Thursday, July 14, 2011

I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning--there's no one here to save

Ashes to ashes, dust to du--hey, is that a shield?

MightyGodKing weighs in with yet another complication copyright law never saw coming. Where will 3D printers stand in the war waged between utilitarian (and therefore, non-copyrightable) and artistic (and, therefore, copyrightable) designs? When someone can look at your design, go home, program a .cad file, and release it for free on the internet, is this hacking? Corporate crime? Innovation? Invention?

No one knows. And, as MightyGodKing says, the best answer is "ask again later".

As far as I'm concerned, the Google+ debate may rage on, but I'm essentially on the sidelines. While I haven't been kicked out of the service--yet--I really don't have a use for it yet. And more and more people are friending me that I don't consider as friends.

That sounds harsh, so let me explain a bit. For me, Google+ is one thing that seems to do, far less elegantly, what I already have mechanisms to do elsewhere. If I want a short snappy update: Twitter. Not leaving Twitter. If I want a more in-depth post: Blogger. Not leaving Blogger (as far as I know). If I have a picture post, or I want to post a video: Tumblr. Not leaving Tumblr. If I want to say I liked something--especially on my mobile device when I'm out of the house--Fancy. Not leaving Fancy.

What's left? Seriously? What does Google+ do that I can't do already, and control my content better, elsewhere? Plus, there's been an endless stream of friend requests. To date, they all fall into three categories:

* Friends and/or family I can keep stronger contact with elsewhere.
* People I know from SL, and it's getting very tenuous as to how well I know them, the longer it goes on.
* People I absolutely, positively, never want to talk to again, or never wanted to talk to in the first place.

I can talk to the first category on my own; I can talk to the second category (when I talk to anyone at all) in SL; and I don't want to talk to people in the third. But in all three? I just don't see a use for talking to anyone actually through the Google+ interface.

If you know me, and I haven't put you in one of the Google+ circles, and you've put me in your circles...good luck with that. I mean that seriously: best of luck, I just don't want to reciprocate and get 300 names in a new place that I won't pay attention to. I am being very, very picky about who gets in the circles, for two very important reasons:

* I may lose access to Google+ when they get around to my name;

and

* I don't want a ton of people I'm trying to keep track of, on those rare occasions that I do open up Google+ and peer around for updates.

Flat out.

In the meantime, I did change one thing, so far, in the .xml for Snowstorm:
Extend the width of Chat Toasts:
In skins/default/xui/en/panel_chat_item.xml
Change the first "width" statement (in pixels) from "315" to a wider value, such as that of your extended chat bar (see above).

-- Michi Lumin, March 2 2010
While tips from that particular site come with a warning, and are very much "do at your own risk", that one actually helped. It put my toasts--which no longer flash at all--from a width of 315 to 400, and weirdly, that made them just enough visible that I know they're there, without being overwhelming. For one, I know the little icon on the no-longer-as-teensy thing is supposed to be an envelope...

nless I'm wrong in what changing that setting does; I might be. All I know is that I can tell now. On the other hand, something weirder is going on. Namely, this:

(from the Snowstorm album)

This is the active buy button for Snowstorm 2.8. That greyed-out, "I'm pretending I'm disabled!" button, yeah. That's active. Seriously.

I was trying to explain this to someone tonight and they just didn't seem to get it. It wasn't a matter of "waiting" for the button to go active. It was that the button was active as soon as the product rezzed in to buy, and the button still looked inactive.

(from the Snowstorm album)

This is a shot of the button being actively pressed. Now the button goes teal--though, even there, it is a darker, muted teal than the Cancel button's former tone.

(from the Snowstorm album)

Finally, this is a shot of receiving the in-game pop-up notice that I have, in fact, bought the demos I was trying to buy.

Just so I can make plain what the point is in all of this:
(from the Snowstorm album)

While my cropping job was far from perfect, this is the exact tone difference between the first, what appears to be 'dead state' button, and the button when hovered over by the mouse. Note: not when the button is pressed. Just when the button is moused over.

This is such a low rate of difference that I'm surprised more people aren't having problems with it. And I'm really wondering if this is actually a display bug in Snowstorm 2.8, or if that's actually part of the design; that is, if that low a color variation is actually intentional. And that's aside from the fact that the active button looks inactive in the first place!

All I know is, it makes it a bitch to shop, and again--when you're interfering with shopping, which seems to comprise half of all activity on the grid? That is a bad road to be going down, Lindens!

I'll find more as I go, I'm sure.

I'm a little concerned about the latest leaked shot from the upcoming Hobbit film. Is it just me? It looks like Middle Earth: Prom edition. Or purely fan work--that sort of, "Look what we made in metal shop! We ROCK!"

I'm sincerely hoping the film comes off as more lavish-budget epic, and less garage-band heavy metal with swords. But photos like this make me severely doubt.

Finally, PC Gamer has announced ten stunning Terraria builds, which are really cool to look at, but which still have one stultifying downside: they're in Terraria. I mean, some of them look really, really complicated and beautiful (and, in the case of the BioDome, have a fully developed ecosystem all their own), but...it's still side-action tanking, Minecraft meets Ghosts 'n Goblins. It just doesn't impress me that much, I'm afraid.

(But then, Minecraft fails to impress people, so hey, to each their own? I guess?)

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