Adam S. Brooks

technologist / geek . entrepreneur . marketer . presenter / speaker . developer . consultant . innovator . educator . community advocate . author . adambrooks.org

Gore Verbinski @ Work on Online RP Gaming Film

Film company Universal Pictures and director/writer Gore Verbinski, whose credits include The Ring and the Pirates of the Caribbean series, will use a 2007 Wall Street Journal article as the basis for a film around an online role-playing world and its effect on the real lives of players. The WSJ article, written by Alexander Alter, follows a 53-year-old call-center operator who spends up to six hours every night (and 14 hours over the weekend) immersed in Linden Labs’ virtual world Second Life, where he plays a young, muscled entrepreneur. He goes so far as to marry a woman in-game, much to the chagrin of his real-world wife. Read More

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New York State Considers New Tax on Downloadable Content

New York state governor David Paterson is considering a new tax on downloadable content, in order to cover a $15.4 billion budget gap. As reported by the New York Daily News, Democrat Paterson is proposing 88 new fees, including taxes on the sale of downloadable music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services." The proposal still needs legislative approval and has been suggested as a means to avoid broader income tax increases. Read More

As tax bases dry up, politicians will look for new ways to make money. The Internet has generally been immune but it’s coming soon. Mark my words, this will be the another step toward taxing all online and mail order purchases. AB

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Why Immersive Realism Shouldn’t Be The ‘Holy Grail’ of Game Development

Immersive realism may be the "Holy Grail" of game development, but should it be? In this column, author and designer Lewis Pulsipher argues that most players don’t want "role-fulfillment," in support of the idea that strong mechanics — and even player design awareness — is a more suitable goal. Read More

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Interactive Gaming and Air Force technical training

Force reductions, high operational tempos, and consolidations of career fields are prompting the United States Air Force to seek more efficient and effective ways to train the technical workforce in order to assure mission readiness. Interactive technologies used in today’s computer gaming environments could prove to be an effective means to deliver training. However, the lack of empirical knowledge documenting measurable performance improvements using these technologies hampers training system acquisition decisions. Read More

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The Olympics are over and it’s back to the socialist norm as China resumes blocking Internet sites and foreign media

With the glare of the Olympic spotlight gone, China has resumed blocking access to the Internet sites of some foreign media, reversing itself on earlier promises to expand press freedom as part of its bid to win the games, human rights groups and press advocates said Wednesday. read more

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Facebook : 600,000 New Users Each Day + Managing The Growth

Facebook said this week that it has reached 140 million users, and its growth is accelerating. The social network released updated data this week that reveals why the Facebook engineering team has been working so hard to scale the site’s infrastructure. Inside Facebook has been tracking the statistics released by Facebook, and says that in recent weeks the site’s growth has accelerated to more than 600,000 new users per day, up from about 300,000 to 400,000 a day. “If Facebook continues at this rate, it could add up to 20 million new users in December and reach 200 million active users by March,” Justin Smith writes. READ MORE

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Legal documents served to Facebook profile

The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court has approved the use of Facebook to serve legal documents to a couple who was otherwise inaccessible at their home or by e-mail, although the couple has since disappeared from the social networking site as well. Read More

Can we pay our legal fees in linden dollars? AB

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e-Books come to the Nintendo DS portable gaming system

Nintendo has announced a deal with the publisher HarperCollins to make literary classics available to read on its DS portable games consoles. The 100 Classic Book Collection ranges from Shakespeare and Dickens to Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. It will cost about £20 and will be available initially only in Britain. Readers will turn the pages by brushing a finger across the screen. If the collection is a success, Nintendo may expand the range of books available. MORE

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Immersive Workspaces For Virtual Meetings in Second Life

Linden Lab and Rivers Run Red have partnered to create a turnkey product for companies interested in holding meetings in Second Life. But Second Life’s interface may hinder adoption among some users. The concept of using avatars to meet in a virtual world is not new. There has been significant experimentation in this area. Some companies have held marketing events, product launches, and even staff meetings in SL. However, there were a number of issues that limited in-world meetings from gaining traction, including privacy concerns, the requirement to find or build suitable meeting areas, and a lack of basic presentation, scheduling and communication tools. Rivers Run Red’s Immersive Workspaces aims to tackle many of those concerns. MORE

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There is a giant black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy

There is a giant black hole at the centre of our galaxy, a 16-year study by German astronomers has confirmed. They tracked the movement of 28 stars circling the centre of the Milky Way, using two telescopes in Chile. The black hole, said to be 27,000 light years from Earth, is four million times bigger than the Sun, according to the paper in The Astrophysical Journal. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so great that nothing – including light – can escape them. According to Dr Robert Massey, of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the results suggest that galaxies form around giant black holes in the way that a pearl forms around grit. MORE

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