Saturday, 27 June 2009

The Helen Keller Day

June 26th 2009 in Second Life sees twentyfour hours devoted to accommodating people with deafness or that are blind in virtual worlds. There is a series of places to visit, things to do, talks and games to play, more information can be found on the wiki, the press release explains what the day is all about.

Linden Lab collaborated with Virtual Helping Hands to produce the day. It was designed as a community-event to examine the best ways and tools to support disabled people and explore how people with various disabilities can be entertained and achieve education etc., through being in a virtual world.

The highlight of the day for me (apologies to anyone blind or deaf who was looking for something more along the lines of what was provided), was the trained dogs. The dogs that I was playing with are created by the same people who developed Max the guide dog and they are just wonderful. I have every intention of going back and buying one 
I am living in hopes that Hope is still available!

The Holodeck Challenge

Visit the Flickr SLExperiments page to see a collection of photographs from earlier today:

Weeks ago the SLExperiments group and Osnagroup embarked on a project to build and share holodeck scenes that could be used for teaching languages.
It has finished today as a challenge but of course will never finish so long as people still keep finding the scenes useful and creating them!
About a dozen scenes were shared this afternoon, a Venezuelan shop with musical instruments, hammocks, vegetables, pots and flowers ready for one to haggle over the prices and pass the times of day, an Italian cookery lesson with free recipes and hover text explaining what all of the items are. There were four gardens, all very different, Mary has made two with notecard readers, Word Rez, lots of tools that are quite formal and very organised, Dennis has created the Dogme garden, a beautiful place to sit and talk and the fourth is the one I created, a very simple just grass, trees and seating.
There was a clothes stall ready for discussion on colours, costs, names of clothing and an Italian food and vegetable shop, a reading room where groups could discuss texts etc., a street with stalls where avatars can sell their own items, discuss needs and haggle over the price and a build not quite ready yet based on the English poem by Edward Lear called the Owl and the Pussycat.
The afternoon was very enjoyable and very successful!


Well I have a plot on SL6B, I am very thrilled! In the first year that I was in Second Life I did little except tried to learn what it was all about and how to do things but in my second year I have done a Burning Life, Education Faire and now the 6th Birthday Celebration exhibit and it feels like I have really achieved something! Also, of course, and probably more importantly I have done the e-safety training sessions for teachers which are running for the third time now.

I had already spent a load of time building the main part of the sampler disco set over the spring so when I got a plot with a few days to put something together it did not take a massive amount of work, just some time to pull it all together with the aid of a SL friend and colleague Often Hird!

We had a small party on Thursday evening and Anna Begonia took a film clip – which was a lovely surprise. :-) Thanks Anna!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Reaction Grid

From the web:

Create, learn, share and, explore on ReactionGrid - the 3D Virtual World for business, education, collaboration, and learning. Microsoft Case Study here.

We offer a
PG/PG13 experience with content created by our residents (often refered to as Gridizens), and provide a friendlyand open environment for all to come and share thoughts and ideas.

Several times I have heard mention of Reaction Grid linked with Education. Leon Cych urged me to visit and make contact – but that was months ago! Today I finally got in and made contact with Chris Hart and Kyle who are two of the three owners. I was there along with two friends from Second Life, Anna and Graham and we were shown around some of the more impressive educational builds.

Reaction Grid is quite a lot cheaper than Second Life – but possibly not so stable, three out of the five of us did not have voice today. There is no currency and one can upload pictures, textures and, I guess, sounds freely. It is possible to move your own creations from Second Life and Open Sim using something called Second Inventory and may be possible with a viewer caller Meerkat – I will soon investigate that!

Once one has registered and account users can log in any time and access the grid but users under 13 must have an adult with them all of the time. Schools and social groups could build projects there comparatively cheaply.

They have around 140 regions on the public grid, but also host several small grids for clients who want something a bit more private.

We had a conducted tour visiting LearningOnTheEdge 4, Digiteen island which was built by about 15 pupils form a school in Georgia, they have been learning about digital law and copyright. See their work here

Project Manhattan - an area where data is shared in a very visual manner. It is all to do with current, too much causes an overload and the poor computer operator goes mad waving her arms about etc, or Frankenstein sets on fire L This is a collaboration, showing physics in action, touching the "real world". Entertaining! Also here a recreation of the Trylon and Perisphere from the 1939 World's Fair can be seen. This is being built in great detail by many people.

Code Troque The CodeTorque sim is where they do training, building, scripting classes, all sorts of training sessions.

Public Works This was built by a real Public Works manager who is showing filtering, the reactiongrid team is working with her to bring real world data in to the build. Once the data is in they can have some fun with it and see historical data about how much this is helping as well as show that data in unique ways.

Expo - This sim was built to reflect a real-world solution that has been implemented enabling a fuel distribution company in Florida to monitor levels in tanks around the state. It is to show tank levels for fuel and lubricants in real life in Florida for a client and it has been enabled to gather weather data so it will soon have real data here showing fuel levels in real life that will even show weather over the tank. This clearly has a very real purpose enabling the fuel deliveries to be where and when needed to maximum efficiency.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A visit to various OpenSim Grids

After diving in and almost immediately out of OpenSim once or twice and not really getting to grips with it at all I decided to investigate more fully today. I visited OpenSim and looked around, there seemed to be no-one about anywhere but on teleporting around I arrived on a sim that had at least one orientation board on it. That looked hopeful and whilst I was reading and looking around a wonderful person called Doctor Rorrim came and gave me clothes, landmarks etc. This was a huge breakthrough – I have one friend on OpenSim, am dressed and have places to visit!

There are currently 70 people here, not as many as I expected but even though there are so few I still got well and truly stuck. When I broke free, by choosing a spot on the map and teleporting out, I ended up stuck underground.

A few more teleports brought me to a stargate – a real working stargate, I went through and came out on Grid4Us, a developed but deserted sim with another stargate, that is too good to resist so this time I went to HyperGrid! It was on this journey that I got logged out L

Ah well – interesting – all the features of Second Life, but undeveloped and few people.

I will return when I have a couple of hours to spare J An interesting little exploration!