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30 June 2010




Babbage Linden: As a result of the recent restructuring, linden lab has decided not to go forward with the addition of C# support at this time.

29 June 2010

Waiting for the Second Life Blogorums
(which are closed today)

Enjah's iPhone painting of the eclipse.

28 June 2010

“They don't even know what they're protesting,” said a cop.
“Yes I do,” said one.
“This,” she said.

Fun Times

Locked myself out of the house HOURS AGO and only got back in at 1-something :-(
I R zostipated.
I had to drive to the park'n'ride finally after trying everything, and call Lucia to get her to give me Jessica's number so I could call her - my phone wouldn't work and I didn't have Jess's number. What an ordeal. /me sporks herself

I never lock my doors - well, obviously I did today. Since the new door has been in I've kept it locked but made sure I had the key before leaving. I closed it today and immediately thought, oh nooooo. Anyway, J's new BF, who is very sweet, leapt lightly through the garage window onto the balcony and entered through the sliding doors, then let us in and J showed him some of my paintings.

I will have to get a spare key and hide it.

27 June 2010

Bill and Ben's Great Grandson
Raglan's Big Tree Inworldz - the arrow points to the duck (me).
I found this ancient picture from when all the plants/trees on the preview grid suddenly became jumborrific.
The end of Mari's Philiparade.

A Poem About WoW Written By Eavesdropping and Copy/Paste from a Wow Thread

druids are broken

over 5k GS, was hitting less than 2k DPS
*walks off, hanging head in shame*
--------(whispered: druids can't dps for shit against mages, pallys
--------druids are broken)
goddamn you and that fucking gearscore
gearscore means shit if you're not gearing properly
--------(whispered: druids can't dps for shit against mages, pallys
--------druids are broken)
a fully geared boomkin can't match the dps of a mage
on trash, mangle once to get CPs for savage roar
--------(whispered: druids can't dps for shit against mages, pallys
--------druids are broken)
stop using the pvp gear for pve
listen to me I am no scrub
--------(whispered: druids can't dps for shit against mages, pallys
--------druids are broken)

Ranch House BBQ

26 June 2010



25 June 2010

Good Hair

Five stars to this absorbing documentary that follows comedian Chris Rock on a journey examining Black hair and the industry surrounding it. Chris was motivated by a desire to understand what his two daughters will face culturally when one asked, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" Very funny, but reveals things* I had no clue about, and has a core of sadness.

* I'm just not a hair person, perhaps because I had long, straight, golden-blonde tresses. I have heard the word "weave" but I had no idea about it, frankly.


As pointed out by HBA, here are
20 Stunning Examples of Physics Simulations

24 June 2010

No More Single Letter Names
Single letter names shout out a big "FU" to customers.

I think fortunes can rise and fall due to customer mood and perception, so even if nothing else changes having Philip back will make make things a bit more prosperous. If the company is in trouble there's nothing that could equals that bang for the buck.

Of course, I'm glad he's back as he's the visionary. Nowhere did I read that he disagreed with the direction and decisions of the past two years, and there's no point speculating, but he has the right brand of moonshine and fairy dust that SL needs right now.

As I've said before I think SL's placeness (ritual, stability, repetition, continuity) should be fostered; that will draw people as they will then be able to formulate plans and budgets. After the world is filled with people then businesses will want to come in. Until then LL needs to stay small, not compete with their customers, and work on grid stability and adding browser experiences. It's an awful loss for SL, the place, that an elder statesman like Blue is gone, and I truly believe LL needs are very different from SL's and in fact can damage it. It's a potentially huge loss that Babbage, who must surely have a deep understanding of SL's intricacies, will likely be gone soon. Unless LL is somehow sidestepping the problem rather than needing to fix it, I can't see how that will help anything. We can't know how necessary these cuts were, but it's probably safer to imagine them as crucial for survival.

23 June 2010

On NWN Hamlet says:

"Multiple sources tell me that more major executive changes at Linden Lab are coming very soon. Specifically, that Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon, known as M Linden in-world, is leaving the company, and Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, known as Philip Linden in-world, is returning to the company he founded to take a managerial position. These are unconfirmed reports, I hasten to say, so I'm checking with the company and other sources now. Perhaps related to this news (or not), Mark Kingdon was scheduled to speak in-world at the 7th anniversary of Second Life's launch today, but abruptly cancelled due to an unstated "emergency". Philip Linden appeared in his place."

Although most of the damage is done, maybe LL could rethink their proposed closing of their Brighton branch as we really need the work they've been doing there.

How Second Life Really Began

I'm Unreasonable
yes I know
*As usual I am FOS*

I used to think we were all one, so to speak, because I believed the hype (I know, I know). Then it was like an adopted child finding out not only that he was adopted, but that, "Well, Johnny, you are ten and it's time you began paying your way." "But... Mary doesn't!" "She's one of us." Unfortunately, I loved SL but SL didn't love me back. After that I thought, "I suppose making a nice place to work for employees is a worthy thing," since I didn't want to see LL as just a company. I wanted SL to be the "place" that Philip said it aspired to be, if not for us then at least for someone, but it isn't that, either.

There's a translation between LL and SL that isn't working at all, since the two identities are mixed up together. LL needs to be a company concerned with staying afloat in a harsh economy, but it would be more useful to customers if SL had some placeness to it, and wasn't just LL with a sheepskin tied on its back.

There should be great deliberation in altering the world's rules and laws since that's what people build their plans upon. There should also be care taken in the way LL interfaces with its customers, in particular that the messages should not conflict and forward-facing LL employees who, after all, are part of the placeness, part of SL to us, should not be part of cost-cutting layoffs. The good will and relationships they have built up are part of SL, not LL, and if LL doesn't value those - then it needs to make a buffer government or something, as it doesn't understand its customers needs. Right now everything is jumbled up and it's no wonder there is confusion.

Blood-Brain Barrier
I can see it work if there were a forward-facing cadre of people interacting between LL and SL's customers, but only if they have some degree of independence - a blood-brain barrier. Maybe they'd be paid according to Supply Linden's financial success, or something, like base pay but automatic bonuses when Supply made above X. I dunno, I'm tired and need to phlop.

Another thing: that entire agility concept as applied to business is the opposite of what is needed to foster placeness - it's the opposite of what SL requires. Placeness is fostered by ritual, deliberation, repetition, value built over time, growth over time. Agility says you can lay off one-third of your employees, that it's us versus them, instantaneous change, I'm-all-right-Jack. Agility is fine for LL if it can keep its identity separate from that of SL, but it has never done that.

Philip filled in for an absent M at SL7B

I forgot to go - I meant to. Well, except I was there before Philip spoke on Monday and left because the lag was unpleasant, so maybe I would not've stayed even had I remembered and gone.

Some think (hope, perhaps) it means M's head will roll, but it might just be because his presence would attract trouble. You would think it would be hard to undo the profitability of a company that can print its own momey, but there we are.

We certainly don't have any information to go on. Actually it might've been useful if Philip had said, "M can't be here because the office was evacuated due to the fire alarms going off," rather than leave people to make things up.

22 June 2010

Don't Laugh This is Serious Business
As pointed out by Dakota on SCmkII, ThinkGeek has received a 12 page cease-and-desist document from the National Pork Board regarding TG's sales pitch for canned unicorn meat, which refers to it as "the new white meat."

Emma mobscene screenshot on Massively

Hah! Here's Fauxvia in 2004!
2004 - The areas seemed to be more individual, in a way. It definitely looks much better today, yet I wonder if I could find any of those old, unique settlements. Maybe they are there but spiffier.
2004 - buying ammo or something, I suppose.
2004 - crude avatars.
Entropia has changed a lot.


Chasing Emma
Entropia got kick-ass vehicles today, and company representative Emma zipped around the world giving them to a select few at each stop. Vehicle fever was high and scores of players teleported around madly in search of the elusive woman.
Nice. As with everything in Entropia they'll be expensive to run, though.
Players making an offering to the MindArk gods. Car! Cars! Cars!
Found! Emma is under the mob and I'm just about to crash (it was laggy wherever she went).
Vehicle Commissioning Terminal
At last it ends. I never managed to snag one, but it was fun nevertheless.
Fauxvia had an admirer :-D


21 June 2010

Goat Kneecaps

Years ago I started playing a dopey little game called Human Age, which is a French game that was just then getting started in its English version of its first age. As the dev worked on it, first the new age would be in the French version, then it would be translated by volunteers and come out as an English version. I have no clue what the appeal was, aside from the wry names they gave things, and the amusing descriptions of events. I went from being a cave woman to what - a Celtic villager, then an Egyptian, I think. Enj joined and we were married (required for the game in some ages) a couple of times. She leveled up to the Greek Age, but I languished in Egypt helping her alt build a pyramid :-D

Then Enj left, but I persevered and joined the Medieval Age when it opened. There is super complex gameplay, yet nothing at all is stated; we have to figure everything out by trial and error. The main beef with the last age was that certain quests were nearly imposible to do, which seemed to be a way to force players to buy special game busting gods (I never have put one penny into the game, anyway), however the quests in MA are as near-impossible yet without any way to by-pass a step even for filthy lucre.

Did I say it's complex? Each of the clans (I've been an Egghead from the get-go, although our name changes as the ages proceed) has a kingdom, a capital city, and may build villages. One chooses a trade. Everything depends upon everything and everyone else, and I get the sense of the dev thinking, "THAT should keep them busy for a while." Everything can be stolen, and currently other clans are attempting to steal our relics. I must send fifty PMs a day, as we all fuss about our iron ingots and feeding our swine. I recently got married (Ha ha!) to someone who decided it would be a good idea (me: I'm actually a woman, I just didn't like the character picture for women.* Her: I don't care - in fact I usually play as a man but hit the wrong button.). I don't know where she's from - for many players it's a very useful tool to aid in learning English, but I actually have no excuse whatsoever and really just play it out of habit - plus I got to name my monkey Doctor Fireball after my old Turkish camel-game camel, whose memory lives on untarnished :-D

* which is very peculiar in the breast area.


Urgh jF Entropiaaaaa Update Fail
Ugh - that's so annoying, considering how jumbolacious it is.


"Kerning Man"
See the entire cartoon at Ted McCagg's website.


I have a scar on one ankle from a long-ago Midsummer when I was dancing around a bonfire and a coal popped out and (don't ask me how - I was about 9) burned its way into my flesh. It became infected and I was made to soak it in very hot water. Despite that I love Midsummer.

The Midsummer bonfire ceremony was at the (castle-like) home of my friend Oobay, whose father was a dynamite saleman. The family had a hundred children (more or less) and they were all brilliant and lively; their mother was an artist. In those days adults paid absolutely no attention whatsoever to children, so everything we did (moon-bathing, running across the treetops on wild grape vines, putting on plays, catching fireflies, leaping out of the trees onto an old mattress) was done as children, with zero adult input, knowledge, or supervision.

I often wonder how children manage these days when adults never leave them alone for a minute. I spent very little of my time with adults when I was young and would've hated being controlled - perhaps they don't feel that, though. Friends' children I have watched grow up are almost always from one or two child families, and have very strong egos that evolved from the child being the centre of attention and having its feelings considered. I did once attempt to have a conversation with Sam about Youth Symphony, but he had no clue what I was talking about when I asked him if he ever had stagefright. There was actually no way possible for me to please my parents, although I did always try, and I always considered the inevitable failure an indication of my own wretchedness; my parents had more in common with 19th century parents than 20th century parents.

Edited to add: Ha ha! Sorry, that's a long, long time ago and I just think about it to try to understand what's going on now.

From Philip's speech today at the SL7B opening:

"I think that Second Life — addressing that sort of core experience problem — I still think of Second Life and the past few years as being something like this: Second Life is this wonderful, beautiful city — once you're in it and you're having this amazing immersive experience, you're just totally blown away by it. But the city itself is surrounded by huge walls and a moat. It's like a medieval city. To actually get into it you have to invest an enormous amount of time and energy getting across that moat, and over the walls, and into this amazing new world of people inside that are waiting inside. And I think that in our excitement about the success of Second Life — in its amazing initial growth and the amazing things that you guys have done and that we've done together — we were getting ahead of ourselves a bit as a company and this is what we really talked about in this restructuring. We were building these sort of rickety — we were in many cases building these bridges and scaffoldings that sought to get different types of people across that moat and over those walls, whether we're talking about international Residents, or the community welcome areas, or enterprise or education users — we've been sort of building these little, thin bridges that try and quickly get everybody kind of over that wall and into Second Life. And of course, you can understand why we'd do that, because it's just so fantastic an experience once we can get people there.

But I think what we have to do — what I know is the kind of thinking that's informing our planning process going forward — is ask whether instead we can stop doing those many, many peripheral, highly usage-specific things to get people in here — and instead just take a step back, look at the basic problems that we are all faced by, and by fixing them, fill the moat. Tear down the walls. Stop trying to build over them. We have a product here that can deliver an unbelievable experience to everyone if we simply make the basic pieces of that experience work. Whether we're talking about how many people can stand together in a meeting like this, or how to put clothes on, or manage your inventory, or build basic objects inworld, or how voice works, how parcel media works, live music — all of these basic features are things that are amazing experiences when you can have them, but they're not easy enough yet. They're not — they just in many cases don't completely work, and we — it's so easy to get ahead of ourselves as a company and forget that. So going back to those basics and just trying to make this thing work for all of us is what you can expect to see from us next."

20 June 2010



This Peruvian/Spanish film reminds me of The Whicker Man, Hukkle, and Terribly Happy in a way. It isn't meant to be a documentary or a film evoking the true Peru, but is just a powerful story set in a remote Peruvian village (and why not?). It's received heat and been called a racist view of indigenous Peruvians, but I accepted it as a single, off-beat story, not somehow a revelation of anything.


Frans Charming has a blogpost about the temporary lifting of the NDA binding mesh testers in Second Life. Although the NDA was reinstated quickly it does indicate that meshes may be arriving fairly soon.

19 June 2010

I was watching Nobody Knows the other day when the Netflix stream cut out at about 1hour 15min. It's a very good film, so now, since I can't restart the stream I'm downloading it so I can watch the rest of it.

Update: It's on YT as well so I'm watching it there. It's incredibly poignant.

The last DVD I had was a film I'd always wanted to see, The Magdelene Sisters, which is also very good.

Labels: ,

Tiny World Cup
Raglan Shire vs Elf Clan

EC won, then later it was discovered that a RS player had crashed at the end so Eren forfeited our last goal and we ended with a 5-5 tie. I was goalie during the first half, which was fun.
Raglan's team the Terrors
Elf Clan's team the... I forget ===:O I'll think of it in a minute.
...and at the happy tie ending.


[9:45] gazmatron Warrhol: help me find love

gazmatron Warrhol has offered to become your friend in Second Life.
Would you be my friend?
Log in to accept or decline the offer.


18 June 2010

Doc's been working on numbers and I've been working on animations, and the first group of Robot Series cards will be out before too long, entering beta to have their affect on the game analysed. So far, in the few games I've played with them against Fantasy and Horror Series demo decks they've seemed effective especially against Horror, since they have the split defense.

Right now there are nine, and there needs to be some recoding before they are well and truly out, but we are getting close! Once the recode is done and running in the resorted arenas, it will be a matter of (and this is never easy) devising gameplay for new cards, as we have bazillions of images (and some robots yet to be snapped).

17 June 2010



Drat, 1.40 pilot sims rolled back :(

Sailing the H7 Seas
(trying to, anyway, although only Beagle seemed to be 1.40)

16 June 2010


Some people... were in the beta, and I hear *cough* that things ran very well.

All this type of thing had me wondering back then if it would cause major changes in SL, either OnLive itself or some similar way of doing things. I dunno (because I know absolutely nothing), but I did wonder if the upcoming changes in the way data is handled would be a go-around for long-term issues holding up the growth of SL, and make LL suddenly hare off in a different direction.

LOL-worthy Old Dancing w/ God Statues





Now two osprey are chasing a bald eagle :-D

I looked up and saw a bald eagle chasing an osprey - it was very fast going in a straight line, but as always the osprey began swerving and eluding its attacks with agility, all the time rising to keep the eagle from being in a position to stoop. I've seen this a dozen or more times, but it always takes my breath away.

I just had to go and put on my hoodie as I was freezing. I bought this NBN hoodie just before the heat went out for however long it was in Dec/Jan. I was glad I had it, and I'm fond of it, but it's June, now, and shouldn't it be sitting on a hanger somewhere? I went groceterialisationing yesterday and wound up having to put it on though I'd gamely started out without.

Anji's winter is warmer than my summer today.


Modern Life, Complexity of

A comment on the PopSci article about Chatroulette's plan to start using a penis recognition algorithm says: '

"image-recognition software that will filter out shots of male genitalia"

Why do I get the impression that these same wierdo's will start to dress up their penis in odd costumes to bypass the software?

Kind of like when people started using cyber-slang to bypass forum filters and such.'

Havok 7
Lil Linden says: "Server 1.40 will be piloting this week and deploying in full next week; apologies for the late notice. The big ticket item in this release is the new version of the Havok physics engine (version 7). This has been a very complex piece of software to plug into our system, and has spent much time baking in QA. Still, if you are part of the pilot and notice any physics bugs, please file a Jira to let us know."

There's an osprey hunting directly in front of my window :-D

15 June 2010

Sad party at Dublin to say goodbye to some of our fave Lindens

I suppose I'll have to jettison V2 and go back to KLee's, as it's becoming difficult to tell what is a bug and what is just an intentional but bizarre change.

There's no File - Create - Sort on my betaV2 inventory pane and uploads, etc. on the Inventory pane are accessed by the little cross at the bottom, which is fiddly. Yes, uploads can be accessed in Build, but why were the other things moved?

Is that how it was intended to be? I can't tell anymore. There are some good reorganisations of menu items in V2, and some good things I'm used to and have forgotten are new, I bet, but there are also quite a few clumsy/klunky aspects like the media controls.

Also Appearance is on the fixed sidebar.

I was willing to bang my head against the wall because I wanted to be able to talk to my Ambat noobs without a Tower of Babel situation, but if if V2 is headed inexorably towards the changes in the beta I might get off the bus. Conversely, since T is gone the future of V2 seems unsure, so maybe it would be wasted head-banging.

13 June 2010

This Evening's Entertainment
Salazar gave an airship ride to Enj, Violet, Mari, and me. I'm using the beta viewer which crashed a few times and didn't seem to be truly connected. It has seriously ruined the upload function as uploads are access by digging through a tiny icon. There are some useful things about V2 - the rearranging of info into more logical positions is ok, but other things like needing to dig, dig, dig are awful, and the acres of black obscuring my view of SL are unwelcome.
Molly and I ducked around at RMB City's Naked Idol, which was not terribly entertaining.

lordvictor tweets:

@MLindenSL You have been taking everything unique about SL and turning into everything that's bland and stale about "Social Media."

@MLindenSL Want to know why growth is slowing? Because you're moving your product into a saturated market #SL

The Road to More Door

The carpenter rang me yesterday. Apparently Mr. Landlord was trying to get hold of him with the wrong cell number, but finally emailed. We discussed the door, which came from the door company with 0% matching, was installed correctly (I saw it), then proceeded to sag mightily.

Me: The man from the door company came here and looked at it. He creeped me out.
Him: After the way I was treated when I went there (when ordering the door) I told Mr. Landlord he needed to deal with them himself.
Me: Are there other local door companies?
Him: Yes; the one I usually work with was $20 over the bid of this one. This door (which cost over $500*) was out of square and is a POS. It's probably that the hinge screws (the door and frame were built by the door company) were stripped or something.

He's coming out on Tuesday to address the issue, which is not of his making.

* You'd think a stupid door, which is not exactly a difficult thing to build, would A) cost less than that, and B) should actually work correctly.

12 June 2010

Correct Me If I'm Wrong

It feels like LL has been secretly experimenting with aversion techniques, lately, to make their customers go away. I love Second Life dearly, but much that's gone on in the past year has struck at the heart of my ability to feel like it's more than just a business. I remarked to Zayn a couple of months ago that it felt like living inside Monsanto; I've never wanted to make my home inside a corporation.

But what are the changes that have made me lose joy? What is it I want, and what do other people want? I'm notoriously unreasonable and impractical, but perhaps that isn't rare.

Starting from the beginning, I think that the qualities I liked about SL were:
  • It was possible to be creative - in fact it was necessary.
  • It attracted interesting people.
  • It was like seeing inside people's heads in a way - things they were passionate about were made manifest.
  • The company was small and scrappy, cheerful and eager to help things happen.
  • The company was not in competition with us - they made the platform and we made the content, we all benefited. It was very clear.
  • It was new, we felt we were all in it together, all with the same goal (I, for one, listened to what they told us was good practise and tried to comply i.e. not over-using the torus shape, being careful with physical objects).
  • As an artist who might spend hours experimenting with materials and ideas, I didn't see it as an odd, time-wasting activity. It was exercising creative muscles, with a social bonus.
Things that were mixed or not good:
  • The ability to make money was fun, but it brought out the unscrupulous; the fabulous freedoms we had, the incentives placed to promote growth, were all gamed and abused.
  • Most people were kind to each other, but restrictions had to be enacted because a few could be horrible.
  • A lot of what people wanted to make manifest was things they'd seen elsewhere (although I didn't recognise most of it since I don't have a television and don't play most games).
  • The structure was pretty obviously not firmly based, which was worrisome if, like me, your desire was for a permanent place (if the company goal was for a temporary thing I suppose it didn't matter to them).
  • Because they were breaking new ground the consequences of policies were unknown.
As time went on it felt like:
  • Lindens had to deal with an overwhelming amount of awful stuff from customers and griefers.
  • When LL asked for customers to apply to build things, or otherwise participate, the response was luke-warm.
  • There was hype ("ZOMG SL IS ALL THINGS GOOD!"), and too many people believed it (contrary to what most people think though, I believe businesses like, say, Pontiac got their money's worth in positive advertising due to their SL involvement).
  • Some people began making things purely to make money, while others used their business to support their tier so they could have land to build on.
  • It wasn't as new, and people were getting burnt out (once you've seen Atlantis five times it starts to pall) - which makes for churn in both customers and employees, and also means long-term employees might just be a bit jaded.
  • Tragedy of the commons situations developed as no one had forseen things like prim hair with 200 cut toruses and, later, 200 resizer scripts with open listens, customers wearing five HUDs all scripted to the gills - and the creators didn't care; the purchasing customers didn't understand.
  • Tech solutions were slow in coming as SL was a hugely complex program, every bit of it was crucial to someone and often in unexpected ways, people capitalised on bugs and fixing them broke content, there was almost no downtime except for emergencies, and the tangles in the code made things harder.
  • Shopping inworld was usual, but SLBoutique and SLExchange allowed shopping when not inworld.
  • The lines started to blur; that fine, linear clarity (THEY make the platform, WE make the content) was lost. Although they'd always made little pokes in that direction (Boardman, for instance), most Linden content was, to me, a way for there to be shared memories/experiences in the fast-changing SL world, and not a serious threat to customers.
  • Codework on the viewer by community-minded residents including Nicholaz Beresford, Barney Boomslang, and Henri Beauchamp was largely ignored by LL for some reason.
  • GLIntercept and copybot caused the people interested in making money to go absolutely apeshit.
Important events occurred:
  • LL began the Lindex (which shocked me at the time as I remembered Robin saying they would never be involved in money in that way) on the ashes of GOM (self-immolation more than anything else, I think), which was more or less ok.
  • SL was made free to join.
  • Inworld Help was done away with.
  • Wonderful innovations and much-needed features appeared: sculpties, WindLight, HUDs, multiple-select in inventory, ripples, shadows, and much more - which was great except some were heavy-duty users of computing resources making it a bigger first step for new people (my computer when I joined was a new, quite capable one that I'd had built for gaming, but at the time I joined even crappy 'puters could limp along; now someone with a medium-level computer or even a fast one with a bottleneck or problem graphics card will log in for the first time and see acres of grey). Very new cards are (understandably) not recognised by the viewer, so graphics quality upon first login may be set very low as a consequence.
  • Gambling was halted due to credit card company concerns.
  • LL moved billing to the UK, causing a tier hike for customers responsible for paying the VAT.
  • LL brought out four packs of sims light, which were heartily received. Unscrupulous land dealers didn't bother to inform prospective tenants of the sim type. In some cases the light sims were given heavier use than they could manage, in others they provided a lower cost option for people who wanted to manifest their dreams.
  • The global economy soured.
  • An incompatibility between educators/corporations wanting a sex and violence-free virtual world and the bulk of customers who wanted to experiment freely with whatever they could think of led to the creation of Zindra, the adult continent, and the subsequent forced march. SL has a series of mainland continents that are connected only through teleportation; given that things aren't connected anyway, it might've been better to have a separate edu/business grid. I've never been into the whole sex thing in SL, and I'm sure there are things that would be distasteful to me, but consider if you will that people like goofing around with sex either seriously or for laughs, and not everyone is able - even physically able - to have sex in real life. Touching and eye-moistening as is the thought of the paraplegic whose first steps can only happen in virtual reality, how much different is that from the paraplegic whose only chance to experience anything even similar to physical love is in a virtual world?
More time passed:
  • Some of the new Lindens were not even as familiar with SL as customers (I remember saying to Tedd in about 2006, "They don't make Lindens like they used to," as I'd been talking to one on the Beta grid, telling him that copy-selected was not working in the version being tested, and he didn't know what copy-selected was).
  • SL was a job, not fun, for many content creators and Lindens.
  • There was backlash when the hype stopped (ZOMG SL IS EVERYTHING BAD!).
  • Tier was raised on islands.
  • Light sims were suddenly found to be bad and the monthly cost and parameters were changed drastically, which alienated people and caused the loss of many sims.
  • LL, to preserve their trademark, made rules that alienated the education community.
  • LL bought OnRez (SLBoutique) and XStSL (SLExchange), binned the former and turned the latter into a company shopping website.
  • Customers started to feel they were being "nickel and dimed" to death. They would create widgets on their land, paying tier to LL. They'd sell in XStSL and pay a percentage to LL. They'd buy or sell lindens through the Lindex and pay money to LL, pay for advertisements and search listings.
  • LL went into the content-creation business in a bigger way, leaving customers who were trying to pay their tier weith a little business feeling locked out in the cold.
I tired now I stop but continue later - meanwhile, leave me your thoughts but remember two things: I'm FOS (always), and I'm not finished.

Opensource Obscure said, "However, what I'd like best is actually Second Life being used on a global scale, say by 100 millions of users. And I guess that can only happen if there's a big corporation behind that works in an efficient way."

I would like lots of users, too. I think the thing, to me, is that the changes needed to scale SL up shouldn't turn it into something unrecognisable. I think there has been wasted effort; growth has been too fast, and on an unstable base. A certain amount of floundering around is probably unavoidable in a brand new concept, but it's time to stop that. They need to look at who is in SL, how it's used, and what draws people. For me it combines creative with social - an absolutely unique combination, one I value highly, and one I will work to preserve (if I can).

A "big corporation that works in an efficient way" - I think very small but efficient is more suitable; a virtual world with user-generated content is a hard way to make money, I'd reckon, but with UGC the fewer corporate fingers in the pie the better.

I think that my needs are:
  1. The killer combination of creative and social aspects.
  2. An SL that is moving towards stability.
  3. A LL that doesn't compete with its customers. When it competes in a big way it gains in short term profits but it loses in the long run.
And LL's needs are:
  1. Expanding SL's user-base through two levels of access - the normal viewer and one that functions in a browser. Businesses go where there are potential customers; if LL concentrates on getting ordinary people eventually businesses will follow. I don't think they understand how they've offended their users and squandered tons of goodwill. Every colossal blunder was a dagger in the heart of people who love Second Life, but LL seemed oblivious.
  2. To know what SL is, who uses it, and why - and be able to operate efficiently and form plans that improve the service.
  3. To be satisfied with being small, until becoming large makes sense.
What do I know, of course. Nothing. I'm just making things up with no information at all, but I'm not alone in my love for Second Life.

11 June 2010

Some brilliant Escamillos:

Russian Red Army Choir - Toreador
and Crazy Music :-D Great dancing at the end


It's hard to be optimistic right now.
I'm trying, though.

10 June 2010

My trizzities went out at 4:45 and when it came on some time later I still had no internet.
The internet just came on!


Aviary, which has a suite of online image editors of various types, has just come out with Roc, a music creator.
/me stumbles over to try it out for a minute.

Weather Flip-Flop
in the key of C
in the key of F

09 June 2010

Thank You

Thank you, to all the Lindens, past and present, who believed in the original brilliant concept for Second Life, and worked so hard to make a virtual world into a real place full of friendships, dreams, creativity, love, and imagination.

New challenges await you; my best wishes go with you.



I was writing this post earlier and stopped when I had to do something else, intending to pick it up again and finish, but I'll just publish it unfinished.

Back at the dawn of time there was a mythical, much-longed-for idea: Second Life 2. we knew it wasn't happening, at least the Lindens kept telling us so, but we wanted it so badly, and it made so much sense, that no one could quite give up the belief entirely. In our mythical scenario LL let SL1 continue as it was, but shifted all their talent to a new ground-up, benefited-by-hindsight, clean and functional (not compatible with the old version, of course) SL2, which was being worked on in secret. Part of the reason we hoped for this was that early on things took ages to change - for instance, I built a shrine to Andrew and Havok in my cave in Bodega, and worshipped there often over the course of a number of years (it's still there). I remember Candide telling me that he was amazed I still believed Havok was being updated, as so much time had gone by.

Anyway, the SL2 myth made sense as it was a way to flush all the problem content that would be broken by fixes, build things solidly so they'd scale, apply rules from the start that would prevent some of the troubles from getting started, and perhaps other benefits from being able to build something with experience rather than pure experimentation. As time has gone on I think about the lessons of hindsight, which become clearer as the world takes shape from its rules - misshapen in some regards.


Locals and Tourists #103 (GTWA #83): Brisbane
Originally uploaded by Eric Fischer

A set of maps showing local and tourist photograph locations, this series is lovely in its tracery of human movement.

08 June 2010

Salt and Pepper Soulmates
It's the second marriage for both; I found the pear somewhere and just liked it by itself, then years later saw the apple for ten cents at a very crusty yard sale and knew I had some matchmaking to do.

Oooh - a stately blue heron just pedaled past my window :-D

Salazar Spotted in Olympia

What's up with his teef, though?

That must be Khamon Fate next to him.

07 June 2010

Recreated In Silico


When I was 37 I got sick, and everything changed for all time. I was being driven to breaking point by my husband of two years; in fact my life up to that time had been unrelieved stress although I didn't understand that at the time. The added weight of marital stress (I quickly grew to fear him and with good reason) was unbearable, and like a fox caught in a trap I gnawed my own paw off to get free. I had a slight mishap in April, became ill immediately and had double vision (which lasted for months) but no clue what it was. I had a show of my paintings in New York the next week, then flew back prepared to not be picked up at the airport (he'd said he wasn't going to).

I got off the plane and strangely, he was there - but I didn't recognise him at first. I was diagnosed very quickly - within days. Within days I was out of my job, out of the house, out my savings, and no longer who I thought I was, since at 37 I hadn't expected to suddenly lose everything that meant "me" to me. I tried to get back into my marriage all summer until finally he, enraged, dragged our marriage bed out onto the lawn in front of the house and with an axe chopped it up into pieces that can only be described as chips or flakes.

Still, I was alive. I was staying with my mother. One day I was talking to my brother-in-law on the phone and explained that everything was taking me so long. "There's one thing you can't put off. You need to file for a divorce." I did that very day, and had to serve the papers myself, which was traumatic. That was, oh, August or September, I think. I counted down the days until, after six months, it became final.

Wa He Lut
Shortly before that point I was hired by Wa He Lut on the basis of my portfolio. They sent me to a basket-weaving camp on the Hood Canal, at a retreat complex, and we learned how to weave baskets of cedar root, sweetgrass, bear grass, and cedar bark. Bruce Miller, Subiyay, of the Skokomish, was one of the teachers, and it was wonderful to learn from him. I created and ran a BIA-funded art program, and had fabulous students. I had to keep detailed files, and send progress reports, to which I'd often add "Hats off to (student name)!" or similar. I dragged a few students around the region to be mentored (Pete Peterson mentored a few).

I started trying various alternate medical treatments. I was on the Dr. Swank diet for six years, which is a difficult diet to remain on. Lucia prodded me into trying apitherapy, which I did for a (three months?) while (most ever stings at one time = 68). And various other things. In a certain amount of physical and mental pain, I had difficulty keeping my mind from bursting into flames. I realised the reaction to the illness was more harmful at that point than the illness itself, and looked for ways to calm my mind. I read about a device that used sound/light to alter brainwaves, and bought one. It helped.

The Journey to Wild Divine
Some years later I read in a magazine of guided healing and meditation software with biofeedback called The Journey to Wild Divine, so I bought it. It was brand new, and as usual I knew no one with any interest in or knowledge of it, but it appealed to me (aside from the graphics, which are like being trapped in a Kinkade). It wasn't always possible for me to get a signal on my dead hand, but sometimes I could.

In 2003 I read that a virtual world called There was going into beta testing, and I joined. Both my parents died that year, and it was another way to distract myself and heal. I made a few clothes and had a little business with my pal Psi. I enjoyed exploring, but I immediately heard about something called Second Life, which I wanted to be in so badly I watched the little video 5746784679568 times. Me: In Second Life you can be a duck. I used to ask people in There if they'd been to Second Life, and many of them had. I had some friends who were a group of English coders, and I asked one which he preferred. He said SL. I had dial up. I didn't even try to join (when I got broadband and joined I met several people on dial-up, so too bad). After six months the There people announced they were suspending everything and would not guarantee There would be around in another six months, so I left and went to Second Life.

Second Life
Second Life was absorbing - full of challenges, interactions, collaborations, the ability to create just about anything and interact with my creations in ways hitherto impossible. A lot of the people in SL had been in There (one day I was tending my DarkLife shop and a mysterious person showed up who showed me a symbol that made me recognise her as my old friend Social). Then, too, one of my early acquaintances, Komuso, was using the biofeedback device from Wild Divine to interact with SL. I met a bazillion interesting people, and top of the list is Enjah, who I'd met in There as part of the Uru diaspora. We quickly became partners in crime.

SL has changed greatly over the years, but what I have taken away from it has been pure gold. Great friendships, a reason to expand my knowledge of digital creation - ever learning, a way to keep expressing my creativity even as my ability to manipulate real life objects waned, a way to push myself in areas that are closed to me in real life, and for a number of years a way to make a small income. My personal situation has contributed to my current feeling of ennui, as my energy level is low, however this may be the low point of the eternal cycle that must wax and wane. For me Second Life is a continuation of my adventure into healing, observation, and creativity, and I have a lot of projects tucked away in my head that I hope I am able to realise digitally. I work more slowly than I'd like, it's true, however the possibilities are still open to me within the world of SL.

Hats off to you, Second Life!

06 June 2010

What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?
NASA's Cassini does a flyby of Saturn's moon Titan.

04 June 2010

They are always fun.

Os of the Day
Back from my 7:30 appointment, on this chilly June day.
I need a haircut - or at least a comb.
Bastiges are clearcutting in the background.


02 June 2010

Everyone at my dentist's office poked around in my mouth and saw nothing amiss because of the fall. My dentist asked the hygienist how things in general looked to her and Jill said, "Very good."
Dentist: (to me) There you are - not just good but very good.



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