here -- he seems to have a good grasp of what's being talked about, as usual -- and the original article in, of all places, Variety is here. Both are well worth your time. There's one point on "instancing" that Ciaran Laval understands a lot better than I do, and I think you should read what he has to say about it.
It seems clear that the Lindens will be tinkering with the economic structure of the new virtual world: "Land in Second Life is quite expensive," said [Ebbe] Altberg. Trade, on the other hand, is barely regulated. Linden Lab now wants to lower real estate taxes and increase sales taxes, he explained, to make it easier for people to pitch a tent in its virtual world." I'm not sure of all the ramifications of this, but it seems as though the days of the land baron will be coming to an end; creation of things like clothing and hair will possibly be focused in the hands of fewer designers since the economics will make it more difficult to sell one's work.
They're going into beta now; 1.0 could launch by the end of 2016. I think it's finally time to start looking into buying myself an Oculus Rift headset and getting ready to make a change.
And the bad news? Buried in the last paragraph. "Altberg said that Linden Lab isn't pre-populating the world with ready-made experiences or things ported over from Second Life. Instead, it's betting on its users to start shaping their world. 'It's gonna start from the beginning," he said."
So -- I think I just cut my virtual clothing budget in half, if not more, and I'll be putting that money in a mayonnaise jar towards an Oculus Rift headset. Why bother buying virtual items you will only use for a little while? Take it from me, this is the loudest bell you've heard yet that signals the "end" of Second Life (although I suspect they may continue to support it, or even give away its code to anyone who wants to maintain the servers; it's still economically viable).
I'm excited. A little bit sad at hearing the first ring of the death knell for Second Life as it currently exists, but actually looking forward to what's coming down the pike.
Thursday, 23 July 2015
Tuesday, 21 July 2015
|This is what griefers used to do. These days they're not|
as imaginative, just vulgar.
I have chat logs, but I will be saving them for people whom I'm trying to convince to ban these nitwits. I left immediately and sent a notecard to the owner of Men Only Monthly, Missy (missqwerty.pevensey) -- who, I am delighted to say, got back to me immediately and banned all four of them within 30 minutes. Well done, Missy. That's the kind of customer service that makes friends and long-term customers. I'm sad to say that Missy said it's the third time this week she's had this issue with different griefers.
But I'm going to suggest to anyone in the entire Gay Archipelago and beyond that these are not people you want to have around when your real customers like me are trying to enjoy themselves and spend money. I'm going to break my own rule and mention another resident in something other than favourable terms; ban these assholes ASAP from everything over which you have the power. Here's the names:
- ciɑƦđα Ʀαȼ (jae30rae)
- ツღ Narbow ღ シ (narisa24601)
- B.Breezy (dodgemystds)
- SKY (skyylarrain)
Sunday, 19 July 2015
|A&A: Hercules (not from Hair Fair)|
Now, in the last few days,
|Damselfly: Park (Tuxedo)|
But you know, it's never occurred to me to "affiliate" myself with a designer. Sure, it means you get free stuff; I gave up looking for free stuff in Second Life a
|Sage: Andre (Crow)|
So that brings me to Hair Fair. I went
|Exile: Future Outcasts|
I did this shoot by calling up the internal search engine and typing in "barber shop"; the first result was
From the top: Park, from Damselfly, is a nice short haircut. A little bit high in the front but that tends to suit me, since I have a large head (slider at 85) and usually bump up the hair size at least 15% when I can. I'd wear this one with a business suit.
Jaden, from Phoenix, is a nice-
|Tableau Vivant: Last Train Home|
Future Outcasts, from Exile, is an excellent long-hair look. I think Exile do a good job with long hair and I like
|Analog Dog: Sassafras|
Next is the Robin hair from Uw:St, which I think is a company I used to know as UncleWeb. (If I'm wrong, comment please.) There's something
|The hairbase underlying these cuts|
The Micha hair from Bade -- I didn't seem to get a good picture of this one, but I'm not sure I'll be wearing it much anyway. The little topknot at the back is the way I brush my hair back at the gym in real life to keep it out of the way, but that's not something I do a hell of a lot in SL. I bought it because it reminded me of my real hair; I forgot in Second Life I'm not restricted to my real hair. (Remember that I'm grabbing this hair and crashing constantly, so my decisions are made quickly.)
Last Train Home from Tableau Vivant: there's something odd about this hair on the short side of the part, and when I sized it up enough to fit my enormous head LOL, it just didn't seem correctly proportioned. Frankly this is just a hair for someone who's av is bringing off a much younger look than mine; it's good hair, just doesn't suit me like I thought it might.
Finally, the Sassafras hair from Analog Dog was stepping out a little bit for me -- this is female hair. But I've wanted a nice long curly "Italian" mop for quite some time and not found anything quite to my taste; I sized it up and it fits fine. If you look closely you can see a flag sticking out of my head; that's because this is a demo hair. I couldn't get back into Hair Fair to go and get the actual hair, but I intend to: I may not wear this hair all that often but I'm sure I'll find a use for it. Again, like all long hair, this one tends to weave through the body a bit, but it has a nice bouncy, springy quality to it that tends to draw the eye away from the problems.
Finally, I wanted to show you that there was a pretty standard hairbase underneath all these cuts. I suspect there might be a hair designer reading this and thinking, "Oh, SURE he didn't like the hair, he didn't use the custom base I included!" Okay, if you did, I apologize. But that's why I included this shot; designers, this is how people actually use your hair. They don't have time to carefully switch hairbases if they're doing a quick change ... Unless there's something totally wrong, I'll just try to make it work with the base I'm wearing. Sorry to burst your bubble.
I do feel sorry for the fashion bloggers who are having all the problems with designers. But, you know, if you pay for the stuff you talk about, you can say what you like -- no need to be vicious, of course, just do a consumer report that's going to do a favour for the next person who might be about to, say, wander through Hair Fair. And if any designers object to what I've said here, they can comfort themselves with the fact that I paid retail. I actually left out a couple of pieces I picked up as gifts from Hair Fair; I didn't like them and won't be wearing them, but it seems a bit churlish to complain about a gift, so I've merely omitted them.
Hair Fair is running for a week or two longer -- everyone in SL wears hair, it's fun to look around and see what the latest styles are like, and a lot of the proceeds go to a charitable good cause. Check it out.
Saturday, 18 July 2015
Really, HBO Canada, I'm very disappointed with you. Both segments were almost exactly the same (as were segments on online femdom, polyamory, and female/male sex wrestling). No insight, no attempt to say anything at all about what drives these ideas and where they come from. I can tell you the content of each brief segment quite easily: "Sex exists in this context, and this is what it looks like. And here's another picture of it. And here's a BUNCH of pictures of it. Let's see how much of it we can show you without transgressing the Broadcast Standards Code, while the voice-over talks about the fact that these things happen without relating to the images."
So the Oculus Rift segment showed semi-pornographic images of people having sex that you can see if you wear the headset, and the Second Life segment showed semi-pornographic images of people having sex that you can see if you have a Second Life account. In fact, the whole thing was pretty clearly designed to show images of sexual activity on HBO Canada. Just about the only thing you cannot show these days, apparently, is an erect human penis.
In the segment on Oculus Rift, I learned you can show a vagina, cunnilingus, lesbianism, strap-ons, fellatio with the actual penis carefully concealed, female masturbation, and more breasts than the chicken section of the meat counter at the supermarket. And in the segment on Second Life, more of the same, except apparently you can show non-human or virtual penises, including some av standing in front of a three-metre penis sculpture worshiping it, and a purple werewolf with two penises. And you can show two male avs having sex, which perish forbid you should show in the Oculus Rift segment. Plenty of pseudo-lesbians with long fingernails, but no males.
The SL segment was guided by an av named Alycia Blaylock, who has been in SL since 2009 and has apparently never upgraded her av since that point. In fact the whole segment looks like it was shot around 2009, judging by the ghastly sculpty hair. There was even the standard noob av in a striped shirt at a party at one point holding a video camera. Alycia is aware that there is sex in SL and says so -- she has no insight into it, merely that it happens and sometimes involves her. I realize that Alycia is not responsible for what the producers decided to do, but if I had contributed to that segment, I'd retire from SL and come back as an alt. So if you know her, ask her what she was thinking.
One av announces that, gasp, he's chubby in RL but not in SL. Ooh, I had an insight moment there. The most interesting bit was where some large-breasted av was dancing at a party and saying, "Yeah, he's my husband in SL and my husband in RL, and we swing in both worlds, and ..." And then her RL toddler broke in on the voice channel and asked for something and she said, "Not now, honey." Yeah, not now, honey. Mommy's making a fool of herself on national television.
Anyway. I could continue to be crabby, but the point is, SL and Oculus Rift just got assraped again by some producer who wanted to show images of sexual activity on TV without going down the FCC/wardrobe malfunction/huge fines path. Ugh. Avoid this, seriously consider giving up HBO (well, okay, no, I'm a GoT junkie) and if a producer from Matador Productions asks you to participate in a video shoot, run.
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Folks, I had a wonderful time. Thanks very much. VERY much. You filled a gift box with L$2850 for me and I split it between RED and Second Pride -- L$2450 each. Hey, I'm elderly, I can make mistakes in math ... and as I always say, if you don't support the institutions you like in Second Life, they go away.
There were a couple of people who messaged because they couldn't make
Thanks to my darling Alex Thaub and, in no particular order, Marly Moon [marlymoon], Nikolai Warden, Cayson Triellis, Cygnus Neox [cygnus.jun], Uz Bigbear [uzme.evermore], Kerrdan, my
Good music, good friends, and a good time was had by all!
Thursday, 2 July 2015
This is something I've thought about; it makes me more reluctant to talk about SL to my friends and family, because I suspect they may perceive it as sleazy and, pretty much, something they don't want to know about. Apparently that was my issue but not theirs. You should read the article, though, which marshals a lot of scientific evidence in a useful and sensible way. (Well done Canary Beck!) If and when you ever have an argument about this, you'll want to have this kind of evidence on hand to crush the opponents.
Read the article here. I swiped the picture of Canary Beck from her blog to show you that she's also really, really skilled at creating a great-looking av.