It’s Christmas Time

25 12 2006

And here’s a little video from last year 🙂
(click to watch)

Taking a stroll over the Scripters Trade Show

24 12 2006

Every year since 3 years it is on: The annual Scripters Trade Show organized by Splat1 Edison of Azure Islands. It is showcasing many of the best scripters in Second Life and is ending today (I think). There are 6 sims dedicated to it with Skathi being the entrance. While waiting for my presents to arrive I took a little stroll over it and want to point out my favourites among the showcased projects. (unfortunately people are already deleting their stuff as it ended this morning as I heard :-/)


TrustNet is an interesting project. It is meant to replace the existing Rating system within Second Life with a twist. The important thing is that you don’t have global ratings but you see each person rated from your point of view. Let’s take an example. Person A rates Person B positively. Now Person A sees 10 points for B. Now person C comes around and checks the ratings for person B as well. C now sees 0 points because he hasn’t rated person B yet. If person C votes person A positively then he also get’s access to person A’s votes and thus person B now shows up with 1 point. Thus you see ratings relative to your own ratings.

The implementation is done via a HUD. It scans your surrounding for avatars and show them with their respective rating. If you want to rate an avatar you simply click it’s name and a dialog menu appears in which you can choose to rate or to do other actions such as ejecting it from your land, unsitting him and so on. The whole system is backed by a web-based database which will also have an web-based frontend.

It is distributed as subscription system and you can buy a subscription here.

The Elemental

The Elemental is a multi-purpose vehicle and can transform itself into various forms such as and airplane, an airship, a helicopter, a motorcycle and so on. It also has various combat systems built in such as CCC and others. Additionally you can change it’s color, the license plate and much more. Everything is HUD controlled and updates will come automatically. And the best: it is free. You can either get your Elemental by clicking another person’s one or you can just go here and get one.

The SLBoutique HUD

HUDs are the new thing it seems. Recently I got several of them such as BlogHUD, Reuters HUD, TrustNeT HUD and one for each vehicle I got. And The Electric Sheep company is joining this line with their SLB HUD which gives you access to many functions of These are paying money into your account, searching for products and directly linking to the site. It also shows your actual SLB balance. A nice thing indeed and according to FlipperPA Peregrine many more HUDs are coming as they see it as sort of your personal information system for on the go. The problem I see here though is that at some point there might be no space anymore for more HUDs on your screen 😉

So these have not been all projects. Of course also good old projects such as Timeless Prototype’s Multi Gadget have been around etc. Nice to see all this stuff and I am looking forward to the next trade show next year 🙂

Ok, now for the presents and later I might add some photos 🙂

Give gifts with a value

22 12 2006

World Vision
I just wanted to give you a little pointer in case you want to do some good and help to fight poverty. If this is the case and you not only want to give gifts to your friends and family you can also give gifts to the poor in the world. Just visit
the World Vision spot in Second Life and select one or more of several gifts from their website which in turn get shipped to that region which needs it most. Articles range from non-expensive gifts like a library card for a child (£ 6) up to a grinding mill (£ 3660,-). So there should be something for every pocket.

This project is done by World Vision, one of the world’s leading relief, development and advocacy organisations, currently helping more than 100 million people in almost 100 countries. In Second Life they are represented by a virtuak village in which you can walk around and see some of the gifts possible in action and purchase is directly via a link to their website.

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visiting Talib Kweli

21 12 2006

Talib KweliJust a quick note for those who might wanna join. It’s happening right now in the Millions of Us sim and Talib Kweli is just having a little chat with about 35 avatars. No music unfortunately but he says that he wants to do a show and that he likes Second Life a lot (well, all people say that when they appear the one and only time in SL but who knows :-).

So come and join if it’s still on! 🙂

The AvaStar has launched!

21 12 2006

The AvaStar launchedA new magazine is on the block: The AvaStar. It is a product if which is the online edition of BILD, a large tabloid newspaper published by Axel Springer.

You can download the first issue now from it’s website as a PDF file. People who know this blog know that I am no fan of PDF files as they are cumbersome to read on a monitor. I’d prefer an in-world version or a blog style approach as this is easier (even the in-world version as zooming is more natural there). Moreover a blog-like format will have the ability to start a conversation which PDFs do not have and even linking to some article is impossible or cumbersome at least. Some magazines (such as SL Business Mag) seem to be on a good route to a more reader-friendly format and we will see what The AvaStar will do.

As for the content you can judge yourself. It is co-written by long-term Second Life residents and thus it shouldn’t be too far away from what really happens in Second Life (which was my fear at first when I heard about it). I still have to fully read it but so far it looks good and definitely like a real newspaper. I am just wondering about the drama level involved as I personally I am no big fan of BILD (more the contrary).

But judge for yourself, the first issue is out and you can get it at various locations (or the web as described above). Also open is now their island which was built by Aimee Weber and her team. Definitely a nice build but we have to wait and see how and if they will be used.

So I wish them good luck and I will check back later and see how it worked out. I also hope that more newspapers will follow suit and maybe cover some other areas.

Update: I forgot to mention that in the future it will cost L$150,- per single issue. With similar content as the Metaverse Messenger we will have to see if this works out or not. The fee at least might limit the possibilities of going with a more open format than PDF because a blog needs to be readable by everybody for a conversation to get started.

Update 2: I also forgot to mention the agency who realized it for Bild.T-Online. It is Pixelpark, a big german media agency who just entered Second Life but have big plans as it seems. So we can expect some more german companies now entering this virtual world.

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And the winners are…

21 12 2006

Yesterday the winners of the The Second Life Business Magazine machinima contest have been announced. The goal was to produce a commercial within Second Life for whatever product, company or service that exists within Second Life (and I was part of the panel for judging the entries).

So here are winners:

1st place: Trent Hedges and his Griffin Ad
2nd place: Trent Hedges and his Tugboat Ad
3nd place: Francis Chung for the Dominus Shadow Ad

Congratulations to the winners and esp. Trent Hedges (who I accidently met yesterday evening and who is a nice guy :-).

BTW, one video I also like, is the promo by Metaversatility which has a nice RL/SL blend and great editing.

All in all I think machinima in SL is getting better, which I was also noticing during the last machinima festival. Sometimes compression and camera technique could be better but some people seem to have an eye for good camera angles and editing.

And speaking of machinima, I also did a new piece, this time for Crayon and you can watch it here.

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Your favourite employer

5 12 2006

In the Financial Times Germany there was a supplement this morning called “Karriere & Zukunft” (career and future) and it had a listing of the top 5 favourite employers of germans by sector and by what you’ve studied. It was created by The Universum Graduate Survey.

Here are the results for the IT sector:

1. IBM
2. Siemens
3. Microsoft
4. Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
5. SAP

Based on what you studied it’s:

1. IBM
2. Siemens
3. Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
4. Microsoft
5. BMW Group

So that’s for Germany.

So I wonder: What would be your favourite employer in Second Life?

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Adam Reuters interviewed Edgar Bronfman (updated)

1 12 2006

It was taking place on the Reuters sim and was actually a bit short (15 minutes or so). The topics dicussed have been YouTube, File Sharing, DRM and so on.

Of course not much new was told in that interview but here are quickly some bullet points (if I did not get something right please correct me):

  • there was a question about mashups and he replied that they are looking to enabling that more but with a license attached
  • Adam asked him if his kids have ever used a file sharing service. He said yes and he discussed it with them as wrong is wrong and right is right and they need to understand that.
  • Asked about DRM in relationship to the Zune and the recent decision by Microsoft not to support their old DRM standard anymore he replied that DRM is an important thing to fight theft but then again walled gardens is probably not what customers want. As DRM is important he’d like to see more standards in that area so that devices are more interoperable.
  • Prokofy asked about CopyBot and what he thinks of it. His reply was that it’s of course intellectual property which might get stolen with it but one also needs to find a good balance in how big the restrictions are.
  • He also said that they will open up their music video library more in the future when asked about their YouTube deal

So all in all nothing new. And unfortunately it does not sound really like they are going to open up much. The fact that he thinks DRM is important is very much in the way of any openess. In fact it only does make the use of music harder for honest customers, not for people downloading from filesharing sites. It is also in the way of doing mashups. But then again you’d need a license to do a mashup anyway and this means lots of legal work. I guess Creative Commons won’t be an option here.

Anyway, I just don’t buy DRMed music esp. not with the situation of those walled gardens. There are enough music options out there, be it in podcasts, CC licensed music and so on. They should just trust their customers more and try to find better business models which work in the 21st century.

Warner Brothers CEO Edgar Bronfman interviewed by Adam Reuters Warner Brothers CEO Edgar Bronfman interviewed by Adam Reuters Warner Brothers CEO Edgar Bronfman interviewed by Adam Reuters

The transcript can now be found here.

UPDATE: I forgot to add one link which is in this context and was quoted during the discussion after the event. So read here about the RIAA.

UPDATE II: Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing blogs about that interview here.

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