Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Real Life as Virtual World

The latest addition to 360 Cities (Web), a community of artists that capture 360-degree views of Real Life locations, is the Strahov Library (Web).

You can let the software take you on a tour of the room, visit highlights, or you can manually pan, zoom, and tilt to see the whole room on your own. Over 3,000 ultra-high resolution still images were stitched together to create this over 4000 megapixels panorama. My screencap does not do the actual work justice. Nor am I eloquent enough to describe the richness, clarity, and impact of "walking" around this room. Of course, it is as impressive as any of the site's imagery (click the "Explore Other Places" tab at the bottom when you visit for a quick look at others you can explore) and well worth taking at least a few minutes of your time to visit. But if you are like me, you'll spend much more time in this "virtual" reality.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Having recently watched and greatly enjoyed the movie Outsourced (released 2006 and the inspiration for the 2010 US television show), I've been spending time reading about India and looking to experience the culture in Second Life. In my quest I visited the Shekhawati region, home to Medley Builds, a mini-mall, and a nice art museum.

Much of the art is nicely framed and organized by series themes. It doesn't appear to be original, but rather nice quality scans or photos of classic art. Sadly. sometimes you'll see that the original was badly cropped or wasn't includes part of the frame from the Real Life version.

Murals are everywhere, such as this one (showing some of the bad cropping I mentioned).

The walls themselves are art, too, teeming with frescos and embellishments.

And outside the main hall you'll find examples of Indian architecture in Second Life style. And that's the rub. Much of the region is what I call "SL 1.0" ... what Our World looked like early in it's life when folks would make everything Full Bright, prims would float above the ground, terraforming was haphazardly completed, and textures placed so one prim face looked good but became horribly distorted on the other five faces. Some "errors" are egregious but some are amusing, like when I went into the fountain to splash with an elephant and found that the bottom was more than 10 meters below the elephant's feet. No one is perfect of course. But Shekhawati has a soul. You can tell that time was taken to capture the spirit of India. The region isn't a slap-together of items that Westerners would recognize and be satisfied with saying "I've been to India." Rather there are details and subtleties that evoke a deeper feeling of not just having "been" but of having "experienced."

Many thanks to my new friend Xandah, pictured above, for finding Shekhawati and helping me experience the culture. Yes, I have now have another alt, but through Xandah I hope to explore a culture that is superficially familiar to me but in need of much more understanding.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What a Difference a Skin Makes

SinSkins (SLurl) has some high-quality, dirt-cheap fantasy skins and I own almost all of them. In fact, the bluish drow ones are the everyday skins my pixy alts wear. But the other day I won a really nice fantasy skin (and shape and ears) from Acid & Mala (SLurl) and blogged it for the Lucky Kitty Crew here but thought "I really need to blog comparison shots." Its amazing what a difference a skin makes. Good example: When I bought my Curio skins I found that I had to reshape my nose and cheeks to bring my look back to what it was with the previous skins I wore. The change between the SinSkins and the A&M skin is just as dramatic. Take a look:

SinSkins Drow Tone 2: 01

A&M Fantasia - Blue

The latter skin is much softer, making Zyx Flux look younger and brighter. It's the difference in the shadowing more than the tone. I think the slight smile she has with the SinSkins skin is more accentuated with the A&M skin and the nose is much rounder. I like the look. I'm be tempted to save up to buy the complete set for this avie, but not for her "older sibling," Zyx Resident. The latter benefits from the more mature look despite all the similarities between the avies. "Young Zyx" is supposed to be cute and cuddly.

Friday, March 18, 2011

1st Look: The Basic Viewer

The Project Snowstorm Development Viewer (Web) is here with many features, but the two attracting the most attention are the Basic Mode and Drive-by-Mouse (my phrase) navigation.

Some quick observations from my first use in Basic Mode:

  • Golly, but this really reminds me of Project Skylight, the Web-based interface that was recently tested.
  • I heard an incoming IM, but the Basic Mode wouldn't let me see it.
  • No access to Prefernces in Basic Mode. To adjust the UI size, for example, you'd have to adjust it while in Advanced Mode then switch back.
  • The Mini-Map is in a People pop-up, similar to the way it is in the right-side slider in the regular viewer, but it appears over the chat bar.
  • A Destinations button in the bottom bar slides up a picture-laden guide of places to go based on the Destination Guide. It is not a list of your landmarks, but I can see how that might be integrated in future releases.
  • Drive-by-Mouse is rather cool. Simply click where you want your avie to go and it goes. Much like the right-click/Go Here function that we used to have. A blue dot appears and your avie goes there. Very simple.
  • I was on one of those dance floors that doubles as a dance ball, so when I clicked on it I danced, but I didn't move. I had to use my arrow keys for movement.
  • Clicking on something with script to give the contents still works, but you can't see your inventory. You'll have to switch to Advanced Mode later to see what you just got.
  • No, you can't right-click to buy things.
  • Voice is on by default and since Basic Mode won't let you access Preferences, you can't turn it off.
  • The My Avatar button on the bottom bar brings up a tableau of the starter avies that the Lab gives you. It does not show any avies that you have saved to My Outfits, but I can see that being added. Changing to one of these pre-sets is painless. This must be why the default anims have been upgraded because if you use a default avie there is no Animation Override.
  • If you quit while in either Basic Mode or Advanced Mode then restart the viewer to change modes, you must restart the viewer once again for your change to take effect.
  • Drive-by-Mouse let me click my HUD once, but not again, nor could I right-click to detach it.
  • Clicking again and again in Drive-by-Mouse changes your avie's direction. Use the Up Arrow to cancel your automatic movement or the Left/Right Arrow keys to cam while walking.
  • The buttons in the bottom bar cannot be changed.
  • There is no running in Drive-by-Mouse but you can fly with the Home/Pg Up/Pg Dwn keys.
  • The parts of the Interface that look familiar do familiar things.
I can see this being used by new players just looking for conversation and sex. Or just sex. But if someone wants to use more than the supplied avies, to build, or to use things they manage to add to Inventory, then the Advanced Mode is a necessity. And once someone uses that there probably a chance they'll go back. The Basic Mode is a good start for noobs and those who still can't quite manage to work standard computer inputs, but I think it would be better if it was adapted to touch interfaces like on tablet computers or maybe even motion-capture devices like Kinect and the Wii. Then we could have SL-to-Go and take "Our World" with us.

What's in a Name?

St Patrick's Day is over and I had a grand time at a wonderful party on the Isle of Lesbos. Changed my clothes several times to wear all my holiday outfits. But I retired my Display Names of Caitlin O'Migosh and Caitlin O'Hooligan so I could reset to my married name of Peale, a combination of Poultry (my surname) and Seale (my wife's surname). But what to choose for a first name? Cait or Caitlin confuses people. I need a change of pace from Uccie or Uccello. So my wife suggested Sec's A Peale. After some LOLing, I went with Sexa Peale. Now let's see how long The Lab lets me get away with it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pacific Crisis Fundraiser

I'm standing at the Pacific Crisis Fundraiser as this is written, waiting for rez. The map shows 62 people are here, but I understand the sim has been this busy for a while now. Press agent Ami Tamura reports that over L$1,000,000 has been raised so far and the traffic here tells me much more will be coming in. Here's part of the press release note card I was given:
An emergency fundraising effort for the victims of the crisis in the Pacific that hit on the 10th/11th of march is being set up.

SL is an international community, with a strong base in Japan specifically. This disaster is worldwide and affects us all, as a community SL has risen up time and time again to help out in times of distress, including very recently.

In september 2010 11,000 us dollars was raised for the pakistan flood crisis relief fund (UNICEF) at an sl event. An event organised in four days. This is an example of what our community can do, and we are attempting to prepare for a similar, simple but effective, event.

We are calling for anyone who wishes to help with this fundraiser. We will be providing vendors that donate 100% of sales to a charity account (Charity Shelter) forpeople to place in their stores and at an event location.

Please note that 100% of all money raised will go to the charity Americares (http://www.americares.org/). Land was donated by Glam Affair and all volunteers are giving their time without charge.
The vendor fair portion is hosted at http://slurl.com/secondlife/World%20of%20Beauty/202/140/1003 and many merchants will have vendors in their shops. If you are a merchant and would like to participate, click here.

Fantasy Faire 2011

Are you getting excited about this, too? I love being a mermaid, a pixy, and an elf (depending on my mood or until I can make a Melfixy avatar) so running around the Faire is going to be great! It starts April 2nd with nine regions and a huge number of merchants (check the still-updating vendor list here) including many of my faves such as Epic & Fae Fairey, Herbalys, Ibanez Eyes, Hoof It!, Fallen Gods, Cerridwen’s Cauldron, Bare Rose, and lots more! Of course, this is a charity event, not just shopping, and the Relay for Life of Second Life is the beneficiary. The goal is to raise $20,ooo USD for the American Cancer Society by the close on April 10th. I'll be posting more about the Faire but you should attend to meet, shop, all in support of cancer survivors and the future need.

Full Press Release for the event can be found here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dolphin Viewer

A chat group that I belong to for one of the third party viewers (TPV) lit up today with lots of questions and a member mentioned several times that s/he enjoyed the Dolphin viewer. When someone agreed, making me wonder how the moderator(s) for this non-Dolphin group was taking the chat, I thought it might be worth a look. So I downloaded Dolphin Viewer 2 (a v1.x-based option is available) and began to experiment. As you can see in this first pic, it is nicely loaded (I won't comment on everything ... just what really caught my attention):

Up top, just to the right of the Navigation Bar info, is an unmarked slider that adjusts your avie's Z-offset, so you can change how high off the "ground" you are. Great for really small shapes like my pixy alt or for furries with prim feet. The next slider is for your Draw Distance. Very convenient for photos and to reduce lag. I also like the lag meter on the far right. The Inventory slider has a very convenient filter and folder management buttons. The Official Viewer needs these. In the Preferences > Dolphin Viewer 2 > User Interface pane you'll see some really cool options, like Paste as Link (so you can control what is seen in Outfits), and the ability to change tag color options. Not shown because it is inactive is the Voice Speak button next to the Chat box on the bottom. If Voice isn't active, the button disappears to save space.

In the Preferences > Dolphin Viewer 2 > Navigation pane, there are some nice options to control how the Mini-Map works. For example, you can have it show a "Range Ring" that indicates chat distance, 20m in any direction. Having the ability to pinpoint physical prims, like the swimming eel in the Lesbos Mermaid Lagoon, is helpful. These are rendered in green if you own them and in red if someone else owns them. Physical prims can impede avie and vehicle motion so if you drive anything, this is handy. And the Camera option you see is nice for when you teleport into cramped spaces and the view jumps around. I'd still like to see a radar-enhanced Mini-Map like the Imprudence viewer uses or at least an inclusion of a Mini-Map in the People > Near By slider pane, as seen in the Official viewer. I'm sure updates will have the latter.

The best feature of the Preferences > Dolphin Viewer 2 > Graphics pane is the Sculpty Detail slider. Normally one has to activate the Advanced menu then open the Debug tools then type in RendervolumeLODFactor to adjust this number. The higher it is, the faster sculpties fully render. Most creators recommend a setting of 4, but this option only goes up to 3. If you want a higher number then you need the menu settings method. Checking the first box under Alpha Mask Rendering seems to reduce conflicts between overlapping alpha texture prims, much like you'd see in a tree, but I don't think that is what it is for, really. I locked up my whole computer when trying to activate 'Lighting and Shadows' to really test it. Second Life really hates ATI Radeon chipsets.

Preferences > Dolphin Viewer 2 > Miscellaneous isn't terribly special but I like the the two "Other Options," particularly about rezzing objects under the Land's group setting. Countless times just yesterday I had to go back and find objects with the wrong group lest Auto Return became active and everything was returned. The OOC option shown is nice for role play gamers. Just start your chat with (( and type your sentence then hit the Enter key and the viewer will tack on the closing )) to show you are speaking Out Of Character. If your character's name is not the same as your own then you'll still need an OOC device (like you can get from the freebie board at Mystara), but this is a nice option.

The Dolphin viewer also has a really interesting Media Filter option. Essentially it is a firewall for media URLs. When the music stream changes, for example, a popup shows you the new URL and gives you the option to allow, deny, or add it to lists for always play (Whitelist) or never play (Blacklist) before the stream changes. Great for folks who try to slip in spyware URLs. Of course, the lists can be edited. Apparently, the Phoenix/Firestorm viewers are going to get this feature, too.

Also, Web-based profiles are gone. In the Official viewer they are slow and take up a huge amount of screen real estate despite using fonts and images that are too small to be useful. Profiles are back to the the pre-v2.5 viewer behavior, showing up in the side bar. I prefer the separate panes that the pre-Alpha release Firestorm viewer uses, but this rollback by Dolphin is still a big improvement.

Dolphin appears to be fast, solid, and includes nice enhancements over what is available in the Official viewer. The only issue I have, aside from the crash I created while testing as mentioned above, is the wearing of clothes and attachments. Normally if you choose Wear for an item, the previous item worn is removed. With Dolphin, Wear behaves the same as Add ... each item remains on your avatar. The Add function still works, but there is something wrong with Wear.

Other than that, I like Dolphin and I hope to see it improve so there is a variety in the viewer ecosystem, thus spurring competition and growth. If you like to fiddle around with viewers, you should give it a try.

In our thoughts ...

A little something new just off shore at the Isle of Lesbos. For those in our thoughts ...

Special thanks to my Angela for the gate.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Donating to Japan Disaster Relief

If you are like me, you've been crying off and on since the news about the Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster was announced. I stayed up watching the news in awe and grief until I couldn't take it any more. Then I laid down and had nightmares. There is not much I can do other than pray, but if buying this Relief Teddy Bear from the SL Marketplace makes even a wee bit of difference ...

There are going to be many opportunities in Second Life and outside our world for you to help. Please do. I'm leaving this bear for the ladies to visit at Memorial Park on the Isle of Lesbos.

Tiny Zyx Flux

When I first made my pixy alt, Zyx Flux, I hadn't had in mind that she should be only a few inches tall, but reading more about the pixies in the Kim Harrison "witch" novels (Web) made me wish I could shrink my new friend to be a fraction of her already small size. Thanks to a recent purchase, now I can ... and did! I bought a "real pixy avatar" from Realm of the Fae (SLurl) yesterday (and a NotSoBigAVs gadget from Big AVs (SLurl) to make it work) and here she is among the mushrooms in Enchanted (SLurl) ... tiny! Her pixy animation override from KAMI-HITOE (SLurl) still works, all the dances I've tried look good, and I was able to mod the bits to make Tiny Zyx look like Regular Zyx. Well, I'm still working on that. The tint isn't quite right, but once I can break down the skin bases I have with Photoshop I can tint away and have a better match.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gryphon Lair Armory

According to the Item Profile, I got my beloved (GL) Norse Sword and Shield (v1.7 shield & v2.0 sword) set by punchinello Philbin on September 30, 2008 (at 10:17pm, though that isn't really important, but it makes for nice filler). According to my brother, he got the same Gryphon Lair set (v4.1 sword) last week after having long admiring mine and finally deciding to try his hand at role play. The scabbard belt comes in black and in brown to suit different outfits then three sizes each plus two versions with no belt, one with a hanging chain and one without, to suit various avie sizes and clothing choices. That's eight variations when most sword makers give two scabbard options, at best. There are three sizes of shields, too, and a really gorgeous 40-prim packing box that I've saved for display. The newest iteration also includes a purple shield option in various sizes that nicely fits the black scabbard options. I don't do much fighting, actually, but it is set up for DCS2, CCS, HONOR, SZ, BZ, OSIRIS, GM (3.3 and RLV 3.3) Compatible Versions if I do.

Enough with the details. Here is why the weapon is beloved and why I encouraged my brother to get a set, too: I can't believe how beautiful it is. When I bought mine (that pic to the left is me on Day One with the goods) there was nothing this good looking available. Period. With other swordsmiths arriving in-world or improving their wares, the Gryphon Lair set more than holds its own in all respects. The animations are impressive in quality and quantity (32 total, including AO anims) and well suited to my smaller avie or larger avies. The highly detailed parts show great care and high craftsmanship with the sword alone weighing in at 55 prims. A compliment of sounds for each of the animations doesn't lag behind the motion so the scripting must be very efficient. All this adds up to making a very pleasant slashing and stabbing experience. My only regret is that the prims are No Mod so the fit on my smaller-than-most-males-because-I'm-female frame is a bit odd, but I'm used to that and if anyone objects I can change their focus with any of 20 different attack variations.

You can get Norse sword set (or any of the other cool weapons) at the Gryphon Lair main store (SLurl) or visit the store in Winterfell Gryphondale location (SLurl), where you can see Punchinello's wonderful pre-fab medieval castle (where I took the pic for this post) and his other themed buildings, too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

About Alts

Just yesterday I was given a gadget that lets me detect the use of Redzone, a system that identifies a Resident's Internet Protocol (IP) address in an effort to determine if an avatar is an alt of a banned Resident. Someone is assuming that common IPs mean that the same human is behind the keyboard of each. That strikes me as a potentially false assumption. The IP for my computer is the same for my iPad, my AppleTV, my neighbors, and for the guy in the car parked across the street surfing on the neighborhood's unsecured networks. So if my neighbor logs into Second Life and visits a Redzone-provisioned place where I am banned, she or he is likely to be banned, too.

Silly, I know, and I made the same observation as part of a (poorly written) comment on Tateru Nino's blog post about the Quickware product (apparently it is like Redzone). I also noted that my alts are fairly public. For those of you not up to speed on who I am in various places at various times depending on my various moods, here is a recap and a small surprise.

Uccello Poultry, my first alt, if you think of all my accounts as alts. Not to be confused with Uccello (Resident), a recent account I made to "protect" the name when the new avatar naming scheme was implemented. Ms Poultry is a polymorph but is usually human-ish and sometimes goes by the Display Name of Caitlin Peale or Uccello Peale (sharing a last name with my wife, Angela Peale), though at the moment she is Caitin O'Mygosh for the coming holiday. She is my oldest account and was started the day I turned 18 and could flee the Teen Grid. That avie will remain anonymous if only to keep my reputation cleaner than the sullied state it is in now. My avatar looks very much like the Real Life me, though with my most recent skin purchase I've adjusted the face a bit to better fit the texture.

Uccello (Resident) looks nothing like me, seldom appears on the grid, and has but one "human" form. Nearly 100% of the time she is some form of bird ... "Uccello" is Italian for bird. Flying in Second Life is a great way to relax and that is what I use her for. Sure, I can fly in all my avies, but she needed some purpose.

Usra Ostrich, also known as Mousra in Display Name and in spirit. She is my twin. We have identical hair, skin, eyes, shape, clothes, though she is most often a Loco Pocos mouse. This account was started to help safely explore aspects of my personality with the help of a Real Life therapist. Actually, that is why I started in Second Life, but there's a long story and not that important right now. What you should know about Mousra is ... well, nothing. She's me. Just a mini version. She has morphed in purpose over time and is more or less just for fun now (and not "fun" like most SLers mean it).

Zyx Flux, the first of my pixy alts. As noted elsewhere on this blog, this account was created to help win prizes from Lucky Chairs, but has since taken on a life of her own. She's child-sized and child-like, but is adult verified. I think of her as my landscaper as I'm focusing her inventory on items used to create garden environments. This is helping my main inventory stay in check. But I also love to explore the world with her. Others seem to delight in her presence and are more receptive to chatting. I guess her smaller size and unique appearance make her "less threatening" in some respects. She's not the sexpot that Uccello Poultry often appears to be so folks seem to relax more.

Zyx (Resident), the bigger, more adult version of the previous avie, was born to preserve the name, much like Uccello (Resident) was created. But unlike the bird avie, she's become a complete entity unto herself. In Real Life, I am a rather butch, mousy, plain, quiet lesbian that practices not-standing-out in a crowd. In Second Life, Zyx (Resident) is my fashion model ... the sophisticated, confident me, that exudes a calm womanliness without pretention. But she's still a pixy and plays the role to the hilt. Magic is at her soul. Here is her debut on this blog.

Torii Heron, my very first alt after coming to the main grid. Notice her name is a form of Bird Bird like Uccello Poultry? Yes, I was on a streak. For a long time Torii was an asian woman then she became a fish, but lately she's a bird, like Uccello Resident, befitting her name. Originally she was created as per The Lab's suggestion in the first book on our world (don't buy it, it is dross, but you can see it at Amazon) to make an alt to store excess inventory or to back it up. This was going well until The Lab's servers decided to ruin my life one day by trashing the inventories in all my accounts, including Torii's. I've not really had the heart to cancel her account, though, partly because her name is so cool. No picture of her here but if you really want to see what she looks like, peek out your window. See those winged things flapping about?

Delicate Quandry, one of two alts I share with my Real Life brother (CC Columbo in Second Life), is the surprise I mentioned ... this is her first public outing. Several people know that she is me (or my brother) and henceforth so as to make it clear who is "behind the wheel" I'll make arrangements. She came about partly because the opportunity for a cool name came up, but my brother needed a female alt for modeling and I wasn't giving him my password so we decided to share. Likewise, he has a male alt that we share for the times I need one and to keep me out of his account.

Mystery Woman (not her real name) is another surprise. Not sure what to do with her yet. One person other than my brother knows her, but for their privacy I won't reveal Mystery Woman's name. She is sort of a "get away" alt, like many folks have ... an avie you use to be anonymous. I keep her solitary with no one but "family" on her Friend list and she doesn't socialize, that includes cybering. She could be the reason that systems like Redzone exist as I've used her to "spy" on griefers that have bothered the Isle of Lesbos and for similar activities.

So, those are the names. Ban away. Second Life is a big, big place, and I'm sure I'll find some place other than yours to visit and spend my money. But do me the courtesy and tell me I'm banned, please. It could all be a misunderstanding.

Click Here for more of Tateru's posts on the topic of Alt Detection.

PS: There is one more alt ... but I don't have permission to mention her as even a post-script ... ooops.

Game Graphics

If you found a virtual world where you can play like we do in Second Life, but was able to rendered like the one in this video, would you abandon the familiar for the new?

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I've been spending my Caturday looking for freebies and such for the Lucky Kitty Crew (Web) and exploring a beautiful Fantasy Role Play (RP) sim, Mystara (SLurl). Unlike other RP places I've visited lately, this one seems to be robust and thriving despite being but one region.

When you arrive you'll find a well-organized introduction in a beautiful setting. There are freebies such as clothes and then some to help you get started in RP, information for first time players, and copious details about Mystara's back story and residents. Residents of the region were always around whenever I popped in throughout the day (very crashy today) and were helpful. While it took me some reading to figure out that pixies would belong to the Mystfolk group, I was rather more interested in the Merfolk group.

The reason being that the Mer areas are spectacular. For some reason I can't figure out, I had a landmark for one part of the extensive Mer waters so when I first visited Mystara I started there, not knowing that the region was for RP. This picture is from the courtyard section and it only begins to do justice to the Mer experience. All the waterways are connected via tunnels so surface dwellers have only a hint as to the extensive realm our finned friends have. Not only are the waters beautiful, but details are abundant even in parts that could have been left bare to save prims. I even found an opening to a tavern in a cave. Clearly the Merfolk are an important part of the Mystara society.

By the looks of this castle, there is a royalty class, too. I haven't looked inside the castle yet but this picture shows that the surface area is also beautifully landscaped. Some fantasy foliage dots the landscape, but the gardeners wisely stuck with mostly "normal" flora, providing continuity across the region and keeping people grounded (pun intended) in the relatively familiar. Looking at a view like this makes me wonder how such fullness was crammed into the standard number of allowed prims. The landscape is lush while the structures are detailed inside and out.

The Western view is one of my favorites. One of my pixy alts did most of the non-Mermaid exploring today and she kept coming back to this view. The bridge you see is just a small part of an intricate and well-planned infrastructure to negotiate around the region. Also included are some very, very nice caves, tunnels, and other adapted "natural" formations. This is not the natural color of the sky, though. I fiddled with the Windlight presets for this shot and the previous picture of the castle, changing the clouds, water, and general brightness levels, too.

I plan on visiting on a weekday to see if the lag is still as bad as I found it today. Typically weekends are bad across The Grid so this might not have been the best of days to visit. And I'd also like to observe some of the RP. This is the first such place that I've visited in a long time that actually had people in playing roles. Most of what I've seen in any Role Play group has been people standing around chatting Out of Character, being (Away), or effectively being statues.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Viewer 2 Updates

The Lab forced updates to the Official Viewer today and those interested might want to check out the Release Notes (Web). A number of crash fixes have been included as well as some feature additions, such as the addition of a Mini-Map to the People:Nearby slider. Another nifty change: Link and Unlink buttons in the Edit pane. No need to download manually. Just start the viewer and the process starts automatically.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New SL Blogs & Privacy

When you visit the new format Second Life Blog pages (and other SL sites like the Knowledge Base) be sure to click My Settings at the top, then the Preferences tab, and then the Privacy sub-topic to ensure the sites behave themselves the way you want. You can also fill out Profile information and change other settings that will affect the impression you leave on the official spaces as well as how they look when you view them.

Stop Reading This

Stop reading this and head on over to Honour McMillan's blog now for her post about an SL Text-to-Speech device from Ferd Frederix.

What? Back already? Or you didn't go? Well, I'll summarize, but go there sometime to read about the gadget that could help all us mute (unable to speak) folks in SL.

Basically, if I wear a HUD and give out a special Website URL to those around me in-world, what I type is spoken on the Website so others "hear me" participating in the conversation. No more getting ignored in groups as Voice users gradually ignore chat as time goes on. Maybe. I haven't tried it in a group yet. I noticed that the system reads what objects say, too, like the tour boat on Phaze, the sim where I got the device (SLurl). There is a version for Viewer 2 users that requires in-world Shared Media, too. In fact, if you are a user of v2, wander about the sim to explore ... lots of Shared Media treats. The place is a blast to explore and the shop has tons of unique freebies, including vehicles, pets, gadgets, and more. I've been here for an hour now and stopped exploring only to write this post.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Can You Tell?

Can you tell that I like my alts, Zyx Flux and Zyx Resident? Here they are at home, talking about the day's events. I spent most of Real Life today in a dark, quiet closet with a migraine. Lucky pixies.