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Tour of Info Island / Second Life Libraries




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China's fastest-rising currency isn't the yuan. It's the QQ coin -- online play money created by marketers to sell such things as virtual flowers for instant-message buddies, cellphone ringtones and magical swords for online games.
In recent weeks, the QQ coin's real-world value has risen as much as 70%.

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A guide to Second Lifes space frontier
Take a tour of virtual rockets and space destinations in the 3-D online environment known as Second Life.

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Virtual-space gurus build final frontier
The colonisation of virtual outer space hints at the shape of things to come, for NASA as well as less traditional players on the final frontier.

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Ancient legend gets Second Life
A film press conference in Second Life, to mark the international launch of the film 300, is still just as unilluminating as under the plastic palm trees of a Los Angeles hotel.

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Sony is launching "Home," its own virtual universe of social networks and online worlds linked to a new 3-D game constructed almost entirely by players.
The concept appears to be based on Linden Lab's "Second Life". But Sony's world will also feature  video games for avatars to play, as well as virtual arcades, music, movies and other Sony-approved media downloads.

Capitalizing on the popularity of social networks and online worlds, Sony will launch its own virtual universe and another 3-D game built almost entirely by players.
"Home'' is a real-time, networked world for the PlayStation 3 in which players create human-looking characters called avatars.  
They can buy clothing, furniture and videos to play on a virtual flat-screen television in their virtual apartments.

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There are reports today that Sweden plans to open the first officially sanctioned embassy inside Second Life. Embassy officials won't be issuing visas or passports there, but they may just be wear rainbow codpieces when they offer you a Cyberian Angel Exotic Massage.

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There are rumours that Google is planning to build its own Second Life virtual world based on Google Earth. Many of the components needed are already in place, with the latest version of Google Earth having added the ability to build and share rich 3D content using the company's SketchUp 3D modelling software...

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A lawyer for the virtual world "Second Life" has responded to a parody with something that's quite different from the usual corporate cease-and-desist letter.
Vancouver-based blogger Darren Barefoot had put up a one-page site, GetAFirstLife.com, that imitates the look of SecondLife.com but promotes a real-life existence where you can work, reproduce and perish - all for free.

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Linden Lab's virtual world -- a much-hyped online amusement arcade of cartoon porn, avatars of IBM executives and frog bands -- has an annual GDP of about $220m, according to Fortune Magazine's David Kirkpatrick. That's only the size of the economy of Guinea-Bissau, one of the world's poorest countries, but pretty impressive for a virtual economy, no? No. Many transactions within Linden Lab's environment are circular, more akin to stockmarket volume rather than GDP. One would have to take the Benchmark-backed economic ecosystem more seriously if some of the online sexchat workers and other Second Life entrepreneurs could show that their accumulated virtual earnings could truly be converted into real currency. But, as this financial consultant explains, anonymously, withdrawing money from the Benchmark-backed virtual world is about as hard as cashing out of a pyramid scheme.

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Virtual world vendor Linden Labs is opening up its Second Life doors to the world of open source, but just a bit.
Second Life, which enables users to participate in a virtual world through the use of avatars, is now providing a version of its viewer application under the GPL version 2 license.
The viewer client application enables users to live their second life within the viewer's window. Linden Labs also provided the viewer application for free. Now, developers will be able to actually see a version of the code and potentially improve it. But that's a tall order right now. Linden Labs omitted a key component of open source development, namely access to a version control system where developers could check out and check in code changes.

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