Posted in business in SL, crime, day-to-day, entertainment, Flatterbot, quotes, security, Shopping!

Think Flatterbots don’t listen when you talk back? Think again.

Backing the truck up, those of you who haven’t encountered them yet, a Flatterbot is a (duh) bot that IMs you randomly.  Their usual MO is to start by either accusing you of bumping them or else claiming to be catching up with you, their long lost friend.  They then compliment your avatar, give you a long sob story about an ex-boyfriend that made them log off, and their brave return to start SL all over again… and oh by the way, could you maybe “loan” me 300L to get a new avatar put together?

This is all old news for many of us by now. Many shops now have signage warning about this practice, and many blogs have covered what to look out for and not to fall for it.

But up until today, I was under the impression that any amount of reply to a Flatterbot went largely ignored or unheard by their anonymous programmer. I was wrong. And apparently I touched a nerve.

Below the cut, my complete interaction with just one such Flatterbot while I was shopping in Henmations.

Continue reading “Think Flatterbots don’t listen when you talk back? Think again.”

Posted in crime, day-to-day, rant, RL, security

You May Want To Uninstall Emerald

I personally find it very disheartening to read what I did at Modular Systems’ (makers of the Emerald Viewer) blog today. In summary:

This idea was to target a blog owned by a creator of a malicious viewer, and boast of the traffic Emerald has captured. The method for doing this was to add links to the Emerald log in page linked to said blog. Each time anyone logged in, our page loaded up and also the other page loaded up – simply to show off our volume of traffic.

This was not a DDoS. This was a poor attempt at boasting that failed miserably. Once we discovered this, these links were deleted and the dev concerned was disciplined.

In other words, they admit to making you and me any every other user of the Emerald viewer, party to this “prank” every single time we opened up the viewer.

More on the matter can be read here, including a screenshot of the offending code.

I don’t claim to know much about coding or such things, but I do know that I was made a party to what could very well be illegal behavior without my knowledge or consent, and that the strongest thing they can say at Modular Systems is that the developer who came up with the idea was “disciplined”, not canned.

So I’m currently back to pre 2.0 SL viewer until I can find something better. Snowglobe is off the table, being too much like 2.0 in its interface.

Posted in day-to-day, rant, security

“Full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing.”

I like to keep informed as to what’s going on over at the Land of the Hand. In part it’s because I’m curious, but mostly it’s for my own smug sense of satisfaction at making the right choice in dumping that bastard. Yeah. I’m in that phase of the breakup I guess.

Well the latest reminder of the bullet I dodged comes in the form of a “conversation” initiated by new Conversation Guy, Wallace “Herald? What Herald?” Linden. In a post at the blog/forum/wtfever they’re calling it now, Wallace asks, “Will the Real You Please Stand Up?”. It opens with what sounds an awful lot to me like a threat: the story of Friendster dumping user accounts suspected of being less than 100% genuine. It’s almost like he’s saying without saying that LL could just as easily do the same in the future. He then talks about Facebook and Twitter (cause that’s what all the cool kids are using don’tchaknow) and spends paragraph after paragraph rambling in a way that “Doc” describes as a kid answering an essay question on his exam, who has no idea what the answer to the question really is.

Hey, I got nothing against verbose. Hello, it’s ME. But I like to think at least that when I’m verbose, I’m making clear what it is I’m saying.

I think what he’s asking, is what residents think about integrating their very RL personal ID information into their SL profiles. Well, they don’t like it. Least most don’t.

Now, you probably know my feelings on identity. I’m not too concerned who knows my SL, OL, or even RL name (especially since the latter is shared by at least 643 other people just in this country). I’ve said before that I’m much more likely to take seriously the sentiments of commenters in this blog if I have some idea who they are (and not necessarily who they are in RL; but rather who they are in the virtual/digital sense). After all, if they’re actually someone from another grid, for example, it’s plain to see a likely agenda. I like to see if someone’s an alt, but as long as there’s no drama/manipulation/deceit, I can live without knowing. I surely don’t need to know your home address, occupation, phone number, or mother’s maiden name in order to think you’re worth talking or listening to.

Second Life already has a way for you to divulge your RL information to other people, right in your own Profile. You can put as much or as little info as you wish into it. On the Web tab, you can put links to your blog or website or whatever you wish. Or, you can leave it blank.

So knowing such a thing already exists, one has to ask: Wallace, what are you talking about?

Posted in day-to-day, out of character, security

Time to Change Passwords

I was just skimming through the Second Life blogs and saw a post from someone whose account got hacked not once but twice. It may be that she’s the unluckiest person in the grid.

Or–at the risk of blaming the victim–she needs better locks on her front door. Let me clarify by saying it’s not your fault if you get hacked in that you didn’t do something to deserve it. Some other dishonest jerk was the one who did wrong. But, you have a responsibility to do everything you can at your end to make it harder for dishonest jerks to succeed.

It certainly got me to thinking about the locks on my own front door. So I went to the SL main website and tested out the passwords on the three most-used of my accounts (and will do as much on the “less to lose” ones later). Here’s what I found:
Continue reading “Time to Change Passwords”