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31 August 2009

 
10 Worst Lunchboxes Ever

According to Cafe Society.


 
The World's Smallest Post Office

"The World's Smallest Postal Service (WSPS) is a teeny tiny transcription service and roaming post office based in the San Francisco Bay Area and also available online."



30 August 2009

 
They're gone!

/me doesn't feel quite the relief/belief as when last time they were "finally finished."


 
Private rooms in senior citizen nursing home

Nice private rooms in nursing home/mental hospital

$50L/wk, 50 prims

[url]http://slurl.com/secondlife/Pouncival/207/199/84[/url]
Mike's Discount Nursing Home

conveniently located next to the outhouse, torture chamber and morgue <3

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29 August 2009

 
Another Bear or Two

I remember a poor bearlet in a nasty cage that I saw once as a child in Canada. We were going Somewhere like Lake Kasshabog or somewhere, and there was a ruler straight, long gravel road in an evergreen forest of very, very tall trees, and nothing but nice trees except one shop-cum-gas station with a poor bear in a cage. It was a frame building, the shop, and I can see whitish with a reddish roof although who knows.

There are bears around here - in fact the hamlet next door holds an annual Bear Festival that has to do with eating bears I think (I've never been). Wild things are having a difficult time now, and although mountain lions have been seen very close by (and children hardly ever go out on Hallowe'en in the sticks hereabout as they fear they will meet the same end as young Albert Ramsbottom - et by a lion) not within the past five years as far as I've heard.


 
Some People Like Linden Bears

I have to say, my interest in Linden teddy bears is far less than zero. It's the liquid nitrogen as compared to a warm bath type of a gap.

I did have a teddy bear once, when I was very small. It was stuffed with sawdust and its head would occasionally pop off. The head works were a disc (I think a few in a stack) of thick cardboard* coarser and lighter in tone than brown paper. I was interested in that part of it. Its nose was a few long beige-y stitches and its eyes were yelloweye-looking glass. Its fur was short ansd bristley and worn in some areas.

I do remember the Eaton's uh... bear, I suppose it was, named Punkinhead, and I have a little dolly teaset salver with Punkinhead on it (I have leftover bits from a dolly teaset the child me owned in toto). Part of moving around a lot means having to jump into other people's culture of which one is not part, and which perplexes one, often forever.

I did adore Rupert the bear when I was microscopically sized, for who knows what reason.

But I have absolutely no interest in Linden bears.

* I remember it as BIG but it can't possibly've been given the size of the bear's neckhole, so it's due to A) how closely I was inspecting it, and B) its relative importance to me, as in old depictions of the world.


 
Just an idle thought: it would be kind of nice if a main + alts were associated and the viewer had a forced teleport option (like RLV is reported to have) for associated avatars - as a ghosting fix.



28 August 2009

 

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27 August 2009

 
I might make the shadow more obvious.

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A Question in "Resident Answers"

OP:
Im all sorts of knocked up ....So ...I have no money for the baby that will be coming in 8 days...what am I suppose to do about that? We want to keep it but we don't think we can
make the 300L In time

Note: 259L = one USD at this time.

Reply:
(1) Keep it in inventory until the economy improves
(2) Sell it on SLX, they have a used category
(3) Sell yourself, escorting pays pretty well
(4) Maybe you should have thought about that *before* your ordered it

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Going over the wall in Just Leap In.

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26 August 2009

 
Video job I did in ActiveWorlds.


 
Just because you say that doesn't make it so.
*shakes her fist*


Truthfully I feel unmotivated lately. I would rather it were not so. It makes sense for me to feel crushed by the burthen of existence, but you are young and the possibilities should hold magic yet.

I don't know why we have made the world into what it is.


 
They Are Coming Back :/
More constructivatin' and fumes.

"We plan to be at the lake house this Friday morning. The job will take about 3 days. We'll spend the night at my quarters. Then Chang will haul all waste wood away to the dump.

Vivian I plan to put one coat of the left over paint on the old part of your deck. It should look better with just one color for the entire deck, instead of the 2 colors now. I would need to scrub and mob the old deck surface first. Let it dry up before painting."



25 August 2009

 
I de-published the post because it was too much of a downer.

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At The Airship Theatre in Phobos.



24 August 2009

 
Oops

At least 1,200 veterans across the United States have been mistakenly told by the Department of Veterans Affairs that they have ALS.

That's.. er... quit a slip-up.


 
Free Running

If you are in the mood for fast chases you can't go wrong with District B13, a French film from 2004 that's set far in the future (2010 heh). There's a plot, but what is most fun is the free running that takes up about 97% of the film.



Update for Ed: David Belle is the "inventor" of a type of urban jumping called Le Parkour - and what he does is more or less what he does in the movie. It's about thinking/moving at top speed using whatever is there - which might be an opening, a rope, a ledge - to improvise a route.

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Awesome vid

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23 August 2009

 
I've never seen Renata Tebaldi this animated before.
1956, with Jussi Bjorling

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Oopseh

Support fixed the logging-in issue already! w00t! Now I have another glitch. I updated my avatar with black skin, green knobs on her head, and green eyes. The hair failed to show, so I attached the shot to my support ticket.
I didn't explore much. It all looks nice. It was PACKED.
DO NOT PANIC!
(as Salazar says)
Moving is harder for me than before as you need to use both hands. There may be an alternative - I'll explore the UI. Everything is much more grey. I heard someone complaining about the maps, but once you zoom in on them they are ok. The city teleporters kick ass.Another jolly Mindark gift window. Heh.

Same Fauxvia - cheap, mismatched armour looted from mobs :-D Pioneer beret.


video


 
Meshes


When this hits things will change a lot.


 

Tagged by the Burro*

One is meant to post the entire list then pick out the books one has read, and tag five people. Hardly anyone reads this blog - so my tagging will merely be an exercise.

Bold = read
Bold and italicised means I loved it when I read it I love it now.
[I'm not sure how accurate that is - my picks for "OOOh I ♥love♥ this" are a bit forced in some cases. It would be easier to pick out the books I hated.
]

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling - a few
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy - maybe
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini - lousy book
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden - not great
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown - terrible book, just terrible
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving - don't think so but I like JIrving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons - I haven't, but I should
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen - maybe not sure
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac - but not my fave
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce - not all the way through
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt - I've read Babel Tower but don't think I've read this one
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - I read the complete works from beginning to end when I was a teenager, and at the time could tell you all kinds of SH details like where he kept his tobacco (in the toe of a Persian slipper).
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton - not sure but I've read tons of EB so I'm counting it
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams - just some of it
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute - NS worked at Folland's before he emigrated, as did my father, although I think their times did not overlap.
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo (abridged)

I'm trying to find a cheap, used Kater Murr, as it sounds good to me, so if you have one send it to me.

OK, I tag (feel free to blow a raspberry) Lucy, Candide, Salazar, Karan, and YOU!**

* I don't like memes but I do like the Burro, so I'll do it.
** Quite a cop-out using YOU! I know. Heh.




22 August 2009

 
I spent some time installing the new Entropia, which is a hefty five gigs and required, today, umpteen patches and four acceptances of their TOS. Upon cranking it up I got this:
I surfed over to MindArk and logged in to the website. I was going through the support question gantlet (I downloaded it but can't login, I can log in but my hair is on fire, I can log in and I like my hair being on fire but all the menus are in Korean, etc., etc.) and ticked something that popped open and said: I got a flag saying Internal Error detected on this Avatar."

I ticked that and it popped open a "Contact support" window. I hope I wasn't on that server that Lars dropped off the rack. I also hope they aren't rounding up everyone who doesn't spend money and dropkicking them off the planet. On the plus side I saw my join date, which was 13 July 2004.

They say support is unusually burdened at this time so they say it will take A Long Time. I'm sorry now I waited until the craze died down after the huge upgrade before attempting to connect.

Update: "Kind regards." Their form letter is very warm and friendly - the very opposite of icy cold* Entropia/MindArk, as far as any dealings I've ever had with them.

* They made liquid nitrogen seem quite tepid in comparison.



 
I'm falling down on my film reviewing duties. Let's see, what have I seen recently?

Katyn
Although somewhat un-nuanced in some of the characters, this Polish film is worth watching for its depiction of a gruesome event in Polish history. Forced by the Soviets to pretend the atrocity had been commited by the Germans, the Polish people reacted to this far-reaching and tragic event with a split in the national psyche. Denying it was denying truth - an impossible situation; holding close the perpetrators, as they were forced to do, was like holding their hands in a fire.
Netflix note: A play-now selection, it cut out for me just as the officers were about to enter the building near the forest, and I never saw the ending.
Coraline
I'm not a little girl, so chiefly my interest was in the kick-ass stop-motion animation.
Vera Drake
This character study has a simple, linear plot but rises to lofty heights by the quality of the acting and the perfectly nuanced characters.
Me and You and Everyone We Know
Miranda July has been kicking around for years, and although I always think of her as Northwest (she recorded at Kill Rock Stars and I've seen her around Olympia) she's not, really. This was her first feature film, and is interesting in a quirky way, although my feeling is that now she's done a Miranda July-esque character she'll need to broaden her filmmaking horizons or go back to the performance/video art side of the street. I need to catch her second flick to see what she did.
Gardens of the Night
Unflinching depiction of the life of an abducted child. After about five minutes I was thinking: ZOMG why did I decide to watch this? Well done, but...
Starting Out in the Evening
A character study of an aging author whose constrained existence receives a bit of shaking up when a graduate student focuses on his work for her master's thesis, this film features very good acting.
Visioneers
In the future people work at unfulfilling jobs and occasionally explode from pent-up emotions (literally). Yes, let's make this the plot of a movie! Er, ok.

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Mixing it up.

IBM scientists take big step toward DNA microchips

Actually, I only saw this because I had an email saying "DNA Researchers* is now following you on Twitter!" although I don't know why. It's refreshingly different from the trashy tart Twitter followers, anyway.

* Bio: We can search for the answers you need about your DNA Oh, ok.



21 August 2009

 
The temperature has been dropping since 1 am, and now is 10 degrees less than yesterday's high, which was 20 degrees less than the high the day before.

The high for the month so far is nearly 50 degrees above the low for the month to date.


 
More Insanity

"Is this the new stupidity in SL??

My gf has this skirt from a designer I will not mention.
She rezzed it inworld and this text appeared:

System ANTI-COPYBOT has prevented your action!!! You have been notified and your information stored in our database.
This object was created, and has all the copyright reserved by ####
(Identification is removed to protect privacy)

When she wears this skirt, her avatar shows a 0.951 scripting time
Without this skirt it is 0.290

When o when do creators stop putting these useless pieces of scripts in their stuff???

Ow the response of the creator:

"Every big creator out there uses this script"

Are they serious?

omg"

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Salazar sent this link to an overview article about body-part replacenment research. Bio-ink? Artificial brains? Mini-livers?



20 August 2009

 
Eek
Some people are insane.

On the official forum Dilbert Dilweg had this to say:

Anti Inspect Info?
Lately I have been seeing a lot of people start to wear an Anti Inspect object. Which is made up of many objects that cover your avatar.. (up to 200 prims). It is used to prevent people to right click on your objects and inspect them.
I was told by another person that the anti inspect object constantly rezzes objects. up to 40 at a time and they constantly die. Is this true on how it works? Does anyone have any info on this tool and how it works?

And why would anyone wear something like that? Are they so vain to think their multi platinum Copy of a dress is so unique they don't want anyone else to find it or wear it? lol
Or is it worn to hide all the rest of the evil gadgets attached to their avatar?

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The high temperature today was 20 degrees F cooler than the high yesterday.


 
Gatheryn
It doesn't hold much interest for me, but I'm sure there are some who will enjoy Gatheryn, a steampunk world of minigames. It reminds me of Multiverse, for some reason; I wonder if it was built on that platform. I'd rather be a mechanical woman like this NPC - wonder why I'm forced to be a human?Hangman and many other games (hunt for objects in a warehouse, chess, something like Bejeweled, and lots of others) are dotted about and winning gives you in-game currency. /me doesn't like games but some do.

I'm not going back now as I'm done, but I got the impression there's might be a bigger game involving a quest. I could be making that up, however :-D



19 August 2009

 


Delta's Turtle Bay in Just Leap In

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Postcard from Second Life.
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion

Kahruvel Steamworks in Babbage Square




18 August 2009

 
For all of your stretch mark, spider & varicose vein needs...

In case you haven't heard, stretch marks are in. They are the new highly cool and completely authentic tattoos.

-The "stretchies" can be worn as your underpants or pants layer.

-For that just stretched look, tint them dark pink. For older stretch mark wearers, just keep them white. On St. Patricks day, tint 'em green. So versatile!

Enjoy them, wear them with pride and tell your friends!

For all of your stretch mark, spider & varicose vein needs, stop into the Rural Route at Rustic Woodness.

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Twenty-five!

I arrived for my haircut five minutes early, and as I was getting out of the car I was hailed by a stranger sitting at a table on the sidewalk. After talking for a minute I proceeded to the door and found it locked - the place was closed. I asked the man the time and if he'd mind if I joined him for a minute, and he responded that he'd enjoy the company.

He told me that his daughter had had a stroke and become paralysed on her left side, also losing the ability to make short-term memories, when she was twenty-five. Twenty-five! He said she was one of his heroes because she just kept on going and tried not to let her situation steal more from her than it already had. He said she wrote notes for herself and would ring them over and over if she was due to, say, visit one afternoon.

Then my haircutterers pulled up in an SUV and ran in with the parrot, so I followed then inside.


 
OMG

I'M FINALLY ALONE.

/me collapses in a heap and bursts into tears of joy. Alone! Alone! Just me, the last of the fumes, and a splitting headache! Yahoo!


 

Postcard from Second Life.
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion

Kahruvel just before a storm.



 

Postcard from Second Life.
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion

Cowell Village

Although I'm not happy with anything I've shot so far, I'm taking shadow pictures of Cowell and other places places.



 
Just Leap In
I was just at the Tuesday meeting.* I ALWAYS close without copying the chat, so I probably miss part and misremember the rest, and I brought up a lot of things, so here are a few:

The object limit is 30 different but a total of 50.
I asked them if we'd get the ability to see our space object numbers, and they said yes, that's in development, but they can't say when.
We'll be able to see various things on a side panel or something.
Salazar was unable to rez a portal and I reasoned he might've hit the object limit and that's why it wouldn't rez. Update: The problem is totally different so I was wrong-o. He can rez the portals, just not apply the links.

Locked portals not working: bug or feature?
The thumbnails on portals are too small. I never know where I'm going.

Uh... I forget anything else I said.

A way to have chat logs would be kind of nice especially since I look at my fingers when I hunt 'n' peck and miss parts of conversations.

Enjah, could you tell me again what happened when you tried to go in JLI?

* Notable comment: "Let's run over and flag one of Osprey's spaces as inappropriate.
" :-D

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17 August 2009

 
From LL today:

"...today’s release of the LLMedia API, which lets developers create plug-ins for the Second Life Viewer to bring new media-rendering capability to Second Life.

Currently, Residents who own land have the ability to specify a select set of media types to be used on their parcel through the Land Management settings. This allows Residents to do interesting things like watch videos, show Web pages to visitors, or just add ambiance to inworld spaces with streaming music. However, the types of media that could be used inworld has been limited to only those that could be rendered by the set of media rendering engines embedded in the Second Life Viewer, such as Apple QuickTime™ movies.

The LLMedia API will change this by enabling developers to create media rendering plug-ins for the Second Life Viewer. In the future, by installing these plug-ins, you’ll be able to enjoy a wider range of media inworld, without having to download new Viewers to do so. For example, when a plug-in is developed for rendering an additional video format, you’ll be able to view media in that format inworld after downloading and installing that plug-in, without having to wait for a new version of the Second Life Viewer that includes this rendering engine.

To get there, it’s going to take some time, of course, but releasing the LLMedia API today, along with a special Development Release of the Second Life Viewer, is an important step forward.

Developers interested in getting more information on the LLMedia API, building media rendering plug-ins, and downloading the Second Life Viewer code should check out the Media Rendering Plugin Framework wiki page."



 

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Driving to Frank's at 7am this morning I started thinking about snakes. I used to see live snakes all the time, then I'd see only roadkill snakes, but now I don't see those either. Scary.


 
Enjah is ordered* to buy this.

WHERE'S THE APP THAT MAKES IT LOOK LIKE A HOLGA PICTURE???

A pinhole camera app would be nice.

/me loves cheesey cameras.
I used to develop rolls I found in the street or in thriftshop cameras, too. I love the aged film look so I'd buy old Polaroid film for the whackiness.

* well, not really, of course.


 
"A short-term study of Twitter has found that 40% of the messages sent via it are "pointless babble."

That low?



16 August 2009

 
Plug-Ins
It will be awesomely kewl to see what people come up with in the way of plug-ins for Second Life. A Second Life app shop would be great!

Drunk on Fumes
Right now I'm more peculiar than usual because of about 30 hours of fumes. I tried my best to minimise my exposure but it hasn't helped a lot as I had to sleep in fumes, get up in fumes, stay in fumes all day, and tomorrow will be similar.


 
Wonder why No One Listens to Me
Last year I had some ideas about the NUE (new user experience) that came about because of a forum thread. I revisited the thread today, and discovered I had had a number of interesting ideas.

Pneumatic Tubes
There could be room with many doors (or a sign up questionaire or a set of pneumatic tubes):

"I've always wanted to be a (pick one) A. Hobo, B. Neko, C. Robot, D. Muscle-bound pinhead, E. Top-heavy trollop, F. Company employee, G. Vampire, H. Business owner, I. Artist, J. DJ, K. Teacher, L. Explorer." (or whatever)

The person chooses one and is whisked away to a relevent area, or conversely, enters the chamber like the man in The Fly, and is transformed into whatever has been chosen.

I do like the idea of getting into a kind of pneumatic tube affair and zooming off to the destination of your dreams.


Noob Trees
Maybe noobs should start out very small - smaller than Tinies - and grow bigger every day.
Like noobseeds turning into noobsprouts.

Maybe noobs could first spawn as fruits of a noob tree, and ripen in a few minutes. Then they'd drop to the ground, but still be very small and undefined. Over the course of a day or two they'd gain abilities - at first they'd just roll around and have no inventory. Once they had been inworld for a few hours they'd have an inventory and be bigger - they'd be able to move faster but still wouldn't be able to affect grown residents much.

Grown residents would gain by helping nooblets, as measured by the nooblets choosing to give them rating points (one per nooblet). Each rating point would count towards a rl trinket, like, say, an SL keychain for 5,000 points. Negative ratings would be added together, too, and anyone with a negative noob rating balance would be automatically muted for all noobs. After a certain amount of time inworld the noobs would be "done" and be able to do anything.

Pre-Muting
Some people should just be pre-muted universally.

Dispersing Noobs
AVATAR CANNON FTW!!11!! Shoot noobs out of a cannon that will send them to random places on the grid. Or have a spaceship they get into that is directed by their answers to a few simple questions, then lands somewhere and unsits them.



15 August 2009

 


Link seen on Second Citizen.

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Lucy and Os go to the Museum of Robots in Kubrick so Lucy can go through Madcow Cosmos's robot maker.
I'm on the right. Shadow Bot is from DSI Shadow Bot Factory which interacts with the Blank Bots from Xntra City. If you haven't tried it, go through the two factories and become robots: it's very well done.
We danced.
Lucy danced more.

I was using KL's newest viewer, and had a very respectable 30fps at the museum.


 

Anti-fingerboarding signs
Originally uploaded by Laser Bread

Anti-fingerboarding signs from Laser Bread's Flickr stream.



 

Rules
Originally uploaded by Laser Bread

:-D

Great Flickr series by Laser Bread



 
Project Entropia Universe Planet Calypso
I started when it was Project Entropia, then upgraded my avatar when it became Entropia Universe. Any minute now it's turning into Planet Calypso and will use CryENGINE2, so I get to upgrade my avatar again and try it out with my new graphics card. It's a four gig download o.O

Wave goodbye, Fauxvia!
video
I have to say, though, that Planet Calypso is in no way equal to the name Entropia. They should just've dropped the "Universe" which was in no way equal to "Project."



14 August 2009

 
House is full of workmen again :/



13 August 2009

 
Argh - I was really looking forward to seeing DanteOsaka's theatre opening haiku play and Obon Festival. I missed it because I was in the throes of puter exile drat drat drat. As well as being interested in his new theatre generally, and the play, I love bon odori dances. Although I haven't been in real life for years, the twinkling lights on the paper boats set adrift to honour ancestors remains a clear memory. Here's a video they made of the performance:



My favourite song is Tanko Bushi:

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12 August 2009

 
I've been weirdly feverish the past week for some reason. I can't tell if the outside is warm or cold since I'm hot all the time.


 
Slovakian Book Covers
Slovakian Expose

Shared via AddThis


 
People are screaming loudly about the temporary disappearances of objects - which I'm sure most people have experienced in some form or other, and which can be annoying. Someone tracked down the cause of at least one type of disappearance, which most had just considered a bug that needed to be fixed, but which, if this is to be believed, is actually a deliberate lowering of the viewable number of prims in areas that present the observer with enough data to choke the computer.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it - on one hand the howling mobs scream about lag that they themselves are generating, and LL is trying to make things work more smoothly. On the other, no one likes it when actions take place in secret that affect everyone. I haven't had any real problems about disappearing things... I've never really approved of extremely high prim attachments like jewelry or billion prim boots... but yet there are lots of things that people wear that that look great and which I think our world would be poorer without. The genie was out of the bottle before LL had any idea at all that they needed to do some limiting on resources.

Of course, this doesn't affect only attachments, but an area of massed avatars wearing complicated attachments was cited as a prime location for disappearing prims as the viewers try to cope with the scene by simply not rendering part of it. I'm truthfully not sure what else is possible. I doubt LL would leave prims unrendered for no reason, so they must've felt it was necessary. It must get tiresome hearing the Lag! screams when they know people are wearing 5
HUDs and scripted hundred-prim hair, shoes, collars, belts, etc. Dunno.

The people who are outraged are recommending everyone change RenderMaxNodeSize in the debug settings to as high a setting as one's computer can handle. People seem quite able to handle things like draw distance, so I hope that the knowledge of this setting will just become another adjustable-for-circumstances part of people's use of the UI, so they can make choices to fit the graphics to what they are doing at the moment. If it's truly a case of needing to constantly raise and lower setting to accomodate what's going on around us, even more than we already do, I think that should just be stated bluntly. Currently LL is in an unenviable position of having to pull the settings in or listen to even more complaints that are caused by things they can't, as yet, control. I wonder if the RenderMaxNodeSize was dropped silently because then, after the limits are (whenever it happens) put into place it can be silently raised again.

It would be awsomely cool if viewers could have floating settings - that is, you'd set your framerate and your settings would go up or down to meet that - just like cruise control. Turn off cruise control and set RenderFarClip at an outageous number because you want to take a screenshot, then turn it back on. Well, it's an idea, anyway.


 
Twinity has improved a lot, however I went to my apartment and it seems that the things I had bought (parrots and wiggling pink things) because I wanted animated objects are in most cases just borked or missing. All the parrots are =======:O and most of the pink things have disappeared.



11 August 2009

 
A couple of Madcow Cosmos's robots cavorting for a possible Combat Cards image.


 
I went sailing with Enjah, which was fun (it was great to see her!), but I'm still a bit bug-eyed and weird-feeling at being back in SL. When I logged in while Derek was here I got hit in the face with a bazillion IMs, notes, etc., etc. that I just closed down and have yet to look at. It will take me a few days to get settled, I think.

I popped in for the Just Leap In weekly do, and they told me they are working on a way to let people enter without registering first - and have actually got the first puzzle-piece worked out. They gave me the url but I was feeling restive and logged out without copying it - not really a big deal but I'm glad they are headed in that direction. I'd emailed them the Evolver url because I thought it would be of interest, and they said they'd passed the url around. So much is going on, and I see a use for variety not just one type of virtual world.

I think I'm going to watch an un-borkified Coraline, which should be interesting.

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Derek was just here and installed the new card - I've had that long-running psu argument with him (well, when he was putting pieces together for this puter two years ago before I gave the OK I looked at the psu and said - I think it needs to be bigger, but he convinced me it was fine), so he arrives at about 10:30 (just walks in - that's m' boy), pulls out the 8800, I say ARE YOU SURE THAT PSU IS BIG ENOUGH?? and he says, "You are in luck, or maybe not in luck - this psu won't work (wrong amps) - I'll be back in an hour."

He came back with a 650w and put it in, wrestled with the cables, fired it up, and adjusted a few things, then I went in SL (and discovered I was a robot - I'd been in the middle of taking Combat Cards pictures when it blew up A MONTH AGO) and it all felt weird (of course). So - a month + $500 = seems ok - wonder how long I'll tip-toe about before I feel confident.



09 August 2009

 
SL Can Be Bizarre

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08 August 2009

 
The Kindle vs The Book

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Clean water.



 
Haystack

Uncensor the internet: unlock information for those who need it.
Haystack FAQ http://is.gd/23RnP
Got any old jump drives?



07 August 2009

 
Alone at last.


 
My father always wanted a baronial hall with rushes on the floor and also an elephant. He was always singing and dancing around, and was full of charm, although not trustworthy. He had an odd set of priorities that were based on him being the most important person in the universe. Expressed numerically it would approximate this formula:
my pater = 1000000000000000.
everyone else = .0000000000000001
My parents would always laugh that "all their swans were geese," but it was no joke as the reversal of the commonly-held parental formula meant that we children had very little value.

My mother loved books but my father LOVED BOOKS, and it's because of him that I thought cutting pages to be a normal activity (he bought bazillions of old books and it was not a unique occurrence for a book to've only had its pages cut up to the point where the original purchaser stopped reading it a hundred years before).

We had every kind of car under the sun, I think, as he'd buy something very cool then leave it to rot if it developed a problem. He liked things like Lincolns, but my mother liked odd and squatty designs, so she had a Nash Metropolitan, an Austin America, and a Mayflower, and when the first Geo Metro (with a three cylinder motorbike engine) came out she was on that like a dicky on a worm.

He could teach himself how to do anything, and did. He build a boat, shod all our horses, learned book-binding, could fix up any equine malady or accident that was fixable including stiching up wounds. He'd only do as he liked, though, so if you had an urgent need it never made it onto the schedule. I suppose I inherited my ability to figure out how to do things from him.

I spent much more time around him that girls usually spend with their fathers. He had certain immutable rules: don't talk to him when he's working, don't bother him or a horse or any animal which is eating, "Don't force it" if you are trying to fit Part A onto a piece of machinery but is just as true in any other application, "English people learn by osmosis" (also don't need brakes, and so forth).

My mother had rules, too, such as if she called you were to immediately go to her without a word. Continuing to lounge on one's bed while shouting, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" was probably a ticket to oblivion. I didn't get along with my mother, but in any case I would leave the house early in the morning and not come back in until past dark (either school + riding + working in the barn, or in summer just working in the barn + being off on the back of a horse twenty miles from home with all the dogs). I was frightened of the sound of screech owls in the dark so had to steel myself up every day to turn out all the barn lights a run furiously towards the house. I drove myself so hard I would black out frequently, and finally after years of overwork developed rheumatic fever and had to stay in bed without moving for something like six months. I'd reached my teenaged years by then, I think.

I liked to go and climb about on the roof, which no one remarked on as far as I remember. Many years later, after my marriage broke up (because I got sick) and I all of a sudden had no money, nowhere to live, etc., I housesat for various friends for months and months. Next to K+H's house lived a newly-arrived Russian family who had three children, I think 6, 5, and 2. They were actually quite taken with me, so I saw them constantly. Their parents had a different idea to child-rearing than their neighbours; leaving for the evening, they'd just lock the door, locking the children out of the house. The children would shinny up the drainpipes and frolic on the roof - or anyway they'd hang around up there. They actually seemed a lot more like real children than any of the other ones I knew.

I'm just killing time as I really would like to lie down but am waiting for the household of men to leave.


 
It's misty and cool and there's rain likely for the next five days, so coating the deck doesn't seem possible as it requires dryness. I seem to've fallen into a kind of purgatory wherein four men spend 13 hours a day a few feet away from me, my computer has been broken forever, and the weather yo-yos from 105° to 52°. Did I miss something? Did I die and go into a modern version of Hell? Which circle do neverending computer problems fit into?

At least I have the approriate labels for this post.

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Tuesday.


/me tries to hang on.


 
Illegal Viewer

Gwyneth Llewelyn posts news of an illegal viewer HERE. Don't use it.



06 August 2009

 


Osama

With no right to work, Afghan widows lead a hand to mouth existence, always in danger from the Taliban, always hungry, struggling to maintain an existence. In this film, a household of women desperate to survive sends a twelve year old girl out disguised as a boy. A boy can work - a boy in the family can bring home a little food. To escape detection is paramount, however, as the penalty might well be death. This is the first film made in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

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It's been chilly the past two days - high of 65° F today and was 55° F last night. My landlord has a cold and is sneezing all over, which is no fun for him and will probably pass on the cold germs to me.


 
Wow, they just left for the night. I find it wearing - 13 hours of being in a fishbowl. They'll be here tomorrow, then come back next week to put the railing on.

My landlord taped CAUTION tape over the four double doors so "children will not fall." I said I wouldn't be inviting too many children over while this repair work is going on.

The competent friend, who is taciturn and I thought, a bit surly, seemed taken with my monitor size, so he became more animated and friendly. The paintery dood treats me like the angels from on high fly around me tossing rose petals and singing in harmony. There's another one - he was carrying a great long 2x12 through a sliding door and wheeled around, the end of the board coming at a clip directly for my video camera, so I put my hand on ithe board - trying to stop it but not propel the man off the (very narrow and with no decking on it) sticky-outy bit he was walking on. Success - but I dunno if he knew what I was doing or just thought I was interfering.

I like workmen - dunno why. The last mural job (3 in a house being remodeled) I did, I adopted all the painters as part of my tribe, and used to tell them things like "Don't inhale solvent - it causes neurological damage and I can tell you THAT is something you don't want - if you can't help it then get another job," and "St. Valentine's Day is coming up - better think now about getting something for your wife." At least I amused them. Scratch a wall painter (a good one, I mean) and a lot of the traits of a painter will show up.


 
The Card Has Arrived
(in a big box delivered by UPS)

The Card Has Arrived
(in a big box delivered by UPS)
The computer men have been called
(and they said they would call or email me back)
I've become weirdly accustomed to this borked machine
(and my brain now automatically compensates)
I've been doing graphics because I can't help it - I have to work
(but God alone knows what they'll look like "for real")

Yesterday I was reading a New Yorker
And caught myself compensating for picture distortion
That wasn't there
Pretty soon if it isn't fixed
My brain will start compensating for the look of reality.

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Crappy Taxidermy
A well-named website celebrating crappacious taxidermy.

Weird Old Childhood Memories
My brother (a couple of years before he left for HK) had a friend who was an amateur taxidermist. They were both about fourteen or fifteen, although they seemed grown up to me, and the friend was part of a large family which lived in a mansion across the road from a farm we lived in for a very short time. His younger sister was a good friend of mine, so I was in the house a lot; I remember the animal-parts being everywhere in his room - projects in progress.

The family had a very old collie which, once a day got up from its resting place under the piano and made a complete inspection of the house. I've forgotten its name, but do remember that when the family got a Saint Bernard puppy they named it Tenderfoot. Julie and I would hang out in the kitchen with the cook and chauffeur (a married couplewho were very nice), and I very vaguely remember playing poker. The children would have the chauffeur drive them around the property in a jeep for something I've forgotten. My brother almost drowned me (playing around) once when we were all swimming - although I bet he doesn't remember.

Our farm had roads, and my brother was learning to drive in a car with the passenger-side door wired up, as I recall. I hero-worshipped him, and he'd respond as big brothers do with stupid little sisters (i.e. torture-time!). He'd want me to sit in the car while he drove, and I never wanted to; he'd swear he wouldn't drive like a fiend (as he always did) if I got in. Well, that went as expected: I'd get in and he'd take off at a million miles an hour, screeching around corners on two wheels (all I remember, actually, is staring at the glove box).

The farm had high, thick masonry walls, and I remember attempting to make raisins by picking some grapes and putting then on the top of the wall to dry in the sun. Result: small, wrinkled black rocks. We'd make forts from hay bales in the enormous hayloft in one of the barns, and fight with water pistols. I always liked being up high, so I was on the wall or up in the loft, or up in the trees, or on the rooves. I had a horse at that time, Sergeant, that was bad-tempered, and when I had to catch him he'd slyly wait until I was close (that particular field was probably about five acres) then come at me at a gallop with teeth bared. There was one tree - an old pear - and I'd dash for it to avoid being bitten/run over, which usually worked (but I wasn't always fast enough). It hurts A LOT to be bitten by a horse. A LOT. He smashed me against trees when I was riding him, as he was a lot stronger than I could manage in a snaffle. I was just a little, puny thing, but, apparently, must've been hella brave since I just kept right on going. It wasn't done to ever tell anyone when I'd been injured - that was a sure-fire way to be shouted - since if I was injured it meant I'd been "stupid."

I walked to school, which I only remember because I crossed, on the way home, a large field full of (someone else's) horses; one particular horse shielded me from the rest. The sort of lead horse was a black gelding that the owner couldn't catch. He used to get my father to catch it, and my father and this animal that refused to do what its owner wanted (I think they were trying to make it into a show jumper or something) formed a bond; my father wound up buying it cheaply after the owner gave up. Another biter (never bit my father, of course). I had to feed, and I wouldn't feed him when he was facing me, so he learned to turn around and wait. Clever.

We had a roan horse named James Pigg at that time, too. He was a sturdy, roman-nosed cob that fish-tailed when he jumped. I don't remember why we had him - maybe it was my father's before the black, or maybe it was my brother's. I just remember James Pigg as a kind of spare. He was nice to be around on the ground, but a bit annoying to ride.

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Enjah recommended Tell No One, so I looked it up on Netflix and was happy to see it was a "play now" film. I like a good thriller once in a while, and this French film from 2006 is well-crafted and makes good use of some very fine actors.

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Drawn! pointed out this animated short:





05 August 2009

 
Argh :-(

NetDisaster, which was closed by stupid Yahoo, which I hate, but then reopened Yay! has now been attacked by ebay, which caused the creator to decide not to spend any more time trying to fight. It's closed permanently, now. Stupid ebay, stupid yahoo. May they rot.

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Get A Scorecard

A dear friend's son married a pretty woman. She was touchy, and my friend kept a low profile, only surfacing to do things like buy them vacation trips and BUILD THEM A HOUSE. My friend was always treated horribly by the wife, but she loved her son so just kept quiet.

After many years the wife had a baby. She never exhibited any maternal feeling and he did everything as she never cooked, or did any baby-type work, and ran up miles of debt as she was never home. She had to work very late every day. He did everything for the child.

He accidentally discovered she was having an affair when he looked at a saved message on her phone. The man was sending her pictures (of intimate physical details, shall we say); it was someone at her work that he knew.

The son tried to continue, but after a while they separated. The court ordered that a number of conditions be met, such as she would live in the house (see above) with the baby but was not allowed to remove anything. She did the opposite of every court order she was meant to obey.

She immediately moved everything (washer, stove, furniture, anything not nailed down) out of the house (and went to special trouble to take my friend's son's professional certificates needed for his job and other things she wanted as potential weapons). She moved in with her parents so they would look after the baby. She broke up with the boyfriend.

She got a new boyfriend. A very young one (she's in her late thirties). The old boyfriend's wife, who had not been aware of the transgression, stumbled across a trove of photographs on their computer. Let's say "action photos." She was livid. She emailed the lot to my friend's son, who was upset anew. He forwarded them to his lawyer.

The son only cares about getting equal custody - he'd love more, should it be given. He has lost a great deal and so has my friend, and the icing on the cake was the house being gutted and going into foreclosure - she wouldn't pay a portion of any bills (house bills, daycare, credit card, etc.). The baby had daycare paid by the son but she would do things like not bother to take him. She wouldn't agree to sell the house, opting, I suppose, to do the maximum damage instead. The son and my friend care only about the baby. She's spent what she had to help her son, and will consider it all worth it if they get the baby at least half time.

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Kitchen Window
Step out!

Trail of drop cloths.

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After I bought my last pair of shoes I actually then turned around and bought multiple pairs of the same shoes as I liked them. I'm about to break out the final pair* - maybe I need to get some champoo so I can commemorate the occasion.

*Black suede Vision Street Wear low tops with flames embroidered on the sides.


 
My Landlord, His Friend, Hired Workmen and My Deck
/me tries unsuccessfully to imitate "The Thief, The Cook, His Wife and Her Lover."

Noisily (power tools and the screeeeeeeeech of nailed plywood being wrested from its resting place, etc) the men are replacing the sheeting, which has been rotting for years. It's like the curate's egg, though, so although I was like this: ==============:O at the thought of my landlord (insurance salesman and erstwhile restaurant proprietor) doing structural carpentry, I think his friend knows what he's doing, and things will be ok since the rots is not everywhere. It's tough on me as this house is all windows on the deck side, and everything faces the lake. On the plus side one of the workmen paints and likes Fidget, especially. They also knew the self-potraits were me, which is nice (Me: I'm not totally gone! Yippee! Workman: Not at all - we recognised you right away.).



04 August 2009

 
Aria

Ten short films by ten different directors = One terrible film

I watched it because I'm an opera buff, but I'm hard pressed to pick out the segment I hated the most. Opera seemed to inspire the directors to have naked women running about. I've seen student films that were more engaging. And why was King Zog played by a woman?* Methinks he wouldn't've been too happy about that had he been around to complain. The heavy-handedness was astounding.

1. attempted assasination
2. car crash/death
3. naked girls and muscle men
4. couples having sex - comic version
5. couple having sex
6. asylum inmates at the opera
7. couple having sex/suicide
8. car crash/near death
9. couple frolic in surf
10. lip-synch**
* The sound track wasn't even an opera with a trouser role.
**I deeply resent the fact that I could see John Hurt's underpants through his Pagliacci costume, which appeared to be cheap acetate.

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Ed and Deram Are Fighting Again
Stop it!

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Candide pointed out this light animation:

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03 August 2009

 
I'm Easily Amused



This amused me:

Hello,

Your account has been cancelled.

It was sent by Seagate, who made one of my external drives, and had included with it X months of data storage so I could jam things on the external drive, then also back up by uploading X amount to their data storage facility deep in an abandoned NORAD missile silo (or anyway somewhere). I never could understand why I'd want to do that, so had never uploaded anything. I still can't understand why. If I wanted space out of the room I'd stick it on my host (I thought long and hard when dreamhost had that "unlimited data/bandwidth" birthday deal, then finally decided no, because SOMETHING should limit my overactive production of data, for the good of the planet.)* or burn it to a dvd or something (which isn't fool-proof by any means but so what). Of course, after X months they have tons of yer precious data (whatever that may be), which can be a useful hostage as after that it will be X dollars a month to preserve it.

I think it should've said, "Your account has been cancelled. Good bye," but then I'd have less to feel amused by. /me wonders if she can send Seagate the youtube link.

*Update: Oops, I accidentally upgraded to the infinite plan.

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Panoramic Views
A million years ago I used to send my students out to take pictures to make panoramas (the interactive kind) from - they did very well, and the school panoramas were a nice addition to the school's website. That was ages ago, though, and I haven't been moved to do anything since then (I made one of the lake and one of my house when I was figuring out how to do it so I could teach the children), so I'm sure things have probably progressed since then.

Torley has a nice blog post showing some of his panoramas of Second Life, which as he says, would be useful to show someone who has never been in SL, * and beyond that (which I never thought of) could be useful for a developer. I can imagine it would be. A little panorama would give a simple way to illustrate what's being referred to, with no entry barrier at all. Beyond selling the idea of a virtual world presence, a client is usually a company/organisation, and even after the decision has been made there are scads of employees/members who will have no clue what SL is, even if they are required to log in. Due to my jobs within the past month, I've watched hundreds of absolutely clueless business people log in for the first time and go through a few stages that seem common.

First, they log in and stand in one spot without moving for about half an hour, trying to sort out a few things like "Where am I?" "How do I move?", without noticing (apparently) that everyone is spawning in the same spot in a giant intersection. Then they abruptly move forward, run into a wall, go backwards, go forward, maybe stand still AFK for fifteen minutes, then get the hang of it a little bit. After an hour or so they suddenly begin to experiment a little, dance around, make "Beam me up, Scotty" remarks, and appear to be having fun.

A quick and painless way to give just a clue as to what can be expected - I'd imagine that will be very useful, since so many people genuinely have no idea at all what to expect. I'm not sure I'll be moved to make more panoramas, but for anyone who is there are lots of links in the blog post.

* Although in my experience people sometimes get the wrong idea (maybe just people whose experience is limited to what a crap computer can do) - I showed someone Snapzilla once and she got the weird idea that SL was a series of stills. That might've been (I hope) a completely strange isolated experience - who knows?



02 August 2009

 
Phoebe in Wonderland
I watched a peculiar film yesterday that was about a horrid, spoilt brat developing Tourette's syndrome, which made it difficult to tell what was going on. I'm not sure what the film was trying to say. The main point seemed to be that everyone was relieved to find out it wasn't their fault. Maybe it was produced by a birth control company.

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BOGNA SOKORSKA
Nicknamed "The Warsaw Nightingale"

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01 August 2009

 

IMG_8478
Originally uploaded by ter_redfield

Dr. Girlfriend



 

IMG_8483
Originally uploaded by ter_redfield

Nice hulk suit.



 
video
Evolver Os
(first try plus my puter is all distorted, so I have no real clue what it looks like)

I was just reading the developer blog for VastPark, specifically the "9 Rules" for virtual worlds written in 2007. I had meandered over from Evolver, which is a business trying to get cross-platform avatars up and running (with whom VastPark is compatible) - which must come for the 3d web to flourish. Although the blog post is two years old - or maybe because it's two years old - I found it an interesting read.

Under Rule 4: "There's a huge opportunity in virtual characters that are highly interactive and portable. These are both the future of personalisation and of brand advertisers developing direct relationships with us..." -- Bruce Joy

The decentralised content thing - can't see how it would work, at all, however my interest (right now) is just to own a traveling avatar and flit from place to place in it. It's good to revisit people's thoughts about virtual reality - it's forming around us like a chrysalis yet to harden - quite exciting.

And my first thought was - Rule 10 is that there need to be Avatar Rights like is excellently included on Metaplace by Raph Koster. I was happy when I saw that, way back when, especially since I've been semi-obsessed with the idea since 2003 when I first ran into the Uru diaspora, and then in 2004 when There told us the service was going down (no further fixes, no devs + no guarantee of continuance past six months 90 days). It was (it felt) like they'd encouraged us to give life to our avatars but then abruptly pulled it all away as though it meant nothing to them (probably didn't).This was my take at the time: "Contemplating Annihilation"

9 rules... - worth reading.

Hey Enj -



 
Recently I watched Capote, and while it stars Philip Seymour Hoffman it can't be part of the Inadvertant PSH Film Festival as I knew that ahead of time. Maybe, though, I could have a special section in that festival (it's undoubtedly 85% - 95% due to Netflix and has worked out fairly well - I try to be very sparing with star ratings for films I like but don't want to see relatives of* so obviously the PSH films have scored highly).

* For instance, take a film like Casablanca. It's great, but I don't want to have ancient films clogging up the recomendations list. I find the star ranking sort of stupid as it goes directly from "I didn't like it" to "I liked it." I'd rather have it go from, say, "No redeeming qualities," to "Damned by Faint Praise," to "Mixed Bag," to "Does What it Set Out to Do," to "Perfection." I've given some films the highest marks, but generally I stick to "I liked it," which in Netflix is a low score but my own consistency (well, I try) should ease the blow. I do believe in judging thing according to the filmmaker's intent - otherwise it's like saying, "I give it one star because I wanted to learn more about the life cycle and social habits of baboons and this stupid film, Lawrence of Arabia, didn't teach me anything." If something was intended to be light entertainment that should be noted, as there's nothing wrong with that.

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I want to ask for thoughts about improving the world -- what do people need? How can things be organised?