Politics: Surveillance

Why is it even important… and why should I care? I’ll get to the why…

Spy vs Spy

Spy vs Spy

Recently the Dems and GOP have been fussing about what is or isn’t spying. It doesn’t take exceptional intelligence to figure which side has staked their position in the debate in the Land of Dumb… Is it spying or surveillance? That seems to be the crux of the debate.

SPY ∙ verb

  • work for a government or other organization by secretly collecting information about enemies or competitors.
  • observe (someone) furtively.
  • discern or make out, especially by careful observation.

SURVEILLANCE ∙ noun

  • close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal.

Is there really a difference? Is any difference enough to matter? If not, then what is at play?
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What took Second Life down?

Last Monday early the Second Life™ grid went dark. I have heard the total number of concurrent users was 2.

The details of what happened were published Friday, The Road to Downtime Was Paved with Good Intentions.

The TL:DR is a complex plan had been devised to allow replacement of the routers that connect the SL system to the Internet without taking SL down. The complexity came from figuring out how to make the switch over without taking SL down. At home, you would just concede that replacing a router would interrupt your Internet service and deal with it.

The Art of Rain

The Art of Rain

The SL system has a boatload of routers and considerable redundancy. Meaning some number of those routers should be able to fail with the system falling back to the remaining operational ones without users ever noticing. Something the equipment manufacturer, network consultant, and Lindens had not imagined went sideways and cut the system off from users when it shouldn’t have. While they are not giving out exact details, the newly discovered way for the system to fail has now been built into the Linden planning to hopefully never cause a problem again. Continue reading

Second Life Animesh Baby Review

Most days I scan through the Second Life™ blogosphere to see what is going on. I’m generally interested in the tech stuff and what people are doing along with how they do it in Second Life. I come across things I find interesting in the scan. That stuff ends up in my weekly news, out on Tuesdays, or in a ‘bits’ post or article like this.

SL Families

This ‘families’ stuff seems to be a thing in SL. The Lab published Start Your Own Virtual Family in Second Life Monday, May 13, 2019. From that article, we see a newer feature of SL, animesh, is in use to make babies. Zooby, Suki BabiesK-Mae and Funsies are the popular brands of animesh babies.

But why is caring for a pixel baby a thing? There is no single answer other than perhaps it is some natural aspect of humans that exhibits in certain scenarios. How you attribute that aspect and its nature depends on your philosophy. The secularist/atheistic and spiritual/religious philosophies take people down different thought trails to various conclusions. We know as a fact this behavior is present and observable. The how’s and why’s are a speculative opinion.

Where there is a need there is someone to fill it, at least in a free market. With the new tech, animesh, people can make something more like what people want. So, we now have babies that behave in ways not possible before. Much more realistic and entertaining. The video shows how interactive the animesh babies are. Continue reading

Second Life News 2019 w20

A berry good introduction to Second Life™ popped up on YouTube yesterday, How to Get Started in Second Life New User Tutorial.

Save a link to the video. You can refer people to it that ask about Second Life™.

Servers

There is currently no DEPLOYS post which is sort of expected this week as a maintenance project is in progress this week. From Grid Status a few days ago,

Scheduled – Our engineers will be performing maintenance on the Second Life network May 13 – 16. We hope to perform most of the maintenance early in this window, but it may extend several days if needed.

Residents may experience problems connecting to, being disconnected from, or an inability to log in during this time, as well as possible issues rezzing objects, teleporting, or crossing regions. We hope to keep these disruptions to a minimum and greatly appreciate your patience during this time as we work to make Second Life more robust.

We will resolve this status once the maintenance has been fully completed.
May 7, 16:16 PDT

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New Sex in Second Life?

Yeah… people still have sex in RL & SL… Which group is having the most sex is debatable. Everyone participates in RL while only a few participate in SL. So, number-wise RL wins. But, what part of a person’s RL time is devoted to sex? Versus what part of an avatar’s time in SL is devoted to sex?

Ruckus Store – Smash Couch – May 2019

I don’t have the answers. As best I can tell no one knows. I suspect some log into SL only for sex. Those people would push the percentage of time for SL people higher. I also know a number of people that never and/or rarely have sex in SL and they would lower the percentage. So, who knows?

I suppose our opinions are colored by whether we are getting some or not. Whether we are or aren’t we have our ideas of how it goes. But, in Second Life there are so many OLD animations that user over and over. Now there are new strokes for the folks. Continue reading

Feed a Smile, a charity serving Kenyan school children.

The Silk Road Series #1 FUND RAISER for Feed a Smile is a combined RL & SL LIVE EVENT held at The Writers Centre, Singapore and a region in Second Life™ from which it will be streamed.

Time: Saturday, May 18  – TIME: 5am-8am SLT

Location: Caravanserai, (SL Map URL) the Crossroads of the Arts In SL and a Monash University, Melbourne Australia region.

Twitch stream: http://tiny.cc/tktk6y – Try this during the event.
Second Life link:  http://tiny.cc/9gtk6y or Map URL.

From Singapore to Second Life: come to the Caravanserai for a one-night stopover to witness a grand live concert, streamed online as Singapore wordsmiths and improv musicians team up with accomplished artists, writers, musicians, comics, filmmakers and poets from Germany, UK, Holland, Portugal, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Canada and the USA.

This coming together of SL and Singaporean artists is in aid of Feed a Smile, a charity serving Kenyan school children. Continue reading

Second Life News 2019 w19

There was no Third-Party Dev UG meeting last week, so no news from there. Not much from the Server-Scripting UG meeting either.

The last week’s updates seem to have improved our chances of staying connected. I managed to fly my Shergood EC-135 around the Bellisseria continent taking off, making 78 crossings, and one of my better landings at the busy Dog Bone landing strip.

My flight log from 5/2019 Post Disconnection Fix

However, earlier Sunday when flying in Eden-Fruit Islands I was being unseated consistently on the first crossing. Moving from landing field to field I found it tended to be the first to third crossing. Changes between the EC-135 and different H-160’s and my script & attachment counts didn’t make a noticeable difference. So… server or connection is the likely problem…

Simon Linden tells us the stats on region crossing disconnects are greatly improved. He will be doing more work to improve crossings. Continue reading

Getting Ready for “Bakes on Mesh” Bodies

The end of March Linden Lab released the latest version of the Bakes on Mesh (BoM) Viewer. It is in RC so we could see BoM coming out in final version soon. The recent Disconnects Problem has likely delayed BoM and other projects. That problem seems solved or at least greatly reduced. Other projects will move ahead now and BoM is probably just a couple of weeks from final release… say soon…

The questions I have all deal with how well will my clothes will work with the new BoM Mesh Bodies? Siddean the designer for Slink has provided information on what we can expect. Siddean’s Slink body is built… um… that doesn’t sound quite right, rephrase… ready for release or at least down to the final tweaks.

Whatever you look outside, the real value is what you have inside

Whatever you look outside, the real value is what you have inside

April 3rd,2019 Siddean answered questions about what she is doing with the Slink bodies. You can find this information in Siddean’s Discord channel.

The new bodies are a re-thought new design. So, we are going to be re-learning how to manage bodies, clothes, and tattoos.

The new body will work with clothes made for the previous body. Said in tech-speak, the body size and weighting remain the same. Also, the previous versions of the body will continue to work. BoM will only work with the new bodies. Continue reading