More blogs are noticing that Messages sent from My.SecondLife.com (Direct Messages) are not working. See: Second and Real Life Tidbits 2014. We have no clue from the Lab that the feature will or won’t return at some point.
It should be easy and possible to block non-resident users from using the web site’s message feature. If that is the problem, then I expect to see the feature return. I suspect the problem is how to block and limit residents that are spamming. If that is the problem, we may see the permanent removal of the feature. But, it shouldn’t be all that hard to limit messages sent. So, I have hope the feature will return.
Honour has a post Protecting My Second Life From the Tricksters with some great images of a Japanese-themed sim: Yokai. Honour is on about the ransom-ware thing called CyrptoLocker. A piece of malware that has been prevalent in Europe for some time and that came to the USA in late 2013. To learn more about it see: Virus Warning. This is a devious bit of malware best protected against by a good backup strategy with the backups being separated from your computer. If the CryptoLocker Trojan can find a file on your system, usb and network drives included, it will encrypt them.
Future of SL
There is a thread running on SLUniverse about Second Life™ shrinking, people leaving, and in general SL dying. Sounds dreary, huh? See: After a few years, SL feels like it has shrunk. So, I want to offer some counter points. Also, I want to point out we don’t have the stats we need to know what is or is not going on in Second Life.
I like to quote the Longevity in Second Life study by Chun-Yuen Teng and Lada A. Adamic. Their key finding was that retention is most improved by interactions among users; the more interactions, the more retention.
So, as SL land area shrinks the possibility for more interaction increases. There could be a balance point around which size and growth would balance. The point here being: not all the supposed negative trends we see are negative or lead to the demise of SL. So, we just don’t know what is ahead, as some seem to think.
Of course tier comes up as a major cause of the decrease in SL’s size. That has been talked to death. Anyone that still believes high tier is the cause or lowering tier is a solution just has not been keeping up, is uninformed, or in denial.
But, the SLUniverse thread is a place were people can vent their ideas on the subject.
The Firestorm people have updated their Beta Testing page. See: Firestorm Beta Testing. It includes information on how to apply to be a tester and explains what you need to do.
RLV Animation Problems
Marine Kelley has found a problem with Marine’s Goodies. That has been fixed. Marine says to go to the Maintenance menu in your Goodie and select ‘New Version?’ That will trigger delivery of a new updated Goodie. See: Update to the Dogcart, Phaeton cart, Treadmill and Mousewheel.
Zanga, the game maker of Facebook fame, is linking up with Bitcoin to allow Bitcoin to be used with Farmville 2, Cityville, and other web games. Article. I doubt we will see Linden Lab following that path. But, it could solve some international payment problems.
Since Bitcoin is marked by most governments as a target for their control, it is going to take some serious grassroots supports from citizens to survive. As I do not see many people that understand the nature of Bitcoin or governments, I expect Bitcoin to remain a minor player with little support from the general population. Plus the NSA Quantum Computer, possibly coming in 5 or less years, may be able to make Bitcoins far too simple to make and thus flood the market killing their value.
Books a Third Way
If you have thought of writing a book and done any research for how to go about that and publish it, you know publishing it can be a problem. Also, you will know that most self-published books pass into oblivion mostly unread.
Jon Evans over on tech Crunch has an article up that describes a third way of publishing. He also points the importance of ‘reversion rights’.
Check out: Publish And Perish?
The Funny Ice Story
I think this is now, that most are safe, a hilarious story the media and climate warmers find too embarrassing to mention in honest detail. You have probably heard of the Russian icebreaker MV Akademik Shokalskiy that is trapped in the ‘summer’ ice at the Antarctic. Three additional icebreakers were sent to help rescue it. The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long is now also trapped. The others have backed off.
The US Coast Guard’s Polar Star icebreaker has been on its way to the Antarctic since December 3rd to open a shipping lane to the National Science Foundation’s Scientific Research Station at McMurdo. It can break ice over six (21ft) meters thick. It will now assist in freeing the original Russian icebreaker and the Chinese icebreaker. It should arrive on site about January 11 as it is leaving Sydney today (Jan 4th).
The funny and embarrassing part is most of the news media fail to publicize the people on board as researchers on a mission. (CNN) Some have called it a ‘private research’ expedition. Few that I can find, have reported the reason the ship got stuck, its original purpose, or what it is costing the Australian tax payers. (Smoking Gun – lots links to original information and quotes)
In the video and current news coverage Chris doesn’t mention how Mawson was able to build the huts 100 years ago or avoid getting stuck in the ice.
The leader of the expedition Chris Turney, with his own carbon capture business he runs for monetary gain, complained to the UK’s Guardian: ‘This wasn’t a tourist trip. It was all about science – and it was worth it’ (Reference) Sure. He made US500+ of his kick starter goal of $37K for the expedition that initially cost $400k..
Also, it wasn’t like the captain did not foresee the coming weather change often being reported as a ‘surprise.’ That doesn’t happen to a group using satellite imaging for their research or in modern day weather reporting.
If you read the first hand report of Janet Rice (blog) an Australian politician, member of the Australian Greens, you find they were in heavy ice days before getting stuck. Chris Tourney also blogged about the weather forecasts before they were stuck. The Captain was becoming impatient with researchers and demanding a prompt return from their trips off ship Monday Dec 23, the day before they became stuck. Quoting Janet:
The third drama of the day is the one which is still unfolding. Because of the Argo mishap we got off late, and had one less vehicle to ferry people to and fro. I’m told the Captain was becoming rather definite late in the afternoon that we needed to get everyone back on board ASAP because of the coming weather and the ice closing in. As I write we are continuing to make extremely slow progress through what looks like a winter alpine snow field – it’s yet another surreal part of this journey that we are in a ship trying to barge our way through here! I’m sure the Captain would have been much happier if we had got away a few hours earlier. Maybe we would have made it through the worst before it consolidated as much as it has with the very cold south- easterly winds blowing the ice away from the coast, around and behind us as well as ahead.
That the ship has been stuck in ice since Dec 24th and to this day it and another remain stuck and none of the ice breaking ships in the area can make it through the summer ice to free them is just funny. How the media reports this news is revealing.
For a rather caustic account of the adventure see: The cause of the Akademik Shokalskiy getting stuck in Antarctica – delay from sightseeing mishaps and dawdling by the passengers getting back on ship. It quotes from the “passengers’” blogs and should eliminate any idea they were “surprised.”