Second Life and OpenSim mobile clients

Two mobile grid clients are available for Second Life or OpenSim virtual worlds :

Pocket Metaverse (for iOS ; version 1.8.0 ; $4.99)
The following features are provided :

  • Instant Messaging & Chat
  • Friends List with Who’s Online
  • World Map and Teleporting
  • MiniMap with Who’s Nearby
  • Profiles, Groups, Search
  • Giving, Receiving, and Managing Inventory
  • Read Notecards and view Snapshots and Textures
  • Upload and Download from the Photo Album and Camera (iPhone only)
  • Payments
  • and more

The app does not show a 3D world view.

Mobile Grid Client (for Android ; version 1.19 ; monthly fee L$250)

The following features are provided :

  • messaging client/viewer with local chat
  • IM
  • group chat
  • people search
  • mini map
  • the ability to teleport
  • inventory support
  • and more

The app does not show a 3D world view.

Linden Lab, the company that created Second Life and grew that online community into one of the most colorful, varied online social networks in the world, recently launched some new products. One is Creatorverse, an app for Apple and Android phones and tablets that is designed around a very different type of collaborative, creative play from Second Life.

Aurora-Sim Metaverse

Aurora-Sim is the next generation of the OpenSimulator Project.

Aurora-Sim is a community based project consisting of individuals with a variety of technical and non-technical talents and has been developed with emphasis on security, speed and performance.

The architecture is designed to be as flexible as possible, so that third parties can create modules by pluging into Aurora-Sim’s modular design. By using the .NET framework and Mono, Aurora-Sim can be run on many platforms.

The Aurora-Sim software is still in alpha. There are 3 components :

  • Aurora Simulator (virtual world server ; version 5.0.1)
  • Aurora Web UI
  • Aurora Joomla interface

The source code is available at Github.

Hypergrid Business and Grid Press

Hypergrid Business is the magazine for enterprise users of virtual worlds.

Hypergrid Business is published by Trombly International, a Massachusetts-based communications firm with key staff in Boston, Belgium, Shanghai and Mumbai. Subsidiaries include the China Speakers Bureau. Hypergrid Business offers in-depth and up-to-date coverage of the OpenSim technology and community, which is currently the leading contender to be the hyperlinked 3D Web, with news, case studies, opinion, and feature stories. They cover also alternative open source platforms like Open Wonderland, and proprietary enterprise platforms like ProtoSphere.

The Editor in Chief and publisher of the Hypergrid Business Magazine is Maria Korolov. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld.

Another source for news and views from around the OpenSim is Grid Press, covering also the new Aurora-Sim metaverse. Grid Press says to be dedicated to bringing you factual news, reliable information and honest opinions. It promotes the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in a fashion that is respectful of all persons. Grid Press operates on a not-for-profit basis, though it is not a registered non-profit. Grid Press is supported and hosted by Zetamax, an OpenSim hosting company, claiming to offer a truely managed OpenSim solution.

Microdata vocabularies

Microdata is an extension to HTML5, also known as HTML5 with Microdata, that allows adding some additional structure (semantic meaning) to HTML documents. These machine-readable properties can be processed by software searching for specific types of information. Some search engines, Google in particular, already support microdata in HTML5 and use it to improve search engine results.

I am specifically interested in the following Microdata schemas :

Art Galleries :

Creative Works :

Historical landmarks :

Historical people :

Rental :

HTML microdata

One of the most adavanced technologies for the semantic web is HTML microdata. HTML Microdata is a W3C Working Draft (last version : 29 March 2012).

Most HTML tags tell the browser how to display the information included in a tag. For example <h1>Blackberry</h1> tells the browser to display the text string Blackberry in a heading 1 format. However, the HTML tag doesn’t give any information about what that text string means. Blackberry could refer to a mobile device or to a fruit and this makes it difficult for search engines to intelligently display relevant content to a user.

Microdata vocabularies provide the semantics, or meaning of an item. Web developers can design a custom vocabulary or use vocabularies available on the web. Microdata vocabularies are provided by schema.org.

Microdata introduces five simple global attributes (available for any element to use) which give context for machines about your data :

  • itemscope – creates the Item and indicates that descendants of this element contain information about it (boolean attribute)
  • itemtype – a valid URL of a vocabulary that describes the item and its properties context
  • itemid – indicates a unique identifier of the item
  • itemprop – indicates that its containing tag holds the value of the specified item property (strings, urls, images, …)
  • itemref – properties that are not descendants of the element with the itemscope attribute can be associated with the item using this attribute

Google uses semantic web technologies to create rich snippets (detailed information intended to help users with specific queries) in web search results. Googles suggest to use microdata as a markup format. Actually Google supports rich snippets for the following content types: Reviews, People, Products, Businesses and organizations, Recipes, Events and Music.

Google provides a Rich Snippet Testing Tool to check that their search engines can correctly parse the structured data markup and display it in search results. A Microdata schema creator is provided by Raven.

The next list provide links to more informations about microdata, followed by a list of links to specific vocabularies :

Europeana : think culture

Europeana Logo

Europeana was launched in 2008, with the goal of making Europe’s cultural and scientific heritage accessible to the public. The project is funded by the European Commission. It is based in the National Library of the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Over 180 heritage and knowledge organisations and IT experts across Europe support Europeana regarding technical and usability issues. Europeana builds on the experience of The European Library, which is a service of the Conference of European National Librarians.

The Europeana website provides efficient tools for searching, FAQ’s, Help’s, a ThoughtLab, a Blog, Newsletters and a personal space My Europeana to save your favourite items and searches, and to add tags. The content is available in most eurpean languages.

An associated project to Europeana is the Public Domain Calculator.

Gorillaz : virtual music band

Gorillaz virtual music band

Gorillaz are an English musical project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. This project consists of the Gorillaz music itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a virtual band of cartoon characters, composed of four animated members :

  • 2D (lead vocalist, keyboard, and melodica)
  • Murdoc Niccals (bass guitar and drum machine)
  • Noodle (guitar, keyboard, and occasional vocals)
  • Russel Hobbs (drums and percussion)

Their fictional universe is explored through the band’s website and music videos, as well as a number of other media, such as short cartoons. The cartoon members have been shown as pseudo holograms on stage using Musion Eyeliner technology, giving them a life-like appearance on stage. The holograms were first used at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards on 3 November 2005 and again at the 2006 Grammy Awards on 8 February 2006 with the addition of a virtual Madonna.

Pleo – PM 2 Firmware Update

Today, I upgraded my Pleo’s from firmware Life OS 1.1 to the new firmware PM2 ( Personality Module 2.0.) PM 2 is all-new “personality software” from Innvo Labs that evolves Pleo to a new level of interaction. With PM 2 the Pleo is more active. He has more room to grow and learn. He knows new tricks and sounds. And all of the updates from Life OS 1.1 are included too.

The PM2 firmware includes 34 active scripts, 12 new motions, 72 improved motion commands and the following new or modified tricks :

  • Play Dead
  • Stand up and talk to me
  • Watch Dog
  • Conversation
  • Wave
  • Red object tracking

Virtual mini aquariums on the web

Last update : July 11, 2012
Okuyama Kazuya, the creator of Q-BLOCK, is also the developer of virtual mini aquariums on the web. The first version was published in 2005. The mini aquarium tropical fish versions are based on ShockWave and are provided as javascript links to integrate in blogs or third party websites as widgets. Different fish types are available : neon, discus, clown, platinum angel. A free main application called Virtual Aqua is also available.