Monday, August 1, 2011

keep drinking coffee, stare me down across the table, while I look outside

If you live anywhere near Anaheim, California, there's a chance to participate in a project that would ultimately result in a steampunk exhibition at Muzeo. Click the link for more information; they're seeking funds and publicity.

The Redzone JIRA is still getting hits, and I think most of us are profoundly tired of it (save for the battling participants involved). I think Kaira Aeon has the best solution for the problem, however:
Much as I might sympathize with people's issues concerning systems that they feel are like Redzone, Coming here to the Redzone JIRA and saying something should be done about other systems is about as useful as writing McDonalds to complain about Dominos pizza.. If other systems are of such concern, then start a JIRA for each PARTICULAR system that is the cause for these concerns. Coming here may allow people to vent, but that's the most that will accomplished, but in the end nothing will be done about any other systems that are in place now. This JIRA created specifically for Redzone's abuses and now Redzone is kaput.The Lindens aren't going to widen the scope of this JIRA to cover anything else that isn't Redzone, no matter how Redzone like it may be.
Yes, please can someone do that? Because if we truly object to VooDoo (doing pretty much the same thing RedZone did) products, reporting them makes so much more sense than reporting on a JIRA that the Lindens have stopped watching, because it has been resolved.

And more on copyright infringement--somehow I'd missed that when mesh was first discussed, one of the first big videos on what it's going to look like used a copyrighted character. This was at SLCC 2009, and even back then, rumblings of "copytheft" were rampant.

Yet the higher-ups at the Lab move to the RL convention, and...don't care? They likely loved it. That video probably went out in official blogs at the time.

But, as the blog link shows, it's not like they're particularly efficient at hardlining copyright infringement. Or they get it wrong when they do work on it--witness the travesty of justice that was Azriel Demain's eight-day ban from SL, putting at risk his entire business (which is his RL livelihood) and running the risk of his defaulting on four entire sims on the grid.

And why? Because he had the audacity to say "inspired by" on a product. "Inspired by" is beyond the pale, but functional iPods, complete with icons, are okay? "Inspired by" meant cutting off a sim owner of long standing and putting their entire life at risk, but having photo-accurate iPads are perfectly okay?

Yeah, this is still me being outraged and appalled over something that will not change, but the hypocrisy galls me.

There is one more comment on the RedZone JIRA I'd like to bring up before I go.
The voodoo product does not datamine using the media hack as far as we know. It uses a third party website to mine your data. When you click the sploder you must access the website in order to register to win. It does not warn you prior to visiting the website that your SL information is being passed to the website to be correlated to other information mined via your HTTP connection. This data is then stored and further used to identify any alts you may have. There is a website which publicly "names and shames" avatars that the system has determined to be either an alt or a bot.If you are on this list, you are banned from any place on the grid that has voodoo installed. It is a networked, gridwide ban. Monkey has begun adding people to this list who are not bots or alts, just people he doesn't like (usually because we have spoken out about his product).

That being said, yes it is a website and not the media stream bug that is doing the datamining. The data is still being mined, correlated and paired with internal SL information and stored to be reported and used. It is unknown who has access to this data. Monkey is using his network to ban his "political" enemies and publically "name and shame" them on his website. He openly advertises his product as an alternative to redzone.

While this product may be marginally compliant because it uses an external website, it is in violation of the CS which was updated to include the reporting of alts. We know it tracks and has a way of reporting alts and if the system has determined you to be a bot, He also claims to protect against copybots. While obeying the letter of the TOS, it violates the spirit of it.

And as far as the claim that every media stream can track your IP. Thats true but unless it is also SENDING your internal SL data to the stream, it has no way of correlating your IP to your SL identity. As far as I know DJs and Musicians do not employ any kind of automatic way to track and store the IP address. It is visible on their stream dashboard but it is not saved.

We can argue the finer points of the TOS until we are blue in the face, the issue that remains is that some of us feel it is knowingly violating our privacy and using the information mined to detract from, and in some cases destroy, our experience in world. Monkey has now taken on the same tin god personae that zfire did and has been manually adding people he deems as his enemies to the ban list. This violates his customer's trust that when they use this product, the avatars they will be protected from are those that are confirmed bots, not their trusted customers. He claims that the Greenzone group has defamed his product. We don't have to, he is doing that quite nicely himself.
Azure Twine said that, and she's right. But what we need, more than anything else, is someone to file the specific ToS violations that the VooDoo products are responsible for, preferably per product, and have the Lindens deal with them as they do all other bug reports. Commenting further on a closed post just sets you up for drama, and gets none of us further to the goal of eliminating (at least the obvious sources of) data-mining on SL.

We also need to go farther, I think. Boycotting businesses that support Monkey Wonder and the Voodoo products seems like a good start to me.
And of course, the Voodoo main store.

NOTE: None of these are specifically places using the products (though I'd assume they do); they're just ones who are retailing Wonder's wares remotely. If we really don't want to support his products, we also have to boycott the people who support him. It's unfortunate, but it works--but this list will be verified when I'm next in, to ensure that all the names on it actually have one of the Voodoo vendors, and are actively engaged in retailing Wonder's products.

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