SL Blog Killfile

October 21, 2006

Users of Firefox now can enjoy an improved signal to noise ratio with this Greasemonkey script. It goes over the comments in the SL Blog, checks whether the poster is included in a ban list, and in that case hides their post. It might work with other WordPress sites, but I haven’t tested it. I might enhace the script some day. Hiding comments including certain words would be easy enough to do, and could be useful, given the amount of comments that sometimes get posted.

The ban list can be changed by editing the script, and currently only includes Lewis Nerd.

Greasemonkey is required to use the script.


SL Economics

October 17, 2006

One of the strange things about SL is seeing so many people thinking things should work in a way that’s just completely wrong and ultimately self-defeating. One nice instance of this is the issue with the stipends.

When I came to SL, stipends for premium accounts were L$500 a week. And that’s what I still get, as when LL adjusts the amount they give out they only change it for new accounts. When they do that, lots of people immediately start complaining on the SL Blog and the various formus about how much this sucks. I think they just don’t get it.

Let’s take my situation for instance. I still have a stipend of L$500. The exchange rate at the time of writing is L$270 to $1. This means that every year I get L$500 * 4 * 12 = L$24000. The value of this in real cash is $24000 / 270 = $88. My premium account costs me $72 a year. This means that by just having a premium account, I get about $16 out of nowhere. And while getting free cash is something that everybody likes, it’s not good for SL.

Consider: To make this balance out, the exchange rate should be L$24000 / $72 = L$333 per $1. Which means, that so long I don’t need to buy more than L$24000 per year, it doesn’t make economical sense to buy it at the LindeX.

Smart people would take a look at the LindeX, then at the costs of a premium account, do the math, and go: “Hmm. $100 at the LindeX gives me $100 * 270 = L$27000, while with a premium account, in a year and 4 months I’d have L$33300”. This means, that with a L$500 stipend and the current exchange rate, it simply doesn’t make sense not to have a premium account. If you need more cash than that, just buy the rest from the LindeX, and you still save money.

So what’s the problem? Well, eventually people wise up and start doing this, and so they don’t buy at LindeX anymore. People trying to sell their L$ will then have to offer it cheaper, and so eventually the exchange rate would end up at L$333, the point where it balances out, that is, the point where premium account with a L$500 stipend gives the same amount of L$ as buying it on LindeX.

This, by the way, is pretty much exactly the same value the L$ had not very long ago.

Of course, when it was at that point, people were screaming about that the sky is falling. Now that LL took the right measures to bring it to saner values, people are complaining they can’t free cash out of SL. Guess you can’t make everybody happy, no matter how hard you try.

I think the way to fix this would be to remove the stipend from the premium account completely. A premium account would just consist of the tier fee, making the premium account cost say, $15 a year. If people like getting L$ at regular intervals for some reason, LL could always add an option to set that up.

This way, the premium account would become what I think it should be: a “license” for land ownership, and it would stop damaging the economy by producing money at a cost below the market price.


TrustNet Scanner Beta Released (free stuff!)

October 17, 2006

I’ve just released a public beta of my latest invention – the TrustNet Scanner. Available on SL Exchange for free, but in a limited amount.

TrustNet Scanner

This is an avatar scanner that can show up to 16 avatars, allows clicking on a name and performing an action on the selected avatar, and shows TrustNet scores.

For details about what TrustNet is, see my TrustNet page. If you want to know how the scoring mechanism works, then see my How TrustNet Works page.


SL File Dialog version 0.04 released

October 15, 2006

Minor fixes:

  • Make it compile correctly on 64 bit systems.
  • Added JPG to the list of extensions.

Get it here.


More File Dialog Improvements

October 12, 2006

The next release tries to improve user friendliness. I’m trying to make it as easy to install and use as possible, so I’ve been improving error handling to make sure that when something goes wrong, the user gets properly notified.

Update: Version released.
Here’s what’s new:
Read the rest of this entry »


Improved File Dialog

October 12, 2006

The original dialog wasn’t very easy to use or install, and was rather buggy, so I’ve been making some improvements.

Turns out, as a part of an upload, SL opens the file multiple times. That resulted in the file dialog popping up twice for an image upload. This was fixed by adding a table to upload_hook.c, with the filename to expect, and the number of times to ignore further matches.

This introduced a new problem: If the dialog was cancelled, or the script somehow failed, the next few attempts to upload something would be ignored. So now upload_hook.c also checks the return code, and if it’s not 0 assumes it didn’t go well, and doesn’t do the ignoring part.

sl_upload.sh has been greatly improved, and now handles images, sound files and .bhv files (not tested). Support for Zenity (gnome dialog) has been added as well.

The Makefile has been improved to do all the installation parts automatically, so that you only need to run ‘make’, and add the line it tells you in the secondlife script.

One problem remains: If you accept a file in the dialog, then cancel the upload in SL it will not work correctly. I’m not sure how to fix that yet, but I think it’s a nice improvement over no dialog at all anyway 🙂

Here’s the source. Of course, comments, suggestions and patches are welcome.


KDE Upload Dialog

October 11, 2006

Today there was another Linux meeting in SL. Tofu Linden’s presence was much appreciated, but it turns out that the file upload dialog that will be added to the Linux client will be the GTK2 one. While I welcome Linux client improvements a lot (Thanks, Tofu!), I just happen to dislike the GTK dialog quite a lot.

So I went and hacked in my own.
Update: added link to source
Read the rest of this entry »