”I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it…" (George Bernard Shaw)

Benjamin Duranske on Prokofy Neva and why he stopped reading his blog and communicating at all with him.

It seems that Lindenlab introduced today a new version of their ToS according to their blog. This means, if you want to continue to play SL you need to agree after the next login in the client to them. There should be a dialogue box with the new ToS in it and you can either agree or disagree.

Well, in reality the dialogue box on my client looked like that:

This is something that shouldn't happen. I could have agreed to it that way. After a restart the client showed the new ToS correct.

It's nothing new, but today I've taken a look at the police blotter after a while. Seems the Lindens are really serious on their no gambling policy now.

For example you can read there things like this:

Date: Monday, September 17, 2007
Violation: Terms of Service: Gambling
Region: De Campion
Description: Operating a casino.
Action taken: Suspended 14 days.

Date: Monday, September 17, 2007
Violation: Terms of Service: Gambling
Region: Deepscale
Description: Operating a casino.
Action taken: Warning issued.

So no one can't say he hasn't been warned, yet.

I haven't noticed griefer activity for months now in the sims I am visiting frequently. It seems they come and go, and the more succesful a business is, the more griefers you can get. Whatever. I was visiting the region of Daikoku today, which is always quite populated because Blackheart's Cafe is in it and became the witness of a griefer attack.

Well, I've taken a look at the objects, filed an abuse report, but this is not going to help much, I guess, because the owner of the scripts was just created today and I bet there is soon going to be another avatar.

Well, here's also a picture of the whole event; click on it to get the bigger picture.

[Edit]: A funny thing is, when I take a look at the picture no: I've never realized until now that water is reflecting objects above it. Cool.

[2nd Edit] Seems those attacks were already happening last week, too, according to the Avastar #39.

This is the profile of a female avatar:

Looking to have fun plain and simple.

Keep your drama to yourself as I will drop you like yesterdays news

Nothing fancy, but it shows you what you can expect quite clearly.

We are all sometimes in a situation, where you want to get to now a new person on the block and try to get into a conversation with him or her. Some don't have a big imagination and are using always more or less the same lines, which gets very boring and they're not good, either. It's just typical like the old line "ASL please" from IRC (Age, Sex, Language).

So, how should you not try to do a first talk? A typical talk could go like this:

  1. "Hi!" or "Hello!" - nothing against that.
  2. "Where are you from?" Well, is this Second Life or something else? At least I don't want to share with all parts of my real life, so normally this is something you should ask later perhaps, when you know the avatar a little bit better. Rule of thumb is for me: if it's not in the profile of the avatar, don't ask.
  3. "How old are you?" Even more worse. We are in Second Life, not real life, I cannot stress that enough, and why should my or your RL age matter from the beginning to somebody else? This is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
  4. "Are you really a male/female?" If you should really ask that one, you've lost it there completely. That's the worst thing you could ask on a first chat ever.
  5. "Are you solo?" Well, this is ok to ask in Second Life, if someone hasn't something like that in his/her profile. You still shouldn't do it on first talk ever since this gives the other side just the impression you're after a fast lay or bf/gf. It's wrong to ask this about the real life in first talk ever. If you want to ask it, do it better after a few dates; the better way is just to read the profile of the avatar. Most avatars have a statement there somewhere if they are taken or not.
  6. "Wonna fuck/have some fun?" Unless you're visiting a swinger club or sex club that's also one of the dumbest things you could ask in normal places. Better just don't do it.
  7. "You're beautiful." Arg. Also a very worse pickup line. Face it: almost 99.9% of all the avatars in Second Life are beautiful. Why? Because it's easy and because most like it to be that way! So telling someone already at the beginning that (s)he is beautiful is really ridiculous since normally all other avatars around are, too.
  8. "You're a good dancer." Also arg. Have you ever, ever seen a bad dancer in Second Life? Have you? I for myself haven't and it's no wonder why: most dances are packed into poseballs and of course looking good. And since you're seeing in 80% of the places always 80% the same pose balls, there are no bad dancers in Second Life. We're always good dancers there.
  9. "I need 10 L$ to buy myself something." If you want money, don't ask people for it you don't know, get the money yourself. Either camp somewhere on a dancing pad, just buy it or do some work to get some money.
  10. Befriending someone on first conversation. Just don't do it. This normally goes wrong. Many ppl tend to clear their friends list from time to time and why should I keep up with somebody I don't really know? And if I try to befriend someone on first sight I don't really know him.
So, since those are the things you shouldn't do, what could you do in a first conversation? Be nice. Listen exactly to what the other avatar says. Read his profile. If there's a topic you can talk about, too, you could start the conversation on that matter. Don't behave like a lust ridden avatar that has "I JUST WANT A FAST FUCK" written all over his face. Try to write in good sentences. Observe, what the other avatar likes/dislikes.
Well, just the normal, typical rules how to start something, it's not hard to act upon them.

 Now with the integration of voice in the main client some weeks ago already I wonder what the next big thing is going to be in the development of Second Life.

I mean, using voice is not for all and it's always bringing RL into the game and such, so whta is the next thing going to be when you take in account that LL is making most money with land sales and so on?

I guess those are things that are going to happen sooner or later or might happen:

  • Integration of Windlight into the main viewer. It's been in the internal builds for a really long time already, with Lindens always showing pictures of it.
  • Integration of a newer Havok physics engine. People have been waiting for it since years, this is for sure going to happen sooner or later. If it happens, this is going to enable for example vehicles consisting of more than 31 prims.
  • The migration of the LSL engine to Mono. This is going to make the running of scripts on the server much more faster than today.
  • A better mesh for the avatars. The avatars as they are available today show their age compared to other game engines, so a better mesh for the avatar shape would be quite refreshing.
  • Better interfaces for integration with 3rd party tools, perhaps a stable API, too.
  • The possibility to backup stuff from the grid on your own server. There are some little ways to do it so far, but all are still quite hard to handle and not for the non experienced user.
  • More and better localized versions of the client.

When new people come into Second Life, it is always the same: learning how to use the client, learning how to get skins, shapes, clothes and such and learning how to get money. Many just camp somewhere to get some money, some are using the Lindex to buy it and others think that they need a job and ask everywhere for it. 

But do you really need a job to get money? No. You can use Second Life also with just freebies, you don't need to have a home at all and many people when they work in a job work for ridiculous small amounts of money. Some then consider already 300 L$ per hour a high payment (something aboth 1 US$) and work and work and work their ass off...

Not using their brains at all. You would never work for those small amounts of money in RL, but in SL - it's no problem for many people at all. That's always amazing to see. If you want a job, fine, but then you should do it because you like it. Otherwise there are better ways to get money, if you really need it, just like buying it somewhere or starting your own business.

Just another idea I got in my kitchen: when there's going to be age verfication and with all the data needed to make it, why not also make voluntary gender verification in it, too? 

Meaning: showing a sign in the avatar, if the player behind it is real female or not. I guess, some would really appreciate such a thing and on a voluntary base it should be possible to make it.

There's been a drastic change to the website of SL: you can see a new graphic and link to a site called "Second Life Grid". It seems that Lindenlabs doesn't want to rely any longer on land sales alone as main source of income and is now starting to market their grid more for certain 3rd parties, which is a good move to me.

It's giving some insights in what the grid can do, about the dimensions and so on and on. The website is clearly targeted on corporate viewers, no doubt about that, and telling about how others use it and how you can participate with it. There are the old target groups like Education and Non Profit and Solution Providers, but there's a new target group, Global Providers. To cite the site about them:

The Second Life Grid Global Provider program is designed to assist
international online communities in creating their own presence on the
Second Life Grid. This program has significant requirements,
obligations, and program fees. It is only available to operators of
existing online communities outside the United States.

So to make it short: who's the target group? Big communities like internet providers, for example, or perhaps big web communities outside the USA. Since it is not going to be cheap to be such a provider and you should have at least about two million accounts, this is surely not for everybody of us. But it also means that Lindenlab is finally opening up their grid to 3rd parties, for example there's already a company in Brazil as far as I know that did very much things for SL on their own like giving it away, translating it and so on. Now such a company can open up their own space in Second Life and localize it. I don't expect existing online games to use it, of course, since they got their own special needs.

This here is about communities, really big communities. So for example, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Tiscali area somewhere in SL or T-Online for example as Global Solution Providers. The benefit side makes the target group even more clear, stating for example this as benefit:

Official designation as a Second Life Global Provider, including program branding and press release support.

So this looks for me basically like that: Second Life should spread even more further, but Lindenlabs is unable to do that in all countries on their own. So they open up their grid for paying 3rd parties, who get certain rights but also the risk, and if those providers work good in their country, they expect to get even bigger user counts. If those providers are now big communities somewhere (like myspace.com, which is not eligable) or internet providers doesn't seem to count on that point.

So we all should wait and see who's going to be the first company to open up such a local experience.