Jun 302011
 

After reading this thread on SLUniverse, which references this tweet, from Opensource Obscure, it appears that there are some different looking profiles on Linden Lab’s servers, profiles with additional functionality, such as  a feed. I don’t know whether this is a new project, or whether it’s an old project that never got finished but it does work, although the data appears to be from the beta grid and is therefore old.

My beta profile is here, to check for your own go to https://my-demo.secondlife.com/firstname.lastname, where firstname.lastname are your first and last Second Life names. Alternatively go to:

https://my-demo.secondlife.com/

Then login, you see more options when you login, you should see something like this:

Feed

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Jun 292011
 

This post is largely about developments in World Of Warcraft and Eve-Online, more the latter, but both have made recent changes that have something in common with Second Life, so I felt it was worth talking about these issues.

In a rather surprising move, World Of Warcraft has moved from a 14 day trial, to allowing people to play for free, although they will get capped at level 20 if they don’t move to the subscription model. World Of Warcraft has been losing subscribers but was rumoured to still have over eleven million paying customers quite recently, so it’s not as if they are in the desperation stakes. One does have to wonder if World of Warcraft is approaching the Gillette Mach 3 stage, people just keep damn well using Mach III’s even though it’s old and they want people to use a newer product!

This is also interesting when looking at Second Life because the market seems to be moving more towards the free to play model that Second Life has employed since 2006, several MMO’s have moved to free to play with people being enticed to buy subscriptions or buy items and whereas World Of Warcraft isn’t doing that yet, others have been, Lord Of The Rings Online for example.

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Jun 282011
 

There was a point at yesterday’s Adult Content User Group Meeting where Viale Linden pleaded for no more private IM’s, claiming “I am not a bot” … however questions are still abound whether or not Viale is a bot because he seems to come out with phrases that are straight out of a management course book, take a look at the agenda:

1. Facilitate sustainable, productive communities by partnering with key groups and residents.  (different from executing on a community wishlist).

2. Bring the value forward .

3. Focus on sustainable movements, not discrete campaigns. Source the community for naturally sustaining, organic initiatives that scale and utilize trusted community resources while still aligning with corporate goals. Move away from LL-driven events and start spotting movements with natural momentum.

4. Embrace community content as an untapped, invaluable resource.

Hmmmm.

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Jun 272011
 

In my previous blog post I talked about Fractured Crystal’s contract with Avination on their viewer development and whether one of the infamous participants in the Emerald scandal should be trusted again. Avination were aware of his past but wanted to give him another chance to demonstrated his skills. However there’s a new twist to the story, due to allegations that Fractured Crystal still logs into Second Life, despite being permabanned, Avination have now taken the decision to remove Fractured Crystal from their staff and have intivted him to move onto other opportunities, as posted here.

I have no idea if the allegation against Fractured Crystal is true, but allegations surface in this thread over at SLUniverse (Caution, thread contains profanity). This is quite an epic thread, the questions about whether Fractured Crystal still logs into Second Life start at the bottom of page 14.

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Jun 262011
 

I don’t use Avination very often, this is mainly due to time restraints, the same goes for Inworldz, my virtual world time is mostly invested in Second Life. However I welcome alternative virtual worlds and although Avination and Inworldz are technically inferior to Second Life, that doesn’t mean people can’t have more fun in them than they have in Second Life. One area that interests me is of course the cheaper tier costs, from a roleplaying point of view that is appealing. Those lower costs though have to be weighed up against inferior performance.

I’m also not a fan of third party viewers, so were I to heavily invest in Avination I’d be tempted by the official Avination viewer, well I would have been until I learnt that Fractured Crystal of Emerald viewer infamy had been hired to help develop the official Avination viewer, this means I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. The question then is: Is it fair to not trust Fractured Crystal again? The answer of course is, who knows? Actions will certainly speak louder than words.

In Cyberspace people not only have long memories, they also have aide memoires of old data to refresh their memories in cached google blog posts. What happened with the Emerald Viewer and Fractured Crystal’s involvement was a massive breach of trust and one I can’t simply overlook, although Avination owner, Melanie Milland, is quite correct in saying that Black Hats can become White Hats, it’s still an issue of personal trust.

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Jun 242011
 

Last night, your dashing hero (that’s me) battled lag, viewer updates, being unable to move safely and risky teleports to catch a glimpse of Rodvik at Second Life’s eighth birthday celebrations (AKA SL8B). Rodvik didn’t make a speech, he seemed to have saved his speaking for a Massively article (well worth a read). He also didn’t sing, despite Inara Pey’s encouragement. I did ask Inara to encourage Rodvik to get on stage and break out in a chorus of “Alex Mcleish’s Claret and Blue Army” but she refused on the grounds of bad taste… umm some Villa fans would agree.

However whilst Fedora Jones was singing, Rodvik arrived, to much chatter, only for me to ask Inara where the bloody hell he was because I’d only came to see his toga! However I was to be thwarted, as I discovered that amongst mutterings about nanobots and taking over the galaxy, Rodvik had turned into a Spaceship!

Rodvik

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Jun 222011
 

As I am not certified for a SL press pass, I look to the SL press for news and information on things happening at Linden Lab, I used to look at the main blog but that seems to be in sore need of some care and attention. The forums aren’t so bad, and the mesh forum for those interested in mesh, is interesting viewing, even for those who don’t like mesh, it’s interesting viewing! However for general information I keep an eye on the SL press and SL Press member extraordinaire;  Inara Pey, has an interesting post regarding SL8B, or more to the point about the lack of Linden involvement at SL8B. I agree with the main thrust of Inara’s post, to quote in part:

SL8B represents a marvellous opportunity for LL to reach out to the user community and communicate with us – so where are they?

I’m not talking about glad-handing or getting involved in in-depth discussions about who, what, when, where, how and why; rather I’m talking about getting up on stage and giving an overview of what is coming down the road, thing like:

What is happening with Viewer 2?
What is Mesh going to look like?  (Given many haven’t see the results from the Beta Grid)
What is happening around service improvements like Group chat and server-side lag issues?”

The SL8B Blog itself is on its own blog, containing far more information about happenings than Linden Lab’s own official blog, have they outsourced the birthday event or something? I know Linden Lab officially take a hands off approach to SLCC.

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Jun 202011
 

When I was a lad, like many a lad, I dreamt of one day being a train driver and although that dream has long since faded, there’s this magical theme with trains still, which makes it a perfect subject for this year’s SL8B. The bonus here being that Qie Niangao has made a display that not only captures that magic, it also allows you to simulate riding a train inworld as well as promoting the Virtual Railway Consortium and Second Life Rail Road (SLRR).

The display starts with a simulation of a toy train which you ride.

Outside Display

Then before you know it you’re inside a train carriage, with sound and shaking.

Inside Train

I caught up with Qie Niangao to ask him more about the display, the Virtual Railway Consortium and the SLRR.

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Jun 202011
 

In between Blondin and Amanda leaving Linden Lab, another community based Linden left, Courtney. There have been rumours that Courtney and Amanda might have left over the SL8B logo issue, although in the case of Courtney this seems unlikely as the word on the street is that Courtney left on June 10th after handing in her two week’s notice.

People move on, it’s a fact of life and like Blondin and Amanda, one would hope that Courtney has moved on to better things. Courtney I didn’t know as well as Blondin or Amanda (whom I didn’t really know either), I don’t recall Courtney holding any office hours. However what I do recall about Courtney is that she was enthusiastic, positive in the face of negativity and seemed to enjoy herself.

I can recall at the Valentine’s event that I gave up trying to get a kiss with Courtney, who was sporting a pair of wings, because there was a bloody great queue to get on the pose ball with her.

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Jun 182011
 

Alexia Cournoyer's SL8B build

Alexia Cournoyer, owner of The Art Thing has an interesting exhibit ready for SL8B which involves magic, scripting, building and art! I’ve been speaking to Alexia through the time she has been bringing this exhibit alive, as well as talking to Alexia’s scripting assistant, Sorvats Kappa of SGK scripts. The theme of SL8B is the magic of Second Life, so my questions during the interview did touch upon that magic and whether it exists. Now being a Drow Wizard I don’t need any excuse to dress up, but for this interview with the charming Alexia I decided human form and Wizard garb was the best bet, so I hid my face under my wizard’s hat and got on with the interview.

Alexia and Ciaran

Alexia’s theme is quite clearly inspired by Alice Through The Looking Glass, hence the name! However the garden also been populated by some of Alexia’s other works of art, so when you do go visit take your time to look around the entire build.

ground

I started with the basics by asking Alexia how long she had been a Second Life resident: “1751 days – 6 weeks short of 5 years, and I still remember my first day like it was yesterday” replied Alexia, did that first day feel magic I asked: “No but it was setting the scene, I’ve only glimpsed the magic a couple of times down those years but it’s mighty powerful stuff,  I see the magic as being behind a door and very rarely will you find the right key to open it, but when you do, it’s breathtaking.”

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