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We have the power to make SL a "big thing" again (really) and tip the ongoing narrative, let's do this! c= let's do our part (for our sake)


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On 6/2/2021 at 7:12 AM, Lyssa Greymoon said:

The minimum requirements won’t even run Windows. Personally I think the minimum should be at least something that supports all of the shaders SL uses. Turning it up to ultra may not run well, but at least it should look right. The minimum video cards, if they’ll even run Windows 8 or 10 (and that should be 8.1, not 8 ) won’t run SL right. 

It should go without saying that the minimum requirements should be enough to launch the viewer and log in with it. The GPUs listed won't have enough memory to run any viewer on top of the OS itself.

Anything beyond that is subjective. It's not unreasonable to say that the minimum requirements should cover all shaders. I don't even disagree in principle, but not having them doesn't prevent you from viewing/interacting with the world and things really don't look that bad even with all shaders off (again, depending on where you are), with the exception of rigged mesh without Hardware Skinning.

If the different kinds of shaders couldn't be turned off and the viewer didn't work without them, then this wouldn't even be a discussion.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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On 5/30/2021 at 12:40 PM, lucagrabacr said:

Hey guys, so looking at the overall state of the Metaverse as it is perceived, the Lindens are pretty much the last line of defense that keeps SL - which is the only established non-startup virtual world platform that has a real chance of being what we'd like to call a Metaverse, from turning into some predatory venture. Take a close look at what's currently being touted as the "Metaverse" - Roblox, Fortnite - the former is a VERY predatory platform targeting children to spend money, the latter not even what we'd like to call a Metaverse

It might seem silly to us but the truth is, where it matters the most, the truth doesn't matter. The majority of the people with the money and influence, they listen to signals and numbers, and as far as they're concerned that means the Metaverse is indeed Roblox, Fortnite, or some elusive blockchain venture with little correlation to how we the actual users of virtual worlds use them

Take a look at what happened to IMVU, it's never a good platform for most of us SL users, but then it got acquired by some company faraway out there with little to no care to what it says about its users - the new owner literally said in a public interview that they're eager to find more ways to monetize their userbase. Of course profit is always a part of the equation, but how companies say things says a lot about them, and not to mention they became even more predatory, and felt it's okay to directly nudge on SL in a misleading way as many of you know

So back to my point from before, the Lindens are pretty much the only group of people in a real position of leverage who are able to convince the directors and whatever higher ups up there that no, those are bad, the way we do things here on SL is the right way of doing things and we should continue to do so

But the Lindens can only do so much in term of encouragement or calls to action without being unprofessional, however what they can say or market to the public, depends a lot not only on metrics, but also visible enthusiasm on our part. I'm gonna continue my post in a reply so this doesn't turn into a wall of texts

I think you mean well, and I tend to agree with much of what you say, but I see confusion here about one basic thing: the idea that Second Life is separate from the Lindens, and that these Lindens are the "last line of defense" keeping SL what we know and love.

But they aren't separate. SL is one of the products of LL. LL, as the original entity, has now been sold to a guy whose business has been in car parts and snacks -- and that's fine by me, that means "customer service" which we could use more of. They didn't change the name or fire the key employees and all that's good. But you need to define what "the Lindens" are. Old Linden staff you know personally who you think will push the open-source techie dream? I personally found in the past and continue to find that they are often detrimental to SL's actual success. The new owners?

You then have this terrible aversion to capitalism, profits, rich people buying things, etc and you imagine they are all "predatory" etc. Having never played Fortnite, I can't really comment on it. My nieces and nephews play it but my own children are not interested in games any more now at all, their focus is their real jobs and hobbies and partners. Not everyone is a gamer and the Metaverse is not only made up of gamers or to be dictated by the toys and bells and whistles gamers want.

I think you need to spell out what you mean by "the way we do things here" because not everyone does things the way you think they should be done, and SL actually has more room for people than you think.

Example: you might think that Linux, penguins, open source, freebies, meetings with tech Lindens -- this is the heart and soul of SL. For me, the penguin people spawn lots of griefers, newbies who just walk all over my tenants' lawn, etc. and their open source cult undermines business and hampers creators getting paid and making a living which they should do.

If you don't subscribe fully to the open source and Creative Commons cults, great, but your cohorts do; some Lindens do; it's a problem.

If "the way we do things here" is to have permissions on things sold and no licensing to be a creator (like Sinespace and others do) but a free and open marketplace anyone can enter at any level of ability, great, I'm all for that. It does create a management, technical, and governance set of problems and headaches, however -- copyright theft, griefing, products that sink sims and deter performance etc.

It has become a cliche to say re: social media and big IT platforms that "we are the product". So when LL sold SL, we were the product for sure, as we represent value, a customer base, good will, profits even for ourselves. Are we customers of a software company, partners in a better world projects, products in an experiment in international virtual living that will be sold downstream elsewhere? As is, it doesn't seem to be expandable, whatever one of these things it is.

I guess I see the future of SL as LL selling their software as a stand-alone package that people can deploy on their own servers and have no relationship to the contiguous and interrelated SL we know, sort of a more commercialized Open Sim. This may or may not contain options to hook up with the rest of the world. But they'll want to reduce server costs because even in the cloud, the ability to just making a land model based on servers displaying unique user generated content just doesn't scale. Things like Fortnite aren't based on that model, they have uniform content and shards. This stand-alone version might be sold to businesses and governments; what would hold it together? Linden trees and library avatars and the ability to rez a prim? I don't know, but some set of features more or less in common. How do they handle the chaos of all those stand-alones then logging on to their main grid? I don't know, but you can see how Hypergrid works.

I think some people will want stand alone servers if the software and the computer to play it are cheap. They ought to sell them together to make sure they work properly, I'm not kidding. It's like how people like islands and their small social groups now and tune out everything else. The Marketplace becomes one common link. Perhaps some big shopping events. Perhaps people have to make different avatars for both their stand-alone and their common grid. But even this plan isn't so scaleable and will remain a niche.

The software is not really the product. The content made by users is not really the product. It's only the alchemy of the two of them in the definition of a virtual world: 1) A sense of place 2) drama.

 

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On 5/30/2021 at 1:43 PM, Sid Nagy said:

I ain't gonna run ads for them.

I do my job, the Lindens theirs.

And if it all ends, 18 years is a real good run for a game.
But personally I think the duct tape will hold the things together for a few more years.
 

 

I feel that way, too. I have enough of a chore running my little business and trying to do things and make things in SL without also having to advertise it.

Except for my son and his friends, when they were teenagers and went to the Teen Grid, I have never been able to interest a single RL family member or friend of colleague in SL.

There are lots of reasons for this, and it's not just the bad press.

1. Some people don't avatarize well, just like some people get car sick. They don't like being some false, other, ethereal being. They don't want to be an elf or a furry or even a blonde if they are a brunette in RL. Their Twitter or FB avatar is as far as they do. They just feel fake and stupid.

2. Americans have a Puritan background and a work ethic based on Protestant culture. Subsequent waves of immigrants even with very different backgrounds and religions also tend to be the people who place emphasis on family, work, professions to succeed. That's why they come to the US. So they view things like SL as kind of a waste of time, a time suck, they see how hours and hours can go by learning it and then mindlessly watching yourself dance in clubs etc. and they shy away from it.

3. Their computer graphic cards aren't up to. But I find even when they are, very savvy people with better graphics cards than me would rather play WoW, Fortnite or sit on Twitter and argue with people than play SL. The technical limitations bother them as they do for certain forums' grumps, and they just don't like the way it is. You can't force people to like broccoli. They do or don't.

4. They are not artists, techies, poets, sci-fi writers etc. A lot of the advertising emphasizes creativity and skills in the arts and technology and most people don't have them. Because of #2, they feel they need a job in this economy where they don't want to spend real money. And without skills or the willingness to do menial, repetitive jobs like rentals agents or club bouncers, they can't make money to buy clothes and look nice and get a partner or even friends. This, in my view, is the single biggest problem with SL. Lack of entry into an economy. People don't want to just treat it as a latte or a movie ticket and spend US $12 per week on entertainment. They feel it is a world in the round, and they want a meaningful place in it. First land sales, then commission vendors and sculpty models, then gatchas and mesh models made it possible for a wider strata of people to enter the economy and have meaningful work. But it's not enough. The day that LL can meld something like Amazon Mechanical Turk with SL in ways that provide training, socializing, rewards they might solve this problem. Any resident is welcome to try to make such a meld. But it's hard.

 

 

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On 5/31/2021 at 6:21 AM, lucagrabacr said:

It is rooted in a rather sound observation. There is a huge discrepancy between the passion and care the Lindens show on a personal level compared to what's seemingly in LL's mind, and if you check sites such as glassdoor you will see reviews which say that higher ups did constrain them a lot, or at least they used to

Thank God the higher-ups restrained some of these Lindens. Truly. 

 

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On 5/31/2021 at 6:09 PM, Jaylinbridges said:

What a depressing thread.  There seems to be only one answer to save SL: 

Nationalize LL and allow it to focus on only Second Life development.  SL could become part of the State Dept., or HHW, or the Dept. of Defense.  Justify government funding by convincing Congress SL is needed to passify  the increasing unemployable and retired populations in the world, particularly the USA. 

Programmers worried about their obsolescence and lack of experience years in the latest languages could be guaranteed a govt. pension and retirement.  Of course to save money on salaries, LL would need to move to Texas.  Houston isn't that bad Ebbe.

That's a bizarre but interesting idea. I could point out that not everything that is government funded has to be nationalized. The State Department and Congress fund various partners at home and abroad, as contractors or projects, so it could be in that format. 

There are historically, three relationships between the US government and LL/SL of which I know about; there are likely more. I won't count the State Department outreach office, an acronym that keeps changing, after USIA, whatever it was then - and it has a different name again now. So that office had a few avatars who would run various programs about international diplomacy. I remember they did something with a university in Turkey.  And I won't count NASA and the Navy and a few things like that which are stands at tech fairs, nobody is on them, they are just a place to pick up literature, they don't get involved in the world of SL or its development.

So one relationship was Corey Linden, who was a Naval officer secunded to the NSA. Yes, that NSA. Then he became CTO of LL, then went to Sony and I believe he is at FB now. This was the kind of guy who wore an earring and wanted to open source the server code, not exactly a G-man. I don't know how that relationship played out, if at all.

Another one was Lawlita, that's the first name of her avatar, who is a professor at New York Law School, not to be confused with NYU Law School, who had views about copyright and patents and groups and collaboration and such which I found to be the worst sort of dressed-up Bolshevism and Soviet collectivism which I denounced at every time. As such people often do, she wound up first on the Obama transition team, then as head (or second in command?) of the White House Office of Science and Technology, first pretending she had open feedback, then shutting comments down; flogging her copyleftist patent ideas and collaborative nonsense -- until she flamed out and went back to academia even as Obama was elected to a second term. So be careful what you wish for. "Nationalizing" SL means people like that with heavy ideological and institutional agendas to grind trying to take over. 

Third, there's one of the current owners, Raj Date, see my post on him, who is a protege of Elizabeth Warren's and served in a government finance reform agency.

Some Lindens have gone to work for Tor; that one "anarcho-technocommunist" who infamously said "mathematics makes the state obsolete," so I find it fitting that her salary is literally paid out of a grant from DHL at State now and that she hasn't developed any "new math" about her paycheck lol. The Navy computer specialists behind Tor, who actually remained in Tor, which actually continued to get huge government grants from multiple government offices -- one of the many features of Tor that evokes my criticism -- dropped away from Tor eventually, one by one. Some would talk, some wouldn't. Those people and that office would not be what relates to SL I should imagine. SL would be put in some kind of diplomacy office I think.

Governments, even big, wealthy, vast ones like the US, come down to individual people, and they can make something work or not, and make your life miserable or not.

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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I did not read all posts, sorry if someone said something like this - but in my opinion, I think SL needs to update, even if it means we lose some content.

Also, optimize things - since its an online game and not a 3d render application.

Not to mention, better starter avatars.

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1 minute ago, Cesartje said:

I did not read all posts, sorry if someone said something like this - but in my opinion, I think SL needs to update, even if it means we lose some content.

Also, optimize things - since its an online game and not a 3d render application.

Not to mention, better starter avatars.

  1. Depending on what is lost, I do hope you're ready to pay for the replacements.
  2. Optimize what, exactly? With few exceptions, the content is all user made.
  3. Better ... How?
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1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I guess I see the future of SL as LL selling their software as a stand-alone package that people can deploy on their own servers and have no relationship to the contiguous and interrelated SL we know, sort of a more commercialized Open Sim.

The problem with that is that the Second Life software doesn't have anything to offer that opensim can't do at least as well for free.

SL's only three advantages over opensim are a slightly better physics engine, a well established and fairly large user base and a ton of ready made content. Nothing of this is for Linden Lab to sell though. The physics engine is Microsoft's, the content belongs to the various content creators and the users are owned by themselves.

Edited by ChinRey
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46 minutes ago, Cesartje said:

Not to mention, better starter avatars.

Agreed. The system avatar exists only to add confusion, the existing starter avatars the same. One is obsolete junk, the others are static, socially unacceptable and uncustomizable.

42 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:
  1. Depending on what is lost, I do hope you're ready to pay for the replacements.

Making new things for us to buy and place keeps creators and consumers engaged. New stuff is new stuff. Updates and replacements for retired content gives said content a new lease of life.

42 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:
  1. Better ... How?

(starter avatars)

The existing starter avatars were a mistake. They compound a misconception held by many employed by the lab that an avatar is a singular goal. Once you have your avatar, then you're done. Here is a selection of full formed avatars, we saved you all that time.

The starter avatar needs to be an open source mesh body with a published open & documented development kit. Something clothing creators can both target and learn their craft with.

This LindenMesh body should use viewer UI rather than a HUD to configure. Have the same basic UV mapping as the original system avatar (+hands etc).

New users first steps is with a system that mirrors the functionality of 3rd party bodies (maitreya, kupra, etc) and allows for customization and dress up.

Anyone wanting to get into creating content can immediately jump in with a development kit and tutorials.

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16 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

M'kay - and who is paying for those replacements for content that is broken? You? Cesarjte? If you're willing to break things, you'd best be willing to foot the bill - where applicable.

Did LL somewhere guarantee that model T's would work until hell freezes over? Keeping old inefficient code that supports the old content is obviously not good for the long term so who is going to pay for the losses involved with holding on to that?

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3 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

What content is likely to break with a major graphics engine rebuild?

Considering the way such threads and suggestions tend to go, it wouldn't stop at a "simple" graphics engine update/rebuild.

Edited by Solar Legion
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6 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

Considering the way such threads and suggestions tend to go, it wouldn't stop at a "simple" graphics engine update/rebuild.

Maybe so but still like to see what content you think would be broken as you  have said this multiple times in multiple threads without being specific. Every new update breaks something so why should they stop over some more broken content?

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40 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

The existing starter avatars were a mistake. They compound a misconception held by many employed by the lab that an avatar is a singular goal. Once you have your avatar, then you're done. Here is a selection of full formed avatars, we saved you all that time.

The starter avatar needs to be an open source mesh body with a published open & documented development kit. Something clothing creators can both target and learn their craft with.

This LindenMesh body should use viewer UI rather than a HUD to configure. Have the same basic UV mapping as the original system avatar (+hands etc).

New users first steps is with a system that mirrors the functionality of 3rd party bodies (maitreya, kupra, etc) and allows for customization and dress up.

Anyone wanting to get into creating content can immediately jump in with a development kit and tutorials.

I think part or maybe most of the issue is the probable fight with existing content creators who would see LL now competing with them by giving us easier access to better avatars that likely will cut into their potential sales.

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Why would I need to be specific? There is a difference between the sort of "broken" we have had with many of the recent updates (not functionally broken/unusable whatsoever) and the sort of breakage that would come with going beyond a "simple" graphic engine update/rebuild.

This should not need explaining nor should it need specific examples.

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3 minutes ago, Arielle Popstar said:

I think part or maybe most of the issue is the probable fight with existing content creators who would see LL now competing with them by giving us easier access to better avatars that likely will cut into their potential sales.

If their concern is truly new user retention and ease of use, it should be a non issue even with creator complaints.

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3 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

Why would I need to be specific? There is a difference between the sort of "broken" we have had with many of the recent updates (not functionally broken/unusable whatsoever) and the sort of breakage that would come with going beyond a "simple" graphic engine update/rebuild.

This should not need explaining nor should it need specific examples.

I remember in a recent TPV meeting where graphic engine updates were being discussed and it was emphasized by 2 of the Lindens that compatibility with existing content would be the top priority. I realize that what might be said in such a meeting might not be the way it turns out but any worthwhile update is going to be some gamble. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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