Unless you've been is somewhat of a vacuum of late, you already know Apple CEO Steve Jobs refuses to allow Adobe Flash (Player) on the iPhone OS, hence all "iDevices" will not and cannot play anything that requires the Flash Player.

There have been just-short-of-expletives lobbed at each other between Apple and Adobe, primarily between Apple CEO and Adobe Engineers. My personal opinion is that the Adobe side of the argument is outright laughable. They proclaim developers don't have a choice (by not being allowed to develop the Flash platform on iPhone OS) and that users of said iDevices don't have a choice to choose whether to use Flash Player or not.

I beg to differ.

The fact is, developers do have a choice: develop for the iPhone OS or not. If they choose to do so, then they must follow the rules as it is Apple's house. The same with the end-users: they have chosen to use the iDevice, even though it doesn't have the ability to use the Flash Player. This is because there is nothing developed on the Flash platform compelling enough they are willing to forego the device for.

I personally have yet to see anything developed in Flash that I simply must see or use. Nothing at all. It's not Adobe's fault. It's the developers of Flash' fault as they create crap.

The big news yesterday is the open letter Steve Jobs has written regarding "thoughts on Flash"1 ; and Adobe's response2 (via the heretofor silent Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen) going at it in a far more public fashion.

Do I have a problem with the Flash Platform? Actually, no.

My problem is with the Flash Player. And frankly I think Apple made a slam-dunk in their arguments against it and Adobe's response was adolescent at best.

My problems with the Flash Player are pretty simple:

  • It bogs down and uses far too many recources on my OS-X computer (my personal platform of choice) - but not on my Windows system. Adobe proclaims it is the OS-X system that is the problem, yet nothing else causes these issues. Only the Flash Player. Go figure.
  • Flash Player is buggy. It causes crashes. Not very often, but practically every browser crash points to the Flash Player.
  • The Flash Player is riddled with security holes. And every new incarnation or update brings feature-bloat. It is a fat pig, both on hard disk drive and in RAM requirements not to even mention system resources and processing cycles. An ugly beast.
  • Finally, the developers who develop on the Flash Platform have yet to develop anything compelling enough to make keeping the Flash Player around at all.

Most people who have and use the Flash Player do so because it's already installed on their system and likely don't even realize they can turn it off and even remove it completely. So they tolerate the utter garbage that invades their Web Browser windows day in and day out. (Among the top Firefox Extensions download is "Stop Flash" - a Flash blocker and on the OS-X platform is Click2Flash, also a Flash blocker).

The fact of the matter is that since I have removed the Flash Player plugin from all my systems (Windows and OS-X) - web sites load much faster and my system is considerably more stable.

So how does Linden Lab and Second Life users fit into this diatribe of mine?

Simple: it's about the company's target customer.

Adobe is going for the middle-man. Creating the tools for developers and designers to create stuff. Then, let those creators go out and sell to the end consumer. Therefor, Adobe wants their tools on every platform possible. It's more money for them. However, the developers want to go where those buying end-consumers are so they can sell more. It's a simple economy.

Apple is going directly for the end consumer. They know that if they get enough end consumers to buy into their product, the developers will follow. And as an aside, Apple provides those developers with tools to cater to Apples end consumers.

It's a simple paradigm difference; two different means to the same end.

In Second Life, anyone who creates anything could be considered a "developer" - looking to sell to an end consumer. Xstreet SL is like the Apple App Store. The in-world grid is like the Internet Web in general.

At first, Linden Lab was like Adobe:

Hey, all you developers! Come to me, use my tools, make money!

However, there is a paradigm shift going on.

Linden Lab wants (needs) more main-stream end consumers in order to grow and remain relevant, not just to be a geeky playground. They must convert their current Adobe paradigm into the Apple paradigm and appeal directly to the end consumer: the average grid-surfer. This means simplifying the viewer to appeal to those average people who don't want complicated things. (I have been an I.T. professional since 1987 - and I love the iPad for it's basic simplicity. I just don't have to even think about anything in order to use it.)

This means they must create a compelling product - like Apple does - that will draw the masses at large. Simplify and beautify. It's really that simple. The developers must come secondarily. And they will come. They will flock to the grid to cater to those end consumers. It is a simple mechanical shift in how the economy works.

The idea is to influence choice.

Linden Lab, rightfully so, wants end consumers to choose to use Second Life and the Second Life grid. There are many "developers" to support those end consumers, so they do not carry quite as high a priority as the end consumer proper (for lack of a better term.)

The fact is the developer also has a choice: to develop for the platform or not. In doing so: follow the platform rules. So, all you creators and "business" people of Second Life who twitch every time Linden Lab sneezes: you can cry, whine, bitch and otherwise stomp your feet. It doesn't matter because Linden Lab must act less like Adobe and more like Apple in order to remain relevant and grow their business.

Linden Lab (like Apple and Adobe) are in business for themselves. They must do what they feel best in order to maintain not only sustainability, but growth.

Certainly you can proclaim that Linden Lab "doesn't care" - actually, they do. If they really didn't care, the virtual continent of Zindra wouldn't exist and neither would all the deviant poseballs that salt-and-pepper the grid among so many other things. They care about their core business: the grid and it's accessibility to the masses. Just because you prefer deviant kink doesn't mean you are in the majority and have priority over anyone else.

I can't even count how many times I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's (Linden Lab's and Apple's) house. You (Flash and Second Life) developers are a guest. Follow the rules or get the hell out and quitcherbitchin because it only makes you look the foolish, whiney-assed crybaby whose diapers are overdo for a serious changing.

Second Life Whiners and Adobe Flash Developers: you stink.

  1. Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash: http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/
  2. Shantanu Narayen via Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/29/adobes-ceo-jobs-flash-letter-is-a-smokescreen-for-cumberso/

Second Life in 2006: Gray Goo griefer (griever) attack shuts down the grid for a few days. Other griefer attacks are constantly creating an unstable grid, combined with the horrific instability and bugginess of the SL viewer makes Second life, at times, a terribly miserable place to be. Well, griefers always have been a part of Second Life, but it's become a lot better since then for the majority of grid-surfers. But the Woodbury institution was apparently a bee-hive of griefer activity, or at least a hideout.

I don't remember when I first started reading about "Woodbury" - an educational higher learning institution having their own sim and it always had to do with being a haven for griefers - at least according to all the articles I've read and what I've heard about.

Even though many of those article must be taken with a serious grain of salt as the "reporters" of these stories tend to sensationalize everything, there seems to be no doubt as to the "community" of the Woodbury region...or anything "Woodbury.

I don't really care to remember whether it was 2007 or 2008 when Linden Lab sank the Woodbry sim on grounds of... whatever. I don't recall if it was a billing issue or a griefer issue. But that's moot at this point.

Linden Lab to Woodbury: get the hell out and stay the hell out, have a nice life:

"Linden Lab has decided to no longer support Woodbury University in Second Life," said an E-mail notice from Linden Labs sent to Edward Clift, the dean of media, culture and design at Woodbury.

"We are making this decision based on historical and recent events that constitute a breach of the Second Life community standards and terms of service. We ask that you please respect the decision and do not take part in the Second Life platform in the future."

To me, it is ridiculously ironic that it has taken Linden Lab this long to drop the ban-hammer. Must be someone intimately involved with Woodbury as done something to call down the Linden thunder and that lightning has struck.

Of course the griefers of Woodbury will not fade away. They'll just disperse and regroup. The destroyed bee's nest that scatters the swarm, who only regroup later to build another nest. Often somewhere nearby.

/me shrugs.

I suppose it was nice knowing you, Woodbury.

link: California College Loses Second Life for a Second Time (usnews.com)

[art: 'Big Daddy K' via Flickr]

Last person on the region please turn the lights off.

I still am amazed at the amount of land-to-population ratio when it comes to the Second Life grid. I'm not even referring to the private estate regions, but rather the Linden mainland.

I remember seeing those television commercials for Philadelphia Cream Cheese where they loved to proclaim "ounce-for-ounce less than half the calories of butter!" However, when spreading that cream cheese over your toast or bagel, you need to spread it thick. Really thick else you won't even taste it. Thus, even though that brand of cream cheese might be less than half the calories of butter per ounce, you put three to four-times more of it onto your food, negating any benefit of "less calories". The only benefit is to spread the stuff thin. But then you can't even taste it.

It would seem the same is true with the second Life grid.

There are many who may not be genuine "newbies" in Second Life, but not yet of complete understanding with regard to the dynamics of the grid. So they will proclaim "Second Life is a ghost-town!" others will debunk it, but both are correct.

The argument against the "ghost-town" proclamation is usually about how the grid is international and that when you stand all alone listening to your own echo in an empty region it may not be the case at other times of the day. A good point to be sure.

But opening the map and looking at the pretty little green dots as compared to the virtual land mass and it is pretty easy to say "yes, you're right and that applies to about 5% of the entire grid." It's a lot like butter on toast... the users are spread thin across the grid.

Incredibly thin.

Linden Lab charges a monthly tier for mainland parcels, most of which are virtually sized between 1024 and 4096 square meters, which when looking at the map is a lot of tier. Yet 95% of the grid, and those parcels go uninhabited.

True: many of these parcel owners are likely elsewhere on the grid when in-world... a dance club; sex club; private cuddle club, shopping club or whatever. But that still could only account for about 10% of the grid. So how many of those parcels are sitting dormant where either the virtual owner is still being charged that $15 tier every month and they either don't realize it, or the account is simply in default and Linden Lab hasn't gotten around to "condemning" it and setting it for auction...or intentionally not doing so, else the map would show a helluva lot more purple than yellow or green.

Looking at the dots on the map, I would take a guess that at least 50 to 60% of those are bots, alts or otherwise "illegitimate" accounts (as far as genuine "population" numbers go).

It might explain why Linden Lab has this major push to get new users. Genuine new users, not alts and bots. A major part of that push is the new Second Life Viewer version 2, which I refer to simply as V2. Beyond that it's currently buggier than Microsoft Windows Vista - (that says a lot here, folks) - it also is highly "builder unfriendly".

MarxDudek made post at his blog where he mentions the idea that Linden Lab is slowly "corralling" the population into a highly moderated state - completely opposite of what the intent at the beginning where the grid and its activities were practically hands-off as far as LL was concerned.

I agree and have felt this was the case ever since the bank shutdowns back in 2007. Linden Lab has been actively "cleaning-up" the grid over the last year at least and is steadily pushing harder and harder in this direction and the red-light district south of the tracks called Zindra just proves it.

Whenever Linden Lab sneezes or farts or coughs, there are shrill shouts of how evil the Lab is and how they are ruining SL businesses and all that junk. Then there are the loud cries about how someone will abandon all their land, give away all their inventory, tier-down, and cancel their premium subscription and "LEAVE!"

My personal reply to any and all who proclaim this is simply: "good effing riddance, don't let the prim door hit you in the ass on the way out."

I myself have one foot outside the grid now and I am heavily leaning in that direction. And to be clear about it: I really don't care if you care. I mention that to mention this: it's not so much for anything Linden Lab is doing or not doing or their policies or anything like that. But rather because the grid is becoming more and more boring.

I have already told my friends that when I "leave" SL it won't be in some dumb-ass self-important fanfare fashion. But rather in a quiet, discreet and imperceptible fashion as possible - mostly because I believe one should never say "never". I'll just stop logging in one day. I do not have any intention of doing that right now (super-secret coded message to friends who read this and start freaking out: don't be concerned, it's not going to happen yet! I'm just closer to it today than I was yesterday kinda thing.)

Over the years (I came into the grid originally in Spring, 2006) the virtual landmass has grown exponentially in comparison to the virtual population. Add to that the idea that every two of three concurrent users is a bot or alt account and the "total population" (number of users logging-in in the last 60-days) is a laughable farce. Divide by three, at least. And it seems the empty echos have been getting a lot louder over these last few months.

Open Sim is still immature compared to the Second Life grid, but it has come a long way. There were often many shouts and rallying cries to "dump Second Life" and join-up on the open-sim grids. Those irrational evangelists have mostly fallen silent (thank you because the noise was beginning to be really annoying).

However, how many people are simply logging into the grid less and less to the point where they just don't feel the urge anymore? Quaintly Tuquiri has mentioned that her current connection issues are preventing her from spending much time on the grid at all of late. And she states clearly that she doesn't "miss" it.

She also mentions that when she does login she tends to sit idle... no exploring, no chit-chat with old friends (who also seem to never be around any more,) no shopping...

Her epiphany: "why?"

And I agree. I now login when I need to: to handle customer care, run some numbers and names to the business team members, answer questions and that's about it. I login mostly when I need to get something done. Once the task is completed, I might idle around for a few minutes, but if nothing grabs my attention then logout again. I don't like sitting dormant.

I have an iPad 3G coming soon (3G versions aren't shipping, yet) and I don't own an iPhone or iPod Touch, but already have purchased software that will make it less necessary to use any SL Viewer. It is an iPad App that will allow me to login to Second Life (from anywhere with the iPad 3G as it were) at any time and be able to chat in IM, pay money, send inventory and all the rest. All for three bucks. Combine this App with the V2 "building experience" and the grid boredom and I am left to ask "what reason is there to log into the grid At all?"

So, how long does it take before interesting play becomes boring work?
For me, just about four years it seems.

[art: Ein Provinzler]

I'm cruising XstreetSL this weekend and I noticed that stupid pop-up window on my browser about "Plug-in Content" and how I need the plug-in to display the content. It was irritating. I dismissed the dialog and continued on.

Then a few pages later it appeared again. My first thought was WTF? What has Linden Lab broken now? Then I realized what was going on. Bonehead merchants buying banner advertising at XSL are now putting-in Flash-based advertising and it's their loss and waste of money.

The last time I purchased a banner advert on SL Exchange (as it was still called back then) - only JPG or GIF images were allowed. Nothing else. Hence, Linden Lab has obviously changed the rules - probably charging even more for a Flash advert.

Here is why it's a waste of money:

  • First, it's a banner ad. Non=targeted, meaning whomever it is shown to probably isn't even shopping for whatever you're selling. You might get one click-through in a thousand.
  • It's a banner ad. People have trained themselves to tune-out banner ads for the last couple decades. Fewer people will even notice it there, much less pay a lot of attention to it.
  • It's a Flash banner ad. Flash is obnoxious and people already know the low-quality spammers who use them so often, therefor more unlikely to actually click on it.
  • It's a Flash banner ad. A significant number of people (not saying it's a lot, but significant) actually have Flash turned off. However, the advert was still served, so it still counts against your "impressions" number. You paid to show me the ad I (happily) never even saw.

Flash is so Windows 98. It's an old, useless, unstable and radically unsecured platform. Hackers and crackers target Flash all the time. It also is easy to develop Flash whatever, so Flash developers usually end-up becoming lazy, putting-out garbage, crap, shit.

I'm serious here. There are three instances where I see Flash used at all:

  • Garbage, obnoxious, irritating, loud-mouthed advertising from spammers and scammers, sometimes legitimate companies.
  • Flash "games" which are waste-of-time trinkets targeted at 5-year-olds whose attention span is but a few minutes at a time.
  • Video presentation - which anyone who even cares about the video they produce would never, as Flash is among the worse CODECs (COmpressor/DECompressor) around. It sucks computer processing cycles, crashes computers, causes the computer to work overtime and overheat and is riddled with holes for hackers and crackers. And above all: the video looks like shit, even when displayed at half the size of a 3x5 index card. Only "throw-away" video is distributed in Flash format - or Flash is the alternative, not the primary distribution model.

Now Adobe is releasing Adobe CS5 - and they are tooting the Flash horn. The "big thing" about Flash CS5 is the ability to write a Flash "application" (using that word in the same sentence as "Flash" is a fucking joke) once and be able to "port it" or "export it" into many platforms, including iPhone OS (though Apple put the kerbosh on that idea with upcoming iPhone OS 4 - thank God).

Show me a single, useful anything that was created in Flash. Anything. Anyone? Show me a Flash "application" that is useful and that I would miss by not having Adobe's crappy plug-in installed on my system.

You can't.

There is nothing. Perhaps some big company has created a proprietary application for internal use - but 99.99% of all viable companies are not that stupid. Ask any I.T. department anywhere. The security of Flash is laughable. The use of it opens all kinds of doors into their networks (and coincidentally: your own computer).

All these bullshit claims that the Internet is "crippled" on the iAnything because they don't support Flash is laughable. Not supporting Flash on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad is a feature.

Gee, thanks Linden Lab for taking a massive leap backward by allowing/implementing or whatever...introducing: Flash anything on your web sites. You dip-shits. Doesn't matter, I have one foot outside the grid now and leaning heavily in that direction. Go ahead, come up with another something new to push me over the edge toward the outside.

I know: whether I and many others come or go isn't even worth a fleeting thought to you. But it does to me.

And I rest my case with this:

Was watching #Adobe #CS5 launch videos, alas the #Flash plugin crashed my browser. O the irony --Trilo Byte


Quaintly has been mentioning to me about her internet connection difficulties. More specifically, her difficulties in connecting to the grid (and probably other high-bandwidth destinations).

Our short discussion bursts have come to that all-too-familiar subject of "what if I leave SL, will I miss it? Go stir-crazy? Have withdrawals?" Those are my words, not hers.

The dramatic divas of the grid like to be shrill about it. Whenever Linden Lab sneezes, farts, coughs policy or anything to do with how something works system-wise, they become shrill and start shouting about how they are leaving Second Life forever as though Linden Lab (or anyone else for that matter) cares a single iota.

Quaintly views it the way I do: nothing Second Life or Linden Lab for that matter is important enough to really care about. Let's face it: virtual worlds are a discretionary option; not needed in the least. Thus, it's really either "entertainment" or "experimental" but nothing more.

90% of the virtual population are in it for the entertainment value, which to me the "social" aspect of it falls within that bubble. "Experimental" would include those professional organizations, commercial or educational or government who are experimenting with ways to use the virtual world to help further their overall organizational mission.

One thing Quaintly said that I had realized probably two years ago is (and I paraphrase with my own words):

All the comments on the official and other blogs, plurk, twitter and the rest with regard to anything Linden Lab does or the latest skins or fashion are not only not important, but are actually starting to sound outright stupid."


To be clear, Quaintly has said she is not leaving Second Life. It's just more of a forced hiatus with extremely limited in-world time - more due to her connection problems than anything else.

It's one of the reasons I have converted this blog from "Common Sensible" to "Socially Mundane" because I felt the title and description better fits the entire Second Life ecosystem on whole. It's all "stupid". Especially when dimwits like Stroker Serpentine go ballistic at Linden Lab over something impossible for them to have any control over, and in return causing them to throw-down the gauntlet on top of everyone's heads.

I don't blame Linden Lab for any of it. They are a business in business to make money and be profitable. Thus their terms of service and all the rest are intentionally designed to protect them, you be damned.

And I support it. Go, go Linden Lab!

As for the "withdrawal" of being in-world? Well, sooner or later you learn quite rapidly just how unimportant and yes: stupid it really all is.

I remember long, long ago a television commercial for Tootsie Pop. A kid wondered how many licks it took to get to the Tootsie Roll inside the hard candy on a stick1 . He was told to ask the Owl as he was wise and knew everything. The Owl licked once. Twice. A third time and gave-up. Then he bit into the hard candy to crack it open and eat the Tootsie Roll chocolate inside.

His answer to the boy was "three".

I've been spending a lot less time in-world. In fact, the only reason I come in-world any more is to support customers who need it and to continue what needs to be done in the management of Zodiac House - because I have promised friends I would do so.

Otherwise, unlike the shrill drama-divas who really do need to get their lives into perspective with regard to what's important: I won't announce any departure in a self-loving, self-important shout-out to all those who couldn't care any less than they already do.

First because I never say never. But also because that "magic" might be rekindled at some time in the future. But for now, it just isn't there.

/me shrugs.

I don't know Quaintly. We are long-distance acquaintances. But I consider her a friend that I suspect will voluntarily keep in-touch, even if loosely outside the grid, albeit our one real thing in-common is the grid.

So all of you who take Second Life more seriously than you should be forewarned: your attitude readjustment is down the road and it won't smack you in the face. Rather it will sneak-up on you slowly and by the time you realize your disillusionment and just how stupid all of it really is...you'll already be well down that road of "who really cares?"

It will start when you realize how ridiculous the commentary at SLUniverse, Alphaville Herald and Shopping Cart Disco really are. You'll know it when you finally question yourself with "are these people actually serious?"

Unlike nicotine, Second Life is a helluva lot easier to "kick the habit".

There's no Great Old Owl to ask so I guess we won't really ever know exactly how many minutes, hours, days or weeks away from being in-world it takes for anyone to realize how unimportant it is, and by extension how stupid all the drama surrounding it is.

That's for you to decide on your own.

  1. Boy (voiced by Buddy Foster): Mr. Cow... Mr. Cow (Frank Nelson): Yeeeeesss!!? Boy: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?! Mr. Cow: I don't know, I always end up biting. Ask Mr. Fox, for he's much clever than I. Boy: Mr. Fox, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?!! Mr. Fox (Paul Frees): Why don't you ask Mr. Turtle, for he's been around a lot longer than I?!? Me, heheh, I bite! Boy: Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? Mr. Turtle (Ralph James): I've never even made it without biting. Ask Mr. Owl, for he is the wisest of us all. Boy: Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop!? Mr. Owl (Paul Winchell): A good question. Let's find out. A One... A.two-HOO...A tha-three.. (crunch sound effect) Mr. Owl: A Three! Boy: If there's anything I can't stand, it's a smart owl. Narrator (Herschel Bernardi): How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? (crunch sound effect) Narrator: The world may never know!

Linden Lab unleashed a months-worth of blog posts in a single day. Among that truckload of information was an update to the Linden Lab Terms of Service (ToS) - which is really just a rephrasing of what already was in there. In the blog post, to help make clear just what the changes were, those changes were summarized in the blog post itself, so one did not have to go through and read the entire thing trying to pick-out the difference between the previous and now current versions.

Except the summary had a suspicious, albeit major omission.

In all the comments regarding the ToS changes, it is that very omission and new policy that has riled a lot of feathers, perhaps rightly so. However, in the end, Linden Lab has every right to force you to agree to their rules. And the most important rules can be summarized as follows:

  • Rule 1: Linden lab owes you nothing. Zip, zilch, nada.
  • Rule 2: it is Linden Lab's house and if you don't like the house rules, don't allow the door slap your ass on the way out.

As is typical there is a massive number of users of the Game of {Second} Life whom, because of their entitlement attitudes, actually believe (in their own twisted minds) that Linden Lab actually owes them anything. These are the idiots of Second Life, starting with Stroker Serpentine in my opinion.

So what was the massive omission left out of the summary of ToS changes as described on the official Linden Lab blog?

(Paraphrased): By agreeing to these Terms of Service, you also agree to the Third-Party Viewer (TPV) policy.


Even I didn't expect that one.

To summarize, the TPV basically makes it "illegal" to connect to any of the Second Life grids with a third-party viewer that allows you to circumvent any of Linden Lab's rules, including but not limited to circumventing of the permissions system that allows creators to maintain the "rights" and "license" of their creations. In other words, if the viewer allows you to download or otherwise copy anything, in-world or locally, that you did not create the entirety of, then you are breaking the rules.

Most reasonable people would find this to be a, well reasonable rule. Except for this part:

(Paraphrased): If you create a viewer, you are responsible for it and anyone using your viewer. If you or they break any of our house rules, you and they can be banished to Second Life hell forever and a day you naughty bee-ahch.

If you so much as even use a third-party viewer that is able to break the rules whether you use those abilities or not, and whether you even know if it has those abilities or not, or even if you are a blithering, mindless idiot who doesn't even know what a viewer is, then you also can be banished into Second Life purgatory forever and a day, tough-titty, said the kitty, but the milk tastes good so suck-it-up and drive on.

Or not.

This is a game-changer (read: game-killer) for most if not all third-party viewer developers. In fact, the Imprudence team has already made announcement that they will discontinue development of their viewer where it will be able to connect to Agni (the Second Life grid) and they are weighing their options with regard to continuing development for connection to TPGs (Third-party Grids, such as "OpenSim").

However, can anyone really blame Linden Lab for these updates to the ToS and the TPV policy? Linden Lab owes everyone nothing. In fact, all real life legal tender, a.k.a. "money" only flows one-way: into Linden Lab. Nothing flows out.

Ah, I know what you are thinking, dear reader: "what about the LindeX - Linden Dollar Exchange?" But that is not Linden Lab's money. The Linden Dollar never was a currency, never was worth anything. It is simply a "point" system in order to measure a perceived value of something. It is a simple trading "token". Always has been.

If you are fortunate enough to "level-up" with a truckload of point tokens...er, I mean "Linden Dollars" and decide to "cash-out", you head off to the LindeX. You sell your tokens. I mean Linden Dollars for real dollars.

However, the real dollars you receive are not from Linden Lab. They are from other users looking to buy Linden Dollars. You are simply trading with other Second Life users.

However, because so much trading between SL users for what amounts to Monopoly money for real money goes on, there are a lot of SL users who take SL far too seriously.

So, why the heavy-handed language in the new ToS and TPV?
In a ridiculously-simplified nutshell it boils down to just a couple of events in Second Life history:

The first is when Linden Lab open-sources the Second Life viewer software.
This was good because it got a lot of people looking at that nasty "spaghetti" code and helped to clean it up. A horribly buggy and unstable piece of software matured into a nicely stable and polished piece of software with only a few bugs.

However, this was a bad thing as it also gave access to anyone with the know-how to peek into that code into the inner-workings of how the software worked. Specifically: how objects and textures and scripts and basically everything except the actual management of the toy-token called Linden Dollars were handled.

The fact of the matter is with regard to computers: if you can see it, you can steal it. Now the inner workings of all this stuff is out in the open for anyone to abuse. And abuse they did.

The second problem is when entitlement-attitude-minded people like Stroker Serpentine (whom I believe to be a seriously whiny-assed crybaby idiot) who has too much time and money on his hands goes and initiates a lawsuit against Linden Lab over something they (Linden Lab) have absolutely no control over.

For the remainder, I will use Stroker's name to stand in place for all the dip-shit idiots on the grid who think anyone anywhere with relation to Linden Lab or Second Life owe them anything whatsoever.

So Stroker initiates what he hopes to be a class-action lawsuit against Linden Lab because they "haven't done enough" to curtail the whole "copybotting" phenomenon. It doesn't matter that Linden Lab has no control over this as it is a literal impossibility to prevent - something about how computers and networking actually work - he goes and wets his diapers and threatens and shakes his fists jumping up-and-down like a lunatic 3-year-old anyway. The dip-shit causes Linden Lab to throw-down the gauntlet.

Can anyone blame them?

In other words, since Linden Lab has already placed the Second Life Viewer code into the open-source community they can't actually revoke all that. So they do the next best thing: scare the shit out of anyone developing or even using a viewer that breaks any of Linden Lab's rules while connected to Linden Lab's servers (Second Life grids) into using the "official" Linden Lab-released viewer.

A highly-effective maneuver if you ask me.

I have no doubt that if Mark Kingdon were C.E.O. of Linden Lab at the time the decision was made to open-source the viewer, that decision would have gone the other way (correct me if I'm wrong there, Mark).

Though I always have proclaimed my opinion that Linden Lab are (mostly) not tyrants and are not "out to get" people, I'm not stupid either. Though I have stuck with the official Linden Lab "Snowglobe" viewer, I will do-so doubly now as well.

I have way too much invested to risk the stupid crap. I always have felt the Emerald viewer is a bit bloated with too many useless "features" for my taste and yes, I know, there are many who feel differently - good for them.

So all the riled feathers flying around boil-down to this very thing:
Will the Emerald development team continue the development of the Emerald viewer since they will be responsible not only for how their viewer works, but how any user on the grid uses it?

And the Emerald-using population are in fear not only that the Emerald viewer will go defunct, but that many of it's features will be discontinued as they are now "illegal" on the Second Life grid.

In the end, I support Linden Lab and concur and agree with the ToS changes, right down to the requirement that all users agree to the TPV as well.

The side benefit is this, though: anyone who gets their ass handed to them by the CDS system can now be abuse-reported and likely face a ban from Second Life for using a detected known-to-be-illicit viewer.

Remember this, people: you might be "anonymous", but your viewer isn't!

That would be a "good riddance" for the entire grid as a whole.