Monday, February 16, 2009

Oriental Dispatch:CYBER TOKKU(Cyber District)

MIC, The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, has announced to start "CYBER-TOKKU" (which means "CYBER DISTRICT"). 

This virtual space will be operated in a closed community with a real User's name, and will experiment things, for example, the impact & circumstances on freeing a copyright.

MIC is accepting a research topics for "CYBER-TOKKU".

1. Merging virtual net space and reality.
2. Communication of secret and Personal information.
3. Contents distribution.
4. IT use for public services field.

Research topics that are related to these are wanted. MIC is accepting Research topics until March 6.These results of experiments will be used for future law making and maintenances.

I don't know "CYBER-TOKKU" will be similar to "CRD - China Recreation District" or not. But I am carefully watching about what "CYBER-TOKKU" will be.

via Cnet Japan

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wipro Innovation = Redundancy?

Today's last expedition led me to te Wipro Innovation Isle (I guess it they'd love to abbreviate it to Wii - but that one's already taken in SL). For people working in the IT Services a well known name as it is one of India's giants when it comes to IT services.

"Wipro Tech is an information technology service company established in India in 1980. It is the global IT services arm of Wipro Limited (in operation since 1945, incorporated 1946). It is headquartered in Bangalore and is the third largest IT services company in India. It has more than 79,832 employees as of December 2007, including its business process outsourcing (BPO) arm which it acquired in 2002. Wipro Technologies has over 300 customers across U.S., Europe and Japan including 50 of the Fortune 500 companies." (Wikipedia)

Near the end of 2007 there were speculations of Wipro Technologies considering to take over Capgemini and thus Sogeti as well, but in the end it was a no show. The corporate website puts focus on 'applied innovation';

"At Wipro we have fine-tuned the science of viewing innovation through the lens of practicality to design unique solutions for end customers. Applied Innovation is the ability to infuse newer ideas and newer ways of doing things into all parts of the organization, and improve business outcomes, often without major disruptive change. It is a 360-degree business approach covering process, delivery, business and technology Innovations that help Wipro to work
collaboratively with clients for cost take-outs, speed to market and new business opportunities."

It is this theme that is the starting point for the Wipro presence in Second Life, which looks to be in the first stage of the experiment. It is a 3 sim cluster, of which only one is fully build, one only holding an expo stand and an empty sim.

Applied Innovation is the ability to infuse newer ideas and newer ways of doing things into all parts of the organization, and I can well imagine this applies to their Second Life expedition as well. I do believe we have to bring Virtual Worlds (newer ways) beyond the average marketing department (i.e. into all parts of the organization). The question remains how to do this.

Let's see if Wipro can bring the answer. The sim is filled with an assorted array of buildings, with two larger builds standing out. The first of these is the 'Learning Center' and is shaped a little like the Sydney Opera (not really, buyt you can see which building I'm referring to).

Please reread the lines on the triple sim: "One build, one half build, one empty." This is pretty much the case with the Learning Center as well. It holds two auditoria, and right outside there's an amphitheater. Also, at the second level it has several empty officerooms.

Further onto the campus we see various buildings, like a 'Client Engagement' building, a library and a datacenter each filled with several workstations / cubicles.

Finally I arrived at the second large building, a four storey square concrete office block which looked a little cramped when I walked into the hall and up the staircase. It made me wonder how much of the build is actually shaped like their real life offices... This building is labelled 'Offshore Development Center' and that is what interests me, what would bring innovation to the virtual workspace.

I was a little disappointed though when there were more rooms with workstations, and more and more. But no show. One of the great benefits I see for Virtual Worlds is what they potentially can do for the offshoring industry, as offshoring projects often require a lot of attention; extra management, extra communication, extra code checking etcetera and in the virtual workspace where you can collaborate while both in offshore and rightshore location would greatly aid this process.

Yet I'm fully aware of the limitations Second Life has in this regard. There's no real integration with development suites or management tools. Then there's always the issue of security. I can't really blame Wipro for not finding the solution for Second Life, but I had hoped for more info, more ideas.

The last redundancy in the sim was when I moved from the cantine inside the ODC to 'the Glacier', a cafe on the campus.

As for the build itself, I find it of average quality. It is a melee of textures (a lot of default SL texturing) and styles. As I said, I'm under the impression that part of it is based upon real life buildings, so maybe they had to work with what they had. Otherwise, I'd say the triple auditorium, the cramped staircases etcetera don't really utilise the 3D-ness of a virtual environment.


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Basic Belgian Business Builds

Up till now I haven't seen much Businesswise activity from the Belgians in Second Life, although there is a pretty active Belgian community present in Second Life, which shows in a pretty large amount of Belgian cities to be recreated in Second Life; We've got several Brussels / Bruxelles sims, Brugge, Gent etcetera. What I'm told though is that most attention still goes to entertainment and mature content.

One of the first Belgian companies to rez was Dutch / Belgian radio station Q-Music (which has already left Second Life again). A second was telecom provider Belgacom and in november 2007 there was the Keytrade bank (which I blogged just before the weekend). When I published the updated version of the RL Brand Directory though, I was prompted with a number of Belgian firms on the grid. Most of these aren't on dedicated sims, so it's no wonder I haven't spotted them.

First of these firms are on the bordering sims Chopin and Beethoven, and are build by Metapartners.

MetaPartners NV currently owns 15 islands in Second Life®, making it the largest sim owner in Belgium: Beethoven, (home to Packaging & Converting Essentials), Grieg (home to MetaPartners itself), Chopin (home to UniPartners) as well as Vivaldi Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, which are the R&D areas of UniPartners. Other islands are Albinoni, Bizet, Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Haydn, Ravel and Brahms.

The companies in question are Packaging & Converting Essentials - which deal in... guess what: Packaging and Converting -

Packaging & Converting Essentials has been using Second Life® for almost a year now as an additional communications tool to its RSS feeds, newsletters and website and has expanded its already global reach to a virtual environment, where residents can read the newsheadlines and access the
website directly.

and the second one, UniPartners, is an IT Service provider.

UniPartners NV, with over 80 IT specialists, uses the virtual world as a recruitment area, a meeting place for its own employees, a place for staff meetings, trainings and conferences. In addition to that, UniPartners NV also has a competence and R&D center.

To be honest, I wasn't really impressed when I visited the sims. It's all pretty basic. Here are a few snapshots:

There are a few other Beglian firms I intend to visit, I hope they'll be more like the Keytrade and Belgacom builds than these firms who probably don't have a clue to what the potential of virtual worlds can do for these companies.

SLURL Unipartners:

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Advanced 3D system architecture

This is a thing I normally don't do: Embedding someone else's stuff on my blog. However, this is an exception.

The video below shows how IBM uses Second Life in order to create 3D system models. This one was posted at the 8bar blog.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dutch IT Professionals meet up

I've visited a nice meeting at the NGI sim, home of the NGI (Nederlands Genootschap voor Informatica), the Dutch platform for ICT Professionals.
The session started off with a welcome by Frank Langeveld, Division CEO of Sogeti Netherlands and Boardmember of the NGI and was followed by Pascal Huijbers giving us a quick overview at the collaboration initiatives and future plans.
The second part of the meet-up was the presentation of NGIJ, the Young Proffessionals of the NGI speaking on various plans, intiatives and games being set up
The meet-up ended with a brainstorm closing in on the December congres of the NGI, themed "Serious Gaming" with several seminars and events being planned in Second Life.
For more information contact Storm Stonewall or SNiCHerz Demina in Second Life

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Intel Inside

I wasn't really planning on doing a long post, since it's past bedtime here in the Netherlands. Yet I really had to do this one. I've already mentioned the Intel island yesterday and I just have to show some more pics.

The island is created by Millions of Us, who've done several gigs for Intel. This one is one I particularly like. Intel's USP is of course the Dual Core processor. This "Core" theme is worked out very nicely in this sim in an almost Jules Verne kind of journey to the center of the earth.
Basically the sim is build up by levels:
0 Surface
-1 Conference
-2 Main Stage
-3 Core

The last picture is one taken inside the conference area which seems completely lost, but attractive in its own bombastic sense.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tonights Geek Meet Wrap up

Tonight saw another brilliant episode of the Metaversed Geek Meet. With speakers from Ogoglio, Amazon and Cisco.

First to kick off was Trevor Smith of Ogoglio who had a very straightforward story on the open source community in virtual worlds.

  1. 1. Point One: The web is open
    Open source software from the apache project hosts a huge percentage of the web. Open source operating systems run most of the core application level infrastructure like the Google borg and DNS. When facing such cultural, technical, and legal momentum... seems foolish to glom closed spaces onto the side of this huge open web.

  2. Point Two: Basic 3D technologies are no longer black magic.
    When a layer of technology has matured to the point where it is commonly understood the open source community can step in and replace proprietary systems with open ones. This is not a particularly glamorous function,... but it does have the huge benefit of enabling people to try new ideas without reinventing the wheel or taking on funding. For example,...
    the Ogoglio platform is a web server for shared persistent spaces You can host spaces on your laptop, on an inexpensive web account... or scale it up on the Amazon elastic compute cloud. Creative groups can experiment with new ideas without spending a

  3. Point Three: Open source is painfully honest.
    When your checkin comments are in the public record and anyone can fact-check your press release by browsing your code..."

Our second speaker was Jeff Barr from Amazon, known for his enthusiatic commitment to Things to Do and the Amazon build, speaking on Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud.

"With a virtual environment like Ogoglio hosted on it, you can conceivably spin up a whole bunch of them (hundreds and eventually thousands) to deal with a short-term event like a party or a concert. Or a big company meeting. Maybe it lasts an hour, or a whole weekend. Instead of begging your friends for loaner servers or buying them outright, or paying a by-the-month hosting plan, you use what you need. This seems to be an ideal solution to the very spikey demand that you will see from a virtual world. Mostly low demand, but occasionally very, very high."

Last, but certainly not least was the inspirational Christian Reinoud from Cisco who spoke on the future of Web 3D.

"Wen people invest as much time and energy as we all have into our sims, avatars, etc. we'll want to take them with us at the same time you have companies like Wells and MTV who are concerned about liability and their brand and will opt for more walled/controlled experiences"

This discussion handsomely evolved into a very sharp discussion on various cultures within the metaverse, creating their own identities, just like in Real Life.

The notorious Prokofy Neva was also present and did some seriously sharp questioning of the speakers.
"If you make a uniform protocol for avatars/goods across the frontiers of worlds, won't that introduce the same ill effects of RL globalization, and demolish some unique indigenous cultures and overutilize labour and resources in some areas and underserve others? Im' not certain that cross-world identity porting is quite in demand as you may think."

That surely did leave us time to ponder!

The Geek Meets are becoming a popular event. I got in early as I expected the meet would be maxed out and truly 15 minutes upfront it was hard to squeeze in the speakers. Our host, Nick Wilson from Metaversed is becoming a real facilitator and set up a few things like ustream tv so other people could follow the meet as well.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Friday's Geek Meet speakers

Nick Wilson got together another team of excellent speakers for tomorrow's Geek Meet.
This session will see talks by:

The only thing is, it's kind of a late night show for us Dutchmen, as this weeks meet will start at midnight.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Capgemini recruitment center

A little while ago Aleister Kronos reported that the French are recruiting in Second Life. A firm called TMPNEO is recruiting for several IT corps and other large companies. To this end they've set up the TMP3 island on which they've build various recruitment halls. One of these is Capgemini.
Now, Aleister's been trying to push SL to Cap for some time now, so he's probably mighty pleased they're in with an official 'open to public' statement than Sogeti who have been flying under the radar for months now.

Well, Capgemini and Sogeti are sistercorporations, but I didn't know we had the same taste. The furniture inside the recruitment hall is exactly the same as what I've bought for a rapidly prototyped Auditorium, build by Scope Cleaver.

Anyway, if you speak French and want to get an IT job, here's the SLURL:

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A closer look at Intel

After the press conference finished (about 10 SLT or 19.00 CET) I had to relog since I'd frozen and couldn't move. My SL Client was pushing my (intel CPU) to the limits. Here's a few screeners from the sim:

These two small thumbs are about the whole story. The sim isn't a fancy build. It has the following features:
  1. Development Room
  2. Showcase
  3. Conference Area
  4. Sandbox

The larger buildings are for conferencing and showcasing, smaller stands are to get the community involved, through blogs and movies. Honestly I liked Intel better at the OCC or the Live without Boundaries sims which had gotten my hopes up for this one.

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Intel's new HQ

Today's the day of a new Intel sim opening up. At exactly 9.a.m (18.00 C.E.T.) the sim will open up with a press conference. In april I reported that Intel geared up with several new sims being under construction, and before that I've blogged on the OCC and Live without Boundaries theme sims by Intel. First on the spot today were the gang from Things to Do., rallying at the New Business Horizon sim.

Right after we went over to the Intel site, which was soon filled to the brim with 53 people.

We were urged to find a seat, but many of us didn't dare move a hair with this visitor load. From the press comes a nice pun that Intel believes itself to be part of the "core of Second Life" and they see SL as "a wonderfull place to explore and engage" and so on.

The sim is build by Millions of Us and will act as Intels new virtual HQ.

update 18:45 CET 9.45 SLT

According to Intel's General Manager "Second Life is not the ultimate environment, but it's a start" Oh, yeah, they're still talking about getting the Developer community involved and "Help shape the future". I guess I'm not really a press conference type of guy, but it's very rude to slip away. Hope to get to do some networking in a bit.


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sogeti Netherlands receives Innovation Award

"INFORMATICA WORLD 2007, Orlando, Florida, May 1, 2007—Informatica Corporation (NASDAQ: INFA), a leading provider of data integration software, today announced the winners of the Informatica 2007 Innovation Awards at Informatica World 2007"

The Innovation Awards is one of the most prestigious prices to be won in the IT sector and this year's winning combination in the category Data Migration was a tie in. One of the two winning entries was the migration of Air France / KLM Cargo performed by Sogeti Netherlands while using its innovative Mikado migration approach.

In the Netherlands we alsways look towards the US of A when it comes to innovators, but this years list was going Dutch, giving accolades to Rabobank (Broader Data Integration), Achmea / Atos Origin (Integration Competency).
The award is one of many for Sogeti Netherlands which is constantly looking for ways to improve IT services and is responsible for many trendsetting IT servicing innovations, like TMAP (testing) and Inframe (Infrastructure Management)

Full press release here

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MAS : Multi Agent System

One of the great things in the information age is...well, information. But it's getting too much too handle. It's only now that I've read up on the Automatiserings Gids, a leading Dutch IT mag which published an interesting story in it's February 2006 issue which features a story on the synergy between new grid technology and semantic web interfaces enabling core processes to be hanbled more efficiently, according to Dr. Chris van Aart.

Dr. van Aart is a specialist in Artificial Intelligence, doing both research and teaching at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

"One of the challenges of Artificial Intelligence and in particularly Intelligent Agents is to construct collection of computational problems solver that work together to achieve a set of goals. Issues related to this activity are co-ordination, cooperation and interaction.My research investigates theories from the field of organizational science in order to apply these on organizations of computational problem solvers. Considered theories are Scientific Management (Taylor, 1911), Classical management theory (Fayol, 1949) and Organizational Design (Mintzberg, 1979)."

The great thing is that he's now a fine colleague at Sogeti and on board of the Second Life core team ready to put some intelligence into our plans. Switching back and forth between his two jobs he is dragging us into the mire of Multi Agent Systems in combination with Second Life.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Downsizing Big Blue

The Register reports that IBM could lay off upto 100,000 employees of it's total of about 350,000 and that this weeks 1300 is just a start. The mass lay off project is codenamed LEAN -which gives me the idea they'll try to run it LEAN and MEAN.

The question is, will they drop the masses, or are they going to outsource? A complete 100K lay off would give rise to speculations, perhaps even riots. Outsourcing, or transferring the labor to cheap labor countries (offshoring) seems a more likely scenario. IBM has been investing big time in Second Life collaboration research, having a very strong presence. Are these collabs so successful that they trust Virtual Worlds as their bridge to offshoring?

Anyway, Big Blue isn't getting leaner in Second Life, as on thursday, May 10th, will see the opening of a new IBM sim. This time it's the BeNeLux R&D

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nVidia to share Intel

The Digitimes reports that Intel and nVidia are joining forces in a tech trade. This rewires the rumours from late 2006 that both companies are looking for a way to counter the AMD-ATi combination.

Several stories float about that Intel is working on a high-end videocard, which puts them in competition with nVidia's budget gpu's AND high end models, so nVidia needs to pay close attention to which intel they're sharing.

All nice bizztalk, but what's in it for us? Well, Second Lifers surely will give new, stronger, faster (and affordable) graphic cards a very very warm welcome, as streaming is getting a nuisance sometimes.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Good Samaritan Group Gathering

It's only been about two weeks ago that the V3 group organised a major SL tech event, the ITE 2007. This time its.... The Good Samaritan.
This week sees the Joysco Convention Center filled to the brim with the latest inworld tech, and other exciting stuff, all sponsored by Sun Microsytems Joysco Studio Journey (Legendary Rock Band) AvaStar SLCN.TV Reallusion.

When you get into the Convention Center, you'll think you're immersed in the next IT event, but it's not. This Expo is Johnny Austin's idea, who wanted a place where the business and creative communities in Second Life could come together and meet each other and work together. .. And yeah, Second Life is filled with tech-savvy people, so small wonder Sun Microsystems digs this (since they're hot on community building). However, it's not all High-Tech, there's plenty of room for other things, like Education and Clothing.

One of the participants, commented on its blog that after building their own stand, they were asked by several other companies to do so. That's good spirit! Another participant, Meta Mart is releasing its long awaited new HUD, "We will be doing some demos of newly released 3'rd generation of Meta Mart ( yes by then we will release it :) ) and also of other items from Meta Mart, showing all the possibilities," says Robbie Kiama from Meta Mart.

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SLUC: Lenovo Security Breach

I had barely logged into SL and opened the map to plot a course for today's travelling. The map scrolled past and the "Grey Square" of Lenovo appeared. I clicked it, just to have an orientation point and hit teleport, fully expecting to be handsomely told that TP was not allowed. But suddenly I was in...

The larger part of the sim is still in construction mode and seems to be made up of a central office that houses a giant computer which certainly has more detail than the huge Dell platform.

Surrounding the main building are a few office towers (still empty) and it looks like there's some room for partners. I can't say much of an experience yet, but it's still under construction. For now, we wait and we wonder...

"Lenovo Group Limited, formerly known as Legend Group Ltd and New Technology Developer Incorporated (SEHK: 0992) is the third largest personal computer manufacturer, and the largest in the Asia-Pacific region as of 2006. The company was founded in 1984 by a group of eleven engineers headed by Liu Chuanzhi in Beijing, but the listed holding company was incorporated in 1988 in Hong Kong. In 2005 Lenovo purchased IBM's PC Division. Its headquarters are located in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, the home of IBM's former ThinkPad group." (Wikipedia)


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Monday, April 30, 2007

New Architecture for Sun

Here's a short update on the Sun Pavilion I blogged about earlier. They've done some heavy redecorating and I really like the architecture!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fasten your Sunbelts

and buckle up for a ride on the Sunbelt sim. Sunbelt is the software corp that keeps the bad guys out...
"...Sunbelt Software has created a presence (Sunbelt Island) for our communities to meet, discuss computer related issues, attend events and lectures, have parties, or just have fun exploring this exciting new world.We built several areas you might want to visit; Sunbelt's corporate headquarters has been rebuilt in Second Life, we have an auditorium, several fun games to play, a gathering area for parties, a partner pavilion and a product awareness island. We also created a Second Life 101 'primer' for people completely new to this new world, called the 'welcome area'.

The nice bits about this sim is that the circle from their logo returns in various settings, e.g. the walkway round the pond, the terraces in the auditorium etc. A few nice gimmicks are several spyware suits in pricedraws and a few virtual software selection wizzards.
Anyway, as I was running my PC unprotected at the moment, I thought it would be fun to sign up for the price draw, and well, here it is. I won... Within a day I'm the proud owner of a 20 (US) dollar counterspy software suit. Can't wait for mcAfee comes to town since I need a new antivirus too.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cisco Community Center

Triggered by one of the things I read earlier today about Cisco, I decided to go in for a look.
Cisco has got 4 islands, actually I should say sims. The sims are a terraformed like a cluster of smaller islands with gazebo's and nice bridges crossing the waters
Cisco's really getting into community, also giving some room for their partners if you're able to read the signs below. Trust me, there's a lot of different areas, no real events or fun thingies, but plain old community building and collaboration.
I like the build, the general setup of different islands, quite open but with a sense of privateness. The architecture is a little simple though.

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Word of Mouth

Well, here's a few items from other blogs with the latest SL updates.

Sculpted Prims

3PointD, Metaversed and the Gridblog all spend a few lines on Tao's scoop on the new Sculpties. Here's Lordfly's comment:
"According to Tao Takashi, who has the scoop, a new prim type, “sculpties”, will be on the preview grid either today or Monday (my guess Monday). Cubesque is still counting down, but it’s kinda anti-climactic now :D Apparently Cube Linden is down in Georgia giving a talk, hence the latest message on the website. Still, fascinating stuff. I can’t wait to play with virtual putty."

The 3PointD blog is a little more extensive:
"More importantly, it means that SL objects are suddenly a lot more interoperable with objects and shapes from other worlds and modelling programs. According to the Second Life wiki, “We provide an exporter for Maya, and hopefully exporters for 3ds Max, Blender, and ZBrush will be available soon. We also have plans to provide a sculpt editor within the Second Life viewer.” The wiki doesn’t say where this Maya exporter is available, but according to Tao Takashi, it may be in the next preview build of the client, due shortly"

Sunny Worlds

Then there's Aleister who has a nose for good news that gives a little insight at Sun's plans to compete bringing us a story from Informationweek on this:
"Sun Microsystems put the spotlight on its next-generation technology and showed off research projects that ranged from faster switches and more efficient servers to 3-D virtual workplaces in an open house for analysts and reporters. Among the projects that would wow even a nontechnical person is Sun's MPK20 virtual workplace. Sun has built a client called Project Wonderland that handles the graphics rendering and provides the controls for moving an avatar through the make-believe world.

MPK20 is built on top of the new version of Sun's open source
Darkstar gaming server. While Wonderland does the graphics rendering, Darkstar handles everything else, such as load balancing, managing game state, and voice communications. For storing avatars and other game objects, Darkstar uses the Berkeley DB database, another open source project."


Another scoop-dog, 57 Miles, bloggernaut at the Metaversed blog dug up some more intel at the Informationweek site and here are a few lines by Mitch Wagner, author of the article:
"just got off the phone with Cisco -- we ended up talking for a couple of hours about how Cisco is using Second Life for business-to-business communications. Turns out that quite a few Second Life users are network engineers. These are Cisco's customers, and Cisco is aggressively using Second Life to communicate with them

Cisco has a few hundred employees in Second Life. They have several sims that they use for user-group meetings and meetings among their own international staff. They do customer education and training in Second Life, get feedback from customers on products, and do presentations using PowerPoint, video, and streaming audio. They hold events that combine people in the real world with avatars in Second Life -- a type of event that Second Lifers call "mixed reality."

The real value of Second Life for Cisco is the opportunity for spontaneous customer interaction, said Christian Renaud, chief architect of networked virtual environments for Cisco. "It's like a birds-of-a-feather session that goes on 'round the clock," he said. He routinely encounters customers in Second Life who want to talk to him about their needs and what they want Cisco to do. "I bump into customers and partners multiple times a day in Second Life. In 11 years at Cisco, walking through the parking lot in San Jose, I never get people come up to me and say, 'I'm a Cisco customer, have a second?'"


New World Notes has a nice little article on carting in Second Life

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Another step in the internation IT competition has been set as Getronics is prepping for SL presence. As with Logica, it's primarily a one man action by an SL-digging employee. However, what I could grasp from the notecards is that Getronics is picking up the bill for the island.

As you'd expect from Getronics, the building style is kind of cold and towering, at least 8 floors are to be utilised in this huge building. I wonder what they plan to do with the rest of the island.

For now, the structure has been set, the floors themselves are empty yet. One detail was a nice personal touch, a butterfly garden. The garden has the setup of a small canteen

Finally, there's a sticky wall at the first floor where GP leaves a few building notes for us to see where he's going.

I'm curious to see where this is going. My boss has been afraid of big IT companies in the Netherlands to announce their presence is SL, while we haven't. Sogeti has been active since late 2006, having its own island and training about 50 employees to work in SL. So we keep telling him; "hey we've got more presence than any of the others, we don't just wanna put down an office and proudly shout wer're in too. We want more"

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NGI opens up

April 26th will be the opening of the "Isle of NGI". The NGI is a dutch organisation for IT-professionals and will be hosting a series of events in Second Life.

The NGI sim is meant as a meeting place for IT professionals for knowledge exchange and collaboration. As far as I could tell the sim is build from several prefab offices.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007


In the deep south of the Developers Archipelago lies the sim of AMD which opened mid February 2007. AMD is certainly not pushing the limits of Second Life's innovative potential, the sim is mainly used as a meeting point for techies with a few events. The design is quite sterile and you may have to wear sunglasses to protect you against snow blindness.

The sim was constructed by the guys at Metaversality.

From the press release:
"MD Opens Developer Pavilion to Promote Collaboration and Innovation in Second Life and Beyond- Contestants face off to win an AMD powered Dell Dimension SystemDev Central Pavilion on AMD Dev Central Island located within the Second Life (SL) metaverse, to extend its Developer Outreach program into a virtual space for meetings, lectures, training courses and networking opportunities for developers. To celebrate the launch of the pavilion, AMD will host a three-month treasure hunt contest with interactive Linden scripting language (LSL) and open source programming challenges. Developers who successfully complete the challenges in the Pavilion will be entered into a prize drawing for a Dell Dimension E521 system, powered by an AMD dual-core Athlon(tm) 64 X2 processor, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, 320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive, 20 inch widescreen digital flat panelmonitor, and more."


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Microsoft admits defunct in Xbox

After several thousand complaints from X-box 360 users, Microsoft finally admitted that their X-box has a defunct. For months Microsoft stuck to their statement that there was nothing wrong with the X-box and held gamers responsible. According to Microsoft the X-box would not damage discs as long as it was placed solidly.

During the Dutch television programme "Kassa" (about consumer rights) Microsoft finally admitted that cd's and dvd's can be damaged by te X-Box.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

IBM megacomplex

Since february 2007 IBM has pushed sim after sim into their growing continent.
Here's the current sattelite map. At least 16 of these sims are IBM. Most of the work on these sims is done by the Electric Sheep Company.

Aide from these BigBlue sims, there is a cluster of several other sims that could be shared into the IBM PMWIN project which Google tells me is IBM PartnerWorld Industry Networks, No, I haven’t the faintest idea what this is, either. However, I did stumble upon this description at another IBM PWIN website which says PartnerWorld will allow partners to:
  • Gain access to the best solutions, offerings, and skills to help you win in the marketplace.
  • Quick and easy Web access to valuable IBM benefits and resources
  • Competitive advantage in industries, services and solutions
  • Increased opportunity to generate awareness and leads
  • Teaming for success to deliver the expertise to meet client needs
It will be interesting to see where the development goes. Most parts are unaccesible right now, but here and there you might get in. The pics below are from the island IBM1 where a huge primmy sphere hovers on top of a shakespeare-theatre like foundation.

Probably one could write tons of blogs about IBM, here's a few by our guestwriter Aleister Kronos:

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Sun Microsystems

Last month I visited the Sun Microsystems sim on Second Life. Somehow part of it didn't surprise me, it's business as usual. There's a lounge (the Sun Pavilion), an auditorium and and infocorner. These last two bear some resemblance to a rounded CD-ROM box, especially the info corner (see pic no.4)

Though no special treats or extraordinary events, I must say I can appreciate the architecture. In short, it's a professional build with a lot more coherence than the Dell sim. I'm still waiting for the ultimate IT experience though.

Sun has no personel on-site (at least not during my time there) and the only interaction there is are the clickboards that link to Sun's webpages on the old net.


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Easy as Dell

Second Life needs a whole lot of hardware to run on. Small wonder that computer manufacturers such as Dell establish a presence in SL that goes beyond your regular plot. It's business to be made here, I'd say. Second Life will drive the current server architecture to the limits and will challenge manufacturers to provide more power; in core, in memory, in videocards, in multithreading etcetera.

Dell's presence is spread over various sims, which is a rather good thing, since they have a whole menagerie of different styles. The central welcome area breathes a somewhat French athmosphere with little shops around a circular plaza. Here's where you can get your goodies and can access the teleport platform.

From this platform you're transported by tamponeske shuttlepods to the other parts of the Dell sim. There's the Factory, an Oil-rig style megacomputer invoking thoughts of Sean Connery's entry into Alcatraz through the fan-system in "The Rock" and there's the Business side of life, an Auditorium and a convention center.

It's fun to enter the belly of the beast and notice the fans can't chop off your head, but the sim misses a get-back-soon invitation.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

First Land program to end

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007 at 1:12 PM PST by: Jack Linden

Effective immediately, the supply of cheap First Land parcels by Linden Lab will cease. Premium accounts will still be able to own up to 512m of land as part of their Premium membership package as they do now, the only change is that we will not be supplying the discounted parcels as we have done in the past. The website and knowledgebase will be amended to reflect this change shortly.

The First Land program was put in place to encourage land ownership for those moving up to Premium membership. Increasingly we have found that these cheap L$1 per meter parcels were not benefitting those people as intended. Because of the low price, they were being immediately sold, or bought via alts, purely for profit.

We have discussed many methods to ensure that First Land is used as intended but have decided that there is no way to do this without significantly impacting on resident freedoms. Therefore the First Land Program will no longer be provided. It may still be possible to find cheap land for sale, for example small parcels that have been abandoned and recycled by us, but it will not be sold specifically as First Land. Our hope is that through much higher levels of mainland expansion, market forces will act to bring resale prices down over time, for example the new continent being brought up to the east.

You may ask what, without First Land, is the value of a Premium account? Well consider that the L$1200 stipend per month (around USD$4.50) plus 512m free tier per month (around USD$5.00) means that the monthly premium account essentially pays for itself. We are actively looking for additional ways to increase premium value, and we would love to hear any ideas the community has on this.

[Quote from Second Life's official blog:]

As representative of the First Land Searchers group I truely feel sorry this descision has been made. The reasoning behind this ruling is also questionable, and probably arguable from a contract point of view.

1. Current Land Searchers, for the larger part, have seriously been looking for a parcel to own themselves.
2. The unavailability of First Land has not been the result of huge speculation, but of the incapacity of Linden to address the problem of land-bots.
3. Premium account members have INVESTED in the expanse of Second Life based upon the contractual promise to right of ownership of a parcel of First Land.

Taking into account that there are thousands of premium membership owners who have signed up to pay $ 5,- a month for the right to hold First Land, it brings thousands of dollars of venue for Linden Labs this is easy money.

Cutting on the First Land allocation in this fashion will not achieve the goals intented. On the contrarry, it will work counter productive. It leaves thousands of frustrated users who will no longer support the ideals and growth of SL, it will fend off new upgrades to Premium accounts and will only end in a new surge in landprices.

The promise of finding alternative ways to make premium interesting again is not a substantial offer. Over 90% of the users have upgraded to premium solely for the purpose of owning First Land, and the only way to compensate this would be to increase the monthly stipend enough to enable us to buy a regulare parcel.

Additional Efforts that could be taken:
1. During transition phase premium account members receive enough L$ to purchase a normal lot.
2. Linden delivers enough first land for current premium account holders to fullfil the contractual First Land promise.

Rulings that could ensure First Land usage as intended:
1. First Land buyers take a contractual obligation to hold the First Land parcel for at least 1 year.
2. During a planned transition phase only existing parcels can be traded and auctioned. New parcels can only be sold if they originate from new regions.
Let us negotiate a transition phase

I truly hope there are some laywers out there with a copy of the original terms of use and premium membership rights that will make an effort of this issue in a RL court of law.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Intelligent Documents

yesterday I went to a tech-meeting about intelligent documents.
I really do have to write something about this, so please remind me!

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