Archive for March 5, 2019

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Patreon and Facebook

Brandon Gomez (via Hacker News):

The number of active patrons supporting artists on the platform in 2019 has seen significant growth, up 1 million over the last year, the company said. The company is also on track to pay out $500 million to content creators in 2019, pushing the company to surpass $1 billion in payouts since its inception in 2013.


Patreon CEO Jack Conte said in an interview with CNBC that the platform will soon be facing the challenge of maintaining a profitable model as the company continues its growth.

“The reality is Patreon needs to build new businesses and new services and new revenue lines in order to build a sustainable business,” Conte said.

Dan Olson:

This is the bizarro upsidedown that capital lives in. Their existing model, handle the logistics of subscription service for businesses too small to handle them directly, is the definition of sustainable. It scales up ridiculously well.


So Patreon has made around $55m in revenue since 2013. If their startup money had been a loan they’d have probably paid it back by now and would be operating a pretty sustainable service.


So Patreon has made around $55m in direct revenue, but they’re in hock to Thrive Capital for ~$107m, and Thrive doesn’t just want their money back with interest.

Dami Lee:

Facebook began expanding access to its Patreon competitor last night, giving more page owners the ability to start offering content to their subscribers for a monthly fee. But it doesn’t take much digging to see that the terms for Facebook’s feature, known as Fan Subscriptions, make for a bad deal for creators, giving Facebook a lifetime license to use their work and the right to take up to a whopping 30 percent of subscription fees.


For now, page owners get to keep the entire subscription fee. But Facebook plans to begin taking a cut once the feature formally launches, and its terms of service allow Facebook to take up to 30 percent, with 30 days notice of the change. That cut is standard for an app in Apple’s or Google’s app store, but it’s giant for a creator-focused platform: Patreon takes just a 5 percent share of a user’s pledges.

Update (2019-03-22): Patreon:

We’re announcing new creator plans, which will be available later this spring. Current creators on Patreon will see no change to the fees they pay or the features they have, unless they are interested in some of the new stuff we’re launching!

Amazon to Give Power to Brands to Remove Fakes

Alex Hern (via Hacker News):

Amazon will hand over unprecedented powers to brands to remove suspected counterfeits from its site, as part of a concerted push to eliminate fakes and frauds from the shopping experience.

Under the company’s new Project Zero programme, companies will now be able to remove counterfeit listings themselves, without having to wait for Amazon to take action.

For companies that face a serious counterfeiting problem, a further tool called “product serialisation” allows them even greater control. Manufacturers can now assign unique serial numbers to every product they sell and require Amazon to scan those serial numbers and check authenticity on every sale.


Powered by Amazon’s machine learning expertise, automated protections continuously scan our stores and proactively remove suspected counterfeits. Brands provide us with their logos, trademarks, and other key data about their brand, and we scan over 5 billion product listing updates every day, looking for suspected counterfeits. We’ve been testing these automated protections with a number of brands, and on average, our automated protections proactively stop 100 times more suspected counterfeit products as compared to what we reactively remove based on reports from brands.


Update (2019-06-25): David Dayen:

Counterfeits help Amazon. They serve a disciplinary function to force sellers to advertise (or to lower prices) to stay ahead of the fakes.

Thunderbolt 3 Becomes USB4

Peter Bright:

Fulfilling its 2017 promise to make Thunderbolt 3 royalty-free, Intel has given the specification for its high-speed interconnect to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the industry group that develops the USB specification. The USB-IF has taken the spec and will use it to form the basis of USB4, the next iteration of USB following USB 3.2.

Previously: Confusing USB 3.2 Branding.

Update (2019-03-06): Nick Heer:

Making Thunderbolt royalty-free and not dependent on an Intel controller chip would likely be of considerable interest to a company that may want to build the protocol into a non-Intel platform.

Visual Studio 2019 for Mac Preview 3

Microsoft (via Aaron Bockover):

Today, we’re excited to announce the Preview 3 release of Visual Studio 2019 for Mac. This is the next release of our IDE for .NET Developers on the Mac.


In addition to the above, we’re excited to introduce a first preview of the new, fast, fluid, and performant C# editor, built on top of the same core editor as Visual Studio on Windows.


The new editor builds on a solid foundation provided by the Visual Studio editor on Windows, with native macOS UI added to make sure it feels right at home on a Mac. Not only does this provide an enhanced experience with smooth editing and navigation, but the new editor also has all the powerful IntelliSense/code-completion and quick fix suggestions you expect from a Visual Studio Editor. Plus, as the editor is truly native, you get all the benefits of a modern macOS editor, including several top features such as right-to-left and bi-directional text support and full support for native macOS input sources, which makes VS for Mac an IDE that speaks your language.

This sounds great, but it’s followed by a screenshot with oddly spaced checkboxes.

Update (2019-03-06): Miguel de Icaza:

Our new text editor is implemented as an NSView, with CoreText rendering on CALayers implementing all the proper NSText protocols on top of the same editor engine from VS/Windows.

Aaron Bockover:

Retained-mode layout with CoreText rendering into a CALayer per visual line, with input being fully NSTextInputClient conformant (so all the native input methods light up). Many functional layers are modular NSView/CALayer adornments (visible white-space, squiggles, etc).

Update (2019-03-20): See also: Merge Conflict.