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Thursday, February 11, 2010

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magggnnus

alas, when i tried it many objects nearby had not rezzed (in the bot's view), resulting in a mutilated view of the place.

Toady Nakamura

Five seconds of watching this spin in circles on your site made me want to puke.

I sure hope they figure out some way to make the feed stationary (like YouTube).

Meanwhile for those of us with seizure disorder, nerve problems and other medical issues, it will prevent us from looking at New World Notes until this post gets so far down that it can be ignored.

Jovin

Interesting to see this - I've talked to friends before about this kind of idea. I'd love to see 'cams' made available for SL that landowners could place (on their own land) which would stream a live video view of SL out to a webpage or similar - a window into SL that would show a real-time view of a place or an event.

Being a one-way conduit could mean they'd cause a lot less lag than an avatar visiting a sim and they could be used to promote inworld events (and therefore SL itself) or allow a wider audience than the 40 max we endure now.

Peter Stindberg

One should note that the (commercial) service SLPano (http://slpano.com/) was a few months earlier with this idea.

Chenin Anabuki

Thank you for trying out our app. We are continually enhancing the program so the feedback is most appreciated. If the first view does not come out as you anticipated, feel free to resend the request. We encourage multiple submissions as the 360 output only gets better with each successive request. This is especially true for sims that are very laggy. When we developed Peek360, we saw it as a tool that can be used for showcasing a space in SL. However, the quality of the output is dependent on the content being shown and the aesthetic eye of the person requesting the view. Using Peek360 is quite analogous to photography...it is more art than craft. So, try it unsparingly until you get an output that you are proud enough to share to the world.

Dedric Mauriac

The same bot is used for each snapshot. You can ban the bot, "Paparazzi Artful" from your estate, region, or parcel. I don't see what the big deal is with regular avatars versus bots doing this.

I've also done my own review of Peek360 here: http://dedricmauriac.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/peek-360/

Ann Otoole

I see no privacy issues as long as the visible area that will be covered is yours to cover when you *OPT IN*.

Hopefully the bot is set to not render any avatars. Simply by not rendering avatars the entire topic of privacy is dealt with. No chance of seeing amorous avatars pixel bumping in a window or walking hand in hand, etc.

Angela Talamasca

Wait till their bots catch someone doing the sex0rz. That ought to go over like a lead balloon. And just think, that creepy cyber stalky mangina that's been following you? Now all he has to do is go to their web site and enter the coords of your little skybox or build deck. But hey, leave it to geeks with the social skills of a peanut to come up with a virtual world version of google's stalker cam.

Malcolm Kit

Oh give it a rest. The bot can't enter anyplace where anyone else couldn't. Logic skills of a peanut.

Caliburn Susanto

Everybody should be fully aware of the fact that if something *can* be done it *will* be done (regardless of their personal opinion of whether or not it *should* be done). That's human nature; to make our thoughts and ideas come into being. And thank goodness for it or we'd still be grubbing for worms and fallen fruit.

So, I tested this device on my own region shortly after its release and was immediately informed by Chenin Anabuki via IM that the bot could not operate in regions that have "payment info on file" required for entry. My region is both PIOF & Adult Verified only to enter.

Anyway, all you have to do is ban the camera bot from your space and voila - no peeky. Why the angst? Choosing your battles seems to be a lost skill. :-D

Rodion Resistance

@Toady, perhaps you missed the PAUSE button? :)

@Peter Stindberg, aside from the fact that SLPano is now effectively a non-service (they only have a list of sims available for viewing on their site, and they have long abandoned requests), their system required the requester to submit about 200 screenshots before a panorama can be processed. Our method utilizes only 8, which makes the entire process fast.

@Angela, the Peek360 system only uses one bot, named Paparazzi Artful. We want to take this opportunity to say that don't have an army of Snapshot Nazis out there to stalk your avatars, as in the Mjölnir-esque Poster image that you tried to convey in your comment, So, sort of echoing what Malcolm said, if you successfully managed to ban that "creepy cyber stalky mangina that's been following you", what then is preventing you from banning Paparazzi from your sim/parcel?

Now, I truly wonder how many point and clicks it takes to file an abuse report, compared to the number of point and clicks necessary, to simply ban an avatar or bot from one's sim.

-RODION

Isadora Fiddlesticks

If there's a like button in comments, I'd click Malcolm's reply to Angela ten thousand times...lol. Paranoid much?

People who are doing their virtual sexytime in SL are bound to have security orbs that will send it away and can ban the bot in their parcel if they feel their activity will be compromised on. It's easy really, just right click on your parcel...go to that tab and enter the bot's name...there. Avatar banned.

Or someone can make useless scripts designed to "block" the bot. Much like the useless Copybot Protection Script that some people buy.

Pussycat Catnap

I just did one:
http://peek360.avatrian.com/viewer.php?id=1077

And the really weird thing is that I had an avatar parked in the green chair the entire time, and she did not show in it. Also odd was that it shows blank sky for a portion, rather than the tree, mushrooms, and wall back there.

Rodion Resistance

@pussycat

Many people think the photos are produced from the bot's (Paparazzi Artful) location/perspective. This is incorrect. The camera views are independent of the bot's X,Y,Z location, which can both be a good thing and a bad thing.

The good thing is that, even if the sim has a landing point, while Paparazzi might arrive and be confined at that landing point, it doesn't mean it would be forced to take a panorama of the landing point--it will still continue to take a panorama based of the original coordinates placed in the request form.

This presents a dilemma--for if the target area to be photographed is of great distance from the bot, say 2000 meters or so, then yes, if there is an avatar seated on a chair at 2000m, while Paparazzi is "nailed" to the sim's landing point, no avatar will be seen in the panorama, and other effects include the non-rezzing of some prims that the client would potentially "cull" because of the great distance from the camera to the bot. Thus, it's advisable that, for better panoramas, the actual spot where the bot lands, and the actual target coordinates, shouldn't be far from one another.

-RODION

Angela Talamasca

Rodion says:

"what then is preventing you from banning Paparazzi from your sim/parcel?"

Yet, he also states:

"The good thing is that, even if the sim has a landing point, while Paparazzi might arrive and be confined at that landing point, it doesn't mean it would be forced to take a panorama of the landing point--it will still continue to take a panorama based of the original coordinates placed in the request form."

So much for the banning idea. Otherwise put, you can ban his bot all you want. However all banning does is to keep it from landing at the specified coordinates. Which means, it can still cam in from an adjoining parcel and take the panorama from the coords provided.

He also notes:

"if there is an avatar seated on a chair at 2000m, while Paparazzi is "nailed" to the sim's landing point, no avatar will be seen in the panorama"

Which basically addresses Ann's comment:

"Hopefully the bot is set to not render any avatars. Simply by not rendering avatars the entire topic of privacy is dealt with."

Really, don't you guys even remotely think beyond the shininess of your little toys?

Angela Talamasca

Malcolm Kit writes:

"Oh give it a rest. The bot can't enter anyplace where anyone else couldn't. Logic skills of a peanut."

You obviously don't know anything about bot programs, do you. ← note period = rhetorical Q.

But please do read his comment about draw distances and then try to grasp the concept that the bot does not need to be on the parcel it is scanning. Doink!

Magnet Homewood

200 photos? 8 photos? I can do it with 6 photos, and it will be completely 360 degrees and seamless, AND I had the idea way before SLPano (at least, that's what I like to think) but I didnt have the knowledge to make a website out if it. Oh well, another opportunity missed.

Peter Stindberg

What SLPano does is a panorama where you can zoom and look up and down. From a purely technical point of view it seems to me a more complete approach, like I know it from RL panorama sides. And from a clients point of view I do not care how many source photos are used, since I don't have to take them myself :-)

I can't comment on them being in or out of business, since I have no affiliation to them.

You guys at Peek360 do a good and efficient job, and are definitely better at marketing. And while you are probably the more successful ones, you simply were not the first ones. That's my whole point.

Chenin Anabuki

Thank you for the comment/input. @Isa, you are right in suggesting the use of Security Orbs as an option for parcel owners. Banning of the Peek360 bot is something we recommend to sim owners as another measure for opting out of the application. Later on, we plan on adding a registry in the database so that locations can be requested for exclusion in the app's range. As already mentioned in Hamlet's write up, this will require further coding work as validations are needed for the proper exclusion of a location.

What I infer from the comments so far is that providing more options to users would enhance the app. For example, Ann's suggestion of avatar's being hidden can be a good option for those who only want the landscape/structures captured. And Toady's preference for the panoramic view to start out in paused mode is another. All these examples for customizing a request can be incorporated in the future iteration of our app (including more ways for addressing privacy concerns). This will be manifested in a request page which prompts for the Required fields and an expanded Options section with default settings that can be changed.

With Second Life's extremely diverse community, we cannot aspire to please the population in its entirety. But as developers of content and applications for the platform, we do have to weigh carefully the trade-offs that come with every feature and functionality we incorporate in the system. As simple a tool as Peek360 may be, it does change the nature of the game. We'll continue to work so the resulting change will lean even more towards enhancement and less so towards disruption.

Pussycat Catnap

The coords I gave the bot where the landing point of my plot, but I might try moving it up by a meter to see if maybe there was some 'floor' issue or something that bounced the bot away.

Personally the service seems like a handy way of getting a preview of regions to send to someone. Though I imagine it would be invasive if its used to make pictures of people pixel bumping... anyone can TP somewhere, cam over, and do that already.

In SL, I don't worry about people camming me, only about them showing up actually inside my skybox on my furniture or something. As long as you don't bug me, I don't care if you watch me.

Rodion Resistance

@Peter, not sure if we are better at marketing. We still have a ways to go. But in regards to slPano, we were blissfully unaware of it until Mr. Dedric Mauriac's mention in his blog. Nevertheless, we do not disregard the creativeness of that app. If I can quote the prolific Torley Linden, "All creativity is temporally indebted". It applies to us as well."

-RODION

Crap Mariner

After watching the avatar rez and sit in the middle of my reading room, I had an idea for a challenge: summoning her into the middle of crazy and weird scenes.

It's time for a Blogger Challenge:

http://firstlife.isfullofcrap.com/2010/02/blogger_challenge_punk_360.html

-ls/cm

Valentina Kendal

awesome! now i don't have to log on as an alt to see who my lover is sleeping with, I can stay off line and perv from my couch! sweeet!

Kimberly Rufer-Bach

Opt-out is a nice idea, if everyone knows about it. But they don't and they won't, and Avatrian doesn't make it easy to find out, either. There isn't any information whatsoever in the bot's profile, so the impression I get from that is carelessness, which is better than possible alternative explanations. Neither do I see any way to find out if my region or my clients' regions have been filmed.

That bot's profile needs to name the company that owns the bot, an explanation of what it is doing, and a link to the company's privacy policy, along with a way to opt out. It doesn't matter if that would cost money; the burden must be on the developer, not on people who didn't choose to participate.

Filling in a profile costs nothing. Making the bot wear a box with "I'm a bot that wants to film this area" written on it is not expensive or difficult. Scripting that box to IM the region owner a message is just about as easy. Making that box clickable so that it offers information is something anyone who has a free notecard giving script can do.

Was this done?

One needs to be able to opt out not only just by banning the bot, but also must have the ability to have footage of their region or their avatar removed from the website. I'd also like to see this system notify the land owner before filming, informing them who requested it, as well as when someone views the video and who they are.

Just because something is technically possible doesn't mean it isn't rude or that it doesn't reflect badly on the company that does it. I also wonder about the developer's liability if someone uses this tool to stalk someone, or for industrial espionage. That might sound grandiose right now, but this is only a small world today, and this sets a bad precedent.

Ordinal Malaprop

You know, it is not so much the peeking ability of this sort of bot that I object to, more the appalling duplicity and rudeness of the owners in comments such as the ones above - suggesting that security scripts and parcel bans would be helpful when they're quite aware that they wouldn't be, for instance, and claiming that opt-in is some sort of terribly difficult optional feature.

In terms of actual effect, the site won't exist in a month or two and everyone will have forgotten about it.

Trinity Dechou

@Rodion

Actually SLPano provide the images themselves they don't ask anyone to take the pictures. A service where you can input co-ordinates and have a generated pano to your requirements rather than the Peek 360 service which disregards given co-ordinates when a tele-hub is involved. I am not affiliated with SLPano, but I have used the service, quite effectively on my own home sim. It also provides a spherical 360 with zooming and panning, with efficient stitching.

Qie Niangao

Flash, eh? So... not so much interested in future market share, it seems. Ah, well, the viewable output is less interesting to me than the visit itself. I so hope little Paparazzi isn't shy of damage-enabled land.

Allison

This should be "opt-in" not "opt-out."

Glaznah Gassner

2Rodion Resistance: I have no idea where did you get all this info:

- SLPano is now effectively a non-service (...they have long abandoned requests)
- their system required the requester to submit about 200 screenshots

You miss some very important info.

First of all, SLPano (http://slpano.com) still active and working, we have several URLs added daily along with panoramas. We have no abandoned request :]]

Our system requires 30 screenshots, not 200. Using 30 screenshots allows zooming and smooth full-sphere panorama.

Also, we make screenshots with 1024m depth, which increases the quality dramatically.

Rodion Resistance

@Glaznah, sorry, I believe we too were misinformed. We based the "200" figure on an article that Torley made in the SLWiki about panoramas, which was admittedly a sweeping remark, and shouldn't have referred to SLPano in particular. We have no intent of deliberately thumbing down your site/method, and I hope this comment serves as a clarification of that. Thanks for pointing out our errors.

-RODION

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