Sunday, July 31, 2011

I know I could break you down but what good would it do?

Here's a tip: if you have to say "Extremely Sexy" on any outfit--on the Marketplace or not--it isn't, and it won't ever be. And repeating that it is (three times, including the title of the outfit)...Well, trust me, it just makes you look desperate, or deluded.

On the other hand, this looks lovely. You can't argue with two prims, and the sound randomizing feature is a plus for me at (virtually) any price. I'll let you know when it goes live.

For your perusal: the five most insane ARGs. (For those not in the know, ARGs are a combination of viral marketing, interactive website discovering, sleuthing, letterboxing, and forum bombing. It stands for Alternate Reality Game, and some of them get really odd. Even among the natural oddity that is the ARG, however, those five really stand out.

There's a new, more mobile version of the Giant Walking Child. And she now walks with her father. And her dog.

I give the entire troupe a year before they start wondering how she'd look with death-ray eyes.

Back to the insanely dramatic world of JIRA posting, to find another entry, thought dead these many moons ago, has woken up with a vengeance. On July 26th, Kelley Boyd said this in response to this JIRA post on web profiles:
Situation not fixed; either an option needs to be added to allow people to disable their web profiles, or else web profiles need to be scrapped. I'm willing to sue over this issue.
Now, that's not the insane and dramatic part. This is:
@Kelley: just set every section of your web profile to "Nobody" and shut up.
That was said by Lance Corrimal, who is certainly old enough to know better, not even half an hour after Kelley sent in his comment. And for several posts after, people were stunned by the rudeness. But it went on, and it escalated from there.

Andromeda Quonset:
@Lance: don't you think that's just a bit rude and uncalled for?
Lance again:
about as rude as complaining about something without actually checking it is. she can totally hide her web profile from anyone, so where is the privacy violation?
Kelley in retort:
1) I'm a he
2) I did check; I cannot prevent everyone from accessing my profile from the web at all.
3) Stop being ignorant and insulting, Lance.
4) There is absolutely no need for web profiles; there was no call for them at all; and no, there isn't more privacy if anyone can access my profile without being logged into Second Life.
Solar Legion:
@Kelley: There are indeed settings which allow you to hide your profile information from everyone. Look again and quit being belligerent.
At that point, it became a grudge match between Kelley and Solar (who is also old enough to know better).

Kelley:
It doesn't matter if that's the way LL is going, it's a violation of privacy, and that is a law suit I'd win. Web profiles are not necessary, and NO, there is no way to disable them for everyone. I did look into it, and you can only disable web feeds completely; nothing else. So kindly stop trying to rationalize what LL is doing and stop being such a jerk.

Web Profiles are not needed, and not wanted, and a class action suit will definitely stop them if they aren't willing to stop being morons and disable them now before they lose a law suit.

Just because you don't value your privacy, Solar Legion, it doesn't mean that other people don't.
Solar:
Look again Kelly, as there ARE options in the current setup to shut down sections so no one can view them. No, there isn't a "violation of privacy" - your profile is easily accessed by anyone near you and cannot be shut off. Thus, it is a public profile.

Do NOT presume to tell me otherwise in ANY of the above. I DO know what I am talking about.
Kelley:
No, you don't know what you're talking about, Solar Legion. I have checked, repeatedly, and there is no way to disable your web profile; no way to make it so that your profile can only be accessed from within the game client. What you are talking about does not protect my privacy because it means that anyone who can hack a webpage (there's no shortage of people who can do that) can access my profile information.

My profile is /ONLY/ for use within the Second Life grid, and no one who isn't on the grid has any business knowing what it says. I agreed /ONLY/ to allow users of Second Life, within the Second Life setting to access my profile. You have no idea what you're talking about; stop presuming that you do. You simply do not get it.

Just because you don't value your privacy, it doesn't mean that other people don't.

The fact that the Lindens don't want to listen to their users is just par for the course, and constantly increases the appeal of OpenLife.
Solar:
Kelly, I do indeed know what I am talking about. Kindly stop speaking as if you know one whit concerning privacy: You do not.

Linden Lab made the profile system for Second Life - not you, not me. THEY get to decide the base line/defaults concerning system access. Indeed, they already have. YOU get to decide what their baseline system shows others. That is ALL you get to choose. You either operate within the system - or you move on.

I will only state this ONCE: DO NOT EVER ATTEMPT TO TELL ME WHAT I VALUE.

You agreed to no such thing when you created your account - no one did. There was NEVER a clause within the ToS or CS which held ever the slightest resemblance to what you claim. Your Second Life profile is open to whemever views it (unless otherwise set within the "privacy" settings) - That is how it is. End of story.

No "privacy" violation has taken place: Your profile was and is public data. It can be accessed by anyone who gets close to you within Second Life, it can be accessed through any groups you are in, it can be accessed through object owner/creator information ...... and now Linden Lab has decided to use the same system as everyone else.

You never had a guarantee from Linden Lab that they would keep their system closed to SL. You never had a say in it either. You gave them the right to any data on their servers when you hit "agree" on your initial log in.

Be glad they are giving you the option to hide anything at all.
Kelley:
So, you're deluding yourself as well as everyone else. Sorry, but you know nothing about the privacy laws of America, let alone other nations. Second Life is a Global community. The Lindens are very much violating privacy laws in as many as a dozen nations. The fact that they are a for-profit company with an international market means that those laws are very much relevant to them.

Provisions to share my information on the Internet was never in any terms of service I agreed to.

If they didn't give me the option to hide anything at all, then there would be no question of their guilt in court.

The fact that the Lindens are ignoring their users, and the law, is most certainly not a close to this issue; kindly stop being their misinformed cheerleader, because you don't know what you're talking about. You should really stop posting to this JIRA at all, because your misinformation is just clouding the issue.
And Solar responding:
If what you say held a single grain of truth, ISPs and social networks the world over would not have searchable, public profiles. These profiles would not be visible to Google (or any other search engines).

In short, I am not deluded.

I am also quite sick and tired of people who think they can control what others say through any means they can think of (no, not directed wholly at you Kelly). I will continue to point out the way other services operate. I will continue to post until directly told by a Linden to tone it down.

And I will report anyone who willfully misinterprets my words or decides to put words in my mouth.
Now, this can--and likely will--go on, and there's not a lot of way to stop it unless the Lindens delete that JIRA entry or mark it non-searchable on their own. Acrimony clashed with bile and outrage and no good generally comes of that (I should know). But it is an issue that resonates not only with Mr. Boyd, but many of us. While I hold (still) that we have always had some form of accessible profile on the web, there are those who insist quite vehemently that they were never this openly public, nor linked to other social networks, and that I will agree with.

More to the point, this is another perfect example of the disconnect between the Labs and the users. The users--or, at least, the users in Boyd's camp--believe that Second Life is a community, with rights, responsibilities, and reasonable expectations of privacy.

The Labs, meanwhile, believe that Second Life is a web platform, and any and all software (and hardware) decisions are their direct purview, and we don't get a say.

Sadly, in this at least, they're right. As much as Second Life feels like a community of like-minded souls, moving towards some amorphous shared virtual ideal...we're really not. We're just bits of data that move around on their servers.

More on changes, and changes coming fast, let's talk about mesh for a bit. When the news came down that Curious Kitties had two new mesh outfits available, for free, I of course went down and got both. Can I see mesh? Of course not. Was I on a mesh-enabled sim? (Well, as I went home nearly immediately afterwards, no.)

But a friend I was with put on the dress, and their results were the same as Miss Dexter's--a giant, vaguely smoky prism enveloping the body, with three different textures depending on which side one was facing at the time. Rather unattractive, and rather a sharp heads' up on what's coming. And the reinforcement I didn't need: when mesh arrives, if I'm not fully up to speed on a mesh-enabled viewer-2 based client, I'm toast.

And so is everyone else who's on non-viewer-2 based clients.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

what's that sound coming from the bureau? do I dare turn on the switch?

Proof that Notch hates us and wants us to suffer: Meet the Endermen. A pixelated take, many believe, on the internet legend of the Slender Man, they're coming in the next update, code-labeled "Adventure" (to make it less seem like the giant sandbox which, well, it is, and more like an actual game. Because apparently, players of Minecraft actually want it to be WoW, or something).

The trick with the Endermen is that they're completely passive until your character looks at them--and in game terms, that means mouses over them. The second that happens, they attack. A lot. And quickly.

Wau, that's a lot of pumpkins.

Okay, I ran across something today that seems sheerly unbelievable, but...this is the grid, where anything can happen. Right? Still, in putting together what I could of it, I discovered that I'd have to edit the original image. Which removes nearly all of the impact of showing it.

This is somewhat bothersome, but here goes: click on the picture if you want to see the larger (and uncensored) version.


Now, I wish I knew where this was from, I just don't. I can tell you where I found it, though:

[18:49] Croon (croon.nandahar): newest fad for all the boyos
[18:49] Croon (croon.nandahar): http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6015/5986457113_1f2745735f_b.jpg
[18:49] Emilly Orr: 1. Please tell me you're not serious.
[18:49] Emilly Orr: 2. His penis is a potbelly??


Yes, apparently, or at least the shape he chose underneath the penis skin had a potbelly, and a rather pronounced one. Here's what gets me, though:

Unless you're on Adult land, it's just tacky to wander around showing anything below the waist, isn't it? I mean, have we as a society gone past the point where bits are modestly concealed in PG/Mature zones? Because this is a skin, remember. This is not something that you can just cover up with...

Oh, wait. You can. With actual clothes.

I have zero idea why anyone would want one of these, but hey, if you do, they now exist on the grid. Do let me know if you find them.

Oh, and for those who do not want to click the larger image, lest they see Peeping Penis: the buckle on the belt of his low-low-LOW-rise jeans? Says "GOT BEER?" And mayhap that explains it. Too much beer made pot-bellied penis sound like a grand plan to get the ladies.

Or the, well...whatever it is he's hoping to get with that look.

The ladies behind the What the Fug blog (pity they seem to have gone away) have a term for such things, in fact: public privates. (And it's not exclusive to men, either. Sad to say.)

Speaking of perversion in general, something happened in Fallen Gods (in the store, not in the chat group) the last time I was there, which still has me puzzled. I'm not going to furnish a quote, because who said what is less important than what was said.

Obviously, this story starts when someone cammed in on someone else's avatar. There could be a hundred different reasons for this, everything from 'I wanted a closer look' to 'I was camming around the store, I needed closer to a wall, and targeted off an avatar to make the hop over'. We just don't know why people watch us; but this is what people do, it's not going to change.

But that time, this caused sudden and inexplicable outrage, with shouts of "Stop camming me you perv?" and "Why are you camming me? Stop camming me!"

I just don't get it. Can someone please explain to me what the drama is about camming? I blame the coders who thought it was necessary to put the code in to allow you to see who was looking at you in the first place; but that's not even the point, is it? The point is it's here now, and it's been here long enough for it not to be a new, or even particularly unsettling feature. So why are there people on the grid who keep losing their minds over the fact that people cam in?

Honestly, most of the time I'd take it as a compliment. Focus is drawn, generally because the avatar in question stands out; we pick a prim, we pull it into edit, we grab the creator's name...because we like the outfit, and we like the look of the avatar in it. Why is this so wrong?

In other news, there's some initial investigation ongoing into Jomo's product line. I'm not going out on that limb and saying directly that they're infringing copyright, but apparently--especially in the case of LaQ's "Aline" skin, in the lower right corner of that image--there's at least one good visual match for Jomo's "4skin 010".

Part of the reason I'm leery of direct accusations is that most infringers are strictly fly-by-night operations, mostly driven on mainland sims for a month or so, and then disappearing into the fetid ether from whence they game. Jomo's main store, by comparison, is huge, and seems very distinctly designed.

So the jury's still out, but watch your feeds. I'd withhold shopping there until the issue's decided--one way or another.

Friday, July 29, 2011

so lame to see you leave, and to know that you believe it's over

Just when I think I've finally resolved the [Insect] situation, it crops up again.

To wit, this comment (thankfully left on the right entry!):
you have not had the courage to publish what I wrote in my previous comment! This is for me a great win! So I have understand very well what you are really and I think I will make too much advertise at this your "quality"! ^ ^

Goodbye sweet! ;)

[Dilapidated] Reigns
I really hate when people can't read. Or track down the right entry in the first place.

But, just to tie everything up in one entry...Ms. [Insect], you responded originally to this entry when you should have responded to this entry; then you got confused when I didn't publish your reply to the proper entry, because you'd gotten confused and replied to the wrong one.

This, by the way, is not my fault. That's all on you for forgetting which entry you were replying to in the first place. I am not accountable for stupidity.

But just to make things absolutely clear for you:

This is the direct link to your first comment (sent, again, to the WRONG ENTRY.)

This, on the other hand, is your bitchy retort comment--on the RIGHT entry!--because I didn't publish your comment on the right entry--because YOU SENT IT TO THE WRONG ONE.

Wau, I hope everything is clear now. Anything else? Do let me know, I'm all ears.

when the stage is dead and empty, and the band has all gone home

I get odd comments to old blog entries all the time. Sometimes (though this is rare), it's people who were perusing the archives, and stumbled across things, and wanted to reply. Usually it's spammers, who post everything from uninteresting "look this site [URL] thx' posts, all the way to highly ornamented, increasingly baffling statements that make zero sense, but can be amusing to read.

But from someone named [Dilapidated Insect], came this gem:
Given the fact that I have nothing to be ashamed and I am proud of my work, I would like to clarify that I have found more than one person who believed in me and I think you will eat your hands when you see what I've become . Oh sorry, I forgot.. You'll never see what I became because I do not think you deserve it! lol
Second point, you acknowledge that there is privacy??
exactly, what you have done violates my privacy and I think from now you will have to be careful with whom you talk and what you say .. as they say? An eye for eye, tooth for tooth, right?! No, no threats, but do not just want to be a joke as you are because I believe in what I do and you have no right to allow you to mock me! Shame on you! and above all I want to strongly warn everyone of what you are able to do so that everyone can defend themselves against your person!
Moreover, in my humble thought, you should open the dictionary and read what is written under the word: RESPECT

I hope you understand what I wrote, given my bad (as you say) English, and I also hope you publish this my comment... I hope so! ^^

Good second life, hun! ^^
Now, that came from this entry back in March. The highlights of that entry? I was excited about having the ad for Portal 2. I made my obligatory "Hey, see something on the Amazon slideshow you like, buy through that link, I get a negligible amount of pennies from Amazon, thanks" push. (I think I do that, what, every six months? I am not a high-pressure salesperson.) The rest was on translation failures, as I struggled to send out something even close to what I wanted to say, in English, to a German-speaking tenant.

But then, Ms. [Insect]'s comment arrived. (It actually arrived twice; I ended up deleting the second one.) It was a small-scale rant, and fairly baffling, to boot, because what did translation difficulties and 'yay someone sponsored me!' cheering have to do with disrespect and privacy issues? Buh?

So--and keep in mind, this was very late last night, I think around three in the morning--I started researching in scattershot fashion.

[Dilapidated Insect]'s bio on Blogger led nowhere:

(from the bizarre album)/td>

Essentially, she got a Blogger account so she could reply with a name, but is following no other blogs, and has no blog herself. That's not a bad thing, but since she tapped an entry that has nothing to do with her, and, when researched, essentially offers a blank face in response to that comment, it was baffling.

Still, I kept digging. Her web-based profile led somewhere, at least, but didn't help me understand why she seemed so bent on my respecting her rights when...translating German to English. The hell.

I even logged back into SL briefly to pull her up in world, and no new understanding was added. Finally, in idle desperation, I typed her name into Google search, and found something.

This something. Which, miracle of miracles, does reference Ms. [Insect].

Now we were getting somewhere. I settled in to read, and confusion set in again. Because while that entry does reference Ms. [Insect], it's largely about the confusion on why she was writing me in the first place. I don't own a sim. I don't have a trust fund. Why was she talking to me about sponsoring her idea?

To this day, I still don't know. But, armed with a better understanding of where the comment was originally intended to be, I feel better equipped to answer points raised in her comment.

So let's go through it again.

Given the fact that I have nothing to be ashamed and I am proud of my work,

Generally, this is a good thing, and laudatory, because having pride in one's work leads to a healthy self-esteem and a calm demeanor. I'm happy for you, Ms. [Insect].

I would like to clarify that I have found more than one person who believed in me

This, also, increases a healthy sense of self-worth, and also provides validation for our endeavors, so again, I'm happy you have friends that support you.

and I think you will eat your hands when you see what I've become . Oh sorry, I forgot.. You'll never see what I became because I do not think you deserve it! lol

Gad, another lolperson. But I'm having difficulty parsing this, so let me see if I've broken it down adequately:
  • Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.
  • I apologize, I have to issue a retraction of that previous statement. In my opinion, you do not deserve to perceive my soaring accomplishments.
  • I also apologize for my forgetting that I did not intend to allow you access to my greatness.
  • Let me insert a commonly-understood contraction that will indicate both my laughter at your inability, and to create the sense in you that I am not serious in what I say.
Um. Okay, good luck with that, then, Ms. [Insect]? Thanks for commenting?

Oh wait, she's not done.

Second point, you acknowledge that there is privacy??

Um...sure? Wait, what? How did we go from "I don't think you're ready for this jelly" to privacy issues?

But...wait. Oh. I get it. You mean, I acknowledge you have privacy on Second Life, and how dare I pull your comment, which was sent on the grid, into wider publication off the grid?

exactly, what you have done violates my privacy

Actually, it doesn't. In Second Life's official Community Standards, which is an offshoot of their Terms of Service, there is specific mention of conversation logs, and how they should not be posted without the consent of participants in such logs, on Second Life itself. It specifically prohibits such action on the grid.

Don't believe me? This is the statement at the top of the Community Standards page:

All Second Life Community Standards apply to all areas of Second Life, the Second Life Forums, and the Second Life Website.

"But wait!" I might (reasonably) infer you're thinking, Ms. [Insect]. "What about the Terms of Service? They don't let you just post anything you want to your blog, right?"

Actually...they're pretty clear on that, too. Within Second Life, I cannot post user content without permission. But there is specifically no prohibition against posting such content beyond the grid. The Second Life Terms of Service, and the concurrent Community Standards, apply to Second Life only.

Though I understand why such confusion happens, believe me.

Oh, wait. She's still talking.

and I think from now you will have to be careful with whom you talk and what you say .. as they say? An eye for eye, tooth for tooth, right?!

Wau, that sounds vaguely threatening.

No, no threats, but do not just want to be a joke as you are because I believe in what I do and you have no right to allow you to mock me!

Whoa, I got dizzy there for a second. Okay, this is another one I'm going to have to break down into component parts. Let's see if I get it right.
  • I am not threatening you, even though I phrased my previous comment in a threatening tone.
  • This is due to my opinion that you are treating me with disrespect.
  • I do not wish to be treated with disrespect, partially because I believe you deserve to be treated with disrespect.
  • I believe in what I do, and believe I am doing the right thing.
  • You have no right to give yourself permission to mock me.
Well, on that last one, I actually do have every right, or at least, I have the very localized ability to tell myself what to do, mainly because...well, I'm me. That's kind of the point. Telling me I have no ability to allow myself to mock others...well, that's just silly.

But wait, maybe this is a translation thing, too. Did you mean, I have no right to mock others in the first place? Well, linguistically, that would make more sense. But again, that's not precisely a "rights" issue. There have been debates on whether sarcasm equates to personal attack for decades now.

But let's go back to the entry you should have responded to, for a better answer of this one, Ms. [Insect]. There is no place, in my original remarks to you in Second Life, where I mock you. Now, that doesn't mean I couldn't have mocked you in that conversation, but I did not.

And, reading over the post again, while I do possess my fair share of snark, it's not the personality take-down you seem to think it is. I try to be factual, in my haze of incomprehension as to why you were talking to me that night at all, and--again, outside of a few sarcastic comments--overall, the opinion I'm leaving people with is mostly favorable--hence the linking at the bottom of that entry [Insert from Editrix: since this writing, removed]. At least, in my opinion, and I do recognize I have a bias.

Still, though, that's a bad thing, Ms. [Insect]?

Wait, she's still talking.

Shame on you!

Um...okay? I think you're needlessly upsetting yourself over this, but if that's your opinion, you are absolutely free to hold it.

and above all I want to strongly warn everyone of what you are able to do so that everyone can defend themselves against your person!

Consider everyone warned. Everyone: Ms. [Insect] says I'm a bad person. Defend yourselves accordingly.

Moreover, in my humble thought, you should open the dictionary and read what is written under the word: RESPECT

*opens the dictionary*
re·spect

[ri-spekt]

–noun
  1. a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in ): to differ in some respect.
  2. relation or reference: inquiries with respect to a route.
  3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
–verb (used with object)
  1. to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.
  2. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone's rights.
  3. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person's privacy.
—Idioms
  1. in respect of, in reference to; in regard to; concerning.
  2. in respect that, Archaic . because of; since.
  3. pay one's respects,
  • to visit in order to welcome, greet, etc.: We paid our respects to the new neighbors.
  • to express one's sympathy, especially to survivors following a death: We paid our respects to the family.
Origin:
1300–50; (noun) Middle English (< Old French ) < Latin respectus action of looking back, consideration, regard, equivalent to respec-, variant stem of respicere to look back ( re- re- + specere to look) + -tus suffix of v. action; (v.) < Latin respectus past participle of respicere
I hope that helped. I, for one, learned something: I didn't know, before reading that, that the word wasn't in use before 1300 (give or take some years). That's very interesting.

I hope you understand what I wrote, given my bad (as you say) English, and I also hope you publish this my comment... I hope so! ^^

Oh, I've even been known to publish spam on occasion, you're welcome. And I mostly understand what you wrote, I think, though it's about as clear as the first conversation. I never said your English was bad, per se, just that your translation service may be failing in the idiomatic.

Good second life, hun! ^^

Gosh, thanks. Well, if that's everything, then, I'll get back to my life in progress. Next time, Ms. [Insect], it might be far less confusing if you respond to the right entry, but when emotions get heated, mistakes happen. Believe me, I understand.

Have a great day!

(By the way, [service name redacted] seems to be the name Ms. [Insect] chose for her avatar transformation service. Part personal shopper, part avatar training, which apparently involves horses for some reason--at least, from the keywords given. They can be found in [sim no longer linked])

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm feeling something taking over me, fading everything to black and blue (part II)

So, before I got derailed on corset history, what was I talking about? Oh, right. Ongoing fashion feuds.

This from the SL Freebie Hunters' blog's latest entry:
I had intended to leave this topic in the dust, as I felt there was nothing more of value to say on the subject nor any need to keep attention focused on it anymore. However, I was linked last night to a post made by Rob1977 Moonites, one of the co-owners of the MENStuff group regarding statements made by the MHOII owner that bloggers were being *paid* to badmouth the MHOII hunts.
Okay, point by point.

First, if you're going to leave a topic in the dust, and not talk about it anymore, the way to do that is not to talk about it anymore. I can say this with a reasonable degree of certitude because I am beyond bad at letting things go. One might even say I have a strong inability to let things go. Right now, you're facing my life motto: Don't be me.

Second, that post. To wit, this passage from that post:
It was brought to my attention by a number of designers who had been contacted by Zuzu that Vic is making claims that the MENStuff team are paying bloggers to slander his hunt. Honestly, we don’t have the time for this.
Again, I have a few questions in regard to this one:
  1. Does anyone have verifiable, official logs that show Vic Zuzu directly asking these designers to make claims that anyone from MENStuff is saying they're paying bloggers to slander the Make Him Over II group?
  2. Alternatively, do we know which designers Zuzu supposedly contacted?
  3. Alternatively to that, is the MENStuff group trying to slander Zuzu's group directly--you know, beyond being honest that Zuzu stole the group in the first place, I mean?
I think these are good questions. Do we have any answers?

Intriguingly enough, I may be able to answer part of those questions, if in a slightly sidewise manner. Remember I mentioned not being about to find Rob Moonite's Tumblr post on Zuzu? Well, it turns out Vic kept it and reposted it on his blog:
Another issue that has been rearing its head in Vic’s latest blogs is a pretty serious issue for any content creator in Second Life, Intellectual Property or IP. It would appear that IP is a mythical concept to Mr. Zuzu. He does not believe in DMCAs, copybotting, Intellectual Property or fraud. A few notable comments direct from Vic’s blog:

"Now, about the stealing of the intellectual property which scared my designers a lot. Fisrt of all lets face it, there is NO intellectual property in SL."

"When somebody talking about copyrights, intellectual property, DMCA, copybotting and other blah blah for serious, its just hysterical."


"I had quite few messages for instance like: 'IMMEDIATELY remove my link from your site blah blah'. They really believe I should do it since they asked me to do it? I can link everything I want and nobody can stop or order me to do it or not do it. Retard people always contact me and want me to do what they want."

Vic also seems to have difficulty understanding what a trademark is.

[...]

He also took to using Adam Linden, a Linden Labs employee [whose] name was retired more than a year ago, on his promotional materials. He then went on to brag about how he could use whoever he wished to promote his hunt, whether they existed or not. Unfortunately, LL seems to have done nothing about this as of yet. All in all, Vic's major downfall has really been himself.
Now, that's a long quote, but if I'm understanding this correctly--and I think I am--Zuzu isn't putting words in Rob's mouth. Those are Rob's words--or, at least, they're Rob's words before and after the bolded segments, wherein they become Zuzu's. Which is fairly obvious from my perspective: Zuzu can't spell, Rob can.

So we're still playing he said/he said, but now we have the name of Adam Linden. And if it's true that Adam had left the Labs by the time his name started showing up on Zuzu's press releases, well, that would qualify for direct confirmation, wouldn't it?

There's more than a little bothering me about this whole situation, but the bulk of the things making me twitch currently is the fractured grammar. I am trying, really trying, to keep in mind that English is not his first language, and that English is aggressively idiomatic, but...it's getting harder the more of his blog I read. Also, the irony is getting progressively thicker as I go on.

Yes boys and girls, Vic Zuzu like every boy have a dick, and its just fine you know!

As I promised I saved the group and he dont like it along with KMADD and other "family" of boys and their masters.

The original Make Him Over doesnt exist anymore. But Make Him Over II is exist.

Personally I am VERY sceptical about all that cheap associations and clubs that were created to tell everyone their interpretation of what is good and what is bad.

I was expect everything, but this?

At first I thought she is transvestite who likes to wear female clothes for her bf but now I am sure she is one of two, either transsexual or shemale. Depends on if she did a cut. (This is from the second part of the attack on Gabe Bookmite, which also contained this gem: And it doesnt matter if she is gay because when people make a surgery they remain as gay for instance. I mean there is no direct connection between sex and sexual orientation. Yeah, um...no. You're just wrong there, both ethically and scientifically. But let's go back to the random stunners.)

If you didnt know I have a right to talk about anything or anyone I want and to make my own conclusions based on proofs or just like that, especially if I talk about public person. I guess you call it democrasy.

Anyway, if somebody dont know, especially retard "slipster" and "real Adam" I can use any name as pseudonim, especially if it is deleted one, not at search.

Personally I dont like such unprofessional attitude, like I dont care, I can do whatever I want blah blah.

Please. Original crew are Samara Penell and Eros Fenutzinni - both are not exist anymore. Not only because what they have done but also in real.

Fisrt of all lets face it, there is NO intellectual property in SL. When somebody talking about copyrights, intellectual property, DMCA, copybotting and other blah blah for serious, its just hysterical.

Plus nobody will register anything if its not original or too nominal. Is "Make Him Over" very original name? Is Mars symbol is very original symbol? Who created it 20.000 years ago? Only insane people, like city madman Nave by name, can believe in this. If you want to have rights in the internet you must to prove everything.

This news is really shock me!

Yeah, it really shocks me, too.

I honestly don't know what's going on. Is there unethical behavior? Yeah, likely. Is there then solid, legal reason to stop Zuzu? Well, maybe, but the hitch of the Labs' current application of DMCA takedowns is that, at some point, real names and real addresses get involved, and...maybe this sounds silly, but I wouldn't want whomever it is behind Zuzu to have my real name and real address, half a world of separation or not. And that in itself, I'm sure, is enough to stop folks in their tracks.

But he's wrong on several of his points here--namely, his understanding of where DMCA provisions come from, his concept that because a pseudonym is used, it invalidates all claims of intellectual property.

He's also right in a couple places, namely here:

Besides the main critics of the intellectual property is about the IDEA. The same idea can appear in a few heads.

And that's true. No one can prevent someone from using a modified check mark, f'rinstance, just the specific stylized Nike swoosh. No one can prevent someone making a font with very round angles and painting them in bright primary colors--you just can't use the McDonald's "M" and expect to get away with it.

The problem is--as with so many of his posts--he immediately prefaced that actually astute point with this:

For instance, Samara. Maybe she is SHE, or HE, or a kid near 17 y.o. Even very smart dog or a dolphin! Why not? Or a ghost!

What?

Okay, fine, we have Susii1091 Resident, f'rinstance (no, I don't know if there is one, dear gods, don't tell me if there is). We see Susii on the screen. We do not know many different things about her, just at a glance:
  • her age
  • her gender
  • her sexual preference
  • her physical appearance
  • her race
  • her religion
  • her employment status
  • her medical history
  • her marital status
And that's partially because we have a long-standing tradition of keeping SL separate from RL, and most of us are really, really okay with that. If we want to be closer to people, we can talk to them. If we form a connection, we can ask questions. We can begin to share information. We can learn more about the Susiis we see, for instance, and it doesn't require handing out a 300-notecard document complete with an address for the player beyond the screen to send in a genetic sample for lab analysis--just so we can go out for virtual coffee with her, or so we can sell her that dress or that prefab.

But the one thing I think we can state positively is her species. I'm going to go out on that limb and say, beyond most doubt, that Susii, upon first glance, is human. Not a dolphin. Not a dog. Not a goddamn ghost.

See, those kinds of statements, plus the grammar and spelling errors (which are rampant on his blog) really make me headtilt in bad ways. I'm going back and forth on whether he's just earnest, and that bad at English, or whether he's actually some college kid in Chicago living in Stiv's dorm and high on whatever's cheapest at the moment, giggling at the screen. Because some of this is so perfectly designed, it could be carved, whole and dripping, from the twitching hide of 4chan.

Ultimately, these are the only things I'm sure of:
  • Rob Moonites really doesn't like Vic Zuzu. This is verified through several blog entries.
  • The people behind the SL Freebie Hunters' blog really don't like him either. Also verified through several blog entries.
  • There are implications of copyright infringement, currently unproven by direct logs.
  • There are implications of group-stealing, and that, I think, is fairly well verified.
  • There are implications that he kept the basic name, the basic blog layout, the basic symbol for the hunt, and in fact that Zuzu himself has admitted, including the rather startling addition that he's completely (somehow) revolutionized the look of the male symbol for the hunt by changing it from shining orange to...gold. Oh, yeah, wau, SWEEPING change there.
  • Vic Zuzu can't spell. Just read his blog, that one's proven out too.
Beyond that is a whole lot of other things I am not sure of, at all. All I have are questions without answers (to date).

But it's causing a great deal of controversy, and the ripples are spreading wider each day. Will it eventually end up impacting the Menstuff hunt, or the Make Him Over II (pt. 6) hunt directly? That, I don't know either.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm feeling something taking over me, fading everything to black and blue (part I)

I don't care who you are, I don't care how good your shapes are. No shape on the grid is worth L$1800. Period.

So...I've been trying to stay away from the current drama that is Vic Zuzu and the Make Him Over 6 hunt...mainly because it all seems so juvenile, frankly. But it's reached epic levels, so I've been trying to parse things out.

For me, things started back here, with this statement on the SL Freebie Hunters' blog:
We here at SLFreebie Hunters had planned to bring you the Make Him Over Hunt 6, despite our disagreement with how the current hunt group came to be. We support all-male hunts, and think that since the guys get shafted so often on hunts, attention should be given to those hunts that cater to the SL male population regardless of WHO is coordinating the hunt. To that end, we covered the MHO5 hunt last time around.

This time, however, I was kicked out of the MHO group without a word of warning or explanation by the group owner. Considering I had not spoken in the group whatsoever, nor had I had any contact with anyone running the group and had not, in fact, joined the group until the hunt started so that I could do the hunt - I can only conclude that they do not want to be included in our blog, nor receive the exposure for their vendors our readers provide.
And my thought reading that initially--it was published on July 20th--was Wau, that's pretty hostile of the group owner, but my general thinking was that they might have argued in the past, or something. It happens. Blogging doesn't tread that careful line between gossip and journalism, it gleefully spray-paints it over in Day-Glo vibrance, then scuffs dirt, mud and less pleasant substances over the jagged, bright patterns. Let's be honest here--in days of paper and presses, we'd be yellow journalists at best, with some few of us upgraded to agony aunts.

However, on a cursory read-through, it does seem like they do have a history with the hunt, or at least those particular bloggers have a history with Zuzu. To wit, this entry from the last Make Him Over II hunt that circulated in November of 2010:
There is A LOT of confusion going around about this hunt, and most of it is being generated on purpose. The main thing you need to know - This hunt is NOT being done by the original MHOH group.

A brief rundown of events:
  1. MHOH group suddenly falls apart at the end of their last hunt. Thousands of people are kicked out of the group, and the group is deleted.
  2. The main group of stores and coordinators form a new group called Menstuff. (JOIN THIS GROUP!)
  3. ONE person, who is not a coordinator nor an officer of the previous group, decides to take things into his own hands.
  4. He proceeded to make a group with the identical name, use the identical icon, and copy the identical web site format.
  5. Thus creating more confusion and riding on the coat-tails of the original MHO group's success.
Good intentions or bad, this is definitely a shadey situation. There is more information about this fiasco at this site - http://robmoonites.tumblr.com/. Please read it and pass it around to anyone who asks what is going on with MHOH. Spread the word to join the Menstuff group and their upcoming hunt in January.
So okay, there were words exchanged, at least in terms of published entries; maybe that's why the blog owners were kicked out of the group.

But there's a couple problems with this--first, that the blogger in question got their details wrong, and second, the link given for more information has anything related to either Make Him Over group curiously redacted.

Okay, so is there another source for Rob Moonites? Well, yes, he's got his own blog, but that doesn't much help either:
In fact, I had all but forgotten about Vic and his “MAKE HIM OVER II” project, that is now apparently MAKE HIM OVER II – V6. That seems like a lot of numbers to me, and considering my name is Rob1977, that’s saying something. Unfortunately, Vic hasn’t forgotten about me, nor has he forgotten about MENStuff. It’s sad really, since his group seems to be doing fine, it’s not quite at MENStuff levels, but his efforts are admirable all the same. Most of the designers in his group also seem to be capable of ignoring Vic’s past. The past that has openly dismissed creator’s rights and that has laughed at DMCAs. The past that has taken original content and reproduced it. The past that has impersonated a Linden to use in his promotional materials and the past that has slandered and attempted to discredit other well respected members of the Second Life community.
I'd love to know if there's any proof to those accusations, specifically:
  1. Has Vic Zuzu publically published, or mentioned anywhere that has been officially logged, that creators' rights do not deserve to be upheld?
  2. Has Vic Zuzu, personally, engaged in copyright infringement himself?
  3. Has Vic Zuzu, personally, used a Linden's name as some sort of official 'endorsement' of his hunt?
Anyone with answers to those three questions, please leave them in the comments section.

But I digress:
The latest lie was just a step too far and has pushed me into breaking my silence regarding this matter. Vic is now claiming that the original “Make Him Over” group (the one that he took the name and logo from) is in fact a fake and his group “MAKE HIM OVER II” (even though it clearly states “II” after the name) is in fact the original group. He seems to think that the original group was deleted, but if that was the case then surely Vic himself would have taken the group name, but he couldn’t… because the group was never deleted.
That's pretty big right there. And I remember the first Make Him Over hunt, it was spawned by the Make Him Over group; while I've never been a member, I do remember the first hunt, and how absolutely refreshing it was to have an entire grid-wide dedicated to the people on the grid who don't want to wear the latest frocks or the highest heels. (Because really, I don't think anyone disputes this--men do get short shrift on Second Life.)

That's actually a good point, come to think of it. It's a little tricky finding pictures from the first Make Him Over hunt, but here's one from Shangreloo:

(from fashion album)

Granted, this is a picture of a female wearing the male gifts, but still, the center gifts from INDI, Bliensen & MaiTai, and Bryce feature clean lines, a subtle sense of fun, good shading, and excellent style. Versus...

(from the fashion album)

Yeah...your guess is as good as mine. But I figure that's a good contrast, to demonstrate the difference between the two hunts, and that's from Roughnecks, a biker-fashion shop. Frankly, were I male--and into biker fashion--I'd be too afraid that I'd move wrong on the bike riding down the highway and end up flashing a cop in the other lane, in this outfit. Guys really want to dress like this?

How'ver, this seems to be getting long, so I'll split this into two sections. (Hopefully just the two.) But, since I discovered something else in going through that blog for comparable fashion, I want to bring that up before I leave off. Because I think it's all part and parcel of the same mentality.

I found this...I can't even pull quotes from that. It is such a hash of implausible grammar and insanely offensive statements presented as some sort of (supposedly) smarter, better "truth" that my CPU melts down into slag, trying to parse out the logic. I have no words for such combined misogyny, misandrony, and hatred of all genders...

Actually, no. I am going to pull one section out of the combined TL;DR of utter wrong because it deals directly with fashion. In the words of Vic Zuzu:
As you probably know there is male corset too (which of course appeared first), but generally it looks different. An ancestor of modern corset is spanish jubon (pourpoint or doublet) of 15th century, which was a tribute to the Reconquistas armours. It covers mens chest too because men dont need to support the breast they naturally dont have. If it looks like Gabes variant its about fetish or "pseudofashion". Modern mens corset looks like this:
Whereupon he showed a picture from Madam Sher Corsets, Madam Sher being apparently a Portuguese maker of some skill.

While I understand the point he's trying to make, he's wrong--male corsetry did not start out just with the Spanish doublet; that indicates a poor understanding of corset history. Male corsetry goes back beyond Roman times, but the Romans took the corset/girdle styles known in the day and incorporated them into parade uniforms. There are ancient Chinese and Japanese styles of male corsetry. And there are very well-known frescoes of Minoan "taureadors" who wore girdles that were not substantially different from the male "day stays" depicted below.

Just to pick another maker at random, what about the styles of Contour Corsets?

(from the fashion album)

Yes, that is specifically designed for men, and that style has been around, in one fashion or another, since Thailand developed a fashion industry, at least.

Or how about French designer Sylvain Nuffer? His designs seamlessly integrate the modern vest with the corset of antiquity, and provide a glimpse into a corseted steampunk world of fashionable men:

(from the fashion album)

Or how about Romantasy's male 'day stays':

(from the fashion album)

My point is, though, that not all male corsets use the full chest rise; some are underbust corsets, for lack of a better term, and not for "fetish" reasons, but simply and solely because that is the style that has evolved through the centuries. Full-chest corsets can be made, and frequently are; but half-chest corsets are also "real" corsets, that have nothing to do with "fetish" and everything to do with male style.

You know, Mr. Zuzu, that thing you're supposedly the expert on?

(from the fashion album; All Rights Reserved to Gabe Bookmite and original photographer.)

And Mr. Bookmite, if you're paying attention? I think this is one of the loveliest images I've seen of a male in Second Life, gay or straight. It's perfectly appropriate, it's masculine without being steroidal, and it's fashionable.

Ignore anyone who thinks otherwise.

Monday, July 25, 2011

cut yourself until you bleed, but fall asleep next to me

The arrival of the Nightwatch:
As you may have already guessed, the handful of provisions in the bill that really deal specifically with child porn are a fig leaf for its true purpose: A sweeping data retention requirement meant to turn Internet Service Providers and online companies into surrogate snoops for the government’s convenience. Any provider of an “electronic communication” or “remote computing” service—meaning broadband providers like Comcast, but also companies like Google—would have to retain records of the “temporarily assigned network address” (such as an IP address) associated with each account for 18 months. Some of the other provisions in the act seem perfectly reasonable (though I don’t know enough to say whether they’re necessary), but as a hearing earlier this year made crystal clear, it’s the data retention requirement that the government really cares about.
Big Brother always wants to watch everyone, that's not news, but that this effort is hidden in the guise of protecting children just makes me ill.

Are we all holograms? Maybe, say scientists. Fascinating if true--well, no, actually, fascinating either way.

Some Doctor Who info overheard from Comic-Con (and my thanks to Miss Fuschia Begonia for the link).

If you love art, if you love cephalopods, toss some love to Octopus Grove: part art installation, part eco-consciousness awareness mission, and all from the hand, heart and head of an artist who wants to give back as much as they want to create. Spread the word if you can't financially support; or buy things from her, to support her effort to support herself, and thus get Octopus Grove off the ground.

On another topic entirely, here's a little diatribe on the snakepit of modern comics, as viewed through the lens of the nineties, courtesy of Warren Ellis.

Tired of the supernatural getting all the attention? Try these seventeen real-life mysteries. They're all fascinating, and none of them is involved in anything supernatural in the least.

And if you have been banned from Google+ (or all Google products), Skud would like you to fill out a form collating everyone into one central database. One would assume for later legal action, or at least, hassling of the Google.

Through an oversite, the JIRA issue EXP-795 was hidden from public view. Thanks to the efforts of Kurt Linden (and thank you, Kurt, for doing this), it is now public and searchable. And it no longer effects just the login screen, but a couple different things in Basic viewer mode for v2. Watch the issue if you want to see it fixed; if you have a 27" monitor, or a Mac computer, you want to see this fixed.

My sidebar is a nightmare. This has been pointed out several times. And, to date, each attempt to rein it in has resulted in more links. (I am bad at organization.)

So, with a ruthless hand and tearful heart, I've cut out everything I don't visit at least once per week. Because, considering the sidebar is mostly for me, having it that cluttered does no one any good.

Next up: going through the video links (where I stopped, this time around). Next past that: gutting the in-world inventory. Again. GAH.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I found myself alone again, all alone with you

(from the City of Heroes album)

The only image I got of Lu, the Bi-Polar Bear, mentioned earlier.

(from the City of Heroes album)

This is the sum total on the bio sheet for Ryubihwa, a level 50 Mutation Scrapper:

Description: [RP] Name:Ryubihwa[流悲花-Flow/Sadly/Flower] Tribe:Cat Tribe[猫人族-Cat/Human/Tribe] Age:19

How can you get to level 50 and have nothing on your bio? Though this isn't precisely "nothing". Still, it's not precisely informative, either.

(from the bizarre album)

Pardon me, but you--seem to have an octopus on your hea--oh. You know. Oh, I--well. All right then.

(from the bizarre album)

You get that cigarette out of your mouth this INSTANT, young lady! You are too YOUNG to smoke!

And take that car off your head. It looks silly.

No, you can keep the water-wings. Tch. Kids these days.

(Both seen at Pinky*Gals mainstore, on the beach.)

These next two (well, actually, four) images are from some time ago. But they've been lingering in the buffer while I pondered how best to present them.

This, I feel, is Miss Dresses Inappropriately 2011:


(Please keep in mind that clicking on the above image will bring one to the uncensored image of what was truly going on. With her hot pants.)

While there are a great many contenders for this title on the grid, from many different walks of life, I do believe that based on sheer dogged stubbornness and verve, she takes the tiara for this one. Or the hood piercing. Really, it's so hard to tell.


(Please keep in mind that clicking on the above image will bring one to the uncensored image of what was truly going on, up close and immodestly personal.)

I don't even know how you do that with female genitalia. (And no, I don't know what was going on behind her thigh, either.) But yes, having been somewhat--if at least silently--rude, I can affirm that these were not "crotchless" in their design. They were...err...quite sufficiently "crotched", so to speak, but...she was not.

It was somewhat unnerving, and beyond baffling.

now baby, we could shoot a Russian unicorn

(from the bizarre album)

This is Athon. Apparently, Athon plays a "Planewalker"--someone who can teleport at will, and can't be killed. Oh, and he's a doctor, so he helps people. On occasion. Oh, and he's bright blue. Oh, and he's a demon. Oh, and he's fond of narcoleptic partners.

Yeah. Great guy. Godmodder and alternatively helpful and evil in turns. Remind me never to run into him for the foreseeable...EVER.

Meanwhile, this was overheard in Atlas Park (in City of Heroes):

[Broadcast] Jack Smooth XXX: WE ARE RPSG Lycans Of Avalon.Recruting new members and to help build our base.memebrs must be Active all times. have fun.Our Theme is Werebeast Academy.We have an website.Online Radio station also.PST for info or an Invite.

Um. Okay then. Just for future reference, spell-check is your friend.

But my actual reply was:

[Broadcast] Literal Lass: "We have an website" might have to become a catchphrase, temporarily. That's as good as "the intarwebs".

It really is.

Of course, there are still fun things in CoH. Witness, the bio of "Lizardo", a level 50 Mutation Controller.

"Ricardo Ricardo Lizardo, in an unlikely twist of fate, was born a mutant displaying elements of lizard dna. Although at birth his mutation was barely noticeable, it advanced very rapidly such that by his first birthday he was no longer recognisable as human. Abandoned by fearful parents, he was left in the wilderness where he was raised by a pack of lizards. During this time his mutation continued to advance and he developed an affinity for the earth, which grew to become full blown control.

"Now for some generic reason that seems kinda forced, he is in Paragon City taking on the role of hero and protector."


I like heroes that admit their origin stories have flaws. It's amusing.

BioWare, the makers of Mass Effect 3, are letting their players decide the next feminine version of Colonel Shepard in the game--but only if they have Facebook accounts. All of them look profoundly angry at having been tapped to play Shepard. Is that a good thing?

Meanwhile, the first steps are being taken for human cloning in Japan. Oh, not really, but it's pretty much your face on a doll, from a 3D printer. Which means they're getting very very good at human reproduction in synthetic forms. And they're already pretty good with robotics...

Maybe the goal isn't to clone humans into better versions of themselves. Maybe the goal is to go completely synthetic and leave the meat behind. Is that a good thing?

Echo Bazaar has suffered a case of accidental lesbianism, apparently. Now, the article is well worth reading for many reasons, not the least of it the accurate breakdown of character developments in games and RPGs. But the intriguing thing--for me, at least--is the player behind that particular character instantly assuming that the final line of text for that quest indicated her character had become a lesbian.

Why couldn't it mean that her character went over to warn the other woman about what she'd discovered? Or to commiserate with her? Maybe make a nice soothing pot of tea, talk about inconsequentials of the day, and stroll off home, nary a garter rumpled?

What happens when rock and roll gets crossed with comics? This. Is it sad I'd love to see this as a full-fledged book?

The Google+ disintegration is getting chilling; not because they're deleting Google+ accounts, because--for me personally--I really could not care less.

The unsettling thing for me is the reports of Google shutting off all Google services. And I've had this account for five years. My bank has this account name. My insurance has this account name. My family writes to Emilly, not an account tied to my "real name".

If I lose it all...it's just painful to contemplate.

Friend of mine, in separate research, ran across Joe Clark's contact page. Have no idea who he is, really, but I adore his clauses for contact.

Random images from wandering over the past few days.

(from the shopping album)

Remember a while back, while in Curious Kitties, I found an example of really well-done prim feet?

Yeah. These aren't them. But I don't entirely think it's the fault of the avatar (admittedly, even with a HUD, tinting can be tricky). I think it's the fault of the shoes, frankly. This is an example of bad prim feet.

Unfortunately, I have no idea who made them, because shortly after snapping that pic, the feet--and the avatar in them--ported off. But seriously, if you saw prim shoes made this badly, would you buy them?

(from the shopping album)

Some of the folks behind the Seasons hunt have gotten very...whimsical...with shark placement.

(from the shopping album)

Witness what's happened at Willow, for instance. Land sharks, indeed.

Finally, seen at this year's ComicCon--brace yourselves if you're going to click, this may leave mental scars: Hello Kitty, slave Leia version. You're...welcome?

Friday, July 22, 2011

and there's a need for songs that are sung, for chances not taken, for deeds not yet done

Team Fortress 2 has gone steampunk! Well, at least a little. I have no real idea why, except that it's a promotional tie-in to WETA Workshop's line of ray-guns (using the Dr. Grordbort character, even!) for ComicCon.

Hey, if that works for them...Me, I'd rather have the Righteous Bison in hand rather than its reproduction in game...but I won't lie, getting it for TF2 would be considerably easier than ordering--and paying for--the real thing.

More excerpts from the City of Heroes files.

First up: The Highly Visible Ninja. The Highly Visible Ninja is a level 42 Natural Stalker. His one-line bio, complete:
"Misdirection is one of the key skills of the ninja."
Okay, then. Moving on...

The Water God:. No, really. His bio, for what it's worth:
My eyes have gone black
I'll never look back.
I'll never stop swimming
I'll always be tracked.
My life has transformed
My power has grown.
My minions stretch for leagues
For a bloodied coral throne.
A crown of murdered foes
Will sit on upon my head.
Those that wish to challenge me
Will wish that they were dead.
The beasts of the sea
will collect and submit
Prey for my forgiveness
and live as I permit.
Swim on. . . . . I am The Water God.
He's level 15. Is anyone surprised?

And finally, my favorite: Lu the Bi-Polar Bear, a level 45 Mutation Scrapper. Her avatar was quite winsome, with white hair, white skin, and rounded little teddy-bear ears.

Her bio:
PPD Clinical Case Files: 6 yr old Lulu describes her happiest days as being a featured attraction at the Paragon Zoo. "I loved to ride my unicycle, and wait for them to throw me fish. People would clap and cheer, but I didn't want to eat them, because I got fish!"

A year ago, in a daring move by the Carnival of Shadows, the zoo was held hostage, and people subjected to magical experiments - including Lulu's trainer. Rushing to protect her fish supply, Lulu's DNA merged with her trainers', resulting in permanent mutation.

The trauma of this incident has blocked her memories of the event, nor does she remember subsequently eating a ring mistress, 2 seneschals and an iron man. Currently suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Lu suffers from bouts of depression focused on her mutated appearance ("opposible thumbs. WHY?!?"), and extreme anger control issues.
Hee!

Though I should explain this, more because it's massively amusing in light of Lady Serra, the Seneschelf of Winterfell: there's a high-level villain group in City of Heroes called the Carnival of Shadows. The Seneschals are among the most dreaded--dressed like harlequin acrobats and wearing full-face masks, they carry wrought-iron cage torches and breathe fire.

Fire tends to cut through a lot of heroes, no matter who they are. And the Seneschals have a wide dispersal range for that fire. They can also take a hell of a lot of damage before they go down.

I've been terribly amused whenever I come across them.

Also, ran across some amusing text on the part of the Fir Bolgs that litter Croatoa. While this has no relationship to actual Celtic mythology, they're pretty much walking sticks with pumpkin heads who can detach those heads and throw them as incendiary bombs towards attackers. But sometimes, if you're far enough away, they won't attack. In those times, the most bizarre little interchanges can be heard, like this one, from a cluster of three young Fir Bolgs around a pay phone on a side street:

[NPC] Telephone: Riiiing! Riiiing!
[NPC] Soldier: What magic is this?
[NPC] Soldier: The thing is enchanted.


Or maybe it's just a phone...Poor, poor confused pumpkin-heads.

Can you use shadows and lighting effects? I can't. But because I can't, I don't even really grasp what it's like for those that do. This helps with that. Though shadows are still buggy for many people (and, as said, I can't use shadows or lighting effects at all; in fact, I can't use any "deferred rendering" display features with my current configuration), that gives a very good idea of what it's like to have them employed.

While wearing white.

And being chased by zombies. You're welcome.

you'll never change for no one

So you feel misunderstood
Baby, have I got news for you
On being used, I could write the book
But you don't wanna hear about it...

Now I'm strong enough to live without you
Strong enough, and I quit crying
Long enough; now I'm strong enough
To know you gotta go--


So many dark nights have passed since we parted, and yet you will not learn. I have no jealousy and less call upon your heart, but I will not be blamed for things I did not do. And this was not the first time you've blamed me. One would imagine you would have permanently engraved that mistake upon your neurons the first time.

If this is how we think we make amends
We're in for a race that never ends
Where is it we think we'll go?
What is it we think we know?
It'll never change until we change ourselves


Now you turn and blame friends for things they did not do, and how does the old saying go? Fool me once, shame on you: fool me twice, shame on me.

We are far, far past second times, but I have reached a limit of being shamed, I think. And I am far past tired of extending second chances.

I won't let you in again
The messages I tried to send
My information's just not going in...

This time, baby, I'll be bulletproof
This time, baby, I'll be bulletproof


Tread lightly, once-love, and carefully, for the waters have grown chill and deep. The wrong word at the right time, and I swim away--for good.

For now I'm still thinking on the shore, but know and know well: it is only me that keeps me there. I will mourn anew if I leave you behind, even removed from heart's delight to friend of mind as it has gone. But if it proves necesaary, do not doubt I will choose myself over you.

Give me back my point of view
'Cause I just can't think for you
I can hardly hear you say
What should I do, well you choose

Oh, look what you've done
You've made a fool of everyone
Oh well, it seems likes such fun
Until you lose what you had won


You are not the enemy to be fought, and not yet the stranger at the gate; but my trust in your clear focus has been badly damaged. You see through a clouded lens, and rather than clear your mind and heart, you choose to believe what your damage tells you.

Prove yourself the viper at the breast, and I will have no recourse, and less care, in leaving you behind. This is not an idle threat. Be better, or I will not be there.

(Lyrics taken from Cher's Strong Enough; Poets of the Fall's Rewind; La Roux's Bulletproof; and Jet's Look What You've Done.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

you kiss me like potted plants, bite me like fire ants

While I was out in the wilds beyond the grid today, a very, very old JIRA issue EXPLODED. I sifted through the shards, and am bringing the best--and most relevant--to you.

It started this morning with a comment from Izabel Muircastle:
RedZone is dead.... but have a look here
So I had a look there. The link leads to six items from the "Voodoo Anti-Bot Mainstore", including such gems as the "Free Anti-GreenZone Script" (which purports to work with RedZone equipment), the L$700 Anti-Bot unit (which purports to detect and untraceably ban all bots AND alts, in addition to severely discriminating against blind users of SL), and the L$500 Voodoo Sploder, which not only somehow "guarantees" to be Linden-approved as a non-gambling device (I call shenanigans on that), BUT in addition to banning more suspected bots and alts, it disallows anyone playing from the same IP, anywhere on the grid.

Okay. I'm sold. Evil bastards. And?

Apparently, and this: several hours later, Monkey Wonder commented:
I own the business being defamed by Izabel Muircastle. (Who I have abuse reported)

Our security device does not scan IP addresses. It is exactly the same as a standard security orb, but it is networked to our server and retrieves a centralized blacklist.

We do not use any SL exploits and any IP addresses logged by the Voodoo Sploders (in verify mode only) are done so by people visiting our website.

This is explicitly allowed as per section 4.3 of the TOS
http://secondlife.com/corporate/tos.php

We have clear warnings in an LSL dialog and in IM before a user can visit our website, and they must also agree to our own terms of service before any IP is logged.
And I quote, from their own details page on the "Voodoo Sploder" entry:
♠ The verification ensures no two avatars using the same internet connection can enter more than one Voodoo Sploder grid wide.
If that's not blocking by IP, then what is it?

The next relevant comment (I thought) was from Vania Chaplin, a few posts below Monkey's intro volley:
You said: "Our security device does not scan IP addresses. It is exactly the same as a standard security orb, but it is networked to our server and retrieves a centralized blacklist."

And later said: "Any data we collect from our website is strictly confidential and never published."

Are your blacklist maintained only for your eyes, and never shared with your customers? Or the 'strictly confidential and never published' part is a lie?
A damned good question, methinks.

Monkey Wonder chimed in a bit after that:
We don't tend to ban people on our system for using text viewers, it was an early rule that we made obsolete a long time ago because as you suggested it is a legitimate way to connect to SL and there is nothing wrong with it. The website needs to be updated.
And I quote again, from the Anti-Bot Marketplace listing:
We also ban anyone using a text, or illegal viewer.
Wau. Monkey's lied twice in the same JIRA. Do I detect a whiff of zFire in this one?

From Corvan Nansen a bit farther down still, in response to Mr. Wonder:
"We do log IP addresses of visitors to the verify web page of our sploders to prevent people using lots of avatars to gain an unfair advantage in the sploder game." which means you are correlating alts, which is expressly forbidden by the Community Standards.
I would profoundly agree.

Azure Twine:
The fact is, you have chosen to use redzone as a marketing ploy for your product.
Yes. Openly, even.

Minerva Breda:
Let me be clear here:
1) your product records data.
2) this data links alts. (or you boasts of Anti alt are false)
3) you keep this data on a server (out of world)
4)you maintain what you believe is a bot list.
4A) you maintain what you believe is an alt list.
(neither of these [has] any basis in fact only suspicion. You are not Linden Labs you can only assume.)
5) Maintaining and linking lists of alts is Against the community standards.
6) This is not defamation these are facts from your own ads and form Soft's statements here.
7) Greenzone has nothing to do with this. This is [your] own doing.
I should note, the two edits made were made solely for purposes of clarity, and are small edits; you can verify that here. But I also agree fully with that list.

And finally, what ended this round of he-said/she-said, Alexa Linden coming in and calling everyone out as misbehaving:
All, this is a reminder that Jira is not a message board nor is it a forum. Unless your comments deal directly with the issue, has reproducible steps and [is] an actual bug, please take your discussion to out of Jira. Let me also remind you that personal attacks are not allowed in jira http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/PJIRA#Be_courteous
So, the end result of this flurry of "new" information?

1. I don't trust Monkey farther than I can throw his car, his pet, or his coffee cup if I have both hands tied behind my back. He's openly lied and seems defiant about it. This seems like yet another press nightmare for Linden Labs, and, depending on coding, possibly more federal- and/or Interpol-level fraud charges for the player behind Monkey.

2. Yet again we have this split going between the FacebookLifers and the sane people, namely: "If you have an alt, you're obviously a griefer/copybotter/bad person!" versus "You know, I have alts for very reasonably reasons, and go screw yourselves with something painful". I don't think that particular debate is ever going to be resolved; it's degenerated purely to the "Yuh-huh!"/"Nuh-UH!" stage.

So we'll wait and see...but I suspect that, if the case played out as RedZone did, Voodoo Anti-Bot devices are not long for this Second Life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

this sublimation's out of my hands

Has anyone ever considered recording an entire album of kitten mixes?

And rest assured, this contains no specific Potter spoilers...at least, not to anything that actually happened...

There's a new JIRA to watch, though it's not a problem for me. Unfortunately, it's unlikely to ever see daylight again, as it's been summarily closed after filing. Why? Because it duplicates an internal-browser display issue.

The JIRA in question is about login and scaling difficulties on the main screen of Viewer 2. It has nothing to do with the internal browser display issue. Yet it's been linked--by Kurt Linden--and then closed. By Kurt Linden.

The problem with that linkage? No one can track down the issue he's linked. It either doesn't exist, or is locked from public view. This doesn't strike me as a good thing, either way.

This is a beautiful idea. Type a domain in--click the button--it checks to see if it's available, AND will tell you whether or not it's down just for you, or for everyone. That's phenomenal.

And scientists have discovered a new, far more fuel-efficient, solar battery. There's only a few problems. First, they haven't invented the substance they're theorizing--though they seem pretty clear on the concept that it's viable, and could be made. Second, the theoretical compound would release energy in the form of heat, which would then need to be slaved to create electricity, to power devices. (Which may make it far less cost-effective in the long run...assuming they can invent the substance.)

Still, it's fascinating, and even more fascinating when paired with carbon tubes--it seems that, in proximity of carbon nano-tubes, this chemical compound actually works better.

I'm now wondering if anyone has thought of nanotube-fiber clothing laced with this compound. Self-warming sweaters? Self-warming boots and gloves?

The only drawback I see--is azobenzene carcinogenic? I don't think anyone's asked that question.

It seems an unpleasant link has surfaced between media pirates and movie companies--they're some of the biggest supporters the industry has. On average, so-called "pirates" buy more DVDs, attend more theatre showings, and watch more films than people who have never downloaded off the net.

Amid an outcry from privacy rights protesters and Congressional rights advocates, police in several regions are employing iris scans, sometimes using face-recognizing software. The technologically intriguing aspect to this? They're doing it using software developed for the iPhone.

Remember when Wil Wheaton was on Star Trek: The Next Generation? Remember that episode where they went forward in time and interacted with an adult Wesley Crusher?

They were a little off on Wesley's future appearance.

(The top entry at the time of posting dealt with con etiquette and safety tips, and I think it's worth reblogging. That specifically addresses San Diego's ComicCon, but really, it applies to any convention. Those are all good solid dependable rules.)

Finally, there's apparently a new exploit viewer out there, people, and at least a few have noticed avatars attacking their vending systems. Be careful, merchants. Watch your transaction history, and AR anyone repeatedly paying 1 or 0 Lindens, whether they get goods delivered or not. Read the thread linked for more information.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

hey keep your sickness off me, tryin' to get through

Way back when on a Hair Fair entry, I quoted someone who had the nerve to ask me for Lindens while I was contemplating future purchases in Bare Rose. Now, having just paid rent, I was down to the very thin proverbial dime, but even if I had had the resources, I wouldn't have tossed it her way, for two very important reasons.

1. She wasn't even asking about Lindens to buy something at Bare Rose; that's tacky in the extreme; and

2. She said "pwease". I am not an infant, don't talk to me like one. AKA, grow the fuck up.

But it didn't stop there. This afternoon, I got a message from her asking why she'd shown up on that entry, to wit:
why have you put me on your blog? lol.
Oh gods, she's a lolperson.

I was also rather honestly amazed, because I would have thought it patently obvious why she ended up on my blog. In point of fact, her very words reflect why she ended up on the blog:
[11:01 AM] [adversity]: Hi can I have 100L, because theres a new hair I have to have and I only have 200L and its 300L :( Pwease ^.^
I suppose the frowny face is to convince me she's someone with a heart and mind, and therefore, I should feel it's my utmost duty to appease her every whim, because my gods, the world will stop and disintegrate into nothingness and screaming if she doesn't get that hair, won't it?

Oh wait. It's still here.

Here's the thing. Obviously my blog is making the rounds again, for some reason, and just as obviously, I have a wider readership, and both of these facts together have me thinking--and beyond just today--that I might need to adopt more anonymity (on the part of those I quote, not specifically me) because more eyes are on the topics I present. I do understand that.

I also have this admitted inability to walk away from stupid. It bothers me. I post on it. Because it bothers me. Is it ever going to change? Likely not, and that goes for both the urge to post, as well as the stupid.

This was the part of our earlier communication that really galled me, however:
not nice posting my inworld antics into the real world. It is only a game afterall! And I only was after 100L because I couldn't afford any lindens!
So, [adversity]? Just in case you happen to be reading this, I post on a lot of games. And I post the silly things that happen in them. You are one of hundreds of silly things I've posted over the years that this blog has existed.

Short version: if you don't want to show up on the blog, don't be an idiot in public. It's that simple. And if I do have reason--or even think I do--to post what you say, and I'm using your SL name, and you don't like it--there's a very simple recourse.

Just ask.

That's all. I don't demand groveling, I don't accept trades, I don't want payment--I just want to be contacted. If you don't want something attached to your name, just ask me.

Is that hard? Hells, on a rare few occasions, people have asked me to remove all mention of them on my blog, or not mention them in future, and in those cases, I have honored those requests. Just ask me to remove it, and generally speaking, I will.

Unless you're a dick about it. And [adversity], that would be you.

But don't worry, your name is gone. Not that it hasn't been out there, reflecting the staggering shallowness and lack of any depth of what you call your personality, for over a week, but hey. It's within my power, so consider it done. I told you I'd fix it when I got home; it's fixed.

FOR EVERYONE ELSE...I'll work on a better sense of anonymity, though to my mind, that's a one-step remove from sheer fiction, which is why I try to use real names when I can. And if I slip and post something, and you don't like it--just ask me.

Are we clear? I really hope we're clear.

Just don't use "lol" two times in a five-post conversation--when two of the other posts are from me--and expect me not to treat you like the consummate twit you are.

Now run along, babycakes, I'm sure there's some other deserving avatar who's worked hard for their Lindens you can sink your claws into. Nitwit.