Emerald Disaster Update

Categories and Featured Stores on 8/25/2010 12:38:00 AM

Just some more news on the whole Emerald Situation, this time from both Linden Labs and Emerald.

[Linden Labs]:

Dear Second Life Resident,
Late last week, we discovered a denial-of-service attack that was being served through the widely distributed Emerald third-party viewer. This is in direct violation of our third-party viewer policy (part 2, section d, paragraph iii).

We have removed Emerald from the list of third-party viewers, and are now in touch with the Emerald team to discuss what can happen next. We did this to do our best to protect the safety and security of Second Life users. We will not tolerate a viewer that includes malicious code, nor will we tolerate development teams with a history of violating users’ trust or disrupting their lives.

We take privacy, safety, and security very seriously, and we will act to the best of our abilities to protect it. We have not yet disabled logins via the Emerald viewer, but will do so if we feel the software and the team behind it is not able to meet the standards we’ve set. While Emerald is currently the focus of our attention because of what happened recently, all third-party viewers are held to the same standard, and must comply with the third-party viewer policy. Read more >>


If you have been using the Emerald viewer, for now we would encourage you to consider either one of the Linden Lab viewers, or an alternative third-party viewer.


Philip Linden




[Emerald]:


As many of you have heard, Emerald was removed from the TPVD yesterday. This removal was a result of recent actions by former Dev member Fractured Crystal. Fractured resigned from the team due to those actions and Emerald Dev Team has undergone a massive restructuring.  We will be re-applying for the TPVD very soon, however there are some rumors and fears I think need to be addressed.
Many people have heard that Emerald is banned or that users will be banned for using the Emerald Viewer. This is completely untrue.
Linden Lab’s Third Party Viewer Directory is optional for third party viewers to apply for and join. It is not a requirement to be on the directory. What is a requirement however is that third party viewers respect the Third Party Viewer Policy http://secondlife.com/corporate/tpv.php. With the exception of the actions of Fractured recently, Emerald has always respected that policy and will continue to do so.
While Emerald is not on the TPVD you can rest assured that this does not mean Emerald will be banned or blocked by LL, and you will certainly NOT be banned for using emerald.
Sincerely, Jessica Lyon

 -----------------

I've been waiting for these messages. I wanted to flip out on the Second Life club "CLUB BADA BLING!" that sent me this via group notice in a notecard:

********* ENGLISH **********
Those who now are using the client Emerald, Modular Systems, please remove it from the PC and install an alternate client, with the recommendation to change their password as soon as possible since Emerald is * no longer on the list of clients approved by Linden Lab* and its use will soon become a crime, not to mention that is a danger to your safety and privacy online.
Here the viewer .. Secondlife accept that .. http://viewerdirectory.secondlife.com/
OR download from the Viewer ORIGINAL
*WIN Viewer 1*
http://download.cloud.secondlife.com/Second_Life_1-23-5-136262_Setup.exe
*WIN Viewer 2*
http://download.cloud.secondlife.com/beta-releases/Viewer-2-1-0/Second_Life_2-1-1-207998_BetaViewer_Setup.exe

*Snowglobe 1.3.2*
http://download.cloud.secondlife.com/Second_Life_1-23-5-136262_Setup.exe
*Snowglobe 1.4*
Release Candidate*
http://secondlife.com/developers/opensource/downloads/2009/1.4/3614/Snowglobe_1-4-1-3614_Setup.exe
*Snowglobe 2.0.2*
http://secondlife.com/developers/opensource/downloads/2010/2.0/3591/Snowglobe_2-0-2-3591_Setup.exe

Don't we all love stupid rumors? I'm not in groups to be tricked by gossip thank you very much. *leaves group*
And no, this isn't slander. It's the truth, it's what they did. Also, if they read the official statement OR watched the treet.tv video, they would have known their passwords were never at risk. Some confidential computer information such as where Emerald was stored on your hard drive and your computer user profile name was at risk if you were either a Mac user or installed Emerald to your desktop on a PC. No one wants someone else to know this information but let's at least get the facts right. And where the hell did a "crime" come from? I don't even want to get started on that.

Definition: Slander: Charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone.

Not false accusations. :)

Enough about that, moving on to the truth. Both parties [Emerald and Linden Labs] are handling this very professionally. They're making official statements on what is going on so that we know exactly how to react to all this chaos. As I blogged a little while ago, Emerald isn't banned. Linden Labs just have to re-check it again to make sure it's safe for its users again.

Fractured Crystal, the previous leader of the Emerald Project did some real damage to Emerald user's trust. Do I think the Emerald Viewer will suffer a loss of users because of this? Of course. We all want the ability to trust the programs we use. Emerald may never be the same again, but that doesn't mean i'm giving up on it just yet. It's done so much to make my clumsy self in Second Life so much less clumsy; there's no other Second Life client for me right now.

Currently Net-Stalking Peter Kiers

Categories and Featured Stores on 8/23/2010 01:27:00 AM

There's this awesome guy I met in Second Life, his name is Peter Kiers in real life. So anyway the last time I spoke with him (a couple of days ago) he mentioned he was working on a game (here). I loved how he tried to casually slip in "I'm working on a game" into every day conversation. He's so cute lol. I've tried coding, that's not an "every day thing". There's a reason why I don't want to be a Software Developer anymore; coding isn't for me.

So yeah, now i'm sorta net-stalking him; snooping around his Twitter and what-not...Would help if it were in ENGLISH...or just one Peter Kiers on the net..I'm still trying to find his Facebook :(..So anyway i've decided that i'll try and get an interview with him about this game idea later on (and shake his Facebook profile out of him) I'll keep you posted. :)

New Emerald Viewer Leader on Treet.tv

Categories and Featured Stores on 8/23/2010 12:22:00 AM

A few hours ago the new leader of the Emerald Viewer Project along with another member of the staff appeared on Treet.tv (here) today to talk about what happened with Emerald's former leader Fractured Crystal.


Arabella Steadham is her name in Second Life. She and Jessica Lyon answered some pretty serious questions about the road Emerald Viewer had gone down. As far as users new, the Emerald Project staff seemed to be quite open with us on the Modular Systems blog (here) but Steadham claims otherwise, and that our trusted Frac went as far as to add code to the viewer that could potentially put almost anyone's computer at risk. Were we really at risk? No, I don't think so, but we could have been. Linden Labs seemed to think so, by taking Emerald Viewer off of it's "Third Party Viewer Directory" listing (here).



But i'm sure Emerald users have noticed that the Emerald Viewer hasn't been officially banned by Linden Labs (seeing as we can still use it) they just are not supporting it at the moment. Apparently they don't find Emerald Viewer a big enough of a threat to Second Life users. Steadham hopes to have that fixed as soon as possible. The bad code? She claims it has all been removed, and that even some of the Emerald Project members have been banned from the team as well.

Some key points:

- I truly believe that the Emerald Viewer is safe.
- I don't believe that Fractured Crystal will turn around and harm Emerald; he willingly gave the Emerald Project to Steadham and posted an apologetic blog entry about his shameful acts.
- Emerald is no longer being run by one person like a "republican" team, but democratic. Steadham is only overseeing the areas where she has no choice but to have someone in charge (ie hosting the servers).
- Steadham's hair matched with her cute pale skin is incredibly cute. ;)

All in all, I suggest Emerald Users just wait this mess out, Steadham has made it quite clear that what's left of the Emerald Project team are working hard to get all issues sorted, and are open to answering any questions or concerns we may have by contacting them in world. I have a feeling that before we know it everything will be back to normal and I have faith that the Emerald team will keep us posted on what's going on.

Why I use Emerald Viewer (and Always Will)

Categories and Featured Stores on 8/22/2010 03:13:00 PM

I was skeptical of using anything but the normal Second Life Viewer at first but I heard so many positive reviews about Emerald Viewer I just had to try it out. I'm soooo glad I did. Now Emerald Viewer is all I ever use. A while after Viewer 2 came out I did give it a try and it was HORRIBLE. I hated it in approximately 2 hours. Not disliked, hated. My friend told me that Emerald had recently released a beta with alpha layers. It was a bit buggy but it was much better than Viewer 2. Those said bugs seemed to be fixed after another beta release, and now everything seems to run quite smoothly. I learned a lesson; never use anything but Emerald Viewer!

Every time I use Second Life Viewer I have some sort of problem with it. It's too laggy, and who the hell has time to learn new controls anyway? I've had an sl account since 2006, why would I want to learn a new client now? Besides, Emerald Viewer is packed with useful and fun features. Ok some aren't useful like changing the color your name/tag displays in to other Emerald Users, but it's still fun!

Long live Emerald!

On a side note, you will be missed Frac, creator of the Emerald Project. :(( If you didn't know, he posted about him resigning from the team. ( Posted Here )

Naga 2010: Chili Pepper Frenzy!

Categories and Featured Stores on 8/21/2010 03:03:00 PM

www.naga2010.com

 Tampere, Finland:

Today in Finland there's a chili pepper festival in Tampere! Awesome right? 



 Look at all of them on this table! Plump chilis in various colors. I admit I wouldn't eat a chili pepper on a dare, but still, they're so colorful. :)


Here's some packaged chilies:



Now for some scenery...I LOVE photography. Particularly scenery... :)




Looks like a great spot for a picnic to me! The water looks beautiful, I wish I was there to snag more photos of it, the flowers too. 




Seemed like it must have been fun. I'm not in Finland but if they have a Inuyasha festival or something i'm soooo there in a heartbeat. Hope you all had fun at Naga!


Speaking of anime, i'm still waiting for new eps of Dance In The Vampire Bund to come out...HURRY UP.

Some Videos

Categories and Featured Stores on 8/21/2010 11:14:00 AM



Not exactly what you're used to when it comes to Brittney.;)

Second Life: Merging of Main Grid with Teen Grid

Categories and Featured Stores on 8/21/2010 10:44:00 AM

I logged into Second Life today as always just to get this memo from SpiritValley NightClub & Studio:

ROUGH TRANSCRIPT OF PHILIP'S SPEECH ABOUT THE TEEN GRID

Phillip Linden

The final thing I wanted to talk about, which is probably the most contentious thing, but it's important to have it out, is the teen grid.

Our long term goal, and we've touched on this a little bit publicly before, is to unify activities on the main grid. If you think about the economy statement that I made earlier, the big thing with Second Life is that people can create and share content. The strength of the grid and the success of many of us in here is the fact that we have access to content.

We made a mistake when we launched the teen grid; not letting teenagers in - that's been fantastic - and the educational activities and all the things that have happened in there are great. The mistake that we made was setting it up so the content couldn't be shared between the two grids. And as you guys all know what that caused is essentially the main grid grew exponentially. The teen grid grew, actually for the statistic nerds, the teen grid grows exponentially as well, but it started much later and did not get as many people on it initially...when you have competing exponential growth curves, it's kind of forever hampered, it can never win because the content on the main grid essentially dwarfs the content on the teen grid and there's no access to the two.

So the question is how do we deal with this, what's the best strategy going forward given that we have a ton of activities on the teen grid... and I'd call out educational activities as a special, very wonderful and opportunistic part of Second Life's forward edge of development that are happening there.

So here's what we're gonna do. Very soon, and you'll see an announcement on this, I think next week, you'll see an announcement imminently on more details on this...some of them I don't even have in my head, although you can ask me questions about it.

The first thing we are going to do is we're gonna take the 16- and 17- year old users on the teen grid and we're going to convert them into the main grid. We're going to give them notice on this and there will be a process, but basically we're going to allow those users to transfer onto the main grid.

We believe that the content filtering and protections that we've put in place over the last couple of years are adequate for that age of users, and you'll see us doing other things to support them in the coming months, but we think that's a reasonable strategy. We think that age of user is fine interacting on the main grid with the content controls that we've set in place.

The younger part of the grid, for now, we are basically going to turn off, so that is going to be a big concern short term, but what we are going to do on that front is we are going to work with the educators and other individuals who have been doing specific content development inside teen Second Life and figure out what forward-looking changes we can make to Second Life to support younger ages of users. We're going to be very careful...thank you...we're going to be careful about how we do that, but you will see us doing it. But the change that I can promise right now, step one, is to bring the 16- and 17-year olds onto the main grid and not...and basically shut down the rest of the teen grid for, and you'll see announcements on this in the staging, but for the younger users, but, and several of you have already had communications with folks like Terrence Linden who are talking about how to basically move this forward.

But that's a big change and that change has costs associated with it and I recognize that. We as a company have got to focus on where the greatest sort of resonance and exponential growth can be for all users, so that's a tough call, but I wanted to tell you guys about it here since there are a number of educators here and people who have thought long and hard about this...and I'm gonna be here over the next couple of days, today and tomorrow, and we can have a conversation about this and a few of those conversations have already started. So, okay, well. That's the end of the commitment list. Watch for us to do those things. Thanks. One a more entertaining note to wrap this up and move on to questions...

--------------
Cons: What the hell? Second Life is heavily covered in adult content and places. Sure Linden Labs have set up a nice amount of ways to keep un-age verified people out of places but who's to say that a group of smart teens just don't find some way around them? And if the 16 and 17 year olds are dragged to the main grid only, I could see some 15 year olds wanting to follow there friends at all cost. At this rate 90% of the residential houses will have to be age verified places. Nice job!

Pros: We'll get to see some our Grid counterparts; "getting a taste of the other side". I've always been curious about the Teen Grid. I'm sure they're curious about our Grid as well, especially if they glanced at Xstreet and saw all the awesome things it has to offer from clothes to game replicas. Besides curiosity, I can see adoption agencies getting some interesting traffic. I wouldn't mind taking a 16 year old under my prim wing.

Linden Labs seems like they're going through with this one, so let's wait and see what happens.

- Inuoko