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Mike Arabello

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About Mike Arabello

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  1. Regarding the new Search, I was disappointed to read that "you can still use the 1.23 Viewer, but search functionality will be impaired once new search is released into general availability". Even though many of us still use Viewer 1.23 (having tried and rejected V2), you're saying that it won't be supported. Well, the old Search didn't work very well in 1.23 anyway, so I guess it's no great loss. But you're restricting the new Search to the newbies who don't know any better than to use V2. Maybe it's time to take another look at Phoenix et al.
  2. "Couture" means custom-made, which seems inappropriate in the case of the recent first Dash Deal. Anyway, this is not such a bad idea, I think LL means well, but it needs a little fine tuning (for example the notion of advertising a 24-hour special with a "weekly" email).
  3. Don't knock those Ukranian coders, Rene, some of them are very clever ... after all, Eastern Europe has brought us more than its share of malware and identity theft. Which is another reason I won't touch Facebook either, not even with Ricky Rosenthal's broom stick.
  4. Yes, Ricky, LL does boast above that "Average monthly repeat logins in 2010 rose 8% over the 2009 average." But what does this really indicate? One possible explanation ... Viewer 2 is buggy (an ancient and more honest word for "has issues"), and crashes more often than Viewer 1, so that residents must log in again, 8% more often ... ?? Any good scientist knows that correlation does not mean cause. And that cuts both ways. If we want to understand this 8% increase in logins, we need to dig a lot deeper. Personally, I'd be interested to see how much Rolling Restarts (apparently updates of the sim server software) have risen in 2010 over 2009. I'm not saying that LL is doing this deliberately, to inflate the login figures, but (a) it would have that effect, and (b) they have no incentive not to do it. I'm constantly chased out of my own sim, and others, by these rolling restarts, which seem to occur every few days. If I happen to be afk for 5 minutes -- boom, I'm logged out, and I must login again. SL is flickering off and on. Even if there's no proof that LL is doing this to inflate statistics, we can certainly say at a minimum that you cannot trust statistics without understanding what's behind them.
  5. OK, thanks Tengu, I hadn't considered that (since the email contained no explanation for the censorship). Next time I raise this issue, I'll censor both speech and speaker: Xxxxxx Xxxxxx: What the XXXX?~! Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx: Oh XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX! Not sure that gets my point across as effectively, but OK ... However I still find it strange that what was said in public cannot be repeated here. Also, ironic, in a blog on communication. In Real Life, if you say something in public, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. But this is not Real Life, is it. Maybe the problem is that teens are allowed in these blogs ... ?? And they're not allowed at infohubs, are they? Not even the supposedly G-rated ones. Are they? And if the only newbies arriving in SL at infohubs are adults (if you can call an 18-year-old an adult), then we may be sure they won't be offended or disgusted by packs of hooligans (often long-time non-premium residents) camping at the infohubs, spewing filth. Will they? Oh, I know, SL is full of garbage ... but at least you have to opt in, to most of it. I don't advocate censoring speech in SL (perish the thought). I'm just taking note of the expressed desire of LL to give new customers a good experience -- and wondering why they don't follow through on that reasonable plan. * * * "If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?" — The Mad Hatter, in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland ... published in 1865.
  6. Today I received an email, a communication from Linden Labs. It seems that they deleted one of my postings here. You may remember that yesterday I posted a random example of the sort of potty mouth stupidity that routinely goes on at the infohubs -- perhaps intimidating, disgusting, and driving away newbies. It wasn't my potty mouth, and I posted it only to communicate what is going on, and to ask how we might improve things. Actually I doubt that any sensible human being at LL rejected my post; the fact that the rejection was so kneejerk and illogical suggests that there's a program which scrutinizes posts, and routinely rejects those containing any of George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words. Well, OK, I'm all for efficiency. And if a mindless computer rejects me, I try not to take it personally. But it's ironic that, while this sort of trash talk goes on in front of newbies, unchallenged, it's not acceptable in a forum where intelligent people try to solve problems facing Second Life. Anything wrong with this picture? Well, like most folks here, I'll persevere. I'll post another sample of how SL greets the newbies ... liberally censored, so that I don't offend any of the oldbies ... or the censor. Myself, I usually just ignore such garbage and move on -- I have always considered profanity the last resort of the inarticulate -- but LL's forum censoring program (no doubt a lineal descendent of Eliza) suggests it's important, and who am I to doubt the wisdom of LL?
  7. This poignant (and sadly common) tale by Cully Andel, a typical former SL merchant, pretty well sums it up, and, I think, shows how much trouble SL and LL are in already. A (former) good customer has decided that "no one at LL cares". I, too, have given up the idea of investing much money in SL -- or paying much in land tier fees -- because it's just not a rational business environment any more. The economy is in deep trouble, and no one at LL seems to care. Perhaps they're all too busy with Facebook. What we need here is NOT just communication. Residents are trying their damndest to communicate, and obviously it doesn't help. What we need is solutions to major problems -- the things that break our hearts, that dash our hopes, that drain our pocketbooks -- not a lot of committees and happy talk about how to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.
  8. Well, Nany, go right ahead and conceal income, if you can live with yourself. Personally I'd rather avoid a prison sentence. That's like saying burglary is OK, and carries no risk of punishment, if you sneak around doing it.
  9. Income (for IRS purposes) may not be considered "real" until it emerges as US dollars via PayPal. That's probably the case now, and as others have noted, this works just fine (e.g. PayPal sends a Form 1099 or whatever), so I don't see the IRS digging into it deeper. They don't need to. I doubt they want to get into the hassles of trying to figure net income, depreciation, capital gains, etc. in a virtual world using virtual money. That day may come, but I'm not too worried now. The bottom line is, they're not doing it. We have enough immediate problems -- serious ones -- to go borrowing trouble.
  10. Really, EVERYONE is a paying customer ... if I buy something in a store, I'm helping the merchant pay his land tier fees. And if I buy something on SL Marketplace, then LL is taking a cut. I don't have to be a premium member.
  11. Yes, Eio, and I think it's appropriate (and on topic) for me to cross-post this from the "Improving our lines of communication with the community" blog (350 comments in 3 days): Feb 12, 2011 5:02 PM Toysoldier Thor is right. LL's new CEO Rod Humble gets it, as shown eloquently in his interview with Dusan Writer. (See Toysoldier's post for excerpts from that interview.) Now, it remains to be seen whether he can turn the Titanic 180 degrees. Thats a difficult task, and must proceed slowly. Especially when most of the crew is pushing in the wrong direction -- and has been, for years now. I am nonetheless greatly heartened by Rod's appearance in SL. He may be our last best hope. I just hope he's not too late.
  12. Toysoldier Thor is right. LL's new CEO Rod Humble gets it, as shown eloquently in his interview with Dusan Writer. Now, it remains to be seen whether he can turn the Titanic 180 degrees. Thats a difficult task, and must proceed slowly. Especially when most of the crew is pushing in the wrong direction -- and has been, for years now. I am nonetheless greatly heartened by Rod's appearance in SL. He may be our last best hope. I just hope he's not too late.
  13. While I'm not a big fan of live webcam shows, I don't mind them because they're essentially invisible to the rest of us. It's not a zoning issue. The only people who can see these shows are the ones who opt IN. Now, there's a novel concept ... opt IN ...
  14. Nany, you have a point -- it might not be cost-effective (by now) to chase all the businesses who have left, or who are leaving, SL. However, it would damn sure make sense to try to understand why. Paying attention to the hundreds of complaints in these blogs -- and acting on them -- would be a good start. These are not whiners or flamers. They are people who care -- passionately -- about SL and won't give up the hope of improving it, even after years of being ignored. They are LL's greatest resource ... or could be.
  15. Phil and Eddie -- A discussion of SL real estate more properly belongs in the "The Second Life Economy in Q4 2010" blog, but you addressed it here so I'll respond here. My own unscientific observation of the land situation in SL (in Mainland) is that you can't sell land any more, at least not for anywhere near what you originally paid for it, and sometimes not for even L$1 per sq M. Even the land bots have vanished. Your only real options seem to be to keep it, or abandon it to get out from under the considerable monthly land tier fees. (As land prices continue to fall, the monthly "tax" on your land now approaches $100 per $100 of assessed actual valuation -- per month. Try floating that idea in RL.) It's not necessarily that the land tier fees are too high -- it's that the land is losing value, and the business model no longer works. And when you abandon the land to LL, they no longer auction it (except for perhaps a small fraction), so it sits idle indefinitely. A big portion of my mainland region is Linden land, which does not sell, and has been sitting there for months. Well, at least they're keeping it off the market (so far), so that it does not depress land prices further. It's as though the bottom has dropped out of the SL land market, presumably because demand is dwindling, presumably because of: LL is competing with inworld real estate investors SL Marketplace is driving inworld stores out of business Folks are leaving SL (for a variety of reasons) Anyone else seeing this? And, is it too much to hope for, that somewhere there are statistics available, so we could track this? I can't see that it made it into the 2010 Economic Report. There might be a market for a third-party economic report on SL -- if SL were a thriving economy where such a report was cost-effective and useful. In any case, it's getting harder to rent my land, too. Fewer prospective residential tenants -- and no stores, because most merchants have figured out that SL Marketplace is the only game in town, at least in their own market niche. It's becoming useless to open a store, unless you just want to hang out there yourself, and admire your work. So my current strategy is to abandon land, reduce my holdings, to reduce the amount of money I pay LL -- and reduce the amount of money I am losing in SL.
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