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07/02/2008

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Desmond Shang

I'm not sure what's worse. A mainland buried in ad towers, or the ability to remove thy neighbour's content.

Of course, I'm against obvious ad farms and clear extortion. That stuff needs to go. It's defining those things in the grey area cases that gets tricky.

At least on a private estate you sort of know who you are dealing with, and might even be aware of their track record.

I think the mainland will remain chaotic until a) policies are clear and b) we know with whom the buck stops.

Dale Innis

I really -like- at least part of the mainland being chaotic (I have a park in Hughes Rise where I spend alot of my at-home time, and I like how the oddness sort of ebbs and flows around the place). Although yeah clear-cut fraud and extortion should be dealt with.

Mainland zoning, with a variety of sim-wide covenants, might be a good way to address the various tastes ppl have without making them leave the mainland; although I admit I haven't thought it through in detail.

On the marketing-furniture, I'm not too too worried about the "click for stupid advertisements" kind (that would be so obviously lame, and so defraudable, that I'm reasonably optimistic it would never catch on). But products that secretly listen to chat around them and phone home for marketing purposes? That's *got* to be a TOS violation (and if not the TOS should be updated so that it is)...

Prokofy Neva

I don't see why having a policy against ad extortionists and ad farmers and view-jackers is "taking thy neighbours' content."

It's that extremist, one-sided position that keeps hobbling this discussion. So it's ok for those assholes to "take thy neighbour's land value" and "take they neighbours' view" and "take thy neighbours' eyeballs?" Why is THAT ok?

The absolutism of propertarianism never understands reciprocity, and the devaluation of land and view from a mere 16 m2. Why is that ok?

Everyone else on the 65,556 m sim held hostage to this one greedy asshole on a 16 m2. Why is that ok?

It isn't.

economic mip

I have been very fortunate that these ad farms have remained fairly avoidable in Mujigae, sadly in the neighboring sim I would be lucky to get 3 Lindens per sqm due to the amount of ad farms there. Something has to change.

Desmond Shang

Obviously the extreme cases are not ok, Prok.

Point is, the governance you keep wishing for is going to be more like a cliqueish, inept homeowner association than justice. You should know that by now. People will ban you inworld just for what you write on your blog.

I think the fix for mainland has less to do with rules and a lot more to do with who is enforcing them.

Land extortion, especially, is a grey area. When does property value speculation end, and extortion begin?

Talking about the Umnik Hax's of the world is sort of pointless; we know what those are. It's the cases with more blur at the edges. Might be better to get someone consistent and uninvested to evaluate such cases - and if we don't like what they are doing that person should be removable.

* * * * *

As for Metanomics et al... nothing personal against anyone there, but to me it's sort of like that fellow Simon Cowell, a brash judge of talent on a popular television show.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Cowell

He may be a judge of a television contest, he may even have good opinions... but at base he's just another guy out there talking.

Prok, I think you expected overmuch of them.

Robert Bloomfield/ Beyers Sellers

Slippcat does use the V-Tracker module that Ancient Shriner developed. But their business models really couldn’t be more different. The whole point of Slippcat is to provide ads/info only when requested by the virtual world resident (a “pull” model), rather than using ad farms that people see whether they want to or not (a “push” model). Now, if you want to worry about privacy issues, Slippcat raises at least as many concerns as any other tracking software. But blaming Simuality/Slippcat for ad extortion and blighting the mainland seems like quite a stretch, given that those problems arise from companies pursuing the polar opposite of Slippcat’s marketing approach.

As far as Metanomics show content, I have always defined 'business and policy' pretty broadly. Last week Rick Panganiban talked about non-profits in SL, and Doug Thomas' talked about gamers in the workplace (an HBR article he wrote). This week, we focused on Christian Renaud and Cisco. Next week we have Bettina Tizzy talking about how LL policies on IP affect content creators, and how their execution of PR (which she thinks is poor) affects all of us. She will also be announcing an opportunity for inworld fashion designers to work with top-flight RL fashion designers in a crossover project. After that we have an event with Dancing Ink Productions, Philip Rosedale and the CEO of Manpower; a look at a new browser-based virtual world (Rocketon); a look at K-12 education in the Teen Grid...and hope to have a bunch of interesting folks in August. You can keep up with us at http://metanomics.net. Or drop me a line inworld and I will pass along one of our kiosks.

For what it's worth, I totally agree with you on the undesirability of ad farms and extortion, but I can see how Linden has difficulty in executing any sort of policy that would deal with the problem effectively.

Prokofy Neva

Robert, this is a total misrepresentation of the story, and you are merely accepting the cunning spin from SLIPPCat and adding your own whitewashing -- and that's all pretty reprehensible.

There isn't any "different business model"; it's all seamless. You can't separate out one bad practice that helps sustain the whole Chrischun-Ancient empire and turn around and claim that some other element of it where the customers are using "pull" (off a freebie where the ad is embedded and the first time they click on it, it spams them!!!???) is "OK'. It's not!

It's not AT ALL a stretch to say you are actively contributing to Mainland blight along with these shady characters when Antony van Zyl, like Coldwell Banker before him, goes to the two most NOTORIOUS ad extortionists and view highjackers who have established their empire and networks with the outrageously unscrupulous -- and still continuing! -- methods of destruction of mainland value for everyone else and rapacious and greedy parasiting off their customer traffic, and then turn around and say their vast network has no relevance.

It's like saying "gosh, that Haliburton contract was closed and Haliburton is fine now" -- especially when you see the contract wasn't even closed.

However, I do see the methodology you're using to salve your own guilty conscience and cover your own ass here, and it stinks.

If SLIPPCAT pursues the "polar opposite" as you claim -- FALSELY -- then they can tell their two representatives in SL to a) completely cease ad extortionist sales on mains and alts b) completely cease ugly viewjacking and traffic-parasiting ad towers.

If they are TRULY committed to moving to "pull" and only putting towers where customers request them, Robert, they can REMOVE THEM everywhere else.

Leaving their old extortionist and viewjacking network alive to grab commercial data and connections that they make available then to SLIPPCat hardly sanitizes the SLIPPCat operation, even with new customers ostensibly using "pull" -- and obviously the privacy concerns here are hugely troubling and valid, and not only mine.

Yes, you've defined business as...whatever keeps you and your little FIC friends in view, and influencial, and hooked up to the power lines of SL. If that's non-profits or art, or former CEOs, so be it, because it isn't off topic for power. No, all you've done is try to position yourself to be "relevant" to the Lindens' next big thing of art and education, given that corporations have left, and given that Lindens really would rather have a 3-D NPR than a business anyway.

I totally denounce Bettina's grab to put the Creative Commons license in the viewer, let's hope we can kill THAT communist idea off in its cradle.

You don't teach "critical [i.e. Marxist] accounting" at Cornell, Robert, why advocate for socialist virtual companies and practices like CC in SL?

As for "crossover" projects -- ugh, that's just what's wrong with this bunch. Under the guise of "art" or "non-profit" work, they are busy grabbing contracts and doing deals, using the subsidies that come with those concepts.

I find the coming line-up completely at odds with any claims to be related to "business" by any stretch of the inworld or outworld imagination -- but then, "business" as the Lindens have understood it has always been a peculiar thing, too.

And BTW, your little ad here for your series is parasiting off the traffic of my blog, which is substantially greater than metanomics.net for some reason lol.

Next time you do that you can pay me $6250 Lindens inworld, Beyers, or I remove the ad, as I remove all spam.

The Lindens did create a policy in which they very clearly outlined that extortionist sales to get people to buy back the view, as well as "ostentatious" and obstrutive advertising that they can determine is "harassment" under the TOS *is* actionable and they did ban and remove many such ad farms. What happened is that they ran out of steam doing it, and while there was a lull in banning, the extortionists came back, and when LL did nothing, they came back even more fiercely.

The Lindens claim they are now working on a zoning policy.

Prokofy Neva

Desmond, the better government you fight for always turns out to be far from perfect, but that doesn't negate the reason to fight. I hardly think the mainland will turn into a co-op board or a suburban residents' association stifling everybody from purple-painted home owners to gays, which is the sort of thing they do in real life.

There's needless fussing about the problems opened up by old sims or by some minority of use cases. New rules can go on new sims. New rules don't have to be that elaborate. New rules can just have to do with being able to separate commercial from residential, and that would go a long way toward removing a lot of friction -- and simply ban advertising unless you own 512 in the sim or use some other really simple solution like that going forward (if residential and commercial are designated, that would remove ad farms right there, and that is in fact a hugely easy way to do it without fussing about all these fake use cases and grandfathering problems).

Eschatos Graves

Wow ... “Metanomics Fueled by Ad Extortionists and Data Scrapers” … that’s about like saying that “Coca-Cola, which had a six pack of its cans placed in a GE refrigerator is responsible for the fatalities caused by ‘daisy-cutters’ dropped by planes using GE engines”!

I am the Communications Director for Simuality, LLC. SlippCat™ is one of our brands, specifically an advertising module purposefully designed for unobtrusive use within virtual worlds. The germinal thought behind SlippCat™ was to develop a way for advertisers to reach virtual world consumers with messages that would NOT be in the form of “ad farms” and similar intrusive in-world eyesores. I see that you referenced Dusan Writer’s initial piece on our presentation at the Virtual Worlds Conference in April, but ignored his later clarification (http://dusanwriter.com/?p=419 ).

Items that have the SlippCat™ coding look no different than any other scripted item in Second Life, providing only a small pop-up window when moused over to indicate that there is more information available for this object. If the user is interested in more information, they click on the item, which then presents a standard S.L. menu, offering varying options, from a note card, to a teleport or a web link, to requesting a customer service avatar. We call this “Empowered Engagement™”, as the user “pulls” whatever level of information that they require. More details can be found at our web site, http://slippcat.com .

In one of your follow-up comments, you refer to users Chrischun Fassbinder and Ancient Shriner as our “two representatives in SL”. This is very confusing, as I had, frankly, never heard of the former, and only after obtaining licensing of the V-Tracker module from Code4Software did I become aware that Jared, president of Code4Software, went by the avatar name “Ancient Shriner”.

We have ZERO connection to either of these individuals' in-world “ad farm” efforts. Simuality simply purchased a software product from a company (Code4Software) that had done development work for corporations such as American Express, Anheuser-Busch, and Mattel.

To claim that an organization such as Metanomics (which we, obviously from our sponsorship, feel is creating a great deal of good within Second Life), is “fueled” by ad farms is misleading, at best. If you would like to know more about SlippCat™, feel free to drop by http://slurl.com/secondlife/Simuality/106/84/41 and we will give you a demonstration.

Prokofy Neva

No, Eschatos, I didn't "ignore" his later clarification, because he was merely trying to be gracious under pressure.

But what you say *is not true*. These two, Ancient Shriner and Chrischun Fassbinder, do, today, here and now, maintain ugly push ad towers that hijack the view and try to force people to click on them and come to their venues or go to their websites, parasiting off the parcel traffic nearby of legitimate owners on the sim and/or ruining the valuation of their land -- full stop.

So "WOW' yourself, Eschatos.

I'm awfully glad I've helped link up all the dots here for your very reprehensible choices of business associates in SL. Your friend Ancient constantly goes around trying to leverage his relationship to SLIPPCat to burnish his ad-farming image in SL --you need to realize that your association with his vast and terrible empire downgrades YOUR image -- and cut the contact, or pressure him to remove the towers.

You do NOT have "zero" connection -- Code4 Software ads are what is ON THE FUCKING AD TOWERS YOUR MORON.

I don't give a goddamn that they have done work for all these other prestigious companies. They got in the door with these companies by promising them vast and extensive knowledge of the market in SL which they gained THROUGH EXTORTION AND PARASITISM.

I realize you have ever reason to try to cover up those ugly facts, but they are easy to see in world.

Here's a SLURL for you to one of my tenant's stores, where you will see your beloved Chrischun with an ad tower hawking your beloved Ancient:

Due diligence is something that Coldwell Banker didn't do when they hooked up with these two characters, and when they listen to their nasty and false claims of a corrupt real estate industry in SL that had to be cleaned up by Coldwell Banker (?) -- when in fact the corruption was in their extortion and view hijacking. They failed to keep Coldwell Banker in real life because hijacking views and extorting sales and scraping marketing data against people's will in fact isn't the fabulous base for software that you imagine.

You are buying software and consulting from people who have a terrible reputation and terrible imagine in Second Life, who have achieved their "expertise" by harming others, devaluing their land, collecting extortion payments for them, and parasiting off their business traffic.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Patagonia/224/173/36

none

Quoting Prok,
>>"Desmond, the better government you fight for always turns out to be far from perfect, but that doesn't negate the reason to fight. I hardly think the mainland will turn into a co-op board or a suburban residents' association stifling everybody from purple-painted home owners to gays, which is the sort of thing they do in real life."

The devil is always in the details. Prior experiments - Shermerville, Blumfield - all of these didn't go too far. If anything, they spun off more private estates.

I do agree though, there needs to be some experimentation in the new areas.

* * * * *

As for the Metanomics thing - it's sort of like investing in tobacco or gambling.

As I understand it, Ancient or anyone else has perfect right to put up ad networks on the mainland.

But regardless of spin many will see this as an incredible lack of social responsibility on the part of Metanomics.

Cocoanut Koala

Just a quick response while I have a moment and it is on my mind, before reading all this and the comments -

1)The Fassbinder/Shriner/whichever tower that is on my sim is not getting less obtrusive; it has gotten taller.

2) In addition, as I understand it, these things claim reach based simply on the presence of avatars within eyeshot.

In other words, you don't have to click on them. They report their reach to their customers based on who is nearby and maybe for how long.

As I spend a lot of time at my shop, I know that Fassbinder/Shriner/Whichever can report me as part of the success of their reach, although I don't click on their tower; could not care less about anything on their tower; and actively despise their tower.

I don't know if it requires that I look in its direction or not, but I know I am near it quite a bit, and probably do look in its direction quite a bit.

coco

Dusan Writer

Thanks for the references to my earlier posts. While I appreciate being called gracious in clarifying my initial post, I still stand by the issues that I highlighted that Slippcat did NOT address. In my follow-up post, I highlighted issues that Slippcat did not address in response to my concerns, and find that they still haven't addressed them. Because while I was erroneous in claiming that the "clicker" gets paid (in fact, it's the object host, so I get paid if YOU click the couch I bought, you don't get paid by clicking it), I also pointed out that Slippcat didn't answer the questions about trolling chat for buzzwords, nor that data was being collected whether an item was clicked or not, and I still find them silent on this point.

As much as Slippcat would like to call their objects "pull technology", they're collecting data on whether the objects are VIEWED and on whether the objects are mentioned in chat (or whatever other buzzwords they're looking for). There's no pull about this. If I stand near their object and my cam LOOKS at it, that's an impression, that data's collected, and I'm assuming that the data is collected with a link to WHO did the viewing. This is as far from "pull" advertising as you can get - by merely being in the vicinity of an object data is being collected on my interactions around that object. Unless Slippcat would like to clarify this? I left the question hanging in my follow-up post and it still hasn't been answered.

We'll have to keep an eye out I suppose to see if they change the chairs and the Metanomics events - be careful what you sit on, and don't even LOOK at the chairs, they might have eyes and ears in them.

Now, in response to Gwyn and others, I have no problem with corporations having the right to collect and use data in order to improve their ability to hoover up groups of consumers, tailor their services and sell more stuff. That's good. But I also feel that as a consumer pull is good, but surveillance is bad. If I'm being watched I'd like to have knowledge that I'm being watched, or at least have the right to view the footage. :P

UgoTrade touched on this subject months ago about virtual spaces and our rights within those spaces, and talked to Eben Moglen about the idea that virtual spaces should employ markers so that we can choose to toggle our personal information based on the privacy policies and data collection. A selective quote:

http://www.ugotrade.com/2007/12/21/a-conversation-with-eben-moglen-on-second-life/

"There is secrecy - that is the data should not be readable by or understandable by anybody except me or people I designate. There is anonymity which is the data can be seen by anybody but about whom it is should be knowable only by me or people that I designate. And there is autonomy which isn’t about either secrecy or anonymity but which is about my right to live under circumstances which reinforce my sense that I am in control of my own fate."

He continues by proposing a sort of right for avatars related to the spaces and objects they come in contact with:

"There ought to be two rules. One: Avatars ought to exist independent of any individual social contract put forward by any particular space. And two: Social contracts ought to be available in a machine readable form which allows the avatar projection intelligence to know exactly what the rules are and to allow you set effective guidelines about I don’t go to spaces where people don’t treat me in ways that I consider to be crucial in my treatment."

So again, I don't so much care about the "pull" technology part - it's great, although frankly I'm too elitist to be friends with someone who makes money if I click their couch when I come over for tea or whatever. My problem is with the data that's collected in spite my being a passive participant in a space.

I had the same issue with Clever Zebra which was capturing user data and publishing it to the Web (which they since seem to have fixed, which isn't to say they aren't collecting the information, just not publishing it in an open RSS feed).

I may be proposing protectionism - not sure what to call it. I'd call it transparency. As I say, companies have a right to collect usage data, to mine purchase history, etc. But I'd like the right as well to KNOW that they're doing that and to know what it's being used for so that I can make decisions in whether to try to avoid those spaces.

When those spaces are unavoidable and when by being near an ad, a couch or a piece of "pull" technology, I have no right to avoid my chat being trolled for buzzwords or my camera angle being calculated so they can bump up their impression numbers, then really I've become nothing more than a metric...when that data is connected to my avatar name, when it's resold or re-purposed or cross-tabulated with other data, then my rights are diluted.

I'd also like to toss out a suggestion which is that Metanomics post its privacy and data collection policy so that we can be assured that the panelists won't be sitting on any Slippcat couches. :)

Robert Bloomfield

Dusan,

Thanks for your insightful comments. You have put your finger right on the key issue that should worry virtual-world residents about SlippCat and just about any other marketing technology in the metaverse: privacy. People with the technological skills can collect vast amounts of data—this is power that needs to be used wisely, in great transparency, and probably under appropriate regulation. (My own preference is for opt-in requirements, transparency, and some restrictions on the types of data that can be collected.) There are going to be some fascinating discussions on this topic, and Metanomics will definitely be part of them. Feel free to pass on suggestions for speakers on all sides of this issue. People who are interested should check out my interview with There.com's CEO Michael Wilson (http://metanomics.net/archive022508). Wilson talked at length about the data that they can collect about residents of their world. The world developers, of course, are in a far more powerful position to infringe on privacy than outside developers creating world content.

For our own part, we haven’t developed or published a comprehensive policy because we collect almost no information, other than getting your email address if you register on http://metanomics.net, and tracking numbers of people watching our show and clicking on our kiosk. We do not use SlippCat technology in any way, and haven’t even talked about it with them. However, people should understand that local chat at Metanomics events is not private. Our audience is dispersed across many different sims (event partners) and we have many people viewing the live show from http://metanomics.net/watchnow (which is especially useful for those who are at work behind a firewall, or don’t have access to a computer that can handle Second Life). We allow this dispersed audience to chat with one another by using Intersection Unlimited’s chatbridge technology, which picks up chat in each event partner and on the web, and transmits it to every other location. We are as transparent as we can possibly be about this.

Finally, Dusan, you WILL see new chairs at Metanomics soon. But they won’t be collecting data—they will be animating guests, audience members and yours truly, courtesy of RDV Animations, makers of Rendezvous. And while I haven’t explored the issue thoroughly, I have trouble imagining that I would choose for Metanomics anything other than an opt-in, highly transparent policy regarding data collection.

Ordinal Malaprop

*blinks*

I'm sorry, wait a moment: chatspy freebies?

Cocoanut Koala

Eavesdropping furniture.

Somehow I don't think people are going to love it.

coco

Prokofy Neva

I'm glad you continue to plug away at the myriad privacy issues here. BTW, I had my own separate problems with Eben's seeming solution because I believe firmly that the avatars' rights are housed in universal rights established by international law and civil and political rights established by national law, and I don't see that they should be eroded and made permissive rather than self-executing just because you're online, so the pick and chose idea, while tempting, actually erodes standards that obtain in real life.

Whether or not you click on the object you have bought, or somebody else clicks on the object you have bought, I don't see that this is "pull" unless you think that people naturally clicking on everything in an environment where you are constantly cued to click on things to understand what they are is "pull" in any kind of consenual way.

I'm glad Robert was able to post another spam ad for some goofy animation chairs from a company on my blog, that gets far more views than his blog. As I said, bills will be coming in the mail for these ads soon.

Robert turns every community interaction into an advertisement for his series, and I think the lameness of that can be seen a mile away, and contributes to the overall effect of lameness and floundering one sees in Metanomics, despite having uh, "high production values" by having avatars that can move their mouths and wave their hands -- of course, not always logically.

I continue to point out that the entire SLIPPCat caper, using Code4, rests on an unethical and morally reprehensible business practice of extorting back the view, hijacking the view, and parasiting off other people's traffic.

Ancient Shriner

Normally I stay out of these things, but the facts should be set straight:

Code4Software is no longer associated with Slippcat in any form due to substantial differences in business philosophy.

I have never sold an Ad Plot so cannot possibly be associated with the extortionists (except by people who are just trying to vilify me out of spite).

The Advertisers Guild has a low-density policy of only one ad per sim per network, with ads spaced 64 meters between networks. There has NEVER been a guild Ad Farm, and to continue calling us such demonstrates a complete lack of rationality.

We’ve been FOR ZONING for months and you can look at the weekly LL employee chat logs to see this for yourselves (Robin and Jack).

We’ve been the most proactive in establishing guidelines and adhering to them, and have consistently tried to engage the community. Even now we’re running a contest to have builders submit different terminal designs so we can have more variety and get rid of the floating blocks that some seem to find so offensive: http://www.theadvertisersguild.com/contest/index.html

We dump all Avatar names from our reports and in no way tie individual avatars to specific actions, and we use only statistical summaries for our decision making. This data stays 100% private on enterprise quality secured systems and is given out to NO third parties. This is stated in our published privacy policy.

We are aggressively working on our affiliate program so people can make money off their traffic and choose what kind of ads are displayed at their location. This is a substantial project nearing completion, and regardless of what some have said, the distributed networks we have were critical to the development of the affiliate model.

. . . and being as I bought Prok a beer in NYC in April and she accepted, she should be a little nicer to me!

Prokofy Neva

1. Code4 was indeed associated with SLIPPcat and helping to flog their wares at VW 08 in New York at the Javitts center expo. The exact date when this business relationship was severed isn't being told, but it did obtain. In fact, the SLIPPCat guy appearing here in this thread doesn't say "we no longer do business with them," he says "we bought software from them". Uh, does the service end with the "severing of the business relationship"?

2. Chrischun Fassbinder and Ancient Shriner are intimately connected, in the same Masonic Lodge, in the same business. Chrischun's ad towers, that have always been set to sale for $9835 until very recently, advertised the goddamn Code4 software -- duh. The freebies warehouse scrapes data used in the Code4 busienss -- duh. And many more things that anyone with eyes open even through their AFK camping avatar can see in Second Life.

2. It doesn't matter if Ancient Shriner never put his ugly ad towers for sale. They hijacked the view and continue to do so and are excruciating ugly, and that ruins property devalues. Forcing down property values on the mainland makes people go to the islands -- it's a ruinous policy. Furthemore, in Ancient's and Chrischun's case now, they hijack views as well as traffic/eyeballs -- on their microscopic 16 m2, they grab the stream of consumer traffic coming to *other people's venues* and siphon them off to click and be scraped. The other owners on that sim are helpless to do anything about this data scrape and this hijacking. It's unethical, wrong, and stupid, as it doesn't in the end promote a solid business with corporate responsibility with respect. It only angers people and drives them away.

3. Those who are for zoning put their money where their mouths are. They zone. They respect zones of neighbours. They don't put up fucking coyote ugly ad towers and devalue the entire zone for others.

4. I've never seen a bigger, more bald-faced lie than this utter horseshit about "engaging the community". It's merely part of an aggressive shill by very cunning and stubborn assholes to cover their morally repugnant tracks in SL. People serious about engaging the community take out their ugly ad towers UNLESS they are wanted. They make a special effort to remove them where people have constantly protested them. They cease this unscrupulous, awful practice instead of trying to distract from it with aggressive office-hour pitches.

5. Dumping avatar names from reports doesn't mean anything. No one can trust people who lie, shill, extort, and scrape. And why should these assholes get to siphon off MY business traffic with their fucking extortive 16 m2??? That's the part I'm not getting.

Imagine an Internet where anyone could come and grab a 16 m highly-viewable portion of your website just because it was the Wild West and anyone could do that. And imagine that person, ever after, got to have every visitor to your site possibly click on their ad. That is what happens in SL; it's absolutely preposterous to allow it to go on.

6. Monetarizing the ads doesn't sanctify them -- they need to be removed everywhere that people have not explicitly requested them, and obtained a cut of the money generated from them -- full stop.

7. I will never be nicer to these two assholes. They bought a round of beer for everybody at VW07, and I think that is a minuscle payment for the years of property devaluation, view hijacking, and traffic parasitism that I am my tenants and neighbours have suffered.

8. The distributed networks that gained heartily from extortion, unannounced data scraping, and parasiting of others' traffic streams is discredited at the root. A business founded on such unscrupulous practices will always be tainted by it, and those who continue to cover this up, distract from it, and pretend it no longer matters are complicit.

Tammy Nowotny

I had a strange run in with ChrisChun Fasbinder. He owns an ad tower next to a club I work at, Gypsy's Midnight Club. One night during a slow event, I put up some giant posters of Elvis & Ann-Margret which overlapped his ad tower. Less than six hours after the event, I wake up, planning to log on and take the Elvis signs down. I already had been ARed and been warned by the Lindens. (A day or two later there was an entry in the police blotter: no one knew who it was, but I was still a little embarassed.)

Whoever he/she/it/they is/are, ChrisChun has Linden connections. I was amazed (although there must be sensors which can track prim encroachment) that anyone even knew the prims were overlapping: hardly anyone has ever actually seen ChrisChun's avi, and there is little or no traffic around the club except during my events.

Prokofy Neva

Absolutely. He will AR you for the slightest tree-wave, the slightest tiny infringement that was not deliberate, even as he builds bigger and ugly towers that scrape and hijack more.

I'm not sure he is a Linden or has special Linden hookups because I think he merely benefits from the Lindens' grim propertarian determination to defend the I-can-do-what-the-fuck-I-want philosophy for land everywhere. They seem even more alacritous lately even as they sag on fulfilling their TOS policy of getting rid of extortionists -- they seem to be defending sign-owners more and more.

Chrischun and Ancient are two different people, at least, they appear as such in RL, but Chrischun could well be an alt of someone older.

I think Linden coders wish to defend the 16 m empires to the death, because some of the script-kiddies have used them for data-scraping empires which they once used merely to grab everything they could from every sim where they didn't own property (i.e. Weedy Herbst's "private use" of her empire of 16 ms), and later to sell to marketers or to run land-botting or land-script operations to buy and sell land fast with.

The Lindens took forever to finally get rid of Lazarus Divine, who was an alt; it was peculiar.

Some of the microbarons like Ice Brodie were friends with Lindens, i.e. Ben Linden who may have done favours -- it's hard to know. Especially in the earlier days, the rules were not so clear, as the goal of the game of SL was to go from resident to Linden, and many residents did become Lindens -- one third of the staff was made up of residents at one point.

Anyway, not all Lindens agree about the fuck-you hedonistic approach to SL; I actually saw one silently return Chrischun's tower in the course of returning another one that did encroach on my land, and I could only applaud furiously.

But the Lindens could do this more simply: 1) zone sims or b) zone signs, i.e. you can't put them up on sims where you don't own at least 512, and can't put them more than 64 m2 from the roadside.

Tammy Nowotny

Whoever he is, someone at LL obviously feels they need to go the extra mile to protect ChrisChun Fassbinder... the incident I mentioned happened in the wee hours of Sunday morning (not that busy a time of the week.) Sure, he's doubtless paying a lot of tier (although not as much as a real land baron like Prok, since CC can own over 4,000 ad towers for a $195/month tier payment.) They also did to someone who was herself a long time paying member who is reasonably prominent in the SL community, though nowhere near as (in)famous as ChrisChun or Ancient.

Politically, it seems weird... especially since it was all over a little-noticed and never-rented ad tower in the middle of a rather deserted corner of the grid.

Happily, the specfic ad tower in question is now blocked on all four sides by objects which are just barely outside ChrisChun's jurisdiction. I had nothing to do with the walls on 3 sides, although one of my dancers did put the 4th wall up.

Cocoanut Koala

Probably Philip's nephew or something.

coco

Prokofy Neva

I'm not a land baron.

Yes, that's odd, something is up, and it's not about tier.

Well, he didn't resemble Philip.

Tammy Nowotny

What I meant was, you own a really large amount of land... even more than those folks who own hundreds of tiny plots.

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