Weebit Offcourse

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Archive for the ‘breadcrumbs’ Category

news from augmented world expo

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Quick post to drop breadcrumbs…

And the 2013 tech field nominated as most likely to achieve light speed: Augmented Reality (AR).

Curious about the state of the ARt? You might watch Bruce Sterling’s short (~9min) keynote at the Augmented World Expo (earlier this month), here:

…or the 23-minute keynote address (YouTube) by Tomi Ahonen (“Nokia executive and author…known for his TEDx talk [describing] augmented reality as the 8th mass medium”).

If you are not familiar with what is happening in AR, just have a scroll down the event’s awards page, where you are likely to find something of interest…

Why awards? The goal of the competition is to promote excellence in Augmented Reality in various platforms and categories.”

Then, if still unsure where this is headed, imagine doing things like this:

…while wearing Google Glass-es.

Google Glass Prototype
Google Glass Prototype (Image by Ars Electronica, on Flickr)

Maybe then I’ll finally get to juggling fives…


Written by azwaldo

June 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm

serious design

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While listening to tech-prophet Bruce Sterling’s recent rant my mind ran to virtual world design. There is no doubt. I am fully immersed, again. To digress…

If you dig tech, but are unfamiliar with his writing and reporting, you would probably still enjoy Bruce Sterling‘s closing remarks at this year’s SXSW conference and festival.

Plug in here.

Apparently, at the same conference, Google gave a glimpse in their vision by sharing four key design principles for Google Glass.

  1. “design for Glass”
  2. “don’t get in the way”
  3. “keep it timely”
  4. “avoid the unexpected”

Sterling then described what an evil Google Glass would look like…

You just take the four Glass design principles and you reverse them. You use software that was not designed for glass; buggy, abusive software; stuff that breaks up, or jams, or just fails to display.

You grab fiercely for attention.

You disrupt the user’s day.

You send the user stale, useless information.

You do freaky coding that breaks, or hacks—or powns—the device.

This is when I drifted off. Pause audio, make note, start a list; then, back to Bruce…

He continued, within days of Google’s announcement to close down Google Reader, speaking of how technology consumes itself.

Yes we killed the past. We didn’t pull the trigger on it directly; but, it died for our benefit.

Yes we burned it up. No one is historically innocent.

Yes we are carnivores at this barbecue. The saving grace here is that we eat what we kill.
Go on, eat it. Don’t pretend…live up to it…to kill and eat it is fierce, but honorable.

His closing primed me to proceed with prejudice.

How can we get past the wow factor? How can really inquire with this, how can we treat it with moral seriousness? The first step is to accept that our hands are not clean. We don’t just play and experiment. We kill.

So, now, I ask you: “What are the design principles delivering the best VW designs?”

Written by azwaldo

March 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm

interactive design at alphatribe

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Twice, recently, I have been asked what I mean when referring to virtual world designs as “interactive“. I bumped into a fine example today…

Flying about, I came upon an oddly abstract assembling of objects, finely shaped and all textured in monochrome. Look closely and you find various sit-target animations; hidden, whimsical surprises.

Skybox doodling at alphatribe sim. It is a joy to watch Alpha Auer dance.

Skybox scene at alphatribe sim; the space designed for a party.
For scale, note avatar near center, up and to the right.

SecondLife™ veteran Alpha Auer has a sixth sense for virtual world design. Her alphatribe sim (SLurl, or blog) is only her most recent space to capture my attention.  Perhaps you remember Syncretia?

Sit-target animations let the visitor dramatize the scene.

Closer view in same scene as image above.
Sit-target animations help visitors dramatize the scene.

Apparently, this particular corner of the metaverse is a stage, custom-designed “by Kikas and Marmaduke” for a party. Very cool.

Here, we are not left to merely look upon the scene.  We can interact with objects, immersing ourselves in the setting. This is what I think of when I imagine “interactive” design. Keep me clicking and you keep me coming back.

It is probably a joy to watch Alpha Auer dance.

Written by azwaldo

March 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm

The Metaverse, Narrative, and Breadcrumbs

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Most posts here are likely to center around particular aspects of content creation in the virtual world. Categories used for this blog are listed in the navigation column ( —> ).  Some names will be quite specific (“media cafe”) or explain themselves (“design”); but, several category names are broad, or generic.

The category “Metaverse” labels posts focused on experiences with the virtual worlds of SecondLife™ or OpenSimulator. “Narrative” indicates  random, fringe topics, often describing a sequence of events; typically fraught with opinion.

Today, I have created another generic category: Breadcrumbs. To explain…

My first exposure to the Internet was on my high school’s huge teletype machine housed in a re-purposed maintenance storage room (read: closet). Our computer class even had a weblog; not talking blogs here, but old-school weblogs…a file stored remotely (in the cloud!) and used to store Internet service provider addresses. It was a record of where you had been, so you could find your way back again.

Digital breadcrumbs.

image of two dimensional diagram, lines forming a maze

The sort of maze we created using BASIC on the ‘puter in high school.

I remember that all very clearly; dialing up and connecting, hunting and pecking at dead-end after dead-end, and finally discovering information that got sucked through wires from hundreds of miles away to be painted with light on the monochrome monitor in front of us.


However, at fourteen years of age, I think I was more impressed watching custom generated mazes spool from the printer on six-foot-long perforated pages.

My first WWW presence was with Yahoo! Geocities, a host that has long since withered. We can still get a peek at much of the space, thanks to the The Wayback Machine, and see instructional Web 1.0 content like this and like this.

My first “blog” also became a link repository, effectively. I started that to share with my two sons from a distance, having gone off to grad school. It quickly became a record of my own web tracks…old school style. I do not actually remember—but, can easily imagine—my youngest son raising one eyebrow at the title, as mentioned in the second post there.

I still wrote for the boys, but often took to logging footprints; a habit that I will occasionally revert into…posting a link-fest like this one.

Thirty-five years or more, and I am still dropping breadcrumbs.

Written by azwaldo

March 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Posted in breadcrumbs, narrative

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