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A gallery to peruse, with some gorgeous renditions of famous Franco-Belgian cartoon characters, including the Marsupilami, Professor Calculus, Lucky Luke, and Blacksad.

A TV commercial to see: Cadbury's: Don't Stop the Rock, aka The Eyebrow Ad. =:D

From krinndnz, Fire: The Next Sharp Stick?, from the brain of one Mr John Hodgman. "See, the thing about fire is that it's totally interactive. Fire isn't a bear, but if you put fire on a bear, then the bear becomes fire. It's completely responsive to your needs at a given time, reacting specifically to your fuel input and usage paradigm..."

So, I am of the landed gentry - at least electronically. =:) The other day, I began sharing rent with rabitguy for a nice chunk of Wolf Valley (a hop away from Serenity Woods) spanning a currently open space, a temple to technology, and a nicely modern pad with some glorious riverside views. And plenty of prims to play with. ^_^

A noteworthy submission in thrifthorror - no thumbnail, as that would ruin the surprise. It's fantastically awful, though - and means exactly what you think. ^_^;;

brigus recently noticed a sign for Bush St changed to "Obama" instead, in the same style as the city signs; Shakespeare's Sister has more, noting of those responsible that "a cop stopped one group, but were really cool about it. There's even a picture of him posing with a sign. Funnily enough, we ran into another group that was planning on doing the same thing. They showed up about an hour too late, though."

I suppose it had to come - the Obama action figure. =:D

Very good to see Presto's been nominated for the "Short Film (Animated)" Oscar. True, I may be biased, but I'd say it's an exceptionally strong contender, easily up to the best standards of the golden age of Warner Brothers. ^_^

Australia's SBS is coming out with what promises to be quite a reasonable look into Second Life, in "Alter Ego". Not their first foray, either, having previously aired a simple look at a Melbourne couple in "Our Brilliant Second Life".

Who else uses Koinup? (Not that I'll be abandoning Flickr, but it's a convenient addition to the mix, given SL photography - and virtual worlds in general - is its entire raison d'être, rather than Flickr, where it's tolerated as part of the whole, or FA, where they went to the trouble of carving out a specific prohibition on more than a few images)

Another good weblog to subscribe to, if you're wanting to see some of the diversity of SL destinations, is Virtual Underworld.

Quite a curious little bit of everyday life trivia: a video report (autostarts; only a minute or two long) on a corner store in Accrington that was boarded up for forty years, with all its contents as they were on closing day.

I've subscribed to Channel Frederator for a while now, but only recently have I actually started watching some of them - and they're well worth it! Definitely worth checking out - weekly, usually around ten minutes long, with submissions all of a high standard and varied nature.

On the note of podcasts, I'm having to revisit my earlier thoughts on noise-cancelling headphones - listening to one of the PHC "News from Lake Wobegone" podcasts while walking back from the salt mine the other day, I came to a stunningly unexpected conclusion: cars are really farging noisy things to be around. =:P Not the engines, but the road noise itself. (Not to mention stinky) But could mere noise cancellers handle that kind of challenge? (Obviously, I wouldn't really want isolating headphones while out and about)

coongt is a tease. =;)

El Reg recently looked at a car that is rather interesting, though: the Ellica, a very Thunderbirds-styled electric vehicle from Japan, with a top speed in the region of 230mph, not too far below the Veyron's 253mph. If funding pans out, they're aiming at producing 200 of them, for around $330k/£230k/255k€.

On the more practical front, though, is this nifty design from a German engineering house, with basalt fiber body panels, some or all of which can be OLEDs as well, permitting dashboard instruments or braking lights to be in any configuration desired.

Yow. I recently had cause to take a photo, with an iPaq being the only option to hand.. let's just say it was an illustrative lesson in UI design. So. First, work out which of the several buttons along the edge turns it on. Mostly blank screen, no sign of anything cameralike. I'm then reminded it's Windows Mobile - so, down to the Start button, press with the stylus, along to the applications section, search along the lines of text for something likely, and find HP PhotoSmart Camera. It then gives me a live view of the scene, along with a whole row of anonymous buttons, one a little larger than the others - it's the last one I want, to take a shot. I'm cautioned to keep it still for a few seconds, as it lags between the shutter and actually processing the image.. which takes several seconds.

iPhone: turn it on, and the Camera icon's on the first page, if the owner hasn't tucked it away elsewhere. Press to launch, and you see the live view, and one button, to take the photo. The process lasts under a second. I'm hoping the former isn't representative of other mobile platforms. ^_^;;

An interview with Raph Koster, mostly talking about Metaplace. Nothing terribly astounding, but his answer to the final question indicates a nature to be admired:

Lowell: Getting totally away from virtual worlds, you’re a musician so I’ll ask a more obvious ‘desert-island discs’ question: what five albums couldn’t you live without?
Raph: I would trade five albums for a guitar in a heartbeat.
Nice to see a furry avatar on the ALter Ego poster.

"Where everything is possible", though? "Where you run into strange and inexplicable limits all the time" would be more like it. :)
Definitely! Given they've already had exposure to SL, the odds seem fairly promising that they might be able to give some of the real flavor of variety within SL. I'll be keeping my eyes out for a release/broadcast date.

Hush, you. =:) Mmm, there's a fantastic amount that's been accomplished already, but still plenty left to do - for me, some of the biggest improvements would be puppeteering, so you could potentially tell the client to put your hand on someone's shoulder, and that would happen, rather than having to have a canned animation ready; with the right interface, that could cause a lot of common animations to become much more spontaneous in feel. Customisable meshes would be wonderful, as that would permit furry (or any other non-humans) avs to be created with the same ease of customisation as humans, as well as opening the way to mouth articulation across all avs. And then a low-latency, well synchronised means of playing MIDI, so people could play (or even design) synthesised instruments "directly", rather than having to pre-record a performance, or at least render the audio themselves and serve the stream, requiring considerably more bandwidth in the process.

And FWIW, here's a new skisuit I just picked up. So cute! ^_^

Nice. ^^

Yeah, I hope they'll cover the variety that actually exists on SL. Speaking of which, I also took a look at a 2007 special issue on Second Life of a German computer game magazine recently; it didn't specifically talk about furries, but I was happy to see that they had a (reasonably large, too) screenshot of a Luskwood avatar vendor in article on avatars. :)

Oh, and it's certainly true that much has been accomplished, but the more I read up on building etc., the more I try doing things myself, the more I experiment and the more I talk to people, the more my impression is that this is more of a "despite" situation than a "because" situation, if that makes sense. :) Things have been accomplished, but it's despite the limitations, not because everything's possible.

I don't quite expect Second Life to turn into a free interactive massively-multiplayer real-time version of Maya, but there's a lot of things that really could be improved.

And not just regarding building, either: sometimes, it's just little things. For example, why can't there be more than one object attached to each attachment point? My avatar, for instance, includes feet and (lower) legs, but that also means I cannot wear ankle cuffs, since those attach to the lower legs as well, typically. Prim clothing is another good example.

Speaking of clothing, I also noticed that non-prim clothing tends to interact badly with various attachments and avatars: I've got a leather coat I recently got as a gift that I pretty much can't wear since it collides with my avatar, and since there's no physics there, it looks as if the thing's tattered and torn - not what I want, naturally.

Animations, as you mention, are another good example. And oftentimes, even canned animations don't work right; I've got a "multitool" for things like hugging etc., but thanks to some strange bounding box interactions (as has been explained to me once), it often fails, especially when avatars significantly differ in size, causing me to go into the "I'm in freefall / floating" animation instead, which looks very weird, especially when combined with the avatars clipping. And of course, speaking of that, there's still no physics at all, so you basically have to close your eyes and pretend that you don't just have two avatars standing next to each other in a "I'm hugging someone" pose even though to each other, they're entirely incorporeal.

(And why aren't there more attachment points for HUD stuff? And why isn't there a bunch of "invisible" attachment points for things like the multitool, RLV relays, flight feathers etc. that don't need to be visible - aren't, in fact - and that thus only take up valuable HUD attachment points?)

And speaking of bandwidth, what I'd like to see is an ability to use *more* bandwidth. The maximum you can set appears to be 1500 kbps, and even though SL doesn't always heed that - I've seen it go as high as 3500 -, I still have a 16000 kbps downstream, and many others have even more, so why am I not able to make use of that? And similarly, why is the maximum disk cache size you can possibly set restricted to 1000 MB when hard drives are entering the multi-terabyte range?

Or speaking of building again, why are the prim limits for land so low? (Well, I guess I know the answer to *that*: Linden Labs wants you to get a higher-priced land plan and pay them more money.)

I don't think SL is all bad, mind you (even though I did before); I still find it too commercial by far, but the speed issues I had, for example, are gone now that I've got Skuld as my main box. :) But I think it's a far cry from "everything's possible"; a more realistic slogan would be "despite all the various restrictions, idiosyncracies, bugs and random crashes, things generally work well enough". :)
Well, since I had a small part to play in the making of the doco, I can tell you that though it doesn't try to express the variety that's in SL, it is tracking the lives of several identities on SL, of which my friend Wolfie is one. He actually considers himself a therianthrope rather than a furry but furries will be mentioned in passing--look out for a cameo of Rattus!
Ahh, okay - so I suppose the result rests on how varied a social life everyone involved leads. I wonder if there's a trailer out for it yet.. maybe I'll try dropping SBS a line, and see if they've got more details ready, as well as a trailer.

Cool beans! So you can legitimately claim to be a movie star now? ^_^ (Would be nice if they gave some freebies to everyone involved, like copies of the poster and the final production on DVD) Maybe even an IMDb entry.. !

I'm promised a copy of the DVD (and access to some of the offcuts). There are some offcuts here.
Oh, that's cute! I'll definitely be looking out for it now. ^_^ So the original/working title was Cyberstars? Mm, I think Alter Ego works much better - "cyber" anything's got such a 90s feel to it, although it could be argued successfully that it was always a bit of a cheesy tag to apply. =:)

Any idea if there's a broadcast date set yet?

No broadcast date has been set as yet. It will be later this year. They hope to sell it outside of Australia as well. As for when it would show up elsewhere...
Hi, I'm Wolfie, the Furry Avitar in the poster.

I've got a lot of information on the doco at my blog:

I was a little annoyed with it but mostly because Marko and I got such a small amount of time, although the bits We were in were mostly good. I was upset because I'd cleaned my house completely and hardly any of it was seen.

But there's nothing to worry about as far as furries go, I think furries got a good rap here, nothing even slightly negative.

Hey there! Good to meet you. ^_^

Oh, that's a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes. ^_^ I suppose the ideal would be, as you say, one made entirely independently, so the control would rest with just the director(s), hopefully with plenty of input from those involved - the trouble, I suppose, being the old matter of financing it, and ideally, securing airtime for it. That said, online distribution's eminently practical now, especially with high performance codecs like H.264.

Definitely a great pity if much of the furry time was left out, though that seems to be the way of TV or film production - shoot many times as much footage as you can possibly fit into the final edit, in order to have the broadest range of source material to work with. (Let alone the matter of multiple shots of a given scene.. I was once in a very brief shot in a documentary on gaming - only maybe ten seconds on screen, as they panned down the row of us, with the presenter giving a little quip along the lines of "Oh, watch out for that (something or other)!". By the time he'd said that twenty or more times, I had to keep myself from giggling..)

Raph Koster is a really friendly guy. I bet I could get an interview with him, if I asked. XD

Hey I don't remember if I asked already, or if you're already in, but I have a bunch of Metaplace beta invites if you want one?
Hm! Could be fun.. cover matters from a furry perspective, find out if he's got any furriness in him.. ^_^

I'd be up for having a look around, certainly. ^_^ Assuming the mentions of Flash means it's not locked to Windows only, of course.

Well he's got one of those Hamsterlike faces. ^.^;;

It's not windows only. The idea is for the client to be open source so that fans can port it to everything and make custom clients, but the basic client they've shown in demos and things is flash-based and flash is portable to everything worth having these days.

I just need your email address to send out the invite.
Doner Pizza Party?
Time for a Homer icon, shirley. =:)

Actually, I did once have a Cannibal sandwich. The waiter couldn't translate the meaning, unfortunately, and there was no description printed on the menu. He was quite certain I wouldn't enjoy it - English speakers apparently never did - but naturally, my curiosity was thoroughly piqued by then.

Turned out to be steak tartare on toast. =:9 (And a surprisingly good rendition, too!)

That Cadbury's advert reminds me of a viral vid that was doing the rounds a couple of years ago with a bloke with a similarly rubbery face: lips, eyebrows, ears.

I shall try to have a look at Virtual Underworld. I find the big problem with Second Life is "what now?"Perhaps I don't play enough of the modern games, but being dumped into A Whole New World and having no idea where the cool kids hang out is a bit daunting.

Re: The Ellica. I understand that the point of the extra wheels is to provide extra traction/motive force because each wheel has its own electric motor. I wonder if they thought about putting the wheels inboard, though. That is, have four wheels on an axle. That would look, I think, somewhat less freakish, but might need special consideration during turning?

N82: Power button is on the top face (not terribly obvious, but all Nokia phone have it there in some shape). Flick open the camera shutter and the camera application starts automatically. Turn the phone 90 degrees and hold it like a camera and the shutter button's under your right finger. It's a proper two-stage button, too (half-press to focus-lock).
If you can dig it up, that sounds worth a perusal.. ^_^

That's definitely one problem with SL - so vast, but without RL structures like cities to provide concentration points, it can be quite difficult finding out what's going on and where. Often, the best way is still just asking around, and seeing what's happening in common hangouts like Luskwood, AnthroXtacy, Cobalt's Old Time Radio Theater in Furnation Prime (or is it Aqua?), Rocket City Fur Meet, the Serenity Woods sandbox, and so on.

For good ol' exploration, weblogs like New World Notes and Not Possible in Real Life, amongst others, are worth keeping an eye on - NWN runs a weekly list of suggested events, too, although I don't think that's available in any downloadable form (for iCal, Google Calendar, etc), just the site.

So, what do you look like these days? What species?

I'm not one to ask about automotive engineering, I'll happily admit. Presumably there's some particular benefit in spreading the power output over multiple axles, especially when considering the higher end of the speed of the thing. I wonder if there's some test footage of the prototype up somewhere..

That sounds pretty sensible, thankfully. ^_^ Is that Symbian underneath, or a Linux variant?

Can always hang out with other furries at ABC Island, it's furry friendly which is odd for a commercial sim.

Don't have to be Aussie either.


Ooh, Captain Haddock is particularly lovely. (Passed on to boyreporter).

Edited at 2009-01-26 05:18 pm (UTC)
Isn't he, though? Imagine an entire adventure illustrated so painstakingly.. 'course, it'd take years to finish and sell for $500 a copy, I suppose. =:) BTW, have you been following the progress of the film that's underway? Last I heard, there was something about *cough*dvzzblj*ahem* being collared for Doctor Who, but he denied that was having/had had any adverse effect on the project.