2013 – 2014

Had a fun filled time this holiday season as videos attest. Here are a few videos:

And New Year

We had great fun. Now to get back to work:

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Happy Birthday My Storm

happy-birthday-1893

Hey Its your Birthday! A day to celebrate your days on the plant! Hope you treat yourself to something nice. You have changed my life ( for the better- lol) Hope you have a wonderful day.

Much Love

Dude / Philip

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Moving Pictures

I love making videos, especially using second life. If you need one for a club or function fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you. My main production site with the videos I love best ( made in the last month) is on Ravens Kiss (dot ) org. With modern software it is amazing what you can do if you use your imagination. If any one needs lessons likewise fill out the form and advice for me? Fill out the form …..smiles. I manage on disability but don’t charge much for making a video, it depends what you want. I charge €8 or $10 an hour and I’m pretty quick. Here is a list of the programs I use.

Expression Studio (there is a free version , highly recommended, lessons given)
Microsoft PowerPoint Excel Word 2013 ( I have MS Certs in them, lessons given)
Camtasia Studio ver 8 ( this is my main program you can pick up a lower version for very little, lessons given)
Autodesk 3DS Max (I’m learning this at the moment)

I use anything I can get my hands on. Its surprising the free stuff out there. Anyone using Paint to do graphics is daft! lol. Just as an example I have captured a PowerPoint transition and saved it as an animated gif on a loop. Ok I have been doing this for some time but to be perfectly honest its not rocket science. I studied PowerPoint online and then went up to Dublin to do my exam which I passed with flying colours! Cost? Nothing except my time.

curtainsites

Having your own domain, a personal domain is so much fun. I mean I just tell people to google me ( Philip Finlay Bryan ) and there are links to everything I do. My email address is me@PhilipFinlayBryan.com [I actually use a different one, Philip@IrishSecure.com, I forward all my email addresses there] So be a member of the 21stCenturyNetworks (dot ) com . Come join the fun.

RavensKiss (dot) org

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Help

There is no need to watch the whole 2 hour video, the important stuff occurs in the first 15 minutes.

 



 

Storm gave me this link : Firestorm Help Video Its very good and well worth watching. There is a voice transcript.  Key issues is stuff like draw distance, Internet bandwidth and cache. Interestingly I have already the settings recommended and I don’t crash. I run HIGH with ambient occlusion and shadows. Bandwidth at 1024, draw distance at 128 I don’t crash and everything runs smoothly. I do not clear my cache, it is self purging. Always recommended is the Firestorm wiki. Its over an two hours so you might get tired but I was doing stuff like this while listening to it. The first 10 minutes could change your sl experience dramatically.

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50 years on Inequality is still the message

Its been 50 years today since Martin Luther King addressed the American nation. A must listen to BBC compilation is here I decided this video is too important not to be disseminated so I copied it on to youtube!

below is Thomas Pogge’s video on poverty and inequality. The message is clear inequality is the root cause of most of the ills that beset society. THIS CAN BE CHANGED IF THE RICH GIVE UP A FRACTION OF THEIR WEALTH. I HAVE A DREAM!!!!

400 million deaths in the last 22 years killed by poverty. Inequality!

A quarter of the worlds population have over 90% of the worlds income!

I have a dream but the nightmare continues!

Below taken from The Guardian review of The Spirit Level

We are rich enough. Economic growth has done as much as it can to improve material conditions in the developed countries, and in some cases appears to be damaging health. If Britain were instead to concentrate on making its citizens’ incomes as equal as those of people in Japan and Scandinavia, we could each have seven extra weeks’ holiday a year, we would be thinner, we would each live a year or so longer, and we’d trust each other more.

The Spirit Level
: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
(Click for the pdf stats in the Library)
Below are the slides >>>>

inequalitygif
Epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett don’t soft-soap their message. It is brave to write a book arguing that economies should stop growing when millions of jobs are being lost, though they may be pushing at an open door in public consciousness. We know there is something wrong, and this book goes a long way towards explaining what and why.

The authors point out that the life-diminishing results of valuing growth above equality in rich societies can be seen all around us. Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier and unhappier lives; it increases the rate of teenage pregnancy, violence, obesity, imprisonment and addiction; it destroys relationships between individuals born in the same society but into different classes; and its function as a driver of consumption depletes the planet’s resources.

Wilkinson, a public health researcher of 30 years’ standing, has written numerous books and articles on the physical and mental effects of social differentiation. He and Pickett have compiled information from around 200 different sets of data, using reputable sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and the US Census, to form a bank of evidence against inequality that is impossible to deny.

They use the information to create a series of scatter-graphs whose patterns look nearly identical, yet which document the prevalence of a vast range of social ills. On almost every index of quality of life, or wellness, or deprivation, there is a gradient showing a strong correlation between a country’s level of economic inequality and its social outcomes. Almost always, Japan and the Scandinavian countries are at the favourable “low” end, and almost always, the UK, the US and Portugal are at the unfavourable “high” end, with Canada, Australasia and continental European countries in between.

This has nothing to do with total wealth or even the average per-capita income. America is one of the world’s richest nations, with among the highest figures for income per person, but has the lowest longevity of the developed nations, and a level of violence – murder, in particular – that is off the scale. Of all crimes, those involving violence are most closely related to high levels of inequality – within a country, within states and even within cities. For some, mainly young, men with no economic or educational route to achieving the high status and earnings required for full citizenship, the experience of daily life at the bottom of a steep social hierarchy is enraging.

The graphs also reveal that it is not just the poor, but whole societies, from top to bottom, that are adversely affected by inequality. Although the UK fares badly when compared with most other OECD countries (and is the worst developed nation in which to be a child according to both Unicef and the Good Childhood Inquiry), its social problems are not as pronounced as in the US.

Rates of illness are lower for English people of all classes than for Americans, but working-age Swedish men fare better still. Diabetes affects twice as many American as English people, whether they have a high or a low level of education. Wherever you look, evidence favouring greater equality piles up. As the authors write, “the relationships between inequality and poor health and social problems are too strong to be attributable to chance”.

But perhaps the most troubling aspect of reading this book is the revelation that the way we live in Britain is a serious danger to our mental health. Around a quarter of British people, and more than a quarter of Americans, experience mental problems in any given year, compared with fewer than 10 per cent in Japan, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

Wilkinson and Pickett’s description of unequal societies as “dysfunctional” suggests implicit criticism of the approach taken by Britain’s “happiness tsar” Richard Layard, who recommended that the poor mental health of many Britons be “fixed” or improved by making cognitive behavioural therapy more easily available. Consumerism, isolation, alienation, social estrangement and anxiety all follow from inequality, they argue, and so cannot rightly be made a matter of individual management.

There’s an almost pleading quality to some of Wilkinson and Pickett’s assertions, as though they feel they’ve spent their careers banging their heads against a brick wall. It’s impossible to overstate the implications of their thesis: that the societies of Britain and the US have institutionalised economic and social inequality to the extent that, at any one time, a quarter of their respective populations are mentally ill. What kind of “growth” is that, other than a malignant one?

One question that comes to mind is whether the world’s most equal developed nations, Japan and Sweden, make sufficient allowance for individuals to express themselves without being regarded as a threat to the health of the collective. Critics of the two societies would argue that both make it intensely difficult for individual citizens to protest against the conformity both produced by, and required to sustain, equality. The inclination to dismiss or neuter individuals’ complaints may, Wilkinson and Pickett suggest, go some way towards explaining the higher suicide rates in both countries compared with their more unequal counterparts. Those who feel wrong, or whose lives go wrong, may feel as though they really do have no one to blame but themselves.

What Japan and Sweden do show is that equality is a matter of political will. There are belated signs – shown in the recent establishment of a National Equalities Panel and in Trevor Phil lips’s public pronouncements on the central place of class in the landscape of British inequality – that Labour recognises that its relaxed attitude to people “getting filthy rich” has come back to bite it on the rear.

Twelve years in power is long enough to reverse all the trends towards greater social and economic stratification that have occurred since 1970; instead they have continued on their merry way towards segregation. Teenage pregnancy rates have begun to rise after a period of decline; there is a 30-year gap in male life expectancy between central Glasgow and parts of southern England; and child poverty won’t be halved by next year after all (though it wouldn’t make as much difference as making their parents more equal).

There are times when the book feels rather too overwhelmingly grim. Even if you allow for the fact that it was written before Barack Obama won the US presidency on a premise of trust and optimism, its opening pages are depressing enough to make you want to shut it fast: “We find ourselves anxiety-ridden, prone to depression, driven to consume and with little or no community life.” Taking the statistics broadly, they may be correct, but many readers simply won’t feel like that.

However, the book does end on an optimistic note, with a transformative, rather than revolutionary, programme for making sick societies more healthy. A society in which all citizens feel free to look each other in the eye can only come into being once those in the lower echelons feel more valued than at present. The authors argue that removal of economic impediments to feeling valued – such as low wages, low benefits and low public spending on education, for instance – will allow a flourishing of human potential.

There is a growing inventory of serious, compellingly argued books detailing the social destruction wrought by inequality. Wilkinson and Pickett have produced a companion to recent bestsellers such as Oliver James’s Affluenza and Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety . But The Spirit Level also contributes to a longer view, sitting alongside Richard Sennett’s 2003 book Respect: The Formation of Character in an Age of Inequality , and the epidemiologist Michael Marmot’s Status Syndrome , from 2005.

Anyone who believes that society is the result of what we do, rather than who we are, should read these books; they should start with The Spirit Level because of its inarguable battery of evidence, and because its conclusion is simple: we do better when we’re equal.

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Appearance

Server Side Appearance (SSA)The major benefit to SSA, formerly SSB Server Side Baking, is no more cloud avatars. This is because the baking [rendering] of your avatar is moving to the Region Server your Avatar is standing in. This new method of baking eliminates delays in passing rendered information to all viewing your avatar. Currently your avatar is rendered on your PC with information then transmitted to the server to distributed to others viewing you. Avatar rendering performance in the past was tied to the quality of the Internet Connection to and the speed of the the Client PC.

Those who delay upgrading to a modern viewer will still see avatars as before with the exception that the textures rendered by the SSB code may be missing from them leaving a white mask on the prim/layer shape. In addition to the SSB code upgrades, several other updates will also be rolled out at this same time.

from FirestormViewer.org

Earlier in the week we notified you all that server side appearance (SSA) was rolling out to the entire grid between Tuesday the 20th and Wednesday the 21st. This rollout was the completion of just one phase of this improvement, and I am happy to say, aside from a few glitches it has been mostly a success. Congratulations Linden Lab, job very well done! It isn’t perfect though, as there are still some users who are having appearance troubles but so far these seem to have common and fixable causes. For more info on these and other SSA problems please visit the blog links at the bottom of this post.

Now this was just the first iteration of this work, and as of Friday afternoon Nyx Linden stated that they have plenty more viewer code yet to be tested and released which contains more fixes, improvements and cleanup for SSA. When this code becomes available we intend to merge it into ours and have it available with our next Firestorm release. For those interested you can listen to Nyx speak about the SSA rollout at Friday’s Third Party Viewer Meeting starting at 4 minutes and 50 seconds on the following video recording. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrHlYMlZhZk

I decided in order to do this justice I would up my game a tad :

graphicssetupI went from high to mid high to ultra, this gave me Advanced Lighting Model and Ambient Occlusion.


I had the setting Ambient Occlusion set = In computer graphics, ambient occlusion attempts to approximate the way light radiates in real life, especially off what are normally considered non-reflective surfaces.

Unlike local methods like Phong shading, ambient occlusion is a global method, meaning the illumination at each point is a function of other geometry in the scene. However, it is a very crude approximation to full global illumination. The soft appearance achieved by ambient occlusion alone is similar to the way an object appears on an overcast day.

So to sum it all up Second Life is looking pretty goddamn pretty . Pretty to me at least. So far I have asked two djs what settings one ran low to mid and the other mid to high neither of which give ambient light. I also made a bit of a study about face lights that people use. These are incredibly bright to me as the following picture shows:

lights

The lights are so bright makes me almost want to dumb down my graphics ability. I shan’t but it makes you wonder… Then there are shadows don’t know whether to have them or not. What do you think?

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green screen

One of the features of Photoshop is the ability to make the background transparent. It is then possible to paste the image on top of any background. This was how I was able to have my avatar in the Google offices. This was done by taking the first picture in front of a “green screen” a single colour background to facilitate its removal.

dudesuitblack copygoogledudesuit

I am now able to do this with video.

Pretty good for my first attempt. I will be able to run a movie as a background. This means that one of my goals, that of bringing sl into rl is closer to being realised.

My choreographer friend Arabella has already come up with an idea of Halloween dances performing in front of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She needed to see her video again so here it is.

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A Year In Second Life

rezday2So today is my rez day, been in second life one year today and all I do is crash. Its been a wonderful year all in all. Changed my Life in many ways.   It gave me an interest  perhaps even a passion. I joined and immersed myself in this online community. I’ve known love and loss, sunshine and tears. Made friendships going beyond second life into the real world. Second Life is a wonderful cybercommunity which I have researched and come up with a tome = http://Cyberculture.co yes dot co not dot com . The dot com , net, biz, info, org are all being squatted. I wrote it as nothing had been written about cybercommunities from the users point of view, one who was involved.

Here is a list of my friends. All of them are special and have had their moments. Some have been lovers.

friends

 

Wow think I have about 100 friends, know all of them well, the ones at the beginning are those on line its 5.30 am my time  11.30 pm sl time Saturday. Bard is spinning and I’m listening via http://Junkyardlive.com I’m hosting at 2am Sunday til 6am. Its the people that make sl so special. Everyone I have met I think yes almost everyone I met at the Junkyard. (fan site here) Its the blues people the blues. This is a special breed blues people. I’m relatively new to the blues but I love it.

anim1“There are happy blues, sad blues, lonesome blues,
red-hot blues, mad blues, and loving blues.  Blues
is a testimony to the fullness of life.”  – Corey Harris

From the Official Junkyard Site‘ when I first arrived in sl I found the Junkyard on my second day. I was immediately drawn to the music and the people. I just hung out there all the time. My goal early on was to become a part of this. I knew from previous rl experience that if i just waited an opening would occur. I’ve done this in rl . So I hung out. I have told you the story of partners which says a lot. In between times there were flings of course. I get on well with women. I guess you would call me gregarious. I explored and joined other clubs sticking to the blues tho Blackhearts a rock club was an exception. How would I sum up my first year in sl? Well I discovered the blues.

Of course the most important thing that happened to me was I met Storm Constantine Love You Babe!!

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Seren Says

Reblogged from SerenHaven.wordpress.com

 

Planet Happy

happMost of us – whether we’d admit it or not – have a love-hate relationship with sl. There are those times when we’d happily proclaim the virtual life to be far better than the one on the other side of the screen, whilst there are other times that we’d happily consign sl to the most noxious pits of virtual Hades. On the whole, the good side seems to triumph… or you wouldn’t still be here reading this, would you?

Even so, the way we approach our online life is often extremely polarised – in a world that manages to encompass 16 million colours, in pretty much 3 dimensions, it always surprises me that we seem to appreciate it as only black or white and that we often only see into it only as deeply as the flat screen in front of us.

yin_001When our shoes fail to rez, or we find ourselves waiting impatiently for buildings to form from grey spheres… when the audio stream stutters… when the TP fails, for some reason, rather than treat these as the minor irritations they really are, (and yes, they really are just minor irritations, even if they happen umpteen times in a session), we slide the self-pity control up to 11 and behave as if it’s the end of the world. Our reaction tends towards what would possibly be appropriate if someone was petrol-bombing our granny, when really it should be, ‘Oh dear, i’ve been logged out in the middle of listening to a song that i’ve heard a million times before, whilst surrounded by my friends with whom i’ve spent the last hour talking utter bollox nonsense. i’ll just click this button and log back in…’

When things go wrong we rant and we rave about how Linden Lab couldn’t organise a gangbang in a brothel and how their creaky, cardboard and duct tape viewer is about as much use as a chocolate teapot, blah, blah, blah! And deity forbid that a new feature should ever be introduced that might possibly make our inworld experience better… that’s guaranteed to ruin sl forever!

We lose all sense of perspective – what we never do is consider, for example, how much time we’ve spent in sl in the past week, against how much time it’s gone wrong in that time. Here’s a little equation for you to consider next time you fancy a moan…

x/y * 100 = z
100 – z = H

x = number of hours i’ve been logged in this week 
y = number of hours sl has been borked for me this week
z = permitted proportion of outrage you’re permitted to feel entitled to

So, if i’m logged in for 20 hours this week, and if i add up all the unsatisfactory minutes that sl passes my way in that time… say 30 minutes, tops; my outrage factor is:

0.5/20 * 100 = 2.5

Which brings me to ‘Factor H’ – the Happiness Factor, (also known as ‘Yay! Capacity’), and in this example, Factor H is a massive 97.5 – so, how come it’s always the measly 2.5 micro-measures of outrage that i’ll inevitably dwell on?

i’ll be honest with you, in the past couple of weeks, my inworld experience has been that of living on Planet Happy. Fooling about, taking pictures, exploring and generally having a whale of a time have been the order of the day, and it’s been blooming good fun! Yes indeed, there were crashes, glitches, bake-fails and the occasional lag-induced walking off into the virtual sunset, but i couldn’t actually give squiddly-doodle-squat about any of that nonsense, because on the whole, my Factor H levels were far more important to me! My bucket was full, i knew where my cheese was and my Tao was full of Pooh.

Here’s the thing: sl is no different to rl in many respects – we just think it should be. If you wander round in rl looking for problems, you’re going to find them, surprise, surprise! Worse, the more problems you find, the more they’re going to bog you down and screw you up. Then again, there’s those immensely irritating people who can always find humour in a disaster, beauty in a mass of rubble and sunshine on the crappiest British summer’s day.

Guess which i am.

meta meta life4_001SL will never work properly or perfectly… rl never does, and we’ve had more practice at that! Besides which, it runs on computers, need i say more? So, what’s the point of dwelling on the teeny, weeny crapsicles that occasionally – or even frequently – strew our virtual footpath, when we may as well grin and bear it, and get on with the serious business of simply having fun?

s. x

But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas!
But it’s all right. Im jumpin jack flash,
Its a gas! gas! gas!
The Rolling Stones – Jumpin Jack Flash

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Sharing

Storm and I shared a moment, went deeper into our feelings. It was a paradigm shift.

comet

And we talked while relaxing by a pool we happened upon.

cuddlebythepool

Then Storm suggested that we should partner. Joyfully we did. We both realised it was the right thing to do. So we did it.

Storm Constantine and Dude Starship one under the second life sun.

 

 

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