• 01Feb

    Scripters (myself included) have long bemoaned the lack of any way to write text to a notecard. You can read text from a notecard (although it’s a PITA due to LL’s non-blocking dataserver lookup; and it’s also apparently not possible with notecards that have any embedded inventory items like landmarks), but there’s no way to write to it. That means you can’t save script settings or data to a notecard so that they persist between script resets.

    Scripters, being naturally clever folk, have instead relied on the fact that you can change an object’s name and description. So, just save the settings/data to the object’s description, and it’ll be there the next time the script runs! This was especially handy because the servers have previously allowed much longer descriptions to be saved than they were supposed to.

    Of course, anyone who has been following the Linden Blog should now be aware that the name/description size limits will now be enforced. I won’t say much about that, except to note that this is another instance of “Very useful exploit-turned-essential-tool that occasionally caused problems, so the Lindens removed the tool rather than fixed the problems”. See also: Megaprims.

    What I’m more interested in right now, is the excuses the Lindens give about why we’re not allowed to write to notecards. For example, Prospero Linden wrote:

    Re: storing persistent data : the way the asset sever works, a UUID is a unique identifier to an asset. If you change anything, it has to be a new asset– because if somebody else, say, had the same notecard before it was changed, you don’t want your edits to go to this other person’s notecard. It can happen that different people with the same object in their inventory in fact just point to the same UUID in the asset server. If you were to be able to write to a notecard from the script, *every* write command would create a new asset, which would create a load of additional problems.

    I call bullshit.

    Continue reading »

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  • 29Dec

    Step 1. Issue a security notice on the blog, with a fixed installer. An example is provided below:

    Dear German Second Life Users,

    There is a security issues in the German language login screen which could result in your precious login name and password being sent to a third party, namely the operators of the sdfsfsfds.com domain name.

    And no, we didn’t catch this until Massively.com reported on it. Yes, that means it’s been out there for over a week now.

    Yeah, we screwed up bad with this one. The programmer responsible for this gaff, and the entire QA department, have been hit on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper and will receive no Scooby snacks this week.

    If you use the German language user interface in Second Life, please download the fixed version [insert link to new installers here].

    Non-German language users are not affected, and may continue using Second Life without worry of any bugs or security problems as normal.

    How not to handle it: pull the Release Candidate and Windlight Firstlook versions, stop logins from those versions, and make everyone cry. Now we know you goofed the German login and panicked when someone found out.

    By the way, SL users, if you have a version of the previous Windlight (1.18.6.76116) lying around, you can log in with that instead. At least as of this writing.

  • 05Dec
    Gripes, LL policy woes, Passions Comments Off

    Linden Lab has rolled out a new release candidate today with two of the most talked-about features since Windlight! That’s right, age identity age verification and the new web-based authentication method are here!

    Did I say most talked-about features? Maybe a better phrase would be most lambasted features. There’s a lot of talk about these new mis-features, sure, but not in favor of them. Opinions range from “they won’t work”, to “they’re not working”, to “even if they did work, they wouldn’t accomplish what LL claims they will”, to “thank god they’re not working, the damn things are security risks”.

    But Linden Lab is not in the habit of letting insignificant little things like the scathing criticism from their customers, the people who put the Life into Second Life, ruin their master plans. Onward, valiant policy-makers! To death and glory!

    It’s a good thing I’m still doped up on Windlight, or I might be really upset.

  • 18Sep

    Everett Linden writes:

    So, flag your parcels and do your part to increase trust and safety among your fellow Residents in Second Life.

    Nonsense. Absolute, pure, grade-A malarky.

    Flagging parcels as “Restricted Content” has little to do with trust, and absolutely nothing to do with safety.

    North Korea will not decide to bomb Japan because they learned that somebody didn’t flag their erotica gallery.

    Women in the Middle East won’t suddenly stop being oppressed and abused, now that the potential customer base for adult shops is being slashed.

    Children in Darfur will not stop being slaughtered for the color of their skin, just because some teenage boy in the US is prevented from catching a glimpse at a polygonal pudendum.

    Violence, oppression, persecution, and militant zealots — these are the sorts of things which threaten our safety. Nobody is going to be safer just because some “verification” company is able to add a “This person uses SL” checkbox next to your entry in their database.

    So, given that it’s not about “trust”, “safety”, or any of those fluffy words that Linden Lab litters their blog posts with, what is this about?

    Gwyneth Llewelyn has offered us her extremely thorough and in-depth look at the implications of identity verification. It contains what is, in my view, the most likely explanation:

    In effect, Integrity does not really provide “just a verification service”. Their core business is actually far more interesting: they buy LL’s liability in case LL gets a lawsuit for letting minors to see “inappropriate content”…. Whatever lawsuits will come LL’s way, they will simply get Integrity to pay for them.

    In other words, this isn’t about ideals at all. This about business, legal liability, and cover-your-ass. The only way to get insurance against civil lawsuits is to get rid of the gambling and shift legal liability to land-owners who neglect to appropriately flag their parcels.

    That’s all well and good. Really. The legal system is full of warts and onions as a result of its long and storied past. It’s perfectly understandable, from the business perspective, that a company like Linden Lab would need to buy insurance against lawsuits.

    But why doesn’t Linden Lab just come out and say, We have to do this, in order to protect the future of Linden Lab and Second Life? Why do they try to pull the wool over our eyes, and feed us this propaganda about trust and safety and think of the children!?

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