"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Your Privacy...Send Linden Lab a letter.

******************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************** I would imagine that most people that have spent enough time around the Internet understand that one of the downsides involved is that there are some dangers. While most of the dangers are monetary... Bank accounts, Identity theft, Credit card charges, dangerous links that can cost you a trip to a computer repair specialist ( or a "factory restore") w/the loss of data), there are instances of actual physical harm coming from the rare occasion of a nut job coming to your door. Long before I ever had a PC I knew that rule about we have a choice about what information we put on the Internet...but once that information is out, it's there... permanently. Now I would imagine that most everyone understands that every website we visit "sees" our IP address... that's how the website "knows" where to return the data we've requested. Likely all bloggers use a program that tells us a lot about our visitors... We use that information to keep track of how many visitors we have as well as a few other things, such as how you found us, where you went after you looked at our blogs, where you come from in the world, the time of day, your service provider...... and yes, your IP address. Now please keep in mind that your IP address does not exactly locate you, mine shows me as Santee California, that's 51 kms away. Your service provider of course does know your location exactly, but that information requires a court order to access. Having said all of that, I still respect all IP addresses as personal and wouldn't post those just because that information is no ones business and I understand that there are people that just don't want that info released no matter how innocuous it may be. Here's where I'm heading with all this. For well over a year or so I have been aware of a system that detected copybot viewers. Some months ago another item went for sale here in Secondlife called RedZone. Redzone is advertised as a way to detect both copybot viewers and............any alts that someone may have. There are a couple of problems... first, RedZone just matches IP addresses. Go to your local Starbucks free WiFI and log in... everyone that logs in there is your "alt" (same IP). Second, there are those that are using RedZone to effectively "out" alts as well as collecting information on what places you visit in Secondlife. All that is bad enough but.... Redzone is keeping a database of all this information and sharing it. The RedZone program exploits your choice to enable streaming media... it's not your choice to provide your IP address, RedZone takes that info. I realize that many of you may not take the time to read JIRAs... the Secondlife bug trackers, but I encourage all of you to educate yourself about this. So far The Benevolent Monarchy has done virtualy nothing to put a stop to this. As you will see in the links below this can and will have far reaching consequences for our world. Send Linden Lab a letter, Linden Lab, 945 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111 Ask them to put a stop to RedZone and programs like it. Here's a link to the JIRA its self. And Ann Otoole has a very good post on this subject here. Her post will also give you a link to the Alphaville Herald. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ranting about facebook...conclusion

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**************************************************************************** More of the rant about Hamlet Au's New World Notes blog of a few days ago. I won't copy Mr. Au's rebuttal to my first comment, it did sound convincing. You know, convincing in that don't confuse me with facts my minds made up and I know more than you mentality. And perhaps he does, his response can be found on page two of comments... just before the following. My counter below: "Mr. Au...I bought and read your book, and that was after I had been in Secondlife for awhile. When I read that, I saw someone immersed in this world I've come to love. You were here near the beginning. You as much as anyone should understand that Secondlife is not easy... it will never be easy, at least the Secondlife I know and love. I don't remember now how I found Secondlife, it wasn't the CSI episode and yes likely it was and advertisement somewhere. Here's the thing... my guess is that you as well as most everyone that comes to Secondlife and decides to remain has had my experience with proselytising about this world... the very few we even talk into attempting Secondlife don't find what they are looking for. People want simple. People want quick. People want easy. People want Facebook. With Facebooks track record of security... no way. @Lili said it well..."Facebook is only a distraction for Linden Lab." "OK, let's say we get people to sign up... we've got sign ups now... what is it, less than 15% stay past first hour? If Linden Lab wants to improve concurrency? There is a way... it was a way that seemed to work before. SECONDLIFE is not easy, don't dumb it down... restart the Mentor program... restart the Help Islands. At the risk of irritating more than I may have already, my take of a great number of the people we all know: About forty years ago when I was in my late twenties I asked a very brilliant friend of mine if she thought I was and elitist. {this friend had a PhD in education as well as a masters in speech pathology} She patted me gently on the hand and said, "No dear, and you may not be exceptionally bright... this world's full of dumb S.O.B's." I'm still not and elitist and not nearly as bright as those that created our world... but if so many of us in-world can see so many of the problems, problems that could be fixed without a major outlay of cash. Why can't those that run this world. In some cases we all know why... to fix some would require saying a mistake was made. If we don't help the ones that do sign up... signing up more won't help." For what it's worth................ And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ranting about Facebook... part one

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***************************************************************************** OK, My great plan for a blog topic suddenly changed. I had a long semi ranting comment on Hamlet Au's New World Notes blog... Hamlet had posted from Mitch Wagner about how he {Wagner} just didn't seem to want to take time to come in-world, and that Facebook met his needs today. Along with all that, so many today have decided that Secondlife is both a little too difficult and takes too much time. These people prefer Facebook or at least those kinds of "social media" applications. I guess to say I got carried away would be and understatement. First my comment... then Hamlets response. Tomorrow I'll post my reply to that response. In the interest of brevity I'll paste that comment here: "OK Mr. Au, Have a great time with "social media", go spend your time on Facebook and any other shallow log in/log out platform that pleases you. But I'm curious, for one that's made at least a partial living from Secondlife {as a Linden for one}, and spending so much of your time writing this blog about Secondlife... why? Why even bother with Secondlife at any level... unless writing about Secondlife pays your wages? Some months ago you abandoned us for Blue Mars or at least that was a perception. While I often have appreciated your reporting. Your constant calling for the end of Secondlife as we know it and shilling for Facebook isn't what I expected. For me you have lost credibility. But of course I'm sure what I think is of no consequence to you. What do these people have in common?@Medhue @Lili @Roslin Petion @Ciaran Laval @Laetizia Coronet @Tinsel Silvera @Adeon Writer @Ignatius Onomatopoeia @Aliasi Stonebender @Rawst Berry @Paisley Beebe @Rin Tae @Nickola Martynov @David Cartier. Times up! They have time to log in to a virtual world and immerse. Some like Nikola seem to find similar things as I do. I can look at IMs to Email, see there's a minor question or issue from a resident, log in fix issue and log out. Other times I may spend what is and inordinate amount of time in-world... loving every minute of it. After nearly four years in Secondlife I'm every bit as infatuated with the almost infinite possibilities. For me the magic has never ended..." OK, more tomorrow And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Monday, February 21, 2011

It was a good day to stay in-world...

*****************************Where we come from****************************** **************************************************************************** Seemed rather hard for me to get outside today.. It's rained really hard [for Southern California] the previous couple of days and lately I've just not wanted to go anywhere. At this mornings log on I saw my wonderful Secondlife daughter Lala... Well, at least I saw her log on via I-phone and a light client. I love that kid, I really do, and I tell her so. These past few months she's not logged on often, it's her last year of university. It's been nearly four years we've been doing this world together, she was my very first friend. One of my residents moved on today... it was expected. Trinity has been around since 2006 and a friend has offered her a great place for free, I can't compete with that.=^..^= I did send her a snapshot of the sign on the tori gate above the access to our south beach, it says simply, "Each of us has left a part of ourselves on this island". I wish her well and she knows she will always be welcome. Late this evening I went up to my friend kains sandbox to see about what she had made lately as well as to ask her if she could create sculpty blades for my other long time friend Lings lighthouse tower. All in all I managed to do absolutely nothing all day. It was just one of those days. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Friday, February 18, 2011

Complaints?...Not really.

******************************Where we come from***************************** **************************************************************************** It's quite common for me as well as a lot of the other members of our virtual world to complain. Often our complaints are justified and few subjects get more blog traffic for me than when I get on my lil hobby horse and start complaining about the latest screw up conceived by The Benevolent Monarchy's actions... or lack there of. Lately I've found ways to complain about how busy I seem be with the day to day running of Benares, and yet deep down inside... I love it. Last evening as I logged off and sat looking at a blank screen, I realised just how fortunate I am today. I have dear friends here from my earliest days... I have so many that care for both me, as well as this place on the grid we call home. Financially these last couple of months we have come as close as we ever have to breaking even on tier. I have to tell you... I could have bought a nice used car with what this venture cost just that first year. Sure, script times are higher than I want. Kattie's struggle to work, keep a family going, buy a house... all of that keeping her a little too busy to log in is a bummer. Lalas drift away bothers me. But what about when I sit on the west shore fishing for scripted fish and chatting with someone that I know cares about me? What about the friend that set up that fishing venue? What about the friend that calls me just to say hello? This evening as I logged off leaving friends standing in the yard of my virtual yard......I never dreamed all this would be my wonderful virtual life nearly four years ago. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Privacy & Courtesy...

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I've had something happen yesterday that really surprised me. It has to do with a question of privacy.
Now I understand that there is no expectation of privacy in Secondlife... legally. And that's why I took a security orb off of my house. My house sits just a few meters away from our telehub as well as not that far from 128/128, the default landing spot on any region. When new people come exploring it's not unusual for them to promptly wander into my house. When I was new, that bothered me no end... today, not so much. I'm rather proud of my single room and it's fantastic view. And if these new people turn out to be a pain.... poooof, they're gone never to return.
Having said all that, I do understand why people do get upset about people prowling around. Perhaps it's my age, but I believe that everyone should have an expectation of courteous behavior. What got me about the report I got from a resident yesterday was that those "investigating" her house weren't nooblets and they have both have had houses in Secondlife. The rational was that since the house in question was a skybox... normal conventions of courtesy didn't apply.
Because of my age I suspect you know how well that went over with me =^..^= Being a curious person (as well as taking a bet on the results), I did a poll of my residents.
Only two people out of the fifteen {now twenty @18:00 hours} that answered said no to a question about if skyboxes were private, and one of those said that courtesy should still rule.
I won't pursue further research... but my guess is that real life age has something to do with whether or not someone would find doing something in virtual worlds acceptable just because they could, rather than following a sense of propriety. I also won't chat about "common courtesy" or the lack of in that life where I sleep.
I don't mean help a lil old lady across the street... how about please and thank you.
Oh well, just mumbling... And so it goes
My love to you all, (even SL prowlers) brinda

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More bits & pieces of Secondlife...

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There's and old saying that, "All new brooms sweep clean".

We saw a lot of that with M. Linden. He came in and swept our easy viewer UI away, implemented the disaster called spewer 2.ought oh, all the while seeming to clutch as desperating at the helm of our sinking platform as Ahab did after Moby Dick rammed the Pequod.

This new guy, Rod Humble, seems very different. I've swung from exhilaration to pffft let's see and back after listening and reading what he's had to say. In these last few hours Phaylen Fairchild has done a podcast with Mr. Humble. To say it would be difficult to BS Ms Fairchild would be and under statement... as far as I know she's the oldest active member of Secondlife bar none, as well as one of the oldest accounts period. Listening to that podcast... our dream just may continue. One of my single biggest complaints has been that those at the Lab didn't actually spend time in world... this guy (Humble) does, both as his CEO account as well as just another nooblet. He really seems to "get it", please take a listen to the audio, it's around 27 minutes and see what you think.

On another tack... Ann Otoole is P****d! And I can see her point. Looking at her recent post about RedZone... if it is as she's described it, it makes me uncomfortable. I have never used a copybot viewer and I won't. I'm one that believes that those of you that are content creators are the heart of virtual worlds and to effectively steal your content is not just illegal (and I suspect most content thieves aren't caught), it's unethical. [ethics... that's the practise of doing the right thing when no one's going to know]. I have "purchased" the freebie she's described and fully intend to do as she suggests. I suppose it's back to that thing that if I don't... who will?And if I don't do it now... when?

My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"I know how this will end"...Heh Heh

*****************************Where we come from****************************** **************************************************************************** OK... a couple things in this short post. First, Bernards back! Bernard is my resident Frenchman. Another total gentleman that has stayed at Benares twice before. A real life photographer... when those commitments take all his time, he leaves us, and when time allows he returns. Welcome back Bernard! Next I have a report on a meet and greet session by Rod Humble, the new CEO of Linden Lab. The story was covered by Pixeleen Mistral of The Alphaville Herald and for me the part of the story that just sent me gasping for laughter was the comment I found down aways. {see below} *********************************************** @ Oh noes “I stopped reading when I saw his avatar. Man in robes and long brown hair + Claims to have the answer to everything = ? I know how this will end.” *********************************************** I'm sorry... I just gave up trying to read more, I was laughing too hard. I'll do better tomorrow And so it goes I love you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Do My Dreams Continue...Maybe

*****************************Where we come from***************************** ***************************************************************************** There is wonderful news for the future of Secondlife! Maybe. The future of Secondlife will continue to fail us at every turn! Maybe. No one knows the future of Secondlife. Maybe. One or all of these statements will turn out to be true. Maybe. Confusing? Yes, absolutely. OK... first a caveat about this post. Somewhere I read a general rule about writing pretty much anything supposedly original if the writer is just rearranging the words of others. It's not acceptable. I do have a couple of sentences of my own about the latest news concerning just where the future of Secondlife is headed, but the real meat will be found in the links to a couple of the blogs I will list. The most definitive information about our direction comes from and interview with Rod Humble the current CEO of Linden Lab by Dusan Writer, you can read the complete article here. That article had me all warm and fuzzy =^..^=... Then I read Lalo Tellings post here and decided we, the customers of Secondlife, had a great future and all would be perfect. Finally after a nights sleep, this morning I read what soror Nishi had to say. Both soror and Lalo are respected writers and original thinkers and in this case while one may have a slightly more cautious view I see some hope for all of us. I have made no bones about my desire to remain in Secondlife. I also realise that so many that create find other worlds more welcoming and economical, and in the case of Inworldz so much more like the stories I've heard about the community feeling that Secondlife started with. I really want to continue to believe the dreams I had early on and much of what Mr. Humble says allows me those dreams. I'm also old enough to understand that Mr. Humble has to answer to those whose money allows our world to exist. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Care & Feeding of Trolls?...

******************************Where we come from****************************** **************************************************************************** Don't feed the trolls! There has been controversy about musical performers for as long as there has been music... and just because the music is performed in a virtual world doesn't mean the controversy will abate. The reasons that some performers have different acts is because their listeners (read customers) prefer many different styles and kinds of music. My firm belief is those that whine about other performers have the idea somewhere embedded in their brain that the easiest way to improve their audience (read customers and the customers money) is to denigrate others. I spent my first three years in Secondlife without attending a single music function... and then I found and act I liked. I believe that anyone that could be persuaded to avoid a musician or vocalist they chose to listen to because of what someone else said.. isn't likely to be the kind of person that would monetarily support a music venue anyway. I call on all of you that choose to perform.... do that, perform. Let those that financially support you to choose what they want to listen to. All avatar profiles have a mute tab.... and all computers have a delete key, use them. If we refuse to feed the trolls.... they starve. And so it goes My love to you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते

Monday, February 7, 2011

Two Kinds of a Virtual World Life...

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Bits and pieces... So often much of the thoughts for what I write just fall in front of me and become obvious. That is the case today. These last few days I've found reasons to rezz a few of my alt accounts... and when I clicked "go home" with one of them, I saw the home position for that account is still set at my first home in Secondlife. At one time I owned over 8,000 meters at Arrazura and while the Northeast corner of any estate can be the same... that region will always have a place in my heart, though at my last count that region has been resold three times and has had three different names. The feeling I got is the same feeling I know Mucaro has about Benares. She had recently sent me a note telling me she was homesick and last evening she stopped in to see those of us that were chatting on the West shore. When I told her some of the latest news about our mutual friends and how some are struggling with serious health issues, she commented on the very real emotional attachments we make in Secondlife. As I rezzed one of the alts that I had used while mentoring on the old Help Islands I heard my friend Barbara say how nostalgic the site of that avatar made her, even though she knew it was still me. Caro asked about many but made a special point to ask about Andor. Andor is a man that appears so unassuming, he doesn't portray the stereotypical Incredible Hulk body shape we so often see, yet everyone that ends up on the parcel he owned at East retains the parcel name...Bliss. He spent a long time at Benares.... and still returns. I see he's rezzed a lantern at a special place he occasionally comes to sit.

Not long ago I quietly sent a guy and IM suggesting that the triple X rated tag over his avatar was inappropriate for a PG area. His answer... Did I understand that the area where he and I were standing seemed to be dedicated to crude, rude, trolling people? And that my use of "secret" IMs was almost proof that I intended to hassle him. Why didn't I mind my own business? Of course my explanation that my IMs were intended to see he wasn't publicly embarrassed left him with the opportunity to tell me that there was no way he would be embarrassed by what happened in a virtual world..... OK, what about those young people that have recently joined us on the grid? So what?

Hmmm... which kind of virtual world would you rather have? I wonder how many people such as he will end up staying. Longevity here in virtual worlds has benefits... I have learned so much about "you"... and therefore so much about "me".

And so it goes

My love to you all, brinda



Friday, February 4, 2011

Secondlife Men & Perceived Social Skills...

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Men in my Secondlife........As we so often see in any life, men come in many sizes and shapes emotionally. I've one former resident that I suspect would have loved to have had a more serious relationship with me and yet he always treated me as a treasured friend and with the greatest respect. Today he's busy in another area of his life and I will continue to miss him both as a resident and as a friend I got to chat with often.

My newer direction in Secondlife concerns mentoring men as opposed to my past efforts focused on women... so far it's been fulfilling. I usually end up working on just one person at a time and my current effort with Lawton is no exception. He's bright, polite, and willing to take suggestions [as in load a third party viewer!].

Another guy in my Secondlife has proved to be something very different from my experience with Lawton.... we've all likely had this stuff go on. He says, would you like to go dancing? I say no, I don't dance here in Secondlife. He says why not. I explain about watching cartoons on screen. He says dancing would be blah, blah, blah................... ad infinitum. I facetiously ask if he's dyslexic and doesn't understand. Trust me on this... he will understand soon. Anytime someone refuses to accept a no answer... they are trying to manipulate you. I don't manipulate easily.

But before I get too negative I look at the guys here at Benares.

AlexHayden Junibalya GuitarDan Silversmith loegan Magic Smithy Miami Jakob Faulds

None of these men have ever acted in any way other than that of gentlemen. Yes, I have to say that women in general have "X" times the social skills of men... but the men we have in our community are priceless.

And so it goes

My love to you all, brinda



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sorry, we didn't clean up before we left.

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**************************************************************************** The cause of death is birth.... Tokyo crime reporter Jake Adelstein wrote a short story in The Shambhala Sun magazine this month and I'd like to print a few paragraphs of that story. In a recent post on Women Who Dance With Frogs there was discussion about the way many of us deal with despair and/or the heavy emotional load so many carry today. Mr. Adelsteins story demonstrates the way one Japanese couple handled their lives............................................................................ On a weekend in July, the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Akutagawa were found in their apartment, He was sixty-two and she was fifty-nine. It looked like what the Japanese call a murishinju. In medieval times, shinju meant the suicide pact between lovers. Muri means unreasonable. They had drunk poison. The husband had boiled a pack of cigarettes, either Peace or Hope brand, in some alcohol and water. There is enough nicotine in a pack of smokes to kill you if you distill and drink it. She'd died first and he died shortly afterward.

The Assistant police chief told me, "He was a faithful salary man that had gone through a company restructuring............... It happens like that, a guy gets put into a situation where, even when living a relatively simple life, he can't save enough to repay bills and loans". I tried to flesh out a story by finding people that knew Mr. Akutagawa, but no one did................ he was practically invisible. The apartment manager... "I didn't have a personal relationship"............... Another resident... "We were living in the same apartment building, but I never got to know him".................. The pub owner next door... "I'm not familiar with the man"..................... It's amazing to me that people can live in an apartment complex right next to each other for years and not know each other at all, not even in passing. This was the case with the Akutagawa family. They had no friends; they had no social life or interaction with the neighbors. Mr. Akutagawa lost his job, they ran out of money, and they made a suicide pact. A lot of Japanese people hate to ask others for help--- even close friends. That was the whole story. I went back to the police station......the Akutagawas had left a note. The note said simply, "Don't worry about us. We've been dead a long time. Sorry, we didn't clean up before we left. We didn't have the energy". Very Japanese, very apologetic. I asked when and where the funeral would be held, but the police said no one had claimed the bodies. They were muenbotoke, literally "Buddhas without connections." There was no one to mourn for them. There was no one that would miss them, pine for them. At least not in Tokyo. There would be an ad put in the paper, and if no one came forward, the cremated ashes would be taken to a temple on the outskirts of the megalopolis. Two weeks later............ A priest took me to where the ashes of Mr. and Mrs. Akutagawa were stored. I lit a stick of incense, put my hands together, mumbled the only Buddhist prayer I could remember and left.

By now, the ashes of the Akutagawas have probably been evicted or displaced by the ashes of other muenbotoke. This happens. When family members don't pay the upkeep fees on gravestones and burial plots in Japan, the remains are moved and new tenants are sought. Even the dead can only rent in Tokyo. I think I'll still visit the temple this summer anyway and pay my respects to the Akutagawas before even the memory of their memory is gone. It seems like the least I can do. Everyone needs someone to mourn them. I hope when my time comes there's someone who will do the same for me. I can't tell you why that's even important to me, but it is.

************************************************************************** I guess I know why those last lines mean so much to me personally..... Sometimes the price one pays for the way a life is lived isn't obvious until near the end. And so it goes Today I do love you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते