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July 18, 2008
DJs, Live Music, and Dancing All Day Long Today! - Wishfest In Second Life - Benefit for American Cancer Society - Fireworks at 10pm SLT

There's an awesome all day Dancing/Live Music event going on today at Wishfest in Second Life, courtesy of The Wishfarmers!

It's a Benefit for the American Cancer Society - with an INCREDIBLE collection of talent pooled for the occasion!

Date: TODAY! July 18, 2008
Time: 10am - 10pm SL time
Wishfest on Financial Isle

Relay Raiders present a 12 hour music event that will take place just before
the opening of the relay weekend.

There are 2 stages. A red stage that will be played by musicians and a
purple stage that will be played by DJ's.

At 7pm DJ Dakota Christensen will take over both streams as we will remember
Stori Knopfli. This will end at 10pm and will be followed by fireworks.

This all will take place at the Wishfest Sim(Financial Isle).

That kindly has been donated for use by The Wishfarmers.

Schedule Purple Stage:
10am - 12pm: DJ Ionic (Techno/Minitech)
12pm - 2pm: DJ Jenns (Electro)
2pm - 4pm: DJ Miss Cyberpink (Electro)
4pm - 7pm: DJ Nexeus Fatale (a Variation of audio pleasure)
7pm - 10pm: DJ Dakota Christensen will take over both streams as we will
remember Stori Konpfli. 7.16/07

Schedule Red Stage:
10am - Cylindrian Rutabaga
11am - Freestar Tammas
12pm - Soundcircel Flanagan
1pm - DJ Bono (Progressive House)
2pm - Relaycast by Maximillion Kleene, Mimi Carpenter and Dolmere Talamasca
3pm - Dewran Wopat
4pm - Charles Coleman
5pm - Dolmere Talamasca
6pm - JueL Resistance
7pm - 10pm: DJ Dakota Christensen will take over both streams as we will
remember Stori Knopfli. 7.16/07

Posted by Lisa at 10:06 AM
June 06, 2008
Wishfest 1.1 Begins Tonight at 5:30pm PST/SLT - I go on at 7:00!

Wishfest is a DIY art and music festival where anyone can show up with a stream and load it onto a stage and perform.

Somatika Xiao has re-located Wishfest to a new home on Financial Isle.

Here's the SLURL to get there. I go on at 7:00pm SLT/PST.

Update: Nick Noir will still do a few songs at 7! So I'll go on a little bit after him

Here's the line up:

5:30 pm - Just Some Guy (Gary Bukowski)

6:00 pm - Cylindrian Rutabega

7:00 pm - Me

Gary Bukowski

Nick Noir at Wishfest 1.0

I'll have a link to the stream up here soon.

Cya tonight!

Posted by Lisa at 09:47 AM
April 12, 2008
JueL Resistance At Wishfest Sunday Night - 7pm SLT

Who: JueL Resistance

When: Sunday, April 13, 2008 - 7pm

Where: Wishfest 1.0 - Solaris II - Second Life

JueL Resistance's MySpace Page

JueL on 'thesixtyone'

As one of the first indie musicians to join and perform in Second Life, she has built a strong presence in the virtual world. A world where she is also known for her visual art work; her paintings, drawings and photography are displayed in various galleries throughout Second Life.

JueL also owns and performs at the infamous "Living Room #13" where she has headlined and hosted Naked Acoustic Sessions for almost 2 years, bringing in only the finest seasoned and raw musicians of SL.

JueL is currently working on her latest CD while preparing for her 2nd adventure to Mahoneyfest in Georgia. Her latest work in progress is a compilation of both recent and past experiences blended soulfully into a deep groove of blues, americana, folk and "unplugged acoustics".

We're very excited that JueL will be coming by to play Wishfest Sunday night!

Nick Noir will be going on right after her, at 8pm.

See you there!

Posted by Lisa at 05:02 PM
April 11, 2008
Machinima and Audio files of Cylindrian Rutabega's Performance at Wishfest 1.0

Come play at Wishfest 1.0 !

Last night's Wishfest 1.0 show started off our festival with a big bang. About 24 people showed up -- that's actually a lot for an SL event! As you can see from the movies, it was really hoppin!

Here's my favorite of Cylindrian's songs, "Sweet Alice."

I've made it available both as a big 54 MB and a smaller 20 MB file.

I've also made an audio file available as an MP3 (6 MB) and a higher fidelity wav file.

There's also a lengthier movie (19 MB) of the same song that includes some pre-song conversation with the crowd, and clip of another song (64 MB), that I'm sure Cylindrian will soon tell me the rightful name of :)

Photo below links to LARGE version (54 MB)

Posted by Lisa at 07:03 PM
April 10, 2008
Wishfest 1.0 - A Flash Festival Inside A Giant Art Installation in Second Life - Courtesy of Somatika Xiao

I just had a great phone conversation with Cylindrian Rutabega, who is playing at Wishfest tonight at 7pm.

She's been hanging out on Solaris II for two days, just wandering around and enjoying the SIM.

The beauty is that Solaris II is none other than the latest work of artist Somatika Xiao (a.k.a. David Stumbaugh).

Somatika is the artist who collaborated with Spot Draves on the Sheep Vortex exhibit at Node Zero Gallery last month.

So here's how it started. Wishfarmer Gary Bukowski, Somatika, and I came up with the idea a couple weekends ago of something called a "Flash Festival." Similar to the Flash Mobs of Real Life, combined with the old school charm of a Full Moon Rave.

For those of you who don't remember such events of lore, Full Moon Raves were wonderful free dance/art/music festivals that happened in the early 90's, where you went to the first location just to pick up a map to the second location, which was usually on the beach or in a park somewhere, all tucked away, and usually on private land with the owner's blessing, where you were generally safe and sound.

These events were free, equipped with lots of water and oranges and things, and often came with a free pancake breakfast in the morning, often while you and everyone watched the sun come up together.

We're trying to capture a little of that magic, while also expanding upon it a bit to include dancers, artists, and performers of all kinds. The sky's the limit, if you have a live act, or even a finished work, that you'd like to stream to a large number of people from all over the world.

So again, a "Flash Festival" is kind of ad hoc DIY combination of music, dance, film and art festivals all rolled up into one -- and for as long as it lasts!

We've also decided to let the artists run wild, where the question we're trying to answer is: "What if we made a big art installation, with a main floor, three stages, and also an underground cavernous area (The Rabbit Hole), where anyone could stake out a little area and set up a display. (I hope it goes without saying that object spam will be removed :)

Node Zero Gallery artist Feathers Boa has already set up an little installation in the Rabbit Hole. Your art installation could be next :-)

Feathers Boa's Art Installation on Solaris II (in the Rabbit Hole)

Then what if we took it a step further, and set up each stage with its own media url, and each with its own set of video screens, and wrote some code to enable anyone that belonged to our "Wishfest Performers" group to jump on stage, load in their stream, and just start playing.

If all your friends sign up for the "Wishfest 1.0" group - you can send a notice to them to let them know you're onstage and playing (or in advance to let them know when you will be going on.

Yes film makers, djs, and video artists, you can invite some friends and load in your pre-existing video/media streams, if you wish. It will work fine! Have a party - Throw a Rave! This island should be able to hold a lot of people. We made it sturdy with lots of Wishfarmer love.

So teleport to Wishfest on Solaris II and decide for yourself how your art/music/films/dance/performanceart/dj mixes etc. etc. etc. can work into the linearly twisted beauty of this SIM, courtesy of Somatika Xiao.

If anyone has any questions, or tech issues, comments or ANYTHING - IM Haley Bailey in world or email Haley Bailey/Lisa Rein at lisa@wishfarmers.com.

Posted by Lisa at 03:37 PM
Video From Last Week's U.S. Congressional Hearing: The Case For Virtual Worlds

On April 1, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet had a congressional hearing on virtual worlds.

The official title of the hearing was "Online Virtual Worlds: Applications and Avatars (link goes to official witness list).

Video of entire hearing (300+ MB)


1. Philip Rosedale, Founder/Chairman of the Board/Former CEO, Linden Labs

2. Susan Tenby, Senior Manager, Community Development, TechSoup

3. Colin J. Parris, PhD, Vice President, Digital Convergence, IBM Research/IBM Corporation

4. Larry Johnson, PhD, The New Media Consortium

Philip Rosedale

This hearing was the first time I've seen any representatives from virtual worlds get a chance to actually explain themselves.

I think the witnesses did a great job of making what I'm going to start calling "The case for virtual worlds." (What I believe to be an open and shut case :)

Four "witnesses" presented to the Subcommittee that morning. Their names are in the table below, along with relevant stop/start times for their presentations.

If you saw the Daily Show clip on the Congressional Hearings, you may have been concerned about congress being confused about terrorists using virtual worlds. But actually, terrorism was only mentioned a couple times in freaked out passing.

The real story is that Virtual Worlds are about to be as big as Social Networking (a phenomenon that congress seems well aware of and impressed by).

Susan Tenby
Colin J. Parris

Of course, we know that Virtual Worlds are going to be even bigger than Social Networking, and really already have been for some time. Although virtual worlds are viewed as an outgrowth of Social Networking, in reality, virtual worlds have existed much longer, and have an extensive and rich history behind them going back more than 20 years.

I think hearings such as this one are a step in the right direction, and demonstrate that Congress is finally realizing the potential for community, art, science, and commerce in these worlds, and taking this potential quite seriously.

It's also great to see IBM stepping up to the plate to explain things in a way that even Congress can understand. (No offense congress peeps, but you guys aren't always the best at grokking technology. Series of tubes aside :)

But that's the exciting part! The success of virtual worlds has become so tangible that now even IBM can explain this success effectively in business-speak. That's damned exciting!

Now, hopefully, we can point to the very excellent examples of the incredible business, educational, and artistic applications going on in Second Life, and other virtual worlds right now, and use them to help explain these very tangible scenarios to the rest of the real life world.

Larry Johnson

Sidenote: The Pete was nice enough to track down this clip for me. Due to technical difficulties, I was unable to edit the file down at this time. So here's the whole thing, at over 300 MB.

I've provided very concise times for the entire hearing, so you can still find the parts you need quickly, after downloading the whole thing.

WitnessesTimes in/out
Phillip Linden, Chair of Board/Former CEO/Founder, Linden Labs29:11-33:19/presentation from 33:20-40:21/40:22-43:14/Q and A
Susan Tenby, Senior Manager, Community Development, TechSoup43:39-49:19
Colin J. Parris, PhD, Vice President, Digital Convergence, IBM Research/IBM Corporation49:21-54:55
Larry Johnson, PhD, The New Media Consortium54:57-1:00

Posted by Lisa at 02:15 AM
March 22, 2008
Cylindrian Rutabega and ChangHigh Sisters Perfoming TODAY - Great Music and Visual Performance Art

DATE: TODAY - Saturday, March 22, 2008

TIME: 11am and 3pm SLT

Come see my pal Cylindrian Rutabega - along with the ChangHigh Sisters - performing LIVE.

I haven't seen the ChangHigh sisters personally yet, but for those of you, like myself, who are interested in both music artists, and the latest set design and visual performance art in the Second Life space, I hear they're pushing the envelope, and I think you'll be interested in checking out this show.

I'll be at the 3pm show, if you want to meet up there.

Cylindrian was very excited to be branching out a little from the traditional "music gig," and over into a new kind of artistic realm.

Here's a little more from the notecard from Cylindrian:

"ChangHigh Sisters will not only dance their beautiful firedances of an exotic and seductive nature, but will in the show, present the virtuals worlds first 2, 3, 6 and 7 acrobatic pyramids and will jump up in their rotating trapezes and show the harmony and elegance of an almost unseen kind ever before."

Click on the image below for a teleport.

Posted by Lisa at 12:49 AM
March 11, 2008
Interview with Electric Sheep Artist Spot Draves - Part 1
Where: Node Zero Gallery, Second Life
Date: Thursday, March 13
Time: 6-9 pm SLT

Live Q & A w/Spot at 7pm

Teleport to the Sheep Vortex

Vortex SLURL

Teleport to the Main Node Zero Gallery

Main Gallery SLURL

The exhibit features Spot Draves, Georg Janick, Feathers Boa, Bryn Oh, Adam Ramona, Aiyas Aya, Ub Yifu, and Crash Perfect.
(Sponsored by The Wishfarmers.)

Keep an eye on my Node Zero Gallery Category for more interviews with artists all month long.

The interview below is the first of several parts. It took place on January 30, 2008.

Spot: I've been programming computers my whole life, and this is the distillation of all of that experience. So yeah, they're not supposed to look like sheep. They're not supposed to look like anything at all. In fact, I don't even really control what they look like specifically, because they are created by this Internet distributed cyborg mind, and they're created by everybody who's watching them.

The reason they are called the "electric sheep" is because it's the computer's dream, and not just your computer, but like THE computer, like the gaian All computers, on the internet, connected, and all the people behind them, as one entity.

What I did was, I wrote the software, and developed the algorithm. And it's based on a visual language, which is a space of possible forms. And then, all the computers that are running the software communicate over the internet to form a virtual supercomputer that then realizes the animations. It takes an hour per frame to render.

Now, the one in Menlo park is double the resolution and six times the bandwidth.

Lisa: This is something in RL that people can go in the physical world and see?

Spot: Yes. It's on a flat panel with a frame around it that hangs on the wall. A 65" plasma screen.

Lisa: Where does that live?

Spot: The company is called Willow Garage.

I designed the frame and had it built, and had it installed, and that one has some special electronics so that it shuts down when nobody is watching, to save power.

Lisa: So this running off a computer? (We are watching as he projects on to my livingroom wall.) So it's basically a screen that's hung on a wall that's then attached to a computer that's running the art?

Spot: That's right. And that one has a terabyte database. This one is 100 gigabytes.

Lisa: So it's always generating new art? Or is it sort of recycling through?

Spot: No. What it does is this. See, because it takes an hour to render each frame, and there are 30 frames per second and so this is far from real time. I mean, what is that, a factor of 100,000? So you can't generate it in real time, and that's part of the inspiration for the virtual worldwide supercomputer.

Lisa: Things the "hive mind" has already created.

Spot: Yes.

Lisa: A snapshot, if you will?

Spot: Yes, and then I edit it. Let me tell you more about the process, which is multifarious and complicated. The bottom line is that it all gets stored in a video graph, which is on the computer, and played back. It's in 1000 pieces that play back in a non-repeating sequence. So it's infinitely morphing, and non-repeating, but you do have refrains. So images, sheep, do come back, but then after you see a sheep, it will go and do something else.

So like, watching the video, there's an algorithm that is running live, as you watch it. But the algorithm is like walking in a garden. Ya know, like an english garden with paths? As you walk along the path you see pretty flowers, and then you come to an intersection, and you have your choice of which path to take next. And so, more or less, if you wander at random, you will come back and walk the same path twice, and see the same thing twice, but, then you'll go and you'll do something different. So, that's cool because there are some parts of the garden which are really remote, and the only way to get to them is by a certain sequence of turns, and so there are some sheep which only appear extremely infrequently, like, ya know, the rare, special ones and so, in order to see the whole thing, you'd have to watch continuously for months.

So, this one, in this 100 GB one, there are 1000 clips. If you played those clips/sheep (I'm sort of switching back and forth on what they are called), if you played them all end to end, it would be like 18 hours. So as far as a human's concerned, it's infinite.

Lisa: You went to Carnegie Mellon right?

Spot: Oh yeah - It really affected me. That's Hans Morovec's Homeland. I was really immersed in those ideas when I was a student.

Lisa: You were a student in Artificial Intelligence there?

Spot: Well, I studied metaprogramming and the theory of programming langugages. So, what I did was I created languages for creating visual languages for doing multimedia. Basically, a special programming technique for doing multimedia processing -- like real time video 3-D computer graphics, with audio, and in particular, in a feedback loop with a human being.

And so, I didn't create a language. I created a language for creating languages, because I wanted to make it easier for everybody to create their own language. And so you'll get these towers of languages, and it's almost, basically like virtual reality, where you have realities within realities, where you can have languages within languages.

Lisa: And they all fit into the same architecture?

Spot: Yeah. So you can analyze these things coherently, and you can create programs which process and optimize these structures.

The genetic code is now in XML. The language, was the key innovation.

Lisa: Wow. What did you use before the XML? What else were you doing that with?

Spot: Before XML, for this genetic code, I just had some stupid text format which I made up myself.

Lisa: Ah. I see. But it was hard to do the kind of architecture you described, without having XML right?

Spot: Oh well that stuff I did more with LISP. Scheme in particular. Scheme is just a version of LISP.

Lisa: Interesting...

Spot: So the visual language is the genetic code. It's the mapping from the genotype to the phenotype. And so each of the sheeps has virtual DNA that controls how it looks and how it moves. And everything you see is an expression in that language. And then, it's a continuous language. It has a lot of special properties, because it was designed to be able to do this. It's made with floating point numbers, and part of the idea behind this whole thing is that life and its existence is continuous.

To be continued...

This post and all the art in it is under the same Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license, as is all of Spot's art.

Posted by Lisa at 01:48 AM
March 05, 2008
Jenifer Fox (Jeni Voom) - Q and A From Strengths Island in Second Life - Part 1

Saturday, March 1, launched the kickoff event for Strengths Island, a groundbreaking interactive educational Second Life environment created by The Wishfarmers, based on author Jennifer Fox's curriculum.

Saturday's event featured a lively discussion between Jenifer, author of the book "Your Child's Strengths," and the attending teachers and educators.

Here's a clip of the very beginning of the event that will give you a little more information about the Strengths Movement in general.

Next, we'll go over some of Strengths Island's specific features.

Video:   MOV   Audio:   WAV     OGG   MP3

Jenifer Fox (Jeni Voom) Explains The Strengths Movement

Transcription of Jenifer Fox in this clip:

"Virtual Worlds are really something that kids are starting to get turned on to. So if we want to change kids' lives, one of the places to begin is by going where they go, and they go here. Although they're not on this particular island, this is really a test case for their parents, and for educators."

"I created the Island so that educators, parents, and anyone else that wants to, can come here and figure out what their strengths are."

"So I've been working with The Wishfarmers, and they've done a fabulous job at helping me brainstorm about ways that this island could become interactive."

"It goes with the Strengths Movement website, where people can join up into the StrengthsNet, which is an IntroNetworks site where you're able to connect with other people, organizations, schools, parents, college students, anyone around the world, who wants to talk about developing strengths."

"Let me say this, that developing strengths really just isn't about feeling good about yourself. It's really about finding the part about you that will help you make the biggest contribution."

"So I think that there's a real political piece to this, in that, there are a lot of options for people, and there are a lot of things people can do and become involved in, and, once you figure out what your strengths are, then you really have a responsibility to contribute. So that's what this movement's about."

Sign up for Second Life. Then come check out "Strengths Island." (Teleport Now)

Posted by Lisa at 12:26 AM
March 04, 2008
Welcome to Strengths Island

I've been hanging out on Strengths Island for a couple days now, and couple nights too I think -- writing up instructions for the Island's activities, so you can pop over there and enjoy them too.

I'll be linking to a few basic tutorials from my Second Life A-Z throughout these explanations. You'll be able to skip those parts if you're already familiar with how to perform those tasks in Second Life.

I decided to take a chance at over explaining this stuff a little, in order to encourage more educators to sign up for Second Life and come check out this Island.

There's a pretty good chance I'm there right now, if you want to come by and say hi. Teleport Now.

Here's a fun way to aquaint yourself with the Island and all of its various educational activities:
a Balloon Ride Tour.

Here's how to take the balloon ride:

  • Teleport Here
  • Right click or apple/click and choose "sit," to sit in the balloon.

  • Type "start" in your local chat window to start the ride.

Now let's learn some more about the "Strengths Movement in general...

Posted by Lisa at 09:56 PM
March 03, 2008
My Adventure As A Wishfarmer Begins

Teleport to Strengths Island

So I promised that I would start blogging more -- about everything, but in particular about the projects I've been working on these days, which are mainly in Second Life.

Well, I'll finally start making good on that promise today, and I'm really excited about keeping you more in the loop on what I'm working on, so you can help me make it better.

The Second Life learning curve is a brutal one, but I know that soon, if I keep at it 24-7, I'll eventually absorb all the necessary data to effectively mesh with the grid.

Until then, I'm taking as many notes as I can about all my experiences during this precious time, when I still feel like a "Noob" (a SL new user), so I can incorporate them into my writings and teachings accordingly.

It's been a while since I've really taken on the mission of mastering something new like this. In 1996, although I knew very little about computer programming at the time, I decided I wanted to learn everything about Web Standards -- especially HTML and XML. Thanks to several members of the W3C's staff and its original XML Working Group (who spent countless hours on the phone and writing emails to help me learn all the details), in just a few years, I was teaching XML for UC Berkeley Extension Online.

Then, in 2001, I decided to ramp up on Copyright Law in the hopes that it might somehow combine with my technical skills to perhaps play a role in helping to turn the copyright situation around. That time, although I wasn't even sure myself where my research would take me (and again, as a result of countless individuals taking me under their wing, to help me learn quickly), I found myself a co-founder of Creative Commons, working with Lawrence Lessig.

So, as you can see, these leaps into the void seem to pay off for me, generally, in both the short and long term. I consider this to be another such leap.

This latest endeavor also ties in nicely with the graduate and undergraduate level teaching on social networking and virtual worlds I've been doing for Prof. Michelle Wolf and Prof. Marie Drennan at SF State's Broadcast Electronic Communications Arts Department (BECA). I'm having a blast learning these new interactive education concepts and technologies from The Wishfarmers, and I am eagerly incorporating them into my own bevy of teaching knowledge and materials.

I guess by now it's pretty obvious that I truly believe virtual worlds have the potential to help shape and improve our lives. And not just the lives of those online, but also the those out in regular old "meatspace." It seems clear to me that virtual worlds are no more a fad or passing phase than the Internet itself.

But now I'm getting ahead of myself, and it's usually best to start at the beginning...

Posted by Lisa at 02:54 AM
February 12, 2008
Pete Worden Live From NASA Ames - In Second Life - 9:30 AM PST/SLT

NASA gave me the OK last night to invite you to the virtual version of a little event,
The Next Generation Exploration Conference-2
, that's taking place this week at NASA Ames Research Center.

This morning, (Tuesday, February 12) at 9:30 AM, Pete Worden will be kicking things off.

Here's the SLURL to the:
NASA Sun Amphitheatre

Gary Bukowski from The Wishfarmers and I helped them set up last night.

What a blast! (And I, too, am becoming a Wishfarmer! :)

Posted by Lisa at 04:10 AM
February 05, 2008
Big Tuesday Going On "Somewhere out there"

I'm going out to go vote right now...... and I've already said "go obama" and all that...

But in reality, I'm much more fixated on virtual reality right now, as I've been working with a group of people called "The Wishfarmers" that you're going to hear me start yappin' about... as is my way... when I get infatuated with a new project.

Come to my metaverse playpen, and click "play" on your video and audio controls.

It's pretty cool, courtesy of
Electric Sheep Artist Spot Draves

Spot will be doing an exhibit in the
Node Zero Galleries
in early March.


August 04, 2007
How To Teleport Friends To Your Location

Summary: This post explains how to send Friends teleport requests. So they can easily transport to your location with one click from wherever they are.

Second Life A-Z
Second Life Step by Step
Second Life Utilities (SLUTS) A-Z

  1. Click on the "Friends" button (Now "Communication" in the latest version) on the lower left third of your SL window.

  2. Select the friend who is currently online that you wish to send the teleport request to. (The friends online will be bolded and at the top of the list.)

  3. After selecting the friend, click on "Teleport."

    • A window will pop up asking you "Offer to teleport to your location with the following message? And then a form box where you can type something in. The default is "Join me in location X" -- Click OK.

    • Your friend will receive your teleport invitation and can click on it to teleport to your exact location.

      (I emphasize this because, as my friend noted last night, if you are flying around, and floating when you send your teleport request, your friend will be teleported to that location in the sky, and if their "fly" isn't on, will fall to the ground! :)

    Let me know that these instructions work for you! (Or not :-)

    Posted by Lisa at 11:08 AM
August 01, 2007
Fooling Around With Hoverpods With Losta Hax

Summary: In this post, Losta Hax throws down a hoverpod object and I hop in and take it for a spin.

Second Life A-Z
Second Life Step by Step
Second Life Utilities (SLUTS) A-Z

Losta Hax (Losta Hax's Pad) and I have been messing around with vehicles a lot this past week. Originally, I didn't understand the value of vehicles in Second Life. It seemed like, hell, if you could fly, what else would you need?

But as I first learned when Eric Rice (SL - Eric Rice) first took me on a helicopter ride a few weeks ago, vehicles are fun dammit!

Here's a little movie of us trying out some hoverpods.

You can see Losta floating in the hovercraft while I watch as he throws down another copy of it for me and I apple/click on it, and touch "ride," and hop in.

Posted by Lisa at 03:49 PM
July 31, 2007
Grid Down Again

Update! - This turned out to be a billing confusion issue, and all was well with a few clicks this afternoon -- I was getting different errors last night, but I don't think there was any real outage this morning. Many apo-poly-logies for the false scare! (and to the Lindens that be :-)

Second Life blog is pretending it isn't happening, I guess...

Oh well, lots of backlogged Second Life stuff to blog about....

Posted by Lisa at 09:51 PM
Financial Turmoil In Meatspace, Courtesy of Second Life

I'm thinking there's got to be some kind of land grab coming on for the land that used to be occupied by all those gambling casinos. Does anyone know anything about this?

Or will the Linden gods just make all that land "go away?" :-)

Meanwhile, in the real world,
one company's IPO is in a shambles
, due to the turmoil on Second Life's economy from the gambling ban:
Crisis in Second Life Financial Sector Deepens

I'm starting to really dig Reuters' Second Life site.
(You can go there inworld, too.)

Here is the full text of the article in case the link goes bad:


Crisis in Second Life financial sector deepens
Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:07am PDT

By Adam Reuters

SECOND LIFE, July 31 (Reuters) - A gambling ban, insider theft at the World Stock Exchange and a bank run on Ginko Financial have combined to threaten confidence in the integrity of the Second Life financial sector.

The amount of money spent in-world each day plummeted from nearly US$2 million on Thursday, when the ban went into effect, to US$1.1 million on Tuesday (see chart, right).

The virtual world’s battered financial markets were thrown into more turmoil on Monday when Ginko Financial announced a new public offering and a plan to buy the AVIX stock exchange, all amid a severe cash shortfall at the bank.

Ginko Chief Executive Nicholas Portocarrero told a group of investors that Ginko’s public offering on the AVIX exchange would fund the purchase of AVIX itself, in a convoluted transaction that was not fully explained.

Portocarrero, who for the first time identified himself as Andre Sanchez of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is also the largest shareholder in the WSE’s parent company, Hope Capital.

After the contentious public meeting, the managers of AVIX backed away from the buyout and cancelled the IPO, leaving Ginko’s fate uncertain.

“Ginko Financial was supposed to buy one of Second Life’s stock exchanges, AVIX, using money from an IPO that was to be held on, you guessed it, AVIX,” wrote Benjamin Duranske, who has extensively covered the ongoing crisis on his Virtually Blind blog.

“It didn’t happen. Why not? Because lot of smart people who understand finance, law, and ethics showed up to explain why that wasn’t going to work and ask some very hard questions,” Duranske added. “As a direct result, Ginko no longer has an IPO on AVIX, and is, apparently left to drown on its own.”

Portocarrero said during the investor meeting that he could not predict when the bank’s funding crisis would be resolved, according to several transcripts of the event.

“I do not have an estimate as to when the liquidity crunch will end,” he said. “It is in great part, out of my control.”

Posted by Lisa at 12:40 PM
Beach Balls Out of Control In Second Life
Second Life A-Z          Second Life Step by Step          Second Life Utilities (SLUTS) A-Z

Summary: This post describes and shows picture of a beach ball that is self-replicating as an example of one form of out of control object that, combined with many others like it, could constitute a type of "grid attack" within Second Life. This event happened on Saturday, July 28, 2007.

Losta Hax Being Chased By Self-replicating Beach Balls In Second Life

I was already writing this up before I read about how grid attacks were taking out Second Life (Here's the SL Blog on the subject.)

Here's a more informative link about the nature of these attacks, actually.

Anyway it's even more relevant now that this all seems like it could be part of the same larger grid attack.

So here's Losta Hax's story...

Losta was vehicle shopping over at Abbotts Aerodrome, when he noticed about 7 or 8 beach balls sort of rolling around behind him.

They seemed sort of out of place there on the landing strip, and he was thinking they must have rolled over from the property next door or something.

He turned his back on them for a moment, and went back to shopping (more on the lovely vehicles he bought and how he learned to operate them later). When he turned back around to look at the balls, there were three or four times as many, and he could see them "popping into existence," one after the other.

Soon, he was standing in a pile of beach balls, and had to fly up to escape them.

A little more explanation - for newcomers as yet unfamiliar with "grid attacks"

One example of a "Grid Attack" is a program that causes objects to replicate without end, (much like a Denial of Service attack takes up a website's resources, causing it to crash).

Were Second Life's resources to be genuinely used up, simply by the sheer numbers of people legitimately using the site, it would be sort of a Slashdot effect for Second Life. (Rather than a D.O.S. attack, in which programs, rather than people, request a site's web pages over and over again, in a non-legitimate fashion.)

Posted by Lisa at 09:30 AM
July 30, 2007
Second Life Research Threads

So there are a number of different threads of my second life research that are all finally coming together now. Many of them parallel to my first life research :-)

Flying Around In Second Life

One key theme is education. There's a lot of learning going on in Second LIfe, despite the system's inherent technical limitations when a bunch of people congregate in the same space and start moving around and doing things. (Oh, so much more on this soon!)

Software Development and Design
Second LIfe Utilities (SLUTs) - are all the little software applications being written for and to be used within and around Second Life. So far we have two different Twitter integration apps, for example, SL Twitter and Squawk.

Another cool site/application is Sloog.com - SLUT for tagging people, places and objects in Second Life. More on this soon, but for now, just go here and touch the display to add it to your inventory.

Blogging about Second Life is gaining traction all the time. I blog about everything I do, so blogging about Second Life is just a natural progression of that. Now I see I'm not the only one (and hardly the first) - I look forward to learning more about the slogging community and will start an index for it soon like everything else.

More and more people are vlogging their Second Life experiences, but most of these movies still don't come out very well. I've been working hard to make some cool movies in order to share my experiences with you.

Art Galleries
I've always been the artsy fartsy type, although I never finish any of my art films to date, and haven't even bothered yet to get any of my arty shots or my rock and roll photography online. (I've been a photorapher/videographer since I was about 14.) I'm getting excited about all the opportunities for artists in Second Life.

Museums and Libraries
My original pet project in all this was connecting together all the Museums and Libraries in Second Life. I've been talking to a lot of cool museum curators and librarians and there seems to be significant interest and enthusiasm for my doing so.

Virtual Real Estate
Yup. You're right. This one's a new interest. I cared not about real estate until I wanted to buy some in Second Life and encountered obstacle after obstacle. Now I'm bent on finding a way to make the process easier for people, and starting to keep track of everything I'm learning about this space.

Posted by Lisa at 10:32 PM
How To Get Around In Second Life When Teleporting Is Down

Summary: Here's how you can change your preferences to give you a chance to specify your "Region" ahead of time, before you log in. This way, you can still move around manually - logging in and logging out - until the teleporting functionality is fixed.

Second Life A-Z
Second Life Step by Step
Second Life UTilities (SLUTS) A-Z

So, as I'm about to explain in more detail shortly, all hell is breaking loose in Second Life today, for a combination of reasons (grid attacks due to the usual exploits, reaction to last weeks' gambling shutdown (displaced users needing somewhere to go), and the system still recovering from its shakeup after the power outage in San Francisco last week).

I logged in today to a bunch of users on my IM logging into a dark area and unable to teleport out.

Currently, everyone's having a hard time teleporting around because the system is so overloaded.

But I've been able to get around okay because, earlier today, Devlon Duthie (SL-Losta Hax) found this handy work around so you can at least teleport to the region that you wish. So I thought I'd better share it with you.

1. Click on the "Preferences" button on your web login screen.

2. At the very top of your "Preferences" window, check the "Show Start Location on Login Screen" checkbox.

(You'll also want to have the "Always" radio button selected underneath it, but that seems to be the default.)

Here's how the bottom of your login screen looks before you make the change, and how it will look after right after you've changed checked the "Show Start Location on Login Screen" in your "Preferences."


3. Where it says "Start Location:" and currently "My Home," select the drop down menu and change it to "<Type Region Name>."

4. Select the text, type in the name of the region you wish, and click "Connect."

Posted by Lisa at 02:23 PM
July 19, 2007
W00t - My First Twittered Second Life Party Invite!

Me at the Second Life Salsa Party - They're line dancing!

Ok it just happened! Something I'd only dreamed of just a few weeks ago:

I was literally twittered in first life about a party going on in real time in second life. So I clicked on the slurl that was provided in the twitter post, and was teleported to the Salsa party.

(Well yeah, and I had to close SL first to get it to work, because that just seems to be the norm with slurls these days. The "secondlife://" links that go direct seem to work more often than the slurls, but still not often enough. And I find myself having to close SL for whatever doesn't otherwise take to take in the Mapping/teleport process. - That's why this goes under quick tips too.)

This kind of SL/web integration is what I've been waiting for for so many reasons...where do i begin? :-)


I'll put up a little movie I made of it tonight.

But right now, on a more personal note, I must work on some actual paying Second Life consulting work. The transition is complete..w00t!

That's why the a-z index is slow coming together...but it's coming. Don't you worry. It's coming :-)

Posted by Lisa at 02:15 PM
July 16, 2007
Places to learn about and practice creating objects in Second Life

Places to learn about and practice creating objects

Come Visit Me In My Metaverse Playpen In Second Life

A Little On Public Sandboxes In Second Life

Me (Haley Bailey) and Isis Eagle in a skybox in Second Life
Posted by Lisa at 11:26 AM
Still working out the kinks of the information structure for my Second Life data

Ok so some of you may have noticed that there's a Second Life A-Z Index kicking around, but I've been kind of hedging on its existence because it wasn't until late yesterday that I figured out how the indexes are going to best fit together.

So basically, I still need this external document, but it will still link, for the most part, back to blog posts *of indexes* of things. Like the one I just put up for "Places to Go Practice with Objects."

(Note just saying hi to the two or three people on the planet that this level of detail is of interest to.
You rule. The four of us should get together some time. Now back to the rest of the world :-)

Now where was I? Ahem. Yes, so anyway. I think I've figured it out and that's why I've been dinking around on announcing it. I've been sneaking links to it into old posts, so I don't forget to do that later. But it really didn't feel like anything worth announcing until it had some meat on its bones. (And I've got a freezer full!) (no offense to you veggies! I have um. tofu in the freezer too!)

So now I've had a nice sleep, where I remember having a nice dream about my new information architecture, and "how interesting...this *does* seem to fit in there" and, "why yes, I wondered about that too, and I just happen to have a little list of how to fix that right over he-are."

And then I awoke, because it was just a dream. And I, of course, won't know for a week or two if mine's even going to work. But it will be fun trying.

Me parachuting in Second Life

Posted by Lisa at 11:11 AM
July 13, 2007
A Little On Public Sandboxes In Second Life

As I mentioned earlier, I found out the hard way that buying land isn't that easy, and provides a quick barrier to entry when you're trying to jump in and experiment with objects right away. That's why I created my Metaverse Playpen.

But I wanted to step back a minute and talk about the public sandboxes (Teleport Now), because they are very useful and entertaining places to visit for lots of reasons.

They're fun in a Mad Maxxy kind of way. There are explosions and funny noises going off everywhere. People running into you for no reason, and just scuttling away. Intimidating messages being broadcast from Big Brother overhead. The whole nine yards.

I'm working on finding a movie, or making a new one of it.

So sandboxes are fun, but they're a little crowded, and made me want a sandbox of my own.

Me at the public sandbox

To my right are three open windows that you use a lot in SL:

1) Friends - how you see who's online and send them messages and object using their "profile" window

2) Build - how you create, modify, and program objects.

3) IM - how you communicate privately (There is also a public "chat" window where everyone in the room can "see" what you are saying. The chat window is often also used to communicate with objects you've created.)

Second Life A-Z

Posted by Lisa at 09:32 AM
July 10, 2007
Using “Animations” In Second Life to Dance The Night Away

Here's a video from my video blogging week on using Animations for dancing in second life.
I'm putting it up here for archival purposes - to link to it from my a-z index....

Lots of stuff going up today that still needs to be linked together a fair amount, so bear with me...

In today’s movie, David Meade and I “getdown” a bit, while I learn about collecting animations in to my “Inventory.”

First Ryce starts dancing, and asks me to join him, and I tell him I don’t know how to dance with him. So he sends me an animation, which I accept and then double click on in my inventory to activate.

Ryce sends me an “animation” called “getdown,” so I can dance with him.

David Meade (Ryce Broderick) does a handstand while we’re Dancing

I used cdk’s “Beat” as a soundtrack, from CC Mixter.

Please visit us at David Meade’s Second Life Pad:
Teleport Now

- http://slurl.com/secondlife/Gyeongju/106/166/73

(Note, I originally wrote this for the mefeedia blog. For completeness, since I have learned that things go away sometimes when you don't host them, I republished it here :)

Posted by Lisa at 01:04 PM
June 03, 2007
Gambling In Second Life: Nice Analysis On FindLaw

I ran across this great Findlaw article (April 11, 2007) about the legal implications of Second Life’s gambling industry — within the context of the recently passed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) that was passed in 2006.

The article raises a lot of interesting questions about Linden’s currency system, whether one is gambling with it our just using saving it in their Linden “bank account.”

The article is written by Anita Ramasastry (PDF of Her Curriculum Vitae), an Associate Professor of Law and the Director for the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology, at the University of Washington’s School of Law. It raises some interesting questions about the true relationship between Linden’s “currency” and the “real” U.S. dollars for which Linden Dollars are able be exchanged.

According to Ramasastry, at the request of Second Life, FBI agents are cruising the virtual landsapce and visiting its virtual casinos to see if the line is being crossed. And where would that line might be? Nobody’s sure right now.

The first half of the article gives a really nice two page summary with a lot of interesting information about Second Life’s currency in general, so I felt comfortable summarizing it for you.

An in-depth analysis of the legal issues surrounding the sites in-world gambling gets a lot more complicated, and that’s what the second half of the article’s about. (Notice that I only pulled a few facts from that section, and did not attempt to summarize.)

I’m still just starting to soaking this all in and make sense of it, but it did seem like there were a few conclusions that could safely be drawn at this point, along with some good food for thought, for those of you, like me, that have been trying to understand the big picture of how all these “gaming currencies” are starting to interact with and have an effect on the “real” ones.

This stuff is a bit complex and we’ll have to just all learn about it together.

So first the general currency info of interest, then the gambling specifics below:

1) Linden Dollars don’t actually count as legal currency, because they are not issued by a “real government, and are therefore only a reside in a “stored-value or token system.”

2) According to Linden’s Terms of Service agreement, in section 1.4 states that its “currency” is really only being used under a limited license agreement and “is not redeemable for monetary value from Linden Lab.”

3) The TOS also states that Linden might start charging for the use of its LInden Dollars in the future, or not, upon its sole discretion, and that the dollars are merely a “class of ‘data’ that can be deleted, altered, moved or transferred at any time. Linden Lab disclaims any value, cash or otherwise, to data residing on its servers. Thus, the currency is “licensed content,” for which a license can be revoked as easily as it is granted.” (Quote is from article, NOT Linden Labs TOS.)

4) The bottom line may be that, since the relevant statues of the law in question cover not only “currency,” but also whenever “something of value” is wagered, that wagering Lindens qualifies as, well wagering. (Since Lindens can be cashed in for US dollars, they would appear to have some “value” in the traditional sense.)

The second half of the article is a pretty technical legal analysis of the questions surrounding gambling in relation to UIGEA, but these aspects of the boring details seemed newsworthy and simple enough to include in a little summary:

1) UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) statute “forbids banks and other entities from processing payments for Internet gambling transactions. It also tasks the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve with issuing regulations to guide financial institutions in identifying and blocking such transactions. UIGEA can be enforced by both federal agencies and state governments, and violations trigger civil remedies and criminal penalties.”

2) According to Wikipedia (half way down page) there has been a recent challenge to certain aspects of UIGEA:
“In April 2007, U.S. Congressman Barney Frank introduced a bill overturn the gambling aspects of the Act, saying “The existing legislation is an inappropriate interference on the personal freedom of Americans and this interference should be undone.”

3) Professor Ramasastry’s interpretation of the statute seemed to agree that it appeard “quite broad,” and notes that the relevant criminal statute referred to by the law “sweeps in anyone who “aids, abets, counsels, commands, [or] induces” a criminal act, or “procures its commission”; and anyone who “willfully causes” an act that, if he had done it directly, would count as a federal crime. And it states that such persons are punishable as if they were the perpetrators themselves.”

4) It’s probably going to come down to whether Linden Labs can effectively block payments to its virtual casinos without interrupting the other various legal activities of its “residents.”

It’s harder than it sounds guys!

Maybe we can all help them figure it out.

Posted by Lisa at 06:07 PM
May 09, 2007
Hooked On Second Life
Friend me in SL - I'm Haley Bailey - and I'll send you a Mefeedia T-shirt you can wear in Second Life.

So I'm learning how to program and build objects and buildings in Second Life, and I can tell that I've found a new obsession for sure.

As I mentioned above, my SL name is "Haley Bailey." I extend the usual offer to "friend me."

I'm still hanging out for the most part at my friend Ryce Broderick's place. He's David Meade in meatspace -- Teleport Now - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Gyeongju/106/166/73

I met a lot of other ethnographers and researchers at CHI 2007 last week. We're all going to share data! Yippie!

I don't understand the whole "wasting time in SL" thing though, because I am definitely learning technical and cultural skills while I'm in there.

There's so much culture and social intrigue in world. And it's not necessarily a substitution for meatspace.

I'm getting more into meatspace too! There's a new vlog on the way!

But my point is that it's really the instances of the virtual world's bleeding over into meatspace that fascinate the hell out of me. Why I decided to start writing up tutorials and tours of SL. (Tour index on the way.)

Posted by Lisa at 03:06 AM
April 02, 2007
Video Blogging From Second Life

So I haven't posted any video here yet for videobloggingweek2007 because I've been focusing on the video blogging I've been doing in-world at Second Life. I'm touring a new location every day and providing direct links for teleporting directly to that location from your browser

So far I've visited Commonweath Island, an area for non-profits, and Info Island, a place for newbies to start out.

The mefeedia community has been adding a lot of Second Life video feeds from numerous hosting sites that are all located here in Mefeedia's Guide to Second Life Videos and Podcasts.

If you know of any cool places to visit in Second Life, please write and let me know at lisa@lisarein.com.

And give me your Second Life name so we can be friends! I'm "Haley Bailey."

Posted by Lisa at 04:53 PM