• 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!

  • 11Oct


    This is my first experiment in animating SVG with JavaScript! The image was created in Inkscape, then I edited the XML to add JavaScript code to adjust the arm’s rotation every 35 milliseconds. This is my second JavaScript program ever!

    It should work correctly on most modern browsers. If you don’t see the arm moving, you may need to turn on JavaScript. If you don’t see the image at all, you should upgrade to a browser with SVG support, like Firefox or Chrome!


  • 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.

  • 31Aug

    I’ve been making some positive life changes lately. You know, the usual stuff: eliminating stress, exercising more, focusing on the things in life that are important to me, … and transforming into a mermaid!?

    Mermaid 4 in SL

    As you can see, I’m shedding my human-ness in SL, and embracing my aquatic side. There’s still a ways to go in the transformation. I need new hair, eyes, and probably a new wardrobe! (Hrmm. I guess that’s what my fortune cookie meant: “You will be doing a lot of shopping soon… in bed!”)

    But, the first stage is done: a new skin! My deepest gratitude to Eloh Eliot for her Starlight skin, which I used as a base. Without Eloh’s generosity, my skin would have taken weeks, instead of a few days. Actually, I probably wouldn’t have even attempted it, as it wouldn’t have been worth the time investment.

    Continue reading »

  • 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 »

  • 10May
    Cuddlefish Junction Comments Off

    Deliverator Promo Image: the Deliverator is more than just a hollow wooden box. It's mass delivery made dead simple.

    Deliverator users, rejoice! I’ve upgraded the server to be better than ever: Deliverator can now deliver to practically anyone in SL! If you’ve had trouble delivering to certain people, those troubles are a thing of the past!

    The only people Deliverator might not be able to deliver to are super-newbies, less than a day or two old — and you can just try again the next day and it’ll probably find them. Woo!

    This improvement was on the server, so you don’t even have to upgrade your Deliverators or anything like that. It’s magic!

    As always, the Deliverator is available for just $500, only at Cuddlefish Junction. It’s totally the easiest way to send out gifts, invitations, and other items to your friends or customers! And you don’t even have to make them click some silly sign!

    Tags: ,

  • 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.

  • 05Apr
    Cuddlefish Junction Comments Off

    Today is the last day to get your hands on the special Squidcrotch edition Squidogram! (Don’t know what a Squidogram is? Picture each of your friends with a talking, kissing squid clinging to their face — or in this case, a bit lower — and you’ll grasp the concept quite firmly.)

    Each squid is just L$50, with 5- and 10-packs available at a nice discount! These special edition Squidograms are on sale only at Cuddlefish Junction, and only through the end of today, April 5! They won’t be for sale again until next spring — if ever!


  • 31Mar
    Cuddlefish Junction Comments Off

    Reports in the latest medical journals indicate a sharp rise in the incidence of a bizarre condition known as “squidcrotch”. The spread of this mysterious affliction is expected to reach its peak in the coming week.

    We spoke with Dr. Carol Fische of the Center for Delirium Control to find out what the average person needs to know about squidcrotch. “Squidcrotch is an extremely laugh-threatening condition. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of preparation. The last thing anyone wants is to be caught with your pants down, a squid groping at your woozle with its slimy little suckers, and not knowing quite how to react.”

    Dr. Fische advised that squidcrotch victims should be treated with care and respect. “Your first reaction upon seeing a friend or loved one with a cephalopod clinging to their crotch will be to double over in laughter, or perhaps take incriminating snapshots. But nothing could be more damaging to that individual’s sense of personal dignity. Except posting a video on the internet, I suppose.”

    Research efforts have revealed that squidcrotch is spread from person to person, usually being transmitted from one friend to another after purchasing a peculiar bucket for L$50. Symptoms to be on the watch for include: moist, slimy underwear, an awkward feeling of satisfaction, and a large squid dangling from your doodly bits.

    Dr. Fische urged against visiting Cuddlefish Junction between March 31 and April 5, citing a high risk of hilarity ensuing.


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