Friday, March 14, 2008

New Quotes


Anyone who reads my blog knows that I like quotes. Ever since I was a young boy my father would share his favorite quotes with me and my grandfather actually integrates his favorite quotes into everyday conversation - his memory for rhetoric is amazing!

I just wanted to list a few quotes that I've collected or created over the years so I could throw the sticky notes on which they are written into the wastebasket. Without further ado:

"SMART - Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time Specific"
-Accenture corporate training in Saint Charles.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted"
-Martin Luther King Jr.

"Do what is right, not just what you have the right to do"
-me

"Life without a friend is death without a witness"
-Eugene Benge

posted by Court @ 4:49 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Artistic Evolution of Chat


Somewhere in between the fantasy escapism of World of Warcraft, the uber realistic Second Life, and the stale emotionless instant messenger text based AIM, Live, and Gchat there is IMVU. This platform takes the roll playing and crafting elements that Online Role Playing Games are known for and gives them an artistic twist with a touch of chatlike realism.

IMVU is special because, as with Second Life, it allows users to create in game content such as clothing and environments. This is similar to crafting in WOW only it isn't so templatized - literally anything can be created and sold. What's more, the chat environment of IMVU has a rating system that helps separate kids from adults and even allows for R rated content for verified users! Who hasn't chatted about sex online? IMVU lets you act and look sexy too, provided that your age has been verified ;)

Video of an IMVU hottie in a leopard print thong giving a lap dance to Sexy Back by Timbaland and Justin Timberlake... Imagine the possibilities.

If all of this sounds more like a game than a chat service it might be because the creator of IMVU, Will Harvey, created an MMORPG similar to Second Life called "There" that ended up failing several years back. He and his team decided that virtual worlds, while being fun to customize and explore, didn't provide the same level of accessibility and realism that chat does... On the flip side, chat has traditionally been limited in the way messages are conveyed (smiley face anyone?) It's pretty easy to misinterpret squiggly black lines and dots. Also, historically chat has been used by people who already know each other in real life or have a more likely potential for meeting, so the IMVU approach keeps that realism but adds a layer of artistic fun and expression like a game.

An "individualized" avatar that a user has customized to match their own style and interests can really change the dynamics of a chat session. Even before a single word is spoken, the avatar can be given a mood to act out or the hair style and clothing can be made to for something. Even the environment where the avatar is having the conversation can have an impact on how it is interpreted and what the mood and tone of the conversation is.

The artistic evolution that IMVU has sparked in online chat is akin to what Cafepress has done for clothing or blogger for personal websites. It has empowered those who might have only been low level consumers to take on the roll of a creator. It has also allowed for digital consumption (which is a lot easier on the environment than tangible consumerism). In the bling-happy world that we all seem to live in, where expression is such a big deal, IMVU is an affordable way to have one's ride "pimped" so-to-speak. It invites preps, goths, geeks, and anyone else to fit themselves in and express... It realy reminds me of the Bratz dolls that tapped into a huge base of Black, Hispanic, and other diverse minority girls by reshaping the look of their product to match their audience. In IMVU, the audience shapes the product for themselves which is even better. But... it's not for everyone, for those of you who prefer clothing and customizations in the non-digital world, swing on by ABSTRACTmall and check out our threadzzzz otherwise, I'll see you in IMVU.

Bratz diversity dolls are "gangsta yo" in a sweet, cute sort of way... Reminds me of the Spice Girls!

That's right, even an exotic alpaca farmer in southern Paraguay can create a lifelike avatar in IMVU... Just make sure you're running Windows on that solar powered laptop of yours.

This screen was taken from the IMVU tutorial sequence

posted by Court @ 9:31 AM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cell Phones for Soldiers


What the heck are people supposed to do with their old crappy cell phones once they buy the shiny new iphone? or worse... upgrade from the old crappy iphone to the new one that has gps and better reception? or maybe you're holding out for the gphone?

When it came time for me to upgrade phones, Verizon provided a little satchel for recycling my old phone - great idea right! Nobody wants cell phone battery acid leaking out into dumps across the US... or any of the foreign countries we ship our crap off to. So the recycling thing is a great idea, and I've also seen bins at Best Buy for recycling phones so it's a strong option.

So the problem has been solved right? Not quite, there are still a few dedicated minds out there toiling away on creative ways to repurpose old cell phones. Those minds recently came up with a brilliant idea: donate used cell phones to soldiers. My room mate made an order off of Amazon.com and when it arrived, along with the other junky fliers, there was a little baggy as shown below.

The Verizon bag says "HopeLine from Verizon Wireless, Verizon is proud to provide this wireless phone and battery recycling program, go to www.verizonwireless.com/recycling

The Cell Phones For Soldiers bag says "Help Our Troops Call Home, It's free and convenient to turn in your used cell phone. Phones can be any condition or brand and do not need to have batteries, go to www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com

posted by Court @ 4:14 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

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