Monthly Archives: August 2007

Second Life meets MySpace

I assume you know what are Second Life, MySpace, and Facebook. Well there is new site that provides social networking in a virtual world environment. It is called Kaneva. Basically, you create a network of friends, as in a social network, and then meet them in a virtual world. Of course you also can make friends directly in the virtual world.

The Kaneva virtual world looks similar to the one in Second Life but I found that it ran a little bit more smoothly on the machine that I am using; though it seemed to take forever to load.

The reason I compared Kaneva to MySpace rather than Facebook is that its social environment seems closer to the one found in MySpace than the one found in Facebook i.e. a little more broadly distributed. Not too long ago I had read a piece about social research that compared the environments of these two sites and suggested that the sites had some partitioning along social and economic class lines. (Sadly, I cannot locate that piece right now). However, why not go and see it for yourself?

In both Second Life and Kaneva conversations can be quite dull and there is little to do till you make some friends. You can watch the videos and listen to the songs posted by other people but you can do that on YouTube and other similar sites too. However doing those things in a virtual world may add a certain pizzaz to it. I do find that the visual element added to conversations by the use of avatars increases the social feel of the interactions.

So visit Kaneva (or Second Life) and look around. If you leave your user name here I’ll look you up.


 (Also cross-posted to Qiyas)


Science websites with Web 2.0 technology

I would like to bring two interesting websites to your notice.


The first one is called SciVee and is a joint offering of the the Public Liborary of Science (PLoS), the National Science Foundation, and the San Diego Supercomputing center. It allows scientists to publish papers and also to upload presentation videos that provide a guide to their work. It has been called a YouTube for scientists.

Explore SciVee here.


The second website called, nanoHUB, is devoted to nanotechnology and provides many resources to help people learn about it. It uses Web 2.0 technlogy to provide online presentations, animations, simulation tools that you can use (after free regsitration), and much more.

nanoHUB can be accessed here.

2007 TR35 Awards

Technology Review magazine from MIT has announced its 2007 Young Innovators awards given to 35 people under 35 years of age whose inventions and research are having or are likely to have a significant impact on the world.

You can view the full list here:

Two of the award winners are further recognized:

2007 Innovator of the Year: David Berry (for work on renewable petroleum from microbes)
2007 Humanitarian of the Year: Tapan Parikh (for building mobile phone-based software tools for developing economies)

I also liked the work by Tariq Krim on building personal, dynamic Web pages,

by Sanjit Biswas on mesh networks-based, cheap Internet access,

by Jeff LaPorteon Internet-based (Skype-like) calling from mobile phones,

and by Garrett Camp on the web discovery toolbar.

Of course there is much other interesting work not related to the Internet; check out the list.