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There's been a somewhat quiter time now in Second Life, especially in terms of media coverage and company news, but now again the hype is heating on.

Here are some of those events:

  • The Germans Samwer brothers achieved a 10% share of Anshe Chung Enterprises. For those who don't know them: these are businessmen, who first founded a German competitor to eBay, called Alando and sold it then to eBay for around 50 million US$. Later they've founded Jamba, the German or European (?) market leader in ring tone sales, which became vastly popular for their annoying commercials. Many still remember the oh so annoying Sweety or perhaps the Crazy Frog. This is all of their doing. Well, their company got many critics back then because of their business behaviour, especially to underages. The most famous article about their behaviour is called "Jamba Kurs" (English via Google) from the end of 2004 in the German blog Spreeblick and got them many bad media coverage, especially because the owner of Spreeblick found out that employees of Jamba posted disguised under some pseudonyms pro Jamba comments in his blog. This article made Spreeblick very popular, and it is still today one of the most read blogs in Germany. They've changed later there business practics under pressure of the government. Later they sold their company for about 270 million US$ to Rupert Murdoch and founded a risk capital company. Seems they've invested now with this company money into ACS like they also before did into the German Facebook copycat StudiVZ. This is, of course, a good deal, since they've got the advantage of very cheap and good workers from China. They intend to double the employee staff to 100 persons and to open several, international bureaus. This must be also a good deal for Ailin Gräf herself in terms of money, too. Both are very successful companies and business men.
  • Second Life is in the process of getting voice capabilities. This is going to be a very big leap in the further development of the platform. The reactions about that are diverse; while some say that's great, others say Lindenlabs should first fix the most outstanding bugs of Second Life before adding new features, that can possibly add even more to the lag situation we've got at the moment, others dislike it because it is somewhat disclosing about their real life persona and it can drive a somewhat rift in the playership between people still typing and people who only use voice only.
  • Ah, and the lag, our friend, we all love and cherish: the Lindens claim it's fixed. Consider that! Wow! What was the reason for it? A saturated network link. Now I wonder how often - if at all - they're looking at their network router graphs. This is something so obvious to find out if you only take a closer look at your network equipment - sheesh. No fame for the Lindens there.
  • CBS is financing the Electric Sheep Company. Another company getting an infusion of fresh money, this time the company that supports Open Second Life.
  • Mercedes Benz has opened up an own point of business, that seems to be still somewhat lacking. Expect there more things to come, I guess it's intentional they've opened up so early to get first some experiences in handling Second Life before the real shebang of the company starts.

My experience told me normally that especially handicapped people like to experience and try to live in games like Second Life what they cannot do anymore in real life. For example it can be very nice for blind people to play in a MUD to socialize with other people, or for deaf people to play in Second Life.

It can also be very accomodating for people who cannot walk anymore and need wheelchairs to play Second Life to forget about that for a little while.

Well, but not all wheelchair users seem to feel that way; there is a usergroup of people who are unable to walk in real life anymore in Second Life who don't want to hide this behind there avatar, quite the opposite. They're saying this is an undeniable part of myself, of my life, whereever I am and I want to show it.

So they are going around in Second Life in wheelchairs, a very uncommon sight. I've seen such an avatar yesterday in the garden, it just happened by chance that I saw her and you rarely see such avatars at all. Why? Because most people want to be beautiful, want to forget about it, that's why.

So here is a picture of this avatar, I was quite impressed by the openness of the person.

Wheelchair