Flickr Frustrations

Image Source: Pixabay

It’s been a frustrating week for me.

I discovered several days ago that my Flickr was suddenly not working.  Now, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Flickr for a long time.  It started when I opened my Flickr account – something I resisted for a while, because they required both a phone number AND a yahoo account.

I didn’t understand (and still don’t) the need for a phone number and I did NOT want to get a Yahoo account given all their privacy issues and data breeches.  However, I finally caved and set it up.

I was happy with it and all went fine until Smug Mug bought Flickr.  Now, I don’t know much about Smug Mug, but of course they made a bunch of changes.

They changed the number of photos you can post on a free account (completely understandable) and they wanted you to migrate away from your Yahoo account/login.  Again, completely understandable.

Except I was absent for a while and I apparently missed the window to change my email/login for Flickr to something that isn’t Yahoo.  So when I discovered I couldn’t log in, I couldn’t fix anything, because I don’t/didn’t/never have used my Yahoo account that was associated with Flickr.

I researched the issue and tried several different things to no avail, so I contacted their support.  I stated my failure to log in and my inability to access the Yahoo email.  I got a helpful reply – telling me to log into my Yahoo email and follow the link to update my Flickr.

Yes, generic angry lady, this is exactly the face I made. Image Source: Pixabay

So, since Flickr was sooo much help, I decided to just try and see if I could log into my Yahoo account.  Maybe the password was a simple one??  I could try several I remembered and see??

Nope.  Nothing worked.  So I tried the ‘forgot password option.’  I couldn’t use the phone text option, because I haven’t had that number in literally years.  I thought I was completely screwed and would just have to start over on Flickr.  Which, likely, I would have just abandoned.

Thank goodness for past me, who thoughtfully linked a back-up email to that Yahoo account (something I generally don’t do, so past me was feeling super special that day!) and I was able to access that email to reset my Yahoo password, which in turn let me fix my Flickr login.

Whew!  All fixed, right?

I wanted to avoid all this in the future, so I thought, I’ll just update my email on Flickr to my current email address and be done.

Not so fast.

For whatever reason, you cannot just ‘change’ or ‘update’ or even add a second/back-up email on Flickr.

If I want to do that, I have to contact Flickr support.  You know, those people who were so helpful in the first place.  In this day and age, what site doesn’t allow you to update your information?  Especially email addresses?!

Bakes On Mesh Has Arrived

Image Source: http://www.darrickbynum.com

The new Bakes on Mesh viewer is now live (if you use the official SL viewer).  Those of us who use a third-party viewer will have to wait until an update is released.  So those who are already using BoM will probably look strange to us until then.

There are several really good blog posts out there already about how to use BoM, but what it essentially boils down to is the ability to use system layers (remember those?!) for skins, tattoos, makeup, clothing, etc. – even with your mesh body.  I’m not going to explain it all here in detail (for that, you can read more here, here, and here).  I haven’t actually tried BoM myself yet, so I don’t want to hand out bad information.

If you use a SLink body, an update for use with BoM is available.  I haven’t yet heard about update for any other bodies or heads, so we will have to wait for those creators to update.  I’ve used my Maitreya body for so long that I don’t think I even have other mesh items anymore, so I really hope it gets updated.  If it doesn’t, I may have to switch over to SLink.  I did keep my SLink hands and feet (and shoes!), so I’ll have to wait and see what happens.

There are some issues with BoM, so don’t expect it to work perfectly right out of the box.  Hands and feet are known to cause issues, so I’m hoping that by the time Firestorm updates for BoM, most of the bugs will have been worked out.  Fingers crossed!

Europe’s top court rules linking can infringe copyright if done for profit | TechCrunch

copyright
Image Source: http://www.writinggooder.com

I was a bit surprised to read this, since most decisions these days seem to be made in the opposite direction.

However, after thinking about it for a couple of days, I’m not sure that copyright is an idea that will last in this technological day and age.

I recently read another article about how companies are trying to tie technology to your biology – think cyborg, sort of.  So if something then becomes part of ‘you’ – what happens to the copyright?

I think that perhaps copyright will go the way of privacy.  We shall see. :-/

Link to the article below:

Europe’s top court has ruled that knowingly posting links to copyrighted material can be an infringement of rights holders’ rights — even though the copyrighted material in…

Source: Europe’s top court rules linking can infringe copyright if done for profit | TechCrunch

VOB viewer reaches release status in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

secondlifeThis Visual Outfits Browser is a new feature I’ve been looking forward to – I often create my dance costumes out of pieces and parts of lots of other outfits, and I’ve always wanted a way to ‘see’ what was in the outfit.

Yes, you can simply take a snapshot, but you can’t add it into the outfit folder itself, so you’d have to go looking for the photo of it which, in an inventory the size of mine, would be a pain.

I do have the CTS Wardrobe organizer, but even I, OCD organizer that I am, find it extremely tedious to use it to update and catalog everything I have.  I do love the tagging feature of the Wardrobe, but since I use it so infrequently, most of the stuff I want to find has already been boxed up and put away!

I downloaded the new VOB and gave it a whirl (I don’t use the LL viewer, so it always takes me a bit longer to figure it all out).  I saved my outfit, then took a snapshot of it and saved it to inventory (yes, it will cost you the $10L upload fee to do that).  Then I dragged the snapshot (which I renamed to be the same as the outfit) into the outfit folder.  Voilá! The snapshot appeared as link within the outfit folder, and when I went to view it in the preview window, it showed my snapshot instead of the hanger icon (the default outfit icon).

So, if you are a visual organizer, I think this is a great feature.  I’m looking forward to seeing it appear soon in Firestorm!

Read Inara’s original article below:

On Thursday, September 15th, the Lab promoted the Visual Outfits Browser (VOB) as the de facto release viewer, version: 4.0.8.319463. For those who missed my coverage of this viewer when it reached…

Source: VOB viewer reaches release status in Second Life | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

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Tutorial #9: Artiste Grouping

penguinettes do ABC

I have personally detected 6 major features for choreographers that dictate visually, movement and space centered around solo and group dancers that can be augmented by tool-featuers:

  1. Dance Sequencing –  controls local dancer motion (dance-to-dance)
  2. Formation Creation  and Transitioning – controls (non in-place associations)
  3. Single-Dancer-Movement – controls global horizontal and vertical stage-space use of a single user
  4. Grouping – controls local groupings (in-place associations)
  5. Couples Pairing – control pairing and synching of 2 dancers
  6. Segmentation

How these are chosen and combined seem to define the characteristics of choreography and level of sophistication. This, again, is just my own personal observation.

This tutorial discuses how the Artiste has chosed to address one of the elements. Grouping.

Grouping evolved in the Artiste from how I detected RL grouping…to how people have chosen to implement it in SL. From binary-grouping in real life to custom-multiple-grouping in SL.

Artiste Grouping

There are a maximum of 4 CORE groups in the Artiste.
Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D

NOTE: As soon as you provide more “types of something” than what you think anyone would need, someone comes along with a need for more. Aura wanted more groups for an idea she has but fortunately envisioned a solution of using Palettes to proxy new Groups.

Palettes can hold their own dance routines  up to about 20 dances. They can be triggered from autofx or from inside one of the 4 dance-sequences.

 So by naming Palettes with the same name, multiple Palettes can be triggered to dance their own “sequence of dances” disguised in moves that may or may not move anywhere. Triggering from inside a core sequence gives tighter sync control

An advanced method is a Palette triggering one or more other Palettes.

Meanwhile….back at the ranch…

Each group is assigned a dance sequence. 
Group A = Sequence1
Group B = Sequence2
Group C = Sequence3
Group D = Sequence4

Pretty basic.

Dancers are assigned to one group at a time

A particular assignment of groups to dancers is called a “set” or “division”; A division is simply a  series of Groups that will be assigned to dancers depending on the Grouping-Method.

An advanced feature of Grouping is that the set or division can be dynamically changed at showtime midway thru a performance.

So dancers could be assigned thusly (2 couples or boys vs girls)

Division/Set 1 (couples)
Archie  = A
Anne = A
Bob = B
Brenda = B

Division/Set 2 (gender)
Archie  = A
Anne = B
Bob = A
Brenda = B

There are currently a maximum of 9 dancers per HUD so you could assign groups in a division as an example:

From 2 dancers: AC
To 9 dancers:  ABABCABAB
Or in between:  CBABC

NOTE: For completeness  I want to address the issue of Artiste dancing large groups. Because we have employed HUD-2-HUD, a Master HUD can control, say, 11 Slave-HUDs. Each Slave-HUD could dance 9 dancers for a total of 9×11=99 dancers + the Master’s 9 dancers for a total of 108 dancers at a time. The most avatars I have seen on a sim is about 103 at one time.

A second method would be to embed the dance sequence into a Palette and rez 100 Palettes. This avoids the tedium of issuing and accepting invites.

=========

Meanwhile….back at the ranch…again…

There are 3 ways to assign groupings to avatars:

For simple small groups of 2 or 3 Invit-Order might be the preferred way:

===
1 – Invite Order – this always assigns the HUD wearer to the 1st group. So for ecample if our Division is BAC then the HUD wearer would be assgined to Group B (sequence#2) and the 2nd person to accept an invite would be assigned to Group A (sequence#1), etc.

This is a quick and dirty method when you have 2 or 3 dancers in your group and say maybe only 2 groups, you the leader as group A and everyone else group B.  You can change the  Division assignment of the default assignment dynamcially by sending a Division command via *autofx

===
2 – Troupe – this hard-assigns groups to avatars by their name/key. So if Mary is assgined Group D then she will perform sequence#4 until there is a GroupSetChange issued during mid-show. Mary can have more than one Group assigned but only ever one at a time.

Example:   Mary,(uuid),DBDA

Here we set an elaborate scheme to allow for 4 DivisionGroupChange alterations during our routine. Mary is assigned to Group D at the start then when DivisionGroupChange is 2, she will dance Group B. DivisionGroupChange 3 she would dance Group D again, and DivisionGroupChange 4 would be Group A. DivisionGroupChange is the command sent via *autofx to change the division assignments dynamically.

The good things about this method are:
1) Independent of invite-order
2) Does NOT require Palettes
3) If Palettes ARE used for other needs, Group assignments are unaffected. This allows for Sit-2-Sit Palette transfers without worry of dance-groups being affected.

===
3 – Palette – this method is probably what you are used to. Group assignments based upon your relative position in the ‘line-up’. Each Palette has a letter in its name, A thru H. Divisions are assigned to those letters respectively. Assuming Palettes are laid out left to right A thru H.

So if you had 5 dancers and a Custom Group Division of say  CBABC, then Palette A would be assigned to Group C. Palette B would be assigned to Group B. Palette C would be assigned to Group A, etc.

ABCDE = Palettes
CBABC = Division

Here is a link to a video Aura: Easy As ABC – The Penguinettes
She uses CBABC as the Division and you can plainly see the 3 groups working independently mid-way thru the video.

And here is a write-up from Aura herself on the making of the video:
As Easy as ABC

did that demonstrates the Division CBABC. I forget which method, Troupe or Palette, that was used in this video but i recall we tested both in rehearsal satisfactorily.   UPDATE: She used the Troupe method.

You can change Palette-Division assignments dynamically for the Palette method as well by using the DivisionPaletteChange *autofx command.

 

There is another special command that simplifies group-swapping.

Advanced

ABOrder can flip the assignment of dance-sequences.

ABOrder = AB  (Default) means GroupA dances to Sequence1 and GroupB dances to Sequence2. But if you send an ABOrder dynamically in prior to the next dance change and its value is ABOrder= BA….then GroupA will dance sequence2 and GroupB will dance sequence1.

Same thing can ge done for Groups C & D.   ABOrder = CD and ABOrder = CD.  Of course you could accomplish the same by changing the division accordingly using the dynamic division commands learned above.

===
Also new is a notification that an invite failed, even if the invitee accepted. It happens. While it won’t tell you who failed, you will know that you need to re-invite someone.

You can use the Rollcall to see who the HUD has successfully accepted and figure out who needs to be reinvited. There are also 2 other methods as double safety-checks as to which avatars the dancer-scripts believe the groups are assigned to. Rarely will you need this but they can be helpful diagnostics when an invitation fails.

===
I hope you are now more comfortable knowing Artiste has a Grouping solution and are a bit more familiar with how it is implemented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright – Where Do You Draw The Line?

copyright
Image Source: http://www.writinggooder.com

As a teacher, one of the topics I taught in all of my classes was plagiarism.

In academics, plagiarism is a serious offense and can have severe consequences, from course failure to expulsion.

Students in my classes learn how to properly credit other people’s works and ideas in their own work.

Plagiarism vs. Copyright Infringement

Many people think that plagiarism and copyright infringement are the same thing.

Though they are similar concepts, they are not the same.

Plagiarism is using someone else’s work without giving them credit and is a policy enforced by schools.

Copyright infringement is using someone else’s work without permission and/or compensation (if appropriate) and is a law enforced by the courts.

Plagiarism doesn’t have to include copyright infringement, though it can.

Some works are so old they are not subject to copyright laws – like The Odyssey or works by Shakespeare, for example.

Legally, a student could copy parts of Shakespeare, because the works are not copyrighted.

However, it would be plagiarism if the student did not credit Shakespeare.

Copyright Basics

First, let me preface this by saying that I am *not* an attorney.

If you have legal questions or concerns regarding copyright, consult an attorney in your area/country.

I was curious about copyright laws and Second Life and where users of SL draw the line.

After a bit of basic research, copyright law (which covers written works, music, videos, movies, and electronic/digital works) and is generally in effect for a term consisting of the life of the author/creator plus 70 years.

So if I write a book one day and drop dead the next, the book can be covered under copyright for another 70 years.

However, if the book was written jointly with someone else, written anonymously or pseudonymously, or written while I was working for someone, the rules are different (see Section 302 of the Copyright Law of the United States for additional information).

Contrary to many people’s belief, you do not have to register your work through the Copyright Office in order for it to be covered under the copyright law.

You can, but you do not have to.

Copyright Can Be Messy

When you are talking about copyrights for things like music, it can get even more complicated.

Say you write a song and Taylor Swift sings it.

(It could happen, right?!)

Then you have a copyright on the composition, but Taylor Swift (and her record/production company) have copyright on their recording/arrangement as well.

Figuring out who owns what can get messy.

Music Copyright

Most music you hear in SL is copyrighted.

As a dancer, I used popular music all the time in my routines.

I justified my use because I always purchased the music I used, I didn’t just rip it from somewhere.

However, my purchase only legally entitles me to ‘personal use’ of the music.

It doesn’t legally allow me to share my music file with someone else, nor to use that music in a performance (digital or other).

It’s something you see on YouTube all the time as well.

Someone will make a video using a copyrighted song.

Some will even post a disclaimer about the song belonging to the original artist.

However, the disclaimer is irrelevant.

They could still be prosecuted for infringement.

Are they?

Not usually, because it’s not cost effective.

Have you ever noticed that some videos on YouTube have links to purchase the artist’s music?

YouTube may have an agreement with that particular artist to leave videos that use the song, as long as they add the purchase link.

Even using on-hold music can fall under copyright, according to ASCAP.

Told you it could get complicated. 🙂

DMCA

If you use Second Life, you’ve probably heard of DMCA – the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

You can read a summary of the act here.

Because you hear about DMCA on a fairly regular basis in SL, and because it is part of the copyright law, I began to wonder where people draw the line.

For example, a quick search on Marketplace for ‘superhero’ netted results that included costumes for Superman, Batman, Spiderman, X-men characters, etc.

All characters copyrighted and owned by large corporations.

I’ve purchased a few superhero costumes, and at least one of them included a notecard warning that the creator would file a DMCA if they found evidence of copybotting or other misuse.

Which would be ridiculous, since the odds that they got permission to use the copyrighted character themselves are slim to none.

There’s a lot of copyright infringement in SL – Star Wars, Star Trek, Disney, Marvel, DC, etc.

Could people be sued for infringement?

Yes.

Will they be?

Unlikely.

For many franchises, they are willing to ignore infringement if it is likely to bring them benefits (more fans) and/or not cost effective to pursue legal action.

Lawyers are expensive. 😀

Copyright law also has a fairly short statute of limitations.

For civil actions, the statute of limitations is 3 years.

For criminal proceedings, it is 5 years (see Section 507 of the Copyright Law of the United States.)

Your Thoughts?

Is it ok to use music as long as you don’t charge?

(Side note:  According to the law, whether you make money or not is irrelevant – if you use the copyrighted work without permission, it’s infringement.)

Should DJ’s in SL have to obtain licenses for their work?

Should dancers have to obtain licenses for music used in their routines?

Should creators have to obtain permission to use copyrighted characters (like Tinkerbell, Captain America, and others) in their creations?

What about items like replicas of the Starship Enterprise or the Millennium Falcon?

As I’ve become more active in various forums, I’ve seen threads dedicated to tracking/outing copybotters and the like.

I don’t play a lot of video games, so the amount of things that are ripped from video games I found surprising.

What about movie rentals in SL?

Is it even possible to keep track of copyright (and infringement) in this digital day and age?

Is there something you won’t purchase because of copyright?

Where do you draw the line?

Early looks: Avatar Complexity and Graphics Presets

I am looking forward to both of these items, though I am curious to see how the Avatar Complexity setting does/doesn’t work when attending a dance show.
I don’t want to render complex avatars in the audience, but I may want to render complex avatars who are performers. Finding a balance may be interesting.

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

secondlifeTwo new options which will be appearing in the official viewer in the near future, and which have been mentioned in this blog a number of times over the past few months are Avatar Complexity and the ability to create, save and restore graphics presets. Both are intended to provide options by which users can better tune the viewer and its settings to suit their needs and circumstances.

I’ve had the opportunity to look at both in a development viewer from the Lab, and what follows is an overview of how things may appear when both capabilities are released for general use. However, please keep in mind that things are sill very much a work-in-progress at the moment and aspects of either / both may well change between now and any functionality appearing in any public version of the viewer.

Avatar Complexity

As avatars can often be the single biggest…

View original post 991 more words

Recommended Reading: Why I Abandoned My Social Media Presence

A timely post for me, as I debate which social networks I find valuable and those I don’t.

The Daily Post

Have you ever stopped to think about why you are on social media? For me, it has always been about connecting with people, learning from my community, and contributing to that community. Page views, subscribers, followers and fans were never a stand alone goal. They were a means to an end — the promise of a potential connection.

— Annie at Ethical Thinker

Note: The ideas here are targeted more to intermediate/advanced users and bloggers with established followings.

If you’re a new blogger, we can help you get started on social media: we publish resources on building your blog and online presence, and offer Blogging 201: Traffic and Growth, a guided course where you learn alongside other bloggers.

Annie at Ethical Thinker published an interesting read last month on why, after seven years of growing a popular parenting blog and social media presence, she abandoned her following, which…

View original post 484 more words

Twitter Report

TwitterCards
Image Source: marketingland.com

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered Twitter Cards and that I needed one. 😛

So, after a few weeks of using them, I went back to check and see if they had an impact on my interactions on Twitter.

When I started using the cards on May 18, my stats showed the following:

  • 13 Tweets
  • 63 Impressions
  • 2 URL clicks

Not terrible, but I could certainly do better.

About halfway through, on May 23, my stats were:

  • 19 Tweets
  • 349 Impressions
  • 2 URL clicks

As of yesterday, May 31, my stats were:

  • 15 Tweets
  • 93 Impressions
  • 1 URL click

I have tried to be a bit more active on Twitter, which may have led to some of the increases.

However, going from 63 impressions to 349 is a pretty big jump, so perhaps the Twitter Cards did have an impact.

Clearly, I need to work on getting more URL clicks, but so far, I’m happy with the increase in engagement.

For the first couple of days after activating the Twitter Cards, tweets were not showing the images as they were supposed to – it apparently takes the system a few days to get going once they are activated.

Since I wasn’t seeing the change, for the first 3-4 days, I was also scheduling tweets (with pictures) using TweetDeck.

If you’re blogging with WP, activating the Twitter Cards was a fairly simple process, and having your posts go out as automatic Tweets saves time. 🙂

My next project is to experiment a bit with the time of day for my tweets and see if that has an impact on engagement.

I’ve also decided to give Plurk a try, so if you’re on Plurk, go easy on me!!

Black Dragon 2.4.2.5: snapshot floater and cinematic camera

I’ve already found that Black Dragon works better with my computer (and it doesn’t complain as much) when taking photos. Can’t wait to download the update and try it out – especially the resizable preview!

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Blackdragon logoOn Saturday, May 23rd, NiranV Dean released version 2.4.2.5 of his Black Dragon viewer, which brings with it three core updates:

  • Revisions to the Unified Snapshot floater
  • An experimental cinematic camera
  • A “lock” feature to synchronise map changes (diffuse, normal and specular) across all three channels simultaneously.

Unified Snapshot Floater Updates

The snapshot floater updates include:

  • An option to save the snapshot upload type
  • Automatic file format changes when switching to profile/inventory upload and back
  • Fixes for auto-refresh
  • Improved world freeze – the entire world is now frozen, and allows proper camming around.

However, what is likely to find favour with a lot of users (assuming it is adopted by other viewers, including LL’s)  is the ability to now preview snapshots in a separate, resizeable texture panel.

The alternative snapshot preview panel can be accessed via the Preview button in the Unified Snapshot Floater The alternative snapshot preview panel can be accessed via the Preview button in the Unified Snapshot Floater

This is enabled by a new…

View original post 583 more words