A-STEAM-Hunting We Will Go, Plus: BOOKS

Yes, it’s that time again – the third annual STEAM hunt (which actually happens a bit more frequently than that, but time does odd things inworld).

I’ve been easing back into things, trying to get some time to get inworld. Problem is, I’m completely out of the habit, there’s much too much good stuff to watch on the teevee, and I’m behind on a lot of projects. However, with a new STEAM hunt, I think I’ll get motivated again to build stuff soon. Real soon.

Just to prove to Betsy that I’m really truly talking up her book over at SL:

That’s Cafe Wellstone tonight (it was Eklipetic night, so dancing to interesting obscurities). That’s me in the foreground, not losing my religion. The chat window shows how BookemJackson Streeter and I were talking about authors – usually I have my photos set up to not show all the chat stuff, buttons, and tools.

Turns out Mrs Books had run across Betsy’s blog before and was interested to hear about her new book coming out, A City of Ghosts. I was telling Mrs Books about how fun it would be to have some actual ghost stories read by the author at the virtual bookstore next month, and we could all come in costume. Scary! Boo! Yay! So we’ll see if that might happen or not, depending on everyone’s schedules and how weird Second Life can be for new people, especially authors of actual books.

Speaking of which, I ordered the book a couple of days ago, to be delivered by slow loris apparently. So I expect it this week sometime.

Weekly Tweets 2010-09-05

Weekly Tweets 2010-09-05

Weekly Tweets 2010-08-29

Weekly Tweets 2010-08-22

Hangin’ Loose With Imprudence

Yay for bewbie physics, onboard AO, a decent radar, and smart inventory features. #Emerald devs’ behavior reveals them to be evil dicks, so I changed passwords too.

It took me a while to suss out how to enable some of my favorite features from Emerald that Imprudence also supports – most of the best information was in their Features wiki.

I’ve spotted two island-style references in their support pages so far – their logo is a “hang loose” shaka, and “wiki” is a Hawaiian word, too. I approve of these subliminal messages that invite me to kick back and relax in a drama-free manner.

SecondLife to Emerald to… Imprudence or Kristin’s?

There’s a lot going on in Second Life circles (and tori, and rings, and dimpled spheres). I haven’t been inworld in… probably more than a month, because it’s summer, and Real Life actually beckons with Things To Do and New TeeVee Episodes to watch. But I’ve been missing my friends and feeling guilty about my lack of support of my own modest little products.

Yesterday and today, it developed (heh) that the Emerald dev team had attempted to “count coup” or perform a (not very successful) Denial of Service attack on a rival’s site by hiding up to 32 iframe tags in the code of their login screen, which mean that behind that viewer that all Emerald users were using, it was accessing the rival web page, loading images, and apparently trying to either prove to the rival how much more successful Emerald was, or slow down their site with all the loading images and links.

I had been an enthusiastic Emerald user during my most recent “reboot” of enthusiasm for making stuffs in Second Life, but I’m feeling decidedly less enthusiastic (jiggly boobs or not) after reading up on the scandalous behavior of the Emerald development team after their puerile stunt was revealed. Not everyone who’s commented on it has come down as hard on Emerald’s action as is warranted, in my opinion.

I think that Katharine Berry has the most sensible attitude; I must quote her post in its entirety because it has the clearest explanation of what happened. I’ve included her link to the Emerald team’s non-apologetic apology post and to her screenshot of the offending iframe links that were on the loading page.

Emerald Shenanigans « Kathar.in

So, Emerald has been up to things again. This time they’ve been “boasting” about their traffic (but not their spelling ability, clearly). By including 32 iframes to another website in their login screen. That means that every time someone launched Emerald, they made thirty-two requests to this website. This happens several times per second; that’s quite a lot of requests for an unsuspecting site. They hid this from the users inside a 1×1 pixel hidden div. They did this for some weeks until they were caught. This affected every version of Emerald.

The offending code has since been removed, but Google has it cached; if you don’t feel like visiting this page (which will, incidentally, cause you to also load these pages), look at this screenshot instead.

Even if you accept Emerald’s “boasting” claim, in this claim they refer to the targeted site as malicious. Why in their right mind would they force all their users to load a malicious site without telling them? Thirty-two times, for that matter.

Emerald has a tendency to attract drama. Much of it is unwarranted. I feel that this, however, crosses the line.

I first became aware of the issue when I caught up on my Second Life Twitter feed, and many of the pages and blogs that I’ve scanned this morning mention other third party viewers that are worthy of attention. I’ve tried Snowglobe – meh. I hadn’t really given much thought to Kristen‘s, but Imprudence keeps coming up and it’s on the official list of TPVs (suspect Emerald may not be on there long).

By many accounts, Imprudence has features that are designed to make building as pleasant as possible, rather than the unpleasant tedious chore that the official Viewer 2.0 is supposed to make it. So I’ll give a whirl.

“Wish me luck, I’m off to crash the server!”