Drax Files Radio Hour #1

Drax Files Radio

Drax Files Radio

 The first episode of the Drax Files Radio Hour is out. Yay!

The podcast is presented on the blog in an Adobe Flash Player. So, iPhone, Android, and other device users will run into a problem. But, the audio is in MP3 format. So, it is possible to listen on your device, if you know how to get the URL: Drax Download.

My Android gives me a choice to download or play the MP3 file. The Android player works fine with the MP3 file.

Torley Linden provides the introduction, way neat. I’ve always enjoyed Torley’s bubbly personality. This cast has primarily Drax and Jo along with excerpts from others interviewed by Drax. The web page provides a bit of an index to the audio podcast and a load of interesting related links. I’ve added time marks to my index. 

As always, some caveats. What I’m writing here is my take on what I heard as I listened to the podcast. If it bears a resemblance to what’s on the podcast, that’s probably accidental. 🙂 If something I’ve written upsets you, listen to the audio before you yell at Drax or Jo.

The indented parts of the text or my commentary on some of the subjects.


0:00 – 4:00 – Jo on fanboy status of those that see the potential of SL and remain excited. Also, much of their reason for making the show and what is possible in future shows is covered.

Jo Yardley - 1920's Berlin

Jo Yardley – 1920’s Berlin

When people speak about other people they are giving us an insight into their, the speaker’s, personality. Those accusing Drax or Jo of being a fanboy or fangirl I consider to have missed the point. Drax and Joe have seen the possibilities available in Second Life. They find it exciting. They see future possibilities. That is excitement, not an agenda we see in their comments. But, they also see the problems Second Life has. I believe they’re realistic about the problems.  I also think both see which are problems with people and which are with the computer system of SL.

I write about what’s happening in Second Life, mostly on the tech side. So, I see a striking difference between Drax’s podcast and his intention for future casts and Metareality’s podcasts, especially recent ones. My perception of Second Life seems to be more like Drax’s and Jo’s.

We have seen changes in Second Life since Rod humble took over as CEO. What I have noticed is that through 2012 and 2013 the pace of those changes has been increasing. Things move way faster than they did in 2008, when I came in.

4:00 – This is the year of virtual reality. Of course, the Oculus Rift comes up. Jo Yadley talks about trying the Oculus demo. 6:30 Nausea. Parts of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) interview with Luckey Palmer are included. 9:00 military using high end version of VR. 10:00 Drax talked with the guy that was Babbage Linden. 11:00 3D TV not really it. 12:30 Immersion. 13:00 SL Oculus test area in Berlin, by Jo. It is built to realistic scale. 14:00 talking about people doing kickstarters to do things we have done in SL for years. 15:00 Drax jumps back to talk about tech issues.

Draxtor Dupres

Draxtor Dupres

Will 2014 be the year of virtual reality? We don’t know. I expect the that Oculus Rift to make a big difference in virtual worlds. What I can’t determine is the size of “big difference”. Some of us think this is going to be a big and fast change. Others, like Babbage Linden, think it will be a slow and gradual change. I suspect the cost of the Rift will determine how big ‘big’ is going to be and how fast that ‘big’ arrives. Time will tell.

When you listen to Oculus talk about why it is going to be big, we hear about being able to use our every day RL skills in a virtual world via the Oculus Rift. It seems logical they being able to reach out and pick up something in a virtual world just as we reach out and pick up something in real life would be easy. I am not at all sure that going to be true. I think the Rift is going to drastically change how we pointed things and how we see things in virtual worlds.

Relating our hand movements and body movements to movements within the virtual world is not what the Oculus is about. The Oculus is about how we see things in the virtual world. I’ve tried the LEAP Motion controller. OMG! What a mess.

LEAP works well enough, but in conjunction with a 2-D screen figuring out how to move my hands so that my movement translates into something I want done on the screen is anything but intuitive. The normal real-life feedback our eyes give a real-life for hand movements just isn’t there. I believe it is that ‘translation’ thing that stalled the LEAP effort at Linden Lab.

I have to see what Linden Lab has done with the Oculus interface for the SL Viewer. But, in Second Life we don’t really reach out and pick up things. So, I doubt that feature has been added in an Oculus enabled viewer.

The Oculus is new technology. I am betting the SL Viewer interface is going to be a first pass at a virtual world interface with the Oculus. No matter how polished or how thought out this will be a first-generation interface. Until such a time as we can be in a virtual world and see our hand reaching out to touch something there, moving as we move our RL hand, where unlikely to have intuitive interfaces. This means in the short-term we are probably going to have to learn to use what may feel like a clergy interface. Again, time will tell.

16:00 – TOS Change. Problem is third party providers for textures. 17:30 Drax discusses a bit about how large companies are taking user rights. Segues into NSA.

The Linden TOS change is symptomatic of something we see more and more online businesses doing. In general things are getting harder and harder for the individual user. Have you looked at the permissions you have to give an app to run on your smart phone? Damn! In the US the phone companies have lobbied to the point that by law we can’t even use our hardware as we choose after we have paid for it.

The problem with the recent TOS change is even those that want to do something about it, have no idea what to do other than leave Second Life. But then where does one go?

Drax and Jo are convinced that Linden Lab has no intent to monetize user supplied content. That is probably a reasonable belief. But belief does not change the fact that a legal agreement was made that allows Linden Lab to do whatever it wants to do.

Government and big business are becoming too closely connected. In socialist and communist countries businesses are owned by the government. They don’t get any closer than that. The larger the government gets the harder it is for citizens control that government. To be able to correct problems like the Linden TOS Change citizens have to be able to control the government first. If people don’t control the government, the government will control them. If you aren’t politically active, it may be time for you to start thinking about it.

19:00 – NSA. Drax’s interview with Ash Quin, one of the Exodus development team, starts. (Links in Drax’s post) 21:00 NSA research of furries. If they are involved in programming computers, they are a national security risk. 23:00 Furries tend toward not liking large organizations. 24:00 FBI looking for child predators in SL. 26:00 Anonymity. 29:00 Telecommuting to the Lab. 30:00 How paranoid should we be?

The thing about the furry’s demonstrates the possible problems from allowing a government to completely monitor its citizens. Ash points out what he considers to be some of the aspects of people involved in the furry community. He points out some of the reasons that the NSA might be interested in furries. Especially if they are computer programmers.

As law enforcement moves towards preemptive enforcement citizens lose more and more freedoms. People are judged on what some hidden, unaccountable bureaucrat thinks they ‘might be’ rather than on what they have done.

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