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Flashing Merlin
Quat Gallery
Digital sculptor, creator of web art, and owner of Quat Gallery
Interests: art, science, philosophy, cosmology, quantum mechanics
Recent Activity
I feel sorry for Ebbe. A lot of people fell for VR goggle hype. Must be embarrassing to have bet so heavily on it. He should be given a chance to sell Sansar, or wind it down, before being fired. He deserves credit for keeping Second Life going, instead of trying to force us to move. I don't know if he'll be able to find another job after this multi-million dollar Sansar disaster. Perhaps he'll decide to start his own company as Rod Humble did. Would be ironic if Ebbe used his experience to open a new business in Second Life!
I gave up using mesh avatars and clothing long ago. To many people showed up at my ASCI Metaverse Meetinga with avatars that never resolved properly. I still use mesh objects in some of my builds where only I, and a few friends see them.
Yes, I see 5 panels; you got it right Hamlet. But did Nylon get it right? Have you seen a survey, or had personal experiences, that boys who "hate women" role play as female avatars in virtual worlds? What I've observed is they play obnoxious men, who crudely hit on female avatars, or avatars they think are female in real life. On the other hand, men I know who play females, don't seem to hate women at all.
Kinggoon's quotation of the Public Order Act 1986, and The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, seem to have nothing to do with Tilia. Never-the-less I'm grateful it was posted because it appears to show I won't be prosecuted for expressing disbelief in the idea put forward by some of Donald Trump's followers (e.g. Michele Bachmann) that he is a religious savior.
I agree with Philip, in that I would leave out gaming as an important aspect a virtual world needs to succeed. I have no interest in gaming, and might never have become a Second Life resident, had gaming appeared to be a dominant aspect of it. Instead I explored the virtual world to see what I might do with it, and found uses which still involve me a decade after my arrival. I'm on the Board of Directors of Art and Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI). The last Sunday of every month, I run a discussion group in SL devoted to Art and Science issues. We use text chat, so we have a transcript of every meeting, and you can find selected transcripts posted here: If this interests you, you are welcome to join our group and attend our meetings. I also use SL for the sets of the graphic novels I work on, such as and Never, in my decade in SL, have I gotten involved in SL gaming. So for me, gaming is the least important aspect of a virtual world.
Building and furnishing my homes in SL has always been enough of a challenge to keep me interested. As mentioned above by others, I already have enough struggle in real life, so I'm happy to avoid struggle in SL.
I use Second Life to stage scenes which I photograph and show in real life art galleries. I currently have work in the show, “A Political / Apolitical Holiday Show,” at Viridian Artists, 548 W. 28th St. #632, NY, NY 10001. Gallery phone: 212 414 4040. The show runs until December 30th. The work is titled, “The Nude in Alien Nature,” and consists of a digital photo frame which shows a sequence of digital images which I originally published in the online graphic novel, That novel tells the story of a real life artist, Bill Rabinovitch, who is invited to join a virtual gallery, ( and show his work in Second Life. While in SL, Bill's avatar reads a headline declaring the Star Wars planet Tatooine, with two suns, has been located by astronomers in real life. Bill has been so frustrated by the difficulties of surviving as a real life artist, that headline prompts him to have a fantasy about traveling to the Star Wars galaxy to learn how to use the Force in his art, and that's the fantasy chronicled in the graphic novel. I chose “The Nude in Alien Nature,” for this political show because it's drawn from wherein Bill discusses the political issues involved when an artist uses a nude image in his work.
Bill Rabinovitch is another real life artist, with an impressive exhibition history, who has used SL. His credits including a retrospect at the Museum of Modern Art, in their Cineprobe Series. You can read about his SL adventures: He says his only interest in SL was to provide the sets for his graphic novel.
This appears to be the earliest of several claims a chatbot has passed the Turing test: Here's another more recent: Has Mitch Kapor lost the bet?
Interesting to see shots from Sansar. However, since I'm an SL resident whose computers can't run Sansar, I'd really like to see a poll asking what percentage of SL users were able to run Sansar, and what gear they were using, and at what bandwidth. Plus the obvious questions of how they like it compared to SL, and whether they intend to migrate, stay in SL, or continue in both? Is it worth upgrading a computer which runs SL OpenSim, and High Fidelity with no problems, just to run Sansar?
I'm impressed that Jay Salton was able to get into Sansar, build an art gallery, and shoot a video of it. Great work Jay! I tried my laptop in two locations that had the recommended 10 mbps bandwidth. Both had the same results: The NASA Sim seemed to load, and my avatar appeared, however all I saw was a gray sky. Nothing rezzed, except one other avatar, who rezzed for a few seconds and then vanished. The amount of lag I experienced when I tried to move my avatar made SL look blazing fast by comparison. OK my laptop is not an advanced gaming model, but it runs SL with no problems. I can read specs like, “NVIDIA GTX 970 equivalent or greater,” and I guess my laptop video card doesn't qualify, but I would love to see a survey of how many SL users were able to use Sansar, and what were they using, in terms of goggles vs. desktop, computing power, video cards, and bandwidth.
Eerie silence in response to this topic: four days now, but no one has posted a Sansar site they liked best. I'm going to take a chance and post my experience. It's not the answer Hamlet is looking for, but it could be relevant. The Sansar viewer downloaded with no problem. However, when it started to install, I soon got an error message, something like, "File overflow. Unknown file." I quit and started the installation again. Again I soon got an error message, something like, "Host not found." I gave up, and just went on to do something else. When I returned to the screen, I saw it had started to install again. So I just let it run and watched. Again it stopped with an error message, but after a few minutes, started to install again. I was impressed that it could recover from errors and continue the installation. That download was installing on a Win 7 laptop. I started a second installation on a Win 8 desktop, and saw the same pattern of stopping at errors. I decided to let them both run overnight. By the next morning the Win 7 installation had completed, but Win 8 was only at 70%. I used the Win 7 installation to register my avatar name & ID, and then tried to enter the NASA Sim. I got the message that NASA was downloading, but that just went on, and on. I went on to something else. When I finally got back, the Win 7 reported that it had stopped the NASA download because it timed out. The Win 8 installation had completed, so I tried to enter NASA on that one, but again the NASA download just went on and on. By next day the Win 8 also reported timing out. I tried to use the Win 7 to enter a different SIM, but got the message that a new download was now required - something I had predicted with dread in an earlier post on here. However, the installation of that new download took less than an hour, so apparently the first installation takes the longest. I realize my bandwidth here is less than optimal (although it's fine for SL), so over the weekend I'll take my laptop to a location where I will have 10 mbps and see if I can enter NASA from there. From the "pile up" picture, it's obvious a lot of avatars were able to get into a Sim, but I wonder if a significant number of SL users had problems, hence the lack of responses to this topic so far.
Kept trying the "Confirm Email Address" link, and eventually it went thru, and I was able to download the viewer. After downloading, it started installing. By the time it said 10% finished, I realized it would take over an hour to install, however it crashed at that point, saying it was unable to complete installation. One of the most annoying things about the official SL viewer is that the Lindens insist on updating every few days. At least I can avoid that wait by switching to a third party viewer, but if Sansar is going to insist on frequent updates, and they're each going to take an hour, and there's no third party viewer to switch to, this wait will really become annoying. Going back to try installing it again, but by now if I ever get it installed, all I want to do is register my avatar ID to save the name, and then quit.
Only got as far as the initial sign up page. When I went to my email, and clicked the link to "Confirm Email Address," I got a Sansar page saying "Unexpected error occurred." I expected the Sansar viewer to fail, just like the SL viewer frequently does, but if they can't even get a simple HTML sign-up link to work, it's a petty bad omen.
Interesting that "Ready Player One" also assumes VR is inevitable. If we skeptics are correct, by 2045 that idea will seem quaint. Sort of like "2001" assuming everyone would use video phones in the future. What "2001" didn't predict, was that everyone would carry video phones in their pocket, but mostly use them to send text messages. By analogy, in 2045 VR might be miniaturized to the size of contact lenses, but everyone will mostly use it to watch old 3D movies.
The reason I like SL is because my SL experience is nothing like this movie, which seems more like World of Warcraft. Sorry, all that mindless mayhem seems totally boring to me. I wouldn't go see the movie unless other trailers showed something more human to the story. Interesting Spielberg said, "I say it is dangerous is because it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from the storytellers but make their own choices of where to look," showing it's dangerous for him because he's clueless about how to tap VR's potential. Therefore I agree with Hamlet, "So if anything, I think it's likely the movie will cause more moral hangwringing over VR, than increased consumer interest in it."
Cause and effect is not clear from the data. There seems to be an assumption that addiction to video games is keeping the the young from the work force, but this country has steadily lost jobs due to automation and outsourcing since 2000. It could be the growing lack of job opportunities that discourages job hunting and forces the young to live at home. Then the increase in gaming is just a symptom, not a cause. Personally, I'm at the other end of the age spectrum: I'd like to drop out of the work force, and retire to a virtual world!
I'll wait until the Irish Times story is confirmed, then I'll say it again: The longer Ebbe can postpone opening Sansar, the longer he can keep his job. The signs of impending disaster: this is yet another postponement; it's aimed at goggle wearers, a very limited market; they're already behind Facebook and HF; the teaser was aimed at SL users who seem to want to stay in SL rather than migrate; no third party viewers, when Linden Labs has never been able to make a viewer everyone liked. And as Hamlet pointed out, they are only now starting on a terrain editor when this should have been in place years ago. I won't be surprised to see Ebbe follow Rodvik's example, and resign before it becomes obvious Sansar is a failure.
I'm already Premium and the reason has nothing to do with any of the incentives LL offers. The comments above document fairly well why those incentives are fairly worthless. I started building my home in SL by renting on a private island. That island failed, so I was forced to move to another island, and start building all over again. A year later that second island failed, and faced with moving yet again, I opted to move to the mainland where I wouldn't have to worry about another island failing. I feel it's well worth paying for Premium membership because it allows you to own plots on the mainland, and gain the security that offers. For me that's the only selling point for Premium membership, however LL doesn't even mention this as an advantage.
My experience with introducing people to SL is that most people don't want to create or interact. They want to sit like couch potatoes and be entertained. Those who do want to interact seem to prefer to kill and destroy things: first person shooter games, World of Warcraft, etc. SL appealed to me precisely because I do like to build and create, and don't like to kill and destroy. The only market segment the Sansar teaser seems designed to appeal to are the people already in SL, As the comments above indicate, people already in SL are not eager to move to a new virtual world and give up their SL inventory, their builds, their social networks, etc. The lip-sync looked good, but I have to wonder if the sound will actually work, or will we keep getting, "unable to connect to voice server" messages? We were first told Sansar would open in 2015, then 2016, then 2017, then Spring of 2017. It's already Spring, and still no opening date announced. All things considered, it doesn't bode well for Ebbe.
Science fiction stories with this premise never seem to end well. Wishing Elon good luck on this one.
Trump loved an artist who depicted him as a gorilla? Suspect that's a fake tweet.
I've been skeptical of VR hype, however to be fair I want to report this experience: I saw the Occulus at Best Buy and went to try it. I couldn't figure out how to get the demo running, and there was no salesperson around to ask about it. It's typically an effort to track down a sales person in the huge store, so I just gave up. Generally I don't want to waste a salesperson's time unless I'm serious about buying, so I believe the failure of the Best Buy Occulus displays is Best Buy's fault. Either the display has to be set up so it's safe to try without a salesperson being there, or a salesperson has to be assigned to stand by the display and offer to demo it for any shopper who walks by, There may in fact be little interest in wearing the goggles, but the result of this Best Buy display is not a reliable way to judge.
Seems optimistic to think it will actually open to the public this year. As long as it stays in Beta, it can't be declared a failure, and Ebbe gets to keep his job another year.
Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI) holds a discussion group on the last Sunday of every month. Usually we pick current science news as topics, however with Trump picking a climate change denier to head the EPA transition, this Sunday we're giving everyone a chance to vent about Trump's election. 10 am SLT to 11 am, 11/27 at