26 March 2014

2 Billion Dollar Deal: Facebook Buys Oculus

I was quite surprised yesterday when reading that Facebook actually bought the company behind the Oculus Rift VR Headset. For quite a steep price of 2 billion US$ - especially if you take into account that not long ago Oculus did rise 2 million US$ at Kickstarter. A not-really-subtle way of showing the importance virtual reality has for big players Google and Facebook.

They are actually in quite a buying "arms race" in the recent months, with huge deals every few weeks. Its quite obvious that they try to gain as much ground as possible on the develpement of future technologies. I really wonder if these huge amounts of cash they invest will actually pay off in the near future: Facebook just recently paid 19 billion US$ for Whatsapp. The 3 billion US$ Google paid for Nest (a company specialized for internet-compatible termostats and smoke detectors) seems to be quite a bargain compared to - but lets be serious: thats totally insane amounts of money!

So either they expect huge growth rates - perhaps in the scale of another digital revolution - or they simply try to best each other in a huge speculation bubble. Perhaps both actually. Ok, there is a legitime interest in companies which offer exclusively internet services to have products in their portfolio you can actually touch: Its expanding their range dramatically. Just think of the quite-religious-hardware-cult Steve Jobs was able to establish with Apple. Google is trying the same now with their Google-Glasses. The future will show us how this turns out.

For Linden Labs the purchase of Oculus can become a serious drawback in their ambitions of bringing Second Life to a mass-market. I am sure they were speculating of having SL as a avant-garde-product in the new virtual reality-hype, which is now quite doubtful.
Will Facebook continue supporting platforms like SL at or are they focusing on exploiting the Oculus Rift for their own products only? Perhaps with their own virtual world? A kind of Facebook 3D? Or will they even buy LL next?

Another big questionmark is simply Facebook's reputation of being the world largest commercial surveilliance company. Or as the Minecraft-creator Markus Persson said via Twitter when learning about Oculus being sold:

"We were in talks about maybe bringing a version of Minecraft to Oculus. I just cancelled that deal. Facebook creeps me out."

Further reading:

Things to come in 2014 (background info to Oculus Rift)

High Fidelity appendix (more on VR)

LL's new CEO Introduces himself

22 March 2014

Because You Can't Do Enough Airship-Tours

And this time it wasn't over good ol' Blake Sea, but the - also pretty large - Fruit Islands sim group (they claim its 100 sims, but I think the actual number is a bit lower).

Taking off exploring the Fruit Islands!

My friend Oiolossee took the helm this time. And a fine job she did! Ok, first we got stuck on a full sim (not her fault!, but after that the journey went very chilled and without any further disturbances.

Skipper Oio and her passengers.

The skysetting I used (TOR SCIFI - Phlogiston) is intentionally not a realistic one. I picked it for its beauty and strong light effects.

Your favorite Drow Scientist - wait... your favorite Drow in general!

And her Sunshine :-)

This picture actualy show you some of the Landscape! Not that you could see much of it anyway :p

My Fairy-Pet Boudicca of course did accompany us.

Talking with Goat about - Wrestling Action figures from the 80s! Seriously!

Our skipper wearing the most fun backprint I've seen in SL.

These are the voyages...

Want to take a trip over Fruit Islands too? Take a ride!

20 March 2014

A Quick Project Update: Prometheus-Class Refit

I am currently deep in the redesign of the general appearance of our favourite flying aircraft carrier. It will certainly be a elegant vessel. With a more streamlined shape and some clever improvements in the room layout, resulting in a significantly increased usable space.
But no worries: Its overall look will not step away from the original Prometheus-Class. I simply can do now all the things I had in my mind for it all the time. So it will be a better ship than ever before!

Preview-time! The current status of my remodelling-project. Human Avs for scale of course.

It is not simply a mesh-version of the old one. The new ship is built completely from scratch, and in the following days and weeks I will be evaluating and improving and redesigning (if neccessary) every aspect of it to achieve the best possible result.

Again I won't and can't announce a release-date. But the project is progressing nicely and I'm looking forward to see it taking the skies :-)

14 March 2014

On A Cup Of Cappuchino In Venice

Having a lazy afternoon in SL I went to the digital recreation of Venice. It is a lovely whimsical place and really caught the spirit of its real-world counterpart. I just had to show it to Veronica too :-)

We both are admirers of this city - she however knows much more about it than I do. So we had a nice cup of cappuchino at the Rialto Bridge and I had the opportunity to hear some more gritty stories about the historical Venice - far away from the mental tracks the usual tourist wanders on.

No, I won't call this picture "having some cappuchino" ;-)

The Rialto Bridge overlooked by the St. Mark's Campanile.

A friendly Gondoliere took this photo for us!

Every picture gets nicer with fairys on it.

The Canale Grande with Gondolas on it's shores.

If - after these pictures - you don't feel like going there and exploring the place by yourself, there is definitely something wrong with you ;-) Here is your gondola.

10 March 2014

More Boots!

Today I released the second batch of my boots-series. Its a more diverse selection this time, featuring fur, metals and even scaly desings. I might went perhaps a bit crazy with designing, but hey - they look good, don't they? ;-)

Wild Catz!

Wild Catz! - 3 pairs of feline boots, for a high rawr-factor! Of course fake fur!


Metallic: I find the liquid-metal look of the left one very appealing. The right one is a more conventional but nevertheless adorable looking etched silver.


Last but not least two very elegant and romantic velvet flower patterns in red and light grey.

All sets are available at the Drow Science Marketplace Store... now!

8 March 2014


Drow Science is expanding its product range with a series of high-heeled (and pretty lovely looking) boots.
The first two sets - Steampunk themed - are now available on the marketplace. More styles will follow soon!

Set 1 comes with the designs "Gold", "World Map" and "Squid!"

Set 2 with two geared themes and a victorian potpourri (middle).

Here is your taxi to the Steampunk Boots Set 1 and Steampunk Boots Set 2.

2 March 2014

The Daedalus Is Taking Off!

Yay! After extensive test-flights, tweakings, fixing of minor bugs and finishing some scripting work, the Daedalus Airships are finally at a stage where I can happily let them go :-)

The Daedalus-Airship

I also started creating a background-universe where all my steampunk-creations will have their place in. Style-wise they all wear my signature anyway, so it is just fair to have them all gathered in a coherent world. And who knows - perhaps some narratives will see the light of the day too in the future.

Here is a kind of start - the background of the Daedalus:

The Daedalus-Class Airships are made by the legendary constructors of Saturia, the city of thousand floating islands, famous for their elegant and sophisticated designs. Staying in this tradition, it features the sleek lines and luxury furnishing of their famous air-gondolas, which are as stately taxis between the city islands.The Deadalus offers a high level of comfort with excellent panoramic view, ample engine power and manoeuverability, making it popular vehicle for regattas, joyrides and air-kraken safaris.

Docking at an airship-port.

The appearance of the ship saw quite intense tweaking over the duration of its creation. I didn't wantedto release something half-baked. Now I can lean back for five minutes until I take next big project: refitting the Prometheus! More about this somewhen In the not-too-far future ;-)

For now I want to say thank you very much for all the people helping me with their constructive criticims, helpful ideas, testing and scripting. They are (in alphabetic order: Cyhtleen, Katinkakatze, Moondog Merlin, Oiolosee, Taffy Solo, Velocity Venom/Veronica Vinyl, Prof. Zen Wickentower and a special thank you to my dear partner Emma Sunshine!

The Daedalus Airship in full illumination.

You can grab the Daedalus at the Drow Science Marketplace Store and Inworld at various locations like my Mainstore at Lionheart Nala (where I put a down-sized model on display), at Poppyport Airport, Unzipped or at on board of the Prometheus at Mieville Twain!

This is what I'm doing when I don't steer the ship ;-)

1 March 2014

Steam: The Hunt IX Starts Today!

And I am happy to announce that Drow Science is participating this year with a miniature version of the Daedalus! Steam: The hunt is one of the most popular hunts in SL and has more than 120 gridwide locations. So take aside a few hours, days or even weeks and go hunting! For a first glance on the hunt gifts, take a look at the hunt blog.

The beauty and the blimp: The Daedalus just looks adorable when makings its circles in your living room.

Nice airship, hm? Lets try to find it! I promise, it isn't too hard ;-)

The hunt starts at Mieville Doyle, for a full list of locations just click here!