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back to article Kickstarter project says open source can blast Death Star costs

Barack Obama's deluded decision to deny a petition asking the USA to build a Death Star has been challenged by the wisdom of the crowd, in the form of a Kickstarter project seeking £543 quadrillion ($US850qn) to design and build the planet-destroying artificial moonlet. $US850qn is the price tag for a Death Star mentioned in the …

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Oddly enough I have to do some write up on kickstarter for my OU course... this looks like the perfect project to base my assignment on, so much more interesting than Elite.......

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Holmes

Look at "reverse auction charity shares" for a different angle

The fundamental problem with Kickstarter, IndyGoGo, and Crowdrise (insofar as I have been able to assess them) is that there is NO project management there. My suggestion is for a more structured approach under a kind of charity brokerage (reorganized SourceForge?) or a magazine publisher (does Byte still exist?), where they help in at least three ways (1) Project preparation in terms of resources that will be required, (2) Specifications of the amount of testing that will be done, and (3) criteria to assess the degree of success. Kickstarter is only about 1/3 of the way to being a kind of virtual stock market for charitable projects. Basically primitive and not yet interesting.

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I'm not sure that software costs are necessarily a primary concern but other than that, the plans and schedule seem much better developed and more realistic than most of the stuff on kickstarter. Good luck with the course David.

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Re: Look at "reverse auction charity shares" for a different angle

Do these small garage start up projects really need project managers? There is a massive precedent from garage start ups for why they exactly do not need project managers to come in from the outside of their vision of what they want to do.

There may be a need to hire people with other skills such as technicians, developers, HR, finance, (or project management) and they can bring those in as and when needed. Project management is a bad name anyway; it should be called disaster avoidance.

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Re: Look at "reverse auction charity shares" for a different angle

"The fundamental problem with Kickstarter, IndyGoGo, and Crowdrise (insofar as I have been able to assess them) is that there is NO project management there."

Actually, I thought that was one of the greatest strengths. Granted 90% of stuff on there is spam, but 90% of the stuff on eBay is a con too, yet it still works out okay.

Take the Defense Grid 2 kickstarter, for example. The company behind it had a recent successful DG title (with several successful DLC). It had just handed off CS:GO to Valve. It had plans for DG2. But it couldn't get funding, probably because someone looked at "criteria to assess the degree of success" and decided against it. They got SOME money from investors but not enough. They had AMD giving away LOTS of graphics cards in support of the kickstarter, and sponsors from people like Razer and other gaming outfits to push the game through. And *still* they couldn't raise enough, and had to do a kickstarter to get the project rolling.

Kickstarter isn't for those things that have a 100% proven market with secured funding and extreme project management. It's for those projects who just can't take off but have a good idea. That comes with a certain amount of "caveat emptor", of course, but leads to great things. I have supported three projects on there: DG2, Elite:Dangerous (because it was cheap and they've been trying to fund a decent Elite game for DECADES now and made no progress with traditional investors), and DiceCards (a pack of cards with a rendered image on them that depicts various dice, spinners, tokens, etc. that you can use in lots of games - no more carrying around 20 odd-shaped dice or missing that vital stupid dice that has weird probabilities, just draw a card and you're done). Two are major commercial projects that just couldn't get the funding despite having the proof of prior project management and delivery. The other is a guy who's had a wacky idea that he's sent to the printer's and wondered if anyone else used.

Kickstarter is actually more hilarious for the stupid things people back, than the sensible things people don't. Hell, there's a project on there that's got hundreds of thousands for a "programmable" LED torch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Look at "reverse auction charity shares" for a different angle

Why?

I have supported 3 projects that have successfully reached conclusion and my product was delivered exactly as promised.

The whole point of it is to allow people to get funding to reach the goal of producing their idea. Exactly how you think this doesn't work is beyond me.

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Coat

Re: Look at "reverse auction charity shares" for a different angle

Actually just been looking at the CV of a PM who may be suitable for this. A A. Skywalker - he put great emphasis on his people management skills.

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Holmes

Re: Look at "reverse auction charity shares" for a different angle

Also replying to the comment about inexperienced project managers of small projects not needing help. Your experience managing successful projects is precisely why most projects NEED the help. I'm not saying that the 'charity brokerage' should try to them what to do, but they need help in knowing how to do it. You were able to do that three times in a row, and in the context of a charity brokerage, that record of success should be a strong aspect of your proposal for any future project. Look at the dead projects on SourceForge to see what happens to most of them.

Good ideas are important, but execution is MORE important, and MUCH harder. Planning isn't everything either, but it helps.

Or take it from the other perspective, which was mentioned in some of the replies. How can I tell whether or not a project is going to use my donation for a good purpose? I am NOT an expert--but the managers of a charity brokerage would be such experts.

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Joke

It only takes 20 bored millionaires to succeed..

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This post has been deleted by its author

I can see the history books of the future: "The first commercial open-source space station was developed by accident, but has gone on to be forked many times, each base claiming it is truer to the original spec than the rest. They are almost impervious to rebel attacks due to a lack of up-to-date documentation."

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Go

Many Bothans cried at the state of these plans.

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Imperial Comment #1

"Fork off!" exclaimed Lord Vader. "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

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Wonder if it would run on Windows?

or better yet:

Control the blast ray from the death star? There's an app for that...

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Alien

Sirius - The Disclosure Project

It looks as though Steven Greer has set a trend. He apparently raised $50k on kickstarter towards a film about making contact with extra-terrestrials. They will be helping us with secret technologies, anti-gravity, free energy from space, telepathy... What more could anyone want?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/261360616/sirius

Sadly I know someone who actually believes all this stuff.

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Re: Sirius - The Disclosure Project

I once had an in-depth conversation with someone who genuinely believed that a "crystal" placed in their house by a "healer" helped improve their fortunes and reduce illness within the household.

I also witnessed a "reiki healer" who put a woman on a stool, got her to close her eyes, and the woman "saw colours!".

I'd actually prefer for things like this to be funded by people "who believe", rather than paid for either by myself indirectly (the reiki class was part of a residential weekend for sufferers of a condition my ex-wife had). That way, a kind of natural selection will take place until they either learn about the world or they are bankrupt. By comparison to some of the things I've witnessed, all of that is pretty tame, though.

People are dumb, on average, and half of them are dumber than that.

(On that note, I just got off the phone to a Microsoft customer service rep who told me that my school's volume licensing hasn't yet been activated on the correct accounts because "someone didn't spell 'administrator' in your email correctly in the database", which begs two questions: 1) why was someone typing in my email given the automated junk I've been going through for several weeks which has the correct spelling all over it and 2) why can't someone who works at Microsoft in the volume licensing department spell - of all things - administrator?)

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Coat

Re: Sirius - The Disclosure Project

why can't someone who works at Microsoft in the volume licensing department spell - of all things - administrator?

How well do you spell big words that aren't in your native language. Or, since Hindi uses a different alphabet, even in the same alphabet?

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Mushroom

Open source death star?

A New Hope would have been a lot shorter and rather more dull if the empire had willingly given the plans away.

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Meh

Re: Open source death star?

Hard to imagine how they expected the plans to remain secret at all when the construction site can be seen from the next star system.

Actually, now that I come to think about it, there was a lot of stuff in that film which in retrospect, seems a little far fetched, take Luke for example, grows up on a Sahara like planet with two suns that's so hot and dry that his uncle can run an economically viable business farming moisture, Yet Luke drives an open top car?

Personally, I'd have gone for something more enclosed, with shade and air conditioning and probably a minibar, so I was less likely to turn into beef jerky when I popped down the garage for 4 pints of Bantha milk.

Still, that's probably why I ended up in IT while Luke shagged a princess saved the Galaxy.

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Boffin

Re: Open source death star?

>Actually, now that I come to think about it, there was a lot of stuff in that film which in retrospect, seems a little far fetched...

You don't say!

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Coat

Re: Open source death star?

>>Still, that's probably why I ended up in IT while Luke shagged a princess<<

Sister, SISTER

Or are you thinking of Anakin

Mine's the long flowing black cloak and the matching black helmet

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Re: Open source death star?

There was plenty of time before he discovered their family history...

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Happy

Re: Open source death star?

"Sister, SISTER"

Presumably that's why he had it in strikeout. A reference to all the bandwagon jumping spinoffs written after the first film that ended up with egg on their faces (and in rather dubious legal territory in many jurisdictions).

I still reckon that George did it deliberately. Enough bait to get people to jump to the wrong conclusions followed up with a massive bitchslap to the freeloaders.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Open source death star?

>>Still, that's probably why I ended up in IT while Luke shagged a princess<<

>Sister, SISTER

Incest is best!

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Pirate

not to mention...

That'll sort out any future rogue asteroid / comet / dinosaur killer problems, as well as giving North Korea a rousing raspberry.

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Re: not to mention...

Did anyone check if the satellite NK launched was a mini deathstar?

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Re: not to mention...

Did anyone check if the satellite NK launched was a mini deathstar?

It was, but they didn't cover the exhaust vent.

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Linux

They missed out on the perfect design when their space station failed to resemble a penguin pushing a vacuum.

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Joke

It transforms into one - have you not seen SpaceBalls?

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Coat

Naw, it won't fly.

It has round edges after all. Apple is most certainly going to want to have their fingers in that pie.

Ok, ok, I'm going.

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All jokes aside could this be the way that we eventually get a working station on the moon??

Someone puts the idea on kickstarter and shed loads of cash arrive from private enterprise and obligatory bored millionaires.

Would be interesting to see it happen!

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Anonymous Coward

seems to me

that the big problem is going to be how to mine sufficint resources out of this planet without it losing gravity (although that may help with resource movement into space of course). The open source nature of the hardware and software is probably just details (apart from the main reactor of course)

I think I would rather fly a tie-fighter, or build an R2 that could tune my car :)

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Mushroom

But how much...

do you have to pledge for the right to aim it at the planet of your choice?

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Proof Positive

That if enough people want something to happen, we can make it happen!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Proof Positive

aka "mind over matter"

doesn't matter

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Alien

Danger ahead, everybody peeps - we need to fund this by stealth

We've been beaming TV and radio out into space for a while and now its possible that any "neighbourhood" aliens think that our culture is based on Sgt. Bilko, Jet Morgan and anything with Alan Whicker in it, but if this item makes it into the broadcast news, and if they don't have a sense of humour then in a while they might think that in defiance of a major government who've advocated galactic peace, that the people are indeed aggresive little mammals determined to "do unto others", simply because we can.

If they're listening to their own version of albums starting "No-one would have believed....." (and Richard Burton's voice is much better) then we might be on the receiving end of a pre-emptive strike. I beleive that one of Sir Terry Pratchett's "Johnny" books alludes to aliens finding it sensible to get their retaliation in first, where dealing with the human race is concerned.

All of which of course just goes to show that in fact we'll need one to defend ourselves from space lizards who think that our having one is dangerous in some kind of recursive loop. We'd better hope to find that T'sentradi ship soon.....

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Re: Danger ahead, everybody peeps - we need to fund this by stealth

that the people are indeed aggresive little mammals determined to "do unto others", simply because we can.

Um....have a look at our history. We're not exactly the most peace loving species and we do tend to lash out at anything that's different if we think we can get away with it. If any kind of galactic civilization does exist they'd probably be right to be worried about us having a fracking big space gun.

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Joke

Open source would be dangerous

Because then you'd risk that everyone could find out about the exposed exhaust pipe.

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Go

Re: Open source would be dangerous

Ah, but open source makes it safe because the management cover-up over the exposed exhaust pipe would not be possible, exactly because everyone would know about it. No security through obscurity with open source!

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Mushroom

Re: Open source would be dangerous

What part of "exhaust ports covered with chicken wire" didn't you get?

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Too many

rounded corners.

Nuf said

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£543qn and operational by 2015

So that's a burn rate of.. £181qn a year. Well, if you can work a social media aspect into it I think we can fund that, sounds like a fine investment.

Sincerely yours, most Venture Capitalists.

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Happy

Good luck to him

Got a bit of a shock at the guy's name - I know him from playing Nanvaent MUD in the late 90s. Sounds like exactly the kind of thing he'd do, so good luck to him, and I'm sure all the idlers in nanc will chuck some cash his way!

Maverick/WildKarrde

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Facepalm

Wait....so 117 people have pledged an average of just over £120 each to this joke? Is the lunacy contagious?

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quote: "Wait....so 117 people have pledged an average of just over £120 each to this joke? Is the lunacy contagious?"

Check the Kickstarter T&Cs, IIRC then no money is taken unless the project reaches their stated funding goal.

So unless they actually do get to £20 million in pledges by April 1st, nobody will have actually paid anything towards this lunacy. That is alluded to towards the end of the article too ;)

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Trollface

So the smart trolling move is to wait until March 31st, pledge the remaining balance and watch them all crap themselves then?

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Trollface

Absolutely, if you have the remaining balance and are happy for Mr. Petkovich to have it to make “more detailed plans and enough chicken wire to protect reactor exhaust ports" ;)

Hell, pay me £10m and I will happily spend the next 10 years providing detailed design options for a modular Death Star (or other spacefaring combat and launch platform, properly "modular" would suggest the Borg Cube as a more feasible design option); I'm not promising a 2015 launch date though. We'll need to mine the asteroid belt for the mass, for one thing, and that's not a 6 month proposition.

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Mushroom

Wrong question

I think we are all asking the wrong questions about having a small moon-like station with the ability to destroy a planet - instead of building our own from scratch, why not look to the skies for something that already resembles a moon (for instance - THE moon) and put big lasers on it - problem solved for a fraction of the cost.

Sheesh - do I have to think of everything?? ;-)

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Go

He'll be laughing if it gets funded.

All he has to to is draw a pair of parallel lines across the middle of the circle and buy about 20m2 of chicken wire. Half an hour after getting the funding he'll have fulfilled his requirements and he'll be about £19999970 better off.

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Coat

Funding..?

Quote: The Kickstarter page says the only risk preventing the project from flying is "the power of the Force" but adds its main challenge is "assuring Kickstarter that this is a joke and not a serious project. As proof, the goal has been set high enough to make successful funding almost impossible."

Hardly impossible. Just call in the debt we bailed the banks out of... they'll give it in credit, and we can build 3 of them.

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