Author Topic: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?  (Read 381538 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2013, 02:17:00 pm »
Does anyone else think that it is pathetic to say a prototype may not be shown or demonstrated ?

Yes, it is, especially after you have already taken everyone money. It is inexcusable, and tells you everything.
If they had something, they would show it. So IMO it's almost certain they don't have anything to show.
And in that case, it will be impossible for them to meet their shipping target date, or anywhere close to it.

I still give them the benefit of the doubt, and don't think it's a scam. They have just gotten in way over their head and likely won't be able to deliver.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2013, 06:08:49 pm »
People who have invested

They might think they invested in something, or ordered something. What they really did was donating money.

I don't understand the rush in which people seem to be on kickstarter. If the product is great there is a likehood the company behind it will succeed. In that case I can buy any time in the future under regular conditions. I don't need to gamble with donating money via kickstarter.
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Offline MacAttak

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2013, 08:14:42 pm »
Crowdfunding is marketing. The kind of people who use KS, IGG and the like are early-adopters and risk-takers. Exactly the kind of enthusiastic folks you want on your side when your product hits the market. They will be a free grassroots marketing movement, worth far more than you could ever get from traditional advertising mechanisms. You can't buy that early momentum.

Sometimes, there is a very clear threshold of infrastructure investment that is needed in order to deliver a product. Perhaps a piece of volume production equipment, or perhaps some minimum volume needed in order to meet affordable part sourcing requirements. Sure you could get a microloan or spend from a business line of credit - but that's a HUGE gamble if you don't know whether your product will even sell once you make it. With crowdfunding, that risk isn't there. If you reach your minimum targets (which would generally be set based on those minimum volumes needed), then you know that you have sold enough to make it worthwhile.

It has nothing to do with "investing" or "purchasing" or "donating". You are committing a small amount of money and your patience in order to get your hands on something before the rest of the world does. The project owner gets great marketing for their product, they get a very low-cost way to test the market and get early feedback. They also get extremely valuable experience with manufacturing and logistics (which is the primary stumbling point of most projects). And in return the backers get a first crack at the product and also usually get to have their voice heard by the manufacturer. The flip side is that if the project fails, then the negative marketing is amplified. Even if it is delivered but is substantially late then they get tagged with a reputation for poor delivery performance.
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2013, 09:49:25 pm »
Benefit of the doubt.
Innocent until proven guilty.
OINK OINK OINK............which way to the bank?
Party on dudes...you've got the GREEN LIGHT!!

 |O
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2013, 04:00:36 am »
Benefit of the doubt.
Innocent until proven guilty.
OINK OINK OINK............which way to the bank?
Party on dudes...you've got the GREEN LIGHT!!

 |O

I do not understand this post at all.

Are you trolling (or attempting to)?
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2013, 05:48:17 am »
Quote
Crowdfunding is marketing.

For me I came to the conclusion that croudfunding is just another platform for scams. Guilible idiots are made to part with their money, by making them believe they order something or invest in something. While in reality they just donate money to some strangers, with no serious mechanisms in place to hold those strangers accountable. The crowdfunding platforms just pocket their share without taking any responsibility.

Maybe there is now an community college teaching crowdfunding as marketing. For me it is negative marketing. If an idea needs croudfunding it is not good enough to attract regular funding, or it is a scam right from the beginning.
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Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2013, 05:56:31 am »
I am pointing out that scammers have found their holy grail.
If they claim that their supposed new invention has environmental benefits i.e. A Green Widget Scam
then greenies will be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Casting doubt on the Green Widget is like attacking Motherhood and apple pie.

This is one of my favourite quotes on the subject;

http://metabunk.org/threads/1166-Debunked-V3Solar-s-spinning-solar-panel-cone-spin-cell-quot-CoolSpin-quot-scam
Debunked: V3Solar's spinning solar panel cone spin cell "CoolSpin" - scam?
There's a type of scam out there that's being going on for at least 100 years. A company claims to have invented or discovered something that will make a lot of money. Quite often this will be in the field of energy, although we see them more and more in the field of weather control and information technology. The company can demonstrate research, they will often hold one or more patents on the technology, and they will have some kind of prototype that does not actually fully work, but they claim is a demonstration of the proof of concept. They won't reveal all the details, despite having filed patents, because they either don't want people to steal their ideas, or they claim it's too early, and more research needs to be done.

What they are looking for though, is investors. They will talk about the huge potential market, and hence the huge amount of money to be made. They will get people to invest in their company. The technology will go nowhere slowly, and eventually the principals will withdraw, and the investors will end up with nothing.

The scam works because it's not illegal to be wrong, unless you actually know you are wrong. So if you think you've discovered a form of free energy, it's perfectly legal to set up a company to research and develop the technology. It's quite legal to solicit investment based on what you think is correct science - even if it does turn out to be wrong, and the investors lose all their money. They took a risk, they lost. It's quite legal to pay yourself and the other principals a large salary.

So all you have to do to run such a scam is to never admit you knew it was a scam. You have to pretend you believe in the technology. Then when it fails you simply keep insisting that you thought it worked, and you were sorry you didn't get enough time to work out the kinks.

Then of course there are those people who actually ARE convinced that their technology works. There are plenty of people who think they actually have discovered something new, and they just need a bit more research to make money from it.

So which of the two is V3Solar?

http://v3solar.com/coolspin/

Many of these Rsoles are repeat offenders and have plundered millions with impunity.

The regulators will not act because "you can't PROVE it's a scam Keef"  |O


 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2013, 06:28:26 am »
Then of course there are those people who actually ARE convinced that their technology works. There are plenty of people who think they actually have discovered something new, and they just need a bit more research to make money from it.

And that's the camp I'd put this one into, until proven otherwise. They are scheduled to display their technology at a trade show in May, lets see what happens.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2013, 08:13:42 am »
For me I came to the conclusion that croudfunding is just another platform for scams. Guilible idiots are made to part with their money, by making them believe they order something or invest in something. While in reality they just donate money to some strangers, with no serious mechanisms in place to hold those strangers accountable. The crowdfunding platforms just pocket their share without taking any responsibility.

Can you quote any cases on Kickstarter where this is the actually the case?
There may be, but I haven't heard of any. Sure, quite a few don't deliver, or are very very late, or delivered less than promised etc
But in all the cases I've heard, they have at least genuinely tried.

Quote
Maybe there is now an community college teaching crowdfunding as marketing. For me it is negative marketing. If an idea needs croudfunding it is not good enough to attract regular funding, or it is a scam right from the beginning.

There are also countless cases where crowd funding has enabled projects to succeed, where they otherwise may never have even started.
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2013, 09:29:40 am »

And that's the camp I'd put this one into, until proven otherwise. They are scheduled to display their technology at a trade show in May, lets see what happens.


By the time it is proven otherwise it will be too late for the contributors to get their money back.
No big deal in this case as the amounts contributed are quite small, nonetheless it would piss me off to see them trouser the cash.

Other Green Scams eg the V3 SunCone and the SunCube http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=102146 have defrauded investors out of millions.
Sunseeker Energy was another good one http://www.topix.com/forum/news/prweb/T90BE2SC05D5UQK0R/p2

http://www.smh.com.au/national/inside-the-shell-drugs-arms-and-tax-scams-20110514-1enkz.html

Obsessed?
You betcha....it makes me want to VOMIT!! |O
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2013, 09:45:22 am »
By the time it is proven otherwise it will be too late for the contributors to get their money back.

I didn't know there was a time limit on that, but I'm not huge into the whole Kickstarter culture.
It is obsoletely clear that there is no hope in hell they can deliver anything at all in May as promised.
Personally, I don't see how they can deliver this as promised, I think it is highly likely they won't ever deliver anything but promises. My advice would be for people to pull their money before it is too late. Otherwise the risk here is very high.
But whether or not it is a deliberate scam from the get go, I would not go as far to claim that.
It's easy to be cynical.

 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2013, 10:08:59 am »
Have you ever tried to recover a debt?
How much MORE money do you want to lose?
Many of the contributors to crowdfunding wrongly believe that their credit card or PayPal will protect them.
You've been sold a promise and you've received it  :D


 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2013, 10:36:56 am »
Can you quote any cases on Kickstarter where this is the actually the case?
There may be, but I haven't heard of any. Sure, quite a few don't deliver, or are very very late, or delivered less than promised etc
But in all the cases I've heard, they have at least genuinely tried.


YES

http://agbeat.com/finance/kickstarter-pledge-fatigue-scams-and-stalled-projects/
Two cases of bad crowdfunding behavior

According to Consumerist.com, one Kickstarter project is currently suspended, pending an internal investigation, as a man was selling $15 watches for $100, disguising them as “high-end” time pieces, raising $9,000 before the plug was pulled.

Recently, one Kickstarter investor sued over a Kickstarter project, as an entrepreneur who formerly designed projects took the leap into manufacturing and after what backers called endless stall tactics, Neil Singh sued for breach of contract as the simple iPad he “invested” in was never created or delivered, ultimately putting the entrepreneur and his company out of business.

These two stories are not the only cases involving questionable products being sold, or struggles with the manufacturing process leading to delays in delivery (with delivery never happening in some instances). The general attitude of people who have been backing projects from the beginning is that it is an investment which comes with risk, but others see it as a creative way to buy products, so the pledge mentality is certainly changing as crowdfunding goes mainstream.

Kickstarter in particular has been very responsive to questionable projects and products and suspends accounts for investigation rather than ignoring it. PCMech has published a useful guide on how to tell if a Kickstarter campaign is bogus.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2013, 10:44:51 am »
In an ideal world, kickstarter is a great idea.

In the real world, in my experience, some projects are excellent (bolt pen by karaskustoms = love mine) but (for now) a minority fall short of delivering what they promised.
"This is a one line proof...if we start sufficiently far to the left."
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2013, 11:23:46 am »
Have you ever tried to recover a debt?
How much MORE money do you want to lose?

Only an idiot would take legal proceeding to recover $125. What is your point?
You said people have a date where they can get their money back, and someone in the comments has asked for one and got an official reply they would be refunded. I recommend everyone do that, this project will not deliver.

Quote
You've been sold a promise and you've received it  :D

Yes.
As has been pointed out many times, Kickstarter is buying a promise.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2013, 11:28:59 am »
These two stories are not the only cases involving questionable products being sold, or struggles with the manufacturing process leading to delays in delivery (with delivery never happening in some instances). The general attitude of people who have been backing projects from the beginning is that it is an investment which comes with risk, but others see it as a creative way to buy products, so the pledge mentality is certainly changing as crowdfunding goes mainstream.

I'm not talking about stalled products, late products, or products that didn't deliver because they were mismanaged or whatever, I'm talking about flat out scams from the get go. The number of genuine scams appears to be very small so far.
Most people (should) know that a huge percentage of Kickstarter projects do not meet their delivery date and/or currently have delivered anything, that fact is very widely publicised.

 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2013, 01:00:39 pm »

You said people have a date where they can get their money back, and someone in the comments has asked for one and got an official reply they would be refunded. I recommend everyone do that, this project will not deliver.



Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff gave a litle bit of (other people's) money back.
Martin King has been complaining a lot so he has been promised a refund. That should shut him up.

My point?
I thought I'd made that pretty clear.....beware of Green Widget Scams and tell your friends to beware also.
There's a lot of it about  :phew:
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2013, 03:53:44 pm »
In this case things aren't looking so good - the exhibitor listing has been yanked from the hardware show's web site. The project owners have started to renege on promises to provide regular updates already.

I have backed over 20 projects to date. Some have delivered on-time. Some are underway (and have already delivered to other backers), most are slightly behind schedule (to be expected). Others are significantly behind schedule. For example the Porthole and the Smartduino projects. I'm not worried about either of them shipping - they are just very late. There is only one that I really doubt will ever deliver on its promises - the LiftPort Space Elevator... but then again I only gave them $8. All I care about is that they follow through with the experiments that were promised, but the project owner seems incredibly aloof, disorganized, and lacks attention to detail.

There is also a big difference between Kickstarter and IGG when it comes to ease in scamming. It is much more difficult to pull off on Kickstarter because Kickstarter does not have "flexible funding" options and is much more strict when it comes to the rules about what you can and cannot do in a campaign. This one (the thermal imager) was the first one I have backed on IGG. Not a very good first impression.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2013, 04:08:05 pm »
By the way - I have requested a refund as well and we'll see where that goes. If he refunds the contribution money without waffling then that's a big plus in his favor I think. If he was out to scam then I doubt he would return anything.

But at this point I think the chances of delivery this year are extremely slim to none. I was in for the ride if I felt there was some reasonable chance of success - but nothing I have seen so far makes me think that. So I'm out (if I can).
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2013, 09:26:18 pm »
Was it something I said?  :-DD
 

Offline Keef Wivanef

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2013, 10:54:37 pm »
Somebody mention DUCKS?

QUACK  :palm:

http://finance.yahoo.com/mbview/searchview/?&bn=73a427ba-debe-3e32-8aa2-e1fc7530b7f3&q=smot&in=b&sm=

Gen 3 SMOT KITS now available
by smot.poker55 • Mar 10, 2011 1:56 AM Flag
SMOT - Mark III

by Greg Watson


Texts, schemes, and test report by Greg Watson

In all SMOT ramps developed to date, the magnet arrays were built first and then the ramp was adjusted to best suit the arrays magnetic fields. While this approach has worked for many, I believe it is wrong and has been the major source of many SMOT failures for others.

In the development of the SMOT Mk3 single circular ramp, the ramp was designed first and THEN the necessary magnetic field profiles were adjusted to the ramp and the job it was required to do. This approach, which is probably the correct way to go, has resulted in a relative simple to build and adjust circular ramp.

The SMOT Mk2 single circular ramp is formed of flexible N gauge model railway track. The track is secured to a strong and stable circular ramp with a 8mm overall lift and an average length of 521.5mm. The ramp has an inside diameter of 150mm and an outside diameter of 182mm and an average diameter of 166mm. The ramp is 16mm wide, which is the width of the 16mm wide sleepers of the N gauge track. The ramp has a lift of 1.53mm per 100mm of track. This is a very gentle ramp slope in comparison to the SMOT Mk1 & Smot Mk2 ramps. The steel ball is 12.5mm in diameter and is Chrome plated.

Unlike the SMOT Mk1 & SMOT Mk2 ramps where the ramp and the magnet arrays were parallel, the SMOT Mk3 magnet arrays are not. The SMOT Mk3 circular magnetic arrays have a 14mm differential between the bottom and top of the ramp. At the bottom, the centre line of the magnetic arrays are 2mm below the centre line of the steel ball and at the top, the centre line of the magnetic arrays are 4mm above the centre line of the steel ball. The magnetic arrays are not linear and for most of the array length, their centre line is 3mm above the steel ball's centre line. This above position assists the steel ball's rotation as it produces more attractive force on the top of the ball than the bottom. It also greatly reduces noise generating as there is less slip between the ball and the track.

The best results to date have been about 5 minutes of operation before the ball gets stuck at the exit point (either doesn't drop or gets sucked side ways). The average "Rollaround" time is just over 1 minute to date.

The ball will climb the ramp from most starting points (95%) on the circular ramps 521.5mm average length, but I start the "Ball Rolling" by gently pushing the ball off the top of the ramp.

I have built 2 SMOT Mk3 ramps to date. I am continuing the development of the 2nd unit to increase the stability of its operational characteristics and improve it "Rollaround" performance. I have found that exit guides (reducing the exit width to 13mm) help to reduce "Side Sticks", but I am still testing methods to eliminate exit hangs by experimenting with different exit radius curves. The exit is velocity sensitive as most SMOT builders know only too well. The original SMOT Mk3 units had sharp 90 deg top exits and 5mm bottom recovery curves like the SMOT Mk2 ramps.

Just to repeat by earlier statement on my SMOT Mk2 kits.

ALL SMOT Mk2 kit purchasers will receive a SMOT Mk3 single circular ramp at No Extra Charge. When the SMOT Mk3 single circular ramp is stable and easy to manufacture, I will start shipping SMOT Mk3 kits in place of SMOT Mk2 kits

Please send MUNNY asap
Sales of SunPubes seem to be a bit slow at the moment. :-DD :-DD :-DD :-DD :-+
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2013, 12:10:11 am »
In this case things aren't looking so good - the exhibitor listing has been yanked from the hardware show's web site.

Well, that confirms it, they have nothing, not a sausage.
Anyone got their address?, can you go knock on the door?

Quote
There is also a big difference between Kickstarter and IGG when it comes to ease in scamming. It is much more difficult to pull off on Kickstarter because Kickstarter does not have "flexible funding" options and is much more strict when it comes to the rules about what you can and cannot do in a campaign. This one (the thermal imager) was the first one I have backed on IGG. Not a very good first impression.

Yes, this wouldn't have gotten through the new rules on Kickstarter, you have to show an actual working prototype.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 12:14:03 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2013, 12:31:59 am »
I'm not talking about stalled products, late products, or products that didn't deliver because they were mismanaged or whatever, I'm talking about flat out scams from the get go. The number of genuine scams appears to be very small so far.
Most people (should) know that a huge percentage of Kickstarter projects do not meet their delivery date and/or currently have delivered anything, that fact is very widely publicised.

I think the big problem with Kickstarter is how does the potential investor distinguish between an honest attempt and an outright scam.

One project that comes to mind is the MD-Pen.  The guy showed off a product and people invested - he never delivered.  He blamed his manufacturer for taking the money and running - but the manufacturer came to the project page and said he never got paid.  It appears the original creator took the money and ran.

It may be many of these project creators have genuine intent, but there isn't much vetting done by Kickstarter at all - not on the people nor the project.  I believe crowdfunding is not long for this world... just reading the comments on almost any overdue Kickstarter page, it's clear that the investors feel they are pre-ordering a product, not investing in a company.  Kickstarter wants to say they are disconnected from the deal and it's between you and the project creator - but the fact that they're taking a cut of all investments, even if they were scams, to me says they really do have some liability.  I think it will probably be tested by law sometime soon, especially as projects get bigger and the stakes get higher.
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2013, 12:43:45 am »
I think the big problem with Kickstarter is how does the potential investor distinguish between an honest attempt and an outright scam.

You essentially can't, unless it's clearly the "too good to to be true" category.
A simple scam like producing a prototype of a product that is easily do-able, and then simply making off with the money while pretending to be trying is all too easy. If you've got the guts.

If this Mµ Optics one is a scam from the get-go, then it's a pretty elaborate one. e.g. getting people (actors?) to be in the video saying they are working on this and that etc.

Quote
It may be many of these project creators have genuine intent, but there isn't much vetting done by Kickstarter at all - not on the people nor the project.

They can't. The volume is huge, and they are not technical experts in every field. They can't possibly know the intricacies of electronics design and manufacturing for example, which is just one very small part of the whole Kickstarter world.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Mµ Thermal Imager - real or fake?
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2013, 01:05:03 am »

You essentially can't, unless it's clearly the "too good to to be true" category.
A simple scam like producing a prototype of a product that is easily do-able, and then simply making off with the money while pretending to be trying is all too easy. If you've got the guts.

If this Mµ Optics one is a scam from the get-go, then it's a pretty elaborate one. e.g. getting people (actors?) to be in the video saying they are working on this and that etc.

I think there's a fine line between "best intents" and "scam" - and that line moves based on people's willingness to transfer risk to others.  I've seen everything from pie in the sky ideas where the founders were happy to take a crack on someone elses money, to people who took the responsibility of other people's money seriously.  When all of that is abstracted by the due diligence KS (doesn't) do, and the relative anonymity of the Internet, it makes the situation a whole lot worse.

Quote

They can't. The volume is huge, and they are not technical experts in every field. They can't possibly know the intricacies of electronics design and manufacturing for example, which is just one very small part of the whole Kickstarter world.

They can't provide absolute assurance to the investors, but they can do a whole lot more than they do now, which is essentially nothing.  Requiring a real prototype was one good move, as was limiting funding tiers that were simply multiples of a device.  But there is a lot more they could do, and many would argue at the $10 million level (1/2 million commission for Kickstarter), they have a responsibility to do more.  The US Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into Crowdfunding and what restrictions they will impose upon it.  They're likely to end up having to comply with similar rules to what traditional investment brokers must comply with.  They don't get a free pass just because it's the Internet (well, not forever, anyway) :)
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