“and drugs” ? !

Taser Sues Second Life Virtual World Creator Over Gun Sales.

“All of the defendants that sell virtual weaponry like plaintiff’s real ones, under the mark Taser for use in the Second Life programs and grids, also sell adult-only explicit images and scenes” and drugs, according to the complaint.

First, I don’t understand why trademark infringement would be anything other than a straight yes/no question. Either someone is using your trademark or not. Why should other products sold in the same store make any difference?

But notice that the “and drugs” is not a direct quote of the complaint, it is something that Bloomberg made an editorial decision to include. Even though (I trust) the complaint may claim that drugs are sold by Linden Research and Virtualtrade, it is irresponsible to report this as though it is possible.

And finally, I find the idea of tasers far more disreputable than either pornography or drugs.

Beta testing with Pony Linden

At the end of my work day, I read a tweet about the Lindens doing a stress test on the beta grid (aditi). It was past the time stated, but I went anyway. w00t! Lots of lag. Lots of walking and TPing hither and yon. Lots of touching scripted objects across sim boundaries. Some amazing, amazing avatars. And Pony Linden!

A good question

Hypatia Callisto asks a great question: “So, what are scarce resources in a virtual world?”

I quite agree with her answers (go take a look, and while you’re at it, read her recent series of excellent posts on current events in the metaverse).

There is something I would add to her list, something that makes me rather sad, but nonetheless I think it’s true: Imagination is a scarce resource in a virtual world. Virtual worlds are not unique in this. Oh, sure, we can all put together nice outfits, and have occasional flashes of creativity. But the deep, innovative, world-changing (virtual or “real”) imagination isn’t all that common. And much like the elements on Hypatia’s list, imagination is being disproportionately squeezed by Linden Research, Inc.’s floundering around with their poor business planning (and, as is becoming clearer, with their poor coding decisions).

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.