Somehow, it seems safer to watch news of North Korea going nuclear from another world, if by just a tad. Koz Farina is the creator of BlogHUD, a system that enables you to write blog post from within Second Life, and using a clever hack with Flash code, he's now managed to create a way of displaying RSS feeds in-world, too. Which is how Koz and I watched news of Kim Jong Il's nuke, along with other headlines of the day taken from the BBC feed. (Music for the video borrowed from the indispensable Torley, taken from his 230 track library-- the cut heard here being "Nightweathers".)
After the break, Koz explains the technology behind his 3D RSS viewer.
"The NewsScreens here," Koz tells me, "are actually Flash files, which read the RSS feeds from the BBC News site-- there's a CNN one nearby too." He grins. "It could be any feed, naturally."
The display uses the ability to stream Quicktime video in Second Life. "Quicktime supports Flash," Koz explains, "but only up to Flash version 5. We're up to version 9 on that now! Luckily, I have been dabbling with Flash since the early days, so already knew how to do this 'the old way'... So, Flash is doing all the work. No LSL at all... I heart feeds."
Koz is working to integrate the NewsScreens with his BlogHUD, and even foresees a kind of RSS reader in Second Life itself. "It would be possible to a screen which called certain feeds," he says, "pre-programmed by a notecard or having an RSS feed 'shouted/chatted' to it... Did I say 'I heart feeds?'"