Archive for the ‘Virtual World’ Category

My Second Life 10th Year Rezday, a.k.a. Birthday, has gone by this weekend and celebrated by myself with some red wine in Second Life though to those around me it significance personally was lost.

The fact is nothing else on-line has held my attention so long even now I only go in once a week due to real life and the fact I now blog more than I did when I started Second Life. But it still holds the same magic it did when I first entered Second Life though the virtual world’s nature over the 10 years has changed it nature mostly for the better.

The major change I have seen over my 10 years in Second Life it has become more of a Social Network than game as more and more people within Second Life bring in their real life and hide less behind their avatars. This contrary to a small minority of Second Life residents think has added a whole new dimension to Second Life which complements it’s virtual aspect and kept likes of myself interested for so long.

Would I still recommend Second Life?

Yes, I would as it has become a wonderful place for people to meet within a virtual world which is full of imaginative gems of builds, people and events. This something likes of Facebook and Twitter have never been able to give the users hence I have always found them very bland and uninspiring.

So now I start my next 10 years within Second Life with an optimism that Second Life’s magic for me will never fade for me and hopeful others find the same magic within Second Life like myself.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: If you are interested in my small social network just follow the link to Bubbles in the Quantum Static.

Second Life much like myself within are still going on and so far no sign of death in both. For myself it is a miracle that something, even a social network, has held my attention so long and still a vibrant place virtual place to be.

Add to this contrary to the doom sayers and the constant rumours that Linden Labs are going to abandon original Second Life for the new version of Second Life it keeps going in it’s quiet revolution of the nature of social networks something the other major social networks have still failed to grasp even after 12 years!

As a side point those who keep spreading the doom and gloom that Linden Labs will abandon it’s current Second Life Residents when the new version out should stop and think that would be suicide on Linden Labs part as they are not stupid enough to look at a gift horse in the mouth as the current residents will give the new version of Second Life a head start.

This assumes that Linden Labs are even thinking of a second version of Second Life though I suspect they are more likely to continue with the current version and continue to improve it as in the end it will be far more cost effective as a second version would involve reset up of a grid, hardware, porting of software and the such which is still expensive business for little real gain on Linden Labs part. After all currently Second Life are real money spinners for Linden Labs and why change something which has already worked for over a decade.

Beside all this Second Life continues to be a quiet revolution in the future of social networks in so much it points in the direction of how social networks should develop but as always the major social networks like Facebook still only play at with virtual world kits rather than creating the virtual world needed to support it.

But as I keep saying which has been missed by those out there who claim to know the future of social networks is likes of Second Life is the future of social networks as after all people still like to interact face to face even if it is via a virtual world. Plus people do not need fancy kit to access a virtual world just a working viewer something Facebook and others have missed going for gimmicks rather than practicalities.

The most ironic thing is those around me are already using Avatars to talk to each other via the xBox or Playstation but still fail to grasp the fact that what I am doing within Second Life just on a more sophisticatedly way.

So the quiet revolution called Second Life keeps going showing what the real future of social network is which does not need gimmicks yet but it will eventually develop in that direction when the technology finally appears for real. It will keep the likes of myself hooked as it still more real social network than the mainstream social networks who continue to focus on commercialism rather than it’s social nature.

So roll on the quiet revolution called Second Life which is still ahead of it’s time even now!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

The Second Life mantra should be…..

“Second Life is not a game. Second Life is a social network!”

….and if people follow this mantra while they are in Second Life they will find the whole experience of Second Life a lot more fun and rewarding.

Those who still insist on treating Second Life as a game do not be surprised if most residents there do not give you the warmest of welcomes as you will not be most popular type resident.

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: If you are interested in my small social network just follow the link to On the Other Side!.

I have always been a long time fan of the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer since it’s first appearance but recently both it’s performance and other issues especially when it went to a V3.0 Second Life Official Viewer, it has started to impress me less and less. All this not helped by issues such viewers have on Linux Computers in general.

Currently the main issues with Friestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewers include a bad memory leak especially on Linux which means if a sim within Second Life got moderately full of Avatars means an inordinate amount memory is used on my computer it looks like because of the amount of slplugin processes that are fired up by the viewer itself for seamlessly no real reason.

This in itself would not be a problem as it a liveable problem on most modern computers though shows the laziness of most Second Life Viewer writers who seam not to take into account that not everyone can afford or need computers with specifications needed to run Microsoft’s Windows 8. This in itself is an annoying habit the Second Life viewer writers need breaking of as it almost criminal laziness on their part.

The major problem myself and others are experiencing, even on Windows Computers, which is quickly blamed on Linden Labs rather than the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer is the fact some parts of Avatars simply are not rezzing for other people or are taking a long time to rezz in-world.

Currently it it easy to see someone using the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer in-world as they tend to be Avatars who are appearing with bit and pieces of them missing initially or simply never appearing. I have a very similar problem with a set of wings I ware which for number of people within Second Life never appear for them when I am using the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer.

This I am finding annoying and I have to use a slightly more unstable Singularity Second Life Viewer on my Linux Computer which simply does not have the same issues including the memory over-usage problem. This is not a satisfactory position to be in considering I have been using the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer for years with little and no problems.

Basically I am disappointed with the current Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer as it is not an improvement but a major step backwards as viewers go especially on Linux and low power computers as once well respected viewer is going currently in the same direction as the Linden Lab Official Viewers in so much slowing becoming unusable as a general viewer on a large majority of computers!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

I have started to play with a piece of software called opensim, based on Second Life software, which allows someone to host a small virtual world on their own Computer at home. All this because I wanted to see if I could set up and run the software because I thought it was going to be difficult and to fight the nagging thought I always get with such things from my depression which states I cannot possibly do such a thing!

But I succeed and managed to get a small sim running on my Linux server at home with relative ease though currently it is not very exciting as it consists of a flat sim with a well somewhere on it but as I get to learn more it will get a bit more full of items.

It does have it’s problems running on my computer of which the major one being a memory leak somewhere as sometimes the opensim software uses inordinate amount of ram at times especially if a viewer is being run at the same time.

On top of this the opensim web site may be good for basic documentation how to set up, initialize and develop software for opensim the one thing it really lacks is a real in depth insight on useful things like parameter settings and more detailed instructions of things in general. This has made moving forward after you have opensim running a lot more difficult as you have to constantly search the internet to get any information you require.

Other than it as I said it was very easy for me to set up with the instructions given though now I have the fun of messing around with the sim itself within the small opensim over the next few months especially when I have another Linux server at home.

So I have become a World Builder be it a very small Virtual World another thing I have become in addition to what I am and do already!
Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

As one of the growing number of Linux and OpenBSD users of Second Life I am getting very annoyed both at Linden Labs and Third Party Second Life Viewer Writers not putting in as much work on their Linux versions of their viewers as the Windows and Mac versions of the same viewers.

Contrary to those less enlightened with Second Life who still live under the illusion that Linux and FreeBSD users are a small minority with Second Life from personal experience, that is actually talking to people there, the amount of people using Linux and FreeBSD is much larger than most people think.

All we are asking, as Apple users, is that you test your software better than you do which Linden Labs have no excuse in not doing considering they use Linux to run the machines which generate the Second Life grid itself.

This in itself is not asking much and we Linux and FreeBSD users would greatly appreciate it as there is nothing more annoying than when your favourite viewer, Singularity in my case, is upgraded to find it has a real fatal bug or problem with it because it was not tested properly on all platforms!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

For those out there who are going to be upset by what I am about to say as a long suffering Second Life resident I really do not care any more as I am little fed up with being short changed and fighting both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewers over the years especially when I converted to Linux!

After I loaded the now unofficial third party Second Life Viewer, Cool VL Viewer, and tested it out on one of my Linux Computers using one of alternative Second Life Avatars within Second Life it came very apparent to me there seams to be some major performance issues with current batch of both official and third-party second Life Viewers.

For those of you out there who have never used the Cool Viewer it was exclusive Second Life Viewer based upon the 1.23 versions of Second Life Viewers which have been modified to allow for all new features of Second Life including mesh.

Strangely some of the major Third Party Second Life Viewer creators could not do, with the exception of Singularity, who based their viewers on the 2.0+ and 3.0+ Official Second Life Viewers rather than the older and more stable 1.23 viewers which were far more stable than the current batch of viewers.

But I am digressing so I’ll get to the point what became very apparent with the newer Second Life Viewers both Official and Third Party which was really highlighted on Linux Machine are some major performance issue with these viewers.

The major one being due to slplugin process which is spawning a large number of I suspect unnecessary processes which is very clear under Linux which is causing excessive usage of RAM which can be a major problem for older computers both Linux and Windows who do not have excessive memory of newer computers especially Windows 8 machines.

Add to this a very poor support both by Official and Third Party Second Life of Linux and FreeBSD Operating Systems which frankly considering there are a larger number of Second Life residents which use Linux and FreeBSD. We feel greatly aggrieved by the fact we are being ignored or treated as second class citizens or as afterthoughts by both the Official and Third Party viewer writers especially due to the fact we are legitimate computer users much like Windows users.

All in all both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewer writers should stop wasting everyone’s time by working on pointless features which claim to improve the look of their viewers and actually do some long overdue work on the back ends of their viewers to improve their performance especially on older and Linux/FreeBSD computers as things cannot be left as they are.

After all if I was such a viewer writer and an unofficial Second Life Viewer writer using an older version of a Second Life viewer with same features which performs better than their viewers especially on older computers!

As a final note to both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewer writers there are more than just Windows 8.1 computers out there and by focusing on them you really are shooting both yourselves and Second Life in the foot so wake up and smell the coffee as there is a real Open Source revolution going out there lead by the android tablets!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Once again Bitcoin has been in the news for the wrong reasons again this time due to hackers stealing Bitcoin from a web site. It got me thinking is the whole idea of the Bitcoin is even worth the effort as since it’s creation it has caused more problems than it has solved ranging from excess power usage due to people mining it and the fact it is being used for illegal usage both by hackers and criminal because of it’s untraceable nature.

But what this highlights the major problem with virtual currencies is a lack of real control of these currencies as there are with so called real currencies mostly due to world governments and establishments total lack of understanding of the internet and it’s very nature.

This a control for virtual currencies makes them unsafe to use in so much as their very nature they are not backed up by real economy plus it makes them ideal for criminals to commit crimes including money laundering outside of the traceable real life money markets.

Of all the currencies Bitcoin has to be most insecure and least controlled virtual currency and anyone use uses it uses at their own risk and associate themselves with both hackers and criminals. Personally I would not use it as Bitcoin is not a secure way to store and use money because of it’s short comings.

I do use the virtual currency Linden Dollars within Second Life as they are limited to the virtual world and there has been some attempt to control them and they are actually backed by a working virtual economy.

But both Bitcoin and virtual currencies like Linden Dollars should start to be taken more seriously by world governments sooner than later as both are here to stay and need the same controls as real currencies to make them more secure and less attractive to criminals.

The BBC story which sparked this journal was: Major Bitcoin theft from website, claims owner

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to
Acta Spiritu Amisso.

As Second Life reaches it’s 10th Birthday some things have remained constant over this time the major one being the stability of the Second Life Viewers both Generic and Third Party. This has been the constant bugbear of a large majority of Second Life Residents.

All this not helped by Linen Labs constant introduction of new, largely useless, features within Second Life itself without making sure the grid is stable from the last lot of modifications and the viewer can cope with them. This has always resulted in unstable Second Life Viewers as both Linden Labs and Third Party groups constantly play catch up with these modifications.

Linden Labs have always been lucky that once people have tasted the virtual life within Second Life they will forgive even bend over backwards to keep their viewers and the computers the viewers are run on going. Though I cannot help but think that if Linden Labs by not putting enough effort to finally get a stable viewer which worked across ALL platforms have last a large number of potential Second Life residents.

Personally my biggest gripe with both Linden Labs and Third Party Creators of Second Life Viewers is the woeful Linux support which over the years caused me no ends of trouble which frankly not exactly smartest idea on both parties part considering that Second Life Residents can be most computer savi people and they are more likely to use Linux than most so called users.

Lets hope someone wakes up to the fact the constant Second Life Viewer stability problems is still causing Second Life problems and still holds it back from it’s full potential as new users are put off by these constant problems!

What has become very clear from my experience both on and Second Life that some people are finding them very scary places because they have to actually socially interact with people on both of the said social networks!

This does highlight one major flow in modern man world over with ease of communication now modern man has lost the basic social skills we all once had to a point they are lost when they are faced with a real social situation even on a social web site.

How this situation actually happened is still a mystery to me but it could be due to a large part people spend more time at home in front of the television watching the world rather than interacting with the world itself. Add to this children now spend more time indoors either in front of a television or playing games on computers or games consults rather than actually going out and playing with other children as they did in my day.

I think this has produced a generation which are socially stunted incapable of actually holding a proper conversion with someone and it really shows in the way they talk to someone or more like they now talk at someone rather than listening to each other.

All this further exasperated by a media which encourages a shallow society which is more concerned with trivial matters than real social interaction between people. Even social networks like Facebook encourage such reactions between people nowadays.

So I should not be surprised when modern people when confronted with a real social web site, for example or Second Life they are totally lost or scared as they really do not have the social skills people like myself were taught when we were younger.

And what do they do? They run away like all modern people from something they do not understand rather than learn something new which could be potentially very useful and rewarding to themselves!

Even a lot of current residents of Second Life miss the simple magic of the place in so much people have a chance to show their true selves and express themselves in a way they cannot do in their real lives. All helped by the totally customisable Avatar and the ability to build everything including new bodies.

A lot of residents of Second Life spend time creating unique and memorable Avatars not to hide behind but to stamp a mark on Second Life itself, make a statement and/or express their own personality there. But sadly there are those residents who cannot be bothered to do anything about their Avatar or fall for fashion trends there and sadly they also largely miss the true magic of Second Life.

Then add on top of this the magic of a place where people can socialise, exchange ideas and build in an environment where where they are more on their actions and what they say rather than the way they look or the illness they have. Second Life gives these people a chance to have real social life something our predigest modern lives still denies them.

Finally the magic of Second Life brings people together within a virtual environment where they create new friendships and living communities once again something our modern world discourages by it’s very nature.

I’m banging the drum again for Second Life because it is long overdue and someone has to. All this because once again at work when talking to two World of Warcraft Players who once again thought of Second Life as a game not what it has become a Social Web site which frankly more effective at bringing people together and building communities than the major social web sites for example Facebook.

This is a common misconception from those people who have never been into Second Life which is really not helped by Linden Labs who still promote the game side of Second Life rather than the social side as they should. What does not help the situation is having a CEO who is ex-EA Games head who frankly like a lot in Linden Labs have failed to wake up to this single fact yet!

I am still of the opinion that likes of Second Life are the future of social web sites in so much as virtual technology improves it will be more natural for people to interact on line via Avatar in a virtual world than in just plain text and pictures. Because likes of Second Life are far more immediate and more natural to people who are more designed to interacting with things in the shape of people rather than just plain text and pictures.

So to wake people up to this fact I will continue to bang the drums for Second Life until people wake up from their love of the now dying social web sites of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter who frankly long past their sell by date and usefulness as social web sites!

I think I have said this before but like a lot of things it needs restating this so people take notice again. This is the problem of freebies within Second Life who do have a place there but is a two edged sword in so much the new users expect Freebies now on entering Second Life which at the expense of the Builders and Item Creators there!

This not helped by the Builders and Item Creators who in an effort to get noticed in a virtual market which is flooded with Builders give away freebies in their stores and the myriads of hunts continually going on within Second Life itself are in their desperation are sowing the seeds of their own destruction!

In doing so they have created a culture among the Noobies of Second Life who expect to get things free rather than older residents who know nothing comes free as the money paid for an item keeps the said Builders and Item Creators in business and creating the wonderful things they make. This singular fact has escaped the Noobies who seam to be more interested in getting something for nothing including Second Life itself in so much they will not put in basic effort to interact with other residents there.

In my personal view it is high time some Second Life Builders and Item Creators woke up to the fact that Freebies even hunts are killing themselves off. Though this has not been lost on a growing number of Builders and Item Creators who now actively boycott the Hunts and restrict the access to any Freebies they give away.

It is time that Builders and Item Creators of Second Life, like so already, need to wake up before it is too late beardless how desperate you are to sell items and get noticed by giving Freebies you are cutting your own throats and destroying your business even before it started.

What does not help is the fact Linden Labs have not effective method to allow the Builder and Items Creators within Second Life to advertise as because of their own inaction and ineffective actions surrounding the bot problems effectively made the in-world search ineffective and untrustworthy as few residents now take the result seriously. Not helped by a constant suspicion of old Second Life Residents that the searches are still being manipulated by unscrupulous Residents!

Rather than Linden Lab sitting on the fence allowing this situation continue but do something about it as after all a failure to do so will mean a loss of revenue as people leave because the world lacks the Builders and Item Creators who give the world a life in the first place!

I have always been Second Life Evangelist from the first day I stepped into the virtual world itself. Mainly from the start I loved the idea of a virtual world created by the users and it’s potential.

I have also watched over the last 7 years and so Second Life blossom into a full and lively Social Network which touches beyond the virtual world itself from a concept of being a game by it’s creators Linden Labs. I think this part took Linden Labs by surprise but it should not of as I have said before Second Life as a social media is a fantastic concept in itself!

I still think Linden Labs and a large amount noobies within Second Life itself have missed or failed to understand what they have created or found a vibrant and living virtual world full of colour and real communities.

In Linden Labs case I suspect currently they see Second Life as a money spinner rather than the early days a interesting project. This is very sad in a way as Linden Labs have shown recently a reluctance to solve real problems within the world or take any responsibility for my problems there. It is just lucky for Linden Labs there is a hard core of Second Life Residents who make Second Life what it is!

But regardless of this Second Life for me has always been a wonderful place to socialise and meet new people who a lot of have become my friends both Real and Second Life. It has always been a better place to express myself and socialize than any other social media because of it’s immanence when socialising much as real life.

So now I am Second Life Evangelist who will spread the word about Second Life as a social network cannot be beaten because of it’s virtual and real content. It is the future of social interaction over the internet if a bit early for the technology to make it even better but still it is the future!

Since Second Life’s viewer is now available on Steam it might be time to remind people that Second Life is not a game per say but as I have pointed out time again and again it is now more of a social web site. It is certainly how the large number of the Second Life Residents use it especially the long term residents like myself.

What does annoys us long term residents of Second Life are those who come into Second Life with the attitude that it is a game as such an attitude does mean the person in question not only gets very little out of Second Life on top of which they will quickly find people will not talk to them because of it!

This is subtle hint to the game players out there who want to venture into Second Life you will not find such things associated with on-line games like quests, weapons and amour even skills. Add this the fact you have to actually socialise and talk to people in an environment which encourages social interaction.

So to get the full out of Second Life you have to go in with open attitude and prepared to actually talk to other people within Second Life itself as the large majority of residents are there to socialize and not play games per say!

As I said the Second Life Mantra continues!

Second Life is not a game but a social web site within a virtual world!