Geekspin Blog

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Every night a strange thing happens all over the world, people get home after work, slip into a an alternate persona and go off to do their own thing, things like heading over to their multistory mansions for a bit of DIY or gardening, dancing with people they have never met before, talking to people they may or may not have ever met before, engage in a bit of shopping or selling, visit a local “adult” club or fly a chopper they designed themselves to some corner of the world they have never been in. The most amazing thing? They never have to leave the comfort of their armchair at home.

This is the wonder of Second life, one of a number of virtual worlds where you can choose to be who you want to be and do what you want to do with no social restrictions. Indeed it has many traits of a real world, there are mountains, oceans, trees, houses and a real economy. Folks often have “second” careers with fairly lucrative careers in creating virtual assets such as clothing, jewellery, buildings etc.

We are talking real money here, converted to virtual dollars. In the case of Second Life this site forecasts a expenditure of between $50 million to $100 million Linden (the name of the currency) this year. At the time of writing this the Second Life site reports $424,913 US spent in the last 24 hours between the quarter of a million active users.

Are we reaching a new internet frontier, is this the first step to a Gibson-esque future?

Still not convinced? What if I told you that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has a substantial investment in Linden and that Amazon have been exploring a Second Life presence?

Other notable happenings are the recent setup of Podshow Island where you can go and visit the apartment of your favorite show and interact with the podcasters on a different level, also host to interesting events like virtual weddings. Dawn & Drew have setup a virtual farm and there fans have bought up the land all around it, Cali Lewis from Geekbrief TV also has a lot of great interaction with her audience in the second life.

The opportunity’s are literally endless!

Keep an eye on this space, and give it a try – a basic account is free – but beware the time monster!


Technorati Tags: Second Life

Who has ever said that speedtests have to be boring and ugly?

Bring some style to your life with this blinged out speedtest from Speedtest.net

Speedtest screengrab

Technorati Tags: ,

There is an interesting review of the IS 1024 kbps DSL over fibre solution (as opposed to satelite) over on Netlife.

I quote:

Pros:

1) Uncapped & Unshapped
2) Reliable
3) Great service desk
4) Far cheaper than Diginet based solutions

Cons:

1) Cost, its far from affordable for end users
2) IS retains ownership of the router.
3) Telkom is still in the loop for the last mile
4) Only 1mbit

In conclusion; this is what a DSL experience should be like, at a 10th of the price.

Bill Gates,during today’s Cape Town presentation, says that Microsoft are moving at introducing wireless technologies into Africa “so that internet can be delivered cheaply”. Hey, I am all for that, but it is the article on Reuters that is dissappointing, seems that MS is teaming up with MTN (Africas biggest mobile carrier) to provide a bandwidth solution packaged with a low-end PC running a stripped down version of Windows. Why am I disappointent? Well if cost is the problem, where are the solutions using exciting initiatives like Ubuntu and Edubuntu? Where is the South African version of the Municator? Africa does not need a strip downed low-end PC, we need an appliance that can operate with minimal support.
Investors, take note! Why should we have an international company come and set down its proprietary fortress in our back yard now that their stock prices are crashing in back yard. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of this continent becoming the dumping ground for the rest of the worlds old news!
At least Gates is right about one thing, Wireless is the only forward for us in this country.

I see over on The Register that Vodafone UK are only now starting to publicly over the HSDPA data cards offered over here via Vodacom partnership for a couple months already.

Interesting, does this mean that SA could be seen as a valuable testing ground for such new technologies by the international telecoms players?

Yahoo! Local has rolled out a microformat implementation that includes hCalendar, hCard, and hReview microformats on almost all business listings, search results, events, and reviews.

This is pretty big news for the Microformats community at large as this signals a paradigm shift where we will see more and more big players starting to take notice and will encourage developers of consumption tools to up there pace. Finally microformats can start the transition of a geek toy into the daily consumption of Joe Average.

Other examples of significant uFormat rollout are:
Yahoo! Tech with hReview,
Flickr with hCard on profile pages,
Upcoming.org with hCalender,
and recently Technorari Kitchen with their hCard, hCalender and hReview search.

For those that are unfamiliar with what microformats are:
Microformats are a group of set standards that allow web content publishers to publish data like contact details, calendar events etc in an easy to style (using CSS) XHMTL compliant fashion that is both easy to consume by human readers and machines and avoids duplications by not having to publish seperate vCard data etc (for example) as well.

Start consuming Microformats today by installing the Tails extension for Firefox!

Read more on Yahoo! Local Blog.


Tags: microformats

In case you have missed it, I know I have, Shel Israel, influential co-author of Naked Conversations and Rick Segal, Canadian VC and blogger are planning a whirlwind world tour and has earmarked South Africa as a stop. They are here somewhere around the 3rd of September though they still seem indecided on which city to visit, Cape Town or JHB? Here is my vote for Cape Town!