I enjoy the heck out of online Virtual Reality environments, and this is a perfect example of why; I get to be the Death of Rats (one of my favorite Terry Pratchett characters from his Discworld series), flying one of the Airships featured in the recent Steampunk movie version of the Three Musketeers. The universe these pictures were taken in is Second Life, which has been around for a while but is still an awful lot of fun. I had found that ship an hour or two after the Role Playing class I attended (last picture; it is difficult to see me hidden by the wings of the fairy sitting behind me), where the instructor was a red demoness on a bar stool, with her assistant teacher being a 10 meter long yellow dragon. Some of the smaller non-humans brought their own seating arrangements, like the cushion the mouse lady in the lower right corner of the picture is using.
We’re glad you made it; welcome to the future! Right now a lot of the backbone that feeds the routers that feed the cable modems and other WAN/LAN interfaces runs at 10Gig. That isn’t because the switching technology can’t support higher throughput, but rather the ability to encode data for a higher bitrate and throughput has been lacking… until now. Over at Cornell a team has developed a Time Lens system, a chipset that takes that 10Gig baseline data rate and uses an optical split-and-recombine setup to turn it into a 270Gig output to the same optical distribution system. True Broadband may be on the horizon at last, and the same technology could help speed up the end-users computers as well. And here is another fine production that makes you think from TeacherTube.
If you are an aspiring writer, or just curious about the process, one useful event you should look into is Ask A Writer on Twitter. In these segments, renowned writer Lillith Saintcrow answers questions about the business, the process, her works, and anything else she feels like. There is a session coming up tonight at 7PM, but I haven’t figured out what 7PM means in TwitTime, so you can check out her Calender for details (I’m guessing Pacific time zone). While checking into that, I stumbled across Nicole Peeler’s new blog (yes, another author), where I found this fun little song.
This week saw a few important birthdays in the evolution of Nerd and Geek culture which I thought I should mention. To start, on the 1st of September, 1902, the very first science fiction movie ever made was released: La voyage dans la Lune. I find it fitting that it was based on two stories about human space travel, one written by Jules Verne and the other by H. G. Wells. After all, between them they invented modern science fiction as a written art form, so it is appropriate they would inspire the first movie (and ironic that Wells would also become the movie critic for a British newspaper who panned Metropolis in 1925). One day after the birthday of Sci-Fi films was the birthday of the Internet; on September 2nd, 1969, two computers in two different locations exchanged packets over some twisted-pair copper. So Happy Birthday, all of us Nerds and Geeks! I think I’ll celebrate by voting for the Scream Awards nominees I like best, and then going to see It Might Get Loud, and follow that up with Gamer. Sounds like a party!
When new ones come out, I link to Anime streaming presentations you can watch online. There are a few places you can watch more than a single episode, and Funimation is in the process of releasing some new series for online consumption. So it seemed like the perfect time to mention that group, and a few other of my favorites. Veoh is where the new Funimation titles live, with series including Aquarion, Ghost Hunt, and xxxHolic being added to a library that already had titles like Kiddy Grade, Moon Phase, and Slayers. The folks at Anime News Network also have a library of legally watchable series, including some of those mentioned as well as Blue Gender, Origin, and Shuffle, to name a few. And then there is Crunchy Roll, where you can watch new series episodes the day after they first aired in Japan (a small fee is required for full access, other series and episodes are free). There are more, but these should get you started; got your Internet-Aware TV with the Ethernet/Wireless interface to your cable modem yet?
A new TV show starts on February 15th called Life Online. It’s all about living in the Metaverse, and you can watch the pilot episode now. It covers all the 3D Virtual Worlds, and filming happens later today in Second Life for a segment on the band Space Junky, held at the Amphitheater on Space Junky Island; come be part of the audience and enjoy the music.