PostHeaderIcon LLV2 Is Bad News For Open Sim

Maria Korolov wrote at Hypergrid Business some interesting ideas about the Linden Lab Viewer version 2 (LLV2) and how LL is at the same opportunistic crossroad America Online was with the idea behind owning Netscape. Maria's argument is for Linden Lab allowing multi-grid support in their official viewer.

Linden Lab now has the opportunity to own the relationship with the world’s metaverse travelers by releasing a viewer that can handle multiple grids.

However, I frankly disagree. In fact, LLV2 actually creates more difficulty for all these "open grids" with regard to gaining any real popularity and it's a set-back for them in the relevancy department.

I see a lot of blog posts about all the other grids out there, including on Hypergrid Business blog. A noble effort on all their parts to champion and attempt drumming-up interest in those other grids, even though from where I stand, it appears to be a frivolous effort - but someone has to do it I suppose.

In truth, though Maria's comparison of AOL/Netscape paradigm to LindenLab/V2 is a good one to help the uninitiated understand what she is trying to say and a good summary, it also is an entirely different paradigm.

And here is why Maria and all others thinking like her are wrong...

PostHeaderIcon Linden Lab Disses Macintosh: Fair-well, So-long, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye.

Linden Lab leaves Macintosh behind, At least, that's how it appears and only partly so.

Granted, the Official SL Viewer 2 is beta, and there is a lot of work needed on it still (okay, a lot of work) - one thing that is not made clear before downloading is that it is an Intel-only application. Perhaps it states this in the "system requirements" area, but it is not made clear beyond that.

There is a lot of talk about Viewer 2 (which I'll just call V2 hence) and a lot of it is about the exciting new features. I have several Macs in my home and one Windows PC. The PC is pretty much for SL and a couple other "entertainment" things because the Mac is such a pleasure to use in comparison, I reserve it mostly for actual "productive" venture.

So I want to write about a few things in V2 that I haven't seen written on yet (such as how there are a couple "features" that will allow extreme shamming and deceit across the grid and real ripping-off of Linden Dollars). So, I download the V2 beta on the current Mac I am using so I can do a quickie log-in to do a screen-grab of that and other preferences and the first thing I notice is the odd icon:

At first I (foolishly as it is a 'duh' moment for Mac users) assumed it was a Linden Lab creation to indicate this is a beta, even though I have seen Snow Leopard show this before. The circle-slash indicates the application will not run on this machine - which in this case is a PowerPC G5 model (all my others are Intel-based).

Since the beta is widely expected to go "golden" in the next few weeks and a possible upgrade in the next few months, and with that: the discontinuation of V1 versions... what will happen to all the Mac users still on PowerPC CPUs?

No, not going to bother contacting Linden Lab directly (except a tweet to M) about it because one thing is clear: Apple doesn't sit still. They move forward at the speed of light and quickly as is possible and feasible will drop "old technologies". Most new software available on the Mac is all now Intel-based and doesn't support PowerPC at all. And in the next few years, Apple (ARM) -based so it's only a matter of time before they drop Intel as well. So why not Linden Lab? If Apple is pushing forward so hard, Linden Lab might as well also, right?

Is this an oversight on Linden Lab's part? Or, is it a "branch" (or whatever they call it) that simply has not been implemented yet (the PowerPC-supporting code)?

Is SL and Intel-based CPU-only platform hence forth?

So long PowerPC Macintosh: it was fun while it lasted, sorry can't wait for you, have a good life, whatever is left of it as you die a slow, agonizing death.

©2007-Present, Andr'Deco & Pixietale Studios, DBA Socially Mundane; Common Sensible

PostHeaderIcon Potent Weapon Is Grid Savior?

Arabella's Ramblings unleashes the news (for me, anyway):

An exciting new development has been released in the seemingly never ending battle that so many creators endure – theft, ripping, texture stealing, content theft – it has many names.

I agree, it is exciting news. And the copybotgrieferidiots are running around soiling their pants over it all, especially over at SL Universe forums (so I'm told - which makes sense as that is a drama-cesspool of the most high.)

The blow being dealt: in-short the "CDS" or "Client Detection System" - which is a scripted object planted on your parcel, that through a complex system of detection, scrutinizing, analyzing and otherwise complete vetting of the viewer client all visitors are using when entering your privately-owned parcel will eject and outright ban them if it turns-out that client viewer is among those known to be used for illicit purposes.

Of course everywhere this CDS system is spoken about, such as SL Universe Forums, Alphaville Herald and likely the other paranoid, rumor-control cesspools and decent blogs alike... the feedback comments are rarely indifferent. Most are rather panicky and "offended".

PostHeaderIcon Linden Home: Business Opportunity For Smart Creators

As is typical with all blog posts by Linden Lab, the hysterical doom-and-gloom whiners come out of the woodwork. People who profess about how much real money they pay to Linden Lab each month, how much virtual land they own and how Linden Lab's new project will "kill" their business.

I say "and you call yourself a business person?"

Any good business person will look at what's going-on and adapt to any market changes. Especially when there is a lot of lead time. As for the Linden Home project, we've had a heads-up for a couple months already. Unlike all the doom-and-gloomers, there are creators and other real "business" people who are moving quickly to adapt and turn the "doom-and-gloom" into real opportunity.

And we have done this at Zodiac House:

Ever move into a new house or apartment and before any of the furniture is moved-in and arranged you notice that strange echo? However, once you throw down a few rugs and plop the sofa and bed into place and all the rest, that cozy feeling settles-in.

One of the "complaints" about Linden Homes is that you...

"...can't do anything with only 117 prims! It's ridiculous!"

Umm, yeah. Then you are lazy-minded with a simple education and zero creativity.

This evening, Zodiac House releases the "Linden Home Edition Full House" furniture sets. The above picture shows one of the A-Frame Linden Homes with four rooms worth of furniture: Living room, Bed room, Bath room and Kitchen. All with appropriate poses and the bed is even menu-driven.

PostHeaderIcon Land Ownership and Tiers 101

Linden Lab finally released their "Linden Homes" to public consumption yesterday. A Linden Home is being provided to all premium account holders as an option, where the existing tier-free allotment of land ownership can be applied here - and receive a themed house to go along with it.

It comes with 117 prims. And this is the important part to pay attention to, as when you pay tiers, this is what you are really paying for: the number of prims you may use.

Many will complain that 117 prims is useless because one cannot properly furnish these homes. I beg to differ as we (Zodiac House) have been working the last few weeks to prepare complete home furnishings for these Linden Homes allowing you to furnish every room: Livving, Bed, Kitchen and Bath in about 100 prims - leaving some for whatever else you want to add. These will be released for sale this weekend.

But I digress...

The reason I bring-up the Linden Homes is there was a comment on the LL blog where someone had mentioned they owned some land already, then took a Linden Home and it caused them to "tier-up". Had that person used the Land Manager on their account page, they would have clearly understood this would happen long before their error.

Among all the things you can learn to do and manage in Second Life, by far the most confusing and even tricky is: land ownership and how it affects your tier - the real money you pay to Linden Lab for the privilege. This is a primer on that.

First, what I speak on here has nothing to do with Estate Regions - private islands that sit in the middle of the ocean. Rather, this little lesson is on any virtual land you own where you pay your tier fees directly to Linden Lab - which I personally feel is the best and safest arrangement for any long term land ownership.

Linden Lab will never evict you for any reason other than your account going too far into arrears. Beyond that you are free to do with as you choose on your virtual property within the confines of the Terms of Service and Community Standards. Linden Lab will let you be for as long as you want.

The tricky thing is understanding tier...the monthly fees you pay to Linden Lab for the privilege (you must be a premium account holder or manager of a group authorized to purchase land for the group).

So here is your first lesson with regard to mainland parcel ownership.

The first thing you must understand are the tier levels. And they can be a bit misleading at first. But having a clear understanding will actually save you a lot of money and allow you maximum number of prims for the least cost. Since non-premium account holders can technically buy land for a group, it should be made clear this tutorial does not involve them. Take this information as a personal instruction for personal land-ownership.

You can view the land tier structure from your account page at Second Go to and in the left-hand rail menu, choose "Land Manager"->"Land Use Fees". It is important to understand that though this is called a "land manager" - it is more or less for informational purposes only. You cannot actually "tier-up" or "tier down" solely from here. It works in-conjunction with your activities in-world.

In this "level 101" of my land tutorial, we'll cover what this page is, does and how it helps you understand what is going on with your virtual land ownership responsibilities as it pertains to real costs to you. Upon selecting this page, you will be presented with the "Land Management" page:

Here you can see what you have, what you can buy without adding to your costs and what the costs will be if you add more than your "tier level".

It is highly important to understand: Any changes you make here does not affect the amount of money you owe to Linden Lab each month or the amount of land you own in-world. It is simply an informational calculator for the purpose of giving you an overview of your virtual land holdings and helps you to plan your land-ownership transactions. There are two sections to this manager, let us look at each in-turn.

The first section is the actual tier calculator. The purpose is to show you what you have and owe now, and "what-if" scenarios:

Let us look at this section line-by-line and what each means and can do for you. First, the headers along the top are misleading. "Current Fees" and "Estimated Fees" only apply to the last line of the table. These headers should really only state "Current" and "Estimated" without the word "Fees".

  • Line 1: Square Meters Owned.
    In the "Current" column, this is what you actually own in-world. Looking to the last line in the table you can see clearly what your cost obligation is to Linden Lab. This cost is only for actual, currently-owned land. You must be careful as this is not the actual monthly billing amount.

    This is the amount you will owe on your next billing date, not the billing date coming due. If you enter a number of square meters in the "Estimated" field and click the "Calculate" button at the bottom of the section, you can see what your new cost obligation will be. It is important to understand that your first 512 square meters (M2) is tier-free. It costs you zero because it is included with your premium membership.

    Example: You own 512 and are thinking of purchasing a 1024. Enter this into the Estimated field and click the calculate button. You will see the cost obligation. However, if you plan to purchase a 1024 M2 in addition to your 512, then you should enter 1536 in the estimated field (512+1024).

  • Line 2: Square Meters Donated.
    Rather than owning land outright, you can donate tier to a group. Groups cannot own land or pay tiers, so members of a group must donate the tier "responsibility" so that the land can be deeded to the group. Then all members of the group "share" ownership of that parcel, each obligating themselves to cover the tiers required through their "donation".

    If you have any donations to groups which own land, the Current will show it. If you are thinking of donating M2 to a group - the Estimated will show you any new obligations. If you are thinking to deed land you own to a group, you must donate tier shares to the group at the same time. Enter that amount here.

    Note: groups receive a 10% land bonus. Meaning an additional 10% of the donated shares can be owned (deeded) to the group tier-free. We will cover group-shares and donations in another post.

  • Line 3: Premium Bonus in Square Meters.
    This always will show as 512, unless Linden Lab changes or revokes it (or you are not a premium account holder). It is presented here to help with your calculations.

  • Line 4: Paid Tier Level.
    This is the total of M2 that you own and are obligated to pay tier on. The estimated column forecasts the new level upon which you would be obligated should you sell-off or purchase new virtual land. Note that this number is the sum of "Owned" plus "Donated" minus "Bonus".

    Thus, if you own 1024 M2 of land that is deeded to a group and you own a Linden Home, the current column might look like from the top-down: 512, 1024, 512, 1024. meaning that even though you technically own 1536 M2, you are only responsible for paying tier on 1024.

  • Line 5: Available Square Meters.
    Probably the most important line in the entire table, next to the bottom line. If you have M2 donated to groups, you get a "land bonus" - ability to own additional land tier-free. The real purpose of this line is to help you maximize the amount of land you can own based on the money you are paying to Linden Lab.

    If you own 600 square meters, you are paying tier for more land than you own. It is a waste of real money. This field shows you how much more land you can buy without bumping-up to the next tier level, thereby maximizing the amount of land you can own for the same money you already are paying.

    The key here is this line shows how much more land you can own before you are obligated to bump-up to the next higher tier level. You can purchase this much more land and your monthly tier bill will stay the same. Of course, more land give you more prims (if it is in the same region). Had the member I mentioned above who requested a Linden Home and "accidentally" tiered-up looked at this line on his account page, he would have clearly seen that additional land would cost him more money.

    Remember: it is your first 512 M2 that is tier-free. Not the last.

  • Line 6: Monthly Cost.
    This is the actual dollar amount that applies to Line 4. Note that tier levels are fixed levels. Meaning if you own 1024 M2, purchasing 10 square meters will bump you to the next level - as though you owned 2046 M2 - even if you own that last 10 square meters for 10-seconds. We will go into detail on this concept in a future post.

The important thing is to understand why the calculator is here, why you might want to use it and how to use it to more easily manage your tier obligation to Linden Lab as you consider purchasing or selling virtual land in Second Life.

The second section of the Land Manager page is simply a reference:

These are the different tier levels available. Selecting a higher tier level does nothing but more or less show you what you have "budgeted" for yourself. Other than that, it apparently does nothing at all. You cannot select a lesser tier level than what you are responsible for, based on your actual land-holdings and donations in-world. However, if you own 1024 M2 and select 8192 M2 on this chart - nothing will happen.

Linden Lab will only bill you for what you actually own, based on your peak-ownership level for the previous month. It is simply (more or less) a reference. At least, in all my years in SL, I've not found it to affect anything one way or the other - other than to be a simple reference for my own budgeting needs.

Next article: How to buy and sell land in a way to save the most real money with regard to tiering-up or tiering-down and not get nabbed by a mistake that could cost you huge sums of real money.

PostHeaderIcon Teen + Adult Grids = Kumbaya?

Ciaran Leval, God bless him, is at it again. He suspects the potential merging of the Teen grid with the Adult grid (as the Teen grid is really just a segregated corner of Agni - the adult grid anyway.)

I have been proclaiming this is coming for a long time. Ciaran opines:

Do Linden Lab think there's no harm in doing this and that this is a sensible move? I hope not but if they start with the forums I wouldn't be surprised if a grid merger isn't far behind.

The so-called merger will happen. The only real question is when?

[rant/on] Unfortunately, "Your2ndPlace" blog runs on Drupal - which sucks and is slow and is a complete headache to leave comments on (yes, my own experience only, your mileage may vary) - Nobody Fugazi has been AWOL since memory and Sarah Nerd is never around, Ciaran: go somewhere more mainstream with respectable system performance like Blogger or WordPress. LOL [rant/off]

Okay, anyway, I have to reply to his post over there, over here because that system is a heartburn factory. So my reply to Ciaran's post at Y2P (link below) follows here:

Been blogging it since last year:

And in truth, I say just get it over-with - I support it:

MOST IMPORTANT: Every comment from Linden Lab with regard to merging adult and teen grids is always: "We have no plans at this time to do so"

"No plans" does not mean they intend to not do it. It only means it is further down the private roadmap and not ready to be divulged yet. They need more time to get the grid cleaned-up.

Why on earth would they - why would anyone think there could be any other possible, plausible reason to work so hard at segregating the grid with the Zindra continent?
/me shrugs

link: Reply to comment | Your2ndPlace

PostHeaderIcon Can Linden Lab Escape Techno-Nerd Status?

You, dear reader who frequents Second Life are a techno-nerd. Embrace it, flaunt it, take pride in it. I guess. The same boneheads who whine about how Linden Lab's effort to simplify the viewer and how to actually use it to explore and interact in the virtual world should all climb into the same bed with all the boneheaded pundits tearing Apple, Inc. a new one over what a "disappointment" the iPad is turning out to be.
  • ZOMG! It doesn't support Adobe Flash so it will FAIL! (Not supporting Adobe Flash is a good thing and it hasn't hurt the iPhone at all).
  • It doesn't have a camera! Total fail! What the hell is Apple thinking! (If you want a camera, go buy a camera. Besides, it will have one sooner rather than later).
  • But...but...but it runs the iPhone OS and not OS-X!!! (Yes, another good thing. Because it's not designed to be a full-blown computer).
These techno-nerds all believe the iPad is a complete failure because it doesn't have the features they want or do what and how they want to do it.

So damned what? If you feel Apple's iPad is not powerful or feature-rich enough, don't buy one. Why should your ideas be forced onto the rest of the known universe? Are you all that high-and-mighty that what you think is the be-all and end-all of the known world? The same can be said for a very large number (and majority of blog-vocal) users of Second Life - remeber how "Voice is a failure and should be completely removed as a feature!!!"? As for all you people: you're a stuck-up, conceited snob at best.


Peering at the agni grid map, one can see that practically every continent built by the Lindens is more or less complete. And more specifically, where there are seas and oceans and lakes, they are more or less whole. Except that "whole" is swapped for "hole" in the sea into which I sail from my home in Neobelow. No matter, I just sail around it, making through a very tight opening to the south or loop under the world-hole in the middle of the ocean toward the east to make my way to the Blake Sea.

It's not even annoying. But it is a...curiosity.

Recently Michael Linden posted to the SL blog1 that there are some new sims added to the Linden Seas, where he said in part:
"They feature lots of open water, an island with a mysterious skeleton, and lots of underwater content for the swimmers and mer-folk. There are two rez zones, both in Ahab's Haunt (look for the docks); and no doubt some racing marks and start lines will appear soon."

PostHeaderIcon If It Looks, Walks, Talks and *STINKS* Like a Shill...

The problem with "shopping" on the Second Life grid is the lag - as vendor textures rez slower than molasses. And if you are a hunter like I am, trying to find what you're looking for is a nightmare as there is a sheer Matterhorn of stuff for sale all over the grid. So much so that it's a rare treat to go anywhere and not run into some prim blasting it's advertisement at you hoping you'll throw Linden Dollars at it.

This is why I, like thousands of others will shop via XStreet SL (XSL) - it is still a major hit-and-miss frustrating experience. But it is less frustrating than going on the hunt in-world. You are able to compare likewise products side-by-side and then - if that creator/merchant actually has any smarts at all by providing a link to their in-world location - I'll go in-world to check the product first-hand.

PostHeaderIcon Money-making Technique: Confuse Customers Into Paying More.

I have been in Second Life going-on four years. In that time I have become what I consider as being quite adept at all things SL, except writing my own scripts. I mean everything. Including the way virtual land works in all aspects from terraforming to parcelling to buying and selling and sharing through groups and all the related tier-fees and hoops and loops of it all, including the huge differences between "private" regions and "mainland" regions.

I have now officially been promoted from "adept" to "certified expert". Okay, where does the certification come from? Linden Lab themselves and explicitly: Fog Linden. Allow me to explain...

Before I go into my diatribe, I'll qualify the title of this post, even though I explain it below. Land management with regard to tier fees to Linden Lab can be hugely confusing. But here is how LL makes even more money from mainland than you might think (and this is perfectly okay and nothing wrong with it at all, as often the reverse could be true also):

Someone owns a 4096 parcel, where their tier is due on the 10th of the month. You buy it on the 15th of the month, to add to land you already own, and your tier is on the 20th of the month. The tier was already paid on the parcel at the 10th by the previous owner. You will pay the tier on that parcel on the 20th. Linden Lab makes double tier on that parcel in one month. Multiply this by the thousands of land transactions that occur every-day. Yes, I know: over simplified (detailed posts following the next few days). But you get the point (and it could very likely even-out when the dates go askew).

PostHeaderIcon Second Life is Built "By Nerds for Nerds"

Caleb Booker has a pretty good point with regard to Second Life and how it is perceived. No, not by the hilariously uninformed so-called "journalists" employed by the "legitimate media". Not even by the "regular" SL user. But rather by the "power users" and potential "corporate" users.

Firstly, not all power-users are of the ridiculous mindset that their own opinion of how things should be applies to the rest of the universe. I like to think of myself as an SL "power-user" - but I don't subscribe to a lot of the laughable demands of the most vocal found most often at the official Second Life blogs or worse: the cesspools called SLUniverse and to a slightly lesser extent: Shopping Cart Disco and Alphaville Herald.

PostHeaderIcon Snowcapped Emerald: the Best Kind.

Emerald viewer is finally on steroids.

Though some would say Emerald was the "Official" LL SL Viewer on steroids.
It never was.

All it did was add features but did absolutely nothing for actual performance

PostHeaderIcon Long Live vBulletin (Not!)

Blue Linden posted the news that vBulletin is out and the garbage crap is in. Well, not in those words of course. The first curiosity is the title of his blog post: "Upgrading the Forums".

I like and respect Blue a lot. He's helped me personally over some frivolous nonsense he and likely many other Lindens would and could have just brushed-off without a thought. And certainly his post is vetted by some public-relations folks and all that. But my and many other Second Life user issues are way beyond what Blue is saying and how he is saying it.

Firstly, it's not only not an upgrade, it's not even a side-grade or a downgrade. It's even a bastardization of destructive undertaking.

That bad.

PostHeaderIcon The Case of Mysterious L$ Bonus Bucks

Oooooh. Really good post by Ciaran Leval over at Your2ndPlace about the whole rigamarole over the Linden Lab carrot-on-a-stick to get existing Second Life Basic Accounts to upgrade to Premium Accounts.

Quick recap: Linden Lab has allowed Premium accounts, which I refer to as "preemies" to languish in terms of "features" and "you're so shpethule extra stuff" that a lot of the preemies have been downgrading to the free Basic accounts over the last few years.

So, LL comes-up with the brilliant idea to not only allow all preemies to own 512 square meters of virtual land tier-free (though you still must acquire the land, often by purchasing) - but rather give the 512 M2 land complete with a stylish themed home already upon it.

Filtering through the obviously mixed reactions, most if not all preemies are actually looking forward to receiving one. The goal is also to add another perk to preemie status and entice a lot of those basics to step-up to preemie status. and it is apparently working.

However, amongst the LS (Linden Spam) all respectable residents (those who actually include their real email address in their SL accounts) receive is a fancy-shmancy pitch to take that step-up.

Blackthorne™ ≠ inSL

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