For some time now, I’ve been intending to move my blog to my own domain (www.ianbetteridge.co.uk, or www.technovia.co.uk) and in the process move from Typepad to WordPress. This move isn’t because of unhappiness with Typepad – it’s a great service, and I’d thoroughly recommend it to virtually anyone – but simply because I want to integrate my blog into some other projects that I want to host on my site. Also, as someone who is supposed to know something about technology (don’t laugh at the back there) I think it’s time I delved into hosting my own stuff again.
Hence, this blog is now officially moved to www.technovia.co.uk, and you should update any bookmarks and so on. This site will remain as an archive, although I’ll also ultimately import the posts from here over there. If you’re subscribed to this site via FeedBurner, you shouldn’t need to do anything – FeedBurner should automatically point you to the new feed. However, if you’re still using the old direct RSS, you’ll need to resubscribe.
Of course, having seen this I could hardly resist posting something from it:
Most american articles rarely mention that there is something in Second Life which has to do with Sex whereas the German articles most correctly state that there is also a lot of sex involved. Cheap sex to be precise. If you look for most articles, SL is great because of the people, the land rentals and sales, some selling of goods and of course now the big companies coming into the game. When in reality it is all about sex. gaming and clothes / enhancements for sex. The land rentals are only there to provide space and place for this and I would consider the sales for items non sex related to be rather small.
She’s not wrong, and it’s only going to get… well some would say “worse”, but I’d say “more interesting”. What Copybot proved was that selling “goods” in a virtual world is a non-starter (just as, within my lifetime, it will be in the real world). Digital economics means that goods can be copied infinitely for almost zero cost, whether you like it or not. What can’t be copied are services – and within SL, services = escorting, at least at the moment.
There are, of course, other services that can be used. Custom, one-off avatar creation for a start, something that a friend of mine has recently earned a decent amount of money from. CEOs and marketing people who will become at least part of the natural audience for Second Life (like it or not) will want their avatars to look like them, even if pranksters will copy them and make them wander around with 10 meter penises attached to their heads.
Technorati Tags: sex, second life
If you use a site that’s designed to help you make and maintain contacts, such as LinkedIn, you’ll be familiar with the occasional random requests to make friends. These usually come from people that you might know (but probably don’t), half know (but don’t want to know more) or just plain old don’t know at all.
Yesterday, I got just such a message via LinkedIn, from someone named “Eufrosina Pachedo quicksolutionmortgage” (the clue is in the name), asking me to connect. Of course, I declined – the only people that I connect to are people who I know personally, or who’s work I know well enough to want to connect to them.
But the interesting part was in the body copy of the request email:
“May I ask you to also take a look at the Second Life location of a good friend of mine, David Hall aka the GuruConnector. He is also involved with a new venture called CNO Partners at www.cnopartners.com. “
This piqued my curiosity enough to jump into Second Life (you can often find me there, as “Ian Priestman” if you want to say hello) and wander along to the location that was included with the mail. What I found was a small hut in a one of the hideous parcels of land that’s been split into ever smaller packets, all of which are used for advertising anything from lotteries to tattoo parlours to gambling on the mainland of Second Life.
It’s been a while since I was on the mainland, and I’d forgotten how horrific that some areas of it are. Apart from the small package of land that was occupied by a tiny office for “CNO Partners” there were rotating ads for just all the usual suspects, and it looked like a nightmare vision of completely untalented, unregulated ad-splurge.
This is the first time, though, that any unsolicited mailer – and that’s what these contact requests really amount to – has ever included anything about Second Life, and I think it’s interesting to consider what will happen when spammers really get their teeth into its world. If Linden Labs thinks it has a problem with self-replicating objects now, wait until it starts getting the attention of the kinds of people who’ve had years of experience constructing spam-mailing botnets.
[Edit - correct spelling. Thanks Kim!]
“I want you to know, for when your time comes,” Tyler told his wife, her sister and mother two days before he died, his curiosity about the mysteries of life and death undiminished, “that this isn’t really too bad. It’s quite dealable with.”
I had the good fortune to be Tony Tyler’s editor at MacUser, and to pay several visits to his and Kate’s lovely house down near Hastings. I also had the exceptional pleasure of the annual MacUser columnist’s lunch, at which Tony, Charles Shaar-Murray and Paul Nesbit would drink, eat, cackle loudly and tell outrageous stories – Tony’s the most entertaining, and outrageous of all. Stumbling out of the restaurant, we’d head to a pub.
The first time I met Tony was a few months into my career at the magazine, at the annual judging for the MacUser Awards. The judges – a motley group of contributors and staff – took the judging very seriously. Not quite fist-fight seriously, but you sometimes felt that if they opened just one more bottle of wine (of which there was a lot) there would be, at the very least, a little fisticuffs. Tony’s first words to the group were “I don’t bloody know what I’m doing here – I don’t know anything about these products”. His first words to me – responding to the presence of a professional teacher doing the education category, and spoken as we pissed side by side the in toilets, were “I fucking hate teachers. Bastards the lot of them”.
But don’t for one second think that Tony was a pissed up old hack. He was one of the smartest, cleverest and funniest people I’ve ever met. He also had a wonderful and gracious manner. I’ll miss him very much.
As Dave Winer notes, Mark Anderson, writer of the hugely influential Strategic News Service email newsletter is now blogging. I met Mark a couple of years ago while working at PC Pro magazine, and he’s probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.
Mark has already written an excellent analysis of the issues surrounding Steve Jobs’ knowledge (or lack thereof) of the whole Apple stock options issue. To quote:
“Here is my conclusion: I think (and I have no direct evidence for this, other than the behaviors and quotes from those involved) that Steve Jobs was aware of the practice, did personally benefit, and had some role in the granting and dating of those options.
I expect that the company is doing its best to find fall guys and scenarios that will allow Steve to stay. Apple, I am afraid, has a real problem, the only problem that it can’t work around. It is trying, but time does not, in fact, heal all wounds. I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that Steve was involved.”
Ouch. Mark speaks not only from authority, but as someone’s who’s been a huge fan of the way Steve has taken Apple since his return.
“A lot of people have called me the Guy Who Brought Steve Back, since I suggested the success of that move when Gil Amelio was CEO, and an avid reader of SNS. Gil, by the way, should always get the real credit for having saved Apple, by bringing Steve back, when no other CEO would touch him.
I’d hate to also be the guy who showed him the door. He’s doing a miracle job at Apple, and I, for one, would like to see it continue.”
With the amount of busy time I have at the moment, it takes something to actually rouse me to blog. Jason Calacanis, who really should know better, manages it:
"Kudos to Sean Bonner for stepping in and standing up for Xeni (and bloggers breaking news everywhere) when Washington Post journo Brian Krebs cribbed her story WITHOUT CREDIT."
Except that Sean Bonner’s post and the comments that have followed have demonstrated that he was, in fact, pretty much completely wrong. My friend Quinn provides a timeline that shows that BoingBoing, Wired, and Brian Krebs were working on the same story pretty much at the same time. The original source has confirmed that everyone had the story legitimately and independently. As Quinn puts it:
"These three reporters are ethical people that have my respect and admiration, and I’ve been in touch with everyone giving them my point of view."
Sean Bonner, on the other hand, comes out looking like a complete idiot. Not only has he libelled Brian Krebs – accusing a reporter of plagerism is a very serious matter likely to affect their professional standing – but he’s continuing to stick to his guns in an incredibly weasel-ish way. Had Bonner simply apologised, I’d be giving him kudos for having done so. Instead, he’s still trying to tarnish the reputation of someone who clearly has done nothing wrong.
And this raises a larger point: If bloggers want to be taken as seriously as mainstream media, they need to hold each other to the same standards they demand of MSM, which includes criticising their own when they get it wrong and asking for apologies too. By congratulating Bonner for "calling out" (yuck, hideous Americanism) Krebs, Calacanis is making a foobar. He should know better than to shoot first and ask questions later.