Author
 Mitch Wagner

Profile of Mitch Wagner

California Bureau Chief, Light Reading
News & Commentary Posts: 1161

Mitch Wagner is California bureau chief for Light Reading.

Articles by Mitch Wagner
posted in April 2007

NBA Goes Above The Rim In Second Life

4/30/2007
Unlike many corporate areas in the virtual world, the NBA Headquarters incorporates capabilities designed to keep fans coming back, including real-time 3-D diagrams of games as they're played.

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Video Illustrates The Sorry State Of The Customer Service Industry Today

4/27/2007
A company called Vocal Laboratories provides video commentary on a six-minute customer service call to Hewlett-Packard. HP treats its customer rudely, like cattle. They waste the customer's time. They make the customer sit through six minutes of silence, hold music, and pointless questions. Then they abruptly hang up on the poor guy without providing any help at all. But the most shocking thing of all is that HP is not unusual in this behavior. It's a typical call by any customer to any compan

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Using Second Life As A Business-To-Business Tool

4/26/2007
I just got off the phone with Cisco -- we ended up talking for a couple of hours about how Cisco is using Second Life for business-to-business communications. Turns out that quite a few Second Life users are network engineers. These are Cisco's customers, and Cisco is aggressively using Second Life to communicate with them.


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Building In Second Life, With Links To Web Info

4/24/2007
I spent a pleasant hour or so last night acquainting myself with building in Second Life. I created a simple platform that floats at an altitude of 100 meters above my land. Building in Second Life is actually fairly simple in concept, and simple once you get the hang of it, but in the middle there's lots of fiddly little options to select and buttons to push and it's easy to make mistakes.


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Video: "The Simpsons" Take On Google

4/24/2007
Marge Simpson looks up her name on Google. "And all this time I thought 'Googling yourself' meant the other thing," she declares. Then she tries Google Earth. Hilarity ensues. Watch the 37-second video after the jump.


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Buying Land In Second Life

4/23/2007
At last, I bought land in Second Life to built my virtual home in. I've been shopping for more than a month, and couldn't find a tract I fell in love with. I'm still not in love with the land I bought, but I like it.


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InformationWeek Shutting Down Its Second Life Office

4/23/2007
InformationWeek shut down its office in Second Life. We're still committed to Second Life coverage. I'm still spending a couple of hours a day in Second Life. I'm still writing lots of blogs and articles out of SL. But the office just wasn't doing anything for us, so we gave it the ax.


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Safari Vs. Firefox On The Mac: Which Is Better?

4/23/2007
I switched from Firefox on the Mac to the Safari browser yesterday. So far, after a couple of hours on Safari, I'm concluding that they're both fine browsers. On the other hand, each one has limitations. I really wish there were a browser that combines the best of both.


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Role-Playing In Second Life

4/20/2007
Role-playing is one of the most popular activities in Second Life. You're basically pretending to be a fictional character. Remember when you were a kid you tied a towel around your neck and pretended to be a caped superhero? As far as I can see, role-playing in SL is like that, but geared for grownups.


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Tip: Use Babelfish To Translate Chat, Discussions In Real-Time

4/19/2007
OK, probably everybody in the world already knows this, but you can use BabelFish (and other online translation services) to translate the discussion of people you encounter in Internet discussion. I generally think of BabelFish as a translation service for Web pages -- and a not-very-effective one at that -- but of course it'll work on any text.


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Will Linden Lab's Open-Sourcing Second Life Hurt Some Of Its Biggest Customers?

4/18/2007
Currently, Linden Lab's major revenue source is "land sales," leasing space on its servers for businesses and dedicated consumers to build property in Second Life. Many businesses derive revenue by turning around and renting property in-world. When Linden Lab open-sources the servers, land will become more plentiful and the value of land will decrease, thus diminishing the value of these "land barons'" investments.


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Linden Lab To Open-Source Second Life Servers

4/17/2007
Linden Lab plans to open up the source code for Second Life's servers, allowing anyone to run their own version of Second Life, a company spokesman said today, confirming the widespread belief among many in the 3D community that open-sourcing the servers was inevitable.


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Can Microsoft Get Its Mojo Back?

4/17/2007
The Internet moves quickly, but perhaps you remember this essay from that long-ago time of last week (gosh, we were so much younger then, weren't we?). In it, developer Paul Graham argues that Microsoft is dead, killed by Web applications and buried by the Apple comeback. I do think there is some truth to Graham's essay -- but it's only part of the story. InformationWeek's J. Nicholas Hoover Post a Comment

What Are The Best Practices For Real-Life Businesses In Second Life?

4/16/2007
I've lost count of the number of real-life businesses that have opened shop in Second Life. While many are doing it as a publicity stunt, some companies are taking it seriously. IBM, AOL and, well, us, come to mind here. They're in Second Life as a long-term investment, both of financial resources and of time spent by employees learning the ins and outs of this new medium. Which has gotten me to thinking: What are the best practices for real-life businesses in Second Life?


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Second Life Image: This Guy Looks Like He Has A Baaaaad Hangover

4/16/2007
I found this guy during some random exploration in Second Life. He looks like he had a little too much to drink the night before. He's enormous--to get an idea how big, look very, very closely and you can barely see my avatar, Ziggy Figaro, sitting on the left knuckle of his left hand. I found him in Sweet Leaf (SLURL)). Screenshot below the fold.


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Fun Things To Do In Second Life: Updated

4/13/2007
I did the first pass of updates on my "Fun Things To Do In Second Life" post. I added an 11th and 12th item, and I changed the name of the list accordingly. The new items: Listening to live music and attending other live events, and visiting Amsterdam.


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A Hardheaded Look At The Blogger Code Of Conduct

4/11/2007
One of my favorite bloggers, John Scalzi, takes a hardheaded look at the proposed blogger code of conduct, and has a common-sense response: He hates the code, but says bloggers need to take responsibility for their blogs, and understand that it's not a violation of free speech to delete offensive comments and ban the authors from coming back. He's right -- free speech can only survive in a civilized environment, when people star

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Backing Up Your Desktop With Amazon S3

4/10/2007
Since I converted to the Mac two months ago, I've been playing Russian Roulette. I haven't had a good system for doing backups. But that changed Sunday when I discovered the Amazon S3 online storage service which, when used with the free software Jungle Disk, provides a cheap, easy way to back up your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer online. Storage prices for Amazon S3 are staggeringly cheap.


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Toyota Under Attack By Second Life Griefers

4/9/2007
I was puttering around in Second Life tonight, when I got an instant message from my friend Rissa Maidstone -- the Toyota Scion island was under attack by Second Life pranksters. So I headed over there, and grabbed some screenshots. As griefing attacks go, it was pretty lame -- at least as far as I could observe -- but see for yourself. Check out the image below the fold.


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