Avi-Labs hacked, grids down

Avi-Labs, the hosting company behind the AviWorlds grid, has been hacked, according to Josh Boam, the company’s technology manager, but grid data should be recoverable. “Everything is saved,” he said. According to Boam, company...

Binge.Watch 2016 – The First Creative Festival For Virtual Reality

Hamburg, Germany: Between September 22nd and 23rd, binge.watch is showcasing the best work in virtual reality, mixed reality and spherical video. binge.watch 2016 is the forum where creators, producers, technologists, marketers and entrepreneurs will discuss creativity and the future of the VR industry.

As part of the festival, the binge.watch awards will celebrate outstanding creative applications of virtual reality, mixed reality and spherical video. The awards will be judged by an international jury and will recognise the most pioneering entries across 6 categories: best immersive experience, best music experience, best video experience, best documentary experience, best gaming experience and the binge.watch game-changer award. The awards are now accepting submissions at submissions.binge.watch.

As well as the awards, binge.watch is hosting a 2-day conference to discuss the future of creativity in virtual reality. binge.watch organiser Per Sascha Zech is excited about the conference and the festival’s “VR Lounge”. “binge.watch is the first real VR festival in Europe, bringing together awards, creative sessions, talks and workshops with VR thought leaders from around the world. All this to the backdrop of the Reeperbahn Festival with more than 700 concerts and events. The VR Lounge is the heart of binge.watch –  outstanding immersive experiences, interesting workshops and inspiring networking – it’s all going to happen right here in Hamburg, St. Pauli”, said Zech.

binge.watch will be announcing a full schedule, including a complete list of speakers over the coming weeks.

binge.watch is part of the Reeperbahn Festival, a highlight of the global music industry calendar. From September 21st to 24th, Reeperbahn Festival will bring a dazzling variety of emerging artists to Hamburg. This year, Reeperbahn Festival will be visited by over 32,000 people and host 700+ events including art, film and literature, as well as music.

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Virtual insanity: is VR the new frontier for music videos?

After projects with Run the Jewels and Reggie Watts, virtual reality company Wevr wants to break the fourth wall and bring music fans into the action

When Beyoncé released her “visual album” Lemonade on HBO earlier this year, many people were stunned by its ambition, its lack of a promo campaign and its visual impact.

But what if instead of pulling that hot sauce out of her bag she pulled out a can of magical spray paint that transported viewers to a fantasy world? A world where she participated in a space fight with an evil dimensional overlord, lay on the beach with Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel, and watched Reggie Watts simultaneously play all of the world’s instruments while bathed in the many colors of the rainbow.

Related: Virtual Reality: the immersive film-making wowing Sundance

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40 Hour Charity Live Stream In VR

Virtual Reality has come up with so many interesting and entertaining projects and is still on its way to bring to us much more. VRRelated will be running a 40-hour live stream which will be continuous for raising a charity fund for the blind.

This stream is going to take place from 5th August 8 pm until 7th August 12 pm under the leadership of Jomas Benfell who voluntarily took this event on the wheels of Virtual Technology. Virtual Reality technology has widened its wings in almost every sector, yet it needs to be explored more. Jomas approached the VRRelated about this event and as it was for a noble cause, they got ready to team up with him and organize the event of a continuous live stream of 40-hour VR for raising fund for the ones who are unable to experience the VR technology.

The official Twitch TV channel will broadcast the stream which will be taking place on 5th August 8pm onwards continuous up to 7th August 12pm. Jomas will be conducting this event with his friends wherein they will be engaging a range of activities revolving around VR technology and its content. Moreover, he has tried managing the interests of emerging game developers and the related companies in this industry.

Blind_Foundation_CharityJomas Benfell intended to raise the charity fund of $50000 for the Blind Association. He had started with $o budget and was been supported by friends and the companies of this industry to fulfill his dream of raising the charity for the blind.

In the continuity of the live stream, they are going to play a wide range of Virtual Reality games and going to make an influence thereby. The developers have contributed around for 107 games that will be played during the running of the stream and over 200 games will be given over to the viewers. Moreover, the sponsors have sponsored 300EUD  worth of G2A vouchers, the HTC Vive, a VRReady PC, a venue for the stream and everything else that was needed.

Jomas is very much thankful to all those who supported him to fulfill his dream of raising a charity of $50000, thereby helping the Blind Association with the fund raised through this stream. You can find out the details about the charity work on their official website. Also, you can show your generosity with your donations voluntarily for the noble cause.

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WorldCon Schedule

From August 17th to 21st, I will be attending the MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City.  I’ll be on the following panel on Thursday, if you’d like to join me for a good discussion.

Utopia, Dystopia, and the Default? — Thursday 2-3pm (2502A)

Certain kinds of imagined futures currently dominate the SF field.. For example, we usually find settings in either grand interstellar deep space futures or trapped-on-Earth dystopias with the rare exception. What about the futures that land somewhere in-between, that may be more likely for us? Is the “middle future” too reminiscent of the Golden Age of SF? Let’s discuss the “middle future” in SF, how it compares to earlier eras in SF, and where it falls on the Utopia/Dystopia spectrum.

Speakers: Jack Cambell Jr., John Joseph Adams, Tamara Jones, Sarah Frost, Mr. Peadar O Guilin, Thomas K. Carpenter

Stop by afterwards if you’d like to say hello.  I’d love to meet you.

Augmenting the user numbers

An update from Microsoft is floating in: they now made the move to make the Hololens AR goggles available for all developers and companies within the United States and Canada. (You don´t have to be a qualified developer anymore.)

Up to five glasses can now be ordered directly through their online shop. It still costs 3.000 bucks. Only catch is still that you need your company´s residence within US / Canada. Europe and the rest of the world will still need to use fake US addresses to get one (just kidding, .. well kind-of).

Alex Kipman from the hololens team announces further updates on the official blog. Starting now, their is a new “HoloLens Commercial Suite” available to better support company needs with respect to the installation and roll-out of the AR glasses in their industrial sector and IT environment:

In this anniversary update (congratz!) they talk about the new suite (no price tag) and how it can support your company needs. You will get enterprise management with data encryption, vpn remote access to your network, a private store that only shows apps of your company and kiosk mode to limit which apps can be run. Full details on their new page here and the full release notes here.

The Commercial Suite seems like a good step towards in-business use, but feels a bit early to do so. I´d rather have broad availability first. But then again, they would be well prepared once they push the production (hopefully only with a DK2 with bigger field of view).

Looking forward to see more coming and to also get world-wide spread with the next wave, maybe?

Pokestops, Go Away – The Backlash Against Augmented Reality Gamers

2015-10-06 18.13.32

2015-10-06 18.13.32The Kölner Dom Cathedral in Cologne, Germany has survived war, plague, and decay. Built in the 12th Century, it was the only major building in the city to survive the Allied carpet bombing in World War II. But the cathedral and its caretakers now stand against new invaders: hordes of Pokemon Go players.

Last month, the cathedral announced that it had hired an attorney to press its case against the game’s creators for failing to heed requests to remove the “Pokestop” waypoints that draw gamers in. The priests complain that “players have been traipsing through, interrupting prayer and disturbing the respectful calm of the ancient cathedral.” Several public institutions have been widely quoted in the media discouraging people from using the game on their grounds, including Arlington National Cemetary and the National Holocaust Museum, but the Cologne Cathedral maybe the first to take formal legal action.

They are unlikely to be the last frustrated landowners to consider that option. Closer to (my) home, for example, residents of St. Clair Shores, Michigan are up in arms about the players roaming through nearby Wahby Park. Local police have ticketed some players for trespassing, since the park technically closes to visitors at dusk, but the problems have apparently continued. One local resident complained that “the past few weeks (since the game came out) have been an absolute nightmare for the residents on our street. Our once quiet, safe, and peaceful street has gone to the complete opposite. There has to be almost a dozen Poke Stops, and roughly 5 Gyms in this park. At any given moment there are at least a couple of hundred people in the park play this game, compared to the average of usually 15-20 in the park. The Poke Stops, and Gyms border the park which is an open invitation for the players to utilize our street, our lawns, looking in our windows and so forth.”

Elaborating further, the resident emphasized the following issues:

Privacy: Since our street borders the park, our privacy has been taken away from us. The stops/gyms border directly on our street, causing the gamers to take over our property as well as the parks. They are on our lawns, with the newest being looking right into our windows. How is this acceptable? They hang out on our lawns, trample landscaping, look in vehicles, hang out in the middle of the street looking at our homes while playing their game, so I hope. We ask them to leave but 75% percent of the time, they ignore us or call us names. They do this to our older residents on our street, which is just unacceptable. We have never had an issue before like this.

Safety: Along with our privacy being violated, our safety is a concern too. Our street is narrow, we have elderly, and  special needs children that require a lot of care. It is not uncommon for an ambulance go down the street frequently. It is not safe for cars to be blocking emergency vehicles to get down the street to assist people that need care. We don’t feel safe having people on our property looking into our home. Nor do we feel safe with random vehicles parking, driving slow, and hanging out on our street. We don’t know who is playing the game, who is looking at our homes to break in or steal, who is a pedophile or rapist. I don’t feel safe sitting on our porch, something we love to do. We have gotten heckled and yelled at for calling the police and we didn’t ever do so. I have been threatened because I asked someone to leave.

Traffic control: We are a private street, with that being said the police cannot ticket or have vehicles removed. All day is constant traffic, either parking on the street or just driving real slow to catch the Pokemon, or just stop right in the middle of the street. When we ask these unwanted guests to leave, we are threatened, they don’t listen, give attitude, and leave when they want, this goes on all night. Blocking driveways, parking on the wrong side of the street, sitting in driveways, you name it they are doing it. I thought Pokemon Go was an active game that encourages exercise?

Look at the traffic in the park, even after park hours. The parking lot is full to the max, along with an ice cream man in a truck selling ice cream. They scatter when it is time to leave, hiding on our street or in the bushes, then come right back once police leave.”

Nothing inherent to the game encourages or condones players who behave this way. To the contrary, the app has always warned players to be mindful of their surroundings, and the most recently updated version of the game includes new warnings each time it opens up, including “Do not trespass while playing Pokémon Go,” “Do not play Pokémon Go while driving,” and “Do not enter dangerous areas while playing Pokémon Go.” One can also expect the intensity of these issues to fade over time. Because this type of gameplay is new to most of those who are now playing the game, however, both players and society as a whole are going to have some growing pains as they sort out where the lines of acceptable gaming behavior are going to be.IMG_0081

Meanwhile, the game’s creators appear to be doing what they can to oil the squeaky wheels who have complained the loudest about offensive Pokestops. There has always been a process for submitting requests to remove content, and recent reports suggest that the creators are redoubling their efforts to cooperate. Already I have spoken to local players who have noticed certain Pokestops disappear.

Upset residents may encounter some unexpected hurdles in actually forcing content to be removed through the legal system. For example, not only are Pokestop locations user-submitted (and thus potentially insulated by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act), but there are likely to be factual difficulties in proving a causal connection between digital data and certain real-world troubles. Plaintiffs will also have the creators’ First Amendment rights of expression to deal with.

The specifics of how any particular dispute arises, and how it gets resolved, however, remain to be seen.

Want to hear more discussion of Pokemon Go-related legal issues? Catch my interview on an upcoming episode of the Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast.

The post Pokestops, Go Away – The Backlash Against Augmented Reality Gamers appeared first on Wassom.com.

National Theatre creates virtual reality studio for new projects

NT hopes new technology and immersive filming styles will become ‘a pioneer of dramatic storytelling’

Anyone visiting the new National Theatre studio might experience the soul-destroying misery of the Calais jungle, take part in the 1916 Easter Rising or sit on a toilet while being serenaded by a giant psychedelic cat.

The theatre launched its immersive storytelling studio, a place where new work will be developed using the latest virtual reality technologies, on Tuesday. The studio is the next step in a journey that began in March last year, when the theatre’s then recently appointed director Rufus Norris, a VR enthusiast, commissioned “fabulous wonder.land”, a virtual reality film based on the Damon Albarn-scored wonder.land musical.

Related: wonder.land review – occasionally dazzling, often garbled

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