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"!