show #57: teaching in sl = dancing with the power points?

Originally posted on the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley]:

show #57 show #57

today’s show title is [obviously!] a play on the [most common?] educational use of second life & yes, while we are painting with a broad brush again, let us be honest – have you not been invited to a dance party where folks ran through a power point at the same time? jo and i sure have!

anyways: enjoy an hour of nuance on the subject and feed on the great insight from prisilla “silly” avro, passionate elementary school teacher & virtual model, who embraces technology in education as long as it is not used to “drill & kill”:

now read onward for even more parsing of the issue:

– drax is now obsessed with charlie brooker [and has a playlist of “the black mirror” on youtube]

thank you for coming to my rez day party [thx to berry for taking pics]

pokute burt's rez day card pokute burt’s rez day card

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Finally a home in Second Life

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I’m celebrating my 6th rez day in a couple of days and in almost all that time I’ve never had a place to call home.

Of course I’ve been living in 1920s Berlin for all that time and I almost always had a little room or even apartment where I lived, but I never really decorated it.

Our sim is almost always running low on prims and whenever we’re organizing an event or something special is happening, we need more prims and I quickly sacrifice some of my own stuff so the city doesn’t go over its prim limit and implodes.

So I rarely used more than just a bed to decorate my place with, because after a long day of working for some odd reason it is very relaxing to see my avatar under the blankets of my wonderful low prim mesh bed with real working blankets.
Yes that was subtle advertising!

But today, for no special reason, I decided to finally decorate my little 2 room apartment above the gate.

Yes, in a virtual world where we can all live like movie stars, I choose to make a damp, leaky, drafty place in a dirty back street of a big noisy city my home.

Thanks to SL Go I managed to make a few pictures with ultra graphics settings, you can see the whole set by clicking here.

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Just to help me sleep… legal in 1929!

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Happy Rez Day Ebbe!

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Today is Ebbe Linden’s 1st rez day and what a year it has been.

He opened up the Linden Lab doors to let the Lindens back out into the world and opened up the windows for us to look inside the “Lab” a bit more.
I still think they should wear white coats and have a few flasks, bunsen burners and glass pipes filled with bubbling goo before they can call it a lab.

He himself has been running around Second Life quite a bit and has generally made a good impression amongst Second Life residents but also in the RL media.

He has been very active but in some ways he is still a bit of a noob…

His avatar isn’t that interesting, it doesn’t show all the things possible with avatars these days, I’m not sure he’s changed his hair or even clothes in months!
Then again… neither have I.
Yes, I know, its his birthday, I could send him a nice, oh I don’t know, 1920s suit or something… but I’m Dutch and we cloggies don’t like spending money.
We got a nice mesh freebie waiting for him in Berlin though.

And his profile?

Well Ebbe, it is still a bit empty, you really should fill it up with groups (like 1920s Berlin of course), favourites, semi philosophical quotes and poetry to appear intelligent,  some naughty picture, something vague yet funny about your real life, a rude or witty quote from some chat you had ages ago and of course a disclaimer about people sharing chat outside SL even though its not in the ToS.

Anyway, congratulations Herr Linden, lets hope the next year is going to be as interesting and fun as the first year!

Ebbe profile

Stunning demo shows what is possible in VR graphics with Unreal Engine

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Unreal is a game engine that creates amazing high quality graphics.

virtual paris demo

3D designer Benoît Dereau created this fantastic Paris apartment with the Unreal 4 engine and uploaded a VR sort of walk-around.

This is what VR will look like in the not too distant future, I guess that if you connect this to your Oculus, this future is already the present.

Although I fear we may have to wait a while before our Second Life looks like this.

This video is so good, so realistic that the only thing that gives away that it is VR is the way the camera stumbles around the apartment and of course the lack of a reflection in the mirrors.
Unless you’re a vampire like me, then you’re use to it.

Can we have this for SL2.0 Ebbe?
Please?

Interesting way to use menus in Virtual Reality

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the future in VR is one with as few wearable pieces of technology as possible.

The fewer suits, pedals, headsets, gloves, special shoes and so on, we have to wear, the better.

Virtual Reality should mimic reality and thus you should be able to interact with the virtual world with your hands, the way you do in reality.

We’re not there yet, but things are moving along quickly.

No matter how realistic VR will become, there will always be a need for menus.

vr handsHovercast shows an interesting way of adding menus to your hands allowing you to choose options without having to remove your headset and find your keyboard or wave about in the top of your screen, as is the case with the Second Life Oculus Rift viewer.

With a 3D sensor such as the lovely ‘Leap Motion’ and this piece of software made by zachkinstner, you can get many options in a menu activated via your hands and fingers.

I love this and think that this will eventually be where we’ll be heading.
A sensor will translate all your movements into VR and there will be no more need for a keyboard, mouse, etc.

Check out this video and try it yourself by downloading it here.

And where we perhaps one day will end up is in a virtual reality like in this old yet fantastic video that I can’t share enough;

Thank you Indigo Mertel for the heads up!

SL Go opens official Flickr Group and Support Island

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Today, just now, minutes ago, the official SL Go Flickr group was opened to the public.

Here you can share the photos you make while exploring Second Life with either the LL viewer or the Firestorm viewer in SL Go.

As I wrote recently, SL Go is especially wonderful for making pictures in Second Life, not only can you enjoy SL with graphics settings set to Ultra (the way it should be experienced), there is a lot less lag, but you also get to do all this on less than top of the range computers.
It even works on my 6 year old MacBook!

Kolonialwaren

I rediscovered my pleasure of SL photography because of SL Go after losing it when the graphics card on my laptop said no and stopped working.
And thanks to the ‘upload straight to Flickr’ option, I’ve been making and sharing a lot more pictures.

Because of all the wonderful SL Go photos being uploaded to Flickr all the time, I thought that there should be a Flickr group for these pictures, I suggested it to the SL Go team and they agreed.

reading a magazine

So join up and start adding your very best SL Go snapshots, the ones that show off Second Life with ultra graphics!
Let’s show the world that our virtual world HAS updated since 2007…

From tomorrow onwards, there will also be a SL Go inworld presence.
At 10AM SLT the SL Go Island will open where you can get information and support.
Just ring the bell if you’re in need of advice or help and a SL Go team member, if available, will come to your assistance.

Haven’t tried SL Go yet?!

Sign up HERE, give it a go and let me know what you think.

The Photo Booth contest

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Now I am generally not keen on contests, usually the prizes you can win aren’t very interesting to me (Yes I know, I have a one track mind, if its not history related, I don’t want it), or the things you have to do are annoying, silly or too much bother for not enough reward.

But somehow, this one spoke to me immediately, no not because you can win a big pile of money and because I’m Dutch, but because of what we have to do;

Share your silly photo booth style pictures with us for a chance to win L$10,000, L$5,000, L$3,000, or L$1,000 for your snapshot! Props encouraged! Winners will be selected by a panel consisting of both Lindens and Residents.

So the idea is to make a Photo Booth style picture, for some reason, I love that idea and got lots of inspiration.

You can read the official bit (with rules, requirements, etc) by clicking here.

Pic from the SL website

The Lindens are challenging you to a fight!

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… with snowballs!

Yes, I used an evil click bait trick, sorry, couldn’t resist.
But yes, the Lindens are inviting you… or should I say challenge you to a fight… a snowball fight!

Recently Linden Lab opened up a sim called ‘Winter Wonderland’, a 4 region winter themed extravaganza.
I didn’t think it would be for me but I had a look anyway and had to confess that I had a lot of fun racing around there.
I did accidentally ran over a Linden with my sled but I don’t think he got hurt and the Moles found it rather entertaining.

So anyway, on the 6th of February, Friday between 10 AM SLT and noon SLT on Friday, there will be a meet up, or as I prefer to call it a duel between Lindens and the rest of us.
You’re going to get a free snow ball shooting gun, so that should be nice… and chaotic and laggy!
But I reckon its worth it, especially if you get to see some Lindens covered in snow begging for mercy, because I’m GOOD at throwing snowballs!

Bring it on Lindens!

Pic from the LL website

SLGo bug fixed

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A bug I wrote about recently that made teleporting while using SLGo on the LL viewer impossible has been fixed!

I had not noticed it myself because I only use the Firestorm viewer and to be honest, I don’t get out much.
I hang around 1920s Berlin all the time!

The SLGo team worked really hard on trying to fix this, following the proceedings in the SLGo inworld group made it clear how much they care.

For more technical details, check out Inara Pey’s blog, she writes more detailed about those sort of things, and better!

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