Saturday, December 15, 2007

Goodbye Cory...Goodbye Second Life?

This week it was brought to light that Cory Linden had been asked to leave Linden Lab and therefore, Second Life.

Before I dwell on the consequence's of this, I want to say this to Cory. Thank You for your hard work, your many hours of devotion, for your vision and strength to see them through to fruition. Your leadership of Second Life cannot be understated and your devotion to the Customers and the World itself will be missed. While I have from time to time rode your back for the way things were going in Second Life, I hope you know we both have been striving for the same thing, a stable and wonderful world of Second Life.

Now friends, let's examine this very closely. Cory Linden was (reported to be) the fourth person hired by Philip Rosedale. Cory actually wrote the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) and had his hands in so many pieces of Second Life that it's an understatement to say that he will be missed; it just may be that Second Life itself will suffer greatly because Philip Rosedale couldn't see how much Cory cared about the world itself.

While I have called for drastic changes in the management of Second Life, I never, nor would I have ever, thought that firing Cory Linden was a good idea. The problem with firing Cory Linden is that HE was Mr. Second Life. His hands have touched every single part of Second Life and his brilliance can be seen throughout the world. Not only that, but the employee's under Cory Linden were devoted more to him then to Mr. Rosedale and therefore we may see more departures in the near future. This is my largest concern at the moment. Just how many unhappy Linden Lab employee's will decide not to stick around since Cory, their boss and their vision giver, has been shown the door. If too many of the staff decide to look for other opportunities, I fear Second Life will be in even worse disrepair then it was, even more so then in November 2007; the "Black Month" of Linden Lab.

Personally I think, and have held my tongue until today, that it should have been Mr. Rosedale that stepped aside and let someone else take control. Cory Linden would have been a wonderful choice, except Cory Linden had different ideas about where Second Life should go. We can only guess what those different ideas were, but we can extrapolate some thoughts based on what we have seen thus far. Mr. Rosedale has been pushing for the complete commercialization of Second Life, instead of letting it be a world of creative output and social harmony, Mr. Rosedale would rather Second Life be a virtual Shopping Mall filled with all the big name companies. Therefore, I must assume that Cory Linden's "different ideas" would rather have seen either a total and complete residential world, or probably would have rather seen some half and half world, where Residential areas reside with commercial areas. It's been no secret to the "old-timers" that Mr. Rosedale has been trying to commercialize Second Life, even from the very first year of it's existence. While I understand how appealing that might be to the bottom line of the balance sheet at the end of the day, I am compelled to say that without people to visit and live in the world, then all you will have is one empty shopping mall.

Whether you agree with me or not concerning the idea of commercializing Second Life, I think everyone will agree with me when I say that saying Goodbye to Cory Linden might not just be hard, it might be prophetical ; the next Goodbye just might be to Second Life.

Goodbye Cory, and I hope it's the last big Goodbye I have to report for a very long time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What is "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" Communication?

For quite a while now I've been thinking of just how I can put my next question to the "friends" in San Fran, and still I'm not sure just how it should be formatted.

You see, while I can be quite vitros here in the BLOG, and quite cutting to the bone of our "friends", I strongly believe that if someone says something that is supposed to be taken seriously, then what they say should be HONEST and WITHOUT QUESTION.

A couple months ago, our friend Robin Harper, made a point to say that "Linden Lab is a very OPEN and TRANSPARENT company, especially when it comes to communicating with the Residents". At that time I took that comment at face value, just another "hot air" saying to appease the masses. But as time wore on, and I see just how CLOSED Linden Lab has become in it's communication with the Residents, I have been forced to re-examine this little tidbit.

So, when a company representative claims their company is "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" in Communication, what does that mean to you? Does that mean they close comments on ALL their BLOG Entries, with the exception of the "OH Look at the cool thing we did" posts? Does it mean they hold ONE HOUR a week in-world office hours and claim to "be concerned" about everyone's questions, but then refuse to answer them?

In my opinion, the ONLY "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" thing about Linden Lab communication is just how "TRANSPARENT" that statement is when it's put up against the facts. While Ms. Harper can "claim" what she wants, and sadly she might even believe it, the truth is that Linden Lab has once again turned a blind eye to the Residents of Second Life.

Why is this many wonder. When this summer, they promised anew efforts to communicate with the Community at large. Perhaps feeling the sting of the angered Residents has gotten to our friends, and I can't say I blame them. The last thing I would want to do in my job is read one scathing comment after another, with NO WAY to help. This is the problem really. The new "mission statement" announced by Mr. Rosedale speaks proudly about where Second Life was, has been, where it's going, and what it's purpose is for, but never touches on how we are going to get there if Second Life can't continue to hold up under the GRID. After this last MONTH, I think Mr. Rosedale's "mission statement" was poorly conceived and timed.

So, once again, let's turn to the source and ask Ms. Harper directly, "What IS OPEN and TRANSPARENT Communication?" And I'll do just that, but please know, and I fully expect, to once again be ignored, since by answering she would have to seriously defend this position without laughing, and I just don't see that being an option at this point.

What about you? What does "OPEN and TRANSPARENT COMMUNICATION" mean to you? Why not let Ms. Harper know what YOU think should be done, perhaps together we can all convince her she is using the WRONG WORDS to describe the current air of "OPENESS" at Linden Lab.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We are once again experiencing...oh hell you know the rest

Yes, today at 7:42AM PDT, our "friends" in San Fran once again announced the world of Second Life is apparently experiencing issues with Logins.

This time the culprit is said to be a bad DNS record or server, but once again, you must take what our friends in San Fran say with a LOT of grains of salt.

The real surprise to this observer is simply this. With the WORST record of any production or even BETA month in existence at Linden Lab, Philip Rosedale, the CEO of Linden Lab, and supposed CARING BOSS to the Community, has chose to remain silent. Not even sending Robin Harper out to calm the troops. Of course, they might better be able to gauge the reaction of the Second Life Community if they would ever allow COMMENTS on the Blogs. Although, maybe that's the point. Perhaps Mr. Rosedale got tired of hearing the majority of the Community asking to a Stable Grid and decided just to shut out everyone.

I actually laugh when I think of the times I've spoken with the employee's at Linden Lab and am told how much a wonderful BOSS Mr. Rosedale is, and how he really cares about Second Life and the Community. Well, I guess if you remain silent while your whole world crumbles around you it shows something about your character; or the lack of it.

When will the management team at Linden Lab finally realize that by saying and doing nothing is NOT the right way to handle these issues? I've invited Mr. Rosedale and Ms. Harper to speak on this very subject, but I sincerely doubt they will. The only time they ever seem willing to talk is when they want to speak about something that is coming to Second Life, not something being done to FIX Second Life; apparently these two individuals believe Second Life is just fine.

Time to put the pipe down, take off the rose-colored glasses, and take a long look around there Mr. Rosedale and Ms. Harper, your world is dying, and your customers are fleeing in droves.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's time for a change...sadly

Friends, as we have all struggled through the last few weeks in our lovely virtual world of Second Life, I know you, as I, have grown more and more frustrated by the continuous Network Issues greatly effecting our time in Second Life.

This past month of November, is THE WORST month on record for Linden Lab, and what makes it so bad is the complete and utter silence from the top. While the GRID of Second Life continues to fail multiple times each day, those, who've not only allowed Second Life to come to such a mess, but directed it to such a mess, remain steadfast in their silence, hoping that somehow someone from their own ranks will rise up and pull a savior act.

This is the hardest Blog I've written, but I think time has come to call on the resignation of Philip Rosedale and Robin Harper from the ranks of management at Linden Lab. Their apparent non-caring management style is the ONLY reason Second Life is in such disarray. Philip and Robin were given dire warnings, not only by this old-timer, but many many others, concerning the eroding world of Second Life, and chose instead of FIXING the world, just heap more and more enhancements on it. This has no doubt left Second Life trying to catch it's breath daily, and when we see the number of in-world Residents rise, we see the world falling flat on itself; exactly what many of us predicted and warned Mr. Rosedale and Ms. Harper. Now that these dire predictions have come to pass, the only RIGHT and REASONABLE thing for these two non-caring individuals is to finally admit the error of their ways and kindly leave so some other and hopefully more CARING individual can step in and save Second Life.

Philip Rosedale and Robin Harper I once counted as friends in our world of Second Life, they've both sat and chatted with myself and my compatriots in-world before, and I always appreciated that, but now, for whatever reason, it seems these two high managers of Second Life have either forgotten what Second Life was about, or just no longer care, and either way, it's time to call for their departure.

Our world of Second Life will best be served by a management team that cares about Second Life and the Customers that make up the Community of Second Life Residents. We can no longer sit idly by while the management team of Second Life continue to destroy our world, it's time to rise up as a Community and demand satisfaction.

Sorry Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin, but sadly for all, your time has come to take your leave. Give us our world before you completely destroy it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Before starting Second Life....consider this


No kidding, today has been laughable at best in the virtual world of Second Life, where on the Official Blog it's been noted that Network problems have been reported and resolved, yet the resolution apparently failed to actually make it into the virtual world itself.

IF you are lucky, every 1 in 50 Notecards actually got saved, every 1 in 100 attempts to Teleport were successful, every 1 in 5 chances to place a VOICE CHAT call actually connected, every 1 in 15 purchases were delivered successfully, and every 1 in 10 logins were actually made successfully!

In an attempt to get answers I turned to our wonderful friends at Linden Lab and heard the following: " "

That's right, apparently all of our friends at Linden Lab are either too busy or just too ashamed to actually respond to questions concerning the incessant Network problems that have plagued the virtual world of Second Life. I believe it's probably the latter, considering if it were the first, things would be getting better, and it just seems to be getting worse day after day.

I guess the next thing the Official Blog will tell is that a number (in the high thousands) of SIMs have failed and will be brought back up as soon as they can find someone who knows what they are doing; thankfully Real Life is still there.

Oh well, alas it's true, Second Life is no longer dying, it appears it's finally dead. Thanks Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin, you did so well at aborting a wonderful creation!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Once again MODERATION is their word for CENSORSHIP

Recently, while visiting our friends at that other place I frequent, I posted a comment on the Blog Posting concerning the Graphic Card Frame Rates and LAG.

Instead of posting my comment, as our friends do with everyone else, I found my comment "moderated" and "waiting for approval". Just in case someone that reads this doesn't understand what that means, it's simple, "We have chosen to practice CENSORSHIP because we are an 'OPEN and TRANSPARENT' company".

I do find it a bit bemusing that Robin Harper "harps" on this idea that Linden Lab is a very open and transparent company, one that prides itself on their communication with their Customers, but at the same time, chooses to only respond to those that are blowing sunshine up their skirts. I'm sure we can all agree that ANY company that says they are "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" surely is speaking only in terms of those that agree with them, NOT with those that might disagree with them.

Quite frankly, this isn't such a shock to me, considering how much "manure" the Linden Lab people have been tossing out on the Blogs recently. Tell you what, let's just review some things about the Linden Lab "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" communications and company.

First, this should have been good news, Linden Lab announces a "Initiative" to tackle the Asset Server Issues. It SHOULD have been good news, but it was also 9 months too late. Not only that, but since their announcement, well, that's all there's been. No other communication from the "open and transparent" Linden Lab.

Second, Linden Lab and IBM announce they are working together. Linden Lab chooses to state that IBM will be helping "stabilize" the grid, while IBM says something completely different. When confronted at an OPEN MEETING in Second Life as to what the real truth was, Linden Lab employee's state, "The press release speaks for itself and is quite clear". That's the "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" communication we've come to love from Linden Lab.

Third, Linden Lab chooses to HIDE a bug, rather then publicly announce it so their Customers in Second Life would be able to take steps to correct the issue. Almost one month ago, there was a very strange bug, that when a Resident would bulk upload images, some of those images wouldn't actually upload, instead a random image (from someplace not identified by Linden Lab) would be put in it's place. While there was a SMALL Blog Posting concerning this, it was on the FRONT PAGE of the BLOG site for only 3 hours, and 99% of the Residents in Second Life were unaware or ever made aware of this. When I suggested that perhaps Linden Lab might choose to make more people aware of this issue by posting a MOTD (Message of the Day), well, of course, it didn't happen, once again showing just how "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" Linden Lab is.

Fourth, Linden Lab posts a Blog Comment concerning Graphic Cards and the Frame Rates one should expect to see. Of course, they arrived at their numbers in the usual smoke and mirrors manner, and didn't actually rely on say their Customers to see what REAL Frame Rates were being actualized. Once again the "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" Linden Lab is at it again!

Well, since Linden Lab is being so "OPEN and TRANSPARENT", I was thinking, perhaps they could answer a few questions for us all. So here goes Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin, let's just see how "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" you are:

1). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, why did it take them 8 MONTHS before setting out to tackle the Asset Server Problems?

2). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, why is it there is a way to recover LOST ITEMS but they choose NOT to help the Residents with this?

3). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, why have they continued to add enhancements to Second Life, when 90% of the Residents have voiced the opinion that BUGS are more important then Enhancements?

4). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, why haven’t the Community Residents been kept up-to-date concerning major bug issues such as the Asset Server problems, the Teleporting Issues, the LAG and PACKETLOSS issues?

5). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, why does Linden Lab choose to speak “inaccuracies” instead of telling the plain truth? Example, IBM and Linden Lab press release. Linden Lab tells the Community IBM is here to help with the Stability of the Grid, IBM says that “Stability of performance” will come when the UI is standardized. At meetings with Linden Employee’s, Linden Employee’s REFUSE to clarify the meanings of these two completely different statements and merely say, “The press release is clear enough”.

6). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, WHY do they insist that ALL bug reports being filed MUST have re-producable steps or they won’t be worked on?

7). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, WHY are volunteers told they must answer questions according to “the company line” even when the “company line” is quite false?

8). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, WHY are certain players (FIC) given preferential treatment over others? Examples: What is the wait time for an Island and why can a certain player order an island and see it in action in two days? IF LINDEN LAND is NOT to be sold to Community Residents, how did Angel Leviathan suddenly become the owner of 1/3 of Kissling Land when it was “Linden” owned? IF there IS no way to recover items that are lost, HOW did Kona Linden recover my lost item AFTER I wrote to Robin and Robin told Kona to go do it?

9). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, WHY do they hold in-world “Office Hours” and then leave questions un-answered that are asked at those same “Office Hours”?

10). IF Linden Lab really does care about the best interest of the Community Residents, WHY is it that 90% of the people in-world now think that Linden Lab Support is laughable at best, and NON-EXISTENT most of the time?

Feel free to NOT answer any or ALL of these questions, as I’m sure once again you will be the “open and transparent” company you strive so hard to be, and the one we all know you to be.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Finally, I can say what I've wanted to say for so long

Thank You Linden Lab!

No, I'm not stoned, drunk, or in any other way effected physically or mentally. Today, over at the other place I visit, while I was taking my monthly drive to Omaha to see my Physician and take a peek at my brain, Linden Lab finally did something that makes me happy.

Today, Hamilton Linden announced the Inventory Loss Reduction Initiative and what Linden Lab is doing, is planning to do, and will be doing, to alleviate the Inventory Loss problem that has plagued the Second Life World for well over SIX (6) Months now.

The only "gripe" I have is that it took our friends SIX (6) Months to post clear and concise information concerning this issue. If only they would have started this style of communication 6 months ago, I wouldn't have had to go postal (blogging wise) on our friends.

With that said though, I must tell you, I am VERY HAPPY that this new initiative has been announced and done in such a professional manner that it really appears that perhaps Linden Lab has finally heard the Second Life Community and is trying hard to make changes to the way they (Linden Lab) deals with us.

Thank You Uncle Philip, Aunty Robin, and Hamilton Linden for this welcomed announcement, I'm happy that I'm not having to scream, holler, cajole, or insult you into some action, you've once again given me reason to say; THANK YOU.

Keep up the good work friends!

The Community's interest at heart?

A pretty nice article was posted on CNET this morning, giving a much better description of the "announcement" that was made by Linden Lab this past week concerning a new partnership with IBM and how both are working to make it possible for your SINGLE AVATAR to pass seamlessly between Second Life and other virtual worlds. Again, let me point out, this announcement had absolutely NOTHING to do with IBM agreeing to help "stabilize the grid" of Second Life, no matter just how badly worded Everett Linden posted.

In the article it talks about the major companies that are coming together to make this seamless operation happen. Then a foreboding note is struck, when the writer brings up that Raph Koster, of OSI/UO Fame and SWG Fame, comments in his blog:

"I was a bit bothered by (the assumption) that seemed to exist in the room," Raph Koster, the founder of virtual world platform developer Areae, said in a posting on his blog after the Tuesday meeting, "that moving avatars or objects across virtual worlds is actually much of a market need." Indeed, Koster added in his blog post that it struck him as odd that at the meeting, "entertainment, which accounts for 98 percent of all virtual world users and revenue, was not really represented well in the room."

It really is interesting to see someone of Raph's stature tell it like it is, and trust me, Designer Dragon has never had a problem with telling it like it is. Raph Koster is probably one of the most devoted game developers I've had the pleasure of knowing. He has definite ideas on what he wants in the worlds he creates, how he wants them, and above all else, he places them there because he wants it to be FUN for the Players/Residents, not just to be the next "Cool Thing" in the gaming world.

It is also very telling that Raph Koster saw right through this so called "conference" and quickly pointed out that the Residents weren't included. It's very hard for me to imagine that someone who doesn't spend time in the virtual world could express how I or YOU feel about what we want. As Raph Koster states, 98% of those in these virtual worlds were NOT REPRESENTED, so just how does Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin think that they are best serving the Residents of Second Life by participating?

The Community's interest at heart? I don't think so, more like, "how can we make MORE money off this!"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sorry, the Old Guard has just changed uniforms

Today, once again, over at that other place I visit, the "overseer" of all that is considered "worthy speech" on the Linden Lab comments, decided my OPINION and FREE SPEECH wasn't as valued as they first thought.

As I was reporting on Char Linden's recent conversion to Commadant of Propaganda for Linden Lab Support, I said the following:

"things sure have changed from the Good Old Days Char, I thought you had more class then that"

I guess that is just something Linden Lab can't handle, that one of their customers would call into the light that one of their valued employee's had stopped pushing so hard for the Community, and has now gone over to the Dark Side.

Guess I was wrong, the Old Guard isn't dead, they're just wearing Nazi Censoring Uniforms.

Someone forgot to turn out the lights...the old guard is dead

Well, here's something I NEVER in my wildest dreams would have thought would happen, but it's finally here, the END of the Old Guard at Linden Lab.

Apparently, the last remaining holdout, Char Linden, has finally been converted over. Now she's the "Propaganda Minister" to Linden Lab Support.

It's a sad day really, Char was my very first "Mentor Boss" and I really enjoyed working under her (shut up you filthy minds). When she left for the "Teen Grid", I was actually jealous that Linden Lab was transferring their best asset to the Teen Grid, instead of the high revenue generating Adult Grid. I understand the need for those kind of things, but to lose Char Linden like we did, just didn't feel good to me.

Then today, the worst happen, Char posts a "Welcome New Employee's" Blog Posting and then, in the 3rd Comment, actually says that, well, let's get it right shall we:

"They work together answering requests and tickets coming in through our groovy Support Portal which a link can be found in world at Help/Additional Help or at our website Support section."

That Groovy Support Portal? You mean the one where people spit back Knowledge Base Articles and close your Trouble Ticket as SOLVED when they do? This is what Char's definition of "GROOVY SUPPORT" has become?

You know, there was a time in Second Life, when you could IM ANY Linden online and ask for help, and the funny thing was, they'd do it. Try that these days and see what happens. Everyone runs around with their BUSY mode enabled, not caring about the average Resident in-world, if you need ANY kind of help today, you have to go through the, "Groovy Support Portal", which is really a waste of time. Quite frankly you could read a book and learn something you didn't know, which is a lot more then what you are going to get from the "Groovy Support Portal".

Anyway, I really did have hope that Char wouldn't sell out like this, that she was above the fray, and would stick to the Old Guard ways, but alas, it looks like I'm wrong, the last of the Old Guard is dead, and I fear with it, so shall Second Life be in the soon coming months.

Turn out the lights when you leave tonight, there's no one left on OUR Side!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bait and Switch...a new trick from San Fran

Our friends in San Fran are at it again, but this time are using a NEW tactic, bait and switch!

They are telling us of this great collaboration that they are involved in with IBM and how this will help stabilize the GRID. At first read, this sounds like exciting and welcomed news, but as usual, if you dig just beneath the surface, you find something completely different.

While I was unable to get to the "Official" IBM Press Release, I was able to find this little ditty from CNN Money, talking about stabilization:

"Platform stability: Making interfaces easier to use in order to accelerate user adoption, deliver faster response times for real-world interactions and provide for high-volume business use."

I knew it was when they started messing with the OLD UI that Second Life started turning to crud, but wow, to think that the UI is what's causing the Grid to be de-stabilized! Who would've thunk it!

Better yet, who really believes it?

Hypocrisy is once more at surprise though

Our friends in San Fran, specifically Matthew Linden, apparently hasn't heard that Hypocrisy isn't what we want at Linden Lab.

Today, Matthew Linden, our wonderful friend, posted a Blog Posting and of course, as usual anymore, left the COMMENTS CLOSED to stifle any criticism that the Community might choose to vent upon Linden Lab.

When will our friends actually understand that they can't say they value "Free Speech" and our opinions and then not give a forum for those to be brought up?

Until this veil of Hypocrisy is lifted at Linden Lab I will continue to make sure everyone knows that these people aren't out for the BETTERMENT of Second Life or it's Community, but for their own self-serving greedy needs.

So, Uncle Philip, what about it? Or is it just too hard to hear all those criticizing your precious "Social Experiment"?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

We are listening...but we only hear what we want

If you haven't yet jumped over to that other place I like to visit, you should, and try and read through the comments concerning Ginsu Linden's Blog Post half-heartedly apologizing for making fun of the Yankee Group (at least they tried to apologize).

Notice about comment number 140 or so, Robin Harper comes on to say, "I am ultimately responsible for the communication that goes on here, and I'm sorry we have failed on multiple points". The PROBLEM is Robin that the issue isn't that you don't listen, it's that you only HEAR what you choose to hear. The main breadth of comments in this Blog Posting covered one single issue, providing a MORE STABLE WORLD. Yet, you choose to selectively hear what people are saying.

When will Uncle Philip finally come out of his hole and say, "I'm ultimately responsible for Second Life, and I've let it fail on multiple points, and starting today we aren't adding ONE MORE THING until the world is as stable as it was TWO YEARS AGO!"

When that happens Uncle Philip, I'll get off your back, and back on your bandwagon, but until then, you guys are just playing the "poor innocent victim gaming company who's just trying to make a wonderful world and golly gee it's just not fair people are making fun of us!"

You belittle Yankee Group for criticizing you, you then say you want to know what people in Second Life want, then you completely ignore the main amount of posters who asked for a Stable Grid, but still asked Robin to be the sacrificial lamb concerning Communications. The only problem Linden Lab has in Communications as far as I'm concerned is their boss is either drunk off his ass and doesn't know what's going on OR has just completely decided he doesn't give a shit anymore and therefore the world be damned. Now until you prove me wrong on that Uncle Philip, then all I say is, "Second Life is dying, and you are killing it."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Hypocrisy...such an ugly word...especially when it fits

**Updated at 11:31PM CST GMT-6 Oct. 8, 2007**

Our friends in San Fran have decided to apologize for their Hypocrisy. For this they get a Gold Star! Now, if they open up the Blog Comments on everything but fluff pieces, they will get a RED STAR!

**Updated at 11:31PM CST GMT-6 Oct. 8, 2007**

Our friends at San Fran can add a new title to their acclamation; that of Hypocrite!

A few days back, our friends posted this little ditty and of course, made quite fun of those that were being "critical" of our loved friends.

I find it amazing that our friends would stick their necks out this far, especially when they, who are the great believers of "Free Speech" and "Expressing Opinions" have once again closed their comments on ANY Blog Postings that have to do with any problems concerning Second Life.

Perhaps Uncle Philip would like to take the time and explain how he can commission someone to write such a hypocritical fluff piece like this, when Linden Lab themselves can't be bothered to follow their own Philosphies, or are those just little lies you put out there to fool us Uncle Philip?

Before you criticize someone else's critique of your company, perhaps you should clean up your own back yard, then perhaps it will mean something. Right now it just proves how little Linden Lab has become, needing to attack and belittle another company that reports something negative about it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A bug it isn't, or is it, do they know?

Last Tuesday, our friends in San Fran wrote a BLOG ENTRY to explain that Stipend and Group Payments weren't actually broken, it was really because the User-Base has grown so overwhelmingly large that it just takes more time then previous weeks; apparently in one week 7 million more Residents must have signed up!

This week, on Tuesday again, our friends in San Fran wrote ANOTHER BLOG ENTRY saying that Group Dividends were apparently broken, and things were being looked into. The question that I have now is, who's correct? Were our friends correct a week ago or are they correct this week? Was it a PROBLEM last week and not just SLOW, or is it just SLOW this week and not really a PROBLEM? As you can see, this is one of those "chicken and the egg" arguments because both cannot be correct. I suspect our friends are being more honest this week, then last week, and finally admitted that there is a problem.

I find it amazing really, that our friends are choosing to LIE to the Community rather then admit there is a problem. I mean, we are all too aware there are MANY MANY MANY problems in Second Life(I wanted to provide a link to show how many KNOWN BUGS there are, but that information is apparently no longer available, or so well hidden in our wonderful new JIRA program that it would take days, if not weeks, to find.), adding another isn't really going to cause the Community to pack it up and go away; although I see our European Community friends are just about ready to do that, HEY! Why not have a LONDON TEA PARTY and show Linden Lab just how outraged you are!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Welcome our new Fascist Overlords shall we?

Linden Lab, the developers of that wonderful world of Second Life, have sunk to an all-time low. I couldn't think it possible for a Corporation like Linden Lab, who "talks" about valuing the FREE SPEECH of everyone and valuing the OPINIONS of everyone, has now become some sort of Marxist Fascist Censors.

Today I was busying myself answering questions during the New Resident Q&A event that I host every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. During this time, I was asked the normal questions you would get asked during a New Resident Q&A, and also was asked about this past weekends remarks on the Second Life Blogs.

I re-told the story of WHY I had taken up on this action, and WHY I was fighting to get our Fascist Friends in San Fran to actually FIX Second Life and LISTEN to the Community. I can honestly say I did not saying anything that was untrue, nor was defamatory in the slightest. Shortly after this though, I was "logged off by an Administrator".

To my surprise, I was being "watched" and apparently, my criticism of our Marxist Overlords was not taken well, and therefore I was banned. I received an email that attempted to explain WHY they had taken this action, but as you all know, those emails are quite convoluted and they really don't explain EXACTLY what occurred.

I can only guess what the issue here was, so let's try and figure this out. Paragraph by Paragraph let's dissect this email:

    Linden Lab individually investigates the circumstances of every Abuse
    Report we receive. Following a careful review of our server records and
    logs, we have determined that your recent actions violated the Second Life
    Community Standards or Terms of Service. The violation in question occurred
    on September 19, 2007 in the region of Kissling.
We know that during this "report" of infraction, I was hosting the New Resident Q&A. I'm sure many of you have attended this event before, and you know I have never said anything about Linden Lab or her employee's that wasn't true and I couldn't backup with hard evidence; today was no different.

Contrary to popular belief, when I'm busy doing the New Resident Q&A, I'm concentrating my efforts on one thing and one thing only; the New Residents. I answer their questions, and I mean all of them. Since I'm no longer a Mentor, I no longer have to dodge those questions that sheds some light on Linden Lab and the way her employee's DON'T do their jobs. So, while some might believe that I was actually swearing and making up stories to make Linden Lab look bad, that really isn't necessary. Linden Lab, on a daily basis anymore, does something stupid and has the act of making them look bad, well in hand.

    Violation: Community Standards: Rules of Conduct

    Within Second Life we want to support residents in shaping
    their specific experiences and making their own choices.
    Our rules are simple: treat each other with respect and
    without harassment, adhere to local standards as indicated
    by simulator ratings, and refrain from any hate activity
    which slurs a real-world individual or real-world

    The rules of conduct are interpreted with the broadest meaning possible.
Apparently the Rules of Conduct now stifle our FREE SPEECH abilities within Second Life. Although, like our friends in San Fran like to say, we should follow the laws of our local jurisprudence. This means, and these are their rules not mine, that the Residents living within the border of the United States, should be able to practice FREE SPEECH, just as long as it's not meant to incite a riot, cause injury to someone or something, or defame/slander an individual or community. Since my speech this afternoon didn't even come close to any of these three exceptions, I must assume that Linden Lab now chooses to censure those people that would criticize them. It must be difficult when you, as a company, can't handle not only criticism, but also the truth, and that truth which has been proved.

I see now why I haven't been able to get the folks at Linden Lab to move on these issues and start correcting bugs and stabilizing our world; they have the maturity of a Sixth Grader who gets mad when someone reveals something about them that they are ashamed of.

I suppose really that this shouldn't come as any great shock to us. Linden Lab has chosen NOT to listen, except when people sing their praises. If someone does manage to get in their criticism, those people are immediately made out to be hate-mongers and trouble-makers. This sounds an awful lot like China to me, perhaps we now know who is really behind the development of HiPiHi!

I imagine that I'm going to be "watched" carefully for the next few weeks, to be sure I've "learned" my lesson. It will be nice having a Linden Lab employee following me around, perhaps the next time I lose an object, I won't have to wait a MONTH before someone even tries to recover it.

So, if you see me in-world, be sure and say HI, to me, and my invisible friend from Linden Lab.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's wash day here...what to wash first?

As I've told you all before, I've been cruising the other place I make my feelings known today, and if you all want to follow along, you can look at Robin's entry about going to Austria, and then the Consensus Information blog posting to find out what's got me going off today.

Well, in Robin's recent Blog Posting, I titillate the other comment posters by airing just a tad bit of Linden Lab's Dirty Laundry. Since it's wash day in my house, I think I should come clean with the full story and let you, the humble reader decide, just how crazy you think Profky is by saying there is a Fetted Inner Core (FIC).

It was during Beta time, and Olive was still a sandbox SIM. Normally I didn't have a problem with Olive being a Sandbox, as I lived and sort of looked after Slate, who was Olive's neighbor. Now, my Log Cabin in Slate was abutted to the Olive Border, as Olive was actually quite high above Slate, and at the bottom of the SIM border was my Log Cabin. Now, I didn't mind the "once in a while" loose object falling off the border onto my Cabin, but one particular Resident had made it his lot in life to actually see just how much Griefing he could get away with by pushing over multiple level buildings onto my Cabin, or by firing missiles into Slate every 5 seconds or so for 4 hour periods. Well, this lasted for about 2 weeks, and by then I was livid. I contacted Robin Harper of Linden Lab and told her my issue and said I wanted to speak with Herself, Philip, and one other, I forget his name, he was head of the Mentor corp., then. Anyway, we setup a meeting at the Log Cabin, and I sat down with these three and told them in no uncertain terms that I would no longer tolerate this griefing. At first they gave the usual comments about how they don't interfere, but then, as I had figured would happen, my little "Monkey Boy" showed up and started his griefing. It became so distracting that the head of the Mentor Corp., left the meet, told "Monkey Boy" to stop and then kicked him for a matter of hours because "Monkey Boy" got lippy with him. I went on after that to tell Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin that I and the Slate Community wouldn't tolerate this, and we would find an appropriate way to vent our issues if something wasn't done. Two weeks later, Olive became a MATURE SIM and we never had trouble from them on.

Now, just why is this DIRTY LAUNDRY, and aren't I, your congenial host, just as wrong as Philip and Robin in all this. Let's take that last question first. Yes, I was wrong in taking this problem to Robin and Philip, although, I will say I did it for the Community, and relied on that Community's popularity with Philip to force Linden Lab to act. Philip and Robin could have easily just had said, "Sorry, we can't do this", and we would have gone on from there. Instead though, afraid of any type of bad publicity, they gave us just what we asked for, that Olive be re-districted as a Residential SIM instead of a Sandbox. They did this because I asked them to, not by going through any of the "channels" that were setup, I just IM'ed them and emailed them. They did this because they didn't want one of their "popular" and "supportive" customers to start ragging on them in the presses.

So, what do you think about the FIC now friends? Can you see that some people, more then just me, were, and still are today, given preferential treatment over others who deserve the same treatment, but will never receive it?

Linden Lab is currently all about hiding and hoping they can hold on. They aren't there to help the Residents or Customers, they just want us all to be happy little sheep and be quiet or hum a merry little tune. I for one am tired of taking advantage of my "position", I for one and tired of seeing others loose valuable objects, only to be told by Linden Lab that they can't recover them or that the problem is the Resident's. I'm tired of Linden Lab acting like a perfect little angel, while we all know they are just DIRTY LITTLE LIARS.

So, Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin, now that I've told this dirty little secret, I wonder WHICH ONE I'll tell during the next laundry day at my home?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flood Support!

Well friends, I just realized how we can all continue our fight with those lazy friends in San Fran, and it's really a lot of fun.

You see, for every SUPPORT TICKET you file, they allow you, if you are not satisfied with their answer, to REOPEN that TICKET and give a comment and then CC those comments to whomever you like as well.

So, if you have a closed SUPPORT TICKET that you didn't get any real action on, I urge you to go into the SUPPORT area of the Second Life website, login as yourself, look in your HISTORY tab and REOPEN the TICKET(S) you don't feel have been given DUE RESPONSE by our lethargic friends in SAN FRAN. Don't forget to CC Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin, just so they know you aren't going quietly into the night!

What will it take?

Over at the other hangout where I make my feelings known to Linden Lab, I've raised some questions concerning the stagnation of the Resident population within Second Life.

It seems to me that many of the "regular" and even "older" Customers have grown weary, if not just downright angry, with Linden Lab and how they've chose to ignore the Customer pleas to stabilize the world, the Asset Server, the GRID overall. In as much, it seems many of those have chose to stay away. Most likely, not because they don't like Second Life, as I've admitted many times before, I am a HUGE supporter of Second Life, but instead, out of the constant LIES and deceptive practices of Linden Lab. When the proprietor of a product starts to blame the Residents for the problems they see within the World, then one must strongly question whether that company can succeed in the business.

Linden Lab has claimed, and I have the logs and emails to prove this, that the "missing objects" problems are due to insufficient machines of the users, the objects are really there, they just can't see them. Now, I MIGHT be willing to believe this, but when they claim the same for myself, then I know they are just lying. You see, I'm one of the lucky ones when it comes to graphics capabilities, I have TWO 7900 GTX boards connected together thru SLI and there's no game out there at this time that I can't handle full force. I was even able to run the "Middle Earth Online" beta with FULL GRAPHICS MODE and never saw a single lag issue related to graphics, so to claim that MY COMPUTER GRAPHICS aren't up to snuff and my objects are in-world but I just can't see them, then you are lying to me, and I know it, and so do you.

This is the overall problem at Linden Lab. Their product required many of us first users to have very powerful computers at the time (over 4 years ago) and it also required a very technical knowledge of our computers in order to get the most out of Second Life. This is a two-edged sword for Linden Lab. First, it brought in competent people that could solve most of their own issues, and also practice their creativity thru LSL or the building system. Second, it gave them a user-base that knows when they are being lied to. While Linden Lab wants to believe they know more then their own Customers, these same customers they know turn to and ask for help to fix bugs, they all but turn a deaf ear to those who know how networks work, speak about adding more crap onto the GRID without bolstering the GRID first, and why that effects the Residents of Second Life so badly.

Now the problem is, a lot of those same technical people are starting to stay away from Second Life, tired of hearing their nonsensical excuses and lies about what is causing the problems. There's a wealth of information out there in these "stay away Residents" that Second Life residents now don't get to draw upon, and so, Second Life is taking a HUGE STEP backwards in it's Community knowledge. This is the direct fault of Linden Lab, make no mistake of that. When a company like Linden Lab reports the same problem every single week in their blog, and most cheery Residents just stroke their egos, it serves to give them a false sense of security. These cheery Residents will one day start asking the same questions others before them have asked, and where will that put Linden Lab then?

What will it take then to get Linden Lab to stand up, accept responsibility for it's own mess in Second Life, and start to fix these issues? Will it take the death of a beloved product, like Second Life? I hope not, but then again, apparently Linden Lab believes everything is OK and they have nothing to be worried about. I wonder just when they will start worrying, will it be when they start seeing only 10K people online at a time, or 5K, or just 1K? By then it will be too late for the world, and Linden Lab will realize it, and then we all lose. So, what can we do? The only thing I know is to write Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin and tell them to fix the world. Otherwise, we will watch our world die a slow and much too early death.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Real Hero of Second Life

While our friends in San Fran continue to show their incompetence and uncaring, one in our community is really stepping up trying to keep Second Life going for us all, Nicholaz Beresford.

You might remember me mentioning Nicholaz before, it was to vote for him during the Linden Lab "oh look we care" awards at the recent convention in Chicago.

Well, Nicholaz was voted Community Person of the year for his countless and endless dedication to making the Second Life client better for all of us.

If you haven't yet checked out Nicholaz's website, you should, his clients certainly won't leave you crashing every 5 minutes like those other guys in San Fran seem to.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

If you can't fix the problem, blame the Resident

As most of you are aware, I recently had my first run-in with Inventory Loss in Second Life. The first time my very unique and needed Texturing Tool was lost, I wrote Aunty Robin, who asked Kona Linden to look into it, who then recovered the tool all within 5 hours. The second time, Aunty Robin wasn't so "welcoming" and told me I needed to go through "proper channels" to get things done.

Instead of arguing, I decided to give "Support" a chance, who knows, maybe they've gotten better? I logged into Support and started my trouble ticket. A day went by, and nothing was done. Another day went by, and still nothing was done. I wrote Aunty Robin again and asked if this was the level of Support one gets when he follows the "proper channels"; 48 hours and no action? Aunty Robin apparently then contacted Kona Linden, who took over my acct for a couple of hours to check on things, and then went back to the location where the tool was lost and spoke with the person that rents that area of land. That person tried to tell Kona that my Texturing Tool wasn't the only thing lost, that she too, had just the night before, lost a Chimera Dance machine that was loaded with over 10,000 Lindens worth of dances. Kona glossed over that, and focused only on the task at hand. While Kona was talking, apparently Kona decided I was to be blamed for the terrible lag in the area and for the losses. As Kona explained to the Resident that textures over 512x512 cause tremendous lag and:

"[16:03] Kona Linden: and Bob's builds are infamous for using rather large textures"

It's amazing, I thought, since Kona couldn't find the real problem, that he/she should blame it on my build, rather then, oh let's say, the crappy implementation of VOICE, or the memory leaking Second Life Client. It's even more amazing since, and I was quick to check this, NONE of the textures used in the build, are over 512x512.

So, what we have is still one lost Texturing Tool, and one Linden Lab Employee who would rather place blame for a problem on the shoulders of a Resident, then accept that Linden Lab is the problem.

I guess Support has changed over the past few months. Now if they can't figure out a problem, they just blame the person reporting it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Trust is the foundation of any community...

Trust, a word that can evoke emotions, arguments, fights, and even love. What is "trust" though? According to trust can be the following:

  1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
  2. confident expectation of something; hope.
  3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sell merchandise on trust.
  4. a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.
  5. the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.
  6. the obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed: a position of trust.
  7. charge, custody, or care: to leave valuables in someone's trust.
  8. something committed or entrusted to one's care for use or safekeeping, as an office, duty, or the like; responsibility; charge.
Linden Lab, in today's announcement of "Identity Verification Comes to Second Life", is asking the Second Life community to TRUST Linden Lab, that the Second Life community should "understand" or "hope in" that Linden Lab is doing the "right thing" when it comes to verifying the Identity of every Second Life Resident.

Before I dwell upon what Linden Lab is asking us, the Second Life Residents, to do, let's first take a closer look at this word; TRUST.

Linden Lab wants the Residents of Second Life to trust them. While the Residents have no choice to have some level of Trust in Linden Lab, because we are forced to entrust Second Life to them, Linden Lab wants more then just to be "trusted" with Second Life, they want the Residents to really rely on Linden Lab to do the "right thing", to hope in Linden Lab ability to do the "right thing", to be confident in Linden Lab. When I was growing up, my Father taught me that Trust is something that is earned, not just given because someone wants it. As a child there were many times that my Father announced that he couldn't "trust" me to do this or that, because I showed myself to be untrustworthy. This hurt, and instead of just crying or mopping about, I would do whatever it took to earn back my Father's trust. I learned from those experiences that Trust is something we should value, like Love. It's not something we should be cavalier in throwing about in conversation, like we have a habit of doing with Love and Hate. Trust is something that should be guarded, protected, worked on constantly, to show the person who's placed that Trust in you, that it's well placed and deserved, safe.

Can the Residents of Second Life say that they Trust Linden Lab though? Let's look back and see what we can learn. A few months back, Cristiano Midnight started a petition, the Project Open Letter, in which the undersigned were saying that they wanted the Bug Fixes and World Stablization to happen before ANYTHING else. In response, Cory Linden posted this in his
Cory Linden Town Hall Post on May 22, 2207:

First, thank you for the effort you put into Project Open Letter. We are working hard to maintain effective channels for communication and from a developer’s perspective, a clear listing of specific problems passed along so politely is much appreciated.

Second, I am sorry for the problems you are experiencing. I understand the time and energy you are putting into Second Life and am making every effort to ensure that Second Life is what you need it to be.

Notice that Cory states that Linden Lab is "making every effort to ensure that Second Life is what YOU need it to be. YOU being the operative word here, YOU refers to us, the Second Life Residents. While we have continued to ask for BUG FIXES and a STABLE WORLD and GRID above all else, what has Linden Lab done? Linden Lab, instead of focusing the majority of their resources on what the Residents wanted, no matter what Cory said they would do, instead delivered to the world, WINDLIGHT (which failed miserably as soon as it was installed) and then VOICE, which dragged the world to a halt for nearly 48 hours. Is this how TRUST is gained or maintained? By saying one thing and then doing another?

Following this, on June 22, 2007, I posted this Blog Post that there seemed to be Positive Movement. Linden Lab was announcing Bug Fixes on a Monday, and had re-opened all the comments on the Blog. This was after some behind-the-scenes emailing between myself, Philip Rosedale, and Robin Harper. During this time, I was ensured by Philip that the Blog Comments would remain open, and a new concerted effort would begin on Bug Fixing and Stabilization of the World and Grid. What happened after this though?

On July 10, 2007 in the first UI Bug Triage Meeting, it was announced that Bug Reports, which Second Life Residents are supposed to research and be responsible for, that don't have re-produceable steps included with them aren't looked at, they are ignored, further, it was then announced that whichever Bugs was voted on MOST by Second Life Residents would receive priority in getting fixed. Now, this isn't exactly what I call earning my Trust. This is more like BUYING my Trust, by choosing to do what I want, no matter just how relevant of urgent other Bug Fixes might be. Trust is EARNED, not bought.

It seems to me, that Linden Lab talks a good game, but when it comes to delivering on what they have "promised" they fall flat. They ask for our Trust, and yet, can't seem to do anything to earn that Trust.

Now, let's chat about Identity Verification. To be honest, this isn't something that is new to me in dealing with Linden Lab. As one of the earliest Mentors, we were asked to PROVE our age before being allowed into the Mentor Group. I simple emailed a copy of my Driver License to Linden Lab and that was sufficient. Quite honestly, I had no problem with this, since this was a pre-requisite of working as a Mentor. Now Linden Lab is asking that we "prove" who we are, not just age, but gender too. Why Linden Lab needs to know if I'm Male, Female, or IT, doesn't exactly make sense to me. Are there now going to be areas in Second Life that will be off-limits based upon one's Gender?

Linden Lab's current reasoning of Identity Verification is so that they can "close off" or restrict those area with PORNOGRAPHY in them. When you think hard about this reason, something comes up short. IF Second Life, Main Grid, is supposed to be for people 18 or over, then what does it matter if these people "stumble" upon Porn or don't? It wouldn't be illegal for them to look at it, participate in it, or do whatever else they wanted to do with it. So, I'm forced to ask, "What's the real reason for this Identity Verification?" This is another example of how Linden Lab wants you and I to Trust them, yet, when you get down to the nitty-gritty you see they are lying about their reasons, and yet, asking for our Trust. Can Linden Lab really expect me to Trust them, knowing that they are lying to me, to you?

Trust IS the Foundation of any Community, I whole heartedly agree. It's too bad that Linden Lab wants my Trust, while at the same time they continue to lie to me. Sorry Uncle Philip and Aunty Robin, like my Father said to me, I can't Trust you, you haven't given me a reason to, actually, you've given me MORE then enough reasons NOT to Trust you.

Where have all the flowers gone....

For over FOUR (4) months now, the Second Life Residents have been complaining about a very annoying and troublesome issue, disappearing inventory.

It seems that for some unknown reasons, items from a persons inventory will up and disappear. This can happen in many ways, but in the two times it's happened to me, it occurred either when I was trying to rez the objects in-world, or when I was trying to take them back into my inventory.

I have been relatively quiet about this, as before last weekend, I hadn't suffered from any missing inventory. Now, in the span of two days, I've come to see what the fuss is all about, and on the very same objects!

The first time this problem occurred, I was trying to rez in-world a Building Tool I use, that makes the job of texturing large structures quite easy. I took the item from my inventory, waited until I got the correct icon, and then released it in front of my avatar, where I hoped it would appear. Instead of appearing, the item didn't show up at all, and I got the dreaded, "Rez Failure" error message. What makes this problem even worse is this Building Tool is No-Copy, and when I checked my inventory to see if it was still there, I found, much to my horror, that it wasn't, and it wasn't in-world either. Now, I could live with missing my Poker Table, even if it is worth $25,000 Lindens, but this is a proprietary Building Tool that was made for my job in mind. I'm only one of the two people in Second Life that has been lucky enough to get to use and own this Building Tool, so when it disappeared, I went into MELT-DOWN MODE.

I immediately contacted the very first Linden I could find on-line and told them what had happened, and that I needed this Building Tool to perform my job function inside Second Life, without it, my job would be near impossible to pull off, and therefore, they should send someone to recover my item immediately, or start paying me "lost wages" while I was out of work. This "employee" of Linden Lab gave me the same unconcerned, uncaring, non-thoughtful answer they give to everyone seeking remedy to a problem, "Please file a trouble ticket." Now as we all know, filing a trouble ticket is pretty much a worthless function and serves only to waste between 10 and 30 minutes. The automated response we receive does nothing to ally our fears that the worst has happened and all is lost. Then of course, we wait for a month before getting an abstract email from someone at Linden Lab telling us "Sorry there's nothing that can be done."

Knowing where this "file a trouble ticket" leads, I instead wrote an email to Robin Harper at Linden Lab and asked her to "prove" just how concerned she was about what goes on in Second Life with this Resident. I asked that my Building Tool be recovered or Linden Lab start paying me for the lost wages I was know experiencing. Within an hour, I received an email from Kona Linden asking for my Avatar name, when and where this took place. After sending off that information, I didn't hear anything for the rest of the day.

I decided to log into the world that evening, and check to see if anything had been done. After logging into the world, Kona Linden IM'ed me immediately and asked me to check my inventory. Amazingly, there was the object, where I had last seen it, as if the issue never happened. I thanked Kona for his/her hard work and then asked the troubling question, "If you are able to recover my lost object, then why are there thousands of others claiming that their objects are still lost?" This wasn't an attempt to "pick a fight", it was a sincere question of concern, as to why my object was able to be recovered, yet others aren't. Kona explained that a lot of the "lost objects" aren't truly lost, that either their owners are "fibbing" or their owners are running on "non-compliant" hardware and they just can't see their objects. In case of the last, there is nothing Linden Lab can do, in case of the first, it seems to me that there must be an awful lot of liars running around in Second Life these days. Of those that can be recovered, Kona explained that Linden Lab makes every effort to recover these items, and has successfully done so for many Residents.

Now, here's where Logic stops operating. IF Linden Lab was recovering "lost objects", then why aren't those people getting their objects recovered, speaking up about this? It makes sense, that someone who has lost an object, at least ONE of those that has lost an object that was recovered, would write a BIG THANK YOU note to Linden Lab in the Blog Comments or Forums. Yet, not one such person seems to exist. That doesn't exactly speak highly of what Kona is saying, and while I stop short of calling Kona a liar, I certainly would like to see NUMBERS as to how many reports of "lost objects" there are in-world and exactly how many have been recovered.

On Sunday, I was at a building site, and you guessed it, was using my Building Tool to finish up some rooms. At the end of my session, I right-clicked each Building Tool and chose TAKE to return them to my inventory. Their "Ghosted" images remained on my screen, yet they weren't in my inventory. Upon close inspection of the "ghosted" images, I saw that they had no entry for CREATOR or OWNER and where nothing more then ghosts in-world, yet, their physical appearance into my inventory never happened. This time, I wasn't worried, as I knew recovering these items is possible, as I have seen it done. I wrote Kona Linden an IM, explaining what time and where this occurred, what the names of the objects were, and asked that they be recovered at his/her earliest possible convenience. Monday passed, as did Tuesday, without a word from Kona. So, I wrote an email to Robin, asking why this time Kona had chosen to ignore me, and also, as to why this problem occurred again, on the same object and just when was this issue going to get fixed? Robin wrote back, explaining Kona had done his/her job and was aware of the problem and had fixed it and that fix would eventually be patched into the system, but I needed to contact support to get things going.

I find it amazing, that when I write NICE fluffy letters to Robin and Philip, that I get back bullshit letters, apparently thinking that because I'm being nice, they can just brush me off. Although, when I write letters explaining that I'm about a knats-whisker away from contacting the Media and doing a story on the absurdity of Linden Lab, then I get action. I would think, although I have already admitted that LOGIC has left Linden Lab, that when someone writes a well-mannered email, asking for something that has already occurred once, that the response would be as well-mannered and action would be taken. Perhaps the problem is that Linden Lab employee's strive on conflict, and don't really feel the necessity to take action until they get the Second Life Residents so upset, they threaten to do all sorts of things.

Well, I'm not going that route this time. As I have seen that recovering objects is possible and now you know it as well. I hope everyone that has lost an object in-world, would write Robin Harper and Kona Linden, providing their Avatar Name, the Object Name (if possible), when (time and date) and where this object was lost, and ask that it be recovered immediately. Since they did it for me , they should at least do the same for everyone else.

Let's see just how "caring" and "concerned" those folks at Linden Lab really are!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another Day...another promise

Yesterday, August 24, 2007, Ian Linden posted a Blog Entry on the Second Life Official Blog that laid out a "plan of attack" for stabilizing the Grid and fixing the bugs in Second LIfe.

While I normally would applaud this news, I remember just a few months ago that Linden Lab said much the same thing in response to the Project Open Letter. Of course, we all know just what happened after those promises were made, and therefore I must admit, I'm quite skeptical about this latest posting.

So far, Linden Lab has promised to fix things on at least 4 different occasions, only to wind up walking away from those "promises". Instead of "fixing the bugs and stabilizing the grid", Linden Lab managed to turn the "fence sitters" against the "complainers". I spoke about the dangers of doing such things in an earlier posting, and it seems that those same "fence sitters" are now arm in arm with those "complainers", as the "fence sitters" have finally seen the light and have now begun to join the chorus of the "complainers" and demanding change.

So, here we are, again, with Linden Lab saying they have a plan, and they will fix things; I wonder just how many people believe them this time around?

As for me, I am hopeful that THIS TIME Linden Lab will actually follow their plan and all of us can get back into a world that is truly wonderous, as it once was. But, I'm also leery of hearing this promise again. It's like the boy who cried wolf one too many times. Eventually no one believed him. That's how I'm feeling about Linden Lab and their "promises". So this time, I'm not saying, "let's wait and see" or "let's give them a chance". No, this time I'm saying, "We are still at war, and we need to continue to pressure Linden Lab to fix our world and the servers that run it". This time I will continue to plan our attack, and move forward with the plans we've already made. So, you Linden Lab employee's that are reading this, don't think you've got it easy now. No matter what is being said out of Linden Lab, until I see hard results, I'm still going to press forward and continue to draw attention to the dismal track record Linden Lab has in this area.

Pete Townsend says it best:

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!


Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Monday, August 20, 2007

I QUIT...and let me tell you why!

Yesterday, I announced to Blue Linden, Philip Rosedale, Robin Harper and the Second Life Mentors, that I QUIT the Volunteer Program that I had been a part of for over 4 years.

Let me explain my reasoning for this.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Blue Linden, who caught wind that I was upset, and possibly (not true of course) telling Residents, while acting in a Mentor Capacity, that the way to file a bug report was to contact a Linden, tell them, and leave it at that. Of course, that I the directions I gave on this BLOG and I still stand by that, and you can ready WHY I say to do that by reading this BLOG POSTING.

Anyway, Blue Linden said that I would be removed from my Mentor capacity if I didn't change my "attitude". At which I told Blue, if he wants me out, he's free to remove me. This must have caught Blue by surprise, as the next day, he asked for some time for a "chat". Blue explained that he wasn't saying I was getting kicked out, only that he's seen people who've been as upset as me and that has interfered in how THEY did their Mentoring. Of course, he had NO complaints against me, only assumed that because I am angry, that I would do the same as others have before me. I told Blue that as long as I was Mentoring, and had my MENTOR tag on, I would give the company line, whether I agreed with it or not. To which he said that was fine and all was now well.

Now, the problem I have been having while I do Mentor, is this. I have been answering more questions concerning PROBLEMS with Second Life, then with actually teaching people the basics of Second Life. Such as, "What's the deal with me looking like a girl all the time?", or "How come I couldn't login for over two hours, and how come most of my inventory is now missing?" You see, I have a real problem when New Residents want Mentors to give answers for BUGS that are plaguing our world, when Linden Lab is not willing to acknowledge those BUGS even exist, let alone to actually work on them. I have a problem with LYING to New Residents, as you must do to "speak the company line" and say they need only file a BUG REPORT and all will be fixed in due time. Like the Asset Server issue, that has been around now for THREE MONTHS and people are still missing great portions of their inventory. I guess Linden Lab believes the more BUG REPORTS we file, that will somehow magically transform the issue into being resolved and all will be well.

I signed on to be a Mentor to TEACH and give HELP to those that needed it. Not to LIE to them because Linden Lab is failing to do their jobs. So, instead of living under the Hypocrisy of the Mentor tag, I gave up something I valued greatly, because being a Mentor is no longer what it used to be, now it's just lying to the New Residents and playing Cheer Leader for a gaming company that won't accept the problems at their own doorstep.

Today I'm declaring FULL WAR on Linden Lab, and asking that every Mentor to consider what I've written here, and follow my example. It's time to show Linden Lab that we have a conscious even if they don't. It's time to exercise our "muscle" as a group, to try and FORCE change, to try and make Linden Lab see that we are sick and tired of having to LIE to Residents about how BUGS will be fixed in DUE TIME. It's time every "volunteer" take up the cause of bringing Second Life back to when it was a worth while place to spend time.

Failure to act will not bring our World back to where it once was, it will only succeed in killing it off.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

When will they listen?

It was in July I believe, perhaps June, when I said, "Give them a chance, it looks like they might be trying to change the way they do business". Well, I must admit, I WAS WRONG.

It looks that the "caring" side of Linden Lab was just a smoke screen used to silence the critics. Although, I do remember saying that if this was just a "game" they were playing, then many of those that fell for it would soon see what's going on and would come back at Linden Lab hard and fast, and it seems that day has finally arrived.

The latest from our friends at Linden Lab is they have ONCE AGAIN resolved the "Login Issues" yet, how can you resolve an issue, and then have it come back up again in 2 days? I mean, perhaps we should just stop LYING to the SL Residents and say something more appropriate like, "We've fixed the LATEST issue dealing with Logins, we hope this is the last, but in case it isn't, we'll do our best to fix those issues as they are discovered." At least saying this you are being HONEST with the SL Residents, and not claiming that you have finally fixed that annoying Login Bug, because quite frankly, you haven't. I predict that within the next week, we will see ANOTHER Login Issue post in the BLOG, unless of course, Linden Lab reads this and chooses to HIDE IT.

I guess what bothers me most about all of this, is that I at one time really sensed that the Linden Lab people were different from those other money grubbing gaming companies. I really thought, I really did, that Philip Rosedale understood the importance of keeping your Community happy and keeping things on par. Now though, the only thing I see is one GREEDY BASTARD who's only in it for the money, and damned be the SL Residents who lose anything in the world. This is a real disappointment to me too, as I once entertained Mr. Rosedale in a friends home, in Slate. We talked for 30 minutes at least, but I guess those were the early years, before GREED took over, and he was just trying to fool us to his truest intentions.

Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me Twice, Shame on me

Thursday, August 9, 2007

American Red Cross is being SUED...

Sorry for going OFF-ROAD today, but something this despicable needs to be pointed out.

While reading Slashdot (also referred to as /.) I found this:

This is the MOST ridiculous action I've ever seen. While I may not appreciate how Linden Lab is taking care of Second Life, at least they have not sued someone dying from cancer for using the Second Life name without adding TM to it.

I strongly urge everyone that reads this BLOG (all 5 of you) to contact Johnson and Johnson and file a strong complaint and to STOP using or BUYING all Johnson and Johnson products until and unless Johnson and Johnson drops this outrageous lawsuit! Also, contact EVERYONE you know and tell them to contact Johnson and Johnson as well.

We now return to our regularly scheduled rants of Linden Lab and Second Life.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The REAL problem of Second Life?

Once again, from the Official Second Life Blog:

Second Life Logins Temporarily Disabled

[10:27 AM Pacific on 08/08/07]

Second Life is experiencing issues related to network connectivity at one of our co-location facilities. Logins to Second Life have been temporarily disabled. Our Server Team is working to resolve this as soon as possible. We will post further information as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Once again the GRID has failed, this time the blame apparently falls at the feet of the Co-Location facility where the SL SIMs and Servers are kept. Let's for the sake of sanity, assume this is TRUE, and that is a big assumption anymore, and look at HOW this could be avoided.

Linden Lab uses a co-location (known as co-lo) because they don't have the facility or resources to run their own Network. Many other companies do this, and it's a normal business practice that I have no problem with. The PROBLEM though, is when you rely on a SINGLE co-lo for EVERYTHING that has to do with your business, when that co-lo has issues, your whole business has issues.

Second Life, the Virtual World, is THE ONLY thing that Linden Lab currently has as a revenue source. It would seem, to this logically thinking person, that putting all your revenue producing servers in one location would be a bad idea. Eventually your customers will get tired of hearing about how this co-lo is really to blame for your problems and will go to "greener pastures", and your world, which is really OUR WORLD, will die.

Considering how Linden Lab has dealt with other issues as important as this one, is no real surprise to me. Linden Lab has shown time and again, their main interest isn't the Virtual World, or the satisfaction of the Residents of that Virtual World, no, Linden Lab main concern is MONEY. As long as we Residents continue to support Second Life, hence Linden Lab, they make money. No matter if the world is UP or DOWN, Linden Lab continues to make money. Now, if Linden Lab were as "caring" as Philip Rosedale continues to say, they would see how the world being OFFLINE effects the Residents and would, when this downtime was not scheduled, make some form of rebate available to the Residents that are paying for the privilege of being a Resident in the world of Second Life. It's interesting really, if you go back over the past year, and look at all the unscheduled DOWNTIME that Second Life has had, ONCE has Linden Lab given the Residents of Second Life a discount or offered then a refund for this DOWNTIME.

There are many of the Second Life fanboi's that will say, "Downtime like this ISN'T the fault of Linden Lab, so why should they offer a refund or rebate for it?" Remember though, Second Life is the property of Linden Lab. Linden Lab makes ALL the decisions about Second Life, such as where it will be co-lo'd. Because of Linden Lab poor decision making, Second Life is down, and because of that, their Residents LOSE money. Linden Lab continues to make MONEY when Second Life is down, as Linden Lab continues to collect from the premium accounts. Since Linden Lab is the overseer of the Second Life World, they are ultimately responsible for it's UPTIME and DOWNTIME.

Now again, Philip Rosedale, has on MANY occasions claimed that Linden Lab is deeply concerned about the Residents of Second Life, and for their satisfaction of the world. IF this is a true statement, why then has Linden Lab never offered a rebate or refund to the premium account holder when there is unscheduled downtime of the Second Life world? Growing up, my father taught me a very valuable lesson, "Saying your sorry is easy, showing your sorry is hard". It's easy to claim you care about a group of people or about their satisfaction, but if all you do is SAY it, it's just empty words.

Finally, we get to THE PROBLEM of Second Life; EMPTY WORDS. For the past year (or more) Linden Lab has done nothing but say how they care, how they were going to address the issues of Second Life and how the Residents were important to them. Where are the actions that PROVE these words? I guess I've been dancing around this point since I brought this BLOG into existence, hoping against hope that Uncle Philip would wake up and see that EMPTY WORDS are nothing. It hasn't happened, and it apparently never will. Here's the PROBLEM of Second Life, the owner, creator, and decision maker, doesn't care. He says one thing and does another. His words have absolutely NO MEANING and are as EMPTY as the Second Life world is right now, during another unscheduled DOWNTIME. Second Life won't get fixed until the man who claims to care about it, really does care about it and the Residents.

I for one am tired of empty words, lies, and false promises, and more so, I'm tired of hearing them day in and day out. What will it take to get this man, Uncle Philip, to understand we no longer want to HEAR his empty words and empty promises, we want ACTION? I'm encouraged that Cristiano Midnight is apparently back on the scene and ready to take up the fight again. I'm encouraged that more and more Residents of Second Life are starting to stand up and voice their outrage. I'm encouraged that people who once were standing side-by-side with Linden Lab are now seeing the transgressions of Linden Lab and speaking out against them. I'm encouraged that many are taking their first steps on the trail of a thousand miles.

The problem of Second Life has been exposed, and it's time, we as Residents demand change. We don't want to hear more words or promises, we want to see changes. We want our WORLD back, stable and fixed.

As Linden Lab says: "Your World, Your Imagination". Now I say, "Your World, FIGHT to make it right!"

Friday, August 3, 2007

Comments are are their minds

It seems that once again our "friends" at Linden Lab have decided they don't need to listen to the Community of Residents, as they have closed comments on MOST Blog Entries. The only Blog Entries that are opened are those that are trivial (at best) or are mere propaganda. Such as the VOICE is Live announcement or Torley's recent Blog Entry of how the wonderful Bug Squashers have fixed the SNAPSHOT bug.

I made the comment some ago, that the Second Life Community wouldn't be fooled for long, and it appears that has come true. If you read through the Blog Comments concerning the "Voice is Live" announcement, you will have seen what I did, that only about 5 Residents were in favor for the coming of Voice, while all the others have decided Voice is a bad thing, for one reason or another. Only a few months ago, that number would have probably been reversed, so what has changed? Well, like I said, the Second Life Community has finally woke up to what has been going on.

Perhaps it was this past weekend where it took more then 48 hours to fix a problem that had severely handicapped all the Second Life Residents, or perhaps it is the recent closing of the Blog Comments, but whatever the reason, the Second Life Community seems to have finally awoke from their long slumber.

Now that the Second Life Community has begun to wake, perhaps Uncle Philip and Aunt Robin will take a hard long look at what we have all been saying, "Give us our world back, fixed!" Of course, Uncle Philip might continue to believe that these "boisterous" Residents are merely a small number, as he believed before, so I think the thing to do is give Uncle Philip and Aunt Robin an email to let them know just how many of us are tired of the constant happy-happy propaganda coming out of Linden Lab. I suggest everyone send Philip and Robin an email with the subject of "We aren't going to take it" and a body with just your Second Life name included. I'm they will understand completely what it means.

A thousand mile trek begins with just one step; will you take it?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

You have a VOICE in Second Life...

Today Linden Lab proudly announced that VOICE is now LIVE in Second Life. The Official Second Life Blog has a quasi-FAQ posted that is primarily there to quell the many voices of dissent and once again quiet the FENCE SITTERS.

One particularly interesting point being made in the FAQ is:

Voice is hosted on separate servers. Many Residents have expressed concern and confusion as to why voice would be released when Second Life periodically has performance issues. Voice is intentionally designed to run on systems completely independent from Second Life as not to impair performance.

Of course, while this MAY be true (you never know anymore with Linden Lab), what Linden Lab fails to mention is how the VOICE will effect the BANDWIDTH of all Residents of Second Life. While I may choose not to use the Voice Function, everyone else that does will be adding more and more bandwidth congestion to the GRID, which will cause more LAG and PACKETLOSS for everyone, not just the users of the Voice Function. Of course, Linden Lab fails to mention this, since of course they have no answer to this problem. If you haven't noticed, Linden Lab has (at least they say they have) addressed the BUG issues (read past BLOG comments to understand why this isn't as true as Linden Lab wants it to be) and has started to address Server Issues (we hope) after this past weekend, but NO WHERE do they say they are even considering the LAG and PACKETLOSS issues. I wonder just how much packetloss and lag it will take before Linden Lab pulls VOICE?

Let me be perfectly clear, I am ALL for improving the Second Life experience, but NOT at the expense of the current Second Life experience. Adding an enhancement should not adversely effect the Residents of Second Life. When an Enhancement is added to Second Life, that Enhancement should be tested thoroughly of course, but also, it should be closely examined to see what other systems it might adversely effect, and before the Enhancement is added, those systems being adversely effected should be strengthened so the Enhancement doesn't ADD to the woes of the Second Life Resident. This is of course where Linden Lab fails miserably, and continues to do so to this day.

You may have a Voice in Second Life today, but just how long will that Voice last? Does anyone remember WINDLIGHT?

Monday, July 30, 2007

It's the end of the world as we know it....

Do you feel fine?

Has it finally happened? Has the end come to Second Life? Has the GRID collapsed upon itself as many have been predicting?

The world of Second Life has been SEVERELY hampered since this past weekend, and as of yet, no fix has been found. The only comments coming out of the Official Blog of Second Life is, "We are still working to fix the problems, thank you for your patience".

I suppose one thing is true of the Second Life Community, we have plenty of patience, but I would be willing to bet, even our patience has a limit. I, and others like me, have been warning Linden Lab for months that the GRID is so unstable that one day it will most likely just collapse upon itself and it will take days if not weeks to fix. Well, so far DAYS has come true, God help Second Life if it continues into weeks.

I told Philip Rosedale, early on in our discussions, that the WORST possible thing that could happen would be to have Second Life disabled for a number of days. While the individual Residents might overlook something that serious, the Commercial Companies most likely would not. I wonder just how many of those Commercial Entities are now strongly considering pulling out of the ailing world of Second Life? If they go, I fear, so goes Second Life.

Linden Lab already has taken a HUGE financial loss by banning ALL gambling within the Second Life world, on top of that, if the major Commercial Entities begin to pull out, can Second Life survive? I suppose Linden Lab should be considering how they are going to raise more capital at this point; perhaps they'll bring back the LIFETIME accts for all of you that want to help Linden Lab out of the hole they've dug for themselves. Instead of "Charter Member" they could call those people, "One Born every Minute".

I for one have been making contingency plans in case Second Life does die an ugly death soon. Below is a list of upcoming Virtual World titles that are accepting Beta registrations at the moment, while I have only logged into moove, I guess I have the time now, while we all anxiously await to hear what, if anything, can be done to revive the world of Second Life:

HiPiHi - A Chinese version of Second Life - Looks pretty interesting actually. Usually takes 24 hours to get accepted into the Beta.

Moove - This is actually LIVE (I think) and it's a cross between a VR3D World and Second Life. I wouldn't say this is a good substitute for Second Life, but it's fun figuring out just how a Texture Maker like myself would survive in a world like this.

AWOMO - A World of My Own - This actually looks good from what they allow you to see, and BETA was supposed to start in early July, it's not clear whether that has happened or not, but they are accepting Beta Applications, so why not give it a try?

It's the end of the world as we know it...and I hate to say "I told you so", but I did.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

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The following post was inspired by Linden Lab; the Broken Record Gaming Company.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Linden Lab casts POWER DRAIN 5...

Once more unto the breech dear friends....

Today, over at Linden Lab, they once again suffered from POWER OUTAGE. Of course, I don't blame Linden Lab that the power went out, as most don't, but if you read the BLOG Comments, you will see the Community is getting a bit wiser.

8 out of 10 comments posted about the Power Outage were of the opinion that Linden Lab needs to invest in Backup Generators. Of course, I said this two weeks ago, when Linden Lab posted this very same thing, and then maybe 1 out of 10 Blog Comments thought having some type of contingency plan was a good idea. Now here we are two weeks later and the power is out again. What's different this time? Perhaps the Community is starting to realize that Linden Lab is being reactive instead of proactive. Power Problems have plagued San Francisco for a while, and most Service companies already know this and know it's prudent to their business to keep their services up and running, therefore they have backup generators; guess we shouldn't be surprised that Linden Lab isn't one of those "professional" companies.

At Linden Lab the idea is to watch which way the Community is swaying and then deal with it. Today, TWO Linden Employee's posted comments that basically stated, "It's not our fault, look at all the other websites that have been brought down by the Power Outage". Again, no one is blaming you Linden Lab for the power outage, but you apparently don't understand your own business model. Second Life IS NOT a website. Second Life is massively multi-player virtual world, where thousands of people can login and interact with one another. You (Linden Lab) don't just provide a web service, but as you claimed to the French Courts, you are a SERVICE PROVIDER, and as such, you should act in that manner. That means make certain you have contingency plans for such times; I mean more then just posting about it in the Blog. As a SERVICE PROVIDER you should have Backup Generators that will kick in as soon as Power Loss is detected and can be run for hours if need be. This way there is no interruption in your service and your customers stay happy.

I am very happy about one thing that happened in all this, the Community is finally starting to see that Linden Lab is about providing LIP SERVICE and no real action to the problems it faces. Now I just hope the Community will start to wake-up and see this is the same type of situation that we face with the GRID PERFORMANCE and BUG ISSUES. Once the Community realizes that Linden Lab is just about covering up issues, instead of really fixing them, the quicker we'll see changes at Linden Lab, and the better Second Life will be for it.