Saturday, December 12, 2009

drop his name, push it in and twist the knife again

Alvi Halderman mentions that there's been a truly scary crash in XStreetSL products available through the website. And remember, this is before the new policies enter into effect.

From MediaShift, more on the whole "post a comment, lose your job" controversy:

The Post-Dispatch's terms of service state that the website "encourage[s] a free and open exchange of ideas in a climate of mutual respect." However, Greenbaum's actions could chill that climate of open exchange and mutual respect.

While I agree tracking the man's place of employment down and telling them goes a bit above and beyond, how is posting vulgarity, over and over, "chilling" open exchange and mutual respect? It's it just behaving like a brat in a forum? Doesn't mutual respect imply, if not outright state, that the free and open exchange of ideas is reasonable, not abusive?

More than that, though, for years now there have been ways to ensure complete anonymity by protecting our IPs, and ways to do this while commenting in blogs and on websites. The individual in question didn't do this, he just didn't sign in. Nearly everyone who collects IP addresses for future use says so; while it's not automatic (as cases like this show), anyone who really desired anonymity would be protected and anonymous.

This idiot wasn't. So, while Greenbaum's actions were tacky, yes...they weren't criminal, and I don't believe they violated (at least the net version of) free speech. Remember, free speech is not just a right, it's a responsibility.

In other news, talk of script limitations is cropping up again on the grid. It started in one of my groups with a casual mention...

[0:30] Colette Charleville: (I was just reading about the issue that LL [will] restrict the script memories with the next viewer update)

And it went from there:

[0:34] Jahzera Bulloch: woots Lindens.. about time!!!!!!!!
[0:35] Wyvern Dryke: well the script issue concerns me a great deal actually... I don't think it will be a good thing
[0:35] Jahzera Bulloch: I'm all for responsible building
[0:35] Wyvern Dryke: Mmm, yes, but where do they draw the line?
[0:36] Jahzera Bulloch: Irresponsible building has been a glut on the grid for ages .. this is awesome news
[0:36] Jahzera Bulloch: they'll be generous enough.. but set a reasonable limit.. their not looking to drain their pockets either
[0:36] Colette Charleville: yes, me too, but don't you like some menus that come with furniture, like multipose or texchange?
[0:37] Wyvern Dryke: I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree. On the one paw, it will help with people who insist on wearing tons of HUDS... but on the other paw, it will negate and make useless a LOT of current objects.
[0:37] Colette Charleville: or a rezbox for a house?
[0:37] Jahzera Bulloch: those will still be able to be used.. the difference is builders will have to use the new versions rather than continuing on with the old because its to much work
[0:37] Jahzera Bulloch: rezboxes are temp script drain
[0:37] Jahzera Bulloch: no reason to think LL's will get stupid with this and slice their own throats

And, me being me? I'm not sure of that. They have shot themselves in the foot with XStreet: more people than ever before cut their losses before the new charges were ever implemented. They're now selling only in world, or on Apez and in world, or on another service. They don't want to be bothered with the concept of subsidizing via hiked rates.

Note, these are generally not free accounts who are skating back to spending blithely in game. Most of them are people in my position--people who contribute to the game either with premium accounts, or, if still on basic/free accounts, contributing by means of texture uploads and photographs taken. For us, this is an additional fee on top of what we already pay, and it feels more than a bit unfair.

[0:39] Roxy Couturier: yeah... LL knows whats best for us.. they are -right- on top of the pulse of SL
[0:39] Wyvern Dryke: oh definitely *shares Roxy's sarcasm*
[0:40] Jahzera Bulloch shrugs .. with all the support i'm sure their job is made quite easy
[0:40] Leona Upshaw: don't drink the Kool Aid

The reference isn't lost on me, though I don't precisely think that's what's going on. I really, truly, think the longer this goes on, the longer it's going to become clear: Grow up or get out. Become a business client or move on. Create things that have branded equity, or stop creating.

"User content"? Only if it's authorized, it seems--and it pays the bills, moreover.

[0:48] Anelise Demonge: do we really need everything we have/wear to 'do' 200 different things? I'm not sure I don't agree with a new level of responsibility. Its just sad that linden's had to take this approach to effect it.
[0:48] Ester Merlin: this [will] muck up the fight huds for sure
[0:48] Ester Merlin: like dcs and such
[0:48] Kathleen Blachere: oh man .....some products will become useless
[0:49] Anelise Demonge: Has linden's announced the limit somewhere that I haven't seen?
[0:49] Kathleen Blachere: thank goodness I dont make stuff with a lot of scripts
[0:49] Colette Charleville: yes, but I think the taste about what is useless or not, is so different
[0:49] Wyvern Dryke: there is no specified limit
[0:49] Wyvern Dryke: yet

It's that "yet", I believe, that's worrying all of us. We first started hearing these rumors last year, and there have been small occasional mentions off and on since then. Rumors of script limitations per avatar, per parcel, per sim; rumors of attachment point limitations (many hearing these lament the coming end of jewelry as we know it...and potentially furs). Confirmations? Defined dates of application? Those, we don't seem to be hearing about as often.

[0:50] Shila Szondi: sorry I just got on..can I have the blog please
[0:50] Colette Charleville:
[0:50] Shila Szondi: thanks

And, near as I can figure, all of this whipping the grid into a frenzy--again--is one man's opinion. That blog entry is not Linden-official. Unless there's something I missed--which is possible--this is just discussion on the forums.

[0:53] Ester Merlin: I have seen what happened with the 'adult' stuff and sl street..and am totally of the opinion that if we don't tell the lindens we don't like their idea on something..we will have it crammed down our throats and told we 'asked for it'
[0:54] Kathleen Blachere: yup
[0:54] Anelise Demonge: errmm.. the end result of doing exactly that is why we have all these new niceties
[0:54] Ester Merlin: member..we asked for the lindens to take the freebies off sl street
[0:54] Wyvern Dryke: I don't remember asking for that...
[0:55] Kathleen Blachere: yeah but I dont remember seeing anyone suggest a monthly charge for regular items
[0:55] Anelise Demonge: we asked the lindens to make it smoother to navigate.. we asked for a lot and they listened and took action.. some will love it.. some will hate it.. those that hate it will be the most vocal.. as always

Personally, I think it was such a limited sample of merchants--and grid residents--as to render both Pink Linden's little survey, and the sampling of voices at the brown bag meetings, useless entirely.

[0:55] Ester Merlin: well if you read their blog..the merchants and the customers both asked for the freebies to be gone, and for there to be an increase on the fees

And I had to weigh in after that comment; I'd done my best to just read along and not get involved up to this point.

[0:56] Emilly Orr: Not everyone. Selected merchants only were invited to give feedback on their survey. Selected merchants only were invited to meet with them to give their input.
[0:56] Emilly Orr: NOT everyone.
[0:57] Anelise Demonge: " to give feedback on their survey" .. the survey was a [public] one we each had the option of participating in at log in.. that was like 4 months ago
[0:57] Wyvern Dryke doesn't remember the survey
[0:58] Anelise Demonge: I do.. I took it
[0:58] Wyvern Dryke only knows he has stopped using Slex and won't go back.

Neither will I, unless there's no other way I can get something (Miss Ghanie Lane's frequent sculpt sales come to mind). But more importantly, the survey was not a public one. It was only sent out to specific accounts; it was not the survey on freebies given at log-in, four months ago or at any other time. This was specifically sent out with a website link to, one can only assume, hand-selected merchants selling via XStreet.

Not everyone.

Not even one-third of everyone.

[1:00] Marie Resch: the problem is that new folks are trying to break into the market so their stuff wouldn't necessarily be big movers, they need time to make a name for themselves
[1:00] Anelise Demonge: That was never the intent of the exchange though
[1:00] Colette Charleville: remember the great work of Arcadia Asylum

Well, of course, but that's not necessarily the point, is it? Because the presumption seems to be that new accounts have no money, no resources, no understanding of the world...and that's not necessarily the case.

[1:12] Anelise Demonge: what'll happen is the grid will slowly be cleaned of poor scripts and unnecessary heavy scripting
[1:12] Anelise Demonge: this is a step up.. not a step down
[1:12] Wyvern Dryke: like I said at the start of this discussion, it all depends on where they draw the line.
[1:13] Colette Charleville: yes

I wish I had her faith, I truly do. Maybe it's that I appreciate that creativity is unfailingly paired with free and unrestricted expression. Are there bad things with that? Yes, absolutely. But the more restrictions we place on ourselves, the less control we have; the control is always, always given to the hands of others, if that's what the end goal is. Virtual world or not.

[A little after I put this out, the Massively blog released this post to the wilds, which covers this very issue far more comprehensively. 2010 is not that far away now, all things considered...let's hope the 'good' and the 'very good' win out over the 'not so good'.]


Candy said...

I didn't think the drop is THAT scary, when looked at from a scale of 0 to 400,000. Significant, yes, but it seems to be leveling off.

The script issue is - to perhaps overuse the word - disquieting to me, as some of my products require a scripts in many of the child prims (for color change or for aeronautical surfaces). As a script hack, I also know a lot of my scripted vehicles are not coded efficiently at all, but I don't know how to streamline them.

I suppose that lands some responsibility, as a creator, in my lap. I just am not that good as LSL.


Mako Magellan said...

I'm not that scared by what's happened at XStreet, either. The delisting has been very well documented by DanielRavenNest at SLU. It amounted to a temporary decrease of about 10% followed now by a steady but slow increase. More items will be delisted when the charges arrive, no doubt.

And scripts? It all hinges on the numbers, I guess.

Emilly Orr said...


I do know that Oxbridge is starting to hold LSL classes for beginners, and who knows but experienced (or semi-experienced) residents could pick up a few tricks, too? It's worth a shot.

And the thing about most shift-position scripts, or color-change scripts, is they generally aren't always in listen mode. If it's scripted to respond to code phrases on a channel, then the channel command turns the script "on", and it functions until the command is done; then they generally go inactive again.

Resize scripts, by and large, by comparison, are listening constantly, and thus, cause script lag much more often.

Mr. Magellan,

From DanielRavenNest on December 12th:

"Xstreet continues to be flat (up only 98 items in 6 days)."

There was reported a slight lift in sales two days later, but that's still not a massive surge for XStreet to recover. I still expect more users, as Daniel predicts, to depart once the fees actually activate.