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Old 08-15-2010, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking The Emerald Problem: A conspiracy theory.

(Oh noes!! Another Emerald thread!!)

This is a conspiracy theory. With an emphasis on theory. If you want facts try a different thread.

The recent events of:
  • LGG leaving Emerald development due credible claims of closed code and private data harvesting
  • Philip cancelling his holiday with his beautiful wife to attend SLCC 2010 in person after flying overnight.
  • and Qarl joining Emerald
have had my mind ticking over trying to fit it all into a sensible pattern. While these may be purely random independent events there is one factor that I can't shake which might explain them.

Emerald is a problem for Linden Lab.

Emerald, the name, is owned by Fractured Crystal/JayCool/Jcool/etc

Fractured seems, to me, to be an amoral exploiter of any situation that presents itself. These exploitations can be legal or illegal which ever is viable. It can be anything like the alleged; illegal copying and selling for profit, making/selling griefer viewers, copying IP addresses and locations without permissions, collecting personal computer information, using personal information in sold products, totally controlling donations to Emerald, etc.

But Emerald itself is widely used in Second Life and well loved my many many users. Add in the disaster of Viewer 2 and SL is not really positioned to get rid of Emerald (even if they could) and not stir up a lot of negativity in the SL user base. Given that SL is at the very least flat in its growth (more likely worse), attacking the one thing that so many still love about SL, Emerald, would only further exacerbate Linden Labs problems.

This whole situation can be viewed as a semi-destructive symbiotic triad which is Linden Labs, Emerald Developers and Emerald Users. We all understand the relationship between the Emerald Developers and Users, we understand the relationship between Emerald users and Linden Lab. What is the relationship between LL and the Emerald developers.

I suspect on the Linden Lab side it is an impotent distaste and frustration. I know that the Onyx viewer has caused anger in Linden Lab as they raced to fix exploits it was taking advantage of. We also have seen claims that LL tried to cover up the IP harvesting leaks. So Linden Labs must be thinking very hard about what to do regarding the Emerald problem.

How do you unempower the owner(s) of the Emerald brand without ruining the beneficial Emerald user experience. I believe there are multiple tactics to offer a partial solution.

Use the LL PR machine to hide Emerald problems

Why would Philip interrupt his holiday with his lovely wife to fly overnight to SLCC 2010 in person to tell us all their plans in detail and then tell us that the teens will be on the grid very soon as well? It is too much of a change both in his personal plans, his family life and the culture of Second Life unless it was needed to overshadow something else. I believe that LGG leaving is a fuse that has been lit and Linden Lab is not ready for Emerald to blow up yet.

Reinvigorate the Linden Lab based open source client development

Snowstorm is a new faster way for voluntary developers to contribute SL Viewer code. If this can get up to speed fast and eventually become a viable and useful client to compete with Emerald the Emerald problem can be slowly watered down so people become less dependant on Emerald over time.

Attempt to infiltrate, spy, contain and control the Emerald/Onyx developers

The big shock for me was the claims of Qarl joining Emerald. The lynch pin of this is Qarl's motive. I have no idea what it is. It could be to spy, manipulate, control, or simple open contribution to the community. Qarl is obviously not dumb and so would be well aware of the Emerald problem. Another question would be who has inspired Qarl's motive, what ever it is, could it have been suggested that he do it by someone at Linden Lab?

Timed destruction of Emerald.

What happens when and if Qarl does the same as LGG. The credibility of Emerald concerns and paranoia reaches its peak.

--

I believe Linden Labs has a mostly unacknowledged problem with Emerald. If they do have this problem they must then be looking for ways to solve it. This will also be mostly unacknowledged. The attempted solutions will have visible consequences. Are we seeing them?

Supporting Emerald by developing or using it maintains this dysfunctional relationship.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey Psyke, can you please get a moderator to move your thread to the Alternative SL Clients forum?
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey P2, can you please get a moderator to move your thread to the Alternative SL Clients forum?
I was looking for Phoenix Psaltery for a second there.

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Old 08-15-2010, 10:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey P2, can you please get a moderator to move your thread to the Alternative SL Clients forum?
This is not about the Emerald client software but instead it's impacts on Linden Labs and Second Life.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's about anyone we want it to be. Yay thread drift.

How does someone "own" the name of a mineral anyway?



Or maybe this company will have something to say about it.

Emerald Software Group
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like the thread here, it will get more views and responses.

Also Psyke, I think you may be on to something.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's about anyone we want it to be. Yay thread drift.

How does someone "own" the name of a mineral anyway?



Or maybe this company will have something to say about it.

Emerald Software Group
How does someone own a piece of fruit.

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Old 08-15-2010, 10:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How does someone own a piece of fruit.
They registered a bildmark. Trademarks dont come cheap.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I like the thread here, it will get more views and responses.
Me too, as its moved into the Alternative SL Clients subforum now.

O wait.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I was looking for Phoenix Psaltery for a second there.

Oops, just habit when I see all those Ps.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Me too, as its moved into the Alternative SL Clients subforum now.

O wait.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Oops, just habit when I see all those Ps.
I get em mixed up too. Fortunately they are both good people so it is never a problem.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I like the thread here, it will get more views and responses.
By that logic, every post on the forum would go into SL General Discussion. .
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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/waves at Fractured
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I get em mixed up too. Fortunately they are both good people so it is never a problem.
As long as Sans doesn't get them mixed up, too.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Well, I don't think they own the rights to the term "Emerald" since as far as I know they haven't trademarked it. It's not like a copyright, you don't get it automatically.

LL might be taking measures to draw people away from Emerald (Viewer 2.0 and Snowstorm probably being some of them), but I don't think Qarl joining the team has anything to do with it, more likely that was just intended as a fuck you to LL from Qarl.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Psyke made a case for the thread being moved back to General, and I agree, even if yet another thread about Emerald makes me want to stab someone.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Psyke made a case for the thread being moved back to General, and I agree, even if yet another thread about Emerald makes me want to stab someone.
Hm, so what you're saying is, there's a trigger for you to unleash your unbridled stabbing rage, all I need to do is figure out how to direct it and I have a pocket assassin? Very interesting.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think its too early to say if Qarl went there to "screw the Lab".

But I wouldn't be surprised if he's going to give them a hand in porting v2 features to the Emerald client. He's got the graphics background that was lacking in the team. I am also not sold on the idea that Emerald is bad for the Lab, despite the fact I don't trust some of the developers.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I know Qarl has always wanted to "Finish Sculpties". When Qarl was let go, and stated he wanted to continue to be involved some way in SL, I immediately expected he would join Emerald, and finish what he started with sculpties.

So this doesn't surprise me in the least. However, he may not realize the cost associated with his decision. A spy? I really doubt that.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:04 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Well for some off list feedback. I personally know of one Linden who would like nothing better then to see Fractured gone and a stop put to the MS shenanigans. But there is some reluctance from higher up.

And I already made the same point in another thread that MS was going to be in quite a bind when Qarl realizes the mess he stepped into and he bows out. They are going to have to do a much better job of wording that post then they did with LGG's departure.

So I am sure there is some validity to some of Pyske's points and it would be much easier to gage if Linden Lab had a history of making same, rational decisions.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:16 AM   #23 (permalink)
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None of the motives align, here.

Modified conspiracy theory:

1) Linden Research moves on with some new shiny to generate interest, using their new "snowstorm" approach

2) All the cool features get soaked up by the main viewer in a few months

3) "Emerald" becomes "hey, wasn't that something to do with Second Life in 2009?" within a year

4) Qarl's new job (soon to come, I'm sure) puts Second Life squarely in his rearview mirror

5) Emerald becomes a part of virtual world history, alongside there.com's Bedican Compass
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:28 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Hey P2, can you please get a moderator to move your thread to the URL="http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/alternative-sl-clients/"]Alternative SL Clients[/URL] forum?
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I was looking for Phoenix Psaltery for a second there.
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Oops, just habit when I see all those Ps.
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As long as Sans doesn't get them mixed up, too.


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Old 08-16-2010, 01:38 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Before this thread gets any further, can Psyke please pass the damned bong?
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