Saturday, 24 February 2007

A Miscellany of News

Coming Soon to SL:
There's no convenient, catch-all header for these, other than they're all new islands in SL. I've got some stuff under development - but that won't post until tomorrow at the earliest. So I thought I'd better get these out into the blogosphere before I forgot about them.

Fiat Adventure
While tootling around the map to the East of BMW New World I spotted a trio of new islands, inaccessible to passing pedestrians and clearly not yet under meaningful construction: Fiat Adventure 1 & 2, and Fiat Brasil SL. A bit of Googling threw up this article and this one that may put some context around this. It looks like it is another instance of a manufacturer bringing a concept car into SL for our delight and delectation. Unless they have a horde of high-speed builders, I can't see it being ready in time for the Geneva Motor Show - but then, maybe that's not their objective. Anyway, I thought you'd like to know. The car was first shown at the Sao Paolo Motor Show in October 2006.

Vulcan SLU (South Lake Union)
A couple of new islands have appeared on the map as: Vulcan SLU and SLU2. These evidently belong to Vulcan - South Lake Union, a RL real estate company, based in Seattle. I must plead ignorance of the geography of Seattle, so I will have to trust to the SLU website when it tells me that SLU is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Seattle, and is now occupied by all manner of hip people and organisations. And did you know? William E. Boeing flew the first plane he built over Lake Union. Yeah! Really!! Fact!!!

It will be interesting to see how this place develops. Clearly, it allows SLU to showcase their commercial and domestic properties - but whether that will get them sales is quite another matter.

I heard about this thru a Dutch colleague. Zoetermeer is a city in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, with a population of around 120,000. It's name translates into English as "Sweet Lake". It has a history dating back to the 10th Century, and despite being a thoroughly modern city, it does retain some of the old village centre, including a clock tower dating back to the 1600's. Now Zoetermeer is claiming to be the first real city to set up a virtual counterpart in SL.

In their press release (in Dutch) the good burghers of Zoetermeer describe the intentions for their virtual city as including:
  • Providing a place for citizens to meet and discuss

  • The ability to offer city services after hours

  • Increasing the “social cohesion”
There is more (in English) here. Incidentally, the island is open right now - but there is nothing there yet- which can only mean that the picture on the press release must be one of those "artist's impressions" :-)

NEWSFLASH: I've just scanned the new Eastern Continent - and another 20 sims have appeared! A quick reckoning puts it at over 110 sims now. Here's the unspoilt pastoral view in a sim called "Oathkeeper":

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