Friday, October 31, 2008

The Flying Half Built House Brigade Has Arrived

With a GeneriGoth Castle backdrop!

Free Linden Nautilus Houses, Textures, Decorations

Found here.

Community Building, Linden Labs Style

Empty houses with for sale signs. Nautilus or Cincinnati?

I wonder what it will look like in six months. $800 US for a 1024? Sheeeeeeeeesh. Somebody would need to be bopped in the head with a Coke bottle to buy into this one. It will be interesting to see what the ones in the inner core of the Nautilus city will go for at auction and ultimately sell for.

Nautilus Exploration

I've been playing with a Max Case Neighbours HUD. (If you explore, you really need one. And decided to piddle about Nautilus with it. It's been explored heavily with the HUD already, but I was intrigued to see what looks like a collage of just about every interesting site on the grid I've seen since 2005.

Oh, and I've now a performance benchmark on Openspace sims:

She may be bigger, but I'm more mobile.

Testing out this almost complete seahorse system.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In The Interest Of The Correct Expression Of Outrage

Price increases are inevitable these days, and with the magical printing of 700 billion dollars inflation is about to become even more painfully apparent. This is not the main thrust of this post. Instead, I address the recent Openspace sim price increase. It is my hope that amidst the panic and screeches of outrage I may point out the genuine smelly bits so that amidst much misinformation we may be outraged correctly.

What we have here is a case of very bad form on the part of Linden Research. The price increase is draconian, yes, but the ugly and morally repugnant part was the portion of the deal that was altered effective immediately. This is in disallowing the trade in Openspace regions.

Picture, if you will, you bought a condominium. There is a strata fee involved for maintenance of the building. Ordinarily, you would pay the strata fee, own the condo, have the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises. You have other condominium units around you, and to some degree they have the ability to affect your quiet enjoyment of premises. Beneath you lives a smoker, and there is no bylaw against smoking on balconies. You, allergic to cigarettes, have recourse to discuss it with your neighbour or keep your windows closed. Another neighbour has a loud party, and ignores your complaint and so you take the complaint to the strata, who assess a fine against Mister Party Hardy. And should you find the accommodation not to your satisfaction, you can sell the unit, or rent it out.

Now picture Second Life. A bit of history first:

  1. Linden Labs begins to sell Openspace sims in bundles of four.
  2. Linden Labs raises the prim allowances from 1875 to 3750.
  3. About this time Linden Labs relaxes the requirement of buying four at a time and lowers the price to buy in.
  4. Now Linden Labs locks down the trade of Openspace sims and announces a 67 percent monthly cost increase.

If it were a condominium the changes would read:
  • May not sell or rent the condo.
  • Increase in strata fee of 67 percent.

The lawyers would launch like cruise missiles.

Of course, this isn't the real world, nor is it real estate. It is $250 a pop that is suddenly made impossible to recoup. Abandoned sims become free servers for Linden Labs to sell all over again. This, kids, is what we call a racket. Quote: "Typically, this usage is based on the example of the "protection racket" and indicates that the speaker believes that the business is making money by selling a solution to a problem that it created (or that it intentionally allows to continue to exist), specifically so that continuous purchases of the solution are always needed." This is the point over which the bulk of the outrage needs to be focused.

Now if I may don my tinfoil hat, and knowing that this is the usual modus operandi for Linden Labs, announce something up in the lunasphere and back away citing 'responding to input', was this the point of this morally bankrupt action with regard to the ability to divest yourself of the $250 a shot investment? To make the $50 a month increase look acceptable if the other restriction is lifted?

A personal experience with this point in the Blog Post: "More proactive education by support staff to prevent unfair resource use by Openspace regions." I will believe that when I see it. In 2006, I bought First Land in the sim Huchu with six friends. We parceled it together for a clubhouse. This was the first sim in which the Gold Rush Casino was founded. It sat on 5-6ooo square meters and had 32 camp chairs at its peak. The owner of this casino replicated this in the same corner of many sims in a checkerboard pattern . Ultimately he had 10-12 of these on 4096 parcels of land, each of them full of avatars 24/7.

I urge all Neo-Victorians to behave as such, in not howling like monkeys in the jungle, but by examining the facts, being unswayed by conspiracy theory, even mine above about the average method of Linden Labs price modifications. There is enough screeching already from every rooftop, enough that a polite but very firm stance just might be noticed amidst the mobs.

I urge the following:
  • Post here. Mention the foul play of selling a product then changing the rules on how it is to be sold. Be polite; there is more than enough ranting and vitriol already. Katt Linden said in the first comment here that Jack Linden will read all responses. He's had enough abuse. Good luck with that, Jack.
  • Vote here. The JIRA largely means nothing. This is about delivering the mail. If you must comment, again stick to the issue of foul play, be polite.
  • Remember that Linden Labs dropped prices, eased the purchase requirements, and increased prim allowances, making them the Best Deal on the Grid. If Linden Labs changes the rules on how they are to be used or sold after the buyer has received delivery and paid the fee, they must offer a refund option!
  • Remember that prices change. But there must also be a way to sell the asset to recoup what you can in the event of these price changes.
  • Insist on transparency on where the extra $50 is going if there shall indeed be an extra $50 (or any amount) charged. Will this go toward distributing three OS sims to a CPU?
  • Give Openspace owners guidelines on what exactly constitutes 'light use'? Are these? How about this? Or this? How about this obvious idiot?
  • Show up for Prospero Linden's office hours. He's a fine chap; treat him accordingly. He'll be working on the Beta release and Caledon will have several Openspace sims on the Beta grid. Be part of the solution.
  • Show up for the Openspace bashing event(s) should we have them on the Beta grid.
  • Can the vitriol.
  • Do not allow this unsporting conduct by Linden Labs slide by unchallenged. Reject every last bit of it on the basis of how it was presented. A price hike is one thing, handcuffing the bag to those who own one is another. No taxation without genuine ownership.
Her Lyonesse,
Kamilah I, Vicereine of Caledon, and a Canadian feeling the Spirit of 1776

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chat Drag Races

I just recently took a few notes on the rate of posts between the Steelhead and the Caledon chat sessions, Caledon's a little ahead. Amusing, yes, but here's another thought. Despite the crossover with some people posting in both chats could split off groups have to do with the sheer volume of posts per minute? Cram the two populations together and chat would be completely beyond the ability of many people to even read, much less take part in.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In Construction

I'm increasingly pleased with this build; building a large scale has always been slow going for me. The monolith tower fell together on a whim, making it fit has been brutal. I found my inspiration in the Magisterium tower from The Golden Compass. I was going to pirate the green roof from my old Inn house but decided it would clash too harshly with the gold elsewhere. I my toy with blue later, after all, it worked on the Magisterium tower.

And finally a home for my logo. :)

I was listening to a lot of VNV Nation while working on this.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So I Dropped That New Tower

I've found myself wanting for a flagship store, and since Port Caledon has a hub that isn't going anywhere I've decided to nudge it up against border of Lionsgate, and to set up a bridge to cross the sim boundary, a fairly standard transparent prim on each side, opposing each other, to act as an extension of presense between the sims. I'll have my landing point in Lionsgate and the shop proper in Port Caledon. I've a ludicrous number of prims in Port Caledon. Whether or not I move the mermaid equipment to this shop I do not yet know, as I've only a vague idea what it will look like.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And So I Jumped From The Bridge

Today was my last day of work in the corporate trenches. Two years ago, thereabout, I'd hit the wall of productivity and inspiration in that office, mastered just about every aspect of the job. The parting was good, graceful, my usual crass self still purely me, but more geared to the funny in my general obnoxiousness. It's been good practice, if I did overstay my apprenticeship a bit long.

And what now? I have a little money to work with, very little in the way of a business plan, although I have a good ledger. I've some goals to finish before Christmas. A rethinking of the Gentleman's AO. A mostly built seahorse in conjunction with Virrginia Tombola. Some very nifty work on colour changing HUD prim bellydancer garb, dripping with particle chains. I've some sculpting to do with that, to drag down the massive Avatar Rendering Cost it has.

And there's Kamilah. For now, my career. And it's just hitting me between the eyes just what the heck I've gone and done, jumping off the ship of security and the crack-like fix of income that comes with a regular paycheque.

I need to appear in public more. Not necessarily at the unending stream of balls and dances. Library functions. Oxbridge, to greet new SL residents. Blogging. Salons with interesting speakers. Perhaps some teaching.

So yes, I just jumped off a cliff, albeit with a safety net. The lurch is still fairly intense.