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Linden Lab

As we continue to improve Second Life, we’re looking into the issue of inventory loss. If you have experienced some form of inventory loss in the past 12 months - whether partial (such as a single object or subfolder), or full - please take a moment to share your answers via this quick survey.

Your answers will help provide our engineering team with information that will assist them as they make improvements to Second Life.

We greatly appreciate your time and want to thank you for responding to the survey.

Linden Lab

Last week we rolled out some exciting changes to Mainland Regions and Linden Homes -- major increases to Land Impact - and that means more prims to play with! There were some questions about what exactly that means.

One of the questions that came up frequently was how these changes would impact mainland use fees. The answer is: they do not! With these Mainland Region and Linden Home Land Impact increases, the only thing we are adjusting is Land Impact (the number of prims) available to those regions and homes.

Another question was if and when Private Estate Regions would see increases as well. The answer is YES -  and soon! We are currently keeping a close eye on performance on the Mainland Regions, and plan to roll out Land Impact increases to Private Estate Regions in the next few months.  Our intent is to increase all private regions to 20,000 for the full islands, 5,000 for homesteads and 1,000 for Openspace Regions at no additional charge to region owners. There will also be an option to upgrade to a total of 30,000 Land Impact for a nominal conversion fee and a monthly maintenance fee.  This should happen within the next couple of months.

This chart shows the details of the changes that have been made to Mainland Regions and Linden Homes, and changes that are coming to Private Estate Regions in the near future.

primlimitsincrease.png

Patch Linden spoke to Designing Worlds about the changes, which you can catch on our Official YouTube Channel

.

You might be wondering, “ Fantastic! But, what will I do with all this leftover Land Impact allowance?” We have some suggestions. This increase is one of the ways that we're hoping to give content creators more room to create optimized, performant content.  You’ve probably seen content that’s taking one Level of Detail and applying it to the other layers, which results in a higher level of detail than is really available to lower level machines.  Maybe you saw it go from a blob to its intended shape - that's usually caused by not having all the different levels of detail, (or possibly having your Level Of Detail in your viewer on a lower setting).  We know that multiple levels of detail on an object costs additional Land Impact and we’re hoping to offset some of that with this increase. Of course, you’re free to do what you chose with these new limits!

We’re excited and pleased to be bringing you these changes.  Happy decorating!

 

 

Linden Lab

New to Second Life? There’s so much to see and do in this vast virtual world -- but getting started can be a bit intimidating for some newcomers. That’s why we’ve put together a new series of quick and easy tutorials to help.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see several new “QuickTips” clips that are designed to help new and existing users learn the basics of Second Life. Forthcoming tutorial clips will help teach the basics of shopping, socializing, connecting with communities, finding interesting places and more.

The first video tutorial in this new series focuses on customizing your appearance in Second Life. One of the first things most Second Life users do upon arriving inworld is to personalize their digital identity to reflect their own style.

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The above video only scratches the surface of avatar personalization options. Many people wish to further personalize their avatar's look by shopping for unique clothing, hair and fashion accessories in Residents' shops within Second Life. You can also browse on the Web for avatars and fashions at our shopping site SL Marketplace.

For more tips on controlling your avatar appearance, visit our Knowledge Base.

Linden Lab

 

Over the last several months, a lot of projects and improvements have been in the works, and we want to take a few minutes to talk about some of the highlights. Some of these have been released into the wild, and some are at exciting stages of development, so read on to get caught up!

Project Bento - extended Avatar Skeleton

Bento is making great progress! Week by week, the collaborative efforts between the Lab and Bento content creators and Resident testers continue to improve this project. We couldn’t be more excited about working with creators in making Second Life avatars better than ever! Stay tuned for updates or join us at our weekly user group meetings! We're getting very close to promoting the Bento-capable viewer to Release Candidate status, the next step in making it a part of everyone’s Second Life experience.

 

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Visual Outfit Browser

We realize Second Life Residents have dozens and dozens of outfits and looking at a list can be boring and uninspiring, not to mention difficult to remember what is what (imagine that you couldn't look at the clothes in your own closet at home, but instead could only see a list of their names!). With the new Visual Outfit Browser, you’ll be able to see your outfits via an all new gallery-style display, making selecting outfits a snap. You provide the images that are displayed for each outfit or try out VOB’s new snapshot utility. Playing dress-up has never been so easy and fun! You can download this viewer now by visiting VOB’s Viewer download page.

VOB.png

 

Quicktime Replacement

Apple recently withdrew support for the Quicktime player for Windows, which has in any event been a steady source of security vulnerabilities over the years. This project replaces that plugin for the Windows Viewer with newer and more robust media support (the Mac Viewer will also get this new tech soon). It will play some media that Quicktime would not, but will not play some older Quicktime-only media. Content creators that incorporate media should be testing with this Viewer to see if the media they use is supported. In general, we recommend upgrading any shared media to mp3, mp4, or any HTML5 compatible format for best performance and stability.

Learning and Social Island

The latest Learning and Social Islands launched in March - the first to utilize Experience Tools as part of the new user experience. Early results have shown the new Learning/Social Island setup outperforming all previous (both Linden and Community) introductory setups in some key retention metrics.  We’re continuously making optimizations to that experience based on the data.

Gaming Island

We launched Gaming Island - a new Linden Lab region dedicated to educating Residents about skill games in Second Life.  On this region, anyone can learn how to play all available games of skill in a free-to-play setting. If you want to then go play the games for Linden dollars, the Portal Park makes it easy to find them.

gaming island.jpg

 

Server Robustness

Over the last several months we've been working to make Second Life servers more robust with new limits and checks to manage bandwidth usage and CPU resources between Residents. This is to make sure that a shared experience will not turn into a shared crasher, and in addition to improving stability for everyone, these changes make things more difficult for would-be griefers.  

Group Chat & Bans

We found a way to finally fix a long-standing issue with group chat and bans. Group moderators have the ability to remove troublemakers from a group; with the new change, this causes them to be immediately removed from the group chat and prevents them from returning or causing further disruption in the group.

Quick Graphics & JellyDolls

In order to give Residents more control of their graphics/performance balance and improve their performance, we released the JellyDoll Viewer which allows Residents to set limits on the amount of avatar complexity they render in their viewer. The Quick Graphics feature lets you save optimal presets for all different occasions.

jellydoll.png

 

TLS Update

We implemented TLS 1.2 for state of the art security to protect SL users’ financial transactions.

Verified Emails

As part of our continued efforts to improve security and reliability of our services, we've set a goal of only sending emails from Second Life to verified email addresses. One step on the road to achieving this goal has just shipped - we now request all new accounts to verify the provided email address. Keep an eye out for the next steps!

CoreHTTP

For improved performance and stability, we replaced the old HTTP infrastructure of the viewer - no small feat, but one that we know was much needed. This has resulted in fewer problems with high volume operations like loading inventory, and has significantly reduced certain kinds of load on the simulator hosts (leaving more time for actually simulating). It's also made the viewer code easier to maintain and extend.

Marketplace Search

In November we introduced BetaSearch for the Marketplace with a new search engine and infrastructure.  Though it performed much better in some regards, Merchants also let us know about some issues, so we’ve proceeded carefully.  We’ve utilized Merchant feedback to refine and optimize the experience, and now we’re close to promoting the new Search.  Additionally, we’re looking forward to getting off the ageing infrastructure that’s been causing nightly service lockups.  We’re excited about providing better search results and a more reliable service.

Bug Fixes

We’ve been putting in a lot of effort to be more responsive to bug reports and improve turnaround time on fixes.  We triage bug reports daily and you can often see a fix in a public code repository within days of filing a bug.  We carefully consider feature requests and are always thrilled to accept and follow through when we can.  In addition to the focused projects above, just on the Viewer side we’ve had 3 Maintenance Viewer releases this year, with a 4th one in RC, fixing more than 200 bugs in total. And of course, we do try to introduce fewer than we fix! :)

We know that much of the work we’ve been doing is ‘under the hood’. It’s an important priority to us to continue making improvements on performance and stability, while balancing feature development and Resident feedback. If you haven’t already, take the latest Viewer for a spin or experiment with one of the Alternate Viewers for a closer look at what’s been developing - and stay tuned to our blogs to keep up to date!

 

Linden Lab

Being a Premium Second Life subscriber carries many benefits - from weekly L$ stipends, to your own Linden Home, expanded live customer support options, exclusive gifts, and more. Today, we’re happy to announce a new perk for Premium subscribers: access to more missed instant messages!

Previously, if IMs were sent to your account while you were offline, you could access up to 25 messages when you next log in. That remains the case for free account holders, but starting today, Premium Members can access up to 50 missed IMs. That means fewer notecards filling up your inventory and fewer missed messages from friends, colleagues, and customers.

There are many reasons to upgrade to Premium, and we’ll be adding even more benefits and features for subscribers throughout the year. Learn more about Premium benefits and upgrade your account here: https://secondlife.com/premium/

You can pick the subscription plan that best fits your budget - pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. Pro tip: do the math on the annual plan - in addition to a total savings of more than $47 compared to a monthly subscription, the value of the weekly L$ stipend alone means it nearly pays for itself!

Linden Lab

Experience Keys are a new tool in Second Life that make it so you can opt-in to an entire experience made up of numerous scripted objects, rather than having to grant avatar permissions to every individual element of that experience. In other words, they allow creators to make experiences that are more immersive, because they’re not interrupted by permissions dialogues. Additionally, with Experience Keys, each of the scripts in the experience has access to a common private database that stores information across user sessions and simulator restarts; a powerful new capability for scripters. Here’s a quick video introduction.

Recently, we kicked off the limited beta for Experience Keys. Thanks to the great applications we received, we now have enough participants for this stage of the beta, and are beginning to send out keys to those beta creators now.  

We’re excited to see what creators make with this new tool! In the meantime, though, you can have some fun and get a sense for the ways Experience Keys can improve inworld content by checking out The Cornfield- a new (free) game, thematically inspired by a bit of Second Life history and created by the moles. Watch the trailer below, then grab the Experience Keys Project Viewer and go check it out for yourself - you can find a portal to The Cornfield here

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Linden Lab

We’re happy to announce a new special offer for Second Life on Amazon - a pack of virtual pets!

The Troobles have arrived and are squeaking with excitement to be the stars of our third limited-time, special promotion on Amazon. From now to April 25, 2013, you can get the Pet Pack – The Troobles (a $9.95 value) for free.

 

SL_PetPack-01_BoxArt.png

 

The Pet Pack includes an adorable family of Trooble Pigs including Daddy, Mommy, baby sister, and baby brother. Each Trooble has their very own fashion accessories and special talents. Mommy Trooble offers customized greetings to your visitors, Daddy Trooble can go into guard mode and teleport trespassers, and the babies are always up for a cuddle.

There is a limit of one Pet Pack per customer, and this special offer is available only to users of the free Amazon Game Connect service, which is currently limited to customers in the US.

If you’d like a little more cute and cuddly in Second Life, pop over to Amazon and grab your free Pet Pack – The Troobles before April 25, 2013.

 

Linden Lab

A new year comes with lots of opportunities to make resolutions, set goals to do things you always wanted to do, and make a fresh start! Here’s a chance to extend that freedom into your Second Life - and make over your avatar!

 

There’s L$10,000 on the line - you could win if your avatar receives the most votes once voting opens.

 

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Entering is easy:

1. Get a picture of your avatar’s evolution from 2013 to 2014 (new hair, new clothes, completely new look, the options are limitless!)

2. Go to the Second Life Official Facebook Page here. (If you have not already liked our page, do this first to access the contest)

3. Click the contest tab located below the cover image.

4. Review the rules and enter - just follow the steps once you hit enter.

You can also view existing entries and share your entry with your Facebook friends.
 

You may win one of four amazing prizes:

Grand Prize – 10,000 Linden Dollars.

First Prize – 5,000 Linden Dollars.

Second Prize – 3,000 Linden Dollars.

Third Prize- 1,000 Linden Dollars.

Good luck!

 

Bagman Linden

I recently joined Linden Lab as the new VP of Engineering to lead the Linden engineering team and improve the Second Life experience for both new and existing Residents. Second Life is not only the most unique product that I have ever seen, but it also has the most unique and challenging technical hurdles.   
 
When the opportunity came up for me to join the Linden team, the two aspects that excited me most were: 1) knowing that, with my experience, I could improve the product in significant ways, and 2) a belief that Second Life is not at the end of its life cycle, but rather has its best years ahead of it.
 
For me, the challenges and the opportunities at the Lab are a perfect fit for my background. I come to the Lab with over 20 years of experience as a game developer and engineering lead, primarily in the MMO area. Prior to joining Linden Lab, I spent 10 years working for Sony Online Entertainment doing MMO RPG development (with a focus on the networking, servers, and core technologies), along with PS3 and PSP development. Some of the titles that I worked on include: Everquest, Everquest II, Star Wars Galaxies, Planetside, Untold Legends PS3, Field Commander PSP, FreeRealms, and CloneWars Adventures.

Old timers may remember an early entry into MMO gaming that I developed in a game called Subspace, published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment in 1996. The unique relationship I had with the player base of this product mirrors the relationship between the Lindens and the Residents in many ways. If there is one thing I've learned about MMO gaming over the years it is that MMO products have a life of their own, and the player investment in the product is a key aspect of that. Second Life is no different in this regard.  The Residents of Second Life want to see the product succeed every bit as much as Linden Lab does.
 
I describe myself primarily as a hard-core C++ developer, with a passion for well-architected, highly optimized systems. I like taking on the big challenges and enjoy refactoring systems to make substantial improvements, rather than just make smaller, incremental improvements.
 
And, for those that have already looked up the definition of Bagman, you can rest assured that my nickname doesn’t come from any criminal activity, but from a game that I played when I was a kid. In fact, here is a

link to the game in action (brings back good memories).
 
Excited to be on board and looking forward to an amazing 2011 and beyond.

 

Jeff Petersen

(SL: Bagman Linden)

Linden Lab

There are lots of things in Second Life that send email, but as many of you have discovered, that email doesn't always get to the intended recipient. There are a lot of reasons for email from SL not being as reliable as we'd all like, and the Lab is working on fixing as many of those as we can, but some of them need your help.

One of the most important reasons mail doesn't get through is that many Second Life accounts have bad email addresses - when something in Second Life sends to one of those bad addresses, it generates errors. The number of those errors causes many network providers and spam detectors to block even perfectly good email if it comes from Second Life. To fix that, we need to cut down on the bad addresses, so…  over the next few months we will be converting all the sources of email in Second Life to not even try to send to an address that has not been verified.

To check whether or not your address is verified, go to your Account -> Change Email page; look next to your current address there. You should see a green checkmark and tag: √ Verified. If you do, you're all set and none of our changes will affect you negatively.  If you don't, there will be a button you should use to send yourself a verification email; when you get the email, click on the link in the message to verify your address.  Changing your email address will automatically send a verification email.

If your address is verified, you should not have any problems with our changes to sending behavior - hopefully, you'll begin to see more reliable messages.

Unverified:

verifu.png

 

 

 

Amanda Linden

As customers, your satisfaction and input is critical to the success of Second Life. However, we know that it has sometimes been confusing and difficult to communicate with us and we can always do a better job of  listening. Toward that end, we’ve taken a hard look at all of our Resident-Linden communication paths and designed, or revamped, a series of new programs and tools to help us all have a more productive dialogue. Our goal is not only to listen and acknowledge your feedback and ideas, but also to work more collaboratively to help build a better Second Life experience for the common good.

In addition to rolling out new Community Participation Guidelines that apply across all communication paths, we also want to make very clear which ones are best to share your ideas about how to improve the experiences, content, and economy in Second Life, which ones are best to communicate with each other, and which ones to use when you want the latest news on Second Life or Linden Lab.

Also, please note that next month we will be rolling out a new community platform--an integrated system that will include SL Blogs, SL Forums, SL Answers, and the Knowledge Base. We will be blogging about that in the coming weeks as we get closer to launch.

First, we would like to explain what we are trying to achieve and how we propose to do it.

NEW COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES SET THE STAGE FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE

We've updated our guidelines about community participation and they're largely the same, just clarified and streamlined for easy reference. The purpose of these new guidelines is to keep the conversations  constructive, courteous, respectful, and in the spirit of collaboration so that we can have more thoughtful and effective discussions. The new Community Participation Guidelines outline the ground rules, in addition to our Terms of Service,  for all Resident and Linden communications on the blogs, forums, bug  tracker (JIRA), SL Answers, User Groups, and the Knowledge Base.

PARTICIPATE IN USER GROUPS AND JIRA

Office Hours Transition into Focused User Groups: The best part about the Office Hours program was direct Linden-Resident communications, but it was often a challenge to find the best Office Hours (or Linden) to give your feedback to. And, the conversations were sometimes not as focused or productive as they could have been. For us, we struggled with the unstructured nature of Office Hours. They were not effective enough in getting the right pieces of feedback to the right people who could act upon it--the Product Managers and teams--or creating a broader, representative sample of what most Residents thought about the topic.

Today, we are announcing a new approach--User Groups. User Groups are product or community focused and each one is led by the Linden responsible for the specific topic. The User Group program is about opening up a more representative and focused dialogue about user needs. Most User Groups are public and may include any or all of the following: inworld meetings, JIRA sections, a Twitter feed, an SL Forum, and/or an SL email list. It’s up to the User Group leader and the core Resident team to determine how they best communicate with one another. The discussions should be open, direct, and be more forward-looking and focus more on how we can improve your user experience.

A complete list of User Groups, and their Linden owners, is available here on the Second Life wiki and there’s also a Google Calendar where you can see all User Group meetings and add them to your calendar. Many User Groups will have several Linden team members participating, in addition to the User Group leader. All User Group leaders will be publicly posting agendas and notes from each meeting that may include an audio recording or a text chat log. So, whether you are a participant in a specific User Group or not, it will be easy to check in and see what’s going on in any area that you’re interested in.

Submit Bug Reports in JIRA: For those that aren’t familiar with JIRA, it is our public bug tracking system and it’s the best place to go to let us know about bugs or suggest new features that are proposed in User Group meetings or outside of those sessions.

Our development teams actively review the bugs that you submit in JIRA and do one of several things: place the item onto a development team backlog to address, ask the submitter to contact Support or provide more information if the developer cannot reproduce the bug, or close it and explain why we aren’t going to tackle this particular bug or idea.

It’s also important to note that we are going to remove the “voting” feature in JIRA in one month. Today, we do not use voting to triage or to make product decisions and the last thing that we want to do is set false expectations. So, when you are interested in what action we will take on a particular JIRA, use the JIRA “Watch” feature so that you will be  immediately updated in email when there are new comments on that particular JIRA issue. We will continue to use the number of Watchers as an indication of the level of interest.

PLACES TO CONNECT WITH ONE ANOTHER

Find Solutions SL Answers: If you haven’t explored SL Answers yet, then you definitely should try it. Second Life Answers is the best place to ask questions and get answers from other  knowledgeable Second Life Residents. It’s a very helpful tool when you  need to have your questions answered quickly. And, if you’re a long time  Resident, you should jump in and help answer questions and help out  your noobie friends.

Participate in SL Forums: SL Forums are a great place to connect with other Residents on specific topics. As I mentioned earlier, we’re going to roll out a new community platform for Forums that is easier to use and more organized. Look for that next month when User Groups will be adding specific areas for lively discussions with our Product Managers on topics relevant to each User Group.

Join the SL Email Lists: Late last year, we cleaned up the old SL email lists and created a few new ones to accommodate discussions happening among smaller communities that may not have any other way of connecting--ranging from the open source community to the educators in Second Life. The lists are a great resource to use when you want to tap into the collective wisdom of a group. Take a look at the current SL email lists that are available and join the ones that most interest you. If you would like to suggest a new list, then just email me (address below) or drop me a note card (SL: Amanda Linden).

GET THE LATEST SECOND LIFE AND LINDEN LAB NEWS

Check out the SL Blogs to Get Second Life and Linden Lab News: The SL Blogs are always the best place to go for news and information about Second Life. As is true with Forums, we’ll be rolling out a new Blog structure next month--and be blogging about it shortly. So, stay tuned!

Follow Us on Twitter: Twitter is a great way to get the latest and greatest information about Linden Lab and Second Life. There are many lists to choose from and we encourage you to follow us and join the conversation. The primary Twitter account to follow, if you want immediate notices of blog posts and other news, is @SecondLife. For a complete list of official Linden Lab/Second Life Twitter feeds, click here. This page will constantly be updated, so check back often. We also actively follow these hashtags: #sl, #secondlife, #slviewer2, #slmarketplace and suggest that you do, too.

Like Us on Facebook: Facebook is the best place to find out about cool things going on in Second Life, share ideas, and get the inside scoop on inworld events, contests, machinima releases, PR activities, fun discussions, and more. Come join over 111,000 people who have “Liked” our Second Life Facebook page.

Of course, these communication programs are evolving, and we look forward to your feedback on these changes and other suggestions on how we can continue to improve our community communication programs. Feel free to leave comments here or email me at amanda at lindenlab dot com.

Linden Lab

As followers of this blog will know, a number of the projects we’ve been working on to improve Second Life (like Project Sunshine) have been focused on making the virtual world work better and faster for everyone.

One of these initiatives has been to improve the infrastructure to speed up HTTP communications between the Viewer and grid services. By reducing demands on the network, this improves performance - and we’re already seeing good results. For example, 75% fewer connections are now needed when the Viewer downloads meshes! We've also built in better error reporting, which gives us more data to help troubleshoot issues when they arise.

If you’d like to delve into the details, check out this new post on the Tools and Technology blog: Raising the Roof: The HTTP Project.

Linden Lab

The ability to redeem Linden dollars for real money on the LindeX is an incredible facet of Second Life. We believe that creators should be able to profit from their creativity, and we’re proud of the success that Second Life creators have achieved. Last year, users redeemed $60 million (USD) from the Second Life economy, and for many, the virtual world is a significant source of real income.

Enabling users around the world to buy and sell Linden Dollars for real currency is no small feat. This involves Linden Lab making sure that everything is compliant with applicable laws and regulations, as well as preventing fraud and money laundering.

We’ve been investing in improvements to these processes, and today we’re announcing improved speeds for credit processing, as well as some fee adjustments.

 

Faster Credit Processing

We’re happy to announce that we will significantly improve how quickly we’re able to process a majority of credit requests.

Based on current data, we estimate that the upgrades we’ve made will allow approximately 75% of process credit requests to be completed within 2 business days.

For a minority of requests, the process may still take 5 business days. Because we’re dealing with sending real money to users around the world, we may require additional information and perform other processes that could impact the time needed. A good rule of thumb is that the better we know you as a customer, the more likely it is we’ll be able to quickly process your credit requests.

 

Upcoming Changes to Fees

In addition to taking time, processing credit and paying real money to users’ PayPal and Skrill accounts incurs costs to Linden Lab. Each transaction actually costs us more than the $1 (USD) fee we have been charging. To address that and in light of the significant investments we’ve made to improve the related systems and processes, we will be making some adjustments to the fee structure, beginning next month.

As of April 5, 2016, instead of charging a flat fee of $1 (USD) per transaction, we will charge a fee of 1.5% of the transaction value, with a minimum fee of $3 (USD) and a maximum of $15 (USD). Additionally, the fee for purchasing L$ on the LindeX will increase 10¢, from $0.30 (USD) to $0.40 (USD) per transaction.

We hope that you’ll enjoy the improved speed of credit processing and understand that these upcoming fee updates help to support the complex work involved in enabling Second Life users to buy and sell Linden Dollars for real money at a massive scale, all while keeping the system reliable, safe, compliant with regulations - and now faster.

Linden Lab

face2face.jpg

Pictured: Lorna H. and her Second Life avatar counterpart  Lollie Bigwig.

Banker by day, but intergalactic space cowboy in Second Life? We may be looking for you!

We are now casting both humans and their avatars for a new promotional campaign that will be featured on SecondLife.com and across the web.

For this campaign, we’re looking for people who are comfortable revealing their “human side” alongside their avatars in Second Life, like in the image above. Specifically, we are looking for those whose avatars do not physically resemble their owners.

This promotion aims to spotlight the diverse and creative communities in Second Life, so please apply if you’d like to share your passion for Second Life with the world!

To be considered, please fill out this application form by 11:59 PM Pacific on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. All submissions will be reviewed by the creative production team for the campaign, but no personal information provided will be disclosed publicly unless you are selected and specifically consent to participate.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Linden Lab

We’ve just published a new video that briefly highlights a few of Second Life’s recent improvements and new features.

If you’re a follower of this blog, the content will probably be familiar - it includes initiatives like Project Sunshine and SLShare  - but we all occasionally meet someone whose notions of Second Life are a little (or more than a little) outdated, and we hope this video may help get them more up-to-speed on what Second Life is like today.

Check out the new

below, and share it with your friends!

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BK Linden

Linden Lab's New CEO

I’m happy to announce some very exciting news today: Rod Humble is Linden Lab’s new CEO. Our press release is here. You’ll hear from Rod himself after he starts in mid-January, but in the meantime, we wanted to share a brief introduction.

Rod has an impressive depth of experience in developing and leading fun, immersive entertainment experiences that have been great successes. As a 20-year veteran of game development, he’s worked on more than 200 games, and last year, the gaming magazine Edge named him #2 on their annual list of Hot 100 Game Developers. Rod is coming to Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where he was Executive Vice President and led EA Play, including the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. Prior to EA, he was a VP of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment, where he led the EverQuest Studio.

Rod has a deep appreciation for what makes Second Life special. He’s already been exploring and experimenting inworld to familiarize himself with the pluses and minuses of our product and the successes and challenges faced by our Residents. He’ll officially start at the Lab in mid-January, and I’m excited for us to begin 2011 with fresh perspective, renewed energy, and creativity.

To give you a sense for Rod’s creativity, personality, and perspective, here are few links to his personal creations and a couple of press interviews he’s given:

Art games Rod has created in his ‘spare’ time:

Press interviews with Rod:

Happy holidays to you all from Linden Lab! We wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year -- it’s going to be a great one for Second Life!

Rod's bio:

Rod Humble is Chief Executive Officer at Linden Lab, and he leads the company’s strategy and the development of Second Life. Humble’s 20-year career in the game development industry has included work on more than 200 games. He joined Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where, in his role as Executive Vice President, he led the EA Play label, which includes the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. In 2009, he was ranked #2 on the annual list of the Hot 100 Game Developers from gaming publication Edge. Prior to his work at Electronic Arts, Humble served as Vice President of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment for the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) EverQuest.
Linden Lab

At Linden Lab, we’ve recently been reviewing the long list of improvements and enhancements we want to bring to Second Life, weighing priorities, and scoping out important projects for the next few months. We wanted to share a few highlights from the list of projects we’ll be working on so that you can know what improvements to expect in the coming months. This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but here are a few of the initiatives we think will have a big impact on improving all of our Second Life experiences.

Releasing Experience Keys

We recently put out a call for creators to join a limited beta for Experience Keys - new LSL functions and calls that make it possible to bypass the multiple permissions dialogs that you encounter with scripted objects today. Thanks to the applications we received, we now have enough creators to move ahead with the beta, and we’ve begun giving these beta users access the keys. The feedback we get from beta participants will help determine our next steps for making Experience Keys available to everyone, and we may start by expanding the beta group with a second group of creators.

In the meantime, though, everyone can get a sense for what’s possible with Experience Keys by downloading the Project Viewer and checking out The Cornfield game.

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Improving Group Chat Performance

Today, group chat messages can sometimes take a long time to be delivered, and in some cases delivery fails entirely. This is an issue that impacts lots of Second Life users, and it’s something we’re actively working to improve. Anyone should be able to reliably hold a conversation using group chat in Second Life without delivery delays or other problems.

We’re carefully monitoring the effects of the changes we make to improve group chat performance, and so far, the results of efforts like upgrading the servers that host chat have been positive. We anticipate that the work to improve group chat performance will continue for some time as we identify the underlying causes of the issues, experiment with different fixes, and analyze results, and as we move forward, we’ll use this blog to share our progress.

Implementing the Chrome Embedded Framework

We’re working to upgrade the component of the Viewer that’s responsible for rendering web content, including the Viewer splash screen (displayed before login), the content of a number of floaters, and inworld media-on-a-prim. This is important because it will fix a number of bugs (especially related to streaming media) that currently affect many Second Life users, and it will also make available many modern web features that aren’t possible with the Viewer today.

We’re making good progress on this initiative already, and expect to have an experimental Project Viewer ready for testing soon.

More Texture and Mesh Loading Improvements

Building upon the performance enhancements we made with Project Shining, we are continuing to make improvements to how the Viewer retrieves texture and mesh data from our servers.

The next round of improvements will reduce the number of connections the Viewer needs to get this data (making it easier on your router and network), while also using each connection to retrieve more data more quickly (for the technically inclined, this means that among other things we will add support for HTTP pipelining).

These improvements will mean that as you explore Second Life, objects will appear more quickly and reliably, especially for users who have longer latency connections (higher “ping times”), such as those who live outside the US.

We have begun doing small scale testing with a selected group of users, and the early results have been great from a performance point of view. Unfortunately, we’ve also encountered a bug that we need to tackle before we can move on to releasing a project Viewer. We’re eager to move ahead as quickly as we can, and will use this blog to announce that project Viewer as soon as it’s available.

Stay tuned for more!

Again, these certainly aren’t the only things we’re working on as we continue to improve Second Life, but they’re among our priority initiatives in the coming months. As we move forward on these and other improvements, you’ll hear more from us on this blog, so keep an eye out!

 

Linden Lab

If you keep an eye on Linden Lab announcements, you might have seen that we recently acquired Desura, the community-driven digital distribution service that puts the best games, mods and downloadable content from developers at gamers’ fingertips, ready to buy and play.


Now, Second Life is available on Desura (oh, and Patterns is too)! You can still access Second Life as always, but this now makes it easier for anyone with a Desura account to get into Second Life as well. If you have friends who are Desura players, help spread the word! And, if you’d like to check it out yourself, it’s free and easy to create a Desura account.

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Linden Lab

Since launching the beta of SL Go about a month ago, OnLive reports they’ve seen a very positive response to the Second Life® Viewer for Android™ that allows users to access Second Life over wifi or 4G LTE on tablets and laptops.

Today, OnLive has updated the SL Go beta with new pricing:

  • Monthly unlimited-use subscription for $9.95 (USD) / £6.95 (GBP). No contract and no commitment.

  • Reduced hourly rate: $1 / £0.70 per hour.

The previously available offer of a 20-minute free trial still stands.

Additionally, OnLive is expanding the regions where SLGo is available. The service is now supported in 36 countries - you can find the full list, along with more details over on OnLive’s blog here.

Linden Lab

Sizzling Summertime Deal on Premium Membership

There couldn’t be a hotter time to upgrade to a Premium Second Life membership than right now! Get all the perks for half the price* - weekly stipends of L$300, a L$1000 sign-up bonus, the ability to join more groups, exclusive Premium only sandboxes, free gifts, and more! You can learn more about Premium membership and upgrade your account here. This promotion ends June 29th at 8:00 AM SLT - so act now!

Fun in the Sun with a Premium Beach Set Gift

Once you upgrade to Premium membership, make a stop at one of the Premium only sandbox kiosks to collect your limited-edition Second Life Beach Set. This free gift has everything you’ll need to throw a groovy beach blanket bash, and is available to existing and new Premium members - but only for a limited time!

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If you act now - you can unlock early access to the upcoming Second Life 12th Anniversary avatar. Yes - as a Premium member - you can drop by the jungle and grab this limited edition avatar. While the Premium discount runs until June 29th, the avatar is only available until MIDNIGHT SLT tonight!

Dive on in to these deals - the water is perfect!

TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT- This limited-time discount offer is available only for purchases of 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 ($22.50 USD, excluding VAT where applicable). Sign-up bonus will be paid upon 45 consecutive days of membership. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Friday the 12th of June 2015 at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Monday the 29th of June 2015 at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Linden Lab

Machimina artist Draxtor Despres continues to showcase his explorations within Second Life this week as he discovers the deliciously demented minds behind MadPea Games.

Founded by Second Life resident Kiana Writer, MadPea brings together a collective of talented designers, storytellers, and game creators from around the world to create some of the best immersive storytelling experiences on the grid. Scripters from Holland manipulate the game mechanics with 3D modelers from the United States in real-time, while designers from Germany, France, and the U.K. help test gameplay. It is truly a global collaboration!

MadPea has built a strong reputation in the community for intellectually stimulating games that combine clever puzzles, cool graphics, and unexpected surprises.

Watch the video interview and meet the MadPea crew

.

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Next up is Mad City, a grid-wide scavenger hunt game full of dark secrets, eerie builds, and many mysteries debuting July 7. Later this year, MadPea will debut its most ambitious game yet

(as previewed in the video above).

DF_WM_E8_from_Berry-Kianna.jpgMadpea’s Kiana Writer explores Second Life.

For more info on The Drax Files: World Makers, be sure to check out Drax’s website at draxtor.com. If you haven’t yet watched the rest of the series, check out the past episodes at the links below:

 

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 1: Kriss Lehmann

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 2: Jo Yardley

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 3: Eshi Otawara

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 4: Fantasy Faire / RFL

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 5: Engrama

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 7: Rod Humble

Linden Lab

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Oakland city skyline at night. Image courtesy: thedude.com

The 7th Annual Second Life Community Convention 2011 will take place at the Oakland Marriott City Center in Oakland, CA from August 12-14, 2011, and registration is now open!  Linden Lab is a sponsor of this great event that is offered to you by the amazing AvaCon organization.  Read about them here!

The following article courtesy of: slconvention.org:

The Second Life Community Convention is three days of exciting activities, events, musical performances, machinima screenings, panels, workshops, and much more that showcases the abundant creativity of Second Life Residents.

Don't Just Attend — Be Part of the Convention

The Second Life Community Convention is more than just what is planned — the convention is also what you want to make it.  Don't just attend — share something with the community!

Submit a Proposal

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The Call for Proposals is up, and with five new track themes and fun presentation formats, you have the opportunity to share your hard work and creativity with the community that will most appreciate your efforts.  Don't want to give a full presentation? Consider doing a Speed Sparks session of 20 slides in five minutes to share the gist of your idea in a fast paced presentation style that was a huge hit last year!

 

 

Be a Staff Member, Track Leader, or Volunteer

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There are a few Staff and Track Leader positions open, and if you want to help run the show on the ground in Oakland or inworld, you are invited to join the team.  It's easy to ask "Why don't they do X?" but the real fun comes when you help make it happen!  Apply for a Staff or Track Leader position, or be an Oakland volunteer or Inworld volunteer today!

 

 

Sponsor the Convention

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If you have a product or service and want to get your message out to the most enthusiastic Second Life Residents, or if you just want to show your support, there's no better place to spread the word than at the Second Life Community Convention.  There are many levels of sponsorship, so it's more than affordable to help support this nonprofit, community produced event - become a sponsor!

 

Organize a Social Event

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The convention has a light schedule on Friday, Aug. 12th to make sure there's plenty of time for socializing and networking, and to give you the opportunity to organize your own fun events.  Check out the Social Events & Mixers page to organize a social event or outing for your friends and communities. Need ideas for things to do?  There is a terrific guide of things to do In & Around Oakland to help you get started!

 

 

Planning Your Trip

There has been lots of hard work this year to help keep the cost of the convention affordable, and there are a number of resources available to help you plan your trip.

 

Reserve Your Room at the Oakland Marriott City Center

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The convention will be held at the Oakland Marriott City Center in the heart of downtown Oakland, CA — just a ten minute train ride from San Francisco.  The best room rates ever have been negotiated!  $109 a night for up to quad occupancy, and free wireless internet access in guest rooms.  You must be registered for the convention to receive the group-rate discount, and you will receive the link to reserve your rooms in the email confirmation you receive when you register for SLCC.  Note that lunch on Saturday and Sunday is included in your convention registration, as well as free wireless internet access in all convention spaces.  If you need information about flying, driving, or taking the train to SLCC, check out our transportation guide to get all the details you need to get to the convention.

 

Budgeting & Sharing Expenses to Reduce Costs

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There is also a guide to help you budget for your trip. Visit the SLCC General Budget page to see a breakdown of convention expenses, a general budget guide to help you estimate costs for travel, and tips to help reduce the overall cost of the convention.  If you're interested in sharing expenses on hotel rooms or travel, you can also find information to help you coordinate Finding a Roommate or Carpool.

 

Program Information Coming Soon

More details will be announced soon about the program sessions and keynote speakers in the coming weeks.  SLCC is going to be a fun and thrilling three days of sharing, learning, and networking with Second Life Residents from around the world!

See you in Oakland!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Linden Lab

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It feels like we just packed away all that crystal magic from our 15th anniversary celebration, but our sweet sixteen is just around the corner! This summer, we’re throwing a huge celebration to commemorate 16 years with this incredible community and we wanted to fill you in on just a few of the details.

Sixteen years ago, on June 23rd, 2003, Second Life launched to the public. Though it feels like just yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time, this year we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go retro and embrace the “Sweet Sixteen” theme for our big party. Sock hops, bowling alleys, and late nights at the diner were a quintessential part of many teenagers lives back in the 1950s, but the 1950s were also a time of political and social change. The world was shocked by the iconic ‘Elvis pelvis,’ and poodle and pencil skirts changed the fashion world forever. Rebellion became the titillating pastime among all that soda shoppe sweetness. It was an era that - like Second Life - rocked and rolled! So, this summer we’re throwing a 1950s themed SL16B with a TON of fun events and happenings. Here is a brief rundown of just a few.

Save the Date
The dates of this year’s celebration will be June 20th, 2019 through - July 8th, 2019.

SL16B Applications for volunteers, performers and exhibitors will be opening soon - so stay tuned to our blog for more updates as these applications become available.

 SL16B Shopping Event
We’re bringing back our multi-region inworld shopping event, complete with gifts and great deals from many Merchants from all over the Grid. If you are a Merchant and you’re interested in submitting an application to participate, please visit and complete this form. The cut-off for submissions will be June 1st, 2019, so be sure to apply sooner rather than later. The shopping event will take place for the duration of the celebrations - June 20th, 2019 through - July 8th, 2019

SL16B Music Faire
The 1950s were an exciting time for music - and we have such an incredible live music community in Second Life, we’re going to carry on the spirit of Music Fest with a new event called Music Faire -  and will be announcing application for the audition showcase and more very soon.

SL16B Gifts and Parties
There really ain’t no party like a Second Life party - and there will be some parties within the party that you won’t want to miss. Come As You Were Party (dust off those oldbies and round up those Ruths) and a modern twist on the dance party are just a few of the opportunities you’ll have to come out and shake your virtual tail feathers. There will be costume prizes - so start planning those looks. Dates will be announced as we get closer to the celebration.

Last year we introduced the Swaginator at SL15B - and we’re bringing it back again this year with some updates and changes based on feedback. You’ll hear more about this as we get closer - but Swaginator gifts will be easier to get than ever!

See You There
We’re very excited to hit another incredible milestone this year and can’t wait to shake, rattle, and roll with all our Residents this summer. It’s going to be the ginchiest!

 

Linden Lab

 

 

In the newest installment of The Drax Files: World Makers, Draxtor Despres interviews Rose Borchovski, known throughout Second Life for her amazing and immersive art installations. Listen in as Drax and Rose discuss inspiration, the creation of Susa Bubble, current projects and more. Be sure to watch this thought-provoking episode of The Drax Files: World Makers.  

Find the

below or at Drax’s website.


Interested in more Drax Files? Watch all the previous episodes at the links below!

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 1: Kriss Lehmann

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 2: Jo Yardley

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 3: Eshi Otawara

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 4: Fantasy Faire / RFL

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 5: Engrama

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 7: Rod Humble

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 8: MadPea Games

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 9: Elie Spot

The Drax Files Episode 10: Robin Sojourner

The Drax Files Episode 11: Dwarfins

The Drax Files Episode 12: Ole Etzel

The Drax Files Episode 13: Creations for Parkinson's

The Drax Files Episode 13: Creations for Parkinson's

Linden Lab

Machinima artist Draxtor Despres is at it again, this time with an uplifting interview with Robin Sojourner, best known in Second Life for her texture tutorial and wonderfully crafted skins and clothing.

 

Join Robin as she shares her insights on creativity, teaching, and balancing offline and online life. Not to mention the importance of nurturing the creative spark in each of us. So pull up a chair,

and go make something!

 

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As always, be sure to catch up on previous Drax Files at Drax’s website and below!

 

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 1: Kriss Lehmann

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 2: Jo Yardley

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 3: Eshi Otawara

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 4: Fantasy Faire / RFL

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 5: Engrama

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 7: Rod Humble

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 8: MadPea Games

The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 9: Elie Spot

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