First of all, I am seeing Inworldz hit a saturation point, from my point of view. We now have tons of rental properties and stores and you can pretty much pick and choose where you want to go. However, the grid's growth is slowing, and it's my belief that this is because SL crossovers are waiting for two things: The improved script engine, and the improved physics engine. After both are installed, I predict a massive inflow of people.
Why? Well, I've been spending a lot of time on SL because my partner is there and right now is way too busy to sojourn back to Inworldz. Now, their overall resident count is down, their landmass is down (loss of private islands), there are scores of abandoned parcels on the mainland. You'd think this would all equate to better performance with less people using the grid at any one time, right? Au contraire. I don't know if Linden Lab switched to cheaper equipment or what happened, but again, I am seeing serious bugs that I have not seen since Inworldz was very young (or the last time I ran opensim on my own machine, which was well before the Diva Distro etc.). I've been having a dilly of a time getting clothing and attachments on and off without a relog. In one case, I was on a busy sim, and had lost over half of my stuff after a crash and relog. Upon teleporting to a quieter sim, I began falling through the land with my knees up at my ears and my feet straight up. Um? Listen Rodvik, that is an old, old bug that has no business showing up on your grid - and if you really want to make things better, you'd best find out what happened before you were hired to bring on crap like this.
I applied for, and got, a job as a host at Club Zero, a fairly well-known club in SL. My training shift was Friday from noon to 2, and everything went wrong that you could imagine. I had several crashes (one of which is loosely detailed above). We went through a phase where, if you were running a V2-compatible viewer and had display names turned on, nobody's name - display or not - was resolving, till you turned display names off (which then meant people weren't being called by their preferred names). People were having great difficulty fully rezzing, to both themselves and to others. Lastly, a huge dragon showed up and refused to respond to my asking them to switch to a smaller avatar; just as I was about to eject them, we had a sim restart.
All of this happened on a private sim, which is supposed to be running top-notch hardware and software, and yet, a mere 16-20 people on it and all hell broke loose. Musette's shelling out a pretty penny for this sim but she sure as hell isn't getting her money's worth. It wasn't long ago when I saw over 50 people on a private sim with only minimal lag problems. Linden Lab, what did you do, this time?
Get more than 50,000 sign-ins and you start having grid-wide problems. Something is definitely wrong, either with the central grid software, the bandwidth, the equipment, or maybe a combination of all. Couple that with customer service which still has a long way to go before becoming decent, and you have a grid that is slowly emptying out.
I feel sorry for Rod Humble. He has a lot to overcome.
There is a heated debate over this Red Zone software that some merchants use to protect against copybot theft. Supposedly it records your IP address and cross-references it with other accounts, exposing any alt you may have that also ended up in their database. To add insult to injury, the merchants can use a HUD to comb through the database and call up any and all alts associated with an IP address.
I will be the first to say that too much copybotting goes on, on Second Life - but you have to draw a line somewhere as to how far to go to protect against it. RedZone uses a media exploit to get the information they store in their offworld database and Second Life has yet to patch this exploit, even as their competitors using OpenSim have already done so. In other words, if a merchant is paranoid enough to use this software, your privacy is blown up, along with anyone else using your connection to log in and frequent any store using this system. I heard there is a companion HUD which will warn you if you are approaching an area using RedZone - but frankly, people, such a system shouldn't be in use at all. By the time your RedZone figures out who is doing what for how many cookies and for how long, your content is already stolen. Also, what stops a copybotter from standing outside the zone of protection and camming in to steal your stuff? Nothing, from what I can figure out. In other words, it's expensive and generally useless and chases customers away who don't wish to have their privacy violated by being unwillingly included in a searcable database.
I wager most people in that database have no idea how their privacy has been violated, and would hit the roof if they knew.
I've noticed a few wacky things happening on Inworldz lately - but it's stuff the coders are aware of and working hard to fix. Recently we had a bug where attachments were ending up a fair distance away from people's bodies - within hours of it being reported, a fix was already in the works. Now attachments are once again behaving.
Well I am finally getting tired so it's time to wrap up this ramble.