Monday, November 28, 2011

Occupy LA, OccupyFairey

UPDATE 9-5-2012

The headline says it all:

Feds Seek Prison Time For Obama "Hope" Artist

 Shepard Fairey, who is variously known to this blog as "Schlep" & "The Appropriator" for his lifting designs and materials & giving no credit to the original inspirations, is in U.S. District Court in Manhattan for stealing the iconic "Hope" image from an Associated Press cameraman. Fairey has admitted destroying electronic records and creating fake documents in an effort to thwart the copyright lawsuit.

You really should read the article; with Apple suing Samsung over nebulous "design" patent/trademarks, it is simply bullshit, as my friend Vaneeesa would say, that Fairey can get away with this behavior all the time and not be called on it because he is some "art set darling;" at least he'd like to think so.

In Mr Copy Machine's defense he offers heart-wrenching boohoos and "think of the children" excuses; the ghost of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne is invoked to express his deep shame at having to wear a hypothetical Scarlet Letter, at which I chortle "bullshit" enthusiastically because this is certainly not "the worst mistake of his life" but his entire oeuvre.

Really, read the article for some hilarious laughitude and the stunningly-artistic mug shot which just screams "make me your jail wife, please!" 

You may read on for a technical explanation of why Mr Fairey deserves hard time. Really hard time \o/

My favorite tweet exchange of today, watching #OccupyLA livestream and Twitter:

... and in case you didn't get that url:

Vandalized Vandalism: A Healthy Cultural Conversation

Obey Plagiarist Shepard Fairey
A critique by artist Mark Vallen

Milton Glaser on Shepard Fairey


* * * * * * * * * * * * *



* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wizzy Makes A Klein Bottle video

Wizzy Makes A Klein Bottle

My friend Wizard Gynoid demonstrates the beauty of mathematics and topology by constructing a Klein Bottle in the virtual reality of Second Life.

The full rezzing from the initial trigger took 2+ hours, and the coloring of the panels took additional time. It's really something, as you can see on the video.

Here's some of the maths about this project:

[20:03] Wizzy Gynoid: nEdge = ( 6 * nVertex) / 2
[20:03] Wizzy Gynoid: nFace = ( 6 * nVertex ) / 3

1200 points
2400 faces
3600 edges

7200 prims total

I am told by Wizzy that SL resident Desdemona Enfield was of assistance in the math/scripting department.

If you want to know more about Klein Bottles you could read this:

Imagining maths: Inside the Klein Bottle

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The first piece of music used in the video is an arrangement of my musical/interactive piece Alchemical Table in Second Life; this composition is now titled Points of Order.

The second piece of music is Slow Light 1 (Ambient) and is by Moby, used with permission for non-commercial use in this video through the generosity of Moby, a most excellent person.

Immediately flagged by You Tube, I am now in the dispute process; good thing I have a license from Moby ^_^

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Busy, busy

As you can see, I've done several videos in the past 2 weeks; in case you missed them, here they are on You Tube:

Subject of Study: A video displaying the Virtual Art Gallery made for me by my students as part of the Cal State University at Long Beach Art Department's Art 110- Introduction to the Visual Arts program, Fall 2011 semester.

Three-Ring Circus (Director's Cut): The Circus of O! comes to town.

Storming Heaven: An immersive philosophical build in the Inworldz virtual reality grid.

Still learning how to maneuver my joystick; lighting is next, so go easy on me please :D

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Subject of Study - Art110

Subject Of Study
Cal State U at Long Beach's Art110 class

Flickr photo set

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've been working with the Cal State University at Long Beach Department of Art's Art110 - Introduction to the Visual Arts Virtual Art Gallery program since last year. I've seen a lot of the gallery builds; some of them wonderful craftsmanship, but I have not seen anything like my students presented yesterday for their class; the gallery they created for my work.

This year's team has produced a stellar piece of artwork. Not a mere gallery for displaying pieces of my creative output and beyond a build, these three students have crossed many bridges and created a work that is not only structural but meaningful.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Two weeks ago this team was faced with a disaster known to all of us; the loss of their entire work output. The preliminary structures produced from their sketches and ideas were good (for noobs) although they were running into the realities of digital (or any) art: costs (in prims), time limitations and struggling with bringing their vision to obstinate materials. Because they are creating separately and because they do not have full-perm copies of my works, everything was lost, torn apart in the Return.

In less than two weeks, their building skills jumped to a point where some people in SL much longer than them wouldn't be ashamed of this build. Their vision also took a leap, integrating their first sketches and physical ideas into a comprehensive whole, a look into my life and the meaning of my work.

This is far and away not only the best gallery I have seen from these students in two years, but a real work of art, with meaning incorporated into the structure and layout of the gallery. It's a very deep understanding of my psychic roots, personal motivations and creative processes.

I am incredibly impressed, and also flattered and honored to have been a catalyst for such work. This is great stuff in any art world. To have students, new to SL and to virtual reality, produce such a work in less than two weeks is amazing.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I do not know if the gallery is in a permanent location (they shift them around while in Presentation mode) so I can't include a SLurl in this post. If you see me inworld, IM me and I'll check if the gallery's still there. It might be (probably, because this is a showcase build) be set up later for ongoing exhibition, as some galleries were last year (mine among them). If so I'll publish that SLurl when it comes.

I have requested a copy of this artwork/gallery because I believe it to be a great piece of work. If so, maybe I'll be able to host it myself sometime. In the meantime I've made a small video for the girls, to express my gratitude, honor and joy at having worked with them and for other people to enjoy their work; they deserve it.

Elayne, Robin, Leticia: thank you so much for the opportunity to interact with you, talk about art and explore the creativity in virtual worlds. You made art for me; you should be very proud of your work.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Monday, November 21, 2011

Casually Pepper-Spray Everything Cop

Sgt. Pepper-Spray's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop is a photoshop meme based off of a photo of a cop - Lt. John Pike - pepper-spraying students from the UC Davis on Nov. 17th and now rampant on the nets, just casually peppering spraying his way through art and American history; connected to the Occupy protests. Here's a few more.

Clink the link to see the Know Your Meme page.

Joy Garnett's Flickr Collection

Pepper-spray cop works his way through art history [WAPO]

New Meme Alert: OWS’s ‘Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop’ [Mashable]

'Casually Pepper Spraying Cop' Meme Takes Off [NPR]

UC Davis Pepper Spray Cop Is Now a Meme [Gawker]

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Friday, November 18, 2011

Video: Three-Ring Circus

updated: The Director's Cut

All this began well before the last few weeks: last February Wizzy and I were poking around the LEA sims, which had been announced to great fanfare by M and then kinda... were pending... for awhile. So we wondered what was up with them, and having some idle time on our hands we took a map TP there.

We found the beginnings of what became Avatar Games, and since rez was on we left Bryn some of her dahls and took some photos - it was kind of a love-tease to Bryn Oh and Rose Borchovski. Honestly, it was a goofy homage or whatever. In the same vein I did this photo. I mean, they're dolls. You play with them.

It could have just as well been Rose's Susas if they were dolls. I can't begin to remember how many times I saw the "Phillip Linden Noob" dressed up and places in crazy places.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

After all, we didn't make the dahls; they were given freely by Bryn and Wizzy and I are just wacky. Since the dahls are high-prim (68 prims each) the LEA sandbox is about the only practical place to make such a thing, and that's what we thought the LEA sandbox was for, so we used it.

Read any darker meaning into this you want; the circus is just a weird play dollhouse. We played with the dahls before and had fun; like playing Barbies (especially because we can make all the props and outfits, not have to buy them).

You can read Crap Mariner's blog and see some great photos he took on Flickr.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've posted another small video of the build "Storming Heaven" done for Betty Tureaud's 'Tower of Babel' in Inworldz.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Inworldz Dreamz & Visionz Art Festival opens today

Alizarin Goldflake, soror Nishi and I ride
La Toymaker's magical coach and horses;

we haz sparkle ponies!

Some of the most spectacular builds you've seen in any world are on display at the Inworldz Dreamz and Visionz Art Festival, opening today at 1:00pmSLT/IWT/PST.

Sponsored by Inworldz Founder Elenia Lewellyn and organized by arts patron Jeri Rahja & Quadrapop Tree, the Festival runs from Nov. 12 to Nov. 22 and features many amazing artists from both Second Life and Inworldz. Some photos from Bradd Laval and from Jeri should wet your appetite for this extravaganza.

From November 12 to November 22nd, the public and judges will be viewing the works created, while enjoying some of the best performers available at the stage on Sim A. Builds not possible in Second Life and a layout that reminds me of the London Expositions make this an event not to be missed.

The Map Links below will take you to a pavilion (designed by Alizarin Goldflake) in the center of each of 4 sims hosting this event. From there, a teleport board will take you each artist's dream & vision.

IWZurl: Sim A
La Toymaker
Richard Muni
Scotsgraymouser Janus
Snoots Dwagon
soror Nishi
Juanida Deharo
rigg torok
Alix Walpole
Nico Bascom

IWZurl: Sim B
Bradd Laval & Leanna Caerndow
Julia Hawthor
Katharina Svarovski
Maximillian Svarovski
Dannon Robbiani
Teal Freenote
Miso Susanowa

IWZurl: Sim C
Nicci Winsmore,
Praline Barjowski
Tigger Genira
Alizarin Goldflake
Betty Tureaud
RAG Randt
Mira Karu
Neeks Karu
Nickola Martinov & Micheil Merlin

IWZurl: Sim D
Strand Starsider
Ub Yifu
Scarp Godenot
Xzavia Yifu & Zauber Paracelsus
Wizard Gynoid
Noa Sawson
Macaria Wind & ML Smith
Ole Huss
Cat Cotton

List of Performers:

November 12th - Opening Day
12 Noon DJ Vickie Day
1 pm Declan Greenfield
2 pm Rafella Docherty
9 pm Ichie Kamachi

November 13th
12 Noon Torben Asp
1 pm Prowess Rayna

November 14th
12 Noon CECI Dover
1 pm DJ Vickie Day

November 15th
12 Noon DJTommy Seetan
1 pm DJ Julianna Michigan
2 pm Dirk Quarmac

November 16th
12 Noon Chandra Deed
1 pm DJ Vickie Day
2 pm Josie Anderton
8 pm DJ Starhawk Courtois
9 pm Oshi Shikigami (Poetry)

November 17th
2 pm DJ Thumper Love
8 pm DJ Winter Solstice
9 pm DJ Boo Zipper

November 18th
1 pm DJ Astoria Luminos
8 pm DJ Boo Zipper
9 pm DJ Winter Solstice

November 19th
12 Noon Torten Asp
1 pm Eliz Watanabe
2 pm Slow Motion Circus
8 pm Quantamis Navarathna
9 pm Prowess Rayna

November 20th
12 Noon Melodee McDonnell
1 pm BGSinger Buble (Hermit)
2 pm MrMikie String
8 pm Ganjo Mokeev
9 pm Oshi Shikigami (Poetry)

November 21st
12 Noon Josie Anderton
2 pm DJ Boo Zipper
8 pm DJAyameko Kibala

Closing Day - November 22nd
1 pm Marky Helstein
8 pm CelticMaidenWarrior

You can check here for an updated Performer's List, which is still being added to at this time.

Festival Judges McCabe Maxsted, Jayjay Zifanwe and Velazquez Bonnetto will all be making their rounds to decide on the two best items on each sim between today and Nov. 22. This is a huge event, with many virtual artists showing what is possible in Inworldz, and not to be missed (and not because I have work there either!)

The official Inworldz Dreamz & Visionz blog

Festival Team:

Building – Alizarin Goldflake

Graphics – Miso Susanowa

PR/Media – Nazz Lane / Briawinde Magic

Scripting – Zauber Paracelsus

Events/stage manager – Sunbeam Magic

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Implacable Iron Fist of Google

Yesterday, after a nice walk in the autumn woods, I came home and found several emails and Twitter notices from friends that my blogs were gone. I checked the addresses and this is what I received:

"This blog is no longer accessible. The name is unavailable for new accounts."


After following the breadcrumb trail left for me by Blogger, I got to a page that informed me:

"There has been suspicious activity related to this account. To confirm you are the account holder, Google must send you either a text message or a voice message with a code you must enter..."

After I entered a phone number and got the Confirm Code, my blogs were immediately accessible again.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Google pretends to be helpful

For the past two weeks, every time I logged in to post on my blogs I've had an interrupt page from Google, stating that "for my convenience should I lose my passwords" it would be handy to have a phone number to use as another confirmation. There's also been a link in that page that said "skip this step" so of course I did; my password is very strong, nonverbal and would be pretty hard to break unless under a sustained and targeted attack. No robo-sniffer or password dictionary cracker is going to get it.

With Google suggesting it would be a good idea and also offering me a link to skip this step, it's implied that this is not a required condition of using Google products (in this case my blogs on Blogger, unfortunately snapped up by Google recently).

The real deal

This morning's research session was dedicated to what Google calls "Two-step Verification Process" which was launched in mid-February and is just getting around to all your Google accounts.

"Over the next few days you should see a link on your Google Account Settings page that allows you to enabled 2-step verification. This new feature adds an extra layer of security to your Google account by requiring a special passcode in addition to your normal password."

Google Adds 2-Factor Security to Gmail, Apps [Krebs]

Here's a big blah-blah page from Google about "two-step verification"

"2-step verification helps protect a user’s account from unauthorized access should someone manage to obtain their password. Even if a password is cracked, guessed, or otherwise stolen, an attacker can’t sign in without access to the user’s verification codes, which only the user can obtain via their own mobile phone. Requirements: a mobile phone that can receive the verification code via text message or phone call, or an Android, BlackBerry, or iPhone. These devices use the Google Authenticator mobile app to generate the verification code. "

"You enable 2-step verification for your domain in your Google Apps control panel. The user enrolls in 2-step verification... Note: You can’t force your users to use 2-step verification, they must opt-in themselves."

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Real security

I've talked before about secure passwords: 16-character non-word, alphanumeric+special characters passwords kept on a single password-protected file on your computer/usb key and using copy/paste for logins, or using something like Passkey to hold your passwords.

I've also spoken about the "security measure" of "secret questions" - giving an associated (in your mind) answer to such questions as "What was your childhood pet's name?" in light of social networking and the fact that once something is posted to the net, it's out there forever (using tools like the Wayback Machine). So I recommend choosing your question (if this alternative is offered) or using an answer that is completely unrelated to the questions but associated in your mind with the question:

Q. What was your childhood pet's name? A. Squanomish
Q. Where were you born? A. inmymotherswomb
Q. What was your favorite sport? A. escapingbullies

Combine those with the ASCII and spelling variants: Squ@nomiish, inmeyem0therzw0mb, ezkapeingbullieyes and you have a second layer of security, not easily guessed.

And the final simple rule: never use the same password for more than one service.

So the password:
6D9F1$%&3[invisible space/ascii character Alt + 255]15~>#b+

is going to be pretty hard to crack by an automated dictionary-cracker. Combined with the type of answer to the above typical "security questions" and the best-practice of never using the same password for more than one service, your account is going to be much more secure than someone using the password "Fluffy" for all their accounts.

The fact is that, like a house, you can never be completely secure, but you can make it very difficult for a burglar to break in. Given that option most burglars, especially the random, doorknob-turning kind, will go elsewhere to much easier targets. Like a house, if you are the specific target of a dedicated cracker, nothing is going to stop them, but such cases are a lot rarer than you think. I mean, unless you're a multi-billion-dollar CEO, an attorney in a messy divorce case or a bank, who is going to specifically target you?

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Google Two-Step

It's obvious by now that all this blah-blah about "enrolling" and "allowing" and "opt-in" is plain bullshit. So is the supposed "security" offered.

The 30-day browser cookie set by users that click the "Remember verification for this computer" checkbox means that if your computer is stolen, the thief can still access your account without having to provide the second step of verification, and likely not even the password if your computer was just sleeping and browser already open.

You'll have to repeat this process every 30 days, meaning Google's going to require a constant correlation between your username and your phone number. Change numbers? You're going to have to go through hoops to restore access to your accounts. Change computers between laptop, desktop, netbook or tablet? Delete all cookies on browser close to get rid of trackers, spies and supercookies? Same deal. Google wants to know where you are and what phone number you are using every 30 days.

Go ahead; try to opt-out, sucker

From more than a dozen posts explaining how to "turn off two-step verification" from both Google and many bloggers, you get this information:

Q.16) How can I turn off 2-step verification on my Google Account
A.16) You can turnoff 2-step verification, by going to Google Accounts –> Using 2-step verification –> click on Turn off 2-step verification…

Here's the separate section on "how to turn off two-step verification"

Another article telling you how to turn off two-step verification

"In order to turn off two-step verification, visit this page or log in to your Google account and go to Settings >> Account Recovery Options >> Recovering your password. That page will tell you you can "add more information to your account to increase your account-recovery options."

Both ways will take you to this:

click the picture for the Big Picture

Notice that if you have not "opted-in" or "enrolled" or "allowed" this process previously, you will still have to fork over a phone number, receive a verification code and enroll in the program in order to reach the settings page where you can turn off the process, which will happen every 30 days.

Remind you of Facebook much? It should. There's no way to opt-out currently without first opting-in, and all Google's fanboy press and mealy-mouthing about "opting-in" or "enrolling" or "allowing" are straight-out lies. The interrupt-page I was receiving for the previous two weeks whenever I logged in offering to be "helpful" and offering me a link to "skip this step" was a smokescreen.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

FSCK Google

Am I alarmed by this? I certainly am. I am alarmed by Google pretending this is an opt-in service, repeating that idea in various words and meaning absolutely the opposite.

fsck: a Unix-based system utility for checking the consistency of a file system. Generally, fsck is run automatically at boot time when the operating system detects that a file system is in an inconsistent state. [fsck is analogous to the Windows utility chkdsk]

I am alarmed by Google's persistent and consistent efforts to delete anonymity from the net; to consolidate its holdings and bring them into line with its stated mission of becoming an "Identity Provider"; Google's connection to OpenID and the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace [PDF link to whitehouse paper], which Google calls the Kantara Initiative (shades of the D.H.A.R.M.A. Initiative!).

I'm not the only one.

Identity Crisis: The Delusion of NSTIC

Real Names: Google+, Government & The Identity Ecosystem

Google & NSTIC Leading the March to Digital Totalitarianism?

Botgirl's curated “Nymwars News and Commentary” site

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

After yesterday's little adventure and today's research, I am accelerating my efforts to completely remove myself from the Google ecosystem by using viable alternatives to every single product Google offers. I do not like liars and Google has proven to be no better than Facebook in regarding me as a slab of meat to be bought and sold for their profit, telling press about "optional" services that are in fact compulsory now.

Google has now proven to me that they are in fact dead-set on "doing evil."

Google must have forgotten everything it knew about the net; I can think of a dozen ways to get around this type of forced identification and access off the top of my head and during the coming weeks I will be researching even more ways to keep my electronic privacy protected.

What you do is up to you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

[double-posted at Netpolitik]


* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Friday, November 4, 2011

New post @Netpolitik: Internet Under Fire

Many bills are approaching Congress to limit, invade or otherwise break the internets that you love.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *