It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

EDIT: A reputable source from within Linden Lab hast just informed me that Phox, Skills, Fractured, Discrete, and all of their alt accounts (along with perhaps Arabella and some other devs, but that’s not yet verified) will be banned, and CDS will be removed from the grid by means of god deletion (i.e. CDS units will just disappear), despite the dev’s claims otherwise.

EDIT: TOBSDA released two more videos showing how Arabella and Phox are conspiring against Jessica and LL. It’s just… I’m not going to comment on this. It’s just laughably horrid. Watch it if you want. The official Linden Lab response to Emerald’s closure (that Arabella and Phox laughed at in the 2nd video) is as follows:

“We have been clear with the Emerald development team about the changes that must be made to their software and team in order to address their violations of our Third-Party Viewer Policy and to become compliant with the GPL licensing terms, and we have given them a reasonable deadline for making the most urgent of these necessary changes. Should they fail to make these changes, we may need to block Emerald Viewers from logging into Second Life to protect the privacy, safety, and security of Second Life Residents, as Philip laid out in his recent blog post. If that happens, Residents would be alerted via the official Second Life blog and email notification to current Emerald users.”

So, the Emerald Project is officially over. While this should come as a surprise to no one, it does come with a few extra tidbits, which I will take the liberty of debunking for you for what may be the final post here.

“Linden Lab has made demands of the team that are impossible to meet. […] The final demand was to ‘delete’ 3 key members of our team. While making this demand, Linden Lab was quite aware that this was effectively the guillotine to the project.” – Arabella Steadham

The request was completely possible and would have resolved the entire fiasco. I myself would have even given Emerald some props for kicking out – guess who – Phox, Skills, and Discrete. (At the time of the request, it was assumed Fractured had seriously left the project. Once the Google Code repository was opened to the public, it was revealed he was still an owner.) However, Arabella once again shifted the blame and orchestrated a pseudo-revolt that resulted in all three developers being labeled “critical to the project” and thus refused to kick them off, despite the fact that replacements were readily available.

“There will be one final version of the Emerald Viewer released here later today; that is, the viewer we’ve been working on for the past six months.” – Arabella Steadham

What’s not hinted at here is that the final version will be released by Phox. Yes, the clever guy who was responsible for well over half of the previous disasters will be the one to compile and release the final Emerald viewer.

I’m going to go ahead and say this as a warning: DO NOT USE THIS VIEWER. I know many Emerald fans will, but it’s blatantly obvious that Phox will most likely throw in some “extra functionality” in the terms of malware, backdoors, botnets, etc. that will not be found for quite some time. Again, use this viewer at your own risk.

Phox has already confirmed that he will be adding channel spoofing, which is against the TPV Policy. This means that if Emerald is banned, users can spoof their viewer ID and report that it’s a different viewer. This is a huge, huge problem, and will – hopefully – ultimately result in a change to the TPV verification system.

From the YouTube video (if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing):

“At this point in time, I don’t have a problem saying… make it evil!” – Unknown

“Well, the only change that’s being made is I’m adding a setting so that users can pick the channel… the channel is basically how the viewer identifies itself to Linden Lab and, by default, the way it’s released, it’s gonna be exactly like a regular Emerald, but if a user wants to go and change the channel so that the viewer tells Linden Lab that it’s something else, they can do that. And the only reason I’m doing that is because of Linden Lab’s threats to block Emerald, I want to leave it up to the users if they use Emerald or not.” – Phox

“There’s nothing Linden Lab can do to prevent Emerald.” – Phox

Yep. There you go. Even in death, Phox continues to laugh in the Lab’s face. (Arabella continues to moderate comments to remove the negative ones as well.)

“Because there was no consensus amongst the developers about whether or not to comply with Linden Lab’s requirement to remove three core developers, Lonely Bluebird offered to leave the Emerald project only if the team voted for this. Rather than wait for any kind of vote, a hostile takeover was attempted by a portion of the Dev Team trying to gain unauthorized access to the emerald servers without knowledge of the others (including me, the server owner).” – Arabella Steadham

It amuses me that they actually voted on this. Okay, guys, let’s think about this… we can either vote to have them stay and get our viewer banned into eternity, or we can kick them and have a fighting chance at coming back with a relatively clean slate. Hmm… I think we’ll have a vote, it seems only fair.

Similarly, where is the proof that someone attempted a “hostile takeover”, and what purpose would it serve to just gain access to the Emerald servers? Assuming Arabella legitimately owned the servers, couldn’t she just call up the ISP and have them switch ownership back to her if somehow they took ownership? It’s either a lie or an overstatement; your choice.

“the vote eventually took place, with a minority even voting. This few that voted did not all vote in favour of removing Lonely Bluebird. The vote took place after the takeover failed, for forms sake” – Arabella Steadham

I don’t particularly understand this. First of all, the grammar’s all fucked up. Second, was there a majority? Third, what was the final tally? Fourth, how was the vote conducted? Fifth, why even vote?

“Linden Lab has made it abundantly clear and in fact stated quite bluntly that they want Emerald numbers, which at this point in time number around 50% of total Second Life logins. These have been the stats for some months now.” – Arabella Steadham

What a load of shit! In the tweet.tv interview, they claimed it was 20-30%. Now it’s suddenly 50%. Let me think about this… AFTER all of this drama occurs and everything’s revealed to be malicious, suddenly Emerald use doubles? I’m inclined to call bullshit on this one. In any case, it’s just a line of shit to scare Linden Lab that if they ban Emerald officially, 50% of logins will end. It will most likely be around 3-5%, and do you know why? Because people who understand Emerald understand that there are other TPVs, and they can just switch to them. It’s not that difficult.

“The primary issue that resulted in the demise of Emerald was the attempted and failed takeover of the project, far in advance of any requirements deadline set by Lindenlab. This hostile takeover was initiated by Jessica Lyon.” – Arabella Steadham

Jessica actually made a rebuttal to this, so go ahead and check it out. It basically proves that Arabella is once more shifting the blame and demonizing those with good intentions.

Jessica also posted the original requirements from Linden Lab (something Arabella and the rest of the Emerald team has blatantly refused to do).

“As at 2.00pm SLT today, an attempt was made to pervert the in world open Emerald viewer group by a known griefer using the account Greenlife Emerald. As a consequence of this, I tried to close the group down. Unfortunately, I could not do this in time, so many will now no doubt read disturbing notices put out by Greenlife Emerald.” – Arabella Steadham

Hence, you keep your account passwords secure.

“Please note, no other group has the legal right to use the name Emerald or Emerald Viewer.” – Arabella Steadham

Yes… yes, they can. In fact, I’m going to send a notice in my group using the words “Emerald Viewer”, and I’d like to see the USPTO try to stop me. It’s not yet a registered trademark, anyways.

This blog will be updated if any new info comes in on the final Emerald release. Otherwise, it’s been great fun, and thank you all for helping to save Second Life from the hands of these pushy, malicious script kiddies.

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~ by NJenkins on September 1, 2010.