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Showing posts with label Gatz Inoue Martian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gatz Inoue Martian. Show all posts

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Ex won't leave me alone! Why I wish I had a mute button for RL... - Gatz Inoue Martian Reporting

One of the hardest things for people to do in Second Life is to protect their identity, in a world whose very nature is social and promotes closeness and openness sometimes its very hard to gauge what an appropriate amount of personal information to share is.  When love comes into play, this can complicate matters drastically as the person we once thought was the perfect mate now becomes a stalker we can’t get rid of.  Sometimes if real life information has been shared, these people will call us at home or at work and in one case that I heard about actually show up at your door.   

Most of these are edge cases,  they aren’t things that happen to most of us and it’s very likely anything this dramatic will never be encountered in your time in Second Life.  That said, talk to most people in Second Life who have been around any length of time and they will talk about the hurt resulting from relationships turned sour.  In this case, it's often wise to keep some distance between yourself and others.  The question becomes, how can we do this without appearing either overly paranoid or opening ourselves up to being hurt.  The fact is that with the modern Internet and the developments in VOIP and other technologies, it is now possible to be very open and still maintain a healthy level of anonymity.   Let’s take a look at some tools that are free or cost a nominal amount that are designed to give you this layer of protection.  Keep in mind that these services work for me and your mileage may vary,  the inclusion of a service here does not imply endorsement of these services by Second Life, The Second Life Inquirer, or any of its affiliates.

  •  - Tossable Digits can create a phone number in any state in the US and in several countries around the world.  This number is then forwarded to another number of your choice.  This allows you to share telephone numbers and talk with people and not have to give out your real info.
  • - Like Tossable Digits but more permanent, this let’s you establish a phone number and voice mail for your online persona as well as forward calls to your choice of lines.   
  • - Creating a gmail acount for your online persona is basic and easy,  all the google services base off this so you can have an entire suite of available services that anonymize you.  

  • - A one time email is a very useful thing, you can give it out in a pinch and never have to worry about it again.  This provides a way to give anonymity to a persona that might be role play only or that you might not plan on keeping around long.

  • - Skype is voice over IP and you can create unlimited skype accounts, having one for each persona can be a good idea and this way you have a means to talk with people outside Second Life and still maintain anonymity.  It also provides IM and file sharing.
  • - This program (not free) will allow you to change your voice, so if anonymity is really important you can entierly disguise how you sound.
  • - You can actually create a fake RL persona for your online persona to share.  This service will help you provide something believable, but it's a surface identity so if anyone goes looking into it too deeply they will find nothing.  
  • - This let’s you create disposable cell numbers that can also SMS on the fly.  It can be very useful in a pinch, and allows you to share text/phone information with a person and still pull back if needed.

  • - Allows you to change the outgoing callerid on a number so that you can appear to be someone you’re not.  If you’re going to develop an online persona this can come in pretty handy.

  • - This allows you to unblock callerid, if a person calls from a blocked line it will unblock that line and display the information on whose calling.  There is no way to prevent this so remember when you call someone, you are giving out your callerid information!  See spoofcard above!

As you can see there are a large number of tools available online to aid in the protection of your identity and still allow you to connect with other people.  With a little care and thoughtfulness, it's possible to share means of contact and still duck out of a situation if things get weird or not to your liking.  Remember, anyone harassing you should also have an abuse report filed with Linden Labs regarding the situation as well.  I hope you found this information helpful, and please try to stay safe in the virtual world.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Spotlight on SL Female Artist - Sara Tiemogo (saramarie.philly) - Gatz Inoue Martian Reporting

I had occasion to meet Sara through a mutual friend when I was doing a live interview on the radio, she displayed an amazing depth from the instruments she plays to the genres she sings.   With a haunting voice that is impossible to forget, if you see she is playing in world you owe to yourself to take in her show.  That all said, here is more about Sara in her own words.  --Gatz

Gatz:  How did you get started in SL Music and what drew you to performing in Second Life?

Sara: I was a member of SL for years before I even knew there was a music scene! A friend invited me to go to a live music show, and it sparked the idea to bring my music in-world as well. I was doing a lot of RL performing at the time since I was in college for music and was involved with orchestra, choir, and opera studies there. It was a few months later that I figured out how to get the stream going with some help from other residents.

Gatz:.  What is your primary genre of music, what other genres do you enjoy playing and why?

Sara: My primary genre right now is Alternative Pop, but that's really a broad title.  I enjoy singing Opera and Classical Artsongs, Disney songs, R&B, Soul, Jazz, ballads, rock, modern pop, and even some classic country. I feel that in SL we have a certain freedom to break away from being held captive by a genre. Unlike in RL, I am often performing for the same group of 50 people several times each week. They don't want to always hear the same songs at each show, and the venues each deserve a setlist of songs that I choose especially for their atmosphere. It's very different from performing in RL. When I go out to play in RL, I sing mostly original songs, and I tend to choose upbeat radio-style soulful pop with a few ballads thrown in for variation.  

Gatz:  When you get up on a stage to perform, what kind of thoughts and feelings go through your head?  What does it feel like?

Sara: When I get up on stage in SL, I do a scan of the avatars present and I think about how they each represent a person (or more) that is at their desktop listening to what I am about to sing or say. That gets me sufficiently nervous. It feels like any mistake could trigger a chain of events leading to the ultimate end of the world. While I'm singing, I often worry. When people are quiet in the audience and don't say anything in local chat, I worry that they don't like the song selections or that I'm not giving a compelling performance. Other times I get so "into" the music that I am transported to a place where I can share the stories the songs hold without fear and without my self-destructive inner ultra-critic, and those are the times that I enjoy most.

Gatz:  What are some of the drawbacks of performing in SL, if you could change 3 things having to do with performing live music in SL what would they be?

Sara: I see performing in SL as a wonderfully positive opportunity. There are some drawbacks, but nothing that I dwell upon often. However, for the sake of answering the question... Explaining to people that are not in SL what I do there and how I generate some income while doing something I love is difficult. The initial response is to get hung up on the idea that I'm "living" in a cartoon world, and that's not the case at all. Also, when you commit to being a performer in SL, you turn your time in world into business time rather than socializing and "fun" time. You can still have fun and do those things, but balancing RL with SL then becomes a problem. When you gain one thing, something else must be given up. Those are simple laws of time management. If I could change 3 things, I would (1) start accepting payments through outside sources so that Linden Labs didn't get a percentage of everything I earn in SL, because I don't feel they deserve it. (2) Create ways for music venues to earn back their expenses. (3) Inform more residents of the opportunities to attend live shows. Linden Labs advertises relationships and virtual fashion constantly, but rarely do they mention the music scene, where there is so much opportunity for listeners to become involved in the art and the social circles within it. So many residents are missing out by alienating themselves on rented plots of land where they continually edit their avatar's features. Second Life experiences can be more meaningful than that!
Gatz:  What advice would  you offer to people who are trying to break into the music scene in SL and might be stuck as to where to go and what to do?

Sara: There are so many tutorial videos out there on google and youtube, you'll have no problem figuring out how to get started with the technology end of it. There are open mic events almost daily. I would suggest that musicians wanting to start performing in SL do as much work for themselves as they can before reaching out to other musicians or venue owners, because we are constantly bombarded by random IMs with such vague questions as "how do I sing live in SL like you". My answer is always, "practice".

Additional Information
For Bookings Contact BahamaMamma Resident or Derek Galaxy

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SL 2.0 - FUD for thought (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt!) -- Gatz Inoue Martian reporting

SL 2.0 is coming

Someday soon we might log into our beloved virtual world and see something like this on the login screen of our viewer:

PRESS RELEASE - Linden Labs today announced that it will be shutting down the virtual world service known as Second Life.  This will mark the opening of Second Life 2.0, the company's new virtual world….

And so it goes...but for many of us the loss of Second Life isn’t simply the loss of a game like World of Warcraft, it is much more akin to a meteor hitting the earth and wiping out all life.  

The virtual world we inhabit is not called “Second Life” for nothing,  it is designed to be just that, a second life.  Many people here have families and activities that are just as important to them as any activity that a person might partake in with actual flesh and blood.  For some, Second Life provides a means to live a life that they would not otherwise be capable of enjoying due to disability or other hardship.  To everyone this deeply involved in Second Life, the potential loss of something that is such a central part of your first life causes anxiety and fear.

Linden Labs is aware of all these things,  a simple google search on “Second Life 2.0” returns quote after quote from Linden Labs going as far back as 2014:

“...The new Second Life will offer more robust tools for creators. Games, designs, goods, all the things that make the current incarnation of Second Life the go-to place for current users will be part of the new world….” CEO Ebbe Altberg
CEO Ebbe Altberg

“...Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are king.”

Oculus Rift and Second Life

One of the rumors that started a lot of furor toward the end of last year was the introduction of a viewer that supported Oculus Rift.  Oculus Rift is a virtual reality helmet designed to be owned by people and used in the home.  It will interface with a desktop computer and will allow people to bring themselves closer than ever to the virtual world they inhabit.   Many thought that you would be required to have a Rift as part of the usage of the new Second Life.  While you can find several statements indicating there will be compatibility with the VR helmet, there is also indication that the new Virtual World platform will support PCs and mobile devices right from the outset.  

Given that Linden Labs wants to support Oculus Rift from the outset but also wants to maintain the current user base, they would be foolish to cut off support for the PC which is the primary platform.  The rumors surrounding this were blown vastly out of proportion, if anything Second Life 2.0 will support more ways of accessing the service to allow a wider user base and a larger community.  “We want to support mobile from the beginning... Any content in the new platform will be good on Oculus and PC.”  --Ebbe Altberg

From the Oculus Website:
Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping to consumers in Q1 2016, with pre-orders later this year.”  
It is interesting that the consumer Oculus Rift and SL 2.0 are both set to release in 2016,  working together it seems likely that Linden Labs and Oculus VR will be able to produce a result that is much larger than either one of them could produce on their own.  It also stands to reason that a release of the consumer version of the “Rift” would coincide with the release of a new virtual world platform so that Linden Labs could ride the wave of excitement surrounding VR.  Oculus VR is talking about a 200-400 dollar price point for the VR helmet,  which means that it will be within the price range of most people and hopefully not as cost prohibitive or as complicated to use as the present developer incarnation of Oculus Rift.

Given Linden Labs continued support of the present Second Life and their active development of Second Life 2.0 with plans toward compatibility with upcoming hardware it seems unlikely that the user base is going to be abandoned.  What is most likely is that SL 1.0 and SL 2.0 will both exist side by side for a time as people get used to the new platform and gradually shift over to it.  Any way you look at it, it is an exciting time to be a resident of Second Life.  There is so much on the horizon that promises to be far more than we could have imagined when this service came online 12 years ago.