Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Tiny Dancing Archive

TINY DANCING is an archive of satirical blog posts about Second Life and beyond, which I originally wrote from early 2008 to late 2009. Unfortunately I lost all comments except for those on the final, farewell post (which has been transformed into this post) when I imported and exported to this new URL. Not all the posts are here and not all the internal links are fixed (yet) but hey, no worries.


- Kanomi Pikajuna

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kanomi Plays: Blue Mars

Mars iz 4 boiz!The Login Screen Review

Dear Blue Martians,

A while back I signed up for the Blue Mars beta.

I admit, initially had some misgivings. I mean Blue Mars is a strange choice for a name. First, you have Mars, who is the God of War, and who is so damned masculine that his symbol is literally also the symbol for Male-ness. Thoughtfully, you have incorporated that symbol right into your logo.

In case the point wasn't clear enough, you painted your masculinity Blue, 'cuz you know, blue is for boys, and pink is for girls and those who like Elton John's song, "Tiny Dancer."

Blue Mars, you might as well call yourself Blue Penis and tack up a hilariously-misspelled "No Girls Alowed!" sign on your virtual treehouse while you're at it.

Sure, calling yourself Blue Venus or Pink Mars might be too ambiguous. Pink Venus isn't even up for consideration, I know. I mean, it sounds like a porn site (and is actually is a cell phone marketed at teenage girls, natch).

But you know what Blue Mars? I think there are some girls on the Internets now. It's not just DOOM ][ levels and porn anymore. I can prove it. Listen: According to Wikipedia, the song "Tiny Dancer" was "initially a non-starter as a single -- reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop chart and not even released in the UK... [Now] a fixture on adult contemporary and rock radio stations, the song grew in popularity."

Please take notice of that. Over time, it grew in its popularity. Like my blog, Blue Mars, and unlike you, who will never be popular if you do not send out passwords to those of us who signed up for your beta. And I assure you, you will never be popular if you only allow males and male avatars -- no doubt having their maleness verified in voice chat by male podcasters -- into your all-male, masculine world.

So maybe a name like Purple Hermes, would've been more, I don't know, inclusive? Or just go for the full on Rainbow Jesus. I mean, you allow open expression of religious faith in your world, right? I guess I'll never know, since you won't send me my password.

Mars iz 4 boiz!Despite all this, I am still willing to give your game world a shot. After all, you promise a new virtual world, a bigger, better, bolder Second Life:

"Our high end graphics, massive concurrent user support, system wide participation based rewards program, support for industry standard content creation tools, next generation NPC intelligence, simple LUA scripting support, and breathtakingly realistic Avatars."

When I read that, I signed up immediately. I don't even know what LUA scripting is, Blue Mars, but I want it supported. Oh, do I want it supported.

I want to be a breathtakingly realistic Avatar, Blue Mars. Even if I have to use a male avatar in your all-male world, I want people to gasp when I walk into the room. When "Ken-nomi" walks into Blue Mars' "Nude But Totally Not Gay Graeco-Roman Wrestling Arena" -- which I imagine is the primary form of entertainment in your hyper-male world, but I'll never know, since you won't send me a password -- I want your users to drop their computer mice, smack their collective foreheads with the September issue of For Him Magazine, take a deep breath, and say in voice chat:

"Damn Travis, check out that Ken-nomi dude! I reckon that is the most breathtakingly realistic, hyper-masculine avatar in da house!! I am feeling a great attraction to its beauty, in a totally normative, heterosexual way, of course. Hey, how 'bout dem New Yawk football Giants!"

Mars iz 4 boiz!Blue Mars, you told me I would be sent a login and password. It was a promise I believed in, Blue Mars. I tend to believe in promises made by software; I do not read the Terms & Conditions, for I do not speak Softwarese, and software has lied less often to me than have human beings.

And when software has lied to me, it is because it was programmed to lie by the maliciousness of devious creators, who are human beings. And that makes me think, Blue Mars, that the human beings who lied to me were maliciously programmed that way by other, more devious beings -- something like demons. And yet demons are not supposed to be real, except as software processes. Yet Ray Kurzweil says intelligent machines are almost here. It's a conundrum, really.

So here we are. I hear your beta is now available. Yet here I sit, without a password and login, despite your promises. This relationship is not getting off to a good start, Blue Mars. I feel like I'm getting stood up on a blind date.

Blue Mars, is this the first in a long line of bloated, Phillip Linden-esque promises that you will make and fail to deliver on? "We will send logins to everyone!" you said. Will your promises of "breathtakingly realistic avatars" and "next generation NPC intelligence" also go unfulfilled?

Mars iz 4 boiz!I even checked my spam folder. I don't do that for everyone, Blue Mars. I don't like to go there. The spam folder is full of Nigerian princes, V1agr4 pills, lies, machines, and despair. It's a frightful place, Blue Mars, but I went there. For you.

Are you a scary place too? Do your azure-tinted sand dunes ripple and whisper with the ghosts of long-dead civilizations, does starlight trip across the crumbling ruins of the elder race of Mars? I do not know, for I cannot log in.

So instead I must turn to literature about Mars, to help me imagine the world beyond your login screen.

I turned to Philip K. Dick's Martian Time-Slip. You are probably a big fan of his already, since he wrote science fiction and his surname is synonymous with penises, which as we have already established is what you are all about.

But just in case you are not familiar with Dick's work: written in 1964, Martian Time-Slip is a bleakly dystopian novel set on Mars (see?! see?! I knew you'd like it), with discourses on autism, ontology, time, and despair -- familiar themes to those of us denied our Blue Mars passwords:

"He lay there for a hundred and twenty-three years and then his artificial liver gave out and he fainted and died. By that time they had removed both his arms and legs up to the pelvis because those parts of him had decayed."

Questions about Blue Mars I may never have answered, before I too, am dying in an old folks' home waiting for my password:

  • Is the in-world staff all forced to use the surname Martian? Like Philip Linden except you have to be named Philip Martian?
  • Are the female avatars featured so prominently in your promotional material actual females or are they "next generation NPC intelligence"?
  • Have any podcasters verified that they are next generation NPC intelligences?
  • Is there a separate world for them called Pink Venus?
  • Can I have sex with them? The venuses I mean, not the podcasters.

Blue Mars, do you deserve your own directory in G:\files\pix directory? Or shall you forever be an unfulfilled subfolder in my Second Life directory? The answers to these questions may never be known, so let us turn once again to more Dick:

"In the darkness of the Martian night [they] searched... their light flashed here and there, and their voices could be heard, businesslike and competent and patient."

That's me and you, Blue Mars beta. That's me and you: businesslike, competent and patient.

I can keep this up all year. Let's see who finds who first.

Strengths: Website is fast and responsive, particularly to failed Logins; nice use of the all-caps, red font in the LOGIN FAILED message
Weaknesses: Blue Mars is missing a crucial factor necessary for online games: the ability to actually login
Helpful Hints: While waiting for your Blue Mars password to never appear in your inbox, try writing satirical blog posts and see if that helps
Final Score: F

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ask a Windows Vista Programmer

Dear Windows Vista Programmer

Hey now sugar! Ah'm having some problems with mah desktop icons. Mah Windows won't keep muh icons at'all, it sez dey corrupt! Think y'all can help a "Rogue" out? Thanks in 'vance, sugah!

-- Sexy in Biloxi!

A Windows Vista Programmer (artist's interpretation)
Where am I? This world is unfamiliar to me. I see things, like little images of other things. They swim before my eyes, enraging me. I crush them between my fingers.

Damn the little pictures, these colors in my pure black spirit realm. These things, these "icons" ... on this field, this "desktop" ... I must destroy them. Elf-work, this.

Void is pleasing to the dark. Pleasing to the hole where my soul should be.

Dear Windows Vista Programmer

My son Dakota likes to play games LOL! He likes to play all kinds of games, with the Pokeymons and the Guitar heros! LOL! But they dont work on our new Hewlet Packer computer! Help! What shoudl we do! LOL!

-- LOLly in Miami!

Windows Visa in action (artist's interpretation)May the Unblinking Eye damn you and your shitting bairn. I would grind you both with my battleaxe if I could. Learn the Lesson of the Cavern of Pain and be silent!

Now with this axe, this wedge of steel forged in the pits of Isengard with the blood of slaves and the kindling of Ents, I shall destroy everything I can touch inside this diabolical machine you have trapped me in.

It is a world I don't understand, but which I will gladly destroy. What is a D: drive? I care not. It must die in the name of the White Hand of Saruman!

Dear Windows Vista Programmer

I'm your average white suburbanite slob. I like football and podcasts and Second Life. But sometimes that's enough to keep a man like me interested. Sometimes I got to go out and have fun at somebody else's expense. Am I asshole or what?

-- An Asshole

Usability by Microsoft (artist's interpretation)Human! I remember humans. I remember how we hunted you down. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I can still smell the wheat fields burning, the carcasses piled upon the pyres, upwind of me and my warriors. The reek of burning huts filling the wind tickles my hunter's nostrils still. How you cried out! How you cried out to your weak and feeble gods!

One morning I remember, yes. I was a warrior then, a war-leader. I led a lurg of fifty orcs through the highlands of Rohan.

We came upon a miserable, lone farmhouse, nothing but logs and thatch. We surrounded it, flinging torches on the roof, chanting in the Black Speech as our masters taught us, in the manner of our god, Sauron:

Gu kibum kelkum-ishi, burzum-ishi! / No life in coldness, in darkness!

Then we did orc-work.

We cut the throats of the barking dogs. Then we slaughtered the lolling cattle, severed heads from bodies. How heavy their meat fell, and some of my goblins fell upon their raw flesh at once. Those starving ones could not help themselves.

Then the human family came running out, terrorstruck and keening, their throats gurgling like their own stricken animals. So stupid they looked, faces fat with fear.

They knew they could not flee us. Where would they run to? How could they outrun us, who run like the black Nazg├╗l?

Instead they threw themselves on their knees, praying to gods who did not come. But we had no mercy, for we are the fighting Uruk-Hai.

We killed them all where they lay and what we did not eat was left for the Storm-Crows of Saruman.

Now I am in your devil box, killing and destroying. And the War of the Ring goes on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Experts Warn of New Computer Virus

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Computer security experts today warned of a powerful new computer virus that is infecting millions of computers worldwide.

The new virus, named "Windows Vista", is infuriating users, slowing productivity, and defacing desktops on a global scale.

According to the experts, once the Vista virus infects a host computer, the user will lose control over the majority of their computer's activities.

"Every time a user tries to launch a new program, the virus will taunt them about their own helplessness with its trademark, useless nag screen," said Steve MacAfee, a security expert with CyberGuard Systems. "No matter how many times the same program is run, the virus will waste their time and infuriate them with its cruel prank.

"The Vista Virus also hates other programs," MacAfee said. "It will freeze them, warn users not to run them without permission, and quite often, won't let them run at all.

"It flat out refuses to run a vast array of Windows compatible software, some no older than 2003," he warned. "It's angry, and it likes to kill."

The virus will also corrupt and befoul a user's desktop, marring attractive icons with useless overlays and defacing them with its own graffiti, an ugly four-colored shield, MacAfee said.

"This is the kind of desktop or website defacement that the warez community likes to call 'ownage.' It's typical juvenile delinquents behavior."

Unlike traditional viruses, Vista is not downloaded from email or the Internet, but has been surreptitiously pre-installed on new machines all over the world.

The virus replaces a traditional, functional operating system such as Windows XP SP 2.0 with what one victim described as a broken, bloated, tyrannical state of never-ending corruption and despair.

"It's the kind of thing they'd design under Stalinism -- or in Hell," said Vista victim Kanomi Pikajuna. "I can't imagine what the creators were like. They must have a callous disregard for humanity, or some kind of deep-seated, misanthropy, a psychotic need to inflict pain.

"This is the kind of user experience you would design if you were immersed for eternity in a lake of burning fire, and were damn certain to make sure others shared in your eternal torment."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Your Take - New Website

Linden Lab has completely overhauled the Second Life website, adding a dashboard, a new layout, and other features. What's your take?

Netscape user

Twitter addict

Bunnypet Hugsalot
Facebook whore

Does the dashboard make Second Life drive faster?

I think I'm doing it wrong.
Websites are so 2003, dude.

The future is crowd-sourced tweets scraped from the Cloud, man!
So it's got emails, blogs, shopping, my friends list...

So why am I going in-world again?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Furpaws' Incident Log

The official Second Life website prints some 'Incident Reports' as a regular service to you, its paying customers; unfortunately the details are pretty thin.

Fortunately, TINY DANCING is here to help with another inside 'scoop.' Please welcome our new contributor Furpaws, who from time to time will be share with us some unexpurgated reports from his Incident Log.

Incident Report: 081109-03
Region: N/A
Violation: Defamation in Forums
Description: Resident flamed another resident as a "chud" and an "unevolved micro$ucka" for refusing to use ubuntu linux
Action taken: Resident was issued a Forums Warning and a $5 coupon towards the purchase of a life

Incident Report: 081109-01
Region: Kar-on-Vosk
Violation: Harassment: Impeding Movement
Description: Resident rezzed a bunch of prims and impeded the movement of SirJohn Rhapsody, Lord of Kar-on-Vosk, preventing said Lord from moving and initiating the Summer Flower Festival's Ritual Defloration of the Virgin Kajira
Action taken: Resident was banished to the Corn Field; he tried to get me to admit it was "oh c'mon, it was pretty funny!?"; I admitted maybe it was "a little bit"

Incident Report: 072809-01
Region: Zindra
Violation: Harassment: Demanding Voice Chat
Description: A strange group of Residents, known as "podcasters", invaded the adult continent and demanded other residents get on Webcams to prove they were in fact, seven foot tall, muscular males with rock hard abs to die for
Action taken: Removed the show from my RSS list

Incident Report: 072808-04
Region: Abitibi
Violation: Violation of TOS: Gambling
Description: Found residents betting on the giant Snail Races, claiming it was "perfectly ok" and "legal" because it was a game of skill
Action taken: Seized all the prize money after my Blue Snail failed to place in the third race, proving the fix was in

Incident Report: 092509-14
Region: Serpentata
Violation: Slowing region with scripted objects
Description: Went to Black Box Nightclub after many urgent incident reports regarding hellacious lag. Even got one report of an epileptic seizure?!? Arrived at club, found a Resident wearing a leisure suit made entirely of bling!
Action taken: Resident was turned over to the developers of Yo! MTV Raps! Online! as a beta tester

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Are We Getting Some Good Tweets About Second Life 2.0?

It was a bright, profitable day in San Francisco.

In a posh suite at the Ritz, a throng of high-tech investors and plugged-in analysts gathered for a sneak peek at the next big thing. Non-disclosure agreements were signed and muffins were consumed. Conversation grew to an audible tizzy, accompanied by the clicking of innumerable Blackberries.

Suddenly, a crack team of web-savvy executives strode into the conference room, confidence stitched into every seam of their Armani suits. They gave a brief presentation; it was brilliantly received: the investors opened up their checkbooks, the analysts pronounced the whole thing "webtacular!" and the executive team got back into their magical flying cars and zoomed back to Google.

Meanwhile, several miles away, in an abandoned box factory, some Lindens began to rise from their makeshift beds: cardboard boxes lain across wooden palettes. Around the metal barrel that served as their collective stove, they began to gather, heating tapwater and Sanka in old coffee mugs scavenged off of Craigslist.

"So Talky, what's the word about Second Life 2.0?" asked T Linden, dropping some restaurant sugar into a chipped blue mug. "Are we getting some good tweets about that? Got to get some good tweets about that."

"Not really," admitted Talky. "There's more buzz about this 'Botgirl Questi is a guy' thing. The podcasters are particularly upset.

"Who? What?" Philip Linden sputtered. "Nonsense! Listen! We have spent half a year moving everything onto new tabs and renaming the menus. This is a veritable sea change!"

He enacted his metaphor by making swooshing, ocean sounds with his mouth and waving his arms like a surfer. "Surf the information superhighway, Talky. Ride the next wave of innovation and change!" he said, in his best tech guru voice.

"The feedback seems to be that it's, um, too little too late," Talky said. He then stood up straighter, gulped, and continued. "I hate to bring this up again, but you know, I spent years making those helpful videos showing how to use the current interface and if we change that --"

M Linden interrupted. "But we are the first company to ever put the word 'Geek' right on the menu bar. We are programming our contempt for our users directly into the interface. This is groundbreaking stuff. You don't see that in World of WarCraft. Where's the menu bar for 'LAZY SHUT-IN' on your product, Blizzard? Huh?"

"The users are saying it's just a bunch of useless UI tweaks, instead of a true sequel that quantitatively reinvents the game."

Everyone stopped and stared at Talky Linden. "Did you just refer to Second Life as a game?"

"I meant, I meant the world!" Talky said, desperately clutching his scored and pitted mug, his hands shaking. "An actual sequel that changes the world."

There was an ominous silence, and everyone looked to the leader, M Linden.

"Take him to the Love Machine," M Linden said finally, in a quiet, measured voice that augured horror.

Two members of the RESI team seized the sobbing, pleading Talky and dragged him into an old utility room. Moments later, the lights flickered as an ominous crackle, like a giant bug zapper in mid-sizzle, shot through the warehouse. The victim's screams of primal pain rang in their ears like a dentist's drill.

M Linden smiled at the sound, rubbing his hands together, before resuming the meeting. "I do believe the Watermelon has a point, though. Changing the menus around and adding shit to the Website isn't much of an upgrade, T Linden. If that is your real name." He glared at the other executive darkly, with a meaningful glance towards the utility closet.

"Well what do they expect Second Life 2.0 to be?" demanded T Linden. "Some sort of new program with high end graphics, massive concurrent user support, industry standard content creation tools, and breathtakingly realistic avatars? I mean, that's just crazy talk!"

The circle erupted at such a ridiculous notion. "Earth to crazy people! Hello!" laughed M Linden.

"Yeah, what do they think this is, Mars?" said Phillip Linden.

"I know, really! Some kind of Blue Mars!" said T Linden. "As if!"

They stood for a moment, laughing and chuckling, before filing out, one by one, as they did every morning, onto the loading dock where they chained up their old grocery carts overnight.

Tenderly, they unlocked each and filled them with plastic bags, then fanned out through the city, collecting cans and other recyclables to trade in for precious, precious server money.

It was a bright, profitable day in San Francisco.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Your Take - Botgirl's Reveal

Recently SL blogger Botgirl Questi controversially revealed her avatar was played by a man named David. What's your take?

Friendly Buttons
Forum agitator

Davros Prototype
Linux proponent

Mitsubishi McGee
Stocking fetishist
Hello! My avatar is also played by a male! Hello!

Where's my parade?
I was disappointed. I was sure she was one of those U.S. Navy-trained dolphins.

If they can disarm torpedoes, they can update blogs.
That was a no-brainer, "botgirl" is such a guy name.

A girl would've chosen "MagicalRobotPrincess Questi"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

SL Users 'Amazed' by San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Attendees to the Second Life Communtiy Convention, arriving in the city of San Francisco for the first time, stood around in slack-jawed amazement for over an hour, gawking at the quality and detail of the site's build.

"I can't believe how photo-realistic these textures are," said Bunnypet Hugsalot, clutching a four prim suitcase and a notecard directing her to the St. Francis Drake hotel. "And this street is totally crowded with avies and must be running hundreds of scripts, but I'm not lagging at all!"

The avatars were stunned nearly speechless by San Francisco's complex architecture, rich, instantaneously-loading textures, and the extremely detailed builds.

"Everything rezzes right away!" gasped Darkchylde Daggerheart. "I can't believe it! Why hasn't it been listed in the Showcase or NPIRL? Come on Chestnut's Choice's, get with the program!"

She then spent the next twenty-five minutes frozen in place, as a torrent of textures and a sheer tidal wave of objects crashed her illicit copybot program.

Awestruck avatars explore the extremely realistic sim known as 'San Francisco'

"My god! Look at that taxi!" enthused Friendly Buttons, a vehicle fabricator back in his home sim of Caledon Falls. "It must be like, hundreds of prims! And those textures! How the fuck are they shading all those pixels on the fly like that?"

As the taxi roared off with a horn blast and tire squeal, sending up little puffs of scripted garbage from the street, he started to sob in sheer jealousy. "Is this Blue Mars? OpenSim? I just don't get it! What have I been doing wrong all these years!

"And why can't I right click on anything to see who the creator was!" he wailed.

The visitors' reactions are not that unusual, explained Metapsychology professor Supersteve Knobworthy.

"Most SL avatars come from small, thinly populated sims, where the architecture is simplistic and the traffic is low," he said. "Even the most worldly avatar has never coped with such a massive sensory overload.

"It's likely their tiny silicon minds will shut down, and they will seek the safety and comfort of low stimulation environments, such as darkened rooms, underneath the blankets," he predicted.

After checking in to their hotels, the avatars were further flabbergasted by a night of free-form dancing that did not require the use of poseballs; music that did not cut out, stutter, or skip; and alcoholic beverages that, while costing 1500 Lindens each, actually had an effect on their avatar's coordination and inhibitions.

Six weeks from now, several of the avatars will also be surprised that they purchased prim baby pregnancy modules, albeit with no apparent recollection of doing so.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Around the Grid

More User Tracking, Says Lindens

Linden Lab is seeking more ways to identify users, the company said today. Currently, users can have their payment details on file, their age verified, and their names added to the new Content Creator Registry. But the Lab plans more, it said.

"We're exploring a Gender Verification System, a DNA Registry, and an in-world Vehicle Driver's License system," said Catgirl Linden, a company spokesbeing. "To be followed up by RFID chipping, GPS tracking, and urinalysis.

"This will culminate in mass confinement in Kapor-Kurzweil Singularity camps, where all avatars will be merged into the final, emergent Cyber Omni-Mind."

Podcast Downloaded

A Second Life resident enjoys a podcastA Second Life-related podcast was downloaded and listened to by an avatar named Burlywolf Whirlagig today, sources indicated. The recording began with an audio snippet from Family Guy, followed by an oral recap of Philip Linden's Twitter stream.

Next, two Podcasters and an inaudible stream of possibly extraterrestrial static began an unprepared discussion about eCommerce as it applies to breeding catgirls.

The podcast was halted at 20:15, following the third mention of the soporific term 'metanomics.'

Man Realizes Girlfriend Also Man

Coolguy25's poseball is now emptyDismayed avatar Coolguy25 has realized that his girlfriend Creamycat Tizzy is almost certainly also male in first life.

"I should've known by her impossibly hot IRL pix, refusal to use voice, and her total ignorance about shoe, dress, and bra sizes, but I had hoped this time was different," he said.

"But come on; even I know there's no such thing as an F5 Cup."

Coolguy's moment of clarity came after a lengthy discussion about the need for the New York Mets to bolster its starting rotation if they want to salvage anything this season, followed by a heated debate about the optimal key-bindings for World of Warcraft raids.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Philip Linden's Twitter Updates

The Twitter-verse has not fully embraced Second Life's sandy-haired former CEO, Philip "Philip Linden" Rosedale, and frankly that makes me as angry as a podcaster on Zindra.

How is it possible that our fair-haired golden boy, the Apollo -- nay, Prometheus -- of virtual worlds, with his pop idol looks and Web 2.0 lifestyle, has a mere 1,000 followers?

How is it possible that Mitch "mkapor" Kapor, with his drab avatar and somniferous Tweet-stream about metanomics and 'socially responsible engineering', has amassed a massive army of 11,000+ devotees? Argh! Go build a bridge out of teddy bears, Yawn-Boy!

Confronting this injustice, I point the Bat-finger of blame squarely on you, the SL Twitter users! But I am sure you will immediately correct your mistake, once you have been exposed to Philip's pithy observations and charmingly disarming insights about life in and out of the Lab.

To aid you in your penance, I have created a screen-capture. Click it for detail:


A larger image is supposed to open correctly in a new tab or window. If not, you'll need to go to the Microsoft and get the patches.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kanomi's Klassroom

Dear Kanomi's Klassroom,

What is this 'cloud computing' I keep hearing about? And how will it affect Second Life?

- Confused in Caledon

Dear Confused,

Different kinds of computers are made by competing companies, just like Prada and Coach make different purses.

Microsoft makes the Windows Computers and Apples makes the Apples Computers. A man named Linus Torvalds makes the Linus computers. And now Google is making the Cloud Computers you asked about.

Cloud Computers aren't for sale yet because I've never seen them on TV. Doesn't matter though, because Second Life doesn't support Cloudy Computers. So you do not want them. Do not want the Cloud Computers.

Just use Windows or Apples. Windows is a good choice if you are an experienced computer guru like me. Just type your blog right into the boxes or 'windows' as we web programmers call them.

And Apples is a good choice if you have a goatee.

Dear Kanomi's Klassroom,

My Second Life experience is laggy and slow, but when I go into the menus to adjust my settings, I am overwhelmed. Can you help?

- Lagging in the Lab

Dear Lagging,

What's ruining your Second Life is Lag. Go to the Help Menu and turn on your Lag Meter. It will look like a traffic light, except the three lights are on at the same time!

Uh oh! Ding ding ding! Mixed reality metaphor! But don't be confused by it. It works just like traffic school!

If all of the lights are green, you are good to go! Welcome to the future, big band user! You can now roar down the information superhighway in your flying car!

If some of the lights are yellow, slow down and use caution. Try to hold perfectly still and not do anything for a while, like Windows Vista.

If the lights still don't turn green, try installing the patches. The patches can be found on the Microsoft.

If they are red, then you have lots of lag. Ask the people around you to leave. Their thick hair has too many prims and causes lag for you. Here's a great tip for less lag: be friends with more bald people.

Another tip is to go somewhere where there are no avatars and nothing interesting, like the IBM region.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Your Take - Malicious Clients

Hackers are distributing a password-stealing Second Life client purportedly created by popular metaverse blogger Gwyneth Llewellyn. What's your take?

Friendly Buttons
Virtual podcaster

Darkchylde Daggerheart
Credentials collector

Phishing victim
They had to steal Gwyn's name, because nobody would install a client created by Wagner James Au.I prefer to swipe passwords the old-fashioned way, through social engineering.

By the way, what was your pet's maiden name in high school?
Hello friend conference!

I am a Nigerian prince seeking helpful money order of ten thousands of usa dollars to activate a Great Fortune!

Content Roadmap

Friday, July 31, 2009

Achievements for Second Life

I was checking my Twitter today when I came across a discussion about whether or not Second Life should implement some sort of 'achievements' system to encourage player participation and community involvement, similar to what is done on Xbox Live.

It just so happens my "source" in the Lab has leaked an early draft of an achievements proposal from Linden Lab.

Hmm, I think it needs some work...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ray Kurzweil's Keynote Address

It was recently announced that the keynote speaker at this year's Second Life Community Convention will be none other than transhumanist spokesbeing Ray Kurzweil. While Ray's talks can be rather visionary and erudite, I've been told by a confidential source that he was asked to "tone it down a bit" so the bondage bed salesmen could enjoy it too. And he's complied, judging by this advanced copy my source gave me. So enjoy the preview, and I'll see you at the show!

Good evening ladies, gentlemen, and those of you that have evolved beyond your fleshy cages and embraced the liquid unity of the Rosendale Poly-Mind.
(Pause for Laughter)

I just flew in from the scarlet pyramid of the Eastern Seaboard Fission Authority, and boy are my arms tired!
(Pause for Laughter. If laughter goes on too long, wave hands magnanimously.)

I'm Ray Kurzweil, a futurist, a technologist, and an inventor. I helped Al Gore create the Internet. Just kidding. I did that by myself.

Al is more responsible for global warming. That's the number one export from Washington D.C., you know. Hot air!

(Wait for Laughter. If laughter persists, blow nose loudly. If it continues, fake heart attack, Red Foxx style, until standing ovation ceases completely.)

Thank you, thank you. Please take your seats. I'm doing my part to fight global warming, though. I invented something I call the Kurzweil Virtual Solar Panel.

Just slap a few of those babies on your Second Life Segway and the utility companies will never bother you again!

That's right, now you can live off the grid while on the grid!

(Wait for Laughter. If no one laughs, become angry and leave.)

But all kidding aside, I am here to deliver an important, in fact remarkable message.
(Thump podium dramatically.)

Ladies. Gentlemen. Podcasters. The Singularity is Here.
(Pause for gasps of shock and surprise.)

How do I know this?
(Continue in a hushed whisper.)

Because an SL bots has passed the Turing Test.
(Pause for more gasps of shock and surprise. If no one gets the significance, pound the podium and let loose a primal scream.)

Let me explain. I was on the Mainland in my Ramona the Pop-Star avatar, fending off some podcasters who were demanding that I do voice with them, when suddenly this avatar came up to me and said, "I built a bot that can past the Turing Test."

I was like, "No Way." And she -- her name was Kanomi, and I think she was a she, but I was too excited by her claims to go into voice chat to verify her gender -- she said, "Yes way."

So we went to her secret laboratory and she introduced me to two more people, Tweedledeee and Tweedledum. Both looked like the old, moronic default male avatar, you know, the one preferred by M Linden.

Anyway, she said, "One of these avatars is a human being. And one is a script. Go ahead and talk to them, and tell me which one is real, and which one is the bot."

I said, "You're on, Ms. Pikajuna," and proceeded to interrogate them. Here is a transcript.

Ramona Hugsalot: Hello, how are you?
Tweedledee: Yo beeeetch!
Tweedledum: R u a g1rl 4 reallzz?!

Ramona Hugsalot: How is the weather where you are?
Tweedledee: You got to rizzle before you shizzle!
Tweedledum: UR teh HOt, do u want 2 sexors???!

Ramona Hugsalot: What can you tell me about the Turing Test?
Tweedledee: HOOOWLLZZ!!!!
Tweedledum: Everyboty make some noize!

It goes on like that for eight more, grueling hours, but I think you get the idea. I simply could not distinguish between a human moron and a chatbot programmed to sound like a bling-tard. I acknowledged Ms. Pikajuna's programmatic prowess and was forced to admit her bot passed the Turing Test.

And once the Test has been passed, as I wrote in my book The Singularity Is Near (available on, and if you brought a copy I'll be happy to autograph it for 500 Lindens), that means the Singularity is no longer Near, it is Here.

So what does that mean? It means a lot of change as we enter the post-human era.

For starters, we will no longer have any use for Las Vegas-style stage magicians.

In the future, we will all be able to pull rabbits out of our own hats. And if we don't want to pull rabbits out of hats, we can pull them out of our boots.

And they needn't be rabbits. They might be ducks. They might be wallabies. That choice is up to us.

Are you ready to make that choice with me?

(Pause for standing ovation.)

Thank, thank you very much. Enjoy the Convention. I'll be at the bar, getting fucked up on Romulan Ale.

STARTUPS: Robot Sushi

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shoestring Marketing, Linden-style

It's not everyday I get an email from Linden Lab that isn't about an outrageous "Incident Report" (I was so not aiming at that guy), so I was quite curious as to what this was all about:

For those of you who can't click the graphic to read the whole spiel (probably because you are in Australia and this unrated gaming content is BANNED), I will give you the gist of it:

You can win 10,000 Linden dollars if you post the URL of your favorite XstreetSL item (from the Home & Garden category, only!) on the Linden Lab Facebook wall!

Yes, that's right you have to go from their virtual eCommerce site to their social media networking page if you need to buy more blood packs for the blood fountains in your virtual dungeon. They couldn't have hit on more Web 2.0 memes unless they made you Twitter about it first and plurk it up afterwards.

So much for you Immersionists, or those thousands of profiles that read "Keep RL separate plz k thx bai!" We avatars now must get out into the larger metaverse and tackle the dangers, the perils, the colossal cacophony of redundancy that is Second Life 2.0! Get ye to Facebook, avatar, and Twitter too!

The rewards are huge, all of 10,000 Lindens. That's about $40 U.S., a truly massive show of marketing muscle in this era of weekly layoffs and economic panic. It's good to see the Lindens being frugal, but maybe they could've thrown in some free "Power Idling With M Linden" t-shirts.

So how do I you win this plum cherry of prize? Enough have people have to click "I like this item" on the Facebook Wall when they scroll through all the other, uninteresting entries and choose "GIANT KITTY COUCH CHAIR WITH 6 POSE SIT ANIMATIONS NEKO" which is clearly the most exciting item of all.

Just keep scrolling down the wall until you find it, and choose "Like" with your Facebook account. What, your Avatar doesn't have a Facebook account? Your Avatar's been banned from Facebook for not being a "real person"?

Sorry then, you're not eligible for this contest!