More crowdfunding

When I wrote about crowdfunding, I forgot the campaign for GnuPG.

While they seem to be the most open about how the money gets spent, they also used Gotoe, which has been the worst of the three technical solutions I have tried as a contributor (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Gotoe). They sent me duplicate mails, sometimes in a language I did not request, nor read.

Drowning doesn't look like drowning: gcaptain.com/drowning/

Transferring podcasts #jukebox

I wanted to have an easy way to have a podcast on my phone played on the jukebox (connected to the stereo, and the nice speakers).

The default music application in Android does not have any sharing options, so that's easy. To dismiss. Boo, Google!

I then tried the two file managers I have installed, and one of them offered to "Send" the file via a number of methods, email being one of them.

Great, I set up an email-address that unpacked attachments and transferred them to the jukebox - cool!

Except that the file wasn't attached. The filename was helpfully put in the subject line, but that was it. No cookie for you, OI File Manager!

Ok, maybe I can just write an email and attach the file - that should work, right? Wrong, the email-application says "File size too big", even for a very short podcast (less than 5 minutes). Bad Android!

Ok, time to be more creative. git-annex runs on Android. So I installed that, installed it on my desktop as well, and created a directory which is now shared between the phone and my desktop-machine. Finally I configured incron to transfer any new files in that directory to the jukebox (running a script I head previously created for that purpose).

And it works! Nicely even.

I do have to start git-annex on my phone, and then move files to the correct directory, which is a little more cumbersome than just choosing the non-existing "Share" option in the music-player, but it does beat walking to the desktop, connecting the phone to the usb wire, etc. etc.

The only thing I would like to have improved is transfer of multiple files - with the current setup I can transfer multiple files, but I'll only hear the last one, as each file will replace the previous one on the jukebox.

I knew my tiny contribution to the funding of git-annex assistant would pay off! Well, no, I didn't, but it did!

Experiences with crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an interesting idea: people who want to do some kind of project, build something, produce something, ask people on the net to basically give them money up front, in exchange for a reward/product if the project succeeds.

The upside for the person paying is usually to get the product early, at a lower price. The upside for the project is that they get funded without having to do much but present a compelling idea online.

Seeing that one of the main websites in crowdfunding, Kickstarter, just jumped the shark, I thought I would sum up my small forays into crowdfunding, as a "backer".

The first thing I supported, that feels like a crowdfunding thing, was the Ada Initiative in June 2011 - this was the least product-like of the lot, as the main thing was supporting a good idea and a worthy cause, and the promised swag was of minor interest. I think it was a keychain and some stickers, but I actually never received them. After making them aware of this a couple of times, I forgot about it, and I don't mind much - I am listed on Seed 100 Funders-list. Making a lot of conferences adopt anti-harassment policies was a nice early achievement of the initiative.

The next thing was much more concrete: The Nixie Ramos Clock. Those nixie tubes are just cool! The project completed funding in April 2012, and had a delivery date planned for August 2012. I received my clock in September 2013, 13 months delayed.

While I was waiting for the Ramos Clock, I decided to give a little bit of money to the git-annex project, just because it sounded like a nice project, and it would be cool if Joey Hess could actually live from funds from around the globe. This was in June 2012, and the stickers that came with my little contribution came on time, and the development also proceeded on schedule, as far as I remember. I have no use for the stickers, and I haven't gotten around to trying git-annex yet, but still.

When I saw a project creating an electric mini guitar with three strings, I had to jump on it: The Electric Loog. The funding completed in November 2013, and they planned to start production in December, and wrote that they set a very conservative delivery date of May 2014. This was postponed. In the beginning of July the message was that they would be shipping very, very soon. The latest update says shipping is at the very end of July, with the guitar arriving in August. We'll see.

In January 2014 a colleague convinced me that the Danish project Airtame, building a wireless HDMI receiver (think Google's Chromecast, only working with everything, and with open source protocol and software) was cool. Their original plan was shipping in May/June, but that has so far slipped to October/November. Let's see.

So far all the things I have thrown money at has almost completely come through, but usually with a rather large delay in finishing, which is worth remembering.

It is interesting how something feels like it's free when 13 months expire from when you pay, and the product shows up. Except for the duty, tax and fees. So don't forget about those when backing projects outside the EU!

What did you support/buy that was worth it? That wasn't? Leave a comment.

Home of MareNostrum #computers

I hope the developers have equally stunning acommodations.

New self signed CA for koldfront.dk #koldfront #security

I have replaced my certificates with a new set, all signed by my new self signed certificate authority for koldfront.dk.

You can download the CA certificate and import it into your browser.

Since not even Debian includes cacert.org's certificate by default, I see no reason to use anything but homemade certificates.

Blogger is annoying #ui

Blogger has this really annoying idea of changing the top level domain to "blogspot.dk" of blogs in their system I visit, because I am in Denmark.

Very clever, Blogger!

Except every time it does that, the result is that I think: "That is odd, why does this [insert any nationality but Danish here] blogger have a Danish domain?" "Oh, it's just bloody Blogger being bloody stupid again."

USB utilities #hardware

blink(1) - cute!

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