Jul 292011

So, after a break from blogging of Avril Korman like proportions, I’m back! However unlike Avril, I’m not back with a challenging and epic blog post to create a great deal of discussion and my break has largely been a result of just wanting a break. There are many interesting issues I could blog on, Shava Nerad (Shava Suntzu in Second Life) has an interesting campaign about Google + and their profiles rules. However it’s Friday night here in blighty and I’ll end up singing Safety Dance if I blog about that.

So let’s look at what’s been happening on the official Linden Lab blog, on July 21st they blogged about Mesh and on July 28th, they blogged about Mesh! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to Mesh, indeed during my break I’ve been playing with Blender and volunteered one of my regions to be put into the Mesh RC Channel. However, there are a couple of other things that seem to have happened in the last week, new profiles have gone live and the hidden avatars feature, that I blogged about back on July 5th appears to have gone live, I haven’t checked it but the settings are in the latest viewer.

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Jul 222011

There have been accusations that Google don’t get social for quite a while now, with the advent of Google + it appears that maybe they do. However there’s evidence that they struggle with some aspects of social and this is exemplified via the recent TechCrunch interview with two of the guys behind Google +, which you can view on a post by Botgirl Questi.

One point where I get concerned is when one of the google guys talks about people not using video for contacting friends, it’s a pain in the arse is why people don’t do it, it’s not intuitive, it takes time to arrange, it takes more time to do and even though he touches upon these points, it’s his surprise that so many people don’t do it that’s concerning.

However Google + is about trying to find new and innovative ways for people to communicate in the real world by the sounds of it, Alexander Graham Bell isn’t going to be too concerned for quite a while I’d imagine.

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Jul 222011

As reported by Inara Pey, you can now find your mesh upload status in your account details on the official Second Life page for your account. Unless you have the right payment info status and have taken the quiz (the link for which you will find on your account information) you won’t be able to upload mesh.

There is also an official mesh update blog post explaining what will be happening during the next stage of testing mesh, as it stands it will only be available on certain sims (they were looking for volunteers) and anything uploaded has the potential to break, so don’t go making anything permanent just yet.

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Jul 192011

The Google + issues rumble on for those with pseudonyms, there have been some interesting blog posts (and comments) from Prok, Marx Dudek and Hamlet Au. Marx Dudek’s post is interesting regarding verifying their account to google by using a mobile phone, when Marx hadn’t supplied them with a mobile phone number. I didn’t have to provide a mobile phone number when I signed up for Gmail either.

Prok and Hamlet both have links to a google plus discussion, with Prok linking to a post by Andrew Bunner, a google engineer, calling for people to report fake profiles. Whatever the intent of Andrew’s post was, the reality is that it will have meant people reporting avatar profiles, the intent may well have been to report business profiles, but that doesn’t seem to have been how the post was received.

Hamlet’s post links to the same post by Andrew Bunner but suggests he’s saying if your name doesn’t look fake, you’re hardly likely to be flagged. Andrew Bunner is an engineer, not a policy maker, so that may explain some of the confusion but the bigger confusion really comes from Google’s odd attitude. This really goes back to February when Alma Whitten, director of privacy posted a blog post under the title: The Freedom To Be Who You Want To Be …. this is where their stance on Google Plus and real names really gets confusing.

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Jul 182011

I’ll probably blog about the Google Plus nonsense later, but food for thought for those who feel you can’t social network without using real names, this year’s relay for life has so far raised 74,622,658 Linden dollars, that comes out at around USD$371,670, the figures aren’t finalised yet but you can follow them on the official relay for life in Second Life site.

This smashes last year’s total of USD$222,804 and also smashes the previous record total from 2009 of USD$274,000.  This brings the total amount of money raised for Relay For Life smashing through the One Million US Dollar mark since people started raising money for relay for life in Second Life back in 2004.

The figures from previous years and the history of relay for life in Second Life can be found on the wiki.

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Jul 162011
Seasons Of Hope Logo

Seasons Of Hope 2011

Hello from Relay For Life of Secondlife!
(the Visitors Guide can also be viewed by HUD or at Visitors Guide)

SEASONS OF HOPE! Event Day – July 16th & 17th, 2011
Relay for Life Welcome Center
Relay For Life Weekend 2011 Activities & Entertainment Guide

What is Relay For Life of Second Life?

Relay For Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society and has been active, and continually growing  in Second Life for 6 years.  In 2005, the first Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL) was attended by a few hundred avatars and raised almost $5,000 US dollars for the American Cancer Society.  In 2009 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over $250,000.00 US dollars and was attended by thousands of avatars.  In 2010 the Relay For Life of Second Life raised over $220,000.  We ran right past the $1,000,000 mark during our 2011 campaign!

Relay Weekend  is a fun-filled, overnight event that unites SL individuals throughout the world to celebrate survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones and raise money for the fight against cancer.

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Jul 152011

Whereas Linden Lab won’t give me a press pass, other people rather foolishly will! Therefore I have had a sneak peek at the Relay For Life sims, with the opening ceremony tomorrow and Linden Lab advertising this worthy cause it’s a good time to take a look at the track and the events in general. Jezebel Bailey is currently writing a blog about the general info so we’ll see who blogs first!

Now the best place to start is the welcome centre and I say this because there is so much going on, to get there inworld follow this SLURL:


I decided to take a look at the track, if you’re wondering what that is, here are the rules of the road:

*** The Track – Rules of the Road ***

The track is the circulatory system of our relay experience. It is both a means to get from cool place to cool place and the main focus of many relayer’s participation as they dedicate their time to walking laps and honoring those that survive and those they have lost.  Please remember these things as we ask for the following rules to be adhered to:

1)  The track is one way. Please follow the arrows as you make your way around the track.

2)  There are two lanes, please stay to the right if you are moving at a normal walk speed to allow faster traffic to pass on the left.

3) If you need to go AFK or stop to chat with someone along the way, please move off the track to avoid being run into.

4) No Vehicles.  This is to minimize the  phsyics effect on the regions and the frustration by walkers of being hit by a vehicle.

5) NO “pets” that are not worn attachments (dogs, cats, whatever that follow you or have random motion).

6)  HAVE FUN!!!

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Jul 152011

Before Jezebel and I go Relay For Life crazy, I thought I’d blog about abandoned land in Second Life. I was pondering the other week about the sheer amount of abandoned land in one of the mainland sims I have land in, some of it was set for sale but plenty of it wasn’t.

I found a plot I liked, my land didn’t border it on three sides but it was adjacent to plenty of my land, but alas it was merely owned by Governor Linden, not set for sale. I decided to chance my arm and put in a support ticket anyway. However I had heard nothing back, which was frustrating as I could make use of this land. Then today I received a response.

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Jul 132011

The fuss about Google + and pseudonyms is based largely around issues of identity, rather than anonymity. There have been quite a few posts about this, Hamlet Au over at New World Notes makes the observation that Hamlet Au brings more results in Google search than James Wagner Au, I nearly always call him Hamlet, Hamlet is an identity.

Tateru Nino has a few posts on the subject, one of which discusses why it’s difficult to prove the name you go by on a daily basis. However this discussion in itself proves the folly of social networks encouraging people to social network with names that aren’t as widely known online as pseudonyms.

Google haven’t really given any convincing reasons as to why Google + is following Facebook down the anti pseudonym route and for Google, this is extremely disappointing considering how they tailor adverts to content, they absolutely do not need a database full of real names to make Google + work whereas Facebook came from a different angle and whereas I don’t see why today, they still insist on real names, it evolved from people knowing each other at University.

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Jul 082011

Opensource Obscure, Italian blogger, sometimes pain in the bum, sometimes extremely insightful, currently suspended from Google + for calling himself Opensource Obscure! So the question whether Google + would be pseudonym friendly and then by extension, Second Life friendly appears to have been answered on Opensource Obscure’s Flickr account.  This is extremely disappointing.

I don’t have a Google + account, I don’t have a Google profile either, however Google have plenty of information on me, some of you may notice I have Google Adsense running here, to make that worthwhile I provide Google with my real information, it’s needed at that stage. This is how we normally act as humans, we part with information when we deem it necessary. One of my beefs with Facebook is that they try and push humans into acting in a manner that isn’t natural, I’ve mentioned this before but I know people down my local pub by their nickname only, I’ll buy them a pint, they’ll buy me one back, we don’t need to know each other’s full names, indeed if we did know them they wouldn’t sound right because we know each other by nicknames!

So enter Google +, with different values apparently, different groups of friends in different circles. However this still isn’t natural ordering or filtering, there’s generally crossover, but Google + has moved into the do not touch with a bargepole territory with their moves to suspend Opensource Obscure because it means that we can’t, as Second Life users, use our Second Life names, even though that’s how plenty of people know us!

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