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Darleen Emerald

Silence from Lindens on Excessive Bandwidth ?

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Mastro/Oskar...Could you please give the paying SL residents an update on the current excessive Bandwidth disaster?

Any estimate of when  we can expect  a new server version to correct this?   (this coming week? or?)

Any recommendations  of how to minimize the excessive data rate  that  connecting  to SL is causeing ?

Many residents are hitting their internet providers CAPPED monthly DATA LIMIT in less than 2 days!

Possibly this is related to idling Sims  when no residents are present?

Looking forward to hearing at least something........

 

An informed resident is a happy resident   :matte-motes-angry:

 

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Unfortunately, because all of SL's data is stored server side and not client side, bandwith will always be an issue. If you have a low cap, the Internet isn't for you.

That said, the client cache and server speeds need serious improvement.

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You're right, I was unaware of that particular issue. But then this is LL we're talking about. I'm surprised we don't see that kind of bandwidth use more often.

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Darleen Emerald wrote:

Mastro/Oskar...Could you please give the paying SL residents an update on the current excessive Bandwidth disaster?

Any estimate of when  we can expect  a new server version to correct this?   (this coming week? or?)

Any recommendations  of how to minimize the excessive data rate  that  connecting  to SL is causeing ?

Many residents are hitting their internet providers CAPPED monthly DATA LIMIT in less than 2 days!

Possibly this is related to idling Sims  when no residents are present?

Looking forward to hearing at least something........

 

An informed resident is a happy resident   :matte-motes-angry:

 

I've been spending quite a bit of time researching this and here's what I've found out.

1) It's caused when your draw distance hits a neigboring region that's diagonally to the south of the one you're in - i.e. southwest or southeast. For some reason these regions start sending information about their status over and over at speeds that don't respect the bandwidth throttle you've set in the viewer.

2) It does not occur on a region that doesn't have neighbors diagonally to the south - i.e. stand-alone regions or the bottom strip of a cluster of regions.

3) It does not occur if your draw distance and direction of view dont' hit the sims to the southwest or southeast of you.

4) It happens on all server channels - Magnum has nothing to do with it and probably never did. It was first noticed by someone on a Magnum region and people hadn't worked out exactly what was happening so it LOOKED like a problem with Magnum. There is no way it could have "spread" from Magnum this week because the new code on Magnum wasn't promoted to the rest of the grid.

5) Turning dynamic pathfinding on or off doesnt' seem to make a difference. Mainland regions with pathfinding on but no southern neighbors show no increase in bandwidth; private regions that have pathfinding off but have neigbors to the southwest or southeast do (i.e.. the Caledon sims.)

6) The excess information being sent appears to relate to the physical description of the sim. It happens with empty sims as well as occupied ones.

7) This seemed to pop up quite recently - I live on a Magnum sim and did quite a bit of experimenting in the Magnum sandboxes before pathfinding was rolled to the rest of the grid and didn't notice anything like it. It still doesn't occur in the pathfinding test regions on the Aditi beta grid.

8) At the server beta user group on Thursday Maestro said there's a fix being tested on the Aditi beta grid now.

 

 

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I said this in another thread on the same topic but it bears repeating. While it is unfortunate that this bandwidth issue had occurred, anyone with a bandwidth cap who isn't monitoring thier usage shares the blame for exceeding their cap; in fact they bear the lions share of the blame since LL has to way to know anyone's cap.

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Cincia

No way am I going to let that comment go unchallenged. 

The excessive bandwidth issue is purely a Linden Lab issue, they created it, they can and must cure it.  It is far more than unfortunate.  There are many users of Secondlife who, even if they do not have capped net useage, find their bandwidth capacity vastly reduced once a cetain amount of data has been downloaded.  The policies are often termed "fair usage" limits.

Now to say that those users hammered by this issue are largely to blame for their inability to connect to SL for more than a few minutes a month is incredibly short-sighted.  The bandwidth consumed due to this issue can be 100 times the normal SL bandwidth, no one can budget for such a change.  One may well monitor the amount one downloads when one knows that one is downloading, but I doubt greatly whether many actually monitor their bandwidth use when they are streaming.  Also many folk would consider the bandwidth setting they enter in preferences would filter excessive bandwidth being used...it does not.

Just what the cause is remains to be seen.  I have my own thoughts, expressed elsewhere.  But to say that SL users are the principal culprits in their inability to use SL in its current state is just plain wrong.

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Cincia - I'm sorry but that really isn't an acceptable comment. Why on earth would people who have been in world for 3, 4, 5 years or more suddenly have to check their banwidth usage where they never have before? My bf happened to check his hte other day to find he'd used his monthly allowance in just 3 days. How is he to take any blame for that? Lindens have yet to make an official statement and this and it could cost them dear.

 

If it's not resolved then those affected will have one option - and to leave and take their membership and tier payments elsewhere.

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Thank you Lilibet and Ayesha  for respondimg to the other persons comment.:matte-motes-asleep-2:

I was so angry reading that response that I dared not reply.

Thanks to Theresa for your informative response.

Linden silence continues......

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Theresa..could it be related to "fixing"   PATHBUG-175

I was looking for something related that had  been "fixed"   about the time that  the excessive BW started.

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It was just as wrong when you said it in the other thread as it is here.  This is solely a SL problem.  Why would we the users suddenly expect SL to spike traffic to an unprecedented amount.  I am sure users who have a cap have calculated how much bandwidth SL usese.  Are you saying they should do that each and every time they log on??  Thats just silly and you know it or should at least.

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They think they have found the problem. The fix is likely to go into one of the release channels next Wednesday (8/22). If things go well it will roll to the main grid 8/29.

Responsibility... well read the ToS... 

When you sign up for a capped service it is up to you to monitor your usage. That you haven't and have gotten comfortable your usage was within acceptable parameters and would remain so does not shift responsibility or liability.

There is no doubt the Lab will have to fix the problem. Nor any doubt they created problem and it surprised you. But, you are still the one in the end that is going to have to pay the bill and/or suffer reduced service. The ToS protects the Lab. They would only have to pay if you can prove they were negligant or willfully and knowingly caused the problem. That they made a mistake does not negate the ToS.

While Cincia uses the word 'blame' and upsets you, Cincia is technically right. I suspect if a court were deciding the issue you would be much more at risk of being found negligent than the Lab. The Lab made a mistake. You weren't paying attention.

What you do next determines if you are part of the entitlement generation, that needs nanny state or someone to take of them, or have accepted responsibility for yourself and actions... or lack of them.

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Oh for God's sake, Nalates

"Entitlement generation"?  "Nanny state"?  When will you accept that The Lab has a duty not to change its parameters outside of SL?  This bandwidth issue goes way beyond the scope of ToS.  Now I freely admit that I don't know what the US law is on this issue, but it is certainly not the same as European Law.

Frankly the sycophantic arrogance and Bull-headedness that you and Cincia display sickens me. 

 

Now I really should have taken a walk in the night air beore posting this, but ************!

 

ETA: The financial penalties suffered by users over this issue are, as I say, quite beyond the scope of SecondLife's ToS, but there is one other matter that really ought to have The Lab's attention.  If it is pushing out all that data, as Qie Niangao astutely points out elsewhere, they are paying their own ISP handsomely for the privilege.  Now, that hits them where it hurts - their profits.  Of course if they force avatars off SL then they reduce their own bills for outputting data.  So; does Macchiaveli work at Linden Lab?

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Join the real world. People noticed this problem because they DID check their usage. Is it really up to them that they cannot now log on to the grid, a grid which many of them actually PAY LL to be on, because they simply cannot afford to find an extra £100 plus for a month? To think this problem is in any way shape or form the fault of the user is utterly beyond belief!


Many users have used SL for many years. Yes, bandwidth has increased, but this is more than just a little increase. This has RL financial impliations well outside of TOS and if LL don't take it seriously it will have and RL effect on their income too. If premiujm members and tier members simply cannot afford to log on because of excessive bandwidth, then they simmply have no reason to pay for the service.


I have an unlimited monthly account, so this doesn't directly affect me. It does, however, affect my bf, who would have had a very sudden £200 bill had he not realised, As it is he is now payin a 3 figure tier for the privilege of not being able to log on until next month. Please explain how/ why this is in any way his fault?

It's very easy to put things in Tos to try to cover up mistakes. But mistakes like this are not accepable by any stretch of the imagination.  Not testing a system prior to testing, and costing your users money is out of order.  I'm refraining from saying what i really think because I'm quite sure it would get my post removed

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They think they have found the problem. The fix is likely to go into one of the release channels next Wednesday (8/22). If things go well it will roll to the main grid 8/29.

Responsibility... well read the ToS...

 

'Think'? 'likely'? 'If'? Nothing very encouraging there I'm afraid. 'Have' and 'will' would be better and almost 2 weeks off the grid for a lot- more if it turns out that they haven't found a solution.

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... and I 100% agree with Ayesha, and could not have worded it better myself.

 

This issue certainly has divided us into two definite groups of people hasn't it?!

 

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I got a spanking new PC in February, and have consequently enjoyed SL - even with LL's viewer3 lol - as never before.....until, that is these last 3 days. It is now, horrendous. I can not ride my bikes or fly my planes, even in previously low lag sims. I have been to all my usual LM@s these last 3 days and everyone is talking about how dire SL is, performance-wise. We have effectively gone backwards a good 2-3 years, imo in less than a week. Frankly, the dynamo that isn't Rod Humble, should resign, and take his money before the peasants (who pay his damm wages) storm the castle with pitchforks and flaming torches.

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I think this discussion of legal ramifications is a distraction. Yeah, in theory, in some jurisdictions, maybe LL has some liabiity here. But honestly, that should be the least of their concerns.  This bug, whatever it is, has the potential to decrease concurrency in future months more than any other single event in SL's history.  That's because this time it's specifically the people who aren't paying attention to the issue who are most apt to leave and never come back.

The vast majority of SL users don't read any of the forums or blogs where this problem has been discussed. They're not going to get all butt-hurt and bent out of shape by any rhetoric about it.  But a lot of them have usage-based billing from their ISP (as I do) where extra usage comes with very substantial penalties -- and the kind of extra bandwidth we're seeing here could easily rack up hundreds of US$s in penalties.

So, say I'm a casual user of SL, and my internet bill for the month includes US$400 in overages for the first time ever. Gee, did I have four hundred dollars more fun in SL this month? No, you know, I don't think I did. In fact, I believe I can dispense with SL altogether next month... and forever more.

Of course, that doesn't actually apply to me because I follow the forums and blogs and know to keep my draw distance down and my ass the hell away from the southern corners of sims with neighbors. I won't have those overages myself. Instead they'll happen to exactly those people not all that committed to SL in the first place.

And you know what? Those folks aren't very likely to be running a bandwidth / usage monitor as a matter of course. Maybe they should, maybe it's their responsibility, but that's pretty irrelevant to the business losses their departure represents.

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Do you also blame your car manufacturer because you got a speeding ticket; after all the speedometer goes up to 190 kph so it's the manufacturer's fault if you do that and get a ticket, right? If you over-draw your checking account do you blame the retailer for selling you something and you wrote a check you didn't have the money to cover? People with bandwidth caps know full well they have a limitation and it's their responsibility to monitor their use and stay within their limit, not someone elses fault if they exceed it; not anyone elses.

And thank you Ay for making it personal and insulting.

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Cincia

An interesting analogy.  So, if I buy the same groceries over the internet month in, month out, and I suddenly notice that my bill has increased by several thousand percent, it's my fault, despite there being no notification of any price increases by the store?  The speeding analogy is utterly inappropriate, Cincia.

Well, maybe that is the way in the USA.  It is NOT the way in England or in Europe so far as I know.

Some years ago I was complaining rather naiively in the forums about a fault with SL traffic to Europe, and another resident told me that if I didn't like what had happened maybe I shouldn't use an American VW..ie SL.

SecondLife is not American, it is International whether some Americans like it or not.  Linden Research is an American company, sure, but outside of the USA, you will find little support for the notion that America owns the internet.

As to being personal and insulting...no, I leave the insulting to others who seem far better at it than I.

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THE LARGE PRINT GIVETH but the fine print taketh away.

While you are both right (Nalates & Cincia) that within the limits of the law Linden Lab has no legal obligations to us, that they make no warrants about the quality of the Service, etc, does that relieve them of any and all ethical or moral obligations?

And while no doubt people who have bandwidth caps  should be checking their bandwidth, how frequently is it reasonable to expect them to? 

And if we are going to use RL analogies as an example of how both we and the Lab should act consider this one.

The fuel gauge on my car broke.  It got stuck in the "Full" position one day after filling my tank.  I am used to it not moving or barely moving after the first day or two of driving after filling my tank.  Now on the fourth day it does stand out to me that it hasn't moved.  Especially after taking a longer drive than normal.

At that point my personal responsibility really kicks in and I fill my tank.  I know I can't still have a full tank.  And I make an appointment to get my car looked at.

The dealer informs me that it is going to cost me a thumb and two toes to fix it...........my car is two months out of warranty.  I complain (nicely) about it and the dealer calls the manufacturer.  The manufacturer agrees to pay for the part.  Were they obligated to?  Absolutely not.  But they understood the importance of customer service.

Rodvik posted in SLU about how they couldn't retain new users.  What about old users?  What is being done to retain them?  Concurrency flat?  Could there be a cause and effect relationship?   He said that the biggest problem was the new sign ups couldn't find something to do.  Maybe a cause is that they are not finding anyone around to do 'something' with, not finding someone to help guide them through SL?

People will always be coming and going in SL.  But when they leave because of shoddy customer service, that is The Lab's fault, not  the user's.

And on a side note, while I have not finished perusing the Forum this morning and may have missed it, why am I hearing it from you Nalates, and not a Linden that they think they solved or are even working on the problem?  That is absolutely poor customer relations and service.  There is no excuse for this.

 

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That's all true, but it's not really relevant.

This bug increases bandwidth usage to the maximum capacity of the user's connection, regardless of any settings made in the viewer.

You would get the same consequences from a DDoS attack on that user.

 

 

 

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Cincia Singh wrote:

Do you also blame your car manufacturer because you got a speeding ticket; after all the speedometer goes up to 190 kph so it's the manufacturer's fault if you do that and get a ticket, right? If you over-draw your checking account do you blame the retailer for selling you something and you wrote a check you didn't have the money to cover? People with bandwidth caps know full well they have a limitation and it's their responsibility to monitor their use and stay within their limit, not someone elses fault if they exceed it; not anyone elses.

And thank you Ay for making it personal and insulting.

Actually yes, if the car suddenly started accelerating and you had to slam on the brakes by the time you noticed (which might be a short while, 20 MPH can sneek up on you), the liability would be on the car manufacturer. It's happened and settlements of this nature aren't uncommon.

If we're doing the blame game, the bug was on the side of LL, not the user who didn't notice it right off because the user was so immersed in SL (immersion after all, is part of the experience that the company strives for).

Not targetted at you, but I do see the pattern of people that consistently, no matter what the issue, will turn the blame back on the user.

I used to be one of those people. My SL was going great, there were no issues that I couldn't shrug off or fix myself and everyone else was a naysayer. Went from expressing my distaste about naysaying, graduated to advocate, which eventually turned into daily "damage control", for LL.

There were "regular naysayers" I couldn't pass up. If they posted I knew it was going to be negative in some way and so as soon as I saw these names, I was prepared for battle! Of course I told myself I was helping to debunk the negativity, being pro SL ... all for the good of avatar-kind.

Problem was in RL I knew otherwise and didn't apply it.

In RL I know that when my customers complain, it may or may not be about the issue that they seem to be annoyed at, it may be something deeper. In fact many times a complaint about one issue is a culmination of smaller issues that led to every issue being magnified.

Finally I had some negative experiences of my own, and while I feel I've been most definately shafted by LL, I found that every little annoying thing was now a bigger issue.

It may not be just this bandwidth problem or whatever the complaint of the moment is.

It may be that over the last 3 years user X has lost inventory, couldn't rez things once a month, group chat glitches every time they get into the middle of a conversation, or that building things seems to involve working around one SL quirk after another. It keeps adding up.

It may be that they don't know hardware, or tech. It may be that they feel uninformed due to lack of communication. They may be intimidated because they don't feel qualified to be part of the solution.

What casual user should "ever" be exposed to JIra, and meetings and hours a day scanning forums and blogs and scattered information and half information? None, this is the sole responsibility of the company to communicate and develop software that doesn't need half the user population as their personal unpaid testers. These things aren't requirements to the average user.

Even the hardware issue, user X hits hard times and doesn't get why their hardware runs everything else "except" SL, and why should they have to keep spending more, more more on their machine when SL is the only thing in their life that needs it..

This is a failing of the user? No, this is a failing of a company that's supposed to be an innovater in virtual worlds not knowing how to develop a virtual world that runs on older hardware. Or even current hardware. Yes it's deeply technical and difficult to do. On the other hand, this is what we pay them to solve.

If SL is only for those who can afford higher end machines, guess what? They've missed their demographic completely. People with oodles of spare change to blow on hardware don't have time for something as immersive as SL in general. Hardcore gamers supported by their parents who are too busy to play SL themselves notwithstanding.

SL depends on the "whales" to support everyone else. And it's not attracting the whales who have little time or want more instant gratification for their money.

Bottom line, be careful in the desire to play advocate and turn everything back on the user.

Numbers are proving that SL is declining, declining, declining. And when they can't vocalize without getting blamed, when they can't vocalize it well, or when they don't know "how" to vocalize the issue properly, they go away, which contributes further to the decline.

At any rate, blaming the user and not the company robs the company of the opportunity to figure out what the real complaint is, which often is NOT the thing being complained about.

And the real problem is overall ... high pricing, expecting too much from the casual user, lack of communication, over monetization of the platform, and a serious lack of quality control and stability. It shows in a thousand different ways.

When you have to reason every ... single ... day why it's the users fault? It should be a clue the there are serious larger issues that are the fault of the company and not the user.

Some of have to make 10,000 excuses for this company before we get that through our thick heads. I know I did.

But right, consistently pushing responsibility back on the user ... not helping solve the real problems. User is here to have fun with something that works reliably for a reasonable price. Or free if the company works off freeplay models.

If the company wants to push it all back on the user, then let the company say it.

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