Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  AIM and ‘Second Life’ Unofficially Bridged  
 
 
Posted 2006-06-20 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
AIM and ‘Second Life’ Unofficially Bridged
The Electric Sheep Company brings word of a new product for sale in its web-based store for virtual goods used in Second Life. The SLAIM Proxy facilitates communication between AIM's chatspace and Second Life's virtual reality. According to Sheepster Christian Westbrook, SLAIM's script (program) can be added to any virtual object to enable inter-space chat. "If your avatar isn’t logged in or the object isn't rezzed, the message is stored until you arrive in world to receive it. It's the first of perhaps many to come, but is nice to see the chasm between virtual worlds and the 'other' part of the internet continue to close." [Update: SLAIM was created by Second Life resident outcast Opus, and is not endorsed by The Electric Sheep Company.]

Earlier this year, SL-maker Linden Lab's Cory Ondrejka revealed that the company was moving towards open standard software solutions. Compatibility with the Jabber IM protocol was said to be coming "pretty soon," but it appears that SLAIM has beaten Linden Lab to the interoperable punch. SLAIM appears to have been made possible by a change in the way Second Life can contact the outside world--formerly via an email-based system, HTTPRequest is now used instead, offering a faster and more reliable interface.

As a side note, you may notice the unlicensed use of the official AIM logo as part of the SLAIM logo. I've been nattering about IP infringements in Second Life lately, which is why I mention this. Here, we have a product that uses another company's corporate identity in its logo. SLAIM currently sells for the equivalent of about $2.50 USD. While transactions are in Linden Dollars, this virtual currency is easily exchanged for real dollars through Linden Lab's own web site.
 
     
 
   
 
  ... share via email del.icio.us digg bloglines fark reddit newsvine simpy blogmarks magnolia  
  22 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 20, 2006 @ 10:22 am
     
 
Before spending $900 L, it would be useful to know what the difference is between just opening up AIM in another window inside the same window of SL or toggling between the two windows, versus having AIM right inside SL. And how different will it be to have SLAIM instead of just regular SL IMs?

One reason people keep their AIM or YMs outside of SL going is so that there isn't an officially monitored LL conversation log. They have all kinds of reasons for keeping their conversation loop outside of the LL domain.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
June 20, 2006 @ 10:22 pm
     
 
I wouldn't personally buy SLAIM. I already have an excellent chat client that (Trillian) that combines all the major IM services. What would be of more use to me would be if Trillian added SL-compatible chat.

Prok, you make a great point about the privacy, I'd be interested to know if HttpRequest is monitored. I suspect that it can be, but isn't.

Another issue is the login process for SLAIM. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable entering my AIM login info into SLAIM unless I knew exactly where that data was being sent, or where that data might linger (i.e. is it embedded into an object in SL?).
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 20, 2006 @ 10:38 pm
     
 
Gosh, I hadn't even thought of that Zero, you're saying that I'm sitting in SL and typing my parole in chat or into a template in a prim, and of course the makers of this device can scoop it all up and keep it on third-party servers and read all my Aims then. and if I complain they'll say I have a tinfoil hat.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Ordinal Malaprop
June 21, 2006 @ 2:19 am
     
 
Yes, that would be one possible result - though personally, given that I only type inconsequential pap on IM anyway, I'd be more concerned that I didn't know how reliable the SLAIM server was and how good the owner was at paying the bills for it, no offence.

Incidentally this piece reminded me to ask how Jabber-IM integration was going in development in the SL forums, and the answer was that it wasn't in development, so I think it's another cool idea that's fallen over.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by christian
June 22, 2006 @ 3:08 am
     
 
To be clear, neither SLBoutique nor Electric Sheep Company create or endorse the product/service in any way. I added an update to my post to make this explicit; I noticed the new item listing on SLB and, as it's the first of its kind, tested it out to make sure we weren't selling bogus products. There was a slight delay, but the widget *did* work (some have speculated it uses email for incoming and http for outgoing), so I relisted it.

That said, given no knowledge of its internals and that the seller does not have a privacy policy of any sort (or even a web site), there is nothing to suggest that this is not just a method of harvesting screen names. No offense intended to the creator just a fair warning: YMMV.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 22, 2006 @ 8:10 am
     
 
These are all great comments. I am the one who wrote SLAIM. I have would just like say I am very new to second life. We I created the AIM proxy. I had no idea that I would need a privacy statement nor a web site. I have now release this thing are needed and will be adding them soon. Also a new verison will be released soon. I want to make clear this not a screen name leech tool. I want nothing more to bring the convergents of the internet and other virtual worlds to second life. Thank you for the positive criticism.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 22, 2006 @ 8:22 am
     
 
sorry about the typos above. I wrote it late. Here it is again.

These are all great comments. I am the one who wrote SLAIM. I have would just like say I am very new to second life. When I created the AIM proxy, I had no idea that I would need a privacy statement nor a web site. I have now realized this that these things are needed and I will be adding them soon. Also a new verison will be released soon. I want to make clear this not a screen name leech tool. I want nothing more to bring the convergents of the internet and other virtual worlds to second life and help bring the metaverse to life. Thank you for the positive criticism.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
June 22, 2006 @ 9:30 am
     
 
Christian, I updated the post with your disclaimer, sorry for not making that clearer originally -- I'd imagined the hyperlink to the product, which lists the creator, would suffice. Anyway, it's crystal-clear now.

outcast, thanks for dropping by and adding your comments. I think your creation is a great idea, and I look forward to more information on how user data is handled. Are you using an email-based or HttpRequest-based communications system?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 22, 2006 @ 7:03 pm
     
 
I am using llHTTPReqeust. The messages get handled in two ways. The messages coming from aim are recieved by a daemon acting as a AIM client and stores them in a MYSQL db for storage until delivered. messages coming from second life are send to a cgi script. Then messages are stored in the DB and go out through the Daemon. Now since the retreival of the message the SL user are based on the HTTPreqeust any messegs coming into second life are not lost, but any messages are going out are. You will notice a delay on the incoming message this due a limition in the llHTTPRequest function, it will only get the next new message every 20 seconds. So that you don't use up all your http request. To save storeage of messages in the DB the message that have been delivered will be removed once a week.

Features coming up:
Check if AIM user online if not save messages until they come online.

Setup Web Site.

Yahoo! IM proxy (maybe)
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 22, 2006 @ 8:22 pm
     
 
stores them in a MYSQL db for storage until delivered. messages coming from second life are send to a cgi script. Then messages are stored in the DB and go out through the Daemon

So let me get this straight. I turn over all my communications to you. You get to keep all the texts. You may or may not bother to read them. But, you'll have them in case you ever need to do a dbase search on a name or a word or phrase. This could significantly help your economic position or political influence in SL by capturing business info, personal info, including the potential to blackmail or expose commercial rivals, and it will also help you out alts.

The only thing we'll have as a barrier to this happening is your word. I realize you're trying to garner sympathy here by saying you're just a poor lad trying to build the metaverse and a tekkie working toward convergence, and of course, I'm just a tinfoil hat nutter.

I don't get why I need this. I think I'll stick with Yahoo Messenger completely outside the game. The Yahoo people could do all the same things I just mentioned, but as they aren't in SL yet, they may not have any reason to scrape data and use it strategically to gain advantage. Of course, they could any time. We're helpless before much of this. Still, we can point out the problem, as I do.

There are a number of third-party sites leeching data off SL that do not sign the TOS or even care about the TOS or even updating their own paper-thin "privacy policies" which in any event are cast aside if a personal vendetta is involved. The witch hunting of moo money and her alts over the "FICazoid" affair by Snapzilla snap shot baron Cristiano Midnight, and the year-long wrangle Cristiano has been in with me over privacy issues and claims that I dissed him by raising all these very issues are indicative. In the vengeful, vindictive atmosphere of the SL forums, where the TOS is very unevenly applied, capturing data and outing personal real life datas is a blood sport. It's all about enhancing reputation, which in turn helps your Linden pipelines and your commercial advantage.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 22, 2006 @ 8:44 pm
     
 
No that is a good point.I am just as paranoid about my communictions as you are. That is way devlievered message get deleted. And as soon as SL support direct socket connections I will rewrite it so there is no need for the db storage. The only reseaon for the db storage is so you don't lose any messages. May be a check to if people are on line would be better and if the person is not online notify the sender. I didn't mean to create a great stir. I just that thought it would be cool tool to have around. The only reason i am even charging anything for it is to help off set the cost for VPS server the DB and the server side scripts are on. Prokofy I really think you are judging me all wrong on this. I have nothing but want to help second life to grow and the joining of the virtual world. I am not trying to rip anyone off.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 22, 2006 @ 9:08 pm
     
 
It's not personal, and approaching me inworld and trying to browbeat me and insist that you have only the best intentions is not convincing.

Why do you get to be a script kiddie and get endless points and support for making the metaverse and bridging the gaps and doing cool stuff and pushing the envelop, but I get to have my conversations compromised and my business exposed because you don't care about these issues, and even come inworld and tell me I'm "an ass" because I've raised them, and raised them forcefully?

You need to

o make a website explaining your tools and your policy, use tripod.com or some other free one
o have a privacy policy in writing
o if you won't bother to do that, at least put some business policy on your profile

We're always being told that this stuff is deleted or not read or "I'd never do that". But...is it? How will we know? And why can't we raise these issues legitimately without being slammed? It's just not right.

I want to help Second Life grow, too. I don't get why my concerns have to be discredited. They are part of growing SL, too.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 22, 2006 @ 9:14 pm
     
 
i am trying to discredit you. I think you need to be alittle more helpful then just attacking someone who as just writtien there first LSL Script project.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 22, 2006 @ 9:17 pm
     
 
I made a typo above :). i am *NOT* discredit you.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 22, 2006 @ 9:40 pm
     
 
Why are you pleading newbie? You're obviously already a skilled programmer, even if you are only young in SL terms. Come on. Why do I have to play romper room here? You get to do what you want in the name of creativity? And I have to suffer the consequences? We have so much of that in SL. I'm really fed up with it.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 22, 2006 @ 10:04 pm
     
 
Also, this product has been backed, promoted, and blogged up by Electric Sheep. This company is one of the largest if not largest business in SL controlling many aspects of Second Life. ESC's possible use of AIM conversations is also of concern.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 23, 2006 @ 2:11 am
     
 
How is this making you suffer. You are not even using the scripts. Get off it!
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 23, 2006 @ 4:49 am
     
 
I just finished my base web site. goto http://www.outcast.ws/vrs
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 23, 2006 @ 10:59 am
     
 
It's a generic issue. It's not personal. It's not about suffering. It's about bothering with the rest of the social fabric outside your sandbox. Thanks for making the website. It shouldn't take this much to have something like this appear.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 24, 2006 @ 4:59 am
     
 
I have also removed the AIM logo from the SLAIM logo.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by djbumrush
June 29, 2006 @ 4:33 pm
     
 
There are good issues being raised, but if thats not your thing, dont sweat it. It's your Second Life too. You don't have to be a good business man, but it seems like you're learnign a thing or two, which is good. Do your thing dude, leave the bureaucratic bullshit to hypocritical trolls, don't let them stifle your creativity or ingenuity. Caveat Emptor.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by outcast
June 29, 2006 @ 10:35 pm
     
 
Thanks for the positive comments.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
[ Detailed Search ]
Clickable Conversation
5224 comments
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


Clickable Culture Feeds:

RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0 ALL

Accessibility:

TEXT

Clickable Culture
Copyright (c)1999-2007 in whole or in part Tony Walsh.

Trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments owned by the Poster. Shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.