Friday, December 28, 2007

OpenSim update

Things are looking up at OpenSim land. Of course, it's not finished by a long shot, but a couple of painful issues have been solved recently. Most notably: OpenSim now remembers avatar settings between sessions. This means clothing, body shape etcetera are now persistent. That's a huge win, and I've noticed my kids are much more eager to use OpenSim because of this. They are also starting to customize their avatar now that these modifications are automatically persistent.

My kids are happily building stuff and houses; I try to teach them a new trick every now and then, to keep them involved. So far this seems to work. Check out the last pictures in this set for some of their recent work!

I have provided a teacher at my daughters' school with a couple of logins; he's thinking about using my OpenSim environment as a part of the computer training all kids receive. Unfortunately, his home PC is not able to run SL, so we'll have to wait until he's back at school after the holiday break.

HTML allowed in Second Life postcards

Ok, this may look like a trivial thing, or something you have known for ages, *duh*! But I could not find this information online. It's just not mentioned anywhere. At least not where I could find it! So, to clear this thing up once and for all: yes, you can use HTML code in the message body of a Second Life postcard!

...Phew! Yes, much better, thank you, thanks for asking!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Köln closed

After admiring the Sistine Chapel and, earlier, the San Francesco Assisi, I went looking for more rebuilds of churches, cathedrals and the like. I found this one, the Dom from Köln (Germany), but unfortunately the thing is open only two hours a day. I don't know what their reasons are for doing this, but I think it's quite lousy. Even though the project itself looks impressive!

posted by Sered Woollahra on Visit using a blogHUD : [permalink]

seeing the Sistine Chapel from Michelangelo's perspective

I visited the RL Sistine Chapel a few months ago. But, of course, you only get to see it from one perspective: from the floor. This build however allows you to see the Chapel like Michelangelo saw it when he was working on it: from above, up close.

SL allows us to view this art in ways that would be impossible in RL!

posted by Sered Woollahra on Vassar using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Recently I've read a lot about Second Life numbers. For instance, there are over 11,5 million accounts created; there is still 10 percent user retention, and SL seems to plateau at 538 K active users.

I have been thinking about that last number: 538.o00 active users. An active user is someone who has spent 45 hours in SL in the past month.

45 hours? That's quite a lot! Personally, wether I'd want it or not, I would be hard pressed to find 45 hours in any given month to spend online. I have a fulltime job, a wife and children to spend time with, volunteer activities in our local community, spend a few hours on my mountainbike to stay at least a bit in shape. I'm lucky if I can spend 20 hours online, and there are months where I can barely log 10 SL hours.

So, maybe I'm not an active user after all. But this does not mean I'm not there, interested, reading up, and buying stuff in SL. I am also the sole SL resident in my entire family and extended circle of friends - and most of my colleagues, as well.

Maybe 45 hours is a bit on the steep side for the many people who've got just too much other RL stuff going on. There are probably plenty people who consider themselves active SL residents, like me, but are not counted among the 538.000 'officially' active users.


IBM may not have the reputation to be the hippest of big IT, but it's a dynamic place nonetheless. Because of my day job I am closely monitoring IBM, and they've made a couple of surprising statements recently.

At my day job, we're using Lotus Connections - a corporate version of social software tools like Facebook, Hyves or LinkedIn. Think Facebook within the firewall. It has profiles, blogs, shared bookmarks (called DogEar), communities and activities, a kind of (shared) todo's on steroids. We're also using IBM Lotus Sametime, IBM's corporate, secure Instant Messaging and web conferencing application. Recently, I have picked up several articles that point to a 3D future for IBM Lotus Connections, integrated with Sametime.

The first one is this eweek article: "The mashing of Virtual Reality, Social Computing". It tells how IBM Lotus engineers are working on ways to get data from Connections in a 3D environment. Your avatar would show data from your profile, for instance.

Another article discusses IBM's own 3D software: "IBM gulps it's own web 2.0 kool aid": IBM is apparently working on a 3D platform of their own, called Metaverse. It's currently being tested by 2200 IBM internal staff, and it's mostly used for web conferencing activities. IBM is looking at integrating Sametime with Metaverse, which would provide VOIP services in world, much like Second Life has.

So, is IBM creating an enterprise alternative for SL, like Connections is to Facebook or MySpace? I'm not so sure. IBM is actively participating in OpenSim development; limited, but official. And, in october of this year, they inked a deal with SL's Linden Labs to work towards open standards and interoperability for 3D environments. IBM is, at this moment, not betting on one horse it seems. Maybe IBM will tell us more at LotuSphere, the big annual IBM Lotus conference in Orlando, Florida, which will take place in January 2008.

In the mean time, IBM's Jo Grant posted some interesting thoughts on integrating Second Life with other software - IM or otherwise. He makes a couple of valid points: first, a 3D environment may not be the most suitable for all activities, and second, easier methods to integrate SL in other software (Lotus Notes, AOL chat are the examples used) would be beneficial to both Linden Labs and SL residents. Read the whole thing, as the saying goes.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

her present - in SL and RL

Yesterday I noticed this Starfruit shop. They sell virtual presents, which can be delivered in RL as well. For instance, you buy a lady a virtual necklace and she gets the present in SL. When she clicks on it, she's given the opportunity to go to a RL website, enter her address, and have a RL copy of the same necklace delivered home. You don't get nor need to know her RL address. And she gets to wear the necklace both in SL and RL! They do this for other stuff as well, and they deliver in many countries.

I was served by Greygar Gibbs; he's even selling on a saturday night. Let's keep him occupied :-)
btw, I have no ties to this company or anyone working there.

posted by Sered Woollahra on Starfruit using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Windlight Redlight?

Does anyone know why I keep seeing certain images all red, when watching them through Windlight? Are there workarounds? grapichs card is ATI X300..
posted by Sered Woollahra on Vassar using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Another view of the Sistine Chapel

Most people never get to see this in RL. And if you do, you're not allowed to take pictures. It's good to be able to view in in SL!
posted by Sered Woollahra on Vassar using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Friday, December 21, 2007

after the synagogue, here's the church (2nd try)

This is actually a nice build. Lots of pews though. I wonder how many people visit these church services - and what is taught there.
posted by Sered Woollahra on Truth using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Linden snowball island

It looks like an iceberg, and in some respects, it is exactly that!
posted by Sered Woollahra on Kovari using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cannery Rezzable - the last one..

..for today. You know, large parts of SL are made to look like a Caribbean island. Cannery definitely does away with that fake tropical atmosphere. Somehow, this sim reminds me of William Gibson..
posted by Sered Woollahra on Cannery Rezzable using a blogHUD : [permalink]

more art at Cannery Rezzable

More from Cannery Rezzable. Dark, industrial, smudgy, a worn out and weary feeling environment. But very beautiful!
posted by Sered Woollahra on Cannery Rezzable using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Thursday, December 6, 2007

ABM AMRO stock market analysis

This is a meeting organized by ABN AMRO, one in a series on current events in the stock markets. ABN seems to be satisfied with the format, although it depends on an evaluation of 2007 to determine how this will be done in 2008. It's Dutch spoken, and given that, I'd say there's a nicely sized crowd here. btw, this is the third pic, but the first one seems to be gone - hence another try.
posted by Sered Woollahra on ABN AMRO 2007b using a blogHUD : [permalink]

another one from ABN AMRO Analyst meeting

ps. The red glow comes from Windlight, with the normal viewer it looks perfectly ok..

Sunday, December 2, 2007

fossils at Svarga

Even with my no longer supported hardware, Windlight is worth a try, as you can see at Svarga.

posted by Sered Woollahra on Svarga using a blogHUD : [permalink]