Tuesday, July 29, 2008

South Gate Museum And Library's Rotundas

Museum Entrance Rotunda
Originally uploaded by Tiessa
I'm building a municipal museum in South Gate, part of the City of Lost Angels roleplaying group of sims. This is a view from above the third floor of the entrance rotunda looking down the twin spiral staircases.

One of the major difficulties in building this is the 12-sized symmetry of the room, a dodecagon. Getting all of the angels and position correct was difficult until I discovered the LoopRez script and the excellent tutorial by Natalia. After much less grief and with far more symmetrical results, the LoopRez script can generate my rotundas with ease.

Museum Entrance Rotunda
Originally uploaded by Tiessa
For size comparison, this is me at the top of the stairs in one of my favorite gowns.

Museum Library Rotunda
Originally uploaded by Tiessa
This photo is a view from above the fourth floor of the Library Rotunda looking down through the enchanted circle etched in the glass floor towards the central stone floor below.

Tiessa In Rose Gown
Originally uploaded by Tiessa
Here I am in my rose gown by CanDy, in front of one of the art deco framed stained glass windows.

Tiessa In Rose Gown
Originally uploaded by Tiessa
Finally, a close of of me in the rose gown in front of the window.

If you ever want to come see the museum in South Gate, feel free to join me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lively Is Anything But

Well, it appears that Google's Lively does not allow sexual content of any kind.

"Our community standards prohibit sexually explicit images and rooms intended for sexual activity, even if virtual. When we become aware of 'sex rooms' that violate or Terms of Service, we'll work to remove them."

No sex chat at all. Period.
"We don't allow nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. This includes making sexual advances toward other users."

You can't even flirt with someone - that would be "making sexual advances." There goes the breast cancer education photos as well - that would be nudity. This makes "the nipple controversy" at SL5B seem downright trivial.
"When browsing or searching for rooms, some Lively citizens come upon these rooms as the top results, which can erode their Lively experience...Lively is intended to be a place for Lively citizens to connect with each other and express themselves freely and in a safe environment," Google said.

You can express yourself freely, as long as you adhere to Google's Puritanical sense of morality and their sense of "free". Free as in you cannot create your own content and you cannot express yourself without fear of the "sex police" finding fault with what you said.

What does that leave?

"Hey, nice weather we're having. What about those Mets?"

"Let me show you this *awesome* hat I got!"

To which everyone takes out and wears *the exact same hat*.

Zero differentiation on appearance, on action, on conversation.

Oh, did I mention that it's slower than SecondLife?

I think I'll stay with SecondLife where I can have all the sex, drugs, and rock and roll I desire. Even if I'm not allowed to show a nipple...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Everybody Wants To Write A Book

It's been said that everyone wants to write a book. But, it's hard, time consuming, and you have to find a publisher. Self publishing is expensive and problematic. In others, it's hard work.

Until now.

Blurb has an application where you can design a book, get it printed, etc.

But where to get all of the content...

Did I mention, that Blurb's application, which runs on both Mac and PC, can slurp data, pictures, etc from the web? From your blog on Blogger, Wordpress, Flickr, and others? It can download and auto-typeset for you, all of your blog's content, then you can go in and tweak it to perfection.

Well, now I mentioned it :)

And when you're done, you can sell it on the web through Blurb.

Prices begin at $12.95.

To all you bloggers wishing to be an author and who have already authored a bunch of content, slurp your photos and articles into a book and put it up for sale.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Feedburner Better Be Wrong...

I was going through my Feedburner stats just a moment ago and everything seemed fine...
Traffic. Normal. Check.
Subscribers. Hmmm, a bit down. Check.
Incoming links. Usual suspects. Check.
Outgoing links. Usual...

Hey! wait a minute!

I don't remember writing about "Huge Teen Tits!"

Hmmm, or did I...

Nah, that'd be weird, even for me.

Search blog. No results.

Weird. Use Feedburner to track it down...

Darn! Some spammer slipped an ad into my blog...

Photo Meme Using Flickr

From The Winder Market, Nadine shows off a nice new meme - a photo mosaic from Flickr.

Meme Rules:
You type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr search. Then, using only the first page, pick an image. Then, copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into the mosaic maker from fd's Flickr Toys.

1. What is your first name?

Tiessa. the view from the top of Tiessa's Palace

2. What is your favorite food?

Nectarine. Nectarine Blossoms

3. What high school did you go to?

Paradise Lost (in SL :). paraiso perdido / lost paradise

4. What is your favorite color?

Duh. Pink. Rocks of Gold. Why its labeled pink, I'll never know, but its a pretty picture.

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

Veyron Supercharge ;) Vint & Veyron. And I got to pick a picture that had my #2 in it, Vint Falken :)

6. Favorite drink?

Strawberry daiquiri. Strawberries, anyone?

7. Dream vacation?

The stars. Fly me to the Mooooon...

8. Favorite dessert?

Cherry Pie. ~I smell sex & candy~

9. What you want to be when you grow up?

Me (Tiessa). Tiessa. Who or what else could I possibly want to be? I'm perfect already :)

10. What do you love most in life?

Me (Tiessa). Just Kidding :) Freedom. Jonathan Livingston Seagull

11. One Word to describe you.

Bimbo. Bimbo.

12. Your flickr name.

Tiessa Montgolfier. Tiessa at the May 20, 2007 blogger party

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

This Is Considered Good News Analysis?

Reuters makes some interesting conclusions from Linden Lab's economic statistics. I just happen to think that the analyst didn't think it through enough to give reasonable causes, or rather they preferred to reach conclusions that were sensational and would sell more newspapers rather than boring and reasonable ones that people wouldn't get worked up about.

Here's a relevant excerpt:

Second Life had 88,585 of the subscription-paying accounts at the end of May, down from 89,845 a year earlier.

The overwhelming majority of avatars use basic accounts, which are free. Premium accounts, which cost US$10 a month, come with additional privileges including enhanced support and the right to own virtual property on Second Life’s mainland.

Even as Linden Lab’s base of paying customers shrinks over the past year, the total hours spent by avatars inside Second Life has increased dramatically. In May of 2007 total usage of Linden Lab’s virtual world was about 20.8 million hours. A year later the number spiked to almost 32 million hours, a gain of 54 percent.

With hours up but premium accounts down, the data suggests that while Second Life is failing to attract to new users, existing customers find the virtual world more engaging than ever, spending ever-greater amounts of time there.

The facts of a 50% increase in hours spent in SL and the falling number of premium accounts led the analyst to conclude that the increased number of hours spent in Second Life is due to the old users using it more? Huh?

Did the analyst bother to read their own paragraph talking about the vast majority of users being basic not premium? Linden Lab states there are over 14,000,000 accounts in Second Life and growing at the rate of over 1,000,000 per month. Did the analyst not even bother to think that many of the new sign-ups over the last year actually used the system? Nope, they'd rather conclude that SecondLife is atrophying.

Following that dubious conclusion, Reuters, goes on to talk about OpenSim.
A wild card that Linden’s statistics cannot account for is the rapid development of open-source Second Life variant OpenSim. The zero growth among premium accounts may represent a shift in the most die-hard avatars.

Avatars unable to find a home within Second Life including banking institutions and ageplayers have already migrated to OpenSim.

Doom! Gloom! The sky is falling and I'm selling more newspapers because people want to read about the non-existent rock about to hit their head.

I think a simpler explanation for the drop in premium accounts is that there are few benefits for having a premium account. First land is gone and the stipend no longer covers the cost of the membership. Two big benefits have disappeared.

Mainland/Sim ownership and access to better support are the only benefits left. Could it be that people are realizing they can buy/rent on the non-mainland sims and have parcels that look the way they want instead of being next to ad-farms? As people flee the mainland for the private sims, the benefits of being premium go away and now they can use that US$10 per month to pay the tier on their new parcel.

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. I think the dramatic growth in private sim land-size and the current freeze in new mainland (or is that over already), are far better indicators of where people are spending their money. Not that they are going to OpenSim.

And why on earth would the bankers go to OpenSim? There aren't very many people on it to make banking a viable business.

As usual, simple use of logic shows that most "news" is actually "hype" designed to sell more "news".

A Bimbo's Guide To Retrieving Lost Inventory

One thing that I've found useful is to clear your disk cache and relog. That forces the client to download all of the inventory information from the server again. Often, inventory loss is just a matter of the client forgetting about what's in your inventory for various reasons.

I had this happen to me the other day when I was copying a few hundred animations and scripts from my inventory into a prim. It eventually timed out with an error message after only copying some of the animations and scripts, there was a lot of lag in a laggy sim so the copy took forever. Unfortunately, my inventory window showed that all of the "no copy" items were not in my inventory and checking the prim, they were not in the prim.

Like any good user, I panicked and cursed Linden Labs as my first step.

Then, I realized that my client had told the server to do all of the copying, but did not handle the error of "only some of the stuff successfully copied" that the server returned. Probably because of laggy communications or other load related issues. Since the server had not actually copied the inventory, I hoped that refreshing my client's cache of the inventory would work.

It did.

For more extensive inventory loss, over on the Huddles site, there is a post on how to retrieve lost inventory, one of the comments provides nice step by step instructions on how to do it.

Ok, finally retrieved both my huddles… here’s what you have to do:

1) sign up as a premium member - you can’t do the below without it…
2) go to the support page
3) go to live chat
4) tell the operator everything that happened to the best of your ability and request: I need an inventory repair. Be as specific as you can. It will take sometime, approx 30 minutes. Be patient.
5) they will come back and say check your inventory. It likely won’t be in there… you need to REBOOT SL. When you come back in it will say Repairing Inventory Folders.
6) check to make sure it’s there - report this back to the operator.
7) If this doesn’t work, the last resort is to submit a ticket — good luck getting it heard.

GOOD LUCK! I hope it works for you as it did me, I’ve spent most of the day trying to get this back together!

Xanthia Lisle

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Girl Band Are you?

You Should Be In The Donnas

You've got that a bit of an edge to you

The bad girl that all the good boys want!

Because everyone else is doing it...