Microsoft Buys ReactOS for $12.3 Billion US!

I was just remarking to my son that it’s going to be tough to write an April 1st (aka “April Fools”) story that is actually weirder than what we are living through right now. I mean, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, people around the world are in lockdown, or in isolation, everyone that can work from home is working from home, and the economy is tanking. Seriously, how do you beat that? Then, I started thinking about the most successful, meaning most convincing, April Fool’s article I ever wrote. There were tons of comments at the …

Creating Virtual Worlds for Mozilla Hubs

Mozilla Hubs is a completely open source social VR experience that allows you to build your own worlds, craft avatars, have meetings, watch videos together, and more. Here’s where it gets really exciting. HUBS doesn’t require a VR headset. You can access it from any desktop, using a Web browser. In fact, people joining a HUBS session can interact with people using phones, tablets, laptops, or virtual reality headsets. To those who use headsets, the browser sessions look as though they are also participating in the VR experience. I invited a friend of mine to join me in a world I …

Fighting Isolation in Virtual Reality

It’s weird living in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s frankly surreal, on so many levels. One of those ‘levels’ is the forced isolation that many of us are having to get used to, and that can be hard. We are, after all, social animals. Yesterday afternoon, I dropped in to a small group meeting in AltspaceVR using an Oculus Quest virtual reality (VR) headset. I mention this because you or your kids may have one and you’re thinking of it as just another thing for playing games. Trust me when I say that it is, and can be, …

VR Conferences in the Days of COVID-19

I’ve had a fair bit of experience with VR conferences and meetings of late (including the “Educators in VR” conference mentioned in the linked article), and I’ve used several different platforms, including AltspaceVR, Mozilla HUBS, VRChat, RecRoom, and others. There’s a real future in VR and it’s just going to get bigger. I even recorded an episode of my podcast with Evan Leibovitch in AltspaceVR. Expect to see, hear, read, and experience a lot more about this in coming days. Over at FORBES online, they have an article on that very topic. You can find it by clicking here.

COVID-19 Community Update

As I write this, the World Health Organization has officially declared COVID-19 (aka the Novel Coronavirus) a global pandemic. If you have been paying attention to the news today, then you also know that the Prime Minister held a press conference this morning addressing the current crisis and what will be done to mitigate the widespread impact. Now, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on television, but I’d like to pass on some information on the (I almost hesitate to use the word) crisis. While our public health agencies, here in Canada, tell us that the immediate …

Happy Halloween! An Excuse To Party!

Feeling a little on edge? Like someone is looking over your shoulder? Do you hear a creaking sound in an otherwise silent room? Wait! Was there something moving in the shadows? You could swear you just just heard a low kind of moaning sound, as though the saddest, loneliest creature in the universe were writing in solitary pain.  Buck up! It’s Halloween! The day after Halloween was once considered one of Christianity’s holiest of days. Enshrined as “All Saints Day” by Pope Boniface IV, the holiday, like many Christian holidays (e.g. Christmas), borrows from earlier Pagan religions. This rite of …

The True Story of Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen. You also know about Comet, and Cupid, and Donder and Blitzen, but nobody really cares about any of those others, even Olive (the other reindeer). The only reindeer anyone cares about is Rudolph. You may not know the actual and honest-to-goodness true story of Rudolph, but lucky for you, I am here to tell you. So, sit back, gather your kids, hug your Christmas tree, light a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy the true story of Rudolph.

Photography Using Pixel’s Night Sight

A few minutes ago, we went out for a walk to the corner store. All four of us. It’s winter time in Canada, and it’s a little bit late, so it’s dark outside. On a lark, I decided to test the camera on my Pixel 2 phone. I did this because, just recently, there was an update to the software which included an update to the camera software called, “Night Sight”. Night site uses artificial intelligence to take a slightly longer exposure and rebuild the image in a way that lets you see more than you can under normal conditions, …

A Little Jolt of Energy

This morning, I had a dentist appointment. One of my fillings had fallen out and it was being replaced. This involved the ever popular needle which, as you all know, is always fun. The reason for me mentioning this at all is that I was very tired when I went in there this morning. My son had woken me up at 4:50 am and I was groggy to say the least. So I lay back in the chair and waited for the work to begin, taking advantage of the empty room to close my eyes. The dentist arrived with the …

Who’s Your Avatar, Baby?

After I have my lunch, I usually exercise for a few minutes while watching something on Netflix that Sally isn't going to watch with me anyhow; like The Guild which, as it turns out, is completely awesome. Kind of makes me wonder how I've never watched it before. But, as I often do, I digress . . . well, not really since I'm kind of still on the same subject even if it does seem like I wandered off.  Anyhow, I can usually get a couple thousand steps on my Fitbit while I walk and watch, which probably means I'd be awesome …