Third Party Viewer New Policies …or …

… Who is left on Linden Lab`s Who-To-Fuck-Over list…

So  as many  might  know by  now Linden Lab has come out with additions to  the  current  policy that any  Third Party Viewer – TPV – has to follow for them to  be on  Linden  Lab`s official  list of allowed viewers in  the Second Life virtual reality grid.

It has  two  points:

  • Privacy issues
  • New Features in  viewers

First off the privacy  issues. Lets see…. so  Linden Lab are now really concerned about our privacy. Yea that’s rich, this is actually  the same company that we had to  yell and scream  at  for months  before they took  action  in  the RedZone disaster. You  know the  handy  little gadget that grabbed you  IP and  all  your SL information. Also  the same company  that  still  “allow” other similar products to  still  function within  the Second Life grid, CDS being one of them. Actually  I  myself brought this issue  to  Jack  Lindens attention  at his Office Hours a whole year  before shit hit the  fan and it went  big in the public.

Somehow I’m  not really  buying their concern here.

This is what I  see: The  online status is just a drama queen  subject. LL is buying into  this and  it’s just …. well… stupid, is really  the word for it.

Now that be it as it may. Forget  the merchants that now has to  change  tons of products that will  from  next week  be broken cos some Drama Queens got their way  by stomping their foot.

The second issue is the  big deal breaker …. New Features in the various  viewers …

In short this implementation will effectively  cut the various  viewer devs balls off… tie their hands and force them  to be under the Linden  Lab  thumb. Contrary  to  some beliefs this is actually not a good thing.

No more innovation, no more variety .. why? well let me put it like this: If this policy had been in  effect  from  the beginning  we wouldn’t have had Kristen for Machinima makers, Phoenix for  Builders. We wouldn’t have  RLV, we wouldn’t have multiple attachment, we wouldn’t have multiple  clothing layers, we wouldn’t have … the list is endless. Most of these features were hacks to begin with  yes but they  worked and they  pushed Linden Lab  into  a position to have to  implement them in  their  viewer.

With  this policy these days are now over ..  Linden  Lab  has put their foot down. Why  they  have done this now and not just  shut the  TPVs down, which  would, lets face it,  have been  a lot less dramaesque. This decision  has just lead to  drama, speculations, head-meet-desk, pulling hair etc.

As always the  Linden  Cheerleaders have come out, they  always do  at times like these.  Linden  Lab  can  apparently  do  no  wrong and they are  mainly  focussing on  the  first part and  not looking at the nasty  parts. Their main weapon of choice when it comes to the privacy  issue is …. Emerald …. now I’m  well  aware that  the old Emerald viewer was used in  a malicious way that said  how long can  it be  beaten  up  for the  stupidity  of one dev… one  kid  with a grudge that went  ballistic and fucked up. The Emerald is dead, gone and so  tainted that no respectable grid would ever touch  it with a ten foot pole. It’s over, done and dusted. Frankly  I’m sick and tired of  it being dragged out of a mothridden  old bag every time  TPVs are under debate. Get over it already.

If you (used in a general manner here) think  for even  a moment  that your information  is safe by  using the Linden  Lab  viewer only  your making a HUGE  mistake. If your really  that scared that someone will  grab  your  information when walking around in  Second Life or any other grid for that matter I  suggest you  turn  your comp off the internet  completely. Right now as it is even  going to  a website can  put you  at risk  of having your  information grabbed and stored.

Linden Lab knew very  well  what  gadgets like  RedZone, CDS and others similar were and are doing  within the Second Life  grid. Yes they  took  RZ down  but the rest? no  they  are still  out there. It took  one  coder  to  trip these  gadgets, Sione Lomu, and it took several  months for  Linden Lab  to  agree to  even  put that patch  in  their viewer. Even  that isn’t  perfect ..  YOU have to  be vigilant still. I don’t know if that patch  is in  the V3 even I’m just assuming it is.

So  in  conclusion do I  think   Linden  Lab  have our interests at heart? Not for one single moment, not one  fraction of a millisecond. Their whole history  proves without a shadow of a doubt that  this isn’t the case.

Linden  Lab  is a business, they are a company  that has  investors, these investors have not put their money into  Linden  Lab  out of the goodness of their hearts. They  expect a return  on  their money  and  they are   holding  Linden Lab in a tight  grip.

So  when  I  see  / hear  the Linden  employees staying stuff like “Give us a chance,  Give us the benefit of the doubt” I  get  angry  cos what they are  doing right there is  tapping into  the  history  of Second Life and the general  user conception  of  Second Life  / Linden  Lab  being a “community”. Users may  have formed their own  communities with in the grid  but Linden  Lab  is not on  that path  and hasn’t been  for many  many  years … I  would say  ever since M Linden  came to  the company.

Now I  know  people will  now turn  and say  “Oh  but  Rodvik is CEO  now …  he gets it …  he understands us … he will  make everything better”

No, if you  truly  belive that your setting yourselves up for  heartbreak. Just because  Rodvik logs into  Second Life and  can  rezz a box don’t mean  he gets it. Rodvik  is a gamer at heart it’s really  that simple.

M Linden was focussed on big corporations

Rodvik Linden is focussed on games

Both was/is under the  rule of the  Board who in turn  answers to  the investors.

Simple chain  of command.

So when  I  see a corporation  trying to manipulate  their users/customers into  having them  belive  they  are  just  working for them  and  asking them  to  give them  just a little more time to  prove that. I  get angry. I don’t like bullies and I  despise  manipulative bullies.

Listening to  the  recording from  the TPV policy change meeting I  heard  Oz Linden being condescending and a bully. To make it worse and cement my  suspicions about Oz Linden I  was reading Tateru Ninos blog post on  the  subject and in  the comments on page 5 Latif Khalif, Developer of Radegast said:

One of the first public meetings after he got hired, he made clear there is no room for discussion. It’s Linden Lab’s platform so there is no use arguing against their decisions on say JIRA. “It’s our JIRA, you lose!” were his exact words.

There is not a meeting with TPV developers where he doesn’t come with condescending remarks like (paraphrasing) “we are adults here at the Lab, and do it properly with QA and all, unlike you kids that ship any old crap”. This is especially infuriating since one of the most often cited thing about why people prefer TPVs over the official viewer is their stability.

Above is a good example of how Linden Lab  really  sees their  users / customers. Even  people who give their time for FREE to  help Linden Labs users improve their time spend in  the Second Life grid. These developers are not being paid by Linden  Lab  or the people who are using the various viewers.

Now you  may  say “But Second Life  belongs to  Linden Lab  and they can  do  with  it as they  like” Yes I agree wholeheartedly. However … and this is a big one. Linden  Lab  needs to  be  110% clear on  what they  really  want to do  and  communicate that to  their users / customers. What is going on  now is they are  trying to  ride  several  horses in  one go  and  think  that  we are to stupid to  notice  their pants being ripped apart and their arse are showing for all  to  see.

Last thing I  wanna touch  on  is  I’ve seen  people  mention  stability. Now let’s get this absolutely  straight, Even  I  as a complete  tech dunce  knows this. Viewers can  not  mess with  the  grid stability. Viewers connect to  the  servers that  provide them  with a code  so  you  can  do  certain  things in  a virtual  world.  If you’re experiencing an unstable world it comes from different sources. Servers, viewer that is dependent on  your system ie computer power, broadband speed.

Now Second life is approx 10 years old and in that time they  have been  patching and glueing  on  old hardware.

So re the viewer. The  choice of viewer I make for my  experience in Second Life or any  other grid  will  NOT  affect  anyone but me!

I do  love Second Life. I love the  original concept of it. I  don’t however  like the company behind it. I will keep  my  account in  Second Life,  I  will  log on when  I  want to  and with  the viewer of MY choice but I  will  never invest into the grid ever again!

2 Responses to “Third Party Viewer New Policies …or …”
  1. Leanna says:


  2. Sy Beck says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. This effectively halts any major innovations that users want on the client side and funnels everybody down a path of LL’s choosing in the future.

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