Saturday, October 31, 2015

Masterwork Machinima: Happy Halloween! Make Sure to See this Cool Video from Celestial Elf "Danse Macabre"



It is Halloween Eve, and trick-or-treaters in the United States and Canada, and in other places in the world, are knocking on doors in search of goodies and candies in their Halloween finery. Ghosts and Spirits are also on the prowl tonight-- it is spooky outside!  What better way to celebrate than to watch and listen to this wonderful machinima, Danse Macabre, by master artist Celestial Elf which features an animated violinist skeleton conjuring up his fellow spirits in Second Life.

The machinima is set to famous french Composer Camille Saint-Saƫn's work by the same name, which was written in 1874 and his since become one of the most famous musical pieces associated with the holiday.




From Celestial Elf:

"This music amazes me at how scary it is, yet at the same time has an exhilarating joyfulness about it. I was looking through the videos to find an animated version of this music but nothing quite hit the spot for me, most being too gruesome or horrific and so - suddenly inspired, I sat up half the night filming this version. This is my treat to you all for a Happy Halloween"


Continued over at Celestial Elf's blog, The Dance of Life:
http://celestialelfdanceoflife.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/danse-macabre.html





This machinima is the first by Celestial Elf since May 2015's  Homage to Tibetan Buddhism, Milarepa The Yogi.  You can catch Celestial Elf's other machinima on his You Tube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CelestialElf/videos


You can catch my other Masterwork Machinima picks including other works by Celestial Elf  here. Make sure to scroll down:
http://www.eddihaskell.com/search/label/Masterwork%20Machinima


You can find great Second Life destinations for Halloween 2015 here:
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destination-for.html



Friday, October 30, 2015

Great Second Life Destination for Halloween Wrap-Up: 12 Frightful Destinations To Visit

The Asylum (October 13)


Halloween in Second Life is one of the most celebrated events of the year. A great many sim designers have gone through considerable time and expense to showcase what is both magical and horrible.

You can see my full Halloween 2015 destination reviews and more photography, including landmarks for each destination, by linking on the destination name under each photograph.

Happy Hauntings!

Carver's End (October 29)



Havenhallow 3 (October 29)


























For a listing of more haunted destinations to visit in Second Life (current for October 2015):
http://secondlife.com/destinations/haunted

To see a current listing of great places to visit in Second Life:
http://www.scoop.it/t/second-life-destinations

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations for Halloween Week: Carver's End and Havenhollow 3

Carver's End

We wrap-up  our coverage of  great destinations to visit for Halloween Week with two realistic North American towns that are decked out in their autumnal season finery, Carver's End and Havenhallow 3. Both destinations were quite busy on Tuesday Night,- with over 30 grid residents either trick-or-treating for prizes at Havenhollow, or participating in a hunt at Carver's End. Realistic construction and beautiful late autumn landscaping make both of the destinations great for photography.


Carver's End

Carver's End,  Pulse Games' 8th annual survival horror adventure, awards prizes from 21 designers on a hunt. Hud's for game participation are available at the arrival location given below. The Carver's End adventure includes teleporting to hidden locations by simply walking through passageways, or clicking doors which serve as destination links. I liked several automated  touches -  including a bloody automated car wash and haunted television with struggling hands that I show in photographs here.


Your taxi to Carver's End:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Snatch%20City/43/38/29/


Carver's End

To see more blog coverage of and excellent photography from Carver's End:

Pulse Games:
http://pulsegamessl.blogspot.com/

Bitacora:
http://bitacora-viajera.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/carvers-end.html

Inara Pey's Living in a Modem World:
http://modemworld.me/2015/10/27/trick-or-treating-in-second-life/


Carver's End

For a listing of more haunted destinations to visit in Second Life (current for October 2015):
http://secondlife.com/destinations/haunted

To see a current listing of great places to visit in Second Life:
http://www.scoop.it/t/second-life-destinations


________________________________________________

Havenhollow 3

Havenhollow III is an interactive neighborhood featuring a door-to-door trick-or-treating experience. in which prizes are awarded at many locations.  I liked the 1960's suburban feel to Havenhollow -- with split level and ranch-style homes decorated with lit jack-o'-lanterns, and big gas-guzzling cars shown off in driveways.  I also liked the variety of wholesome  neighbors waiting to hand out trick-or-treats behind front doors that will open for polite guests.


Havenhollow 3

This is a very social destination -- observing Second Life residents in very well done costumes  are all part of the fun. I toured the destination as an evil clown avatar with a bloody axe offering people free shaves -- I had no takers unfortunately.


Your taxi to Havenhollow III:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA22/127/129/21


Havenhollow 3


To see more blog coverage of and excellent photography from Havenhollow 3:

Loverdag:
http://loverdag.com/2015/10/13/havenhollow3/

Bitacora:
http://bitacora-viajera.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/havenhollow-iii.html

SL Newser:
http://slnewserplaces.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/havenhollow-iii.html


Havenhollow 3


See my other Halloween 2015 destination reviews here:

Bridge of Thighs (October 28):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_28.html

2015 Halloween Town (October 27)
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_27.html

Disturbia (October 25):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_25.html

Ironwood Hills (October 23):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for.html

The Depressing and Evil Haunted Asylum (October 13):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_13.html

Octoberville at LEA 9: (October 10):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_10.html

Peatonville Bay --  Gateway To Madpea's Asylum Game and Hunt  (October 8):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations_8.html

Watercolors in the Rain, The SL Experience:  (September 23):

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Great Second Life Destinations for Halloween: New Babbage's Grotesque Bridge of Thighs



The Bridge of Thighs in Second Life's Steampunk Capital, the multi-region City of New Babbage, is as grotesque at its name suggests-- a bridge made of giant human thigh and skull bones which spans a polluted industrial canal. I like the name play off Venice's famous Bridge of Sighs -- a passageway which earned its name by giving convicts their last view of beautiful Venice before their imprisonment.




The Bridge of Thighs leads to a horrific prison -- which is full of bizarre creatures and ghouls undergoing horrific tortures. Everything is animated -- including eyes which offer a glimpse into their hellish souls. The visitor is both repulsed by and sympathetic to  these pathetic creatures. Strange sounds and gaseous lights complement the Steampunk era - late 1800's  timeframe in which New Babbage exists.  This is one of the creepiest and most atmospheric Halloween destination on the grid. I highly recommend a visit.

SLurl:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/New%20Babbage/239/3/106




For a listing of more haunted destinations to visit in Second Life (current for October 2015):
http://secondlife.com/destinations/haunted

To see a current listing of great places to visit in Second Life:
http://www.scoop.it/t/second-life-destinations




Link to the New Babbage Web Site:
http://cityofnewbabbage.com/reader/

If you would like your own Bridge of Thighs I found one on sale on SL Marketplace for $444L here:
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Grim-Bros-Villain-Supply-presents-the-bridge-of-thighs-bone-bridge-BOXED/1953511




You can see more of my photography from New Babbage showing winter scenes in January 2015:
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/01/great-second-life-destinations-winter_29.html

To find our more about New Babbage and the concept of Steampunk, check out this machimina I did a while ago explaining the Steampunk concept and inspiration for the builds in Second Life:
http://youtu.be/-WEKOc5Y5_8




See more of my Halloween 2015 destination coverage write ups and photography:

2015 Halloween Town (October 27)
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_27.html

Disturbia (October 25):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_25.html

Ironwood Hills (October 23):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for.html

The Depressing and Evil Haunted Asylum (October 13):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_13.html




Halloween 2015 destination coverage continued:

Octoberville at LEA 9: (October 10):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_10.html

Peatonville Bay --  Gateway To Madpea's Asylum Game and Hunt  (October 8):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations_8.html

Watercolors in the Rain, The SL Experience:  (September 23):








Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Eddis Hot Computing Tip: Attention Windows 10 Users. The Current Version of Qucktime Will Not Allow You To See Videos in Second Life. Here is a Work-Around



Attention Windows 10 Users:

The current version of Apple Quicktime - 7.7.8 - does not work with Windows 10 without difficult workarounds. 

You need Quicktime to see web-based media, such as You Tube videos, in Second Life.

You may have updated your version of Quicktime with a background program and not have realized it.

You have two options to fix this:

1. You can try doing one of the workarounds, but it involves downloaded an installer from a source that I am not comfortable with and cannot recommend, or programming your registry, which can lead to major issues. One of the workarounds is here:

https://tommynation.com/install-quicktime-windows-10/

2. (Recommended).

1. Check to see if your Quicktime is actually version 7.7.8

I did this by running this link in Chrome but it should work in any browser

file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/QuickTime/QuickTime%20Read%20Me.htm

2. Uninstall it.   I like to do a deep uninstall using Revo Uninstaller to make sure that I remove my registry values.  I use the free version.

3. Install Quicktime version 7.7.6 for Windows
Filehippo has a clean download here:

http://filehippo.com/download_quicktime_player/59640/

4. Important!

Make sure to go to Compatibility Mode (in Properties) by right-clicking on your icon and select Windows 7. Quicktime on Windows 10 will not work in any other mode.



Back in August, I said that Windows 10 was causing me headaches, and that I see no reason why any Windows 7 user would want to upgrade without a three month wait.  I now think that Windows 10 needs a longer break-in period, and that Windows 7 users should continue to wait -- if they want to bother to upgrade at all. Windows 7 is being supported until 2020 (according to reports this summer) and is not being retired anytime soon. If you are using Windows 7, this is just another headache you will avoid by keeping it.



Great Second Life Destinations for Halloween Week: 2015 Halloween Town



I like Halloween Town because it is so well designed. The build features a fantastic set of cartoon-like retail buildings set under a bright orange and blue skydome. There is Haunted House with classic horror movie sets you can photograph your avatar in, including The Exorcist, The Shining, and the Blair Witch Project -- images which I show below. Halloween Town is now in its 7th year -- I highly recommend you visit whether or not you wish to participate in the trick-or-treat hunt, or take advantage of some good photographic opportunities.

Your Taxi:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Townies/113/102/98




See more blog coverage and photography from Halloween Town here:

Miss Lane's Blog:
http://misslaneblog.com/2015/10/11/2015-halloween-town/

Bitacora:
http://bitacora-viajera.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/halloween-town-2015.html




For a listing of more haunted destinations to visit in Second Life (current for October 2015):
http://secondlife.com/destinations/haunted

To see a current listing of great places to visit in Second Life updated daily:
http://www.scoop.it/t/second-life-destinations




See more of my Halloween 2015 destination coverage:

Disturbia (October 25):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_25.html

Ironwood Hills (October 23):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for.html

The Depressing and Evil Haunted Asylum (October 13):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_13.html


The Evil Clown Above  is Eddi Haskell's Halloween Avatar

Halloween 2015 destination coverage continued:

Octoberville at LEA 9: (October 10):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations-for_10.html

Peatonville Bay --  Gateway To Madpea's Asylum Game and Hunt  (October 8):
http://www.eddihaskell.com/2015/10/great-second-life-destinations_8.html

Watercolors in the Rain, The SL Experience:  (September 23):


Scene from The Shining


Scene from the Blair Witch Project


Scene from The Exorcist




Monday, October 26, 2015

Slow Internet Service? How to Find Out if Your ISP Is Shaping Your Service and Ripping You Off You In The Process



I have had this enormous problem with Internet speed for the past 10 days. Comcast is my ISP. My average Internet speed is OK during the day -- even though I pay for a minimum of 30 Mbps, it has been averaging about 15 Mbps -- not lightening fast, but OK for much of what I have to do.  This test was made via speedtest.net-- other speed test web sites are showing the same thing.


My Average Comcast Speed from 9:00 AM -  6:00 PM

 At night, beginning at 6:00 PM, my internet speed falls to terrible dial-up levels. There is not much that I can do at night now -- other than get on some basic web sites. It clearly is unacceptable. I cannot easily post on my blog at these numbers.


My Average Comcast Speed From 6:00 PM - 9:00 AM


Now, before I continue, I must tell you that my homeowners association has dropped Comcast and has signed up with AT&T for our cable television service.  We will be switching over to AT & T for our internet service on November 2 since the package deal for adding internet service is so inexpensive. I am pretty sure Comcast realizes this, since everyone in the community of about 400 homes will be switching over by the end of November - the cut-off date.




I have called up Comcast customer service just about every night complaining about my slow internet speed. After being put on hold for many hours over several nights, and being told by Comcast that the problem should be solved by resetting my modem - which did not work after 20 tries -- and insisting that my internet speed should be what I have paid for at all times -- the highest level available here -- they sent a repair guy out on Saturday. Even though we only have service with Comcast for another week, I want to get what I paid for. The service guy spent two hours repairing cables and told me that the problem was fixed.



Well guess what!   It was not.  I am back to slow speeds.

I did some more research, and found out that cable giant Comcast has problems with reports of slow internet service at night all over the USA. This web site in fact -- where I took this map from - is run independently of Comcast -- shows problems from across the United States reported in real time,  It is not a pretty sight!



I did more research and found the culprit -- Traffic Shaping. Comcast - and any ISP for that matter -  can throttle any connection to very slow speeds, for one home or for an entire community, by specifically slowing connections through certain ports on certain protocols. In plain English, if Comcast wants to slow your service, they can, and do this quite often -- without telling their customers beforehand.




Now, I found a way of testing this "traffic shaping at this web site -running a "Glasnost" test for HTTP,  (Hypertext Transfer Protocol, one of the core standards of the World-Wide Web) and came up with these results at night during my slowest web connection time:

http://broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparency/glasnost.php?

Here is my result:

Your ISP appears to rate limit your HTTP downloads. In our tests, downloads using control flows achieved up to 82 Kbps while downloads using HTTP achieved up to 33 Kbps.

So there it is, Comcast has been slowing my service for 15 hours a day without telling me beforehand. I am still paying the same amount of money for high levels of service. This is opposite of what Comcast's Customer Service has been telling me.

Now, I only have to put up for this for another week. But Comcast has some nerve treating their long-term customers this way.  I am glad I am leaving.




My New Blog Eddi Predicts The 2016 Elections Just Crossed 1000 Page Views



My new blog -- Eddi Predicts the 2016 Elections -- now has over 1,000 unique page views according to Google.  Visitors to the blog are counted only once in a 30 minute period, even if they read 20 articles.

I love politics, and this blog is all about the 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections set for Tuesday, November 8 2016.

My first post, forecasting a narrow Republican victory in the 2016 United States Senate Election, was published on October 2, 2015. I published 21 posts so far this month, about one a day. My latest post predicts a much more aggressive tone from Vermont's Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders as he tries to make headway against Hillary Clinton's 22 point lead in the polls.

You can catch Eddi Predicts the 2016 Elections here:

www.eddipredicts.blogspot.com