Archives for May 2012

Euclideon pops its head above the parapet

</aIn August last year I posted the last of a few articles on promising new graphics technology called Unlimited Detail. As I posted there, the team were going to ground to work on getting the technology to a stage where they have something even more substantive to show off.

That may be a little while off yet, but has an interesting piece on how Euclideon are doing. A snippet:

As mentioned when Euclideon was first revealed, this technology is something they plan to utilise not only for video games but also scientific research. Supposedly there will be “some Euclideon products released in non-games related industries over the next few months”. “There turned out to be a lot of demand for our capabilities across quite a few industries, so we have tried to put that demand in order and address each area one at a time. As soon as we have revenue coming in, we can expand our team into different departments to deal with each industry,” Dell tells us.

“I think it’s fair to say that people are starting to accept that the future of 3D graphics is atomic,” he finally points out. “Polygons will still be around a bit longer as an editing tool, but I don’t know how much longer they will remain for visualisation. So many games today have polygons that are so small that they are only a few pixels in size. When polygons become smaller than the 3 corner points that make them, there is no point in treating them like triangles anymore and it makes sense to use atoms instead.”

On the question, when we will get our next look at Euclideon powered gaming, all Dell responds is, “Well there is soooooo much I’d love to say about that, but I’m afraid that I’m sworn to silence at this point in time. My apologies, but I think you’ll find it worth the wait.”

So things are still progressing and we should start to see some implementations of the tech before the end of the year by the sound of it.

Thanks to Phillip Street for the heads-up!

I Just Love The Irish Approach

A painter by the name of Paddy Murphy, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist.
Over a short number of years, his fame grew and soon people from all over Ireland were coming to him in the town of Doolin, County Clare, to get him to paint their likenesses.

One day, a beautiful young English woman arrived at his house in a stretched limo and asked Paddy if he would paint her in the nude.

This being the first time anyone had made such a request, Paddy was a bit perturbed, particularly when the woman told him that money was no object; in fact, she was willing to pay up to $10,000.

Not wanting to get into any marital strife, Paddy asked her to wait while he went into the house to confer with Mary, his wife.

In a few minutes he returned. “T’would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus,” he said. “The wife says it’s okay.”

“I’ll paint ya in da nude alright, but I has to at least leave me socks on so I has a place to wipe me brushes.”………………..

How Often Should I Charge My Gadget’s Battery to Prolong Its Lifespan?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this issue, mostly because lithium-ion batteries are different from older, nickel-based batteries (which suffered from a nasty memory effect not present in lithium-ion batteries). You’re right, though—charging them incorrectly can decrease their lifespan. Most lithium batteries should last you a few years, but improper care can decrease that lifespan, meaning that your battery will be unable to hold a charge—or unable to hold as big a charge as it used to—quicker. So, to clear things up, here’s how to actually extend your battery’s health as much as possible.

Perform shallow discharges. Instead of discharging to 0% all the time, lithium-ion batteries do best when you discharge them for a little bit, then charge them for a little bit. The table at the right, from Battery University, shows that discharges to 50% are better for your battery’s long-term life than, say, small discharges to 90% or large discharges to 0% (since the 50% discharges provide the best number of cycles-to-usage ratio).
Don’t leave it fully charged. Similarly, lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be charged all the way to 100%. In fact, they’d prefer not to be—so the 40%-80% rule you heard is a good guideline. When possible, keep it in that range to prolong its life as long as you can. And, if you do charge it to 100%, don’t leave it plugged in. This is something most of us do, but it’s another thing that will degrade your battery’s health. If you need to charge it overnight, use something like the Belkin Conserve Socket to stop it from charging after it’s full.

See on

Roundup from FCVW 2012

The Federal Consortium of Virtual Worlds’ 2012 shindig wrapped up on the 18th May, and (via Hypergrid Business) I came across a great roundup from an attendee.

Here’s a taste:


One of the other two workshops I attended focused on developing online training using learning concepts of Robert M. Gagne. And the other was a three-hour introduction into the use of Unity3D. Unity3D was a hot topic throughout the conference so I expect to see even more learning environments developed with that platform in the future. And it seems there is some promise in the future of development tools being created for Unity3D that will make it even easier to build and link to existing data. As for the workshop, it was well attended, and the presenters – Eric Hackathorn and Julien Lynge – did such a great job the time flew by so fast. Eric and Julien, along with Eric’s father, Richard, are all awesome innovators who you definitely want to keep an eye on if you are looking for inspiration. You can check out their work through Fragile Earth Studios, a project of NOAA.

Go read the lot for yourself

SLACTIONS 2012: Call for Papers


The metaverse is emerging, through the increasing use of virtual world
technologies that act as platforms for end-users to create, develop, and
interact, expanding the realm of human cooperation, interaction, and
creativity. The conference focus is scientific research on applications and
developments of these metaverse platforms: Habbo Hotel, IMVU, Second Life,
OpenSimulator, Open Croquet, Activeworlds, Open Wonderland, Minecraft, and
others, including MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, and virtual worlds
based on social networks, such as *-ville and others, providing a forum for
the research community to present and discuss innovative approaches,
techniques, processes, and research results.

SLACTIONS 2012 is the fourth edition of SLACTIONS, which was the first
international conference held simultaneously in several countries on the
topic of metaverse platforms. SLACTIONS aims at covering most areas
currently enabled by metaverse platforms, from educational research to
content production, from gender studies to media distribution, and from
metaverse-based branding, advertising, and fundraising to emerging mash-ups
and technology applications.
SLACTIONS is unique in its format too, as a one-of-a kind event conducted
both in a metaverse platform (Second Life) and on-site in multiple countries
throughout the world. SLACTIONS will thus contribute to the current
redefinition of the way we think about hybrid online and on-site scholarly

Whereas metaverse platforms are no longer a novel topic, they still pose
challenges for the adaption of conventional instructional and business
practices, research methodologies, and communication practices. We are
looking forward to presenting a program of research results, case studies,
panel discussions, and demonstrations that scholars, educators, and
businesses can port to their own environments and apply in their research,
teaching, and business strategy. We will accept papers from the full
spectrum of intellectual disciplines and technological endeavors in which
metaverse platforms are currently being used: from Education to Business,
Sociology to Social Sciences, Media Production to Technology Development,
Architecture and Urban Planning to the Arts.

Topics covered may include but are not limited to:

– Accessibility in metaverse platforms
– Advanced scientific visualization in metaverse platforms
– Automatic content generation
– Behavioral studies in the metaverse
– Combination of metaverse platforms with external systems (e-
learning, e-business, etc.)
– Communicational paradigms in the metaverse
– Content management and production
– Creativity, design, and arts on the metaverse
– E-business and e-commerce applications
– Educational research, applications, and case studies
– Embodiment in metaverses and Gender Studies
– GIS/metaverse mash-ups
– Integration between metaverse platforms
– Nonprofit activities and fundraising
– Adapting and developing research methodologies for metaverses
– Social Sciences studies in or through metaverse platforms
– Space representation, use, and management in metaverses
– Using metaverse platforms for cooperation


SLACTIONS has the format of a hybrid online and physical conference.
All paper presentations and plenary sessions by guest speakers will be held
on-line in the Second Life virtual world, and projected locally at local
chapters, for participants attending physically. Physical participants can
interact with the online participants via a “physical chapter avatar” and
Participants will also be able to follow the proceedings broadcast on the
Web and interact via a text chat applet.
Workshops and other events are conducted locally – or in mixed format across
several participating chapters – and local chapters may held local topical
round tables.


Authors are invited to submit:
– A full paper of eight to ten pages for oral presentation
– A “work in progress” paper of 4 pages for oral presentation
– A Flickr image or YouTube video, indexed with the tag
“slactions2012” for poster presentations ‘in-world’
– A live presentation in Second Life.

All submissions are subject to a double blind review process and should be
professionally proofread before submission. All manuscripts should be
formatted according to the ASIS&T proceedings template, available at
(Disclaimer: SLACTIONS is not associated with ASIS&T.)


All accepted papers and posters will be published on-line and in ISBN-
registered digital proceedings. Video posters and live presentations can
submit an abstract for inclusion in the digital proceedings.

The authors of the best papers will be invited to provide revised and
expanded versions for publications in special editions of journals or as
single contributions to theme-specific journals.

– Journal of Virtual Worlds Research
(ISSN 1941-8477)
Selected papers will be fast-tracked for publication in early 2013
issues of JVWR.

– Computer & Graphics – International Journal of Systems &
Applications in Computer Graphics
(ISSN: 0097-8493 / Imprint: ELSEVIER / impact factor 2010:0.720)
Authors of the Best Paper in computer graphics themes will be
invited to submit an extended version to be considered for journal

– VIRtual – Electronic Journal of Visualization, Interactive Systems
and Pattern Recognition
(ISSN 0873-1837)
Authors of selected papers on visualization and graphics will be
invited to submit extended versions to a special Issue of the journal.

– Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research
(ISSN 0718-1876)
Authors of selected papers on
e-business/e-commerce/m-commerce/e-learning/e-government will be invited to
submit extended versions the journal.

– International Journal of Web Portals
(ISSN 1938-0194, SCOPUS index)
Authors of the Best Paper in Web portals themes will be invited to
submit an extended version to be considered for journal publication.

Check out regularly for more information and developments
on the proceedings publisher and journal venues for best papers.

Official language of the conference:
The official language for the on-line space and all submissions is English
only. However, at the physical site of local chapters you can also use the
native language of that location.


Submissions deadline: June 30th, 2012
July 15th, 2012 – Submission results provided to authors
September 15th, 2012 – Deadline for early registration
October 15th, 2012 – Deadline for print-ready versions of accepted papers
November 15-17th, 2012 – Conference



Tagus Park, Oeiras, Portugal

About the Tagus Park:

António Quintas-Mendes []
Lina Morgado []
Isabel Valverde []

New Zealand

Wellington Institute of Technology, New Zealand

About the Wellington Institute of Technology:

Todd Cochrane []


Central Florida – Orlando/Space Coast area

About the 1 Virtual World Development:

Gwenette Sinclair []


Rome – in preparation, more data soon



In preparation, more data soon


In preparation, more data soon


In preparation, more data soon


In preparation, more data soon

Check out for updated lists and contacts.

Note: If you believe your institution can hold a physical chapter in an
as-yet unsupported region, please contact the organization at

Steering Committee
Leonel Morgado – University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
Nelson Zagalo – University of Minho, Portugal
Ana Boa-Ventura, University of Texas-Austin, USA

Programme Committee

Ahmer Iqbal – University of Jyvaskyla, Finland Ana Amélia Carvalho –
University of Coimbra, Portugal Ana Boa-Ventura – University of Texas,
Austin, USA Ângela Pereira – Leiria Polytechnic Institute, Portugal António
Fernando Coelho – University of Porto, Portugal António Lopes – Lusófona
University, Portugal António Quintas Mendes – Open University, Portugal
Benjamim Fonseca – University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Clare
Atkins – Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, New Zealand Daiana
Trein – University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil Daniel Gonçalves –
Higher Technical Institute, Portugal David Deeds – Changchun American
International School, China David Herold – Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hong Kong Donizetti Louro – Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil Emanuel
Peres – University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Filipe Santos –
Leiria Polytechnic Institute, Portugal Greg Lastowka – Rutgers School of Law
/ Camden, USA Helen Farley – University of Southern Queensland, Australia
Hugo Paredes – University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Isabel
Valverde – Lisbon Technical University, Portugal James Corbett – CEO at
MissionV Education/ Business Development Manager at Daynuv Owner at
GlobalGreyhounds Ltd., Ireland João Varajão – University of Trás-os-Montes e
Alto Douro, Portugal José Luís Ramos – Évora University, Portugal Leonel
Morgado – University of Trás-os- Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Lina Morgado
– Open University, Portugal Luís Magalhães – University of Trás-os-Montes e
Alto Douro, Portugal Luís Pedro – University of Aveiro, Portugal Marco
António Chávez- Aguayo – University of Barcelona, Spain Margarita
Pérez-García – Catholic University College Limburg & Provincial University
College Limburg, Belgium Marja Kankaanranta – University of Jyvaskyla,
Finland Micaela Esteves – Leiria Polytechnic Institute, Portugal Narciso
Cerpa – University of Talca, Chile Nelson Zagalo – University of Minho,
Portugal Nuno Silva – Higher Institute of Engineering of Porto, Portugal
Paulo Frias – University of Porto, Portugal Paulo Martins – University of
Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Pedro Sequeira – Higher School of
Sport of Rio Maior, Portugal Pilar Lacasa – University of Alcalá, Spain
Ramiro Gonçalves – University of Trás-os- Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Sara
de Freitas – Serious Games Institute, UK Steven Warburton – King’s College
London, United Kingdom Teresa Bettencourt – University of Aveiro, Portugal
Theng Yin Leng – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Vincent Ng –
Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Yesha Sivan – The Academic
College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Israel, and Metaverse Labs Ltd., Israel/Managing
Editor of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research

Global Organization

Ana Margarida Maia – University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
Daniela Pedrosa – University of Coimbra / University of Trás-
os- Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Fernando José Cassola Marques – University
of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Gonçalo Cruz Matos – University of
Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Maria da Glória Fraga – University of
Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Leonel Morgado – University of
Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Ricardo Rodrigues Nunes – University
of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Vinicius Loureiro – University of
Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Yesha Sivan – The Academic College of
Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Israel, and Metaverse Labs Ltd., Israel/Managing Editor of
the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research



Mini Diablo 3 Help Guide

Like the odd few hundred thousand others, I jumped into Diablo 3 at launch. It’s quite a bit of fun, but it’s also very challenging in parts. I thought as I went through I document some key strategies / tips to get you past particular hurdles.

So read on below if you’re stuck! This post will grow as I progress through: apologies to non-players for this short interruption to normal programming.

The Weeping Hollow: how do I defeat the group of Grotesque?

This took a couple of goes but basically you just need to down one of them and when it explodes into corpse worms, the others die as well. So just target one and you should be fine.

The Weeping Hollow: where is the Cemetery of the Forsaken?

Head north-east of the initial checkpoint – there is a path, follow that for quite a while and you’ll eventually hit the entrance.

Defiled Crypt: how do I defeat the monsters that appear out of the funerary urn?

It depends on your class but any AoE option you have might work. I had to change my Wizard’s primary mouse skill over to an AoE one to win out.

Cathedral: how do I defeat the Skeleton King??

This is the not surprisingly the most challenging fight of Act I. As a Wizard I died a good 15 times before I got the winning strategy, which was: constantly spamming Diamond Skin as soon it was off cool down. In between I used Magic Missile on the Skeleton King until the extra skeleton mobs spawn, then I used Arcane Orb to kill them all as quickly as possible as they drop healing orbs that you’ll need to keep going. Once you get that routine down, it’s just rinse and repeat. For all classes, just ensure you kill the extra mobs asap, and of course have your Templar with you.

 Alcarnus: how do I defeat Maghda? 

Ok there’s a few things you need to do to keep yourself alive. First, avoid the swarms of insects she sends out by running away / dodging them. Second, when she summons the Thralls, concentrate on them as they drop health globes. Then it’s pretty much rinse and repeat.

The Vestibule of Light: how do I defeat Iskatu?

Thanks to a hint from this video, I worked out that changing my skills over to Archon form as a Wizard allowed me to easily defeat him but focusing my Disintegration Wave on him. For other classes you basically need to find the best skill combo you have that minimises damage while you pound away.

Frenzoo gets more funding for Me Girl

We’ve been following Frenzoo since 2009, and over that time the company has shifted very squarely into the mobile market.

This week they’ve raised another $1 million of venture capital to primarily develop its ‘Me Girl’ 3D fashion applications (here’s a link to our 2010 story on the 3D fashion move Frenzoo made)

The full press release reproduced for you below. Congrats to CEO (and expat Aussie) Simon Newstead and the team for their ongoing success – it’s no mean feat to keep the momentum going in the application space and they’ve managed it over a significant period of time.

Frenzoo Raises $1 Million to Create 3D Lifestyle Mobile Games for Women 
Major investors include Efficient Corporate, Siemer Ventures, K5 Ventures and Metaverse Services

Hong Kong and San Francisco, CA – May 10, 2012 – Frenzoo ( the pioneers of a new class of 3D lifestyle and fashion mobile games, today announced it has received US $1 million in new seed funding from investors based in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Investors include: Efficient Corporate, the investment vehicle of Hong Kong-based angel investor Tytus Michalski; Siemer Ventures, an early-stage, cross-border venture firm with offices in Los Angeles and Asia; K5 Ventures, a pan Europe- and Asia-based group focused on media and commerce; and Metaverse Services, a China-based leader in game content creation. They join existing investor Ambient Sound Investments, an early stage venture firm backed by the founding engineers of Skype.

In addition, joining the Frenzoo board of directors is Doug Glen, a veteran gaming and entertainment executive whose previous roles include Chief Strategy Officer of Mattel; CEO of Imagi Studios; and Director at Harmonix, the creators of Dance Central and Rock Band. Also joiningFrenzoo as an advisor is fashion stylist and blogger Jasmine Webster. Founder of the popular DressMe blog, Webster has been nominated as a “Marie Claire Fashion Blogger of the Year” and selected as the “Style Judge” of Fashion One TV’s soon-to-air “Correspondent Search.”

Frenzoo will use the funds to accelerate the launch of its Me Girl brand of titles ( that offer lifestyle and fashion mobile games for all ages. Data from mobile analytics firm Flurry shows that women make up a majority of the mobile social gaming audience. The Me Girl titles aim to be the first 3D games crafted specifically for this market.

“We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to combine the best of mobile gaming with the world of fashion and lifestyle,” said Frenzoo CEO & Co-founder Simon Newstead. “Our goal with Me Girl is to leverage glamour and emotional appeal to create fun, accessible gaming experiences. With our innovative 3D platform, we can create interactive characters with natural movements and expressions that really bring the whole story to life.”

“In the mid-1990s, Mattel pioneered computer entertainment for girls,” said Doug Glen, who currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at M-Lab, a technology incubator.  “Games like Barbie Fashion Designer were hugely successful, in part because the market was so underserved. Fifteen years later, the girls’ and women’s market in mobile entertainment is now underserved, and Frenzoo is releasing wonderful games that have raised the bar to an exciting new level.”

Added Tytus Michalski of Efficient Corporate: “I believe that Frenzoo’s technology is the key to engaging with players on a more intimate level, and is truly a game changer.”

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