Sunday, November 4, 2007

Getting rid of an UFO over the parcel...

Yesterday I had some quite interesting experience which I would like to share - maybe it helps someone.

There's a piece of land where I can do some stuff, but I do not have the ownership of it. The permissions on land are quite relaxed - scripting is enabled, building is enabled as well, however, to avoid the littering-by-ignorance, the land is set to autoreturn in 120 minutes.

Note, that as I am a member of the group the land is set to - so the autoreturn does not affect my stuff. (It's mostly only me who plays around on that plot, anyway).

I've not been spending the time on SL for quite a while, and last time noticed there was some strange particle effect over the parcel. "Hmmm... I've set it to autoreturn! Let's check..."

Indeed the land is set to autoreturn, and yet the small blue clouds of smoke are directly over the parcel. Not catastrophic at all, but a little bit annoying - somehow the autoreturn has been circumvented...

Selecting my object which sits in the corner of the parcel, and then extending the selection over the area reveals the secret - there's a flying transparent ball, which has the particle effects inside.

And, on each cycle, it flies *outside* of the parcel, so the autoreturn timer gets reset. Amusingly clever, I say. Although probably it is just a result of a random ignorance. From my experience, when the other people seem evil, it's about 1% of the time they are really evil, all the rest 99% they're just happily ignorant. But, let's see what we can do.

The first thought is to try to build a hollow cube to contain the movements of this little evil thing. Alas - the little evil thing, besides being transparent, is also physical and phantom, so it flies through the cube without any trouble.

Next lazy thing is to try to IM the owner - well, no reply... Writing angry blog about griefers putting the junk over my parcel ? that wouldn't help at all... filing an AR ? That's too boring. Let's be creative and think...

Ahha! I remember, that when this UFO was selected, it *stopped* moving. So, the plan is clear: select the object while it is over "my" parcel, and patiently wait for 2 hours :)

First part was very easy, the second part proved to be a bit more difficult - as I did not login to SL for quite a while, there were a couple of friends willing to show their new stuff, so I lost the focus. Nonetheless, finally I told myself "I am not moving until 2 hours elapses. Let me sacrifice myself for the sake of science".

Then I left the SL for a while "editing" that object, then a good friend IMed me and we spent quite some time discussing the geeky stuff. So the 2 hours had passed. The object does not disappear. Bummer. The friend tells it is a nice known feature. Well, after more thinking this feature indeed seems logical - you would not like the object to disappear from your nose in the sandbox or such.

So, let's try the luck - and release the edit... and - puff.

The UFO vanishes from the airspace above the parcel - maybe gets returned to owner, maybe decides to fly back to the stars.

Great. The goal is achieved, and no martians have been hurt in the process.


dyerbrookME said...

No, the coefficient for evil in SL is more like 60-40, given the incredible capacity for spite and malice that most rather uneducated and low-life types possess coming into SL.

I've never found that an asstard exposed on my blog for doing something like this to be innocently mistaken; usually they are either malicious, or aggressively ignorant and happy to grief you even if only by accident.


Dalien said...

Hate breeds hate. If a person A made a mistake, and I portray him publicly as an evil, the natural subconscious reaction 99% of the time will be to retaliate - if they view their action as a mistake then they view my anger as an aggression - hence "defend". Nevermind that for me that would be just the confirmation that they are "evil", so I would proceed to further flame them and they would proceed to retaliate. And of course noone would step out of this circle - since I do have a solid confirmation that they are evil, and they have a perception of me being an evil bastard attacking them for a mistake.

So - the percentage of evil largely depends on the initial reaction, and is very hard to change afterwards.

I think a lot can be done just via the land settings to prevent both the mistakes and griefing.

I was thinking of the land renting business as an example.

Make the land no-build, no-script, no-object-entry (variations with build-but-autoreturn, etc.) for anyone but group, which would include the tenants, for whom there would be the role to allow addition to the said group - this way they can add their guests to the list of those who can build/run scripts, if necessary.

This way - if you trust your tenants - you can assume that they have all the conveniences on the land together with their visitors, and there is minimal abuse.

It's far from perfect (since it does not protect from the disgrunted tenants) - but it does minimize the amount of damage a randomly appearing miscreant can create - and does not allow those who are "not evil" but are just ignorant, to make the mistakes.

For this particular case - even if that was an attempt to grief - I won, and gained some more experience as a result, so the only thing I can say to that person is "thank you" for the additional information that I've obtained due to them.