Kickstarter fraud

September 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: E-Commerce 

Let me start by saying I’ve had some excellent experiences with Kickstarter projects. The Traveller 5 project, Schlock Mercenary Challenge Coins,
The Chapin Sisters: A DATE WITH THE EVERLY BROTHERS,  and the Tactical Pen, just to name a few.

There has been noticeable failure. The Founders Playing Cards project. A beautifully designed set of playing cards that use the images of historical American political figures.  The project was created by one ‘John Slabyk.’  He claimed to have worked on the team that created the iconic Obama icon.  Say what you want about Obama’s politics, but the branding is impressive.

One small flaw in the plan. After collecting over $37,000 from approximately 1,000 backers, ‘John Slabyk’ dropped out of sight.  Just two posts, with no followups, no indication of the cards being manufactured, or any sign that ‘John Slabyk’ even plans on having them made.  The backers are not happy.  Legal action has been discussed.

If anybody knows this ‘John Slabyk’, ask him what he has done with the $37,000 of his backers’ money.

Update: Here is another article detailing John M (Markian) Slabyk‘s fraud: obama logo designer John Slabyk defrauds Kickstarter backers of over $37,000?

Update: Another references for Slabyk’s fraud.

Update: Yet another post of John Slabyk’s fraud.  This one mentions that he claims to be the head of the Obama campaign art department and advises you to contact the NY State AG’s office concerning Internet fraud if you have been scammed by John Slabyk.

Thanks!

July 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: E-Commerce 

Just a shout out to everyone who uses the Amazon links here and else where on my various sites.

It helps to support the running all the sites and keeps me in reading/viewing/listening material, as well as the occasional new gadget.

 

Last minute Father’s day’s gifts…

June 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: E-Commerce 

Remember kids, you can always send an Amazon Gift Card at the last minute by email.

 

Amazon Gift Cards by email

December 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: E-Commerce 

If you are in a last minute rush to wrap stuff up, Amazon gift cards sent via email are fast and easy.

Yes, if you buy them through that link, I get a cut.  Thank you for your support.

I want to thank those who buy from Amazon via this site (links or the Amazon search box).

It helps keeps this site up.

Interview Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books

March 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, E-Commerce 

Teleread has a very good interview with Toni Weisskopf, the publisher of Baen Books.  Now, as those of you who have followed my ramblings for a while know, I’m a fan of Baen and their policies on e-books.   Go read the whole article, but here are some of the “money quotes.”

TW: Well, part of the “secret” there is that we don’t pay for expensive DRM (“digital rights management”) schemes. I’ve never understood why we should add to our costs with the sole outcome that it’s harder for readers to buy and read the books we want to sell. On the contrary, I want to make it as easy as possible for my readers to find, purchase and read my books. That goal influences every publishing decision I make from our marketing to what typefaces we use.

Specifically, I think ebooks will extend the market for books, not reduce it. But then what I am selling is good stories; I don’t care what medium I sell those stories in. If my readers tell me they want it chipped on stone, I will find some way to do that. If they want me to beam the story directly to a chip in the brain, I will do that.

In a nutshell, the problem of the midlist author or publisher is not piracy, but lack of exposure.

The other side of the coin is that Jim Baen didn’t believe our readers are thieves and neither do I. I believe they will buy the book when they have the money. And I don’t believe our readers are ignorant. The understand TANSTAAFL. Our readers understand that we can’t continue to find great books and the authors continue to write them if we don’t get paid. So we don’t treat our readers badly by trying to micromanage the use of the ebooks, and we have been amply rewarded for that trust.

iPad is bringing new life to the e-book debates

February 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Baen Books, E-Commerce, Technology 

With Apple’s announcement of the iPad and the Apple iBook store, people have been noticing the ongoing debate about e-books, e-readers and the ugly concept of DRM, which assumes that paying customers are thieves.

Joining the fray, is is Stephen Green, also known as the Vodkapundit.

Of course, I had join in.

Originally published at Urbin Technology.

For that last mintue Christmas gift idea

December 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: E-Commerce 

Email an amazon gift card, or print it out and stick it in a card.

If you are not in a hurry, my book of Yosemite photographs will grace any coffee table in style.

Leasing ebooks from Amazon

June 23, 2009 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: E-Commerce, Technology 

I came to the conclusion a while ago that you don’t buy ebooks from Amazon, you are only leasing them.

First off, the highly restrictive Amazon DRM not only limits access to the ebook to their proprietary Kindle device, it restricts it to your specific device. Once you are done with the ebook, you can loan it to friend or sell it at used book store. If you want your friend to read the book, you have to give them your Kindle, because that is the only place that ebook will be displayed.

Second, Amazon doesn’t pay it’s associates a fee for any Kindle books “sold” through them. Why not? They pay the associates for just about everything else sold through their sites. Could it be that Kindle owners really are not “buying” the ebooks, but are just paying for a very restrictive lease in order to access the ebook?

Next, Megan McArdle just discovered a catch in the Amazon ebook fine print.

…there is always a limit to the number of times you can download a given book. Sometimes, he said, it’s five or six times but at other times it may only be once or twice. And, here’s the kicker folks, once you reach the cap you need to repurchase the book if you want to download it again.

I know people who buy paper books in both hardcover and paperback, but that is a different scenario. You have two separate versions of the book in different formats. One for the shelf and one to carry around and loan to friends. Amazon wants its customers to buy the exact same content, in the exact same format, multiple times, because their business model assumes that their paying customer are thieves.

That is not a consumer friendly business model.

Also posted at Urbin Technology.

Amazon pokes associates in the eye

April 16, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: E-Commerce 

Amazon has a nice program going for years, called the Associate program. Associates link to Amazon from their websites for books, music, table saws, etc., and if someone uses that link to buy the item, the associate gets a referral fee. It’s a small fee, we’re talking pennies from a new paperback sale, but it adds up and a lot of Associates get their referral fee in Amazon gift certificates, so the money gets poured back into Amazon.

Recently, Amazon changed it’s policy on Kindle ebook referrals. The associates don’t make any referral fee at all. Nix, nada, nothing.

Thanks Amazon, at least you could have bought the associates dinner and couple of drinks first.

The book I was going to buy as an ebook from Amazon is now a sale going to go to my local brick & mortar bookstore as a dead tree version.

Number 1 at Amazon!

March 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: E-Commerce, Political Books, Politics 

The #1 seller for all books at Amazon today is Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto

Barely two months into the administration of the most far left extremist President in over 30 years, and a book called a “manifesto for the conservative movement for the 21st century”, and explains how conservative principles are “always an enhancement to individual freedom” is flying off the shelves and into the minds of Americans.

Could it be the centrists who voted for “Change” without looking too closely at just what that change was are having a bit of buyers remorse? It’s a safe bet that Conservatives and right of center centrists who stayed home on election day because they just weren’t that thrilled with John McCain are figuring out that the lesser of two evils wasn’t such a bad idea after all?

It does appear that the left’s crowing about the “death of Conservatism” after our Dear Leader’s election, was a bit premature.

Also available as an audio book on CD.

Originally published at the e-Ramblings blog.

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