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Celebrity's Couture Culture: Navel Gazing

Celebrity_in_midriff
Your suitably-attired author, Ms. Trollop

If bare midriffs are so over out there, how come Second Life's fashion designers haven't gotten the memo?  That's the premise of "Navel Gazing", Celebrity Trollop's inaugural essay for a semi-regular NWN column called, fittingly enough, Celebrity's Couture Culture.  It's a look at the latest trends in SL fashion, and what they say about the virtual society at large.  As the author of the popular Second Style Fashionista blog and managing editor of the deliciously stylish Second Style avatar fashion magazine, Celebrity is supremely qualified to cover this scene, so here's a grand NWN welcome to Celeb, her insights, and her abs of digital steel.  (Her first post after the break.)

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YOUR TUBE, YOUR IMAGINATION

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Ali Maltz just passed on an amazingly cool hack you can do, if you're running SL on a Mac: Stream a web page on your head.  Ali's How To guide here, surreal demo video here.

Update, 8:35pm:  Ali adds important info in Comments:  "I'm streaming a webcam, not a web page, onto my avatar's head."

Rik's Picks for November 29-Dec 3

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Chaac Amarula among the stars

Rik Riel's weekly round-up of upcoming SL events...

From December 1-3 you will get a whole new view of the cosmos as seven new planetarium shows  premiere at Spaceport Alpha. With such provocative titles as "Our Cosmic Address," "Collapsing Into Creation," and "Going on a Bear Hunt," the inaugural showings will be hosted by their creators, students in Chaac Amarula's astronomy class.  Show times are: December 1 at 6PM, December 2 at 8AM, 1PM, and 6PM, and December 3 at 8AM, 1PM, and 6PM. Port over to Spaceport Alpha (24,53) to check them all out.

Also coming up: a discussion on how Anshe Chung's recent "millionaire" announcement will change Second Life, "sleep depraved" art, summoning the power of the Shaman King, a virtual science conference and discover "who shot Santa?"  All that and more after the jump... 

(All times in SLT, "Second Life Time"-- i.e., Pacific Standard)

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THE WORLD FROM MY WINDOW: VELDA

View_from_my_window_by_shinesse_madison

A meditative Shinesse Madison sends along her personal moonlit perspective:

"This is the view from my little hut in Velda. I moved here back in April/May of this year. I've lived all over Second Life but this to me is the perfect spot. When I bought the land, there was this huge castle, and I had no idea exactly how pretty it was here, but my friend convinced me that this would be well worth the price. She was right. I have the perfect view of endless sea and beautiful day and night-time effects...

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JUDGE RICHARD POSNER COMES TO SECOND LIFE (Updated)

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Update, 12/11: The illustrated transcript of Judge Posner's 12/7 appearance in Second Life is now online at this link.

He's upheld the First Amendment protections of video games and contemplated the future of law in online worlds, and early December, in an apt progression, Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will take on avatar form, to discuss the US Constitution in the era of apocalyptic terrorism.  Ranked among the top twenty legal professionals in America, Judge Posner is also one of the world's most influential and wide-ranging thinkers.  I'll be interviewing the Judge about his latest book, Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency, a provocative case for balancing our freedoms with security in the post-9/11 world.  As with previous NWN Book Club events, the Judge will answer questions from the audience, and autograph copies of his book's virtual edition.  Here's the details:

December 7th, 6-8pm Second Life Time (PST)
Center Auditorium in Kula
To reserve a seat, IM Creative Commons' Genevieve Junot (or e-mail her here)

Hamlet_au_with_judge_posner

“I am very excited to have been asked to give a talk, via an avatar, in Second Life," Judge Posner tells me, via e-mail.  "Virtual communities are an important social phenomenon with transformative potential, and I know that Second Life is in the forefront of this latest stage of the digital revolution."  And I'm very excited to welcome such an august figure in-world, joining Lawrence Lessig, Thomas Barnett, and other great public intellectuals who're among the first to transmit their crucial ideas into the metaverse.

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Event sponsored by Creative Commons.  Much thanks to CC's Lawrence Lessig and the University of Chicago's Sam Sellers for helping arrange the appearance.

Update, 10:07pm: In Comments, event co-host Genevieve Junot/Jennifer Yip adds some important points on reservations:  "When you are sending me an RSVP message, please be sure to include your SL avatar name to add to my list.  If the sim fills up, event entry will revert to a reservation basis. If you have made a reservation, but cannot make it-- please try to send me a cancellation email/IM!"

MIXED REALITY MONDAYS

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From 2004's NWN story, "Anshe at The Gates"

The Meaning of a Million (Dollars):  Only a few months ago, virtual world pioneer Randy Farmer predicted it would happen in 2007, but she's arrived already.  While the press has recently been awash with stories on the "big three" metaverse developers (Rivers Run Red, The Electric Sheep Company, and NWN sponsor Millions of Us) and their various corporate clients (Addidas, Nissan, Sun Microsystems, and so on), it's fitting that this week, collective attention has momentarily swung back to Anshe Chung, the avatar-based entrepeneur who started it all, by appearing on the cover of BusinessWeek in May.  While other individuals have become millionaires through externally-driven virtual world activity (most recently, a Chinese student in Japan), the official press release from Ms. Chung's real world company spin-off specifies that she has become "first online personality to achieve a net worth exceeding one million US dollars". [emph. mine]

Or, to aggregate the appropriate caveats into an unwieldy but far more accurate statement:

If Anshe Chung gradually sold all her Second Life assets over the span of a year or two to prevent market devaluation, and if all the assets actually in the inventory of various avatars working for Anshe were successfully transferred back to her, and if throughout that time the in-world economy remained stable and the population continued growing, and if Second Life did not suffer any serious interruptions of service either through hacking, scalability failures, sale of the company, or other unforeseen acts of God-- why, Anshe Chung's account holder would have, at the end of that long and arduous process, well over $1,000,000.

But then to be fair, press releases aren't the best format for precision.

In other Mixed Reality Monday news, my round-up of recent and upcoming SL events and projects funded by real world companies, persons, and organizations:  a new, global currency exchange, two old school media mavens appear in Second Life, and two SL-related, brick-and-mortar based art premieres on either coast.  All that and more after the break.

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MIXED SUCCESS OF MIXED REALITY REPORTING

Hiro Pendragon just made an excellent point about corporate-sponsored mixed reality events and projects.  While many Residents grouse over the inaccurate hype about them coming from the mainstream media...

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NEW WORLD NOTES: THE BOOK (Updated)

It should show up in trade magazines in the next few days, but I wanted to make sure New World Notes readers read it here first:  I'm enormously excited to announce my book on Second Life will be published next year through Collins, an imprint of publishing giant HarperCollins.  Here's the official blurb as it'll read in an upcoming Publisher's Marketplace:

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FEEDING ME, FEEDING YOU

I've added a few widgets to this blog recently, worth a look if you're so inclined.  Down the left column is my own regularly updated del.icio.us feed, "What I'm Writing and Reading Elsewhere", featuring virtual world/game industry stories I've written for GigaOM and other sites, and articles on those topics which catch my interest.  Down along the right column are live RSS feeds from various SL sites and blogs, including NWN contributors like Rik Riel and Tateru Nino, SL group blogs and periodicals, and more.  (There's also an RSS feed of general media stories on Second Life.)  Basically, if it's an SL-related site or page that can be RSS-ed, I'll add it there.  (And if you don't see your blog or website among them, make sure you have RSS settings flipped on, and let me know.)

These feeds are powered by Google's RSS reader-- and more importantly, by the generous brain of Aster Lardner, the Resident who recommended the idea, and then went above and beyond to explain how to implement them.  (Going so far as to shoot a how-to demo video for me.)   When he's not assisting befuddled bloggers, Aster creates lovely dreamscapes, and other in-world wonders.  My thanks to Aster Lardner for feeding us all.

WEEKEND OPEN FORUM

If you've got an SL-based topic you want to talk about, or an announcement/project/
event you want to mention, post here.  Monday, I'll link to noteworthy Comments and discussions in an update.

Update, 11/27:  Susan Pegler sends word of a yard sale fundraiser to help cover the real life medical bills of Ayeshe Millions.  Running to December 5th-- details on assisting Ayeshe here.

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