Numerous, more than 700, Second Life avatars are using the social networking service Plurk. Plurk? Well, it’s kinda like Twitter, but then better, with _real_ conversations and a timeline. But up to now, they were ‘homeless’. They could set their Real Life country in profile location data, but not “Second Life” or a region.
This inspired Moggs Oceanlane and other influential Second Life Plurkers, often with a karma - Plurk’s ranking system - way above that of the average atomic - to start a quest for “recognition of Second Life citizenship”, or at least location data on Plurk’s getsatisfaction.com page: Avatars want to find one another too! A successful quest, I should add:
Today, Plurk officially added “Second Life” as a country on their location list, allowing ‘plurking’ avatars to easy find each other and browse ‘Second Life’ rankings. On getsatisfaction.com, Amir Salihefendic even responded: “As of today “Second life” is a country on Plurk :-) We may explore some more integration with “Second life” later on.” Woot! One small step for an avatar, a large one for mankind avatarkind. On Plurk, the joke of the day is: “Next, a seat in the United Nations?!” :D
And me? Until I feel more ‘virtual’ than ‘real’ and we have social health benefits in Second Life, I’ll gladly stick to Belgium as an excellent country. Thank you very much for the offer though! ;)
“Tata Teleservices Limited, India’s youngest and fastest-growing pan-India telecom service provider, is extending its hugely successful Suno Dil Ki Awaaz brand campaign into the Virtual World of Second Life with a first-of-its-kind Virtual Talent Hunt. This makes Tata Teleservices the first Indian telecom operator to enter virtual worlds.” ‘Follow Your Heart’ is a platform for amateurs (artists/musicians/photographers) to showcase their talent at the Tata Indicom Island in Second Life from January to March 2009.
Tata Teleservices’ build is located at the virtual “Bombay” in-between “Bollywood” and the “Bollywood Hills”. It contains a small orientation zone, a party/events area, a gaming zone, exhibition areas for the talent hunt and even a virtual football - as in soccer - field. Architecture is futuristic and well done, but could use some shading baked into the textures.
The whole area is oriented around the “Follow your hart” talent hunt and the “Suno Dil Ki Awaaz” phone network, that “lets you connect with like-minded people and make friends in Second Life using the SDA phone!”.
Prizes for the talent hunt are amongst others an Apple iPod Touch 16GB for best in Music, a Nintendo Wii Game Console for best in Art and a Digital SLR - Olympus E520 for best in photography. There’s also a “Be A Bollywood Star!” star game - which I sucked at, got stuck at the first mission objective after “press start” - with HUD.
The “Tata Indicom” island was realised by Indusgeeks, the official press release you can find on their blog. More information at tataindicom.com/sl and at tataindicomsl.com you can login to your account to upload photographs, art or music after registering your avatar at virtual Bombay (SLurl). New residents can get register an avatar at tataindicom.com.
For a “virtual first” - although a talent hunt is not, NBC did so earlier - this is definitely impressive. As far as I’ve seen, no rule states that non-Indian citizens can not join the talent hunt, so let me know if anybody of you does so! :) I only fear that with a limited amount of new registrations, and in-world voting, exactly this voting can be easily spoofed by using alts? Ah well, some snaps:
Rory Cellan-Jones reports from the BETT show in London, the world’s largest educational technology exhibition: “One firm (Mark Mullis of Middlesbrough City Learning Centre?) from the north of England is using the virtual world of Second Life to showcase a new school that, for now, does not exist. Construction work on Acklam Grange School has only just got underway, but developers at Middlesbrough City Learning Centre have created an exact representation of what it will look like in Second Life. The idea is for teachers, pupils, and governors to see exactly what the new school will look like, familiarising themselves with the layout and spotting any potential problems before the building goes up.“
Take a look at the YouTube video here, UK residents can watch the video here on the BBC website as they are not allowed to watch it on YouTube. Disregard the BBC describing Second Life as an “internet phenomenon” (ok, we can live with that) and a “virtual social networking site” (we’re Facebook 3D with un-real people! yeey! errr?!!!).
From the SLischool wiki: “As the ‘Building Schools for the Future’ initiative moves forward a large amount of money is being spent on buildings that we hope will provide effective learning spaces well into the future. Mistakes in the building of these schools can cost thousands of pounds to put right. However, imagine if you could build the school in a 3D virtual world, to scale and have the key stake holders walk around and interactively engage with the building as part of the consultation process. It would enable spaces to be experienced, mistakes to be spotted, placing of equpment equipment* and furniture to be tried out and familiarisation with the new building to speed up. Interactive functionallity functionality* could be built into all aspects of the building to allow anything from art work selection to trying out automated lunch purchasing systems.”
If the pupils are allowed to walk around in their “new” school, then is this located on the Teen Grid? A “private” grid in agreement with Linden Lab? Or are they using OpenSim?
* Spelling errors in a school project? *grins and says “tssss!”* ;)
Because I have a really hard time trying to think up something positive to write about Second Life (LL on the other hand has no problem applying a little “spin”) at the moment:
Special thanks go to the honourable Ordinal Malaprop, without whom my dialogue would have sucked bigtime. :d I know I should have shot this on in Second Life, but… my excuse this time: it was impossible to “get in” for more than 4 hours straight.
I admit, I wanted to shoot this one in Second Life (in line with the “The Irony” series), but I had a tremendously hard time gathering all the needed “props”. No caveman, no sculpted stone carriage à la Flinstones, and no sculptie building skills myself. Nah, well:
Daden Limited shows of the advancing knowledge and possibilities of automated avatars in Second Life in this 10 minutes machinima. From “Who wrote The Stone Diaries?” (info fetched on Amazon), “What is a comet?” (info from Wikipedia), “What’s on BBC tonight?” to “Where is the closest seat?”, the female automated avatar can answer all. The last one she can answer because she has knowledge of her surroundings. She even answers human-style, in directions and meters, not in coordinates. ;)
With an “emotional alert database” built in, she’s pretty allergic to snakes. Removal of a snake will lead to joyful clapping, so do rabbits. She can learn to dislike items in Second Life that cause damage to her, and love those that could give her cash. (I’m not going to wonder if that goes for avatars too, and we’ll soon can expect the first “Daden Limited ft. SexGen automated Second Life Escort”. ;)) Do you tell her to be “inquisitive”, then she’ll click things in her surroundings to learn about them. This Altair automated avatar can also hand out inventory and accept it. Impressive machinima show! :)
Showing Daden Limited’s Halo automated avatar being put through her paces. This is a recording of the demo they gave at the BCS AI Special Interest Group conference in December, and includes a demo of the emotion work Daden Limited has been doing with the University of Wolverhampton. Watch on YouTube.
Human beings - and even animals, or those behaving as animals - have a certain set of rights. It starts off with the Declaration of Human Rights, followed by the laws of the country you reside in. (Which means though luck in Angola, pretty lucky in Belgium.) Although we avatars sometimes think we should get the same rights as our atomics - guaranteed right to live, property rights, proper noob-education, … - that is not the case, and maybe we should stop whining to Linden Lab about “our rights as a Resident of Second Life”. After all, the Declaration of Player Rights is no where near finished, nor generally accepted, nor would it hold in - atomic - court.
Yes, I know it’s nice to be a Resident of Second Life (at times). The name shows we belong to something that spans the different communities such as there are vampires, nekos, humans, roleplayers, sex addicts, tinies, … and different levels of players, from the casual 5h/month over the solitary content creator to the big development companies. But at the same time, “being a Second Life Resident” is getting us no where. We don’t have a parliament. No referendums, albeit Linden has the powers to easily poll all of us. No social security or health benefits. No property rights. No subsidizing the arts. Just some minor funding for education and some LDPW paved roads.
So what should we be then? As almost all of us have “their payment info on file”, what do you think about “a Second Life Customer”? Customers have rights, no? Companies do research to find out what their customers want, no? Although “residents” seem to be fairly expendable lately, no company can do without customers? I’m not sure if thinking, saying and writing “customer” for a year will change the idea of what we want from Linden Lab - or even better, what they are willing to offer us - but it won’t hurt? (Except maybe our ego’s a bit.) Let’s make 2009 - opposed to 2008 where residents got screwed over.. and over - year of the Second Life Customer?
Update: LL just released a time estimate on inserting script limitations, which differs a lot from the initinal “Before January 5th, we’ll tell you what the script limitations will be.” Timing for Script Limits:
In Q1, we will be gathering data on script load, and sharing this usage data with the community before deciding what the most appropriate limits are.
In Q2, we expect there to be Viewer changes to allow you to monitor your script usage against those limits.
Browsing statistics & blogpost for 2008, I get an idea what the Second Life community was most interested in, what enraged us, and what made us go “woot!”. Of course, this would be uncomplete without a list of “10 things to remember about 2008″ and “5 things to forget as quickly as possible.” ;) An overview of 2008 in Second Life according to vintfalken.com:
‘Free Skins’ - This all started with news of Miss Eloh Eliot releasing her skins as ‘open source’ photoshop templates end 2007. This excellent example by Miss Eloh was swiftly followed by Sezmra Splendor. Basing their work on Eloh Eliot’s skin templates, and also releasing their .psd’s were Miss Strawberry and the Brazen Woman skin brand. I wonder if this means we’re cheap, or really interested in the craft of making SL skins? Regardless, I’m hoping to see some more ‘open’ skins released in 2009! (More or less also in this category: my free full perm bikini template. Lot’s of views & downloads, not many comments though. *shakes fist*)
Exotic Second Life Clients - Lots of interest for Kirsten’s Second Life Shadow Viewer and The 3D Stereo Viewer. I assume people like to see things “in a different perspective” once in a while, and of course, shadows rendered on the spot, for even the budget PC’s is something we continue to dream about. =)
OpenSpaces - Despite such virtual wonders as the Garden of NPIRL Delights and Philip Linden being switched for M Linden, we’ll probably all remember Second Life’s 2008 as “the year the openspaces vanished”. Lots of just commotion over an unjust ‘pricing and policy change on Openspaces‘. That unjust that a Free Accounts Pricing and Policy changes suddenly became believable for a lot of residents. In the mean wile, the promised announcement about ’script limitations’ on openspaces & homesteads - “before January” - have not been announced yet. But for the real ‘effects’ - besides a serious drop in land mass - of this Linden Error, we’ll need to watch 2009 closely! ;)