"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Part One, "The First Rule of Secondlife"

*****************************Where we come from***************************** ***************************************************************************** As these last few days have gone by there have been a couple of things that seem to want to come together in my head. There often seems to be a persistent problem with some of us that are getting older. It's not uncommon to see the, "My minds made up, don't confuse me with facts" bit. I'd like to think I don't fall into that. I suspect that most people in Secondlife over a few days old have at least read something about the latest Secondlife drama concerning RedZone, data scraping, and the sharing of personal information. I'll leave it to the various pundits as well as the legal minds to determine if it's legal... it doesn't sound like it to me. For many people the concern has less to do with the outing of alts, or being lumped in with everyone that was in the local WiFi Starbucks that morning... it has to do with the possibility of a real life confrontation. Stick around the Internet very long and we will all see some of us that look a little loose in our loafers. I had found a site that advertised relatively cheap VPNs {virtual private networks} and wondered if it was something I might want to look at. So I IMed a friend of mine in-world. This person is one of the brightest people I've come across, travels all over the world for work, really understands how all this tech stuff works, and seems to have both feet firmly planted. Below you will find and edited version of our chat. I deliberately left my friend anonymous for a couple reasons. One, while I have good reason to believe they would authorize the publishing of our conversation, I didn't bother to ask. Second, I don't care who some one cites as an authority there will be those that will 'pick' at that. And third, as I said...this is edited, most of what is missing are my inane comments. ***************************************************************************** Me: Hi! I'm begging again, if you've a minute...well begging information and advice. Them: No worries. What's up? M: Concerning VPN's and hiding IP addresses. Look at this link. All this concerns the recent controversy about RedZone. I'm sure some IP addresses change with every log in right? T: Yeah... There's a DSL type of connection that constantly changes. Dial-up was sure to change. Cable and full on DSL stays the same simply because of the persistent connection. M: See... That's why I come to you for info. T: You can reset your router/modem/whatever and have a 20% chance of getting a whole new address. I'm sure you use a firewall router, right? Like a NetGear or whatever? There's a trick with those... Their MAC address is not hard coded. Reason being, some IP's require you to register a computer and they log the MAC to be sure no one steals your computer. M: OK...Any thoughts about all this RedZone crap? T: Much ado about nothing. People want something to be afraid of. They see the "Address" in IP address and that psychologically tells them it's a location of a sort. M: IP logged as Santee {51 KM's away} for nearly a year 'till Cox cable came out and worked on my cable... now it logs as Lemon Grove {37}. T: Exactly. They're all over the place. Now... If you have an open WiFi router, someone can radio in and A-B compare your address... but we're talking about near impossible odds. Historically speaking, nobody has ever been "found" by IP address alone. Any time the story comes up it's IP address -and- [inset whatever wireless tech here]. M: OK Dear. Thank you T: Not a problem M: I suppose one might be able to pay $ to some one at Cox for and address. T: People will attack you like savage wolves if you dare say such a thing :-). In the end a fixed address is still preferable. It's just not reasonable to give every resident their own number. The protocol ran out of numbers just a couple of months ago. We're running on vapours.XD. A 100% surefire way to rotate IP addresses is to have a hand full of Ethernet cards. Don't use them... just write down each MAC address. When you want a new address, put a new MAC in your router, reset it, FOOM! New address. Don't use that MAC for a week and it'll never be the same address again. So 7 cards would do for the most paranoid... M: Yes... I can see how this may be "Much ado about nothing"... at least as far as locating some one physically. T: Yes, People want something to be afraid of. M: Dear, as always thank you for your time and the info. ****************************** OK... for me that's enough. I'm not smart enough to copybot, I wouldn't steal, My alts are nothing secret, and if a shop bans me by mistake? Guess who loses money? There is something else that's an on going issue though, this latest drama within Secondlife is just another thing that some of us will focus on... instead of remembering the first rule. You never heard of the first rule of Secondlife? Then you must not be one of the over 1000 nooblets I've worked with these past three and a half years. A day or so I got a goodbye note from a wonderful guy here. He says he's had enough of all this drama, the content theft, the name calling. This was not a rich guy... but I know how many of us in Secondlife actually even break even. My bet was he didn't, I saw him take new people and give them their first Secondlife job... paid them pretty darned well too. Money is not why he left. I'll try and talk about this more on Monday. Oh... The first rule? It's simple, HAVE FUN! And so it goes I love you all, brinda Namaste नमस्ते


  1. Yep, ScareWare, as it's called is the big growth product... Which Magazine did a recent test with a number of computers, downloading from a number of different website and found that the security software people buy is mostly unnecessary.

    I think people are feeling that LL is not really 'looking out' for them, and that's where the anger comes from...maybe.

  2. *grins* On the rare occasion that I get to help a nooblet, I almost always end the session with "Have fun - that's what SL is for, after all." Seems I stumbled upon the First Rule without knowing it was.

  3. @soror... Yes, it's been a very long time since The Benevolent Monarchy seemed to listen to us.

    My gosh, I don't need a net nanny... but when someone naive I can be sees plain extortion going on. Come on guys, make and effort.

    @Lalo... Yup! Seems like a pretty easy rule doesn't it?
    I can't imagine anyone ever downloading the Secondlife viewer for the first time and saying to themselves... I'm going to enter this virtual world and make myself feel badly.