Monday, February 11, 2013

and bitter cold goes side by side

News of NiranV's trouble with this JIRA is both daunting and depressing to read; while I no longer use Niran's viewer, I will say I found it easy to use, easy to build in, and photography was phenomenal while using it. Overall, I really thought it was the best of the V3 coding out there.

But it seems he's intent on hanging up his hat. If true, he will be sorely missed as a creator of an actual USABLE V3 viewer, but more than that, this kind of battle with the Lindens (and the rest of the TPV community) burns people to cinders, and that's the really sad thing. He shouldn't have had to fight this hard to fix things.

But then, in reading through the JIRA comments, my jaw hit the desk more than once:
"Real bodies are not perfectly symmetric, and neither is our avatar model; changing this now would be more disruptive than symmetry justifies."
(Widely Linden)
Seriously? Plus, that statement is so dense as to be nearly impenetrable for most people. "Real bodies" aren't perfectly symmetrical, no, but virtual bodies are. Plus, this seems to be a simple change so that prim clothing, armor, prim attachments, wings, et cetera, would fit better and be positioned more accurately, right? So why would that small fix be "more disruptive" in any way?

There are more interesting comments on that JIRA, but I'm quoting the last one in brief:
"If Linden Labs really wants to get their customers to drop them like a rock, feel free to close it again. I'll know to stop getting on Second Life and go do something productive then."
(Maki Guyot)
This is exactly where a great number of us are. And I know I say this a lot, but this time I think it has some merit, because I've pretty much given up on updating this blog at present. (Granted, that does not mean I'm not blogging, but really, the only blogs I'm updating at all right now are my Tumblr feed and Topping Out.)

Without serious work on their communications with the community, without severe and sudden deconstruction of the ivory tower elitism that seems to solidly permeate Linden Lab, they're going to lose Second Life as a viable world. Which--also as I've said before--would be a really bad thing, because so many different applications (everything from training midwives to practicing military tactics to rehabilitating the disabled to encouraging socializing and personal contact) keep surfacing as to why SL is a good thing to have around.

Meet the fastest robot in the world--at least, so far, that is.

I don't normally get political on this blog, but I have to laud Nancy Pelosi's recent statement that violent video games have no impact on school shootings, and on violence in general. She's getting dunned, especially on Fox News, for this stance, but I have to applaud her for this. Because if violence in games were the sole determining cause, then there would be huge upswings for violent acts in Japan, for instance, which allows far more brutal depictions of violence in games than even we do.

We need to address the culture, not the media created by the culture. Because it's still the truth: guns don't shoot people by themselves, and violent games don't kill on their own, either. Find the root causes, not the symptoms, and we can begin to heal the cultural rift. Taking away the weapons and the games, by themselves, won't work.
Finding out why so many of our teens feel disenfranchized, why so many of our teens snap after years of constant bullying and abuse, will do us far more good than banning a few games that the bulk of young adults don't even play.

To distract from the political, have thirteen minutes of bizarre news bloopers.

And after that, here's a twenty-five minutes on why those of us in the US are paying more and getting less (in terms of download and upload speeds) than comparable developed nations. Just taking the case of Hong Kong, where even the poorest households have faster data transfer rates than people who have the fastest speeds over here, it does cause us to wonder why. I'd be very interested in finding out what Time-Warner and Comcast (to name only two) think about Ms. Crawford's assertions.

Moving on to art, let me introduce you to the work of Augusto Esquivel. He's using simple buttons strung on nylon line to create ephemeral, moving hanging sculptures. Personally, I remain enamored of the piano, but some of the other set pieces are just as stunning.

For art closer to home, buying one of the clock pegs from Yanko Design will let you use any random object (of the correct dimensions) as clock hands. Want to mark the hours of your day with pencils or pens? Done. Want to insert harvest twigs? Done. Slim throwing knives, tatted bookmarks stiffened with cornstarch, wire ribbon? Whatever. It'll work. Insert things into peg; set correct time; insert peg into wall; done.

The next dangerous drink has emerged: in this case, a vodka rated at 250,000 Scoville units. (To put that into perspective, poblano peppers rate, on average, between 1,000 and 2,000 Scovilles, jalapeño peppers around 5,000 Scovilles, straight cayenne about 30,000, and pure habañero pepper about 200,000.) The terms in which this vodka is described make it sound less like a drink, and more like an assault; however, I know people who would buy that--and drink it--with great relish.

At least until the burn hit. Then there might be tears and lamentations.

Let me also introduce you to Tsuyoshi Ozawa, who in 2012 did a series featuring women holding vegetable weapons. I...really have no place in my brain for that, so I'm sending it out to you. Maybe someone will make sense of it for me.

And there's a very inspiration video featuring women in Second Life participating in One Billion Rising. It's an important cause, and it's a touching video, both. (Plus, here and there you might recognize a few faces you know.)

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