Archive for the 'web' Category

The Next Big Thing

October 23, 2006

With all the recent excitement about Second Life’s 1,000,000th “resident,” the buzz over the emergence of the 3D web is getting louder by the minute. Economist and columnist Patrick Cox compares the current state of the art to the early days of the World Wide Web, drawing parallels between the catalyzing effects of Netscape and new 3D virtual world technologies such as the Multiverse Network — a startup founded, perhaps not coincidentally, by Bill Turpin, one of the minds behind Netscape itself:

Like AOL and CompuServe a decade ago, virtual worlds exist as a relatively small number of isolated, walled-off realms, each requiring the user to download separate software. Just as the Internet did not become the social force it is today until Netscape tore down the walls separating Internet fiefdoms, virtual world technology is currently limited.

There is, however, something going on that has the potential to change that, and quickly. Not coincidentally, a team of core developers from Netscape’s early days is now developing the equivalent of a virtual world browser for MMOs. Called Multiverse, the company includes the same portentous entrepreneur noted above: Bill Turpin. His team includes Netscape veterans known throughout Silicon Valley, if not the world at large: Rafhael Cedeno and Robin McCollum, who built critical Netscape server technology still in use today, and co-creators of RSS; Jeff Weinstein, who coded the world-changing SSL; and Corey Bridges, Navigator product manager who then went on to launch companies like Netflix and Zone Labs. On the entertainment side, ex-physics major and film director/producer James Cameron, of Terminator and Titanic fame, has thrown his lot in with Multiverse, joining its board of advisors.

Their plan is to provide virtual world creators the client, server, and development tools to create an MMO world. The entire technology platform is free for non-commercial use, so academics are paying nothing to create economic, architectural, sociological and other simulations. For-profit enterprises would pay royalties, but only when their games or other applications collect money from consumers, not before.

This is significant because, until now, creating a complex virtual world required tens of millions of dollars in initial development costs alone. The Multiverse technology, currently in beta-testing, claims to lower the cost of virtual world production to a fraction of its current stratospheric level. For many purposes, such as personal online spaces, there would be no cost at all.

Most importantly, however, all these Multiverse-based worlds, and many are already in development, would be compatible. With the Multiverse client software, users will be able to access any virtual world built using the company’s technology. Virtual worlds will become, in effect, ubiquitous. The Metaverse. (TCSDaily)

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Identity, Photography and Flickr

September 27, 2006

German artist Sascha Pohflepp‘s continued investigation of how photo-sharing technologies like Flickr mediate self-perception recently rose to poetic heights with “Buttons,” a “blind camera” that captures not images but moments:

Buttons takes on this notion of the camera as a networked object. It is a camera that will capture a moment at the press of a button. However, unlike a conventional analog or digital camera, this one doesn’t have any optical parts. It allows you to capture your moment but in doing so, it effectively seperates it from the subject. Instead, as you will memorize the moment, the camera memorizes only the time and starts to continuously search on the net for other photos that have been taken in the very same moment. (blinksandbuttons)

Google sends letter to Google Will Eat Itself

September 12, 2006

Google Will Eat Itself (GWEI) is a web art project by Hans Bernhard and Alessandro Ludovico that draws attention to the way that Google makes money via AdSense links. According to their website, GWEI raises money through a network of “secret” Google text advertisements, then turns around and uses the money to buy Google shares. “We buy Google via their own advertisement,” the GWEI team touts on their homepage. “Google eats itself — but in the end, ‘we’ own it!” But don’t be confused — GWEI is not an insidious corporate takeover mechanism. In the end, the shares will be redistributed to the public, leaving Google in the hands of the “clickers” who paid for it.

GWEI has garnered a lot of interest around the web basically because it’s a funny idea, kind of like that old urban legend/Husker Du song about the cat farm and the rat farm. But now Google itself is starting to take notice. Just this week, they sent GWEI a “friendly letter,” asking them to stop what they’re doing. Here’s the most recent update from GWEI HQ:

202.345.126 Years until GWEI fully owns Google

Dear GWEI Subscribers,

The current stats: Google Shares owned by GWEI: 123 Amount of USD: 47.276,28 Adsense-Clicks: 126.336 Adsense-Page Impressions: 5.448.926 Adsense-CTR: 2,31% Counter: 202.345.126 Years until GWEI fully owns Google Current Google Share Price: 384.36 USD, Symbol: “GOOG”.

Google’s Legal Department has contacted us with a very nice and open letter signed by Dr. Arnd Haller, Legal Rep. He stated that Google thinks we are doing great work but somehow something illegal, that they are fully aware that this is an art piece but still we should kindly stop with our assumed illegal activity.

Letter in German.

Our next exhibition will be at the ICC NTT Museum, Tokyo (JP). The “Connecting Worlds” Exhibition curated by Yukiko Shikata, with artists such as Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Dennis Oppenheim, Ambient.tv, Wayne Clements. We will show a digital Slideshow next to a terminal with the web-site.

Media Coverage was very good during the last months, GWEI was featured in BBC World (Radio), Kulturzeit (3Sat TV), Telepolis, Artforum News
and in a lengthy article in Spiegel Online (Deutsch): and “die Presse” (Deutsch) and Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (Deutsch) and Heise Online, attacking our future project called Amazon Noir.

Additionally, on July 12, 2006 we have frozen a copy of GWEI and added it to the Rhizome Artbase for conservation. And.. we will present GWEI on October 24th at the New Museum New York for the Rhizome 10 years anniversary.

best regards and lovely hugs from the team

UBERMORGEN.COM feat. Alessandro Ludovico vs. Paolo Cirio

Hans Bernhard
UBERMORGEN.COM / etoy.holding

Skype Hans_Bernhard
Studio +43 1 236 19 85
Mobile +43 650 930 00 61
Email hans[at]ubermorgen.com
http://www.ubermorgen.com

Via Networked Performance