Monday, April 2, 2012

Virtual offices in Second Life

Now I had an explore of Second Life about a year ago and found it to be the most bizarre place; full of strange animal, human and 'monster'-like avatars all flying, walking and driving around a staggeringly huge universe. Unfortunately, I found only one common theme on my travels around this world: sex. Whether offered, sold, sought or demanded, it appeared to permeate through the vast majority of SL conversations. Perhaps I was visiting the wrong places, or at least the most salubrious.

Nowadays however, Reuters has an SL correspondent, multinationals have offices or shop fronts and many people have made fortunes creating what are essentially bits of software for the less tech-savvy SL residents. It was only a matter of time before law firms joined in (although I am surprised there were not more banks arriving first, ABN Amro seems to be one of the few); SL currently boasts c. 5m inhabitants (although the true number is hotly contested) and a self-sustaining economy worth c. £1bn.

Field Fisher Waterhouse is the first firm to open a virtual office in SL, the Times reports in an interview with David Naylor (IP Partner):

In addition to attracting new clients and winning publicity for the firm, Mr Naylor believes his new office can be used to help existing clients and staff by hosting virtual seminars, conferences and training days. It will also be a useful recruitment tool in the increasingly competitive market for young legal talent. Prospective employees could “visit” the firm in Second Life and find out more about it instead instead of visiting a careers fair or reading a website…

The aim appears to be mainly one of marketing; to potential recruits, students and clients who FFW hope will be impressed by the firms knowledge of operating a business in the brave new virtual world.

It all sounds very exciting but I suspect this will currently be the reserve of smaller, more technologically orientated firms such as Freeth Cartwright and FFW. More interestingly, there has been no debate or decision on which legal jurisdiction applies. I’d love to see a a lawyer explaining in court what Second Life actually IS, and why the setting up of a (virtual) brothel in the basement of a (virtual) law firm should not be permitted…although this was almost the case in First Life!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Myriad of Items

The dictionary says that historically this would mean ten thousand, but don't worry, I haven't quite got that number.

The walking is going well. Sharon and I really are trying to get in 5 days a week. Life happens and occasionally we need to have a two or three day break between walks; we've had rain, church and doctor's appointments interfering with our plans these last three days.

Sharon and I sing the praises of walking sticks. She has a waist-high telescoping metal one, I have a bamboo staff with a leather wrist loop. As we pant our way uphill, the sticks help our rhythm, when we pause to catch our breath (we are reducing the number of these) we can rest on them, and we can swing them in triumph on our way down the hill. My cranky knees appreciate the extra stability when I come down the trail between our houses, too.

What with the wonderful rain (Oh thank you El NiƱo, for getting us over the drought -- even temporarily) we have some very different occurrences than in the past. Witness: our welcome mat. We've had it since fall. We got it from a friend who had it on a protected porch; now, poor thing, it gets the full brunt of our weather.

If you click on the picture it will pop-up in a larger version (I think) and you will see shiny little mahogany colored round things. Mushrooms. Yes we have things growing places that would never occur to me. Ain't life wonderful.

[Obligatory cat content] Diego did it again. He didn't come when called in for dinner. I went outside to clang the dinner bowl [in the rain!] and saw little white paws with black pads pawing at the glass of the kitchen door next door -- luckily, we have keys. He comes out so cocky, absolutely sure that this was someone else's fault, not his. Steve had been doing some repairs to the door and Diego took the opportunity.

Here he is, in daylight, next to that very door.

I like winter as both cats are willing to spend quality time keeping me company as I work. I do, too, work! I'm taking a class in Web Design so that I can learn all that alphabet stuff [html, CSS, SEO, etc] to help Steve by doing the simple stuff and he can do the more adventurous teching.

We are three weeks into the class and I'm working up two proposal websites. Right now I get to do my particular dance showcase, the look and feel of the sites. Soon we are going to get into all that scary alphabet stuff.

Anyway, the cats sleep the entire time I'm working on the bed next to my desk. And sometimes they look so comfy, that I just have to join them in a nap.