Saturday, January 19, 2008

NOS: NOAA Oil Spill

Today I went for a first look at one of the new National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sims, named Okeanos and like before, they've hired Aimee Weber for the build. No surprise the build is of high quality. The main venue of this sim is an oil spill demo. The tanker was easily spotted, but no sign of an oil spill.

That was soon solved as I started the demo by sitting on one of the ships. Slowly the oil leaked out of the tanker and I got to practice sucking up the oil.





There's a number of other interesting things to do and explore at the educational NOAA sim, such as the Hydrographic Survey. The build has lots of detail, above and below sealevel. One thing though: I think Aimee's a lot better at building cars (such as the Peugeot 308) than at building boats.






SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Okeanos/52/216/32

Meteora

It's worth checking out the surrounding sims such as and Meteora (below) as well.


At Aimee's portfolio we read:


"NOAA's sim is called Meteroa,which is derived from the Greek adjective meteoras which means 'suspended in the air'. On this lovely island sim you can find fully interactive educational demonstrations about the ocean and weather including a sea life submarine ride and a tsunami. Other fun stuff includes a demonstration of a real-time temperature map, narration by Exploratorium Chief Scientist Paul Doherty, an airplane ride into a hurricane, and a melting glacier."

No I wouldn't really call Tsunami funn stuff, but again, a good build.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Meteora/140/129/32

A number of other islands seem to be under construction here as well, such as Second Earth and Thetis

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Proky Soap: Episode Metaversed


It's the Proky show again. She (yes she) is getting a habit of getting herself banned for carrying her heart on her tongue (which often is quite sharp and critical)




Here's Prokofy's account on Second Thought:





Nick Wilson (57 Miles) in Second Life, IM'd me during the IBM/LL
Interoperability meeting today and told me that he was canning
my podcast, and banning me from his
island, group, and site. I had "gone too far" yesterday in telling a heckler to
fuck off in group IM, he hadn't liked my last podcast critical of the Sheep, and
I "wasn't good for his business". He couldnt' really point to any *content*;
just his own nervousness about the optics of metaversed.com Like the Linden
said, who confessed that I hadn't actually violated the TOS when I was banned
for calling Aimee's name "like a cheerleader," it was "a business decision".
Nick offered to give me the domain name he had registered and offered to put out
a cover story that he was cutting the podcast because "he had no time" lol.



Now, I don't fear Proky's life here is at stake, since she's always gotten through and keeps her course (which some may think to be a head-on collision course with disaster) and nodoubtedly will continue to put her worries to blog on Second Thought.


The thing is that Metaversed has been gaining a lot of momentum in the past 6 months, becoming one of the leading blogs and discussion panels on Second Life and the metaverse in general, partly due to the effort of Prokofy and her sharp analysis on the podcast show. Now, will Nick be able to keep up, or will this have a shakeout?


What sticks out is: "I didn't violate the ToS when calling out Aimee's name like a cheerleader". I wish I had been there. Prokofy seems to have a deep grudge against Aimee, as being top of her envied/hated Feted Inner Core circle and I can't imagine her actually 'supporting' Aimee like a cheerleader. For the record... you just don't go out there calling Aimee names. That's just not done.



Proky's FIC-list is a list of Second Life celebrities whom she calls haughty, arrogant and whatever. Aimee is many things, but certainly none of the above, at least the way I have gotten to know her over the past months.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Midnight Lunch

Well, this is what you get in a virtual world where global restrictions and hiccups don't count, such as timezones and weight watching. It's 1 p.m. SLT and time for lunch. Aimee turned out to be a bad chef at her restaurant, la farfalla blu (the blue butterfly)located in Midnight City, so we settled for virtual pizza ;)


SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Midnight%20City/128/128/0

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dues ex Machinima

Babyburns off breastfeeding, meaning I gotta stay up late and have a go with bottle and smelly powder milk. Usually it's around 11 pm and I sit down an watch some tv. Earlier this week I watched an episodes of a Discovery Channel show called "Rides" This one I especially liked since it featured a very special classic car, a Duesenberg.



The Deusenbergs were two carbuilding brothers who build luxury automobiles and racecars in the early 20th century. There are several models of which only a few survive, driving prices up to millions of dollars for well maintained versions.





The "Rides" episode featured Jay Leno, who is a classic car maniac, working on his Duesenberg. More on Jay's cars can be found at Jay Leno's garage.




Don't tell Mrs. V. but I've been looking to get myself a classic car for some time now. In Second Life I haven't gotten beyond Aimee's T-Ford (1 L$-freebie version), but I've been looking around in Real Life as well. I was thinking about buying this 1928 Citroen AC4





But then it appeared that my wife's car would last much longer. In fact, it wasn't safe enough to drive anymore with two kids. So last week we bought a new car:




Well, at least the color is about the same. However, it means no money for a nice AC4, let alone a Deus.

Anyway, as I said, I haven't gotten more than a virtual T-Ford sofar, but it would be fun to see such rare cars as the Deusenberg back in Second Life, being able to drive them. Have classic car ralleys and so on.



Anyone know a Duesy in Second Life or any good classic car? Lemme know

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hypecycle Management

It can't be missed. Second Life is getting a lot of bad press lately. I've commented on this, as well as other blogs that most old media and most companies don't really understand the world we live in, among which Gartner:



"Gartner analyst Steve Prentice made a pretty big blip on our radar when he predicted that 80% of internet users would have a virtual life by 2011 in April this year. He recently put a spanner in the works by warning companies away from Second Life. " (Metaversed)



When checking with the US content creators it's clear that US Based companies don't really get distracted by this news. Aimee Weber Studios, for instance, has a portfolio that's filled to max capacity. The Dutch buzz though is that several projects have come to a halt. Even finished builds remain closed for the moment.



Now the Dutch seem to have been in the grips of hypecycles for several years now, on a range of subjects. The nation is becoming governed by the whims of media. The point is that most companies don't really have a clue either to what they want from a virtual world like Second Life.



It still seems like many companies establish a presence in Second Life because everybody does so (that's no longer valid). It's like users: If you register for SL and have no idea what you want to do there, you're likely not to return. You're at a loss. Companies should have a goal in Second Life as well. Innovation, Exploration, Crowdsourcing, User Acceptance, Branding, Sponsoring whatever, just make up your mind and set some goals...



This would make entry independent of hypecycles. Draw your plan and act on it.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Advanced Content Creation

Two days ago I remarked on this blog that I hadn't heard a lot on Alyssa LaRoche a.k.a. Aimee Weber lately. Almost instantaniously she proved me wrong. Here's the comment left on the blogpost:



"Thanks for the interest in Aimee Weber Studio. I've actually been so busy, I haven't had time to update my website. Since the last entry on the AWS website, Aimee Weber Studio has done the following:



  • Worked as Project manager for NBC's treelighting ceremony along with Bedazzle and Electric Sheep.
  • We built the House of Horizons build for IBM.
  • Created Bild-T's island for the SL tabloid The Avastar.
  • We created the Yak Shack for the charitable organization Save the Children.
  • We are currently working on the in-world press kiosks for PR Newswire.
  • We are also working on several projects that we are not yet able to announce including a major automotive company and restaurant chain.
  • Finally, I'm the lead author for the Official Second Life Advanced Content Creation textbook entitled "Creating Your World" due out in October and I have been speaking at shows such as Computerworld.
Aimee Weber Studio has never stopped growing and has recently been hiring full time employees and providing health and dental.I hope this is enough. If I did anymore I would collapse. :D But I will be sure to add a website update to my daunting to-do list!!"



Following on this post I had quite a long IM session with Aimee. On this blog and other blogs there have been lots of comments on old style media that are currently in a negative swing on Second Life. In the regular 'print' the current reading is that companies are getting out of Second Life, have second thoughts, or are very much disappointed. This certainly is not the case for Aimee Weber Studios.



"Not on my end. There are certainly lots of inquiries. I am sure the bubble burst will happen eventually. Which I don't think I mind. I enjoy projects that use SL as an educational platform as much as the advertising stuff. Not that a bubble burst would indicate the irrelevance of SL as a marketing platform."



We were quite in agreement right now SL is offering more freedom than any other platform. Maybe in 5 years SL will be overtaken, but for now it's the ideal environment to explore the Metaverse.

One of the projects Aimee has been working on is a new book on advanced content creation, titled "Creating your World" which will be available at Amazon shortly. As far as I could tell from the previews the book is completely in style with the official Guide to Second Life, giving it that familiar touch and will be an interesting insight into virtual creationism.



"I tried to avoid simple "how-to" explanations in favor of providing a deeper understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. Not just how to build with prims, but WHY different kinds of prims act the way they do." says Aimee.

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MindBlizzard growing

The MindBlizzard blog has been up for just 4 months, but it's growing (too) fast...

Size


This is getting a regular habit I fear. Right now I'm having a hard time publishing to my blog. It's been barely a month ago that I upgraded my hostingaccount from 50 to 100 Mb and DataTraffic limits from 2 Gb/month to 4 Gb per month.



Now, halway through July I'm at 3.2 Gb Data Traffic already and have grown beyond 100Mb.
Maybe I should start considering getting a sponsor as well.



Reputation


To look on the bright side of life: In the past month my technorati rating has rocketed from autority 26 to authority 50, and closing in on the top 100K blogs. Not bad for a 4 month old blog.




Readers


In the past months I've seen various people comment on and link to my blog, such as:


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Monday, July 16, 2007

Butterfly cocooned?

2006 must have been the year of Weber, obviously. It seems virtual butterflies don't live much longer than their RL counterparts since it's been ages since I've heard something of importance on Weber.

By the end of 2006 Aimee Weber was seen as one of the leading content creators in Second Life, mentioned as one of the virtual millionaires and founder of the Weber Studio's and said to be part of the infamous FIC (feted inner core), the clique the chique of Second Life.

Looking at her portfolio once more to see if there's anything new coming up, 'turned out to be quite a disappointment. Weber made name and fame during the first boost of Second Life, but now seems to be marginalised and seems to live a quiet life in the Stylehyve, showing off some good pieces of furniture.

Anyone knows what happened? Any good projects coming up?

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Second Life gets style

Next to Microsoft is a sim that looks terribly underdeveloped running by the name "Style" I took a peek and... yeah I'm positive again. It must be some itch to get rid of the Visa taste in my mouth.
As I said, it still partly under construction -and they're subcontracting, but the basic setup is... stylish. The main building is build around a catwalk. Fashion will be this sims prime style event, but Aimee Weber, partly responsible for the build, also put in a lot of stylish furniture.

The downside is, it appears to be a house of fashion, main event a fashion show... but I couldn't find a schedule or billboard for the next event, and I sure don't have time to browse the classifieds for a fashion show.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virtual Fortunes

As Lordly already posted, businessweek is doing an SL special, here's the interesting part:

"Meet the virtual world moguls. The number of Second Life residents generating more than $5,000 in monthly income has more than quadrupled to 116 in the past year."

The millionares:

  1. Phillip Rosendale (the guy who did SL)
  2. Ailin Graef(Anshe Chung real estate)
  3. Reuben Steiger (Millions of Us)
  4. Sibley Verbeck (Electric Sheep)
  5. Alyssa LaRoche (Aimee Weber)
  6. Adam Frisby (real estate)
  7. Kevin Alderman (Strokerz Toys & Amsterdam Sim)
  8. Peter Lokke (clothing)
  9. Christiano Diaz (snapzilla SL)
  10. Adam Anders (whatever, over 100.000 sales a day)

To wrap it up: No 1 is the one who dunnit, 2 real estate owners, 3 big builders, 2 clothing &kinky toys and 1 sidekick. So if you're not good at actually doing something, you can always invest in real estate.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Aimee Weber

Aimee's one of the sexiest names in virtual content creation. She's a social butterfly that traverses the grid with grace. She entered the metaverse early 2004 and rapidly became one of the top designers.



Being very mediable, the web is littered with articles and blogs about her, but she's been a very prolific builer in Second Life as well. She rocketted to stardom which does seem to take its toll:



Some jobs are done quite sloppy and like big time celebs she's very much into charity right now with projects such as Second Life Relay for Life from the American Cancer Society, The United Nations Stand Up Against Poverty and (very Gorish) National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association.




What remains is the fact that she comes up with original ideas, contrary to Rivers Run Red and the Electric Sheep Company, and it's the ideas that keep SL in motion. She's been active in the fields of clothing design, virtual education and simulcast events (such as the 2006 solar eclipse)

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Machinima

Machinima is a new form of filmmaking that uses computer games technology to shoot films in the virtual reality of a game engine. Rather than picking up expensive camera equipment, or spending months painstakingly tweaking even more expensive 3D packages, Machinima creators act out their movies within a computer game. We treat the viewpoint the game gives them as a camera - “Shooting Film in a Virtual Reality”, as we've been known to put it in their more slogan-high moments – and record and edit that viewpoint into any film we can imagine.

First class examples can be found at the official website: http://www.machinima.com/

Aimee Weber's Tour of the Solar System
Aimee takes you on an educational tour of our Solar System. This movie was made entirely within the Second Life platform and has been credited as the first use of machinima for education.

In a marriage of Machinima and virtual education, Aimee takes us on an informative tour of our solar system. Starting with Pluto, Aimee's own voice serves as our tour guide as we zoom smoothly from planet to planet, pausing only to catch some stunning details, learn new facts, or thrill to the movie's soundtrack. This movie is actually only a part of a larger educational project Aimee has been working on in recent months. The sets for this movie spanned the entire length of a sim and in some cases (such as Saturn's rings) the builds consisted of thousands of prims!

Watch the movie: http://alt-zoom.com/movies/azpresents/aweber/SolarSystem.mov

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NBC Sessions from Second Life

Just looking at the sattelite image of the NBC1 sim gives you a dark impression, and it's a telltale sign of a heavy build. NBC chose a full urban sim, probably similar to their downtown headquarters in real life.



Because of this enormous build the sim is slow in rendering.

As for activities, NBC is running a show from Second Life, called the Sessions. The setting is a wee bit like your usual American talkshow, like Jay Leno's "Tonight Show"
Contracters for this heavy build are the Electric Sheep Company and Aimee Weber.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Virtual T-Ford


Second Life is the medium of the future, or at least of the 21st century. It is a place where one can walk, fly and teleport from place to place. Traditional transportation like cars and planes have become obsolete in this world.


Amazingly, cars have become a status symbol in this world in a very short time. I must admit, I've seen some cool designs -most of them about L$ 3.000 (about 10 Euro -no BPM). Way out of my hobby budget. So I settled for a classic, a T-Ford built by Aimee Weber.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Sloppy performance by Weber

When one of SL's design guru's, Aimee Weber, was asked to participate in the built of the sim of one of the sexiest SL companies, Millions of US, one thought it would be one big showcase for SL architecture. Well, the auditorium is awesome as you can see on the pic below.




An insider at MoU however told me there was sloppy work involved. When closely examening the structures on the island.... well, you be the judge.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Millions%20of%20Us/123/97/56

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