Faster Computer for Cheap?

Intel is pushing their Intel Optane® memory. It isn’t totally new. It has been around for a while (2017). However, the name makes it a bit ambiguous as to what it actually is. Is this memory? Yeah, but not really. If you see it you may think it is an SSD, Solid State Drive. Not exactly either as most of us think about memory and SSD’s. Optane memory is a module with memory that installs as if it were an SSD but speeds up your EXISTING SATA hard drives, the spinning disk kind.

The new buzz term you may hear is storage class memory. Optane is a step in achieving actual storage class memory. A RAM drive is sort of the idea here. But, can’t be considered ‘storage’ as it clears at power off. Massive amounts of memory are also too expensive to compete with large hard drives.

Some people buy SSDrives that connect to the motherboard’s SATA ports thinking they are going to get those reported super speeds for SSD’s. But, the SATA ports are a bottleneck. SATA was not designed to run at memory speeds. So, the SSD is only as fast as the SATA port. Screwed again. Continue reading

Star Citizen – Open Sandbox

Every so often I look around to see what is happening in the gaming world. This week STAR CITIZEN’S CHARACTER CUSTOMIZER is the subject of an article on Massively (3/23/2018) that caught my interest. They featured this video. While it is an interesting video of what is happening in the design room, we never get to see the character creator. 🙁

But, skipping through the video made me curious. I wanted to see what the game will look like… this video is the impressive one, IMO. The size of the world is amazing. But at time mark 19:00 you are finding the planet was just a small part of this virtual world that is truly a virtual universe.

It is pretty impressive. The size of the cities is surprising. What gets really amazing is the trip up to the space station (time marked link opens a browser). Then the jump to the next system and a trip down to the surface of another planet. For now, the universe in Star Citizen is limited. This is alpha.

By the 32:00 time mark they are down on the ground showing of the detail of the planet. Continue reading

News Bits III 2018 w09

Skin Fair 2018

This is always an interesting fair. It runs from March 9 to 25. For a list of participants look here Website. The location of the fair is not yet accessible. Event organizer.

Skin Fair 2018

You can advertise there, on a billboard (PG only), by purchasing board space starting March 1 for L$3,000. Ad Office.

Blogger applications for early access are here.

Fashion Bloggers

I’m not that much into fashion review. My GA.EG Jennifer mesh head article provides the type of information that interests me. That article is like 1,500 words. I don’t see that in most fashion reviews. The amount of information normally provided by the hundreds of fashion sites popping up on iHeartSL is a picture and a list of stuff worn. It is sort of customary to include a link to where an item can be purchased, but not always. Continue reading

DDoS Attacks of February 2018

The previously reported (Second Life DDoS Attack) DDoS is mostly over… for now. Oddly, I am having to search for news of the attack(s). It is there, but the media does not seem interested. On the net, you can find information. Like:

I suspect the reason for the lack of coverage is this type of information is too techy for most newscasters and writers to handle… maybe even understand.

Warriors... come out to play

Warriors… come out to play

From Internet searches, we can see a lot of people knew this type of attack was coming way before it happened. But, those that failed to protect their servers from misuse apparently didn’t. This failure of people to prepare for a known possibility is rampant in society.

Those of us that want solid Internet connections can take some steps to mitigate the impact such attacks have. The attacks often target the DNS servers, the units that translate secondlife.com into something the computer can use, IPv6 = 2001:578:3f::30 or IPv4 = 216.82.8.56. The bad actors get the most impact for their clicks by taking down DNS servers as without them your computer can’t find the machine addresses and cannot connect. Fail. Continue reading

Second Life News 2018 w09

The last few days we have had some people complaining about login issues. I’m one of them. But, the problem is so erratic and apparently random I can’t put any useful information in a JIRA.

This morning there was some issue with logins. Only 17,000+ were on when I logged in at 10:45 Am SLT. On my trackers next update, 19,000+ were on. That 17k is an extraordinarily small number. The low for the day is about 7,000… but it may have been zero. My tracker only grabs data every 10 minutes. A lot can happen in the computer world and RL in 10 minutes.

Lauressa - Close-up

Lauressa – Close-up

I currently show 3,000 to 2,000 people logging in every 10 minutes. This is indicative of some grid wide problem.

Status only says they are investigating intermittent login issues.

Update 11:00 AM SLT – Seems the problem is a DDOS attack. See Unscheduled DDoS. This is not a Linden Lab specific attack. Early indications, often wrong, suggest it is possibly an attack on America. I would not be surprised to trace it back to North Korea. They will likely react to the sanctions just placed on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. So, appease them now and face a nuclear attack later or deal with them now?

Did you know the average duration of a mass shooting is three minutes? What is the response time of the police in your neighborhood, to your sports arena, movie theater, or school? Continue reading

Second Life Bits 2018 w07

Dance – Crap Mariner has an article about dance in the One Billion Rising event. You’ll find it on Inara’s blog: Who Puts the Dance into One Billion Rising? Long, interesting.

Happy Valentine

Happy Valentine

Restarts – When the simulators are restarted it usually takes just a few hours. Some are experiencing way long times for restarts. Caleb Linden is looking into it. If you have specific information on a long restart, email it to Caleb or file a JIRA Bug Report and mention Caleb’s name.

Interesting – There is a huge 220 page, and growing, thread in the SL Forum, How does your avatar look today? A resident by the name of Nostoll started the thread in May 2017. With about 26 posts per page that is almost 6,000 posts residents have made.

A variety of avatars are portrayed with varying quality. I suppose we could consider the images a representation of a cross-section of SL users. If that were accurate then we could draw conclusions from what see, like hardware in use and graphics settings, whether or not ALM is in use… Continue reading

AvaStar – Infected Download

WARNING UPDATE:2/9 – OK The original post is not quite right. Original:

The AvaStar people (wrong – wasn’t reading closed enough) have posted a warning about recent downloads of AvaStar being infected with a Trojan or computer virus. They aren’t clear on what it was just that it was a bad thing. See: AvaStar – infected download.

If you downloaded their version 2.3-2 update in the last 2 or 3 weeks… you are at risk. Get a new copy and replace it. Scan your computer…  Type DEFENDER in the ‘Ask me anything‘ or Search Windows field and run Windows Defender. Click Virus & threat protection. In place of a Quick Scan choose Custom Scan and point Defender to the place you keep your downloads.

Gaia commented below. Also, the original warning came from Casper Tech, not Machinimatrix. Also, the Casper Tech post has changed since I first read it.

Gaia and the Machinimatrix people seriously doubt the AvaStar code or package was infected.

Thinking about it, the programming code for Blender is Python. Blender add-ons, at least all those I have, are delivered as text files written in the Python language. So, the malicious code would have to be written in Python making it a specialized case, which is outside the normal pattern of malicious code for a web hack. So, I suspect Gaia and crew are right, the AvaStar programs and package were NOT compromised.

Doing some research this morning, I find that it is possible to embed malicious software in Blender files (.blend) and place executable code (.exe) in Python programs, but the Python has to call them and Windows intercepts the call and asks if it is OK to run it. Neither case is conducive to hackers. So, possible but unlikely.

However, Casper Tech is pointing out that the website hacks were sending people to a third-party site. They were attempting to inject malicious software into computers arriving at the site. But, a manual virus-scan of your computer will reveal any problem.