О деньгах, и как с ними бороться

The post is in Russian, and describes in detail the manipulations you need to perform to exchange L$ for Russian roubles and back. The only effective mechanism found so far involves creation of two bank accounts in the same bank and the use of intermediary L$ exchange services like VirWox, because PayPal discriminates against it’s Russian users and will not allow to send them money.

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Business messenger

There’s lots of non-graphical clients for Second Life out there, starting with AjaxLife and friends and ending with Metabolt and friends.

And all of them are better than nothing when you can’t use a real viewer, but none of them were, in my opinion, satisfactory for what I would want a lite viewer for – and for what, I believe, most people who actually need one would want one for.

That is, customer support, when I’m not capable or can’t be bothered to start up a real viewer.

Almost all of the existing light client offerings suffer from specific shortcomings:

  • None of them saves logs. Dunno about you, but for me this is a showstopper, because I rely on logs instead of memory to know who had what kind of problems and when. Without them, I would have problems remembering who all of those people are.
  • Most of them include functions patently useless for the task of support — good if you want to run a model bot, or camp, but not really good for customer support — and are getting more and more bloated and jumbled.
  • Very few of them actually behave anything like an instant messager, which is what I’d like most.

Well, here’s one that does.

SLiteChat is still a work in progress, but it’s fast progress, and it fits my expected use case better than any to date. It’s a neater and cleaner job than most, as well, it runs fine in Ubuntu on my Eee PC, and is developed for all three major platforms (Windows, Mac Os X and Linux) simultaneously.

Comes with Rika Seal of Approval. 🙂

Animation organiser v1.5

I’ve just updated the animation organiser. New in this version:

  • More photography-oriented features, including the ability to let others switch poses.
  • Some obscure bugs only appearing when a large number of units is used at once fixed.
  • Units now detect each other more reliably.
  • You no longer need to rez the box to check for updates.

The unit is still completely compatible with previous releases, to upgrade it, just use the sendall button to send all animations from an old unit into a new one.

As usual, it’s available in my inworld shop or on XStreetSL. Updates will be sent to you upon rezzing the box of your old version, but just in case, I’ll check my customer lists and send an update directly…

On growth and camping

Recent clarifications from Linden Research involve saying that camping is also a form of cheating on traffic, and is likewise prohibited. While it still remains to be seen that the biggest bot farms are dismantled, and I don’t honestly believe this policy will be enforced seriously1 there’s a debate on whether camping is ‘beneficial for the newbies’ which I’d like to drop my two pence into.

Now, let us consider… Discounting the points about charity spirit,2 and that in a normal camping setup, the fact that you pay campers for the use of their bodies to inflate traffic, why exactly is it economically beneficial to give newbies money?

It is commonly argued that newbies cannot get money in other ways, which is, in many cases, perfectly true. Even though purchasing L$ is easy, it requires a card,3 and often costs more money than many people are willing to spend on what they think is a game in this global economic downturn. So it’s no question that in at least some cases, the necessity to acquire money inworld is unavoidable for a new resident, and the opportunity to do so is generally desirable.

However, where is that necessity to give them money for nothing?4 Naturally, it is in the interest of established residents that new economic agents appear and increase the value supply. However, ‘increase the value supply’ is a key point here. This is a notion both economic and cultural, because a person can contribute value to an economically driven culture of Second Life in many ways — by increasing money supply, by creating things, by performing useful work, or even just by being a good conversationalist.

Camping clearly doesn’t empower new residents for anything of the sort, because it just rotates the money endlessly in the system, and takes away time better spent doing other, more productive things. It’s only practical benefit is artificially inflating traffic, which is now forbidden.

The real question is, what can we replace it with? Just what exactly can we pay money for to people who do not yet have significant skills in Second Life5 and need to acquire them? Modeling? That’s no less boring than camping and it’s a job actually best left to bots.

So, any ideas?


  

  1. They just don’t have the resources, they’d have to outsource that too.
  2. I don’t believe in blanket charity. Blanket charity is for when you can’t be bothered to actually help.
  3. Cards, debit or credit are not at all common in some parts of the world — for example, in Russia, everyone pays cash, and ordering something on the net normally results in a courier which takes cash on delivery after you have been given a chance to test if the merchandise is delivered. Cards aren’t very trusted or desired. And PayPal doesn’t consider Russia a valid country and won’t send money to accounts registered or logging in from Russia. I imagine there are lots of other countries like that.
  4. Please don’t confuse that with freebies. As I have already described multiple times, freebies are potential profit traded for exposure, and as such have a very different rationale behind them.
  5. With the learning curve and almost complete absence of documentation, replaced by dumb tutorials, it’s a wonder anyone knows anything at all. Second Life has no knowledge, it has lore.

It’s you and me against the world

So when do we attack?

  • When I released the Treasure Hunt Radar, it started picking up publicity and sales, and then, Second Life had a major grid crash.
  • When I released the Lucky Chair Detector plugin, it just started taking off and then, another grid crash happened, though a smaller one.
  • Now there’s Designer Showcase Network. And three days into it’s operation, the server just keels over with no explanation or anything, causing the momentum it accumulated to severely decrease.

I think this universe has something against me.

Well, the universe will be very sorry later!

DSN: Service outage

Can’t rely on ANYTHING. Particularly, not on anything hosted in the US, apparently, because it’s the second time this year, but with a different hosting company.

Server keeled over with unusual symptoms (I’m pretty sure it was nothing I did — filesystems don’t normally just go and become read only). Trouble ticket with the hosting company filed.

If there’s no data corruption when it’s back up, everything will resume exactly as if nothing happened. If there is, service will be restored as soon as possible.

I wish my connection to overseas wasn’t so flaky, so that I could run it myself under my own table. 😦

Update: Back up. Their only response was ‘Fixed’. Grrr…

Bloody LL!

missing

Notice anything odd? Apparently, Linden Research doesn’t, because it’s been like this since the 9th of May. It’s not a glitch, the map tile files are actually missing. Normally I wouldn’t care, but the planetarium code relies on the presence of map tiles to determine which grid coordinates to check for sim names.

As such, I had to upload the map from the 8th today, and it’ll stay like that until they upload a fresh set of tiles to Amazon S3 service again. If by the next Monday they don’t, I’ll rewrite the code to brute force the coordinate numbers.

Can’t rely on ANYTHING with these people.