Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Written 27 November, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you the happiest of holidays this Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Mmmm, three-donut sandwich!

Written 20 Novemer, 2008


I seem to be suffering through a blase (no acute e) spell. I've not built anything, done much of anything, in fact, for six weeks now.

The stupidity of the Lindens in regard to openspace pricing hit me hard, but that's not really what's behind my dry creative spell. I'm not sure what is, unless it's just a natural reaction to the previous whirlwind six months of inspiration.

On the bright side, I'm flying tomorrow, off for another vacation with Sweetie. I wonder, I wonder, how many donuts it will rate!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Appeal of the Seamless Linden Mainland Experience

The Appeal of the Seamless Linden Mainless Experience

Okay, here are screenshots of the Bay City and Nautilus mainland areas, taken at about 9 pm on Sunday evening.

Concurrency was about 60,000.

My count on 12 Bay City sims was 10 avatars, and on 25 Nautilus sims, 13 avatars.

This is about what I saw when I visited those sims last weekend.

Sooo, WTF, Lindens? This is worth killing opensims and screwing island owners? What are you THINKING? This is your high-demand structured mainland?

/me shakes her head in disgust.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We Have the Technology. We Can Build It.

Written 14 November, 2008

We Have the Technology. We Can Built It.

My Sensual Casanova animation overrider wrecked, for its notecards called heavily upon my lately treasured and now missing no-copy anims. Scripts messages were popping up every few seconds.

I detached the Sensual AO, but after a day without an animation overrider, I was a nervous wreck. I felt naked. I tracked down Sensual’s new store, jumped there, and bought a replacement. Whew! Identity crisis resolved!

I remembered where I had picked up some of my animations (I especially love Antonelli’s _ascend_), and I replaced them. Then I pulled all of my “this might work in my AO” animations from my inventory and from various pose stands in which I had them stashed and put them in a blank pose stand. And then I spent several days previewing them and deciding which made the AO cut.

AOs all work the same. You can buy them customized, filled with coy poses, or slave girl of Gor poses, or nekko poses. Most likely, though, there will be a few clunkers in your AO or at least you’ll wish you could add that great pose you found on Animation Island.

You can stuff any pose into any animation overrider, but if it’s not full perm, you’ll need to put the AO on the ground to do it. Then you pick the AO up, attach it, and edit the default card inside the AO to call the pose or poses of your choice. If you get the names just right, the AO will begin to call those poses. If you’ve chosen rightly, your avatar will move in ways that please you, transitioning smoothly between states.

Happily, AOs have the ability to call upon any notecard in their inventory; this means you can load custom poses for a variety of activities. Want poses that work with tight skirts, or poses to animate your mermaid/merman avatar, or poses that make you act seductively?

No problem, so long as you have the cards configured correctly.

And so, AOs, if you have fiddled with them, become personal, a reflection of your personality, and being without them is jarring.

This weekend I’ll be putting together a ZHAO-II AO with at least three notecards. But until I get it working, I’ll be secure, knowing my trusty Sensual Casanova overrider is on the job.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

AO Troubles

Photos: HUD closed, HUD Dropdown, or, in this case, Dropup

Written 14 November, 2008

AO Troubles

When I had been in Second Life a couple of days, someone gave me what I now know was a Framations animation overrider. At the time, all I knew was it gave me custom stands to replace the default (newbie) animations and that I had to talk to it in chat to turn it on and off.

After a few weeks I realized the poses in the Framation weren’t very good. The stands were dramatic (I remember one, unfondly, which clasped my hands together behind my head), and I leaped from stand to stand instead of moving naturally from one to the next.
A little investigation brought me to the store of Sensual Casanova, where I invested heavily (or so it seemed at the time) in her Zhao-based AO. I was lucky; her poses, and especially the stands, seemed appropriately Cheyenneish—and being a Zhao, it sat on my screen as a HUD, where I could turn it on and off by touch. And so an AO became part of my Second Life.
As I learned more about Second Life, I began to insert custom poses into Sensual’s AO. It was frustrating because the name of the pose in the AO and the name of the pose in the notecard that sat in the AO had to match exactly. Extra or dropped characters and certain characters, such as commas, confused it and caused script error messages.

Eventually, though, I tamed my first notecard and even made a second with alternate poses. I was happy with my custom jumps, falls, lands, crouches, walks, runs, sits, ground sits, swims, flies, and stands.

Meanwhile, someone introduced the ZHAO-II HUD, which extends the capabilities of the ZHAO. Where my Sensual AO allowed five stands, walks, sits, and ground sits, the ZHAO provided room for many more, and an ability to customize the ways they were called.

For her nearly two-and-a-half years in SL, my Sweetie has been without an AO. None seemed to suit her, and the very thought of typing the names of custom poses accurately in a notecard made her catatonic. But last week, at ANA-MATIONS, she found just the AO.

And wouldn’t you know it, it was called Drama Queen.

Sweetie got her AO running without a problem, moving her poses into a ZHAO-II that resides in her Mystitool. She is now, without question, a drama queen.

As for me, well, I figured that as much as I loved my Sensual AO, it was time to switch to a ZHAO-II, and so I converted my notecards to ZHAO-II format and moved my poses from the Sensual AO to a temporary folder in my inventory, and from there to the new AO.

And in so doing, I somehow lost all my no-copy custom animations.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Test Male, Test Female Redux

Photos (Top to Bottom) The Despised Noob. New Test Male. New Test Female.

Written 5 November, 2008

Test Male, Test Female Redux

If you follow the menus at the top of your screen like so (Advanced > Character > Character Test > Test Male (or Test Female), all of your clothing and attachments will disappear and you’ll immediately become the default male or female Second Life avatar.

Be careful if you do this to know where your shape, skin, eyes, and attachments are so you can find them later and revert to your usual self.

If you don’t see the Advanced menu, CTRL-ALT-D will bring it up.

I first blogged about this way back in July, 2007.

I noticed the other day the new default avatars have changed. The old, familiar noob males and females have been replaced with new avatars.
I sort of miss the old default avatars.

Fortunately, there’s a perfect noobie male made from sculpted prims. It’s not an avatar, just a picture-perfect object. It is, for all apparent purposes, a newborn male who is AFK.

Unfortunately, I’ve not yet seen a noobie female.

I fooled Sweetie with the male noob. I changed the hovertext script in its head so it would read Cheyenne Palisades instead of Philip Linden, stuck it in the House of 1000 Pleasures, and went outside and hovered in the air just under the floor so I would show on Sweetie’s avatar radar.

When Sweetie came back into the world after her break, she was fooled.

Fortunately, she chose not to retaliate.

IM me if you would like a free full perm male noobie.

Shopping With Sweetie

Photo: Sweetie has impeccable tastes, but everyone comes a clunker now and again. I never had the nerve to tell Sweetie what I thought of this outfit. But I guess I have now!

Written 14 October, 2008

Shopping with Sweetie

Imperiousness is not a characteristic one usually associates with cuteness, but my Sweetie frequently displays an adorable imperiosity that makes me want to crush her to my breast. This weekend, at the expo at the Fashion Universe sim, she was at her impetuous and imperious best.

“Here I am! You have ten seconds to impress me. Go!” she announced as she strode through the door of a shop that looked pretty good to me. Then she turned around and walked away toward the next shop, her petticoats bouncing to her newbie walk (Sweetie refuses to wear an AO).

“What happened to the ten seconds?” I asked her in IM.

“Didn’t need it,” she replied.

I followed her as she passed two shops that looked interesting to me and walked into a shop that looked like a blingtard’s heaven. She proceeded to stand for ten minutes in front of a gown that looked, to me, particularly mediocre.

“Rezzing?” I asked.

“No. This gown has an interesting cut. I’m thinking about buying it.”

“You’re kidding, right? It’s hideous.”

She bought it, and it looks fabulous on her.

We hit more shops.




“Nothing here.”

Sweetie is a card-carrying fashionista. She got her platinum card by having a wonderful sense of style. At one time I couldn’t understand her criticism of my hooker heels and blingy jewelry and just-a-little-too-big breast size; now I do. I would no doubt be a walking fashion disaster if it wasn’t for her keeping me on track. But shopping with her can be bewildering. Why did she pass up that shoe shop? I thought those slingbacks with fake toes looked pretty good. Why did she stop here? I see nothing spectacular. What’s wrong with this dress? It looks great in the photo. I should buy WHAT? That one? Why?

Life with Sweetie is never boring.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rude Noobs

Written 13 November, 2008

Rude Noobs

It's my opinion that Second Life shows people for who they really are-- and nowhere is this more apparent than with newborn avatars. Many seem to be offensive right out of the box.

Mascara Mistwallow is one such unfortunate. She was rude enough, and impolite enough, to criticize my appearance.

Top: Mascara.

Bottom: Me

It seems Mascara has a lot to be modest about.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Written 30 October, 2008


In October, for the first time I can remember, I had to purchase Lindens to support my profligate Second Life lifestyle. That’s because I was broke.

After a year of steady sales of my goods, suddenly purchases suddenly dropped off 90%. Daily sales have become weekly sales, and my bottom line shows the change.

I suspect I’m not the only one to whom this has happened.

And I suspect it’s not a coincidence that the drop in sales began just when the economic crunch hit.

Yeah, the three big indicators of recession and possible impending depression: the stock market plummets, credit is frozen, and Chey’s sales dwindle.


Ruth and Casper

Written 5 November, 2008

Ruth and Casper

The Release Candidate viewer has been having more and more problems of late. It seems sticky, somehow; it’s just nonresponsive. I get long periods with the spinning hourglass in which the world stops. When I right click on an avatar, more often than not the pie menu doesn’t come up. And I crash frequently—when I try to take a snapshot, when I’m camming around, when I open a menu box, and sometimes, apparently, just for the hell of it. Bam! SL just disappears.

Last night I loaded the Nicholaz EC-F viewer. It had been a while since I’d started it, and I was surprised when I saw my old friend Ruth.

We all know Ruth, of course; she was the default avatar for people who were unrezzed. Short and dumpy, she looked not unlike sexologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer—hence the name.

Everyone knew what “You’re Ruthed!” meant. It meant your feet overflowed your shoes, your avatar hair stuck through your prim hairdo, and your clothes fit you poorly. You looked like an ugly Ugly Betty.

Ruth was despised, but she was at least familiar. Awhile back, however, Ruth was replaced by a cloud of gas. Nowadays unrezzed avatars that once showed as Ruth appear as clouds of gas.

Lacking a name for this cloud of gas, people have been saying things like “Hey, you’re a cloud of gas!” or “Why are you a cloud of gas?” But last night I heard a name which will soon enter the Second Life lexicon.


“You’re Caspered.” Has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Second Life's Future: Islands, Not Mainland!

Mainland Elegance

Island Elegance
Written 9 November, 2008

Second Life's Future: Islands, Not Mainland!

We all know the problem with the mainland-- it's ugly and laggy and full of red fences and no-build flags. There are no covenant restrictions, so the land is a hodgepodge of neon-colored skyscrapers, ugly castles, linden plants, sex clubs, campers, rotating ads (fewer now, thankfully, due to new mainland policies), prim walls, and stores filled with poorly-textured goods. The terrain is often bizarre, and would be more so if Linden Lab didn't place severe restrictions upon terraforming limits.

The mainland was the original terrain of Second Life. Unlike private islands, which often follow a theme, it's a hodgepodge of textures, tastes, and builds. One can find pretty spots, but they are usually spoiled by texture screens or the butt-ugly phosphorescent house next door. And as if ugly wasn't enough, many mainland sims contain one or more parcels with lots of laggy scripts and high avatar counts. This bogs down the sim, making life more than unpleasant as the sim frame rate drops and time dilation approaches 0.

A mainland makes some sense, however, especially insofar as traveling by vehicle or on foot. Many of the early mainland sims, in fact, to this day have Linden-owned and maintained roads. They're pretty and  alluring, but alas, they all seem to be set to no-build. This makes it impossible to rez a vehicle.

To drive the Linden roads, one must find a privately-owned lot that will allow build and drive cross-country to reach the road. If you don't hit an overloaded parcel which de-rezzes your vehicle or a red fence, you can (barring a sim-crossing disaster), have a pleasant drive.

If you fly across the mainland, you'll need to maintain an altitude that keeps you away from red fences. This is like flying coast-to-coast on a Boeing 747: you cross a lot of terrain, but you can't see much.

The idea of a large land mass through which one can easily travel is intriguing-- and, I suspect, a large part of the Lindens' vision. The only problem is-- it fails. Any trip through the mainland is bound to end in a crash or an involuntary trip home.

Paradoxically enough, the best places to travel-- the best places to get a sense of distance-- are the private islands. There are hundreds of private estates with multiple sims-- and they are designed, many of them, to provide a constancy of theme and unrestricted travel. It's possible to sail by boat across more than 150 United Sailing Sims, or walk for more than a half hour on the trails at Bliss Gardens, or fly across dozens of Caledonian sims.

For some months now, the Lindens have been busy developing the mainland areas of Bay City and Nautilus. They've enlisted the help of residents, and they have instituted zoning to achieve a consistency of appearance and functionality.

The Lindens have succeeded in the latter. Bay City and Nautilus indeed look like places. But I found them uninspired and, more importantly, empty. And why? Because they offer absolutely nothing that isn't available on a multitude of private estates, and, more importantly, because competency does not equate to fabulousness, they are, bottom line, boring overpriced places.

Here's the big question: why in the world are the Lindens spending so much time and money to (unsuccessfully) make the mainland a bizarro copy of the utterly fantastic islands? Why work to make public space when so many island owners maintain large portions of or even the entirety of their property as parks, beaches, and ocean? Why bother, when the very thing they seem to be seeking already exists, and better than they could have done it themselves?

The Lindens' behavior makes a perverse sort of sense, however, if their vision is for a mainland and a mainland only. If they see islands as somehow unsuitable for the virtual world they want to build, then the recent debacle with openspace sims makes a sort of sense. What better than placing a price constraint on the number of openspaces to lower their number?

One would think that with openspaces and full-size sims selling like hotcakes, the Lindens would take that to the bank and just keep on raking in fees. Perhaps they might make minor adjustments to prim or avatar limits if there are indeed performance problems on the openspaces, but it seems they have good thing going. Why muck it up?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We Protect and Serve

Written 8 November, 2008

We Protect and Serve

Here I am in my illicitly-gained cop gear.

The hair had to go because of the hat. Duty first!

The Raid on the Police Station

Send us Lindens or you'll never seen your beloved donuts alive again!

Written 8 October, 2008

The Raid on the Police Station

Cheyenne Palisades is lying on the grass at the Pigpen Memorial Sculpture Park and Gallery, watching videos from the 1960s with Greg Paslong and Vivien Janick. The Machinima Expo doesn’t start until tomorrow, but Greg and Viv snuck in, and here we are, watching Bo Diddly and Hendrix and the Dead, flashing back to the 1960s. Peace, man!

There’s nothing like breaking into a festival the day before it starts. No crowds, no lag, no one spamming the chat. Woo hoo!

Speaking of breaking in...

A long time ago Sweetie and I had the pleasure of sneaking backstage at the Moulin Rouge at Paris 1900. Their huge invisiprim security system? Pah! We spat upon their huge invisiprim security system! Or, rather, we sat on it and got off on the other side. Security compromised!

Today we had the pleasure of breaking into a police station. We had gone to see Linden Lab’s much-vaunted Nautilus and Bay City areas. (And what did we think of them? Well, Sweetie didn’t even give them the obligatory 10 seconds to impress her. They were competently executed, but they just lacked fabulosity. And they were empty, only 1-2 avies per sim. That tell you anything, Lindens?)

We were about to leave for someplace—anyplace—else, but then Sweetie spied it.

It being the Bay City Police Department.

The building was a boring copy of a real-life police station, down to the donuts, and there was no one else on the sim.

So I ask you, what would YOU have done?


Sweetie (talking to the empty front desk): Help, Help! I am being mugged by a vampire! Help, help, help, help!

Sweetie: Help!

Sweetie: 911!

Sweetie: Help! I am being attacked by a retarded linden build!

Cheyenne: I'm here to make a report

Cheyenne: My animations are missing

Cheyenne: Someone stole them

Cheyenne (looking menacingly at Sweetie): Only ONE person was anywhere near!

Sweetie: The prims have taken over

Steel door reception: You must be in the same group as the door to enter.

Driver Seat whispers: You do not have your active group set the same as this vehicle...

Sweetie: And they are arrogant ugly photorealistic prims!

Sweetie: Help, help!

Sweetie: I am here to report the theft of my virtual reality!

The door that led into the depths of the police station was locked, but, accomplished brigand that I am, I sat on the cop car in the garage. It didn’t let me drive it (THAT would have been a riot!), but it got me past security. Sweetie followed. Then we ran rampage.

Staff gear at Bay City PD whispers: Thank you. Your product will be delivered shortly. (If Second Life is being extremely slow, it can take up to 15 minutes).

Yep, we equipped ourselves with cop uniforms and riot gear.

Then we riffled through their files.

No kidding! The job applications and employee files were in a filing cabinet and unsecured. I grabbed several of them just to see if I could, but when I realized they contained personal data from job applicants I flushed them.

It’s really incredible, isn’t it? The make-believe police department, for Philip Linden’s sake, and the file drawers are wide open!

Sweetie: Yo, pigs!

Sweetie: We're blowing this place

Cheyenne: Pigs die!

Cheyenne: I wish I had spray paint

Sweetie: And we're taking the filing cabinet with us!

Sweetie: The notecards are ours, see?

Sweetie: And you will have to pay handsomely to get them back

Sweetie: We're representing the new President

Sweetie: He is not in favor of your using national Linden Security letters to collect private data

Sweetie: so we are taking the filing cabinet

Sweetie: and your illegal night sticks

Sweetie: and we're taking your donuts too—just ‘cause we can

Sweetie: By the way, your locks SUCK!

Box of Donuts gave you 'Donut'

Friday, November 7, 2008

Will the Last Person Leaving Second Life Please Turn Off the Lights?

Written 7 November, 2008

Will the Last Person Leaving Second Life Please Turn Off the Lights?

Hi, everybody. M. Linden here. You know, the CEO of Linden Lab. That guy.

It goes against my every double-dealing, deceiving, layoff-loving, downsizing, outsourcing instinct, but I’ve been working the steps and I got to the one where I have to make amends for all the wrongs I’ve done.

I’m sorry to say I’ve lied to you all.

About our openspace sim policies: you’re not abusing the sims. Our servers aren’t overloaded. You did exactly what we knew you would do when we made them available singly and doubled the prim limits. You bought them like crazy and made lovely parks, oceans, and light residential areas. Yeah, a few folks abused them by putting malls and clubs on them, but even so, our machines were fine.

Here’s the real deal: Our servers aren’t broken. It’s Linden Lab that is broke.

I’m sure you watch the news. You know the stock market is in free fall. You know the world’s economy has collapsed. You know the credit markets have shut down, that getting a loan of any sort is just about impossible.

Hey, we have expenses! We have several hundred employees—and do you have any idea what our electric bill is? It’s not cheap to power all those servers! And speaking of servers, we have to find the money to buy a lot more of them so we can sell you more virtual land and then jack up the prices. And let’s not forget my obscenely large bonus. Well, not obscene by corporate standards, just obscene when compared to your paychecks. I’m not sure how you can afford those sims, considering what you take home. Doesn’t it cut into your caviar budget?

I know almost every one of you is mad at us here at the Lab. You should be. We deceived you. We did the old bait-and-switch, hoping you would fall for our bullshit. You know, convince you to buy an openspace sim, or four, or a dozen, and get 3750 prims for $75 USD a month, woo hoo! Then, after thousands and thousands of you bought them we would jack up the price to $125, hoping you would fall for our “you’re causing a problem” line. And you guys ARE causing problems. We had to hire a new full-time employee just to take the cash to the bank in a wheelbarrow. We had to buy the wheelbarrow, too.

And yeah, I know the new and improved openspace policy of October 5 is just a turd covered with gilt. Nothing has changed. We’ll still be charging you 66 percent more if you choose to keep your openspace as it is. We thought it would fool you. But with 128 pages of commentary on the forum, we can see it hasn’t. My bad.

We thought, yeah, sure, some of the owners will abandon their openspaces. We’ll just turn around and sell them again. But instead, you’re dumping openspaces in droves, and even getting rid of your full sims. You’re dropping your premium membership status. And no one is buying new sims, whether openspace or full. You say it’s because you don’t trust us.

I know a lot of you have established accounts on alternative grids and are just waiting until they’re stable and full-featured so you can close your Second Life accounts and move there permanently.

I know you’re angry. I get it.

But forget your anger, and do this. Trust us.

Trust us. We know we’ve done little to earn it and everything to lose it, but hey, we’re working a vision here. We need your money.

I know now that if I had come forth and asked Second Lifers to give us their financial support, they would have. I know you would have dug deep in your pockets and bailed us out of our difficulties. But I listened to that damn Jack. Yeah, that’s what I did. It’s all his fault.

So let’s just forget this all happened. Come back from the OSGrid. Come back from There. Come back. Buy more openspace sims. You’ll be content and happy with 750 prims for $75 USD a month. We’ll all be happy together.


Why is there an echo here?




OS Grid

Photos Taken on the OS Grid. For Some Reason
My Eyes Keep Disappearing, And So Does My Hair

Written 6 November, 2008

OS Grid

The OS Grid (, Blogger is being dorky again)  is an alternative virtual world based on viewer technology Linden Lab has opensourced. It looks almost exactly like Second Life. So, too, do any number of other grids.

OS Grid is predicated open OpenSim, a platform which, running Second-Life like server code, allows anyone to download free software and turn a spare computer in a server with their own Second-Life like regions. They can then connect these regions to OpenSim and theoretically, people are working hard to implemenet this) move their avatars between their own grids and the grids of others.

The OS Grid is new and buggy, with, as yet, no economy. Many features, including physical objects, are as yet unimplemented or poor implemented—but land is cheap and membership is free. It’s easy to register and log on, and an investment of less than a thousand dollars (that counts buying a server if you don’t already have a computer that can serve as one; if you already have a spare computer, the price will be minimal) will set you up with a mini-grid of your own.

This weekend I made an account on OS Grid and journeyed there. When I logged in, I found myself at a welcome area, one of a throng of newbies. I spotted someone who had been around for a couple of weeks, made friends with her, and got a landmark to her freebie store. There I picked up some skins, clothes, prim hair and shoes, and she gave me an animation overrider. I spent 15 minutes changing my shape to my Second Life specs, and then was off exploring.

OS Grid looks a lot like Second Life did in 2004. It’s raw and unpolished and buggy. I crashed frequently, and I tended to lose my hair at sim crossings. The Notes tab in Profiles wasn’t working, and I couldn’t see my body parts in the little windows in Appearance. But the experience was quite SL-like, and every one of my Second Life skills transported perfectly.

OS Grid and its brethren are still new and rough—they’re still in the alpha phase of development— but I have every expectation that in six months or a year they’ll be running smoothly and without many of the build-in limitations of Second Life. A lot of people will be migrating there from SL.

I may well be one of them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

United Sailing Sims— Goodbye?

Written 6 November, 2008

United Sailing Sims—Goodbye?

One of the most pleasant areas in Second Life is an interconnected area of more than 130 sims (most Openspaces) dedicated entirely to sailing. The United Sailing Sims look for all the world like New England’s maritime areas or the islands off the coast of Southern California. With the exception of a land mass on which can be found an airfield and Second Life’s only golf course, the sims are ocean sprinkled with islands. Some are one hundred percent water. Vegetation is light, residences are few, and lag is minimal. The sims are a pleasure for recreational boating, and the weekly races are fun to watch. Sweetie and I, often with friends, have spent many pleasant afternoons boating or watching races there.

Last week SLCN TV (; stupid Blogger won't let me make the link) Iscreened, in world, the sailing sims’ weekly regatta. The regions were packed with boats and people, to an avatar angry and upset with Linden Lab for its proposed policies regarding Openspace sims. The sails of many boats bore protest slogans. Other communities, even the usually reclusive pirates, were present to show solidarity.

SLCN TV commentator MarkTwain White made it clear the United Sailing Sims group cannot live with the Lindens’ new Openspace policies. Someone on screen said the purchase of more than twenty Openspace sims has been postponed until this crisis is resolved.

A number of people have been to OSGrid ( to check it out. So have I. The general conclusion is that at present alternative grids don’t provide an acceptable alternative to Second Life—but in six months or a year, OSGrid or one of the other alternative grids may well be viable places to live.

I’ve no doubt that without some accommodation by Linden Lab the majority of the sailing sims will shut down in hopes of one day migrating en masse to the OS Grid. Second Life will be losing some of its best citizens and some of its best places—people and places which, I would argue, exemplify SL at its best. After all, the Second Life Sailing Federation recently raised more than 1.1 million Lindens for cancer research. That’s more than $4000 US, huge by Second Life standards.

Mass migrations between platform are not unheard of. The Gorean community came here as a unit from The Sims Online or There, I disremember which. So, also, have any number of role playing groups.

That the people behind the United Sailing Sims are even THINKING of abandoning their sims or leaving Second Life is a signal that Second Life as we know it is in dire danger. When other virtual worlds—soon— offer as good or better tools, communities, and prices, what will there be to keep us here/ What, other than our loyalty to Linden Lab? What will stop us from decamping?

Answer: nothing.

And that loyalty? It’s pretty much a thing of the past.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

No Damn Cigar!

Written 5 November, 2008

No Damn Cigar!

Michel sent me a link to the policies for the new Openspaces.

They will be allowing only 750 prim for the $75/month sims.


OpenSpace Policy Revisited

Written 5 November, 2008

OpenSpace Policy Revisited

The Linden Blog today has an entry from M. Linden concerning OpenSpace sims.

Linden Lab is advancing a two-tier system for Openspaces-- a lower prim region with limited avatar and script usage and a $75 US monthly tier, and a higher prim region with more prims, scripts, and avatars allowed. The latter region will have a tier of $125, but there will be a six-month period in which the price will be $95.

M. thanks Second Life's residents for their mostly constructive feedback-- but I can't help but wonder whether the revised policy is the one the Lab wanted in the first place-- whether we have been played, made angry so we could accept what is still a betrayal.

For now, we'll be keeping Whimsy Kaboom under the second option. We're waiting to hear from Michel Runningbear about Whimsical Mischief.

Riding the Zero

Riding the Zero

Model P51 on the Sidewalk at My Parents' House. I Lay Down
to Get the Photo With My Light-Leaky $5 Camera. I Was 14.

Above: Screen Shot From Empire of the Sun

Written 31 October, 2008

Riding the Zero

At the top of a crystal tower on the Yamato sims Sweetie and I found a miniature Japanese fighter. When we touched it, a full-scale plane rezzed, and we rode it (singly, as it’s a one-seater), around Yamato, finallly making a water landing at some conveniently-located (for their owners) shops.

Flying level alongside the Yamato battleship, I was reminded of a great visual from the Spielberg film Empire of the Sun. A young Christian Bale, who has been interred by the Japanese in a prison camp, is on top of a control tower as an American P-51 Mustang fighter, canopy back, flies parallel to the runway, 25 feet from the ground. The shot was magnificent on the big screen, one of my favorite video images ever.
I happen to have the Empire DVD. I had hoped to contrast a still from the film with a snapshot I made in Second Life, but I can’t seem to capture the image. Oh, well. So here instead is a photo I made of a plastic model P-51 with my first camera, which I got for Christmas when I was fourteen.

Late-breaking news! I did manage to capture one image from the CD!

Ride the zero here.

Remember Pearl Harbor!

Written 27 October, 2008

Remember Pearl Harbor!

A mighty military force is under construction in Second Life, and I’m worried.

Awhile back I visited the Yamoto of Japan region. I was impressed with the giant WWII era Japanese battleship I found there. The Yamato filled nearly the entire sim. It was bristling with guns.

Before I left, I picked up a fashionable Japanese sailor’s uniform.

This weekend I took Sweetie to see Yamato and perhaps parade before her in my sailor uniform. Wow, had things changed!

In place of the single sim, there were now eight sims of military might! We found warplanes, a giant manufacturing plant, a nearly-completed aircraft carrier, and a giant airfield with hangars full of Zero fighters.

December 7 is only a month away. I fear the worst.

Yes We Did!

Written 5 November, 2008

Yes We Did!

Last night Sweetie and I went looking for a place in world to watch the election returns. We didn’t find one.

We did find a lot of places where people were dancing and waving Obama signs, but we didn’t find a quiet place with video.

Pity. It would have been nice to have rung in the new president entirely within Second Life.

Instead, we retired to our house and cuddled and watched election results on our respective browsers, IMing our friends from time to time to check in.

Sweetie and I both voted for Obama, so we were happy with the results. Obama supporters were on the streets in huge numbers, celebrating in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. The entire world, in fact, with the not surprising exception of the seemingly all-white crowd at McCain’s headquarters, seemed ecstatic. Kenya has even declared a national holiday.

Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America.

Thank God.

And woo hoo!