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  1.  (8624.21)
    I lost about three weeks of my life in SL about three years ago, I tasted the fear of addiction and quit for good after that. The end came when I was sitting around a camp fire in the back of an anarchist squat, talking to a bunch of crazies from around the world, while some of my RL friends were doing the same thing in RL just two miles away.

    I haven't been back since, and I doubt I ever will.

    The sex was good though.
  2.  (8624.22)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    @Val A Lindsay II

    I mostly like making stuff there, some of my stuff sells OK so I never need to buy lindens. In SL my work and advice is valued by people whereas in RL no one takes a
    blind bit of notice you know?

    sometimes the social part is nice, depends on the people like anything else.

    I do think SLs moment has passed. Used to think it was the future of the web like everyone else who uses it.

    Linden Labs seemed to be bent on frustrating its development for some bizarre reason and its kind of its own strange little ghetto now.

    I dont recommend SL to people any more. If you go back you'll find its mostly a big ghost town with cliques of established users hiding away
    in private sims.

    @mylightshinesapath yeah the absurdities of SL are manifold ;) its a total thief of your time and creative energy, you're well out of it
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
     (8624.23)
    It doesn't tend to get talked about much in the press anymore, and most of the history of gaming books written in the last few years tend to give it no more than a page (compared to whole chapters a few years back).

    I think when it's looked back on from the further future it'll be more remembered for it's attempts to generate a free economy in the MMO space than anything else. When people want to talk about player created spaces, they tend to concentrate on MOO for getting there first.
    • CommentAuthorsteevo
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2010
     (8624.24)
    Heh, MOOs were fun. Someone should set up a Whitechapel MOO so we can all (N)orth, (N)orth, (E)ast around, running from eels and sentient Red Bull cans.
    • CommentAuthortyporrhea
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2010
     (8624.25)
    I might have kinda been responsible for the SL Church of Elvis. Sorry about that.

    I stopped logging in for a few months to deal with a ramped-up real life and just couldn't seem to get back into it. I don't know if it was the performance degradation or the fact that the church had kinda fallen into disrepair or what but I've only missed Sunday services more and more as time has passed. I've even taken a few halting trips back to see if anyone is still there (surprisingly some are) and gauge the scene for revival potential.

    Unfortunately things just seem to be getting worse and worse in Linden Land. When I try and log in now - if I even get in - I see nothing but a white egg with "(Loading...)" over it. Not a very enthralling experience. Maybe if I ever get around to building a PC I'll start the First Blue Mars Church of Elvis.

    It's a shame. I miss a lot of the people I met in SL terribly. It's weird when you find yourself pining for the company of pixelated cartoon characters...
    •  
      CommentAuthorMalsain
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2010
     (8624.26)
    I still log in to pay tier, and miss the socials of the Wastelands. It's still there, and that's where I have land, but not being unemployed means that I have a lot less time.

    WL still rules though.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaprika
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2010
     (8624.27)
    Yea I got to know some folks really well and when they got fed up with SL and moved on the context was gone and that was that. I even (not wanting to sound psycho here) had some SL folks enter my dreams in the same way as the bloke who runs the corner shop occasionally does, nothing dodgy you understand.

    It seems that SL failed but there was nothing there to move on to (blue mars seems to be a highly polished turd). But then what would have been the next stage?
  3.  (8624.28)
    I've read that concurrency is now up in the 50, 60, even 70000s. Which sounds insane. As does the idea that a popular third-party SL viewer was basically a tarted-up botnet used to carry out DDoS attacks. But apparently that's true. Casting around, this link is not the whole story, and there's a lot of chatter about people finding evil shit under the hood of the viewer.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2010
     (8624.29)
    HA!

    I just found an old article (2007) that someone did on the Fake Doctor's Association!

    http://www.metaversejournal.com/2007/05/09/the-fake-doctors-association/

    My god...
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaprika
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2010
     (8624.30)
    the botnet DDoS thing doesnt surprise me, I want my dev team to use their real names for starters. Although I seem to remember a few years ago when you could 'apparently' replace anyones password with a backslash and get into their account and that was the official viewer.

    Oh and is it too late to join the fake doctors association? I often like to charm people at parties with the line "I'm not a doctor, but I am a lot like a doctor".
  4.  (8624.31)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I don't use Emerald but my understanding is its an open source project so whatever it has going on 'under the bonnet' should be transparent. Any concerns could easily be checked by Linden Labs. I think any attack by LL on Emerald is more likely a response to the lukewarm reception that Viewer 2 has received . This is largely due to conservatism on the part of the users as viewer 2 is generaly superior to clients based on viewer 1.

    People like the extra features Emerald offers.

    BTW i dont use Emerald because I have a personal philosophy of fighting my own inertia and small c conservative tendencies so I stuck with viewer 2 till I liked it :)

    have tried most the available viewers and even compiled a few of my own mostly text based and using the example 'Test Client'

    as for the denial of service thing, well coders do like to show off . . . just immaturity on the part of some of Emerald staff I would think
    •  
      CommentAuthorFC
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010 edited
     (8624.32)
    Emerald has been known by some circles to be rather skeevy, even prior to the DDoS attack.

    Several of the developers on the team are responsible for making viewers for unauthorized copying and redistribution of content (and have been banned on other accounts for doing so). One of the developers is responsible for a system that supposedly catches people using those viewers and places them on a ban list with '100% no false positives' (this same individual is also known to have been banned from SL in the past for copying someone else's intellectual property without permission). A portion of their dev team works on Onyx, which supposedly is intended to index the grid's content for future comparison to stolen content, however - leaked code and screen-captures have shown it has features more similar to viewers that are intended to copy and redistribute without permission. More recently, a change to uploaded textures would include the full path of the upload to the image description, so if you weren't careful and didn't keep an eye on that, you could be giving away more information on yourself than intended.

    And of course the DDoS attack - which on the surface seems petty, but consider that the site was owned by someone they had a grudge over, and that someone has a less than legitimate background himself (surprise surprise, he also creates a viewer that copies material). Not only did the Emerald make their entire user base complicit in a federal crime - they basically handed all of their users' IP info to a known hacker-type without their consent.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFC
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010 edited
     (8624.33)
    I am still pretty heavily involved in SL, though for the most part my time socializing and enjoying SL has been reduced. I would say the bulk of my interactions outside of customers and clients now has to do with The Wastelands, which actually continues to be quite active, despite the earlier observation that the sims were very quiet (Drop in during evenings or on a Saturday afternoon - things can get quite active). Otherwise I tend to drop in on friends who perform live music or DJ in-world. I have not been exploring new builds very much lately - I just haven't had the opportunity.

    I continue to work creating things for private and commercial clients and have been finding interesting networking opportunities for both SL and RL work.

    The platform as a whole is seeing some major shifts - lately mostly due to layoffs and restructuring. Some for the better, some for the worse. I'm hoping that it's bottomed out because some of the changes that are on the way promise to make the viewer experience more stable and efficient.

    As for actually being able to run Second Life, I'd have to say that it definitely doesn't run well on any machine with integrated graphics (using a descrete graphics card is recommended). I can still run it on a four year old desktop computer though and I demand a lot out of my viewer experience. I agree making it accessible to the lowest common denominator possible is a good thing, but do hope it is not at the cost of a better viewer experience for those who can handle it *or* at the cost of further developments which would be beneficial to all users.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFC
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010 edited
     (8624.34)
    The way you guys speak of it the most fun thing about Second Life was the equivalent to the 'Mods' for games like Half-Life. Why bother integrating a whole world together when people are try to create completely different 'islands'? Sure, it's ideal, but the system requirements to keep up with even the basic underpinnings of the whole 'world' are outstanding. It didn't seem they had a good plan for growth.

    Maybe if they used something like the World of Warcraft engine, implementing better more intuitive creation tools(I hated the tools, honestly) they'd have a winner on their hands...

    Sort of. I think it's easy to focus on the bigger projects (such as The Wastelands or IAL) as things that affected users the most. On the surface to any newcomer, that may be all that is apparent or interesting. As someone who's been in SL for four years now, I'm still learning and finding new and interesting things. They may not all be clustered in multi-sim sized projects (they may not even be confined to any single area on a regular basis), but there are many and they just require a little looking.

    As far as viewer performance is concerned, a big part of the issue is the fact that all content is user generated. WoW doesn't have this problem because professionals are putting the environment together - they're using modelling techniques that are efficient and standardised, they're using smaller textures more efficiently, they can add material effects to their models and most importantly: their material is all pre-loaded. While it's slowly moving towards changes for the better, Second Life will never fully escape from the prim-building model, which was designed as a proprietary way of creating objects simply and within the virtual space. I also highly doubt that the platform will move away from the real-time loading model; it has its problems, but the collaborative and real-time experience is part of what makes Second Life appealing.

    Viewer performance wouldn't be as big an issue if people actually knew what kind of a toll they were placing on each other, but many don't. Whereas in most situations, a small image will do just fine, many people blatantly upload textures at the largest possible size, often quadrupling or adding 16 times the wait to load that one texture. Multiply that by dozens of textures and you get the awful kudge people complain about. There are many other examples of this sort of user-generated kudge that could be avoided by providing Residents with basic education on the matter.
  5.  (8624.35)
    Or carpetbombing the Mainland.
    • CommentAuthorjohnplatt
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2010
     (8624.36)
    My wife is very active in SL, where she runs a retreat and support group for people with PTSD. It's an innovative use of the virtual environment to help people with the particular problems that accompany post-traumatic stress disorder.

    (More inf on it here.)

    She's also very much into the SL music scene, and has turned me onto some great Euro DJs, particularly a guy named Calrek, who also does a lot of real-world performing. Great electronic music.

    It sounds like there's been a major shakeup at Linden Labs recently. They recognized that their long-in-development SL 2 viewer was a complete dog and got rid of most of the development team. They should be years ahead of where they are now. Hopefully they'll catch up.
  6.  (8624.37)
    Viewer performance wouldn't be as big an issue if people actually knew what kind of a toll they were placing on each other, but many don't. Whereas in most situations, a small image will do just fine, many people blatantly upload textures at the largest possible size, often quadrupling or adding 16 times the wait to load that one texture. Multiply that by dozens of textures and you get the awful kudge people complain about. There are many other examples of this sort of user-generated kudge that could be avoided by providing Residents with basic education on the matter.

    Solution; 8 bit SL