The Second Life client source is to be released soon, with the server source hopefully following shortly afterwards. Second Life is a massively multiplayer "environment" (not a game) where people live, build stuff, buy and sell, and have homes. Technically, it's interesting in that it provides a very nice wrapper to OpenGL-type primitives combined with a physics engine - people can glue a number of primitive objects and scripts together into objects that move, respond to commands, and can alter most of their properties whenever their environment sets off any number of triggers they might be watching. Its potential has not yet been realised in the realms of visualisation - I've sometimes seen people playing with tools to visualise molecules (that scripts can have the server they're in grab data via XMLRPC from the internet at large), but that's just the beginning. The idea of unlatching the core technology (which is pretty cool) from the actual environment and culture (which is .. somewhat less cool) is awesome. I imagine people might host virtual conferences where they can show off prototypes of stuff they're making IRL, with custom clients and the like, on truly private servers, for starters. The idea of hacking it to allow for better brain visualisation is rather interesting too.
Sometimes it's just fun watching people with strange ideas about space. There are at least a few idiots in that conversation, but they're funny idiots. On that topic, I'm pleased to hear that Pegasus Mail is finally swirling the drain. They threatened me with a trademark infringement lawsuit in the past, quite unreasonably in my opinion. That's the flip side of anicca - if one waits long enough, jerks disappear too.
From some spam: "Surgeons get babes". That strikes me as the worst reason to go through med school ever. Also, my thoughts on Hussein being nuanced as they are, this still seems kind of strange.
Posters for my "class" will appear soonish in clusterland and elsewhere in Wean. Hopefully they won't be taken down too quickly for not being officially blessed. Hurrah.
Sealand, the "nation/platform" off the coast of Suffolk (England), is for sale for at least £10 million. I am amused at this, at least partly because as its sale would rely on its own legal system to be valid, not much could be done if someone paid for it and they just decided to keep the money and not turn it over. Like with Andorra (but moreso), my initial inclination would be to buy it and destroy it/cede it to the obvious parent country - I have a certain appreciation for it as a shelter from IP-implementing regimes but tax shelters really piss me off. It would be amusing if Spain took it and attempted to use it as a bargaining post (or means of irritation) over Gibraltar (for the curious, I have no opinion whatsoever on Gibraltar sovereignty). The very idea of selling entire nations seems kind of odd in any case. Some little part of me that is still not disenchanted with formal logic is wondering if there's necessarily an instant at which the old sovereignty is gone before the new sovereignty is established, with legitimacy lost forever. Mostly though, the post-formalist framework I now work in that thinks that math and philosophy and sovereignty and such can only pretend to be hard concepts, denies the meaningfulness of such things.
Thanks to AIM, I just learned a bit more about a political satire song I have in Dutch due to knowing some people in NL. Any of you who have not seen my Ome Henk DVD should borrow it - it's totally weird and awesome.