Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Quick links

Reports claim UAE's property sector set for soft landing. This made me laugh:
“By 2009, we estimate there will be a total of 77,000 units targeting high-income occupants, while the projected total demand for these units is just 36,100 for the same year. On that basis, we expect the occupancy level in the high-end apartment segment to fall below 50 per cent and thus make investor objectives increasingly difficult to achieve

Clay Shirky wonders why Second Life is a dud, while World of Warcraft, and other games, rule.
If, on the other hand, we don't start off by lumping Second Life with Warcraft as virtual worlds, a very different question emerges: why do virtual game worlds outperform non-game worlds in their adoption? This pattern is quite stable over time -- it well predates Second Live and World of Warcraft, as with Everquest (1999) quickly dwarfing the combined populations of Alphaworld and Black Sun (later Blaxxun) despite the significant lead times of those virtual worlds. What is it about games that would make them a better fit for virtual environments than non-games?
If I can hack through the turgid prose, I think the answer to Clay's question is: games have a point, virtual worlds without a point don't. Does Clay agree? Not sure -- prose remains too turgid -- but his next paragraph talks about "magic circles" so I'm guessing "no".

Finally, nice article about how Verizon rejected the iPhone, due to unreasonable demands by his Steveness.
Among other things, Apple wanted a percentage of the monthly cellphone fees, say over how and where iPhones could be sold and control of the relationship with iPhone customers, said Jim Gerace, a Verizon Wireless vice president. "We said no. We have nothing bad to say about the Apple iPhone. We just couldn't reach a deal that was mutually beneficial."
I'm bummed, as I'm a Verizon customer, but clearly partnering with Apple means doing things Steve's way.

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