Last week, in writing about the silly backlash to Zach Braff's successful Kickstarter project, we noted that he claimed he had the data that showed his success did not take away from other Kickstarter projects, but rather it appeared that Braff brought a lot of new people to Kickstarter, many of whom went on to fund other projects. But still, the ridiculous arguments persisted that somehow famous people using Kickstarter take away money from upstarts. It's as if these people don't understand what a non-zero sum game is. They assume, incorrectly, that if one (famous) person is succeeding, it means one (non-famous) person is not. Perhaps the worst example of this was a piece by Reginald Nelson at TheWrap which ridiculously attacks Kickstarter's founders, arguing that these moves harm "the creative class."
The Veronica Mars and Zach Braff projects have brought tens of thousands of new people to Kickstarter. 63% of those people had never backed a project before. Thousands of them have since gone on to back other projects, with more than $400,000 pledged to 2,200 projects so far. Nearly 40% of that has gone to other film projects.
We’ve seen this happen before. Last year we wrote a post called Blockbuster Effects that detailed the same phenomenon in the Games and Comics categories. Two big projects brought tons of new people to Kickstarter who went on to back more than 1,000 other projects in the following weeks, pledging more than $1 million. Projects bring new backers to other projects. That supports our mission too.
I'd hope this puts to rest the ridiculous claims, but somehow, I doubt it will (and the comments on the Kickstarter blog post suggest people will still complain anyway).
Not this again. Back in 2011, we first discussed why it was silly that some people got upset that someone rich and famous would use Kickstarter, as if the platform was only allowed for unknown artists. That was about Colin Hanks, the son of Tom Hanks, financing a documentary via the site. Since that time, the argument has popped up a few more times, including when Amanda Palmer used the site, when Bjork tried to use the site and when the Veronica Mars movie was funded via the site. Most recently, it's been aimed at quirky actor/filmmaker Zach Braff for his Kickstarter project, called Wish I Was Here. Braff set a goal of $2 million, which was raised very quickly.
And that's when some people got angry. Just as before. But it's a small group of people. There are at least 36,000 people (i.e., those who have funded the project so far) who did not get angry. Why? Because they like Braff and want to support him. I'm curious if the people who are attacking Braff for using Kickstarter ever have watched one of his TV shows or seen a movie he was in. Because, in that case, they'd be paying the same sort of thing... but most of that money would be going to a giant corporation, rather than to the actor himself. So what are they complaining about?
Frankly, he's more defensive in that video than he needs to be. He's got nothing to be defensive about. He notes, accurately, that he's long been known as someone who engages deeply via social media, especially Twitter and Reddit where Braff has been active for years. He also talks about his own obsession with Kickstarter, and how great it was to get the various updates on projects he'd funded, and how he hoped his fans would enjoy getting updates about the movie making process. And, yes, he's backed a bunch of projects himself, including the Aaron Swartz documentary.
For the life of me, I can't see a single logical argument for why people are upset about this, other than (a) they don't like Braff or (b) they're jealous of him. Neither seems like a particularly compelling reason for why Braff, or any famous person, shouldn't use the platform. The two most common arguments seem to be "he's rich and should fund it himself." But that's stupid. First off, he's probably not quite as rich as you think, and second he's made it clear over and over again that the budget is much higher than the amount he's raising and he's putting in an "ass-ton" (his quote) of his own money as well. Also, if you think that, don't fund him. No sweat off your back. For his fans who like him and want to support him, so what? The second argument is that this means he gets the money instead of some struggling filmmaker. However, as he himself has pointed out, the data suggests something entirely different:
I have something every detractor doesn’t have: the analytics. Most of the backers of my film aren’t people on Kickstarter who had $10 and were deciding where to give it, and then gave it to me instead of someone else. They came to Kickstarter because of me, because of this project. They wouldn’t have been there otherwise. In fact, a lot of people who didn't know about Kickstarter came and wound up giving money to a lot of other projects too. So for people to say, 'That’s ... up; you’re stealing money from documentaries' is just not a sensible argument.
All he's doing is the same thing we've been arguing for years is the business model of the future: connecting with fans and giving them a reason to buy. Braff has done exactly that, and has built up a huge and loyal following who are really excited about this project. As we pointed out when Amanda Palmer raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter or when Louis CK made over $1 million by selling direct off his site, the fans who are buying in aren't disturbed by how much money is being made. For the most part, they seem thrilled to be a part of something amazing.
I think that's the key thing that the detractors simply don't understand. This is about two key things: being part of an experience and a community. It's not about "a movie," but about much more than that. And, even specifically around "the movie," people should be supporting what Braff is doing, because funding it this way means that it's going to be Braff's vision for the movie, rather than a giant Hollywood studio. A few months back, Jonathan Taplin, a filmmaker and defender of the old system, told me during a debate that no real filmmaker would ever use Kickstarter. At the 40 minute mark, he goes on a condescending rant saying sarcastically that "major filmmakers" could never possibly use Kickstarter because "the average" film only raised $10,000. But the average is meaningless for something like this. Furthermore, he goes on and on about (his friend) Martin Scorcese getting to do a movie he wants, and how that would never work via Kickstarter. But we're seeing over and over again the exact opposite. When a star with a big following uses something like Kickstarter, it gives them more ability to make the movie they want without outside interference.
Now we're seeing, quite clearly, that "major filmmakers" can use Kickstarter to do interesting things, and somehow, I get the feeling that it's the same sort of people who insisted they couldn't possibly make it in the first place who are now complaining that they are...
Okay, I really thought this week was going to be the one where our awesome stuff posts didn't have a theme. But... because of some last minute finds, you not only get two separate themes, but also four projects, rather than our standard three. First up, we've got two different takes on a computer, and then we've got two projects that help you rethink how you input data into a computer.
First up, is the MiiPC. It's an Android-powered PC that's designed for family use. From the screenshots/video they show, they at least appear to have done a decent job making Android functional as a desktop OS. Some of the "family" features seem a little hokey and overhyped, but perhaps it appeals to some people.
Of course, what struck me as most interesting about this was actually the price. $99 for a simple computer seems like a potentially good deal for people looking to just do simple stuff. This project blew past its funding targets quickly and has already more than doubled it with over a month to go.
So that's a more modern take on a PC, but how about one that's a bit more retro? The the X500 is a modern computer case, but which takes its design cues from classic early 1980s gaming consoles like the Amiga, Atari and Sinclair. My first computer was an Atari 800, so I've got a soft spot for this style of design, even if it's probably not that practical these days.
It's just a case, so you'll have to want to do some DIY computer building to get an actual computer in there. Also, if this one interests you, don't wait too long. The project ends tomorrow. It's already just barely squeaked over its target, so it will definitely be funded.
Since we're talking about DIY, howzabout the DUO, the world's first DIY 3D sensor. If you've been living under a rock for a while, you may have missed all the buzzy and hype about the Leap Motion controller for gesture recognition on your computer. The DUO, conceptually, is pretty similar to the Leap, except that this not about fancy shiny locked up boxes, but about making your own damn fancy gesture controller. Basically, the different levels get you started at different points along the process of making your own such device (though, yes, you can also purchase fully assembled ones, but they're much more expensive than the Leap).
The DUO is still only about 1/3 of the way to its target, but with nearly a month left, it seems like it will probably get there. Might not be as fancy as the Leap, but how much cooler is it to show off that you made our own?
And since we're on the subject of gesture recognition for computers, how about the the NUIA eyeCharm, which is an add on to the Kinect (which we'll assume you already know about...), to make it so you can control your computer via eye movements. There were rumors that Samsung was working on something like this to be built into phones and tablets, but these guys are doing it as a simple add on to the Kinect.
This one has just a week to go and is hovering right near its target, and should easily pass it soon (if it hasn't already by the time you read it).
Well, that's it for this week. Bonus points figuring out how many times Fruit Ninja appears in the Kickstarter videos above. I had no idea that that game had become such a "must show" in any such demo.
Just a few weeks ago, we had a story about how an awesome looking documentary about comic artists needed to hit up Kickstarter to raise more money solely to purchase licenses to some of the artwork & video clips in the film. Most of the copyright holders let them use the work for free, but a few were demanding payment -- often thousands of dollars for a single image or short clip. As we've noted, documentary filmmakers are scared to death of relying on fair use, because they don't want to get sued (and some insurance providers won't give you insurance if you plan to rely on fair use).
And, now, there's an even crazier example. Two huge fans of the cult favorite TV show, Arrested Development have made a documentary about the show, talking to a ton of people who created and acted in the show, as well as to a bunch of fans. Given that a new season (via Netflix) is quickly approaching, getting this documentary out would make sense. The film is finished according to the filmmakers. Done done done. So why are they asking Kickstarter for $20,053? Yup, you guessed it. Copyright licensing issues. And this time, it's really crazy:
After five years, we're finally close to releasing the documentary. Our final step is to pay the network for photos from the set of the show. These photos are extremely relevant to the story, and we can't move forward with the release of the documentary until our fees are paid to the network. This is where you come in. Help us pay the network fees so every Arrested fan can see this documentary!
Yes, photos from the set. And, "the network" in this case is 20th Century Fox. This seemed so ridiculous to me that I asked the filmmakers, Jeff Smith & Neil Lieberman, for the details, and they said that these are photos taken by a variety of people on set and that the people who took the photos gave them to Jeff & Neil willingly, but that "the network is claiming copyright." Just to be clear, Jeff & Neil don't have a problem with this, saying that they believe that this is "within the network's rights" to make that claim and they emphasized that Fox was giving them a "deep discount on the photos" and that it "could have been much worse" otherwise.
While it's great that the filmmakers are fine with this, it still seems quite troubling to me. Whoever took the photos in the first place would own the copyright on the basic photos themselves. This implies that Fox is claiming copyright on the set itself, which appears in the images (or, they're lying and claiming copyright on something they have no copyright on). And, yes, they could potentially claim copyright on the set -- but that doesn't make this any less crazy. Jeff & Neil would have a massively clear fair use argument if they were challenged on using these images. It is not as if the use of those images would somehow harm the "market" for "the set" itself (which is about all the network could possibly be claiming copyright on). It would obviously be a transformative use, and they'd just be displaying parts of the set. This is about as open and shut a fair use case as you could possibly imagine.
And, really, this is doubly ridiculous, because this documentary is only going to help promote the show more, not harm it in any way... oh wait. Fox no longer benefits from that because Fox cancelled the show and the new season is happening on Netflix instead... Perhaps that's what this is about. The cash from this Kickstarter could have gone into all sorts of actually useful things, including more marketing and promotions for the documentary (which does look great). But, instead, it's going into Fox's bank account, because Rupert Murdoch needs it more than two independent documentary filmmakers who were huge fans of the show. I thought copyright was supposed to be about helping filmmakers, not forcing them to waste $20,000+ dollars on a bogus copyright claim..
The internet, which now connects almost everything in the world, has changed every aspect of the way we live, work, and socialize. It has also changed the way we do science, particularly in facilitating the dissemination of research results, but also in enabling scientific discoveries in ways previously unheard of. Here are a few examples of how the internet has affected (and even effected) genetic research.
Kaiju Combat is a monster fighting game from Sunstone Games. Wizards of the Coast is claiming that this infringes the trademark on KAIJUDO, which is a card game they offer. While they have secured the Kaijudo trademark for video game rights as well, "kaiju" is an ordinary Japanese word meaning "strange beast" or "monster" and commonly is used to refer to the genre of Japanese monster movies like Godzilla. It would be ridiculous to claim that a neologism based on that common word would magically grant the trademark holder control over the original common word as well.
WotC had apparently contacted Sunstone earlier about their claims, and Sunstone had their lawyer explain the nature of trademark law and the fact that Kaiju is a common word... and they heard nothing else. Apparently, they assumed that the situation was settled, though I would think that confirming that before launching the Kickstarter might have been a reasonable move. Simon Strange, the owner of Sunstone, told GamePolitics (link above) that he understands the nature of trademark law, and the fact that you're supposed to protect your marks, but he figured that it could be settled between discussions with lawyers, rather than suddenly having his Kickstarter project taken down and all its backers informed of the dispute. And, now, he's worried about legal costs:
"Obviously we can't afford to spend our very limited development budget, which was provided by our backers on Kickstarter, on fighting over a name,"" He says. "But at the same time it would really make me sad if we're forced to change our name just because we can't afford to defend ourselves. I'm still hopeful that it won't come to that."
Maybe Kickstarter should automatically populate projects that are taken down like this with a special "legal fund" Kickstarter while they wait for details to be worked out.
So we're back with another week of awesome stuff. I really did not intend for each week to have a theme, but that's sort of how it's worked out for the past few weeks, and why stop now? This week, let's talk about speakers.
First up, there's the Yaba Portable Speaker & Guitar Amp by PLX Devices. We've seen tiny speakers (that use whatever surface they're on) to create bigger sounds before, but the Yaba at least appears to have a pretty cool design that seems quite small for the level of sound they seem to suggest they're able to get out of it. It's tough to tell how well it really works in action unless you can see it in person, but conceptually, it looks cool. The fact that there's a version that can double as an absolutely tiny guitar amp seems quite cool for guitarists as well. Could definitely see plenty of uses for a device like this.
It only just launched, but seems well on its way to hitting the goal. Early bird pricing at $39 sounds like a great deal, though they (not surprisingly) sold out quickly.
But what if you've got some big old speakers around? How about easily turning them into portable speakers that play off of your mobile phone via Bluetooth (or regular line-in jack)? That's the plan for The Vamp, a tiny stylish box that can connect to any old speaker magnetically, providing both the connection and power.
Even if you don't have old speakers around, the project's creator Paul Cocksedge notes that you can pick up old speakers for just a few bucks these days, since they've become somewhat obsolete. And yet here's a neat way to bring new life to old speakers. Cool idea. This one is still decently below its target, but it seems likely that it will get there in time.
Of course, who uses speakers any more? These days, it's all about the earbuds. And that's why the last "awesome stuff" item this week is The Elroy. I'll admit, it took me a little while to understand exactly what this was, but basically it tries to combine the wireless flexibility of bluetooth with the general convenience of typical earbuds. That is, uptop, it's like a normal earbud setup (in fact, it sounds like you can use your own earbuds if you'd like), but about 1/3 of the way down a normal cord length, they just connect to a little bluetooth gadget which wirelessly communicates with whatever devices you want. So... no long cords getting in the way. Plus, it acts as a magnetic holder for the earbuds, which means no more dealing with tangled wires. And the phone features will even pick up / hang up as you detach / attach the earbuds to the unit.
The thing that I can't fully get past is that the device itself still looks a little dorky -- not unlike bluetooth headsets, but now clipped to your shirt somewhere. The project describes it as "a piece of electronic jewelry" which sounds like a stretch. Also, it seems a bit on the pricey side for the benefit it provides -- but clearly lots of people disagree with that assessment, as it's quickly shot way past its target goal.
Well, that should give you plenty to listen to for a while. We'll be back next week, with more crowdfunded awesome stuff...
from the so-i-can-flagrant-foul-dwight-howard? dept
Given all the money backers have pledged to Kickstarter projects, and all the cool things that have been subsequently produced, I think it's safe to call Kickstarter a successful business model option for anyone looking to produce something. That said, it's still just an option, and it isn't going to be successful in every case. That doesn't mean a "failed" project hasn't produced valuable information, results and lessons to the those that put the project together, of course. At the very least, Kickstarter is a great way to connect a producer with fans and potential fans, a hallmark of what we talk about at Techdirt.
One ex-NFL player, Hunter Hillenmeyer, is now looking to extend the concept of connecting with backers on Kickstarter to help connect gamers with their favorite athletes to compete online in their favorite video games. The app, called OverDog, is still in very early beta and the project hasn't been fully funded yet, but Hillenmeyer was nice enough to give me some background in an email exchange that I thought would provide some nice insight on how the people, who put these projects together, plan for them, and how they view Kickstarter over all. I mentioned first to Hillenmeyer that we talk a great deal about connecting with fans as part of a business model and asked to get his thoughts on what role that plays with OverDog.
OverDog is taking a very simple premise, connecting athletes who love video games with fans who love video games, and flipping that dynamic on its head. Twitter is popular for, amongst other reasons, the fact that it allows immediate and sustained interaction between celebrities and fans, while the celebrity still keeps that arms-length privacy. OverDog is building an experience that gives fans the chance to do something they love with athletes who share that same interest, video games. That both fans and athletes would be excited about this seems so obvious I was honestly surprised to discover that nothing like OverDog already existed.
The concept behind the app aside, I was curious as to how he viewed Kickstarter overall. I did a Kickstarter once and I went into it thinking that unless it was fully funded, the project was a failure. I've since decided that this line of thinking was myopic and it seems Hillenmeyer agrees.
We look at Kickstarter more as marketing than fundraising. We will still deploy a product in April even if we don't hit our funding goal. Our goal is to attract enough users through Kickstarter that we can take that dedicated community of soon-to-be users and give them exclusive access to our athletes during beta. We want them to be our test market, with unprecedented access to athletes, to test, to provide feedback, and ultimately, to help build a better final product to launch in the fall.
This isn't a new concept, either. I've discussed before how Kickstarter shouldn't be solely viewed as a way to get money directly from backers for a project, but it can also be viewed as an incredibly valuable tool for market research and consumer feedback. This may be doubly important in this instance, since the app really needs to serve to different kinds of users, the athletes and their fans. There's going to be some concern on the part of athletes about abusive users, but this is apparently being kept in mind as design for the app and how it's used moves forward.
It's interesting to note that the app will be free as well, and player vs. player within the community will be included as a feature. The subscription is what gets you access to the famous athletes, however, since that partnership and accessibility is a valuable, scarce asset. It seems like an approach made with Cwf+RtB in mind. The rewards in the Kickstarter project are varied enough that fans of specific sports should find something to choose from. I was a bit skeptical on how Hillenmeyer would be able to deliver so many athlete connections to so many fans, but talks with the athletes around the country have apparently gone well.
We certainly don't want to be presumptuous about athlete involvement, but luckily, we have deep relationships in every major sport. We can deliver on everything in that rewards section. Players associations like the NFLPA, MLBPA, and MLSPA have been instrumental in helping OverDog communicate with and attract the right athletes from the right teams to our platform. This will only get easier when we finally have a product for them to see and touch and use come April.
We'll have to wait and see what comes of the Kickstarter project, which has less than two weeks to go. Regardless, it seems sports fans will be able to test the app for themselves in a month or so, connecting with their favorite athletes to play video games.
A little while back, on one of our "funniest/most insightful comments of the week" posts, we featured a comment that someone made anonymously, in response to a story about Bjork's Kickstarter project that was taken down before it ended, after it did not look like it was going to get anywhere near the required threshold. However, the comment has stuck with me and I think it deserves a post. In particular, the commenter called us out for saying that her project "failed."
This was not a "failure!"
Platforms like Kickstarter have changed the way the market is functioning, and our ways of thinking about it (even here on Techdirt) have to catch up.
Bjork's campaign did not fail, even though the results were not what she was hoping for. She successfully learned that the market was not interested in this product.
Spending £375,000 of her own money? Now THAT would have been a failure.
Using Kickstarter is more like running a science experiment than it is like selling a product. It increases the efficiency of the market by orders of magnitude, and apparently beyond our ability to think about it clearly.
This point -- even if it was calling us out -- is so true, and it's so important for people to understand. It's easy to use the word "failure" for those projects that don't meet their goal. Hell, just in writing this post, I repeatedly had to consciously stop myself from using the words "fail" or "failure" in describing projects that don't reach their goal. But, the commenter is right: those projects are not failed projects once you realize what Kickstarter really is: a platform to judge the market for products, and to build commitment and funding around them. If a project doesn't reach the goal, that's actually valuable market research, suggesting that if they had gone ahead, without going through the experience, they likely would have "failed."
So, in actuality, it makes sense to look at such projects and recognize that they were saved from a dismal failure, in which large sums of money may have been spent, but at the same time clarifying the market's reaction to a product before it's even been introduced. With so many people thinking of Kickstarter more as a store, than as a platform for supporting people trying to turn cool ideas into reality, it's important to be careful in how we choose our language. Putting up a Kickstarter project that doesn't reach its goal shouldn't be seen as a failure. It should be seen as a useful bit of data, which helps one avoid failure, and also to (hopefully) sharpen up their product and pitch so that the next time, it is more likely to be funded.
Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about how Kickstarter was incredibly valuable not only as a pre-sales tool but as a way to prove marketability for investors. It appears that even some in Hollywood are recognizing this. In a bit of a surprise move, Warner Bros. has allowed the folks from the critically acclaimed (but viewer-challenged) TV show Veronica Mars to launch a massive Kickstarter campaign to prove that there's demand for a Veronica Mars movie. They put together a cute, mostly in-character video to explain the details:
They need to hit $2 million to get the greenlight from Warner. The money will go into the budget of the film, which has the original actors and the show creator/writer returning (excitedly) to make this a reality after years of talking about the possibility but not having enough believers at Warner.
This is fascinating on a variety of levels. First, it serves as a simple reminder that Kickstarter works as a demand-confirmation tool. Second, and perhaps more interestingly, it suggests ways that traditional Hollywood can integrate with something like Kickstarter at times. While some of old world Hollywood likes to insist that Kickstarter could never be used to fund a "real" movie, it appears that some more progressive-thinking folks at Warner are willing to give this a shot. From show creator Rob Thomas' explanation:
Of course, Warner Bros. still owns Veronica Mars and we would need their blessing and cooperation to pull this off. Kristen and I met with the Warner Bros. brass, and they agreed to allow us to take this shot. They were extremely cool about it, as a matter of fact. Their reaction was, if you can show there’s enough fan interest to warrant a movie, we’re on board. So this is it. This is our shot. I believe it's the only one we've got. It's nerve-wracking. I suppose we could fail in spectacular fashion, but there's also the chance that we completely revolutionize how projects like ours can get made. No Kickstarter project ever has set a goal this high. It's up to you, the fans, now. If the project is successful, our plan is to go into production this summer and the movie will be released in early 2014.
It would appear that his nerves need not be wracked for all that long. Within just a few hours, many thousands of fans had jumped on board, and they'd already passed $1 million and were well on their way to $2 million, and probably significantly beyond that (there are still 30 days to go!)
Separately, one of the things that doesn't get that much attention in crowdfunding campaigns is the importance of having cool rewards, and it looks like the Veronica Mars crew did a good job. They have a lot of options, with the lowest one being getting a script of the movie on the day it comes out. Surprisingly, they're also promising a digital download "a few days" after the movie's theatrical debut. That will be interesting to see in practice, since theaters have balked (stupidly) at showing films that have too small a "window" between theatrical release and digital release. Hopefully theaters aren't so short-sighted in this case, and will realize that many Veronica Mars fans will likely want to see the film on the big screen even if they're getting the digital version.
Other reward levels include the standard stuff like t-shirts, DVDs and posters (some of them signed), as well as more advanced options like voicemail or video greetings from the actors (Kristen Bell costs more, not surprisingly), hanging out on the set, a role in the movie, tickets to the premiere and more. What's impressive is that most of the high end items are sold out already -- within just a few hours of the launch.
Of course, this makes you wonder why Warner Bros. was so unsure that there would be a market for this movie in the first place. Still, kudos to the studio for being willing to jump on board with this kind of experiment.
Rikuo: about the Xbox One reveal - there were quite a few people watching the reveal live on their Xbox 360's, with their Kinect 1.0's attached...and everytime the Microsoft exec demonstrated a feature by saying "Xbox, TV" or whatever the viewer's Kinect 1.0 would pick up the voice command and respond accordingly...by pausing or stopping the stream and going to the TV mode. I find that hilarious I also find the concept of Kinect 2.0 hilarious. So if you've got a bunch of people on the couch watching a movie...don't move a muscle. Stare blankly. Don't move your arms at all or say anything, or the Kinect 2.0 will think you're giving it a command. If you move your arm back to point to the liquor cabinet to tell the wife to pour you a shot of whiskey, the Xbox One will think you're swiping silverscarcat: *Spies something interesting in the Crystal Ball* Well, that's interesting. I'm not sure what to think. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the guy, but considering what the gov't did, I support him in that endeavor, but this... Seems to go too far. dennis deems: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/22/1210687/-Obama-s-leak-freakout Best political cartoon ever? Top 10, surely Hey the green bars are back! Jay: Hmmm... Gonna have to hack my PSP... silverscarcat: I need a new battery for my PSP. :( It keeps shutting off if it's unplugged for more than 2-3 minutes, even on a full charge. Mike Masnick: green bars are back, and hopefully functioning better than before. :) silverscarcat: Oh look, AJ's having a cow and the internet tough guy is trying to be a stereotypical high school bully. *Rolls eyes* Hey, Mike, I know it's not in your nature to ban someone, but, damn, something needs to be done about this sometimes I think. Rikuo: unfortunately, nothing can be done. IP address block? Useless since either AJ is on a dynamic IP or he's on a static but using someone else's equipment. Username block? That would only add fuel to the "CENSORSHP" fire silverscarcat: Well, I think I'm going to leave for the day. That troll that plays the internet tough guy really should get laid, I think. It might help him think straight. Rikuo: holy fucking shit...I want to be this man http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/05/fios-customer-discovers-the-limits-of-unlimited-data-77-tb-in-month/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+arstechnica%2Findex+%28Ars+Technica+-+All+content%29 Warning - Home Server pornz on that link BentFranklin: in that article, where it describes his rack, what does 1u, 2u, 4u etc mean? Jeff: @Bent - 1U, 2U, 4U are units of measurement for server racks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rack_unit Dark Helmet: Hell, I"m just a silly tech services sales guy and I knew that...