Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making Money in Second Life: Article about book in Haaretz

Photo Credit: Tomer Applebum

Under the popular title of "making money" a short article in Hebrew came out today in Haaretz news paper (in Hebrew). There are some nice pictures... a a short description of how to get into second life, and a list of things that allow you to make money.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The 3D3C Metaverse: ISOC Tutorial 26-Feb-2008, Ramat Gan-Israel – IN HEBREW

As part of the 25-26 Feb 2008 Israeli Internet Association (ISOC-IL) conference I will host a day long intro session to the Metaverse. (9:00-16:00).
The Metaverse is described as a three-dimensional world in which human characters spend their time, play, work and live. A definition for the Metaverse 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. The tutorial is a general introduction to the topic and a more in-depth look at some of the key factors.. The first part is a general overview aimed at people who wants to examine the phenomena; the second part is more technical for people who want to participate in this booming field. Please be advised: the Metaverse can be addictive.

Note: This is a packed day aimed at complete newbies to bring them up to speed with the Metaverse. We start with the basic (giving some cool tips and tricks for those with experience) and we cover business, building, scripting.

See registration in the conference site.

Lorem Ipsum: Use of standard Text

When you need to generate dummy text for ads; screen design, or prototypes Lorem Ipsum is your answer. And you can generate it easily in this site See

Here is a sample:

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2007-8 Spring Course: Business Strategy and Information Systems (Bar Ilan)

I'm collaborating with Raz Heiferman (CIO of Direct Insurance) I will teach a management course at the Bar Ilan Executive MBA.

The course will discuss the linkage between the competitive strategy of the firm and the information technology (IT). During the last years this linkage has become more and more evident and many firms have learned to leverage the IT to improve their competitive position, to reengineer their processes, to improve customer loyalty and decrease churn, to develop new and innovative services, to improve their decision making processes and establish a collaborative work place for their knowledge workers. The topics covered will be:
  • IT – a commodity or a strategic asset – how IT has changed the environment we live and work and how companies and markets have changed due the shift from the industrial era to the information era. We will discuss Nicholas Carr's "IT Doesn't Matter" article and ask if IT has really become a commodity, as he claims, or are they a strategic asset.
  • IT Components – what are the major components of IT and what are the different categories of information systems (e.g. TPS, DSS, KM, ERP, CRM. OA etc.)
  • Competitive Analysis and IT – we will use Porter's 5 forces model and the RBV (Resource Based View) as the framework to analyze how IT can change the competitive position of a firm and as a valuable competitive resource.
  • Value Chain and Business Processes – we will use Porter's value chain model to discuss how IT supports almost every value creating activity
  • How IT supports Competitive Strategy – we will discuss Porter's generic strategies and discuss how IT can be used to support them
  • Operational Innovation – we will use Hammer's operational innovation concept presented in his "Deep Change" article to show how IT can be used as a major platform to innovate new business models and processes.
  • Competing on Analytics – we will use Davenport's "Competing on Analytics" article to show how some of the leading companies are using business analytics to be more competitive and customer focused
  • New Trends in IT – The enterprise IT is changing. Mega trends like outsourcing, SAAS, SOA, Metaverse, no-software and web 2.0 are chancing the face of IT. We will review these trends and their potential impact on IT and the Business.
  • Google-ware – While most people see Google as a search service, in fact, Google has more then 60 services including email, picture sharing, blog, Wiki, office, desktop search, I-Google, social network, video, etc. Furthermore, all services are closely and seemingly integrated to create an inescapable web (e.g., you manage your blog pictures with the picture service; you can view word files from email docs & spreadsheets). We will review the company that is single handedly changing the way we work and have fun.
  • Collaboration and Enterprise 2.0 – we will use McAfee's "Enterprise 2.0 – The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration" article to show how the usage of Web 2.0 technologies and social software can improve the internal and external collaboration between business partners.
  • IT Governance – we will explain why the company that wants to leverage IT has to introduce governance processes and demand management techniques that will ensure the alignment between the business strategy and IT investments and projects.

2007-8 Spring Course: Googleware as Active Media (Afeka)

In the Spring semseter, 2008 I will teach for the first time an experimental course called "GoogleWare" -- it is aimed at advanced students who are into looking at the phenomenon that is changing the nature of our lives.

The focus of this course would be the in-depth understanding of the Google phenomenon. I came across Google about two years ago via search (like most people). Yet during my work in the last year, as I was investigating long-term Media/IT trends, I have learned about the "true" nature of the phenomenon and why Google market capital is almost as big as IBM (!).

While most people see Google as a search service, in fact, Google has more then 60 services including email, picture sharing, blog, Wiki, office, desktop search, I-Google, social network, video, etc. Furthermore, all services are closely and seemingly integrated to create an inescapable web (e.g., you manage your blog pictures with the picture service; you can view word files from email docs & spreadsheets). Once a service has captured you – you are slowly and surely tempted to get more services. Each service you use, adds another layer of comfort and value.

Many people think Google is search; some think it is an operating system – I maintain that Google is defining a new kind of Media. A medium that is in fact already changing the way we work, play, and engage.

Google is not only replacing services; it is doing it with grace and elegance. Google products are simply better, faster, and stronger than the competitor's. Gmail program is unique in terms of search, filing, and anti-spam. Further more, Gmail allow you to read documents, and spreadsheet on-line on any device (including my Nokia e-61) with no further software. Google is teaching the world how to work more effectively. They even changed how we view advertisement – no longer annoying but informative and educational.

Furthermore, Google has the fastest innovation cycle in the industry. Google is not afraid to close services that do not work (i.e., Google Answers); buy competitors (double-click, you-tube) – and incorporate them into the Google web quickly; hire the best people around. With zero legacy, no need to worry about multiple platforms (all is web) – they are moving faster and faster.

The latest shift into the enterprise market is an example. With $50 a year per user, a Small Medium Business (SMB) can run its entire IT in Google – more effectively. Google is yet to prove itself in the different-then-consumer corporate market. But my encounter with Google 800-help-line show they are in the right direction.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

15-Jan-2008: Virtual worlds workshop IDC, Herzliya

This event, hosted by the IDC, is focused on Virtual Life, I will give an intro the the Full 3D3C Metaverse and hope to learn from the other people about social aspects of the world. A good opportunity to meet the top people in the industry of Virtual Worlds.

People are spending increasing amounts of time in online virtual worlds and massive-multiplayer online games. Our goal is to bring together people from around Israel (and a few visitors) who are interested in the psychological, sociological, and communication aspects of such virtual worlds. We are happy to invite you to a one-day workshop, hosted by the new Advanced Virtuality Lab (AVL) of the Sammy Ofer School of Communications in the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC). Participations in the workshop is free but registration is required in advance to

Organizer: Dr. Doron Friedman and the Asper Institute for New Media Diplomacy. Place: Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Communications Building - Room CL-03. Time: 9:30-17:15

09:30-10:00 Coffee and reception
10:00-11:00 The Reality of Virtual Worlds
10:00-10:30 Yesha Sivan, Metaverse Labs, Social Impact of full 3D3C Metaverse
What is the Metaverse and how is it different from 3D games, virtual worlds, social networks, etc. We will focus on the social challenges: covering issues of Money, Identify, Privacy, Group management, relations, love, sex, romance, and other social challenges. We will also cover some metaverse-realverse challenges like common access, e-inclusion, and virtual life.
10:30-11:00 Dvir Reznik, IBM Software Group, The Business of Virtual Worlds
Gaming is not for kids. It can build your personality and leadership skills, as well as boost your level of confidence and your social skills. Gaming also opens up whole new opportunities for businesses, big and small, from different industries, providing a place where people and ideas can collaborate, in order to create a competitive advantage. The presentation will provide an overview on virtual worlds and IBM's interest and on-going efforts in such worlds.
11:00-11:15 Moshik Miller, Technion, Saving the Second Life economySecond Life has a flourishing economy. Residents can convert real life money into Linden Dollars, the Second Life currency, and use it in-world to consume 'user generated content', from hairstyles to music shows; purchasing land and various fees imposed by Linden Labs, the operator of Second Life. Residents can then convert their Linden Dollars back to real life currency. These commerce features constitute a connection between the real and virtual worlds.
A new concept of virtual currency for second life is suggested. Some implementation alternatives will be discussed as well as implications on the Second Life economy structure.
11:15-11:30 Coffee break
11:30–12:30 Interaction and Navigation
11:30-12:00 Hanan Gazit, The Israeli DIGRA Chapter, H.I.T- Holon Institute of Technology, The Challenge of Studying Interactions in Virtual WorldsThere are many indications that virtual worlds such as Second Life and digital games change the way people communicate and learn by provide meaningful learning experiences, serving as a cognitive bridge between concrete experiences and complex abstractions. Thus far, there have been few empirical studies which systematically studied the interactions dynamics within virtual worlds. There is a need to address key issues such as: How to assess the interactions and learning within virtual worlds? What tools should be used for studying the complex relationships between virtual worlds and real world interactions? What kind of instructional and pedagogical approaches should be implemented within virtual worlds for enhancing engagement and meaningful interactions?
Innovative methodologies are needed for bridging between micro and macro levels of interactions (individual and collaborative) which occur in different space and time scales. A conceptual framework for studying multimodal interactions in virtual worlds and digital games by using computerized tools will be presented (Gazit, in press).
12:00-12:30 Asaf Friedman, Bezalel and Bet Berl College, The unexplored possibilities in Navigational Interface
It has long been acknowledged that part of the exploration experience in ‘virtual worlds’ is the navigational interface. Yet one might ask: what are the possibilities for such navigational interface? The presentation will show why the current navigational tools still lack the interactive qualities found in the real world. This presentation will go back to the historical origins of perspective in order to determine why the interactive features in such tools are so limited and to establish the criteria for a more effective navigational tool. Moreover, the comparison between the different systems will lead to an alternative analysis of interaction that incorporates all existing navigational programs. The presentation concludes with a suggestion for four modules of interaction based on linguistic distinctions.
12:30-13:30 Lunch Break (you need to take care of your own lunch)
13:30-15:00 Human Behavior in Virtual Worlds
13:30-14:00 Doron Friedman, The Interdisciplinary Center, Reality, Virtual Reality and Presence: Understanding Human Behavior in Virtual WorldsPeople now spend a lot of time in mediated communication, and specifically in visually-rich virtual worlds and games. Social scientists should be struggling to understand this human behavior, and some of them are already doing it. We suggest looking at over fifteen years of presence research in virtual reality as the most useful paradigm to understanding human behavior in virtual worlds. As an example, I will explain this paradigm in the context of an experiment in social immersive virtual reality bar experiment.
14:00-14:15 Lior Flum, Hebrew university, The mutual making of avatars and players in World of WarcraftThis report on a work in progress examines the relations between players and in-game characters in the massive multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft. An avatar is designed by a player by selecting and choosing from a given set of options (e.g. gender, hair color, profession, exc.). Once created the avatar represents the player and executes its actions in the game world. Avatars are the meeting point between human agent and virtual world. As such, avatars become more than a mere object or a representation of a subject. Studying the ways in which avatars and players construct each other offers an opportunity to learn of the relations between subject and virtual object in respect to global and local culture, presence and agency. This raises questions such as how are boundaries in these associations maintained and how is the action of playing shaped. Possible directions will be explored based on interviews with Israeli World of Warcraft players, and offline and online participant-observation.
14:15-14:30 Tsahi Hayat, The Interdisciplinary Center and Haifa University, The Proteus effect in Second Life
Digital media, in general, and CVEs in particular, allow us to make both dramatic and subtle changes in our self representations with an ease that is not available elsewhere. These changes may lead to a change in the way we behave. One possible explanation for this behavior alteration is conforming one's behavior to those expected by the avatar (digital representations of ourselves).
This process is referred to as the Proteus effect: how people’s behavior in virtual space is measurably affected by their virtual appearance. In this talk we will present some theoretical background related to the Proteus effect, and offer methodological tools for the measurement of the Proteus effect in the context of social interactions taking place in the CVE site of Second Life.
14:30-15:00 Matti Mintz, Tel Aviv University, Perception of interactive space: what the visitors claim is not what they perceive, joint work with Kynan Eng (Inst. of Neuroinformatics, University/ETH Zurich), and Paul F M J Verschure (Technology Dept. & Foundation Barcelona Media, University Pompeu Fabra).
Ada was constructed in the context of Swiss Exp02 as an interactive space designed to interact with groups of visitors through multiple sensory and motor channels. We hypothesized that interaction with poly-modal system will invoke an “animistic” attitude toward Ada. To test this hypothesis, groups of visitors interacted either with fully functional or partially ‘paralyzed’ Ada induced by a selective removal of one of the output channels of Ada. Visitors were asked to respond to a questionnaire gauging their perceptions of Ada’s sensory and motor abilities and their overall impressions of Ada.
Analysis of the questionnaires revealed that; a. visitors confuse motor and sensory channels by attributing sensory disabilities to a system with exclusive motor disability, and b. the confusion included a crossover between different modalities. These findings resemble the perceptual confusions toward individuals with sensory or motor impairments. We conclude therefore that visitors ‘implicitly’ perceive Ada as an integrative system rather than a collection of independent sensory-motor channels, possibly reflecting an animistic perception of Ada as whole. However, when asked explicitly visitors were ambivalent about the statement that “Ada was a kind of artificial creature”. It seems therefore that what visitors claim is not what they perceive.
Reference: Eng, K., Klein, D., Babler, A., Bernardet, U., Blanchard, M., Costa, M., Delbruck, T., Douglas, R.J., Hepp, K., Klein, D., Manzolli, J., Mintz, M., Roth, F., Rutishauser, U., Wassermann, K., Whatley, A.M., Wittmann, A., Wyss, R., Verschure, P.F.M.J. Design for a brain revisited: The neuromorphic design and functionality of the interactive space ADA. Reviews in Neurosciences, 2003, 14:145-180.
15:00-15:15 Coffee break
Virtual Society
15:15-15:45 Larry Mullen, University of Las Vegas, Nevada, Virtual Communities: Visual Explorations in Second Life
Communities of affinity have existed on computer networks for many years—mostly in the form of text messaging. With the addition of a visual element and the ability to recreate actual communities in terms of visual look, how has the virtual community changed? What does it mean to recreate a community in a virtual setting? What is the sense of community in the virtual environment? How is it created and maintained?
Work on community imagery assumes that visual images provide a dimension to our understanding of community that is unlike traditional research data. As such, community must have a physical manifestation of some sort. If community is defined in abstract (invisible) terms, then those abstractions need a physical (visible) referent. Because of this requirement, visual studies tend to conceptualize community in terms of people and places, i.e., as places where people live and do things. And all of this is possible in the virtual setting of Second Life where real communities are recreated, new fantastical communities materialized, and communities of interest congregate.
Research on community as a visual construct takes varied forms. The scope of the communities that have been studied visually is wide-ranging. The Family of Man (1955), for example, showed the commonalities of people around the world, or as Edward Steichen writes in the introduction, “It was conceived as a mirror of the universal elements and emotions in the everydayness of life–as a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind (sic) throughout the world” (unpaged). This photographic work saw the world population as an extended community. And this is not too far removed from what Second Life does in a digital, real-time manner. It offers the researcher the opportunity to observe communities develop, be maintained, thrive, decline, and eventually dissolve.

15:45-16:00 Heidi haLevi, Bar Ilan University, "Over my open-sourced body": Who controls the code?'CopyBot' is the name of a script made available in Second Life in November, 2006 that allows a user to make copies of objects, including objects for sale . The CopyBot script raised a SL-world-wide protest and enormous antagonism towards Linden Labs – disproportionate to the script's actual potential damage. Through critical analysis, it is possible to show that the sense of this incident doesn't reside in the technological abilities of the CopyBot per se, but rather in a meta-narrative level intimately linked to levels of control designed into the platform: control over code vs. control of representation. The CopyBot is one example of technologically enabled criminal activity in virtual worlds - critical cases that reveal paradoxes in the basic architecture of the virtual world's code upon which turn fundamental questions of personal and collective identity.
16:00-16:30 Susanna Priest, University of Las Vegas, Nevada, Envisioning Technological Futures: Virtual Environments and Public Debate
This talk will investigate some of the challenges in assessing public opinion about emerging technologies and related policy issues, topics often vital to future generations and their quality of life, but on which many people may not have well-formed opinions. Experiments are ongoing with the use of new media to carry out debates in this area, ranging from simple text-based on-line discussion to more elaborate forums. Can multi-player game technologies such as Second Life - which may be capable of helping people imagine the future impact of today's choices, as well as facilitating discussion across cultural and geographic barriers - be used to address these challenges?
16:00-16:15 Coffe Break
16:15-16:45 Miri Segal, Just a Second, Life (video artwork)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote

Cool video that demo a nice interface to the Metaverse. 3D with flat screen.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Augmented Reality by Hitlab

A cool demo from HIT lab. Connect real world with the Metaverse. You can see a "LIVE BOOK" with popping images that leap from the page.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Open University Event: Virtual Reality in Real World

The Israeli Open University will host half-day conference on real life usages of virtual virtual reality.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

History of Gaming: a PBS web site

A nice collection of facts re the history of computers. I especially liked the time-line. They key point -- there is an History to this field. see the web site here.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab): A Resrouce for Writing

A very good academic writing guide can be found here. In short:
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.
A good link to the APA reference style is also there.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Yesha Video Player

Second Life Programing Resources

Updated: 19-Nov-2012
This is a collection of resources for initial scripting in Second Life.
If you have more ideas. Please comment here.

Web Resources

Official SL wiki

LSL Portal

Unofficial LSL wiki

Official LSL Tutorial:

Supershine Zapedzki Library (not free)

Temporal's free script repository

Wholesale Bing Free Scripts
Regarding Particles

Yesha's Address


Prof. Yesha Sivan
i8 Ventures
22 Rothchild Blvd.
Tel Aviv, 6688218

email : yesha AT i8 DOT ventures

Assistant: tzafnat.shpak AT i8 DOT ventures


פרופ' ישע סיון
i8 Ventures
שד' רוטשילד 22
תל-אביב יפו 6688218

yesha AT i8 DOT ventures

עוזרת מנהלה
צפנת שפאק
tzafnat.shpak AT i8 DOT ventures

"Your Next Life" Second Life as an intro to the Metaverse -- Book details

*smile* My book -- in Hebrew is ready (2008 Q1.) Lots of fun.

For those who asked you can order it directly from the publisher Modan (
in israel in Hebrew) הזמנות מודן - 08-91800002 מירב (Merav - from Modan Orders).

Or order directly from:
See a short description of the book in Hebrew Haaretz.

Click on each picture to view a larger version of it; At the end text of the Table of Content (in Hebrew).


1. המטא-וורס: בידור, חיים או שניהם?

חלק ראשון: לִירוקי המטא-וורס

2. ממעוף הציפור

3. המושגים הבסיסיים

4. נכנסים לעולם

חלק שני: לאזרחי המטא-וורס

5. מקומות קלאסיים

6. התקשורת במטא-וורס

7. מטא-סקס ומטא-אהבה

חלק שלישי: לשחקני המטא-וורס

8. החיים הטובים

9. התמכרות: איך מתמודדים

10. תופעות במטא-וורס


11. המסע מתחיל


מפתח הנושאים

מפתח המוצגים

הערות, הרחבות ומקורות