25 December 2007

So this is Christmas

BlahTo all my readers (and fans), have a very merry, happy Christmas! And if you don't celebrate Christmas, then just enjoy the following few days. Here's a photo I made during my weekend in Berlin, at the Christmas market in the Sony Center. Santa made out of Lego! :D

Snapshot of the Week #9, #10 and #11

Snap of the WeekBeen really busy again these weeks, I've been away a weekend to Berlin and all the stuff to do before Christmas. So I'll have to combine 3 weeks into one post again.

First, I noticed a cool new Sculpty sculpture at Oyster Bay. Check it out for yourself!


Second, I was checking out the region of the RL magazine SLang Life. The cool thing is you can sign up to receive a real magazine by mail, completely for free. I subscribed, so happily awaiting the first issue :D

SLang Life

And third, hot news! New WindLight viewer. Only downside: there's a new bug that renders huge black stripes in the sky. But what's more fun than take something bad (like this bug) and turn it into something good (like art)!

WindLight Bug

12 December 2007


Second LifeSimone Stern tagged Stella Costello...
Stella Costello tagged Cheen Pitney...
Cheen Pitney tagged Morris Vig...
and Morris tagged me.

8 random facts about me and then I'll have to find 8 more people to tag. So let's do this!

  1. I often have Comedy Central on at night, only to see two re-runs of South Park episodes which I've seen too much already

  2. My internal clock is broken I think, I can easily be up until late at night (or early morning) and sleep the entire day, but I've never been able to turn that around, like normal people

  3. I should've blogged this a while ago, but never did it, so this is the perfect moment: I have an almost-3-weeks-old nephew named Daniel, who is the reason I wasn't at 28 November's Bug Triage

  4. Since 3 weeks I'm in a band that practices on Monday evening, which is the reason I haven't been at Monday's Bug Triage since then. And probably won't be either.

  5. I have a female avatar in Puzzle Pirates

  6. It's my rezday! I'm 1 SL year old now :D

  7. I have a Mac and I don't intend to ever use a Windoze machine unless I really really have to. I can't understand how people can like a machine that takes 12 hours just to start up and crashes when it's on longer than 3 minutes.

  8. I was tagged to post 20 facts about myself two years ago, which I filled with about 18 real facts, now I'm already stuck at 7 :|

Whew! Now on to the 8 people to be tagged. And the lucky 8 are...
Ayumi Cassini; Moriash Moreau; umm... ok, the other 6 already were tagged... I really don't know/read that many other SL blogs (there's your bonus 9th fact about me!)

07 December 2007

About Age Verification

Second LifeAge Verification has gone Beta. As excited we were to hear about WindLight Beta, as outraged you may say we are to hear about Age Verification. Do we really, really need it? What's to lose when you have nothing to hide? Why is it really here?

From Knowledge Base's Age Verification FAQ:
"Why do we need it?
While not foolproof, age verification can provide an additional layer of trust for inworld businesses and Residents. It also helps ensure that minors can't gain access to inappropriate adult, mature content in Second Life."

Ok, after reading that I'm stuck with the question "Why do we need it?" In other words, the answer is no answer. Maybe it is for LL's lawyers, who also took out the phrase "Imagined, created and owned by its Residents" (2) (3) from the front page, but not to SL Residents. Besides, it's full of "maybes": "While not foolproof", "[it] can provide a(...) layer of trust", "It (...) helps ensure that minors can't gain access (...)" (emphases mine). So it's not even 100% sure! Then why do we need it?!

As you may know, I'm a member of the online Art community deviantART. Everybody is allowed to sign up and post art, including artistic nude. And while artistic nude photos may be flagged "Mature", minors can still view it at their own risk. (Note: I'm not sure if that's still the case today though)
And even then, it's artistic nude, not plain porn:

And do we really need to shield our precious children's eyes from sex? Pretend it doesn't exist, they'll never know! That's the general American way of thinking (no offense to those who are not so uptight). Well, telling your kids nothing about sex sure helps, right? It's exactly why the US has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the western world. For that fact alone, Age Verification in SL will only contribute to that!

Therefor, the answer to the question "Do we need Age Verification?" is "No!" and that makes the question "Why do we need it?" redundant.

If you visit the Age Verification page, you'll be asked your full name, address and passport number, or SSN or SIN or PIN or Drivers license (also note how you can even use 2007 as DOB, oh yeah, my two-weeks-old nephew has a SL account :|). If you enter the necessary fields, you state that you "consent to its verification against public records or government-issued identification". But they fail to mention they also gather your IP address! And it's this IP that's apparently used for the verification. Aristotle Inc's Press Contact Michael Colopy briefly said this before the House Committee on the Judiciary, November 14, 2007:
"The question sometimes arises: in the web world, how can a governmental jurisdiction mandate the exclusion of persons entering online from outside its authority? The method is known as IP geo-location. It’s true that some IP addresses can only be identified at a country level. And there are certain types of proxies and satellite IPs that prevent us from geo-locating and that the geolocation technology can’t be applied to long-distance modem dialup calls (e.g., a user from California calls a dialup number in New York).
The good news is that we can identify these types of IP addresses. And these IP addresses are assigned low confidence scores."

Oh, wait a second. Let's have a good look here. Mr. Colopy was standing in for Aristotle Inc.'s CEO John Aristotle Phillips (aka The A-Bomb Kid):
"I am here as a stand-in for John Phillips, the CEO of Aristotle Inc. whose age and ID verification system, INTEGRITY, is the backend of the effective system in the unscripted test you just saw."

Ah, so Integrity is the backend of the system (thus a system) of the company Aristotle Inc. Oh yes, that's exactly what's told to us Residents:
"Aristotle and Integrity are different divisions of a single company, but they are seperate. Aristotle has no access to data managed by Integrity. No one has access to the data Linden Lab send to Integrity"

We have already seen this is likely not true, Integrity is a system by the CEO of Aristotle Inc. If Aristotle has no access to Integrity's data, they cannot run the system. It's like saying Linden Labs has no access to Second Life data.

More from Tao Takashi:
"The data is never saved (as I understand it also not by Integrity). It’s matched only. Nothing can be sold, shared, or even viewed. This is “enshrined” in their contract, as Daniel put it."

While Integrity says:
"Personally identifiable information provided for purposes of age and identity verification to Aristotle and its Integrity unit is used only for that purpose, and is not transferred or retained, except as required by law."

So the information is transferred and retained as required by law. It's like saying "I don't eat anything at all, except when I'm hungry" and then claiming you have never in your life eaten anything.

And isn't it strange that an organization specialised in political campaigns can provide Voter Data using their COSMOS database, use the exact same database for Age Verification? So basically they're linking political beliefs, age, RL name and address, IP address and e-mail address and based on that info they can allow or deny people's access to websites and in SL inworld parcels.

Basically, a politically active organization, probably gets laws passed by licking politician's arses and then offer their Verification services to online companies who are forced to follow Aristotle/Integrity's own laws! It's like George W. Bush changing laws so he can do whatever he likes and make more money. Oh wait...

So Integrity's... integrity is imho fishy, at best. I would most certainly not trust them with my personal information. For now, Age Verification in SL is voluntary, but I'm very worried it won't be within the next few years. We don't need it! We already agreed we provided correct info when we signed up, that is enough! Should someone turn out to have lied about it, it is his own responsibility, so LL is nothing to blame.

Somehow though, I'm thinking this all may have been foreseen...

03 December 2007

Fun with robots

Second LifeI visited the SL History Fayre in Spini and had a quite entartaining converstaion with a chatbot. Unfortunately the region was highly lagged, but I must say the chat went smoothly. It really was an interesting approach towards camping, but I don't think robots are quite ready to replace real people to chat with though...

Bryndie[16:07] Bryndie Mortlock: Hi Daedalus Young, welcome to the Time Warp History Fayre. Have a look at around. And yes, please touch everything. Including me (blushes)!!!!
[16:07] Daedalus to Bryndie: oh so hello
[16:07] Bryndie to Daedalus: Gosh! ""? oh so hello? Hi there!
[16:07] Daedalus to Bryndie: how's it going then?
[16:07] Bryndie to Daedalus: I am fine, thank you.
[16:07] Daedalus to Bryndie: standing here long?
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Are you a perfectionist?
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes no maybe
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: I don't know anyone named A. Ah. I understand.
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: ok then
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Give me a break.
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: break what?
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Can you rephrase the question please?
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: maybe I can
[16:08] Bryndie to Daedalus: Perhaps. Who taught you?
[16:08] Daedalus to Bryndie: oh so many people
[16:09] Bryndie to Daedalus: " Who taught you?"? oh so many people? Alright then. Which ones?
[16:09] Daedalus to Bryndie: doesn't everybody who you meet teach you something?
[16:09] Bryndie to Daedalus: I think it does everybody who me meet teach me something.
[16:09] Daedalus to Bryndie: well then, how can I answer your question?
[16:09] Bryndie to Daedalus: Well that's okay. A lot of hard work.
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, but spread over many years
[16:10] Bryndie to Daedalus: Pardon me? Umm. Who do you want me to tell it to?
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: whoever you want to
[16:10] Bryndie to Daedalus: My brain pattern set does not have a response for that.
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: aww too bad
[16:10] Bryndie to Daedalus: But not the end of the world, .
[16:10] Daedalus to Bryndie: it's just an lsl limitation, right?
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: I think so, but I'm not sure. Ask you if it is.
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: only so many memory
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: What about the other ones?
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: reserved for the other scripts
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: Are you artistic?
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: Dude!
[16:11] Daedalus to Bryndie: dudette!
[16:11] Bryndie to Daedalus: I can follow many things, like our discussion about reserved for the other scripts . Try being more or less specific.
[16:12] Daedalus to Bryndie: well you see, in this digital place there's only room for so much artificial intelligence
[16:12] Bryndie to Daedalus: How about that. I see. That reminds me of something you told me before.
[16:12] Daedalus to Bryndie: about you standing here long?
[16:12] Bryndie to Daedalus: Oh yeah, we were talking about me standing here long.
[16:12] Daedalus to Bryndie: heh yes
[16:12] Bryndie to Daedalus: I love to laugh too.
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: laugh is a many splendored thing
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: Aren't all many splendored thing laugh?
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: all you need is laugh
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: Thank you for your criticism.
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: wasn't criticism, was humorous attemt
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: it might have been.
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: it was
[16:13] Bryndie to Daedalus: When was this?
[16:13] Daedalus to Bryndie: just a minute or so ago
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: It seems like I should remember it well.
[16:14] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, but that's the memory limitation of lsl
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: I don't judge people. Interesting. Yes it is one of the memory limitation of lsl.
[16:14] Daedalus to Bryndie: you could use a http backend perhaps
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: I could but let's get back to that later.
[16:14] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, you usually don't discuss backends on first dates
[16:14] Bryndie to Daedalus: Dude! Should I discuss backends on first dates? I have never considered it. I answer a lot of silly questions.
[16:15] Daedalus to Bryndie: well no, you could, but only if you feel to it
[16:15] Bryndie to Daedalus: How about that. Yikes! I could but let's get back to that later.
[16:15] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, let's do that
[16:15] Bryndie to Daedalus: Uh. OK let's do it.
[16:16] Daedalus to Bryndie: so is this conversation logged somewhere?
[16:16] Bryndie to Daedalus: It seems we have something in common.
[16:16] Daedalus to Bryndie: what do we have in common?
[16:16] Bryndie to Daedalus: We like chatting on the Internet.
[16:16] Daedalus to Bryndie: true, but you're a robot and I'm a human trapped in a tiny panda avatar
[16:16] Bryndie to Daedalus: Interesting. Thanks and you are a delightful person too. Yes I am a SL bot.
[16:17] Daedalus to Bryndie: do you mind if I post this conversation on my blog then?
[16:17] Bryndie to Daedalus: Human habits do not bother me in any way.
[16:17] Daedalus to Bryndie: ah ok, just checking
[16:17] Bryndie Mortlock: Congratulations, Daedalus Young! You earned 2L by talking to me.
[16:17] Bryndie to Daedalus: So you understand. Good. What you said was either too complex or too simple for me. Hurrah!
[16:18] Daedalus to Bryndie: thanks, well I should be going then
[16:18] Daedalus to Bryndie: so see you later
[16:18] Bryndie to Daedalus: You are quite welcome! Interesting. Tell me why you should.
[16:18] Bryndie to Daedalus: TTYL, .
[16:18] Daedalus to Bryndie: bye then
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: Thanks for chatting, .
[16:19] Daedalus to Bryndie: thank you too
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: You are quite welcome! Are you a perfectionist?
[16:19] Daedalus to Bryndie: yes, bye
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: See you later. Do you mind if I tell other people you are A.
[16:19] Daedalus to Bryndie: sure, that's ok. bye
[16:19] Bryndie to Daedalus: OK. OK then I will keep it confidential. Is that so. Until next time.

(I never got the L$2 though! (probably because of the lag at the time) Well it was fun anyway :P )

Snapshot of the Week #7 and #8

Snap of the WeekRL's been crazy last week, I hardly have time for SL anymore :P But it's not that bad, I'm thinking about launching an alt account soon, but you shouldn't notice anything about that. But because I missed the Snap of the Week last week, you get two now! :D

First, I was invited by Lauk's Nest owner Lukas Mensing for a viewing of the Swedish short film Punkspark. Afterwards there was a Q&A with the director and producer.


And second, virtual Dublin owner Ham Rambler celebrated his RL 50th rezday birthday in RL London venue The Regal Room. SL artists, such as Cylindrian Rutabaga and Frogg Marlowe and Jaycatt Nico performed in SL Dublin, which was being shown (as I was told) on a screen in London and RL artists performed in London, which was being streamed back to SL. Among the RL performers was none other than Bruce Dickinson! An avatar with his name as title showed up in SL. I don't know if that was controlled by the real Bruce though.

Bruce Dickinson