Saturday, January 30, 2010

Aleks Krotoski - The Virtual Revolution

Join Aleks on the BBC’s The Virtual Revolution
Programme 1, The Great Levelling?, broadcasts Saturday, BBC2, 8:30pm

In episode 1 of The Virtual Revolution, Dr. Aleks Krotoski meets some of the biggest names of the web, including Jimmy Wales, Arianna Huffington, YouTube CEO Chad Hurley, and the inventor of the web himself, Tim Berners Lee. Watch original uncut interviews with them and others.
More about the series

You can watch live here and though region specific with a little tweaking of your PC can be watched from anywhere :-)


Aleks Krotoski is an academic and journalist who writes about and studies technology and interactivity. Her PhD thesis in Social Psychology (University of Surrey, 2009) examined how information spreads around the social networks of the World Wide Web. Read up on her academic and research interests here.  She is currently working on the 4-part, prime time BBC 2 series Virtual Revolution, about the social history of the World Wide Web, broadcasting at 8:30pm from Saturday 30 January 2010 (repeated Monday nights at 11pm). She blogs for the project here.

Aleks writes for The Guardian newspaper, and hosts Tech Weekly, their technology podcast. Her writing also appears in The Observer, on BBC Technology, New Statesman, MIT Technology Review and The Telegraph. Check out her words here.

Finally, she’s the New Media Sector Champion for UKTI, the government department that promotes British businesses around the world. Find out more here.

You can find Aleks all over the Web


[Academic] Dissertation - "Social Influence in Second Life: Social Network and Social Psychological Processes in the Diffusion of Belief and Behaviour on the Web"

Krotoski, Aleksandra K. (2009). Social influence in Second Life: Social Network and Social Psychological Processes in the Diffusion of Belief and Behaviour on the Web. PhD Dissertation. University of Surrey, Department of Psychology, School of Human Sciences. [pdf]


[BBC] The rise of the digital elite 

The web is an extraordinary innovation, with the greatest potential to usher in social change since the invention of the printing press or the steam engine. Built upon a technology that is apolitical, unregulated and decentralised, it empowers everyone – men, women, children – to be creators of information, rather than passive consumers. It is also an enormous library of global consciousness, a digital collection of human knowledge from the past and the present and presented in an easy-to-access format. As a result, we now have the unprecedented power to create our own truth, and share it with everyone in the world. It has ushered in an equality of access that we have never seen before.
But has its potential as a great leveller for the whole world already passed?  [FULL ARTICLE HERE]

Frontline: Digital Nation - 90 minute Documentary airs Tuesday, February 2nd

Ark Media and PBS-FRONTLINE: our 90-minute documentary "Digital Nation" will be airing on PBS on Tuesday (February 2) at 9 PM EST (check your local PBS listing). 

This unprecedented FRONTLINE project tackles what it means to be human in the digital age, from the way we think, work, interact and connect to the way we fight wars. We visit lots of places -- labs performing fMRIs on heavy multitaskers to a wired middle school in the south Bronx; an internet addiction boot camp in Korea to a massive American corporation holding meetings via avatars; a controversial Army recruiting center outside Philly to an Air Force base in the Nevada desert where pilots fly planes remotely.

We have an extremely rich and robust website, full of content we've been gathering over the past eighteen months as well tons of videos sent in by people across the globe. It's unlike any FRONTLINE website before, and we hope you can check it out after the broadcast. Douglas Rushkoff, one of our correspondents, will be hosting an online roundtable with many of the people you'll see in the documentary. We'll also continue to update the site with fresh video, and as always we invite any and all comments about any part of the site or the documentary.

Ark Media 


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

5 Possible Plots for Avatar 2

5 Possible Plots for Avatar 2 
2Blue 2Furious

By Hanso of

James Cameron ain't in the movie failure-makin' business; he’s in the movie success-makin’ business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'. After stepping away from the game for 12 years, he finally delivered his latest epic, Avatar, and movie audiences around the world have answered with their wallets to the tune of over one billion dollars worldwide. That kind of cheddar can mean only one thing: sequel! We know that it’s coming, but with no official word on the sequel, we are left to wonder what is in store for the return trip to Pandora. The possibilities are endless but here are a few to make Avatar: 2Blue 2Furious even better than the original.

5. Avatar 2: A Na’vi Odyssey
James Cameron has gone on the record stating that he has envisioned the possible Avatar sequel taking place off Pandora and instead on one of the many moons orbiting the planet Polyphemus.  Under Cameron’s direction, there is no doubt that Polyphemus’s moons will be filled with great wonders and something amazing for the sight to see, but the fact is the audience already discovered a new world so why go through that again?  Besides, the Na’vi don’t need to be going off moon anyway, they got everything they need right in Pandora.  Is James Cameron’s idea to send Jake and Neytiri off Pandora on a search of a Macguffin? The idea could work as a start up point for the sequel but unless James Cameron has devised a way for the Na’vi to have conquered space travel via flying Ikrans (the banshees) his best bet seems for him to keep the sequel set in Pandora.

4. Avatar 2: A Fistful of Na’vi
First thing that is needed in the sequel is for the audience to get to know more about Jake’s tribe, the Omaticayan, because so far this is what we know about them:  they love nature, have a tribal chief, a shaman, hunters, sleep on hammocks and are constantly saying “I see you.”  It is essential that the sequel delves deeper into the Omaticayan culture because a lot of questions are still out there.  For example, what do the Omaticayan women do?  What happens to the guy that fails in capturing an Ikran? Is he the laughing stock of the tribe forced to wear a scarlett letter and live the rest of his life in shame?  What other roles besides hunters do the men play?  What is their average life span? How do they train their children for combat?  Do the different tribal face paints have meanings?  The Omaticaya look like they enjoy toking up the occasional magical herb, is that their drug of choice or do they prefer psychedelics? 

While the Omaticayans are being explored, a perfect opportunity arises for James Cameron to touch on some of the secrets of Pandora.  Like the Island on Lost, Pandora seems to possess mystical qualities.  We know it’s a sentient moon that can transfer people’s souls into other bodies, hear people’s prayers and control the local fauna but what else can it do?  Can it control the weather patterns? Can the mother brain that is the Tree of Souls be shut down? Can it send people back in time by the turn of a frozen donkey wheel?  We don’t know but Cameron does and he should take the time to address these things and allow the audience to have a better understanding of the world of Pandora and its inhabitants.

3. Avatar 2: Shakespeare in Na’vi
James Cameron has previously given us the Alien Queen and the T-100 so he knows a key factor for the sequel to be a success is a better class of villain. Avatar gave us Miles Quaritch who was 100 percent pure bad ass as the main villain but he was kind of a one note type of guy.  The sequel needs to up the ante villainwise and this time he should be a native that is causing conflict from within the tribe. Avatar 2 needs a character like Shakespeare’s Iago.  Let’s take a look at the following fact.  Jake Sully is an outsider who benefited from the deaths of Eytucan and Tsu Tey, in order to assume leadership of the Omaticaya. With that in mind, who better to be the sequel’s villain than the guy second in line to assume leadership prior to Jake’s arrival?  Think about it, here is a guy that has forgotten more things about Pandora and the Omaticaya than Jake has learned, with Eytucan and Tsu Tey dead it’s his time to become tribal chief but somehow gets screwed over because Jake Sully came riding in a big fancy scary red dragon. So now you have this character that didn’t get the promotion he views is rightfully his, has an inferiority complex because he only has four fingers while Jake has five and to top it off he is upset that Jake gets to do the no-pants dance with the hottest chick in the tribe, under the Tree of Souls while he has to settle for an ugly chic and a hammock up in a tree.  The motives are clearly in place to set up a more complex villain this time around, one that quietly creates discord among Jake and Neytiri by playing off their weaknesses, proceeds to manipulate tribe members into setting off a civil war and doing it all under the guise of friendship.

2. Avatar 2: Full Metal Na’vi
Aside from a great villain, the sequel to Avatar also needs WAR!  Towards the end of Avatar, James Cameron introduced a few more Na’vi tribes like the water tribe and the plains tribe.  With the Omaticaya being the Earth tribe, one has to wonder if there are also fire and wind tribes and if with all these tribes’ powers combined they can summon Captain Planet.  Interesting but not as interesting as getting to know these tribes and how they feel about each other.  Yes they were all friends at the end of Avatar but that was because they had a common enemy who was threatening their home.  Now that the humans have been taken care of, it’s back to straight up hating amongst the tribes.  Come on, not one tribe is jealous that the Omaticaya get to chill out under the Tree of Souls?  Sure the water tribe has some nice beach front property but you know the tribe out on the plains must be pissed as hell all they got stuck with nothing.

If Pandora real estate isn’t a good reason for war, there is always religion.  Eywa can’t be the only goddess in Pandora can it?  The tribes out by the ocean probably pray to a water god which lends its self perfectly for some tribe vs. tribe war over religious beliefs.  The reason for war is not important here, what is important is that there is war. An all out war spread across the different regions of Pandora would provide James Cameron plenty of kick ass action sequences that would put the ending battle of Avatar to shame.  We already got machines vs. nature; the sequel must now provide us with nature vs. nature.  How cool would it be to see the Na’vi riding Ikrans waging war against each other in a massive air battle?  Better yet if they fight against the water tribe it’s a chance to put on the screen some new dangerous sea creatures that engage in epic underwater battles the likes of which have never been seen! 

1. Avatar 2: The Phantom Menace
Finally, tying up all these different ideas and scenarios would be the RDA Corporation. You didn’t think we’ve seen the last of them did you? When last we saw them they were running back to Earth with their tails between their legs. RDA can’t go out getting punked like that because there is too much money to be made off unobtatium for them not to return to Pandora. The sequel would feature the return of the corporation with a lesser role but no less the evil. 

Knowing that Pandora can simply summon all its living creatures to kick some ass, the corporation would simply borrow a page from the Senator Palpatine playbook and play in the shadows. They would be the ones responsible for approaching the film’s main villain using his desire for power has a way to push for the civil war that would distract the Na’vi enough for them to be able to obtain their goal. What is their goal? Shutting down the Tree of Souls so they can wage war against the Na’vi without Pandora interfering. This leads to something also needed in the sequel, a downer of an ending that sets up part 3. Avatar 2 would end with the Tree of Souls temporarily shut down, the Na’vi numbers dwindling due to the civil war and the RDA Corporation stepping out from behind the curtain with Pandora’s demise at its grasp. 
Make it so Cameron, make it so.


Need more Hanso and Avatar? Then read: 4 Reasons Why Avatar Will Own, Son!

Google Xistence - Because Life is Too Short for Social Interaction

An introduction to Xistence, a new social media app from Google Labs.

... because life is too short for social interaction.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Second life?????? Please help me some one told me they was going to sue me?

This is a question I found on Yahoo Answers.... I was busting out laughing out loud:

This question comes to us from:

Second life??????please help me some one told me they was going to sue me?

I was playing the game second life and some guy told one of the owners or some one that i called him a child molester and i got banned from second life but i didnt do anything and he said he was going to talk with a friend with the FBI and track me down and sue me. can he sue me??? i didn't do anything. im only 16 and i don't want any trouble but all i want to know is if he can sue me????????

Give him the finger! Your fine dude dont sweat, they probably don't even have proof. Plus if i was a cop and someone came crying to me saying someone called me nasty names I would probably just laugh at him and tell him to go home cause its probably past his bedtime. Also do you think its realistic that the FBI is going to put effort into tracking down some dude who might or might not have called another dude a child molester? Probably not unless... mabye the guy actually is one i dunno.

Whats second life? An online game?


- Nah he can't sue you and the FBI doesn't care if someone is a child molester or not.

- I'm not a lawyer but I watch judge shows all day if he has no proof his case will not hold up in a court of law.


Yahoo Answers:  When you're tired of facts, and tired of Wikipedia, and you simply just do not want correct information, turn to Yahoo Answers.  It's the only source for the worst sources possible.

5 of the Best Classic Drum-n-Bass Music Videos

Doubledown Tandino's selections:
5 of the best classic drum-n-bass music videos







See Also: Doubledown Tandino's 13 Favorite Sexy Electronica Classics of All Time

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inside the Avatar Studio Panel Discussion - "Avatar" at Rockcliffe University - Filmed by

Inside the Avatar Studio – "Avatar" Panel Discussion

January 5, 2009 – Avatar the Movie

The visual appeal of the movie “Avatar” has taken away the breath of just about everyone who has seen the film. The movie is an ultimate example of a graphic novel brought to life. Our panelists discuss which implications “Avatar” will have as virtual worlds continue to gain traction and what future avatars may gain from the stunning futuristic vision James Cameron has offered up… Inside The Avatar Studio.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Improving The Virtual Event User Experience

Improving The Virtual Event User Experience
by Dennis Shiao of It's All Virtual

The Airport Experience

To get to your flight, one embarks on a journey through the airport.  First, you park your car (or arrive via mass transportation).  Then you take an elevator, walkway or escalator and arrive at your terminal.  From there, you use a self service kiosk to check in to your flight and receive your boarding pass.  Perhaps you check in an item of luggage or two.  Then, you enter the security checkpoint line and have your carry-on items (and yourself) screened.

Once through, you walk towards your assigned gate, while stopping (if needed) to use the restroom, purchase a snack or pick up some reading material for the flight.  Once that’s all done, you may sit at the gate and relax for a bit before your flight takes off.  All in all, quite a complex journey – and, you’re no closer to your destination!  Believe it or not, however, the airport has provided subtle “tools” to make this journey a bit more efficient.

In the midst of one such journey (on a recent business trip), I drew comparisons between the airport experience and the virtual event experience.  Here are some tactics used at the airport that may improve the user experience for virtual events:


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" - Second Life Machinima by Fall Films

FallFilms on Youtube

China Pulls "Avatar" from Cinemas Claiming the Plot Mirrors Land Evictions

China axes 2D Avatar from Cinemas
via BBC News

China has pulled the 2D version of Avatar from cinemas amid claims the plot mirrors forced land evictions in the country.

Authorities insist the decision was a commercial one, saying the 3D version made up two-thirds of ticket revenues.

Critics claim the film's plot parallels the removal of millions of residents to make way for property developers.

The government has also denied reports that a decision was made to reduce competition for home-grown films.  They include a state-backed biopic of philosopher Confucius, starring Chow Yun-fat, which is due out next week.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Farmville!! The Commercial!!

Farmville... not only does it completely SUCK, but it's also a scam, and the people playing it STILL DON'T CARE! Farmville proves the level of ability that virtual world mainstream society can handle at this juncture in time. Wonder why Second Life only has a 10% retention rate? It's because Second Life is too intelligent for 90% of the population, who are playing FARMVILLE!!!

5 Ways to Capitalize on James Cameron's "Avatar" in Virtual Worlds

Ever since James Cameron's "Avatar" hit the theaters, metaverse users have been finding ways to incorporate his movie into virtual worlds.  As I mentioned yesterday, many are jumping on the boat and turning blue to ride the "Avatar" coat-tails.  It seems that all you need to do is turn whatever you were selling into the color blue, and you've got yourself a Genuine Authentic Official Pandora-Na'Vi-Avatar thingamabob.

Massively wrote a great follow-up on this hoopla called "The Sea Monkey experience of Avatars"

"Virtual environments can be beautiful, can exhibit grace, and can be immersive and fascinating and useful in all sorts of different ways ... but if you've got the 'Avatar blues', it's like buying Sea Monkeys and getting Artemia salina × nyos.
We don't expect actual user-retention in any virtual environment to rise significantly in the wake of this. We expect that the number of retained Pandora-piners will be about the same percentage as retention for pretty much any other general demographic. Sea Monkeys can be pretty awesome, make no mistake. They just might not be what you really want.
In the meantime, there's a lot of designers across several virtual environments who are making a lot of money copying skins, designs and settings from the film."

Here is my list of 5 ways you can try to make a buttload of cash by riding the blue glowing wave of "Avatar" and it's popularity.

1) Turn the crap you were selling into the color blue (and make it glow!).

That's right... any content you were selling before can now be official Na'vi "Avatar" content by changing it to the color blue, making it glow, and by changing the title of the object.   Look, I did it here:

What was once a wood box called "Object" is now
an Official "Avatar" glowing blue prim called:
"Pandora's Box" ... on sale now....
(If you would like the x-rated version, 
these Na'vi prims are also for sale at Zindra, 
coincidentally also named "Pandora's Box")

2) Change the avatar skins you were selling to the color blue.

If you were a skin designer or avatar designer, all you have to do is add blue versions to your product line... and of course, call those skins "Na'vi"

Hot "Avatar" tail.... mmm...

In case the designers out there are wondering, the code for Na'vi skin is
H: 203  |  S: 63  |  B: 69  |  R: 66  |  G:  134  |  B:  177

3) Create a Na'vi role-player group. Then create a role-player test in order to gain exclusive entry.

Similar to the Bloodlines business model:  Create a role-player group, something like Na'vi of Second Life or Pandora Roleplay. Then, in order for avatars to become official members of the Na'vi role-player clan, they will have to shop and purchase the Na'vi avatars, and Pandora pixels in order to gain exclusive access into the group.

"I just need to buy 10 more spirits from the Sacred Tree of Souls, 
then I know they'll let me in."

4) Redesign the spaceship you were selling to look like the mercenary helicopters from the movie.

Remember that rocket ship or helicopter you once made?  Well strap on two large ceiling fans to the side, and now you have a human mercenary ship from the movie ready to be sold.


5) Advertise on your website (and make sure the ad has a picture of a blue avatar in it).

Finally, of course.... keep plugging! Advertise the blue.  Ride the blue wave.  Anything that is blue and says "avatar" on it is a gold mine in clicks


Although this blog post is meant to be tongue-and-cheek, I am also trying to point out that the creativity and imagination within a virtual world, and within people's minds, can be limitless. The new "Avatar" designs appearing in Second Life are quite detailed and expertly crafted. For example, "Pandora - Na'vi ' Planet Avatar" on the Pegase sim did a great job.

However, Second Life is practically limitless.  Second Life has been around for 6 years!!  Anything can be created, and usually, anything and everything IS created....  but, don't sell yourself short by jumping on the "Avatar" Na'vi bandwagon.  "Avatar" is James Cameron's brain-child.  Why copy it?  Why not create a world of your own using Second Life (or Open Sim, or any virtual world platform) to explore your own creative, artistic, and imaginative ideas?  Sure, the movie "Avatar" is hot right now, but it's only one of many options.  Use your own brain power to create, and not to copy and sell.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Retro Reinvented with DJ Doubledown Tandino at Muse Isle - Mondays at Noon (SLT)

DJ Doubledown Tandino presents RETRO REINVENTED
at Muse Isle Connection.

RETRO REINVENTED is a live DJ mix show where DJ Doubledown Tandino incorporates vintage and retro classic hits with modern chillout and triphop beats, remixing, and rejuvenation.
(A PG and office-friendly broadcast)

Mondays: Starts at noon (SLT/PST)

Future shows will include:
1940s-1960s Blue Note Remixed vs Verve Remixed, Retro Jazz Greats, The Rat Pack, Big Band, Swing, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Anita ODay, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Bob Marley, James Brown, Johnny Cash, The 80s, and more... MODERNIZED... at RETRO REINVENTED
at Muse Isle Arena

Can't make it into Second Life?  Tune in to the live audio at:
(on the stream page, click the "listen" link)

Muse Isle: A gathering of music and minds.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New World Notes Advertises IMVU Advertising Avatar Like Avatar From *Avatar* on Article About Second Life Advertising Avatar Like Avatar From *Avatar*

I'm so confused.... this is a screen capture of New World Notes, showing a screen capture of a Second Life webpage. On that Second Life page is an ad for an IMVU ad featuring a blue Avatar (to coincide with the movie "Avatar"). Ironically, on the New World Notes page happened to be another IMVU ad featuring the same blue Avatar.

I've got the Avatar blues. All these blue ads makes me finally want to click on that big-breasted Evony ad (which is probably showing up to the right hand side of my blog)

Check out:

IMVU Advertises With Avatar Like Avatar From *Avatar* on Article About Second Life Advertising With Avatar Like Avatar From *Avatar*
by Hamlet Au of New World Notes

Lindens Advertise Second Life With Avatar Like Avatar From *Avatar* (But Not For Much Longer)
by Hamlet Au of New World Notes

Avatars blue, Second Life concurrency and transactions rise
by Tateru Nino of Massively

A Mystery
by Tateru Nino on "Dwell on It"

Avatar vs. Avatar: Will Fans of The Movie Find Happiness in Virtual Worlds?
by Botgirl Questi of Botgirl Lives


Meanwhile, in the real world, where news reporters cannot get any substantial virtual world REAL avatar news, they resort to creating some virtual fantasy news of their own:

Audiences experience 'Avatar' blues
by CNN

'Avatar' Leaves Some Fans Feeling Legitimately Blue
by MTV

Avatar blues? Is ‘Avatar’ contributing to depression and suicidality?
by Psychology Today.
(Footnote: "suicidality" isn't even a word)

DJ Doubledown Tandino opens the official live DJ series in Club Cooee January 17, 2010 - 1pm-3pm (EST)

DJ Doubledown Tandino opens the Live DJ series in Club Cooee

Room: Red Moon Club (official) in Club Cooee
January 17, 2010 / Time:
EST: 1:00pm - 3:00pm
SLT/PST: 11:00am - 1:00pm
German  7:00pm - 9:00pm
Event Details

DJ Doubledown is back! Remember the "Rocking the Metaverse" live event we had a while ago? Well, DJ Doubledown will be with us again on Sunday, 17th of January, 2010!

Join us in Club Cooee

This event will be the first session of our new performance series "DJs live on air" in Club Cooee, a live DJ performing and you can participate as a DJ. If you are interested in being a live DJ at one of the next sessions, please reply to and tell us which genre you want to play when performing. You will get an answer by mail with instructions if you have been chosen to perform as a DJ in one of the next party nights.

Club Cooee

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life 2.0 - Documentary about Second Life premieres at Sundance 2010

Sundance 2010 Preview: LIFE 2.0
by Kirk

Second Life launched in June of 2003.  Since that time, tens of millions of people across the planet have created alternate realities of themselves, sometimes more realistic than others.

Documentary film maker and journalist Jason Spingarn-Koff delves deep into this subculture of the world’s population, creating a documentary where all the characters are chunks of 1s and 0s interacting with one another.  Sounds fascinating to say the very least.

Official synopsis:
Every day, across all corners of the globe, hundreds of thousands of users log onto Second Life, a virtual online world not entirely unlike our own. They enter a new reality, whose inhabitants assume alternate personas in the form of avatars—digital alter egos that can be sculpted and manipulated to the heart’s desire, representing reality, fantasy, or a healthy mix of both. Within this alternate landscape, escapism abounds, relationships are formed, and a real-world economy thrives, effectively blurring the lines between reality and “virtual” reality.

Director Jason Spingarn-Koff digs deeply into the core of basic human interaction by assuming his own avatar and immersing himself in the worlds of Second Life residents, whose real lives have been drastically transformed by the new lives they lead in cyberspace. In doing so, he manages to create an intimate, character-based drama that forces us to question not only who we are, but who we long to be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Got a Phone! ... and only to stay behind the times with the rest of the world.

Finally, after 4 years of avoiding a cell phone, I finally got one.  I now have one.  All that mobile tech talk I've been hearing all 2009.... well, I have a cell phone now, and I want to throw it into a wall.  Literally, I am more tempted to fastball pitch this Nokia dumbphone directly into a brick wall than using it and it's features.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Panel at Berklee College of Music & in Second Life - Monday, January 11th - 12:25 SLT

Panel at Berklee College of Music & in Second Life
Monday, January 11th at 12:25 SLT

Robert Thomas, also known as Dizzy Banjo in SL will be taking part in a panel discussion about music and virtual worlds, held at Berklee college of music and in Second Life. The panel also features John Lester of Linden Lab ( creators of Second Life ) who does a lot of development work in the field of Education and Healthcare, Grace Buford who has established a successful online presence as the virtual performer Cylindrian Rutabaga, and Andrew Woolf and Perry Geyer ( of Boston based group Fierce Tibetan Gods ). It is moderated by Lori Landay of Berklee.

Mr. Thomas expects he'll be talking about the various pieces of interactive music work he has done in the virtual worlds space for organizations like Princeton University, Mexico Tourist Board, Costa Rica Tourist Board as well as other interactive installations like Parsec, Dare and Gestural Music.

He also hopes to talk about the possibilities of music delivered as software ( on various platforms ). Hw would also like to discuss how virtual worlds could be utilized by the music industry to deliver interactive content and how we could see a focus on the ’social 3d music app’ as a virtual good soon.

Join us for the discussion in SL here !


Robert Thomas 1 bw square rounded 500 500Hi there ! My name is Robert Thomas, and I'm a composer interested in unusual ways music can become a soundtrack to your life. I run a small music company called Dizzy Banjo. I also go under the name Dizzy Banjo in numerous social networks and environments.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Top 11 Hot Geeky Songs on

If you're not a member of, I highly suggest it. Sign up for a listener account (make sure to put BRADREASON in as a referral when you sign up :O)

Here they are, my top 11 picks for the top hot geeky songs on The61:

I can't leave out my own tune,
using all Second Life sounds to make the tune:

If you're interested in checking out more of my original tunes:
My T61 page is here:

We also have a T61 group: "The Second Life Listener Collective"

Panel Discussion on the film "Avatar" at Inside the Avatar Studio at Rockcliffe University in Second Life - Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 - 3pm SLT

Jan 5th 2010  -  3:00-4:30 PM PST

Rockcliffe University : Inside the Avatar Studio
Corrimal Hall, Rockcliffe X

(Event on Facebook Link)

The visual appeal of the movie "Avatar" has taken away the breath of just about everyone who has seen the film. The movie is an ultimate example of a graphic novel brought to life.

Join us as our panelists discuss which implications "Avatar" will have as virtual worlds continue to gain traction and what future avatars may gain from the stunning futuristic vision James Cameron has offered up... Inside The Avatar Studio.

This event will be filmed live by Stuart Warf of Rezzed TV.
(for those not able to attend the panel discussion live in Second Life, there will be a taping of the event. I will make sure to announce when the taped version is available on the net.)

Facilitated by Phelan Corrimal/Kevin Feenan - Dean of Rockcliffe University


Beyers Sellers/Robert Bloomfield - Metanomics Host, Cornell University

Dirk Talamasca - Virtual Real Estate Developer, Builder

Doubledown Tandino - Social media marketing, Second Life specialist, musician, and DJ

Botgirl Questi's human avatar, fourworlds Ra - A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar.


Thoughts on How The Avatar Film Relates to Avatars in Virtual Worlds by Botgirl Questi -

I Saw Avatar Today and it Blew Me Away by Doubledown Tandino -

James Cameron's Avatar is about Transhumanism -

Gizmodo Avatar Review : Yes it Changed Everything -

Understanding Interaction in Virtual Worlds  -

UPDATE POST by Botgirl: Avatars on Avatar. Narrative vs. Meaning.

Monday, January 4, 2010

All the Rules of the Music Business Have Changed - A World of Megabeats and Megabytes (NYTimes)

A World of Megabeats and Megabytes

MY 21st century started in 1998, when I got a new toy. It was the Diamond Rio PMP300, a flimsy plastic gadget the size of a cigarette pack. PMP stood for Portable Music Player. It had a headphone jack, and it played a recently invented digital file format: MPEG-1 Audio Layer Three, or MP3.

The Rio’s 32 megabytes of storage held a dozen songs at passable fidelity. Its sound was clearly inferior to a portable CD player; its capacity was comparable to a cassette or two. But the beauty of it was that it didn’t need any CD or cassette inserted, just digital files — copies of songs — loaded from a computer, to be changed at whim. They might come from albums people owned or borrowed; they might come, even back then, from strangers online. The Recording Industry Association of America sued to have the PMP300 taken off the market and failed — the prelude to a decade of lawsuits trying to corral online music.

It was already too late. For those who were willing to be geeky — learning new software, slowly downloading via dial-up — music had forever escaped its plastic containers to travel the Web. The old distribution system was on its way to becoming irrelevant.


...Because songs are small chunks of information that many people want, music was the canary in the digital coal mine, presaging what would happen to other art forms as Internet connections spread and sped up. For the old recording business everything went wrong. Sales of CDs have dropped by nearly half since 2000, while digital sales of individual songs haven’t come close to compensating. Movies and television (and journalism too) are now scrambling not to become the next victims of an omnivorous but tight-fisted Internet.

By now, in 2010, we’re all geeks, conversant with file formats and software players. Our cellphone/camera/music player/Web browser gadgets fit in a pocket, with their little LCD screens beckoning. Their tiny memory chips hold collections of music equivalent to backpacks full of CDs. The 2000s were the broadband decade, the disintermediation decade, the file-sharing decade, the digital recording (and image) decade, the iPod decade, the long-tail decade, the blog decade, the user-generated decade, the on-demand decade, the all-access decade. Inaugurating the new millennium, the Internet swallowed culture whole and delivered it back — cheaper, faster and smaller — to everyone who can get online.

For artists of all kinds (with musicians on the front lines) a 21st-century habitat of possibilities and pressures is taking shape — one that demands skills their predecessors forgot or never needed. The art they make can be created, as well as disseminated, faster and more cheaply. But it will also face exponentially more rivals for attention, and many more temptations toward superficiality and sellouts.


...Ease of consumption is paralleled by ease of production. The computer is the definitive 21st-century studio, now that do-it-yourself musicians can record professional-sounding tracks onto a laptop in a bedroom. The ubiquitous software ProTools offers endless overdubbing and can put errant musicians back on the beat or tune them up, though it’s not always an improvement when dull robot precision replaces individual quirks.

The cut-and-mix, mashup procedures of hip-hop and disc-jockey culture have only accelerated. Beats from old vinyl discs were foundations of hip-hop back in the 1970s. Now no one needs to track down the physical disc because some aggregator or collector has probably put it online...


...And without being able to depend on album sales, musicians’ job descriptions changed. Increasingly it was up to the performers — not their struggling major label if they had one, not the radio stations that had long treated them as disposable — to get themselves noticed. That could mean making silly novelty videos for YouTube, or it could involve what was once considered selling out: placing a song in a commercial, where people could hear it repeatedly (and then track it down online).
Instead of waiting for royalties to trickle in from sales, musicians were happy to get paid upfront for licensing their music to advertisers and to TV and movie soundtracks. A distracted listener was better than none at all.

In the 2010s musicians can look forward to working harder for smaller payoffs. They’re resuming — if they ever really left it behind — their age-old role as troubadours, touring more frequently to make up for disappearing album sales. (Big stars with expiring contracts went independent instead of renewing their major-label commitments, or set up so-called “360 deals” that depend as much on touring and merchandising as on selling albums.)

There are newer demands on them as well: interacting with fans who never had to accept the top-down, broadcast model of the old music business and have come to expect the individualized tone of the Internet. To perform offstage musicians now hone social-networking skills: mastering the blog post, the semi-candid photo, the not too overtly promotional self-promotion, the guarded personal revelation, the clever Tweet. Those with true star ambitions will also have to manage the meta-careers that a little bit of fame now entails, knowing that any time they show their face in public, it can turn up on a photo blog, any interview can be cross-referenced forever, any live performances or television moment might show up on YouTube. The smart ones, like Lady Gaga, already have their costume changes planned.

Musicians and their managers will also be improvising their own routes amid a wilderness of marketing and career strategies...

...One emblematic album for the 2000s was Danger Mouse’s “Grey Album” in 2004, which backed up a cappella raps from Jay-Z’s “Black Album” with finely micro-sliced samples from “The Beatles,” a k a the White Album. All of its sounds, in other words, were recycled; the musicality was in the cleverness of the cut and paste. There was no permission from the Beatles and no official commercial release. The album simply escaped onto the Internet, where it can still be grabbed, earning nothing but good will for the musicians, but ready to play any time.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

What is the current rate of service charge for (Second Life) DJs - A Thread in the Second Life Blogs

There is an active conversation thread in the Second Life blogs:

What is the current rate of service charge for DJs

If you're interested, have a read.  There are many valid points from various people.  The discussion is in regards to the "average" pay for a DJ in Second Life, and why a DJ/performer may or may not charge for an event.

Just wanted to bring it to your attention if you are a venue owner, a booking manager or agent, or a DJ looking for gigs in Second Life.   This thread is also relevant to live musicians, singers, and performers as well.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brad Reason: 15 years of Original Music now Posted


Over the past 15 years, I created music.
Barely anyone has ever heard the music I created during that time.
From 1996-2006, generally, no one has heard the original digital electronic music I made.

It's now 2010, so I decided to publicly display most of my music catalog for your listening pleasure. If you'd like, have a listen:

I've added over 100 of my original digital electronica music creations from over a 15 year time span.
I would LOVE it if anyone who chooses to listen lets me know what they like.  Because I have never had anyone listen to most of these tunes, I really have no idea what people will think.  If there's a song you like, PLEASE let me know.  Even if there's a part of a song you like, please let me know.

Each composition I created comes with a story; why I made it, how I made it, and who I made it for.... but I won't go into that, unless you ask me about a specific song, then I will go into details.

In the meantime, have fun listening, and exploring my music history and full catalog.




The RIAA is a delusional cartel consisting of four major music labels. They were created in 1952 with the sole purpose of sucking all the music and happiness out of the world.

Official Corporate Philosophy: "Look! Teenagers smiling!... Kill them"

Just The Facts

  1. RIAA's methods of identifying individual users has, in some cases, led to the issuing of subpoenas to a dead grandmother, an elderly computer novice, and even those without any computers at all.

How they work

So the new Miley Cyrus album is out (yea, that wig and trench coat isn't fooling anyone, we know it was you at the Hannah Montana concert). You can barely sit still as you joyfully count the seconds away to torrent download completion and pure unadulterated teen pop magic. A few days later, you get an innocuous email along the lines of:
" Busted!!!!.... Sucker! Give us $3,000 now or we'll screw you for all you're worth!"
No, this is not spam. As of February, 2007 the RIAA began sending letters accusing internet users of sharing files. The letters go on to say that anyone not settling will have lawsuits brought against them. Typical settlements are between $3,000 and $12,000.
riaa logo
HOLY CRAP!... 'The Man' exists... and he has an army of lawyers!
Of course, there have been instances where these cases have been brought to court. Most of the time they're dismissed due to lack of evidence, but in the few cases they win... well it ain't pretty. In the case RIAA vs Joel Tenenbaum, the jury awarded $22,500 per song resulting in a judgment of $675,000 for the shared 30 tracks and in the case RIAA vs Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the jury awarded $80,000 per song, or $1.92 million for 24 tracks.

Stuff the RIAA considers illegal

Even if you've never discovered the internet and never shared your music files, the RIAA will find a way to screw you over. In 2008, they filed a federal lawsuit against Jeffrey Howell in Arizona,for creating "unauthorized copies" of CD tracks by ripping them to his computer - even though he may never have shared them with anyone else!

The 'logic' behind this is by ripping the songs in YOUR CD into a computer - you are transferring it into an unauthorized medium not of the artist's choosing. Everyone agrees this makes perfect sense.
The RIAA also claims that you're committing a felony just by making these files available. This is the logical equivalent of saying that by selling tickets to the Louvre, you are stealing the Mona Lisa.

If you're getting confused at all the myriad implications of these claims, Cracked has compiled a little list on all the things the RIAA considers illegal:

1. File Sharing
downloading music
see above

2. MP3 Players

They are an unauthorized medium

3. Playing a CD within ear-shot
stereo on shoulder
You're making music available to people who haven't payed for it

4. Whistling/Humming
Sound vibrations through air is an unauthorized medium

5. Leaving your CDs lying around
Again, making files available to unauthorized users

6. Being a teenager
The RIAA specifically targets University student and Teenagers in their law suits. Why? Because they know they don't have the financial resources to fight the case in court! Say goodbye to your college funds kids!

7. Laughing and/or Smiling
"Look at those smiling faces... you sure we got nothing on that?"

Also, check out: