Sunday Listener Party at the KONA Radio Studios

Where? : KONA Radio Studios SLURL

When? : Every Sunday night from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM SLT

We have a FULL PLATE tonight on KONA Radio’s Sunday Listener party. I’ll be playing a full weeks worth of programming from The Onion and Time Warp Radio. That, along with the 100 Word Stories, 3 episodes of Today in Music History, and several new tunes from artist like Van Halen, the Four Tops and Status Quo will mean the program will run for about 90 or so minutes tonight.  No worries about running late as we have a LOT of content!

Is this yours?

Come by and see the famous Italian leg lamp too!


Listening to KONA Radio on the iPhone

I’ve recently acquired an iPhone 3GS and all I can say is “WOW”. It is an awesome piece of technology that can handle multimedia just fine thank you! Naturally I got the unlimited data plan and began taking it through it’s paces with streaming music. There are several fine choices for the right price of “Free”.

FStream: Supports a wide range of formats such as MP3, Ogg, AAC, & WMA. It also can search a few directories for music such as Shoutcast and iTunes. You can find KONA Radio under the Golden Oldies section. FStream is especially good for mobile listening as you can increase the buffer size and number of attempted reconnects if the connection drops. Go here for more details


Shoutcast: An app from AOL/Shoutcast that allows you to search the shoutcast listings. Very basic. Download it from here: SHOUTCAST on iPhone


WWW.MOODIO.FM : A rather innovative solution to a common problem. Many stations broadcast in a format that your media player cannot receive or the bit rate is too high. This is a website that will receive the station for you and trans code it to a lower bit rate AAC formatted stream. The stream is then played over your Safari browser on the iPhone so you can collapse the browser and run other non audio based apps. If the station you want is not listed you can add it your self or request that it be added for you. To add KONA to your mobile page list just search for KONA Radio.

to quote their FAQ:

Almost every modern phone with internet and multimedia capabilities should be able to receive radio through Moodio. What you basically need is a phone that supports 3GPP/3GPP2-streaming and understands the AACPlus-codec. This includes popular phones from manufacturers like BlackBerry, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, etc. Apple’s (non-3GPP-compatible) iPhone is also supported.

Windows Mobile does not natively support 3GPP streaming. This means that Moodio won’t work on these phones, except for the few models where the manufacturer installed a 3GPP compatible player, like HTC does on their more recent phones. For more info about the HTC player and how to install it on your own Windows phone, look here.


If you’re on Windows Mobile or Palm OS you can listen in via a wide variety of  media players such as Pocket Tunes. The Palm Pre will stream MP3 shoutcast with it’s native media player.

For your parcel in SL use this URL:

JUNE Ratings for selected Second Life based* radio stations.

Report Date: Wed Jul  1 04:00:02 2009
** Top stations by TTSL
30 day rolling total, taken from 30 days of data
POS            TTSL              TUNE-INS    5-MIN-TUNE-INS    STATION
#2634      14,044            31,426            7,527            KONA Radio – Qlty Music 60s 70s & 80s
#3408      9,372.75          36,420       10,247           SLR2 – Second Life Radio
#6042      3,659.5           18,198            5,915             Live Radio SL
#8164      2,035.25          7,361             2,990             K-TOX Toxian City Radio Second Life – Industrial and More!
#11332     1,077.5           4,244             1,548             K-TOX Toxian City Radio Second Life  – Industrial And more!
#7214      2,587.5           6,330              2,569             BZoO WorldWide Radio
#7985      2,127.25          15,268           5,807            Reggae Romance….100% Vibes, Soca, Dancehall, Roots, Second Life
#10805     1,176.75          8,225             1,799             **T1 Radio **

* Stations that maintain a nominal presence and exhibit some degree of social interaction in the virtual world of Second Life.

Kicking ass and taking names! KONA is sitting on top with the nearest station being the German SLR2 station. A very distant 3rd is the Live Radio SL featuring SL artist exclusively. Closely following is K-TOX based in the Midian sims and favored by many post apocalypse RPers. Next is BzoO Radio described as “HOT RoCK DaNCe Radio ~ DOiN da House Blues Rock Funk Club Dance!!”  Filling out the bottom is Reggae Romance and **T1 Radio**.

There are many other radio stations in SL but they did not make this list because their listenership was less than 1,000 hours per month or they are Icecast based and thus listed elsewhere.

GoSpeed & Rav publicity - Subscribomatic pic

So, as a child of the 70s I had to have a cool Cylon Centurion avatar. Add to that a memory of a song by Lipps Inc. circa 1980. You get this :

Shadows, a first look for me

Having recently acquired a new video card I decided to check out the unsupported shadows feature that’s appeared in the latest releases of the SL Viewer. The results weren’t too bad. The resulting frame rate for me was 8 FPS, somewhat usable for general SL use. The below video is the results I got.


You’ll notice that alpha textured items tend to flicker in and out and that the avatar shadow tends to degrade into point shadows.  Below are a few screen captures. The built in picture utility doesn’t work and fails to capture the shadows. A Print Screen or external utility will capture them though.

Shadows in SL

Under Crap's Tree - Shadows

In the above pic notice how dark it is at noon below Crap’s Clock Tree. Also notice how the eyes tend to glow/shine a bit too.

Shadows in Nowhereville

The Palm trees cast a shadow over the plane in the late afternoon. The shadows look weird at high noon as the prims used for the palm leaves  are vertically oriented and cast almost no shadow when the sun is overhead.

Shadows - midnight - no lite

Midnight is really dark now, even with the moonshine. GoSpeed’s fedora shades her face making it hard to distinguish her features.

I can imagine that many improvements and tweaks will occur before the shadow features are officially incorporated into the SL viewer.

Sunday in the tree

Wow, what can I say. Snow Globe works really, really fast. I’ve used it for a week now and it is my default viewer now. A lot of other bloggers have written about it, notably Gwyneth Llewelyn. I’m not sure if she’ll bring this up in a future post but it occurred to me that the potential implementation of private/personal asset servers opens up a whole new world for moving assets between grids. The biggest issue with going to an opengrid is that you have to start fresh with basically no inventory and very few options to outfit your avatar. Imagine of you will that your avatar’s shape, skin, prim hair, Animation Overriders and clothing were hosted on a server outside of the SL main grid. You could teleport between the Main grid, OSgrid, Hypergrid, OpenLife grid, and essentially be the same avatar in appearance in all of them.

Of course this presents a wide range of issues and challenges. Being able to protect the intellectual rights of the creators would be a problem to tackle. Perhaps some sort of encryption or watermarking would be called for. I can also imagine a whole new class of merchant that sells their products outside of SL. If such a scheme were to take off I can also imagine SL avatars imported into other virtual worlds. Just so long as the game/world engine could faithfully render the correct amount of polygons and animate it in a decent manner I can see it taking off. Picture this: Hamlet Au conducting an interview with his trademarked white suit in World of Warcraft or Crap Mariner terrorizing the peaceful resorts of Blue Mars.

I’ve just scratched the surface here and I am sure others can take these ideas further. The Metaverse will potentially get much bigger if it goes in this direction. Perhaps our avatars will not have to die if our current worlds fade away.

Neda Agha SoltanI saw something today that literally tore my heart to pieces and made me cry out loud. Like many of you I am following the events in Iran closely. A revolution 30 years ago toppled a despised ruler who tried to force secularism down the throats of the Iranians. Fast forward to today and another revolution is trying to build up speed to topple an oppressive regime using fear and religion to keep people in line and obedient. Whereas the previous regime used secret police to do their dirty work the current rulers use plain clothes militia (Basiji) that are really no better than armed thugs. With the power granted to them by their weapons and tacit approval by the government they terrorize and intimidate anyone that stands out and presents a threat.  On 20 June a 26 year old Iranian woman named Neda Agha Soltan was on the street with her music teacher watching the demonstrations when  a sniper shot her in the chest with a high power weapon. In less than 2 minutes she died from her traumatic injuries, nothing could have saved her. This is a video of her last moments. Watch it. This is what the enemy of freedom does to it’s enemies. If you turn your back it will come for you and your loved ones. This lovely woman was some body’s daughter. She could represent anyone’s daughter, sister, or wife.

If you can do something, do it! If not, then talk about it, share it. Tell your president this should not stand.

When you look at this video her eyes look at the camera phone at first. She is looking at all of us.

KONA Radio in the news!

A while back I was interviewd for VR Style Magazine June 2009 Issue. The issue is now out and can be found here . The interview can be found on page 142-145. All in all a pretty nice article. Maybe a bit brief but I’ll take the publicity where I can.  In the interview I stressed on how I tried to stay in touch with the SL community through DJ gigs, SL based sponsorships, promoting our “hometown artist” and sharing the music where I can. I recall as a youth hearing community radio stations that interacted with the locals. That is increasingly becoming a rarity nowadays. DJs and sales staff are being whacked left and right in favor of canned and syndicated programming. Those old fashioned mom and pop radio stations do exist. The other day I was exploring the great plains in Google Map and stumbled across a wiki link for Rugby, North Dakota, the geographic center of the North American continent. Seems they have their own radio station. Visit this link  KZZJ and explore the site a bit and you’ll get the picture on how radio used to be.

New KONA gear