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Archive for March, 2011

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

As the entire world knows by now Japan has been devastated with a massive Earthquake, Tsunami and now serious nuclear issues. Many coastal towns have been completely wiped off the face of the earth. It’s time to step up and recognize how fortunate we are in comparison and share some of that fortune.

We have decided to hold a fund raiser, 100% of proceeds will go to http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief/ whom will divide the proceeds to various rescue and relief organizations specifically for Japan relief.

We are making a call to action here, please donate Generously! This ChipIn will remain available for 1 month at which time we will make the big donation. You can donate in world to our donation bot named “PhoenixViewerDonations Memo” in world, or from our chipin below.

Phoenix Viewer Public Beta 1.5.2.977

(Download links at the bottom of this blog post)

There are two reasons we are pushing a public beta out so soon after our 908 release.

1/ We’ve been spending a lot of effort and  time trying to determine the instability issues which were/are present in our 908 viewer update for some residents. We think we have narrowed down the causes but need to test it on a larger scale than our QA team can provide. With more users on this beta, we’ll have a better idea in a week or two if we have identified the stability issues. If you have stability or performance issues on 908, we would highly encourage you to try running this beta for a few weeks or longer.

2/ We wanted to get the Media Filter feature out to the public sooner rather than later. This Public beta has the Media filter and you can read the documentation here http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/doku.php?id=media_filter. While the filter is still not yet 100% complete, it is fully functional for it’s purpose which is to give you the ability to control the connections the viewer makes to the Internet. This feature is ON by default.

NOTE: This build will clear your cache before logging in for the first time. This is to ensure you don’t have texture cache corruption issues.

Aside from the above, below is a short list of some of the other changes we’ve made since 908.

Change Log
Interface translation fixes
Media filter
Updated GPU table for video cards
Adjusted login screen for low resolution screens PHOE-717
ParcelWL, Apply new settings without delay on TP
Texture memory fixes
Improved Jira link parser for jira links in chat.
Show/hide tp offers in Prefs> Popups> “Show teleport offer popups”
Small Improvement to failed logins
Fixed right click > export inventory only displays for scripts and notecards.
Fix for ATI related stars in the sky
Fixed “Let scripts to control my play button” in Prefs> Audio & Video
Fixed PHOE-2581, Copy prim torture settings from sculpt map to regular boxed prim bugged

DOWNLOADS:
*If unsure if you can use SSE2, please use the SSE. 
Windows SSE: http://downloads.phoenixviewer.com/windows/Phoenix_Viewer-1.5.2.977_BETA.exe
Windows SSE2: http://downloads.phoenixviewer.com/windows/Phoenix_Viewer-1.5.2.977_BETA_SSE2.exe
Mac: http://downloads.phoenixviewer.com/Mac/Phoenix_Viewer_1.5.2.977_Intel_Beta.dmg
Linux: http://downloads.phoenixviewer.com/Linux/PhoenixViewer-i686-1.5.2.977.tar.bz2

Media filter

Media Filter

Many of you who watch our bi-weekly office hours are aware that we have had planned for some time to implement a feature into the viewer which would improve security in regards to connections the viewer makes to the internet. We have recently commited a “Media Filter” feature in Phoenix and in Firestorm viewers respectively, although neither viewers have been released yet with this feature.

There have been many accusations that the media filter has been implemented to specifically target Redzone. While this is untrue, it WILL have an effect on Redzone, however we’ve intended to make a feature like this long before Redzone was on the grid.

For those who are unaware of what Redzone is.. It is a product used by land owners to aid in detecting, banning and preventing greifers from accessing their land using several means including alt account detection. Alt accounts are detected by recording and referencing your IP address and account names via your media stream into a database which can then be cross referenced by Redzone Owners.

There has been copious amounts of controversy and drama surrounding Redzone, but to break it down there are two main argumental points in regards to this product. On one side of the argument is (that land owners should have the ability to protect their land and the current “Report abuse” tool is ineffective). On the other side of the argument (Users have the right to protect the identity of their alternate accounts and their privacy).

Both arguments are true and accurate. And while we do have team members who represent both sides of the arguments the official stance of the Phoenix Viewer Project in regards to Redzone is Neutral. We do not wish to get involved, period. The decision to implement media filter was based on the fact that users SHOULD have the ability to control the connections their viewer makes to the internet. This is no different in principle than any firewall built into your operating system or otherwise.

I would kindly ask you to not discuss the Redzone debate in our in world support groups or contact our support people in its regard as it cripples our ability to provide support to our users who need it and has nothing to do with our project. Instead, discussions about Redzone should be taken to the Redzone Forums here: http://isellsl.ath.cx/madsci/forum/viewforum.php?f=8&sid=f38c40179f37209231be6a3f63c254eb .

Now, more about the Media Filter..
When enabled, the feature works by informing you of a connection attempting to be made by providing you the URL it is connecting too and gives you four options (Allow | Deny | Blacklist | Whitelist). There has been a significant amount of drama in regards to the URL being displayed so we made a compromise that it would only display the domain and obfuscate (mask) the rest. It would look like this “http://mediaurl.com/……/….. ” and this is how it sits currently in our repository right now. HOWEVER, recently LL has made a decision to remove the ability to hide media URL’s from within the viewer… in that.. media URL’s will be visible to everyone under about land.  You can see the JIRA for this here https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/STORM-1037. While we have not made a final decision on whether media filter will display the full URL there will be no point in us obfuscating (masking) it should that change be made final by LL. We WILL follow LL’s Lead on this matter.

I would kindly ask that discussion about Media URL’s be kept out of our in world support groups and support personnel as it cripples the ability for support to do their job. Any complaints please take up with Linden Lab on the above Jira link. This is their decision far more than it is ours.

When will Media Filter be available?…
We will very likely have a Firestorm Preview 2 release before we have another Phoenix Viewer update. We are aiming for a Firestorm Preview 2 release around  middle too late March. If you would like to get a copy of it, please join our in world group “Phoenix-Firestorm Preview Group” and watch for the group notice.

We hope to have a Phoenix Viewer update as soon as possible however that release is being held up while we investigate and try to resolve the stability issues present in version 908. We also hope to have RLVa updated as well.

If you have issues with, or complaints specifically about our policy in regards to following LL’s lead, feel free to contact me directly via email at jessica.lyon@phoenixviewer.com. Please direct all other issues to the corresponding locations listed above. IE. The Redzone blog, or the LL Jira.

Sincerely,

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.
March 8th Phoenix Office Hour Recording where I discussed and answered questions regarding Media Filter, Redzone, Greenzone and more..

For more information and an unbiased objective look into the topics discussed above please feel free to refer to the following articles.
Article by Doc Grun – Part 1
Article by Doc Grun – Part 2