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Wendy Starfall

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  1. I don't think that is where VAT happens, but all these numbers make my head confused. 😵 There are so many things that I don't understand now. For example, it makes no sense why this is happening right before the holiday season. I mean, how much worse could the timing be? I don't understand why the announcement for these changes had to be so strangely, weirdly upbeat but with a giganto-knot in the throat. Everything is called an improvement, but it all comes with a price tag? 😕 Does Linden Lab really think that we are now more inclined to pay for listing enhancements (-10%), now that we have the privilege of paying double the commission? I don't understand nothing anymore.
  2. I don't see where I stated that Linden Lab should be blamed for VAT, or that my personal tax situation is the fault of Linden Lab. I did say no such thing. 😐 What I'm trying to point out is that many of us are now in a situation where more than half of what we earn is getting vaporized by fees and taxes. I'm not happy about the increase in fees for Marketplace sales and for processing credit. I think that these fees are too high. I don't think that increasing the Marketplace commission is fair toward creators, who keep jugging out fresh and interesting content for the Second Life world, and I found it to be shameless when Linden Lab talked about "...the Internet’s largest user-created virtual world Marketplace with more than 5 million items..." in the same breath. We are not indebted to Linden Lab for making their platform attractive with our ideas and original content, because without us and our content this would be a barren ghost world. Among other questions, one could ask themselves whether it still makes sense to invest time, energy and ideas in creating new content for the Second Life world or not, but for many of us it's not as simple as to "move on" to a different job because we already depend on our Second Life stores as a vital source of income. We sank years of work and effort into this. I'm not talking about the brands that are ran by pro business with high revenue. I am talking about the many little indy artists and coders, like me. The losers, misfits, school drop-outs, and all those others who worked their arses off to build all these many cool brands inside of Second Life. I opened this topic so I could learn how others feel about all this. It would be nice if people in similar situations wouldn't have to feel so alone.
  3. I'm really sorry to hear that. I hope that the people who had to go can find new employment soon. 🙁 I clarified some of the tax stuff in my posts. A few years ago I had to sign a document called W-8BEN. The VAT is something we pay when we transact with Linden Lab (not when trading with other players with L$).
  4. We pay VAT when we transact with Linden Lab. Here is an example: In Austria we pay income tax varying on how much we earn, that would be up to 25% for me (as artist/coder), and if I would earn enough to actually make a normal living, it would be 35%. That means with the PayPal currency exchange fee of 4% another 29% on top of the fees of 22.5% that I'd have to pay to Linden Lab (not counting any VAT I pay for recurring island fees because that's money I pay and not money I earn), so I'm left with less than half of what I earned. I think the tax situation is a bit different in the United States, I think there the tax varies by state.
  5. What nobody seems to have pointed out yet is that those of us not in the United States also have to pay VAT and PayPal currency exchange fees. In my case that means up to 29% extra of the earnings deducted. As EU citizens we pay more for the private regions, and we pay more fees and higher taxes. Now, it's not as simple as just raising prices in our stores, because it would make us (EU citizens and all those who pay extra) no longer competitive, when the customer can go to another store that is not (yet) "forced" to increase prices. To be frank, I dislike the idea to raise prices because it just passes the problem on to the customer. If this is done at all, many creators and merchants would have to gather together and agree that starting December 2 we will all raise prices with one accord. Right now, the cost is carried entirely by exactly those people who enrich Second Life with new content. This is our time, our ideas, our efforts and passion being taxed with doubled fees for both Marketplace sales and for processing credit. In that sense, it is not just us creating this world, it is also us paying for it. I understand there will be people coming along and claiming that if we want to earn money, we even have to pay up, but make no mistake - working as a content creator on Second Life is a very stressful, and can sadly more often than not turn out to be a not very rewarding full time job. It is nothing like creating apps or app content for things sold in Google's Play Store or Apple's App Store. As a creator you are constantly exposed to the community, expected to be professional and present for all questions and technical support, and everything you do involves jumping through hoops, like technical issues with the service and an incredibly hostile subset of the community who re-populate the world with an army of alt avatar trolls. You need to be tough as nails, and if you are speaking up, you are "causing drama". It is my opinion that as content creators we must be rewarded, and not taxed higher and higher! ✊
  6. The topic is about this year's changes in fees for Marketplace sales, LindeX transactions and credit processing. The Marketplace fee per sale and the credit processing are raised by 100% compared to the previous fee, the latter also no longer has an upper limit. To provide some context, here are the fees as they will be effective on December 2, 2019. LindeX transaction: 3.5% Credit Processing fee: 5% Marketplace sales fee: 10% As a citizen of Austria (Central Europe, EU) I have to also pay 20% of VAT whenever I transact with Linden Lab. In order to be able to wire money from PayPal or Skrill to my bank account, I have to first exchange USD to EUR. That comes with another 4% transaction fee for the currency exchange. Questions to ask yourself could be: Is creating content for Second Life still worthwhile my time? How shall we react to the ever increasing fees as a community? You can also talk about your personal situation as a merchant and content creator. All of this is very interesting, it is worth telling and worth knowing. Here is some Billy Bragg (for some inspiration and because I found it to be very well related to topic) that you can listen to while scrolling through responses. Starting December 2, I would have to pay 22.5% of my earnings in fees and currency exchange (including PayPal, and excluding taxes). ❤️
  7. I don't like these Mac vs. Win PC debates either. 🙁 Sure, bootcamp is always an option, but then you miss out the main reason why you got a Mac in the first place, and that's Mac OS. Maybe there will be a nice, native Mac client for SL sometime? Sure, you are all gonna say it's unlikely blah, blah, but is it really? You can run iOS apps on Catalina, and I can see only benefits if SL ran on iOS, so... who knows.
  8. I'm still tinkering on a perfect setup to run SL on a gaming PC and stream it to my Mac. I miss exactly those things the most on PC too. I run the Ubuntu sub-system on my Win PC and used to use it all the time when on PC, but these days I'm mostly just use Git Bash when on Win.
  9. I can't figure out how to edit my previous post, so I will just add another (I hope that this isn't breaking some rule). I have to clarify what I mean with usability, so it makes real sense for somebody in a different situation: The Magic Mouse is very flat and it accepts finger gestures at the top surface. I have to re-learn fine movement because I hurt my hand in an accident, and the Magic Mouse lets me do that. For someone else in a different situation this might be different, and they would have a better experience with a more ergonomic shape, like most Logitech mice are. The Magic Keyboard is very flat and it has nice large keys, which also works out really well for me. There is also the connectivity and the battery life, it seems as if it lasts forever, and there is never any connectivity issues, which is not something I can say after using bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless PC peripherals in the past, where I ran better with 2.4GHz, but that made my Wifi setup suck. There was always some issue with my PC peripherals unless they were wired, and those wore down too quickly. I mowed through the average keyboard within 3 months, when all the print on the keys would be gone and things started to fail. I hate the cables, no matter if soft rubber or thicc and braided, they tie me to a desk in ways that aren't alright with me. I'm very active in front of my desk and workplaces, I need to be able to move and sit the way I want. With Apple peripherals I made due for literally years. The print stays on, the typing stays accurate, you can wipe them down, and they seem much better fortified against cervical mucus! The only real criticism I have is that I can't replace the battery in the newer Magic Peripherals. PS: Also, let's not talk about the butterfly keyboard in the MacBook and MacBook Pro of the previous generation. ✌️😁
  10. I use the magics as my daily drivers.... I always liked them for them usability but since I had the accident, there is no contender to the keyboard and especially magic mouse. For disability there is no alternative to Mac, the performance drop is in no relation to the usability drop. Sorry... that's the truth 😕
  11. I would go to a Apple store and bluntly ask them if you can try running SL, just make sure to use a throwaway avi and not your main. 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display: $2,399 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory 512GB SSD storage Magic Mouse 2 Magic Keyboard - US English Crucial 16GB DDR4-2666 SODIMM Memory for Mac: $74.99 The memory you can add yourself, it's just a little door at the back of your iMac that you can open without tools: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201191#install1 If would buy an iMac for work right now, and already had a laptop, it would be one with this spec: 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display: $2,999 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory 1TB SSD storage Magic Mouse 2 Magic Keyboard - German If iMac lives happily for 5 years it costs you about $1.70 a day, already with memory upgrade included. 😊✌️ These specs will run SL with nice visual quality when you play it on Mac OS, and if that doesn't work for you, you can install Windows on it too, and play SL and other games inside of Windows, but if you are planning on that I would rather buy a Gaming PC instead. A 15" Alienware Gaming Laptop that runs SL with nice visuals will cost you around $1,500. Many people will tell you that a Desktop PC is so much more powerful, and so much better to upgrade, blah, blah, blah, but keep in mind that for this you need to keep a screen around (one with comparable quality to an Alienware Laptop screen costs a lot of money), you have crappy-pants PC peripherals, you need speakers to hear things, a webcam, a mic, and, well, a desk that has enough space. PS: I never understood how people with Desktop PC manage if they want to do adult thing 😳 on SL. Uncomfy².
  12. Yes, I was just saying that for a mobile computer (like I would use for school and as my daily computing companion), a MacBook Air may be better because it had much better battery compared to the MacBook Pro - but Apple just released a new MacBook Pro on the day we were writing here. 😮 Now there is a little (13") MacBook Pro with a quad-core CPU also for the entry level models, and I believe when opting in for the 256GB SSD and 16GB of memory, it will be only €250ish more expensive than the a MacBook Air with the same memory specs, but with only a dual-core CPU. Let me check prices first doe, and then compare an entry level MacBook Pro + 27" iMac bundle to a big MacBook Pro that is specced up high enough so it could run at least a little bit of (creator level) SL. With creator level I mean that you can spend an extended period of time inside of SL for product assemblies, performing uploads, and ramping up graphics temporarily to be able making great looking screenshots. UPDATE: Okay, pricing looks a bit different now: US$ 3,149 for big (15") MacBook Pro that's specced up to handle a bit of (creator level) SL US$ 3,498 for a MacBook Air and a 27" iMac that's specced up to handle (creator level) SL very nicely. US$ 3,698 for a little (13") MacBook Pro and also a 27" iMac that's specced up to handle (creator level) SL very nicely. In my opinion, these US$ 549 more for the little MBP + iMac are well spent if you carry your MBP around all day long. See, when you lose or drop a MBP that costs US$ 1,299 to 1,499 it hurts terribly bad, but when that happens to a MBP that costs over 3,000 freedom dollars, it doesn't just hurt, it's a loss-of-a-limb level of painful. 🙊 Applying that to a little MBP + Gaming PC scenario, you would end up with a kickass setup in the US$ 2,500 range, and if that really works out as well as I imagine it, you can still stream SL from your gaming desktop PC to little MBP while sitting in bed when spending quality time with your SL waifu! 😁✌️
  13. Maybe I should open a new thread for this, but I often think it's a bad idea to buy a MacBook Pro unless you really need that amount of power on the go. When I compare prices at Apple, I end up paying less for a MacBook Air + 27" iMac than I would pay for a specced out MacBook Pro, and I would pay a whole lot less for a MacBook Air + Gaming PC (including a decent 1080p UltraSharp screen from Dell that can double-up as "screen for SL" for the MBA).
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