Monday, June 26, 2006

Happy birthday SL

It was the third birthday of Second Life over the weekend. Now it has almost 290,000 residents...

I didn't get a chance to check out the celebrations - I was too busy enjoying the sun in First Life.

Check out some snaps though from Snapzilla.


So, content with having to deal with dodgy skin outbreaks for 20-odd years, which manifested themselves mostly as individual, vicious, puss-fillled, scarlet and angry boils - monthly - my skin seems to have changed. Hurrah, but no.

Now, all of a sudden, I have the indignity of suffering from blackheads which I can't catch before they turn into a lighter scattering of irritations. These choose to visit upon my cheeks, which is intensely annoying. I can't see them either. When I do, I can't get rid of them.

I remembered as a teenager (having never had blackheads, just hormone-induced boils) that my friends used to have a metallic device to gouge them out. I could never understand the need for such an instrument.

Now I want, no need, one. And I can't find them in our mainstream chemists. Am I to believe that today's youth no longer need them? I try all their potions and nothing doing.

So I have had to take my search online. And here it is: Mankind Professional Comedone (Blackhead) Remover from online shop.

How much? I fear 13 squids is a tad much. But it might be fun to see what I missed as a 14 year old. Hmm.

London's latest tourist attraction? board

This, courtesy of Darryn.R on B3ta, would be a magnificent way to revamp our tourist attactions and reach out to the, don't you think? Heh.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Where the Hell is Matt?

That guy Matt, whose video of him dancing in different locations around the world (to that tune that kind of sounds like a yodel), was one of the first I saw on YouTube, has been at it again. Check it out.

Cats that look like Hitler

Hitler cats!
Via a mate.

This is the funniest thing I have seen since Stuff On My Cat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hide away

Hide-and-seek 1
Hide-and-seek 1,
originally uploaded by chamico.
This is what I have wanted to do all day today.

Talent-spotting in virtual worlds

BBC NEWS | Technology | Talent-spotting in virtual worlds

So BBC Radio 1 have more plans for its presence in Second Life, which it kicked off with a virtual One Big Weekend in Dundee/SL last month. It will be interesting to watch. At least they are staying consistent with their Creative Futures strategy:

We know our audience want to contribute their content, but not necessarily always on our site. Second Life is just one of many potential partners. To aid this, we are currently in the process of building a replica of the BBC's world famous Maida Vale studios in Second Life where new bands can tune up and play live sets to a virtual audience.

I wonder to what extent they are talking to other music makers in SL, however, such as Eric Rice and his Metaverse Records outfit. And I hope they don't make a pig's ear of it by misunderstanding the intricacies of the SL culture(s).

(image: bbc news)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dog's life (in film)

Rufus Album: Rufus' Photos
Check out this book of photos taken from a dog's viewpoint: the Canon Rebel 2000 was attached to a lightweight harness around the mutt's neck
. More interesting if it had been around a cat's neck. Not so many bottom sniffing shots, I would imagine.

Apparel gets 'Second Life'

Apparel brand gets 'Second Life' | | CNET
Interesting to see real life clothes labels trying Second Life for size.

Doesn't say whether you can expect to see your purchases turn up on your doorstep the next day however.

Rather narrow characterisation of what SL residents get up to, as well:

The retailer's use of eye-catching colors and revealing cuts, though conservative in comparison with the racy, barely there styles sported by 'SL' avatars, reports Wallace, fit with SL's culture, which revolves around the pursuit of sex and fashion.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Delhi: heavy load

Delhi: heavy load
Delhi: heavy load,
originally uploaded by BillT.
Wow. I love this photo from my mate Bill T. When I think I have a lot on my shoulders, I shall just take a look at this.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

NSA and our digital publics

apophenia: NSA spying on digital publics
A very good analysis from Danah Boyd, social networking/online communities academic and Yahoo thinker, on why the NSA snooping around our "digital publics", ie Myspaces and the like, matters. It should be no surprise to ANYONE that this happens. If you are surprised, get WITH IT! the point is, she says:

Just because things can be made persistent or information about people's social lives can be revealed does not mean that it should be done. What the government is doing is not simply watching people in public - they are taking this data and computationally analyzing it to get to the core of people's practices. This is an invasion of privacy and an act of intense surveillance where the government is spying on its own people. They are doing so without a warrant and justifying it by saying that it is public. Just because people act in public does not mean that it should be stored, analyzed and graphed.

She cites an amusing example of when photos say the "wrong thing" when taken out of their context.

What is Second Life?

Welcome to Your Second Life

Ok - so I said I would explain to you about where I have been. Just watch this machinima made in Second Life.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Terra Nova: Pwnage and the Lobbyist Grind

Terra Nova: Pwnage and the Lobbyist Grind
An excellent post here by Linden's (Second Life) Cory Ondrejka.

He urges us to take action to counter the "pitchfork and torch wielding mob" (his words) who continue to believe that video games are the root of society's problems.

MMORPG players are already used to grinding, so why not have the "Write to Senator Clinton and tell her you won't vote for her if she doesn't spend the time to learn about video games"-quest? Or tools built into MySpace to write your Representatives and Senators? Facebook in particular, with millions of educated college students, should be able to mobilize the kind of lobby that should terrify both local and national politcos.

He makes the salient point that the people who actually run government are not the polticians, but in fact the hoards of bright young graduates - those who most likely have Facebook and MySpace accounts themselves, and who play videogames. He has a point, but it would be interesting to see how many of them, in fact, do have their own presences in those places - one that is not just purely for the sake of the "party".

If they anything like the ones in the UK, they won't be playing computer games. They are more likely to be having civilised, awfully grown up dinner parties with "critical friends" to plan their future political paths to the top.

Bluggcast in Second Life

Finally, those aliens are back with another Bluggcast.

This time, recorded live in Second Life!

We actually had an audience.

Google's TV eavesdropping

InformationWeek | Internet | Google Researchers Propose TV Eavesdropping | June 7, 2006
This idea from Google of a system that listens to what you are watching on TV and pulls in all relevant web content for you to get that extra special in depth feel to your media experience seems quite far fetched - but it could work for me.

"Google researchers Michele Covell and Shumeet Baluja propose using ambient-audio identification technology to capture TV sound with a laptop PC to identify the show that is the source of the sound and to use that information to immediately return personalized Internet content to the PC."
I live in a multitasking media home. We compute, text, speak, fly around in SL, with at least two other laptops on at the same time on any given evening.

So much for "us" time eh? No such luck.

Still, maybe this system could one day help me out by doing a lot of the leg work for me. We all know that it is only a matter of time before Google invades the TV space - especially with growing, but still v early, interest in IPTV.

Google EPG anyone?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kitten vs Frontrow

Cats and computers will always make me laugh. I think I would put kitten socks on my feline before I let it loose on my brand new mac however.