I got the crazy idea last week that the #Scourgemobiles of AnneMarie Otoole (AKA AnneMarie Oleander) were being mitigated. That perhaps the constant abuse reporting that many of us are doing was having an effect. Lindens were said to be hovering around examining some of the rez zones. It seemed like now there were *less* of the cars.
This was entirely anecdotal, based on one of those cases where "you go to the doctor and the symptoms disappeared" syndromes. I brought a Mole I know to see them -- he didn't know what I was talking about. We waited and waited -- and they didn't appear. I always find them all over the place as I'm working around Ravenglass and Maryport -- in the sky, on the grass, sometimes even on the road! And of course the Linden sea, near Carnforth. But all of a sudden, they were missing. About 20 minutes later, one came and ran over the Mole, and he understood my point.
I then went to one of their spawn points, and they didn't seem to spawn. Again, I waited 20 minutes, and I began to think that in fact they were now on a 20 minute timer.
Not true. They actually come much more frequently, and not always on a timer.
I was inspired by Qie's train exhibit in SL8B which shows a map with vehicles to think of it as a whole system that perhaps AMOT has on a website or data visualization or map API to watch, and she may be manually controlling it or goosing it or tweaking it all over the place (they come so obnoxiously and randomly and without drivers, that you tend to think of them as wind-up toys randomly unleashed on the world that just keep spawning and causing havoc, but she IS controlling them). She may be trying to coincide with peak or low concurrency to test different things.
That SOME Linden or Lindens SOMEWHERE are giving this a pass because it's just a big old test and data dump and they love stuff like that seems CERTAIN. Lindens testing and working on sim seams swear they aren't tacitly encouraging AMOT. Michael Linden says circumspectly, "You can make a giant rolling potato with 20 noses and a big sign EAT AT JOES and put it on our roads and we won't say anything." I'm surprised there isn't something like this selling on SLM by now. What he means is that the Lindens don't care what is ON the roads; they just build them. They won't seem to act on the question of whether the vehicles are manned or unmanned -- it's like the ridiculously long time it took them to develop a policy about bots in stores and "traffic infusion" because of their love of artificial intelligence. They are agnostic -- for now -- on the issue of whether vehicles have drivers. Maybe they believe that they can't tell. Or that they don't need to tell.
Well, how to really get a picture of what is going on and make the case to them that these things are a scourge that should be eliminated if not at least mitigated? You can watch some of the rez zones, but where are they all? And they seem to be all over -- but how many of them are there, really?
To tackle any problem, you must first monitor it and get a sense of its scope, not just based on anecdotes (although those are a good place to start in our closed society without free media.)
I discussed the mechanics of this with Cinder Roxley, who had already been following the issue and figuring how how it worked, and she came up with the Active Object and Avatar Collission Detector which you can buy for L$25 on the SLM here. A bargain at 10 times the price.
What you do is rez this box near a Linden road on your property -- I put mine at Route 66, which is a car rezzing area intended for real drivers in the SL Public Land Preserve -- it's a build made by the famous Bonecrusher Slate in the early days. It puts an invisible prim over the road and vehicles go through hit and the result is, walla, a collision detector. Of course...this makes collisions on your sim, which always ads to lag, but one of them can't hurt -- I'm just suggesting that you not put out 10 of them, you won't need to.
You will be SHOCKED at how many of these things there are. First of all, within 72 hours, I established an interesting factoid: there is a rough ratio of 1:2 live vs. unammend vehicles, i.e. the #Scourgemobiles are DOUBLE the normal real drivers (and you will find out that despite all the negative press about sim seams and Linden roads, in fact LOADS of people drive around and have a lot of run -- all kinds of amazing vehicles). The pods don't show up, or didn't at first -- they are getting under the radar possibly by not being on physics and not colliding?
So you will get reports to your IM or email that look like this:
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: "YavaScript Pod S6 (Northeastern)" (8f797d07-86d7-58f0-f2e1-8f0accfea35f) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/14cdc82e-ad76-4673-9d5c-411b16673975/about . Last object passed through me 66.848050 seconds ago.
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 109 || 233 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: "Cammari Crescendo" (9255eea4-bc85-44a3-b5e2-16629e54bf5f) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/9255eea4-bc85-44a3-b5e2-16629e54bf5f/about . Last object passed through me 3.965443 seconds ago.
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 233 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:09] Teleport completed from http://slurl.com/secondlife/Belarus/56/57/24
[10:09] The region you have entered is running a different simulator version. Click this message for details.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: "Bugatti Royale V#1835" (83742361-be5d-7696-73b4-3dc59b094a77) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 587.577900 seconds ago.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 234 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: "Bugatti Royale V#1835" (83742361-be5d-7696-73b4-3dc59b094a77) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 0.114329 seconds ago.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 235 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: "Steam Tractor V#1835" (b03c7650-dd66-3c0f-0036-d786b2a094d3) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 299.029100 seconds ago.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 236 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: "Steam Tractor V#1835" (b03c7650-dd66-3c0f-0036-d786b2a094d3) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 0.111606 seconds ago.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 237 are unmanned automated vehicles.
And of course, you can easily discover that:
AnnMarie Oleander, 5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645
AnnMarie Otoole, da2cfe5f-b652-4b65-94a1-ce9b54c73b1a
See what I mean?! Cinder has now fixed it so that it goes to web pages too, but now I'm forgetting how to access that.
You can do several things with this: put it out and mute it, so it doesn't keep bothering you with messages, but keeps score of totals of unmanned vehicles; put it on an alt, and let it talk to an alt; just let it go into offline messages, after you have linked your IM to offline email (something everyone should do anyway to cease this endless SL excuse of "messages capping").
So my plan is to get a bunch of people -- 10 or even 100 -- monitoring their sims, and coming up with some kind of sample figure. If someone has a lot of mainland, they could put out a lot of them (I have land spread over 50 sims, about 14 sims' worth of land, so I will put them out when I can if I can figure out a more convenient way to aggregate their reports than just manually counting them.)
It seems to me that as one tactic, we could get the Lindens indeed to mitigate the frequency of these pernicious devices, the scourge of our sims. They could be limited to one every 30 minutes. They are certainly coming much more frequently now, more like once every 5-7 -- and they aren't on a timer.
If the Lindens protecting this pernicious device somehow "need" to have it load-test with higher numbers, they can have the higher numbers come at times of the day when there are less people. If these Lindens "need" the test to be with high concurrency, they don't have to have it at EVERY time of high concurrency, but can have it once a week.
These things are controllable. They are scripts and code, but that is the concretization of human will. Human will can and should be restrained on something like this when it impacts the entire public interest. Indeed, the constant deluge of these things on land, road, rail, sea and air is a violation of Community Standards No. 2, which says you cannot interference in the enjoyment of Second Life of another person. That's basically "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" -- and is as good as that will get in California.
The abuse reports aren't sticking -- like many other things before them (ageplay -- yes, the Lindens didn't use to prosecute simulated child pornography -- ad farms, bots, Redzone). But they will, once people can get a handle on the size and invoke Community Standards 2. Argumentations about resource hogging or sale of devices on Linden land aren't holding -- they still constitute ads and on that grounds alone should be removed, but the actual drop-down menu urging you to buy the #Scourgemobiles now seems to be removed from most of them, possibly due to ARs and Linden intervention.
So pick up a Collision Detector and start complaining.