Experienced Users Only

This week we discuss the NSA using virtual worlds for spying, creative marketing campaigns, the Bitcoin crash, the dangers of installing Steam OS and more!

This week’s topics include:


Karl Stiefvater (Qarl Fizz, formerly Qarl Linden) is visual effects artist, software developer, and interactive designer extraordinaire.

William Reed Seal-Foss is a 3D artist and virtual world content creator.

Thank you to our sponsors – Botgirl’s Digital PlaygroundAngelRED CoutureKahruvel Design and Virtual Vision 2020

About Kim/Gianna

Kimberly Winnington (SL: Gianna Borgnine) is the Emmy nominated owner and CEO of Sand Castle Studios, LLC, a company dedicated to helping organizations maximize the full potential of virtual worlds and social media by creating interactive, social, and 3D experiences. For the last 5 years, Kimberly has helped SCS clients stay ahead of the curve and is a respected resource for information on current and developing trends, social media, and immersive experiences.
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12 Responses to Experienced Users Only

  1. Steve S says:

    Reed did a great job this week not cursing (well, except for that flashback.) I could tell he was really trying. I felt like I got more quality dialogue out of this podcast. Thanks!

  2. Really nice show. Very glad the podcast is back. I appreciate Reed’s restraint, as in past shows the numerous bleeps or cussing is somewhat distracting, but this show hit the right balance. Love the inclusion of Reed’s uncensored flashback audio quote with the Steam OS installation segment. Glad for the genuine unfiltered perspectives with some consideration for us “casuals.” (Given Reed’s background, could “casual” also be interchangable with “casualty?” ;-)

    It was fun listening to your coverage of the robot telemarketer conspiracy. I haven’t encountered that myself, but I have heard audio clips of kids prank calling people with pre-recorded audio and having somewhat coherent conversations with people for a laugh — the modern day twist on calling tobacco shops and asking, “do you have Prince Albert in a can?” I can see how these telemarketers might be employing the same methods.

    Interestingly, the subject of Bitcoin came up at my last real life meeting with Vivian Kendall (Osprey Therian). It was Saturday, December 7th (just a few days before she passed), and a group of us had visited over the course of the day to say goodbye. While I was there the son of one of her friends was trying to explain Bitcoin to his parents and Vivian and I were able to chime in with our own knowledge on the matter. Mine coming mostly from your podcasts and my experience with the other online currency I’ve used, $Linden dollars. His parents were a bit surprised (and somewhat relieved, I think) that there were regular folks aware of and using Bitcoins and not just the “Silkroad Shysters.”

    Thank you, Kim, for mentioning Vivian’s passing. I think she put every ounce of her remaining energy into her last meeting with friends and family on that Saturday as she passed just a few days later. Her caregiver said that she was exhausted after that. Her estate will be settled soon and then we can proceed with carrying on her wishes for Osprey Therian’s continued story.

    I picked up my nephew from the airport just before Chirstmas and we discussed the WestJet marketing effort while we were standing at Baggage Claim. I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be to see those presents coming down the conveyor. Unfortunately my nephew said that no one asked him what he wanted for Christmas before he got on the plane. I love marketing stunts like that.

    Louis C.K.’s $5 standup download was a break from the status quo, following others’ efforts at self-distributing. As Reed said, people like Louis C.K. and Beyonce can make a big splash because of who they are. They have huge followings. But I like your point too, Kim, in that the potential for anyone to have success with marketing and distributing content online is possible, if it is done right. (Kim Possible!)

    The segment on datacaps is another good example of how important it is for us casuals to be aware of what goes on behind the scenes of everyday life. Texting charges is another good example from the telecommunications industry. Government institutions, the business sector, charities — all examples of entities that should be scrutinized and held accountable for their actions. The public should be aware of what these groups do, and why and how they do it, so they can decide if they want to support them (or make/enforce laws against the activity if needed).

    Qarl: “Watching the Chinese go ‘gung ho’ for it.” Oh no you didn’t! LOL

    I’ll be very interested in Qarl’s take on the new Mac Pro. I started out an Apple user with the IIe, got the Mac in ’84 and was Mac only until about 2000, when the agency I worked for got a PC/Windows machine for additional client compatibility. Since then I’ve been about 75% Mac and 25% PC and am 50/50 with iOS and Android (two iPads and a Nexus 7). Right now I use a MacBook and Mac Mini with OS X 10.7.5 and a gaming PC with Windows 7 daily. Amazed at the difference between the Mac Mini and the PC when running Second Life. I know the PC is a much beefier machine with better graphics cards, but have also read that the SL viewer runs noticeably better on a Mac that is running Windows with Bootcamp, than under the native Mac OS.

    I like the marketing, technical, programmer and gaming perspectives that you guys provide. I like the spectrum of idealist, pessimist and realist takes on topics — and the comfort shown in revealing the very human experience of feeling totally up to a technical challenge and making a mistake like a… wait for it… casual.

    Thanks again for a good show. Best to you guys in 2014!

    • qarl says:

      Justin -

      yeah, in terms of raw performance for price – the windows platform is better than the mac. but if that’s your goal, i believe that linux does it even one better (at least for second life.)

      i enjoy the mac platform for a variety of non-performance reasons – so that’s what i stick with. at least for now.


  3. qarl says:


  4. Cathy Foil says:

    I sure like to see this talked about on the show. Fitted Mesh seems to be being released very soon but with some known major bugs. :(

    The worst bug is the ATI graphics card bug which causes most mesh to stretch off into oblivion unless the meshes texture is set to full bring or Advanced Lighting is turned on. Here’s the Jira https ://jira.secondlife. com/browse/FITMESH-6. [NOTE: Had to put spaces in webaddress so it would post] The bug just doesn’t affect mesh weighted to the collision bones but also normal mesh weighted to the normal skeleton bones.

    LL is saying they think it is a driver issue. This bug doesn’t show up in any other viewer except for the Fitted Mesh test viewer. To me this seems quite clear it is not a driver issue but something in the code of the viewer that is triggering it and LL needs to figure out where in the code it is being caused regardless of weather it is a driver issue or not. It is obvious that Fitted Mesh viewer code can and and has to work with ATI graphics card before it is added to all other viewers.

    With ATI cards being used by a good percentage of residents if this bug isn’t fixed it could affect thousands or tens of thousands of residents.

    I been quite active in the Jira’s and testing of Fitted Mesh. While Fitted Mesh was not my first choice of deformers if it was all we were going to get I was going to do my best to help make it as good as it could be.

    I been surprised at how little LL seemed to want to implement or explore improvement suggestions by the residents who were testing it.

    I made my own suggestion here: https ://jira.secondlife. com/browse/FITMESH-16 [NOTE: Had to put spaces in webaddress so it would post]

    Basically it was not to use the original collision bones at all for Fitted Mesh. That part of the problem was that the original collision bones were offset from the normal skeleton bones positions and rotations making rigging and weighting harder than it needs to be.

    So I suggested duplicating the normal skeleton bones and renaming them like fPelvis and fChest instead mPelvis and mChest. Then un-parent the Fitted Mesh bones and parent them to their normal skeleton bones counterparts. So fPelvis would be parented to mPelvis and fChest would be parented to mChest. Of course adding the new bones like breast, buttocks & handle bones to the skeleton.

    Others suggested adding more bones for things like tails, wings and or extra arms or legs. I mean if LL can add breast bones in like a day why not add these other commonly asked for bones?

    I wasn’t really overly concerned with LL not seemly interested in suggestions by testers. I figured in the course of testing and refining LL might change their minds and take a second look at some of the suggestions as the main heavy lifting and development of Fitted Mesh was finished but to ship it in its current state is a huge mistake in my opinion.

    My hope is that the NDA project that was started by LL that uses Fitted Mesh is really just Fitted Mesh being made a closed Beta project and that these bugs will be worked out and improvements made.

    The only real way I can see Fitted Mesh working perfectly is if LL changes the way the avatar changes shape when editing its appearance. Instead of using Morphs if LL was to reweight the default avatar mesh to bones who change their scales like the collision bones then the Fitted Mesh deformer would work flawlessly. Of course we have to keep the morphs for the face and hands.

    But I can see big problems with this approach as well. You could never get the avatar shape to change in quite the same way using this bone scaling method as it does with the current morphs. You might be able to get it fairly close but implementing it would mean all residents avatar’s shapes would change and never quite be the same. I am sure that would enrage quite a few and break a lot of existing clothing content.

    Anyway can’t wait for the next show! Hope everyone had a great Holiday Season and New Years. :D

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