Living it Up

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FRONT PAGE NEWS

Hi everyone!

During the last couple of years, Sambiglyon has been gradually unfolding its 'Living & Learning' program of self-directed self enhancement training, doing so through tools, articles, blog posts and content in our Ideas Archive.

If you have not heard of Living & Learning before or need a refresher about it, we have added information about the program and follow-up links to our website's FAQ page.

The path that Living & Learning on has been long and winding, with numerous sideward steps to investigate a variety of topics, as we tried to translate some incredibly complex concepts into a presentation form that anybody can quickly understand and make use of in their everyday lives.

And all along the way, Sambiglyon itself has been learning new ways of thinking about these ideas and how to explain them better, and then applying those insights to the next piece of Living & Learning content that we developed. In this respect, Sam has been like a videogame developer who produces better and better games as their understanding of the machine they are creating their product on increases over the years.

During the last couple of years, we have also been enhancing the design of the Sam website step by step in order to put in place the mechanisms that would give us the framework to present the Living & Learning program in the ideal, uncompromised way that we envisaged it in our on-paper designs.

It greatly pleases us to be able to say that we have reached a point where we can finally realize those designs. In the coming weeks and months, we will be introducing a dedicated multimedia L&L section on our site and cross-connecting its content with our Ideas Archive, which will also be receiving a bold redesign that will build upon improvements to the IA that we have introduced this week and which you can read about later in this newsletter.

We'll have more Living & Learning news for you in the next edition. Until then, enjoy this week's avalanche of features!

APP DEV DIARY

You may have noticed that the updates to the Diary have slowed of late. The reason for this is that once we hit the stage where we had to program the buttons for the 'Lannel Pharaoh' app, we hit a roadblock.

The reason for this is that Android buttons are notoriously difficult to get working (google 'android button click crashes app' for just a few examples of this common pain), and we have been teaching ourselves Android programming as we've gone along and then converted that knowledge into diary episodes.

At present, we have not been able to overcome the 'button fail' despite many hours of labor and test coding. Because the people who follow the Diary need to have confidence that they can replicate its contents if they follow the instructions, we will not resume the Diary until we have worked out why the app is not working and can then explain why to our readers so that they can avoid the same frustrating pitfalls.

For this reason, we will obviously not be able to meet the March 18 target launch date for 'Lannel Pharaoh'. We will not release a product that is not ready though. As we promised, we will still make 'Lannel Pharaoh' free to download in its first week of release, whenever that turns out to be.

We apologize deeply for the delays to both Diary episodes and app and will keep you up to date as we make progress. Thank you!.

'IDEA' ISN'T A FURNITURE STORE

Sambiglyon makes use of a broad range of free and paid online and print-magazine sources each month in order to help us to stay on top (the paid ones are purchased from Sam Community Manager Fleet Goldenberg's personal finances, not Sam non-profit funds, as part of Fleet's commitment to advancing living and learning).

The first work-hour of every morning is dedicated to checking the latest information on our website list. Further time is often spent during the day adding material to our massive research material archives, updating our internal year-ahead roadmap document with tasks best suited to being implemented later in the year or identifying new actions for our to-do task list.

By allocating so much time to research and subsequent careful thought about new inspirations, Sam loses very little time going down wrong paths and so recoups the time investment in the long run.

We don't just keep up to date with technology but also news, culture and entertainment as well. So we thought we would share our highly useful Fleet-references with you as an Adobe Acrobat PDF list..

NEW SAMBIGLYON WEBSITE FEATURES

This week we have added a wide range of new features to the Sambiglyon website! For ease of reading, we will list them all within this single section of the newsletter.

- We've gone back to the future on the Sam website layout and restored the content-feed side panels and the front-page blog feed. Our feedback showed that people were having trouble finding our new material, and as ever, we're happy to give our users what they want! Also, we have added a Facebook feed of Sam's FB friends to the right-hand panel.

- We have a new guide on our FAQ page about using joystick / joypad controllers with Second Life.

- We've made improvements to our site search, simplifying the Advanced Search, enabling search by User and finding new ways to improve results. Also, the results of searches launched from the Ideas Archive and App Dev Diary contents hub-pages are now hugely more accurate and relevant.

We have applied the Ideas Archive search enhancements to the Second Life version of the Archive's search interface in the '6 Star Kitchen Lab' event room as well.

- We've made presentation enhancements to the Leasing Benefits section of the Sam site's 'Services' information page.

- We have added the ability to bookmark items on the Sambiglyon website and return to them any time in the future via a tab on the user profile.

- The 'Friends of Sam' section of our weekly newsletter now displays friend names as link-backs to their social networking page!

Even more site updates will be arriving in the coming week. As usual, the news will appear first on our Twitter and Facebook pages!

FIX AS YOU GO

We've launched a Pay-As-You-Go option for our Sim Management service, where non-Sam land owners can have one problem fixed for $12 USD.

BALL STATE UNIVERSITY PARTNERS WITH BLUE MARS (WE THINK)

It was announced widely in the media that Ball State University had purchased the rights to the virtual world 'Blue Mars' and would be turning it into a not-for-profit project. The press releases were soon withdrawn, as reported by Betterverse.

Blue Mars themselves have posted an explanation on their official blog, stating that the press releases have been temporarily withdrawn whilst some remaining contractual issues with the BSU deal are resolved.

GO PLANET!

The official website of the 'Captain Planet Foundation', a non-profit environmental organization, has been revamped. If you need another reason to visit, you can watch full, high quality Captain Planet cartoon episodes legally at the site:

KIDS ON THE MOVE

* Speaking of site revamps, PBS Kids have significantly overhauled the mobile version of their website.

SPEAKING IN TONGUES

We have created a policy for hand-translating our content into other languages and syndicating it on your own website:

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT

Digital artist and Eduisland 2 resident ButterflyAire Resident has a portfolio of beautiful portraits on display in a gallery show at the Rose Theater – we highly recommend using this SLurl teleport link to make a visit to itt:

GOOD THINGS IN STORE

We have added more poster information to the first floor of the Sambiglyon Store about our latest range of services! Check it out with this SLurl teleport link.

THIS WEEK'S FLEET GOLDENBERG 'DEVELOPER DIARY' HIGHLIGHTS ON FACEBOOK

- I found a great online tool called OnlineOCR.net that converts images with text on into plain text. It's been a huge time saver with production of the forthcoming Premium Edition of 'Takeoff Tales: Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind'. It has a fantastic accuracy even with text mixed into a multi-colored background.

The site adds: "Registration will give you access to additional features not available to guest users: recognize large images, ZIP archives and multipage PDF, choose recognition languages, convert into editable formats and other settings." You can convert 15 images per hour to text for free.

- According to the Engadget tech blog, Google are introducing a disability-accessibility screen reader technology called ChromeVox.

- Pictures have been leaked of concept art for 'Sim City 5'. It is rumored that more details will be forthcoming at the games industry's Game Developers Conference (GDC) this month during a discussion by 'Sim City' developers Maxis about a game engine technology called Glassbox. You can view the pictures at this Kotaku article.

- Because I've been in Second Life since mid 2006, my Gmail's archive of SLED education board messages goes back almost to its beginning. I have 13, 056 individual SLED posts in my records!

Since I'm not quite crazy enough to read all those, I extracted the text of all the SLED email digests into a single Word doc that was 2,600 pages long in raw unedited form and then edited it down to 1967 pages by removing the extraneous email-page junk that the copy-and-paste extraction process added. Still a daunting read, but certainly an improvement!

I wonder if I will ever do anything with it, but having the history of SL education in one document is a fascinating future research prospect! I sent a mail to the SLED list manager asking if they wanted a copy of the archive.

Update: I've gone through the entire archive and made a 5-page long list of URLs of resources (papers, SL locations, YouTube videos, etc) and will turn it into a Recommended Links list representing the history of SLED, in the style of Sam's website 'Featured Links' page, once I've sorted the diamonds from the coal, personal websites and broken links).

Update 2: I had considered also turning the SLED message history into a searchable web archive (pending permission from Linden Lab), but it turns out that such an archive already exists and goes back as far as 2007.

- The UK videogame industry magazine Edge produces guides to what companies in different areas of the world are doing an how they work. You can find an extensive list of links to past guides on Sam's 'Featured Links' website page. For the latest edition, Edge are back in Texas for a second time (we've added this guide to the FL page).

- Hayao Miyazaki, the visionary Japanese animator of Studio Ghibli, explains how he believes a museum should be designed.

- By searching YouTube for 'beyblade physics', you can find educational videos relating to how Beyblade toys can be used to demonstrate physics principles.

- I had to laugh at this report on Engadget about a horribly misbranded Chinese knock-off product: an 'Apple iPhone gas stove'.

- In the original He-Man episode 'Dawn of Dragoon', He-Man is in a dimension where everything works in reverse and he can't turn into He-Man. In the end, he works out that he can transform by saying "Grayskull of power the by". But then he says "IIII haaave the poweeeer!". Shouldn't it have been "Power the have I?":

I can only assume from this episode that the second line is a pointless addition unnecessary to the transformation. After all, She-Ra can transform and then morph her horse just by saying "For the honor of Grayskull". BTW, the Dawn of Dragoon ep was also interesting from the point of view of seeing Orko and Drielle the girl Trollan (Orko's race) get highly excited when they take their hats off.

SOCIAL NETWORK HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIENDS OF SAM

- Katherine Krause

Here are some links to help you find other sources for Bernie Krause's new book, 'The Great Animal Orchestra'. PS - If anyone wants to share the post or tell others about the book, it helps us get the word out about biophony: science, music and nature.

- Steve Dembo

This morning, Aiden handed me a stack of papers, telling me to hand them out at ICE. When I asked him what they were, he said, "They're Dots, Daddy. Your friends need them." Debt of gratitude to Peter Reynolds.

- Dulcie Mills

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss. My daughter and her class are celebrating with a party at school today.

Charles F. Radley

Kepler Space Institute Convention, March 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM - March 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa, One Hotel Circle, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This event requires registration:

- Senior Project Center

Senior Project on homeless goes beyond the classroom for Scituate student:

- Knowclue Kidd

Lady Gaga's 'Born this Way' anti-bullying and youth self-empowerment foundation is launched:

- Nikki Bolt

Victini figure arrived today!! This guy is huge ... 8 inches tall!

UPCOMING EVENTS

If you wish your upcoming event to be highlighted in our newsletter and in the Google Calendar on our website then please email your news, preferably with a week's advance notice before the date of the event, to marty@sambiglyon.org

Date: Friday 9 March, Eduisland 4, 6-Star Kitchen Lab,5pm SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: ViktorDarkHeart Resident

Description: At the Eduislands' new '6-Star Kitchen Lab' event room, Sambiglyon Volunteer Program team member ViktorDarkHeart Resident will be presenting an object building class, in which attendees will create a one prim bar stool! The duration of the class will be between 30 minutes and an hour.

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland%204/109/218/402/

Date: Saturday 10 March, Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability, 12 noon SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: Fleet Goldenberg

Description: In "We Really Can't Wait", Fleet Goldenberg, the co-founder and Community Manager of the non-profit orgaization Sambiglyon (owner of the Eduislands in Second Life) looks at the provision of accessibility features in existing and new buildings and examines whether investment in such features would be accelerated - reducing the time that disabled people have to wait for those features to be provided - if able-bodied people were encouraged to make greater use of them in their everyday life.

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Virtual%20Ability/53/171/22/

Date: Saturday 10 March, Eduisland 4, 6-Star Kitchen Lab, 12 noon SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: ViktorDarkHeart Resident

Description: At the Eduislands' new '6-Star Kitchen Lab' event room, Sambiglyon Volunteer Program team member ViktorDarkHeart Resident will be presenting an object building class, in which attendees will create a one-prim bar stool! The duration of the class will be between 30 minutes and an hour.

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland%204/109/218/402/

Date: Sunday 11 March, Eduisland 4, Presentation Room, 12 noon SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: Fleet Goldenberg

Description: Join Fleet Goldenberg, the Community Manager of Sambiglyon, for our community feedback session. Come hear the latest news about Sam, give us feedback on how we're doing and tell us what's on your mind!

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland%204/116/220/431/

Date: Sunday 11 March, Eduisland 9, Virtual Pioneers, 5pm SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: Twelfth Night

Description: Experience the beauty and wonder of Ireland in 1712! Located in the Ocean Realms sims, DUBLIN and IRELAND offer urban and country locales including the historic Brazen Head pub, the Abbey Ruins, Dunseverick Castle, the Standing Stones, and a Gypsy Camp!

Join Virtual Pioneer, Twelfth Night as she meets owner Marguerite Avril, Estate Manager Betty Radmussen, and Irish builder Inish Karu, leading us on a fun filled tour. Period dress of the 1700's is encouraged, but also come as you are. We will meet at the VP building at 5:00 PM SLT.

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland%209/19/75/22/

Date: Monday 12 March, Eduisland 4, 6-Star Kitchen Lab, 12 noon SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: ViktorDarkHeart Resident

Description: At the Eduislands' 6-Star Kitchen Lab event room, Sambiglyon Volunteer Program team member ViktorDarkHeart Resident will be presenting an object building class, in which attendees will create a floor lamp! The duration of the class will be between 30 minutes and an hour.

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland%204/109/218/402/

Date: Friday 16 March, Eduisland 4, 6-Star Kitchen Lab, 5pm SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: ViktorDarkHeart Resident

Description: At the Eduislands' 6-Star Kitchen Lab event room, Sambiglyon Volunteer Program team member ViktorDarkHeart Resident will be presenting an object building class, in which attendees will create a floor lamp! The duration of the class will be between 30 minutes and an hour.

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland%204/109/218/402/

Date: Sunday 18 March, Eduisland 9, Virtual Pioneers, 5pm SL (Pacific) Time

Presenter: Spiff Whitfield / Virtual Pioneers

Description: Meet and Greet - an informal time to hang out with friends. Newbies welcome.

SLurl Teleport Link:

http://www.slurl.com/secondlife/Eduisland%209/19/75/22/

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

We love to hear from our readers through any of our the contact channels at the head of this newsletter about any subject that's on their minds!

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • The Premium Edition of 'Takeoff Tales: Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind'.

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  • A list of recommended resource links spanning the six year history of the SLED educator discussion list.

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  • Pre-VWBPE (Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education) conference news.

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  • And more!

  • Fleet Goldenberg

    Sambiglyon Community Manager