Wednesday, August 15, 2018

"We took a tour of the abandoned college campuses of Second Life"


Once upon a time, in the year 2007, people were really excited about Second Life.

Businessweek ran a cover story with the headline "Virtual World, Real Money." Brands opened stores in Second Life malls. It was even featured on an episode of The Office.

Colleges were among those that bought the hype of the Linden Lab-developed virtual world. Many universities set up their own private islands to engage students; some even held classes within Second Life.

Most of these virtual universities are gone –– it costs almost $300 per month to host your own island –– but it turns out a handful remain as ghost towns.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

FYI as an experiment, I'll be posting miniatures at tumblr instead of here


"Letter of Recommendation: Yacht Spotting"


My favorite arrows are the magenta ones, which represent pleasure crafts. A vast majority of these are small boats with playful names like Fin N Tonic and Swim Lessons — the minnows of the category. More fun are the leviathans: superyachts. The past two decades have seen a sharp rise in the number of “high-net-worth individuals” who, unsatisfied with mahogany speedboats or lowly non-super yachts, prefer 230-foot mini cruise ships outfitted like palaces, staffed with professional crews and often worth hundreds of millions of dollars.


MarineTraffic has made it easier to peek into a whole different world, almost beyond nations and addresses and public property records. While waiting for a frozen pizza to defrost, I can use the app to hop over to Montenegro and look

Video game roundup

"The mining town where people live under the earth"


Australia is a country defined by "the tyranny of distance," but traveling to the underground opal mining town of Coober Pedy feels like taking a holiday on Mars.


More than half the residents live buried in the bedrock in cavelike homes called "dugouts" in order to escape freezing winters, scorching summers and the occasional cyclone. Often, the only sign you're walking on someone's roof is the air vent that's sprouted up next to your boots.


According to folklore, "kupa piti" in the local indigenous language means "white man's hole."

"In Santa Clara County, Apple is the leading appealer of tax assessments, with 489 open cases dating back to 2004, disputing $8.5 billion in property value"


In one appeal filed in 2015, Apple said that a cluster of properties in and around Apple Park in Cupertino that the assessor valued at $1 billion was worth just $200. In another, property that the assessor valued at $384 million was, in Apple’s view, worth $200, according to an appeal application.

Bud Light "Victory Fridges" are being placed throughout Cleveland

Alternate version of Marvel's Ghost (wearing Converse)

Total Recall-style scanning in real life

Picked up from my wishlist: The Divine Cities Trilogy for $2.99

All three books in the series for $2.99. Wikipedia says, "City of Stairs was a finalist for the 2015 World Fantasy, Locus and British Fantasy Award."