Saturday, September 27, 2008

Webcasters, call your representatives!

Rep. Inslee wants to make netcasting rates reasonable. Of course the big broadcasters hate it, but you can help save this bill.

A March 2, 2007, decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), a division of the Library of Congress charged with establishing performance royalty rates for "digital radio" broadcasters, increased rates for webcasters by an unjustified and unprecedented 300 to 1200 percent.

Since the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) increase royalty rates for webcasters 16 months ago, there has been an immediate and devastating effect on Internet radio services. Three of the most-listened-to services (AOL Radio, Yahoo! Radio and Pandora) have either left the business, limited listener access to their services, or announced they are likely to shut down in the near future if royalties are not significantly reduced. Just as importantly from the perspective of the artists that depend upon Internet radio, recent Arbitron data demonstrates clearly that royalty-paying webcast listening has diminished substantially since the CRB decision.

Legislation introduced last year to correct the discrepancy between Internet radio and cable and satellite radio providers by establishing an equal rate for all digital radio – cable, satellite and internet radio – at 7.5% of revenue is still pending with more than 150 Congressional cosponsors. The Internet Radio Equality Act (S. 1353/H.R. 2060) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) and in the House by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL).

Do you DJ in SL? Then you are an netcaster, and should support this bill.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Vampires

Child my child, you must understand,
why I brought you in, to this troubled land.
Child my child, I know that you cry,
as you listen to excuses, and lie after lie.
I know that you can't see what once was green land,
I know that you curse me for the burdens at hand.

Child my child, it was not this way before,
it all really started, with a worship of war.
And then as Gods are, he demanded a tithe,
bloody boot war, under which we did writhe.

When we were bled and could be bled no more,
they gave all of the future, to the financiers of war.
We, the foolish, eager to be led,
Voted for more, instead of instead.

And just when sense seemed to break out,
the O-hole came forward, with a scream and a shout,
courageous in battle like a hero of old,
to make sure into slavery all the rest of us were sold.

It's over, it's over, it's over you'll see.
We are now slaves, not the land of the free.
And every, mean every, representative stood,
for promoting the evil, and killing the good.

For today and tomorrow, you will still reel,
under the yoke of the debt,
that comes from this deal.

Child my child my child, as long as you live,
understand we were weak, and try to forgive.

Forced Marriages Help Line in UK gets hundreds of calls

Forced marriages help line gets over 60 calls a week. Most from children fearing forced marriage or murder.

Rothko at the Tate

not the best setting for these works.

Wargamer killer admits he was chasing victim's Girlfriend

21 year old young man murdered another because of obsession.

"Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public."

There are more slaves now than at any time in history.

Memo to Lindsay's Dad

Your little girl is all grown up now, and that means that if she likes grrrls, then you should accept that.

Kinsey Institute: Sex and the Single Voter

Articles from adult magazines on presidential campaigns.

How to get a pay increase if you are a woman

Change genders.

ok it is waaaaay too expensive at the moment.

but this is potentially cooler than anything I've seen in a while.

Oder der verspottete Spötter

Madchen auf dem Diwan

Rose he from my bed, having slept long. His muscles were stretched and sinewed. He had risen from that kind of long and deep sleep that comes from, only from, ever from, a deep satiation of urges that have names, but not faces. In the dawn, those needs, unidentified, crush out the black moon of night. They are seeking sublimation.

His cruel profile was outlined against a bright blue and blur of green from outside, from that long long stretch that is in the heart of Berlin as Berlin as Berlin. Somewhere behind the clutter of trees and their leaves, was the Brandenburg Gate, beyond them a blue jumble of buildings whose profile stared up at the sky. I stared at his strong nose and jut of jaw, and then out at the blur of the world. It reminded my of a Klee that from 1930 that had copied twice to get the sweeping swinging smooth tangle of lines right. I fumbled for my glasses and settled them on my nose. He looked at me as if I was a strange species he had never seen before.

"You know, it is very strange."

I settled back my hair and tied it off with a small elastic band. I couldn' find my hair barrette or hair comb, though I remember distinctly the moment he had pulled the hair comb out as he pressed me backwards, and I slipped my legs up around his hips to pull him in. It is strange how things can just disappear, the focus of consciousness one moment, it's pewter shape and purple costume paste gem clear in my vision at that instant that he held it in his hand, and his eyes locked on me, dropped it. And the next. Oblivion.

Wait, it has to be on the floor. I dove down grabbed, let my body lie flat on the bed. I began fishing on the floor, even as I felt large warm hands caress over my skin, my hips, my back in ever widening swirls. I saw a look of surprise on his face when I rolled over and sat up with just the pull of my own torso. He clearly did not understand the wonders of flexibility that it was capable of, even as he had enjoyed several of them the night before. I sat to cross-legged, his face darkened by the strength of the light coming through the window.

I clipped my hair back with the barrette and wove my fingers to pull the elastic out at the same time. While both hands were working my hair, I let my body straighten somewhat but wiggle back and forth to aid in the endeavor gathering and clipping stray strands beneath the slightly brushed rough surface of the barrette.

"What's strange?"

He startled again, having assumed, I think, that he was not going to get a reply from the first question.

"Your skin, your. Your shape."

He paused and pulled his lips in. He was fumbling for words.

I got a wicked grin. I wasn't usually about the way I was about to be.

"Never had a chinese chick?"

He parsed the words, not exactly knowing I think my use of slang, but understanding the thrust of it.

"Yes, all the girls here are European."

I pulled a knee up and leaned over on the pillow, a hand supporting my head.

"I am an American girl."

His eyes followed his hand which stroked the flesh on the nearer thigh.

"Are you my girl?"

I looked at him.

"I don't belong to anyone."

He continued to stare at his hand rather than at me.

"That is not how it felt last night."

I smiled.

"You owned last night. And that's all there was."

His face was languidly unconcerned.

"I think there may be others."

"There will always be another night, other nights for you, other nights for me. But no other nights for us."

He stopped.

"I do not understand."

I turned and settled my feet on his floor. His floor.

"I am going to go now, and I am not coming back."

"No. Wait. Please."

"I'm sorry, that's all there was."

He tried to grab my wrist and squeeze it as I slide forward, but it was all too easy to turn and break out between his thumb and forefinger and pull my much smaller hand through.

"No. Why. Please."

But I had already bent over, gathered up both my velcro strap skirt, my undergarments, of and top. I was easy to settle one leg and then the other through the panties, and then belt the skirt around. I had an ornamental belt with a turquoise buckle whose stylized links were shaped like femurs. I simply stuffed the fishnet stockings in my purse, deciding mentally that they had acquired that one run too many to make them usable. The laconic nature of my motions were meant, in my mind, to convey coldness. But as I straightened up and fiddled again with my hair, I saw that he was again half way erect, his balls pulled in closer to his body, his glans waving like a half unfurled flag read to lead a cavalry charge to take the Mountain of Venus.

I didn't want to deflate what was going to be the last moment of flush between us. I stared into his eyes. I smiled with mine.

"Tschüss." My voice lilted. I saw him gain a moment of hope.

"Call me."

"Maybe. Tschüss." I turned my back as I said this.

Walking down the beige hall with peeling ceiling paint and lamps that were both ornate and off centered with plaster cracks around them, I felt a breathy exhilaration, with every step away from the door, which I left open, forcing him to lunge... I heard his heavy slap of feet on the floor... I felt more and more as if a wind was rising in my chest. I heard the door click close. I glanced back and saw the transome hanging open, and the severe dark woodwork, which looked now, more than when I had entered it the nigh before, like a forbidding tomb.

I turned away, my slightly elevated pumps planting easily on the carpet runner that ran down the wood floor, and was around the corner of the steps down before there could be...

"Please. Call me." I heard him call out from the door. I walked more quickly, the last thing I wanted was another scene. I had written the exit to this one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To the pointe

Twist. Turn. Tie. Tie. Rotate foot, inspect.


Pound that second toe shoe. Inspect.


It's a ritual, even if it doesn't make sense. And rituals are live, because they are how you live, and what you live with. In this particular case, it was the ritual of putting on toe shoes for point exercises. To understand what it means to do this, think of what it would feel like to fly - by having someone put your foot in a vice and smash the heel into the toe and then have marble pumped into your veins.

That's what it is like the first few times. And then? And then it stops. Then it just is. Your toes get pushed and shaped, your skin gets a kind of strange reptilian scaliness. And it's normal. And at that point, you just float.

But getting there? Well you also learn that even small things out of place, things you don't even know what they are, can create a rocketing pain that burns out your achilles tendon. If it happens in class, you drop down, make a damp slapping nose, fiddle with your shoe and smile in a sheepish way. The teacher nods severely for you to go back to the end of the line, and you blush. It doesn't happen often after you get what to do.

And what you doing bang your toe shoes, wrap them, bend them, tie them. And get religious about it. Once you do something that works every time, you do it every time.


bang. For good measure.

bang. No I really mean it.

Slide. Wiggle. Waddle.

And so on until both feet are comfortably ready to spread out.

The girl next to me looked at my somewhat battered shoes. She was, in her nice new shoes about to sneer. Then she noticed the brand. Of course mine are battered, they are the best leather shoes made, I have three pairs, and they last. Unlike your shiny canvas junk.

I bobbed my head back with a slight disapproving tilt of the nose. Her eyes fell and she went back to her ritual of feeling inside the shoes to get the box in the right place. In the hierarchy of pointe shoe priestesses I had just show that my goddess had a better temple than hers. Leather. Since almost the first, I had insisted on it. That fitting trip my mother, in one of her vague acts of defiance against consumerism, westernism, and not buying the cheapest thing and living with it, had directed me at the canvas shoes. I knew better.

I had pointed to a demi sole that I knew could be deshanked, that is the box part pulled out, so that I could wear them in the technique class even though I was not ready to go on point. What training bras and assorted other things are to ordinary girls, to a ballet dancer, using a deshanked pointe shoe is. It's often called "demi-pointe." You can't actually go on pointe on it, but it feels like a pointe shoe otherwise, and that's the point. You see, you can start learning what it feels like to be in a full pointe shoe, and learn how to live in them. Aside from that, if you are a young dancer, you have no boobs. Yeah, you can this and that eat with the guys at the pizza place. But you will have no boobs. Which sort of means the whole thing about bras, is not so much of a big deal.

No, it's going on point. It's soaring above the ballet shoe clad younger girls. It is floating, that you ache for.

Of course, you only have the faintest idea how much you are going to ache. And ache. And ache. But each stretch, each massaged out muscle cramp. It's nothing.

The night after we bought the shoes. I had put my tiny foot down, and by that age I was almost as tall as my mother and could stare her in the eye. "These are my tools." And that ended it. She was always always willing to spend money to make sure she had the best things that rested in her hands properly. We had cheap everything in the house at that time, except anything that was a tool..

Well the night after we bought the shoes, or she bought them for me, or however you want to think about it... I was at the sewing machine sewing elastics in. She looked at me.

"I bought exactly what you said..."

She gave me the "ungrateful child" look that Chinese parents master pretty quickly. They got it from their parents, and have waited a whole life time, maybe many lifetimes, for the chance to apply it to the appropriately wayward offspring.

I spin around on the swivel stool that was in front of the sewing machine, leaving the shoe I was working on in place, and picking up one that had been neatly deshanked and had elastics put in place.

"These," I explained with an emphatic falling tone, "have the best and most uniform leather, but what the don't have." I paused turned the shoe over and held it up for her inspection, "is elastics rather than drawstrings, and they don't have a demi-pointe version. So rather...." I pause, applied the ungrateful offspring look, "than spend much more on getting an imported special order." Pause. Pause. "Because they do sell them in England. We picked out these, and I am going to spend the time to make them what the teacher wants."

It had always been talismanic that this particular teacher had studied in a prestigious school, and had danced with a well known European company. Her word was from the heavans. My mother got a faint look of surprise, being schooled by her daughter. She then stopped, and the sourness left her face, and she beamed with pride. This, was her daughter. Spend for exactly the only thing you have to have, and spend hours getting it just right rather than spending a bit more. She nodded approvingly.

"Just make sure your..."

"Home is already done. I did it at lunch and on the train back." And in any other snippet of time.

This is Lillian. Age something younger than most adults would feel comfortable with, fully in command of all the little things that she has to get done, so that she can get back to.


I remember one of the first times I began prepping pointe, these were the first pair I did not deshank, and tied them neatly in their pink ribbons, and with slightly more grace that a newborn zebra began to stand up and point my feet, check my turn out and absorb myself into the person I know best in the world... I speak of course of my reflection in the mirror, the mirrors that run down the length of every studio in the world. This person is not me. She doesn't look like me, but instead some how the leotard gives her a feminine stretch that I don't feel in my own body. She has a lilt and a grace, that I know I just don't have. Her turn out is better than I feel mine to be.

She's confidently warming up.

I wish I felt that way.

I look at her, she looks... adult.

I am 12 years old, and do not feel a year over, 5. I am constantly wanting to jerk my head back and look behind my shoulder, fearful that the teacher will tap me on the shoulder, and send me home. I have just started going on pointe. There is piercing pain in between two of my toes. I know that it is the blister breaking, the one that formed up two days ago.

The girl in the mirror doesn't have that problem, she rounds her arms and stretches her leg out and puts it up on the barre. She bends forward and see only her feet. And mine. Why is it that mine are in such pain, and hers look perfect?

The class passes, and every moment I am sore. Every moment the other girl, the Lillian in the mirror, mocks me with how she does everything I do, but without the weight of fear and pain. I search her shoulders for scrunching, her head for the slightest bowing. There's none.

I, on the other hand, feel the vice pressing in from the back and sides of my feet. After an eternity of Mozart played badly on a piano, it ends. I begin disassembling myself. Another girl comes up behind me.

"Lillian. Did you notice she didn't correct you once."

"Maybe she knows I'm hopeless."

I look down as I throw things into my dance bag and hurry off. One more ritual to perform.

I skitter along the curve of the hall. I reach the Ladies room. I am in a stall even before I know I a cross the expanse of white tile.

I am on my knees in front of the urn, grateful that my hair buns have held up the whole class without once wiggling loose. I don't even check them for fear that I will unravel it.

There is a pulverizing churn in my middle, and compression in my lungs and throat, which alternates between clenched and open, clenched and open, clenched and open. Only a whisp of foul air comes up first, and it fissures into my nostrils, heavy with an acid scent. Then, just as I think I have escaped it, a burningly liquid races up my throat and I have just enough time to open my mouth and bend a bit farther forward.

I wipe my mouth, with an exact primness of ritual. Pull out the bottled water, rinse and spit. Pull out the Scope. Green only. Rinse. Spit.

I settle my self in my skirt that falls below my knees, but just barely, and in my shoes, which are a shade too large. I wish there was a mirror there, but of course, that other Lillian is not here with me.

I walk out of the stall, snatching the dance bag without even looking and pulling the zipper closed. There, in the mirrors, is that other Lillian. She is flush of face, with her lips impossibly more red than I have ever seen them. Our eyes meet. She denies that anything has happened. I turn back, realize I have not flushed, turn back, bag swinging it's way around to behind me. I flush and scurry out, catching only a glance of the thin outline of that other Lillian, who is, as well, sneaking away before anyone else gets here.

I reach the dark wooden door just as the second girl is reaching it. She has a strange green look on her face, her otherwise peaches and cream perfect skin reddened. I know that look. But I do not let my eyes meet hers, and I am out into the hall, the air blowing cool over my face.

This is my ritual. It is what I live with. It is how I live. It is what happens after every class. It would be 14 before it would stop, when the balled up pressure and competition with that perfect Lillian would stop. I will write, sometime, I think, what happened to change all that.

But I was 12, and didn't know what it would take to catch Ms. Perfect and prove, that she is me, and I am her, and both of us have the same secret to hide.

VR thea

Immersive environment. One thing SL needs, in my view, is a 3d view option built into the viewer, so that it can be used as the engine for all sorts of more advanced presentation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Major Security Hole in New Land Store

This feature creates a major security hole.

How the hole works is this:

1. Land baron #1 sells island with EO rights to another person. The EO is approved by LL, but the Land baron remains payor.

2. Tenant goes to Land Baron #2, adds them to allowed residents list.

3. Land baron #2 drops islands around the first island, thus reducing the value of the island.

4. Tenant goes to Land baron #1 and extorts rent decrease.

There needs to be a check in this feature to make sure that the person who has EO is also payor.

Monday, September 15, 2008

LL caves on ad farms.

50 per person limit, no more than one per sim.

Still enough to ruin value. The first stance was strong, this one, is a wimp out, and only means that they are going to have to tighten again later.

The message here is "don't buy a mainland sim at auction."

Sunday, September 14, 2008



Away he was, there was nothing to do.
Taking away, away his precious eyes,
ambrosia blue distilled.
Taking away his contours,
that my softness filled.
Away away a wall a wall of you,
I slammed into that dream,
each night, each moment I fell,
from sleeping to morning dew.

Away, away, you sailed on sea,
of tumbled need and fate.
To where ever travels took you,
to the edge of morning's late,
the places where the moon hangs,
above quietude in night,
when even cities sleep,
and the streets are given over to bats,
and all the owls.

Away away, a wall of distance true,
that I scratched upon in long phone calls,
crying forr your retrun.
Lashing you with my tongue,
to make you feel the pain I felt at your long absence from my sight.

Those times when I,
would ban my head against the handy wall,
or force my face into embracing
for there to bleed my tears of aching heart.
Or flail my nails to scratch the wood of ancient bed post.
Or kick my heel to close every door,
in rumination of rage at the door
you closed behind you when you lef,
not looking at me,
but I could see,
at the prospect fo a short span of future that you were soon to taste.

In lonely, in less, in lieu of you,
I had only other diversions.


Away, a wish, a return.
And everything is new.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

And other words I came to know

I was shaking shivering and disrupted, disrobed and robbed of all control over my limbs. My body rattled and my fingers curled as if afflicted with a palsy born from birth. He was plumbing me, and ripped out of my throat a fragrant moan which rattled even the window with its force. I barely knew his name, and I did not know much more than a film of his language. His English, however, was quite good.

"Now you must know what it is, to be an action, that is what the painters had."

I looked up at those rich blue eyes, unlike any pair I had stared into before. I was still quavering and my legs were wrapped tight around his hips. While he pressed against me, it was still "up" that I looked. I had only then realized how much taller than I he was.

I smiled.

"Now you are being silly. I came to study the painters."

His face was all serious.

"To know expressionism, you must be fucked by them."

I giggled and smiled again, I knew my eyes must be glowing as I picked my fingers through his fine hair. It was not the blond blond blond I imagined a German boy to have, but it was light, and finer than I could imagine any hair to be. It seemed gossamer and floated. A few stray strands wafted upwards on some unseen current of air that was rising from the heat of our bodies.

"That's what it is always about with you guys isn't it?"

"Everything." He paused. "Is always." He paused. "About sex. Getting it, not getting it, having it, imagining it."

"I told you I have a dirty mind. But I also know that the first orifice you have to enter, is not below the waist line."

"But it is the first one every man things of entering. And he dreams every day of being able to just stab his brush on the canvas. Those painters they fucked the canvas with their brush."

"I suppose that's what made you want to study them."

"No no. It made me want to be them. You think they had to introduce themselves to the canvas? No no. No. They just strung the canvas out, pulled it tight, and then they fucked the canvas with their brush. Their life splayed on it."

It was at that moment that I knew I never wanted to have sex with him again. Because, uniquely, I was exactly what he was looking for. Someone who had lost a pole star, a lodestone, a guide post, a land mark, a reference to my life. I was adrift and eager to be remade. I looked at him. He did not see the darkening of my features, or detect the change of the temp that my fingers churned through his hair. He did not seem to know, or could not seem to know, that everything was different now.

I stared that the imperfections in the cheeks. The way his face was too long, his jaw too short. But my calves told me his hips were perfect. So perfect. Almost a perfect, for any man not a dancer any way. I pet his check, and yet in a moment his face threw to far away, and I felt I was stretching beyond a gulf.

"You know we don't have women like you here."

I shook my head.

"What do you mean?" I was thinking for a moment my intellect, but I knew better. Perhaps my skin? My race, as you would call it. I couldn't believe it would be something else.

"It's the way you approach sex. I could not believe that you didn't blush when we were talking about Picasso."

I giggled. Yes, in real time. Giggled.

"The dream is clearly about masturbation, and clearly about a man's fantasy of what a woman dreams of when she masturbates. Why not say it. Why hide it? Pablo didn't."

"Many women would think it. But I could not believe you said it as we were walking through a gallery."

"Where else to talk about art?"

"But you were talking about it as if it were pornography."

"Everything is about sex. There's no such thing as pornography then."

He startled back. As if. No, hold the mayo and the as if. It was that he had not ever had a woman lying under him, who he had just raped an orgasm out of, talk back to him. He had fucked me. But he had not fucked my brains out.

He narrowed his eyes, he stared. His face hardened. He slapped me with a coldness. I felt good, as if he finally felt what I felt. I felt him soften and slip from my body. That moment. Hmmmm that moment. You can't explain that moment, that moment where a man becomes unplugged from you.

I wane smiled, my mouth a fading crescent. I watched his dream of painting me die, and it kindled in me the purest joy, Schadenfreude. But I was not done with him. I knew that there was an internship opening at a museum he coveted. I knew because I had applied for it.

I smiled waxing smile.

I was going to take it from him.

Schadenfreude. And other words I would come to know.

An inspiring story

This is on the scroll about a stroke survivor who is now a professional artist from second life.

It's inspiring, every word of it. His web page says to contact Blunt Fhang.

David Foster Wallace, dead from suicide at age 46

Author of Infinite Jest, numerous essays, hanged himself at his home in California.

You can count me as a semi-fan of David Foster Wallace, in that he satirized America as it is unravelling. I read Infinite Jest numerous times through my teenage years, but began to out grow it, along with other writers of this kind, in that it seemed that mere weight of reference was becoming a substitute for substance.

It's a disease that afflicts Pynchon and Stephenson now as well. I know we aren't supposed to speak ill of the dead, and I feel for his wife and others who he left behind. But I also know that the weight that crushed him under is crushing others as well.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rape, Baby, Rape

This is from the government report into corruption into the Department of the Interior drugs, sex and brivery by Republican political appointee Gregory W. Smith, who ran the Royalty in Kind program. You know the people who are going to save America from oil dependency with "drill baby drill."

The LA TImes has the dish here.

I guess this is what they mean when they say that Republicans want to privatize government, and bring the private sector into government employees. It seems that Gregory W. Smith's private sector drilling apparatus was involved in the exploration of an awful lot of holes.

The Office of Inspector General (DIG) initiated this investigation in late 2006 based on the allegations of a Confidential Source (CS) regarding misconduct by Gregory W. Smith, Program Director, Royalty in Kind Program (RIK), Minerals Revenue Management(MRM), Minerals Management Service (MMS), Lakewood, CO. The CS·alleged that Smith had engaged in outside employment that conflicted with his RIK position, that he accepted gifts from the oil and gas industry, and that he engaged in sex and drug use with subordinates.

Well that's an understatement, as the following shows:

We interviewed yet another RIK employee who stated that in approximately 2005, Smith "insisted" .
that she ride in his car from one business establishment to another, and she agreed.
This employee stated that Smith took "the long way" between the two businesses, and during the drive, he asked to go to her nearby home, but she refused. "He wanted to have sex; I said no," she recalled Smith then asked if she would have oral sex with him, but she told him she did not want to. She said Smith then "basically forced [her] head into his lap," and she performed oral sex on him while he drove the car slowly. She said she resisted Smith when he pulled her head into his lap, but Smith did not relent and continued to pull her head down. She said Smith was "real persistent" but not violent, and she did not feel as though she had been sexually assaulted by Smith. She stated that it was difficult for her to have sex with Smith because he supervised her and RIK, but she "felt like [she] could get fired," so she did what Smith wanted. She said she was "scared" that if she did not do what Smith wanted her to do, it could possibly affect her employment. She said this was the 'only time she had ever had sex with Smith.

The correct word for this is "rape." And it was clearly pre-meditated.

Why isn't anyone reporting what this is?

Oh yes there is this tidbit:

During his November 2007 interview, Smith stated that his September 2005 statement to the DIG that he had only a professional business relationship with an RIK employee was "not true." He also stated that he attempted to "downplay" other aspects ofhis relationship with thisemployee during this same DIG interview because he was "scared" by the questioning and he did not want to "selfincriminate" and "ruin" his career. Smith stated that he felt that the DIG had no authority or reason to investigate his alleged sexual relationship with this employee or his alleged drug use, which Smith said occurred during his own time, away from MMS. "Whether that translates to not telling the truth to the DIG, I don't know," Smith said. Smith also denied ever telling anyone to lie to DIG agents about his relationship with her or to lie about any other matter. Instead, Smith stated that he only told people that "no one has a right to know what I do on my personal time."

So, to the Bush Department of Interior, raping your subordinates is a personal matter, which should be beyond the reach of questioning. Glad we had that cleared up.

Gregory W. Smith, Republican appointee to the Drill Baby Drill program, is accused of rape by one of his former subordinates.

There's a hidden reason why this comes up now related to second life. However, I can't talk about it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ad farming

I've been meaning to write on Jack Linden's ad farming, well, not ban, but almost.

Ad farms are theft, in that they steal the value from people around them. However, what made LL act was not this, since complaints about ad farms had been endemic for a long time. No what happened is that LL's ability to sell mainland sims took a nose dive. Mainland sims are a big hit of cash, they used to sell for upwards of 2000USD each. However, people stop buying them to flip because what would happen is that ad farmers would grab a few small parcels, ruin the value of the sim, and the sim buyer would be stuck moving parcels at budget rates. As a result, LL stopped being able to offer mainland sims, and we have been on a long land pause.

Now this decision is not really good for land princesses like me. I mean, the worse mainland is, the more people will be willing to pay to get off of it. However, it is good for Second Life. Second Life is infested with flees. Flees are people who take from the game, and create annoyance for others, to make themselves happy. They piss in the well, and want to charge for not pissing in the well.

And in the long run, what is good for sl, will be good for all of us. Now as an interested party, it would be nice to see LL start to lower island fees, as they start to compete more directly, but even that isn't really necessary. What would be better is if we could have more control over our islands. For example, the ability to rename islands ourselves, even if we had to pay some nominal amount to prevent people from doing it too often, would be great. People want that, their own sim name. Another thing that would be wonderful if we could do it is the abilty to look at more of the sim information, so that we can improve the performance of regions more. Mono will help performance, but only if we can recompile scripts. It would be nice to be able to force recompile on objects as an estate manager. In short, better than money, would be ways of making money.

Mainland needs to be more actively managed, since the impression of second life cannot rise higher than mainland. Ending ad farming is an important step in this direction, and one long over due, because ad farmers weren't making money, but stealing other people's money.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And other words I do not know

I had felt hazier days in my young life. But this one had a kind of churned up quality that made it memorable in itself. I wish I could recount that the weather co-operated and was a dismal gray of moving clouds. But it wasn't. The sky was bright blue, and filled with swirls of shard white that were high above us. High above me.

I had retreated to the brown paneled walls of a favorite coffee and chocolate shop, there to dull a feeling the weighed heavily in my midriff, a kind of weight that banged from side to side as I walked, or sunk down until it felt like I had eaten a whole pound cake, whole, without biting or chewing. I stared at the swirls of milk that I had doused a bright tan tea, rich with red African over tones, and smelling of someone elses native earth. The rim of the cup was white with some finely drawn nascent cracks which spelled the doom of this particular piece of pottering. They were tatooed with the stains of drinker's past. I wondered how much exhuberance and despair this cup had been party too. I thought on the lips that must have caressed it's surface, or teeth that had bit into it. I thought of the breathes that had flowed over the liquid draughts that it had contained.

So much life had passed over this one cup. As mine did now, my own emotions still separated and colloided, as the milk was still not mixed with tea as the tip of my tongue tenderly dipped itself. It was not that hot. I had let the tea sit for some time, my stomach unwilling to bear even this faint trace of nutrients.

I had not been cut by the company, but it was all but. The time for auditioning for roles was at hand. And my memory served me this way...

I was, towel over shoulder, confidently chatting with another dancer. She had been taking classes, and had often marveled at my quiet poise, and the dedication. I was often there first, I was often the last to leave the barre, I knew the exercises, I could almost recite them. I knew the words, the syllables tripping off my tongue. Often I could repeat for others after class the combinations, and my hands easily fell into the gestures which described the motions of the feet. I was precise in my execution.

And so this petty masteries of more profound mysteries had made me this girl's idol. Her straw beach blonde hair, with just a trace of summer salt yellow at the roots, was pulled back tight and straight. Her long, but not unpleasantly long, features in contrast to my own flatter ones. Her nose, itself, was a kind of extension. Her whole body seemed to be one stretched curve from head to foot. She asked me a pepper of questions, her voice rolled to the upper back of her throat producing a carrying resonance. I answered, coughing slightly at moments, and taking pauses to catch my breath. The asthma that had followed me since almost as soon as I had to wear glasses, I can remember that last superlatively healthy day before I knew the yoke of either, caught me by turns. But I did not allow it to slow my speech, or make me loose the ends of words. I often would start a sentence slowly to gather my breath under me. But after some minutes the concept explained, she wandered off, but glanced over her shoulder and looked back at me, smiling. No beaming. A bright sun ray that had struck human form and blossomed.

Her feet churned backwards, and I recall seeing how thin her figure was through her leotard, and how there was a definition to her muscles that was new since the months we had first spoken together. Ballet was shaping her muscles and bones, her body and motions. She was it's clay.




That it was another's voice shook me from the reverie of believing that the dance made us all swans. I turned and looked, and it was our teacher, also the assistant something or other to the Company. The guardian gatekeeper of precious audition slots. I had been working on mine, with her, at additional cost in private lessons. I wanted a role, even though it would be small and in the corps de ballet.

I had turned myself completely to face her. I knew it was bad news. I knew what she was going to say. I pursed my lips. I felt a nail driven through the outer corner of each eye. I simply turned and walked away, my face burning hot with humiliation. I have drawn a thousand faces, and seen beauty and horror in life and in art, but that one face was not a face, but an apparition. It was all swirls and no colors, a ghostly white sheet, eyes seemingly leaping from the face they were so harsh. What I did not give her time to say, was that I was not going to be allowed to audition.

I was not even worth her time, now that I was not paying for it.

So the acrid taste of over-steeped tea, a thing I almost never allowed myself to allow, finally hit my throat. And I, in a most unmannered way, slurped down the entire cup and set it down. I felt, for an instant, like I should crown this sorry performance, with left an errant drop escaping down the corner of my lip, with a belch or some other gesture of contempt for the rules of oh so polite society.

But even as I did this, even as the cup was headed down to the saucer, which was untouched by trace of moisture, or grain of sugar, I had straightened my back, and felt the wire pull up through my body and stretch the whole of me taut. I came as I did so to a resolution, that I would withdraw from classes, and never again permit myself the dream of a pointed foot touching a lit stage, as others stared upon me. Never again would I allow my dreams to soar where my body would not. I had not allowed myself to tears in public, I would not allow them again.

I visualized this. Cleaning out my place in the dressing room, alone. And simply not paying the next bill when it arrived for classes. Never again whisking through those tight hallways, never pass on the left! Passing by other thin shoulders and lither longer bodies than mine. My petty intellect which could remember the steps was not enough, because I had not the height to fit in, nor the talent to shine above. I was good enough, to be not good enough. This I knew, for that one time when I had been upon the stage, as a professional, I had been the one who had hissed the correct direction or inflection to lost girls and boys in our weaving moments.

I close my eyes and remembered it.

I pulled out my small laptop, it's metal skin brushed to dull. And I opened it. But my eyes closed again, I rested my fingers on the keyboard by habit, but instead leaned forward, the under cups of my almost flat breasts touching the flesh between my thumb and forefinger. The two halves of my dreams. One in my hands, my hands, with their many veins and fluid muscles. That turn so precisely and concisely, if not always with the exact accuracy I would like. And my flesh, which, despite straining at it's containment was not enough.

Since I had danced my whole life, I was used to my figure being a sinew, and I had never, until that exact moment, felt my breasts were not large enough. Though sometimes I had joked that I had "nipple mooshu," after the pancake that wraps a conglomeration of meat, sauce, and bean sprout. At that moment I felt that more of me should have pressed on my hands, and that I should be as I saw so many of the others around me, shaped and endowed with the mysteries of a presented fertility. I felt sterile, unfeminine, as if I had traded the lushness of the body for an austere excellence. Only to find that it was withered.

I sat and drank I do not remember how much tea, and typed words and poems and whole symphonies of tears and rage, my face serious in each one, and yet all forgotten in whole, or in any of their parts. I packed myself, and into a fast looming twilight that had at least had the decency to acquire an autumnal chill, returned to the dressing room, now nearly empty and dark. There were whispered conversations, and in the kind of ego-centrism that the fatally wounded pride possessed, I felt a glance up to be pointing out me, as an example of what happened when those not good enough dared. I packed my things, and then walked out to the desk, and in a gesture that was of finality, which I had been told to execute on leaving, dropped the key into a green metallic box, worn and scraped from years of use.

I left that house, and did not ever return. The next day I got a phone call, and as soon as the dry tones of that voice came over it. I said. I blurted? No not quite so abrupt, but it's equivalent given how measured my speech usually is.

"I know."

"I won't be coming back."

"I am sorry for wasting your time."

And yet I would never leave, still pirhouttes turned through openings in people or objects, still french affectations on my fingers as I wrote. Still.

And that word caught me. I had had an invitation to study for a semester in Berlin. Berlin, that Germanic home of heavy. Far from any capital of dance, and rife with a language I did not yet understand, but could feel having a solidity of mass and purpose like the feel of oil paint as I mixed it on the palette.

Ja. That is where I should go. To the city on the dark eastern edge of the West, and there to seek out some dark light which might illuminate the workings of my hands. Rather than my dreams of being a light, alight, and a light, amidst the dark backdrop of stage.

It closed my eyes and imaged the smooth purring of German cars in their cacophony, and in it heard the song of the death of swans dreams.

And other words I do not know.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Over rated hack critic of the year goes to the author of these lines.

All of which may sound, to the outsider, like a simple piling on of higher and higher stakes. But creator Shawn Ryan and the other writers never take the easy way out. Each and every episode is its own little chess match, with Vic Mackey front and center as king, scheming and double-dealing and pulling off nimble, forward-thinking moves left and right. Unlike so many shows that get more and more formulaic to the point of becoming parodies of themselves in their final few seasons, "The Shield" becomes more compelling and dynamic each year.

Those who write off "The Shield" as a bad-cop thrill ride willfully overlook its depth and richness as a multilayered narrative, filled with desperate characters that tear us in two. We should hate these guys, but we can't help rooting for them anyway. Even Shane, that nasty, murderous rat, tries desperately to protect Mackey's family when his thoughtless alliance with the Armenian mob starts to slip out of his control. Plus, the female characters are far from sidekicks; they make up the moral center here, from Corrine's (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) dismissive but ultimately loyal attitude toward her ex (Mackey) to Lt. Claudette Wyms' (CCH Pounder) alternating rage and resignation in the face of Mackey's extreme effectiveness in the field.


People who write about television with the royal we have serious issues.

People who write about an overlooked washed up series as if it had broken out into a cultural icon, have serious issues.

People who drool for badly acted celebrations of police brutality have some unmet sexual needs and should be spending time writing their personals ad and not pontificating on furniture.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Virtual Sex, in the Real World, Again

The Guardian has discovered virtual sex in second life. The subject of infidelity is front and center, and it probably should be. Infidelity is second life's national passtime. But the reality, virtual and otherwise, is more complex than that. The conflict between marriage the economic institution, and marriage the personal relationship, is old and deep. On the same day the talk about period dramas and Jane Austen. If there is a subject to the novel, it has been oft pointed out, it is infidelity and the marriage conflict. The middle class is both rich enough to need marriage as economy, and poor enough to need marriage as romance.

And so we have novels, and diversions, and distractions. A good fraction of the female population of America is about to become football widows, or join in as football moms. My roomate, having a large television, and the ability to pay for the NFL network, is about to commence the ritual of gathering around the altar of sublimated combat. With beer and nacho dip. I'm going to be out of the house tonight if I can possibly arrange it.

These diversions and compensations are often the target of finger wagging and moralizing. But why? Yes virtual sex can be real cheating, but the question is whether it makes life more bearable, and reasonable. If a virtual relationship fills the holes in people's lives, why should we not accept that it is a way of stretching life. There will be blood, I know. There will be affairs that become real, but that is the ordinary way. I know many people who have had sl affairs, but the rl ones were not with sl people.

There is also the need to explore, and often without the person whose relationship is invested with time and fraught with peril. How is it to want BDSM, or cross dressing, or three somes, or any number of other activities, when you haven't even seen if it goes beyond personal fantasy to interpersonal fantasy. Sharing something here, is a good way of seeing if it can be shared out there.

Thus I don't abide as much by the finger wagging. Yes, it is cheating, if those are the rules of your relationship. But what happens if that game is broken, and needs to be changed? It's better than a marriage bend, rather than break.

I've seen what a marriage breaking does.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Grid is down, again

Makes the second major outage in less than a week. I guess they wanted to remind people what Second Life is all about... not being able to get online. adds Mac support

CNET reports on how this second life competitor has slowly tried to grow after languishing.

MoMA's new Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture

The New York Times reports on the safe pick at MoMA:

After a six-month search, the Museum of Modern Art has chosen one of its own curators, Ann Temkin, to succeed John Elderfield, who retired as chief curator of painting and sculpture in July.
Skip to next paragraph
Michael Falco for The New York Times

Ms. Temkin assumes the curatorial post, considered the most prestigious in the field of Modern art, as MoMA gears up for its second growth spurt in less than a decade. After an $858 million expansion completed in 2004, the museum plans to extend its galleries further in a tower that is being built next door on West 54th Street in Manhattan. The museum is also in the midst of rethinking how it presents the history of Modern art through its world-class collection.

This isn't the world changing pick that some people had hoped for, but instead, represents a kind of progressive continuity at an institution that has been rapidly reshaping it's place in the world.

The modern is the past, and it is beginning to feel like it. The MoMA is going to fill a massive 75 story tower, and expand and reorganize it's collections. This huge amount of back and forth is probably going to be best served by someone who knows the inner workings of the institution, and whose management skills are unquestioned. Faith, patience, attention to detail, and an unwavering commitment to the Museum of Modern Art as project and an idea, are all things that will make the transition seem more effortless than it might otherwise.

The revolutions in art are elsewhere, the last thing that an art world in flux wants is needless chaos in one of it's flagship museums.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do you want me to bother you?

One of my problems with geeks is they often don't understand the inverse of signal to noise. Someone talked about the E programming language today, and I read the "walnut."

My god, what a nightmare. I'm not a technical person, but the more I read, the more I realized how broken by design this language is. Let me quote the block that made me wonder who was drinking what when they concocted this misbegotten mess:

Let us look at an example in a computing context, of how keys/capabilities would change security.

Consider the Melissa virus, now ancient but still remembered in the form of each new generation of viruses that use the same strategy the Melissa used. Melissa comes to you as an email message attachment. When you open it, it reads your address book, then sends itself - using your email system, your email address, and your good reputation - to the people listed therein. You only had to make one easy-to-make mistake to cause this sequence: you had to run the executable file found as an attachment, sent (apparently) by someone you knew well and trusted fully.

Suppose your mail system was written in a capability-secure programming language. Suppose it responded to a double-click on an attachment by trying to run the attachment as an emaker. The attachment would have to request a capability for each special power it needed. So Melissa, upon starting up, would first find itself required to ask you, "Can I read your address book?" Since you received the message from a trusted friend, perhaps you would say yes - neither Melissa nor anything else can hurt you just by reading the file. But this would be an unusual request from an email message, and should reasonably set you on guard.

Next, Melissa would have to ask you, "Can I have a direct connection to the Internet?" At this point only the most naive user would fail to realize that this email message, no matter how strong the claim that it came from a friend, is up to no good purpose. You would say "No!"

And that would be the end of Melissa, all the recent similar viruses, and all the future similar viruses yet to come. No fuss, no muss. They would never rate a mention in the news. Further discussion of locally running untrusted code as in this example can be found later under Mobile Code.

Before we get to mobile code, we first discuss securing applications in a distributed context, i.e., protecting your distributed software system from both total strangers and from questionable participants even though different parts of your program run on different machines flung widely across the Internet (or across your Intranet, as the case may be). This is the immediate topic.

This is patently idiotic, and is the product of an egomaniac's delusional ravings. I've used Vista, which asks every two steps to do this that or the other. I won't use it again. Why? Because having a user guard ever single capability for ever single time means dozens of confirmations. What do people do? They turn them off after the first few times. If this is what capabilities does, then caps are useless. Instead what we want is a situation where safe use cases are recognized, and only strange ones are not. This would mean say, something smart enough to grab the whole list of capabilities required, and present us with a dialog box that gives us some idea of what is going to happen.

Absent that, it is nagware.

But there's more:


In the real physical world, if you had to depend on children to fetch CDs, you would not use an ID badge. Instead you would use keys. You would give the child a key to the front door, and a key to the CD cabinet. You would not give the child a key to the gun vault.

All current popular operating systems that have any security at all use the ID badge system of security. NT, Linux, and Unix share this fundamental security flaw. None come anywhere close to enabling POLA. The programming languages we use are just as bad or worse. Java at least has a security model, but it too is based on the ID badge system--an ID badge system so difficult to understand that in practice no one uses anything except the default settings (sandbox-default with mostly-no-authority, or executing-app with total-authority).

The "children" are the applications we run. In blissful unawareness, we give our ID badges to the programs automatically when we start them. The CD cabinet is the data a particular application should work on. The gun vault is the sensitive data to which that particular application should absolutely not have access. The children that always run to get a gun are computer viruses like the Love Bug.

In computerese, ID badge readers are called "access control lists". Keys are called "capabilities". The basic idea of capability security is to bring the revolutionary concept of an ordinary door key to computing.

I'm no security expert, but if an area is really supposed to be secure, then it has ID badges, not keys. The problem with keys is that they don't know who uses them. What we really want is a key with an access control list and a time on it, like, for example, a credit card number that is one use.

Marc Stiegler likes to be very judgemental about others, so I will apply the same standard to him. He's a arrogant moron who produced a monument to his ego, which is a complete disaster area. He wrote this in 2000, and there is a reason why "E" isn't sweeping the planet. Because it is the creation of a narrow mind who makes huge claims and then delivers something which self-evidently won't work.

A thank you to Lauren Weyland

For reading two of my poems the other night. She did so much better a job than I could, and I can't express my gratitude enough. Well I can. So I have got to find a way to do so.

Pernicious Illusions

For the last week the topic of conversation out here in rl has been John McCain's pick of Palin for Vice-President. I think if there is a better indication that people are bored with Barak Obama, it's that after his big moment in the Democratic National Convention, more people are talking about what it means that the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee has a Down's Syndrome child, and a pregnant daughter, unmarried, 17 year old daughter.

It's about well, celebrity. Which means it is about nothing. Or maybe Nothing.

That huge Nothing which is at the center of people's lives, and where they need, somehow, some kind of permission to talk about the obvious comings and goings of life. People have sex, pregnancies occur, and from these come children. Sometimes the parents have it together before, sometimes. Well. Not.

I remember a day in my dorm room in undergraduate, my room mate confessed she had just found out a shattering secret. She was half way to tears.

Her parents weren't married when she was conceived.

I looked at her. I think my eyes through my glasses must have been very serious. But inside. I didn't get it. I really didn't get it. But then snap, I did. Here we were, two little miss perfects, and one of us had found out that her parents weren't quite. We were in that room, in that particular college, precisely because we'd always been on the straight and narrow. Papers? Fresh off a laser printer. Homework? Ditto. Exams? Aced, with perfect penmanship on the essays and neatly filled in black circles. Desk? Clean. Shoes? Shiny.

If there was a rule, we didn't just follow it, we exemplified it. The two of us had joked early in our time together how often teachers had pointed in our direction and said "Now if just like..." We were the just like dorm room mates. Whose dorm room was orderly and spotless. Well until not long after this. She began drinking. She began inviting people who were not really friends to drink. I found her the day before Christmas break passed out on her bed, at 6am, last paper late, and due by 8 am. She'd finished her paper, it was in neat binder. With a beer stain. I woke her up and we made a scurrying search through the local 24 hour stores to find a new one. It was an awful swirling bluish thing. We bound it outside the profs office. Giggling. No I mean that nervous kind of "god are we bad." giggling. I was covering my mouth from embarrassment. She got marks off, first in her academic career, for spelling errors.

There was, in her case, no downward spiral. But from there on in she picked one class to get a "B" in, which in our college meant showing up and passing the exams, and opening up a great deal. Breaking a few rules no longer seemed like a dragon would uncoil from the ocean and drag her in.

And that's my thought on Palin. It's that her political persona is that the rules are unforgiving, in that way that American Christianism is. But her personal life is just all over the place. Her party sells the idea that if rules are iron clad and enforced with whatever means necessary, that they will stamp out perfectly little moppets. Her reality is that she's got a family and a life.

If feminism means anything, it is that we should be able to choose our lives, and live them. That's really all we are asking for. The ability to choose our lives, and live them. Palin has chosen her life. She wants a big familiy and a celebrity politics career. She's been willing to do some nasty things to get there I am sure. You don't go from fixing domestic disturbance complaints in a city that is the butt of jokes... you know like: God you are going to be lucky to get into Nome College as an ice sculpture major after this... to being on the Vice-Presidential ticket without taking big bucks from some bad people. That's her life. She should live her life. But it shouldn't be that you have to come from a family that basically runs your small town to be able to do it. And you shouldn't tell other people to follow rules you don't, in order to duplicate your choices. Palin's life his her life. I wish she'd stop trying to legislate it to be my life.

I'm not interested living in a freezer and having five kids, while emptying my brain of everything beautiful and noble. kk I confess, I know more about eye shadow, base, lip gloss and so on that perhaps is healthy for a human brain. She was a beauty queen, I was on stage. I know what that means, I know how hard she had to work.

But it seems that she doesn't know what it is like to live outside the bubble of being favored. Her whole career is bouncing from one being groomed to another. And while she tells everyone, both politically and otherwise, to follow the rules, she takes free passes for her self. She fires people for political reasons. She stands next to a Senator under indictment, after running on being clean government. She's really popular in a state for cutting taxes... and grabbing ear marks. Other people, always pay, Sarah Palin's, dinner check.

And that's what I resent. There are rules that Sarah wants for us, and there are the rules that Sarah wants for herself, and they aren't the same rules. There is Sarah Palin wanting to live her own life. And there is Sarah Palin not wanting me to live mine. Sarah Palin should live her own life. She should not get a chance to force me to live her life. Or more honestly, the life that she would have lived if she had followed all the rules.

My room mate, crying so long ago about being "a bastard daughter," taught me how destructive these pernicious illusions are.