Sunday, October 30, 2011

Death of the Desktop

It has occurred to me more than once over the years that the main reason I have a traditional computer is for Second Life. I could get the news and weather from TV and plenty of entertainment, too, especially when I had a DVR. The daily newspaper was interesting, though not as much as the radio. And I love to read. Books, magazines, packages in the grocery store. Anything.

But what do I do with the computer? Well, I read. Play solitaire. And I visit Second Life. Because of the latter, I also have several graphics programs so I can create textures. Sure, there are things I do on the Web like Netflix and Neopets. But except for Neopets, everything I do on the desktop other than Second Life I can do on my iPod Touch or my iPad or on AppleTV, especially now that Cloud storage is here.

So what is the point here? Not entirely sure. But I spent most of my day mucking about the house doing various things with my iDevices in tow. I watched a recipe and took out my iPod Touch to make entries on the grocery list app while cooking then ate my meal while watching Netflix and waiting for the other meals to cook (it's like a restaurant here ... no two people want the same thing). Then I looked up things for my mom (she's figuring out her iPad) for Christmas shopping and was able to hand the screen to her.

Tomorrow when I'm out shopping I'll use the iPad to talk to people instead of the chalk slate I used growing up. When I save up about $190 I'll get an app that will be my voice. And I'll hook up to the WiFi at McDonalds to update my mail and check the weather and ... well, whatever. I certainly won't have to drag my desktop computer with me, though it has been done.

Very handy things, these portables. And I really wonder if I'd use a traditional computer if it weren't for Second Life.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Second Life's Most Popular Attraction!

Well, I wish that were true, but dozens of people a day visit The Menagerie Isle 2011 Haunted House. Have you seen it? Plenty of frights in those sights and a gift if you survive the dark ride in the basement. Use the SLurl below to visit soon because when Halloween is gone, so is the House.

Madam Jane's Fortune Telling Parlour attracts some interesting clients.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Love Lesbos

When writing or reading or just generally trying to veg out, one of my favorite places to be is the Infinity Pool at the Pride Club on the Isle of Lesbos. Recently I put in some new floaties like this one for couples.

Blogging & Foruming Today

Hay, y'all! I'm going to be spending much of today replying to comments on my Official Second Life Blog post from last Wednesday (see it here) and threading through the forums (starting here) monitoring and replying to Halloween posts there, too. Stop by and leave a comment or two or three or more.

Image shot in Second Life and edited with iMut8r for my iPod Touch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coming to an SL Shop Soon?

Beta Viewer Part III

As noted in an earlier post, I liked that notifications in the current Beta viewer from The Lab have been moved to the upper-right corner. It makes sense, but in practice it may not be a good idea. Take a look at this picture:

Transparency and size may be issues.
The notifications tend to be semi-transparent and whether they are on a dark background or a light one, they are hard to read. The icons are also hard so see because of their small size. I know that folks will want to see the v1.x blue background on notices. That would be great for high-priority messages like region restarts and such, simply making the other notice windows opaque would be sufficient. I'd like to see the icons for group chats, IMs, and the like moved into the same bar as the Favorites buttons so they could be more easily seen. Some of us have visual impairments (I'm due for trifocals this year) and I don't see much effort on The Lab's part to accommodate folks with special needs.

A nice touch, and obviously one coordinated with the Shop button in the menu bar, is an addition to the Inventory pane: Received Items.

One can argue that having an area just for your Marketplace purchases (and notice that they didn't give it the proper capitalization it requires under standard grammar rules) in your Inventory pane (though items still appear in the Objects folder) is another attempt by The Lab to kill in-world commerce, you have to admit that even without the increasing number of merchants going Marketplace-only, this is a convenient way to keep track on incoming inventory. Now if only all inventory offers could be shown here this would go from a good idea to a great idea. Then have all the accepted offers drop into an "Objects: Received" folder rather like the user-created "Objects: Storage" folder in the pic above. If The Lab did that, it would be one of the protected, un-deleteable folders (like Animations, Body Parts, et al) and we'd know just where to look.

Clearly this is a Beta feature, though, as it doesn't work. I made some test purchases and there is no log of activity in the new section.

Honestly, if I thought JIRA was looked at or acted upon, I'd make these suggestions directly. Hopefully if any Linden who reads this blog likes the idea well enough they'll bring it up at the water cooler or lunch room.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friday Blog! [UPDATE]

This  Friday I'll have a post on the Official Linden Blog as part of a Best of SL Halloween Event (Web)! I'll be joining several other residents in an open conversation on the blog and in the forum so be sure to drop by and check us out!

[9:39AM SLT] Looks like my blog post is LIVE now. Check it out here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Beta Viewer Part II

As I continue to use the Beta Viewer from The Lab, I might occasionally post a suggestion or so here. The first is for the Inventory Pane: Add tabs or drop-down menu as shown in the picture below.

Zyx Flux gets ready for Halloween with the new Inventory Pane.

A suggestion for all panes: Let us select the slider pane behavior introduced in v2 if we should choose to use it or not. It greatly reduced clutter and I always knew where to look. Perhaps that can be accomplished via the Skins function.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Beta Viewer

Thanks to New World Notes (Web), I was reminded that a new Official Viewer is in the works and that Daniel Voyager took a look (Web) at the beta (available here) as did Inara Pey (Web). Their reviews are pretty thorough so rather than rush my look to press I thought I'd try it for a couple days.

First Impressions
  • If you don't l like the GUI on v2 or v3, you won't like this one.
  • Moving from v3 to this viewer should be very easy.
  • Customizers rejoice!
  • Noobies beware!
Much of this is familiar to v3 users.
Gone is the much hated (though not by me) sliding panel that currently graces the Official Viewer's right side, but the buttons are not gone. They've simply been moved to the left. Sort of. You can move them back one-by-one, not as a set, but clicking them brings up individual panes, much like the v1.x viewers of yore. This should make many folks happy, but it doesn't answer the argument that the sliding panel took up too much room. As you can see in a later picture, your screen can get very full very fast. But back to the buttons ... I like the flexibility The Lab gives here. I won't use all the choices and it will be nice to keep them where I like them. And the Reset to Defaults option is going to be great when I help new Residents ... *pop* my screen will look like theirs and I can easily point out things. Well, then I have to customize mine again. Third Party Viewer (TPV) coders might want to consider adding options for presets -- like Buttons That Show When I'm Role Playing and Buttons That Show When I'm Building or Buttons That Show When I'm Hosting an Event. Lastly, you can customize the top bar a bit, too. See that green oval? Slide the grabber left/right for sizing or right click to select a partial hide option.

The usual menus are there with the usual features, even the hidden-by-default Advanced and Develop menus. Aside from the slider pane being taken away and the custom buttons, much of the interface is unchanged. Mini-Map, People, Groups, etc., all look familiar. I didn't see anything new in Preferences, either. Don't expect the lack of changes to continue, however, as I imagine that more tweaks are coming as evidenced by some subtle name changes buried in the menus and panes. The effort to make the viewer much more noobie-friendly has just begun. Dare we expect colorful skins that might be easier for those with visual impairments to read? For me, I just wish it was easier to change the Windlight settings. They are still overly complicated and discouraging. By the way, the standard button arrangement on the side takes up a fair bit of real estate when the labels are active, as you see here.

Notifications and IM windows have been moved, but not materially changed. You'll now find them in the upper-right corner. This makes sense for a couple reasons: For one, many Animation Overrides and other HUDs like to live in the bottom-right corner. IMs and Notifications often interfered with using them. For another, these are information items so keeping them with other information such as your L$ balance (see my pathetic balance?) at the top. Photographers will tell you that most folks like that corner, too, and tend to look there almost as often as they do the upper-left corner. Draw a big, imaginary Z with your finger over your screen. That pattern you made that tends to be the scan pattern most people use, particularly those who learned to read in the West. However, I use bifocals so text at the bottom of the screen is clearer for me. Like any change, this will take some time to get used to, but since I like v2/v3 already, it shouldn't be too hard.

Whoaaaaa! I'm gonna miss the slide out side pane and how it kept the window nice and tidy.
If you've tried the current Basic viewer settings some of what you see above will be familiar. These ideas were first tried when The Lab beta-tested a Web browser interface and I can see how they might apply to a light-featured client aimed at tablet computers. Such as (A), the Avatar Picker. You can flick back and forth after choosing an avatar type then click an avatar image to be instantly changed (depending on lag, your Internet connection, the speed/memory of your computer, and the will of various deities). The complete avatar is dropped into your Clothing folder. Wanna be a car? Do it! But please don't use the Avatar Picker to go back to your previous look -- a second (or third or fourth or ...) copy of that avatar appears with the first. The How to pane is also aimed at noobies and is danged easy to use. I'm very happy to see it here. The Outfits pane (B) is back. I love this feature introduced with v2, though there have been issues. It is one of the first things I teach noobs if I go beyond the basics. The Destinations pane (C), like the Avatar Picker, was found in the Basic mode and deserves a good look over by experienced Residents. Like map hopping, it is a fun way to discover parts of Our World that you might not otherwise have seen. Other windows are open here, too, so you can see how open windows are indicated by the button highlights. As you can see, the window can become quite cluttered so the button highlights are handy. Also, see the chat bar? It, too, can be moved. Open it with the button or just tap the Enter key on your keyboard before you start typing, just like in v2/v3. The Escape key changes the focus back away from Chat.


  • As I've mentioned, the Windlight settings are still cumbersome to use, and I'm being polite when I write that. 
  • Apple Mac trackpad gestures for scrolling, moving, and camera controls don't work, but I'm sure they'll say that this viewer isn't recommended for OSX/Lion, either.
  • The buttons automatically center themselves in a cluster at the side or on the bottom. I'd like to be able to have them not dock with each other and stay where I put them.

Despite this release being a Beta, the viewer seems to be very stable despite some teleport crashes. Likely there is little monkeying under the hood at this point, just a bit of body work and some new paint. Should you give it a try, feel free to drop some comments here. I'd be interested in hearing what you think.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Clueless in My Prattle

It can only be my fault, I guess, but I've gotten myself into a pickle. Either a Linden who reads my blog recommended me or my Haunted House (SLurl) got noticed this year or someone ... well, I just don't know.  But on October 31st I'll have a post about celebrating Halloween in Second Life on the official Linden Blog and I'll be replying to folks who comment as well as trolling the forums talking about ... what?

I need a topic.

I don't know. Maybe if I knew why the Lindens contacted me or how how I came to their notice I'd know what I should write about. In fact, I really need like 10 topics as Zed Linden told me that I should have several at hand in case things go pear-shaped and I need to resuscitate the threads.

For some reason, Zed Linden picked a boxing ring in which to hold our in-world meeting about my participation.

And it is recommended that I leap into my social networking resources for assistance. No, I don't Facebook, Tweet, Plurk (though I still have an account), use Flickr much, or even know anything about Orkut except how to spell it (I read that in a helpful notecard from Zed).

The initial contact asked that I fill out an application if I wanted to be considered to participate and on same I was asked to cite URLs for Forum replies or other bits of my participation in such venues. I knew of none. Search found none. Well, there goes the opportunity. Then I got an IM back ...

Maybe they are desperate. Really. I mean, I've seen who else is going to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing on October 31st and November 1st and if I've heard of them, then they must be SLebrities. Who? I shouldn't say yet, but think "SL's oldest Halloween attraction" and "famous October hunt" for a couple.

What have I got myself into? More to the point, now that I'm into it, what should I write about?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Viewer Thoughts

Regular readers of this blog know that I often write about the Viewer and that I like the UI introduced with Viewer2. In fact, I guess I'm something of an evangelist or even an apologist for v2/v3 from The Lab. So the other day when Rod Linden mentioned that some changes were coming up (and are now here in v3.1) I was rather non-plussed. Now Tateru Nino writes on her blog that she heard from Rhett Linden that the Sidebar I like is going away and then she points to a post on Nalates Urriah's blog that has pix of the new UI.

While I'm not happy with a number of ways v3 works (such as changing environment settings) or how the Basic mode has been partly folded into the Advanced mode (I'll have to get used to think about where I click as I look about since one-click-navigate now kicks in), I keep coming back to what I tell folks who complain about the Official Viewer: Try it.

When v2 arrived I didn't like it at all. I tried every alternative viewer available and recommended them to others as I found that aside from the UI being familiar, they often offered interesting and sometimes useful features. But as I help new Residents (okay, noobs), I felt that it would be best that I became familiar with v2 so I could be a better guide.

So for two weeks I used only v2, even uninstalling other viewers so I could avoid temptation. What I found at the end was that most of my objections stemmed simply from the idea of change. Someone moved my cheese and I reacted viscerally. On the whole, v2 was no better or no worse that any other viewer. It had it's quirks, as did they all, and I knew that if I needed a special feature I could fire up another viewer to use them.

So what about vX (whatever it's designation is going to be)? I have to admit that there were bits in Nalates' pix that I didn't care for at first glance. But I'm willing to wait and to give the new iteration a chance. How about you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Premium Content Update

Actually, there is no update. The nice furniture that The Lab set out for Premium Account members to grab for free in several places (such as Sandbox Mirificatio; SLurl) is still available, well past the 30 day mark that I expected the content to change.

The original announcement was made September 1st so I was rather hoping there would be something new to grab a couple weeks ago. Stopping by one gift site today, however, I found the first items offered still in the giver. I guess if you still want them, you can get them. Before I (unilaterally) declare (as is my won't, at times) that this benefit is dead ("bereft of life," to quote the usually inimitable Mr Praline), I'd like to hear from some official (preferably Linden) source. Got one?

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Waiting Game

This is one of those "nothing is happening" posts so feel free to skip the text, merely glance at the picture, then move along to more important things. But today I was flying about in a parrot avatar on Las Olas Azules (SLurl), one of several regions that make up one of the most gorgeous tropical archipelagos in all of Second Life. It was so nice and the owner has a couple sets of cuddle pose balls out that I said to myself "Self? Bring your lovely wife here later for cuddles!" Then I answered "Why, yes, I will. Thank you for your kind suggestion."

So, here I sit, waiting for her. She had logged in but went offline without explanation ... probably a crash ... and I haven't heard from her since. Thank goodness I have my L$10 wearable beach furniture set from the fine folks who brought us WarBug aeroplanes on their bargain island (SLurl).

Reminder! Haunted House

I just took a look at the visitor logs for the 2011 Menagerie Isle Haunted House and ... whoaaaa! Althought attendance is slightly down over last year's figures to date we've still had a few hundred people visit! Maybe it's late placement in the Destination Guide explains the numbers, but I'm still happy that so many folks have visited. Someone even IMd last night to go on and on about the spiders (not where you expect them). I hope you get a chance to visit. It's free and it is a good place to bring a date.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Wings!

Those dancing penguins have nuthin' on me, 'cause I gots Happy Wings! My ultra-talented friend Kaelin Westland asked me to try her MICRO Flappy Iridescent Wasp Wings, a new version of her full-sized wings and they sooooooo rock! Check 'em out!

I'm at Forest Floor (SLurl) again, a gorgeous place to be a pixy.

This picture doesn't do them justice as there is no motion, but when I launch into flight they go all flappy (hence the name, I'm presuming) and look so real. But what I really like is that they fold down when I'm at rest. I love my Material Squirrel dragonfly wings, but they are always sticking out (unless I hide them). It's much better to have the wings fold down.

You can try the demo for yourself free. Just go to the Marketplace on the Web here. If you see other wings you like, contact Kaelin to ask about having them made in MICRO size. Me? I've upgraded my full-sized pixy to her wings already but for now I'm gonna fly around some more! See ya!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting Back Some Sanity

Even with all the excitement of Burn2 it wasn't easy to over look that I was spending hour after hour in a flat, dry desert. I like green and blue; forests and waters. So I'm taking some time to get back to my comfort zone by spending as much time as I can in my favorite places before I start tackling tasks again.

To start, I bought a Great White Shark avatar from R&Ms (SLurl) then swam about the various sims of the Blake Sea (like here: SLurl) and, of course, the bay at the Isle of Lesbos.

Cue the theme from Jaws. Calimari is on the menu!

Later, I teleported to the Calas Galadhon regions (SLurl) and flew around in the magnificent Fall foliage with my wonderful raven avie from Grendels Children.

This raven is the harbinger of fun.

Then I lay in the pond at Memorial Park (SLurl), enjoying the cool waters and springtime greenery.

This little park is my brother's land. We share the treehouse next door. I love this place.
Lastly, I ended up at the Isle of Lesbos again, dancing on the pole at the Mayan Club in my UK Punk finery (it was a Hats event).

The Isle of Lesbos has some great events and I hope to attend more now that Burn2 is over.

Soon Winter will decend upon my little town in Southern Maine and snow will cover everything. All the pine trees mean there will still be some greenery so the beauty won't be all gone, but when I need to refresh the woodland sprite within me, I know where to go in Second Life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Burn2: Regrets

With all the time I was able to spend at Burn2 before it opened to the public and after, I was able to see every installation at least twice. I kept going back to many, over and over again, and featuring some on this blog (click the Burn2 tag below to see all my entries), but one I regret not featuring while it was available to the public was Trill Zapatero's GrailQuest. Simply stated, it was sumptuously textured, rather skillfully constructed, and makes-you-tingle exiting. Each step along the path to find the Grail was an interactive joy, deeply rooted in philosophy.

Buddha: “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

If you clicked about (and nearly everything was clickably interactive) you'd hear special sounds, be treated to fun visuals, or be given special quotes like that above. Every part of this installation was important unto itself, but they all blended together to form an experience unlike any at Burn2. And I failed to blog about it. I take some comfort in knowing that some 600 people visited, but I don't know how many thought to climb the ladder or even complete the Quest.

More's the pity.

Here are some images I captured today to help me remember. I hope you enjoy them.

It was hard to miss the grail. If you came to Burn2, you saw it. But did you experience it?

The textures are simply amazing.

A fabulous meditative garden ...

... with a view to the goal.

Lots of fun interactivity!

Plenty of places to sit and think and look upon the Playa.

The books are trying to tell me something as they flap their leaves at me.

Does a Grail Quest every really end?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

As Burn2 ends and the cleanup begins, I look at all the names I added to my Friends list during the last month ...

Sorry, but some of you gotta go. If I don't work with you or sleep with you regularly, then you are probably gonna be dropped. Nothing personal.

I've long advocated that The Lab revise the Friends system into a Contacts system that lets us organize and set permission on groups. I have friends, business colleagues, staff in various places, bosses in others, acquaintances, and more. With the popularity of Facebook, Google+, and the like why can't The Lab direct their efforts to turn Second Life into a social network into a drive to have a decent address book?

Maybe this is another reason Google should buy The Lab ... SL Circles, anyone?

Honour McMillan stays on my Friends list. Check out her blog post about the Temple at Burn2 last night.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Burn2: Shower Time

I rolled out of bed rather late this morning and almost didn't make my scheduled Ranger shift at Burn2, but I did miss my shower. So while munching some Pop-Tarts®, I headed to The Joker's Wild (SLurl) for a quick virtual shower and some fresh panties.

Thanks for letting me use the facilities, Herbie Haven.
The exhibit out front is a bit more serious: "World power, its a fools game nobody wins." A giant mechanoid uses a deck of "Most Wanted Iraqi" playing cards in a game of high-stakes oil, cash, and lives. A rather thought-provoking piece to say the least.

Joker's Wild
Just a couple days left to see this installation and all the other wonderful builds at Burn2. Hurry on down!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Burn2: The Actual Burn

I was called away for Ranger duty before I could grab a pic, but Inner Child Camp burned the Mini-Man tonight. It was a great party so I expect Saturday's and Sunday's burn of the big man to be at least as good. Here's the schedule, in Second Life Time:

Man - Saturday 11:30am & 7:30pm; Sunday 3:30am
Temple - Sunday 11:30am & 7:30pm; Monday 3:30am

The sims will be forced to Midnight and all who attend are requested to reduce their Avatar Rendering Cost by as much as possible. Basically, strip off as many prims as you can, especially flex and sculpty prims. Maybe get some body paint? Be tastefully naked?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Burn2: Steve Jobs

While visiting Inner Child Camp at Burn2 last night, I heard the news about Steve Jobs.

I almost wrote "Apple's Steve Jobs," but really, he belonged to everyone. This corporate and technology innovator passed away late yesterday. His impact has been felt and will continue to be felt for decades by everyone, whether they be users of Apple products or not.

Elsewhere on the Web and other media are more eloquent summaries of Steve's legacy and more moving tributes than I could write. Open any news site if you don't want to do a search. You'll find them.

But you can also visit Burn2. At least one camper I've found has put in a memorial (SLurl). Thank you, Molly Montale.

Up until the time I heard the news I had been thinking about a message that I wanted to put into the Burn2 Temple (SLurl). Then I had it. Simple. Short. You'll see it floating with dozens of other messages, some in memorial for other special people, if you visit this spectacular build.

The Temple will burn, too, not just the Man. October 9th and 10. The schedule is here. At that time, all the messages will be read during one of Burn2's most moving ceremonies.
The sometimes-tech blog Gizmodo has a moving post about "where where you when you learned about Steve?" I was at Burn2 with friends. Where were you?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Haunted House!

Yesterday, after my wife told me she loved me, she told me that Gabrielle Linden had visited my Haunted House on Menagerie Isle (SLurl). I had written to the general address for the Second Life Destination Guide wondering what happened to my placement request and she had popped in to check out the house. Another email later and a days wait then ...

On page 4 of the DG last I looked! (Web)
Thank you, Gabrielle!

Burn2: AFK Games

Right. I may have started it, but Honour (at right in the pic) finished it! Poor Jefke. Going AFK when I'm around. There is always fun at Burn2 Center Camp (SLurl).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Burn2: Mutant Vehicles!

Art cars and playa bikes hold a big place in everyone's memory who has gone to Burning Man or watched the live stream.

Well, Burn2 has playa bikes and art cars, too. And the best part is YOU get to drive them around.

There's an egg shell car, a floating inflatable elephant, a canoe (with its own piece of the playa), coffin cars, a drivable teapot. Try them all.

There are nine cars for tinies too.

And playa bikes..old school bikes, rocket bikes.

One of the many bike razzers can be found at
Once you stand up, they derez so you don't have to worry about MOOP...and you can get another one whenever you want. So rev up your engines and motor down to the DMV or the bike rez stations scattered around the playa and ...get your motor running! Get your friends together and have a parade - we'll all stop and watch!

One of the many car razzers can be found at
This post is a Press Release from the Burn2 organization.

Artificial People!

Linden Lab CEO CEO Rodvik Humble posted this on the official blog yesterday: "Over the next few months (with testing most likely starting in December), we will be rolling out a series of more advanced features. These will make the creation of artificial life and artificial people much smoother" (Web).

Maybe my wish to have a true Meeroo pet -- one that will follow and interact with me much like a Real Life pet -- will come true. Sure, I can attach one of the lithe buggers to me but eventually they want to be put back down. Or I can sit with them, but they bounce about pointlessly. Having one as a companion would be cool.

How about a "human" guide? The Isle of Lesbos has Elspeth, a pseudo-bot from XD Fusion that greets arrivals, offers gifts, and takes comments. If I had the resources, I could get a more sophisticated chat bot (the dear, departed Mysteria region used one), but like Elspeth, she'd remain in one place. A moving chat bot could lead visitors to near by destinations like the dance area. Despite signs, arrows, chat directions, and more, folks still seem to get lost. If they could follow a person, they are less likely to get lost (I say "less likely" because even when I lean folks around, they sometimes get lost).

I really look forward to seeing this feature. A few builds I've seen -- like a venue that used a bot for the boatman on The River Styx and bots in a torture area in Tartarus -- have used bots to enhance the role play, but I bet advanced forms would be even more fantastic.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Burn2: The Sacrifice

The words to describe The Sacrifice, Claudia222 Jewell's contribution to Burn2 (SLurl) almost completely fail me, so here are her words along with my picture that barely captures even a tenth of this installation's impact:

"Facing death to prove braveness and to gain enlightenment are Rites of Passage."
Let me be clear about my taste in art ... I prefer Renaissance, photojournalism, nature, and realism. I'm not a fan of Op Art, Modern Art, or anything that feels it must describe itself as art in it's name. Van Gogh confuses me. da Vinci excites me. And I'm not (not, I say) a fan of the macabre or grotesque styles.

But Claudia's art is a smack in the face. It grabs me and makes me look at every detail, every nuance. Her art has a splendor (the word keeps repeating in my head when I see The Sacrifice) with its characteristically lush textures and opulent use of organic forms. As I stand at the site to write this post and listen to the visitors (there are usually quite a few at most any time), I hear others echo my thoughts.

There is nothing about this build that follows the "everything was brought to the desert in a truck" motif as it is the height of Not Possible in Real Life and it is truly gorgeous. Put this on your Burn2 "must see" list.

SL Viewer Not for Apple OS

It is no secret that the current (and a couple previous) Second Life Official Viewers are not recommended for use with Apple's Current OS, "Lion":

But you have to navigate a circuitous route to find that notice.

I think tech pundit Andy Ihnatko might have nailed the reason for the incompatibility in today's Macworld column:
And! Beginning in November, all apps submitted to the Store must be sandboxed. Sandboxing (one of Lion’s star features) is a pain in the butt for developers but its practical benefits for users are crystal-clear: ideally, in a sandboxed world, no running process can interfere with any other running process, no matter how naughtily it’s behaving.
It seems to work for me, though when the viewer misbehaves, it does so spectacularly. For example, it fights with the Safari Web browser. Running both can be dicey at times as the Official Viewer is such a resource hog.

Hopefully we'll see a compatible browser by November. I'd like to think that The Lab is proactively working on the sandboxing requirement. Probably not. I doubt the viewer would be available via the App Store. It would make far too much sense to expose one's product to such a huge audience. It might upset the current decline in population by having more folks install your product to try your service.

Burn2: Tutu Tuesday Tomorrow

Imagine it
......tutus floating and shimmering in the sun
.................clouds of playa dust being kicked up with each turn

What could it be?

No! It's not the Black Rock Ballet Company

No! October 4, 2011 is Tutu Tuesday at Burn2


And since not everyone has a tutu in their inventory and we want everyone to be able to participate, there are free tutus. Trill Zapatero, one of the invited artists, created them and gifted them to the Burn2 community. There are even matching tights. And the best part is the tutus fit all size avies from micro avatars to giant dragons.

PS if anyone sees a dragon in a tutu....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take a picture and forward it to Kim Chihuly so we can preserve the moment.

This post is a Press Release from the Burn2 organization.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Burn2: Alex Craft, Noobie

One day during the build phase of Burn2, my friend Honour invited me over to meet a new resident, Alex Craft (alexcraftandrews Resident) and announced that Alex was going to build something across from the Ranger headquarters despite being but three weeks old in Second Life. Here's what she did:

Definitely not possible in real life, her untitled work is some 211 prims, all coordinated by about 5-6 scripts (total!) so they flip about in patterns and change colors. It is fun to watch from any angle.

Burn2: Fashion

The Burn2 event has a lot of amazing artists and a fully packed schedule of live music and DJs. There are strange wonderful builds to tour. Parties break out spontaneously.

And through all the music and particles and glowy prims and careening playa bikes, burners put together outfits that show off their personalities.

There are two fashion shows scheduled for the burn this year. These aren't your typical SL fashion show.
* No designer names.
* No runways and strobe lights.

Just a stage in Center camp & an assortment of burner fashions. Burn volunteers and campers are the models. Probably going to be some fire involved. And tie dyed tights. And lots of playa dust.

Come see what the well dressed burner is wearing this year.

October 5 - 2:00pm SLT
October 6 - 4:30pm SLT

Join us at

You can see pictures of past Burn2 fashion events on Flickr here.

This post is a Press Release from the Burn2 organization.