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“As I promised if we couldn’t figure out a way that was a win/win for folks who want complete freedom vs. a list of last names, we wouldn’t do it. We couldn’t, so we wont,” wrote Rod Humble, in an update just a few minutes ago.

It must have been a sobering time for Linden Lab’s CEO, now just over a year in the big chair. Users served up information about practical history, and longer-term Lab functionaries served up shedloads of data to back up the users’ anecdotal information.

In the end, it seems, nobody could figure out a way to make Last Names come back without causing users more trouble than it was worth.

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Nov 16 2011

2000 avatar portraits explore identity in online environments

The largest ever documentation of Second Life® avatars has reached another milestone.

Gracie Kendal, Los Angeles artist, Kristine Schomaker, in real life, has photographed her 2000th avatar and she has declared the project finished, at least for now.

Begun in October 2010, the 1000 Avatars Project is part of Gracie’s ongoing examination of online identity and anonymity. Her inworld exhibition space on Coyote is stunning and humbling with its complexity of portraits of avatars from all corners of Second Life.

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Remember that if you ran afoul of Google’s incomprehensibly capricious policy application for Google Profiles – the same policies that appear to be punishing more people using their real names than people using pseudonyms – you had an opportunity to appeal? Well, say good-bye to that option, because the administrative sanction chute has now been greased.

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I’m not actually sure if this is a problem with the research or the reporting.

Basically, what it boils down to is that it is possible to tell if the person who is using an avatar account is the person who usually uses that avatar account by checking to see if they behave differently to how they usually do.

Well, thank-you Captain Obvious.

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