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Wendy Starfall

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Everything posted by Wendy Starfall

  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).
  14. I always thought that not having (optional) multi-factor authentication was kind of grossly negligent. 🙊 There are good reasons to have multi-factor. Check these facts: payment info is required for uploading mesh models payment info can be used to purchase L$ currency L$ currency can be traded for US$ US$ credit can be processed to PayPal or Skrill <dramatization> So, as a creator I need to have my payment info on file (correct me if I'm wrong) to upload my mesh models. I could use a different account to upload my mesh, but then this account would already be known due to it being the creator, so it is known where my payment info lives. The creations I sell for spacebux, which I trade for freedom dollars to buy breadies, meaning if anyone brute-forced themselves into ZEN garden, they could swap out the payment info and process my breadies to their PayPal or Skrill account. </dramatization> However, there may be hope? After all, the fees for processing credit recently increased by 100% of their previous rate, maybe soon there is enough of a budget to finance the development for implementing such exotic security feats as MFA? 🤔 Personally, I'd like to see the TILIA INC. AUTHENTICATOR APP so people can authenticate with their RL mugs by staring into iPhone. SL users would love that! 👍
  15. I just had an idea! 💡 🤔 What if we could stream Second Life from an ugly Desktop gaming PC that is hidden away (similar to the rubber gimp I keep in my basement), to our pretty Apple computers? Teamviewer might do that, and I think it can also transfer files?
  16. Here is my not very useful opinion: I like my Firestorm dressed in AnsaStorm Blue and my Catznip naked. 🙊 ✌️ PS: All viewers gorge themselves on memory, it's in their nature. I care about all animals equally, and won't judge a hog.
  17. I'm late to this topic, but if you still want information, here is my take on it: The reason for the poor performance is the CPU. That i5 chip in the 2017 MBP only has two cores and a rather "low" single core frequency. As someone already mentioned in this thread, there are also limitations due to thermal constraints. The poor, little CPU can't boost for very long in the tiny 13" chassis. Once it gets to 99°C it might throttle the frequency below its base clock speed, resulting in a MBP that isn't necessarily hot and noisy, but slow af. You probably wouldn't have that issue on a 2018/19 13" MBP with 4 cores, and definitely wouldn't have that issue on a 2019 15" MBP. For many users Firestorm runs great on Ubuntu with a decent desktop i5 CPU and an entry level GPU. I'd order a 27" iMac with SSD upgrade (you can stick more RAM inside on your own), if you have the money go for the high-end model, skip the Vega GPU upgrade (you run better and cheaper with an eGPU), and test the heck out of it before the return window runs out. Desktop computer with Windows and ugly PC peripherals isn't something I'd be willing to put up with just to run Second Life. Surround yourself with beautiful things, mate, and you will have a better experience in any case. Linden Lab needs to deliver a proper, native Mac client that runs on Metal 2.
  18. We made a new creator kit for collars last year and you can learn everything about it at: https://www.opencollar.at/workshop.html I'm going to respond to some other postings as well. The code base that is distributed by the SL based OpenCollar group is a fork of my now retired product OpenCollar Six: https://github.com/OpenCollar/opencollar/graphs/contributors The forking was done at version 6.5.5, the last version where I was using oc_sys.lsl, which I have developed particularly for OpenCollar Six. Past version 6.5.5 I decided that it was more meaningful to separate oc_sys.lsl into modular plugins for the root menu (oc_root.lsl), the rlv master lock (oc_lock.lsl), the stealth or "hide" feature (oc_stealth.lsl), and the update protocol (oc_update.lsl): https://github.com/OpenCollar/opencollar/issues/1033 It was also a problem that the HTTP requests and URLs were visible to anyone in our full permission scripts on SL. This was very prone to abuse, where griefers were able to spam requests to our URLs, resulting in increased cost or denial of service. We were using AWS at the time for version control and update news service, a distributed attack could have been devastating to us financially, as we were barely making any money with our collars. At time over 80% of our content was cost-free and we always had issues with funding. Today 50% of our content is still cost-free, including the flagship collar and corresponding software package, something that I have developed and maintained for almost a decade. In aspect of all of these problems, I've decided to not to publish the new logic and the new URLs that we used for the new version control and news feature, and released the script where the logic lived, oc_root.lsl, in non-modifiable form inside of SL, with a link in the readme card where to acquire an open source version of it: https://www.opencollar.at/root.html As I'm the author of all this code, the copyright belongs to me, and to share it with others anyway, I was releasing these four new plugins under the Apache 2.0. What many people seem to misunderstand about "free and open source licensing", is that even though you publish your code under such a license, you are not waiving your own copyright in some way. I loved open source and what it stood for, so I found a solution that would make our operation safe, while at the same time, provide our users with not only the same freedom that they had before with the overly complex oc_sys.lsl, but an even greater freedom and much greater convenience in regards of fun modifications for all skill levels of coders, not just professional engineers. Legally the OpenCollar trademark belongs to nobody. If it was disputed, and I would make claims, it would most likely end up with me, because I have 8 years worth of documented efforts in creating, maintaining and protecting OpenCollar as a product, and as a community, unlike the persons who own the OpenCollar SL group. The Intellectual Property Right on much of the creative content in OpenCollar also belongs to me. I've been creating either the whole content, or the content in part or in collaboration. In particular all of the sounds, all of the particles, all of the default texture work, every single text in notifies, readme cards, the complete documentation, several versions of the OpenCollar logo, all of the collar vending posters, and most of the animation content, unless it were modifications that I based on public domain goods, which is well documented as well: https://github.com/OpenCollar/opencollar/commits/master/res While I understand that people want to stand up for what is right, I'd advise caution to make such statements about others Intellectual Property Rights. OpenCollar was something that we made together, and until the OpenCollar group founders returned to SL after almost seven years of absence, there were never any ownership claims made. We just had fun developing the collar and playing with it, and I was emotionally invested on SL and loved our community. People shouldn't be judged or mocked when choosing my side in all of this. It hurts when others amuse themselves about what happened to me, and I still tried to move on. I've spent all my free time in 2018 to disambiguate my product, the OpenCollar Six, from the so called "official OpenCollar", that was nothing but my old OpenCollar 6.5.5. I gave my produce a new name, Peanut 9, I created a new logo, I've organized a new and fun community group, and built a new flag ship location. I'm not sure why so many people believe that the SL based OpenCollar group is in some way not making any money of it, when the parties who immediately jumped on the band-wagon when the group founders started the OC 7 fork, were two strictly profit orientated jewelry business, where both make many sales on Marketplace based on ranking. I'm well known to support new and old residents who have smaller businesses but who create original and genuine artwork. To business men that has always been perceived as a threat because more good quality content, from many different artists and shops, means more competition. I like competition, I think it is extremely healthy for Second Life when there are many small brands, with tons of creative and original content. That's what builds this world, what motivates residents to purchase Linden$, what keeps SL relevant and alive and quirky and unique. I wouldn't take the scripts from either github.com/OpenCollar or from github.com/OpenCollarTeam. If open source is needed, I would suggest to go with my Summer Refresh version of the collar, which is, and will be, the last open source collar code base I ever published. "Open source" is over for me because I had to experience what it means when something I genuinely wanted to share with everyone, gets turned into pound of flesh that people fight over like crazy, with everything nasty introduced to it, including politics. OpenCollar should belong to no one and to everyone at the same time, just like so many other things should: https://github.com/WendyStarfall/peanut Okay, this post is getting very long, and I should stop. Thanks for reading.
  19. In response to the original poster: This kind of behavior is prevented in my distribution of OpenCollar. You are always able to do these things: 1. Use the safeword 2. Run away via Access menu If you cannot access the menu at all, you have to use the chat command, and if you are RLV blocked, you can either use OOC brackets ((like so)) or your channel. To learn about your channel, type: *info ..and if literally nothing happened, try to install my update. There are nice collar and cuffs sets available that use modern versions of OpenCollar, the most recent version is called "Peanut!". There is a nice collar and cuff set by Romka Swallowtail, available for L$10 on the Marketplace.
  20. I'm OpenCollar everywhere else than in those old groups. That's easy to see if you visit the official homepage www.opencollar.at The groups were taken by former members via an undocumented loophole that allows the founder of a group to reset the group owners, which is not possible within normal features in the SL viewer. There is a JIRA issue about it, but I don't have the url handy at the moment. There was no discussion whatsoever about this, and everyone of the former team was silenced and ejected. I've wrote some about this at opencollar.at/blog This "OC version 7" is not acknowledged as an actual "OpenCollar branded product" by any of the people who created and maintained OpenCollar during the last six years. I hope this clarifies things for those who asked me in-world ♥
  21. Yes, I literally stumbled upon this by coincidence (I didn't even realize that these were dedicated fori until today :matte-motes-bashful-cute-2:). Well, I'm one for the bootcamp approach for novice scripters with all the yelling, degradation and weird, apparently meaningless ritualism that it takes for THESE WORMS TO BECOME MEN! The total-unixy modularization that programs, such as OpenCollar pre-4.0 had, are not suited for Second Life because this platform has a way different pulse than an OS of course. My wording was maybe a tad too populistic, yet I want that it is clearly understood that an approach meaning to modularize is not in the slightest way an indication that the programmer was doing a bad or lazy job. Usually it means the opposite and that she or he was investing a whole lot more thought than someone who created a cacaphonical masterpiece of LSL library copypasta in "only a single script". If anything led aspiring scripters astray it'd be to be labelled "no good" for a dedicated approach that ended up having their users harassed by "script counter bans". Say, if you "do one thing and do it well" in one script, then strung those scripts together into a program, that novice scripter had a much harder time but once observing it working, has a significantly more gentle time to optimize things and/or combine them into fewer scripts if that's what should be done to suite the particular platform better. The nastiness that we can observe and that created the dreadened "script lag" is when an avatar enters a region and in turn that region gets a mini-stroke. I'm not meaning to swoon about OpenCollar so much but this whole process and progress reflects extremely well in this device as it evolved from a hardliner unixy techno-hippy approach into an optimized and sophisticated sample especially for acolythes. I also want to express here that I don't think it will cause less lag if a person wasn't wearing the one item that resembled an important bond to him or her on Second Life. Please keep in mind that only through this modular approach, it is possible to shrink down that "collar" to less than half a dozen scripts while still retaining the ability to beef it back up into a soaring, bleeding edge role play device. It's a good sample, I think.
  22. I've stumbled upon this by coincidence. Scripts only use negligible server resource, granted that the script was created by a halfway decent hobbyist or professional programmer. A modern LSL script (compiled in mono) can have a maximum amount of 64 kilobytes. That is about as much as an average sim card has, like the one that you would stick into your phone. An item that is designed in a sophisticated and resource friendly way, usually has more scripts than a quick and dirty hack that is done with lots of copypasta in "only" a single script. Unfortunately some scripters who don't possess the skill to create high quality programs, often cram everything into a single script and then claim that this was done for "less lag". That's a bit silly of course. It would mean that a person investing less thought and effort into scripting would produce a better result than someone who follows basic UNIX programming philosophy and takes her time to intelligently split individual logic up into dedicated scripts. You have to imagine that like a row of windmills which have virtually no impact on the environment other than that they stand there and do their job, compared to a nuclear reactor that is a single entity but can have very negative impact on the environment and destroys everything if it breaks. OpenCollar, which was mentioned here in this thread, has been a leading edge in LSL programming during the last years and the project itself is on the number #1 spot of globally trending LSL open source projects on GitHub (the largest host of source code in the world) persistently since 2013 and at the time of this writing. In that sense OpenCollar is the go-to resource for resource friendly methods in LSL scripting. What most residents experience as lag is the enormous amount of visual content that their viewer has to download in order to render everything and everyone around. A high quality texture, like your mesh head's face, with a resolution of 1024 x 1024 would have an average file size of 4 megabytes. That is about as much information as 63 scripts have. Scripts are vilified because many people don't understand them. In the end it is all just information that needs to be either processed on the server or downloaded to the computer. Script counters are an indication that the venue's owner is desperate to pass the blame because many visitors are moaning about lag, only to end up harassing their own guests. The fault is never in your own avatar or in your choice of skin, clothing and accessory. You are not to blame. At the moment lag is part of the nature of the beast and the best known cure for it is zen.
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