Second Life Client is Open Source

It seems like the big news of today””?prior to whatever Steve Jobs has cooked up at the Apple keynote””?is the release of Second Life client under the GNU public license. Is this going to give virtual architecture the kick in the pants its always been looking for?

I'm not sure. On the one hand, I think that MMORPGs have tremendous potential. On the other hand, Second Life just never grabbed me whereas World of Warcraft which has virtually no persistence and no ability to create within the virtual world kept me playing to level 60. I suppose that I'm just a more goal-oriented person. But we'll see. This could be interesting.

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Finally, a Decent Ringtone

Finally, a decent musical ringtone!

In general, I deeply despise musical ringtones and the nightmarish intrusion that they make into my day (thank you for playing the two bars of Four Seasons, Tears of a Clown or a bastard version of Smells Like Teen Spirit, but I really did not need THAT in my life) this time I will make an exception. Anyone with any heart or taste who has a musical ringtone will adopt this immediately.?Ǭ†

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The Economist Looks at Small Town America

giant bee

The Economist Magazine looks at "America, the Creative." The lessons of the Creative City and the Bilbao Effect have not been lost on small-town America.

To attract tourists and settlers, small towns are turning to storytelling festivals and giant killer-bee statues. I've seen this first-hand as, over the last quarter century the town I spent my teenage years, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, pioneered this sort of change. The hardware store, then the pharmacy, the grocery and the elementary school disappeared one-by-one as the community refigured itself in the image that resident Norman Rockwell created for it. I still remember the lunatic old ladies from the city asking if we had toilets or outhouses. At some point we become a world of tourists, all looking in vain for just the right place that fits our demented sensibilities.

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not one wilshire, newark

not one wilshire

In case you were wondering, I am committed to bringing more variety to the rotating Flickr images on the left of this page and started to do so by including recent images from the New Jersey landscape.

The above building is not One Wilshire, it's One Gateway Center in Newark, next to Newark Penn Station. The planning of Gateway Center was undertaken by Victor Gruen and Cesar Pelli, who worked for Gruen, built the neighboring Western Electric building below.

Western Electric Building by Cesar Pelli

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architecture and situated technologies podcasts

Video and audio of many of the lectures from the Architecture and Situated Technologies symposium put together by Omar Khan, Mark Shepard, and Trebor Scholz at the Architectural League this fall is now online at the symposium site.

My own talk, "Almost Nothing: Two Ways to Program Things" can be found here.

I am happy with the way the podcast turned out and am thinking about putting together more podcasts on this site this year, including perhaps an entire course or two this spring.

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