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Talvin Muircastle

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  1. I don't know if I had over 300 hours a month, but I certainly was in one of the heavier segments. Now I am only doing about 4 hours a week. Spending the time I used to spend in SL in another grid.
  2. I knew for years blind people can use computers well, in fact, there is Max, the virtual guide dog here in SL. There is a big learning curve to use him, and one has to learn and remember a LONG list of commands, but I obtained a free copy months ago and tried him out, and while it was a challenge to learn for a sighted person even, Max did work quite well. Doggie: I was referring to times my wife spent in Virtual Ability. She doesn't use Max, which is really obsolete technology anyhow. She uses Radegast, which doesn't rely on scripts that other people can turn off at whim. Too, Radegast works with OpenSim, and Max relies on scripts with limited permissions that can't be ported there. So at least when the Non-Profits have to bail out of SL, they won't have to leave that segment of the population behind.
  3. Setting up house in SL means accessing a very particular, narrowly focused audience .... that in-between audience of not-exactly-gamers ... and only those that can afford all of the system requirements in order to access SL in any meaninful productive way. I must take personal exception to this. I am NOT in a little box that says "not-exactly-gamers". I play TF2 and Starcraft regularly. I was online the night World of Warcraft opened. I am also a homeschooler, a disability rights activist, a philanthropic scripter, and one of the leaders of an active social/sci-fi fandom group here in SL. I have worked alongside some of the non-profits in SL. We are not 2-dimensional people in a 3-dimensional world, here, Om. The same people who work to make the Non-Profits a success in SL are also involved in other things inside SL and outside of it. Their departure will be felt strongly outside of their non-profit work. Many of the things I have seen may not directly impact as many people, but the indirect impact is incalculable. Virtual Ability (to use one example) is a meeting place for people with disabilities, professionals, and those totally new to the Disability Community from all over the world. Nowhere else offers a gathering of ideas and experiences quite like that. Educators and their students come there to learn about Disability and how their field interacts with People With Disabilities. People who did not realize that a Blind person can use a computer at all have sat down in a meeting with someone who has been Blind since birth and using Virtual Worlds since the mid-90's. When they leave, they take that knowledge with them and share it out in the Real World. It has a real impact. The technology doesn't yet support huge groups of students, that is true. But for a "Train the Trainer" venue that is international in scope and limitless in diversity, it is unmatched.
  4. LL has been trying to leverage volunteer labor for a while. The Resident Help Networks, the Community Gateways, the Open Source projects: all of these were attempts to get people to volunteer their time to a for-profit corporation. All things considered, they were pretty successful at getting people to volunteer, but LL doesn't have a clue how to work with or manage volunteers. They routinely abuse them, in fact. So, now the Non-Profits are considering moves to other Grids. Some of those grids really need volunteers: Tech-Savvy people with a passion for virtual worlds who can make things work. Non-Profits understand Volunteers, how to recruit them, how to use them effectively. Some better than others, it is true. When those Dedicated Volunteers decide to stop giving SL their free labor and take it elsewhere, they will take their money with them. As they should.
  5. Many people join SL to interact with the Non-Profit and Education communities. And they go out and buy things. They join the economy. No, not all of them, but I have seen members of those communities shell out some pretty impressive amounts of $L. If those communities leave or migrate, the people who came here to interact with them will do likewise. Linden Lab is determined to kill the Goose that laid the Golden Egg. They are also lying to us, I believe. They keep saying the company is in good financial condition--but this flies in the face of that. The two statements cannot reconcile.
  6. I would ask for one more refinement of the name-changing deal: You can always, without paying and without time restrictions, revert to your "default" name, the one you started with. Example: As I understand it, my username will be talvin.muircastle, and my initial display name will be Talvin Muircastle. Let's treat that as a default. Say we are doing an event, and I change my name to "Igor Brainfetcher". This is a one-day event. I don't want to be Igor forever, I want to be Igor for that day. When the event is done, I can't go and change my name to "Jung Frankenstein": I need to wait a while. BUT, I can revert back instantly and without fee to "Talvin Muircastle".
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