May 26th, 2010


Money Trees and Scammers

I have two Wolfhaven money trees on my land, in two different places. I put them there to accomplish two things: Introduce newcomers to my land and what it offers, and give them a helping hand during their first days on Second Life.

When there's a way to get free money, you will always find people trying to scam the system. In concrete life, they often get caught and jailed; in Second Life, you have to do what you can to protect yourself, because Linden Labs won't do a thing about it.

The trees I have have built-in safeguards against scammers, such as bots sent by people who are well over the 30-day age limit I've got set on the trees. Recently, someone got caught and the safeguards banned him for 30 days. He had the utter audacity to send me a notecard asking why he was banned. What follows is my answer, and the ensuing conversation.

It's really, really sad when people are so greedy that they'd go to great lengths to scam something that is meant to help newcomers get a good start in our virtual world. It says something for at least one kind of person who comes to Second Life - and what it says isn't very nice.

Here's the conversation. You decide. He even so much as admits he's deliberately scamming the trees.

[05/25/2010 08:36:06 PM] Marie Resch: My money tree banhammer banned you so obviously you were attempting to access my tree in an illegal manner. Sorry but the ban is on for 90 days.
[05/25/2010 08:36:07 PM] Second Life: User not online - message will be stored and delivered later.
-- Instant message logging enabled --
[11:31:30 PM] Ex Adder: well, obviously I shall not attempt to visit your area again, and shall broadcast to all I know suggesting they also boycot your area. I thought the trees were supposed to encourage people, not the opposite
[11:31:53 PM] Marie Resch: it's not my fault that you try to scam them.
[11:32:45 PM] Ex Adder: I've met and talked to many tree owners and all have been encouraging and welcoming - congratulations on being the first to show othewise
[11:33:05 PM] Marie Resch: I'm sure my banhammer isn't the first to catch you at it, either.
[11:33:27 PM] Ex Adder: it is indeeed - out of many trees
[11:33:30 PM] Marie Resch: I welcome and encourage honest newcomers, not people who are obviously an alt and scamming to boot.
[11:34:40 PM] Marie Resch: that's what the trees are for - not for lazy scum who are just looking for an easy buck.
[11:36:11 PM] Ex Adder: thank you - I've broadcast suggestion to not visit to Moneytree group
[11:45:14 PM] Marie Resch: You know what? You're awfully petty and small to be threatening me just because you can't scam my trees anymore, thanks to a device that the tree's creator makes to protect against people like you. You're not the only one with friends. Good day!
[11:46:33 PM] Ex Adder: and you know what? Most people in SL are quite nice, but it's refeshing to find one who is genuinely obnoxious - and checking back, I never even picked from your tree or I'd return anything I'd had
[11:47:10 PM] Marie Resch: then you wouldn't be banned, because I, as owner, did not ban you. The banhammer did.
[11:47:39 PM] Marie Resch: I'm not obnoxious, I'm smart and I speak the truth and if you don't like it, you know what you can do with this window.
[11:47:51 PM] Ex Adder: definitely haven't picked - checked transaction history and nothing from Tweddle region
[11:48:29 PM] Marie Resch: of course you didn't pick, the banhammer didn't allow you to, that's the point.
[12:06:03 AM] Marie Resch: If money is so important to you, why don't you put away your fake newbie account, log onto your main account, then go get a job or learn to make something you can sell instead of scamming the rest of us? There's more to SL then earning Lindens, sheesh. You really have a nerve threatening me when it is you who is in the wrong. This conversation is at an end.

Can people actually 'own' virtual land?


(CNN) -- Zed Drebin has a pretty fantastical life.

He owns a house on the beach, which he's styled to be part Barbie castle and part medieval lair. In addition, he is the landlord of two island colonies, both of which feature spaceships, amusement parks and all kinds of futuristic buildings. About 80 renters pay to live in themed condos at his getaway resorts.

For all of this, Drebin pays only $390 a month, he said.

But there's one big flaw in this space-themed paradise: None of it is real. Zed Drebin is an avatar in the virtual world of Second Life. He's controlled by Arthur, a 44-year-old who lives in New York City, and who didn't want his full name used for fear it would hurt his business.

Despite the fact that Arthur pays U.S. dollars to "own" virtual land in Second Life, and that his renters also pay him in real money, it's unclear whether he, or any of Second Life's "residents," have lasting rights to these virtual tracts.

That worries him.

"We've invested a great deal of money and an even greater amount of time; literally hundreds of people have contributed to creating our regions," he said.

Now, in a sign that virtual issues increasingly are bleeding into the real world, some "residents" of Second Life are taking virtual property rights to real-world court, citing California consumer protection laws to make their case.

On April 15, four Second Life property owners filed a class-action suit against Linden Lab, the online world's creator, alleging the company misled players into thinking they owned their virtual lands. People pay real dollars to Linden Lab for access to virtual land.

Read More

More on this:

Real Legal Rights To Virtual Property On Second Life?
Virtual Property Rights Are No Game
Virual Land Dispute Class Action

This is what happens when you Irritate LL Billing

As some of you know from reading my past post, I recently tango'd with LL Billing over the fact that they billed two of us land use fees for the same plot of land.

I got a response today that clearly indicated I'd irritated them. I got an email that was NOT an answer to the actual ticket, but was generated by someone within the billing department.

"We have solved your issue"

I irritated them further by replying on the ticket and thanking them for their time.

At 5:27pm, I got a very curious email from Billing. Supposedly they "overpaid" me Lindens on a LindeX transaction which occurred between 3/31 and 5/12. This supposedly occurred as a result of a LindeX malfunction. As a result, I owe them roughly $35 USD come June 1.

I even had the nerve to say to the gentleman who answered the phone (and he WAS a gentleman about it) that I found this odd that I would get this after complaining via a support ticket.

In my mind, if it was their fault, they should eat the $35 USD (10,500L at 269 per $1 USD, based on current LindeX levels). Instead, they're making me pay, and if I don't, well guess what?


You can't fight back. I swear, you can't fight back.