Tuesday, 16 August 2011

publish and be damned...

Well, altho it's still a work in progress I've just published my new website.... here.

check it out.


Sunday, 14 August 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

Yes, I've been a bit slack on the blogging front this week....but not really...

I'm in the process of building a new blog on a personal hosted domain and expect to finish next week when I get back to my own computer as currently I'm working on an iMac deep in the Kentish countryside surrounded (at times) by cats, rabbits, deer, badgers, moles and buzzards. I was woken this morning by Phil the pheasant shouting at some ungodly hour...

On the SL front, the big news is Rod at SLCC promising to polish more.... good, polishing and clearing the pizza crumbs out of the servers would be great, after all, Viewer 3.0 hasn't rocked anyone's world. Inara Pey has a good report ...here. Personally I am not much of a conference person though I have been to a few in my time, I enjoyed the socialising but Rod could have blogged everything he said, it would have been more available, maybe.

The Evil Google+ has attracted more and more press Wizard has a link to a few posts in her Drama Blog including a link to the new NetPolitik by Miso. Rod did seem to understand the privacy issue in his speech, which is just as well remembering how annoyed the WoW folk got when a change was attempted over there.

Great image by Botgirl ... here. ....and a story here.

...and on the subject of names....the stupid Display Name idea has turned sour as most of us predicted it would. It's a shame companies are so reluctant to admit they got it wrong (even Coke had to) and I guess SL will never go back to two names, or even three in the registration...but a good post on that ...here.... by Avril Korman.

Anyway, I'll get back to building a website and weeding inbetween ..... god...code is a nightmare...

Have a good weekend.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Country Life 2 ... Back at Home

Quite sorry to leave this house in the country and go back home, but very glad to have my own computer and my wonderful bed. Nothing quite like home.

This is a new flower border that we planted up in April out at the house in the country... (not my house ....if you missed my previous post)

...and this is it 4 months old. It will hopefully bulk out over the next 3 years..... if the rabbits can be kept away. It took most of the winter to remove 60 years ivy growth from the walls, but well worth it next year when the clematis really start to take off.

Back at my desk for a few days now before heading off to another country house to look after the poorly cat while the resident family of humans is away in Sri Lanka... strange sort of thing to do, (not going to Sri Lanka, house sitting) but it makes for a free holiday for me.

This next one starts on Saturday, and the house boasts the slowest internet connection this Millenium... oh well... patience is a virtue they say, tho in this case it's a virtual virtue.


London Calling.

I don't live in London anymore .... I was thinking of the song...

From Jeff Hobb's account of the Peasant's Revolt

"The Peasants' Revolt of 1381 is one of the most dramatic events of English history. What began as a local revolt in Essex quickly spread across much of the south east of England, while some of the peasants took their grievances direct to the young King, Richard II, in London.

The revolt began in Essex when locals in Brentwood reacted to an over-zealous poll-tax collector. From Brentwood, resistance to tax collectors spread to neighbouring villages, while across counties such as Kent, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Norfolk, armed bands of villagers and townsmen also rose up and attacked manors and religious houses.

It was the rebels of Essex and Kent who marched on London. By 12th June, the Essex men were camped at Mile End, in fields just beyond Aldgate, and on the following day the Kentish men arrived at Blackheath. Incredibly, neither the government nor the city of London authorities seem to have been prepared, although the king was moved from Windsor to the Tower of London. During the next few days, the different bands of rebels from Essex and Kent were joined by some of London's poor, and they set about attacking political targets in the city. They burned down the Savoy Palace, which was the home of John of Gaunt - Richard II's uncle, and probably the most powerful magnate in the realm. They set fire to the Treasurer's Highbury Manor, opened prisons and destroyed legal records."

They went on to burn Chiswick, Clapham and Twickenham.

I am not on any 'side'. I am not 'for' the riots. I am simply remembering that riots have been around for as long as the rich tax the poor and, in doing so make them poorer.

The Church and State as main agents of taxation has changed slightly, it is now State and Corporations, but the effect is the same, give a person nothing to lose and they become dangerous..... and desperate.

Now, this is, of course, only one side of the story.

There are plenty of people who lived and live in poverty who would never harm another, or another's property. They have an inbuilt 'moral' guidance system that disallows them to damage others in their frustration. The Church, for all it's hypocrisy, probably helped somewhat to curtain destructive instincts within society.

What happen's though when the highest authority in the land robs neighbouring countries, i.e. Iraq, Lybia, of their oil in a blatent show of "the end justifies the means'?

What happen's when the corruption of politicians and police is front page news?

What happens when their is no genuine 'feedback' from the public to those in power as democracy is turned into a Reality Gameshow?

Well, I think that any guiding moral compass gets chucked out of the window. The idea that the poor should be the Salt of the Earth and maintain moral standards higher than those in authority will obviously be seen as a mug's game by some. Anger is bound to rise.

The stuff stolen in the riots is poor compensation for the dignity, emancipation, freedom that those involved feel they have had stolen from them, but, for a hour or two in the frenzied heat of crowd hysteria, they were empowered.

Might does never make it right, and the end never justifies the means, but when those in power set such a poor example it seems somewhat ridiculous for them to get on their moral high horses and take no blame whatsoever for the anger and frustration.

Time to look at both sides of the (growing) divide I think.


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Google+paranoid.... not really...

Ok...so I know it's easy to seem a bit paranoid but there is more than sufficient reason to worry about Facebook and Google+...

A recent article reveals that social media are regularly used by law enforcement to target individuals in the name of homeland security and emergency relief details here.

...and recently installed face recognition software on Facebook (where if I remember right I was asked if I would include permission to apply this ability to photos of friends) will eventually lead to anyone being able to access a whole load of personal information, including your social security number from a simple photo of you taken in the street... details here..

This leads to a heightened ability to steal identities (not to mention stalkers) again, details here.

Now... it is totally stupid to say, as some have recently, 'I have nothing to hide'... duh!! .. your address? credit rating? your bank account? whether you live alone or not? details of you health? past relationships? where you buy your underwear? .... there is a limit as to how much information any of us want available online.

This is not a scare story, this is today, now. As Google+ insist on real names now, the time will come when real photos will be insisted on too... because? Because the information is worth money.

Forget advertising revenue... that may pale in comparison as Google+ may have, as it's main income source, the law enforcement agencies..... maybe not today, but soon.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Culture Shift ? ... unlikely

One of the three main definitions of the word Culture by Wikipedia: 'The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group' is the particular Culture I want to muse about here.

A culture evolves often around a group of users and has the effect of tying them together as a loose sort of social glue. The most apparent to us in everyday life is a shared dress code or subset of the native language, slang and jargon connected to music/youth culture. Many of us know people who modified their personality when they were youths, punks, rockers, new romantics etc etc... and they hold onto a vestige of this group identification into old age. It has been assimilated into their personality. They regard it as a part of 'who I am'.

Culture across even larger groups has even less tendency to change than this. I still see young punks with flamboyant cock-comb haircuts in London, 40 years after they first appeared....(on young people). Culture has an inbuilt inertia, as every type of culture aspires towards a Tradition, which seems to be the 'next step up' from a culture.

I have been thinking about this in relation to nicknames, nyms, handles because of the obvious attempt by G+ and FB to stop this practice of naming oneself.

I have not been able to determine the first historic use of a nick name though in musing upon the question it struck me that leaders, children, Gods and the Devil in particular may have been some of the first to have acquired nick names as the power of the Name was not to be used lightly. In Norwegian one also says 'a precious child has many names'.

Army buddies, work mates, lovers, leaders are all subject to the rather intimate renaming process of being given nicknames and some of these can stick for a whole life and be adopted by the person concerned if they add something to how that person is perceived i.e. status.

Short-wave radio users are a group of people who thrive on the use of Handles, it is a major part of the culture which has spread to people who ring in to radio stations with traffic reports and, recently, the Internet. These names are unique which is one of their obvious advantages.

The use of nyms by the first set of internet users is based, I believe, partly on this historic culture of radio handles, and has this cohesive effect of tying together pioneers in a new medium. The added security advantages are obvious and well documented elsewhere.

As I stated earlier culture has an inborn resistance to change. So the current attempts by a few people to change this are likely to have a problem, ... or three.

One problem is that their motive is purely to make more money ... that has no intrinsic moral or financial benefit to me.

Secondly, their security is not being put at risk.

..and lastly, but probably the most important is the fact that this ability I have to rename myself in a style and fashion that relates to the culture I aspire to is a freedom that I am unlikely to relinquish for the projected benefits of joining G+, or FB.

My parents named me, being pressurised into using my parents choice of name is always going to appear like a retrograde step on my continuing path to Individuation and is doomed to fail.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Country Life

I'm sitting at a posh desk in a library in a huge house in the country; I'm house sitting for rich people.I do this on occasion for a couple of couples of my rich clients when they shoot off round the globe and have so much stuff they are worried about getting nicked that they get me to be Object Sitter.

Minding objects is OK, the responsibility is just about right for me...i.e.. not too great.... and the place is well supplied with alcohol, food and hunting scenes on the walls, or at least those that don't have huge portraits of unknown dead people.

The couple I'm stuff-minding for a some of my nicest clients and their country ambitions are kinda cute seeing as they are both townies at heart.

Although I have no idea how many bedrooms and TVs this place has, I do know the computer is rubbish. Firstly its a PC with Vista installed, and, worse than that is the keyboard. Mac has probably made the greatest contribution to mankind in the form of their keyboard, it is pure genius and I recommend anyone who hasn't, to get one. The difference between my Mac keyboard and this is like the difference between a wheel barrow and a Ferrari .... except this one would be no good for horse manure.

Anyway... as you will see, no effort has been spared in slowly tapping out these few words, just so you know I am not gonna be silenced by Medieval Technology...

In other news...well...lots of drama as usual and now, to make matters easier for us, Wizzy is doing a Drama Watch on her blog ... here..... that should be interesting.

Anyway... catch up later in the week when I have had time to aclimatise..

Oh, yes, the photo doesn't have much to do with me except I helped serve the 30 or so horse riders with scotch and port and nibbles before they went off pretend hunting ... (not a Meeroo in sight).

It's another world...


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lion OSX , Imprudence and Windlight.

Well, bit of a Mac users post... for those that have, for better or worse, upgraded to Lion.

Now, those that use Imprudence as opposed to the V2 series of viewers, there is a little problem with missing sky files... All seems well with the latest Firestorm if you do a clean install, but there are 8 'missing' sky files from your Windlight skies if you use Imprudence.

Full instructions on the small changes you need to make are ..here... thanks to Esbee Linden.... to repeat them briefly (sorry everyone else)... go to Contents/Resources/app_settings/windlight/skies and change the following..

A%2D3AM.xml becomes A-3AM.xml

A%2D3PM.xml becomes A-3PM.xml

A%2D6AM.xml becomes A-6AM.xm
A%2D6PM.xml becomes A-6PM.xml

A%2D9AM.xml becomes A-9AM.xml

A%2D9PM.xml becomes A-9PM.xml

A%2D12AM.xml becomes A-12AM.xml

A%2D12PM.xml becomes A-12PM.xml

...and that will sort you out.

Other people are having more serious problems, because Lion is not yet supported.... as reported here.....and the SL forum...here..

"Maybe if you hadn't sacked half of your dev team the client would work. Unfortunately this seems to be becoming the normal state for Second Life. OSX Lion is a major release and frankly it's embarassing that you don't 'support' it yet. It's been available for months to devs this should have been covered." Trinity Dechou quite rightly remarked....

They have had 18 days to fix it.... so far.... even if they forgot it was being released.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Democracy of Incompetence

The quality of incompetence is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

...and in true democratic style it falleth on those with huge Meeroo businesses and anyone else that gets in the way.

LL have gone one stage better than Google+ and banned people with Names Like Griefers..... and in doing so highlighted another problem with Real Names... i.e. Cock-Ups if your RL name is the same as a griefer.

..... So...the problem with security is that it is only as good as the moron controlling it....and 'there's the rub'.

Now, I understand that like the Super Congress, outsourcing bad decisions can get the shit to hit someone else's fan, but, those people are responsible for your business.

Your business is only as good as it's weakest link. The weakest link is going to be someone who never goes into SL and has no idea how it works....so...outsource the garbage collection by all means, but... security, no.

For those of you that haven't read the details... Tateru is as usual the best source.... while Skylar suggested a death watch.... "every minute X Meeroos starve to death", which I assume (not hope) they do if they are unfed. This could resemble one of those Great Extinctions, what with Horses and Bunnies being in Court currently, ( a place LL might find emselves too).

Crap rightly points out that the Top Money People in SL should really not have their accounts handled by fools and I think they should have them protected like the US government protects the rich. It makes good economic sense, the poor are, after all, financially-unwashed collateral damage.... like Google+, Washington and LL could give a damn, but the rich you have to take care of.

When you go to bed tonight the cries of thousands of starving Meeroos may fill your thoughts but, don't worry, it is on The Linden Conscience that these poor dead animals lie.... it's the Boys who will have to quake in the face of Meeroo Karma.

....also...some advice, don't change your name to Roomee or Reemoo, it's probably a cause for a ban.... must be against one of the zillion ToS clauses.

Now, back to discussing alternative ingredients for the Wizzy and Miso BBQ....


Monday, 1 August 2011

Brinda Allen

I just heard yesterday that Brinda is unwell in hospital and I'm sure there are others that would like to join with me in wishing her a speedy recovery.

Brinda of Benares fame is best known for her warm and caring community which she has built up through love and kindness at Benares as well as through her blog which is how I first met her. As a lady who always has time for new people and friends in need I am sure her karma will send her very shortly back to us.

We look forward to having you in our midst again.

Get well soon.