Second Life resident and Fo3 qDot Bunnyhug, one of the top teledildonics engineers in the world, has a new project: The Naughtyizing of Croquet. Yes, the humble roboticist from
Arkansas Oklahoma is going to spend the month of April hooking a variety of motorized sex toys to the open-source virtual world-building platform Croquet. qDot pioneered teledildonics in Second Life about a year and a half ago, and gave a great demo at SXSW06 of a vibrator that could be remotely controlled by an Xbox controller. Now he’s got his sights set on Croquet, which should provide fertile ground for the kind of remote sexuality of which qDot is a master. Plus which, if there’s anything that’s going to focus attention on a platform that’s not getting enough, it’s sex. What I loved about qDot’s rap at SXSW was that he sees teledildonics not so much as a tool for cheap Internet hookups as a way to bring couples who are separated for whatever reason closer together. For qDot, it’s more about the love than about the sex. Stay tuned at Slashdong, his blog, for continuing reports.
Boy am I glad I stumbled on Aleister Kronos’s Ambling in Second Life blog today, since Aleister himself stumbled on IBM CODESTATION island in the virtual world of Second Life a couple of weeks ago. I just had a visit, and I’m happy to say it includes one of the coolest projects I’ve seen in a while: an »open-API mazebot« that users are invited to take and modify in various ways. This is something I’ve wanted to see in Second Life for a while (and was hoping for in the Lego Mindstorms project), and while any full-perm item you get in SL is of course modifiable, IBM has done a nice thing here by defining some parameters and setting out a task for users to work on. Continue reading
It must be South by Southwest season. How do I know? Because there are Roombas in the air. Second Life resident Mooba Sienkiewicz (aka Greg, the myRoomBud crew’s dad) sends along news that he’s created a virtual Roomba for use in Second Life: “My kids have a business that sells costume covers for the Roomba and they have been pretty successful at it over the last year. So that they don’t have all the fun, I have been hacking and programming the Roomba in RL and recently built a SL Roomba.”
While it doesn’t actually clean anything, you can catch a video of the virtual Roomba in action on the myRoomBud SL page. Now all Mooba needs to do is make it as hackable as the real thing is, and we’re in business. Just remember, as Tyler, Niles, Isabelle and Griffin of The myRoomBud crew warn, “If you don’t dress up your Roomba, it’s just a naked vacuum.” Words to live by. (Although interestingly, dad’s SL Roomba doesn’t have any clothes on. Have a word with this guy, kids.) Continue reading
It’s no Snakes on a Plane, but it’ll do. Since I can’t be bothered with pre-ordering things, I suffered through the holidays with an Xbox360, but I’m feeling more and more like I need a Nintendo Wii. Not because I’m such a hot gamer (I suck at Gears of War worse than Matt Mihaly), but because of the possibilities presented by the Wii’s Web browsing capability, which people are already starting to make use of. Besides the invaluable ability to read 3pointD (thanks to Glitchy for the pic), Slashdot reports on a tabbed browsing interface that’s been developed, “which makes browsing on the Wii more efficient until the fully realized Opera build hits later next year,” and also revives the robot Roomba trend we (at the Second Life Herald) reported on from South by Southwest last year. The WiiRoomba “is entirely controlled by the Wii remote accelerometers,” and looks totally DIY-able. That’s the best thing about the new generation of game consoles; they’re not just all about the games anymore.
3pointD has jury duty today (grrr…) but readers may want to dial over to the Second Life Herald in my absence to read the profile of SL resident Chance Takashi I posted there last night. Chance was the high bidder in an auction to benefit the American Cancer Society as part of the Second Life Relay for Life held recently in the virtual world. Chance’s bid of L$11,525 — just under US$40 — earns her a glowing profile in the Herald. Fortunately, it’s one that’s well deserved.
Read more at the Herald, and check into Chance’s SL Musings as well. It was actually a pleasure to meet Chance, and I got to have fun with the profile in good Herald fashion, while at the same time exploring some interesting aspects of identity in virtual worlds: While any number of people are one sex in the real world and another in the virtual, Chance, it seems, switches freely back and forth between male and female avatars, further clouding the issue. She’s caused so much consternation among those she regularly meets on the Grid that there’s a bet on about it, so Chance wouldn’t reveal her actual sex. It was interesting to see this gender-switching among (possible) gender-switching with Chance, and get to hear her thoughts on the issue. Plus she’s charming in general, and a great builder of steampunk gadgetry. And (for a gender-disconnected avatar) cute!
Lego Mindstorms is the cool line of Lego robotics components that let you build little interactive thingets from the ace line of interlocking blocks. The Lego Mindstorms NXT line, which does even more, will be available next month, but you can get a sneak preview of the virtual version in Second Life, as part of an SL event being held on July 20th, where residents will get to show off their creations. Get a set of SL Legos just for joining the “Big Robot on Campus” group in Second Life, then build away. I’m going to check this out this weekend, but I don’t see how it won’t be extra cool. My question: Will Lego Mindstorms NXT kits be available for purchase on an ongoing basis once the event is over? Here’s hoping. (P.S. The Electric Sheep Company, sponsors of this blog, seems to be involved in this project somehow, but I’m just running out to go see mom, so I’ll have to update you on the specifics of that in a follow-up post.)