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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Nov 17th 2009 1:08PM (Unverified) said

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not sure what metering is. Anyone want to comment and explain what the controversy is.

I wonder if this has anything to do with Australia's new censorship laws.

Posted: Nov 17th 2009 1:27PM Enaris said

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Metering is simply charging for internet usage per the amount of bandwidth used. So, for instance, you might pay $20mo for 5Gig, and then scale up... and then, like cell phones, you get slammed on "overage".
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Posted: Nov 17th 2009 1:38PM (Unverified) said

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Enaris has it right. In most countries, Internet usage is charged based on the quantity of data consumed. It can be quite expensive. Only a very few countries have the notion of "unlimited" Internet connections.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2009 1:53PM karnisov said

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this brings up a question thats been floating around in the back of my head. SL has been trying to pitch itself as a viable venue to conduct official business, correct? is the fad wearing off now? because it seems fairly redundant as a technology, if you need remote video teleconferencing you can already do that as a business. even residential users have video chat on msn (or other favorite im).

Posted: Nov 17th 2009 2:31PM (Unverified) said

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"fad wearing off"

Seems to me the "fad" wore off a while ago. What's happening now is that those companies and institutions that have found a use for SL/opensim are making better use of the platform.

This image seems to communicate where we're at, and potentiall where we're going:

http://www.peregrinesalon.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/gartnerhypecycle_gh.jpg
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Posted: Nov 17th 2009 4:27PM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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Goodbye virtual Ularu and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I guess I would agree with Telstra in closing these islands and removing the unmetered access. While revolutionary at the time with them and ABC coming in the hype has long gone. To spend that amount of money on a game that so few customers play and that no longer gets any press is a bad business decision.

It would have certainly been costing a large factor more to upkeep than the revenue it generated.

I wonder if ABC are still there or if they saw the light long ago.

Posted: Nov 17th 2009 9:17PM (Unverified) said

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The ABC are still in and seem pretty happy with how things are going, last I spoke with them, despite a bit of a nasty incident where a number of Australian MPs savaged an ABC executive over Second Life. Alas, someone who didn't know anything more about SL than what he read in the papers, so pretty much everything he knew was wrong. Ditto for the MPs.
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Posted: Nov 17th 2009 8:49PM (Unverified) said

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"that no longer gets any press"

Well said. I rather wished I'd come in during the "hype" part of the cycle, so for at least a few months I could have believed.

I will add, however, that the NY Times had featured a few SL-related stories of late.

For the record: I turned 10 in 1970...talk about missing a party! So the feeling is not that unusual.

Posted: Nov 17th 2009 9:17PM (Unverified) said

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In my experience, the Gartner hype-cycle only looks that way for a subclass of things, and SL doesn't seem to be in that subclass, so the hype-cycle graph is inapplicable. Instead, you'll find that there's more of an variable sinusoidal that involves hype peaks 3-9 months apart. It's sort of what you get if you overlay a number of offset versions of Gartner's curve, one for each demographic.

There was never a single hype peak or trough for SL. There were multiple. Still are, though the amplitude is a bit lower.
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Posted: Nov 18th 2009 5:51AM (Unverified) said

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I would like to bring to your attention that the BigPond spokesperson you spoke to was wrong, seeming to give you the false impression that the unmetered "arrangement has not been widely understood". What the spokesperson should have said was that the BigPond areas were the only assured unmetered zones.

BigPond themselves confirm this in their SL FAQ, still online at http://bigpond.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/bigpond.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=12634&display=content

...in that they say:
"... there are thousands more islands in Second Life. Many of those are unmetered too - but new islands are being added all the time so we can’t guarantee that visiting other islands won’t affect your monthly usage total."

My experience has been that at least 1/2 of the bandwidth consumed by Second Life has been unmetered for at least the last year even without visiting any BigPond areas. Their decision to change the unmetered access on thousands of their customers (who use SL for both business and pleasure) will therefore have a much bigger effect than conveyed by this story. Thank you.

Posted: Nov 18th 2009 6:51AM (Unverified) said

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Apparently what they're doing and what they think they're doing are two different things. We were assured that the FAQ was out of date.
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Posted: Nov 18th 2009 9:35AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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Heh, of sourse, if you didn't use BigPond as your ISP it really wouldn't matter so much, most other ISPs offer plans that cost way less for more bandwidth... so... you could have browsed SL pretty mush without worrying about exceeding your 250MB per month allowance.

OMG, I found a company I hate more than linden Lab... Telstra!
/rofl
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Posted: Nov 18th 2009 10:15AM (Unverified) said

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Yes. Big "ouch" - and metering sucks. I remember way back when all Internet access (in the U.S. anyway) was metered - it sucked. And connection was on average by 56k modem. That was metered by megabytes per 30-days, then charged per megabyte after that.

Where I live, it is still metered in bandwidth. However rather than a la carte - though I don't understand how big Pond is doing it - if it's a charge per MB from the beginning al a carte or like it is for me and many others in the U.S. - which is "capped" at 250 Gigabytes per month. Meaning if I hit that: my bandwidth drops to the equivalent of a 1200-baud modem (ouch) - but that's a rather generous cap.

As for this news: it's a business decision. Highly unlikely BP is even breaking even, much less any kind of profit. Yes, "it sucks to be you" kind of scenario for the users... but it's a business decision.

Just like all those policies Linden lab keeps coming up with, like the segregation of "adult-rated" material from "mature" and "PG (pretty general - in my vernacular)" - it all comes down to business decisions.

Posted: Nov 20th 2009 2:28AM (Unverified) said

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250GB?? Good grief, what does that cost you a month and what sort of download speeds do you get? I am with Bigpond Australia on their "Extreme Liberty" plan - capped at 25Gb a month at "up to" 30Mbps then slowed to 64kbps, all for $89.95 AUD per month. So losing the unmetered use of SL means I am going to have to go from being a regular visitor to an occasional one.
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Posted: Nov 20th 2009 2:32AM (Unverified) said

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That's ten times what I get myself, on the most expensive plan available to me.
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Posted: Nov 20th 2009 7:47AM (Unverified) said

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Wow. I really do apologize if I sounded like I was bragging or something like that - truthfully!

My Internet Service Provider contracts through my cable company - which is owned by the city Power Company (which is partly what keeps cost down). I pay $35 U.S. each month and the plan is supposed to be 3 megabit per second download and .5 upload (they throttle upload speeds so people do go hosting web sites and such on their consumer accounts.

Bandwidth is limited to 250GB per month - if it is reached before the 1st of the month, it is throttled back to about 3kb per second (which is punishing to say the least.)

The actual purpose of the cap is targeted at "abusers" who share a lot of large files (music, movies, etc.) - I've only run into the cap once - by accident with a large prject I had to upload (I am a media professional by trade) and it hurt. Called the ISP and they lifted the cap for the remaining 10 days of the month.

Obviously there are many different "policies" depending where in the world you are. But the "unlimited" access has become such a staple in the states, there was even congressional hearings into why Warner cable (Warmer Bros. people) attempted a test at similar cap to what you describe (25GB) and then rather than throttling - charging extra $ per GB above that.

Warner canceled the test and more or less abandoned the idea (though I am sure they are looking for other ways to do it: make more money from existing customers)

Anyway - that's how it is with my own service provider. Comcast and Warner offer the same "rules" basically, but cost much more (I think Comcast is something in the realm of $50 per month, but I am uncertain and I have no idea what Warner is like) - and there are hundreds of thousands of independent ISPs throughout the country.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2009 8:13PM (Unverified) said

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G'day, The ABC Island is still running strong and all on volunteer efforts. Yes we are a little quite in blogging perhaps due to the non commercial nature of the Region.

This weekend I will be setting up a refugee processing centre at Numbat , helping to relocate folks in temp accommodation till the dust settles.

As for metering..BP style, since 2007 the only cost from the SL has been media streaming ( voice, music and video) as it comes from different IP addresses. Visiting the other islands was no problem, although they don't want you to as everyone would leave and the place would become a dustbowl.

Posted: Nov 24th 2009 4:40AM (Unverified) said

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Please excuse me, but what does "shutter" mean in this article. I tried http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shutter but it says "close shutters" or "cover with shutters" and I don't understand what this means in Second Life.

Posted: Nov 24th 2009 5:10AM (Unverified) said

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It's a generic business-properties term for "close down" or "abandon use".
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Posted: Nov 24th 2009 7:57AM (Unverified) said

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Thank you! So in this case will the sims stop being populated by staff or will they vanish from the grid?
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