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Jilted Crowdfunders Are Demanding More Than Unfulfilled Pledges

Illustration for article titled Jilted Crowdfunders Are Demanding More Than Unfulfilled Pledges

Welcome to Reading List, a weekly collection of great tech reads from around the web. This week explores the rage of the jilted crowdfunder, the untold history of the Silk Road, one man’s unfortunate weekend using only the Apple Watch for communication, and more! Enjoy.


  • When a crowdfunded project doesn’t deliver as promised, backers feel deceived and betrayed. The case of the ZM Espresso machine, which failed to launch after its successful Kickstarter, highlights inherent weaknesses in the crowdfunding system, and points to a rising tide of backers demanding more than an unfulfilled pledge. [New York Times]
  • The untold story of Ross Ulbricht, the 29-year-old idealist who built a global drug bazaar, and the agents tasked with bringing Ulbricht’s digital empire down. This article includes reporting by Nick Bilton, whose book on the Silk Road case will appear in 2016. [Wired]
  • Charlie Warzel decided to put his new Apple Watch to the ultimate test: For 48 hours, he’d rely on the device for all mobile communication needs. His hilariously frustrating weekend underscores something we all suspected—the future Apple has promised isn’t to be found here, at least, not just yet. [BuzzFeed]
  • “Thank God for cell phone video cameras,” Freddy Gray’s attorney said last week, “because now the truth is finally coming out.” He’s right. The most significant images in the criminal-justice reform movement are not being shot by professional photographers, nor by police body cameras, but by ordinary people wielding cell phones. [The Atlantic]
  • Victims of discrimination or assault face a surprising new threat when seeking damages for emotional distress: Their social media profiles. Apparently, seeming to enjoy your life on Facebook can be used as evidence against your demands for restitution in a court of law. [Slate]

Top image via Shutterstock

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“...backers feel deceived and betrayed....” Well, that is just kind of too bad.

Those who fund these project should understand that they are really just giving money to people who said they are going to TRY to do something. There is absolutely no guarantee that they will SUCCEED. If they don’t, then ...bummer.