Cory Linden takes his hat

The pilot is leaving.

Cory Ondrejka aka Cory Linden, one of the longest running employees of Lindenlab and its chief technician (CTO) is leaving. Why? The reasons remain mysterious. Some speculate that he had different visions for the future of SL than Philip Rosedale has. What does this mean for LL? Well, many think that the company is in for a tough ride now and it's going to be very hard to fill the gap Cory Ondrejka leaves, since he's one of the few people who can still understand the big picture as it seems. So - we're going to see.

Age verification finally coming to all of us

Age verification is finally going operational. First it's going to be on a grid wide beta on the main grid, the impact of it is something to be checked out.

It's unusual that a beta feature is going to be released on the main grid, but in that case it makes sense. I just wonder what took them over 7 months to get that feature ready; it's something that's going to make Second Life more corporate friendly in the future, that's for sure.

Sing: land prices are going down, down, down...

The land prices have been going down, down, down over the last few months. Anyone who's got a free parcel, either it is free for rent or sale, has quite some problems to find a new owner for it.

Also big players like Dreamland have lowered their prices to get new tenants or sell it. In addition the in world sales of virtual goods are not as quite good at the moment as they used to be, many people in this field are complaining about the lack of sales.

So how does it come? Well, the big hype over SL is over in most countries at the moment, it's not so unusual anymore, now SL needs to show its value as a tool for whichever need. But end of the hype means also that the stream of newbies flowing into SL has ebbed down great scale.

So what's next? I guess many landlords are forced to either sell their land now under value and/or just give up many islands. That's what I expect at least. Not everyone has enough bucks in the background to overcome this time now.

I don't expect Lindenlab to lower their own prices, though.

The next copyright lawsuit rolling on

The next copyright lawsuit about in world theft has started. Virtually Blind has an interesting article about it.

What really baffles me is this quote:

“We originally tried to go through [Second Life Provider] Linden Lab,” said Alderman. “Everybody filed DMCA [takedown] notices. We filed support tickets and abuse reports. We even sent a letter to Robin [Harper, Linden Lab’s Vice President of Marketing & Community Development] and copied Philip [Rosedale, Linden Lab’s CEO]. We got nothing.”

Doesn't sound like a good customer service, does it? And those are not your mommas designers from the backyard, but some of the leading in world designers and builders. Well, we're going to see where this lawsuit is going to end.

Prokofy Neva banned at

Second Life's very own Cassandra and most professional ranter, Prokofy Neva, has been banned at 57 Miles weblog

This is quite interesting and amusing. Why interesting? Because PN and 57 Miles were on real friendly terms, they made together 12 lengthy podcasts named "Second Rant". And now they split apart - and it's the usual picture, PN got banned on the whole website (if possible, that is).

Of course, another lengthy article by PN about this event on his own blog, nothing so far on yet. The reasons why? Because PN called one on the group channel of Metaversed to "fuck off", the last podcast was way too critical or so, mostly because PN is not good for his business.

Well - whatever. This is not the last thing we're going to hear from skipjack Prokofy Neva - just another finished act in the whole drama around this avatar. That's all.

Renovation gone bad at the new Phat Cat's

Phat Cat's has been closed for public last weekend for around two days. The reason why? Because the wanted to rebuild it from scratch. Not a bad idea at all if you're unhappy with your sim or want to improve it. Given the fact, that there's always traffic at any time there also the only way to do it if you want to be able to work quickly and undisturbed at all.

So, now since it's open again for around one week, what to say about the rebuild Phat Cat's? The good part is: it is for sure a visual improvement compared to the old spot, all the good things are still there, meaning dance floor, classy ambiente, also the big mall.

The bad thing about it? Well, Phat Cat's is now way too heavy graphics wise. Meaning: there's way too much on heavy graphics in it, it was always laggy of course, since it's almost always full, but the new arrangement of prims and stuff adds way much to an even more worse lag now, too.

Also gone is now the sea view; at the old place you had one, now you're looking at arcades and their columns. And somehow I now find white marble rather boring... Traffic is still high, so don't let that fool you, but visual wise there are better themed jazz clubs around like Carribean Breezes.

Well, take a look at the main dance floor. It's a big, wide, open space, for me the dance floor got smaller compared to the one before, there aren't many chairs around anymore, also less dance balls at the moment it seems.

For me as a long time standing visitor (ha, what a wording!) Phat Cat's has lost much of its appeal to me, it has somewhat lost its trademark feeling. Oh, and take a look at this picture of the main dance area, taken today around 02:00 am SLT, to get the picture on your own:

Group chat still broken

If you're running a somewhat bigger group (> 1000 members or so) be careful if you want to use group chat. It's still broken, meaning quite often message B shows up before your message A does. If you are able to use it at all, that is.

And - you still cannot disable chat for all except some moderators, so a group always tends to get "spammy" from time to time. Many people now have a very short fuse if reading messages from a group chat, too. Most times it's just a waste of time, anyway.

Like Jenny saying "hi", Mike saying "hello", Jenny asking "wanna dance" and so on and on...

Missing feature: external backup of a whole sim

This is a feature that's been missing since ever: the ability to backup the content of a whole sim externally.

For example, if you are a builder and building a whole sim from scratch (or with other stuff) and a forced to put the sim down, since you don't have the money anymore to sustain it - or your customer, whatever - taking down the sim means taking down all the labour cost, all the work. If you want to put the work up later, again, you've got to start more or less from scratch.

In this case it would be very nice to have the ability to backup a whole sim and store it somewhere for possible future use. At the moment this isn't possible, to this is a big, missing feature in the portfolio of Second Life.

What's next on Lindenlabs' agenda? Ban prostitution, of course!

If you take a look at the recent ban of gambling, you may wonder what's coming up next to be banned or limited. If Lindenlab would be consistent with their intentions, one things really pops up mighty in my mind: prostitution.

Sex and, yes, prostitution, though most people prefer to call themself in an euphemistic kind of way escort and not prostitute, is one of the big driving motions behind Second Life at all. And, yes, like gambling it's prohibited in many countries Second Life is available.

So if Lindenlab is really consistent about establishing a somewhat "cleaner" Second Life this must be next on their agenda: the containment or even shutting down of most prostitution happening in Second Life.

Either that, or as another consequence building up a new strictly, clean, separate corporation grid without this kind of business at all, like the Teen Grid is today. But then again, this would hurt their land sales, since it would depend on how many residents of course would like to visit this clean grid and you got more possible visitors on the main grid than on an own corporation grid. But for strict in house usage such a grid would be a heavy, good asset for Lindenlab to have.

This would of course hurt the in world economy great lengths since most of it is built upon sex, sex, sex, and many people come into Second Life to get laid and many females are working as escorts or dancers at least.

But it's the next logical step in the development of Second Life at all. In my opinion the question is not if it is going to happen at all, but how and when it is going to happen. This is bound to happen sooner or later if Second Life should still appeal to big real world companies. A cleaner grid could mean better land sales to such companies and in the end it's all that counts for Lindenlab. Sales, more sales, more and better income and profit to be alive.