Monday, December 31, 2007


Not had any Cyriak Harris on the blog for a while, so, in the spirit of lactose intollerence...

...have some Moo! at the end of '07.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Steampunk TARDIS Key

Amidst the usual crop of Who, SL and Star Wars related products this morning, I also got something VERY special indeed. Jema, my good lady wife, is a costumier and props maker as most of you will know. This morning she surpassed herself.

This, is my Steampunk TARDIS Key. Beautifully combining genre and iconography to make me something truly unique and personal. Hand made in pure silver, it adds a touch of Babbage to an old icon, as I have been doing this passed year in SL with Oolon and the ongoing ETC project.

I have just been discussing this at length with her, and, well, does anyone else want one? As these are totally hand made and unique, in silver, and aged in a sulphur patina, they would probably have to be around the £90 ($180) each mark, but (if I can get enough interest) it's possible she may do a run in a copper etched variety which could retail for as little as £20 (and each would still be a totally unique piece of Steampunk jewellery). In fact, is there a market for Steampunk jewellery in general? Jem has written books on jewellery making/design and this nicely combines it with our mutual love of Victoriana and steam/science fantasy iconography.

Please, if your interested, add a comment to this post and/or head over to Jemas personal site and send her an email (plus, check out some of her Steampunk clothing and Victorian costumes at her other site). She needs convincing that an investment in the etching process for 40 or so of these could be a viable idea and any support from the Who/Steampunk community out there would be appreciated :-)

I'm SO damn pleased with this. These hurriedly snapped pics just don't do this thing justice. The weight alone, and the quality, just makes it feel SO comfortable in my hand that it's priceless to me (and immediately bloggable on Christmas day) already.

Anyway, I'm off to grit my teeth through the Christmas Special, so, "a very happy Christmas to all of you at home" ;-) Please, if you like what you see, drop the good lady wife a line with a spot of encouragement and/or post below :-)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

He's a Dr, Not an Escalator

McCoy was always my favorite. Nice to see this classic S.P.O.C.K. track on YouTube (even if the vids a bit laggy). I've always kinda sympathized with Bones' attitude and (more importantly) his dislike of transporters. I also have a high number of 'Spock-like' friends who frankly deserve a good ribbing.

Anyway, alas
getting busy again. Lots on at work etc. I'll keep Twittering violently. Will try to post but stuff might go a bit quiet 'till New Year :-)

Have a cool Yule if I don't post before then.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Early Second Life

Now this takes me back. 1985? On the old ST and the 64. Making 'Howard' dance and all dancing along in the attic room that night his mates came over. Crazy days...

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 :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Steampunk RL Trip

Okay, loads to report but not 'till I get back.

I'm off to Disney for Halloween (cos, yeah, that's like getting back in touch with RL) and 'Tribute' (for those who know what Tribute is) is in the can. I'll tell ya more about this when I get back. For now, if ya curious, keep an eye on the Twitter and I'll try and post stuff to Flickr as I have fun in the RL steampunk sim (pending being arsed with hotel WiFi) :-)

Have a good Samhein, and remember to toast the dead.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tribute Cleared & Caledon Studios

So, Tribute opens in 2 weeks. Had a review of the new sim with the boss at work today and (except for a few bits) he's happy for me to crack on. Actually, to be truthful, he was well chuffed.

Gotta say a big THANKS to Carricre Wind, Firiel McGann, Lapin Paris, Andr00 Darkstone, Posemaster Darkstone, Terry Lightfoot, his knibs, AB Shortbread, Brad Sabre, Sen Pixie, DALEK Drillon, Butterfly Laa, TheDove Rhode, Shadowen Silvera, Jimbo Perhaps, Desmond Shang, Emilly Ladybird and Ub Yifu, for their awesome builds, help, kind encouragement, coffee, and support. Just a few of the great people who stood behind this project and understood what we were trying to do. Once again I stand upon the shoulders of giants.

2 weeks,
SL Bloggers party. Still to sort the details with Zoe, but it's a go for opening pre official shin-dig (so cool my boss is up for the 'real' reporters getting in their first, cheers KP). 1 week, when I get back from my hols, then I can talk/blog about it :-)

Anyway, other news, I got a 900 prim plot now (with The Guvs blessing) in the new Caledon Penzance's sim. This'll be 'Caledon Studios' ("Lepus Gratis Cuniculus"), and will be my new base for machinima efforts instead of the old Mayfair Studios (which had lost it's isolation with the advent of Penzance off the north coast). This sim is well worth a look as soon as it hits the grid, I've seen the theatre and the high-street and it's a thing of textured beauty loving crafted by the hand of artist Ms. Persephone Gallindo. By the time I get back, it'll be time to get cracking.

Casting for the first movie will start around Christmas.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Beautiful: An SL Life Lesson

Saw this while trolling old Moby tracks (specifically lookin' for Natural Blues to prove the 'Christina Ricci as the toy angel' story to a collegue) on YouTube.

I'd forgotten this little beauty existed, but WHAT AN ANTHEM for the social scene of our beloved SL!

Recognize anyone? :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Steampunk Kelad

I feel a build coming on. Not enough hours in the day...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Brain Power

This is either a worthy and elaborate hoax, or my Gibsonian dreams of a future virtual 3D meta-utopia are finally on the digital horizon.

Allegedly, SL punters can get their already overheated brains wired directly into a system that lets them control the virtual world with their very own thoughts.

This is the brainchild (on pun intended) of the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at Keio University (who should, admittedly, probably be doing better things with their grant money).

In an abstract way, if just a teeny fraction of last months 525,000 or so users (well, av's, but who's counting) get their paws on this 'mind control' technology then we could see that ever elusive transhumanist ideal of a world wide mind made reality in the very near future.

Where do we start queing?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Davidson Confirmed

The BBC has confirmed that David Tennant's tenth Doctor Who will meet Peter Davison's fifth incarnation of the Time Lord for a Children in Need special on Friday, 16 November.

Tristram Farnham said: "It is an honour for me to be able to make the connection between the fifth Doctor and the tenth Doctor. However, now is not the time for sound-bites. I can feel the hand of history on my shoulder, even if I can't do the buttons up."

Anyway, although there will be a series five, it won't be until 2010 and and it's doubtful Tennant will be piloting the TARDIS by then. He's off to do Hamlet with the RSC (July to Nov) so no full series for 2009 just a fist full of 'comedy' specials.

My opinion? Nice to see Davidson getting out and a classic format reprisal in a 2Dr's kinda way. Pity it's just for Children in Need , as we're doubtfull of any Gallifrey action. And a missing year of Who, well, to be fair I'm not that fussed (it's been bobbo of late) so long as what they do do doesn't smell as badly as the likes of "Love and Monsters", that thing at Yule with The Tate, or "Fear Her".

Monday, October 22, 2007

Classic Audience Stats

Funny one I spotted on the news feed today about the Classic FM Gramophone Awards.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra gripped a gong for 'audience innovation', and guess why? Yup, the inevitable.

The Phil gave a live concert in SL back in September. Sweet, good on 'em, however, according to the orchestra "9 million Second Life denizens watched the performance live on Second Life's own cable network".

Er, so that's me, you, shed loads of failed registrations and all our alts then? As if SL user stats weren't ambiguous enough.

Well, if nowt else, it's innovative mathematics.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Log off. Now!

Holy shit on a virtual stick. Ooooh, the drama...

CSI:NY goes SL (the episode is called "
Down the Rabbit Hole"). Brace for n00bs after this airs on Wednesday, October 24, 10pm et/pt. Loads of fresh meat for the Linden Labs grinder, incoming. It's Electric Sheep tho, so at least it'll look swanky. Obviously, it looks bugger all like SL except a few obligatory icons. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

CSI interactive 'crime busting' sims (click to see the vid) to come. Apparently we'll soon get the 'CSI: NY Virtual Experience', meaning show fans can create avatars, play gumshoe, wear low cut clothing, flirt inappropriately with workmates, leading up to the second part of this potential travesty that will air February 6th.

Electric Sheep are even creating a special, "easier-to-use interface" so less computer literate fanboys (and girls) have a chance at getting something done outside Help Island (which probably has potential for the future in itself).

Anyway, Not to worry, most of em won't hang around once they feel the lag, witness some anthropomorphised foxes going at it, wear a few boxed items on there heads, and see us for real.

Mr. Zuiker (CSI's creator) will apparently be giving the keynote speech at this year's Virtual Worlds Conference in San Jose, if ya interested.

"Log off. Now!" I smell a meme :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Media Douchebags Explained

Hardly a fantastic bit of vid, but it turned up on Twitter and I love the irony of posting this to my blog...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Probably Moving

There's every chance we might be moving offices soon, so, while I had the camera in the office I re-immortalised the desk.

Strange, but the old pic of my desk on Flickr has had more visitors than any of my other pics. No idea why. Must be the tag cloud of obsessive boredom.

So here's how my work station looks today anyway. Did I mention how cool my job is sometimes?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Winners

So, festival done and Stolen Life won a plenty. The trailer is above. Personally I'm not sure it's actually machinima, correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, the stars were:

Best Story: The Snow witch - Britannica Dreams
Best Commercial: When the Postman spits twice - SL-Inworld Productions
Best Technical: Machinima Island - la.interactiva
Best Experimental: Cirque du Machinima: Cukoo Clock - Tom Jantol (which I loved)
Best Sound: Innocent Minds - James Dubose
Best Student: Machinima! with Officer Dan - Amorphous Blob
Best Series: The Grid Review - the ILL Clan
Best Visual Design: Stolen Life - Nanoflix Productions
Best Direction: Stolen Life - Nanoflix Productions
Best Picture: Stolen Life - Nanoflix Productions

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! Sweet.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Here's the Tribute

Hi Carricre/Darkle, here's yesterdays footage of Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park, London. As best as I could.

Hassle me for the photos, I'll arrange them as we need them round the model for reference, and I'll start textures this afternoon.

It's a funny old grid. Who's idea was this anyway?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cribbed From the Beeb

Busy today, off to London to get footage for SL conversion (news soon), so cribbing this direct off the BBC news vine cos it's good stuff:

"A virtual character, or avatar, for all the virtual worlds in which people play is the goal of a joint project between IBM and Linden Lab."

The computer giant and the creator of Second Life are working on universal avatars that can travel between worlds.

The project aims to open up virtual worlds by introducing open tools that work with any online environment.

The companies hope to boost interest in virtual worlds as well as make them easier to navigate.

Character sheet

At the moment every virtual world requires a player or user to go through the process of creating an avatar that will act as their proxy in that online environment.

Typically, an avatar created for one world, be it a game or a system like Second Life, cannot move between these different virtual spaces.

The project started by IBM and Linden Lab aims to create a universal character creation system so people only have to create a digital double once.

While the character's appearance may change depending on where it is taken, its basic characteristics, such as looks and underlying personal data, would be retained.

"It is going to happen anyway," said Colin Parris, IBM vice president of digital convergence in a statement.

"If you think you are walled and secure, somebody will create something that's open and then people will drain themselves away as fast as possible," he told the Reuters news agency.

By making it easy to travel between different worlds the two companies hope to sharpen competition in the burgeoning market for online worlds.

Initially the partners will concentrate on creating a system that lets people move between worlds.

Later will come the universal character creation system that lets people create a single avatar to venture into online worlds.

The partnership was announced prior to the start of the Virtual Worlds conference taking place in San Jose, California, from 10-11 October.

Virtual worlds are rapidly becoming hugely popular. When the first Virtual Worlds conference took place in early 2006 only nine such cyberspaces were widely known. In 2007 more than 30 will be on show at the Virtual Worlds meeting.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Positive Words on Virtual Worlds

"It's kind of like getting your life back again, but even better in some ways," she said. "I've met so many people. I can walk. I can dance. I can even fly. Without this I'd just be staring at four walls. Mentally it's helped me so much."

Here's a nice article, positive for once, in todays Washington Post. True too, I've seen it in practice.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Next Weekend

The blogging has been a bit slow of late, as I've been chocca on the new sim for work (even in my spare time) and keeping my head down and feet firmly planted on the grid. I've also been trying to have a bit more quality time with the Mrs. Next weekend I'm gonna have a break.

Next weekend, AngryBeth is coming down so we can head to the First European Machinima Festival. Should be intersting. The festival, which is gonna be at De Montfort Uni's campus centre in Leicester, will show case the award nominations and winners, and some of the latest Machinima films and games trailers, and is expected to attract Machinima makers world-wide. The festival is supported by the Academy of Machinima Arts Sciences (AMAS) and will include workshops which will cover many of the aspects of making Machinima and associated legal and technical stuff we all need to know as a rapidly emerging art form.

/sighs. Oh yeah, I was just asked (again) what Machinima (pronounced ma-shin-i-ma) actually IS. It's making movies with videogames, the word being an amalgamation of machine cinema. A fusion of film-making and gaming, which is increasingly being used as one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways of creating animation, has a rapidly growing following, fuelled in part by the enhanced visual quality of many of the most popular computer games. Pay attention, there will be a short quiz at the end.

Anyway. These special features have been selected from the films submitted for entry to the awards as the judges felt were of merit and therefore worthy of a separate screening, i.e., well worth checking out...

Beast - Binary Picture Show (UK)
Code Monkey - The Electric Sheep Company (USA)
Everwind - ARVF Productions (USA)
(G)News from Outland: Crisis at Da Portal! - Blizzard Entertainment (USA)
Inventing Swear Words 3 - Oxhorn Brand Movies (USA)
Morning Run Amok - Fling Films (USA)
New World Wonder - Planet Video (UK)
Obliviously Not Teaser - Frédéric Servant, Bertrand Le Cabec and Sébastien Savine (France)
Only - Zarathustra Studios (USA)
Running Free - Safwan Ahmedmia (UK)
Snacky’s Journal (Episodes 1-3) - Stone Falcon Productions (USA)

A total of 152 films had been submitted, with entries coming from a wide range of countries including: the UK; US; Canada; Belgium; Netherlands; France; Germany; Austria; Finland; Sweden; Spain; Croatia; Slovakia; Japan and Australia.

Professor Andrew Hugill, Director of De Montfort University's Institute of Creative Technologies: "We are very pleased with the number, breadth and global spread of the entries. The enthusiasm out there for the festival is contagious and it has been really exciting to see so many different countries involved in creating submissions." Here, here. Bloody good turn out and I'm looking forward to it :-)

The award categories will be judged by "a distinguished panel including: award winning author and Reader in Creative Writing and New Media at DMU, Kate Pullinger; Martyn Ware, artist and record producer, who was a founding member of the pop group The Human League and who also formed Heaven 17; and, Hugh Hancock, Artistic Director of Strange Company, and inventor of the word "Machinima"." Plus, Burnie Burns and Jason Saldana of Rooster Teeth Productions, makers of the popular online sitcom Red vs Blue (v. funny based on Halo), will perform during the festival. Burnie Burns: "Our plan is to make a hilarious special video for the programme using our world-famous, award-winning Red vs Blue characters and our trademark humility." Could be a laugh, I like a bit of Red vs Blue. I hope they need extras :-)

People wanting to attend the fest should head to and make with the registering. See you in the bar at lunch.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Machinimatographers Unite

The lovely Miss Iridium Linden has set up a mailing list and wiki for machinima enthusiasts, so if you haven't already joined the machinimatographers in Second Life mailing list, here is the link.

Here's Iridium's posting on the list and wiki.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Terraforming Wellsian

Caledon is one of my favourite haunts on the grid. His knibs has got a couple of properties there. The studios in Mayfair and The Salty Mermaid (the navy pub) at Kittiwickshire hub. Also, and cheers again Guv, I've rez points for the ETC in most of the older sims. Most of my grid-mates are here and the bulk of my social and role-playing goes on on the oceans and in the parlours of this truly amazing group of excellent people. Now brace for Martian War Machines...

When Guvnah Shang gave a shout out to group the other day I just couldn't resist nipping over to the new sim of Wellsian to watch him apply the RAW file. Always biblical, and I wasn't disappointed.

This is now sim 31 of this epic Victorian masterpiece. A year ago, when I was first poking my nose around and digging up Cavorite with Terry on the moors, it was only 7 or 8. Dez has been busy. We now have connecting ocean sim a navy can be proud of, a public transport system that could teach the Labour Government a thing or two, a heaving artistic community, and a vibrant social scene led by our very own landed gentry.

Naturally, at the RAW upload, there was a bit too much lag for Machinima, but I had to give it go at the last minute. Tsk, not even time to remove the HUD ornaments.

Keep it up Guvanah. It's never boring ;-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Far Away

AM Radios "The Far Away" field has been receiving so much attention it's now hosted on a bit of the grid donated by one of his fans. AM has kindly decided he's going to sell 'The Far Away' in modular form in aid of charity! So far he's raised $130USD for Heifer International, helping people in 3rd World countries towards self reliance.

Vendors in aid of the charity are on the plot, with explanations of the work, including some bits not shown in the installation. This is a chance to get hold of a truly beautiful and unique piece of SL history. If you got the spare prims, do go and grab a bargain in the name of a damn good cause.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

SL Blogger Party

[14:28] Mygdala March: enjoying it as I?
[14:28] Madison Carnot: Peachy when I stand in one place :)
[14:28] Kris Constellation: Oh, this is zoe's voice.
[14:28] loki Popinjay: Better now :-)
[14:29] Tiana Meriman: i cant do a machinima in this lag XD
[14:29] JellyBean Madison loves the lag between her thighs... here, now. And bring a gun :-)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Work of AM Radio

Please, AM, come make movies with me :-)


AM Radios "The Far Away" field has been receiving so much attention is now hosted on a bit of the grid kindly donated by a fan. AM Radio has kindly decided he's going to sell some of his works in aid of charity! So far he's raised $130USD for Heifer International, helping people in 3rd World countries towards self reliance. Vendors in aid of the charity are on plot, with explanations of the work, including some bits not shown in the installation. This is a chance to get hold of a truly beautiful and unique piece of SL history. If you got the spare prims, go consume in the name of a damn good cause.



Some nine months ago veteran MMOG designer Raph Koster announced his new game company, called Areae, but not what they were making. Now he can talk about it.

So, h
eard of Metaplace. No? Neither had I till the BBC Twittered it at me the other day. In short, "users of Metaplace, as it is known, can build 3D online worlds for PCs or even a mobile phone without any knowledge of complex computer languages."

Users make the virtual spaces from bog standard "building blocks" and the results, which could be used for gaming, socialising, e-commerce, yada yada, can be embedded in a webpage, facebook profile or blog.

"We are out to democratise virtual worlds and bring them to absolutely anybody" ... "You can come to the site, press a button and have a functioning virtual world that supports multiple users in about 30 seconds."

Metaplace is entirely web based and connections can be made between all of the different worlds.

"We modelled this on the web," said Mr Koster. "You can think about each world being a webpage and every object within in it is a link." Users can create the worlds using different methods. Folks with zero programming background can use the graphical interface and choose worlds from a number of templates, such as a shop or a puzzle game. They can also clone worlds developed by other Metaplace users.

More competent visitors to the site can build a world from scratch using the tool's own programming language known as 'metamarkup'. The language is "platform agnostic", according to Mr Koster, which means that it can be used to create worlds which can run on anything from a powerful PC to a mobile handset.

Koster believes the tool will be used to create a wide variety of different virtual worlds including chatrooms, games similar to WOW, or teaching environments. "Others may want to make a book club that is integrated with Amazon where people can get together and chat every Thursday night about a book but they can actually see the pictures of the books on the wall, click on them and buy them," said Koster. "The applications are pretty open."

When complete, each world is given its own page on the Metaplace website. "You can mail that to somebody, they click on it and they are logged in to your world." Visitors will also find a forum, user ratings, wiki and other "community tools" associated with each page. For example, users will be able to suggest an age rating for each page. As each world is based on standard web technology they can also be embedded in blogs, a facebook profile, myspace page or website. "It becomes just another piece of the web - another way to display content and information," he said.

Koster says he developed Metaplace partly as a reaction to some of the already established virtual worlds and believes the medium has "enormous potential" but because of the cost of building them developers have never pushed the boundaries. "There's a huge amount of conservatism about what virtual worlds can be because it takes such a huge investment," said Mr Koster. Developers, he said, cannot afford to get it wrong when they are juggling multi million pound budgets. He hopes that his free tool will start to solve this.

"We want to see 10,000 virtual worlds so that lots of wild and crazy stuff gets made because that is the only way it will advance as a medium."

The program is currently going through testing and the final version will be made available to the public in spring 2008. Get in on the alpha sign-up now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Next person to talk to me like a Somerset farmer gets keel hauled by The Admiralty.

It's not big, it's not clever, and you'll have someone's eye out.

Vader Feels Blue

Vader, in French Louisiana musical refrain...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Manchester Yomp

Pig and I went into Manchester today to do a bit of urban trekking, camera in hand. Getting into the back streets and having a good poke about. Found the Richard Goodall Gallery and could have spent an absolute fortune.

Around mid day we came across Urbis, which was topical (and surprisingly good) and took a a step back to the halcyon days of the the Hacienda (which made me feel a bit old, but the music was good). Then had Dim Sum in the Yang Sing and decided to pop over to the Museum of Science and Industry to stare at steam engines.

Pleasant surprise (but not for Pig) was the Dr. Who Up-Close exhibition where you can get in amongst actual props, costumes and monsters from the series, including the stunning armature of the 4-metre long Empress of Racnoss from the Christmas Special. While not an impressive 'monster' in the series, the eight-foot tall Slitheen was an impressive body-suit and it was really nice to see the new K9. The light was a bit crap for photos, but we did our best. We then had a good mooch round the aero museum and the steam halls, plenty to see.

Paused at Yo-Sushi to pick up tea, than back to his. Feeling a bit rough this evening (might have a bit of food poisoning, which is odd when Pig has eaten everything I have today and he seems fine).

Got to give a bride away at an SL wedding tomorrow and it's the Harvest Festival Maritime Events (pop down, bring a boat, should be chaos) so gotta get on the road early.