Archive for August, 2007

Second Life - Virtual World Librarianship Courses

August 30th, 2007 | Category: Education, Librarians

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Alliance Library System of Illinois are offering virtual librarianship courses in Second Life, two six week courses to help introduce you to information services in the virtual world.

The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Alliance Library System of Illinois are pleased to offer two different six week online (in Second Life) courses to introduce you to libraries and information services in a virtual world. These are non-credit courses, but continuing professional education units (CEU and CPDU) are available upon request.

INTRODUCTION TO VIRTUAL WORLD LIBRARIANSHIP (3 sections available)

Section One: September 4, 11, 18, 25, October 2 and 9 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm SL (8:00 - 10:00 pm central)
Section Two: September 14, 21, 28, October 19, 26, and November 9 from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. SL (9:30 - 11:30 am central)
Section Three: September 14, 21, 28, October 19, 26, and November 9 from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm SL (1:30 - 3:30 pm central)

Location: Info Island, Second Life
Cost: $200
Audience: Open to all library and information professionals

Week One: Introduction to Libraries in Virtual Worlds
Week Two: Second Life 101
Week Three: Collections, Resources, and Exhibits in Virtual Environment
Week Four: Reference and Information Services in Virtual Worlds
Week Five: Managing and Working in a Virtual Library or Department
Week Six: Skills Needed by 21st Century Librarians in Virtual Worlds

TO REGISTER FOR INTRODUCTION COURSE

INTERMEDIATE VIRTUAL WORLD LIBRARIANSHIP (3 sections available)

Section One: September 17, 24, October 1, 8, 15, and 22 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm SL (8:00 - 10:00 pm central)
Section Two: November 6, 13, 20, 27, December 4 and 11 from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. SL (9:30 - 11:30 am central)
Section Three: November 6, 13, 20, 27, December 4 and 11 from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm SL (1:30 - 3:30 pm central)

Location: Info Island, Second Life
Cost: $250
Audience: Open to those who have completed the Introduction course or who have library experience in Second Life

Week One: Overview of Virtual Worlds Including Second Life & Others-What Libraries are Doing in Them
Week Two: Library Programs and Events in Second Life
Week Three: Introduction to Building and Scripting Items in Second Life
Week Four: Virtual World Library Services for Teens and Young Adults
Week Five: Introduction to Machinima - Creating Films in Second Life
Week Six: Immersive Learning Environments and Libraries

TO REGISTER FOR INTERMEDIATE COURSE

For additional information and to register, visit:

Or contact Marianne Steadley, Steadley@uiuc.edu, 217-244-2751
Marianne Steadley
Continuing Professional Development Program Director
501 E. Daniel St. Champaign IL 61820
217/244-2751
Fax: 217/244-3302 [newlib-l] Source: Second Life - Virtual World Librarianship Courses via Second Life - Virtual World Librarianship Courses

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Second Life News for August 30, 2007

August 30th, 2007 | Category: Second Life News

Interview: Second Life - under attack The online world of Second Life can be a tough place sometimes: attract too much attention and you risk attack by hell raisers known as “griefers” (see page 28). One of the most prominent griefer groups is Patriotic Nigras (PN), who inflicts vicious abuse on their targets, while saying they do it for “laughs”. Here, one of the founders of PN, known as Mudkips Acronym, talks about his motivations, while Catherine Fitzpatrick (aka Prokofy Neva) explains what it’s like to be a victim and why Linden Lab, the firm that runs Second Life, is not doing enough to protect its members.

Estonia to open embassy in Second Life virtual world Estonia will join Sweden in the virtual world of Second Life when it becomes the second country to have its own embassy there, website postimees.ee reported on Wednesday. The Foreign Ministry of this small Baltic country plans to open a diplomatic mission in Second Life on November 11.

“Second Life is a fast-developing virtual reality where we saw an opportunity to represent Estonia,” said Marten Kokk, vice chancellor of the ministry.

Tower Consultants to open presence in Second Life Tower Consultants, a nationwide, female-owned boutique search firm specializing in the recruitment of human resource professionals for a myriad of Fortune 500 companies, announced today that the company has opened a presence in the virtual world of Second Life, at http://slurl.com/secondlife/HumanResource%20Island/115/70/27.

This online outpost, created under the supervision of Semper International, whom Tower shares in ownership of Human Resource Island, will serve as another point of outreach for the company as it expands operations and exposes Tower Consultants’ unique mission of combining highly talented human resource professionals with challenging and rewarding careers to the nearly eight million residents of Second Life.

Simon Hendery: Virtual worlds can bring real benefits for business For many employers, social networking websites like Facebook are a menace - an all-too tempting distraction for staff who can easily waste hours of work time keeping up with friends online.

With the cumulative cost of an employee who spends, say, an hour a day surfing unproductively potentially adding up to thousands of dollars a year, it is no surprise many businesses are blacklisting sites like Facebook. But others argue there are business advantages to be had out of social networking, and even from the increasingly popular pastime of living out a virtual existence in online realms such as Second Life.

The 5+ Senses in Second Life The adorable and puissant Iris Ophelia asks: “In RL there are 5 (debatably 6) senses. How many are there in SL? Do we just lose some of them, or do we also gain some?”

Excellent question. I’ve posted previously about the efficacy of eating animations, which you could argue approaches the question about the experiential senses in SL. And despite this post, I think it’s time to take another look at how SL approximates our senses, and if it offers any new ones.

Marketing in Second Life: What are Group Leaders, Business Owners, and Residents thinking? Is Second Life (secondlife.com) significant for customer engagement, brand promotion, and even commerce? This is undoubtedly the number-one question for corporate research in this new medium. Recently, there have been many stories written about both the successes and failures from corporate efforts in Second Life (SL). This article will clarify what’s happening in Second Life and explore corporate engagement with its leading research firm, the First Opinions Panel, a service of the non profit Social Research Foundation.

Second Life - Virtual World Librarianship Courses The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Alliance Library System of Illinois are pleased to offer two different six week online (in Second Life) courses to introduce you to libraries and information services in a virtual world. These are non-credit courses, but continuing professional education units (CEU and CPDU) are available upon request.

Holland2.0 and Second Life … What’s the Fuss About? The Netherlands Board Of Tourism & Conventions announces the launch of http://us.holland.com, a fully Web2.0 based site, as well as the official launch of the world’s first National Tourism Board in Second Life, www.hollandsecondlife.com

Linden Labs Adds ID Verification System To Second Life In a move that should help disperse some of the clouds hanging over Linden Labs, the company has added a new identity verification system to Second Life. Robin Harper, vice president of marketing and community development said, “With the option to verify aspects of their real life identity, such as age and name, Second Life Residents can begin to build trust and safety systems inside the virtual world and their virtual community.” The list of Second Life naysayer’s grows daily, but if the virtual world can survive long enough, this recent tweak will go a long way towards making the site better for users all around.

Added:
Corbis adds user gallery to Second Life Stock media library Corbis has opened a gallery in Second Life that’s focused on creating a community space where those interested in art and photography can view, share and discuss imagery.

‘Second Life’: The promise and paradox At this weekend’s Second Life Community Convention, Philip Rosedale–founder of Second Life creator Linden Lab–ambitiously declared, as he often does, that “this is something that everybody on Earth is going to use” and that the virtual world will be “bigger than the Web.”

Tata Interactive Systems in Second Life Online Symposium Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), a world leader in custom e-learning design/ development and organisational performance improvement, has participated in an online (’in-world’) symposium on ‘Creativity in Second Life’ organised by the New Media Consortium (NMC).

If A Car Launches In Second Life, Will Anyone Notice It? Scion, a division of Toyota that sells “trendy” cars targeted at Gen Y in the United States, was one of the earliest companies touting its wares in Second Life.

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Oyster Bay Sculpture Garden, Market & Aquarium and the Crescent Moon Museum

August 30th, 2007 | Category: Art

Here another great spot for art, the Oyster Bay Sculpture Garden, Market & Aquarium and the Crescent Moon Museum, who are featuring new a new rotating exhibit that celebrates the Second Life of the master of SL sculpture, Starax Statosky. Here is a video, the notecard and a couple pics. Visit the gallery inworld by clicking here.

Posted to Technology Videos on August 27, 2007

OYSTER - Oyster Bay Sculpture Garden, Market & Aquarium and the Crescent Moon Museum are pleased to announce their collaboration on a new rotating exhibit that celebrates the Second Life of the master of SL sculpture, Starax Statosky.

“Hidden Starax!” will present over 20 rare Starax pieces over the course of 6 weeks, beginning on the evening of Wednesday, July 25. The pieces will rez on the main exhibit platform in the Oyster sim at Oyster Bay. Sculpture pieces will include Starax classics like Kong, Drowned, Achilles and David and Goliath. Due to high prim counts, only one or two pieces will be on display at a time. The pieces will rez on Wednesday and Sunday nights on the main platform.

“The Crescent Moon Museum donated these Starax pieces to Oyster Bay because of our shared interest in bringing the finest Second Life art to SL’s residents,” said Tayzia Abbatoir, owner of Crescent Moon. “My Starax collection is an example of the creativity that is possible using Second Life as a medium. I’m excited that the world will have the opportunity to share in Starax’s work.”

The climax of “Hidden Starax!” will be an inworld Second Life Community Convention event from August 24-26. Three of Starax’s most lauded pieces will be on display at Oyster Bay. The SLCC event will also coincide with the launch of the new Summer/Fall show at Oyster Bay, meaning the entire venue will be refreshed with the latest examples of Second Life sculpture.

Also, the permanent Oyster Bay Starax exhibit in the adjoining Shepherd sim will feature free, copy-able editions of Starax works like Samson, Nature and the Flyable Pegasus. These free pieces will also rotate throughout the life of the exhibit, and visitors will be encouraged to take copies for their private art collections.

“Making the free Starax pieces easily accessible to the public is a passion of Tayzia and mine,” added Morris Vig, Oyster Bay owner. “Like any collectible market, the market for Starax brings out the unscrupulous element. I personally was taken on a Starax piece when I started collecting his work and did not know the pieces were free. Offering these pieces to the public is our way of helping make sure that never happens again.”

Lastly, other events aligned with the Starax theme are being planned. Information on those events will follow.

Starax Statosky is recognized in SL art circles as one of the finest artisans that Second Life has seen. His works, always done with a level of precision in prim construction that few can match, vary in theme between whimsy and classical design. His legacy is secure as his pieces grace the grounds of many of SL’s finest venues. Starax left Second Life in mid-2006, and speculation is rampant as to whether he will return (or perhaps HAS returned in “alt” form?).

The Crescent Moon Museum is the Oldest Art Museum in Second Life. It is host to hundreds of pieces of original art created by SL residents. The exhibits change bi-weekly. The collection includes over 35 Starax pieces (many on loan to Oyster Bay for “Hidden Starax”), the RC jewelry collection, and art created from many other amazing SL and RL artists.

Opened in January 2007, Oyster Bay focuses its effort as a cultural space that focuses nearly exclusively on artwork generated using Second Life as the medium - sculpture and SL photography. Through the signature sculpture garden and the new Second Arts Photography gallery, as well as its artistic market stores (often mini-galleries to themselves), Oyster Bay has cemented itself as one of Second Life’s top places to view and purchase art. It was voted the second most popular cultural venue in Second Life in the 2007 Corsa Guide competition.

Second Life URL.

Oyster Bay Sculpture Garden, Market & Aquarium and the Crescent Moon Museum

Oyster Bay Sculpture Garden, Market & Aquarium and the Crescent Moon Museum 2

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Alician Fresh Auction Company & Gallery

August 30th, 2007 | Category: Art

A friend of mine just introduced me to this art gallery in second life, the Alician Fresh Auction Company & Gallery, it’s pretty new, so, the place isn’t full of art, but what they have there is really good. Check out the pics below and the info from the notecard they give you when you get there. Check out the gallery here.

The Current Auction is CLOSED

The next auction is set to begin the first week of SEP.

Join the Alucin Fresh Auction Company Group for more information and announcements.

The week prior will be a preview week

Artists please take a copy of the submission notecard, fill the questionnaire, and return it to Alucin Enoch to submit your works for auction,

Our gallery rental spaces are available for L$200/week 50 prims or (Double space) L$350/week 100 prims, or you can go all out and rent an entire floor (four spaces) for L$600/week 200 prims

other options are also available including commission based

please contact Alucin Enoch, Sharone Jie, or Fresh Babenco for more information

Tiny Second Life URL

Alucin Enoch

Alucin Enoch 2

Alician Fresh Auction Company & Gallery

Alician Fresh Auction Company & Gallery 2

Candie Kelty

saiwan yoshikawa

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Teaching English in Second Life

August 29th, 2007 | Category: Education, How To, Teaching

Nice blog post from a teacher talking about how he is using Second Life to teach his students, and how he made up 7 movies to help them learn how to talk, move around and work in groups in Second Life without disturbing the other groups.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been pretty busy teaching my first English students on a Business English course I have been developing for a virtual school called Languagelab.com

The experience has been pretty daunting with myself and the students having to come to terms with the complexities of the user interface and I have felt at times that my fifteen years of ‘real world’ classroom experience and the subconscious habits and reflexes that I developed over that period have totally deserted me. Source: Teaching English in Second Life

Here are links to the different videos he is using.

Pair and Group Work Using IM Call.

How to use the Active Speaker Panel

Hot to take notes using notecards

How to copy notes from notecards to Word

How to pass notecards to your partner

How to listen to audio and watch video

How to take snapshots in Second Life

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Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning

August 29th, 2007 | Category: Conferences

What: The Sloan-C International Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning

When: May 7-9, 2008

Where: Carefree Resort, Carefree, Arizona

Description: The Symposium is designed to bring together individuals interested in the technological aspects of online learning. Experts, intermediate users and novices are welcome to participate in Symposium activities that will include face-to-face and virtual components in Second Life. Symposium tracks will highlight and demonstrate research, application and best practices of important emerging technological tools for social networking, assessment, open educational resources, new media and support services.

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Second Life News for August 29, 2007

August 29th, 2007 | Category: Second Life News

BSU Libraries Working Group to Place Materials on Second Life Ball State University Libraries plans to utilize the online environment Second Life to make library and archival resources such as text, photographs, audio and videos available to users of the virtual world.

Arthur Hafner, dean of University Libraries, formed a working group in June to study the possibility of creating a library presence on Second Life. It is exploring library services that can be provided in Second Life, a product of Linden Labs, a San Francisco-based company. Second Life users, known as residents, create online personalities called avatars. Residents can interact with each other and buy virtual items and property using virtual currency.

Identity Verification Comes to Second Life Trust is the foundation of any community. And one cornerstone of trust is identity. You’ve got to know something about the person you are dealing with before you can trust them. Knowing who to trust in an online environment presents unique challenges. Traditionally Second Life users have based their trust on relationships built over time, and often on some basic verification such as ‘Payment Info on File’.

Second Life Happenings Do you have a second? Need a second chance? Are bad puns second nature to you now? Okay, I’ll stop, but by now you probably guessed that Second Life is today’s topic. More specifically, there are two items of interest.

First, Drew Harry and Dietmar Offenhuber — two MIT graduate students (which implies the “first” student and the “second” student) — from the Sociable Media Group in the Media Lab have won MIT’s Second Life Design Competition. The challenge was to design and create within Second Life campus living spaces, represented by clusters of “Pods” that would let any student join Second Life and, with little foreknowledge, create and add their own Pod to a cluster.

How to put SecondLife to good use: plan and run emergency drills on your virtual campus Lately, I’ve read more and more negative comments about SecondLife. Many inside and outside of higher education have questioned the return on investment of SL campuses for universities and colleges as Jeff Young from the Chronicle of Higher Ed wrote a few days ago in the Campus Wired Blog:

More than 100 colleges have set up some kind of presence in Second Life, according to officials at Linden Lab, the company that runs the environment. But are those campuses attracting enough visitors to make the investments worth it?

Second Life attendees gather in real world Men wearing pink wigs and fishnet stockings, people dressed like red devils, vampires and fairies, and six-foot-tall furry dogs all showed that the real world could be just as unreal as the virtual one during the Second Life masquerade ball - part of the popular site’s third annual Community Convention this past weekend.

The masquerade ball wrapped up the volunteer-run convention, which brought together 825 people, many of whom had only met in the virtual, 3-D world of Second Life. Boasting more than 9 million registered users on its Web site, San Francisco-based Linden Lab, which created Second Life, did not put on the event but provided support for it.

The Sloan-C International Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning The Symposium is designed to bring together individuals interested in the technological aspects of online learning. Experts, intermediate users and novices are welcome to participate in Symposium activities that will include face-to-face and virtual components in Second Life. Symposium tracks will highlight and demonstrate research, application and best practices of important emerging technological tools for social networking, assessment, open educational resources, new media and support services.

SLCC: Business Track Observations One track I have been following here and there at the SLCC was the business track. While there have been some great presentation by e.g. Crayon/Coke or Jeff Barr there also have been some where I wondered if they really got Second Life. Let’s give it a name and let’s say that I think the “clue train factor” is somewhat missing.

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Linden Labs Toying with Google Search for Second Life

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Search

I have a love/hate relationship with Google, although it seems it’s more hate/hate ;) but I am very interested in the blog post from Nick Wilson of Metaversed saying that Second Life may be integrating Google for their search. While I don’t want Google to be involved in every aspect of my life, I do want better search out of Second Life, so we shall see.

Jeska Linden, the community manager at Linden Lab, the company that publishes Second Life said in a discussion today at an InformationWeek meeting, that the development team were playing around with Google Search Appliance. Google’s enterprise hardware/software search solution would allow residents to search the Metaverse far more effectively. In theory, it would knock home grown efforts like the upcoming revamp of Sheep Search, Meta Mart and SL Browser right out of the game. Source: Second Life to Integrate Google Search

The results would be in flat HTML, he says this would bring us one step closer to the fabled “html on a prim” ideal of bringing markup in world.

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Repair the Damage of Ancient DNA

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Discussion, Education

What: Discussion with Phil Holliger from the Medical Research Council Molecular Biology Lab in Cambridge about a new way to more accurately repair the damage of ancient DNA.

When: September 13th, 6pm GMT

Where: Second Nature

This is going to be a series of events held on Second Nature, where scientists of all types will come along and talk about their work to anyone who wants to listen. We haven’t hosted an event in Second Life before, but I have attended several which have been really interesting - short informal talks, followed by a discussion seem to be perfect for Second Life where the audience is perhaps less inhibited than in real world meetings, so discussion flows more freely.

Talks will start in September, and be perhaps approximately fortnightly - we have a number of speakers already lined up, but if you’re a scientist and fancy giving it a go, by all means let me know!

More details nearer the time, but keep September 12th, 6pm GMT free for a discussion with Phil Holliger from the Medical Research Council Molecular Biology Lab in Cambridge. Phil works with ancient DNA: DNA samples retrieved from specimens of forensic, paleontological or archaeological interest. DNA naturally degrades over time, making it very difficult to amplify and analyze, and Phil will be talking about a new way to more accurately repair the damage, which he recently tried out on a 60,000 year-old cave bear.

To whet your appetite, Phil will be followed in the autumn by a host of other speakers, covering topics including a new affordable drugs initiative, scientific patents, the foraging strategies of cormorants and how flooding cut Britain off from the continent and turned it into an island. All the events will be free, open to anyone, and no specialist knowledge is required, so if you don’t have a Second Life account, now’s the perfect time to get one. Source: Events on Second Nature

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Examining the Prospect of Human Life Extension

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Education, Research

What: Examining the Prospect of Human Life Extension

When: 3 September 2007 7.00 pm until 8.00 pm

Where: ABC Island

Into this virtual space step a series of CSIRO scientists ready to share their specialist knowledge on a range of subjects relevant to our lives in the natural world and the electronic one.

CSIRO is providing speakers for this event. It is doing this to explore new ways of engaging people and science as well as exploring the frontiers of communication, interaction and modes of reality.

Put on your best virtual wings, shoes and shape and come ‘in-world’ with us. Source: Examining the Prospect of Human Life Extension

Second Life URL

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Researching the Limits of Virtual Worlds

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Education, Research

What: Researching the Limits of Virtual Worlds

When: 17 September 2007 7.00 pm until 8.00 pm

Where: ABC Island

Come and hear Dr Gautam Tendulkar discuss how CSIRO is using Second Life to research the limits of virtual worlds, data exchange between worlds and custom interfaces.

CSIRO intends to use Second Life to investigate how avatars can control devices in the real world and also how computers or devices in the real world can modify objects and avatars in the virtual world. There are various projects within CSIRO from health to mining which would benefit from a closer integration of the real and virtual world.

An example is the ability for a person who cannot move arms or legs in real life to be able to control objects and move or fly in the virtual world using a helmet which senses his brain patterns. In the virtual mining domain, the effects of mining a be made visible in the virtual world. The optimal placement of sensors and such devices can be investigated by using Second Life as a simulation environment.

The Second Life browser is now available as open source which makes it suitable for enhancements and adaptations more suited to scientific and industrial applications. Source: Researching the Limits of Virtual Worlds

Second Life URL

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HM Revenue & Customs Spying On Avatars?

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Taxes

In an article on PC Advisor, it is being reported that HM Revenue & Customs, the IRS for the UK, is spying on avatars who are possible tax evaders. They are even watching trading of items, saying that even if no Lindens are involved, you could still be taxed on the gain, or profit.

This follows earlier news that online gamers and community dwellers are on the taxman’s hit list. And it’s not just real-money profits being spied on. The Revenue said it will target even virtual profits: “Even if there is no cash transaction you could still be taxed on the profit or gain. The virtual aspect is a red herring. If someone is running a business, then they are required to register with us and pay tax on that business.”

Tax inspectors are using Xenon, a new high-tech snooper computer system, to scan the site, which has 35,000 regular users in the UK. Xenon is also being used to identify people making money from eBay and other auction sites. Source: Second Life players spied on by government

They mention that some start earning Lindens as fun and don’t realize they have to pay taxes on them, but the avatars they are looking at, are the ones who are running businesses, reminding them that they still have to pay taxes on their virtual profit. They had given avatars amnesty, saying that if you declare your profits now you would avoid paying up to 100% penalties on top of the monies owed, but the amnesty ran out on June 22.

I’m sure this isn’t the last we will hear about this.

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