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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 2:38am
It may from your point of view, but it doesn't from mine. It has good and bad points. I choose to concentrate on the good points that are unique to Active Worlds rather than the bad points that you can find anywhere.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 2:41am
But it's also a culture based around the idea of playing with dolls. Not to say that's a bad thing, but it's not for everyone. Personally, I would have loved to get on the beta and play with some of those high tech dolls, even though their low tech counterparts have never interested me, but they required information on the sign-up form that I was not willing to give out on-line.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 2:44am
Wasn't there a non-disclosure agreement that said you weren't supposed to tell people what it's like if you're beta testing it? Seems to me they are still in the "closed beta" stage.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 3:11am
I don't agree with all of your points, but nobody said I had to either. One point that I do agree very strongly with is that the best thing Active Worlds can do is to be the best "Active Worlds type program" it can be, and not try too hard to be something it's not. I wish there was a chance that all those old lost citizenships could be turned back on for a while to let people who left Active Worlds a long time ago see what it has become. If only a form could be set up on the Active Worlds web site allowing a one time "free month" or something like that, to anyone who enters a valid user name and password into the form... it would be great to see some of the old citizens come back and re-discover Active Worlds even if only for a little while, so that they could see some of the features they had wished for years ago. I know a lot of people who left Active Worlds back when CoF first started charging for citizenships, not because they didn't want to pay but because they felt they had been betrayed and that after all the time they had spent advertising for Active Worlds and telling everyone how great it was, they should have been given more of an explanation of why it all happened so suddenly and some sort of a "thank-you" after the crisis was over. Many people, including me, felt bad for having brought so many people in only to have them be treated like they were only wanted for their money, when they obviously had already given freely of themselves in many ways. That's one of the big reasons why the Active Worlds community has suffered so much. Some of the best parts of it went away because they no longer felt welcome. Now if AW tries to be something it's not, a lot more of the community will feel alienated. I was worried when I first started beta testing NewAW because I thought the intention was to turn Active Worlds into a game, but it turned out the game was intended only for that one world, and to me that's a great idea because it will help the developers to explore ways to make Active Worlds more interactive and more "fun" to be in... without having to take away from what it's already got going for it.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 7:01pm
Okay. Well, I only found the closed beta form so that's why I said something, just in case... wouldn't want someone on a closed beta with a non-disclosure agreement to say too much before they realized they weren't supposed to. :)

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 7:30pm
Well, personally I consider you, Optiman, and Facter all to be good friends of mine (although I don't know if any of you feel the same way)... and I hate to see tension between friends... so enough of this already. Lighten up a bit, please. :)

Here we go, point for point... I consider myself "one of the first" but that's counting a lot of firsts. Yes, as a matter of fact citizen numbers are "some indication" of when a person first used AW, but not proof. As a matter of fact, yes posts in a newsgroup can do some pretty serious dammage to the Active Worlds community. Is it falling apart? No faster than it's growing back together, at the moment. Now, it "seems to me" that Facter was around when I first got into Active Worlds, although I'm not certain of that fact and I couldn't tell you weather it was a citizen or a tourist. I'm bad with dates, but I do try. Since I don't seem to have any dated notes in this case, I'm sortof out of luck, but none of this really matters anyway. Optiman was trying to be friendly and it was taked wrong and defended accordingly. Accidents happen.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 7:32pm
Me too. I looked all over their site for it and couldn't find even a vague indicator.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 12, 2002, 11:58pm
Well, that's not much of a difference from my point of view. There are many cities here that don't have a McDonald's rettaurant, and many that have more than one. It's only one restaurant chain. I haven't went to a cinema in quite a while, and I have no desire to acquire pirated anything, so... I probably wouldn't notice the difference... except that I'm not on AOL, and I would probably miss my cable modem. :)

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 13, 2002, 1:07am
Well, that's just it. Active Worlds is where it started. It may grow in many directions from there, but as long as Active Worlds continues to be the best "Active Worlds" it doesn't have to be what any of the others are... the root feeds the branches, and the branches feed the root.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 13, 2002, 3:06am
Hehe. Maybe I should be on their marketing team. :)

Just kidding.... I'm happy just being me.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 13, 2002, 3:08am
yep... that's it... out of nothing... and lots of people seem to think that's entertaining. Next? :)

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 13, 2002, 3:14am
That's why I don't argue about things. I change them. On my own, I can't change the fact that the system of time measurement currently in use doesn't make any more sense than one the average room full of young children could make up, but I can point out that it could be improved and get a few people to think about how... and maybe some day they'll get a room full of young children together to help them think up something better. :)

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 13, 2002, 11:36pm
What's the address to find them at... in case someone wants to send one of them to the press? :)

TZ

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 14, 2002, 3:26am
But that's not a fault in the system. That's just sloppy use of it. You can do that with any system, but yes the 12 hour half day system does make that particular situation a little more likely to happen. Even if you had said specifically that it was 11pm, that still doesn't tell whether it's early in the week or late in the week, because again information has been left out... and if you said it was 23 O'clock on a Friday, that would still not tell whether it's planting season, rainy season, or a snowy night with a full moon out so there's plenty of light to see your way around outside without having to bring a flashlight. Of course, if you throw the numbers out of it completely and just give answers like "it's morning" or "it's evening" then such ambiguities are much less likely than with either system, but then you're not narrowing it down much and of course a shared language becomes necessary. As an example of what I meant about numbers causing ambiguity, in the summer time 6pm isn't evening here in Wisconsin, U.S.A., but in the winter it is. Okay, so maybe 6pm isn't a good example. Since both the 12 hour and 24 hour system fail to make much sense to me I'm not much good at either. To me the idea that changing where you're talking about necessarily changes "when" you are talking about feels about the same as I am guessing it would feel to most people if I tried to tell them that changing "when" you are talking about necessarily changes "where" you are talking about. When you ask someone how far away someplace is and they tell you it's about 2 hours from where you are, do you sit back and expect to be there in 2 hours? I don't mind the discussion about what time systems are better for what reasons, but I really think in the case of the 12 and 24 hour systems it's more a case of what's more familliar than what's actually "better" and that, unfortunately, will vary from person to person.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 14, 2002, 6:22am
Thanks. Hmmm... 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, nothing for 2001, and nothing yet for 2002. Maybe something should get added before this year is over, just to keep press people who look there from thinking the company died. Hehe.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 16, 2002, 1:57am
If evenyone could use both systems fluently, then I would agree with you 100% that using the 24 hour clock system would make more sense in an international setting, but oddly enough many people have trouble converting from 12 to 24 hour or from 24 to 12 hour time, and this may come as a surprise to a lot of people but I have found that it is move common for people who are used to the 12 hour system to have trouble with the 24 hour system than for people used to the 24 hour system to have trouble with the 12 hour system... so with that in mind one could easily argue that the 12 hour system makes more sense in international settings because people using the 24 hour system tend to adapt to the 12 hour system with less trouble. Really though, what makes sense to me is to realize that different people have different prefferences and that human communication is not designed for precision, and to give what information you think the person you are talking with will be most comfortable with. If they ask you to clarify, be prepared to give them more information. If you can convert the time to their time zone, and a system that you know they like, great. If not, make do with what you can. :) As for how a program should represent time, I think it's not something we could ever get everyone to agree on, so it's probably best to make it something you can choose for yourself... besides, that solves half of the problem for people who have trouble converting between systems. :)

As for the issue of why people ask age and gender, I have thought about that myself and here's my take on it... Different people ask for different reasons, but I think probably the most common reason is that they have never learned how to begin conversations with strangers. Asking age and gender is an awkward ice-breaker, but it's better than none at all. The answers to those questions give enough information to help a person feel a little more like they know something about the people around them and a little less like they're surrounded by strangers. You may have noticed also that when a baby is born the first question most people ask is weather it's a boy or a girl. This step is almost necessary in some cultures, to avoid getting a lot of dirty looks when you go to say something about the baby and need to choose a pronoun. For example, you may make some men angry if you look at their young son and say "she's pretty" or comment about their new daughter that "he looks like he's going to grow up big and strong" even though you may be correct, except for the use of the wrong pronoun. I'm hoping that some day we'll evolve beyond that point, but for now it's often necessary to ask such things. Personally, I don't generally say things to people that would not be alright to say around a child, so that eliminates the need for me to ask age... and since I don't usually send cyber-hugs to people that I don't know very well, it's pretty rare that I get a comment to the effect of "um, you just hugged a guy" or something like that... and some guys are okay with it anyway, because they see casual cyber-hugs as the friendly gesture they were intended to be and don't worry about the connotations behind their physical counterpart.

Some people try to start conversations by asking something more general like "does anyone want to talk" but it strikes me as sortof funny that I usually see that question being asked in an area where a lot of people are already talking. If you walk up to a family you don't know in a fancy restaurant and try to join the conversation they're having, you may get a few funny looks, or you may get welcomed in as if you belonged there... or you may be told to go away and mind your own business. Trying to talk with strangers involves an unknown risk, and not knowing how to deal with such situations often leads to people becomming angry and treating other people badly who would not have otherwise, and since things work differently in Active Worlds than in chat rooms, many people who are used to chat rooms make some pretty big mistakes before they figure it out. That's why when I see someone start out with somehing like "asl" as their first line of text, I generally take that as a sign of a need to learn some new habits quickly, and mention to them that if they want to talk to someone, it helps to call the person by name... and that if the person doesn't respond they shouldn't take it personally.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 17, 2002, 2:09am
Sounds like you use it the same way as what has always felt most natural to me.

Noon is 12pm, by the way, and Midnight is 12am, where-as on 24 hour clocks noon is just 12, and midnight can be either 0 or 24 depending on "which" 24 hour system, but is always (unless there is an exception I'm not aware of) considered the beginning of a calandar date, not the end of one.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 19, 2002, 7:33am
In the case of -0 and +0, what you are generally looking at is a number that has been rounded off, with the sign indicating which side of zero the actual value is on. There are also the infinitesimal number (+0) that I like to call "potential zero" which is the multiplicative inverse of potential infinity, and it's additive inverse, negative potential zero (-0), but generallr if a quantity is that close to zero it is considered for all practical purposes to be unsigned.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 19, 2002, 6:42pm
Yep. I know what you mean. Unfortunately mathematics can be a difficult subject due to the fact that so many educational institutions, text books, and teachers tend to teach it in stages treating each stage as if the next one doesn't exist. They start out, for example, by telling you that numbers can be counted on your fingers. Then they tell you that you haven't got enugh fingers to handle all of the numbers but if you gather enough objects together you can count to any number by counting objects. Then they tell you that you can count backward also but that when you get to 1 you run out of numbers. Then they tell you that there's a number that represents no objects, so suddenly you can count backward farther than they told you could be done. Then they teach you how to add and subtract, and tell you that any two numbers can be added in any order but you can't subtract a bigger number from a smaller one. Then they teach you how to multiply and divide numbers, and they tell you that you can multiply any two numbers, but that you can only divide certain numbers. Then they tell you that you can divide numbers that you were already told couldn't be divided, but that you'll end up with something left over. Then they tell you that if you multiply the number you divided by times the number that you got from the division you will get the number that was divided. Then they tell you that if there was a number left over when you divided you can't multiply the results of your division by the divisor to find the dividend.

Aafter all this, they tell you that there are numbers between the numbers that you've been told all along had no numbers between them, and they show you where they are on a number line. In fact, they generally go on to tell you that "all" numbers are on the number line somewhere, but that they're all between other numbers. Then try to teach you how to divide numbers that you were told would always have something left over and get one of these new numbers with nothing left over. Then they tell you that you can subtract a bigger number from a smaller number afterall, and that you can count backward beyond zero. Then they try to teach you how to add the new fractional numbers that exist between the other numbers, and most people find that very difficult because they're still having enough trouble just dealing with the fact that their earlier education about numbers told them there were no such numbers. Then they try to teach you how to subtact fractional numbers, or "rational" numbers, and that turns out to be even more of a challange. Then they tell you that there are numbers that can't be represented by digits because they have unknown quantities. Then they try to teach you how to add and subtract the new "negative" numbers that are lower than zero and again the brain wants to reject either the old education or the new education because they disagree with each other, and most people find this part of mathematics to be unreasonably difficult.

As if that isn't enough, then they go on to teach you how to multiply and divide using negative numbers, and you have to deal with the fact that not only do these negative numbers exist in spite of the fact that you had been told otherwise but they don't behave like the numbers you've been dealing with all along, so you have to learn that if you are multiplying a negative number and a positive number together the results will be negative and that the same is true of division, but that multiplying or dividing two numbers with the same sign always gives you a positive number and never a negative number. Then they teach you about exponents, first saying they are always posative, then adding in that an exponent can be zero, then later adding in that an exponent can also be fractional or "rational", and eventually telling you that an exponent can even be negative. Somewhere around this point they generally would tell you about square roots, but neglect to tell you that there are other kinds of roots as well or that the square root of a number is the same as that number given a fractional exponent of 1/2 or 0.5 and further confusing the issue by stating that negative numbers have no square roots. Well, eventually that will have to be corrected also if you take math far enough and you end up finding out that there's anothe number line that intersects the first number line, and this one contains all of the square roots of negative numbers, and as if that wasn't confusing enough they call them "imaginary" numbers and generally don't bother to mention that it's just a name and doesn't mean that there's no real use for them. In fact, it turns out then, usually to a person's complete astonishment and disbelief if they even understand it at all, that you can add the numbers on this new number line to the numbers on the old number line and get numbers that are not on the number line at all, and there are more of these "complex" numbers than there are of the so called "real" and "imaginary" numbers combined! Now, of course, at that point if you've managed to survive the ordeal without deciding that you hate math and throwing in the towel, they reassure you that the complex numbers are all there is. Hehehe... well, don't believe that either because there are still quaternions and octonions to deal with and really that's just the beginning.

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 19, 2002, 10:07pm
I wasn't arguing at all... and although I like your pun, I disagree about it being nothing. As a matter of fact, it was about "almost nothing" which is why +0 and -0 were used. :)

TechnoZeus

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Oh dear - another release that will be very bad for AW...

Dec 21, 2002, 11:29am
Actually, that's a good example. If you divide a finite number (such as 1) by zero, you get an infinite number as the result, so if you divide a finite number by a number that is almost zero, you should get a number that is almost infinity. Well, this is where we get into the concepts of what to consider "almost" zero or "almost" infinity. For example, some people would say that 1 is almost zero, but by that definition, 1/1=1 would mean that 1 is also almost infinity, which seems a litttle off to me. If we say that 0.000000001 is almost zero, then that would mean 1000000000 would be almost infinity. As you can see, we just don't usually use numbers that are all that close to zero. :)

Here's a tip. If a math teacher ever tells you that you can perform a certain mathematical operation on almost any number but not on certain ones, just take that to mean that either they don't know how what really should happen if you tried it with those certain numbers, or they know but for some reason aren't telling you yet. Maybe they think you're not ready for it. Maybe they're not sure they can explain it correctly. What ever the case may be, there probably "is" an answer, but for the sake of the math class they are teaching, they want you to treat it as if the answer is "undefined" which means simply that it's not defined yet at that level of mathematics.

TechnoZeus

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Protest - where is AWNEWS

Dec 12, 2002, 3:21am
vrvilage (only one "L" in the world name)

TechnoZeus

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Protest - where is AWNEWS

Dec 13, 2002, 12:05am
I don't know the whole story behind that, but it seems to me that I heard someone "took away" that address... and by the sounds of it basically held it for ransom. The VrVillaaage Voice was nice enough to offer some space while the details get worked out. Again, this is not first hand information, so if anyone who knows "first hand" wants to step up and elaborate or correct me... please do. :)

I was only correcting the spelling of the world name so that people wouldn't try to teleport there and get a message stating that there is no such world running.

TechnoZeus

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'Crack' me up AW

Dec 12, 2002, 7:42pm
Yes, there is a way, if you do it when you start the build.

Select your starter object and then press the "5" key on the numeric keypad (Snap to Grid) and then hold the Ctrl (control) key and press the "5" key on the numeric keypad again (Reset Rotation). Then close the Object Properties dialog box to send your changes to the world server, and when you reselect the object you'll be ready to go. :)

TechnoZeus


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'Crack' me up AW

Dec 12, 2002, 8:27pm
Since the output of a transister is read as one of a limited number (2 or 3) of "states" all digital computers work exclusively with integers at the lowest level. How those integers are represented to the outside world depends on the software that gets to decide how to convert, translate, or interpret them for us. For example, a floating poing number can be represented internally by a signed integer mantissa multiplied by a signed integer power of 2, and a signed integer can be represented by an unsigned integer acting as the positive part, added to the product of a single bit (0 or 1) and a fixed negative number. Letters and symbols are also represented internally by unsigned integers.... in fact, everything is. Even a floating point co-processor or the floating point unit of a modern microprocessor deals "internally" only with numeric values that can be represented by base 2 numbers consisting of strings of the digits 1 and 0 and nothing else.

That out of the way, here's how it works in Active Worlds. The integers used for the positioning of objects represent centimeters from ground zero. A single click moves an object 0.5 meters, which is 50 centimeters or 0.05 dekameters... and yes there is a decimal point in the number, if I represent the distance in units larger than centimeters or not evenly divisable by a centimeter. Anyway, holding the Shift key allows you to move an object only 5 centimeters, and if you rotate an object, you can move if approximately 5 centimeters in a non-orthagonal direction. For example an object rotated one click or 150 internal rotation units (tenths of a degree) or in other words, 15 degrees from North, and then moved forward a single shift click (about 5 centimeters) at a direction of North plus 15 degrees, "should" actually be moved about 4.8296 centimeters North and about 1.294 centimeters West, but when you place the object these numbers have to be rounded to whole centimeters so some accuracy is lost there. Notice that this object would then have mover 1 centimeter West, which is smaller than the 5cm distance of a shift click. Notice also that if they made it possible to move a single centimeter at such an angle much more accuracy would be lost. Top that off with the fact that the rotation units used internally are tenths of a degree, so there are 3600 of them in a full circle of arc, and I think it's pretty easy to see why such small gaps can happen if you don't at least reset the initial object's rotation before you start.

TechnoZeus

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'Crack' me up AW

Dec 12, 2002, 11:09pm
As I said, the database holds your position in centimeters North from ground Zero, centimeters West from ground zero, and centimeters Up from ground zero, and your orientation in tenths of a degree from facing North... all as integers.

TechnoZeus

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'Crack' me up AW

Dec 14, 2002, 6:35am
I thought so too, until the question "Sooooo, how come the database is integer based?" was asked... So I answered it. Would anyone like a lesson on mantissas now? :)

Seriously though, sometimes someone can have knowledge of something but just not have the perspective necessary to apply that knowledge, and sometimes someone can have the perspective but be missing some key piece of knowledge. Also, if one person gets up the guts to ask something, they're rarely the only person wondering about it... so I tried to give a response that covers the topic accurately and in enough detail to answer a few unasked questions along with the one that had been asked.

Different topics come more naturally to different people, and most people tend to learn those topics that do come naturally much more quickly if they're not affraid to ask questions. Some day when another topic is being discussed, it may be your turn to ask... or maybe my turn. :)

TechnoZeus

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Second Life? What happened to the First one?

Dec 12, 2002, 7:49pm
Not every day I get to watch someone place their foot so enthusiastically into their mouth. Hehehe.

Don't mind me... couldn't resist that one. :)

TechnoZeus

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Second Life? What happened to the First one?

Dec 12, 2002, 7:53pm
I'm with you on that one. We'll believe it when we see it... and if it's real, we'll know we all (the Active Worlds Community) had a part in making it happen, and will be the force that helps it get off the ground... after all, we ARE the 3D Internet. :)

TechnoZeus

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Second Life? What happened to the First one?

Dec 12, 2002, 11:16pm
Hehehe... yeah, like "streaming data" as opposed to data that downloads as needed? :)

Really though, I think AW is better off without such PR. Let the companies that choose to hype themselves up face the consequences when people see how what they really get compares with what they thought they were getting. Back when people who thought AW would be free forever found out that what they were really getting wasn't what they expected, those of us who whitnessed the event got a good look at how people react to such a let down.... it wasn't pretty.

TechnoZeus

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