Thursday, August 30, 2007

Managers See the Future

The Business Pundit points to a new piece on managers: 90% think they are in the top 10%. He notes that "This highlights one of the major reasons many corporations run lousy operations - they [the managers] don't face reality. Most everyone thinks they are right."
Business Week polled 2,000 managers, and found that:
In a decade, the average person will have better working conditions. Women and minorities will have an easier time getting ahead. And more of us will be on a first-name basis with someone in India. That, anyway, is what we were told when we polled 2,000 U.S. executives and middle managers this summer. Most of us, it seems, are happy and optimistic. Not to mention bursting with self-esteem: an impossible 90% of respondents believe they're in the top 10% of performers.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Firefox - Campus Edition

The folks at EduGeek Journal note the new Firefox Campus Edition, with Foxy Tunes, Zotero and Stumbleupon already installed. It is still free from Mozilla, "the public benefit organization dedicated to improving the internet experience for people everywhere".

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Fortune Lists, 2007

In August, Fortune Small Business named the finalists for their 6th Annual Business Plan Competition: Calle Soccer from Brigham Young University; SweetRiot (chocolateers) from NYC; Idea Storm Products, from Pace University; Mulligan Stew Pet Food from Wyoming; Green Dragon Pest Solutions from Georgia; and Saatwic Food (for diabetics) from Tennessee.

Earlier this year, seven companies headquartered in Virginia were among the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2007, recognized by Fortune: Network Appliance, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One Financial, MITRE, SRA International, Stanley, and CarMax, which is located in central Virginia.

More recently, Fortune identified the Best Colleges for Entrepreneurs; the University of Virginia made that list that for their partnership with the University's medical school.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Favorite Blog Names

A few of my favorite blog names:

The Perfect Face for Radio, and DaMomma (Motherhood is not for Wimps). Don Ray's ChriquiChatter, where I found the pointer to a priceless eBay auction description, and the old saying:
You need only two tools. WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn’t, use the tape.

Paul Kedrosky's Infectious Greed, on which one can find the story of the misplaced Maserati. And of course, cartoonist Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void; he's looking at social gestures at the moment.

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Virginians receive IBM Faculty Awards

Three Computer Science professors from VA Tech, Kirk Cameron, Wu-Chun Feng, and Dimitrios Nik, have just received IBM Faculty Awards. The other Virginia professor recognized by IBM was Kurt Maly, chairman of the Old Dominion University Computer Science department.

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VA Tech, Updated

On August 19, VA Tech dedicated a memorial to those who lost their lives last April. The panel appointed by Governor Kaine issued its report on August 22 (Overview on VA Tech Site). An internal report by VA Tech calls for better communication about troubled students, more locks on classroom doors and improved communication to ensure that students are alerted to a campus-wide crisis. The Richmond TimesDispatch summary of the report notes that the shooter was rarely identified in the 200 page report.

A special report to the President was issued in June. They addressed "...the complex balancing of fundamental interests in our communities -- interests of protecting privacy and civil liberties, ensuring that our communities are safe, and helping people get the care they need -- is appropriately calibrated. Carrying out the President's charge, we have met with Governors, legislators, state officials, and experts from the spectrum of mental health, education, and law enforcement communities, who have identified obstacles they face and steps they believe should be taken to address school violence and mental illness at the community level." They offered recommendations for federal government actions in several areas related to preparedness training.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

SLCC07 Reports

The Second Life real-life convention (SLCC 07) in Chicago over the weekend was sold out awhile ago, but Caroline McCarthy of c|net news has two reports on the event: Chicago, the Metaverse's Metropolis and on Philip Rosedale's talk.

The poster for the event is on Flickr. Pacific Rim points to SLCC07 presentations posted on Slideshare and to other media coverage of the event.

Daneel Ariantho's Second Life has a pointer to the Salamander project presentation by Jonathan Richter (avatar Wainbrave).

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Charlottesville Podcasts

The Charlottesville Podcasting Network has a great new look. Recent podcasts include Part Two of an interview with Dean Robert Bruner talking about the future of the UVA Darden School of Business and the upcoming academic year. (Part One of the interview)

Earlier this month, Coy Barefoot interviewed Michael Belfiore, author of the new book, Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers, and Pilots Is Boldy Privatizing Space. They discuss the future of the emerging private industry of space exploration, and competitions like the X-Prize. The October 2007 X-Prize competition is the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

University of Richmond Campus Trees

An interesting project from the University's biology department, an online record of the trees and shrubs of the campus at Campus Trees

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Search Crystal

SearchCrystal is available now.

Thanks to Fred Wilson at A VC for a pointer to this new aggregating search engine.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

A Few New Web Sites

This quirky site, Should Do This, offers everyone the opportunity to advise ... everyone else. (They also offer an integrated suggestion box for companies.)

Other interesting new startups at Killer Startups include the un-enclopedia, EnWikopedia, the entrepreneurship interviews at Hatch That!, the Damsels in Success, and a potential Craigslist competitor, OddBark.

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Is a Virtual Business Life Worth Living?

Entrepreneur Magazine had a recent piece, Virtual Life Worth Living? about the experiences of businesses who tackled a presence in SL.

According to their experts, especially Steve King, lead author of the recent Intuit Future of Small Business Report: Technology Trends (pdf), there aren't enough users, it's not attracting the mainstream, businesses haven't figured out how to translate the physical into virtual worlds, and businesses haven't figured out how to successfully market in virtual worlds.

There's a rather different perspective in ComputerWorlds's What Second Life Business Exodus?, the Business Communicators of Second Life, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute's The Coming Second Life Business Cycle. There's also a collection of articles about SL and virtual worlds at Business Week.

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AltLaw Launch

The Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology, and the Silicon Flatirons Communications Program at the University of Colorado Law School just launched AltLaw, a free full text of the U.S. Supreme and Circuit Appeals Courts.

The Program on Law and Technology at Columbia Law School was founded to publicize research on the legal problems created by technological innovation, and to design and disseminate technologies that might serve the public’s interest in law and legal change.

The Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program brings to campus individuals from legal, technical, regulatory and business backgrounds to discuss issues facing the telecommunications community.

Thanks to BoingBoing for the pointer to this new site.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Innovation Challenge 2007

The 5th annual Innovation Challenge returns to the Darden School of Business in November. The enrollment is open now, and ends on September 28, 2007.

The international panel of judges this year includes Charlottesville entrepreneur Elizabeth Pyle.

See Innovation Challenge for more information about this year's event and winners from prior years.

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IBM on SL Potential

According to Reuters,
Computer giant IBM now wants you to walk into three-dimensional Web worlds to browse virtual libraries. Starting tomorrow, IBM sales representatives in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia will staff the company's virtual Business Center in Second Life. "... we're doing this is because we do feel the beginning of a major transformation on how people are going to interact on the Web -- going from a flat to an immersive experience," said Maggie Blayney, director of Global Web Strategy & Innovation for IBM.

Thanks to Jason Hull of Open Source Connections for pointer to this.

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Cold Hearted Web 2.0?

William Davies writes in the Cold, Cold Heart of Web 2.0:
The same technological zeal and business acumen that once was applied to improving the way we buy a book or pay our car tax is now being applied to the way we engage in social and cultural activities with others.
In short, efficiency gains are no longer being sought only in economic realms such as retail or public services, but are now being pursued in parts of our everyday lives where previously they hadn't even been imagined. Web 2.0 promises to offer us ways of improving the processes by which we find new music, new friends, or new civic causes. The hassle of undesirable content or people is easier to cut out. We have become consumers of our own social and cultural lives.

Thanks to Joshua Porter of Bokardo for pointing to this, and related pieces: Gong Szeto on the subprime meltdown and Nicholas Carr on the Automation of Social Life.

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Accelerating Inovation

The Task Force on the Future of American Innovation has announced a new contest, for a short video on innovation.
Deadline is September 10. According to the Task Force site:
The video should illustrate how scientific discoveries resulting from federally funded research in the physical sciences have changed our lives. The video can focus on past transformational research or showcase what the future might bring ... to help celebrate American innovation, now and for the future. The top prize: $1,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.
The rules (pdf) provide for Task Force use of any of these three-minute videos in its activities, including Capitol Hill presentations and posting video on the Internet. Expect to see the winning video on their site by October 5.

The Task Force also initiated the American Innovation Proclamation (pdf) last March. Here's the photo of the signing of the America Competes Act (HR 2272) In related news, it's good to see that Joe Meredith, of VTKnowledgeWorks and Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra have joined the board of the Accelerating Innovation Foundation.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

State of Play V Update

Thomas Malaby's notes on the panel discussion at the State of Play V conference, Building Businesses in Virtual Worlds are available now. He especially notes the tension faced by real world organizations operating in virtual worlds: how to maintain control over their brands while tapping into the innovation that virtual world users can provide.

Workshops today, the final day of the conference, include Educational Applications, Law and Regulation, Managing Identities in Virtual Worlds, Commercial Applications, and Online Poker.

Podcasts and videos from the event should be available here.

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Notes from the Nonprofit Commons Launch

If you missed the opening of the Nonprofit Commons in SL, you can see a video of Anshe Chung's talk and avatar Rik Riel's notes on the event at The Click Heard Round the World. For links to pictures from the event on Flickr, see NetSquared. For print media coverage, see the Victoria Times Colonist.

The New World Notes piece on the event is entitled SL as a Nonprofit Incubator. They also have a recent post on Mixed Reality Headcount by avatar Tateru Nino, looking at how well the corporate world engages SL residents.

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Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in SL

According to C|net news, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is preparing for SL concerts in a replica of its real life concert hall. They plan to perform works by Rachmaninov, Ravel and two contemporary composers from Liverpool. The concert is scheduled for September 14 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are free, but limited - register here.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

U of Richmond in SL

Last March, Joe Essid, director of the Univerity of Richmond writing center, began blogging about his experience in SL as avatar Ignatius Onomatopoeia (Iggy). Among his interviews with SL avatars, I was pleased to see his profile of Milosun Czervik, developer of the ICT library on InfoIsland, and aka Ross Perkins, PhD - Office of Educational Research & Outreach, School of Education, Virginia Tech. (Milosun's blog).

And here is Iggy himself, at the six month mark, in the University of Richmond's SL island.

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TR 35 for 2007

The TR 35 Innovators for 2007 were announced in the recent issue of Technology Review. The 2007 Young Innovator is David Berry, seeking renewable petroleum from microbes. Tapan Parikh of the University of Washington is the Humanitarian of the Year. The full list of young innovators under 35 is here.

In addition to academic and corporate researchers, entrepreneurs on the list include Sanjit Biswas of Meraki Networks, Garrett Camp of Stumbleupon, Tariq Krim of Netvibes, Jeff LaPorte of Eqo Communications, Christopher Loose of Stericoat, Neil Renninger of Amyris Technologies, Kevin Rose of Digg, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Hype Cycle Definitions

Gartner's Hype Cycles provide a snapshot of the relative maturity of technologies, IT methodologies and management disciplines, comparing overhyped areas against those that are high impact. They estimate how long technologies and trends will take to reach maturity, helping organizations decide when to adopt.

Snippets from the Five phases of the Gartner Hype Cycle:
  • Technology Trigger: The first phase of a Hype Cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.
  • Peak of Inflated Expectations: ... a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.
  • Trough of Disillusionment: Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable.
  • Slope of Enlightenment: ... some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.
  • Plateau of Productivity: A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted... and stable.
The Priority Matrix supplements the vertical visibility or "hype" axis of the Hype Cycle with a focus on the potential benefit of the technology, rated as transformational, high, moderate or low.
2007 charts, with links to Gartner, the Gartner media industry blog.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Inspiring Entrepreneurship

VC Brad Feld is planning to sponsor a bathroom at the ATLAS Institute of the University of Colorado, after his similar offer was declined by MIT. To that end, he is looking for a good quote related to entrepreneurship for the plaque.

Perhaps the new table at Patently Silly would be a helpful addition to the facilities.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

VA Colleges and Universities

US News and World Report has published their college and university rankings for 2008, and three Virginia institutions are among the top national universities: the University of Virginia (23), the College of William and Mary (33), and Virginia Tech (71).

Of the Liberal Arts Colleges in the country, two Virginia colleges were among the top 50, Washington and Lee University (15) and the University of Richmond (40).

In the Universities-Masters Degree (South region) category, Virginia schools among the top 50 are: James Madison University (4), the University of Mary Washington (9), Mary Baldwin College (23), Hampton University (25), Longwood University (31), Radford University (38), Shenandoah University (41), Lynchurg College (43), and Marymount University (45).

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New Visualizations

Designer Manuel Lima's Visual Complexity site points to numerous related books available through his Amazon aStore. Thanks for pointers to several of the pages below.

Ink Trails by Robert Hodkin. Thanks to Future Feeder for the pointer.

The 32nd America's Cup Circling Galaxy display. Thanks to Great Map for the pointer.

Chris Harrison's projects, including the Clusterball visualization of the three levels of of wikipedia.

Paul Dunn's Visuwords, an online graphical dictionary.

Lee Byron's Lisening History posters from software.

Finally, Walk2Web creates a visualization of your own web activity. (An example of an opening page to begin visualizing your history, below)

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Miscellaneous Getting Real in the Colossal Cave

Late August - time for some book notes.

Last year's Getting Real by the folks at 37 Signals is still available as a paperback book, a pdf file, or free for online reading. The table of contents demonstrates their mastery of making information available online; it is easy to navigate to any section of the book, the sidebar advertisements makes sense. For example, their job board and gig board are on the sidebar for the About Us section.

Published this spring, David Weinberger's Everything is Miscellaneous is about how we’re pulling ourselves together now that we’ve blown ourselves to bits. Sample sections are available here, a list of online sources to buy the book are at To his credit, Weinberger posted the many comments requesting sample sections before purchasing the book.

The Digital Humanities Quarterly, a peer-reviewed online journal, was launched last spring. The Summer 2007 issue includes a wonderfully rich piece of gaming history, Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave, by Dennis Jerz, about the old favorite, Will Crowther's Adventure.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Editing Wikipedia

Thanks to for TechDirt for pointing to the new Wikipedia scanner service by Virgil Griffith. It lists anonymous Wikipedia edits from interesting organizations.

Wired is maintaining a running tally of the most Shameful Wikipedia Spin Jobs. One might have expected such efforts from Scientology, and both national political parties, but ... employees of the New York Times? Disney? MySpace? Diebold? Microsoft AND its PR firm, Waggener Edstrom? the National Security Agency?

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Red Herring Redux

Josh Catone at Read/Write Web reviews the up and down history of Red Herring magazine as their website relaunched this week. He especially notes their new social networking elements.

Red Herring might want to note the O'Reilly Rader review of HarperCollins new initiative to make 14 new books available for download to the iPhone. A quick look at the thousands of posts in the Lulu Community Forum might also be informative.

The HP marketing blog recently changed its name to Digital Mindset. The long running joke Mintz mentions, that HP would have marketed sushi as "cold dead fish", no doubt came to HP by way of Compaq, nee Digital Equipment Corporation.

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Startup Matchups

The WSJ's Startup Journal has an interview with serial entrepreneur Wil Schroter, of GoBigNetwork, which bills itself as the world's biggest community of startup companies.

Other entrepreneur/investor matchup sites mentioned were RaiseCapital and FundingUniverse.

Organized groups that bring together investors and entrepreneurs include Astia, for women technology innovators; HYSTA for Chinese entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley; the BrainGain Network, a world wide network of Philippine technopreneurs; the Northwest Entrepreneurs Network, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed in the Northwest.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Open Source Retreat

The folks at Open Source Connections have just announced an open source Retreat in Charlottesville, beginning at the end of August. Their course description for Multigen Creator, by visualization master and course instructor Dean Abernathy, is exceptional. Professor Abernathy is best known for overseeing the modeling for Rome Reborn.

The Friends of BGN get a $750 discount for the August courses. There are more details at BGNentrepreneur.

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Virginians in the Inc. 500

There were 34 Virginia companies among the 2006 Inc. 500 fastest growing companies. The 2007 list will be announced next month.

Doug Tatum, founding chairman of Tatum Partners, will deliver his talk on No Man's Land at the Inc 500 Awards ceremony in Chicago. He spoke on this zone at the Charlottesville Venture Group last year.

For the record, Central Virginia companies recognized in 2006 Inc. 500 include:
University Instructors at 139; ActCom Security Solutions at 345; and Rosetta Stone at 431.

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Robins School Momentum

According to the Richmond TimesDispatch, Dr. Jorge Haddock, dean of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, is focused on momentum.
Momentum to hold a lofty position among the top 25 undergraduate business schools in the nation, as measured by BusinessWeek magazine.

Momentum to complete a $16.8 million capital campaign -- about $10.5 million has been raised -- so the business school can add a new wing.

Momentum to help new UR President Edward L. Ayers keep his pledge to provide more service to the Richmond community.

The Robins School offers 38 student exchange programs in 29 countries; this summer about a dozen international MBA students from Brazil and Angola attended a five-week session at UR. Newsweek magazine just recognized the University of Richmond as one of the 25 Hottest Schools in America for international studies.

The new wing of the business school, for which fundraising is well underway, will increase the size of the school facilities by a third, including 33,000 square feet for new classrooms, a 225-seat auditorium, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a Wall Street-style trading room.

Current faculty research grants are outlined in the Summer 2007 newsletter.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fall Conferences, 2007

Fairfax County, VA, is sponsoring the inaugural Conference on the Creative Economy to be held October 24 and 25. Speakers include Richard Florida, Thomas Friedman, Frank Sesno, David DeLong, Anne Fisher, and Alvin Toffler. Registration is now open.

The next SEBIO Investor Forum will take place November 7 and 8 in North Carolina. Winners of the year-long SE Bio/Plan competition will be selected during the event, and will awarded unrestricted, non-dilutive venture funds to launch the enterprise and implement their business plan.

The 17th annual Pegasus Conference will be held in Seattle, November 5 - 7. This year's theme is Amplifying Our Impact: Strategies for Unleashing the Power of Relationship. Speakers include Peter Senge, Debra Myerson, Van Jones, Peter Weertman, and C. Otto Scharmer.

LA is host to the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo conference September 10 - 12. Billed as The World's Ultimate IP Communications Conference!, an event blog and speakers list are available.

The next Trends in Nanotechnology conference will be held September 3 -7 in Spain. Speakers include several researchers from American universities.

The Third Annual Podcast and New Media Expo will be held in California, September 28 - 30.

The next Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo will be held Oct 10 and 11 in San Jose. Speakers include Edward Castronova, Beth Coleman and Susan Wu.

One can still request an invitation to the Fourth Annual Web 2.0 Summit, Discovering the Web's Edge, to be held in San Francisco October 17 - 19. Speakers include John Battelle, Steve Ballmer and Tim O'Reilly.

Finally, the engineers of the IEEE have scheduled their 11th Annual International Conference on Computer Vision for Oct 14 through 20 in Rio de Janeiro.

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Singularity Summit

Tickets are still available for the Singularity Summit for Artificial Intelligence to be held in San Francisco in early September.

The 2006 Singularity Summit, the first academic symposium focused on the singularity scenario, was held at Stanford.

Speakers include academics from MIT, Stanford, and Yale, as well as business people from IBM, Powerset, Google and Teknowledge and representatives from several foundations and institutes. Abstracts of the talks are available now.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

SL Financial Messes

Financial issues have been plaguing the Second Life economy recently, according to Technology Review, and TechDirt.

Perhaps the founders of these financial institutions in SL could have used some real-life corporate guidelines for virtual worlds, as discussed recently on Terra Nova. They are not all about etiquette. Cornell University's Robert Bloomfield and other bloggers at Terra Nova have pointed to the unregulated nature of financial institutions of Second Life.

While we are looking at financial messes, here's the mortgage lender Implode-O-Meter, and the hedge fund Implode-O-Meter. The taglines are great: Tracking the housing finance breakdown: a saga of corruption, stupidity, and government complicity, and Hubris, extreme leverage, and other people's money. Thanks to Paul Kedrosky for pointers.

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Dresden Museum Opens in SL

The Dresden Museum's Old Masters Gallery launched in Second Life in June.
According to Wired magazine:
Second Life [Museum] representatives say it's the first real-world museum to "clone" itself online, although virtual versions of other collections (most famously "Second Louvre," which has no official ties to the Paris museum) have popped up.

All 37,700 square feet of the 150-year-old building, plus the grounds outside, have been recreated, down to the trash cans and fountains in the courtyard and ceiling moldings, staircases and furniture within. The highlight, of course, is on the virtual walls: 750 paintings spanning 300 years of European art.

And Dresden isn't the only historical site to move to the net. The city of Cologne already has plans to open a virtual version of its famed cathedral, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1996, this month.

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NASA PAV Challenge Winners

Accordng to c|net news, winners were chosen Saturday in the NASA-sponsored competition of Personal Aircraft Vehicles, the first annual PAV Challenge. The Cafe Foundation, a nonprofit group of flight test engineers, held the race at the Charles Schultz Sonoma County Airport.

The winner was the modified short-wing Pipistrel Virus, a Slovenia-built sport aircraft. A highly modified kit plane, Vans RV-4, won the speed challenge and the low-noise challenge. A Cessna 172, the most popular small plane in production since the 40s, won the handling competition.

The PAV race is part of the NASA Centennial Challenges, a series of competitions that support space exploration and aviation technologies in private industry. The Beam Challenge and the Tether Challenge are coming up in October. (full Challenge list and descriptions)

The blog, Space Prizes has detailed information about space-related competitions, past teams and winners, and annual competitions like the National Space Society's Art Prize (November 30 submission deadline). No doubt the Society's sponsored art work will grace the rooms of Galactic Suite, the space hotel scheduled to launch in 2012.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another Inconvenient Truth

The following online discussion and debate is an example of the power of the web to bring both wide public participation and deep expertise to bear on the detailed mathematics involved in research and simulation, the public policy debates that rest on that work, and collaborative contributions by widely dispersed individuals.

According to Wikipedia, Stephen McIntyre found an error in the surface temperature record kept by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). GISS has acknowledged the error and incorporated a correction in their data set. The error affects the surface temperature record from 2000 through 2007. The US Annual Mean Temperature Chart from GISS, last modified on 2007-08-07, is below.

McIntyre is the primary author at the blog, CimateAudit, which is said to be under a denial of service attack at this writing. His most recent comments, as a guest blogger, are available here.

Thanks to Daily Tech for a pointer to this online discussion, and to Anthony Watt's Watt's Up with That? blog for a historical summary and annual charts from the revised data. The mission of Watt's newest online endeavor, SurfaceStations, is the creation of a publicly available photographic database of weather stations and weather station metadata through collaboration.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

More from Gartner

These new-era brokers use the Web as a transformational — rather than a supplemental — channel and leverage Web 2.0 functionality, including new programming techniques, blogs and social communities. Traditional brokerages use the Internet simply as a different channel through which to provide the same content and services that they provide through branches, telephone and regular mail.
Snippet from Gartner press release. Additional information from “Early Efforts at Web 2.0 Brokerage Will Challenge Existing Providers.”

Gartner's Financial Services Technology Summit 2007 will be from August 27-29 in New York City. Hon. Michael Oxley, former Congressman who is now vice-chairman of the NASDAQ, will be a keynote speaker. In mid-September, Gartner will present the new CIO Summit in Barcelona.

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Startup Junkie Show

According to the WSJ's Startup Journal, the new reality show "Startup Junkies" will focus on serial entrepreneur Ron Wiener, founder and chief executive of Earth Class Mail, seeking venture funding. Earth Class Mail makes postal mail available online, acting as a virtual post office box. Before agreeing to do the show, the company ensured that camera crews would not interfere with daily operations, and that Earth Class Mail could decide when cameras would be present and would have final control of the edit button.

Starting in January, "Startup Junkies" will be featured on MOJO among finance-focused shows like "Wall Street Warriors." MOJO, which targets young, professional men, was formerly called INHD.

Perhaps the experience will eventually be reflected on, which was recently covered by BGNonline and by the Startup Journal.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Library of Congress Preserves New Media

According to Gamasutra, the Library of Congress has announced a $2.5 m initiative, Preserving Creative America, which targets preservation issues across a broad range of creative media, including movies, digital photography, and video games. This project comes from the Library's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.

The Library of Congress announcement notes that the Second Life community will play a vital role in the project, with online groups such as Life to the Second Power, Democracy Island and the International Spaceflight Museum tapped to participate in the project. The University of Maryland, Stanford University and the Rochester Institute of Technology are partners in this effort.

The initiative will also include historical games such as those in the Digital Game Cannon, and electronic literature. For the record, the first ten games included in the Canon are:
Spacewar! (MIT, 1962); Star Raiders (Atari, 1979)
Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (Infocom, 1980; PDP-11 version)
Tetris (Alexey Pajitnov, 1985), Sim City (Maxis, 1989)
Super Mario Brothers 3 (Nintendo, 1990), Civilization I/II (MicroProse, 1991-1996)
DOOM (id, 1993), Sensible World of Soccer (Sensible, 1994), Warcraft I/II/III (Blizzard, 1994-2003)

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Nonprofit Commons Opens in SL

From Nonprofits in Second Life (NPSL), comes the news that the Nonprofit Commons SL sim will hold its grand opening hybrid world event on Tuesday, August 14, at 5:30 PM PC/SLT in SL and in San Francisco. According to New World Notes, the sim dedicated exclusively to providing free office space for non-profits was donated by Ms. Anshe Chung, and is managed by TechSoup.

Here is the wiki, and Rik's announcement in The Click Heard Round the World. NetSquared offers registration for the San Francisco event on Meetup. The SLURL goes to the SL event location.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Advertising and Social Networking Sites

According to TechDirt, it's common for companies to not know each and every place online where their advertisements appear. Advertisers are being to notice that their ads sometimes appear on profile pages for organizations or initiatives they oppose, and some are beginning to withdraw from sites featuring user-generated content.
This has not stopped the big media companies from buying up smaller social networking sites, according to Giga Om. He says that "This is a strategy not without risk. Big media companies have to leave the acquired, and their communities, alone."

Stumble Upon is an interesting take on social networking. Joshua Porter of Bokardo looks at and feature creep in social web applications.

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Emerging Technology Hype Cycle 2007

The Gartner Hype Cycle diagram for emerging technologies, below, reflects the major themes from Jackie Fenn's latest report: Web 2.0 innovations, the commercialisation of user interaction techniques and mobile technologies and applications. Ten of the 36 emerging technologies they considered are viewed as having transformational impact on business.

The Gartner emerging technology Priority Matrix is below.

Dion Hinchcliffe of ZDNet provides a Checkpoint on Web 2.0 in the Enterprise.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Chaos in East Germany

John Borland of Wired will be reporting live from the Chaos Communications Camp, taking place this week on a former Soviet airfield in East Germany. The Chaos Computer Club, one of the oldest and most well-known hacker organizations in the world, sponsors this event once every four years.

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Spook Country and Cyberspace

According to a c|net news interview with author William Gibson, who coined the term "cyberspace", about his new book, Spook Country:
The thing that has affected me most directly during Pattern Recognition, and subsequently, is the really strange new sense I have of the Google-ability of the text. It's as though there is a sort of invisible hyperlink theoretical text that extends out of the narrative of my novel in every direction.
And on his recent reading in Second Life: What I find most interesting about Second Life is that I've noticed now, very occasionally, I'll see on the street someone who looks as though they have escaped from Second Life. There are people who look all too much like Second Life avatars and I don't know if they were there before or whether I just hadn't notice them.

On being asked how well his earlier novels, such as Neuromancer (1984) have stood the test of time, Gibson noted that he had completely missed mobile phones, and that the Soviet Union was another whopping anachronism looming in the background of the book.

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OneWebDay 2007

Last August we noted the first OneWebDay on September 22. The OWD Wiki is available now.


This year, there is a Google map of One Web Day events world-wide. Email Dan (at) if you know of a missing event location.

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Jinglei's Blog

According to Entrepreneur.Com, MSNBC reports that the most-read blog in the world is by a Chinese actress/director named Xu Jinglei. In July, Jinglei became the world's most popular blogger with 100 million page views within about 600 days. Outside China, Jinglei is best known for "Letter From An Unknown Woman" at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2004 (Best Director). Her blog, began in 2005, focuses on her work and daily life.

Sino-Angle of the UK graciously offers an English translation of a portion of Jinglei's blog, and pointers to other sources of Chinese podcasts and dictionaries.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Metaverse 2.0 by Jackson

Clive Jackson of Pelican Crossing, creators of Blink3D software, recently published The Metaverse 2.0 (pdf). Snippets follow

I believe that the Metaverse 2.0 will be cosmopolitan, meaning: it is not a single, monolithic 3D environment like Second Life or Rather, it will be a vast collection of millions of interconnected 3D environments built using various 3D authoring products.

Metaverse 1.0 started around 1995’s with VRML 1.0 (Virtual Reality Markup Language), continuing with VRML 2.0 in 1997 and Adobe Atmosphere in 2000 and culminating with Active Worlds and Second Life. ... Non-web products like Active Worlds [were] closely followed by Second Life which languished until ... they added an economy and the concept of Intellectual Property. A more recent entrant has been

In 2007, we are starting to see problems... People are beginning to wonder what’s next and the answer is Metaverse 2.0.

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VA Business Schools in The 282

The Princeton Review ranks the 282 best business schools in America.
There are 11 separate categories in which the schools are ranked, including The Toughest to Get Into, The Best Overall Academic Experience, The Best Professors, The Best Campus Facilities, and The Greatest Opportunity for Women.

Among Virginia business schools, The University of Virginia Darden School was highly ranked for Best Campus Facilities; both UVA and William and Mary were highly ranked for the Best Professors. For example, Darden's Dr. Mary Margaret Frank just received the Teaching Innovation Award co-sponsored by the Deloitte Foundation and the American Taxation Association. In 2007, the University of Richmond Robins School was included in The Princeton Review list for the first time.

For information about the ranking process, see The Princeton Review FAQs.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Entrepreneur Magazine's Hot 500 for 2007

The Daily Progress reports that 24 Virginia companies made the Entrepreneur Magazine Hot 500 list of America's fastest growing companies in the South Atlantic Region this year. They include Outcomes, Inc. of Charlottesville, Stoker Construction Management LLC of Midlothian, Log.Sec Corporation of Manassas, and PBM Holdings, Inc of Gordonsville.

Other ranked Virginia companies are Four Points Technology, Nexius, and Valador, Inc. of Herndon, A-T Solutions, Inc. of Fredericksburg, Patner Construction, Inc., Webster Data Communications, Inc. and Winn Design LLC of Fairfax, Morgan Franklin Corporation and Aquarian LLC of McLean, Government Support Services, Inc., Acuity Consulting, Inc. and Orion Worldwide Travel of Alexandria, Integrity Applications, Inc., Nonstop Delivery, Inc. and JRC Logistics, Inc. of Chantilly, The Goal, Inc. of Ashburn, Platinum Solutions, Inc. of Reston, ICI Services LLC of Dumfries, MCG Capital Corporation of Arlington, and kmG Hauling of Potomac Falls.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

VA Nanotechnology Partnership Revisited

Last year BGN pointed to the new Virginia Nanotechnology Partnership Initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation for 2006 - 2008. Since then, George Mason University established a graduate certificate program in nanotechnology and nanoscience. This summer, Virginia was recognized by Small Times among its “Next Top 10” states, ranking the Commonwealth #13 among all states.

The Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science (JCOTS) formed a 2007 Nanotechnology Authority Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations on the structure of a Nanotechnology Authority, focusing on non-general fund revenue to fund the authority. JCOTS has also initiated a nanotechnology blog.

The Atlantic NanoForum sponsored a conference in 2006, and provides nanotechnology-related news feeds. The Northern Virginia Tech Council Nanotech Committee is chaired by Kent Murphy of Luna Innovations.
The National Nanotechnology Initiative has several events coming up on the environmental impacts of nanotechnology.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

More BarCamps

The BarCamp wiki has a list of BarCamps scheduled to date.

BarCampRDU is underway today at the Red Hat offices in North Carolina. (Registration for this event closed at nearly 250 participants) The Second Life event, Web3DCamp is scheduled for September 8 at the Corecon Convention Center.

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Orlando Unconferences

The unconference BarCampOrlando is scheduled for September 23. Registration opens this Monday. The BarCampOrlando wiki includes a list of potential topics and participants.

BlogOrlando, sponsored by Hyku and the Society for New Communications Research, will take place on September 27 - 29. Registration for this event is already open. Both events are free.

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European Entrepreneur Cullen

Aodhan Cullen, founder of StatCounter, was recognized by Business Week as the Young IT Person of the Year, recognizing outstanding achievements made by a recent entrant into the IT profession. The StatCounter blog has details, and celebration snapshots.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Wallstrip Reviewed

Startup Review profiles Wallstrip this week:

Wallstrip, which produces short online video pieces covering stocks, is a fascinating and unusual business. Born of the blogosphere, founded by a venture capitalist who says he never intended to run it as a long-term business, funded with seed capital and sold less than a year later, the company fairly screams “test project”. The fact that it was sold to CBS for $5M ... a mere nine months after launch proves that the test was successful.
Wallstrip carries material from other sites as well; Howard Lindzon's recent piece on Canadian oil is probably typical.

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BarCamps Continue

The 2007 BarCamp returns to Palo Alto in mid-August, as a block party among SocialText, Edgeio, IDEO, and iMeem. Additonal information on NetSquared

BarCamp is an international network of unconferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants — focusing on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies and social protocols. Snippets from Wikipedia.

BarCamp rules are admirably clear:
  • When you come, be prepared to share with barcampers.
  • When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.
  • Give a demo, a session, or help with one, or otherwise volunteer or contribute in some way to support the event.

If you want to organize a new BarCamp, Clever, Clever Girl Crystal Williams has updated her Ten Steps (now available in German and French).

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Startups are Harder than They Look

Glenn Kelman has a slightly different take on entrepreneurship, especially startups. Most recently he founded of Redfin, an online market for houses.
If you aren’t doing something worthwhile, you can’t get anyone worthwhile to work on it. I often think about what Ezra Pound once said of his epic poem, that "if it's a failure, it's a failure worth all the successes of its age.”
I remember the Venerable Bede’s complaint that his eighth century contemporaries had lost the fervor of seventh century monks. Even in the darkest of the Dark Ages, people were nostalgic for...the Dark Ages. Snippets from Guy Kawasaki's blog, where Kelman was guest blogger.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Virginia's Young CEOs

Virginia Business Magazine has a great new article on young, web-savvy CEOs in Virginia.

CEOs profiled include Joel Erb, interviewed by BGN last May. In 2001, cuts in NYC advertising budgets affected about 80 percent of his business, Inet Network and forced him to rethink college. "We went from a staff of 12 in the beginning of 2001 to a staff of two, and I quickly realized I have to do something about this," he recalls.

Erb immediately enrolled at the University of Richmond. He calls his degree a $160,000 "insurance policy." It's helping him grow his business smartly, he says, rather than just aggressively. "I don't think I need college to make my business run," adds Erb, "but I need college to refine the skills I had to make it run smoothly." Snippets from Virginia Business Magazine.

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Wired and NextFest

NextFest 2007 is scheduled for September 13 - 16.
WIRED's vision of a new World's Fair is a four-day festival of innovative products and technologies that are transforming our world. This year's NextFest in Los Angeles features more than 160 interactive exhibits from leading scientists and researchers around the world.

ThingM will be presenting its new WineM RFID wine rack. The ATLAS Rope Ascender, designed by MIT students is part of the Security exhibition sponsored by Northrup Grumman. The Brasilian WheelSurf, available to try out in SL, will be in the Transportation pavilion. The LifeStraw will be in the Health pavilion. The Exploration pavilion will house a skin-tight space suit in development at MIT, and the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

Most of these innovative products, even those originating in research universities, are being developed and brought to market by entrepreneurs such as PayPal's co-founder, Elon Musk, who founded SpaceX in 2002:
SpaceX aims to ... develop a family of launch vehicles which will ultimately reduce the cost and increase the reliability of space access by a factor of ten. Coupled with the newly emerging market for private and commercial space transport, this new model will re-ignite humanity's efforts to explore and develop Space.

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Hardware Sketching

Mike Kuniavsky of ThingM on hardware sketching: Sketching may begin with an idea, but the process fundamentally changes that idea. Sketches identify both what an idea is, and what it is not.

Presentations from the June Sketching in Hardware 2 conference are available now. The third workshop will be in December. The 2007 series theme is Boundary Conditions.
we will examine the boundaries in developing physical computing: boundaries between components, between standards, between making objects and creating experiences, between cost and sustainability, between the expected and the unorthodox, and between creator and toolkit.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Traveling Telecommuters

From CNN Money comes a report on Extreme Telecommuting. As they put it:
Telecommuting, of course, is hardly a new idea. Nearly everyone knows someone who works at home. But relatively few ask the next logical question: Why stay at home?

Anthony Page's WorkingNomad, has become a clearinghouse for those who aspire to being "white-collar nomads". Surprisingly, he notes that the downsides of this nomadic life include limited opportunities for socializing and no real vacations, not to mention the temptation to spend one's time sightseeing instead of tending to business.

Sean Aiken has a slightly different approach at OneWeekJob. He's traveling across Canada working a different job each week, and donating his wages to the Make Poverty History campaign.

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New College Institute Update

The recently founded New College Institute of Martinsville now offers tuition assistance to qualified students.
A brief history of this new collaborative institution notes that NCI will be evaluated in the future to determine whether it should remain as the unique educational entity it is today or whether it will become a stand-alone four-year college or if it will become a branch campus of an existing college or university. At present, collaborating institutions include the University of Virginia, Patrick Henry Community College, Averett University, Ferrum College, Radford University, Longwood University, Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

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COVITS 2007 Registration

Registration is now open for the 9th annual Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS).

Featured sessions include:
The Strategic Plan for IT in action
Breakout sessions on intergovernmental cooperation – federal/state/local
Breakout sessions on the intersection of R&D and IT in Virginia
A special breakfast policy briefing on opportunities for SWaM vendors
Showcase of innovations resulting from the Productivity Investment Fund
Monday evening reception hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)

Some speakers have changed, so an updated program is available. Vivek Kundra, now CTO for the District of Columbia, will return to talk about Homeland Security and Interoperability, and to join Mark Warner in a "town hall" style meeting introducing the Broadband Roundtable, which includes Dr. Ted Rappaport, founder of Virginia Tech's Mobile and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG), one of the world’s first university research and teaching centers dedicated to the wireless communications.

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