The TrustNet Avatar Scanner is a HUD attachment that constantly scans for avatars in a 96m range and shows the list of the 16 nearest ones (maximum LSL allows). It shows the distance, age, payment data and TrustNet score.
The topmost part of the scanner displays the current status. This indicates which rating type is currently being shown, and whether any operations are pending. Some operations like score retrievals are not executed immediately, but buffered for a short time to request several of them at once.
Clicking the status bar brings up the system menu, which allows access to the website, settings and other general functions.
The avatar list displays up to 16 avatars, sorted by distance. The colors can indicate distance, payment data, age or score. The default coloring is by distance.
Clicking an avatar in the list brings up the avatar action menu, which allows doing something to the avatar.
Each avatar line displays the following data:
- Avatar name
- Distance: Distance to the avatar in meters.
- Age: Avatar’s age in days
- Payment data: This field indicates whether the status of the avatar’s payment data:
- UV: Unverified. Doesn’t have any credit card data on file.
- FI: Payment data filled, but never used.
- PM: Payment data filled and verified. This avatar has a credit card on file, and it has been verified to work.
- CH: Charter member (has a lifetime account obtained when SL was in beta)
- TrustNet score: Your score for this avatar calculated by the TrustNet system.
Attach the TrustNet scanner. It will periodically scan the area for avatars and query the TrustNet server for their ratings.
In order to start getting useful results you need to start rating people. Click a name in the list, select “Rate” in the dialog, then choose a rating. If you make a mistake, just go through the process again. New ratings will override any previous ones. The “Neutral” rating removes a previous rating.
If you can script, you can also get the API (Application Programming Interface) package. This will let you talk directly to the TrustNet database, and will let you ask it to calculate scores, which you can then use for whatever you want.
Obvious applications include home security, anti-griefer defence and global ban lists.
If you can’t script, I could do it for you (for a price).
How To Use It
There are many ways of using the TrustNet system. These are just examples, you probably can come up with some use I haven’t imagined yet.
Global ban list: Use a TrustNet enabled security system to query the scores of the people passing through your land, and eject or ban them if it’s bad enough. Use the scanner to ban a person from anywhere in the world, from all of your land at once.
Griefer control: Some people will grief one person, then go on to annoy another when they get banned. By rating your friends positively you can rely on their opinion to automatically remove those people from your land without having met them before.
Shared moderation: Get an alt account, use it to rate trusted people up, then run a scanner that automatically bans people with bad enough scores from the land. By doing this you can make it so that no single person can ban somebody from the area, requiring multiple people to agree.
Positive scores can be used as well. You could make a TrustNet enabled door which can be locked, but still opens to your friends.
Is it possible to subvert the system?
To a very limited degree. It’s possible to rate somebody with a very different opinion than yours that’d skew your ratings. This can’t really be avoided. But you can always see where your ratings come from, and can always remove the rating that’s making your scores inaccurate. You don’t have to just “trust the machine”. When you see a suspicious rating, use the “explain” feature, and consider asking those people why they rated the person that way.
Does everybody have to use it for it to be useful?
No. You can use it alone in combination with the API for your own purposes, or with a group of friends. Certainly, the more people have it, the more useful it becomes, but it’s not a necessity.
Will you restrict this to verified accounts?
Not yet. I don’t think they currently pose any threat. If somebody proves it to be otherwise, then I will consider it.
Will it be possible to attach a comment to a rating, make a rating with an expiration time, or have different kinds of ratings?
Yes, this is planned, and will eventually be done.
Why some names appear with a “(?)” after them in the output of the “explain” command?
Those are unconfirmed names. The names in the output come from an internal database, which gets its data from multiple sources. The scanners are considered to be a trusted source, but the TrustNet API isn’t, because users can submit any name they want for an avatar when using it. Those names are shown with the “(?)” mark to indicate the name might not be the right one. Once a trusted script submits the name for the avatar, it’ll be marked confirmed and the mark will go away.
Why can’t I see Lindens on the scanner?
This is normal. Lindens have extra abilities, one of which is making themselves undetectable on avatar scanners. They can turn this on and off at will.
NOTE: As of 2006/12/26, commissions have been deactivated and replaced by the “Give copy” option. Since the scanner is now free of charge, the previous system didn’t make sense anymore. Commissions will return in the future, as a reward for getting people to subscribe.
You can get a commission (currently 20% of the purchase price) for helping spread my product. It’s very simple.
- First, you need the person who recommended the scanner to appear on your scanner’s list.
- Click on ther name, and then click the “Commission” button.
- Done! If they buy it, you’ll get some cash as a reward.
If it doesn’t seem to be working, please wait a few minutes before reporting a problem.
- Only up to 3 unfinished commissions can be active at once.
- Only one person can have a commission for another.
- You must register your commission before the other person buys the scanner.
- Commissions expire after an hour, and can’t be renewed afterwards.
- The new user must pay for it. Free versions I may give out don’t count.
- Your own scanner can be a free copy, however.
- The new user must attach the scanner after buying it.
As of 2006/12/26, the scanner has been made free (but the subscription is still there). Now the scanner has a “Give copy” button instead. This button allows requesting the delivery of a free scanner to the specified person. The reason why this is done this way instead of making the scanner transferrable is that it allows me to keep control and slow down distribution should my infrastructure’s limits be reached.
Due to the way this system is done, a number of limitations have been added to prevent problems:
- The “Give copy” button can only be used by a TrustNet Scanner owner 10 times per day. This limit may be increased in the future.
- There is a global limit of 3 attempts of delivery per destination avatar, per week. This is intended to prevent flooding people who don’t want to accept it
- Attempts to deliver a copy are refused if the destination avatar already has used the TrustNet Scanner system.
- The name of the giver will appear in a message sent before delivery
This is a list of known problems with the system. Not all of them are bugs. Some are because what can be done in SL is limited, and a perfect solution is difficult.
List redraw problems, like names getting duplicated for a time.
This is due to the difficulty of doing something like this in SL. Updates must be sent to multiple interface elements, and despite my best efforts to make things update as smoothly as possible, sometimes it still doesn’t work as well as it should.
Most problems of this kind are due to bad sim performance. When sims perform badly, the first thing they do is slowing scripts down to try to keep everything else running at the proper speed. Unfortunately this means that complicated scripts like mine behave noticeably worse.
Sometimes things go wrong. This is a list of the error messages you may get, and what they mean.
Server sent data out of order 5 times in a row, switching to sorting mode
SL is supposed to return the results of a scan sorted by distance. Sometimes that doesn’t hold true, though. The scanner detects those times, and sorts manually. If this happens 5 times in a row it stops trying to use the results as they come in, as it means a performance impact.
Dataserver didn’t reply after 3 tries, giving up trying to get age and payment data. Won’t make more queries until the scanner is reset.
This means that requests for age and payment data timed out multiple times, and the scanner gave up trying to get them. This almost certainly indicates a problem with either the sim or the grid. If this happens, the scanner will stop retrieving the age and payment information, but data that was already retrieved will remain there. Other than that, the scanner should work normally.
After the sim or grid problems are solved, you’ll need to reset the scanner (Debug -> Reset) to make it fully functional again.