A Barrier Lifted
October 12, 2014
Well, gridlings, it has been a very long time since I've written. Not really sure why. Some ill health, some RL stuff, and all not wirth saying much about. I do know that I have withdrawn somewhat from the Metverse as a whole. I simply saw too much male bovine fecal matter being spread around.
But, its time to get back at it.
I recently moved, folks, and included in my rent is land-line based Internet. That's right, no more Mobility Internet, which doesn't allow things like port forwarding or running No-IP.
That particular barrier to getting Excelsior Station online has now been lifted.
Over the next little while I will be copying my current version of the Station to my other computer. Its a single core machine with 4 Gb of RAM and 320Gb of harddrive. That should suffice until next year when I purchase a new system and this current one, a quadcore 64bit with 6Gb of RAM, can be added to the Station's resources.
Excelsior Station will be running WhiteCore. That means no HG or NPC at the moment, but those are coming. I hope to get the Station set up for people to be able to access the Kitely Market. There will be a new website, probably hosted on Weebly. That will be a more social, grid oriented site while this one will continue to be my own stuff. There will be voice. Financing will initially be out of pocket with donations. Land will be available, either by renting or by some other arrangement.
Excelsior Station is 8,192m by 8,192m in size. That is 1,024 SRE (Standard Region Equivalent). It will be supporting science fiction themed MMO-style role play using the Myriad RP System. It uses ODE physics and supports OSSL as well as AuroraSim's ASSL, though not yet fully.
I have no estimate of when it be online and accessible to you. If everything goes very well, perhaps next week. But, most likely, it will take longer.
I look invite and look forward to your thoughts, suggestions and ideas, but please, save them for when the new site is up.
And I very much look forward to having you visit.
+++++++ July 7, 2013
We got a roadway! And what a roadway it is. It starts at the parking lot at the Landing Zone.
Each section is 100 metres long. Those round spots are the antigrav units that support the roadway. Each has a paved area that is 21m across.
I did come up with a different solution to intersections.
Its not very long before the roadway passes through the mountains. The Fangs can be seen up ahead.
And here we are, beside The Fangs. We can see where the town is beginning to be laid out.
The roadway only goes this far. I haven't counted, but I think there's over 30 sections, or 3 kilometers of roadway, including that 'spur' that runs off to the east. Eventually, it will run all the way out to the First Prim. And perhaps to that island I put in the southeast corner.
I'm also looking for a good set of scripts that will operate a 'train'. Think "transit pods", though. There would be one one-way line between any two points, so two lines between each place. LZ to PortSide. LZ to StarPort, StarPort to PortSide. When you consider that the structure is going to be made of tubes, well, I picture something wonderfully complicated. The way it would work is that a person would go to the start of one of the lines and rez a pod. The sit in the pod and press the 'Go' button. Off the pod goes, zipping real fast through its tube until it gets to its destination. It decelerates and waits for the passenger to UnSit before it derezzes.
I put some emphasis on myself to get these done as soon as I can. That is because such large infrastructure systems relating to transportation have always affected the surrounding urban, suburban and rural environments. Even at the Landing Zone, you can see how some of that area will develop. Stairs and a walkway to the primary Landing Point. Transit Station to be added, probably on the east side so as to make running the transit tubes alongside the roadway easier to begin.
By the way, if anyone has something they would like to add to Excelsior Station, please let me know. A monument, starship, wreck, tech, whatever. No promises to include it, but we'll talk about it, including proper attribution.
June 21, 2013
Well, things are going well with the new build of Excelsior Station. Though I have to admit that I still get a little surprised at the size of the place whenever I travel to different parts to work on things. And there are a couple of issues with travelling. Teleporting, in fact, but only when using the command line function that many viewers now have. The command line function is where you can type a short command, such as gtp x y z to teleport to a specific point without looking for a LandMark. I’m pretty sure its due to the 4096 limit that has used to plague SL and OpenSim, and still does when using HyperGrid. But, in AuroraSim, I’ve had no issue with it when using LandMarks. I haven’t tried any teleport devices yet. I simply haven’t got around to building any, though.
But, that’s not why I’m writing this particular piece. This time I just want to show off a few things that I have done so far. Mostly terrain, though I did import one build from the old Station. So, here we go …
First is the default Landing Zone.
Nothing there yet except for the main platform. I just don’t know what I want to place there. There will be structures for freebies, though the freebies themselves will come from future residents. And I will be importing a number of Linda Kellie’s things into the Inventory Library, which I’ve renamed to WareHouse.
Here’s something I call The First Prim.
This is something my late friend, Ravin, used to do. Its the very first prim that I rezzed inworld. And it has a secret. I don’t know what the prize will be, but that unknown prize will go to the first person who solves The Secret of The First Prim. The platform and railing is simply to keep bystanders from coming into contact with it. So far, the scientists haven’t found anything harmful about it, but you can’t be too careful.
What self-respecting RP world doesn’t have Fangs?
You’ve likely noticed that there’s no grass anywhere. I’m experimenting with the idea of an all sand and sea world. I’ve also found that it helps with terraforming as shadows show much more clearly. Its easier to find potholes and land spikes that make things look unnatural.
Just for the fun of it, the Devil’s Sceptre.
I was looking for pictures and layouts for starports when I came across a build that used a rock spire as the foundation to “hang” everything off of. I’m thinking this would make a good military style outpost. And I’m not really happy with the name, so that will be another little contest to run.
Here’s the one build I imported from the old Station.
I call this Skyville, but, again, I’m not happy with the name. So, another contest. I still have no idea of what sort of prize to give, but I’ll think of something. Perhaps a permanently free region sized parcel? Would that be a good prize for the naming contests?
Well, that’s it for now. I’m definitely taking it slow, trying to keep within my health limits. I am having fun, though, and that’s one of the best remedies there is.
Getting Back to Norbal
June 14, 2013
One of the things that added to my stress levels over the last while is discovering that my database is corrupted.
Or was. I guess I kinda lost it and wiped the whole thing. Yes, I have past copies of the Station, but I choose to begin from scratch. Take the opportunity to fix some things, make it bigger, better.
I haven't really done anything beyond that until yesterday. Hell, it was the first time rezzed a prim in months. And now I am at something of a loss. I don’t have a clear idea of what I want it to be.
Oh, it will still be loosely sci-fi themed. But beyond that … I don’t know.
So, I am going to set myself some ground work here, some foundations.
It is still using AuroraSim, though there are some problems with that. Mostly due to changes in how it is configured, changes to console commands and a lack of documentation. Excelsior Station will be 8,192m by 8,192m in size. That is the same area as 1,024 OpenSim regions.
It won’t have a Freebie Centre. Instead, those will be incorporated into the Inventory’s Library, or Station Warehouse as I have renamed it. This doesn’t mean that freebies won’t be allowed. They will be. Some space will be set aside at the Welcome Centre for a small building where future residents can place a few, but otherwise, people can provide them at their own locations.
But, beyond that, I am at a bit of a loss. I have a landing spot build, but nothing beyond that. Its a bit daunting the thought of having 1,024 regions to build in. I know its going to be a couple of years to build something I will be happy to share with everyone. I will be moving some of the builds from my previous version to this, but that version is only 16 regions large.
I do have a few goals for Excelsior Station, goals which have not changed. One is purely mercenary. I want it to earn a profit of $1,000 a month. When you consider that I live on $800 a month, such a profit would mean that I can get off this government medical pension and tell them to kiss my ass. I will say that this is not a primary goal. I do live within my means, though with some help from community resources. But achieving this would sure be nice.
I want to feature people’s builds. Their large ones. Buildings. Ships, both wet and space. Installations. Factories. Anything and everything I can put my hands on. Roleplay, of course, including ship-to-ship combat. Driving, sailing, flying. Music and entertainment.
Come to think of it, I can wrap all that into one goal. To build a city. Not one that is only a setting or backdrop, but a place where people live. That is the primary goal. A place where people live.
As I said, I am at a bit of a loss. I know I will get it built, its just a matter of having the ideas begin. And I am also inviting all of you to join me on this. I know, you can’t login as Excelsior Station is not yet online. But if you have things you would like to see included, please let me know. Point me to where you have things for download. Comment here, tweet me, post on G+ with ideas. Give me links to pictures and drawings of things that would be cool to include.
I look forward to hearing from you.
An Unhappy Camper
April 17, 2013
Imagine you have built a home for yourself and your friends. Its a great home with everything you could want in it. Plenty of bedrooms for people to stay in, fully appointed kitchen with walk-in pantry, fridge and freezer, dining room, wine cellar, spa, gardens, living room, den, library, games room, the whole works. And you’ve built it yourself. You know every nail, every bolt, every two-by-four, brick and shingle that went into its construction.
Now imagine leaving that and settling for a smaller place. Imagine trying to build for yourself a one bedroom bungalow for you and your friends. It looks nice and your enjoying the building, but it just is not the same. It simply cannot be the same.
This is the situation that I find myself in with Excelsior Station. In moving to OpenSim I find myself trying to rebuild an estate into a bungalow. It is not the same and it is not satisfying.
I am not a happy camper.
So, I am rethinking my decision to switch to OpenSim. Actually, I’ve pretty much made up my mind. Excelsior Station using AuroraSim is far more satisfying to me than this rebuild can ever be. But there are some questions that need some pondering on.
If I do open the Station to the public, it will be a closed grid due to the lack of HyperGrid functionality. Which brings about the question of, will people take up residence there? I do want the Station to be a success and how popular it becomes will be one indicator of that. Other questions are, how to deal with currency? Can I attract a programmer to handle the AuroraSim software? What sort of arrangements can be made to host the Station? What about expansion, such as private regions? Or should I go with the anyone-can-connect model, such as used by OSGrid?
In the meantime, I’m going to dust off the archives and get back to work on the “estate” of Excelsior Station. And feel free to share your thoughts with me.
Leapin' Before Lookin'
March 20, 2013
So, I had another one of my ideas for a project. With the move to OpenSim, I have been thinking about where to start. I have an idea for which terrain to use, and I still have my backups of various regions I have worked, so I have a starting build. But now what? Those other regions are all workshops of one kind or another. So, I have been letting things sort of simmer, waiting for some images to come to mind (that's what happens for me, I get a mental image) of how to make the changes form a workshop, to something that made sense as a hangout RP place.
So, why not as a real rebuild. Its a rebuild that is the result of moving from AuroraSim to OpenSim. So, I got to thinking about that, and started picturing how to explain things. That is, a sim has to make sense when you are there. Energy sources, buildings, travelways, all the things for role play to take place in.
Next thing I know, I am imagining how station commanders have done things across the history of science fiction.
Many of my favourite sci-fi is the ones that use a log, diary or journal.
What a great way to give Excelsior Station its own story.
The Loud Silence
March 19, 2013
A couple of days ago, on March 17, I asked a question on both Twitter and G+.
Is anyone working on a HyperGrid module for AuroraSim?
I asked this question because, despite my recent reassessment and decision to move to OpenSim, I truly do not want to give up AuroraSim. If someone is working on a HG module, I would reverse my decision, exercise patience and would carry on with the plans that I had.
So far, nobody has replied. And while two days isn’t much time, there are a lot of people on Twitter and G+ who keep themselves continuously up to date, so one can expect to receive some sort of response over that time.
While I can hope that there is someone working on this and is not a social media user, I can understand why there might be nobody working on such a module. Why would anyone do so if the developers themselves do not support the inclusion of HG capability in the first place? Especially in light of the fact that it already exists with OpenSim.
This shows us a large error in the development of AuroraSim. It is not an error in the coding of the software, it is an error in judgement. The developers of AuroraSim do not put enough importance on public engagement. They are proceeding with the development of AuroraSim based on their own desires with little regard to what the public wants. They show little concern for their future end users.
As I said, their refusal to include HG capability shows an error in judgement. That error is the lack of public engagement. There are other indicators that point to this error. Their main website, http://aurora-sim.org/, shows that the only thing that has been updated is the copyright date in the bottom left corner of the homepage. The site still lists a version of AuroraSim that is over a year old, 0.5.0.1, yet the most recent coding is at version 0.5.4. In other words, it has been over a year since the AuroraSim developers have released a public binary.
There has been no news releases in that time, either. Their forums have at least one support question that has gone unanswered for over a month. Under General Topics, threads go months without replies. Their Wiki has been showing a 404 error for over six months. There is no mailing lists for users or developers. Despite having a Twitter account, the only things that get tweeted about are the various merges, pulls and other changes to the coding. Nothing about features or improvements.
You cannot help but compare AuroraSim to OpenSim. The OpenSim developers make regular releases of binaries for people to use and test. They have active mailing lists that are responded to very quickly. Every release candidate is announced via social media as well as on their site. OpenSim updates their Wiki promptly and the forums are very active.
I have always stated very clearly that AuroraSim is better software. I have written the results of my own informal testings to show this. To bring that up to date, Excelsior Station is the equivalent of 128 OpenSim regions, with a prim allowance of 3,000,000. It is currently has nearly 80,000 prims rezzed and is running well over 7,000 scripts, including particle engines, listeners, vehicles and texture modifiers. All on a Windows 7 single core machine with just 4Gb of RAM. With OpenSim, I can get up to 30 empty regions on the same machine before lag renders it unusable.
But the quality of the software matters little if people find it difficult to use. Yes, its relatively easy to compile the source code that you can download from their GitHub site (https://github.com/aurora-sim), but just saying that it has to be compiled will scare people off. Many people want to download and run a compiled binary. People want to be able to find the latest news about recent changes. They want to find information about feature improvements. They want to be able to get answers to questions and solutions to problems. And they want those things with reasonable ease.
That is where OpenSim is superior to AuroraSim. OpenSim engages the public. It is that simple. They listen to what people want and they do their best to include those wants. If they cannot meet those wants, the OpenSim developers tell us why.
Is anyone working on a HyperGrid module for AuroraSim?
The silence is speaking very loudly indeed.
March 16, 2013
I have been reassessing what it is that I am doing with Excelsior Station. This has come about due to recent health diagnoses and the resulting need to do the same in my Real Life.
Although I have been writing about Excelsior Station for a couple of years now, it actually began almost three years before that. That was when I first began checking out OpenSim. I learned how to compile the code, add regions, import and export my builds, save and load OARs and IARs. Soon enough, I discovered AuroraSim and began testing its limits. It was while I was trying to figure out MySQL that I came across Sim-on-a-Stick and things began to come together for me. It was also around that time that I thought I should start sharing what I was learning. And so this site was born.
It was also during that time that Excelsior Station itself began as a specific world. A world where people can drive, fly, sail or any other type of travel using any sort of vehicle that they can dream of. It would be a world of role play, of combat and contest. It would be a destination for people to visit and enjoy themselves, a world that was connected to other worlds in a network of role playing virtual worlds, creating the ultimate in MMOs.
An MMO that is a network where the users, not a corporation, create the challenges and the things to be used to meet those challenges.
Excelsior Station began as a sixteen region OpenSim megaregion, but I soon found that AuroraSim was simply better suited. AuroraSim has physics, currency, no region borders, yet uses fewer system resources than the same land area, prims and scripts do in OpenSim. It also had its own system for intergrid travel called InterWorld Communication. Soon thereafter a hypergrid module was created.
That was the beginning of Excelsior Station. It has grown and changed over the last couple of years. As has AuroraSim and OpenSim. I have met many people that have met many people in that time and many have helped and there have been a few AuroraSim based grids that I have been involved in, as well. Nova Grid, Created Worlds, AuroraScape. Zarta, Nichodemous, Timothy, to name a few.
Most recently, Timothy and his Zetamex hosting company have been helping me to get Excelsior Station online and open to the public. The plan is to run it as a stand-alone with a community created Terms of Service. I have been focused on achieving this, too focused, I find.
AuroraSim no longer has a functioning HyperGrid capability. Changes in the coding has broken the module that allows intergrid travel. Furthermore, the primary developer of AuroraSim is against coding HG capability into the software. While he is not against someone creating a module for it, he is not going to do so himself.
This is a mistake.
When you write software for the general public to use, you must compromise. You may not want to include something, but when the people you are designing the software for want it, you have to compromise and include it. By not including HyperGrid capability in AuroraSim, it becomes limited in the eyes of the public.
It also means that I cannot achieve my goals for Excelsior Station.
Without the ability to travel to and from other grids, every AuroraSim based grid becomes a closed grid. Including Excelsior Station. While I am in favour of both open and closed grids, Excelsior Station was never intended to be closed. Any currency and economy it should develop was to be dependant on a secure HyperGrid. Its support of role play and vehicles are dependant on intergrid travel.
In short, I cannot achieve my goals for Excelsior Station if it were to remain based on AuroraSim.
I refuse to give up on my goals. However, without a functioning HyperGrid capability, I do not see how I have any other choice but to use OpenSim.
It is not the software that defines the world. It is the goals and the people of that world who do.
I look forward to the day when Excelsior Station and the people who come to it achieve their goals.
Fighting the Child Avatar FUD
March 6, 2013
Over and over again I keep reading those declarations that anyone who uses or supports the use of child avatars is supporting paedophilia.
By the logic of those people, anyone engaged in using child avatars to overcome childhood trauma is supporting paedophilia. So is everyone who engages in Family RP. As is anyone playing the role of a drummer boy in a Civil War recreation sim.
The people who are making such statements seem to have no understanding of human behaviour. I don’t pretend to know how a paedophile’s mind works. But I do have a basic understanding of human nature.
Nobody is going to go looking for something where they know it cannot be found. If I am wanting to meet a woman who has similar interests as I do, I am not going to go to a gay singles site. I am not going to go to Sesame Street World (if there is such a site for children). I am not going to go to a site for college students. I am going to go to a site for people like me and her.
So, why would a paedophile go to a grid that doesn’t allow children? A paedophile is going to go to sites that cater to children, even if he has to lie about his own adulthood to gain access. He is not going to go to a grid that does not allow children to enter.
Yes, its true, there are kids who sneak onto grids. But let’s be realistic. A paedophile isn’t going to enter a grid trying to find one of those hidden children. Too much work when he can go hangout on FaceBook for easier pickings.
Human beings do not pursue sexual relations with others who do not match their ‘orientation’ or who do not fit that particular ‘type’ that attracts them. Being straight, I’m not going to go to a gay bar to pickup a woman. Furthermore, if you are straight, are you going to have sex with a man who is wearing a dress? If you are attracted to weightlifter-fit types with long hair, you aren’t going to seek out a balding accountant type. If you are attracted to short people, you aren’t going to seek out basketball players. The same behaviour rules a paedophile. It doesn’t matter how realistic the child avatar is, being on a grid that doesn’t allow children, he will know that the person behind the child avatar is an adult. And so no matching of ‘orientation’ or ‘attraction type’.
Hopefully, those points I have made will work against the FUD that surrounds child avatars. But there’s one more point to bring to your attention. A factual one. Crime statistics.
According to Stranger Danger (http://www.lindenhurststrangerdanger.com/?page_id=2) “In 1986, child sexual abuse cases were 16% of all reported cases. In 1998, child sexual abuse cases were 10% of all reported cases.” From 1990 to 1997, there has been //”There has been a 26% decline in the rate per 1,000 of substantiated cases of child sexual abuse since 1992.”
According to Free-Range Kids (http://www.freerangekids.com/crime-statistics/), juvenile homicides of kids under 14 were down by 36% from 1993 to 2005 and down 60% for those 14 to 17.
That’s right, crime is dropping. Including crimes against children. I can list site after site of reports and statistics that show this, but don’t take my word for it. Go ahead, Google “crime statistics 2000 to 2013” for yourself and you will see that I am correct.
I am not saying that we should not be vigilant. I am not saying that we should not care for and protect the well being of all children. I am saying that we should not use the protection of children as an excuse to promote hatred and intolerance of others. Especially when that hate and intolerance is based on something as transient and changing as an avatar.
The hatred and intolerance against child avatars is nothing but FUD.
Birth of a ToS
March 2, 2013
Well, March 1st was a good goal to aim for to launch Excelsior Station, and we almost made it. The files are uploaded and so its in the hands of hardware and server people at Zetamex. That means that things will launch any time now.
One of the things that a grid should have is a Terms of Service. For good or bad, it does define responsibilities and obligations. Its an agreement, a contract between you and the grid. A contract is an exchange of value between two or more parties. When it comes to a grid, well, they are providing a service and you are providing good will. Yes, even that has a value. If it makes a person feel good to see their sim being enjoyed, well, that’s a pretty valuable thing. That is only one exchange of value involved, as well, but that’s not the point here. The point is, that a ToS should be treated as an agreement between two parties, you and the grid, regarding an exchange of value.
A ToS does tend to be one sided. Though, when you consider that it is the grid that has the majority of liability and risk under the law, a ToS that is heavily weighted in favour of the grid is understandable. But that doesn’t mean that the user shouldn’t enjoy some of the benefits and protection that a ToS can give them.
Something that has become very clear to me in thinking on this is that it will take some time to create a good ToS. So, this is only a start.
The best place to start is to define what we are talking about. I like the way Firecaster put it about recognizing the Avatar as being an extension of ourselves. I prefer to look at it this way. Our Avatar in the Metaverse is to our Self what our Body is in the Universe. Yes, I used upper case to be clear that I am not just talking of the mundane aspects, but the whole of the concept that each embodies.
So, Avatar would be our digital Person, while avatar is our digital body, the vehicle for our Avatar/Person. Avatar would be used to refer to the person controlling the avatar. By according those recognitions, we can then be clear that we have similar rights and protections within that virtual world as we do in the physical one. Think of it this way. Just as nobody has the right to assault you in RL, nobody has the right to grief you in VW.
Now I said similar rights, not the same rights. That is because of how a grid is structured, just like a feudal government. So, no right to vote for a new leader. On the plus side, no election campaigning. And no matter what any of us might put in a ToS, there is no exemption from Real World Law.
The following is what I have in mind so far. I very much look forward to your contributions.
“The term ‘Avatar’, in the upper case, shall be understood to be referring to the person controlling a virtual world representation of themselves. Such virtual world representations shall be referred to as ‘avatars’, in lower case.”
“It is recognized that an avatar, being the digital representation of a Person, acts in the same fashion as that Person’s body does, it being the material representation of that Person.”
“In this regard, every Avatar shall be accorded similar rights and protections for their avatar as they do for they body.”
This next section would be about the legal necessities, including privacy and intellectual property rights.
“Excelsior Station and every Avatar shall comply with the Legislation, Statutes and Regulations of the Province of British Columbia, Canada in so far as they pertain to the operation, maintenance, access and use of Excelsior Station and its services.”
”Information about any and all Avatars that is collected by Excelsior Station is held in trust by Excelsior Station. That information is not available to anyone without the expressed and informed consent of the Avatar or by lawful court order.”
”Excelsior Station provides the environment, tools and services to allow an Avatar to interact with and to modify that same environment. It is recognized that it is the Avatar that creates the content, not the tools or services. As such, content created by an Avatar, and the copyrights to that content, is owned by that Avatar.”
”Excelsior Station has no rights to copy content, except as part of necessary maintenance and security of data. Copies of content made by Excelsior Station are done so for the purpose of data recovery in the event of any data loss.”
Next would be terms that ensure that everyone has the right to speak their mind, to disagree with policies and decisions. Dispute resolution.
Well, like I said, its a lot of work. This is an opportunity to create an honest ToS, one that is community built. I hope to see lots of comments, good and bad, they are all worth it.
February 26, 2013
Every grid has to comply with the Law. So does every person. Normally, this is very straight forward. But the Metaverse is an international place, and so different laws apply to different grids. This where jurisdiction comes in, something I’ve written about before. The laws that apply to a grid are those that apply to the Real World location of the grid.
Second Life has its headquarters in California, so the laws of the State of California and the Laws of the US apply. InWorldz has its headquarters in New York, so that state’s laws and the federal laws of the US apply. It should be noted that it is not where the servers are located, but their place of business.
For Excelsior Station, its place of business is Canada. I’ll be making all the Real World info available, on a new site. I’m not giving up this blog, just going to setup a small site for the Station itself for information and account registration.
So, it is Canadian Law that applies, and the laws of the Province of British Columbia, as well. For the most part, there’s nothing of any significance to note between the way the US and Canada do things. But there is one area that matters to all of us.
The protection of our intellectual property.
When it comes to copyright enforcement, we are best acquainted with the DMCA. That is due to a few factors. The largest and best known grid, Second Life, is US based and has suffered a bad reputation regarding enforcement of the DMCA. The second factor is simply that there are significantly more US based grids out there. There are apparently more websites that have information regarding the DMCA than that of any other country.
The most important thing to understand is that the DMCA is American law. It is not German law. Or British. Or Canadian law.
I went looking for information about how we handle copyright infringement cases in Canada. Including emails to one of the top professors of law. As it turns out, Canada has a Notice-and-Notice system enacted as law. Which means, if I receive a Notice of alleged copyright infringement, I am to Notify the accused of the matter. There’s a problem, though.
Regulations have yet to be enacted. So, I don’t know if I am to remove the content or not. There’s nothing specified about what information should be included in the Notices or in what form those Notices have to be. That was when I was reminded about Common Practice.
Common Practice gives a person something of a precedent to work from when the law is unclear. Common Practice in Canada is to honour DMCA Notices and to act in accordance with the DMCA. The reason is to prevent liability as a secondary offender.
Excelsior Station will do the same. It will honour DMCA Notices and will act in accordance with Common Practice by removing any allegedly infringing content. Excelsior Station will also treat a DMCA Notice as a Notice of Infringement under Canadian Law and will act in accordance with Canadian Law by forwarding a copy of the Notice to the alleged infringer.
There’s some other legalities to go over, as well. Excelsior Station will operate on a not-for-profit basis, though it is not a registered non-profit. If you choose to donate any money, you will not receive a tax exemption receipt.
Excelsior Station will be renting parcels of land, with payments being made via PayPal for now. Inworld currency is not available. Whether one is developed or not will depend on the community of registered users and the laws that pertain to the handling of virtual currency.
Otherwise, we’re still on track for March 1st.
Still Truckin’ On
February 22, 2013
Its been busy over the last little while. Taking on Grid Press has been quite a job. Fun, though. I plan on putting out a call for volunteers to help staff it. I’ll be adding a Twitter Follow button and feed here very soon. Grid Press has been assimilated by FaceBorg, so go ahead and look for it. Its there as an organization, not a personal account, so none of my personal info is there.
I’m still upgrading Excelsior Station from v1.024 to v4.096. That is, from 1,024m by 1,024m to 4,096m by 4,096m.
The Colony build is done, that’s the name of the Welcome Centre parcel.
I’m stocking it with a bunch of Linda’s freebies. My hat’s off to her in thanks and recognition of her creativity and generousity. Nobody can take that away from her. To me, there’s an added benefit to having some of her things available. Doing so does help people to get a good fast start on getting themselves settled. But there’s also continuity. A person can go from grid to grid and have an avatar that looks the same on each grid without having to import or manually edit their appearance. Continuity is important as it is the root of being recognized from grid to grid.
And there’s lots of room for others, too. There will be four areas with a floor space of roughly 30m by 50m. The areas will be for female avatars, male avatars, RP (including avatars and costumes) and odds ‘n sods. A couple of free buildings, furnishings, things like that.
The hosting hardware is ready. I’m going with Zetamex. I’ve worked briefly with Timothy Rogers, their CEO. He’s highly motivated, very community oriented and a likeable person. So, I’ve been working hard to finish the OAR for uploading.
No promises, but I am targeting March 1st to go public.
So, with some good luck, it should open New Years Day.
I have some thoughts about a preamble and some definitions for the future Terms of Service. Initially, things will run on a best behaviour expectation. I’ll write something on this in a day or two. The same for intellectual property and copyright information. That is the subject for another day.
Okay, so for today, I want to tell you of some of the open ended plans I have. I want inter-grid travel, but both the HyperGrid and InterWorld Communications (AuroraSim’s version of HG) are non-functional. To my knowledge, there are currently no developers working on either of these.
So, at this point, Excelsior Station will be a closed grid. It will open when we have functioning inter-grid travel. And if the majority wants it. And not 50%+1. To me, a clear majority is two-thirds, sixty-six point six percent.
Then there’s the question of currency. I don’t know. I have to look into what is involved to be in compliance with regulations. I am in favour of having a currency, perhaps the cred, using e$ as the symbol? USD$1 = e$1,000 as an exchange rate?
In the meantime, I can rent land, using PayPal as the medium. Here’s a different way of doing business. What do you think is a fair rate, in US dollars per month, for a 128m by 128m parcel of land with a 10,000 prim allowance. I’m not looking to make a profit, but bills do have to be paid. Oh, and don’t forget, AuroraSim is still alpha’ware.
For now, I plan on limiting those parcels to 100, and give each person a choice of location. They will also be allowed to build roads, small harbours and other things that would contribute to the general enjoyment of role play.
There will be some free land available to individuals, but I am still thinking that one through. It would be a small plot, with a choice of one of the free houses not counting against a small prim allowance. Okay, there’s another question for the community. What would be a fair prim allowance for a free plot of what size land? Okay, so that’s two questions.
I am open to giving some land to be used as bases or HQ’s or some such for role play groups. I think you all will like this one. Once a group gets to a minimum size of four members, no alts, it can register as a role play group and will receive a free bit of land. Measured as a the most minimum of plot sizes, 4m by 4m, per member. The more members in the group, the more land the group controls. Location by choice of the group and cannot be changed. The maximum would be a plot of 128m by 128m. And the limit would be a total of the area of ten standard region equivalents. That would allow a minimum of forty groups of maximum land allowance per group. Oh, and no swelling of the ranks with alts.
There will be freely available a 128m by 128m parcel each to Furries, Tinies, Elves, Vampire, Lycan, Artificial, Mer, Gor, Family, and whoever else I can think of or be convinced of to add to that list. Oh! Star Trek, Star Wars, Star Gate. With their starbases to remain from 10,000m down to 3,000. Yes, depending on your viewer, you should be able to build up to 10,000m on Excelsior Station. The same for any starfaring role play group. Keep the base to a maximum of 200m by 200m by 200m. And they can be mobile.
Well, those are my thoughts regarding land at Excelsior Station.
The Welcome Centre is coming along nicely. Some tweaking of buildings on PortSide. I’ll set aside a place to hold public meetings. Lots more to be done, lots more to talk about.
And I’ll keep on truckin’ on.