Monday, April 30, 2012

I hope I don't have to drop back to screenshots...

Lately I've been crashing every time I try to save a photo to disk in Second Life. Firestorm, the LL client... they both do it. Could this be related to my Ubuntu upgrade? I hope not; it's hard to believe anything would change about the file save dialogue.


UPDATE: VWR-28846. Linux users, please vote for and follow this one; it's serious proctalgia. Also, if you use 64-bit Linux, please leave a comment here and let me know (1) which distribution, release thereof, and windowing interface you use and (2) whether you have this problem? Maybe it will help narrow things down.

UPDATE: There may be two issues. When I look at the log, I see a message in which the client gripes about a library being 64-bit; someone running 32-bit Ubuntu 12.04 sees a message about PCRE (a library that does regular expressions in the style of the Perl scripting language) being compiled without UTF-8 support.

Friday, April 27, 2012

belated celebration: Stand Tall Week

I hope that, unlike me, you didn't miss Stand Tall Week, "an initiative to encourage women to embrace their height." Don't slouch... stand tall!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Less than a week...

...until Ubuntu 12.04 aka "Precise Pangolin" is officially released, if all goes according to plan. Shame on me. I haven't paid attention to the countdown graphic.

Looking forward to it.

UPDATE: Took a chance and upgraded. Happily, the Wacom driver appears to be fixed!

A Very Merry Unbirthday?

Take a look at this SL blog entry. A quote:
This year we will focus the spotlight on community events.  No one throws a better event or party than the Second Life community! If you’re having an event to celebrate Second Life turning nine, we want to know about it! 
Submit your event or party information to the Second Life Destination Guide by emailing with the subject line “SL9B Event.”
Outstanding by its absence: any creation of SL9B sims for builds as in past birthdays, or any mention of effort on LL's part aside from their possible selection of photos of community events shared on Facebook (need we mention the issues about Facebook and SL avatars?) as the "Pic of the Day".

I have to admit that my immediate reaction is: if they don't care, why should I? I will do my best to fight it off.

UPDATE: Some folks do seem to be coming around, judging by the comments on Tateru Nino's blog post on the subject.

Must-read from Penny Patton

i'm not sure whether there will be more parts of the "Beautiful SL" set of articles on Penny Patton's Digital Pasture blog. I hope there will. In any case, you really should read the two parts that are there now.

In it, she writes about why parts of SL, notably the infohubs, welcome areas, and other public works areas, are not beautiful and what can be done to fix that.  Whether or not one is of the "Second Life is not a game" persuasion--funny how that's reminiscent of the FIAWOL/FIJAGDH division in SF fandom--people have very high expectations of graphics quality set by games, and Second Life had better at least come close (which it can, as Penny shows) if it's going to survive.

I want it to be a proud thing to be an SL resident, but let's try to keep it from being lonely, please.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What the Heck is Kerbango, Anyway?

Like Billy Joel, I don't know why I go to extremes... but I'm off on another quest, namely one for an insanely long prim tongue. Not split, not pierced--just very long. Not reptilian, either. A long human tongue.

I found one resizable tongue, but it's only changeable with a script that grows it uniformly by a given percentage. I need to stretch it, so I'll get another one that I think will let me do so.

What can I say? I'm being silly again. Or still.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Foot, Meet Bullet: The Disadvantages of DRM

Read "Another Reason Why DRM is Bad -- for Publishers" at Techdirt.

Thank you, Kaseido

I wish to echo Maggie's sentiment. I'm honored to be mentioned in Kaseido Quandry's work on the Second Life prim breast community. Thank you!
Most of all, I'm glad that there are people who are interested in Second Life as it really is, and overjoyed at the notion that such people will be letting others know what they find.  

If you have not been keeping up with The Spathic Files, I think you'll find them very interesting. Kaseido has asked for feedback from the prim breast community on a first draft of an article.

Friday, April 13, 2012

More Mesh Hair

If, as I hope, you read the comments on posts here, you'll know that Eira Kalil of Tiny Things pointed me in the direction of Wasabi Pills hair as another source of mesh hair. Thank you very much, Eira. There I found some lovely hair that gave me a serious 60s flashback.

I like its asymmetry and the stray unruly strands that add realism (the sort that we may wish we could do without when trying to arrange our hair in RL, but in SL are welcome refinements). Alas, one does have to be selective (though won't mesh hair that falls on the front of the torso intersect even stock avatars when they turn their heads?), but when it does work, it works beautifully.

(Note to self: antialiasing is your friend. sigh...)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Argument Against Achievement Systems

If you read New World Notes, one of the things you'll see Hamlet Au suggest as a way to improve Second Life (aside from point-and-click avatar movement :))  is some kind of achievement or ranking system (do read the followup, too; the link to Kanomi Pikajuna's parody of the idea in the article is now broken, but you can see it here).

The curious thing is that game makers are questioning the worth of achievement systems. In that regard, I highly recommend Chris Hecker's "Achievements Considered Harmful?" (One interesting datum Mr. Hecker mentions: "extrinsic motivations", e.g. achievement/ranking systems, tend to kill off intrinsic motivations more in women than in men--and Second Life, it is said, has a larger proportion of its user base that are (actually) women than other virtual worlds, so would an achievement system actually hurt Second Life, I wonder?)

I can't help thinking of a possibly analogous situation someone pointed out to me long ago. Back in the days when newsgroups flourished, there was one such newsgroup for Renaissance fairs, alt.fairs.renaissance. The folks who posted there typically signed their posts with their (persona's) name followed by an extensive list of self-assigned titles: "Joseph of Blowshire, Keeper of the Duke's Spittoons, Chief Cat-Herder of the Bloviate Empire, Lord High Pooh-Bah of Hand-kissing Certification..." I'm sure that it was in jest, but how different from the awards and orders in the Society for Creative Anachronism! In the SCA, one scrupulously avoids the presumption of assuming a title; such things are earned by right of arms, excellence in the arts and sciences, or service to the realm. They actually mean something. Game achievement systems, IMHO, don't.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Mesh hair

While we wait for the issues around mesh avatars and mesh clothing to be solved, you might want to give mesh hair a look.

There are a lot fewer relevant head sliders--your nose and mouth don't affect how hair fits, and does anyone really make his or her skull skew to one side or the other?--so the combinatorial explosion clothiers and avatar makers face doesn't bite quite as hard. I trundled over to Magika (one of the places Busted magazine recommends on its page for potential models) and looked around... and was blown away.

Mesh hair typically comes with a number of sizes in the package so you can pick one that works for you. As with anything else, try the demo first, to make sure you'll be happy with what you buy. Large worked fine for me.

Now, there is one thing that I wish for: if you look at mesh hair, you will find a lot of it has hair that falls forward over one's chest. That leads to obvious issues for those of us who use breast attachments. I hope that hair makers will take us into consideration and offer versions that accommodate us. For now, though, I'm very happy with the mesh hair that I can use.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The April 2012 Busted is out!

What can I say but that the photography is breathtaking, and Maggie's "Art of Editing" article is not to be missed. Get it in world or via the web.