Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An end to the Redzone saga?

It is being reported, and I have made some very unofficial and unscientific tests to verify, that Redzone and its creator no longer exist in SL.

Redzone, along with one or two other similar products, was touted as being able to ban people from your sim or parcel, including all their current and future alts. It was touted as being able to detect griefers and copybots. And it was grossly misadvertised as being "great for stalkers". Yes I took that phrase out of context. The author does not have a very good command of the English language and may have meant "great AGAINST stalkers", or he could be just a criminal with a poor sense of self-incrimination.

Now if it were used just for those purposes, perhaps it would be a good product. But it was used far more by malicious people who wanted to merely grief those who had alts by outing them. As well, since it relied on the IP address to link all these alts, and almost everyone has a dynamic IP address and a number of people used shared IP addresses (internet cafes, college dorms, hotels, McDonalds, etc. etc.), there were a lot of false positives and made the database unreliable. For example, I do have alts, but not nearly as many as were recorded in that silly database. Others have been shown to have dozens of alts. Some have been shown to have no alts when, in fact, they are alts themselves.

Anyway, it appears that Linden Lab has decided that RedZone and its creator, zFire Xue, do not belong in SecondLife. His store is empty, sims where I know there have been detectors appear to be clean, and media requests to his data collection site don't appear.

Some Redzone users will be upset because they used the product for its intended purpose, to protect their sim. Now they must find something else. It is my hope that the replacement won't be (read: cannot be) used for malicious purposes but does help sim and shop owners either detect, ban or report griefers and copybots.

The sun rises on a new day.

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