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Sushi, anyone?

What wouldn’t I do for a good cause? The SL Shakespeare Company is one of the most incredible cultural institutions in SecondLife, in scale, and by the fact it is entirely benevolent work. Representations are free, but sims don’t pay themselves, neither the thousands of hours of work Ina Centaur and everyone from the SLSC put on this project. The SLSC is there for higher learning, in a place where almost everything else is cultural fast food. If there is one educative entertainment that deserves respect and support, it is the SLSC.

And who else but Ina to ask me to do something absolutely unique and to my own knowledge never done before in SL, being a maiden Nyotaimori. Yes, I will serve as a live sushi plate, and you can come and pickup a piece, until I am completely nude. All proceeds for every piece picked up will go to the SLSC.

Please read the following press release, and hope to see you there

Shakespeare, Second Life and Skin City, Second Life-In the midst of a virtual reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan England, an avant-garde virtual sushi restaurant named Inachi unveils its first gourmet dish. Dubbed “Nyotaimori,” the platter features an artistic arrangement of finely-priced sushi adorning the nude avatar body of virtual celebrity Codebastard Redgrave. The sum of sushi prices on this Nyotaimori reaches at about L$1,000,000; its purpose is to be dismantled by its audience as every “edible piece” of this virtual culinary sculpture is sold off in a single fundraiser to benefit the SL Shakespeare Company. The presentation opens to the public at 1 PM PDT on Saturday, March 21st at the Blackfriars Theatre.

Not surprisingly, the prolific Ina Centaur is both the founder and artist of Inachi and its Nyotaimori. As with many of Centaur’s projects, Inachi began as a hobby, “Inachi started out as a somewhat offbeat-obsessive project to document and semi-immortalize in virtual-world-3D, some of the sushi I’ve tasted. And then one day a friend showed me a picture of nyotaimori, or female body sushi. It all became clear to me that day-both the name ‘Inachi’ made sense, as well as how I might turn these sushi-Lego things I’ve created into… a feast for your eyes!”

Inachi in its most literal translation to Ina Centaur’s native Mandarin Chinese means “Ina, go eat!” But, since Centaur’s discovery of “female body sushi” last May, the translation, while still retaining its homonym, became 一拿吃 or, literally, “One Take Eat.” Centaur explains its significance, “The translation sounds flip, but I think it’s cool that the translation back to English also affords a theatrical pun. My SL Shakespeare Company project has been something I’ve been trying to raise funds for since its inception in 2007, and basically everything I do in virtual worlds goes to fund it. Also, I think the translation fits how we’ll manage to present nyotaimori as a viable artform in a very material and commercial virtual world: people will simply take (pay) and eat each piece of artful virtual sushi goodness.”

To Centaur, this Nyotaimori event is both art that represents Second Life, and a social experiment, “Art is essentially an interpretive representation of an object, in the general sense; in this case, the object is the virtual world of Second Life, and Nyotaimori is kind of like a satirical symbol of it. Inachi’s Nyotaimori recasts a nude female avatar into both culinary and ethnic art via an artistic arrangement of sushi. The individual pieces of sushi are cast in a state that will soon dissipate, as each piece is taken, just as the artful sims of Second Life are dismantled due to the decree of limited resource budgets. The avatar in this avatar body sushi presentation is famous and has media appeal, just like how Second Life has it. But, the art lives in the manifestation of its sushi, just like how Second Life wouldn’t be anything without its user-created content… The social experiment would be to see if people’d bite.” Despite its novelty and representation, Centaur is uncertain but hopeful about Nyotaimori as a means to fund inworld art, “Most of my fundraising attempts in virtual worlds have failed miserably. I hope this one is different enough to meet its goal!”

On a happier note, when asked to comment on her choice of designating Codebastard Redgrave as her maiden Nyotaimori, Centaur comments, “I think Codie is incredibly sexy, and Second Life might find it interesting to undress the sushi off her-literally!”

Venue: http://Blackfriars.SLshakespeare.com
Promo Poster: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ic-beauties/3362521222/
Event Details: http://secondlife.com/events/event.php?id=2484644&date=1237665600

About Inachi (一拿吃)

Inachi is a fictional restaurant set in the virtual world of Second Life. Ina Centaur, its founder and head chef-artist, serves hand-made virtual sushi with exquisite detail and care in performance art settings. Its main store is located in the underground metros of Skin City, Second Life.

Official: Codie Avastar of the Year 2007 by public vote

I am so honored that you guys chose me as the Avastar of the Year 2007. I was already honored of sitting in that list with some of the most extraordinary newcomers, including people I admire greatly including RightAsRain Rimbeault, Ana Lutetia and Nicholaz Beresford among others. I’m still a bit under the shock that you guys chose me.

Now I’m getting more feedbacks about how that could happen because honestly I couldn’t believe it. Many people sent me emails and letters to tell me they encouraged my candidacy for that title through their mailing-lists, forums, groups, blogs, even Flickr threads. You people just proven me you can be sweet to the core. That just flatters me to an unimaginable level that I could influence your Second Life, be it just a tiny little bit. For me it’s a world of difference. It means that sometime, somewhere, I have tried my best to be good to people around, that all my efforts to contribute to the community in a positive way have been acknowledge. And acknowledged by you people.

I want to thank each and everyone of you. If I could do it personally, I would. I want to thanks the Avastar for nominating me with all those marvelous people. I want to thanks everyone that voted on that poll and that supported me through that stressful but enlightening process. I want to thank all the candidates for being such good sports. I want to congratulate Ana Lutetia as a Second winner and RightAsRain Rimbeault as the Third winner.

This has been my honor and pleasure to serving this amazing community in my first year. I will try to make my second year even better. I ♥♥♥ you all to bits.

Sincerely,

Codie

New Secondlife social network Rezzed.Net

Luc Aubret, the infamous scripter and assault weapons maker, has struck again with which is in my own humble opinion his best idea yet. Rezzed.Net is new social network especially made for Secondlifers. What makes it different from SL Profiles in my own sense, is the actual ability to actually share your blog entries and photos in the main page. It’s also way cleaner than SL Profiles that looks like an evil version of MySpace. Rezzed.Net also have hooks into SL to verify if you are a real or fake users.

Rezzed.Net is very early beta of course, but improvement I could suggest is more space for pictures (only 10 megs allowed) and a URL list manager would be an excellent addition. Also the profile layout looks a bit messy when you insert long ass SLURL strings, maby Luc should replace the URL display as a label. Anyways for the rest, it’s pretty neato.

Rezzed.Net is a public beta. You can register too if you have a SLX account you an buy a 0L invite here, or if your logged in inworld you can get an invite through the Rezzed.Net terminal. You can add me from my Rezzed.Net profile.

Fight the lag!

I read somewhere that lag is like rain, you must accept it as an inherent reality in Second Life. But lag, if unavoidable, can be greatly reduced. Most of the case I examined could be brought down to 3 types of lagging, and 90% of those problems were on the client side. To resume there is 3 types of lagging:

  • Client lag (you are lagging)
  • Netlag (the network between you and SL servers is too slow or congestionned)
  • Simlag (your sim is full of campers, ugly malls and laggy scripts)

Most of the severe cases are netlag and client lag, so I will tackle them first.

Client lag

  • RAM: It’s all about the RAM baby! You have 512 megs? It’s not enough. Second Life often memory leaks and I have seen it eat over 1,5Gigs of RAM! I ugraded to 768 and it was already much better than 512, but far from ideal. Codie recommends 2 Gigs. Why is it so important? At the second you reach your maximum physical memory, SL will start writing to the swap or virtual memory. Virtual RAM is hundreds of times slower than any physical RAM. As soon as it hits the spot, prepare for massive uber-lag. Symptoms are the machine starting to write long bursts of data to the hard disk, everything slowing down to an almost halt, and occasional crashes. This is the #1 cause for heavy lag among SL users.
  • Defrag it: Yes fragmented hard disk will cause some lag for every applications. So do it often. Also be wise and separate your data from your OS with partitions. This will ensure less severe fragmentation.
  • Disk space left: Go below 10% of your total first partition space and watch your machine crawl. Example if you have a 40 Gigs harddrive and there’s 2 Gigs left, good luck. The lower you go, the slower it will crawl.
  • Shitty Videocard: Yes SL works with ATI and some Intel video chipsets. But the performance is less than glamorous. If you plan to buy a machine to play SL, go Nvidia and avoid a lot of troubles.
  • There are other possible causes for client-side lag, I will add up more when I think about it

Netlag

The second most frequent cause for massive lag is network congestion. It affects a lot of Euro SL players, especially those in countries with bad network repartition. But mainly, ignorance of the users about their actual network speed and bandwidth sharing is the leading cause for frustration. Here is a troubleshooting checklist:

  1. Shutdown all heavyweight network suckerage applications, mainly P2P apps like Bittorrent.
  2. Open a web browser and go on http://speakeasy.net
  3. Choose San Francisco, the location of Linden Labs datacenters
  4. Wait for the test results
  5. You will get a download speed in kilobits-per-second (kbps)
  6. If this speed is below 1000kbps (1mbps) your connection can be classified as SLOW and requires special settings
  7. If this speed is above, make sure that SL is configured to use maximum avaliable bandwidth

Once your maximum speed is determined, you need to check if SL is adapted for that speed. Go to Preferences > Network and check for the Maximum Bandwitdh slider. If your connection is SLOW (ex. 500kbps) you need to ajust the slider LOWER than the mentioned speed. If the connection is faster than 1000kbps, make sure it’s cranked to the max. This way you will insure that the avaliable bandwidth doesnt affect your SLclient and create bottlenecks. If your speed settings are higher than your actual speed, this will cause massive lag, because the SL client will request more objects to the servers than it is able to handle.

Simlag

Simlag is dreadful because apart good neighborhood and civic sense, nothing can prevent it. It is caused mainly by overcrowded areas (clubs, campers, or just too much people), laggy scripts (too many listen events, badly written loops, abuse of particle effects, etc…), and other sim packing activities. You will remark the effect in crowded places, casinos, clubs, shopping malls and so on.

The problem is less of one when it’s happening on private sims since it doesn’t affect the average resident. It becomes more of a problem when casinos, high traffic clubs and malls appears on Mainland parcels, since other residents also pays for the right to enjoy their places, and when single small parcel owners for casinos for example, sucks massive resources on the sim but are still in fact small residents. When this is the case one resident can impact on all the simulator and cause massive lag to the other residents.

Since SL simulators are nothing but Apache web servers, the principle is the same of virtual shared hosting. If one customer on your machine runs scripts 24/24 and have 40 people on their website permanently, chances are this will greatly affect your other customers. Personally in my day to day business, I isolate those customers and offer them a dedicated server. Linden Labs does little to control this aspect, let’s say I understand them because it can be a headache to do so, but IMOHO any Mainland resident that sucks so much ressources on a sim to render this sim unusable should pay for it’s own sim, unless of course the resident owns a vast majority of the sim.

Anyways, Mygdala and her friends are on a fight against lag with the Lag Annihilation Group, you can find information and nice posters on her blog.