Second Life: on the decline

Virtual marketers have second thoughts about Second Life – Los Angeles Times

At — where the cost is $6 a month for premium citizenship — shopping, at least for real-world products, isn’t a main activity. Four years after Second Life debuted, some marketers are second-guessing the money and time they’ve put into it.

“There’s not a compelling reason to stay,” said Brian McGuinness, vice president of Aloft, a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. that is closing its Second Life shop and donating its virtual land to the nonprofit social-networking group TakingITGlobal.

For some advertisers, the problem is that Second Life is a fantasyland, and the representations of the people who play in it don’t have human needs. Food and drink aren’t necessary, teleporting is the easiest way to get around and clothing is optional. In fact, the human form itself is optional.

Their interests seem to tend toward the risque. Ian Schafer, chief executive of online marketing firm Deep Focus, which advises clients about entering virtual worlds, said he recently toured Second Life. He started at the Aloft hotel and found it empty. He moved on to casinos, brothels and strip clubs, and they were packed. Schafer said he found in his research that “one of the most frequently purchased items in Second Life is genitalia.”

Another problem for some is that Second Life doesn’t have enough active residents.

On its website, Second Life says the number of total residents is more than 8 million. But that counts people who signed in once and never returned, as well as multiple avatars for individual residents. Even at peak times, only about 30,000 to 40,000 users are logged on, said Brian Haven, an analyst with Forrester Research.

Others just want to access a larger community than Second Life offers. Between May and June, the population of active avatars declined 2.5%, and the volume of U.S. money exchanged within the world fell from a high of $7.3 million in March to $6.8 million in June.


Apple: No BS iPhone Review – Gizmodo

Apple: No BS iPhone Review – Gizmodo
Gizmodo iPhone review

I think I’ve been a fairly restrained geek for pretty much ignoring it on my blog before now. No, I don’t own one. No, I don’t plan on buying one… yet. Like the gizmodo writer, there are some fundamental things missing for me: MMS being something I use a lot on a phone that cost me 1/4 the price of the iPhone, video capture being a second. The iPhone is missing both low-end obvious features that I use a lot, and also high-end features that I want in a phone that is so expensive. So, I’ll wait.

hollywood reaches a new low

Ok, Hollywood makes movies from books. Hollywood makes movies from musicals. Hollywood has made movies from musicals from movies (The Producers, Hairspray). But now, Hollywood is making movies from musicals from movies from books (Phantom of the Opera). I can’t wait to see the movie from the musical from the movie from the musical from the movie from the book.

more Apple developer badness

Apple distributed a different build of 10.4.10 to those using MacBook Pros to fix a problem with the audio, which in itself is all good. No one wants to have crummy audio on their laptops.

One MAJOR glitch though, since this means that my MBP has essentially a different version of the OS than the desktop machines. Therefore, when I try to build using Rendezvous in X-Code, no machines match my configuration. Therefore, the slowest building machines will build even slower than before.

Sheer freaking genius. Thanks Apple, you’ve now made my builds take about 20 times longer than before. Do you think we’ll see a fix before 10.5? I don’t.

Much of US favors Bush impeachment: poll – Yahoo! News

Much of US favors Bush impeachment: poll – Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Nearly half of the US public wants President George W. Bush to face impeachment, and even more favor that fate for Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a poll out Friday.

The survey by the American Research Group found that 45 percent support the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Bush, with 46 percent opposed, and a 54-40 split in favor when it comes to Cheney.

Seattle housing market tips onto the downward slope

Scales tip in favor of home buyers – Seattle Times

Economists’ predictions have come true. Like most of the rest of the nation, the greater Seattle-area housing market has slowed to the point where buyers have an edge.

Of course, you can’t dampen the outlook of the real estate professionals:

But the fundamentals behind Seattle’s market — particularly its strong job growth and dearth of new housing — mean “our area is going to thrive and grow,” Lones predicted.

“If it’s going to be any kind of a slowdown, I think it’s going to be false slow,” she said. “We’re in a very desirable place to live.”

San Francisco is also a very desirable place to live, but it hasn’t become a city of 20 million people because of the cost of living. Palm Springs doesn’t have 10 million folks. The job growth and desirability of a place cannot erase the problems of a real estate market out-of-whack with financial reality.

Reader Feedback | Seattle Times Newspaper

Reader Feedback | Seattle Times Newspaper

I am moving from Miami to Seattle. Luckily I sold my house in Miami Beach last year. I plan to rent in Seattle since I believe that this market is behind other metro areas by 9-12 months before prices begin to drop in Seattle. Do you think prices will drop returning to more affordable ratios income vs median house prices? Please do not tell me about the great job market. Places like Boston are just as strong in the tech sector and they have seen prices fall 10% YOY. Thank you.
Mon, May 21, 2007 3:23 pm

We have not seen such drastic decline in values 8 percent in Miami alone for a number of reasons. The biggest of which is that we did not see such rampant speculation by investors/”flippers” boosting prices to extreme levels. Areas that did not increase as much are not likely to decline as much if at all.
Matthew Gardner
Tue, May 22, 2007 12:40 pm

Wow, Matthew Gardner is smoking crack! I don’t know what market he’s looking at, but in my searches for property, at least 50% of properties for sale over the median King Country price were owned for less than two years and had their prices increased 50%-100% which is the mark of the flipper property.

The future looks bright and a little scary

The graphic below points out one scary thing, which is that the kids are just as much against a woman’s right to chose as the rest of the moronic population. The article mentions a second scary thing, which is that they also believe we will win in Iraq. So, I’m not sure I want to call them more liberal as a whole. More open to equality between races, sexes and gender preference, sure. Another way to think of that is enlightenment as opposed to political leanings. It is just showing the maturity in society as a whole. On the other real, liberal with a big L, issues: war, environment, a woman’s right to choose; they are just as conservative as their seniors.

Young Americans Are Leaning Left, New Poll Finds – New York Times

NY Times Graphic

dear nytimes magazine

you sure do have some great articles. However, when I put a bunch of ’em in tabs, Firefox is lighting up like a pinball machine with all the re-loading your pages do for distributing your adverts. That’d be annoying enough, but all those forced pings to you server to grab adverts I’ll never see is running down the battery in my laptop like the dickens. Wake up to the new web technologies, morons.

Interesting post on life at Google vs Microsoft from a individual contributor perspective

Life at Google – The Microsoftie Perspective « Just Say “No” To Google

The comments are freaky. MS folks piling on this person which seems kind of stupid, because this reads like a love letter to life at Microsoft if I ever read one. I’d like to see this person follow up with a second interview in a few years and see how the Microsoft grind changes their perspective. I never worked at Google, but part of the reason that I left MS was because it was starting to feel like management looked at developers as cogs in the machine. Maybe its worse at Google, I don’t know, but this certainly doesn’t compel me to go work there. Especially as a manager. 100 direct reports! That is insane.