Awesome Stuff: Getting Around On One Or Two Wheels And An Electric Motor

from the not-quite-a-hoverboard dept

For this week’s awesome stuff post, we’ve got three crowdfunding projects that involve new “electric” transportation devices that help folks get around.

  • First up, we’ve got The Derringer Electric Bike. Calling it an electric bike seems to undersell the Derringer, which is inspired by classic board track racers, which were more like motorcycles than bikes. Think of this as more like a beautifully designed, stylish moped.
    Of course, with beauty and style (and effectiveness) comes a hefty price tag. There’s a non-motorized one that runs $1,800, and then the actual electric bikes run between $3,500 and $6,500 depending on the model. At that price, as beautiful as they are, it seems like a tough sell. Indeed, so far it looks like only a single one (a $6,500 model) has been sold, making it quite unlikely that the Derringer will reach its $75,000 goal in about a week and a half.
  • If the Derringer isn’t your thing, but you still want an electric bike, you might want to check out the Riide, which looks much more like a standard every day bike, but has a fairly powerful electric motor and battery built-in. For an electric bike, it’s surprisingly lightweight, and gets speeds up to 20 mph (same as the Derringer above). And, the pitch video includes some poetry.
    These bikes are also a hell of a lot cheaper than the Derringer, coming in at $1,799. And while only 28 have been sold at the time I’m writing this it’s already enough for the Riide to have surpassed its target of $50,000, with still over a month to go.
  • Okay, okay. Enough with the bikes. Let’s get down to just a single wheel, and something that’s a bit further along the awesome spectrum. How about the Onewheel, which is sort of a skateboard-like device with a single giant wheel, electric motor along with gyroscopic and accelerometer sensors in the middle. The folks behind it claim that it was inspired by the hoverboard from Back to the Future, and whether or not that’s actually true, it certainly has a unique cool-factor to it. There are also a few comparisons to snowboarding or surfing, but on the pavement, and watching the video you can certainly see the similarities.
    These devices run between $1200 and $1800 depending on configuration and if you get in on various early bird deals. No matter what, they’re just under the target of $100,000 with over two weeks to go, meaning it will almost certainly get funded.

That’s it for this week. Head out and ride somewhere.

Also, the “favorites of the week” post has been on a bit of a hiatus over the holidays, and that’s continuing this weekend as well. Fear not, it will return soon.

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Comments on “Awesome Stuff: Getting Around On One Or Two Wheels And An Electric Motor”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Petty pirates conflating "file-sharing" with freedom.

No best of the week, eh? What a vacuum this site is becoming!

Typical week here at Techdirt. One should always note the lacks, and not just here, but Snowden is almost gone from the net and the NSA story is old news: all the dolts are now aware of living under surveillance. Some commenter here predicted that way back in June, but modesty forbids linking.

Anyhoo, this link from a far better site is interesting for the reality of “hacking” being no more than idle malicious kids too stupid to suspect they’re actually FBI patsies:

LulzSec, for those who need a quick recap, was an infamous hacking crew that ran riot across the web during its “50 days of Lulz” between May and June 2011. Its victims included Fox, Sony, FBI-affiliated security outfits such as Infragard and HB Gary Federal, the US Senate, the Arizona State Police, the CIA and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Most targets were entertainment firms opposing file-sharing, information security outfits it wanted to embarrass, or law enforcement agencies. Tactics ran from basic website-flooding attacks to defacement and site redirection. In some cases the group published stolen data from compromised websites.

Next: conflation of “file sharing” with freedom is pernicious and stupid, but central to Techdirt’s piratey notions:

We now know that we live in a total surveillance society, governments are printing money, going broke, manufacturing consent and lying about nearly everything; while quasi-governmental agencies all over the world are now asserting they have the authority to overturn legal process and basically dictate everybody else’s business.

Which is fine! Truism but needs said often. BUT then the conflation payload is slipped in as if logical conclusion that way to fight tyranny is to steal content:

This script is playing out almost verbatim what we wrote only three years ago in “First They Came For The File Sharing Domains”.
Note that Mike too has this bit on “file sharing” under “Pharmacy” headline with corporate villain that no one can support, so that readers are prepared to accept every countering assertion. It’s Propaganda Placement 101, a cheap and dishonest ploy.

TOTAL non-sequitur to at all link stealing of empty entertainments with fight for freedom from corporate tyranny. As I’ve mentioned now and then, not often enough because obvious to me: so long as you’re consuming the CRAP that Hollywood produces, it’s YOU who are consumed and your mind filled with CRAP! Watching television is particularly bad, doesn’t even require effort to snag the content, only to drop your fat rear into the deep groove on couch and stop thinking. That’s all Hollywood wants or needs from you, kids, that you sit like a lump while they pump myths into your brain. STEAL THEIR CRAP AND YOU’RE NOT FREE: THEY OWN YOU.

Next topic relates: Hollywood IS doing fine in spite of your piratey efforts!

Mike (or some bot: can’t tell because so lifeless) wrote: “[Way to] evaluate the risk and threat of copyright infringement would be investment analysts. Their only stake in the game is whether or not the company is going to do well or poorly.” — As always here, Mike and the weenies care only about money: show NO concern for any wider aspects. It’s total weenie logic, like saying that if your DND party survives an attack by thirty gnolls, then proves thirty-five gnolls would be no problem! — Clearly Hollywood would get yet more in absence of piracy. Typical Techdirt omission leaves out the decades fighting to support copyright in face of rampant piracy, and if anything, shows that most people recognize that if they consume entertainments then they’re morally obliged to pay the pittance. Nor would even real correlation at all justify the immorality of stealing content, let alone the stupidity of consuming CRAP. But Techdirt fanboys want to be told that it’s okay to steal content, it’s practically their right to do so, that they’re not at all harming the industry, only a bunch of fat cats may be less well off, no laborers who don’t get work because marginal productions aren’t made when will only be stolen.

Mike has been doing this schtick SIXTEEN years! Yet he’s not a thorn in Hollywood’s side, nor even laughingstock: I bet completely unknown! His “core concept” is “compete with free” meaning supposedly new methods to get money providing major entertainments such as movies over teh internets. His KEY and NECESSARY condition is that “sunk (or fixed) costs” have long since been recovered, but anyone in Hollywood would first say: “WAIT A SECOND. HOW DID I GET THE MONEY BACK AND WHY DON’T I JUST KEEP DOING THAT?” Mike’s notions are COMPLETE non-starters, wouldn’t even get a phone call returned.

Not even outline of new ways to recover those pesky “sunk (or fixed) costs” — though PROMISED seven years ago. By only #10 comment it was objected:

There’s no business in the world that doesn’t include recovering the cost of the initial investment into its products’ pricing. After enough sales, the price drops toward the marginal cost, but if somebody else can skip the initial investment recovery period entirely, and head straight for the marginal costing strategy (as in the case of digital distribution), the model really is broken.

To which Mike DODGES at #53:

I disagree. I hope that soon I’ll be able to show why there will always be the opportunity to recover the fixed costs (though, it still depends on execution, which doesn’t always happen).

Yeah, SOON, Mike. Was a lie when written, and still a lie.

Mike is consistent in openly advocating Megaupload’s grifting “business model”, that’s the REAL example: “file sharing” pirates that can ignore “sunk (or fixed) costs” DO in fact “skip the initial investment recovery”.

That’s Mike Masnick’s notion of “competing with free”. The only visible result of Ivy League education and sixteen years of re-writing.

But, OH, how many times has he linked to “Streisand Effect”?

out_of_the_blue says:

Typical Techdirt week continues with defending mega-pirate, trails off into ambiguity.

Another frequently asserted reason for PIRACY is typically circular logic: you little pirates use the rampant stealing to justify more! “We’re all gonna steal ya blind ’cause GOOD people share, and you MEANIES who make what we watch just wanna get your MONEY back!”

Ongoing support for mega-pirate Kim Dotcom who got tens of millions from infringed content hosted on pirate “file sharing” mega-site Megaupload. In transparent ploy (by both Kim Dotcom and Mike Masnick) to shift topic:

Dotcom focuses much more on the NSA revelations, discussing how it’s had such a negative impact on the tech industry.

HA! What a whopper! As if Dotcom is high-tech leader and not simply grifting off other’s works! Here’s my comment title that easily refutes both Mike and Dotcom: NSA evil does not mean Kim Dotcom isn’t a criminal TOO.

I use magic of copy-paste to again elaborate my views on Mike’s Dotcom defense:

Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%

BTW: link there rather than the study itself because The Register has an entirely different slant on Megaupload from Mike.

How Symbiotic Piracy Works, and why it’s immoral

Where Mike sez: uploader + file host + links site + downloader = perfectly “legal” symbiotic piracy.

) Content doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, someone has to labor to create it. Real $100M movies, unlike the one Mike casually made up for his false example, require thousands of hours of actual physical labor, not least in coordinating the labors of perhaps hundreds. That’s up-front money which must be recovered before profit begins, with carrying costs piling up all the time.

) Then Uploader gets hands on the distribution media, alone decides that the work-product of hundreds of people should be “shared”; he ignores printed and in-content visual statements that it’s a copyrighted work, intentionally strips off measures meant to prevent copying, and uploads it to:

) File Host, which must pretend utter ignorance of content even while using it to attract eyeballs to third-party advertisements on-site. This of course is the key illegality because the least knowledge that data is actually infringed content while distributing it even with indirect income from advertising is commercial infringement, which even Mike and his fanboys acknowledge is criminal.

) So Links Sites (which also get money from advertising with the draw of infringed content for free) are the cut-out between knowledge of data on the drives and knowledge that it’s infringing. Note that Megaupload did not index its own files. That’s to avoid the key connection. — And of course it’s a lie. Had anyone at Megaupload glanced into almost any file hosted, they’d have knowledge of infringed content. — At this point Mike and fanboys yell: “But no one can possibly know!” — No, kids, so strong a presumption can be made that files of an entire recent movie IS infringing content that any file host would be legally obligated to remove it. So complete ignorance is claimed.

) Downloader now feels beyond the reach of legalities, doesn’t worry about the morality, downloads data fully expecting it to be content of that recent $100M movie, and is very rarely disappointed in that expectation.

So long as steps in the chain are separate, all the criminals involved can claim they’re just inside of “legal”. But of course all take care to hide identity (often with proxies) and make various excuses to ease conscience, because they’ve guilty knowledge of removing some income from the actual creators of content. The excuses are immoral. The grifters who didn’t put a cent into creating, but only divert the rightful revenue stream to themselves in this symbiotic piracy, are not only immoral but criminal too.

Next the ongoing disturbing ambiguity of Techdirt’s non-position on TPP as in this headline:

Does The Fast Track Authority Bill Guarantee That Corporate Sovereignty Will Be One-Sided And Unfair


Readers want you to state clear and unequivocal conclusion up front (Writing 101: FIRST sentence is crucial to grab attention; that headline could be in textbooks for how NOT to do it), for you to boil down complex topics with at least self-styled expertise, to justify with argument, and if convincing they’ll be persuaded, or confirmed, or put off by your stoopid views. You do NONE of those! — I’d bet so few Techdirt readers support TPP that your weenie-ing pusillanimity fails to serve your own apparent interests. Definitely dis-serves nearly all readers who after reading your piece don’t know that TPP is corporatist globalist crap!

SO, WHY DO YOU FAIL TO STATE A POSITION? — It’s impossible from TPP pieces on Techdirt to reach any conclusion than that Mike and minions are ambivalent at best: they seem to want to adjust details NOT stop it entire, to have more Public Relations “transparency” of negotiations so TPP is better accepted, snipe at USTR to place blame on secondary actor, but avoid how will empower globalist corporations, and they imply that it’s sure to be put in place regardless.

It’s just plain weird to be ambivalent about that globalist trade deal. — And it’s not that Mike and minions haven’t stated the evil of it, they just never actually get to FIRM and CONSISTENTLY opposing! So it’s WEIRD LACK OF OBVIOUS AND I THINK POPULAR CONCLUSION.

WALL OF TEXT. Stand in awe of my giant prolixity!

But, kids, I believe that I’m creating too much interest here and certainly wasting too much time teasing you. It’s a vice to be amused by ankle-biters chewing futilely on shoes. So I’ll be moseying along soon. — You’ll MISS me when I’m gone! — You’ve MISSED me entirely while I’m here! Never got near. Your endless vulgar ad hom even in advance of my comments on a topic, your outright lies about me, your hateful little rants, your imitating my screen name (even on other sites!) to gin up more hate, your wacky pirate assertions, your inability to deal with substance, your stupid questions trying to wear me down, your censoring of my comments as if you’re sole arbiters of opinion, your wallowing in violent video games and other mindless entertainments like “sports”, not even Timmy’s alcohol-fueled text streams, have ever affected my coming or going, only amuse — exasperate at most.

You Techdirt fanboy-trolls are truly like ankle-biters who yap silly little heads off as a cat strolls by, and when it’s out of sight march around proudly certain you drove it off. It’s cute, but it ain’t reality. — And as said before, wears on my conscience to tease even you who deserve it.

And now back to my study of this Gallup Poll. By which I mean a stripper. [One more brand new pun you can steal, you little thieves, you.]

Ninja (profile) says:

The trolling is strong in this article.

Ahem. I like the Riide one. I’m looking for a bike that is both light and can help me pedal for good parts of the road while reusing the energy from my pedalingand breaking. My main issue is with all the ups and downs we have here. Quite frankly I don’t like to pedal on steep roads =/

The one wheeled board seems pretty awesome as well. I wonder if you can stand on it like the swegway?

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