New CAPTCHA System

As many of you are aware our CAPTCHA system was less than ideal. It was often hard to read and you never knew if the space was required, etc…

Thanks to help from the folks at Carnegie Mellon University we have been able to replace our old system with reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA not only helps to prevent spam and other abuses but also helps improves the process of digitizing books.

Most of the time you shouldn’t even see reCAPTCHA. Only if you enter a bad password on the login and support pages will you see reCAPTCHA.

Thanks!

-Durl

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99 Responses to New CAPTCHA System

  1. McPhenius Swain says:

    Great news! Hoorah… Carnegie Mellon Computer Science & Dr. Randy Pauch’s last lecture!

  2. Any plans to leverage that into using it inworld for land sales?

  3. Deltango Vale says:

    Nice. The European real estate business was wiped out overnight by LL’s introduction of VAT, but at least new residents will be able to read the pretty picture of the code word when they sign up for a Premium account.

  4. ari blackthorne says:

    Oh wow – finally! Woohoo. it was getting pretty dicey there for a bit!

  5. Raudf Fox says:

    As #2 said, please, could we have a reCaptcha for the land sales? That would reduce some server and search loads!

  6. Storyof Oh says:

    yet more geek speak about a platform that just isn’t working and is taxable….nice one
    malls are folding, sims abandonded and for sale, banks jittering, crashes, porridge movements…..value added where????

  7. travelrating says:

    reCAPTCHA is an AWESOME project. Not only does it add security, but it also helps translate books!

  8. TheManKnownAsDaveP Crosley says:

    That’s grand, great to see this kind of feature being implemented, keep it up!

  9. Chronic Skronski says:

    Cristalle Karami:: Any plans to leverage that into using it inworld for land sales?

    THIS is a fantastic idea. It would make land bots useless.

    Storyof Oh: yet more geek speak about a platform that just isn’t working and is taxable piss moan piss moan gripe bitch piss moan…

    You have no clue. And instead of getting a clue, you prefer to display your utter cluelessness to the world. If you had a clue, you would know that this is not about the client – it’s about the SL web pages. And it’s also about keeping your account secure. So here’s a tip: if you haven’t the foggiest idea what is being discussed, don’t just use the open comments to moan. Try educating yourself a little bit.

  10. Nexii Malthus says:

    Oh yes, the Linden Blog comments are slowly equalling those of Youtube Comments, always complaints complaints. Talking about end of the world and Second Life failing as a platform. Economies collapsing etc. etc. etc.

    Yet, everything goes perfectly normal further on and Second Life improves and improves.

  11. Me Me says:

    OK, that didn’t make much sense.
    I fail to see why payment info has to be added to view the forum. To post, maybe it’s fair (though maybe even not). It seems a restriction just so those that pay can get more info on the sub-standard platform they are a part of. Like charging those with AIDS for more info on condoms that rip. This is relevant because you can try and access the forums repeatedly with legit info (and the captchas) only to find you can’t access – without even a legitimate reason given.

  12. Storyof Oh says:

    #10 spoken like a true Canadian….where on the surface does the blog say its webpages? and if you educated yourself on the impact of VAT you would understand the frustration of 3/4 of SL users disenfrancised in blogs.
    This week alone 3 malls have closed around my stores and a banks in freefall…..hopefully you will still find a corner of Alaskans to play to.
    When the webpages have a clear easy way to ‘contact’ LL i will admire the backroom boys….
    hmm and i usually rise above flaming lol

  13. Kahni Poitier says:

    YES! CAPTCHA for land sales! Why wasn’t this implemented before!

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!!

  14. Alyx Sands says:

    #14: You DO recognise links in the above blog text, right? Why not CLICK them and read about what you don’t understand? Sheesh.

    And I second the idea about using such a system for land sales.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What is truly amazing is how some of you people seem to think that you are the standard for the moral majority. Too bad some couldnt follow YOU around and tell YOU how they dont like the sound of your voice; shoes you wear; etc. (like some of you do to people stating their opinions)

    It IS human nature to complain when things arent going the way planned (or promised)… And to THOSE of you (YOU know exactly who you are;) that say “My s%$t dont stink; therefore, it must be YOU(rs)”; sheesh, the audacity of someone SOOOO obtuse is simply amusing… Hopefully LL will get this sorted out as since maint. on Wed., Sl crashes and continues to eat 10 meg chunks of memory after the client has closed, and unless I shut down the SL process, will continue to eat the remainder of physical and virtual memory untils the machine reboots. (and please, dont belittle me with “its my machine” or “its gotta be something in my cfg”; to insult ones intelligence is simply rude (ESPECIALLY when you know better (that its Second Life doing this))

    Here’s to hoping things get better soon…

  16. Tony says:

    Another vote for getting this inworld to get rid of bots, be they land bots, or traffic scamming bots.

  17. Chaos Mohr says:

    Cristalle Karami:: Any plans to leverage that into using it inworld for land sales?

    Hmm for Land sales what a great idea 😉

    http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-2348

    Some more votes might help!

  18. bobbyb30 zohari says:

    I have to agree that some of the words were hard to read. But I do appreciate that at least steps are being taken to protect against the “brute force” method of hacking accounts.

  19. bobbyb30 zohari says:

    @19, I absolutely agree that this needs to be implemented ASAP into inworld sales where landbots are running free…=(

    But then again, if LL has to change the client and break SL for a week, nevermind.

  20. Kilandra Yeuxdoux says:

    Thank you LL for updating the system for better security.

  21. Krimson Gray says:

    Number 2 and Number 19 – Great ideas! Vote now!

  22. mimi says:

    Why isn’t the VAT mentioned on the secondlife.com land pricing site?

    Now europeans get a much HIGHER bill than you promise them when they buy land.

    It really suprises me everytime how bad you handle off things, when it’s about large amounts of peoples money. We spend lots of money in this game, and not even get the most important information told properly. Why do you treat customers so badly? Is this what we deserve for playing this game?

  23. WOW! This is great.. when the first system was installed I had a VERY hard time reading the things. Happy I wont have to see it as much! =^.^=

  24. Avacea Fasching says:

    Another who would also like to see this feature used for inworld land sales

  25. Andrea Faulkner says:

    VAT was ot even remotely the topic of this post. Let it go. LL is paying what they are leaglly obligated to pay ad charging euro residents accordingly. Would you prefer that LL simply didn’t allow Europeans to join or access SL?

  26. Vortex says:

    It is not LL who imposes the VAT on your bill, it’s EU blame them. And as a non-EU country they don’t have to mention that the price is excluded European VAT.
    So stop blaming LL and start screaming at your own EU government. And FYI, yes I AM in a EU country

  27. Joy Iddinja says:

    When landbots first came out Robin Linden had a community pow wow where all the realtors opposing them came to protest. We basically asked her about the situation and she said that one of the ways LL was considering combatting the use of landbots was to institute a CAPTCHA system on land buying. Why can’t they use this new system for that end?

  28. Anthony Hocken says:

    Everyone in Europe shouldnt be surprised by the VAT. We’re used to paying more than the Americans for everything anyway. At least in the UK.

    Was looking at the new iPods in the local Apple store today. In the US the iPod Touch 16gb is 400 US Dollars. In the UK they’re 552 US Dollars (after conversion). That’s 38% more. It’s a similar theme with most other products.

    If you live in Europe (and especially the UK), expect to get screwed. That’s just how it is.

    Anyhow back on topic. ReCaptcha is a fascinating project. It’s been getting alot of press lately so looks like it’s really starting to take off. Personally though I’d like to see photo-based captcha, where for example you’re shown a pile of photos and you click all the ones showing a cat. Steve from Security Now podcast didnt seem to like it much because there is a finite number of images and so spammers could compile a list of all the photos – but I think there are several techniques which could really make this practically impossible for the spammers like taking stills from video footage and manipulating the image in wacky ways before showing it. Of course there’s always the nifty backdoor regardless of the captcha technique used where a spammer site grabs the captcha, immediately shows it on their own website as a captcha where an unsuspecting visitor solves it for the computer, which is then fed back to the original website.

  29. Mel says:

    #10… this was totally uncalled for!

    Many of us do not know what CAPTCHA is or why in the world there would be a need for reCAPTCHA.

    Your response was for self-education. If you don’t know something exists and have no reason to look up that something that you don’t know that exists, you don’t. You dont even have a clue as to where to look for the thing you don’t know exists. SO….

    To help all of us non-computer literates out there….

    PLEASE, MR/MRS/MS LINDEN…When you use the blogs to help us understand what is going on, take us non-computer people to the point where we know what you are talking about.

    We have asked for this repeatedly before. All it takes is a sentence or two. (CAPTCHA=(whatever). It is on our end/your end of the process. It is meant to do “X”). Then go from there.

    It would be applauded and understood by the people coming in here and making an honest attempt at trying to understand what you are saying.

  30. @31: http://www.google.com; enter “captcha”, press “I’m feeling lucky”. Good description there.

  31. Karyn says:

    A friend of mine has used it for his message board and it has cut down the number of spammers signing up there.

  32. Nice, i have had issues in the past with this. good to know it was fixed. 🙂

  33. mimi says:

    @30
    Everyone in Europe shouldnt be surprised by the VAT. We’re used to paying more than the Americans for everything anyway. At least in the UK.

    I am an european citizen and before the VAT was mentioned on this blog, I never even heard of it. Many residents don’t know about the way VAT works. I’m not blaming the lindens for applying the VAT, but I do think not mentioning it unfair, since many people will be getting much higher bills without knowing in advance.

    When things cost people lots of extra money, why doesn’t linden labs inform people of it?
    They may not be obliged to do so, but does it make it fair? Theres a differece between ‘obliged’ and ‘fair’

    When I sell you a product, you expect it to work like what is mentioned on the picture/notecard. I’m not obliged to sell you a properly working product though. I could very well sell you something which works like crap, and ‘forget’ to mention it’s no modify, no copy, no transfer, and requires a 10000L$ update to do function properly. Is this illegal? No! Is it unfair? yes it is..

    The same applies here..

  34. Deltango Vale says:

    @27, 28, 30

    As I understand it, the VAT problem would be solved by closing down the Brighton office. Australians and Canadians do not pay VAT because LL does not have a physical (and thereby legal) presence there.

    Off topic? Perhaps, but CAPTCHA is just adding a touch of paint to the taffrail of the Titanic. That sucking sound you hear is yet another SL industry going down the toilet. First gambling (and related shops and clubs) then European real estate (and everything connected with it). So, LL, what’s your next bright idea? Age verification? Oops, you guys already thought of that. Surely, there is something else you can do to mess things up. How about income tax and capital gains tax and maybe fingerprint scans to fight terrorism. I’m sure you will think of something.

  35. dave talamasca says:

    I know this isn’t the place for VAT discussions, but I just tested it, and if I were to go premium it would be over $11 per month.
    I think that’s effing dispicable considering it’s less in the US and yet they also have a VAT style system.
    Makes no sense and I’m perturbed that it’s the case.
    Money grabbing swine.

  36. dave talamasca says:

    and by tested it I mean set up a new account.
    FYI

  37. This is a nice improvement, and I voted for the JIRA proposal for it to apply to Land Sales.

  38. dave talamasca says:

    @mimi, It’s not that we weren’t told. We were, (very very close to billing date for most) but that it’s natural to assume that when you sign up for $9.95, it’s inclusive of any tax. The addition of this tax after the fact is nonesense and legally, all EU players should be liable (as should LL) for the back tax not paid.
    It was an oversight on LL’s part and one that we are now paying for, above and beyond the rest of the world.
    Same product, same tax (approximately) different price.
    Unfair and probably illegal.
    Nuff said.

  39. Chronic Skronski says:

    Mel: #10… this was totally uncalled for!

    Many of us do not know what CAPTCHA is or why in the world there would be a need for reCAPTCHA.

    No, it was not uncalled for. StoryOf Oh insulted people because they know what CAPTCHA is, and then used the rest of the post to piss and moan off topic. If you don’t know what CAPTCHA is, that is fine! However, don’t complain that those who know what it is are discussing something that would be good for SL. Here’s a thought: CLICK THE LINK IN THE BLOG POST which tells you what CAPTCHA is. Or use a site called google.com. If you’re savvy enough to find your way to the blog, you will know how to click on a link to learn about something instead of wearing your ignorance like a shiny badge.

    I am sick of people using open comments to bitch about the same old thing every time and using up all the slots to moan and insult the educated instead of discussing something and being productive. Do they honestly think that their post is going to make Old Father Linden smack his forehead and say, “Why, of course! We should FIX EVERYTHING! Now why didn’t we think of that before? Thank you, StoryOf! Genius!” Do people honestly think that they are not trying to fix existing bugs? Why do people get all upset when the web developers do something that’s not related to fixing the grid?

    I honesty don’t know how the Lindens keep going when all they get is screaming from the sidelines. I do support for a living too. I bend over backwards to help the customers who are patient and understanding – they make me want to fix the problems. However, the moaners and the screamers for some reason don’t make me too eager to fix anything for them.

    Yes, there are myriad problems with the grid. This blog entry has nothing to do with them.

  40. Aodhan McDunnough says:

    While it doesn’t really change the experience either way for SL residents I am very much smiling form what reCAPTCHA is and it’s brilliant. It’s a very rare variety of a win-win where you take a you provide a difficult security service whose results perform yet another difficult service.

  41. Aodhan McDunnough says:

    sorry that should read: … a win-win where you provide a difficult…

  42. Jazzman Jibilla says:

    It would seem like a good idea to reC land sales.

  43. notagambler says:

    vat -problem was almost: LL waits 4 years to take them .

    and before they actually took the vat, they should took out a warning 1 month before.

    but after all, LL was not strong enough, to loose some money….. LL are liars!!

    they betray all… thiefs as well

  44. Mr Anony Mouse says:

    I didn’t know what reCAPTCHA was (but I used the links given)…and as suggested above, it does seem like a good idea for more secure land sales.

    Completely off topic…why hasn’t the Friends Online been restored on this site yet?

  45. Any chance of incorporating something like this into the email process and thereby eliminating email spam altogether? 🙂

  46. Kahni Poitier says:

    It’s not the people paying a monthly premium fee that are going to get burned with the VAT. It’s the UK private sim owners. Their fees are going to shoot up astronomically.

    I spoke with my currently landlord. Thank god she’s in Russia, and not the UK. If she had to pay VAT, and raised the land fees 17% to make up for it, I’d have left her property.

    It would have been a lose-lose for both of us.

  47. travelrating says:

    DAMN YOU SL! Why could you not be psychic and realize your game would get big around the world requiring you to to follow other countries laws to ensure your game is legal in their country.

  48. concerned says:

    Agood move,Anything that helps sl become more secure is very welcomed,Good job LL for implementing this i will also support using this action for land sales.

    On VAT note i am now reliably informed that LL should have disclosed that your fees were EXCLUSIVE of VAT so no resident would be liable for back taxes,On the time given before any additional charges/taxes should be notified i still don’t have a conclusive answer but as soon as i do i will post.(Sorry non EU Customers for adding this section to wrong blog but a lot of people want to know where they stand).

  49. Snacks Waki says:

    “While many of you are aware….”

    I am thinking that something more like, “While some of you may not be aware, there is a thing called ____ that is important to ____”. If you would like to know what ____ is, there are several informative links on the subject at ____, _____ and ____.

    That said, here is how SL has been using ____. _____. Here is what has changed. _____.

    The reason why we did this is ____. We are very interested in your feedback on this, and will ____.

    Yeah, I clicked the link and learned something new before posting. But not before I came to resent the comments from those who criticized those who didn’t make that effort.

    Basic writing skills, Durl, please. You have a large and diverse audience. There are folks who read what you have to say who have been here for years, and there are others who have been here for days.

    Provide context.

    -Snacks Waki

  50. Guy says:

    I always found those things to be a pain in the ass.
    Lets hope it has an option to “hear” the letters since they are usually impossible to read…

  51. Reg Mannonen says:

    I voted!!! http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-2348 and you should to.

    And i hate captchas right up till now, this is a good use of the technology. Since we have to have something to stop scumbags, whooo hooo, help literacy as well. Good job to the recaptcha folks and to LL for jumping on board.

    YEAH what the hell is it with LL obeying the law? Going to bring down second life. First its the anti gambling laws, now tax laws. Good grief, don’t they know you don’t really have to obey the law? We don’t make those things for people to actually obey, just to keep legislators busy and out of trouble.

    I encourage everyone to keep bitching to LL constantly. I’m sure lot’s of governmental representatives read this blog, it would be silly to complain to them about the laws we don’t like, let the lindens do it for us!!

    I think we should all use the blog comments to whine about everything, it seems to work and it’s not the least bit annoying when 80% of the comments have nothing to do with the post!!

  52. “31 Mel Says:

    October 2nd, 2007 at 5:10 PM PDT
    #10… this was totally uncalled for!

    Many of us do not know what CAPTCHA is or why in the world there would be a need for reCAPTCHA. ”

    LOL, well if you are posting in this blog then you must have read the blog post and were informed of reCAPTCHA. So you know it exists. If you had any desire to understand what it is for then simply typing in reCAPTCHA to any search engine would send you to http://recaptcha.net/

    Then you are educated on the subject and don’t need to complain about people complain about posting on a subjects they claim not to know anything about.

    People seem to make it very hard on them selfs about learning even the simplest tech stuff. google.com is your friend. If you don’t want to learn tech stuff then just stay out of the conversation.

  53. mimi says:

    @concerned
    if you know some more please post it here.. the VAT blog is full, so i guess heres the only place we can discuss it..

    people who say this shouldn’t be discussed: how would you feel if all of a sudden land you were promised to pay a certian amount of land which cost you a lot to buy, now all of a sudden costs lots and lots more to keep? How would you feel knowing SL hasn’t even taken the effort to mention it to you long enough to leave somewhere else (no you had to lose your money already before that), not mentions it on its site for new potential island buyers, just raises the prices without properly informing us and then thinks its ok? in other words: they dont care at all about our loss

    Unless you have lots of money in RL, it is a problem for a lot of people to lose money, it may not have affected you but dont be egoistical and think about other people too

  54. U M says:

    Very intersting!

  55. hugsalot says:

    How was this EVER an issue in the first place? Who CARES?

    We still get zillions of alts logging in every day griefing, and gaming the system. You ban one jerk and he just makes an alt to get around the ban. And oops we have over 6 million users! At least you have to use a real e-mail address to verify your user account. But I have no idea if it checks it against existing e-mail addresses.

    I don’t think anyone ever had a problem getting around typing in screwy letters and numbers used to verify that you’re a human, and not an automated bot making avi accounts. Otherwise we wouldn’t be over 16 million users by now

  56. Athena Whizenhunt says:

    the VAT thing? hmmm, seems the US had a thing called the Boston Tea Party just before they decided that europe was unfairly taxing people and started a revolution to end it, it seems about 230 years too late to moan about unfair taxation in europe, have a cup of earl grey and think about it, I’ll have my coffee.
    sorry guys, I don’t have a clue about the capchka thing,is it a new country? lol (apologies for being off topic to all you sensitive people)

  57. U M says:

    Hugs, that is true about alts and griefting. But LL seems not to care anymore period. All we can do is report them to abuse and hope the banned them for good. Yes i know they only come back. But really Hugs do you expect LL to care like they did say 2 1/2 years ago? You are not wrong at all in your points. But really we just can`t win any more with LL. The only way would be to cancell of accounts and leave. But LL does not care even if we do that. There goal is only to get as many user nu,bers as they can. Reguardless if they are alts or under 18 etc. That leads me to the next thought. You do know the teen game and adult game will merge soon. Hence if you think its bad now wait until then.

  58. DR Dahlgren says:

    How about using it for IN-WORLD land sales. Stop the darn bots. While they may not be a big problem at the moment with land selling for L$10 m2, they will hope back.

  59. Athena Whizenhunt says:

    Oh, and I can’t help it, about the “unfair taxes” maybe you should rethink the citizens right to bear arms, that usually keeps the “revenooers” away, it works for US

  60. IntLibber Brautigan says:

    Given the great decrease in lindex traffic in August following the post-wager shift, and given septembers Supply Linden traffic has been almost quadruple that of August, its safe to say the summer recession is over (just as the inworld recessions of 05 and 06 ended), land prices are stabilized finally, and VAT is making estate land attractive for europeans seeking tax shelters (I never understood why anybody liked mainland anyways, given the lack of Linden support on anything, esp given the end of Help Request, we respect your property rights and provide much better service, support, and security).

    Those of you europeans out there looking for a tax shelter in virtual land, lemme know (or my sales VP, Kaddan Yue).

    Yes I expect the teen grid and adult grid to merge. Its about time, the separation is absolutely absurd. Provided Mature and PG sims keep adult activities separate, its better to identity verify, and openly display a teen av as a minor by different color tag and profile, then to maintain the fiction that teens are not competent to intermingle safely with adults on the internet.

    If parents are so worried, let them come inworld to do their job as parents and start PARENTING for once in their lives, or else keep their kids out of SL altogether.

  61. U M says:

    “If parents are so worried, let them come inworld to do their job as parents and start PARENTING for once in their lives, or else keep their kids out of SL altogether.”

    They been saying this since the internet has been around. ( atleast the last 10 years ). I have one small child so i can understand what you saying.

    U sagi M usashi

  62. Montana Corleone says:

    Cool, you must have used one of the worst possible Captchas before….

    However, there’s an awful lot that stll needs fixing, SL and the web. Has Econ Stats stopped picling up May 5th. Is that Philip’s birthday or something?

    When you can repeated pull up the wrong page, it doesn’t leave much confidence in data integrity.

  63. Fellatione Aabye says:

    Some extra security against bots .. would be very welcome … great thing (for once)

    Abou t ALTS … well that LL just ban all ALTs … Why create an ALT if you are NOT planning to do anything illegitimate???? or against regulations … ahum

    About the VAT thing … am european and as LL like to state that they comply to regulatons etc … WHY isn t the price VAT included … (That is also a law in europe)

    I know we europeans aren t that welcome … and by the way .. if like some say here in the blog …. for a tax evasion? Who the F.ck is running to the bahama s and other islands???? hehe indeed .. Americans.

    About Teen grid and adult grid … would be one of their (LL) worst ideas …

    Why even care guys and girls LL doesn t even bother to read the blogs …. Otherwise they would have learned already tons …. about what s going wrong with their soft….

    To end i wish every a very good day in Second Life,

    From an european

  64. pantaiputih korobase says:

    can EU citizens now gamble on EU sims again?

  65. Deira Llanfair says:

    I have always disliked CAPTCHAs and usually find them difficult to decipher, but now that I have learnt about the positive use of reCAPTCHA, I feel happier about them. It would be good to see this technology extended into other suitable areas such as land sales.

    (I wonder how long it will be before there are no more old texts to read?)

  66. Deira Llanfair says:

    @65

    Please don’t knock my ALT! He’s my back-up store and sits on pose balls every time I want to test a couples’ skating animation! I don’t suppose you would want to volunteer for this unpaid work?

  67. Remus Lykin says:

    reCAPTCHA would be an excellent thing to use inworld, especially in concern with landsales.

    But to go off topic, since the VAT blog post has been closed for comments.

    1) It’s not only UK players who are facing higher SL fees through VAT. It’s not about a physical presence in the country, it’s about the player’s place of residence/IP. So please do stop making this about the UK only.

    2) I’m not really whining about it, since I’m used to paying 25% in VAT to my country for all the products I buy, be it physical things or service. But I do think LL have a moral obligation to at least put up a page where new users can see the actual prices for Premium accounts and land tier corresponding to their country.

    3) Some didn’t even receive an email notification about this change, me included, so my surprise was – as you can imagine – great when I saw my bank statement. LL should’ve posted a notification here far earlier than they did, and even mailed out the notifications earlier, so people at least had a chance to prepare themselves for it.

    4) I find it worrying that there is no information on whether any US taxes are included in the prices. If they are, that would be double taxing and at least in my country, that would make me eligible for a refund from my tax system.

    5) I’m not even going to touch the subject of skewed competition in concern with business in SL. I think the facts speak for themselves i.e. Europeans having to put down 17-25% more money than others to achieve the same income (if they’re lucky). Ah… I touched it anyway. Oh well.

    I’m a land owner but don’t have any business, so it shouldn’t worry me. It still does, because I’m just that kind of person. And I’m definitely looking into selling my land or at least bring my landtier down further.

  68. U M says:

    HAHAHAH you think merging the Teen Game and Adult game is good? Um……………That worries me. If your a parent of under 18 and with some very sick people playing in SL. You would be worried too. Otherwise why would you care. Um…….I don`t even want to think about that.

  69. sonja felisimo says:

    Sorry but i have to say something to the VAT problem. I contacted my local tax office and they were suprised at lindens idea that europeans have to pay vat. For one they are interested in how Linden proposes to pay the VAT they recieve from us when……….as here in germany taxes are decentralised and any VAT needs to be paid to the local tax office………..hmm considering virtually every large and medium sized town has a tax office i would be interested to hear how Linden proposes to pay the VAT to these offices…………secondly if Linden is liable.as they state to charge VAT..then they are in breach of german law as they have back tax to pay………and we as customer are also liable.

    As far as my tax office could tell me at the moment……they are going to check there sources and get back to me………….no european is liable for VAT for the service provided by lindens from the US…………is only relevant if we paid in euros and Linden was based in europe.

    All very strange what linden is telling us. As soon as i have the relevant information from my tax office i will post the info.

    And anyway to legally charge VAT they have to issue us will a VAT Bill……which complies with our laws…………means having all details on it including Internatonal VAT number…..eg german numbers begin with DE…..british with GB etc………….i have on for my company as i trade rl with other countries…… otherwise transactions are not traceable.

    sorry to take up space here with this but i had to get it of my chest…as i think something is not right here.

    Before our US friends start moaning again that we europeans are just winging…sorry but you don’t stand to lose a lot of money like a lot of europeans will.

  70. hugsalot says:

    #59 U M
    Oh I have no doubt the teen grid will be killed off, or merged. Actually it’s already apart of the main grid, at least money wise. I don’t think anyone really uses the teen grid, you can’t really do anything worth wile. Since this useless age verification that’s coming up, they won’t need a teen grid anymore.

  71. Vylixan Fallon says:

    PLease bring the Account info pages back online, there is no scheduled downtime in the calender and Its down for “maintenance” So please explain this .

  72. Pepper Haas says:

    RE.#41
    Do people honestly think that they are not trying to fix existing bugs? Why do people get all upset when the web developers do something that’s not related to fixing the grid?

    I have submitted bug reports on problems introduced way back in April, and on many many things that went wrong after other updates, rolling restarts, and upgrades, since. Only a very tiny, small minority of these bugs have been fixed.

    And I get upset that web developers do something not related to fixing the grid, when they’ve been informed by tens of thousands of users like me that e.g. group im. is still borked, edit appearance menu still borked, ghost prims, etc. etc., because all these things used to work just fine before they decided to introduce Voice, and other things nobody asked for. It is an *outrage* that they are working on ANYTHING ELSE BUT RESTORING GRID STABILITY. When they’re all done, *then* they can do something else, and test it on the Beta Grid for at least a year before forcing it upon the main grid to destabilize things all over.

    I have been a member since Jan. and am still looking for a reason to become Premium. From what I read on the blogs, you couldn’t be worse cursed than own a mainland sim or parts thereof, what with the absence of any covenant or rules or regulations and competing with bots at auctions.

    I live on a private island sim, and my rent is due to increase thanks to the VAT — but it still pales in comparison to the money I’d be out as Premium member, in membership and tier fees, for mainland lots of the same size.

    I suggest to offset the extra costs and serious economic damage this is doing (after the ban on gambling which sent the economy in a tailspin), LL swiftly get back to the system they employed when I first signed up: a 500 l. weekly stipend for Premium, 50 for non-Premium; First Land; personal and place recommends that could increase those amounts for Premiums.

    But at this moment and for a long time all I see LL do is take things away and not fix major bugs they introduced, and on top of that make hasty top-down decisions that cost people hundreds of thousands of lindens and then say Oh, well we’ve given you Voice and new CAPTCHA and whatever and aren’t you so thrilled.

  73. hugsalot says:

    okay at this time Second life seems to have taken a total dump on me, at about 2:50am Wednesday morning PST.

    I lost my net connection, and I thought that’s why I was dumped from SL. My cable modem reset and came back online, but I still couldn’t login to SL.. It kept saying “Login failed”

    All web use on http://www.secondlife.com shows it’s down for maintenance, the blog here of course runs fine since it’s not hosted at secondlife.com.

    How could my modem reset, and SL going offline be a coincidence? Did the entire west coast suffer some sort of internet bomb? Perhaps a solar flare? My connection to the net seems to be fine, but SL is hosed once again!

  74. hugsalot says:

    #70 U M
    No I didn’t say it was a good thing.. nor a bad thing. I really think the point of this is completely MOOT since the KIDS ARE ALREADY ON THE MAIN GRID! There is no need for the teen grid once this age verification is fully functioning.

    Why is it that everyone automatically has to insinuate child abuse when this issue comes up. Hell, if everyone is that paranoid about it, then why are the parents letting their kids get on it in the first place? The kids are (I repeat again) ARE ALREADY ON THE MAIN GRID. If you are a parent, then BE a firggin parent. The Lindens aren’t parents!

    The whole flawed system of age verification the Lindens are setting up is just their way of washing their hands of this responsibility that was never THEIRS to begin with.

  75. asd says:

    asdasfdsfsdf

  76. AW says:

    To clearify something about the VAT . VAT has to be paid by the europeans ( i am also one ) and can be collected if LL has an office in Europe .The regulations are that you need to have an office in one of the european country’s to be able to collect VAT from individuals .
    But, for the people that bought a sim , adding VAT to the tier is a singlesided change of the contract .So , if they dont agree with that , they can end their contract and LL has to buy back the sim.
    LL will probably not do it voluntary , but you will always get the court on your side .

  77. HooAmI Vella says:

    not being computer savy myself,like others have said just follow the link it will tell you it’s about a test that can distinguish humans from robots ,SOUNDS GOOD TO ME

  78. The XO says:

    VAT – What a big swizz!

    I’m selling my mainland and getting an island plot and also DOWN-GRADING my account to a free one. I’ve been here over a year and things are shot to hell.

    This is the final straw for me. I’ll still be in SL, but I’m paying into this big VAT swizz! Bah!

  79. ticious trottier says:

    Complaining to Linden Labs about VAT is about as useful as complaining to Marks and Spencer. Complain to your politicians, they’re the ones charging you VAT on your account and your land in SL, not LL.

    If LL doesn’t pass that charge back to you, then they have to eat it. And if they have to eat it, the 1/4 of SL residents (by your estimate) who have no political voice in the European Union eat it alongside you in the form of higher prices for premium accounts and land or in reduced services as a result of the increase SL costs.

    If you don’t like paying VAT, get involved in your local politics at home in the EC.

  80. Spank lovell says:

    I havent read any of the repvious comments guys because I wanted to post before this thread tan out of slots and sorry to drag it off topic but….

    LL screwed up. They should have been charging VAT on charges before. The Freeserve vs AOL case in 2003 should have warned them to it. This is a knee jerk reaction by a company that has been ill-informed or just criminally negligent. LL should take this hit as its threatening people who are on a budget. I may still lose my island because I’d assumed that taxes were included and BUDGETTED to suit. LL have not show the caring face that they like to portray here.

    However it musnt be forgotten that at the end of the day they are complying with EU law, not American law. Its the EU states that are rubbing their hands with glee over this new revenus stream and changed the law to suit.

    Rant over… normal service is now resumed…..

  81. Broccoli Curry says:

    I see plenty of comments about europe… I’m not European, I live in Great Britain.

  82. Dekka Raymaker says:

    Yes it’s not Linden Labs fault.

    However, name any other on-line game where everyone around the world pays a different final tariff for a game, I’m guessing you won’t find one, most games give a price and everyone pays that same final price, that’s how it’s done professionally.

    This vat issue is driving a wedge into the players, it’s becoming US(A) & THEM, not particularly living up to the ideals of the creator is it? The players should support each other, we are the residents, it’s our world and you know what happens when you worship false gods, in the end they come for you too.

  83. Sensual Fold says:

    It amazes me as to how many people say just to shut up and take the VAT, i wonder how many would be swallowing so easily if their Tier fees went up $30 more a month…I have a feeling a few of u would be choking more than u usually do…One day people i have a feeling we will find out, no crying then people…just swallow the load

  84. Sensual Fold says:

    And another point, why is this off topic? Because they are cowards, they gave no open forum on the topic of VAT, suprised? No, its LL after all, they hide behind a computer and suck money up….WHY NOT CALL A COMMUNITY MEETING OVER THIS LL, LISTEN TO YOUR PEOPLE FOR A CHANGE AND NOT THE SOUND OF MONEY DROPPING IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS!

  85. Linden Afarensis says:

    For EU citizens, dont forget to read the laws of your own countries.
    1) The VAT for internet services is due in EU but is exempted in USA to develop this activity.
    2) In EU countries to criticize taxes is considered as a crime, and in France foir example punished by jail
    3) If you don’t like taxes, ask your political representatives and in this case your EU representatives

  86. ISayNO says:

    Just a couple of comments:

    @84: Great notice to know that UK isn’t Europe, so if LL opened an office in UK to collect taxes and -try- to screw us -again-, let’s the UK non-european people pay VAT and let the rest of people live in peace. And TYVM for the geography class, i didn’t know that UK is in Asia (or maybe Africa?) LMAO.

    @ALL: There’s a group on SL named Against VAT in SL, free enrollment, which is trying to do something against this NEW ABUSE. I’m not the founder of the group, but i’m proud to be in.

    *Counts the € LL will loose with him and thinks which nice gift his wife will receive*

  87. Amanda Ascot says:

    I actually have a great deal of difficulty reading traditional CAPTCHAs because of a brain injury that affects linguistic processing. The reCAPTCHA system gives me no trouble at all, and for introducing this I’d like to give the folks at Linden Lab who made this decision and implemented it a great big Group Hug.

    I have to second the others who are suggesting that there are some very obvious in-world uses for this, and I hope Linden Lab looks into the possibility of using it with land purchases and maybe even making it an option as an additional step in the process of joining groups to eliminate spambots in group chats.

    Kudos guys! I can’t find a single thing to complain about with regards to this development.

    For those of you complaining about VAT, please try to understand that Linden Lab had no more choice in this matter than they had in the legal issue which forced them to shut down the casinos and other gambling venues in-world. If they do business with people who come under the VAT umbrella they are required by law to collect VAT. I know this is more than just an inconvenience, and I really do feel sorry for my European friends who are affected by this, but you can blame your countries for subjecting you to the laws of the European Union, and not Linden Lab, which could come under serious legal fire for not cooperating.

    We, here in the United States, have long enjoyed an Internet free from taxation, but there are constantly attempts by various factions to impose such a tax. Sooner or later the right (or “wrong”, rather) people will take power, here, and we’ll have our own “VAT” — and then we’ll be complaining right along with you.

  88. ISayNO says:

    @90

    I’m European, can’t play in a sploder but i have to pay VAT, they can change the contract -forcing- me to accept a new ToS without posibility to cash out my goods and money if i don’t accept…. want me to continue?

    LL, simply, doesn’t know how to do fair play. Their loss.

  89. ari blackthorne says:

    @41: Chronic Skronski

    DITTO! Heh

  90. Cat Gisel says:

    I don’t understand VAT as much as I wish I did, but I thought it was something imposed by the goverments, and not by the company? If LL is being TOLD to charge customers, To me this says they have no choice in the matter. Sounds like EU governments see a chance for more revenue and are taking it. If not, please help me understand. If so, why are people bashing LL? Just cause they can? If they (LL) are keeping the change, that’s another story, and in the USA pocketing tax is a BIG (translated: BIG) no no.

  91. IntLibber Brautigan says:

    Those of you against VAT in SL should be marching against your own goverments that YOU voted for. Europeans perpetually brag about how much more civilized their countries are due to their cradle to grave welfare systems, paid for by VAT and massive energy taxes (never spent on reducing emissions). People get the government they deserve.

    Just as the wagering rule change demonstrated the power of one law (and LL is, defacto, the “State” in SL) to destroy an economy, LL acquiescing to the EU ruling on VAT is a further lesson to those in need of an education: stop voting for governments that will tax you to death, or else vote with your feet and your dollars/euros.

    In this dase, vote with both and move off the mainland to our estates (many euros lives and work here happily already). We will also accept sim transfers with RL contracts respecting and protecting your property rights.

    I suspect the source of the EU ruling is lobbying by the Finnish Entropia Universe in a bid for some protectionism.

  92. Vivienne says:

    “…do business with people who come under the VAT umbrella they are required by law to collect VAT.”

    No. They were not forced. NO serious US company charges this. And if a company does (in spite of SERIOUS legal problems), the very least an european can expect that LL writes a BILL in which LL VAT number is included, so that an european can reclaim this tax as business expense. As long as LL themselves are not in accordance with EU rax laws and regulations the charging of EU tax simply illegal. Additionally this kind of tax is not meant to be used on non-business services at all.

    I really wonder who talked them into this. Cause they do not earn any profit, tax money is not property of LL and not a single cent is allowed to stay at San Francisco.

    The result of this decision is obvious. It will make a lot of europeans leave SL. And there must be only ONE guy fed up enough by LL desision and some european governements will start an international inquiry because of fraud.

  93. Donegal Ofarrel says:

    I used to be registered for vat. It’s a nightmare to keep all the books and records necessary. However, vat doesn’t just flow one way. As well as collecting the tax on behalf of the government, you can also claim back any vat you have had to pay on goods or services.

    If LL is not doing this, or they have no rights in law to do this, they should simply stop collecting taxes for a foreign government. It’s ludicrous.

    I purchased a US product in US$ (converted sterling to $ by the bank). The last thing I expect to pay is an EU tax. The EU is trying it on. Ignore them and let them sue you.

  94. U M says:

    Hugs, everyone knows atleast 40% if not more are under 18 years.

  95. Me says:

    @65

    How do you suggest content creators test their products do make sure they are bug free if they don’t have an ALT?

    I really wouldn’t know how to do it (unless bothering friends who may not be too happy about it). And I’d really rather see myself how a product functions when it is no longer used by the creator. It would be difficult to have it explained by someone else without actually seeing it.

    For example scripted items can behave somewhat differnt when the permissions for the “end user” apply, so I’d rather test everything I create before it goes up for sale.

    And once in a while I just want to enjoy SL, go to an event, chat with friends… without being interrupted by a customer request, and taking off a couple of hours from business once in a while is important – you do have time off from your job in RL too, don’t you?

    Take away the ALTs and I’m gone (or my business closed), I think a very small amount of all ALTs are used for stuff like griefing and other not so nice things.

    About the VAT thing:
    People say we Europeans should complain to our goverments and not LL.
    Well, from a lot of the posts I read concerning VAT most of the uproar is about HOW this has been brought to us, not giving us a prior notice and applying it to the CURRENT billing circle.

    That way we didn’t even have a choice to tier down land before we were actually charged with the new price, and none of the people aggreed to paying that amount when buying a certain amount of land.

    Think about it in a different way – let’s say you order a new flatscreen TV for 1000 USD, you signed the contract for just that amount. 2 weeks later it is delivered to you and all of a sudden the bill says you have to pay 1190, without giving you the chance to cancel that purchase? I bet you wouldn’t be too happy…
    I guess you would have expected to been given a CHOICE of cancelling in that case. None of the Europeans were able to “cancel”, because it was applied to the CURRET circle.
    Hope you see my point.

    That’s not how to do things like that. There just should have been an anouncement that form XXX (no date of the current billing circle) on VAT will apply for European players, so everyone would have had enough time to think about it and make changes if they wouldn’t want to pay more for their game.

  96. Mr Anony Mouse says:

    “Friends Online is temporarily disabled due to technical difficulties. We’ll re-enable it as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.”

    How many days has it been!? I’m losing my patience…

    reCAPTCHA..good idea…see I kept it on topic..:-)

  97. DR Dahlgren says:

    I have a suggestion. Stop the VAT collection for the moment, and eat the difference until 1/1/2008. At that point, get rid of premium accounts entierly. Make all accounts paid, say $5 US a month. Starting immediately new accounts pay the fee, but existing do not change to the charged membership until 1/1/2008. Also dump any LL freebie money paid to accounts. Pay the VAT out of the substanial increase in overall membership fees.

    Solves several problems, makes griefing less attractive, ends some of the bots, raises revenue for LL (help compenstate for gambling revenues lost), keeps all players paying the same fees, adds a level of verification to all accounts and by waiting until 1/1/2008 to make the change, everyone gets notice.

    Downside: Everyone has to pay for alts. Those who are on tight budgets might find the membership charge are little difficult as well.

    Bottom line though, if you can afford a computer and broadband to run this thing, I simply don’t see how $5 US would kill anyone and do see how it might be used to better this whole world.

    I know this won’t be popular, but its a thought.

    DRD

  98. Garmin Kawaguichi says:

    Bitching, bitiching, bitching BUT you are always here.

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