Friday, February 29, 2008

Syntens Innovation Island

It's been a while since I came across a new Dutch build in Second Life, but here's one under construction. It's called Innovation Island (in Dutch Innovatie Eiland).

The island is an initiative by Syntens and aims to be a Second Life portal to innovative companies. A Robot welcomes you (in Dutch again) and explains about the island which is divided into several regions, each for a specific branche;

  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • ICT
  • Logistics
  • Human Health
  • Industry

Then there is a knowledge region for Universities, TNO and the Dutch Telematica Institute and another region focusses on MKB (Small and Midcap companies) and innovation. The sim is far from completed yet, but it'll be interesting to see where this goes.

At this moment there's a farm in present and probable future shape, and a futuristic infrastructure on the island, but mainly it's occupied by spheres as placeholders for the various branches.
Syntens is an initiative by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to aid Dutch companies in innovation projects.


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NMC closes 250K deal with Sun

Today I read in the NMC Campus obser, the blog for the New Media Consortium that they've closed on a 250K deal with Sun Microsystems earlier this week (Feb. 26th).

The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of nearly 250 learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies

NMC Launches Open Virtual Worlds Project

"Today the New Media Consortium (NMC) announced a $250,000 two-year collaboration with Sun Microsystems to launch the Open Virtual Worlds Project, an effort that is aimed at making it easier to learn, work, and exchange ideas in virtual space. The project will develop a range of standards-based, portable open-source educational spaces, content, and objects, and use them to extend Sun Microsystems’s open source Project Darkstar and Project Wonderland virtual world platforms. "

Read the rest of the article or see the official press release for more information

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Siemens Solid Edge to enhance Second Life 3D design

PLANO, Texas, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of Siemens Industry Automation Division and a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced a new interactive tool that enables users to create their own 3-D Razor Scooter in Second Life. The tool is easy to use like Siemens PLM Software's Solid Edge(R) software and meant to expose Second Life residents to the possibilities of CAD software.

In the real world, Siemens PLM Software hosts "test drive" Solid Edgeseminars to illustrate how easy the software is to use. Solid Edge is apowerful hybrid 2D/3D design system and a core component of the VelocitySeries(TM) portfolio.

In the virtual world, the new interactive tool provides companies a glimpse into the use of 3-D modeling software inproduct development. A transparent screen guides Second Life residents to click through a range of selections to create a custom-built scooter in less than a minute. "

In our industry it's important to be able to vet out design ideas as quickly as possible," says Bob Hadley, product development manager, Razor(R). "In the real-world, with Solid Edge, we're able to introduce at least two or three times as many new products each year as we could previously. To compete in our industry, that's essential. Siemens PLMSoftware is taking this to the next level by integrating real-world design experiences in virtual worlds."

According to a recent report, "Getting Real Work Done In Virtual Worlds," Forrester Research, Inc., Jan. 7, 2008, "Virtual worlds like Second Life ... are on the brink of becoming valuable work tools ... " Thereport notes that virtual worlds have advantages over other approaches to communication and collaboration. One example is "they allow people to work with and share digital 3-D models of physical or theoretical objects. Many disciplines rely on 3-D models and designs: Surgeons, architects, engineers, and product designers all use CAD models or sophisticated visualization systems to explore and create complex real-world objects ...You can release near-final designs to a limited external group of users and solicit feedback before starting fabrication." The report predicts that within five years, the 3-D Internet will be as important for work as the Web is today.

"This new tool is a great example of how companies can use some of the unique characteristics of the Second Life platform to create interactive experiences for their products," said Chris Kelley, vice president, Platforms and Partners, Siemens PLM Software. "Our goal in Second Life continues to be to find new ways to collaborate with our customers and partners in an effort to provide a more immersive way to experience our software. The user experience in Second Life is based upon our successful Solid Edge Dare to Compare Test Drive events where you learn first-hand how easy it is to use Solid Edge compared to competitive products."

In the real world, Solid Edge Dare to Compare Test Drive events guide users through key stages of 3D design: part modeling, sheet metal, assembly creation, drafting and documentation, plus analysis and full motion simulation.

To reach the Siemens Innovation Connection on Second Life, visit

To attend a real-world Solid Edge Dare to Compare Test Drive, visit

Source: PRNewsWire

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Western Illinois University in SL

Western Illinois University's College of Education and Human Services, or shortly named "Western COEHS" has recently acquired "land" to enhance its academic offerings. I read at the Western Courier, the student newspaper.

Although Western COEHS is about educational institution number 1.000 to purchase a speck of land in Second Life, it still needs to start of with an introduction of what Second Life or an avatar is... it still is a niche market.

Here's the Western Courier article (without the What is SL introduction):

Western's COEHS has leased land through the New Media Consortium - a group of universities from across the country - to build academic classrooms and centers that will provide virtual learning opportunities for students and meeting space for faculty.

According to Dawn Sweet, COEHS instructional technology systems manager, Leaunda Hemphill, an instructor in instructional design and technology, is currently using "Second Life" to prepare IDT graduate students and their counterparts in China to collaborate on activities related to technology integration in K-12 schools.

"Teachers can use 'Second Life' for such events as
virtual field trips, role playing, re-creating worlds and so much more," Sweet added. "For example, Lincoln's boyhood home re-created in 'Second Life' would allow educators to take their students to this land to learn more about
Lincoln's childhood; students learning about social responsibility can visit such sites as Camp Darfur and other islands that illustrate social responsibility at work.

"COEHS's foray into the virtual world started during
the Fall 2007 Semester when college officials participated in a college fair on "Teen Second Life." From there, the college began exploring virtual uses for the academic realm.

"I'm interested in using virtual worlds, specifically 'Second Life,' to create richer learning experiences for my
students beyond the flat Web environment I currently use," Hemphill said.

"There is currently a debate among educators whether or not it is worth the effort of preparing learners and teachers to use the environment as the steep learning curve. Increased hardware and connectivity requirements are just a few of the issues that need to be considered. In my IDT 534, Issues in Instructional Technology and Professional Development for
Educators, course, we will be reviewing these issues as well as the professional development opportunities in 'Second Life' for teachers," she added.

In addition to using "Second Life" in the classroom, Western's Faculty Innovators, a 24-month faculty professional development program, will use the virtual world for workshops and collaborating with other professionals. The college will also maintain a virtual presence where
prospective students can learn more about Western, COEHS programs and university events.

"We have a central goal to provide a challenging and supportive learning environment that is widely recognized as meeting the new technological demands of a global society," COEHS Dean Bonnie Smith-Skripps said. "By becoming a tenant in 'Second Life,' we will be able to foster greater research and development in teaching with technology in the education and human services field.

"Other Western faculty entering the world of virtual reality as a teaching tool include social work associate professor Karen Zellmann, who will use "Second Life" as a mode for her students to participate in role playing and mock interview situations. Students will provide supportive counseling to clients (other avatars) in "Second Life." Jim Allen, art, is currently using "Second Life's" Virtual Harlem project to display art and lesson plan ideas. Virtual Harlem is a learning environment that lets students experience the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and '30s.

Mid 2007 we saw an enormous landrush in Second Life by Colleges and Universities from all over the world. Many of these have probably jumped in on the "everybody is here, so we have to be here as well" idea, without having much of a clue of what to do.

Many of these universities have bought complete islands at first, but since they don't really have a use for it (yet) we've seen the trend in the last months of 2007 that these institutions are clustering together in a sort of Educational Mainland, sharing sims and seeking to establish a virtual foothold on smaller parcels. Western COEHS is one of these. Here's a pic of the rest of the sim, which for example also hosts the University of Reading.

Here's the Educational cluster with NMC islands mixed with dedicated university sims.


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Dino's even go virtually extinct

I've done several posts on various Rezzable projects, which usually look splendid. Now Rezzable is destroying a sim of exquisite beauty.

'Sooner or later, all things come to an end’ is often said. And it’s true. Regardless how pretty something is, how much craftsmanship went into building it and regardless if it ‘wears down’ or not, you just can’t collect everything
beautiful in life. Often we need to take though decisions: love it, but need to make room for something new, that is even better. Or that is a good cause, in the Dino’s case.'

Rezzable will be hosting this year’s Second Life Relay for Life and is freeing up 4 sims to do so. Hence, our prehistoric treasures need to be returned to inventory. But we don’t believe in doing such things silently, and have decided to go out with a huge blast. Literally, that is. At 2PM SLT a disoriented Greenie pilot will crash the Mothership on Rezzable’s Dino sim. You may expect lots of flying rocks, lava overflow, explosions that would make any professional griefer jealous, toxic rain, panicking Greenies and dying dinosaurs.

You can watch this splendid spectacle safely from the comfort of a luxury chair on 2 Extinction! Observation Decks at neighbouring sims. Taking snapshots and filming machinima is highly encouraged. In exchange, we promise you a show like no Second Life resident has seen before!

The Rezzable Team

More pictures on Vint Falken's Flickr stream.

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Campus Hamburg

At the Eduverse Symposium Dr. Torsten Reiners of the Hamburg University (a.k.a. Xon Emoto in Second Life) gave a tour of the virtual Campus Hamburg. The island is still in development, but there are several spots that are really worth looking at. Upon entering the island you immerse at a very nicely designed auditorium.

Although I'm under the impression the simulation isn't fully finished yet, it contains several student projects. The largest project (both in terms of decorum and potential imho) focusses on Supply Chain Mangement.

As the city of Hamburg is a former Hanzetown and one of the larger Northern European ports it's no suprise it starts with life at the docks.

While building the simulation, the students must have been frustrated with Second Life at times, and have made several jokes as you'll find containers like "Linden Lab - Bug shipment" and "Prims R Us - Butt Uggly Plywood Prims" on the ship.

The second simulation is on top of the supply chain area and is a project on waiting lines. It simulates how queues are formed and how they can be designed.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ohio State Testis Tour

One of the best presentations last wednesday at the Eduverse Symposium was the presentation of Douglas R. Danforth, Ph.D. at the Ohio State University who took us on the "Testis Tour", or as us non-biological or medically educated say: "The Virtual Sperm Tour" which sounds kind of cheap for such an impressive build.

It is impressive in my opinion as it shows the potential of virtual worlds in visualising concepts which would be very hard to explain otherwise. It somewhat reminded me of Isaac Asimov's "Fantastic Voyage" in which we are miniaturised and get on a submarine to explore the human body.

First of all, you get prompted to open a webpage containting the Telrport code of conduct and some more information on Telr.

"TELRport is a Second Life island sponsored by Technology Enhanced Learning and Research (TELR). The mission of TELRport is to provide an exploratory educational Second Life forum for The Ohio State University community; to
further TELR’s capacity to support virtual environments for teaching, learning, and research; and to establish an Ohio State instructional presence in Second Life."

The island itself appears to be quite empty, but teleport yourself to Danforth's location and you'll be up for the "Testis Tour." I'll spare you the details on spermatogonium, adrenal hormones or seminiferous tubule (There's an excellent tourguide programmed into the simulation) and will provide you with a visual summary of the build:

Up to here it's been introduction stuff. Pretty well documented. Now, let's get on to the tour...

Some facts about the build:

  1. It took his students 15-30 minutes to get through the SL orientation on average
  2. It took the doctor with no prior experience in VW’s to get settles in SL
  3. It cost him 6 months of 1 hour a day of work to build his presentation (last 2 weeks 4/5 hours a day)
  4. The medium of text messaging where for none of the students a problem

Danforth said he'll probably start working on an ovary and a demo of the fertilisation process in the near future. Right now it's a pretty expensive project if you consider all the hours of (spare) time put into it, and maybe this isn't your exact field of interest. I hope it will inspire you to think about the potential for your own field of expertise.

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Fiat inverts reality

A little while ago I blogged Fiat Brasil in Second Life. Today I saw two commercials of the Fiat Punto. I liked the sense of humour they'd put into their Second Life presence. These two commercials also have a nice sense of humour.

The first video is what I'd call inverted reality.

Is this second video something you dream of? If only you could really meet the virtual girl of your dreams...

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Eduverse Symposium Report

As requested by Johan, I cross-posted this article from my blog to the MindBlizzard blog as a (pretty long) report on the Virtual World Symposium we attended yesterday. As Johan already introduced the meeting in his previous post, I'll just get started with taking you trough the day:

Information Overload

The Virtual Web symposium started with an introduction of Johan Vermij, who did a good job at outlining the problems the educational system faces now, and will increase in the very near future. The very real problem of information overload was illustrated by the amount of information we produce and consume. Someone reading the New York Times for a week will be exposed to more information then a person would receive its entire life 100 years ago. We have produced more information in the last year, as we did the previous 5000 years, and the amount will double every year for the next decade.

The question as presented by the Eduverse organisation is with this constant river of information, education would still be able to catch up, deal with this flow if content and present and filter it in a meaningful way before it became outdated or obsolete. Combine this with the fact 80% of our cognitive skills are visually oriented, and you get the mission statement of the evening. How can Virtual Worlds contribute to making the information overload a source of value, help index and understand it, and contribute to the educational system? Continue reading below (long post!)

PaperVision3D / Paperworld

Papervision3D - Paperworld

We started to look for an answer in probably one of the least engaging and interesting presentations of the day, so bare with me on this one. A visually tired Trevor Burton explained in 4 slides of Powerpoint how the new Flash-based technology of ‘papervision3D’ would be able to create ‘clientless immersion’ - 3D worlds running in your browser. It took about 5 minutes to race trough the technical slides at which point the presentation came to a halt.

When he was reminded he could actually show us the (alpha stage) application Paperworld we saw an Internet Explorer browser window with the scene of a really simple ‘outer-space’ scene, where he could control a space ship with mouse and arrow keys. Trevor said the quality of the visuals were about the standards of the Playstation 1 console. Opening another browser window he could log in a second aircraft and it would show in both windows, demonstrating the ’social’ possibilities of this clientless 3D environment.

The technology itself has a long way to go but obviously had potential. Having your 3D environment directly in your browser removes the hassle of downloading, installing and updating the client, Trevor pointed out the upgrades/updates of the papervision would be ubiquitous, and the software runs on any platform and is completely open source. The link to education remained unclear as Trevor rushed off to some much needed sleep.

The Education Coop

Journal of Virtual World Education

Next up was a Skype video conference, but Skype didn’t want to play ball, ad we ended up with a half Second Life voice conversation on both the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research and the collaborative program of teachers world-wide, ‘The Education Coop’. The Journal was (unsurprisingly) a ‘elearning’ track record, a gathering place for information on interactive learning in Virtual Worlds as ran by Jeremiah Spence.

The Education Coop can best be described as a community for ‘metaverse’ teachers. Joe Sanchez told us in order to join this virtual community in second life, which consists of a virtual Village you need to be verified as a person (name, occupation etc) to keep the community a professional, high quality collaborative program for eduction. The Education Coop organises seminars and meetings to discuss their work strategies and experiences with (Virtual) teaching.

Both seem good examples of the organisation of Virtual Learning from inside universities. These are both ‘teacher/professor’ initiatives to find a way to use Virtual Worlds as an added value to their traditional ways of teaching students.

Peer 2 Peer and Virtual economies

The fourth speaker of the evening was Brandon Wiley, a student in Texas University who has been working with Peer 2 Peer programs ever since it surfaced on the internet. The recent developments in Virtual Worlds going open source gave him new insights in creating ‘virtual’ value.

He explained looking closely at the economy of Second Life, it’s problem with the current economy is the same as the music industry is facing at the moment. Virtual Goods can be copied and quickly become infinite, reducing the effective value per unit to $0. The problem is the economy of Second Life is made by placing money from the real world into the Virtual to buy objects, but when these objects become free, the economy crumbles.

Another economic model is found in closed systems, like games. The economy in World of Warcraft is not created by an outside source, but by user participation. Clicking on ‘monster’ creates gold from the items it drops. Though time is invested in killing monsters, the problem with this model is it doesn’t scale well. The value created only exists within a controlled environment, which is going to disappear in an open source, peer to peer Virtual World Network. One could simply ‘cheat’ the system by adding limitless amounts of ‘gold’ into your own environment, then transfer this to someone elses, thus creating the same problem - a collapsing economy because it lacks value.

According to Brandon, a solution can be found in a game for kids and a system you are certain to have seen before, the ‘Captcha‘ - the question you get before commenting or sign-ups, where you are asked to type in the letters you see in the distorted picture to verify you are real. The game which inspired Brandon was Puzzle Pirates, kids solving puzzles for rewards. The interesting thing about puzzles is that it requires human attention, and human attention (focus) can not be copied, and is limited.

The implication of this is the ‘currency’ of peer to peer Virtual Worlds is attention, being able to retain its value anywhere, in any world/platform. When asked for the relation of this ‘insight’ and eLearning Brandon saw a future for using these puzzles as a new learning process. A direct (instant) reward system for training and obtaining knowledge, and a new way of motivating education.

NASA Learning Technologies

Last presentation before he first break was Stephany Smith of NASA. Stephany showed us what NASA has found in Virtual Environments so in a Powerpoint supported presentation from within Second Life. The work NASA does mostly focusses on visually presenting complex data, and creating direct visual representations of real-time events. Programs already in use are:

  1. Rover Ranch - A place to learn about robotic engineering. You can learn about the development of robots, their elements and systems.
  2. Volcano Viewer - A 3D visualisation of real and simulated volcanoes to see their activity or the education process of understanding the way they work.
  3. World wind- Same as the Volcano Viewer, only focussed on the phenomena of whirlwinds.
  4. Virtual Lab - A program adopted by Microsoft to explore surfaces on Nano Level

Furthermore she indicated NASA is working on their new eLearning Roadmap, and vision on eduction. The Roadmap consists of the essential ‘3E’ program: Educate, Explore and Experience, and is a way for NASA to interest possibly future employees (children) in science and technology.

Ph.D. D. Danforth shows the ‘Virtual Sperm Tour’

Ph.D. D. Danforth showing his Virtual, 3D educational presentation

After the break we were introduced to a highlight in showing the potential of 3D environments in teaching complex matters was a demo by Ph.D. D. Danforth of the Ohio State University who build a model of how sperm grows. Apparently this is a very hard thing to explain and visualising this has greatly aided the students in understanding the process.

The education process is a completely animated 3D presentation, supported by text in the chat window. The ‘interactive’ part of the tour allowed students to get a close up, step by step of the process of the growth of sperm cells. The tour concludes in a virtual ‘camp-fire’ place, to discuss the material with fellow students or Ph.D. D. Danforth himself. The response to the 3D presentation are positive, but real results won’t be available until next month, when the students get their exams on the matter, and Ph.D. D. Danforth can compare the results to students who haven’t had the virtual tour experience.

Some details on the presentation:

  1. It took his students 15-30 minutes to get through the SL orientation
  2. It took the doctor with no prior experience in VW’s to get settles in SL
  3. It cost him 6 months of 1 hour a day of work to build his presentation (last 2 weeks 4/5 hours a day)
  4. The medium of text messaging where for none of the students a problem

Campus Hamburg in Second Life

Campus Hamburg in Second Life

The German Campus of Hamburg created a platform for Second Life studies, but real life degrees. Hanno Tietgens and Dr. Torsten Reinders guided us trough the virtual harbour. Students where challenged with both building the platform, and eventually providing a collaborative learning platform for students. On the advantages De. Torsten provided the following points:

Trough the process of building the students learn the details of the environment much better, rather then just description or pictures. Insignificant looking details become more obvious and understanding of the topic (in this case the shipping of containers)

Gather international expertise/speakers
Because of the virtual space, the Hamburg campus is able to invite speakers and experts from all over the world, to review the work and assignments done by the students.

Avatar anonymity
Though somewhat dubious, the Hamburg Campus explained it could use the anonymity of the avatars to gather unfiltered information from the students. This could be feedback on the program itself, the content of the courses or even doing ‘ubiquitous examination’ of the behaviour of the students.

Work with things that are normally not accessible in the real world
The shipping process involves heavy machinery, not to mention ships, space and all sorts of other physical complications. By simulating this in the virtual World, the students can control all aspects of a scenario, and operate machinery normally unavailable to them without cost or risk.

Blend of theory, visual scenarios and practise
The interactive visualisation supports the the theory as it is educated within the virtual setting (represented by the virtual office actually being inside the harbour itself). While the theory is explained, someone could directly show it to the students.

Collaborative Learning
The social aspect of the Virtual environment allowed students to collaborate on one task or program seamlessly. One could operate the crane, the other the boat, a thirds be a transport supervisor or harbour master in the same scenario. This kind of collaborative learning has shown to get students much more involved, and learn from each other in the process.

Georgia Tech on Augmented Reality

Georgia Tech on Augmented Reality

for me the highlight of the evening was something I had so far only seen on youTube. Jay Bolter (a.k.a. James Lillenthal in SL) of the Georgia Tech university had modified their client in such a way it could be used for augmented reality: Effectively blending the virtual and the Physical Worlds. Several avatars had gathered in a small 10 by 10 stage in Second Life, surrounded by a number of screens displaying these avatars in a scene in the real world, a bunch of piled up Lego blocks.

To create the illusion of Virtuality in the real world you need a camera aimed at the real life scene with fiducial markers to allow the camera to orientate and place the virtual images over the real world in on the video. Though pretty impressive already, Jay Bolter tells us there is still some difficulty creating seamless video and audio, and the process of augmented reality doesn’t scale well yet. Needing both the real life scene covered with the fiducial markers as well as a virtual environment to simulate the ‘bumping paths’ - the process of the computer recognising a wall, or a door you’d be able to walk trough.

Even though Bolter compared the demonstration to the ‘first flight of the Wright Brothers’, his ambition is remarkably similar as well. The goals and application of the research and the technique are as follows:

  1. The experience of ’shared space’ - mimic physical presence
  2. Collaborative design of 3D augmented prototypes
  3. Walk trough historic locations
  4. Use HUDS (Heads Up Displays) to make the real world more intelligent by a providing Virtual Layer off digital information on people, objects, locations. (Example, looking at the Eiffel Tower will display its meta information such as year of construction etc.)
  5. Get the technology into the living room of people

On the last point Jay Bolter had some interesting information. He told us he thinks the client of Second Life used to create the augmented reality experience will be available in the summer this year. The hardware used (glasses and displays) is no longer dependant on technical mechanisms, but depends on an economic system, seeing as they projector glasses are currently in between 100.000$ and 10.000$, but could be available for little over 100$ once mass production sets in. If this is to happen any time soon it will be because of gaming applications Jay Bolter concludes his most impressive presentation.

Virtual World Teaching Programs

After the second break we resumed the symposium with Dr. Yesha Siwan. A much respected metaverse thinker who has created a program to introduce students into Virtual Worlds, and a course on how to set up an eLearning process for these students. In an estimate of 13 lessons, starting with understanding the interface, onto building in the virtual world, customising the avatar onto business models and understanding the communication inside Virtual Worlds.

Dr. Yesha Siwan uses the following description of Virtual Worlds (such as Second Life, where this presentation was given)- the ‘3D3C Metaverse’. This means a Virtual World has to be three dimensional, have a community, allow (user) creation and commerce in order to be part of this Metaverse.

Philosophy about the educational system

Philosopher Ph.D Rhett Gayle as seen in Second Life

Philosopher Ph.D Rhett Gayle took us back into the real world. That is to say, the world of philosophy. Trough a Skype/video conference Ph.D Rhett Gayle challenged the audience to define the role of the educational system. The goal of education. Though no real consensus was reached within the audience, when he confronted his own students with the same question 80% of them answered ‘to get a job’.

He continued to say that’s the way the ’system’ feels for these students: “like a circus dog jumping trough hoops and getting a biscuit at the end”. Ph.D Rhett Gayle said this is a worrying thought, especially concidering the words of Johan Vermij at the start of the symposium - the phase in which information is produced and becomes obsolete. He concluded the these two things lead him to believe the process of education is more important than the content of the lessons themselves.

The process of today can be influenced by the students, but the students are not thought they are able to change things in this new day and age. These are the same students who felt a world without jobs would be a dystopia rather than a utopia, a world they wouldn’t want for themselves. On the other hand, the 20% who didn’t feel the goal of education is ‘to provide a job’ thought a world without work would be liberating, a new freedom of the future.

The idea behind these thoughts was, as far as I could gather - looking at the future we need to evaluate the role of education as a process of relaying information, and the approach towards the students who feel less and less inclined to learn, instead of having a motivation to acquire knowledge driven by a passion on a certain topic.

Sensory replacement- Seeing trough Sound

The head mounted camera glasses of The vOICE

Last up was Dr. Peter Meijer in a ‘live’ presentation ‘Sensory Replacement’. A fancy sounding term for turning vision into sound and back into vision again. The presentation was more than impressive, introducing a technology to allow the blind or visually impaired to recieve images trough audio. Here is the The way it works is it takes a 2D black and white ‘frame’ of the video mounted on the glasses, and the software called ‘The vOICE’ translate this ‘pixel by pixel’ into a sound.

Left and Right
Video is sounded in a left to right scanning order, by default at a rate of one image snapshot per second. You will hear the stereo sound pan from left to right correspondingly. Hearing some sound on your left or right thus means having a corresponding visual pattern on your left or right, respectively.

Up and Down
During every scan, pitch means elevation: the higher the pitch, the higher the position of the visual pattern. Consequently, if the pitch goes up or down, you have a rising or falling visual pattern, respectively.

Dark and Light
Loudness means brightness: the louder the brighter. Consequently, silence means black, and a loud sound means white, and anything in between is a shade of grey.

Though a remarkable technology by itself, I didn’t see the direct implementation in Virtual Worlds or education, except for the fact The vOICE trains the brain in a new way of recognising objects.

And so, after over 7 hours(!) of presentations the symposium ended with an ‘after-chat’ and some much needed beer. I really enjoyed the symposium and think bringing these concepts together (especially the ones a little outside the realm of Virtual Worlds such as the last 2 presentations) provoke really interesting thoughts, and developing the educational system - and ways Virtual Worlds can contribute in this process.

P.S. Thank you Frank and Stephan for the pictures/photos, and the entire 7 hours can be seen here.

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Eduverse Symposium (1) Introduction

This weeks second cross reality event was held at the exact same spot (de Balie in Amsterdam )as the Fasion show in the previous blogpost. This time it was the massive Eduverse Symposium on Virtual Education.

I had the honour to kick off the 7 hour marathon session with a short introduction on the programme and a couple of brainwaves on virtual education in which I remarked that were still basically dealing with traditional forms of education (i.e. books and classrooms and stuff) which have been around since the 1700's while our life has become more and more digitized in the past ten years. All our ways of communicating, information gathering and learning experiences have been affected by technological advances, but it has barely hit the classroom yet. No wonder that 90% of everything we learn is learnt outside school in our private / social time. Teachers are no longer the authority when it comes to knowing things. They've been substituted by wikipedia.

On the other hand the amount of information we have to juggle is getting bigger and more complex every year. (read some thoughts here) so Education has a challenge. Today was about giving some demo's to get people inspired in thinking about Virtual Worlds as a tool in modelling complex issues and add some playfulklness along the way as well.

We had an impressive list of speakers who gave their pitches from the real life location, from Second Life and through Skype Video on a range of subjects, varying from technology updates to a philospophical session on why we have education anyway.

Augmented Reality

One of the Key Pitches today was in my opinion the one by Jay Bolter (a.k.a. James Lillenthal in SL) from Georgia Tech on augmented reality. At the GT they'd made a little lego room on a table, put a camera on it and we were able to walk into the video in Second Life.

3D Sperms

Another highlight in showing the potential of 3D environments in teaching complex matters was a demo by Dr. D. Danforth of the Ohio State University who build a model of how sperm grows. Apparently this is a very hard thing to explain and visualising this has greatly aided the students in understanding the process.

I'm kind of relying on Rick Cassini from Digado to (cross-)post more detailed information on the demo's.

We didn't fill the hall as much as we'd liked, but what can you expect when you organize an event like this on such short time notice. We got the idea only about two weeks ago. And aside from people being physically present, the event was streamed to about 10 SL locations to start with, each attracting a crows and ending up with about 20 locations as streams got added continuously. The event was also streamed to the web at Meta.Live.Nu and a full replay can be found here at de Balie archives.


A big thanks to Damien Simons of the UptheVortex blog for the pics, and to Bart Bockhoudt of the DutchExchange and DeBalie for sponsoring the event.

Another word of thanks goes to one of the speakers, Dr. Yesha Sivan (a.k.a. Dera Kit in SL) from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv, Israel. He was kind enough to use the MindBlizzard blog as one of his sources in his presentation. It's a funny thing to see when you're in the audience, watching a presentation and suddenly recognise your own writing (though it isn't the first time it happened to me).

Just a quick overview of how widelyspread the symposium was:

The event will be streamed on the web at: (UK) (NL) and will be viewable afterwards from De Balie archives
The event will also be available to be seen live in Second Life at these locations:
Should you wish to stream it yourself, then it is possible using this url:
It will also be streamed live simultaneously with the following codecs for low speed internet connections: ( RealVideo) (Mp3 audio mono) > ( image refresh 'webcam')

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Fashion Fusion

Amsterdam is the place to be this week if you want to get a taste of mixed reality so it seems.

First of the cross-reality events this week was the First Fusion Fashion show at de Balie in Amsterdam (Leidseplein), organised by The Artist Advice. The event was simulcasted with a fashionshow in Second Life, by Ewing Fashion Agency with creations Nicky Ree, Aphrodite Outlander, Sysy Chapman and EFA Design Awards finalist Indira Bekkers.

Outside the entrance of de Balie you'd find the red carpet catwalk ending in a big screen projecting the Second Life fashion show. It wasn't 100% cross-reality but it was a good start of the week.

SL pictures by Tillie Ariantho's

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MindBlizzard Belgiums' Finest

The MindBlizzard crowd is getting more and more international by the day. Last week I received a call from Belgium requesting to put up a feed of this blog in their Second Life space.

So MindBlizzard is one of Belgium's Finest blogs (be it that I write from the Netherlands) and they've put me up next to the Official Linden Blog. Thanks Frans!


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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 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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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Land of the Rising Celts: One to Watch

One of my favorite pasttime (usually late-night) hobby's is tasting whisky. If one thinks whisky, one thinks Scottish and usually ends up with Diageo. Today Diageo is the largest beer, wine and spirits company in the world with dozens of whiskies in it's portfolio, among which the well known "Classic Malt" series. As a lover of this water of life I'm no fan of Diageo though. They have a history. As you can read in Ulf Buxrud's "Lost Distilleries" they have a tradition of mergers and take-overs (under the name of UDV, United Distillers & Vintners and in preceding companies as well), and in the process are responsible for shutting down tons of old and respected distilleries in Scotland over the past 100 years.

Loyal readers of this blog and that of Ambling in Second Life may well be aware of the fact that Diageo has been developing a double sim island in Second Life for some time now. Well, this blog isn't about them. They're still lost in the waters. This blog is about the other whisky sim I've been keeping an eye on since early May (2007): Suntory.

A flashback (summarising previous blog entries):

On may 1 I spotted the Suntory sim at the center of a square of Japanese Sims, but the island wasn't accessible. There was only the logo to show, nothing else. A little later Aleister Kronos doubted it was the right Suntory. For us Europeans all Japanese have similar names and look alike, so there was the option it wasn't the Japanese brewer Suntory. I persisted though as I believed the logo to be of this megasized brewer.

In June the island took shape, but I wasn't really welcome. A few days later the design was torn down and in August I blogged on the new build appearing at the sim. In my opinion it wasn't really corporate anymore, so I started doubting myself.

(see "suntory" label for overview of these posts)

An impression

When returning to the site now, I got prove I was right. This time I took a long stroll through the sim, which in my opinion is aptly themed "Sanctuary"

Upon entering the sim I was placed on a bridge from the busy, crammy Japanese island towards a santuary in the midst of this. Although I've never been able to visit this great culture in Real Life yet, this fits in with my perception of it: Large, stressing techno-savvy cities which open up to sparkling sights of beauty and ancient culture. The feeling I get from this sim is a cross-cultural mix though. It is not what you would perceive as a traditional Japanese sanctuary, but feels like a cross of Japanese and Medieval European tradition and architecture.

On the first platform you'll encounter a sticky wall with shots of the island.

Further on you'll encounter several of the dozens of brands in beverage the company holds or imports, varying from Boss Coffee to Pepsi cola.

Finally I found the way down to the bar, which breathes the atmosphere of a classic "gentlemen's lounge," a place that cries for a good dram. In the bar you'll encounter the whiskies Suntory imports, like the well known Bowmore, Macallan and Glenfiddich, but also their own Suntory brand is present (if only RL pubs would charge these rates!)...

Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I really like this sim. I think it truly is a sanctuary between all the skyscraperish sims surrounding it, breathing ease and relaxation. A perfect atmosphere for a whisky. In itself the build is of an outstanding quality. It is an intricate design and I haven't discovered a single texture out of sync. To me, this sim is more than a brand. It is about a lifestyle.

There's a few points of criticism though. As happens with a lot of sims in Second Life, this one was empty so I couldn't find a tourguide. Most information was illegible to me as it was Japanese. Only the most basic directions were given in English, such as 'Marina', 'Square' and 'Bar' but i really would have liked to know more about the build, the sim and what is going on here.


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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

BannerBingo: Breakthrough in Internet Marketing

Don't you get annoyed with all the banners poppin up all over the web when you're trying to find some information? Marketing departments really have explored every corner of the web to put up their ads and you'll hardly find a site that isn't bannerized...

Usually I don't pay too much attention to banners. Usually they're not inline with the things I need when I see them, so there's hardly a banner I actually click to see what's behind it. Today I got triggered though and started thinking about internet marketing.

Today I registered the domains and for a new experiment. What usually happens when you've got a great idea is that you go through great lengths in detailed description of your idea / invention and try to trademark it or register the formula to protect your intellectual property, spending tons of hard earned money only to find out the idea has been submitted long before you saw the light. This usually dawns when you've already put in months of effort to find a producer or buyer for the concept.

It happened to me a number of times, so I won't go through the hassle again. I just decided to blog it. Let the date of my domain registration and blog be proof of the date of conception and formula. Truth be told, I just thought of the idea and name today, but the domain has been registered in august 07, but as of now, there's no site there yet and a quick scan has revealed no idea similar to this one.

What BannerBingo is about is that a company advertises all across the web, trying to get in touch with as much customers as possible -pretty much based upon IP adresses and ISP selection. As a customer I occasionally come across one of the many banners of corporation X and don't pay attention. In BannerBingo you register as a customer and collect BannerPoints. Let's say each banner you come across will get you 5% discount. If you surf across the web and find 5 of these banners by the same company, you'll earn yourself a 25% discount. (amount of banners and percentages subject to change off course)

The basic idea is that when you encounter more than one of the company's banners they know are succesfull in targeting their intended audience / a certain profile and the audience is challenged to click the banner to earn discount. Let's make advertising a game ;)

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Eduverse Symposium

Today's world is getting more complex by the minute. Terms like Information Overload have been buzzing around for many years now, but are getting more and more quantified off late.

Scientific research has shown that we've actually started to walk 10% faster since we've fully adapted email and internet and your average kind of NY Times reader (which basically is 'old media') is getting more information a week than a person in the 1800's would have access to in his whole lifetime. The amount of information on the net doubles about every year and we've produced more content in the last year than we've done in the past 5,000 years in total.

Product and Information cycles alike are growing shorter and shorter. It's like when you buy a computer, you'll find yourself with an outdated model as soon as you leave the store. Pretty much the same goes for information. As soon as you're in year 4 of your education, there's a good chance everything you've learned in year one is outdated. Students have to juggle such vast amounts of information these days that in a lot of cases it's getting impossible to learn facts. Virtual Worlds can play an important role in modelling these complex issues

This is one of the many reasons why the Eduverse organisation has been formed late January after an inspiring Metaverse Meetup in Amsterdam

VeeJay Burns, a.k.a. Johan Vermij (Networked Virtual Environments consultant for Sogeti) and David van Gent (IBM Learning Consultant) will be hosting the symoposium which managed to secure an impressive list of speakers like:

  • Trevor Burton (Paperworld3D)

  • Stephanie Smith (NASA learning technologies)

  • Dr. D. Danforth (Ohio State University)

Main force behind getting this incredible lineup is Eduverse founder Robert Sheperd (a.k.a. Ollie Kubrick) and the rest of the Eduverse team, including Frank Husmann (Up the Vortex), Bart Bockhoudt (Dutch Xchange), Jeroen Franse (Vesuvius Group) and little old me.

The symposium will be held in RL Amsterdam and various SL locations (to be announced). More info and complete programme on the Eduverse website here.

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ABN metaverse update

Today I visited the Virtual World Seminar at the University of Delft and finally had time to sit down and talk with Popke Rein Munniksma, the team leader of ABN's 3D Experience and with Emmanuel Gruijs, CEO for Active Worlds Europe. In the past week we have had some contact on the blog ING and ABN flee Second Life which caused a little stir in the blogosphere.

First, of all, one of the remarks on the initial entry read:

"Maybe it has something to do with the company being taken over by Fortis."

Although the future isn't certain this has been denied completely. The takeover is not affecting ABN's presence in any way at this point in time. ABN is sticking in Second Life, but is indeed shifting focus to be able to do real business.

Popke Rein said: "As a bank we have the need to have 1 on 1 contact with our customers behind closed doors." By being a bank ABN is bound to very strict privacy and compliancy rules which make it impossible for them to conduct business in Second Life, hence their move towards Active Worlds.

Overview of ABN in Second Life

In December 2006 ABN Amro was the first European bank to enter Second Life and rode the wave of mass media attention perfectly. They primarily entered with a "just do it" mentality. Their initial 4 islands and offices have grown towards a 27 island presence at it's peak, but is being downsized now. A team of 4 full time employees on average has build and rebuild every experience over and over again, mainly based on user feedback (so I'm estimating a budget of close to 1 million euro).

Every build was an experiment to see to which part of the Bank's business they could find a virtual extention as they are convinced that Virtual Worlds are here to stay.

"Remember who said "The internet, we are not interested
in it," in 1993! That won't happen to ABN when it comes to virtual worlds. Every step the team made had to be checked with risk management and compliancy and other regulatory organs within the bank. We cannot afford to do that, go through that whole process, once virtual worlds become mainstream. Then it's too late."

That process of going through regulatory motions has become quite clear in their TechnoDesk and Tradeglobe sims in Second Life. In Real Life ABN has 5 TechnoDesk offices close to the 5 Technical Universities in the Netherlands. In these offices the bank offers information for High Tech startups and when looking at the population of Second Life, this was their logical 6th office.

The TradeGlobe is ABN's private banking vehicle with which they come into contact with their shamingly rich clients. In Second Life they've held investment meetings and so on.

Over the past year, the ABN greeter, the lovely Mrs. Jung, has had over 1.100 real business conversations with interested customers, which is more than the average local bankemployee has. In this regard, Second Life has been a success for the bank.

However, due to privacy rulings they found they would never be able to achieve one on one advice and were limited to general information only. Because of it's conservative nature and regulations the bank needs a secure environment to conduct one on one business. Active Worlds can offer this, said Emmanuel Gruijs on the growing affection between their world and the Dutch banker.

Popke Rein said: "Remember who said "The internet, we are not interested in it," in 1993!

Do you remember who said this?

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Friday, February 15, 2008

A mobile world: SL on the move?

Today I came across this youTube video and article on TechDigest:

No, your eyes aren't kidding you. That really is the processor-shredding Second Life virtual world running on an iPhone. But how? And why is it so slow? Well, the answer is that it's a concept demo produced by mobile technology firm

In a layman's nutshell, all the processing is being done NOT on the iPhone, on a central server. All that's being streamed to the iPhone is the visuals - essentially, a video feed of the Second Life environment. Then, when you tap the
on-screen buttons to move, or type in a message, that's sent back up to the server for processing.

So, it's not a Second Life client on the iPhone - it's just streaming Safari-friendly video of your SL session, with you able to send your commands back in the other direction. That's why it's this sluggish at the moment, because you're one step removed.

Second Life is too resource-consuming to go mobile right now. Especially its streaming technology requires quite a lot of bandwidth to render the simulation you're in. For the time being this is a nice gimmick to show your friends, but not of any real use.

But the virtual worlds will get on the move sooner or later. For the virtual workspace to have an impact on our busy lives they will have to go mobile. It will require lighter interfaces and more bandwidth on mobile phones, but we'll get there. Why?

Well, I'm on my way to a meeting, and I'm stuck in a traffic jam. I'll be missing this important meeting. Time to pull over and log into our virtual world and do this meeting there...

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sogeti Engineering World 2008

This saturday I attended (and spoke) at the first Sogeti Engineering World conference, an engineering event for software engineers with various technology updates and workshops.

Today's keynote speaker was IBM's Scott W. Ambler, the practiseleader in Agile Software Development. His presentation about an agile approach to developing software and projects was very inspiring, though at times a little blunt. On the other hand, that made his points come across very well. Here are some oneliners I picked up:

"Most software development is based upon false standards and don't work that well."

You have to step back sometimes and observe what works and doesn't work, rather than just do what we've been told what work"."

"Agile challenges the religion of traditional software development"

"Business isn't really interested in 'on time' and 'on budget' projects. Yet they ask for it in the contracts because they have so little faith in the software community."

"RfP's with long lists of requirements are meant to minimize financial risk, but do the opposite: They increase risk. 45% of development generally goes to functionality that's never used at all."

"The best timeframe for development iterations are usually 1 to 4 weeks. A 2-week iteration works best for its short feedback cycle."

A question from the audience: "How much time do you take between iterations?" "I usually call it the weekend."

"We don't want to have repeatable processes, we want repeatable results. Nobody cares how you do it if you do it over and over again."

"The worst possible time to do testing is at the end of a development phase."

"Testers don't need a set of specs, they need to break the system. The defects are your requirements."

"Every product works on powerpoint slides, but the longer you wait with actually starting coding, the bigger your risks are."

"At the beginning of the project we write big documents, but in the end when things go wrong we throw them out the window and we solve the problem. So why bother to write stuff that nobody uses anyway?"

After the Ambler's Keynote there were three technology update sessions with our partners Microsoft (on silverlight, linq, wpf etcetera) , IBM (on SOA Service Oriented Architecture and there Websphere and BPM solutions) and Oracle.

The afternoon was filled with break out sessions by Sogeti on various expert technologies, such as Microsoft, Security, Oracle and Java and yours truly did a presentation on Second Life again.

The first edition of the Sogeti Engineering World ended with a very interesting presentation by Playlogic, a Dutch gamemanufacturer on how the production of a game looks like and how they are starting to approach this in an agile fashion as well to make their development a lot more effective (whereas the old approach was very much like traditional software development)

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Rumsey Maps

VeeJay has asked me to cross-post this from Ambling in Second Life...

The following interesting find, ironically perhaps, came about from some random searching of the Second Life map. You have to be something of a map nerd to spend as much time as I do poring over maps - including the Second Life grid map. So it was an unexpected pleasure to hit upon the 4-sim island of Rumsey Maps.

The island is the Second Life presence for the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. This is an online collection comprising some 17,400 maps (and one I plan to delve into in more depth when the opportunity arises). To quote the website: "[The] Collection was started nearly 20 years ago, and focuses primarily on cartography of the Americas from the 18th and 19th centuries, but also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, globes, school geographies, books, maritime charts, and a variety of separate maps, including pocket, wall, children's and manuscript. Digitization of the project began in 1997."

Not surprisingly, the island is full of maps. Indeed, the main ground plan of the island consists of one large map, with valleys and hills contoured in 3D. Floating above these are a couple of globes - one terrestrial, one celestial - with phantom surfaces. Inside each is a giant orrery, where you can take a seat for a leisurely view of the globes' inner surfaces.

Elsewhere there is a richly textured modernist building where you can find out more information, and pick up some nice freebies - including orreries and a variety of globes. There's also a small, comfortable seating area and a meeting room. Outside there's a large map where you can place your own map pin, with up to 140 characters of text.

The one big downside of the site - indeed, the only downside in my view - is that the size and number of map textures means that lag was a huge problem for me. OK, I was using Windlight, but even with the settings turned down it was taking an age to display anything. In fact, it only started to make much sense when I'd been there fully 15 minutes. As you will see from the pictures, there seems to be a lot of "map eggs" - but these, in fact, serve to provide some infrastructure, as the 3D terrain is overlaid on top of them.

I can't find any reference to the Second Life island on the Rumsey website, so I do not know if it is officially open yet. But if you like maps - or just want to see somewhere a bit different - I can recommend the trip. Oh... and that map of the UK? The map pin is very(!) roughly where I live.

UPDATE 8th Feb'08: I've been having a bit of a think about those "map eggs" and it has dawned on me that they're actually sculpted prims, but seen in there half-rezzed state. Give them long enough and they will finally snap into chunks of contoured map. Just thought I should clarify that one!

UPDATE 9th Feb '08 (VJ): Well, I have to replace that Flickr embedding with real piccies.

UPDATE 9th Feb '08 (AK): In the meantime here is a link to the Flickr set.

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ING and ABN flee Second Life

Following American early adopters Wells Fargo, AOL and Pontiac, the Dutch exodus from Second Life has started. Banking corporation ING, who initiated the Our Virtual Holland sims are withdrawing from Second Life.... Destination unknown. Residents of the OVH are now trying to make the islands survive the departure and it looks like they will be able to keep the community alive. The ING HQ in Second Life has been torn down though.

The second Dutch banker in Second Life, ABN Amro, is said to be leaving as well. The Word on the street is that they're disappointed by the level of interactivity they've gotten in Second Life and are moving on to a dedicated world on the Active Worlds platform.

For many of us this won't be a big surprise. Many bankers have entered the world of Second Life in 2007, but few have been able to find a concept which comes close to their real world activities, even though virtual economies and in particular that of Second Life are among the fastest growing economies in the world.

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Virtual World Symposium 2008 - Utrecht

It's been quiet at the Mindblizzard blog lately, this due to some very time consuming projects and presentations. Today I went to the Virtual World Symposium in Utrecht, organised by the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences.

Only yesterday I received a call from the organisation that one of the speakers wouldn't make it because of the flu and if I could fill his spot, so late last night I had to prepare a speech on the Gartner Hypecycle and how it applies to Virtual Worlds.

It was an action packed afternoon with some fun speeches. My conclusion for today is that especially in the field of science, virtual worlds are offering very serious possibilities. What I also liked very much was how one of the HU students expanded on the Wii software and used the wireless remote to operate Second Life.

There's a catch though, Kai Ho isn't the first to make this work, as Wired published an article on how MIT did this in July 2007.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

vBusiness Expo

I got pointed towards a video on YouTube about the vBusiness Expo. This will be an event about the Virtual Workspace, working in a virtual environment. The video states that there are over 200 companies working in Second Life right now. At 1.09 minutes you'll see Sogeti logo fly by...

I*t doesn't really say who uploaded the vid, except "posted by vBusiness" but I think I recognise Nick Wilson's (Clever Zebra, ex Metaversed) voice there.

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