Thursday, December 24, 2009

Video:Google Goggles: A visual search tool for mobile phones (Android).

A new application for Android that does visual search. You will notice that combination of tools: OCR, Image recognition, image comparison, GPS, etc.

Note: the use of stored images. Does Google also store these images?

Google Tool: Broswer Size: browsersize.googlelabs.com


A simple too that allow you to see how your site looks in different sizes.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Video: Dr. Yesha Sivan review of the Movie Avatar (Hebrew)

My appearance in Israeli TV re the movie Avatar. Wow I love this movie!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Video: Is MindFlex a Scam ("Sponge with a mind")



So I have received a lot of feedback on my previous post re MindFlex "Video: MindFlex - Controling the Real with your Brain ("look ma no hands")". Including this very interesting link to a video. It start with a user that use MindFlex, and then goes to a SPONGE that use MindFlex (see especially 2:15 and on).

So is this a scam? Does MindFlex just use the skin to close an electric circle and add some randomness to it? Personally, I dont think Mattel would go for a scam? What do you think?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Video: MindFlex - Controling the Real with your Brain ("look ma no hands")

A demo of MindFlex -- a new consumer toy by Mattel.
A $180 toy, that allow you to move a ball in a user-generated obstacle course. The mind control the speed of a fan that lifts the ball, you use your hand to turn the obstacle course, the results is amazing. Lots of fun. http://www.mindflexgames.com/.

As far as I can tell, there are 3 sensors here, more advance sensors include 6, 12, and even more sensors to allow more control.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Video: Car "Mini" Augmented Reality Classic

This is bringing Augmented reality to more and more people. A demo of an ad of the Mini car. Quality is getting better and better.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Video: The “Global” ThinkBalm Un-Lecture Event

By Erica Driver and Sam Driver.

Today ThinkBalm published a new ThinkBalm Innovation Community work product: a seven-minute video titled, “The ‘global’ un-lecture: a ThinkBalm Innovation Community event.” This video is a record of an un-lecture event held on November 6th, 2009 in the virtual world of Second Life. The un-lecture event format consists of four ten-minute presentations, demos, or tours about work-related use of immersive technologies, held in an immersive environment. The theme of the November 6th event was “global.”



This video describes presentations by:

  • Dr. Yesha Sivan. Dr. Sivan is a senior lecturer at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and founder of Metaverse Labs. Dr. Sivan shared insights into Immersive Internet adoption trends in Israel. Some of the barriers Israeli early adopters face are the same as those around the world: technology and perception. Other issues are specific to the region. Yet a handful of immersive technology efforts are under way in Israel and Metaverse Labs is hard at work on technology standards.
  • Sid Banerjee. Sid Banerjee is CEO of Indusgeeks, a virtual world development and services company based in Mumbai. Sid gave insights into adoption trends in India. A point Sid wanted to express was that India is an excellent test bed for immersive projects. He made this point: “If you can sell Immersive Internet in India you can sell it anywhere!”
  • Claus Nehmzow. Claus Nehmzow is managing director of ALCUS, in Hong Kong. Right now in Asia, the initial focus for immersive technology is on the consumer side, with a number of recreational public virtual worlds and games. Claus’s perspective is that businesses in Asia want to capitalize on the power of immersive technology but explorers are uncertain how to move forward.
  • Barbara Westmoreland. Barbara Westmoreland is founder and CEO of nTeams. nTeams provides consulting to help companies develop more cohesive, unified teams. The heart of Barbara’s presentation was a short demo of a part of nTeams Island, which her organization uses to help teams work through issues around values. At the end of the un-lecture event, Barbara and her team gave a magic carpet ride tour around the rest of the facility.

About 25 people participated in this un-lecture event. Participants joined us from all over the US and from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In one hour’s time, we learned about the potential opportunity for adoption of immersive technology in emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, as well as barriers to entry. We got a first-hand glimpse of the way immersive technology can transform how global teams work together. And we formed new or reinforced existing connections with other innovators and early adopters. If you’re interested in attending future ThinkBalm Innovation Community events, send us a request to join the community via our LinkedIn group.

© 2009 ThinkBalm. All rights reserved.

Video E3 2009 - Project Natal - Milo Demo with Peter Molyneux 720p HD

Amazing video -- collection of technologies from Microsoft (including Natal).
See more into here
Amaz

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Video: Autistic Teen Finds Inner Voice

Autistic Teen Finds Inner Voice – New video taken from 20/20 after the broadcast. This is an amazing story. It tells us how little do we know about the human brain. And -- the amazing potential of new technologies to help such people.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shidonni World: Making the Virtual Real with Plush

Israeli Firm Shidonni start to move between the virtual and the real.
According to Virtual Worlds News:

In what looks like a winning execution of marrying the online and offline worlds of play, Israel-based Shidonni, Ltd., the company behind kids virtual world Shidonni,today announced its Shidonni One-of-a-Kind line of custom plush dolls. In doing so, the company has taken its virtual world's original play experience -- which animates a user's 2D drawing, morphing it via the Shidonni software into an animated on-screen creature -- one giant step further. The new line offers users the option to have their online creatures manufactured into a look-alike plush doll.
The Shidonni One-of-a-Kinds ($79.99) are approximately 12 inches tall and can be made and delivered in approximately 7 to 14 business days. Manufacturing takes place in Israel. "The virtual world stays away from templates and ready-made items, motivating children to imagine and create their own 'branded' experience," says the company.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nov 6 8-9AM PDT: Yesha to Participate at the ThinkBalm Innovation Community (Virtual Meeting)

On November 6, 2009, the ThinkBalm Innovation Community will be holding an event called “Un-lecture no. 5: ‘Global’.” Three presenters will talk about Immersive Internet adoption trends and use cases in their region of the world: Yesha Sivan on Israel and the Middle East, Siddharth Banerjee on India and surrounds, and Claus Nehmzow on Hong Kong and region. Barbara Westmoreland will wrap things up by demo’ing part of nTeams island, which her company uses for global team-building activities.

For more info about the un-lecture event format see this ThinkBalm Innovation Community video on YouTube: The Innovation Un-Lecture.

The ThinkBalm Innovation Community is a professional community with a mission of advancing adoption of work-related use of the Immersive Internet (e.g., virtual worlds and campuses, virtual event platforms, immersive learning environments, and 3D collaboration tools). The ThinkBalm Innovation Community is run by industry analysts Erica Driver and Sam Driver of ThinkBalm. Since its launch in August of 2008, the community has evolved into a mix between a social network, collaborative laboratory, and guild. Community activities focus on work-related use cases like meetings, learning, conferences, business activity rehearsal, prototyping, data visualization, system and facility management, and human resources management. The community has held dozens of immersive and in-person events including brainstorming sessions, role-playing sessions, “un-lectures” (four presentations, tours, or demos in an hour), tours, meet-and-greets, and professional networking events.




How to RSVP: Reply to the LinkedIn group:http://tinyurl.com/yj2p2f8 . Please make sure "Follow this discussion" is checked off so you get the logistics details once we've finalized them, and you receive an event reminder via email.

* Who: Immersive Internet advocates, implementers, explorers, and tech marketers

* What: Three presenters will talk about Immersive Internet adoption trends and use cases in their region of the world: Yesha Sivan on Israel and the Middle East, Siddharth Banerjee on India, and Claus Nehmzow on Hong Kong. Then, Barbara Westmoreland will wrap things up by demo’ing part of the nTeams island her company uses to facilitate global team-building efforts. For more info about the un-lecture event format see this ThinkBalm Innovation Community video on YouTube: The Innovation Un-Lecture, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PiuJPmSQ_M .

* Where and how: Second Life, details TBD. We’ll use in-world voice.

* When: Friday, Nov. 6th from 8-9AM PDT (which is the same as Second Life time). Here is a link to link to the Time Zone Converter:http://www.timezoneconverter.com/cgi-bin/tzc.tzc .

* Why: Share and gain insights into what’s happening with work-related adoption of immersive technologies around the globe. Learn what other members of the ThinkBalm Innovation Community are working on. Spend time with other members.

Please email or call with any questions.

Erica Driver, Principal
ThinkBalm
www.thinkbalm.com
ph: +1(401)592-0170
email: erica -- at -- thinkbalm.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/EricaDriver

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VIDEO: Piano Stairs - TheFunTheory.com

Can we turn the real into the virtual. Here is one cool example. + it has the benefit of making people healthier.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wolframalpha: The Anti Twitter Internet

Please don't get me wrong -- I love twitter. I use it to share ideas, ask questions, etc.
but Twitter has a down side : people think and act in micro mind-bites.

But the internet is much bigger and better. One of the most interesting examples,
which I hope will continue to develop is Wolfarmalpha.

It is a search engine for numbers. Difficult to explain... better look at the movie...

Here's what they say:

Making the World's Knowledge Computable

Today's Wolfram|Alpha is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. Enter your question or calculation and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and a growing collection of data to compute the answer. Based on a new kind of knowledge-based computing.




Friday, October 23, 2009

Nov, 2009 Journal of Virtual Worlds JVWR Special Issue:Technology, Economy, and Standards

We are happy to announce the October, 2009 publication of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research (http://www.jvwresearch.org). The issue focuses on “Technology, Economy and Standards.”

This issue was designed to give voice to leading theoretical and practical players working in the realm of standards for virtual worlds. The issue editors specifically chose to emphasize the disciplines of economy and technology as critical harbingers to the endeavor of standards. The co-editors Yesha Sivan (From Metaverse Labs), Robert Bloomfield (from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University) and Jean H.A. Gelissen (from Philips Research), looked to explicate some of the deeper corners of the field.

The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is published by the Virtual Worlds Research Consortium, and is funded, in part, by the Singapore Internet Research Center and the Department of Radio, TV & Film, University of Texas at Austin.

The papers in this issue look at the state of standards via four points of view: Technology, Economy, Standards, and Use Cases.

Key papers include:

· An overview on the state of standards” that sets the scene, define virtual worlds and standards as well as the potential link between them.

· Philip Rosedale reflects in his short paper “Virtual Worlds, Collaboratively Built” on the process and intention of past, current and future Second Life.

· Jon Watte presents his perspective to the development of virtual worlds: “Let Use Cases Drive Design.” His main claim: “serious” virtual worlds will be the initial market that drives true virtual world interoperability because of its particular needs.

· Kai Jakobs cover in depth, in his seminal paper “Real Standards for Virtual Worlds - Why and How?” the necessary background to those who would like to pro-actively participate in the setting of standards for Information and Communication Technologies.

· Ludvaig Lindman (Real-Avatar®), one of the most creative content makers in Second Life, describes his “Virtual World Experiences” as a business person in virtual worlds.

· Anna Salmasi and Lee Gillam, in their paper “EthiCasino: Machine Ethics for Gambling in the Metaverse” discuss the combined legal and ethical issues of gambling online and in virtual worlds, and discuss the construction and evaluation of a system with computational oversight: an ethical advisor.

· ArminasX Saiman (Real-Avatar®), a leading business owner in Second Life, shares with us his reflection on “Barriers to Efficient Virtual Business Transactions.” The author has owned and operated such a virtual business for over two years, beginning from sales of a single virtual product on a web-based sales service in 2006, growing to a large in-world operation selling over 200 unique products today.

· Jean H. A. Gelissen, a co-editor of this issue, presents a short review of “MPEG-V.” MPEG-V (Media Context and Control), ISO/IEC 23005 is a new effort under ISO in the MPEG Working Group, the exact label is ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11. MPEG is a deadline driven process (final deadline for MPEG-V is Oct, 2010 for publication of the ISO International Standard, IS).

· Robert Bloomfield, a co-editor of this issue, sketches the features required of a platform, “World of Bizcraft,” that supports virtual worlds dedicated to research and education on business-related topics. His discussion leads to some advance features that could really benefit real virtual business and not just “research and education.”

· Lastly, in a sharp and valuable critique, D. Linda Garcia and Garrison LeMasters, in their paper “Synthetic Excellence: Standards, Play, and Unintended Outcomes” provide us with some critical view about standardization of virtual worlds, with a special focus on MPEG-V. Their main point: “This [MPEG-V] is an alarming trend, which could give rise to a number of unfortunate and unforeseen consequences.”

[PR / blog posts can stop here, the next is for more info if needed]

The complete list of papers includes:

The Technology point of view demonstrates specific examples to places where standards are needed:

· Philip Rosedale reflects in his short paper “Virtual Worlds, Collaboratively Built” on the process and intention of past, current and future Second Life.

· Alex Juarez, Christoph Bartneck, and Lou Feijs, discuss “Standards for Interaction Between Robots and Virtual Worlds.” They propose: creating a standard platform that enable the seamless interaction between these heterogeneous, distributed devices and systems.

· Sigurd Van Broeck, Mark Van den Broeck and Zhe Lou, discuss “Content Level Gateway for Virtual Worlds.” They propose a solution to guard virtual worlds from counterproductive content in the form of 3D models, avatars, textures, animations, or any other type of content commonly used by virtual worlds.

· Samuel Cruz-Lara, Nadia Bellalem, Lotfi Bellalem and Tarik Osswald, discuss in their paper “Immersive 3D Environments and Multilinguality” some Non-Intrusive and Dynamic e-learning-oriented Scenarios based on Textual Information. Their paper includes a review of some of the leading standards for localization.

· Jordi Janer, Nathaniel Finney, Gerard Roma, Stefan Kersten, and Xavier Serra discuss “Soundscape” aiming to framework under for the automatic sonification of virtual worlds.

· Jon Watte presents his perspective to the development of virtual worlds: “Let Use Cases Drive Design.” His main claim: “serious” virtual worlds will be the initial market that drives true virtual world interoperability because of its particular needs.

The Economic point of view demonstrates diverse angles to virtual worlds:

· Tuukka Lehtiniemi, discusses “Measuring Aggregate Production” of virtual worlds. He proposes the concept of GUP (Gross User Product), with concrete data from EVE Online extensive log data collected by the operator.

· Evan W. Osborne and Shu Z. Schiller, discuss “Order and Creativity” in virtual worlds. Guided by the economic modeling of order and creativity, they discuss two types of behavior, constructive and destructive, to provide some guidelines for establishing limitations on the freedom of action of virtual-economy participants.

· Markus Falk, Daniel M Besemann, and James Bosson discuss “Payback of Mining Activities” focusing on the payback of mining activities within the virtual world Entropia.

· Ray op'tLand discusses “World of Warcraft, AOL, and the Disneyization of a Niche Market.” The main trust is to look at virtual worlds (such as WOW), using the process of Disneyization, as proposed by Bryman (2004), occurs within four dimensions: theming, hybrid consumption, merchandising, and performativity.

The Standards point of view focuses on specific aspects of standards in general and in virtual worlds:

· Kai Jakobs cover in depth, in his seminal paper “Real Standards for Virtual Worlds - Why and How?” the necessary background to those who would like to pro-actively participate in the setting of standards for Information and Communication Technologies.

· Marco Otte and Johan Hoorn, in their paper “Prevention of False Hope and Undue Fear” propose standards to measure people’s hopes and fears during online transactions and connect this to a decision support system that estimates the probability that the user’s expectations are right. They use theory development through the reconciliation of technology acceptance, hope formation literature, risk perception and problem solving.

· Melissa de Zwart, in her paper “Piracy vs. Control: Models of Virtual World Governance and Their Impact on Player and User Experience,” claim that current models of governance of virtual worlds evolved from the Terms of Service developed by the virtual world content creators based upon intellectual property license models. Increasingly, however, virtual world providers now seek to accommodate both the needs and interests of owners and users in order to respond to the evolving needs of the virtual world.

· Blagica Jovanova, Marius Preda, and Françoise Preteux discuss “The Role of Interoperability in Virtual Worlds, via the Analysis of the Specific Cases of Avatars.” They provide a detailed survey of research for avatar appearance modeling, deformation control, and animation.

· In a related work, Gustav Verhulsdonck and Jacquelyn Morie, discuss in their short paper “Virtual Chironomia” the need for Non-verbal Communication Standards in Virtual Worlds.

· Jean H. A. Gelissen, a co-editor of this issue, presents a short review of “MPEG-V.” MPEG-V (Media Context and Control), ISO/IEC 23005 is a new effort under ISO in the MPEG Working Group, the exact label is ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11. MPEG is a deadline driven process (final deadline for MPEG-V is Oct, 2010 for publication of the ISO International Standard, IS).

· Lastly, in a sharp and valuable critique, D. Linda Garcia and Garrison LeMasters, in their paper “Synthetic Excellence: Standards, Play, and Unintended Outcomes” provide us with some critical view about standardization of virtual worlds, with a special focus on MPEG-V. Their main point: “This [MPEG-V] is an alarming trend, which could give rise to a number of unfortunate and unforeseen consequences.”

The Use Case point of view demonstrates specific cases where standards are needed.

· Will Farr, Piet Hut, Jeff Ames, and Adam Johnson describe their “Experiment in Scientific Visualization of Self-Gravitating Systems.” They push to identity what should be defined as parameters of virtual worlds (e.g., Gravity), as well as what does it mean to “store” an experiment in virtual worlds.

· Alice Krueger, Ann Ludwig, and David Ludwig, in their short paper “Universal Design: Including Everyone in Virtual World Design” challenge us to think about accessibility design within virtual worlds. Clearly, this is a place where standards could make a real difference.

· Ludvaig Lindman (Real-Avatar®), one of the most creative content makers in Second Life, describes his “Virtual World Experiences” as a business person in virtual worlds.

· Anna Salmasi and Lee Gillam, in their paper “EthiCasino: Machine Ethics for Gambling in the Metaverse” discuss the combined legal and ethical issues of gambling online and in virtual worlds, and discuss the construction and evaluation of a system with computational oversight: an ethical advisor.

· ArminasX Saiman (Real-Avatar®), a leading business owner in Second Life, shares with us his reflection on “Barriers to Efficient Virtual Business Transactions.” The author has owned and operated such a virtual business for over two years, beginning from sales of a single virtual product on a web-based sales service in 2006, growing to a large in-world operation selling over 200 unique products today.

· Robert Bloomfield, a co-editor of this issue, sketches the features required of a platform, “World of Bizcraft,” that supports virtual worlds dedicated to research and education on business-related topics. His discussion leads to some advance features that could really benefit real virtual business and not just “research and education.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

VIDEO: ACME - Augmented Collaboration in Mixed Environments

While we have seen many of these technologies elsewhere, this is one COOOOL example of them all.. Good work.

Augmented Collaboration in Mixed Environments (ACME) is a mixed reality teleconferencing application based on Second Life (SL) and the OpenSim virtual worlds. Augmented Reality techniques are used for displaying virtual avatars of remote meeting participants in real physical spaces, while Augmented Virtuality, in form of video based gesture detection, enables capturing of human expressions to control avatars and to manipulate virtual objects in virtual worlds.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Talk: World Usability Day: HTML 5.0 and Sustainable Web Developer

When: Nov 12, 2009. 8:00-17:00 (My talk at 11:30)
Where: Open University, Raanana
What: My talk about HTML for sustainable web development.

As part of the 2009 Israeli World Usability Day I will give a short talk about the value of HTML for sustainable web development. This means issues like:
- Design for change.
- Simple, Simple, Simple.
- Design for multiple platforms.
- Design for multiple langauges.
- Focus on content and not design.

I the talk I will cover the basic directions of HTML 5.0 and how it is supposed to solve some of these challenges.

Monday, October 19, 2009

3D paris on your mobile by mobile3dcity

I wish I was in Paris to try this one...



Here it is ! The Mobile 3D City application : Paris 3D has been submitted yesterday as an Apple iPhone application !

After almost twenty man-years of R&D over a four year period, here it is, the first embodiment in a collection that will rapidly expand as each newopus is added.
What is Mobile 3D City ? It is a collection of tourism guides developed specifically for mobile terminals (currently iPhone), in truly photo-realist 3D format, which is interactive and includes numerous points of interest. For a demonstration, please watch the video below. It’s spectacular and yet remains both intuitive and practical.

See http://www.mobile3dcity.com/

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Philip Rosedale, Founder of Second Life, to Start to a New compnay!

Major News, Philip Linden, the founder of Second Life is moving to a new firm he will found.
Philip discuss this in some length in his post here.

The gist of it:
I'm starting a new company, and wanted to let you know. It's a big idea - something that actually depends on Second Life existing to get started...

I will still be chairman, as I have been since leaving the job as CEO. The change is that I'm not going to be working full-time at Linden Lab anymore...
I have met Philip few times, and he is also the author of an intro to a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research on Technology, Economy, and Standards. He is -- in my mind -- the father of modern 3d3d virtual worlds.

I must also admit that the CEO (mark) appearance with Phillip in most occasions was "interesting" at best. It seems that they are holding a different views on the roles of CEO and Chairperson.

The future of Second Life depends on the CEO and his team, and the board and their ability to direct the firm in the right direction. I'm hopeful.

Read more about it here

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oct 2: Welcome World Smile Day

Welcome World Smile Day -- today. From Web site:

As is Harvey Ballwell known by now throughout the world Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of good will and good cheer on the planet.

As the years passed Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol, and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace. Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world. The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion. Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we. He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®. Ever since that first World Smile Day® held in 1999, it has continued every year in Smiley's hometown of Worcester, MA and around the world.

After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory. The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day® each year.

This website was created to provide information about World Smile Day®, Harvey Ball and Smiley. Browse the archives to learn more about past World Smile Day® events, Smiley and his creator - Harvey Ball. And be sure to join the celebration this year on Friday, October 2, and "Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile"!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Talk: Advance Moodle Workshop 13-Oct-2009 (Hebrew)

As part of the yearly MEITAL conference I will give a short workshop
on using Moodle in the academia.





This will be a summary of my own use in the last 3 years showing practical tips for using Moodle for undergraduate, and graduate students (MBA).

The workshop will be a combination of theory: looking at the students today, and practice: how Moodle can help.

Where: Shenkar College
When: Oct 13, 13:00-16:00

Update: It seems that registration is closed (too many people).
but you can try again.




MEITAL 2009: "The Open Knowledge World"
The 7th Annual MEITAL National Conference

The MEITAL 2009 conference, in memory of the late Prof. Nechemia Levzion, will take place this year at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009. The conference will focus on the achievements and challenges in e-learning in higher education and on future development avenues The conference is a multi-participant, national gathering that is held once a year at one of the academic institutions that are members of MEITAL.

The conference comprises a unique experience for a formal and informal professional meeting of all those involved in e-learning and e-teaching in higher education. It will include lectures dealing with the integration of e-learning in academic teaching in Israel, an exhibition of posters and presentations, round tables covering various areas of interest and specialization. Workshops will be held the day before the conference. The conference will provide diverse opportunities for social and professional encounters in a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. Members of the academic staff and others interested in e-learning in higher education institutions in Israel are invited to participate.

The conference's Program Committee is headed by Prof. Emanuel GruengardProf. Gruengard is a professor at the Software Engineering Department of Shenkar College, and the director of Shenkar College's distance learning unit.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy New Year - 2009/10

Shana Tova (Happy New Year in Hebrew)... a year of community, creation and commerce,
in the real 3D and in the virtual 3D. Make sure to stop, and have fun; deflect tension and drama, and simply enjpy the red sun-set.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Motorola CLIQ / Motorola DEXT / Blur

A new phone by an old firm. I must say it looks good on paper (on video more like it). Please pay attention to
- Use of Google Android.
- Idea of Motorola Blur (connecting all your data sources social work etc).
- Auto Back up of all data.
- Cant they find one name for a global product. (I hear 3 brands here: Dex, Cliq, and Blue.... please pay some MBA to pick one).

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nokia 3D phone

from Itmobile:

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) apparently showed off a new 3D stereoscopic
display at Nokia World 2009 that it doesn’t require any special 3D glasses! The
new tech can display simple 3D perspectives on a handheld-sized device, paving
they way for truly 3D mobile phones in the future.

Nokia outfitted a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet with their special 3D display, giving the naked eye the perception of depth in the field. TheD screen 3 requires special software, developed by Nokia, to make ordinary pictures and movies come to life.
Unfortunately, the Finns are staying tight-lipped on which third-party display
maker is responsible for the 3D display. Still, they did tell Pocket-lint that
Nokia has been researching 3D display for “several years.” Let’s hope we’ll be seeing Nokia’s next 3D smartphone hitting stores before another “several years.”

See more general info Nokia World 2009

Monday, September 07, 2009

Podcast with Yesha Re the ISOC (Hebrew)

Here's a 30 min podcast with me about the OPEN program.
Where the Israeli Internet Society funds the kick start of the open source projects.

http://www.reversim.com/2009/09/35-open.html

Please argue with me about OPEN source -- what it is? I need to fully understand this.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Video:I'm Too Busy To Date Your Avatar!


Ok... following my previous post re dating your avatar I just AMAZING video. There are so many cool things ... but mostly for people who really know about SL. Anyhow it is fun.

Sep 9: The future of the web and its standards: Welcome HTML 5 (HEBREW)

As part of me heading the W3C office in Israel, I will give a short talk about the future of the web and its standards. Now the presentation is almost done, I can give you a hint: HTML 5.

All the details are here

3D3C virtual worlds: A definition and IT perspective. Live PDF version

This version of the 3D3C is condensed and aims at IT managers. Entire paper is here in view mode.

Video: Surrogates Trailer -- Why we need Virtual Worlds Standards


As usual fiction gives us motivation. A Bruce Willis movie.

"...you can leave your life without limitation, become anything you want to be, from the comfort and safety of your home, you can finally leave the life you have always dreamed off..." but then things get wrong...

Wow we need good standards to help us.

Based on the graphic novel The Surrogate follows Bruce Willis as he investigates a series of strange events in a world where human contact is made only through surrogate robots

Friday, September 04, 2009

Sep 22: A New Medium Leads to New Business Models (ISEMI meeting; Hebrew)


I will be giving a talk for the entrepreneurship in virtual worlds.

3D3C Virtual Worlds:
A New Medium Leads to New Business Models

Virtual Worlds are described as a three-dimensional worlds in which human characters spend their time, play, work and live. A definition for the virtual world is proposed – 3D3C: 3D for the three dimensions of this interactive world and 3C for Community in which people connect with one another, Creation that allows people to express themselves and Commerce that links real monetary value to actions in this world. Current business models as seen today in Second Life, the first sample virtual world, are described. The virtual world is then mapped into the conventional course of technology development (invention, realization, excitement and aversion, maturity and transparency), leading to the conclusion that a new medium is born.

Location: Mofet Center, Tel Aviv.
Time: 17:30-21:30 Including meeting time.
Cost: 280-180 + VAT pending your status with ISEMI

Registration & details are in here.




Monday, August 31, 2009

Best Virtual Worlds Movie to date... AMAZING... demo of LLMEDIA


This is the best movie I have seen to date of virtual worlds. Not only fun to watch... but also demonstratea high-end technology (really something that was possible long ago but only now practical). Imagine meaning for collaboration, teaching, demos, sales etc.

Ability to see all the content in world... wow...

From you tube description:
Logging into Second Life, within Second Life, using the LLmedia VNC plug-in!

Video produced to go with the interview at http://www.rezmagazine.co.uk/2009/08/...

Filmed on location in "Kernow" my home island in Second Life, visitors welcome :)
http://slurl.com/secondlife/kernow/19...

Music: Glittering Cloud, by Imogen Heap

Friday, August 28, 2009

Video: The Guild - Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?

A bit on the fun side. For those in virtual worlds... only...

Friday, August 21, 2009

SLCC2009 T Linden and the viewer (design concept)

Coming back from SLCC2009, this was the highlight -- at least for me. It is T linden (Tom). It is a view of the new second life viewer.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

3D3C Identity: A Key Force in Theory, Practice, and Infrastructure as part of the Global SLACTION conference Sep 24,25


As part of the SLACTONS 2009 global conference (Sept 24,25) I will give a short intro talk about the issue of identity. This is an intro review to the issue which will be given in-world in Second Life.

Look at the program page

World Times:
California 25th -- 11:00
Texas 25th -- 13:00
São Paulo/ Rio Grande do Sul 25th -- 15:00
Portugal/UK 25th -- 19:00
Finland/ Israel 25th -- 21:00
Hong Kong 25th-26th -- 02:00

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Video: ThinkAnApp - Augmented Reality (tattoo)

The same Augmented Reality technology. This time for Tattoos. Cool

Update: SLCC2009 (Aug 13-16): Standards, You, and Your Business Options. Now also with Infinity Linden (SUN 11:00)

What: As part of the Second Life Community Conference, a workshop.
When: August 13-16, 2009. Time: Sunday 11:00am (California East)
Where: San Francisco, CA
Site: http://www.slconvention.org/

In the coming (Aug 13-16) San Fransisco Second Life Community Conference (SLCC) I will host two complementing sessions re standards and Second Life.

The sessions will be part of the Business Track.

Part 1: Will be formal reviews from different perspective.
Part 2: Will be open panel with audience participation.

The presenters will be:

James Neal [representing the "makers" of standards]

James is an open source advocate and head of R&D at Pleiades Consulting. Active in the Second Life open source community since 2006, he is President and co-founder of the Open Metaverse Foundation, a non profit organization founded to support the development open technologies that advance virtual worlds and the Metaverse.

James' talk will focus on the development of virtual world standards. Interest in virtual worlds has grown significantly in the past several years, and with that interest comes a push for standards. The problem of developing standards for virtual worlds will be broken down into its components and examined to offer a better understanding of the problem space.


Jeremiah Spence [representing the "users" of standards]

Jeremiah Spence is the founder and editor of the peer-reviewed, online, academic publication: Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, and has given presentations related to virtual worlds research at universities and conferences in Brazil, Europe, the United States and Canada. Jeremiah is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in the United States in the area of Communications and Sociology of Technology with specific research activities on the themes of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the digital divide, and virtual worlds research. Jeremiah has a Master of Arts in International Communications Theory and Technology Policy, and has been a visiting researcher at the University of São Paulo's School of the Future and the Institute of Information Science at the Federal University of Bahia, both in Brazil. Additionally, he has been invited to speak at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Unisinos, the Eduverse Foundation (Netherlands), and the University of Bonn (Germany). Jeremiah has been a leader in developing new methodologies for the study of social stratification and community mapping. Jeremiah is fluent in both Portuguese and Spanish.

Jeremiah will focus on what standards mean for end users, consumers, small business owners and the like. Why they should care, and how they can participate.

Meadhbh Hamrick (aka Infinity Linden) [representing the "gods" of standards] in the Panel

Ms. Hamrick is a 20+ year veteran of the software industry. Her
background ranges from developing security software on mobile handsets
to managing large middleware development efforts. At Linden Research
she is responsible for (among other things) communicating Linden's
technical vision of an "open" virtual world. As part of this effort,
she is responsible for shepherding the Open Grid Protocol (OGP)
documents through the standards process at the IETF.

The Open Grid Protocol (OGP) is the current name for a collection of
internet protocols for enabling virtual social spaces on the internet.
A tool for collaboration, the OGP suite of protocols provides the
"thread" to stitch together services from different organizations into
a cohesive "virtual world experience." Contributors to this effort
include Linden Research, IBM, Intel and an array of individual
contributors (many from the OpenSimulator effort.)



Yesha Sivan [Representing "advocates" for standards]

Dr. Yesha Sivan is a senior lecturer at the Department of Software Engineering. Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. He is also the founder of Metaverse Labs (MVL) - a leading think tank focusing on linking virtual and real worlds. Dr. Sivan is a pioneer and leader of technologies for knowledge infrastructures. His professional experience in the development of innovative workplaces for corporate, hi-tech, government, military and defense environments.

Yesha will talk about the grand scheme of standards. Linking the work of MPEG-V (ISO), W3C, and IETF (MMOX, OGPX, etc).
Shorter version( if you need a shorter version of this post.)

Standards, You, and Your Business - For the economy of Second Life to prosper we must have standards. But what standards? in what field? Is it too early for standard?
We will hear from three sides: James Neal [representing the "makers" of standards], Jeremiah Spence [representing the "users" 0f standards], and Yesha Sivan [Representing "advocates" for standards]. We will cover issues like MPEG-V (ISO), W3C, and IETF (MMOX, OGPX, etc). In the discussion section we will open the floor for Q&A and enjoy the presence of Infinity Linden [representing "Gods"].

Friday, August 07, 2009

WebGL Update: Progress and Release Date

According to virtual worlds news
The Khronos Group yesterday provided an update on development taking place with its recently announced WebGL technology, an open, royalty-free standard for built-in accelerated 3D graphics inside Web browsers.

According to Khronos (the industry consortium behind the new technology), the WebGL Working Group now includes AMD, Ericsson, Google, Mozilla, NVIDIA and Opera. Remaining noticeably absent is Internet Explorer maker Microsoft, Safari's Apple, and Intel.

Yesterday's news included a target release date of sometime in the first half of 2010 as well as some definitive statements of support from key players in the working group.

"We think 3D is the next step for Firefox [and] look forward to a new class of 3D-enriched Web applications ...and for creative synergy between OpenGL developers and Web developers," Arun Ranganathan of Mozilla said.

This is important because The Khronos Group has a history of solid technical standards that are successful in the market.

Monday, August 03, 2009

New Issue: Journal of Virtual Worlds Research on Health and Healthcare

The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research has just published its latest issue at http://jvwresearch.org. We invite you to explore the latest in research on 3D Virtual Worlds for Health and Healthcare.

Journal of Virtual Worlds Research
Vol. 2, No. 2 - 3D Virtual Worlds for Health and Healthcare

Editor's Corner

Musings on the State of '3-D Virtual Worlds for Health and Healthcare' in 2009
Maria Toro-Troconis, Maged N. Kamel Boulos


Invited Articles

Virtual Worlds in Health Care Higher Education
Constance M Johnson, Allison A Vorderstrasse, Ryan Shaw


Peer Reviewed Research Papers

The Growth and Direction of Healthcare Support Groups in Virtual Worlds
John Robert Norris

Development of a Virtual Reality Coping Skills Game to Prevent Post-Hospitalization Smoking Relapse in Tobacco Dependent Cancer Patients
Paul Krebs, Jack Burkhalter, Shireen Lewis, Tinesha Hendrickson, Ophelia Chiu, Paul Fearn, Wendy Perchick, Jamie Ostroff

Does this Avatar Make Me Look Fat? Obesity and Interviewing in Second Life
Elizabeth Dean, Sarah Cook, Michael Keating, Joe Murphy


Research Papers

Development and Evaluation of Health and Wellness Exhibits at the Jefferson Occupational Therapy Education Center in Second Life
Susan Toth-Cohen, Therese Gallagher


Research-in-Brief Papers

Development of Virtual Patient Simulations for Medical Education
Douglas R Danforth, Mike Procter, Richard Chen, Mary Johnson, Robert Heller


"Think Pieces"

Virtual Worlds, Collective Responses and Responsibilities in Health
Rashid M Kashani, Anne Roberts, Ray Jones, Maged N. Kamel Boulos

Pitfalls in 3-D Virtual Worlds Health Project Evaluations: The Trap of Drug-trial-style Media Comparative Studies
Maged N. Kamel Boulos, Inocencio Maramba

Towards a virtual doctor-patient relationship: Understanding virtual patients.
Vanessa Gamboa González


Editor-in-Chief's Corner

Cultural Identity in Virtual Reality (VR): A Case Study of a Muslim Woman with hijab in Second Life(SL)
Methal Mohammed

Shaping the ‘Public Sphere’ in Second Life: Architectures of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election
Annabel Jane Wharton

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Microsoft Kodu: A 3D3C Virtual World Sample


CES 2009: Kodu Demo

[you will need Silverlight, Microsoft flash-like addon]
This video demonstrate how a user can create a 3D game for the XBOX that include social interaction. So we have 3D (of course), Community (various players), Creation (look at how she is programming the 3D objects, and Commerce (the young developer that has created the game can sell it in the XBOX market).

Here's what Microsoft has to say about "Kodu":

The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously.

The Kodu language is designed specifically for game development and provides specialized primitives derived from gaming scenarios. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behavior. While not as general-purpose as classical programming languages, Kodu can express advanced game design concepts in a simple, direct, and intuitive manner.

Kodu provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games.

For more info see Kodu web site.

For more of Microsoft related technologies:
see the "wave" site: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/wave/home.aspx

* Microsoft 2019 video
* Microsoft Tag
* Photosynth
* Project Natal
* Worldwide Telescope
* Surface
* Deepzoom

Thanks to Maged Kamel Boulos for the link.

Monday, July 27, 2009

SLCC09 -- Discount 15.00% (Aug 13-16) and my talks about standards and "using the virtual to teach the real"

SLCC 2009 is going to be FUN. This is the major Second Life conference where you meet users, business owners, avatars, real people. If you want to get the pace of Second Life -- be there.
I will host two sessions:


If you need a discount please use my speakers 15% form:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

SLCC2009: Using the Virtual to Teach the Real: Lessons from teaching MBA, Design, and Engineering Students (Workshop)

What: As part of the Second Life Community Conference, a workshop.
When: August 13-16, 2009. Time: TBD
Where: San Francisco, CA
Site: http://www.slconvention.org/

Teaser Graphics:


Here's the latest post:

Dr. Yesha Y. Sivan will be presenting a three hour workshop, titled “Using the Virtual to Teach the Real: Lessons from Teaching MBA, Design and Engineering Students” at the 2009 Second Life Community Convention. This workshop will focus on lessons learned from running 10 university level courses that used the virtual world to teach real life skills. This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Getting to know a new medium (3D3C virtual worlds)
  • Living the full cycle of creation
  • Idea generating, market research, planning, sub contracting, pricing, selling, servicing and more
  • The technical tasks: picture, car, shirt, ball
  • The project tasks: plan, final submission, core technology
  • How to work in a new system where there is no way to learn it all.
  • Grading methods and Testing
  • Final project ideas (we will cover 20 different ideas and reflect upon them)
  • Concrete technical tips for making groups, funding student work (when to give funds), client setup
  • Overall value perceived and actual value for students

Dr. Yesha Sivan is a senior lecturer at the Department of Software Engineering. Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. He is also the founder of Metaverse Labs (MVL) - a leading think tank focusing on linking virtual and real worlds. Dr. Sivan is a pioneer and leader of technologies for knowledge infrastructures. His professional experience in the development of innovative workplaces for corporate, hi-tech, government, military and defense environments.

For those interested in integrating Second Life into your course curriculum, this workshop will best suit you.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

HTC Hero - First Look what Hiro will use...

OK... a demo of the HTC "iphone" killer (Android based). Looks very impressive. Imagine this as the tool that Hiro Protagonist, Snow Crash's hero would use. Add GPS, camara, fast CPU and some open AR software... and a small stem for man a giant step for virtual worlds. Now I did not test it, but I promise to do it soon.

The text says:
HTC Hero embodies HTC Sense - a holistic experience based on putting people at the center. It is the worlds first Android-based phone with complete HTC customizations.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2D Broswsing inside 3D world - Sirikata

Many people talk about merging regular 2D browsing inside 3D words.
One project that is actually doing it is Sirikata.

My take: it is possible.
One question: does all the other avatars in the same room
see the same browser?

More info: MaxPing
It looks simple at the start of the video, but the progress is really nice.



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

05-JUL: IVWF Meeting: The Legal Side of Virtual Worlds (Hebrew)

In the Jul meeting of the Israeli Virtual Worlds Forum we will cover some of the legal issues that stem from virtual worlds. We will have two speakers Yuval Karniel, and Dan Or-Hof -- two of the leading legal minds in the field in Israel.

See FaceBook Page.
See IVWF site.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Max the Virtual Guide Dog: Special post for the Helen Keller Day Saturday, June 27th

"Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained though self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." Helen Keller (1880-1968)

One of my favorite hobbies in Second Life is the Metanomics Show. I love the topics and the issues. What I love even more, are the people that come to the show -- and what they represent. Prof. Robert Bloomfield called this, I think, constructive cacophony (see video about the show and cacophony) -- as the interactions within and between the people generates lots of value.

In one of the meetings, I noticed a nice white dressed woman holding... a dog. As I got closer I was able the read the sign. Apparently the woman who was "wearing" the dog ... is partially sighted (I guess this is the correct term for legally blind) and she is using the Max (the dog) to help her.

I spoke with the woman (SL: Louise Later) and she explained (and I quote from memory): the technology behind Max is based on scanner that is located in the dog. The scanner looks around for objects, and people, and gives information about them to the user. You will also note the blue chair. It helps the blind person sit without needed to point and "sit" on the object. (See all the details here regarding Max and its home.)



A recent ireport (from CNN) states: (With many more details).
Louise, who is partially sighted in real life, arrived with a guide dog (called Max), I had not been aware that guide dogs existed in SL. Jolie, who is completely blind in real life, had a stick with her. There are three things in SL, the guide dog, the stick and a ring, which can assist sight impaired people. Louise explained to me that the dog (and it’s a similar system with the stick and the ring) ‘is assistive technology developed by our team’ she added ‘virtual helping hands.’ Saxet said ‘the power is Max Voice Plus, that reads the SL interface to the person who is blind or visually impaired.’ Indeed they are unveiling a new ‘Max’ at the event, the dog is the creation of Nogad Ay and Charles Mountain, and it is a brilliant idea!
Give them your support, and go and have a great time too, at the Helen Keller Day Event on the 27 June. Many thanks to Cat, Saxet, Willow, Louise, Jolie, and Polgara for this interview and the very best of luck for the future.


Standards should come into place. Here's a simple example. Every object should have an textual alt text field and a language code. A creator of an object can choose to state alternative text that describe the object in as many languages as they wish. While many will not fill this field, some will, there may be even a team of people who would want to do it. The result: blind friendly objects as well as textual content search on them and more.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Video: Israel @61 - June, 2009 (SL Israel)

In honor of Israel’s 61st birthday Second Life Israel will be opening an exhibit titled ‘The Israeli entrepreneurial Spirit’ showcasing some of Israel’s finest innovations in a variety of fields. The exhibit’s opening will feature technology expert and Metaverse Labs Founder Dr. Yesha Sivan as its guest of honor.

Music by (source) Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson (born March 18, 1986 in Stockholm, Sweden), better known by her Lykke Li, is a singer.

She was raised by artistic parents (her mother was a photographer, her father is a musician); she lived in Portugal for five years and spent winters in Nepal and India. At one point, she worked as a on Swedish TV.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Reflecting on a New Report on the Twittersphre

One of my colleagues have send me the "State of the Twittersphere June 2009" report.
The report from HubSpot is a short 8 page, number-packed, report on Twitter.

Key findings about users:
- 25% have bio (75% do not!)
- 31% have location (70% not!) (and location is just a text field)
- 20% have home page (80% not)

- 45% have tweeted at least once (55% never tweeted).
- 47% have at least one follower (53% have zero followers).
- 45% are following at least one account (55% are not following any one).

The numbers are based on a 4.5 million data base that HubSpot keeps from their twitter.grader.com service. (This is a nice tool that tells you how "good" you are in twitter).

Here's my grade:
One should note that these numbers stem from people who went and signed up (an easy singup) with Grader. These people are more technical and savvy than your common person. Meaning: actual number of Twitter users are much lower. Bottom line: people sign up to Twitter and don't use it. Is twitter hype?

I'm not a big user of Twitter myself so the following comments is more questions and ideas than answers:

1. Twitter is a technology that allow real time tracking. Such technology can be used in many ways. following what people do is just one thing.

2. Following something (or someone), and following many things (or man many someones) can be very powerful. Think: allowing students to ask questions in the class using the same system. Think twitting people the movie is about to start, or they have a seat in the restaurant.

3. Following your remote friends and knowing what they do every minute is interesting for 2 days. Then it is peeping a bit (still could be interesting but for how long?). People who write well, write interesting things. With 120 people that I follow I get ... how shell I say it... junk. I need some kind of a way to read just the interesting things.

4. Unified tools for publishing such as www.ping.fm -- such services makes life easier if you are on the publishing side.

5. When Facebook acts more like Twitter? Why do you need Twitter? At the same time, when Facebook acts more like Twitter and hides its Facebook application -- why do you need Facebook (just use Twitter).

6. A year ago when Twitter was new, it was a direct way to connect with the few people that created value. Now, with more and more people, I'm not sure what is the value for me. Things have changed.

7. I do like to follow myself (@yesha) via RSS reader -- what was published about me. See this trick.

8. For those looking into the field. I recommend also looking at plurk. A twitter-like server with a twist.

9. If you have a burning question ("is Gmail down?") you can use search.twitter.com. It will show you updated answers about your question.

10. There is still a lot to learn about this real time medium.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yesha's TV Appearance re the Pirate Party and Copyrights (Hebrew)


Yesha's TV Appearance re the Pirate Party and Copyrights (Hebrew).. c/o London and Kirshenbaum.

See full 5 min video here

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Trick: Solving the Facebook Share to Outlook (loading facebook events via Gmail)

Problem:
I have had this problem for ages. Someone posts an event in Facebook. Time zone is of course not where I'm. So I would love to use the "export" button that theoretically will download this event in the right time zone in my calendar. So you click on "share." but then you get an error : "
Cannot import vCalendar file.  Could not complete the operation.
One or more parameter values are not valid.
Solution:
  1. When you click on Facebook export save the file (to the desktop for example). Do not open it with outlook. (The file will look like this: e84136312172.ics)
  2. Then, using some email program send it to your gmail account.
  3. Open the incoming email in gmail to see that Gmail was able to translate this file into your calendar.