From a friend:
I just wanted to let you know about the opening of Tiphares, which will be occuring Aug 21 7PM, game time. Tiphares is a new club that is dedicated to showcasing creative works from professional level artists, writers and musicians.
If you’re interested in a mix of music, dance and art, please drop by!
We’re located at Plush Alpha (7, 238, 23), and hope to see you there!
When Aki says “game time,” she refers to the Second Life timezone, or Second Life Time, which appears in the top right corner of the SL window. SL time is Pacific Time.
August 21st, 2006 | researchmaterial
Farmer John Freeman, 29, of Aspall near Stowmarket in Suffolk, became infected with the bacteria pasteurella multocida after picking up a rabbit on his farm. His mother Joan said he fell ill and died four days later.
“People should just be aware that there is this dreadful thing around and potentially it’s lethal,” she said.
A post-mortem revealed that Mr Freeman had died from septicaemia after becoming infected with the bacteria that causes pasteurellosis, which is known as rabbit flu…
“Once it is in the bloodstream, that’s it,” she said. “If you get it unwittingly, not from an animal bite, the first thing you know about it is when you get a fever and by then you are the walking dead…”
August 20th, 2006 | music
I have always loved Diamanda Galas. I first saw her on a British music tv show called THE TUBE, around ’85, and was dumbstruck. This is, unbelievably, that performance. YouTube is becoming a fucking amazing resource. I finally saw her live five or six years back, and was knocked flat by the physical force of the woman’s voice. One of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. This is Diamanda Galas some twenty years ago giving it a lung into each mic with “Saint Of The Pit.”
August 20th, 2006 | Uncategorized
August 20th, 2006 | brainjuice
The old Saturday Night Open Mic is revived, tonight on THE ENGINE.
I have recently seen someone describe THE ENGINE’s forum software as “Soviet-style.” I think of it as “functional.” Also, as we all know, in Soviet Russia, forum reads you.
Feel free to set up an account and say hello.
August 19th, 2006 | Uncategorized
August 19th, 2006 | researchmaterial
I’ve spent seven months, on and off, zooming around Second Life. What you have to understand is that it’s empty. It’s estimated to be around 32000 acres in size right now, which commentators have compared to the size of Boston MA. SL’s population is a matter of contention, but you’re probably looking at around 200,000 people. Now, according to the 2000 census, there are 589,000 people in Boston. Consider that for a second.
The other night I spent an hour jumping around SL — something to do while sick and yet not wanting to leave the keyboard in case my head cleared up enough to write, you know how it goes. Didn’t see another person. I’d been, entirely by accident, jumping into empty places. Occasionally the “avatar radar” in the mini-map would show one or two green dots on its edges — other users outside my field of vision. Most often, the map showed no pings at all.
I tell a lie. I jumped to a house I wanted to look at, and there were people fucking in the basement. That was the first.
Otherwise, it’s been jumping into a series of empty, abandoned clubs. It’s eerie, the way this place can seem so utterly fucking desolate sometimes. Like the 80s image of a city after a neutron bomb — buildings still standing, all humans exterminated. You have to wonder what it feels like sometimes at Linden Labs, SL HQ, looking at this vast virtual universe they’ve generated, and a third of the population of fucking Boston logging in once a week. Some days, it must feel like they threw a universe and no-one showed up.
Part of this would seem to be down to the way Linden Labs makes money. If you want to own land, you need to buy a full account, as opposed to the free one most people use. The full account is a negligible amount of money. Where LL make their money is on land. It costs you a monthly sliding tariff to own land, the fee size dependent on how much land you own. They tax you, basically. Therefore, to generate more money, LL need to generate more land, adding new islands and continents on to Second Life. However, if you find you can’t pay the fees, and you can’t sell your land on, you’re allowed to simply abandon it. And that’s how you end up with a simulated world the size of Boston with nobody on it.
I’ve been playing with the buying and selling of land a little, and today turned some cash which I used to buy three small chunks of land that were sitting in front of Integral Castle — that being the warrenellis.com/the-engine.net official meeting place on SL, at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rogla/174/120/124/ â€” which is to say, Integral Castle, Rogla (174, 120, 124). Switch your music control on if you go in, Iâ€™ve got an old Apparat Programme podcast streaming to that location at the moment. So now I’ve committed to a large snowy mountain base, I need to start thinking of things to do with it. I’ll be dropping a notecard in there later, I think. And probably getting rid of the fucking flamingos and the weird black pulsing cock-thing someone left at the front door the other day.
August 19th, 2006 | people I know
Morgan’s seen SNAKES ON A PLANE: “Overall, I give the movie five 7′s. I score everything in 7′s. It’s new. It will catch on.”
So’s my friend Terri: “Campy, over-the-top, melodramatic, and without a doubt one of the worst movies ever made in many areas. I can’t wait to see it again. And again. And again.”
Jeff Rowland, of course, is going to be on the DVD: “My last word in the on-camera interview for the “Snakes on a Plane” DVD bonus features? “Tubgirl.”"
Patrick Macias has been interviewed too, by the BBC: “I tried to explain the recent anime-Finish folksong mash-up meme known as â€œLeekspinâ€ as best I could.”
Bill Gibson’s dropped another bit of novel. Patton Oswalt has a request: “Please join me and the AIDS virus in finding a cure for Andy Dick.” And Susannah Breslin has a bon mot for the day: “I had thought maybe I could leave bukkake behind me. Now I know I always be stepping in it.”
Received in email:
We’ve had the Snowtown sigil on the front door of our store since issue 2.
We’ve made the guys at the other 2 stores call us “Bedrock City Snowtown”.
There are scary things wandering the oil-stained streets of northern Houston.
Bedrock City Comics.
August 18th, 2006 | researchmaterial
A portable navigational aid that transmits soft, low-pitched beeps directly to the inner ear has been designed to help blind people navigate around cities or guide firefighters through smoke-clogged buildings.
The system guides users with beeps that appear to come from whatever direction the person needs to head in. “We have the user simply walk towards the sound,” says Bruce Walker at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who created the device with colleague Frank Dellaert.
To calculate the user’s position and the direction they are facing, the device uses a processor in a backpack to combine GPS location readings with data from cameras and motion and tilt sensors attached to a headband or helmet. This information is fed into a virtual 3D model of the streetscape or building the person is navigating to calculate which direction the person should walk towards to reach their destination. The device can then generate a series of beeps to guide them.
To make the beeps appear to come from a particular direction, the system varies the timing and intensity of the vibrations transmitted to each earpiece. For example, to make a beep seem to come from the person’s right, the right earpiece will vibrate louder and fractionally before the left, say Walker and Dellaert, who this week announced the development of their prototype, called System for Wearable Audio Navigation (SWAN).
The “earpieces” in fact sit just under each ear lobe and vibrate the skull directly to transmit sounds straight to the inner ear, bypassing the outer ear entirely…