Saturday, February 26, 2011

I just want these holes for when I try to run

From my informal, ongoing poll on viewer popularity: there are currently 41 people in the (Magic) (Burst) store, riotvending for a dress. Of those:

* 2 are using Viewer 2.
* 5 are using Imprudence.
* 1 is using Emergence.

The rest? On Phoenix. Thirty-three people, from varying backgrounds, varying lengths of time on the grid, varying needs in a viewer. Some I know have creaky, elderly Frankencomps like I use. Some are factory-made Dells (or equivalents) with zero modifications. I'm sure a few of those 41 are running Apple boxen. In at least two cases (since I know those avatars personally), they're top-of-the-line gaming consoles.

I'm finding that, overall, is reflective of the grid most of the places I've been going. The bulk of users use Phoenix. A few (and I used to be one of those holdout few) use Imprudence. The spare spare spare few people left use Emergence, or Viewer 2, with the people on Viewer 2 only one space away from the decided minority of Emergence.

It's not even an old-vs.-new game anymore, because overwhelmingly, if we were to spend time in any welcome area--pick one at random, even!--we'd hear this: "You're on viewer 2, right? This is how to get Phoenix." It's not even the Phoenix developers telling people this--it's random strangers on the grid.

This next quote comes from the marvelous Theia Magic:
"Ever ask yourself why you log in here? In my over 5 years here, I have never found myself asking this as often as I do now. We roam this pixelated version of reality amongst thousands of others. Some are escaping real life, some are searching for something or someone to add to it, and some are even trying to replace it altogether. Yet at the end of the day, all our reasons for being here are temporary. Places, objects, even people will all one day disappear from our Second Lives. I'm sure many will disagree, but I ask you this: How many times have you stood in a room filled with other people in silence? How many items have you bought that sit in your inventory forgotten, or built objects just to delete them from existence? We enter into SL alone with almost nothing, and at the end of our time here, we'll leave the exact same way. So why am I here? I think the most honest answer is to simply enjoy the moment while it lasts, because tomorrow is promised to no one, not even in your Second Life."
She has a point. She also has a warped sense of humor edged like a razor, and is a great deal of fun to read. (I'm serious. Read through her profile.)

I bring her up, though, because she has a blog. On that blog she has several entries about RedZone and GreenZone. I still haven't decided if I want to lug around a GreenZone HUD, because bad things have happened with them, as well. At this point there's insane drama on both sides.

This is what we know. At this point, there's at least one person who has been stalked using the RedZone system. (Fact, and if there's one, there may be more.) There is at least one person who was advertising in her profile openly that, for the "reasonable" fee of L$500, she would track down whatever person you wanted, and scan their IP for alts, and sell that information to you. (Fact. And again, if there's one, it's occurred to other people.) There is at least one dominant male who has gone on another site entirely and outed the alternate accounts of a submissive he believed was misbehaving. (Fact. And that's a stunning case of SL crossing into RL with a VENGEANCE.)

These are bad things. There are now ten different domains that xFire Zue is using to harvest IP information and avatar account names for the RedZone system:

* isellsl.ath.cx
* isellsl.com
* girlsofthevip.com
* hamlinpro.com
* syscast.net
* media.syscast.net
* apache2-blow.port-au-prince.dreamhost.com
* www.quickware.net
* quickware.net
* quickware.zapto.org


And the main JIRA against RedZone now has 1,454 votes (at last count), with 597 people watching that issue, and getting every comment emailed to them (I'm one of the watchers). (Though there's another point on Miss Magic's page that says the Lindens no longer count votes--can anyone confirm that for me? If that's true, what the hell do we have a JIRA system for?!?) A bigger sign of the problem--a Linden has been assigned to that JIRA to work on it. (In fact, that's the Linden assigned--WorkingOnIt Linden.)

But she also has a list of stores that do not use RedZone (which, personally, I think is a better thing to have than a list of stores that do. I'd rather support than boycott any day). It's a long list. (There are other lists of artistic/scenic sims, dance clubs and non-RedZone-enabled Adult sims, too.)

From that long list, these are the stores I recognize, and am more than happy to support:

Amulet Sculpts. Reasonably priced innovative sculpts, always with examples so you can see what it looks like before buying.
Worldwide Industries Main Store. WWI I come and go on, but for post-apocalyptic modern attire and gear, they're very good.
Chaisuki. Mostly standard 'beach-girl' skins, but a good range of skin tones, and a unique line of makeup layers/roleplay effects.
*Fishy Strawberry*. I admit, I always laugh at the name. There are worse reasons to investigate a business. Plus, they're just a fun, if girly, little store.
*ICING*. Don't think "Vintage" equals "Caledonian" here (or worse, Winterfallen); you won't find authentic medieval or Victorian clothing here. Think more along the lines of the 1940's and 1950's. They're "retro".
*Sheer*. Sheer stockings, and lots of them, in lots of different patterns. A small but well-deserved niche.
Bare Rose Tokyo. WooT! Bare Rose is clear of RedZone!
Leatherwerkx. Leatherwerkx is really, really odd, but well worth a visit. They offer sculpts you're likely not to see anywhere else, vintage furnishings, and bondage gear. They're not like any other store on the grid.
(Elate!). Elate makes simple, lovely frocks that look entirely hand-done. They're not the token minis we see everywhere, they're generally tea-length or knee-length, with a few mid-thigh variations. Small but pretty.
~*~WHITTENTONS~*~. Shoes, some fetish, nearly all sculpted, and the occasional necklace or frock.
{Zaara}. Ethnic with a twist--bright, vibrant colors and patterns. Think "modern India".
Rebel Hope. While I will never respect the designer, and I will never forget what she did, she does design beautiful clothing, and it's nice to see that occasionally, she still remembers what ethics are.
ALPHAMALE & BLACKLACE. I know them most for the Blacklace side (lingerie), but AlphaMale does what you think it does--good modern fashionable male attire.
aMuse. Prim-feet shoes, frocks, all with a club-gothic flair, and the amount of magenta in the store will drive any thinking being towards violence...but now and again, there are some cute things.
Analog Dog Hair Island. One of the few places still using flat planar hair that actually looks good.
Bax Coen Designs. Sadly, you can't walk INTO Bax without having at least five hundred Lindens mysteriously evaporate--but, to be fair, Bax also makes amazing boots that are worth the outrageous prices charged.
Curio. Curio remains one of the best stops for vintage hair. There are others who do more traditional pieces; there are people who use more photorealistic textures. But she has it down to a science, and she did it before anyone else.
Deviant Designs. Fun stuph--shoes, frocks, and tasteful restraints, all set in tiny little 'modern' stores in an island setting.
fri.day. Modern, casual clothes, really well-shaded, hair, shoes, dresses, accessories...and the entire thing in a wonderful store build that feels clean and welcoming.
Have you heard...the Rumor. Furnishings for darker hearts, in a very intriguing build, along with some few items best placed outdoors.
Ministry of Motion. Like Sine Wave, they're a motion-capture animation company.
Nonna Hedges. It's Nonna Hedges. Do I even need to explain? But if I do, think lace, think high fashion, think bridal.
Shiny Things. Great shoes, jewelry, fantasy florals, and the occasional frock.
The Deck. Lovely beach sim to wander about in, multi-vendor, a mall with few pretenses.
LOLO Pet Shop. Excellently crafted, non-breedable animated pets of all kinds.
Tiny Bird. Quirky Japanese hair, a small selection of tops and boots, and a staircase that goes nowhere, by design.

Note, this is not the whole list, check the link for that--but these are the stores that leapt out at me just on a brief scan of the links.

On February 8th, Oz Linden said this was not a viewer issue. Considering RedZone uses an exploit in the media settings that could be closed by the Lab, I think it's a meta-viewer issue. But as Oz maintains it's so--and has gone so far as to inform Miss Beverly, who opened that JIRA, that if she RE-opens it her JIRA posting rights will be revoked.

How draconian.

Two comments underneath that, SugarPutty Magic announced that a new JIRA under the Security Exploits section had been opened, to transfer this issue there. Unfortunately, none of us (who aren't Lindens, or don't have a great deal of influence on the grid as residents) can see it, but it's there.

In the meantime, Miss Magic has opened another JIRA dealing with media commands requiring resident approval. We'll see how far that one gets.

On top of everything else? If you're a merchant on the Marketplace, have an utterly meaningless survey. Trust me, you'll barely have time to inhale before you're finished with it. Way to go, Lindens.

There's a long, but great, music video (and song) out there based around Tetris. Before you dismiss it, I should tell you that in six minutes, it encapsulates the entire history of the Russian people, from first revolution to the present time, and integrates it nicely into geek history. Plus, the video's very vintage in spots (and vintage from all over). Well worth the time spent watching it.

Tales from City of Heroes (Princess Edition). This was seen on a lass wearing a pink puff-sleeved short dress with lavender piping, who had waist-length straight blonde hair:
I've been kind of a homebody up until recently...
Her character name?

Princess Rapunzel...

And that's all for now. Coming soon: comments from the main RedZone JIRA thread, since I've been saving them and dreading reading through them all.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I asked you on a date, and in a croaking gutteral whisper you said "Pick me up at eight"

[16:55] Adam Luponox: i met a girl yesterday who said she was half rotten doll and half vamp and was looking for people to be friends with but she was not even in bloodlines lol
[16:55] Emilly Orr: Half rotten doll...
[16:55] Adam Luponox: yep


I have no words.

In other news...Imagine for a moment. You've cleaned your apartment within an inch of its life. The sheets are changed on your bed and in the guest bedroom, and the couch and the living room carpet have been thoroughly Febreezed. You've cleaned the counters and the stovetop just in case things go down in the kitchen. There are amusing small bottles of finger-paints in the shower that leave a tingle when they're washed off of skin.

Tasteful holiday baskets hold packets of flavored lube, condoms, and a wide assortment of various massage oils, scattered on any reasonable surface. You've organized the floggers in the equipment closet by weight and color, and you have wine coolers in the fridge, and the makings of dirty martinis on the mobile bar. You've invited your most attractive friends over and they've told you they're bringing edible underwear and rum.

You share a light supper of early spring salad, with white asparagus spears and artichoke hearts, and finish things with fresh oysters on the half shell and tall thin shots of vodka, chilled to perfection. And then, you move everyone to the living room. Flushed with anticipation, you turn on the Wii and set up...We Dare.

There are two big problems with this. I'm discarding the not-available-in-North-America bit, because really, we are weird about sex, there would be protests. No, I'm talking more about the marketing campaign (that video trailer works, by the way) as well as the fact that in Europe, this game has been rated as acceptable for ages twelve and up.

The hell. So either the marketing is way off, or...twelve-year-olds can spank each other in Europe? When did this start? Plus, if you look to the game, and then look to that model living room, with those model 20-somethings (who would, in all likelihood, have ditched the Wii or the PS3 for a club night or the local watering hole of choice), they fail to match in any way. The hell, people.

"Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you play, or why, or how, as long as you’re having fun."

Definitely.

Also, this hit my inbox this morning:

[12:13] Sphynx Soleil: SL commerce group: "S0phie Sautereau: k, here's an FYI for listing on MP: the words "Coco" and "LBD" (Little Black Dress) both flag your listing as Adult. Put that on the @#(*^@*&^$^# agenda, please, someone!"
[12:13] Sphynx Soleil: also, the number 5 does it too, until they fix it
[12:13] Sphynx Soleil: just FYI


So, on Marketplace, "Gor" and "Gorean" get an Adult rating, we knew that. "Loli" and "Lolita" are back to being Adult. I get that too, even if they're idiots for reclassifying it--again--which is even more frustrating because they keep going back and forth on whether it is or not.

But "Coco"? Why is "Coco" an Adult-rated word? Also "LBD"? Why is "LBD" automatically Adult? Someone explain this to me.

And "5"? Lindens! Put down the crack pipe! Go into rehab! NOW!

Brief little interlude here from the cheap seats, because Ostara's coming up--or Eostre, or Easter, or "that day we have egg salad", depending (and if you're vegan, by the way? You have no excuse, you have to eat egg salad too)--for a couple things that surfaced on the Marketplace.

A&K's "Easter Surprise", followed by Thalia's "Bunny Babe II".

First up, A&K's "Easter Surprise".

From Comparisons

I grant you, it's cute. Purple-pink satin, polka dots, good shading, a fun little frill over the hips. Pretty white stockings, cuffs, collar--with a matching bow!--and bunny ears.

From Comparisons

And there's a tail in the back--not a sculpt, just a round sphere textured like white fur, but it doesn't overly matter.

I didn't touch the cuffs, I did readjust the collar slightly, and it doesn't quite work on the back yet. May need a little bit of stretching for my neck (and all the prims bits can be modified). Still, for a single Linden outfit, this is very well done.

From Comparisons

And then we hit Thalia's "Bunny Babe II", which, near as I can figure, is the exact same outfit. The hip frill, the frilled sleevelets, about the only thing it doesn't have are the collar/cuff options! They add black seamed fishnet tights, not lace-trimmed white stockings, but the ears are the same!

From Comparisons

There's even the same rounded sphere of tail. Was there a template kit going around I didn't know about?

So, who's copying who here? I don't know. They're both selling them for a Linden each, so it's not like anyone's going to be out much. I'd say, if you want the variety of cuffs, buy A&K's; if you don't want cuffs and collar, but do favor black fishnet tights (footless, at that), then go for Thalia's.

Or buy 'em both and mix and match the attachments, just remember you're getting the same basic outfit, exactly, in both cases. Weird.

(Not giving landmarks to anything specifically, because everything else is old--the hair I bought three years ago at Curio, the skin was from a promo pack at Heartsick, the eyes I bought long ago from Treasured Visions, which then became malContent, and the boots are from Show Me on the Doll, and are they even on the grid anymore? Though I hope they come back...)

Finally, I can't decide if this is a joke or not. For one, they're way too good at acting sincere and heartfelt. For two, the makeup's decidedly a step above.

No, that tree was hung with toilet paper. It has to be a joke.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

reality's just black and white

Overheard in the FallnAngel group:
[19:55] Tomoyuki Batra-Demain (tomoyuki.batra): I'm riding Riel and it let me see her stats
[19:56] Eden Pyrithea grins.....
[19:56] Tomoyuki Batra-Demain (tomoyuki.batra): Az keeps saying, "ride Riel! I wanna make babies with her!" He's baby making machine I tell you!
*coughs* We move on.

So, big, big controversy this week, and it's all tied up around something called RedZone.

RedZone, near as I can figure, is like CDS, only with worse abilities, and it violates more international data laws than CDS ever attempted to try. For more on that, read Axi Kurmin's excellent take on it (and for the full interview with the quotes she mentions, go read Dusan Writer's sit-down with Rob Humble), or Ciaran Laval's view of it, or you could read through SLUniverse's now four threads (at least) on the topic: the currently 94-page one dealing with why RedZone sucks, the short but amusing list of things worse than RedZone, the short but useful thread on how to stop RedZone (with the now EIGHT domains zFire Xue has registered...that we know about so far); a thread on security issues vis-a-vis RedZone (and viewers in general)...and if you want the how-to-block-Redstone in one link, try this one. It explains things pretty well.

(While you're wandering around SLUniverse, wander over here--it's a great little exercise in how to hear the very first sound ever played in SL--in SL. Kind of neat.)

So, why all the fuss? Well, let's go back to that illegal-in-many-countries thing. See, what RedZone does, individually, at each step that it does it, is not in violation of data laws nor Linden Labs' Terms of Service. But, taken as a whole--and used in ways zFire Xue had to have seen coming--it does broadly stomp on ToS restrictions and international data laws for everyone it successfully data-mines--which is anyone who came across it or any previous unannounced iterations of it, on the grid, over the past eight months at least.

Hypothetical, just to make sure we're all on the same page. Say...you live in a dorm. Everyone in the college has internet access--your dorm's on one server, the Magnolia dorm's on another, the Cornflower dorm's on another, et cetera. There are sixteen people in your dorm (hey, it's my story, I can have small dorms). You don't know all of them really well, but you get along okay.

Several of you play Second Life, in fact. Some of you have met on the grid, some of you just don't gibe with each other in a virtual space, but it's okay. No one has to like everything you do or they do; it doesn't matter.

Enter RedZone. You land on a sim RedZone-enabled, and you get scanned. Silently. You are never told you're being scanned, you may never know, you're never given a choice to opt in...it just happens. And it detects your IP address. (This isn't overly hard, especially if you have media enabled...in fact, those notices most of you have been ignoring since the 2.0 viewer launched were all about how if you don't trust the media-on-a-prim you're viewing, then disabling streaming media may be the way to go for you.)

Normally, this is no big deal, but it will track that IP address to its internal file, which, at this point, by creator admission, has over eight million individual avatar names. It will quickly match up that IP address with the IP addresses on file. If any of them match...and if any of those matches were viewed at any point along the chain of data-gathering as potentially suspicious...your name goes on the list as a potential copybotter or griefer, along with whomever it matched in your dorm who ran across the system first. In fact, according to the system, you--and any alts you may have--are the same person as that other avatar (and any alts they may have). And if any one avatar is viewed to be suspicious, according to RedZone, you all are...and you're all bounced as griefers or copybotters, even if all you did was walk in to a store having a sale.

But it doesn't stop there. At that point, you will generally be bounced from the sim, but, because the bouncing isn't that effective, you will likely crash. And since the biggest pastime this week in Second Life is ghosting, you may not be able to get back in. For hours. Whereupon, since you were bounced from that shop, you may log right back in there--and be bounced again.

But wait, there's more. If you read through the links, that's not all that's happening. And what is happening is bringing everyone out in droves to declare for or against...and in some cases, declaring neither is still getting avatars placed in one camp or another.

Case in point, GreenZone. GreenZone is being offered for free on the Marketplace, and what it purports to do is tell you, flat out, which sims/stores use RedZone. There's a ton of stores and sims that do. But at this point, the GreenZone people think they're fighting the good fight (or began that way), and the RedZone camp thinks the GreenZone people are attacking them with no case and no cause, and it's all descending into mass drama suitable for primetime.

Still reading? That's not all. Right now, because information is circulating on how to stop RedZone from scanning your avatar in the first place, the people with these systems installed are starting to equate people whose IPs are hidden to the system as griefers or copybotters as well--simply because they are not choosing to be scanned by a system whose origin they don't trust, whose stated purpose is a complete failure, run by a potential con artist who's quite possibly just in it for the money, that stores their data without their permission or consent.

So now, without a word to me, I can be banned from all new sims because I walked in without streaming media on by default. Whether or not I'm wearing the GreenZone HUD; whether or not I care to get involved past that. Because I protect myself, I'm then on someone's enemy list. And again, without a single word to me directly.

Now, there's a couple JIRAs surrounding all the controversy. The main one (with 1346 votes, gathered in just two weeks) is found here. A secondary one is found here, on adding options in the client to selectively limit media sources. I'm not entirely sure that second one will work, but I'll check in on it from time to time and see how it's doing. (This, in addition to the furor that's still raging over the handling of web profiles.)

And this is all happening the week that ghosting through sims becomes the national grid pastime, followed by all IMs (for me at least) going directly to email, over getting delivered to me...you know...on the grid...followed by the greatest grid instability I've felt for a solid two years, and the utter failure of both group chat and in-world search most of the time. Yeah. This is all happening in one week.

The earthquake happened in New Zealand, and by no means am I trying to minimize the utter terror and distress of that event...but I think we're feeling the digital effects in SL.

To end on a better note, for the artists out there--a wonderfully written--and drawn!--guide to facial expressions in art. A nifty, nifty read, from a web comic that really deserves more attention than I give it. And just for the giggle factor, how about a living Betty Boop?

And finally, one man proposes to his lady...who then suffers an ignominously giggle-worthy fate. (It's a short video, but very charming, and nigh-on hysterical if you know anything about Minecraft.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

I don't believe in miracles anymore

Some days in the land office are weirder than others. Case in point:

[17:09] rochellerwar: hello
[17:09] Emilly Orr: Hello!
[17:09] Emilly Orr: If you have land questions, just ask!
[17:09] rochellerwar: do u kknow how i can become a vampire?


From Solace Beach

This is not the typical question I get in the land office. I've been flirted with, I've been asked how much I charge, I've been asked for kisses, I've been told I need to go to whatever club or whatever sim to 'have fun'...This is not the typical thing I deal with on a day to day basis.

[17:09] Emilly Orr blinks
[17:10] Emilly Orr: Okay, first off, do you mean vampire, vampire, or idiot spampire?
[17:10] rochellerwar: no a vampire
[17:10] Emilly Orr: Well, I mean, are you looking for Bloodlines, or solid houses?
[17:11] Emilly Orr: My best recommendation would be to track down the Transylvania grid, honestly
[17:11] Emilly Orr: And talk to people.
[17:11] rochellerwar: no i just want to know how i can become a vampire


I don't know why I didn't just send her to an RP sim and say "Here. Buy some fangs, get some leather, play with the concept. Look for skins with wasted eyes. Get a pair of glowing red or yellow prim eyes. Have fun with it."

From Solace Beach

I think because she was so earnest that it was something you have to become over something you simply are...or can be...You know? Also, it took me ten full minutes of staring at her to figure out she'd put on two different hairs. I literally had no idea what to say.

[17:11] Emilly Orr: You are asking SL, right?
[17:11] rochellerwar: yes'
[17:11] Emilly Orr: Just checking.


Hey, I think it's a fair question.

[17:11] rochellerwar: ok r u a vampire on sl?
[17:12] Emilly Orr: On occasion.
[17:12] Emilly Orr: Mostly, I'm a shapeshifter.
[17:12] rochellerwar: thats really cool
[17:13] rochellerwar: is shapeshifter as cool as a vampire?


I have no idea how to answer that question, still. I'm still not entirely sure how she's asking these things. It seemed like this was far more rp-based, not just someone saying "So, who makes cool vamp skins? Where are good places to go?"

She then nipped off, and I dealt with some other land questions, and then--poof--she returned.

[17:19] rochellerwar: there was no one there
[17:19] Emilly Orr: No one where?
[17:19] rochellerwar: in trynslvanya i think i spelt that wrong
[17:20] Emilly Orr: Transylvania: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Transylvania/128/128/2
[17:21] rochellerwar: ya no one was there


From Solace Beach

Well, there's not always, but I'm still wondering where she went. Because when I pulled up the sim, there were thirteen people, most of them solidly at The Wall, as expected.

[17:22] Emilly Orr: There's also the City of Lost Angels but I believe that's now Adult land, so if you're not age-verified, you may not be able to get there.
[17:23] rochellerwar: ya im not how do i age verify?
[17:24] Emilly Orr: Usually, just go to the secondlife.com website and follow their instructions
[17:24] Emilly Orr: Let me see if I can track down the actual page
[17:24] rochellerwar: ok
[17:25] Emilly Orr: Okay, go here: https://secondlife.com/my/support/index.php? and log in with your SL account name and password. Look on the right side under My Account, or Account--one of those. There'll be a listing for Age Verification.
[17:25] rochellerwar: cool thnx
[17:26] Emilly Orr: Sure!


And that was that...I thought.

[17:52] jennybergamo Alecto: si io son licantropa
[17:52] jennybergamo Alecto: I am a werewolf is
[17:52] Emilly Orr: Okay


A self-translating Italian werewolf, at that.

[17:52] jennybergamo Alecto: e cercavo land licantrope
[17:52] jennybergamo Alecto: looking for land and werewolves
[17:53] Emilly Orr: Well, we don't have any *specifically* were land, but are you saying, look for more woodlands than beachfront parcels?
[17:53] jennybergamo Alecto:
no io cerco lupi
[17:53] jennybergamo Alecto: I seek no wolves
[17:54] jennybergamo Alecto:
licantropi
[17:54] jennybergamo Alecto: werewolves


So...either she wants other weres, which I can't guarantee, or she wants no other weres...which, frankly, I still can't guarantee. The hell?

[17:54] jennybergamo Alecto: x avere amiccizia io gia lo sono
[17:54] jennybergamo Alecto:
x amiccizia I already have are
[17:55] jennybergamo Alecto:
capisci emily
[17:55] jennybergamo Alecto: you know emily
[17:56] Emilly Orr wonders if tossing up her translator would make things easier, or harder.


Because that translation? Did not work for me at all.

[17:58] jennybergamo Alecto: ciao emily vado
[17:58] jennybergamo Alecto: hello emily go


And then she was gone.

Some days in the land office are weirder than others.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun

This from one of my groups:
LL is goign to be [switching] the blogs, forums, KB, and resident answers to the same system Best Buy got in trouble for using to track customers social media ussage. Additionally they are putting mandatory widgets on every post/coment you make. To try and get LL to make these opt in only please comment and watch https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-3667.
Okay, let me break all this down. Best Buy has a reputation for being a big box store with poorly-trained clerks and owners that have no clue what they're doing. Part of this, of course, is due to their buy-out of Geek Squad (owned by a group of geeks who genuinely cared about computer repair) and subsequent replacement of all staff with clerks who, in some cases, didn't even own computers in the first place. But that was just strike one.

Strike two happened back in 2009 when they used the same (or at least a very similar) system to try to pervert purely social media streams into 24/7 advertising for themselves that would raise sales.

Short version: they failed. Slightly less short version: they failed because people didn't like ads where they didn't want them (aka, chatting with their friends on Facebook or Twitter), and resented Best Buy's assertion that they "understood social media" while at the same time responding to precisely none of the pleas for help they received from customers who used social media and were complaining about Best Buy's abysmal service. As a subsequent result, those customers moved away from Best Buy to other (online as well as offline) retailers. Best Buy sales suffered tremendously as a result (though they've picked up by 61% in the last quarter of 2010. Of course, at least part of those profits were a result of corporate share buybacks...).

Same system, different company, and there is more than a little sharp taste of irony here, because when comparing Best Buy's languid, disparate customer service with Linden Labs' customer service, Best Buy actually looks like a customer that really, really listens...so having the same system pop up that failed with Best Buy as the Lindens' Next Big Thing?

Well, one, it should surprise none of us, and two, I think it ties very much into the previous JIRA I've been mentioning (now closed), with admittedly, about as much success in getting the Lindens to actually change their minds.

[02:20 AM] Turley Hallenbook is thinking, my Doctor is always asking me, if I am hearing any voices, now I'll have something different to tell him :)
[02:20 AM] Alexx McLaglen: lol
[02:22 AM] Turley Hallenbook: wonders if there is anyone brave enough to assist in if they can hear them too?
[02:22 AM] Turley Hallenbook: Or perhaps it is just me, myself and I
[02:22 AM] Alexx McLaglen: try to tp me, if you want, Ms H
[02:27 AM] Precipitate Flood: A tp? http://slurl.com/secondlife/Pacific%20Dreamz%20Lagoons/36/174/23 - it may get you away from the voices, if nothing else.
[02:28 AM] Garnet Psaltery: Good morning. What is the SLURL for, please?
[02:29 AM] Turley Hallenbook: oh, no, I believe it ate, Miss Alexx!!!
[02:29 AM] Turley Hallenbook: no here she comes :)
[02:29 AM] Precipitate Flood: Turley was complaining about hearing voices - a change of scene may help, or so I thought
[02:30 AM] Garnet Psaltery: Ah, how considerate of you :o)
[02:41 AM] Turley Hallenbook: oh my
[02:41 AM] Turley Hallenbook: it is so very loud now
[02:41 AM] Turley Hallenbook: and I have a witness ;)
[02:42 AM] Turley Hallenbook: But I don't know what happened to Miss Alexx


There is a haunt on the loose in one of the Caledon sims.

[02:47 AM] Turley Hallenbook: There is someone here with me, thank goodness
[02:48 AM] Turley Hallenbook: but can't find the location exactly the voice is, have narrowed it down to Miss Ouna's house
[02:49 AM] Turley Hallenbook: they hear it also
[02:49 AM] Emilly Orr: It might be that her parcel is set to play sounds beyond her parcel.
[02:50 AM] Turley Hallenbook: no matter, this sounds like a Ghost or Demon or maybe the Devil
[02:50 AM] Emilly Orr: Still could be sounds playing beyond her parcel.
[02:50 AM] Emilly Orr: Unless her parcel's haunted...
[02:51 AM] Turley Hallenbook: I believe it is, Miss Emilly
[02:51 AM] Turley Hallenbook: Has to be
[02:51 AM] Emilly Orr: That's not good.
[02:52 AM] Turley Hallenbook: someone should tell her and help her
[02:52 AM] Turley Hallenbook: I hope she hasn't been living with this, in fear of telling anyone


One does ponder the effectiveness of pixelated demons, or at least, when that one is me. This, plus reports of the ghost ship last summer...could be Caledon needs its own version of the Ghostbusters.

But we move on.

Share in the dinosaur love. Even if you don't like the Nostalgia Critic, or worse, don't know who he is, it is a hysterical joy to watch him dissect The Lost World: Jurassic Park. There's even a brief segment on how to properly do a Jeff Goldblum impersonation!

Lastly...with much trepidation, and not a little sick dread, I have downloaded the Phoenix viewer (build 1.5.2.908, to be precise). Two women I trust have either told me it's reliable, or demonstrated proof that it's reliable, and I am having an insane amount of difficulty dealing with Imprudence at this time.

Case in point: every single time over the past eight weeks I have logged in to SL, this is what happens:

1. Log in.
2. Notice "Loading", sigh, clear cache, and log out.
3. Log in and clear cache and log out again.
4. Log in, take a teleport, and crash.
5. Curse Imprudence, log in, clear cache, log out.
6. Log in again and wait half an hour for my inventory to load.

This was bad enough when I was just a sales clerk, but now that I'm an estate manager it's an incredible time sink, and it's beyond frustrating that it happens every. single. damned. time.

It is far from a secret that I feel as if the people behind Phoenix, and Emerald behind them, did the grid a great disservice and injustice. I do not trust them. I do not trust their viewers, I do not trust the people coding their viewers, I do not trust that the Lindens worked with some of them earlier and then turned on them for what may have been entirely separate issues. I do not trust anyone involved with either project.

And it doesn't help that I feel as if I'm jumping into the shark tank after having slashed open veins in my thighs with broken glass, but...I also feel I have zero alternatives. I won't use viewer 2 unless it's that or leave SL...and at that point, I will likely leave SL...but also, Imprudence has completely lost all effectiveness (in my opinion).

So...bring on the sharks. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

you're my fish-frog sweetheart

The things one finds when wandering idly on the internet occasionally boggle the mind. (There's nothing NSFW in that page, but some of the links it has *might* be beyond the pale; I wouldn't know, I haven't investigated further.)

I don't, as a rule, wear earrings (mostly because I rarely have side-by-side ears, and it's hard to find earrings that I *want* to pierce furry ears for), but Calamity Hathaway's zebra wood hoops may make me change my mind:

From Picasa

They come in six color options, all shown on the larger version, for L$50 per pair.

And if anyone wants a set of Arabian lanterns, you could go look at Xen Build's offerings:

From Picasa

They have a nicely turned out four-pack in seven colors (for L$100 each), or purely pierced-metal Moorish/Turkish lantern options (L$75 for the single), plus a table-bound variety (L$120, which comes with three sizes of lantern, plus a cute little wooden side table). Nice.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

after a hurricane, comes a rainbow

In a stunning display of corporate theft, Shanghai's Joyland has launched with someone else's logo. Don't believe me? Check out the detail of Universal's up close.

It's only a matter of time before Universal finds out; the problem is, is there any point in retaliation, legal or otherwise? They'll likely just replace the stolen logo with another stolen logo...

In other misrepresented news, Fox News covered the upcoming game Bulletstorm by stating outright the game causes a rise in incidents of rape. Despite having zero validity for this statement, in any way.

I personally don't believe any game causes a rise in rape, but then, I don't believe pornography causes a rise in rape, either. The fact that in nearly all rape cases, pornography was found simply means that they were guys. Do a survey of a thousand men who haven't raped, ever, and in nearly all cases, pornography will be found. It's kind of like saying rain causes hurricanes--while rain might be there, it's not the cause of the hurricane itself.

Continuing in this same vein, the folk behind Gawker take out a bet that their site redesign won't cause a tanking of viewer- and readership. Early numbers are saying it's a bet most readers aren't interested in helping them win.

From Degtukas' biography in Champions Online:
he was suffering pains, now he revenges peapole ho did this to him
Yes, that's really all of it. I am willing to cut him some slack over this, as he was dressed like a luchador crimefighter, and may well not be from the US--but oddly, that could have been an in-game grab, because one of the missions gives you your very own luchador costume to replace yours with.

(There's a couple entries I really need to fill out hiding in the wings. They'll be out at some point.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

makin' your way in the world today takes everything you've got

From the amusingly named "Trollface" on City of Heroes (Villains side):
Me had it all.

Me was high-ranking 'Raknos guy. Stronger than everyone. Me started as simple Troll, but 'Raknos pulled me out of gutter because of Mu bloodline. Me rose in rank fast, and could take down anyone.

Me had it all.

But then Recluse got mad just because me beat up entire 'Raknos invasion force. (Me still say that Tarantula was lookin' at me funny.) So he had Scir... Sara... Swordy-Guy pull all Mu-gic out of me. Threw me off top of tower. Not fun.

But now me have new purpose. Me am put on cunning disguise and teach 'Raknos what it mean to be scared. And heroes, too, actually. And anyone else. Especially lippy Tarantulas.

Me am darkness.

Me am the night.

Me... am... TROLLFACE.
Well. Doesn't that just give you a happy mutant glow?

Oh, and his "cunning disguise"? A red mask.

A RED MASK. On a GREEN TROLL.

I love this guy.

So, we finally finished the BDSM hunt, and I'm not even up to going through all that we received, but we were stymied at one location. I couldn't get into one of the stores. So, the folks in our party who could port in, did so, and pulled all they could from the land group and the sim group.

Allie Munro, serenity Quar, Carra McKeenan, Talon Serenity, and Skar Scorpio own the land that Grumble's on. I mention this because I'm banned from the land Grumble's on. I can't find anything in Miss Quar's profile that pops as a connectible reason; neither Allie Munro or Skar Scorpio pop with any recognizeable "Em hate" groups. To be fair, none of the five seem to have any known links.

Other than all working at...oh, right. Grumble. This is because I didn't like that orange shirt.

IT WAS A TERRIBLE SHIRT. GET OVER IT. The rest of the stuph Grumble makes is good--not for me, but good. That orange shirt? Is a horror. It doesn't make it any less true to ban me, but feel free to keep me away from that orange shirt all you want.

We move on.

After that, we arrived in this huge store called XCLUSIVES ANIMATIONS. Like, sim-wide. And nothing is rezzing in. They have happy little section signs over various rooms, and we don't know where anything is. And it's not because things haven't rezzed in!

Handy little tip, large store owners: If you have a sign that says "FURNISHINGS", name the prim that. I am totally serious. You can even name it "XCLUSIVES ANIMATIONS FURNISHINGS" if you want to be pedantic (and if that's your store, and you're insane about the all-caps). But seriously--ALL THE SIGNS in this place? Are named "Object".

THIS WOULD SAVE EVERYONE a lot of time. Dead serious here.

(Also: If you have to call it "MASTER'S ALTAR OF SUBMISSION"...in all caps?

You're not a Master. You're a wannabe.)

Don't get me wrong, the Dead Man's Hand hunt has some nifty prizes. (It also has some that will leave you scratching your head and pondering how they got into the hunt in the first place.) And it's not even that I mind paying for a hunt HUD to get the prizes--I wouldn't be on the Royal Tea Party Hunt if I did.

No, what I mind is that they're asking us to find 52 cards. One suspects they're all individual, flat-textured cards, and that's just...odd in this day and age.

Never forget--the real world is always stranger than anything virtual. Hands down, no contest.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

it looks like some kaleidescopic breathing exercise

So...in flipping by the blog to update a link, I caught the date on the last entry.

Um...sorry?

There are two reasons: first, Miss Neome decided it was time for a subscription to City of Heroes for me, and I've somewhat fallen into that (and on the side, I've been trying to give Champions Online an honest shot, and...so far that's not going well); and second, there are some issues in the meatspace going on that stalled me (and likely for a few more days).

For those of you who might worry, don't, so much; it's not something huge like cancer, it's just larger than I'd like to deal with of an evening. So.

The train temporarily derailed, but for once, due to no relationship-based implosion. Yay for me.

I'll be back with posts soon.