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Linden Lab

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Linden Lab last won the day on June 20 2018

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  1. Hi Residents! We had one of the longest periods of downtime in recent memory this week (roughly four hours!), and I want to explain what happened. This week we were doing much needed maintenance on the network that powers Second Life. The core routers that connect our data center to the Internet were nearing their end-of-life, and needed to be upgraded to make our cloud migration more robust. Replacing the core routers on a production system that’s in very active use is really tricky to get right. We were determined to do it correctly, so we spent over a month planning all of the things we were going to do, and in what order, including full rollback plans at each step. We even hired a very experienced network consultant to work with us to make sure we had a really good plan in place, all with the goal of interrupting Second Life as little as we could while improving it. This past Monday was the big day. A few of our engineers (including our network consultant) and myself (the team manager) arrived in the data center, ready to go. We were going to be the eyes, ears, and hands on the ground for a different group of engineers that worked remotely to carefully follow the plan we’d laid out. It was my job to communicate what was happening at every step along the way to my fellow Lindens back at the Lab, and also to Residents via the status blog. I did this to allow the engineering team to focus on the task at hand. Everything started out great. We got the first new core router in place and taking traffic without any impact at all to the grid. When we started working on the second core router, however, it all went wrong. As part of the process of shifting traffic over to the second router, one of our engineers moved a cable to its new home. We knew that there’d be a few seconds of impact, and we were expecting that, but it was quickly clear that something somewhere didn’t work right. There was a moment of sheer horror in the data center when we realized that all traffic out of Second Life had stopped flowing, and we didn’t know why. After the shock had worn off we quickly decided to roll back the step that failed, but it was too late. Everyone that was logged into Second Life at the time had been logged out all at once. Concurrency across the grid fell almost instantly to zero. We decided to disable logins grid-wide and restore network connectivity to Second Life as quickly as we could. At this point we had a quick meeting with the various stakeholders, and agreed that since we were down already, the right thing to do was to press on and figure out what happened so that we could avoid it happening again. We got a hold of a few other folks to communicate with Residents via the status blog, social media, and forums, and I kept up with the internal communication within the Lab while the engineers debugged the issue. This is why logins were disabled for several hours. We were determined to figure out what had happened and fix the issue, because we very much did not want it to happen again. We’ve engineered our network in a way that any piece can fail without any loss of connectivity, so we needed to dig into this failure to understand exactly what happened. After almost four very intense hours of debugging, the team figured out what went wrong, worked around it, and finished up the migration to the new network gear. We reopened logins, monitored the grid as Residents returned, and went home in the middle of the night completely wiped out. We’ve spent the rest of this week working with the manufacturer of our network gear to correct the problem, and doing lots of testing. We’ve been able to replicate the conditions that led to the network outage, and tested our equipment to make sure it won’t happen again. (Even they were perplexed at first! It was a very tricky issue.) As of the middle of the week we’ve been able to do a full set of tests including deliberately disconnecting and shutting down a router without impact to the grid at all. Second Life is a really complex distributed system, and it never fails to surprise me. This week was certainly no exception. I also want to answer a question that’s been asked several times on the forums and other places this week. That question is “why didn’t LL tell us exactly when this maintenance was going to happen?” As I’ve had to blog about several other times in the past, the sad reality is that there are people out there who would use that information with ill intent. For example, we’re usually really good at handling DDoSes, but it requires our full capacity being online to do it. A DDoS hitting at the same time our network maintenance was in progress would have made the downtime much longer than it already was. We always want what’s best for Second Life. We love SL, too. We have to make careful decisions, even if it comes at the expense of being vague at times. I wish this wasn’t the case, but sadly, it very much is. We’re really sorry about this week’s downtime. We did everything we possibly could have to try to avoid it, and yet it still happened. I feel terrible about that. The week was pretty awful, but does have a great silver lining. Second Life is now up and running with new core routers that are much more powerful than anything we’ve had before, and we’ve had a chance to do a lot of failure testing. It’s been a rough week, but the grid is in better shape as a result. Thanks for your patience as we recovered from this unexpected event. It’s been really encouraging to see the support some folks have been giving us since the outage. Thank you, you’ve really helped cheer a lot of us up. ❤️ Until the next time, April Linden Second Life Operations Manager
  2. One of the most popular categories in the Second Life Destination Guide is our listing of Photogenic Spots that highlight beautiful spaces to snap and share with friends. Among our current favorites is Missing Melody, a delightful seaside retreat that features a quaint main square lined with colorful houses and plenty of places to relax. This picture-perfect spot has already caught the attention of the Second Life community with a flattering post from VIRTUALITY including a three-minute fly-through video and an active Flickr group. This week’s Destinations video takes a quick peek at Missing Melody - but we encourage you to login and check it out yourself. Missing Melody Waking up to a new dawn. Smiling at the awaking sun humming a nostalgic tune. Missing Melody is a collaboration of best friends coming together to create something new. Visit in Second Life
  3. Over seven years ago, I posted my first set of Viewer release notes to the Second Life Wiki, where we have kept all of our release notes to this day. Over the years, we’ve made some minor tweaks to the appearance and how we generate them, but for they most part they have remained the same. While the wiki has served us well for release notes, it’s time to improve their readability and browsability. We’ve been putting together the finishing touches to a new website dedicated solely to release notes, with a new look and feel that makes the individual pages easier to find, and easier to read - take a look! Previous release notes will still be archived on the wiki, however, new releases will be shared and published on the new website. Our goal is to improve overall accessibility and ease in browsing and reviewing release notes. I, personally, am excited to see the dedicated new website and hope you are too! Steven Linden
  4. Why do people start virtual families and have kids in Second Life? That’s the question tackled in the latest edition of “The Drax Files,” which explores last week’s high-profile debut of Zooby Animesh Babies in Second Life. Zooby’s latest release is one of several popular virtual baby offerings in Second Life including Suki Babies, K-Mae and Funsies. “People really like to care for others,” says Carrie Tatsu who is a pioneer in the creation of virtual babies in Second Life. “Human connection is human connection. We have human connection when we meet people face-to-face. We have human connection virtually. Both are valid.” When mentioning her business in casual conversation, Carrie is no stranger to the outright dismissal of this phenomenon as strange. Why would anyone in their right mind be interested in nurturing an assembly of pixels inside a digital world? “There are a lot of people in virtual worlds who can’t have babies...or maybe they are just people who want to connect with other human beings across the world. I’ve gotten multiple letters about this.” In the video, Carrie reads an example of one such letter. “All my life I wanted to be a mommy. After three miscarriages and a hysterectomy at 40, I felt my dream of being a mommy would never be realized. Then I found out I could have babies on SL...I just had to tell you how thankful, grateful and deeply appreciative I am to you for making my dream a reality.” Carrie adds, “What [virtual family roleplay] does is it provides a way to experience having a baby with somebody else. Roleplay becomes something that becomes much more genuine in a space that you design. Second Life gives them that opportunity to exist as we see ourselves...where we don't feel like we are judged. We can have an experience that is genuine and real.” Video Production: Draxtor Despres
  5. Second Life is home to virtual replicas of many worldly locations. Many have been lovingly recreated in great details from images and visits to those locations in the world. The Hotel Chelsea - which serves as an icon for art, the Bohemian movement, and holds an arguably unmatched history of New York City culture - is one of those locations that has a virtual twin within Second Life. They are celebrating their 10th Anniversary in Second Life - starting this Friday at 1 pm - with live music and events. In 2009, Resident Mykal Skall decided to build a small, virtual interpretation of the Hotel Chelsea on the Grid. Through his friendship with the keeper of the Chelsea Blog, Mykal was able to eventually gain access to the original main floor blueprint, and in 2011, Virtual Chelsea went under some serious renovation - resulting in a more realistic and accurate replica of the original hotel. The Virtual Chelsea Hotel is open for visitors - be sure to stop by during their 10th anniversary celebration, or check in later, if you’re unable to make the event! The Virtual Chelsea Hotel The Virtual Chelsea Hotel is the official virtual reproduction of NYC's Real Chelsea Hotel. We feature live music, DJ-ed events and 25 art galleries. It's also a place where you can rent rooms and apartments and live out all your Chelsea Bohemian dreams. New residents are always welcome in this friendly community. Come visit the authentic Chelsea Hotel! Visit in Second Life Be sure to share your pics on the Second Life Official Flickr group.
  6. Pictured: Phox and Sonya Communities play such a huge part in our lives when it comes to finding our support systems, friends, social outlets, and even love. They help match us with people who have similar interests, spiritual and/or life philosophies, and in some cases fandoms and special interests. In the case of Sonya and Phox - two once-strangers who came into Second Life looking for different things - it was a community of role-players that led them to one another. Phox was looking for an active online furry community and found pictures of Second Life furries that led him to sign up, and Sonya was looking to try something new and outside of her comfort zone. There first “in person” meeting included a boat ride with her parents! You can watch a virtual re-enactment of that trip in the video. “To anyone looking for love in Second Life … when you’re not looking for it that’s when it’s gonna find you,” says Sonya. “It’ll find you twice as hard.” Sonya who now shares her life with her husband, Phox, and their adorable first born child. “Don’t be afraid to meet people” adds Phox. To learn more about Phox and Sonya’s story, watch the latest episode of “Love Made in SL” below. Part of this episode were filmed at The Arabesque Cafe - a Region that was built in tribute to the Kingdom of Sand role-playing Region that Phox and Sonya first met. You can visit it below. The Arabesque Cafe The Arabesque Cafe features belly dancers, harem girls, music and conversation. A meeting place for lost Kingdom of Sand members. Come to dance and enjoy the nostalgia in a free-form role play setting. Visit in Second Life Did you miss an episode of “Love Made in SL”? Catch up on the entire series on our YouTube channel. Credits: Video production: Draxtor Despres Love made in SL logo: Marianne McCann
  7. Today's Second Life pic of the day is "In the middle of nowhere" NatG To submit your image for Second Life Pic of the Day consideration, login to Second Life, snap some pics and add them to the Official Second Life Flickr Group. Be sure to check us out on social: Instagram Facebook Twitter Tumblr Pinterest Plurk
  8. Today's Second Life pic of the day is "LOTD #303 - Sync’D Motion - DRIP" Renan Mckeenan. To submit your image for Second Life Pic of the Day consideration, login to Second Life, snap some pics and add them to the Official Second Life Flickr Group. Be sure to check us out on social: Instagram Facebook Twitter Tumblr Pinterest Plurk
  9. Happy Thursday! We’re happy to announce that another long-requested feature is now a reality! With the latest update deployed to the Marketplace, we’ve added the ability to nominate up to five additional residents as ‘store managers’. All store managers will have basic access to a number of abilities to assist the store owners in administration of their store: Edit store details Edit product details List an unlisted item View store and product details Store owners will also be able to provide the following additional permissions to their designated store managers, to be set individually. Store managers will be unable to perform any of these functions without the specific permission being granted: Unlist an item Redeliver items (including changing automatic redelivery status) Add/remove revenue distributions Add/remove listing enhancements Change prices Regardless of individual permissions, we’re always looking out for the interests of our store owners: All actions taken by a store manager are logged and review-able by store owners Additionally, no store manager will be able to: Archive products Add/remove other managers To learn more about how store managers work along with the various abilities and permissions available, please consult our knowledge base article detailing the feature. Please take a look and let us know what you think. We look forward to your comments and bug reports in Jira
  10. Last week, we blogged about the opening of Fantasy Faire - and many of you have probably already dropped by to see what is available from the hundreds of Merchants who have items that will go to the benefit of the American Cancer Society. Did you also know that there’s a big Literary Festival that is part of the faire this year - with story-telling, dramatic performances, workshops, and author meet and greets? Find out more about all the events happening on the Fantasy Faire website. This year’s Literary Festival guest of honor is Elizabeth Bear. Elizabeth will be appearing in Second Life for an interview on Tuesday April 23rd , which appropriately is on #WorldBookDay. There’s also a separate reading on Friday April 26. Both events will take place from 2-3pm SLT (Pacific). Here is a snippet taken from her author bio on her website: [Elizabeth Bear] is the Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, and Campbell Award winning author of dozens of novels; over a hundred short stories; and a number of essays, nonfiction, and opinion pieces for markets as diverse as Popular Mechanics and The Washington Post. She lives in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts with her spouse, writer Scott Lynch. The full schedule for the Literary Festival can be seen on the Fantasy Faire website, but if you want to attend the Elizabeth Bear events, follow the Destination Guide link below. Elizabeth Bear Event at Fantasy Faire Sci-fi and fantasy author Elizabeth Bear is the Litfest guest of honor at this year's Fantasy Faire and will appear at two special inworld events. On Tuesday, April 23 at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific), she will arrive at the Fantasy Faire in her avatar form for an interview. On Friday, April 26 at 2 p.m. (Pacific), she will again visit the Faire to read from her works. Learn more at fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/elizabeth-bear-at-litfest. Visit in Second Life
  11. Today's Second Life pic of the day is "690" Geri Nayar. To submit your image for Second Life Pic of the Day consideration, login to Second Life, snap some pics and add them to the Official Second Life Flickr Group. Be sure to check us out on social: Instagram Facebook Twitter Tumblr Pinterest Plurk
  12. We’re happy to announce some great changes for Estate Managers which rolled out in Tuesday’s Viewer Release. This shiny new viewer is a brave foray into improving the state of Estate Access Management! We can’t wait to see what you think about it. Here’s what you’ll find: New “Access” tab in the Region/Estate floater with subtabs for “Estate Managers”, “Allowed”, “Allowed Groups”, and “Banned” Recording banned date, banned by, and last login for each banned account † Search & Sort within each of the sub-tabs Copy Banlist & Allowed-list Added a confirmation for adding or removing from a list More Estate Managers! We’re upping the number to 15. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility. † these features only available going forward. Known Issues There is currently an issue where newly added Estate Managers will need to relog in order to view access lists. A fix for this will be arriving in an upcoming server release. As always, please file a Jira to tell us about any problems you discover or request additions or feature changes to this functionality.
  13. Due to continued changes in the Facebook API, as of today the Second Life viewer will no longer be able to support Facebook Connect for sharing your inworld photos and posts. We apologize for this inconvenience and will be removing the UI from the viewer shortly. We will, of course, be happy to see your SL posts on Facebook going forward, and you can always say hello and check out what’s happening on our official page: https://www.facebook.com/secondlife
  14. The Fairelands are open and this year’s Fantasy Faire is steaming full of Merchants who are donating a portion of their proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Check the vendors to see which items are exclusive for the benefit of the American Cancer Society. As is clear in the name, this event is all about Fantasy - from dragons and fairies, to any other majestic creature you can imagine, this is the place to fulfill your flair for the fantastical. Costumes, masks, and other delightful wares line the booths in each gorgeously built and decorated portal. You can shop, quest, dance, and frolic across each Region between now and May 5th. 2019 This week’s Destination video takes a glimpse inside the Fairlands. Don your fantasy looks and head on over. Don’t forget that your purchases will benefit the American Cancer Society. Fantasy Faire 2019 Celebrating its 11th year, Fantasy Faire 2019 is the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, role-players and performers in the virtual world. Held April 18-May 5, treat yourself to shopping, dance and theater performances, DJ parties, auctions, questing, a Literary Festival, fantasy art, events and role-playing as thousands of Second Life residents and creators bring their own visions together to support the American Cancer Society’s vision of a world without cancer. More at fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com. Visit in Second Life
  15. Spring is in full swing, and that means the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, and those Glytches are … well glytching! We've scattered special eggs around various Regions throughout Second Life. Your task is to find the eggs, follow the clues inside, and if you make it to the end of the hunt, you’ll earn an exclusive prize! This Spring hunt is only here for a week - so be sure to get hunting by April 24th, 2019 - or this prize will be lost forever. We will get you started with the first clue here: Start your hunt in Hartyshire, where the Glytches have been poaching the shiniest yolks! Spring Egg Hunt We've got a special Springtime gift for you - but you're going to have to find it! We've scattered eggs around various regions in Second Life. Find the eggs, follow the clues, and earn eggs-clusive rewards. Event ends April 24. Here is your first clue: The Glytches have been poaching the shiniest yolks! Visit in Second Life
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