Oct 27, 2011

Crossworlds with Mal Burns

I’ll be a guest tonight to talk about kittens & ninjas | #SecondLife






I've been invited to attend the show Crossworlds with +Mal Burns tonight in #SecondLife as a guest. We'll be talking about IEEE Virtual World Standard Group and Interoperability in Virtual Worlds. Mostly, though, we'll be focusing on what matters: Ninjas and Kittens



Show starts at 3PM SLT (Pacific) | 6PM EST
Live stream available here:
SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Metaverse%20Island/163/146/113




Aeonix Aeon in SL [July 2011]

The sim doesn't open up until 2PM SLT - so grab a tent and camp on the outskirts to get a good seat :) By all means.. come down and join us.


You never know what sort of crazy stuff we’ll talk about.

Oct 19, 2011

Spotlight TV Open Invitation

Talking about mixed media and reality tonight in #SecondLife



Spotlight TV Open Invite


It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to do interviews and public appearances, but tonight I’ll be a guest on Spotlight TV to talk about mixed reality media and how reality and virtual worlds can blur for the better. Maybe a bit about Augmented Reality and the role it will play in our digital future? Join us tonight at Spotlight TV with Scorpinosis Nightfire for a conversation that should prove to be interesting (even if we’re wildly off topic).



clairwil_oh★ Host Scorpinosis Nightfire welcomes First and Second Life author Clairwil Oh to discuss her popular virtual vampire novels and the expansion to new worlds outside of SL.





Aeonix_SL_July2011★ Academic Author of The Future of Virtual Worlds in E-Commerce, Object Interoperability Leader for IEEE Virtual World Standard Workgroup, and synthetic environment researcher, Aeonix Aeon (Will Burns) will be joining for a conversation about mixed media and reality.


October 19th, 2011

Oct 14, 2011

You Say you Want A Revolution?

Well, you know. We all want to change the world. #OWS


I’m an avid supporter of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, which now has a basis around the world in solidarity, and has grown considerably around the United States. However, I ‘m a forecaster by nature and the facts remain that there is little to no chance that the 1% that the #OWS movement is against will in any way find a reason to negotiate. After all, those very same people hold the rights to the land the protesters occupy, and have little to no incentive to forfeit any of their holdings in negotiation.






If anything, they see the 99% movement as a bunch of people complaining without any real power structure to actually change the situation, nor should we have expected alternate behavior from them in a world where they essentially define and call the shots. I’m all for peaceful revolution, but I also know from the cold, hard, facts and statistics that a peaceful revolution is merely a warning shot leading to bigger things.


The very laws and corruption that the protesters are against will inevitably be used against them for claims of perfectly legal opposition, albeit entirely immoral. This comes as no surprise to me, because I know this will end in a more violent revolution than we are led to believe today in our peaceful outreach of protests.


It’s only a warning shot.


At 7am in Zucatti Park (Liberty Plaza), they have been ordered to evacuate for “cleaning” with the stipulation that they cannot return as a protest as they were prior. It’s a convenient excuse, but effective because the people who actually own the park are perfectly within their legal right to demand such things. It’s a matter of slanting the rules and laws, and the 1% are exceptionally good at it.


There are those who will refuse to leave, and I expect there to be mass protests and arrests. I even expect there to be a considerable amount of police brutality. What I do not expect is that the peaceful protesters will continue being on the receiving end of that abuse – physically or through corruption,  much longer.


Remember,  the peaceful protests are merely a warning shot.


I’ve been accused of beating the war drums, and trying to stir up violence in a peaceful protest, but I must correct those people outright. I’m not advocating violence, because I would very much rather see a peaceful end to a means. However, that being said, I am not blind enough to ignore the very real possibility that a peaceful protest may evolve into something bigger and less peaceful as this continues. It’s not beating the war drums, it’s facing reality.



Peaceful revolution is the ideal, but never rule out alternatives. Always be prepared for all contingencies.



If we’re brave enough to face the corruption on a wide scale, we must not stop short of being blindsided by ideals that may not produce fruition. We must expect the best and be prepared for the worst, in that we may (as a whole) lessen the casualties in the future. Be they political or physical.


Somebody has to think of these things, because a majority is unwilling to. If it comes to that, just be glad there are those who have thought ahead and will have an answer for you if you get to that point.


Peace is the one thing we all want, but only a few are willing to truly fight for it if the need arises. Don’t be surprised if the militias come to the #OWS aid when they need it most. We all want a peaceful solution, but sometimes we have to be willing to truly fight when our options run out. I make no qualms about it – the American Patriots are ready to fight when peaceful negotiation and protest is ignored. It’s what our founding fathers did, and it’s a tradition of these United States of America.


Expect the best, be prepared for the worst. Never be surprised.



Oct 8, 2011

Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Windlight

Native Weather in #SecondLife with Zones @Rodvik


I’ve probably said this before, so please bare with me. Windlight as used in SecondLife has the native ability to include Weather built in. Why it was never really implemented has been sort of a mystery to me since 2007, but I’ve been told by @onikenkon on twitter that the reasoning behind not implementing the native weather system in Windlight happens to be along the lines that the Linden Lab programmers didn’t seem to know how to stop it from raining inside buildings.



Raindrops keep falling on my head…



SecondLife JIRA Report

Integrate Windlight Weather



If you would like to see Weather natively enabled in SecondLife, I urge that you visit the JIRA page and click on “Watch” – I also invite discussion and comments on the matter.


This blog post is a companion to that JIRA in order to explain in further detail how the User Created Zones requirement would work in conjunction with Windlight Weather in order to block rain inside buildings (among many other things it would allow).



I have to say that this is quite a bizarre claim for a team of programmers whose sole purpose in life at Linden Lab is to program a video game engine. In the gaming industry this should automatically have been answered with “Implement Zones”, which in and of itself should be on the list of things one would be expected to know about when dealing with 3D game engines. Why the hell do I, a presumably under qualified dolt who can’t grace the doors of Linden Lab, know this is a solution yet the apparently overqualified rockstars who grace the name Linden leave a fundamental component in 3D game engines out of the release since its inception? It can’t possibly be that ridiculous to implement if a place like ActiveWorlds managed to code it from the ground up because they didn’t have the luxury of prims to start with.  


Mesh will Fit youOf course, in this same vein, I’ve also seen the idea of Parametric Deformation for Mesh proposed and marked as “Someday/Maybe” by Linden Lab, only to be picked up by the community as a fundraiser to scrape together the money to pay Karl Stiefvater (Qarl) to program this feature. With over 857 votes, 357 people watching that particular JIRA, and a solution proposed to fix the Mesh defect, you would think Linden Lab would have looked into it as a priority. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out the Mesh Clothing Parametric Deformer Project and maybe making a donation.


@Rodvik, if you’re reading this (though I doubt it) I highly suggest Linden Lab tosses in the measly remainder of the donation to get Qarl to work on Parametric Deformation for Mesh as an independent contractor, and to save grace with the community. This is clearly very important to the community and should not be ignored. Matter of fact, look… stop the book tours and public appearances or whatever it is you’re doing and hold a meeting in your ranks at Linden Lab. You need to teach those programmers the difference between priority and not a priority. If you’re the one sabotaging their idea of priority with arbitrary milestones or whatever, you need to chill out and really see what you have on the table. Seriously, you’re dropping the ball and I really don’t want you to. As far as zones are concerned, you come from EA, a flipping video game company. Even you know that Zones are a staple of video games to offer design control over many aspects of a 3D environment.


But I digress…


If anything, upon hearing these sorts of things in the ranks of Linden Lab, I would have either docked somebody’s pay or seriously reconsidered whether the programmers were truly qualified to be working on that project at all.


I understand I’m quite cynical about this, but something so basic a premise as user defined zones, which are a given staple of game programming, should not be a mystery to a well paid team of rockstars at Linden Lab. I mean, this is one of those things where literally years worth of important or half-assed priorities at Linden Lab have consistently superseded a basic fundamental inclusion of a game engine. It’s such a fundamental inclusion that the mere lack of it forbids Linden Lab from properly utilizing what must have been a multi-million dollar technology purchase (WindLight). 


In ActiveWorlds, the ability to define user created zones has been a staple since at least 2005 and entails essentially the following premise: http://wiki.activeworlds.com/index.php?title=Zone


In terms of SecondLife, this should actually be easier to implement than the work required to implement it in ActiveWorlds, in that ActiveWorlds is primarily a “Mesh” based virtual environment and has no concept of “Prims” as in SecondLife. In this manner, ActiveWorlds had to essentially code prims from the ground up simply for use as Zone definition spaces, whereas SecondLife already has prims as the native building system.








So what does a user defined zone really mean?


Well, in respect to SecondLife, you as the user would see another tab on the build menu for Zone, whereby enabling that Prim as a Zone (a checkbox) would turn it into a special primitive with the zone qualities contained within it. The prim would also be natively phantom and normally invisible unless you add the option to “Show Special Objects” to the build menu, much like there is an option to show invisible items. There would be the option to make the zone prim visible as well, in the case the builder is working with a lot of zones and needs them visible while building.


Here is the window for Zones in ActiveWorlds, where you can see all of the options available to the builder:






As you can see, there are numerous options available when creating zones in a virtual environment. For people who didn’t jump to the wiki link provided for zones at ActiveWorlds, that information will be found below (with some comments pertaining to SecondLife). From here on, it gets pretty technical and wordy without much in the way of pictures, so bare with me:



Tag Name

Assigning a tag name to a zone allows the user to trigger events for entering and exiting the zone.


// This would essentially be the Description field or Prim Name in SecondLife

Volume Shape

This controls the shape of the area. There are 3 types:

  • Cube - The zone is a rectangular area in size as defined by the Size values.
  • Cylinder - The zone is a cylindrical area. The X Size defines the radius of the cylinder, the Y Size defines the height, and the Z Size is unused.
  • Sphere - The zone is a sphere whose radius is defined by the X Size value. The Y and Z values are not used.


//This is pretty much not needed in SecondLife because we already have Prims




A diagram showing how priority numbers affect two zones' importance.

Priority defines the most important zone when two zones intersect. A higher priority number means the zone will have more importance over other zones with lower priority numbers.


For example, on the diagram on the right there are two shapes. On the top, the red square has a priority of 1 while the blue circle has a priority of 0. Therefore, the red square becomes becomes more important than the blue circle. On the bottom, the blue circle's priority is changed to 2, higher than red square's priority of 1. Therefore, it has become more important than the red square.



A useful example for priorities are for large weather zones, where a large zone dims the lighting in a pale blue haze for ice. However, this zone may intersect a building, where it will also affect the interior. A zone with normal lighting can be placed in the building with a priority of 1 while the ice zone has a priority of 0. Therefore, the building's zone will cancel out the pale blue haze inside the building.



Zone Properties Dialog Box


This defines the size of the zone. See "Volume Shape" above for details on how these values are used.


This controls how fast users will fall when in this zone. A value of 1.00 is "normal" gravity.


This controls how fast users will stop when walking in this zone. A value of 1.00 is considered "normal" friction. Lower values will make walking "slippery", while higher values will slow walking speed and cause the user to stop more quickly.


If checked, the zone is filled with water (or whatever liquid) and a user will swim when they are inside of the zone. Note that a zone is invisible, so users will not see the surface of the water. You will need to add an object to the scene if you want to make the water surface visible.


//In terms of SecondLife, adding the top face of the zone to use the water shader as the oceans do would be a bonus. 

Block Particles

If checked, this zone will be included by particles when checking for collision.


//Essentially this is how it doesn’t rain inside buildings in ActiveWorlds unless you forget to create a zone for your building or structure. The same would apply to SecondLife and Windlight Weather. 

Block Lights

If checked, lights created with the light command will not be visible if they are outside of this zone.


// SL: Essentially any item outside the zone that has Light enabled will not have any effect on the lighting inside the zone. 

Block World Light

If checked, the world light ("sunlight") will not be visible from within this zone. This is useful for making underground or dark areas where the world light source should not be visible.

Block Audio

Any audio that was started by action commands using the sound or media command is muted or faded, if the trigger object lies outside the zone, while the avtar is inside the zone.


Audio played within the zone can only be heard while the avatar is inside the zone and will get muted or faded as soon the avatar is outside the zone.


Audio played by the media command is faded in and out when entering or leaving the zone.

Audio played with the sound command is faded in and stops without been faded, cause of the underlying principle for the sound command only playing the nearest sound at a time.


When a noise command is triggered outside the zone while the avatar is inside a zone, the noise will not be heard. When a noise is triggered right before the avatar enters the zone, the noise will be heard also when the avatar is inside the zone, the noise won't stop playing until the trigger has finished. A noise command triggered inside the zone will not be heard outside the zone. 


Ambient sound set in the world feature settings is not affected by this option. To mute global ambient sounds use the Ambient sound field with the zone settings.


//Anything outside of a zone that is playing sound/gestures/etc will not be heard inside the zone. Any sound/gestures/etc inside the zone will only be heard by users inside the zone. This would include Shared Media and Video 

Block Chat

If checked, users within this zone will not see the chat of users outside of the zone. Note1: Zones do not block Public Speak either direction across the zone barrier. Note2: Zones do not prevent non-Global bots from hearing across the zone barrier.


//Private spaces for open chat without having to go to group chat internally. Essentially a zone with Block Chat enabled will use its own chat channel transparently for all people inside the zone. Very nice for nightclubs on a sim where you don’t want the text chat, gestures etc to bleed over to the neighbors.


Block Join/Invite

If checked, users within this zone cannot have other users join them and cannot invite anyone.


//SL: Can be extended to allow only certain Group members to invite others via teleport



This controls the color of the fog in this zone, and the color of the water (if applicable).


//SL: This would control a native Windlight Setting within that zone.  

Fog Range

This controls the near / far fog settings.


//SL: Another Windlight setting control within the zone 

Ambient Sound

This sound (if specified) will repeat in the background when the camera (usually the avatar's head) is in this zone.


//SL: Only a single sound, or chain of sounds for ambient within the zone. As of this post, the equivalent would be a multitude of ambient sound spheres placed across the area to achieve the same effect. Enabling Ambient Sound in a zone would not harm the ambient sound sphere market, but lessen the need for multitudes of them. 

Footstep sound

This sound is used if the avatar's feet are in this zone while walking or running.


//SL: Native sound for running or walking on various materials like sand, wood, metal, etc as defined by the space of that zone. 

Camera Tag

This specifies that name of a particular camera object within the scene. When the user enters this zone, their camera will switch to the camera matching the given name, and will return to the previous setting when they leave.


//SL: Zoning a furniture set, for instance, would allow the designer to specify a forward facing camera override when sitting on the furniture – where the user could still adjust the camera as they please after that switch. How many times have you sat on a couch next to a wall in a house only to have your camera fly outside the building? Allowing content creators to attach zones to their creations will give them better control and lessen the wild camera positions.

Target Cursor

This specifies the texture that will be used as the center cursor in Move Mode (mouselook).


//SL: Possibly custom target cursors for shooting games? 

Voip Enabled

Enable/Disable Voip Rights within a given zone.


//SL: Already an option as a Parcel or Sim owner, this would allow fine tuning of where VoIP is enabled in an area on a zone by zone basis instead of an all or nothing scenario. 

Voip Rights

Specify a list of users who will have the rights to participate in Voip conversation within the zone.


//SL: Not restricting VoIP entirely, but giving only certain people within that zone the ability to use VoIP. Business scenarios where there is a single speaker.






In the scope of SecondLife, a Zone is simply a specialized Prim in wireframe which defines an area with special properties. When we talk about whether or not it’s raining inside of a building, we should also ask if that building is within a user created zone with Block Particles enabled, as we would ask in ActiveWorlds.


Defining zones is a staple of video game programming and quite common. To hear that there is a possibility that the programmers at Linden Lab did not know how to stop it from raining inside of buildings puzzles me.


While I admit the implementation of user defined zones would be a complex project within Linden Lab (I’m humoring you, Linden Lab, because ActiveWorlds did it from scratch with a single programmer in 2005), I must also insist that the very lack of this ability is subsequently limiting and/or crippling the technology and what is available to it – namely Windlight which was acquired in 2007 and still has yet to see full implementation.


My Moment of Rage

Waiting since 2007 for a fundamental component pisses me off


Honestly, and I truly mean this – I swear to all that is holy and good in this world, if a Linden shows up on this post and tries to sling a ration of bullshit at me in a comment to excuse themselves for why this hasn’t been properly addressed as a priority, there will be hell. Any manager worth their salt, let alone the CEO of the company, would agree in the face of such negligence to the product and community which it serves. Whether this is addressing user created zones (which instantly negates a large amount of JIRA requests through facilitation) or whether it’s the Parametric Deformation.


That level of absurdity in dismissing things is unacceptable – fundamental flaws and defects in the system should not be ignored for multiple years, and they should not be in a position where your own community walks off and raises the funds to do a job that the company itself should have been doing. 


As far as user Created Zones (which would immediately allow Weather to be enabled) I’m pointing to ActiveWorlds, a virtual environment company that doesn’t even register on the grand scheme of competition any more, implementing user created zones from absolute scratch via a single programmer in another country that they have on contract – and they managed to do it in 2005. You cannot possibly tell me that an outdated, underfunded, technology with a single programmer is more adept than the entire team of programmers at Linden Lab.


I refuse to acknowledge that because it’s absolute bull. Just like saying Parametric Deformation is not a priority when it fixes a fundamental flaw with Mesh, which is the entire focus of why Viewer 3 was created.


I mean, is this really what it takes to have the major issues be addressed? Is priority assigned by how much negative publicity it’s drawing for not addressing it? Or you have to be some digerati and Linden kiss-ass for them to acknowledge you?


Geez… No wonder everybody uses Third Party Viewers. At least they are on top of things and really engaging with the community on this stuff. I apologize, but the more I think of this arrogant and dismissive behavior on the part of Linden Lab, the more it pisses me off. Waiting for years to even have a basic component in a game engine acknowledged in an official capacity and implemented is simply asinine.


I mean, the only reason I can see that the ATI 4500/5100 bug ( the one where Viewer 3 is entirely unusable) was looked at and addressed was because Tonya Souther (Firestorm) called out Linden Lab in a public interview. C’mon… seriously? That’s what it takes to light a fire under their asses?


This has got to change. It’s unacceptable.


I’d probably lose my sanity if I were ever a Linden. 




Oct 6, 2011

True Patriots

What the Occupy Wall Street Movement Means #OWS


Allow me to state this up front:


I am part of the 99%

and very likely you are as well.





You can split hairs and say you’re part of the 53% and are making ends meet, and that those people in the 99% movement called Occupy Wall Street do not speak for you. However, it is a matter of time and even if you are blessed to be in the struggling 53% (as your slogan says), you are still one paycheck away from being homeless. 1 out of every 6 Americans live at or below the poverty line with many more already categorized as severe poverty.


Even you are just as likely not to have any health care coverage at all, and you work ungodly hours (lucky, so you are told, to have the two or three part-time jobs that you have to hold down to barely make ends meet). In many cases, even you are faced with the constant decision whether you will pay the bills or actually eat. Whether you will eat or pay for your medication out of pocket. You’re lucky for all that, when the richest in this country earn your yearly salary every single day, and do absolutely no work for it.


I’ve heard the absurdity of the 53% counter-movement attributing those in the Occupy Wall Street movement as “Hippies” or “Communists” – I’ve read quotes from Republicans such as Mitt Romney (R) calling those protesters “Un-American” – I am absolutely appalled at this blatant ignorance. This guy is running for the highest office in this nation and he has absolutely no idea what it truly means to be a Patriot? I can’t blame him, though, because a majority of you have no idea what it means to be a true American Patriot, either.


One thing most Americans seem to consistently fail to understand is what an American PATRIOT really is. It is no wonder, then, that those who we elect are incompetent and themselves have no interest in the people or know what an American Patriot actually is. As George Carlin once put it: “Garbage in, Garbage out.”


Those who would call themselves American patriots need to stand ready to do the same things today that our forefathers did in 1775, and we'd better be ready to be called conspirators, traitors, seditionists, communists, and (today's buzzword) terrorists by the government loyalists we oppose.

An American patriot is not somebody who supports his or her government. If that's what the American definition of a patriot were, we would not have been calling George Washington, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Payne, John Hancock and all the rest of them "patriots" would we?


Those true patriots were all men who openly advocated revolt against their own government and even the corruption of bankers.



thomas-jefferson“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States of America (1743-1826) 




That's what made them American Patriots in the first place.


Their government, the one oppressing them in 1775, was headquartered in London, England.

My government, the one oppressing me in 2011, happens to be located in Washington D.C.


Aside from that, there is little difference. My government today is at the mercy of large financial backers, those 1% who, while technically called upon to pay taxes and be held accountable for crimes they commit, most often do not. Those 1% are actually rewarded for their greed, corruption and manipulation of our legal and political system against the very people it was meant to serve, willfully oppressing and destroying the people and this planet  for their own benefit and gain, because our politicians in the Whitehouse, Congress and Senate all are indebted to them. This was never a matter of Right versus Left in this country, Republican versus Democrat – no, this is now a matter of Right versus Wrong. This movement is isn’t about pointing fingers at a particular political party in order to justify policies or inaction – this movement is about the collective of this nation realizing that neither side from our leadership has done their job and that the real control of this country does not lay in the hands of the people, by the people or for the people any longer.


Make no mistake, oppression is coming from our government. When your vote means nothing, because both candidates are heavily funded by those of highest wealth and corruption (even in secret), and our “elected” leaders are more indebted to those financiers and bankers than to the very people of this nation, it is oppression and corruption across the board and we were warned by our own founding fathers that this would happen. We were warned by the men who defined the very nature of what it is to be called American Patriot and who fought for this country and freedoms that it represents.


To me, the citizen who

    • runs around waving the American flag,
    • pledges his support to the government in Washington,
    • and goes along with what that government says


is the same thing as what the colonials used to call a "loyalist." We Americans never used the word "patriot" to describe anybody who was a loyalist. The very term "loyalist" meant somebody who was "loyal" to the government in London and to King George III. A "loyalist" was the then equivalent of today's "statist" in that they supported the (then) state which was (then) the British government.


The true American patriot is the antithesis of a loyalist.


The true definition of what an American patriot  actually is can be determined only by examining what those men who signed the Declaration of Independence (and their followers) actually did. So, let's learn what a true patriot is by taking a look at what those true patriots actually did.


1. They spoke and wrote profusely and published their beliefs and opinions clearly stating the truth, that their government was tyrannical and guilty of crimes against the liberty of the common man. They openly denounced the government and its agents, not only in print but in public speeches and gatherings. They did this despite great personal risk for doing so. This went on for some time prior to 1775.


Sounds like what our patriots are doing today in Occupy Wall Street. They’re following in the footsteps of our founding fathers, exercising their rights (First Amendment), and standing against corruption across the board which is against the liberty of the common man. If only we could all be so noble and patriotic to stand together as they do, instead of mocking our own people and trying to dismantle them. Ask yourself, who is really acting unpatriotic?


2. They conspired, both in secret and later openly, to overthrow and revolt against their government with the aim of throwing it out and establishing a new and different governmental system. In doing this, they were branded as traitors and seditionists by their government... but they did it anyway, despite the risk.


Occupy Wall Street was at first conspired in secret and now openly as a peaceful protest. It follows direct democracy in all things – not representative democracy as we have now. While they have no plans to overthrow the government, this may likely become a possibility if their grievances are not met or corrected in our government, and continued loyalty to the most greedy and corrupt in this nation continues. As more violence and opposition from those they oppose escalates, so too will their determination to be heard. Peaceful patriots will be beaten and abused only so long before they will fight back.


3. Eventually, after their government had fired the first shots, they took up arms against their government and began killing it's policing agents, who were the armed force enforcing the oppressive dictates of their government.


When the government and corrupt wealth in this nation fire the first shots, make no mistake – those peaceful patriots will fight back.


All these things were done by a small number of men, against great odds and at great personal and economic risk, but they did them anyway and that's what made them true American Patriots. They did these things, I might add, in an age when documents had to be all handwritten and communication was by means of letters carried on horseback. There was no Internet or social media to foster their revolution.


Those who would call themselves American patriots need to stand ready to do the same things today that our forefathers did in 1775, and we'd better be ready to be called conspirators, traitors, seditionists, communists and terrorists by the government loyalists and corrupted top 1% we oppose. We must not allow them to get away with branding us with those labels. Labels are the instruments tyrannical governments all use to thwart opposition. Any government born out of a revolution, as was ours, can be replaced by the same means. And it doesn't take a majority to do it, just as it didn't in 1775. When you see or hear patriots branded by the establishment using such terms, remember this:


The present American government, its establishment press and uninformed Americans using such labels here are no different from the government of Communist China branding its dissidents as "counter-revolutionaries".


A lot of people who frequent Internet websites such as this one like to think of themselves as patriots.


Are you? Unless you are now ready to do the things the real patriots did you are not, in fact, a real patriot. You are the very opposite of what it means to act as a patriot of this country.


The Bill of Rights

Lest you’ve forgotten what it means to be a true patriot.


First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Second Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Third Amendment: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


Fourth Amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Fifth Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Sixth Amendment: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.


Seventh Amendment: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. 


Eighth Amendment: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


So, how is our government and those 1% acting against the people and subsequently duping you into being mouthpieces for their lies?


For one, the 53% movement clearly does not understand the scope of the First Amendment – criticizing the protesters for actually protesting and calling them communists when they are truly patriots. It is the same First Amendment Right that gives them and the 53% the Freedom to speak – but more so the freedom to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances. If anything, those who are protesting are acting more patriotic and American than the people who flippantly mock them in ignorance from the 53% and 1%.


To say that I’ve heard this “communism” label and mockery of true patriotism coming from not only civilians but even Ex-Marines who were sworn to uphold and protect this nation from threats foreign and domestic, to uphold the Constitution and the rights afforded to our nation, is alarming and insulting. If anyone should be a true patriot, I expect our armed forces, active and retired, to stand tall in this country’s time of need.


Luckily there are quite a lot of patriotic Marines and veterans who understand what it means to be a true patriot, and have decided to stand with this nation to uphold their oath. To know thy enemy, even if it is our own government, and to stand and protect this nation from threats foreign and domestic. I applaud those true patriots and ask why the rest are so eager to abandon their nation when it is truly in need.



Eat The Rich


eat the rich




The real question, and massive over-generalization, that is spreading around by the uninformed is whether or not the Occupy Wall Street patriots actually want to dismantle the rich en-mass and put an end to being wealthy.


The unequivocal answer to this absurdity is No.


We don’t hate the rich. If you’ve earned your fortune and aspired to the American Dream, and worked to achieve it then we applaud you. However, that success comes with a social contract and agreement to pay it forward. I hear constant cries of “Class Warfare” whenever increased taxes for the rich are proposed, and to be honest, those cries are intentionally deceitful. It is class warfare, but those waging class warfare are not the lower 99%, it has always been the upper echelons of wealth against everyone else. Right now, we’re simply fighting back.


Take into account that the current tax rate for that bracket doesn’t even break 40% (it’s closer to 34%), which seems pretty high until you realize that number is roughly half (or 1/3 if you want to go back historically) of what those exorbitantly rich were paying before they began systematically witling away and lowering their taxes through lobbying and other not so lawful means. Not only that, but the idea of Corporate Gains Tax is a farce as it stands today, with Warren Buffet (one of the richest men in this nation) stating that even he thinks it’s unfair that his own secretary pays more in taxes than he ever will.


That tells you something right there. It should tell you that despite legal obligations to pay what little taxes (in comparison to the time when they were taxed at 94%) they owe, there are benefits and countless loopholes to bring down what is already a tax rate of around 34% (when it’s been as high as 94%) to an effective tax rate of just 17%. And somehow we’re complacent when they award themselves record bonuses and profits while not generating job growth. For the record, the job growth for August was absolutely zero, and unemployment in September rose 126% – a number not seen since April 2009.




Historical top tax ratesLet us recap – 94% tax on the wealthiest Americans shortly after the stock market crash that caused the Great Depression, because prior to that, the tax rate was as absurdly low as it is now, and now all the way down to an absurdly low 17% effective tax rate for the wealthiest few at the top. And you’re dumb enough to believe them when they cry “Class Warfare” and “Socialism”?





“The way you get rich in this world is not by working hard,” said Marty Sullivan, an economist and a contributing editor to Tax Analysts. “It’s by owning large amounts of assets and having those things appreciate in value.”   - Washington Post, Sept 11, 2011



Class warfare indeed. They have the terminology correct, but are apparently good at convincing you that they are truly the victim as they continue to squeeze you for everything you have. They’ve convinced you that you have no right to protest, and even to the extent that you’re willing to repeat their message even if it’s hurting you. It’s class warfare alright, but we’re the ones they’re fighting against on every front, taking increasingly all they can get their hands on and convincing you with slick ads and lies that you’re oppressing them. Telling you that if you want change, all you have to do is vote – knowing full well both parties are deeply in their pockets and answer to them and not us.


Michael Moore said it best – we’ve developed into a Kleptocracy.


The people who stand in solidarity across the Occupy Wall Street movement, and in 164+ cities around the world are fighting back. Being patriots now didn’t get us into this mess – it’s the inaction all along from us to fight back that got us in this mess. It is the complacency and ignorance against our fellow Americans acting as true patriots that got us into this mess – because the 53% are too cowardly to earn their right to be called American Patriots.


We’ll continue to stand and fight for you, the 53%, even when you are not brave enough or smart enough to stand with us. In the meantime, educate yourself. Your country needs you, and now is not the time to act like a coward.


Cowards don’t deserve the freedoms of this country. They deserve the poverty and slavery they will be crushed under because of their ignorance and apathy. Patriots fought to give you this country, and Patriots are fighting to get it back.


Support Occupy Wall Street – it is clearly your Patriotic Duty.












Oct 1, 2011

Taking Diaspora Seriously

Why social is a large part of our virtual future. #IEEE #SecondLife




I’m a strong advocate of privacy and our ability to choose individually what level of privacy we believe is adequate for ourselves. Sure, there are constant arguments over how anonymous representation can lead to bad behavior in many, but I’m a realist about the entire situation. I see the glass as neither half empty or half full, because there is equal potential for both good and bad in everything we do.


In the case of Diaspora, I won’t say that they are the end-all to be-all social network. They may or may not have a long standing chance in the grand scheme of things – especially when facing giants like Google+ or well established social networks like Facebook, both of which have far more clout and resources to throw around to gain favor. However, that being said – I do absolutely believe in the power of privacy, choice and above all else, that just like the Internet itself, a virtual environment collective would make up the very thing which we today consider a Metaverse.


In order for a virtual environment standard to really take hold and be beneficial to all, it must be addressed from the standpoint that all will be involved or affected by it. I’ve played a part in many virtual environments in my life, and have seen some truly amazing things whether it’s creative content from individuals or truly innovative paradigms from research initiatives.


One of the research initiatives that really helped cement and shape my beliefs on virtual environments for the future was one called Solipsis Decentralized Metaverse (INRIA), and while they went with the notion of a fully decentralized architecture, I immediately recognized then that even if it was technically feasible, the reality would be more of a hybrid approach.



An early look at Solipsis from 4 years ago



I keep this understanding today during my tenure as object interoperability lead for IEEE Virtual World Standard Workgroup, in that in order to truly foster in a full Metaverse, we must take into account that no single entity should be holding the keys to the entire kingdom.


Whether this is concerning the underlying technology, the components, or a myriad of other aspects which are bound to interoperate with the ecosystem that is a virtual environment, I take these ideals into account in that it’s never as simple as defining a single thing when it comes to the Metaverse.


A Metaverse, for the most part, is the conglomeration of many types of technologies, filetypes (assets) and protocols that come together in a hyper-media environment that even transcends the web today. There is no simple answer for what components make up a Metaverse, because the further you scrutinize in detail the more obscure it becomes. What number of image formats could we support for textures? Are we taking into account emerging standards that are dynamic like procedural methodologies? Will centralized servers really play a role in future iterations or will a more decentralized approach reign supreme? How many protocols for simple text message transfer are there, and then what about VoIP traffic protocols? What sort of protocols and techniques should be used for the social media facing aspect of a virtual environment?


There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and that’s exactly what the IEEE Virtual World Standard Workgroup is aiming to do, to the best of our abilities. I imagine the Metaverse as a hybrid of decentralization nodes – each system on a common standard, even if internally they are all very different. Walled garden mentality, in my mind, really is a hindrance to a truly open Metaverve – but if they must continue to exist, then they should at least be willing to offer some sort of compliancy to the overall network of virtual environments if they wish to retain any semblance of standards.


Being a de-facto standard isn’t enough, because in the end it’s self-serving to the company or entity that holds that de-facto, but offers little in the way of worldwide benefit in the grand scheme of things. Much like the days of AOL, Prodigy and other such services, the walled gardens are doomed to be eclipsed by bigger and better things (in this case it was the world wide web), and it was only reluctance and willfully keeping their clients ignorant of the things that are bigger and better than their own walled garden service that kept those services around as long as they were.


We live in a similar age today but have the benefit of hindsight where we can look back at those early walled gardens before the true explosion of the world wide web came about, and we benefit today from that evolution into open standards. Virtual environments today are much the same, in that they mostly are closed and walled gardens – nobody is interested in talking to each other from virtual environment to another, because it simply is not in their best interest.


The more things change, the more they stay the same.


We have hindsight now, and we know that walled gardens are only the precursor to a global standard which will foster a revolution and explosion of a new paradigm. Nobody really holds the keys to the Internet, not even Google. There are countless services and products, billions of sites and pages for all manner of things (good and bad).


Remember, this is all from the standpoint of a decentralized methodology we call the Internet. No single entity owns all of the servers of the Internet, and no single entity owns all of the content. Everyone is free to make their own space as they see fit, and by and large it has been an overwhelming boon to human society as a result.


A Metaverse Standard for all, holds the ability to foster similar results in the synthetic environment age. This is why I officially acknowledge such endeavors as Diaspora on the metaversestandards.org wiki, and as a legitimate social network to be taken serious.


It isn’t because I believe Diaspora itself is an end-all to be-all winner, but more because the ideology and methodologies behind that system are the ideal brass ring we should all be acknowledging for every aspect of our virtual environment going forward. I acknowledge Diaspora officially in whatever capacity I may be allowed, simply because it is the paradigm shift which I believe will foster in a better generation of privacy, decentralization and methodologies which are beneficial to all.


Diaspora tells you that you are free to start your own node as part of the entire network, that you own the content and information that is yours. They tell you that they respect your privacy, and want to help you protect it – even saying they respect your right to personally decide if being anonymous, pseudonymous or completely authentic (as in using your real name) suits you. They do not believe in a single entity being the only option, and in fact make their source code open to everyone, while actively encouraging everyone to start their own “pods”. They respect not only you, but the very foundation that made the Internet amazing – and for this the least I could do is tip my hat to them, and the many hard working people behind it. Their ideals and goals are in line with those of the IEEE Virtual World Standard Workgroup; what they want for a social network, we want also for a virtual world standard, and I highly believe social networking is an integral part of the entire virtual world construct.


I acknowledge Diaspora because I believe in the paradigm and ideals which they stand for. In a world where Facebook is being sued because they still track you even after you log out of their system, and Google insists you don’t have a choice in whether or not you must divulge your real name, it is refreshing to see there is a beneficial alternative for all – where everyone is on a level playing field with access as they see fit.


If anyone deserves my praise for upholding the values set forth in the creation of the Internet, then I gladly give that praise and recognition to Diaspora. Clearly, among the countless ‘nyms and their avatars, so do you.