Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Profane SL Haiku - The Contest.

The birth of an idea.... 3 of us in conference Chat...

Chat failed...

[15:56] soror Nishi: 3 cant even manage 3 pathetic
[15:56] Miso Susanowa: so couldn't we get 10 peeps together and approach Kickstarter for the funds to buy SL?
[15:56] Miso Susanowa: it isnt 3 people
[15:56] Wizard Gynoid: yesh
[15:57] Miso Susanowa: you know group works? you'll vomit.
[15:58] Wizard Gynoid: SL punk rock haiku
[15:58] soror Nishi: yesh, i do too
[15:59] Wizard Gynoid: i'm in
[15:59] Miso Susanowa: you know how group works?
[15:59] Miso Susanowa: you'll vomit. It's stupid.
[15:59] Miso Susanowa: goddamn Linden rats.

[16:00] Miso Susanowa: 5/7/5
[16:00] Miso Susanowa: hmmm
[16:00] Wizard Gynoid: LINDEN RATS in a habittrail?
[16:00] Wizard Gynoid: with messages tied around their necks.
[16:00] Wizard Gynoid: no wonder it's friggin slow

[16:01] soror Nishi: good one
[16:01] Miso Susanowa: hey i included the all-important nature image that most "haiku" writers forget
[16:01] soror Nishi: qualifies
[16:02] Miso Susanowa: yeah; they downgraded their Norvegicus hardy rats for effete interbred lab rats
[16:03] Wizard Gynoid: profane SL haiku - the Contest!

so...there ya go...

No Prize money, just glory...


My Wishlist For Future Grids.

...and yours too if you like....

1) I want to have 1024x1024 textures on skins.

2) I want to use 2048x2048 textures on large prims.

3) I want 1024X1024 terrain textures.

The first grid to do this will have such an improved look, and, I would even say I would be prepared to sacrifice a few prims per region to make this possible.

Add yours below, if you like...


This weeks news...

...or, rather, a few bits and pieces.

The InWorldz Birthday build is open from tomorrow 31st March, a fair number of people have set up some stuff to showcase the talent now residing and creating in IWz.

I actually heard someone say, (really!!)... "I am superexcited about SL8." .. well that left me slightly dumbstruck, SL5, SL6 and SL7 were all crap, so I'm extremely underexcited, myself.

...and later today the new script engine, Phlox, is due to be rolled out in IWz which, allegedly, once it's all settled down and tweeked, may be 100 to 1000 times faster than other grids.

For those of you who haven't been online much, the Kitely is big news according to some.... and just a bit of fun to others. It offers instant access to Virtual Worlds through Facebook.... and promises future development to make it an introductory experience for people too fazed to try SL or IWz. Time will tell... I do have to profess to being very sceptical to dumbed down versions of VWs simply because the graphics in VWs is poor already, so to create a virtual experience that is less than SL is really gonna be poor... (see future post... Soror's Wishlist for VW Grids)...

...on that note ... the New SL Dumb Viewer has been released, and according to doesn't work. I'm taking her word for it and not even bothering to say anything nasty about releasing Crap onto the market with your name written all over it.... shooting fish in a barrel, like I said.

If you like a good hard rant, then the Rant Prize must go to Prad ... here....and, a far more artistic anaylsis of the recent demise of an ex Blue M'arser.... by

IP stuff is still attracting comment and Aeonix Aeon in a detailed post "...Instead of actually verifying whether or not an item with IP suspected of being infringing is actually infringing, ie: the person has filed the paperwork for it to exist, Linden Lab takes a “Kill Them All, Let God Sort Them Out” approach."

...and lastly, I am starting to build at UWA on Friday... a whole sim of stuff.

In other news....Spring is springing here in RL.. flowers, leaves all that stuff and the weather was great for March.

April may be different....


Sunday, 27 March 2011

InWorldz and other Pioneers..

As Aliz said a while back...."you can tell the pioneers by all the arrows in their backs"... yep.

Well, I guess it does go with the territory but you would expect, or I would at least, that other pioneers weren't the ones with the bows. That's not the case is for the most of us. In total contradiction to a recent troll's opinions we are, as a group I think, very supportive of change, pioneering efforts and innovation. Mostly we are impatient for technology to catch up with what we 'would be able to do' if the hardware and software were better.

So it does come as a bit of a surprise that some people have decided to hold on to their negatively tainted opinions of InWorldz, often with no real basis in reality. I am particularly thinking here of a few people in Builder's Brewery building group who like to slam IWz every time something positive gets said. I have given up trying to say anything rational and just accepted that some people have alternative agendas.

When Hypergrid Business blog last week showed a rather negative tone to their post about the new Phlox script engine that IWz has developed, it was only natural that Maria was challenged on the basic premise of the blog.... namely that if IWz gets too good it will have trouble reuniting with Open Sim in the future if it wants to.... partly true, but partly rubbish.

Anyone who takes a great leap forward [this scripting engine is 100 to 1000 times faster than SL, tho it retains compatibility] is gonna leave the slow people behind. This does potentially alienate him/her from the past.... but that is exactly the point of new technology.

To present this as a negative "they may have painted themselves into a corner" situation is clearly the rubbish part. Maria implies that the future is the Hypergrid, a sentiment I partly agree with, and therefore if IWz isn't as crappy as OS it will make things difficult in the future.

I would have to pose the alternative thought...namely... if IWz can stride ahead on this baby, then future tasks will be resolved just as well. Success breeds success. No point in trying to drag the mass up to your level if you have struck out into the lead, is there?

...and, as you will see from the comments, there are people who have made their thoughts fairly clear.

Jim's Random Rants and Raves gives a very clear overview of the whole debate if you would like to read more on InWorldz and Other Grids.

This is really a major step for IWz and SL is looking more and more jaded for every new step, every new tool that IWz provides.

[I just flew up to 3000 meters without flight feather, where I started a new build, linking phantom and regular prims, anim smooth has repeat textures, ...not sure what else I haven't told you about...oh, yes.... a new IWz viewer....might be time to do another InWorldz vs. Second Life post]

Back in SL this week, myself, for a build for UWA art sim, I would have prefabbed it and linked it all if it had been in IWz, but there I'll have to wait til I get access cos the linking is still the primordial 32m.... I'll be telling you a bit more about it in the coming days...

Have a good day


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Machinima at the Transmission RL Show, London.

It was like a family reunion for artists.

When Pullit was in full swing back in 1991 we had over 300 artists on the books and had the principle of showing whoever wanted to have stuff shown. This was mainly due to the attitude of a lot of RL gallery owners who would only show established artists and then only if you played the Art Game. There were a number of debut shows and some who sold art for a first time. Shows were always a mash-up of art, music, film and performance.

So, last night was a similar event on a smaller scale than our last show back in 1991 when we had a 100,000 sq ft of space to fill and thousands of visitors, it was also, as the name suggests, a chance for Transmission. Transmitting to a younger generation what is possible when a group of artists armed only with passion can achieve.

There was a lot of hugging went on, but, for those of you who read these pages it was the VW connections that are the most interesting.

In 'The Exploding Cinema", a small theatre adjacent to the main gallery a steady stream of art films were to be shown during the evening. I was also able to show a few machinima slotted inbetween the more conventional stuff.

Arm Strom, Leontubruk Beaumont, Mab Macmoragh, Toxic Menges and I had machinima screened to a revolving audience of 20 to 30 people, mostly film buffs.

I was interested, beforehand, to see how our offerings stood up to the world of more traditional methods of filming, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

The quality was in many cases superior on the machinima to film/video camera efforts even when projected onto a screen which was about 12 feet wide (guess), and the sound tracks were at least as good. The Born Again Pagans soundtrack and the slow speed of my InWorldz machinima received a few positive comments.

The machinima, which I took on a memory stick, had to be burnt onto DVD first as someone had forgotten the right cable.

Where the machinima really surpassed the film was in the realm of content. Because of the limited resources than young or amateur film makers have to make do with, their work has to really be good to get over the rather grey lighting and commonplace stage sets commonly available.... and although avatars have nothing like the freedom of movement that biologically based actors possess, they have much greater possibilities in how they look.

There was, though, a slight confusion amongst the more computer illiterate, a sort of "I have no idea of what I just saw " .. a little exaggerated to say it was like screening "Avatar in 3D" to Amazon rainforest natives, but an element of that disjunct between what they saw and how they live, was there.

I spoke to a few small groups about of the possibilities that VWs present for artists and hope I have interested a few to visit in InWorldz.

Some of these machinima may be screened again on the following two Saturdays depending on programme.

Toxic Menges piece was much admired.

Many thanks of course to the sponsor, ASC studios who provided the space and Duncan Reekie for his work as cinema manager.

The evening ended with a lot of hugging...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Why Philip Left .. (Pure Speculation)...

There are, of course, so many elements that need to work for a business to become and remain successful that it would be a little stupid of me to begin to tell LL what has gone wrong and how to do it better, not that that has stopped me, ever, from voicing my half-baked theories and opinions. With no possibility for us to vote or otherwise be heard by the Lab, then blogging and commenting is our 'pressure release valve' and, by the gods, we need one.

["I hear you" and "we are listening" are euphemisms for "you are wrong"]

Tateru Nino's post on the problems some people are having paying LL is not the first I have heard of it by any means.

Aliz told me of a friend last month who had troubles, and since then I have heard of several such problems. Well they lost peoples billing information... the list must have slipped down the back of the sofa along with the remote, I guess....

This follows on the back of Eners blogging of the basic turmoil involved in working for the Lab. I read quite a lot of Glassdoor which, as someone said, is like Linden Labs WikiLeaks. Now, at the time I thought that maybe the bad reviews of working for the Lab and the good ones maybe sorta cancelled each other out to a certain extent.

But... there are a couple of points from these two posts which have stayed in my head.

1)...from Tateru's.... [question to the Lab]“if the billing system is down, can I be assured that my sim won’t be taken offline due to non payment?”

[Reply] ”I can not assure you of this at this time”

2)... from Ener's..... [ex employee] "Business folks view technical must-do’s as things to negotiate. Since the business folks are the ones setting development priorities, and developers tend not to be good negotiators, this leads to cutting corners, resulting in fragile software with poor performance." [my highlight]

Now, with a smaller grid, like InWorldz, if someone were to cock up, then someone would be online to apologise ... I blogged this before... in a post called "A Good CEO" , and as Tateru points out, and would be obvious to us all, silence is the worst course of events.

However, by admitting you cocked up you are liable... so the Legal Dept. may have advised silence.... and so the slide continues... [they really need a Rapid Response Task Force, don't they]

Now, the quote via Ener..(2)... just reinforces what we have all suspected for a long time, namely, that the Bean Counters are running the show and it makes no difference how brilliant your staff are if they have, ultimately, no say in what happens.

Now, ranting at LL is more and more like shooting fish in a barrel, and I am actually starting to feel sorry for the Boys (a bit, not much). They had the best, the only, show in town, but they are heading towards an "..Also Ran" status.

A Benevolent Monarchy as Brinda calls them is actually less efficient than a Benevolent Dictatorship which would, really be the best outcome....
....but more and more it is looking like the Impotent Monarchy and, obviously (to most of us), the reason for the chaos and dissatisfaction rather than a passionate and engaged User Base.

Did Philip realise that.. and turn to Lurvvv... ((he was always a bit smarmy, mind you))...


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Stuff.

Well, the big new news is the Script Engine, Phlox, which InWorldz though the efforts of the Team is now in Beta and being tested to check its speed. The speed is apparently fast, very fast.... without using to many sensational a very very short pair of vids below will show...

Now, if you don't have any idea what this means, like me, you may want to read the fuller or, like me, just accept that it means less lag from scripts. Gotta be good.

The other new thing to hit yesterday is a new Imprudence with media filter... I have used it around Iwz and SL and it seems stable and fine to me. In addition to the usual features... it has a new feature which is called Media Filter...this gives you the ablilty to Allow or Block media streams which, basically, means you can adjust your level of security in respect of the Media Hole and the IP stealing stuff....

...full release It's an experimental release, and there is a Mac bug which stops the music stream, but I would imagine this is high on the 'To Do' list.

...and... The Bagman Cometh... BagMan Linden is now VP of Engineering... he introduces maybe he'll fix chat then?? cos now having 42 groups I can't talk to is one of those changes it is claimed I am resistant too...well, really having 6 I could talk to might be a change I would support.... Good lucky Baggy.

If you have a new...ish Mac Pro might want to read seems like someone has been using too much chewing gum to hold the CPU in place...

Otherwise, InWorldz had the TV crews in last night. Treet TV broadcast live from inside InWorldz, showing Ub Yifu's Gulliver's Travels. Miso showed her work I think.......Nyx and Aliz as far as I know....I couldn't attend except to annoy some camera person towards the end.... ah well....keeps them on their toes..... that's what live broadcasting is all about, beware animals, kids and soror Nishi.

Both Toxic Menges and Mab Macmoragh will be showing Machinima in London on Friday.... cool... any more??


Monday, 21 March 2011

Call for Machinima.

Hi, if you have a Machinima you would like to have shown in London on Friday, then please get in touch and I will arrange it.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

soror Nishi, Superstar...

...and easily amused by my own jokes....

I'm a Superstar from soror Nishi on Vimeo.

Many thanks to the talented MCPiXiz....

.... enjoy before Madge drags me in front of Judge Judy.


Some Thoughts on the New Basic Viewer.

In a committed attempt to improve Noob experience the Boys have released the New Basic Viewer, as Tateru says.."from its first development build to a live beta in just one day, apparently with its basic bugs still intact."

I groaned. Those that do not learn from history are, of course, doomed to repeat it. The V2 ("spewer" as Brinda calls it) is apparently just about usable, 12 months after it was released.... the same could well happen here....(that it takes 12 months of frustration to get the bugs out.)

[ a brief aside here... I have read a number of V2 supporters argue the following line..; "people are still criticising V2 without realising that V2 can now be customised to make it very like the 1.XX viewer, so their continued dislike is unfounded."
There is a basic flaw in logic here.... I don't go buy a Ford and try to make it look like a Nissan. I buy a Nissan....(well.. I wouldn't drive either, but the logic is correct)]

To get this very clear from the beginning... I have nothing against a slimmed down version of the UI... IF IT WORKS.

Anyway...the details are ... here.

...and the very well mannered and intelligent comments on the new civilized forum

I have still a few basic reservations... based on my own Noob experience, a long time ago, granted... namely... I had no problems with the UI. I clicked Chat to chat (it used to work), Search to search (yes, it used to work), and Fly to fly. I did not think to myself, wow, that was difficult, glad I mastered that! My Inventory held my stuff and my Friends list worked mostly (at times it didn't.... I remember, with affection, that it said, instead of ???, "Hippos"... which I loved), and the map was useful. No problem as far as I could make out.

Now, if it is believed that user retention will be improved thro having no Inventory, no money, no photography, no map, no LMs...etc... well, we will see, as I am want to say. I have my doubts, but then I usually do.

The combination of a poor and limited representation of SL thro this new viewer, with very limited clothing, (no shopping), combined with Facebook pages, seems to be the New Idea for improving SL. It does zero for me, personally. Neither 500,000 Facebook 'likes' and prods, nor a million non-spending noobs is gonna help the economy and, thereby, justify the 1300% price differential between SL and Iwz.

This has absolutely nothing to do with a reluctance to see change happen because this has to do with policy decisions being made which have no positive effect on me. I am the customer. I am always right... as you are, of course, Dear Reader.

I thoroughly recommend Botgirl's recent posts tracking the source of (SL) consumer dissatisfaction.. here... and hope she continues this meme. She is charting the Fall as Lalo charted the Rise of Second Life... they should do a book know the title...

Anyway... anyone who downloads the V2 will automatically get the new Basic Viewer too, so many will have a chance to try it.

I hope the time spent developing it has not meant that repairing Chat or Search has been delayed....


Friday, 18 March 2011

London RL Show 25th March ..."Transmission"

I will be showing the following machinima there along with a couple of slide shows.... and maybe a small canvas.... all welcome, of course. There will be about 30 artists showing, I understand.

My first proper machinima, My World In InWorldz.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Bettina Tizzy, my right to reply.

I have decided to write this post even though I am falling prey of Hamlet's trolling endeavours because I have, as you will see later, a necessity to exercise my Right of Reply.

[In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion..... thx Wikipedia.]

When Hamlet, yesterday, finally moved away from any semblance of reasonable debate by suggesting that SL user base was responsible for the decline of SL and the exodus of Linden employees he provoked an emotional response from people who have spent years and thousands of dollars supporting and growing SL. At this point I decided that enough was enough and I would Unfollow a blog which I had watched spiral into decline over the years.(Tweet...."#unfollowhamletau yep, I just did. Don't think trolling is something I should support.)

Bettina Tizzy then tweeted "Et tu, brute?" and it is to this remark I am directing my post. Bettina has 1500+ followers. I will not post about Hamlet or Bettina again, this is a one off.

The suggestion that I am a back-stabbing bitch is no big deal. I look in the mirror every morning and I know self-criticism is an essential part of my make-up. Both my work and my behaviour come under close scrutiny, and, being so critical means that I feel, on occasion, I can criticise others.

So......Brutus? Really??.... firstly, Hamlet has never supported or fostered my work (I don't actually know if he's ever seen it), he is not a mentor of mine or someone to whom I owe blind allegiance. Chestnut did post an article about Tree of Trees on NWN, and Hamlet did mention my party at my beach. Period.

Secondly, Hamlet is no Caesar, he may be nice to animals and small children but he is no wordsmith.

Thirdly, unfollowing someone is not stabbing them between the shoulder blades... it is a decision made when association with a blogger's morality or perceived lack thereof compromises one's own integrity.

The last words I posted about Hamlet are.."it is tricky, I am certain Mr. Au is a warm and positive human being, but if you spend little time in SL you are gonna tend to be 'out of touch' with how people are thinking and feeling about issues." in

"Out of touch" now seems like a hugely British understatement after his recent offering....(other opinions).

It is natural that friends jump to each other's defence, it happens here... I have both been praised and chided at times for my 'tone'. Sometimes I have got it wrong. This time, if you , Bettina, are a friend of Hamlet's it is your turn to tell him a few home truths. Hard love is good love too.

The line that Hamlet overstepped is that same line that a famed SL blogger uses, suggesting that everyone who disagrees with you is guilty of a personality disorder 'recalcitrant to change and destroying SL' or 'Marxist Trotskyist Leninist Communist' (in her case) is not the way to stimulate debate, it is Hack Journalism.

Now, while we all have to earn a living, some through our blogs (not I) I do understand that some feel it is OK to do whatever you have to to increase readership.

I personally believe quite strongly that the end never justifies the means.

I think in publicly comparing me to Brutus you have also overstepped the mark.

[UPDATE: This last sentence is incorrect as it was a private message.]

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Redzone Banned.

Well, whereas you or I could be banned in a few hours by arguing with one of the Forums alleged Fascist Moderators, it has taken the Boys a month, at least, of constant pressure from all walks of SL life to get round to doing what should have been done 4 weeks ago.

During that 4 weeks anger and resentment has built up and cross words have been exchanged on the Forum, amongst other places, where "Fascist" moderators have banned people and exposed their IP addresses in a manner that has a few people Spitting Angry... e.g. Suspiria Finucane ... here.

Now, if she were just one angry voice in the wilderness of the new forum I might ignore it, but with Darrius Gothly saying more or less the same, /me wonders how many more complaints we are gonna here about this......posted yesterday...Darrius.

The other question is whether the basic 'hole' in the security caused through the Media On A Stupid Prim thing has been plugged or if it is just lurking, waiting for someone else to exploit.

Change your password .... today.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Security Worsens...

This is maybe 12 hours old, so Twitterers will maybe already have seen this... seems like the SL Forum is basically a place to avoid at all costs if you want to retain any privacy at all...

There has been a mixture of panic and anger, and many will say that things have been exaggerated, but this post by Darrius I find deeply disturbing..... not because of some deep evil intent, just stupidity and bungling...

Again it looks as if the things the Boys should be looking after are farmed out in one of the most DIY (Do-It-Yourself) companies around..... or maybe that should be do it ourselves...DIO... crap, tho, however you call it.


In No Particular Order...: Stuff.

Busy and lazy by turns this weekend.

Here are a few things which I have sort of filed up ready to post and never quite got round to...

Firstly... well, Dotti made it over to InWorldz at last and, though she isn't for sale quite yet, she will be... she's currently holding up one of my platforms so it don't fall..:))

SaveMe, "sponsored by UWA and Pirats", has found a novel way of displaying art, she was here seen wearing her own gallery. As the evening progressed the photos got less PG, ending with "Unwanted Guest", a show which, although I photographed, I figured would have taken too much time to censor as so many organs were on display ....(we aint talking church organ here).

Dark Moon I visited last week at the invitation of Nephases Amat. Neph has long been a friend and customer and she has a good collection of Flora Virtua Exotica by myself and a number of other SL plant artists all woven into an intricate ecosystem.

This is well worth a visit and you'll need Neph to tell you how the symbiosis works....

I had to show you this, by Gingered, on show at UWA.... has to be seen 3D tho, really...

...and I did some work with Rose a while back and she has published the vid , my stuff is about half way thro...

If you don't know the rest of the story "Why is there something?"'s worth checking it out. Pure genius, I think.

More stuff later ... have a good week...


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Security and Scareware.

The issues surrounding security have become a hot topic in the blogosphere this week...

Avril Korman has a detailed post which is well worth reading charting the recent rise and rise of the nasty Redzone, Quickware, SparrowBee alt busting, IP stealing software that has infested SL over the last months.

Theia Magic has also chronicled this ongoing security soap opera very well and worth reading if you want to get all the details of who is doing what to who.

Avril, however, points to the fact that had the Boys dealt firmly and strongly with the issue when it first arose, maybe they wouldn’t be in such deep manure now... she feels that Soft Linden may not be getting the LL support he should....

...and I do agree entirely with her concluding paragraphs ....

“ It is time *right now* to create FIRM agreement between the TOS and Community Standards, and ban specifically ANY device that has the ability to attempt to match or correlate alt accounts by any means, and give Soft Linden the power he needs to simply rip these things out by the roots the moment they're found- no discussion necessary.”

I remember very clearly being told last year how wonderful the Media On A Prim would be, and how it would make V.2 a game-changer.... but Selavy Oh had done it a year before (I think) by using a simple script, and I’d seen plenty of video screens before the viewer was released.... but I was told I was wrong to be so sceptical.

I do not have the experience or knowledge to be able to say how all this started, how bad the wonderful “media on a prim” security hole is, or why these people have not been treated like the cockroaches they are.

However... I do feel totally reassured when Elenia Llewellyn of InWorldz states categorically...

“Systems such as RedZone are not allowed in InWorldz, because of privacy concerns and the violation of our own ToS. If we should find it here, and it's reported, we will immediately remove it from the grid in it's entirety. ANY third party system that uses the Viewer or a hacked version of the viewer to identify our residents RL information, will be banned, along with the accounts using the systems.”

OK.... so you could argue that IWz can be attacked like SL, but .....and this is the important part... you know exactly which side she’s on..... she won’t be amending ToS to help Redzone...

She is on MY side, and, in the ongoing fight against the cockroaches, that’s what I need.

I don’t think Avril is being over-dramatic when she says, in conclusion...

“This problem is tearing the grid apart. People are refusing to turn media on at all- they're too worried, and even with Sione's media patch, which is making its way into viewers with a slow certainty, most people are not technical enough to be able to discern what a safe media stream looks like from a malicious one. Considering the prevalence of music venues in SL, this could easily cripple the economy.

This problem has the potential to deeply create long term damage for Linden Lab. Second Life is not ubiquitous, like Facebook. It cannot afford a privacy scandal of this magnitude. The Lab must act- and soon, before it's far, far too late- if it isn't already.”

Content theft has long been an issue which many feel the Boys have taken too lightly, if potential identity theft is to rear it's ugly head, then Deep Manure Status is already here..

Now, the RedZone website has been Tateru Nino is offering the following advice...

"Data for the RedZone security system may have been altered or muddled rendering the system untrustworthy (or, some people might say more untrustworthy). Anyone who has logged into the isellsl Web-site at any time should probably change their Second Life passwords without delay.
At present, large chunks of the Web-site are down, and chunks of the database may be missing. It isn’t clear whether there were backups."

Well, bad news for RedZone customers... but then... scareware is a very dodgy purchase and there's very dodgy software out there... that is surely something we all know by now...


Thursday, 10 March 2011

FaceBook, too late to be useful...

I have always been too proud to beg. I guess it's just the way I was bought up. I never really expected anyone to bail me out, I thought you had to stand on your own two feet and make your own way in the world. So it's a scale 9 on the Cringometer to see the Boys begging to be liked on FailBook, I almost feel sorry for, I don't.

About 3 years ago (maybe... bad memory) I saw FaceBook being advertised in some corners of SL. Small groups had started to use it and connect that way, and, if they had been receptive, the Boys could have jumped in with both feet and established a real following then.... I think they are too late now.

As it is, we live in a risk averse society, that is to say most of the medium and smaller businesses that make up the bulk of the economy are risk averse. Major players, and minor players can afford to take more of a gamble with things like joining FB. By the time that Everyone, including Marmite, the Conservative Party and Linden Lab have a FB page, you know it has become mainstream and is on it's way out. The end is nigh. I don't mean by that that it is gonna quit or stop working, I just mean that the initial buzz has gone and people, some people, will start using a newer, fresher way of communicating, like Twitter, for example.

FB reminds me of the time when suddenly everyone (company) thought they had to have a website... they got a website.... nothing happened.... they tried to get traffic.... nothing much happened... The penny hadn't dropped that this is a new medium and needs new skills.

Companies have to get board approval, write a report, ask a focus group etc before they can act. You or I don't, we do what we like. Few companies have their ear to the ground, most have them plugged with last years're on what?? Everyone above the age of 8, and most pets what??

@rodvik Doesn't Follow Me on Twitter (Maybe He Should) from Botgirl Questi on Vimeo.

Now, it may be a couple of years before the Boys realise that FaceBook is last years idea. What we want now is Personalities. Rodviks recent Twittering is a great step forward, I think. He does follow some of the people I follow (like Wizzy), and over a thousand people follow him, its an open democratic communication possibility.... it's Fast, Easy, Fun....oh...sorry, that was last year....

Now, the need for FailBook to inform people of whats cool in SL is due in no small way to the fact that they haven't got their own platform to work, so they need to use someone else's.... but it's soo'll never last... it reminds me of Friends Reunited.. (which died too).

Search and Chat would be great ... forums and your gold stars I have never personally seen the point of, I mean, if Chat only worked....

The SL Blog has always been the least amusing blog I ever read, and blogging is one of those media that is never going to die., It's here, forever.... how, or if you use it well, tho, is a different matter..., with all these things not working, and their terrible attempt at a sort of newsletter failing to even get read (by me at least)... well, maybe FB is the best they can do at the moment. It just seems to me that with all their money and influence they could employ people to do some PR... write a blog? something entertaining? Their blog reads like a company report...yawn factor 9..... don't they read blogging advice, ever?

There are talented and amusing writers out there.... even if you have to steal them from TV or the NYT.... as the rodent says..."simple!"

....and as all this leaves me wanting to be amused.... here's a little thing that might make you smile....

Come on Boys, how difficult can it be?



Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Other World at UWA

This is just up my street as a build, no need for an lengthy back story, just land and explore....excellent.

Cherry Manga, Anley Piers & Elfe Imako have done a really great job at the UWA Full Sim Art.

They have created an imaginative world ..

....with lots of stuff to explore (make sure you get into the basement)....

The address is... here.

....and the UWA blog has more details

One that is well worth a visit and a wander...

Well done to all involved. ...,. formidable


Monday, 7 March 2011

Sabrinaa Nightfire.

Sabrinaa Nightfire started on the most transformational of journeys today when she left both SL and RL after a difficult illness.

I didn't know her very well, but she was always pleasant, positive and warm when I met her.

We had a common love of flowers.

I will leave it to her friends to pass on their thoughts to those she left behind.


InBiz by Anna Debruyere

I love these worlds so much when I see the creative people taking hold of a problem and thinking out a new solution...

....and this one is called InBiz. It's a search engine and directory for stuff in InWorldz, it's free, easy to use and it's been designed by Anna Debruyere.. .. full marks and standing ovation.

Firstly you pop over to Apocalypse (127, 207, 26), check my Picks if you lose the address.... and you copy the little marker that you find there, and pop back to your shop with it.

Rezz it out and edit the config. card in the contents... there's an example there, in the contents file, for you to follow along with a list of categories you can chose to be listed under. Change the config. card, save and put it back in the marker... easy peasy...

Go to the website... here.... and search for one of your categories...

...and...there you are, listed and easy to find... either by category or by name...v cool...

Thanks Anna.


Sunday, 6 March 2011

shellina Winkler

Shellina Winkler has an opening today, Sunday at 2pm, of her gallery, the Knot Gallery

A fine mixture of sculpture and more wall mounted works, this is well worth a visit.

Shellina has quite a collection of work which she has made over the years and if you have a few minutes today, or later this week, it would be well worth popping over and having a look. Recommended.

The Gallery is ... here.



Saturday, 5 March 2011

30,000 Iz's

It is just 3 weeks now for machinima makers to enter for the Machinima contest in InWorldz, sponsored by Jeri Rahja.

The full details are as follows ...

Machinima Contest Gulliver's Travels Build in InWorldz

1) The contest begins on 2/18 and all submissions must be in by 3/25/11 - the Machinima must be posted on YouTube to be seen and the information on the Machinima location must be sent to the Sitting Judges - so that they may view it. Also provide a copy of the Machinima to be sent to Jeri Rahja.

2) All Photos must be forwarded to Jeri Rahja - so they may be properly displayed at the Gulliver Sim - the Photos must be sent with full permissions, but will never be sold or distributed except for the winning picture. (See the note below)

3) The Winning Machinima will continue to be the property of the creator, and the rights to use it for Gulliver's Travels in an agreeable manner will be determined in a cooperative manner. It is possible that we may use it for our future advertising, or utilize it as a tool for other means within Gulliver. The prize money will be paid with the release of a full perm version of the Machinima to Jeri Rahja and an agreed upon scope and usage as determined by the respective parties involved.

4) There is no limit as to how many photos or Machinima's one person may enter.

5) There are only 2 winners in this contest

First Prize Machinima 30,000 L'zs First Prize Photo 10,000 L'zs

Judges are as follows: Ub Yifu, Saffia Widdershins, Nazz Lane, Mera Kranfel, Tricia Aferdita, Tranquillity Dexler, Copan Falta & Soror Nishi

Attention: With regards to the Intellectual Property (IP) rights of the Machinima. I know there have been some questions as to the ownership, with respect to the winning Machinima and Picture. I am not seeking full ownership of the Machinima and Picture, just permission from the creator and the rights to use the Machinima and Picture within an agreeable scope and guidelines that we (the creator, Gulliver Travel's and I) can all feel comfortable. Ownership of the Machinima and Picture will continue to be that of the creator, it is the rights to utilize the Machinima and Picture I am requesting in a manner that is agreeable to each party.

So...that's well worth an entry.... get your cameras out and dust them off....


New Style Second Life Community Thingy.

The new Community Platform (no's blogs and stuff) has just been rolled out, and, it looks pretty good in a sort of 80's styling. The thing seems to have been thought through and well organised.

Now, although I could never listen to him first thing in the morning, Torley 'Friendly Greetings' Linden presents a happy and simple overview. Reminding me of a kid's TV presenter or Happy Smurf I do feel like strangling him at times, but would do so with a smile on my face. He's like that infuriating little brother....

...but full credit, really, concise and clear.

Interestingly though, there does seem to be a difference with this new launch, and a difference which Linden Lab could do well to learn from.

As the criticisms and bugs started to become noticed, Torley, Amanda and Vogt were there to help, change and improve bits and pieces. It seemed to me that there were a group of people who were 'on hand' to help launch this new product. This is, of course, how all new products should be nurtured, but I have not seen so much of it before. It is normal, intelligent launching.

Now, this is all very positive comment from me, but then I am no forum user. I have made one comment in 4 years and have no intention of providing free customer support to people outside of a virtual environment, it's just of no interest to me. Good luck to those that do, however, and well done to the Boys for making it easier for people that know SL to give advise to those with questions.

I, personally, hate the rewards system, it reminds me of the stars people at McDonalds have on their uniforms, but it won't effect me as I have no competitive leanings in the "Best Forum Contributor" stakes.

Wizzy pointed out that there seems to be no Display Names on the new profiles in this platform.... have they finally discovered how annoying it is that people can keep changing their names?

...and while I am putting a positive spin on stuff...

I got a reply to an email I sent to the Lab, and mentioned a while back...

"Thanks Soror. Several folks have asked for a content creators user group. It's on the list! Thanks so much for the feedback and I'll let you know when that group starts up!" it is surprising that the Boys could overlook Content Creators, they will also have a possibility to get heard on occasion, we hope.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Recalcitrant to Change.

Adjective: Having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority.

I just read the following on NWN, about Rod and Hamlet hanging out together in Real Life (as real mates?), where..."we talked about many things, such as the future of virtual worlds (which he wants to discuss in another interview) and the recalcitrance of SL's existing userbase to change."

Now, if this isn't the Phrase to Launch a Thousand Blogs, then I don't know what is....

I had not thought of myself as recalcitrant, in fact I wouldn't think that anyone who is competent enough to establish a life in virtual worlds, to create, shop, deal with the Boys, have price changes, changing ToS and other obstacles thrown at them on a near weekly basis, could really be called recalcitrant to change.

It would be interesting to get a list of changes that he, either Hamlet (who obviously agrees) or Rodvik, think we have resisted in an irrational or obstinate manner....

a).... does he mean Viewer 2, the worst designed viewer to hit SL in the last 6 years?

b) the increase in tier for Non Profits?

c) taking away voting rights on JIRAs?

d) the confusion arising from people now having two names online instead of one..?

e) the astounding RedZone?

or does he mean that we objected to the Boys breaking Search and Marketplace?

I suggested in Hamlets comments that this is a psychological flaw, namely the pot calling the kettle black, or, to be accurate, projection. Projection is the habit of blaming your short comings on the Other. Let's look, for example, at the Lab....

Megas.... the attitude of the Lab towards megas hasn't changed... ever. Every other grid that now opens has megas. Resisting change even if it costs them.... and the same applies to all the tools I have previously discussed on these pages.

Avatars per sim, sim crossings, the alpha bug, well, as we know the list goes on and on of things they refuse to change in spite of the vocal citizens wanting this sort of improvement.

They have seen what other grids are offering but have not thought to change to stay competitive...

Who is recalcitrant?

Well all those that get their butts in gear and buzz off to other grids certainly aren't resisting change .... and, Rod, you might find that we are more capable of change than you ever feared if that really is your opinion and not one of Hamlets out-of-touch comments.

Wake up!


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

UWA on FRIDAY.....

In a slight change to tradition, it seems the UWA awards thingy will take place on Friday....see below.....

"UWA 3D Open Art Challenge : FEB Ceremony - 6AM SLT, 4th MARCH

Please keep 6AM SLT, Friday 4th March Free for the announcements for the February Round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge.

Peoples choice vote round still ongoing through Noon SLT 3rd March.

Artwork now also being received for March Round" tomorrow is the last chance to vote...

...and on their Art Sim at UWA Virtlantis (dodgy name, whoever thought that one up...sorry)... a new exhibition for March...
Called 'Other World' it is the work of Cherry Manga, Anley Piers & Elfe Imako

"Mankind created the machine and always wanted to improve it, adding abilities, and even gave the machine artificial intelligence.

The machine had its own evolution, once it gained artificial intelligence it grew to possess artificial consciousness then the collective consciousness. The machine grew up through many aeons, learned from its own mistakes.

The machine is now in the other world, all parts of the machine are closely bounded, if a little robot cuts itself, the sadness is shared by the entire machine. The machine lives in harmony in the environment it is set, all energy needs are calculated to keep and preserve the world, nothing is taken freely from nature, the machine looks after nature, conscious that its energy depends on the global health of its natural environment.

This way of living is what humankind could call utopia or eden.

This exhibition shows the irony of machine beings, supposed to be heartless and without emotional feelings able to live in respect of its environment, and in harmony with all members of its community ... and the sad conclusion that human beings in 2011 are still fighting for power, for money, for religion, not able to think of the future of our children, continuously draining all that earth can give."

I haven't been there yet...but I will...soonish... RL is wasting my time, currently...


DreadZone and Me.

Well, 7000 comments on the Boys VWR-24746 may have awoken them to the fact that a lot of people are not amused by the ability of someone to record their IP address in world.... and link alts...
So, Soft Linden (/me thinks of soft cheese...) issues the following comment....

"Hey, all. I got the go-ahead to give an update on zF Red Zone specifically.
Again, thank you for the ARs with specific info about violations. These have
been very helpful for letting Lindens know what's going on.

Tuesday morning, we removed zF Red Zone from the Marketplace for a second time.
We removed the in-world vendor distributing the item as well
. We determined that
zF Red Zone was still in violation of our Terms of Service and Community

We asked for removal by no later than today of all zF Red Zone functionality
that discloses any alternate account names. That is, even if consent is asked,
the service may not act on the consent. In addition, we asked for removal by no
later than Friday of the interface for and any remaining implementation of the
zF Red Zone consent mechanism because it does not comply with our policies. If
these updates are not made, we will take appropriate steps to remedy the

As before, we appreciate your help in keeping an eye on content. [as we have no idea what's going on] If you find
that any merchant's product is not in compliance with our TOS or our Community
Standards, please file an abuse report about the product. Do this even if you
filed against a previous version. Include a specific explanation of what you
believe is a violation, and ideally select and report the in-world object at
issue in case it behaves differently than what's in the Marketplace. Before
reporting, make sure you have first-hand knowledge of the issue. Support can
best react if you explain specific steps to reproduce or confirm a violation." seems like you can't buy it anymore, but it is still operating across the grid on various sims.... is this another case of the Boys doing "too little, too late"? I mean, they even tried changing the ToS to accomodate RedZone ..( would they do that for me, I wonder??)

Now, while it is true that various places you go including this blog have the ability to record your IP address should they want to, that doesn't mean that we should encourage it, or, in the Boys case, turn a blind eye.... my privacy is not something I ignore.

BettinaTizzy asked in Twitter "Are SLers in denial? I think avatar=real person privacy is at death's door."... a comment that was taken up by Botgirl, and was talked about last week by Ener Hax, on her, always entertaining blog. As always, one can ask the opposite question ...just as interestingly..."Are RLers in denial that Virtual Personas are here to stay?"

There are so many security issues now....and I'm speaking from personal spam-fighting experience here.... that the ability to leave a huge digital footprint as soror Nishi and leave my typist free to fade into the digital background has been a great bonus for me.

SL has, since it's beginning, encouraged alternative names. It's current drive to link to Facebook for purely financial reasons, i.e. data mining, has caused this recent interest in "verifiable" names. It has no other reason that I can see to be interested in this subject at all.

The cynical side of me wonders if, as they would be unable to sell our IP addresses to spam mailers, they are on a commission from DreadZone.... I know that sounds a bit paranoid, but then.... worse tricks have been played.
However this all pans out, and it is far from over yet, I would expect to see RedZone operating in SL for a long time still.... and another set of people who decide that this is the straw that broke their positive attitude to SL.

In a month which saw Rod Humble state that he thought citizens should be able to decide the level of privacy that they are comfortable with, we have seen negatively impressive nonaction by his hirelings. 7000 comments seems like a long time to wait before you act... is Soft, just a bit too soft?...(as Mr T. says in the Snickers advert... "get some nuts!!") or is it just another case of "frankly my damn I don't give a deer?"