• 24Sep
    Gripes Comments Off

    I don’t often blog about political issues, but the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is just too despicable and infuriating for me to stay silent.

    The Keystone XL pipeline is a proposed 1700-mile long pipeline that would carry diluted tar sands from Alberta, Canada to Texas. Tar sands (also called oil sands) are a mixture of sand and bitumen, a type of gooey petroleum that resembles tar. Tar sands can be processed into crude oil, and then refined into petroleum products like gasoline (aka. petrol), propane, and motor oil. TransCanada, the oil company who wants to build the pipeline, plans to process the tar sand in Houson, Texas, and from there will likely ship the product overseas. This plan would be extremely lucrative for TransCanada, but devastating to the US and global environments.

    Continue reading »

  • 17Aug

    Last month, Google rolled out its new “Google+” social networking platform, and it enjoyed an enthusiastic reception among metaverse residents, tech bloggers, and others. Google+’s “Circles” feature, which gives you more fine-grained control over who you share with, seemed to be an indication that Google+ would be more privacy-conscious than its established competitor, Facebook.

    Unfortunately, the appeal of Google+ quickly wore off, as it became apparent that Google was suspending accounts judged to be using a pseudonym or other “not real” name. The first highly-visible case among the Second Life crowd was Opensource Obscure being suspended, but hundreds more Second Life users were suspended within a week. And it wasn’t just Second Life residents: pseudonymous accounts of all types were being suspended en masse, along with accounts representing companies and organizations. Official statements from Google employees confirmed that Google+ users are required to use what Google calls “common names” or “real names”.

    Continue reading »

  • 13Dec

    Every once in a while, some Second Life drama will erupt about a “client detection system” (CDS), a scripted product that supposedly protects your store from content rippers (aka “content thieves”) by banning users of untrusted viewer programs. There was such an episode last week, with a certain store using a certain CDS that wrongly banned a legitimate customer using a legitimate viewer. I won’t bother mentioning the name of the store or the CDS, because this post isn’t about that specific incident. This post is about every CDS, every store, and every viewer.

    (Full disclosure: the viewer in that particular case was the Imprudence Experimental, which I am involved with. But, users of other viewers have been wrongfully banned by similar systems in the past.)

    Simply put, a CDS does not provide any significant protection against content rippers. It is snake oil: a product created to commercially exploit store owners’ fear. If you have a CDS set up in your shop, you aren’t protecting your content, you’re just paying someone to invade your customers’ privacy, drive away legitimate customers, and blemish your reputation.

    Most people don’t understand how a CDS works, but believe that it might actually be able to stop content rippers. The purpose of this post is to explain how they function, why they are ineffective, and furthermore why they are harmful to your customers and bad for your business.

    Continue reading »

  • 26Oct

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about Minecraft, a 3D exploring/digging/building game that has been receiving a lot of attention lately. I first started playing Minecraft about a month ago, and it was clear after two days that it would consume my every waking hour if I let it. I put some self-imposed limits on how much I could play it, with modest success. After 10 days, a painful-yet-fortuitous glitch deleted my world, and I used the opportunity to try to pry myself away from the game.

    Yet, even though I haven’t played it in over three weeks, I still feel an urge to play it nearly every day. There is something about its creative, free-form play that is incredibly attractive, even addictive. Meanwhile, I have my own OpenSim region where I can create and do anything I want, yet it sits neglected for lack of time, interest, or motivation.

    Why this stark difference? Why is Minecraft, the more limited and less creative of the two, the more appealing? And what, if anything, can I do to harness the creative drive that Minecraft inspires, and channel it into my OpenSim region and other projects?

    Continue reading »

  • 23Apr

    Yesterday, April 22, was my fourth rezday. It was four years ago yesterday that I logged in to Second Life for the first time, and the persona of Jacek Antonelli was born.

    Yesterday was also the last rezday I’ll be celebrating in Second Life. A recent culmination of circumstances has pushed me away from Second Life, and triggered my migration to OpenSim. I’ll be wrapping up my affairs over the next month, then putting my Second Life account on the shelf. By this time next year, I expect SL to be mostly irrelevant to my day-to-day life.

    Continue reading »

  • 05Dec

    Linden Lab announced yesterday that they’ll be starting Linden Homes a new land program to entice users into upgrading by providing premium users with a free 512 sq.m. mainland plot, including an unfurnished house. There will be some restrictions on the parcel, though: “the house cannot be removed and the parcels cannot be sold, joined, terraformed or divided. Events and classifieds cannot be created for these parcels; only Premium Members can own them, and only one per account.”

    I’ve heard some grumbling from various established Residents, along the lines of, “Why do they think I would want this?” Indeed, it’s a really weak incentive for existing premium users who are already established in Second Life. A small parcel you can’t sell, a house that you can’t change or remove, and no events or classified listings allowed? Pshaw! Who would want that, when you can own your own, fully featured and customizable land?

    Well, to all the people unimpressed with LL’s offering, allow me to point something out: It’s not for you. Or for me, or anyone else who has owned or rented land before.

    Continue reading »

  • 15Oct
    Musings Comments Off

    Tomorrow, October 15 from 3-4 PM SLT, we’ll be having a discussion at UXIG about new features and improvements to the SL viewer that would improve Second Life (and OpenSim) as a platform for creating machinima.

    We’d especially love to hear from machinimists who are currently working with Second Life:

    • What are the most frustrating or annoying aspects of working with SL to make machinima?
    • What new features would help make SL machinima easier, better quality, or more expressive than it is now?

    The in-world discussion will be tomorrow, October 15 from 3-4 PM SLT (i.e. Pacific time) at Hippotropolis in Second Life. If you can’t attend the in-world discussion, I’d still love to have your comments here on this blog post, on Plurk, or on the SL-UX mailing list!

  • 17Sep

    The SL fashion world has spawned a bizarre and mysterious type of device known as the anti-inspect shield. The primary purpose of these devices is to deter other people from checking the names and creators of attachments you are wearing, so that they can’t go and buy the same things you did and copy your “style”. The shields accomplish this by surrounding your avatar in many layers of transparent prims, so that other people can’t right click and Inspect your other attachments — their click will hit the shield instead.

    Anti-inspect shields are a contentious issue for many reasons. Not the least of these is that it deprives designers of the new customers they could have gained from people seeing and admiring your outfit, and finding out who made it. But just as bad is that they severely reduce your framerate and the framerate of everyone around you, as Gabby Panacek has demonstrated.

    Hurting the creators of the items you love, and slashing everyone’s framerates in the process? Well, that’s pretty vain and selfish, but maybe it’s worth it to stop “copycats” from stealing your style? Perhaps it would be, if the shields actually stopped people from inspecting your attachments — but they don’t.

    In fact, there’s an extremely quick and easy way to completely bypass the shields, and you don’t even have to fiddle around trying to get the right camera angle. All it takes is 3 easy steps, which I’ll demonstrate with Caer Balogh’s lovely brown paper bag “Advanced Fashion Shield 1.0″, which Gabby kindly passed on to me. It’s just as useless as the real shields at stopping people from inspecting, but doesn’t hurt your framerate, and is way more stylish.

    Bypass Anti-Inspect Shield in 3 Easy Steps

    1. Enable Advanced > Rendering > Hide Selected. (Use Ctrl-Alt-Shift-D to turn on the Advanced menu if you need to.)
    2. Open Edit mode (Ctrl-3) and click on the shield to select it. It will disappear from your view (except for its outline). If the person is wearing multiple shields, you can hold Shift and continue to click them until you have selected (and thus hidden) them all.
    3. Click on the attachment you want to inspect.

    Even the biggest, primmiest, laggiest shield, whether scripted or unscripted, sculpty or nonsculpty, can be bypassed in just a few clicks using this method.

    So if you have a shield, please, take it off. All you’re doing is making SL less enjoyable for yourself and everyone around you.

  • 21May

    I’ve counted Dusan Writer as a friend (or at least a friendly acquaintance) ever since I met him in the course of his UI design contest a year ago. He’s an interesting personality, and generally an intelligent fellow and a thoughtful writer.

    So, it’s with some disappointment that I read Dusan’s recent post on Second Life’s permission system. His post is prompted by the progress of VWR-8049, a proposal to allow users to choose the default permissions for new objects that they create.

    Dusan comes out strongly against it, and although I’m firmly in favor of it, that’s not the disappointing thing; I don’t mind people disagreeing with me. What disappoints me is that Dusan has bought into the baseless FUD that certain individuals have piled onto the issue.

    Alas, not only does Dusan believe the FUD and let it color his entire analysis of the feature, but he also regurgitates it in a most unsavory and uncharacteristic manner, littered with baseless attacks, ranting nonsequiturs, and flawed thinking. I’m usually content to let this sort of thing lie, but it boggles my mind that FUD of this sort could spread when it has so many holes in it.

    Continue reading »

  • 05May
    Musings Comments Off

    Venerable Second Life journalist and blogger Tateru Nino is running an opinion poll to try to find out how the SL populace really feels about Linden Lab’s upcoming Adult Content policies.

    She’s trying to get an accurate sampling of opinions, which means lots of people need to vote, so she’s asking for everybody’s help to spread the word and get votes from as many people as possible. But the idea isn’t to get just the people who feel the same way as you do to stuff the ballot — spread the word in all circles, so we can really find out how people feel.

    So, please give it a vote and spread the word (but considerately — don’t spam). The poll is running until May 12, a week from today.

« Previous Entries   

Recent Comments

  • The feet and hand control bones can be used for inverse kine...
  • thanks! It's woahking! However I have a problem...someho...
  • it is very nice.i can easly understood for animation work.th...
  • I just want to thank you very much!...
  • Sorry, the exporter only works with Blender 2.49 and earlier...