Sunday, February 10, 2013

Star Wars Fans... the Real X-Wing and Possibly the Real Death Star Created

$11 million sought to build X-wing, counter Kickstarter Death Star

(Credit: Lucasfilm)
There's no disturbing lack of faith among Kickstarter supporters.
After all, a crowdfunded project to construct the Death Star that was launched less than a week ago already has nearly 1,500 backers and an astonishing $364,772 in pledges.
Well, the Rebels aren't taking that threat sitting down. A rival Kickstarter campaign to build X-wing fighters has just taken off. Its goal is to build one of the famous spaceships from "Star Wars" and then more.
"If George Lucas produced 'Star Wars IV, A New Hope,' for $11,000,000 we figure we can finance a prototype of an X-Wing and train a pilot," organizer Simon Kwan, a product designer in Shanghai, writes on the campaign page.
"One update we'd like to include for our updated X-Wing is iPhone and Siri integration."
The stretch goal is to build a squadron of X-wings for $4,485,672,683, the worldwide box office take of all the films in the franchise, according to The Numbers, a film sales tracking site.
A further goal is "13 million Galactic Standard Credits: A Class YT-1300 Freighter (heavily modified) and a crew consisting of a Corellian smuggler and a Wookie co-pilot."
Tech Crunch, however, politely points out that such credits have been estimated at only 62 cents, making the Falcon cost only $8 million, which is of course less than the campaign's basic goal.
Details, details. What matters is we get an X-wing built, stat!
At least then we'll have a chance of countering a real threat to our planet: asteroids.
Source: CT

Death Star not dead? Star Wars fans raise $380k for open source project, aim for more

Published: 10 February, 2013, 16:00
The Death Star. (Image from
The Death Star. (Image from
Sci-Fi fans pushing for the creation of a Star Wars inspired “Death Star” have raised almost US$400,000 on a fundraising site to make it happen. It comes after Washington turned down a petition for its construction, citing astronomical costs.
Undeterred by Washington’s lack of enthusiasm, supporters of the proposed Death Star have generated an account on Kickstarter – a funding platform for creative projects, which asks for direct financial support from others in order to bring an idea to life.  
The open source Death Star page is initially aiming to raise 20,000,000 pounds ($31.5 million). The money would be used to design more “detailed plans and enough chicken wire to protect reactor exhaust ports.”
It may seem like a lot of money, but it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the Death Star’s estimated construction cost of 543 quadrillion pounds ($850 quadrillion), which was quoted by the US government.
Backers of Kickstarter projects usually receive a reward for pledging their money – and the Death Star project is offering its own set of incentives.
The prize is rather modest for those who pledge 1 pound ($1.58) or more. According to the Kickstarter page, they receive only “our thanks and the knowledge that we’re one step closer to a safer planet.”
However, more generous spenders receive a more impressive reward. Those who pledge 10 pounds or more are promised to have their name “etched onto the underneath of one of the MSE-6-series repair droids used on the finished station.”
With 49 days to go, the project currently has 1,473 backers – 968 of whom are in line to have their name etched into Death Star history. Thus far, the project has raised 240,816 pounds ($380,392) of its first goal.
It’s a low-risk situation for supporters, because unless the entire goal amount is reached backers don’t have to pay a penny.
And if the idea seems a little too ‘out there’ to be taken seriously, that’s because it is.
“The 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,” the page reads underneath the project’s ‘Risks and Challenges’ section.
The Kickstarter project comes after the US government rejected a petition to create the Death Star, giving three reasons why the project wasn’t viable:
• The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850 quadrillion.
• The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
• Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
The response was authored by Paul Shawcross, who oversees the science and space departments at the White House, and was titled, 'This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For.'
Washington had to respond to the petition, which was posted on the White House’s ‘We the People’ website. The US previously vowed to give an official response to any petition generating 25,000 signatures or more – including those lobbying for Death Star construction. The petition received 34,435 signatures. The signature threshold for petitions has since been raised to 100,000, making it more difficult to receive a response from the administration. 
source: RT

Open-source Death Star project launched on Kickstarter

Now that the U.S. government has wimped out on building a Death Star, a Kickstarter project has emerged to raise funds to construct the deadly spaceship using open-source hardware and software.

Angry Birds Death Star
The Angry Birds Death Star is a lot easier to get ahold of.
(Credit: Rovio)
"Star Wars" fans don't like taking "no" for an answer. The White House may have denied a petition to build a Death Star, but that hasn't stopped Dark Side wannabes from taking matters into their own hands. There's now a Kickstarter project gathering funds to build an open-source Death Star.
The project has a modest initial goal of just $30 million. That will fund initial plans and the massive amount of chicken wire needed to protect the reactor exhaust ports. The first stretch goal is where things get more serious. If the project raises $850,000,000,000,000,000, then work will begin on the actual construction. OK, that's a mighty big "if," but a geek can dream, right?
In a bid to keep costs down, the Death Star will be constructed with only open-source hardware and software. That means the plans would be available to anyone who wants to build a Death Star of their very own. I'm pretty sure there's an alternate universe somewhere where every person has their own open-source Death Star. It's probably the same universe where Spock has a goatee.
read more at CT

Washington bureaucrats reject public request to build Death Star due to excessive cost

Published: 12 January, 2013, 18:17
Edited: 13 January, 2013, 00:08
Death Star - visionary project rejected by the Obama administration.
Death Star - visionary project rejected by the Obama administration.
The office of the US President has rejected a popular public petition to construct a Death Star due to a high construction cost of $850 quadrillion, a major design flaw and the fact that “the Administration does not support blowing up planets.”
The proposal to construct the Star Wars-inspired space station-cum-death ray was lodged in November last year through We the People, a recently-implemented system that allows ordinary Americans to petition the government with any request, providing it gets enough popular support. 
The authors promised that building the Death Star would “spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.” 
The petition has collected 34,435 signatures, well above the 25,000 threshold that necessitates a response from the White House.
But despite endorsement from the public, the government has been reluctant to make the necessary investment in the pioneering space platform.
Titled ‘This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For’ and authored by Paul Shawcross, who oversees science and space departments at the White House, the official response gives three reasons for why the project isn’t viable: 
• The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
• The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
• Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Instead, Shawcross calls for Americans to revel in the existence of the rather more modest International Space Station, which although impressive, does not possess a death ray, or in fact weapons of any sort.
This is not the only time We the People has been used to push forward unlikely proposals. Recent petitions have called for British TV interviewer Piers Morgan to be deported for his gun control stance (more than 100,000 signatures) for Texas to secede (more than 120,000 signatories) and to recount the presidential election, which 68,000 petitioners claim Barack Obama won through a combination of fraud and administrative error.
read more at: RT

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