Just received email... I thought this new change is what the original "changes" were to be... @Linden Lab: make-up my mind, will you please?!
Email from Linden Lab:
Two Important Changes to SL Classified Advertising

Dear SL Advertiser,
We wanted to ensure that you are aware of two big changes to the Classified ad program.
Maturity Changes: Previously, advertisers declared the maturity level of their ads. However, to prepare for teens coming to the main grid, we will be using the maturity system used for Search that is based on two factors:
  • Parcel maturity level
  • Content of the ads themselves
Advertisers’ declared maturity will still be visible in Viewer 2, but will be informational only and not affect the actual maturity rating for each listing. We are targeting these changes for the week of Dec 13th.
Ad Content Limit: All ads have recently been standardized to 256 characters. To maximize relevancy, new characters limits will help you choose only the most relevant descriptive keywords to help Residents find your products and services. Our testing has shown that this limit increased relevancy and click-through rates for classified ads.
For more information, please read about Classifieds on the wiki.
Thanks for advertising!
Kindest Regards,
Linden Advertising Team
Just received email... I thought this new change is what the original "changes" were to be... @Linden Lab: make-up my mind, will you please?!

Email from Linden Lab:

Two Important Changes to SL Classified Advertising

Dear SL Advertiser,

We wanted to ensure that you are aware of two big changes to the Classified ad program.

Maturity Changes: Previously, advertisers declared the maturity level of their ads. However, to prepare for teens coming to the main grid, we will be using the maturity system used for Search that is based on two factors:

  • Parcel maturity level
  • Content of the ads themselves

Advertisers’ declared maturity will still be visible in Viewer 2, but will be informational only and not affect the actual maturity rating for each listing. We are targeting these changes for the week of Dec 13th.

Ad Content Limit: All ads have recently been standardized to 256 characters. To maximize relevancy, new characters limits will help you choose only the most relevant descriptive keywords to help Residents find your products and services. Our testing has shown that this limit increased relevancy and click-through rates for classified ads.

For more information, please read about Classifieds on the wiki.

Thanks for advertising!

Kindest Regards,

Linden Advertising Team

It doesn't matter what Linden Lab think of their customers. As long as their customers are treated with enough respect that they stick around. And there is no doubt Linden Lab is making money because a lot of people are sticking around. Here in my blog I have taken Linden Lab's side a helluvalot more often than not over the "controversial" issues that the loud-mouth bitchfest crybabies absolutely go ballistically vitriolic about. For example when Voice first came to the grid. And currently the "Display names" feature and so on.

My favorite: Viewer 2 (which by the way, version 2.2 is released and it's actually quite kick-ass.) Yo: if you don;t like it, shut-the-f*ck-up and don;t use it. Linden Lab doesn't give a flying sh!t whether you like it or not. They do listen to those who actually use it (why the hell would or should they listen to you boneheads who think you're "all that" who just diss on the thing and refuse to use it?)

This is my own response to "Former Linden" who posted the "explosive" comment at Prokofy Neva's blog. Even if every single word of "Former Linden" is absolute, utter truth, how does it matter at all? And do remember, "Former Linden" is making comments based on their perspective. So it may be truth from their perspective, but not necessarily the "big picture".

And as for Philip Linden catching the bus: who cares? He doesn't and hasn't run the company in a few years. His vision has had it's time. The grid have moved-onto more rural pastures a couple years ago. Philips vision for the grid simply doesn't apply any more.

In the end, as with all customers of all sellers you have a choice to take it or leave it and vote with your time and dollars. When enough have chosen to vote on something else, then and only then will Linden Lab be in dire straights. But the vote goes slow. Linden Lab will see the tide turning long before it gets to that point.

Additionally, I have always said: Second Life grid is Linden Lab's house. Who the hell are we to tell Linden Lab what they should or should not do in their house, especially when we (most of us) are non-paying guests in that house?

How about we call it Linden Lab's doom or demise the day Linden Lab actually sends out the "We are discontinuing operations..." notice, and until then: just shut-up?

If you use Facebook, take a step back for minute and really contemplate this: what use is it for you, in a productivity sense? I mean, really? Though most people read blogs, they rarely ever respond. But if you're willing to comment... and you actually are able to find a genuinely useful and productive way to use Facebook I'd really like to head about it. (It seems the serious "productivity" service is Linked-In, not Facebook).

Indulge me if you will...

For "shits and giggles" last year I did what a lot of other Second Life users are doing: create a Facebook account under your Second Life account name; A.K.A: you In-world avatar name. The first "failure" of Facebook is in how they absolutely insist that only real names of real people be allowed to create accounts at all. However, this creates a conundrum. The same conundrum Linden Lab has: enforce your terms of service with regard to account creation, or allow people to bend the rules so you can boast the number of users you have?

For Linden Lab and Second Life: you are allowed to create up to five (5) accounts, full stop. However, I hear word of people who have tens even hundreds of "alt" accounts. And of course it also creates the "bot" problem, which I won;t bother rehashing now. The issue though is that all these alternate accounts are included in the "number of users" Linden lab can proclaim; even "active" user numbers as "active" means any account that has been used at least once in the last 90-days. Bots are really good for those "concurrency" numbers.

As for Facebook, though they have previously enforced their terms of "real person, real name" and killed some high-profile accounts, they don;t actively hunt these bogus people down. The "number of users" result is just way too tempting. They recently have claim 500-million "users". Though I suspect at least half of those are users like me: I don't use Facebook. At all. it's a ridiculous waste of time and a complete joke.

I now have 85 friends. 85! Every single one of them is another Second Life user and almost all of them are in Facebook under their avatar account names. Here's the kicker: I *vaguely* know one, *just one* of all those people. Every. Single. Person. Except that one are 100% total strangers to me. Not a single one of them have ever attempted to so much as IM me in-world with a simply "Hello!". What a fekking joke.

To these people, and likely 75% of every other Facebook account holder, the goal is to boost that number of "friends" as high as possible. Then there's those stupid, idiotic "games" like Farmville and Mafia Mob or whatever the hell it's called. I mean, really?! Here's the irritating part of it, though: these 85 "dunno who you are, but let's call us *friends*" play these stupid games and then select me to participate. This of course messages me inviting me to "install" the "app" so I can waste my time just like all the other losers.

I had to turn off email notifications from Facebook a long time ago. Now I get a message from Facebook once every month or two telling me there are messages waiting for my attention. So I log-in, and click "ignore", "ignore", "ignore", "ignore", "igno..." you get the idea. Fact: facebook is becoming is horribly bad to "legitimate" people as "MySpace" dot com. it is turning into an adolescent playground except at least this time you don;t have viruses, trojans and disgustingly-loud music blaring in your face when you inadvertently visit someone elses profile or "wall".

It's known fact the the grown-up use Kinked-In as their genuine, go-to "circle of contacts service.

So, Linden Lab is hoping to incorporate more "social" features into Second Life, undoubtedly to include Facebook and Twitter. But I wonder if they ever will go the route of the "serious" with services like Lnked-In? Because let's face it: Plurk is a waste of time (sorry, folks: you just aren't *that* interesting in terms of following your "adventures" on a minute-by-minute timeline); Facebook has turned into a typical adolescent playground, admittedly not yet the cesspool MySpace had become.

Though Twitter actually is useful as long as you can find the ones worth following and communicating with. And at worst: the crap-garbage that comes through at least are only force-fed in short, 140-character burps. Easy enough to quickly determine the "followability" of someone there.

Not Photoshopped: Fafe, Northern Portugal

So I finally grabbed the beta version of the official Linden Lab Second Life viewer 2.2x. I read through the release notes and decided to give it a go. There are still a couple of outstanding bugs, but they are minor (for example: mouse-hovering over anyone then the green "i" and clicking does not bring-up the context menu. But right-clicking still works).

Rezzing seems much, much faster. Does V2 beta 2.2 include Snowglobe code? I don;t know, but it really does feel like it. Also, a few additional long-awaited features, such as "double-click to teleport" (turned on in the debug menu). This was the single one and only feature of Emerald I missed when I dumped that viewer in Januray 2009. Then I found it in Imprudence and always happy for it. Now that it is in the Official viewer, I will use Imprudence even less.

The simple fact is: no matter what the crybabies whine about: Viewer 2 is a good viewer. Who the hell are they who complain about it to say what is right and what is wrong? If it doesn't work for you, then don't use it, shut-the-feck-up and move on and leave those of us who do like it enjoy it in peace. But even as Linden Lab tries to placate these "I am greater than thou" crybabies, they will get no reprieve. The crybabies will continue to bitch about how "bad" Viewer 2 is and how it should be burned and Linden Lab nailed to the wall over it.

For example: the whiners try so hard to justify their bitching by proclaiming that side bar takes up too much room and therefore blocks their view of the virtual world. Of course any 5-year-old can figure out how with a single-click, the sidebar disappears entirely, but these crybabies apparently can't figure-out this function even exists, much less how to make it work. No, they proclaim the sidebar should be detachable.

Hurray! You get what you wished for. V2 2.2 beta now has a detachable sidebar. However, when you detach it, it takes up more room than the sidebar proper and is not as easy to "put away". Fortunately Linden Lab has made it very difficult to accidentally detach. But of course the whiners and crybabies will go ahead deriding Linden Lab over something else about the "horrendous-should-be-burned" Viewer 2.

Linden Lab: good work here. Keep on the same track you are on because all the loud-mouth whiners who proclaim Viewer 2 is a piece of shit are all bullshitters who wouldn't dare eat their own dogfood. They bitch about Viewer 2 all day long, but choose to use a third-party-viewer all day long and wouldn't use any of your official viewers no matter how perfect it is. They hate for hate's sakes, so turn a deaf-ear and a blind eye toward those dip-shit hypocrites and just keep on doing what you're doing. After all, if I were to spew the same filth about their chosen viewer then they'd turn on me like a pack of rabid dogs. In short: they all are irrelevant, no matter how authoritative they appear to be or sound in their other blogging diatribe. You bloggers of whom I speak already know who you are.

Viewer 2 Developer team: keep going because it's those of us who actually appreciate it and like what you are doing who are remaining quiet about it so we don't give the same impression of blithering idiots the way all those loud-mouth, greater-than-thou whiners and crybabies do.

via AriBlackthorne.com
I am seriously curious HOW. THE. FUCK. The emerald team got my email address, then have the BALLS to contact me regarding anything Emerald.

YO, PHOX: Suck my balls and if you contact me again off-world you dick head, I'll invoke Washington State AG on your ass for sending unsolicited email. Ummm, yeah, it's been done and a few people are the sorrier for it.

As for all you gullible idiots with an Emerald Viewer withdrawal who go running to the Phoenix or other derivatives? I hope you get your comeuppance with trojans and God only knows what else. Phoenix and Emergence and the rest should be banned from the grid also. And the email shown below just proves it's not only the viewer, but the sinister minds behind it. No god dammed wonder spam email has been on the rise for me. Fortunately it's  a more or less throw-away address.

Emerald Dev team: Do not contact me again.
Linden Lab: Consider this fair warning that this is an example of you falling through on your own ToS enforcement. Therefor, shall we consider the ToS moot and Ill go to town doing what I want whether it fits within ToS or not?

From: "Emerald Viewer Forum" <phox@emeraldviewer.net>
Date: September 20, 2010 6:41:32 PM PDT
To: redacted
Subject: New Emerald Viewer for VWW

Dear Emerald User,

You may have seen our recent blog post concerning our new viewer for the Virtual World Web. (If you haven't, see our blog post about it here http://blog.modularsystems.sl/2010/09/10/new-emerald-viewer-for-vww/ and the Utherverse press release here http://utherverse.net/emerald/ )

We've got a special offer for Emerald users - Utherverse is offering a 7 day VIP trial FREE. You can take advantage of this offer by visiting http://www.utherverse.com/emerald/ and signing up for a tour, or by downloading the Emerald Viewer for VWW and sending an email to worlddev@utherverse.com

Don't miss out on this chance to see what the Virtual World Web can offer.

The Emerald Team
In short: Got Windows XP and thinking of bumping "up" to Windows 7? Save your money. As for the Second Life Viewer 2 comparison between the Windows and Macintosh versions... new comparison coming soon. Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programme...

I just plunked $200 down at technet.com, which allows me to legally download and use everything Microsoft makes and sells from their "business" units, including every version of each from the current and all the way back. So, I downloaded and installed Windows 7 (Ultimate) for the very first time and I agree: it is a vast, massive, stunning improvement over anything "Vista".

However, like the majority of commercial enterprises, I had downgraded my Vista back to Windows XP and have been utterly happy-go-lucky because of it. Even before Service Pack 1, I had felt and proclaimed Windows XP as being the first version of Windows Microsoft "got right". I understand that even though Windows 7 is "selling like hotcakes" (primarily through attrition - as people buy new computers) - it still has not achieved the number of "seats" that XP still enjoys, primarily through commercial users, though it is catching-up slowly.

So I plopped Windows 7 onto my Macintosh via VMWare Fusion 3.1. I see it has the same interface as Vista (which I gave a full vetting for 11.5 months before I was fed-up enough to return to XP). However, other than the eye-candy, I can so far see absolutely no compelling reason to spend any money upgrading from Windows XP to 7. None. Zip, zilch, nada. Seriously, Windows 7 runs as fast as XP (apparently) but not any faster. At least not that can be seen by the naked eye or felt by the user (benchmarks are really moot unless you are an uber-geek who thrives on information useless to the overwhelming majority of users.)

In addition to spending the bucks for Windows 7 (I don't actually have to buy it because I get it free with my Technet subscription) there is the issue of first backing-up everything on my XP computer, installing Win7 from scratch, then restoring all my backed-up stuff, reinstalling all my software and setting preferences and then... dealing with the learning curve of a new interface. Windows 7 offers no real benefit for going through all this headache and time.

My point: Windows 7 is not a compelling upgrade from XP. Why try to fix what isn't broken? Vista on the other hand is definitely broken. My recommendation is if you have a Windows XP disc and key: downgrade. Now. You'll hate yourself for not doing it sooner. If you don't have XP with a valid key, then and only then: upgrade to Windows 7. But if you do, wipe-out Vista completely and start from scratch.


This scenario does, however, present me with an unique opportunity:
I will install and test Cryptic's "Star Trek Online" and Linden Lab's "Second Life" and compare them in the following scenarios:

  • How do they compare when running native in Windows between XP and 7?
  • How do they compare in XP between native hardware (Bootcam) versus virtual machine (emulation via Fusion)
Additionally, I will in the next few weeks run some fascinating comparisons on Linden Lab's Second Life software in what will certainly be the most accurate comparison ever done between the different versions. I will compare Viewer 2.1, Imprudence and Snowglobe in the following ways:
  • Windows version native in Windows XP (Via bootcamp - native hardware to Windows XP)
  • Windows version native in Windows 7 (Via bootcamp - native hardware to Windows 7)
  • Macintosh version native in OS X
  • Windows version in Windows XP emulation via VMWare Fusion (Fullscreen)
  • Windows version in Windows 7 emulation via VMWare Fusion (Fullscreen)
  • Windows version in Windows XP emulation via VMWare Fusion (windowed in OS X)
  • Windows version in Windows 7 emulation via VMWare Fusion (windowed in OS X)
Because every single one of these tests will be happening on the exact same hardware (not just comparably-equipped separate hardware, but the exact same machine - exact same configuration in all instances), it should prove to be a fascinating comparison among all scenarios, even more accurate than Torley Linden's comparison between the Mac and Windows version of Viewer 2 (which was not a very precise test, but a great effort just the same).

Because I am out of town the week of the 20th, I will begin these tests on my return and most certainly post my results here.

(Found via Grace McDunnough (link above))

Well, the whole end-doom of Second Life because of the new Display names feature coming to the grid is considerably overrated and frankly only goes to show the knee-jerk overreaction so many Second Life users tend to express every time Linden Lab tries to make things better for those very same users.

The main shrieking appears to come from creators, fearful of impostors ruining their reputations or otherwise swiping their sales via deceit. To them, as with so many other "end-doom" policy decisions by Linden Lab, this ability to change one's name willy-nilly will be the death of their businesses and by extension: a collapse of the Second Life economy and then further by extension: collapse of the Second Life grid.

There are two ways to view and react to anything: with heart or with logic. Rarely do the two mix. Of course, thinking with one's heart involves a lot of passion and blood pressure increases causing you to raise your voice when you really should be reinforcing your argument. I, for one, do not strand with the doom-and-gloom crowd. In fact, I anxiously await for this fancy new feature to be rolled-out to the Second Life population at large and I wish I knew the right Lindens that I could ask to even participate in the closed beta-testing!

So here I am, thinking with my head and not my heart, reinforcing my case. I suppose this commentary is addressed to all of you who think the Display Name idea is a bad one because it will create more problems than benefit for people in Second Life. Granted that I am not an expert in this and I only know what has been expressed by Linden Lab thus far. Accordingly, I may be misinformed or otherwise mistaken in some of my conclusions below.

1)... The Display Names feature will automatically assume the account (user) name you already have. In other words: when the feature goes "live", you will see no change whatsoever in name tags across the grid and will likely not even notice it is in effect, except for the "User Name" information suddenly appearing in things like the Edit window on prims and other "system" messages. But the name tags hanging over avatar heads will not change. At all.

2)... In order to change your display name, you must be using Viewer 2 or another third-party viewer that supports Viewer 2 functions. Since so many (wrongly, in my opinion) despise Viewer 2 and absolutely refute the idea of ever using it, those people will not even be able to change their Display Name from the current name they have right now. In plain terms: is "ridiculous few" on the grid will even have the ability.

3)... Even if 25% of the Second Life population changes their display names overnight, it still does not matter because these Display Names will only display in... you guessed it: Viewer 2. Thus, as in the above, only a small fraction of the population will even see it.

4)... Each person can change their Display Name only once then there is a one-week cool-down timer before it can be changed again. This is a great idea because it curbs abuse (except for the irritants that create throw-away alts on a daily basis). People will think carefully before changing their Display Names, knowing they will be *stuck* with that name for a full week.

5)... Impostors will be far and few between for the main reasons I have already stated. besides, in all system "messages" - such as the floaty text that appears when your mouse hovers over an object or avatar, always will show the actual Account (User) Name of that person or who owns that object. Profiles also will always show the "real name" of all people. The User Name can only be "hidden" from the tag over your head (and in truth, you only control *your* view not everyone else's, as it should be) and in chat windows.

All the panic is inducing unnecessary stress on all the end-doomers and naysayers. You are no different that the fatalists who shouted-out against the introduction of "voice" abilities being added to the grid. Honestly, have you nothing more important and relevant to worry about?

Linden Lab Display Names announcement: http://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2010/08/17/display-names-...

What the hell is the difference, anyway?
And finally Linden Lab speaks, and from the "horse's mouth" specifically to boot.:

*Malicious Viewers and Our Third-Party Viewer Policy*

Dear Second Life Resident,

Late last week, we discovered a denial-of-service attack that was being served through the widely distributed Emerald third-party viewer.This is in direct violation of our third-party viewer policy (part 2, section d, paragraph iii).

We have removed Emerald from the list of third-party viewers,and are now in touch with the Emerald team to discuss what can happen next. We did this to do our best to protect the safety and security of Second Life users. We will not tolerate a viewer that includes malicious code, nor will we tolerate development teams with a history of violating users’ trust or disrupting their lives.

We take privacy, safety, and security very seriously, and we will act to the best of our abilities to protect it. We have not yet disabled logins via the Emerald viewer, but will do so if we feel the software and the team behind it is not able to meet the standards we’ve set. While Emerald is currently the focus of our attention because of what happened recently, all third-party viewers are held to the same standard, and must comply with the third-party viewer policy. Read more [a link goes here]

If you have been using the Emerald viewer, for now we would encourage
you to consider either one of the Linden Lab viewers, or an alternative third-party viewer.

Philip Linden

You are receiving this announcement because you have agreed to receive
messages relating to services offered by Linden Lab. For more
information refer to our Terms of Service


Copyright 2010 Linden Research, Inc., 945 Battery Street, San Francisco,
CA 94111


Dust should clear soon.

Four years on the grid and I can count failed "customer support" from in-world creators on one hand. And in those cases, it always was a case of "AWOL" where no response to my inquiry was ever received. Of course, I've dealt with my share of rude, crude creators, but as a rule of thumb, I've always received excellent support from practically any creator when I needed it.

I am willing to share my simple recipe for success in the scenario of needing creator support. When I say creator support, I am referring to those times when you need to contact the creator of something you have purchased in-world. These scenarios include, but obviously are not limited to:

  • Failed deliveries on purchases
  • Wrong permissions from those advertised
  • Missing portions of a "package"
  • Something does not operate as expected
  • Something becomes broken
  • Something becomes lost

Before I go into the "best practices" for obtaining creator support, I'd like to pass a quick message to the creators themselves:

When someone is asking you for support, remember it is a 99.5% chance they are not trying to rip-you off. Whatever it is you sell in Second Life, except for the initial work in creation, it costs you nothing to throw it around for free. So why not just replace it?

Secondly, there really are very few reasons to sell your items as no-modify, no-copy. You aren't preventing theft in any way, shape or form. What you are doing is irritating the hell out of your honest, money-spending customers. It is no secret that no matter what permissions you put on your stuff, with the able illegitimate viewer I can copy it with full permissions, no matter what you do. So stop it, please!

Now, back to "how to ask for support" and actually get it recipe:

First, prepare your case before you make contact with the creator. When you make a purchase, if something doesn't seem right and the vendor is spewing out weird statements in open chat: copy that chat and put it into a notecard! First, you are doing the creator a favor. They may not even be aware their vendor is on the blink and needs a hard reset.

Check that the money was actually deducted from your account. Note: this could take up to a few minutes if there are grid issues: You buy, money is taken... nothing delivered... money returned after three minutes. Though this is pretty rare.

Go straight to your account page on the Second Life web site and copy the entire line of the transaction history! Paste that into the notecard.

Rename the notecard and be absolutely sure to include your full SL name in the notecard name with a summary of the problem. For example: "Failed delivery-Ari Blackthorne"

I cannot count how many times I have received a notecard asking for support, and there is no name in the notecard whatsoever - inside or out. Or just a first name. I know, you might argue "but the system says who gave it to you". True, but if I have a butt-load of messages when I come in-world, I refuse to sift through all those messages in chat history to discover who sent what. If you want me to be in a good mood when I try to support you, make it easy as possible to contact you. Don't make me jump through hoops.

And, as mentioned: include your full SL name inside the notecard. I repeat: rename the notecard with a summary and your SL name. If I receive a notecard called "new note" I instantly decline it. I refuse to accept notecards where the person sending it is way too damned lazy to at least rename it.

Open the creator's profile and before you do anything, read it. If the main profile does not say anything of substance pertaining to their business or your product, then go straight to the PICKS tab and look for a tab called "Support" or something along those lines. Do not just start sending IMs and dropping notecards willy-nilly. It's rude and could piss-off that creator to where they just ignore you.

Besides this, if IMs become capped, they won't get your IM or your notecard. When IMs become capped, anything dropped to that person while offline goes into a black-hole. It is not delivered - it disappears. So it is best to read the profile to discover if there are any particular instructions of how to get the fastest service needed.

And be patient.

Depending on any particular "support" instructions, always IM the creator first, before dropping anything to them. And in the case of a "broken" item, never, ever drop that to them (for the reasons I just mentioned above about capped IMs among many, many other reasons).

In your IM, be polite. Be nice. Try to indicate that you are not taking things too seriously and that you understand the problem is more likely a simple SL glitch than anything else. In your IM, paste a copy of your transaction history. Do not drop the notecard to them (unless instruction in their profile specify to do so) - the notecard is simply a back-up record for yourself. As often as creators ask you to drop notecards, just as many (myself included) hate notecards.

In most cases, a creator will immediately take care of you if you:

  • are polite
  • say what the problem is in detail (what is happening, not what is "not happening")
  • include your transaction report, the creator will likely ask for it anyway
  • if you broke it, or accidentally declined delivery - be honest and say so.
  • also polite
  • be nice
  • be courteous
  • be polite again

In the case where someone accidentally screws up (breaks something, declines delivery, etc.) and they admit it outright, I will replace their item without question when they show me their transaction report. I appreciate honesty. And in that case, because they are honest in what for some could be an embarrassment, I often go the extra mile to assure them that mistakes happen and I understand that.

The main points are this: send an IM - don't just start dropping items (object or notecards) into their profile (it is incredibly rude to those who don't explicitly ask you to do so in their profiles), read their profile in full and understand it before anything else, be polite as you can and always give them what they might ask for anyway: your transaction report and a complete description of your problem.

And finally, in the case of a product that appears broken, wrong permissions, or otherwise isn't "right"... RTFM (Read The F*c*ing Manual) - read every notecard you have received with the product. look for your answers there first.

If you IM a creator with a perceived problem where the answers to your difficulty are in the documentation that came with it, all you will do is irritate the creator. When looking for support, that's the last thing you want to do.

The customer is not king. The customer is simply a business associate. The creator does not deserve to be abused or spoken down to. And if you are "pissed" because of some difficulty you are having: shut up and keep it to yourself. Expressing that to the creator, no matter how polite you might be just causes them to put their own guards up.

And besides, if you are "pissed" then you are taking things in SL way too damned seriously for your own good. Lighten up and give yourself a reality check.

Viewer 2 is wonderful for the Second Life uninitiated. However, it also is a disaster for those of us experienced with second Life for more than a month with the "classic" viewer. Linden Lab had announced open-sourcing the Second Life viewer in 2006, there is now a smorgasbord of "official Linden Lab Second Life Viewer" alternatives.

Among all the current third-party viewers there is no question that the Emerald Viewer by Modular Systems is the best known, most popular and most actively in-use non-Linden Lab viewer on the Second Life grid. I like Emerald, but I have some reservations about it, which if you'll indulge me, I will explain below. I promise to do my best at keeping pithy about it all.

The short answer: most popular does not translate into "best".

The Official Linden Lab viewer was "branched-off" into a second incarnation called Snowglobe right about the time Emerald was just starting to become well-known. During this time, for me anyway, I had just discovered the Gemini viewer (which Skills Hak, the Gemini Viewer developer has now since become part of the Emerald viewer team) which at the time had better features than Emerald and I also really liked the amazing graphic features of the Kirstens Viewer.

Back then Kirstens viewer was blazing fast at rezzing (drawing the world when arriving at a new location on the grid) - it was stunningly fast. About the same time, Linden Lab released their Snowglobe viewer. Someone convinced me to give it a go.

I was shocked at the stunning speed with which the Snowglobe viewer rezzed the world. Literally shocked. So much so that I recorded a comparison machinima between what I considered for myself to be the four "front runner" viewers at the time. And I don't. do. machinima. ever.

Take the time to view this video. it's long (about eight-minutes). Even though it is a very old comparison, the results still apply today. And it will put what I explain below into a very real context. In short, nothing beats Snowglobe for rezzing performance to this day. (Sure, you can proclaim otherwise but you're only lying to yourself and you know it.)

The premise of the video is my "60-Second Viewer Rezzing Test": Official Viewer, versus Gemini Viewer, versus Emerald Viewer versus Snowglobe Viewer. Rules:

  • clear cache before starting each viewer
  • stop the test at exactly sixty-seconds
  • compare the picture as rezzed by the viewer
  • In all cases, stay in the same script and prim-heavy location
    (to ensure a heavier-than-normal "load" was placed on the download and rezzing abilities of each viewer)

Sowglobe wins by a massive margin by having 90% of the world rezzed where the next best viewer was Gemini at about 75%. Emerald came in about the same as the "official" Linden Lab viewer.

So, what does all that have to do with all this?

Problem: Emerald features or Snowglobe performance as it seems neither the two shall meet. Answer: Imprudence Viewer.

Because of the massive disappointment of Viewer 2 from Linden Lab, and LL turning it into the only "official" Linden Lab viewer, the Emerald Viewer have made massive inroads into the grid in terms of popularity and mindshare. It seems everyone knows about it and most of them are using it.

However, for me Emerald feels a bit "heavy" - bloated if you will.

There are too many "features" in it, most of which goes unused by the majority of its users. Frivolous things like "rainbow-colored" selection beams and "bouncing primtits" and such. Not to mention a bunch of features that technically are against the Linden Lab Terms of Service and Community Standards. For example: resident privacy: it doesn't matter if you try to "hide" from other people by turning off the "Show in Search" option in your profile, or allowing only friends to see when you are online and all that stuff. Emerald bypasses it all.

Then there is the whole controversy surrounding the Emerald development team, how most (if not all) of them were griefers and hackers "back in the day" and how they, and by extension Emerald Viewer can't be trusted security-wise and so on and so forth.

But I don't care about all that stuff. The dealbreaker for me is simply the abysmal performance of the Emerald Viewer. It is no different than the "official" Linden Lab viewer. Most certainly because it is based off the Linden Lab "official" code base. Kirsten's Viewer is still very good, but the problem there is that it is "bleeding-edge" technology. In perpetual beta (and sometimes alpha) phase. Though stable and rock-steady, it requires updating a bit more often than I prefer.

More important to me than bouncy primtits is rezzing performance, hands-down. I have said time and again that Linden Lab badly needs to take the Snowglobe "code" and inject it into their official viewer for the performance aspect alone. If Viewer 2 was on Snowglobe engine, I'd swear by it, the majority of population opinion be damned. Kirstens is doing Snowglobe code already. The Emerald team also is doing it. Unfortunately, the Snowglobe version of the Emerald Viewer must be a very low priority for the developers as it has been in beta for longer than I can remember, and it's buggy as hell.

Thus, the only reason I would truly enjoy the Emerald Viewer: Snowglobe "engine" is missing, thus for me Emerald is: fail.

Finally after several months of trying my damnedest to actually like Viewer 2, I needed a replacement, more based on what I spoke about previously, not it's User Interface or the way it works. I looked at Kirstans and Emerald again. Kirstens is still bleeding-edge and Emerald still has lackluster rezzing performance.

I am speaking only for myself when I say that performance is the most important feature for me, no matter how well Emerald caters to nerdy-geeks of Second Life. It also just feels bloated to me with so many unnecessary "features" (including the naughty ones, like showing "true online status" abilities and such).

I decided to give Imprudence Viewer another look after several months away. I've newly noted that it has all the "best" features of Emerald already built-in and the kicker for me is that the Imprudence development team have already fully migrated to the Snowglobe engine. They most certainly haven't been sitting still. I applaud the Imprudence development team!

Imagine my surprise to find most (if not all) the Emerald features already included in there as well, right down to bouncy primtits, even though they do not "advertise" these features on their blog or the informational page on the Second Life TPV page. The main difference here is those features which don't really require a preference setting (such as just how "bouncy" primtits can be) are set to default values, thus the preferences window doesn't include them.

This gives Imprudence a very clean, lightweight feel with blazing fast rezzing speed. And unlike Emerald, there is no "controversy" over the Imprudence Viewer or its development team as, according to many reputable journalistic sources1 , Imprudence is more transparent and license-compliant than any other third-party viewer. In other words: it is very easy to trust the developers and the viewer itself.

One "deal-breaking" feature of Imprudence Viewer for Emerald viewer users will be the lack of the "secondary attachment points". Yes, this is a feature. Why? Because that "feature" of Emerald is terribly broken.

In other words, for the majority of Second Life users (anyone not using the Emerald Viewer) will not see your Neko tail coming out of your ear and your faerie wings coming out of your ass (which is what happens with Emerald Secondary Attachment points).

Besides the very few Emerald "features" not included in the Imprudence Viewer, you might want to just give it a go for the shear performance aspect alone. User-friendly User Interface (read: familiarity) and the way it is easy to find everything (even the "Advanced" menu is invoked from another menu - great discovery here). My only suggestion might be to go through the preferences window as soon as you start it up and log-in for the first time, and set the "Pie menu" to the "classic" (I forget the actual title) layout. Of course, if you are willing to learn the new layout, you might just like it better.

So, for me...
Linden Lab Viewer 2: fail.
Modular Systems Emerald Viewer: meh.
Imprudence Viewer: win
Imprudence Viewer with 90% Emerald features AND Snowglobe engine: STUNNING.

Go ahead, give Imprudence a go. I recommend the most recent "weekly build" as they are rock-solid stable. Visit the Imprudence blog here.

From the Imprudence Wiki:

The Imprudence Quality Pledge:

  • This software is not provided or supported by Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life.
  • Imprudence has lots of surprisingly awesome functionality.
  • See the features list and release notes for details.
  • We won't expose your privates. Please see our privacy policy.
  • If you need help with the viewer, please post in the forums.

The best features from Emerald and the Snowglobe engine make Imprudence "win", here are "some" of the features of Imprudence for those of you unsure about it (found at this web page):

  • Countless user interface improvements

  • Improved OpenSim support
Support for up to 100 groups, 99% hollow prims, 1% hole size, megaprims up to 256m in size, and prim Z position up to 10km on OpenSim. OpenSim grid names are also used instead of "Second Life."

  • Content Backup
Export and import objects, scripts, and avatar shapes that you created.

  • Minimap Radar
The minimap features a built-in "avatar radar" to tell you who is nearby.

  • Enhanced Minimap
The minimap has better zooming, panning (Shift-Click and drag), double click to teleport, and other improvements.

  • Built-in Animation Overrider

  • Restrained Life API
Imprudence supports the Restrained Life script API used by BDSM toys and scripted gadgets.

  • Double-click Teleport and Autopilot

  • Advanced Build Options

  • Build Math Expressions

  • Building hotkeys to cycle through prims in a link set

  • Windlight Toolbar

  • Grid Manager
 [Second Life, Open Sim, etc.]
  • Client Identification and clothing layer protection

  • Improved Pie Menu Layouts
The layouts for all pie menus have been improved to be more consistent, useful, and easy to learn. Legacy pie menus are also available.

  • Search Inventory by Creator or Description

  • Inventory Quick Filter
The Inventory window has a new Quick Filter list to easily show only items of a certain type.

  • Free Temporary Texture Uploads

  • Worn Items Tab
The Inventory window has a new "Worn Items" tab which shows you all items that your avatar is wearing.

  • Unread IM Count
The "New IM" popup button now shows you how many new IMs you have, and the Communicate window title tells you how many unread messages you have in other IM tabs.

  • IM Autoresponse
Send an auto-response when someone starts typing/sends you an IM . Includes sending inventory along with your response.

  • Middle-mouse Paste for Linux
When running on Linux, Imprudence supports the common Linux idiom of copying text by highlighting it, then pasting by middle clicking. Imprudence also works better with stardard Linux clipboards than the regular SL viewer.

  • Confirmation dialogs to prevent accidents
Certain actions now have optional confirmation dialogs ("Are you sure?") to avoid harmful or embarrassing accidents, such as teleporting home or taking off all your clothes when you didn't intend to.

  • Restore to Last Position
This little feature uses the sim co-ordinates saved in the object to place the object back at its last location. It will use the same co-ords for every sim and works with all objects 

  • Offer Teleport button in IM window
The IM window now has a button to offer a teleport to the person you're IMing with.

  • Double-click to wear attachments in inventory
You can now double click on inventory objects to wear (or unwear) them as attachments.

  • "Phantom Avatar" Mode

  • Breast Physics

  • Asset (Texture) Browser

  • Animation List

  • See object's Last (previous) Owner

  • Ground Sit Anywhere

  • Hide Selection Outlines

  • Choose Default Chat Channel

  • Disable Login/Logout/Teleport Screens

  • Search/Replace in Notecards

  • SpeedRez
Increase rez speed via draw distance stepping.

  • New Profile Layout
Includes the ability to copy an avatar's key and invite them to a group.

  • Optional Message When Paying a Resident
The message will appear in that Resident's transaction history online.


  1. "Imprudence is one of our favorite after-market Second Life viewers, and the only third-party viewer that we're certain complies with all of the source and asset licensing." http://www.massively.com/2010/03/01/imprudence-1-3-0-beta-1-released/ All Massively announcements regarding Imprudence Viewer: http://www.massively.com/search/?q=imprudence+viewer&invocationType=wl-massively

Kill it before it multiplies! That's what Linden Lab should do. But they can't. They have championed it too hard. So they will allow it to whither away as Terri Sheivo was, except as quietly as possible.

"Download Viewer 2.1 Alpha Now! Sound Like Donald Duck!" (Or whatever).

That has been the Message Of The Day for some time now as you go through the logon process into the Second Life grid. This MOTD is worrisome to me. Not so much all by itself, considering the ramifications of pushing Alpha-phase (ALPHA!) software to a mass population who can barely understand the operation of release version software. But rather in the "between the lines" message I suspect is being sent along. If you aren't seeing that message, allow me to highlight it for you...

We all know of the big nuclear news of last week and my condolences to all those laid-off. As that news trickled-out and became a bit more accurate and solidified over time, one small piece caught me off-guard, as it no-doubt did for a lot of people: T-Linden (Tom Hale) is among the casualties.

Linden Lab needs the grid to grow or it cannot remain profitable. In a nutshell, Second Life saw it's heyday at the time when the motto was "Your world, your imagination" and Linden Lab was all but completely hands-off. There were no rules whatsoever and truly anything - any. thing. - was possible and allowed.

Of course we all must be careful what we wish for. Many wished for Linden Lab to get involved in handling this problem or moderating that problem and enforcing this new policy and banishing that activity and so on. It was a slippery slope back then and the snowball is rolling downhill at an exponential rate of speed by now.

As I read on another blog: Linden Lab has essentially sold and regulated itself into a stalemate. Too many "regulations" and policies, selectively enforced (more because most are unenforceable en-masse) and growing too fast in the sale of more estates than there is mainland, blah, blah, blah.

Linden Lab needs new users - especially as population decreases drastically through attrition: oldbies moving on out of spite, disillusionment or just plain boredom. The problem is the new visitors coming in to take their very first peek at Second Life aren't coming back or staying. One attempt at improving any possible solution to this problem had been to simplify the first hour experience. Linden Lab's best answer was a new "simpler" viewer.

I used it. Exclusively for a few months. It has some seriously welcomed features. However, the interface, though not bad, was a jarring, shocking slap-in-the face experience at first. The problem is how we all have learned the "traditional" interface over several years. Thus the differences are like throwing boiling water onto a frozen windshield. For a brand-new user unfamiliar with the traditional interface, it was definitely a very good design. However Linden Lab tried to pass it off as the new deal for everyone.

Tom Hale, (T Linden) was the lead developer on the Viewer 2 project to my understanding. In the aftermath, among the many things spoken on, Mark Kingdon (M Linden,) CEO if Linden Lab has mentioned a serious effort to bring a means of getting into the Second Life grid via mobile applications such as the iPhone and iPad and also via a web browser (likely through a plug-in).

So this week I have finally bailed on Viewer 2. Not because it's a bad viewer. But rather because I can see the "writing on the wall". V2 is all but completely dead. After several months of use, I liked it. But it is now time to go back to the old style because the new style will be abandoned by Linden Lab and I don't want to be stuck in a dead-end interface paradigm. My new viewer of choice is Imprudence Viewer, as it contains most (if not all) of the features of Emerald without the frivolous stuff. I like it a lot.

Why did I "go back" and "abandon" V2? Because I have a sneaky suspicion that is exactly what Linden Lab is doing: abandoning Viewer 2. Refocussing development effort on the customer-facing technologies into iPad-style Apps and Web Browser abilities. Why else would the lead developer of V2 be asked to leave the company? Because he isn't needed anymore.

Why else would Linden Lab, or anyone for that matter, release an Alpha version of any kind of software and actually ask their entire customer base to try it out? Allow me to repeat the operative red-flag: Alpha version. Because that's basically where everything is left-off at... no more active "deep" development.

Mark my words: Viewer 2 is now officially dead. No longer will it be developed as a going concern. Sure, Linden Lab may continue a little: fix what bugs they can, try to make it relatively stable. Then, at the right time, they will announce that development of V2 is being "redirected" toward newer viewer technologies (such as the aforementioned iPad App).

If I am mistaken: then I challenge any Linden to reply to THIS blog post and say "No, not true, development of Viewer 2 will continue full-steam ahead until properly completed". However, that won't happen. Take heed now: Viewer 2 is definitely dead. Linden Lab just can't bury it right now because of all the championing they have been involved with and trying so fecking hard to get every resident migrated to it. They would look like complete idiotic fools to shit-can it right now in any public way. They simply can't. So they will continue to champion V2 as long as they are able.

But you, dear reader and Second Life user are smarter than that. We know that if a rose smells like a pile of bullshit, it's probably really just bullshit. It's so obvious what's going on. I mean c'mon, they have to throw cheap candy into the mix. Hey, Linden Lab, the voice-print thing so I can sound like a hot chick even though I'm a fat, old pervert was promised to SL users several years ago when voice was first introduced to the grid.

A little too little, too late I think. Convincing existing residents" to actually use V2 now? Good luck with that.

Long-live Second Life Viewer Version 2.

I've been hearing from some that there's a panic run on the LindeX (Linden Exchange). After going in and taking a good look, my reaction is more or less: ummm, no. Actually, a "run" on the LindeX (in the current way it is happening) is a good thing, because the exchange rate between the Linden Dollar and U.S. Dollar is becoming ridiculously stable.

Is the LindeX being affected by the sledge-hammer news dropped by Tateru Nino (Massively) and confirmed by Linden Lab with regard to a 30% cut in their workforce? Short answer is yes. The good thing is: not by very much. Unless you are exchanging money by the higher-end hundreds of thousands of Linden Dollars for the tens of thousands of legal tender dollars, you wouldn't feel much at all - pennies, actually.

So why all the worrywarting? Because most people do not have a comprehensive grasp of just what the LindeX really is and how it works. So I'll explain in as pithy a way as I can.

First, LindeX is not a bank in any sense of the term. You are not placing money (virtual or real) into any kind of account. Rather the LindeX is simply a trading post. You are trading money: whether it be Linden Dollars (L$) or U.S. Legal Tender Dollars ($US). Additionally, your are not trading anything with Linden Lab at all. Rather, you are trading with other people who want what you are offering.

Whenever you buy Linden Dollars, you are not buying them from Linden Lab. You are actually buying from other Second Life users who are selling their Linden Dollars (also called "cashing out").

Linden Lab's only hand in it all is to act as the escrow agent. So, if you have L$1000 you want to trade into $US, you offer it for trade (or as LindeX puts it: for "sale"). Someone looking to "buy" L$ will then trade with you. The question is how many Linden Dollars will you give them for each $1 U.S. - and how many Linden Dollars the buyer gets for each $1?

So here is how it works:

Linden Lab creates a "money strong box" or "pool" for each trading denomination equal to $1 U.S. like so (I apologize I tend to interchange "strong box" and "pool" throughout this post, but they are meant to be the same thing):

  • L$250
  • L$251
  • L$252
  • L$253

...and so on. Call these trading "rates". The bigger (higher) the number of L$, the lower that value of each L$ - which means the value of the U.S. Dollar is higher. So, when you sell Linden Dollars, you want to sell at the lowest number possible (higher value for the Linden Dollar).

Most who buy or sell Linden Dollars will just do so at the current trading "rate", whatever it is at the time they actually place the order. However, if you click "Manage" in the LindeX portion of your Second Life Web Site Dashboard, you can actually specify your own rate if you are selling Linden Dollars.

These "manual rate" people are the ones who are determining the current exchange rate. If you look at "Market Data" in that LindeX part of your dashboard, you'll see several graphs.

The table at the bottom shows the "closing" (midnight SLT) exchange rates over the last so many days. A brief look at this table will show you just how stable the Linden Dollar has been over the last 30-days or so. Now, remember my example of the "strong box" above? It is easy to see it.

Click the "Sell L$" link in the "Manage" section of the LindeX area of your dashboard (not the "Sell L$" link under the LindeX title - click MANAGE first).

You are presented with two methods of selling your Linden Dollars: Immediately at the current exchange rate or you can specify exactly what rate you wish to sell for. Below this section is the exchange rate "pools" - the amount of money offered for sale at the differing exchange rates. If you choose to sell at a specific rate, your Linden Dollars will be placed into that pool.

The number next to each exchange rate is the amount of money in that "strongbox" waiting to be sold. One thing that is confusing to a lot of people is the low and high of the "sell" when you are selling Linden Dollars. So I reiterate: the lower the number, the higher the value of each Linden Dollar as you are getting more U.S. Dollar. So the idea is that you want to sell your Linden Dollars where the exchange rate shows the lowest possible number of Linden Dollars for each $1 U.S. L$1000 will go a little further in this case (hence, the Linden Dollar has more value).

[Edit: special note... notice these are the "best 20 rates" - to see the current exchange rate, look to the right for the best 20 rates in the BUY table, which is not shown here.]

Notice in this chart (the left side of the window called "Open Sell Orders" (screenshot taken at 0630, June 11, 2010) how many waiting orders there are at L$257? L$258? L$259? They are creeping up, aren't they? Look at that whopping number in the L$260 "box"!

That is the "run" on the LindeX people are speaking of. All those people looking to "cash-out". Hardly anyone willing to trade at L$261 (though it is early in the morning when this screenshot was taken). Here is why the "run" will actually stabilize the exchange rate:

In the case of L$261/$1 - the "current best selling" rate, all who buy Linden Dollars (at this rate) will get that many for each $1 U.S. they spend. This is a good deal for the buyer. However, when that pool of (as shown) L$973,770 dries-up, the next batch of Linden Dollars purchased will start coming from the L$260 "pool" - until more end-up in the L$261 "pool".

So, think of Linden Dollars as water and each exchange rate as a bucket - with the higher number of L$ being a "smaller" bucket. As the water is used-up from the smaller bucket, water is then taken from the next larger bucket, until more water is added to the smaller one.

It's a constant fill, empty, refill, re-empty and so on.

Here is where the stabilization comes from: see that L$260 "bucket"? It has a LOT of "water" in it. All that "water" (L$) must empty-out before the next "bucket" (L$259 rate) can be used at all. And not to mention the L$261 "bucket" will constantly be filled and emptied - and whenever there is "water" in that L$261 "bucket" - water is not removed from L$260 - it's "frozen".

Because of this, it will take a long time before any of the L$259 sell orders are ever filled. A very long time. However, if more people become impatient and decide to manually sell at L$261 or L$270 or more... then their could be a serious devaluing of the Linden Dollar. That would be a real "run" on the market.

Of course this is a constantly, fluid process. Rates are fluctuating wildly, much like the real world stock markets. Except that the LindeX is not a stock market (you are not trading ownership in anything, but rather directly trading tit-for-tat virtual currency for real currency: tokens.)

This is why the current "panic run" on the LindeX is a good thing.

At first blush, it would appear in the above graph that people are buying a lot less Linden Dollars on the 10th (causing some panic to set-in for some people).

However, this chart can be rather misleading. Looking at the table of transactions summary (below) will show that people have been purchasing Linden Dollars at the normal average rate. However, because of the mad rush to cash-out and place sell orders at a specific rate (L$260) as noted above, there is suddenly a massively large pool of sell orders at that rate. More than usual sell orders with "normal" number of buy orders causes the chart to appear skewed as though a minor "crash" is happening, when it really isn't.

Notice the Volume as compared to the Average. There is the answer. With such a flush of sell orders at L$260, there were some Second Life users who manually chose to sell at L$261 - causing all Buy orders to take from that pool first. And so it climbed as high as L$272 - an awesome deal for the buyer, not so much for the seller - a panic seller apparently.

Learn how to read the LindeX information, and then understand the information it is giving you. Disclosure: I am not any kind of financial analyst or anything likewise. I am explaining the LindeX as I understand how it works through simple logic and experience. Thus, responsibility for any transactions you make through the LindeX is yours and yours alone.

All government manuals (such as military field manuals and the like) follow a very simple, consistent rule with regard to callout notifications. A plain three-tiered level system designed to be clear and easy to understand with the concept of saying what it means and meaning what it says. These callout usually highlight something important you need to know as you follow the instruction on the main page and usually have to do with "If you do A, the result will be B".
The three tiers are as follows (with ridiculous examples):

  • The "Notice".
    As in: "NOTICE: If you do not replace the light bulb, the brake light will not function when applying brakes."

  • The "Caution":
    As in "CAUTION: Attempting to shoot your rifle while the barrel is plugged-up with mud could damage the rifle."

  • The "Warning":
    As in "WARNING: Do not inspect the end of a tank barrel during live-fire exercise or serious bodily injury or death could result."

The rules are pretty simple and consistent: A "Notice" simply means a certain way of doing things might not get you the expected result. However, a "Caution" could irreparably damage the item you are working with. And finally a "Warning" means screw the equipment, you could really end-up with a bad day if you fuck-up.

Now, back to Linden Lab's nuclear option regarding Viewer 2: It's like drugs... use it and your hooked. No, not emotionally, but rather kind of like a "once you use it, keep using it or else".

I don't believe for a second the way this all works is intentional by Linden Lab, but rather a side effect of some of the new features of viewer...features I really like. Specifically: the new "inventory links" that allow the "Outfits" portion of the sidecar (my word for "Side Bar").

Here is what is happening: if you fire-up Viewer 2 (V2 in my own vernacular) then the system takes a "snapshot" of you. Your shape, outfit, HUDs, all of it. This snapshot is updated regularly. However, this snapshot will prove dangerous for a lot of people.

In a nutshell: If you use V2 and logout (or crash out) then go to use another viewer, ANY other viewer, including the "old official" Linden Lab viewers, that snapshot sits idle waiting for V2 to access it. The other viewers don't mess with it and don't even know it's there. If you return to V2 later, that snapshot is restored.

In case that didn't make any sense to you, or you are unclear, I'll be very clear right now. Any and all changes you make in any viewer other than V2 are not saved to the system snapshot. Shape, skin, hair, outfit, HUDs, any and all customizations to any of these (including the contents of HUDs)... anything that is "attached" to you... none of the changes are recorded in that system snapshot.

In fact, if you already do use V2 - try it out. Set a look in V2. A particular outfit, HUDs, hair, whatever. Then logout (or crash-out as seems so often in V2 right now) - then fire-up any other viewer. Change things around a bit. If you are like me, you have many avatars. Go ahead, switch into the dragon or evil kitty or whatever. Change things around. Detatch your HUDs and attach different ones.

Now logout and then use V2 to login again. Whatch what happens. It's as though you never stopped using V2. Everything you have changed around in the other viewer is "erased". The state of your avatar and attachments (including HUDs and their contents) is "restored" to the last state they were in the last time you were using V2. It's as though you never logged in and changed things around at all.

So, the download page on the Second Life web site where you grab V2 should have a large box in bright red headline-size text on a black background with a skull-and-bones that says:

"WARNING: Playing ping-pong with different viewers could destroy your entire Second Life as you know it and be massively detrimental to your real life sanity!"

Case in point (and this is for all of you who "tried" V2 way back when and then decided to wait for the bugs to be worked-out - be warned): A friend tried V2 back when it was first "released" (a few months ago). She then fires it up last night. Go ahead. Take a wild guess what happened.

Here's the "nuclear" part: in utter WTF frustration, killing the V2 and returning to (name any other viewer here) does NOT reverse that snapshot restoration. Meaning the V2 restores your state to what it was the last time you used it. Going back to any other viewer and what you get is however V2 left it.

KABOOM. Mushroom clouds galore. (I can envision Outy Banjo's super-poofer right about now.)

So, if you want to evaluate V2 properly (and I do think everyone should evaluate it, really I do) - here is the "proper" way to do so:

Download V2, Install it but don't use it yet. Instead, pick a day and time, for example Friday evening. Fire it up. Use it all weekend and do NOT use any other viewers. The reason is to give V2 a fair shake. Linden Lab at least deserves a fair evaluation, rather than people getting frustrated after 5-minutes then bad-mouthing the viewer and Linden Lab. It's just not right (for any product).

Vow to yourself you will use it at least all the way through Sunday night, no matter how frustrated you might get. Or better yet, all week long. Because this is going to be the one and only time you will make your decision regarding V2 altogether, forever. And besides, it gives you a chance to find all the preferences to make V2 usable again.

Side note here: Linden Lab has screwed-up a few things in a major way: First, the preferences in v2 are scattered all over the place. Not all preferences are in the preferences window. Learn to right-click everything, every interface element. You will find preferences that help bring back a lot of the old style functionality. Such as seeing parcel permissions and coordinates in the "location bar" at the top of the screen. And restoring tabbed IM window. (Hey Linden Lab: Make-up our minds, will you? First it was separate IM windows. Then you changed it to tabs and we all hated you. You have trained us for two years to use tabbed windows. Now you change it back... WTF!?

The second thing is that the opposite preferences are set to default - such as what I mentioned being off, not on like they should be for migration reasons. Also, you already know about CTRL-ALT-D for advanced menu. The new "Dev" menu is CTRL-ALT-Q. You definitely want that menu.

Okay, there are a few bugs (God I hope they are not "features") that will hopefully be fixed in the next update: music plays every goddammedtime you come into aparcel, no matter your preferences. You always go into fly mode when you stand from sitting on a prim (including teleporters and the like). TP to a new destination and the viewer can actually freeze for 10 to 30-seconds at a time if your draw preference is set very high while textures download and so on.

At the end of your proper evaluation you must decide: keep it? Or dump it?

If you choose to dump it then do so. And never, ever even think about using it again. Especially because the longer you wait to return to it, the more fecked-up your account will be (all changes you make in the 'between" time will be erased.)

If you choose to keep it, then make it your primary viewer. Use other viewers sparingly and don't make massive changes while using them. I suppose for all you Emerald lovebunny fanbois and gals out there the answer would be to not touch V2 with a virtual 100-foot pole. Evar!

The one caveat to everything I state above: I have not tested how V2 will "react" after a full uninstall and then reinstall. In other words, if that "system snapshot" is stored locally or at the server level.

I would suggest you exercise WARNING just the same.

Not caution.
Not just a notice.

A while ago, it was "My Space", the grand social place to be. Then the site was run into the ground by the My Space powers that be. Facebook rose up to fill the gap as it is more or less a My Space with a prettier face. Now with the whole uprising regarding Facebook and user privacy, one would think with all the shrill screams and shouts, Facebook will soon suffer the same fate as My Space: insignificance. It won't happen. Many will shout the same things about Second Life and how the powers that be (read: Linden Lab) also will run it into the ground, or at least turn it more insignificant than it already is. I beg to differ.

What I would refer to as "successful failures" - meaning a "failure" to those of us who use it and expect more, but not in the least as far as the general public is concerned. They simply don't know any better and thus, they maintain the successful nature of the thing. Even though a huge number, possibly a majority of users are completely inactive. At least this is how it feels on Facebook and the SL Grid. Not so with Twitter because it's a rather targeted system. We each create our own little worlds or "rooms" where we find and see only those we follow directly. So it feels busier than it might be at the big picture level.

It just depends on which side of the door you're standing on, I suppose. I never have been much of a twitterer even though I have a Twitter account The same is true with my Facebook, Lined-In and myriad of other "social media" accounts. However, I decided to try a little experiment to see if my gut-feeling on a few particulars about "social spaces" were accurate. They are.

Within a few days, I received so many friend requests from people I've never heard of and who no doubt have never geared of me all coming out of the woodwork like crazy. I had to turn off my email notifications because of it. So here we are, a few months later. Not a single one has written on my "wall" or mentioned me or even written on their own walls it seems. Not so much as said a single "hello!"

It's a game. For many, it's a simple game to see how many friends I can get in my friends list.

How many followers I can get on my Twitter feed. How many RSS subscribers I can get on my blog. So I can feel important. As though people actually give a rat's behind about what I think on anything. At all. This is true for anyone and everyone who creates these accounts on these social media spaces and chooses to use their Second Life (or other anonymous) persona. I think the same may be somewhat true on the grid also. But one thing I have discovered about Facebook and Twitter and the Second Life grid: your friends aren't. Not really, anyway. Some turn into really strong acquaintances. Many are drive-by "hiyas". Most are just a number. Another notch on the "friend stick just so I can say I have more than you or worse to make myself feel better about...myself.

Of the hundreds of friends I have so mysteriously obtained on Facebook, I think two or three actually wished me a "happy birthday" Saturday. Of course it was just the system sending them a system message "these friends have birthdays today" and they shoot-off the messages like clockwork. however, I agree it was at least thoughtful they took the effort. As far as Second Life grid and friends go, there are three I work with as part of our (we are a team) store. I don't know which of them remembered, but they three each passed along happy wishes and I do appreciate that more than any others.

Except one.

I saw it this morning. A couple days after the fact...
A simple "happy belated birthday".

This happy birthday wish actually carries the most weight with me. It feels the most sincere. I know there wasn't some computer calendar reminding them of the day. I know they didn't have to send the message. I know they went out of their way to send it.

It was from someone who only addressed themselves as "L".
You know who you are.

And you know what? I know who you are, too.
Thank you.

/me groans.

Okay, fair warning here: anyone who really knows me knows I don't like to beat around the bush or soften things up for anyone. I actually do try hard to say what I mean and mean what I say and sometimes truth just plain hurts. So, I'm getting ready to offend a lot of people and you could be among them.

First I want to say I am sick and tired of the "you are intolerant' crowd because to use the very word is to proclaim yourself intolerant. The word itself is an oxymoron when used as an accusation. And only morons will ever throw it around that way.

With that said, I will boldly proclaim myself more tolerant than anyone else I know. I see something I don't agree with, I might whine and bitch about it but that's more or less the end of it. I won't demand you change whatever it is I think you are wrong about. For example: Linden Lab proclaiming the letters S and L as a trademark. I proclaimed that I will not recognize "SL" as a trademark of Linden Lab, but I haven't demanded they stop using it.

See? I'm "tolerant".

Homosexuality is another example: I have no problem with it. Whatever you do in your own home is your business and none of mine. What I actually do have a problem with is you always trying to rub it in my face by forcing a public discussion of it like I have a need to know.

Keep it to yourself, please and we'll all be just fine. See? I'm tolerant.

I also am sick and tired of the "media" agenda and biases. It's more than a month since the British Petroleum oil gusher under the ocean. Yet I don't see people lambasting and blaming Obama or his administration. If it happened only two years ago, impeachment proceedings would be in progress for Bush AND Cheney. I find many liberals to be two-faced hypocrites of the highest order. Unfortunately most of the established "media" is riddled with those versions.

For instance: how they seem to all be anti-semite, anti-christian and pro-muslim. (Yeah, lower-cased intentionally).

It seems the former two get all the apathy but we "must learn to understand and embrace" the muslims. In fact, that idea is running rampant through our schools. They are brain-washing our children beginning at the youngest ages. "Holiday Tree" instead of "Christmas Tree" for example. Remember students: "Christmas" means "Christ" which is bad, bad, bad! Holiday is a truncation of Holi (Holy) Day, and we can't have that, so we'll actually change our grammar rules for this one word that states a single vowel followed by a single consonant will be used in the long form and, instead we will pronounce it Hahl-ih-day from now on.

Look, I respect your right to practice and exercise whatever your choice of politics and religion. Really, I do. In fact, I wouldn't even mind you trying to convert me to your side of it all. But if you're going to do that, try an inclusive approach. Try doing it in a way that appeals to me. If you're convincing enough, you might even make some headway.

However, there is no constitutional or even "human" right to not be offended

So, if I offend you, tough nuts. Leave my presence and go somewhere happy-go-lucky for yourself and leave me be. The same is true with regard to anything Linden Lab does to piss you off: don't like it? Then GTFO. After all, it's one thing if I am the outsider who comes into your presense and offends you. Then - and only then - you are right to tell me to go away. But don't you dare come to my home and tell me I offend you. GTFO.

So when I get an offline (or any line) that looks like this, my hackles go up real fast (and please note, these thoughts of mine have always been thoughts of mine. This IM only gave me a reason to actually write about it):

[1:33] SALLY [redacted]: hello
[1:34] SALLY [redacted]: plz u made islamic texture in dragon
[1:35] SALLY [redacted]: iam moslem
[1:35] SALLY [redacted]: plz clear it it's bad for our religon
[1:35] SALLY [redacted]: we r about 20 person here
[1:36] SALLY [redacted]: we wont that
[1:36] SALLY [redacted]: plz
[1:36] SALLY [redacted]: clear it when u r online
[1:36] SALLY [redacted]: thx for your time

Thanks for my time? Do me a favor and go jump in a lake or something, because you can kiss me where I sit. "Moslim" is bad for "Christian" - you offend so how about you remove your religion? (One statement is just as bad as the other.)

Who the feck are you to tell me to change something of mine because it offends you? Why don't you, whom I have never met, just come into my house and tell me to change the paint because the color of my bathroom walls are "offensive" to you?

My knee-jerk reaction? "Kiss my ass, get the feck out, don't come back and I'll help you with a full-sim ban-hammer on all my sims and other properties". No, I didn't follow-through with my knee-jerk want. I might be stupid, but I'm not dumb. Rather I sent a simple IM back:

Sorry, I can't do that. I suggest you simply don't visit anymore.

That's it. Simple and pithy.

Of course I should have just sent a typical Steve Jobs email reply:


Sent from my iPad.

And I said what I meant and meant what I said.

©2007-Present, Andr'Deco & Pixietale Studios, DBA Socially Mundane; Common Sensible

Okay, not Linden Lab's words. Mine.

It's no secret that with the Second Life Viewer version 2 there are leaps ahead in features and leaps backward in performance and stability. The same is true with the entire "search" function on the grid and because it's a direct link, on the web-side.

There are a lot of complaints from the usual, typical minority about it and the complaints are the same old tired arguments that couldn't hold a single ounce of water.

Ciaran Leval, God bless him and his passionate, albeit always seeing the glass half-empty self, has blogged about the current search result situation as it applies to the Second Life grid.

He makes many good points and I, overall, agree with what he says and complains about. However, to take the "discussion" just a tad further, I reply to Ciaran's post with this (forewarning: /rant on)

Ciaran is absolutely correct that there is a "disconnect" between Lindens and "users". And because of this user comment example:

" Search is up the creek many people are loosing there rl incomes..."

...I choose to side with Linden Lab in the "disconnect" aspect. They must be getting sick and tired of this ridiculously stupid argument. It's one reason why if I were offered a job with Linden Lab I'd likely not last the week because I'd surely tell it like it is to a lot of these self-serving, entitlement-attitude, give me everything for nothing or else people.

Yes, search is hosed and it shouldn't be. Yes, I side with "users" in regard to how search is broken and absolutely must be fixed. I also know better than to take anything Second Life so seriously as to generate heartburn over any of it.

Like the Lindens, I agree it is NOT a show-stopper (in Ciaran's original post, he mentions that a Linden changed the Jira bug report from "show-stopper" status to a "critical" status). In fact, I'm really not even sure it fills the "critical" category. Any dumb-ass fool who reaps their "RL income" from Second Life (illegally, I might add as they are not reporting income taxes) - deserves what they get for placing their livelihood at the mercy of a company who's sole purpose is to make a profit by running a game. As for getting what you pay for, you are. Else you wouldn't still be there. It's as simple as that. And I am willing to bet that most of those who like to throw out the "losing my RL income" dud likely doesn't even have "payment information on file" - fekking losers, all of them.

Search is broken. Search needs to be fixed. But, it is a moderate problem at worst. Events should be listed first. They are of a time-sensitive nature. If you don't see what you are looking for (when shopping for products), turn on the elementary thinking cap and click on the "Places" tab.


Of course everyone has a right to be a complete helpless imbecile. So let them. If you are running a business on the grid then find other avenues of publicizing and stop relying on the search mechanism. It's business. Run it like a business. You must be proactive in obtaining customers. But you rather "build it and hope they will come" and when they don't you blame Linden Lab.

It's like blaming your car manufacturer for the pothole that popped your tire because the road wasn't paved right.

Certainly search is important. But it's more important for the shoppers and that is who the algorithms are targeted at. Not the business owners. Adjust your stupid listings so it works correctly instead of expecting Linden Lab to bend over backward to make things work for YOU.

Linden Lab is Apple and You are Adobe. Screw you, Adobe. You want to work with Apple then you follow Apple's rules, adapt so it works according to their house or get the feck out. Same with you second Life "business owners": work with the system, don't expect changes to the system just so it can work with you. Pretty damned conceited of you to think your are anything other that a statistical number, dip-shit.

Take it.
Or leave it.

Search results certainly shouldn't be your main method of contact with potential customers, especially if your are really so stupid as to rely on the income of pretend money from a pretend business to fund your real life. In such cases you actually need to get a real life! SRSLY!!!11!!1!

But then again, people stupid enough to do that are also stupid enough to do things wrong and (crybaby sounds with violins here) rely on Linden Lab to do everything for them, rather than doing for them damned-selves.

Including changing their own smelly diaper. Such is the problem with the Second Life and Real Life societies. Entitlement attitudes.

Proof-positive: Greece economy (too many hand-outs from the government, which the people are too stupid to rely on instead of doing for themselves, so the government ends-up running out of other people's money.)

Unlike Greece (and the U.S. and the E.U.), Linden Lab (rightfully so) doesn't give a rip-shit about you and your piddly little problems. Especially if your too stupid to figure out that Second Life is for "entertainment purposes only".

In summary:

  • Search appears to be borked because "uR dOin' it WroNG!"
  • Deal with it. Live with it. Love it.
  • Adapt and move the feck on.
  • Do for yourself.
  • Don't rely on someone else who owes you nothing.
  • GTFU1 and get a real job in the real world instead of being a lazy-ass and trying to get something for nothing all you entitlement-attitude idiots.

(/rant OFF)

Ciaran's original post.

  1. "Grow The Fuck Up"

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