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Rant | VintFalken.com
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Archive for the 'Rant' category

Lousy Virtual Investments: Atomics do it too!

October 9, 2008 8:09 pm

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Remember how every atomic financial newspaper had a blast when our banks & stock exchange failed and the Second Life economy got a serious hit? ‘Second Life residents lost savings’, ‘Virtual economy is a scam’, … . I can’t recall if back then any of them wrote that this should serve as a warning for the humans. We could almost say ‘look who’s laughing now’, that is, if we were not highly depending on our humans’ financial statuses. Anyway, the conclusion is that our real life money is probably just as virtual and vapourish as those ‘Linden Dollars’ of which atomics always claim it has no real value. So, guess SL is a great ‘testing ground’ for - fairly important - RL stuff after all? Anyway, thought my virtual banking image needed a quick update:

Lousy Virtual Investments - Reprise

Intercepted on it’s way to SLsecret

September 5, 2008 11:58 pm

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Intercepted just in time, before it was mailed off to SLsecret. Pfiew! We’re safe!

postsecret445

Eerrr.. wait.. nvm. And yeah, we ran out of tape.

Virgins are Broadly Offensive

August 31, 2008 2:35 pm

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I don’t know where to start to formulate my surprise, disgust and utter ‘WTF!?’ feelings about this. We all know the broadly offensive rules are hugely broadly offensive themselves: no nipples on PG areas - be it male or female, no excessive sex or violence - not even on mature areas - and what was the latest Linden addition to the definition of broadly offensive: ‘no child avatar in a photograph together with an adult avatar.’ Yep, not even when they are dressed with three pair of pants, five winter coats and a hat. But ok, I’m sure you want to know what’s added to the broadly offensive list this time: depiction of astrological signs. Well, at least some astrological signs. Lion, cancer, sagitarius, … all seem to be fine, but when we come up to the Virgo, it gets tricky.

Loki Popinjay - not that kind of pervert! - showed his ‘Avatar Zodiac’ first at SL5B, where - despite strict rules - nobody seem to have had a problem with it. As it was amazing, the exhibition was prolonged at Rezzable Cannery. Now, after 1 totally crazy puritan sick f*ck reported - abuse reported - Loki Popinjay, Loki got threats from Linden Lab and decided to just burn the photograph himself. An excerpt from the e-mail Loki received from Linden Lab:

Violation: Community Standards: Broadly Offensive Content or Conduct

Real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depiction of sexual violence including rape, real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions of extreme or graphic violence, and other broadly offensive content are never allowed or tolerated within Second Life.

Nude photo of young girl holding a teddy bear needs to be removed immediately. Alternatively, you may cover up the nudity with photo alterations.

What this does not make sense at all:

  1. This photograph was up at SL5B, which had a very high ‘puritain’ rating this year. Nobody complained.
  2. All of the sudden, some idiot flags it, and immediately it is labelled as ‘violation’ and Loki gets threatened with ‘account suspension’, without asking him for explanation. They are milder on ‘content thiefs’!
  3. I wonder what exactly makes this avie a ‘young girl’. Hips & shape definitely looks adult to me. Maybe the cute curls or the teddy bear?
  4. I wonder where exactly Lindens finds the ‘nude’. Both nipples & genitals are covered, using hair, arms and the teddy bear.
  5. What do LL expect for the depiction of a ‘virgin’? I would assume that in the SLT zone, 30 year old virgins are as rare as in Europe?

Loki Popinjay contested this decision by Linden Lab, but got to hear from Harry Linden that this is indeed a violation of ToS and the work needs to be removed or redone. *sighs*

Getting it on… CGI style

August 27, 2008 2:24 am

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If you followed the ‘Second Life Age Play’ scandal more or less, you know that ‘Computer Generated Images’ of minors having sex are considered to be child porn by law in a few countries. We all know, that often a ‘depiction of sexual intercourse’ does not need to be utterly exact - breast implants - or even all revealing - sexy lingerie - to be arousing. And anybody who spends a certain amount of time in Second Life, realises it’s sexy - and ’sexy’ - industries are huge. But…

Virtual Sex in Second Life is far from perfect

SL Voyeurism: Overheard I

  1. You need to have the right add-ons (genitals, nipples, …) and even more, those need to be compatible!
  2. You will need to shop for the right props (bed, animations, prim whipped cream & strawberries, … ).
  3. Our breasts look horrible un-real and are only inflatable up to a certain point.
  4. Lag can really ruin an experiencesexy underwear just does not work today.
  5. You’re highly dependent on the language skills and imagination of your partner(s).
  6. When not on voice, there’s no sensory interaction, unless you type well one handed.
  7. For extremes you need to look into special designed viewers (such as RestrainedLife client) & scripting.
  8. Privacy is a myth.

So that’s all good reasons why sex in Second Life - and probably in virtual worlds in general - sucks. So why is it still such a big business and success (see SL/Sex ratio and Loki’s Promiscuity Index)? My guesses:

The pro’s of Virtual World Sex

SL/RLex Ratio: formula

  1. It’s not the sex itself. People dress sexy and flirt above what they would do in real life. They feel more secure because they have perfect bodies, are anonymous, have another gender, … in the virtual world.
  2. There are no STD’s and if you get pregnant, it just costs you L$ in stead of a lifetime of responsibilities and a huge RL budget.
  3. Lack of monogamous behaviour is not as frowned upon as in real life. So, more diversity… .
  4. No real life physical damage is inflicted. Which makes room for a lot of fantasies to be enacted.
  5. Costs are lower. (You pay some escorts in SL what you would spend on a drink for someone IRL, which has a higher fail rate.)
  6. Opposed to the average internet porn, there is a sense of interaction: you can steer where the situation is heading, although limited by animations and sex gear.
  7. Opposed to the average internet porn, if you associate your avatar with human self - which you are bound to do when spending some time inworld customising it - you more like it’s really _you_ out there, not some strange amateur couple getting it on and it probably triggers a lot of RL sex zones in the brain.
  8. Why are the Virtual Sex Worlds not taken seriously?

    But that are my thoughts on it - having wondered for virtual ages why so many people prefer having sex in-world of creating and shaping the world itself by building, creating fashion, animating, scripting, … . There are pure sex oriented virtual worlds out there in the metaverse - such Red Light Center - which are never mentioned as it comes to virtual worlds. Although, they probably have one of the highest commercial success possibility rates, they are hardly ever mentioned, and eg. no where to be found on Kzero’s virtual worlds overview. Strange, as it’s a perfect - almost better looking, see this dutch review - clone of Second Life with it’s own monetary value, content creators, club owners, … . And then there are the 3D games that focus only on sex - like SexVilla, and more here - which would probably be a bit hit on Xbox, Wii and Playstation, if released? Actually, apparently the softer Playboy: The Mansion is released for Playstation and Xbox. Or look at the amount of ‘X-rated’ content available for the Sims on X-Sims. I actually remember installing a patch for the Sims 1 so they could go skinny dipping in their in their pool a few years ago. *grins*

    Movies ft. pixel humping

    You used to have ‘animation movie porn’ with titles such as ‘Anastasia’ and ‘Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs’ - being mostly Disney remakes and available still on both torrent and DVD -, then later the ‘hentai anime‘, illustrated animation porn, became a real hit. Then definitely, the more ‘life like’ but still obviously fake CGI porn must have a great future ahead? From Sims (or X-sims) machinima such as Aladdin and Jasimine (NSFS warning) - expect no 1001 nights, it’s rather funny - over the NPIRL (sorry, Miss Bettina) Unemaro 3D series (Teacher, NSFS warning) which hugely inflated NPIRL breasts (sorry, Miss Tiessa) to Pr0n careers for video game stars: Final Fantasy X-2 film fragments ;) re-enacted and Kasume from ‘Dead or Alive’, there’s a wide range of versions to choose from. But still, we don’t hear much about them. So, my question for all those that practise SLex, -or those who just have an opinion - why do virtual worlds like Red Light Center and games like SexVilla don’t make it to the media? And why is amateur porn preferred over the more detailed, without limits CGI version of depiction of sexual intercourse? (And did I miss out on any ‘pro’s’ of virtual world sex? ;))

    Hattip for the Aladdin & Jasmin video on YouPorn to - I promised to not mention the name, but do blame that person for the whole of this article which is exactly the article why the rest of the SLblogosphere never takes me serious! :D Let’s just dedicated it to Miss V. ;)

Midnight Confessions (CET) on resigning from Plurk

August 11, 2008 3:26 am

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I just quit Plurk. Not because I was not enjoying it, no. Hell, it’s even the most fun and entertaining social networking tool I’ve seen in ages! (Although I have high hopes for Zivity. ;)) I met some interesting new avies - and even some of their humans - but somehow reality was catching up on me there. Let’s call it RL drama, which is almost as scary as the typical everyday SL drama. Basically, if you don’t feel free to write an honest 140 characters about what you feel at the moment, or interests you, or you’d wish for, you might as well not write at all? Else you’ll end up just plurking ‘Goodmorning plurkers’ and ‘goodnight plurkers’ and I forbid myself to drop to that level of social networking. :d

As myself, I hate vague and dramatic ‘I’ll quit messages’, I’ll share - some - details on why I’m gone:

  1. I felt certain persons were taking everything I wrote - although nothing personal, see #2 - to personal. I choose my live to revolve around no one but me - egocentric, maybe? - at the moment. Myself is already more than I can handle! ;)
  2. If I were to plurk my real feelings on certain matters - shortly and tactfully summarized: Invasion alert, to close! Leave parts of my life just for me, please. - I’d be evoking a lot of real life drama. Maybe I am now also. But somehow needed to get this off my chest.
  3. Someone I succeeded at successfully ignoring for a few months suddenly showed up. What I’d say if I were to send 140 characters? You really don’t want to know. I’m sure the person in question does not either. So we’ll just shut up.
  4. I honestly felt the urge to plurk ‘what the hell would we care, get a life!’ sometimes, which must sound rather strange from someone who has a full time second. :d But I resisted doing just that, and I’m not proud for that one.
  5. Because of above items, I dropped to the level of plurking I lost my car keys and other various random utterly stupid stuff. As I don’t want to lower myself to that level of social networking - I’m sorry, but time not well spend - I might as well say nothing.

So what about you? On twitter, your blog, facebook, plurk or whatever social networking gods recently invented, are you ‘totally honest’? Are you one of those people that post little unimportant details, or do you write openly about things - in your 1st or 2nd life - that really matter to you? What do you care about more: your ‘karma’, popularity… or the content of what you write?

Anyway, dear Plurk, it was nice knowing you. Lovely to write various, 140 characters maxed anecdotes off my chest. Fun experimenting with how to use you for blog-promo, what to write to evoke the most replies, to discover how easily people offer friendship. Maybe I did not take you serious enough, but limiting my thoughts to 140 characters was surely an interesting exercise. I’ll hop in from time to time to send a private plurk to people I do not have email for if I’m to lazy to log into SL. But that’s about it. Our relationship ends here. Mainly, because others are overly complicated.

So far for SL ft. RL ft. Plurk drama. Beat that, SL fashionistas! ;)

Live performance Virtual Family Von Trapp @ SL5B cancelled

June 12, 2008 10:55 pm

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Howdy Residents!

We know you were all looking forwardediddly to the awesome performance from the Virtual Family Von Trapp at the Second Life 5th Birthday Event. Due to yet unknown technical issues there are some slight changes in the program. Normally, this should pass unnoticed to you, beloved residents. The children Von Trapp will perform on a different sim as Maria Von Trapp and Georg von Trapp. We kindly thank you for your understanding and believe this show at SL5B will still be full of awesomeness. Here are the new promo textures you may use. Please respect the ® in your Second Life®.

Vint Linden*

Live performance Virtual Family Von Trapp @ SL5B cancelled (a)

Live performance Virtual Family Von Trapp @ SL5B cancelled (b)

* Disclaimer: if anybody wonders, this is NOT an official Linden Blogpost and I am NOT an official Linden.

New ‘official’ avatars. Library expanded. Icky?

June 11, 2008 8:11 pm

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Remember Lindens looking to buy avatar content, but not doing a public ‘call for avatar content’? Well, it seems Lindens have shopped, liked and added to library. 16 avatar outfits new as of today:

  1. Girl Next Door by Adam n Eve
  2. Musician Male by Renegade Clothing
  3. Boy Next Door by Renegade Clothing
  4. Cardboard Boxbot by Grendel’s Children
  5. Clubgoer Female by Nylon Pinkney
  6. Clubgoer Male by Adam n Eve
  7. Dragonlet by Grendel’s Children
  8. Gamer Female by Renegade Clothing
  9. Gamer Girl by Nylon Pinkney
  10. Gamer Guy by Nylon Pinkey
  11. Gamer Male by Wraith Unsung
  12. Girl Next door by Renegade Clothing & Adam n Eve
  13. Musician Female by Renegade Clothing
  14. Musician Guy by Nylon Pinkney
  15. Professional Female by Adam n Eve
  16. Professional Male by Adam n Eve & Nylon Pinkney

Personally, I only tested two: ‘Girl Next Door’ and one of the ‘Gamer Girls’ (Girl or Female, not sure). RaR is wearing the ‘dragonlet’ in the photograph, though. And I must say, I was rather disappointed by the two I tested. I _know_ it is better than what used to be in library, but for the humans, it does feel a bit ‘icky’. Why so?

Girl Next Door by Adam n Eve

New Linden Avies in Library - Virtual Girl Next DoorA mediocre skin, not bad not good. Really a girl next door. But you must live in the Truman show, to have a girl next door in such a dress. Maybe it’s the place I live, but my girl next door wears sexy, tight jeans, lots of bracelets, a nice ‘fashionable’ tshirt and does not look like she has a BMI that’s in the red. Of course, I can’t vouch for American Girl Next Doors, so, maybe it’s just Belgium in the wrong here. Oh, disregard the cockroach on a stick. That’s not standard included with the virtual Girl Next Door avie. ;)

Gamer Girl or Female… whatever

New Linden Avies in Library - Gamer Freakshow"Although I’m not a hardcore gamer - just SL, AoE and Travian and some consoles occasionally -, I do associate myself with the gaming culture. Probably saw Hackers II a time to many. Anyway, man, was I insulted when I saw my new outfit rezzing. It’s like Tank Girl at age 50. Don’t get me wrong, I _love_ Tank Girl and wish I could be just like her. But this… yikes. They should hit you so hard, your children will be born bruised!

I sit behind the PC all day, yet I don’t weigh anything above 60 kilo’s. Neither does one get pregnant when doing nothing but sitting behind a PC, so… . Then why does my gamer avie looks like she could definitely use some time in the fitness hall? Next, shorts… . Now we all know LL’s mesh for pants sucks. Best shorts evvah? Colleen Bib’s from Savvy?. But hell, this yellow-green monster? Olilly would not have even made something that horrible. To the gamer avie’s defence, I must admit I love the boots. =d But anyway, standing next to me in the photograph is ‘The Lady with the Bear’ from Carnival of Doom’s freakshow. The problem here? She’s the more sexy one. *sighs*

If I were a new resident in SL, some of the things that would make me stay is that I feel good about whom I am & how I look. THIS IS NOT GOING TO HELP PEOPLE TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN THEIR VIRTUAL SKIN! Because honestly, would you wear those?!

disclaimer: never take fashion advice from Vint, though. ;)

Will a Linden please…

June 10, 2008 12:03 am

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Wtf? Please tell me why? I'm not banned, am I?Hmm. Well at least I’m blogging again. I have no other option. The Grid is down. as usual Just like saturday during our Gardenstock Festival. Rolling restart, but they forgot the restart part of it. On a saturday! Back then I was swearing ‘could you please do this on a weekday’. But now I want downtime on weekends again. Anyway, it was a sad thing, because the T61 performers were really awesome. But both Mike00 and BabbleGrabble hold up well. They deserve a few extra bumps for that! ;) But anyway. Will a Linden please tell me _why_ I can’t get in. They used to do that in the old days, before the Second Life Birthday Event became PG. Yeah… those old days. Pffff. :p

*end rant*

PS. I actually checked my email. No message about ‘you were banned for X offence’. So I guess this is a lock all out? Strangely enough, the peepz I have on Skype are still in-world. Me wants in too! Me wants in too! Pfff.

Update: I’m in. Yeey! But I’m wearing my UI in stead of clothing. :/ ‘Deferrers’ (new trendy Linden word) rest of the blog updates to tomorrow. The official message - after a while of waiting and uncertainty - was: ‘Due to high demand, logins are currently deferred. Kindly try again in a few minutes.’ I guess that beats the ‘please be patient’ from Saturday when I was far from patient. Btw, high demand? 51,563 online now is not that much. It’s only 1/200th of belgian population! And do you know how small Belgium is?!!

Virtual Suicide: Linden Case File

May 24, 2008 9:42 am

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Found on Some Linden’s desk. This is a file I fear will never make it to the… hey, where did that blotter go? Aha. Incident reports.

Virtual Suicide: Linden Case File

The frustrations kept piling up. The final trigger? Waiting over 20 minutes to download the newest release client. This 20 minutes were spend on doing the preparation work. After that it was just quickly rezzing in-world to take the matching photographs. Which would not work because my Pandora animation HUD I need for the ‘play dead’ animation did not work. (Lindens?! Grrrr!) and I did not exactly get the shot I wanted because my shoe would not rezz either. And there were ugly black stripes on all my snapshots. And I crashed. Etc. Which started the debate between me an my owner: is this an actual virtual suicide, or a cover up by Lindens of the homicide and maybe even murders that they are committing on a daily basis? Mass genocide? Anybody? Ah, well.

I won’t do this for real. And my owner can’t stand the idea of having to pull the plug on me. But still, sometimes we both agree, that maybe the only thing they would still hear, is a letter written in - virtual, but none the less - blood.

PS. We’re feeling a bit more optimistic again today! ;)

PPS. Don’t try this in your virtual homes on damage enabled land!

More of The Same on Trademarks

April 19, 2008 12:50 am

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Second Life... a 3D online digital world imaged, created, & owned by it's residents no more.Did the blog strike get noticed? Or after Robin Linden cancelled her office hours because she was scared to be flooded with questions and Gwyneth called for a protest at the Gouvernor’s Office this Sunday they did get a little concerned? Or - as voices say - they want to distract our attention from this week’s grid problems? Regardless what the reason is, LauraP Linden just posted ‘More on Trademarks’. Although it may clarify some things, I will reference to this official Linden blogpost as More of The Same on Trademarks. I suggest we still march on Sunday and my 10000L$ bounty for best Linden Trademark Parody still stands.

Lindens sold us a brave new virtual world. Remember ‘Second Life is a 3D online digital world imaged, created, & owned by it’s residents‘? The virtual world era when we could still buy virtual land? First, Linden took ‘owned by it’s residents’ away. We could create and imagine for them, but it was not our world any more. But they still sold us a virtual world. And now? Now they are just selling us a piece of - lately rather crappy - software and some - lately rather crappy - services. If we have ever been, well, we are not residents to them any more. See. I am Belgian, not Belgian™. I live in Belgium, not Belgium®. Yet, I’m not a Second Lifer, I have a Second Life®. That means I own a ‘good’, not that I’m part of a world.

Philip Linden™Don’t get me wrong. Most of the time I like being a part of the Second Life® brand experience. I really love some of the friends I got through Linden Lab™’s services. But ever since this ‘use of Linden’s trademarks rollback’ decision was made, I had a hard time to see Second Life as a virtual world we can still all help build.

When the Second Life community was much smaller and generally unknown to the public at large, our policy allowed Residents to use certain trademarks on their websites (which the policy called “fansites”) to show their connection to the Second Life community. At that time, for example, a disclaimer on a Resident website that showed the Second Life Eye-in-Hand logo could be enough to protect against confusion. That was because the early group of Residents was incredibly familiar with Linden Lab and could easily distinguish Linden Lab’s website from Resident sites. With the growth of the Second Life community and a greater awareness of Second Life by those outside the community, it was increasingly important to take precautions to ensure that when people saw our trademarks (particularly people less familiar with Linden Lab), they knew it was a product or service of Linden Lab.

I _know_ I am not the only one that feels used right now.

However, we want to work with Residents who need time and help making adjustments. If you need extra time or help, please write us at tm-questions@lindenlab.com.

I suggest the following questions:

  1. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I have an url that says mysecondlife.blogspot.com. How do I change that URL without loosing my blog’s content?
  2. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I currently have the Second Life Eye-in-hand™ Logo on all my in-world textures. Of course, I do not own all of those anymore, lots of them were sold. Could you please replace these UUID’s with these (long list!) to make sure I comply with your usage of trademark laws?
  3. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I now need to move my website to another domain. How do I do that without loosing my ranking in Google?
  4. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, do you consider ‘xxx’ and ‘pr0n’ to be nouns, and is my community xxx-pron-SL.org complying with your trademark policy?
  5. Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I have www.building.sl and English mine is no good. I am construction company. You pay me for domain?

Which ‘Dear Sir/Madam Linden, I need help’ questions springs to your mind?