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I had an idea several years ago for a web site that acted as an exchange for real and virtual currencies. I was never an avid gamer but, after discovering Second Life and IMVU, I realized how many people were spending (and earning) money in these 3D virtual worlds. While there are some companies (IGE and others) that facilitate buying and selling of virtual goods and currencies, there didn’t seem to be a true virtual/real currency exchange market yet. One that would provide daily exchange rates for directly changing one currency into another, virtual or real, for a small fee. Like most of my ideas, this was added to a very long “projects” list. I had a good idea, I was sure, but neither the time nor resources to develop it.

Fast forward to 2010. IMVU and myYearbook are the first partners of the new Currency Connect, “a service that allows virtual world and social networking site members to exchange virtual currency among partner websites.”1 They don’t (as far as I can tell) offer exchange with real currencies, though. That would certainly involve regulatory compliances which would complicate matters. But how long can these virtual currencies, purchased with real money, be unregulated? Over two years ago, “Linden Lab, the company that runs the popular virtual world Second Life, announced… that all in-world “banks” must now be registered with real-world banking regulators.”2 Dave Rosenberg noted, in his blog on CNet News last December3, that the door is open for much larger players to bring their huge user bases to the game. Certainly PayPal, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft could stake a claim in this, as yet, wide open territory.

Where does that leave me? Crossing yet another promising idea off my list? Probably. I still don’t have the resources needed for development. So I’m throwing this idea out into the blogosphere. Maybe someone with capital or connections can make use of it.

What do you think? Thumbs up or down?

1 http://www.currencyconnect.com/FAQ

2 http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/second-life-welcomes-bank-regulators

3 http://news.cnet.com/8301-13846_3-10415702-62.html

Image courtesy of Pulsar Media

Every now and then I read a post and smack myself in the head, saying “Why didn’t I think to blog that!” I’m sure we’ve all had that experience. Today, it was this post from Green Colibri.  I’ve been using Blackle as an eco-friendly alternative to the Google home page since last year. There were about 140,000 Watt hours savedat that time; as of this writing, it’s 479,622.172 Watt hours saved. I think I Twittered about it, but I never thought to blog it. So read the post by oyvind and use start using Blackle for searches. It’s good for the environment and it looks much cooler.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Messenger primed for Mercury pass

This is exciting! I remember watching the Apollo missions as a kid. When the Eagle landed in July of 1969, one month prior to my ninth birthday, I could hardly contain myself. I remember watching the (mostly) men in the control room cheering and shaking hands. I felt joined to them, a part of that great achievement. We had done that; humans had left Earth, gone to another world, and were to return home. It fueled an already stong interest in science, math and engineering that I still enjoy today.

Now, I wonder how much more I’ll see in this life. The rapid pace of technological advances seems driven more by consumer demand for sleek gadgets (which, I confess, I’m not immune to), instant and constant communication, and undoubtedly, porn. I wonder where the space program would be if we could increase it’s funding by half of the total dollars spent on Pro football, cell phones and porn ads? After all, space exploration might be what saves our species from destruction. But, even if we don’t survive the next asteroid collision, at least the NY Giants won today.

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Now that I’ve become a blogger (still waiting for my certificate to arrive in the mail), I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time reading other people’s blogs (OPBs). I’m not sure if I’m researching or procrastinating, but I’ve found a number of things I’ll post here. Now, if I can figure out how pings and trackbacks work… I feel so old.

From ddsos.org, Technology is the root of all evil:

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog.

The man will be there to feed the dog, and the dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipments.

Yes, I’m a technogeek of a sort, and I love automating things, but I love this image.You’ll please excuse me now, I have to read all these cool blogs I’ve found before I can sleep tonight.