Latest News

Inappropriate Scollbars, Part II: This Time It's Personal

25 October 2019

Remember those funky scrollbars that would sometimes turn up on the Magic Books? They're back! Sort of. Sometimes.

Scrollbars on shared media in Alex Ivy viewer

After more than a year of pretty-normal behaviour displaying images, recent updates to the Chromium component in Second Life viewers are, once again, displaying scrollbars where they shouldn't be on the covers of Magic Books. The good news is that they are nowhere near as common as they used to be, and sometimes they just appear as a white area with no scrollbar at all.

The bad news is that Linden Lab is essentially shrugging it off. To be fair, they do not engineer the Google Chromium component SL viewers use to display Web content, and Linden Lab has no control when its behaviour changes for the worse in the context of Second Life.

On the other hand, gosh, this sort of "content just breaks randomly" thing really does put one off developing for the platform.

I'll keep an eye on it for a little while longer, but the "solution" will probably require updates to the Magic Books and require an even-more-complex display method for Web content…which, of course, will evoke even-more-complex problems.

In the meantime, if you get an unwanted scrollbar on a Magic Book, your best bet is to load a different book title, then switch back to the one you originally wanted to display. About four times out of five, that'll get you a version without a scrollbar.

Roaming Bot Analysis Update

1 September 2019

I've been keeping the Bot Survey updated monthly with current figures on the automated avatars that cruise around the Second Life grid, but this month I've updated the text and descriptions to better reflect analysis to date. Short version: many (but not all) roaming bots are basically surveying Second Life land; most are likely concerned with ownership and status information, while a few have more-specialised functions. They are certainly not stalking individuals.

There's also a pretty chart. See? Don't I always treat you right?

Bots and Avatars

1 May 2019

Avatar Survey

I've been running my bot Loubottin for a while now, and I've finally gotten a small start on presenting some of the data it gathers. Ever want to know if:

  • Avatars are getting shorter in the last couple years? (not really)
  • What's the ratio of male to female avatars in SL? (About 1:2. Think about that.)
  • Is average active SL avatar getting older? (definitely)
  • Are avatars getting "heavier" to render? (not really)
  • Are avatars using more script memory lately? (yup)

Well, guess what? Now instead of speculating about stuff like that, I have actual data. I'm sure it's not going to stop bloggers from having ridiculous unsubstantiated opinions, though.

Bot Survey

Did you know over 100 automated avatar accounts (bots) teleport around the Second Life grid on a near continuous basis? Well, they do. Now you can learn a bit more about them.

Exit Stage Left

28 February 2019
Happy Birthday

Lou vs. The Bee Gees

1 January 2019

Did you know the Bee Gees dabbled in hippy-dippy flower-child songs in the 1960s just like everyone else? Me either! It's not quite Ah ah ah ah Aquarius!—and, to their credit, the Bee Gees apparently never intended the material to be released—but I still thought it might be fun to play around with it a little bit. Happy New Year!

Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas

15 December 2018

Now we know what happens when I let whisky decide what belongs in a holiday tune.

Blue Christmas