PostHeaderIcon Land-flippers Rejoice

Million LindensToday is the day ticketing opens in order to request your shiny new parcel on the Zindra "Adult-Rated" continent. It will be a mad land-rush to be sure and no doubt tickets will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

However, the majority of the grid is completely oblivious to this compelled moved from all places mainland of the freshly defined "adult-rated content'. I won't go into massive detail on all this stuff and you, dear reader, are among the highly-informed and already are clearly versed in the situation and like me, are preparing for the vitriolic mad mob-rush as land is flipped like crazy; known and established mainland of the "Mature" (and perhaps even some "PG") variety will quickly turn into wasteland and the green pastures of Zindra quickly become polluted with laggy prims as far as the eye (graphic draw distance settings) can see.

6) When will the tickets be available? The ticketing process will open on Monday, the 29th at 10am PST. They will remain open for 3 weeks, closing July 20th at 10am.

7) When will I hear back from Linden about my ticket to move? We ask that Residents be patient as we are expecting a flood of requests. Submitting a ticket to ask when the first ticket will be addressed will only prolong the process as it increases the support load.

[From Zindra: An Update - Land and Sea - Second Life Blogs]

There was a time in Second Life when land-shopping was a pleasurable process. Especially with new sims recently brung online. However, after being in SL for more than a few months, one learns quickly that fresh, shiny new Linden sims is not where you want to buy.

Second Life Vewer logo #There are no covenants, and except for the established "cities" of Zindra no restrictions whatsoever. meaning your neighbor can do anything they choose, no matter how horrific it looks or how much it lags all agents within the sim.

This is why land-shopping established regions is better: you know what's there. See a club? Move-on. See a bot-farm or camp-herd? Move-on. You get the idea.

I'm not a virtual real-estate entrepreneur (a.k.a. "land-flipper") so I won't be doing what I suggest. However, if you are, or you're game enough, here's how you take advantage of the entire situation:

  • Hit the search box for anything and everything that might appear as "adult" on the mainlands - visit the place and contact the parcel owner.

  • Pass them a prepared notecard about the new policy and the compelled (by Linden lab) move to Zindra and include links to the Wiki articles and blog entries to educate them.

  • Tell them that they have a choice: keep this parcel, abandon this parcel or try to sell this parcel.

  • Then offer to by the parcel from them for L$2-per-square-meter from them. Promise them you will not touch a thing - allowing them time to move.

  • Once the parcel is cleared out, flip it at L$3 or L$4 per square meter, make profit.

Little Shop Of Horrors Meets Alice?Of course there is a large risk in this. The first being that everyone is trying to emigrate from the mainland, not to it. This means you could be sitting on land tier for a bit of time.

Unfortunately, there will be those who do what I suggest and will be rather unscrupulous by selling to those inexperience or uninformed people who really need Zindra land - but buy mature.

However, if you're looking to get into the land business and willing to take the risks required for a quick profit, opportunity starts knocking at 10 a.m. on June 29th, 2009.

Art: Ari Blackthorne; Ez Beam; CallieDel Boa

PostHeaderIcon Microsoft OS X and Apple Windows?

Snowglobe on my windowLinden Lab releases it's own 'after-market' viewer, which I find funny, especially since I had just run the gambit on after-market viewers for Second Life Grid in my most previous post. Now in addition to the "official" Second Life viewer from Linden Lab (LL), said company releases another viewer in parallel to it.

Yes, I mean in parallel. This isn't like MS Windows "Home" versus "Professional" or "Final Cut Express" versus "Final Cut Pro" where there is a 'lesser' and 'greater' of the exact same thing, but rather a completely different thing that accomplishes the same tasks. Think Microsoft Windows versus Apple OS X. Both are Operating systems upon which is the main user-facing interface for interacting with a computer. Both accomplish the same thing: managing the computer resources itself and allowing other productivity or entertainment applications to operate on top of it.

It's the same with a "Grid Viewer": they accomplish the same thing by providing a means to access a Second Life Grid and handle all the grid-level work. Like Operating Systems (OS), there are many Grid Viewers; MS Windows, Apple OS X, (many variations of) Linux; Unix; Xenix (yes, it's still used) and so on. Also there are many iterations of grid viewers including the "official" Linden Lab viewer, Nicholaz (defunct), SL Cool, Gemini, Emerald, Meerkat, Imprudence... the list goes on.

PostHeaderIcon When an Emerald is not a stone or a color

EmeraldsIsn't choice a wonderful thing? Where "Emerald" relates to Second Life, it also is a Grid Viewer and a damned good one.

I, like many other 'experienced' SL residents am hugely disappointed in the current iteration of the "official" Second Life grid viewer coming from Linden Lab (version 1.23.x). I was looking forward to the many new usability features and massive list of bug-fixes included in this, such as the setting of default permissions for uploaded files, bulk permissions-setting for object contents and the fixing of an annoying bug that unloads textures too quickly. Unfortunately, this viewer is horribly buggy with regard to breakage, primarily (for me) the total mess-up of picture-taking among other things. I suppose I'll wait for the next version before looking at the LL version of the grid viewer again.

So, it's back to the open-source viewer scene for me. The best open-sourced viewer I have found to date with regard to performance (which really translates to how fast will it download textures and "rez" the world for you) is and has been the Kirsten Viewer.

Then I found out about the Meerkat viewer, which offers some serious features not available anywhere else; specifically the ability to back-up your creations to your local machine, and restore them back into the Second Life grid, even onto other grids. In fact, it is the multi-grid functionality that stunned me the most. This is by-far the absolutely best, most useful feature I have experience in any grid viewer. There is no doubt that when mature, the Meerkat grid viewer will be the universal viewer for most, if not all grids.

The first thing I noticed about the Meerkat viewer is that there is a Logout feature. yes, that simple feature SL residents have been begging for for the last six-years. Logout. In other words, logout of the current grid without having to actually exit the application and then restart it in order to log back in with another account, or nowadays another grid.

PostHeaderIcon The Über-Deviant-Brothel Continent?

SL: Adult Content Warning

Alphaville Herald posts a question about how "child-themed" avatars in second Life can cause some hyperbolic discomfort among witnesses to them, especially if witnessed in a mature setting - such as club or worse: sex-themed location.

Many residents will claim 'child avatars creep me out'. And I can understand that. They don't bother me, per se, but if I witness one in what would be a highly inappropriate place in first life, even though it's Second Life - I don't care if the typist is a verified adult. I will join the "that's creepy" camp.

However, the Zindra continent is now opened and it's a ghost town. Not in terms of people visiting the place, but in terms of anything being there at all. Just a bunch of empty, plain sims as far as your draw-distance will allow, except for the empty buildings in the city areas.

So a well known resident, Marianne McCann, who has become friendly with many Lindens over the years is invited to preview the new Zindra continent along with every other resident with an account even a day-old.

Marianne McCann has been a "child" avatar since I've known her back in 2006.

Even though Zindra is nothing but a mass of empty sims, it's purpose has been well-publicized. Thus, there is a mindset attached to it. That mindset more or less equals "Uber-brothel for the purpose of your most deviant desires". Even though it's not really that.

PostHeaderIcon Official Second Life Viewer Sinks Like a Rock

Tugboat Rozi

Linden Lab's new "official SL Viewer" is a wreck.

Hosed. Screwed. Whacked. Fuc... okay, you get the idea. The "official" 1.23 viewer was rushed-out long before it's time. Something is going on behind the scenes at Linden Lab - something that is more important and imperative than they are letting on about.

Linden Lab is working frantically to get the grid segregated in a big way. The segregation of 'adult' content from 'mature' content from 'PG' (parental guidance) content. The adult content being it's own walled garden locked away in it's own corner of the grid and secured tighter than a drum.

There is a cut-off date. The difference of 'cut-off' from 'deadline' is that a deadline is usually a bit flexible where a cut-off is hard and fast, no matter how ready the project is. It is the "cut-off" paradigm Linden Lab is following. This is evident by the official release of the version 1.23 viewer, which introduces (again!) new and old bugs. When I say "old" bugs, I mean ones that have been fixed in the past but are returned.

PostHeaderIcon Copybot Deluxe?

Does this get your attention?:
"I have for a few months been testing an internal tool which allows you to export a OpenSim Archive from a Second Life Region..."

These are the words of Adam Frisby.
It is somewhat sad to see regions shut down by their owners for affordability reasons; knowing full well that the content cannot be ever easily restored later - I personally hate to see it when this happens, because something creative is lost forever.

OpenSim on the other hand, has some real advantages here - I have complete copies of a lot of my builds on OpenSim in varying stages of construction, courtesy of the Region Archive functionality. Every major construction project I have done on any of the grids is sitting somewhere on one of my hard disks as a .tar.gz file containing everything needed to reload it in later. In OpenSim, nothing is ever incapable of being saved - at all times you can dump a copy of the region to a disk, then reload it later somewhere else.

Adam discusses the idea of a "Wayback Grid", something to the effect of the "Wayback Machine" that allows you to see (attempted) archives of web sites from years ago. For example, take a look at Google today and compare it with Google of, say November 1998 .

PostHeaderIcon Which is worse to you: Nazis or Lindens?

Re the title of this post...


Your call.

I Don't Love YouWith regard to the whole Zindra Adult Continent and all "adult-rated, sexually-oriented" objects and violence and hoopla, the entire search engine in-world will be overhauled to match these restrictions.

Either way, I understand the search system was scheduled to be overhauled since at least a year ago anyway, long before the segregation fences were ever (publicly) mentioned. The idea to be fine-tuning results to return more accurate and relevant listings.

Think about it: have you ever searched for oh, say a "Magick Healing Staff" that works on the "Spellfire" meter system. Good effing luck. Even on X-treet SL (XSL for short) - the web-based shopping mall - the results are a nightmare to sift through.

Ironically, Linden Lab is sending emails to users asking them to take a survey on the very subject of search and how it relates to shopping - and your experience with XSL. The most efficient way to shop for myself is to search XSL, sift through the results, copy the creator name, search for them in-world, check picks, go to their shop and then buy. Yes, I know I am missing some damned good products where the creator is too lazy to set-up on XSL, but it's their loss, not mine.

That's how messed-up the search system is in SL.

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Campers and Bot-Herders: Breaking the Law?

MMMmmmmetalThere are four levels of law in Linden Lab's Second Life, on the Grid, each according to subjectivity and relativity and enforced likewise:

  1. Terms of Service
    (TOS; a.k.a. Terms of Use)

  2. Linden Lab Policy (LLP)

  3. Community Standards (CS)

  4. "Catch-all"
    (a.k.a. Any and all or no reason whatsoever)

These are presented more or less in the order of offense severity and level of enforcement.

The Second Life Grid is, for all intents and purposes, it's own country. And though it may appear there is a democracy, there isn't. The country is dictator-owned and at times marshal law is put into effect (i.e. instant and permanent banning of all gaming/gambling activities across the grid.)

However, unlike other dictator-run countries in first life, the citizens and residents of this one can leave the country in the blink of an eye. So, our dictator is not a tyrant. His army (anyone with a surname of "Linden") are not ruthless solders, but they do obey orders.

We the citizens of this country are allowed in ridiculous ways the luxury of free speech, even when it is ruthless and vitriolic toward our government, and our government does, in fact listen to us. How it reacts to what is said is not as much a "ross-up" as it is a thoughtful consideration (sometimes after the fact) of how best to proceed for the benefit of the nation as a whole and the government specifically, while placating the citizens in a fair and content majority.

PostHeaderIcon Linden Lab: As Many Alts as You Want Up to Five!

Black SwanI applaud Linden Lab for really working diligently to make things easy as possible for Second Life users, especially in the answering of arcane questions that will inevitably pop-up. questions that are far better answered officially than through hearsay from resident to resident.

The 'help' links have always pointed to the Second Life wiki, only now you venture through the "help portal'. Knowledge-base links point you a bit more concisely to the relevant information on the wiki. A considerably better set-up and far easier to use since the 'dark days' of wiki-only.

Now Linden Lab has a hand-dandy Q&A blog to add to the growing family of category-specific blogs. Though I wonder if the noble effort (yes, I really mean that, too) is not being directed to the wrong place.

Obviously there are not many people not on the Linden Lab payroll who really know in-depth what the plans are for things including the grid and the viewer. Perhaps the in-viewer help-clicks will point to this new "Q&A" blog?

PostHeaderIcon [#VWR-13874] Visibility of Inactive Avatars on MiniMap

MiniMap Mockup: Inactive AvatarsThat's the name of my JIRA entry on the Second Life Public JIRA.

Most established residents of Second Life know where they want to go. They know how to shop and they know how to search and often know better than to put much stock in the "traffic" numbers for any particular region or parcel of land.

Established residents also enjoy sim-hopping sometimes. You know, just bouncing around exploring. Perhaps even meet some new potential friends, whatever.

The real issue with campers, bots and camper-bots is not so easy as simply "gaming traffic".

One part of the problem is the resources they use. Yes, they use Linden Lab resources, but so what? I'm speaking of your resources. You're in a dancing mood. You search in the Events tab of the search widget and find more yard-sales than there are parcels of land on the entire grid.

You're in a flighty mood and decide to do a little sim-hopping. You pop-open the map and do like newbies: scan for the dotpiles. You teleport. You wait for the region to rez for you. it's unusually slow. It's laggy as hell. Experience tells you it's because there are a lot of avatars present and their "Avatar Rendering Cost"is really slowing things down.

PostHeaderIcon You the Fool


"Virtual Sex: Cheating or Not?".

uhhh, forget that question, let us just write something else entirely and make you forget the real reason you're even reading this story to begin with.

Might as well be:
Meteor to strike earth in 10-seconds, all life obliterated!
Tune-in for details at 11.

What is up with the so-called media these days? Okay, all the days since the mid 1980's onward? No such thing as objective reporting anymore (look how goo-goo-gah-gah and in the tank they all are for the Anointed One: Obama.Look at how sensationalist they always tend to be over simple-simon BS.

We always hear about how Second Life is a giant sexpit with nothing to do but run around acting out all our deviant fantasies. If it's not all the naughty behavior that SL is a hive for, then it's all the 'edumacationalistic wonders of the virtuamal new world".

PostHeaderIcon Second Life: PG Regions = Pointless Gloom?

Pan & Agapee Islands

Until this year, Second Life had two basic areas of operation (AO - I know: LOL): They always were referred to as PG and Mature. Pretty broad categories with regard to things so subjective and wide-open to individual purview.

It was a simpler time, "mature" is where all the naughty things were allowed and "PG" is where the naughty things were not allowed - and often said to really mean "G-rated". Questions about exactly what was and what was not allowed were raised way back in 2006 during my first year and certainly much longer before that.

The word from the horse's mouth (direct from top decision-makers of Linden Lab, Robin Linden being one of them) was pretty clear. We weren't led, but rather made to believe that anything of a "PG-13" nature or more must be in "mature" areas, including any nudity where naughty body parts could be seen and even in the language used. Even epithets were not allowed. Everything else of a simple, clean nature was allowed in either regions, PG and Mature.

However, the caveat to this was that private areas, such as a home could have these "mature" things otherwise not allowed in public PG regions. This included running around streaking as long as you remain in your private space. Private meaning just that: private by invitation only and not a place where there is even an implication of invitation to the public at large.

Blackthorne™ ≠ inSL

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