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!

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