Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In Memoriam

Remembering Abbie Jinx. Please keep her, her family, and her partner Tilly Putzo in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Batten down the hatches!

Cheyenne is, as I type, in New York with Sweetie. Most days I would just do a happy dance and mentally wish them well upon hearing that, but this is not most days:

Please take care, you two!

Clouds have gathered over Whimsy as well. At first little puffballs of gray clouds appeared, almost Bob Rossian (Be sure to check today's Google doodle!)...

but then they darkened...

and with the night the thunderstorm came...

...and it came very close indeed.

Everyone in Sandy's path, please take care (don't be like me :)), and be prepared to evacuate if need be. You're in our thoughts.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thanks, Abbie

Abbie Jinx is closing down the Jinxed store on October 31st, though her products will still be available on the SL Marketplace. (Between now and then, the vendors in her main store will offer a 50% discount to Jinxed group members.)

Thank you, Abbie, for your beautiful clothing and for the work you have put into it. I hope that the circumstances that keep you from devoting time to the store are happy ones, and I hope that you'll continue to spend some time in SL.

As a reminder of the wonderful work Abbie does, here's a photo featuring her "Siena" dress:

You've Been Owned

(UPDATE: The banner's gone now, but I hope you will still visit youvebeenowned.com and take action.)

What's that banner at top right, you ask?

I'm glad you asked.

There's a case, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, coming before the Supreme Court. It will be heard on Monday, October 29. The court will either agree with lower courts or disagree. If they agree, it will put an enormous crimp in the Doctrine of First Sale, the notion that once you've bought something, you can sell it, lend it, or give it to someone else if you wish.

Wiley & Sons is a book publisher. They publish cheap editions of their books for sale outside the US. Mr. Kirtsaeng noticed this, and set up a business in which he had relatives buy the cheap editions outside the US and send them to him in the US, where he could sell them for less than the expensive books Wiley publishes to sell in the US cost and turn a profit.

Wiley wants, and so far the lower courts have agreed, that Mr. Kirtsaeng shouldn't be able to do that, i.e. that the Doctrine of First Sale should not apply to copyrighted items made abroad.

That's quite a lot of stuff these days. Thinking about holding a garage sale and selling your used computer hardware, or your old iPod? (Or are you thinking of giving it to Goodwill to sell?) If Wiley & Sons get their way, you (or Goodwill) won't necessarily be able to. Remember Garth Brooks getting his knickers in a knot over people selling his CDs used? If the Supreme Court decides for Wiley & Sons, all musicians will have to do is get their work copyrighted and CDs pressed outside the US, and Garth can get his wish.

Please head over to youvebeenowned.org and learn more about the case and its possible consequences.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Fontconfig Affair

(Sorry, I had a flashback to the days of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)

For those of us who use Linux, there's a library called "fontconfig" that has changed in a way that breaks Second Life clients.

The version in question, 2.9.0, is present in the recently-released Ubuntu 12.10, so I suspect that many more are tripping over the problem now.

Third-party viewers are proving quicker to respond to the issue than LL. The upcoming Firestorm 4.3 will not have the problem. In the meantime, the fix from thickbrick.sleaford in the Firestorm JIRA page for the problem works.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Second Life is a wonderful place to take pictures. The creativity of builders, animators, and residents means there is always somewhere new and amazing. (And if you want pointers to such places, they are easily available. Look at Second Life residents' flickr or Picasa galleries, and at blogs that feature such photos. Dorka Barzane's Caminante de Sueños is a great place to start.)

Once you've found a place, Second Life gives you an advantage over RL: you control the skies. Create your own Windlight settings or find some created by others that you can use. Some Second Life clients come preloaded with a batch of them.

I have 453 pictures up on flickr as I type--I've taken more, but I don't put everything on flickr. Some aren't up to snuff, or are experiments with slightly different point of view or pose or whatever, so there's no point.

I'm not a great photographer. I'm no Maggie Bluxome or Whisky Monday... but once in a while, I happen upon a combination of location, lighting, and, if it's not a landscape, pose and clothing, that works. It happened this morning, I'm happy to say. The results are above.

It's a good time to take pictures in Second Life, and I hope that the mapping happens soon so it will be even better. (And could we bring back global illumination, please? *bats eyelashes*) The depth of field means that you can use still more techniques that photon wranglers :)--er, real life photographers--use, like bokeh or intentional shallow depth of field to keep the emphasis on a subject. There are tutorials, and many of the principles, e.g. composition and lighting, are the same in SL and RL... so if you haven't dared before, give it a try.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gaming for Good

Sorry about the short notice, but I just found out about Extra Life. It's a gaming marathon taking place today in support of the Children's Miracle Network. Teams select a hospital they wish to help, ask for sponsors who will donate to the cause, and then they game.

Check it out, and participate if you're so inclined by creating or joining a team. (If you choose to game, please take the advice on the site's safety notice page!) If you aren't up for marathon gaming, then consider supporting a team, such as, for example, the CBT Tankers.

For once, I will have to actually say something good about the G4 network: they are supporting Extra Life, and live streaming a sort of online telethon. Well done.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 is here

I'm not sure why the countdown graphic isn't updated (UPDATE: it is now!), but Ubuntu 12.10 is available. I've upgraded to it, and so far, it's very nice. If you've always wondered about Linux, check it out. If you are a Windows user, you can try it out via Wubi without even having to repartition your hard drive, and if you don't like it, you can uninstall it via the Windows interface for deleting programs that you're familiar with.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For your reading enjoyment and convenience...

Maggie Bluxome of Busted magazine has put together a document that has all three parts of Angel Eulenberg's fascinating "No Fake Tits in Gor" in one spot. If you're a Busted subscriber, you know this (and you have it already). If you aren't, first I urge you to consider becoming one, but also, I have it, and will happily send you a copy ASAP if you wish. I have the knob twisted to get IMs via email, but I have still at times seen the "Too many messages", so email me at mel_yeuxdoux@yahoo.com if need be (or even if that's just more convenient).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Not Just for Minoans...

From a University of Warwick press release:
Historian Angela McShane Jones from the University of Warwick said: “In the 1600s it was fairly commonplace for women to bare their breasts in public. The fashions were initiated by court members and Queens, then replicated by ordinary women, and common prostitutes. 17th century fashion, rather than demeaning women, could be empowering. The extremely low cut dresses were designed to encourage men to look but not to touch. They empowered some women to use their sexuality.”
For more information, check out McShane-Jones's article "Revealing Mary" (History Today, v. 54 issue 3).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Countdown to Ubuntu 12.10

Shame on me; I didn't notice that the Ubuntu image had switched to the countdown for 12.10, or to use its codename, "Quantal Quetzal". The second beta is out, so I should have realized.

What's new, you ask? Quite a bit--best visit the 12.10 Beta 2 Ubuntu Wiki page for details. There are changes to X and the proprietary nVidia driver (the latter of particular interest to those of you running with multiple monitors).

Eight days to go... at least as I type this.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

80's Flashback

I went shopping today and stopped at Gatherings, where I bought a few items, including the "Women in Black" outfit that one can wear either with a skirt or with slacks. I put it on, had an 80's flashback, and knew what I had to do.

I bought gloves and a cane. I put on just the base that came with a red hairdo, and bought some tattoo layer lipstick/eyeshadow, and headed for an office furniture store.

I will have to look for the right gesture to do it up right, but here's the best I managed--and, believe it or not, as I took the picture, the store's audio stream had started playing Eurhythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)":

Fashion for a Good Cause: Perfectly Pink Latex Ensemble

Kayliwulf Kingdom has created a lovely pink latex ensemble that it has for sale... and all profits from such sales will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. (And I would hope that, especially if you regularly read this blog, this is a cause near and dear to your heart.)

The outfit includes a skirt, a bra and an underbra, a thong, and wonderful fuzzy sandals and gloves. Were I not a shy sort, I'd happily wear it. Photo after the break; it is definitely NSFW. Give it a look, and thanks to Kayliwulf Kingdom for creating this ensemble and supporting NBCF.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

This is the sort of thing...

...that makes you forget all the drama and flakiness and brouhaha and be happy that SL exists.

"ThankyouSL" at Shopping Cart Disco. Go read it, and see if you don't find yourself smiling.

P.S. Thanks to Hamlet Au for pointing the post out; I'd not have seen it otherwise.

The new Busted is here!

The new Busted is out... and as always, it's well worth your perusal.

You know by now to expect impeccable photos of gorgeous models, and indeed, they're there. The theme is science fiction, and if you're like me you will be seeking out the places where the outfits they wear can be found.

There's part two of Cindy Melglund and Whimsy Warrhol's series on creating a well-proportioned shape. If you are less than fully satisfied with your shape, you want to read both parts!

(And speaking of proportions, here's a plea I will repeat in a letter to the editor: please, Ms. Melglund and Ms. Warrhol, write the analogous article or articles on shaping one's head. I am happier having moved away from the heart-shaped head I started out with, but think I could improve a bit more if I worked at it, and I'd greatly appreciate advice from such knowledgeable folks as you two!)

Zarah Undercroft writes more about putting together outfits for the busty figure... and in passing has greatly heartened me about my shoe inventory. Invisiprims were once the state of the art for shoes--but now it's alpha layers, and current SL clients don't deal with invisiprims as they once did, with the result that the foot parts the invisiprims are meant to hide flash in and out of view as your point of view changes. I've been hoping there's a way to make those old shoes usable in the new regime, and apparently, if the shoes are editable, it is possible. Thank you, Ms. Undercroft, and I'm off to check my inventory to see which old shoes are editable.