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Town Hall Chat Log: 7/30, 8pm

Hunter Linden: Welcome all to another Second Life Town Hall
Hunter Linden: Most of you vets know how this goes but let me give a brief summary for new folks
Hunter Linden: Philip says some stuff, then we go to Q&A
Hunter Linden: if you have a question, say "Question" and I'll call on folks
Hunter Linden: And shouting ensures everyone can hear you
Hunter Linden: here's Philip Linden!

Philip Linden: For those who don't know me, I'm our trusty CEO
Philip Linden: And designer of some of this craziness.
Philip Linden: So these meetings are for everyone to vent, ask questions, etc.
Philip Linden: We had a good meeting at 4pm...
Philip Linden: lots lately to talk about,
Philip Linden: new trial
Philip Linden: taxes (argh!)
Philip Linden: growing world
Philip Linden: I love all the new work, esp the growth of themed areas
ramon Kothari: ty
Philip Linden: The work that's been done lately is remarkable... just ask an older beta user.
Philip Linden: So there are some new designs to look at in the threads...
Philip Linden: and some 1.1 stuff we'll be posting soon around groups, etc.
Philip Linden: So let's get to questions, and I hope I can answer all...

James Miller: Ok. What is the progress of Self Government? The users of teal would like to rule our simulator completely, such as writing our own community standards, giving out stipends to our residents, charging our own taxes, etc. What's the story on this?
Philip Linden: OK, so the 1.1 work for governance...
Philip Linden: we thought better groups was the key to this, to start...
Philip Linden: So we are going to add the ability to have election,
Philip Linden: recall officers,
Philip Linden: kick users,
Philip Linden: and have a bank account,
Philip Linden: where money paid to group owned object goes into a pool,
ramon Kothari: yay :-)
James Miller: That means group's can own objects??
Philip Linden: and taxes paid, etc, are evenly distributed
Philip Linden: Yes, groups will own objects.
James Miller: and land?
Philip Linden: Yes and land too
Casval Epoch: this is in 1.1?
Philip Linden: Yes this will be in 1.1
Philip Linden: So that seemed the first and crucial feature...
Dave Zeeman: You can update already made stuff too be group owned right?
Philip Linden: Yes you can, D.
Philip Linden: So this should work very well given the current probs with big builds.
Charlie Omega: what's the status on the Linux flavor aside from all the other issues at hand?
Philip Linden: Linux viewer, C?
Philip Linden: OK...
Charlie Omega: yea
Philip Linden: We've been adding the key features to enable the Mac and Linux ports
Philip Linden: Which is x-plat audio, and correct byte order
Philip Linden: We are on-track to have alpha versions to test soon.
Charlie Omega: cool thx
Philip Linden: Our goal will be a release this fall...
Philip Linden: probably not by 1.1, but soon after.
James Miller: Philip, what about the actual client? Has anyone logged into the servers with a Mac or Linux client yet?
Philip Linden: I don't think the 'tally-ho' login has happened yet,
Philip Linden: but we've checked code in around audio and network order and that is running internally.

Lordfly Digeridoo: oh... i was just wondering what the reasoning behind adding in the new limitations on trial users was? (continued)
Lordfly Digeridoo: i tried showing my friend the wonders of this game, but i couldn't because he couldn't go anywhere
Lordfly Digeridoo: he eventually gave up and logged off
Philip Linden: OK... regarding trials...
Philip Linden: our big goal was to eliminate the credit cards...
Philip Linden: they are a big prob... cause most folks 'get' SL after trying it ...
Philip Linden: And that is a tall order when you need a credit card.. .
Philip Linden: so the challenge was letting folks in without the security of CC identity...
Lordfly Digeridoo: so why not just remove the credit card thing, and not let newbies build in most zones? (just wondering)
Philip Linden: because with real money in the accounts, we must ensure that it isn't trivial to
Philip Linden: pump money in with multiple trials
Lordfly Digeridoo: oh yeah... forgot about that...
Philip Linden: So with the current set of changes, that is under control
Philip Linden: But we are going to look at broader access to the sims
Philip Linden: which everyone seems to want
Philip Linden: We are going to do whatever it takes to give a good experience to newbies.
Philip Linden: We already have like 5X the logins without the CC
Philip Linden: So that is good start.
Dave Zeeman: Just wondering how the "Make Offer" Feature to Buy Objects or Land is coming along and if you have an ETA on it
Philip Linden: Dave, that would be a 1.1 feature
Dave Zeeman: thanks
Philip Linden: So nothing ready yet, but it is on the sched
Hunter Linden: Dave - it is listed for 1.1 but if anything slips, it might that one (just setting expectations)
Dave Zeeman: kay

Devlin Gallant: What is the possibility of getting personal titles. For example so i could call this AV "FATHER" Devlin
Philip Linden: OK, Devlin...
Philip Linden: We are thinking about that.
Philip Linden: Its on the list.... several folks have requested.

ramon Kothari: philip what is going to be done other than what you have said so far to help the themed sims with taxes
Philip Linden: Ramon...
ramon Kothari: they are a very large burden right now
Philip Linden: So themed sims will also be helped by programs designed to pay taxes on 'civic' works
Philip Linden: Clearly there are many great builds that are of great common value
Philip Linden: And taxes/stipends alone shouldn't cover those
Philip Linden: At least early stage.
Philip Linden: We recognize that
Philip Linden: and will put multiple systems in place for helping
ramon Kothari: ok .........
Philip Linden: the key is a fair method for deciding when to pay,
Philip Linden: And when projects return to private use
ramon Kothari: understood
Philip Linden: We need a fair system for that
Philip Linden: Threads on this subject very welcome
Philip Linden: There are clearly several ways to go
Philip Linden: Yes we will be aggressive about that.
ramon Kothari: thank you

Marilyn Murphy: okay, basically, i see uh, not enough people to support this game, i was on all day, have to search around to find anyone, most games have 1000s on at a time, is the game going to be viable financially??
Philip Linden: Yes!
Philip Linden: So here is why I say that...
Philip Linden: We have VERY quietly started this release
Philip Linden: Are seeing great referral rates and high conversions...
Philip Linden: And a very broad range of different people...
Philip Linden: People who stay really love SL
Philip Linden: And that is a HUGE step
Philip Linden: So I think we will grow at a compounded rate (%/week)
Philip Linden: very steadily
Philip Linden: Also retention seems very high, though we have little time for that data
Marilyn Murphy: i like the game, just worried about its long term prospects
Philip Linden: Also we are very small and efficient - don't need many customers to survive
Philip Linden: unlike the bigger projects!

CrowCatcher Valen: I know it's been addressed, and the response was' we will be aggressive" but what type of time frame are we looking at for tax relief in themed sims, most of us are going negative every week and are barely staying a float.
Philip Linden: Haney already published a 'historical landmark' program...
Philip Linden: And we will be meeting with all the groups with big builds...
Philip Linden: Talk to Haney, Hunter, or myself about your builds.
Philip Linden: Hopefully the group behavior in 1.1 will be help as well.
CrowCatcher Valen: so it will be handles on a build per build basis, not as a rule of thumb?
Philip Linden: We can do larger amounts, just need a fair system
Philip Linden: We will come up with a system, not just one-by-one
CrowCatcher Valen: okay

Sinclair Valen: There's a lot of land under water and not able to be used well, due to the infamous 45-degree angle restriction. How can we fix this land?
Philip Linden: OK...
Philip Linden: If there are areas under water you need us to fix...
Philip Linden: Let us know and we will terraform .
Philip Linden: Haney is probably a good point of contact on that.
Philip Linden: Your are right there are sometimes tough areas.

Hopalong Digeridoo: are there any plans to make scripts first-class objects, to be bought/sold etc?
Philip Linden: Yes!
Philip Linden: In 1.1, you will be able to protect scripts and clothing and textures...
Philip Linden: By setting 'transfer rights'
Philip Linden: that apply to objects upon sale or transfer.
Philip Linden: This will also fix the prob with giving stuff directly
Philip Linden: And having the permissions then be wrong/permissive
Philip Linden: So yes we are very on top of that... work already in test.

Gaudeon Wu: The economy being a hot topic as always, what does Linden plan/intend for the economy of SL in the future, the near future and the far ahead?
Philip Linden: Good Question!
Philip Linden: In the early days of SL,
Philip Linden: The high taxes provide a kind of 'selection pressure' for good builds,.
Philip Linden: and keep the smaller population from being out of balance, with stuff like land ownership
Philip Linden: As we mature, the 'market' economy of object sales, services, and the like will take over.
Evie Fairchild is online
Philip Linden: We are already seeing some of that with all the great stores.
Philip Linden: As that happens, we will likely gradually drop the tax rates.
Philip Linden: So that ownership is more permanent
Philip Linden: That is the design.
Lordfly Digeridoo: you're going completely laissez-faire?
Philip Linden: No we will not.
Lordfly Digeridoo: how will you drain the money out of the economy then?
Philip Linden: The basis concept of rewarding good building/behavior,etc
Lordfly Digeridoo: too much money leads to inflation
Philip Linden: will stay in place, as well as the basic concept of stipends for
Philip Linden: liquidity for more casual users .
Philip Linden: Correct... we must balance taxes/stipends to limit inflation.
Lordfly Digeridoo: yes, good, thanks for realizing that
Lordfly Digeridoo: too many online games don't remember that inflation is bad
Philip Linden: which is why you will see us change rates, etc.
Philip Linden: Yep totally agree. We monitor inflation carefully.

Bino Arbuckle: Two questions... both related to feedback on the forums...
Bino Arbuckle: <1> what is your response to the accusations of double-standards regarding abuse reports?
Philip Linden: I'm not familiar with the specific thread...
Philip Linden: But we aren't doing that...
Philip Linden: I have seen cases in which it is very hard to define the abuser...
Philip Linden: such as abuses with applying forces, etc.
Philip Linden: our goal is to add detection as needed to make this work well.
Philip Linden: Sometimes I see cases where folks probably don't feel we are prosecuting enough...
Philip Linden: but those cases have generally been around touch detection.
Philip Linden: OK so I guess I haven't seen that thread yet... I'll look Bino.
Bino Arbuckle: <2> what is your response to the complaints about the revised trial program?
Lordfly Digeridoo: he already talked about the trial thingie :P
Bino Arbuckle: Oh, sorry, I had trouble getting into SL... server going down etc... about the trial one

Phaylen Fairchild: Hi! I've heard so much addressing groups and themed communities, and your adjustments, but what about us individuals who are here to contribute to the world. Do you not feel that the small sect of single players are being stifled by taxes issues for
Phaylen Fairchild: more or less, groups and collaborations?
Philip Linden: OK...
Philip Linden: Single players can be built up by reputation, sales, etc in a way which right now
Philip Linden: is generally easier than groups...
Philip Linden: If anything we want to make it easier for groups in 1.1
Philip Linden: When I look at the builds out there,
Philip Linden: I see many single players with tremendous success,
Philip Linden: especially given how early we are
Philip Linden: in the process.
Philip Linden: So I think we need to tune bonuses.
Philip Linden: And eventually drop taxes, as I mentioned.
Philip Linden: But I think things are going pretty well.

Cal Rogers: Are there any plans to allow the user to control what informational messages they subscribe to? (Examples xyz is online or offline, and upcoming event notifications)
Philip Linden: We are going to try and get that into 1.1
Philip Linden: We will separate system messages from chat.
Philip Linden: In a different window, etc.
Philip Linden: I agree that is a total pain.
Philip Linden: Imagine my window!

odalisque VonLenard: ok, I was wondering about the AV ratings..... I wanted to know if eventually the ratings that have been given by av's who are not playing.... did not get membership or who get trials and cancel before paying... if those people's ratings will be wiped eventually
Philip Linden: What do folks think? (W)iped or (R)etained...
<90% 'R' votes>
Philip Linden: Hmm... but retained reputation on old players are socially meaningless.
Philip Linden: Good feedback thought. We've been thinking about that.
Philip Linden: trial users will not be counted in any case.
odalisque VonLenard: well I have a lot to add to that and will post a thread in the forums
Schwartz Guillaume: People at one time thought you were cool enough to rate; you could say that ratings from a month ago wouldn't count or ones from people you don't have the calling cards of or whatever
Philip Linden: OK cool!
Schwartz Guillaume: It's all subjective
Philip Linden: Yeah it's a good point.
Philip Linden: But we probably need to account for the 'age' of the ratings...

Carrera LeFay: basically all I was asking was how does it really benefit mentors to have a incentive bonus?
Philip Linden: On the mentoring bonuses...
Philip Linden: There is a thread on this for those who didn't see.
Philip Linden: I think that helping noobs get acclimated is like a 'job' that logically you should get a bonus for.,
Schwartz Guillaume: Making it one newbie per mentor makes it a feeding frenzy
Carrera LeFay: we, as mentors voluntarily signed up
Carrera LeFay: we do this because we want to
Philip Linden: It won't be a frenzy (I think) if the policy is elective after conversion.
Philip Linden: As I suggested.
Philip Linden: What will count is genuinely becoming a friend, etc.
Philip Linden: True, C, and that is great too.
Billie Sunchaser: mentors also get paid, or used to
Philip Linden: Yes but hosting events is distinct.
Carrera LeFay: i feel that many would want to sign up because of the possibility of compensation
Philip Linden: And should be paid separate.

Garth Fairlight: Will you fix the keyboard layouts for international?
Philip Linden: We're looking Garth... first we must 'officially' support international users...
Philip Linden: and we are working on that fast as we can.
Philip Linden: There are numerous regulatory issues.

Hunter Linden: The big clock in the office says that it's 9pm and our town hall has come to a close......
Philip Linden: Glad to hang for a bit.
Hunter Linden: thanks to everyone for coming - the After-hours segment of our event will begin now....