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Tonight is the night when weeks or months of planning costumes, makeup and hair comes to its glorious fruition. Or, perhaps you prefer to masterfully throw something together last minute that looks like you spent months on it. Either way, there’s no denying that Halloween is one of Second Life’s biggest holidays and one that Residents enjoy to the fullest.

What are your Second Life Halloween plans? Are you looking to scare yourself silly, explore fantastical locales or party the night away? Check out these great destinations from the Second Life Destination Guide!

We’ve scared up just a few of the many great places you can wander this Hallow’s Eve. Explore an exciting look at el Dia de los Muertos, or wander through an abandoned steampunk island town. Enjoy not one, but two exciting Halloween hunts before stopping by a beloved clothing designer celebrating a full ten years on the grid. Lastly, be sure you visit the Haunted Halloween Tour before it vanishes. Just be sure you’re ready for quite a fright!

Happy Halloween to all!

Smithsonian Dia De Los Muertos Festival

The Smithsonian Latino Center in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso are proud to present a Day of the Dead 3D experience, Oct 29 through Nov 2, 2014. Join them in celebrating Latino cultural heritage through this holiday for honoring both the dead and the cycle of life and death. There'll be a Halloween dance party, dead poets reading, ofrendas, a meso-ballgame tournament, costume contests, music, art and more!

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Little Town by Cica Ghost

The inhabitants of Cica Ghost's Little Town have all disappeared for the day, are they just hiding? Take this chance to to explore their quirky, curious, humorously delightful island.

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Terror-iffic

Terror-iffic is a annual quality L$5 Halloween Hunt, bringing together the love of all things Halloween to stores across the grid each October. 100% original content creators bring back the spooky, fun and cute to celebrate the love of all things Halloween, tricks and treat hunting. Come celebrate Halloween like never before, be sure to make it Terror-iffic!

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Second Pride Halloween 2014

Come to Second Pride's 2014 Halloween festival October 25th through November 1st for live performances all week leading up to Halloween. Voodoo is open 24/7 for your haunted exploration. Be sure to check out the haunted mansion, the fun house, the pumpkin hunt and more. Check out the performance schedule at http://bit.ly/1tarW2g.

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DE Designs

Offers original clothing for men and women including formal wear, casual attire, shoes, lingerie, dresses, and themed items.

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Haunted Halloween Tour

What will you do this Halloween? Help children with a sugar fix? Buy overpriced masks from big-box stores? Do something different, something frightening and fun. Linden Lab is proud to present the Haunted Halloween Tour. Strap in and prepare to experience haunts, ghouls, death, scares, and a descent through madness itself. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart!

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If you know some great spots missing from our Destination Guide, please drop us a line to let us know about them.

Performance, Performance, Performance!

by Community Manager ‎10-30-2014 12:18 PM - edited ‎10-31-2014 11:39 AM

Has Second Life seemed a bit faster for you lately? Improving performance for all Second Life users has been an important focus for us at Linden Lab, and we’ve recently seen some great results from several projects that should make your Second Life experiences faster, smoother, and more reliable.

 

Speeding Up the Marketplace
If you visit the Marketplace today, you should be seeing a much snappier experience than in the past. We recently deployed infrastructure upgrades for the Marketplace, and the site has since shown some of the best performance we’ve ever seen from it. Even during peak usage periods over the weekend, when in the past performance would degrade, we’re seeing response times that average 70% faster and page load times that are 30% faster than before the changes.

 

Improving Group Chat
Last week, we also deployed new group chat server configurations. Our internal metrics are showing dramatic improvements in group chat performance, and we hope that you’re seeing that in your own experience as well. We are still seeing some cases in which performance for some groups degrades for shorter periods of time than before, and we are continuing to investigate and make changes; the project isn't finished, but we've made a lot of progress.

 

Faster Texture & Mesh Loading
The entire grid is now using a CDN service for textures and meshes. This change means that textures and meshes should load more quickly, particularly for those who login to Second Life from places that are far from our US data centers. Our testing showed dramatic improvements: average download times for textures and meshes have been reduced by more than 50% on average, and the improvement is even more dramatic outside of North America.

 

Quicker Viewer-Server Communications
Another way we’re enhancing Second Life performance is through our HTTP project, which improves the way your Viewer communicates with grid services. With the HTTP Project Viewer out now, the faster content download times you’ll see thanks to the CDN change get even better - we’re talking 80% faster!

As you look for these improvements, please bear in mind this important note from Oz Linden:

The CDN (and HTTP in those viewers that have them) improvements for texture and mesh data are improvements to how long it takes to download the data. Once they've been downloaded, your viewer caches them locally so the next time you need that data it doesn't need to download them at all. What that means is that these improvements mostly affect how quickly you see new things: places and objects you've never seen before. You probably won't see a big difference in familiar places because your viewer should be using cached data for those.

So... now's the time to try checking out places you've never seen before!

The use of pipelined HTTP for the initial load of your inventory when you log in matters every time, since while we cache some inventory data locally we always make sure it's correct by loading it all at the beginning of your session. 

So, How’s Second Life Performing for You?

Performance improvements are generally behind-the-scenes work, and we know it’s not always as exciting as rolling out a new feature, but these changes directly impact all our Second Life experiences and our daily lives inworld. We hope you’re starting to notice the effects of these improvements - if you are, please let us know in the Forums, on Twitter, or however you prefer.

Don't forget to grab the latest Official Viewer to experience the improvements. 

 

We interrupt this month’s bevy of doom and gloom Halloween themed destinations for some bright and light destinations - but don’t get scared - we’ll return with more delightfully dark treats next week. So stay tuned!

This week, the Second Life Destination Guide Highlights leads off with an inworld stroll to help raise Breast Cancer awareness. The event starts Sunday morning, at 9 AM PST - so set your clocks.

There’s also an intimate and atmospheric art gallery, some wild music venues, and a chance for you to party your way through Burn2 on the open pixel-playa!

And for those of you (like us!) who just can’t get enough trick or treat fun, peruse a shop filled with Halloween and autumn decorations or traverse an island spawned from darkest nightmare. We couldn’t help but include a little seasonal fun.

Hoping to get your cool spot in the Destination Guide? Share it.

See what other people are up to on the Official Second Life Flickr Page.

 

Making Strides Walk

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the official breast cancer charity of the American Cancer Society. The Making Strides Walk is an annual event in honor of breast cancer awareness and fundraising. Join the very first Strides Walk on October 26th as everyone makes strides to promote awareness, honor caregivers and survivors and remember those lost. For more information, visit www.makingstridessl.org.

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Petit Chat Art Gallery

Underneath a southern French garden soothed by a concert of cicadas stands a dark and peaceful art gallery. The artist, Trinity Yazimoto, gives an ode to the beauty of Second Life. Come see her she gives her whimsical view of both Second Life and life in general. After the visit, why not follow the ladder to a superb garden landscaped by Trixxie Nitely?

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Burn2

A festival of fire, art and community in Second Life, Burn2 is the virtual world version of the real life Burning Man community festival. Burn2 is a unique culture which seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising.

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SoulForge Electronica

SoulForge Electronica was built by and for lovers of electronic music to present artists from all areas of the genre. Their artist-created mixes are unmistakable and helped to shape the world of sound in Second Life. It is also place for new DJ’s to achieve in private parties and open stages. Come explore the 10 clubs and three open stages of SoulForge.

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Halloween at Snuggles

Come to Halloween at Snuggles to find everything, from spooky Halloween stuff to cute Autumn decorations. With over two sims to wander through, your sure to find just what your looking for.

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Mystic Haunted Island

Enter if you dare! Ghost, ghouls, zombies, spiders, pirates and more await in Mystic Haunted Island, hidden amongst mist and tombstones. Float a boat along the river, be sure to set your environment to region default to see the blood river at its best and bloodiest. Wander through and enjoy, if you think you'll survive...

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This Sunday, October 26th, at 9 AM PST you can be a part of Second Life history by attending the 1st Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Second Life.

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Make strides to promote awareness, support caregivers and survivors, and honor those who have passed.

The event takes place at the Making Strides Walk location here.

Lace up your most comfortable virtual shoes and show your support by showing up.

For specifics about the event, how it works and who it benefits, you can visit the official Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Across Second Life blog.

 

This time of the year ( and well, all year, really!), residents take pride in pushing dressing up to a whole new level - but as the rollicking extravaganza that is Halloween tears through, leaving ghosts and candy in its wake, the spirit of costuming is off the charts! So embrace the fun, Second Life-style, and partake in some fiendishly fun outfits before exploring yet more of Second Life’s most frightful and delightful offerings!

Go on a journey into the mouth of madness at the Haunted Halloween Tour - a treat from the mad scientists at the Linden Lab for everyone. If you survive that ride, wander an outdoor haunting with scenes guaranteed to chill even the bravest of viewers, or find the perfect makeup and costumes at some seasonally festive shopping events. After all that, you may want to take a moment to reacquaint yourself with the earthly realms and visit a charity festival in support of breast cancer research.

Don’t forget to share those ghoulish discoveries on the official Second Life Flickr Page and enter them to the 2014 Second Life Fab-OO-lous Snapshot Contest for a chance to win some L$s.

Do you prefer your Halloweens dark and gritty or bright and candy-filled? Let us know and show us your Halloween spirit!

Haunted Halloween Tour

What will you do this Halloween? Help children with a sugar fix? Buy overpriced masks from big-box stores? Do something different, something frightening and fun. Linden Lab is proud to present the Haunted Halloween Tour. Strap in and prepare to experience haunts, ghouls, death, scares, and a descent through madness itself. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart!

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Damned Divine Haunted House

Come visit the Damned Divine sim-wide haunted house experience! Will you survive the many and varied intricately-terrifying horror zones?

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The Cosmetics Fair Halloween Edition

Running from through October 31st, the Cosmetics Fair Halloween Edition is a great place for all your makeup, henna, freckles, blushes... Know what? Come here for all of it.

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Bloody Horror Fair

Running from October 15th through November 5th, the Bloody Horror Fair is a place of dark deals and delightfully grim fashion. Come see a host of vendors offering everything your dark heart desires in this darkly atmospheric locale.

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Cure Con Festival 2014

Cure Con is a nerdy/geeky/gamer-themed event with a heavy focus on pink, breast cancer awareness, costuming and cosplay. Come see amazing items from some of Second Life's nerdiest designers! For more information, be sure to visit http://bit.ly/1w43EJA.

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Limited 50% off Premium*, New Premium Gifts, & Halloween Treats for Everyone!

by Community Manager ‎10-15-2014 10:34 AM - edited ‎10-16-2014 08:36 AM

Limited Time Only! 50% off Premium Membership & Premium Perks
For a limited time, you can get a Premium Second Life Membership for 50 percent off*! Upgrade now at half-off and enjoy premium perks, including brand new premium gifts.

Perks for Premium subscribers include a a L$1000 sign-up bonus, exclusive access to Premium Sandboxes (special areas inworld where you can build objects, rez purchased items and meet other creative users), a weekly L$ stipend to spend on whatever you like, your own home, and special free gifts.

Limited Edition Premium Gifts
Just in time for Halloween, we have some new gifts for Premium subscribers - the bag of treats includes jack o'lanterns, witches’ brooms and more - including a bone-shaking skeleton avatar to haunt your favorite spooky spots in. Go Premium, then pick up your gifts at the inworld Gift Kiosks.

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Haunted Halloween Tour for Everyone - Oculus Rift or Regular Experiences Available
There’s also a special treat for everyone! Come visit the Haunted Halloween Tour and ride through a terrifying gauntlet of thrills and chills! For those who dare, step through the Halloween path from the Portal Park. If you have an Oculus Rift, you can check out the tour’s VR option - just grab the latest Project Viewer to get started.

 

Second Life Fab-OO-lous Snapshot Contest

Last, but certainly not least - we know how much you love to dress up and show off your seasonal side this time of year - so why not join us on the forums for Second Life’s Fa-BOO-lous Snapshot Contest. Your frightful and delightful snapshots could win you L$10,000, L$5,000, L$3,000, or L$1,000!

Happy Halloween!

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*TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT
This limited-time discount offer is available only for memberships on the Quarterly billing plan. Discount will be applied to the first quarterly billing cycle only, and all future charges will be at the regular Premium price; price will return to USD 22.50, excluding VAT where applicable. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Wednesday the 15th of October at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Monday the 3rd of November 2014 at 08:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST).

In March, OnLive introduced SL Go - a service that brings the Second Life Viewer to mobile devices. The service had previously been available for Android devices, but today brings an exciting expansion: SL Go is now available for the iPad!

With SL Go, you can now access Second Life on your iPad using Wi-Fi or 4G LTE and enjoy a high-fidelity experience with great graphics quality, full shaders, shadows, and full motion capability. SL Go gives you access to the full Second Life Viewer interface, including edit menus, inventory, preference settings and chat management, adding intuitive touch controls.

To use SL Go on your iPad, you’ll need an OnLive account to launch the app, and then you’ll log into Second Life with the same credentials you’ve always used. To learn more about SL Go, including pricing and regional availability, and to get started with a free trial, visit https://games.onlive.com/landing/slgo

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A few months ago, we released a Project Viewer that made it possible to use the first generation Oculus Rift development kit (DK1) anywhere in Second Life.

Since then, Oculus Rift has released a second generation development kit, DK2. The new hardware offers an even more immersive experience when used with Second Life - there’s less likelihood of feeling motion sick thanks to the motion-tracking features, and less of the “screen-door effect” on the visuals, thanks to higher resolution and brighter display.

We’ve integrated the DK2 with Second Life, and today are releasing a new Project Viewer so that virtual reality enthusiasts with the DK2 can use it anywhere in Second Life, just as DK1 users can.

Unfortunately, though, there are still some bugs impacting the experience, which we won’t be able to fix until we receive the next SDK from Oculus Rift. Because Second Life uses OpenGL in its browser, we cannot support direct mode in the Rift until Oculus releases a version of the SDK that supports that.

In addition, juddering is an issue (as it is with most DK2 demos).This can be significantly improved on Windows by turning off Aero, which allows the Rift to use its full refresh rate rather than being limited to the refresh rate of the primary monitor. This refresh rate is a major factor in the judder and turning off Aero can significantly improve your experience.

We’ll continue to fix bugs and improve the experience as quickly as we can once we get the next SDK, but in the meantime, we wanted to get this Project Viewer out into testers’ hands. If you have an Oculus Rift development kit, you can download the new Project Viewer here.

Here again is our video to help you get started using the Oculus Rift with Second Life.

 

You’ve fared well thus far, traveler, and survived last week’s itinerary of terror with body and mind mostly intact. Perhaps you’re up for some more frightening scares? We double dog dare you to test your bravery against this next round of Halloween fun courtesy of the Second Life Destination Guide.

Start your voyage in a techni-colored Halloween village with a frighteningly fun tour before fending off the ravenous dead in a sweltering bayou. Lose yourself in a dank cavern system and wander through a dark neighborhood perfect for some trick-or-treating. Will you escape two uniquely haunted forest parks?

Think you’ve got something scarier, or just a cool spot in general? Share it with us! Snapshot those scary moments and submit them to the  official Second Life Flickr Page - you could end up being a featured Pic of the Day!

2014 Halloween Town

Halloween Town is full of shops for all of your Halloween needs, from party food to costumes. Go from spectator to participant at the haunted house as you pay tribute to the greatest horror movies of all time.

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Zombie Bayou

Welcome to the bayou, come join in a small hunt for Halloween! Zombie Bayou's a fun place to hang out, enjoy each other's company, do some trick or treating, watch a movie, maybe even shop a little. Most of all, have fun. Just... You know... Beware of the zombies.

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Caverns of Doom

Marcy Mansion is not your typical haunted house. Below the mansion are the infamous Caverns of Doom, spanning three full sims. Will you find the entrances, explore the labyrinthine tunnels, fight off zombies and the hellhounds, take a ride with the Ferryman and find the Aztec ruins? There are hidden doors to a secret laboratories and old cemeteries. Explore if you dare, but beware the danger that lurks around every corner...

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Havenhollow Returns

Holiday Appreciation Association presents Havenhollow Returns, an interactive neighborhood featuring a door to door trick-or-treating experience. Trick or be treated, leave no stone unturned or corner unexplored. This town is packed with fun, mystery, and excitement for you and your friends to experience together. Many surprises await in fog-lit Havenhollow Returns. Discover them soon.

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Masoma County Haunted Halloween Sim

Masoma County welcomes you to 2014's Haunted Halloween Sim. Feeling the itch for a bit of suspense and frightful sights? Follow the foggy path and hope you make it out alive. Wander around, searching all of the hidden destinations, but he sure to watch your back. Who knows what could be following you. Do you dare to take cover in the Haunted or Horror house?

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Nightmare at the Park

That eerie feeling crossing a darkened bridge in the night, where trees howl and ghosts wail... Walk dark foggy paths, chased by unseen presences. Will you find out what lurks in the shadows of the night? Or will you delve into the hilltop house of fright? Grab a flashlight, you'll need it. The perfect Halloween is the one you never forget. No matter how hard you want to.

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A chill wind howls through moonlit trees. Pumpkins smile fiery grins as children cackle through masks with candy-breath. This can only mean one thing - Halloween approaches.

Allow the Destination Guide to be your host during this magical and uncertain holiday. So step into the boat, pay your two coins and let the river boat take you where it will. Don’t mind those clocked figures at the helm - they’ve made this trip millions of times.

Your first stop is a cheery spot filled with friendly ghosts and cute Jack-o-lanterns. If you think you’re ready for it, the next stop is a lantern-lit tour through gore-clotted and dangerous locales. Survivors might even let their guard down for live music as a popular hangout succumbs to the enchanting spell of Halloween. All rides end at the aptly-named Screaming Woods.

Join the fun and terrify us with a new creation, and share your survival shots on the Official Second Life Flickr Page.

Haunted Forest

Come visit the Haunted Forest this Halloween. Find scavenger hunts, ghosts, skeletons and more!

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Return of the Nightmare Walkthrough

Satisfy your hunger for terror with the Return of the Nightmare Walkthrough. Celebrate Halloween with a fresh house of horrors and a free hunt for prizes. Face your fears, hunt for pumpkins, and get lost in the maze of terrors in this October-only event!

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Halloween Rock and Shock 2014

Celebrities Hangout presents Halloween Rock and Shock 2014, a journey into your darkest nightmares! Visit the haunted island, take the canoe ride to the psycho village and see if you can survive the madness. They've got live trick or treats, concerts and rock parties.

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Screaming Woods

Welcome to Screaming Woods. Not feeling well? You are in luck, the doctors will be ever so delighted to see you! Right before they check you into the asylum. So come, join the spookily haunted Screaming Woods, where there are lots of fun things to see. Most of the props are interactive, so be sure to take lots of pictures and tell your friends. At Screaming Woods, the name says it all.

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