We Live in Amazing Times

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We are surrounded by the most incredible advances in technology the world has ever seen and yet we can be accused of becoming increasingly complacent about the miraculous.

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Just think about it for a second. Just over 100 years ago the Wright Brothers flew for the first time at Kittyhawk. A few weeks ago, my wife and I soared at 40,000 feet in a chair in the sky while we watched movies. Forget around the world in 80 days, we did it in 28 hours.

I watched my daughter start shaking her mobile phone in frustration because a message her friend had sent hadn’t arrived as yet. I asked her when was it sent. She replied, “A few seconds ago” and as she stormed off she yelled back, “I saw she was typing!” I presume this explained everything.

I first got online back in the 80’s and I remember sending email around the world via the amateur radio network (remember FIDONET?). It was incredible! I could write something on my computer and 2 days later I would get a response…..how fast was that! The other day I was in a skype session and the person I was speaking with sent me an email and I calmly respond a few seconds later with, “Go it.”

I love technology and have been an early adopter of an Oculus Rift VR headset. For those of you that don’t have one…..just pay the money and get one. It will open your mind to so many possibilities. Everything from entertainment through to education will be transformed by VR. If you think domain names will be immune then think again and don’t even get me started on AR.

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Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

I’d finally done it! I’d made it through a tumultuous week to Friday. I’m not really sure why Friday’s are so special, but for me, around 6pm yesterday was one of the happiest times of the week.

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So why was Friday so special? It just so happens that earlier in the week I’d finally received my Oculus Touch Virtual Reality (VR) controllers to go with my headset. It’s been a busy time of year and all week I’ve been staring at them in their box while I coded away…..sigh…..

Yesterday, I ceremoniously removed them from their awesome packaging (it really was) set them up and took them for a spin. For those of you that are wondering, each of the VR controllers are like a sawn off X-box controller that you hold in each hand.

When I donned my headset the first thing that I noticed were my hands. They were floating in the air in front of me! When I moved my arm then my virtual hands followed. I could reach out and grab things, throw them or bring them closer to inspect them in more detail. It was like a dream come true…..I had hands!

The controllers came with a couple of games and I pointed to one of them (yes, you can point with your VR hands) to fire it up. The next thing I knew I was being taken through a tutorial on how to have combat by flinging magical fireballs at an opponent. All the time I was doing the action with my real hands and watched as my VR hands enveloped in flames before the ball of flame shot through the air.

Bringing my left arm up and squeezing my fist spawned a glowing shield that I could manoeuvre to block my opponents attacking spells. It wasn’t long before I was teleporting across platforms, shooting fireballs and dodging attacks…..simply incredible. All from the safety of my study.....thank goodness!

I finally exited the game and pointed to the Sports game. Basketball involved throwing the ball to your team mates, catching the ball and then trying to make a score. It was a bit difficult at first but I got into the swing of it in the end.

My favourite sports game was hockey…..maybe due to growing up northern Canada has something to do with it. I played the goalie, defending my goal with a glove in one hand and a hockey stick in the other. Watching the opposition pass the puck back and forth and then suddenly slapshotting it straight at me gave a real impression of the speed a goalie must have to stop scores.

 With every save the crowd roared their approval and adrenalin surged through my body. I began to really feel like I was there and I couldn’t help yelling at the opposition as I got into the spirit of the game. Thank goodness, I was home by myself otherwise I think my family would’ve thought I’d completely lost it.

It’s clear to me that VR is the future of entertainment, education and business communication. The touch controls are the next step in an immersive direction and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’re wearing tactile feedback gloves. For those of you with VR based domain names…..I think you’re on a winner….they just need a little more time.

If you have an Oculus Rift setup then feel free to friend me (my username is whizzbang…of course) as I would love to fly in a squadron of space fighters around asteroids with you.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings – Virtual Reality Consciousness

Saturday Musings – Virtual Reality Consciousness

This past weekend I’ve had a real opportunity to play around with Virtual Reality (VR) and my Oculus Rift. If you’ve never experienced VR then I would highly recommend you take the first opportunity possible…..it’s simply incredible.

Earlier in the week I downloaded the social app V-time for the Oculus. This app allows you to meet with other people and then “teleport” to a wide variety of destinations. So you could be chatting with friends in Paris (including hearing the traffic in the distance and someone playing La Vie En Rose) or look down on the Earth from the International Space station.

Rome

There are other aspects of the app that allow you to share photos in a boardroom at the top of a skyscraper. I think it’s only a matter of time before you can share a power point presentation and have a white board materialise for anyone to interact with.

International Space Station

I downloaded Chronos the other night which is a VR game where you are wielding a sword to fight off bad guys. All really cool but the best application by far would have to be the star fighter combat game, Eve Valkyrie. When you hit your thrusters and whip around the far side of an asteroid to escape a locked-on missile it’s nothing short of spectacular. The sense of actually being in a cockpit and launched out the side of a space-carrier is amazing.

When you really think about it, VR is in its infancy and everything will just get better and better. I hate to think what it will be like in a couple of years time…..and hence my decision to dive into the programming side of the Oculus.

Games and apps from other people’s imagination are great but building a world yourself is nothing short of mind blowing. So far I only have really simple objects built out of spheres and cubes but not long from now I plan on building far more complex buildings that people can explore. Why am I doing this? Because it’s the future and any online business depends on entrepreneurs being able to quickly grasp the changing opportunities that VR like technologies will provide.

If any of you have an Oculus Rift or another VR headset then let me know.....maybe we can meet online. Anyway…..I’d better get going as I have a bogey on my tail!

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Saturday Musings - Innovate or Die

Saturday Musings - Innovate or Die

When we reflect on the last hundred years of history innovation has been rampant as one breakthrough after another has succumbed to the creative talents of people who think differently.

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Think about it, just over a hundred years ago the Wright brothers flew for the first time at Kittyhawk and now humanity has been to the outer reaches of the solar system. The rate of change an innovation is simply staggering.

I found myself reflecting a lot about innovation this week because on Monday I took delivery of an Oculus Rift Virtual Reality head set. I’ve been waiting for over five months for the Oculus and it’s been twenty-two years since I first experienced VR at the Walt Disney Imagineering labs in Florida. You could say that my expectations were pretty high!

It only took a couple of minutes to setup and then I put on the head-mounted display unit for the first time. To say the experience was staggering is an understatement. The sense of being in a virtual world was completely engrossing, including feeling vertigo in a demonstration which involved standing on the edge of a skyscraper.

I fired up a futuristic star fighter flight simulator that involved being launched out of a space-carrier and into the middle of a space battle. I can look behind me, above me and forward as enemies’ wheel around my ship and try and get a missile lock. Flying behind asteroids and other structures for cover is entirely real as they swoosh past my left and right. I was really there!

An interesting thing happened to me when I left VR. I began to think about the computer generated world as being all around me. Staring at a flat monitor as I write this blog just seems so old hat now. There is one thing for sure we are on the brink of a VR revolution that will change the way we interact with computers forever.

So after my bit of playing around I downloaded Unity 3D to start to learn how to program the Oculus myself. With a bit of help from an Amazon book it wasn’t long before I donned the headset to explore a world that I had created. This was a lot more fun than flying spaceships!

I’m a firm believer that if you want to really be innovative then you need to be learning about technological advances when they are in their infancy. When the Internet was first commercialised in the early 90s I founded an ISP because I wanted to learn all there was about the Net. Likewise, I did the same thing with a broadcast technology that I developed back in early 2000.

Before founding ParkLogic I learnt a lot about domain names by being a domain investor myself. This innovative philosophy is at the heart of why ParkLogic is so successful with domain investors all across the world. We are constantly looking for new innovative ways to extract greater value from domain traffic. The reason why we never stop is we have a mantra of “Innovate or Die”.

I had a discussion with one of our team this week and he was asking why we were testing out a new monetisation opportunity. I replied by saying, “We are charged by our clients to constantly find better ways of monetising their traffic. We can’t just rely on a single source of revenue; we need to innovate for our customer’s sake or we should stop right now.”

Every day I read a synopsis of the latest innovations in technology and science from around the world. For example, quantum entanglement will not impact the domain industry in the short-term but in the long-term it’s going to change everything. Behind the scenes Artificial intelligence is now changing the way we interact with the web. How it will change the domain industry is anyone’s guess.

So the question I have for you is what have you done in your business that was different today compared to a few years ago? If you’ve been doing the same thing with your domain traffic as you’ve always done, then don’t be disappointed with poor results. Give me a call, do something different and be amazed at the outcomes at little innovation can generate.

Have a great weekend…..I know that I will because I’ve got a world to build!

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