Jebus, it's cold. :-(
August is generally warm and dry - it's raining, cold (54F/12C), and breezy (7mph/11kph) today.
Labels: Climate Disruption
As I sat in the waiting room for three and a half hours I thought about various things, including trying to decide why I felt slightly nervous. I came to the conclusion it's because I'm not good at fighting and a doctor visit is a kind of fight. The fight involves making the doctor understand what you need, and then trying to extract something useful in a limited time.
She rightfully ran through a battery of tests and questions to get the overall picture, while I was saying, "I'm here for two reasons: one..." etc., etc. Although I can't have much influence over the "useful" part, I can over the "understand" part, which was why I took printed information with me. It remains to be seen what will happen, as she's going to contact a couple of people then email me. The last thing I said before I followed the long route out was, "I wanted to talk to the office people about the new patient packet. Why isn't that online?"
DrC: I don't think they are that technologically savvy.
Me: !!! It could just be a form you fill out online - I can't write, so it was difficult.
DrC: It should at least be something you can fill out then print and bring in.
She is also connected to an unconnected-to-ms issue which is vaguely interesting, although I am not able to pursue everything all at once, either financially, physically, or even just by inclination.
DrC: (paraphrase) That killed my father.
DrC: Of course, he was 83.
Me: Well... 83!
I'm extremely limited in medical choices - like, extremely, dude. Since I depend upon savings to survive anything I spend now comes off the other end - when, one hopes, one will be dead. A couple of years ago I was confident I'd be dead before I ran out of money, but now I've perked up a bit so it's not assured. Two years ago I was motivated to start writing a will after I developed a fever and wound up on the floor* for a few days, ha ha. It was annoying that the meat puppet is so hard to kill off :-D It will go on for years, dwindling down to nothing - not very useful.
I have a few little trails I'd like to travel, but alone and with very limited energy and money their accomplishment is very difficult. Still, it's very interesting - so don't think I'm sad about it. It's just the cogitation of the month, because going to the neuro, a once-a-decade-or-less occurence for me, makes these thoughts come to the forefront.
* That's why I keep ibuprofen and a phone book on the floor.
30 August 2010
I was in the OnLive beta, and it worked very well, but for me it was the same old story: one can't play games unless one has two hands (except a few like World of Goo). At least I got to try whatever it's called - Razer's Edge, which I thought I'd like, but sadly, with one hand all I do is fall off the roof. Now they are giving a year free, which most people would like, but not me, I suppose. *kicks the floor and stabs the old yahoo bloodspot on the wall*
When I was talking to Dr C I said, "Oh, look, we're reflected in the lid of the trash bin - it's great. Too bad I don't have a camera," and she whipped around and said, "NO ONE HAS EVER SAID THAT BEFORE* - that's the artist speaking." And she moved it around in case it was the way it was at that moment that was causing the lovely image, but no, it was just like that, and most excellent.
The decor is abhorrent, and I made the birthday man laugh by saying, "This is THE WORST WALLPAPER EVER." It's all 1980s horrid purple-pink and off green, with that awful 80s graphic style wallpaper that even the Web can't come up with because it's so ugly no one uploaded it (I googled '1980s horrid wallpaper' 'ugly pink 1980 graphic' 'wallpaper horrible' etc.).
There were four doctors and about 65 office-workers - well, I saw at least 15. They had 100 signs on the glass saying DO NOT TAP ON THE GLASS with pictures of sharks and goldfish. And multiple signs saying copayments are to be paid prior to service, and if you want a bill it's $15. And ALL THE OXYGEN WAS ON THEIR SIDE, and only leaked out when they opened the window. The receptionist was very nice to me (I hadn't tapped on the glass).
*That reminds me of once while walking the backstreets of Olympia (which we did every day, just about) with my soon-to-be-husband, I said (he was 8 years older than I), "Our mothers were born in the same year, and since a female is born with all her eggs it means we were born from eggs of the same age." He whipped around and said, "No one has ever had that thought before." Ha ha!
Labels: Department of Bwuhahahaha
Argh. *stabs Yahoo*
Yesterday I decided to try Panda Cloud - ok, let's see NO I HATE YAHOO DON'T INSTALL THE TOOLBAR KTHNXBAI - oh, sorry, was I shouting? :-D Today I noticed it, while not having installed frackin' Yahoo toolbar, had set Ya-fracking-hoo as all my search engine defaults. I was so annoyed I uninstalled Panda Cloud, changed search back to SL, and deleted Yahoo-ishness from my Mozilla folder. Then saw IT WAS LIKE THE UNDEAD it kept on coming. I had to go into about:config for FireFox and monkey around. If that hadn't worked I'd've uninstalled FireFox. And maybe burned the computer.
I HATE that effing Yahoo bought Flickr I HATE THAT.
I'll never get used to that, never, never never
*stabs Yahoo over and over and over*
DIE DIE DIE YOU MOTHER I HATE Y-OO
Ugh, I just got home from my neurology appt. It was scheduled at 11 am, and I was told to come 15 min early, but I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get in there so turned up ten or fifteen minutes before that. Then I had to wait 3.5 hours. A man was there when I arrived, waiting for a different neurologist; it's his birthday, today, too. I was going to beat on the receptionist if he went in first, to get her to give him a sticker or something, but I went in before him and exited out the back door.
She didn't know anything at all about CCSVI but is going to ask the ms walla at Swedish Hospital. She did a lot of asking/testing to see how I am. I had two questions - regarding CCSVI and a technologically more advanced foot drop appliance, but although she couldn't give me any info about either she says she'll ask people who do know. I said I'd find out if an mri is paid for at all by insurance, which she'd like me to do if possible.
I'd thought long and hard about what to take with me, and when she said she didn't know anything about CCSVI I gave her an article explaining it, and told her a doctor at Swedish is doing the procedure for m.s. sufferers.
Me: blah blah CCSVI
DrC: I don't know anything about it.
Me: You are supposed to be a fount of knowledge :(
Me: Coming here is such an ordeal.
DrC: Nooo, I disappointed you because I'm not a fount of knowledge!
Me: Heh. You should be!
She knew me perfectly well despite the fact that I've seen her perhaps three times, the last time ten years ago or so. My doctor's office knows me, too - I never understand that, either.
Me: I don't get it.
Frank: Most people are sheep. You're not a sheep.
Be that as it may, I'd never make a master criminal.
29 August 2010
Errr... great... idea... :/
28 August 2010
LGG is working with Virtual Ability to create a specialised viewer from the Snowstorm project. (For anyone needing a scorecard for Emeraldgate, LGG backed out of the project and wrote a blogpost warning that he could no longer vouch for Emerald's trustworthiness, just before the whole project erupted).
27 August 2010
Paul Allen is busy suing Aol, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, Officemax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube all at once.
Paging the Guiness Book of Worlds Records!
Human Age attempt at monkey mating:
"My monkey Dr Earnest Worthing has requested I write to you as he is consumed with admiration for the lovely Fingers."
Sun-like star's system is similar to our solar system.
Its designation "HD 10180" makes me think of video.
I like this because I like randomness. Shuffler surfs the music web and taps in to whatever is available at the time and within your chosen genre. Stations that give me what they think I want don't suit me much - like Netflix if I give something a high mark I immediately get ten more "just like" that one. Their idea of "just like" doesn't even coincide with mine, but I like diversity, randomness, new, so "just like" isn't something I prize anyway.
26 August 2010
Twitter stream from the man from the future arrested in April at the Large Hadron Collider :-D
Labels: Introduction to Time Travel
Yesterday's high: 91°F
Today's high: 67°F and very windy
High for August: 98°F
Low for August: 44°F
From SJ comes this link to McSweeney's Lists.
Another fine film, this one a study of a middle-class family in crisis. Laid off and unable to find a job approaching his old one in status or remuneration, the father attempts to hide the situation from his family. He isn't cockily sure of finding another job before crunch time hits - he's just scared and confused, and attempting to carry on with the appearance of being the family protector is less a choice and more just a well-worn path he treads instinctively.
25 August 2010
By way of Laughing Squid and the Telegraph
All right, a question about how to handle 18 noob students logging in for the first time garnered a reply from
"@ Ignatius, you could use Second Life URLs, see If the person doesn't have Second Life, and have your students land where you wanted."
In other words community websites can post SLurls and new sign-ups using the SLurl will spawn in the SLurl location. I suppose I knew that, really, but somehow forgot. Therefore it's as I thought sounded best - that random noobs spawn anywhere they choose from the DG, but target population noobs like my hypothetical steampunk-lover signing up by way of a steampunky blog would spawn at the location specified in the blog.
Weird Weird Weird
From ABC News:
"A former chairman of the Republican National Committee and political director for President George W. Bush has told a journalist he is gay.
Ken Mehlman was political director in the White House in 2004, when Republicans and the White House used their position opposing gay marriage to great affect.
Now, Mehlman tells Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic that he will take part in a fundraiser in support of gay marriage in September."It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," Mehlman told Ambinder. "Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."
Mehlman also told Ambinder he wished he had done more to bring the Republican party into the gay community.
"What I do regret, and think a lot about, is that one of the things I talked a lot about in politics was how I tried to expand the party into neighborhoods where the message wasn't always heard. I didn't do this in the gay community at all,” he said."
As pointed out by Bettina Tizzy.
It's Not Easy Being Green
I haven't used Emerald at all for months but I never really used it a lot. It felt a bit too full of things I didn't need and I never felt entirely ok about its devs, and there were other choices (not as many now as formerly, but approved/not-yet-approved viewers include V2°, 1.23°, KLee's¹, Snowglobe°, Imprudence², Emergence³ (which I think of as "Emergency"), and my current interest Kitty Viewer⁴ make a good enough group at the moment). I never felt the pull of Emerald the way many seem to; it's symbolic to many of in-the-know status, I think.
It used to be a matter of some thought, deciding if a TPV's dev team was trustworthy or would steal your password, drain your account, and commit permabannable offences with your avatar. I think it became a simple matter of wanting to be in with the in crowd, as they thought, unfortunately, and many then and even now think everything is fine. The viewer itself was very good at one time, but less good lately I think, from everything I heard. It had some bugs and bloating, on top of its dubious provenance (well to be honest it wasn't dubious - we all knew it was built by people with at least one foot over the line).
Off topic, but I saw Chestnut Rau's tweet saying she was shocked that Oz Linden didn't know how to sit down properly.* Very few Lindens spend much time at all inworld, but you would think any Linden attached to the viewer development would need to. That reminds me (off-off-topic) that the sort of flakey-pastry or shardlike quality of multiplicity of the outfits, which link in a hall of mirrors in my inventory, has a cousin in the now-multiple name layers. And in the "dig through five layers to get anywhere" UI scenario.
° Linden Lab
¹ KirstenLee Cinquetti
² Jacek Antonelli et al
³ LordGregGreg Back (not approved)
⁴ Katharine Berry (not approved)
Also Hippo (not approved) and Meerkat (not approved) - I need to see if anything has been shaking with them lately. Update: Meerkat was discontinued and Hippo is active but unchanged since April 2010.
Other discontinued viewers include Boy Lane's Rainbow, Henri Beauchamp's Cool Viewer, and the former beloved viewer that is long gone, Nicholaz Beresford's Nicholaz Viewer.
There are light-weight clients too, including Latif Khalifa's Radegast, in the LL TPV Directory.
* Actually the mouse-over icons were missing at one time in V2 - maybe that was when he came aboard, although that isn't an excuse.
24 August 2010
A humble man who enjoys watching his children as they grow is at odds with the violent time in which he lives, but remains true to himself even as he fulfills his obligations. This is a really good film.
I watched on Netflix but it's also on yootoob.
Re-reading Bernal Diaz Chronicles after *years
23 August 2010
I watched Jar City yesterday then saw this article about brains in jars today.
*scratches her head*
I can see why LL is going in the newbies-spawn-wherever-they-want-to direction but I can also see the value to Community Gateways. I just can't understand why they'd totally wipe out the latter. I don't know anything, obviously, but it seems like using the former on SL pages to link to Destination Guide locales and allowing the latter to link only from their own websites would be good.
As it is many people spending thousands of dollars and umpteen hours in the service of SL training noobs at Dublin, Caledon, and other places got no notice and had their work in effect negated. There must be something I don't know or don't understand. It seems like if you are interested in, say, steampunk, and are reading a steampunkish blog that has a link to a place in SL that allows you to be in a steampunk world, landing first at that hypothetical steampunk CG where helpers kit you out, that would be a good thing. People in that place could advise their friends: "Go to our webpage and sign up - you'll spawn at Steampunkish Academy."
It seems like people willing to put great effort into helping newbs in SL should not be kicked in the slats and ridden over. It's like standing at the opening of the temple and divining the future by watching a flock of birds to attempt to understand what drives LL and in which direction, though.
Maximum 31 characters, any number of words
Dedicated server for names
When they go live will have a 72-hour change time (may change)
Scripts should use UUID or username, not display name
Linking rules are being looked at.
Will be two phases for mono2
Phase testing may begin this week
Pointed out by Laughing Squid
"I can resist everything except temptation." -Oscar Wilde
From Lucy "Anonymous Girl" Tornado comes this link to something that just may give you your life back.
Labels: Department of Bwuhahahaha
22 August 2010
A link between an old crime and a new crime forms the basis of this film's plot. An Icelandic police detective puts the pieces together and my only quibble is that it's obvious what happened from very early on - a quarter or third of the way through. On the other hand it was still compelling and the cinematography is good.
Katharine Berry's Kitty Viewer with Shareable WL Assets
21 August 2010
Joh is admin of a new-but-very-popular-already RP group called Ironmoor.
I hadn't been to Splintered Rock since the time I was working with Vooper to make them custom CCs. It's bigger, more elaborate, and as LT says, unfettered by having to adhere to a book.
I've been carrying on with V2 because - why? - because it seems like it isn't going away, but will, I hope, improve with enough input. I dunno why it is unback-out-of-able for LL except from the moment it came out it was obvious it is formed in a completely different way than the previous viewers. Maybe it has something to do with mobile devices.
Anyway, I've been running Katharine Berry's brand new Kitty Viewer all day, which has some nice little touches* and one great big fabulous addition: WindLight presets are shareable assets loadable from Inventory. That one thing is bound to appeal to machinimatographers but it will add incredibly to RP, installations, concerts, and just sharing.
KB is brill and I recommend the Kitty Viewer. I made a quick vid I'll post if KB says "ok."
*include upload snaps to Flickr, song ID, and other things
Backwards. To me this is backwards:
"I want no part of this, prank, DDOS, boasting, whatever you want to call it, manipulating your user base to harm a third party is immoral at best, illegal at worst."
To me "immoral" is far worse than "illegal."
20 August 2010
Philip is interviewed on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition on Saturday.
I decided to graph my weight.
My neighbour taking off.
Looks much closer in rl for some reason.
K-A on my screen.
Some good things
/me rolls her eyes at the lastest Modular Systems prank.
August's weather so far
Enjah's August weather - quite different (well you have to look beyond the graph differences, but her weather is very regular).
I had wondered if the porting of closed Teen Grid 16-17 year-olds was an isolated thing (in which case it would be something like 50 teens) or if the age restrictions were to be altered in general. Now LL has announced Second Life will be opened to anyone from age 16 - which I don't really care about one way or another but which upsets some customers as they feel they will have increased liability against their wishes.
One thing I've read a number of times is that "teens are more creative," which is completely kookoo. Creativity is not an age-specific trait. Some people are very creative and some aren't, however if a person is creative it may be that being a child provides them with more free time and energy to use within SL.
19 August 2010
SJ was here today. I didn't think to get us both in a shot, unfortunately. It isn't cold but out of the sun and in the breeze it is cool enough to make me don my hoody.
Labels: Os of the Day
Enjah's latest film! It's got a real plot and was filmed in part at Salazar's seaside village in Cowell.
18 August 2010
Final U.S. combat brigade pulls out of Iraq.
Human Age: "You opened a(n) The day's gift and you got a(n) Hemp."
From Saint Lucy comes this link (on a platter):
Click to view entire driving manual from 1937.
17 August 2010
A day or two ago I suddenly began thinking about Alison, who was a Wa He Lut Board member and part of the Frank family. Today Tiff came over and at one point jumped up and ran out to her car, returning with a blanket that she put on my kitchen counter.
At the one-year memorial of Alison's death just a few days ago, Maiselle called both Tiff and me up (neither of us were there, in fact I didn't know about it at all) at the giveaway. Generally speaking, Native Americans observe a one year mourning that is ended with a giveaway both for all and for specific people, the intent being that observers are witnesses to the process. The gifts carry that person's memory on, too.
I was very touched, especially as I've been gone for years. I used to attend things like that fairly often, for naming ceremonies (Karen as a grave two year old handing out gifts), an end to mourning (Thomas, Nadia, and Erika dancing at the end of their grandmother's mourning period), and other occasions, and it never fails to give me pause to consider life, ritual, and relationships.
Some links about the fishing rights struggle HERE, HERE.
There are quite a few earth-shaking changes coming up, so it just now occurred to me to say, "If you haven't already, watch Philip's speech at SLCC."
16 August 2010
Facebook vs Godzilla... erm Google
"But as Google gears up for this big push, Facebook is keenly watching Google’s moves, and is bracing itself for a battle that will shape a more social phase of the internet.
The most visible evidence of this fight is Google’s sudden shopping spree. On Friday it bought Jambool, a company that runs virtual currency systems for social games, including those played on Facebook. This month Google paid about $200m for Slide, a major developer of Facebook applications with a wealth of talented engineers. And shortly before that it invested $100m in Zynga, the largest maker of social games.
“They failed to innovate on their own so now they’re throwing their chequebook at it,” says a senior executive close to Facebook."
I went to the open source meeting to see what is going on. I just kept silent because my input has no value, but my intention is to write a detailed email about how I use the UI for machinima and send it to the Snowstorm team, as I believe strongly in focussed usergroup input in the UI development.
Ugly bubbles are just default settings as it unaccountably wipes my settings all the time (when I switch viewers) and I didn't have time to fix them.
Sever 1.42.0 is on its way and has some good things including:
- Snapshot to postcard failure :
- Threaded region crossings & teleports enabled.
- When avatars teleport or cross into a region, or objects cross from one region to another, part of the processing is now handled in another thread This should help reduce the lag experienced when other avatars enter the region you are on.
15 August 2010
All Roads Lead to Rome
An example of my internet surfing, which often leads down the same street:
I watched Molly's "Beat It" link...
which reminded me I like the Red Army Choir so I watched several old and newish videos ending with "Kalinka"...
which reminded me I like listening to Ombra mai fu, so I listened to a few versions, ending with Enrico Caruso, which I played 768787959568 times because it's so good.
/me goes back and plays it 56654 times. Opera is better than everything else.
The extreme weather systems causing flooding in Eastern Europe, China, Pakistan, and heat in other regions including a Russia singed by wildfires, are reportedly due to the jetstream moving in a wiggly way.
'“The problem with this jet stream is that it hasn't been straight, it’s actually had these huge ripples on it, these huge meanders, and because it's meandered so strongly then it's brought very different weather to places that don't expect it,” says meteorologist Brian Hoskins.' -3news.co.nz
Internet surfer Molly Montale sent me the link to this:
Qarl has joined Modular Systems to build Emerald, so that makes me want to reread LGG's blogpost and rethink things. He's just too important. I just heard the news, and immediately thought, "Emerald will have flexi-sculpts." Ages ago I downloaded the flexisculpt viewer, but that obviously never went anywhere as it was forever ago.
/me can hear Candide say, "Sculpties are the debbil."
We had 1.XX (fundamental viewer) and Snowglobe (experimental viewer), then V2 (just a mental viewer) - but now LL is trying to harness the opensource community for a project called Snowstorm:
"Linden Lab spent the better part of the last two years revamping the Second Life Viewer to create Viewer 2. Some of the changes were important new features, and some were controversial - some were both. The bulk of the design and engineering work was done with only limited, indirect participation from the open source and resident communities, which has left many in those communities feeling alienated and disenfranchised.
In recent months we have released both Viewer 2 and a 2.1 update; Linden Lab has also been through a major reorganization. We are now evaluating the results of all of this work, and we are making significant changes to the way we design and build the viewer.
Linden Lab has created a new team whose goal is to develop the Second Life Viewer in the open and in response to the needs of our Residents."
Sounds good. I'll be downloading it and trying its first iteration as soon as I backup every chatlog and setting in case it does what the V2 Beta did (wipe everything from the normal viewer - well that was when I uninstalled it, but better safe than sorry).
I'm going to have to work on my aversion to Essbee Linden; She was featured in videos extolling the virtues of V2, and somehow without wanting to I now get queasy when I see her name (no, I'm not joking).
SLCC video of a presentation about V2 - which is kind of weird because the first section's kind of an explanation of why V2 sucks, given by major V2 dev Q Linden remotely from a rehabilitation facility where he's recovering from a stroke. One might think the stress of the reorganisation must've contributed to his infirmity. I'd like all alphabet Lindens to adopt real names, please, as single letters scream "FU" at customers, and double letters are not much better.
The middle and latter parts (and you can hear then being very careful about phrasing) is explaining how they'll work, how customers are included, how things are open for scrutiny and involvement, and how they know they were working the wrong way before but they will do it the right way now and please help.
A questioner brought up what I've been saying about focused user-groups to aid UI development, so that's being thought about.
On the whole it was something to be pleased about, and made things seem much less crazed than at any time since the massacre. (They need to stop the massacring now, by the way. I keep getting worried about various people and I'm sure they are sick of me asking if they are ok.)
The only flat note to me was when someone asked a question about viewer considerations for the vision-impaired user, and was assured that the issue is understood to be very important with team-members having long-standing commitments to inclusion and disability issues. That rang falsely since V2 has, since its first appearance, been unuseable by the vision-impaired (or even some aging eyes) as it's grey on dark grey with microscopic icons. They did say they are now working with Gentle Heron to increase its usability, and want to fold TPV improvements into the code, but I'd rather not be fed a glib line about former degrees of commitment as it's obvious there was none.
There's a new browser made specifically for Indians, called Epic.
It has a sidebar =========:O
Massively has an article about A Tale in the Desert, which I've popped in on a couple of times (well, I tried to get started with it twice but just wound up uninstalling). It's interesting to me how it has resolutely improved and refined what is, most people would say, a dubious game (crafting and cooperation in Ancient Egypt) requiring a lot of hours input. You'd think I would like it, what with my odd interest in Human-Age (which at the Middle Ages level is cooperation and crafting and markets), but no.
I need a different theory as my "evil game devs creating addictive games that waste countless human hours in order to garner millions of 25 cent pieces to the detriment of humanity" doesn't quite fit. H-A in particular isn't very addictive, and seems to have a customer base of grown-ups who are often in high-stress jobs (so they enjoy the light involvement as a getaway), or people using the game to learn a language - also not time wasted. I suppose some pastimes are just brain massage when people are mentally tired of dealing with modern life. Before I became ill I was so physical that I had to alternate painting with hard physical work or burst; I suppose there might be a similar effect going on here (a change is as good as a rest?). Although I always think of ATITD as anti-addictive, in fact repulsive, I may have the wrong idea - but, I am not tempted (much) to go back and see.
June 2004 : EEK
June 2006: Vast Improvement
Ideally I'd have 2008 and 2010 but I don't (I could go and see, though, I suppose). If you are interested in its changes have a look at Massively's article or have a look at their video embedded below.
If you use Emerald it would be a good idea to STOP NOW.
14 August 2010
Teen Grid Closing
16-17 tears olds will port to Agni.
HTTP asset-handling has been enabled (it was a menu item before but not used except for the map), and a Linden had this to say:
"From a performance standpoint you should begin to see better texture download times. Reducing our dependency on the simulator for these requests and eventually directing them to a services layer will also improve the reliability of those requests. Textures and objects represent about 90% of downloads to the Viewer. That means that any Viewer bugs that hamper the performance of textures and objects make a big difference when it comes to lag.
We found and corrected a bug in the latest version of Viewer 2.1. (This particular bug has been present for a while and also exists in the 1.23 code base.) The bug was related to object retrieval, and was causing object requests to bypass the cache and constantly make requests for those objects to the asset system. Generally, most residents frequent the same regions, and the objects in those regions are cached locally so that they can be downloaded very quickly, improving overall rez time. It’s only when objects are changed (not very frequent), or when you visit different regions, that a request for objects are made back to the asset system. So, download Viewer 2.1 and you should notice an appreciable improvement in performance."
13 August 2010
More usual August weather.
Somewhat rough week. Heigh-ho.
12 August 2010
Four Deformations of the Apocalypse
"Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses, too. But the new catechism, as practiced by Republican policymakers for decades now, has amounted to little more than money printing and deficit finance — vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes.
This approach has not simply made a mockery of traditional party ideals. It has also led to the serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy. More specifically, the new policy doctrines have caused four great deformations of the national economy, and modern Republicans have turned a blind eye to each one."
"The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing — as suggested by last week’s news that the national economy grew at an anemic annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter. Under these circumstances, it’s a pity that the modern Republican Party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach — balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline — is needed more than ever"
----David Stockman, a director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan.
Phantom limbs aren't rare, exactly, but this case has a twist: it's a third arm "growing" from the patient's chest.
Labels: Phantom limb syndrome
11 August 2010
And now for some thrashy punk from the Necros...
I used to go see bands all the time, mostly at the Backstage or Midnight Sun, mostly garage bands. Often I'd go alone, but it was more fun with my friends the Monsters (who met while working for Bill Graham and had their first date at a Butthole Surfers concert). Bands were always easily divided into YAY! and yawn. Part of it was the energy they generated; most of it was the music. Susan and I would discuss it sometimes but it's hard to pin down - like trying the wrong key in a lock just won't open it, so yawn bands just... never ignite.
The Dandy Warhols were a YAY! (@ the Midnight Sun before they got famous), Subminute Radio were a YAY!, Love Battery, Built to Spill, Tad, Screaming Trees were all YAY! There were a billion yawns, most of which I can't remember (VitaminC was a yawn band that burned themselves into my brain by playing a thousand gigs, One Ton was a yawn - I just remembered that when I moved in here Mrs Downstairs I think was somehow related to One Ton; yawn band can definitely turn into YAY! bands but usually don't).
I'd never heard of the Necros, I don't think, but they had a lot of energy and the music works.
Playing Around with Masks in QTPro
QuickTime Pro has a lot of nice functions, but I hardly ever use its more interesting features. I'd never tried masks in QTPro until today, but first used it to crop the UI from some old clips shot in V2, then used it to make an oddly shaped video from an unedited Melt clip. I also tried making a more elaborate mask but it was a big fail - probably too complex (big file), I suppose.
To make a mask you can take a still from your clip and open it in a graphics editing program such as Photoshop. It's a good way to start as then you can see what needs to go where, but if you are doing something simple you can wing it and just start with a blank canvas (I used the same size as my movie - I'm not sure if it would work or not with another size).
QuickTimePro's masking uses a black and white image in a format like gif, bmp, jpeg. Black parts will be visible video; white parts will be masked. Here's a cool thing: When you add a mask it shrinks to the unmasked area - creating a crop effect that has to be exported to be fixed and not just a reversable effect.
To crop the top UI bar out of my clip I covered the bar area of my screenshot with white and the video with black. I saved it as a gif, without doing anything to the settings. Back in QTPro I looked at Window --> Show Movie Properties and clicked Video Track to get a tab for Visual Settings. On that pane there's a big white square waiting for you to drop a mask on it. I dropped my mostly-black-with-a-white-bar-over-the-UI gif onto the square (well to be honest I just opened it with Choose) and the video immediately cropped itself. I exported it.
The odd shape was just a quick one that I did when my elaborate mask failed, but you get the idea: it was a big, black shape on a white ground, saved as a gif and applied in the same way. Cropping alone is very useful, but there's scope for much more with this easy mask function.
10 August 2010
UPDATE: ZOMG I JUST SAW THIS
Labels: Introduction to Time Travel
08 August 2010
Gwyneth LLewelyn pointed out this page of LL employee reviews of their workplace.
Looking at a few "Advice to Senior Management" notes, it seems employees feel a lack of direction and too much confusion in the hierachy. Waste of money, poor customer service, hubris, isolation, and lack of communication are criticisms, while the positive remarks focused on intelligent coworkers and the "cool product" factor.
After I gave up on the idea of SL being foremost for customers, I decided LL must just be making a nice place to work for their employees. That wasn't my fave, but at least it was something. Some of the employees seem to suffer from the same things we suffer, though, so it seems to be reduced to being a disfunctional corporate society.
06 August 2010
and my sister's birthday.
05 August 2010
Burn your sculpties in honour of Qarl.
Remarks re the unbelievable news about Qarl:
"my Whiskey Tango Foxtrot meter blew up on this one." - Jase Byrne
"Second Life is doomed." - Ryker Beck
Another Sick-making Blow
Qarl is gone.
04 August 2010
Fast, Easy, and Fun
To me, "fast, easy, and fun" refers to the way the necessary structural elements should get out of the way so that what we want to do is possible, enjoyable, and immersive. It means not needing to use a hundred workarounds to do things that should function invisibly. Take group chat, which was used as an example. If group chat functioned reliably, so much so that one never needed to worry or wonder if a message would get through, my SL would be improved a great deal.
"Fast, easy, and fun" seems a good focus. "This is our company's effort over the next few quarters" - means it isn't a permanent commitment to stripping away complexity, just a readjustment to get things back on track. I love Second Life, too, and what I love about it is the very complexity that allows us to create hitherto unimagined things, and which serves as a catalyst to learning new skills. The pleasure I take in learning how to do things like make animations is very valuable to me, but I'm unlikely to put forth the effort unless I have a reason to do it. SL opens up a dimension in which fantastic projects can be realised, and for such projects learning new skills is not just necessary but also part of the fun.
All of us who love SL are used to hacking our way through the underbrush to get to the hidden temple because we know it's there: we found it long ago or someone showed us or told us about it. For many new people the underbrush is all they see, and they don't know there is anything else. I think Linden Lab is just doing a little gardening.
Usually in August there's no weather - that is, it all looks like Thursday. I remember my brother looking at a weather report here and saying with great superiority, "In Australia there would be satellite pictures," which there would be here but not in a normal effing AUGUST with 30 days of Thursdays and absolutely nothing to show. However this year it's all wonky and it's been hard to sit outside on most days woithout feeling chilled. It's the start of the Candidian Ice Age for sure.*
*Candide predicts an ice age.
Lake just now
I have a neuro appt at the end of the month; I don't do doctors as a rule, but I'm motivated by CCSVI and exploring a technologically advanced foot-drop system to see if anything (I doubt it) is possible. I don't like neuros because they are negativity carriers whose usefulness is far outweighed to me by that trait, so I'm trying to prepare myself a bit.
One way is just rereading the EDSS and trying to fit myself into it, which doesn't work well because of hemiplegia not being what it seems to take into account. I was a bit startled to see a graph showing average time at each numbered state (1 being great and 10 being "death due to MS"), which claims the average time spent at level 9.5 ("Totally helpless bed patient; unable to communicate effectively or eat/swallow") is three years. Three years?
Most people with MS are acutely aware that waiting isn't possible (see above) and that even being a guinea pig or trying something that works partially or only for a few people is preferable to doing nothing. Of course, each person has his or her views on things as well as the individual disease course that makes MS difficult to deal with, and not every person has just one disease to deal with, which also changes options and results.
I'm keeping an open mind about CCSVI, and am exploring the avenues closest before considering those further away. This is the only thing so far that has made any sense at all to me, so I'd be giddy if I could do it, but I'm teetering on the brink of a precipice here.
One reason I don't like Viewer2's sidebar is that I only have use of my left hand (but I'm not left-handed). It's permanently docked on the right, not that I'd like it better on the left, I suppose. I find the fiddly little icons hard to hit with my imprecise mousing. I've always dreamt a little of a separate auxiliary screen - a small touch-screen perhaps - that holds inventory and switches to appearance when needed. And anything else, I suppose. That would be nice but I'm not holding my breath.
Os of the Day Before
Labels: Os of the Day
03 August 2010
This seems significant to me:
Personality in Guild Wars
By a GW designer, Curtis Johnson.
"In Guild Wars 2, we’re going even further to make the out-of-combat experience a role playing experience by introducing “personality” as a player character role. How you respond to other characters develops and changes your personality over time, letting you affect how the game treats you. Personality is your character’s attitude toward others; it grows and changes as you play through your personal story and as you adventure in the persistent world."
"Personality choices are entirely designed to customize the experience and have the world echo your personality but not to block you from content. Unlike story choices, your personality is constantly changing; so, while you might play the brute today, you could at any time begin to reform your ways, rally the troops, fight the good fight, and eventually go back through the same areas you had previously visited and receive different reactions from the inhabitants."
Hair seems ok. I'm not a fan of piercings. Ugly tattoo.
Hope he gets something out of this.
Newspapers Retract 'Climategate' Claims, but Damage Still Done
"A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on, as Mark Twain said (or “before the truth gets a chance to put its pants on,” in Winston Churchill’s version), and nowhere has that been more true than in "climategate." In that highly orchestrated, manufactured scandal, e-mails hacked from computers at the University of East Anglia’s climate-research group were spread around the Web by activists who deny that human activity is altering the world’s climate in a dangerous way, and spun so as to suggest that the scientists had been lying, cheating, and generally cooking the books."
Continue reading the article HERE.
02 August 2010
The Oregon Trail
Try your luck at the site above.
01 August 2010
A Stasi listener knows the reason behind his orders to dig up incriminating material against a famous writer. As the pivot-point between the corruption of the state and the those he listens to, he can - if he dares - form his own opinion and act as an individual. I see this film as an instructional for the present and future, not simply a rewriting of history or a good yarn.
Reading a short story marred by anachronisms, like referring to a "kiwi," which came from an adman's renaming of the Chinese gooseberry (one name, anyway) to "kiwifruit" in what - the sixties? Unless, of course, the writer meant the character was eating a bird (not that he would've had either).
Too bad because the story was spoiled a few things like that. It makes me think about our view of times past, and how we can get the wrong ideas entirely, which perpetuate themselves through things like short stories. My "...and also rodents and unicorns," and "the smell of a waterfall" in my time travel movie was meant to show that not-quite-accurate picture times in the future have for times gone by.
We need an SL rezday symbolism list like they have for marriages:
Rezday 2 = Obsessed = Gift = Additional RAM
Rezday 3 = Power User = Gift = New Computer
Rezday 4 = Burnt Out = Gift = Vacation
Rezday 5 = Jaded = Gift = Matches to Reignite the Magic
Rezday 6 = Disgusted = Gift = New Job
Rezday 7 = *This Space For Rent*
I don't really feel disgusted. What? No, I don't. Shut UP. I am trying to think of a better word, FWI. Shut UP.
Update: If I were it would be from LL competing with its customers, telling us SL is a place then treating it as a product, and a few other things like letting go people who mean a lot to the customerbase.