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Mashups January 31, 2009

Posted by jmoran21 in Big Brother, Humor, Law, Perception, Tech.
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Tuesday was the first meet of New Media 2, and a sizable chunk of time was devoted to Twitter. My opinions haven’t changed much since my first exposure (useless to me, but a potential goldmine). Apparently others feel the same, if its estimated worth is any indication.

On its own, Twitter is just another Stalk-Lite tool of Web 2.0. It’s appealing as a broad ranging, persistent text message, appealing for all the same reasons. Text lets us put in more thought and personality, better conveying our chosen web personae. Lots of Twitter mashups exist that attempt to make some sense of the chaos- Tweet News and twittermap jump to mind.

My ideas for the killer twitter app:

Twitterbell: a flash animated Tinkerbell on an accumulator. The accumulator tracks the number of unique tweets that say “I don’t believe in fairies.” and “Clap!” If the “don’t”s ever outpace the claps by more than, lets say, 500, Tinkerbell dies a gruesome cartoon death.

Twittercraft: a pan-realm twitter client integrated with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. It would be filterable based on realm, allegiance, clan, and topic, but carry over the foreign language barriers of the main game. The key stone would be a filter for “role-playing” tweets. Imagine, a torrent of harvestable info on the races of Azeroth. Finally, a way for the major corporations of today to make major inroads into the tricky “Male Orcs Age 18-24” demographic!

ETRS (Emergency Twitter Response Service): It’s only a matter of time before common practice grants toddlers a cell phone with texting priveledges before they master vocal communication. Before long, typing onto a mini qwerty keyboard will be our primary, fastest means of communication, and to better prepare for that day, its important we get the groundwork laid now. ETRS will monitor tweets from people in distress and will then promptly dispatch the proper authorities.

America’s Most Twittered: Similar idea, in reverse. Enlist the Twitter public in helping track down fugitives, stolen goods, and missing children. How simple would it be to at least add Twitter to the Amber Alert system?

Twittered and Found: Organize all tweets regarding lost and found items, goods, and even pets. If you see a stray, just tweet the word out with a description and its whereabouts.

Plenty more ideas where those came from, although to be honest some of those ideas might already exist and I’m just too nearsighted to find them.

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Crime and Punishment November 19, 2007

Posted by jmoran21 in Games, Law, Morality, Perception, Tech.
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A politely incredulous anchor read this story on last Thursday’s Morning Edition:

Morning Edition, November 15, 2007 ยท A teenager faces charges of stealing furniture that doesn’t exist. The youth in the Netherlands was on one of those Web sites where you create virtual people to wander around virtual buildings spending what amounts to real money. You pay cash for credits to spend online. The 17-year-old allegedly stole $5,800 worth of imaginary furniture. Real police arrested him. They suspect other teens of receiving the stolen goods.

It’s a safe bet we’re talking about Second Life here. My own appreciation of Second Life has increased a bit since my last comment on the not-a-game, due mostly to a lecture I attended by The Tracer, a Second Life architect. So of course when I heard the wording of this story I was rather appalled by the seemingly “lighter side” slant of the reporting. What listeners will fail to realize, due in part to the sloppiness of the writing, is that “stolen goods” in SL are the valuable products of individuals, and that theft is not a part of gameplay, as a layman might assume from the tone of the story. I’ve heard some cool stuff on NPR about games in the past, but I guess they’re still alright with catering to the non-gamers in order to get a chuckle in between the real news.