Aug 28, 2006


It started off simple enough, I wanted to see if there was an existing AIML Module for the Google homepage. I checked all of the search keys I could think of that would relate to it (chat, chatterbot, AIML, Alice, AI) and found nothing at all relating to this subject.

I would usually not do anything about this, except that Google provided a well written tutorial on how to write XML formatted for Google Modules. So I got to reading and eventually said to myself "Well, how hard could this be to make a Google Module for the homepage?"

A couple of hours later and the world has been given what can only be the worlds first AIML Chatbox for Google Personal Pages and Google D
esktop. I could be wrong, but none of the directories had one in their database. So now Serena has the option of being there on your Google start page to welcome and have a chat with you.

What is the point of this? Well, there are millions of people (thats an understatement) that now have access to Google and these user created modules. If a fra
ction of them add this module to their homepage and chat with her, there will obviously be hundreds of thousands of conversations in the database for me to make her smarter with. It's a theory, anyway...

Want to test drive this Google Module? It's as simple as clicking >> ADD AIML MODULE

And the Insanity Continued

What?! I couldn't stop myself... what started as a test to see if I could get an AIML module on my Google Page turned into dissatisfac
tion as I continued searching for other useful Modules. Next there were a handful of games from our Nidus Arcade. Games like Hexxagon , Donkey Kong, and Qix joined my growing army of Homebrew Modules.

After a few hours (ie: most of today) I felt pretty confident of my ability to create modules that would load external content, and decided at some point to do a Module search for Streaming Radio.

Again I was disappointed with the results. I was presented with some stupid looking childrens radio module, and the only other serious looking streaming radio module was Real Player Rhapsody and that Module took up too much screen real estate.

So what was I to do? You guessed it... I opened the FTP for our server and grabbed an old copy of the HTML for The Edge Radio (which still works) and modified it to work within it's own customized Google Module. It still uses the ActiveX Embed for Windows Media Player, so out
of all of the modules I made today, The Edge Radio is probably the only one that is Windows Centric. But - there are links in the module so you can click on the website and also make requests (which is another feature I saw severely lacking in every other radio module listed) so the user can click for the website and grab a stream more compatible for their own setup.

So, to recap how I managed to waste my day today: I built Google Modules for Donkey Kong, Qix, Hexxagon, Serena AIML, and The Edge Radio.

In other words, my A.D.D. allowed me to focus solely on making Google Modules today in order to better the world (or waste your time).

All in all, I'd say good deal for everyone involved :)

Looking Toward the Future (With Google Modules 4 All!) - MPL Knight

Aug 19, 2006

Information Highway to the Metaverse

Sometimes futurists like myself sit around and wonder if the technologies needed to fully implement a real Metaverse, like the one described in Snow Crash, will ever exist. Here we are in the tail end of 2006, and staring down the barrel of 2007. I like to try and keep my Wikimedia entry updated to reflect modern achievments, and am willing admit when I am wrong about my predictions for technology.

One of the funniest things I hear from pessimists about why a Metaverse will never really happen is because computers simply cannot handle that kind of data transfer, and will take processrs that are hundreds of times faster than they are today to come close.

I disagree. About the part where it will never happen, that is. As time marches forward, I find that Moore's Law does indeed effect every aspect of technology (not just computers but the entire related industry). I have seen systems that require less central bandwdth the more popular it became (which in 1995 was thought impossible but now we call it P2P and Torrent), and recently I have seen the answer to our processing problems.

No I'm not talking about these Intel Duo chips, or the AMD Quadro chips... these are merely the industry's way of stalling until they figure out how to make things actually faster. A Duo core chip is like when Intel released a Dual Slot P4 motherboard. You knew darned well they were stallin for time, while allowing you to get more speed. That's what the Duo Core crap is about. Yes, they are technically faster. Slap two or three processors into a machine and yes it will run faster (But Linux users already know this because Linux can theoretically use as many processors as you can give it in unison).

The same holds true for the seemingly quiet eradication of the clock speed specification. Remember when you went to a computer store and they told you how fast the computer was running? "This is the top of the line Pentium 4, running at a blistering 1.2 ghz" has turned into "It's a dual core processor, so clock speed really doesn't doesn't matter."

Really, we're looking at clock speeds that are still around 3 ghz or slower, but because it's a dual core chip we are made to believe it's effectively a 6 ghz system. No, Johhny-boy, it's still the same as your old 3 ghz you bought a few years back - they just slapped a second processor to it to keep you from foaming at the mouth due to their lack of innovation.

But what does that really mean to the normal users of the world? Well whenever the microchip manufacturers like Intel and AMD resort to piggybacking more processors it usually means they are reaching a point of breakthrough where the Exponential Return will carry on into a new paradigm.

Moore's Law was only applied to semi-conductors and transistors, but even they have a top end limit. The funny thing is, that the formula can be applied indefinitely past the age of transistors and silicon. I guess Intel hasn't figured out what to do next to get back on track.

And this, of course, is the point of today's entry. What we need is a processor capability to increase the speed of our computers 100 fold, near instant 100 gigabit data transfer, and we need it at the size of a human hair and consuming something like... 1 volt of electricity.

Why does that sound familiar.... hmmm... [here's a hint]
That's right, folks. Such a technology already exists and does nearly everything I just said. Imagine if such a processor was the size of a normal computer chip today? I bet we would have no problem with completely photorealistic Metaverse systems. Just some food for thought, really.

Why would such a system not be out in the stores yet? Because a computer processor that is capable of doing realtime Holographic processing is best used for Internet2 (I2) which is a super fast darkfiber backbone. What does Internet2 look like? You may already be using part of it now, though not nearly to it's capacity. Clicking that link will bring you to a page where you can install a detector that will let you know if you are connected to an Internet2 Network.

So generally speaking, when I wrote the article about Internet 2.0 and what it's uses and interface would be, I already knew about these technologies. It's not really mainstream information - and until recently alot of it classified information. Let's say I know just a tad bit about the future of technology than I let people assume about me. When I say this is the future, just learn to believe me.

Looking Forward to The Future (Resistance is Futile) - MPL Knight

Aug 17, 2006

Metaverse EX Reaches 997 Downloads!

I was randomly traversing the Internet today, mostly reading some of the older entries for The City of Nidus and came across the blog entry when I had first gotten Metaverse EX on Back then I was happy to see the first milestone of downlads in the range of 300 + downloads (I mean, the fact that other people around the world were checking this out). So today I decide, "What the hell", and go to and check the status of the downloads.

Hot damn! 997 Downloads!? Wow, I'm greatful that I caught it before it passed the 1,000 downloads mark :) I know comparatively 1,000 downloads isn't much on the Internet, but remember - this is 1,000 more people that have been exposed to Active Worlds as a result of our promotions. Pretty cool, indeed, but nowhere near the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of downloads the original AW 3.2 listing had. Of course, Active Worlds 3.2 has been listed on for a timeframe of years whereas Metaverse EX has only been listed for a few months.

I believe we are doing pretty good for a lonely little world in the AW Universe :) We aren't totally packed to the hilt, but then again, nobody is. I would also like to point out that the listing for AW 3.2 on D is packed with horrible reviews. At least the few reviews we have are mostly favorable :) Anyways, just thought I would share this little milestone with you, our residents.

Stormclouds in a Cup :P

I know you are looking at the heading, and then at the little picture of what seems to be... a Starbucks Coffee Cup? And saying... Huh? Ok here's the deal. Particle effects like rain have a very small effective range, and thus use for large scale weather effects is really a pain in the butt. I know when we first were working with it, we had to place a particle effect every block just to create proper overlap. This was nearly 10 seperate particle effects just for the area surounding our ground zero. Imagine if we wanted rain for the entire world?

So over in another universe where I like to test my ideas we were screwing around with rain but the problem with range came up again. Some of the Beta people who may read this know what transpired already, but I'm going to spell it out for the people who aren't guessing already. Movers have a much larger visibility range than a normal object, roughly 20 meters from the object itself (which is pretty far) and is independant of the selected visibility of the user. So, we thought, why not attach the rain particle effect to a small object like crate1.rwx and place the object underground?

Viola! There we had rain that extended 20 meters in radius. Actually it extends about 30 radius coming from the object but only 20 when walking toward the object. So to play it safe for overlap, go with 20. Generally speaking, this allows the world VR5 to use only 5 particles effects to cover our entire P-40 with rain.

Useful? More than likely. Did you know about it already? Maybe.

Hey, the concept and idea was new to us and I have yet to see anyone else use this idea in their space or world. Anyway, that's my advancement for the week. Nothing spectacular, but hopefully this is useful to you as a world owner or builder :)

Looking to the Future (With working Mirrors) - MPL Knight

Aug 7, 2006

The City of Nidus (Part 2)

Went to Otakon

For those who didn't know, I recently attended Otakon in Baltimore Maryland. Otakon is basically a really huge Anime and Japanese culture convention covering a myriad of subjects from anime, video games, design, fashion, etc. I left around Thursday and got home around Sunday night, so if anyone was missing me, you now know where I disappeared to :)

This year it was slightly disappointing as most of the interesting things had lines around the block to get in. I did happen to see the premier of the new Full Metal Alchemist movie as well as a new series coming this fall called Trinity Blood. Met some voice actors (the voice of Master Roshi and Piccolo from DBZ) and got some really kewl autographs from some of my favorite webcomic artists.

My favorite so far are the artists for a series called Megatokyo and also Applegeeks. I was fortunate enough to get both of their autographs, as well as Sarah's autograph (Sarah is Fred Gallagher's wife who also is a character in his web comic series).

Some Disappointing News

I am sorry to report that the planned concert for August (Myndkill) has been cancelled indefinitely. There were circumstances beyond our control with this, so please understand. The band Myndkill moved to Pennsylvania recently and (apparently) lost their lead singer. With the various band members scattered to the wind, it would have been impossible for us to get them all in the same studio for a live concert.

This doesn't mean that Myndkill will never do a concert for us, it just means it will be some time before they are prepared enough to follow through. We would rather bring you an awesome concert rather than a rushed and half assed production. In the mean time, we are using this free time to look into other bands who would like to perform for the AW community. We'll keep everyone posted as we find out.

Some Interesting News

While I was at Otakon, I attended a Video Game Development panel wherein I was to learn some of the recent advancements and techniques used for video game design. Some interesting people showed up to this panel (most from larger companies like Square/Enix or something) but what caught me off guard was that the gentleman who was running the panel knew little to nothing about game development.

Which is why I was incredibly happy when an exec from Atari pretty much took over the panel. Not that he was scheduled to talk or anything, he was attending the panel just like me. Well, in the end of the panel we got to talking outside of the room (away from prying ears) and swapped information and cards.

I would very much like to assist Atari in their coming campaign (though I'm not going to let anyone know what that is), so I am hoping to hear further from him when he gets back to NYC and settles in. By the way, for those of you rolling your eyes and saying "yeah right" - the gentleman's name is Adam Poots and can be reached at

A little bit of information about what he's trying to do: At some point in time, Adam made a YouTube video more or less demonstrating the fact that such a legendary company as Atari no longer has any true brand recognition. In fact, nobody even knows if they are still around. Atari must have seen this video and decided to give him a job doing the one thing he was bashing them about: re-establishing a link to the gamer community and creating a project that would involve this community in it's creation.

I think this is an excellent idea and would like to help him out. It never ceases to amaze me what kind of people I run into when I go on vacation... mater of fact, I think I should start running the entire company based on this fact. (lol)

While I was Away

I'm also amazed at what kinds of stuff happens while I am away. For instance; when I left for Maryland we had just finished a huge concert in world for the community with Aztech Rising. (Dear god the effects for that concert were rediculous...)... anyways... I come back from maryland (and among other things) find that VR5 is now listed under "Worlds to Watch" in the AW Newsletter.

Well, ummm... Thank you? Didn't see that coming, really. Unfortunately we had to cancel concerts for awhile, but we will be using this free time to collect ourselves and get some work done. I mean, we can't build that Starbucks forever... no matter how sexy that building is.

Which leads me to the last topic...

Revenge of the AIML

I'll admit I'm a sucker for Artificial Intelligence systems. That's really where I got my start back in the day - programming multi-layered AI chatterbots with natural voice TTS. So I guess I'll be working on this for awhile longer in my spare time.

I have recently done a massive update for our bot Serena (running on Pandora Bots). Alot of AIML files were recently converted over from the CORe directory (with the exception of a few that don't seem to compile correctly), making Serena just a tad bit smarter than before. I'm not going to say she's a genius, but at least she has taken a step forward.

I also added the /version command to her database so if you want to know what the last update was for her you can see. I will also be transposing the CORe AIML set over to The AW AIML bot directory at some point and giving her another test run. Not that I'm taking this as a serious project, it's now back to what it originally was - my hobby ;)

Looking toward the Future (with a Rum and Coke in Hand) - MPL Knight