Sears on IBM islands

I have been meaning to write about our IBM Sears/CES 07 build this week but I have actually had a bit of trouble finding the time to take the screen shots. However 3pointd have a great write up. Millions of us also stopped by and rebang has a great post too which has a great follow up on home cnc
The build has been getting a lot of interest and so when epredator potato is standing around outside the entrance I have found it much more useful to have some conversations with the passers by, but have not made it in to take the snapzilla shots that I could adorn this post with.
Here I only managed to get as far as the door and bumped into Ultravox Freeman who was busy for us with the team at CES 07 showing all the work and getting very worn out.
My photo shoot of all the great work turned into a CES 07 remote personal appearance on a big screen instead.
I got as far as a kitchen
The whole concept is one of discovering how to help people preview goods in their environment. We have this in a sort of different way with kitchen design firms who come to your house, measure up and render some shots for you on their laptop. This does not replace that but adds to the concept.
This was also built over the christmas holidays, as a few other things you will see soon were, by an ever growing band of people.
It has been great to see such a team rally around and dive into this the past year and the future looks great too.

Open Source Second Life client announced

I was very encouraged, back in October, to hear Jim Purbrick (AKA Babbage Linden) confirm Linden’s plans to “open source Second Life as soon as possible“, starting with the client and eventually opening up the server too. I’m excited to report that the first part has finally happened, and today Phoenix Linden announced the open source Second Life client.

This is an important step. Remember the recent technical Town Hall meeting? One lovely quote from Cory:

“As we’ve talked about, the long term goals for Second Life are to make it a more open platform. Part of that process is learning how projects like libSL can be beneficial to all of Second Life. We should be thrilled that we’ve built an interesting enough set of technologies and communities that people want to tinker and explore. In the long run, this is why we’ve talked about wanting to be able to Open Source eventually. My hope is that in 2007 we’ll be able to get there.”

Yay for Open Source. This could mark the start of a very important shift in Second Life’s development, from being a closed-source proprietary platform to something more open, taking contributions from the wider community.

libSL and The Sheep

I mentioned on my personal blog recently that I’d been looking at the capabilities of libsecondlife, and thinking about the possibilities of automating certain administrative tasks without having to fire up the full Second Life client.

It seems that the guys from the Electric Sheep Company have been doing some really interesting stuff with libsecondlife. If you’ve heard the rumours about sheepy avatars (Sheep-bots) in certain sims, it appears that they are part of their experiments with the library. As Chris Carella says:

[the Electric Sheep] software team has been playing with libsecondlife for some time now. At first it was really interesting to see what libsecondlife was uncovering about the protocol. As a full-service Metaverse company understanding how these worlds work is important to us. It has always been R&D work to us. The libsl’ers have made incredible progress and one can start to see some useful applications on the horizon.

Personally, I’m intrigued by some of the possibilities, but I’ve not done anything like as clever as the Sheep. Great stuff.

(found via the We The Sheeple aggregated feed)

New Year virtual life real life crossover

I am still technically on holiday, but as you all know this stuff is so exciting that its hard to keep away. Today I received a real life parcel with a present from Judge Hocho, one of the earliest members of eightbar in Second Life.
Judge had, a while back, created an SL t-shirt for eightbar. He has now turned that into a real one. He very kindly made one for me and one for Algernon and had them shipped over from the US.
UPDATE: Judge did the shirts on cafepress and also has some for our virtual universe community with the logo by Tood Keen. Judge is keen to point out this is a not for profit, but for fun operation. As with Darren’s from a few months ago
Now the intersting thing here is that I now have 2 pieces if clothing in real life that match my main AV look. The leather jacket I converted from my real one back to a virtual one as an early experiment, and I have now become attatched to seeing it on my avatar.
The eightbar tshirt until now only existed as a virtual one. As you can see from the picture the logo is very neat, and I will be proudly wearing this, and a huge thanks and real life rating points to Judge.
Then of course I have my 3d fabjectory print statue of myself.
This affinity we get to some of the virtual assets we have make an interesting point of discussion.
It also highlight the fact that the Second Life for many of us is a very real co-existence.
Just to add to the confusion, I got rainbow six vegas for the xbox 360 for chrimbo. It was a hoot trying to explain to my dad, who was visiting, why exactly I was plugging something that looked like a camera in, and why my 38 weeks pregnant wife was trying to get a decent profile shot of me with it. Luckily the laughing and initial comedy results did not cause a dash to maternity (though any day now).
So I have ended up with less hair, and looking slightly youger if that makes sense, but I am face mapped should any one happen upon the xbox live epredator in Rainbow Six Vegas.

Christmas on the IBM 12 islands

Well done to the Boris Frampton et al for getting the christmas party going on the IBM 12 islands.
I was working at home and had a few network problems so kept rezzing in and out in my tacky tree costume.

Anyway it was a very packed event.

Look at all those green dots !

There were tutorials
A sleigh to ride (thats me as a tree having a ride)

Ice skating

Cool Christmas costumes such as Laina Fallon

There was also a whole load of dancing in the greaterIBM sim Snapzilla pictures of that got lost my network trauma.
Ever seen a tree breakdance. Well you will have to imagine now.

We had several sims maxed out and some overflow to the others so a good few hundred people around.
It was a very rewarding experience to see so many people turn up and join in.
Well done all again !

Babbage Linden on the TV

Whilst sitting up on one of the usual late night sessions that working in Second Life brings I also had my TV on. The BBC have a tech feature called Click. The program runs at all times of the day.
However, this episode and interview features Babbage Linden and Mike Butcher from The film starts with 1 min 30 secs of SL footage before going into the real life interview.
Copybot(a nice explanation of it to alay fears), land owning millionaires, self regulating content, adult content, teen grid,open sourcing and more importantly new business opportunities and business backlashes.
Babbage makes the very valid point, dont just plonk your business in there, enagage with the community, try and understand the culture(s).
So a good 10 minutes to have a look at and use to help convince people.
I am not sure I liked the sign off at the end, but ignore that ‘joke’ and this makes a very interesting piece.

I dont think it was me that ignored this resident from Time

Over at there is an article which mentions that the journalist met a Predator AV who ignored him.
I really dont think this was me 🙂 Unless I was AFK, crashed or lagging or really really busy. I dont usually hang in public space and ignore people as thats just rude.
Admittedly the article is looking at the less business like uses of Second Life, so is after a shock angle.
I think many people are learning how to communicate in this environment. I am sure that walking up to a real life predator would not solicit a positive vocal response.
So if it was, by any chance epredator potato, I apologize.

Our thoughts are with Jordan Witherspoon’s family and friends at this time

Admist all the business and fun within Second Life, once in a while real life hits you.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Dorien Van Den Elshout, who passed away at the age of 28. As Jordan Witherspoon she worked as part of the Alliance Navy. Whilst there may be much bickering over the role of the AN, we have colleagues and friends of eightbar who have lost a good friend.
There is a much more fitting obituary over at Sltimes where it would be good to gather and remember Dorien/Jordan.

What an amazing couple of days being part of the IBM 12 island launch

As many of you will have been following the IBMers in eightbar have been exploring and building in Second Life for some time. Now we have grown in numbers as people start to see the possibilties in all sorts of fields, social, entertainment,education and business.
So IBM has focused its attention on a 12 island complex. Not to be the biggest, nor the brashest. Why 12? Well we had three people investing, and each bought a large island. Having three large islands initially gave us an I, B and M. Mostly to help us look at the concepts of different areas being for different things. We make no secret that we are all still exploring the potential, and the past few weeks the build by the team has evolved. A mixture of buying, building and partnering with friends out there in SL land.
We have ended up with a magnificent space. It is becoming more public. I say becoming as we have been doing guided tours to help explain to collegues and some customers and also press about the various ideas being explored. As we move on we will open up areas for more public access, and equally have invite only areas as we build new projects.
I hope we continue to grow with the same integrity and sensitivity to the virtual eco system as we have tried to do up to now.
Part of our launch party though was held at the zerog skyflyersshow, in conjuction with the NMC.
This was an amazing way to end this opening chapter. Algernon missed it as he was speaking at the Business Communicators meeting.So before some pictures of IBM land here are some snaps from the excellent snapzilla of the flyers in action. With a commisioned piece of music and many perfomers this was the most amazing thing I have experienced so far in Second Life.
The stills do not do it justice of course. It was a vibrant and organic swirl of lights with haunting music. And the perfomers nimbly moving and flying around us.

sky dancers

There is a video by DanCoyote Antonelli on you tube that is worth seeing

So the IBM 12 Islands have had quite a few visitors. Torley Linden popped in as a Melonzilla and Algernon gave a tour. Of course a Linden draws a crowd.
torley linden

We have 3 auditoriums on the sim boundaries (to experiment with 4 lots of sims being able to hold many more people at events)

A large welcome area with a tour train to take people to the key spots.

This overview (Just find IBM on the main map) shows the 12 island layout

We have a home for greaterIBM the alumni association. An example of a social networking space and crossing enterprise boundaries to keep people in touch with their collegues in IBM.

We have the wonderful SOA hub. This lets the Service Orientated Architecture messages be explored in a virtual world. It allows customers and IBMers get to meet and talk to experts, and allows IBM to learn how to present its business messages in order to help other present theirs.

There are also some lovely pieces of artwork by IBMers in here too, such as lidia’s here. SL has brough t to the fore many creative talents across the company.

And links to other more ‘traditional?’ content

Our IBM virtual universe community had a building competition that was then voted on for a focal point for us, a clubhouse if you like. Turner Boehm won with this build.

turner vuc

Turner of course has also found a home for his visualization project (as started on Hursley). Here he takes in from the outside world the structure of an application. It then renders istelf as a 3d model to help understand the structure, and share with others. There is a lot too this and we will explain more soon.

We then also have a customer in Circuit City
This is an exploration of retail. A shop, with links to real products that can also be staffed. It pulls in lots of things from the web, store locators etc.

It also shows the potential in a virtual world of adjusting the world to meet your real world needs, and helping pick the product that best suits those needs. Thos sofa moves back and forth to show the size of TV that is recommended. For many people this became an ‘oh I get it now’ demo. When added in with the presence of others to help in the desicion. Its just one sofa and one TV, but you can see where this can go with a larger room and dealing with acoustics, visuals, wiring etc.
cc chair

We also have an educational style campus, built mostly by Yossarian. This again helps both with running events, but also in showing people the potential.

Aimee Webber also is partnering with us on a House of Horizons project (that needs its own post here very soon). The area is under construction, but still on the tour.

Each area in Second Life adds to our understanding, and helps us show more people things that are relevant to them and their ideas.

We set up tours with tour guides and the islands got quite busy as the dot followers amongst you will see.

Gathering in Circuit city

In the mall of the future

All in all the event (which has been 2 days solid) has been very rewarding. A year ago, whilst I believed in virtual worlds and thier potential I could not have dreamed we would be doing what we are now. We being everyone, not just the IBMers.

But really well done to everyone that has put so much effort and talent into making this all happen. Its not a big bang entrance, but an evolution of what we have been. I am not going to name everyone as this page will be way too long, but I hope I have been making good use of the rating system.
However, Jessica Qin has been the guiding light on the build with overall say and design authority. This has been great to see as when Algernon Spackler and I entered SL as N00bs back at the start of the year we very soon found Jessica. Her mentoring and her talent for building, and her understanding of the community became the foundation of eightbar in Second Life. Jessica is now a very good friend and it is the fact that we get to meet people and form these bonds that is still the most important part of being in Second Life.

So roll on the new industry. This year has been a turning and tipping point, I am looking forward to whats next and well done all.