Friday, January 29, 2010

Fleetwood Mac said it best, "Tell me Lies"

OK everyone, M Linden has finally said something, but as usual, it's the normal Propaganda BullShit that Linden Lab is noted for.

Instead of me commenting on what M Linden says, I would rather you read it for yourself, and just keep playing Fleetwood Mac in the Background, "Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies"....

Sing it for me M

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's put some points to a final rest

OK friends, it seems my last Blog has found an audience, and while I'm forever a skeptic, I will allow Peter to say he has no attachment to the "Lab" what so ever. But, I think I should address some interesting points that Peter does raise in his comments, and perhaps even try to see why us "old folk" seem hell bent on getting what we pay for.

First, Peter wants to lay some ground work to his Comment, so let's see what that is:

"I am not particular to what size/complexity the software/hardware system is that runs SL. But I am pretty sure it is HUGE and COMPLEX. Whether it needs to be so complex and whether the complexity is more of a burden these days is open to discussion by people more qualified than I am. But we can safely assume it is huge and it is complex"

While I agree that the System's that run Second Life might be "massive", I won't give any sort of ground because a company's product is "massive" or "complex". Linden Lab chose this to be their Product, and in doing so, have an ETHICAL commitment to provide that Product without issue. This is one of the arguments that many people bring up when first coming to the "defense" of "The Lab". Let's find us a suitable Product where we can draw some distictions from. How about your Cable Router, that seems to be quite a "massive" and "complex" network, and yet, people don't want to hear how an engineer failed to correctly input and test new router code this morning, which caused just 1 hour of minimal service. How about your Television Networks, would you be glad to hear that one of the Television Engineers accidentally put in his copy of "Debbie Does Dallas" and broadcast it just for 38 seconds when your kids were supposedly watching the new episode of 90210? Everyone who deals in "massive" and "complex" systems understands that they need to be careful of what they do, else it will not only cost them their job, but it could also cost their employer's a LOT of money. So, while "The Lab" runs a "massive" and "complex" system, doesn't excuse them for the mistakes we see, no matter how small they might be, on a weekly, and sometimes a daily, basis. Furthermore, "The Lab" while admitting mistakes are made, apparently aren't doing a good job of making certain that all employee's need to test, re-test, re-test and re-test some more, because every little item that goes wrong, adds up after a while; which is by the way, the WHOLE POINT to the last few threads.

Peter goes on to say:

"I am following the grid status blog as well, and the service interruptions are usually minor. Dividends delayed for a day, group payouts delayed for some. A few regions offline. I recall one emergency patch deployed. But now showstoppers."

I agree that no "show-stoppers" have recently come to light, but my point is again, that if you add up every little bit that goes by each week and day, you begin to see a pattern of Failure. It's like what happens when you drop a toad into boiling water, he jumps out. But, put a Toad in room temperature water and slowly raise the water temperature, the Toad stands there as if nothing is going wrong. We, the customers of Second Life, are like the Toad who've been standing in the water so long, that we EXPECT Linden Lab to mess something up and no longer do we hold them to their task. Linden Lab hasn't been getting better over time, it's been getting worse. While there may not be any "show-stoppers" going on, there are still failures that are being repeated weekly, and yet, because we are used to Linden Lab failures, we just sit idly by and accept that they will fail us, happily, like the Toad. Yet, one of the MAIN REASONS we loose New Residents is because of the FAILURES of Linden Lab. The New Residents aren't used to be treated so shamefully, so they take exception to what "The Lab" is doing and leave. One thing we can say for sure, when people try out Second Life, then leave, and they put in some Forum that we, the current Residents of Second Life are foolish for staying in a system that fails as much as Second Life, they are right, even though it might hurt me to say, they are still right.

Now Peter goes on to say that "The Lab" is great about communicating failures, and he's sure other complex systems fail as well, but they just don't say anything about it, actually I should let Peter say it in his own words:

"The point you completely miss here is that the Lab actually COMMUNICATES these issues! If group payouts are delayed for some residents, they could just as well "hush it up". But no, they actively and timely communicate it on the grid status. I am pretty sure systems of similar (or even smaller complexity) have a similar number of small glitches - only you never hear about them."

The problem with this argument is Peter assumes there are daily failures at other complex and massive systems, but we never hear about them. Well, I can't speak to that which I never hear about, but I can say that my Phone works, My Cable Router works, My Cable TV works. When there are interruptions, while they are apologetic, at least my Cable company will give me rebates on the cost when I can't use their service. One thing I can speak to though, other Company's that run massive and complex systems don't keep people employed who routinely fail at their job; is that true at "The Lab"?

Finally though, Peter explains the issue he has with my recent post:

"If we would have a showstopper every week, I could understand your position. But focusing on those minor and noncritical things seems a bit over the top to me"

As I have pointed out before, my issue is that we have these MINOR (and in your words) non-critical things going wrong week after week after week after week after week after week. When do you consider all these little things that go wrong weekly to add up to a Biggie? Apparently Linden Lab cannot keep Second Life going for a simple 7 days without any issues, minor or major. Not only that, but they haven't been able to keep a clean slate for quite some time now. What other conclusion can I come to except that the employee's at Linden Lab are either to lazy or incompetent to do their job for which they were hired? IF these are MINOR and NON-CRITICAL issues, why can't they seem to fix them? Please don't give me the tired argument of it being "massive" and "complex", as I've done a fairly substantial job of removing that as an argument. So, what is it about Linden Lab that they can't keep their own PRODUCT going without one single issue, major or minor, for a simple 7 days? While we are on this subject, why hasn't the Asset Sever issue been fixed yet, it's been three years and still the problem exists?

Peter, I don't know if you are a friend of mine in Second Life or not, but, if you know me in Second Life you would know I have already raised these crucial points with you there. I am no longer going to keep calling Linden Lab out for their poor service, as they seem to have given up on it themselves, otherwise, why after a year, does Linden Lab STILL have an F Grade from the BBB? Since I can see that Linden Lab is unwavering in it's own incompetence, what's the point of me continually asking someone from Linden Lab to comment on it? What's most amazing is how Linden Lab just continues to walk by like nothing is wrong, yet, we, the Customers, can see that the Emperor has lost its clothing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Give Up....LL Wins

Today friends I awoke and found this bit of disturbing news:

Group Payout Issues

[24 January 2010 8:30PM Pacific] There are currently technical issues with Group Payouts which will be delayed. Our teams are working on resolving this issue as soon as possible. Please watch this blog for any further details.

What is so disturbing about this you might ask? It's not the content as much, it's the regularity and constant flow of the content that I find disturbing. Quite honestly, I started this recent thread of Blog Announcements as a joke, something to get under the skin of our friends of Linden Lab. The problem is, it seems that Linden Lab doesn't care about this joke.

OK, I know, that's silly, why should Linden Lab care that I'm making fun of them. Well, for the most part I agree, but, it's the reason I'm making fun of them that they should care about. I am basically saying that at Linden Lab there is no one competent enough to keep Second Life running for a 7 (SEVEN) days without a single issue. You know, it is there job to see that Second Life is always available for the Paying Customer. So basically I'm saying that Linden Lab hires people that can't do the job for which they've been hired. The disturbing part of that is, it's true.

I fully expected that Linden Lab would easily be able to shut me up and keep Second Life going for a simple 7 (SEVEN) days without issue. I'm wrong apparently, because here we are again, another week gone by and yet another issue. Ask yourself this question, "What would it be like if I were hired to perform a job, and yet, every time I attempted to perform that Job, I messed it up?" As someone who worked 26 years before being forced to the sidelines by a disability, I know if I were in the boat that Linden Lab employee's seem to be in, I would be embarrassed to admit where I worked, let alone take home a paycheck for not being able to do the job I was hired to perform.

So, instead of continuing to point out the obvious, I quit. I'm not going to quit Second Life, as I have always said, Second Life is a wondrous place and for many people the only place they have for Social Interaction. Instead, I quit trying to embarrass a group of people who are either too lazy or just plain incompetent, to do the job they were hired to do.

What is the point of me spouting on each week if after each week we continue to see the same result? Linden Lab doesn't care if their Product, the Product they are SELLING and taking MONEY for, isn't up to anyone's definition of "par". I guess it's true what the BBB (Better Business Bureau) has said about Linden Lab and their ability to operate as a Company, they get an F.

It was almost One Year ago when Linden Lab received this bad news from the BBB, and M Linden, the new CEO, said at that time that it was the OLD GUARD who was at fault for this and Linden Lab would NOT continue to receive a Failing Grade in the very near future. I guess the question for M Linden is, "What is your definition of the VERY NEAR FUTURE?" I suppose M's definition of NEAR FUTURE is the same as the others who have said that certain problems would be fixed SOON; here we sit, almost 3 (THREE) years later and the Asset Server is STILL having issues.

I quit asking Blue Linden to tell me what the New Guard was suppose to do, because today it's clear that the New Guard is no different from the Old Guard. They both have made empty promises and continue to take people's money even though they can't provide a product that will run without issue for just 7 days.

So tell me friends, would you want to work for a company that didn't expect you to actually do anything right? I would ask Blue what he thinks, but his answer is clear, he STILL works for Linden Lab.

Sorry friends, looks like we got fooled again!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

De JaVoodoo

Here we are, Tuesday again, another day of fog but not too cold, another day of LL messing up again. Being a Tuesday you should be able to guess just what has gone wrong, again. Like I said before, we really must give credit where credit is due, so here's to our Friends at Linden Lab, at least you keep making the same mistakes!

[Resolved] Stipends may be delayed for some residents.

[Resolved @ 7:13 am PST] Stipend payments are now back on track and should be completed. Thank you for your patience.

Some residents may experience their stipends being paid out slightly later than usual. We are aware of this and working towards a resolution. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. Thank you for your understanding.

Of course, I must ask, So tell me Blue, is THIS the change you were talking about with the New Management Team?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Responding to your Responding to Feedback

Well Friends, it looks as though perhaps our Famous M Linden finally has figured out a bit about the Community; we want to be heard, we want our feedback taken seriously!

Today, M Linden posted that HE has heard us and is happy we are still speaking our Minds. It's wonderful isn't it when someone at the top responds to everyone about how much he appreciates our Feedback. Not only does he appreciate our Feedback, but he also is inviting EVERYONE (that includes me too) to in-world Office Hours that HE himself will be hosting. Mr. M Linden goes on to inform us about what everyone at Linden Land is doing and when they will communicate to us those items and the results of their hard hard work; isn't it wonderful?

Wait, somethings amiss here, I'm actually saying that M Linden and Linden Lab is doing something right? Well, no, I'm actually being quite sarcastic here, because while M Linden likes to say he's "listening to our Feedback", knowing many will skip over the subtle difference between "Listening" and "DOING SOMETHING WITH" our Feedback.

You see, one thing you have to understand about Linden Lab, they lie. There's no use in calling it anything else, by Omission or Commission, the folks at Linden Lab have lied to use for years. Remember when Robin Linden used to say, "Clear and Transparent Communication" as she spoke about what was happening at Linden Lab, yet refused to DEFINE what that meant exactly to the Community? The same is happening here, M Linden is using Subtle word phrases to raise the HOPE of those that fail to clearly distinguish between what he is saying and what it means. I, like the next person, would love to believe that M Linden is really going to take our Feedback and apply to the decisions made at Linden Lab, but that's not at all what he is saying. M Linden is merely stating that he READ our Feedback, not that will have any place in the decisions going forward. Just like his predecessors before him, M Linden is well versed in the art of Lying by Omission.

When M Linden comes out from behind the deceptive words and spells out exactly what he means, only then can we trust what he says. When M Linden says, "Your Feedback states that you don't want an Adult Continent, so WE won't do it", then you know he is not just HEARING you but also taking what you said to heart and giving you what you want. Remember, it's THEIR WORLD but OUR DREAMS. Somewhere in year Three, Linden Lab forgot about the partnership it tried so desperately to have with the Community. Linden Lab decided that no longer would the Community, the PAYING CUSTOMER, would have a voice in the development of the World we LIVE in.

I challenge M Linden to do more then just HEAR our Feedback, but also apply that Feedback to the future of Second Life. You keep saying how important our Feedback is, yet when you ask for it, you have already made the Policy Change, and what you really want is the people to blow sunshine up your skirt. Just when will our Feedback be taken seriously? Just when will our Feedback be acquired before Policy is decided? Just when will our WORLD be our's again?

It's easy to play word games M, it's harder to slip them past the people time after time, and much harder each time you try. So, stop with the lies, come out and say what you mean, stop hiding behind vague and deceptive wording, start acting like the Professional you commonly claim to be. It's time for show M Linden, it's time to be honest, real, Clear and Transparent, and every other thing you and your predecessors have claimed to be in the past. It's time to prove me wrong, show me, show everyone, that I'm off base, that Blue Linden's faith and trust in you isn't blind, but worth it.

To be honest, I think you are full of S***. I won't lie about that, and I won't hide behind pretty words to describe how I feel. You want me to change how I think of Linden Lab? Give me a reason, a real reason, something concrete, not just words, show me that your Team isn't just a retread of the Old Team. Show me just why people should take what you have to say as truth. Show me I'm wrong, and I'll happily drink your Kool-Aid.

It's really too easy

So, for everyone that thought that perhaps I was sweating the fact that Linden Lab went a whole 4 days without any issues, don't. Even if they hadn't screwed up the Stipends on Tuesday, they would have still not made the full week, as this is now the most current entry:

Login/Registration Temporarily Offline Jan. 14th at 6 a.m.

[Posted Jan 12th 2010 1:20 PM PST] On Thursday, January 14th, starting at 6 a.m. PST, all login and registration will be offline due to maintenance. Logins will not be available during that time. This will not affect our residents currently in-world. Maintenance should take approximately 30 minutes. We apologize for any incovenience.

Well, when you are right, you are right. Now, Mr. Blue, aren't you ashamed of yourself, trying to pull one over on me. The New Guard is the Old Guard, and the Old Guard keeps playing that same sad song.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And the Beat goes on....And the Beat goes on

I want to apologize to everyone who have said to me in one form or another that Linden Lab will prove me wrong and very soon will go a "week, even two" without any issues in Second Life. I am sorry you placed your bet with Linden Lab, because once again, they've blown it; taken from Tuesday, 12th of January, 2010:


[07:41 AM PST] There may be a delay for some residents receiving their stipends today. Please check this page for more updates.

What more can I say but, thank you Linden Lab for showing me just how right I have been. Oh, one more thing, so Blue, is THIS the change you told me the New Management Team would bring to the World of Second Life?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Once again Linden Lab fails at Basic Support

Today I was speaking with a friend of mine in Second Life when he became a bit agitated and told me about his recent encounter with Linden Lab Support.

My friend is a "Free Account" player but has an In-World Business and took out one of those 999L "get your business noticed" advertisements on XSTREETSL.COM. Well, a day or two into this advertisement period, my friend and his Business Partner had a falling out and so he went to the XSTREETSL.COM website and followed the instructions to put this advertisement on hold. As usual with any Linden Lab product, the advertisement ran on despite what my friend wanted, and so he basically squandered his 999L. Since my friend had trouble with this issue, he turned to Support to try and get some assistance, but since he is a "Free Account" he isn't entitled to any Support, no matter how much MONEY he might have spent or even generated in Second Life.

I find it simply amazing that Linden Lab thinks it's completely normal that people spend MONEY with them, but aren't given any support. Of course, my friend didn't want me to start a support ticket on his behalf, so I decided to do this instead.

Here's a HINT to everyone thinking about starting an Avatar in Second Life; don't do it. Linden Lab has proven time and again, that they are merely interested in your money. They don't even HIDE the fact that they will take your money and give you no support, matter if fact, they probably would rather you just skip starting an Avatar all together and write them a Personal Check directly for whatever amount of cash you have available.

Linden Lab has again shown just what kind of Business Ethics they have as a Corporate Body. I'm sad to say, no matter what Blue Linden wants me to believe, but the New Boss is the Same as the Old Boss, we've been fooled again.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Challenge to the TEAM at Linden Lab

Fairly recently Babbage Linden announced that Linden Lab will be implementing Memory Usage Restrictions for ALL SIMS and Users of Second Life. Babbage said this action was being taken in direct response to the Residents of Second Life demanding that Linden Lab do something about the LAG that plagues the Virtual World.

Babbage Linden claims that the majority of the LAG is actually caused by the Residents of Second Life and NOT by the Coding of Second Life. In other words, once again, just like with OpenSpace, Linden Lab says that the Customer is the problem, not Linden Lab.

Unfortunately for Babbage Linden the Grid Team at Linden Lab have been reporting Grid Issues in their Blogs for quiet some time, I've never seen them say that LOGIN or ASSET SERVER Issues were caused by the Residents. Following this to its Logical Conclusion it must therefore be a problem caused by Linden Lab; something apparently Babbage Linden wants to dispute.

It's only been a year since Linden Lab announced that the Evil Residents of Second Life were to blame for all the problems with OpenSpace SIMs, even though Linden Lab employee's used their OpenSpace SIMs in the exact same way when they created the Nautilus Continent.

Being an observer of what's going on in Second Life and at Linden Lab, it certainly does look to me that Linden Lab has a real issue admitting that they have a problem and they would rather pass all the blame to their Evil Customers. I don't think anyone will dispute the fact that the coding of Second Life is in a state of dis-repair, but do you see anyone from Linden Lab saying, "As the Residents learn to code more cleanly, Linden Lab will also be going through the Second Life Code and cleaning up their own mistakes"?

Why does Linden Lab constantly blame their Customers for a problem that, if you believe what Babbage Linden says, has been going on for years. IF this problem has been going on for years, why did Linden Lab allow it to go on for years? Just like with the OpenSpace SIMs fiasco, where Linden Lab not only overlooked what their Customers were doing, were aware of and did the very same things themselves with OpenSpace SIMs. We have the exact same issue here, that Linden Lab KNEW of the problem, but did NOTHING to correct the problem for the last 7 years.

Linden Lab is following a very dangerous trend here. They (Linden Lab) seem to think that it's easier to blame your Customers for everything, even if you share in the problem, and I dare say, probably are MORE of the problem then the Customers are.

Blue Linden asked me to hold-off these past few months and see what this "new" management team would be like. Well, it certainly seems to this observer that this "new" management team has picked up the ball where the "old" management team left off and have gone down the very same road. Is this the "new way" that I was supposedly waiting for? I've seen this "way" before, and it's as unappetizing as it was the very first time Linden Lab asked us to take part in it.

Linden Lab is often saying that they work as a Team with their Customers. Why Linden Lab even has their Customers reporting bugs through JIRA, certainly not what anyone would call a User-Friendly system. So, if we, the Customers of Second Life, are part of this Team, I would like to know just when Linden Lab will be announcing that their Coding Team will be going back into the Code of Second Life and cleaning it up to help improve on Memory Usage? When will the "Bug Coders" actually be giving 100% of their time to the Asset Server issue which is now THREE YEARS old? When will the Management Team stand up and accept Linden Lab's responsibility in this mess?

When I was a working stiff years ago, I was in charge of Managing a Group of Coders that wrote for a very obscure language which was used for our Remote Locations (23 of them), the other Manager had a team of about 10 or so Coders that wrote COBOL for the IBM Mainframe . I had this saying that I would wind up saying at "Team" meetings when the IBM Manager did everything he could to pass the buck to my Team, I would say, "Teamwork isn't that my Team does your work". That saying of mine seems to be prevalent even today with Linden Lab, as they are asking the Scripters in Second Life to "write better code", why then aren't they asking their own Coders to fix the problems in the Second Life Code, I mean, we are part of a TEAM Effort, aren't we?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

So Close

Just in case you thought I hadn't noticed, Linden Lab still is unable to keep Second Life running for a mere 7 days without having problems.

Once again today, the seemingly inevitable Login Issue has reared its ugly head and foiled all that hard (minimum definition) work.

[UPDATE] Isolated login and inventory issues

[3:11pm PST] An isolated number of residents who have been experiencing the login and inventory issues will be logged out from inworld and will experience a short delay logging back in. We will keep this delay as minimum as possible. Please refer back to this blog for updates.

[3:02pm PST] We are still experiencing isolated issues with logins and inventory. Please refer back to this blog for updates.

[1:01pm PST] We are currently experiencing isolated login issues. You may see extended login times, difficulty logging in or errors in logins. We are also seeing related isolated inventory issues where a small group of residents will only see their default library of inventory. Please refer back to the blog for updates.

Once again we ask for our friend Blue to tell us, "Is THIS the change the NEW Management Team was taking about?"

Time draws near

Well friends, it seems to this Blogger and Long-Time Resident of Second Life, that the time to leave the fascinating world just might be drawing near.

Recently I have been inundated with IM's from nearly everyone I know concerning the announcement that Linden Lab plans to RESTRICT MEMORY usage on every SIM, even Homesteads and Private Islands.

While I understand that Linden Lab has the right to oversee the Public SIMs, I really don't understand why Linden Lab thinks they should stick their noses into the Private SIMs that others are paying for. Was it the Private SIM owners that setup their Servers in such a way that put 4 SIMs on every server? Was it the Private SIM owners that decided on the amount of total Memory that would be contained on each Server? It seems to this Old Timer that once again Linden Lab is putting the screws to the Customers after they (Linden Lab employees) made bad decisions.

Just like the OpenSpace fiasco, Linden Lab has determined that it should be their Customers that pay for Linden Lab's apparent Non-Informed Decision Making. Instead of doing what's RIGHT or GOOD for the Customer, Linden Lab once again would rather alienate their Customers; it's much easier right?

Well, folks, I've decided that if this new "Policy" goes into effect, it will be the proverbial Straw that breaks the Camels back, and I will be leaving the world of Second Life for good. I have already been checking out how I can move my Inventory to a New World and to what New World do I wish to move. At the time of this Blog Post, I am leaning toward moving to "In Worldz". You can check our InWorldz for yourself and see what they have to offer and what real Customer Service is like. I know it will be a sad day for me when I leave Second Life, as I know there will be some people I never see again; many of them friends. I only hope that those of you that are my friends will stay in touch, even if just by e-mail.

Linden Lab gave us an incredible world back in 2002, and many of us have enjoyed that world beyond what is possible to express in words alone. All of us who have enjoyed the world of Second Life will be bound together by common experiences and the time we spent chatting together. Linden Lab gave us Second Life and now Linden Lab seems determined to destroy it as well. Unfortunately, we aren't able to save Second Life, as I'd hoped; for one to be saved, one needs want to be saved. Linden Lab themselves have worked without rest over the past 4 years to destroy the one thing they gave us all to enjoy and by most accounts knew what they were doing and chose to do so all the same. I've never seen a Company reach heights like Linden Lab reached and then reach the Lows as Linden Lab has reached. Greed is the one ingredient that will sour the whole batch, and unfortunately, the people at Linden Lab were the greediest.

So here's to Linden Lab, you gave us a great world and you ripped out our hearts as you slowly destroyed it.

Is this that Change you were promising me Blue?