Thursday, January 31, 2008

Retromunity. Holding Everyone Hostage Part II

Right now Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid are in negotiations as to which amendments will be voted on by the full Senate. McConnell wants only the original three amendments that were to be tabled, which are all largely technical, not substantive, plus four others. One of the others is not Dodd-Feingold to strip the bill of Title II, which is the retromunity. Majority Leader Reid is being reported by TPM to have demanded a vote on D-F. This has been confirmed by a separate source. That is Reid has indeed said it would be "ludicrous" not to vote on it. Reid has publicly backed the amendment, and opposes retromunity.

On an up or down vote, retromunity is probably doomed. It noteworthy that it is a provision which is so important to Bush and McConnell that they are willing to bring the rest of the bill to the brink of allowing the PAA to sun set, it's supposed protections not being as important to national security as protecting illegal wiretapping and data transfers.

Once again... confirmed that Majority Leader Reid s demanding a vote on stripping the PAA extension of retromunity, and McConnell is balking, offering only marginal votes on other amendments. Reportedly bulk collection and reverse targeting are also not on the McConnell list of Amendments he wants to allow a vote on.

Arbor Project appoints new land manager.

Xerses Goff's project to buy up ad parcels and give them to real land holders has been so successful that he's gotten help with the land management. For those of you who don't know it, the arbor project maintains a ban list of ad farmers, buys parcels and then gives or sells at low cost, to adjoining land holders. It is a drop in the ocean of mainland, and the economics of mainland work against it.

But it is also supported by many land owners, and Xerses has been tireless in trying to promote a less cluttered mainland.

Needle. Vein. Plunger.

It's not an addiction... you can quit any time....

ANother writer loses patience with the RIAA

Wolfe proposes stripping recordings of almost all copyright. tongue in cheek I think, but still....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yes I did. No I'm Not Sorry. It's all Tiessa's Fault.

You can get yours here.

Blame her.

Where's V?

We'll be here for you when you get back V

"In the pink" going forward

Last night Lauren Weyland announced that the drafts are be compiled for the script of In the Pink and that the fact that this show is being done in world, though in association with V-Day brings a host of benefits. One is that there is now no limit on the number of shows, and that means that many more people will be able to experience it. They have a full cast, a production meeting schedule, and a PR crew that is going to be reaching out to in world media and bloggers to spread the world that In the Pink will be going on the boards.

But one thing they need is donations to show V-Day that this really is a worthwhile thing. Think about something: do you sell content to people with vaginas? Clothes, sex beds, other toys? Then you are in the virtual vagina industry. Why not just give one hour of what you make in the virtual vagina industry to this event?

Hey you, guys with female partners... how would you feel if she were mistreated? Why don't you do something about that. And what about you guys with female alts or avs... She's got a cute butt right? (I heard one male gamer say that if is going to spend 50 levels of WoW looking at a butt, it had better be cute) She's been working her virtual vagina off for you. Now think about all the times guys haven't exactly been respectful of your avie... realize it is like that out here in rl for all the time. Why not just give one stipend, that's 300L, in honor of your avies and their VVs.

I'm donating one hour of my cyber fees. Just give one hour to put your money where your vagina is people... And don't get me started on Linden Labs. They are in the virtual vagina industry. If they gave just 1L for each virtual vagina to log on in an hour, that would be what 20K? I really wish LL were hip enough to do that... maybe some of their developers are.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

PAA extension passes Senate

Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid agreed to a UC that would allow a 15 day extension of the PAA to be passed. It cleared the Senate. Identical language would need to pass the house. Bush vowed to veto the 30 day extension.

FISA the morning after

Harry Reid is calling for an extension to the Protect America Act, possibly until the inauguration of the next President. He says that the Senate would take up a House measure to extend the law if offered.

One tangible victory is that Reid is now pushing for debate on all 12 Democratic amendments to Rockefeller-Bond. This would effectively convert the bill into something more like the Senate Judiciary Committee Bill.

What is crucial to remember is that it takes a Unanimous Consent agreement in the Senate to offer amendments. There is no such agreement in place right now. This is a major difference between the House and Senate. In the House the "Rules Committee" determines the terms under which a bill is brought to the whole house, in the Senate, effectively, the whole senate is the rules committee, and any one Senator can object.

This is because any one Senator can stop a UC, that's why is called a UC. Senators Dodd and Feingold, who have more or less stated that they will fight this to the end, would also have to agree on any UC as to which amendments to bring up. Reid's statement means, in effect, that he knows that the only way to get Dodd and Feingold on is to have votes on all of the amendments to Rockefeller-Bond. Many of these might fail on a straight question of the majority, but that's for the roll call to determine.

Bush has vowed to veto any extension to the act of a short term nature. McConnell's office is reportedly willing to consider a two week extension, but only in the context of presenting a bill acceptable to Bush for signature. This might be his opening position, and I don't have any idea of what he would be willing to accept as a deal.

The other alternative is the finger pointing will continue, begun already by Bush in his State of the Union demand to pass his version of the legislation. And by that he means with retromunity, reverse targetting and data mining in tact.

Related: AT&T plans to open every packet on the internet.

Every one. Hope that thought keeps you warm the next time you are chatting with your mistress while your wife is away. AT&T doesn't have to obey the bill of rights, you see.

Maybe it is time to start working on an version of SL that works by smoke signals.

Click Me on Why CyberSex is good for you.

10 reasons

I read her column regularly, and it has a nice insider's touch, she clearly knows the game from Second Life to AOL.

But it is a comment from an earlier column, her best and worst of CyberSex 2007, that I have wanted to follow up on.

Most discouraging half an hour for the future of cybersex. If you’re looking for a quick online fuck—say to round-out a collection of cybersex transcripts you’re analyzing for linguistics, perhaps—the easiest places to get laid are the AOL chatrooms. Unfortunately, they’re also the most depressing. In a less than 30 minute session I was messaged by more than ten guys; they all used the exact same lines: “Age/sex/location?”; “What do you do for fun?”; “Do you want to suck my cock?” By the end, I had a list of ten stock responses to copy and paste. The most depressing part: no one seemed to notice.

There is a story coming... I promise.

Code Bastard has me on his her list (ooops giggle)

Yes that one.

This Morning's News Round Up

I know anyone can use google news and put a list of links, so if there is any value to add it is commentary. I'm not sure my thoughts are worth it... but I also haven't liked any of the new round ups I've seen here quite. So think of this more along the lines of my personal note pad.

IBM adds virtual sales staff for India in Second Life.

Major news, all media is driven by making sales, either in the media space, or in the physical space.

Related Car dealerships in Second Life.

CRY opens offices in world.

Joins a list of charitable organizations.

Chicago Tribune/LA Times finally covers Ginko and its 40% interest rate, and what happened next.

This is why unregistered banks could not have been banned fast enough. Illegal and bad publicity. Major typo, Ginko went down with $750,000, not $75,000.

The Knowledge blog on HR possibilities in VR.

Ohio University has oritentations for Second Life.

Victor Graf really hates second life. Really, really, really.

Second Life could be the worst thing to ever happen to the internet. Yeah, worse than MySpace, worse than that w32.stupidface worm and certainly worse than any game out there.

It's a game that's not a game. Which should be excellent: It gives users amazing freedom. But that's a bad thing. The internet is built on three things: freaky sex, greed and awful design. Second Life exhibits all of these in abundance.

At the very least, it should be technically sound. Wrong again. It's bad enough that the client runs at half a frame per second, but the server lags – or drops connections – enough to almost make uptime the exception rather than the rule.

How did things in Second Life suddenly change from being the revolution in virtual worlds to a chat room full of people dressed as fashion plates for the uncanny valley or amorous walking zebras? Turns out all the breathless NPR pieces and kiss-ass articles in tech magazines aren't going to polish this turd into the Metaverse from Snow Crash.

Sounds like someone hung out in an orgy room and could not get laid...
Related: Gamblers still say the downturn was the fault of the gambling ban. No actually, the downturn started two weeks before the gambling ban when several scam financial spools came unravelled. The gambling ban deepened it, obviously, but was then compounded by "the great land dump," which drove land prices from 10L/M to 6L/M in the space of about 2 weeks.

Where as shiny shiny is starting to see the strange attraction of second life style.

Come shopping with me!

Monday, January 28, 2008

identity is one

I learned in mathematics that an identity is one. I've read of long wars between "augmentationists" and "immersionists," with some people calling themselves "experimentalists." We are, all of us, all three. There is no one in a virtual world who does anything who is not augmenting their analog avatar and player. There is no one who is not also accepting a new negotiation between desire, possibility and society. And there is no one who is not experimenting.

Much of what we are making of identity is false, a fiction. Consider how, even a generation ago, making a new identity in the analog world was easy. And before that? People often accidentally had different names. Anaïs Nin created her identity, as did many others. Robert Capa, whose missing negatives were found and are now going to be unravelled was born Endre Friedmann.

This means that creating new identities really isn't new to VR. Instead it is the always needed chance to begin again, and rewrite the book of one's past, that is finding edxpression, as it closes up elsewhere. This is the frontier, where you are who you say you are.

That's why I think that saying that all the great questions of the 21st century involve identity (hat tip to soph of course. is a bit much, or too little. In the sense that the question "who am I?" is the one that we have struggled to answer as a species, since first we started to be able to set our hands and mouths to making things that lasted beyond our analog avatar's existence. On the other hand, our analog avatars have some big problems, and VR may be the solution to some of them, but some have to do with living in the late stone age more than identity.

There is no irony in my mind that the same technology that is trying to make it so that every analog avatar has one and only one identity before the law, and I think more importantly, the credit rating agencies, is giving us a chance to escape that. The two impulses: the need to be responsible for actions, and the need to wipe clean the past, can be seen in ancient laws squiggled in pictures from a dynasty whose name is half fiction. We didn't choose many things out about our analog avatar, and by the time we know that we would have chosen differently, it is too late.

So what we are seeing here, as with transhumanity is a reality of human existence, the need to recreate ones presence to society, along lines more of choice and desire. As frontier people, we think of trust as going forward, note back. People are to be trusted if they will be here next year, not because they were here last year.

So instead of thinking of this place as being a new freedom of identity, think of it as the act of recreation, common to theatre and the arts, but also religion. Popes take new names, so do singers, actors, even painters. We all call him Monet, but that is only because his last name is now his identity to us. We all call her Madonna. But that is because she told us too. Politicians remake their identities with every passing poll.

This means that augmentationist and immersionist are not really about what they are about, but instead that there are people who want to force analog identity into virtual worlds, and people who want nothing of the analog world to come here. And then there are ripped poles of artificial division between them. In reality, we can't get rid of our analog avatars. It doesn't work out so well. In reality, our analog avatars are constructions, wearing clothes and cluttered with pictures, awards, grades. Your analog avatar's identity is as much digital and virtual as your sl avatar's identity is. Without the bank accounts, passport, credit cards, driver's license, national health card, credit rating, bank account, legal records - your analog avatar's existence is very different.

I think every American has seen It's a Wonderful Life, in it a man is unburdened of his past, but not his ... identity. It is his identity, to and of himself, that drags him back to accepting the past that so threatened to overwhelm him. It is this identity that we must protect and grow and understand, however we may need to project it into the space that other see. Our inter-subjective identity, the one shared by others, must be fluid, because others are fluid, and because it is a poor projection to begin with, and our means to alter it are yet crude and barbaric.

That identity only works when it accepts and is encompassed by an avatar, analog or otherwise, and becomes that identity. It also only works when that embrace can be broken, and hte inner self shine through. Here I am Lillie, but I must also be able to step away, and be those other selves that I am, to different people in different places.

So must you.

So must we all.

Free to be an extension of that inner self, an apotheosis of that inner self, and an experiment in what other selves it might yet become.

Massive 3000L prize at Sweethearts

Charity and Dilbert are kicking off their return to SL clubbing with a bang.

3000L is major prize money, and yes, the music of the old phats is definitely in play.

The return has not run smooth, and they are only in a temporary location until the full build is back, but it is clear that the former first couple of sl formal has decided to make a comeback. Are there second acts in second life? We are about to find out.

Thirty Day Extension to PAA also fails.

48-45, ironically by the same margin that Rockefeller-Bond failed by, with 60 required to cut off debate and pass the 30 day extension.

(Rumor: Mitch McConnell's office is only open to an extension in the context of including retro-immunity.)

This means the PAA expires on the second of February unless there is a massive last minute bi-cameral deal, because remember the exact same language needs to pass both houses, and Bush, who has vowed to veto a short PAA extension, has to sign it.

So far, as far as the eye can see, there is no agreement any place on retromunity.

Cloture Fails on Rockefeller-Bond

Only three Democrats votes for: Pryor, Landrieu and Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Arlen Specter voted against on the Republican side, after having been leaning in favor last week.

This isn't the end, but it it is, perhaps, a beginning.

30 day extension is now up. This would give time to come to some kind of a deal For whatever that would be worth.

Cajun Chicken

Mary Landrieu (D-LA) first voted against cloture and then for it. Why did the chicken cross the aisle? To get to the telecom contributions.

An hour for V-Day: Escorts, help our sisters out.

Now that In the pink is going forward, I am going to do this, and make it a challenge to my fellow escorts: donate an hour's worth of escorting fees to the project for V-Day. Who ever you are in rl, it is our community that sees a great deal of the negative backlash against women from rl. Wife, mother, daughter, or not, why not give back to your vagina some of what it has helped you earn here.

Just one hour of your cyber fees. For me that is 3000L.

If you can't afford that, then the tips from your next escorting session, however long it is.

One hour for V-Day, because 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the violence goes on.

I'll post where to send donations tomorrow.


Arlen Spectre Rejects Cloture

The attempt to force the bill is disintegrating, as Senator Arlen Spectre (R-PA) just rejected cloture.

There is a glimmer of light.

Fireworks today over FISA

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to vote against Cloture today. Now too much should not be read into this, because Senator Clinton believes in a much more expansive security and police state than most people in the US do. But that's sort of the reality of politics: often leaders have to be persuaded to do the right things for the wrong reasons. We aren't going to like the final bill on FISA, but at least it might be a tolerable evil which can be dealt with, rather than an intolerable insult.

Americans don't want what we have in FISA, and we don't want more. The EFF is sponsoring Stop the Spying as a way of showing just how many ordinary people don't want to live in a police state.

The vote is at 2:30 SLT, or more exactly 4:30 PM Eastern time, in Washington DC. Since the State of the Union address is tonight, there is no reason for any member of the Senate to miss this vote. "No" votes on cloture are symbolic, it takes 60 affimrative votes to invoke cloture. But they are important symbols. This leaves Seantor Barak Obama as not having committed to be there for this crucial moment.

Senator John McCain has already indicated that retromunity, warrantless data-mining and reverse targeting are fine with him, and that ramming this bill through from a minority position is fine with him.

It is important to remember that the FISA act, passed in 1977, does not expire on February 1st, and under the law any current investigations that the Protect America Act granted the authority continue for another 6 months after February 1st. I'm not comofrtable with a rubber stamp secret court known as FISA. But almost anyone who plays in second life should be uncomfortable with the idea that the President's personal lawyer can simply call up and ask for your phone and internet records, read your email, wiretap your phone and look into any messages that you have sent by any means. All with no review.

That's what happened before, and the reason there is such pressure from President George Bush to force this through is to prevent anyone from ever being able to hold anyone accountable for this in any way.

According to a source in the Majority Leader's office, it is very likely that cloture will fail, and that there will be more debate on this bill. However, there is on consnsus on how to go forward on amending the Intelligence Committee's bill, or whether this version of the bill will be put to a vote at all. The Judiciary committee's bill is better. That means that even after the cloture vote, the real fight to prevent retromunity will continue, and may well reach a true showdown in that OK Corral arhetype, where only one side is left standing. President Bush has said he will veto extending the PAA for 30 days, he has said that he will veto the House bill already passed. This means that the PAA will, in the language of the law "sunset," because there is absolutely no time to create a bill agreed to by both House and Senate. Remember that both houses have to pass the exact same language. This means, in the usual course of things, that both chambers pass versions of bills, and then the negotiators between them create a final bill, which is then voted on with little debate.

Key to this is that right now it is not clear whether amendments will be subject to filibuster. It might take 50 votes to pass an amendment, it might take 60. Nobody knows, because there is no agreement. There is also another procedural hurdle. Normally it takes unanimous consent to offer amendments to a Senate bill on the floor. This is usually pro forma, but in theory any Senator can stop amendments from being offered, it's just not usually done unless a Senator is really upset and wants to either force a vote on a bad bill, or stop a filibuster by amendment. Right now Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, has said he will use this to stop any new amendments from being offered to the Rockefeller-Bond bill, which is the one that came out of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Kit Bond, Senator from Missouri, is the ranking Republican on that committee, as Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is the ranking Democrat from the majority.

Since there is no time to do this in this case, Bush is trying to force one version of the bill to be accepted by both houses. He's doing that with other things as well.

So what should people calling their representative ask for? According to the Booman Tribune the ACLU says that three things should be a priority, after stripping Title II's retromunity, but are not currently up for consideration:

1. Prohibiting "Bulk Collection"
Senator Feingold successfully offered this amendment in the Senate Judiciary Committee to prohibit "bulk collection" -- the collection of all international communications into and out of the U.S to a whole continent or even the entire world. Such collection without a foreign intelligence purpose would be constitutionally suspect and would go well beyond what the government has says it needs to protect the American people. Yet, the Director of National Intelligence testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the Protect America Act – which was enacted last year -- permits "bulk collection." The amendment makes clear that bulk collection is not authorized by requiring the government to certify that it is collecting the communications of foreign targets from whom it expects to obtain foreign intelligence information.

2. Use Limits Amendment

This amendment, which was part of the Senate Judiciary Committee version of the FISA bill, gives the FISA Court discretion to impose restrictions on the use of information about Americans that is acquired through procedures later determined to be illegal by the FISA court. This enforcement mechanism is needed because the government can implement its procedures before it has to submit them to the FISA Court for review to determine whether they are reasonably designed to target people overseas rather in the United States.

3. Prohibiting "Reverse Targeting"

Senator Feingold successfully offered this amendment in the Judiciary Committee to add a meaningful prohibition on “reverse targeting,” a practice by which the government gets around FISA’s court order requirement by wiretapping an individual overseas when it is really interested in a person in the U.S. with whom that supposed foreign target is communicating. The Director of National Intelligence has agreed that “reverse targeting” is unconstitutional. Senator Feingold’s amendment requires the government to obtain a court order whenever a significant purpose of the surveillance is to acquire the communications of an American.

In simple terms, PAA should not be used to go over (mass targeting), around (no reverse targeting), or through (no getting evidence security and backing that in illegally to criminal cases) minimal constitutional protections, and they are minimal, given by the original 1977 FISA act, and here's a phrase I'm giggling as I can finally drop it, because the gov-jocks I know use it all the time, "as amended."

Personally, I think the law should be allowed to lapse, and sink into the sands of infamy along with other stupid moves by hysterical politicians. If there are specific loopholes in FISA that need fixing, then let us have a minimal bill that fixes them, rather than "grinchmas tree" where all sorts of evil is loaded on to a bad idea.

Open Source of every river

Sing and we are the celestial choir,
No voice alone promises pure perfection,
And the shape of each and every one, becomes
That sacred noise of all creation.

Dance and we are the cosmic ballet,
No body alone contains the true proportion.
And all the eurhythmic intertwine
Music and the dance, can only be if all are.

Think and we are the theory of everything,
Symbols stretched on a page that extends in all directions,
into future and to the past, and beyond
in that direction which has no clock,
because time does not measure it.

Live as if everything is living in you,
Sing as if everyone is singing with you,
Dance your part knowing that even should
Your feet not turn out just so,
It makes a curve that only the universal mind can know.

The river's open their sources,
and from the generocity of every rain drop,
fertility courses,
even China's sorrow can only chain
because of the gifts of distant rain.

Castles in the Air

Mono and Havok4 are going to be big changes to the Grid and our interaction with second life. The improvement in speed that mono will bring will make scripting squeeze less of a problem, and Havok4 is both better and more stable. H4 also allows hollow huge prims, which are a major improvement.

The problem we face is that the asset server and other grid central pieces are not large enough and stable enough, and many of us, me included, are hoping that IBM's adoption of second life will create the possibility of a true het-grid, with more decentralized severs talking to an eventual root server which will sort out many of our issues.

Our big challenges are holding on until a more scaleable and reliable grid arrives making second life safe for the masses. However, the masses, when they get here, will need better staring content. There's no reason not to have better starting shapes, skins and clothes. None. There's no reason to hook better content into being powned by some community, none.

Right now we have been building castles in the air. Sex is a big part of what we do, and building is a big part of what we do. These are two things that are hard to do in rl. I wouldn't have an art palace and sculpture garden in real life, and I won't mention about the other things.

The other thing that really needs to change is that second life is "communication poor." It is hard to control second life from the outside, and it is even harder to control the outside from second life. The whole point of having a 6D space is to make it possible to easily solve problems that are hard to solve in two d text with links. We aren't anywhere close to that. Collaboration is hard.

Some of our social problems come from people profiting from doing nothing, or wanting to. "Second Life banks" are a good example. It's hard to combat this, because as far as I can see, a large fraction of the people whoa re very well off in first life, don't do much either, other than get an early mover advantage and fight to protect it.

Virtual worlds are different, but really, people are the same. We want desires of an erotic nature that are frowned upon by our neighbors, and we want something for not much of anything. Cliques form pushing each other's work, and subcultures crowd around some media property or other.

One ofmy big frustrations is how hard it is to write server things in sl that control, and get information in from the outside, precisely because only when the inside is as richly informed as the outside, can we really put this environment to work. I know the 25 group limit is a big nose, but really, I would love to have the ability to read a full size web page, an outside contents in SL. The limit I hate the most is the 2048 character limit on HTML calls. It makes it impossible to read the large databases from the outside. More over the bugginess of our talking in and out means that even data bases that are friendly to small answers to simple questions, often don't work. More than one project has died over makes.

And that's where "the fight for first mover" comes in. If second life were more genuinely open source, then many of these problems could get people to solve them. Companies could start, not to deal with the bugs of sl, but to provide the capabilities we need in sl: web on a prim, web to meta communication, a wider variety o asset server with better permissions. For example the simple ability to set what the next person can grant as permissions would be a major improvement. Embedded permissions would be even bigger, that way a texture person could sell a texture that could not be given away as a texture.

In the year I have been here I've seen only one thing that has really changed my life introduced. Sculpties, and specifically sculptie shoes.

Havok 4 will be the next life changer, and I look forward to it. But the speed of innovation in the platform is right now limited ot LL, and one big problem LL has is that many of us who are here don't want to work for them.

people want OpenSim so that we can run our own severs, even if just to develop without the idiosyncracies of grid availability, and we want a genuinely open source client development. We need open logins and we need full communication with the web.

Those are things that are going to take more programming ability than LL has available to it, and the day has to come when this world gets opened, at least enough, to allow that innovation.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wall Street Journal: Second Life Economy Even More badly Run than the real one


Most annoying relatively new bug

For about a month now the feet attachment for boots - only feet, only sculptie boots - have not been copying when I make an outfit. I can manually copy them in, but not make outfit copy.

Is anyone else seeing this?

I'm flattered

They want me to do an instructional video.

Can't do it on You Tube, but there are other outlets.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Casius has the Rants

And now he's sharing them!

"In the Pink" announced

January 25 2008


The much talked about in-world production of Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" has been suspended, for now.

Late last week, the V-Day organization reluctantly rescinded its permission to mount two live performances of the controversial piece
in-world, due to concerns over possible breaches of broadcast rights.

SL's production of the "Vagina Monologues", the first of its kind for V-Day, was to have raised funds for its campaign to end violence
against women. To date, some 90,000 Linden haD been donated to the cause. Those funds were returned as of yesterday and a new donation drive will start shortly.

Despite the setback, SL Producers and cast members have rallied, TUESDAY AT 6PMSL. AT THE VLS sim theater, IN THE PINK will release to the press and public a momentus decision for women and SecondLife to go forward in a first in SecondLife. We hope you can attend.

Retromunity. Holding Everyone Hostage.

Two rl issues that touch Second Life Residents very directly are Retro-active Immunity and Net Neutrality. Both of these issues are going to be debated, and perhaps decided by a lame duck President whose approval ratings are below the IRS, and a Congress that is only slightly more popular. One is in the balance on Monday night.

As things stand right now there have been a complicated set of procedural battles. The Republican Party is going to vote, and has voted, grant retromuity. There is no consensus among the Democratic Party members as to whether to give retroactive immunity, and this has set up a complicated series of procedural battles over amendments to an extension o the domestic spying bill known as the "Protect America Act."

Retro-active immunity is being pushed because over the last seven years, repeatedly, illegal requests for wire tapping and broad hand overs of information have happened from telecom companies to the United States Government. This is your data, that the telecoms just happen to be in possession of. We are not free to unplug ourselves from the telecommunications grid, it isn't really an option to live with out telephone, internet and other forms of electronic communications.

This is a civil liberties issue, and, as i am sadly used to, one party isn't even interested at all, and the other party is a group of scattered sheep. Retromunity is a blanket grant to break the law, and it is being pursued specifically to protect people in power. It involves the use of blanket data mining, without any actual suspects, in the hope that someone might be found. It involves wiretaps without warrant and without accountability.

The bills before the Senate also project this going forward, they create a loophole that would allow this kind of unauthorized, unaccountable, unchallengeable wiretapping and data-mining in the future, by passing even the very minimal protections that we have.

There are two key votes coming up in the Senate, the most important one is a cloture vote. The reasons for this vote are a bit involved, but they work, in essence this way. There are two competing versions of the bill. One is the Judiciary Committee's version of the bill, the other is the Senate Intelligence Committee's version. The "default" version of the bill is the better version: the SJC version. However right now the Intelligence Committee's version has been tabled. The Republican Party's Minority Leader in the Senate, backed by almost all of his caucus, is filibustering all amendments to this bill, refusing to allow any up or down votes on any amendments to it. The vote on Monday is a vote for cloture, or a vote to limit debate, so that amendments cannot be offered, and, perhaps, the entire SJC version of the bill rejected. One of the amendments offered is for a 30 day extension to the law, to provide time to create a workable bill, since even if a bill clears the Senate, it must then pass the house and the Senate in a form that the two houses negotiate. So even if something were approved right now, it would not be ready to sign by February 1st, when the current, in my opinion bad, law expires.

Because of the divided nature of the Democratic caucus, majority leader Harry Reid has engineered these showdowns, because were he to block or promote one bill over any of the others, which he technically has the power to do, it would create a permanent rift in the Senate. His decision, for which he has received a great deal of criticism, is to let the process play out, and make people actually vote and debate. It hasn't been the most popular decision, and some people feared that it was a back door sell out. Instead, it is giving a committed minority defending civil rights a chance, not a good chance, but a chance, to strip the bill of its worst provisions.

So to make sure this is clear, because I've had it explained to me three times before I was clear. The Republican caucus is trying to run out the clock, and leave the Senate with two choices: do nothing and let the law expire, which would create a legal void on a series of law enforcement and anti-terrorism activities, and expose Americans to the perceived risk of terrorism, or adopt a bad bill in it entirety to make the deadline. They are willing to hold your safety hostage, and the extortion they demand is access, forever, to your private telecommunications data, whether you are in the US, overseas, in your home, or in the middle of the wilderness.

Or on the grid.

The vote to continue debate then, is a vote to actually work through a bill. It is not the end of the odious retromunity provision, or an end to the equally odious loophole provisions. But it is a chance for their end.

Right now only 38 Senators have said they will vote against cloture, and for open debate on other amendments. Several Senators have indicated that they might be persuadable on this issue. Even Jay Rockefeller, who architected the SJC bill has indicated he may want amendments to be offered. If you are an American Citizen, or a permanent resident on the road to citizen ship, especially if a constituent of the following list of senators, then it is very much in your best interest to call, and tell them that your data is your data, and you do not want Congress passing laws which tolerate, condone or erase law breaking.

Only one of these Senators is a Republican, the others are Democrats. However all of them need votes, from both parties, to win re-election. this is particularly true of people like Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Johnson of South Dakota. This is not a party issue, though one party has a partisan interest in it. I posted the Detroit mayor news item specifically to remind people that infidelity is exactly one o those things that people can be blackmailed with, so long as the cold evidence is uncovered. How would you like nameless and faceless people, who want to bring you down, mining chat logs? Your inventory? Your friends list? Your voice chats? Your skype conversations? Voice conversations that you just happened to be in range of? The places you've visited?

Bayh (D-IN) (202) 224-5623
Carper (D-DE) (202) 224-2441
Inouye (D-HI) (202) 224-3934
Johnson (D-SD) (202) 224-5842
Landrieu (D-LA) (202)224-5824
McCaskill (D-MO) (202) 224-6154
Mikulski (D-MD) (202) 224-4654
Nelson (D-FL) (202) 224-5274
Nelson (D-NE) (202) 224-6551
Pryor (D-AR) (202) 224-2353
Salazar (D-CO) (202) 224-5852
Specter (R-PA)(202) 224-4254

Call your Senator and tell him or her to vote against cloture and allow debate on amendments to FISA.

It is not a victory, but it is a fighting chance to tell the government that our data is our data. The current bill would turn the whole telecommunications grid into one vast spyware application, usable at the whim of the oval office, or anyone else in government who can make a verbal and untraceable request.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Detroit Mayor, Chief of Staff had sex. So what?

Investigation leads to exposure of affair.

Brown and Nelthrope alleged that Kilpatrick had retaliated against them for their roles in an internal investigation involving possible misconduct in Kilpatrick's security unit, court documents show.

Brown said Kilpatrick had fired him for investigating claims involving the mayor, his family and his friends, and Nelthrope said he had been transferred out of the mayor's security unit because he initially raised the misconduct allegations, the court documents said.

Kilpatrick and Beatty have said that Brown was not fired but was "unappointed." However, in one of the text messages published Thursday in the Detroit Free Press, Beatty referenced "the decision we made to fire Gary Brown."

Brown had directed the early internal investigation into the allegations regarding the mayor's security unit, after Nelthrope had contacted the police department's professional accountability bureau with his concerns, court documents said.

An investigation of some of Nelthrope's allegations against the mayor's security unit could have exposed Kilpatrick's affair with Beatty, court documents said. Some of claims centered on the alleged misconduct of two bodyguards; stating that they drank on the job, falsified time sheets and facilitated the mayor's infidelity, court documents said.

Asked for comment regarding the allegations of perjury, the mayor's spokesman, James Canning, referred to Kilpatrick's statement issued Wednesday and said, "That is the statement at the time, and there is no further comment."

Michael L. Stefani, the lawyer who represented Brown and Nelthrope in the whistle-blower case, said Thursday he and his clients are "pleased" that "proof has come in."

"We have been contending since this case started ... that the mayor and Christine Beatty have been lying," he said. "But we didn't have proof in black and white."

However, Stefani said he was able to show video clips during the trial to show the jury that the mayor was contradicting himself.

Stefani added, "We didn't bring this about ... it was the mayor and Ms. Beatty's doing.

"We're just glad that the truth is now out."

Stefani said both Brown and Nelthrope are still looking for employment. They're "both trying to repair their lives and their reputations," he said.

Hmmmm. Was this really necessary?

Heron Sanctuary

If anyone asks you why SL, show them this.

The money is real

One of the things that I have seen over and over again in sl is the idea that people should not be paid here what "real" people are aid. for soemthings I can see this. For example sex. This si because sl ssex isn't the same as the real thing. But then graphic design and programming here are. It's not any different than writing a web server as far as I can see.

This is a good example of what I am talking about.

If the people who are doing it expect real world money, or are getting paid rl paychecks when they pay you for it, then they should be paying rl rates.

Havok 4 Update

Most recent bounce seems to have fixed the huge prims lag.

What part of racism deserves respect?

Mia Freeman asks why Spencer Tunick doesn't get respect.
Ummm do we need to do the math here.

Look through the 9 photographs selected (eight plus one linked to). Other than one which is a pairing, count the number of people who are not white in his pictures. Now realize the diversity of the human family. Tunick has less diversity than Bosch did painting in post-medieval Europe.

That says something, or should say something. The defense of location doesn't work. Wavy line is in a very cosmopolitan and broadly diverse city. It's participants are not. Tunick isn't a racist... he just only takes pictures of white people if he can help it.

The roots of racism spread in many directions, but one is unthinking presentation of a certain view of the human family. When one sees picture after picture of ethnic homogeneity, one has to ask what is going on here.

OK Mia... why didn't you ask that question upfront?

What's Up With That?

You have to read this one to believe it.

First someone cheats an actor by saying that a project is tutorial and not commercial, then demands that the blog post about it be pulled.

Are people trying to get the IRS to come into SL? Don't people realize that one law suit for back wages is all that it will take?

Charity and Dilbert back with a vengeance

It's clear the anger between Charity and Dilbert, founders of Phat Cats, and the new owner is unabated. How do I know? Because they are returning with a new club and just sent out this notice:

name Change
Thu Jan 24 09:46:49 2008

Ok Jazzy Cats we decided not to associate our selves with Phat cats any more since the name has been ruined and has become a not so good name. So Charity and i decided to change the name and group name . To Sweethearts Jazz you will be sent and Invitation and ejected from the old group we had previously set up. Thanks for your patience guy we love you all. Please wait until your recieve the new group before deleting the old so that we dont miss your name. Thank you.
Charity and Dilbert :)

The new phats is different from the old one and has a different goal behind it. Frankie's is more like the old phat cats was, and has vaulted to the top of large jazz clubs in sl.

As the founders of what was a second life institution, one that is missed by many, Dilbert and Charity have to be taken seriously in their new venture which has a temporary location: here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Good by Valentino

Vinale of beloved designer's show.

Havok 4 Beta test notes

1. Huge prims hollow exclusion zone is fixed, in how really seems to work for simple objects. I am going to test on spirals. This means you can build a super spiral which is hollow and walkable. We could build 1km towers that are walkable with only a few prims. as far as I can tell these objects generate some physics lag, about .1ms of frame time each.

2. Animation is smoother, but there is more physics lag, running around .2ms higher.

3. Bug 1: the calculations on what can be linked have changed, it delinked a sculpture I had.

4. Bug 2: It used to be that several child objects could have llTargetOmega in them and would rotate around their local centers. This is broken presently in Havok 4.

5. We've already had one simulator crash under H4


From a commenter:


It looks like the fight is tonight, and it looks like it will be Dodd and Feingold leading it.

Hillary? Barak? John McCain? You are sitting senators... where are you on this?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why the FISA fight matters to you.

Over on Glenn Greenwald has a piece on why the FISA fight matters, and what will happen if someone does to stand up and take leadership. I am not big on leadership, in the sense that I don't place my faith in leaders standing up first. This is because anyone who is important enough to stand up, probably got there by being a fast follower of public opinion, rather than an actually a leader. Jane Hamsher is asking John Edwards to lead on this one. but it is an issue that goes well beyond left and right, or rather, in a different direction than left and right.

However, I do believe that there can be a time when a combination of public activity, and leadership can come together to produce a barrier to the encroaching waves of the surveillance state, and the kind of knee jerk expansion of expediency over justice that is all too common in government. This is something many people care about. Once people have power, they then tend to make their lives more comfortable with it. But in the case of government, that power wasn't granted for their comfort or ability to act without thinking, but out of some public necessity. I don't see why there is any necessity that the United States government can peer into everything and everyone says or does.

Some fights in rl politics are left versus right. Others are cities against rural areas. This is a people versus sheeple fight. Sheeple want to have lots of time to watch American Idol or whatever it is they do with their sheepy time. That means they don't want to think about how the world works, they just want it to go away, with them waking up every so often to complain about how things aren't going very well, or smile about how things are going very well. They trust the people running the government, which is different from the government if those people say that they have to lock people away and torture them. The sheeple have a kind of conspiracy theory view of the world, and believe that they are surrounded by evil spirits that will take them away if every whisper is not recorded and vetted.

I think why this fight is important to Second Life players is simple. Many people justify domestic spying on Americans with the attack "if you have not done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear." This, is obvious nonsense. There are are many things that are wrong that aren't illegal. The government's job is not to keep track of everything that is done that someone somewhere doesn't like, but to do something about problems that can only be dealt with by the special powers that governments have. Whether you believe in expansive or minimal government, or some combination of the two, what you should not believe is that companies should be used as proxies to spy.

The reality of the FISA fight is that it centers on telephone companies handing over data illegally, in the face of warantless requests, and now wanting legal absolution after the fact. It isn't even a question of whose data is it, it is a question of what people who are in possession of data who don't own it can do with it. In this case phone companies in possession of your data gave it to someone because it is convenient for them. It would be like the person who walks your dog renting it out to make a farm porn video one Sunday morning.

Now people here do many of the kinds of things which, while not illegal, are potentially embarrassing, and which other people might think wrong. LL and others here have possession of that data, but they do not own it.

Do you want them turning it over without a proper request, and then getting immunity for it later?

What about your phone company?

While the people trying to ram this through will talk about the dangers, the fact is that a bill protecting us, assuming the rest of the bill does that,could be passed. It is specifically about the issue of letting the guilty go free that is the fight.

Is this important to you? If you play on SL, then yes, it is.

Rheta: Is LL a Government?

Rheta looks over the banking ban.

One discussion over whether SL is a government. Yes, it is. It has its own currency, its own laws, and claims a monopoly on violence within its own control. Analogies to consumer products companies don't apply, because I don't sign a contract with Colgate saying they can pull my teeth out "for any reason, or no reason at all."

Heath Ledger Dead

More bad news to come home to.

Our Day in SL

Because of legal problems with HBO, VDay in SL is going to have to put on an original show. It will be structured the way the original show would have been, but will feature material by sl women about coming to awareness and embracing our sexuality. Here are the writer's guidelines.

Our Purpose:
• To celebrate the strength of our feminine sexuality
• To empower women by speaking out and sharing thoughts and experiences that transcend generations and borders
• To strengthen respect and understanding for all women
• To call attention to the issue of violence against women, and support organizations that help women who are survivors of violence and abuse

The various pieces in the play should use a combination of humor and drama to reflect experiences from different generations, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations. We want laughter, tears, pathos, drama, humor, heart, anger, wonder, awe, and joy.

Everyone is encouraged to submit work, but we may edit, condense or choose not to use every piece submitted.
Pieces should be between 2-5 minutes in length.

The structure of the play:

Introduction – choral piece that declares our strength as women, a strength that comes through the unique and wondrous qualities that constitute womanhood and female sexuality.

Part One – Becoming a Woman
The pieces in this section will be memoirs of girlhood – how we learned about our bodies and how they work, how they are different from men, our first period, our first encounters with masturbation, the ‘sex talk’ from our parent(s) – anything that has to do with our budding awareness of ourselves as women. Age range for memoirs could go all the way through high school.

Part Two – I Feel Pretty
Perceptions and misconceptions about female identity. What do you want others to know about what it means to be a woman? What have you learned about your own femininity/sexuality from your experiences in SL? And what of the issue of men who live their Second Lives as women.
How are women our own worst enemies when it comes to self-image and self-concept?
What experience in your life revealed a lesson about your perception of self as a woman, and how others treat you because you are a woman?

Part Three – Let’s Talk About Sex
Your first time, your worst time, your best time, your deepest shame or greatest triumph. From fooling around to fucking – what has sex meant to your life? How has it changed as your life has changed? We are looking for deeper meaning here, so go beyond the obvious. I’d love to see a monologue about parts – mention the vagina, but not just the vagina…what monologue would your breasts deliver? (Persephone has a beautiful poem about the C word)

Closure – The V-Day Spotlight Monologue and call to action

**Submit all entries on a notecard with your name clearly stated to Calliope Delgado by Sunday, January 27 at noon SL time**

The Play's the thing.

Diary of a Second Life Courtesan

She posts an article by an rl friend:

So here I am, chatting up this lovely young avatar in Second Life, telling her how I’m going to eventually buy some land and start building a place of my own when she asks me, “So what will you be role-playing?” I had to take a long pause. I’d never heard that question asked in SL.

Granted, I’ve only been playing a scant few months, but still, it’s not even a question I’d asked myself. Why? Because to me SL *is* role-playing. I mean, here we are, taking new names, creating new bodies for our avatars, and putting on clothing (or in some cases taking it off) that we’d never be able to wear in Real Life (RL from here on out).

We’re creating characters that are sometimes extensions of how we see ourselves in our minds' eye, and sometimes characters that are so far away from who we are as to be completely unrecognizable by even the creators of that character. Then we create personal spaces, homes that are castles or pagodas, or high rise apartment buildings, sometimes even floating in the sky. And let’s not forget the virtual sex. It turns phone sex into a cheap date. Now if that isn’t role-playing, I’m not sure I know what is. To me, all of SL is role-playing no matter what you personally do with it.

Well then so is rl.

But let’s not forget the folks who just go for a relatively normal appearance. Ok, so there’s nothing “normal” about everyone looking like they just stepped out of Cosmo or Today’s Man, but that’s not the point. No one in SL, at least no one I’ve yet encountered, ever builds an avatar that looks enough like themselves in RL that you could put their RL picture up next to their SL picture and not be able to tell them apart. They want an idealized version of themselves. So even if they don’t go Goth or Neko or LGM from outer space they’re still a fantasy character.

Well it isn't exactly possible, but yes there are avs that are very closer ot their rl physical bodies in the way that this place permits.

You can do a lot with SL as long as you remember it’s only a role-playing fantasy and RL is still out there waiting for you to get up on Monday morning and go to work so you can continue to pay for your SL account and Internet access. Just a final word of caution; be careful about letting your SL spill over into your RL. That man you’re kissing may just turn out to be a woman.

Hmmm. Well first, some of us do pay for more an d more of our rela lives through this place. The "it is only a game" is less and less true every day. And many of us at least pay for our play here.

I find it interesting that it is the fear of the hetero-gendered that he leaves with. If it were me I'd warn you the other way, that it is the real romance or semi-real one that is more dangerous. A man murdered another man over a woman he met on the internet not to long ago. She was an rl woman, just that both the man and his e-lover were about 30 years older than they had admitted to each other. A coworker found out, and violence ensued.

If you meet someone in sl and they don't want an rl relationship, they will tend to say so at a certain point, just as the people who want an rl relationship are generally fairly obvious about this. There are many partings of the ways in sl when this conversation occurs in a relationship. Some people don't take it well when they find out that the person they have desired does not desire an rl relationship with them. Often it isn't about gender, but about marital status. The odds are a great deal better that your paramour is rl married than single.

My final reaction is that while having fun in sl is indeed what many people are here, largely they ar the tourists, and as tourists, they don't see what makes the local economy tick. And "the good time will be had by all" isn't really descriptive of the drama I've seen and the pressure to produce and perform here.

In old Japan, love was an art, and the art of love was the play of eyes and words between men and women. The men, rough hewn by the needs of government, and sometime of war, the women polished like a grain of rice to a high polish. Each seeking some other thing in the other.

In Second Life we have one of the largest communities devoted to the arts of love of any city in imagination or history. While it is said that sex is not the activity of everyone in sl, and this is most definitely true, it is far larger than it is in almost any other VR. And that it is not everything is everything to it. Unlike a mere pick up destination, it is the doing that makes sl more erotically charged. To be with someone in a home she has made, or a place he has built, is a far greater passion than Age. Sex. Location.

I focus a great deal on the hardware of sex, xcite, sex beds, suits, skins, and so on. But this is because these things are aids to an imagination that is imprisoned in so many ways by the possibilities of real life and its social norms.

One of the harder parts of writing about this is dodging the kinds of specifics that would reveal my clients and their tastes. I've had many who have very specific desires, and have real lives that would be disrupted by the specifics of their desires. Some have been closer to bliss with me than others.

But all have sought release, and by finding it, reaching a new level within themselves. Some have needed to know they were abusing my emotions, others a play of abusing my virtual body. Some have worshiped my words and thoughts, others have called me names that would be degrading to a specimen of order rodentia.

These are needs, and I respect them, even if the needs are in some way untouchable. I have had clients who needed incest play to spark their libido. I've known many people irl who have had sexual feelings for relatives. It is always a source of shame, and it is probably better for the human race that we feel that way. Many people who do incest fantasies here are, of course, covering over for much worse.

This respect for desire includes the heavily transgressive. We need to have a place where this can erupt, if for no other reason than it can be corrected and limited. It might seem odd to people that I am a feminist who engages in regressive acts such as dolcett. It is not that I find sexual satisfaction in them but instead I feel the crying need within people, and one that will not be put to sleep until it has tasted an image.

Does this mean I approve? It would be like asking whether I approve of placental reproduction in mammals. It is made by forces far beyond what I can control,

However, once beyond the realm of fantasy, we face a completely different truth. That truth is that while violence and the purges of the needs are part of the life of the mind, they do not need to be put into action. One reason I've tried to help people here, is that the roots of real violence grow less out of fantasy violence, than a lack of self identity. When people don't understand how they fit together, then they open the road to be abused by someone else who will try and convince them that because they need one thing, love, affection, children, that they must give up that self identity.

SL is not roleplay in a deepest sense, it is simply life. We may adopt roles and play them, as play is a preparation for some other activity, or we may play them, as parts in the theatre. But which every it is, it is wise to remember that whiel sex may be fake, the walls pahntom, and the parts scripted, both the money and the feelings are real. And perhaps deadly real.

So the sociology 101 that I would start with is that digital avatars are like analog avatars, we can only make limited assumptions about what goes on in the mind that animates them, and the clues are very difficult to follow clearly. However, like analog avatars, every digital avatar is a negotiation between desire, possibility and socialization. It is merely that the negotiation is very different, because the possibility and social aspects are very different.

And how the one carries over to the other is not quite so clear as either a direct move from SL to RL, or a "it is all role-play."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SINister: Hard Roleplay from a new BDSM club


For those of you who want to see full out striptease BDSM play, not the hard stuff but the titillation of wenches teasing with their threats of being probed and eagerness to disrobe, then this is your club. High speed back and forth from dancers, really and truly a pace of play that makes other clubs seem almost asleep. Quick send a sonambulance. Volley after volley of naughtiness and comeback. No camping visibile, a cluster of already devoted people who are going for a particular effect, one which the dialog fires back and forth like an old movie. Only they didn't have that many old movies like this.

Run by well known BDSM mistress Misty Skjellerup, who has clearly but a strong stamp on it, this is not the family atmosphere of House of V, nor the claws and catty confidence of Twisted Orchid, but a lively mix of people having fun being good at playing bad.

The build is a clean rendition of a standard format, which will be familiar to people when they drop in, and is centered around a stag/pole pit where the aciton is taking place. The owner is often there participating in the back and forth.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hugs and Kisses to Sine Wave Island

Bought 4 dances. Two did not show up. Next day, everything fixed.

Now I'm all smiles.

Is HBO stopping Vagina Monologues in SL?

ToryLynn was contacted by the contact at on 1/18 and informed that HBO holds all cross country broadcast rights for the Vagina Monlogues, while holds only production rights for live theatre performance. Our production was granted rights through, but our contact says that HBO considers our production a broadcast.

We have suspended production of SL Vagina Monologues at the request of, but have a week until they actually revoke our production rights completely and pull our registration off the website. We have stopped taking donations, but will not be refunding donations for at least a week (Ada and ToryLynn must handle this).

Please stop all publicity and fundraising efforts. All rehearsals and technical production meetings are cancelled.

We are NOT shut down, denied, revoked...we are only currently SUSPENDED until the producers can get more clear info from the out-world organizations and work with them to convince them to allow us to continue our production.

The SL VDay producers (ToryLynn Writer, Ada Radius, Lauren Weyland, Calliope Delgado) are currently working on the following:
-- Contacting Shael, our contact at, to clarify details re: live production versus broadcast, and the unique situation that SL presents
-- Contacting HBO to clarify details re: live production versus broadcast, and the unique situation that SL presents
-- Contacting Dramatists Play Service re: live production versus broadcast, and the unique situation that SL presents
-- Develop a clear plan of action in terms of contacting in-world and out-world media if the above organizations will not cooperate with us

Options discussed at the meeting, but NOT to be carried into action until the producers have made the contacts previously listed :
-- Approaching HBO to develop a possible partnership for an SL production of The Vagina Monologues, and possibly aiming for a 2009 production
-- VDay will allow us to use the Spotlight Monologue, so we could create our own original production, use the Spotlight Monologue, and donate the funds to as originally planned

What we should NOT do right now:
-- consider litigation or drag this into a legal battle
-- be aggressive or confrontational...we need to build relationships, not burn bridges because this issue goes FAR beyond the scope of just our production -- it ultimately affects live theatrical production in SL and gaining rights to materials, definition of broadcast, etc.
-- allow VDay group members to contact media or others on behalf of the production

ALL OFFICIAL CONTACTS, PRESS RELEASES, INFORMATION RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, MUST BE CLEARED THROUGH THE PRODUCERS AT THIS TIME -- if you have contacts, please introduce them to ToryLynn, Ada, Lauren, or Calliope or let one of the four of us know how to contact them.

We are not finished...we are not giving up...but we (the producers) must take specific steps if we want to continue with THIS project that so many have contributed time and talent to. Please trust us and let us take these first steps.

Please pass any information or ideas for action on NOTECARDS to the producers as IMs can get lost in the shuffle.

SL VDay will meet again on Tuesday, 1/22 at the VLS Theater to discuss the status of the production and next steps to take.

--Calliope Delgado

Havok4 beta test delayed.

Yedo Basilica is on the H4 beta test list, and was briefly on H4 before it was rolled back.

Alludes to the issue, which is rumored to be a sim crashing exploit.

Reports of odd H4 behavior include physical prims which straddle two simulators, even if both are H4. In addition to the LL reported problems with vehicles, there have been reports of wearing physical prims being enough to drop a person through the ground if the cross from an H4 to an H1 region.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Escort Island knocked out of Search.

Let's all hate the Lindens
Fri Jan 18 07:08:03 2008

Ever since yesterday's rolling restart Escort Island has vanished from the new search engine. This affects traffic badly. It is not just EI, a whole lot of mainland regions are affected. I'm sorry! A lot of us have been nagging the lindens, but if any of you feel like sending a support ticket or a bug report or using the e-mail option on the first page of the new search engine, then please do! We need to be a very squeaky wheel! And I promise,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

SL Killer Pricing Structure for Broadband announced

By way of Salon. Time Warner is going to try tiered pricing on net usage.

The cable companies have met the enemy, and she's wearing shiny things...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Interview on the state of Interactive Security

Hat tip to Slashdot. While focused on WoW I am sure SL has the same kind of vulnerabilities to be exploited. Only with real money from the beginning.

From a security perspective the main thing to learn is an important lesson about trust boundaries, state, and time. The larger these systems get the more the trust boundaries become complicated -- which machines, client software, components, etc. are to be trusted and which are not?

At this point in online game security history there are more things not to copy than to copy. For example, the idea of building a monitor for a game client that itself runs on the client PC is very silly and should not be copied. Or, when setting up a cryptographic pipe, giving a copy of the symmetric key to your potential attacker is dumb. Online games currently do both of those things.

There are plenty of technology lessons that can be learned from online games, such as how to load balance in a massive client-server system, but not really any great security lessons.

The best quote is at the end.

Can the US Government Force you to Reveal a Password?

Case centers around encrypted files.

My reaction here is no, the password is truly in his mind, and it opens the entire hard drive for a fishing expedition into anything and everything that he has on his compter. He may well be guilty, and if he is I hope he is lcoked away. But I don't want the government to be in a position of saying that personal information is no longer protected by the Fifth Amendment, because in the end, everything is personal.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

File this one under the damn... he's gay tag

John Barrowman who I noticed while reading Mike Deakin's Big Yellow Taxi. The picture has a definite style.... I'm going to think on that....

Noting again... SL needs more fabulous boyz, because they are often the leaders in male style.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Warning! Danger! Warning Danger! Rip off alert at Insolence!

I love Insolence, but right now I am absolutely livid with them. No COPY shoes are an abomination. A complete waste of your money. Why? Because you can only wear them with one outfit, or in this case two. I should have looked, but I trusted the store. Well, fool me once and I never come back!

I am NEVER shopping Insolence again, and I am NEVER going to have a good word to say about Camilla Yosuke again. And this just after writing a glowing review. Ugh! I am such a fool for believing that anyone vendor in sl can be trusted not to be out to rob cheat and steal.

Danger danger danger

A rip off at Insolence....


Camilla Yosuke... You've seen your last Linden from me. Ever.

[Removed blog from blogroll... Ugh! Ugh!]

[More update:]

[20:56] camilla Yosuke: Hello Lillie, I appreciate your beeing direct. Now, if you think copy shoes are a better thing , I would even more appreciate that you just tell me your point, like you did with a card, explaining your case, and why not asking me a pair of copy shoes. I am totally open to customers feedback, and totally ready to change my politics when I feel something could be better for all. Now spraying the web with a blog about it, talking about it like a personal offense, well, first makes me bitter, then wont make things move an inch... I wish you a very nice day, and hope I can be of any help sometime.
[20:58] Lillie Yifu: After writign an absolutely glowing review of your store and your products, I was, and am extremely disappointed.
[21:01] Lillie Yifu: Particularly since the signs do not have the permissions lited, and the fast pay does not tell people the permissions before buying
[21:02] camilla Yosuke: mmm yes, I have to agree with that, this is due to the gift system that I use.
[21:02] Lillie Yifu: So yes, when I have had money that I have earned the very hard way taken form me, from a vendor that I trust, it evokes a very negative reaction.
[21:02] Lillie Yifu: And I am going to warn other people about it.
[21:03] camilla Yosuke: but, well I feel a little mismatch between the terms of 'rip off' ' 'rob cheat' and 'steal', and a no copy, trans item
[21:03] Lillie Yifu: You can check your records, I am the sort of person who can, and will, buy several things in rapid sucession from a store whose work I like.
[21:03] Lillie Yifu: no copy shoes, especially without ppermissions warning
[21:03] Lillie Yifu: are a rip off.
[21:03] camilla Yosuke: ok, and you're a fucking pan in the ass
[21:04] Lillie Yifu: I have ove r 200 outfits in my outfit folder
[21:04] Lillie Yifu: I use my favorite sets of shoes 20 or so times

Well that about says it all. Don't shop this person. Rip off artist! Thief!

From the comments by Cam:

ok, I have to admit that I used inapropriate words, and I apologize for this.
I do have a lot of no copy shoes, that I simply wear separately if I cannot add them to several outfits.
I don't think the designers I bought these from stole me for that reason.
I updated the vendors descriptions at the store, and will do my best to find a gift system that doesn't prevent displaying permissions.
End of the story my side.

Apologies are good. Telling people what they are buying is good. Card systems that stop people from seeing what they are buying are indeed bad.

Now I'm still out what I spent, and have no reason to go back to Insolence, but at least this has done some good in that other people won't get caught as I was finding out after the fact what was being purchased.

End of story form my side? Not really, but there is nothing else to say.

[Obviously not. Though I do note that Cam's friends were no where to be found when I said nice things about her. Tells me that the name Insolence should have been a warning. Also many of the comments are simply factually incorrect, but I'm not wading into the cat pit to correct our little collection of drama queens. I don't say nasty things just to attract attention, but if you wonder why people do, here's another example. There's a lot of traffic in it, where as there is much less in being nice. My policy is to try and find nice things unless someone gets in my face about being not nice. So I think Cam or whoever for sending the traffic my way, and perhaps if you'd been more open in the first place, I'd have taken a different approach. But you didn't and I didn't.

And by the way No copy shoes are still an abomination. I have 200 outfits. If I paid for shoes what Cam wants me to pay for shoes, which would come to 399,000L, and I would have to spend every year to keep updated, then my sl friends would, justifiably, be telling Imelda Marcos jokes about me. 399,000L is what, 900 US dollars? You can check it yourself on the Lindex.]

Sean Voss

I'm sitting here listening to Sean Voss talk about his new book. I've got a sample and will read it. But mmm.

It's really clear he's major date bait. Sexy voice, very smart, and very talented in a polished, nice but covering a bad boy soul way, that means he needs a turnstyle for his female fans.

I'm not the swooning type, but he's swoonable.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Rules for Grrls

Rule One:

You Are The Sex

This is really the heart of it all isn't it? I mean without you, there is no sex happening here? It's like no shoes, no outfit in the real world. That means two things. One is your part, you've got to deliver the sex. From the top of cam, to the bottom of hop on a pose ball, where even "ohhhh baby!" is optional, you have to be the thing that tickles that little urge and gets things going.

On the other hand, it also means that you should never put up with abuse from a client, or more importantly a potential customer. Especially one who is wasting your time to try and just hang out and talk to a girl, without having to do anything.

This means that you have to do the things that say sex. What says sex, in an escort?

The key is your approach, coquettishness mixed with an expression o volcanic desire. The coyness and the desire are both essential. Without the desire, you are a tease, but without the coyness, you are a slut, and he will try and get you to play for free. Now there are some paradoxical ways to show both. The ice princess is attractive if you can pull it off, because he will want to believe he can melt your waters, and produce a spring flood of need. The gushing slut is so consumed by her desire that she ignores all but the most obvious of approaches.

2. You are a professional

Even if you are doing this for your own hobby and fantasy, realize in the end that the man is buying something. What he is buying varies. Some men are buying, or think they are, "skip the date." That is they get off, and for less than the price of coffee and donuts, a chance to impress you with their superior cocksmanship so much that you will want to fall in love with him right there and send your rl phone number. It has happened. Not often.

The other side of this is that you must keep your hands on the keyboard, even if he has his hands on the joystick. It also means you need to know sl, and know how to produce the effects needed.

3. You are stroking his ego.

OK. Why you, and not a cheap porn DVD rental, or glossy airbrushed magazine? Because you are there for him. Him, and not someone else. That means that you know something about him already: it is about him, he'd rather see a simulation of sex where he is involved, than real sex where someone else. Now, personally I think this is... great! Watching other people fulfilling their desires is nowhere near as much fun as being involved and entangled.

So this means that the real focus of this is his own inner sense of himself, and feeling good. It's his money (see you are a professional) and it is a connection to your sensuality that makes him want this (see you are the sex). To reach this means finding out what it is in his identity needs feeding. For some it is really simple: a guy wearing a super oversized cock wants to hear how big it is, how hard it is, how it is splitting you open, and basically taking your virginity all over again and making you forget about every other man, stretching you out so that no other man can satisfy. I don't share this view of men who are much larger than was intended to fit inside me, but that's their thing.

Other men are a step removed, but not that much harder. For example the guy who is eager eager eager to "lick your pussy." His ego is that you are supposed to realize that he has made concessions to your desire snd loves your smell and taste. Nothing wrong with this, but generally the guys who are gooshy eager to do this... ummm aren't very good at it. Generally they want to stick the tongue straight into the vagina with no real foreplay, or have a very vauge understanding of how tongue and clitoris dance best with each other. But unless asked, you aren't there to help him change these deficiencies in his lovemaking style, but to flatter his killer lover style.

The other division between clients is one of the most important in your life, and I've alluded to it above. That division is the division between men who are about their own feelings, and men who get their ego gratification from yours. The second will cause you no end of trouble. The nicest thing they can be is a pest. Believing that since they got off, naturally you are all wet to keep getting them off, rl, free, forever more. Maybe with their girlfriend in the mix. mmmhmmm.

You would much rather have clients who think of nothing but their own pleasure, even if it means doing some icky things virtually, because they aren't any trouble, they come, the get off, they go to bed happy.

The crucial moment in almost any client relationship comes, and it always does, when they move from being about themselves to being about you. This moment can be handled well or badly. The key thing to realize is that you don't want to keep them as a client, but you may want to keep them as a friend. A client who wants you to fall in love with him is bad, a client who wants to hurt you to feel better is bad. However, a former client who has grown to respect you as a human being, become a friend, turned desire to have you into setting you as a shining example of grace and beauty, is often worth more than any client.

4. Hold on to yourself.

This is a big big big big rule. It is one that is almost never properly expressed, except in a kind of cynical detachment.

There is a better way to look at it. You bring pleasure to people who are otherwise lonely, unhappy, confused or at least just plain horny and in no position to do much about it. You are one of the pillars of the second life economy. You should, also, being headed for more than escorting. This doesn't mean bug things, but personal things. If you are working thorugh or just partaking in a fantasy, and you've been driven far enough to come here, then there is a reason for it.

Holding on to yourself means remembering why you are here, and why you are doing this. Most importantly, remembering your own unique value as a person, within yourself. Something that cannot be taken away by some jerk with a need to hurt women to feel good.

Another call to make starting avs better.

Myg becomes the latest to say that playdo is for children.

Tux and Fuck

The T&F, or Tuck and Fuck, is when an escort meets a newbie, gets him to buy Linden to go shopping for himself, and then well, introduces him to sl sex. First you tuck him into his clothes...

Now Myg seems to have a thing about tuxes and phats. All I can say is that she gets this one oh so wrong, and trust me, if a bukkake group is the worse thing a guy has, he's not all that much of a perv. I know mine, they are good to me.

Not the problem is *that* tux. The 2003 freebie. It's not even the best freebie tux out there. A man in a good tux is always a welcome site.

But not that one.

And myg if you think that half the girls at phats are guys, you need your guydar checked. It's nowhere near that bad. I've got male friends who will more than attest to that.

So guys, if you are going to go for the tux look. Get a good one, or find a good escort to show you where to buy a really good one.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Basic Working With Huge Prims Class

At Yedo Basilica

Learn the simple techniques to make Huge Prims work for you as part of building.

Ugh Griefers

One of the indications that LL's AR system is held in contempt is the assault that took palce on Yedo today by Leon Mushtarie, his profile claims that he is Vinicius Santos Martins irl. Whether that is true only Linden Labs knows, because he is a paying member of Second Life. I file many abuse reports, and most of them come to nothing. One of the few areas that LL does act upon is when an object overlaps someone else's property. Other than that, I've seen little effect.

He used soemthing that required I relog to fix my avatar, and which instantly orbitted me to 200000M. I tp'd back to my home location on Yedo. But this script is clearly only for griefing purposes if used anywhere outside of a combat sim. The object name is blitz, I will try and track down a copy and find out how it works. Damage is not enabled on Yedo, and push is restricted. We allow people to run scripts and create objects so that they can unpack boxes and use AOs. I am not sure what can be done to fix the problem that many scripts are clearly griefing scripts, and these can't be stopped without stopping legitimate scripts.

So I am also going to report it here Leon Mushtarie is a criminal griefer. I will track what happens with this, because it is a good test as to whether LL can be safe.

This is the exact log of what happned:

[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:14] MystiTool HUD 1.0.21: Entering chat range: Leon Mushtarie (18m)
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:14] You: This is not your private residence
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:14] Leon Mushtarie: não te perguntei
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:15] You: Este é um lugar público.
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:15] Leon Mushtarie: olha, ela saber usar um tradutor
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:16] Leon Mushtarie: but I can speak english without use one
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:16] You: Não é sua terra.
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:16] You: Eu peço que vc não desarrume aqui.
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:17] You: Obrigado.
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:17] Leon Mushtarie: vai embora
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:17] MystiTool HUD 1.0.21: Collision with "blitz", Owner: Leon Mushtarie
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:17] MystiTool HUD 1.0.21: Collision with "blitz", Owner: Leon Mushtarie
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:18] Could not find user to teleport home
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:18] estate owner request failed: teleporthomeuser
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:23] IM: Second Life: User not online - message will be stored and delivered later.
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:23] MystiTool HUD 1.0.21: Entering chat range: Fotis Contepomi (1m)
[8:32] [2008/01/10 8:25] MystiTool HUD 1.0.21: Entering chat range: Fotis Contepomi (17m)

I suspect that Fotis is an alt designed to observe his handy work. I can't tell.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


My latest kinetic sculpture has been installed in the Yedo Sculpture Garden. The title is "Longitude."

Longitude works by sitting on the main sculpture and then turning on mouse look and pointing the view at the glove in the center, allowing time to spin the interwoven series of circles. Focus on the center gold ring. It can also be viewed just from watching from the outside as a moving piece.

When seated, it is a kind of Second Life kaleidoscope.

For those who read the original book, or saw the television adaptation, the search for a solution to the problem of the longitude is one of the power of a different era. It was the rise of precision parts, in which Harrison was one of the great innovators, which made it possible to build a clock that would not lose time through different motion over travel, and would make it possible to easily tell the east or west difference in location.

In our own time Virtual Reality and Interactivity are very much the same way, a thing that produces its own unique motion, and with which we will press onwards to solve problems which do not seem, on their face, to be connected to it at all.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SL Bans Unlicensed Investment Companies

LL bans unlicensed in world banks.

As of January 22, 2008, it will be prohibited to offer interest or any direct return on an investment (whether in L$ or other currency) from any object, such as an ATM, located in Second Life, without proof of an applicable government registration statement or financial institution charter. We’re implementing this policy after reviewing Resident complaints, banking activities, and the law, and we’re doing it to protect our Residents and the integrity of our economy.

Since the collapse of Ginko Financial in August 2007, Linden Lab has received complaints about several in-world “banks” defaulting on their promises. These banks often promise unusually high rates of L$ return, reaching 20, 40, or even 60 percent annualized.

Usually, we don’t step in the middle of Resident-to-Resident conduct – letting Residents decide how to act, live, or play in Second Life.

But these “banks” have brought unique and substantial risks to Second Life, and we feel it’s our duty to step in. Offering unsustainably high interest rates, they are in most cases doomed to collapse – leaving upset “depositors” with nothing to show for their investments. As these activities grow, they become more likely to lead to destabilization of the virtual economy. At least as important, the legal and regulatory framework of these non-chartered, unregistered banks is unclear, i.e., what their duties are when they offer “interest” or “investments.”

There is no workable alternative. The so-called banks are not operated, overseen or insured by Linden Lab, nor can we predict which will fail or when. And Linden Lab isn’t, and can’t start acting as, a banking regulator.

This is going to cause more turmoil short run. However it is also a needed step.

It's also not being done for entirely pure motives. One part is that it could have, and should have, been done with the gambling ban. It was not because that truly owuld have crashed the economy. Second it is being done now because of the scalability problem. LL cannot easily add more mainland servers, the load problems with the land they have are already at the brink. IF LL is to add more land, they would much rather add more land at 295 a month tier, all of which would be paid every month, than 195 tier, some of which will be abandoned back to Governor Linden. As they are running out of land, more needs to be forced into play. One way to do this is to liquidate, or force the liquidation, of direct banking activities.

Land is up 5% in the last month from a base of 8 to a base of 8.4. The long land pause means that virtual land really does act like real land for a short time. With real population coming back, that means higher prices. LL has said their "target" price for land is 6. That's a lot lower than today's price.

SO banning banks is again necessity, because LL will not fulfill functions of a government. The only way that you can be sure that you can get your money back from a bank, is for their to be deposit insurance and a law enforcement agency. Absent these two things, banks are unworkable.

Now eventually I think there will be a virtual government, and that it will piece by piece invent the things that are needed to function in a virtual environment. It's just that King Linden doesn't have an incentive to do this, since honest government is largely a break even proposition.

It is another piece of Old SL gone. And with it will go other things. For one thing, every time I wanted to grouse about land sellers, my partner pointed out that they don't use much in the way of prims or lag, so they actually make mainland more habitable by holding space open. Maybe ugly open space, but still, open space. Let us hope that LL gets the scale issues down to a dull roar soon, or it is going to be very painful.

Eye roll moment: metanomics is pushing A complete bozo for their guest on this. Someone who so pervasively misunderstands what he is analogizing to is bozo. Onder and 57 - why are you promoting this bozo? It makes you look like apologists for scam artists.

I left this comment:

Illegal banking activities have been doomed for some time, because sooner or later LL was going to be put in the position of being legally entangled. It should have been done some time ago.

Medical note:

1. Drug trials start with drugs that have proven efficacy.

2. Drug trials don't continue if large numbers of patients start dying.

3. Unregulated banking is the drug, not regulation.

4. There's no group getting "regulated" banking in sl versus the unregulated kind.

5. The banking seen in sl was not new but theoretical sound, but a re-enactment of every John Law scheme known to history.

6. Drug trials work on substances which are, while they aren't known to the people taking them, are known to regulators.

In short we do not do drug trials by letting anyone set up a table and sell anything they want and see who lives and who dies. LL is not a controlled experiment, nor were the places selling banking meeting any sort of standard with transparent experimental controls.

In short, I really hope you are never put in charge of the FDA, because you will kill an awful lot of people.

Soemthing I just hEard

First time, voice sex in an orgy room. It was a couple with a public sex thing, not a random hook up. But still.

Voice is coming.

In this case. Coming.

Where are the Boyz?

Why doesn't Second Life have a fabulous gay club?

I've been all over looking for one, because, let's face it, much of st8 clubbing in Second Life is a kind of fantasy version of what is the clubbing reality for the boyz in real life. It isn't as if it is impossible to do a fabulous club, and gay men, RL, almost define fabulous. I went to Gay Cruising in Glenboon to start my search for the fabulousness in second life, and came away having seen what looked like an orgy room. It was less desperate, but it was dominated by slugly. The boyz I know rl wouldn't be there, except at the end of a losing streak with a major hard on, or if they wanted to "fuck nasty," that is, they had a hunger for something tall, dark, and near the poverty line.

Now from time to time the RL bigotry directed at gay men shows through in second life. "Yiff in Hell Fur Fags" is a good example of an eruption of it. One of my tranny escort friends talks about men who admit they come to sl to get their fill of "packed ass" as she put it, but also admit a bias against gay men. Who do they think plays tranny in Second Life? A few women, yes, have the fantasy of being a chick with a dick, but mostly, it is men. he first sex skybox I rented had no menus except for straight couples on the sex bed or sex showers. 56 poses and all of the hetero.

The men I saw at Gay Cruising were distinctly not fabulous. They were friendly and helpful to each other, and it was a relaxed atmosphere, so people looking for a good place to, pun intended, hang, should check it out. Better than many places I've searched which were, well camping farms.

But fabulousness seems to be in short supply. Which is a shame because rl, much of the beauty for the male body comes from the hand of gay men. From artists like Michelangelo, to designers. I really believe that getting more boyz to play in Second Life should be a strategic priority, because better men's fashion is important to real world organizations coming in world. And in gay culture, the fantasy of fabulous is often something that even down on their luck gay men try to do. The only people more likely than young women to go into debt for shoes, are young coming out gay men.

Second Life should be the perfect place to come out, and some of the people who have passed through my… hmmmm…. hands, have been working their way to admitting being bisexual or mainly homosexual in real life.

The second place I went to was Zeus. It is a gay version of the standard sl club. Spamming management, DJ, contests, camping pods and all. It was distinctly thin on people, but that could have just been that it was Sunday night/Monday morning. But it really was standard, complete with the rotating spotlights, particle explosions and the rest.

The Gay Yiffy Club is distinctly not fabulous. But it was the most pleasant club I had gone to by this point. No particle over load, not too much lag, actual dancers, a good live dj. Relatively pleasant place to hang out, and the staff has a sense of humor.

Gay world is a camping far. Fabulous? Uh more like Don't Get Caught Dead there.

Boystown was distinctly emptish, but while definitely passe, an attempt at tasteful upscale. But nothing resembling a place to be fabulous. The sim owners are serious about keeping lag down too. Best music though, maybe it could be colonized? Steamorkz there bans women avatars, so I can't tell you what's inside, except that, by definition, it's not fabulous if they won't let grrls play too. Und Tchüss little boys, call me when you grow up and get that the B in GBLT doesn't stand for B*got and the L in GBLT doesn't stand for Loser. Or didn't you notice that lots of the voices on your own radio aren't boyz?

I've been told that gay men often cruise in wooded areas by pushing into each other. It's kind of an extension of covert gathering places in the real world.

But…. Why no fabulous boyz club? Is there something I'm missing? Anyone? Why isn't there a club that aims to be the gay Frankie's or Phats? Or the gay Arsheba at least.