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Friday, April 17, 2015

Royally Screwed?

Today I was reading Julya Lykin's blog.  Julya tours around Second Life by taking more or less random walks and describing the places she visits...including a lot of stores, of course.  SL is, after all, "a nation of shopkeepers."

But I was struck by one of Julya's comments.  She said "guys get royally screwed in SL."  She was referring, I hasten to add, to the fact that fashions, skins, hair, and accessories for guys are a lot thinner on the ground than those for us gals.

She's right, of course.  There is at least five times as much Stuff for women in Second Life as there is for men.  On the other hand, one might say the same for Real Life as well.  Take a look at any major department store, and see how much square footage is devoted to women's items vs. men's items.

Why do you suppose this is?  After all, we women supposedly make (on average) 76% of what men do.  Doesn't that mean that we should be buying LESS stuff?  Maybe we are...my Resident Geek sure seems to spend a lot of money, anyway.  But it sure isn't on fashion...one look at him would tell you that.  No, he buys Toys.  Computers, video games, tools.  Model airplanes.  He drools over (but does not often buy, thank goodness!) sports cars, guns, boats, and high end stereos.

I think it is a cultural thing.  Our whole culture teaches us that women must be beautiful to be a success...and that beauty requires clothes, makeup, shoes, and accessories.  And you have to buy new ones every season!  Not to mention time at the spa, skin treatments, plastic surgery, etc. etc.  A guy, on the other hand, can slouch through life with maybe one suit, a couple of pairs of briefs, a few mismatched socks, an old pair of jeans, and a few moth eaten T-shirts...as long as he is driving a Corvette.

Second Life imitates Life 1.0 in this regard.  I believe that our cultural biases influence our shopping habits in SL...and that, therefore, girls buy fashions, guys buy Toys.  In turn, our shopping habits influence what the creators put out there for us to buy.  They create what sells!

So, maybe the guys are royally screwing themselves by not buying more hot bodies and hot clothes!  Stop drooling over that chromed Harley Davidson, fellows...make yourselves into Eye Candy instead.  We, your virtual girlfriends, deserve no less!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Auto Show!

The Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) is putting on an auto show!  It's "The History of the Vehicle" and it includes very accurate reproductions of famous Real Life vehicles as well as a lot of very whimsical contraptions you'd only find in Second Life.  See examples made from ordinary prims, sculpties, and Mesh.  I don't think I need to say more, the pictures speak volumes.  Pay this site a visit!  (And admire my lovely retro gown, from Cerri's Booty!)





FLASH! New Translator

Those of you who use language translators in Second Life have probably noticed that most of them are broken, both the kind that are add-on HUDs and the built in translation in the viewer.  The services that these devices rely on, Google Translate or Microsoft Bing, have changed the way they are accessed.  This is what has broken Second Life language translation.

My Q-Translate still works, intermittently.  But it's frustrating that sometimes it will translate a line of text, while other times it will just ignore it.

There is a new free translator that is set up to work with Google Translate.  You can find it on the Marketplace here:  https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Translator-All-google-languages/7076496?

However, the very smart Nalates Urriah thinks that it may not STAY working very long.  For more information on why she thinks that, see her blog post here: http://blog.nalates.net/2015/04/13/second-life-free-language-translator-2/

She also reports that the Alchemy viewer development team and other third party viewer developers are working on a fix to get a working translator back in the viewer.  I wish them speedy success...Second Life has residents from all over the world and it's a real handicap to not have any ability to translate languages.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

FLASH! Premium Memberships, Half Price!

Every now and then, Linden Lab runs a special on new Premium memberships.  Past sales have been for the quarterly plan, and you could get your first quarter's membership for $11.25 instead of the usual $22.50.

This month, LL is offering the MONTHLY Premium membership at half off.  You can sign up as a Premium member for just $4.98, instead of the usual $9.95.  The discount only applies to the first month, and you pay the regular rate after that.

This is a really great way to try out a Premium membership.  You get all the benefits, including a free Linden Home, a $L300 weekly stipend payment, access to better technical support and live chat support, and access to some Premium-only locations.  If you decide you like it and continue past the first month, you get a $L1000 bonus payment after 45 days.

And if you decide that you REALLY like being a Premium member, you can switch over to the annual plan.  That costs $72.00, and if you decide to downgrade back to Basic later, you don't get a refund of unused subscription time.  But if you figure it on a monthly basis, it's just $6.00 per month, the best deal going for Premium in Second Life.

Save SL Go!

Most of us get into Second Life using a computer, usually a pretty powerful one.  But there are ways to use a mobile device -- a tablet or a smartphone -- to get into SL.  There's a text-only app, Pocket Metaverse, for the iPhone.  For Android devices, there is Mobile Grid Client, another text-only app, and Lumiya, which gives you a rudimentary graphics interface.

Last year, OnLive provided "SL Go."  This subscription service uses OnLive's servers to provide the graphics muscle needed to run a fully-realized version of SL on machines that don't have the performance necessary to run a "regular" Second Life viewer.  An unlimited subscription costs $9.95 per month.  It works with iPads and with Android-based tablets and smartphones.

But Sony has acquired OnLive, and last week they announced that SL Go would be closing at the end of April.

If you would like to contribute your voice to try and reverse this decision, there is a petition you can sign.  Go to this link and let your voice be heard!  Frankly, there's not much chance of success, but it would be a shame for us to lose this way of letting people visit our virtual world.

If you haven't tried SL Go, you still have a few weeks.  It's free to use until the closing date of April 30.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Perils of Blogging

Despite four years of blog posts here, I still consider myself a newcomer to the Art of Blogging.  You may recall my puzzlement when I discovered that, at least for a while, a whole lot of hits from Ukraine were inflating my page view count (Thank you, whoever you are.)

Today I happened to be looking at my blog statistics again, and noticed that a lot of today's hits had come from one website.  The address given was a "proxy," one of those shortened URLs you can get by using Tiny URL or similar services.  When I tried browsing to the page, my browser flung up a warning that it could be a Bad Place To Visit.  I'll post the actual URL here for anyone who feels in a daring and adventurous mood, but I DO NOT RECOMMEND visiting it and I take no responsibility for any consequences if you do.  http://affiliates.bet-at-home.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_80727b_34009&aid=

Isn't the Internet a strange and wonderful place?  Who would have thought that some scamming, spamming gambling site would provide references to my little corner of it?  I don't think I'll ever understand how this stuff works.  I had problems enough this past week when I inadvertently lost all the data on my hard drive due to a BIOS reset...and then lost the backup data by unwisely formatting the drive that I stored the image on.  Thank goodness for unformat drive recovery utilities!  I now have about 99% of everything back in place.

Here's wishing all of you a safe day among the perils of computer technology.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FLASH! Fine Hover Adjustments Return!

I've noted several times here that the "hover height" adjustment feature that used to be available in Firestorm and some other third party viewers became unworkable when Linden Lab introduced the new Server Side Appearance baking.

LL gave us a clunky workaround with the Hover adjustment in the Body sliders of the Appearance menu, but this had serious drawbacks.  It didn't work with No Modify shapes, and the adjustment increments were very coarse.

But now LL has incorporated a fine hover height adjustment into the latest Release Candidate viewer!  For more on this, with pictures even, see the post over on Inara Pey's blog or the official Linden Lab announcement at https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Featured-News/Now-Available-Hover-Height-Improvements/ba-p/2916962