Apr 19, 2008

Business As Usual...

Over the next few months, things are going to seem really quiet around here. Rest assured we're still on schedule for the first beta test, which as of this writing should be around the first week of June.

Until that time, we're buckling down and kicking into overdrive to try and work some magic. So far so good, as advancements are being made daily. From now until our first beta testing, we advise the current beta team to sit back and relax.

As of today, pre-registrations for the current beta team are closed. Any pre-registration forms we get from this point on will stay on file for consideration in our secondary phase.

Looking forward to a stellar summer!

William Burns
Andromeda Media Universe

Apr 8, 2008

Great Googly Moogly!

You may have noticed a few minor changes here at Andromeda Media Universe. Well, ok, a lot of changes actually. RSS feeds, the ability to have our updates sent directly to your email, DHTML tooltips, some screenshots of the Jooce Desktop, an a complete rewrite of some of the pages on the site complete with new visuals.

Needless to say we've been busy over here.

We even reworked the blog archive to better fit with the website theme, as well as added some amusing tooltips to the header titles - go ahead, mouse over the words "Developer Blog", we'll wait.

Nearly every picture on this site now has a helpful (or amusing) tooltip to give you an extra bit of information. The RSS Subscription dropdown menu has (count'em) a total of 11 different ways you can keep up to date with this site (not including the actual blog archive address).

The blog archive dates back to 2006, back to the days of our earlier research leading up to Andromeda Media Universe and even before VR5 Online was discontinued in order to put full effort into this project and join up with Queller Technology Group. So take some time and re-read some of the history and research leading up to what you see today. Some of it is inspiring, while some of it is actually quite funny or off topic.

In Other News ---

We spent a majority of last night working on the login window for the browser. After resolving a Vista issue we moved on to more important things, such as what things you should be able to do when you log in. To date, the username field is a conditional dropdown menu, and when the system sees multiple profiles saved, will give you the option of choosing one. The password field is to be expected, just normal stuff. And then here is the Location dropdown menu...

We're not entirely certain why this wasn't thought of before (aside from the interesting but nearly useless version in Second Life). The Start Location drop down has three options:

  1. Home: This is the Home location that you have chosen, not some predefined gateway.
  2. Last Location: Where you were when you logged out.
  3. From Bookmark: By far our favorite addition. As a user, you obviously have a list of favorite locations saved for easy teleport. So why not be able to choose one of them as your starting location?
So there you have it. You get to choose your home location, you get to choose last location, or you can start from any number of bookmarks you have saved.

Speaking of Bookmarks, the bookmark system will have two views. The compact view is the automatic default and shows just the names of the locations (which are named by default via the zone names but can be easily renamed manually). When you hover your mouse over a Bookmark name for a few seconds it will show extended information such as a thumbnail image of the location, location information, planet and owner of the location.

Everything considered, we've been really busy.

Until next time -

William Burns (Project Leader)
Andromeda Media Universe

Apr 6, 2008

Coming Soon: Superfast Internet

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor
Times Online

The internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.

At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, the grid could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players; and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could “revolutionise” society. “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,” he said.

The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their “red button” day - the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated at the same time to capture the data it generates.

Cern, based near Geneva, started the grid computing project seven years ago when researchers realised the LHC would generate annual data equivalent to 56m CDs - enough to make a stack 40 miles high.

This meant that scientists at Cern - where Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989 - would no longer be able to use his creation for fear of causing a global collapse.

This is because the internet has evolved by linking together a hotchpotch of cables and routing equipment, much of which was originally designed for telephone calls and therefore lacks the capacity for high-speed data transmission.

By contrast, the grid has been built with dedicated fibre optic cables and modern routing centres, meaning there are no outdated components to slow the deluge of data. The 55,000 servers already installed are expected to rise to 200,000 within the next two years.

Professor Tony Doyle, technical director of the grid project, said: “We need so much processing power, there would even be an issue about getting enough electricity to run the computers if they were all at Cern. The only answer was a new network powerful enough to send the data instantly to research centres in other countries.”

That network, in effect a parallel internet, is now built, using fibre optic cables that run from Cern to 11 centres in the United States, Canada, the Far East, Europe and around the world.

One terminates at the Rutherford Appleton laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire.

From each centre, further connections radiate out to a host of other research institutions using existing high-speed academic networks.

Apr 3, 2008

Andromeda Gets Jooce'd

For the Beta Team who attended the Town Hall event last Monday, the announcement is out.

Stefan Surzycki (CEO of Jooce.com) has given us the greenlight to officially integrate their network into Andromeda Media Universe. So what does this mean for you, the users? Well this announcement means that on launch, the web desktop view of Andromeda will officially be "Powered by Jooce".

We'll be doing what we can to sync up our development roadmaps, and you better believe the Andromeda Beta Team has already been putting Jooce Beta to the test. If you do not know what Jooce is already, feel free to hop on over to http://www.jooce.com for a free account.


Andromeda Media Universe