Second Life and HeartBleed

The media is trying for ratings. To get them, they over hype things. I am also convinced that journalist become journalist because they cannot do math or understand science, which to some degree means technology. So, they have little understanding of HeartBleed, what it does, how it does it, or what it means.

HeartBleed

HeartBleed

To put things in some perspective check out: Answering the Critical Question: Can You Get Private SSL Keys Using Heartbleed?

The quick explanation of HeartBleed is that it is an exploit run on SERVERS that use the OpenSSL code and only certain versions of it. Anti-virus and anti-malware software cannot fix or protect you from such a problem.

So, if someone is selling protection, they are selling into the hype-generated fear. They are opportunists, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But, if they are providing software for your computer they are only providing some people peace of mind. You can get peace of mind for free from understanding the reality.

Cloudflare’s explanation is what I’ll call medium level technical. It is readable and I think SL users will probably understand it. But, the TL;DR is:

The exploit in the server code will allow a hacker to trick the server into sending them the code they need to decrypt HTTPS encrypted network packets. When you browser talks to a bank or other server using OpenSSL the network packets traveling back and forth are encrypted. To date no one has been able to break that encryption. So, your conversation is secure.  Continue reading

Second Life Bugs

Some are seeing behavior changes in the viewer. It doesn’t seem anyone knows if they were intentional. Whether they are or are not, some people are not happy.

Ardy Lay describes the problem as:

Expectations:

A) Avatar is expected to stop watching mouse pointer after a short period of mouse inactivity.

B) World Map is expected to close-couple pan with mouse movement and stop panning when mouse motion is stopped, regardless of mouse button state after stop.

Results:

A) Avatar is watching mouse pointer long after mouse pointer motion stops.  This defeats a mechanism by which life-like behavior is imparted into avatar motion.

B) World Map exploration is being awkward as the mouse button must be released to stop the map from panning away from the desired view.

These changes start to appear in SL Viewer versions 3.7.3 and 3.7.4. I find them in version 3.7.6.

With the map, I like the change. To see it click on the map part of the World Map and flick the map left or right. Hold the left mouse button down after the drag/flip motion. The map will continue to scroll. How fast you jerk the image does not seem to matter.  The map scrolls at the same speed.

You’ll see some odd behavior when you move quickly. I think our hand bounces a bit at the end and that can confuse the map scroller. Try it. You’ll see.

As to the avatar eyes following the mouse, I have mixed feelings. I gave up trying to control the avatar for pictures with that feature. See Strawberry’s recommendations for pose tools. So, this is not much of an issue for me.

Second Life and What Fits

A couple of days ago Jeremy Linden put a new page into the Second Life™ Knowledge Base: Buying clothing that fits your avatar. The same day a post appeared in the Second Life Blog: Help Customers Buy Clothing that Fits their Avatars. Both of these target the confusion surrounding mesh clothes and avatars.

Consider. We started out with what I call system clothes. These are the decals we place on the avatar that look like clothes. This is the shirt or pants we make when use the features in Appearance. We hang prims and sculpties on the avatar to embellish the ‘decal’ clothes. These clothes fit the avatar perfectly. Consider ‘perfectly’ to mean no skin poke through. Continue reading

The Ditko University in Second Life

Somewhere in the information flowing past me I came across The Ditko University and the classes they teach. Their class schedule is here: Ditko Class Schedule. This item caught my eye: Blender Avastar Animations 101 by Haven Ditko.

I’ve done animations, but my animations (about 6) were done before I got Avastar. While I did a lot of work figuring out animation retargeting last year, I was having a tough time of it. Blender had problems at the time and I am a novice when it comes to animating. So, I wanted to check out this class and make sure I have a good understanding of the basics.  Continue reading

Philip Speaks at VWBPE 2014

This morning Daniel Voyager has a link to this video, which is about 33 minutes. Daniel also has an index to the video: VWBPE 2014: Philip Rosedale Keynotes – Live Updates. It is based on time-of-day rather than minute marks. But, you can get a sense of where in the video things are.

I didn’t hear much new information in this speech/video. Drax, or at least some Draxtor… and it sounds like a question the world famous Drax we know would ask, asks if High Fidelity (HF) will make Second Life™ obsolete. In answering Philip sounds a bit like a politician. Meaning I didn’t really hear an answer. There is no yes or no or may be or what would have been most accurate: I don’t know. He does point out that Linden Lab is an investor in HF. He expects HF technology to make it into Second Life.

But, the question is valid. Think about it. If HF can eliminate lag then Second Life will have to eliminate lag or I believe it will die. Which would you rather use? A laggy world or a highly responsive one? We already know lag is a major objection that new users of Second Life have.  Continue reading

Facebook Chat

It seems to me Facebook is all about the money and market share. Businesses do have to compete and Facebook is the big kid in the room, king of the mountain so to speak. Lots of people are trying to knock Facebook out of that position. In the latest European battle to be your text messaging service Facebook is shifting tactics.

If you use a mobile app for Facebook, you know it has had a text chat app built in. Now it is being removed. You either download Facebook’s chat app or do without FB chat.

Get the details on what’s happening here: Facebook Is Forcing All Users To Download Messenger By Ripping Chat Out Of Its Main Apps.

When I read Zuckerberg quotes I don’t see concern about FB customers. I get a sense that it is all about maintaining market share. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Businesses do have to compete. But, it is possible to get it wrong.

The quote I’ve seen from Zuckerberg is:

“ And the reason why we’re doing that is we found that having it as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.”

The underlining is my emphasis.

I point this out because I am already thinking about what a FB virtual world might be like. I believe that the fundamental nature of any Facebook world is going to be set by Zuckerberg and the Facebook corporations business needs. My thinking is getting the nuances of the nature of both accurate will improve my predictions.

Second Life Avatar Shape

Loki Eliot has an article up titled: Exploring the future of my Avatars Shape.

The article is a good account of the problems and decisions we must handle when making full avatars and clothes. It is worth the time to read.

We have many considerations related to where the Second Life Avatar is going and how we will work with it. The Lindens see things in terms different from those we see. The Lindens are dealing with programming issues and development costs. Since they seldom make clothes and seldom are involved in fashion the priorities are lopsided toward the technical. Lindens may not change appearance/clothes for years.

Of course the majority of SL users have no idea of the technical complications. But, they are into fashion and may change their appearance several times per week, if not per day. So, the majority of users have priorities lopsided toward the aesthetic side. Continue reading

JIRA STORM-1800

The two big JIRA items relating to the Second Life avatar are STORM-1716 and STORM-1800. 1716 was the Mesh Deformer. It is considered closed with the release of Fitted Mesh. 1800 is the item that deals with the avatar weighting and mesh layout, which many of us still consider a problem.

You can see the partial fix discussed in 1800 in the Singularity Viewer. It uses the adjusted weights recommended as an improvement to the existing avatar we see in the SL Viewer. I’ve added the weight to a couple of versions of the SL Viewer. It helps. But, the patch only affects what I see not others. You can add the fix to your viewer using the file found in the JIRA.  Continue reading