The Liberals And The Linden Prize

Back in my oft-cited “Disneyfication” post, one of the things I expressed concern about was a potential bias towards advancement of “liberal” social causes in the criteria for the Linden Prize.  Well, now that Linden Lab has actually released the Linden Prize finalist list, it behooves me to go back and dig deeper into the actual nominees, and see just how much liberal bias there actually is.  After all, theorization should be no match for diving in and finding out, right?  So let’s have a look…

Alliance Virtual Library – The Info Island project is run by the Alliance Library System, which is mainly based in Illinois.  The facts that, first, it comes from a well-known liberal hotbed (the home state of President Obama, among other things), and, second, that it deals closely with local governmental agencies that are often liberal, are about the only things I can find here.  Certainly they support a wide range of environments, only some of which could be said to be “liberal.”  Assessment: Some liberal bias, but it’s not great.

American Cancer Society – This is the well-known Relay For Life that has been happening in SL for a few years now.  My gut instinct is to say, “Cancer affects everybody, so how can this be a liberal cause?”  It’s also a cause I have supported and continue to support in SL.  BUT!  This op-ed in the Wall Street Journal reports:

Last week the American Cancer Society announced it will no longer run ads about the dangers of smoking and other cancer-causing behaviors and the benefits of regular screenings. Instead, the Society will devote this year’s entire advertising budget to a campaign for universal health coverage. John Seffrin, the Society’s chief executive, said, “[I]f we don’t fix the health-care system . . . lack of access will be a bigger cancer killer than tobacco.”

Sadly, these ads will waste money that should be used to continue the Society’s educational campaign about prevention and detection. The evidence shows that universal health coverage does not improve survival rates for cancer patients.

“Universal health care,” a.k.a. “socialized medicine.”  Ask my ex-wife, currently struggling with the Finnish health care system, exactly how much that helps.  I hope ACS gets off that high horse and gets back to their core message soon.  Assessment: No real liberal bias, but watch that whole “socialized medicine” thing carefully.

Invisible Threads – The folks at “Double Happiness Jeans” describe it as a “virtual sweatshop.” Uh-oh, is that a liberal codeword I hear?  False alarm, though, as they describe their process, which allows SL-based employees to “manufacture” jeans from the comfort of their own homes, is kind of the antithesis of a “sweatshop” environment, and described by them as “the future of capitalist production.”  True, they did have an attack from a group calling itself “Virtual Anarchy,” attempting to “unionize” the virtual workforce, but I’m hard-pressed to say, from the record, whether that was an actual griefer attack or just a publicity stunt.  Assessment: No real liberal bias.

Let There Be Night – This project is also linked with something called “Dark Skies Awareness.”  The concerns raised here seem to be partly based on environmental factors, and partly on the needs of scientists, specifically astronomers.  I know something about the latter; my father, prior to his retirement, was a city manager in San Diego County, California, and as such was approached by astronomers at the Palomar Mountain Observatory with regard to changing street lighting to keep from spoiling their observations.  The city did start employing low-pressure sodium lighting, which is more easily filtered than other types of street lighting.  (As a side bonus, I got some nifty memorabilia out of it, like a copy of the earliest photo of Halley’s Comet as it approached the Sun in 1986.)  The site does make some troubling references, however, to things such as the widely-publicized envirowacko “Earth Hour” event.  Assessment: Some liberal bias, but doesn’t detract from the astronomical message…at least until we are able to move all astronomy to Earth orbit, or to the Moon.

Nonprofit Commons – This project is a host for many non-profit agencies’ SL presences, and, of course, some of those nonprofits are going to be lefty in nature.  A few examples: WMNF, a radio station that “advocates for peace, social and environmental justice” (liberal codewords!); the Drug Policy Alliance Network, which is pro-legalization; and the Sierra Club, which is well-known as being highly liberal.  However, there are some pretty good counter-examples listed among their membership as well, such as the Center for Civic Education, which promotes American political knowledge (and, let me tell you, some libbies are in desperate need of same!), and the Faith Foundation, a faith-based charity for children.  Assessment: A mixed bag, which is pretty much what you’d expect.

Skoolaborate – This particular project is sponsored by existing schools, and liberal bias in primary and secondary education has been well-established at this point.  See, for instance, this article from the Christian Science Monitor.  The site is heavily larded with liberal codewords such as “diversity,” “international citizenship,” “issues of global significance,” “underprivileged groups,” and “inter-cultural understanding.”  Furthermore, the actual “units of work” which are taught by Skoolaborate members are not open for inspection by the general public, including the parents of the children undergoing such instruction; to me, this strongly suggests a “hidden agenda.”  Assessment: Clear liberal bias.

Studio Wikitecture: Open Architecture Challenge – Sponsored by the Open Architecture Network, and “dedicated to improving living conditions through innovative and sustainable design.”  While the liberal codewords in that statement and the references to the UN Millennium Development Goals are troublesome, they also have a fair number of business sponsors…and, as I was telling Selenalore last night, I see no reason to condemn so-called “green building initiatives” out of hand, as long as there’s no harm in it.  Assessment: Some possible liberal bias, not a lot, but caution is indicated.

The Space Between These Trees – Benefits the Kintera project.  I’ll admit, my gut reaction was to dismiss them as “envirowackos” out of hand.  However, I took their “Awareness Quiz,” gave what I thought were “common sense” answers to the questions, and got 6 out of 6 correct.  (For instance: Hunger is not always caused by a lack of food in the world.  It’s generally caused by the food being in the wrong place…and sometimes the reason why the food can’t be moved to the right place has more to do with politics than anything else.)  They focus not only on giving out livestock, but on teaching the recipients to care for it properly, and encouraging them to pass the offspring of that livestock on to others in need.  This is in line with the whole “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime” proverb, and makes plenty of sense.  Assessment: Perhaps still some liberal bias, but certainly nowhere near as much as I first thought.

The Tech Virtual – This project relates to museum presences in SL, and the main museums involved seem to be focused on science, technology, and innovation.  None of this is prticularly “liberal” in outlook, though their upcoming projects on “energy” and “health” would bear watching, to ensure there’s not too great a focus on “liberal” aspects of those issues, like global “climate change” or socialized medicine.  Assessment: No real liberal bias, but watch those two projects I indicated.

Virtual Ability – I’m trying not to be biased by the fact that the people behind this project are fellow Coloradans. :-)  They’re all about helping people with RL disabilities get ahead and thrive in SL…and some of what they say resonates a great deal with experiences friends of mine have had, and perhaps a couple of my own experiences as well.  I can’t find any liberal bias in this one.  Assessment: No liberal bias.

Clinical Scenarios for Increasing Patient Safety – This is tied to the British National Health Service, and, if you want a liberal can o’worms, it’s hard to find a bigger one.  See, for example, this post on the MedRants blog.  However, this is about improving patient safety…and anything that does that in the execrable NHS can’t be all bad, I say.  Assessment: Liberal bias only insofar as it’s tied to British socialized medicine.

LanguageLab.com – It’s a language school.  Really, how biased can it be? Primarily, too, it’s focused on teaching English to non-English speakers…which is a laudatory goal, as English is pretty much the de facto lingua franca (how’s that for some “borrowed” language terms?) of the planet; still, I can think of a few libbies who would be shitting bricks and sputtering “cultural hegemony!” at the thought.  Assessment: No liberal bias.

The NMC Campus Project – This is all about the use of virtual worlds in higher education.  The involvement of academia in this kind of project is pretty much a red flag for liberal bias; see for instance, Daniel Pipes’ essay on “conservative professors as an endangered species,” as well as, for a local angle, the case of Ward Churchill and the University of Colorado.  In fact, when I clicked over to their site, the first thing on their calendar was a series of lectures entitled “Global Agenda 2009: Tinderbox – Understanding the Middle East.” (Uh-oh!)  The lecture in question was fifth in a seven-lecture series, this one featuring a columnist for Israel’s leading newspaper…but this after the lecturers in lectures #1 through #4 have already drummed the liberal party line into anyone attending the whole series.  Another event on their calendar relates to responses to climate change among native peoples in Alaska. (Liberal codewords!) However, you could probably get much the same content on 80% of college campuses in the land…including the one I graduated from, more’s the pity.  Assessment: Liberal bias, but this is due to endemic bias among the underlying organizations, and not SL-specific.

So, tallying everything up, we have three clear instances of liberal bias and five “partial” instances, out of 13 projects total, so the situation may not be anywhere near as dire as I first thought.  And, in all cases, none of the bias was specific to being in SL, but was all a function of the underlying organizations.  Now, on the other hand, there was no instance of any finalist project having a conservative bias of any nature…whether this was due to bias on the part of the Linden Prize selection committee, or simply due to the fact that there just weren’t any “conservative” projects for them to choose from, I don’t have enough information to say.  Overall, though, I’m willing to concede that my initial assessment of the Linden Prize was off-base to at least some extent, possibly completely so.

“When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.” – Jake Houseman (to Johnny), Dirty Dancing

UPDATE: Well, according to Massively.com, the winners are Virtual Ability and Studio Wikitecture.  That’s one “no bias” entry, and one “some bias” entry…and LL doesn’t live down to either my expectations or Prok’s (he thought Skoolaborate would take it).  Consider me corrected…at least for now.  However, keep your eye on the prize (as it were), as there’ll be plenty of opportunity for LL to show liberal bias in the future.

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Filed under Community, Current Events, Philosophy

God, I Hate Being Right

Over on New World Notes, Hamlet talks about Linden Lab’s upcoming changes with regard to “adult-oriented content” in Second Life®, and laments the fact that many bloggers don’t seem to have expressed an opinion on these upcoming changes.

Well, Hamlet, you want an opinion?  I can sum it up for you in four words: “I Told You So.”

Linden Lab seems to be employing a strategy with respect to “adult” content in Second Life reminiscent of the strategy the Nazis employed with respect to the Jews of Warsaw:  First, herd them into the ghetto, then, over time, enforce stricter and stricter controls on them, until they can eventually be eliminated.  Well, you providers of “adult content,” welcome to your ghetto.  But don’t expect that it’ll stop there.  LL, in their quest to present a “clean” face to the world, especially to would-be regulators in government and would-be investors in the business community, will gradually tighten the screws on both the “adult” continent and the remaining “sanitized for your protection” mainland.  Eventually, you and your content will be driven away to some OpenSim-based grid.  Those of you that can’t or won’t move, will perish.  Either way, LL will get its wish, and, likely, nothing will be permitted on the Main Grid that would offend Dr. James Dobson.  Or perhaps, the mullahs of Iran.

(Now that paragraph ought to piss a few people off.  At the very least, I’ll probably get called for a Godwin’s Law penalty, fifteen yards and loss of down. :-) )

How it affects those of us on private islands, like Lexxotica, I’m not certain yet.  But I’m thinking we’d better not try to put pole-dancers into any club we build there, lest we be forced to declare the whole sim “Adult” and possibly lose rental business.  Which means we won’t be able to employ as many people as we have in the past…and we won’t get traffic from the people who want to see pole-dancers.  Classic Catch-22 scenario.

More and more, I’m becoming convinced that, with the departure of all the executives from the early days of Second Life (the last one, Ginsu, took off just recently), Linden Lab has lost its soul.  Yes, perhaps the alternative was for the whole company to go down, given the present economic and political realities.  But take a moment and lament that which has been lost, and which is soon to be lost.

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BZZZT! WRONG!

Just two days after I posted my call to Linden Lab™ to cut the crap and make the Second Life™ Grid, you know, actually work, they’ve proven they can’t listen worth a damn:

Today we are very happy to share some exciting news with you: Linden Lab has acquired Xstreet SL and OnRez – the two leading Web-based marketplaces for buying and selling creations for Second Life. Over the past few months we’ve been working with the folks at Virtuatrade and the Electric Sheep Company to hammer out the details…

How much of those “last few months” spent in negotiating to take over two services that, unlike the Grid, actually work, could have been spent on, say, making the Grid actually work?

How much effort will integrating these two services into the overall SL environment suck away from making the Grid actually WORK?

And will these two services now quit, you know, actually working once they’re subsumed into LL’s already bursting-at-the-seams infrastructure, thus requiring even more effort to make them work again, effort that could have been devoted to making the Grid actually WORK?

(Are you starting to see a pattern here?  I hope so. :-) )

I’ll leave it to others to debate the business aspects of this acquisition.  I’m more interested in having a working environment in SL.

Linden Lab: Does the phrase “fiddling while Rome burns” do anything for you?

UPDATE: Okay…now maybe I can start to believe that LL is taking these problems seriously.  But I’ll refrain from sending the roses until I see some real results.

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Linden Lab: This has gone FAR ENOUGH. Fix SL *NOW*.

As I write this, Selena has just had to cancel our Sunday night event because Second Life™ is brokenAGAIN.

Most In world services are at reduced functionality at the moment. Please avoid L$ transactions or handling valuable (no-copy) assets until we post an ALL-CLEAR. Regettably, our ability to broadcast a warning in world is also disabled. Please let your friends know if you’re logged in. [emphasis mine]

When the system is so broken that the Lindens can’t even broadcast a message to tell people in-world how broken it is…well, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.  And it sure as hell ain’t Danish blue cheese.

Friday night, we had to cancel our event because the sim on which Solar Moonlight sits (Tyros) suddenly crashed on us, logging us out, fifteen minutes before the event was due to begin…and, upon logging back in, we were unable to TP there.  Thank God Lexxotica still seemed to be up and running, or who the hell knows what would have happened?

And this doesn’t just affect us; Prokofy Neva, one of the few people who tries to run a rental business in a reasonable manner, reports that he’s getting lots of people breaking leases:

I don’t know whether people refund because they can’t log on and get sick and suspicious of SL even when they *can* log on (or perhaps they get mad their friends can’t log on), or whether, more likely, they can log on, but they can’t get me to do something for them because *I* can’t log on.

Either way, bad for business.

Much as Prok’s critics might cheer his business troubles, anything that’s bad for his business is likely to be worse–perhaps fatally so–for other businesses.

Meanwhile, the Lindens issue self-congratulatory blog posts, promise “pie in the sky, by and by” with infrastructure improvements (that have yet to materialize), and continue to chase educators with a platform that can’t seem to even support its present level of use, let alone act as a mission-critical tool for education.  Anyone else have the words “fiddling while Rome burns” coming to mind?

It’s time for the Lindens to start bringing what Jim McCarthy, in his book Dynamics of Software Development, called “radical focus” on the problem of stability of the SL platform.  You can’t call for radical focus too many times over the course of a project, as McCarthy points out, but at this point the Lindens are overdue.  Come on, M Linden, now’s the time to show leadership.  If my own boss in RL can do it, you can do it.  LL’s ability to ship bug-free code has fallen from “average” down to “marginal at best,” and is continuing the spiral towards “complete fiduciary misconduct” at this point.  How much more do they think their paying customers can take?

“…I warned the distributor I’m a Hershey bar…The Hershey bar gets smaller and smaller to stay the same price.  But it can only get so small.  I can shrink myself only so small before I’m nothing, a man without quality or quantity.” – Mort Lesser, “Mouthpiece,” by Edward Wellen

UPDATE: FJ Linden has posted a big, semi-technical explanation of what’s been going on and how LL is moving to fix it.  All well and good, FJ, but, as we say in America, “Talk is cheap.”  If you want to convince me, and other dissatisfied Residents, that you mean business, here’s the way to go about it:

  • Your timeframe for the rollout of these fixes is WAY too long.  Think “days,” not “months.”
  • What about manpower to meet that timeframe?  Easy: Every Linden who can code should be working on stability fixes right now.  Every Linden who can’t code should be working on testing said stability fixes. It’s “crash priority” time.  You guys’ future is at stake.
  • Forget all those other side projects, like building more mainland sims, or replacing the browser engine in the client, or other such foolishness.  All other considerations must be secondary to stabilizing the Second Life Grid and making it so people can actually USE it. I remind you: Your future is at stake here.

In other words, LL:  It’s time to shit or get off the pot.  Go big, or go home.

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Filed under Bugs, Downtime

Drop Dead, Part Deux: Openspace Sim Owners, BOHICA

Apparently it wasn’t enough for Linden Lab® to screw over owners of regular sims by dropping the price, thus pretty well ensuring that sim owners like Lexx would stand zero chance of ever recovering their investment.  Now it’s time for owners of openspace (or “low-prim”) sims–ironically, who proliferated as a result of changes LL instituted at the time of the aforementioned screwing of regular sim owners–to get it in the shorts:

We need to therefore take some steps to improve [open sims'] performance and better reflect their actual usage levels in our pricing so that we can maintain the best performance level for everyone. As a result, we will be implementing a pricing change effective January 1st along with some policy changes effective immediately.

Let the reaming commence!

We will increase the monthly maintenance fee from USD$75 to USD$125 per month. This price increase will apply to all owners of Openspaces on January 1st as well as new purchases after that date. There will be no grandfathering of Openspace maintenance pricing.

[...]

At the same time, we will be increasing the upfront fee for brand new Openspaces from USD$250 to USD$375.

Yeah, I don’t suppose a 66% increase in tier, combined with a 50% increase in purchase price, is going to make anyone owning one of these sims real happy.

Lastly we will begin to proactively discuss overloaded Openspaces with their owners. This is important because as with abuse of region resources, a heavily overloaded Openspace can adversely affect other Openspaces sharing the same machine which is clearly unfair to residents who are using them responsibly. We have listened to your feedback on this, and agree that we need to make changes to better support our Openspace users by actively working to keep the performance levels as high as possible. We will also provide some detailed guidance about what ‘overuse’ looks like and how to prevent it.

And, as if that weren’t enough, they promise more policing of “overuse.”  But who decides what “overuse” is?  Is it just going to be like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (thanks for the correction in SL Bloggers chat last night, Lillie) famously said about pornography, “I know it when I see it”?

This is going to drop demand for openspace sims through the floor.  Here’s an analogy: If General Motors were to declare bankruptcy, who’d want to buy a GM car?  How would you know whether your warranty would be honored, or even whether you’d be able to get repair parts for it in the future?  Similarly, why would you buy an openspace sim, when at any time, LL could come along, declare what you’re doing to be “overuse,” and yank the rug out from under you?  Uncertainty is a powerful “negative incentive” towards investment.

Needless to say, this announcement has raised merry hell among the existing owners of OS sims.  Some have even gone so far as to announce they’re calling it quits.  And I don’t know as I can blame them for doing that, having just been cut off at the knees.  Others are urging calm, saying that this is only LL’s “first offer” and the price increases may be mitigated somewhat before they actually go into effect.  Which would be all well and good, but ignores the “negative incentive” factor of stricter enforcement without clearly defined terms.

Of course, anyone who’s in the business right now can tell you that the rentals market in the Second Life® virtual world just plain sucks at the moment.  Witness this article by Prokofy Neva.  Now, friends, I’m not one to always agree with what he says, but he’s speaking from extensive experience here, and I’ve seen the numbers of this business for myself with Lexxotica’s rentals, and I can tell you that he’s right.  It is very difficult–nay, impossible–to make money at rentals unless you have damn near 100% occupancy, and Lexxotica wouldn’t be here if I didn’t pour a lot of my money into it to keep it going.  (Of course, I get a sizable chunk of the land, as well as the continued existence of a club to DJ in, so there are other benefits, too…)  Now, when I saw this announcement, I thought, “Prok is just going to be laughing his ass off,” and I wasn’t the only one.  And sure enough, he’s got plenty to say on this, too.

Prok does point out what LL says about openspace sims and their intended usage, to wit:

They are provided for light use only, not for building, living in, renting as homes or use for events. As a stretch of open water for boating or a scenic wooded area they are fine, but we do not advise more serious use than this and will not respond to performance issues reported should you not use them in this way.

Fine, but this raises a few questions:

  • Why are they starting to get anal about this now, given that people have been using these sims in “unapproved” ways for so long?
  • Why did they double the prim limits for openspace sims (from 1875 to 3750), when they knew or should have known that this would just encourage more of these “unapproved” uses?
  • Why did they give people the opportunity to convert their sims from full to openspace, when they knew or should have known that people probably weren’t just going to rip up their existing builds and plant trees or dig lakes on these newly-converted sims?

Now, I’m going to try to give LL the benefit of the doubt, employing the maxim, “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”  I think they got overconfident about how much load their “openspace” sims could really bear, post-Havok 4 deployment, and about how many people would pick an OS sim over a regular sim for their needs.  They overestimated the former, and/or underestimated the latter, and it’s killing their revenues while imposing loads higher than anticipated.  The Law of Unintended Consequences cannot be circumvented; people will always find loopholes in the rules, and do as they damn well please.

And killing revenues is not what LL wants to be doing right now.  The whole RL world is currently in the throes of a financial downturn (how deep or long, it’s anyone’s guess at this point), and despite indications to the contrary, the SL world is not immune from RL’s effects.  If you check out this PowerPoint presentation, you’ll see that high-tech companies all over the place are being advised to hunker down and focus on sheer survival right now.  (As one of the last slides puts it: “GET REAL or GO HOME.”)  Much as I hate to see anyone screwed over by LL, the fact remains, if they go down, all of SL goes down with them, and we’re all screwed.  And maybe that poisons the dream of a “real” Metaverse for years, or decades.

Tateru, over on Massively.com, says, “The simplest explanations for all of this that fit the observed facts, is that either the March 2008 changes have progressively gutted Linden Lab’s market for regular simulators, or that they’re in need of a large cash infusion for Q1 2009 — or possibly both.”  Two sides of the same coin here, Tat.  It all comes down to money, and, for LL, as for every other business out there right now, Money = Life, especially now.  With the coming move to Class 6 server hardware (which sure as hell ain’t cheap, as I know from being in the HPC cluster business in RL), plus the cost of energy to keep those data centers powered up and cooled down, plus programmer salaries in San Francisco (where the cost of living is among the highest in the country), LL’s burn rate is nothing to sneeze at right now, I’m sure.  Anything that helps stem the tide is probably welcome right now.

But what about the effect of this on the average Joe the Resident?  Well, I think we have adequate evidence now that LL’s Give-A-Shit Meter about Residents per se is strongly down in negative territory–if not in imaginary numbers.  First it was the full island owners, then certain groups at SL5B, and now this.  One wonders if a second-order effect of all these policy changes is to drive Residents away to OpenSim-based Grids as soon as the interoperability technology is there to support it, leaving LL and their Grid to lead out a corporate-friendly, Disneyfied existence.  (Lillie Yifu tells me, “That is a long way off Erbo.”  Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.  Depends on how hard LL pushes for it, doesn’t it?)

In the meantime, this Grid, of its users, by its users, and for its users, shall not perish from the Earth.  These things pass; the trick is to live through them.  Just make sure you’re ready for the next episode of “Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.”

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Filed under Business, Current Events

DJ CoolJ Hits First Life

This past weekend, “DJ CoolJ” played his first gig in First Life, DJ’ing the wedding ceremony and reception for my RL brother, David, and his longtime companion, John.  (Yes, it was a same-sex marriage.  This happened in California, where such things are legal, at least for the moment.  Any flames about the morality or lack thereof of the proceedings will be sent to /dev/null, because (a) I don’t want to hear it, this is my brother we’re talking about here, and (b) it’s not all that relevant to my part of the story anyway.)

The story here started back in July, when I received this message from another of my brothers:

Erbo,

David and John are getting married in Sacramento on October 19.  They would like you to attend and to be their DJ at their reception.

Would you be willing to do this?

Oh, certainly, I was willing!  But all my DJ experience has been as a Second Life DJ, behind the controls of SAM; the question was, how would I translate that into the real world?

SAM outputs an MP3 stream, intended for receipt by a Shoutcast server.  The simplest thing to do was to use another computer to translate the MP3 stream to audio.  I had a suitable machine on hand, which had been a gift from David, in fact: an OLPC XO-1, which runs Linux.  I installed the program mpg123 on it, which could decode MP3 and send the resulting audio to the machine’s audio output device (speakers or headphone jack), and wrote a short Python script to “wrap” around it and mimic the protocol implemented by a Shoutcast server.  The resulting arrangement had a slight delay in the audio output, but worked, slick as you please.

In the interim, of course, I had fallen in love with “Selena” and brought her to live with me in Denver, so, naturally, she got to come too.  (In fact, I think she realized this when she knew she was coming to live with me; one of the things she said over our IMs was “OMG I get to come to your brother’s wedding!”)  So we turned it into another road trip, not unlike the one I made to bring her to Denver, carrying, as part of our cargo, my computer, her flat-panel monitor, the XO-1, and a whole slew of cables and connectors to put it all together, including a wireless router, as the XO-1 uses wireless networking.  Once there, the XO-1 would be plugged into a (rented) “pro” DJ mixer/power amplifier rig and a pair of massive Peavey speakers, boosting its output to fill the room.

We pulled it off; there were a few glitches, but the happy couple was pleased with the performance, as were the other guests, including my parents.  I plyed my routine much as I would in Second Life, and I did see some weirdness that made me think I had logged back into the Grid (try: four groomsmen doing a synchronized dance routine, pantsless, to the tune of “I’m Too Sexy”).  I put out a “penguin tip jar” (a jar with a stuffed Tux next to it, and an appropriate labeling placard), and netted $38 in tips; by Linden Dollar standards, that was a smash hit gig.

Would I ever consider doing this again?  Well, if I did, I’d want to have a proper Windows laptop to load SAM and my music library onto, to avoid lugging around that heavy tower system.  But I’m pleased that it worked as well as it did.

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Filed under Audio, First Life, Music

To Ensure A Better Flow of Content…

…I’ve delegated some authority. :-)

Meet Selenalore Michigan, my SL spouse and my RL girlfriend.  Since she and I share the same address in RL space and in SL space, I figure sharing the same address in blog-space isn’t too farfetched, eh?

Selena has been a top hostess in Second Life for the past year or more, and she’s seen it all with regard to club drama, group drama, and drama of all natures.  Her expertise will lend some additional color to this blog.

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