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  Child Protection In ‘Second Life’ Isn’t A Software Issue  
Posted 2007-08-22 by Tony Walsh
Sparked by a moral panic earlier this year, two German firms have launched a contest for the creation of software intended to block minors from accessing adult content in Second Life.

Child protection in Second Life isn't a problem software can solve effectively. Second Life, like booze and porn, is meant for adults, not kids. Prior experience tells us kids can't be prevented from getting their hands on booze and porn. All parents can do is raise their children "virtual-street smart," establish and enforce sensible rules, keep their Second Life passwords to themselves, and hope for the best. And, like any purveyor of adult material, Linden Lab has little choice but to make Second Life more difficult for minors to access, even if it makes access by adults more cumbersome.
  CyberExtruder Pulls a Face in ‘Second Life’  
Posted 2007-08-19 by Tony Walsh
3pointD reports that CyberExtruder, developer of technology which facilitates the conversion of 2D photos into 3D digital face models, now offers its services to residents Second Life. In short, CyberExtruder provides photo-realistic avatar faces quickly and for about ten US dollars a pop--one of the most appropriate and useful outside services ever to be bridged to Second Life, in my opinion.

I must have spent a dozen hours over the years tinkering with my own avatar's face (using my own photo as a starting point), and would have been happy to fork over ten bucks to save myself the trouble. I've heard of CyberExtruder before, and until now, never thought it had a killer application. If CyberExtruder proves popular, I could see Linden Lab licensing the technology for integration into a future version of Second Life.
  links for 2007-08-18  
Posted 2007-08-18 by Tony Walsh
  links for 2007-08-17  
Posted 2007-08-17 by Tony Walsh
  ‘LivePlanet’ Bumbles Into ‘Second Life,’ ‘Warcraft’  
Posted 2007-08-13 by Tony Walsh
"Are virtual worlds ready for a CNN to call their own?" The Hollywood Reporter asks, pointing to mainstream media venture LivePlanet which intends to embed reporters in virtual worlds Second Life and World of Warcraft.

Yes, virtual worlds are ready for "a CNN" to call their own--in fact, there has been a thriving "native" media scene inside Second Life for years. Wagner James Au was the first embedded writer in Second Life, followed soon after by myself (less embedded than external) and dishy tabloid The Second Life Herald--we were the first wave of writers alluded to in a recent Columbia Journalism Review article on journalism in Second Life. Since then, a legion of in- and out-world publications and broadcasters have been covering Second Life. It also bears mentioning that nearly every attempt to broadcast regular video reports from Second Life has failed, including the corporate-backed Grid Review. Why LivePlanet thinks it has a chance of success here is beyond me.

Continue reading: ‘LivePlanet’ Bumbles Into ‘Second Life,’ ‘Warcraft’
  CMP Technology Going B2B in ‘Second Life’  
Posted 2007-08-11 by Tony Walsh
Media giant CMP Technology recently announced it has been certified as a "full-service" Second Life developer, raising questions not only about what certification means, but about whether it would compete established third-party developers. Over a hundred such developers exist, from low-profile boutique studios to high-profile firms such as the Electric Sheep Company and Millions of Us.

On the certification front, Linden Lab revealed earlier in the year that it was considering establishing a certification program for third-party developers, working with an external certification provider to test applicants and maintain a list of certified developers. CMP's certification is the first I've heard of the plan coming to fruition, and questions still remain--are there any other certified developers who'd be willing to come out of the closet? Who is providing certification--Linden Lab or a third party? [Update: Ordinal Malaprop shares some additional info with us.]

Certification aside, existing third-party Second Life developers seem to have little to fear from CMP's Second Life interest based on statements made by CMP reps to Virtual Worlds News in an interview published yesterday. Rather than focusing on bringing real-world brands to the virtual world, CMP's John Jainschigg says the company is "...much more in the business of finding the ultimate decision maker in respect to particular high tech products being purchased by governments and companies." Stuart Bowen of CMP told Virtual Worlds News that the media company has "a connection to the B2B space... CMP is really in the business of connecting the buyers and sellers... And that is, I think, what differentiates us."
  links for 2007-08-11  
Posted 2007-08-11 by Tony Walsh
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Posted 2007-08-08 by Tony Walsh
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Posted 2007-08-07 by Tony Walsh
  links for 2007-07-26  
Posted 2007-07-26 by Tony Walsh
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