Where the Trail Stops

Where the Trail Stops
by Bay Sweetwater

Where the trail stops in a stand of pines and birches,
and the breeze hurries home in the darkening afternoon,
there lies a lost and frozen lake,
framed by holly and persimmon trees.

A fallen tree limb makes a bench, I settle
and gaze at twilight dressing for the evening
in a gown of silver, ribboned in pink and blue,
waiting for her escort in the chariot of Selene.

Sudden as lightning, a crack fractures the lake,
so swift and dark and silent, you could miss it,
if you did not love this lake as much as I.
The leaden sky presses low and scatters snow.

(Photographed in A Dream of Snow sim, Second Life)

Is the new Interesting Second Life viewer ignoring Macs?

The new Interesting Second Life viewer may be interesting, but not to many Mac users. It looks like the beta “Project Interesting” Second Life viewer  doesn’t function on most Mac computers. All I see on both my macs is a world with no clouds, awful water, and not much in terms of landscape. It appears shaders just aren’t working. Has anyone been able to have a good viewer experience running the Interesting beta on a mac yet? If so, please let me know in Comments. I’d love to hear.

Both my macs are relatively new. But just this morning Jo Yardley reports “Unfortunately the new viewer doesn’t work for macbooks with old operating systems like mine.

So it appears the problem is with new and old macs. Macs have always been stepchildren in Second Life, although lately I have been able to run both Linden and Firestorm viewers  well enough. Firestorm crashes quite often on my 2013 iMac, but I keep hoping I’ll be able to troubleshoot it.

Continue Reading “Is the new Interesting Second Life viewer ignoring Macs?”

“Boobies first, Clothes last”: Humorous suggestions for Project Interesting rezzing order in Second Life

There’s a new Second Life viewer that rezzes what is “interesting” first. It’s called prioritized object loading.” But this leads to the interesting question of what  is interesting? Of course, residents in the  Second Life Forum have had a good time making humorous suggestions. Spoiler alert: Boobies first, clothes last.

You can get the beta of the new viewer on theSL Wiki  (Viewer version is called Project Interesting, and it’s the  finishing touch on Project Shining, which launched a couple months ago.

The idea is that the viewer will now prioritize object loading to rezz what is “interesting” to your avatar first. So, for example, if you’re visiting a big castle, you won’t run into those non-rezzed doors anymore. They’ll rezz first because they’re important to your avatar’s experience. See Torley’s video about Project Interesting  here.

The idea is actually a good one, and I’ll put an update here just as soon as I try out the new viewer.

Proj Interesting


Missed Connections: We Met in a Zombie Shooting Sim (and Now I Can’t Forget You)

The “Missed Connections” Second Life Forum is a little-known mysterious corner of the Second Life Community. Lost someone? Missing someone? This is your second chance in Second Life.

For those of you who might not know, the Second Life Forum maintains a dozen or so forums, with tons of sub-categories, one of which is “Missed Connections,” in the People Forum.

The idea of Missed Connections is if you have lost track of an avatar in Second Life, or you are looking for someone you saw but never had the chance to meet, this is the thread for you. Just leave a note in the forum, and your second love may reply and you can reconnect. Here’s how the forum’s pinned post describes itself:

“Saw someone in Second Life, but missed your chance to say hello? Now is your second chance at making that connection happen.”

This kind of thing is right up my alley. Perhaps it is the nostalgia of autumn that has me thinking of what might have been, and  especially of who might have been. What if, after all, I had mustered up the courage to say hello to the blue dragon eating the chocolate chip cookie on the edge of the dance floor? Where might we be now? Ah, if only.

From Mysterious to Heart-rending

As you can imagine, this thread makes for absorbing reading, especially on a rainy autumn day when memories and thoughts of yesterday can visit. The discussions go on sometimes for pages, and they range from mysterious to dramatic to heart-rending, and even funny. I’m going to give a few examples here, but for the sake of privacy, no names. If you’re really curious, you can visit the Forum.

The Fish Who Got Away

Probably the most common poster is someone who is looking for a specific avatar they met but didn’t get the name … the age-old fish who got away. Sometimes saved chat logs and IM histories just aren’t enough. Say, for example, you meet your dream girl in a zombie shooting range and she logs off before you get up the nerve to say anything? That’s what happened to this forum poster:

“We Met in a Zombie Shooting Sim. You are beautiful (but i’m sure you get that alot. …) We were shooting in the police statation together and I’d really like to get to know you better. But you logged off before I could say Hi.”


Or on more of a poetic side:

“It was a warm, quiet summer night – a while ago … when a tall, dark, handsome stranger out of the blue asked me for a dance. It was magical and then … we went off. I never danced with him him again … where is he?”

The Disappearing Act

And then there are the known avatars who suddenly disappear without warning, leaving mystery and tears behind them. They bring posts like these:

“Every time I see a water reflection it hurts me, I miss you so much baby.  Sometimes I think I would flip the whole damn sim upside down just to see you one more time, but I know it wouldn’t be the same.”

Some are very straightforward, such as this one looking for Princess Luna:

“If you get this … or any of her friends read this … please tell her to get in tough with me via im or so, Please?”

While others are more dramatic and poignant:

“Dear XXX, if you ever get to read this my love, know that I think about you everyday. You are missed more than you will ever know. I know you are fighting  the most vicisous ennemy in RL. I wish you strenght, I wish you love. I have no words to say how much I miss you. Je t’aime mon coeur.”

Or the stark simplicity of one who longs for bright Lucinda:

“Where is lucinda, with views that opened doors within the mind to explore, how dull this forum is without Lucinda “bringer of the light.”

Posts like these sometimes bring snarky replies, such as this one to the hunt for the bright Lucinda:

“Perhaps there was a power outage.”

The Distress is Very Real

The distress of some of the posters is quite palpable, and very real.

Of course he could be just ignoring me or maybe he’s in a hospital! Completely nothing in any of the social media we were in touch with…I welcome any pat on the back and shoulder to cry on…I think my heart is breaking…keep checking my IMS even in the mid of the nite….sob*”

There are some who, instead of missing someone, wished that they themselves were missed:

“Sometimes I wish … I wish I was missed. I look on here wondering if anyone misses me… sadly no.. lol. Am I the only one?”

And then there are the humorous posts, that come with tongue in cheek:

“I was there. Well cut suit, white hair, pale skin, fangs. You were there. Brown spikey system hair, bandito moustache. Black shirt with a Rolling Stones logo. Disco codpiece over jeans. You smiled, and a whole new world was created.You left. You came back. Then you left again. Whyyyyyyy….? Can you at least come visit once in a while? The children keep asking for you…”

So if you’re a writer looking for ideas, this is your treasure trove. Or maybe you are missing that special someone? Take a look here. Maybe they’re looking for you too.


More Second Life TOS talk, this time with lawyers

I attended the United Content Creators of SL legal panel discussion today inworld with three RL lawyers about the new TOS changes to Second Life. What a turnout. Sim was packed; after the first 5 minutes you couldn’t get in without a wait. At one point, I counted 128 avies either at the event or back on the Justitia sim trying to get in, listening to the aviewTV stream. Here is what stuck in my head after the discussion.

Give up the right to litigate

1. Although most of us are focused on the relinquishment of license to our content to Linden, a bigger problem is our relinguishment of the right to litigate. (Section 10). As one of the lawyers said: “The issue is not whether you would prevail at court, it’s whether you could ever get to court.”

No limits

2. The other big problem is the lack of limitation on Linden’s license to our content – it is not limited in these TOS by time, degree, or purpose.

Before and after
3. Many of us thought the new TOS would apply only to content uploaded AFTER the new TOS, but the lawyers seemed in agreement that Linden was making the claim that it has a license to ALL content, before and after.

Machinima has cause for worry
4. Machinima makers definitely have reason for concern as to whether Linden could claim a license to the content they film in Second Life and show outside of Second Life.


Google Has Decided Its Latest Product Is YOU! (And How to Opt Out)

Did you know Google is about to sell your name and picture to advertisers targeting your friends? Yup. It’s all in Google’s new TOS.

The change in Google’s Terms of Service announced two days ago are right up there with Linden Lab’s recent TOS change allowing it to grab the rights to use and sell all the content you create in Second Life. Google’s new TOS take effect November 11.

Opt Out Here

If all of this sounds a bit like organized prostitution, go here now and opt out. [Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to find the opt-out toggle box.] We’ve  got a month to complain before it takes effect, but our track record on changing Google’s mind is not impressive. Continue Reading “Google Has Decided Its Latest Product Is YOU! (And How to Opt Out)”

Nymwars 2.0: New Cost of Anonymity Is Irrelevance

Avatars worried about getting kicked out of Facebook and Google+ for anonymity now have a bigger concern: irrelevance.

That’s what Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt says. The Avatar Roundup that has haunted avatars since the 2011 Nymwars might be superceded in Google-land. Now Schmidt has the bright idea that it’s a lot easier just to make the anonymous irrelevant.

It’s has to do with a controversial projected Google practice called “Author Rank” – placing posts by verified authors at the top of search results. People argue about whether Google is currently doing it or not, but hardly anyone doubts that they will.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

Continue Reading “Nymwars 2.0: New Cost of Anonymity Is Irrelevance”

Fall is a Time-Spangled Graveyard


I like the season fall because it reminds me of what’s important. As the days get shorter, I remember how short life is, how valuable each day is, how I am living the glory days when people I love are with me. I know that the two things most important to me — that I am alive, and that I want to be alive–are more valuable than all the money in the world. I know a day comes to us all when any one of us would give everything—anything!–just to stay here a little longer. I call it fall because I don’t want to forget that we all fall one day, away from this life, away from everything we’ve ever known, and alone. As the leaves fall, I am reminded that everything and everyone I love will be taken from me, as well as life itself one day. And so I hold close the ones I love and tell them how much they mean to me. I do the things with them that I might wish I’d done if they were suddenly gone. As the red and golds grow bright, I remember that there is beauty even with death all around. And as I watch again my favorite video of all time, Dance in the Graveyards, I am reminded that it is possible to dance in joy even in a world where everyone either is, or will be, dead, no matter how much I love them or they love me, in a kind of time-spangled graveyard.

Drive a virtual giant Spider Computer on Halloween!

People send me all kinds of freebies to try out for my blog , but the latest one takes the cake: a giant driveable Spider Computer – and just in time for Halloween!


 The sad thing is I have no idea where it came from, thus who to thank! It is called simply “Big Spider” and it turned up in my inventory this morning. I must have accepted it, but I don’t remember doing so. It was made by an avie called DJDino Oh, whose profile sadly says he has closed his SL account as well as his shop.

This thing is fantastic. It has all kinds of controls, which I’m just figuring out. The computer actually works! It gives me lag readings, elevation calculation, avatar radar, and more!

Just in time for Halloween! Lookout, Spider on the run!

Inside the control room:


Second Life Terms of Service change in a nutshell, 8/15/13

In a nutshell_004Here in a nutshell is the change in the Second Life new Terms of Service that has some creators in an uproar over licenses to user-created content. Creators like Jo Yardley, Chic Aeon, Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Nerad, and CG Textures (a supplier to many SL creators) have raised issues about Linden’s change in the TOS that went into effect August 15. The big change that has many creators fuming – and some, like Oddfellow Studios, even moving their content from Second Life to other worlds – is this:  Users must now grant Linden a license to use uploaded content for any purpose whatsoever versus the old terms’ requirement for a Linden license just to promote Second Life.

Continue Reading “Second Life Terms of Service change in a nutshell, 8/15/13”