30 April 2010

Mark Pincus Allegedly Steals From Tribe.net to Fund Zynga

Ai,yai, yai! @Chai_Guy recently tweeted an article in Gawker that doesn't paint a pretty picture of Mark Pincus, Founder of Tribe.net and CEO of Zynga.

Sad to say, but the article makes Pincus come out looking like a douche.

Here's a quote:
Tribe.net, which fizzled, Pincus told Details, because there was "nothing to do" there once had brought "all these people together... it's like a [bad] cocktail party." But Darren McKeeman, whom Pincus described as his "great" sysadmin, has alleged (here, here and in an email to us) that Pincus misappropriated $30,000 in donation and subscription revenue from Tribe.net users, intended to keep the site running, to start Zynga. Pincus took out a temporary restraining order on McKeeman.
Be that as it may, below is an interview BURNcast did back in 2007 in which we talked to Pincus about Tribe.net. At the time, Tribe was the de facto social network for burners world-wide.

In today’s episode we meet up with Mark Pincus, the founder and CEO of the social networking website Tribe.net. Here, Pincus discusses the growth and development of Tribe, goes off about his favorite topic “Community vs. the Corporation”, and gives insight on how burners and artists can create a sustainable livelihood based on doing work that they love.

UPDATE: 30 April 2010 @ 15:45

I just found this old correspondence from Mark in which I asked him for a refund of my Premium Services payment:

From Mark Pincus to burncast, darren, A.T.
show details 10/09/2008

DaBomb, I'm sorry you had this experience. Darren will make sure you got the t shirt and no ads but tribe cannot make refunds.

Tribe is *not* a business. It is definitely not a profitable entity.



----- Original Message -----
From: burncast@gmail.com
To: feedback@tribe.net ; jeanie@tribe.net ; mark@tribe.net
Sent: Wed Sep 10 06:32:19 2008
Subject: Refund Please

Dear Tribe,

I'd want my money back for my premium membership that I purchased in December of last year.  Attached is my receipt.

Except for one fugly new profile theme, the ability to block advertising was the only feature that was delivered as promised. I never got the t-shirt. The rest of your promises never came through. That to me feels like Internet fraud. To make it worse, now after your recent outage, I am now seeing ads again and my year's premium membership is not even over.

It's really sad to experience the decline of what was once a vibrant social network. It's also frustrating to see Mark Pincus develop apps and games like Poker and Attack, a Risk clone, for Facebook and other social networks but fails to put any more money or effort into Tribe.

I'm out of patience.  When Tribe announced premium memberships, its users flocked to rescue the social network that had already been suffering from issues and that was last year!  Following the premium memberships, nothing changed. Tribe is not a charity. It is a business, a business that clearly doesn't care enough about its customers or the communities it fosters. It's disappointing and it sucks.

Love & Rockets,

zynga, farmville, mafia wars, marc pincus, facebook

Reminder: Mad Mad May Day This Saturday, May 1

Just a reminder that the Etsy Black Rock City Crew headed up by LaLinda Loca is going to be throwing their first event: the Mad Mad May Day Burner Bazaar coming up on May 1, 2010 at the Angel's Gate Cultural Center located at 3601 South Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA.  The video above is just some of the artists who will be showcasing their arts and crafts at the event. More about the artists here.

Please note that earlier this week LaLinda received notification from the Black Rock City LLC advising her that the use of the phrase "Black Rock City" is unauthorized. As owners of this registered trademark, Burning Man is enforcing their rights against its use for commercial purposes in order to retain their rights to protect the mark from unwanted uses. 

That said, Linda has asked the street team that she leads to vote on a new name.

Seeing that the community (drink!) of Burning Man is indeed a community (drink! ;-), if you have any suggestions I'm sure Linda would love to hear them, too.  Leave a message on the group formerly known as "Etsy BRC" on their Facebook wall and weigh in. Also, have a look at all the pretty stuff that's there!

Until then, hopefully we'll see you tomorrow at the Mad Mad May Day event!

BURNcast Needs Your Help

Since the inception of BURNcast in 2005 until today there has been a great many changes on the Interwebz.

For instance: our original audio player as provided by ODEO is long gone. Our Frappr map died. The rise of Facebook, the fall of Tribe.  Bla...bla...bla....

We're now in the midst of transferring all our files to other services.

If you're clicking through this blog and notice any digital decay: dead links, broken links, broken files, etc. please contact us at burncast/@/gmail so that we can update those posts.

When contacting us, please provide the original post link. Thanks!

27 April 2010

Xray Image of @Danger_Ranger's Frankenstein Hand #burningman

Danger Ranger just tweeted an xray image of his hand earlier this evening. He tweets:
Microsurgey[sic]: bones pinned, tendons, arteries, nerves, skin stitched together. Frankenstein Hand.
Maybe you should follow him on Twitter 'cuz the dude can tap out his own reports! :)

As Hippy Steve put it: "[It] looks like thumb and index finger weren't affected. M2 will ride again." I think I'm going to faint now.

Get well soon, M2!

Video of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" @ Burning Man 2009

Do you all remember Patty? We interviewed her on BURNcast a few years back. She shared with me the video above from last year's burn. The Camp of the Living Dead organized this Michael Jackson tribute, a "Thriller" flash mob at the Man on Friday, September 4, 2009. Patty's the zombie in the blue dress and grey wig!

26 April 2010

Breaking News: Danger Ranger In Surgery At This Moment #burningman

Video by Scott Beale, Laughing Squid

Danger Ranger (aka "Michael Mikel" or "M2") one of the Senior Staff of the Black Rock City LLC, suffered a serious accident earlier today.

This just in from TribeRhino, one of the lead moderators of the Burning Man tribe on Tribe.net.


Danger Ranger had an accident today for the sake of his art. He just lost three fingers two hours ago.

His own words, copied from the feed:
"Safety Third. I just did a Mark Pauline, cut off 3 fingers for my Art. They are wheeling me into surgery now. "

Andie Grace, responding to the tweet:
"Yikes! Also: You would be the top of my list of people who would Twitter with his remaining fingers. "

I'll do my best to keep you posted, and lets have many, many healing thoughts to Danger Ranger right now.

Follow TribeRhino on Twitter for current updates.
"Riding the edge of chaos, we have found a bridge across the spiral of time where the future reaches into the past. In this place and on this planet, we accept the responsibility as protectors for those who seek passage. Who then will be the last to leap through the portal and leave no trace? Only the memory remains... a white desert... a black rock... and a burning man." -- Danger Ranger 1998

For Burners Using Blogger: A Free Black Rock Desert Playa Template

Above is a free Blogger/Blogspot template entitled "Black Rock Desert Playa". It's free for anybody who uses this platform to blog. Click on the image to check out the live demo. Let me know if you use it cuz I'm always looking for cool burners bloggers to follow!

20 April 2010

Burning Man Lamplighters on 3 Op Reis

This is an excerpt from a travel show on Dutch television BNN that features the Lamplighter camp at Burning Man. Several members are prominently featured including Christine Schilling, Dutch Owen, and Karl Soule. Oh, and HOLLA to Bobzilla! :)

The show producers 3 Op Reis have provided more information about Dennis (the host of the show) and his adventures at Burning Man 2009 here.

Tip: the site is in the Dutch language so you may want to use an on-line translator if your Dutch is niet zo goed.

Mad Mad May Day - A Burner Bazaar Coming On 5/1/2010

Hey y'all! I'm so excited to announce that the Etsy Black Rock City Crew headed up by LaLinda Loca is going to be throwing their first event: the Mad Mad May Day Burner Bazaar coming up on May 1, 2010 at the Angel's Gate Cultural Center located at 3601 South Gaffey Street, San Pedro, CA. The video above is just some of the artists who will be showcasing their arts and crafts at the event. Below is an indepth bio on all who either will be in attendance or be featured at the show. If you're in the Los Angeles area please come and PARTYcipate!


Deborah Wright
An award winning jeweler, Deborah has spent more than 15 years refining techniques and developing her creative gesture by using love of color, surface texture, and form to create signature wearable works of art. Inspired by gypsy heritage, Wright's jewelry invokes feelings of times past, days in ancient memory when a ring may bear the power to protect or a necklace the strength to cast glamour upon its wearer. Her works are unique and one of a kind, each with its own story and life-force.

Abby Ehmann aka EditrixAbby aka StAbby
On-playa, Abby manages the Black Rock City Sign Shop for the Department of Public Works. Away from the desert she cobbles together a living by writing, event producing and making magical chapeaux. She'll have her fedora and top hat collections on sale, as well as a few choice accessories. Custom orders gladly accepted!

DaBomb is a 21st century digital grrl living in Los Angeles. She loves to make things, adores vintage styles and her real name means "Queen of the Fairies." Most of the items she sells reflect one of those three ingredients. She creates, fixates, and ultimately fabricates all her shop's goodies locally except for vintage items as indicated.

Shing Yin Khor
Shing Yin Khor is a sculptor and illustrator inspired by monsters, tentacles, mediocre science fiction movies, bikes, Dungeons and Dragons, and really adorable cats. Educated as a theatrical scenic designer and prop maker, and employed in the technology field, she now synthesizes her eclectic skill set into accessible and affordable art ranging from desktop monster sculptures to walk-in spacepods installed at Burning Man.

April Visser
April combines both formal art training and her knowledge of the mineral kingdom into one of a kind jewelry pieces that are signified by simple design and bold colors. You may notice within the various creations an interest in multiple forms of art and design which include both ancient meanings and modern applications. Her inspiration is derived from nature, as well as bits and pieces of human history. Gemstones are valued not only for their beauty, but also for their vibrational frequencies which have been used as tools of healing and personal transformation for millennia.

Danielle Bibeau has a fascination with texture, faux fur, and functionality. Recently transplanted from Boston to San Diego, Danielle brings a little of each place with her own twist. She is excited to share with you many of her fun faux fur designs, as well as fabulously functional utility belts and bustles, and fanciful feather pieces!

Linda Loca
Linda Loca of Fire Grog Studio is the founding chair emeritus of Chicago's BURN Art Grant Committee and founding member emeritus of BURN's Steering Committee, aka Steeringman. She has a background in designing large-scale installations and shrines. She also creates smaller-scale dioramas and reliquaries. A seamstress and jewelry designer, she has an extensive collection of cultural ephemera that provides much of the source material which informs and inspires her work.

Astrid Olafsen, after 30 years in science, returned to her love of fabrics and creating one of a kind fashions. She's currently fascinated with the chemical variations of hand dying and the surface texture of flutters, which she combines in elegant and whimsical slip dresses, reconstructed from vintage garments. Her love affair with the ugliest of polyester double knit fabrics continues, as she fashions them into flirty skirts. Some of her fashions can even be seen worn by Gigsville-affiliated Burning Man aficionados.

Shayna Katherine
Steel Petal Press is a Chicago based small letter press operation run by Miss Shayna. Shayna got her first taste of letterpress printing while at San Francisco Art Institute studying under nationally recognized book artist, Charles Hobson. Since then she has continued to perfect her craft working in letterpress studios in New York, Washington DC and San Francisco. A veteran burner, Shayna has worked on many large-scale playa installations including The Poetry Shack, The Bird House and, most recently, The Brass Tax BoomBox project. She says, “I believe art should be everywhere for everyone to enjoy. ” Shayna currently lives in Chicago where she hand prints everything using a Vandercook press at the Center for Book and Paper Art. “I work hard to design edgy yet vintage, urban-retro hand printed cards that you can’t find at Hallmark, ” she says.
Tzipora Hoynik
After 25 years as a jeweler Tzipora Hoynik has branched out into her love of fabric and started creating hats, scarves and purses. Faux fur and pieces from her ethnic textile collection are now being transformed into wearable art. Color and texture play a major part in her choices of what she assembles together. Her newest collection of Spring and Summer hats is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Katherine the Great
Katherine has been designing costumes since 1995. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B. S. in Costume and Textile Design in 2000, and started Blue Moon Designs shortly thereafter. Katherine participates in numerous activities involving costumes. The short list includes belly dancing, Burning Man, Renaissance faire, burlesque, and the Dickens Christmas Fair. She also has training in making theatrical and performance costumes. She expanded her repertoire to include illuminated costumes after being apprenticed to Janet Hansen of Enlighted Designs in 2005.
Jen Dollface
Dollface has a dollhouse, and kept hidden inside is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. She is an artist from Chicago, who just recently graduated with a BFA in fiber studies, photography, and performance. There is beauty in her work, often with circumspect roughness or even unpleasantness. These deliberate dualities serve to demonstrate the imperfections in ourselves and in the world around us. With an equilibrium of satisfaction and frustration, anger and complacency, love and hate, her work breathes a life and personality of its own. Like finding a razorblade in a cupcake, it is unexpected, but holds a certain truth.

Hitler vs. Dubstep @ Burningman 2010

A really good friend of mine shared this with me several months ago and I'm just finally getting around to putting this up. While I agree with him that the Hitler thing is indeed a little over done, it did make me laugh. Hope you like it, too.

UPDATE 4/21/2010: The video above may be pulled at any moment as Constantin Films, the producer of the war movie, enforces DMCA. So if there's nothing there when you click on it, this is why.

EFF Chair and longtime burner Brad Templeton recently had his Hitler remix video taken down as well so he uploaded it to Vimeo and blogged about it here.

The funny part is director Oliver Hirschbiegel told New York Magazine that he loves the parodies. “You couldn’t get a better compliment as a director.” And he's right! Whatev.

19 April 2010

Support Alex "Surly" Guerra From DPW

Click on image to donate to support Surly.

13 April 2010

Missing Burner: Jason Sneed

I've been asked by a friend of Jason Sneed, a Bat Country burner and a multi-media artist, to put out the word regarding the fact that he's been missing since 28 March 2010 from his home in Maui, Hawaii.

Details about Sneed's story can be read in this news report from the Maui News.

Anyone who has seen Sneed or who has information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police Criminal Investigation Division at 808-244-6425 during regular business hours or 808-244-6400 after hours. Calls can also be made to Maui Crime Stoppers at 808-242-6966.

All friends of Jason are welcome to join his Facebook group for updates.

ISO Burning Man

I made this video in less than 3 minutes using Google's new "Search Stories Video Creator". The render time took up most of those three minutes. Give it a try. It's totally fun. If you have a Burning Man related one, send it to me and I'll post it here.

Fluffer at Burning Man 2009

Hidden inside this mobile dog's head at Burning Man 2009 was a household clothes dryer. On cold evenings, in the deep desert, participants had their coats warmed and fluffed while they enjoyed an interactive hypnotic experience. Check out the project's website at MutantVehicle.com/fluffer.htm

Fluffer was produced in part by Mr. Jellyfish, who in addition to contributing some splendid episodes to our audio podcast, has throughout the years been a ceaseless and unending participant in the community (drink!) bringing such fantastic interactive installations as Zsu-Zsu: The Crybaby Drama QueenManTis Puppet, MiniMan Giant Puppet and my personal favorite: U-Me: The Unfortunate Monkey Experience. Of course, as we all know it takes a village (or in this case: a theme camp) to pull off any large-scale art piece. Mr. Jellyfish acknowledges and thanks every participant to these projects so be sure to check out the links and see who done'em.

For 2010 Mr. Jellyfish is working on a project called "Ein Hammer". Last month the project received an Honorarium Grant Funding by the BMorg and Jellyfish is pleased as punch. Check in for updates on their blog.

11 April 2010

The Cacophony Society Makes The News

I know this needs to be blogged when one of the Burning Man Titans (that is to say the generation that came before me much like the Titans preceded the Olympians) Kevin Evans posts this on my Facebook wall. Nudge! Nudge! OK, Kevin. Got it!

Perhaps you're wondering: who are these freaks and why should you care?

Ooooh...tut...tut dear reader!

Members of the Cacophony Society's first group were also the primary organizers of the annual Burning Man festival after Cacophony co-founder John Law attended its previous incarnation as an as-yet-unnamed beach party at Baker Beach in 1988 and publicized the 1989 event in the Cacophony Society newsletter. Cacophonist Kevin Evans conceived of Zone Trip #4 in 1990 and organized it with John Law and Michael Mikel, publicizing it in the newsletter as "A Bad Day at Black Rock". Larry Harvey and Jerry James were subsequently invited to bring their effigy along, after they were prevented from burning it on the beach by law enforcement.

That's who these freaks are. If you call yourself a Burner™ than you should discover who really started Burning Man and not believe everything you read on the Internet. Cuz, you know. Christopher Columbus, he like discovered the Americas!

Fuck your day! (And you too, Ranger™. ;-)

01 April 2010

Burning Man Signs With Goldenvoice

After several months of negotiations Burning Man signs an exclusive deal with event promoter Goldenvoice which also includes Coachella in its roster.

"We used to do all our event planning in-house because we like to keep things within the *community*," says Larry Harvey, Chairman of the Board of the Black Rock City LLC. 
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