Sunday, April 12, 2009

as you detonate their dreams when you're safely outside

Alas, such a brief break before plunging back into the stoppered madness. But with such predicaments, we must forge ahead.

Onward through the fog, or something.

Sandflea Lorefield (wau, the name) had this to say on page 63:

In some cultures adult means showing a woman's face uncovered outside of her home. In New Guinea full nudity is perfectly acceptable as long as men wear a 2 foot long sheath on their privates. There is no workable or unambiguous definition for "adult" even within in a single country or culture, so how is it possible that SL will find it for a global community like SL. In the end it will come down to someone or some small group making an arbitrary and personal judement and imposing their beliefs on all others.

Of course it will, but that's the way these things work. Still, it's an interesting point.



{Taken at Night Ghast in Kress, a purely donation store for support of the artist.}

is the depth of depravity and scandal in some cultures, and everyday wear in others. Witness:

* I'm wearing green
* my clothes are cut close to my body
* my midriff is bared
* Forget pants, I'm wearing shorts.
* my heels (there, but cut off in the image) are high, id est, raised off the ground
* my cleavage is showing
* my hair is showing
* my FACE is showing

And for SL cultures and mores:

* I'm wearing a collar (never mind that it's unscripted and has no earthly use other than to be pretty and support a little Oz charm, but it's a *collar*, and some people automatically connect just the word itself with bondage, BDSM in general, and Gor)
* Forget about showing ankle, I'm showing upper thigh.

So whose guidelines are we going by? Again, I'm raising this point. So are people on the forums. No one seems to be listening.

There's also some interesting breakdown points emerging. For one, this interchange between Rene Erlanger and Neptune Shelman. Rene said:

Because i care about the community as whole .....because i care about those that will inevitably lose money over this... not only the Adult sector but possibly other sectors too....because i care how it will impact the overall economy.....because i care on how many on my Friends list might leave because over this.....need i go on?

Neptune answered:

I thought i said stop whining

I think Rene went a bit heavy on the ellipses, sure, but--whining? There was whining?

I've pretty much stopped reading Anabella Spark, samatha Congrejo, Lord Sullivan

Minor controversy arose past that point, when Matthew Dowd said:

Mmmm, apart from the minor fact that as I have the source code, I would know exactly how the client packages and sends that key to the server at authentication time. I can therefore capture the network traffic and extract that key.

If LL ever did this, I'd give it less than an hour before that key became public knowledge!

And while I was blinking in incredulity from that one, Argent Stonecutter came to the rescue:

Here I have the source code to the client.

Here I have a binary copy of the client with the key in it.

If it takes me 30 minutes to find the effing key given these two pieces of information it's only because I took a coffee break in the middle.

People are pulling DRM keys out of ROMs buried in epoxy, using differential analysis. People are ripping DRM keys out of running kernels by faking reboots into rigged RAM images of the BIOS. There's NOTHING you can do to hide a DRM key in a game like SL. It's not even a challenge.

You don't even need to monitor the network traffic. They have to give you a valid copy of the key when they give you the code. And they even tell you where to look for it.

And Argent is absolutely right. But it still raged for a bit past that.

Finally, on page 68, people begin to grasp the actual issue. Lylani Bellic said:

It seems whenever I talk about SL people instantly go to the whole "omg but it's full of porn and flying dicks and it's just a disgusting world".

TLMars Bookmite responded:

From what we have been told by LL and from the press spin we have seen. It would appear that it is THIS impression of SL that the company would like to get rid of.

And Ciaran Laval retorted with this:

If they think opening a XXX continent is going to change that impression they seriously need to think again.

This could be our problem, people: the Labs = not thinking.

Ryanna Enfield's entire forum post is worth reading, but here's a direct distilled shot:

Want a more predictable experience Lindens? Fix Search. Police and Enforce the rules of your Welcome Area.

Damn straight. She began talking about Search, by the way, and wondering why in the hell the Lindens couldn't just fix Search so it would respond in more efficient ways. And, while we're at it:

* First Search works.
* Then Search gets iffy for several months.
* The Lindens "solve" the problem--by hooking their search engine to GOOGLE, of all crackhead ideas
* Search is now inefficient, slow, and actually impedes the finding of things, plus:
* Merchants notice their rankings radically dropping, because their business ads now no longer default to traffic in world, and/or advertising points, but instead, to where their shop pops up under standard Google search--hence, the plethora of businesses offering any incentive they can dream up, including offering outright Lindens per week, for folks to carry mention of their store in their profiles (because that bumps up Google search ratings for them)

Most merchants, by the way? At least the ones I've talked to? Have noticed at least a quarter downturn in profits consistently and constantly--that's a 25% total profit loss, every single month for them--since the Labs paired with Google search.

Rene Erlanger has a very long comment that brings up many issues; these are the highlights:

Had they maintained "Payment on File" from the outset, the total logins today would possibly be around 30-40k+ from natural growth alone, but it would be a pure bots, no freebie hunters....the economy would most likely be in stronger shape than what it is today. The grid for one would be a lot smaller ...not the 30k sims we have today, with a large percentage of Yellow!....the population density possibly better than what it is now.

M.Linden wants RL Businesses (mid-size i presume) here because he believes there is a market of holding business meetings, internal training and ultimately operational costs savings for those companies.....he also wants Educators here......and most importantly he wants good company PR in all the media, he wants the image of "Second Life" to change for the better......the non-regulated Adult sector kind of gets in the way of his vision!

if we move on....and lets say LL achieved their sanitised Disney World they so desire and lets say hypothetically the Adult porn sector is virtually non-existant...we now arrive to the next stage, which is Phillip Linden's vision of wanting "RL Teens to be included into the Main Grid because its now become safe for them to do so"
(Yes, for now LL are denying merger, they have a lot of "sanitisation" to do before they could merge it.....but nowhere has it been said "that it will never happen")

All good points. Personally, I believe these two things: first, that the Labs are considering merging the grid, there's been too much talk by too many high-level Lindens for this not to be on the table for some month, and mayhap not too many months farther out; and second, as much as I value anonymity being a positive and should-be-supported option, I do believe the lack of payment-verified accounts, combined with a direct-SLUrl access to the grid for new accounts (rather than time spent actually learning SL skills on Orientation Island, or the local variant), leads to an increase in griefers, deeply stupid users, and children just interested in the forbidden.

Or all three.

zeon Bellic makes it simple:

In my opinion, it would be easy to add another small box in "Preferences" that reads "...prevent [teleportation] to locations allocated as Adult". So now, anyone who has this box checked would be stopped as soon as they tried to tp to an Adult area, and will see a box reading... "unable to teleport to location due to Adult content".

Why can't the Labs do this? Forget debating and voice meetings and "officing" and "modulating on-target interactivity" and whatever else--just that. Why can't they do just that? They already do that to protect certain Linden lands from teleportation; so why can't they just do that?

TLMars Bookmite begins the cynical turn:

This new change they are making comes across as a fresh progressive idea. "Second Life is not dead and is now more user friendly for businesses and residents. Come see the NEW Second Life that will roll out in early Summer where you won't accidently wander into any content that you might find [offensive]. Linden Labs has taken the steps necessary to make sure your Second Life experience is more predictable."

They have the press they wanted. It's already gotten them what they appear to want.

Which is momentary at best, and in the long term? I really believe this move will hurt them deeply. But the Lindens, by and large, seem to be very short-term thinkers.

Which is really, really sad when I think of it, because whether I agreed with everything Philip Rosedale did as a Linden? At least he was thinking long-term.

Rene Erlanger tossed up a link near the end of page 68 that I actually found more than a bit creepy--mostly because the tone is unfailingly perky, and very very "up". Even the 'negative' talking points were talked up. Talk about whitewashing for the press.

I really felt I had to include the bulk of TLMars Bookmite's post following:

Before I log on and begin moving my main gallery with my home & office to my new safe haven in a Gorean Vampire RPing estate that will be flagged Adult as soon as the new policy is in place, I'd like to offer myself as a baseline since I do truely believe that I will be one of those that will be forced to locate my mainland galleries. (This situation is sure making some strange bedfellows eh? ;-P )

LL please do let us know if I am correct in my belief. It could help those who are unsure make a better assessment.

I was asked yesterday why I felt I would be on the list. So here is why based on what LL has put before us...

First, the word "intent" was used and art was included. There is no question that my art is erotic as well as sexually graphic in many cases. So obviously the intent is to arouse on a sexual level.

If I just displayed and sold my R rated pin-up style pieces, I'd probably be ok.

My assumption is that it is the rest that will tip me over that line. It's the images of nude males in bondage - shackles, cages etc.. It's the nude males with exposed bloody whip marks and bruises. It's the anal plugs and strap-ons worn by the Dommes. It's the images of actual sexual activity.

I believe that no matter how well I have attempted to create an attractive build that blends into the surroundings, no matter that I have done my best to alert any random passer by who might wander in about what is inside so they can aviod entering unprepared, it won't matter.

Suddenly, I had to know. So I went to Miss Mars' art gallery.

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Her gallery is located in a very simple build, white-plastered walls and columns, surrounded by plumeria and simple landscaping. Inside, the female domination angle is prevalent, but then, she does warn by signboard and by drop-down notecard of the gallery's intentions, as well as which floors are more "hardcore".

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It's all Poser art; I realize there likely are (especially on the second floor) "hardcore" erotic portraits for some, but I found it very mild, exceptionally tasteful concerning the subject matter, and often playful. She works in bright colors and with well-lit models; while there are depictions of bondage, cut skin, and restraint, it's shown with restraint, if that makes any sense--her female depictions (as expected) are strong and confident, yet her male depictions are also displayed with honor and discretion, not "sissyfied" or shown as 'obviously' smaller, weaker and craven in nature. In fact, her image Two of Swords (on the far side of the wall from the trio of paintings I show) features an almost combative pairing, a naked man, a naked woman, both are armed--and he is shown as fully erect. Yet there is caring as well as challenge, I think, and moreover--he is not depicted as smaller or less capable than she. If anything, it's a very balanced depiction of female domination of male submissives--and yet, this artist is already making plans to move into a sim inhabited by Goreans (well known grid-wide for their dominance over female submissives) and vampires (and depending on the familial group, that could mean anything).

But what else is she to do? She considers her subject matter, and her provisions to screen out adult content, and she would need to classify her work and her business as Adult; and if the businesses around her cannot or do not wish to classify the same, or the sim owner does not, then off she must go to Pornadelphia.

Did I mention this is a bad plan? I think easily ten entries ago I mentioned this was a bad plan.

And it's not improving as we pull close to page 70 in the thread.

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