Showing posts with label design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label design. Show all posts

Saturday, May 10, 2014

walking by myself down avenues that reek of time to kill

The capability of 3D printing has taken another leap forward, this time into low-cost, home brain scans. Through a combination of software from GitHub, the controller board and 3D headset rig from OpenBCI, with possible additions from the Arduino system for power and interfacing, the entire thing (assuming you have a 3D printer already) will set you back between anywhere between three and six hundred, depending on whatever you already have for home electronics design. Which is a vast reduction from the tens of thousands for a commercially-available brain-scan set-up.

In other brain-hacking news, DARPA wants to develop a "black-box" implant for soldiers who've suffered brain damage, that can be remotely triggered to stimulate memories. On that link, it's being described as a helpful way to keep soldiers with brain damage awake and aware, which sounds laudable. And the potential commercial and medical uses of such adaptive technology could be very good for brain injury cases. But I'm paranoid enough to be suspicious of potential alternate, remote-controlled soldiers, systemically fed overriding signals directly into the brain to do...well, whatever DARPA and the Pentagon wants, one would assume.

Do the potential medical uses outweigh the potential mind-control ones? I don't know. Morality gets iffy on the edge.

Paired with this, the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (apparently that's a thing) released a paper earlier this year detailing ways to create and manage "warfighters", or chemically and physiologically enhanced supersoldiers. Obvious comparisons to Captain America and the supersoldier program from the comics come to mind, and admittedly, between the Avengers movie and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show, supersoldiers would be in the forefront of at least some think tanks' research lines.

But there's a difference between theory and application, and it's important to remember that the IHMC works with DARPA, for many of their projects. Within a decade, we could have active "warfighters" on the battlefield. Is this a good thing?

Keep in mind, also, that both the US Navy and DARPA researchers have requested grant funds to finish developing tracking tattoos for soldiers. Prototypes of such devices already exist, that will track stress levels, skin responses, and the like, but most of these are wearable items--armbands, wristbands, et cetera. These would be a fine network of implanted electronic sensors under the skin, with tattooed coding or design atop that could be scanned for further information. Let me say this again, because it's vaguely important--this isn't theory; they're seeking completion funds. This will be happening at some point.

From Laughing Squid comes some literary horror--in this instance, artist Andrea Mastrovito's diorama paper installations. Why is this horrifying? Because, even though we have extraordinarily detailed, photorealistic color printers, she still destroyed over two thousand books to make her art.

Two thousand. My soul shudders.

And Vihart has an absolutely excellent eleven-minute video on the state of net neutrality in the US at present. If you're in the US, follow the links given underneath the video to air your concerns to the FCC. It's very important to do this calmly, responsibly, but clearly, in the hopes that public input will sway them to change commercial ISP definitions from information carriers to common carriers.

If you're not in the US, there's still a ton of tasty information below the video--everything from term definitions to other videos on current net neutrality concerns, plus links to a lot of court case rulings for the growing monopoly that is cable in the US.

That's all. You can return to your day, already in progress.

Friday, May 9, 2014

and I'm caught in the crossfire of my own thoughts

And today, a clip post. Because reasons.
"A sizable coalition of technology companies has today taken a stand in favor of net neutrality in the form of a letter to the Federal Communications Commission. The group, led by giants including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Yahoo, challenges a proposal the FCC is considering that threatens net neutrality."
Now, this is interesting. There are some big tech giants in this--Google, Netflix, and Amazon among them--and they're all protesting this change as an essential violation of net neutrality. And the thing is, they're right, and the FCC is wrong, so why is the FCC pushing forward with this plan?

The simple answer's usually the right one, and in this case, that means pressure from the government, or the cable companies. My bet's on the cable companies. Comcast, for instance, desperately wants to start charging higher fees for data-heavy video streaming from sites like Netflix, Youtube, Hulu Plus and other streaming sites. The problem with that is, back in 2011, the report was that Netflix accounted for 22% of all internet use, and three years later, it's higher. And the problem with that is how the data's structured in the first place.

Without restructuring how the data's presented to the individual, there's no way to get away from that heavy data hit in the beginning. And without that heavy data hit, Comcast (and other companies) likely wouldn't care about charging different rates to different clients. Or maybe they would, and all of this would've happened eventually. Who knows?

In the meantime, none of these I'd count in the average DIY camp. Still, if you're interested, the pictures don't help much, so...
  • HildenDiaz did the actual "Forms in Nature" (aka, "haunted forest" or "forest shadow") chandelier, but if you want to attempt it yourself, watch Threadbanger's Man vs. Pin video first. Recommendations I'd add to that: forget the spherical branch globe, see if you can get a cylindrical or a square base frame instead to add branches to, or at least, a cylindrical or square shape made of twigs, over the round globe. The various branches aren't the worst idea, but remember this picture? Yeah, a skill saw and some thin plywood will likely serve you better. Finally, because you want a really bright light, try to find a 250 watt bulb. (just make sure your light kit is rated for a bulb that high), or go with what the original artists did: a custom-designed LED frame lamp inset that is designed to cast crisp, clean shadows. Without that, it just won't work in the same way.
  • Designsponge has the paper orb drop lamp project (along with a popsicle stick/tongue depressor chandelier that looks very stylish).
  • Kevin Champeny's Tumblr mentions the construction of his Gummi-bear chandelier; while nylon string, the ring, and mesh of sufficient size and sturdiness could be fairly easily acquired, his personalized casts aren't. How'ver, if you're willing to use Gummi-bear-sized bears, this is a fairly simple way to cast your own. Then all you'd need is a Dremel tool to drill each bear lengthwise for stringing. Use Champeny's Candelier as a tutorial for how to string it all together--but keep in mind, even a smaller-sized Candelier will be significantly heavy, and take some serious time to make.
  • Yaroslav Olenev's plastic spoon lamp doesn't have a complete tutorial, but it does have several enlargeable photographs, and sometimes, that'll work too.
  • Ludwig Metals made the drum-kit lamp, but Makely Home has a good handle on a smaller version. Plus, this site has a good breakdown on various pendant-light kits and what each lamp might require.
  • Tongue and Groove sells Gregory Bonasera's ceramic teacup lights, but in addition to this lovely list of pictorial inspirations, Man vs. Pin made the definitive teacup lamp DIY vid. Don't want a desk lamp? No problem--use the same tricks to make a pendant lamp, or a group of pendants, with teacups of your choice.
  • Calabarte makes the gourd lamps, and they are luscious things of beauty. How'ver, since they are ridiculously priced, Makezine has a really simple version (see the video on the Lifehacker site), Martha Stewart has a slightly more upscale version, and the Goods Home Design blog offers a Calabarte-style pictorial tutorial on how to make a gourd lamp.
  • made the "Ballroom Luminoso", but to make one yourself, you're going to have to remember the tips from the first lamp: because this one also uses a custom-designed LED rig. Also, you'll need to know how to weld, because these are a lot of bike gears, and they'll all need to be welded to each other. There are some better pictures from the PDF the artists released, but there's not a lot to reproduce this exact design. I did find a gear table lamp made from car parts, but that's not the same thing, is it?
  • Graham and Green makes the Jeeves and Wooster pendant lamp set, but if you want a similar look, they're not wrong, and a tutorial really isn't needed. Two hats, two pendant light electrical kits, two bulbs, done. (How'ver, if you really want a step-by-step to the style, try Scraphacker's entry, which also features a history of the bowler hat! Yay!)
  • Finding a lace lamp tutorial was not hard; finding one that was applicable to most climates? That was tricky. The trick seems to be to use wall size, not wood glue or wallpaper paste. Everything else uses the same tips we've been talking about--find a low-heat or LED light source, so there's no chance of burning the doilies; get a complimentary lamp kit; and use a smaller bulb if, for some reason, you want a table lamp version. (I wouldn't recommend a desk-size lamp, simply because even an LED light will be too close to the doilies.)
  • On the other hand, the cloud night light tutorial proved impossible to find. The sketch of it's here, but the original account on deviantArt has been deactivated. Bother. On t'other hand, the limited instructions given there aren't bad: buy a cheap nightlight, buy a low-wattage lamp kit cord, and use a hobby saw to cut out your cloud shape to cover the actual light part of the night light. Might also toss in a cube of wood or plastic, or even a square of styrofoam, between the light base, and the back of the cloud. Then paint as you will, add other clouds if you like (those can be cut from craft board), and plug in. You're done!
  • The cheese grater chandelier was a bit difficult; electrical tape seemed to be the bulk of the DIY tutorials out there, but there is one I found that employs a drill for a less 'junky' look. (Also, that site has a page on cheese grater history, which I found amusing.)
And...then I realized I had forty tabs open from all the research, so...that's what you're going to get. I might revisit this later, but yeesh, closing tabs down now! And keep in mind, all of these are intended as inspirational tutorials, not to encourage outright art theft from the artists mentioned.

In more DIY news, here's a showing of twenty-five nifty home mods. Some are more for style, others are really useful, but all are fairly cool.

Want to know a little bit about the history of crochet? How about tambour stitch, which is thought to be where crochet eventually evolved into crochet?

In new food trends, so-called "female-friendly" restaurants were the next hottest thing, but initial backlash is forcing backers to reconsider. Which is a good thing--I, for one, find the entire idea horrifying. If I go to a steakhouse, I want what I want, not a "smaller", more "feminine" cut for the same--or likely a higher!--price. I also don't want to eat dinner while watching the Pussycat Girls strut down a runway--I like dancers as much as the next person, but unless I'm in a Moroccan restaurant sitting on the floor, keep the dancing girls home. And mirrors on the dessert menu? Say it's for fixing makeup all you want, for many of us, we'd take it as a criticism.

While we're here, have a handy guide to where to pet animals, a lushly beautiful picture series of innovative treehouses, some really, really terrible childrens' toys, and a list of odd things spotted in Australia.

And that's all for now! More later when I have too many tabs open!

Monday, April 14, 2014

they hide out in places I look but can't see

This one gets odd, and it was a long enough capture that I split it into sections, so this is only part one of...I don't know, really. Until I run out of edited capture text, I suppose.

There's a lot of general political misunderstanding, but also, a lot of hate towards both Russia (and Putin) and the US (and Obama). But first, a bit on Neverwinter's soon-to-launch Module 3:

[Zone] Rebekkah Davenshire@alvadimarco: Mod 3 has a new Epic Skirmish
[Zone] Zenith@stellarstrider: they are banking a lot in that world pvp or something
[Zone] FraserAllDay@knotorious18: I heard mod 3 is adding a new more open world zone yes? bosses spawn in zone?
[Zone] Rebekkah Davenshire@alvadimarco: Heroic Encounters spawn in the zone
[Zone] Zenith@stellarstrider: yeah, but the zone itself from what I saw was small D:
[Zone] Zenith@stellarstrider: Expected something larger
[Zone] Rebekkah Davenshire@alvadimarco: And packed with Lv61 stuff
[Zone] Psychosis@love2loveyoubabe: zone is the realization of how @*($*) the world is


The basic theory seems to be that with Module 3 and the entry of Icewind Dale into the game world, it will be a freeform PvP/PvE zone. There will be specific quests targeted to battling mobs in the zone, as well as specific quests targeted towards battling other players. As far as I've been able to ascertain, none of these will be mandatory, but it's worrisome nonetheless.

I don't like PvP; I will never embrace it as a solid core of my gameplay style. I'd rather fight a clearly defined other than another player, any day of the week. But, even having said that, Neverwinter does not do PvP well, so to make this advancement either means utilization of the existing, very broken system of PvP (which is essentially team-based tower capture, not individual player-vs.-player combat), or adoption of an entirely new system (which will either then roll out to the world entire, or stay stuck in Icewind Dale alone).

Neither option sounds that attractive, frankly.

[Zone] Enna Dalke@Moneydie: none of the zones in this game are all that big
[Zone] Gnarlgoloth@drewlow: there's one that's kind of big, can't remember which one it was
[Zone] FraserAllDay@knotorious18: they def shoulad wetn more open world style, thats one of the bigger flaws in my mind

That would be "definitely should have gone for a more open world style"...I'm only hoping English is not Fraser's first language.

[Zone] Gnarlgoloth@drewlow: Pirate's Skyhold is kind of big
[Zone] Rebekkah Davenshire@alvadimarco: Pirate's Skyhold is kind of annoyingly large

And kind of annoying in general.

[Zone] Enna Dalke@Moneydie: final zone has size but it's split into chunks
[Zone] Psychosis@love2loveyoubabe: they are suppose to have a link for more open world, suppose to be the next upgrade
[Zone] Rebekkah Davenshire@alvadimarco: You like it split into chunks, don't you Enna?

Ew? Also huh? Also ew.

The bit about the final zone being split into chunks--it's not, actually, but it is set into several sections, all accessible from the edges of the map. Only the dungeons and one specific sections are their own separate instances; everything else is interactive with the rest of the world and everything in it. But they are labeled separately (the Rib Cage, the Excavation, Underwing) so I can see where the confusion comes in.

I think splitting this off here; we'll pick up later with an innocuous question leading to much uninformed rambling on Russia.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

accessorizing with a rosary tucked inside her lingerie

In all seriousness, virtual child or not, there is no way I would let any prepubescent person wear this. Yes, I realize it's the Rolling Stones logo, and children might conceivably be fans. But there?!? Maybe it's just me, but that design should be against the Linden ToS by virtue of the logo placement alone.

Of course, keep in mind this is the same store who thinks it's appropriate to clothe the elementary school set with "Dirty Girl" slogans, printed cherry panty sets (with inappropriate bralettes, to boot), the somewhat infamous "Wet Kitty" swimsuit, and do I even need to mention the reference to twerking?

Also, why does this shape exist? Why is it still everywhere? Why do easily 75% of all women on the grid want to be straddle-hipped and fish-lipped? These questions have never been answered to my satisfaction.

(Of course, if I ever got a halfway decent answer to those questions, I'd just have to ask why this everything exists next. Or why this dress was made to be compatible with Lolas Tango appliers. And frankly, those are conversations that just won't end well.)

Speaking of general bafflement, why do these power outlets exist? I mean, I admire their dedication to offering them in various colors, and yes, I understand it's an innovative way to change the angle of the outlet so that they fit more neatly against the wall for purposes of furniture distance, still seems really odd.

In the meantime, recently, Neverwinter suffered a networking failure, and it took several hours for them to replace the affected systems. They were very in touch with their userbase via web page updates as well as constant Twitter contact, something I humbly and deeply appreciate as a user of their game.

This was an in-game capture of the moment the game came back online. There are so many players in one place, I couldn't even make out all the names. Which ignores the very real issue of enough players in one place, they seriously overlapped each other. It was limbs and arms poking out of random torsos and rotating in place, which was slightly amusing, but also kind of staggering. And this was not the only place in the game people returned, this was just a common gathering point for many.

But, as ever, along with a restoration of the local population, came...well, the local population:
[Zone] teamkiwi@t3amkiwi: omg party at the Tempus invoke
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: just because you have in the same data center does not mean each person in that center has the same hardware
[Zone] XcessiveArcana@xcessiveforce40: Dante was complaining on facebook as well
[Zone] Albino@AlbinoSnowWhite: The legions of the Damned is recruiting !!!!
[Zone] XXXO@xxxokiller: oh shut the fk up you albino
I don't even know what that insult means. Also, what would an albino Snow White be? Skin white as snow, but then hair white as snow, too? And pale lips?

Are they really Snow White at that point, in anything save camouflage and coloration?
[Zone] XXXO@xxxokiller: I lost my 5,000 zen ^^
[Zone] Lesryl@traxsu: They won't fix it.
[Zone] Lesryl@traxsu: This has happened before.
[Zone] lillith@themuffingirl2: maybe we should be happy its a free to play game and they work so hard to keep it up
A valid point, and one more folks in Neverwinter should embrace.
[Zone] James@trjames: Wow, look at all the people/bots invoking right now
[Zone] Bruce.Lee@dyanjp: woo hoo back up
Absolutely. That's what you're seeing in the above image, by the way--that's the main place to pray for boons from the various gods in Protectors' Enclave, the main zone of Neverwinter.
[Zone] XcessiveArcana@xcessiveforce40: every company wants cheap labor for IT
[Zone] Kat Shieldheart@jedifreeman: G DANTE - let me rephrase - I have personally seen the Neverwinter servers
[Zone] Kat Shieldheart@jedifreeman: I HAVE GAZED UPON THIS WORLD FROM THE OUTSIDE
[Zone] XXXO@xxxokiller: bruce lee *%^! just got real lmao
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: kat stop lieing
Why does she have to be lying? They're in San Francisco, unless they co-locate their server banks, which is also possible--but either way, it's not beyond the realm of possibility at all that she's seen the server banks. Options for how this might happen:
  • She works in service and repair of a server company Cryptic contracts with to maintain their data.
  • She works for Perfect World.
  • She works for Cryptic.
  • She works in the IT department that directly maintains the Neverwinter game.
  • She delivers mail to engineers that work in the server banks for whatever companies Cryptic work with.
  • She works in human resources and had reason to go down to talk with engineers or IT support workers.
  • She has friends who works in any of these areas, and they took her on a tour of the facilities.
These aren't even the only reasons she could have seen them. It's not like the server banks are on Mars, people.
[Zone] Tarna@death69inc: hard to beleive it took that long
Not really. Keep in mind they had a widespread system failure, and Cryptic was repairing networking in sequence to make sure everything pathed correctly for retention. A great many Cryptic and Perfect World games went offline, so it wasn't just Neverwinter, either. As seen on that web link, eight games in total had issues that needed repair.
[Zone] Random Chance@Random_Chance: well, finally in...has everyone demanded that Perfect World owes them compensation for not being able to play their free game all day?
Please be kidding.
[Zone] Shinryuu the Sleeper@finmakin: I always find it hilarious when ppl complaining about a free game... SUE them... get them to Court instead of crying here like baby's
[Zone] cardinal sin@jagrmaster: lmao sorry its still a lil funny
[Zone] cardinal sin@jagrmaster: were you here for that?
[Zone] Kat Shieldheart@jedifreeman: G DANTE - sorry that you dont believe me. Some of us are actually real people who have real jobs who get to do cool things.
Exactly. She works for the company, or for a company who works for the company, because a surprising number of folks who work for Cryptic/Neverwinter/Perfect World also play the games they run, quelle horreur. Gods forbid people who work for a game company actually ENJOY playing games.
[Zone] Lerissa Balorfist@foxfire444: Problem is it also affected games that people pay for
[Zone] XXXO@xxxokiller: people put plenty of money into this fkn game, no reason for that nonsense about free game &#$# boy
[Zone] Tarna@death69inc: lol they must care less abotu makign money or they woudl have worked hard to get it back up
They did work wicked hard to get it back up. See when they first noticed the problem on March 21st, followed by this, this, this, this--which is something they didn't have to do, but chose to do to help the feeling of disappointment for Neverwinter gamers...Pretty much their entire tweet stream from the 21st, actually, deals largely with the downtime and both reassuring and informing customers.
[Zone] Darray@theghostess: I think the CTA should be extended. But that's the only "compensation" I would expect.
And the game devs agreed with Darray, and extended the Call to Arms event to make up for the downtime.
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: i dont ask them to give me nothing its them once again walking with there tails between there legs
I don't even know what he means here. How is constant Twitter and web contact slinking off in shame when all this happened?
[Zone] Zenith@stellarstrider: They already extended it
[Zone] Kat Shieldheart@jedifreeman: Darray - it is extended by a day
[Zone] Gin@Sadler38: the CTA did get extended
Yep. And a great many people, me included, deeply appreciated them for doing that.
[Zone] Ashiok@juicebox87: quit whining and game on you sissy cupcakes.
[Zone] Random Chance@Random_Chance: I"m guessing they had to get replacement equipment flown in from another part of the country
[Zone] Pri3stitute@ratbugasmatti: WELCOME BACK TO THE REAL WORLD!!!!
I thought so, too, but it wasn't a server failure, just a networking one.
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: trolling is not a real job
Get stuffed, Dante.
[Zone] Waeren@mystrmidnyte: no1 cares *%^!
[Zone] Gin@vincentnw: trolling = lving under a brigde to take tolls from travelers... sounds like a homeless guy or a mugger
What? Seriously, dude, what the hell does that even mean?
[Zone] Kat Shieldheart@jedifreeman: G DANTE - you are right, you should start looking for something else
[Zone] Random Chance@Random_Chance: mail explaining the outage and what they're going to give me in compensation? GET MY LAWYERS ON THE PHONE!
Please be kidding, part II.
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: kat stop trolling thats what your doing by saying what your saying right now read your responce
[Zone] Syndul The Slick@morenthar: I LOVE IT HOW PEOPLE PLAY A GAME THEY HATE. I LOVE LAMP ;)
Yeah, hard not to, to both of these.
[Zone] Kat Shieldheart@jedifreeman: G DANTE - see, there is a difference between trolling and the truth - I actually have been to the PWE Datacenter
[Zone] cardinal sin@jagrmaster: here comes the questions lol
[Zone] XXXO@xxxokiller: snuffles is that considered trolling since you are lying?
Again, why does she have to be lying? Why is there controversy over this point in the first place?
[Zone] Bagwit Halfins@theoriginalmad: well thats a fail .. no redundency system apparently
[Zone] Random Chance@Random_Chance: could be original and backup network devices were same make, with same defect
Perfectly possible, in fact.
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: soon the asian scammers are going to come
[Zone] cardinal sin@jagrmaster: lol dante
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: the asian scammers with hey friends
[Zone] Sniffles@bodizatfa: when they come you can whisper....theyre here
[Zone] wwwEGPALnet@iztoe2: Astral Diamonds 1 million for ONLY $8.99. We also have PERFECT/Greater/Rank10/Rank9 Enchantments ON SALE with 30 minute delivery guaranteed
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: see look
[Zone] Sniffles@bodizatfa: theyre here
[Zone] G DANTE@gdante7111111: there they are
Yep. And we've pretty much restored full service to the game, gold spammers and all. I think we're done here.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

wind me up, turn the key

What is dark energy?

Also, it's picture-heavy, and doesn't include all of the ideas, but have a taste of a hundred ideas that changed architecture.

Also II, remember all those scenes in SF movies where physical objects rose up out of virtual tables, and could be touched and interacted with? Meet the beginnings of that technology in real life.

Also III, Bride of Also, ribbon particles in SL? Yes, ribbon particles in SL.

And it's that time of the year again, where Em decides to muck about with changing her blog template. Yes, she understands it's kind of unreadable now. Bear with her, it (hopefully) will improve.

Friday, July 19, 2013

if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice

Next on the grand tour: [INK] Hair, and below is "ANDY", in Gray.

(from the Hair Fair album)

Again, fairly sure this is is a mens' salon, but still, this could be a cute pixie cut for women, an attractive short style for men; it's neatly unisex.

(from the Hair Fair album)

This is "BENZIE(A)", in, gods help us all, "Baige". I'm not fond of this one but I'm choosing to show it off because this really is a perfect 'bedhead' style; and by that I don't mean the artfully moussed-and-disarranged-deliberately hairstyles we see in the fashion mags, I mean, just-rolled-out-of-bed-in-someone-else's-apartment, you're-not-sure-where-your-underwear-is unkempt.

(from the Hair Fair album)

I loathe the expression, but this is seriously collegiate-grate, "Walk of Shame" hair. As such, it has potential for some of the harder-edged school RP sims.

Not shown: the two Fedora-and-hair styles, and "Seya", because it alpha-ed beyond belief.

You can find [INK] in Harbour.

Up next: [LWL], or the Ladies Who Lunch. They've got an interesting thing this year.

(from the Hair Fair album)

This is "Jillian", in Meringue, a short, wave-curled style, barely past the shoulders.

(from the Hair Fair album)

And this is "Jillian" from the back, just to give you the full surround look.

(from the Hair Fair album)

And this is "Jillian" with the mesh extensions. You have to wear the base hair, then pick Add to Worn for the extension, but still, it's very pretty.

Not shown: "Edith", a casually-gathered top bun (that also came with a dropped-pony mesh extension), and "Ursula", which I swear had me looking for hidden fish in the strands due to the wave-like sweeps. Unfortunately, while "Edith" was attractive, I am again pressed for time--and "Ursula", for all its innovation, alpha-ed.

You can find Ladies Who Lunch on Cloud.

And we're tying up this entry with Mystic Tiger, starting off with "Harpy":

(from the Hair Fair album)

I don't know why, I really like this one. I don't have many feathered avatars, but this makes me want to put one together.

(from the Hair Fair album)

I think partially it's because I've never seen feathers as hair before. Feathers in hair, yes, but not this. It's very distinctive. I'm wondering how many feather variations it comes in.

There is a slight bit of alpha flicker on the very ends of some of the side feathers, but other than that, it works amazingly well.

(from the Hair Fair album)

Then there's "Ka'Ree", which could work equally well on an alien queen from some far distant, and suitably fantastical, land, or as an Elizabethan peer of the realm.

(from the Hair Fair album)

Yes, the pearl strands are photosourced, but I'm willing to comp them points for that, because the rest is so stunning.

(from the Hair Fair album)

Meanwhile, speaking of queens, at least warrior ones--this is "Leo". I'm not sure if this is intended as a male or female style, but honestly, either sex, or any other sex, could pull this off with the right scenery and attire.
(from the Hair Fair album)

It's all braids and beads and dread-like spikes from the back, which continues that dangerous, feral ruler mentality.

(from the Hair Fair album)

And finally, there's "Tesla", which...uh...So. Yeah. This is a thing.

YNot shown: "Laverna", which could not be resized and which didn't fit at all well on my head. You can find Mystic Tiger in Port.

(The skin is from Sin Skins' 'Etheria' line, in particular the "Epimelia"; I have no idea if she's still in business, though, so try the SLUrl and hope for the best. The eyes I got around the end of 2012; the maker no longer lists a shop, but they're the "SP DreamEyes - Solar Flare" if you want to ask ylang2 Resident about them.)

(The outfit's a mix between Orange Marmalade's "Flutter Me Not" florals and Una's "Eivi Flower" decals. They don't pair that badly. No shoes, no stockings; dryads really don't need them.)

(Oh, and today I'm using Paulina's "Fairy Blue" for Windlight settings. Usually I don't, but I just found midafternoon a little bland, for some reason. I think because I've been playing a lot of Star Wars: the Old Republic, of late.)

Monday, July 15, 2013

found a notice on my door, while outside, the sun is shining on

Back for more Hair Fair? Yeah, me too.

(from the Hair Fair album)

First up today is Ohmai, with "Athena". I'm just wearing these out of the box, not playing about with the HUD, so unfortunately, I don't have Ohmai's names for the colors. Still, a full tester HUD comes with each hair demo, so you can pick between all of Ohmai's shades.

(from the Hair Fair album)

This is "Frankie", another nifty heavy-braid style, with added butterflies. The butterflies are a nice touch.

(from the Hair Fair album)

This is "Joan", which seems like your standard high pony, kind of average from the front.

(from the Hair Fair album)

But that braided detail in the back is to die for.

(from the Hair Fair album)

And this is "Kun", which honestly makes me feel like I'm wearing headphones made of roses.

You can find Ohmai in Cloud at Hair Fair.

Next, Diva, and the first thing I want to show off is their packaging.

(from the Hair Fair album)

This is pretty much just death from adorable, here. Squirrel in a fedora hat with some strawflowers, bubbles, and a carefully balanced hair picture...holding the logo for the store. Too damned cute.

(from the Hair Fair album)

So this is "Clea", in 'Black amber', which...well, has never been anything close to black, but is an attractive mid-brown, so hey. It's a pretty good style, good amount of curves and wisps to hold eye interest, nicely layered on the shoulders...

(from the Hair Fair album) least, until I spun around to look at the side and realized this thing was not only six inches off my shoulders, but was rigged mesh so couldn't be adjusted. That's...a problem.

(from the Hair Fair album)

This is "Lana" in 'Moon stone', and...okay, seriously, can someone explain to me the fetish Japanese hair designers have for bubble hair? Because this is far from the only style I've seen like this, it's pretty much ubiquitous. I don't get it. It's well made, it's just...the entire style has never made sense to me.

(from the Hair Fair album)

And this is "Mana" in 'Citrine'...your guess is as good as mine as to what citrine she's trying to reference...and yeah, look, more bubble hair. Still don't get it.

Diva can be found in Port at Hair Fair.

(Honestly, just look at the bottom of the last entry for the outfit credits; I didn't change anything.)

Friday, July 12, 2013

throwing out a boomerang, waiting for it to come back to me

Dare Designs Kickstarter campaign:
Okay, let me say this first. I'm not saying it's not a worthwhile effort. It is. What I am saying, at the start of this, is that a search through Kickstarter reveals nothing under "Dare Designs" or "Dare Munro". (Not that I expected Dare Munro to show up--Kickstarter is, pretty much, a real-name place, and he could easily be listed under his real name.

I think, instead, what he's going for is the idea of Kickstarter--a time-limited crowdfunding option. (Though, to be fair, if he wanted to go an official crowdfunding option, I'd point him towards IndieGoGo over Kickstarter--Kickstarter's good, but IndieGoGo still pays whatever's generated at the end of the set time, whether it came up to the stated goal or not. Kickstarter doesn't.)
To all my loyal customers, friends, fans, and fellow Slitizens – DD needs your help.
Technically, they've needed help for a while now, and if you haven't participated in the earlier sale-slash-computer-fundraiser, shame on you. Because a lot of great outfits are still available for L$99 each.
My mission statement at Dare Designs is and always has been to create a sustainable community with an atmosphere of fun, friendliness, and happiness; where good products, good friends, and good times go hand in hand at every level.

In short, what I want more than anything is that every person who visits DD goes away happier than when they arrived.

On a larger scale I want DD (and DE – the sim) to be a place where people know they can come and set down their bag of cares and troubles for a while and connect with others, and themselves, in interesting and pleasant ways for a little time, or a lot. A place where people want to be, and want to bring their friends, not just to BUY, but to BE. A place to call 'home'.

To do this I need your input, and your help.
I won't lie, I've had problems with Dare in the (by now) distant past; we had a disagreement, I blogged some things, I calmed down eventually. It was never, never, because he was a bad designer. He is not a bad designer. He is fiercely creative--both he and Axi Kurmin are--as well as having a defined artistic ethos that his creativity shines through. You can see it in everything from the outfits he makes, to the trees outside the store (which he also built), to the prefabs on the far side of the sim (which he also built). I've been a quiet member of one of his groups for years; I don't put group slots on hold for many people. (Seriously, sometimes I think I have the shopping equivalent of ADD--there's maybe a handful of groups that I always stay in--Dare Designs among them--but everything else is the whim of the moment, and can change nigh-daily.)
On the help side – as I have said before, my computer is ancient and basically dead on it's feet. I can run low-level programs for a few hours at a time, higher level programs (like Secondlife) for minutes at most. It simply needs to be replaced, and the efforts I have made to generate the money to do so have failed.
Understand that SL is my source of income, I don't have any outside job or source of income – so while SL has barely managed to continue to pay my RL expenses, the extra income needed to replace this computer so I can continue creating has not come about.
I know this pain. I am intimately familiar with this pain. I've had three computers die on me--four if you count the ancient Mac I had before I joined SL--and, if it weren't for incredibly generous friends, I wouldn't have a functional computer now. And while I do use my computer to generate income, it's nothing near something that supports me in RL, as much as I wish it would. I do have friends who do this dance, though, and at times, when the economy is especially daunting, I worry over their ability to make rent, to continue to eat, to keep the power on.

Add that to the inability to create new things, and that's a whole new level of hell for a designer.
This campaign is designed to generate that additional income to replace this computer so I can resume creating, and resume turning DD and DE into my vision as described above.

Goal: 300,000 L$ in 30 days
Now, in the original notecard, of course, that wasn't bolded, but I want you to seriously consider what he's asking for here. He's not asking for half a million US. He's not even asking for a quarter of a million US.

He's asking for a little over $1200, which is pretty much the bare minimum to get a reasonably decent computer. Yes, if you have the right friends, and find the right deals, you can still jerry-rig a Frankencomp out of component parts for around $500. It's not even hard. But doing it that way requires a familiarity with building computers from scratch--which Dare may not have--plus, consider the level of tech we're talking here. He wants something robust enough to handle the demands of SL--which remain steep, and are getting steeper every year--and at the same time, run PhotoShop (or whatever his graphics program of choice is). And/or mesh programs, which is a whole other complication. To do that well, to have the power you need, the graphics strength you need, the bare minimum is about a grand, and it goes up from there.

Plus, take a step back and think through what he's asking for. If everyone in any of his groups for the various stores that make up Dare Designs, or any of Axi Kurmin's groups that make up Dare Designs, kicks in some, he'll reach his goal in those thirty days. Just for the groups I can remember off the top of my head, I count about 2300 avatars. L$300,000 divided by 2300 equals about L$130 per person, which is less than the cost of one of his outfits, seriously. (And I know I'm forgetting some groups, so yeah, that number-per-avatar could be lower to get him to his goal!)

I'll have to buy some Lindens to do it, but I plan today or tomorrow to toss in at least that L$130. You really should too, or at least, whatever you can afford.
I am setting up a drop box and a 'tip' jar in DD in the main area right beside the model stands.
That would be here, by the way.
How you can help:

Fill out this short questionnaire:
Say as little or as much as you want as answer to each question, then drop this notecard in the dropbox.
The dropbox is right next to the tipjar, you can use the same SLUrl given above.
1: What is your favorite aspect of DD – what do you like the most?

2: What do you dislike the most about DD (or any store)?

3: If DD were to make one change that would make you happiest – what would it be?

4: What other changes would you suggest?

5: What is your name (avatar name so I can find you)?

6: How much did you contribute to the computer fund (if anything, not required)?

7: What do you feel that contribution is worth to you? (free outfits, special mention, hugs and kisses from a raving mod of fans, anything – I'm your genie, rub my belly and make a wish...)
While I didn't ask, I can't imagine he has a problem with signal-boosting, and besides, how often do you get a chance to give honest feedback to a designer who really, truly, wants to know what you want? Take this opportunity to tell him! I promise you, Dare and Axi have the creativity, the intelligence, and the drive to take your suggestions and channel them into future creations.
By filling this out and contributing to the fund, you will be helping me to get back in the game and turn DD and DE into the vision I have in mind – a place that we all can be passionate about and call our own.

Help me make our Second Home out of just Second Life.

With hope and passion,
Here's to all our dreams. But most importantly, the computer fund. I know there's a ton of things to occupy you--stores closing, big sales, SLRFL's main fashion takeover is right around the corner, Hair Fair's opening tomorrow--but think how hard it would be to want to create something, and be denied that ability. Then give what you can. It truly won't take much, and if you'd rather go the something-for-something route, there's an entire store full of goodies to peruse, and that will help too. Do what you can, and if the universe is kind, he'll get there, and get his new computer.

Friday, May 17, 2013

the hybrid face of time and space, and all that's in between

Want to know more about Amanda Palmer's music? She's opened up a ton of past recordings--some to download, some to buy, but all available for listening. Fun idea, and something more artists should do; because the concept of record stores with listening stations is now something firmly camped in vintage reality for most of us.

Artist Nina Katchadourian has, for several years, been rearranging book spines to make snippets of prose ranging from the whimsical to the profound. Now, her project has been released as a book itself, which is, frankly, all kinds of awesome.

Interested in quilting? Interested in constellations? Combine the two! There are seventeen days remaining to the project, which is now fully funded, so you can still contribute if you want your own special thing; or just toss in funds to support quilt artistry in general. Either way, it's a fun idea, be that wall hanging or bed covering--a section of the sky, with stars strewn in stitches to adore at leisure.

More intriguingly, though, this is not the first Haptic Lab project to use Kickstarter, and it's far from the first that's funded--this tends to be what they do as a collective. Most of their projects are sold in kit form, but when they have a design idea that needs more funding than simply selling kits and finished quilts will get them, they toss up a "mini-Kickstarter" to help them. In exchange, they put out limited editions that will never be made again. So it's a win for everyone involved--Haptic Lab gets to make bigger projects, and sell the non-limited versions to the public; the contributors get a special, one-of-a-kind handcrafted creation with all of their trademark precision and tactile sensitivity.

Speaking of Kickstarter, have I mentioned the Girl Genius Kickstarter yet? Already fully funded, with sixteen days to go, the impressive thing on this one is the steadily achieving set of stretch goals, because the more Studio Foglio raise, the greater this thing's going to be when it closes.

First, a touch of explanation for anyone who doesn't know: books are expensive to keep in print. No one knows this better than independent publishers, but as the Foglios are highly talented, slightly scattershot, vaguely disorganized artist-types, they suddenly realized they had several volumes that had slipped out of availability all at once.

This is bad. Thus, the Kickstarter, and the stretch goal process:
  • $70,000: Reprinting Volume One of Girl Genius (achieved!)
  • $85,000: Reprinting Volume Eleven of Girl Genius (achieved!)
  • $100,000: Reprinting Volume Five of Girl Genius (achieved!)
  • $115,000: Reprinting Volume Two of Girl Genius (will likely also be easily achieved as they're close)
  • $130,000: Reprinting Volume Three of Girl Genius (also highly possible, as they have sixteen days and a LOT of fans)
And it goes up from there. Even better, if for reasons of ecological preservation, discouraging clutter, or purely financial, the $20 level gets you both a shiny metal pin (in antique silver or brass) PLUS PDF copies of all the books they manage to save with this effort.

Also, some of the upper level offers are just amusing beyond all reason, up to and including, for the startling fee of $10,000, Professor Phil coming to your house (or, the concurrent offer, $10,000 to keep Phil from ever coming to your house).

If you're a fan, you just might need to help them out. Good news for us--they're going to get the help, so anything past now is gravy. Tasty, tasty steampunk gravy.

Are you a wee bit OCD? Do you cook? Consider the Obsessive Chef cutting board set, with precise organizational measurements printed right on the cutting surface. Personally, I love this concept; it would be a boon to both beginning and experienced cooks alike.

Know someone who's interested in calligraphy or illumination, but who prefers naked girls to dusty books? Offer them a compromise. (That link is elegantly NSFW, but very very pretty, just so you know.)

I actually think that's a fascinating concept in general--it hearkens back both to the old horror tales of living books, as well as tattooing in general, and the preservation of knowledge. After all--you can't suppress knowledge that people already know. And folks are already getting quotes tattooed on themselves, why not entire book pages? Think about a banned book fair that's entirely comprised of passages no one can take away without removing the skin of the participants.

(I might be taking this a bit far, but still. Fascinating.)

Normally, BuzzFeed is where you go to get a quick fix of internet oddity or quirky reaction gifs to save for later, but on occasion, they make serious points. Here, why Varys is the real star of Game of Thrones. They may not be wrong.

And--last but defiantly not least--prepare yourselves. He is coming. And he looks amazingly bad-ass. RiddickRiddickRiddickyay! (Yes I am a fan.)

Monday, May 13, 2013

you're drowning in the grief of Jupiter's water

Al Satterwhite's Cozumel Diary project will be fully funded! Congratulations to all contributors!

And Among the Sleep will be fully funded! This one's even more exciting for me, personally, because I think it's an astonishing step in survival horror games. There's been games where the protagonist is a child--there are survival horror games where the villain is a child--but a toddler? And having the entire game hinge on not knowing, from the first moment, whether or not this is that toddler's nightmare, or really something going on? Beautiful.

I seem to be the land of oddly specific links on occasion. But, if you ever wanted to look like a Drow Lolita who's just wandered in from the Battle of Normandy...I can help you with that.

Speaking of Marketplace things, I found this, and I couldn't figure out what they'd done to make the face look like that. So I ordered the demo version, and took a closer look.

(from the Comparisons album; not my standard side-by-side run, but a comparison nonethelss)

I've been logging in and mainly going through new (or new-ish) inventory, so in the above image, I'm wearing the LoveCats 'Spring Fae' skin in purple (bought on sale about a week ago), with an Angelwing outfit (the Naerose set in purple) purchased at their last sale, the Nautilus eyes in Violet from Saturnine Dreams (closing on May 20th, so go buy things NOW!), and Truth's "Adeline" hair with roots in the 'Elvira' tone (bought at Truth's last sale, which was so chaotically handled, that while I'm happy to have more mesh hair, I really don't care if I ever go back to the store).

(from the Comparisons album)

Um. Okay, this is terrifying. And I'm not talking about the huge hands--that's an easy change to make on a shape, so you can demo it for potential customers, and they can see how the rest of the shape looks.

(from the Comparisons album)

And then the skin rezzed in. Yeah. That...shape...That is just wrong, in every conceivable way. Not the least of which is, it's supposed to be a 'fresh teen shape', and...bwuh? Teens have no chins and anime eyes? Since when??

(from the Comparisons album)

I did try the skin demo with what (at least this month) I'm considering as my default shape, and--while I don't normally wear tanned skins--this isn't a bad skin. The shading's decent, and overall, having looked through her Marketplace store, her skin line isn't bad. Slightly derivative, but seriously, who isn't, these days? But they look good.

It's just her teen shape that's baffling.

Wil Wheaton made the Rachel Maddow blog the other day, or at least, something he said at a convention did--a heartfelt, sincere, amazing answer to the mother of a new child on why it was perfectly okay to be a nerd. Well worth watching.

And the LEGO company is releasing a Steampunk set soon! It looks very cool, and of course, I am thinking of combining the Steampunk master set with the Pirates set...and maybe the zombie set. Woo-hoo!

I linked XD Design's window device charger a while ago on the blog--a beautifully designed, utterly impractical, inefficient and overpriced solar panel that sticks to a window near your desk or in your home. Well, now they've released something else that's beautiful, stylish, as well as inefficient and overpriced--a sunflower-in-pot solar-panel charger. They're both cute; they're both very sleek. But it seems form means more to XD than function, and that's really not the point.

Like Minecraft? Like 3D printing? Like designing things? Try Printcraft, a scripted variant of Minecraft wherein folks can log in, make their builds, and convert their creations directly to .stl files for 3D printing, in addition to uploading them direct from the game to Thingiverse. I don't know whether it's a pay server or not, but it's yet another great innovation to the base game.

In more...disturbing news, or at least potentially...a Japanese company has invented virtual water.

As Gizmodo--and the company's promotional materials--hint at, this likely won't be used for...well...water. But virtual sex has always been big business, so it's hardly surprising.

"Go home, rainbow! You're drunk!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

mark the time that slips away where the oceans meet the sky

There are things in our lives we can redesign to make much more efficient, or beautiful, or inspiring. And then there are the designs we make just for fun. Me, I know why the tentacle plunger might get made, though it's clearly the latter. (And no, think bathroom, not bedroom--this really is a redesigned plunger, not a sex toy.)

This, though, is truly amazing and if it succeeds in a stable way, we will effectively end the debate over use of stem cells in medicine. And make no mistake about it--the initial cost outlay for medical-grade machines (and the technologists to run them) will be high, but after that, surgeons will be able to create stem cells that originate on a growth medium, not in a baby, and (even more important, in my opinion), will be able to drop rejection of the cells to zero, because they can use the patient's DNA to grow them.

Imagine: a world where there is no risk of rejection, because the cells are grown from each patient. A world where there is no need for the scary immuno-suppressants we have now, with their occasionally vicious side effects, because our bodies will simply adapt and reintegrate our own cells.

3D printers can do a great many things, but I admit, I didn't realize they could print out living cells. We are living in the future, people.

Meanwhile, coming from the more cynical region of future techs, Amazon is trying to patent a yet-to-be-created device that will ensure digital scarcity. While the concept of digital scarcity still makes me laugh, my bigger question is why? And why did it take so long to grant the patent? (It was originally filed in 2009.)

But that's not the worrisome part. The part that makes me nervous is the implicit kill coding.

Say I own a digital copy of To Kill a Mockingbird that I acquired from Amazon. I've read the work several times, I need more space for things, and Amazon has told me I can re-sell the ebook when I wish. I list it for sale (at a reduced price, though Amazon still takes a cut), and someone buys it. This technology would then (supposedly) kick in and "transfer ownership" of the ebook, giving a copy (with the kill code intact) to the buyer, and subsequently deleting my copy of the book.

Considering how easy it is for technologies to go haywire, I am not sanguine that other books may be deleted, or that there would be cases where my book might be deleted, and the buyer's copy not delivered. All around, this sounds like a bad move.

Turning to gender, and perception, Lore Sjöberg has a marvelous little commentary on the myth of the "nice guy". It's well worth reading, and I'm thinking it should be required reading for every guy in SL. Because what he says is true: women don't want "nice" when they're considering potential mates or partners. They want smart, or funny, or smart and funny, and hey, liking a good cuddle now and again wouldn't be bad either. And after those attributes are covered, then women turn to the physical.

Is that sinking in? Ask ten guys what they want in a woman, at least half of them will mention breast size. Ask ten women what they want in a man, nearly all of them will mention intelligence and sense of humor over any physical attribute.

We don't want you to be a "nice guy". We want you to be a good man.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I can hold my head up knowing that I got through the night

Why does this even exist?

A while back, Miss Kallisti contributed to the Around the World event (she picked Australia/New Zealand, which is where that SLUrl would drop you off if the event was still on), and back on the 15th of November, she sent a box of demos and new styles to try out.

This is far from the first time I dropped the ball on something, but considering I'm a massive fan of her hair, my only excuse is that towards the end of November, things were crazed and depressing--I was fighting to finish NaNoWriMo (I didn't), still dealing with one-third of my triad being in another state for physical therapy (she's back home now, but wasn't then), still scrambling with everyone else to try to save City of Heroes (that failed, too), and still mourning the mystery man who left without a word (and I still haven't heard anything).

Most of these situations have resolved. City of Heroes got axed, as unfortunately expected. NaNoWriMo ended without me "winning" (though I did chronicle, at the end, over 27,000 words, so I don't feel too terrible about it, considering I didn't even start writing until November 11th). A couple days before Thanksgiving, the girl got home, and we have taken over walking exercises to keep her muscles mobile and the physical therapy fresh. And I've given up on that love, after eight months without word.

I think that's the hardest thing for me on the list.

But, my various losses might be your gain--at this point, these styles MIGHT be in Discord Designs proper, so look for them there!

(from the fashion album)

This is the loose dread style "Butler", in the 'Gracile' variant (basically, slimmer and less "weighty" than the Robust) in Mid-Grey, with the accompanying alpha layer. For most of the heavy dread styles, though, because of their sheer bulk, they really don't need the alpha layer to be worn.

(from the fashion album)

For the weight difference, this is "Butler" (from the Light Essentials color pack; the above's from the Dark Essentials color pack) in 'Robust', in Tan. All color packs of "Butler" feature unrigged mesh hair.

(from the fashion album)

This is "Calvin", in Nut Brown, from the Dark Essentials color pack. Note: This style of Calvin is RIGGED mesh, which means it can't be adjusted nor can its position be changed. Still, out of the box there's only one or two sections for me that seem to show more scalp than hair. Drop my head diameter down a mark or two on the sliders, that just might be enough to fix it.

(from the fashion album)

Also keep in mind she's included unrigged versions as well, if the rigged really doesn't work for you. And with the included matching hairbase for each hair, that hides most potential problems with the rigged versions, anyway.

(from the fashion album)

And this is "Calvin" in the Baby Blonde, from the front (from the Light Essentials color pack)...

(from the fashion album)

...and this is it from the back. There are places where certain of my AO movements will clip the mesh through my shoulders, but considering the length, it doesn't happen that often, which is surprising. It also looks really good for days I want close, clean braidwork to romp about in.

And I'll go ahead and split this for convenience. Look for part II soon! (Or, y'know, just click that link.)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

turn out the light, and what are you left with?

I realize it's been some time since my last post to the blog. It's not looking sure that Disney's going to even bid on the City of Heroes software and code, and with them out of the picture, who's left? Of course, in a depressing bit of improper timing, the Titan Network's ongoing debates on Plan Z--the player-funded 'after project' of City of Heroes--have already hit a major snag, as one of their committee members went off and set up her own game site with no one from Titan the wiser. "Hurt feelings" over this duplicitous move is putting it mildly.

And NCSoft's already killed another game--and another game studio.

It seems to be what they do.

In the meantime, there's apparently been a rash of very coordinated thieves--or at least one coordinated thief with a lot of alts. My bet's on more than one, though, because of how frequently it seems to be happening. Flatterbots, panhandling bots, beggar-bots, call them what you will, but what they add up to is even more cynicism and lack of trust on the grid.

Moving to games, Quantic Dreams have put out a new "prototype" video called Kara, that they say isn't tied to any particular game at present. But, considering that Quantic's a game studio, and they have developed games in the past...actually, you know, I don't so much care if it's a game or a movie. I'll take either. It's that beautiful. (Note of warning: some [mild] robotic nudity, and some [again mild] adult concepts, but no bad language, no blood, no spinning weapons.)

Also, Ragnarok Online 2 may be getting a USA server soon. Beyond that, I don't know much, but it would be fun.

Meanwhile, Think Geek has invented...a...thing. It's tentacular, it moves, but it's not a memory stick, so...I'm afraid my mind is contemplating more adult uses for they really call it the "Squirming Tentacle"? Really?

Cesar Kuriyama will be putting out his "One Second Everyday" app; it's been fully funded and has eighteen days to go. The "Dancing in Jaffa" documentary, about Pierre Dulane's journey to bring Jewish and Palestinian children together on a neutral dancefloor, will also be fully funded--three days ago, it was at $18,000 of its goal, but it's now well over the asking fund of $35,000. And the "Amazing Capes" Kickstarter is ridiculously well-funded, and will go into production within a couple weeks! Yay for innovation!

And the desire to be superheroes, apparently.

Maskull Lassere is a woodcarver, a sculptor, and a painter, but he's recently come to my attention on Tumblr of all places for the carved bone intersection work. You'll see what I mean when you look at that particular archive, but feel free to look at the rest of his work. If you like those in-between places between the inanimate and the organic, and ponder the potential inner structures of objects, you'll like Lassere's work.

Tardar Sauce, the internet phenomenon named "GrumpyCat" by the masses, has been given the Storyboard treatment. What's that, you ask? Storyboard is this odd, quirky video project where everyday objects--including pets--are overvoiced by small children. It's perplexing, occasionally baffling, and usually very fun.

Two French designers have decided to immortalize their love for retro geekery in the form of a table. A table designed to look like a floppy disc. It's definitely innovative, and witty design, and features a hide-the-whatever pocket in form of a shutter that actually slides, revealing a small space just large enough for most remotes. Perfect.

This may well be the most impressive Minecraft shot--using the default game textures, that is--that I've ever seen. Phenomenal...though I don't think there's enough torches...

And, um...apparently the Daleks are invading. And I do not understand Imgur. That is all.

Friday, November 9, 2012

sometimes when I'm sad, I wander the streets, covered with mice

The first poster for Disney's remake of The Wizard of Oz has been released. I have to admit, I like the direction I'm seeing so far.

For Bond fans, some odd, but not entirely unpleasant news: Idris Elba is in talks with the property owners to potentially become the next James Bond.

Now then, in the midst of blog-based reconstruction efforts (and those are still ongoing, I keep wandering the wide, cold world beyond the screen), drama struck with great force.

To wit, the Blogging Elf's coverage of the new and improved copybotters on the grid.

Maybe I should say the "even more underhanded and sleazy" instead of improved, there. Why? Several things. Let's talk about how a search for "Marie2 Cisse" turns up her profile, which then says she's MissFederova Resident, and also Keeley Wintour (with Wintour being, I believe, her chosen display name). But wait, she's also partnered with MissFederova Resident. Huh?

No picks, no classified, a join date of 2009, and her first life bio is a study in arcane minimalism:
Be lovelie, feel like a sexie.
Ooookay then.

Marie2 had this to say:
[2012/10/15 14:09] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): you think those skins will be on sale
[2012/10/15 14:09] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): for 1k or more
[2012/10/15 14:09] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): I can do it for 300L
[2012/10/15 14:09] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): Full fat pack
[2012/10/15 14:09] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): :)
[2012/10/15 14:09] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): Maliah skin will sell more with me than you
[14:10] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): 20k i am offering
[14:10] Gerusa Bastos (marie2.cisse): for don't distruing this skin
Yeah, that really does strike me as straight-up extortion. Pay her twenty thousand Lindens or she'll release the hacked copy of your skin; which, seriously, she can do at any point anyway, because if she's showing it off, you KNOW it's going to hit the Marketplace sooner or later. And did I mention the total lack of any and all ethics for this entire thing? How can we deal honestly with people who don't care in the least who they hurt, as long as they get their money? The concept of not infringing because it hurts people won't wash; the idea that it's a crime with punishment means nothing, either, because week after week, month after month, this happens, and keeps on happening, and nothing's heard from the Lindens.

What about Alemanha (or, as her profile more properly calls her, sallyGirlpaty Aho? She's got a decant date of 2010, once changed her display name to "prostituta de beverlly hills", and all her first life bio says is "High quality static poses." But no store link. The hell. Is she Marie2 Cisse's alt? If not, who is she?

And issela2 Resident has the same picture as Alexandriala Resident and Marie2 Cisse, though she was cracked whole onto the grid in 2012; so I'd say at least provisionally, Marie2 is likely issela2 is likely Alexandriala...but who else?

Issela, according to Sanya Bilavio, had this to say:
[17:26] issela2: HAHAHA
[17:26] issela2: Take care
[17:34] issela2: I've all your mesh stuff
[17:34] issela2: And I'm going to giving away this
Have we really become this jaded as an online world? Not only that copyright infringement has become so openly blatant, but that the only thing we feel we can do is protest on blogs, because complaining to the Lindens does absolutely nothing? When did the last line of defense for copyright protection include the statement "For gods' sake don't expect the Lindens to do anything"?

Plus, being openly mocked when our products, our skins, our shapes, our mesh designs are lifted--in Sanya's case, directly in front of her eyes--that's emotionally crushing at the worst, depressing and enervating at best.

Getting back to Alexandriala Resident, whose SL bio is a feast of confusion:
No fear no doubt.
I'll provide the answers.

Mide tus palabras.

Online Catastrophe is
The answer.
There's no other. That does it like i do it.
Read RL. Kty bai
Um. Had to look that bit up; I can't find a solid English version, but several Spanish pages attribute the phrase to Pythagoras. One variant:
"Measure your words, weigh your opinions, count your deeds."
The problem is I can't track down anything directly attributed to Pythagoras with that translation. (Though "mide tus palabras" does mean "measure your words".)

So I went to look at the RL bio:
I do not care.........

kty bai
Right, just...right, you stand over there, I'm just going to back away slowly and then run for the door.

"MissFederova Resident", btw, seems to have been slain by the Lindens, as was plain "federova Resident"--at least, as far as both in-world and out-of-world search will tell me.

Guess the alt's out of the closet, or something?

The whole cavalcade of defiant alted thieves are noted individually on Sanya Bilavio's Flickr. But here's what kills me about this whole thing. Going back to the original blog, we find Alexandriana saying this:
[2012/11/02 12:23] Second Life: Alexandriala has given you this body part: Inna Bilavio shape
[2012/11/02 12:23] Alexandriala: Your shape has been copybotted.
[2012/11/02 12:23] Alexandriala: And will be sold.
That's...awfully close to blackmail, innit?

We already know she (in any of her nefarious guises) has no shame; she's openly posting hacked skins on both her Flickr and in her Marketplace store. Though apparently, there's an odd bit of sock puppetry attached to this teapot storm, as well--here, MissFederova attacks
  • Annie Jolifaunt (ITGirls owner, decanted 2010)
  • Avida Resident (nothing found)
  • Brigida Oliphaunt (nothing found, though I did find a "brigida Resident", decanted in 2010; no idea if it's any relation to the mysterious Ms. Oliphaunt. "Oliphant" was a last name, so "Oliphaunt" might have been; beyond that, no information found)
  • Capucine Bartavelle (nothing found, in or out of world)
  • CasaAmerica Resident (seems to have no connection; decanted 2011)
  • Christine Coignet (decanted 2010)
  • Dumani Resident (decanted 2012)
  • Götzsche Resident (She has a blog, though it's so new it's still squealing, and she arrived in 2012 on the grid)
  • Julia Stegner (no results)
  • Ladytrava Resident (born in 2011 is all I've got)
  • Louise Menizah (listed in world with a decant date of 2009; but she's not listed out of world at all. There is a Luiza Menizah, but I don't know if there's any connection. Intriguingly, she also arrived in 2009.)
  • Munique Benusconi (no results in or out of world; but Benusconi is confirmed as a last name)
  • SallyGirlPaty Aho (already covered elsewhere)
  • Sorrisocolgate Resident (none found in or out of world; there's a sorrisocarente Resident, decanted in 2012, but I don't know if they're related)
Wau. Lotsa names there. What connects them all? No clue. Why are they all being named as alts? No clue. But it deeply worries me. Someone--or a group of someones--who have no desire to do anything but graft a source of easy cash, fear no enforcement practices (and really, why should they, after everything else that's happened regarding copyrighted goods), and don't care how much chaos they leave in their wake...this makes them at least technologically capable, morally bankrupt, and contemptuous of any pressure we might bring to bear.

How do we stop a mobile, amoral conglomerate dedicated to taking what they can and spending it as fast as possible? When at least the original three names on this lengthening list seem to have zero compunction not only in lifting designs that aren't theirs, but in telling those they've infringed, directly, that they've not only lifted those designs, but they have every intention of selling them--and there's not a thing they can do to stop this?

I don't have the answers. I wish I did.