Thursday, August 19, 2010

go, go, get away now; go, go, run away now--

So, some general thread discussion today, mostly from SLUniverse.

From Joshua Nightshade, outlining the general problem of CDS:
"It's a security system that works similarly to Banlink. Through some mechanism that only the CDS devs know, it purports to 'detect' avatars who are logged in to viewers with copybot functionality, adding them to a centralised database that people who use CDS access through security devices. When an avatar on this list comes into range, they're booted/banned from the sim.

"Except that it doesn't really work, and by this point all the detection mechanisms that could have worked in the past have been obfuscated by people still making copybot viewers.

"It's about as effective as those !quit copybot protection things. That hasn't worked since the very first version of copybot YEARS ago, but people still put them out and ignore comments saying that they don't do anything.

"Similarly, CDS' devs are quick to accuse people who point out the fact that their system is worthless are probably just copybotters in the first place. Because, obviously, that's the only reason why they would criticise such a perfect and fool-proof security system."
That's what it boils down to in essence. Basically, if you've ever logged in on a 'suspect' viewer--even once--and you were within range of a CDS scanner--which were silently propagated across the grid for at least eight months prior to release, and possibly up to a full year--then you might well be banned from stores using CDS. You usually won't know until you go to a store whether or not you're in their database. And the stores generally don't tell you they're using CDS.

From Lil Hapmouche:
"CDS is claimed to be a 100% accurate way of detecting rippers entering the scan range. It's based on a gridwide network sharing scan results. Those results are based on data collections done within an unknown timeframe, checking for the [legality] of the viewer you were detected to be using. Whether or not it is capable of linking alt accounts is a different question.

"What exactly is scanned for has not been confirmed and is up to speculation. Rumours about cooperation with other facilities do apply. Merchants running a CDS can set various options including local unbanning, but hardly anyone lets their customers know that they are targeted by the tool upon their visit.

"To prevent the system from scanning you, turn off any settings that are likely to trasmit data like your IP address to anyone. Media is the main target."
And that's become the big buzzword over the grid--that "somehow", "some people" can gank your IP info from mis-set Preference settings, including media. Is it true? Not sure yet. But that's what people are saying.

So here we go, a little back-and-forth:

From Joshua again:
"I don't think that illusory protection is worth anything. If you want illusory protection, make a prim scarecrow and put it in the front of your store. Why pay someone to use a system that is ripping you off?

"It's not about information that you give out when you go online. It's not just the IP address they snag. They snag a number of details about your avatar as well and in conjunction with things like IP addresses, this can be added up to a seriously dangerous level of detail. It's terrifying enough when it's LL or Facebook, but those are companies with reputations at stake and legal jurisdictions to adhere to. The CDS/Emerald devs don't give a shit. They've had breeches of security not just by script kiddies who are pissed off, but former developers who have left and went the scorched earth approach along the way. There's no safeguards in place to protect this sensitive information, nor is there any interest by CDS/Emerald devs to even acknowledge what they're scraping and why they're scraping it."
That's pretty much my feeling, yes. Though I should state, as Miss Star Fairymeadow brought this up yesterday, that apparently, there is no direct connection to Emerald from Gemini CDS--save for Skill Hax working as a developer on the project. I had thought Emerald was behind CDS, as well--along with a section of the grid--but apparently we are wrong in this.

Humps then said:
"It matters not one jot what I think or any of you think. People will do what people will do. Merchants will continue to try anything they can to protect themselves, customers will still feel like they are being targetted unfairly. Data Mining folks will continue to mine data. Rippers will continue to rip."
And, ultimately, that's where it ends--it doesn't matter what we do to stop people--criminals will commit crime, that's what they do. Honorable people will remain honorable because that's what they do.

The rest of us--as ever--lie somewhere in between. And we struggle accordingly.

Dusan Writer explains it all. Tell me, gentle readers, when your brain falls out from an overdose of impossible irony. I think for me it was about five sentences in.

Overheard in passing:

[18:32] Lysana McMillan: Yeah, it's SL. If they can't hack the weird, they need to surrender the space.
[18:33] Emilly Orr: Definitely.

Apropos of nothing in particular, Fawkes and I are watching Top Chef on Hulu. The episode we're up to dealt with one of the shining lights of molecular gastronomy. I have to admit, I'm fascinated with the concept, but on the other hand, I am not in the right tax bracket to go out and try it.

So I might have to dig up some recipes, see if they're capable of converting to home versions, maybe. Like some of these. Who knows?

On to very silly things. Out of the blue last night, I got this:
[13:31] Alamunara Darkfire: hello
Being me, I a) saw it forty-five minutes after it was posted, and b) sent this back:
Hello. And you would be?
Because I didn't know her from Ruth, frankly. And she never answered, anyway.

Several hours later, I drift into world, and her name pops up on the IM screen. Right, I think. Maybe she'll answer now. It was profoundly to be hoped, anyway:
[2010/08/19 17:19] Alamunara Darkfire: (Saved Thu Aug 19 13:31:16 2010) hello
[2010/08/19 17:20] Emilly Orr: So, now in world. Hello?
[2010/08/19 17:20] Second Life: User not online - message will be stored and delivered later.
Ah. So she's not in world, fine, I'll go about my day.

Several patches of in world and out of world occur as I go about designing things, checking them, coming into world, doing more store work--you know, the usual. Then I get an IM again:
[19:01] Alamunara Darkfire: hi
[19:01] Emilly Orr: Okay. So hi followed by what? What's your question?
[19:03] Alamunara Darkfire: notin i just wanted 2 SAY HI
Now, I'm fairly sure she hit the capslock by mistake, but still, it irked me, after several hours of wondering what she wanted. I got snippy:
[19:05] Emilly Orr: WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?
[19:05] Emilly Orr: I mean seriously
[19:06] Emilly Orr: Did I meet you somewhere? Did you come by the shop? What?

[19:06] Alamunara Darkfire: what r u talkin bout
[19:06] Emilly Orr: That's my question
[19:07] Alamunara Darkfire: well i g2g bye i guess
[19:07] Emilly Orr: You confuse me deeply
And off she went--or, at the least, I didn't hear anything from her again.

So I pulled her profile. This is her bio:
i am a t vampire ruledd by the king and queen of vampires in my clan
Oh, for the love of all gods...She's BLOODLINES. Of COURSE she's stupid. I am trying to give her some credit, but damn...

She's got three groups: "Eternal Isle" (run by the Bloodlines clan "Eternal Flames"); "GOOD FELLAS FOREVER" (it's a dance club, owned by the same av who owns the "Eternal Isle" group); and "Lords of Gahenna" (yep, that's how they spelled it). Her first life section?
death is nothing more than a heart that dosent beat
Yeah...Typos, lowercase and all. That's all she's got on her profile.

I figure, I'm moving on with my life, she's been my Freak of the Week, we can go back to the status quo, now. Right? But that's not where this ends. She also IMed a friend of mine--the friend, in fact, who has the castle next to my shop in Twilight Tears, the friend who's currently donating the shop space from which Lady Disdain operates:
[13:36] Alamunara Darkfire: hello
[13:37] Alamunara Darkfire: im ssoooo sry but i need a place to stay and this is the only house i could find and u have tuns of rooms if want me out i will do so

The. HELL. The only house she could find? Where the hell was she LOOKING?!?

She followed that staggering bit of brain-death with offering to friend said land donor:
Alamunara Darkfire has offered to become your friend in Second Life.

Would you be my friend?

Log in to accept or decline the offer.
My friend has every intention of banning her neophyte ass from every parcel she owns. I'm going to ponder whether I want her not specifically banned from my shop; if so, that's the only parcel my gracious landlady will lift the ban from. And my friend doesn't irk easily, but squatters? That's one of the things that cause instant annoyance.

"Good thing I don't have a sex bed in the castle," she told me. Yeah, no lie.

I'll have to check how old this twidgit is when I next get in world. Because seriously...the only house she could find? And she thought I was my friend? So she can't even distinguish between avatars?!?

Friends and neighbors, I had my moments in the early days, including undressing on open balconies in small Western towns, but I was never that stupid.


Rhianon Jameson said...

You manage to find the weird ones, that's for certain.

I find myself strangely drawn to Top Chef, even though it's not really about cooking except in the loosest sense, and involves blatant emotional manipulation for the purpose of faking dramatic tension. (Contestant: "I just knew my chicken was undercooked." Unspoken dramatic tension: "Will her chicken be undercooked, throwing the judges into a hissy fit?") But I'm amazed at how these people can take a silly assignment, or a random set of ingredients, or a cuisine they've never before cooked, and make something edible out of it. In contrast, I stand before the refrigerator door, wondering what I bought to eat that night, sigh, and put some peanut butter on crackers and make a bowl of fruit.

Emilly Orr said...

I think that's a large part of why Top Chef is becoming one of my favorite cooking shows. Nothing beats Anthony Bourdain, because he's just that amazing for travel *and* restaurant reviews, but the artistry involved. That, and I'm learning new terms. Soubise? What's that? Molecular gastronomy? There is such a thing?

Even their failures are entertaining. We know, even if the chefs fail, whether they tried or not; we know what they went through doing it, and hear a bit of their motivations behind certain dishes. Plus, flavor combos I wouldn't try in a million years has inspired us, on occasion, to change things up at home. Nothing on that level, mind, but just fun little things.

Serenity said...

I'm always into most cooling challenge shows but I haven't watched Top Chef in a long time now.

But wow on that random person. X_x People never stop surprising me.

Emilly Orr said...

Yeah. I had more to post from him (weirdly, I found out today, it's a him) today, but my drive partially wiped, and I'm having to reconstruct things.