Second Life revisited

It’s eleven years since I explored the shared 3D world of Second Life. The University of Edinburgh owns a virtual island there, and in 2006 I was gifted a small promontory of land on which to conduct some experiments. This playground nook was always a mess. One of our team created a stylised version of…More

Looking backwards

What does the Apple Watch announcement this week have in common with Scottish independence? Both claim to be about time, both promise unlimited potential, and neither seems particularly necessary. In fact technology and politics converge nicely on the theme of utopia. Like a lot of tech, the publicity videos for the not-yet Apple Watch reinforce the benefits of the device…More

Mastering the universe

The Guardian newspaper recently ran a cover story on GCHQ’s top-secret project Mastering the Internet. According to a helpful summary from wired.co.uk, it seems that the UK and US intelligence services have invoked a legal workaround that avoids domestic restrictions on intelligence gathering. The NSA in the USA can check up on UK citizens and GCHQ…More

Sequel-baiting

Sequel-baiting is the practice by film-makers to construct their plots in a way that encourages audience demand for a sequel. As well as cliff-hanger endings, there’s the technique of introducing characters and subplots that require follow-up once the main story is over.More