Tag Archives: Second Life

New Sony Home vs. Second Life

I think that Sony Home is a extremely silly initiative if they think they should copy Second Life. even if they are better in graphics or on other parts. Linden Lab has been quite open to enable other projects to use Second Life also and I think rather than doing something again like having many Internets (which we saw as a danger in the 90s) Sony should rather cooperate with Linden Labs. The PS3 would even be more attractive. A virtual world that really only works on one console is senseless. We can all be happy that we were able to force the big players to cooperate in the internet rather than taking users into the prison of their own net product. So lets not repeat the errors of the past,

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Second Life client is open source

They just GPled it : http://secondlife.com/developers/opensource/getit

So thats what most Linux users in SL will not like to see, but I am VERY happy.

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Free Software Group in SL

Finally the Free Software Group in SL had its first meeting you can find pictures, descriptions and a chat log here. We were only 3 people but had a really good discussion. Our next meeting is at next saturday at the same place. I hope some more people will come. And i like to vote some fellow promotes/officers that help in organizing events. Our discussion focused around what free software means inside SL, if there could be a free alternative to SL and of a possible FS booth in SL. I see this group as a possible catalysator for further developments. There are other groups like "GNOME Lovers", but I found this not to be that communicative. But communication is important to build community. I would also like to cooperate with NCI in SL at some point and to organize lectures to the use of free software. We should also have somebody giving a talk about free software (maybe from FSF) at some point. Contact me if you are interested in any of the above points.

I have also wrote a little plugin for Moin Wiki that formats SecondLife chats. You can find this under Tools in SecondTux wiki.


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Is DRM really evil?

As I was talking with some people in SecondLife about how one could protect free licensed content and code in SL one idea that came up was to use DRM. But isn't DRM evil?

Consider that: You are writing a novella and release it under an open content license. If there would be no protection of whatever everybody could strip the license and use this novell for any purpose and even proclaim he wrote it. So wouldn#t it be a good thing to prevent somebody else to violate your rights? Or is this false because this is again based on mistrust and anyway – if he did so it would be illegal – if the license would protect your rights?

I am quite undecided with that and would welcome any comments or suggestions  on this matter.

I find this strange, because the real question boilds down if you can trade the freedom of the software you use to the protected freedom of the content? What is more important: to protect the freedom of the content or the freedom of the software/usage?

see also this article .

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Split off of free software group

Funny: Although I was the one who initiated the first Linux User group meeting I am now the first one that leaves. I have formed a new group entitled "Free Software". Some thoughts about the split:

In my view the heart of Linux is free software – but many of the Linux users in the SL Linux user group do not see it that way – they see any movement or push to open source as a danger for their usage of SecondLife. they do not see that the only reason why they can use Linux now is that some people like Richard Stallman once began to think that it does indeed matter what license a software is released. It was a hard work and often a tough fight to gain some ground. Finally Linux got some respect and free licenses where accepted as an alternative. Today it seems many users see a more radical approach to licensing like gpl-violations.org does as to being to offensive and harming Linux. They do not see those companies who abuse free software as those harming Linux! I do accept that users do often take a practical approach but I am sure we would not have gotten to the point of today if all Linux developers have thought like those modern, unpolitical Linux users did.

On LUGradio they also had once a dicussion why people always think that proprietary software is better than open source.

I think this has to do with some common misconceptions:

  • If you pay nothing you can't expect anything. it's free!
    • There are major implementations of Linux where millions of money is in the game. And also many, many users and companies are depending on good free software. Many would never use free software if they could not expect the software to work.

    If you don't like, contribute code!

    • This is also very popular within developer circles. There is not much sense that everybody contributes code. There are many aspects where software experience can be enhanced. People who can code will contribute. But it is better ifissues are discussed and either accepted or neglected. Then all sides no more afterwards. Discussing and arguing about issues is not popular but very important!
    • If you don't like the software you use, switch!
      • Sure I can switch. But should I? From a service perspective a user is a customer ans should be served right. A switch should be the last resort. A switch means that there is no way the user can make use of the software. Either this is because the software is useless or because the developers don't accept the users wishes. And even if you switch you will have the same problems
    • If you don't like the software, make a version of your own!
      • This is also very popular. Linux has about a dozen game engines and or RSS feed readers. To be honest there is not much use for anybody to start a new project. This can sometimes be a good idea if a company has other goals or if a developer has new creative ideas that the old developer core neglects. We have seen such thinks with Inkscape and with Galeon. This can be good, but it is often better if many people stick their heads together.
  • Summary: Just be able to use free software is nice, but if we don't do anything to keep it free or to promote it, it will disapear and that will cost us part of our freedom. I am frustrated about how many Linux users are ignorant to those ideas, although they use Linux every day. This for me looks like using Linux with the Windows attitude. Why do those use Linux at all? Just because Windows XP costs a licensing fee?It's important for the community to be strong against any outside forces to break up Free Software and to abuse the work that has been put into it. Free Software only has the respect for the developers that it requests – if this is neglected nothing will be left over. This is great harm to Free Software and Linux community because of disrespecting all the work. I hope this is not the approach of the new generation.

    PS: What you think why it was some radical guy like me who started the SL Linux meetings ? Because these are the ones who do the community work. Without active people believing in Free Software Linux groups get hollow and soon make no sense.
    Vinci

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Is SL a game?

I had the idea to ask me this question again and again after a while. And see who my views re changing. Right now I would say: Yes, because people use it as such.it is an infinite game where the rules are very raw and sparsely defined.

Many citizens pretned to take it seriously – there is money in the hole affair so one could argue with money iots the end of business. But this would mean that computer games as such are no games if sold or borad games – or that sports are no games at all. 

I think it is a game, but the rules are changing. LL makes some rules but most are made by the citizens themselves. Some get aggressive if you dont follow the rules as they see them. That can mean to change your look to something more eye appealing. It sounds stupid but some ppl really expect this from you – they do not accept that one does not try to look good seriously. Well that is not that different as RL. But SL being similar on many parts as RL does not mean that SL is not a game.

Many elders think they must tell newcomers that it is not a game, because it is important to THEM. But I agree that SL is not JUST a game – or it is more than one commonly expects from a game.

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A speach of no(n)sense

Yesterday I followed the speach of Governor Philip Linden. This was awfully slow and he also had some crashes (so the Sim he made his speach, too). I followed it along with a crowd at  a repeater at the new citizen plaza. My general criticism:

This could be a whole more compact.
And I rather would have expected that he talks more about internal issues as about the client itself. I think development goes on at Linden Labs and ppl contribute in forums and via email.

My greatest concern in the internal matters are that in SL there is currently no court system. So all disputes have to be fought through the external laws. this endangers SL as a whole. Rather than having support people to investigate every cause and often reject to interfere Every Sim or region should try to build places where citizens can complain. I think many cases could be settled by mediators, too.
I don’t think that SL is not a game at all. It is a place that is made of RL phantasies and lives from the imagination and actions of the citizens. I think some citizens should try to help in organize the living. This can not be done by Linden Labs. Linden Labs can and should help. I hope there is something going on at Democracy island, soon.

A governor shpuld at first listen to the citizens – but I aslso dont think that a governor alone should rule or decide. The problem we have now is that everything depends on the commercial interests of one company. YOu think this is different to RL? What ybout the time where railways where built? Or new cities? Most of what mankind ever built was driven by interests of a single or a group of individuals. But clearly so, at some point things should become common goods. I think LL will make their profit nonetheless. We should try to start with some kind of decision making. I think this should definetly not be started with design decisions, the software and the client – we should let that in the hands of LL! We can, though enforce the use of more open source (client, infrastructure) in the future. I dont want to help LL make their money. They can try this themselves. I have my own interests in this place.

I have the interests in building anarchistic structures in SL. For me this means that citizens decide by themselves what they do. But this DOES NOT mean that everybody can do what he wants. You need structure and decision making if you do not want people work against each other. Anarchy means that somebody respects his neighbour and does not build advertisements in front of him – that they cooperate and work together, that they share. I think most of SL already is about sharing. This makes SL interesting and strong. I think the more capitalistic structure simply takes profit from the huge amount of Lindens that are floating around and those business simpy satisfy the demands of the citizens. So a citizen is reduced to its role of a buyer. That’s ok if people want that. But I would like to build the opportunity to satisfy my needs in other ways that are more engaging and could even be more fun and cost a lot less money. The proble is, that RL and SL heavily depend on the money culture, Money is an abstraction of giving and taking but it does and can not represent everything that is important for us. But nobody will state that he insits on spending money, when he or she does not have to! 🙂
So this is quite theoretical. I am open to every practical action to test this theories.

Vinci

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