Sunday, May 31, 2009

went back to the boulevard, canceled all her credit cards, my ballerina from Marseille

Remember--the Clarendon listening station mentioned here will be open for any who want to listen and chat at the same time; there might be some dances planned, and I'll be updating that table as I get information!

But back on more sordid topics, like how Linden Labs managed to break a ton of sex beds right before Ursula opens.

What happened with Stroker Serpentine and his sex-bed scripts actually happened back on Aprille 14th, but things managed to stay quiet until May 29th. Then the Alphaville Herald ran the first story, telling of how much work Stroker's been doing to repair his beds, and the discovery of what really happened.

Y'know, at best, I flirt with conspiracy theories, but considering the solid opaque walls of black ice we get when the Lindens tell us they're trying to achieve transparency...considering how difficult it is to find anything out about who's actually in charge of the Ursula move, and who can give us solid, unwavering answers on what's going to actually be banned in the camping/bot controversy...Hells, considering how many Lindens have been fired or outright quit of late...

...it's really not that far a stretch to contemplate that someone has an agenda in all this. Think it through--it was apparently the work of one (as yet unidentified) Linden who deleted the data loading script and banned re-entry of that script into the database by Stroker Serpentine's asset IP. This is confirmed in the May 31st story in the Herald.

Basically, what that one script does is stores the positions, original and saved, of all the poseballs used in the bed itself. So the poseballs are still there, they just can't be adjusted, moved about, and in some cases used. This is huge. This is staggeringly huge.

So it's still an ongoing problem; all of my SexGen equipment, I'm told, will be fine because it's in an unrezzed state in my inventory; only if the beds (or other furnishings) were rezzed out, would there be problems.

How'ver, while I don't own it, I do have equipment I still have access to, rezzed out, in a skybox from my working days. I guess it's a good thing I'm no longer depending on access to that equipment, though I'm told by the people who do own my ToyBox that the bed there has been fixed. And none of the other equipment comes from SexGen.

It's extremely bizarre though, and as I said, it's very difficult for me to believe this was just a goof on someone's part, accessing the asset database. Considering this happened after hours, this seems more than just a glitch. This seems a deliberate attack.

Stroker at first wanted this kept quiet, but considering the tens of thousands of products out there affected, at this point, he just wants everything fixed. I'd point you directly to this post at the SLUniverse forums, and remind you all--he could have taken the easy way out, just popped a repair kit on XStreet and walked away from everything.

He hasn't. He has tried to do honorably by his entire customer base. He wants them happy, sure, so they'll keep buying his stuph--but more than that, he wants to make sure that every piece of equipment out there with his name on it works.

This is not the act of a coward. This is the act of a committed man. Pity we can't say the same about whomever it was in the Linden offices, who originally blacklisted that script.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

is there a hero somewhere, someone who appears and saves the day?

Mr. Dale Innis points out more evidence of the WoW Gateway.

Overheard in passing: Teeple Linden is now head of the G-Team instead of Jack? Can anyone verify this?

How'ver, I'd like to talk about something else entirely. To begin with, keep this location in mind, that's Edward's location for the Monday events. And this is the Radio Riel headquarters in Edison, where you're always welcome to hang out and listen. And likely there will be more mentioned up to and including the day of. But in the meantime:

Radio Riel is turning two!

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(Do click for the larger version; it's lovely!)

So, here's the line-up so far (and all times SLT):

(no, I don't know why there's this big space, here)

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(this is filler to test)

(no, I don't know why there's still a big space, here...)

Note: all events can be attended at the Clarendon, now, in New Babbage, Radio Riel's home away from home!



















Midnight-1:00:00aMagdalena KamenevJazz/pop remixes
1:00:00-4:00:00aGabrielle RielVictorian/Edwardian Music
4:00:00-5:00:00aEdward PearseGothic Glory
5:00:00-6:00:00aEdward PearseScottish Sounds
6:00:00-7:00:00aEdward PearseMad Science music
7:00:00-8:00:00aGabrielle RielSteampunk
8:00:00-9:00:00aSoliel SnookGen-X Tenors
9:00:00-10:00:00aDiamanda GustafsonLoudband/Folk
11:00:00-NoonGabrielle RielFrench Music of all Genres
Noon-1:00:00pSoliel Snookthe amazing Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
1:00:00-2:00:00pElrik Merlinthe Early Music Show
2:00:00-3:00:00pElrik MerlinCeltic Miscellanea
3:00:00-4:00:00pElrik MerlinThe Light Programme
4:00:00-5:00:00pOtenth PaderbornScandinavian
5:00:00-6:00:00pGabrielle RielModern Classical
6:00:00-7:00:00pGabrielle RielModern American Classical
7:00:00-8:00:00pMagdalena KamenevNuevo Tango/Digital Cumbria
8:00:00-9:00:00pMitsu FigaroTraditional Japanese
9:00:00-10:00:00pMitsu FigaroJ-pop/J-rock
10:00:00-11:00:00pMitsu FigaroTechno from everywhere
11:00:00-MidnightMagdalena KamenevMash-Ups

Check back with individual Presenters closer to the day if you want to know if they're appearing in-world or not; and check on the RR blog for up-to-the-minute details!

This will play on our Main stream, I do believe; I don't think we have anything scheduled, event-wise, other than us! So tune in and help us celebrate!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I see you now, a vague deception of a dying day

The artist is leaving.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. Indirectly, she thanked me--I am a former Muse, she thanked every Muse for working with her--and I must take that to heart in the spirit that it is meant. Directly, though, she blamed me for many ills in her life, informed her family and dear friends that I was an obsessive, manipulative stalker, a thief of her time and her funds, an ex-lover who had grown bitter and abusive. She hurled such vitriol at her intimates that I was once banned from Temenos Island over it; most Muses stopped speaking to me; and nearly everyone believed her version of events.

I am none of the things she said I was. When she said them, I was none of those things. I remain none of those things.

In a damaging and incredibly backward fashion, how'ver, the great loss of her presence in my life (after all, I committed the ultimate betrayal: regardless of how many times she unfriended me, at the last I chose to unfriend her) made way for my presence in Caledon. It led my steps to one of the greatest loves of my life. And it deepened a tie with the woman I hold very dear, for her to cross all boundaries and join me on the other side of the screen.

Happiness. Trust. Deep love. Deeper friendship. Submission to bliss. Learning to stand strong in the face of all obstacles.

For once, getting fired was not such a bad thing.

So I think I can say, all things considered, most of me does wish her well, and all future success. (And the part of me that doesn't wish her so very much well, still wishes she's learned from this what she needed to, and no longer feels the need to tarnish anyone else's reputation to cover her own misdeeds.)

Fly free, Sysperia. Find a home for your art and continue to shine. We may never be friends again, but I still admire your vision, your tenacity, and your artistic gifts. May this departure lead you to brilliant and amazing new vistas of opportunity.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

are you still too weak to survive your mistakes?

One name to rule them all...This seems an oddly intriguing concept.

Not so much Second Life-centered, but this is fantasy fodder for every fanboy alive. (And some fangirls.)

The House of Ruin is having a hunt:

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Think it sounds simple? Think again--you're searching for shells in an undersea sim.

Yes, now you're getting it. (If it still hasn't sunk in, let me tell you I only found nine of the sixteen sets set out.)

But if you love eyes, run, don't walk, swim if you have to, but get there! It only lasts until 30 May!

Besides which...it's just a beautiful little place to walk about. At least briefly...

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At the least, go, look at the sim, check out the eyes. At best, go nab some free ones!

the ties that bind us just slip away

This, quoted from in-world chat by a friend:

[8:03] June Dion: uh oh
[8:03] June Dion: no more lucky chair X)
[8:03] Nympheas Nogah: ahhhhhhhh
[8:03] Sandriki Roux: really?
[8:03] June Dion: [8:01] Jack Linden: if the land is in search, then those chairs would be giving traffic, which is where it gets bad. if you had them on land that was *not* in search then that would be fine
[8:03] June Dion: [8:02] Jack Linden: you can keep them if the land is not in search, so you could just split the parcel into two for example


So let me get this straight. All of Jack's assurances that this was not about individual lucky chairs, it was about camping bots, and large numbers of camping pads...was all just lip service, and meaningless.

Y'know, I don't like Jack Linden any better since the SL5B stupidity when he was insisting that no nudity was allowed, this was a family operation, goddamn it...and then blithely walked past any incident of male nudity. Apparently he only cares if it's got tits.

But I had thought that he--and the other Lindens--had maybe managed to learn something in the near-year since then. Apparently, I was vastly overrating Jack's ability to learn.

June Dion, in case you don't know, owns Bare Rose. Bare Rose does not need lucky chairs, or lucky fortune machines, or raffle balls, to make money. Bare Rose does not have to put out freebies to entice people to come to the store. Bare Rose does not need traffic at this point--because the store's nearly legendary, old residents pass on the name to newbies, all of her stuph is transferable, so people can buy outfits and then pass them on, her prices are low, so she sells a lot...and her designs remain innovative, original, and a great deal of fun.

I own a lot of Bare Rose outfits. So does almost everyone I know.

The assertion that Bare Rose put in a lucky chair to "game" the traffic system is beyond ludicrous. It is inanity at its highest point. It is sheer lunacy on the part of Jack to say this to June.

But he did.

So let me test understanding again:

* Obviously, camping bots are out.
* Model bots, greeter bots and accounting bots are next.
* Camping pads are out.
* Lucky chairs are disallowed.
* Lucky Fortune machines are disallowed.
* The entire Lucky Chair company is going to go under because they're going to drop about 97% on new sales past this point.

Okay, fine. That's annoying, but fine. But now think of all the other things that generate traffic:

* Fishing areas
* Mobvend machines
* Scavenger hunts
* Grand opening events
* New sim announcements
* Dances
* Seminars
* College classes held in-world
* Business meetings held in-world
* Focus group meetings (including ones held by the Lindens--oh, wait, they'll likely hold those on land they remove from search)
* Sandbox sims (sometimes those get packed with users building things)
* All contests, be they costume or build contests
* Rez-day celebrations
* Weddings
* Funerals

Think I'm insane for listing those things--among them, several things centering on educational and business uses for Second Life? I don't. If Jack can outright lie to us that Lucky Chairs are fine...then what else is he going to change his mind on?

Are we getting to the point where we as users will feel compelled to report any sim that has more than ten avatars in it, because that sim might be "gaming" the traffic system? Are we going to be asked to "shop from home", or shop only via XStreet? Are we going to have to ignore all dances, stop talking to people in village squares, stop going on scavenger hunts, butterfly hunts?

Where is this going to end? What's the end goal, for that matter? Because I don't think I can put a great deal of faith in anything Jack Linden's said so far.

sometimes I feel that I should go and play with the thunder

How odd. One of my blog entries is up for some kind of award. I have no idea, but I entered it.

My luck, it'll turn out to be one of those poetry contest things..."Absolutely free! And when we publish your winning poem, the hardbound book will only be 129.95! To have and treasure for always!"

Phhht.

Somewhere out there in the wide sparkling net, is a site called Villainess. Apparently, they sell soap of all things, though they're slowly branching out into perfume oils and body creams.

They even have one named Wasabi Whipped...though it doesn't have any wasabi in it. (Truthfully, that's probably a good thing.)

From their Manifesto:

We approach things a little differently at Villainess. Our customers are educated regarding their skincare needs, and informed about the issues. Rather than sell the latest market-trends, we're meeting them on equal ground and frankly discussing the challenges we face. We are committed to:

* Candor - We operate on a full-disclosure policy regarding the quality, origins and purpose of every component in our formulas.

* Accountability - We refuse to use animal products that involve cruelty, and screen potential components for their animal-tested history. We contact each of our suppliers to inquire if they've tested or commissioned testing, and trust that they're asking the same questions.

* Safety - We consider the pH balance, possible irritants and potential sensitizers in each of our products and tailor those considerations for the application (we screen "natural" components as vigorously as their "synthetic" counterparts). The end-user's application of bath products takes place in a warm, damp environment - a breeding ground for molds, fungus and bacteria - and we preserve our hydrous products accordingly. Preservatives are (by their very nature) toxic, so we've chosen preservatives with track records for the least potential irritation and no long-term effects.

* Efficacy - Skincare should be a pleasure, not a chore. We employ emulsifiers, surfactants and emollients to ensure our products perform with zero fuss on your part. We often talk about making "the right compromise" in formulation; selecting a key synthesized molecule to optimize product performance, and limiting its concentration.

* Indulgence - You, and your skin, are worth the best possible ingredients. We use raw and unrefined components - vegetable fats, nut butters, fruits, herbs, essential oils and precious absolutes - as often as we can. Most of our formulations resemble desserts because we believe you should treat yourself.


Damn. I like their style. Toss in that and the 'steampunk' feel of their typefonts and their page backgrounds--and some of their products, their "Antihero" perfume is described as "[w]ell-worn sweaty leather, the acrid smoke of cigarettes, and a soft side of honey and vanilla"; for their Chloroform perfume, they used "[c}risp cucumber, sickly sweet green vegetation, a dizzy whiff of violets, mind-numbing plum, and a stiff shot of anesthetising vermouth". Even their signature scent, the Villainess scent itself, walks very much out of the machinist's workshop into the opium den; described as "all ball gowns and combat boots. Raw, smokey leather and sweet vanilla musk engulfed in a sheer haze of exotic florals - ylang, neroli, jasmine, lilac and tuberose."

Wau.

In other news, I'm rather snappishly upset at Technorati.

Remember a while back, there was a casual urging to join up, so I went over and perused? And tried to claim my blog? And failed?

Well, they asked me to send a letter to their support department. I did so. I got back a letter saying my note to them could not be delivered:

This is the mail system at host mail01.technorati.com.

I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.

For further assistance, please send mail to (postmaster)

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.


So I did. And at the top of the "problem report" I attached this snippier missive:

This message was delivered two days ago and lodged in my spam filter, of all places. Apparently the technical support page you mention using when people have problems claiming blogs is buggy? This might explain the staggering lack of response to me, and to friends who have attempted to claim their own blogs--and failed to do so.

I then got another response back saying they couldn't deliver the message! So I sent one to the admin account (if one existed); the postmaster account; and to "rtsupport" for both rt.technorati.com and technorati.com:

SOMETHING in all this has to get through.

I want to claim MY OWN BLOG. Why is this so difficult?!?


So I got a blurb back that the admit email bounced; the rtsupport bounced, both sides; and postmaster bounced again. I was on the verge of giving up entirely.

Then, today, I got this from their mailer redelivery system:

THIS IS A WARNING MESSAGE ONLY.

YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESEND YOUR MESSAGE.

Delivery to the following recipient has been delayed:

rtsupport@rt.technorati.com

Message will be retried for 2 more day(s)


For the love of all things...WHY IN THE HELL IS THIS SO HARD?!? It is claiming a blog! I can do this on Google in two minutes; Yahoo takes three; Altavista takes five. Why in the hell is this suddenly brain surgery just to claim something I already own?!?

Currently, all of their support pages are out of reach during their 'server relocation'. Grand. So while all this is going on, I can't claim the blog you invited me to claim, and in the process, making me check my spam filter daily on the chance that something came through that dropped in there because it looked like it was written by a spammer!

Technorati? You are fail at support for your service. FAIL.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

an empty glass, a topless babe, a knock on the door--

Meet Dexter.

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I should point out, this Dexter, not this one. Just so we're clear.

He's Dexter Genesis in SL. Age fifteen, boy genius, and cursed or blessed with his equally intelligent, but far more scattered and accident-prone sister, DeeDee.

Meet DeeDee, while we're at it:

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Her name is Deedee Calamity here, and she seems a little older than her small-screen counterpart. Also...there's been some sort of...accident in the transfer: she's...clockwork on the grid.

Now, all residents of Caledon know, there is little difference between clockwork and organic life on the grid. But--at least in her own universe--she was an organic girl, and only here is clockwork and gears.

She seems to have retained her sense of humor, which is a good thing. Me, I'm wondering how many other universes SL is going to bridge before we're done. First the WoW Gateway, which funnels traffic both directions; then the Wulfenbach contingent; now, Dexter and DeeDee.

Gosh. Who's next?

Also, advance notice (and I'll try to get a location SLUrl to tie to this): reserve May 30th if you can:

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(Thanks go to Edward for getting me the pic; I don't know if he created it or not. Good portrait of the Clockwinder, though.)

It's insanely early (for the people on SLT), but it's a wonderful build opportunity, and a wonderful celebration of Mr. Tenk's time on the grid! Attend if you can. More information to come!

Monday, May 25, 2009

was the sound of distant drumming just the fingers of your hand?

Phil Deakins said:

No. You missed the point I made because .... you missed the point I made and not for any other reason that I'm aware of.

And Anthony Hocken replied:

Well you win the award for vagueness at least.

vague award


You do at that, Mr. Deakins--thank you for putting forth the time and effort it takes to really vague things up. We salute you.

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This is mostly here because I thought it was amusing; again from Dare Island, which means we have at least one strong Sabbat house on the grid. Whee!

And sadly, this seems to be true. In most of the virtual worlds out there...

But we're going to talk about Mouse World now. Specifically, the Haunted Mansion at Mouse World.

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The layout is remarkably faithful to the original, considering SL's notable quirks. Compare this scene to the painting from the park, to see what care was taken with even minor props.

Some things I've deliberately left unphotographed, partially due to the relative quickness of the ride, partially due to the fact that, for fans and newcomers alike, there are some lovely moments I'd rather leave as a surprise! But everything, down to the lightning sounds in the Portrait Gallery, and the bat finials topping the waiting ramp to board the "Doombuggies" (again, faithful black reproductions of the Omnimover personal vehicles which carry you through the rest of the ride) is in place. True fans of the Haunted Mansion will be astounded.

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The library, complete with ghostly floating books.

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To this day this amuses me greatly--though it's recolored (to a faded burgundy tone) this is Lady Disdain's wallpaper (the shop that once was Kartiny, above Autogenic Alchemy in Penzance). I remain tickled by this.

Do note the bulging door to the left.

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The haunted ballroom.

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The Bride in the attic. Compare this to images of the original Bride (from Doombuggies.com).

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And the pinnacle for me: beyond all the faithful recreation, there was a room that I thought impossible to re-enact on the grid. Because mirrors don't work here; all mirrors are trompe l'oueil devices, if they work at all, and may I refer back to the "mirrors don't work" line?

The genius Enoch brothers make this work. I won't say how, but they do. Kudos, gentlemen, you've truly outdone yourselves.

Mouse World in general is well worth a visit, but I cannot urge any fan of the Haunted Mansion enough to go visit that attraction, at least. It's wonderful, it's a great tribute to the original, and I will definitely be visiting it again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone

here I go again
slipping further away
letting go again
of what keeps me in place


Unintended controversy in the Kitties: a staunch supporter of the group, a donator of land for the group's HQ, and an out (RL and SL) lesbian has left, in rather dramatic fashion. I fail to see why this is a gay issue. As I put it to her:

I'm married to a woman off the grid (this is known) and I'm all but partnered to two men and one woman on the grid and this is also known.

I don't talk about it generally in the Kitties because it's not relevant to a group dedicated to freebies, cheapies, fun hunts and Lucky Chair contraptions. But I don't feel that I can't bring up my life, my ideals--as they relate to freebies on the grid--either.

How is any choice not to talk about being gay in a political sense, in a freebie group shoving you in the SL closet?


I still don't understand. I'm sorry she's leaving, she's been someone I consider a backbone of the Lucky Kitty Crew, and many crew members will miss her. But I don't understand why the issue arose in the first place. She started talking politics; we are a mixed group of liberals, conservatives, anarchists, Republicans, furs, humans, gays, straights, and that's not even touching the whole pagan/Christian split--and by and large the only drama that comes in is when X wants to discuss something that offends Y, and by and large that's all it is--a request to stop talking about something, and we do, we move on, controversy over for the most part.

If someone brings up something that upsets another group member, generally, a request to cease conversation on that topic is all it takes. Mayhap more than one, but that's all. We are far from the raging dramas of our past, yet...this particular individual? Never let it go. Kept, in fact, bringing up the same discussion.

Yes, California sucks for voting in then voting out gay marriage. Yes, it impacts real people and real lives. The Lucky Kitty Crew is a freebie group. Move on.

I like it here
but it scares me to death
there is nothing here...


We went hunting last night at Dare Designs, since there are a scant few days remaining for their Balefire hunt.

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This isn't a hunt location; but what it is is somewhat more intriguing. This is the most faithful adaptation of the Ocularum Infernum (or at least the machine used to open it) from Thirteen Ghosts that I've seen.

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On the other hand, that will get you into the sim. Then all you have to do is find thirteen very small sculpted red pentagrams that are on fire.

Have fun!

the light is beautiful
but I’m darker than light
and you are wonderful
but this moment is mine


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I admit, I stood for some time, just watching the machine turn, thinking about things. Life, death, existence, love, change...weighty thoughts for a scavenger hunt, but Dare Island is oddly appropriate for such mortal pondering.

all of this dust
all of this past
all of this over and gone
and never coming back


I've been reading a lot of Travis McGee books lately.

"These are the playmate years, and they are demonstrably fraudulent. The scene is reputed to be acrawl with adorably amoral bunnies to whom sex is a pleasant social favor. The new culture. And they are indeed present and available, in exhausting quantities, but there is a curious tastelessness about them. A woman who does not guard and treasure herself cannot be of much value to anyone else. They become a pretty little convenience, like a guest towel. And the cute little things they say, and their dainty squeals of pleasure and release are as contrived as the embroidered initials on the guest towels. Only a woman of pride, complexity and emotional tension is genuinely worth the act of love, and there are only two ways to get yourself one of them. Either you lie, and stain the relationship with your own sense of guile, or you accept the involvement, the emotional responsibility, the permanence she must by nature crave. I love you can be said only two ways."

John D. MacDonald said that in 1964, in a book called The Deep Blue Good-by, and outside of language variants, it's still pretty much true. And it pretty much applies in any realm.

But Second Life is that curious mix of fantasy and reality; most of us, most females, I should say, enter the grid and find ourselves, at some point, facing a dance pole or a client, and contemplating the ethics. Not everyone, obviously, and not everyone makes the leap from walking around to spinning around a pole naked.

But enough of us do.

all of this forgotten
not by me
I find comfort here
'cos I know what is lost


So, on the one hand, outmoded concept or not, I know what it is to "guard and treasure" ourselves: while I'm no proponent of virginity until marriage, it does aid us to be picky, to be choosy, to be discreet.

This is a lesson I've been long in learning.

hope is always fear
for the pain it may cost
and I have searched for the reason to go on
I’ve tried and I’ve tried
but it’s taking me so long


Here's maybe where I don't understand, though, again: most people on the grid have short memories, because life moves so quickly. Those four-hour days pile up, and soon a gridweek is a gridmonth, a few gridmonths become gridyears, and sooner or later, no one remembers what happened way-back-when--because even way-back-when is not as far back as my own memories.

Forget my ability to retain information: what does it say of me, my ways, my habits, when few others remember the indiscretions of my past?

I might be better off
closing my eyes
and God will come looking for me
in time


Moreover, is that not, in a sense, spinning around again to that place where I can choose whom and why, and when, and where I can "guard and treasure" myself again, free of any past sensationalism--all that anyone remembers, you see, being that I once was scandalous in some fashion?

all of this dust
all of this past
all of this over and gone
and never coming back...


All of which only works, of course, if everyone's on the same page. And there are a few that aren't. There are a few who will always view me as a danger; as a scandal too deep for words; as the worst sort of false-faced "friend" imaginable; as a thief.

I admit, for at least part of the time on Dare Island, I was pondering the value of character assassination--in the sense of, how much value should I put onto the proclamations of my detractors? Or should I spend a single moment worrying over what they may say, what they may think?

I can see myself
I look peaceful and pale
but underneath
I can barely inhale


I say no. I say my life is my own. I say my choices are my own, and I know why I made them, good and bad, everywhere down the line.

And if I now, in the fullness of time, view a demon with more nostalgic favor than an elf, then it is my choice. If I choose to treat one as a fond fancy and the other as a danger to me, that is also my choice. But over and beyond all choices, it is my choice to fear, or to stand firm. To accept that mistakes were made, to accept that I made some of them, and then to move on.

I'm choosing to move on. I have been at this crossroads before, I have made this decision before, but this time I'm closing the door I've been holding open to my past. The past...is just that, past. And while I do believe pasts can be changed, as well as futures, I am choosing not to change my past. I am moving far from it.

I can hear myself singing that song
over and over until it belongs to me...


There are things in my past, in any world, that I regret. I have made the amends I could. Now it is time to stand strong and look forward, not back. That, too, after all, is "guarding and treasuring" myself. And all of us, at least once, should try to do that. After all, we are precious and our time is finite, here. It is not ego nor is it self-delusion to decide to treat ourselves better.

If we know great care, then we can give back great care. If we know pain and fear, we are only able to give back pain and fear. The simplest of equations is this: we are the emotions we surround ourselves with.

I'm not saying everyone needs to be shiny happy people. I am saying it's time and more than time that we realize we are what we eat, and if we eat only suffering and bitterness, we will be bitter and we will make others suffer. Melancholy is not the problem; hatred is.

I am choosing to be better, if I can. I am choosing not to focus on bile and misery. I will be no less dark and brooding, I will overthink things, I will dwell. But I have better things to do with my time. So do we all.

Oh, and there's a new dress upstairs above Autogenic Alchemy. Go over to the blog for directions on how to get there. And we're getting a new name for the upstairs. Things will slowly be converted over.

It is time and more than time for that, too.

(Lyrics taken from Sarah Betten's All of This Past.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

only your eyes for a dime

The latest tempest in the teapot of SL is all about bots, camping, and traffic generation. I've tossed my hat into the comment ring, so have a lot of others, and while it's not quite so divisive as the adult content comment threads, there are surprising small peaks of viciousness now and again.

There seem to be emerging two basic fortifying positions:

1. Camping should be banned. All bots, all campers, they need to grow up and just buy Lindens like adults and get over it, start contributing to their society, goddamn it. The practice of an eternal number of alts parked in plank skyboxen above land parcels solely to generate artificial traffic numbers to boost that particular business' traffic rating--well, that's just wrong any way you look at it, and campers are leeches anyway, so just get rid of all of it. Dump it all and we'll only be left with the good people, the people who pay their own way, the upstanding adults.

2. Camping can be a valid way to earn Lindens when the people behind the screen cannot always afford to 'just buy Lindens'; it gives them that ability to earn their own funds, which they then (usually) use to give back to the community (by buying clothing, furnishings, homes or tipping other people) or back to the Lindens directly (in terms of premium account conversion, land tier and upload fees for photographs or textures). Why, camping is positively philanthropic; people need campers, and they need to be able to have campers, because without that, no newcomer can ever afford to start out in world and become a contributing member of SL society!

Now, philanthropy versus outright theft, that's damningly broad, and I will state formally that, while elegantly presented, Miss Ordinal Malaprop's treatise on the same subject I disagree with. For the record, the main points she got wrong were:

Ms Tateru Nino says "The most common camping rates I'm seeing at the moment are L$1/80 minutes" which conforms to the results of my amateur investigations; perhaps one might buy two frocks per month of non-stop camping with that.

and

And quite apart from the rewards, paying people to perform an unethical activity does not make that activity any more ethical.

For the first one: there are still places that pay L$1/5 minutes, or one Linden per time of specific activity (though I do grant you, these places are few and far between). For the second, if one is paying two hundred bots scattered across five sims, and those bots then funnel the money back into one's own coffers, thus removing any sort of gain for individuals: yes, then, that is broadly unethical.

Why, however, all the vitriol pointed towards real people who camp?

I admit, as a former camper (usually on the dance pads in Amsterdam, oh these many years ago), I don't understand the level of sheer unrelenting hatred pointed at those who camp. I did move on and move up from camping; I did go out onto the grid and find myself a job to make Lindens; I did begin renting, and thus the long process of basic job=complex job/simple parcel=several parcels--none of which would have happened had I not wanted what the grid offered and saw camping as the only way to achieve it.

But here's the rub, and it's a major, major factor: I never left my av unattended for long periods. I never logged in and went to bed. I never logged in and went to work. If I was on a dance pad, I was on a dance pad. End of story.

This? Is not the usual definition of camping. For most people, I might even go so far as to say nearly all avatars, this is exactly what they do: get up; log in; find a camp pad; go on with their lives.

And this is why camping opportunities diminished so drastically over the past two years. This is why those who make camping equipment have gotten so inventive with the restrictions: timed camping pads, activity camping pads (chat to gain Lindens, touch a box to gain Lindens, do not leave the area to gain Lindens, must be group only to gain Lindens).

But this is also why camping 'bots' are such a scourge--because by and large, people who set up massive numbers of bots aren't doing it to benefit anyone or anything beyond their own traffic ratings. So, okay, the Lindens say, this is a terrible practice, we want to stop it--fine, kill all bots. And let's kill camping while we're at it.

But then the comments started coming in. On what camping actually is. If item camping differs from money camping. If Lucky chairs and Mobvends count as gaming the system for traffic. If "traffic", itself, as a status and popularity measure for businesses, should be tossed aside as well.

Contrary to what the Lindens and others may believe, it isn't a simple issue. But it's being treated as one, and people are acting incredulous when others challenge their views.

Bots are always bad? What about store models? Paying people to model is always camping? What about people who work in world, are they also camping? Tip jars are camping. Oh, screw you all, that's how I make rent!

It's not a simple issue. And it's dropped into the midst of pre-existing adult content controversy. Change is necessary, change is vital...but too much change all at once? Hurts. Sometimes hurts a lot. And more than sometimes drives people away.

That's fine, we didn't need them anyway. Really? And how much of your economy goes away, Lindens, if every single person now camping--in good ways or bad--stops logging in and goes somewhere else to play? Wouldn't be World of Warcraft, because after all, they're a pay-to-play game, they've always been...but there's a lot of other games out there, now. More than when SL started.

I like this suggestion; unfort, that pretty much guarantees it won't be implemented. And is it just me, or does the avatar depicted in this press release Professor Oolon Sputnik?

Or a very close cousin...

Some more pics from Runes of Magic.

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(At times, we are sent out to kill monsters. Often, they do not have descriptive names that seem to accurately apply. This one did.)

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(The Forsaken Abbey is very very cool. It also has moments that are very Tim Burton. The railing as the stone bridge arches up towards Ghoul Central? Is one of them.)

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(Legends have long told of The Box under the bridge. Residents have no idea what mysteries it contains, or why it is there. Nothing in the tales told, generation to generation, have prepared us for the odd primary-colored enigma it represents.

Seriously, we don't know what it does. There are a couple of them scattered across Taborea. We already know there's at least one demonic gateway open to the My Little Pony universe; maybe soon we'll be attacked by squat feral Italian plumbers who want our gold coins.)


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(Sometimes, spells go awry. The barrier was supposed to stay down until my partner in crime got out from behind the ice wall. Oops.

(At least the ancient ice wolf is already dead...)


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(We finally achieved high enough character levels to enter the Revivers' Corridor. We now understand why people hate it so. But good gods, it is pretty. The flame pattern on the horns? MOVES.)

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(And an action shot. Talk about the right moment to snap the photograph--this one still makes me giggle.)

In the end, ultimately, what the Lindens want to happen will happen; we're only along for the ride. And the broad disconnect between the way Lindens think in bulk and how their residents react is deep, wide, and nigh impassible. Still and all, all we can do--pro or con--is keep raising our voices, trying desperately to be heard.

It's who we are. If we don't speak our hearts, we die. Still...is it better to speak, knowing no one's listening, or speak, thinking it will change their actions? No one can answer that one...

And I'll leave you with an old entry I just found on Beanie Canning's blog, that I think was trying to translate the Japanese-only instructions for a kimono texturing kit?

I would point your attention to paragraph two in the "Manual":

2, Tailoring
The product attached to the land, please edit the sandbox.
Heterosexual’s clothes to be created, the size difference between men and women wear the collar, and significantly shifted position. The position remains as to edit your opponent’s when I got to wear a regulation is good to us, I think. Shapes and skins of the opposite sex is used, the work might go smoothly.
Also, by Yukata kimono or “flip-flops Japanese socks clogs decorative collar collar” and thus please.
Here, each about how to.


Oooookay, then. Good to...know?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Galileo's head was on the block; the crime was looking up for truth

I want to step away from the normal (though sadly delayed due to silly controversy) task of documenting steampunk music and origins, to talk about Redzone.

I admit, I was a bit confused at first--the URL I was given led to a wildly inappropriate place, so I tried searching more distinctly. I came up with this, but--though very cool--that is not the redzone intended.

This is the Redzone Miss Fauve intended when she mentioned this to me, they're out of London.

From the blurb on their album, Abstract Revolution:

Rock, hip-hop, dub and dance beats are spiked with highly-charged electric strings and Ami's seductive vocals. This album will hijack your psyche, providing exhilaration and reflection in equal measure. The lyrics face death, criticize culture, challenge taboo and mourn the future. Euthanasia, suicide, eroticism, insanity, addiction:L enter the Abstract Revolution and explore the darkest recesses of the human mind.

That is rather a lot to pack into twelve to fifteen songs.

They just might live up to their hype, though--their song Lucid made my skin crawl in an extraordinarily calm fashion, which was disturbing in itself; while what is me, another song from the [digitalflesh] album, struck me as the best of house dub--music to move by, not necessarily dance, but rock, experience, just...feel...on a very basic level.

Their performance of "cigdub" live in Caledon starts off their video page, and there's something...rearranging about them. I don't know if it's the insistence on overdub and playback in their music, but...

Look. I don't know if it's a recommendation or not. But I'm listening, and I'm finding myself wanting to pull away and crawl closer at the same time. It's fascinating stuph, it really is.

From their "about" page:

Redzone have been compared to Collide, Bjork and Recoil among others, but defy categorisation. The music has been called ‘far away from cliché’ (Sideline music magazine) and ‘great music and almost heavenly voices’ (Peter-Jean van Damme, DJ).

They find the idea of creative autonomy and liberation appealing and were one of the first UK bands to utilise the web to exclusively promote and distribute music and video, releasing the web-only MP3 singles Torrid/Crime of Passion and Layer6/Body Craves in 1998, followed by the album Modified in 1999.

Redzone create an entire integrated sensory experience, and 2005 saw the release of [digitalflesh] complete with a unique, interactive video component.

Redzone, assisted by classically-trained third-member Tim (synths/samples/doublebass), are experienced live performers, often utilising bespoke video projections, and have also been credited as the first band to tour Second Life by Wired and Reuters.


Redzone is performing in world this weekend. I've missed their first appearance, "Blood", at the Rusting Hulk in Bloodmoss Swamp, but you can still catch their "Steam" performance tomorrow at 5 pm SLT at Condensor in Fauve, and their "Silicon" show at the reaktor in Insilico, with DJ Gomi Mfune, on Sunday at 6 pm SLT.

Do catch them. I plan to, if possible. They definitely have their own angle on music, and what it means, and how it touches us...and I'm fascinated to see where they go next.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

through your eyes the strains of battle like a brooding storm

Ah, spring and the scent of...goats...in the air? Buh?

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(I'm never sure what's more odd as a warrior of Taborea: the fact that the goat people are our allies, or the fact that my sword is nearly taller than I am.)

Taborea, on occasion, is a very strange place. In one land we're told we are the only race; that everyone else, who is not us, is an invader that needs to be stopped, controlled, boxed, banished, or slain.

Then we go to Reifert, and discover no, there are other races...and they're anthropomorphic goats.

The hell?

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(Why do the crafters of Taborea always give me balloon pants? Trust me, they're even worse from the front.)

So the game starts everyone out in pants and a tunic, or a long robe, depending on whether one is centered on magic (or healing), or fighting (in any regard). I'm talking everyone, now; everyone, male or female, starts out in pants and tunic, or long robe.

But then differentiation begins, and it's very very odd. The line for priests and mages, for instance:

* long sleeved robe that fully covers to your boot-tips
* long sleeveless robe that is entirely backless and covers to your ankles
* midriff-skimming short coat and heavy-seamed leather trousers
* thigh-length tunic and BALLOON PANTS

I swear, the balloon pants option? It's a dodge. It's a dodge to get people to pay in cash and buy better outfits. Because, really, wandering around the fantasy realm with Hammer pants? It makes me bitter and unstable.

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(The arrival of the huge sword. Hells, in reality, I couldn't even lift this thing! I feel like Pyramid Head!)

I've been playing Runes of Magic since before they went live; granted, the game did change, and in some ways, changed radically, but then, it's still evolving, still moving forward; the developers are still tweaking the code, the rewards, the names (though that still baffles me--we get used to NPCs with one name, and then they have another name, and sometimes, even the color text for quests hasn't caught up yet--so the NPC is now Mimi, but the quest is still referencing Meimi; for a while, we had the constant nigh-daily battle between the little girl Lola and the little girl Narfi--and they were the same little girl).

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(There are definite disadvantages to short skirts.)

There are still far too many gold spammers in the game; the game disallows gold farming, and shouter bots, but we're still overrun with them. I've never been able to figure out why, when gold for quests, gold for selling things in the Auction House, gold for selling armor and weapons back to the merchants is so damned easy to get!

Also, it's very odd playing in a game with built-in underwear layers. On occasion I'm grateful to the game designers--witness the pic above--but it's just odd that they are so defiantly white cotton undies. It's just bizarre.

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(And then new armor arrived. Mine was purple.)

Once we got to the point where we had a crafter (and I am still loving that you can gather ingredients and make new armors on your own--and generally, even better ones than you can buy!) making us armor, we started to look a bit better. We were still limited to their odd color choices--blue and white, teal and brown, silver and purple--but at least they weren't multi-striped balloon pants!

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(Remember, chainmail, it's not always about the armor bonus. AKA, the more scantily-clad, the more distracted the monsters are...or something.)

I have to admit, I could live without the open belly panel, but the rest of it I really like.

Also, Gatheryn is approaching the beta testing stage. If you haven't signed up for an account, and you want to be in on the beta-testing process, sign up now! A limited number of account-holders will be invited to download the game early and test it out.

I admit--I had a lot of fun working out the bugs for Runes of Magic, along with ten thousand other early-entry gamers. I'm fascinated with what Gatheryn has come up with for "steampunk" gaming...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the past is gone but something might be found to take its place

Just a couple of things for now, I'm needed in world for a discussion group.

First, this. If you never take the time to read over and vote for any other JIRA issue, please look over this one.

If you do nothing else but scan through the responses, then look at the names of people responding, wanting this to be fixed. These are major builders on the grid, some of them people working with the very clients the Labs are apparently wishing to placate with the current move of adult content providers to Ursula--and this needs to be changed.

Why? Why does it matter to most of us, who do our best to build lightly, to utilize all resources to lower our prim counts, because we do not have the space or the allowances to go over one thousand prims? I mean, think about it--one thousand prims. That's huge, isn't it? Who needs that many prims?

Well, I'll tell you. Much of Caledon has higher-than-limited builds. Many college campuses on the grid have higher-than-limited builds. Professional sims, design/technical sims, people making accurate (if non-driveable) replicas of existing submarines, ironclad vessels, tall ships, spaceships--all of these can easily go over the imposed limit. Anyone who has to now contemplate moving everything they have on the mainland--much of which is landscaping, architecture, and furniture, having little to do with purely adult content--they can now not take higher-than-limited builds back into their inventories, in order to move to Ursula.

This is salt on the wound. This is acid on the burn. This is ridiculous, and Miss Murakami makes the most compelling point in the entire conversation--that she is telling her upcoming major university clients not to proceed with their plans to establish campus space and working structures in Second Life, because she cannot now guarantee that she will have a working backup of their commissioned build--commissions, I might add, which are paid to her in actual currency values, not Lindens--in case anything goes wrong.

So, let's see, quick ballpark of figures:

A full island gives one working space of 65,536 square meters. For just about everyone, that costs US$1000.00 to establish that region, with a monthly tier fee of US$295.00. So for the first year of holding that sim, it costs just under five thousand dollars--US$4835.00 to be exact. (To maintain that sim, of course, it will cost US$3835.00 each and every year of operation.)

Under corporate/educational sims, for the first year of holding the sim under those reduced fees, it will cost US$700.00 to establish the region, and a monthly tier fee of US$147.50--for a first-year total of US$2770.00. (And maintenance for that level of sim would cost US$1770.00 each and every year thereafter.)

Is it sinking in for anyone how much money that is? That the Labs--with this newly established, idiotic policy--is pretty much guaranteeing they'll lose?

Why in the hell are they playing these games? Everyone must move but oh no wait you can't pick up your builds but we're doing this for the educators but oh no wait they don't want to play now.

This is Linden Labs shooting themselves in the foot, then shooting themselves in the foot again to check out how much damage there was from the first shot! Why? WHY was this considered to be a needed change??

A much-needed bunny break:

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Teh cuteness! I am dying of teh cuteness!

They also have tinier bunnies--ones that will perch on a finger! It's so very very twee.

Scribble is one of those interesting stores: she has a simple line of attractive modern clothing, but where she is starting to really shine is in the realm of sculpts and scripting. Her bunnies, her small dolls, her sculpted jackets, her scripted bubble-blowing pipes--they're all charming and precious things. She deserves more support than she gets, honestly, but she's slowly building up a quirky little fan base.

Lastly, a quote, before I go off to the nine billion other things I must do:

"Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."

Bruce Lee said that, and it's as true now as when he said it. Have a marvelous day, and don't forget to vote on that JIRA!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a tale begun in other days, when summer suns were glowing

I admit, on occasion Lord Bardhaven scares me. I have no idea where he finds these things. I'm supposed to be the bad movie fan, after all!

And the Wulfenbachs have been compiling research on steampunk fae. He looks like he wants out.

Also brought to my attention: people are learning how to defuse bombs in SL? Apparently so.

How'ver, moving on.

It all started out innocuously enough...

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Isn't that always how it goes? We'd heard tell of a Japanese sim, Kyoto Bakumatsu, that had a haunted house. Of course we had to go! We had to know. What is currently terrifying to the Japanese psyche?

[0:31] Emilly Orr: I am hearing chanting and screaming from in there.
[0:31] Midnight Bohemia: Sounds like a party.
[0:31] Emilly Orr: I'm creeped out already. :p
[0:31] Neome Graves: Excellent


We walked up a ramp towards the chanting, and ended up in an entirely black hallway. Red arrows told us which way to walk.

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When we turned the corner, eyes popped out of the wall to stare at us. Round eyes appeared and disappeared on the dark floor. As we walked down the sloping hallway, eyes would randomly drop from the dark ceiling, roll downhill, and disappear.

We paused at sight of a small doll. This was not necessarily the best move--giant versions of that doll appeared to push against us. The chanting was getting louder.

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We turned another corner. Glowing red flowers sprouted from the black ground. A floating skull-headed skeletal snake floated in midair. We caught the will-o-wisps and found ourselves floating in midair, seemingly ghosts ourselves.

We walked through the small ornamental garden towards the open-air house at the back. We were somewhat startled to find that the ghost-white woman kneeling on the tatami mat was an actual person. Who built the entire place.

She speaks Japanese only; the Simbolic translator was helpful, but it's worth wandering around where she is (she likely is not there all the time), because there's a ghostly gatchapon machine that, when five Lindens are paid to it, gives you a small token and drops little eyeball creatures and ghostly ape dolls from the ceiling. There's also a place to kneel, where one can look inside a closed cabinet, a tip chest that spawns ghosts when one tips, and, through the side door, a selection of odd freebies to commemorate your visit.

I'm told the chanting is likely a track of Buddhist monks at a funeral; it does add a hushed observance to walking about.

Next, Miss Fawkes took us on a tour of Disney attractions on the grid. The first one I didn't even bother grabbing a SLUrl, because when we arrived, we were tossed a notecard which meantioned how much the woman who made the attraction LOVED DISNEY and how she was a SUPERFAN.

Disney superfan? There are people that obsessed with Disney? Who aren't Fawkes, I mean? I fled screaming.

But the next place...now, that had potential. That was Mouse World.

Mouse World is now on its own sim; previously, we'd gone there and discovered most of Main Street, a small tribute to Tomorrowland, and some shops. They have vastly expanded; the Enoch brothers (Mr. Honda Enoch and my erstwhile neighbor in Caledon Morgaine, Mr. Kheph777 Enoch) have now scripted a complete and complex tribute to Disneyland (and Disneyworld) with a complete Main Street, Tomorrowland and Frontierland (with rides), the Skyway that travels over the park (now closed in Disneyland and Disneyworld) and exhibits of vintage note (like the complete Carousel of Progress that you can sit and watch on a large screen).

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Lag is a factor--sometimes, we couldn't move at all, sometimes the rides didn't work as anticipated, and this image I had to capture, because it was a still from a bad horror film--Miss Bohemia standing in the corner, and the feral Miss Neome scrabbling towards her, frozen in place!

Some of the merchants don't quite get the whole, 'Disney' vibe, either:

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Yes, you're seeing that right. Marshmallow...Peep...gangsta shoulder pets. I don't get it either.

But, when we got off the Skyway, we received the largest evidence that we must return, and that I had to tell everyone as well:

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They have reproduced the Haunted Mansion (though that SLUrl will likely perch you at the exit from the Skyway, looking out at the Haunted Mansion below). Complete with a viewable slideshow of the attraction, and a cemetary off to the side, where the Linden autumnal trees fit in perfectly.

Well worth a visit, if you like well-done Disney tributes, and not merely screamingly bouncy !!SUPERFAN!! builds. There's no OMGSQUEEEDISNEEEEEH reactions here; just honest love for the parks and the concepts.

Soon, we'll wander the Haunted Mansion as well. MUAHAHAhaha...

Monday, May 18, 2009

choose your weapon, time to pay

A new Fortress 2 trailer--Meet the Spy. This one makes me giggle like a five-year-old.

While we're (not) on the subject, what the hell is wrong with Technorati?

A casual mention on another blog brought me to theirs, wherein they promised vague blog supports in exchange for registering an account on their system.

Okay, I thought, blogs always need traffic. Or...something.

So I registered. And then hit the very excited "Claim your blog!" button. Wherein I was told my blog had been "suspended" from their service due to "potential phishing violations".

The hell?

That was two months ago. Tonight, I wander across another mention, and--this time, grudgingly--return to Technorati. I sign in and see, once more, the excitable button. I click it. I see this:

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So is it a move sideways, or a move down, that they're now telling me I'm likely a spam blog?!?

Honestly. This is ridiculous.

This next is directly from an in-world notecard sent to me last night:

Daryth and the rest of the Isle of Wyrms staff would very much appreciate your support for the JIRA issue:

http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-2374

__________________________________________________________

Avatars in Second Life have been evolving since the very beginning. If you’d like to see them continue to improve with more realistic movement and more artistic possibilities, please help by voting to support Deformations.

This is an issue that effects the future for all Avatar collectors and creators. Without official support, LL has plans to disable the uploading of future Deformation anims. Our aim is to fight to gain proper support from LL for deformations instead of letting this amazing tool be disabled.

__________________________________________________________

What are Deformations?

Deformations transform the appearance of an avatar beyond what can normally be achieved via "Edit Appearance"

A deform animation can move a joint such as a knee or elbow to a different location, allowing for shapes and animations beyond the movement and size restrictions of a basic human skeleton.

Why are Deformations important?

Both the Basilisk Dragons/Wyrmlings/Hatchlings and the Seawolf dragons use deformations as a vital component of their construction. Neither sets of AVs could look the way they do without Deformations.

*see Below the FAQ for a longer list of reasons to support Deformations*

Why is this JIRA important?

Although LL have agreed to respect existing content with respect to deformations they plan to patch the route via which new deformations can be created thus making it difficult/impossible for new content to use deformations. IF we can get LL to adopt this JIRA then deformations, in some fashion, will become a supported part of the SL experience and eligible for a few annoying bugs to be fixed.

Why is your vote so important?

Currently LL are primarily only concentrating on infrastructure work on SL. Several Lindens have stated that work of this nature will only be undertaken if a JIRA receives a lot of votes. Previous JIRAs have needed around 1000 votes in order to get LL to sit-up and take notice.

We feel that this issue is much more than content created within the context of the Isle of Wyrms and to that end IoW staff have been working closely with Seawolf staff to raise awareness of this issue to both are communities and to other avatar creators in Second Life.

What's this I hear about Gryphons?

Development is well underway and they'll be the next avatar available at the Isle of Wyrms cathedral. Other creatures such as phoenix, chimeras, dragon turtles, and hippogriff are also on the drawing board for later in the year.
__________________________________________________________

Six reasons to support Deformations

* Improves the overall appearance of SL * Much like sculpties have, by increasing the potential for more realistic and artistic creations.

* They would help SL look less out-of-date * While LL is celebrating that SL is six years old, it also means the technology is at least six yeas out of date ... something like deformations will help bring SL back up to the animation level that people see & expect in 2009. All LL has to do with something like deformations is properly support it and the content creators will take care of the rest ...

* They allow for more out of the box thinking * For many people, being something other than human in a virtual world is simply a given: why be human when you could be ANYTHING else. Deformations allow for much more impressively created & animated avatars.

* They may even increase the appeal of SL to new players * or those that might have left, by allowing for a higher level of quality in animations and character design.

* Disabling the ability to use deforms wont solve the problem * If LL's concern is griefing or misuse, there's already a slew of ugly deform anims in SL, pulling the plug on any new ones isn't going to make the griefing go away. It's just like any other tool in SL, there's always people who are going to abuse them, the root of the problem is the people themselves not the tool they use.

* LL can claim its a feature and not just another bug * They won't have to do a lot of work for something that appears to add "new" functionality - just clean up the functionality of something that's already there.
__________________________________________________________

Useful Links:
The main JIRA issue:
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-2374

The Council forum post for info & updates:
http://www.daryth.com/council/showthread.php?t=2878

Stickman Ingmann's page on how to vote for a JIRA:
http://www.seawolf-monsters.com/wiki/KB/OtherIssues-JiraVoting

__________________________________________________________

Thank you for your time and your vote.


This is important, it doesn't just affect large or feral avs--it affects every single Tiny on the grid, too (including Autogenic Alchemy's). Please vote.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

have mercy on my soul, I will never let you know

(A thousand pardons--the link to Miss Ashia Tomsen's store has now been connected and will, in fact, take you to PopFuzz...instead of my skybox.

(*coughs* We move on.)


This has little do to with most of what is usually posted on my blog, but--I should stress this, intonation is important. Why?

Because the word in that "Kidz Bop" cover song is "looking".

Let me say that again, because it sounds vaguely important, and because it does not sound like that on first--or even fifteenth--hearing: the word in question is (or is supposed to be) LOOKING.

Intonation is important.

This afternoon--still fighting with the dress, SL refused to save anything I designed yesterday--I heard about a skin sale going on at Ashia. Or, more importantly, a skin line loss.

Apparently, Ashia Tomsen discovered that someone had stolen her skin textures and released them for profit on their own. Because it was a clear case of Copybottage--namely, lifting the skin texture, downloading to computer, and re-uploading with a new makers' name--the Lindens are doing nothing. To be fair, without a point-by-point comparison and a DMCA filed, they really can't--while I'm fairly sure these aren't Eloh Eliot skin templates to start with, it's possible and even probable that skins will look alike; I mean really, truly, there's only so many variants for "Caucasion with green eyeshadow and pink blush" that won't look alike.

So she is retaliating. Steal my skins? she asks. Fine. I'm selling them all for a Linden each. There will be so many of my skins wandering around you won't be ABLE to make a profit!

It's not the worst reaction.

She doesn't quite seem to get the point of "Goth":

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in that most, if not all, 'gothic' types have about as much understanding of 'lifelike cheek tint' as...well, aardvarks, or something. The gothic culture as a whole? Really not big on 'lifelike' coloration in the least.

She doesn't quite grasp that Drow have white hair, either. Her's her grey Drow:

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and here's her blue version:

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both with black eyebrows. Distinctive? Yes. Baffling? Also yes.

And she's far too fond of freckles for my taste:

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FAAAAR too fond of freckles.

But beyond that, she's done a fairly good job for a new skinmaker. Pity she was hacked. I will say this is excellent retaliation, and motivation for a whole new skin line.

Might I ask, Miss Tomsen: the next time you make Drow skins? Give them white eyebrows? The Drow community will ardently thank you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

who shot that arrow in your throat? who missed the crimson apple?

I see you.
I see you standing in the shadows, retreating.
I guard where I'm able
watch where I can
and I will follow you.
Real world laws and how they apply to virtual worlds.
I see you.
I see the new wounds and the old.
I watch you bleeding
I wait for healing
and I hope it starts before you fall.
Steam powered...vibrator? Apparently so! Now, if she can just figure out the heat-loss ratio...
I see you.
I see you because I choose to walk beside you
You have my heart, my love, my
ability to endure and keep moving
even if you stagger, even if I fall.
I can't say I approve of the outfit, nor entirely understand everything that's going on, but Standby is a very compelling machinima.
I see you.
I see you because I stand here, too.
A word away, a phrase, a note, a gesture
And I will answer whenever I can.
and I will follow you.
A huge art installation entitled Storm Eye literally brings inclement weather--in the form of one thousand animated prims--to Second Life.

These are true things. I will follow, I can't not. I do not give up unless all hope is taken from me, or those mystical words of parting are uttered. I am not convenient to love; I am not easy to love. I am fractious and opinionated. I forget, I get distracted, my attention wanders. I forget to tell those I love best and dearest how much they mean to me, as often as I should. But I am here. I endure. You will too.

I am here. I have hope. You will too.

I am here. And I move towards a future. You will too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

they take a Polaroid and let you go, say they'll let you know

This is still amusing me to no end. I've been LOLcatted!

And Dr. Mason brings Something in the Sea to my attention. Imagine crossing BioShock with The Mothman Prophecies (or go that one step further and go directly to the Mothman Chronicle DVD) and you'll get an idea of what an intriguing concept this is.

Or just push all that aside, potential cryptozoology, the "what is that thing?" response for half-glimpsed half-in-shadow shapes along the shoreline--and just go for the heart of the tale. Someone is kidnapping little girls. Someone who leaves not-quite-human footprints. Someone who doesn't look quite like we do, and is frequently accompanied by glowing red lights under the water. That, in itself, is terrifying.

Add in the rest of the growing BioShock mythology, and things get very unnerving indeed.

The effects of virtual reality on the treatment of PTSD. Very interesting also--could Second Life (and other virtual worlds under development) end up being good treatment sources for those in emotional/psychological pain?

(Of course, the reverse can be true as well--those in emotional/psychological pain are frequently drawn to that which harms them...because they're familiar with that harm. I see that a lot, too.)

So I've been reconsidering the dress, and I KNOW what you're all going to say: OMG, woman, put that thing out already!

But...collar. Damn it, it needed a collar!

I found some good collar laces. I am COMPLETELY IGNORING the back of each gown set, but--I think I can eke by on just making the fronts, because some of us have long hair, and those that don't, well, it may not matter, and b'sides, most people are looking at the front of us anyway. WE'RE the only ones usually stuck looking at our ass....ets.

And in thinking through things, I'm going to make sure back and front match up, but I'm only uploading (and making) the blouse bases. I figure, I'm offering between two and four jacket-layer plain corsets, and a shirt-layer corset/blouse combo, plus gloves, plus two skirt options, leggings, system skirt and seamed stockings--ENOUGH, already! Hells, the corset tops alone could be worn just as is. Come on now.

And--if Lady Kira deigns to let me grovel enough to get this up somewhere, even if just in the shop--it's all for charity anyway, so I think it's a grand deal considering what I'm likely to offer as the 'minimum donation'. (I'm thinking L$200 or so. I'll talk it over with Kira-Kira.)

Tipped by the mysterious Andy, a UK article goes into what Joss Whedon sees as the core themes of Dollhouse. Power, love, expectations--those are pretty big thematic concepts for a TV show, but so far, he's doing a good job.

Several interesting things culled from Twitter (I know, I know, don't everyone go peep over at once--I did stealthily creep on, but it's also true that I didn't exactly make it hard to find me): a follow-up on the out of body VR study; Warren Ellis discovers Julianna Barwick (and love her or hate her, you have to admit what she does is odd and surreal and compelling); training kitchen safety inspectors in Second Life; an interesting point from Zha's blog on anonymous adventuring, roleplay, multiple characters, honesty, and transparency.

Now, I will disagree on one point: I, personally, do not care if the same driver is behind the eyes of four avatars (or two, or nine...whatever). Where I start to care is if all avatars act as if (or outright state that) they're as the same person. If I don't know, generally, I don't pry, and I treat each avatar as a discrete individual, to the best of my ability. (Because I know me, you see--if I know, I do my best to avoid it, but I do pull the 'sidewise communication' trick now and again. It may be Jane in front of me, and I may only really know Jessica, but if I know it's Jill behind both of them? I may use that knowledge to communicate to the person behind the screen, and not the avatar I'm facing. And that, to me, is underhanded--on my part.)

Blip from a discussion about adult content, and how it's amusing the blog got noticed for what I consider a 'fluff', or just fun 'filler' piece, and not for the eight weeks or so I spent dwelling on adult content issues:

[19:31] Sphynx Soleil: Maybe treat it like baaaad comedy hour? "thank you thank you, here 'till thursday, try the veal...wait, no, you can't that might be adult content, you know" or something :) Eh, it's a thought. I'm feeling a bit demented. :)
[19:40] Emilly Orr: *cackles* Veal is AC now??

Other than that, she has a point. :)