Showing posts with label identity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label identity. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

make the same mistake, I'll be here all night

Was Megaupload targeted simply for the actual criminal acts key members performed, or was it also to stop them from launching music and movie sharing services later this year? I don't know if we'll ever know for sure, but it's intriguing that they'd started to make announcements on what was coming--and soon after, were indicted and shut down.

Keep in mind that in the wake of Megaupload shutdown, both FileSonic and have closed down access from American accounts. FileSonic has gone one step further and declared that users now can only download items they have personally uploaded--so no sharing large videos with family or sending big-packet extraps to fellow law partners, for instance.

And I really don't think they'll be the only closures or changes in services. I think this entire thing is going to end up having a very isolating effect on American media and media sharing--legal or not.

Meanwhile, somewhere far away from that legal battle, ocean waters are turning into froth. Cappuccino-colored froth. Ecological changes in our oceans, you say? Surely you jest.

And have I mentioned scientists are currently trying to prove if multiple universes exist? That's just wild. (And what will such proof, if we get it, do once it percolates fully into the culture?)

From the so-not-safe-for-work department, the newest edition of sexy fairytale pinups. There's a lot of Ariel, a rather curvaceous Elphaba, a Cinderella straining at the seams, and a rather more adult than anticipated Wendy, from Peter Pan. (Among many, many others.)

And, though I rarely touch on religion in this blog, here's a disquieting link on why Biblical literalism can be a very bad thing, using as example the new American version (though with references to the original version, and the book) of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Finally, though this goes out only to one or two readers, Tom Banwell's now made a plague doctor mask. It's available both in brown, and in a "doctoral" white version with red lenses. (The white is less expensive because the design choice turned to rivets, not hand stitching, but either one will set you back a fair chunk of change.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

swift and sudden, fall from grace

So we have a single-picture release of Katniss' Fire Dress from the Hunger Games, and...well, I'm hoping I'll be more impressed later. Also, I'm a little gobsmacked by their choice of actor to play Cinna--to be truthful, I was thinking someone closer to Austin Scarlett than Lenny Kravitz.

Originally seen on New World Notes came another mention of the SL vampires phenomenon--but this time, from a slightly different direction. And it's one I agree with, quite honestly.

This is the current best-of attempt to lure in the vampiric masses to SL:

(from the Blogger Pictures album)

So, this vampire. I'd love to know both who took this picture, and who's the model. Because I can tell several things wrong right off the bat:
  • Where is she, in Little Silent Hill? This is not a Ridley Scott movie. Clear out the snow effects.
  • It would also be nice to have someone with a little knowledge of attachments, and adjusting same, to have worked with this avatar before the shot was taken? Because right now they look like fang-shaped lower-lip piercings, not--you know--fangs.
  • It would also be nice if they'd have used a vampiric eye that didn't look jaundiced over supernatural.
  • And while we're at it, they couldn't have done a little PhotoShop work, trimmed out that jutting ribcage on her torso? Not exactly aesthetically pleasing.
Then (as they mention in the article) Alicia Cachenaux decided to pull up what she thought was the same outfit (called the Vampire Xyla avatar in the Library, apparently). This was her take, which she says was only lightly PhotoShopped, and took her about twenty minutes all told:

(from the Blogger Pictures album; Some rights reserved, Copyright, Alicia Cachenaux; used
without permission but not altered in any way save machine resizing
(original as downloaded is the same as seen on her site.)

Now, things I noticed about this one:
  • You can emphasize "winter" and "chill" without having floating snow particles. Gosh! Imagination! What an astounding thing!
  • Also, she's got to run shadows on her machine. Which I will admit, makes this picture look phenomenal without a lot of editing. (But truthfully, most folks can't run inherent shadowing on their systems.)
  • She knows how to adjust prim fangs. You'd think Lindens who worked for the Labs would know that, too.
  • It's a lovely pose, it's a lovely background, the extraordinarily jaundiced eyedrops-of-Midori look seems toned down, and even the hair looks good. Amazing.
See what a little effort can do? And I do mean little; that was a twenty-minute shot, start to finish. That's about the time it takes to watch an episode of the Daily Show without commercials, people.

Lindens, you could have put up this picture to advertise for vamps. Why didn't you?

I would like to bring up one more thing from the Iris Ophelia article also linked. It seems staggeringly apparent to me, after six years on the grid, that what the Lindens expect and what they get are two radically different things, but this complaint is more specific than that.

What Linden Lab seems to want is pretty clear: they want people to pay them money. They want people to keep paying them money. They want people to play their games, and keep playing their games, because let's face it, it's not easy to live on the grid and not spend money.

I'm not saying these are bad goals. And more power to them when (though usually if) they happen. But here's where the problem is: the tools they're employing to get these paying customers are woefully inadequate to get those paying customers.

Why? Well, first, they seem to use vintage 2006/2007 avatars for almost all promotional materials, unless they're specifically advertising new products, like the vampire avatar. Why do they do this? Moreover--and this one has baffled me every time I see a Linden--nearly every Linden on the grid is also in a 2006/2007 avatar--if not in a significantly older avatar. I'm sure there's a value to nostalgia, but seriously, when the big redesign for Philip Linden takes him from looking like a Naruto clone in spiky hair and an impossible codpiece to...well, someone who walked out of the Castro district after a particularly vigorous night...I mean, okay, the skin's better (and a custom design); the hair's better (sort of); but the outfit? It's an essentially (and only slightly) better-textured version of his original outfit. Come on, now.

And if that's the thinking of the CEO (at the time), that's the corporate culture. And if the corporate culture is saying things like Never update and don't use an AO and don't use prim hair and stay to system layers...that filters both down to the support staff, and down to the customer base.

Frankly, if you emphasize that money's not needed, you get people for whom money doesn't matter, and from there you get people who don't want to pay to play the game. That's a pretty callous statement, I know, but it's not wrong.

More than that, the tutorial walk-throughs on Orientation Island used to emphasize these things. This is how you walk with an AO; these are clothing layers; these are eyes; this is how to walk, this is how to turn, this is how to interact with an object, this is how to open a box.

Once that was thrown out, the only instruction left is the userbase, and most of them are still telling the random conglomeration of friends and strangers that arrive on the grid several specific, and fairly Linden-unfriendly, things:
  • Get an AO. NOW.
  • This is prim hair. Never wear system hair again. EVER.
  • You don't need to rent land. Just pop a house up at a sandbox. No big deal.
  • Wear fur.
  • Wear fangs.
Is this really what the Lindens want to pass on to their userbase? Because from here, we have to look at the advertising. What's the advertising for SL telling us?
  • If you're not human, you don't count.
  • If you're a vampire, you count, but really, we think of you as human.
  • Water sims are really, really important for all those fun outdoor activities we know you'll love.
  • It's possible to change clothes by activating a swirly particle effect.
  • It's possible to hold hands with an avatar anywhere you want.
  • It's possible to kiss an avatar anywhere you want.
  • Ideally, even more than being human, we at Linden Lab really want you to be white. Even though other skin colors are just fine. But you'll have more fun if you're white.
But break down the bulk of the newcomers to Second Life recently. What are they, in majority groups, identifying as? They're almost always from this list:
  • Furs
  • Vampires
  • Vampire furs
  • Nekos
  • Victorians
Think I'm kidding? Look at the folks around any welcome center. Or even better, look at who's renting land or even buying whole estates after they join the grid? Who are those people? Chances are, they wear fur, or they wear fangs, or both. (And nine times out of ten, within a week, even the "human" appearing girls will be wearing cat ears, anyway.)

So, if you're taking into account the Lindens' stated goals with their advertising, they aren't really working. Even worse, if you're taking into account the userbase's generic and mobile goals, they aren't really working, because in spite of all instruction there are still people wandering around wearing houses on their right hand and complaining that SL's too hard. (And some of these people are using the official SL viewer--I truly think a time must come when the Lindens sit back and say, okay, some people, they're just dumb, and stop trying to drag every single procedure down to kindergarten-speak.)

Ultimately, it leaves us in a very uncomfortable place. Namely, telling our friends to log into SL and join in the game, while ignoring every single image they see on the SL website. And it leaves the Lindens trying to speak to a userbase that really, truly, for all intents and purposes--doesn't exist.

Who's going to pay the bills at that point? That's the question the Lindens really need to be asking.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

and in a dimly lit room where you've got nothing to hide, say your goodbyes

There's a rather ruthless level of arrogance in the latest Phoenix viewer post. Let me distill down the main points:
  • V1 viewers cannot support mesh.
  • Henri Beauchamp made it work for CoolVL, damn him.
  • People are switching from Phoenix to CoolVL. We purely can't have that.
  • I never wanted Phoenix to have mesh. We're DONE with Phoenix. It's OVER, people.
  • But one of our coders whined, and built up a database of patches, fine, I caved--AGAINST my better judgement, mind you--and now Phoenix will have mesh.
  • It will be buggy, it will crash, it will do other weird things, because I don't care what Henri says, mesh just doesn't WORK with v1.
  • Even though we said we'll never update Phoenix again, now we're going to, though as I said, I'm profoundly against it.
  • Also, you idiots should upgrade your machines. I mean, my god, some of you can't even run SSE2-enabled viewers. What are you, five? Grow up and upgrade, damn it!
  • We've also installed RLV coding into Phoenix, even though I was also against that, because really, you people need to get better hobbies than deviant sex.
  • But get this through your thick heads, people--we won't update Phoenix again. This is it. This is all you get, and you should be goddamn thankful that anyone bothered with a stupid v1 viewer structure in the first place.
That sums up the major points pretty well, I think. I'm sure Miss Lyon could have been more dismissive if she tried, but she's not far from utter contempt now. It's darkly amusing coming from the former champion of V1 over everything else, this "get v2 or get out" attitude. Wonder what happened in the background to force her hand like this?

You know, other than Henri getting mesh to work in a V2 structure that has a V1 interface. Which she of course said couldn't be done.

[Insert from the Editrix: Henri's responded to the allegations in a calm, unruffled, and rational manner, pretty much striking down Lyon's raving point by point. It's a refreshing breath of logical air. Also, tip of the hat to friend Alex, for finding me the link.]

In a move that will surprise no one following the Google debacle, Google has now "streamlined" their appeals process--to make it even more likely to catch innocents and "guilty" (note, Google's definitions of guilt, there) alike:
"Apparently there's no limitation on the number of times Google might decide to take a disliking to your name, even if Google previously approved it, and you showed it government ID with that name on it."
Miss Tateru Nino said that, and she's absolutely right--Google has moved from evil with a side of baffling into supervillain status with this. And there's been no further resolution on how these "inappropriate" names are found; the amount of like or dislike generated in any particular Google employee seems fairly random. That hasn't really altered since July; they've just gotten a lot more harsh on things.

Another quote (from the second linked article):
We don't support pseudonymous use in Google+: we support the use of whatever name you use in your life.
On paper, at least, Google is maintaining a contradictory stance to begin with, because take cases like me. I use my real name with my bank and with government offices. Everyone else--and I mean that, just about everyone else, including family, close friends, the theatre we mainly go to, occasional acquaintances, catalogs, online purchases through Amazon and other entities, my insurance company, the clinics and hospitals I've attended, and most of my blogs--gets Emilly Orr.

In point of fact, not a few people closest to me, call me by that name and no other. Or they switch fluidly back and forth between Emilly and my "real" name. So "whatever name I use in my life"? That's Emilly, for the most part.

Yet that's the name Google doesn't want. I'm more than past glad I severed my Google+ profile when I did; my only fear now is that somehow, at some point, Google's going to make use of it mandatory for everyone.

And then...there's the ongoing JLU scandal. Now, I did say I was going to stop going through the SLUniverse threads and pulling out quotable bits, and I'm holding to that. But more has surfaced in the meantime, and Axi Kurmin is hot on the trail of the new revelations. She's even got the second part of the series up, and one of the first things she does is challenges everyone involved in the debate--on any side--to be clear on the terminology they're using. I quote:
"Defining your terms is important. It allows everyone to speak about a thing and actually be communicating the same ideas. When you don't define them, you wind up arguing over what they mean.

"I have also found that people like to change what things mean to suit themselves, particularly when they feel like calling someone nasty names. Whilst watching this story unfold, many people (self included) have noticed that the JLU (and their supporters) apparently aren't quite sure what the word 'griefer' means, because they keep stretching its boundaries farther and farther, even to include anyone who doesn't support them and says so in a public forum, and nothing more. Let us review:

"A griefer is a player in a multiplayer video game that deliberately irritates and harasses other players."
I took all of that, because I think all of that is important. Throughout everything on SLUniverse, and through both entries so far--and in the comments--on Search Engine Watch, she's remained clear, concise, and level-headed. She's not sinking to anyone's level; she's holding her own, and asking--nay, on occasion demanding--that we do the same. Civil discourse demands no less.

The problem is, as I've stated before, neither side seems interested in that. The few members who've come forward to support the JLU have either dissolved into hysterics, insisted that they're trustworthy simply because they are (recursive logic at its best), or flounced off under the "I just can't talk with you people" banner.

And the folks who stand against the JLU, most often, are descending into rabid over-emotionalism itself, because it's pretty difficult to remain calm and steadfast in the face of "we don't have to show you that" and "you can't HANDLE the truth!" proclamations.

At any rate, it will be an interesting series to watch.

In other news, this is just gorgeous, read all about decision fatigue, and afterwards, read about six fashion trends that actually killed people--including the crinoline skirt, and the corset. Fun!

And to wrap this up for you, I have four words: blood orange chocolate bat. That is all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

the rain won't wash away the ashes underneath your nails

(Continued from part X.)

First, a note relevant to today.

Next, we're going back to the Information Privacy Principles (of California, at least). We'd covered 1 to 4; here's the next one.

5. Right to Know Principle
Individuals have the right to know what types of personal information we gather and use.
  • We will tell you what types of personal information we gather and how we use the information.
  • We will tell you what types of personal information we share with other organizations and the authority for sharing the information.
  • We routinely inform the public about our information privacy policies and practices.
  • We provide, upon request, information about our privacy policies and practices, including the names of staff responsible for overseeing our compliance.
What does this one mean?

Again, bad things for the JLU. They would need to be proactive about determining what information they need, and why they need it. They would need to have a policy announcement in place outlining the kinds of information they're keeping, how long they're keeping it, and where they're getting it. They would need to provide upon any request information about their information privacy policies, practices, up to and including naming names about who's on the team securing that personal information. Above all, they would have to be open and honest, two things I don't see them changing any time soon.

6. Right to Inspect & Correct Principle
Individuals have the right to inspect the personal information we maintain about them and to request that we correct errors.
  • We have an accessible and simple inspection and correction process.
  • We respond to your request within a reasonable time and at minimal or no cost to the individual.
  • We correct the personal information when more accurate or complete facts are established.
What does this one mean?

For the JLU, it would mean keeping large sections of their wiki open to the public, even in unchangeable form. However, if they prevented changes to their information by the public, they would still have to set up and maintain policies by which individuals named in their documents could challenge that information. They would not charge for changing the information, and the information once changed should not be reverted.

7. Right to be Heard Principle
You have a right to be heard if you believe we failed to adhere to our Information Privacy Principles for Individuals.
  • We have an accessible and simple complaint process.
  • We investigate all complaints and respond promptly.
  • We take corrective measures when appropriate.
What does this one mean?

As with the above, it would involve the JLU setting up an accessible and easy way for people to register complaint, or challenge both conclusions drawn and information posted. They would need to develop a secondary investigation team beyond that, to run down these complaints or requests for corrections, in order to insure that their information is fair, truthful, and accurate. This team would also have the power to make corrections to documents retained, in order to bring them more up to date with the shifts of personal information. Likely also, this team would be responsible for deletion of private materials when the time for their use had expired.

8. Commitment Principle
We periodically have outside privacy experts review our practices to ensure that we follow our Information Privacy Principles for Individuals.
What does this one mean? I think this would be the hardest of all for the JLU to follow. Allowing outsiders access to anything that isn't tightly controlled by their group seems to give them hives. But more importantly, it's a vital part of the process, a process that should have already been in place.

But, okay, those are the eight principles that California law considers official and binding. Why were there eleven principles mentioned in the comment thread? Well, there actually isn't anything that's glaringly out of place with the eleven mentioned in the thread; I'm thinking the list I found (specific to California law, not international) simply compacts things a bit.

What was the JLU's response to this list of principles? None that I can tell, or at least, none that made it through onto SLUniverse. But then, none of them strike me as being particularly devoted to transparency.

So here's my thinking, from this point forward.

Covering this controversy has eaten up eleven entries. That's not exactly huge, these days; the Escapist controversy had more entries, and covering the Zindra debacle took months. Still, it's a chunk of time, a chunk neither my readers nor I will get back.

So from here, any additional reading I do on the topic won't be posted on the blog. It's not going to be relevant, from this point; nothing I read will change any of the conclusions I've drawn.

For the JLU, if any of you wish to contact me, feel free; you can comment on any of the JLU-centric entries, you can drop me a notecard in world; hells, if you really feel compelled, scroll down on the sidebar; there's a way to contact me by email. Just don't expect me to chase any of you down. First, I already tried that (and failed) with Kalel; second, I really don't care. I'm not on your side.

What I would say, though, to wrap things up, is that if anyone in the JLU truly believes they are an honorable person, with personal integrity and clarity of vision, and you can believe that while still doing everything you can to break open private medical and therapeutic records, and do such a slipshod job of it that those you consider in the wrong are able to waltz in and grab things to flip up out of your control...well, you are invested in a great amount of personal delusion, because you are not honorable, you have no integrity, and you are in the wrong here. No one should have to worry that some random comment on a forum thread will be pulled out and lovingly slotted into a wiki as proof of some 'illegal' act. No one should have their place of work contacted, their college contacted, or their family and friends contacted and told to cut all ties as a matter of personal safety. That is cyberstalking at best; misdemeanor to a felony at worst.

And you should be ashamed for ever considering this was a heroic action to do. You're not heroes. Heroes would know better.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I used to have a home, now I don't even have a name

Marc Rossmiller invited you to join him on Google+

No. Die.

Moving on--how about an entire page of great fandom cakes? And man, some of these are amazing. Not a cake wreck in the batch.

More Hurricane Irene news: LordKat, an occasional correspondent through That Guy With the Glasses, lives in Staten Island. This is relevant because for the past couple of days, he pointed his webcam out onto his street. (And no, the film's not shown in reverse; the car near the beginning does back up and out of the street because it was blocked.) From a mild drizzle to Atlantis and rising damp in 48 hours. Impressive in a slightly unnerving way.

So yesterday, I mentioned the whole Alyssa Bereznak fiasco, and there's been a couple new points of interest pop up. First, Dork Tower actually put out a strip commemorating the whole controversy, and there was a link at the end to another article. That's where the real interest for me picks up.

See, apparently, Ms. Bereznak, forgetting she worked as a geek blogger, and that her little 'ew Magic he's so gross' post would turn into the shot heard 'round the geek world, changed her blog entry twice over the course of the next day, trying to make herself sound more like a victim, and Finkel more like a bad date that any thinking woman would have fled from. (Which doesn't really fly, either, because Australia's branch of Gizmodo preserved the entire thing so they could rant about her, too. But--interesting side note--even the Australian version of the article has now been edited to take out her copious links to Finkel's Wiki page, YouTube videos, and personal details she gave out that made him seem like the worst form of predatory stalker. Way to stay classy, Alyssa.)

But it gets better. Forbes Magazine thinks she made that post deliberately, just to get page views. There are now parodies. She's been made into both an online Magic: the Gathering card, and an online meme at once. Buzzfeed gathered up the ten best responses to the article and posted those. The Renaissance Dork got involved. Federico lo Giudice calls the whole thing a witchhunt. Dr. Nerdlove calls it a horror story. MovieBob jumped into the fray. The lady behind GeekGirlDiva included a ton of fun links at the bottom of her rant.

And ultimately--whether or not it was linked to this faux pas of epic proportions--Alyssa Bereznak was terminated from her position at Gizmodo.

I think for me, the story's pretty cut and dried: she's a shallow woman with all the depth of character of a lunch tray, and she went out on a date with someone who, to her, fit whatever criteria for "normal" she holds in her head. Who then revealed his geeky side, after, it must be remembered, she revealed that her brother is a gamer. Finkel's likely side of that conversation: "She has a brother who games. I have a gaming hobby. This could be a fun topic." Bereznak's blurrier, because apparently--at least according to everything she's written--she was either deliberately angling to discover nerdy skeletons in his geek closet, or chose Finkel because she knew he was a gamer, and thought it would be a good article? Or maybe she was really that clueless and vapid.

Either way, as others have pointed out, this then shifts the blame to Gizmodo, for deciding to run with the article--because...again, because why? Why would they deliberately do anything that would tarnish further their reputation with their own readers?

Maybe they thought it would be funny, a bit of fluff to fill the day's quota, a light humor piece that their ardent readers would embrace, inhale, and subsequently discard. What they never sawn coming was the fact that most of the online world would rise up against Berezak, including women gamers (more on that in a bit).

In short, bad decision-making all around, but also, it's definite and final proof that no one is writing in a vacuum--if it's on the net, anyone can read it, react to it, and lay blame for it, pro or con. Me, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, overall. Stand behind what we say, say what we mean, then--"mean" or not--we're taking responsibility for ourselves. Which Ms. Bereznak clearly did not.

Now, getting back to Susan Arendt's apology to Finkel. It contained this line:
Except humiliating someone by name online to make yourself seem cool is disgusting, unfair, and mean.
Which did make me stop and think, involving the various 'name' fiascos that have hit this blog.

I know, 100% know, no doubt whatsoever, that anyone I have ever mentioned on this blog by name--be that "real" name, Second Life name, online handle, business, blog, whatever--I have done so with no intention of seeming "cool", or making myself seem superior, or even in the right, at all. Humiliation has never been my game, though I will freely accept, nay even embrace, the "mean" part of that statement. Put plainly, that's never been the point.

I have wider goals, sure, and some of them, to long-term readers of the Train Wreck, should be obvious by now. I also have more than my fair share of aggrieved pettiness, and that I'll own too. But I've never sought personal gain by mentioning anyone in an entry.

That having been said, especially after I spent four hours yesterday gutting out any mention of Miss Insect on this blog (by her request), I think it's time for an official change of policy.

Unless it is an estate owner (think people like Desmond Shang), a Linden (I refuse to anonymize Linden-made statements), or a maker of things I want people to be able to find (by mention of proper name, business, or blog), I'm going to do my level best to anonymize anyone I feel the need to directly mention. This may mean blurring of faces, changing of names, changing of locations, because frankly? My former insistence on the authenticity of names being important has dissolved completely. Facing the growing-endless hassle from people who've Googled themselves, and then freak out entirely that I actually (ohthehorror, you'veruinedme, I'mabrokenwoman, youFIEND) mention people on whatever entry it happens to be...yeah, I'm done with it.

[Expansion from the Editrix: I'm also not going to anonymize names and comments pulled from the JIRA, and from the forums. You're on your own lookout, there.]

Also, Mr. Dagger designed a new banner that I quite like, but I'm now pondering a change back to sepia tones for the blog. Why? Because it's a sepia banner. And while I could tint it, I like it the way it is.

But that means finding (or making) a new background, possibly altering the layout slightly, et cetera and so forth, and that will take a few days, depending on how busy I am. Still, expect a new look no more than two weeks away.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

and how could you dare to become so close?

"Here was a guy who had dedicated a good chunk of his life to mastering Magic, on a date with a girl who can barely play Solitaire." Ah, see, that was your problem, Ms. Bereznak--you were on a date with someone who had life skills, as opposed to you. And possibly a working brain. I understand your distress.

The beauty of being the bigger person (in this case, that person being Jon Finkel) is that your date didn't feel compelled to blab about how horrible going out with someone who didn't even know how to play one card game (let alone several) was. See how that works?

The last line of the article is just as priceless: "Also, for all you world famous nerds out there: Don’t go after two Gawker Media employees and not expect to have a post written about you. We live for this kind of stuff." Yeah, because Gawker Media doesn't have enough bad strikes against it.

Not only that, but she's accusing him of this one geeky, nerdy behavior that she's trying to make sound shameful...on a website devoted to geek culture. Is she that colossally stupid? And apparently she seized on Magic: the Gathering as the symptom of all his ills, forgetting he also likes to converse on other topics, plays poker (he's won a hefty sum in poker matches, but I bet that doesn't impress her, either), and looks like this.

My gods, woman. Rein it in, you need to be kicked in the head. You have zero sympathy.

Finally, a fan page for the rest of us--entirely devoted to women in reasonable armor! Woo!

"neil and i are constantly trying to figure out what our marriage is. all we’ve figured out so far is that it is 100%, definitely, [absolutely] not fucking normal. that’s a nice start." (From Amanda Palmer's latest blog entry.)

Someone who doesn't want to be remembered commented recently:
Already that you have hidden my name is already a form of respect in my humble opinion.
My obsession is not as you think, but I took this as a "gibe" that's why I put myself on the defensive.
Now you can also delete these comments so that you complete my anonymity. Thank you for your understanding.
Yeah...So essentially, thanks for taking four entries out of my blog with your whining. But you're as off the radar as I can positively make you, and, because you seem to want nothing to do with any mention here, I'm doing my best to remove any and all references to you.

You're not welcome. Good gods, there's preserving anonymity, and then there's making utter hash out of any form of coherency...But hey, request was made, I follow request. There should be no further SL linkage of [nationality]'s named persons at this time.

In news from the real world, enjoy some window-dressing pics for Hurricane Irene preparations.

And in SL news, I'm really looking forward to finding these avatars on the Twisted Hunt. But don't mistake me: for the run of the Twisted Hunt, even for those of you whose groups I'm in or whose friends I am: you're all evil bastards and I loathe you all. Just so we're clear.

Just don't be dumb. Being dumb means I bitch to Vasha and Vasha shrugs and I build up more resentment and it's just unhealthy for me. Think of the children. Or something.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I could surely never know if what you say is true

(This is continued from part I.)

So, picking up where we left off--Lance's response to Kelley:

Kelley, if you go to "privacy options" of your profile, you can limit every single bit of it to be visible only to logged -in residents or even friends, and you can disable the feed completely.

The only thing that you cannot hide at all is your username/display name, and your rez date. If you don't even want other residents to be able to see that your account exists (and they really do not see anything else if you set your options right), what the beep are you doing on a social platform anyways?

And he's got a point there, too.

And then the fighting really started. From Kelley again:

For the Nth time, it is NOT a social platform. It is NOT a social network. It is a virtual world. Get that through your skull. They are nothing alike.

I don't care if you want to call it a social network, it does not meet the criteria or definition of being a social network. It is, and always will be a virtual world. The fact that you are social in the SL grid doesn't make it a social platform!

Well, and this is the issue, isn't it? I mean, not that it needs to be paraded on a JIRA, but is Second Life a social platform or a virtual world? I personally stand behind the fact that it's a virtual world, because it's listed that way in the Terms of Service:


4.1 Second Life is a virtual world service consisting of a multi-user environment, including software, websites and virtual spaces.

Pretty much, for me, that answers that. But it does have social aspects, obviously; it's not the IMVU "life is a chatroom" concept, it's bigger than that, but the Labs are also trying to add social features to their profile system, so...yeah, it has aspects of both. But as much as I'm not really keen on joining Kelley's side, in this, he's right: the Labs say it's a virtual world, it's a virtual world. End trans.

Ripping Fishnet's entire statement needs to be read and appreciated, but here's the highlights:

When I signed up under my original account, Second Life was NOT marketed as a Social network.


The terms of service when I joined considered all information shared private information. They did not tell us when they first made our profiles public and on the web. If they had, allot less people would have been upset when we found out for almost two years they had exposed our Real life tab on the original version of web profiles without telling us.

Also true.

What Yoz is not telling us here is that even with stuff "hidden" it is possible with google and other search engines to retrieve cached versions of the hidden pages. That is a huge security risk.

This is a problem, I grant you, but again--if you didn't want any casual stranger reading it on your profile, which can be opened with one click in virtually any browser--why'd you put it in there in the first place? At that point, it's not anything to do with net privacy, it's all bound up in discretion. As in, having none.

Having your username and rezdate on the web where anyone can find that you use this service ruins the fun for many of us for three reasons:

What does anyone's rez date have to do with it?

1) In many countries, web services have to have explicit options and agreements before they can share ANY part of your profile, even your username. As the courts have already smacked LL, google, and many others for in the past, this doesn't just mean checking that you read the TOS.

Maybe, but at least as far as I can read, the Labs are covered here, at least under the revised, current ToS agreement.

Sites like Facebook, Linked In and Myspace get out of requiring a separate explicit consent because they explicitly market themselves themselves as being services that share your real life information.

Um...hold up a minute. I mean, yes, I get what's being said here, but the Labs actually state--more than once, and in more than one way of putting it--to not use anything personally identifiable on your profile. From Linden Lab's Privacy Policy:

Except under certain limited circumstances set forth here and in our Terms of Service ("Terms of Service"), Linden Lab does not disclose to third parties the personal information or other account-related information you provide us, such as IP address, without your permission.

And note, what they mean when they say "personal information", they mean credit card numbers, bank statements, street address, license numbers, real name, or incorporated name. They don't mean "29 F 5'9" 113 lbs Brooklyn Heights". That's not personal identification.

From section 9 of the Linden Labs Terms of Service:

Our Privacy Policy sets forth the conditions under which you provide personal and other information to us. You understand and agree that through your use of the Service you consent to the collection and use of your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy. If you object to your information being used in this way, please do not use the Service.

And people, there's their legal out. "If you object to our use of your information, you are free not to use our service."

Someone can connect your user name to your real life name.

I'd say this is complete crap, save...yeah. It's happened. There are net names I don't use on the net anymore because of the history behind them. There are people who use the same name everywhere they go, from SL to Facebook to Guild Wars to chat rooms, and yeah--someone can easily track that kind of trail, if they're motivated enough to do so.

Had I known that LL would create web profiles and release user name to the whole web (they originally had NO privacy options) let alone everything on there including the real life tab that I had put information in naively believing the promise that only people logged into Second Life could see, I would have chosen a different username... if I had even joined Second Life at all.

Without going into Miss Fishnet's personal tragedy (and believe me, I do empathize completely on that score), she has reason to feel this way. And I do not want to be the one saying, "Well, it's the way you dressed", because that cheapens the entire argument. But I do have to say this again--if you wouldn't walk up to some random guy on the street corner waiting for the light to turn, and tell him what's on your RL tab, then for the love of all gods, don't put it on your RL tab. How is this hard?

Yes, the Labs should have at least made a blog post about web profiles that pointed out the security flaws. Yes, they should have made a larger deal about it when we did protest. And yes, the wheels of progress have ground very slow indeed where web profiles are concerned, but on the other side, you can restrict what information you give out now. You don't have the default Facebook/Twitter buttons. These are good things, needed things.

Though yes, those things could have been implemented sooner...

She finally ends the statement with saying:

For the record, I am one of those that wants to have the option of not even having my username and join date accessible on the internet at all. There is absolutely no reason that these cannot be contained to only LL servers that are only accessible from within SL.

And this is what I don't get. Forget the SL-is-not-the-internet argument, because it both is and is not and that circles around and back again, we don't need to go there. But this is my concern: that Second Life, by virtue of being Second Life, is somehow "safer" than the net at large.

Really, people? You really think that? Are you high?

No one, no one on the grid, not even the Lindens, knows every single heart and soul in SL. They can't. It's an impossible task. And even someone who thinks they know most of everyone is wrong. There's a vast number of users of SL, even if they only log in once in a while.

Can we know, for an absolute surety, who the person we talk to is? Are they male or female? Do they share our race, our religion, our beliefs, our geographical location? Are they single, married? Do they have kids? Do they have a job? Do they have a pet? Are they over the age of consent for their country of origin?

And if we can't guarantee solid, factual answers to these questions, what makes us think they'll be honest about the hard stuph? Like, have you ever abused a partner before? Have you ever been to jail? Have you ever driven home drunk? Have you ever killed someone?

Case in point. One of my friends, RL, he's a wonderful fellow. He's short, unassuming, thinly built. He wears thick glasses to correct a slight drift in one eye. He's been a computer programmer most of his life, and though he wears a Star of David, because his family is Jewish, he considers himself a deist, if he has to define it at all.

If you saw him on the street, you would think geek. You might even think he codes for a living. He's not strongly muscled. He dresses casually, and his idea of formal is a crisply laundered polo shirt, or--if he must--a plain black and white tux. Which he's rented for the occasion.

You certainly wouldn't guess that on his person, at all times, are three knives, a single-use taser, and a registered concealed weapon--that is always kept maintained and fully loaded. You wouldn't see him and think he's capable of killing someone with a shrimp fork. You wouldn't see him and think he was one of the deadliest, most accurate snipers our armed forces ever had.

That drift in one eye? He got because he clocked so many hours with that eye fused to a scope. But you'd never know it to look at him.

In Second Life, we don't even have that option, because that option is taken away by the virtual--and while we make just as large a statement by the avatars we pick as by the words we type, all we have to go on are those words. And if they're not accurate, then we're trusting blindly.

I'm not saying never trust, that's not the point. I'm saying there's little functional difference, in my opinion, between the wider web and Second Life, in terms of community alone. Since people can get your profile info with a single click in SL, and you don't know everyone who clicks your name, the same thing, I think, holds true on the web.

And wau, this spun out into its own little thing. Okay. Time for part III.

Friday, August 12, 2011

so I took a chainsaw to my skull and extracted my brain out

The newest word from Google+ on pseudonymity: "We understand you want to lie to people. We're willing to look the other way for four days while you change your name. It's all cool, we're not evil!"

And I quote:
One of the things we strive for on Google+ is to make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world. So as part of this effort, we've asked that those signing up for the service use the name they commonly go by in the real world.

In the past, when we found a profile that was not in line with our Names Policy (take a look: -- we've updated it with examples), we used to suspend the profile and then let the user appeal.

We’re listening, learning, and iterating to give our users the best experience possible. Starting today, if we find that your profile name does not adhere to our policy, we'll give you a 4 day grace period to fix your profile name before we take further action. During this period, you can continue to use Google+ as usual. We're hoping that most affected users will be able to quickly fix their profile name while continuing to enjoy all that Google+ has to offer.
Right. That was the death knell for me, because you know what? There are a lot of people who call me Emilly in the "real world", that is the name I commonly go by!


So I'm looking into deleting my access to the service. And look what I found!

You've successfully deleted Google+ and associated social content

We're sorry to see you leave! Please help us improve by telling us why you are leaving and what we can do better. This survey is optional but your feedback is much appreciated.

Please tell us why you're leaving:

That. That right there.

I have been Emilly Orr in Second Life and to many, MANY people who know me in real life for over five years. I have had a Gmail account for those five years and barring service outages, which you were ALWAYS proactive about informing us about, I have not had a problem with anything related to Gmail. And when Google+ came along, with GREAT trepidation--because I loathe Facebook with the fervor and intensity with which I despise Wal-Mart, and I despise Wal-Mart to a nigh psychotic degree--I signed up.

One week later, rumors of account deletions surfaced, and I have been worried ever since.

But thank you. You have made my decision easy. I need Gmail; I need Blogger; and I use Chrome as my main browser.

I DON'T need Google+. And until you allow pseudonyms established in faith, as mine has been, to concur with names we're known by "in the real"--I'm not coming back.

Whatever happened to 'Don't be evil', Google? Because this is a move that has cost you customers, cost you beta testers, cost you trust, and likely cost you funds. I'm extremely disappointed in you, and THAT is why I'm leaving.

I don't intend to return. It's done for me. They're not changing their minds, so hey, I don't need to be there, because they are NOT GETTING MY REAL NAME.

Which, half the time, is "Emilly" anyway, so what the hell, Google? When my WIFE calls me Emilly more often than she calls me by my given name, what does that tell you?

Oh, wait, it doesn't tell you anything, because you think you're in the right. Right. Good luck with that.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

and the threadless warning flags waved as though the wind was mad

Oh, my. We now have artificial mouse babies in the world. Well. Not artificial; let me not start off the ensuing controversy by taking a stand on the distinction between "real" and "synthesised" life--because, frankly, life being life, I don't see that there is one. But this definitely goes beyond cloning.

In more genetic news, lab researchers have synthesized a functioning sphincter. Yes, you heard me. Again using mouse cells--mice seem to be the new pigs on the block--they've created functional and adaptive natural constrictors that should have no rejection effects for those replacements?

And from there, to...mysterious orange goo. That scientists can't identify yet. Which worries me. How can scientists get a great quantity of something they can identify as eggs, without knowing what kind of eggs?

Ware thee, the invasion starts in Alaska!

More on Google+ and the death of anonymity. Which contains a brief (and since deleted) use case of Google itself violating its own internal policies. How'ver, that led to this, which I believe answers many questions, including my main one:
MYTH: Not abiding by the Google+ common name policy can lead to wholesale suspension of one's entire Google account.

When an account is suspended for violating the Google+ common name standards, access to Gmail or other products that don’t require a Google+ profile are not removed. Please help get the word out: if your Google+ Profile is suspended for not using a common name, you won't be able to use Google services that require a Google+ Profile, but you'll still be able to use Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Blogger, and so on. (Of course there are other Google-wide policies (e.g. egregious spamming, illegal activity, etc) that do apply to all Google products, and violations of these policies could in fact lead to a Google-wide suspension.)
I am feeling much less unnerved and paranoid now.

Herbert F. Austin, Jr., has tracked down a great many archival photos, and has put them together into a draggable 360-degree presentation. The topic? Hiroshima, after the blast.

I also want to send your way a list of the thirty harshest filmmaker-on-filmmaker insults in history, which contains a link to the thirty harshest author-on-author insults in history.

I'm also happy to offer up another infographic--this one on typography, and what it means. I desperately want that as a poster.

I used to have a link for Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School on the sidebar (who knows, I may still), but now I'm happy to have Molly Crabapple, the founder of the Anti-Art School, releasing a set of 44 prints of reprobates (with a few virtuous souls thrown in for color, I suppose). They are all available for purchase.

Finally, there is financial drama over at the Escapist, which is sad, because they were becoming quite the polished production house for the smart and the funny. Still, signs were showing that the company was ailing when the folks behind the Escapist News Network, one of the online mag's flagship productions, moved to Penny Arcade's site and became Checkpoint.

There's more information here, but it's a tangle; I'm still working through it myself. But regardless, it's certainly sad to see.

Monday, August 8, 2011

and I made me a ladder from a pawn shop marimba, and I leaned it up against a dandelion tree

I realize, as does Comics Alliance, that it is (sort of) a shift to a more equal playing field--after decades of leaping female crotch shots and high kicks in skirts or insanely tight tights, we finally have a male doing the same thing.

But there are more than a few problems. The main being, of course, did the world really need a flying shot of anyone's super-genitalia? And the second being, if that really is what it looks like, it's in the wrong place, so we're dealing with bad art (I can justify it's bad art, just look at the rest of the cover) on top of latex bits in play.

Whether intentional or not, there is a fair amount of bafflement over this one, because it just doesn't make any sense from any angle.

Meanwhile, remember the name trick in MMOs? You know the one--you sign up as Lord Fencivral the Lesser, and it turns out there's already one of those on your server? (Well. Maybe not another Fencivral, that's silly.) Say you signed up as SteveGod, and you couldn't get that name on one server, you could just switch to another, right?

Which is all well and good, unless you're DCU Online. Now, as they merge everyone's best and brightest into one of four "megaservers", they're going to be analyzing for duplicate names:
At a fan appreciation event at Comic-Con 2011, the DCUO staff laid out the rules. Basically, if there's a "collision" in name choice, whoever has an active subscription at the time of migration will get to keep the name. If two players have active subscriptions and the same name, then whoever has the most hours logged in the game gets to keep it.
Now, they're not being completely evil about this; they'll offer free Name Change tokens to anyone left in the dust, and instructions on how to rename yourself (because the system will automatically assign you a new name), but still, it's throwing a lot of people in the game.

In more local news, what the hell is wrong with the eyes on this horse? Also, a company that's trying to improve its image should not put "playful" on the ad, when the female avatar is staring lovingly at the bug-eyed horse. That's edging into The Love That Dare Not Neigh Its Name territory, just a bit.

Also, what does it say to those watching from the legal sidelines? That Ozimal bunnies were dropped like a hot rock, because the Lindens didn't want to show favoritism, but hey, they'll pick up weird freakish runt ponies for weirder love affairs, and obliquely advertise Amaretto?

More from the JIRA that will never die, but this time, it's more proof for the 'Why We Like Yoz Linden' fan club:
Kelley: As previously mentioned in this comment thread, the privacy - or rather, lack of it - of your self-contributed user profile is covered in section 6 of our Privacy Policy:
  • You may choose to disclose personal information in our online forums, via your Second Life profile, directly to other users in chat or otherwise while using Second Life. Please be aware that such information is public information and you should not expect privacy or confidentiality of this information.
This clause has been part of our publicly-visible privacy policy for over five years. As Lance and others have mentioned, the new web interface actually provides greater privacy control than profiles have ever had before, even though the clause above means we have no obligation to provide it.
Brilliant. Also, (mostly) accurate (I'll explain that after the following quote). As for the comment from Kelley Boyd he was responding to:
2.You cannot hide every part of your profile; you can only hide your feed.
3. You did not "opt in" to web profiles when you signed up, despite Lance's lies.
4. The new web profiles give you more privacy in the SL grid, but they give you unprecedented vulnerability outside the grid, especially on Facebook. They are a clear violation of the privacy laws of many nations; things that cannot be usurped by user agreements.
Now, let's break this down.

1. Obviously, the question from Lance Corrimal that Kelley chose not to answer.

2. You cannot entirely hide your profile, this is true. As proven by my ability to pull up Kelley Boyd under the website. The down side, though, of hiding your profile, is that--while it is still visible on the web--you then lose the ability to be found by anyone on the grid. That's not what Kelley's complaining about. The complaint is that Kelley--and a few notable others--don't want visible web-based profiles, but still want the abilit to be found in world.

This is a dilemma of epic proportions--how do you script code that will both conceal and reveal them? It may not be able to be coded, flat out.

3. Answered (again, brilliantly) by Yoz Linden above, and I think his words stand as both confirmation and accurate accounting.

4. Kelley keeps mentioning online privacy laws. Being an American, I know our laws, but I had to admit, I'm curious now.

Article 5 — (Consent).
1. Processing of personal data shall be unlawful if the holder has not given free, express and informed consent thereupon, in writing or evidenced by any other similar means, according to the relevant circumstances.
The above referred consent, given with other representations, shall be expressly stated and highlighted, with the prior notice to the person from which data is required, which notice shall include information described in Article 6 hereof.
Article I
§ 1.

(3) Everybody shall have, insofar as personal data concerning him are destined for automated processing or manual processing, i.e. in filing systems [Dateien] without automated processing, as provided for by law,
  1. the right to obtain information as to who processes what data concerning him, where the data originated, for which purpose they are used, as well as to whom the data are transmitted;
  2. the right to rectification of incorrect data and the right to erasure of illegally processed data.
8. Anonymity

Wherever it is lawful and practicable, individuals must have the option of not identifying themselves when entering transactions with an organisation.

Chapter II - General rules on the lawfulness of the processing of personal data.
Article 4
§ 1.
Personal data shall be:
1° processed fairly and lawfully;
2° collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a way
  1. incompatible with those purposes, taking into account all relevant factors, in particular the
  2. reasonable expectations of the data subject and the applicable legal and regulatory
  3. provisions. Under the terms established by the King after the advice of the Commission for
  4. the protection of privacy further processing of data for historical, statistical or scientific
  5. purposes shall not be considered incompatible
Article 5
the privacy, private life, honor and image of persons are inviolable, and the right to compensation for property or moral damages resulting from the violation thereof is ensured;
11. the home is the inviolable asylum of the individual, and no one may enter it without the dweller's consent, save in the case of "in flagrante delicto" or disaster, or to give help, or, during the day, by court order;
12. the secrecy of correspondence and of telegraphic, data and telephone communications is inviolable, except, in the latter case, by court order, in the events and in the manner established by the law for purposes of criminal investigation or criminal procedural discovery;

14. access to information is ensured to everyone and confidentiality of the source is protected whenever necessary for the professional activity.
Article 2. (suppl. - SG. 70 of 2004, with effect from 01.01.2005, amend. - SG. 103 of 2005)
(1) (Amended - SG. 91 2006) Personal data are any information relating to an individual who is identified or can be identified directly or indirectly by ID or by one or more specific signs.
(2) Personal data must:
  1. be processed lawfully and in good faith;
  2. collected for specified, specific, and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner incompatible with those purposes; further processing of personal data for historical, statistical or scientific purposes is permitted provided that the administrator provide adequate protection to ensure data are not processed for other purposes;
  3. (Amended - SG. 91 of 2006) are relevant, related and not exceeding the purposes for which they are processed;
  4. accurate and, where necessary updated;
  5. be deleted or corrected when found to be inaccurate or disproportionate to the purposes for which they are processed;
  6. maintained in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than necessary for the purposes for which those data are processed, data to be stored for longer periods for historical, statistical or scientific purposes, maintained in a form, precluding the identification of individuals.
5. (1) Subject to sections 6 to 9, every organization shall comply with the obligations set out in Schedule 1.
(2) The word "should", when used in Schedule 1, indicates a recommendation and does not impose an obligation.
(3) An organization may collect, use or disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider are appropriate in the circumstances.
6. The designation of an individual under clause 4.1 of Schedule 1 does not relieve the organization of the obligation to comply with the obligations set out in that Schedule.
7. (1) For the purpose of clause 4.3 of Schedule 1, and despite the note that accompanies that clause, an organization may collect personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual only if
(a) the collection is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
(b) it is reasonable to expect that the collection with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the availability or the accuracy of the information and the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province;
(c) the collection is solely for journalistic, artistic or literary purposes; or
(d) the information is publicly available and is specified by the regulations.
Title I
The use of personal data
Article 4 .- Personal data may only be stored and utilized if expressly permitted by this law, or the data holder expressly consents to it.
The data holder must be correctly informed about the purpose of storing their personal data and possible communication to public.
This authorization must be in writing.
This authorization may be revoked, but without retroactive effect. This must also be made in writing.
Personal data collection and authorization arising out of, or collected from, sources accessible to the public when they are in nature economic, financial, banking or commercial, containing listings on a specific category, are allowed, but limited to the below:
  • such records indicate the individual as belonging to a certain group, a profession or personal activity, their educational qualifications, address or date of birth, or records necessary for direct response marketing communications or marketing or direct sales of goods or services.
  • Nor will authorization be required to process personal data gained by investigation of law (private or public), or by associates or entities affiliated with statistical purposes, pricing, or other sources which benefit investigation of law or authorized collection.
Article 269A: ABUSIVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER SYSTEM. Anyone who, without permission or outside the agreement, access in whole or in part, a computer system protected or not with a security measure, or keeps within the same, against the wishes of those who have the legitimate right to exclude it, will be held liable to a prison term of forty-eight (48) to ninety-six (96) months and a fine of $100 to $1,000 minimum statutory monthly wages.
Article 269B: ILLEGITIMATE OBSTRUCTION OF COMPUTING SYSTEMS OR TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS. Anyone who, without being authorized to do so, prevents from or hinders the normal operation of or access to a computer system, the data contained therein, or to a telecommunications network, will be held liable to a prison term of forty-eight (48) to ninety and six (96) months and a fine of $100 to $1,000 minimum statutory monthly wages, provided that the conduct does not constitutes an offense punishable by a higher penalty.
Czech Republic:
Chapter II
Rights and obligations in processing of personal data

Article 5

(1) The controller shall be obliged to:

(a) specify the purpose for which personal data are to be processed;

(b) specify the means and manner of personal data processing;

(c) process only accurate personal data, which he obtained in accordance with this Act. If necessary, the controller is obliged to update the data. If the controller finds that the data being processed thereby are not accurate with respect to the specified purpose, he takes adequate measures without undue delays, in particular he blocks the processing and corrects or supplements the personal data, or otherwise he must liquidate the personal data. Inaccurate personal data may be processed only within the limits of the provisions of Article 3(6) of this Act. Inaccurate personal data must be branded. The controller is obliged to provide all the recipients with the information about blocking, correction, supplementing or liquidation of personal data without undue delay;

(d) collect personal data corresponding exclusively to the specified purpose and in an extent that is necessary for fulfilment of the specified purpose;

(e) preserve personal data only for a period of time that is necessary for the purpose of their processing. After expiry of this period, personal data may be preserved only for purposes of the state statistical service, and for scientific and archival purposes. When using personal data for these purposes, it is necessary to respect the right to protection of private and personal life of the data subject from unauthorised interference and to make personal data anonymous as soon as possible;

(f) process personal data only in accordance with the purpose for which the data were collected. Personal data may be processed for some other purpose only within the limits of the provisions of Article 3(6) or if the data subject granted his consent herewith in advance;

(g) collect personal data only in an open manner. Collecting data under the pretext of some other purpose or activity shall be prohibited;

(h) ensure that personal data that were obtained for different purposes are not grouped.
Title II
Rules on processing of data
Chapter 4
Processing of data
5. - (1) Data must be processed in accordance with good practices for the processing of data.
(2) Data must be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and further processing must not be incompatible with these purposes. Further processing of data which takes place exclusively for historical, statistical or scientific purposes shall not be considered incompatible with the purposes for which the data were collected.
(3) Data which are to be processed must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which the data are collected and the purposes for which they are subsequently processed.
(4) The processing of data must be organised in a way which ensures the required up-dating of the data. Furthermore, necessary checks must be made to ensure that no inaccurate or misleading data are processed. Data which turn out to be inaccurate or misleading must be erased or rectified without delay.
(5) The data collected may not be kept in a form which makes it possible to identify the data subject for a longer period than is necessary for the purposes for which the data are processed.

6. - (1) Personal data may be processed only if:
  • the data subject has given his explicit consent; or
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract; or
  • processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject; or
  • processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject; or
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest; or
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller or in a third party to whom the data are disclosed; or
  • processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by the third party to whom the data are disclosed, and these interests are not overridden by the interests of the data subject.
And that's only to Denmark. Obviously, there are a lot of alternate applications of the use of personal data collection, so Kelley may well have a point there, too.

The issue is--whose rules are used? American company, American law, used to be the standard, but there are many international players. Whose law trumps?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

you got to meet me by the knuckles of the skinnybone tree

So, since I'm reinstalling everything, I'm also going through the Windlight settings, since I'm going to be losing all the presets I had under Singularity.

So far I've found some good download sites, including Paulina Oceanlane's fae presets, Lusus Saule's photographic presets, Chic Aeon's Places presets, and Strawberry Singh's preset collection. It's not everything, and I'm still looking for more, but I'm trying to find a wide variety, and then weed down just to the ones I like.

Assuming any viewer in Second Life will actually log me in, that is.

[Note from the Editrix: Did the two-step process of downloading the old and creaky version of SnowGlobe, then downloaded Henri Beauchamp's CoolVL to layer over that. So far {I'm keeping my fingers crossed}, it's working.]

Why does Superman's new costume have scales? More here.

"But in real life, we expect very few statements to be public, persistent, and attached to your real identity."

You can read more about the My Name Is Me campaign here.

Meanwhile, Axi Kurmin tackles the whole raging Google+ controversy, in inimitable style. Well worth a read.

An iPhone case that's endlessly useful! Also endlessly creepy, but hey, it's Japan.

In toy news, "hurricane balls" have been invented! Very ingenious.

Kenneth Branagh has declined sequel directorship for the upcoming Thor II. Current talk places Brian Kirk, newly off directing the Game of Thrones miniseries, high in the running.

Do you want a faster hard drive? I mean, a hugely faster hard drive? Try Smart Modular's newest, a 1.6 terabyte SSD drive that boasts of being the fastest on the ground right now, period--with quoted speeds up to five hundred mBs per second in sustained transfer.

How much is it? They don't say. And unless you're graced with triple trust funds, you probably don't want to know...

How deep is the ocean? There's an infographic for that. You're welcome.

Friday, July 29, 2011

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*


  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.
  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.
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])