Emerald Viewer Banned by Linden Labs; What Viewer to Use?

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By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Emerald has just been ban'd by Linden Labs, effectively today.

I've been wondering why the change. Can Emerald dev team be trusted? Apparently not. See these articles from The Alphaville Herald:

Linden Labs requested the Emerald team to remove these developers: Lonely Bluebird, Skills Hak and Discrete Dreamscape. Within the remaining Emerald team, Lonely refused to resign. The outcome is that Jessica left Emerald, and Linden Labs ban'd Emerald.

Why would Linden Labs request these people off Emerald? My educated guess is that these people had past history of being “Terms Of Service” violators.

Note that Skills Hak is the creator of the very popular In Silico sim, founder of “Gemini Industries” (selling weapons and hightech stuff). He also sells some sort of networked anti-copybot device called “Gemini Cybernetics CDS”. That is, if you are owner of a store, you buy this and put in your parcel or sim, and any known blacklisted avatar comes to your parcel will be automatically ejected. This blacklisted users i believe is mostly gathered from Emerald IP/Name gathering database. I've also got personal reports about how this device have been abusive, but am not sure it is true or to what degree. I estimate that Skills Hak is making at least 1k USD per month.

Note that the “Gemini Cybernetics CDS” used to be on xstreet at 〔https://www.xstreetsl.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&file=item&ItemID=2117915〕 but is gone. It is not clear to me the author removed it or Linden Labs.

The Alphaville Herald really did a huge amount of reports with insider info. Check out the 5 or so more reports in past 2 weeks. So, i've been wondering who's behind it. They have a “about us” page here: http://alphavilleherald.com/about. So, it is originally started in 2003 by philosophy professor Peter Ludlow (born 1957), currently at Northwestern University. And it was originally a report on the virtual world The Sims Online. The report was focused about scams and cyber-prostitution, which resulted in termination of Peter's account by the owner of the game “Electronic Arts”. (which made news in mainstream media) The reporter and site history changed a few times over the years, and the current main editor is Pixeleen Mistral, who gave us many of the insider info you see above.

And who's Pixeleen Mistral? She turns out to be a internet pioneer Mark P McCahill (born 1956), who wrote several early internet software and protocols such as email, gopher, url. See:

Also, i would like to thank LordGregGreg. Here's LGG's sites:

Also, Jessica Lyons was part of emerald just few days ago, but also resigned due to disagreement with the remaining team (which seems to be just Ph0x (aka Lonely Bluebird; Pattehph0x Katsu) and Arabella Steadham or more people). I also support Jessica. Jessica seems to have gathered a new clean team and started a new viewer, called “Phoenix Viewer”, based on last clean version of Emerald. The new team member includes LordGregGreg. The Phoenix Viewer is on Linden Labs's approved viewer list.

Also, thanks to Hazim Gazov (iheartanime.com), and many others. Without his efforts, some of the shady practices of Emerald probably wouldn't came out.

Also, thanks to a mysterious person TOBSDA on youtube, who provided us with many voice and video recordings, so that you can actually hear the voices of these people in spotlight. From the voices, you can discern to some degee what type of person they are. http://www.youtube.com/user/TOBSDA

Who Are They?

Here's some info about who these avatar's real names are, gathered from public resources. (you can find them from the links on this page, or just do web search with their names.)

sl namealso known asreal life nameSource
Fractured CrystalJcool410 WildcatJoseph CookSource; Source
Lonely Bluebird; Pattehph0x Katsu; Phox ModularSystemsphoxPatrick (Tyroler?)Source;Source;Source;Source
Arabella Steadham
Skills Hak
Discrete Dreamscape
Hazim Gazov
Jessica Lyons
LordGregGreg BackLGG; gregGreg Hendricksonpublic info. Source
Pixeleen MistralMark P. McCahillpublic info. Wikipedia
Urizenus SklarPeter Ludlowpublic info. Wikipedia
TOBSDA

If you know these person's names as public info, please comment with link to the public source. (the disclosure of the rl name must be voluntary or public info.)

Also note, that although some of the Emerald developers seem to have done shady stuff, like griefing, sim crashing, etc, but remember that this is fairly common among gaming teens or younger persons who also program computer. Also note, that statements from Linden Labs are not necessarily ethical. For example, professor Peter Ludlow reported issues in online gaming and his account got banned by EA. There are also a law suit against Linden Labs that are settled outside the court. (Bragg v. Linden Lab) In general, there are lots of disputes in bleeding edge fields where law is not established, and what's considered right or wrong is not settled. (e.g. in the early days of youtube, vast majority of videos are illegal copies, and many media companies started to sue. But once youttube becomes big, the lawsuits become business partnerships.)