Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Suitably Large Tribute

I visited the Mammatus sim again this morning. (That is in itself sad; I've been there far more frequently now that it is going away than I have for some time prior.) Very little remains, but now there is a far more appropriate tribute than the humble rose I left behind (since returned to my inventory).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Microsoft .NET vs Java - trailer [HD]

Born Museum of Fine Arts

I took a break from the dense and overwhelming SL7B sims and relaxed on the Born sim at the Born Museum of Fine Arts. On the first floor it's an airy, open space with lovely landscapes and still lifes, but if you want to relax, be sure to go up a floor to see the mandalas of Sheba Blitz.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Philip returns

M Linden has stepped down, and Philip will be interim CEO.

As someone once wrote, "Therefore moun we singen Deo Gracias."

Link to Emerald

If you've gone looking for the Emerald SL client lately, you've probably found it somewhat frustrating. They've moved, but the old links still show up at the top of Google searches.

So, to save those who read here the trouble, and, I hope, to move the current link further up the heap, here's where to go for Emerald, or at least, so it seems. I'm a bit puzzled, as the Linux download there is, but OTOH, in the directory where I keep the various SL clients I've fetched, I see a that I fetched last Saturday, and I don't recall where I retrieved it from.

UPDATE: Thanks to Nalates; by all means take the advice from the comment, and head for

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Maggie's got a new web site, and it's very much worth your perusal. It's filled with her excellent fashion photography, selectable by various categories. Also, it has many SLURLs of interest, especially to the prim breast user.

Don't miss it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

They're Tearing Down Mammatus Sim

...and I know it's partly my fault. RL gets busy, it gets to be far too easy to put off going there--but I will be forever grateful for the many friends I made there and at Big'Uns's previous locations.

I hope the rose I placed there is not too much of a bother.

(If you don't recognize the Night Gallery reference, track it down and watch. It'll rip your heart out and stomp that sucker flat.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A peek behind the mesh curtain

SLOG has a post about a brief raising of the NDA veil over meshes for SL, and just what was revealed during that interval. Get the details there; I don't want to spread bad data based on a misinterpretation I might make. That said, it sounds very exciting.

UPDATE: Be sure to watch at least the first video there, of the creature playing Paganini. It looks like it's an example of something the blog post mentions, "rigging", which allows actual wearable clothing rather than body paint.

UPDATE: I'm kicking myself, remembering the first mesh demo video which showed a mesh figure of the Hulk. It just begs for a filk... "I was there at Linden Lab late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight... (it was a mesh!) It was a Monster Mesh..."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Not me and my shadow

So I had spare time today... I can wander about the grid to my heart's content, right? Well, sort of.

Early on things worked and I got some nice photos. But then I thought, "Gee, why not try SL on the computer connected to the nifty big LCD TV?" So I did... and I saw something that I've noticed here lately. Try a new client and the first time or two you get Caspered. I signed on again, or rather, the client crashed and I signed on again... and there I was, a swirling white cloud.

Back to my main computer, and still the cloud. Then I noticed something really strange: I was Caspered, but the client (Kirsten's 2.0 flavored client, build 24 I think) was able to correctly render my avatar's shadow--not the attachments, just the avatar. Then I visited with friends, a long overdue and joyous meeting, and I found that everyone else could see me. I was only Casper to myself, and here's the proof:

If it's across multiple clients, it's either code common to the clients or on the server side. I saw one claim that it's a known 2.1 code problem, and that the fix is to load one of the default avatars (do they mean the shapes?) and then switch back. I tried that, with no luck.

I hope this is fixed soon.

UPDATE: It's consistent across Kirsten's client, Emerald, and LL's 2.1 alpha and 2.0 clients, and continues despite cache clears and even "mv ~/.secondlife ~/.secondlife.bak".

UPDATE: If I were an English major, I would probably have worked in a line about how "I wandered lonely as a cloud". Ah, well...

UPDATE: Just after posting that, poof! Back I came. I hope that I'll stay.

Wireless keyboard/pointer for SL?

I have a computer connected to the TV now... a nice 32" LCD HDTV. Download KirstenLee Cinquetti's latest Linux client, install, fire it up, and... OK, well, it seems every time I try out a new client with no cached textures and stuff, I take forever to rez, at least to myself. Then I try to move and look around...

...and have to force myself not to scream with frustration. I have a wireless keyboard/trackball combo; it is essentially the Adesso WKB-3000UB. I ended up having to play Twister with my left hand to hold down ctrl-alt and the left mouse button and fiddle with the trackball with my right, and I don't have a good surface to set the thing on. I ended up apologizing to all and signing off.

It looks like there is a right-hand reachable left mouse button, so I'll give it one more try, but does anyone else use an HTPC for Second Life, and if you do, what do you use for a keyboard and pointing device?

(N+1)st thing I wish I had L$1 for every occurrence of

...flying into the air when I type something in the 2.0 client without giving the chat text entry field focus.

Friday, June 18, 2010

An encounter with old media

Newspapers are fading out, and it's about time. At a local grocery store, the local newspaper has been giving away issues and trying to sell subscriptions. The first time, I accepted a Sunday paper; it sat unexamined for a week until I finally got rid of it. News is available from other sources, including the paper's own web site; store coupons and machine readable versions of their Sunday ads are available online, and I wouldn't be surprised if you can get coupons fed to your smartphone. Physical newspapers are not worth the hassle to recycle them.

That said, I happened upon a stray issue yesterday and looked through it. Alongside the (very shrunken... and Bill Watterson thought newspapers were shrinking comics back when he did Calvin and Hobbes!) comics was "Goren on Bridge". For a second, I misread it as "Gorean on Bridge", and suddenly this mental image of a pseudo-Frazetta portrait of four Goreans sitting around a table studying their cards, kajirae at their feet, went through my head.

Fortunately, it passed quickly.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In honor of Little Orphan Annie...

...and to gently nudge LL about VWR-17063, we're changing the masthead for a day. Wish I could've found Sandy. ("Arf!" Yes, I know, but I didn't have time...)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Voice morphing in 2.1

The 2.1 alpha SL client is out, and it supports voice morphing. With it, you can rent any of several "packs" of five voices, L$750 per month per pack. The packs that exist are "Scary", "Feminine", "Masculine", "Tiny", and "Techie".There's a page with a link to "Voice Island" and a video demonstrating some of the voices. I watched the video; it doesn't demonstrate all of them, just a selection.

I guess there's an "uncanny valley" effect for voice, too; the scary, tiny, and techie voices don't fall in, but the feminine ones in the video certainly do--they sound metallic and phony. I hope the voices improve.

UPDATE: Upon reflection, that metallic sound reminds me of an inexpensive pitch shifter I once played with. If that's all that's being done, it can be easily reversed, and in any case the effect has a distinctive sound, easily recognized. It will carry as much stigma as not using voice does now.

UPDATE: Prad Prathvi put up a post embedding a video that goes through all the voices, and listening to it I realize that people are going to want to stack them. If they've found some voice that they like, they may well wish to modify it further with "radio" or "intercom" to get that effect on their preferred voice. I wonder whether that will be possible.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: I've submitted JIRA entry VWR-19885 to request the ability to apply multiple voice modifications. If you'd like that ability, you may wish to vote for it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Next year, in OpenSim?

LL has laid off 30% of its employees, and some are saying more layoffs are coming. The virtual village idiot is busy gloating, while others mourn.

Some fear the end is near, others look forward to SL access via the web. (If Hamlet's right, that will happen via WebGL, a way for web pages to get to OpenGL, so this does not necessarily mean smartphones and netbooks will be able to get to SL.)

All I can say is, thank goodness for OpenSim. One of the virtues of Open Source is that you're not held hostage by a sole source, and if worse comes to worst I think we'll appreciate that greatly.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Cheyenne and Sweetie get some of the recognition they deserve

Cheyenne and Sweetie's Robot Sanitorium is Editor's Pick on the Linden Showcase. It's long overdue. Visit the Sanitorium, and stay to see Whimsy and its surroundings. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Maybe they were thinking of Raquel Welch?

I see that if you look for "Neolithic" on Google, the quoted blurb for the Wikipedia page reads
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or Sexy Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BCE...
Someone has noticed, and the Neolithic is less sexy than it used to be according to Wikipedia, but it just goes to show: trust but verify.

Appreciation for ancient technology

All I wanted to do was get the sun to shine as it did the last time I took a photo in caLLie cLine's store on the beautiful stairway... and I could not do it! It makes me wonder whether SL mimics the way the sun's path through the sky changes over the year.

So, good work, you folks who built Stonehenge; you have me beat.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Goodbye, Mammatus

I'm very sorry to report that the Mammatus sim will close at the end of June. The stores in the Mall, as far as I know, all have other locations, but I fear for the other businesses and features on the sim.

Long, long overdue thanks to Aspen Normandy for his friendship and all he's done for prim breasts and prim breast users.

P.S. Any resemblance between the title and that of a Philip Roth novella or the movie made from it is purely coincidental.

Hairdressers for avatars?

Check out this post in Technology Review's blog. It deescribes a setup to let one create a virtual hairdo by... hairdressing! I hope that someday SL hairdos can be created with this user interface.