Tuesday, August 17, 2010

when nightmare's memories fades to dust, we'll get back on our feet again

"Okay, I've got one: 'Snowstorm' is a really unfortunate name."

She's not wrong. But beyond that, I'm wondering what they're doing, too. By removing the development channel for SnowGlobe, they're removing the only viewer for me that has consistently worked, day in and day out, with only a smattering of difficulty, since I made the jump from Nicholaz.

But she goes on in a later essay on the same topic to say that what Linden Labs seems to be doing is splitting into problem-solving groups; f'rinstance, one group solves login concerns, another solves port issues, another solves group chat difficulties...which would be great if it works, but there's one big problem: will all these little bits of code developed and written independently, work as a unit? Miss Nino has doubts:
Linden Lab still remains authoritative for all contributions. The Lab may veto any contribution, and no Lab contribution may be vetoed or negotiated. This is as it should be (and as it has always been), since it is the Lab’s project, and it sets the rules – except for one problem.

problem with this is that the Lab has a history of making bad decisions in this regard. Does anyone remember the Single-Sign-On debacle a couple years ago?

The Lab introduced a new login system, which met with 100% opposition from the open-source contributors on several grounds: technical (it wouldn’t really work properly) and would interfere with other software, scalability (it was quite inefficient), and misguidedness (it would not actually achieve the stated goals).

The Lab refused to back out of its plans, and refused to listen to or discuss the issues with them. Months of development time went into the new system, which reached beta… and then had to be abandoned, for all of the reasons the open-source contributors had raised in the first place. This wasn’t the only such similar instance.
I can remember others. Combine this with the other thing the Labs does really well--namely, to additionally make extraordinarily controversial decisions (banning Lolita as a search term because of "ageplay issues" for several months; the Homestead debacle; and the entire project of Zindra spring unerringly to mind) and then failcompletely to understand why people are angry, frustrated, and yelling at them for those decisions.

The upshot seems to be that from here on out, there's no 1.x viewer, there's no 2.x viewer, there's no SnowGlobe; there's just Snowstorm. Dress warm, now.

There's an excellent article on Wired about the history of computer/technology symbols. Well worth a read-through, and I remain amused by @ in particular, as prevailing research cannot seem to determine when it first became popularly used.

Next up: spiderwebs as big as a room? Yes.

What I want to know is what they didn't cover--apparently, that artificial webbing was created by first laying foundations of adhesive tape around the pillars, then choreographing a dance troupe to carry and unspool yard after yard of adhesive tape in room-filling leaps.

When can we see that? Or wasn't that taped as part of the project?

I think I can safely say that the confusion with Blizzard and emails has drawn to a close, but in an amusing way. Keep in mind, this is post sending two emails to Billing and calling yesterday and today (and both times, getting a recorded 'Our queue is full, and besides, you likely don't need to talk to us anyway, run along' message when calling). I went back to the Blizzard site and discovered that, in addition to the email address for Billing and the phone number, there was an actual webform for concerns.

A support ticket filer are me!

So, that's what I did, sketching out both what I received, and giving them the two best blog entries that featured the emails. Within the hour, I received contact back from Blizzard:

***Yeah thats an ID theft email. They spoof the email and mass mail them. Kind of like the "you won the lottery" spam.***

After a thorough database search, I can confirm that the email address you have contacted us from is not currently associated with any account in our system, and no emails have recently been sent from us to this address. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Blizzard Entertainment is the developer of the online video game World of Warcraft. We have recently seen in increase in phishing or scam emails that are sent out by unknown third parties to many of our players, in an attempt to obtain World of Warcraft account information. While we are unsure of how these email addresses are obtained, it appears that even individuals that are not customers of Blizzard Entertainment are receiving these email scams.

Many of these emails contain valid contact information from Blizzard Entertainment, in an attempt to appear legitimate and coax players to reply with their account details. Examples of some e-mail scams can be found here:
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=965511383. You do not need to be an account holder to view this thread.

If you have no intention of using Blizzard's products, I would recommend adding "Blizzard" to your spam block, or any other block option on your email account to prevent the receipt of further response. Please note that Blizzard cannot stop the receipt of these emails, as they are not originating from us.

For your own protection, we encourage you to review the following page which has details regarding Trojans and viruses, as well as programs to remove them:

If you have additional questions or concerns, please reply to this email. If you would rather speak with a representative directly, please contact Account & Technical Services. Our contact information can be found at


Sidney S.
Game Master Laneroth
Customer Service
Blizzard Entertainment
Well. I am refreshingly surprised by the insta-contact back, by someone who seems to have a handle on the situation. Was it mentioning the blog? Was it mentioning that someone had attempted to gain personal details/credit card information by telling me that my credit card had been compromised?

And how many people are falling for these emails, anyway?

I can nearly forgive them for the thousands of WoW players who think "toon" is an interchangeable term for any avatar of a player in a virtual world.


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