four employees joined non-profit boards, while other employees have opted to bike around the neighborhoods, reporting road problems to the city. The company also instituted a street cleaning day.
And of course, it gave away $ 60,000 in promoted tweets.
But giving back, according to Twitter, also includes hosting a sneak peek performance of the Broadway hit, Jersey Boys, for its own employees, as well as giving their workers discount theater tickets. The company also disclosed it spent over $ 750,000 on food items, all bought within 50 miles of the office in order to support local businesses, which it said constituted a sort of charity. The list was substantial but filled with grey area; of course, so were the tax breaks. And so is Twitter's effect on its neighborhood.
The city advisory board went through Twitter's twenty-five item volunteer plan point-by-point, politely challenging the company. Did the mass-volunteer events cause more problems for the non-profits than they were worth? Did a fifty-mile purchasing radius count as as local? Just what exactly is the value of a promoted tweet?
Crowell was adamant that the company-wide volunteer days weren't “volunteer-istic tourism” but instead made lasting connections in the community. He also suggested that TechSF, the city's tech training and hiring program, which Twitter had promised to help with, isn't working — the local graduates aren't truly ready to work at a tech company like Twitter.
The board's main concern: demanding that Twitter focus on its own effects on the neighborhood, such as increased housing and commercial rent prices.
“A lot of times with organizations, you volunteer in ways that make sense to you like IT training, community gardens, and food justice,” said Peter Masiak, the committee chair. “Tweets, etcetera, are great, but without focusing on the affordable housing issue and cost of live in the city I worry that the clients are being priced out of the city.”
“A huge result [of Twitter's presence in the Bay Area] is that commercial rents are jacked up,” he said. “[Residents] lose the place where they got a buck and a half coffee, not the four dollar latte and the neighborhood is not for them anymore. They are no longer welcome in the community.”
Crowell refused to disclose financial information to the advisory board, despite the company having publicly disclosed its IPO information only hours earlier. Crowell did not answer an ongoing burning question: how much, exactly, are its tax breaks worth? The company's six year, 1.5% payroll tax break on new hires is public, and rough 2011 estimates place its dollar value at around $ 22 million. But Twitter has frustrated the board by not sharing its own projections, despite demands.
“It would be helpful to get a number so we can temper our expectations,” said board member Robert Marquez, last night, pointing out the generous amount of financial information provided to potential investors in the company's IPO filing.
Twitter responded that quantifying that number was meaningless, since there is also no real way to calculate the value of volunteering.
“What is the value of a person on a board? There is a lot we can quantify, but other aspects that are always difficult,” Crowell responded. “To the extent we can, we will.”
“It's not an abstract question about the value of volunteerism. There's a Federal scale for measuring that,” Marquez later told BuzzFeed. “You'd have to wonder what's upside of not disclosing the tax break value at this point.”
“Twitter is a young company that speaks with good intention, but I believe their decision around full disclosure… will give us a better insight about our new neighbor and community partner,” he said. “It's a learning process.”
Aly and Beth Khalifa have a vision: to “establish the new cutting edge of sustainability.” They’re doing it by creating products that can be easily broken down, repaired, or recycled and they’re starting with a simple pair of shoes. Called LYF, these odd-looking clogs are completely recyclable and can be repaired by anyone with a rudimentary grasp of fabric cutting and whittling.
These $ 150 shoes have one solid piece – a main connector – that holds down the outer shell and holds on the sole.
“Having worked in footwear, I have been exposed to nasty solvents like Toluene, which are used to assemble most footwear. These glues are bad for factory workers, bad for the planet, and ultimately prevent the shoes from being recycled,” said Aly. “We decided to address this head-on with a mechanical assembly and were inspired by Japanese Joinery which creates famously strong structures without glue or fasteners. Once we established the modular mechanical approach to making shoes, it allowed us to escape the centralized manufacturing model all together. In fact it allows us to make shoes in places as small and intimate as a retail shop.”
The company is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and aims to sell their shoes online and in stores. Their Kickstarter page is live now.
“Our product is made on-demand for the consumer and establishes the new cutting edge of sustainability. Our process utilizes the latest digital techniques to make truly custom footwear. Not only do we reduce our waste and carbon footprint in the way we make our product, but it is designed for disassembly so that we can keep it out of the landfill and allow them to be LYF-Cycled into new shoes,” said Aly.
If you wanted to repair these shoes you’d simply find the patterns and cut out, say, a new upper or build a new sole (eventually) on a 3D printer. While full recyclability is still a long way off, Aly sees these shoes as a way to empower small business to create, customize and maintain LYF Shoes. While I doubt these kicks will hit Air Dunk levels of popularity, it’s nice to know you can take these into the machine shop and come out with a nearly new pair.
Notorious patent troll Lodsys abandoned a lawsuit on the eve of a trial rather than face the possibility of losing on the merits of his claims, according to the defendant in the case. Security firm Kaspersky Labs, one of dozens of defendants in Lodsys’ two-year-old lawsuit over claims related to in-app purchases, said in a blog post today that Lodsys settled its claims without winning any concessions from Kaspersky. “Churchill was right: ‘Never give up,’” company founder Eugene Kaspersky wrote. “We’ve followed his advice in our fight against a particular troll. As a result the troll gave up and ran away with nothing and its tail between its legs.”
Amazon’s really laid off the pomp and circumstance this year. Between a new Paperwhite e-reader and a trio of tablets, the company’s hosted nary a press conference; just a couple of small-scale meetings. In the case of the Paperwhite, the reason seems clear. From the name on down, nothing about the device screams “major upgrade.” Both the hardware and software received some tweaks, sure, but, well, if this were an Apple product, it would almost certainly be called the Kindle Paperwhite S. Then again, we loved the Paperwhite the first time around, so why mess with near perfection?%Gallery-slideshow99545%
Filed under: Amazon
We’ve seen 3D printers produce some pretty amazing things, but nothing quite like this. Tim Zaman, a Dutch researcher, has reportedly developed a 3D duplication technique capable of capturing incredible detail, such as brush strokes and other textures on a painting. With a captured image on hand, it’s then possible to print a reproduction matching every detail, including raised brush strokes. Reproductions are created using an Oce printer that can reproduce large-format paintings at 600 ppi; the process resembles that of a dye-sub printer, with the printing head moving back and forth many times, adding a new textured layer with each pass. It’s a very cool idea, but don’t expect to fill your home with flawless duplicates — you’ll first need to get your hands on a priceless piece of art.
Filed under: Peripherals
Apple’s iPhone 5s And iPhone 5c Sell 9M Units Over Opening Weekend, Topping 5M For iPhone 5 Last Year
Apple has just issued a press release revealing it sold 9M iPhones during the launch weekend of its iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. As is typical for the company with new hardware, it hasn’t broken out individual model sales, but other signals point to a stronger debut weekend for the higher-end iPhone 5s than for the 5c. Apple blew away its previous record for first weekend iPhone sales, which was 5 million for the iPhone 5 last year.
The iPhone 5s was reportedly sold out in retail locations quickly around the globe, and shipping times at online Apple Store websites also slipped quickly into vague October time frames. The 5c, however, remains in stock and ready to ship within 24 hours at most, if not all international Apple online stores. Analysts had predicted between 5 and 8 million launch weekend sales across both devices, with KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo predicting a higher percentage going to the iPhone 5c. Stock constraints could mean that Kuo is still correct, despite the sell-out of the 5s models, but data from Localytics suggests otherwise.
If Apple stays true to its history, it probably won’t break out individual model sales of iPhone 5s and 5c, as it has never broken out iPad mini sales, for instance. Analysts and market researchers will be plugging away at retail and other sources to try to determine the split, however, so it’s possible we could eventually see some sort of consensus estimate emerge as a best possible guess.
Apple also announced that 200 million devices are now running iOS 7, the update it released for its mobile platform last week. That makes it the “fastest software upgrade in history,” which is in keeping with the early numbers we saw reported from developers and analytics firms.
Another factor to consider is that Apple’s iPhone 5 launched in just 9 markets around the world, while the iPhone 5s and 5c debuted in 11 total, including China, where launch demand appeared strong. China accounted for two million sales of the iPhone 5 during its launch weekend last year alone, so that likely has added considerably to the total this time around for the 5s and 5c.
With iOS 7 arriving tomorrow, Apple is extending some love to the owners of older iOS devices that have been left behind. New compatibility features, first spotted on Reddit, will now kick into action if you attempt to download an app that is not supported by your current firmware. Instead, the company now asks if you’d like to install the last compatible version, which, for some apps, can be over a year old. We’ve successfully installed an older version of Instagram to an iPhone 3GS with iOS 4.3.3 and Twitter to an iPhone 3G running iOS 4.2.1. Although Instagram was “out of date,” the last compatible version of Twitter (featured above) was version 4.3.2, and hit the App Store back on August 18th, 2012. If you’re feeling nostalgic and you’ve got an aging iPhone, iPad or iPod touch that could use a bit of exercise, Apple’s latest tweak might teach your old device some new tricks.