Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clothes for the daring prim breast user

If you've read this blog or seen my photos, you know that I lean towards modest clothing. Because of that, I won't be modeling for this post, even though I did make some purchases--but if you like nicely-textured and well-executed prim breast-friendly clothing of the more daring sort, be sure to check out Tw@tty C@ke. Here you'll find low cut (from above) and high cut (from below) tops, jeans that are jeans in front and lace in back, shiny metallic outfits and pants, and swimsuits and lingerie.

To see what we're talking about, head for the store in world, or take a look at the store on SL Marketplace. If you walk more on the wild side than I do, it's well worth your time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Out of the frying pan...

...and into the fire. First SOPA, now ACTA. More details from Forbes.

UPDATE: check out "Thought SOPA was Bad? 10 Reasons to Oppose ACTA" and "The ACTA Fight Returns: What is at Stake and What You Can Do". (In the US, the dodge to get it through is to say that it's not a treaty, but an "executive agreement", so that the President can commit the US to it without that pesky Constitution getting in the way.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Clay Shirky on SOPA/PIPA

I could spend the next day or so posting nothing but embedded YouTube videos about the evils of SOPA/PIPA, but I'll stop, at least for now, with this TED talk from Clay Shirky, which does two important things:
  • puts these laws in context
  • points out that just stopping SOPA/PIPA is not sufficient; the groups that want all content production to go through them will try again and again, as long as they exist.
UPDATE: That didn't take long.

SOPA Cabana

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eternal vigilance...

So... the administration has issued a statement that at least sounds like Obama would veto SOPA/PIPA as they stand... though all those waiting for Gitmo to close might question whether the administration has much concern for keeping its promises. Some in Congress are backing away from SOPA/PIPA, and at last week's Republican debate, all the potential candidates on stage stated their opposition to SOPA (gee--are they, or the Heritage Foundation, who also oppose SOPA, "technocommunists"?).

That said, it's not time to haul out the noisemakers and confetti:
I think Y Combinator is right: it's time to kill the dinosaurs. Actual creative people have come out against SOPA/PIPA; do take a look at their statement. (No, the interests of the {RI, MP}AA aren't those of musicians and actors; see Courtney Love and Steve Albini, or look up "Hollywood accounting".)

UPDATE: More on the difference between Republican and Democrat responses to  the opposition to SOPA/PIPA at Ars Technica.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Plea to Human Mesh Avatar Makers

Since around the beginning of 2012, there have been (and still are, as I type) SL clients that include the alpha version of Karl Stiefvater's mesh deformer code. As you can see from Karl's video, it causes meshes you wear to be influenced by more shape sliders than just those related to the shape's "skeleton". This has some very important consequences:
  • Mesh clothing is no longer Procrustean; no more alpha masks to force avatars into the shape that the mesh item was designed to fit, and no more having to actually make umpteen sizes of mesh clothing.
  • Mesh avatars themselves are influenced by those same sliders.
I would like to urge you to experiment with those clients with an eye to:
  • making them behave reasonably with a wide range of settings of those sliders--that is, they shouldn't develop discontinuities as the sliders change
  • pushing the envelope on the limits of the standard avatar (in the sense of Snakekiss Noir's Proposition 125 under the old system for suggesting changes, VWR-1258 in the JIRA)
I am interested in the first in part because I'd love to have a mesh avatar, but I want it to look like me. Running into people who look just like me is like meeting someone at the party wearing the same dress, but even more so!

I'm interested in both, though, because I'm a member of Second Life's busty community. We exist because a number of creative folks, bless them, have overcome the avatar's limits with prim breast attachments--but those in turn limit us when it comes to clothing. There's a growing number of wonderful clothiers who cater to us, but we are still cut off from the vast majority of dresses and tops in SL fashion. Not all prim breast users delight in having enormous breasts; the pitiful polygon count of the stock female avatar breasts mean that practically, the stock avatar is far more constrained than the slider might suggest--unless you like having breasts with corners.

With the refinement and general adoption of the mesh deforming code, mesh clothing will grow in popularity, greatly so IMHO. Who wouldn't rush to buy tops that aren't vacuum-sealed to one's breasts making T-shirts with art or text a joke, jeans that don't look like your colon is attached to a vacuum cleaner, and skirts that act like real physical skirts, making glitchpants a bad memory, rather than a bunch of strips of cloth sewn together at the waist that go through your legs when you walk or sit down or the wind blows?

With the mesh deformer and mesh avatars, we of the busty community at least have a chance of avatars that will support the figures we wish to have and that will open what I hope will be the focus of new SL fashion. I beg you to help make this happen. Thank you so much for your time and attention.

To members of the busty community reading this, no, this won't be paradise:
  • I fear that the limits may not be pushed very far, so that not many of us will be able to leave attachments behind.
  • This definitely won't support polymastia.
  • Accommodating those for whom real-time growth is important will require another serious change to SL, namely allowing scripts to modify your sliders in real time without making you assume the position as is done when you modify your appearance. I hope that will happen someday, but it's definitely more distant.
UPDATE: Something I forgot to mention here: if you watch the video, you'll see that mesh clothing and hence mesh avatars will be influenced by the physics layer, giving one control over jiggle.

UPDATE: Upon reflection, it's not that easy for clothing. Mesh clothing is going to be designed for a particular shape, and it will take some way to map it to another shape to be usable on more than one kind of avatar. I think people will want to implement that kind of transformation anyway, so that people can migrate their traditional painted-on clothing to a mesh avatar.

Be My Busty Valentine

Word from Eira Kalil is that Tiny Things will participate in a new hunt for the busty ladies of SL, "Be My Busty Valentine", from February 10 through March 10. See her post on the Tiny Things blog.

I'm delighted by something she says: "It seems the prim-breast community is growing and I'm really happy because I feel comfortable in this community in which I have met many wonderful people." Thank you, Eira, for your work on prim breasts and clothing for them. I'm glad you're part of the community.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We're back!

We're back, but la lutte continue. Learn more about the evil that is SOPA/PIPA at the following links:

  • This Khan Academy American Civics lecture
  • This YouTube video, "WTF is SOPA?"
  • This YouTube video, "What is SOPA and Why is It Bad?"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fun in the water

I was sitting in the stands for the boat races in the Minoan Empire in Exile, awaiting the excitement of the very first such races... when Esteban said "You'll have to race, Melissa."

I did a double take, and allowed as how I had never done such a thing before. He pointed out that he didn't say I'd have to win. I chuckled, agreed, and bought one of the lovely and elegantly simple racing boats available.

The gods smiled on me; another race came before mine, so I was able to see the path to take. (Whew!) They smiled wryly, though; my lack of experience stood out. I overcorrected a lot, and ran aground on the first lap, losing what was fortunately not too much time.

I lost, of course--and ended up being teleported back to shore after derezzing the boat out from under myself. (I did see the spot to disembark. Later.) I lost...

...but it was FUN!

Thanks to my fellow Minoans for their support, and special thanks to Esteban for nudging me into giving it a try, and to Westley, always noble and kind and a worthy opponent. Now, to schedule a little time to practice...

(They really are sweet boats. Minimal, but well-wrought economy is also known as elegance, and I believe they are the work of The Architect himself. They're designed for racing, not passengers, and they are simple to operate.)

The "secure boot" plot thickens

In an earlier article, I've written about Microsoft's requirements for computers if their makers want them to get Microsoft's stamp of approval for Windows 8. Those requirements open the possibility that such computers will be rendered incapable of booting any operating system other than Windows.

Now we find that for ARM-based systems, it's going to be more than a possibility. For x86 based computers, Microsoft apparently is willing to approve of systems using a "custom" secure boot mode that will allow its owner to boot other operating systems. For ARM-based systems, though, Microsoft explicitly states that they will not approve any system with "custom" secure boot mode; they must be set so that they can never boot any operating system other than Windows.

ARM, at least currently, is the predominant CPU family for mobile devices. Intel has yet to put out an x86-flavored CPU anywhere near as efficient in terms of power consumption versus processing power. These days you'll find a lot of people claiming the desktop is on the way out--and Microsoft is looking to lock out competition so it can dominate mobile devices the way it has the desktop.

For details, see the Software Freedom Law Center's article, and Glyn Moody's article in Computerworld UK.

UPDATE: Even on the x86, the constraints will make life quite difficult. Check out "Why UEFI Secure Boot is Difficult for Linux".

Important: Help Stop SOPA and PROTECT IP

Hamlet Au in NWN has posted some very important information on the law that the {MP,RI}AA are trying to ram through Congress. (In the House, it's SOPA, HR-3261, and in the Senate, the corresponding measure is called PROTECT IP or PIPA, S-968.) According to the EFF, any Internet site that hosts user-generated content will be seriously affected by the proposed law. Read Hamlet's article and the linked-to pages, and take action.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Must-reads from Maggie

Of course, Maggie Bluxome's blog is like Gwyneth Llewelyn's. It's all must-read, but the two latest (as I type) articles stand out even there:

  • A review of the new Essentials prim breasts. They look very good and featureful. Thanks to Jennifur Vultee and TammyTgurl Umaga for their work.
  • Photos of Maggie and Jennifur. Looking at them, I cry, just as I did at their wedding. They are such a lovely couple!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Giantess avatars

Yesterday, Susyn Stenvaag kindly invited me over to see some amazing work on giantess avatars. I am embarrassed to say that I don't know whether this is new; clearly I've not been keeping up.

I should say that the photos here show stationary figures, but I believe them to use the same constructs as are used for the giantess avatars--I met someone using the avatar to amazing effect. (Hi, J4ne!)

In particular, we visited the Giantess Avatar Shop... here's a photo I took later on:

The boots are sold separately. Note in particular the array of faces one can choose from. That's been an issue with giant avatars--you'd like to be unique, and the face is the main way we recognize individuals. (Of course, one always wants more; I'd love to be able to hand over my head slider settings and get a customized head that is me.) The faces are even better than this 2-D photo would indicate. If you go to the shop and walk around, you can see them in three dimensions.

One of the issues with avatar shapes built up from prims is joints. I think that the unadorned mannequin in the poster shows improvement... though of course the modest clothing and standing pose hides and minimizes joint issues.

Thank you, Susyn, and thank you to the lovely people I met for the first time.

UPDATE: Read the comments--you owe it to yourself to check out the image of Aliasi Stonebender's impressive work!

UPDATE #2: Definitely check out Ms. Stonebender's latest comment, and the images linked to. You'll be amazed, as I was.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The new BUSTed

The January 2012 BUSTed magazine is now available. It's an issue of firsts:
  • Of course, it's the first issue of the new year!
  • It's the first issue with a new, very classy logo.
  • Most importantly, it's the first issue assembled by the new staff.
It's not first in one way: breathtaking photography has been part of BUSTed from the very beginning.

Many thanks to Maggie, Shieara, Maylinde, and Tahnee for their excellent work.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Unwelcome wagon

There are some places in Second Life where prim breast users are not welcome. It's not a new thing; the SL forums archive has a thread from April 2007 about a woman who was ejected from a nude beach (!) for using prim breasts. I was told to remove my (completely covered) prim breasts in one of the Gossip Girl sims in January 2008. More recently, Misty Rain and Shayna Korobase have written about their similar experiences.

So... perhaps the thing to do is to put together lists of prim breast friendly and prim breast unfriendly places in Second Life. Let me know of both kinds of places; I can be reached by email at Then everybody wins. If you're a sim owner who doesn't want prim breast users to darken your virtual door, let us know and we will take ourselves, and our L$, elsewhere.
Picard: The only benefit to the Klingon Empire... would be our gratitude.
B'ljik: That is what you want me to tell [Gowron]?!
Picard: Yes, and please tell him that, if he is unable to provide us with a ship, then I am sure that there are others in the Klingon Empire... who would be willing to help me. And then, they would have our gratitude.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Mesh deformer news

First, my apologies for time away from the blog and from Second Life. It's nice to be back.

Now for the important stuff.  There is an alpha version of the mesh deformer code, and there are SL clients that include that code, for example Niran's Viewer v1.03. There are still some open issues, and like any alpha code, it needs to be exercised, so I hope you'll try it out.

For information, check out not only SH-2374, but also STORM-1716.... and this video.

UPDATE: I hope that the mesh deformer changes will have consequences for SL's busty community; the video looks very promising. Time to experiment.