Last night was a late night for me, because I stayed up to catch the Christmas Extravadanza! show put on by SexyS Quintessa.
And I get to kill two birds with one stone in this post (just an expression, I would never actually kill a bird), because I went back to the sim this morning to capture some pretty pics of the sim using SL Go!
Yesterday SL Go announced they have now added the Firestorm viewer as an option (for PC only right now). So, of course, I had to try it out.
After I did, boy, am I excited!
Because I now have all the fancy schmancy photo tools and windlight settings that come with Firestorm – something I was missing with the LL viewer.
So I spent a little time traveling around the sim and snapping some pics.
I also snapped some pics at the show last night, and I’ll be including those here as well.
The sim is beautifully decorated and there are lots of little areas to explore and take photos.
I love this little area, with a grand staircase and the beautiful carriage.
You almost expect Cinderella to appear around the corner!
This area was the setting for one of the acts in the show.
An amazing setting and costume, very ethereal and beautiful.
I am definitely going to have to get a Flickr account, just to make it easier to upload all the photos I plan to take!
The phototools in Firestorm make it really easy to play around with things and be creative. And when the sim is as fun as this one, it’s easy to get carried away.
Just look at this adorable stage!
One of the acts in the show was set in front of this cute little toy shop.
And when you go to the show, Santa himself drives you around in his sleigh from place to place, in true Christmas fashion!
There were many creative acts throughout the show, and not every act is performed each show, so make sure to go more than once to catch them all!
These lovely ice skaters did an amazing routine, complete with lifts and turns!
The whole sim is just absolutely charming.
Even if you can’t make one of the shows, go for a visit and take some pictures yourself.
And, of course, no Christmas would be complete without mention of the Grinch and the Whos down in WhoVille.
I probably had too much fun playing around with the windlights, but there was so much eye candy around!
I have a lot more pictures, so I will hopefully have time in the next few days to get a Flickr account set up so I can share them all more easily.
One of my favorite things on the sim was the Northern Lights.
Be sure to experience the sim at night – it’s beautiful!!
A few months ago, I signed up for a subscription for SL Go by OnLive. My computer is okay, but not top-of-the-line, so I thought I’d try out SL Go and see how it works.
It’s supposed to turn any tablet or PC into a machine capable of running SL at Ultra settings. So you can have all the fancy shadows and lighting to take pretty pictures and have less lag, even at Ultra.
I haven’t really used SL Go much, although my husband has played around with it on his iPad. He had a little trouble getting used to the controls (it took him a good 5 minutes to ‘sit’ on something the other day).
Then I saw a video by Iris over at New World Notes about taking fancy-schmancy pictures using SL Go. So I thought I’d try it myself.
I’ve been debating for several months whether to get a Flickr account, and hadn’t yet. Partly because I detest Yahoo and I have to sign up for an account with them in order to use Flickr. But also partly because I didn’t think I could take pictures that would be able to compete with what I see on Flickr.
I don’t run SL on Ultra on my computer, and I rarely have shadows enabled, because it causes too much lag.
However, to take some pictures, like landscapes or portraits, maybe I could make it work.
If I can take awesome pictures with SL Go, even better!
So I decided to do a little experiment.
I logged in to SL with my computer and went to two different winter sims to take some photos. I didn’t bump up my graphics to Ultra, but I did turn on shadows. I found a quiet spot on each sim and spent a few minutes playing around with the windlight presets to get something I thought was pretty.
Then, I logged into SL Go and went to the same two sims to take photos at the same spots.
SL Go does take some getting used to – I use the Firestorm viewer, and SL Go is a scaled-down version of the official LL viewer. So it took me a little bit to get used to where all the controls were.
(Side note – I use the FS built-in AO, so since I don’t wear an AO attachment, I was doing the newbie dork-walk everywhere I went. Ugh.)
I also had a bit of trouble, because I couldn’t find all the snapshot options to play with, like I have in FS.
There were only about 10 total different windlight presets to choose from using SL Go, so then I had to figure out how to adjust the settings myself, to try and get as close as possible to the windlights I had used with FS.
(I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to turn on the ‘advanced menu’ in SL Go, only to be told later that I couldn’t, because it uses a scaled down version of the viewer.)
So after finally getting the pictures taken with SL Go, I needed to resize them. I am going to post them below, and I would love your feedback on which ones you think are better. Just click on the poll underneath each set of photos to vote on which one you like.
For the first set of photos, my windlight settings are not close. For both sets, the angles are a bit different. In retrospect, I probably should have had the first set of photos open to use as reference, but I wasn’t thinking that far ahead. I was just trying to duck-walk to the site as quickly as possible. 😀
After I get the results, I will post additional information about the original photos. All I have to done these photos is to resize them down to 1024X576 or 1024X548. I did not do any other post-processing of them.
Please vote and send the link to your friends and ask them to weigh in as well.
I’m curious to see which photos people like better!
(Just FYI – you find some weird shizz when you do a search on Google for ‘photo experiment.’ 😛 )
I was listening to the new episode of the Drax files yesterday.
I usually listen while I am writing, so sometimes I get a bit distracted. This time, a comment made by one of the guests caught my attention.
He was discussing how he often logs in to SL using an alternate account (alt) so that he can work on things without the constant disruption of IMs from friends.
The issue was on my mind already, after reading a recent blog post by Canary Beck about needing ‘transition time’ when she logs into SL.
Personally, I am always happy to hear from friends. To me, that’s the great thing about IMs. I may get them instantly, but nothing requires me to ANSWER them instantly.
If I am truly trying to concentrate on something, I generally set my availability to ‘unavailable’ so that I can finish whatever it is I’m working on. (I am guilty of also forgetting to uncheck this setting, even when I am done working. 😛 )
When I first log in, whether I respond to IMs right away depends on what I am doing. I usually work through IMs first, then NCs, and then whatever other housekeeping tasks I need to do before moving on. However, I can honestly say that I’ve never been frustrated or annoyed by IMs waiting for me when I log in.
If I am busy, but not so busy that I want to be ‘unavailable,’ I will generally just let the IM sit until I can take a break and send a quick response. Sometimes that response is ‘Hey, working – get back with you in a bit.’
I do have an alternate account that I use for various things, but I’ve never been so bombarded by IMs that I felt I needed to log in on that account just to avoid people.
In the interview, Drax also mentioned that many people do not feel ‘like themselves’ when they log in as alternate accounts. While I can understand that, if that is how you feel, why bother having an alternate account in the first place?
I think perhaps there is a social perception that because someone speaks to us via IM, an immediate response is required. Speaking for myself, my friends know that if they don’t get an immediate response, I am not ignoring them, I am busy and not able to respond right away. When I IM someone, I do not get upset if I don’t get an immediate response.
There are lots of reasons this may happen, so I don’t take the lack of response personally.
What about you? Do you feel the need to escape using an alt?
Many moons ago I had read about buying lindens in a different way.
Rather than just buying them directly through my viewer (which was the only way I was aware of at the time), there was another way to do it.
However, the explanation I read made it seem very complicated, and I am, by nature, very risk-averse when it comes to money. So, I continued to buy lindens directly.
During a conversation with Yummy, she mentioned that she was considering writing a blog post on limit buys for L$. I encouraged her to do it (selfishly, because I wanted the information!) and she did. You can find her original post here on the DQ blog.
Her instructions were amazingly detailed and made it very simple to follow the steps. In less than 5 minutes, I had put in my first order for a limit buy of L$.
I put in a small order ($20USD) of 5043L using the method Yummy detailed. I then sat back to wait. While I was waiting, I decided to do some comparing. If I had done a direct buy at that time, the same 5043L would have cost me $20.42USD. Now, I’m sure $0.42 seems like small change. It is. But those small things add up.
I waited for only about 15-20 minutes and my order filled. Still curious, I did some more comparisons. After waiting the 20 minutes for my limit buy to fill, I went back to direct buy to see if the rate would still be the same.
Now, those 5043L were going to cost $20.72USD. A difference of $0.72 this time. At $20.42USD for 5043L, that’s approximately 247L per $1USD. At $20.72USD for 5043L, that’s approximately 243L per $1USD. Again, that 4L seems like a small amount, but over time, it adds up.
And this was only for a small linden buy. The differences are more apparent in bigger buys. For example, if I had placed an order for $100USD of lindens when I did my limit buy, I would have gotten 25,215L. Using the same exchange rates, a direct buy for $100USD placed at the same time as my limit buy would have gotten me approximately 24,696L – a difference of 519L.
So using the limit buy method, I’d have 519L more for the same amount of RL money. That’s a new costume, or a new pair of shoes, or several new dances! A pretty good deal in my book.
And if you compare the exchange rates only 20 minutes later, a direct buy of $100USD would have netted me approximately 24,338L. That’s a difference of 877L versus the limit buy. Again making the limit buy option a good deal.
Yes, using the limit buy method may take a little bit longer for your order to complete versus a direct buy. However, waiting 15-20 minutes is fine with me if it nets more lindens for my hard-earned money.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the little probe that could – the Rosetta/Philae probe that was launched by the ESA and traveled 4 BILLION miles to land on a comet.
Quite a scientific/technological accomplishment, don’t you think?
This probe (which was launched way back in 2004), traveled to the comet, detached the probe (Philae), which then landed on the surface of the comet (while it travels at about 135,000 miles an hour) and began transmitting data back to Earth.
The scientists involved in the mission (which has taken over a decade!) have been making appearances to talk about the project.
I haven’t been following the story, just reading blurbs here and there as they crop up in my news feed. Today, I came across an article by Boris Johnson with The Telegraph. One of the scientists involved with the project is in the news. A great scientific achievement – they deserve their 15 minutes of fame. After reading the article, I am once again left shaking my head.
Why is Dr. Matt Taylor making headlines? Because he had the audacity to wear a shirt that some found ‘offensive.’
The man was part of a team that landed a probe on a comet 4 BILLION MILES from Earth and people are complaining about his shirt? What is wrong with people? (If you want to see his infamous shirt, just Google it. There’s a million pictures of it. Probably more pictures than you will find of Rosetta/Philae.)
Now – the shirt was a shirt I might find my brother wearing. He’s a gamer, into sci-fi, comic books, a business owner, and a self-proclaimed nerd. Did the shirt have scantily clad women on it? Yes. Were any of them naked or showing naughty bits? No. Did I (as a woman) find it offensive? No.
I don’t understand the ‘feminist’ uproar. Over a shirt. A SHIRT.
Of all the things to worry about in the world today, we’re going to focus on a shirt?
Was it the best choice of attire for someone who would be on TV? No. But then, many people were also probably offended by the multitude of tattoos that Dr. Taylor sports. Does his choice of attire have any bearing at all on his ability to do his job as a scientist?
I heard a story the other day about a male TV news anchor who was frustrated over the continual crap his female co-anchor received over things that have nothing to do with her ability to perform her job duties. She was continually sent emails, tweets, facebook posts, etc. about her hair, her clothing, her makeup. Most of them not very nice. The feedback the male anchor received was generally focused on how he did his job, how entertaining he was, etc. So he did a little experiment (you can read the story here).
He didn’t tell anyone. He just quietly did it. He began wearing the same suit to work every day. EVERY DAY. (He did clean it a few times.) What did people say?
No one noticed. Or if they did, they didn’t care. So, as a male TV anchor, he is judged on his ability to do his job. As a female TV anchor, you are judged by your appearance.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Because what someone wears matters more than what they do.
Yesterday I came across a post about breaking through writer’s block – something that’s been happening to me frequently lately.
The article contained a link to some printable blogging calendars (who knew those existed?) and I was happily working away, planning out articles.
One of the articles on my ‘to-be-written’ list was about men and dancing in SL. Feeling inspired, I wrote the post and then set it to publish today.
Or so I thought.
Twice now in the last week, when scheduling my posts, I have hit the ‘0’ key instead of the ‘1’ when entering the date to publish. I, of course, am unaware of my mistake, until I see the post and think, “Why did that publish now?”
I did it yesterday with the ‘Men Don’t Dance’ post. I was going to just reschedule it (in effect, removing the post and publishing it again on the correct date), but someone had already commented on it. So – yay! that someone had already read it and commented, and boo! to me for not noticing it posting early/incorrectly.
Hopefully with my shiny new blogging calendar, I can avoid this happening in the future.
Yesterday my reader feed blew up with posts about an article on moviepilot.com about SL.
Now, since moviepilot.com on its ‘about page’ says its mission is to ‘to revolutionize the way movie fans discover and talk about upcoming movies,’ I’m not really clear on why they’re writing about SL in the first place.
I’d post a link to the article, but frankly, it’s terrible and I don’t want to give them any more traffic. It’s poorly written, poorly researched (the pictures used date from 2007-2010, including one photo that is from IMVU, not SL), and it’s clearly an article written just for sensationalism. The sad part?
People who play in SL have left comment after comment after comment about how wrong the article is. In fact, the author (and I use that term loosely) focused solely on what kink is available in SL. Furries, unicorns, and bears, oh my!! I found the whole article laughable.
My advice would have been to ignore it. Instead, users have been flocking to leave comments about how wrong the author got it.
They’re missing the point. The author (and company) clearly does not care whether their story was accurate. Their goal? Traffic, plain and simple. And what did they get from all the SL users who flocked to complain and leave comments?
Like any other internet troll, the best response would have been to ignore the post. As I’m sure, most of the rest of the world will. I’m afraid that now, there may be additional posts (likely with the same pathetic degree of accuracy) trying to repeat the spike. (By the way, the author of this *ahem* article also posted 14 more articles on the same day. I’m sure they were all well-researched as well.)
I’ve been following a conversation thread over at Avatar Social Network about what people ‘miss’ about Second Life. I don’t consider myself an ‘oldbie,’ but I’ve been in SL off and on since 2009.
Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older, or perhaps it’s just the times ‘a-changin,’ as they do. One of the things that people found the most attractive about SL (myself included) was that it was a world where darn near anything was possible. You can RP, you can shop, you can dance – whatever you want. Can’t find the perfect outfit? Make it yourself! Can’t find the perfect home? Build it yourself!
Now, I’m not saying that these things aren’t possible today in SL. However, it sure seems like you need a whole heckuva lot more skills than you used to. Want to build something? Mesh is the new black – you need to learn Blender or some other 3D modeling program. (I’ve tried Blender – it leaves me feeling like I need to sign up for a university course in order to understand it.) Want your mesh to have a texture with all the new materials options? Take a class to learn the difference between normal, diffuse, and specular maps. Then learn Photoshop or Gimp to make your texture(s). And don’t forget the AO map!
When I first came to SL, anyone and everyone was creating something. Not so, these days. Since most people don’t have the time (or maybe the patience) to learn Blender, Maya, Photoshop, etc. They’re buying templates to create with. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve done it plenty myself. But I find that, more and more, everything is starting to look the same. Especially in clothing. I’ve seen the same mesh dress in a thousand places. Sometimes with different textures, sometimes not.
There was a comment on a NWN article that SL is becoming ‘more consumer-oriented and less “build your own world” focused.’ It remains to be seen whether that is a good or bad thing for SL.