Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Via Taunt i learned that IMVU is cracking down on Trademark violations.
"Recently, we received a notice from a large company claiming that their trademark was being used on products sold in the IMVU catalog. We take Trademark violation very seriously and are removing all instances of this violation of both our TOS and US law."
When will it be SL's turn?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Goodbye to Kin Keiko

I just read this at pixelpinup.

Goodbye to Kin Keiko

This is horrible, horrible news. But kin Keiko, the hair artist we’ve all been crazy about over the past monthes, is gone.

At first some of us noticed she was banned, but figured she’ll come back. Only a few hours ago her stuff were still available for sale, but now their gone too.

Here’s what happened from her boyfriend’s profile:

If anyone is wondering where Kin went… She spent all summer trying to sell hair and make money to give her spending cash this semmester at school. When she tried to sell it for USD, they cross checked her account info, and found her old brother’s account that had been banned in 2004. So they banned her. All her money is gone and now she probably cant go back to school in Sept. She asked me to say goodbye to you all, and that she’ll miss the people she got to meet.

We’ll miss you too Kin.

IM Dazzo Street to sign a petition asking LL to let Kin back.


Written by Canimal Zephyr on 13 August
This does make me think, if SL is supposed to transform into the metaverse, do you think people should be able to be banned from it? Banned in 2004, banned forever. Should you be able to be banned permanently from the Internet? To my knowlegde only serious crackers get banned from useing computers, if they don't get job at the CIA/NSA. But atleast they are told how long the sentence is.

Besides that, getting punished for the sins of your brother, how rediculious is that. I know we might not know the whole story. But if you advertise with "Come to SL and make a RL living" maybe you should not ban people and deny them their hard earned cash. Create tools for us to use to determine if someone is trustworthy or not.

Lets hope this gets quickly resolved.

Update: Iris Ophelia interview Kin, and it seems LL have paid Kin her money, but the ban is still active.
"They closed Nakama for Kin. She cried. She is getting her money back, at least. Toni and I interviewed her last night. We're hoping to publish this in next week's M2, and hoping to have an official Linden statement. It would be great if we could report them letting her back in. Restoring her inventory. Technically speaking I don't think that's possible."
And Hamlet has some Linden words on the whole incident.
"The [Kin Keiko] account appears to be closely associated with a series of account that were previously expelled from Second Life for behavior and fraud," Linden Lab Director of Community Services Daniel Linden tells me by e-mail. "Our staff are reviewing that association, and will return the account to active status if assertions about the account's use and ownership can be verified. I expect and hope that this can be cleared up quickly; it sounds as though Kin Keiko is a popular member of the Community, but it is beholden upon us to ensure that individual who have been expelled from Second Life remain expelled."
I wonder if the out cry on the blogs had something to do with it.
Might prove that without the forums we are still being heard. ;)


400k users on the front page, I'm 13 days off on my prediction that we would reach it on the end of July. But what does such a number say anyway, if it is constantly redefined as it has been again on the LL blog.

"The number that is currently on our home page is a time-weighted average between “total number of sign ups ever” and “total number of logged in users over the last 60 days”. As of right now, those numbers are 493,563 and 225,028."

Last time i saw a answer on what the front page resident number represented, i think it was logins in the last 90 days. But might be remembering incorrectly can't find a post where they give a exact answer.

Anyway, what does time-weighted average between “total number of sign ups ever” and “total number of logged in users over the last 60 days”, actually mean? I wish i paid better attention at Statistics in college. Even Google can't really help me out here, and to be honest I think we haven't been given enough information to know what data they are using. If someone does know, please share. ;)

Total number of sign ups ever, and total number of logged in users over the last 60 days, are much more useful and clear for the average user. And am glad that they will be shared. Actually we already can see the 60 days number in the economic stats. (only accesible with a SL account) It shouldn't be so hard to add the Total sign ups there as well. And i wonder why it was not done earlier

Catherine Omega asked some questions as well. And to be honest Sally Linden's answer feels like a cop out.

"There’s limited real estate on the home page, as I’m sure you know. We’re trying to put statistics there which represent useful trends, rather than the flash volatility of the latest huge press buzz."

The average users hardly ever visits the front page after sign up, and the number doesn't really tell anything to a new users, especially if it isn't a straightforward number. More stats can easily be put on a separate page, and all that is needed is a link on the front page or community page to it. Hopefully we are going to see that next week with a lot more stats like: Unique logins last 24 hours, day, week, 2 weeks, months, 2 months, etc.

And as Baba says it in a comment:

"Just throw out an XML file and give us API keys ;0"

After all, part of the The Tao of Linden is: Be Transparent and Open.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bits and Pieces

The Vancouver Sun has a story about our very own Nexus Nash.
“Canada's newest real estate baron is a 23-year-old recent university grad who still lives at home with h is parents in Ottawa.”

After a few paragraphs about Nexus it goes on about general SL-ness, but i has a nice picture of Nexus that ladies can cut out and swoon with, and fantasize about meeting at the SLCC. ;)

On a more saterical note on webpronews seems SL to invert on itself.
“Virtual fans everywhere rejoiced with the news that Second Life is creating a presence in Second Life. “

So soon i will be playing Aimee Weber in SL-SL. I wish.

"Third Life helps differentiate our brand and gives Second Life players even more of a good thing," says Getta Life. "It was either this or Second Life cereal, but Mikey's agent was being a real prick so we bailed. We also got tired of everyone announcing their presence in Second Life. This should shut the marketers up for awhile."

It just seems to be some random sillyness, but that's good.

God moves in mysteries ways, virgin Mary in a plywood texture. You can own it for only 30k.

“This incredible item is a gift from God himself and a true sign of His existance. People will flock from sims around to see this prim, to touch it, to be healed by it's holy aura. Never before has such a sight been seen in SL. Seize the opportunity to own this wonder today!

**All proceeds to go to the maintenance of the Walden sim** “

The Walden sim is actually a nice woodsy place that i have visited recently, it is a sim dedicated to Walden woods project. And hey this got them some attention. ;)

And off course i can't say nothing about the forum closing. I share a bit of the same opinion with Siobhan, people got awfully nasty pretty fast. It is all overblown drama if you ask me. Two points are mostly named for their reason to be upset.

  1. What about noobs

  2. Where do we discuss.

Well the first is easy, the new resis don't have to go anywhere else, all the meaningful forums for them stay open. It might make it actually easier for them to find what they need.

The second point is silly, the people that are screaming are all vets that know perfectly well where the other venues are for silly banter and drama mongering. SLUniverse and SecondCitizen So there you go. It will sort it self out, stop worrying people.

Allmost 400k users, i have a post ready for hours allready for that special occasion, but the count seems to be stuck. :(

Should i post it already?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Forums axed - a logical next step

I am a little sad of it myself, because the forums are often the easiest way, to keep up at least a little connection to SL when I am on the road and don't have the bandwidth available to connect to SL. But this will soon be gone as most forums will be frozen and phased out, as Robin Linden posted yesterday. And even though many good weblogs have appeared lately there never was a more comfortable way to get an overview about current trends and opinions than with the forums.

On the other hand: would you expect someone to create and maintain "A Forum for the Internet"? :)

As it is obviously the policy of Linden Lab to present Second Life as a (the?) platform on which to build the Web 3D, the Metaverse or whatchamaycallit it is a logical next step to give up the one central point of information distribution and discussion on All Things Second Life that were the forums. This is another job that residents will have to do on their own. And I don't doubt for a second that they will do a much better job than the Lindens could ever do - in the long run.

In the short run I doubt, if some of the substitutes for forum functionalities, Robin has named in her blog entry, will work nearly half a good as what we have today. And while it might be very hard to accept that for the Lindens: there is a need - or at least the desire - for many residents to be able to access at least a slice of Second Life from the web. This might be possible in the future. But just now many functionalities - which could very well be used from outside SL and through low bandwidth connections - are either not available on the web or only in a very mediocre form.

But maybe that is just "room for improvement" and an incentive for residents to "build a better mousetrap".

Monday, August 07, 2006

Comments fixed

It's now possible again to comment on Slog.
I also fixed some other thingies, and added more links to other blogs.

I was testing it all on a different page, but now that it is live i notice some tiny bugs.
So stand by while i fix those.
In the mean while, all your comments are welcome. :D

Friday, August 04, 2006

Update August 9th.

Another update with mostly bug fixes and some good changes/features

Release Notes for Second Life 1.11.3(0) August 4, 2006
Other changes:
* System Sound Effects have been decoupled from the Audio Stream
** This allows system sounds like typing to be muted while listening to
live performances and so forth
** Sound Effects volume can now be set in Preferences > Audio & Video >
Sound Effects Volume
** Streaming Audio volume is set as it was before using the in-world
Audio Control panel

Great updated that will make many Live Music Enthusiasts happy. Now finally we can turn down all sound effects and just listen to the music, without relying on a outside application. =)

Bug fixes:
* Preferences no longer save when user profile has non-ASCII character
in its path
* Resolved client crash when clicking Preferences > Popups > Reset 'Show
next time' Dialogs
* CTRL-ENTER once again activates Chat Shout
* Drop-down boxes now respond to control keys as expected
* Resolved client crash related to mute lists
* Resolved client crash related to applying color to an object
* Scroll wheel once again causes Chat History window to scroll
* Drag-selecting text in a type-in field no longer causes selected text
to be stuck
* World Map once again correctly accepts coordinates for pin-point
* First name in a search query is once again automatically highlighted
when search is performed
* Resolved a bug which caused an orange flicker to occur (most
noticeable during sunset and sunrise)
* Upper-case file extensions are now recognized when uploading files and
no longer cause an error

Some nice bug fixes. Ctrl-Enter and Chat history will behave normally again. And one of my annoyances is fixed, the Upper-case file extensions stupidness. No more renaming! :)

Bits and bytes

For those who have not seen Kronos Kirkorian's film Lip Flap, do so! Love the mirror effect, and some funny writing too.

I also enjoyed this zefrank vblog that Satchmo brought to my attention:

Side note 1: I hope some teams are signing on to tackle reuben's challenge to make a play in Second Life. I'd love to see this come to fruition. Boy oh boy will the new puppateer avatar tools help this! I was able to see a demo at SIGGRAPH and it looks fantastic!

Side note 2: For those interested in photography, go check out the Eastman House's exhibit in the sim Learning. The New Media Consortium (NMC) helped bring this about. Learning is a copy of NMC's campus, hosted by the Electric Sheep Company (where I work) and open to the public. I was excited the Eastman House was willing to take a rare step for real-world museums and try out our virtual world. I hope more museums do so. Let's open up collections to people around the world! Let's bring the display and viewing of art back into a social experience, which was never possible on the Web.

Random thought of the day: When you read Van Gogh's letters it jumps off the page just how much his brain was wired to think in terms of color. When you build in Second Life, it's kind of weird to realize you walk around the real world breaking down structures and sculptures around you into prim combinations and texture challenges.

Paved Paradise?

The architect i wrote about Wednesday is one upped. By a new project by the Electric Sheep Company that is mentioned on a couple of blogs. They are creating a 3D model from a 2D drawing for a RL hotel that will open in 2008. And the fun part is, it is a new hotel Brand named Aloft, with no hotels yet. In a way the SL version will be their first.

Being that the first aloft hotel won't open in North America until 2008, we've begun building the virtual aloft in Second Life using a single exterior rendering as our guide. I've posted the image above. As the Electric Sheep team begins their 3-D modeling, we're all excited to see how they take the 2D image and turn it into a three dimensional experience. It's an interesting process that requires both skill to get the textures and sizing as close as possible to the rendering, but at the same time, making some educated guesses about what elements that aren't in the drawing (most notably the back of the building and the pool).

Besides building it they have also been blogging about it, giving us a view in their build and design process. And it's nice to see it isn't all that different from the rest of us. :)
It is a cool project, but I'm not sure what Aloft is hoping to gain from creating a SL version. What i read about Aloft they seem to aim for the hip and trendy, and i would guess this would be a nice marketing move. What I hope is that creating a SL version will help them design a better RL hotel, and they use it to test different room/floor plan configurations. As a immersive environment, SL might gave them some extra insight in that.

But i wonder if they have any long time plans for the build, i noticed they are creating a shopping area, but are still thinking about other things people can do there. This is a greater problem of SL, a lot of nicely created areas without much to do in them. I will give a suggestion, since the hotel is on a tropical island, a fishing game could be created. Maybe even work together with NeoRealms or Les White on that. Maybe that will attract some regular visitors and create a create a bit of community around it.

Reading about the hotel, reminded me of a machinama idea i have that is inspired on Big Yellow Taxi by the counting Crows. Hence the title. :p
They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot

Even though it is a very nice build they did pave paradise. ;)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I will keelhaul you all, Arrr.

Captain Morgan Flint helped me find my Pirate name, Arrr. Seems about right, I am little bit crazy. We even seem to be related, i'm the crazy brother of the all serious Capt'n.
Walk the plank you land lubber, and use the link underneed to get your pirate name.

My pirate name is:

Mad Davy Flint

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network
Quizes like these are older then the internet itself, but they are still fun from time to time. It actually brought me on to a idea. We need a "What kind of SL'er are you" quiz, Hoochie blingtard or Gorean Furry. Would be fun for Mad Davy Flint's like me. :p

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bugging the update

Well, Second Life was up for hour untill logins where closed again.
12:05 SLT - Logins Disabled While Grid Issues Investigated Shortly after we opened up Second Life 1.11.2, we started seeing issues with IMs and Friends Online. We have disabled logins while the issue is investigated.
It closed before i had a change to login, might as well blog a bit more. :P

Today's update did look quite promising. Besides some changes, it consists mostly of bug fixes, which makes me actually smile. Two of them makes me the happiest.
  • Fixed a bug where right-clicking the edges of the viewer window automatically selected pie menu items
  • Friends list now sorts by online status
The first is a recent annoying bug, that came when they made the gestureal pie menu. I'm not even sure most people have noticed that, now you can hold down the right mouse button and move quickly through the pie menu, like a gesture. Glad the bug where it auto selects is fixed, it was very annoying.

The second is something that allways seemed wierd to me, and made me never use my friends list. I allways used my IM window to see who was online and open their profile.

But all the bug fixes are great!
Second Life 1.11.2(4) is now running on the main grid. Release notes are as follows:

Release Notes for Second Life 1.11.2(4) August 1, 2006
Other changes:
* Asset compression expanded to cover objects
* Right-click -> Teleport option added to landmarks
* "Muted Residents" renamed to "Mute List", as it can contain muted objects as well
* Ctrl-\ can now be used to focus the camera on the last agent or object that said something in chat

Script changes:
* llRequestAgentData can now return the resident's account type
** Example usage: llRequestAgentData(llGetOwner(), DATA_PAYINFO);
** No Payment Info on File: 0
** Payment Info on File: 1
** No Payment Info on File AND Payment Info Used: 2 (Only Beta/Lifetime users fall under this status)
** Payment Info on File AND Payment Info Used: 3

Bug fixes:
* Fixed several exploits
* Friends list now sorts by online status
* Both the scripted object and the target of llPushObject must be in push-allowed areas
* Corrected the color of system messages
* Fixed a bug where right-clicking the edges of the viewer window automatically selected pie menu items
* Minimap now fits within its window when taking high-res snapshots
* Telehub spawnpoint removal no longer fails for Estate Owners/Managers
* Fixed a bug where the clear search button was not visible
* Send Postcard floater now gets active focus when "Keep open after saving" is checked
* Fixed a bug where residents would teleport to the wrong location when using the my land window after using the sort tabs
* Double-clicking on map icon ("event") no longer opens wrong panel in Search floater
* Fixed a bug with slow window resize
* Dragging past the end of text field once again scrolls text
* Fixed a bug where the avatar picker name field doesn't have focus on show
* Ctrl+F opening search now puts focus in "All" tab's "Find" text box
* About Land floater no longer goes blank in some use cases
* Resolved issue which caused Minimap window, Build window and Object Edit window to not appear in snapshots when Show UI is selected
* "Update Automatically" no longer clears the "Send postcard" window from the screen
* Fonts now render properly with UI scaling on in fullscreen on Macbook Pro
* Linden Locations shouldn't appear in Popular Places
* Text in Search > Landsales no longer missing
* Fixed a bug with keyboard selection of radio buttons
* Escape now closes menus
* Land sales description now displays correctly in Search > Land Sales
* Snapshot window now follows the same position rules as other windows
* Friends list now sorts by online status
* Toolbar buttons no longer retain focus after use
* UI layout tweaks to the About Land > Options > Show in Find Places drop-down menu
* Improved the experience for uploading a snapshot as a texture
* Fixed a bug with snapshot floater's settings not being persisted
* Made double-click process as a normal click if not handled specially
* Disabled using ALT-Enter to trigger buttons, etc
* Converted media remote control to be a panel to allow tab focusing

Linux client fixes:
* No linux-client-specific fixes in this release
Well, SL seems to have come up again will writing this post, let's see how long it lasts. :P

Skipped a month

Wooha, I noticed I skipped a whole month of blogging. Not that it was without reason, RL was keeping me busy, busy with SL. That's right, SL got me a job. :D

I have been working with Kidsconnect.
Kids Connect is a series of summer workshops providing young people with the opportunity to learn cutting edge skills in media, arts and technology. Participants connect and create with other students in New York and Amsterdam via audio/visual and streaming Internet technologies within the online virtual world of Second Life.
My role was teaching the participants in Amsterdam, SL skills. It was pretty taxing, because I had not teaching experience to speak of prior to this. But I think we can be proud on the results despite some mayor technical setbacks at the start. Might post some screenshots later when SL is back up again.

Being so busy last month I only now caught up with a lot of blogs and news, and noticed new things. For starters it might have become easier to stay up to date about everything related to SL.
  • Second Life Insider only started recently but really seems to be on top on what ever new twist our second life is taking. Bloggers of this site are: Caliandris Pendragon, Akela Talamasca, Aimee Weber, Master Penguin and Local Jezebel.
  • World of SL is a project of Tao Takashi and collects all the RSS feeds of whatever is about SL and has a RSS feed. I think it could be a bit more compact for a quicker overview. I'm not sure if it will of much use to me because I have all those blogs and then some, already in my bloglines and it gives me more control on what I blogs I want to focus. But non the less it will be a great site for someone new and curious to get up to date about what's happens in SL.
  • And last but not least, LL has joined all the different blogs together to one site, Now it will be a lot easier to keep informed about anything LL and the Lindens want to share with us.
Having now myself used Second Life in a RL way has made me more excited about others doing the same. In Virtual Suburbia Chip Poutine writes about Keystone Bouchard, who makes a living as a residential designer specializing in energy efficient 'green' houses in RL. He is using SL as a tool to give his Clients a more immerse experience when previewing his designs. Pretty cool if you ask me.
And this brings me to LordFly Digeridoo who did something similar, as a College assignment he recreated the Piazza Navona in Rome. His teacher was impressed and shows yet again how SL can be used as a rapid prototyping tool.

In august I blogged about how we can change the F1 Help to do our bidding. Chandra Page has a update on that, because of some updates a other file needs to edited.

Besides being busy in RL, I also found some time to be active in the RFL events. Well my activity was mostly bitching to my group to do something. But anyway I'm proud on what my team Vesuvius Fyre and the whole RFL in SL has collected for the American Cancer Society, close to or over 40K US dollars.

Finally about my promise to fix the comments, I didn't keep my word, and haven't taken the time to really look at why it isn't working properly. I will try to get that fixed before SLCC.

Yep, that is right, I'm going to SLCC. woot! Plane tickets and convention are paid for, and I have arranged a place to stay for free. Thank you Rhiannon. :D
So if you ever wanted to meet the Charming Frans in RL, this is your change, hurry up and sign up. Will be a exciting trip, since I never left my poor little country in my conscious life. Flying over the Atlantic will be my first flight ever. I will arriving late 17th and leaving early 27th, I'm looking forward to it. :D

While writing this SL came back up, so see you inside, hope it is good! :)