Well, so, let's see.
I made my first piece of real custom Second Life clothing, an
Thanks much to friend Eleanor for pointing us at
blurb about a tool for previewing clothing textures locally
before spending the 10 Lindens to upload them and finding out that
they look awful.
I've been flying around high up in the sky, poking around into
interesting sky-structures and stuff, and noticing that some of
them (and some other places in the world) seem to think that they're
more secure than they really are.
So, just for fun, I set up
event to talk about the subject (and to subtly attempt to sell my
services as a security auditor for your skybox).
I didn't figure I'd get many visitors, but then I noticed that it'd
been mentioned as one of the non-stupid events of the week in
Picks on the popular New World Notes weblog.
Which was a little scary!
What actually happened was that a few minutes before the event
was to start, I got to experience
my first SL replicant attack firsthand.
Something called "griefornament" (owned by "unknown user") offered
me an object called "griefornament".
Which was pretty suspicious, but thinking "what the heck" I accepted
it, and lay it on the ground next to me to examine.
It turned out to be a color-flashing round Christmas ornament,
which immediately flew into the air.
And more and more of them appeared and flew around and offered
copies of themselves to me.
And local gravity got all strange.
It was impressive.
I IMd Live Help, and the other person on the lot (who had
come for my event but we were kind of distracted) also IMd Live Help,
and they eventually IMd back saying yeah they were on it.
More and more and more of the ornaments flew around and
embedded themselves into the floor and offered themselves to
us, and we had to fly to keep from rising into the sky.
Another person came by, also intending to intend the event
but very distracted, and we all stood around complaining
about the lag and all the object-offer messages and talking
about viruses and grid attacks and weapons and shields and so on.
Local gravity returned to normal.
Eventually (in fact about the time my event was scheduled to end;
it must have been intended to keep me from spreading my wisdom!),
the ornaments calmed down, and after a bit they all seemed to
fly off, or vanish, or something.
Shortly after that Torley Linden
(a Linden Labs Liaison) came by,
in the form of a small monster with a watermelon for a head
driving a little toy car (it's a strange world), and asked us
if we'd had any, and if they were gone, and saying that we should
get rid of any in our inventories.
I had four; the original one that I'd accepted and three others
that had been mysteriously auto-returned to me by auto-returns
that somehow thought I was their owner (very odd).
I deleted them all (I'd checked earlier and noticed that the
scripts were execute-only, so nothing interesting to look at),
as an obedient Citizen.
(While Torley was there, I noticed that Amarantha, the little
attendant fae that I've been working on, couldn't see her.
I asked about that, and she said that yeah she was invisible
to scripts at the moment, and that's something that she can
turn on and off at will; also cool.)
So my Event was quite disrupted (I did give out half a dozen
copies of my free skybox security brochure, but I didn't give
away any free audits or contract for any future audits),
but it was well worth it for the interestingness of the event.
(We also noticed a few candy-canes zipping through the
air during the attack, as mentioned in
official Linden weblog entry on the attack, but they
were barely noticable.)
Some previous replicator attacks have basically brought down
the world; this one seems to have been much milder (at least
where I was), and/or the People In Charge have gotten better
at dealing with them.
I've also been working hard on my little fae companion Amarantha,
but I'll talk about her some other time; this is getting
long already. (I also visited the famous Aubretech weapon shop
and met a friendly guy who's been playing much longer than I have
and we talked about the relative advantages of magic v. technology
and played around with our weapons and shields and stuff, and...)
In non-SL news (what's that?), let's see.
Was the election rigged?
"The numbers tell us
there absolutely was hacking going on, just not enough
to overcome the size of the actual turnout. The tide turned so much in the
last few weeks before the eleciton. It looks for all the world that they'd
already figured out the percentage they needed to rig, when the programming
of the vote rigging software was distributed weeks before the election, and
it wasn't enough," Castleman commented.
(which is also well worth reading in itself),
a web comic that
I really wish I had time to read more of.
Stross-Doctorow short story that's worth reading (and I actually read it!).
for the important question of
browser the UFOs are using these days.
Ajax Security: Stronger than Dirt?:
A look at the security implications of Ajax.
Hah, there, I posted some actual links!
This is a weblog after all...
Continuing our Theme, I'm sufficiently manic SL-wise that
I get a little ways into one project (the Magic Bracelet,
say) when I'm seized by a different idea (the attendant
fairy, say), and I launch into designing and coding the
new one, leaving the original one behind in the dust.
Will I eventually calm down enough to go back and finish up
the left-behind ones?
Or will I get tired of the whole thing?
Yesterday (among other things; I'm not going to chronicle all
the details of every SL day (I know you're disappointed)) I went
to a live vocal performance (i.e. singin') on Mill Pond island
(which was all snowy and decorated up for the Solstice season;
very nice atmosphere).
The singer was standing on the stage in SL, and the RL human
("player"?) was talking and singing into her RL microphone and
streaming that audio into the world.
We audiences were lounging around and dancing and clapping and
It was very nice.
An SL friend of mine (who asks me to teleport him in whenever
he sees me online, seems like) got tired of the singing and went off to
explore the nearby town.
He found a nice coffeehouse, and a bookstore (which seemed to
be some sort of web-link into Amazon, although I didn't explore it).
We had some Green Tea.
I think I've figured out what's
going on with the "camping chairs" where you can get paid to
just sit there in a chair for a long time.
It's not (or not primarily) that the people who come to sit
in the chair buy stuff; it's that having those people sitting
there causes a green blob on the minimap, and explorers and
wanderers coming by at random generally head for the green
blobs (on the theory that something interesting might be
going on there, since there are people).
And presumably when they find out it's only some people
in camping chairs, they still sometimes see something
interesting in a store and buy it.
I don't know if it's actually worthwhile for most malls, or
for any given mall, but I think that that's what's actually
Here's an an
Eclipse plugin for Linden Scripting Language, the scripting
language in Second Life.
Narf narf narf!
(A great idea, actually.
But still, narf narf narf!)
A discerning reader writes:
If you liked your one day in SL, you should move to NYC. Very similar.
Well, in fact!
I was thinking that same thing, and I got a chance to compare the
two over the weekend, because I went into the RL New York City
and went to an RL planetarium and saw a big "Cosmic Collisions"
show, and then we all went and looked at the dinosaurs and
It was fun!
And I noticed that, during the time I was in NYC at the RL
Planetarium, there was a planetarium show opening in SL also;
I wonder how that went?
Some comparisons between RL and SL:
- No flying or teleports in RL; I had to "take a
train" to get from my home region to the RL NYC.
Very silly, although it did have its fun aspects.
I also had to walk from the "train station" to the actual
place; that was actually very pleasant and bracing (although
it'd be nice to have teleports available in case of being
in a hurry).
- No smells in SL; but since I can't smell
anything anymore in RL anyway (hafta do something about that),
that doesn't currently matter to me.
- RL is very laggy; in walking from the
station to the museum, I ended up on the parcel where
they did the RL "tree-lighting" the other day, and it
was really crowded!
There were so many AVs in the region that the sim was
really laggy; everyone seemed to be moving through
If this was SL, they would just have cloned the parcel
a few times and distributed the people among them (or
at least stopped letting more people in). On the other hand
SL sims crash now and then, and RL ones hardly ever do.
- Interesting people in both, but
the conversations in RL are (what?) deeper and more intense
I know some of the RL people in NYC better than I know
any SL people (that I've spent much time with there so far)
at the moment, so it's not an entirely fair comparison.
It'll be interesting to see how closely I come to
know anyone purely through SL.
- Widely varied avatars, also in
In some sense there's more room for self-expression in
SL (both because it's easy to make your skin bright green,
say, and because there's no real social stigma attached
to it), but RL is higher-res and has a higher information-density,
so in terms of actual variety RL probably wins out here.
- Food in RL only.
This is a big win for RL; one of the things I liked most in
GNE was making milkshakes and stuff (for some unknown reason).
SL needs virtual food.
- Hard to make stuff in RL; especially
fancy scripted stuff.
The RL laws of physics are much less hacker-friendly than
the ones in SL, and they haven't been enhanced in a long
On the other hand, as noted above, RL things have a much
higher information density, and density is good.
So I don't know, those are the top-of-the-head comparisons.
No obvious winner; I think I'll keep playing both, at least
for the time being.
Life Liberation Army
I can't tell if they're sort of self-parodying performance art,
or if they really mean it.
In the latter case (or in either case, really), they seem
to be the kind of people who give the Left a bad name.
I mean, sheesh!
On the other hand, people who do SL events with no thought
for security at all give the other side a bad name:
So what happened at the Big Brother opening?
Anonymous: The residents had to walk over the red carpet before
entering the house. But they were caged and set on fire.
Narf narf, eh?
Anyway, once I'm done with this RL "work" thing, I'll be at
home making a Magic Bracelet containing various useful spells, that
I can give out freely and virally, to spread my SL fame.
And trying to make my new hoverdisc's movement pattern look
less jerky and lame.
And sorting out the 1800-odd objects in my inventory.
And, and, and...
Continuing to chronicle our sudden fascination with Second
Life (I hope y'all find this at least as fascinating as
So after weblogging and having dinner yesterday,
we (by which we mean "I")
tried to go to a fashion show but it was full, which turned out to
be a good thing because we then went to the opening of a sculpture park.
Interesting and graceful art in an attractive wintery setting, and neat
people to talk to, including one woman in an elegant black evening gown
whose last name was also Innis; she was amused when I addressed her as
"Cousin", and decided that we're SL brother and sister. We went around the
garden together looking at the art (when I mentioned I was underdressed
another attendee gave me a nice white tuxedo outfit to wear), and then
sat on cushions in an igloo chatting and giving advice to someone who was
in SL for the first time (my fellow Innis
and I are both a whole week old, and therefore experts).
After that we got separated
by some lag and client problems, and I ended up in the
host's small but aesthetic house nearby with half a dozen of the other
guests (and the host).
We had a discussion about real and virtual art, and one of the
guests invited us all to join the Virtual Artists Association that she'd
recently created (so now I can display "Virtual Artist" over my head).
We eventually broke up, promising to get together via the VAA and talk
about art and show each other our things and all.
From the sculpture park I went to the opening of a beach club, with hot-tub
and dance floor and bar (I took off the tuxedo, except for the white
pants which I converted into shorts). I chatted with the owners of
the club, and got invited to the club's customer group, so now I can
display "Purple Parrot VIP" or whatever it is over my head also.
While I was dancing there I
got an invitation from my fellow Innis to come to a party at the club
where she works. I accepted, and found myself in a darker and more
intense place, trying not to oogle my sister as her avatar writhed
very fetchingly on the runway.
My experience with dance clubs in SL so
far is that while fun they're boringly similar,
varying mostly in size and darkness,
and in space devoted to patron dance-space v. space devoted to
pole / chair / tipjar dancers and gambling machines.
The theme at that club last night
was "pink", so I colored my T-shirt and shorts and head-tentacle all
pink, and got out a sparkly halo and colored that pink also.
Danced and chatted there for awhile (and didn't put any money in
the gambling machines), and then another friend invited me to another
party up in a skybox.
I danced a bit there and voted on the "sexiest avatar" board,
tangoed with one of the dancers, and chatted with the security guard
(whose role I haven't really figured out yet).
After awhile I went back to Warmouth, pretty much partied out
(I had to log out
and back in to stop dancing; my avatar must enjoy it!). I talked
to some of the Warmouth regulars, IMd my fellow Innis the brilliant
idea that we should start a group just for people whose last name
is "Innis" (she liked the idea, and we're going to do it as soon as
we've saved up the $L100 it costs),
and then went to an ice-skating and chair-sitting party
at a mall opening that I saw in Events. That was kind of fun, and
I earned two $L by sitting in a chair for ten minutes.
(Very odd; we'll have to investigate "chair camping" more sometime.
I IM'd the owner of the chair about why she paid people to sit in
it, and she said "for traffic"; seems unlikely to me that the people
lured to the site by the chairs spend more on average than L$12
an hour, but what do I know).
Then I went back to Warmouth and thought about hoverboard designs a bit,
and logged off for the night.
in one day I took a craft class, attended a discussion on hypertext
and a seminar on world peace, went to a sculpture park, joined a
virtual artist's association, acquired a sister, danced at at least
three different clubs and joined the customer group of one, thought
of a clever new group to found, and met at least half a dozen interesting
Okay, so at the moment I'm starry-eyed and drooling (quite an image,
really): Second Life is a Whole New Thing, and it (or something like it)
is going to revolutionize society, redefine our lives, and generally
shape the future of humanity.
And also (and all because) it's just so freaking k00l.
Which is to say, I've been spending quite a bit of time in there
again, enjoying myself hugely, and it hasn't been crashing very
much at all.
I stayed up much too late last night making stuff and
talking to people and exploring and getting distracted.
Then I woke up considerably too early, and couldn't go
back to sleep because I was thinking of more things to do.
I forced myself to lie there for awhile, 'cause Mom always
said that resting is good even if you can't sleep, and then
I brought the MacBook into bed with me and looked at
the Events page,
and saw that there was a basic object-building class at
8am (Eastern), and a few minutes and a teleport later:
There I am (as the male Dale Innis), putting the little candle into
the base of the lantern that I'm making, along with about a
dozen others (not shown), under the tutelage of the teacher
sitting on the sign up there (she looks like she's typing because
when you're writing something into the chat box, your avatar
makes typing motions; silly but effective).
So we all made nice little lanterns and thanked the teacher
and had friendly conversations, and it was great fun.
I didn't actually need a lantern, but I did want to see
how in-world teaching (about the world) works; and it
apparently works pretty well.
A little while later, after checking the Events board and
exploring the world some more, I was sitting comfortably on
a couch in a neat little underwater room, talking to two
or three other folks about Xanadu and the past and future of
hypertext, why for-fee information filtering services haven't
taken off in the retail space, how to avoid undesirable
chaos in systems like Second Life, and all like that there
(the transcript will probably be up on
Hyperworlds dot org
And then after I picked up the little daughter from dance,
I attended a session of a seminar on democracy and war and
peace and democide and so on run by a professor emeritus
at the University of Hawai'i (drop-ins welcome).
We sat on cushions around a big table, about a dozen of us
with the Prof at the head, and talked about international
law, and what constitutes murder, and whether the UN is
a government, and like that, for an hour and a half.
(And we congratulated the person sitting next to him
on having successfully defended her PhD thesis.)
That also worked pretty well (although it did emphasize
to me that in this particular Whole New World one's
casual typing speed has alot to do with how effectively one
Between breakfast and dinner I took a crafts class,
went to an open-house discussion of hypertext, and
sat in on a graduate seminar in international relations.
I made two or three slightly-more-than-casual acquaintances,
and exchanged a few calling cards.
And I was still in my pajamas.
I also wrote a little script to tell me the names and locations
of everyone within about 90m of me, and another script to
drop a big glass bowl onto the head of anyone whose name I
put into the right magical incantation.
Just in case I ever need to grief a griefer.
Although mostly just for the fun of making it.
At first I attached the scripts to a little floating thing
that included another script that made it follow me around,
but since the floaty doesn't follow me through teleports
and otherwise sometimes gets lost, I moved them to my
Then, just before the seminar, I decided that wearing a blue
swirly helmet and head-tentacle was a bit frivolous when
talking about genocide and all, so I quickly whipped up a
small toroidal forearm-bracelet and moved the scripts
Sounds like something out of a flippin' fantasy novel, eh?
Maybe not necessarily a good fantasy novel, but
(I also spent quite a bit of time staring open-mouthed in
awe at the things, mostly by one Jessica Qin, on the island
of Jessica; but at the moment I can't muster any words
that would do it any justice at all.)
So anyway yeah, I'm currently wildly overenthusiastic and
high on hype.
I'm sure it'll pass eventually and I'll have some more realistic
(in one way or another) impression of the whole thing.
But for now, I'm off to check the Events board.
I think maybe I'll ask Santa for a year's worth of
SL Premium for Solstice...