“No, that’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that.” ~ Douglas Adams
Today I was given an assignment by my friend/partner in crime, Sax, to go forth and purchase bracelets. Because his current fancy is designing jewelry, he wanted to see a sampling of how a few designers in SL position their bracelets, which attachment points work best, etc. It is worth mentioning that Sax is a RL artist with a professional history of drafting, commercial design, and illustration that goes back, oh, forty plus years. He spends a lot of time examining reference materials and existing works both on the grid and IRL before he begins to create his own stuff.
Which basically means I get to shop for research and reference materials, but call it assisting.
Anyway, while making a list for my purchases today, I saw some bracelets in a blog entry and I liked the way they fit the model’s arm, so I went to the store to buy them. The store had frustrating navigation and my connection the last few days has been the suck, so after fumbling around for a few minutes without any luck (but lots of lag), I did an area search for the item name and teleported to the result. I was bounced around, the screen locked up for a few minutes and then I was back home. I suspected I’d run afoul of a security orb, but I wasn’t sure if it was my destination, or if I’d had a lag spike mid-way and hit it there, so I went back and repeated the process. The second time, it was clear that I’d stumbled upon someone’s workshop as there were random prims scattered all over. So I left. Ahead of the “your ass is being teleported home” thing, I would like to add.
To be clear: I don’t mind people using security systems. If they want to keep a work area private above a store, there’s very little choice. I have friends who squat on my property and they run low lag security systems to keep their homes private. Also, many shops today use residential looking houses as stores so often there’s little way for someone like me to know I’m moving from a public store to a private space unless there’s a security notice.
But, really, other than keeping people out long-term, anyone with the sense God gave a grasshopper should know that security systems in SL do very little. They will boot someone after X minutes, but the invader is still going to get a peek at your kinky lair no matter what and if they’re running a copybot viewer, they don’t have to be in the security system range to capture everything on the SIM. The only real benefit is keeping people from loitering where you don’t want them.
So, I had to grit my teeth against the annoyance of other people’s ignorance when, ten minutes after moving on to my next shopping location, I got an IM from a paranoid manager monkey of the previous SIM.
Paranoia Puppy: Hello, I’m the manager from STORE… was there something you needed. The area you are repeatedly trying to enter is private.
Salome (salome.strangelove): Oh I left. I was trying to search for the X bracelets and the location it said they were booted me
Salome (salome.strangelove): I did an area search and a teleport. I didn’t realize it was your workshop area until the second time.
Paranoia Puppy: The X bracelets were part of the Y Event, they are no longer available unfortunately.
Salome (salome.strangelove): I figured. I saw them in a blog. Thank you for letting me know.
I think “repeatedly” rates an as *almost* on the eye-roll meter when it was exactly twice and several minutes had passed between my final attempt and her IM. But, for the most part, up to this point, I didn’t have a problem. There’s no reason current designers / store managers / random paranoid disorders should know me or my reputation. My profile does show I’ve been in SL since 2005 and most griefers are 1 day old, but I’m assuming she didn’t look at the profile. So I have no problem explaining the confusion to give someone a little peace of mind. Had the conversation ended here, I wouldn’t have thought twice.
But, of course, it didn’t end there. Because Paranoia Puppies who gain a false sense of security from things that are just placebos are not content unless they can bully their misinformation upon others. With a dash of threat thrown in for flair.
Paranoia Puppy: You’re welcome. I would suggest not using area search on shopping sims, as a lot of creators have their workshop areas above their stores and could lead to you being perma banned by a security system.
Salome (salome.strangelove): If I get banned over a misunderstanding that’s up to the creators. But I will take your suggestion under advisement.
Stereotypical Paranoia Puppy: enjoy the rest of your day
First of all, I want extra credit brownie points for not responding with “Bwwwaaahahhhaaaaaa. And if I chose to come back on 10 different alts every day just to make you ban them and demonstrate that your sense of power is an illusion, will your next security measure be to toss a pail of water on me and hope I melt?”
Seriously, these people are using our virtual oxygen and there are too few cornfields to house them, so they’re just out there wandering on the grid creating things for cabbage patch avatars with cowboy hips. Can someone drop a house on them already, please?
Although being semi-polite does get rid of them and keep them from running crying to their plurk friends. So, maybe discretion is the better part of that valor.
But, just to make things clear for the kids in the cheap seats:
Dear Paranoid Creator Monkeys of the Grid,
You may not be aware of the following, so please educate yourself:
A. Banning shoppers from your SIM for poking around a little hurts no one but *YOU* and your sales. Doing this when your SIM has lousy navigation is a double stupid sundae with a short bus cherry on top.
B. Putting scripts into your items to make it difficult to rez them is annoying and hurts *YOU* and your reputation. Adding a script that informs you of this so you can IM the person who had the gall to think they should be able to rez their purchase elevates you from paranoia puppy to crazed stalker.
C. Making things no-mod for no reason (except your false sense of security) so that your consumers can’t customize their purchases hurts *YOU* and your repeat business. Because unless your customers are as stupid as you, they will opt for products with more consumer friendly options. And there’s a lot more competition out there on the grid than the old days.
Thank you for your kind attention,
Now that I’ve beaten that horse to death, it must be mentioned, the real fault of this lies on Linden Labs. The tools SIM owners are given to manage their regions are spectacularly insufficient for privacy. Like most of the other problems with SL, the root of the problem is that no one at Linden Labs development seems to use their own product, or communicate with people who do. Second Life is a three dimensional world, but the few security options we have are painfully two dimensional. There should be a way to block entry by altitude, but there should be a lot of things.
If wishes were horses I’d own I’ll Have Another (go Belmont!).
Not. Enough. Cornfields.