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« The Tigger Trap | Main | Snarky Shirky, or Why the Geeks Got to Go »

December 11, 2006


Kyrah Abattoir

Such a pathetic showoff you are offering.

Kyrah Abattoir

not like there is much to castrate on "him"

Joshua Nightshade

To castrate you in real life you would have to first possess a penis to begin with. Last I checked women don't have those.

And just wanting a cock really really badly doesn't give you one babycakes.

Prokofy Neva

pwned, Joshua, bit it hook, line, and sinker

Tyken Hightower

I very much agree that we'll see 'personal businessmen' popping up left and right - competition, the need to sell oneself and make a name in the market, and the freely available forms of self-advertisement will all bring this about in short order. The web profile seems to be one of the least 'clunky' things, to me - it's working pretty seamlessly, provided your site can handle visitors depending on whether they're from SL or outside of it. It could use some enhanced functionality though, such as navigation buttons. The real clunkiness is still the backend of SL itself, as client issues only have a small effect on successful gameplay. Things that are seriously hindering the utilisation of the world at-large are: the clumsy, archaic database, which affects virtually all aspects of creation and play in SL; the odd network bottleneck which seems to have developed as of late - this makes it incredibly hard to do simple things like position prims in a build, because they keep rubberbanding back to odd places or previous positions as a result of packetloss or poor network performance, it also compounds the poor performance of the asset server; scripting and physics performance - while this is somewhat of a dream for us at the moment, having mono to do our bytecode or having Havok 2 or newer could dramatically increase sim performance for everyone.

I would be most troubled if scripts indeed became compromised as they have in the past - this is ALWAYS a possibility due to slip-ups on LL's part, bugs allowing scripts to have full perms, and other such things. However, this sort of thing is devastating, but temporary. As for scripts becoming something of an always freely-stealable asset like textures or linkset data, this is only possible in a situation where some malicious person is sniffing your packet data locally - since neither raw script code nor bytecode is ever sent to the client, the only time anyone could ever intercept it is at the time when you upload it to the database. I suppose it could also be compromised in bytecode form if someone were to hack LL's central databases (again, this would make me mega-sad).

I also believe SL will eventually be an open protocol or licensed out, although not in 2007. SL would make a great platform for businesses, as it's easily accesible, not difficult to begin using (relatively), and has a fairly high potential considering its ease of implementation. As I mentioned in Hiro's blog, other things like Multiverse ( will take the floor in terms of world production for people who are interested in things other than micro-content creation, at least once they add some more tools and a little more convenience for the not so programming-savvy crowd.

I don't think the Phil-man will raise tier on the mainland.. Even when they open the protocol, they'll probably still keep the centralized mainland, which means this will still be where common users congregate, thus raising tier here would just kill off common-user participation and profit. They'll already be making enough money from licensing out to businesses or whatever it is they'll do.

Kim IS in Second Life. I've personally seen him all over, especially in the sandboxes.

I think some real legal scandals will erupt when some underage kids playing SL are cyber-exploited and meet up with some sociopath child-molester in real life. There's already parents finding their little girls dancing as escorts in clubs; how much longer can it take?

Yeah, that's all I got.

Prokofy Neva


Tekkies always complain endlessly about the central asset server and the bottlenecks but...did Jesus have a central asset server? I mean, seriously. The masses come, whether the fish come from a central asset server, and maybe get grey and laggy, or whether they come from a separate shard, or from Jarod's basement. The point is, Jesus, and His message. The basket of food is a footnote.

2. Phil will indeed raise the mainland tier to be "equal to" the islands, and will do it stupidly. Watch. The way LL has evolved, they love the oligarchs who are very rich, and they love the masses of poor who give them statistics. They don't love the middle class who are a funny combination of being both the most productive and spending the most on a consistent basis, but also demanding the most in terms of services.

3. Your take on scripts is hilarious. I don't get why scripts are sacrosanct, but textures or prims or avatars aren't. We've all been hectored endlessly about how everything can be copied. Well...why not scripts *too*. The engines and renderers and stuff have to see them too and they have to stream too. They are the easiest thing to transport to other grids via email. They are abundantly easy to hack into, as the daily worms and viruses all over the Internet show us.

I find this one of the most humorous blind-spots of the tekkie class. They can actually arrogantly pontificate us that all our stuff will be copied, but theirs won't, and that we all need to hire them not only to script more doo-hickeys lagging servers more, but be protected from whatever scripts do the copying of other stuff.

I mean, either stuff copies, or it doesn't. Either people sell experiences and props, or they sell commodities. I've written a lot about how I think they will be doing more of the former, funded by big business, and I find that sad for the world.

And if you are willing to see that it is "devastating" to have somebody's proprietary script copied and his labour rendered null and void, why on earth aren't you willing to concede the same about somebody's texture or build or skin laboured over just as many hours? Do you actually think that there is something more magic about scripts than textures? Do you think the servers *care* whether the data packet numbers contain numbers representing script text or numbers representing pixels or whatever???

All that mega-sadness...and not a single tear for the people who have really lost, and not lost literally, but lost by having their world ripped apart and rendered null and void. Yours will be too.

Like the Tibet who threw his aging father off the mountain from a basket, the last words his father spoke was: "save the basket". It will be needed for the man's son to throw him off the mountain when he is too old, too.

Scripters and coders always imagine that they can lord it over the world and not be co-dependent and cooperative with others from other sectors. It is a mutually depending place.

I really don't feel any mega-sadness for your vulnerable scripts. Soon, there will be little tinker-toy blocks made up of pre-fabbed script parts. Dummies like me will string them together in little pictoral blocks or simple alphabets with things like "lift hand shoot arrow lower hand" and will be able to make things move.

Tyken Hightower

I'm sure you find the unified whining of the masses over the inefficiency of the asset server to be quite enough, and while it does get annoying, it's justified. Evidence shows that it's going to collapse before it reaches the point where Philip will be happy with our registered user count. Currently, it's like the Eiffel Tower, build from tinker toys. You can't keep taping up the joints and replacing small parts to keep it from falling down; it's inevitable that it will collapse upon itself. I find it's my duty to point this out - as you find it's yours to point out a variety of social issues, my job is technical.

I suppose I can see Philip being dumb enough to raise mainland tier, but my own hope blinds me into believing what I would like here. Either way, it doesn't really hurt me so much. Content creation and marketing doesn't truly rely on owning a lot of land, while it is a nice utility.

You seem to have misconstrued my explanation about the current 'safety' of scripts as some sort of opinion I've spewed that I'm 'above' other content creators and that I don't feel any empathy for them. This is highly untrue, and not at all what I've said.

Scripts are no more sacred than other content, and I feel terrible for people who have become more easily made victims due to CopyBot and similar tools (Although I still believe it was a silly thing to close down their shops - looking at it from a technical perspective, the threat from CopyBot wasn't necessarily so great after all, especially not on an individual basis. I suppose their solidarity at least accomplished letting LL know there was a problem, post-haste). As it stands right now, the fact is simply that scripts are not fed to the client in any form, and thus there are no underlying holes in the technology that allow for them to be captured. However, the higher-level programming of the server itself could allow for things like permissions bugs to compromise scripts, as I mentioned - and this would probably affect ALL content creators in the worst way, not only scripters.

Tyken Hightower

I should correct myself; scripts are fed to the client in raw text form, but only to someone with proper permissions, meaning that their security still relies upon LL's programming rather than the underlying technology. Each time someone opens a script in their inventory or from an object they can modify, the script's raw text is streamed to them - and only them. So no one without proper rights in SL itself can view this data, unless they're intercepting the traffic to and from your PC. Indeed, it would be nice if all assets had this sort of built-in security, though it's not guaranteed, as bugs may cause it to fault.

Prokofy Neva

Again, scripts can be cut and pasted in the blink of an eye. Everything you say is true, but cutting and pasting in world is also always an option and makes it all true.

Many CopyBot boosters find it in their interests to portray shop owners as "fearfuL" and "FUD"-riddled. But they forget that creators contain a lot of programmers and scripters and smart people. They understood CopyBot wasn't an immediate threat but more of a condition to be adjusted to of reality. Yet their boycott and closing wasn't about THAT, but as a way of letting the Lindens know:

ok, you sponsored libsl and let them get away with such abrupt transition, we will fight back and force you to know our measure of anger.

Tyken Hightower

Right, the store-closings seemed to have done a successful job in letting LL know what was up. Unfortunately, virtually all of such people I talked to were from the 'fearful' crowd, I guess I'm just stereotyping the rest.

When you say copying and pasting - You mean things that would still only happen in the case of a permissions bug, right? This is indeed the worst-case scenario, every type of asset in the database becomes something that can be cut and pasted. No store-closing would help us in that situation; it's a quick world-message and a grid blackout until the hole is fixed. That's the sort of thing that makes many people give up, as it can put them back at square 1 in terms of accomplishments they really own the rights to. This is what LL should have QA tests for on every change to the game.


I thought it was pretty funny..

My predicition for 2007:

Linden Lab will suddenly go bankrupt overnight - 24 hours after the hiring of their new CFO: KevinCostner Linden.


Being fearful was a REASONABLE response of any store owner.

(Is this coming out in italics?)


Prokofy Neva

hmm not sure why this turned to italics.

Tyken Hightower

Testing, one, two.

Tyken Hightower

I thought maybe you could use html tags here or something, but dunno. Ownt.

King Frederick

"do we *have* or *are* we avatars"

People should be horrified at the thought that their SL avatars are "them" in any meaningful way. Of course if your avatar *is* an extension of your soul, then yes, it leads to all kinds of absurdities like bumping into people being assault or clicking someone's sex-device being "rape"

Ace Albion

Well, King, there's a whole lot of discussion about the avatarisation of self that says there's at least a debate to be had. Libel is an attack on your reputation basically- a virtual concept if ever there was one. We still made it a crime in the real world (or is it a tort), but that's the kind of thing I read TN etc to look at, so I won't debate it here.

As for land- I do wonder what is going on with tier... at the sub-sim level at least, mainland is already way more expensive to acquire and keep than island land for me:

Right now I have 1/8th of a new island- I share a 1/4 with a friend for our store. So I have 8192m2 that is "mine". It cost about L$40k for my share, and its going to cost $25 a month to keep.

I also have 8192m2 mainland tier. I've bought pretty cheap, but then I always sold cheap too (sold most of my old land to a friend for around 6-7/m2). So current prices say 8192m2 of my land is worth around L$80k. Double the value of island land. The tier on this costs me $40 per month.

8192 on island- 40k L$, 25 USD pcm
8192 on mainland - 80k L$, 40 USD pcm. 10% from group doesn't cover that gap.

I don't know how it works at the sim+ level of ownership on mainland. How could they, for example, make mainland sim tiers $300 pcm and still support lower tier at 512/1024 etc? It has to scale doesn't it? I'd be interested to read some thoughts around how that might work.


Why should land values and tier payments scale any better than other parts of PL?

Joshua Nightshade

Did you actually say pwned?


No I actually said "PL" meaning "Packet Loss" as coined by Cocoanut and used as a direct substitution for the archaic term SL.

Peter (Newell) Haik

I agree 100% with 11 out of 12 of your predictions.

Walter Sobcek

I predict that some nut like Prokofy pulls a Tim McVeigh on LL real life building, and the whole second life goes BOOM.

Prokofy Neva

I do not advocate violence in RL or SL and would never do such a thing; nor am I a nut.

Joshua Nightshade

You say not a nut, I say almond.

Hiro Pendragon

Hey, thanks for the link. I like #7 - that would be a great thing for a number of reasons, I'm sure you've thought of them already.

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