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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Image making

Just Googled "Grizzly Smith." Very fashionable to Google one's self, isn't it?

Found something amusing/ironic/funny/something like that. The pro wrestler Grizzly Smith just passed in June, and much of what Google gives you is about him. But in "Images for Grizzly Smith," The first three are him, the 4th is me, and the 5th and 6th are him again. I suppose there is something of a resemblance.

Google. Gotta love it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Talking at cross purposes...

Fell asleep with SL on again today.  I end up DJing till very late, then working all night trying to get the whole tour balloon thing working.  Hard to do on the Mainland, since the land is all owned by dozens or hundreds of different people.  While I was asleep, I got an IM from the guy who did the visual design of the tour balloons I'm using, or at least I -think- that's who it was.  He seems upset, and he was Offline by the time I woke up.  

Tried to type him a notecard, but I'm a bit lagged, so typing in SL is hard.  Also, my eyes are getting worse, and it's hard to read the type in SL.  Took a while to get it typed.  Anyway, thought I might be saying something important to more people in SL, so I copied it here.  Easier to type here, so I'm revising and expanding a bit in this version.

I XX'ed out his name, since he might take offense, but I left his brand in.  He does -very- nice designs, and his work is worth plugging.  :-)

[13:54:52]  Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxx: AR'd for Unwanted Advert spam. You know, if enough people find it as annoying as me, you will know about it.
[13:56:38]  Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxx: It also appears you're using my brand to sell land.. now I realize youre nothing but a leach and my annoyance has turned to pitty. GL kid.
[15:37:05]  Grizzly Silversmith: I don't have any land to sell, really.  Got time to hear some details?

Remarkable how much of a pain in the butt SL is for trying to actualy communicate...  Anyway, sorry you caught me falling asleep with SL running, again.

So, first of all, what unwanted advert spam?  Not sure what you're referring to.  I've been working my self to sleep getting these tour balloons working right.  If there's something I need to fix, it'd help if you'd tell me what it is.

Using your brand to sell land?  First of all, even looking at your profile, I'm not sure what your brand is.  Secondly, I'm a DJ who's also trying to promote my little dance club out in the middle of the mainland, or that's where I started, anyway.  I'm trying to-dump- land in mass quantities.  I wanted to buy some -little- lots on the road to put the balloons, and I ended up buying -big- pieces, filling up my tier.  One patch of PG land I bought for 2 lindens per meter, and had to sell to a speculator for .55 lindens per meter.   Yes, -point-five-five.  Can't afford more tier.  And I want more land here in "my" sim of Pavane, so I can turn it into Something.  (And as the vast amounts of abandoned land in Pavane finally are available, I want -those-.

I deeded the land in the largest remaining roadside patch to one of my groups, so some young friends of mine could open a club called Hat Trick.  There's three of us working on it, and Hat Trick is a sports term for hockey in the US as well as Cricket in their country, as it turns out.  Still considering moving Ours out to the road and getting rid of all this profoundly ugly land in Pavane.  The whole middle of this continent is bare rock.  What the hell were the Lindens thinking there?

I'm guessing you have something to do with the balloons, maybe that Antiuque Artistry thing?  Then I'm sorry I left your brand on; I wanted to make sure folks know I didn't build the things, just modded them.  They're pretty cool balloons.  I would have done better with those eight-passenger ones, but my girlfriend wanted the cuddly one.  :-)

I started out trying to have balloons from patches on the roadside in to my club, Ours.  You'll note that's the main "brand" on the balloon, the name of my club.  The express-to-the-club balloon idea doesn't work; too many parcels to cross in between, with too many permissions set.  A couple -almost- work.  Not well suited to mainland. 

Ended up building the circle tour, first because it seems kinda fun, and second because I think the Mainland is the Last Best Hope for SL overall.  Everyone's isolated out on their islands, and all the people who checked "explore" in their profile can't explore.  Search sucks for exploration.  You can explore mainland, you can stumble across stuff, there's actual Serendipity here.  And there can be community, too.  Biggest weakness in SL, nobody really talks to anyone else.  Not with too many people scattered across too many islands.

You can really -explore- on the mainland.  You can stumble across stuff.  The imaginations of hundreds of people are on display here.  And no one sees them -- because Nobody Goes to the Mainland.  Nobody Goes to the Mainland, because it's supposed to be laggy, but it -isn't- laggy -- because Nobody Goes to the Mainland.

I've been talking about this in my Blog, and I've been talking about this on my podcasts.  You should listen sometime, if you're not too busy jumping to conclusions.

I did mention to the one passenger I've had that the balloons are a great way to find land to buy, and there's a lot for sale -- mainly because it's true.  I used the balloons, in fact, to help find the land that I've used for Waystations for the balloons.  I'm trying to promote the use of the balloons, too, but I don't really know where to start with that.  And I'm trying to get people behind the idea over all, including the folks who are trying to sell land here, because it benefits everybody for more folks to see the mainland, including them -- maybe especially them.

I was hoping at first to just have -one- balloon on a long route clear around the continent.  Way too hard.  If I wander off the track a little bit, I hit someone's no-object-entry setting on their roadside land and the balloon is deleted.  So I ended up with a lot of land I didn't much want to buy, and broke the route into six 100-waypoint-or-so stretches.  Probably better that way.  Would take a -very- long time to go clear around the mainland, and probably no one would want to take the whole ride.

A side dream, if you will.  I've kept the balloons announcing waypoint numbers, so that people who like the Circle Tour idea could even advertise their builds as "near waypoint X on the Circuit La Corse Balloon Tour!"  Probably won't happen, but A Boy Can Dream.

So, that's my Evil Plan for World Domination and getting rich on SL land speculation.  I'm mostly trying to not get more poor, play with some fun technology, and give folks something neat to play with themselves.  If that's Evil, they've changed the definition since I was a kid.

As for trying to sell off the overpriced roadside land I got stuck with in mass quantities trying to build this thing, without dumping it and losing all the money I had to put in, yeah, I'm trying to do that.  Better than abandoning it.  I hate abandoning land.  Got a bunch of land I want to buy in Pavane that I can't cause someone got in a hurry and abandoned vast swaths of it.  You should look elsewhere in the blog for the story of the adult land I got screwed while trying to sell off.  I recently abandoned the sizeable remainder -- it cost me 6.5 lindens per meter to buy Back When -- because I was tired of the bad memories, and because I needed to buy all that land for the balloon project.

Next time you want to know what I'm doing, try asking me.  And next time you think I'm doing something wrong, try asking me to fix it.  I learn how to do things that way.  And I like to learn.

Good luck in your future endeavors in SL,

== Griz

FURTHER NOTE!  It struck me much later that the guy just might have been IMing the wrong person, and got me by mistake.  I note that when I tried a search for -him-, I got an error back from Search.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A sad story in The Emerald City

Recently, some of the coders on the Open Source third-party viewer for Second Life, called Emerald, put in code to allow it to be used for a Distributed Denial of Service.  Initially Linden Labs took Emerald off the approved list, then gave the Emerald Dev Team a list of demands for changes in Emerald.  One of the demands was that the Dev Team not disclose the contents of the list of demands.

Emerald's trust-credibility was shot by the folks who put in the malicious code.  Linden Labs' was shot by... oh, make your own list.  I don't see that the Emerald team has a choice on this, there is essentially only one market for what they make.  Emerald -has- been transparent, it just happens they can only be transparent on why they can't be transparent on this.

I think the people to demand transparency from are the Labs.  They won't do it, but they're the people to tell.

Blame the idiots who put in the malicious code for the start of all this.  I wonder what happened to that whole "Open Source means so many people see the code so nothing bad can happen" expectation that's supposed to make Open Source work?

And I wonder how the hell the Labs can expect credibility when they won't speak openly about their demands on this.  Or, at least, explain why they won't allow disclosure.  It's bad business all around.  It doesn't need to be made worse.

Emerald is part of why I stay in SL.  If that's gone, I'll be stuck with the second-rate viewer the Labs provide.  Will I quit SL over this?  Doubtful, but I'm already tending that direction anyway.  So we'll see.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The end of "a Minor Local Celebrity"

Went across the bay to Superior to stop in my favorite bar for a beer in my usual large mug. Looked around -- no ashtrays. I remembered some mention of the laws in Wisconsin eventually following Minnesota in banning smoking in most public places. And after a Google search I find that's what happened on July 5. Anyplace where people might work, any public place, smoking is banned. So as a smoker, I'm a 3rd class citizen.

I originally took on the "Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity" subtitle because I'd been singing so much karaoke people actually -recognized- me, people who were otherwise strangers to me. But karaoke happens in bars, and I"m not welcome in bars anymore. I actually continued to go to bars in Wisconsin, even though I live in Minnesota, because I was allowed to be myself there. Now I'm no longer worthy, apparently. Now I'm an evil sinner to be shunned.

I've read a disproportionate fraction of smokers are older people, lower income people, and people of color. I qualify as the first two. Ironically, if the government passed any law attacking those groups as such, they'd get burned at the stake. "But they're smokers! Everybody hates smokers!"

So I guess that's okay then. Enjoy your beer. I'll be going now. Glad drinking your beer without a cigarette makes you happy. It makes me unhappy. Too bad, huh?

No, please keep the preaching to yourself. I'm old, I earned this. You don't want me there, then I"m not there.

New subtitle: "Life and Times of a New Media Celebrity." New Media I can do from my own home, where I can be myself. Never was a very public guy, anyway.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcome to Second Life -- here's your Accordion.

PISO'S JUSTICE: The story goes that Piso was a Tribune in ancient Rome. (I gather they don't have Tribunes in modern Rome.) One day he tried and convicted a man for murder, and sent him off with a Centurion to be executed.

On the way to the execution, the Centurion spotted the supposed murder victim walking by. So he grabbed the guy, and went back to Piso with both.

Piso sentenced all three to death:

The convict because he'd already been convicted;

The Centurion, for violating the lawful order of a Tribune;

And the supposed victim -- for causing an innocent man to be executed.

I owned a 9008 sq m here in Fuson, one big parcel. marked it for sale 54096 lindens, then decided to subdivide it. Divided out a bunch of 512-meter parcels, then had one 256 meter parcel. Marked it for sale 6 lindens per meter. The server decided this parcel was connected to the remaining, not yet subdivided parcel (it isn't), and marked -all- of it for sale for the price of the 256 meter parcel. Somebody's land-buying bot bought it immediately, of course. So I got screwed for over 50K lindens.


Total size of the original parcel before I started subdividing it was 8190 sq m. I still own the 6 512-meter parcels I'd finished subdividing out. The new "owner" showed up, and wanted to sell me the land back. (sigh) Attached image shows my remaining land in green, that stupid 256-meter parcel in the green patch, and that big-ass unsubdivided parcel in brown (I think it's brown, I'm part colorblind).

2010-08-03 18:49:49

I'm told that what -probably- happened, I subdivided out all the -surrounding- parcels, but didn't -separately- subdivide out the 256 meter parcel. The Server didn't recognize that it was now physically separate, treated it as part of the larger parcel. (sigh) And of course, somebody's land bot jumped right on that...

2010-08-03 18:51:59

Further note. The original 8190 meter parcel was owned by my group, Hiber-Nation Residences. I had the Group sell it back to me for L$0, at which point the system decided I now owned too much land, and my Tier went from half-tier to full-tier. So over all, I ended up losing about $200 US in maybe a half-hour. Not my best day.

2. CORRECTION AGAIN: Actually, I had 8190 allocated to the group, but there's that, what, 10 % discount when you own land through a group?

8190 X 1.10 = 9009 sq m.

The patch that Linden Labs sold in error was 5680 sq m.

Linden Labs contention is that they don't interfere in person-to-person land deals. That is exactly what they did here.

My Offer was 256 sq m for 256 X 6 lindens = 1536 Lindens. Linden Labs modified my Offer to 256 + 5680 sq m = 5936 sq m for 1536 lindens, and then sold the land for that, directly contravening their policy of not interfering in land deals.

With out Linden Labs modification of the deal, what do we have? Offer: sell 256 sq m for 1536 lindens. Counteroffer: buy 5936 sq m for 1536 lindens. No Mutual Meeting of the Minds. No contract, under real world contract law.

I expect the counter-argument that the -apparent- error was caused by misinformation provided by the visual interface, since the visuals clearly indicate the 256 meter parcel was entirely separate. I will provide the response; Linden Labs' -product- is the 3D visual interface that you're now claiming is not Linden Labs' responsibility?

This sale was created by Linden Labs themselves, and Linden Labs intervened in the sale and sold my land for a price they set themselves. Linden Labs response, I expect will be, "That's not a bug, that's a Feature."

NOTE: If you're wondering about the title of the post, here's a link that might help:

UPDATE: Linden Labs' response has been --- no response at all. "If we ignore him long enough, he's sure to go away." Uh huh. Right. This is really surprising.