Showing posts with label Linden Lab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linden Lab. Show all posts

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Lab reconsiders change to group limits for Basic Accounts





On 29th May, Linden Lab blogged some changes to Basic and Premium accounts.   You can see the original story we posted here.

Whenever there is a fee or feature modification, it is inevitable that some Residents will be displeased.  However one change in particular caused mass upset, and that was the proposed reduction of Groups for Basic accounts (from 42 to 35).

A few hours ago, the Lab reversed this specific change due to "strong and specific feedback".  Although offline messages will still reduce their cap from 25 to 15, the main cause of disquiet, the group reduction, will now remain unchanged.  Basic accounts will continue to be able to join up to 42 groups.

Premium members will still see their group limits increased from 60 to 70 and their capped offline messages raise from 50 to 80.

You can see the new official post here: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2559-group-limits-update-no-changes-for-basic-members/

Fun fact.. As a premium member did you know that if you save your weekly 300L stipend, it would average out at US$60 a year.  These linden dollars can even be converted to US dollars and held on your account to offset next years Premium by that amount!   For information about Premium accounts see here: https://secondlife.com/premium/

Friday, May 17, 2019

Grid outage autopsy



April Linden has blogged about the outage this week that saw all users unable to connect to Second Life for four hours.

You can see the full blog here: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2550-the-road-to-downtime-was-paved-with-good-intentions/

It reads..


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. ❤️

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Love Made in SL



Earlier this month, the mini-series Love in SL, created for Linden Lab by Draxtor,  debuted to showcase some of the many stories of love and romance found by Residents in Second Life, that has ultimately lead to real life partnerships.

Episode 2 features Lily and Charles, a couple who met back in 2007.

London City also features very briefly in this episode.






Monday, January 28, 2019

Philip Rosedale visits London City - The video



Flashback to Philip (Linden) Rosedale's visit to London City....


Philip Rosedale (formerly Philip Linden), the founder of Linden Lab and Second Life and CEO of High Fidelity, visited London City to hang out for a couple of hours with the community and find out a bit more about our visitors.

For the last half hour of his visit, Philip took to voice to talk more about the history of Second Life, the complexities of the platform, possible improvements and his ambitions for High Fidelity.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Second Life's new login page




Firestorm
Second Life has a new smart login splash screen, which has yet to arrive on many third-party viewers.   The official viewer automatically displays this smarter new page.

If you would like to see this new page on Firestorm, head to the Debug settings:
[Debug] > Show Debug Settings.
Find the entry for "Login Page" and change the value to: http://viewer-login.agni.lindenlab.com/

Alternatively, This can also be achieved from the Grid manager settings for "Second Life")

Singularity
For Singularity Viewer, in Debug search for: "SplashScreenPage Prefix" and change the value as above.

Restart your viewer and enjoy the natty new Splash Screen!




Monday, October 29, 2018

Login issues



Vintage "outage" page.
As of Monday morning UK time, Login issues to Second Life continue.
Since Sunday, there have been incidents where the entire population has been thrown off-grid for an hour or more at a time.

You can check progress on this issue by clicking the button at the top of the blog to see the Grid Status

Frustrating as it is, these things happen from time to time and rest assured the lab is doing all they can to restore normality.


This graph as at 2am SL time (9am UK) charts the outages.  The gaps indicate when no residents were online.

This issue was subsequently resolved Monday afternoon.

From the lab:

Heya Folks.
I can confirm it was a DDoS attack, and yes, the folks on my team had a rough weekend.

We do our best to fight DDoSes, but this one took quite a bit more effort than normal.

I’m sorry people’s plans got interrupted over the weekend. It was a rough weekend for all of us… including those of us on this side of the grid, too.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Grid Maintenance Reminder



A reminder that today sees the first of the Grid Maintenance updates, with more tomorrow.
During this time users may be logged off and unable to logon again until the process is completed.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

15 New Reasons to Celebrate 15 Years



Some exciting news out of the lab today,  as CEO Ebbe Linden, blogged 15 news items to help us all celebrate 15 years of Second Life.

It is truly gratifying to see such a level of continual reinvestment in the Second Life platform, with new ideas, performance improvements and pricing restructure,  to keep up with the times, and the evolving virtual world.


The full story can be viewed on the Second Life blog here

Ebbe Linden writes:


  1. Lower Mainland costs - Did you hear the news? We’ve reduced Mainland costs by over 10 percent. This change is part of our continued commitment to move toward a healthier economy, with more balance between costs and fees associated with land ownership, Premium subscriptions, commissions and transaction fees. For more information and context on this and other pricing changes, see the section “Updates to Mainland Costs & Other Pricing Changes” below.
  2. Double Mainland tier - We also recently announced that Premium members get DOUBLE the Mainland allotment! That’s twice as much space to build, create and design your own home, business or experience in Second Life at no extra charge!
  3. More Value for Premium Members - In the coming months, we’ll be announcing new features for Premium subscribers — including brand-new advantages that will add more value for Merchants, Creators and Landowners. There’s never been a better time to upgrade to Premium!  
  4. Environment Enhancements (code name: EEP!) - Soon you’ll see a series of new customizations in the environment rendering system (also known as Windlight). Creators will have more control over the sky, water, lighting and atmosphere. You'll be able to adjust the number of real-world hours in the Second Life "day" to match that of a real world location; the cycle can be as short as the 4 hours it is now - or up to 7 real world days long. These changes will give more value, flexibility and marketability to land. Environment settings will also become tradable assets, so that they can be bought and sold in the Marketplace, creating another avenue for residents to profit from their creativity.
  5. More exclusive games and experiences - Last week, we unveiled“Linden Realms: The Wrath of Ruth” — a fiery update to a familiar classic that awards skilled players with unique prizes. There are more exclusive experiences on the way, including something special for our 15th anniversary celebration this summer.
  6. Themed Learning Islands - Getting connected to people who share your interests will be easier than ever with “Themed Learning Islands.” Soon newcomers may start their adventures in one of several themed areas, so their first experience in SL will be among Residents who share similar interests. This new initiative is in addition to our existingCommunity Gateway program which empowers independent communities to develop their own newcomer-friendly experiences.
  7. The return of Last Names - You’ve asked for it (a lot!), so we will provide a way to customize your last name in Second Life! More details will be available later this year.
  8. Gridwide Experiences - Currently, Creators can use the increased scripting capabilities of an Experience only in a region or parcel whose owner has explicitly enabled their Experience. One of the new Premium abilities will be an Experience that is enabled anywhere on the grid unless the landowner has blocked it.
  9. Auctions - We are updating our system for conducting Land Auctions. The new auction system will be integrated with Place Pages, providing much richer possibilities for describing the land for sale. Most importantly,Residents will be able to create an Auction to sell their land.
  10. Linden Homes improvements - We're bringing newer and better Linden Home designs this year.
  11. Marketplace updates - We've got a number of improvements to Marketplace in the works, too! We’re integrating many long-requested features that will help to reduce clutter and improve the functionality of listings as the Marketplace gets a facelift later this year.
  12. Improved performance -  We're working on a number of improvements to performance, from faster rendering in the viewer to reduce client lag, to changes in the simulator designed to allow more objects, scripts, and avatars.
  13. Animesh - Last year, we introduced Animesh in beta available to all Creator participants. This year, with diligent and invaluable input from the community, we plan to roll out this exciting new feature for everyone!
  14. Bakes on Mesh - Extends the Viewer and the Avatar Baking Service to allow wearable textures (such as skins, clothing and tattoos) to be applied directly onto mesh body parts as they are on system avatars. To do this, you'll 'wear' the textures as you would for the system avatar, and then edit the mesh body part to indicate the body part that should be used on each of the mesh faces; the corresponding system body part is then automatically hidden for you. This project also increases the supported resolution of wearable textures by 4 times (from 512 pixels square to 1024 pixels square).
  15. Migration to the Cloud - Finally, a huge effort is underway to move our Second Life infrastructure to the cloud. This update aims to enhance the quality and performance of Second Life for all Residents, but it will be of particular value for those who are far across the world from us. We look forward to exploring new products and more flexible pricing possibilities once this migration is complete.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lab releases native 64-bit viewer



Linden Lab has today released their first viewer to be built as a 64-bit application for Windows and Mac.

The use of 64-bit architecture gives much more memory available to application than ever before and offers a more stable experience with significantly fewer crashes.

The viewer will automatically patch its updates via an additional executable SL_Launcher.exe  ensuring you have the latest version, without the need for fresh installations.  It also downloads the specific best version for your operating system and graphics.  For example, if you are still running a 32-bit OS then the correct version of the viewer will automatically install for you.

To see the full story about this new viewer see the blog by Oz Linden

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Limited time 50% discount for Premium Membership - They pay you!



Linden Lab is currently offering 50% off Second Life Quarterly Premium Membership.


We have worked out what this means in sterling:

This month, Second Life has an offer for premium membership at just US$11.25 for 3 months (£8.41).   Add back the weekly stipends you will receive, (totalling 3600L) which is worth £11.40 and the 1000L bonus worth £3.17 and you get £14.57 in Linden Dollars for the £8.41 you pay for Premium!

Just some of the benefits of Premium Membership include:

A Linden Home -or- a 512 sq meter parcel for you to build on supporting 175 prims.
Expanded Support, now including Live Chat
Exclusive Activities including Dune Buggy Racing in Racer's Gulch
Free Premium member gifts
Access to Premium member only Sandboxes
Increase from 42 to 60 groups!
Increase from 25 to 50 offline messages!
*New* Priority Entry to regions that are full!
Other offers and incentives offered constantly.

Don't forget, VAT is no longer applied to European countries.   So now is a great time to jump on board.

Head to the Second Life web site here:  https://secondlife.com/premium/

Hurry - Offer ends 2nd January!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Proving that the Grid is flat



In an effort to scientifically prove that the Grid is flat and not round, a team of London City boffins  built an environmentally friendly dung powered rocket to take a team of researchers into the stratosphere and beyond.

These brave pioneers traveled to the outer reaches of space, before realizing that physics is limited to 32 prims.  As they sat marooned at 1500 meters, eying each other up as potential ballast that could be jettisoned, an idea struck them.

Just like Apollo Wosname, perhaps the brave four, could return back to earth in their lunar module, which just happened to be a retro Sofa from prim solutions.

For a fleeting moment on re-entry to the 'Land of Hub', out of the corner of their eyes, they spotted the horizon, and guess what!?  It was flat!

We believe this to be true proof of concept, and the first ever verified research that absolutely and irrevocably proves for all  time that the grid is flat, and not round!

A hero's welcome was waiting for our brave astronauts as they touched down gracefully.





Thursday, November 16, 2017

Philip Rosedale, Creator of Second Life visits London City




Visitors to London City had the pleasure of meeting my friend, Philip Rosedale, the founder of Linden Lab and creator of Second Life on Thursday evening.

Philip talked at length about the creation of Second Life and his ideas on getting it started and then went on to explain his visions for the VR High Fidelity platform he now works on.

He wanted to know how Residents felt the mainland compared to private islands, ideas for improvements of avatars, keeping regions up and running all the time without throttling them.  All in all a very interesting visit.

He was also very interested in the London City community and how this estate retains its users.  He was very complimentary to our team and our master builder.

What's more at the time of this article, Philip is still in the region.




And here is the definitive answer to which preoccupies us.. sort of:

[12:12] Elise Banx: ok i want to know philip... is second life a game?
[12:12] Philip Rosedale: not in my mind Elise.  But I think it's a hard/deep question.  Is RL a game?  Are careers?


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lab: Important Update for International Credit Card Users



Linden Lab has issued an important notice to Credit Card users outside of the USA.

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.



You can see the post here: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2251-important-update-for-international-credit-card-users/

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Resolved! Grid problems and a London City roll back



Last night there was a grid outage which kept residents off-line for about 3 hours.

When logins were re-enabled there was an unexpected anomaly in the prim accounting system, where some regions would report less available prims than there should be.  This also meant that where the calculation had been applied incorrectly and a region appeared to run out of prims, certain content was returned to owners in what appeared to be a random fashion.

London City Estate was affected by this problem.  To remedy this issue, we have rolled back all four regions to their state as at 6pm PDT on Wednesday 6th September, which is immediately before the grid outage.

We have conducted a full inspection of the estate and we are satisfied that all is now as it should be.   Please get in touch with with us if you have any concerns.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Lab to invest "many millions" of US Dollars into Second Life



Linden Lab, creators of Second Life, today blogged about forthcoming investments for Second Life.

The lab states that they are thrilled to announce a set of investments for enhancements to engineering, support, upgrades and more.. costing many millions of US dollars.

They state that this summer has given them the opportunity to reflect on just how strong the Second Life community is, and that an amazing future lies ahead for Second Life.

Read CEO Ebbe Linden's announcement.  Read the full story here

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sansar Begins....




The Lab has blogged that Sansar is now available for Open Beta.   Head over to www.sansar.com to create your account and download the viewer.

To read the blog from the lab, head here:  https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2218-open-beta-begins-for-sansar/

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Keeping your account secure




To keep you safe in Second Life, Linden Lab issued a reminder:

It is important that if you are not using the official viewer, to only use those listed on the Third Party Viewer directory: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory

The full text can be found here:
https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2186-account-security-tips-password-edition/


It’s recently come to our attention that there has been an increase in the use of third party tools that gives account credentials and control over a Resident’s account to another Resident. This and similar products can change an account password and/or details, such as email address, which could prevent an owner from accessing an account, or even from being able to recover the account.
 
We want to remind everyone that giving another Resident access to your account or account information, by any means and for any reason, is both dangerous and not permitted by the Terms of Service. An account is intended to be used solely by its creator, and keeping your account details secret and secure helps you keep it that way.
 
We’d like to provide you with some quick tips on how to keep your account secure:
 
Choose a secure password with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, spaces, and symbols, and avoid common dictionary words or phrases. For instance, “password” is not a good password, but “wh4tAr g@t4P55!” is much better (though you shouldn’t use that last one either, now that all of Second Life just read it, too).
 
Choose a secret security question answer. To keep your information extra secure, choose an answer that you will remember, but that no one else could possibly guess. For example, answering “What is your favorite vacation spot?” with “Potsdam, Pennsylvania” isn’t secure if you have that listed as an interest on your social media accounts. Answering “The Wide Wide World of Sports” might be much more secure!
 
Keep your password and the answer to your security question secret from everyone, regardless of their relationship to you. Only you should know this information; not your significant other, family member, casual acquaintance, person with an honest look in their eye, or anyone else.
 
Keep your password unique and special to Second Life. Reusing the same password across different platforms or websites makes your account vulnerable if one of those sites suffer a data breach.
 
No Linden will ever ask for your password. Likewise, there is never a reason for you to enter your password to unlock an item, receive a discount, or anything else.
 
Use only the official Second Life Viewer, or a Third Party Viewer from the Third Party Viewer Directory. If the viewer does not allow you to log directly into your account for any reason, the viewer is NOT secure.
 
You can read more about keeping your information secure on the wiki at Linden Lab Official: Password Protection
 
If you have any problems accessing your account—especially if you believe that your password or security information may be known to anyone other than you—please contact the support team by opening a support case.
 
Thanks for keeping your account secure!
-Governance Linden

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Maximum Agents - Region Capacity Raised




On 3rd April, the lab began testing new server code and invited London City Estate, to be a part of this test.

The new code increases the capacity (maximum agents) allowed on each region.

It does this in a very specific way, it allows Premium members to enter, even when the region is already full.  Also, Region owners and Estate managers can always enter a region, no matter how many avatars are in the region.

This is how the new code will increase region capacity:
Full Regions by 10% (100 to 110)
Homesteads by 25% (20 to 25)
Open Spaces by 20% (10 to 12)

The new entry capacity limits are however available only to Premium members.  For Basic accounts the limits remain unchanged.   For example, a full region that supports 110 users, but currently has 105 users on it, will report at full to basic users and prevent them entering, whilst a further 5 Premium accounts will be able to enter.

As many of our visitors will know, there are times, particularly at the weekends, when our regions reach capacity and this new code will add an extra layer of privilege for Premium members.

Linden Lab have just released this blog about Region Capacity


Information about Premium accounts can be found here: https://secondlife.com/premium/

We have reviewed Premium accounts many times on this blog, search "Premium" in the box at the top.   Also check out this story we ran about discounted premium membership and watch for similar offers.



Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Lab releases first Advert tease for Sansar



Linden Lab have released an advert for Sansar, giving potential users their first proper glimpse of this new platform which will run side by side with Second Life


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Verify to keep receiving emails from Second Life



In an attempt to cut down on outbound email traffic to fake or expired email accounts, Linden Lab has set up a verification option in the "change email" setting on your Second Life Dashboard.

Non verified email addresses will shortly stop receiving emails and offline messages from the lab.
To continue to receive email, log on to the Dashboard at SecondLife.Com, go to the Account section on the left hand side and choose: Change Email, then click "verify" at the top right.


You will receive an email from Second Life Team:


And upon clicking it, it will take you to the verification page:


Upon verification,You will continue to receive emails and offline messages to your email account.