Thursday, January 14, 2010

The axe falls, but when?

I just came across this blogorum thread where a resident decided to take one last look at the freebies on XStreetSL, knowing that they may disappear within the next few days.

The OP of course seen "junk that needed to be cleaned up, but quite some jewels", but that became irrelevant when the first replier asked a poignant question: "So when does the axe fall?"

What makes this question good is that, according to the original announcement, the freebie listing tax should be in effect by January 18th, and in the FAQ accompanying the announcement they stated residents will be given 2 weeks notice before the changes go in effect. There are four days left in the expected delivery time span and so far there have been no notices at all from the Lab. In fact, the Lindens have kept very quiet on the matter since Colossus Linden got burned in the blogorums(in two threads) after the announcement.

This has caused a bit of confusion and speculation about what will actually happen. Some say they have quietly backed down after feeling the backlash resulting in the increased prominence of third-party marketplaces. Others say that it's merely been delayed because of implementation problems. While I would hope for the former theory, I'm more inclined to believe the latter.

Why? It's quite simple, really. If the Lab finally decided to back down, no doubt they would loudly announce it in an attempt to recoup the losses incurred from the previous backlash, and to blunt the newfound popularity of XStreetSL's competitors. Since that has not happened, it's clear that the Lab is still in the process of putting the listing taxes in place, it's just taking longer than planned.

Regardless if the Lindens roll out the taxes this month, May, or whenever this year, I still believe I made the right choice and I will continue to boycott XStreetSL until this policy of pure greed is eliminated.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Finally, an SL client for Android

The other day I got a tweet from my Raglanite friend @chaffro about an Android chat client application for SL he's using. He told me the name of the application and I immediately downloaded it to my G1 phone.

Mobile Grid Client(MGC for short) is the Android-to-SL client I've been waiting for. Until now if I wanted to access SL from my phone, I'd have to put up with the lousy mobile version of ajaxlife.net where all I could do was chat and IM avatars. MGC puts ajaxlife.net to shame. You can teleport via landmarks and friend teleport requests*, look at avatar profiles, send and receive L$, see where you are via map, friend and de-friend avatars, and of course do chat and IMs with avatars and groups. Granted, it's not as polished as Touch Life for the iPhone, but it's way better than what I had before.

MGC is offered free in the Android Market, but there is a monthly fee of $L450(close to $2 USD) due to MGC being a hosted service and not just a client. It's well worth it, IMO, and you can try it out for ten days before the monthly fee kicks in, so feel free to give it a whirl.

To get it, just do a search for "Mobile Grid Client" in the Market app and it should show up at the top of the results. I think you'll like it as much as I am.

*Update: I just found out that the next release of MGC will include the ability to teleport via secondlife:// and SLurl links. So it's getting pretty close to being the perfect mobile client for me.