Something the whole Paradise Lost crew has been looking forward to for a long (long, long, long, … ) time: the first demo scenes from the semi-documentary film ‘My Avatar and Me’ (Me Avatar og Mi in Danish). Lead star of the - kick ass, of course - video containing both Real Life and Second Life footage is Paradise Lost’s own Princess Helena Kirkorian. Besides being totally promising, it’s also incredibly education (if in doubt about this, start watching at 6:20)! The question we’re all pondering: that print out, is that Helena’s atomic? And is that Rob Danton at the end of the demo footage, professionally holding that virtual camera, but breaking the poor Mick Proud’s heart? Behold:
Can’t wait until it’s on TV (with subtitles, please! ;)). Fenris Film was as kind as to include a bit of behind the scenes footage as well. Go Rob! Go Rob! Go Rob! No, no, nooo! Auwch! C’mon.. you can easily kick that guy’s ass! Oh? What do you say? Anoter sex scene? Where? Show us! (Or at least don’t let us wait to long.)
PS. I’ve always said I’d blog again, if I had something interesting to share related Second Life. With this blog entry, point proven! ;) Now, all, go favourite these videos on youtube, share them on Facebook, Tweet and Plurk them, as well as leaving some sweet comments. That’s an order!
Katleen Gabriels, student at the RUG is looking for Flemish Second Life residents customers that are willing to help her out by donating +- 2 hours of there time:
In het kader van een thesisonderzoek aan de Universiteit Gent, ben ik naarstig op zoek naar Vlaamse Second Life-gebruikers die willen deelnemen aan een focusgroepgesprek. Dat is een wetenschappelijke techniek waarbij minstens zes personen samen in groep zitten om gedurende +- 2 uren te praten over een gericht onderwerp. Het specifieke onderwerp kan ik niet vrijgeven, omdat deelnemers dan al kunnen nadenken over potentiële antwoorden, wat beeldvervorming kan opleveren. Ik verzeker je dat het een normaal onderwerp is en dat ik niet uit ben op het ontfutselen van details of sensationele verhalen.
Het zou heel fijn zijn als je zou willen deelnemen! Indien je dat wenst, kan dat anoniem gebeuren. Adressen of namen moeten niet gepubliceerd worden. Het enige wat ik zeker nodig heb, zijn geslacht, leeftijd en socio-demografische informatie (bvb opleidingsniveau, beroep, gezinssituatie…). Van het gesprek wordt een geluidsopname gemaakt, maar ik verzeker jullie dat alles deontologisch en enkel in het kader van het onderzoek zal verlopen. Verplaatskosten worden vergoed.
Over plaats, datum en locatie van het gesprek kan ik momenteel weinig zeggen, omdat ik dat van de deelnemers laat afhangen. Stel dat de meesten uit dezelfde provincie komen, dan zorg ik dat we in die provincie afspreken. Het focusgesprek zou voor eind maart moeten plaatsvinden. Ik vermoed dat een dag in het weekend of een avond door de week het handigste zal zijn, specifieke afspraken kunnen gemaakt worden via een ‘Doodle’.
Ik hoop dat je het ziet zitten, of het ten minste overweegt, om deel te nemen. Het zou voor mijn onderzoek heel veel betekenen. Je kan mij contacteren via firstname.lastname@example.org
I must apologise, for a blog and even partial Second Life silence from my side. But ever since, there’s so much stuff to do - get to & from work, visit the British Museum, chat with Lokum, order everything Miss Beatrix’s heart will desire -, to explore - my brand new copy of Adobe CS4, tube stations, M&S- and to find out - fastest way to get to work, which way should the chicken look before crossing the road, what’s The Big Issue, … . Luckily, I was not the only one pretty busy, so I can still point you at something to look at. ;)
So now I’m watching Desperate Housewives
and reading People magazine.
I never get on the computer
I’ve been banned from the machine.
But late at night I sometimes wonder
about the one I was to meet
if she’s still waiting in the Elbow Room
sitting by and empty seat
from ‘Escape - The Second Life Song‘
So, your partner, your children, your mom, your dad, your roommate or your cat spends just to much time in Second Life according to you? Sure, we can solve this. There are a few options, of which all require messing with their computer, content on it, or the house’s internet connection. Be aware that changing settings on a computer not owned by you is probably a crime. Trashing it most definitely is. On top of that, it will probably not help your relationship when they find out, that is… if they find out.I’m going to give you three options, which range from ‘obvious’ to ’subtle’ to limit their Second Life usage - ‘SLugage’ in further references - but first, do ask that person: “Are you making any money in Second Life, I mean ‘real’ money?” If the answer is “Yes!” and the number is high enough to justify the time spend, please, let them be, and ask for a stake in their virtual business.
Cancel your Internet Contract
Get your ISP on the line, and ask them to cancel your internet subscription. Wrap up the modems and router delivered to you, and mail them back to the ISP.
Effectiveness? High Long term solution? It will probably take over a week to get new gear and ISP to handle reactivation. A few months if you’re lucky and their client support sucks. Chance at discovery? Extremely high. Unless you’re a damn good liar and can bring “but bills weren’t paid, so they cancelled our contract and came to confiscate our modem” in a convincing way, you’re not getting away with this.
There are a trillion of ways to bring a computer - or only it’s Operating System - to an untimely death. Google is your friend.
Effectiveness? High, unless you have a second computer. Which is probably less powerful, so this might even then still lower the SLusage. Physical destruction works best. Long term solution? This depends on how well you play this. Try to send in your computer to the manufacturer, or at least a PC shop you know doesn’t work very quickly. If the person you want to help or any family members or aquintances are ‘computer savvy’, this will only buy you a few days. Chance at discovery? That’s all up to you. Choose your method well, and think of a valid reason. “Windows asked for updates to be installed and I clicked “yes” will work well with any Windows operating system, especially Vista. Else use “something asked if it could update itself”.
Second Life Client Parameters
My personal favourite! It’s subtle, and will take them ages to figure out. You will change a parameter (a kind of command) that the Second Life viewer reads on start-up and obeys to. We’re not going to ruin his/her Second Life experience completely, but we are going to limit the time they can spend in-world before they crash.
Instructions for Windows:
Obtain access to the computer. (You’re on your own here! ;))
Locate the Second Life Shortcut - it’s a little blueish hand - and then right click. Choose ‘properties’. (You shall likely find Second Life shortcut icons on both the desktop and in the start menu. You need to do this for each shortcut you think they use for starting the program.)
There’s a field that says “Target:”. At the end of that one add “–quitafter <secs>” (without the quotes) where you replace <secs> with the amount of time you want the program to be open before it crashes, in seconds. Some options:
“–quitafter 30″ => “OMG?! Each time I start Second Life, it almost directly crashes! WTF?!”
“–quitafter 600″ => 10 minutes is a reasonable time, and one could expect the viewer to crash. By then they probably already engaged in some activity that could explain the crash.
“–quitafter 3600″ => You give them an hour to spend inworld. After the crash, they are likely to go fetch a drink, and let the computer recover. Find something to distract them from the virtual world by then, so they won’t start the client again. Food, sex, TV, … I’m sure you can think of some possible distractions.
Press “OK” to confirm your changes.
Repeat this step for any Second Life shortcuts you find.
Find a mirror and practise your “serious and concerned face”, so you won’t betray yourself when you hear sudden swearing coming from the computer area later today.
This is ” - - quitafter <secs>” with two ‘dashes’, but without the spaces, WP seems to render this weirdly!
Some extra good advice: Implement this ‘fix’ right after you’ve heard them mentioning a ‘client update’. They will most likely blame the client in stead of you.
Effectiveness? High to Medium, depending on the time settings. It is possible your target will dodge your changes by using an alternative client. Of course, you can try to feed that client’s shortcut the same parameter using the above procedure, only replacing “Second Life shortcut” by “Hippo Viewer shortcut”, … . Long term solution? It might be you need to repeat this after a client update, or the installation of a client which does not accept this parameter solves things. But still, I’m pretty confident about this one. Chance at discovery? Low, definitely pretty low. Unless your target’s intelligence is way above (the) average (SLuser). If you try this “fix”, let me know how long it takes them to find out. If ever. ;)
Personal use of the “–quitafter <secs>” client parameter
Of course, the “–quitafter <secs>” parameter does not only limits other people’s SLugage - but can also be an aid to managing your own virtual life. A few use cases:
You tell yourself ‘only an hour’ but end up in-world the entire night. Quick solve: “–quitafter 3600″. (Of course, you need the strength to not re-start your client.)
There’s pizza in the oven. Quick solve: “–quitafter 720″.
You promise yourself to only quickly login to answer IM’s and notecards, but need some help keeping that promise: “–quitafter 600″.
Now, if only there was a “-quiton buyoutfit”, no? ;) Think you can do more with client parameters? He’s the overview list on the Second Life wiki.
‘Starfish’ is a new - mixed reality - play by award-winning playwright Judith Johnson, which aims to explore the issues raised by clinical trials. It uses real life actors and Second Life machinima to convey the message. The production will tour schools throughout London in Spring 2008, from Mon 26th January to Fri 13th March. And guess what? Rezzable created the machinima footage. RightasRain ‘Boss’ Rimbaud: “Big thanks to my associate producer in making the machinimas–Meral (aka Lokum). It took hours and burned through all of our collective patience, but we pulled it off! Thanks again for hanging in there with me.” Some excerpts ft. a terribly cute tiny Greenie:
Each performance is followed by a live debate, utilising electronic voting technology, during which the students will be encouraged to explore what they think and feel about the issues posed by the drama. ‘Starfish’ is targeted at students at KS4 and above (aged 14+). The production is accompanied by a suite of online support materials which will engage directly with science and humanities specifications.
It seems the most time intensive part of shooting the machinima was nailing the ‘avatar’s expression of emotions’ down: “The biggest issue is working with a fairly limited set of facial expressions. Oddly in many ways the non-human avatars can be more expressive–with doing less even. But if someone could build a animation control panel that allowed detailed movement of the face, eyes, body parts independently and then back again as a set–well…call me let’s lunch on that one!” I guess as the VRW Viewer which mirrors your Real Life emotions on your avatar is far from finished, and the Lindens seem to be so busy with ‘enterprise solutions’ that they forgot about avatar puppeteering they promised in 2006, I’d go with my Pandora HUD for such a use. Or are there any other alternatives I haven’t heard from yet (and that are either not to complicated to use, or totally worth the time you spend mastering them ;)) ?
Second Life has a long term history as it comes to the appreciation of friendly hippos. Hippo’s, you say? Those gigantic animals are the worst enemies of bug-evoking gnomes, a prestigious Second Life OpenSource award of appreciation that you can win, residents of “Hippotropolis” - Second Life’s OpenSource community island - and also what all your friends turn into when asset servers are not able to keep up with information demands. Last but not least, the presence of “Hippos!” was made clear through the following easter egg: pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H evokes a hippo statement. But now?
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H doesn’t say “hippos!” anymore!
The JIRA Issue VRW-11118 “Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H doesn’t say “hippos!” anymore” reported by Phli Foxchase has gathered a massive amount of votes already, 838 to be precise. Soft Linden stated: “If this gets 1,000 votes, I will submit a fix to main-viewer that very day.” So c’mon, show your love for the Second Life hippo, and be one of the 162 still needed votes!
Although Lindens have posted some mixed statements about why the Hippos! disappeared - Qarl Linden for instance states: “I believe the problem is that we’re running low on hippos, and so we try to use them very sparingly.” - the general consensus between the Second Life community seems to be: “Whatever it takes, get us our ‘Hippos!’ back!”. Although some object to putting a price on this noble creatures, we know what it takes: 1000 votes, and one of those votes should be yours!
As Adeon Writer puts it so well: “We need to be concerned for the future - the newbies who never knew a Virtual World with hippos. They will all need to grow up hippoless. Do not let this be their future!” Go vote to reinstate the Hippo! easter egg!
If you’re not sure how JIRA works, here’s the “how to vote on JIRA”:
We already know what to do when the Horde storms in, but how to protect yourself from digital vampires and their never ceasing “bite requests”? The Thirst: Bloodlines is one of the most scolded upon Second Life games pyramid scheme entertainment, as it leads to an endless amount of spam from random vampires all over the grid, harvesting “blood” for their bloodline. Sadly enough, there’s no option “mute all that are playing this game”, nor did these wannabe über vampires learned about not bugging total strangers recently. The avatars behind The Thirst: Bloodlines - Lyle Maeterlinck, Mars Bracken, and Curse Aszkenaze from Liquid Designs - did finally add the functionality to “opt out” on receiving Bloodlines bite requests by wearing a scripted garlic necklace. Now this is news that should appear on the Official Linden Blog!
“This garlic necklace was created by Liquid Designs, the creators of the Bloodlines game in Second Life, to ward off vampires. Bloodlines is supposed to be a fun game, but some people have complained that they receive too many bite requests from our vampires, and they don’t think that it’s very fun to be beset by bloodthirsty creatures of the night at every turn. So, we created this free, transfer / copy item for people that don’t want to be a part of vampire roleplay.”
Luckily, you don’t need to constantly wear the necklace - once you’ve selected “Activate”, you’ll be impervious to vampire bite requests. So what are you waiting for? Get yours now (TP to “Liquid South”), and be forever free from ill-mannered digital bloodsuckers.
Ann Marie Shillito from Anarkik 3D hooked the “Eightbar crowd” up with a haptic controller. Anarkik are involved with haptic input devices and have developed some really nice software which enables users to interact with virtual worlds and 3D modelling tools using a consumer-priced haptic controller which can be connected to a PC via USB.
Haptic technology refers to technology that interfaces to the user via the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations and/or motions to the user. This mechanical stimulation may be used to assist in the creation of virtual objects (objects existing only in a computer simulation), for control of such virtual objects, and to enhance the remote control of machines and devices (teleoperators). Here they demonstrate the Anarkik 3D controller being used for navigating in Second Life OpenSim. You must admit it looks way more “kewl” than that - now suddenly boring looking - “SpaceNavigator”, no? ;)
“The demo blew us away. First we had a look at how the controller could be used to drive an avatar in a virtual world (in this case, OpenSim). It’s a considerably more natural way to navigate than the keyboard and mouse setup that is provided with most 3D worlds and should lead to a lot more accessibility into these environments. The part that really impressed us was the capability of driving a CAD-like tool called Cre8 - a free download from Anarkik, for people who have the controller - to easily create three-dimensional objects by physical manipulation… both inside and out. I remember hacking around with an old 3D package called Euclid on my RISC OS machine back in the early 90s and it was a nightmare - this was sheer joy. Watch the video to see various people playing around with the haptic controller :-)”
Wanting everything, or wanting to completely hide, instant satisfaction, or prolonging needs, showing the best of yourself, or allowing the worst to come out. 4 young directors are filming the temptations that they encounter. What do you wish to be, and what to you give in to? The last 15 minutes of this documentary show on the Dutch television station AVRO, is named “Jennekes Verleiding” (Jennekes tempatation) and concerns Second Life:
“Jenneke Boeijink, 29 year old female, looks into the temptation to use the internet to lead a Second Life. As avatar “Aviva” she learns how to play the piano, pole dancing and dares things she wouldn’t quickly do in real life. She makes friends with another avatar, which Second Life romance sprung off a short while ago. And then it seems, that Second Life is more than a seducing game.”
Seeing that the nature of both “games” is totally opposite - they care about gold and conquest, Second Life is about land and settlement; they work together to slaughter enemies, we work together to build social networks - and WoW-players must be incredibly jealous and eager to conquer what Second Life players already possess: the powers of avatar sex, prim babies, 15,000 inventory items, land, snowball guns and an endless amount of free accounts, we can’t help but fear they’ll soon stand at our borders and storm governor Linden’s palace.
Rumours that that-what-shall-not-be-named aims for Second Life’s representational seat in the United Nations does not give us much ground for hope to a peaceful solution to this beginning conflict that will shock the whole metaverse. Luckily, on Plurk, we are already debating a general battle & emergency plan as to keep those gready WoW’ers of our grid. What should we do when the Horde attacks? What can YOU do?
Take all “rotate or slide open on click” scripts out of doors & windows.
Make sure all your weaponry & defence items are updated to the latest versions & keep them organised in one folder for easy access.
Contact your friends at LoTRO and beg them to send in reinforcements. (Don’t bother getting the dwarfs, when mistaken for child avatars, they will probably fall under friendly fire.)
Hand of freebie penises - ‘freenis’ - poisoned with damage-causing scripts. Change of strategy by Gereral Whimsy: BOX the Freenis’ first, to stall while we strike, they wont see us coming with a box on their heads.
Particle machine guns will lag them to death.
Plant mines, saying “click here to mine for gold”.
WoW characters take damage when falling. We do not. Rez a big prim under their feet, lift them 200m in the air then delete the prim.
Some WoW creatures are also able to be invisible. Keep CTRL+ALT+T handy at all times! (Strategist Piu)
Coordinating fighting outfits. All designers should step up and - for once - design practical clothing. Don’t wear high heels! Lara Croft-like boots are ok and even encouraged.
Reinstate the Cornfield, to send residents with dual citizenship if they refuse to cancel their WoW membership.
Cloaking: send in the bots! They’ll have a hard time - just like us - figuring out which green dot is real.
Use a vintage viewer or Nicholaz’, war is not a pretty picture, and little fluffy clouds will only distract you (and your CPU).
The fashion bloggers will be sent out as undercover spies to join WoW’s realms. In no time and without much effort, they will cause a massive amount of drama and internal conflict within the WoW characters’ ranks.
And if all this fails? I suggest we then drive them all to the Mainland and flood it. But in the mean while, any more great virtual defence strategy ideas to defend all what is dear to us? Leave a comment here or join the conversation on Plurk.