Thursday, February 18, 2010

darkened rolling figures move through prisms of no color; hand in hand, they walk the night, but never know each other

MMORPG's Jon Wood on why 'Community' shouldn't mean 'Marketing'. Short but insightful article; the Lindens could do worse than to read it, considering that Pink Linden seems to be in the cheerleading/marketing position now, when she was hired more as a community (read forum) supporter.

Or, put another way--when you feel you as a game player/subscriber/resident (depending on the game) can talk to rocks in the game and get better feedback for your time than talking to actual people working at the MMO's company...the time has come and perhaps passed for things to change.

Of course, the actual chance of getting a Linden to read, and/or reconsider what they're doing to damage their company is about 0.000000000876% to 1, so...

By and large, on this blog, I don't go mad over nifty new tech toys; I leave that to other blogs who do a far better job. But this one I had to mention. With this amusing codicil that arose in separate conversation: What do you want to bet that, when that mouse is released, it sells to more women than men?

I'm serious. I think it will. Slap breasts on a remote, men will buy it; make a beer can container in a bikini, men will buy it. A sophisticated visual pun on female anatomy that pretty much demands dexterous fingers to use...that's selling to more women than men.

In other news, while this is not primarily (or even secondarily) a recipe blog, sometimes things come up which are so bafflingly stupid, I have to include them on general principle.

I present to you now the version of teriyaki sauce. Note the first ingredient is, yes, teriyaki sauce. That's...insane.

Teriyaki is actually just a style of Japanese cooking: in this case, glazing or marinating meat or vegetables ("teri", which means 'shine' or 'luster') followed by grilling, roasting, or barbecueing ("yaki", which means 'grill' or 'broil'). It results in a tender, slightly sweetened end product, be it beef, pork or tofu, and it's turned into a pretty good, standardized flavor with the commercially-bottled varieties.

What teriyaki sauce actually is is, a sweetened, thickened version of soy sauce, soy sauce being the actual base for true teriyaki sauce. Sara Weaver has a wonderful version on her blog, and there's a lot of other homemade and "restaurant-style" variants. Here's one that's pretty simple and keeps well:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
5 Tblsp packed brown sugar
1 to 2 Tblsp honey
2 Tblsp cornstarch or tapioca flour
1/4 cup very cold water

Mix everything but the cornstarch and the cold water in a medium sauce pan; heat on low, stirring with a whisk. In a separate cup or bowl, mix the cornstarch and the very cold water until fully dissolved; drizzle into the saucepan while stirring until completely mixed in.

Then you just heat until your sauce is as thick as you want it; you can add a bit more water at need (if it gets too thick). Bottle and store in the fridge; lasts to a tedium if chilled.

And feel free to change it up however you wish. After all, the point is the thickness as a glaze and a certain sweetness of flavor, not any particular ingredient list beyond soy sauce and some sweetener (be that honey, brown sugar, molasses, rice syrup, or Splenda for all I know). People have added dry mustard powder, sliced green onions, sesame oil, whole chunks of ginger, onion or creative. Experiment. Write down what you like and do that from now on.

Came across two entries on the launch of the Linden Homes project, one by Dusan Writer and one by Trisha Gelber. Of the two, I vastly prefer Dusan's, because Trisha's is far too chirpy for me. B'sides which, Dusan gets into the hard code of the rules for these little themed home offerings:

* Linden Home is for residential use only.

Makes sense; they're giving you that 512 block to live in, not to create a store.

* Business use of any kind is prohibited, including parcel rental, rental boxes, classified ads or other forms of advertising, and event listings.

So, no turning your Lindenhome into a club, subletting it, setting up rental boxen or vendors; right, right, we get it.

* Land cannot be terraformed, sold, deeded to group, joined, or divided.

That also makes sense, in terms of the Lindenhomes being on strictly themed and controlled areas, and designed for new residents who may not be in a ton of groups...but they fly in the face of virtually all other contract agreements for land on private estates, and, in many cases, for mainland as well--thereby creating a class of land wherein no land change, no transfer, no group ownership, is allowed. I think this will confuse residents down the line, honestly.

* Land cannot contain sky boxes, temp-rezzers, or individual prims beyond the allocated size of the Second Life Viewer build tools – 10×10x10m (no megaprims).

The hell? All right, we have recently learned that temp-rezzers were massively abused, and therefore I can see them being disallowed--but no skyboxen? And no building with megaprims at all?

* Linden Homes may not be removed, modified, exchanged, set or deeded to group, or transferred.

Again with this reiteration--we get it, yes, land and homes cannot be removed or modified or altered or exchanged, if we get one we don't own one, not in the sense that we can own other homes, and we don't own the land feels like the worst sort of gated community, land owned by small and petty dictators, telling new residents what they can and cannot do from the first day on--then expecting grateful payment for the privilege!

* Linden Homes should be kept presentable and in-theme. Danish modern furniture in Elderglen? No faery chairs in Shareta Osumai? Okay...

* Linden Homes should not be used as sandboxes.

Okay, for mass building of everything, I agree with this, but this combined with no skyboxen makes me think that new residents aren't supposed to use Lindenhomes "gifted" them to build anything, which is...pretty anti-SL, actually.

* Linden Homes do not include traffic tracking.

I'm trying to figure out why this matters...

* Ownership is limited to one Linden Home per Premium Account.

And this last one's just a duh statement start to finish.

Wandering on Instant Watcher, discovered it now has ads. It's a simple service, basically a rundown of what's new on Netflix, so it's partially comped by Netflix to do so. Everyone's happy.

I'm not even saying I mind the ads, just--this one, in particular.

My reactions, in order:

1. Yay, Second Life is buying ad space on other services!
2. Whoa. Second Life is buying ad space here. Man, they must be getting desperate for new people.
3. *peers at the ad* What the hell??

First off, one: "becoming" your avatar in SL has NEVER been the focus of SL. In all my time on SL, in fact, I know less than one handful of individuals who make it a point to match their in-world avatars exactly. (Though to be fair, that number *might* be higher, because I don't ask to see peoples' photographs to stop and compare!)

And two: "becoming" your avatar was always a byline of IMVU, so, what, now Second Life is stooping to the level of stealing other virtual worlds' advertising slogans? Is this cool at all?

But then I stop and remember, Second Life was the one that did the big "Avatar" film tie-in with the Na'vi avatar in the banner ad--and then backpedaled clear into Kansas to get away from the blunder when several of us pointed it out. (Which also didn't make their in-world stomping on people who hand-created their own Na'vi skins look good at all, because it very clearly became a case of "Do what we say, not what we do, because we're the Lindens and you're not!)

*sighs* When did this blog become mostly Linden bitching? I mean, really, I know we live in a world where the overlords are distant and unapproachable; I know they don't listen to us; I know they keep making mistakes; but really, is it all about that, now?

I'd go on, but really, it'd just turn into a rant. On so many things currently...


Sphynx Soleil said...

* Land cannot contain sky boxes, temp-rezzers, or individual prims beyond the allocated size of the Second Life Viewer build tools – 10×10x10m (no megaprims).

It's a 512sqm parcel, and they're not all even squares or rectangles, so there's not a lot of megaprims that would easily FIT anyway.

No skyboxen make sense since they're trying to 'sell' THEIR homes - and a lot of people would be getting skyboxen that just don't fit the theme.

Now if they had a collection of appropriate skyboxen.... :)

Icterus Dagger said...

I interpreted the above referenced item to mean no sky boxes, etc. that went above the 10x10x10 size limit, not "no skyboxes full stop".


Emilly Orr said...


I keep having to remind myself, these are intended as draws for new residents to get premium (and thus "paying") accounts, as well as a rule set intended to stop the obvious errors new residents are prone to make.

Still. It feels weird and restrictive.

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Dagger,

It's the structure of the sentence. More directly, they are saying:

* No skyboxen, in or out of theme; no exceptions;

* No temp rezzers, whether the rezzer brings out a painting or a full bed, no exceptions;

* No megaprims allowed; further, nothing allowed to be rezzed out that goes beyond the 10x10x10 standard prim cube.

Which is odd, that last one, because really, "no megaprims" does kind of cover it, but again, telling myself, "new resident who doesn't know these things".