What the hell?

•February 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m not sure what this is… but it’s kind of weird-looking.

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Emerald is Back, But Not in Second Life

•September 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This really isn’t surprising. Emerald, in all of its Emerald glory (sans good-intentioned developers, whom have all moved to Phoenix – the viewer, not the city), has returned, but now operates on Utherverse’s “Virtual World Web” platform, an SL clone with remarkably bad permissions and IP protection. Nobody is quite sure exactly who VWW is targeting, but they claim to have 5 million accounts already in existence. The graphics – well, everything is remarkably Second Life like, but worse. It’s essentially a bad SL clone that will no doubt be run down in a few years, if not months.

Slightly unrelated, a lot of buzz has been going around about another similar platform called Blue Mars. Compared to Second Life, it’s got mindblowing graphics and an extremely powerful modeling engine that allows professional modelers to create entire worlds as if it were a regular video game instead of making sculpties one by one. Unfortunately, the interface is much, much different, and avatars haven’t received much of a boost in graphics over Second Life. In addition, the architecture it runs on is more of an OpenSim-style world, in which every location is a different world, some occasionally hosted on local machines which are disconnected when the owner turns off his/her computer. Unfortunately, the economy is not very strong and it has yet to develop a sizable user base, so content creators, while it’s a good option for professional modelers, don’t expect to get as much business as you do in SL. All in all, while it’s cool to play around for a while, it’s not that great. Oh well, at least it’s probably better than VWW.

Arabella Rages, TOBSDA Posts a Video

•September 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Arabella raged on her blog. (EDIT: I changed the link to Arabella’s personal blog, the copy on ModularSystems’ blog can be viewed here.) I was not surprised to learn that I’m older than her, and that clearly she has an amount of brain matter that solidly places her in the “mentally handicapped” section of the IQ bell curve.

I will be debunking this post later tonight. I’ve got a night class starting in about an hour so I have to get going… but rest assured, I will prove she’s still lying in her final breaths :P

In addition, TOBSDA posted another video that just proves Phox is an idiot. (Ironically, he can’t get into SL after spoofing the channel.) This was taken moments before both Arabella and Phox were banned. Furthermore, Phox, Lee Serenity (idk lol), and Noor Loam (an Emerald fangirl that tried to troll AH a while back) discussed how changing a debug setting violates the TOS (laughably, I might add). Well, yeah, it sort of does.

To quote Phox… “You just violated the Terms of Service; I’m afraid your account’s being terminated now.”

By the way, Arabella, if you’re reading this, it really does make a lot of sense to moderate comments on your blog that actually debunk an Emerald-hater’s argument because they were wrong. And it’s even more shockingly hilarious to just block comments altogether. But y’know, at least I was the first to like her most recent rant, which (to my knowledge) she can’t remove.

–EDIT BELOW–

[LL’s email goes here, go check her blog if you want to read it, it just says she was banned for severe or repeated violations of the ToS, and that she can appeal if she is dumb enough to do so]

Now, this is nonsensical. Lindenlab is very well aware from their own logs that I have never breached any TOS. They are also aware that I did not attempt to log in with a blacklisted viewer, as the email was sent to me prior to even attempting to log in. What did I do to warrant this?

Perhaps it was yesterday’s post. Perhaps because I called them out on their irrational behavior in recent weeks. Perhaps because Linden Lab wants to ‘teach me a lesson’?

First of all, the email she posted was edited. It originally listed the violations she went down for. Obviously she didn’t want anyone to know them, and rather wanted to push her bullshit “LL is evil and just wanted me out of the picture” story. I, however, am awesome and found out the 3 reasons she was banned. In a nutshell, she fucked with Second Life’s systems and policies. And she did log in with a blacklisted viewer to perform illegal activities, which is one of the reasons.

So, I proceed to follow the instructions to lodge an appeal, only to find I cannot log into the website to lodge said appeal. I can only log in as ‘guest’ and select from a pathetic list. I fill out the proforma, and receive [an email saying a case was created].

But I cannot log in to view the case.

Not only have I been account banned (including an alternate account I made 3 years ago) but it would appear the long finger of Lindenlab has reached out to NZ and banned my IP address as well. And appeal processes appear to be closed off.

Actually, she was account, IP, and MAC banned. However, Phox clearly helped her to spoof her IP and MAC, and she was spotted on a new account, which was quickly reported and destroyed. I have no doubt that Phox has done the same.

I am stunned that Linden Lab has taken this approach. Living in a strongly westernised country and being a citizen of an even bigger one, like many of you I have enjoyed growing up and living in countries where rights are enshrined not only in our constitution but in our way of life. Freedom of speech and expression has long been an expectation and seen as a right of all citizens. To write a blog post – entirely out of the jurisdiction of lindenlab – and have the resultant effect of permanent banning is breathtakingly arrogant on the part of lindenlab. To deny this was the cause of my permanent banning would be a lie. Linden Lab is well aware I do not and have never breached any of the TOS, which indicates that rules are not there for any purpose but decoration.

I thought you just talked about how your whole town was crumbling because of an earthquake that was smaller than one we had here in California a few months ago that caused virtually no damage? That’s not a characteristic of a “strongly westernized country”. (I won’t repeat my argument against her “I didn’t violate the TOS” claim here.) Also, the Lab does have some jurisdiction outside of SL for disclosure. While usually chat logs do not apply, if someone signed an NDA with the Lab and they violated it, they can be taken to court. A similar thing happened here (while she didn’t violate any NDA, she certainly disclosed sensitive information). Hell, she even admitted it herself! Nobody was talking about disclosing confidential information, but she just brought it up out of the blue. (Hint: it was on her mind because it’s the 2nd reason.) Hey, by the way, a little lesson on the law: the right to free speech is limited to that which doesn’t threaten anyone else’s safety, character, or stability. For example, you can’t just go up to a microphone and announce to the whole town that so-and-so fucked their grandma and tortures puppies when they obviously didn’t; that’s called defamation of character. (Hey, look, that’s what you did to the Lab! Cool, they could file charges against you now. Neat!)

So watch out, all you bloggers. DO NOT CRITICISE LINDENLAB. DO NOT WRITE YOUR THOUGHTS SO OTHERS MAY READ. DO NOT EVEN THINK ANYTHING THAT IS ANTI-LINDENLAB.

Oh, please.

I doubt my appeal will be successful, because true to form it has been done in a shoddy manner. I am not surprised.

It won’t be successful because literally everyone hates you, especially at the Lab, and it’s a private grid, so you don’t have the right to keep your account.

So even though I have lodged this appeal, do I really want to be part of a virtual environment where lackeys of the Board of Directors hunt down those who dare to criticise? Do I want to participate in a world where users are abused by bullying standover tactics and unexplained termination of accounts? Linden Lab as a private company can create their own rules as they see fit, however to ignore at least some of the expectations we have of supposed rights if we operate by the rules- to shift the goalposts mid game – reduces their virtual world to nothing more than a game, a game where childish antics reign supreme in a desperate move to force conformity and mediocrity in an ever shrinking user base.

Again, that’s not what happened. You fucked around with them and their systems, so they said to hell with you. Having access to the grid is a privilege, not a right. It can be revoked at any time for no reason at all. Except that there were 3 reasons, you just decided to deceive everyone by removing them from the email and blabbering on trying to defend yourself. Thank god you had comments disabled, because probably only a handful of people will actually believe you this time.

Arabella Steadham

Rezz date: 23rd August 2006

Permaban date: 8th September 2010.

Reason: Thinking

What? WHAT?!? I can’t even begin to try to understand what that means. Thinking? I’m pretty sure this isn’t the Soviet Union here. No, you were banned because…

  1. You disclosed private, sensitive, confidential information, which could be grounds to take you to court, which means you would have to fly all the way out to San Francisco.
  2. You hacked and were an accessory to hacking the client, various grid limitations (permissions, for example), Vivox, etc.
  3. You used an unapproved viewer for illegal means. (Onyx, most likely. Although VLife might also be an option here.)

I hope that clears up any confusion.

It’s Over 2.0

•September 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Emerald is banned across the board. A few hundred Emeraldites are trying in vain to spoof their channel, not knowing that the Lab obviously knows what they’re doing. (You used Emerald for months, and now you’re suddenly using “LOL FUK U LL” Client?)

Arabella Steadham, Lonely Bluebird (Phox), and Fractured Crystal have had their accounts terminated. Discrete Dreamscape hasn’t been cut, but his/her part in the matter wasn’t as serious. Skills Hak hasn’t been banned yet.

It’s over for reals, guys. Those continuing to spoof 2600 will either get banned or just not give a shit within the next month or so. We’ll see how Phoenix ends up.

Oh Wow

•September 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It’s time to do some “debugging” on Arabella’s most recent hateful blog post.

I wonder at why you think your re-defining of the word ‘transparency’ is such a good thing, as it certainly has nothing to do with honesty or integrity. It is a muddy flim of half truths, conniving and deception. I wonder why you have not told the users of Secondlife (50% of whom were Emerald users, by your own statistics) that the new approved TPVs are created by former griefers that you hounded out of secondlife, lock, stock and barrel.

I was under the impression that the 50% statistic was made up by Arabella. (If someone knows otherwise, please correct me!) Nonetheless, after the DDoS, this number undoubtedly went down. In addition, which TPVs are created by former griefers? I was also under the impression that Emerald was made by former griefers as well.

I wonder why you have not announced that Ascent is simply a new name for Interia + nano, two viewers designed to steal passwords and make content theft so much easier. I wonder why you are happy for the devs to be on that team, when you specifically named them to us as not trustworthy and to never be on the Emerald Team. This was during the time you felt you had the right to dictate who should be on TPV teams. Obviously you have self corrupted your own publicly announced standards.

So Fractured and Phox moved to Ascent, or am I missing something? (Note to readers who haven’t understood this: most of what Arabella is posting is a lie to generate anti-LL drama in the last day of Emerald’s existence.)

I am also curious as to why you think the so-called ‘lead dev’ on the Phoenix team is trustworthy, when you know damned well she made her own viewer based on emerald but with permission checks removed. Oh wait – that was only distributed to friends so was ok. But she lied. Your two targets on the Emerald Team never lied about what they had done, either to you or the public.

Come on, like you didn’t actually see that coming. “Oh, Jessica is a whore, she slept with 25 men, and she has AIDS, and her anus smells like rotten cheese. Did I mention she has an IQ of -49, as well?” And wow, now Phox and Fractured never lied, huh? Oh, that’s right. They did. About 10 times, at least. (Most notably with the emkdu disaster, which they obviously lied and admitted to lying about.)

And I assume with your all knowing abilities that you are perfectly aware of the relationship of the 3rd-class devs on the Emergence team with the group you mass banned some months back. Check who funds them.

Gee whiz, I didn’t even know Emergence was being actively developed. Ah right, it’s just LGG, and Arabella continues to disparage his skills and whistleblowing behaviors, as she always has. Snore. Next please.

You know full well that the very same people who hacked into emerald webservers and wrote griefer viewers are listed as compliant and in the newly announced TPVD. So much for your worthless standard of ethics.

What? Where’s the proof? What is she talking about? There aren’t any griefer viewers on the TPVD anymore because that’s not what the TPVD is for. Oh sure, let’s just throw SL Pro on the TPVD. There’s a great idea. And I don’t think Arabella has a higher standard of ethics than a twig.

You are also fully aware that the last emerald release, 2600 was FULLY compliant with the TPV set standards – emkdu is NOT in violation with the GPL and we removed the encoding as required. We did however have the correct distribution licensing from the owner of KDU, something that lindenlab forgot to get themselves.

I lol’d, hard. Okay, so channel spoofing is now not against the TPV Policy. Except that it is, and the Lindens even went out of their way to warn that anyone caught spoofing their channel would be permabanned. We’re ready to believe you!

Two of your chosen targets on the dev team left, the 3rd was not “voted off” (do you really think this is some sort of a game??) yet you still say the most popular viewer on the grid is non compliant. You lie. This is nothing but an ego battle.

YOU LIE!

It’s not a game; it’s a security emergency. If Twitter found out that a developer that uses their API was regularly exploiting it for malicious purposes, what would you think they would do? Leave him alone because his developer friends don’t want him gone? Okay.

I truly wonder at your assumption that your users are stupid and underserving of your respect. It still may surprise you to know that people get mightily offended by your dictatorial attitude, even for a pond sized american company.

… they kind of are. If they’re dull enough to blindly allow you to convert their computer into a botnet to violate private, federal, and international regulations, then yes, they are stupid. And would an Australian company be any different?

I also wonder why you still have people like Joe and Soft employed, when you know as well as I do that their own personal failings caused the ‘breaches’ that you now choose to pin on Emerald. You know these two sanctioned everything that was done, specially at the rather unique LL/Emerald in world meetings.

Uh… so… wait, let me get this straight. Phox deceived Joe and Soft into thinking that emkdu was actually legitimate, so it’s Joe and Soft’s fault that Phox caused a security disaster. That makes sense, y’know, because they always send cops to jail because someone got murdered, because it was the cops’ job to stop the murderer.

Given all this, there is one thing I do know about you. I know that you could never understand why a small team of 12 dedicated voluntary devs WOULD NOT vote off the most crucial member of the Emerald Team, just because you said. I do know that you have zero understanding of what a team really is, so I will enlighten you.

You didn’t follow their instructions. You refused to remove a malicious dev from the team, so you lost access to the grid. Your fault.

A team is a group who work with each other on good days and bad. A team will bounce ideas around, acknowledge the brilliance of its members in their own abilities, support each other in times of crisis, defend its members to the hilt when attacked by outsiders and enjoy the cameraderie that blossoms. A team will always have the back of each of its members, so that any outside bullying will be deflected that more strongly.

A team is only as bad as its most malicious member. In addition, you weren’t “attacked by outsiders”. You had basically entered the outsiders’ kingdom with their permission, then started breaking into people’s houses. You got kicked out.

Once upon a time, I had great hopes and aspirations for what Secondlife could be as it grew and developed. I saw it as an incredibly creative means of communication which if guided right, could far outstrip the many other social networks cropping up. I saw that it could be a perfect method of a remote working environment, allowing companies to flourish around the world with this much lower overhead. I saw it as an amazing way to continue education, with in world facilities for me personally to choose wherever I wanted to have extended education. I also saw it as this wonderful place where people from all over the world could gather together and form lasting bonds with others they would have never met otherwise.

Now, this is what I see. I see a Secondlife future of a backwater virtual environment operated by scrabbling inward-looking managers, governed by mediocre directors who have used age old methods of undermining, backstabbing and incompetence to get where they are. I see an ever-shrinking group of managers scared silly of true intelligence, more interested in chopping it out of their world of blandness and deceit, than fostering, funding and nurturing. I hear your managers screech to me “Yes, lindenlab wants your numbers!” and then deliver an ultimatum we as a team would not fulfill. Because there was only one requirement that was not fulfilled, and you as a bully wanted your ego to reign supreme. But hey, employ yet another PR person to cover up your shambles style management. Sure beats having honest, dedicated and talented staff like those you sacked a few months back. I see now, a puddle rapidly filling with pond scum. Who knows, they may evolve one day. At least you can manipulate them until then though.

Snore. I like the part where she rages.

So – numbers of users logging in with the official viewer had fallen dramatically , so a VP came up with a plan (or perhaps an ex CEO dragged back) – “let’s block Emerald, add a few really dodgy TPVs and people will have little choice. They will HAVE to use 2.0″. Someone probably got a bonus for this (a LL bonus is worth about $US3.00), or more likely ‘luv’ from the luv machine.

Concurrent users aren’t falling. Growth has stopped. There’s a big difference. 50-70k is usually the norm for concurrent users, and has been for at least a year.

And again, she bashes other TPVs. Kirstens is solid. Imprudence is solid. Ascent is still in heavy development. Emergence is your own client, as is Phoenix.

To be perfectly honest with you, lately I’ve been more interested with my own RL tragedies and RL earthquake to take anything that you say or do with any seriousness, let alone give it any credibility. As I write this I look around my city and see smashed buildings, small family businesses devastated, billions of dollars damage to a city of good people. I am watching my next door neighbor’s 80 year old house being pulled down after sustaining too much damage last Saturday night. I’m so glad I live on the other side of the planet to you, Lindenlab. Less chance of me being contaminated and corrupted by your dodgy business practices. How about that VAT scam eh?

You fail to remember that California has some pretty badass earthquakes as well. We’ve been having a lot of aftershocks from that 7.2 back in April, which was bigger than the 7.1 you just sustained. There was also a 6.1 in July, I think. Oh yeah, I forgot, we have these things called building codes, so there was virtually no destruction caused by either one. That’s what’s so cool about living in a civilized country. We can survive some pretty heavy shit, whereas you have buildings crumbling and people dying.

At last week’s meeting with Oz when he threatened all the team with ‘never being employed by a real company or a government agency’ I knew you had lost the plot entirely. Who the hell do you think you are, you dunderheaded buffoons? You might not realise this, but the world and its governments are not dictated to by the likes of you. Not everything is virtual scamming and bullying you know. Poor little Oz, how awful to be a puppet. I guess this is why he couldn’t even keep his promise to us to email the final lindenlab decision, as it would be the ethical the thing to do (he said). I imagine it is easier to thrust a blade into the back of your perceived enemy without any notice huh.

There’s this neat new invention called the Interweb. Employers usually check it before they offer you a job. And you certainly won’t be hired by any government agency with this track record of associating with hackers.

To the users of Emerald Viewer, I am truly sorry that lindenlab has chosen to do this to you. Good luck! I will not be using any of the new TPV announced today – I guess I know too much of their history, I’d rather my accounts were safe :). And at least my integrity is intact.

I guess I know too much of yours, and I won’t be using any new fork you will no doubt start. And at least my personal data is intact.

Emerald To Be Blocked, Lindens Issue Spoofing Warning

•September 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

An email was sent out to all users recently by the Lab. It is a summary of a recent SL blog post, which has been reproduced below.

As of 10am PT Wednesday, September 8, the Emerald Viewer will be blocked from logging in to Second Life as a result of violations of our Policy on Third Party Viewers. Residents who have been using any version of the Emerald Viewer will need to use a different Viewer to access Second Life. You can download the official Second Life Viewer, developed by Linden Lab, here. Or you can learn more about alternative Viewers, developed by third parties, here. There are several new Viewers listed in the TPV Directory, so there are many alternatives available to you.

We take Residents’ privacy, safety, and security very seriously and will take action to enforce the policies that help protect it. As our CEO, Philip Rosedale, has blogged about, we recently removed the Emerald Viewer from our Third-Party Viewer Directory due to violations of our Policy on Third-Party Viewers.

Since then, we have been in communication with the Emerald development team and have requested several changes in order to remedy violations of our policy, including changes necessary to meet our privacy requirements, and to address GPL license violations. Unfortunately, the team was unable to comply within a stipulated time frame. As a result, we have decided to block logins from the Emerald Viewer in order to protect our Residents. All versions of the Emerald Viewer will be blocked from logging in to Second Life as of tomorrow at 10am. Please be aware that attempting to circumvent our blocking to access Second Life with a banned Viewer is a violation of the Policy on Third-Party Viewers and may result in the loss of one’s account.

Phoenix Viewer

•September 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

EDIT: The Phoenix Viewer may be accessible by Phox. Use it solely at your own risk. While it offers more safety than Emerald, it is not the safest TPV available.

Jessica has started the Phoenix Viewer project (as expected) that, at this time, is just a port of a safe Emerald version. It’s currently up and running, and I’ve checked it out. While I can’t vouch for its safety (because I’m too lazy to actually check anything), it’s pretty much an Emerald clone, plain and simple, except that it’s going to be maintained, unlike Emergence. There are a few things that need work (the logo, for example, is horrible) but, overall, it’s just Emerald. It works well, and the devs are mostly reputable. The notice sent by Jessica is quoted below:

From the ashes… the Phoenix has risen.
My name is Jessica Lyon. My goal during my time with the Emerald Project, was always to give the users what they want. That goal has never and will never change. I’m very happy to announce, it continues…
A few days ago, I assembled a team of developers to work on a new viewer. Some who were originally Emerald developers, some who were not. All are respected reputable residents in the SecondLife Community. The goal was simple, to provide users with what they want and do it transparently.
I’m am very proud to announce the launch of the Phoenix Viewer. This project, has started off simple, with it’s initial release of a safe clone of the Emerald viewer. Users want Emerald features, you shall have them. We have big plans to expand to the Snowstorm project as well. We have already applied for the TPVD, to which we have no doubt we will be accepted in a timely fashion. We have already started making in world groups for support, (Phoenix Viewer Support), beta testing etc. There is much more to do… however…
This Viewer is ready for use by you, right now!
For this project, I insist on, and everyone on this team insists on 100% public transparency in EVERYTHING we do. We have already established a public IRC Dev chat, public repo and are working on much much more.
Our developers are; (in alphabetical order), Dakun Flux, Dimentox Travanti, Jessica Lyon, Kitty Barnett, LordGregGreg Back, Techwolf Lupindo, Tonya Souther, Vortex Saito, Wickman Gibbs, with more to come.
Our Lead Developers are: Dimentox Travanti, LordGregGreg Back, Techwolf Lupindo, Tonya Souther.
Ed Merryman will be leading our support team: Aleia Sapphire, bee Baroque,  Damian Zhaoying, Ed Merryman,  Marybeth Oceanlane,  Mindy Spiritor,  Nisa Maverick, PixelProphet Lane,  Toy LaFollette, Vortex Saito, Whirly Fizzle, Wolfspirit Magic.
Our website is still in progress, however we have up the required links. http://phoenixviewer.com .
More information here http://www.phoenixviewer.com:3000/projects/phoenixviewer/wiki
Downloads. http://www.phoenixviewer.com:3000/projects/phoenixviewer/wiki/Betadownloads .
Public repo http://www.phoenixviewer.com:3000/projects/phoenixviewer/repository
I am very pleased and excited about this project, and I hope that you will be too.

Sincerely,
Jessica Lyon and the Phoenix Viewer Development Team.

My personal blog: http://jessicalyons.wordpress.com