Saturday, 30 April 2011

Four Years of Soror Nishi

It was four years ago, while showing some of my oil paintings in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, that I got to hear about Second Life and how I could try and sell my paintings online. I soon found out that, better than that I could actually create some of my attempts at portraying archetypal Jungian images, in 3D.

..and so began a long process of learning...

This first image, by the talented photographer Lem Skall shows the build I did for Orange, French Telecom..

...and his image of a sea stack I made on my own beach in Lifstaen...

...and the floating shop I built there where my trees and plants were for sale.

Mab gave me the first chance to do a whole sim of my work.. at Magoo

..filmed by the talented ColeMarie Soleil

At IBM I had an exhibition, called Tree of Trees....and made this slide show...

Then, earlier this year I made my first real machinima of the work that I had done in InWorldz...

I have been helping out with content on a proper film, Vlogger, but that will not be edited before June ... and it's NDA stuff, so I'll have to wait to tell about that...

My machinima of Transubstantiation is still awaiting some music, so, until then, for those who haven't seen it (it closes tonight, Saturday)...

..a few images...

...and now, courtesy of Jeri Rahja, Twisted Isle is my current work in progress over on InWorldz...

...this is the first glimpse...

You'll be seeing a lot more of this build when it gets somewhat nearer completion.

The future, well, I could do with better software, Final Cut X Pro comes out in June at a much more reasonable price.... and zBrush, well, I would need a little windfall for that. If the current worlds we create in don't provide a better resolution in the coming years, I may seriously consider Eve Online, even if I'm not BattleStar Hero material .... we need better graphics for the next step ... maybe .... old fashioned paper and paint work for me too.

I'm not gonna wax lyrical about Content Creation, the hours and energy I have put into 3D worlds more than eloquently expresses my love for the medium ...

...and the help, support and love my friends have provided goes without saying.


The Wedding

Coffee and philosophy don't mix.

I nearly put my socks in the dishwasher this morning while making coffee as I was mulling over the Alchemical significance of The Wedding, specifically Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz....

On a more mundane scale I was pleased to see that Kate wasn't wearing a terrible creation like Diana's wedding dress, an outfit so poorly designed it could only have been worn in the 80's, but the Principle Bridesmaid Pippa was the best dressed person there... well, it's all a matter of taste [I feel strange agreeing with The mail on this]. My fashion sense isn't mainstream enough for me to even blog about it .... I'll leave that to the Normal People.

Nor was I musing about why Harry hadn't got a decent AO and walked like a noob ... I was musing on the trees.

For those of you who have escaped seeing the TV or newspaper images, the Abbey was decorated, in part, with trees...[eight 20 foot maple trees] to very good effect. The Tree, both Philosophical and natural was inspirational, instrumental, in the design of the load-bearing columns of this, and probably most, buildings..... but introducing them again into this most prim-heavy of structures was a triumph of the subconscious.

No matter what conscious reasons we have for employing an archetype in our everyday existence, the subconscious which is both older and wiser than the conscious mind is the instigator of design inspiration ("making decisions").

The act of bringing the Tree into the House has it's origins in pagan tradition, even preceding the Alchemical era, as the Tree housed gods in a pantheistic world view ..... still maintained by many to this day.

So, the whole effect was to stir both pagan and Alchemical images in a day devoted to the synthesis of prince and princess, watched by millions. The universal power of this archetype (the Royal Wedding) is confirmed factually by the number of people who watched it, by the power this still holds in the collective unconscious, and always will do.

It wasn't a day to explore the problem with the institution of marriage, namely that the Individual can get smothered by the needs/demands of The Couple.

The need for Antithesis to balance the Synthesis on the path to self-knowledge is a chat to be had after the Great Romantic Love PR machine is finished and gone to bed.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Linden Lab Shake It Up.

In an effort to convince the world that Second Life is a great place for intellectuals, artists and builders alike, Linden Lab today makes it possible for your thighs to wobble as much in SL as they might do in RL.

“We figured you don’t really need Chat or Search if you have great tits” said a spokesman.

Anticipating an influx of noobs with boobs the Welcome Areas were awash with thugs, as usual, and bloggers waiting to get this fresh flesh as it arrived.

Said one noob “now I have real boobs I will stay here forever and spend loads of money”, so that just goes to show... the Lab was right.

Nipple manufacturers, however, were not happy bunnies...” This is another business LL has wrecked” said one. [prim nipples won’t stay in the right place from now on].

Both concurrency, the economy, and and lag are expected to now improve, and the Labs share price took a bounce today as market sentiment greeted this latest technological innovation.

A Wall Street analyst put it this way..”well, it seems like the Boys have taken the technological lead again, no more second place for Second Life. This is a game-changer.”

Both the MarketPlace and transactions were off-line today for a few hours, after the latest rolling restart, while the tech guys played with their tits, an insider told me.....

....and I guess a boob joke is in order....

...but I really can’t be bothered.


Monday, 25 April 2011

Pictures from a Party InWorldz.

Well, I didn't manage to get good shots of everyone, some just turned out crap...sorry...

Mera, Birthday Girl, did manage better with her

I really enjoy going to spontaneous things like that. It was a great night. Witty banter, the stuff dance floors used to be filled with before people drowned out chat with those annoying gestures and sounds like farting whales..... [who thinks any tune is improved by the sound of a bullhorn ... (maybe a few exceptions)]... it was a great gang of people...

Thanks to Jim for the music.

Great way to spend a Fertility Festival night..... tho the rumours are unsubstantiated.....


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Blogosphere round-up....

This is a Bunny Free Zone..... [is Bunny Jam actually a Terrine au Lapins?]
Just a little compilation of some stuff you may not have caught this week.

The ongoing testing of Phlox, InWorldz new script engine continues. 67 avatars dancing around on a sim is a sort of record as far as I have heard apart from a one-off University experiment last year sometime. ...more details here.
...and that sort of got me thinking about the new ARC board that Indigo posted about (via Chestnut).
This new scripted board gives a list of local avatars and the number of prims (basically) they are wearing. It strikes me, however, that this is just another DIY system. By that I mean that instead of me being able to wear what I want in SL, the lag being the responsibility of the Boys to sort out, the inference is, like Hamlet's post, that it is us that are responsible.
Don't get me wrong, I am happy to help to un-sabotage the platform/sim, but isn't it down to the Boys to make it possible for me to wear what I want?? improve the script engine..??

Anyway, it does seem that the Advertising Revenue is starting to flow, as seen below....

This arrived in my email....[I love this bit..."By accepting our ToS you have agreed to accept emails...etc]

Well, I have always said that Viewer 2 is all about advertising... good luck to them.

I would imagine it will be a long time before their viewer is as popular as Phoenix, and my personal favourite, Imprudence which has just released the latest/last upgrade, 1.4.0 and one I hope to be using for a very long time, in InWorldz if not in SL.

Full sim radar. That’s right, not just the radar in the mini-map. Changes to the mini-map are forthcoming, but in the meantime you can access the new radar window from the Advanced menu > Full Radar

Login and passwords now saved for each grid. No more having to re-enter your first/last/username and password when you login to a different grid! Usernames are also now stored in the grid manager (grids that want to support usernames can enable their entry by adding the boolean “username_compat” to their grid info).

Inspect now shows last owner as well as script and object count (depending upon server performance, this can tricky).

Imprudence now supports SOCKS 5 proxies.

Set your Imprudence tag color. You can change your tag color in Preferences > Advanced. (Only affects what you see on your computer, not what other people see.)

New preferences for color and behavior of particle clouds in Preferences > Advanced > Eye Candy.

Debug Settings are now searchable.

In other news...well, the Cloud had a bit of a thunderstorm.... Amazons Cloud thingy was down and all the eggs that had been put in one basket were offline... for two days, so far, which must have cheesed off more than a few peeps. Full report here.

My own Soror News involves a very nice photo on Karro Lean's blog, here.... and Koinup announcing, in conjunction with MondiVirtuali, that I am Graphic Dreamer of the Week. Thank you all for your kind words.

I had a visit at Transubstantiation (closes on the 30th) of Hexx from Born Again Pagans who may well do a piece of music for my upcoming machinima of the build... Great news.

..and I popped over to Tesco's new Grid, which I believe is gonna be a gambling grid (as the USA won't allow anything so awful to happen online they will probably clean up). It's on OS with Hypergrid enabled, but although they offered me a sim (no money) I am not sure how much I wanna do for free on a grid where there is no, not very impressed.. (no mod skin and shape too, which really annoys me as you may have gathered from earlier posts).

So I took my few items back.... I have started on a new build on one of Jeri's sims in InWorldz at Twisted Isle and it is more than enough to keep me going for now ... and will probably show a few things at Raglan Shire.

Last, but not least, announcement by ColeMarie's new group of a competition for Excellent, except for theme, (in my opinion, "The Human Condition" cliche makes me wanna throw up) ... and the cash is real dollars, not Linden Peanuts.

..and remember... "Always look on the bright side of death, even when you draw your terminal breath.."'ll have that tune stuck in your head now....

So....Happy Spring Festival....

...and Dr. Who!!!


Friday, 22 April 2011

Blender is Easy ... how to....

...make a mushroom.

Well, as I have said before, a lot of Blender tutorials are far too complicated. In this following video I am going to show you not how Blender works, but how to make something.

No hot keys, no shortcuts, no explanation of techniques you will never use.

Watch the video, pause it when you need to...


Then watch this video. [I seem to have managed to undelete a bit at the beginning, so it starts a bit messy...sorry. I'm not re-doing it cos it took ages to upload thanks to my ISP which works with steampunk efficiency]

It is 10 minutes long, but, obviously it might take you longer to do. I did, however, forget to tell you to save your work every 10 minutes or so...just in case. If it all goes wrong,...just start again....

Then...this next video shows you how to upload a sculpt map to a Virtual World, many of you already know how to do that.....its a short little clip.

Now, for the texturing, I will do a short video (below)...I have already done a series of workshops for texturing sculpties on this blog..... but none of them fit exaclty what you will need for these mushrooms.....

one... basic advice about textures
two... this is more about putting several textures on one prim, altho...if you don't have Photoshop or Gimp, you could photograph this and use it as a texture...I guess.. and the results of that
three this one is about using a test pattern, and to manipulate a sculptie map to use it as a texture....
four all about the colour orange and the spectrum
five is about making a texture seemless, and some messing about in Gimp.

Well, it turned out to be 7 minutes, not that can see the cogs of my brain working at times...but then .. that is how I work.

I would, if I was going to show this mushroom, print off the texture and paint it with water colour paints before I actually showed it to anyone, but this is a tutorial.... the idea is that you get the basics...refinement takes a few years..:))

I am very happy to do a bit of individual tuition inworld for anyone that gets stuck on any of the bits...or..maybe a class if there are enough people who want to go further with it.

have a good Easter...


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Blog stuff..... Negativity and Positivity

Now, it's easy for people, it seems, to mistake criticism for negativity.... and I hate to see naivety heralded as a virtue, or blind acceptance as being superior to a healthy cynicism.

As has been said often enough before, (Brinda comes to mind) "those that are the most critical of Second Life are often is greatest advocates"... or words to that effect. Miso is a case in point in her recent, eloquent post....but...her next post, which we have been discussing will turn all that on its head, being positive and constructive. This doesn't mean that she has had a change of heart, it simply means that the good and the bad of any situation are obvious if you look.

Things are Really Bad in a relationship when you can't even be bothered to criticise, that's The End. Like with Blue M'arse.... I have zero interest in who is CEO, it is dead. Period. Buried. and App'ed. Yawn.

There are things which have happened recently in SL which are crap, in my opinion, and nothing anyone can say will change my mind, poor noobs being called Resident is one (and Despair Names messing up Search even more), and the retrograde steps taken toward 2D interaction (FB and Marketplace) are two that spring to mind.

The mindlessness of voice morphing (being about the last thing anyone I know would put on their wish list when so much else is broken) and the wobbling about of 'bingo wings' (UK slang) and flabby thighs being another...BUT.. I am not the standard user...sooo...I accept that these do nothing to spoil my enjoyment of SL, and ignore them. Rodvik didn't use "chat repair time" for this, another team did it.....

I am, however, very pleased by two things this week, maybe more... coming from the Boys.

This is one....and, although it is missing a black guy, a furry and a dragon, oh, and a robot, it is without doubt a long awaited improvement..... let's hope they are all fully mod, unlike SpotOn3D which was a bit crap.... see blogpost....somewhere...

Now, the second piece of news is...Rodvik. He has actually been talking to people. ...people I know, not the FIC, just Tweeps. That is a sea change. I pointed out before 10,000 people who have spent 3 years in SL have a common knowledge base of 30,000 years... not to be sniffed at....thats a lot of hours.

Now, as Jim reported... here.... if there is one subject that could really, really do with a rethink by the Boys and a U-turn, its the mentor programme, again, often clearly promoted by Brinda, and discussed on Twitter by Rod et al. Some very good comments and more than a little connected to my post... "Can You Save SL?"

LadySakai: @rodvik @InaraPey Good Luck on that one Rodvik. May I recomend mentors? They are amazing in InWorldz. Makes ppl feel right at home
rodvik: @LadySakai @InaraPey Thanks, I will go look see how it works.

Now, I assume that the Boys know exactly what needs to be done in terms of repairing the damage... they know how many patches have patches which are patched, and how threadbare some parts of the code are. Some of the Boys are more aware of it than their bosses, thats why the more modern companies look to, and award, employees for useful suggestions. This has not been the case with LL if Glassdoor is to be believed. That has to change, or they'll end up as a phone app too..... but according to one Linden I spoke to there is the common LL belief that Rod can do it..

What the Boys don't know, and have no way of finding out except thro their user base is how much the other grids are improving the facilities for builders and creators... because most of them can't build a rock.

Hence my ongoing nagging.

That there is a whole range of NPISL (not possible in second life) builds which will draw people to other grids is frankly stoopid.
I detailed ... here ... the details, or some of them in a straight up InWorldz vs. Second Life list. Now, even assuming that the Boys are still lost in their mental trauma of Megaphobia, the ability to hollow a prim to 99%, or size it to 0.001m could be very easily acheived. The limit on linking prims, currently 32 meters is gonna be useless when mesh comes out (the max size is likely to be 64 meters meaning you won't be able to link it to anything...) IWz I can link up to 256 meters, and thousands of prims, not the 256 SL limit.

Anyway....I'll keep plugging away.

The desire to see YadNi's new Mont St Michel took me to Reaction Grid.... so I went...

Unfortunately I couldn't find it. 8 people online and no search, no map, no nothing... I gave up. Made me realise how far InWorldz has come...and again, why a single mentor would have been great. YadNi didn't choose Reaction, he was commissioned. It has a high enough prim count to make it possible, but its buggy to say the least.

Luckily YadNi is building the famous Sagrada Familia by Gaudi on InWorldz, so I'll just have to be patient, and get a guide next time I go to Reaction.

Now, in other news, and slightly at odds with the above talk of better building tools for SL, is a great post by Ener Hax who, as usual has cut through the fog to a clear comment regarding Diva Canto's blog... namely...

"Everything in Unity3D seems designed to support professional scene creations, whereas everything in SL seems designed to support amateur content." [Diva Canto]

Ener rightly points out that it's not the tools, but the content that matters... so...... tools are a minor thing in the Boys eyes, I understand most people come to SL for sex, but my wish list is none the less a relevant topic, and one I must add to..... and you are welcome to, too. If SL don't use it, maybe another grid will.

In other, totally unrelated news.....I had heard, ages ago, about IBM closing grids, so that came as no surprise... the only other bit of news that you might be interested in, seeing how much I have ranted about privacy is this piece on Ars. Maybe the tide is turning for privacy issues.... well, we can but live in hope...

The cynic in me says 'don't hold your breath'...

Have a great week.


Saturday, 16 April 2011

Gimp Paint Studio

Well, I have only just discovered Gimp Paint Studio whereas many of you may have been using it for ages.... For those of you that haven't I just recorded a little view of the extended tools available... not that I have really had time to explore all the possibilities.

I already have a load of new brushes, gradients and patterns, from GPS, with a load of new fonts I downloaded previously from 1001 Free Fonts..

Gimp Paint Studio has a load of better videos than I could make including installation and download vids..... and you'll see I have kept with the old Gimp skin rather than use his trendier UI...'s just a heads up...

....more later.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Objects, Identity and Advertising.

I can fully understand that there are times when you get bored of social life, I do. I have relationships with objects, of a sort... I make them, paint them and sell them. I call them plants etc. .. my generic term is Flora Virtua Exotica, a term Kaltusaran and I thunk up for our first shop.

I find objects called baby, bunny, horse..etc. a difficult one. I would not personally be happy with keeping a baby in my invent. I find it creepy. I don't have any problem with people that do. I also have two good friends who were Bunny Addicts, and I blogged about them, sometime. Now, my friends weren't happy about keeping their animals locked up in their invents either.

The latest edition of Sandbox, LL's Attempt To Make SL More Interesting, should be renamed Litter Tray as it is featuring animals as the New Thing. Now luckily LL's advertising is so poor that it probably won't succeed. I say 'luckily' because if 100 people a day start a bunny collection (other creatures are available) which multiplies to 10 creatures (as bunnies do), then by the end of the year SL would be the proud owners of 365,000 lag making bundles of fun (not the fast kind).

SecondLie suggested that LL was trying to increase concurrency by increasing lag so that everything takes longer to do inworld. Breedables could achieve that.

..but, seriously folks, Crap has a wonderful set of adverts on his blog, here. .... not sure why humour is so missing in the lab. Anyway, Paisley blogged something similar at the same suggesting that the Boys draw on the huge pool of talent available instead of half-assed attempts.

This is all very reminiscent of the podcast that Toxic, Chantal and Phaylen did..... tho it does seem that while the sims and prims of LEA are still locked in a few elite hands, the LEA will host a machinima event... I feel like I should say "about time".

However, the more I think about VWs and the reason so few stay, the more I am gravitating towards the psyche rather than the viewer. By that I mean the reasons are psychological rather than technological.

There are people who cannot stand the idea that their avatar cannot be the same height as their RL bio body. This is not a handful, many share the same angst..... I blogged about this post a good while back. I believe the author and those commenting, bewailing the height problem, are just the tip of the iceberg.

This was bought back to me while reading the huge number of comments about Kitely on Eners blog of last week, where Gaga pointed out that FaceBook is for those more comfortable in their RL personas..... or words to that effect.... This lead me to wonder if this was the reason for such a marked clash of opinions between those for and against FB connection to VWs.

It takes a particular type of psyche to enjoy role play, and all avatar based platforms are role play, even if you think you are playing yourself. The so-called RL persona is a construct, one fabricated over decades. To leave that behind and start again is an act of courage I think, which demands a certain confidence.

If, and like all theories it doesn't exclude other views.... if all fear (like death and/or going mad) is basically the fear of disintegration of the Self, of identity, then I could see how clutching to "Real Life" is important. The height of my avatar could be important, and making my avatar as Real as possible would be vital....BUT.... a person truly insecure in their own identity would never, ever, enjoy living an avatar life.... nor role play, nor fancy dress...

Now, as I said, it's just a theory. However, if there is an element of truth in that, then no amount of advertising is gonna help. Not even the Labs last attempt "Become Your Avatar" (a philosophically illogical concept, except in the film 'Avatar' which entailed killing your RL self....slightly dramatic and not, surely what LL was advocating ).

If even partly true.... VW's are a niche market, and the Boys should abandon The Myth Of Ten Million Users.

Making SL into an extension of FB's FunnyFarm is doomed to fail.... remember Avatars United? yeh, me neither.

Why can't they just accept the numbers and make it profitable...


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Feathers and others...

Just a few news bites....

The first, I have to say, was a bit of a shock, following the announcement about AM Radio closing his sims, and now, I read today that Feathers Boa is going to leave SL too.

I guess that is rather indicative of the 'enui' that comes to long term users.... the "why am I still here" issue is one that surely hits us all some days....and then, unexpectedly, a friend gives you the giggles or you see some stunning piece of art, or Blender calls...

Those of you who are, like me, Selavy fans should check out her ongoing piece at her residency, she adds something every day...

Harper amused me with her thought that a 4th rezzday makes you middle aged...:)))... nice post here..... well, I may be losing my edge too... [/me needs to go shopping again]..

....and last but not least.... a new announcement from Apple yesterday could put Final Cut (Pro X ) within the financial reach of even poor machinimists as it's due to be released in June for $299 rather than the $999 cost of Final Cut Pro.... geek reactions here.

...more later... got a full week...


Monday, 11 April 2011

/my bad, Blogger bug

I have only just discovered, sorry, that Blogger has installed a spam filter which cannot be disabled.

Therefore there are some, Miso, Maria, Johnny and others who have had their comments delayed, or, now doubled.

I hope this won't happen again, and I apologise, but Blogger has been daft too in not providing an Off button, much to many users disgust.

Seems like they refuse to be drawn into an argument about it saying it is "good for the user"



Can You Save SL?

The day started for me with news via Tateru and Alphaville Herald of the latest figures on concurrency. Bad news.

Basically, in spite of attracting 10,000 new users per day it is managing to hold on to less than the number of people leaving.... well, so it seems.

...and tied to this is a very interesting debate around the mobbing and griefing of noobs as they arrive, unprepared, into a pack of idiot griefers.... there have been a few posts on this recently. Theia Magic's post is interesting in that it has started the debate of whether or not it is our job to go and save these poor souls, grabbing them from the wolf pit and whisking them off somewhere to help get them started on their Second Life.

I know both Theia and Wizzy have been on such mercy missions, and I applaud their altruism.

I have spent many hours, especially a few years ago, helping noobs do the most basic things they need to before they can get around and it was a very nice thing to do. Very time consuming, but nice. I was helped on my first days in SL, Carmen Zinner, Ciin Babii, and Luvit More came to my rescue when I needed a mentor, and I have managed to thank them, and to pay forward with my efforts too.

So, I would fully support the call to action, i.e. going down to the Arrival Hell and helping, but..... and this is an interesting point..... I feel a bit like one of the commenters on Theia's blog when he says....hey, its LL's job, they should police the sim. Now, I didn't feel like that a year ago. I currently feel that we are supposed to do more than our fair share, take the whole JIRA thing for example....we are the maintenance team, we (some of us) build or improve the software, we fill the Marketplace for LL to take 5% sales tax, and we defend them when they get slated in RL should we now also help offset some of the damage done by LL when they disbanded the Mentors (because it was too much trouble for them to police) .... while paying for the privilege??

Now, as I said previously, I didn't feel like this two years ago..... and that is the interesting thing.

My change in attitude is why SL will fail.

Well, to be precise, the reasons behind my change in attitude are probably indicative of why there is a lull now in the amount of time we spend in SL. It no longer feels like my home, which is why I moved out. I still have one foot in SL but I suspect that will change when Viewer 1.23 gets the final chop.

InWorldz has a group of pleasant volunteers who welcome noobs and show them to the freebie store, give them LMs and generally are nice to new visitors......

How difficult can it be??

Such a waste of a good company, and I hate waste...


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sunday Blogwatch.

The Lab, FB, sex and Avatar Rights....... in no particular order.

Well, actually, let's start with the Boys.... no Lab-Bashing (not much, anyway) but the suggestion, first mooted here at the time of the buy-out rumours, namely that the best owners of SL would be it's citizens, us. Kanomi has presented this idea in a sensible manner rather than my glib, throw-away-line-style of, and the idea was taken up by NWN later in the week.

However, with the SLCC 2011 now being held in San Francisco, rather than in London (a rumour I am sure I heard somewhere...) I wouldn't expect a huge number of peeps from the Old World. It is about as far away as it is possible to get from us.

...and still on the LL meme, a new blogger, Emma Geraln, has voiced her opinions on the First Hour Experience... good to have a new voice in the debate.

Talking of debates, there has been a very heated one on iliveinsl about Kitely. Now, reading the 87 comments kept me up way past my summarise..

1) a bunch of people hate FB and see that as a major hurdle..
2) the PR machine/bloggers have got people interested before Kitely had stocked its shelves properly
3) some people just like to argue.

My own comment got eaten by the system and as it was late at night, I gave up... discussing the idea that FB is the Best Thing Since Elasticated Panties... I commented...

"Where does this myth come from? The one that states that more is better? TV has more users than FB ... so should we go for a remote control VW on TV?

130,000 people 'liked' SL because they could not access the site before they 'liked' it.....and what good will 130,000 Likes do for me, or any other SL user? 10,000,000 users too stupid to download a viewer will not improve SL, or any other VW .... sorry, I don't buy into 'the more the merrier' myth.

When you make something easy to do, like producing music at home for example, you get an exponential growth in the weight of crap music around. How may of the trillians of photos posted online should have been deleted?

Easy does not equal good...... it just equals more.....and, really, like Kitely, SL is not ready to take more, it can't even service the 'few' users it already has."

Posted here as the whole FB myth is alive and kicking in LL too. sex/gender.... Tateru has bravely started a discussion, via BitMob, on the role of girls and women in warfare games.

My position on this has been posted before as I am firmly of the belief that their is a smaller difference between the genders than is culturally supposed, both biologically and psychologically we are close, very close. Semenya, the South African athlete was a case in point, she ran too fast to be a woman...Duh!!.... where's the logic in that.

Lastly, a developing discussion on avatar rights as outlined by Ralph is developing on The Lawbringer's blog which might be worth keeping an eye on.....

That should keep you busy if you feel the need to catch up ... or just log on and chill...


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Telepathic Swamp Lilly

Well, I have been a bit slow on my blog this week again.... Wednesday, the UWA awards thingy saw me presented with a Norden Art Award courtesy of Flora Nordenskiold, and many thanks to her for that.... full list of winners here.

I realised that the two new products that are for sale now, The Telepathic Swamp Lilly and the Carpet Tree (has not yet migrated to IWz) haven't even been mentioned on my blog and so I now rectify that blog lag....thus...

The Telepathic Swamp Lilly features prominently in Transubstantiation, my latest build .... the philosophy of which has attracted some discussion by Botgirl and Aaron P to mention just two.

The Carpet Tree is currently only available at Nishi Disposals, along with the Telepathic Swamp Lilly, which is also available on my island in InWorldz.

I hope you enjoy them.


Friday, 8 April 2011

Net neutrality....why you should care.

“WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives approved a measure on Friday that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from regulating how Internet service providers manage their broadband networks, potentially overturning a central initiative of the F.C.C. chairman, Julius Genachowski.” ... this from the New York Times.. more here.

It’s one of these seemingly less important things that go through the legislative process while people are worrying about other stuff and fail to notice.

What does it mean? Well, instead of your internet service being inferior to a rich persons service, currently you both receive the same service ....... instead of Google being faster to load than this blog, we both load at the same speed ........... it’s called Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is about to become a thing of the past.

In the future you will have to pay more for the service you now receive, and, the more you pay, the better your service..... (think of it like small shops being squeezed out of existence and huge Malls taking over the town....familiar?)

Now, there are some that think that a fair and even distribution of services is a Communist agenda, but I think of it more like the old Public Libraries, i.e. information is available to rich and poor as a basic human right. No one living in a poor nation or situation should be unable to access information, teaching and knowledge.

We may not be able to stop poverty. Poverty is a situation caused by so many factors beyond one person or groups ability to rectify. Education though, specifically the Internet, did promise to be a major factor in lifting people who wanted to learn out of ignorance, independent of their background. I know the Internet isn’t the only way to gain knowledge, but it could have been a very useful tool.

If America decides to go ahead with this idea of different classes of provision dependent on payment it will find that not all (European) nations will go along with this, alternative systems will arise and we will have an US and Them situation.

I feel that in the long term this will not be to America’s advantage.

This expensive tiering of American services will simply make the rest of the world look elsewhere for suitable provision, while short-term it will seem to be fine as there are enough US customers to provide a very healthy income for the companies concerned.

Although the closing of European offices by LL has, seemingly, had little financial effect on SL, it still leaves a taste of alienation in my mouth.....

[Europeans see the average US citizen as being very insular regarding the rest of the world, which is natural considering the size of the continent. ...(I do not regard the average European to be much better, but many European countries share borders with other countries..... internationalism is built into our culture).]

.... and I expect that this latest move will do the same on a larger scale for a larger internet population.... why not use an Iceland-based server/search engine/cloud/auction site (for example).... we are a very mobile user base.

I think that anyone (in this case the House of Representatives) that believes that they can ignore international opinion is gonna be riding for a fall.... a slow fall, admittedly.

.... even if both the UK and US share Greed as the only real Foreign Policy....

Greed is not the only business strategy

[another Greed post]


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

80/20 blood pressure??.. maybe....

read this and wonder......

"The redesign helped Second Life reach their goal of increasing active users by 40%, to 1 million. New user attrition has dramatically decreased and accolades continue to flow in from existing users on the blogosphere. This is the biggest and most successful overhaul of the Second Life experience since its creation in 2003."

What??'s the Viewer 2.0 designers boasting about their redesign of Viewer 2.

"Usage statistics showed that over 50% of new users who register and download the Second Life viewer log in once and never go back a second time. 80/20 was asked to redesign the viewer to address attrition with new users but without alienating existing users. Secondly, the company wanted to broaden the appeal of the product and make it more attractive for corporate and educational use."

So....along comes three bright young Boys....

"80/20 evaluated the Second Life user experience and concluded that the redesign needed to be drastic. Cosmetic changes to the existing viewer were not going to be enough. The team designed a new viewer based on the browser paradigm, so that it was instantly recognizable by anyone who starts the app. The browser analogy made it easier for new users to navigate, explore and get immersed in the Second Life environment. As for the second challenge of engaging businesses and educators, the team added new productivity features such as VOIP functionalities to enhance virtual meetings, conferences and classes."

and the 2 Andies and one Jerry would "love to hear from you".... at this email.....

They have heard from me.


A Week unblogged...

Yes, I've been a bit slack on the blogging front... so time to make up for that.

ColeMarie, who I have mentioned more than a dozen times here in dispatches, has won the prize of Iz 30,000 for the best machinima of Gulliver's World, a sim by Ub Yifu on one of Jeri Rahja's sponsored sims in InWorldz. Jeri was the generous sponsor of the prize money too. I am also a judge on the photography prize... the results of which will be announced shortly.

If you don't know Cole, I did a nice interview with her on Koinup when I used to blog for them. She is, as I have said before, a very talented machinimist who has used this as a new medium rather than trying to make a poor video [the stage that I am still at], and manages, as she did/does with photographs, to raise the bar. I first blogged about her 3 years ago, almost exactly to the day regarding photographs.

On the subject of photographs....

...this one amused me. Giancarla Loon, a very good friend and customer of long standing came to visit me at Transubstantiation, juggling dog, monkey and baby..... but the look on my face seems to express my own feelings on motherhood... or is it just projection?

I guess I would rather be Rock and Roll....

....this was a brief interlude in my crazy build mania of last week.

...and I also managed to pop over to Betty Tureaud's build at Pirats too...

I tried to find out why the SL forum peeps are so dismayed at Rodvik's 'desertion' to FB, some of them felt like they had been jilted... but in order to get in to the pages it seems like you must "Like" them first, which I was pretty disgusted by really. Well, not REALLY disgusted, but, I mean, if that's the only way you can be liked....hmmm... well, you know what I'm sayin'.

Still, the idea that bouncing boobs is gonna reinvigorate SL is kinda worse really. Most of those that use TPV's already have enough wobble to satisfy. I can imagine the following promo video spawning a new wave of noobs with pink balloons pinned to their trouser fronts....

Always good to know LL is trying to enrich the worlds intellectual and cultural life....

Still, now that they have advertised for a new Social Media Guru [guru is sooo 90's] then I guess they will figure out what to do with a few 'likes' on FB... how to monetarise, to quote Miso.

Miso has done a marathon post on Rebecca Black, here who, it seems, has got the media and bullies out in force to tell each other how terrible her first song is...well....seems a mite unfair. My first painting was crap too (I guess), and , if she was your daughter you'd be proud.....and 84 million hits is not to be sniffed at.

Nepherses has done a great post about the native flora of VWs for the plant buffs amongst you... I did blog a bit about Dark Moon earlier last month....
.... and it's well worth a visit.

Now, on the art scene there is soo much going on I have totally lost track, I will have to blog about who is doing what with whom and where at some future time when I have my Blogger's Hat on... currently I'm a bit post-natal... (but bearing up...thank's to those of you who said such nice things about the build).

Well, that should do for a bit, sorry it's a bit all over the place...:)) "normal service will be resumed..."...hehehheehe


Monday, 4 April 2011

Transubstantiation, some pics.

Yep, it's open...

..and there were 140 visitors on the first day...

Many thanks, of course, to the UWA and Jayjay for the prims.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Transubstantiation opens today....whenever...

I actually hate being told how to look at stuff... but for those of you who like to play with their windlight, these are the settings I used when building.... just sayin'...

Midnight, water reflections on, if your graphics card will take it... and..

Well, I put this together in 48 hours as I didn't have ages to play around, I have the sim for just one month....

oh,'s here.

I hope you enjoy it... more stuff on the previous post.


Saturday, 2 April 2011


Some thoughts about my new build at UWA.., which I have called Transubstantiation.

Now, in the normal course of events I build a piece without much of a ‘back story’ and rely on my feelings for composition, colour etc to compose a piece that has a volumetric balance to it.

I’ve been doing this since I was about 5 or 6 I think and I just try to obey ‘the Law of Volumes and Lines”, if such a law exists.... it seems to, in my eyes.

So, any theory is really a sort of post-rationalisation of what I have built, though it does actually inform the details and some choices I make in the latter stages of finishing a piece, giving, hopefully, a meaning for myself if no-one else.

Some theories are more than just passing intellectualism for me and form the basis of a personal theology.

Considering the prim as Increatum, I had the following to say prior to my build at Magoo...

“Paracelsus was the first person to coin this word, using it to define the "uncreated" which is basically what it means.

"Prima Materia", an Alchemical concept, is what everything is made of, literally the First Matter. Now, according to alchemists, the Prima Materia is what you start The Work with, and through diligence, ritual, and devotion you turn base matter into gold.

Now, as this Matter is "the root of itself" (radix ipsius) it bears a (projected) resemblance to the godhead in that it, like Uroboros, "fertilises and gives birth to itself".

It is the Uncreated Creation. A god.

Now....let’s fast forward a few hundred years to Second Life..... The Prim.

The Prim is the Prima Materia of Second Life, everything is made of this "stuff", and like alchemy (often called The Art) we can, through diligence, ritual and devotion turn this humble prim into pure gold. "Everything is made by prim and without prim is nothing made that was made."

The Prim is an uncreated creation.

The Prim "fertilises and gives birth to itself".

The Prim is Increatum. ....

i.e....... the Prim is a god.”

Taking this idea a step further in my consideration of Nature I wrote the following when I built Tree of Trees at IBM..

“There’s a thing about nature that I have been trying to express these last three years that is intrinsic to the way nature works.

Nature is economical. It takes matter and sculpts it in the most efficient manner to suit its ends.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote a book in 1790 called The Metamorphosis of Plants, in it he points out how a stem is basically a transformed leaf, as is a petal, as is a root. The basic unit of the plant is simply metamorphosed into different ‘organs’ by, as we now know, a fairly mathematical process of the changing shape and nature of the unit cell.

This process is almost identical to the one I use in Blender. I can only do one thing in Blender, namely change the distance between vertices.

In plants this is called homology and has a lot to do with why my plants in SL look as they do. All my plants have evolved in this manner from a single group of vertices in a Blender file: this is Virtual Homology.”

i.e. there is only One Prim, really..

So, in my build at UWA this thought process takes a further step when considering this process, as The Prim undergoes Transubstantiation in the artistic process.

Artists turn stones into bread and water into wine (on a good day).

Alchemists considered that the work of redemption was left unfinished by the Christian god as it basically applied simply to Mankind and not to the actual Matter of the Earth. Nature and Matter were left, they believed, to be redeemed by the Art (alchemy).

The spiritualisation of matter may be the greatest task before the artist, redeeming the atomic world to a conceptual purity, to thought, to emotion, while the Second Law of Thermodynamics charts its destruction... in that “The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum.”.

..i.e. erosion is universal, only art creates.

What does this mean?

Well, as greek mythology tells it, we humans stole The Fire of the Gods, the power to create... and were duly punished, not collectively, but poor Prometheus got severely punished by Zeus.

Because we have created virtual worlds, we act as gods.... (I am one of the gods sat here in my Olympus squabbling with the other gods and generally interfering with the lesser avatars below).

We create and destroy worlds and conjure emotion and spirituality from prims, well, actually from The Prim.

Each Prim is essentially a Cornucopia as its final manifestation is at my whim, my desire.

The Prim contains my body and my blood... my essence.

How? ....Every Prim I build is actually a REAL part of my psyche... (there is nothing virtual in this argument/statement).

.. and so this artistic process is a transubstantiation.

I am a god, The Prim is a god, I am in The Prim and I manifest through Transubstantiation.

More details on opening and location to follow when I've finished building it....