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    It’s Time to Celebrate Second Life - SL16B is Officially Open!

    By Linden Lab

    SL16B is now officially open! Second Life is turning “Sweet Sixteen” -- 16 years of an incredible community and creative history that makes “SL” so unique. Of course, there is always cause for celebration on the Grid - but this is an opportunity to call out all the stops. This year’s celebrations will last longer than ever before! From today through July 8, we have packed SL16B with parties and events to mark this momentous occasion. Here’s a “first look” preview of this year’s event:
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Our community blogs

  1. Second Life’s 16th Birthday celebrations continue this week with more fun and events, including an opportunity to meet the people behind Second Life. Here’s your chance to learn more about future plans for Second Life and other behind-the-scenes information via a series of special Town Hall Q&A events at SL16B. 

    It all begins today at 2 p.m. with an opportunity to meet Senior Director of Product Operations Patch Linden. 

    ABOUT PATCH LINDEN
    Senior Director, Product Operations

    A Resident since 2004, Patch was born into Second Life in September of 2007.  In his current duties, Patch works to bring the best of product and support based decisions on a daily operational basis to the virtual world platform for Second Life, while maintaining oversight on how all of the various teams within Linden Lab can best work together for the highest good of the Residents and the business.

     

    On Tuesday, don’t miss a Q&A with Senior Director of SL Engineering Oz Linden and System Engineering Manager April Linden.

    ABOUT OZ LINDEN
    Senior Director, Second Life Engineering

    Prior to joining Second Life, Oz spent many years developing all sorts of networking code -- eventually including contributions to the development of HTTP and from there to open source SIP (voice over IP). Internet Telephony turned into something of a corporate nightmare, so he looked around for something more fun. A friend who was working at the Lab recruited Oz to help with the open source program. Since he had already played a little with Second Life, he thought that it certainly met the "fun" criteria but he had no idea just how much fun. Nine years later, Oz is responsible for Second Life Engineering and having the time of his life. He is proud to be working on a product that means so much to so many people.

    ABOUT APRIL LINDEN
    Systems Engineering Manager, Operations

    Before joining the dark side and going into management, April was an operations engineer herself for over 20 years. It’s the operations team that handles the care and feeding of the computers that power Second Life.

    April has been a Resident of Second Life since 2006, and a Linden since 2013. She adores Second Life and the power that it has to change lives by providing people a safe place to explore themselves, and giving them the courage to change their lives in positive ways.

    On Wednesday, you won’t want to miss your chance to hear directly from Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Linden about progress on improvements to Second Life and other developments in the works.

    ABOUT EBBE LINDEN
    CEO, Linden Lab

    Ebbe Altberg came to Linden Lab with more than 25 years of experience leading teams and creating software used by hundreds of millions of users. After graduating from Middlebury College he went on to work at Microsoft, where he spent most of his 12 years leading teams that created the world’s most popular productivity products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Office. 

     

    It’s all about the community on Thursday as Lead Community Manager Xiola Linden and Marketing Content Specialist Strawberry Linden take the stage.

    ABOUT XIOLA LINDEN
    Lead Community Manager

    Xiola Linden currently handles all things social media and community related for Second Life. A Resident since 2006, and a Linden since 2011, Xiola has seen how both the communities and the product have grown over the years. She truly believes in the unique talent and creativity of the Second Life community. Prior to coming to work at Linden Lab, she worked at a social gaming company heading up community and customer support teams. Working on Second Life has been a dream job come true. 

    ABOUT STRAWBERRY LINDEN
    Marketing Specialist

    Bringing her experience as a Second Life Resident and blogger for over a decade, Strawberry Linden joined Linden Lab as a Marketing Content Specialist in April of 2019. Her role solely focuses on Second Life, and she strives to create tutorials and imagery that will resonate with not only new Residents, but also the current community. 

    On Friday, you can meet the Moles who build, script and create content for the Linden Department of Public Works.

    These events are among the many happenings this week on the SL16B regions. Check out the Destination Guide and our full events calendar on our SL16B landing page to see what else is happening!

     

  2. Happy Monday!

    Today, we would like to direct your attention to our new DMCA web form. Previously, in order to file a DMCA claim, a Resident would need to send their complaint to our legal team via snail mail.  As of this week, we are proud to save our Residents some postage and provide a new, easy to use web form to complete these requests!

    DMCA - Hero image.PNG

     

    We know no one wants to be in a position to make a copyright or trademark complaint, but we also recognize that these are important tools for our Merchant and content creation partners, and we’re committed to making this process as efficient, painless, and useful as possible. We are confident that providing an online submission form for this delicate process will help us achieve those goals.

    If you believe you need to take advantage of our online submission form, please navigate your browser to https://dmca.lindenlab.com and fill out the session request form.

    DMCA - Initial Form Fill.PNG

    We will then email you a session link where you can fill out your complaint in full with the usual information. The session will remain active for 4 hours after your session request, so don’t delay!

    DMCA - Email Confirmation.PNG

    As always, all requests are subject to Linden Lab's IP Infringement Policy.  Thank you for your patience while we enter the 21st century.

     

  3. 48007961112_39b0114b7a_k.jpg

    Today's Second Life pic of the day is "F L O W E R P O W E R" by S A L T Y.

    To submit your image for Second Life Pic of the Day consideration, login to Second Life, snap some pics and add them to the Official Second Life Flickr Group.

    Be sure to check us out on social:
    Instagram
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Tumblr
    Pinterest
    Plurk

  4. Hi Residents!

    We had one of the longest periods of downtime in recent memory this week (roughly four hours!), and I want to explain what happened.

    This week we were doing much needed maintenance on the network that powers Second Life. The core routers that connect our data center to the Internet were nearing their end-of-life, and needed to be upgraded to make our cloud migration more robust.

    Replacing the core routers on a production system that’s in very active use is really tricky to get right. We were determined to do it correctly, so we spent over a month planning all of the things we were going to do, and in what order, including full rollback plans at each step. We even hired a very experienced network consultant to work with us to make sure we had a really good plan in place, all with the goal of interrupting Second Life as little as we could while improving it.

    This past Monday was the big day. A few of our engineers (including our network consultant) and myself (the team manager) arrived in the data center, ready to go.  We were going to be the eyes, ears, and hands on the ground for a different group of engineers that worked remotely to carefully follow the plan we’d laid out. It was my job to communicate what was happening at every step along the way to my fellow Lindens back at the Lab, and also to Residents via the status blog. I did this to allow the engineering team to focus on the task at hand.

    Everything started out great. We got the first new core router in place and taking traffic without any impact at all to the grid. When we started working on the second core router, however, it all went wrong.

    As part of the process of shifting traffic over to the second router, one of our engineers moved a cable to its new home. We knew that there’d be a few seconds of impact, and we were expecting that, but it was quickly clear that something somewhere didn’t work right. There was a moment of sheer horror in the data center when we realized that all traffic out of Second Life had stopped flowing, and we didn’t know why.

    After the shock had worn off we quickly decided to roll back the step that failed, but it was too late. Everyone that was logged into Second Life at the time had been logged out all at once. Concurrency across the grid fell almost instantly to zero. We decided to disable logins grid-wide and restore network connectivity to Second Life as quickly as we could.

    At this point we had a quick meeting with the various stakeholders, and agreed that since we were down already, the right thing to do was to press on and figure out what happened so that we could avoid it happening again. We got a hold of a few other folks to communicate with Residents via the status blog, social media, and forums, and I kept up with the internal communication within the Lab while the engineers debugged the issue.

    This is why logins were disabled for several hours. We were determined to figure out what had happened and fix the issue, because we very much did not want it to happen again. We’ve engineered our network in a way that any piece can fail without any loss of connectivity, so we needed to dig into this failure to understand exactly what happened.

    After almost four very intense hours of debugging, the team figured out what went wrong, worked around it, and finished up the migration to the new network gear. We reopened logins, monitored the grid as Residents returned, and went home in the middle of the night completely wiped out.

    We’ve spent the rest of this week working with the manufacturer of our network gear to correct the problem, and doing lots of testing. We’ve been able to replicate the conditions that led to the network outage, and tested our equipment to make sure it won’t happen again. (Even they were perplexed at first! It was a very tricky issue.) As of the middle of the week we’ve been able to do a full set of tests including deliberately disconnecting and shutting down a router without impact to the grid at all.

    Second Life is a really complex distributed system, and it never fails to surprise me. This week was certainly no exception.

    I also want to answer a question that’s been asked several times on the forums and other places this week. That question is “why didn’t LL tell us exactly when this maintenance was going to happen?”

    As I’ve had to blog about several other times in the past, the sad reality is that there are people out there who would use that information with ill intent. For example, we’re usually really good at handling DDoSes, but it requires our full capacity being online to do it. A DDoS hitting at the same time our network maintenance was in progress would have made the downtime much longer than it already was.

    We always want what’s best for Second Life. We love SL, too. We have to make careful decisions, even if it comes at the expense of being vague at times. I wish this wasn’t the case, but sadly, it very much is.

    We’re really sorry about this week’s downtime. We did everything we possibly could have to try to avoid it, and yet it still happened. I feel terrible about that.

    The week was pretty awful, but does have a great silver lining. Second Life is now up and running with new core routers that are much more powerful than anything we’ve had before, and we’ve had a chance to do a lot of failure testing. It’s been a rough week, but the grid is in better shape as a result.

    Thanks for your patience as we recovered from this unexpected event. It’s been really encouraging to see the support some folks have been giving us since the outage. Thank you, you’ve really helped cheer a lot of us up. ❤️
     

    Until the next time,
    April Linden
    Second Life Operations Manager

     

  5. We’re happy to announce some great changes for Estate Managers which rolled out in Tuesday’s Viewer Release.

    This shiny new viewer is a brave foray into improving the state of Estate Access Management! We can’t wait to see what you think about it. Here’s what you’ll find:

    •  New “Access” tab in the Region/Estate floater with subtabs for “Estate Managers”, “Allowed”, “Allowed Groups”, and “Banned”
      • Recording banned date, banned by, and last login for each banned account †
      • Search & Sort within each of the sub-tabs
      • Copy Banlist & Allowed-list
      • Added a confirmation for adding or removing from a list
      • More Estate Managers!
      • We’re upping the number to 15. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

    † these features only available going forward.

    Known Issues

    • There is currently an issue where newly added Estate Managers will need to relog in order to view access lists. A fix for this will be arriving in an upcoming server release.

    As always, please file a Jira to tell us about any problems you discover or request additions or feature changes to this functionality.

     

  6.  

    Hello Residents of Second Life!  

    Over the last few days, Residents using certain email providers may have noticed that they are not receiving all email notifications for events such as Marketplace purchases and Offline Messages.  

    Email has come a long way since it was first introduced to the world in the 1960s. There are many factors that affect the deliver-ability of a message, and algorithms which affect it are constantly being updated.  Sometimes things go awry despite best intentions - such as certain phrases being flagged as indicative of spam, or the volume of messages sent in a certain time frame.

    Second Life is a complex beast and not all our email sending practices are as good as they could be. We are re-examining these practices and we’re going to do better to make sure our Residents are able to get the information they need.

    There are some things you, as the recipient, can also do to better ensure deliver-ability, such as having email filters, white-listing certain contacts, checking your spam folder and marking legitimate messages “Not Spam,” and even contacting your email providers about certain emails.

    If you are experiencing issues receiving emails from us, you may also want to consider updating your email temporarily to a different provider (for example if @yahoo emails are failing, try a @gmail account), verifying your email address with us (offline IMs, friendship offers, auctions, etc all require a verified address), and white-listing (add sender to contacts) Second Life messages to ensure you receive them in the future. It’s always best to use an email account that is only accessible by you.  

    We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused and will provide updates once available.

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