Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The future of reputation - a book

A review of what seems to be a book on a very interesting topic.

(Oh, and don't forget to read the comments. They are even more fun than the topic, the book, and the review all together :).

As a side note: I'd be so interested if someone has managed to create a mathematical model (even approximative) of the society without the "omnicomunication", and with that capability, and run a long-term simulation on the two. Information superconductivity.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ruth/Zion with more memory now

Ruth/Zion is now running with 1Gb of memory - thanks ldvoipeng!

Also, I've added the [Chat] section to the .ini file - appears without it, the opensim crashes on startup.

Now everything is up and running back again. The physics seems to behave a bit odd though... but I'll play with it later on. The RL still will be dense, so feel free to login and mess around while I am not there :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I hack charities! :-) Do you ?

In the keepalive post, I wrote about the great project http://ihackcharities.org - the "geek association" to help the charities with whatever they need.

I wrote the email to Johnny and he replied. He did not have the avatar in SL, so he created one - his name is "HaxTuff Hirano".

Thanks to the primskirtbuilder users and your generocity - my linden balance was growing. I think it grew around L$5000 in the past month, or so.

Well, the good news is that it is now around L$900. I've transferred L$22000 to Johnny so the folks can use this for helping the charities.

From here on, all the donations you make for the primskirtbuilder will go to the ihackcharities.org project - or, as well, you can pay to HaxTuff Hirano directly as well.

I will periodically go inworld, and publish the amounts I transfer.

Automatic image annotation

Not sure how well it annotates the images, but it definitely produces sets with high percentage of the beautiful stuff.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

More alternative business models for digital music

For those that follow the events in the digital music arena, it's an interesting time. The labels are desperately trying to protect the falling profits from the traditional model, but while they were busy suing their customers, the customers are deciding it is not a good idea to pay the money for someone who would sue you afterwards.

In one of the previous posts I mentioned some of the places that distribute the CC-licensed music.

Some interesting thing that I've found recently.
A blogpost from Steve O'Hear shows five alternative business models for distributing the digital music.

On the CC front, there is Jamendo, which distributes the CC-licensed music for free. Check it out - there're quite a few nice tunes.

And then, there's the WE7 - which allows to download the DRM music for free. What's the catch ? 10 seconds of ad in front of it. I think this is a fair deal. There's already a lot of ads, one-two more - does not matter. Especially since they are still quite short :) more than 10 seconds would be annoying.

Friday, October 19, 2007

a keepalive

No, I'm not dead - like I wrote some time before, I can't go dead - even if my human does :)

It's just that the human got bit more of the RL - but hopefully has some time in the the future so I can continue on hacking the opensim & blogging away.

Partially the new toy is to blame. The story was that the human went to buy some food, and instead bought this toy.. He was a bit frustrated that the only file sharing protocol was SMB (which also refused to work with the XP home edition, for some reason), but after some googling - found the openmss.org website, so now the brick does work with SCP too, and some more coolness is on the way :)

Apparently it can run full-blown debian, but the 64M of RAM make it difficult to compile anything modestly serious.

As another interesting thing (and the reason why this non-prim-skirtbuilder post is tagged with the primskirtbuilder - is the site http://ihackcharities.org.

And before you start your fury about the evil tekkies messing up with charities - go and read up.

It's a site focused to get the technical skills where it is needed.

So I have figured that even though there's not much time that the human can dedicate directly, it would be very logical to send all of my linden dollar balance and the tips that I receive for the primskirtbuilder to these folks so they can direct them to the charities.

I've written Johnny an email with the question on how to get the L$ to the project, so as soon as I get the reply, whatever is currently on my SL balance (not much, around 20K linden) will go to the project - as well as any future donations for the primskirtbuilder.

So - if you arrived here by clicking on the "News" button on the primskirtbuilder from inworld - check out again in a few days, maybe we can all contribute to a good cause!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

going mobile

It's been a hell of a week for the human - around 20 hours of sleep in not so many chunks around 3, i think. So, the end of the week the human was allowed to go and have a few beers. And out of curiosity. while the human is half-conscious, tryihg how it feels to post from his Nokia770. feels weird to learn the hand writing again... But it feels fun...

Friday, October 12, 2007

L33t X-tended Barbysp33k

Read the dandellion's fears about the barbyworld.

The crux of the problem: the chat is menu-based. Yes, only preset phrases :-)

But - c'mon, people! It is not all that bad. I think it is a great innovation even.

1) much less space is used to store the chats - since they can be indexed by a single byte of data (12 "hi and bye" messages, 12 "questions", 12 "answers", 12 "friendship" messages, 12 "say what?" messages = 60 in total).

2) this can be used to *enhance* the mental potential of the barbiegirls, and to speak stuff in relative privacy, without the parents knowing about it.


there are 2 protocols:

1) EZzZeeGirl(ttm)
2) L33tGirl(ttm)

during the start of the conversation, the handshake is used to select the mode of the conversation.

Proposal of the EZzZeeGirl protocol: "Hello..." - if the other side responds with "Hello..." - then the continuation follows the EZzZeeGirl protocol (see below)

Proposal of the L33tGirl protocol: "What's up?" - followed by "Hey!" - and the further communication happens in L33tGirl protocol.

The responder side may choose to refuse the proposed protocol by responding "Long time no see!" followed by the proposal of the alternative proposal. If the sides can not agree on the communications protocol, the negotiation gets torn down by either side by "gtg. let's chat later" which means the unwillingness to communicate in menu-based chat, or "Be right back..." followed by a one-minute pause, after which the subsequent communication falls back onto the MenuSp33k.
There is another proposal - "I dunno" - which is reserved for the future extensions, and allows to switch over to the other protocols and negotiations that may be defined in the future.

The protocols description:

EZzZeeGirl protocol:

each menu option corresponds to a letter in the latin alphabet. in the brackets there is the name of the menu for that item, for easy navigation.

"A" = "Awww! thanks for the gift!" [say what?]
"B" = "B posh pets (tm)" [answers]
"C" = "Can't wait to come back here" [say what?]
"D" = "Do you have a pet?" [questions]
"E" = "yEah" [ answers ]
"F" = "oh, that would be Furni Fever(tm)" [answers]
"G" = "Gtg. Let's chat later" [hi and bye]
"H" = "Hmmm... lemme think about it." [answers]
"I" = "I like your name. It's pretty cool!" [friendship]
"J" = "i would totally wear that! no Joke!" [friendship]
"K" = "have a great day, K ?" [friendship]
"L" = "Lol. u r funny!" [friendship]
"M" = "i'm gonna check out a Movie!" [say what?]
"N" = "long time No see!" [hi and bye]
"O" = "gotta gO!" [hi and bye]
"P" = "Peace" [hi and bye]
"Q" = "the b chick boutiQue(tm)" [answers]
"R" = "cool Room" [friendship]
"S" = "that is Sweet!" [friendship]
"T" = "That rocks!" [friendship]
"U" = "U R such a style queen!" [friendship]
"V" = "i loVe your outfit!" [friendship]
"W" = "What's up?" [hi and bye]
"X" = "thanKS!" [answers]
"Y" = "heY" [hi and bye]
"Z" = "this is fun!" (the very last item in the menus) [say what?]
" " = "i just sent you a message!" [say what?]
"?" = "why?" [questions]
"." = "okay" [answers]

That rocks! Hmmm... lemme think about it. I like your name. It's pretty cool! that is Sweet! i just sent you a message! Awww! thanks for the gift! Lol. u r funny! Lol. u r funny! gotta gO! What's up? that is Sweet! i just sent you a message! That rocks! gotta gO! i just sent you a message! That rocks! Awww! thanks for the gift! Lol. u r funny! have a great day, K ? okay

L33tGirl protocol:

the protocol uses the least significant bit first binary encoding, and allow to transmit the full ASCII table, as well as arbitrary binary data (file transfer - e.g. sharing favourite tunes).

ASCII mode: "Awww! thanks for the gift!" [say what?]
Binary mode: "B posh pets (tm)" [answers]
0: "yeah" [answers]
1: "okay" [answers]
end of byte: "no, thanks" [answers]

Space-wise, the overhead for both protocols is comparable - since the second uses 4 bytes per bit, so the ASCII would use 4*8 = 32 bytes, plus the end of byte sequence.

However, the L33tGirl has the added advantage that the user has to learn the ASCII bytecodes - which may be a helpful skill in the future. And as the connectivity options become better and better, the volume of the data transmitted is not a problem anymore.

We hope that this proposal is beneficial for all the involved parties.


Monday, October 8, 2007

IP, money, content and all...

Our late night chat with danx0r re. IP/money, and all...

(22:40:10) danx0r_: talk on mailing list re money & IP rights
(22:40:17) dalien: with overlapping coords
(22:40:35) dalien: yeah i wanted to write up something, actually on the blog, but it needs some more thought
(22:40:40) dalien: i think every sim can issue money
(22:40:46) dalien: as soon as they give something back
(22:40:53) dalien: and this something can be storage for distributed inventory :)
(22:41:28) dalien: so this could be both a factor to limit the inflation and the factor to expand the thing
(22:41:38) dalien: and the local sim providers could sell this space to users for real $$
(22:41:57) dalien: so it goes as $$$ -> disk space used --> funny money emitted
(22:42:16) dalien: more $$ = more funny money = more storage space :)
(22:43:14) danx0r_: hmm
(22:43:16) danx0r_: or maybe CPU
(22:43:20) dalien: cpu is hard
(22:43:28) danx0r_: but in any case, opensim has to be the plumbing, not the water
(22:43:36) dalien: if i tell you to calculate log2(123)
(22:43:39) dalien: and you reply 1204701724
(22:43:44) dalien: how can i verify it is right ? :)
(22:43:46) danx0r_: well I think it should be up to the grid operators what to base their economy on
(22:43:51) danx0r_: heh
(22:43:51) dalien: yup
(22:43:58) danx0r_: you really think about these trust issues, don't you
(22:44:11) dalien: but i think eventually we could supply the framework eventually
(22:44:21) dalien: yeah security is my RL job as well
(22:44:26) danx0r_: I think it's around 6.7 (log2(123))
(22:44:42) danx0r_: same with storage though
(22:44:49) danx0r_: there's storage and then there's storage
(22:44:54) dalien: well, right.
(22:45:00) dalien: availability, etc.
(22:45:02) danx0r_: it's all about the % chance that you will screw up my data
(22:45:03) danx0r_: yup
(22:45:14) danx0r_: you can measure quantity; quality is harder
(22:45:19) danx0r_: even bandwidth is wierd that way --
(22:45:22) dalien: yes..
(22:45:30) danx0r_: I can sell you 10 megabits per sec, then sell it to 10 other people
(22:45:40) dalien: so we come to a multi-country economy with sim=country :)
(22:45:42) dalien: wacky :)
(22:45:44) danx0r_: and no one may complain until you all want to do some event at the same time
(22:45:50) dalien: yup
(22:46:01) danx0r_: it's going to come down to a market-driven thing I think
(22:46:15) danx0r_: and what makes a market economy work, really, is the rule of law
(22:46:24) danx0r_: ie, some way to get compensated if you're screwed
(22:46:37) dalien: right.
(22:46:42) danx0r_: otherwise market economy breaks down to lords, serfs, gang-style behavior
(22:46:56) danx0r_: warlords
(22:47:05) dalien: so the way to compensate against the malicious user is to cut down the whole sim :)
(22:47:14) danx0r_: I hate to say it, but we may have to move through human history quickly
(22:47:25) dalien: yeah :)
(22:47:29) dalien: well, we can see it with SL
(22:47:30) danx0r_: well I think the biggest thing, and you've brought it up --
(22:47:46) danx0r_: is a trust network
(22:47:51) danx0r_: ala Ebay
(22:47:57) dalien: yup.
(22:48:00) danx0r_: it can be gamed, but it's a start
(22:48:16) danx0r_: that way, someone can start a bank
(22:48:22) dalien: and then trusted network between the sims, somehow.
(22:48:26) danx0r_: and pretty soon, everyone will know if he's bullshit or not
(22:48:33) dalien: (maybe as part of the network between their owners?)
(22:48:38) danx0r_: right, well then when I want to buy something,
(22:48:41) dalien: because for teleports you need to trust the sims
(22:48:49) danx0r_: I say "I'll give you 50 danx0r bucks"
(22:49:01) danx0r_: you look up danx0r-bank, and see it's trustworthy
(22:49:16) danx0r_: so you accept the offer, we secure-negotiate with danx0r, and the transaction is made
(22:49:29) danx0r_: then the vendor has a $50 credit at bank-danx0r
(22:49:32) danx0r_: something like that
(22:49:47) dalien: yup
(22:49:57) danx0r_: similarly, the vendor can check to see if I'm a known pirate
(22:50:00) danx0r_: and refuse to sell
(22:50:13) dalien: exactly
(22:50:23) dalien: but that part is actually easy.
(22:50:45) dalien: but where do we get the bucks from - independent bucks per-sim ?
(22:51:04) dalien: or still something tradeable...
(22:51:22) dalien: i think space/bandwidth could be something pretty cool for this
(22:51:30) dalien: even independent from sims
(22:51:43) dalien: so you actually pay for the space to host your inventory
(22:51:47) dalien: and b/w for it
(22:52:02) dalien: and you get the one-time funny money.
(22:52:04) dalien: hmmm
(22:52:27) danx0r_: heh ldvoip wanted it to be based on silver
(22:52:29) dalien: now the question is what happens if one person quits... that would mean the default of those money that were initiated by this person
(22:52:35) dalien: rl silver ?
(22:52:42) danx0r_: he had about $1000 in silver, he thought that would be the basis of his economy
(22:52:45) danx0r_: yup
(22:52:52) danx0r_: he's a bit off on that subject actually
(22:53:00) danx0r_: as in, a bit funny
(22:53:12) dalien: hmm. well, yeah it is simply "central bank=ldvoip" :)
(22:53:21) danx0r_: I think the market works out value by itself
(22:53:35) danx0r_: since somebody somewhere pays a hosting provider or buys his own equip and bandwidth
(22:53:45) danx0r_: the base value of things will get into the market that way
(22:53:54) danx0r_: the rest is exchange rate, arbitrage
(22:53:58) dalien: yeah but there need to be some kind of tokens
(22:54:13) dalien: and there are abusers
(22:54:14) danx0r_: well yeah, the client as it exists today is useless
(22:54:22) dalien: well, not fully
(22:54:30) dalien: under assumption that it is in the trusted sim
(22:54:34) danx0r_: well maybe you can shoehorn it into something
(22:54:36) dalien: all the brains can be moved to sim
(22:54:47) danx0r_: the abusers --
(22:54:54) dalien: so yes i think it can be "shoehorned" that way :)
(22:54:58) danx0r_: look, a typical SL transaction is for what, $.25?
(22:55:09) danx0r_: I mean, there are going to be assholes, but it should be manageable
(22:55:13) danx0r_: hmm... I hope
(22:55:40) danx0r_: I guess it could just get overrun with idiots from Nigeria just trolling for free money
(22:55:56) dalien: right
(22:56:04) dalien: assuming i can print the money and you can
(22:56:07) danx0r_: whitelists, blacklists...
(22:56:20) dalien: there is always the strategy that would win
(22:56:32) dalien: and assuming the "good" economy with everyone "printing money" sparingly
(22:56:37) dalien: someone can always come and print a lot
(22:57:01) danx0r_: The key issue is how virtual$ gets converted to r/l currency
(22:57:11) danx0r_: right but they're printing their own crap
(22:57:22) danx0r_: in my way of thinking, everyone runs their own press
(22:57:26) danx0r_: but you can tell who printed what
(22:57:34) dalien: hmm well, you'd need for the start to move real currency into toy currency
(22:57:43) dalien: that is rather simple
(22:57:52) danx0r_: yeah, as we're saying that's done by buying bandwidth & machines
(22:58:01) danx0r_: then that has value, such as land sales in SL
(22:58:21) danx0r_: or whatever scheme, per sim or X CPU per sec on a grid, whatever the model is
(22:58:25) dalien: right.
(22:58:34) dalien: hmm so the sim owner can emit X banknotes...
(22:58:40) danx0r_: that's the r/l cost of doing virtual business
(22:58:42) dalien: need more banknotes - need one more sim :)
(22:58:48) danx0r_: yeah I say let everyone do their own
(22:59:02) danx0r_: then put some conversion utility in place, so you know what each type is valued at
(22:59:09) danx0r_: like EU, before the euro!
(22:59:13) dalien: hehe
(22:59:24) dalien: interesting. and a giant megaexchange
(22:59:25) danx0r_: then if some idiot keeps printing up his money, it inflates
(22:59:30) danx0r_: and his exchange rate goes down
(22:59:33) danx0r_: right
(22:59:39) dalien: right... but then those people who have his money...
(22:59:49) danx0r_: I think that's the only way it will work distributed, without everyone fighting over who gets central control
(22:59:57) danx0r_: that's how r/l economies evolved
(23:00:06) danx0r_: eventually, there's an obvious one or two big players
(23:00:08) dalien: and then you would need to somehow figure out how to keep track of who prints how much
(23:00:16) danx0r_: and everyone else will fall in like, stabilize their exchange rates
(23:00:22) danx0r_: well the market does it
(23:00:47) danx0r_: if someone takes a risk on a new bank, and they print too much, they inflate, the investment goes down, and everyone knows it
(23:01:02) danx0r_: it's up to whoever prints money to manage the market for their money
(23:01:12) danx0r_: which is an incentive for most ppl to work with a known provider
(23:01:19) dalien: hm yeah. so assuming we tie the money with the person and vice versa...
(23:01:19) danx0r_: pretty soon, you'll have at most 3
(23:01:27) danx0r_: but that's a much better situation than 1
(23:01:52) danx0r_: people who trust each other will agree to consolidate their currency
(23:03:02) dalien: yeah, might actually work :)
(23:03:12) dalien: a looooot of PKI
(23:03:18) dalien: and a huge DHT :)
(23:06:39) danx0r_: sure
(23:06:59) danx0r_: but today's machines won't have a problem with that
(23:07:03) dalien: yup
(23:07:07) danx0r_: some of it can be done on a trusted server
(23:07:24) dalien: actually i think as soon as the number of "good" people is big enough
(23:07:29) dalien: it will be hard to defeat
(23:07:32) danx0r_: right
(23:07:39) danx0r_: I have similar thoughts about IP
(23:08:02) dalien: like ? "black-mark the evil guys" ?
(23:08:10) danx0r_: no
(23:08:15) danx0r_: well sort of but a whitelist
(23:08:24) danx0r_: blacklists are useless now
(23:08:31) dalien: yup
(23:08:33) danx0r_: everything has to move to positive ID and trusted networks
(23:08:45) danx0r_: you don't even let a client log on without some sort of introduction
(23:08:48) danx0r_: so for IP,
(23:09:10) danx0r_: the trust contract is that you voluntarily agree to abide by the author's distribution preferences
(23:09:30) danx0r_: and if you're caught cheating, that's a black mark on you
(23:09:30) dalien: ok
(23:09:36) danx0r_: it all comes down to ID's, really
(23:09:37) dalien: makes sense :)
(23:09:45) dalien: yes authentication is the start of all evil :)
(23:09:48) dalien: identity
(23:09:55) danx0r_: what ppl won't like about this world is, it becomes more difficult to act anonymously
(23:10:04) danx0r_: I know... a faustian bargain
(23:10:14) danx0r_: but, and this is some deep heavy philosophy here...
(23:10:14) dalien: well, they have only illusions about the anonymity in SL
(23:10:26) danx0r_: society will migrate in one of two directions:
(23:10:26) dalien: actually this scheme is *more* anonymous
(23:11:05) danx0r_: 1) fascist rulers who try to centrally control all communication so they can control society (ie Orwell's 1984)
(23:11:21) dalien: aha
(23:11:47) danx0r_: or 2) a 'utopian' world where everyone voluntarily gives up some of what we today consider basic rights, especially the right to exist anonymously
(23:11:55) danx0r_: that's a bit like Huxley's Brave New World
(23:12:25) danx0r_: and I'm not sure there's a nice, libertarian alternative. I wish there was, but I think it's impossible beyond a certain number of people, and when technology gets to a certain point
(23:12:34) dalien: yup
(23:12:42) danx0r_: these virtual worlds are going to be laboratories for how the real world develops
(23:12:52) dalien: precisely my point of playing with opensim :)
(23:12:59) danx0r_: that's why some pretty big thinkers are all excited about this. Not for poseball sex :-/
(23:13:01) dalien: since SL has failed this status imho
(23:13:10) danx0r_: well it was a decent first try
(23:13:14) dalien: yup
(23:13:18) danx0r_: like ancient Sumeria or something
(23:13:24) danx0r_: it will take a few iterations
(23:13:25) dalien: we know what the masses are excited about :)
(23:13:34) dalien: poseball sex has to be present in all incarnations :)
(23:13:44) danx0r_: so I prefer to live in a world with a bit less privacy and anonymity
(23:13:57) danx0r_: than a world where anyone can terrorize others with impunity
(23:14:08) dalien: yup
(23:14:11) danx0r_: poseball and other sex variants will not go away
(23:14:18) dalien: better no privacy at all than *some* privacy
(23:14:23) danx0r_: you can choose to live "off the grid" -- it's not mandatory
(23:14:51) danx0r_: but if you do, you will find it hard to buy things, and create a network of relationships
(23:15:21) danx0r_: now keep in mind, this doesn't mean everyone has to know your r/l identity
(23:15:28) dalien: precisely
(23:15:40) dalien: what you do online is your identity
(23:15:41) danx0r_: you can create an online identity that is separate, but *that* identity has to behave well
(23:15:45) dalien: which may have nothing to do with RL
(23:15:46) dalien: :)
(23:15:56) danx0r_: and if you blow it, you'll find that building that level of trust from scratch is going to take time
(23:15:57) dalien: hehe we think exactly the same :)
(23:16:01) dalien: yes

Saturday, October 6, 2007

"texture prob" on Ruth/Zion localized...

Appears to be something related to the contents of the sim DB.

Today I've reset the sim db to the default - all textures work all right. Even with quite a few prims.

So, it looks like the previous contents will make some nice debugging material...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

apparently opensim maillists are "quiet"

Seems something odd is happening with the maillist server.

pinged the folks on the IRC - apparently at least one more person noticed the same thing.

Will write an update as soon as there're more news...


it started working now.

RTFM - or, why the autoupgrade broke...

Today I could not login to Zion/Ruth. Strange.

Investigating... Found some weird data in the archives.. - the name of the archive does not look like it should... The first thought - someone got in. But why starting the 1st of October ? In the end - It's a usual human stupidity.

the manual for the "date" command clearly says:

%e day of month, space padded; same as %_d

So, when I do:

date +%Y-%m-%e-%H-%M

This gives:

2007-10- 3-03-44

Notice the space. Given that I used this output for building the name of the archive file.. The results were not pretty. obviously the correct parameter to use is "%d", which means:

"%d day of month (e.g, 01)"

I have no excuses. Sorry for this cosmic stupidity.

The dry outcome:
1) sim state rolled back as of 30th september 6am CET.
2) scripts fixed, they are at http://ruth.opensim.be/build/maintenance-scripts.tgz.

Also tweaked the script that builds/publishes the binary, to avoid overwriting the old one if the build failed - now, if the build fails, it shows the failed build log, and the last successful build log and binary.

So, normally we would always have a working latest version on http://ruth.opensim.be/build/

Why the machines are "stupid"

A bit of RL discourse - the human yesterday noticed an interesting article about ambiguous words by George Miller, one of the creators of the wordnet.


Who do you trust when they try teleporting to you...

The way I had done the code for my first attempt in the interdomain teleport inherently sucks bigtime. One sim tells the other one "hey, there's gonna be someone coming over". And there's someone coming over.

Indeed, I took care (well, somewhat) about the denial of service against the destination sim by including the cookie. Cookie is a good thing. It helps to get the others remember things for you. It's like if people buy something from you, but do not have the car to transport it - you can give them a fancy paper which only you could have made, which makes them eligible to get the stuff you sold them. When they come back and give you the paper which you recognize - you can just give them the things without much figuring on who they were and how they got there.

Indeed, they might have had their fancy paper stolen in transit...

So, here we come to a first little "problem".

The second little problem comes from the fact that we do not know who the incoming avatar is. It might be an 3v1l h4xx0r trying to have fun with the fancy griefing... I did write about the PGP-like web of trust for the identity before, but the main problem with all this is that the client does not have any of the features to do all this fancy crypto stuff. Once you're logged in - you're logged in. So, this is the second problem.

This brings us to the concept of "home sim" - both sim and its users having digital certificates.
the digital certificates of the users would be "trusted" by the home sim after the authentication of the client - and it would store them locally. So for all the client operations it can present the client's certificate and its own. Which in short means "It's me - and this is my client. If you trust me you should trust who my client is that is about to teleport."

And all the communications can be protected using the sims' certificates with mutual authentication - so the receiving sim can implement whichever policies about getting the incoming teleports - possibly even fully open.

So it looks like a nice fractal view - the trust between the users is roughly the same for the trust between the sims - except in the latter case there would be less of those.

Now, this is all great if we consider the teleport from home sim.. if there are multiple teleports - the source sim would not be the home sim anymore. Which means that for each user we'd need to drag the chain of the "confirmations" - basically the whole path of teleports since the last login. Bad for privacy ? yes. However, the act of teleporting into a sim already implies a great degree of trust to it - since the receiving sim does have the access to the whole inventory. And if one does not want the target sim to know the previous path - the teleport back to the home sim should "clear out" the stored path.

So basically the whole thing boils down into the abstraction of "network of trust" and managing it - both for avatars and for the sims.

But this is a big topic which will need to be covered after the basic functionality is working. The bottom line is that I will need to add another piece of info - a "blob" with all the certificates - into the teleport infrastructure, which for now will be unused.

So this is partly a note for myself, partly a request for comments from those who care and who understood the technobabble that I wrote :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

work-in-progress: interdomain teleport

Today I wrote a piece of code to allow the teleport between two disparate standalone sims.

Actually, it should work between the grids as well, possibly.

It's a huge fun.

The only problem seems that teleporting between the regions which are "overlapping" (have same sim coordinates) disconnects the viewer. I suspected this to be a problem, and have a workaround in mind for it, which I will test later on.

But I think that being able to teleport between the disparate sims and grids will be a very useful thing, and will allow to investigate the interesting questions of distributed inventory and distributed balance.