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Caprica and repurposed virtualities
By Dave Winer on Friday, February 26, 2010 at 9:55 AM.

As you may know I'm a big fan of Battlestar Galactica, as I'm sure many of you are. I was satisfied with the ending of the series, but of course disappointed that I had to give up the habit. There really hasn't been anything to fill the void.  permalink

Now I'm starting to watch the spinoff series, Caprica, which is a prequel to BSG. In it, the lead character Bill Adama is a little boy. There are lots of interesting characters, and they show you how Cylons got started, we're even there for the moment when the term was coined. Very nice touch. permalink

But there's something very clever in the series that just hit me, when I was thinking about something we could do with EC2. And it's also like the little podcasting experiment we did in May 2005, with two songs -- Dixie and Green Acres. Let me explain. permalink

It started with a website for kids that has beautiful MIDIs of famous songs for kids to sing along with. I'm kind of a big kid, so I played Dixie during one of my podcasts from the beach in Florida, and sang the words over the melody. Then Rogers Cadenhead had a great idea -- he joined me in a chorus. Then Kosso joined in. Amy Bellinger and on and on. Most of the intermediate versions are gone, but Rex Hammock's survives. It's really something.  permalink

Then I found a version of the Green Acres theme song. I played it on my stereo and sang the male part. Then I uploaded it. (I said in the blog post, "don't worry you'll know what to do.") Amy Bellinger played my version, and recorded the female part. It's all very low-tech, but it's kind of wonderful. permalink

A picture named glasses.jpgNow to Caprica. Like a lot of science fiction serials Caprica has virtual worlds. You put on some fancy glasses and visit an alternate reality where people do things they can't do in the physical world. But there's a twist. One of the characters figures out how to pack up a whole virtual reality and make it a product. Hard to explain, I guess you have to watch the show. (I don't want to explain too much, no spoilers.) permalink

But then I thought about EC2 and the nice things you can do with operating systems. permalink

They give everyone the power to create their own version of Windows and share it with others. Granted, that's not the kind of thing too many non-techies, or even techies, wake up in the morning with an overwhelming desire to do. But why not? I'm still getting used to the idea of creating my own versions of Windows, haven't even released anything yet. But since everything I'm building is open source, there's no reason someone couldn't take my package, make some changes, and then redistribute it with their customizations. Trust obviously becomes a pretty important issue here.  permalink

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