Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photos and Video from BURN2 Press Day

I was invited to BURN2 Press Day, a preview day for press and bloggers to get a peek at the 2011 BURN2 installation. BURN2 is an extension of the Burning Man festival and community into the world of Second Life. It is an officially sanctioned Burning Man regional event, and the only virtual world event out of more than 100 real world Regional groups, and the only Regional to burn the Man.

It's pretty impressive. Emulating the real world Burning Man, the festival is laid out on a playa and includes a temple, themed art camps, and of course The Man. I selected a Windlight setting of my own (Barcelona) as I thought it looked better - use your own judgement. You may also want to wear only necessary attachments, leave your huds at home, and reduce your script count as the playa can be laggy due to the complexity of the installation.

BURN2 is open to Second Life residents October 1-9.

Here's a video and a few photos of what I saw today - enjoy!

Earthdance 2011

Last weekend, Friday through Sunday, I attended Earthdance 2011 at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, California. Yeah, I know Vallejo is not in Second Life but Earthdance is so cool it's like SL plus I have some photos I want to share :)

Earthdance is a 3 day festival held simultaneously in hundreds of locations in dozens of countries. The vision of Earthdance is a world of communities joining in a common goal of global unity, collaboration and evolution toward a Culture of Peace through music, dance, prayer, and activism.

The lineup in Northern California this year included Ziggy Marley, Balkan Beat Box, Les Nubians, Trevor Hall, Indubious, Beats Antique, Delhi 2 Dublin, Faun, Tipper, Mimosa, Emancipator, and many many more.

Here are a few of the photos I took this year:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Batty Suit with Tails and Jacket from silentsparrow

The new silentsparrow (the old location is now the Ozimals Orientation area!) is an excellent source for high quality gothic suits for men and women. They also have a nice selection of gowns, corsets, waistcoats, and an eclectic mix of items.

I've reviewed other suits from silentsparrow before, including the Ryou Suit and the Corbie Suit. Here I am modelling the Batty Suit with tails and jacket.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

YouTube Keeps Us On Our Toes - Newly Revised NHC Media Playlists

I create and maintain a set of media playlists for several of the major media players in Second Life. One set, the NHC Media Playlists, I offer on the Second Life Marketplace for L$25. It's really convenient and kinda cool to be able to automatically play a series of YouTube videos on your land or in your club. Sort of like a Video DJ.

However, the videos tend to disappear over time or become unplayable in Second Life. Several things can happen to make a video disappear. The user can pull it or quit YouTube. YouTube can make the video unavailable due to Copyright infringement. But, by far, the most frequent cause of YouTube videos disappearing or becoming unplayable in Second Life is due to the actions of the Warner Music Group (WMG). Since WMG owns the rights to the songs recorded by artists under contract with them, they can get YouTube to pull them over Copyright dispute even if the artists do not object or actively encourage the free distribution and viewing of their music videos. All the artists can do is make the videos of live performances of their music available and most do.

That artists do not control the distribution and terms of use of their own artistic creations seems wrong to me. It seems like a crime.

The second most common thing WMG (and others, like Sony) do to "protect" "their" intellectual property is to disable embedding of the video. What this means is that you can watch the video on YouTube but the Second Life media players cannot play it in Second Life.

All this adds up to making my playlists go stale over time as they gradually are inundated with links that no longer work in SL. Recently I've refreshed a few of my playlists and that is the reason for this post.  I have updated my NHC Media Playlists product on the SL Marketplace replacing unavailable links with new ones that play in Second Life.

I will soon be updating the SL Wiki and inworld freebies I make available.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Amazing Art of Marcus Inkpen at The Looking Glass

Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen have created a beautiful art gallery and surrounding sim, The Looking Glass at Horizon Dream. I initially visited to see the artwork of Marcus Inkpen as featured in the SL Designers Challenge. I was quickly drawn to the exquisite artwork of J. Matthew Root, on display in the gallery. Astounded, I looked him up on the web and in SL. Duh! J. Matthew Root is the RL artist also known as Marcus Inkpen in SL. Anyway, the art is awesome. Here is a selection of snapshots I took of some of his art starting with the one I went to see, La Mer, a 64 prim glass violin aquarium with animated tail & fins (L$600):

The next two snapshots are a piece titled OPIUM (L$600)

Next is a piece called ESCAPE (L$600)

This next one is called SLEEPY FAERIE (L$600)

The next snapshot is of THE IMAGINE WIND (L$600)

Next we have DISCOVERY (L$600)

Finally, this one is called WATER LILY (L$600)

Truly amazing. Thank you Marcus Inkpen. Hey, did everybody notice how all the art (even the animated aquarium) is only L$600 ? That is a way great deal. Go to Looking Glass and look around.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Reservation and Payment System

I've recently added several new features to my Reservation Board. I received some excellent feedback from several board owners (especially Giovanni Benazzi) and have just released an update incorporating these new features.

The Restless Studio Reservation and Payment System is a one prim board that, when touched, presents a series of dialog menus allowing the user to select a destination/event, date, time, and class/duration of event. It will then accept payment to secure the reservation. Both the user and owner of the board are notified via Instant Message and, optionally, email. In addition to the details of the reservation being messaged, the board can be configured to deliver a ticket upon receipt of payment.

The Reservation System is available on the Second Life Marketplace and includes three pre-configured textured boards - one for airline reservations, one for event reservations, and one for escort bookings. The system is fully configurable and can easily be reconfigured and deployed in another context. Open Document and PDF formatted documentation for the Reservation System is freely available for review or download.

New features in this release include:
  • Classes of Events (e.g. Economy Class, Business Class, First Class). The type of class can be configured. For example, an event class type of "Duration" might have values of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and 90 minutes with different prices for each.
  • Ticket delivery - upon receipt of payment for a reservation, a notecard, texture, or object can be delivered to the user. This can be used at the time of the event as a verification of reservation (e.g. a pilot who is not the owner of the board can confirm a passenger list). Tickets are No Copy / No Modify / Transfer.
  • A "Price List" button has been added for easy quick review of a list of destinations/events/classes and their prices.
  • A "Start Over" button has been added to allow the user to begin the reservation booking process over.
  • Multiple bookings in a single session are now supported.
  • Configuration notecard settings are verified. If you misconfigure the DAYS or TIMES setting so it doesn't exactly match up with the number of EVENTS then it reverts back to the default (all days, all times on the hour) and IM's the owner with a warning.
 What does all this add up to ? Well, according to Giovanni Benazzi, owner and operator of BENAIR Private Charters at Second Life International Airport:

[2011/09/16 11:11]  Giovanni Benazzi: you have the best airline booking available out there  :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Uesugi Daishō Katana/Wakizashi from Needful Pixel

The Uesugi Daishō (大小), literally "big and small", is a Japanese term referring to the traditional pair of edged weapons of the Samurai. The daishō is composed of the long sword (Katana) and the shorter sword (Wakizashi). These weapons of the Uesugi series are Spellfire v4.0 "dual swords" scripted weapons. Only L$149 on the Second Life Marketplace from Needful Pixel.
 The package includes a sheath, worn on the hip, for both swords.
 The swords can be drawn and sheathed using either gestures or a HUD.
 Sometimes I like to wear the sheathed swords just for the look ...
but sometimes I like to fight!

A wooden stand to rez and display your swords is included.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Black Transparent Latex Cape

The black transparent latex cape from Unique Needs can give any outfit a mystical look. Here I chose to go sexy mystic with the black lace trim top by Valen Texan and black thong by PussinBoots String. Sn@tch Royal bangles, Mandala rings/nails/bangles, and shoes from Kalnins complete the look.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Acid & Mala Creations Boho Long Skirt & Mini Top

I love the  Boho Long Skirt and Boho Chic Mini Top from Acid & Mala Creations.  The beautiful colors and flowing natural look of these outfits really are a joy to wear. This outfit demonstrates for me the way clothing and fashion can act as a mood enhancer. It's fun to wear, looks great, and makes me feel good - what's not to like ?