Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Icon Passes

Sad to say, Evel Knievel died today. A major icon of my youth, and of the 70's and 80's, right up there with The Bionic Man and Bazooka Joes.

Odd, as one gets older and watches ones icons pass away, one starts to feel a sense of inevitable mortality. I remember Jon Pertwee,
Jacques Cousteau, even (recently) Tony Wilson all being a kick in the teeth. Verity Lambert died a few days ago too (tho admittedly not truly my generation).

Maybe one just notices more as one gets older and/or has a sim of obituaries to manage. I'll be pulling something together for
Evel on Tribute Island on Monday...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Piper Plays a Familier Tune

Billie is back, says the BEEB, as Rose in three episodes of our favorite (well, long-term favorite) sci-fi drama.

Thank god. It's gonna be an unwholly mess of mis-matched crap assistants (plus Billy) but at least she can act (and will probably just show Tate, Argyle, and even the rodentine Tennant, up really badly) - news just broke on the official site. As Daz just said, "I hope she kills Donna" :-)

Regardless, Sontarans next season (insert "probic vent" gag here), my number one Who villain. Nice new battle armor gents, and a diminutive Young One as leader (odd choice, but might work). Hopefully some shots of mass clone battles and them kicking 7 bells out of the Rutan armys. What, I can dream can't I? :-)

Plus, as I've whittered on about before, Kyle (heart of the TARDIS, mark my words) on Christmas day.

Enough, better do some work and go get a haircut...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Slack Bastard

Sorry, yeah, sorry, I know...

...I've been uber-busy since the opening party (brace for Tribute Island in the press soon) doing interviews and running around SL researching a new project (which is still hush, hush, as ever). Also, been busy sorting out the new Caledon Studios in Penzance, getting the place Bristol fashion ready for January when we'll start sorting scripts, cast (Darkling already has the couch set out) and crew for 6 or more 1 minute trailers that we'll make then get Caledon residents to vote for as to which gets made into a short. The studio lot needs to pay for itself, so it's getting the vendors treatment right now with marketing to come. Terry and Lapin are being amazing help in another of my barn-pot schemes as ever, thanks ladies ;-)

Oh, and the erudite Miss Widershins, of Prim Perfect magazine, may be joining us at the studio for a wee while as she recherches Caledon for the Christmas issue.

I will do some blogging soon even if it's just throwing Who based YouTubes at the screen.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tribute Opening Party

It's the official opening island party, now! Folks are gathering :-)

Tribute Island opens 'officially' right now [slurl], with a big blow-out DJ bash from renowned SL DJ, DJ Jenns (his last in SL before his upcoming Italian season), and top Caledon favourite (and CodePoet) ZenMondo Wormser.

Prizes, competitions. good tunes, dancing, loads to explore (and all obsessively WindLight optimised).

2pm - 6pm: DJ Jenns (Euro shift)
6pm - 10pm: Zenmondo Wormser (Pacific shift)

Come over if you can, bring friends, and have a good browse around, do some dancing, and meet some of the folks who made the sim possible.

Tribute Island is about celebrating the lives of the people we've lost and loved. About showing the information we have, as a news and media company, in a different way. It's about the people who have inspired us, entertained us, selflessly protected us, and have filled our lives with sound and colour.

The island has tributes from the British Army, Navy, and RAF, to the political, scientific, and Hollywood classics. Most of the exhibits we've made interactive in some way, so pop over for some music and to enjoy exploring, and click the exhibits for freebies and to leave your own tribute (oh, and Treasure Hunt prize just went up to L$6k and theres a brand new GeoCache).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

OpenSim Now

Go read this at 'Not Possible IRL'. No point me replicating someone else's comment, but WELL WORTH a look regarding the new OpenSim.

OpenSim, an open source project 1s now in Alpha release 0.4, and I am here to report that yes, Second Life is possible outside of Second Life.

ThomTrance O'Toole

This could change, well, everything :-)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Doctor Who, Behind the Scenes - Time Crash

Wow! They used the original costume! I just love the way most of the crew are like overexcited school-boys, cos, well, ya would be :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Company Statistics

Hmmm. I was reading something my dad sent me this morning, and seriously, can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 600 employees and has the following statistics?
  • 29 have been accused of spouse abuse
  • 7 have been arrested for fraud
  • 19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
  • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
  • 3 have done time for assault
  • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
  • 4 have been arrested on drug-related charges
  • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
  • 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
  • 84 have been arrested for drink driving in the last year
Which organisation is this? Naturally, we're talking about the current crop of MP's in the House of Commons...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Crash Time

Could have been worse. And yeah, I blubbed at the end.

Friday, November 16, 2007

10 Doctors

Seen this? 10th Doctors web-comic by Rich.

VERY good characterization, and the chap knows his Whoniverse.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tribute Looking Good

Nice to see Tribute Island turning up in the press overnight. Things are looking good.

She was listed as top place to visit yesterday in Jen Hienrich and Relic Starbrooks 'The Best of Second Life' and there are some nice comments appear in Seamus McCauley's 'Virtual Economics' (on the
collision of news publishing, digital media and technology) about him reflectively looking for a friends marker in the military section. We're also featured on 'Hold The Front Page' (the journalism site for journalists) this morning and in a couple of blogs (like those of Edward Pearse, Daz, Guen DeCuri, Eladrienne Laval and Aleister Kronos etc.). Just for a bit more traffic, check out our 'virtual ammo-box' at SLGeocaching too :-)

When I say 'things are looking good', I should actually be saying that 'things have never looked better'.

If you get the chance, pop along [slurl] and take a look at us with the new WindLight (FirstLook) client, available here.

SO damn beautiful, and the island looks so cool, I think this is really going to change my SL experience. I love it. Photo-real seas, stunning rolling clouds, gobsmacking light sourcing, added improvements to the Sky Editor dialog, improved glow and rendering tricks to minimize lag and add stability, Tribute was just made for this kind of thing.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

I'm liking today already :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lilly In?

Will 21 year old Hammersmith girl Lily Allen (very southern, but cute) be joining the cast of Doctor Who?

The Sun says (it's always the Sun, god bless the delivery power of RSS) there are talks for Lily to join the show as Doctor Who's next assistant, after Catherine Tate etc., for the next full season. Serious improvement if it's true (apart from the fact Miss Allen is a serious (all be it another cockney) sweetie, obviously). Our childhood TimeLord is so trendy nowadays, nothing surprises me anymore.

They quote a show source as saying: "Lily is multi-talented. She comes from mor
e of a TV background than a musical one.

"After the chat show we hope she'll take over from Catherine as Doctor Who's assistant.

"We've talked to her and she was excited by the idea."

Rumors say The Tennant may not be returning, and the source also told the paper: "John Simm and Rhys Ifans (my money is on the latter, but I'd prefer the former) have been linked with the job. Lily would make a very cool couple with either of them." Aye, that she would.

I'm not exactly negative to this as a concept. The Piper had that same popstress background and she proved herself perfect for the job, plus The Minogue is turning up at Christmas to help pave the way with her antipodean pint sized 'one for the dads' eye-candy. Potential for a cutie and getting rid of The Tate is always good Who news.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Can't Script, Won't Script

This site helps you create LSL scripts for your SL toys. These scripts allow you to add interactive elements to your builds without knowing how to code. All of the script are released under a creative commons license, which means that you can use them freely! VERY nicely done.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Open for Remembrance Day

Tribute Island is now open to all visitors (posh official opening 'put-a-suit-on-hippy' party coming soon).

Hopefully we can make some pennies for The Legion today (as it's Remembrance Day).

The bloggers party went well last night, and we didn't crash the sim (tho we had a damn good go). A few people have been in touch asking to place tributes already. Come take a look [SLURL], or I'll spam you all with LM's :-)

Also, check this video out about the new British Legion SL Garden of Remembrance (Rivers Run Red) which is 9 sims worth from the looks of the map, at Poppy 5 (128, 128, 0).

Alas I can't seem to get access to the sims yet (might just be me tho). This video is SO beautiful, I'm really look forward to checking this one out :-)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Daze

Now this takes me back to happy days in Leeds (spelt with 2 E's and an LSD). RezDay party tomorrow, and this is on my playlist.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tribute is Coming

So, what have I been going on about for the last couple of months?

Now I can talk about it :-)

Saturday, at 2pm - 5pm SLT, will be the SLBloggers Bash at Tribute Island [slurl] (and, I'm
glad to say, this won't be our Zoe's last shindig as head honcho).

Expert DJing c/o Radio Riel (who are doing a bloody excellent "Music from the Middle Ages" today
). No point in going there 'till 10 minutes before the start tho, as the sim will still be closed and, during the do, only open to group members. After that it's open house.

My company have very kindly given the exclusive on this place to the real reporters of SL, the bloggers, and another 'official' opening will be happening in the next week or so. I'm well chuffed on this, being a bit of an SLBlogger since the groups inception, and it just goes to show how attitudes have changed in the media and within our field (RL journalism) in particular ;-)

For the record, Tribute Island was built during October ’07 by Associated Northcliffe Digital (part of the DMGT Group), with the senior design consultants and master builders of Wind Meta Works, and has been something of a labor of Hercules. 65,536 m2 of highly detailed content, made by a tiny team.

Anyway, so, what is Tribute Island [slurl] and why the big secret? Basically, it's all about celebrating the lives of the people we've lost and loved. People who have inspired us, entertained us, selflessly protected us, and who have filled our lives with sound and colour. The island is a SL based (and totally FREE) 3D sculpture and tribute park. Why a secret? Well, it's work and that's the nature of 9-5.

'Tribute' is roughly divided into topical areas (see the map above). You really have to see the British Military section, where we've replicated individual tribute markers to all the UK soldiers and military personnel who've lost their lives in the continuing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's incredibly sobering.

Hopefully folks can get into some serious exploring, and click the exhibits for freebies, to make donations to charities, or to leave your own tribute (through our links with the Lasting Tribute website, so the sim can stay locked down tight). We hope to support the place by holding regular events and making something out of this sim, not just abandon projects to self maintenance like other corps do, so keep coming back or IM me ('Nikk Huet') to get involved.

I'll be setting up a Tribute Island Group today if I get the chance, so come join for updates.
Most of the exhibits are interactive in some way and this place has loads of ‘Easter eggs’ (just for fun) and stuff to explore that we've been slaving over for weeks.

Anyway, please feel free to pop over after Saturday and say ‘hi’ if you see me or one of our staff in the sim :-)

While I have the chance I'd like to personally thank a few folks, namely Carricre Wind, Firiel McGann, Lapin Paris, Andr00 Darkstone,
Posemaster Darkstone and Terry Lightfoot, with individual tributes and help from the likes of Brad Sabre, KP Pera, Sen Pixie, DALEK Drillon, Butterfly Laa, TheDove Rhode, Shadowen Silvera, Jimbo Perhaps, Desmond Shang, Emilly Ladybird, Grafix Writer, AngryBeth Shortbread, Cornelia Rothschild, Alfonso Avalanche, Mike Calhoun, Gabrielle Riel, Cheen Pitney and Ub Yifu, for their awesome builds, help, kind encouragement, coffee, sleepless nights, and support. Just a few of the great people who stood behind this project and understood what we were trying to do.

As of the Bloggers event we're open (ish) so please, if you get the chance, explore the island, take some time to contemplate and think about some of the exhibits, and help celebrate the lives of the people represented here.

If you have any ideas for tributes, events, fund raisers or want to get involved, IM me ('Nikk Huet') or catch me on the grid.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

12 Months = Partyville

Remember when 'his knibs' first arrived in SL? Probably not, this blog was a lot different back then. Well, that was 12 months ago (would you Adam-and-Eve-it).

So, there's going to be a bash this weekend at Carntaigh to celebrate. The theme will be 'Robot Wars' (no idea why, and not (I hasten to add) the 1993 movie of the same name nor (I don't think) the thing with Craig Charles and Philippa Forrester) and it combines a bash for the lovely plucky aviatrix Virrgina Tombola, the model of Victorian pixidom Fuchia Begonia, our very own bunnah Dame Lapin Paris, the king of obliviousness Roy Smashcan, he of the steam powered pachyderm and pectorals Alfonso Avalanche, the lovely and frockly talented Terry Lightfoot, the lovely and kittenishly talented Kiralette Kelly, and 'his knibs' who all have our rez days in the same month. Oddly ironic, we're all mates an' all.

The one and only Elrik Merlin (stirling chap of Radio Riel) on the mic, this Fri (9th November) from 13:00 to 17:00 (SLT), 21:00 to 01:00 (GMT) playing out favourite tunes and celebrating our inner robo-geek! He is, after all, a chap who can actually pronounce the word "Warwickshire" ;-)

So lets crash Carntaigh with primmy robots, kickin' tunes, and billions of drunk Victorians, Who geeks, Carnival folks, Nekos, oblivious dudes in top hats and Orni Pilots!

Lookin' forward to seein' ya there ;-)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wikimedia Foundation Fundraising 2007

This is the information age, lets those of us who can keep it free, help the developing world and those who need it.

Go here, and please just throw a few bucks at something we all use, for everyone.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Return From Mouse Town

Well, that was fun, exhausting and enlightening in equal measures. With a dash of frustrating (but nothing so negative as to mention more than in passing). We didn't know it was a French national holiday and I don't really do queuing, children, crowds, or The French, plus sleep deprivation hit us like Sumo on day 2. This was down to a 9am flight from Birmingham and a 1am finish on Halloween (cos there was no way of gods green earth we were going to miss those fireworks). Eventually, no amount of coffee could cut the mustard and it was zombie-ville.

Still, top fun was had. We stayed at the big pink 'Disneyland Hotel' (hurrah for 'magic hours') and the convenience of the place (right next to the doors to the main park) was the main plus (unless you personally have a thing for dancing hippos, pink, and having ya photo taken with 'Euro characters' each morning - so, basicly, unless your the wife). It was VERY handy to just fall into the hotel on Halloween, knackered beyond reason, and marvel at the sound-proofing keeping the noise of the music and rides at bay.

The innate 'Steampunkness' off the park is stunning (though the darkness of rides precluded me raping the mouse too mercilessly for textures) and I've come back brimming with ideas for the new studio and awash with Méliès inspired architectural fancies. Orbitron, the dirigible from 'The Island at The Top of The World' (saw that on the flick back in 1974) and (obviously) Les Mystères du Nautilus were pretty damn obvious, but the arcades of Victoriana and 'inventions' provided a lot of snaps that are going to take me weeks to trawl through, as well as the back stage tours through the set and props of Dinotopia, yada, yada.

I had a strange SL moment, on Halloween, when we we were walking through the Discoveryland, surrounded by the whole 'Caledoness' of it all, while dressed in my Captains uniform and with the good lady wife in 'Victorian Red Riding Hood' get-up. Suddenly, we were surrounded by furrys. Other visitors, about 12 of them, dressed in full furry outfits (and reeking of yiff) like foxes, wolves, rabbits etc., the full Monty. Jem just turned to me and said "Bloody hell, this is a bit yiffy, it's just like Second Life". Gotta say, it's the only moment I've even had where, looking around, there was nothing to ground me in reality and break the illusion. VERY odd. VERY mainland. I doubt this is what VMK is like...

...anyway, we walked around a lot and explored the hell out of the place. We had the magic hours (2 hours you get in park pre-proles if ya stay in a Disney hotel) and no over-tired kids to drag around and worry about. The weather was great for us, and on the first morning the light was amazing and the parks were full of mist and I got some great shots. Check out Flickr and Jem's Facebook for a small selection.

We ate well, went on EVERYTHING (most things twice) from being Orlando Fast Pass veterans and a bit cunning at knowing when stuff would be free cos folks would be at parades and taking hungry kids home, and marvelled at the Euroness of it all.

Some stuff is better, some the same, some looses something by not having that 'World Fair' edge to it. The park benefits from experience, this being it's 15th year, learnt from the 2 previous. Cool stuff like walking round a corner and seeing a full size X-Wing poised over Star Tours, the beautiful stained glass in the towers or the dragon under the castle, running over rope bridges and exploring pirate caves, the constant barrage of 'stuff' all gets eventually kinda lost in a blur of leg-weary queuing and roller coaster induced inner ear imbalance and spinal compression and you start to look forward to home.

Regardless, fun was had (thanks Uncle Walt) and it's back to the virtual grindstone tomorrow. As promised, more to report on the new sim and upcoming SL parties as soon as I find some time :-)