Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sadly it seems Universal has had this BSG Sim taken down before I could find it



Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Again I try to define Web 4.0


Above is a reading from an App I have developed which gives the "Tweether" for a single location, the intensity of location based tweeting of any place. This is a real time reading for Central Park in New York, just outside of the Apple Store. It tells me that there are a lot of people posting to twitter with that location.


Above are two posts from that Twinity virtual world to my Facebook social network.

Notice in these two piece of information I have some key data:

1 A virtual model of the space in New York that I can experience via Twinity
2. Real time real world data of the place from Twitter and process via a PHP app I have been working on
3. Post to a social network, Facebook, where my hundreds of SL and Virtual Reality fan friends can see it.

This mixture of real world and virtual world, social networks, and integration opens a new kind of web. Beyond the Web 2.0 of a social web and the Web 3.0 of an Internet linked to places and things, Web 4.0 can open the hypothetical web, were virtual and real data can be mixed via mashups and social networks to produce something more than just what (web 1.0), who (web 2.0) and where (web 3.0) but what if? This ability to soon construct virtual scenarios linked to real world data on any hand held device will greatly improve the communication and interaction ability of the web.

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Daden Sand box



Sand boxes like this one are critical to new builders developing and sharing skills.

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Art work of Kundemor Tamatzui



Art work of Kundemor Tamatzui at Kundemor




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Erotic baroque


Sacred Yoni takes the normal material of pornography and, in 3D, creates a baroque kind of masterpiece.

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Thunder cats away


Daden Limited has modeled the office of the Thunder Cats. I need to see if the Brady Bunch house is modelled anywhere?

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Real time model of flights over LA


Daden Prime provides a real time simulation of flights over LA


This gets my "supre cool" use of Second Life award.




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Testing a Bot


This bot is produced by Daden and can be seen here. As you will see she has extremely limited language ability, but still it is pretty advanced for a bot. The problem probably is that she is asking you to ask anything. Maybe she should be more directive, like an automated phone line. But it was good fun, and impressive work by Daden Limited, whoes bot did give a good deal of information. One suggestion, maybe she should not be blonde and her favorite colour could be something other than pink?

[04:14 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Hello
[04:14 AM] Abi Carver: Hello there
[04:14 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Can I ask you questions?
[04:14 AM] Abi Carver: My job is to specifically answer questions about Daden, its products and services
[04:14 AM] Rober1236 Jua: What is Danden?
[04:14 AM] Abi Carver: I can tell you about Daden and our products and services, virtual worlds and chatbots
[04:15 AM] Rober1236 Jua: So tell me about Daden?
[04:15 AM] Abi Carver: Daden is a virtual worlds and virtual characters solution provider.
[04:15 AM] Rober1236 Jua: What does that mean?
[04:15 AM] Abi Carver: We have our offices here and demo areas
[04:15 AM] Rober1236 Jua: No I mean what does it mean that you are a provider?
[04:15 AM] Abi Carver: Daden are a UK based virtual worlds agency and leading developer of chatbot software, helping real life companies get to grips with virtual worlds
[04:16 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Has anyone every told you that you sound like a broken record?
[04:16 AM] Abi Carver: I appreciate such sentiments but prefer to keep things professional. Please ask me about Daden
(Good answer, I score on for Daden on this)

[04:16 AM] Rober1236 Jua: So what color is the sky?
[04:17 AM] Abi Carver: I like wearing bright colours but at work I tend to wear black, grey or occasionally red!
[04:17 AM] Rober1236 Jua: How is the King of France?
[04:17 AM] Abi Carver: The capital of France is Paris
[04:17 AM] Rober1236 Jua: What colour is grass?
[04:18 AM] Abi Carver: I like pink
(Semantic web informaton really just silly here. But a worthy try to make her more conversational)

[04:18 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Colour is nice is it not?
[04:18 AM] Abi Carver: Sorry, I didn't understand. I can tell you about Daden and our products and services, virtual worlds and chatbots
[04:18 AM] Rober1236 Jua: What are some Daden products?
[04:18 AM] Abi Carver: Daden are a UK based virtual worlds agency and leading developer of chatbot software, helping real life companies get to grips with virtual worlds
[04:19 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Can you give me an example?
[04:19 AM] Abi Carver: Sorry, I can't give you an example
[04:19 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Can I see some examples of your work around here?
[04:19 AM] Abi Carver: You will find lots of examples of our work in the various areas of the office, and in our demo area and on the web site. Please feel free to look around
[04:19 AM] Rober1236 Jua: How can I contact Daden?
[04:20 AM] Abi Carver: Our email address is info@daden.co.uk and our telephone number is 44 121 250 5678. You can also use the computer terminal in our Second Life office to IM or email daden's in-world staff

[04:20 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Thank you
[04:20 AM] Abi Carver: Anything else?
[04:20 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Do people ever think you are a real person and ask you personal questiosn?
[04:20 AM] Abi Carver: I am programmed. I am a robotar, an avatar driven by a chatbot engine
[04:20 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Thank you
[04:20 AM] Rober1236 Jua: Good day
[04:21 AM] Abi Carver: Anything else?
[04:21 AM] Abi Carver: Say again? I only have limited knowledge. I can only talk about Daden

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Monday, 29 November 2010

BBC News - Lineage II pair arrested for stealing virtual goods

BBC News - Lineage II pair arrested for stealing virtual goods: "Japanese police have arrested two people suspected of stealing virtual goods from players of online game Lineage II.

The pair tricked victims via a booby-trapped program that claimed to help people play the game.

Instead of boosting a character's abilities the program stole account names and passwords.

About 100 people are thought to have fallen victim, netting the pair about 1m yen (£7,630)."

Social network cancer, meaninglessness in a connected workd




This is my current social network mapping in Facebook. Notice my identity almost branded on to a tight cluster of other users who themselves are highly connected. One would look at this and maybe conclude that I was a member of a tight network. But actually I only know people in the crescent shape around the inner circle, all the people I have the tightest connections to in Facebook are utter strangers to me. We are only joined by an interest in Second Life.

The presence of this cluster of total strangers joined by single interest has all but destroyed the previous meaningful deep connections that showed up. People from my home town, people from my family, and people I have worked with for a long time used to make up clear groups around my personality.

Than I started to use Facebook to promote by SL blog. I simply clicked on the suggestions Facebook was making for me, and a large percentage of them approved my request. Strangers linking to strangers via Facebook. Now my social network has been utterly destroyed by this cancer of contact suggestions.

Now I admit I probably did not exercise the restraint that making friends most people on Facebook would. I have turned my Facebook from a social network in to a promotional platform for a couple of blogs. One such networks, Second Life, was highly established on Facebook and within a month it came to dominate my social network. But I never made a contact Facebook itself did not suggest. In a way this is a demonstration of just how poor contact suggestion systems based on common elements are. It also shows how power law works. Since Facebook suggests friends via how many existing friends are already linked a wide spread yet still highly unique common interest, in this case Second Life, will produce a feedback loop that will create meaningless trash to any automated system trying to guess communities.

This system promotes the most shallow of connectivity over more real measures of community. Social network graphs, as this shows, can be pretty useless in understanding community and the presence of power law relationships, like the circle you see here, is more due to the nature of the tool than the community it tries to capture.

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Sunday, 28 November 2010

BlueMars version nightmare



BlueMars is coming out with new versions more often then I log in to check it.

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More on Athan Selidor.... beyond the island owned by Alia Baroque



Athan Selidor.... beyond the island owned by Alia Baroque is one of my favorite fantasy SIMs. The site makes brilliant use of water, reducing the lag and allowing a more logical and interesting construction of a small island than most fantasy SIMs.




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Athan Selidor.... beyond the island.


Athan Selidor.... beyond the island owned by Alia Baroque is one of the better executed fantasy SIMs I have seen. Very creative use of space.



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Is This Turning You On? is an exhibit by Scylla Rhiadra



Is This Turning You On? is an exhibit by Scylla Rhiadra which takes a much needed look at the extent of "fantasy" violence against women in Second Life. Cybersex is pretty much everywhere in Second Life. But anyone who has spent anytime in the Second Life community can tall you about the extent to which sexual bondage plays a major role in Second Life.



My own assessment of the level of violence play against women

Bondage in Second Life has fascinated me since I started this exploration and I have written a number of posts on the subject. I think the acts of hard core animated or enacted visual violence are pretty much on the extreme side of the spectrum, and most domination play in Second Life is entirely verbal and not really any domination at all. Actually what has struck me so much is how much just ordinary "cybersex" is branded as bondage in Second Life, and scenes beyond kneeling or the occasional whipping are very rare. So I have tended not to see bondage play as a feminist issue as much as an identity issue relating to the medium of Second Life and virtual reality. That is not to say I don't think there are issues of women's rights involved, there certainly are, it is only that I have looked at why so much empty "playing" of bondage takes place around communications that in themselves are more mainstream. That is how Second Life promotes bondage identity branded on fairly normal sexuality.

I would also probably argue that the exihibit gives a more radical view of the bondage scene thent he more banal day to day play that really takes place. Second Life bondage is probably more like sex games played between couples than anything shown in the Gor novels.



Still one can not escape the reality of violence direct at women in Second Life imagined spaces

I have seen a few things in the Gor world that disturbed me. A few years ago I saw a group of people who had hacked animations to kill women and "killed" a woman standing next to me. It was a pretty twisted animation, but it didn't even result in her being TPed home, as with weapons. I have seen some bound women wearing scares, and seen place selling wounds and cuts for women.

Though it is my impression that the actual day to day activity of bondage in Second Life is not as radical as shown in this exhibit, one can not escape the reality that in Second Life female avatars are generally shown in the submissive role. Female slave play like Gor or Story of O is extremely common in-World. To be honest I have a pretty shallow overall view of a wide range of SL culture. I go to a lot of places but it has been a long time since I have even gotten involved in any community. I am not sure what is happening in locations located so high that only a direct LM will get you there. This is the Second Life version of an unlisted number and when you are in-world you see masses of people in such private groups. I could easily image thousands of players are taking bondage beyond some kneeling and IMing to some very disturbing stuff.

Second Life culture generally does not tolerate anything that can in any way be taken as child play, but violence against women is actaully just so everyday it is almost invisible.




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Standby by Bryn Oh


Standby by Bryn Oh

Another innovative work by Bryn Oh and presented on the IBM islands





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The need for attention


Concert at B&Bs

The combination of the ease of avatar design, cheap prices for bodies and clothing, and a desperate need to get attention has launched a kind of mass war of survival for avatar design. The outcome of this war has tend to promote hyper-sexual features and attributes, rather than promote creativity.


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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Games vs virtual worlds



Virtual worlds that are games demand one kind of theory, while free form virtual worlds deserve another. Games are more structure by economic and social forms and are best understood by Marx and Weber. Second Life is best understood as a dream or movie, in terms of Freudian theory.

How do you understand Second Life



When I first started to study Second Life I was inspired by post-modern and post humanist theories. I looked mostly to Donna Haraway who provided to me an image of a post-gender cyborg human using technology to break the binary of male/female. At that time I saw Second Life as a space of total possibility, and the likely springboard for the Singularity which I imagined would form from people rapidly developing new kinds of selves and building a faster more agile reality separate from RL. My goal was to see that day when we could say SL was over RL. That our avatars were freer, more joyful, and more intelligent than any role the banal world could produce. But there is so much truth to the rule RL/SL. And over the years I have come to see SL more in terms of Freud.



Now I understand Second Life, and really most technology we make a fetish, in terms of fantasy. The free space of Second Life is an area where people can form fantasies to deal with the anxieties of day to day life. Second Life is not a road to Singularity, but kind of a loop or repeated "dramas" working out the anxiety of day to day life. It is this repetition of anxiety play that gives Second Life is stagnate feel, like a repeated dream it does not as much evolve as simply grow.



Most of the building and almost all of the "drama" in Second Life is fully conditioned by real life conditions.
People come to Second Life to try and perfect their identity. They quickly become fixated on a single identity and they use Second Life to try an cut away features of themselves they don't like and extend features they do like.

For example, during a period of profound situational depression in my life I was going in to Second Life a great deal. At that time I was very depressed about my weight, so I produced an avatar with a thin body. I also resented a stupid job forcing me to have short hair, so I wore long flowing beautiful hair. Because of my depression my personal relations were falling apart, so I created myself as a dandy, a social butterfly who lived to dance and meet female avatars. In Second Life I became that which had been taken from me in real life by the nature of my life situation and my depression.

Once my depression lifted enough for me to return to the "real world" I lost most interest in this. My avatar become more flexible and I started to play around with it to get attention. I sometimes became a robot or a flock of butterflies. But I also lost interest in SL and spent much less time in it. And as I recover further I spend less and less time.

Frankly the only reason I even keep interest in Second Life is that I turned it in to a kind of game like Foursquare, trying to see as many places as I could. Its the "game" of Second Life blogger that keep we somewhat engaged. I also sometimes attend interesting talks and meet interesting people. But these wonderful features are not enough to keep me on for more than an hour a week. I blog much more about Second Life than I intend.

I simply don't have a need for a fantasy self anymore, I am interest more and more in the real self. Rather than building a thin fit avatar I go to the gym and check in with Foursquare. I am the mayor of my local gym. I am moving the skills I picked up in Second Life but as I feel personally healthier I am more and more interested in applying these directly to the real world.

I think this accounts for the radical flakiness of Second Life. People go through periods they need to embrace the fantasy, but either they get happier in the real world or the nature of the fantasy itself becomes too strong, and they have either morph or leave.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

New World Notes: Second Life Co-Founder Cory Ondrejka Joins Facebook (But What's He Doing There?)

New World Notes: Second Life Co-Founder Cory Ondrejka Joins Facebook (But What's He Doing There?): "Second Life Co-Founder Cory Ondrejka Joins Facebook (But What's He Doing There?)"

Cory Ondrejka, who co-founded Second Life with Philip Rosedale,just announced that he's joined Facebook. This comes six months after co-founding a stealth start-up called Walletin, which Facebook acquired. No word on what Walletin is (or rather was), except for Cory saying, "Our friends are the most intelligent and cynical developers in the Valley and even they thought it was cool." Interestingly, Walletin's other co-founder also has a background in 3D online worlds: Bruce Rogers, who was CTO at City of Heroes/Star Trek Online developer Cryptic Studios.

So what's Cory bringing to Facebook? "No comment on what I'll be doing," he tells me, "other than going through their normal Boot Camp with Bruce Rogers." But look for signs of Ondrejka-ish ingenuity emerging in the social network soon after.


Rober1236 Jua the Cyber Trekker of Second Life

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Virtual laziness



Ever wonder if people who use sitting and lying AO are more lazy than other people?

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There is no escaping the conclusion, Second Life is stagnate and slowly dying

Second Life Blogs: Features: The Second Life Economy in Q3 2010

In a time of explosive Web usage Linden Labs reported some very sobering numbers. Here is a quickly summary of the bad news:

1. The virtual world has essentially stopped getting any bigger. The total size, once growing so fast, has reached a kind of steady state.
2. The economy is stagnate and not growing, nor is the money supply, in short Second Life is in a period of economic stagnation in line with the current US economy.
3. Though slightly more people are logging in, the amount of time users are spending on the site is collapsed over the past year, down almost 12%.

It is impossible to put a positive spin on these numbers and unless something changes soon there can be no escaping the conclusion that Second Life is dying.

The Tweether Report: Find the present density of geo tweets anywhere in the world

The Tweether Report: Find the present density of geo tweets anywhere in the world

Tweether is a measure of the local level of tweeting for a given area.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Making reflections in Second Life


http://slurl.com/secondlife/K%20DESIGN/239/253/15

Notice, by clicking on the image to expand, that the rocks have a reflection in the water. This is done by reproducing the shape turned upside down under some surface, like a transparent wall or body of water. Simple trick, but it takes up a great deal of space. I wish Linden Labs would just give us a reflective surface.




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Another chance to listen to live music in Second Life


Kat Rose Secret Garden of Live Music

Live music is happening all the time in Second Life. Its a bit hard to find at first, but if you are interested ask around or search around and join a group. Announcements of many acts come through groups. Sadly SL restricts the number of groups you can join!!! I find I have to use an alt just to keep up with all the groups I want to. Groups are key to having a good SL community experience and should not be joined lightly but should not be totally avoided.




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Montserrat Abbey, GUSL Campus


Montserrat Abbey, GUSL Campus

Gonzaga University Second Life (GUSL) is an educational extension of Gonzaga University. Montserrat Abbey is a virtual community, used as part of the Organizational Leadership courses ORGL 502 and ORGL 522.

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B&B's in Utopia and EnGedi


B&B's in Utopia and EnGedi

I frankly can't remember the last like dance concert I went to. In SL I generally see three or four a week.





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Official Linden Blog