record

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5882940/the-best-sites-to-raise-money-and-get-your-ideas-off-the-ground

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground If you have a brilliant new idea for an mobile app, a handy gadget, a smartphone case that does something cool, an album you want to produce, or even a comic book you want to publish, it’s never been easier to get your idea in front of a lot of people and raise money to make it a reality. There are dozens of free and cheap sites designed to boost new ideas, but not all of them are best for your idea. Here’s how to pick the best one for you.

Sites like Kickstarter and many others all cater to people with ideas they believe can make it big, but who need money to get them off the ground. The community supports the idea, everyone chips in, and with luck and enough interest and the right amount of money, the product gets made and the contributors usually get first cut or a special perk. Still, even though Kickstarter gets a lot of press, it’s not necessarily the best one for your idea.

Photo remixed with an original by dinadesign/Shutterstock.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For The Most Attention: Kickstarter

Kickstarter is the major player in this space, and for good reason. The service gets a lot of media attention, and even though the majority of Kickstarter projects don’t go anywhere, it’s become the go-to destination for anyone looking to crowd-fund their projects thanks to a few high-profile projects that managed to raise a lot of money. It’s not the biggest crowd-funding community, and it’s not even the one with the best track record, but it’s incredibly easy to use, popular with angel investors and people looking for the next big idea to invest in and get behind, and well organized. Idea creators can set up their profiles for free, founders can pledge as much or as little as they choose, and no money changes hands until time runs out or the project is fully-funded. If the project is fully funded, Kickstarter takes 5% off the top, and the rest goes to the inventor or creator to make their idea happen.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For App-Builders, Game Designers, and Developers: IndieGoGo

IndieGoGo is actually larger than Kickstarter, and more people there use it for more types of projects. The site takes 4% off the top of your fundraising if you reach your funding goal, and encourages creators and developers to offer perks to the community for funding their projects. Unlike some of its competition, IndieGoGo also has its doors open to charities and non-profits. The site is particularly popular with software and app developers, although all sorts of creative projects are up on the site for funding, including documentary and independant films, education projects, and international aid projects. IndieGoGo also has the benefit of being a global site, available to users around the world.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Inventors and Gadget Creators: Quirky

Quirky has an excellent track record, and some of our favorite gadgets started as Quirky ideas. The process of getting your idea in front of the Quirky community is a bit more involved than at other sites. You submit your idea, the community weighs in first on whether or not it’s an idea that could be made into an actual product before it goes in front of the world for fundraising. That’s the key, while other sites focus on creative endeavors, most Quirky projects are tangible products that can be manufactured and sold. The Quirky community is active and engaged in idea building and product design and development, and a lot goes on long before the idea ever gets on the site for presale fundraising. Pricing is on a sliding scale—people who get in early can get lower prices than people who get in later, and once the product is made, Quirky can work to manufacture it themselves, or work with a major retail partner to get it on store shelves everywhere.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Musicians: Bandcamp

We touched on this topic a bit in our previous story on how to release music online so music-lovers can get to it, but while SoundCloud was one of our favorite options for releasing your music for free, allowing people to remix it, and comment on it, Bandcamp is another great solution for musicians looking to set up a free storefront on the web to allow people to buy and download their music directly. Artists and fans both love Bandcamp, and the service handles the entire payment platform, from set-your-own-price albums and songs to artists with a mix of free and paid songs in their discography. Artists can also sell merchandise through their stores, and Bandcamp takes a slice off the top depending on the artist’s sales. Fans and music lovers on the other hand get a social platform where they can follow and interact with their favorite artists, get alerts when new music is released, and discover new artists through their friends.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Crafty Types: Etsy

Crafty types are already well aware of Etsy and how the platform works. When people who made their own hand-made goods, arts, and custom crafts wanted an online storefront that catered more to their needs than a general auction site like eBay, Etsy was born. The site has dozens of categories, including clothing, art, jewelry, household accessories, and more. While most people know Etsy as a craft-lovers haven, the site is also home to a number of stores that manufacture products you wouldn’t associate with “arts and crafts,” like wall decals, custom motorcycle helmets, and even edible crafts like homemade cookies and beef jerky. Where other similar sites help you get seed money for an idea, Etsy is more of a traditional store, meaning you have to have your idea off the ground and your product ready for sale—even if it’s a single item—before you can sell it.

The Best Sites to Raise Money and Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

For Global Users: RocketHub

Many of these sites limit their membership to users in the United States, but RocketHub is one of the largest global communities dedicated to crowd-funding new ideas. RocketHub combines a traditional crowd-funding site where individuals can promote and raise money for their own ideas and pet projects with a funding bank where people with inspired ideas can connect with sponsors, non-profits, and funding groups who are willing to share some cash with a particularly motivated or passionate individual. The service works much like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo—sign-ups are free, and the site takes a 4% cut.


Different crowd-funding sites have different goals and different audiences. Depending on the type of idea you have and the audience you want to reach, you have an array of sites to choose from, and this is just the beginning. For example, if you have a random request or want to get the crowd’s help in funding a life event like a wedding or a vacation, you can try GoGetFunding, and if you’re an industrial designer, Yanko Design is a great resource for like-minded designers.

Whichever site you choose to get your ideas off the ground, make sure it’s one where the community is aligned with and supportive of your ideas, and you’ll have no trouble raising the funds needed to make it a reality. Have you used any of these sites to crowd-fund a project or idea? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882869/even-after-shutting-down-limewire-cant-catch-a-break

Even After Shutting Down, LimeWire Can't Catch a BreakLimeWire has been kaput as a file-sharing service since October but that hasn’t stopped its legal woes. Now, after settling with the RIAA to the tune of $105 million, the MPAA and a host of indie music labels have filed lawsuits against the company as well. Talk about beating a dead horse.

Six studios—Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, Comedy Partners, Disney, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Brothers—have filed suit, citing the court’s summary judgement in the RIAA case as basis for their claims. In that case, the court concluded that LimeWire “intentionally encouraged direct infringement.” Now, the court will have to decide LimeWire’s culpability in the illicit trade of movies and TV shows as well.

In addition, a group of independent record labels are arguing that, because of the same summary judgement, that they too are owed $105 million. There’s no word yet on how much the MPAA is asking for in damages, but if its anything near what it enjoy threatening the common user with, LimeWire’s going to need to find some deeper pockets. [Hollywood Reporter via Techdirt]

Image: Pakhnyushcha / Shutterstock

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Hospitals Are Using Confidential Medical Records To Target High-Paying Patients

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/hospitals-are-using-confidential-medical-records-to-target-high-paying-patients-2012-2


skin-cancer-screening

Hospitals are increasingly milling their patients’ confidential medical records to target their promotional mailings for services, reported Phil Galewitz of USA Today.

It’s not illegal, but the practice doesn’t sit well with consumer advocacy groups who point out that many health care providers are choosing to ping patients with better insurance coverage.

That creates a sort of indirect discrimination, as hospitals make it harder for consumers with less insurance to learn about services they may very well need.

To target the ads, hospitals determine the likelihood that patients would need certain services based on age, income and insurance status. Hospitals have said they target patients with private insurance because the companies tend to pay higher rates than government-backed plans like Medicare and Medicaid.

The mailings also advertise a variety of tests, such as screenings for cancers and cholesterol, which are generally more expensive.

As record numbers of Americans go without health insurance, hospitals targeting consumers who are more capable of shelling out money for services has been an inevitable outcome, along with soaring health insurance premiums (Read why the rich are building their own hospitals.)

To make matters worse, employers are also reducing health insurance benefits in the workplace.

As we recently reported, one in five Americans are experiencing difficulty paying off their medical debt, while 25 percent have considered filing for bankruptcy because of rising medical bills. 

Though targeted mailings might place others without insurance at a disadvantage, hospital officials insist they target patients who pay more to make enough profit to serve everyone.

Now learn 6 ways to arm yourself against rising health insurance costs >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

When Obama Runs For Re-Election, This Is The Chart He Will Use

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-when-obama-runs-for-re-election-this-is-the-chart-he-will-use-2012-2

We’ve run a version of this chart a few times, but after today’s jobs number, it looks even more stark…

Obama’s monthly jobs record is WAY better than what it was in the months before he took office.

In every commercial, he can just contrast his tenure with the period before it, and remind people how much better things are now.

Also worth noting that the 8.3% unemployment rate is the lowest is since Obama’s first month in office.

UPDATE: Obama used the chart!

chart of the day, unemployment rate, job growth, feb 3 2012

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012 news No Comments

Apple still owns tablet market, but Android narrows the gap

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/26/strategy-analytics-apple-still-owns-tablet-market-but-android/

Strategy Analytics has come out with another report on the state of today’s tablet market, which, not surprisingly, remains dominated by Apple. Cupertino’s iOS comprised about 58 percent of the global slate market during Q4 2011 — well ahead of Android’s record high 39 percent share, but down from the 68 percent it commanded during the final quarter of 2010. Android, in fact, has seen quite a jump over the past year, with total shipments reaching 105 million units during the last quarter, up from just 3.1 million last year (Apple, by comparison, shipped 15.4 million iPads during Q4, versus the 7.3 million it shipped last year). On a global level, the tablet market continues to blossom, with total shipments reaching an all-time high of 26.8 million units last quarter, representing a whopping 150 percent increase over last year. Read the full report at the source link below, or head past the break for a more succinct press release.

Continue reading Strategy Analytics: Apple still owns tablet market, but Android narrows the gap

Strategy Analytics: Apple still owns tablet market, but Android narrows the gap originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Jan 2! 012 03:4 5:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Apple Insider  |  sourceStrategy Analytics  | Email this | Comments

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Thursday, January 26th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

37 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, 5.2 million Macs, 15.4 million iPods

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/24/apple-q1-2012-iphone-ipad-ipod-mac-hardware-sales/

We touched on the numbers in our report on Apple’s Q1 earnings, but the company’s throwing out a lot of “record” figures so we thought we’d take a moment to focus on just how its hardware sales stack up. The standout number is, of course, the 37.04 million iPhones sold during the quarter, which is up 128 percent from the same quarter a year ago (and up from 17 million in the previous quarter, a jump of 117 percent). That notably puts Apple back ahead of Samsung, which sold a total of 35 million smartphones in its most recent quarter. And as if that wasn’t enough, Apple’s Tim Cook also said on the company’s earnings call that it could have sold even more if it had more supply.

iPad sales also set a new record with 15.43 million units sold during the quarter, which is a 111 percent jump from the 7.3 million sold a year ago, and a 39 percent increase from the 11.1 million moved in Q4 2011. Once again, however, iPods are the one category that continues to decline in the face of the growth of smartphones. Apple sold a total of 15.4 million iPods — over half of which were iPod touches — which represents a 21 percent decline from the 19.4 million sold a year ago. The holiday shopping season did boost sales considerably from the 6.6 million sold in the previous quarter, though.

Mac sales were also on the upswing, totaling 5.2 million units — a 26 percent increase year-over-year. Breaking things down further, that translates to 1.48 million desktops (including iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro), and 3.7 million laptops (including the basic MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro). As for the company’s “h! obby,” t he Apple TV, it rang up 1.4 million in sales for the quarter, and 2.8 million for the 2011 fiscal year. Fans of charts can get their fix after the break.

Continue reading Apple’s Q1 hardware sales: 37 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, 5.2 million Macs, 15.4 million iPods

Apple’s Q1 hardware sales: 37 million iPhones, 15.43 million iPads, 5.2 million Macs, 15.4 million iPods originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 24 Jan 2012 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceApple, Data summary (PDF)  | Email this | Comments

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

What Is SOPA? [Sopa]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5877000/what-is-sopa

What Is SOPA?If you hadn’t heard of SOPA before, you probably have by now: Some of the internet’s most influential sites—Reddit and Wikipedia among them—are going dark to protest the much-maligned anti-piracy bill. But other than being a very bad thing, what is SOPA? And what will it mean for you if it passes?

SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress…

House Judiciary Committee Chair and Texas Republican Lamar Smith, along with 12 co-sponsors, introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act on October 26th of last year. Debate on H.R. 3261, as it’s formally known, has consisted of one hearing on November 16th and a “mark-up period” on December 15th, which was designed to make the bill more agreeable to both parties. Its counterpart in the Senate is the Protect IP Act (S. 968). Also known by it’s cuter-but-still-deadly name: PIPA. There will likely be a vote on PIPA next Wednesday; SOPA discussions had been placed on hold but will resume in February of this year.

…that would grant content creators extraordinary power over the internet…

The beating heart of SOPA is the ability of intellectual property owners (read: movie studios and record labels) to effectively pull the plug on foreign sites against whom they have a copyright claim. If Warner Bros., for example, says that a site in Italy is torrenting a copy of The Dark Knight, the studio could demand that Google remove that site from its search results, that PayPal no longer accept payments to or from that site, that ad services pull all ads and finances from it, and—most dangerously—that the site’s ISP prevent people from even going there.

…which would go almost comedically unchecked…

Perhaps the most galling thing about SOPA in its original construction is that it let IP owners take these actions without a single court appearance or judicial sign-off. All it required was a single letter claiming a “good faith belief” that the target site has infringed on its content. Once Google or PayPal or whoever received the quarantine notice, they would have five days to either abide or to challenge the claim in court. Rights holders still have the power to request that kind of blockade, but in the most recent version of the bill the five day window has softened, and companies now would need the court’s permission.

The language in SOPA implies that it’s aimed squarely at foreign offenders; that’s why it focuses on cutting off sources of funding and traffic (generally US-based) rather than directly attacking a targeted site (which is outside of US legal jurisdiction) directly. But that’s just part of it.

…to the point of potentially creating an “Internet Blacklist”…

Here’s the other thing: Payment processors or content providers like Visa or YouTube don’t even need a letter shut off a site’s resources. The bill’s “vigilante” provision gives broad immunity to any provider who proactively shutters sites it considers to be infringers. Which means the MPAA just needs to publicize one list of infringing sites to get those sites blacklisted from the internet.

Potential for abuse is rampant. As Public Knowledge points out, Google could easily take it upon itself to delist every viral video site on the internet with a “good faith belief” that they’re hosting copyrighted material. Leaving YouTube as the only major video portal. Comcast (an ISP) owns NBC (a content provider). Think they might have an interest in shuttering some rival domains? Under SOPA, they can do it without even asking for permission.

…while exacting a huge cost from nearly every site you use daily…

SOPA also includes an “anti-circumvention” clause, which holds that telling people how to work around SOPA is nearly as bad as violating its main provisions. In other words: if your status update links to The Pirate Bay, Facebook would be legally obligated to remove it. Ditto tweets, YouTube videos, Tumblr or WordPress posts, or sites indexed by Google. And if Google, Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, etc. let it stand? They face a government “enjoinment.” They could and would be shut down.

The resources it would take to self-police are monumental for established companies, and unattainable for start-ups. SOPA would censor every online social outlet you have, and prevent new ones from emerging.

…and potentially disappearing your entire digital life…

The party line on SOPA is that it only affects seedy off-shore torrent sites. That’s false. As the big legal brains at Bricoleur point out, the potential collateral damage is huge. And it’s you. Because while Facebook and Twitter have the financial wherewithal to stave off anti-circumvention shut down notices, the smaller sites you use to store your photos, your videos, and your thoughts may not. If the government decides any part of that site infringes on copyright and proves it in court? Poof. Your digital life is gone, and you can’t get it back.

…while still managing to be both unnecessary and ineffective…

What’s saddest about SOPA is that it’s pointless on two fronts. In the US, the MPAA, and RIAA already have the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to request that infringing material be taken down. We’ve all seen enough “video removed” messages to know that it works just fine.

As for the foreign operators, you might as well be throwing darts at a tse-tse fly. The poster child of overseas torrenting, Pirate Bay, has made it perfectly clear that they’re not frightened in the least. And why should they be? Its proprietors have successfully evaded any technological attempt to shut them down so far. Its advertising partners aren’t US-based, so they can’t be choked out. But more important than Pirate Bay itself is the idea of Pirate Bay, and the hundreds or thousands of sites like it, as populous and resilient as mushrooms in a marsh. Forget the question of should SOPA succeed. It’s incredibly unlikely that it could. At least at its stated goals.

…but stands a shockingly good chance of passing…

SOPA is, objectively, an unfeasible trainwreck of a bill, one that willfully misunderstands the nature of the internet and portends huge financial and cultural losses. The White House has come out strongly against it. As have hundreds of venture capitalists and dozens of the men and women who helped build the internet in the first place. In spite of all this, it remains popular in the House of Representatives.

That mark-up period on December 15th, the one that was supposed to transform the bill into something more manageable? Useless. Twenty sanity-fueled amendments were flat-out rejected. And while the bill’s most controversial provision—mandatory DNS filtering—was thankfully taken off the table recently, in practice internet providers would almost certainly still use DNS as a tool to shut an accused site down.

…unless we do something about it.

The momentum behind the anti-SOPA movement has been slow to build, but we’re finally at a saturation point. Wikipedia, BoingBoing, WordPress, TwitPic: they’ll all be dark on January 18th. An anti-SOPA rally has been planned for tomorrow afternoon in New York. The list of companies supporting SOPA is long but shrinking, thanks in no small part to the emails and phone calls they’ve received in the last few months.

So keep calling. Keep emailing. Most of all, keep making it known that the internet was built on the same principles of freedom that this country was. It should be afforded to the same rights.


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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 news No Comments

One Of The Most Impressive Cases Of Efficiency Growth We’ve Ever Seen

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-one-of-the-most-impressive-cases-of-efficiency-growth-weve-ever-seen-2012-1

Airlines don’t deserve credit for much — they’re notoriously loss-making, bankruptcy-prone, and customer-aggravating.

But with oil prices elevated for much of the past decade, they have done a great job battling the need for more fuel.

The below chart shows the massive divergence over the past decade between traffic growth (as measured by passenger miles) and jet fuel demand.

Says Barclays

According to Airbus and CERA, although cumulative growth in air traffic has totaled roughly 45% since 2000, fuel consumed by the global fleet of aircraft is up less than 5% over the same period, as airlines have accelerated aircraft parking/retirements of older airplane models and ordered newer more efficient replacements at a record pace. Greater efficiency (i.e. load factors) and fleet renewal are at the heart of an airline’s competitiveness in a world where fuel is now an airline’s largest single operating cost; this became the case mid-last-decade for the first time since the late 1970’s US deregulation.

chart of the day, jet traffic vs. fuel consumption, jan 17 2012

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 news No Comments

This Is The Only Reason Album Sales Were Up Last Year

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/this-may-be-the-only-reason-the-music-industry-survived-last-year-2012-1


adele

For the first time since 2004, album sales are up, and nearly all the credit goes to Adele. Her sophomore album 21 sold nearly 6 million copies, completely dominating the industry and cheering music execs (for once). But given how dependent the industry was on one artist in 2011, is this news really that promising? Here, a guide:

Album sales were up?
Yes, though only slightly. Sales of complete albums in 2011 reached 330.6 million in the U.S., an increase of 1.3 percent over 2010, according to Nielsen. It’s the first uptick in sales since 2004 and Adele deserves much of the credit: Her 21 moved 5.82 million copies — the best one-year sales count since Usher’s Confessions sold 7.98 million in 2004. Her 2009 debut, 19, enjoyed a corresponding bump, selling nearly a million units in 2011 as well.

How significant is this for the music industry?
A one percent increase isn’t exactly something to write home about, says Ben Sisario at at The New York Times.  “Some businesses might call that level of growth flat.” But considering the past decade’s steady downward slide — revenue from recorded music fell 52 percent over the last 10 years — this is a relief. “For the beleaguered music industry, any positive news about sales is cause for celebration.”

How much did Adele dominate?
She sold 3.3 million more albums the year’s second-hi! ghest se ller, Michael Buble’s Christmas, and 3.7 million more than Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Adele spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard album charts in 2011, says Devon Maloney at Billboard, and 21 is the first album since 2005 to log 30 weeks of 100,000-plus sales. Her song “Rolling in the Deep” was the year’s best-selling single and the most-played song on the radio. Furthermore, 21 is the best-selling digital album of all time. Taken together, her two albums amounted to 2 percent of total record sales, a nearly unprecedented total for one artist. Without her efforts, says Daniel Kreps at SPIN, record sales would actually be down. So while Adele is being hailed as “the savior of music,” says Tyler Coates at Black Book, “the industry is still tanking.”

What about the digital sales?
Digital music sales rose 8.5 percent, says Coates, while sales of complete digital albums rose 20 percent. Though such boosts seem like a good sign for the industry, digital sales offer the lowest profit margin of all music sales. CD sales, which deliver the greatest profit margin, were, unsurprisingly, down six percent.

This post originally appeared at The Week.

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Sunday, January 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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