Emerald Flack Arabella Steadham: “I Don’t Lie”

by Pixeleen Mistral on 21/08/10 at 8:05 pm

Protip: killing reporters makes you look bad

On my first visit to Emerald Point Friday night, I was killed by an unknown assailant within a minute of sitting down with the Emerald developers. I had dropped by hoping for comments from Emerald gang spokeswoman Arabella Steadham, and was pleased to see also in attendance several of the controversial developers – part of a group that many believe are distributing a malware-infested Second Life viewer.

Death is a routine part of reporting on the metaverse, so after I suddenly died and was returned to my home sim, I introducing myself again to Arabella via IM, and gingerly returned to the sim a few minutes later. 

During the second visit, Arabella assured me that Emerald users are unlikely to be concerned by allegation that the client has been used for an attempted DDOS attack on an enemy web site — because she does not lie. Arabella’s claim seemed a bit broad – and Urizenus is never around when I need help with parsing these sorts of statements – so I filed this for later research.

Sadly, our 3 minute conversation ended abruptly when I was killed, so I suggested Arabella calm the excitable players for a few minutes. On my return I received assurances I would not be bounced from the sim again. On this visit, I learned that the Emerald gang does not consider silently turning their users’ computers into botnet for mass downloads from a target web site to be a denial of service attack – because the web site did not crash. This was good to know, but raised further questions.

What would their position have been if Hazim Gazov’s iheartanime.com site had been taken offline – or run up a huge bill? We are unlikely to ever know, because mentioning many web sites pay for fixed amounts of bandwidth seemed to touch a nerve, and I was killed for the third time. Whatever weapon the Emerald gang was using on me did not leave a trace, so it was difficult to know who was playing reporter-killer last night. This was convenient – whenever hard questions came up, I went missing and there was nobody specific to blame.

Could this lack of accountability be a common theme within the Emerald group – and the cause of some of their recent problems? If so, it will be interesting to see how long former Lab staffers Data Linden and Qarl Linden will last in the Emerald gang. On the other hand, Linden Lab’s lack of accountability for destructive actions has been a constant theme for my entire Second Life, so the ex-Lab staff may feel right at home.

ms 6
the start of a 3 minute conversation which ends with a killing

Pixeleen Mistral: I’m sure you are busy
Pixeleen Mistral: but perhaps we ccan talk?
Arabella Steadham: not awfully flat out
Arabella Steadham: whats up
Pixeleen Mistral: well I was wondering about the shenanigans post you had
Pixeleen Mistral: what led up to that?
Arabella Steadham: as you can see by the blog post, it is a general apology to our users
Arabella Steadham: theres really not a lot more to be said
Pixeleen Mistral: Arabella – do you think they will believe it?
Arabella Steadham: I don’t lie
Pixeleen Mistral: I wonder if I can believe that statement
Arabella Steadham: well that is your choice
Pixeleen Mistral: so color me skeptical
Arabella Steadham: I’m sure there are many more salacious things you would prefer to believe
Arabella Steadham: or post
Jessica Lyon: it is a genuine apology, we hope people will see it as what it is.

At this point I am killed again, and find myself back at my home sim. Perhaps we can discuss this in person – if she can get those crazy kids to put the guns away for a few minutes – so we talk via IM:

Pixeleen Mistral: you know – you guys can keep killing me and I’ll report that
Pixeleen Mistral: or you can talk - its totally up to you
Pixeleen Mistral: maybe you want to calm those guys down
Pixeleen Mistral: I am up for about one more killing
Pixeleen Mistral: so I’ll give you a few minutes to get your boys to chill
Pixeleen Mistral: protip: killing reporters makes you look bad
Arabella Steadham: I don’t know who did that
Pixeleen Mistral: probably someone who has something to hide
Pixeleen Mistral: get those guys to chill out. I’ll be back in 5

If Arabella’s apology to the Emerald users is to be credible, she should be able to exercise at least some minimal control over the Emerald developers. Unfortunately, I soon learn that Arabella can’t get them to stop killing me – can really believe the her when she assures Emerald users that all is well?

Time passes and I return again to Emerald Point. Jessica Lyon assures me that I’ll be safe – and I am, right up until I ask if burning through another site’s bandwidth is fair play in the Second Life third party viewer wars.

Pixeleen Mistral: ok, let’s try one more time
Arabella Steadham: there’s really not a lot more to say
Jessica Lyon: Not sure who ejected you, but it won’t happen again today.
Jessica Lyon: How can we help you
Pixeleen Mistral: well, I have some questions. I write for the Alphaville Herald
Pixeleen Mistral: perhaps you have heard of it
Jessica Lyon: yes, we know
Pixeleen Mistral: from what I gather Hazim Gazov’s iheartanime web sites was DDOSed by the Emerald login page
Arabella Steadham: that is incorrect
Pixeleen Mistral: ok, so what happened?
Arabella Steadham: you can read the correct interpretation on the MS blog
Pixeleen Mistral: I read that – but it confused me
Arabella Steadham: thats a pity
Arabella Steadham: It was quite clear to many of our users
Pixeleen Mistral: can you help me understand how putting 32 hidden iframes in your login page which render to a 1 x 1 pixel square is all in good fun?
Pixeleen Mistral: because its a little hard to believe that this was an accidental goof
Pixeleen Mistral: but maybe I am confused
Arabella Steadham: I think your information is incorrect
Pixeleen Mistral: well I did look at the google cache for the page
Pixeleen Mistral: and I did see the iframes at the bottom that all point to iheartanime.com
Pixeleen Mistral: what is incorrect in that?
Arabella Steadham: then you have no need to ask me about it
Arabella Steadham: if you already feel you know everything
Arabella Steadham: I’m sorry I can’t really tell you a lot more Pixeleen
Pixeleen Mistral: I am asking you because I want to know what you think
Arabella Steadham: theres not a lot more to tell
Arabella Steadham: I think I have written an apology to our users, which I felt more important than anything else
Pixeleen Mistral: really?

ms 4
Skills and Phox chill out – and reload

Jessica Lyon: I think what she is trying to say Pixeleen is that regardless of what she tells you, you will inevitably twist it in such a way as to generate the most controversial angle possible
Pixeleen Mistral: what about the owner of the iheartanime.com web site?
Pixeleen Mistral: does he get an apology too?
Arabella Steadham: what about him
Jessica Lyon: We made a public apology to our users, it is a genuine apology. We hope our users will take it as what it is.
Arabella Steadham: My concern is our users
Arabella Steadham: as I have said
Arabella Steadham: my concern is not for creators of malicious viewers
Pixeleen Mistral: but the web site that you ran the DDOS against – that is not your concern?
Arabella Steadham: there was no DDoS
Arabella Steadham: you know this
Pixeleen Mistral: true – it failed
Arabella Steadham: there was no DDoS
Arabella Steadham: bottom line
Jessica Lyon: the iheartanime website suffered no down time as far as I am aware.
Jessica Lyon: surely, you must realise if a ddos attempt was truly made.. there would have been downtime right?
Arabella Steadham: excuse me one moment please, I will be back in 2 minutes
Pixeleen Mistral: so its OK for other sites to do the same thing to modular systems?
Arabella Steadham: (door)
Pixeleen Mistral waits
Tyken Hightower: Back!
Tyken Hightower: Oh god, Pixeleen is here?
Tyken Hightower: Why?
Jessica Lyon: There was no damage done. The website in question suffered no downtime or lag. Thus if someone wanted to do the same to our website providing it was done the same way, there would be no difference?
Pixeleen Mistral: I have heard that some websites pay based on bandwidth consumed

At this point I am killed again, so the interviews will have to conclude via IM from a safe distance.

ms 1
Fractured Crystal is missing – was he grounded for DDOSing?

Jessica Lyon: did you get ejected?
Pixeleen Mistral: why do you keep killing reporters?
Jessica Lyon: I did not, I’m asking if you were ejected.
Jessica Lyon: and by whom.
Pixeleen Mistral: this is the third time and that is my limit
Pixeleen Mistral: no way I can say this is an accident
Pixeleen Mistral: [17:57] Jessica Lyon: There was no damage done. The website in question suffered no downtime or lag. Thus if someone wanted to do the same to our website providing it was done the same way, there would be no difference?
[17:58] Pixeleen Mistral: I have heard that some websites pay based on bandwidth consumed

Pixeleen Mistral: what is your response to my question?
Pixeleen Mistral: besides killing me again
Jessica Lyon: the answer was, perhaps some do. However iheartanime does not afaik.
Pixeleen Mistral: thank you

Pixeleen Mistral: ok Arabella your guys killed me again
Arabella Steadham: I was away when you disappeared so I do not know. As it is, I feel everything has been said
Pixeleen Mistral: thank you for your time and I wish you luck in your future endeavors

180 Responses to “Emerald Flack Arabella Steadham: “I Don’t Lie””

  1. Dave Bell

    Oct 3rd, 2010

    The good old-style work will still be good. The traditional texture/morph clothing and skins won’t disappear. There’s a lot of stuff which could already be replaced by sculpts, and a lot of things down with full meshes which depend on the same tricks as are used with prims.

    Don’t assume meshes will solve the problem of copying. It will still need the shape and texturing on every object to be sent to your PC to be rendered on your screen. This is like saying Debit Cards will stop bank robbers.

  2. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 3rd, 2010

    @ Dave Bell

    Who said meshes will stop copying? I guess meshes will oversaturate the economy with freely-available models (SketchUp, anyone?) that will just give any asshole with a computer the ability to rip other people’s work and sell it, so copying in the traditional sense won’t be worth the trouble. One of my friends who sells really well-made prim cars was put entirely out of business by someone who came along making mediocre sculpted cars. The scripts are weird and they’re not to keen on fixing bugs, but for some reason they’re really raking in the cash. My out-of-work friend now wants to get a model from someone and, when mesh comes out, upload it and sell it. Only people who already know how to make sculpties will actually legitimately benefit; everyone else will just be inclined to make more shit from other people’s models.

  3. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 11th, 2010

    you know what extremly helps against copybot-worries?
    a real job.

  4. A Furry

    Oct 11th, 2010

    @ Doctor Yootz.

    lawl,people on the internet telling other people to get a life.

  5. The Anti Herald

    Oct 11th, 2010

    @Doctor Yootz – keep posting stuff like that. The more you post, the more it turns people off of the Herald. The sooner this fake news blog dies, the better off everyone will be.

  6. Kiddoh

    Oct 11th, 2010

    Yes, because a viewer’s comments totally reflect the staff’s opinions of wherever those comments are posted.

  7. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Oct 12th, 2010

    I love how everyone arabella has possibly cybered with are coming here to try to discredit others.

    Still months after Emerald collapsed because of THEIR OWN actions.

    True to furry logic, it’s not their fault, and the fact they partook in criminal activities is of no concern at all, because “WAAAAHHHH FURSECUTION.”

    please kill yourselves, you’re not special.

  8. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ The Anti Herald

    I lol’d

  9. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 12th, 2010

    Dont get me wrong, im usually in nelsons side, but the whining about copyboters is really annoying.

  10. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ Doctor Yootz

    I didn’t whine, I just criticized someone for being an asshole that doesn’t report and make public these exploits that have the potential for killing off content creators and argued that mesh will serve to increase stealing other people’s work (even though I am all for mesh myself, because I’m sick of my boyfriend bitching that he doesn’t know how to make a fucking sculptie).

    Remember people, without content creators, you’re left to a life of freebie handouts.

  11. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 12th, 2010

    thats what i mean, i was a content creator, and gave my stuff almost for free, or completely for free if i was asked for it.
    If people cant have fun with their virtual legos without getting monney they should better stay out SL. thats how i see it.
    Those guys sound worse than the music industry.

  12. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ Doctor Yootz

    If people want to pay money for my junk, more power to them. Now I can make money and buy other people’s junk too! Y’know, it’s that thing called an economy.

  13. We

    Oct 12th, 2010

    Make mesh premium account only, and all those problems with stealing are pretty much solved. Premium accounts have to give real name and payment info, thereby introducing accountability, if they get themselves banned for copyright infringement in meshes, they’ll have a hard time being able to upload meshes again.

    That seems to be what LL is gearing towards from what I’ve heard, though I’ve also heard that they may be thinking of taking it a step further by making a brand new account type pretty much solely for uploading meshes. Since this is a spectacularly bad idea, it’s probably what LL will do.

  14. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ We

    Premium accounts are 100% useless for content creators because if you’re a content creator, you don’t need the stipend and you most likely make enough money to get a not-piece-of-shit house. I put in my payment info so I could get occasional payouts to cover vacations which automatically age-verified me, so what do I want to waste money on SL for?

  15. We

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @Nelson Jenkins
    “so what do I want to waste money on SL for?”

    The right to create meshes? Seems as good a reason as any.

  16. Judge Joker

    Oct 12th, 2010


    I agree meshes should be restricted to “Premium accounts” only, not just because with payment info there’s a paper trail but because it would add value to owning a premium account.

    Which if Linden Lab added more services and extras, some people would not mind paying a little extra so LL actually made some money on PA’s which could go towards, perhaps improving the service but more than likely they’ll just hand it over to investors or such people who are only in it for teh monies.

    Premium accounts should include.

    The ability to transfer an entire account inventory, in the event you wish to delete that account, and regardless of permissions as you payed for that content!

    We would have less dead accounts if people were allowed to combine assets in a single used account as opposed to leaving it idle and stuck in search adding no value to Second Life other than making search bloated like having corpse’s floating down a river it’s not a good sight and it only ruins it for everyone else.

    I don’t know what LL does with search but I sure hope if someones not logged in for a period of time, perhaps a year they remove the account & assets from search, which would be common sense.

    Why should anyone have the right to setup shop then leave? if they don’t use Second Life then they don’t have a right to spam camp keywords and other such things, taking away sales from legitimate residents.

    Premium accounts are supposed to have better customer service, unfortunately that doesn’t work out because Linden Lab has not grasped the concept of looking after customers – evidently banks in real life act the same like a law to themselves.

    Premium accounts that own an estate should have the ability to choose where their server hosted, in some cases a location closer to them would I believe benefit them in someway.

    Unfortunately Linden Lab chooses to have all servers hosted in a data center in one location? held together with sellotape and pritt stick glue, in such a place that is likely so cheap and nasty as evident by the grid being down a while back.

    Which costs people time and money, but anyway there are many things Linden Lab can do to make Premium accounts worth wile other services have no problem it just seems Linden Lab doesn’t wish to fulfill any customer promises or have any honor at all.

  17. The Anti Herald

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @Kiddoh – of course it does, because it shows that the site management condones it all.

    Keep it going. The only people who come here are the people who have been banned from SL, and the people who want to make sure they stay that way. Nobody else.

  18. Tux

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ The Anti Herald – Not so! But it does make me chuckle how you assume you know everyone here.

  19. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @The Anti Herald
    welcome to the club then.
    when did you get your ban?

    @Nelson Jenkins
    “Y’know, it’s that thing called an economy”
    i got your point, did you get mine?

  20. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ Doctor Yootz

    Yeah, but I’m not gonna pay the Lab $10 a month for “upgraded sculpties”.

  21. The Anti Herald

    Oct 12th, 2010

    Sure I do, Tux.

    Tipped any concrete cows lately?

  22. We

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @Nelson Jenkins

    Well, mesh is a HELL of a lot more than upgraded sculpties. For one, sculpties was just a poor attempt at making mesh in Second Life, and look at what people accomplished with that. Mesh is the real deal, and I’ve heard it might even be possible to basically replace the Second Life mesh entirely with a custom one, based on a feature where mesh can bend based on the animation skeleton.

    The problem right there is that the free accounts have a huge sense of entitlement now, since LL has treated them completely equal to their paying customers. No other business model would have a product that you can pay for or get for free, and give the person who paid and the person who got it for free almost exactly the same thing.

    I think LL should rebrand Premium as a “Developer” account, make that account the only one that can create meshes, and also give it a bunch of additional developer-helpful bonuses like preferred placement on the marketplace, a profile tag that marks you as a developer, and maybe some cheaper upload fees. Not enough to mean you HAVE to have a developer account in SL to make and sell stuff, but enough to make it certainly worth while.

  23. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ We

    Mesh is upgraded sculpties. I mean, you can’t argue that it’s DOWNGRADED sculpties, or that it’s entirely different than sculpties, because they both perform the same purpose, except that sculpties are a shithead attempt at mesh that failed pretty badly, even though they were revolutionary for their time. Being able to make “custom” avatars using mesh is nothing particularly mindblowing, since nowadays you can just get a special skin/shape and a bunch of sculpties. Sure, it’s easier for the developer, but for the end-user it’s mostly the same.

    If the Lab gave Premium accounts some extra perks I would consider it, but really, as of this moment there is absolutely no reason to waste money on a Premium account unless you need the money and the free home for fucking other badly-rendered computerized avatars with your freenis. If mesh were added a a Premium-only perk, I still wouldn’t consider it unless I actually made so much money on solely mesh-based products that it would cover the cost, which I probably won’t because I’m a scripter. But if you got a set of dev tools, tags, and whatnot, I would be interested.

    I always wondered why the Lab didn’t restrict building, scripting, etc. tools to Premium accounts and force free accounts to be just plain consumers. Oh well.

  24. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 12th, 2010

    Second Life- Build your own world…..but only with PA?

    That everyone is able to build is a basic thing in SL. it would be retarded to change that…..hm….ok, LL will probably do exactly that then.

    how about a seller account? you can only sell your items for L$ if you have a PA.
    Those crazy idiots that just build for fun could contine to do that,
    And the sellers would earn their money back anyway sooner or later.

    it makes sense for me to pay for a upload, because someone has to keep the file online for me.
    But it doesnt make sense to pay for a special account, just to make SL look better.

    but no matter what awesome ideas you guys have, you know exactly: lindenlab will mess it up, like they allways do.

  25. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ Doctor Yootz

    It is impossible and inefficient to create seller accounts and manage the vending of people’s creations. Third-party vendors would totally break the system, and nobody uses the arcane, buggy “Buy” feature anymore. Please think before you post.

  26. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 12th, 2010

    “It is impossible and inefficient to create seller accounts and manage the vending of people’s creations.”
    Wasnt there someting like SLX that did exactly that?
    isnt there a that mysterious system that keeps track of every single L$ that someone pays to someone else?

    but you’re right about the vendos, those would bypass that system thats true.

  27. Tux

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ The Anti Herald
    ‘Tipped any concrete cows lately?’

    Daily – XD

    But I am not banned, nor am I bothered if the banned stand again like some B rate zombie flick! So . . . Oh wait, the banned do stand because LL are completely unable to prevent it!

    Still chuckling!

  28. We

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @Doctor Yootz
    “Second Life- Build your own world…..but only with PA?”

    I didn’t say all building should be restricted to Premium (Nelson said that), only that mesh should be, and that Premium could be rebranded as a special “developer” account, for people who are serious developers in SL.

    @Nelson Jenkins
    “Being able to make “custom” avatars using mesh is nothing particularly mindblowing, since nowadays you can just get a special skin/shape and a bunch of sculpties. Sure, it’s easier for the developer, but for the end-user it’s mostly the same.”

    With sculpties, it’s literally just attachments going over your avatar, which means every joint looks odd. With mesh it could be one complete mesh that bends like the SL avatar does for animation, with no joint issues; it’d work as an actual replacement mesh. It’s not improved sculpties, sculpties were more improved prims if anything, at best a failed attempt at meshes. It just seems to me that shrugging this off as “Improved sculpties” is like calling a high-end computer an “improved calculator”. It’s true in one sense, but it’s missing the huge difference.

    Designers will have more intuitive development, more efficient designs, and an easier to work with system. Consumers will see higher quality, higher functionality, likely reduced prices, lower lag, and more stores selling high quality stuff.

    I just have a feeling that Mesh in SL is going to be like when LL introduced the ability to upload custom animations, with that kind of sense of “How did we do anything without this?”

  29. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 12th, 2010

    @ We

    A computer is a calculator. That’s literally all it is.

  30. We

    Oct 13th, 2010

    @Nelson Jenkins

    Thanks for proving my point I guess.

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