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September 2018 - A Conversation with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg

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1. We've been experiencing a lot of voice issues lately. For example choppiness and voice dropping. This has been happening all over the grid and is not bandwidth related. Similar issues occurred last year and seemed to have been resolved. In addition, will there be any fixes for the auto-ducking issue where when the volume is low the voice does not transmit. Right now singers have to a) purposely increase the output volume to keep low parts of a song from causing the voice to drop out, or b) switch to media streaming which is awkward and non-inclusive. This causes trouble during karaoke, for example. And, sometimes voice cuts out and the only way to solve it is to "wiggle" the audio input slider via the voice preferences. These are problems that have been around for years. Is there any progress on upgrading or improving the voice system to resolve these issues?

2. Global experiences seem like a security risk, especially when considering that users of the Firestorm viewer for example are forced to allow the Firestorm experience and cannot block / forget / remove the experience. Such an experience is currently automatically allowed when visiting sims controlled by Firestorm experience admins at the moment, and you as a user are safe anywhere else that has not added the experience to the currently allowed experiences. Have considerations been made for protecting users against automatic global control of their viewer via such experiences? The ability to force teleport or force an invisible HUD or object onto the user or stalk users with an experience grid-wide in this fashion becomes a very real problem.

3. Are there any plans for improving user retention and what are they? Have any approaches been devised to encourage new users to sign up?

4. Are there any plans for upgrading the graphics in the coming year?

5. How is the cloud roll out going and what are some milestones and dates for its progress? Which company will be hosting the cloud service?

6. Will there be any reduction in land prices or further increases in prim allowance? For mainland? For private island owners?

7. Has any progress been made on my original request at the previous town hall meeting for two factor authentication or for the ability to reboot a sim while keeping visitors in place while the reboot occurs without needing to teleport out?

8. What percentage of the mainland is for sale?

9. Many people seem to believe the company wants to shut down Second Life. There is a belief that Linden Research is obsoleting the platform by moving developers away from it for other projects, not back porting features from Sansar, and not providing stewardship for the platform and its community. Can the company confirm a commitment to SL as a platform?

10. What is going to be done about bot trafficking if anything?

11. As sim owners how do we better control our sims to prevent attacks? Are better tools going to become available? For example, right now I have to set my sim to require payment information (which is undesireable) in order to keep the sim at a certain level of maintainable sanity against malicious alts, crashers, stalkers, doxxers, etc. What can Linden Research, Inc. provide us to stop this that doesn't require turning away almost all new users from visiting via that flag?

12. What can the company do to help assist Adult sim owners in keeping our regions 18+? I am an adult sim owner, which isn't actually even a sex sim but I have it as adult to keep the discussion level mature, allow nudity or mature conversation discussions if desired by visitors, and to prevent unwanted romantic relationships from forming between visitors. Currently I have to rely on the 18+ flag checkbox, the fact that the sim is set to Adult, the requirement of payment information, asking people their ages when they visit for the first time, and relying on my visitors to keep an eye out for interlopers. And of course, this becomes everyone's favorite "troll" to ask me to ban someone they simply don't like for it when it isn't true which as you can imagine creates a lot of drama. My question is, what can Linden Research do to help assist in guaranteeing that we can provide this restriction accurately?

13. Are there plans to port Second Life and Sansar to game consoles? Which ones and when? If not, why?

 

Edited by Palisade Coronet
Added a few questions
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On 8/23/2018 at 11:28 AM, Vanity Fair said:

(Ryan Schultz from Sansar here, hi Ebbe!)

My question for you is: when will Second Life Premium users be able to select a new first name-last name combination?

My post on my blog about this upcoming SL change is now my most popular blogpost by far, with 2,266 views as of today! So I think that you can expect a lot of people to take advantage of this feature when it does become available.

We're working on making sure that nothing breaks with name changes, in particular Marketplace and Profiles.  Both of these require substantial changes to make that work.

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On 8/23/2018 at 12:09 PM, Alyona Su said:

Is there any timeline on when "Bakes on Mesh" will be released? I'd love to use some of those ten years worth of old "system layers" type clothing and stuff on my meshy-self rather than using appliers over and over. I'm personally looking forward to this new feature more than any other.

Glad you’re excited about it!  We too are happy to see the end of onion avatars in the future.  Bakes on Mesh requires updates to a few back end components. We're in the process of upgrading them, but they have to be done one at a time. We're making progress, and believe this will be out this year.

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On 8/23/2018 at 12:53 PM, Fionalein said:

I recently got some ads for joining SL while using other services - already being in SL those ads are kinda wasted on me. Did you invest into target optimized ads - because if you do the target optimization kinda failed ;) - if you however just target "casual online gamers" I greatly welcome this idea to advertise SL.

  • There are lots of changes happening in our performance marketing and acquisition efforts including new paid and non-paid efforts to bring in more casual gamers to Second Life and to appeal to more specific communities in general.
  • For example, we’ve rolled out several new themed campaigns over the past few months, including topics as diverse and specific as maternity role-playing, fashion, sci-fi role-playing, virtual pets and LGBTQ/Pride campaigns.
  • As for optimizing our ads, we’re implementing some changes to better ensure that our paid ads are served more accurately to audiences that are more likely to want to see them. For example, we would not want to advertise to “join Second Life” to existing Residents -- but we might want to target existing SL Residents with ads that encourage them to come back for a specific event.
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On 8/23/2018 at 1:24 PM, Heathernorton said:

Can we have 15 mins of auto-return time on all Linden water? Currently it varies from almost instant to 15 mins. This would help out the sailing/boating community greatly 

Thank you

Perhaps, it’s something we can consider.  It’s a lengthy process to review what is set-up and change it, so maybe sometime in the future when we’re working on other updates we can incorporate a change like this.

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On 8/23/2018 at 3:23 PM, Coby Foden said:

Additional question: Why should this name change / name selection thing be only available for premium members?
Wouldn't it be more fair that everybody can change their name if they wanted to? And pay for the name change.
Every new user creating an account should be able to select first and last name free of any charge. Nobody would pay for name when creating an account.

Based on previous results, we believe that the simplicity of picking just one name to create an account is better for people new to Second Life.  We love our Premium members and strive to provide them with ever more exclusive benefits. There will still be a fee associated with name changes, even with a Premium account.  Not decided how much yet.

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On 8/23/2018 at 6:47 PM, Erwin Solo said:

My question.  SANSAR's native support for Maya software is great.  Can we have that capability in SL?  In SL, most of us find the best way to get Maya models into SL is to pass them through Blender first.  It seems a shame to have to run output from a top-tier solid modeling program (Maya) through the rather clunky Blender freeware just to get models into SL.

What is it about Maya that gets in the way of using it directly? Jiras describing the specific problems would help.  Our engineering and QA teams really love detailed bug reports.

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On 8/23/2018 at 8:45 PM, Marth Coberts said:

Is there any update on the new Linden Homes that's 100% official and able to be shared, as well as a guesstimated ETA?

 

Also regarding the Last Names returning: Will we pick from a randomized list like we have in the past?

Linden Homes: We don’t have an official date to share yet, but we are working hard on it. Stay tuned.

Last Names: That is the plan, yes; there will be a list of names that will change from time to time.  None of the existing names will be used. There will be a way for users to nominate new names.

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