Thursday, September 21, 2006

TV makes a bigger move online

With the launch of MeeVee; TV for me online :: the idea of us watching TV over the Internet instead of through our loungeroom boxes seems less remote a possibility as one might have thought.

Available only in the US at the moment, the site allows you to select from a bunch of station & cable content, together with internet TV and personalise your own TV channels all watchable through a downloaded TV screen widget.

Whilst some will scoff that it will take much more than that to move the computer to the loungeroom, we know that strong and original content in high demand will always drive usage of other viewing apps.

Whilst we all geeked out over Youtube and Current.TV, the winner has to be closer to MeeVee but encompassing the fantastic quality of some of the less mainstream Current.TV material and not forcing us to sift through pages of bad singing and I-wanna-be famous yank videos on Youtube.

Whilst I won't be moving to America and transporting my mac into the loungeroom just yet, this'll an interesting one to watch.

Check it out :: MeeVee

eBay is the shortest route to liquidation

It's not just user profiles & game avatars that are up for sale on eBay, companies are using it as a short route to liquidation too. Techcrunch has noted atleast 6 companies who have used eBay to get out of town and another company 'Crispads' is still up for auction at a current asking price of $90,000.

Zookoda, an Australian email marketing and services company, is next up.

Full story here at Technorati ::

Digg profile for sale on eBay

I posted earlier on about Netscape's new offering set to compete with Digg.com, there's been a bunch of news about top Digg users being offered big coin to move across to Netscape's product.

Technorati has a great story on a Digg user 'geekforlife' (user .00ranked 75th) who has apparently upped stumps and sold hs Digg user profile on eBay.

The auction was back in July and after 35 bids it was sold for USD822. The user has submitted 748 Digg stories, 39 of which have made it to the Digg home page.

There are two arguments for the account having value. First, of course, is the fact that Netscape is now paying top Digg users to switch over. Netscape is looking for actual users, not accounts, though, and so there’s little chance of this account being turned into a valuable income stream at Netscape. Second, high ranking Digg accounts count more than others when they Digg a story, making that story more likely to go to the home page. The account therefore has value, if Digg doesn’t simply turn it off.

This story has, of course, already been put on Digg.

For the full story check it out at Technorati here :: Digg profile on sale at eBay

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Flippa goes from second life to first

Ok this is going to spin you but I am exhibiting some of my street art photography hanging in my gallery in second life...in the first life. I've selected a bunch of street art stencil photographs and they're now hanging in a cool new little restaurant in Surry Hills called Table for 20.

All the details for the restaurant on the blog; it reads ::
"In Surry Hills one guy is reinventing the idea of the evening meal by opening his space for a weekly gathering of friends & strangers. So grab yourself a seat, pass the wine & pitch in because this is neighbourhood dining at it's very best. There are thousands of normal restaurants in Sydney. This is not one of them."

You can check out the restaurant here :: Table for 20; and if you do, let me know what you think of it! It's one of the most unique things I've seen around here for a while.

New graf shots up

Hi folks

Just thought I would let you know that I'm just in the middle of putting up a new exhibition of street art photographs I took in Newtown, Sydney Australia.

I've got some ripper stencils of the cultural terrorist, the usual anti-Govt and anti-war stuff and some beautifully designed stickers. Anyway, the walls are almost finished so if you're in-world drop by the gallery & check it out.

A first Look at A Second Life

What is Second Life exactly?

Second Life is what’s known as a MMORG which stands for Massive Multiple Online Role Playing Game. This basically means that it is an online game to which thousands of users around the world interact in different roles (or characters) simultaneously. It’s also often called a ‘metaverse’ a phrase coined by Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel SnowCrash (1992). Stephenson's definition of metaverse refers to a high definition 3D digital virtual world where users, represented by their avatars (game characters) can meet and interact just like they do in the physical world.

Instead of building websites like in today's Internet, Metaverse developers build fully 3D virtual spaces (scapes) which can closely mimic the physical world, or be as different from the "real world" as the imagination of the developers permits. For example, in the Metaverse you can visit an accurate replica of a real city, a future imaginary space settlement on Mars, a micro-scale world where you can see individual molecules and cells, etc.’ (Quote source :: uvvy.com)

Second Life was founded by Philip Rosedale of Linden Lab in San Francisco California in 1999. Version 1.0 was launched on the 23rd June 2003 and is continually updated as Linden Lab re-release new versions to support the evolution in-world. In 2004 SL had 14,000 residents, in 2005 it had 59,000 and now in 2006 Second Life consists of 216 km sq of virtual land that hosts over 514,000 residents who hold over 500 events a day and spend upwards of USD6.8M a year on resident-to-resident goods and services.

Still think it’s insignificant and only for nerd losers?

I'll post some more but in the meantime; check it out :: whilst it's still in what marketing people would call "the early adopter" phase, as broadband penetration increases and drives prices down (especially in Australia) and as more corporates move in world and the game gets more press, we'll find that parts of the game become more mainstream.

The only way to get a real sense of it is to check it out for yourself.

If you do, drop by my art gallery and say hello :: Kitty Kabuki's Street Art Gallery

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Inside the Machinima

Machinima is the creation of film or movie content inside a video game. For those of you not playing second life until 5am in the morning, let me explain…

You can create sets inside a virtual world game which feature houses, landscapes, movie theatres or any kind of background you could imagine in real life. You can dress the avatars (characters inside the video game), have them speak in-game via a microphone and even have them act out a pre-prepared script just as you would in real life. In fact, professional machinima is more similar to real life than you might think.

You can shoot from any angle inside most games (if you have the right equipment), you can then edit & create effects in post product just as you would for normal movie content. Where multiple actors are employed, teams emply different real life individuals to play their avatars and follow the director’s script.

In fact, one machinima workshop we went to, a team showed us how they had built a series of cars & machines inside a virtual reality game :: when we looked at the sets we realised that even in-game they had only built two dimensional objects because they only needed to shoot them from one side!

Whilst machinima is gaining popularity amongst avid gamers it won't be long before mainstream cottons on thanks to the likes of Gofish.com and Youtube.com distributing the content to a wider audience.

Imagine if you created a whole TVC in-world . . No talent fees, cheaper location & post-production . . Not to mention a greater variety of distribution channels.
Sound crazy? I bet a mainstream brand will jump this puppy in no time.

Check out this video of a real virtual machinima studio.