Why fantasy? We’re definitely not there yet. And I assume about 1% of the internet population drooling over this, no, zeroX? :D Make sure to check out the moral compass (defines the whole map), the mordorsoft area, openness and collaboration heaven, maelstrom of incompatibility, the pit of ‘deep linking’, and clouds of tagging! From now of one, you’ll know where to thread… . ;)
This lovely map was created by PSD - Paul Downey - and can be downloaded in huge printable .pdf format here.
Fun? Almost as fun as Paul Downey’s Flickr Textorizer. Enjoy staring at the map & playing with rendering your photos or snapshots into text!
In the summertime when the weather is fine
You could stretch right up and touch the sky
Now when the weather is fine
You got women,you got women on your mind
I’m going driving right now to see what I can find
Lately, the weather in Belgium has been absolutely fabulous - or at least, so does the owner report. The sun is doing just great: it puts a smile on people’s faces again, it’s light longer and sitting on a patio or the likes with a cocktail becomes a more and more pleasant thought again.
Festivals are starting again, friends call to go and have a drink in the evening, pc’s overheat more easily and a swimming pool or lake with a towel and book - or wifi ;) - becomes a very interesting thought.
At least, it’s like that for my human, who seems to cut down on my playtime now the desperately needed sun is back in the lands. And for you, fellow avatars? Does your human plan to abandon you during summertime, tie you up to a virtual tree whilst he or she goes swimming? Or will the sun and summertime not affect them - and thus your playtime - at all?
As it is a descriptive term, SLart should never have been allowed to be trademarked in the first place: ‘When Minsky filed his application for SLART, the trademark examiner assigned to the case actually did issue a refusal based on descriptiveness‘.
Minsky protested to that refusal of his SLart trademark application with incorrect arguments, but still he got the trademark: ‘… it looks like the trademark examiner simply dropped the ball on this one.‘
As SLart is trademarked now, the SLart community is screwed. Three things that we may consider:
‘Comply with his demands, whether reasonable or not.‘ Thayer Preece includes a minor warning to this option: ‘If you take this route, however, you may be giving up rights that you actually have, as well as strengthening his mark.‘
‘Refusing to cease use of the mark. In this case, it puts the burden on him to take action. If the alleged infringer refuses to stop using the mark, Minsky has to either take legal action, or allow the use to continue.’
‘Petition the USPTO to cancel the mark, if they can prove that it was registered improperly — in this case, because the mark is descriptive and therefore should not have been registered.‘
Thayer Preece also notes that themark - SLart - includes an abbreviation of “Second Life” — a registered trademark of Linden Lab. The Second Life trademark is also used profusely throughout the SLART websites and magazine, even appearing in the websites and magazine’s subtitle. Richard Minsky may claim as he does not only cover Second Life art, that the SL does not stand for ‘Second Life’, but on his website he separates the SL from the ART by using a different colour, which clearly makes it SL ART.
And now on to my reply to Richard Minsky’s reply…
From: ‘a blogger’ To: ‘R. Minsky’ Subject: SLart
I beseech you to ignore the ignorant claims of people who are hiding behind aliases as they slur my real name with false accusations.
R. Minsky, Januari 24, in ‘Infringement of the SLART™ Trademark’
One should always admire people that succeed to write down three false statements in one sentence:
As is written about on Virtually Blind, the fact that Richard Minsky had no right on ‘SLart’ as a trademark in the first place isnot a false claim. Neither is my accusation of Minsky sending out cease and desist letters, and offering a license for the trademark - which he should not own in the first place - in exchange for ‘a small fee’.
Although Richard Minsky chooses to refer to me with the alias ‘a blogger’, I am not hiding behind any: either you apply some basic tekkie skills and do a whois on the vintfalken.com domain, only to find out my RL name and my RL address, or you may just click the ‘About’ page here, to see a glimpse of my human.
Richard Minsky trademarked the ‘SLart’ word, so I write about Richard Minsky, not Artworld Market. It is also Richard Minsky who send out the cease and desist letter to Rezzable. As for slurring and insulting, I only called Minsky a SLass. Following Minsky’s reasoning that SLart is not a descriptive term for Second Life Art, as there is no separation between the SL and the ART, SLass is not a descriptive term for a Second Life Ass. Hence I did not call Minsky an ass. The real definition of SLass lays close to what - Minsky in his trademark application claims - is the real definition of Slart.
… the USPTO published it for opposition in August of 2007. There was no opposition.
R. Minsky, January 24, in ‘Infringement of the SLART™ Trademark’
Indeed. Who would have thought that we had to look out for someone trademarking SLart? As it was not supposed to be allowed to trademark. Isn’t there a rule or something, that you need to inform the people you are planning to send cease and desist letters to, that you’re planning on trademarking it? :d
SLART™ is helping artists in SL achieve recognition for their work. The time that I am spending dealing with this controversy can better be used to help artists in SL get exposure that they do not pay me for.
R. Minsky, January 24, in ‘Infringement of the SLART™ Trademark’
‘… get exposure that they do not pay me for.’ Aargh! Really, Richard Minsky makes it sound as like he was forced to trademark SLart and that he’s the only one interesting in helping out SLartists. Oh, and in the meantime, the fact that he does not charge artists to mention them, makes that he may own the SLart. Geeh. I dislike villains that play victim. Want to spend your - and my - time more useful, Mr. Minsky? Drop the SLart trademark and concentrate more on your SLart & SLartists.
Being noticed, let alone blogged by NWN is always a huge honor - and traffic generator - so, before I forget: ‘Thank you, Mister Au!’ But I must admit, my 5 seconds of SL fame over on Hamlet Au’s blog did leave me with a sour taste in my mouth and hurt feelings in that vulnerable little neko heart.
As on New World Notes, Mr. Au comes up with everything besides the terminology ‘Second Life photography’ to label what we do: SL screenshots, which are images that are processed through Photoshop and I’m an ‘image maker‘. Now I can’t force him to say ‘photographs’, but I think as you refer to people that Photoshop clothing textures as fashion designers, avatars that swing theirselve around a virtual pole to make some l$ as pole dancers in stead of an object revolving around a cylinder and people who line up virtual objects as builders, it is only rightful that you refer to those who make the biggest part of their - virtual - income out of taking portrait shots of avatars, as photographers.
Why SL photographs are NOT screenshots
But as said, I can’t force anybody to do so. I do can give a solid reasoning why Second Life snapshots or photographs, call it as you please, are not screenshots:
A screenshot, screen capture, or screen dump is an image taken by the computer to record the visible items displayed on the monitor or another visual output device.
Second Life snapshots are - unlike to screenshots - not a true recording of the visible items displayed on the monitor or another visual output device. The UI such as chat windows, inventory window, edit windows, … and the client itself are left out using the options in the snapshot feature inherent to the client.
Second Life photographs are - unlike to screenshots - not limited to a certain resolution. If you take a screenshot, you are limited to your monitor’s resolution. Using the snapshot feature, we can take screenshots up to 4000×3000 pixels and more.
When someone sets up a scenery in Bryce, 3D Max, Poser, … and exports it to jpg, you call it - although it’s just a bunch of textured meshes - an illustration, 3D art, but definitely not a screenshot. Where does this differ from Second Life snapshots, where often the whole scenery is as much thought of as it would be in any other 3D designing program?
Now what do you do when all the press is bad? Right, you make your own press. That’s what the people from SLang Life - tagline ‘real information at home’ - must have thought, when browsing trough the latest RL articles on our brave new virtual world. Which means? We get our first real life magazine glossy paper thingie you may put on the toilet, read on the metro or use in the litterbox. And we’ll get it for free! Sure, we are just virtual beings, but see: we can get real life tries to die for us! W00t! As far as I know, those avies over at WoW do not have such powers! :p
A bit to much irony from my side - especially if you take into account my involvement with the SLart at the Cannery book - you say?
I don’t know. It’s nice to see all these pretty photographs on paper, and it’s even nicer they will live through Flickr account deletions, asset server problems and other electronics apocalyptic stuff. But news, opinions, … on Second Life is something temporary? Sculpties and WindLight will not stay ‘hawt’ forever?
And if I look at SLang Life ’s mission statements, I can’t help but wonder:
To be the best source of information about the Second Life platform in printed form. - Ok, you’re the first and only one. So that’s not a hard one.
To present the views, opinions and comments of avatars and journalists in SL and RL concerning the current affairs and events taking place in ‘Second Life’. - Hmmm. I tend to be happy with the information found on the blogs & SL news sites I read. Yeah sure, more in-depth is always possible, but the SL bloggers - small, big and huge ones - are so much faster. They just need to write & press ‘post’. You guys will need to write, lay-out, print proof, print, wrap, post and then wait until it arrives with us and we decide to empty the mailbox. I prefer my news ‘breaking’, especially as it comes to a world that seems to be on double speed compared to our good old solid non-virtual one.
To present texts and opinions reflecting the views of SL society in a wide international perspective. - See ‘2.’
Besides that they did not promise us neat and good looking graphics without diffuse glow, I also wonder about pricing. Printing a magazine is not cheap: IRL you pay lots of money for a fashion magazine that is full of ads. How will you raise enough capital out of ads, still keep the magazine agreeable to read and with content, pay your writers, pay for the dead trees, pay for putting ink on the dead trees and pay shipping fees? My full admiration if you pull this off, as I do not see not anybody pay giant amounts of RL dollars for ads which such a limited ‘public’.
Yet, I have a subscription now. And you’ll see me and my human fighting over the magazine. Just out of curiosity and to see who finishes it first. You can get your own copy of Slang Life deliverd to your mailbox by filling out the subscription form here.
PS. Why the hell would I want a ‘discreet mail (the opaque envelope without sign of content)‘?! That way I can never grab it before the human gets her paws on it!
Akela Talamasca reports on the SLinsider on Linden Labs ruling that a RL photograph of a cat’s skull being crushed is not ‘broadly offensive’ or against our Community Guidelines & ToS. I beg pardon?! As a Neko I feel a terrible anger towards people that dare to do, photograph and spread such images. Being a Neko, I also fear for my Second Life over a longer period. Because, what are we semi-humans but virtual animals?
With this petition, we request that the Community Standards of the virtual world of Secondlife be modified to specify that display or depiction of real life animal abuse which is now occurring within the virtual world of Secondlife will not be tolerated.
Now, I do wonder: will all Second Life fashionistas be willing to give up on photosourced fur textures?
*enters the AAA - Analytics Addicts Anonymous - meeting and takes a seat*
I am an analytics addict!
Woot! I feel way better now. But really, I do like to know where people that read vintfalken.com come from(google, (direct), flickr), what they think they will find (vint falken, sexgen, stripper contest), where they live (United States, Belgium, United Kingdom), how many of them return, what they end up reading, … .
I know those numbers are mainly used to adjust content, to change to attract even more visitors, … but… well… I’m just curious who does like what I write. I can’t claim it does not influence vintfalken.com at all - I could only claim that if I did not know the Analytics data - but consciously, it does not.
So it would be neat to have the same thing - only adjusted to SL data - in my skybox. Who visits there when I’m not around? Do any of them use the photosphere and N30 set up there for visitors? Do they hang around and invite friends over, or just idle? How old are they? Do they come back? So yeah, I’d love to run the SLOGBASE traffic meter. Sadly enough, the land I rent on a RL server is stuck on PHP 4.4.4. :(
And no, I feel not endangered when all those real world business in Second Life know exactly when I visit their sim and for how long, as they will see what I like and what I dislike, what makes me go there and what makes me return or never come back again. And as they want me to return, they ‘ll hopefully adjust their sims. =)
The first part of the session was streamed live from Chicago and focussed mainly on the panel member’s experiences with online journalism and icky reactings from people when writing on ’sensitive’ topics. A good recap of that you can find at the Being Amber Rhea blog.
Second Life session: no voice
Things really started to get interesting for us Second Life Residents with the in-world panel moderated by Meghan Laslocky (avatar Miranda Tibbett), with Lilly Yifu from the Second Sex blog and Regina Lynn (avatar name: Aph Lightworker) who writes articles on tech/sex for Wired. The in-world panel on Privacy, Exposure, Risk was hold in main chat, as Miss Yifu wishes to keep her anonymity and is thus weary of using voice. Strangely enough covering the whole ‘voice in Second Life vs. staying anonymous vs. gender issues’ was not covered in this session. :(
The discussion on Relationships, Privacy, Exposure and Risk
Three rules on internet relationships according to Lilly:
Don’t be in a hurry.
The person you need to meet first, is yourself.
Trust in the community of people.
Queen Tureaud: So are we stupid if we meet someone in RL?
Miranda Tibbett: I don’t think so, no.
Queen Tureaud: putting ourselves in danger?
Miranda Tibbett: But I think, back to Lillie’s point, you need to give it time.
Queen Tureaud: trust them
Miranda Tibbett: Time will show if they’re trustworthy or not.
Queen Tureaud: or being baited
Miranda Tibbett: I think you have to go with your gut. And, yes, the community can help.
[For those curious, yes, two bf’s from Vint’s RL bf history I first met on the internet. Number one on IRC, because of a mutual friend. I got a nice amount of The Cure mp3’s from him. That I got to see him IRL was utter coincidence (yet later we found out planned by the friends). The second one, I fought heavily on the forums, disagreeing with him on about everything imaginable, we met IRL at a party and started to talk for hours. I did not know he was ‘that’ guy. I only learned later - he assumed I knew - but by then it was to late as I was in love head over heals.]
And about using pseudonyms on the internet. I think it’ s far more accepted in SL that you use a pseudonym to write under or to engage in relationships (be it business or personal relations):
Aph Lightworker: Good luck keeping it separate. I tried for a while to separate my “day job” self, to protect those clients from knowing that gasp - I write about sex.
Vint Falken: I think the difference is, in SL , pseudonyms are accepted as real names. Even if you write for one of it biggest newspapers. ;)
Miranda Tibbett: But Lillie, let’s hear from you more about this.
Aph Lightworker: Good point re: names. I think the Reuters bylines hould have full journalist names, not just First Reuters.
Aph Lightworker: if using online community for personal, relationship, entertainment, that’s one thing. but journalism - needs to be up front.
Cybersex: cheating and infectionous?
And then the - by now classic question - ‘is cybersex cheating?‘ And my added one ‘are people that ‘cheat’ online more likely to cheat IRL?‘
Aph Lightworker: Infidelity - I get that question a lot. “Is cybersex or SL sex cheating”
Vint Falken: aph, and what’s your idea about that?
Aph Lightworker: Vint … people who are drawn to online sex desperately hope it’s not cheating … people who aren’t, and who worry about their partners, desperately hope it is cheating … ultimately, it’s something each person and each relationship has to determine
Aph Lightworker: but i will say this: the door is open and isn’t going to be closed again. so i think we have to be open to thinking about ow we figure out relationships and fidelity and play going forward
Phoenixxa Homewood: i agree Aph - it’s to do with intent and understanding between partners & there’s no one answer for everyone
Aph Lightworker: Is’ relationships - doesn’t fit nicely in a little box
Vint Falken: they say using soft drugs gets you closer to hard drugs. is it the same way with cybersex/cybercheating (let’s call it that way): does ‘cheating’ on the internet would make the step IRL more easy?
Miranda Tibbett: Interesting question. Aph Lightworker: Vint, i’m sure it does, because the emotional connection gets strong, and you stay up all night, and you get tired …
Miranda Tibbett: Is there some sort of “gateway” progression to cyber sex?
Aph Lightworker: … and meeting in person starts to be more real, less fantasy
Lillie Yifu: Many of us aren’t paid, or aren’t paid much, to be in sl. For us, the risks of online hararssment aren’t balanced by the rewards of selling more books. Quite the reverse. When you go online here, it is very wise not to reveal too much about your personal life, without thinking about it. There is no check on the front door to sl, anyone can enter, and anyone can be read your profile. A good rule is don’t say anything in public about yourself, that you would not want printed on the front page of a major newspaper.
Aph Lightworker: and one has to do some hard work and step back and ask: what am i doing. is something missing in my relationship offline that this online person fills.
Aph Lightworker: Lillie - YES!
Aph Lightworker: so true
So… did we say totally wrong stuff or totally correct stuff? And if you want to read more about keeping your SL identity totally seperate from your RL one, I suggest you read Veyron’s post on ‘Taking your avatar into cyberspace‘.
This was just to much LMAO not to post. Another one mentioned on Jira:
If you go through the official registration process, you cannot use ‘Massimo’ or ‘Massimiliano’ as first name… apparently because they include the nasty ‘ass’ word. Those are totally legit italian names and should be accepted.
Note that some accounts using ‘asshole’ as a first name are up and working.
I didn’t get the same error going through the registration process with a 3rd party (that was Azure Islands).
LL can’t ‘easily’ resolve this it shows from the comments. So no fixing and no ‘Vass Falken’ alt for me. I’ve checked some Flemish ‘offensive’ words and they are all still available.
No lolita in your search:
Laetizia Coronet wrote a catching blogpost about Linden Labs banning the word ‘Lolita’ from search.
… Or at least the subject matter for which the title has become a symbol: underage girls who are sexually attractive. And so Linden Labs has banned the word from the Search function. But, as with many words, Lolita means more than just that. For starters, it still is first and foremost the title of a great work of literature. But there is much more - here’s the Wikipedia disambiguation page. That doesn’t mention, of course, the 101 avatars called Lolita in Second Life (you can still search for them in the People and All tabs.)
The banning of words raises a few questions and the first one is obviously where this is going to stop. Anyone who has ever read the novel, knows the word nymphet which Nabokov’s main character uses to describe girls like Lolita, i.e. exactly the type of sexually attractive underage girls deemed offensive by Linden Labs. So are we going to ban nymphet too (killing Nymphetamine in the process) and, if not, why not? And what other words are out there which can be seen as offensive? SS perhaps? Just have a look at another disambiguation page.
I agree with her when she says banning the ‘broadly offensive terms’ from search will not help. She gives the example of using forums to spread the information without Linden Labs knowing it’s there, I want to add notecards, textures and group notices to that. Laetizia is right with saying banning the term Lolita from search sets a nasty precedent for the SL future.
And what with the people honestly being intersted in the book ‘Lolita’ from Nabovkov? And what with lolita gothic fashion? And how about the town of Lolita, in Texas?
What do we do next? Ban ‘Balthus‘ from the search listings as he was renowned for picturing young girls in erotic poses? Forbid any screening of Christiana F., Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo in-world, as a movie with the tag line ‘At 12 it was Angel Dust. At 13 it was heroin. Then she took to the streets.’ must be broadly offensive, no? Especially if the story is not fiction.
Phedophilia and child abuse have been important themes of many books, movies and songs. For a reason! It has always existed and we shall probably never succeed at keeping all our children safe. For hundreds of years what happened was ignored and hidden behind closed doors. The victims were punished and the offenders could just walk. I thought our civilisation finally ‘matured’ enough that we could openly discuss this subjects so we could learn about it, try to understand it and most of all, prevent it. Yet, it seems we are still stuck in our old fashioned puritaine behaviour. Let’s shove it all under the carpet again, shall we?
Laetizia will host an in-world discussion about all this on Thuesday, 12 PM (noon) (21h CET) at MS Parkkade in Tamerind Bay. It will focus on finding better ways to fight what’s deemed broadly offensive, if at all necessary. She says any ideas on how to fight this Linden Labs policy will be welcome too.
Niko Donburi - Dear Linden (Just press the ‘play’ button):
Hmmm. Yes, I had not heard this hilarious song before. Maybe because I don’t have an iPod to listen to podcasts (yet?). :p It’s a bit ‘outdated’ as back then indeed we were only facing texture problems, inventory items permanently hiding themselves from their owners somewhere on Linden servers and an occasional griefing OD. Still, this is genuine LMAO content:
Dear Linden, Dear Linden, the most recent update
so corrupted my textures I must always rebake
Tomorrow I partner and don’t know what to do
all my clothing is missing and my custom skin too
Signed, No Inventory
But may I suggest another two verses for addition to this song?
Dear Daniel, Dear Daniel, is it right what you say?
We’re unsafe and need to hide all sex and crime away?
On my own private sim, can I still do guns and gore?
Or do you approve of such behaviour no more?
Concerned, Dear Concerned, we hear what you say.
And at Linden Labs, we don’t like thing this way.
If we knew how to fix this - we probably could
Just keep crossing your fingers and knocking on wood.
Signed, a Linden