23 March 2009


So let’s review: The Internet is not your BFF.

Beyond that, still pretty much AFK until I catch up with the world.

16 March 2009

Busy Week

Busy week.

AFK for a bit.

14 March 2009

Virtual Made Real

Project Dragonfly by Autodesk

Now anyone can lay out their own home in a virtual setting. Given the title of the headline at Archinect, it seems that at least some architects are a little concerned about their profession. Though the comments that follow also indicate that they are few in number. Still, if they really are concerned, perhaps they should spend some time in Second Life. It will quickly allay their fears.

On the other hand, it is an interior design tool available for free online, making it accessible to even those who may lack construction paper, scissors, rulers, pencils, tape, and markers or crayons (or even just pencils and paper). If architecture is about controlling the tools and not about the inspiration and talent of the creator in addressing the needs of their clients in an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, socially responsive, and innovative way, then perhaps there might be a problem. Otherwise we are still good to go.

via the New York Times

As a follow up. I did try it. Pencil and paper is still faster and more flexible. And Second Life wins hands down on pan and zoom and environmental effects.

13 March 2009

Mainland Home 5

Last one in this set, and interior shot of the house.

Second Life has problems with rendering intersecting objects with alpha, so these pictures were a challenge to take with clouds making objects (like the leaves on the trees) fade in and out of existence.

Together Forever

It sort of makes you wish it was a Rickroll. No such luck.

via boingboing

12 March 2009

Mainland Home 4

You can see the water from my home, with the camera cranked way out. There is an entire sim between my land and the big lake in the middle of the region. However, they next sim over is so far down it is easy to look right over it. The property is at the top of a very tall ridge.

Mental_floss' step-by-step guide to destroying civilization with nanotechnology

Mental_floss' step-by-step guide to destroying civilization with nanotechnology

via boingboing

This step-by-step guide overlooks the most important part, which is, of course, to make sure you destroy the world in a way you can survive (ideally, with a horde of adoring worshipers, or at least really good looking, intelligent, and inventive sex slav- ermmm, minions). Otherwise you don't get to gloat. And really, where's the fun in not getting to gloat?

11 March 2009

Mainland Home 3

Why fences make good neighbors.

Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar

A interesting story about the intersection of the art world and Second Life, from the New York Times Magazine.

And a little AM Radio for good measure.

10 March 2009

Mainland Home 2

Some more shots of my mainland home under different cloud conditions. One is clear and mid-day, and the other is clouds at sunset.

Here you can see some of the surrounding houses. It used to be an almost entirely asian-themed sim, but it slipped a little since then.

World Builder

An wonderful, short piece called World Builder.

I wish Second Life tools worked like this.

It would definitely be cool if we could build things sketchup style.

09 March 2009

Mainland Home

As well as having a home on a private sim in Second Life, I also have a mainland home. It is in Tipsico, which is an interesting sim because pretty much the entire sim is at cloud level. It is, by nature, a wonderfully, foggy swirly place.

So here are some pics of it.

The house is by the ineffable Effulgent Brown, though I intend to replace it with one of my own at some point.

New Careers

After the gold digger, comes the gold farmer. A new career for the 21st century.

One thing the article does fail to address is that the companies that manage these MMORPGs consider gold farming to be a criminal (or at least less than honorable) act, because a. ) it may cause them to be liable for taxes on in-game monetary transactions under various national tax laws, and b.) most probably because they don't get a cut.

Though certainly there are many people trying to make a go of making a living off of Second Life.

I confess to being torn between condemning those who obsessively turn something meant for pleasure into a tool for profiting from others and applauding their initiative and pluck.

Although, in World of Warcraft, the problem is lazy players who want the fastest route to power and thus will pay others to play for them, so they can just run-around with a powerful character and whomp things. I have at least one friend who sold their account for about as much as I make in a month to someone who couldn't be bothered to level up their own characters. If this is the attitude they take with them to the workplace, they are in for disappointment. Or perhaps I am just jealous because I refuse to stoop to that kind of laziness. Easier to just write "I pwned this game!" on the cover and never even bother to install it. Cheaper too.

While in Second Life the problem is those who go beyond industriousness to plain greed. For instance, thinking they can sell small plots of land for more than it costs to by an entire in-game region directly form linden Labs. It is one thing to make something wonderful (or even something mediocre) and sell it, it is another to think you can corner the real estate market in hypothetically infinitely expandable game world. (By the way, for those who haven't figured this out yet, when real estate prices go to high from speculators trying to corner the market, Linden Labs builds more land, until the speculators go broke paying rent on the land they are trying to hoard and sell for prices nobody is willing to pay.)

So I suppose the two really are worlds apart in terms of their relations to people trying to profit of them in real life. Though in both cases, I guess I laud those who earn money or succeed through effort and don't have much respect for those who think they can get money or power easily with some seed capital and no real effort on their part.

08 March 2009

Pirate v. Ninja

Okay, so maybe "versus" is the wrong word.

What can I say? I can't make up my mind.

Word of the Day: Lawfare

Lawfare: The use of law as a weapon of war.

from subtopia

07 March 2009


Linux, Apache, no wait- ... Just a plain old lamp.

Well, a pretty awesome lamp I found while poking around foreign sims in Second Life this week.

That is me floating next to it for scale.

The Boy Cow

From the people who brought you "duude" for girls ...

The boy cow.

To their credit, I have never seen trying not to crack up laughing used so effectively to lend energy to the scene. At least, I hope that is what that was.

06 March 2009

Japan Inducts Ambassadors of Cute

The Japanese government has decided to take a more active role in exporting cuteness to the rest of the world ... it was only a matter of time.

From CScout Japan

Two Takes on Religion

For those who think the obvious is really surprising, just because it goes against common prejudice, two bits on religion and human nature:

05 March 2009

Mark Fiore

I'm gonna put this here so I never have to dig through my bookmarks (scattered across six or so browsers) to accidentally and serendipitously find it again ...

The animated political cartoons of Mark Fiore ... he's awesome.

04 March 2009

Life Imitates Art

All is good with the world.

Okay, so it is sort of a dystopian story, but they fact that they actually built one ...

Now we just have to avoid the giant killer robots and we're good to go.

We Are Fractal Sheep

Some interesting commentary on the nature of human behavior from boingboing.

03 March 2009

Rental Estates 6

The last of this set for now. I have some more buildings to build (and some old ones to complete).

Some Interesting Architectures

It's a golf course! No, it's a waste treatment plant! Creative responses to the knee-jerk NIMBY.

The social bracket just isn't what it was ...

02 March 2009

Rental Estates 5

Retro Spies

Spy Vibe, a site devoted to 1960s spy style.

And some analysis of The Prisoner's opening credits, just for good measure.

01 March 2009

Rental Estates 4

Two shots of the waterfalls behind the rental estates.

Moo is actually the one building the falls, I just roughed out the terrain and added some trees.


This one made the rounds while I was teaching English in Japan ...

Nice to ... ummm ... see it's still around.

Funny and totally not safe for work.