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Reader Comments (5)

Posted: Jan 17th 2009 8:00PM (Unverified) said

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Much as I'd like to have some kind of burning insight into how the Lab thinks, he best I can tell is that this was, well...a mistake. Strikes me that it wasn't much more complicated than totally underestimating what people would use openspace sims for and then someone from engineering pointed out that the result was that residents were experiencing lag, simulators were over-taxed, meaning in the end that the Lab was losing money. I keep wondering whether with their supposed singular focus on stability (er, plus first hour) someone spotted this as an issue.

I'm also convinced that the Lab isn't being coy when they say that the response to the price change was a bit of a shock - I mean, I think they knew there would be grumbling, but thought that residents would somehow agree with the idea that yeah, if you're using it for more than intended, you should pay, and the grumbling would settle.

OK - so, I guess I'm siding with the idea of their decisions being run by the wrong metrics, and by a misunderstanding of how this would play out. What I DON'T understand, is why they can't be forthright about this: it would have saved so much grief if they had said "OK, look, we totally screwed up how we handled this. We're trying to fix it...we can't go back, because the servers really WERE strained...but believe us when we say we know we made a huge mistake in how this was decided and communicated and we can only say we're sorry."

Finally - maybe Philip will have something to say on Monday at Metanomics. Shameless promotion here but it will be nice to get him in world again and maybe he'll shed some light on wtf happened.

Posted: Jan 17th 2009 9:47PM (Unverified) said

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It's unfortunate that LL has not been more forthcoming with data about their Open Space product / service offerings. They are obviously interested in having the data they make available to the public support rather than hinder ongoing sales. This may be difficult, when many of the raw data indicators, such as the loss of Open Space Sims and associated revenue. is so easily construed in a negative light.

Posted: Jan 18th 2009 7:56PM (Unverified) said

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They made so many mistakes over Openspaces that it's difficult to know where to start. When Zee blogged enthusiastically back in July, people were pointing out issues with Openspaces, these points were ignored.

I find it hard to believe that the powers that be have their heads so firmly buried in the sand that they didn't know how they were being used.

There has been an epic fail with regard to customer relations over this issue, the simple question of "Why are you increasing the price" has largely been met with "Because we feel the new price is right". However no explanation of why, no real attempt either. A simple rule of business is to not leave your customers feel poor after doing business with you, yet this is what Linden Lab have done with Openspaces.

The only person to apologise for the fiasco is Zee, twice in the forum he's apologised. However the apology should have been on the blog and in an email to all Openspace owners. Linden Lab messed up and then instead of trying to rectify the mess, blamed their users.

This has been an amazing example of inept customer relations.

The second price rise however, will not happen. Watch that space.

Posted: Jan 18th 2009 11:49PM (Unverified) said

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When the price rise was first announced - Jack Linden made mention of the unexpected load on the simulators as a contributing factor.

This was at almost the some time, Dan Linden and others were confirming a repeatable bug in the SL viewer first reported by Wayfinder Wishbringer and confirmed by Balpien Hammerer in JIRA VWR-8503. To summarize - it turns out that the SL viewer is constantly reloading textures , and it also has a cache problem so that textures loaded are cleared and reloaded again. This happens over and over. Even when things work, when a single packet is droped durring a texture load, the system pauses for 10 seconds then loads the texture again, forcing yet another reload on the system.

That is called a DDOS attack (Distributed Denial-of-Service). Many viruses and computer hooligans use this as a method of bringing down a system. It is not a good thing. The result of this is that as SL adds new users, it is placing an increasing and disproportionate drain on its servers. Again, I stress that this IS NOT SPECULATION. It is a confirmed and repeatable bug.
Symptoms of this include lag, asset server problems, slow load times for textures, slow server response, and worst of all, a slow sea of gray.

Common sense will tell you that this will affect OS sims stacked 16 to a physical machine first. Common sense will also tell you that this would MASSIVELY affect usage and demand metrics that LL bases their pricing decisions on. Yet LL has made no comment on this. If one were suspicious, it might even seem they have tried to do their best to hush it up.

Wayfinder was banned from further JIRA posting because of his insistence in that Jira there was a problem. LL fan posters have tried their best to downgrade 8503 over the objections of many in the thread. The Lindens seem to be reluctant to do real testing on this themselves, claiming that within the corporate network, they have trouble reproducing it. Yet there are confirmed reports that when they DO test outside the network it does indeed show up for them.

Within the last week, LL has decided this is a"meta issue" and broken 8503 into many separate pieces. Now, rezing a texture and not seeing it goes to 11418, while standing and not seeing a texture goes to 8503, but if you've tp'd and come back and don't see the texture it should go to 11420. If the texture loads far away but not close, it goes to 11420.

Is your head spinning yet?

If this is break up customer service, I fail to see how. The Jira is the only avenue we have for reporting problems to LL. Breaking issues into tiny pieces may be necessary for programmers, but that should happen internally. People can track one issue easily. Half a dozen is a mess.

If this is an attempt to burry this issue, the move makes perfect sense. It is not the customers job to track down and resolve bugs for LL. It is LL's job to listen to bug reports and once confirmed, to FIX them. But LL is repeatedly bringing the demand back to the customer to supply it with debugging data. Look at Dan Linden's comments in the 8503 to see ample evidence of that.

When an issue apparently affects something as disastrous and world shaking as the OS price decision, and when it affect every merchant in SL every day as countless folks give up in disgust at trying to shop and seeing only gray, the continued silence from LL on a confirmed and serious flaw such as this is not inconvenient. That mark was passed 3 months after this bug was first reported. It has been nearly 6 months since the first report. We are well into the stage now where all benign excuses have run out.

That LL's bugg code is closely linked to the OS issues is perfectly obvious. It's long past time for the press, and for the residents of SL to demand action and demand an accounting on this.






Posted: Jan 19th 2009 5:16PM (Unverified) said

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This is so frustrating! I have been holding off on leasing any more sims from LL, since the original OpenSpace price hike fiasco. Still the Linden Lab management is evasive. How can we be expected to place our trust in such an organization?

OpenSim's evolution can't come quickly enough, as far as I am concerned. I'll be only too glad to shift over to it once it reaches maturity on a par with the SL Grid.

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