Linden Lab

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Linden Lab last won the day on March 7

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  1. Things were a little bumpy for users that tried to log into Second Life on Monday morning as a result of a scheduled code deploy. I wanted to share with you what happened, and what we're going to do to try and prevent this in future. That morning, I attempted to deploy a database change to an internal service. Without going into too much detail, the deploy was to modify an existing database table in order to add an extra column. These changes had been reviewed multiple times, had passed the relevant QA tests in our development and staging environments, and had met all criteria for a production deploy. Although this service isn't directly exposed to end-users, it is used as part of the login process and it is designed to fail open, i.e. if the service is unavailable, users should still be able to log in to Second Life without a problem. During the database change, the table being altered was locked to prevent changes to it while it was being altered. This table turned out to be almost a billion rows in size and the alteration took significantly longer than expected. Furthermore, the service did not fail open as designed, and caused logins to Second Life to fail, along with a handful of other ancillary services. Our investigation was further complicated by other problems seen on the Internet on Monday due to a configuration issue at one of the big ISPs in North America. Many of us work remotely and while we saw problems early on, it wasn't immediately clear to us that it was internal, rather than one caused by a third party service. After some investigation, the lock on the database was removed, and services slowly began to recover. We did have to do some additional work to restore the login service, as the Next Generation login servers (as described by April here) are not yet fully deployed. I'm still looking to complete this deploy in the near future, but this time we'll be using another method which doesn't require locking the database tables, and won't cause a similar problem. We're also investigating exactly why the service didn't fail open as it was designed to, and how we can prevent it from happening in the future. Steven Linden
  2. Today, we’re happy to share a brand new benefit for Premium subscribers: longer L$ transaction history! Starting today, Premium subscribers will be able to see their L$ transactions going back 90 days (basic account holders will continue to see 32 days of transaction history). There’s a ton of activity in Second Life’s L$ economy: every day, the Marketplace alone sees more than 20,000 unique buyers purchasing more than L$16,000,000 worth of goods from more than 15,000 unique sellers. That’s a whole lotta Lindens changing hands! And that’s not even including inworld transactions. With all that activity, transaction history can be a handy reference for shoppers and merchants alike for bookkeeping, providing customer support, or just keeping track of your own purchases and L$ spending. To see your L$ transaction history, just log in to SecondLife.com and visit your Account page. Longer transaction history is just the latest benefit that Premium subscribers enjoy. Other perks include weekly L$ stipends, priority entry to crowded regions, more group slots, exclusive gifts, a Linden home or tier allotment on the Mainland, and much more! Learn more and upgrade to Premium today at: http://secondlife.com/premium
  3. As we recently announced, we’re making multi-million dollar investments in Second Life that will benefit Residents in the near and long term, while also ensuring that the virtual world’s bright future ahead is even more awesome than its 14+ year history has been. Exciting times! Today, we want to update the Resident community on some of the initiatives funded by those investments, and also announce two fee changes that will enable us to invest in even more Second Life improvements in the future. Updates to LindeX and Credit Processing Fees Second Life’s vibrant Linden Dollar economy and the ability to process credits has a very real impact on the lives of many around the world. Residents have built extremely successful businesses in Second Life, charitable organizations have raised millions of dollars for important causes, and a great many creators earn enough L$’s to fund their hobbies and shopping habits. Underlying SL’s user-to-user economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering. This work comes at a cost, and we are adjusting related fees in order to help cover those costs and enable us to continue to invest in Second Life’s future. The changes are as follows: Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$'s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged. On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum. New & Upcoming Improvements to Second Life We’re investing across a number of areas for SL, including new features, engineering support, customer support, billing systems and upgrades, and customer acquisition outreach. Some of these will be long-term initiatives, but here are a few updates on some of the improvements you can enjoy right now (or very soon!): More fun, for everyone in SL. We introduced SL’s first grid-wide game Tyrah & the Curse of the Magical Glytches, giving all Residents a new experience to enjoy throughout SL. The game is designed to encourage a grid-wide level of participation and exploration, and already it’s been played by nearly 5,000 Residents. Very soon, we will enable Resident-owned locations to host portions of the game, and we will announce those details when ready. New creative tools. We recently released Animesh in beta, enabling creators to use skeletal animations with non-avatar objects - like wild animals, pets, vehicles, and scenery objects. Coming soon is EEP! (Environmental Enhancements Project), a series of extensions to Windlight that enable you to trade or sell your own environment settings. EEP will also allow Parcel-based environment settings and an extended day cycle too! More value for Premiums subscribers. In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a new perk for Premium subscribers (hint: it’s a feature that’ll be helpful for merchants and shoppers...). More customers for your businesses. We’re making changes to help get new users active in the SL economy more quickly and easily. The sooner a new user has L$ in her wallet and understands how to use them, the sooner she can become a customer for every business owner in SL, and so we’re working to streamline user flows and update tutorials to make that happen. New ways to stop the bad guys. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for successful platforms to attract cheaters and bad actors. Some of these villains attempt to hurt Residents’ businesses by bypassing creator protections in SL, and we’re continually developing new tools and techniques to combat this. Recently, we closed an exploit that fraudulent gacha re-sellers had used. Our governance team can now catch them when they attempt the cheating method that we have already fixed. Many bad actors have already been banned from SL, and additional changes will soon make our team even more effective. Protecting your creations and your SL businesses is important to us! We continue to make progress in the massive upgrade to SL infrastructure and move to the cloud (we call this project Brave New World). This move will (among many other things), help make SL more performant for Residents around the world, and may also enable us to introduce new products and more flexible pricing in the future. We continue on our mission of only sending email to verified addresses (more here). Missing IMs lately? To never miss an offline IM again, log in to your account on the web, click on “Account,” then “Change Email Settings,” and then simply click “Verify” next to your current address. Much more to come! Of course, we’re working on improvements to the SL Viewer, Simulator (servers), and Web properties all the time, and there’s more than we can fit into a single blog post. As we forge ahead you can keep up with the latest developments with the release notes we post to the forums: Viewer release notes Web release notes Simulator deploys
  4. Our support site (support.secondlife.com) will be undergoing an overhaul next Tuesday afternoon, the 7th of November. We want to provide the community with some advanced notice that the site will be down for about a day while we upgrade our support portal. What this means for Residents is that after 3pm (PT) on 11/07 you will be unable to submit, edit, or view your current support tickets. The downtime will be used to complete a migration of all the current support tickets to our new Customer Relationship Management tool. We currently plan to have the support system back up and running by 9am PT on 11/08. Once the initial upgrade and migration is completed we will re-open the support portal for all your support needs. Going forward, our support offering will be hosted by Freshdesk and all support tickets will be submitted through the new support site. The initial migration will include all open support tickets and any which have been opened since the beginning of 2017. We will be moving the rest of the tickets, but it will take a bit of time to migrate everything over. We have over 1.2 million tickets to move and nearly 200,000 live chat records, so please bear with us. It will take us some time to iron out all the details, but we are making sure that anything you need to access will be available. However, if you have a ticket from 2016 or earlier that you need to access before the end of the year, please collect that information before the change on 11/07. We hope the migration isn't a huge inconvenience to our community. Thank you for your patience as we migrate all tickets to the new Freshdesk platform. Keep an eye on the status blog as we will be updating it with details as we move forward with the deploy and migration. Cheers, Second Life Support Team
  5. There’s no trick to these treats! Halloween in Second Life is a season like no other, and this year marks the 14th year that Residents are sure to take the celebrations and festivities to new heights. We want to join in the fun with a few goodies to share! Half Off Quarterly Membership Starting today, for a limited time you can save 50% on your first quarter’s payment for a Premium Second Life Membership subscription.* In addition to long-standing perks like access to Premium Sandboxes, your own private home, a L$1000 sign-up bonus and a weekly L$ stipend to spend on whatever you want, Premium subscriptions have improved even more over time! Now, you also have preferred access to crowded Regions and events with the Premium Access feature, more group slots to stay connected with your interests, and increased capacity on missed messages from friends inworld. We are always adding more perks to Premium as well, with a few planned in the near future. Along with the above, Premium memberships include exclusive gifts and expanded live-chat customer support. This offer ends on November 2nd, 2017 - so find out more about upgrading to Premium today! Exclusive & Limited Halloween Gifts Are Out Now! Halloween isn’t just about dressing up and reveling in the spirit of all things spooky - there’s also that whole bag full of delicious treats your gather - so here are some stops you’re going to want to make to get your goodies. Exclusively for Premium members - we have Mary O’net - a special edition, wearable Glytch avatar. Mary is the perfect combination of elegant and creepy - a delight to don and dance away in haunted halls and stages all across the Grid! Go Premium, then pick up your very own Mary O’net at the inworld Premium Gift Kiosks. There’s also a bag bursting full of free treats for everyone! Just drop by Portal Park and see what’s in store for you inside the gift bag! There’s something for everyone inside - so be sure to drop by! The Return of the Haunted Halloween Tour Who says sequels never live up to the originals? The spine-chilling Haunted Tour is back again - and this third installment is scarier than ever! Some new additions to this house of horrors have been crafted for your enjoyment. Hop in a coffin and enjoy the wild wide through. By the way - if you have a fear of clowns, you may want to make sure you bring a friend! Face your fears, grab your favorite squad of fiend-fighting friends - follow the Halloween path at Portal Park and step on through. A coffin ride through the abyss awaits - but be sure to bring your horror movie squad to ensure you survive! Happy Halloween! *TERMS & CONDITIONS TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT</strong> This offer begins on October 19, 2017 at 8AM Pacific Time (PT) and expires on November 2, 2017 at 8AM PT. To qualify for this promotion, you must 1) have an existing Second Life (“SL”) basic account or create a new account, and 2) select quarterly (every three months) billing for your SL account. The fifty percent (50%) discount will be applied to your first month’s bill and future quarters will be billed at the standard Premium Membership price (currently US$22.50 per three months). For new accounts or accounts not previously upgraded to Premium Membership, after initial login through the Second Life viewer following upgrade to Premium Membership and: 1) following your first full week, the L$300 weekly stipend will be deposited to your account every Tuesday for the duration of your Premium Membership; and 2) after your account has been active for forty-five (45) consecutive days, the L$ sign-up bonus will be deposited to your account.
  6. These creepy creatures are NOT avatars, but Animesh! Animesh is a new Second Life feature that will allow independent objects to use rigged mesh and animations, just as you see today with mesh avatars. This means that you can now have wild animals, pets, vehicles, scenery features and other objects that play animations! Today Animesh is available as a beta project, and to get it to its final state, we need your help! Please try it out and give us your feedback in the Animesh Forum or in Jira . We’d love to hear from you what works and what might use some further improvements. If you’d like to experiment with and help test Animesh, there are a few things that will help you get started. First, you’ll need the Project Viewer build. We’ve also created a Wiki which outlines how you can begin playing with Animesh. Once you’ve downloaded the Project Viewer, you’ll need to access and upload any test content to the Aditi Beta Test Grid. Once the Animesh beta is over, and we’ve finalized the project, uploads to the main Second Life grid will be enabled, and the real fun can begin! We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with using Animesh, and look forward to hearing your input about this exciting new soon-to-be feature.
  7. International credit card issue problem?

    The email was legitimately from Linden Lab, and our intent was to spread the message first shared on the official blog: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2251-important-update-for-international-credit-card-users/ However, it was mistakenly sent to a list of Residents that included some who are not actually at risk of being impacted by the change. Our sincere apologies for the misdirected email as well as for any concern and confusion that's resulted from it. We are taking steps to improve our process for such communications in the future to avoid errors like this and to ensure that we make it as easy as possible for Residents to identify and confirm legitimate communications from Linden Lab.
  8. ****UPDATE 09-27-2017*** Note: this message was recently emailed to a list of Residents that mistakenly included some who are not actually at risk of being impacted by the change. Our sincere apologies for those misdirected emails as well as for any concern and confusion that's resulted from it. We are taking steps to improve our process for such communications in the future to avoid errors like this and to ensure that we make it as easy as possible for Residents to identify and confirm legitimate communications from Linden Lab. Due to some unexpected changes with our International Billing system, some Residents outside the United States with a Credit Card on file may have difficulty with their current payment method as of September 30, 2017. In order to avoid any service disruption, we encourage all Residents outside of the United States to please take a moment to log into your account and re-enter your existing Credit Card information. Doing so now will prevent any disruption in inworld and Marketplace purchases, as well as recurring monthly billing for Premium Accounts, Private Regions and monthly Mainland maintenance. If you have difficulty with your payment method after September 30, 2017, updating your payment information will resolve the issue. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we continue to upgrade our billing systems in order to best service our Residents around the world. If you have any questions regarding this notice, please visit https://support.secondlife.com to contact our Support teams.
  9. It has come to our attention that some Residents are sending messages - which may appear as popup windows in some viewers - informing other Residents that their accounts have been compromised and encouraging them to contact Support, using a phone number that is not associated with Linden Lab. These messages are phishing attempts to gain access to your Second Life account. Neither Linden Lab, nor Second Life Customer Support, would attempt to contact you in this manner. You can always find Linden Lab’s official customer support contact methods within the following links: https://support.secondlife.com/billing-support/ https://support.secondlife.com/contact-support/ As always, please be wary of suspicious messages and contact from other users. If you believe your account has been compromised, please contact us via support case at https://support.secondlife.com/
  10. ***09-26-2017 UPDATE - We've confirmed that this issue has been resolved and you should no longer see the warning.*** Next time you update your Second Life Viewer on Windows there is a chance that you'll get a warning from Windows Defender SmartScreen that looks something like: Assuming you got the installer by downloading from our web site or through an automatic viewer update, you can safely tell it to "Run anyway". What's happening? When you launch something that's been download from the Net, Windows checks with Microsoft to see whether or not the thing you're launching is ok. When the answer is effectively "we're not sure," that warning is displayed. Normally, we don't get these warnings because for many years we've been digitally signing the viewer and its installer and Microsoft has been recording the fact that things signed by us have been installed many times by many users. Unfortunately, what Microsoft uses to recognize that the application is from Linden Lab is the code signing key we used to generate the signatures. That key expired this week, and we had to get a new one. Until enough people install the application signed by that new key, it won't have a good enough "reputation" with Microsoft to avoid the warning. So please help out your fellow Windows users (and us :-) ) and install those updates so that our new key develops the same well-trusted reputation the retired one had.
  11. Exactly 10 years ago today, award-winning media maker Draxtor Despres (a.k.a. Draxtor™) uploaded to YouTube one of his most-acclaimed pieces of virtual journalism: “Virtual Guantánamo [in Second Life].” The video, which received mainstream media coverage and won an “Every Human Has Rights” Media Award, was conceived at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) with a MacArthur Foundation grant in 2006. This early machinima production documented the making of the Gone Gitmo project (“Virtual Guantánamo”), a 3D replica of the infamous Guantánamo Bay Detention Center in Second Life. Inworld visitors to this virtual prison experience were subjected to an “abduction” simulation that included a dark plane ride and being thrown in a cage. Until its closure in 2013, this inworld project was also used for multiple mixed reality panel discussions including events affiliated with Seaton Hall Law School and the ACLU. The project was a collaboration between VR pioneer Nonny de la Peña and former USC professor and artist Peggy Weil, both of whom created the project under the mentorship of former BAVC creative director Wendy Levy. Second Life was the ideal platform for the ambitious project, and it demonstrated how virtual worlds could be used as a storytelling medium for social justice issues. This month, Draxtor revisits his original reporting and meets again with the people behind this pioneering piece in immersive journalism that served as the precursor to the popular ethnographic series on virtual lives “The Drax Files.” Want to see more Second Life stories? Find previous episodes of The Drax Files: World Makers at Draxtor’s website, or at the links below — and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel — where you can watch the entire series. The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 45: Arduenn Schwartzman The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 44: Istanbul University The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 43: nnoiz Papp The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 42: Death Row Designs The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 41: Vista Animations The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 40: Bernhard Dörries The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 39: Sergio Delacruz The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 38 : Eboni Khan The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 37 : Nonprofit Commons The Drax Files: World Makers - Episode 36 : Sominel Edelman
  12. Hi everyone! Mazidox here. I’d like to give you an overview of what happened on Wednesday (09/06) that ended up with some Residents’ objects being mass returned. Two weeks ago, we had several problems crop up all at once - starting with a DNS server outage (a server that helps route requests between different parts of Second Life). Unfortunately, when the dust settled, we started seeing a disturbing trend: mass-returns of objects. We diagnosed an issue where a region starts up with incorrect mesh Land Impact calculations, which could lead to a lot of objects getting returned at once, as we had encountered several months ago. At that time we applied what we call a speculative fix. A speculative fix means that while we can’t recreate the circumstances that led to a problem, we are still fairly confident that we can stop it from happening again. Unfortunately, in this case we were mistaken; because the fix we applied was speculative, the problem wasn’t fixed as completely as it could have been, and we found out how incomplete the fix was in a dramatic fashion that Wednesday night. When a problem like this occurs with Second Life we have three priorities: Stop the problem from getting worse Fix the damage that has been done Keep the problem from happening again We had the first priority taken care of by the end of the initial outage; we could be certain at that point that our servers could talk to each other and there weren’t going to be any more mass-returns of objects that day. At that point, we started assessing the damage and figuring out how to fix as much as we could. In this case it turned out that restarted affected regions where no objects had been returned fixed the problem of some meshes showing the wrong Land Impact. For regions where a mass-return had happened, there wasn’t a quick fix. Our Ops team managed to figure out a partial list of what regions were affected by a mass object return, which kept our Support team very busy with clean up. Once we helped everyone we knew, who had experienced mass object returns our focus shifted once more, this time to keeping the problem from happening again. In order to recreate all the various factors that caused this object return we needed to first identify each contributing factor, and then put those pieces together in a test environment. Running tests and finding strange problems is the Server QA team’s specialty so we’ve been at it since the morning after this all happened. I have personally been working to reproduce this, along with help from our Engineering and Ops teams. We’re all focused on trying to put each of the pieces together to ensure that no one has to deal with a mass-return again. Your local bug-hunting spraycan, Mazidox Linden
  13. As we teased at the end of August, an all new grid-wide gaming experience has been in the works here at the Lab, and today we’re excited to announce that it’s opening! Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches is here for you to explore - read on for the details. MAGELLAN IS DEAD!!! Dr Talpa has not been seen since his robot army was defeated and Tyrah escaped before he could turn her into a cyborg. The moles are in shock and mourning Magellan's passing. Who will protect the grid now that he is gone?? No one is sure… Mischievous, magical creatures called Glytches are creating havoc upon the grid! Where did the Glytches come from? What does Tyrah have to do with it? Curse?! Learn all in this special background video! It’s up to you, the Residents, to save the grid from these adorably rascally creatures. As you catch them, you get to keep them! Sometimes when you catch them, you are also given gems which you can use to upgrade your weapons, play a prize lottery, and even enter special bonus regions chock-full of more Glytches and gems. To get started, go to the Portal Park and find the new portal to Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches. Walk through that portal, watch the background story and tutorial videos if you haven’t already, pick up your starter kit from The Apothecary, and start hunting! The Glytches are all over the grid, in places like PaleoQuest, Linden Realms, Horizons, various InfoHubs and other locations. They’re even on parcels owned by Residents! Don’t worry, they won’t be on your own personal parcel unless you want them there. There’s information about how to apply to host Glytches on your parcels in the Official TCMG Wiki page. Getting Your Glych Collection Started Remember that mysterious Egg you picked up during Second Life’s 14th birthday celebrations? Bring it with you! It’s finally ready to hatch! To hatch your egg, pick it up (wear it, just don’t sit on it, because...ew!) and take it to Hartyshire. Find the hatchery located inside the Gift Shop, and click on the hatchery. You must be wearing your egg in order to hatch it. Your Mission ... Now that the threat of the Glytches is real, will you rise up as a hero and capture as many as you can? Can Tyrah count on your help? Head over to Portal Park and start your Glytch-collecting adventure now!
  14. Second Life Pic of the Day 09.13.2017

    Second Life Pic of the day is "Untitled", from Zdei Mortiss. To submit your image for Second Life Pic of the Day consideration, add it to the Official Second Life Flickr Group. Be sure to check us out on social: Facebook Twitter Google+ Tumblr Pinterest Plurk
  15. Dear Second Life Residents, It’s been an exciting summer at Linden Lab. Second Life celebrated its 14th anniversary, and shortly thereafter we also opened Sansar’s creator beta to the world. In addition, we are thrilled to announce a set of investments into Second Life and its communities that will include enhancements to our engineering support, customer support, billing systems and upgrades, and customer acquisition outreach. In all, we’ve budgeted many millions (USD, not L$...) in the coming year to make SL even better, and we’ll keep everyone up to date on improvements as they roll out (or sooner). This summer’s milestones have given us all another opportunity to reflect on just how strong the Second Life community is, what an incredible history SL has had so far, and what an amazing future lies ahead for the virtual world and its Residents. For more than 14 years, you’ve created memorable experiences, diverse communities, close relationships, thriving economies, engaging art, exciting events, and amazing creations of all kinds. You’ve made the world, and we’re proud to provide the platform and tools that help you to do so. We at Linden continue to be impressed by what we witness from Residents every day, and we want you to know that we share that commitment to and love for Second Life. Here are a few of the things you can look forward to soon: We are hard at work upgrading all of the SL infrastructure and moving it to the cloud, which will bring a wealth of opportunities to Residents near and far, and allow us, among many other things, to make SL more performant for Residents across the world from us. It may also allow us to introduce new products with more flexible pricing. We’re working on several features to increase the value of Premium subscriptions. Most recently we gave Premium members priority access to near-full events, and shortly, we’ll be ready to unveil another bit of exciting news for subscribers. We're building out a series of great extensions to Windlight (code name: EEP!), which will give value, flexibility, and new marketability to land, and will make Windlight settings tradeable assets. We have an extension to the animation system in the works (code name: Animesh) that will allow non-avatar objects to use more powerful and efficient skeletal animations the way avatars can today, and even more changes planned for creators and merchants later in the year. We’ve also got new experiences and events coming. An exciting new grid-wide gaming experience is coming soon! The team can’t wait to share the details with you in just a few days. Also in the works for this fall is an updated Halloween Haunted Tour, with new spooktacular events to celebrate. Not to mention, we’re turning 15 next year - SL15B, baby! That’s an incredible milestone and we are looking forward to collaborating with you to produce an amazing celebration. Long live Second Life and long live the creative process in the amazing worlds that you've trail-blazed! Thank you for filling SL with your creations and communities all of these past 14+ years, and here’s to many, many more together. Best, Ebbe Linden, CEO & the Second Life Team