Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Reader Submitted: Community Roundtalbe for May 20

By Zada Bury

My opinion about the "Roundtable" and around ... special at the moment.

It is awesome, Linden Lab remembers some of the good things from before around 15 years. Okay, there are still the user-meetings, but this makes me feel welcome. Anyway it's good for informations or an update about things ... and brainstorming - but less for some productive work.

It is the same as with "Forums": You might have a good idea (in your point of view) ... but first you have to dig trough 5 pages, if somebody was bring it up before (and how the reactions was) ... then you make your comment, head to sleep ... and can next dig trough 3 pages, if somebody was react on it.

I was came 60 minutes late to this event and was only read the last 30 minutes. The flooded chat was make the following difficult ... and participating would be even more hard. For luck there are some recordings. I took a few pictures.

A friend was comment it to me with the words "90% age-stuff, 5% Tilia, 5% mobile app". And the "age stuff" (foremost the updated ToS) is what put also some annoying load into these meetings lately.

There are 3 kind of people or groups ...

1) There are the users of Anime-Avatars, and I can understand their concerns.

Anime and Manga is an often false interpreted art-style. Here it needs some broadly open communicated "guidelines" or similar by the Governance-Team - maybe not hard "rules" but more a list of ideas, so you can get the meaning right. Oh and if your character is a "1000 year old demon that lives in the body of a child", you are still violating the ToS.

2) There are the creators of Child or Teenager Avatars and the problems with the "Modesty Layer".
And I can understand their mutters.

In my eyes, the "Modesty Layer" is a "toothless tiger which causes many problems and work with no real success". It is one of these "good thought at first", but "the results may vary" ... or not pay out.
Each layer on the body can be "overwritten" by worn clothes ... or putting a texture on without the enforced undies. Even one solution to "let out the sections in the mesh" (there would be a hole in the body) could be overwritten with a fitting mesh-item. There would be a clear rule like "painted or structured genitals or body-openings and so on" are not allowed,  and done.

And there are ...

3) People in child-avatars, which whining about, them are not longer allowed to enter adult-rated lands ... and I lost any understanding for them.

First at all: Maybe them need a reminder, it takes maybe 30 seconds to open the inventory, right-click an outfit and change to an adult appearance. There is the "General" and the "Moderate" rating, you still can play a child.

About these people, that are whining "their family home is on adult" or "their store": It comes at first in my thought "Why is that on 'Adult'?" No idea, how to describe it, but maybe "over-rating"? For a normal,  full adult but private experience, "Moderate" fits well and is enough. "Adult" is only a must for advertised adult stuff and businesses. Why are you choosing for your family-home "Adult"? Also "our shops", most would fit on mature - and the last I would want is an adult person represented in a child-avatar, which does the customer-support in some store for adult stuff!

Ok, maybe you were choose a home on Adult because of "whatever".

Option 1: The family-kid fast turns 18+ ...
Option 2: Move to Mature-rated lands - there are massive places available, even also abandoned lands, which often can be bought for only 1L$/m2 trough the support.

This doesn't feel good? I have been running since 15 years a place for adults, and in this time I was need to change or move 3 times about "changes" - so stop whining! If you wanna cry about your freedom and so: The (equaly) adult areas in real-life, you would be faster tossed out as a child than you can say "I only wanna look something" ...

But there is one last thing, which goes under since a while, and that is dangerous: "Sharpening the age verification" to ... "protect the (underage real-life) kids".

Sadly anytime there is discussion about "child avis," it's messed up and merged with "protection of (real-life) kids." I would guess, 99.9% of the users of child avis (so: affected by the ToS-change) are adults, which Roleplay as a child - and I will not judge them ... getting the youth back, get the intact family them never was have or to early lost in real life ... all are legit reasons. But they have nothing to do with RL-kids!

I must say, here we are sadly back to the time before,  15 years ago. Around 15 years in 2009, there was also the discussions go on, how to protect kids from adult stuff with verifications. That time was a lot tried out - but the problems have not changed. But now the ideas have the ability to destroy and might cause Second Life to close!

First at all: With the so called "Industrial standard" ... eg "Yes, I am 18"-Button you can gain on the Internet access to more explicit content, than SL might offer. Most don't know this, but behind this "Button" is more going on than you think - Protection Software on the Computer can read so called "Metadata" out and block even unknown pages ... surely the parents have to activate it. A normal (adult) user without such software will experience no blocking.
Blocking kids from content they should not see are honorable intentions. But: If Linden Lab decides to make the access for users more difficult, here is a reminder: We are not longer in 2009.
Nowadays there are a lot of, and also on the same level, if not also above, competitors against Second Life. Why should someone offer massive critical personal data to gain adult access in SL, if them can get it everywhere else with just the "industrial standard"?

"VRchat" for example is "beloved" by everybody. Steam loves them, because them have no adult content. Twitch loves them, because them have no adult content. The parents loves it, because their ToS say, them have no adult content (if them read it). But surprise: There is adult stuff! Sure, it's forbidden by the ToS, and everyone loves VRchat about this forbidding. But it is still there.

If Second Life now makes it more difficult to access, at all the competitors' offices, the champagne bottles will popping, and SL might die out and close.

Also this "sharpening" does not solve two issues: 
1) No matter, how difficult SL will make it, people that are aware about possible data-loss will be scared away or have more problems with it, but the kids will find it it almost easy to break it: Them just need a short moment to borrow their parents data, ID, whatever ... and then they are in. And them have a super-easy access to this stuff.

2) Parents expect from "the Internet companies" to protect their kids. But it is the duty of the parents to lock their kids computer. It is the duty of the parents to take care for their kids activities. The "child protecting parents" which demand by Internet companies to protect their kids, they just expect from 8,000,000,000 people, these raise their child - but it is the duty of the parents directly ... and not for all other people on the Internet!

So Linden Lab would be good at the point to take care, their page is detected by such protection-software. They also can "aggressive" communicate it to present them done something and being a good company which takes care for that theme. But beside of that, better hands-off from the actual verification way.

Otherwise Second Life might not make the quarter century mark. It's been 21 years now and it's still alive and it is working - a sharpening might close it before the 25th birthday.

Zada Bury

Friday, May 10, 2024

The Circle Mental Health

By Gemma Cleanslate

This busy weekend there is a most interesting conference at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds with The Circle Mental Health . 

May is Mental Health Month so it is a good time to think about it for ourselves and others. Take a look at the Conference page where the schedule is listed and try to stop over at the fairgrounds . The build is lovely.

Virtual Ability is represented there also. You can see their schedule here:

Remember that over at Health Island there are so many resources on health every month and of course this month is focusing on mental health. 

There are tips on maintaining mental health, boosting your resilience . Climate change and mental health, the elderly and youth and more. The topics of displays on Health Island change every month.

There is also the permanent walkway, The Path of Support where all the groups dealing with various issues of certain diseases or concerns are kept for anyone seeking support in second life.

When you land check out the breathing exercise on the back wall .
Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, April 29, 2024

Opinion: The Kids are Alright

By Any1 Gynoid
This dress is a “thoub”. It’s a classic traditional Palestinian party outfit for women. I’ve been wearing this dress all week at dozens of Second Life venues. Nobody noticed. Would kids even notice if a real Hamas terrorist pillaged their home town? I doubt it.

So I am searching today in-world in Second Life. Search term Palestine? Nothing. Palestinian? Nothing. Hamas? Nothing. Gaza? Nothing.

So why are all those kids protesting on college campuses and getting arrested as we speak?

I have a theory. ATTENTION. How else can they get it? Presidential Scandals are not shocking. Pr0n is not shocking. Mass killing is the new normal.

I deplore the double standard in society. It’s NOT OKAY to be a misogynist. Me too! NOT OKAY to be a racist. NOT OKAY to be anti-LGTBQ. (Nor Anti-FURRY! LoL)

But ANTISEMITISM! Somehow it’s okay to hate Jewish people. To quote Dana Horn’s book title… People Love Dead Jews… Jesus H you know the most popular! The 2nd most popular is Anne Frank… And thems fighting words. You are messing with the wrong biatch! Now you have my ATTENTION!

So I’m just saying. Society is really messed up. And it’s getting worse for our kids generation. Declining economic prospects for young people and marriage. It’s okay to work at home in your mom’s basement and be socially isolated. Okay, I get that!

The kids are protesting the hypocrisy of modern society. So the kids picked the most divisive issue possible to get our attention. Okay kids we hear you.

I don’t believe the protestors’ antisemitic rhetoric on TV for even for a second. I don’t believe that kids are so disgruntled that they turned into screaming racists overnight. A nation of college campuses populated by Marjorie Taylor Greene’s yelling at Stonewall Douglas victims. I’m not buying it. Whatsoever. The Kids are Alright. 

Any1 Gynoid

Monday, April 1, 2024

ApRiL fOoL!!!

Happy April Fools Day from the Second Life Newser!

May your April Fools Day be filled with joy, merriment, and general foolery.

For previous April Fool jokes, check out 2023. 2022, 2021, 2020, 20192018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 20142013, 2012, and 2011