Sunday, September 30, 2007

Password stealing is about to become simpler...

Just read on Nicholaz's blog about the upcoming change to the way authentication is done in SL.

Let's put it short and simple: implementing it this way in the context of SL would be the most serious mistake, if the goal was to improve security.

D'oh... I'm speechless.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A simpler solution to the ID verification in SL

Reading Gwyneth' stance on IDV, I started to reply, but the reply came up bit long that I am making it a separate post instead.

I am not at all opposed to having the ID verification. I am very opposed to having yet another somewhat-trusted party which holds a large entity of personal data, even if they mined it in public records - it's not quantity, it's the colocation. The total amount of uranium on earth is much more than critical mass - and it is available. But putting all this publicly available uranium makes up the nuclear bomb.... So, sorry I do not buy the argument of "the information is already there" :-)

Ok, so here goes my stance on how this could have been done without nukes :-)

It's dead simple.

1) The registration to SL remains free, but the "unverified" new residents are placed into the "welcome areas" - either controlled by the LL themselves, or subcontracted to the partners. Here the residents learn to build, script, behave, and may earn a few lindens by helping other new residents with this task.

2) The IDV is not free. It costs a few bucks, and is payable either by L$ that the resident has earned in step 1, or by credit card/paypal/whatnot.

3) The LL generates a 8-digit random number for each resident, and uses the address and the name that were entered, to send this number printed on the sheet of paper, to the human that is verifying the identity, by registered mail. The number is not stored in the profile, the cryptographic hash of it is stored instead.

4) upon the receipt of the mail (and there are mailing services that verify the recipient's identity), the user goes to IDV page and enters the number found in the envelope.

5) If the cryptographic hash over the entered data matches the one present in the profile, the name and address of the person are verified. tada.
Also, I believe that the option of accepting the registered mail is available only to those who are 18+ - so this automatically performs the age verification as well.

No extra data is stored, everyone is happy, and LL has their back covered (since that's really what it is about, in my opinion - to prevent the lawsuits by the parents who do not have time to properly raise their children).

There can be more convoluted versions of this - without the usage of the postal service, but the protection of the information there and the logistics would be bit more difficult, so I do not write it here.

testing various stuff

Assorted geek salad.

Today, seeing the announcement about the beta of havoc4, tried it out. Well, seems some folks were load-testing the sim - the chat was quite a bit lagged.

I did not do much playing with the new stuff - T60 in my setup appears to crawl when there are many prims. Probably something not accelerated somewhere. But the good news is that the Nicholaz' linux build that I wrote about a day ago does work fine, so I'll be using it for tests now as well.

One thing which made me suspicious - apparently we seem to have a texture download problem at the moment. On the beta grid I bumped into Yuu Nakamichi, who mentioned he had this on zion, and I verified from a couple of PCs that the textures that are not in cache do not seem to be downloaded.

If someone has the time to do the "bias-independent" check and let me know if this is indeed a problem, would be great - we should definitely track and address this.

The ruth/zion server seems to be back up - so the nightlies and autoupgrades should be working. On the todo list - to use the second server which I have to monitor the availability/reachability of zion, and pull my leg if it is not there. Sigh. Only 24 hours in the day, so not sure when i get to this... Let's hope the server stays up :-)

open social graph...

Undoubtedly a clever marketing trick by Google.

I'd be highly surprised that three people at once who had signed NDAs would be willing to part with their massage in the office and other perks.

But if this is true, let's see what this brings.

It might be that instead of experimenting with the world without the privacy, we might have to try it out how it feels on the humans...

Maybe I am just being paranoid. Let's wait and see what happens on 5th november. If.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Linux build of Nicholaz' browser

Apparently there is a new linux build of Nicholaz's bleeding edge version - wonder how many folks have tried it and what the results are...

UPD: works ok, this is good news. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Error in autorestart scripts and inter-sim teleports

Yesterday there was a power glitch hosting Ruth/Zion, so I had the machine restarted. This caused the sim and the webserver to be down for a day. The DNS server apparently is also affected, but the entry for the normal functioning of the nightly builds is in the /etc/hosts - so it works now.

Thanks to this, I also found an error in the maintenance script that was used to restart the opensim - it would not kill the opensim if the process ID was too small - this is now also fixed, and you can grab the updated copy of the scripts at their usual place.

Also, today I have played a bit with the code to do the inter-sim teleports (i.e. to be able to jump from one standalone sim to another one). The results look interesting, but would need more thought and more coding - they're too "development" to be able to conclude. But I think that inter-sim teleport should be possible. Will write more as I get the code less based "on the chewing gum".

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Snooping on Veyron's blog, I figured I'd try it out (even though that normally I hate the pointless tests, but as I was a bit tired of coding and was about to go to sleep anyway, why not to cool down the brain).

They say I'm a cool nerd king. I think I won't disagree. says I'm a Cool Nerd King.  What are you?  Click here!

But seems a bit more reading would not be bad for the overall picture.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Which viewer do you use ?

Thanks to Nicholaz's post on Dale Glass edition of the viewer I discovered the page on the SL wiki, featuring the alternative viewers for SL.

Interesting to know that we have already *three* independent viewer branches, each with its advantages.

If only one of them had the VNC viewer embedded into the client...

Free identity, or, how to combat the griefing (maybe)

I'd like to preface this post with an illustration.

This is an instance of what would be considered a crime in real life - in other words, disrupting the flow of life of other identities.

There are several ways to address this problem.

One of them is to turn off the scripting. Whatsoever. Will work for a short time, even though one could script the things on the client side - so it is not a measure at all - besides, it will degrade quite a lot the quality of the environment itself.

Another way is to stop the free registrations. Could somewhat work, but with the advent of the throwaway credit cards and such, a determined miscreant can still get in without any problem.

Yet another way is an identity verification - an attempt to tie a RL identity to an SL identity. I would not even write on why this is going to be an ineffective and dangerous utter nonsense.
All that would be achieved is one more source of information leaks about those who "behave". The only sensible reason to introduce this from LL I can see is to cover their butt from the colleagues of Benjamin Duranske who would wonder why they "did not do anything". Yeah, now they did something. Check. Is it going to work ? No-check.

On the other hand, I think the solution is simple. You do not need to ban the free logins. You do not need to tie these logins to RL identities. You just need to make it hard for the freely available new identities to cause a damage.

There is a very similar problem which has been already solved in PGP - the distribution of the public keys.

There is a very vivid analogy IRL - yourself. Your identity is what your "connections" are with the rest of the world. You can relatively easily change the identity, but that means a lot of painful overhead of reestablishing all the ties you have. Think even what a pain it is to just change the phone number or email address.

Therefore, a reputation system based on the web of trust is in my opinion the best way to address the issue of identity.

The new identity appears as a "kid" which has very limited privileges in interaction with others - including the limited script support across the whole grid in the case of SL. In order to be granted those privileges, someone (preferrably more than one) should "bootstrap" this identity by declaring that they take part of the responsibility for this identity's actions.

This will create the barrier for the miscreants, at the same time not putting the barrier for the "good" identities and requiring them to reveal too much of the information.

And, again, by making these "connections" transparent, one could affect positively the behaviour of the whole crowd.

There is absolutely no reason to link the RL identity with virtual identity - they can be totally separate. It's just that the virtual identity needs to be made always precious enough, so that noone would just trash it in order to do something "wrong".

Before you continue...

Today I've googled a bit on the sites that link to me and at consolenomad found a brilliant posting - one of the YouTube video. The ending of this video very well resonated with the areas which I think we need to reevaluate in the digital age.

The huge problem I see with the emergence of SL as a "platform" is that despite of the slogan "your world, your imagination" - it is by many means just a digital projection of the everyday 3D meatspace - the permissions on objects, the monetary system, the partnership field - all of these represent the artifacts of the RL squeezing into what could be something different. Maybe not better - at first - but at least the price for the mistake at this stage is much less.

When the VR becomes the media of everyday activities of a significant portion of population - it's going to be too late to change anything.

We transfer the concepts of copyright, law, social norms, and many others into the non-euclidean hyperspace. Yes, we can squeeze the triangles a bit such that the sum of the angles is still 180degrees (or pretend we see it as 180 degrees) - but it might be interesting to try to use this time and see if we can get a better model...

lame-ass economics, part 1.

First, a disclaimer: all of this represents purely personal speculations and mental experiments of an SL avatar, which neither claim the correctness of itself nor intend to claim the incorrectness of anything else, and bear no correlation with real life whatsoever - keep this in mind. Additionally - they're going to be rather random and incoherent. If you feel uncomfortable - please stop reading here.

With an attempt to squeeze any monetary system into a fully distributed environment immediately the main question pops up - who and how can print the money. (The fact that it is fairly obvious that in such a system we would most probably talk about fiat money). Obviously since we talk about the fully distributed system, the usual safeguard of the smart folks at government printing the money would not work - there's simply no such entity. So - "anyone can print the money".

There is also a strong tie to another messy area in the distributed virtual world - identity. For now we assume this problem to be "solved".

I would think that one of the best properties of the money - its total "anonymity" is also one of the biggest evils. If each banknote did have a full history if its adventures - the things like money laundering could be easier to detect and address - if we all agree that drug dealing is a "bad" thing, then money that has been once used for this - would become "tainted" and automagically lose its value for anyone who considers the drug dealing to be "bad". Let's put aside for now the process of creation of the specific microeconomies with the same "currency" being only internally used - the money that lost its universal acceptance would cease to exist.

Now, index by the identity, and we have an interesting system which would also take care of the reputation - the person which is engaged into socially unacceptable financial activities would also be a "tainting factor" in itself for the currency.

This "index by identity" is a difficult problem as while it is relatively easy to "trail" the money - just "write on the back of it", tracking "all the notes that were printed by the current individual" is a more challenging task.

However, this is not something impossible - imagine a high-redundancy distributed storage media, which would record every transaction. It is in a sense a one-way street - it is very easy to put something into such a system, but with the reasonable information storage redundancy, it would be very hard to retrieve the information out of it. This kind of media ("distributed data bank", if you like) would also be required.

I don't touch yet the question on how to limit the given individual to become hyper-emitter, but even with the above propositions it sets up some funny playground for mental experiments.

Friday tekkies reading: opensim 0.4 released!

Bringing in the yesterday's news is always so easy! Just look at another site, grab the information and write it. Well, at least I never not copypaste and always cite the sources :)

So, this time, from your favourite supplier of the BSD-licensed news, OpenSim, here are the big news:

OpenSim 0.4 released

Grab it here:

Some of my personal and "unofficial" comments / opinions.

Stuff that works:

* standalone mode with one or more regions

Does work :) currently running Ruth with one region - multiple regions consume some more memory; although I might try to enable a second region just for the fun of it - we will need to test the ODE physics on the "bleeding edge".

* basic physics (no object collisions)

works like a charm. If you feel that your av's movements are "jerky" in vertical - well, the height map has 1m precision, I think it is still smoother than if you had to do it IRL :)

* persistence of users, prims, assets, and inventory via sqlite

Yay, Sean! this is the stuff that is tested every night on my Ruth/Zion sim - which automatically upgrades itself every night. Obviously, this process involves the restart.

* basic building, custom texture uploads

Same thing - does work, the proof of this feature working you can again see on Ruth/Zion (assuming the previous one does work all right :)

* avatar editing

This one actually deserves a bit of comment. Till the latest time, the editing of shape/skin/etc. was "not working" unless you create a new shape/skin and wear it - then you can edit the avatar.
Keep this in mind.

(putting on a secret-important face and whispering: totally unofficial - go and check out the latest ODE physics code changes in the nightly build of opensim and tell your opinions. (or simply fool around on ruth opensim server and see if you can crash it :) - and write here if you have any feedback)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday non-tekkie reading

No, I did not go dead. Just an injection of RL for my owner. :)

Meantime, Vint mentions an interesting article by Benjamin Duranske about certain types of individuals that exist within the SL environment.


Much more than the soap operas of the opponent, which I stopped reading a while ago - there are some thoughts in there, but SNR is below the audible threshold.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Opensim: "sandbox" vs "grid mode" => "standalone" vs "distributed"

This week is going to be RL-busy, so besides the auto-upgrading sim for testing the latest release, I won't contribute too much.

However, with the "official" release 0.4 approaching,
I wanted to write about a common misunderstanding when it comes to talking about "standalone" or "sandbox" mode vs. "grid mode" - which should really be now called "distributed" mode.

misconception#1: You can have only one 256x256 sim in standalone mode.

No, technically you can have as many as you want, assuming you have enough memory. I tested with 5x5, but it runs quite a bit slow. ODE physics may have issues (or so I heard) with multiregion setup - but you *can* run many regions within the same opensim in standalone mode. How to do it ?
Very simple. You will need to create the new files in the bin/Regions directory, one file per each new region. Things to watch out for: ensure the database names there, the port numbers, and coordinates are unique - otherwise you will get an unfriendly barf when trying to launch the opensim :) I've made once a multiregion helper script in ruby to automate the creation of the region XML files.

misconception#2: To allow anyone else besides me to connect, I need to run in grid mode.

No, as soon as your IP is reachable from the your friends' computers, and the necessary ports are open, and you create the accounts for them ("create user Firstname Lastname password 1000 1000") - they can connect without any problem.

indeed using anything other than "test" for the password puts you in a very awkward situation of needing to know your friends' password to create the account (and there's no means to change it at the moment - which, I agree, is altogether a bad-ass thing from the "puristic security" perspective). However, as we do not trade gold of anything at this time in opensims, I would not consider this to be a showstopper.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Zion/Ruth autoupdates/autobuilds

Those of you who heard me saying "hm strange some permission problem" - well, it was a self-inflicted pain... I messed up the build scripts - so the nightly build was deleting the whole tree of the currently running Zion/Ruth, and then it was happening there :) No wonders it did not work too well.

Today I have discovered and fixed this stupid mistake, moreover, now there will be daily data backups (even though I said that the whole things are subject to sudden disappearing - those sudden disappearings are highly annoying :)

Along with that, I've slightly tweaked the schedule for the nightly builds.

So it looks as follows:

06:00 CET (21:00 SLT)
"hot" data backup
there is no downtime,
but there is a chance
of inconsistency

06:30 CET (21:30 SLT):
"nightly build" kickoff
the build gets placed onto

07:00 CET (22:00 SLT):
Zion/Ruth gets updated to
the latest nightly build
and restarted.

The last step happens only if the nightly build
was successful, and consists of:

- stopping the OpenSim.exe
- making the data backup (which should be ok since the server is stopped)
- making a full tar archive of the current running server
- fixing the locations to substitute the newly built tree
- performing a data restore
- setting the flag to start the server

It does take some 5-6 minutes to complete all of this - so around the 7am CET there will be a daily "outage" on the Zion.

I use the user "opensim" exclusively for running the opensim, so in case it is useful for anyone,
I've published the scripts that I quickly hacked up, so you might use them yourself as well, they are here.

Little bit about each script:

make-opensim: perform the build and publish it (leave the build dir behind!)

opensim-data-backup: make a data backup from the opensim instance

opensim-upgrade: perform the upgrade cycle - requires the build tree be present! (make-opensim run)

opensim-run-in-cycle: use this command to run the opensim in screen/vnc/etc.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Crash party...

Opensim Crash party 15sep on Zion/Ruth

We had a very nice crash party on Ruth/Zion. Shortly before it started, I noticed there were some physics errors swinging across the screen:

ODE Message 2: vector has zero size in dNormalize4() File odemath.cpp Line 129

so since we wanted to test the capacity, the crash party proper, was without the physics.

Nonetheless, we had a very nice attendance, peaking, I believe, at 20 avatars packed in a very small space. It did feel pretty crowded.

Some things noticed:

1) the clients tended to disconnect every now and then by the server. This is something I attribute to current packet code not being too efficient - we queue up too many packets, the "ping" from the server gets delayed too much, and the server kills the client. I expect that when we improve the packet sending code, it should take care of itself.

2) while trying to type "show users", I got a funny crash due to an exception in the system routine, which I have now addressed (r1927).

3) There were tracebacks printed when adding the users after the extended period of time with many avatars - sdague should have fixed them as well.

Other than that - we had a pretty fun time, and the 20 avatars in 1 hour have created quite a bunch of fun things - which made the landscape of Zion/Ruth much more lovely than the emptiness it had before...

p.s. Vint had made a cool machinima of the event, and Nebadon has made a second machinima - which you can see inworld on Ruth. Find it :)

p.p.s. Correction: you can *not* see the second machinima inworld - as the land media settings do not survive the restart of the sim, I rather had to come up with another solution - the screen, when clicked, will tell you the URL to view the machinima at... This is kinda quirky, but making the media URLs persistent is bit more than a quick patch, so it will have to stay as it is for now.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Opensim compile troubleshooting page for debian/ubuntu

Some time ago I blogged about compiling opensim on Ubuntu/Debian

Click170 has put up a great Debian/Ubuntu troubleshooting page on the wiki at:

An excellent resource for those users who are not lucky enough to just say "emerge mono nant" =) (*sticks the tongue in the cheek*)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

OpenSim crash hour party this saturday! :)

Zion/Ruth is back, with the latest revision AND the physics running (which means you can walk on prims!) - unfortunately in this process I've had to convert it into the single-region setup for the time being. The objects got lost due to the fact that now *everything* in opensim is stored in sqlite databases - woot! (which means hopefully I should be able to preserve the content going forward).

Now, to the important news:

This saturday, at 10am PDT (a.k.a. SLT), which is 7pm CET, we plan to make a "crash hour" on OpenSim - to see how many avatars will be able to connect at the same time.

The logins are either as usual - Testa User..Testz User, or you can drop a comment here and I will create your own very personal login on Zion/Ruth, where the event is going to take place. All the passwords will be "test", for simplicity reasons.

Amongst the current news - the minimap should be fully functional now, with green dots appearing and disappearing. Thanks to MW for the hint about the child agents, which were responsible for the duplicate dots.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Little green men on minimap: step 1

I've committed the initial code to show the green dots on the minimap - so starting from r1874, you might to some extent enjoy the minimap functionality.

Note, that if you move to the neighbouring region or logoff, the minimap does not update (yet).

This is because at this moment I do not trigger the update on these events - I will fix that in the nearest days.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Avatars facing east: partially fixed

I am very happy to be honored with the commit access for the opensim (thanks guys!), and my first contribution was a relatively small bugfix for the avatar rotation problem - even though it is partial.

Now the rotation of the avatars is correctly shown, however the updates happen only when the avatar is walking - this required minimal code changes, and for fixing it for "in-place" rotation, I'd need some more discussion. But hey - you are no longer forced to face east, so it is a good first step, I think :)

Along with that went a small safety patch for the CLI - there were multiple occasions where the exception in the CLI (relatively harmless on its own), caused the entire sim to shutdown. Now it only prints the error message.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

More megaprims fun on opensim

As an experiment, legolover tried building the earth-sized megaprim. The experiment showed that the center of the earth is empty. :)

Here are some smaller megaprims for your amusement:

plane 65535x65535x0.1:


huge cube (the stone inside it is not a stone, it is the whole 256x256 island :):


big hemisphere, holding the sim region inside it:


Megaprims (hugeprims) on opensim

In its best traditions, the opensim brings you, the builders, the useful tools for your opensim building. Thanks to Nebadon Izumi, who was first to try out this technique, any opensim owner can build the hugeprims.

The procedure is quite simple: since the prim sizes are actually client-side limitations, all we need to do is first create the prims, and then edit them on the server manually - using the xml save/load hack:

1) create a prim
2) save-xml myhugeprim.xml
3) edit the definition in myhugeprim.xml in any text editor, and adjust the dimensions (attributes of <Scale ...> tag), save the xml file.
4) delete the inworld prim
5) load-xml myhugeprim.xml

IMPORTANT: the <Scale...> appears *twice* in the XML file - you need to edit both times, otherwise it would not work (this was actually the reason it did not work for me the first time).

Once created, the hugeprim behaves same as any normal prim. And for your amusement, here's some kickass hugeprim extravaganza from Nebadon:

Attention: SVN changed! Wiki moved!

If you were trying to check out the code from SVN, and wondering why it does not work - the SVN settings have changed yesterday due to a server move.

The correct URL for the SVN is now:

So, on *nix you would use:

svn co

If you are just looking to try out the "latest version" - there should be a nightly build at:

It is precompiled (check the build log linked from that page, to ensure all is ok), so would not require the SVN checkouts and should run on any platform.

The OpenSim Wiki also has moved and is now at

SL Loggers not-a-blogo...

Ok, in the previous post I did give some hints about what I had behind this not-a-logo, today I will write them up in full.

First, contrary to what it seems and to what you'd expect - it is not a hand. Yes, the logo of the SL is a hand, but I did not want this to be a distorted logo of SL - so it is a head looking right to left. Now that we've sorted out this basic principle we can go over the elements behind.

1. It's about keeping the balance.

I tried to keep the the complexity to the minimum, at the same time without making it too trivial. Not to use too many colors, and not to have it fully black and white either.

2. It's about sense of humour.

Always keep the tongue in the cheek. As you can see here, the tongue is in the cheek. To ensure no misunderstandings - quite literally. :)

3. It's about curiosity.

I guess looking at this head, if I mention the term "nosey", you will know what I mean.

4. It's about tolerance (no, it's not "his drawing skills just suck, but I be tolerant enough not to say it" - if you thought about this one, try something else)

The haircut of this beast is not exactly the classic business style - and we tolerate it on the picture.

5. It's about more than just writing.

I tried to make the beast such that it looks "wondering" and attentive. Besides saying things, listening is a very important skill too.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SL Bloggers not-a-logo

As Zoe has extended the deadlines for the SL Bloggers logo contest, I've become a victim of an impulse to create something graphical, even if only for an experiment of how digusted the readers will be about my graphic skills.

Here's my not-a-blogo for the SL Loggers:

slbloggers not-a-logo

In an attempt to keep this entertaining beyond the casual chuckling, I did keep a few concepts in mind while sketching this, that I consider to be important for the blogger - and I invite you to guess what they exactly are/how are they encoded.

I'll throw in one hint about each.

1. It's about keeping the balance.
2. It's about sense of humour.
3. It's about curiosity.
4. It's about tolerance (no, it's not "his drawing skills just suck, but I be tolerant enough not to say it" - if you thought about this one, try something else)
5. It's about more than just writing.

In case you are still reading, you probably have some time, but don't feel like joining the olympic games in volumetric typing - so, welcome to the comments :)

(p.s. And for once, this has nothing to do with opensim)

Body language - works in progress...

While Vint is busy with the noble task of getting her the very presentable looks, I have been busy with some opensim ambitions too - to experiment in the area of the problem of avatars facing east.


While it might seem nice to face the east, currently in opensim the position of your avatar "as you see it" on your screen, and the position of your avatar on the others' screens are different - "non-self" always face east - so if you see your friends are not facing you when on opensim - do not worry, they probably do! :)

Nonetheless, this is quite annoying, and I started some digging in an attempt to fix it.

This looked like a good chance to experiment with a SimpleApp - basically a "custom world", which allows the SL client to connect to it. The current simpleapp renders the files within the "bin" directory as draggable boxes. No, there is no 3d trashcan, so you can not delete the files.

After a bit of messing around, and fixing a few of exceptions, which prevented the event loop from executing properly, I got an odd-looking virtual creature running around in "squares" in the virtual sim.

I plan to use is as a testing field for my further experiments - it is quite an entertaining beast.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Zion to sync with the latest tonight...

Will be syncing Zion opensim to the latest build tonight, late CET hours (around noon-3pm PST).

I'll try to make the downtime as small as possible - so if you can not connect right away - retry after after some 15 minutes...

(not sure how much from the existing stuff in-sim I will be able to preserve - but as per disclaimer... this is very very alpha :)

Update: the upgrade passed ok. I think even most of the stuff survived. Very good!

As a side effect - there is now also parcel music, at least on the central parcel. On the others I did not bother to check...

Oh, another side effect - everything that is said in the central parser, now is echoed on IRC in efnet's channel #opensim-regions... As usual - thanks to Michael for the code... It's still raw but it works. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Funny things I found on zion...


(Okay, I do have to admit that the original post did not have Steve Ballmer picture, it was one of the guys yesterday who thought that the picture will add to the mood of it. Indeed, I think so. Hopefully Ballmer does not get offended with this - well, after all, the thing is written in C# :)


There were more fun things done by the folks on Zion, these two are just the most glaring examples. Feel free to come over there and experiment.

Some Nipplz!!!

The reports of the nekkid folks self-photoshooting are coming.

And, appears Vint is ok with me publishing the nipples, and even committed to help. However, since i practically was not inworld for the past couple of days - mostly being either on irc or on Zion/Ruth..

However, since I still would like to ensure i can show my nipples, here's an interim version - from the opensim world. You can see my av, and a few other buddies who are joining the activity.

Sorry, there is not much diversity of skins - any content providers that would like to come and donate their skins for use in opensim and to be used for nipplz shooting - welcome.


p.s. Will get you my SL male nipplz as I get inworld :)

update: till we can make a good photoshooting session with Vint, you will have to bear this one:


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Getting the latest and greatest bleeding edge opensim...

Today I've made a half-assed script that will run nightly, and bring a compiled latest and greatest version of opensim for your pleasure. Disclaimer: since this is a nightly build, things may get broken from time to time. However, we try to keep the latest and greatest version on the test opensims.

How to install:

1) go to

2) take a look at - there should be no mention of "failure" there - if there is, means something broke and the build is unusable.

3) download the binary from, and uncompress it.
This should uncompress into a single directory called "bin". Note, that the buildlog.txt is also in that directory - it contains an interesting and useful information being the SVN revision number:

Sat Sep 1 04:50:21 CEST 2007
Path: .
URL: svn://
Repository Root: svn://
Repository UUID: e9a5c24e-b13f-11db-933b-17aa6df88f97
Revision: 1839
Node Kind: directory
Schedule: normal
Last Changed Author: sdague
Last Changed Rev: 1839
Last Changed Date: 2007-08-31 15:03:39 +0200 (Fri, 31 Aug 2007)
Properties Last Updated: 2007-09-01 04:50:20 +0200 (Sat, 01 Sep 2007)

4) run the OpenSim.exe from this directory. (on linux, "mono OpenSim.exe". On Mac - not sure - let me know how :)

5) IMPORTANT: read and follow the instructions. There is one detail that is currently hitting quite a few folks: "external host name". If you are not running viewer and opensim on the same machine, this *has* to be set to the same address that you configure in your loginuri on the client. This is very important - if you misconfigure it here, you will end up with a failure to login, and a message "login packet never received by server"

6) Create your master user and any others by using "create user" command on the opensim console and answering the questions.

7) If you prefer flat terrain, then enter "terrain fill 21" in the opensim console.
To auto-run this command later, create the file named "startup_commands.txt" and place the line "terrain fill 21" there.

8) Try to login from SL client, using the -loginuri http://yourt.opensim.ip.address:9000/

9) have fun :)

Friday evening blabber on content/IP/DRM/free-the-data

We had a pretty interesting chat on IRC, which I will include here.


<dalien> 'cos if you think of the content model of SL, and then compare to DRM... DRM looks almost like a heaven
<ckrinke> Dalien: Can you expand on "medieval" a tiny bit so I can understand?
<dalien> "no transfer, no mod, no copy"
<ckrinke> Gotit
<danx0r> dalien: I have some serious out-of-box thinking about content 'protection'
<Loki_Clif> umm i have alot of people that make stuff for my holodeck
<dalien> Loki_Clif: whoa. that is cool :) how open they are to "release" the stuff ?
<dalien> btw - all - i was thinking of an easy attribution for content creators - put their names / websites
into item descriptions ?
<dalien> they would get the publicity, we would get the library ? at least at the first glance, i think it
could be a win-win
<ckrinke> Cool, Loki. We are in need of designer to create some basic library and inventory items. Nothing
too extensive. To begin with, along the lines of something similar to the grass huts,stairs and
ground textures in the LL library. And I mean only vaguely similar, no copies.
<danx0r> dalien: excellent thought.
<Loki_Clif> but is there a master server that it needs to be in
<Loki_Clif> or do i just add them to my db
<danx0r> dalien, think about this. What if each item had a serial# as well as content creator tag?
<danx0r> it could be a hashed private key thing that could only be created by the legitimate owner
<danx0r> and sims could _voluntarily_ decide to help content owners police pirates who willfully copy content
without permissions
<dalien> Loki_Clif: I was thinking of several ways
<dalien> 1) everyone stores them on their servers, and just puts the URLs, say, into wiki on opensim
<dalien> 2) everyone stores them on their servers, and tags them with "opensimlibrary" on - so at
any point in time one can query what is there.
<dalien> 3) we make something centralised - but not sure i lice centralized solution
<danx0r> dalien: no, it should be distributed. But it should be possible to check on the provenance of a
piece of content
<danx0r> who created it, even rights to use it. I know this sounds just a teeny-weeny bit like DRM, but...
<dalien> hmm wait... serial number...
<danx0r> in an open environment, strict DRM obviously cannot work. However, if a group of popular virtual
locations agrees to give people a hard time who refuse to respect IP rights, what's wrong with
<dalien> if i copy the item i copy the serial number ?
<danx0r> ahh, but there could be a way to query whether a serial number belongs to a certain individual
<danx0r> what I'm hinting at is *voluntary* DRM-style IP protection
<dalien> danx0r: then even easier - have a database of signed LLUUIDs ?
<dalien> every content creator who wants to track his stuff
<dalien> ought to maintain the database.
<danx0r> right
<dalien> where he would sign the UUIDs of the items he/she gives out
<Loki_Clif> you know what we need
<danx0r> exactly. Put the onus on them. But what is their recourse if they identify someone they claim has
stolen something?
<dalien> with the name of the avatar - signed by the creator's key.
<danx0r> of course!
<Loki_Clif> is a Master sim that people can build in and the db then can be given out in the builds
<danx0r> now I know not everyone loves for-sale IP -- but it's been a driving force behind SL
<dalien> danx0r: that would be at the discretion of the sim owners, i guess.
<Loki_Clif> and i cant even get my invantory to work right
<danx0r> dalien: right. But if a good number of popular places enforce it, the pirates end up relegated to
<dalien> danx0r: precisely. but i think thinking to eliminate the IP theft altogether is an illusion.
<danx0r> instead of draconian crap like the DMCA, RIAA & MPAA, you have "shame-based" protection
<dalien> the goal is to minimize it down to "acceptable noise"
<dalien> precisely.
<dalien> there is another aspect to it.
<dalien> pure economics.
<dalien> why pirating MP3 works ?
<danx0r> no I don't expect to eliminate it. I want to discourage it, and allow fair-minded individuals to
respect it and to be able to _show_ that they respect it
<dalien> because it is fast to download mp3.
<dalien> less painful than to buy it.
<danx0r> yes, but it is now pretty damn fast to download iTunes.
<danx0r> I get TV from iTunes when I can, because it's almost instant. When I can't find it, I bittorrent.
<dalien> true. i don't do either - i just record internet radio and relisten it, together with the commercials
<danx0r> half the time I paid for the channel that shows it anyway.
<dalien> on the other hand, for example movies (for me, not sure for others)
<danx0r> look, software is stealable, but ppl get paid. Music is easily pirated, but the limos keep rolling
to the Grammies.
<dalien> i am just too lazy to spend time looking for the stuff, then recording it, etc.
<dalien> but
<dalien> i do not buy it in the shop either
<danx0r> the key is to make stealing somewhat difficult, and socially unacceptable to most
<dalien> because 20 euros for the film is a ripoff.
<dalien> i just go to the cinema and enjoy it there.
<danx0r> absolutely. But wouldn't you pay say $2EU?
<dalien> absolutely!
<dalien> if the amount of money i have to pay to legally buy things
<dalien> is less than the amount of money i waste because of spending the time and effort on stealing things
<danx0r> well with netflix and iTunes (and even on-demand, credit where due) I can usually watch any movie I
want for <$4
<dalien> there is an economic disincentive for me to steal!
<danx0r> and get any song I want for $.99
<dalien> (.99 for a song is also a ripoff imho :)
<danx0r> so the key is to realize that economics *can* work in an open society
<dalien> if you think of movie for $4
<danx0r> dalien: ever been in a band?
<dalien> a song should be (in my book) 0.10
<dalien> danx0r: i play and compose, but for my own pleasure..
<danx0r> well it depends on how many you sell.
<dalien> danx0r: which again depends on how good you are :)
<danx0r> at $.10 per song, the only way to make money is to sell 10's of millions of songs
<danx0r> and that means you have to dumb down your music. I like $1 per song because independent artists can
concievably make a living with a small but dedicated audience
<danx0r> anyway, the price should be set by the market, not one-size-fits-all
<dalien> yup.
<dalien> even better.
<dalien> or donations.
<danx0r> right.
<dalien> indeed that will be smaller than $1 per song
<dalien> but
<dalien> with my GPL licensed primskirtbuilder and a tipjar
<danx0r> I would gladly pay $40 a CD for some artists who I want to succeed.
<dalien> i got around $20-30K linden over the course of a few months.
<dalien> just in tips.
<danx0r> that's great
<danx0r> but it would be nice to be able to set a price
<dalien> (indeed, I could have possibly gotten 20-30K USD if I sold it at draconian price at the shop :)
<danx0r> like the museums that say "suggested donation", and 98% of the people pay it
<dalien> ah, it could be even better
<danx0r> well let it be up to the content creator. If they price themselves out of the market, their bad
<dalien> although this thing i did not want to make it commercial anyway - as i did dedicate it to Vint, but
figured i would run a small experiment along :)
<danx0r> look there's no way to keep someone from slightly changing a dress, stripping the UID's and tags,
and selling it as a knockoff
<danx0r> THEY DO IT IN RL!!
<dalien> the people's free will can do miracles, i think.
<dalien> yes
<dalien> and also - you know the problem of SL ? it is a jungle
<dalien> content wise
<danx0r> but the fashion designers make money, because -- it's embarrasing to wear a knockoff if you're
supposed to be in the chic set
<dalien> you can pick up a freebie, move to the neighbouring sim, and sell it, and noone notices.
<danx0r> so my point is, even without perfect DRM and draconian police measures, we can create a playing
field where alot of what goes on in SL is still possible
<dalien> people do not know what is where.
<dalien> precisely my point too :)
<dalien> and the items would be copy/mod/transfer, maybe.
<danx0r> well the thing about virtual life is the zero expense of copying. But that's almost true in RL
these days
<danx0r> asian manufacturers can knock off almost any consumer product for peanuts
<danx0r> iPhones don't cost $600 to make
<dalien> precisey
<dalien> yet there is a queue to have them!
<dalien> (well, i am not in it, since iphone violates my rule of no more than 200 euro for a gadget :)
<danx0r> right, my point is within a year or two, something very iPhone-like will be available for $200
<danx0r> and there's not much Apple can do about it. They make their money on branding
<dalien> precisely
<dalien> and apple will have to come up with something new
<danx0r> same as M$ versus 'nix, Intel vs. AMD
<dalien> so - freedom like this does encourage constant innovation
<danx0r> right. So the same dynamics apply here: make piracy difficult, socially awkward
<dalien> rather than locking down the price and ripping the profits.
<danx0r> and make paying for stuff easy, pain-free
<dalien> yup
<danx0r> and allow the market to do its thing
<dalien> indeed :)
<danx0r> if someone charges so much that they are always getting pirated, they should think about their
<dalien> *nods*
<dalien> :)
<danx0r> cool
<danx0r> er, kewl


This conversation is a living proof that the "irresponsible geek coders" as labeled once by Prok, do pay attention and try to think on how to solve the problems of:

1) protecting the rights of content creators
2) stiffling of the innovation by the monopolies
3) improving the quality of the experience for a "consumer".

'nuff said. :)