Monday, April 30, 2007

Sharing the Experience on the Web

Check BoingBoing for Coachella pics, blogging reports, links. And Wired for a brief history of the origin of Twittter.

Then, pause for a brief note on the recent Google Web History announcement on the Wired blog, Epicenter by Adario Strange: it seems that with Google Web History, we have a situation brewing in which your digital fingerprint being left on every website you chose to visit will become normalized.

Mike of TechDirt says For a long time, people have talked about how Google has effectively created the infamous "permanent record" teachers always warned us about in school.


Web 2.0 Over?

Peter Rip of Early Stage VC wonders if the innovation of Web 2.0 is slowing down. Posts include pointers to dissenting information, as well as debate about the measurement practices and tools.

Meanwhile, O'reilly Radar is looking at S3, as used by JamGlue (article), and requesting feedback from other S3 users.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

SL International Education Conference

The first SL International Education Conference: Best Practices in Teaching, Learning and Research (SLIC) is scheduled for May 25, all day in-world. SLIC blog.

Keynote speakers include avatar Kenny Hubble (Ken Hudson) of Loyalist College, avatar Pirate Shipman (Bill Moseley) of Bakersfield College, avatar Intelligirl Tully (Sarah Robbins) blogger from Indiana.

Conference Committee Co-Chairs are avatar Fleep Tuque, creator of //, of the University of Cincinati, and avatar Veritas Veriscan. "The conference will be held on May 25, 2007 in venues all over the Second Life world, with exciting presentations, vendors and exhibitors, and everything an educator needs to know to get started exploring the possibilities for teaching, learning, and research in Second Life!"

Since this is a SL conference, registration includes time zone availability.

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SL Rounds Corners

SL now has "sculpted prims", a prim whose shape is determined by a texture - its "sculpt texture". Sculpted prims can create organic shapes that are not currently possible with Second Life's prim system. Sculpted prims have the same rendering "weight" as a hollow torus prim. Snippets from SLwiki

Historical footnote: Folklore has a short piece on the creation of the first rounded corners for the Macintosh, in 1981.

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SL Marketing Information

As of March 2007, a group is being formed, made up of companies who are interested in gathering voluntary survey data about how Second Life Residents behave in real life. This is a wide-ranging group from academics and journalists to Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies--all people and organizations who are interested in supporting, understanding and growing an important emerging community. Snippet from SLWiki

This follows a February survey sent to developers listed in the SL Developer Directory. The Directory lists 90 developers comprised of 50 full-service and 40 consultants and listings have doubled in the last 3 months. This developer community provides employment opportunities for Residents who have building, scripting and other Second Life skills and has almost tripled in employees and income related to Second Life during the last 3 months.

For context, Linden publishes daily Economic data.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Another View of Virtual Worlds

From Random Tech comes this cautionary note:
Thanks in large part to media hype, marketers continue to rush to the virtual world of Second Life despite increasing evidence they don’t really know what to do when they get there. So far all this collective marketing savvy hasn’t much impressed the actual Second Lifers. One of the reasons that marketers may not stick around the site [Second Life] is because the actual number of regular users is far lower than what they had expected.

A more recent article from the same blog, Second Life: The Coming Virtual Web
Indeed, sociologist Bob Moore, who studies virtual worlds, believes three-dimensional worlds will be the “pervasive interfaces for the Internet.” The Web of the future will not only look different, but function differently, too.

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Arts Plus Competition

According to the SL News Network, Arts Plus, a real world organization created by the French Ministry of Culture seeks Second Life artists to participate in the first real and virtual world exhibition and a new virtual residency program. For the the exhibition Les Femmes Heroiques, they teamed up with the Computer Band to bring the show to life in the virtual world.

SL Residents are invited to enter avatars based on the 11 heroines depicted in the show, and the best ones as decided by the jury will be given free land in Arts Plus for one year to use as a virtual workspace and will also be involved in any future Arts Plus projects.

Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, French Minister of Culture and Communication, toured the SL installation at the Contemporary Art Simluator in Arts Plus (118, 160, 32), and will preside over the jury which selects the best avatars in May.


Friday, April 27, 2007

VPTC+CVG Tech Awards Gala

VPTC+CVG , the technology and entrepreneurship-focused business alliance in Central Virginia, is preparing for this Tech Awards Gala honoring the individuals and organizations who have made noteworthy contributions to the marketplace and community in the past year, through the creation, commercialization, or application of technology.

Come see what Crutchfield, Blue Ridge Numerics, M•CAM, Adenosine Therapeutics, Frontline Test Equipment, the Neon Guild, Dr. Frank Friedman, Sen. Emily Couric, and Jim Lansing have in common!

For detailed event information, see VPTC+CVG, BGNentrepreneur or Zbutton

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Dean Pianta

Robert C. Pianta, a longtime faculty member in the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, has been named its eighth dean, President John T. Casteen III announced today.

Pianta is an expert on early childhood education and teacher quality whose work spans the worlds of policy, practice and basic science. In addition to his teaching and research, he directs the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). Snippet from UVA Today

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Innovation Policy

How best to measure innovation has bedeviled the business community for years. But with the discipline garnering increased attention—and investments—creating an accepted system of metrics to evaluate its impact has become top priority. Now the U.S. Commerce Dept. wants in. On Apr. 13, it issued a Federal Register notice asking for public comment on a series of innovation measurements it might use to drive public economic and innovation policy. Snippet from Business Week.

In true Federal government style, one of the first requirements a public comment must address is Identification of the specific Committee category to which the proposal applies. Comments are limited to ten pages, and are due by May 11. For submission guidance, see the Federal Register or the committee's Measuring Innovation website.

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VA Fantastic Fifty

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the Fantastic Fifty last night.

This 2006 Virginia Vanguard winners are:
  • Highest Growth Overall: SpecTal, a Reston-based consulting group
  • Manufacturing: Germane Systems of Chantilly, a manufacturer of high-end servers
  • Retail/Wholesale: Blinc Inc. of Herndon, a manufacturer and distributor of beauty products

Central Virginia companies among the Fantastic Fifty include:
  • Messer Landscape of Virginia, Inc. of Glen Allen
  • Oakley Logistics, Inc. of Prince George

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NASVF State Comparisons

The National Association of Seed and Venture Funds has released a state-by-state comparison of venture investments comparing the 1st and 4th quarters of 2006 with the 1st quarter of this year, from the PricewaterhouseCoopers and National Venture Capital Association's Money Tree report. Virginia currently ranks number 18, with investments of $75,518,300.
In the first quarter of 2007, venture capitalists invested $7.1 billion into 778 deals, the highest quarterly dollar amount since the fourth quarter of 2001, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data by Thomson Financial. Deal volume actually declined in the quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2006, indicating venture capitalists’ willingness to put more dollars into each round. Snippet from PricewaterhouseCooper

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NVTC Hot Ticket Nominations

The Northern Virginia Tech Council is accepting nominations for their Hot Ticket Awards through May 4. Winners will be announced June 27. Categories include Hottest Bootstrap and Hottest Exit, as well as Buzz, Management and Venture Deal.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Incubator Models

Om Malik, of GigaOM points to several new entrepreneur incubator models that seem to be working well: YCombinator, [which launched Reddit] and Obvious [which launched Twitter] and the newest, HitForge.
HitForge is an entrepreneur cooperative composed of independent small teams, where people can apply with their ideas, join the team, and see their idea go from idea to product in a few weeks, largely with help of an offshore engineering team. The HitForge tagline: The way to get big is to empower the many and the small

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

HYPE in Richmond

A new community networking group launches tonight in Richmond. HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Engage) will hold its first meeting tonight. The next meeting is scheduled for May.
According to Will Turner, president of event sponsor Dancing Elephants Achievement Group, "It's a way to engage them in community events and professional development so that they want to get involved and stay engaged in the community." Snippet from the Richmond TimesDispatch.

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Richmond's Top 50 Employers

Three new businesses were included in the recent Richmond TimesDispatch list of the top 50 employers in the Richmond area: MeadWestvaco Corp., Westminster Canterbury, and World Access.

Richard Coughlan, associate dean for graduate and executive programs at the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business, had this to say: "I was immediately struck that this year's top 30 has exactly the same set of firms as last year's top 30. There were no new entrants into the top 10 or the top 20, either. That speaks to a very healthy business climate in the region with a variety of growing sectors providing numerous opportunities for employment."
Snippets from the DailyProgress

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VA Tech Clean Energy Research

Virginia Tech seeks research partnerships in India to support Corning Inc.'s efforts to develop clean energy resources.
In the initial phase of the collaboration, scientists from Tech, Corning and in India will conduct research on fuel cells, which can provide a cleaner, more efficient power source than conventional gas, oil or coal-fired plants or internal combustion engines. Snippet from Roanoke Times

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Marketing in SL

HP's Eric Kintz has listed the "Top Ten Reasons Why I Still Need to be Convinced about Marketing on Second Life". He points to lag, population density, conflicts between SL and RL identities and brands, and limited potential for revenue. Avatar Prokofy Neva's comment is worth reading, as is much of the comment string debate, despite the awkward spacing issues.
There's a small clue in this post why some RL companies are finding Second Life challenging.

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Sex on the Web, Economist Style

The Economist reports that social networking sites may be overtaking pornography on the web.
In America, the proportion of site visits that are pornographic is falling and people are flocking to sites categorised “net communities and chat”— chiefly social-networking sites such as MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. Traffic to such sites is poised to overtake traffic to sex sites in America any day now.

Bob Caswell, of observes that while some of the social sites may still involve sex, "Most social networking sites I've seen seem to respect the user, something many sex sites still haven't figured out."

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SL as Disaster Preparation

Second Life is being used as a simulation environment for disaster training and preparation

For example, according to Team Mascot, the Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness program, Play2Train, uses Sl islands that re-create local communities.
The PA Consulting Group Demo Island includes both a detailed gas station and a more general test area for simulated disaster response training.
Similar efforts are underway on Health InfoIsland.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Architectural Design Contest in SL

From Meltemi Editore, an Italian Publisher based in Rome that decided to create a virtual home in Second Life (SL):
A two-step competition is being launched for the design and implementation of the virtual space. Anyone can participate, without limits of age or qualification. Applicants don't need to maintain anonymity and can take part in the competition both as individuals and as groups. The deadline in May 20.

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Sl Stock Exchange(s)

Participants in the current and former SL stock exchanges are embroiled in conflicts, summarized in three recent SLNN articles: Drama and Dissension, An Open Letter and Virtual ComEx to Relaunch.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Hokies in SL

VA Tech Hokies have established additional memorial sites in SL. Thank you to Hokie avatar Milosun Czervik, organizer of these memorials and the SL Hokie Spirit Fund.

The Info Island Site, where one can find SL Hokie T-shirts for Orange and Maroon Effect Day (April 20), and contribute to the Hokie Spirit Fund.

The temporary memorial site located in Fame (182, 92) was donated by Linden Lab, and includes links to brief biographies of the 32 victims.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Hokie Hope

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UVA NSF Graduate Fellowships

Five UVA Graduate students have received NSF research Fellowships for 2007 - 2008:
Jennie Doberne, Anthropology: "My research focuses on older women’s quest for motherhood as a way to investigate the social and technological limits of pronatalism in Israel"
Niccolo Fiorentino, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering:"My research project focuses on characterizing the way muscles change shape during motion, determining how muscles generate force to produce joint movement, and developing methods to model complex muscle behavior."
Erin Reed, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering: "My research involves using a non-intrusive measurement method called Planar Laser Induced Iodine Fluorescence which involves seeding iodine molecules into a flow and shining a laser sheet across it, causing it to fluoresce or shine allowing us to obtain visuals of the flow as well as velocity and mole fraction measurements."
Hillary Schaefer, Psychology: "My research explores the neurobiology of emotion."
Adam Watson, Archaeology: "I am interested in patterns of social differentiation and integration in this prehistoric Pueblo society."

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New Incidence Maps

The NASA Global Incident Map reloads about every eight minutes.

The beta Who is Sick? map (below) displays geographic distribution of user-submitted symptoms. Only southern California information is available to date.

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Coke, Moo Cards, and Barbie

The 3pointD article about the Coca Cola announcement of a vending machine design contest for Second Life has elicited interesting comments about from SL residents.

BoingBoing points to the latest Moo Card.

And Mattel is about to launch BarbieGirls, according to Mark Wallace at 3pointD.

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Purposeful Games

A new SFWeekly article on Jane McGonigal and ARGs - Alternative Reality Games that weave back and forth between real and virtual worlds:
McGonigal wants to harness the power of the communal cerebellum her games create, and put it to work solving real-world problems. Maybe young folks in warring countries could play games together, and would be less inclined to shed each other's blood. Maybe players could analyze real scientific data in the course of a game, crunching numbers and looking for patterns just as they always do, but with a payoff that goes beyond advancing to the next stage of a game.
World Without Oil is McGonigal's bold step forward ... The tagline declares its intentions to be a public service announcement about the world's dangerous dependence on oil: "Play it — before you live it."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Woz in Virginia Beach

Tonight, April 18, Steve Wozniak will be in Virginia Beach to share his thoughts on how technology might help people explore the next frontiers.

His speech is part of the Virginia Beach Forum's lecture series, "Three Perspectives on Exploration," to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.

The talk will be held at 8:15 PM, at Princes Anne High School in Virginia Beach.

More information at BGNentrepreneur, and ticket information at the Virginia Beach Forum.

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Gardner on New Digital Media

The new digital media bring to mind two longtime considerations. As formulated by the historian Frederick Jackson Turner, America has been a country of frontiers. With the New Digital Media, we have a new and essentially unlimited set of frontiers — those embodied in virtual realities.

The second feature, pointed out almost 200 years ago by the French visitor Alexis de Tocqueville, is that America is a country of voluntary organizations. The New Digital Media have spawned innumerable networks and associations, dedicated to every cause and pursuit that one can think of, and, no doubt, many that are inconceivable. Snippets from Howard Gardner's final post on the MacArthur Foundation's Spotlight.

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VA Tech and the Web

From Ryan Singel's article in Wired
Since 9/11, some security experts have pushed the idea that peer-to-peer alert systems that rely on openness and the crowd can save lives, particularly when centralized communications and decision-making break down.
As the carnage unfolded, [VA Tech] eyewitnesses IM'd terrifying firsthand accounts to their friends, some of which appeared on blogs and MySpace within minutes of the shootings.
The ability of the Virginia Tech community to use the available technology to organize itself quickly and effectively deserves great respect. In the debate about what could or should or might have been done to prevent this tragedy, it is well to remember that it could also have been much worse.

From the first 911 cell phone call from Norris, continuing through the effective use of sites like VA Tech Sideline, Live Journal, MySpace and Facebook to connect with friends and families, the members of the VA Tech community have been giving an exceptionally good account of themselves.

The Monday posting by Dr. Ishwar Puri, Professor and Department Head, Engineering Science and Mechanics, was a shining example of humanity, clarity and calm in the midst of emerging chaos. (My apologies for not providing the other links yet) UPDATED

Here is the timely and thorough Wikipedia entry for the Virginia Tech Massacre.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VA Tech Memorial

The Virginia Tech memorial service on campus will be held at 2:00PM (Eastern) today.
The SL memorial site at Lion Sands [Name Corrected]is below.

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VA Tech

Thank you to the creator of this image.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Roadmap to the Metaverse

The Internet in 2016 will be an all-encompassing digital playground where people will be immersed in an always-on flood of digital information, whether wandering through physical spaces or diving into virtual worlds.

That was the general picture painted in a draft report obtained by CNET that summarizes the conclusions of several dozen pundits who met at the first Metaverse Roadmap Summit last May to prognosticate the "pathway to the 3D Web." Snippet from the Meet the Metaverse article by Daniel Terdiman.

The four scenarios -- Augmented Reality, Lifelogging, Virtual Words, and Mirror World -- all reflect differing levels of emphasis on what I saw as the two primary spectra describing the evolution of this technology: augmentation versus simulation, and intimate technologies versus extimate technologies. Here's how they line up, in a graphic first shown at South by Southwest 07:

Image and snippet from Jamais Cascio, of Open the Future. Updated image on Flickr.

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Morphing Sculpture

Sasun Steinbeck, the founder of the Art Gallery Owners Group, recently displayed her masterpiece, “Morphing Sculpture” again. A snapshot of the sculpture from our archive is at Art in SL.

It’s a revolutionary approach in total immersion of the interactive sculpture. The owner of the piece is able to, “become part of the creative process. They can change the texture, the size, the shape and color and even the sounds,” Steinbeck said. “ It’s really nice to look at yet can be played with like a toy.” Snippet from the SL News Network

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

PC Magazine on SL

PC Magazine recently carried a story on business engagement with virtual worlds, especially Second Life.
To the surprise of many, the business world—that's the real business world—has fallen head over heels for Second Life and other virtual worlds.
"We're at the beginning of the next evolution of the Internet—the 3D Internet, as we like to call it," says IBM's Michael Rowe, "If Web 2.0 is a place where everyone becomes a producer, everyone becomes a content creator, the 3D Internet gives us a whole new level of social interaction in this collaborative space."
[At present] "The biggest benefit of Second Life—for companies—is the media attention," says Heather McConnell, an account executive with the international PR firm Hill & Knowlton. Snippets from PC Magazine. Thanks to Dan Kalagher for the pointer

For context, the Google ads on this page are for software allowing any PC to work with SL, virtual reality staffing, SL marketing, SL video reviews, and an exercise bike to use while exploring virtual worlds.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Batten funds UVA School of Leadership and Public Policy

Former newspaper publisher Frank Batten Sr. will donate $100 million to the University of Virginia. The donation is the largest single gift in the school’s history.
The money will be used to create the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Snippets from Virginia Business

“There’s an urgent need to develop the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders,” Batten said.
The Batten School will be the first new school at UVa since the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration was founded in 1954.
The Batten School will offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees, with full programs beginning in 2009. A master’s of public policy program will be established in 2009, followed by a post-doctoral program in public policy and a master’s in foreign service or global affairs. An undergraduate degree program in public policy, consisting of both foreign and domestic tracks, will also begin in 2009.
A search for the first dean of the Batten School will start this fall. UVa officials estimated the new school would aim for about 260 undergraduates and 160 graduate students. Snippets from the Daily Progress

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Irving on the Web

Fresh from attending the Highlands Forum:
Let's remember that DoD's [US Department of Defense] Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) started the ARPANET project, which later became the Internet.
The fact that the Internet, started by DoD for very legitimate defense purposes, has become the world's platform for communication, information and innovation, with contributions from people and institutions from around the world, is precisely the point. Snippets from Irving Wladawsky-Berger's blog

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Media Use Stats

EduGeek's Matt Crosslin points to a site with extensive and current data on media use by teens and adults, Frank Baker's Media Use.


More than one in three U.S. adults who go online, or 37 percent, own a video game
console and 16 percent own a portable gaming device (Source Nielsen//NetRatings)

* 975,000 have visited/used in the last month
* 2,376,000 have downloaded music online in the last month
* 1,367,000 have written or read an online journal/blog in the last month
(source: Fall 2006 National Kids Study)

It turns out that in 2007, American adults and teens will spend an estimated 3,518 hours - or nearly five months each - plus $936.75 per person consuming media.
(Source: a communications industry forecast that is included in the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007: "Media Usage and Consumer Spending: 2000 to 2009." )

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Jardin des Halles in SL

The BBC News website today reported on a scheme to use Second Life for designing a new Jardin Des Halles, in Paris. Plans have been in the pipeline since 2004 for the development of a garden area sitting atop the Les Halles shopping mall, but the local residents’ association, Accomplir, is not happy with the lack of consultation. They have therefore taken matters into their own hands, and have launched a competition, inviting all would-be garden designers to weave some magic in Second Life. Accomplir will draw up a short-list of the top 5, which will be displayed on an island in Second Life (as yet unidentifed). The winner, to be announced at the end of June, will receive a prize of 275,000 L$. Accomplir will then take the winning entry to Paris Town Hall, in a bid to persuade officials to speed up the laggardly redevelopment process. Snippet from 3PointD.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Employment in SL

According to, Semper International became the first real-world staffing company to open a Second Life employment office, which includes a gig board for Sl residents. (Snapshot below)
“You have to be creative,” Semper COO Brian Regan says. “Getting young people interested [in print] is a challenge,” he says. “Second Life is a place where a lot of these talented people are, so I thought it would be a good place for us to be.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Valleywag's Hottest Startups

The hottest startup companies today, according to Valleywag:

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Maryland's New CPAs

The Maryland Association of CPAs recently launched their New/Young Professionals blog. An early article covered the first CPA firm to open in Second Life, KAWG&F of Baltimore.

For more on this firm's SL experiment, see the recent articles from Accounting Web, and The Bottom Line. There's more background from last August at the TechRepublic and c|net.

KAWG&F CEO, Arlene Ciroula (avatar Chili Carson) was also involved with developing a Chamber of Commerce in SL, according to 3pointD.

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Deloitte Nominations for Entrepreneurs

Deloitte announced that it is now accepting nominations for 2007 Technology Fast 500, Technology Fast 50, Wireless Fast 50 and the Rising Star programs. The deadline is May 31, 2007. The "Fast 50" award is based on revenue growth over the past five years; the "Rising Stars" are recognized for revenue growth over 3 years.

Fairfield Language Technologies: This high-growth software company has for three consecutive years made the Deloitte and Touche Virginia Fast 50 list of high-growth technology firms (with five-year growth of 632%). And its holding company (Rosetta Stone Inc.) last fall entered the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing businesses at #431. Snippet from BGNentrepreneur

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Christians in SL

USA Today found seven churches and bible study groups in Second Life with Easter week services, as well as other places of worship. (Several pictured below)
Leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim sites estimate about 1,000 avatars teleport into churches, synagogues or mosques on a regular basis.
Quoting internet expert Julian Dibbell, "virtual reality is in some ways an essentially spiritual experience." Snippets from USA Today.

Information for the SL Redemption Week Tour of participating religious groups is available as an MP3 from SDG Northbound Community Church in SkyBeam.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Conflict Resolution in SL

Earlier today, as avatar Taffy Taliaferro, I met with a group of Second Life avatars to discuss the potential for using virtual worlds such as SL for conflict resolution, negotiation or mediation, at the hospitable invitation of avatar German Zond of the PA Consulting Group.

Two general frames of reference were considered: SL as a venue for RL conflict resolution and SL as venue for in-SL or SL-RL conflict resolution.
Among the relevant SL characteristics and capabilities discussed were:
  • simulation/demonstration: playing out the consequences of the conflicting courses of action (including role-playing)
  • the "equalizing" effect of SL communication channels to put "everyone on same level"
  • discipline/constraint imposed by text chat on communication as dampener of conflict (despite the historical opposite result of electronic text communication as amplifier of conflict)
  • development of games, events and workshops to learn or practice mediation and negotiation
Avatar Delia Lake described the governance model being developed by the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS) for the Better World and Colonia Nova islands, which includes a constitution with rules, a democratically elected representative government, and a dispute resolution process.

Avatar Team Mascot commented that to date, SL has been populated by "enthusiasts" who are keen to make the environment "work", so have been inclined to avoid conflict. Now that the population is growing explosively, there are far more people inclined to "grief" others, so the need for governance and constitution and "law enforcement" is coming to the fore.

CNET reported yesterday that Linden Lab has "invited the FBI several several times to take a look around in Second Life and raise any concerns they would like, and we know of at least one instance that federal agents did look around in a virtual casino," said Ginsu Yoon, until recently Linden Lab's general counsel and currently vice president for business affairs.

UPDATE from Linden Blog: Despite reports to the contrary, we know of no law enforcement agency that has opened an investigation into gambling in Second Life.

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DIY Virtual Worlds

The 3B relaunch is expected in May.
If you’re not familiar with 3B, it’s a service that basically grabs the content on your MySpace or other Web page, and uses it to automatically create a 3D space you can navigate as an avatar and invite your friends to. The space that gets created is more or less a room in which the various walls are textured with the images and videos from your site. I like the idea of making it easy to get content into a 3D space where you can hang out with friends, much as Kaneva does, although it remains to be seen which of the many similar services that are now popping up wins this. Snippets from Mark Wallace, at 3pointD.
Here's a survey of four online space platforms, courtesy of Ogoglio.

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My Google Maps

Brady Forest has a piece in O'Reilly Radar on the launch of Google's MyMaps, pointing to their new capacity to add all geo-indexed web pages to their local search. A web page is geo-indexed via an associated KML file. No other search engine does this. Pete Cashmore's comments on this new product on Mashables.

RestoreKnoxville TN combines architectural, historical, and lifestyle information, using street data and satellite imagery from Google Maps and National Register historic narrative information.

For global-scale maps, try PlaniGlobe. (Samples in Wikipedia.)

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Advertising Online Soars

According to the UK Times:
The internet will overtake radio by next year and become the world’s fourth-largest advertising medium, a year earlier than forecast.
Global spending on internet advertising increased from $18.7 billion in 2005 to $24.9 billion (£12.6 billion) last year, according to ZenithOptimedia, the media-buying agency.
Behavioural targeting, in which advertisers follow consumers’ internet use, is another growth area. Snippets from the Times Online

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SL Language Lab

LanguageLab is beta testing a 12 sim in SL as a new venue for learning languages. English and Spanish are offered currently.
A new business existing entirely online, offers a range of options for language teachers and their students. Teachers for receive competitive rates and access to students in a content-rich environment.
Beta Technologies, the virtual content creation firm headed by Eggy Lippmann and Gwyneth Llewelyn, have put finishing touches on the build. Other builders included Baccara Rhodes, Foolish Frost, Xandi Mars, and Random Cole. Snippets from SLNN

Their tagline? Be virtually fluent in no time

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Second Life Magic, Bye and Bye

This morning, I found the extraordinary installation by Philip Mallory Jones at the University of Ohio (SLURL) campus in Second Life. Jones, and his mother, the poet Dorothy Mallory Jones, created a stunning joint memoir, In the Sweet Bye and Bye.

To refresh my memory, I searched for the title, and found the lyrics of the 19th century hymn. I also discovered that a parody of that hymn originated the phrase, "pie in the sky".

The same search lead to a snippet of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's rendition of In the Sweet Bye and Bye, and a very short snippet of the Johnny Cash version. Then the Smithsonian Institute's Global Sound site, with a snippet from Daniel Saunders Brass Band of the Bahamas, and by Elizabeth Cotton on guitar. I finally landed on, to hear the lovely young voice of Serena Matthews. There, I discovered music quilts.
(Along the way, I made the acquaintance of roller organ cobs, and Texas fudge.)

Thank you to Philip Mallory Jones for launching that journey with his evocative installation.

UPDATE: The exhibit is included in a short Ohio University YouTube video, available at the Aviero University student blog

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Visualization - Periodic Table

The Periodic Table of Data Visualization. is available from Visual Literacy. Thanks to Kevin Creamer at Pandaemonium for noting this.

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Andy Forbes Files

Andy Forbes has posted some interesting new podcast interviews with DC area entrepreneurs.

Most recently, he spoke with Dave Gilbert of TydenBrammall, Martin Smith of Smith McClure and Co, Inc., Tom Meylan of EvolvingSuccess and Rob Cherny of Navigation Arts.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

America's Best Grad Schools

Once again, the US New and World Report Top 50 graduate school rankings.

The Virginia graduate schools noted in these rankings:

University of Virginia (10)
Washington and lee University (25)
College of William and Mary (31

Virginia Tech (33)
University of Virginia (37)

University of Virginia Darden School of Business (12)

University of Virginia Curry School (24)
College of William and Mary (49)
Virginia Commonwealth University (49)

University of Virginia Medical School Research (23) and Primary Care (38)

Technorati Tags:

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Automotive X PRIZE Announced

The X Prize Foundation announced the new Automotive X PRIZE this morning.
"We invite the world's best and brightest minds to look at this independent, high-profile competition as a way to make a difference for generations to come," said Mark Goodstein, executive director, Automotive X PRIZE. "In the spirit of grand competitions throughout history - including Lindbergh's historic flight across the Atlantic 80 years ago - we expect that the Automotive X PRIZE will bring about change and innovation for the benefit of everybody. This competition will help level the playing field and capture entrepreneurial, scientific and technical energy to bring about viable cars that consumers want to buy."

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Martin Agency Recognition

The Richmond Ad Club recently recognized the best work of 2006 at the Virginia Historical Society. The Martin Agency won Best in Show for Advertising with "Anthem," its television spot for TLC, The Learning Channel, and for its public-service poster for the nonprofit group A More Perfect Union.
More information, and additional winners at The Daily Progress.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

InfoVis 2007

The IEEE Information Visualization 2007 contest submission deadline is Friday, July 13, for InfoVis 2007 Conference in October.
The contest participation category was introduced in 2003. The goal of the contest is to promote the development of benchmarks for information visualization, establish a forum to promote evaluation methods, and create an interesting event at the conference. Following the 2006 contest involving U.S. Census Data, we have chosen a widely analyzed and familiar data set with which to challenge the InfoVis community.

The data set consists of about Hollywood movies including actors, actresses, awards, and similar. This year's focus is on the design aspects of the visualization in addition to its exploratory and analytical aspects, and entrants are encourages to augment the data set with any publicly available data.
More information at EagerEyes.

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