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Linden Lab

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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Linden Lab

Today, we’re introducing Second Life Share or SLShare for short. It’s a new feature that makes it easy to share things from Second Life with your friends on Facebook.

SLShare is a new, 100% opt-in Viewer feature that will allow you to easily update your Facebook status, share photos, and check-in from Second Life locations to your Facebook wall.

Whether you’re at a great inworld event and want to let your Facebook friends know where to join you, want to show off a photo of your avatar modeling your latest Marketplace purchase, or just share a thought inspired by your inworld explorations, SLShare makes it easy to share pieces of your Second Life experiences with your Facebook network.

Check out this

introduction for more info.

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SLShare isn’t yet available for everyone, but starting today, a certain percentage of users will begin to be able to access the feature, and we’ll soon rolling it out to everyone.

UPDATE - Oct. 1, 2013: we're ready to expand the testing group for SLShare! If you'd like to give it a try, you can download the RC Viewer with SLShare feature here.

 

 

 

Linden Lab

Oh, we have some fun things to share today. Big news on Search and Lighting and Shadows.

New Search Beta Makes Finding People, Places, Events, and Things Much Easier
In the latest version of SL Viewer (2.7.1) released today, we’re introducing the new Search beta as the standard search technology that helps you find interesting people, places, events, items for sale, and other things to make your inworld experience more fun, collaborative, and meaningful.

In addition to the cool things that we mentioned in the Search Project Viewer blog post, here are a few new items that will make searching a breeze:

  • Enhanced Classified Listings: You can now search classified ads in the beta. So, whether you are searching for a seller, item, or store, you’ll be able to find them quickly and easily.
  • Sorting is a Snap in People, Places, Groups, Events, and Land: Handy sorting features are now available in several popular categories. For example, when searching for people, you can sort by either User Name or Display Name. When searching for events, you can sort by name, or by when an event is scheduled to occur. When searching for land, you can sort by name, price, area, and more. Nice, huh?  And we’ll be adding more sorting options in the future!
  • Featured Land listings: Not only are we making land listings easier to navigate, but we’ve added featured land listings to the main page. Take a look at the Land & Rentals tab on the search homepage for quick links to available properties!

We’ve also added a few subtle, but helpful, usability enhancements—all based on Resident feedback. Those include going back to the check box as an option to click when searching for mature content, adding wildcard searches to the people tab (ex: rod* lin* finds Rodvik Linden), highlighting search terms in results, saving your place in search results when you reopen search, and making it easier to open and close search results. So, big thanks to those who took the time to send feedback in the Search Project Viewer. We got some terrific suggestions.

SL Viewer Search is still in beta and we continue to smash bugs, tweak relevance, add features, and optimize it for international Residents. So, let us know what you think by sharing your suggestions by clicking the “Feedback” link at the top of the Search window.

Real-Time Lighting and Shadows Brings a New Dimension to Second Life
You might have noticed the cool log-in screen images with shadows that give them greater dimensionality and lifelike feeling. Now, you can have them too. This version of the SL Viewer introduces dynamic lighting for multiple local lighting sources, as well as high quality real-time shadows from the sun or moon.

And, it’s easy to enable. In the SL Viewer’s Advanced mode, choose Me > Preferences, go to the Graphics tab, click the Advanced button, and just check Lighting and Shadows. (If your graphics card can’t support this option, then it won’t be available.) Then, you will experience the magic of Second Life like never before.  For more information, see Lighting and Shadows.

So, download the latest SL Viewer today and we’ll see you inworld!

Download SL Viewer (2.7.1):

Helpful Links:



Linden Lab

With so many ways for users to communicate with one another in Second Life, there are quite a few communications tools in the Viewer. To make it easier to find, learn and use these tools, today we released a project Viewer that introduces CHUI (Communications Hub User Interface). In addition to bringing most of these communications tools “under one roof,” CHUI also introduces some new and improved features.

One new feature is the Conversation Log, which provides a list of all the conversations you’ve had in the last 30 days. This includes IMs received from both friends and non-friends while you were offline. From the Conversation Log you can open the entire history of your communication with another person, so you no longer need to search for it on your computer’s hard drive. (You just need to choose the option of saving chat logs on your computer for this feature to work.)

A feature already in SL is the ability to open a conference chat by selecting multiple people from your friends list, and with a right-click, create a private IM session with all of them. In CHUI, you can now add people to a conference chat after it’s started, or add someone to an existing one-on-one IM session.

CHUI also makes it easier to move your voice connection among your open conversations, including nearby chat, private IM, conference chat or group chat. Click the “add voice” button on any conversation to move your voice connection to that conversation. Click the “hang up” button and your voice connection is returned to nearby chat.

In addition, you are now able to access your chat preferences in a single click from the Conversation window.  You can change the volume of a single person’s voice by simply clicking on that person’s speaking icon in the Conversations window.  In CHUI, the chat entry box expands to multiple lines as you type.

On the People window, we added a tab for blocked people and objects, so you no longer need to open a menu to see this list. It is also easier to unblock someone if you change your mind.

We are still working on making notifications more consistent and user-controllable. Depending on the type of incoming communication, you will be able to choose a notification style, such as a flashing button, a sound, or no notification at all. You’ll also be able to choose distinct notification types for friends and non-friends, as well as for those times when you’re busy and you’d prefer to be interrupted only by friends. We’re also in the process of moving the voice morphing capability so it will be easier to find and use.

On the People window, Conversations window, and Conversation Log window, we have moved the buttons to the top, where they are easier to see. In addition, we are leaving space for more buttons because there’s always room for improvement -- and because we expect you will have great ideas for more new features.

We’ve been testing CHUI inside Linden Lab for some time, but any major redesign requires a lot of people using it to make it as smooth and useful as it can be. This is where you come in.

Please think about these questions as you use the CHUI project viewer:

  • Are the new features useful?
  • Do the functions you commonly use seem more streamlined, or do they require more clicks than before?
  • Are all of the functions, both old and new, easy to find?

We’ll ask you to complete a survey in approximately one week to gather your thoughts on these questions.

If you find a bug, there’s a good chance we’re aware of it.  Please check the list of open issues and report yours at https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/chuibug

We look forward to hearing what you think and hope that you find CHUI to be as much of an improvement as we do.

Linden Lab

Magellan Linden put the moles to work building a theme park on the latest hunk of land discovered in Second Life… but something’s gone horribly wrong!

Uncover the mystery of a menacing plan and explore six exciting regions teeming with dinosaurs and valuable collectibles in PaleoQuest. The evil Dr. Talpa has mangled space and time - colliding past, present, and future into a single point in time - which happens to be at the PaleoQuest Theme Park. Are you the dashing hero the world needs to stop Dr. Talpa from taking over? The rewards are great - but so is the risk! Dare the treacherous obstacles that lay in waiting,  and uncover a wealth of hidden tools and items that will aid you in your quest for fame and adventure. Fortune may await those with bravery and determination - you can redeem your findings for prizes and Linden Dollars!*

 

 

You’re Really Going to Dig This!

Each zone of the park contains its own challenges and collectibles. Finish one in order to unlock the next.Track your status on your HUD as you complete main quests. It won’t be easy! Each turn could hold unknown threats like quicksand, falling rocks, flesh-eating plants, or dangerous dinosaurs. Oh, did we forget to mention those? Try to avoid any and all of these risks - as an encounter could mean losing your collectibles.

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Think you’re ready to take on PaleoQuest? Just take your ticket to the entrance and leave your fear at the gate!

 

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PaleoQuest

Play PaleoQuest, Second Life’s new dinosaur adventure, for fun and prizes! Collect ancient artifacts, rocks, and more as you explore the island - then redeem them for gifts and even Linden Dollars!

Visit in Second Life

A full tutorial video on how to play PaleoQuest is available

.

*Provided on a commercially reasonable, “as is” and “as available” basis, without warranties or conditions of any kind. Linden Lab does not ensure continuous or error-free access, use or availability of any content, prize, reward, feature, gameplay or server and may change, modify, disable, suspend, or remove any such content, prize, reward, feature, gameplay, or server at its sole discretion.

Linden Lab

This week, the server component of Project Sunshine will go live across the entire grid! This means that all the improvements we discussed in our previous post will be available to everyone in Second Life.

It’s important to remember that you need to be using an up-to-date Viewer to enjoy these improvements. If you’re still using an outdated Viewer, the server-side changes rolling out now will cause you to see some avatars as broken or incomplete. As of this week, all avatars will be using the new system and will appear broken to you if you don't update.  

If you haven’t already, please update your Viewer now and enjoy Sunshine!

Catch a look at what Project Sunshine has to offer

.

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Linden Lab

It’s a new year, and we have news: Second Life is now available on Amazon! 

In addition to the standard Mac and PC versions, we’re offering several bundled packages for sale, which include vehicles to enjoy and L$ to spend inworld or on the Marketplace.

As a special promotion, this weekend only the Starter Vehicle Pack (usually $9.95), which includes a hoverboard and L$1000 will be available for FREE [limit one per customer].

If a friend of yours has been waiting to join Second Life, now is a great chance for them to head over to Amazon and get started with the free Starter Vehicle Pack. Spread the word!

Linden Lab

UPDATE: As of Ocrober 4, 2016, this offer has expired.

 

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In November, we lowered the set-up fees for land purchases by 40%. Today, we’re introducing a limited-time offer that will make land even cheaper by allowing you to lower your monthly tier payments (aka land maintenance fees).

From today until October 4th, 2016, you can “buy-down” your Full Islands and/or Homesteads to the grandfathered maintenance rates. By paying a one-time fee up front, you’ll be entitled to lower tier rates on your land for as long as you hold it (and remember, we now also allow transferring grandfathered land).

The pricing for this offer is as follows:

 

  • Full Island:
    • One-time buy-down fee: $600
    • Grandfathered maintenance fee: $195/month (regularly $295/month)
  • Homestead:
    • One-time buy-down fee: $180
    • Grandfathered maintenance fee: $95/month (regularly $125/month)

 Note: This offer cannot be combined with our Education and Non-Profit discount program, and cannot be applied to Skill Gaming Regions.

If you plan to hold onto your land for longer than 6 months, this is a great deal for you!

To take advantage of this offer, you’ll need to submit a Support Case using the Land & Region -> Region Buy Down case type. In that case you can provide us with the names of the regions you would like to buy down, and we will assess the appropriate buy-down fee per region.

Linden Lab

As we’ve previously blogged about, the next step for Project Sunshine, which will improve avatar loading performance, is a server-side update. Early next week, we will be starting to roll out those changes, which are the “heavy lifting” portion of Sunshine. Once the updates have rolled out, all avatar data will be rendered on Second Life’s servers, rather than on your computer. Because your local machine won’t have to render that data, you should start to see better reliability and improved performance across the grid.

It’s important to remember that you need to be using an up-to-date Viewer to enjoy these improvements. If you’re still using an outdated Viewer, the server-side changes rolling out now will cause you to see some avatars as broken or incomplete. Soon all avatars will be using the new system and will appear broken to you if you don't update.  

What new features are coming with Sunshine? Watch this

to find out.

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So don’t be left out in the cold, update your Viewer today, and let the Sunshine in!

Rodvik Linden

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a little while since I last updated folks on Second Life.

Earlier this year, I noted several areas we would be focusing on. Let me update you on each area and share with you our plans for the remainder of the year.

But first, we’d like to give a warm welcome to our newbies! August was the biggest growth month for Second Life in nearly four years! I hope you all take the time to try out the many different activities in Second Life
there’s everything from clubbing to boating. You might even to want to try your hand at making something new. As a side note, one of the easiest ways to find new things is to check out the Destination Guide in the log-in screen of the viewer.


Now, back to our areas of focus at Linden Lab:


Usability 

With the Basic mode, which we rapidly deployed, new users can now more easily find things, move around the world and manipulate the camera. This has really helped people walk and talk, as well as getting newbies up and running. But it has its limits particularly when it comes to participating in the economy and creating things. Soon you will see us merge the Basic and Advanced modes, which will eliminate the need to switch. All functionality will be in one mode with easier-to-use controls. After these modes are merged and deployed, you can expect us to release an improved UI into the viewer. This should be a lot more flexible for user flow for all users.

Deploy Mesh

Thankfully, this massive feature got deployed on time. Many new creators joined Second Life so they can use their Mesh skills, and some of the creations I’ve seen are truly spectacular.

Improved Service

Although our response times have improved, we realize that we still have a ways to go. You can expect continued investment and focus in this area to include expanded support staffing, as well new features (similar to the estate tools we rolled out earlier this year) and revised policies to make the Second Life experience much better for customers.

Better Customer Value

Last month, we added exclusive Premium areas such as sandboxes (places where you can go and create), as well as free items. You can expect more exclusive areas, items and features in the months ahead. We have been really pleased by the positive response to Premium by our residents. In fact, last week we reached the highest number of Linden Homes ever. We hope these new Linden Home owners will enjoy their newfound land ownership and check out other ways that Land is available on the Second Life Land Store and through private estate purchases and rentals found through Second Life Search.

You can sign up for Premium right here!

Shiny New Things

Because worlds feel most vibrant when they are full of life, our next project for Second Life is the ability to make “life” within it. Second Life has more than a million real people in it every month, as well as many artificial creatures and people – however, our creation tools have not made it particularly easy for the content creators to build high-quality entities.

Over the next few months (with testing most likely starting in December), we will be rolling out a series of more advanced features. These will make the creation of artificial life and artificial people much smoother. For starters, we'll unveil a new, robust pathfinding system that will allow objects to intelligently navigate around the world avoiding obstacles. Imagine being able to create advanced pets, creatures or even a living town where non-player characters are walking about. Combined with the experience tools I mentioned above, it should soon be possible to create more advanced MMORPG’s or interactive experiences which use AI right within Second Life.

I will touch base again in a few months when we have delivered a few more things. Thank you again for being a customer! I hope you enjoy your time in Second Life, whether that has been for years or you have only just joined.

 

Rodvik

 

Linden Lab

When you log in to the Second Life Viewer today, you’ll be asked to accept an updated Terms of Service. As with any legal document, it’s important to read in its entirety before accepting, but we wanted to highlight one of the changes we’ve made in this update: to better protect Second Life users against fraud, the updated Terms of Service make it clear that trading of Linden dollars (L$) on exchanges other than the LindeX, Second Life’s official L$ exchange, is not authorized or allowed.

 As the official exchange owned and operated by Linden Lab, the LindeX is the best place to buy and sell L$ for use in Second Life. It consistently offers the best rates for both buyers and sellers, and by limiting L$ trading to the exchange we operate, we are better able to protect users against fraudulent activity.

 The majority of Second Life users who purchase L$ do so through the Second Life Viewer by clicking on the “Buy L$” button. There will be no change to that function, as these orders are placed directly through the LindeX. Similarly, shopping on Marketplace will not be impacted.

 If you haven’t used the LindeX before, check out this Knowledge Base article and the

below for more information: 

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Linden Lab

UPDATE: 02/05/2014

Fitted mesh is here! Find out more at the announcement blog post here.

 

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Today, we are launching an experimental Project Fitted Mesh Viewer with additional collision bones needed to support dynamically fitted mesh garments on all of the avatars. When these changes have been finalized, they will enable garment designers to use the superior capabilities of mesh content creation tools to make garments that adapt to a wide range of Second Life avatars.

Since the introduction of Mesh to Second Life, creators have faced challenges fitting Mesh garments to the Second Life avatar. Because mesh objects are not resizable in as many ways as the avatar itself is, it has been difficult for mesh garment creators to provide garments that adapt to the shape of the avatar in the way that the image-based clothing layers do. While many creators have made heroic efforts to provide products in a range of sizes, and some have collaborated to define a set of standard sizes that work reasonably well for much of the user population, many have found that mesh garments just don't work well enough for their avatars. Mesh garments also don't move with the body parts affected by avatar physics.

Users have developed two approaches to address these problems:

Rigging garments to the "collision bones" of the avatar skeleton (often marketed as "Liquid Mesh"). This works in current Viewers for some body parts, but there are some avatar shape parameters that do not have corresponding collision bones, so garments do not adapt to fit everywhere on the body.

The "Mesh Deformer" project added code to the Viewer to dynamically compute how to modify each garment shape by looking at how the vertices of the avatar were changed from that of the female and male base shapes.

The Linden Lab development team has studied both approaches, and compared their effectiveness, maintainability, and performance. Neither approach completely eliminates the occasional need for an alpha clothing layer to prevent small parts of the avatar skin from appearing through garments, but both work quite well at resizing garments so that they fit the avatar and move naturally with it. While the collision bones method requires the creator to do some additional rigging, we have decided that because it leverages more of the existing avatar shape system it is likely to be the more maintainable solution and to perform better for a wider range of users.

We have posted documentation on the wiki describing the full set of collision bones, including the newly added ones. We invite creators to begin experimenting with creating garments rigged to this new skeleton.

At this time, the new skeleton should be considered provisional and subject to change; we do not yet recommend selling or buying garments rigged to it. Since we may find reasons to improve it during this testing process, and any change to the collision bones will likely break garments rigged before the change, we want to make sure that we have a set of bones that we can all live with into the indefinite future before it is widely used.

Creators and other users who participate in testing can provide feedback by filing Jira issues in the Fitted Mesh project.

Linden Lab

Of all of the things that excite us about Second Life, and there are many, Mesh is near the top of our list. Since the Mesh Project Viewer has been available, many content creators have given it a try on the test grid and we have only seen a small glimpse of the unlimited creative potential that this technology brings to Second Life. On behalf of everyone at the Lab, we want to thank everyone who have participated in the test and created these cool videos demonstrating the power of Mesh.

So, now that you are excited about trying it out on the Main Grid, we wanted to share the launch time line, as promised.

In July, we will enable a limited set of regions to use Mesh and will roll it out, in a phased approach, throughout August. By the end of August, everyone in Second Life will be able to import Mesh objects. Of course, if we run into unforeseen issues or bugs, then this time line will need to shift.

We know that you must have a lot of questions regarding policies, costs, and how Mesh objects will be weighted. Although we cannot share these details yet, we will continue to keep you informed on our progress and other relevant news on this blog.

So buckle up and get ready for a whole new wave of creativity in SL.

Linden Lab

As you may have seen in the news, email/password combinations for user accounts on other platforms--including Sony’s PlayStation Network--have recently been released following ongoing attacks.

To be clear, Second Life has not been targeted in attacks of this kind and your personal information remains secure with us.

However, if you access Second Life using the same password from a platform that has been attacked, then your email address could be all that’s needed to take control of your Second Life account. Recently, we have seen people attempt to acquire Second Life users email addresses by posing as a Support agent, a Linden, a trusted member of a group, or someone that you know. We want to do everything possible to help you protect yourself from these attacks.

Here are a few things that you should do right now to ensure that your personal information and your Second Life account remains safe and secure.

Do Not Reuse Your Second Life Password on Other Platforms
Using your Second Life password on other platforms, such as forums, bank accounts, or email services, may put your account at risk if these other platforms are compromised. Change your Second Life password, as soon as possible, if this situation applies to you.

Always Practice Good Password Hygiene
Here are some good rules of thumb to create a secure password.
    •    Never use a simple word
    •    Make it at least 8 characters in length
    •    Include two numbers
    •    Include two shift-key characters (i.e. %, *, #, +)

Be Cautious When Sharing Personal Information Inworld
No Linden or Support agent will ever make an unsolicited request for your personal information or password. Do not comply with any such requests, even if they are from an inworld friend or group member, and file an Abuse Report immediately.

Finally, if you think that your account has been compromised, then please contact Support and we will help you to resolve the situation.


Linden Lab

For a limited time, take advantage of 50% off Premium membership.

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A new Premium gift is now available! Go Premium today and jump behind the wheel of your Premium-only interactive dune buggy for some fast action fun. Pop wheelies and take on obstacles as you dodge sand dunes and put the pedal to the metal with your buggy’s NOS boost system. 


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Start your engines and compete against friends in Racer’s Gulch, a Premium-only slick racing zone.

The dune buggy is available to Premium Residents only. To access the exclusive Racer’s Gulch, you must be a Premium member, so don’t delay! Additional Premium benefits include a private home, currency payouts, as well as expanded support. Put the pedal to the metal and take advantage this limited-time half-off promotion today.* Already Premium? Get it here.

*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. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Friday the 24th of August at 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Friday the 31st of August 2012 at 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Linden Lab

Linden Lab is proud to announce that Project Bento is now part of the default Viewer! Bento is probably the single most extensive update to the avatar skeleton ever, and as a result of countless hours of testing, updating, reconfiguring, testing… you get the picture, we are now live!

Now everyone can enjoy the extra bones creators have taken advantage of to bring you true quadrupeds, winged avatars, fingers, facial expressions and more.

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Gif taken from Medhue Simoni’s video. Check out the full video

to see just how powerful this new feature is!

We’re working on launching an all new set of Best Practice docs just for Bento. It’ll include tutorials and write ups brought to you by the Residents that helped make Bento a reality. Stay tuned for updates in the coming year.

To learn more about Project Bento you can visit the Bento Knowledge Base article for details. As always, if you encounter any bugs or issues please let us know right away by filing a JIRA bug report. We hope you enjoy this feature and look forward to seeing all the great things Bento can do for Second Life avatars. Grab the latest default viewer download to start enjoying Bento today! 

 

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Above gif taken from Strawberry Singh’s YouTube video. Full video can be viewed

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Above gif taken from Strawberry Singh’s YouTube video. Full video can be viewed here.

Linden Lab

July Update

It’s shaping up to be a hot summer here in San Francisco — er, at least at Linden Lab! —  and July brings a lot of exciting updates — including great news for all Residents who’ve experienced issues with Group Chat lag, awesome new avatars, sweet new features in Profiles and much more!

Non-human avatars


A longstanding question about the default avatars that the Lab provides is “Why do they only offer humans?” Well, fret no more! Check your Library > Clothing > Initial Outfits tab in any Viewer and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover 36 new default avs! We worked with three amazing creators and focused on balancing visual appeal with diversity and efficiency. We think you’ll find that this fresh batch of avis is far more performance-oriented than our previous defaults — and a heck of a lot of fun.

Animal series by Damien Fate

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Robot series by Renn YifuzpgLXVSNkcR-TCeNBdICAr7JED1qoszinZzhahYEA_fal1-yLps-4FfWVAp16r2mPgN5gBTaGbTH9dhOuOn0vR4bSm0--90CD2Tgw77GDx28tUOrpw


Vehicle series by Xenius Revere

 

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For Residents using Basic mode, the new set of avatars will soon appear in the avatar selector. In a short time, they’ll be available at registration as well. You’ll be tempted to choose your favorite. Try out Second Life as a robot, a dragon — or even a sports car!

Group Chat Lag


Here’s a little something about that right royal pain, Group Chat Lag. You know how it is: you’re inworld, having a ball chatting with a group of friends, but the chat shows up with words missing or in the wrong order. It’s like a bad roommate, always hanging around and making a mess, interrupting your conversations and ruining your jokes! Some of your friends won’t even try talking while that loser’s around, knowing that their impeccable comic timing will come out looking like free-form poetry.

Except, for some reason, we don’t see that dude around much these days. Was it something we did?

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We’d say that we’ll miss the old Group Chat Lag, but that would be a total lie. Instead, as the saying used to go: “door Don’t let the hit you in the butt on the way out.”

Profiles


We’re working on improved functionality and features for Profiles, a great way for you to express your interests, share your favorite activities, communicate your unique personality, and meet other SL Residents like yourself. Some of the cool things we’re adding will include a “Pages” feature that lets you add pages to your profile for different topics, interests, regions and other fun stuff. As always, you control the level of privacy for your account —  you can adjust precisely how much information you choose to display — or keep private!

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You can look forward to a feature that will allow the option of auto-posting to Twitter and Facebook— as well as a new activity stream, including a summary of your friends’ activities. This will allow you to check out what posts or photos your Second Life Friends have commented on, notify you when a friend changes their profile pic, and more!

We’re also working on integrating additional social-network identity — including popular sites like Plurk, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr and Foursquare — so you can streamline your SL social networking, all fine-tuned to share just as much or as little as you prefer. You’re in the driver’s seat, but we’re glad to be along for the ride!

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Marketplace


For all of you who love shopping for new gadgets, outfits, avatars — and everything else under the sun! — we’ve implemented some changes to our Marketplace hat will enhance your shopping experience and make the process go more smoothly. One of the coolest features we’ve been working on is Direct Delivery. We launched the Alpha phase of Direct Delivery in early June, and the participating merchants have been giving us some great feedback! What’s next? More focus on improving Direct Delivery, and working with Beta Merchants on the Alpha platform.

We’ve been working on an API for third-party viewers to use to support listing items on the Marketplace, and continue to gather feedback as we develop that capability. Beta Program participation has been opened up for third-party viewer developers and vending system developers, and our primary focus has been on bringing Direct Delivery to market. 

Promotional Emails


On the promotional email front, we’ve improved the functionality of promotional-email subscription preferences. To unsubscribe to any promotional email, just hit the “unsubscribe” link in the message, and you’ll be able to choose the type of emails you want to get from Linden Lab — instead of “all-or-nothing.” This feature allows you to opt-in to messages you’d like to see more of — and unsubscribe from those you don’t! You’ll still receive other messages, like inworld notifications and Marketplace emails.

Search


Later this month, the new Search functionality that was included in the most recent Viewer release will go live as the primary Search experience for all Residents. Every search on the Secondlife.com website and in the Legacy Viewer “All” and “Groups” categories will use the new back-end technology, and will benefit from the improved result relevance. Viewer users will not only get the updated results — they’ll also be able to take advantage of all the exciting features we've included in the new Search interface, including easier searching for Events, Land Sales and Rentals, and Classifieds. If you haven't explored Second Life with the new-and-improved Search functionality yet, download the Viewer and take a look!

Let us know what you think! Share your experiences with these new features in the Technology Forum. And, don’t forget to hit Twitter — follow us @Secondlife and tweet using the hashtag #secondlife. Now, go explore Second Life, tap into your creative side — and make something incredible!

Cheers!

Linden Lab

Linden Lab

 

***This blog has been updated as of 9:00 am PT on 06/11/2019 to reflect that Quarterly premium payment options will continue to be available to new signups until we are ready to unveil the new additional  Premium plan.  ***

***This blog post has been updated as of 2:40 pm PT on 06/03/2019 to reflect that the purchase option to lock in another cycle is now available. Please read below for more information ***

*** This original blog post has been updated as of 04:55 pm PT on 05/31/2019 and is noted below where the updates have been made***

UPDATE: The limited-time opportunity for existing Premium members to lock in their current rates for one more billing cycle, including extending an existing monthly to use the current full year rate by upgrading now to annual is now available on the premium page. Simply renew before June 24th to extend your current Membership at the same low rate. For example, monthly members will be billed at the lower rate for one more monthly billing cycle, while annual members may renew (or monthly users may upgrade to annual) early to add one more year to your existing Membership at the current lower rate. If you have any trouble accessing the website, please note that it may be due to an increase in traffic and that the option will be available until the end of the day on June 24th.

 

LAND PRICE REDUCTIONS
Full Region Prices Reduced Again!

It’s happening again! As Second Life begins its 16th birthday next month, we’re celebrating by reducing Full Region prices by as much as $20/month! That’s more savings than ever to build, create and design your own home, business or experience in Second Life.

This round of pricing changes continues our commitment to improving the overall health of the Second Life economy, which had historically overly relied on payments for land. This change follows last year’s 15% Private Estates price drop and 10% Mainland price reduction and doubling of land allotment for Premium Members.  Excitingly, this is the first time we’re also lowering prices on grandfathered and buydown regions!

Check out the latest savings:

LandPriceChange2019 (1).jpg
* Please note that these price reductions do not apply to Skilled Gaming Regions.  Education/Nonprofit (EDU/NP) discounted full islands will be re-priced to maintain their 50% discount off the regularly priced full islands. Further, Residents who live in some European Union countries may also be charged value-added tax (VAT) on Land fees in accordance with sales tax regulations. Please visit our VAT Policy page for more details and our Corporate Pricing page for a list of impacted countries.

PREMIUM & BASIC ACCOUNT CHANGES
New Perks, Price Changes & More

We’re also increasing the value of Premium Membership with higher limits on Group memberships and increasing caps on offline Instant Messages (IMs). These changes are coming just a few weeks after the debut of new themes and larger options for Linden Homes, which are available exclusively to Premium Members (who may alternatively opt to use their 1024m² tier allotment towards a parcel on the Mainland). Other Premium benefits remain unchanged, including the weekly L$300 stipend, Premium virtual gifts, expanded live-chat customer support, exclusive access to Premium areas, priority access to nearly full regions and experiences, and more.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s changing:

PremiumFeatureChange2019.jpg

***This blog post edited @ 4:50 p.m. on May 31 to update the Premium Feature Changes chart and remove references to Basic Group Membership Limit changes. See the blog post Group Limits Update for more details.***

Even more improvements to Premium Membership are coming later this year: more new Linden Home themes and options as well as the introduction of an all-new membership level for those who want to get the absolute most out of their Second Life. Look out for updates to Events and more limit increases as well.  

While we continue to enhance the quality of Premium Membership, we’ve also made the difficult decision to make our first Premium price increase in over a decade. To see what’s changing, check out the chart below:

PremiumPriceChange2019 (1).jpg
  * Quarterly plans may be renewed, but are no longer available for new Premium Memberships
  ** Plus VAT in some European Union countries (if applicable)

Please note that monthly and quarterly Premium Memberships for Residents who live in some European Union countries may also be charged value-added tax (VAT) in accordance with sales tax regulations. Please visit our VAT Policy page for more details and our Corporate Pricing page for a list of impacted countries.

To help with the transition to the new pricing, starting June 3, we’re offering a limited-time opportunity for existing Premium members to lock in their current rates for one more billing cycle, including extending an existing monthly to use the current full year rate by upgrading now to annual. Simply renew before June 24th to extend your current Membership at the same low rate. For example, monthly members will be billed at the lower rate for one more monthly billing cycle, while annual members may renew (or monthly users may upgrade to annual) early to add one more year to your existing Membership at the current lower rate. We will update when the option becomes available on June 3rd. Until then - if you are not up for renewal already, you will not see the option to lock in your current price. Keep an eye out for updates.

CREDIT PROCESSING FEE CHANGE

Effective June 24, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 5% per transaction with a minimum fee of US$3 (there is no maximum fee).  The fee is currently 2.5% per transaction. This fee change offsets increased regulatory and compliance costs to Linden Lab and is in line with our continued commitment to the long-term successful operation of Second Life.

IN CONCLUSION

This is a lot of change, and we appreciate that Residents will have questions and thoughts about the impact of these announcements. Please know that we are always aware of the responsibility we have in keeping Second Life a vibrant and successful world, and we do not make these changes lightly.

Our goal with today's announced pricing and feature changes is to proactively evolve and strengthen the Second Life economy. We hope that these ongoing efforts to bring a better balance to Second Life will ensure a prosperous future for the entire community for the next 16 years and beyond.   

 

 

Linden Lab

Linden Lab is excited to announce the release of the Materials Viewer! This Viewer will allow content creators to build objects using normal and specular maps and will allow users to view the effects of this new feature set. The end result is photorealistic textured objects inworld, such as the SL10B Bear Avatar, which will look even better with this Viewer.

We’ve prepared

to demonstrate the effect of Materials inworld and show builders how to add normal and specular maps to their creations.

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In order to view Materials, you will need to have a Viewer that supports this feature and have Advanced Lighting Model checked under your graphics options. Not all systems will support this option; please see the Materials FAQ for more information on whether or not it is supported on your system. Additional documentation, including case studies, can be found on the Good Building Practices wiki and the Content Creators Guide.

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We’d like to extend our thanks to developers from Exodus, Firestorm, and Catznip for their contributions to this feature. We are very excited about the result!

Linden Lab

As part of our ongoing work to keep Second Life transactions secure and in compliance with applicable regulations, we are updating the browser requirements for Second Life’s web cashier (the tool you see when you login on the web and go to make a payment).

Effective June 15, 2016, you will need to use a web browser that supports TLS 1.2 in order to access the Second Life web cashier; if your browser does not support TLS 1.2, you will not be able to access cashier to send, receive, or exchange L$ after that date.

Please check that your browser’s security support is up to date. You can do this simply by visiting https://www.howsmyssl.com/ and checking that it detects TLS 1.2 in the Version section:

img.png

Updated security support is also required for accessing the cashier via the Second Life Viewer. The latest version of the official SL Viewer is safe. You can download it here: http://secondlife.com/support/downloads/.

If you’re not using the latest version of the official SL Viewer, check the browser built into the viewer you use with the same test above. Actively maintained Third Party Viewers should have versions available that have the required support. Older or unmaintained viewers may not, and you will not be able to use them for L$ transactions after the deadline if you do not update.

If you need to update your web browser (or aren’t sure), you can download the latest versions of popular browsers using the links below:

 

Linden Lab

UPDATE: Currently, new Linden Homes are sold out - but more are on the way. Please stay tuned to our blog and to this forum thread for updates. 

 

 

New Linden Homes Have Arrived!

One of the many benefits of becoming a Premium Second Life member is access to an automatic waiver of the monthly land fees for a Linden Home or 1024m² tier allotment for use towards a parcel on the Mainland. A pretty incredible perk, but it was time to make it even perkier.

Let’s be honest - those Linden Homes from 2010 were long overdue for some updates and improvements. It was clear a fresh coat of paint and some new landscaping were just not going to make the amount of curb appeal we were shooting for. In fact, it was time to return to the drawing board and start a better-built Linden Home experience, from the ground up - literally.

The first of several planned Linden Home updates launches today - with the introduction of New Linden Homes - exclusive to Premium members. Your new home may be in the mountains, along the shore, or in a rolling landscape of low hills and river valleys, but you’ll also be part of a large community experience, with navigable waterways, a network of roads, and community areas to socialize and have fun.    

There are two new themed styles in this release - Traditional and Houseboats - and some are twice as big as previous Linden Home offerings.

Traditional

New_home_new_chapter.jpg

Our new Traditional suburban homes are available in several single or two-story options and are located within a convenient distance from a communal park area where you can join your friends for picnics, sports, or family activities.

Houseboats

1Snapshot_045.jpg

For something a bit less conventional, try one of the many new Houseboat theme options with large rooms and a high ceiling and skylights. There’s also a deck area outside for you to relax or entertain friends and family under the blue skies and over the even bluer waters!  

Existing Premium Member with Linden Homes

Out with the old, and in with the new! If you’re already a Premium Member, you qualify to switch to a new Linden Home in one of our new styles including Traditional Homes and Houseboats. Old Linden Homes will be phased out over time, but there’s no rush. If you’re not ready to make the big move, that’s okay.  Many of these new home options are twice the size of previous offerings, and even more new Linden Homes are coming later this year. Once you’ve seen the improvements and additions,  you’re going to want to claim your new place to call home as soon as possible.

How to Get Started

Moving into a new place may seem a bit overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered. Everything you need to know about the new Linden Homes is available on the New Linden Homes wiki. There is a walk-through on how to claim your new Home if you’re new or returning to Premium Membership, or if you’re an existing Premium member and ready to make the switch. All the details on what makes these new homes better than ever, and the how-tos to get you into your new place are all there.

Are you ready for your new life on the Bellisseria continent? Now may be the perfect time to upgrade to Premium!  Your new home is waiting for you!

Rodvik Linden

We’ve been very busy at the Lab since I last updated you in March when we launched the SL Viewer with Basic and Advanced modes. As BK mentioned today in the Q1 Economy Update blog post, we have seen a significant improvement in new and completed daily registrations when compared to recent months and an increase in new users exploring Second Life. It’s a solid first step and I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the changes and improvements that we’ve implemented and a small look ahead.

The Refreshed and Fun Registration Experience
On the registration front, we’re knocking down the barriers that can sometimes prevent interested users from joining Second Life. If you haven’t checked out the Join experience lately, then you definitely should. New users start by picking an avatar in a dynamic, animated interface that immediately draws them in. We’ve also removed much of the non-essential information, that we used to require in the registration flow, to make it a quicker and more delightful on-boarding experience. We’re going to continue to refine and evolve this experience, but it is a big contributor to the 33% growth in new registrations.

SL Viewer Basic Will Soon Have a Wider Assortment of Avatars to Choose From
When we first launched Basic mode, we started with a basic set of human avatars that helped get new Residents immersed in Second Life without having to worry about configuring their avatar to socialize and find cool things to do, in the integrated Destination Guide. But, we know that the beauty of Second Life is the diversity and richness of how we choose to represent ourselves inworld. So, we’re adding 12 animal and 12 Robots and soon we’ll have Vehicles too. Then, we’ll also commission another set of human avatars that represent a wider, more diverse audience.

Have You Noticed the New Dynamic Login Screen?
If you use the SL Viewer, then you might have noticed a change this week. The login screen is one of the most important pieces of real estate that we have to communicate with you. To start, we’ve added announcements and the blog feed. In the future, you’ll see more feeds on that page--like cool things in SL going on right now, highlights from the Destination Guide, and more. So, next time you log in, take a moment to check out the new feeds before you enter SL because you might find some new places to explore or learn about new features or initiatives going on at the Lab.

The Return of the Resident Help Network (RHN)
Thank you to all our Residents who suggested this. For those who might be unfamiliar with the program that began a few years ago, the RHN is a grouping of communities dedicated to helping new users get acclimated to Second Life. The RHN includes over 15,000 volunteers from the following organizations: Help Sandbox, Hobo Helpers, Mental Mentors, New Citizens, Inc., Phoenix Wave Mentors, Second Ability Mentors, Virtual Ability, and the White Tiger Mentors. The program has been in a bit of a holding pattern on the Linden side, while each of these groups continued to do their good work. I’m happy to report that we’re officially bringing back the RHN network and look forward to partnering with these communities and integrating them more tightly into our new user experience.

For those who are wondering why I haven’t mentioned our initiatives on fixing lag, and other updates from the technology side of the house, FJ and Bagman will be updating you on those items next week. In the meantime, thanks to all of you for your continued support!

Over the past few weeks, I have explored cyberspaces, flown aircraft, gone sailing, attended music concerts, made a battleship, attended charity events, and met some wonderful people all within Second Life. I hope to see many of our Residents old and new inworld soon!

Rod

Linden Lab

Mark your calendars and set your DVRs: an upcoming episode of the popular daytime talk show, Dr. Phil will feature Second Life and some comments from Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg (Ebbe Linden in SL). The episode is slated to air on Tuesday, July 14, and you can find your local listings through the Dr. Phil website.

Be sure to catch the very beginning of the show - you won’t want to miss Dr. Phil controlling his avatar live on what’s very likely the largest monitor Second Life has ever run on (40 feet wide!).

Dr.Phil_BlogPost.jpg

The episode is focused on helping a young man who is sadly struggling with a number of problems, including an addiction to playing an online game. He’s not a Second Life user, nor is Second Life presented on the show as a negative experience. Instead, it’s shown as an example of how far digital experiences have come from the days of Pac-Man and Pong, and Ebbe briefly speaks with Dr. Phil about some of the incredibly positive ways Second Life is being used by people around the world - from education to entrepreneurship, creative self-expression, and more.

In addition to a number of Lindens who helped make it possible for Second Life to be included in the program, we’d like to give special thanks to Naughty Mole, Abnor Mole, Ancient Mole, Bat Mole, and Draxtor Despres for their help in creating Dr. Phil’s avatar and filming some inworld footage showing his explorations of Second Life.

 

Linden Lab

 Following the recent update to the Second Life Terms of Service, which disallows trading of Linden dollars (L$) on third party exchanges, we’ve heard from some users outside of the US who are concerned that it may now be more difficult for them to purchase L$ to use in Second Life.

 With a credit card, you can purchase L$ on the LindeX using 27 different currencies, including EUR, GBP, JPY, and AUD. If you don’t have a credit card, you can also use PayPal, which can be connected directly to a bank account in more than 193 countries and regions. If you put payment info on file for your Second Life account, you can also purchase L$ right in the Viewer with the “Buy L$” button. If you’ve never done it before, check out this helpful

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Now, to give users more options and make it easier to purchase L$, we’re launching a pilot program of Authorized Resellers of L$. These sites are authorized by Linden Lab to purchase L$ on the LindeX and then resell those L$ using a variety of international currencies and payment methods. To be clear: per the Terms of Service, these resellers will not be allowed to purchase L$ outside of the LindeX (i.e. they will not be able to buy L$ back from users and cash people out). The list of Authorized Resellers participating in the pilot program is available here.

 If you would like to receive an application to the program when it formally launches, please send an email to LDollarSeller@lindenlab.com.

We know that users are also concerned about the length of the LindeX’s cashout process and the limited choice of currencies when selling L$. We’re currently investigating ways to improve that experience for users while still providing superior fraud protections, and hope to hasten the cashout process and offer new currency options in the future.

Linden Lab

As Linden Lab’s new CEO, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you all - I’m Ebbe Altberg, aka Ebbe Linden in Second Life (although I’ve been advised by many of you to use an alt when cruising around). You can find my official bio on LindenLab.com, and there’s a nice piece with a bit more about my background and experience over on Inara Pey’s blog, Living in a Modem World (I offered a few clarifications in this comment there).

Why did I choose to take this on? I did it because I love the idea behind our products, what you can do with them, and the potential for what we can become. I studied fine arts and computer science, and I find creating digital products and services a creative blend that I absolutely love. For me then, the creative and empowering technologies and marketplaces Linden Lab are creating are just incredible materials to work with. I have a huge belief that we can do great things together. Great for you, for Linden Lab, and for our investors. Linden has learned a ton that few companies have ever had the opportunity to learn when it comes to empowering people to contribute in creative ways and collaborate with a global online community. It’s unique.

I don’t really consider myself a ‘gamer,’ but I also don’t think that ‘game’ would describe Second Life either, and I’ve found Second Life intriguing for a long time. In addition to having personally explored the virtual world a bit back when it first started (of course I’m diving in more now), my son was a very active Resident as a teenager, and I’ve been consistently impressed by the incredible things the Second Life community creates. I’m proud to be joining the team that enables this level of creativity, and as I said in our press release, I’m committed to supporting our customers to help you become even more successful.  

Many of you have been very kind in welcoming me via Twitter (I’m @ebbealtberg there), and I’ve read quite a few thoughtful blog posts and forum threads offering advice and raising some issues to my attention - thank you for that! I’ll continue to read all that I can (although I won’t always be able to respond to everything), and I’m looking forward to getting more familiar with Second Life and its communities through both personal experience inworld and communication with you and my colleagues.  

There are big opportunities ahead as we further improve and grow Second Life, and I’m looking forward to our future together.

See you inworld!

Ebbe Linden

 

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