Monday, 28 January 2008


Thought I'd introduce a little gem I discovered ftom the 3greeneggs web site, run by "professor curious about virtual worlds, web systems, and pretty much everything else": an autoscript generator for the Linden Scripting Language.

This has a limited selection of radio buttons for what you want to do, and then, if appropriate, there will be pulldowns for content, then press the button, and the script is generated for you.

You can read about it here.

It's awesome!

Friday, 11 January 2008

OMG 2 - Linden Lab have finally done something!

Woo, Linden Lab have banned banks from SL, at least those that are not officially registered and regulated. Now not a bad thing, as so many of these are simple scams. But what could the effects from this be?

It could be vast.

Several unknowns here: how many people it affects, how much money they have "invested", and whether the banks have the funds to cover it or not. Short term, there will be runs as investors panic and try to withdraw their money, and we've already seen this.

It's not banks per se, but the fact they are unregistered and unregulated, not transparent, and with most seeming to be run as Ponzis rather than having sensible investments and business plans. As such, no better than gambling, which is already not allowed. As usual, LL acts too late and too quickly without considering the consequences. They could have set up their own regulation process, since Lindens are supposedly tokens, and given a sensible amount of time - not just 2 weeks - to comply. Any wanting to register in RL would not be able to do so in such a short time frame. Regulatory authorities do not give out licenses willy nilly. The fact Linden hasn't is part of their washing their hands of all responsibility in the thing they have created, covering their legal asses, and a tacit admission that Lindens are real and have real value.

The latter would have wider consequences, as every transaction would have to abide by sales and contract law: many shop no refund policies would be against statutory rights for example, it would change estate land "sales" and covenants, employment law might have to be considered for larger enterprises, not just to do with banking. Gambling is a good example. If Lindens were tokens, then there would have been no need to comply with the Internet Gaming Act. However, since they are exchangeable into real USD both ways in many places, they are as real as euros, yen or Canadian dollars, as I'm sure their counsel advised them, and we are seeing that position with every new policy change from Linden Lab. Really, it's astounding LL thought they could create a virtual world where people do real transactions and not be bound by any rules or laws, their own or RL.

So basically, by allowing just two weeks, that guarantees runs on banks. No bank in RL could realise assets that quickly, most are required to hold less than 10%, sometimes as low as 5%. In the UK, in Northern Rock's case, it was just 4% I believe. Of course, now we will find out exactly how many were legit and how many not. But even the most legit, and I don't think many, if any, really are, are going to have to convert assets in a hurry. That means selling land, and if there is a lot of it, that could have a dramatic effect on land prices. Further, that land is probably being used, so under the idiotic land transfer rules on private islands (ie there are none, and no tenant protection whatsoever), anyone with a business on those could lose their land and business with no recompense.

Many have invested in shares on one of the exchanges of course, and that is yet another problem. In their FAQ, LL have hedged a bit as to whether exchanges are included, but if banking laws are supposed to apply, then so are securities laws, and they intimate that, and again, no exchanges are regulated by the appropriate authority in RL. So that means the exchanges are likely to have to stop too, meaning a run on those. Since as LL make clear, there is so much cross investing, then many assets of many financial "institutions" will become worthless over night. That sort of behaviour is of course, regulated in RL, because that has led to RL bank failures in the past.

So it seems likely that they will not have funds sufficient on tap, a lot of their assets will be of little or zero value, or decrease in value in the case of land, so even if they want to repay all investors, they will have insufficient assets. Thus it will be of great surprise to most people if any substantial chunks of investors get their money back or any of it.

That then leads on to user effects. Some use the interest to pay tier or rents and support their businesses. Not only are they going to lose that source of income, but very likely their capital too. That will see a lot of businesses in trouble, resulting in yet more land sales pushing down prices further. If the losses are high, they might leave the game altogether. If they lost out before, maybe with Ginko, almost certain. Even the greediest and most stupid of people are going to baulk at losing money several times and possibly their land, or at least see it of lower value - hardly a good investment, so they will leave too. Any that do leave are likely to try and recoup what they can, and sell their entire businesses, and for most that means posting them in BIABs, which over a very short period of time tend to zero. That then will hit merchants again, as well as the land price effects.

The more empty land there is, the more rental rates will be driven down, the more empty sims around, the more empty malls etc etc. It becomes a spiral. That will push more people out of business as they give up trying to make their land economically viable.

Every previous decision by Linden has had an effect on the economy, but things like gambling were fairly limited to a few hard core people, gamblers and casino owners. But each made the new users, and current users trend down in decreasing new people if you analysed the Key Metrics, until October when the numbers actually dropped for the first time. Not a surprise, since the trends were there and mirrored the effects of RL: Linden's decisions and the waning of interest in countries after massive publicity. Magically however, LL decided that these were now unreliable, and did not give us those user numbers for November, but suffice to say on analysis, and inworld experience, they are likely to have dropped further. This will push it more so.

At the end of the day, it depends how many people were stupid enough to have put money in these scams, and without regulation, that's all they were really, whatever their intentions. If it's a large proportion, and the amounts are high, then the effect could be tremendous, and have many repercussions for CEOs holding IPOs for instance. That might mean yet more businesses going, people without jobs, and more land being sold, so expect a recession. We just don't know how deep it is. Can SL keep taking these hits and surviving, or like climate change or biological systems, is there a level at which it becomes unrecoverable? Time will tell.

But overall, coming on top of all the other bad Linden decisions, this is likely to have the widest impact.

On top of that, there are quite large amounts at stake here, hundreds of millions of Lindens, or several million real USD. Ginko went with 700K USD, that's enough to hire a lawyer. Personally, I don't think the banks and exchanges would take legal action against Linden for unreasonable behaviour on time frame, since that would open them up to investigation. However investors, and land owners, business owners who lose out through no fault of their own in the way Linden have this private island land set up, is another matter. I think we might well see some court cases on this in RL, as people attempt to recover their investments. If I lost a few thousand USD through not fault of my own, I'd do something, and I suspect many will. I'm not talking investors in banks here, but the innocent fall out, businesses and renters who have land stolen from them for instance.

LL will get bad enough publicity from this as it is, that will put of many people from joining in the future, it adds fuel to the flames that SL is a place for scammers, and any legal action will make it worse. It might just all blow over in time, we'll have to wait and see, but certainly short term there will be some effects on the economy, and I can tell you, they won't be good for the majority.

Confidence in both LL and SL has been shaken yet again, whilst it's generally agreed to be a good step. Just Linden's ineptitude that is the root as per usual.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

OMG Sale !!!

Yes, OMG i can't believe it. My favourite designer, Myllie Writer at Persona is having a 50% sale. Naturally I hitched up my skirt and ran over there as fast as I could. Imagine my surprise when I already own more than half a wall of Myliie's stuff, and some other bits and bobs, but still plenty to choose from, including some great new outfits. Can't buy them all, so I'm deciding which... Hurry, sale ends on 18th January. :)

Monday, 7 January 2008

Grid woes

Why is it that always when I have a load of things to do in-world, the grid shuts down and has problems? lol. Not that I haven't been a busy bee what with opening three new shops, a fashion show, JEVN upgrade and working on new products. But the asset server tweakiness was getting a little much. Worse, whatever it is Linden Lab did to "fix' it seems to have lagged everywhere up up, resulting in major freezes and crashes all the time. This really isn't good enough for us addicts !

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Fashion Show Aftermath II

Here are the shots of some of my clothing being modelled at the recent Twin Towers Mall Grand Opening and Holiday Fashion Show, graciously taken by Tillie Ariantho and available in slideshow.

Not too sure about the silly hat, but the casual look is what I was aiming for. This is what I was looking for, and will probably be available as an outfit:

Marseillais! outfit
This is my French flag leather jacket, though the flag is on the back! That's me on the right, standing on the sofa, having just returned after a crash. I'm wearing a light blue furry sweaater, plaid skirt and woolen tights from Myllie Writer at Persona.

This is my new upcoming Sunflower Belle outfit as modelled by Kira Paderborn at Avenue Models. She did a great job, adding some urban feel, and some belts covering the yet to be tweaked gap in my own belt lol:

This is how I see it being worn:

And it will also be available in black, as Café Belle:

Pretty sexy I hope!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

As we launched into 2008 around the globe, and most countries have now, here's a Happy New Year to all my readers, and hope it's a good one for you! It's gonna be good for me, I can feel it :)

I spent quite a few hours at the SLX New Year Party at SLX HQ, and a great time was had by all!