Mesh, bodies and broken clothes

One thing that I have always hated in Second Life is the insistence on the part of some clothing designers that one should really alter one's body shape in order to fit their fantastic items. Well, they do not mandate this - one always has the choice not to buy clothes, after all. There is always the option of wearing a plywood box instead.

I seem to have managed in general, but I was interested to see how the advent of Mesh might affect this - reading Vaki's post here, linked to from New World Notes, I suspected that it might not be purely positively. On a quick examination, I believe that I was correct, and that mesh clothing items are less flexible and modifiable to one's personal shape than those based on even prims and/or sculpts.

A mesh tie that doesn't quite fit

Here, for instance, is a tie. It is a nice tie, but clearly floats a little way above my chest, and this is fairly obvious in person. "Oh well," was my immediate reaction, "I will just resize it a little". Well, one can't do that. "Oh. Well, in that case, I will move it down a little on my body." One can't do that either. "Oh. Well, I will take it off then."

It seems to be extremely difficult to right-click and edit such mesh attachments in the first place, which I suppose is reasonable given that one appears not to be able to do anything with them anyway.

And this is just a small item. What happens when the item concerned is a shirt or trousers? I can answer that - the mesh is inflexible, and either one seems padded with cotton wool or one sticks out through the surfaces. This is not clothing, this is some sort of fibreglass costume.

Maybe there should be some sort of shape registry, which holds a series of approved co-ordinates that mesh clothing manufacturers can use, to make things for, say, "size 10", or "size 16", which don't fit. That works very well outside of SL after all.


By the way, I have just noticed the gap between my hair and the hat. The key point is that I can move the hat.

A further Exporting Installment

Hello Mr Joe,

Thank you, I would be happy to supply a single Flare Pistol. As stated in my previous email, please forward me proof of your handgun licence (including stamp for allowance to handle virtual handguns) and proof of membership of a professional nautical body (or advanced sailing certificate) and I can expedite your order. A scan of the document that clearly shows the issuing office will be absolutely fine for this purpose.

While the Flare Pistol does come with a selection pack of six multicoloured flares, if you wish to order additional ammunition at this time I can offer you a 25% discount. However, I regret to inform you that 1.5" explosive ammunition is not legally available to civilians within the UK in RL.

The cost excluding delivery will be £3,481.80, with half of the export fee (£1,450) paid in advance before the beginning of the export process.

On 5 May 2011, at 00:10, Mark Joe wrote:

Hello , Good to hear back from you,here is the needed items stated below

Ordinal Flare Pistol
============== Qty 1

Please don't worry about the shipping cost because i have my personal shipping agent in London. That will come for the pick up of the package in you stores and i have inform them about this and they told me the best way to come for the pick up in your store is for you to email me the below,

1,Your name
2,Your store address
3,How many packages
4,weight of each box
5,How many boxes
6,Your Tel# and Fax #.
7,The exact time the packages will be ready for pick up.
8,Total order amount

Kindly get back to me with the total amount of my order alone excluding the shipping cost, so i can forward you my credit card details to process for the order. Thank you for your co-operation and God will bless you.

Regards,

MARK JOE
M&J STORES LTD
(a real address that is quite innocent I suspect)
mjstoresltd@gmail.com

(You may see further past posts and future developments by looking at the "SL to RL Export" tag in this Journal.)

Regarding Ordinal Enterprises' Current Stock For SL To RL Export

My Potential Customer seems eager to purchase exported Ordinal Enterprises products, and it occurs to me that it might be a Service to Other Potential Customers to provide the following information, as should anyone else make similar enquiries I would likely send the same information. Thus I quote it herein. (Please see attached PDF for the appropriate prices.)

Hello - sorry for the delay.

Please find a PDF of the current Ordinal Enterprises stock list available for export attached to this email.

It is very important that the following notes are read with relation to this stock list, as Ordinal Enterprises will not be able to legally complete the order without the supply of proper licences.

Notes on individual items

  1. Purchase of the Beehive Launcher requires either proof of a Class IV Apiary Licence (Foreign And Hazardous Species) or equivalent experience. A bulk order will significantly reduce the export cost, which mostly results from the necessity for specific bee-breeding, construction of hives and antivenom - for items after the first, reduce export cost per item to £2000.

  2. The Transitory Umbrella is legally only available for sale to those with an GBMP525 pilot's licence (before the 1982 change to the law, this was known as the "Van Dyke"). This must be less than five (5) years old.

  3. Storage of the Multicoloured Snuffbox can only be legally carried out by licenced pharmacists aged eighteen (18) or over.

  4. A Health & Safety Executive explosives permit is required to receive Festive Humbugs. Bulk orders are available at half export cost past the first. Export cost may be affected by current sugar and aluminium prices on the international market.

  5. A valid UK Airship Private or Commercial Pilots Licence is required before receiving any Gun Balloon. This should be a CPL Airship Licence covering Gas Filled Balloons. Delivery costs include hire of delivery pilot, fuel and insurance against border crossings. Please note that the rotary cannon in all civilian Gun Balloons has been PERMANENTLY DISABLED, though the motor is still operational. Attempted use of blank shells may cause significant damage to the Balloon's mechanism and likely injury or death to the pilot. Please consult the operational manual for more details.

  6. These items require a UK handgun licence with additional permission to handle virtual firearms (this can be quickly added to an existing licence at your local police station).

  7. As well as a handgun licence, purchase of one (1) or more Flare Pistols requires proof of membership of a professional nautical body, or an advanced sailing certificate. Some customers have asked whether a gold swimming certificate is sufficient - unfortunately by law it is not.

Export procedure

A deposit of 50% of the total export cost is required to cover expenses for SL to RL export. Success is not guaranteed; the deposit will only be returned in case of failure. Export usually takes from between two weeks and six years. Exported products are no-copy/trans/mod items and other permissions are not available. Performance of RL products may differ from that of SL products due to differences in underlying script incompatibilities and differing physics engines - while Ordinal Enterprises takes every care to make sure that performance is as similar as possible, no refunds will be provided should behaviour differ, or existing functionality be broken due to any forthcoming RL upgrade.

General notes

  • VAT can be removed on submission of appropriate VAT registration details.

  • None of the above items will be able to be marked as "gifts" for customs purposes, including the Festive Humbugs.

  • Payment should be in UK Pounds Sterling and not Scottish Drachmas.


On 2 May 2011, at 09:38, Mark Joe wrote:

Hello, thanks for the mail i will like you to get back to me with the current price list so that i can place my order.

Regards,

Mark

(You may see any further developments by looking at the "SL to RL Export" tag in this Journal.)

Regarding Ordinal Industries deliveries to Scotland

On 29 Apr 2011, at 14:31, MARK JOE wrote:

Hello, My name is MARK JOE, I want to order some product items from your store to my below address in Scotland but before i proceed, i will like to confirm the type of credit card you accept as payment (VISA OR MASTER CARD) and if you can ship to the below address. Please let me know asap, so i can proceed with my request. Best regards MARK JOE M&J STORES LTD (an address in Ullapool, removed as it seems a perfectly innocent guesthouse - Ordinal) mjstoresltd@gmail.com

Hello - I am able to accept Visa, but unfortunately not Mastercard.

Delivery details will depend on the exact products to be ordered, as there are issues with packaging and export licences. For instance, Transitory Umbrellas can be shipped as is (for use on private land only and below 100m altitude) - whereas I will not legally be able to send firearms, e.g. the Howdah Pistol and requisites, without proof of the appropriate certificates. These can be delivered by fax or email.

Automatic weapons and explosives are not legal for private citizens in Scotland at all. If you represent a government body, I would suggest that you go through standard UK military tendering procedures, where Ordinal Industries should be registered as a supplier. If you are interested in purchasing one or more Gun Balloons, they will require additional details of an appropriate airfield for delivery.

Looking forward to your reply.

Hopefully, publishing this will will be of use to others wishing to make similar enquiries - I have tragically neglected to make these details clear previously.

(You may see further developments by looking at the "SL to RL Export" tag in this Journal.)

A slight feeling of optimism

It seems odd to say it, but I have been rather more optimistic about Second Life recently. Not to the extent of doing anything, admittedly, but there are a few things which have made me tilt my head to one side, raise my eyebrows and briefly nod.

  • I quite like Mr Rodvik Linden's public persona - doing things inworld, building houses around books and so on. A lack of an immediate overwhelming strategy, in favour of learning about how things work first. Whilst as we all know that Second Life Is Not A Game, perhaps somebody who is experienced with Games is more appropriate than somebody who concentrates more on, say, Social Media Strategy.

    Obviously I am not so green1 as to think that his public persona indicates his real attitude, but it does indicate that he or at least people around him are aware of the sort of things which would sit well with Residents, and perhaps make them think that the LindenBoss was One Of Them. Simply having that awareness is a marked improvement, and, in terms of policy...

  • There has been a failure recently to implement anything particularly absurd and regressive. (Well, all right, not as much absurd and regressive stuff as I was expecting.)

  • For the first time in quite a while, I had an idea, thought "that would be terrific in Second Life", and didn't then think "but it's clearly completely pointless to do it there, let my try to shoehorn it into Inform or a web thing or a short story or oh I don't know where is the gin".

  • Hamlet thinks that Second Life is dying. This makes me think that it isn't.


  1. My mother is known to say "I'm not so green as I'm cabbage-looking". I am not sure of the sense of this. 

A Valentine's Day Promotion

The Ordinal Stiletto (a product from some time ago, I admit) is available at Half Price from the MarketplaceThing for the remainder of the Fourteenth of February - this means, for your information, that it costs L$100.

As well as that, should you care to actually enter the Grid, you can purchase it for a mere L$75 at Ordinal's Series Of Planks Over A Hole In The Ground!

Stiletto (close)

The Blissetesque Revolver: a Shameless Commercial Advertisement

The above revolver is now available at my Caledon... well, it isn't really a "shop" any more. It is a large hole in the ground, filled with water. But it is here, and as an extra reward for being bothered to enter the Grid at all these days and potentially looking around other parts of Caledon, the Inworld Price is a mere L$300 for today.

Addendum: The price has now risen, and the revolver can be found for purchase here, though I think you should still buy it inworld, because that is more proper.

Please forward me all rent

I was informed when previously questioning the Display Name Thing that "usernames formed by concatenating existing SL names are explicitly blocked". Apparently I failed to question whether Display Names that were just exactly the same as existing SL names, rather than being concatenations, would be blocked. I think that I merely assumed that they would be. Apparently not so.

(I am unable to change this now, irritatingly, for a week, it seems.)

The Perversity of Return

Staring at the water Since my general removal of all products from the Grid, some readers might have noticed that I have not been entirely absent myself (not that I said that I would be, but it has caused some occasional surprise; less so now). I do pop in and out to attend functions and vaguely chit-chat. In fact, those who follow my Twitterthing might have even noticed that recently I have been doing some actual scripting, and playing with what passes for a Marketplace these days. Lawks. Not merely for the Twitterbox, either (progress on which I shall mention in a future post). I replaced the Festive Humbugs for sale - as very kindly mentioned by Ms Breezy Carver before I had even mentioned the fact - and have been working on at least releasing some of the items that I had previously mostly finished but not gotten around to doing anything about. I have even been attempting to finish the "avlink" module for Drupal to provide a framework for folk to easily manage Second Life (and Opensim) information on a Web Sort Of Basis.

I was wondering what my motivation might be for this - though it is nothing like a Return To Business As Usual, which will never happen. Attempting to do so, even if I were so inclined, would be doomed to failure; one can never return to what has gone before in that way (I have seen it tried several times). One must move forward or sideways or in some direction, not try to return to a previous state, which likely was not terrific or you would not have left in the first place.

Motivations, though.

~*~

Firstly there is simple boredom and lack of a suitable replacement outlet for creativity. Somewhat tragically, I'm afraid that I have spent so long turning my every passing thought into an idea for Second Life that I have found it very difficult to adjust to other media. I do write somewhat, but I am really not used to it and these days just do not think in terms of non-interactive fiction, or even interactive ones involving just the author and reader. I am used to my inventions becoming part of a huge self-creating mutual web of narrative: people taking and building on products, suggestions, character, insults etc for their own purposes and expanding the web similarly themselves. Much of the result likely completely unknown to me.

Admittedly, doing almost anything affecting another person makes one part of the world's emergent narrative (often termed "life") but working on the Grid always seemed to allow a far more direct effect, or at least used to. Part of the reason that I removed the shop was that I felt that I was losing that, and that the divisions in the world were becoming far more extreme between "consumer" and "creator", both practically and in terms of perception - residents being increasingly seen as consumers of the goods of professional creators, coincidentally paying to contribute their own social content (the main aspect that keeps folk about and spending - thus increasingly like the unholy, blasphemous Book That Must Not Be Named). But I have said all that and don't feel the need to say it again. The Rabbitcon has already been crossed after all and Satire is Dead for the nth time.

~*~

Which brings me to the Second Reason, which is that it is only fair that, after throwing my scripted rattle out of my physics-enabled pram previously, it is only fair to return and see if my opinion has changed in practice, and the only way to see whether that is the case is to actually attempt to do something. Thus far I have to say that I am not that impressed, but I shall follow it through for a while.

~*~

The Third Reason, however, is somewhat more perverse, and I have only admitted it to myself quite recently. I have always complained about events that I did not appreciate, which I feel is a rational and reasonable thing to do so long as those complaints might contribute in any way or even make one feel better. I do like to think, though, that mostly I was able to appreciate potential and positives, and when I was not I apologise. The balance between the number of perceived negatives and positives has changed over time, though (otherwise I would still be happily gluing plywood together).

I have said before that I thought that SL was moving in a direction that not only did I not like but which would end in disaster, but nowadays I have the distinct impression that it has gone very, very far down that particular spiral, and may not recover. And something in me likes the idea of being around and involved to see that, and appreciate the last days. I could of course be wrong, and very much hope that I am, but increasingly events suggest that the entire Laboratory is being turned towards the direction that is currently so popular with "Social Networks" - the delusional split between consumer/creator, as previously stated, where consumer-users sit about paying for things made by businesses, hopefully without appreciating that in fact, they themselves are the only valuable thing in the network.

I was always of the opinion that SL was far ahead of its time in that respect, as it appreciated that resident were the valuable thing that would attract other residents, and giving them tools and opportunities to improve the quality of the content they casually created (socially, artistically, commercially) would build a strong and resilient community. I had great doubts as to how well these tools were being supported, but not regarding the overall strategy. Now, it is not the same. I don't consider that any Network has a long-term future using the pay-to-consume strategy, and I particularly do not think that SL does, as by its nature it must put an awful lot more effort into maintaining the basic infrastructure for consumption than somebody just running a website, so is more vulnerable to changes in user preference and migration.

~*~

Thus I now have a Ballardian sense of being in a collapsing world, and, you know, I like it. I want to be sipping cocktails at a commandeered infohub as the sims around me are finally closed forever, sending long-abandoned plywood newbie builds into the void. As the sun sets for the last time on the grid, I promise you I will be there watching it, and you are welcome to join me for Damage-Enabled Gin and some nibbles.

Chin chin!

Twitterbox failures

It might be noticed that the Twitterbox is currently not working. This is due to the Twitter Corporation having deprecated the previous method of authenticating one's account that the Twitterbox used (via username and password) and instead requiring that all Twitter applications use the "Oauth" method.

I'm afraid that I have not updated the Twitterbox to use this, as there are some basic issues to overcome. Either the web application side of the Twitterbox must handle the Oauth side of things, or the LSL side must. Whilst people far cleverer than I have gotten Oauth working with LSL, I am not going to release a script that I do not understand from first principles, and I do not understand LL Oauth from first principles, and I am not going to spend the time required to work it all out, I'm afraid.

The conclusion then is that the web application side of the Twitterbox needs to be updated. This should be quite a bit easier than the LSL route and require less messing about with updating objects. I do plan to do this. An updated HUD will probably be required - I will put this on Xstreet as, as yet, there seems to be no restriction on free items.

The concise version of this post is therefore: "the Twitterbox doesn't work at the moment, I know why, I will release an update but if you cannot wait please do use alternatives".

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