Friday, March 4, 2011

SecondLife Part 2 "Is LL quietly Trying to Sabotage DJ's~Musician's" and "What about Your Privacy ?" "The Lab Removes the ( Hide Media URL Check Box )" Part 2

By Avatar JayR Cela

    I just got wind of this story late yesterday, and after some research figured that this issue need's to brought to SL user's attention.

    Starting with the next version of Viewer2, ( V2.6.0 ) Your ability to hide media and music URL's from prying eye's will be removed. You Say WHAT ???

     Let's concentrate on what this means to DJ's and SL Musician's fist. Their  ability to make money while working in SL, and the possible new loophole being opened concerning Your Personal Privacy later.

    Ok you happen to be a DJ or Musician in SL for instance. This requires you to # 1 have your own dedicated server and ample bandwidth to supply your Music URL stream. Or #2 You rent a stream. Either way this is costing you RL$ money. How do you recoup your expenses ? You either charge L$ for your service's, or work for Tip's, right ? You also depend on the ability to easily keep free loaders from clogging up your streams bandwidth. ( Dropping into your event briefly, just long enough to find your streams URL, copy it, leave goto another parcel of land in SL, or log out of SL all together, open a standalone media player and paste it. ) And guess what ? Your not getting paid ! And possibly Worse, say some Yo-Yo GRIEFER has a grudge against you, and decides to bring your stream to a grinding halt, by one method or another. Either way you wind up getting the short end of the stick.

    In the past it has been relatively easy to hide your streams URL by simply placing a check mark in the appropriate About Land menu. At least it manages to hide this information from the casual user. Admit ably an experienced SecondLifer ~or~ GRIEFER, can use a variety of different methods to get this information. The arguement is, and it is correct one.  Is there are dozens of ways to find the Media URL's. Even from within the Viewer, Any Viewer for that matter ! With the upcoming V2.6, however it's been decided any easy way to protect yourself's interest is no longer necessary. WHY ?

    Inside sources have discovered that  LL has essentially disabled the ability to hide media and music URL's Server Side Effective Already.  Hmmmmm !  Thats why the decision to remove this feature, of hiding your media parcel info. Starting with the next release of Viewer2 it is no longer needed, because it wont work, any ways. DUHHH !! thats a no Brainer ! Moving forward.

    Let's discuss the possible privacy concerns.  Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere with you head in the sand. ( or have been absent from SL for a while ) You undoubtedly have caught wind of the nefarious Redzone, Greenzone fiasco.         ( Read Cummere Mayo's March 2nd post "Another Win vs. Redzone" ) It depends how you see it. One could consider it a goof up, but I think it's entirely intended. LL no longer wants users to be able to hide the stream and media URL'S. Redzone, I suspect may have triggered this decision. It's a matter of security, not unlike the media filter objective in Greenzone. "Users should have the right to control what connections their viewer makes to the internet." Most of SL residents, anyone who Owns Streams, Stores that Rent Videos, DJ's, Music Artists more than likely going to be really Pissed !!

    But LL seems to feel that URL's should be transparent for users, effectively giving  them a way to make an educated decission on whether to play a media stream or not. This in itself is reasonable.

    However as you know, RedZone uses ( Or Did Use ) the viewers media play ability to grab a Users IP addresses, store that IP address in a Database along with the Avatars Names, and go on it's merry way essentially outing everyone's alts, however inaccurate that information was... which is very inaccurate, to say the least. By removing the ability of the Land / Stream Owner to Hide Their URL, residents will be able to see what  media stream is being connecting too, thus possibly opening yet another security hole.

    So hold on a second before you blow me off on this issue. The purpose of a Media Filter is being able to create a firewall, that will notify the users client software ( SL Viewer ) is trying to connect to a particular URL. So why is  displaying the full URL, possibly considered undesirable ?

    Well for two very good reasons. # 1 there are a lot of implications for stream owners, and # 2 because you currently have  an option  to hide the URL. This in effect circumvent's the permission system by displaying the full internet address. And, since the ability to hide the URL is basically broken anyways due to recent Server changes. There's no longer any point in not displaying it. Geeezze Give Me a Break Please !!

    So as usual, the Lab's knee jerk reaction, 1 step forward, 2 steps backwards approach is seen as the cure. With no thought or concern of solving the problem, in the first place. Now that LL has removed the "Hide URL" function, it's no longer a violation of the TOS. In fact by doing this the Lab is encouraging display of the full URL, by yet another Bone Headed Decision !

    I strongly recommend  you to read the Jira


JayR Cela :_)

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