How About Some Current Lindens Giving Interviews?

Earlier this month Buzzfeed ran an article entitled: Tech Confessional The Secrets Of Second Life. The article has a byline of:

A former employee of Linden Labs, the creator of the virtual world, talks about walking in on users having (virtual) sex, being a Second Life celebrity, and why it was such an inspiring job. Also, furries!

Oh here we go, I thought, even down to the Linden Labs faceplam, but no, the article is extremely positive about Second Life and although its fairly brief it manages to capture the essence of excitement about the way Second Life broke through boundaries by allowing users to create the world … oh and walking in on furries having sex!

The former Linden Lab employee was a design lead on the marketing team and talks of how exciting it was to work for Linden Lab during the so called Golden Age, before that waned and he eventually left to form his own company in 2010, but he has no regrets and still feels Second Life is a wonderful concept.

There’s also a comment from former Linden, Jeska, in the comments section, who also still sounds positive about Second Life. The shift in culture at Linden Lab seems to coincide with growth, or aims at growth, you do get the sense that some of the fun left the building as the company matured but that’s really not unusual, more bosses, more procedures, more meetings, more focus.

The thing is, the only Linden who seems to talk to the media is Rodvik and whereas that’s good, he talks to the media in places other than the Second Life blog.

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European Central Bank Cast Their Eyes At Virtual Currencies

Daniel RavenNest has started a thread over at SLUniverse with a link to a PDF report regarding virtual currencies, in their report they use two case studies, Bitcoin and Second Life. The PDF report can be read here. The report has misconceptions and inaccuracies in the Second Life section but I must admit that I get the heebie jeebies at anything EU related with Second Life, when Linden Lab introduced VAT to comply with an EU directive on electronic services I contacted MEP’s, MP’s, The UK government, The UK tax office and had communications with EU officials. They completely ignored the fact that the legislation they had introduced actually created the issue that the legislation had been introduced to prevent inside Second Life, namely Europeans being put at a competitive disadvantage due to tax laws. That such a basic concept went over their heads, gives me little faith in their investigations into virtual currencies.

However there are some valid concerns and although people may find claims of money laundering far fetched, it is feasible and it’s not just Europe that has concerns over this, The FBI have apparenly had similar concerns too.

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Telling Tales

I was listening to Digital Human on Radio 4 on the way home from work this afternoon and this week’s edition was about how storytelling is changing, rather interestingly one of the people interviewed claimed that storytelling is taking a step backwards to older times with people telling stories they’ve heard from others in different mediums, similar to how stories would move from place to place as people travelled but now travel can be a digital step, rather than a physical one.

A lot of the episode was about something I’ve never heard of called Slender Man, which has apparently got a large following. However another part of the episode involved Alison Norrington, who has in the past used Second Life as part of a transmedia storytelling project, that was back in 2007 so it isn’t new. Transmedia is using different formats to tell your story, each one delivering a unique piece of the project, so for example, in Alison’s case she used blogs, emails, Second Life, YouTube etc. to tell the story, rather than having the whole story on each format … I think I’ve got that right!

I don’t think Alison is in Second Life anymore, maybe The Blarney Stone was too much drunken debauchery for her, but the project and use of Second Life was an interesing concept.

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Internal LSL HTTP Servers Could Do With DNS

LSL HTTP Server is a lovely concept, unfortunately it has drawbacks. This works great when you want information from external servers, but it’s a pain when you want information from inworld objects. I’ve been working on making a notecard giver that you update centrally and it updates your remote boards, HTTP is a great way of doing this, the only problem is, URL’s are temporary.

What we really need is for these addresses to take advantage of DNS for simple tasks, so instead of the address being an IP address, it is something along the lines of http://www.secondlife.com/region_name/objectAddress. This is why DNS is such a great concept.

Currently I have to use a system of updating my remote boards using llEmail to inform them of the new URL. This means that I need to store the extenal objects email addresses and use llEmail to update them, this is not only cumbersome, it’s a waste of resouces as I have to communicate with a system that Linden Lab themselves recognises as having serious bottleneck issues.

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Are CBS Clamping Down On IP Infringements In Second Life?

Over in the merchants forum Steve Atlanta has created a thread claiming that CBS are clamping down on copyright violations within Second Life, the thread can be read here. CBS have every right to do this, being as they own the intellectual property rights along with their partners.

If you’re selling Star Trek material without permission from CBS then you’re treading on very thin ice. Where matters are always a little more complicated, is when you’re producing items for roleplay. Insignias are probably out of bounds and you should have a disclaimer that you’re not official somewhere in your covenant or parcel, but general roleplay is usually good for the franchise and is usually encouraged.

We’ve been here before, Battlestar Galactica roleplayers in Second Life felt the wrath of IP infringement and were then given the green light to carry on as long as they played by the rules. I seem to recall a similar issue with Dune roleplay.

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