Archive for the 'News' Category

Reuters launched new NewsHUD with BlogHUD integration!

The Reuters bureau in Second Life has now released a new version of their RSS reading NewsHUD. Packed with loads of cool features for discussing current stories and the ability to customise your RSS feeds. NOt on that, but they have now added a ‘BLOGHUD’ tab. You can set it to load up all posts from BlogHUD, or only posts from the region you are in. It looks great – quite a few prims though πŸ˜‰ Link to full story
posted by Koz Farina on Nooribeom using a blogHUD : [blogHUD permalink]

Libsyn Bought By Wizzard

Wow! Congratulations to Libsyn!!! According to this, they have been bought by a company called Wizzard Software. (who I havent heard of – they do voice tech stuff- they also bought switchpod recently too?)

This must be great news for mah good buddies Dave, Dave and Marty!! Those guys have such great mojo and smarts and are a hoot to hang out with!! πŸ™‚
Well done!!! You deserve it! πŸ™‚

Yahoo!’s Tech Mom Looks at Second Life

Dory Devlin, Yahoo! Tech’s ‘The Mom’ has a post here about Second Life, since hearing of ‘Adam Reuters’ (Adam Pasick) being ’embedded’ as a journalist in Second Life for Reuters – they have a dedicated site at There’s a hearty discussion thread building on Dory’s post! Lots of ‘I don’t get it’ posts and lots of ‘I make money!’ posts.

Recently, Adam posted a story that the US Congress are launching a probe into the virtual economy that exists within Second Life (and a follow-up here). Many people make quite alot of money in this virtual world. Some even more than the employees of Linden Lab, the creators and curators of this new ‘metanation’ which I inhabit.

It’s an interesting discussion – and one which will have to be addressed soon, whether we like it or not. I heard about a year or so ago of someone who was trying to go through his taxes and wanted to deal with the money he was being paid to look after someone’s character in a different game. His accountant and the taxman had no idea what to do, so shrugged and ignored it.

I think it’s bound to change. But I wonder how the various global tax offices decide to deal with it. There will probably be virtual tax havens you could log in from, to avoid paying. We’ll see. What about if Linden move all their servers offshore? How about Sealand? That’s a ‘very Second Life’ place πŸ˜‰
In the next week or so, we’ll hit the 1 million users mark in Second Life. (Currently stands at 983,621) That will be a big day which will no doubt garner headlines all over the world – then more users will come – and more money will be exchanged – etc, etc… πŸ˜‰

Doctoe Schnook and I (Koz Farina) hope to start a podcast purely about Second Life soon. Stay tuned! πŸ˜‰

Shooting ITN’s Terry Lloyd

I remember when this happened, while I was working at BBC News. I thought it was terrible that a journalist should get killed, and even be in harms way to such an extent to deliver a story. I was even asked if I minded the vast amount of hours I was putting in, to prepare our systems for war – I said ‘Look, some journos are sat in the back of a tank on their way to the front-line – of course I don’t mind!!’

But there was something different about this particular news of another casualty of war, when viewed from within a news organisation: the footage we see, compared to what is broadcast.

I heard the evening after they found out that Terry had been shot from a friend who worked at ITN at the time, how they learned of his death.

In global TV newsrooms, you tend to find a TV on every desk, plumbed into a huge network of AV feeds, with split-sceen, direct acess, all-sorts of video feeds from studios, camera teams, edit suites all over the organisation (I actually watch the live feed to White House and saw a soldier standing in for Bush to get the lighting right, before GW sat down, had his hear combed and informed the world that war had broken out in Bagdhad)

Here are some pics I took with my cameraphone at the time:

Apparently, at ITN one day, they were looking at a live unbroadcasted video feed coming from a camera team in Iraq. The camera had panned across a pile of dead Iraqi bodies that they had found. While panning around the bodies, apparently one of the people in the newsroom at ITN said “That’s Terry!” – His body was found with the Iraqis. To me, this could only mean one thing – that he had been killed by ‘our’ guys and they had piled him in with the rest of them. Awful. This is (apparently) how they learned of Terry’s death.

The stories on CNN, The Times and BBC that I have seen so far, seem to say there is potentially edited footage related to this incident. I’d have to say that it wouldn’t surprise me.

Official Second Life blog picks up RSS NewsScreens and blogHUD!

So, there I was last night,hanging around on the ‘RSS Platform’ in Nooribeom, watching the fearsome news of the ‘Real World’ fly by, when none other than Hamlet Au, the ’embedded journalist’ in Second Life (though not at Linden Lab any more) on New World Notes dropped by to check out the BBC NewsScreens I set up here. There’s a CNN one nearby too, by the way – next to the ‘River of News’ πŸ™‚ The screens read a list of feeds and loop through them, 10 stories at a time.
The good thing about the BBC News ones are the feed content has specific limits in the text entries. I happen to know that this is due to the journalists having to write stories which can run across many platforms. They have strict limits to the amount of characters for the headline and description text. This increases their value. On platforms with different text and size/resolution constraints, Flash is excellent at dealing with this, as you can embed fonts and that it is a ‘vector-based’ format, meaning you can stretch it any way you like and you will not lose resolution. At any size, if you do it right.

Second Life and the LSL scripting language presents many opportunities for an old skool web hack createc like myself. I frequently tell people that SL makes me feel as excited as I did when I first saw the web over 10 years ago. πŸ˜‰ And no, it wasn’t for all the adult content (though be aware that most technology developed for the adult industry ends up revolutionising the mainstream in some way) it was for the ability to communicate with other people all around the world. Connect them. Network with them. And even meet them sometimes. (I’m still great friends with a couple in New Jersey who were the first people I met through the internet 12 years ago, through a mutual appreciation of the band ‘The Stone Roses‘. I met my partner online too. 8 years ago!)

With easy tools to publish content, media, whatever you want to call it, along with easy ways do consume, organise, filter and rate it it, there you have it. Bingo moment. Democratisation of media. Open mashable consumption by an constantly evolving , iterative audience.

I heart feeds. πŸ˜‰ Thanks Dave.

Want to build an ‘OPML Tree’?

BBC News : RSS NewsReader : Secondlife :Koz

Here’s a demo of something I have been meaning to try for ages. After dusting off some old actionscript skills from back in the flash5 days, I was able to get a screen reading RSS feeds. Yay to that!!

Who is this ‘kosso’ anyway?

I am a 'Createc'. A creative technologist, entrepreneur/ hacker/ geek. Worked on building things on the web for over 12 years.

Used to work at BBC News interactive and created the publishing and delivery systems for video news to get distributed on huge screens in major railway stations around the country.

I left the BBC to become CTO / sole-lead architect/developer at for three years.

I have now left them to build a start up a new system called 'Phreadz', which is a 'Social Multimedia Conversation Network', integrating everything that is 'V.I.T.A.L' to us on the web. Video, Images, Text, Audio and Links.

I built the whole thing my myself. I programmed every line of code and positioned every pixel. I'm looking forward to attracting an hiring new members of the team to help me out! :)

There are currently over 1000 happy and helpful beta testers on the system so far and one client of a white-labelled solution.

@kosso : twitter

kosso's flickr stream

August 2020


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