I’m sorry, this is bullshit

Sure, it’s nice to see that Jack Linden did actually read the comments in the forums, and it’s kind of cool that he replied to my short comment, but read his response:

SL Forums – View Single Post – Openspace Announcement Discussion with Jack Linden.

And now tell me it’s not a load of crap. A steaming pile of excrement.

This price increase has nothing to do with technical specifications or lag or user experience. This is about Linden Research wanting more money: “the pricing just wasn’t in line with how they are now being used.” Are you telling me that if I have a regular private sim or a parcel on the mainland but don’t put prims, scripts, or avatars on it, you’ll give me a price break? You mean I can rent server space/time, but if I actually use it, then I deserve to pay more?

“We believe these changes are necessary to better account for the increased load, so that we can continue to scale this product *without* making performance worse for everyone.” I’m sorry, but if this is about being able to scale the product, shouldn’t you at least be able to mention some technical improvement the 67% increase in monthly cost will provide? If this was really about poor performance “for everyone,” don’t you think there would be a few more comments in the forum from people who are looking forward to better performance in their open space sims? The vast majority of positive comments in the forum are from people who own regular private sims (by their own admission they do not own open space sims).

“It could be that with the right technical restrictions in place that a truly light use product at lower cost is viable. . . . Clearly for many people large areas of land are more attractive than prim count for example.” No shit? Really? Wow, who would have ever thought of that? Wow, like, isn’t it really amazing that Linden Research, Inc. chose to provide just such a product at the same price point as regular private sims? What a coincidence all those months ago!

“@Otenth Paderborn: Yes, we will provide guidance on what load level is reasonable for Openspaces as soon as we can.” The fact that you can’t provide it now is even more damning than your original post. If you can’t provide a benchmark for what is inappropriate, how can we take anything you say seriously? I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it didn’t cut it when Justice Stewart said it, and it certainly isn’t an appropriate position for Linden Research, Inc.

Thank you, Miss Malaprop

The brilliant Miss Malaprop, on the recent open space sim brouhaha: Shouting into the Void

I do not, myself, believe in conspiracy theories that this was all some sort of cunning plan by the Laboratory, a “bait and switch” as the phrase has it, to encourage the purchase of OpenSpace areas and then suddenly charge more for them. The main reason that I do not believe these theories is that it would imply a level of long-term planning, and successful long-term planning as well, that I consider utterly unrealistic for the Laboratory.

Linden Research, Inc. sleight of hand

Bad business practices strike again! Even if the only (only!) bad business practice is poor communication, the Lindens are continuing on their well-established path of alienating customers. What this will mean for me as a landowner and for my tenants, only time will tell. If Linden Research doesn’t back off of their announced rate increases, I suppose we’ll convert open space sims into full sims and just eat the reduced elbow room.

If the “abuse” of open space sims that Jack Linden refers to is the real problem, then Linden Research should:

  1. provide realistic, explicit guidelines for what appropriate use is (number of avatars? script resources?)
  2. provide metrics tools for use by landowners (at a minimum) and other residents
  3. throttle performance on open space sims (hard limits to number of avatars and script time)

Instead, they seem to be hiding a need or desire to manipulate the land market behind these technical issues, for which they propose no changes. The only actions (besides increasing their rates) that Linden Research is taking is eliminating owner/payor transfers (something I didn’t even know was possible—I suppose you needed to be an insider to get it) and providing “education” to sim owners.

If you want to comment on the change, do so in the forums. Be aware that less than 24 hours after the announcement, there are 16 pages of comments, many of them apparently from owners of full sims who dislike the competition of open space sims used for residences or businesses.

What a load of crap

Torley Linden rides to the defense of potential shadows in Linden Research, Inc.’s virtual world: Debunking mindjunk about the cost of [Linden Research’s virtual world]’s visual quality

Mindjunk is exactly what it sounds like: mental clutter that sits in your head and makes you more anxious and fearful, taking up space without doing anything effective for your life

The only trouble is that his post is mostly, well, junk.

A computer that exceeds [Linden Research’s virtual world]’s System Recommendations can be bought for under US$500.

Torley provides a link, but it goes to a forum that gives you leads on pieces of computers. FAIL. Computer pieces do not equal a computer.

“Balkanization” is also grossly inaccurate. Even though I appreciate colorful analogies, it isn’t as easy to unite countries involved in political bloodshed as it is to click your mouse and toggle graphics options.

Torley, never dis someone else for overdoing it. Pot, meet kettle? And while you have a point about toggling off graphics options, people can barely handle doing that right now, and you just recommended that they buy the pieces of a computer? Get out of the hothouse. Seriously. 3D web? It better be plug and play. And it better work on a year-old consumer computer. If it doesn’t, Linden Research’s vision will be stuck off in the corner for all time.

And as an active user—and a customer—I don’t want that. I’ll return to this point later.

“Frustrating builders” is entirely speculative at this point

Yes, like nearly everything about virtual worlds. And your point? Sadly, it’s this:

If you’ve got an opportunity to speak up and make a difference about ongoing issues, no matter how controversial — or protroversial they may be: don’t be a community bleeder, be a community leader.

Excuse me while I throw up a little in the back of my mouth.

I’m active in several communities, as a leader. And as a community leader, let me say that Linden Research’s product shortcomings are wearing a bit thin. Linden Research doesn’t need its users to bleed away enthusiasm; it seems to be doing it all on its own.

I also pay Linden Research, Inc., several hundred dollars a month. And I get a product that doesn’t work right. How many days now of asset server problems? Don’t give me any shit about being cheerful about the next glittery gewgaw to appear on the horizon.

And to my readers (all three of you): be sure to go to Torley’s post and check out the comments, as well as the New World Notes post he is responding to, and its comments.

No way to run a business

Second Life Grid Status Reports » Blog Archive » [Resolved] Logins closed – In-World service disruptions

Our central database is sad, which leads to disruptions in several inworld services, such as teleports, search and profiles not working, logins and transactions failing.

Please do not attempt any transactions with non-copy items at this time.

Excuse me? “Our central database is sad”?

  1. How often have Google’s databases failed under their load, hmm?

  2. If Google’s databases did underperform, how do you think Google would describe it? As “sad”?

Child avatars . . . and BDSM . . . and Gor . . . and?

I don’t have any interest in being a virtual child, and I sometimes find child roleplay in virtual worlds even more annoying than how real children can act. I similarly don’t have any personal interest in BDSM (in either the virtual or the real worlds). And I actively disapprove of Gorean roleplay of slavery. But nonetheless, all three of these groups should have the right to be involved in any event that purports to be “Celebrating the cultural diversity of Second Life.”

In this instance, however, they cannot, except as spectators. Everett Linden, in comment 103, says “I’ll be working over the weekend with a few other Lindens on a blog post for Monday to help explain and expand on the SLBirthday.”

In the meantime, I’ll join my voice to that of Ordinal Malaprop, Marianne McCann and Loki Eliot, Dusan Writer, Daniel Regenbogen, Erbo Evans and many, many others in saying how utterly disappointed I am in Linden Research, Inc.

As ever, we owe a debt of gratitude to Tateru Nino at Massively for first covering the story.

Update: There’s now a JIRA issue for “missing cultures and communities from SL5B.”

Resolution: Linden Research, Inc., is now taking an active role as organizer. The entire birthday celebration is now PG, and everyone is welcome to submit applications.

Curious omission

I’m eager to see the amazing builds in The Garden of NPIRL Delights | Rezzable. But I found a curious omission on the website describing the project. There is a page devoted to intellectual property rights, with specific suggestions for how to treat screen shots/photographs taken in the Garden of NPIRL Delights—but the website does not credit a source for the image of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights used on the website, the original of which is in Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.

I’ve never understood the arcana of how an owner can control images of a piece of art that is itself in the public domain—and then there’s the twist that in the US, as I understand it, a faithful reproduction of a piece of two-dimensional art does not itself possess the element of originality necessary for copyright, but in the UK it does.

De-specifizing Tenth Life

As far as I know, all my readers participate in the same virtual world as I. If so, you may read the official blog of the company that owns the architecture of said world, and know that they have decided to take a heavy hand with copyright (their own, but no one else’s, of course) and trademark. So I have begun removing all specific mention of said company and said virtual world and will make my best effort to use generic terms henceforth.

No comment

Over on the Official [our favorite virtual world] Blog, they have comments turned off on a post informing us of Group Chat Maintenance:

You may experience temporary disruption in group chat. The disruption will consist mainly of group chats ending and receiving errors when chatting within the group. Closing the group chat tab and reopening the chat should restore the group chat function.

And that would be different how?

[4/13/08 edit: removed link as well as name, because if they don’t want me using their name, they don’t deserve to get any search ranking from me, either.]