My Friday in SL

Well, today was smooth and without any trouble. All was quiet in the garden, danced with several nice ladies and I found some stuff to read and to do.

Well, here’s my roundup:

  • An article named „What do Paris Hilton and Second Life have in common?“ from the CEO of Iron Realms, a company doing business in and with MUDs, from 10/20/06. Well, Matt Mihaly takes a very negative stance against SL. No great news there, because they are competitors. The quote „SL is famous for being famous“ sums his opinion up very well! He has some points there, but the reason for a company going into SL is always first – cheap publicity. If you join there, then you’re hip, you get big press for nothing at all and the project costs are just a very minor part in your budget. That’s the way it works!
  • A piece named „Relay for Life and Exploits“ from Hiro Pendragron from 06/20/06. Quote: „Linden Lab loves to play this game called „Let’s release a patch befor a major release!““. About the problems of the patch schedules and that he is the opinion that the Lindens should be allowed to play actually in the world while at work to get a grip of it. Point taken there, but not all Lindens are technicians like he writes.
  • The article of the day: „Politiker in „Second Life“: Der US-Kongress wird virtuell.“ This was today at the frontpage of the website of the German magazine „Der Spiegel“. It’s about a new sim, in which the US congress was put into. Well, actually good PR for LL at no cost at all, since this is a biggie.

Second Life in 2007 – potential backlash?

In Terra Nova is an interesting article about potential backlashs about Second Life in 2007 by Ren Reynolds.

Points one to three are:

  1. It’s all just sex. sex sex sex I tell you
  2. It’s not just sex, it’s prostitution
  3. It can be used for hiding / laundering money

Well, guess what? Point 3 already has happened, there are already articles about this possibility in the web. Definitely also worth a read and some of them are just bound to happen sooner or later!

New wiki in town: Second Life Business Communicators Wiki

There is a new wiki in town: the „Second Life Business Communicators Wiki“! To state from their first page:

This wiki is intended to be a collaborative resource for anyone interested in business and communications applications of Second Life, virtual worlds or 3D user interfaces.

It is in its infancy and is by no means exhaustive, complete or ready for prime-time. This is just a start, but it will continue to grow. Contributions or ideas on what resources you’d like to see here are most welcome!

So it is for sure worth watching if it is able to get a decent community.

Wagner James Au about Hype and Anti-Hype

I’ve found the article „Second Life: Hype vs. Anti-Hype vs. Anti-Anti-Hype“ from the midth of December 2006. A very well thought article from Wagner James Au about the recent developments, company side and growth in SL. Definitely worth a read, so not a short one, so take your time!

[Update]: Seems the user base grows about 23% per month according to this artice based
on numbers bei Philip Linden.

„Four eyed monsters screening in Second Life“

As the press release says:

– Press Release – Love 2.0: Four Eyed Monsters Screening In Second Life

At 8 PM EST (5 PM PST/SLT) on January 9th a very special independent film project will have its virtual world debut at the Sundance Channel screening room in Second Life. Four Eyed Monsters is the labor of love of Arin Crumley and Susan Buice, two 20-something Brooklynites who met online, digitally documented their relationship, and turned it into an art project that’s become a contemporary reassessment of love, relationships, and creative collaboration in the new media-saturated world of MySpace and digital video.

Get the rest there. I wonder how this is going to be… perhaps I am going to attend it, if I can!

Power consumption of an average avatar

Here is an interesting read about the average power consumption of an avatar per anno (German only).

When you take in count the about 4000 servers used for running the grid, the computers used to control the avatars and coolant systems in the data center of LL one avatar consumed about ca. 1752 KWh per anno. The average power consumption of an inhabitant from Brazil seems to be 1884 KWh.

So what should we do with these measures? Nick at them, it is an interesting number, but meaningless all the way for all other except LL, who has to pay the energy bill for its datacenters.

Three kinds of death

He’re is a funny quote from there:

There are three kinds of death in this world. There’s heart death, there’s brain death, and there’s being off the network. — Guy Almes

Well, not only means being off the network „death“ to an avatar, but also lost money, if someone wants to do business, of course!

Why Libsecondlife is here to stay

After the Copybot-incident (another article from the Washington Post about it) there was one project many blamed actually for this: Libsecondlife. Many people would have liked that this project would be shut down, perhaps even forcefully, or at least that Linden Labs is not endorsing it anymore. But nothing like that has happened. Why?

Well first: because SL is here to stay. Second main reason: many big and not so big companies are entering SL to make their business in, too, or at least to market their RL business. And here starts the problem.

Many RL companies have experiences in standard industry 3d tools like Maya, Poser, AutoCAD and so on. But you cannot use any of them to build anything in SL, since the client or just SL itself lacks a defined interface for 3rd party applications.

Enter here: libsecondlife. The people there have made deep efforts to reverse engineer the protocol used in SL to create such an API. Even if companies want to extend their programs in a way to work with SL directly don’t use libsecondlife they can use it as base for their own efforts. The protocol of SL is documented in the source code of libsecondlife, more or less.

And this is the main reason it is here to stay and why LL endorses it. Endorsing the project simply means that they don’t have to invest manpower in such an API on their own. Why bother doing it yourself, when someone else is already doing it for free?

Such a project normally starts when a developer tries to scratch a need, not being able to satisfy it otherwise. And reverse engeneering the protocol does not mean reverse engeneering the client, btw. You can do this without it, using proxies (like this one) or using a network sniffer like Wireshark. This is not the first nor the last time something like that happened on the Internet, there is quite a history about protocols being reverse engineered (like Oscar from ICQ, CIFS for Samba and so on).

So, if something like that already happened, and you are the company defining the protocol, there is then the question what to do with it. Work with the guys, ignore them or try them to shut down? The wisest choice is of course to work with them, because when they are going to stumple upon inconsistencies or exploits then for sure they are going to tell it you first.

Also another aspect of this „incidence“ is, that if not made by this project itself, sooner or later someone would have tried to reverse engineer the protocol and made such a tool by himself, but if this person/project would then have also a friendly relationship towards you would be another kind of matter.

So this is why Libsecondlife is here to stay: first to make it easier for the content supporting industry to build their own tools and second because it is a vital part for LL to attract even more business into the platform, which is of course good for them.

So it is a win-win situation for both sides.

Massive griefer attack at the garden

Right now we had a massive griefer attack at the garden. First some avatar named Mxxx Ax came to me and asked me what I am looking for. I askes him: „why?“ He told me on an instant message, that he is a pimp and wants to sell me the services of his whores for about 10 L$. I told hime: „Fine, thank you, but my girlfriend would mind.“ Then this moron said something like „Well, than I must cage you“ and began caging all people in the entrance of the garden. Another friend of his, named C.H. came in, too, and helped him.

Here is some transcript of it, anyway:

Mxxx Ax: barth
You: hi mxxx.
Mxxx Ax: what do u play this game for sex?
You: Why do you ask?

[15:33] Mxxx Ax: cause im a pimp and im selling hoe’s if u want sex i can sell u a gurl for 10L$
[15:33] Bartholomew Gallacher: no, thanks, my girlfriend would really min.
[15:33] Bartholomew Gallacher: +d

Mxxx Ax: fine then ill just cage u

Caging is quite difficult, since when you are in such a cage it is normally not possible anymore to get out of it on your own – besides logging off and logging on.

It went even more worse, they had some bigger cages, too, and plastered them all around the garden and threw some kind of napalm on it. At least some time you could not see anything in the garden because of the smoke and it got laggy, too.

The whole attack lasted for about 10 minutes, then it was over. The griefers got banned on all parcels of the garden and all griefing objects were deleted by the owners.

So, what’s the moral behind this story? If you want to do business in SL, better count on if you are having success or behind your store is a big real life company, that sooner or later some griefers are going to show up for sure to make your life hard as hell.

And of course in the moment where you cannot handle them at all, like a press conference going on.

So – better invest some money in good security and security precautions! It can save you from many potential headaches. SL is like the Wild West, sometimes!