- Metafilter: For Pity’s Sake, Don’t Go to Law School – “The expected economic payoff from any professional degree (JD, MBA, PhD) is negative, except possibly for the very top-tier schools. Going into debt in pursuit of a negative expected payoff is stupid.“
- jQuery Tools: The Missing UI Library for the Web – “jQuery Tools is a collection of the most important user-interface components for modern websites. Used by large sites all over the world.“
- lsyncd: Live Syncing (Mirror) Daemon – “Lsyncd uses rsync to synchronize local directories with a remote machine running rsyncd. Lsyncd watches multiple directories trees through inotify. The first step after adding the watches is to rsync all directories with the remote host, and then sync single file by collecting the inotify events“
- Warehouse Deals by Amazon – “Deep discounts on open-box and like-new products from Amazon.com .“
According to a recent article, the Australia-based Manhattan Group is using an office in Second Life to recruit people for jobs in the hospitality industry. The jobs are located in Australia, Africa, the United States, and Asia.
I am working with a team of colleagues to plan a job fair in Second Life, so I took a look at Manhattan’s office to see what was happening. Here’s what I saw:
Posted office hours:
Information about the in-world staffers from Manhattan Group, with real and Second Life names:
Lots of jobs posted:
A real time message board driven by an RSS feed:
Even more jobs:
I’ll have more to say about the job fair I’m working on before too long, so stay tuned.
I’m gearing up to do some more work in Second Life and needed to regain my building skills. This evening I modeled the classic Amazon door desk and set it up with a laptop, a hamburger, a drink, and a picture of my wife. I think it looks quite realistic:
- Gnomedex 9.0 – “The Technology Conference of Inspiration and Influence: Register Now!” – I did!
- The Market Ticker: TARP Part Deux? Do It Right Or Don’t Do It – “The problem we face today and have since the summer of 2007 when the bubble burst is that Washington DC, heavily-influenced by the bribery of campaign contributions and lobbying from those on Wall Street and elsewhere in the very system that led to the creation of this excess credit have done their level best to convince a bunch of Representatives, Senators, and the White House that the math can be cheated, because to admit the truth of the mathematics means that those very people are the ones who will suffer most.“
- Cisco Pulse – “See how your online behavior affects the networks you use. This application is designed to show you the types of traffic that flow to and from your computer and provides network usage trends for all global users of this application. You can see your usage across three categories.“
- SS Galaxy: Queen of the Sagitarrean Sea – “Welcome aboard the SS Galaxy, the only full size, full scaled, and full featured virtual cruise ship in Second Life. Anchored in the Sagittaria Estate, the SS Galaxy spans 3 sims with more than 8 decks of fun and entertainment. Proudly carrying on the tradition of luxury, glorious, and sophisticated floating palaces of the world, the SS Galaxy offers an array of amenities and activities on board, and a variety of staterooms & suites to choose from.“
The much-rumored Microsoft layoffs finally took place last week. Let’s hope that this is a long-term positive move for them. As a long-time reader of the Mini-Microsoft blog, it is clear that they need to refine their vision, focus on their core strengths, and resist the urge to make a large bet on every last emerging market.
If none of these express your sentiments you can customize them or even create your own!
- Oleg Burlaca: Graph Visualization for Apache Log Files – “I described just one scenario of how graph visualization can be used in apache log analysis. The intention was to create an overview report and see the whole picture, but the log file can be filtered to create some biased graphs.“
- aiSee – Graph Visualization – “When working with any kind of complex relational data, visualization provides for much better and faster understanding. Back in 1991, aiSee was developed to visualize the internal data structures typically found in compilers.“
- David Henderson: Media Savvy in the Internet Era – “There is little room for the status quo or traditional tactics as business and organizations strive for authentic leadership in these challenging times, and beyond. More than ever before, companies will rely on the media—mainstream and the fast-evolving online New Media of Web 2.0—as they seek to build brand awareness, leadership positioning, new opportunities to engage in trust-building conversations with customers and stakeholders, and, ultimately, better financial performance, sales and results.“
- Michael Rozeff: How to Steal Billions in Plain View: Bernanke’s Robber Banks – “Bernanke urges Congress to absorb the bad loans. The details of his three alternative plans are secondary to the fact that they all ask that others pay for the losses that the bankers caused, or else they involve the government in a variety of complicated maneuvers by which the government ends up shoring up these banks and bankers while taking on various risks of owning portfolios of bad loans. The idea is for the bankers to offload their mistakes onto taxpayers.“
- The Big Picture: Earth Observed – “Gathered here are some standout photographs from the collections in the Earth Observatory over the past several years.“
- Washington Post: A Tweet in Foggy Bottom – “The other reason to Twitter my trip was simple: Communicating in this peppy, informal medium helped to personalize my visit and enhance my impact as a U.S. official. When I met with students at the University of Bucharest, and later with Moldovan bloggers, we were connected before I even arrived.“
- Kathleen Parker: A New Generation Discovers the Pain of Unemployment – “Something has gone terribly wrong with the American dream. No longer is a college degree – or even an advanced degree – a guarantee of employment or job security.“
A collection of folks at Amazon.com and Cruxy are working together to make this happen. The events will take place at the News Center on Amazon Developers 1, coordinates (118,179,23). You can click here for a direct teleport.
Join the Second Life group named Warren Adler Fans for reminders before each event.
The hour-long events will take place on Thursdays at Noon PST, from February 21st to March 20th. Here’s an outline of what will be discussed at each event:
Session One (Feb 21)
Where do story ideas come from?
Mr. Adler will discuss a number of short stories that appear in NEW YORK ECHOES, how they entered his mind and were fashioned into stories. He will discuss three of his stories: “Good Neighbors,” “The Mean Mrs. Dickstein,” and “The Cherry Tree.”
Session Two (Feb 28)
Tragic events and how they resonate
Mr. Adler will discuss two of his short stories that deal with the aftermath of 9/11 and how these tragic events linger in memory and trigger ideas for stories. The two stories are “I Can Still Smell It” and “That Horrid Thing.”
Session Three and Four (March 6 & 13)
Short Story Contest
Mr. Adler will discuss his short story contest and why he decided to start it. He will also announce the winners and discuss each story and why he chose them. If possible, contest entrants will convey their story lines or read the stories.
Session Five (March 20)
How to put “life” into stories
Mr. Adler will talk about his novel FUNNY BOYS and how it took shape. He will describe the era that is described by the term “Borscht Belt”, how it came about, what life was like then (1937) and the brutal gangster era at the time when Murder Inc., a group of Jewish and Italian killers, was in its heyday.
I was lucky enough to meet several of the folks behind Pleiades Consulting when I was at the Second Life Community Convention this past weekend. it was good to be able to finally meet James, Ian, and Jonathan face to face. I also met John Hurliman, lead developer of LibSecondLife and part of the Pleiades posse.
These folks have been cooking up some really cool stuff – first LibSecondLife and now RESTbot.
LibSecondLife is a very nice .Net interface to Second Life. Applications built on top of it log in using the name and password of an existing avatar, which then appears “in-world,” under the complete control of the application. It can move, gesture, chat, manipulate the avatar’s inventory of objects and textures, and so forth. The resulting avatar is a “bot” (short for robot). The logged-in avatar is identified with a unique session key.
Earlier this month Pleiades announced RESTbot. RESTbot implements a web server on top of LibSecondLife. The web server responds to a set of simple REST-style requests. The requests each include a session key so that a single RESTbot server can manage any number of avatars simultaneously — an army of robots, or a dance troupe, for example. The requests are clean and simple; each one returns an XML document with the results of the request.
The RESTbot distribution also includes a number of Perl applications to exercise each web service. Each application is a web service client to the RESTbot. For example, botlogin.pl accepts an avatar first name, last name, and password as arguments, and displays a session key as its result. This key can then be passed to the other applications — bot_sit.pl to sit, bot-teleport.pl to teleport to another region, bot-rez.pl to rez (create) new objects, and so forth.
Here’s how it all fits together:
The RESTbot client application + RESTbot + LibSecondLife are the functional equivalent of the Second Life Viewer. Either one can connect to the Second Life server, log in, and control the actions of an avatar, one programmatically and the other under the control of a human being. The client application connects to RESTbot (usually over the internet, but optionally within a single machine via localhost), RESTbot calls LibSecondLife, and LibSecondLife calls the Second Life Server.
Net-net: You can now control a Second Life avatar using very simple web service calls or a shell script. That’s really powerful and I am sure that some very interesting applications will be built on top of this before too long.
Earlier today I learned that ABAP is a COBOL-like language used to customize SAP’s business applications. After seeing a Twittered reminder, I decided to attend a Second Life chat about the book, which is called Next Generation ABAP Development . The meeting took place in SAP’s Community Office on the Silicon City island.
I listened to Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman talk about the process of deciding to write the book.
Thomas wrote the outline and then Rich decided to step up to the plate committed to take on his fair share of the writing. They each wrote chapter drafts and traded them back and forth, completing the entire book in about 3 months. Rich spent about 5 hours per weekday on the book, and more on the weekends. Thomas was working at a client site for 2 out of the 3 months, so the book gave him something to do during the evening.
One thing that impressed me about SAP is the degree to which their site and the chat itself referenced their developer community. This should bode well for their Second Life presence, since person-to-person connections and community development are probably the true “killer app” of Second Life.
The book has been selling well, clocking in 1613 sales for the month of June, making it the best-selling SAP Press book for that month.
They also discussed SAP Link, an ABAP code repository built by the SAP developer community.
Here are some pictures: