Yet another follow up (a bit long too)... (Community)

Yet another follow up (a bit long too)... // Community

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subdelta

Mar 20, 2002, 1:26am
I just wanted to post my latest message to Mr. Noll in response to his last message.

subDelta

----------


Mr. Noll,

It is a relief to hear you say that, however I am conflicted on what I should think, as I will explain here. Although I do respect
your establishment, I have seen your company lie to the users in the past regarding certain issues, as well as exhibit other acts
that leave much to be desired, and I am therefore somewhat apprehensive to take your word on exactly what will be the outcome.

Let me first state the motives behind my opinions and some background information on myself that may help you gain a better
understanding of where I am coming from. I must also say I stand by these opinions, and I will do so until you prove me wrong, at
which time I will gladly retract them.

Myself, I am a 17 year-old student from the Washington D.C. area. I currently also work as a Delinquency Control Counselor at Navy
Federal Credit Union in the loan collections department. I have been an Active Worlds/AlphaWorld user since late 1995, with a short
break in use from 1997 to 1998 (I will explain that further as I go on). As stated from my age, I was rather young when I first
entered AlphaWorld for the first time (around 12 years old).

At the time I did not have a computer capable of Internet access, though a friend of mine did, and he is the one who introduced me
to AlphaWorld initially. Continuing on, I was introduced to AlphaWorld by this friend (I believe his citizen number was in the 4000
to 6000 range, though I can't pinpoint the exact number since he never did any significant building at sites that I can remember),
but I never immigrated during that time with my own account as I just used his to do use the software, as I mostly did chatting and
only built a few objects at practice sites in various areas. I continued to use my friend's computer and the software regularly even
after my friend lost interest in the program, that is until 1997 when you bought the company any started charging. Neither my friend
nor myself had the money at the time to keep the current account, so we let it go and I didn't return to AW for some time
afterwards.

I finally returned to AW in mid-1998 as a tourist when I finally acquired my own computer capable of internet access and with
hardware more than sufficient (at the time) to run AW. I visited off and on a tourist until I decided to buy a citizenship in
January 1999, and immigrated as "M u n k u y," citizen number 294389.

From that point on I have spent much time and done many activities within AW, including a brief position as head of the AlphaWorld
Historical Society, which I eventually left due to new time constraints that came up. My current citizenship, "subDelta" (no. 1853)
was given to me by a fellow long time AW citizen, "Beefer" (no. 1638). The account was his old "Beefer2" account that was expired
and he said I was welcome to if I was willing to pay the registration fee. I re-immigrated this account in January of 2002. To be
honest, I'm glad I did it, seeing as people don't see me as a "newbie" anymore when I have in actuality been using the program for
longer than many who still do.

As far as my opinions that I stated go, I have a variety of reasons to believe them. I know you asked me where I was when you
"saved" AW, as some say, when Worlds Inc. was shutting it down in 1997. Well, I was there, and if I am correct (and please correct
me if you feel I am wrong), there was a competing offer made for the rights to the software my Mr. Gobel and Mr. Britvich, who I
assume you are familiar with (Da5id and Protagonist).

On the same note, let me state some of the issues that I feel have influenced my opinions. One of the prime issues would be the
alienation of such people as Protagonist and Dataman. Whatever your argument may be with Mr. Britvich, I find it extremely
unacceptable to deny the initial creator of a program access to it. I know many others feel much the same. As far as Dataman goes, I
know he seemed to be rather dissatisfied with you as well, and if he is telling the truth, he has good reason to be. According to
his "side of the story" you promised to pay him for the development of his RWXMod program, but you rather turned around and had it
decompiled instead so you would not have to pay him for his efforts. I do not claim that this testimony on his part is valid, though
I am inclined to believe so. But if it is, not only is it illegal, but it is unethical, and reflects very badly upon your character
and trustworthiness.

The other main issue I have a quarrel with is the way that your company handles the community aspect of AW. AlphaWorld was
originally designed as a place without any real governing force. Although there were such individuals and Protagonist and Dataman
who had an imminence at the time (even though it is known that Dataman may have abused this privilege at times), there was no real
official enforcement of "laws" as is found in AW today with such groups as the Peacekeepers. I am not one to care as much as some do
about the influence of this group as some do, though I do have issues with them limiting my free speech within AW. I am reasonable
as far as how I think someone's free speech rights should extend in AW. I believe that there should be a limit on such rights, if
say for example, someone decides to plaster giant signs with red letters reading, "I HATE JEWS!" all over AW, there should be a
governing force in place that can remove them. However, I am not too keen on the notion that they seem to try to censor
conversations at GroundZero, though I will give them credit as they seem to have lightened up on such issues recently.

AW Corp's approach towards the community leaves much to be desired as far as your management practices go. As "Silenced" posted
recently in reply to a post I made regarding this letter in the newsgroup:

"Buying out a company doesn't immediately make you a competent management..

You have to be actively participating in your product's development and
listen to your users. Telling them you're going broke because you're salary
is too high isn't what you do.... If you're losing money you don't rise prices, you lower them
in hopes to get more of a userbase and gradually increase it back, thus
creating more profit then you had before..."

I think these words are a good expression of my feeling. You need to stop and listen to the community, which it seems you have a
problem doing. Personally, I think AW is a great program with so much potential it's hard to believe it seems to be dying the way it
is (or atleast your stock prices would indicate such). If I may interject another point here, has AW ever considered other routes to
make money? Perhaps advertising? I'm sure if more people just knew this program existed it would be an instant success.

Well, that about sums up what I have to say. I welcome your comments and hope to hear from you soon.

Daniel Pawlak (subDelta)

silenced

Mar 20, 2002, 1:36am
Wow I feel honored that you used my post. :) For some reason now I feel
they're gonna come after me LoL.

--Bowen--

<snipped clean>

subdelta

Mar 20, 2002, 1:52am
I wouldn't worry ;¬)


[View Quote] --Bowen--

<snipped clean>

silenced

Mar 20, 2002, 1:55am
LoL :) I'm not really.. if they don't want me using their software.. ok I
won't. I'm not too worried.

--Bowen--

[View Quote]

your hiroshi

Mar 20, 2002, 3:07am
It's a logically formed letter. Good that you've got the guts to say it.
Probably bound to create tension, due to the use of phrases like "you
should".

I remember the COF controversy. I remember Worlds doing a universe for Intel
Research, getting paid well to do it, and then curiously getting bought out.
I recall a story about a storage space filled with office equipment and
furniture somewhere out in the Bay Area.... Worlds Chat continuing and
AlphaWorld continuing on different paths. Studio buys software company, to
do more work... Idea was to sell custom-designed worlds... Loads of them! At
300K each.

VRML Architecture Group archives have threads from original Alpha team...
Leading discussions on problems most of the group had not encountered yet.
Most members of VAG began their threads with some little problem with their
parser or their renderer. The Alpha people were struggling with collision
detection, dead-reckoning, realtime scene optimization, etc. Showdown on
VRML in 1997, Apple burned bridges and Alpha team made friends, which is
ironic since AlphaWorld was never an implementation of the SGI-centric
notion that VRML _is_ the Open Inventor format. (Pesce and Parisi never
intended VRML to be a FILE FORMAT, which is all VRML 2.0 ever really
amounted to. They would have preferred the AW implementation in that it was
at least a beginning of Pesce's "CyberSpace Protocol".) (Pesce, 1995)

One thing is sure: nobody, NOBODY would have founded a startup based on 3D
Chat if it were not for research firms such as Gartner and The Aspen
Institute publishing papers in 1995-1997 for Venture Capitalists to read,
claiming that there was going to be widespread, high-volume consumer demand
for it.

Worlds Inc. was (originally) founded by Worlds Adventure / Knowledge
Adventure, and ActiveWorlds was founded by people who wanted to GET RICH
RICH RICH on a hot new VC buzzword.

1998: Suddenly nobody in the Venture Capital world (or the press) gave a
hoot about VRML, and ActiveWorlds was twisting in the wind.

ActiveWorlds was and is a bastard child, a slave traded child, an abandoned
greedy dream that will never be treated with respect or geniune ambition by
the self-pitying carriers of its liability.

We, those who enjoy ActiveWorlds, are, from the point of view of a marketing
specialist, an insignificant minority of users who prefer something that
simply cannot compete with the only relevant competition, AOL, or MSN.

The only people in the whole world who will look out for our interests is
OURSELVES.

subdelta

Mar 20, 2002, 9:10am
VERY well said, I commend you :¬)

As far as the fact it will create tension, I intended it to be as such. I've learned in my time here that if you want to get these
people's attention you have to push the point and create controversy otherwise they just let it roll of their backs and don't
respond. Let it be noted that in my first letter to JP and Rick I did not attack their business practices and question their
capability, I rather just focused on the main point. I received no response from either of them regarding that letter after a period
of three days. This letter however, received a response the very next day. I guess Rick felt the need to defend himself regarding my
opinions, and I don't blame him for doing it; it's natural human nature to defend yourself when someone attacks you in some way,
physically or verbally.

I'm tired of just sitting back and taking it like they'd like me to do. As I stated in my letter, I once was head of the AWHS for a
period of time. During that time, I learned that to get ANYTHING done you had to kiss their asses until your lips were raw. Needless
to say this left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak, and I regret doing it. I'm through trying to suck up to them to convince them
to get what I want/feel is right. I've decided to take a more direct approach.

Peace out for now...

subDelta




[View Quote] I remember the COF controversy. I remember Worlds doing a universe for Intel
Research, getting paid well to do it, and then curiously getting bought out.
I recall a story about a storage space filled with office equipment and
furniture somewhere out in the Bay Area.... Worlds Chat continuing and
AlphaWorld continuing on different paths. Studio buys software company, to
do more work... Idea was to sell custom-designed worlds... Loads of them! At
300K each.

VRML Architecture Group archives have threads from original Alpha team...
Leading discussions on problems most of the group had not encountered yet.
Most members of VAG began their threads with some little problem with their
parser or their renderer. The Alpha people were struggling with collision
detection, dead-reckoning, realtime scene optimization, etc. Showdown on
VRML in 1997, Apple burned bridges and Alpha team made friends, which is
ironic since AlphaWorld was never an implementation of the SGI-centric
notion that VRML _is_ the Open Inventor format. (Pesce and Parisi never
intended VRML to be a FILE FORMAT, which is all VRML 2.0 ever really
amounted to. They would have preferred the AW implementation in that it was
at least a beginning of Pesce's "CyberSpace Protocol".) (Pesce, 1995)

One thing is sure: nobody, NOBODY would have founded a startup based on 3D
Chat if it were not for research firms such as Gartner and The Aspen
Institute publishing papers in 1995-1997 for Venture Capitalists to read,
claiming that there was going to be widespread, high-volume consumer demand
for it.

Worlds Inc. was (originally) founded by Worlds Adventure / Knowledge
Adventure, and ActiveWorlds was founded by people who wanted to GET RICH
RICH RICH on a hot new VC buzzword.

1998: Suddenly nobody in the Venture Capital world (or the press) gave a
hoot about VRML, and ActiveWorlds was twisting in the wind.

ActiveWorlds was and is a bastard child, a slave traded child, an abandoned
greedy dream that will never be treated with respect or geniune ambition by
the self-pitying carriers of its liability.

We, those who enjoy ActiveWorlds, are, from the point of view of a marketing
specialist, an insignificant minority of users who prefer something that
simply cannot compete with the only relevant competition, AOL, or MSN.

The only people in the whole world who will look out for our interests is
OURSELVES.

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