TIME celebrity

Watch Amy Schumer’s Reaction to Jennifer Lawrence Saying Her Name

Amy Schumer at the screening of "Trainwreck" at in London on June 3, 2015.
David M. Benett—Getty Images for Universal Pictures/Glamour Magazine Amy Schumer at the screening of "Trainwreck" at in London on June 3, 2015.

Speechless

Trainwreck star Amy Schumer has officially reached the level of fame at which even A-list movie stars know her name — yet she’s still grounded enough to get totally psyched when they say it on television.

In an interview with MTV News, Jennifer Lawrence pitched the idea of starting a Kickstarter campaign to get Schumer to agree to becoming the next Bachelorette, a gig which Schumer previously told EW that she’d accept for the hefty sum of $1 million — “And I would donate it to a charity that would keep that guy Tony from this season away from me. It’s my own charity: He has to stay a football field away from me at all times.”

Late Thursday, Schumer tweeted a video of herself watching the interview, and her reaction to seeing her name come out of Lawrence’s mouth is pretty delightful. Check it out:

Schumer’s memorable spot on The Bachelorette in May immediately led fans to demand that she become the next Bachelorette — even the show’s producers were on board. More seriously, Schumer told EW that she would take the job “if I could be myself, and I would need some hand in the editing.”

And now the comedian knows that the star of Hunger Games is on board, so … ball’s in your court, Schumer.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Innovation

Why We Need More Than a Standoff in Ukraine

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. In the face-off with Russia over Ukraine, stalemate is the same as losing.

By Leslie H. Gelb in Daily Beast

2. Africa’s biggest wind farm could generate a fifth of Kenya’s power.

By Tinashe Mushakavanhu in Quartz Africa

3. Let’s pay adjunct professors more than peanuts.

By Lee Hall in the Guardian

4. Want to invest in your city? Try this Kickstarter for municipal bonds.

By Kyle Chayka in Pacific Standard

5. Soon we’ll hack our skin’s bacteria to stop mosquito bites.

By Karen Emslie in Smithsonian

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Video Games

The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Campaign Soared Past $2m Goal in Less Than a Day

Sony Holds Press Event At E3 Gaming Conference Unveiling New Products For Its Playstation Game Unit
Christian Petersen — Getty Images Game designer Yu Suzuki and Sony Computer Entertainment America vice president of publisher and developer relations, Adam Boyes discus "Shenmue 3" during the Sony E3 press conference at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena on June 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

"I wanted to make it with the fans,” said developer Yu Suzuki

If there were any doubts whether gamers across the globe wanted another installment of the Sega adventure game Shenmue, fans of the franchise needed just a few hours to make their voices heard.

At Sony’s E3 press conference on Monday, the game’s developer Yu Suzuki announced that a Kickstarter campaign had been launched to collect $2 million to fund the development of Shenmue 3. Hours later the goal had been shattered.

As of the time of publication, the crowdfunding drive has raised more than $2.8 million thanks to donations from 36,000 backers. And this appears to be exactly what Suzuki envisaged for the project.

“If Shenmue 3 was going to get made, I wanted to make it with the fans,” wrote Suzuki on the campaign’s website. “Through Kickstarter, I knew that could happen. Together, with Shenmue fans everywhere, I knew we could build the game that the series deserves.”

TIME Kickstarter

Inventor Raises $120,000 for a Zombie-Fighting Tool on Kickstarter

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Laura Natividad—Getty Images/Flickr RF

The invention has a few practical uses too

Americans have plenty to worry about these days, including terrorism, infectious diseases, to the specter of an 18-month-long presidential election.

But entrepreneurs can apparently move a whole bunch of units playing up fears of completely fictional dangers too. That has been inventor Marvin Weinberger’s strategy. He has raised more than $120,000 dollars in a Kickstarter campaign for his new product called the “Lil Trucker,” which he pitched to prospective investors in a video that shows the tool’s capacity to fight off a zombie invasion.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the tool is actually quite useful outside of a zombie combat scenario. The Lil Trucker weighs just 1.3 pounds, but comes loaded with features: “a glass breaker, folding saw, can opener, hatchet blade, hex wrench, pry, wedge, hook, hammer, nail puller, wire twist, gas valve wrench, spanner, and strap cutter.”

Despite the obvious practical uses for such a tool, Weinberg “thought that the tool itself needed something pretty sexy to market it,” according to the report.

Mission accomplished, Marvin.

TIME Gadgets

These High-Tech Earbuds Have an Unexpected Trick

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doppler labs

They enable audience members to control their listening environment

Doppler Labs may be on the verge of eliminating the concept of bad sound mixing at a concert. No, they haven’t invented a robot sound guy who never falls asleep on the job. Instead, they’re putting the power of live EQ control in the audience’s hands — and ears.

The company’s new Here Active Listening System is a set of earbuds wirelessly connected to a smartphone app that allows wearers to actually alter the sounds they’re hearing in nigh-real time. It’s not just making the audio softer or louder, either (though there is that); the app allows you to control how much bass comes through, where the midrange cuts off, and how high the treble gets. Crazier still, you can add or remove effects like reverb, echo, flange, and even one that makes it sound like an old vinyl record. Essentially, you’re curating your own listening experience.

The app comes loaded with preset filters, too, so you can instantly turn a small bar venue into a music hall, or switch it so that the huge festival field sounds to you like an intimate concert experience. While the music applications for these devices are instantly appealing, Doppler has bigger goals in mind. They want people to personalize their listening environments at all times.

“With the Here Active Listening System we want to give you the tools to have the perfect listening experience,” said Doppler Labs CEO and Co-Founder Noah Kraft said in a press release. “We all perceive sound differently, but everyone has been to a concert where the audio wasn’t quite right or has been subjected to a long flight with a screaming baby. Here changes all that, giving control back to the listener by allowing you to curate what you hear and how you hear it. Our goal is to make it so you never have to deal with noise or a bad mix ever again.”

To that end, they’ve created modes that mute the engines of an airplane, the cries of a baby, the background noise of a subway, the clacking of an officemate’s keyboard, and pretty much any aural stimulation you can imagine. You could even give yourself Superman-like super hearing, or turn off your significant other’s nagging.

Besides the theoretical argument around what controlling our audio input might do on an evolutionary level, there are some things to be cautious about with this new tech. Most apparently, the things aren’t exactly attractive; the Here buds feature a large, white circle that make it look like you’re wearing speakers in your ears. Then there’s the risk of accidentally blocking out something you need to hear, or turning a live performance into an ugly mess and not realizing it actually sounds better without Here.

But there’s plenty of stuff to awe at, as well. For one, Here reportedly processes audio at 30 microseconds, making any lag virtually inconceivable. While the buds are saddled with a four- to six-hour battery life, the case actually acts as a charging station and can hold two full charges right in your pocket. It’s like an external battery pack for your Bat-ears.

Still, with any new technology, there’s reason to be skeptical about the first generation release. (Here’s looking at you, Apple Watch.) Here is incredibly fresh; Doppler just took their prototypes out for their first real-world test at this past Coachella. But the company is getting a lot of love, having already made deals to have their Dubs “acoustic filter” earplugs become the official earplugs of Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Outside Lands. They’ve also made partnerships with artists like Quincy Jones, Tiesto, and Hans Zimmer.

Before Here even hits the market, however, it’s going to go through some changes. Doppler has just launched a Kickstarter, and some of the pledge “rewards” include being part of beta testing and prototype trials. If you just want the final product, you’re able to pre-order a set for $179, about $70 less than the predicted list price of $249. Units won’t begin shipping till December, but already the Kickstarter has raised $191,447 of its $250,000 goal from just 847 backers. There’s no denying that this technology is intriguing, and looking ahead, there are some frighteningly cool (and just plain frightening) possibilities. (Doppler really wants to take things into Star Trek communicator territory — read more here.)

Below, check the Kickstarter pitch video, which provides a more detailed explanation about the Here devices and Doppler in general. There’s also a clip of Zimmer, an investor and advisor on Here, explaining how he sees the new tech, plus video of two world-class violinists experiencing what Here has to offer. Head to the Kickstarter page for more.

 

This article originally appeared on Consequence of Sound.

More from Consequence of Sound:

MONEY Startups

4 Secrets of Crowdfunding Success

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Andrew Paterson—Getty Images

Turns out, it's not as easy at it looks.

Driving a tricked out BMW motorcycle with a refrigerated compartment attached like a sidecar, Simon Anguelov earns money to pay for community college in San Diego as a mobile ice cream vendor. The 20-year-old MiraCosta College student took out $30,000 in bank loans to create the customized bike with help from his sister, who cosigned for him.

Recently, it dawned on Anguelov that it would be easier to generate business if there was an Uber-like app people could use to order ice cream deliveries from vendors like him or ice cream stores. In May, he launched a campaign to get funding for IceCreamZilla, an app-enabled network, on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Kickstarter enables donation-based crowdfunding, where individuals make donations to business ideas they want to bring to life.

“Ice cream vendors like me would benefit from an app like this,” says Anguelov. “It would draw a lot of business to the industry.”

But Anguelov was in for a surprise. It has been harder than he expected to raise money on Kickstarter. By the time his campaign ended, he had raised only $1,980 toward his $25,000 goal. Under Kickstarter’s rules, that meant he didn’t get to keep any of the money. “It’s really hard to spread the word,” he says.

But he didn’t give up. He restarted his campaign on June 1, this time with a smaller goal of $5,000—and on his first day had already hit $3,015, with 59 days to go.

It’s easy for new entrepreneurs to get excited by the potential to raise money on sites like Kickstarter, where fundraisers have collectively snagged $1.7 billion since it launched in 2009. Some entrepreneurs have hit the jackpot. Pebble Watch, a smartwatch, raised $20.3 million in the site’s most funded campaign to date, and the Coolest Cooler—a picnic accessory that comes with a waterproof Bluetooth speaker—raised $13.2 million, which was good for second place.

And Kickstarter is just one option. In 2014, crowdfunders in North America raised $9.46 billion, a 145% increase from the year before, according to a recent global report from Massolution, a research firm in Los Angeles that collects data from 1,250 active crowdfunding sites around the world. Its data included both donation- and equity-based crowdfunding, where companies typically sell an ownership stake to investors.

Still, as Anguelov discovered, crowdfunding isn’t as easy as the success stories we constantly hear make it sound. Here are four key things to know before you start your campaign.

Successful campaigns start way before the launch. Many crowdfunders start building their following on social networks months before they actually launch a campaign. There’s a reason for this. Crowdfunding campaigns have a time limit. It’s not easy to reach your funding goal if you don’t start working on building up your social media following—a primary way to share these campaigns—until the day you launch.

“It’s hard to get viewers unless you have a presence on Facebook,” says Anguelov, with 20-20 hindsight. “I don’t have any followers.” This time around, he has started building his Facebook following and plans to join groups on the social media site where he can talk about his project. He has also changed his rewards. Previously, he offered discount coupons; this time, he is offering some extras to local donors who pledge $99 or more, such as a chance to meet him and have him personally deliver 25 ice cream treats.

It pays to set realistic goals. Each donation-based site has its own rules, but on some donation-based sites, including Kickstarter, you don’t get to keep any of the donations if you don’t hit your funding goal. However, it is possible on the site to set a stretch funding goal once you meet your initial goal and try to raise additional funds.

Other sites will cut you more slack, but you’ll pay for it. For instance, Indiegogo lets you keep all the money you raise, even if you miss your target. However, it charges a 4% fee if you hit your goal versus 9% if you get part of the way there. That means that if you raise $100,000, you have to pay the site $9,000.

Industry-specific sites may work best if you’re a niche player. If you’re looking to attract the attention of high-net worth investors, equity-based crowdfunding sites that target investors in your sector may be your best bet. Visio Financial Services, a 45-employee company in Austin that was founded in 2011, used this approach. It lends money to private investors who are purchasing single family homes to flip or rent. About a year ago, the firm raised $10 million in a debt facility through the real-estate crowdfunding site Realty Mogul, says CEO Jeff Ball. “There are a lot of accredited investors who have money they would like to invest in alternative asset classes,” he says.

However, gaining entry to such platforms isn’t easy. “It’s getting more crowded,” says Richard Swart, crowdfunding and alternative finance researcher and scholar-in-residence in the Institute for Business and Social Impact at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “It’s becoming more difficult to attract interest.” Plus, they have little incentive to promote deals that aren’t right for their particular investors. “Many of these platforms are rejecting 90% to 95% of companies seeking funding,” says Swart.

Crowdfunding may not help you get more financing. Getting a bank loan or credit card and making timely payments can help you build a financial track record. But raising money on a crowdfunding site may not carry much weight with future lenders. Ask David Goldin, president and CEO of AmeriMerchant, a New York City firm that provides working capital to small businesses. “It’s irrelevant,” says Goldin. Why? Interest by people who aren’t professional investors or lenders doesn’t necessarily signal to someone like him that a business has staying power. It’s similar to the world outside crowdfunding platforms. “A lot of people invest in a restaurant—and most restaurants fail,” he says.

TIME Kickstarter

This Is the Most Pointless Kickstarter Project Yet

Glass of water
Getty Images

Surely this is unnecessary

In the age of Kickstarter, anyone with an idea can possibly raise some money to make a product.

Consider Hidrate, an electronic water bottle that connects to an app to track how much you drink.

Dubbed by Gawker as “the Worst Kickstarter,” Hidrate has already raised $85,000, despite the fact that anyone with eyes can buy a clear Nalgene and look at how high they fill it up to track the amount of water they drink in a day.

And no, this doesn’t appear to be an intentional joke like that potato salad Kickstarter. Some other notably quirky campaigns:

This $46,000 campaign for “combat kitchenware”
The more than 8,000 British Pounds raised for leather coin sacks
More than $25,00 for a cat calendar
Some dude who raised more than $1,000 to buy Chipotle

While a successful Kickstarter is of course no guarantee that this product will be successful, the fact that this many people are willing to buy in is either profoundly awesome or a sign of the times, depending on your point of view.

TIME Startups

Startup Founders Get their Rightful Place: On a Deck of Cards

Can you guess which late tech titan is the king of spades?

Running a startup is like playing a game of cards. Founders keep a sharp eye on competitors, and make the best of the hand they were dealt while mixing in secrecy, guessing, and bluffing.

So it’s only fitting that some of these tech company founders make it onto a deck of cards. New York City design firm Red Bean has started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise $3,500 to make the deck, “Startup Founder Playing Cards,” into reality.

The deck features iconic characters like Apple’s Steve Jobs (king of spades), the Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington (queen of diamonds), Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel (jack of clubs) and Jack Dorsey (jack of hearts) of Twitter and Square fame. But to find out the rest of the deck’s founders, you’ll have to fund the campaign.

Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first time Silicon Valley is lending itself to a game. Earlier this year, three friends created their own take on the popular board game Settlers of Catan that featured San Francisco’s startups that they funded through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Last summer, San Francisco-based blog The Bold Italic, which has since shut down, had some fun creating would-be cards for Cards Against Humanity that lampooned Silicon Valley culture. To play Cards Against Humanity, players take turns playing a black master card with an incomplete statement or question. The rest of the players then attempt to play a clever response from their own hands of white cards.

As for Red Bean’s startup founder cards, they’ll cost you $15. Shipments are expected to start in August.

TIME Phones

Hate Your Phone? This Kickstarter is for You

Courtesy of The Light Phone

This new phone is perfect for when you mostly want to disconnect

Smart phones are ubiquitous in modern life. But if you’re the type of person who hates having to carry around a mini-computer in your pocket, a new Kickstarter campaign has a solution.

The Light Phone is a credit card-sized device that does nothing but make phone calls. No games, no texts, and no Twitter that you incessantly check up on (the writer of this article has certainly been guilty of that before.) It can piggyback onto your smartphone service so that you don’t have to go completely cold turkey.

But you can at least leave the house with no access to social media while still being able to make and receive emergency calls.

The phone has its own number. But it also connects to an app that can forward all calls from your pre-existing number. The device also has a simple clock, a touch pad for entering numbers and 20 days of battery life.

In theory, buying a simple flip phone or burner phone could achieve the same goal. The Light Phone, though, is much thinner (seriously, you can fit it in your wallet) and in theory easier to connect to your existing number.

Here’s a video from the Kickstarter:

The Light Phone costs $100 to pre-order. The project has already gotten more than $120,000 in backing, and is looking to raise $200,000 by June 27. The phones are expected to ship in May 2016. The phone comes with a SIM card with 500 minutes and a mini USB charger.

TIME innovations

Here’s What You Could Do With a $9 Computer

C.H.I.P.
Carbon Workshop C.H.I.P. and battery.

C.H.I.P. is raising money on Kickstarter right now

By and large, you get what you pay for. That’s an adage that applies to everything from expertly crafted clothing to well cooked food. But when the price of goods drops dramatically, that doesn’t always mean you get less.

Case in point: C.H.I.P., a $9 computer that’s raising money on Kickstarter right now. With more than $1.1 million in funds raised with just over three weeks to go, the campaign to finance an ultra-low cost computer-on-a-chip has blasted past its $50,000 goal.

So, what will the 22,000 (and counting) C.H.I.P. users be able to do with their matchbook-sized PC? A lot, actually. Here’s 6 uses for the small wonder.

1. Finally write that novel: With a 1.0 gigahertz processor and 4GB of onboard storage, this micro-computer has all that it needs to run open-source software. For instance, LibreOffice, a free yet powerful suite of software, can get you banging out documents in no time. And with minimal distractions, you might finally write that novel you’ve been scheming up all these years. Of course, you can also finally tabulate that spreadsheet or craft that presentation, too, but that doesn’t sound anywhere near as fun.

2. Get your lolz all over the web: With the open source Chromium browser, C.H.I.P. users can browse all over the Internet, taking in everything from breaking news to trending memes. “Pretty much everything that you can do in Chrome that is not proprietary, you can do in Chromium,” says David Rauchwerk, the founder and CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Next Thing, the company that’s putting out C.H.I.P.

Not all websites will work well on C.H.I.P. For instance, Flash is a codec owned by Adobe, so sites that use it (or display video using it) won’t work on Chromium — at least not without a plugin. But Chromium does support HTML5, which means a lot of the most current websites will load fine, and you can even view YouTube clips without a problem on this little-computer-that-could. That said, Rauchwerk cautions that with its lightly-powered processor, it’s not going to stream 4K video, but it will chug along nicely with clips at a lower resolution.

3. Finally beat King’s Quest: Powered by Linux, C.H.I.P can run all sorts of software, including DOSBox, an old-school video game emulator that can revive all your old favorites from Arkanoid to Zork. In addition, Linux has a ton of great, indie games that are worthy of your time. But this little computer also has more than enough might to run controller-based games, too. Connecting peripherals to C.H.I.P. either through its USB port or via Bluetooth ups its game considerably.

4. Scratch out some code: Because it’s compatible with thousands of apps, there’s a lot that users can do with C.H.I.P., but one function where this underpowered force can excel is in coding. Just connect a it to a keyboard and a monitor (using a VGA or HDMI snap-on shield, which cost a bit more) and fire up Scratch, one of dozens of programs that come preloaded on the computer.

“Scratch is an entire learning system, and there’s an entire curriculum that’s free and open source created by a lab at MIT,” says Rauchwerk. With downloadable lesson plans aimed at kids (but even adults can learn a thing or two), there’s a big library of APIs and architectures to learn.

5. Touch and go: There’s no use in having a computer this small if you can’t take it with you. One cool add-on that the Next Thing team pulled together is PocketC.H.I.P., a portable, combined 4.3-inch touchscreen display and keyboard that packs a 5-hour battery. Looking like a skinned Game Boy, PocketC.H.I.P. lets you game, code, or just compute anywhere, especially since the micro-computer has Wi-Fi connectivity. One Wilmington, Del.-based backer is going to use the PocketC.H.I.P. to teach coding to underprivileged kids, letting them keep and use the little computer between classes.

6. Turn your TV into a Smart TV: As digital has dominated the tech landscape, it’s created a lot of electronic waste. Next Thing’s engineers decided to give new life to old televisions by equipping C.H.I.P. with an output for component video, the old yellow cable that worked with your Super Nintendo.

“We have a lot of fun, retro gear in our studio,” says Rauchwerk. “It’s a way of giving life to this stuff that would be otherwise thrown away.” And that capability gives C.H.I.P. and an old TV endless potential. Turn it into a retro gaming station for your kids, a message terminal at your business, or an art installation showcasing your photographs.

This is just the beginning for C.H.I.P.; its users will be the best at defining what the machine can actually do. In the campaign’s most recent update, the company asked backers to share their plans for their C.H.I.P. computers when they start arriving in December. Overall, the most popular answer seemed to be that people wanted to use it as a tiny media center PC — one backer even plans on using it to convert an old jukebox into a Wi-Fi-connected music player. But ultimately, like any game-changing technology, it’s best use case likely hasn’t even been dreamed up yet.

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