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June 27, 2006

Comments

Rose Evans

Might have been asked / answered, don't have a ton of time to go though all of it (glances at the clock and twitchs) ... As SL will now use your hardware to ident you, what happens if you upgrade your hardware or otherwise change your hardware ? Will SL freak out or what?

Rose

Reagan Nadir

I think LL is trying their hardest to satisfy our needs in SL. They are doing what they feel is best for residents. But, if they feel like in the future that SL is "credit card only" deal.. There goes my account.

[xo.Reagan]

Aliasi Stonebender

Gwyn, once again, is being a voice of reason, but maybe somebody needs to restate things more bluntly than Robin or Gwyn. Luckily, that's why I'm around. *grin*

Firstly: If you're account was created before 6/6/06, you're already a validated account. LL is not "creating a way for the EVIL HACKERS TO STEAL YOUR INFOS!!", they're adding an option they didn't have before. If you weren't worried about losing your credit card info before, I wouldn't worry now. Unless there's been some rash of credit-card theft in SL I was previously unaware of...

Secondly: The sort of hardware information LL is gathering is, if it's anything like similar systems in use elsewhere, strictly limited to noting major identifying marks of your computer system and boiling them down to a hashfile - which does not allow someone to figure out any identifying information other than "hey, this account has this hash, and this other account ALSO has this hash, so they're probably coming from the same computer."

Even if they could, the information is going to be limited to the sort of hardware that's in your computer. LL will not be able to tell your favorite foods, colors, or which hand you like to masturbate with. I support privacy, but there's a difference between "privacy" and "total anonymity", and ultimately the information that will be useful to LL is the same sort of information you already spread far and wide in normal use of the Internet.

Wraith Unsung

As an owner of a Mature Sim, this change really worries me. I keep hearing about Adults on the Teen Grid. What I am not hearing is concerns about children having a much much easier time gaining access to the adult grid.

I am a parent, and the things that go on in the Mature areas are NOT for minors. Up until now, I have felt that it is pretty certain that the people coming into my sim and engaging in adult activity are in fact adults.

With nothing but an email address to verify, I don't know how I can feel secure in this any more.

Minors will have a much easier time logging into the adult grid, and the first place a teenager is going to go is to adult oriented areas.

When scores of parents across the glove discover their children accessing sexual content in Secondlife, who is going to hold the blame for providing that content to their children? Linden Labs, or Content Creators?

Sexual roleplay between consensual adults is a big part of SL. How can I be reassured that I am not providing access to innapropriate material to minors?

Raavi Mann

Brilliant solution... NOT
Example: My friend doesn't have an internet connection and is using my connection and my computer to access SL. Since he's a newbie to the world he is bound to make a mistake or two... but that means MY account is at risk too!
Also, adding the "verified vs non-verified" info... bah, why do I bother? You guys never listen because if you would you'd roll back to the old system long ago

Silvermane Fluffball

Cherry Czervik: Well, if it's illegal in your country, you better stop using SL then.. But do take into account, that the laws of the country in which the servers to login stands, are the laws that will be taking into account.. Also i'm pretty use that they will state it in the policy, before you even install the game.. Soo..

Also, if you want another example of games that use hardware verification, look at World of Warcraft. They just do it without even alerting their users..

All in all, i think it's a good amount of changes. So far i haven't myself had any problems with griefers or such in SL (not more than before, when all needed a credit card), but after what i read about the credit card on file, it sounds like they will just use:

No Payment Info on File - account was created with no credit card or Paypal
Payment Info on File - account has provided a credit card or Paypal
Payment Info Used - credit card or Paypal on account has successfully been billed

No info, Info on file, Info used.. So people can't really see how you pay for SL here, only if you have it on file, and has used it in anyway (buying Linden, paying month dues and so on)..

So personally i cannot see anything wrong, other than the discrimination issues, with these changes..

Also personally, i will not discriminate against if people have credit cards info or not. If they are minors i don't really care. I judge people on their behaviour towards me, not technical details..

Silvermane..

Raavi Mann

Oh, and here's something that springed to my mind...
What about people who don't own land? Are they at the mercy of every griefer and minor out there? WTG!
Also, what about public places that just CANNOT use the tools you speak of? For example The Shelter, NCI, public sandboxes? Oh, this is sooooo brilliant... a 4 YO kid would probably figure out a better solution. I won't even mention that "land access" tools are a joke as they are. I can be explicitly banned on a parcel but I still can rez stuff there and move around freely using a nonphys vehicle... so what's the point? FYI - I tested that on the parcel I'm renting

Silvermane Fluffball

Oh, and my above directed comment was for Lecina Enigma not Cherry Czervik, sorry Cherry. I was tired and read the blog thingie upside down. :)

Silvermane

Strav

LL, I hope you guys reverse the decision of displaying account payment info. Instead of encouraging overseas participants to get involved.. you'd be discouraging them although their levels of committment may be high.

There are some countries where paypal don't offer their services, like in Bahrain (Michael Jackson's new residential country), or other places in the Middle East & North Africa region. I hope you will reconsider this decision. Some of us may still be students without access to a CC or just may not be comfortable will placing our CC info in there, considering the latest exploits happening on SL's servers.

By allowing land owners to view payment info on a resident's account you would indirectly be placing limits to the residents' imagination, doesn't the theme of your slogan suggest otherwise?

Be The Change!


((thank you))

Karmianna Hartunian

What I can tell you is based on the recent problems i have encountered on my land with new avis, I plan on banning any account that is unverified as soon as sl gives me that option.

I am not happy about it but I am less happy with having t remove 50 or so prims every day and having avi's walk in my house and shoot me or just appear on my land and interupt what ever I had going on at the time.

ImpDaddy

I have multiple people that use this machine to access SL, but I am the only one that is a "Premium" user of SL. My wife has the SL client on her computer as well, but prefers to use mine because it's a little faster and has a lot more RAM in it (and we all know how big a problem speed is in SL). There have been plenty of times that I have slid over to her computer and used it to log into SL and do a few things from her machine while mine was busy doing some work though, so my own account accesses from multiple computers, just like hers does occasionally. How is this going to impact my being identified by my unique hardware ID? If the first time I login after the change is from her computer do I then HAVE to use her slower machine from then on or be labeled a "griefer"? Same with her...will the next time she tries to log on on my machine cause some flag to go up and get us both banned? Do I have to tell my neighbor that doesn't have broadband but still likes the idea of SL that she can't come and play from my computer anymore, because I will suddenly be labeled a "griefer" and lose the access I am paying for because I was nice enough to let her get in and get addicted to SL?

Also, the listing "Credit card info on file and paid" on accounts, or "No CC info, not paying us any money to play" in your profile. I DO pay, and I don't much like the idea... I much prefer the "Verified" or "UnVerified" flags. Of course, I am paid, thus "Verified", but my wife and neighbor are NOT paid, but at least the wife is "Verified", I believe she did the cell phone thing with her phone...so if you are wanting to just ID those people that handed you money to be in SL, that wouldn't work...she'd be listed as "Verified" even though she's not a paid member...but then, if verification of ID is all you are REALLY after, that should be enough, shouldn't it? I don't know about my neighbor...I know she joined after the 50 allowance a week was stopped, but I don't know if she had to verify her ID or not.

You are making money off of me. I pay you. You aren't CURRENTLY making money off of my wife, but she DOES occasionally buy currency in other online games she plays, and if she ever gets heavily into SL I expect she probably will here too, even if she doesn't become a premium member. I can easily see her using the Linden Xchange to buy more Lindens so she can buy more clothes in SL...so you would still be making some money off of her with what you skim from each transaction through the exchange even if she never went premium. I can say for sure though that she will never go premium if she logs in and finds someone has hung a "User doesn't pay us any money" sign on her and she can't enter huge sections of the world because of it...and I can't imagine she'd be the only one that would feel that way.

My opinion (for what little it may be worth) would be to just use "Verified" for anyone that has submitted any kind of verification info you have required, regardless of whether they are premium or basic, and "UnVerified" if they have not. That will more than fulfill the stated reasons for doing it, without as much likelyhood of abuse by people discriminating against those who would rather just play around in SL on a basic account.

One other thought...what if someone has a premium account, but drops back down to basic? You would have at one time HAD payment info on them...but would they now suddenly find themselves with the "Not paying us any money" sign hung around their neck and be unable to go a lot of the places they like and do a lot of the things they do now? I have seen quite a few posts by people in the forums where they have said they were premium, but dropped back down to basic. Right now I don't currently own any land...I had bought first land and built a little house, then someone flew by and offered me 6000 lindens for it, so I sold out and moved on... I'm not really getting anything extra for my premium right now, so if I drop to basic will I suddenly be shunned and have no reason to return to SL anymore? (And I HAVE purchased Lindens through the exchange, so you have been making money off of me two ways...)

Such things make me nervous. I like SL, but I am not yet ADDICTED to it. True, I saw the potential for addiction, and I do occasionally spend a lot of time in here... And yes, I did become a premium member within a week of joining up because I can see myself having a great deal of fun in here...

But it sounds like there is a real potential for the milk to go sour here...

And I'm just real afraid it's going to.

Dolus Naumova

As a Teen Grid resident, I had to read the blog post twice -- the first time I read it it seemed to essentially saying that it's okay for teens to go onto the Main Grid.

The problem -- from what I've been able to get from blogs, podcasts, and photos -- is not that people are worried about adults getting on the Teen Grid, but rather that teens are getting on the Main Grid. Requiring a credit card to get on the Teen Grid is the wrong thing to do. If you're going to require a credit card, require it for both the Main Grid and the Teen Grid like it was before. While there may have been some people who were turned off to the idea -- those who don't have a credit card but do have a debit card, for example -- could simply be offered a trial account. Someone else mentioned this before.

One solution that I think would thrill the Teen Grid residents is to merge the Main Grid and the Teen Grid (or have a place for inter-grid commerce). The NUMBER ONE LEADING REASON of teens going to the Main Grid is NOT for porn. It's because, quite frankly, the Teen Grid -sucks.- Everything is the same, and it isn't pretty. Take the worst build you can think of on the Main Grid. Multiply it by around 2000. Now put particles, litter, bright, garish colors, loud, crappy music, shouting objects, pushing things, and immature and annoying users with it and BAM. Welcome to the Teen Grid. Most people on the Teen Grid can't wait to get off it. It's a hellhole there. There's very few things that are any good at all. The highest quality stuff we have pales in comparision next to mediocre stuff on the Main Grid.

There's a stereotype about teens that all we care about is sex, porn, and sex. That may be true with a tiny minority of teens, but those teens will have already found other things that suit them. If one found Second Life, do you think he'd be on the Teen Grid? No. No matter what kind of blocks and verification systems you set up, teens who are intent on getting smut WILL circumvent them. There's nothing you can do about it.

Teens are really more mature than people think. Sure, you'll have the ones who aren't and who match stereotypes perfectly. But even though the teen grid seems to have a lot of immature people, it has just as many -- if not more -- mature residents who are far less childish than many adults.

Teens like being in an area with other teens. It's built into our genes -- we like being with other people. But teens also like being with adults who respect and interest them. The Teen Grid doesn't have any adults save for a few Lindens and the small group of adults on the GlobalKids island.

If you want to keep the teens off the Main Grid and the adults off the Teen Grid, the solution is not to require premium accounts for areas that are over PG. That's just silly for a variety of reasons presented above. The way to keep it seperate is to appeal to the tastes of teens: allow intergrid commerce. In order to continue making money, teens will need to increase the quality of their content, and create new, innovative products to sell. It creates a stronger economy for both grids. Allow a certain area for adults to come into the Teen Grid and teens to come into the Main Grid so they can interact. Sure, it's nice to have teens interacting with teens but at a certain point, EVERYONE gets tired of their peers and wants to be with someone else. And the way the grids are set up now, there's always going to be teens going into the Main Grid to get that deep conversation with an adult, or just to do something totally wacky with people who are older than them.

Jesse Malthus

*sigh*
As a pre-666 account houlder, and someone who has purchaced L$ from LindeX, this really doesn't affect me. However, this does effect my friends whom I've been recruiting to play SL. For example, I have a friend who doesn't have broadband, and occasionaly uses my computer to play SL. As he's still new to the game, he's bound to get into mischief. As a result, especially because he's unverified, my account is in jepordy, should he mess up and do something stupid.
Also, why do you have to denote payment information/use? Verified and Unverified are perfectly good titles. I do agree with someone above who said that this is just creating and enforcing a caste system that serves only to alienate new residents and "shelter" the elite from the "unwashed masses"

Amber Lily

Regarding "Account Information in Profile", I believe the concept of the three identifying account types should be fine. The main ideal is to inform other "Second Life" members of the status of other residents, so that all involved might see the amount of commitment you've made available to other residents and also to the progress of the "Second Life" community. In doing so it will establish a trust and 'help' to eliminate any breach of predictors and/or swindlers that have intentions of compromise, hinder, violate, or harm the residents, the staff or the system in any form or fashion. This is something that should not be a consideration, but a commitment and an involvement of all to help enforce our safety, the safety of our children and the safety of our friends we have come to know and respect for who they are and for the friends that 'will be' in the future. "Linden Lab" is looking out for our best interest and we should look out ourself's to see if we can help in any form or fashion to improve or make their task easier without compromising the quality of security that is needed to keep all residents safe and secure and still experience a pleasurable fulfillment that only our virtual experience in "Second Life" can fulfill. I give my regards and I send my gratefulness to all parties involved that are trying to make "Second Life" a safer and more secure place for all of us and our families. Thank you "Linden Lab"!
Signed,
Amber Lily aka Dreama Zuma

Jesse Malthus

Amber: I disagree, in that money spent and SL commitment are not corelated. There are people who are wholehartedly commited to helping SL, mainly content creators, who are serving the community without paying a dime. Conversley, there are most certanly people who invest a ton of money into SL and not be commited to it at all. LL is inflaming a system that already discriminate against those who don't have the money to or are not willing to pay to achieve social and political standing.
--Jesse

LarryS Laffer

I welcome the changes, but I wonder why LL did use three states for verification.

A simple boolean would be sufficient, you are either verified or not.

I want to be able to lockout non verified members as I run a mature club. I need to be sure the account has been backed by other means of verification of age.

Legally, reading the old ToS, we as content creators are the sole owners of said content. If LL gets a suit filed against them based on minors getting access to or viewing of mature content, LL will have to use the ToS as a first defence. Wherein clearly stated the fact WE are the owners, and therefore responsible.

As I am a European citizen, I could not care less about filed suits, but if I were a US citizen, I would think twice of creating adult content.

As long as LL does not give me a way to check the validity of an account, I am forced to close my parcel for all.

Regarding the collection of a hardware hash, I can only say, why oppose? The OS the most of you are using does the same and sends that info to the company that created the OS. With or without your knowlege.

You need the hash to be able to upgrade the OS anyway.

Regarding mature vs PG grounds, why not allow free accounts access to PG sims alone? As stated earlier, there are 1000+ PG sims, so there will be enough to explore.

And if one wants access to the more mature materials, they have to have a CC or verified PayPal account. There are other ways to identify yourself to LL too. Including phones, faxes, etc. A large number of companies use the faxing of copies of utility bills as a means of verification.

Just my 2cents


Jackson Widget

Dolus, I am also a resident of the Teen Grid as you know, yet I feel you are missing the point here. Your comment was mainly about merging the two grids, which is not likely in the near future. Although I do agree about how our (teen) grid is a hellhole, and the fact that half of each sim is covered in huge boxes with those freebie metal texture bundles that look like a manufacturing era of depression, but in a sci-fi way, and the default wood texture, not to mention the grungy colors, overlapping prims, and crappy builds. I am sure the Main Grid does not want all of these stuck in their Main Grid sims, which im sure there are occasionally things like this, but the whole grid isnt covered with it.

Meanwhile, I would like to argue about the new Teen Grid signups. Me and Philip had a conversation on monday about the TG signups, and I mentioned they should be reverted, which he thought would be a great idea because then you would keep the adults away from the teen grid, which is, in my view the most important priority. He did that for me, but I feel the new hardware tracking is not a good decision. First of all, with the new signups for the Teen Grid, I feel it is not needed as much for intergrid action, as I know, my dad and my brother both have accounts they do not frequently use, (which is from this computer by the way because my dad doestn want to junk up his work laptop, and my brother couldnt get it to work on his laptop), and i do not feel I, or them should be punished for all playing from a single computer. On the main grid, it is of more practical use, mainly for griefers. Many residents here bring up the point of husband -> wife issues of on the same computer. Maybe LL should use the hardware tracking to track patterns of multiple users with griefing problems, as in, every peson reported would get the hardware tracking implemented on their account. My last point, to me, seems most valid, and most practical of use, as im sure none of us feel safe with this tracking, and people like me, and others, who have friends and family that play SL from the same computer, but mean no harm at all whatsoever.

chris

i find the entire discussion about "griefers" hilarious. to alter the signup process for that specific purpose, while ignoring the idea of age verification in this age of online pedophelia is questionable, at best, and perhaps grossly negligent. i also wonder if those residents who are so disturbed by griefers live in utopian communities irl. seems like quite a bit of time and effort expended on an issue that is not truly germane to gameplay (kinda like the whole stipend stink).

real problems that need to be addressed are things like the integrity and stability of the grid...without that, there is no game to grief in. any person involved with software development would wonder why your development team is sending out almost-weekly updates after a major upgrade...that signifies poor software quality assurance, which is more detrimental to gameplay than the occasional griefer.

Strav

The option of faxing your utility bills is definintely an option, Why don't LL look into this as another means of verifying age? Phoning is alo wonderful -- is there something already in place for these, SMS does not work for me and my friends as we're located overseas - much of us based in Asia and there fore our SMS teleco carriers are not listed on the LL-SL page :(

If LL opened this up for international participants in the first place then they should have thought of listing up international carriers for each country or atleast made international participants of SL verify by LL sending us a code via email, and we texting the code back to them via our phones to a pre-defined US number...

Where's the intelligent coding in the signup/login module for SL, I sure do not see it, some answers please LL?

((thanks))

Rikku Okamoto

As much as I doubt that anyone that could actually do something about any of this does anything more than skim, if they have nothing else to do, I'll go ahead and give my two cents.

First off: To prevent outright discrimination, what if, just what if it wasn't an instant, "No you can't come in" to something like "You're in, but if you slip, you're out." What I mean is, instead of uniformally banning people that don't want to give out any personal information, as WILL happen, as stated in previous posts, make it so if you're a certain setting (like anonymous), people of higher standings have the ability to voteban, the number required being set by the owner. That way even if they're not around, people can get rid of 'griefers'.

Second: For the teens in the adult grid thing, look at it this way. It's primarily the parents job to do what they can to prevent their children from getting to things they view as inappropriate. A lot of adult websites rely on third party programs (like web nanny and such) that parents put on their or their children's computer. I'm not entirely sure how the system works however, so it might be worth researching. Anyway, I brought it up because if you made the main SL page marked adult, and had a seperate one for the teen grid downloader and sign up, it might help with teens coming to the adult grid. But hey, I'm new, I could just be spouting hot air.

Third: This one builds on the first idea...thing. For the owners that don't like having things built and left on their land, maybe something could be coded so that they could set a flag so that the property would reset to the previous day at a certain time. I know that probably doesn't make sense, so here's an example (I'm bad at explaining things): Bill just made his home. Yay Bill! And Bill has friends that don't want to give out their information, but at the same time he doesn't trust everyone of the same. Also, Bill doesn't want to have to remove things people left laying around, or be shot in the middle of a chat with friends, or roleplaying. Well, what if the folks at LL put in an ability to set privleges set on whether they're verified or not? Complete anonymity: Can visit, and move on the property, but may not build, and it's the same as protected land. Unverified CC or PP, possibly the same, though perhaps with certain exceptions for a list of people. Etc. That way, people can still come and visit Bill.

Last: For the paranoid club owners, have a PG entryway, so you still get traffic and people can dance and have fun, without having to worry about adult situations, and doors or maybe a script (if something like it is going to be implemented) so that someone below a certain rating can't get into an adult area.

OK, little more than two cents, but at least I got this out of my system. Oh, and sorry for sounding like an idiot, if I did.

Rikku Okamoto

Erm. -blushes- Got sidetracked with the third one.

I meant to also add:

--
Or he could finish up his house, and set a flag so that every day at that same time, anything new not attached to an avatar would be removed, which could be turned off to add new things. Sorta like (provided I understand right) the sandboxes, and how they reset now and then.

Strav

As per this page (http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?t=116758), it states one of the changes as being that:

** Existing clothing and attachments will be
removed

Whats that supposed to mean? All the clothes i bought, objects i was given, etc is going to not be in my inventory with this new version?

Sorry I don't get it.

And instead of making residents download newer versions of SL, you guys at LL should do a pre-fetch query for updating software like many software app coders do such as google talk. Just have an update button on the client to auto update any changes, it's awful to have to take down SL for like 5 hours.. that interupts residential life...

come on there are better way to implement fixes/changes. Flaky Lag in SL experienced since yesterday morning.

Taran Rampersad

I'm new. I got in on the freebie system, got some land, and ended up paying in. In other words, the marketing system worked for me. But in wandering around, I believe I'm a minority. I am, in fact, outside of the U.S. - and without the free account, I probably would not have participated.

Age checks seem sort of important, especially with mature people in PG sims flexing what PG is. And the griefing weapons available for free really kill things. And, from what I understand, the lack of support for Sim Owners is creating it's own problems.

I don't have the large view that LL does - but I do hope that LL is wondering whether they have made a good business decision. On a more human level, when most of the people I know have been caged/attacked by griefers and a 'no retaliation policy', I think LL should investigate cheaper into the bag of tricks for getting more people in.

Perhaps a 'sandbox sim' for new people should be done? It could be done. I think it should be done. Done right, it could be he right balance... especially if other folks in good standing can invite newbies to their areas.

The balance is really straining a lot. I've heard less than kind words about LL's policy, and it's hard to defend such a policy when PG Sim's are being firebombed with free stuff available from anyone and everyone.

Lori

This is a positive step in the right direction, but it needs to be taken further.

Have the following levels, and show each resident's status in the profile. This sorts residents out by who has the most to lose, and it is very fair and equitable.

1. Sim Owner (they are paying $195 a month and they paid $1300 - show them some love)
2. Land Owner / Premium (most land owners would not want to risk losing everything just to orbit someone)
3. Basic (but verified - has purchased $L - but could still be a griefer)
4. Unverified (a free account who might be checking out SL - but also might be an alt created to grief)

I think we can agree most griefers would be in groups 4 and 3. Make them bannable and most of our problems will be over.

Darkfoxx Bunyip

None of the above given solutuions for the creditcard info and resulting discrimination is a solution at all.

As someone above mentioned, huge parts of the main grid will become off limits to those who don't have creditcard onfo supplied to LL, indeed helping against griefers, but also targeting two others: the people that are NOT griefing, and don't have a creditcard, and the people who are -not- discriminating agaist the 'poor' creditcardless people: Where do you think all the griefers will go if 50% of the grid is unavailable? Exactly, to the other part...

and the computer ID system is also a problem... If LL only checks the data when griefing of an account is reported, and then
simply *warns* the other accounts from which PC the griefing is done, no innocent people will be harmed, as they can make sure the giefer who may be a friend, doesn't use their PC anymore: But if LL just goes deleting accounts who share a computer, that will target innocent PC sharing non griefers (like me) as well. Before using the info they collect against griefers, they whoud think really hard and deep... Aftger all: Innocent till proven guilty, isn't that how it works in the US?

Collecting the info about your PC in itself is nothing to be worried about, Heck, Microsoft does that if you install Windows.

Please LL, use the info wisely! Great power comes with great responsibility...

The credit card info being displayed, is begging for discrimination... No matter if it's justified or not. And we have already enough of that on SL, unfortunately.


And on the note of the teens and the teens on main grid and vice versa issue: The internet is not for kids. Children have no place on the net, great for school yes, but aside from that: Why you think the internet was born?
The internet is for PORN! PORN! PORN!

Other then that, it's the kids parents responsibility to keep their kids safe from porn, not the Linden's. Can't/won't take responsibility to guide your kid trough life, RL and on the internet? Should have used a condom!

(BTW, even with creditcard info, it will still be possible for adults to be on the teen grid, and will force a lot of kids to come to the main grid as a lot of parents will not pay for a game that keeps their kids from playing soccer outside, as they SHOULD be doing.)(even if the creditcard is not billed... try and convince dad of that, I can imagine it being an impossible task.)

Greetz, DF

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