Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Google Emissions Crunched as Kincaid gets it straight.

Half a forest was burned on the printing presses and a ton of CO2 blasted into orbit as the Times reported yesterday that "Two Google searches needed the same amount of energy to boil a kettle of water." Tons of blogs and newspapers worldwide dove at the news like hungry vultures to dig this story, like I did in the article "Plant a Tree and get a free search" yesterday.Google immediately denied the alledged amounts of pollution, but it was Techcrunch blogger Jason Kincaid who actually managed to get the facts straight.

The quintessence of the story run by the Times was young Harvard physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, who was quoted in saying “that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea”. Kincaid received the article very sceptical and did some proper research.

"Unfortunately, according to Wissner-Gross he never said anything of the sort. For starters, he says he would never refer to any sort of measurement having to do with tea (he’d go with coffee). But his findings have nothing to do with Google as a company, either - they’re concerned with much more generalized stats, like your computer’s rate of CO2 production when you look at a

Wissner-Gross says that the widely circulated 7 gram/search figure came from some other source (he’s not sure where), and notes that if you read the article carefully it only makes it sound like it’s from his data. He has confirmed that he did make some vague statements regarding Google, including “A Google search has a definite environmental impact” and “Google operates huge data centers around the world that consume a great deal of power”. But the “tea kettle” statistic that has been repeated ad nauseum simply isn’t his. After learning of the misleading story, Wissner-Gross says that he contacted The Times and was assured that it would be fixed by Sunday morning. No corrections have been made.?

Kincaid also states that this isn't the first time the Times has gone awry;

This isn’t the first time in recent memory that The Times has been mistaken about a tech story - in late November the newspaper incorrectly reported on a complicated and fictional Yahoo/Microsoft search arrangement.

I remember touching this topic earlier this morning as I wrote that the credit crunch was a healthy wind passing through the traditional media landscape;

The credit crunch might be a blessing to shake that old tree (and save a rainforest in the proces) and force the old newspaper industry to innovate. The world of news and information has changed with the arrivel of web 2.0, called the social web, or conversational web by others. The most heard argument in this case is that bloggers are not trained journalists and are living the fastlane without time to do thorough research and taking time to write indepth stories. Well, there are a few out there that prove you wrong. And if that's the case, why not skip daily newspapers and let the bloggers and televesion do the daily news and create more indepth research magazines?

I think the research by Kincaid proves the old media wrong. It's bloggers who get the facts straight and not trained journalists with years and years of field experience and editors to double check.

In short, we all stand corrected. Google's footprint is down a little bit, but the main focus of my article yesterday still stands:

The only problem is.... Google and every other major player on the market is either American or China based, which means they don't really give a **** about the environment. Despite Al Gore and every greenie in the States, every environmental deal is blocked by the United States in favor of economic growth. Where did that bring us? It only brought global crisis. America has blocked deals like the Kyoto protocol so it could continue to produce supersized cars. It has only killed innovation and the United States are now putting billions of dollars into an outdated automotive industry. Cars are too big, engines to polluting for the present day world. No wonder nobody's buying anymore.

Read the full Techcrunch article here.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Plant a Tree and get a free search

If you're reading this, There's a good chance you've wasted enough energy to boil a kettle of water to get here. A recent study by Harvard shows Googling is putting tons of CO2 into the air.

Below a copy of an article in the Telegraph.co.uk which describes the Harvard findings:

Googling has 'a very definite environmental impact' according to research conducted by a physicist from Harvard University

A typical search through the online giant's website is thought to generate about 7g of carbon dioxide. Boiling a kettle produces about 15g. The emissions are caused both by the electricity required to power a user's computer and send their request to servers around the world.

The discovery comes amid increasing warnings about the little-known environmental impact of computer and internet use.

According to Gartner, an American research firm, IT now causes about two per cent of global CO2 emissions and its carbon footprint exceeded that of the world's aviation industry for the first time in 2007.

Dr Alex Wissner-Gross, a physicist from Harvard University who is leading research into the subject, has estimated that browsing a basic website generates about 0.02g of CO2 for every second it is viewed.

Websites with complex video can be responsible for up to 0.2 g per second, he believes. On his website, CO2stats.com, Dr Wissner-Gross wrote: "Websites are provided by servers and are viewed by visitors' computers that are connected via networks."

"These servers, clients and networks all require electricity in order to run, electricity that is largely generated by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. "

"When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, which contribute to climate change. " Dr Wissner-Gross believes that Google's unique structure - which sees it send searches to multiple servers around the world and give which ever response is returned quickest - causes its searches to produce more emissions than some other sites.

He told a newspaper: "Google operates huge data centres around the world that consume a great deal of power. "

"A Google search has a definite environmental impact. "

"Google are very efficient but their primary concern is to make searches fast and that means they have a lot of extra capacity that burns energy,"

A separate analysis by John Buckley, of carbonfootprint.com, a British environmental website, put the CO2 emissions of a Google search at between 1g and 10g. Chris Goodall, the author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, said that assuming the user spends 15 minutes on their computer, the carbon emission of a Google is between 7g and 10g.

Google claimed that the number was "many times too high" and one Google search is equivalent to about 0.2 grams of CO2.

A spokesman for Google said: "We are among the most efficient of all internet search

Does it matter how much grams it is, it is not helping the environment, but what are the alternatives? Cut down the rainforest to satisfy our information needs by distributing all the blogs on paper? I guess not. You might encourage a lot of writers to just stop blogging and the world would be better off.

I doubt we'll see that happening. Perhaps it's better to think how we can compensate. Have Google plant and other big spenders plant a forest to compensate, just like we've got to pay an additional tax for flying in the Netherlands. The only problem is.... Google and every other major player on the market is either American or China based, which means they don't really give a **** about the environment. Despite Al Gore and every greenie in the States, every environmental deal is blocked by the United States in favor of economic growth. Where did that bring us? It only brought global crisis. America has blocked deals like the Kyoto protocol so it could continue to produce supersized cars. It has only killed innovation and the United States are now putting billions of dollars into an outdated automotive industry. Cars are too big, engines to polluting for the present day world. No wonder nobody's buying anymore.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Big Blue starts to Jam

Blue Note is one of the well known Jazz labels in the world. Now it's Big Blue that starts to Jam. Last week I received an email by IBM's Rick Reesen with an update on Jazz, Open Sim and lots of other stuff. I never got round to blogging it , but as IBM's "Power Up" has been hitting the blogoshpere in the past days I'm going out of sync.

The most blogged IBM event was the launch of "Power Up - the Game" which basically is a game about powering up, i.e. energy.

Power up is an educational world, named Helios (Greek for Sun - no competition intented probably) for teens with a focus on energy and climate Al-Gorish hypes. Teens can explore and work in this virtual plant to save the us all from disaster.

A more interesting release though was the opening of Jazz which basically is a software development project, which was publically announced at January 14:

ARMONK, NY - 14 Jan 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled new software and research innovations aimed at improving the way employees across an organization collaborate in a globally integrated enterprise.

The challenges of globalization are forcing companies to become more nimble, using an increasingly geographically-dispersed and virtual workforce to remain competitive. In the world of software development, this means 24x7 collaboration with specialized teams around the globe to pick up where another left off. IBM is also examining
how virtual worlds can help software development teams break down the barriers caused by globalization.

IBM is announcing it is opening up its development platform based on Web 2.0 technologies for developers to collaborate and contribute to software under development at www.Jazz.net. Jazz.net is an open, commercial community designed to help companies globally and transparently collaborate on the development of Jazz-based technology.

More on Jazz (such as a promo) can be found in Second Life on IBM's codestation.

IBM's involvement in the Metaverse:

Somehow I keep running into IBM-ers working with virtual worlds in some way or the other. It doesn't matter if it's a Sogeti event or a VW Seminar or Symposium, but they're always there... and they're evangelising the metaverse. Some have asked me if I know what their budget is. Somewhere I picked up a figure of 100 million USD, but no doubt it's huge.

The IBM SL community holds about 6.000 members, which is impressive. What I've learned though is that only a few of these are paid to explore the metaverse and that the vast majority consists of enthusiasts which contribute in their spare time, which puts it all into perspective. For companies like mine (Sogeti) or Capgemini, most of the virtual world attention and development is still a spare time excercise of enthusiasts trying to figure out ways for their employers to coin in, or find meaningfull use of metaverses. Taking in the total population of IBM worldwide, one might even say that Sogeti's community in Second Life is even bigger (percentage wise) with over 90 members in a total of 3.000 employees in the Netherlands. Alas we don't have full time funding as ABN Amro has had over the past year.


One last thing that is nagging me about the email I received is the mention of the UgoTrade blog as a reference. I've been reading Tish's blog over the past year with great pleasure as she really writes good indepth stories on technology in Virtual Worlds. But when companies like IBM start to use it as a base of reference for their work in VW's I'm getting a wee bit hesitant.

Tish, please don't turn into a corporate blogger....

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Virtual Banking (14): Banco Itau

Allthough some virtual worlds host the fastest growing economies in the world, there isn't a bank to be found that takes its business to the Metaverse. The latest financial corporate build in Second Life, Brasilian based Banco Itau is no different.

"Banco Itau began in 1945 under the name Banco Central de Crédito and later changed its name to Banco Federal de Crédito. In 1964, Itaú Holding merged Banco Federal de Crédito and Banco Itaú. Later that decade, Banco Itau acquired Banco Sul Americano (1966) and Banco da América (1969).

Banco Itaú it is a private-owned bank with its headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil. It is the second largest private bank in Brazil, after Bradesco. Itaú now accounts for about 11% of the Brazilian market for retail banking services. It is the most important affiliate of Investimentos Itaú (Itaúsa), a large conglomerate that ranks among Fortune magazine's top 500 corporations in the world." [source: Wikipedia]

Currently the Banco Itau uses half a sim, spread over three buildings:

  1. A welcome stage,
  2. An information center,
  3. An auditorium.

Somehow I've got some problems snapping a good shot from a certain distance with the Windlight Client, even with draw distance at 256 m. so excuse the lines in the first pic.

In general the build looks of good quality, but because it's only half an island I wonder if the build is half done, or they just ran out of ideas. The design would be worth expanding to a full sim. The banks focus seems to be the climate-hype with lots of information on Kioto, energy etcetera in the central info center.

The most prominent feature of the island is the auditorium though.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Itau/128/128/0

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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


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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Friday, August 31, 2007

Designing the Future 1b

Here's blogpost number 2 on the Philips sessions on Designing the Future. The first can be found here, where we started of with the Philips Design Probes and discussing the topic "The Future of Self-Expression." This second post will focus on the second brainstorm topic we discussed:

The Future of Packaging.

Philips themeselves are quite interested in new ways of food packaging

"We have been especially interested in the packaging of food. In fact food packaging is a large part of our waste."

But what do we need from packaging, and how will this evolve in the next 20 years? From a Philips point of view, packaging obiously is a new market in which they can put new gadgets. Instead of enthusiastically get involved with all sorts of gadgetted packaging stuff, I advocated less packaging. Here some ramblings:

"I'd be happy to go back 50 years in time to get rid of all this plastic waste.
I hate it to see my meat being packaged in foam, then ceiled, then bagged in a plastic bag.. I don't ask for it. Some stuff at the supermarket is triple packaged. So biodegradable and non-toxic packaging would help a lot."

"But what concerns you most - amount of stuff or possible danger to products?"

"We're getting too peculiar I'd say. Partly it's a self sustaining economy. We enhance our food, do tricks to keep our cows fat, thus more risk of all sorts of bacteria, thus need of more sterile packaging I think."

"Oh, I like this train of thought, that its not only packaging per ser, but in fact whole system."

"Packaging is at the end of the production chain, so logical to see where the need comes from. Is our plastic industry build upon the waste and need from oil companies? or does it serve purpose? ok, that sounded far too much conspiracy theory.... non intentionally. so if technology finds another source of energy rather then oil, we'd have less plastic?"

After the obligatory fit about our current society we got down to business though tinkering about new ways for packaging, amongst which RFID technology, the impact of Technology on our elderly people, Identity Management and what have you got. Too much to cut into decent bits at this time anyway, so here's the transcript:

[12:31]  Una Gackt: three things expression , cloth and package are same interests, I suppose.

[12:32]  Una Gackt: It reveal what it contains or at least It pretend what it contains

[12:32]  Centrasian Wise: and in every topic we are in fact interested in how people will interact with these new thingies

[12:33]  Una Gackt: I really love the show of Philips design probe : SKIN

[12:33]  Centrasian Wise: our next topic :)

[12:33]  Una Gackt: it gave us some messages of what people to express, and pretend.

[12:33]  Una Gackt: and the tool to attempt to the wills.

[12:34]  Centrasian Wise: in some sense, packaging can be compared to the skin of the product - but what do we expect from such skin?

[12:34]  Tara5 Oh: that is interestin point una because pretending is an important part of self expression!

[12:34]  Una Gackt: right...

[12:34]  Centrasian Wise: yes, I sense a dilemma here

[12:34]  Una Gackt: and it is also a good biz in SL

[12:34]  Una Gackt: SKIN production^^

[12:34]  Centrasian Wise: it all goes to the trust again

[12:34]  Eolus McMillan: the skin should know when we need medical attention

[12:35]  Tara5 Oh: i think it is not necessarily a dilemma

[12:35]  Centrasian Wise: if you trust me, I don't have to pretend, I can be myself...

[12:35]  Centrasian Wise: yes, right Tara, I was looking for a better word :)

[12:35]  Tara5 Oh: for instance sometimes self expression is just a way of making contack it doen't have to be scientifically accurate

[12:36]  Tara5 Oh: there are all those silly games on facebook for example like how alike are wee

[12:36]  Tara5 Oh: they are totally inaccurate but noone cares it is a way of breaking the ice

[12:36]  Una Gackt: haha, scientifically accrate,...that's impossible...people are people, and they are full of errors and they enjoy it.

[12:36]  Centrasian Wise: same as we say 'dress to impress' - packaging of today often works as a way of impressing, seducing even

[12:37]  Tara5 Oh: yes there is a lot of pleaure in mistaken identity games!

[12:37]  Centrasian Wise: but at the same time informing, communicating

[12:37]  Centrasian Wise: :)

[12:37]  Tara5 Oh: hey my dress shows i am sad but i am really happy!

[12:37]  Una Gackt: true...SL itself is the joy of gap from the reality.

[12:38]  Tara5 Oh: sometimes and sometimes its p[ower comes from communicating reality in new ways

[12:38]  Tara5 Oh: it is both

[12:38]  Una Gackt: yes...

[12:38]  Centrasian Wise: i wonder of something similar will emerge in packaging.. with similar level of playfulness

[12:38]  Una Gackt: both...

[12:38]  Una Gackt: yes...the point is playfulness.

[12:38]  Tara5 Oh: if a doctor was talking to a patient in SL the patient might want to show their pain accurately

[12:39]  Tara5 Oh: or as accurately as possible

[12:39]  Una Gackt: SKIN makes people happy and feeling of satisfaction about their self esteem.

[12:40]  Centrasian Wise: why do you think it so, Tara?

[12:40]  You: however, if this all this info gets digitized, you might get serious privacy problems / issues

[12:40]  Tara5 Oh: but privacy has different meanings to different people

[12:41]  Una Gackt: haha....almost Zen philosophical...

[12:41]  Tara5 Oh: for example some people don't like the idea of companies knowing what products they like and use

[12:41]  Una Gackt: all depends on their intension.

[12:41]  Tara5 Oh: but peronally i like havinf relevant info pushed to me

[12:41]  Centrasian Wise: issue of trust?

[12:41]  Una Gackt: you're first person who said that loving the push info.

[12:42]  Tara5 Oh: i don't watch TV etc anymore so i need to know what is out there

[12:42]  You: yes. but that would require a closed web. A single sign on. so you can adjust what you would like to share / receive

[12:42]  Centrasian Wise: if i trust my friend, i will share with her a lot, because i am sure she will be helping, not harming

[12:42]  Tara5 Oh: i actually depend on it!

[12:42]  Una Gackt: I see.

[12:42]  Tara5 Oh: but i like it to come from social networks best

[12:42]  Tara5 Oh: but i still want to know about new products

[12:42]  Tara5 Oh: in my areas of interest

[12:42]  You: social networks are too scattered, no interchangeability

[12:43]  You: for most people ;)

[12:43]  Una Gackt: other than the consumer info what is your SN source for?

[12:43]  Tara5 Oh: well I rely on last.fm for music

[12:43]  Dennis Slocombe is Offline

[12:43]  Centrasian Wise: do you think they will stay like this in the future, VeeJay?

[12:44]  You: no, I think the way we use the web will change. As I said to a short of single sign on. Desktop usage will be transferred to webbased Document Management and merging of private, social and professional networks

[12:44]  You: there will be huge leaps to be made with Identity Management / web 2.0 profiles

[12:44]  Una Gackt: if you googled, then it's already there.

[12:45]  You: Una, it's there, the basic outlines.

[12:45]  You: but not the whole deal.

[12:45]  Centrasian Wise: so if i project this vision to, say, packages - a lot of its current functions will done by the networks, right?

[12:45]  Una Gackt: it brings you everything to your personal top.

[12:46]  Una Gackt: you just logged in, and there ...you ...go

[12:46]  Una Gackt: no more surfing.

[12:46]  Tara5 Oh: not just the generic info

[12:46]  You: yes cent.

[12:46]  Tara5 Oh: yes I would like packages to delive the information that i am interested in personally

[12:46]  Tara5 Oh: for example i am very fussy about how my food is produced

[12:46]  Tara5 Oh: but i don't care about the calories etc

[12:46]  You: so focuspoints would be unified communications and identitymanagement

[12:47]  Una Gackt: OK, Veejay might be in the area.

[12:47]  Una Gackt: security and privacy engineering

[12:47]  Centrasian Wise: but for us, desingers, it will also mean whole new way of interaction with products

[12:48]  Tara5 Oh: yes and i think that people want to bring environmental consciousness into all purchase

[12:48]  Centrasian Wise: or, designing for such inteactions

[12:48]  Una Gackt: now a days it is very hard to say designers design the product.

[12:48]  Tara5 Oh: i.e. what is the carbon footprint associated with the whole product life style

[12:48]  Una Gackt: customers or markets shaping its need until designers understand their need.

[12:49]  You: productinformation / production information / manuals from products streamed to your feedreader / document management system on purchase

[12:49]  Centrasian Wise: but it's interesting, that this consciousness is emerging from the relations *around* the product

[12:49]  You: guarantee and service notes stored

[12:49]  Una Gackt: now adays, designers task is the producing but watching or observing.

[12:50]  Centrasian Wise: not even manuals per se, even, but rather social distributed knowledge

[12:50]  Tara5 Oh: for example I would like to know my product was manufacutered in an energy monitored EOLUS faciltiy!!!

[12:50]  Yel Oh: Hi guys :-)

[12:50]  Una Gackt: but in the future they will spend more time for watcing

[12:50]  Centrasian Wise: Yes, very right Una

Then there was a short break, after which we continued:

[13:03]  Centrasian Wise: The interaction between the human body, apparel and the near environment is going to be one of the next big challenges

[13:04]  Una Gackt: aha wearabel computing...

[13:04]  Centrasian Wise: and we will be very happy to show you our ideas and concepts in this area at one of the next meetings

[13:04]  You: why is that a challenge for a technology company like philips?

[13:04]  Una Gackt: which sense your temperature...mood, health, and even your happiness.

[13:04]  Tara5 Oh: yes I like the ID of shirt that people can point and click their phone at to go to my blog

[13:04]  Una Gackt: hahahaha...

[13:04]  Tara5 Oh: he he

[13:04]  Centrasian Wise: ^_^

[13:04]  Una Gackt: clever.

[13:05]  Centrasian Wise: Is it available already, Tara? :)

[13:05]  Tara5 Oh: I wplus i think cards are very outdated!

[13:05]  Tara5 Oh: oh can you send me one1

[13:05]  Tara5 Oh: should be point , click and save1

[13:05]  Una Gackt: each name card has its own texutre...

[13:06]  Una Gackt: not just color and shape.

[13:06]  Una Gackt: that's why it should be a card.

[13:06]  Una Gackt: you can keep and bring the texture.

[13:06]  Tara5 Oh: no i mean in RL not SL this time

[13:06]  Tara5 Oh: i don't want RL cards

[13:06]  You: I like technology. I like information, but there are times I like to get away from it. And that'll be hard if you even wear communicative things ;)

[13:07]  Una Gackt: hehe...I mean RL...in fact.

[13:07]  Una Gackt: I love the physical products.

[13:07]  Una Gackt: it has a texture, weight and shape.

[13:07]  Tara5 Oh: no coc you could turn it on and off

[13:07]  Eolus McMillan: but if the thing is smart it would know that you are in a mood of not having any communication

[13:07]  Eolus McMillan: and it would act accordingly

[13:07]  Una Gackt: that's the part of its won attributes.

[13:07]  Tara5 Oh: yes eolus even better in case you forgot to turn it off!

[13:08]  Eolus McMillan: a simple thought would turn it on or off

[13:08]  Eolus McMillan: in the back of your mind

[13:08]  Tara5 Oh: but i think jewellry ismore appropriate cos my clothing wears out too fast!

[13:08]  You: ok. we're looking at it from the exciting vantage of new technology things. But surely, especially you Eolus and Tara would have to wonder if it is usefull and not waste. What purpose would it all serve?

[13:09]  Centrasian Wise: good question! :)

[13:09]  Eolus McMillan: it might be usefull for old people

[13:09]  Tara5 Oh: cards are waste they use non renewable resources

[13:09]  Eolus McMillan: people with disabilities

[13:09]  You: My mother would rather die or get lost before she wears self thinking boots

[13:09]  Tara5 Oh: anyway wallets are going out soon i guess

[13:09]  Una Gackt: what is the gesture cent...

[13:10]  Una Gackt: did you look at your watch?

[13:10]  Eolus McMillan: it really depends

[13:10]  Una Gackt: how is it possible....

[13:10]  Tara5 Oh: but my mother loves this kind of technolofy

[13:10]  Centrasian Wise: :)

[13:10]  Tara5 Oh: she is frail and lives on herown

[13:10]  Eolus McMillan: if thinking means taking over

[13:10]  Eolus McMillan: then i agree

[13:10]  Eolus McMillan: but if a thinking boot assists you in finding a place

[13:10]  Eolus McMillan: or not stepping on something dangerous

[13:10]  Centrasian Wise: i better stand up, to stop confusing you, Una :)

[13:11]  Eolus McMillan: then it might not be so bad after all

[13:11]  Tara5 Oh: she relies a panic button for her asthma

[13:11]  Una Gackt: ^^

[13:11]  Eolus McMillan: there must be a right balance

[13:11]  Una Gackt: it is a wonderful session. and for it's time to go.

[13:11]  Una Gackt: it was great pleasure to meet you all.

[13:12]  Eolus McMillan: bye Una, was nice discussing with you

[13:12]  Una Gackt: bye everyone...

[13:12]  Eolus McMillan: bye

[13:12]  Centrasian Wise: Thank you, Una!

[13:12]  Una Gackt: thank you cent^^

[13:12]  Centrasian Wise: I hope you will join our next session!

[13:12]  Una Gackt: see you Tara5

[13:12]  You: I see many elderly growing more and more unhappy in this society we live in. Too much change. From moving from hard cash to virtual money to credit cards to mobile paying is too much for them (only one example)

[13:12]  Una Gackt: definately.

[13:12]  Eolus McMillan: yes , i agree

[13:12]  You: they don't understand society anymore

[13:12]  Tara5 Oh: yesnice to meet you!

[13:13]  Eolus McMillan: so that really means we must take all those facts into consideration when designing such things

[13:13]  You: what i mean is that technology can have a downside as well

[13:13]  Eolus McMillan: it is up to us to make it right

[13:14]  Centrasian Wise: but what's the choice, VeeJay? To stop? Or to offer them support in learning? or may be even 3rd way?

[13:14]  You: well, the issue I'm having with it is what the real business drivers are.

[13:14]  You: which are the motivators behind change and innovation.

[13:15]  You: technology can make life easier, but more complex as well

[13:15]  You: can bring people together, but devide as well

[13:15]  Centrasian Wise: well, even if we would reflect on what we do here

[13:15]  You: even wedge first and third world more

[13:16]  You: can help overcome environmental problems as well as create much more pollution and waste

[13:16]  Centrasian Wise: when we try to bring people INTO innovation - it is exactly to make sure that chances to produce useless technology are lesser

[13:16]  You: when money and profit is the motivator, you'd just have to hope the right choices are made

[13:17]  Centrasian Wise: Yes, all your words are very valid observaitons, Veejay

[13:18]  You: so, are what's the base we're designing our future from? Is that from the viewpoint that we can think up a whole lot of new gadgets? or

[13:18]  You: is it a viewpoint in say, let's see what life is about, forget everything we've got now and see what that live needs

[13:18]  Centrasian Wise: <-- quickly say 'NO'

[13:18]  Centrasian Wise: lol, the 'NO' was to your first question :)

[13:19]  Centrasian Wise: one of issues as we see it is that it's very diffult to say 'what live needs'

[13:19]  You: mmm, looking at my history I see I've been very sceptical today

[13:20]  Centrasian Wise: and how it evolves is through multiple probes and tryouts

[13:21]  You: actually, I'm pretty interested in seeing where it goes, looking forward to explore new technology, but it has to be balanced ;)

[13:21]  Centrasian Wise: If you remember, we call this program Probes - to exactly do that, see what reacion our concepts can trigger

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Second Life ain't dead

Second Life ain't dead yet. Despite what most media in the Netherlands and Germany tell you. It's alive and kicking. That's what you can read in the Dutch e-zine Emerce today as it runs a story on Edwin Rijkaart's visit to the SLCC. Mr. Rijkaart is the proud owner of Virtual Amsterdam, which has been purchased recently from Stroker Serpentine after an earlier deal gone down the drain.

Here some translated tidbits from the Emerce article:

What's going down in Amsterdam?

"Since our putchase we've done various things. Some buildings have been relocated, especially those involved in erotic merchandise. We have also added several new buildings, like the virtual replica of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (which figures, since Rijkaart also owns www.beurs.nl, a dutch stock site). We'd like to draw larger crowds in the near future to make the sim more attractive to shopowners. That's where the money has to come from."

How do you want to draw these crowds?

"We're going to connect the 2D and 3D internet, through our sites Beurs.nl and Buienradar (a site where you can see if it's raining by radar). Through the forums of these sites we want to give people an easy access to virtual Amsterdam. We're looking for an interface with which people can easily switch between the sites and the sim. Once a week we're going to organise Stock sessions in the virtual stock exchance and for visitors of Buienradar we're going to do a monthly meetup on climate chances."

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Zoetermeer's media bargain

Last month the town of Zoetermeer created a huge media buzz. The centerpoint of the discussion was how a town could spend taxmoney on Second Life. What are we talking about? The news hung in the air for about 3 days... 17.000 Euro's for a full 3-day media campaign, that's a bargain if you ask me.

Aside from the Zoetermeer city hall, there isn't much to see on the sim. On the other side of the island a snowcapped mountain announces the expected arrival of Snow World, an indoor skiing center in Zoetermeer.

The third element on the sim is a large Eco-labyrinth. In 360 degree cubes you can see the effects of mankind on the climate

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Zoetermeer/128/128/0

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