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Google Update: Last Spin for CalendarCogs

A story I didn’t want to write but one that was on a horizon very clear to see: The CalendarCog product line, initiated in 2007, has reached the end of its viability. The calendars and kiosks and HUDs that connected to Google via APIs were incredibly useful and practical gadgets in their day. Last November, Google changed the API protocols and pretty much severed our ability to connect Google with Second Life. You may ask, why not open source it? Codie feels the code is obsolete. Hey, last time we modified it was at least four years ago. A lot of changes have been made to Second Life as well as Google APIs.

We really haven’t sold any Cogs for more than a year. It’s been that long since I’ve done any customer service worth mentioning until one person contacted me last week about being unable to get a Cog board to work. Codie is retiring the product from our store and the SL Marketplace. I get to write the obituary.

I went to look for some of the CalendarCog product praises that SL bloggers have put forth over the years … even those are gone! The party is over, we had a very good run. Thank you to all who used our Cogs, it was a pleasure doing business with you.

Paypabak Writer for Codebastard Redgrave and MechanizedLIFE

SuperBoard Sighted at Roller Derby Venue!


CalendarCogs are still the best way to handle event sharing in Second Life. I know we’ll be seeing more sales of them at other venues in the SLRDA, the new roller derby association that is growing like wildfire. Here’s why:

***********
Group Notice From: cStar Angels of No Mercy, Christiana Xevion

You can thank Payback zaBitch for rezzing an amazing Announcement Board from Mechanized Life on our Arena. If you visit the Arena, you can see at a glance the events on our calendar cycling through on a huge board. You can read the board from the grand stands, it’s so large. You can also view the calendar webpage (the board and Calendar are synched):

https://www.google.com/calendar/render?tab=mc&pli=1

Please visit the Arena to see the amazing new BOARD!
***********

Here’s some of the Angels practicing, with the SuperBoard in the background Go to cStar Angels of No Mercy Arena to see for yourself.

ML Spotlight: Kannonji Retreat Center

submitted by paypabak writer

I was exploring various meditation centers in SL for Moonletters ( “Spiritual Journey in SL” ) and was delighted to find a CogBoard at Kannonji Zen Retreat. And it was filled with events drawn from their Google Calendar. KZR offers a number of interesting experiences in a beautiful, tranquil sim:

  • the Myohoji Temple,
  • a desert experience,
  • canoe tour,
  • hot air ballooh ride,
  • sweat lodge,
  • drumming circle, and
  • live music events.


In addition, you will find a wonderful store with zen-themed clothing, plants, structures, jewelry, and animations. Enjoy!

Stats Collectors Reaching End of Service

Written and posted by Paypabak Writer

With sales of MechanizedLIFE StatsCollectors long deceased and as of this weekend, over, we continue to provide hosting services for those that have been deployed at a cost that long ago exceeded the remuneration received. We had discussed potential updates/upgrades of this excellent product, but the time for doing such has pretty much eluded us. It’s time to make a decision about the future of continuing to support the product and we would like some input from the people still using it.

To recap the salient features of this product: “This device allows you to place a sensor on your Second Life property and subscribe to an RSS feed that lists the people who came in contact with it. In effect, it creates a blog customized for your use. You can put the RSS feed on your Blog, your news reader, etc. The stats collected can give you a better idea of how you business is doing. New functions have been added and include: a link to any visiting avatar’s profile as supplied by SecondLife.com, create an ignore list, you dont have to do the ‘reset’ procedure, saving the notecard will reset the script, and a ‘time on parcel’ feature.” You were able to analyze stats via charts or by downloading up to 30 days’ worth of data in CVG format for use with Excel. (See pic.) With the advent of media on a prim, you could have the stats actually viewable inworld, live.

We want to be fair but we should not be expected to provide costly hosting services indefinitely either. We are open to suggestions on how to proceed. One thing we would consider is selling a license for the StatsCollector that would allow the owner to put the advanced stats application on a server of his or her own choosing. Would people be willing to pay a small hosting fee on a quarterly basis? We are open to other ideas.

Please use this article to post reactions or IM me, Paypabak Writer, about your continued use of StatsCollectors in your SL business.

ML Spotlight: Burning Life Media Center

Thanks to Raven Haalan, who has been spotlighted before, our Super Event Boards are going to be exposed to the visitors of one of Second Life’s largest, most infamous events, Burning Life. The boards are already up, even though the event itself won’t open until this fall. But a lot of activity is going on as the builders and event participants are gathering their resources and imaginations for another wonderful celebration of creativity in SL. They will know what is happening when thanks to our Super Event Boards, and just notice how nicely Raven has modified the boards to blend in the the media center’s motif!

[Update March 25, 2010: Raven sent along this notecard about current events at Burning Life!]

*****
Burners! Discard Winter at the Burning Life Spring Fling!
Friday, March 26 - Sunday March 28

Time to light lamps and drum drums! Time to dance the night and day away on two stages! Time to Burn!

Take the time to carpe three awesome diems packed with stuff to check out…

TWO PERFORMANCE STAGES! One features a schedule of great LIVE PERFORMERS, the other features SL’s HOTTEST DJs. Get your hud on and get moving! You can see the schedules as google calendars online (urls below ) or you can check out the event boards outside each of the stages or in the infocenter. New stage builds by Rails Baily (DJ Stage) and Nyx Breen (Live Stage).

  • http://burning-life.org/calendar-live-stage
  • http://burning-life.org/calendar-dj-stage

PORTA-POTTIES! Need we say more? A huge swath of the Playa has been set aside to display a huge collection of this long running BL tradition. No need to hold your nose, the ventilation is SL’s best.

*****
Some Websites to track:
Burning Life [updated on 3/25/10]
Burning Man

ML Spotlight: ALA Island

kioskAt ALA Island, where ALA=American Library Association, Oberon Octagon has installed a wide variety of MechanizedLIFE gadgets! They are about to host a conference called The Future Is Now: Libraries and Museums in Virtual Worlds, sponsored by LearningTimes. The island was designed by graduate students of the San Jose State University Library Sciences School under Oberon’s direction and launched in January 2008, hosting conferences and events like Banned Books Week and National Library Week. In 2009, he asked ML to be part of a hunt during NLW and Codie went along with it.

“I remember sitting with Alidar Moxie and Robyn … something … in their new store. I bought all the Cog stuff that connects with Google Calendars,” Oberon told me in January this year. “Then the StatsCollectors came out and I bought a six pack of those. We have them placed at various strategic spots on the island to track visitors. What is great about these collectors is they tie to a Website where we can look at charts and graphs interpreting the data for a 30-day period.”

He showed me how he retextured one of Ali’s old CogKiosks with the ALA logo. Pretty cool. Of course, we upgraded the kiosks and discountinued that shape, providing instead, ten different shapes and sizes that can be used. ALA is using those now, along with our Countdown Timer, RSS Screen, and the Super Event Board.

I jokingly suggested that he ought to place an affiliate vendor in their bookstore, and he mentioned that at one point, he had purchased 25 CogHUDs to give out to ALA members who joined the SL group for ALA members. Ali had it all set up but it got too complicated to support when she sold the business to Codie, so they dropped the arrangement and refunded the money.
super event board
I seem to recall that we had a booth at a Virtual Fair put on by the Librarians of Second Life one year and did fairly well. A very sizable number of librarians do volunteer work for their institutions in SL.

Visit inworld: ALA Island

FilterCam HUD Photo Contest - L$15,000 in Prizes!!

You already know that I am a huge fan of the FilterCam HUD by MechanizedLife. I love anything that makes my life easier, and the FilterCam does just that by eliminating the need for post-processing my photos.  Considering my very limited Photoshop skills, this tool is invaluable to me.  This is a photo I took earlier this week and uploaded directly from in-world. I didn’t even have to crop it. All of the effects were provided by FilterCam and Windlight. What could be easier?

Day 18 - Hiding In Plain Sight

Now, we want to see how YOU use the FilterCam HUD, and we’re giving you some incentive. MechanizedLife is holding a FilterCam Photo Competition with support from the makers of the Avimote PoseMaker HUD. The prize packages total more than L$15,000 and everything you need to know to enter is listed below. Just be sure to get your entries in before the end of the month. And please, don’t hesitate to leave a comment here or drop me an IM in-world if you have any questions! Good Luck!

What: FilterCam Photo Contest

When: 6 February through 28 February 2010, Winners announced 1 March 2010

Prizes

1st Prize - L$5000 + Avimote PoseMaker Personal Edition (L$2450 value)

2nd Prize - L$2500 + Avimote PoseMaker Personal Edition (L$2450 value)

3rd Prize - L$1000 + Avimote PoseMaker Personal Edition (L$2450 value)

Prizes will also include: MechanizedLife gear and Tillie’s Posestands

Rules

  • All entries must originate in Second Life and must be created using the FilterCam HUD by MechanizedLife
  • Entries must be submitted to the FilterCam Flickr Group
  • Entries must include the tag “FILTERCAM CONTEST”
  • Post-processing is permitted, but should be used sparingly as the idea behind the FilterCam HUD is to create beautiful in-world snapshots that do not require extensive post work.
  • A descripton of the filter/mask used and any post-processing applied should be included in the photo description.
  • You may use any of the filters/masks included with the FilterCam HUD or you may create and use filters/masks of your own design.
  • You may submit up to 3 entries.
  • Entries can be submitted through 12:00am SLT on Sunday, 28 February 2010, at which time judging will begin.  Late entries will not be considered.
  • Winners will be announced on Monday, 1 March 2010 at 5pm SLT and prizes will be distributed at that time.

Judges

The following individuals have agreed to participate as judges for this competition.

  • CodeBastard Redgrave - Owner, MechanizedLife and Creator of the FilterCam HUD
  • Gabby Panacek - PR Manager, MechanizedLife
  • Ryker Beck - Second Life artist and designer, creator of many of the filters/masks included with the FilterCam HUD
  • Stephen Venkman - Second Life Artist and Photographer
  • Tillie Ariantho - Second Life Photographer and Creator of Tillie’s Posing Stand with HUD
  • Jori Watler - Second Life Photographer and Jewelry Designer

About FilterCam HUD

FilterCam is a fantastic visual effects HUD system which makes it effortless to add a variety of high quality special effects to your pictures or when filming machinima. Over 80 high quality masks and filters are provided, including a picture frame and keyhole, as well as blood, cinema, circle, clear, grunge, iphone, nightvision, oval, postcard, scanlines, square, tryptic, and wanted.

FilterCam Tutorial:  Creating Masks & Adding Custom Filters to the HUD

Ryker’s Tutorial for making your own filters

About Avimote PoseMaker

The Avimote PoseMaker HUD allows Second Life residents to pose their avatars in any position they like, right where they are, without the need for external tools. It can be used to override part of an existing pose, such as when a hand is stuck in a skirt, or to create complete new poses.

Bloggers Love FilterCam

Happy New Year!

We just wanted to take a few moments and share with you a couple of great reviews/tutorials that were blogged recently by Alicia Chenaux and SarahTheRed Aurbierre.

Follow the links to read these two fantastic posts:

From Ch’Know Style: FilterCam 2.0 is Ready!!

And from What? Another Fashion Blog?: Feature/Tutorial: MechanizedLife FilterCam

Thanks so much to Ali and Sarah for their support of FilterCam!

UPDATE:  And here’s another good one from Shyayn Lusch’s The Digital Doll: CodeBastard Redgrave is Such a  B!tch Thanks, Shy!

ML Spotlight: Raven Haalan

Raven Haalan uses our Calendar Cogs and therefore is the focus of this Spotlight. However, Raven is worth the spotlight for a number of other great reasons: he’s a great scripter in his own right, with the RavenScript product line (the store mentioned in this blog is closed, sad to say). He’s involved with the communications team for Burning Life in SL, which is the mega event of Second Life, entering its seventh year of infamy. He also participates in Step Up!, a special event day for creating awareness about content theft in SL. Raven is also a delightful resident of SL in any of his three forms: Jaime Kenin and Binary Rascon being his other avatars. Time spent with any of these people is well spent as my sister Pay can attest, and for whom I am indebted for all her notes and pix taken in service to this article. Of course, I wonder sometimes where he gets time for operating three avis and all the things he does when he also is a regular contributor to Prim Perfect!

SLers Ottawa Group clubhouse in the sky.

SLers Ottawa Group clubhouse in the sky.

Raven has probably done the best job of ’splaining how Calendar Cogs work outside of this blog, of course (although the new upgrade now does away with the server components he describes). He is using the Superboard to handle events for his latest SL project, the “SLers of Ottawa, Canada” group, where he has created a clubhouse for fellow Canadians to meet and plot virtual domination of SL. (Doesn’t everyone belong to a group like that?) Sister Pay was there while Raven built the skybox for this group and came away impressed with the speed at which he worked.

Raven added a red bow for the holidays to the SuperBoard announcing SLers of Ottawa, Canada, events.

Raven added a red bow for the holidays to the SuperBoard announcing SLers of Ottawa, Canada, events.

Thanks, Raven, for your continued support of MechanizedLIFE products!

ML Spotlight: Crap Cogs

Hi, I’m Paypabak Writer and I will be highlighting the people and places using MechanizedLIFE products on what I hope to be a weekly or at least three-times-a-month basis. The first person I thought of (and whom Codie also suggested) was Crap Mariner! Crap wrote about Calendar Cogs back in September 2008 and has been a great advocate of our products for even longer! Up until the most recent release of Cog Kiosks in a set of ten different types of prim displays, Crap had a habit of stripping the script out of the old kiosks and inserting them in shapes she thought best expressed her whimsical place in the SLuniverse. But the new configuration includes an invisible prim version that now suits her best. She’s placed them in bells, bridge signs, and large clocks among other things, displaying the events that occur on various sims in her community.

Here

As she told me during our tour: “Things have quieted down a bit around here since the heyday of the Clocktower, but there’s a few events a week at the Yak, Louis’ weekly improvs [reference to the Louis Volare Peace Center], storytelling on the beach, and so on. So if folks are wandering around or coming in, they can see at a glance that things do happen [and when]. And since everybody in the neighborhood has access to the Google calendar, they … use the same core calendar, and I deploy the kiosks for them if they want them. Cogs allow for people to cross-promote, etc. without being annoying during event and shouting or wasting group slots.”

They suck at math, which explains why they call themselves Five Islands when there are really ten sims involved. Craps describes their community as “half free-range loony-bin, half bunker from the real world.” Crap really appreciates how the Cog Kiosks are such a low-prim investment for alerting visitors to the events of Edloe Island, Nowhereville, and Blakslee World, relieving the community of building signs for events. For evil kicks, Crap readily admits placing sit-ball pillows under the main landing points in her sim: “yes, i intentionally put these pillows here so if people rest here, folks teleporting in land on them. I’m a total shit ;)” So underneath that lovely metal exterior is a rusty metal interior! Thanks, Crap for taking the time to show me around your wonderful sims and for using our products. Some of the best live music performers play Crap’s venue, so keep an eye out of those kiosks!!

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