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I've included the RSS-feed of the SLLA blog some days ago to my RSS aggregator, just because I'm curious and wanted to know this group a little better beside the media coverage they got last week.

Well, I read the article about "army rally and protest." They're claiming that they want to install a government in SL made by the people. Sounds like a nice idea at first, but I've read that about 2-3 years ago the Lindens already asked the people if they want such a thing - the answer was a big NO back then.

Two quotes from the article are:

Our demand is clear: we want a debate between SLLA and Governor Linden. Where was the openness for dialogue when First Land was taken away, or when Linden Labs started selling chunks of our world to IBM, Sony and Warner Brothers?

Why should Lindenlabs care at all? They are a business company, not the welfare, they need to make money, they even more need to make profit. They gain profit when people enter the world, or companies, it doesn't matter. Profit is necessary to continue the development of this platform.  Well, and to the first land issue - better such a reaction than no at all, I guess. The original intention of first land was being perverted by land bots and such.

From our actions at American Apparel last year to our resistance to corporate control of our AV lives, we are building a movement together! We will strike again very soon, count on it.

Why am I reminded of Monty Python right now and must think of the People's Front of Judea? Whatever.

The one who owns the technology makes the rules, plain and simple. If you are not satisfied by the rules you are free to leave the platform.  I mean, why should Lindenlabs care at all about these people? It's nice in the form that they're making free media coverage for the game, makes even more nice PR when they're willing to meet with them, but the truth is - they're usefuls idiots at the moment. Not more, not less.

Disposable pawns for the Lindens, so to speak. If they really would like to get rid of them they can do it anytime without much effort at all.

Exactly to the point of the participation of the people Prokofy Neva (...) wrote an article some time ago in his blog called "The adventure capitalists". To cite the main passage of it:

Dear Philip,

All of us who pay tier, collectively, pay Linden Lab something like $9.5-$10 million a year (I'm not sure how many total hidden/non-hidden sims there are with tier and island billing). It's as much as a venture capitalist. We're the adventure capitalists.

Could we as a group get a seat on your board? We could run elections among the 42,000 mainland landowners and the thousands of island owners (about 50,000 total perhaps?) The person who was acclaimed by assembly or voted for by direct ballot could serve on your board. At least you could consider having that seat in an advisory, non-voting capacity --though the stake is real. It's 70 percent of your revenue, correct?

The first comment on this blog entry was made by Allana Dion in that way:

Dear Wallmart CEO,

All of us who shop in your store, collectively, pay your company something like $9.5-$10 million a year (I'm not sure of the exact figures). It's as much as a venture capitalist. We're the adventure capitalists.

Could we as a group get a seat on your board? We could run elections among the 42,000 daily shoppers and the thousands of weekly shoppers (about 50,000 total perhaps?) The person who was acclaimed by assembly or voted for by direct ballot could serve on your board. At least you could consider having that seat in an advisory, non-voting capacity --though the stake is real. It's 70 percent of your revenue, correct?

She's right there. What Prokofy Neva and the SLLA want is something like this: when you're going to a bar/pub/restaurant, it is run by an innkeeper in one way or another. But they want to make rules for the innkeeper how to run it and this is not going to work. Well, they've got no right to make these rules or any kind of claim to do so. And that's why the SLLA is pointless.

The Second Life Herald ran an interesting article how to look good with freebies (and nearly freebies) with many pictures included and landmarks to the points. Definitely worth a read when you're short on money, don't want to buy it, but want to look good!

I've taken the good, old Bartle-test to see what kind of player in MMORPGs I am. Ok, some of the questions don't apply to SL, of course - like killing dragons, gaining experience points - but when you carefully answer the questions, you got a real good picture about what kind of player you are.

So I am an ESAK. This means:

Based on your answers, you are ESAK.
Breakdown: Achiever 33.33%, Explorer 86.67%, Killer 13.33%, Socializer 66.67% ESAK players often see the game world as a great stage, full of things to see and people to meet. They love teaming up with people to get to the hard-to-see places, and they relish unique experiences.

Some further explanations show the four categories. The categories mean:

  • People with high Achiever scores tend to prefer collecting points, levels, treasure and accomplishments that set them apart from other players--or simply present challenges.
  • People with high Explorer scores tend to enjoy finding all of the unique areas of the world, often enjoying the immersion of the experience. Finding a place with unique monsters and seeing what those monsters do is usually more fun for an Explorer than defeating the monsters themselves.
  • People with high Killer scores prefer the player-versus-player aspect of any game more than anything offered by the environment. They often relish the adrenaline and challenge of pitting themselves against real players.
  • People with high Socializer scores enjoy interacting with other people, forming organizations, and finding cooperative solutions to the challenges within the virtual world.

Although the test is now somewhat old, the results are still a very good match. If you want to try it on your own go to this page and just answer the 30 questions. That's all, done in under 5 minutes and it's fun.

I've taken a look at the Land Auction page from Lindenlab today for closed auctions. Seems they're adding eight new regions per day at the moment, most appear at the new continent in the east, I guess.

The average prize a new region is sold for is around 3.000 US$. Now 8 regions auctioned off per day makes 24.000 US$ income per day and for the tier-fees later 1.560 US$ safely per month. Not bad, he?

And all that for a dual CPU machine which can host two regions alone.

Well, and if you convert the price into land values and the owner wants to make some profit with the region, this means high land prices. Of course.

A region has 65.336 square meters. So, you can buy 270 L$ at the moment for 1 US-$. This means already that you need to take about 12 L$ per square meter only if you want to get this investment in. Now take the tier-fees into account, too, makes around 0.80 L$ per square meter in the first month. Let's say if you want to sell the region without loss in the first month you need at least a prize from 13 L$ per square meter.

But many want to make big profits, so 13 L$ is not being seen so much on the regions, quite often you're going to see higher prices. Well, that's the reason still why land prices are high and not going down, soon, I suspect. Since it's also LL main income source they're going to milk the cow as long as its being possible and in the end we're all paying the price for it. Well, all that want to own land on the mainland.

Well, and because of missing covenants at most mainland sims, the housing can be real terrible.

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Well, seems the Lindens are clearing their backlog and delivering today (!) about 300 islands.

Let's calculate a little. For normal users (non educational) reserving a region costs 1.675 US$ and the monthly maintenance fee for an island is 295 US$.

So alone on reserving costs 300 new arriving islands mean: 300 islands * 1.675 US$ = 502.500 US$ income for Lindenlabs. Of course not all of it profit, since they're using these fees to pay the server hardware, plain and simple, but surely are still making some profit with it.

Then 300 islands * 295 US$ maintenance fee per month and per island = 88.500 US$ income on maintenance fees per month with these islands. Most are surely used to pay the staff and the location, but that's where the real profit comes from for Lindenlab.

So - not bad, hu?

According to this article the European Union considers opening an own presence in Second Life. They're saying it could happen in the future, but right now they don't have enough manpower to do it, so it's still in consideration to communicate via unusual mediums.

Hm... could be starting a new trend, that nations are entering the space like many RW companies have already done it. We're going to see.

Packaging&Converting Essentials, a content provider for the graphics and packaging industry, has opened up its in world presence last week in the sim Sede de Marte.

The building is outstanding in regards of architecture; one of the few pentagons you're ever going to see in world. They're handing out RSS reader huds and of course you can get in touch with their staff, my good old friend Ludwig "Lu" Stapleton as communication officer. And yes, she's a female avatar, just being very much in love with Ludwig van Beethoven, hence the name.

Ah and since everybody loves pictures, here's a picture of the building taken by myself. The building itself was done by Alex Bader. Building PCE

If you want to listen to nice music or inform yourself about matters of the graphical and packaging industry, just go there and get yourself informed.

CNNmoney.com ran an interesting article about "Second Life's looming tax threat." What stays in world is in world and not interesting for the IRS. But when you're trying to convert it into real money that's quite a different matter.

It is about the possibility that you've got to pay income tax in the future to the IRS if you're earning money in SL and other games like WoW and whether it's possibile or science fiction. An interesting read.

The Netzeitung runs an article today how the German criminal law is applicable to Second Life and not.

To sum it up in short: if you're going to make pornography publicly available there, it is applicable; also child pornography falls under it. Sex between furries - is against it. A dutch attorney is already investigating in case of "child age play" as an act of child pornography.

Well, some new insights, it sums it up to - better don't do anything evil and be sure with whom you're interacting.

The Lindens are putting together another of the so called First Look Viewers. Nothing wrong about that one. But what strikes me is this passage in their posting:

Also, regarding the removal of the old particle systems. We are evaluating whether or not we can transparently migrate the deprecated functions to use the new system. If you have any information about how best to map the old functions to use llParticleSystem, please IM Steve Linden in world. Surprisingly, we no longer have anyone here who is familiar with the old particle systems (one of the reasons we want to remove them entirely).

I mean, what's the problem there? They should have documented it entirely in house, they have the code, so they should really, really know how it works.

And if not, they should know how to get in touch with former employees who know how it works. But this? Very, very strange...