Please keep discussions civil. Drivebys/angry politicos/hateChat and other unhelpful comments will receive a tap with the banhammer.
The fiction I write right now is almost exclusively science fiction, often with a cyberpunk or a nanotech element. That hasn’t always been the case, I’ve done turns with low-fantasy and historical fantasy, but right now the things that interest me, the “what-ifs” that have potential are in the sciences.
So when I find something that relates directly to a what-if (in this case I’m building a world where nanotech-scale tools are prevalent) I do my digging to see where the technology actually is, and where it might go from here.
When you get to the nanoscale level, all kinds of interesting new requirements come into play. You have to account for things like the temperature of the room, the amount of expansion in an instrument because of the heat generated by the bulb that illuminates your experiment area. Things get very *very* precise and so developments in that precision because very important.
All of my science is informed. I may choose to use a “pop-sci” version of that science, but that’s almost always a conscious decision to try to keep my stories more accessible, to try and keep them out of the realm of “hard” science fiction and so touch a broader audience.
Image courtesy: http://www.polygon.com/2015/2/25/8102751/exploding-kittens-kickstarter-rich
I’ll admit it, I backed the Exploding Kittens Kickstarter. I have a particular weakness for clever, and Matthew Inman (author of The Oatmeal) manages to slather any project he’s involved with (even tangentially) with a tasty clever-sauce that puts even Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ to shame.
And, like everybody else in gaming, watching the Kickstarter blow past it’s original goal into OMFG!?! territory is a special kind of hell. Because we know. For a while now, in videogames, one of the first questions you get asked when pitching is “Well, why didn’t you do a Kickstarter?” It’s the new death knell for any pitch. Its the producer’s subtle way of telling you that if you don’t have the Rockstars on your team to pull off a million dollar Kickstarter campaign, then you’re pretty much dead in the water.
But Kickstarter is a problematic platform for games. It’s easy to over-promise. There are more than a few Kickstarters out there that have collected their money and have quietly gone under because the people starting them (despite their assurances to the contrary) did not know enough about what they were doing. H*ll, even people with decades of experience (witness Double Fine) can face the end of a successful Kickstarter with a pocketfull of promises that they will go into debt delivering on.
From a mobile game designers perspective, this is a MASSIVE number of players. In fact, this is the kind of win you can build an entire development studio on the back of, so you can see why a producer might want to know if you can pull off this kind of Kickstarter.
Of course, it doesn’t occur to them (or maybe it does and they’re just trying to get rid of you) that if you did pull off the million dollar Kickstarter, you wouldn’t need them in the first place. Their opportunity to cash in would be a lost one.
It’s almost a rite of passage. You buy a shiny new computer (or tablet, or phone) and the very first thing you do (well, many of us anyways) is to start killing bloatware. Virus checkers, game suites, custom browsers that direct you to a very specific set of stores, you name it, someone has paid the fee to have it sitting right there on your desktop as soon as you boot your machine for the first time.
But you don’t tend to think of these things as malicious. Opportunistic? Yes. Annoying as all h*ll? Absolutely. Occasionally useful? Okay, maybe. And, while Just about everyone on the planet thinks it’s a P.I.T.A, not a lot of people seem to regard it as a threat.
The issue, in this case, is not so much that the company in question is allowing ads to sneak in (that’s total crap, but not beyond the pale for the kinds of bloatware you find). The real issue is that, in order to do it, they are bypassing security. They are opening a door that a hacker with enough time and energy can exploit (and, lets face it, if there is a hole, they WILL find it. period. It’s not an IF question, it’s a WHEN and what color HAT are they wearing today question).