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The buzz at the Structure 08 reception yesterday evening on Pier 38 was surrounding a scheduled speech by communications network heavy James Crowe, CEO of Level 3, who rarely appears in public. The speech has started — but late, and without Crow, who complained of the flu. Vice chairman Buddy Miller took the podium in Crowe's stead, stating that Level 3 truly believes Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash will come true, though not fast enough to save Second Life. Maybe if Crowe could have attended as an avatar, he wouldn't have gotten such stagefright. [GigaOm]