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.