Chumby Industries

One of our little themes in Emerging Tech for while has been ambient displays, whether they be real or virtual. I really like the look of Chumby Industries. They’re starting with the clock radio as a low cost, low power, wifi connected device. I think a lot will depend on how low cost they can make them, but I think we may see if we can get one for our lab, it’ll keep the rabbit, penguin and orb company.

I also like how everyone has started using “industries” as part of their company name. I think “industries” has become the new web name of choice.

Yet more events in SL

Its about 30 mins until the u2 in sl event. Being at 4pm SLT it’s a bit late, even in a holiday weekend for a uk visit. However I am a bit of fan and like to support things like this. I have done the tourist thing…..
u2 in sl

I have also had a little play at being in the band
band attempt

The crazy thing people may not understand is that their presence and way of arriving at these event puts load on the server

Normal webservers each person connecting puts on an equal amount of load. But here you can arrive and exhibit your personality with bling and prims attached to you that add processing load to the server.

UPDATE: It was a great event, they kept it initmate to 70 people, so the lag was minimal. The crowd certainly got into it. Another great event

Yossarian Seattle’s wedding present

Yossarian Seattle one of eightbar’s prominent builders and scripters will be off the grid for a few weeks as he is getting married today. In Real Life I might add.
Over at new world notes there is a great article about Yossarian’s language HUD on New World Notes. This recognition is a great wedding present for him, and I am sure Second Life will feature in his best mans speech.
Whilst very active on Hursley private Island Yossarian has gone out and explored and worked with the rest of Second Life too.
As a keen photgrapher and flickr user has has created a very nice gallery located next to the superb newbie centre of New Citizens Inc at Kuula. This is landmark I send everyone starting to get to grip with Second Life as they join eightbar.
Anyway, congratulations for Mr & Mrs Seattle to be.
Yossarians Gallery
Picturesa at the gallery
pictures at the gallery

New Citizens Inc

Here Be Dragons

For those of us in Hursley who are old fashioned enough to still have TVs, a must watch has always been, Dragons Den. People with ideas or businesses have to present to a set of investors with the hope that they will pay for a stake in their company. It can often seem very similar to the sort of thing we have to do here, presenting emerging technology to customers, or trying to convince our IP attorneys about a patent disclosure.

One of the businesses yesterday was doing online downloads, but with the songs dynamically mixing together when transitioning from one to the other. He did a great job of explaining the idea, won over the investors and got the funding. A much better job than I did several years ago trying to patent an idea for desynchronising music to make it feel more live. The idea was that you’d download the song, but it’d never sound exactly the same twice. So maybe the title, “Britney Spears In Your Living Room” didn’t help with some of the more traditional reviewers. Luckily, a great mentor in the form of an IBM master inventor wouldn’t let them win and it did at least get published (hit guest user and then go the url again – great i know). Next week, my brilliant idea for centripetal submarines…

Hursley Research – ITA

The Hursley lab is playing a major part in a large research project, known as ITA. ITA, is a joint US and UK programme of fundamental research into network centric systems. It’s lead by IBM, but with a number of industrial and academic partners (Boeing, LogiaCMG, Honeywell, UCLA, Cambridge, Columbia etc. – there’s a full partner list here).

In the UK, the project is going to be run out of the Emerging Tech group, which means a few of us on eightbar are likely to be involved. There are some interesting themes around collaboration and social networking as applied to military environments, which we’re likely to be responsible for. Anyway, we’re off to New York in September to get started, so I’ll be able to write more about what we’re actually going to be working on then.

Cool eightbar builds

Some more people have joined eightbar in Second Life and a diverse set of skills has emerged.
Judge Hocho showed me his design skills in the clothing department yesterday. He has made some great Eightbar tshirts and hats.

Meanwhile a newer resident has dived into building some clever things too.
Turner Boehm has a fantastic Tardis that appears and dissapears with sound effects. Now I know Turner is a boffin, and some of the recent conversations indicate he has some exciting things on the horizon.

As per usual all the shots can be seen on snapzillaI just need to get around to tagging them !

Virtual Worlds introduction presentation

When talking about Virtual Worlds with customers and other IBMers, I often start with some examples of the state of the art in Second Life. They give a flavour of why integration between the metaverse and real life is both possible and important, and why people are paying attention. I usually find it helpful to put Second Life in the context of Web 2.0; pointing out that it’s really all about two concepts that have already been changing the shape of the web: user generated content and social networking.

I reasoned that I could save everyone some time by putting the highlights of my introductory presentation up here. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of projects, rather a taste of what has caught my attention (and that of the media) in the last few months.


Depending on the audience, I will usually start by visiting the Second Life website to show the interactive map, all the time reeling off some interesting stats – largely gleened from Google TechTalk video – to help
people realise this is not just a game:

  • A glance at shows us the number of residents, how many residents have logged on recently, and how many US$ changed hands between players in the last 24 hours.
  • Yes, people make and sell things for money. 25% of users are currently sellers, 75% are primarily consumers.
  • Easy to build and script (using Linden Scripting Language but moving to support Mono).
  • Rich scripting API includes support for email, XML-RPC, HTTP Request, …
  • Video and audio streaming are easy. Mozilla’s Gekko core (Firefox’s rendering engine) is eventually being integrated, so any surface will be able to be a web page.
  • It’s growing fast. According to Linden Labs, the rate at which new land is added exceeds how fast you could explore it.

BBC One Big Weekend event

  • The BBC, who are frequently early adopters, announced an event in Second Life in May 2006. The streaming video from the One Big Weekend event (being held in Dundee) was shown in-world to provide people with another means of following the action.

  • The key thing here is the party happening in the foreground. People are dancing, showing off and chatting.

  • More: Read about BBC Radio 1 ‘One Big Weekend’ island on BBC Online, and the announcement.
    Eggy Lippmann collaborated with Rivers Run Red on this one.
  • The BBC also did a Second Life session for Newsnight around January 2006.

American Apparel

Warner Brothers

  • Warner Bros, who promote Regina Spektor, are marketing her latest album within Second Life.

  • The New York loft apartment (also built by Aimee Weber) houses a tape recorder playing clips of Regina Spektor’s music, with the mood of the room changing with the music.

  • More: read the press release and creator’s blog.


  • Major League Baseball ( paid the Electric Sheep Company for a virtual baseball stadium to host the Home Run Derby event.

  • I’m not a baseball fan, but even I was hooked enough by the lively atmosphere that staying up until 2am UK time was well worth it.

  • More: Eric Rice has a great summary and Ian wrote up the event on Eightbar too.

Forbidden City



  • Eightbar readers can’t have missed the fact that Ian Hughes worked on a prototype build for the Wimbledon tennis championships.

  • It involved displaying the path of the ball (thanks to the ‘Hawkeye’ data captured on-court) as well as clothing and even flying towels.

  • Read the original Eightbar post on Wimbledon demo for more.

So there you go. Naturally, this list will be out of date almost instantly, as more things are happening all the time. Let me know if I’ve missed something important though.

Collaboration with a bang

Idz Ni of eightbar pinged me to say he had found something interesting and amusing in Second Life today. So I popped over to have a look for 5 minutes.
He had found a cannon, with cannon balls that lets you climb in and be shot out of the cannon, and you go further if you are carrying a heavy cannon ball! This cannon is by Abramelin Wolfe
No this may seem frivolous, and in a way it is. However Idz and I then collaborated in order to get a good picture of the device in operation. It is very difficult to take the picture as you are being fired out yourself so it was a two avatar job.
It involved timing, and patience but it acted as both a demonstration of collaboration and is a great energizer to any brainstorm session.