Share a photograph on what Valentine’s Day means to you and be part of Linden Lab advertising campaign

Valentines Day

On 13th January Linden Lab posted Share What Valentine’s Day Means to You for a Chance to Be FeaturedLinden Lab are inviting residents to share a photograph on what Valentine’s Day means to them. There is a great opportunity to be part of the Lab’s advertising campaign for Second Life which sounds great with a month to go until the big day. 

  • Share your story in a picture > Submit to the Official Flickr Page tagged “SLVday2016”
  • Images must be at least 2048×1207
  • The chosen image will be showcased in an email to Residents & some banner campaigns
  • Submissions end on Friday 29th January 2016
  • See below for more info! 

The blog post reads this in full…

Valentine’s Day is just on the horizon and will be here before you can get through a handful of heart candies! We’re looking for some great Second Life pictures from the community to feature in upcoming email and banner campaigns – with credit to the photographer – of course!

In a snapshot, let us know what Valentine’s Day means to you in Second Life.

Share your story in a picture and on our Official Flickr Page with the tag “SLVday2016” so that we can see all of your amazing works. You may submit as many as you like between now and January 29, 2016.

We’ll showcase the chosen image(s) in an email to Residents, as well as in some banner campaigns. We’ll let the chosen image creators know via Flickr and ask for an avatar name for the credits.

Submission Requirements:

  • Images must be at least 2048×1207
  • Make sure that your submissions are appropriate for all audiences.
  • Show your avatar or avatars in a scene inworld – an image that tells a story is going to make an impression.
  • Keep your image free of additional text/logos
  • Make sure your lighting is not too dark and that avatars can be seen well

A difficult weekend for Second Life

The Grid Is Down While We Bang on Things – used during downtimes many years ago! 

On Monday 11th January April Linden who is a member of the Second Life operations team posted a blog post named Why Things Were Less Than Optimal This Past Weekend in Second Life. Due to a “series of independent failures happen that produced the rough waters Residents experienced inworld”.

A master node of one of the central databases crashed on Saturday and this was one of the most used databases in Second Life. The failure caused disruption for a lot of Second Life residents during the weekend. By Sunday evening the operations team managed to re-stabilize the grid back to normal again.

Here is what happened….

On Saturday 9th January

Shortly after midnight Pacific time on January 9th (Saturday) we had the master node of one of the central databases crash. The central database that happened to go down was one the most used databases in Second Life. Without it Residents are unable to log in, or do, well, a lot of important things.

This sort of failure is something my team is good at handling, but it takes time for us to promote a replica up the chain to ultimately become the new master node. While we’re doing this we block logins and close other inworld services to help take the pressure off the newly promoted master node when it starts taking queries. (We reopen the grid slowly, turning on services one at a time, as the database is able to handle it.) The promotion process took about an hour and a half, and the grid returned to normal by 1:30am.

After this promotion took place the grid was stable the rest of the day on Saturday, and that evening.

On Sunday 10th January 

That brings us to Sunday morning.

Around 8:00am Pacific on January 10th (Sunday), one of our providers start experiencing issues, which resulted in very poor performance in loading assets inworld. I very quickly got on the phone with them as they tracked down the source of the issue. With my team and the remote team working together we were able to spot the problem, and get it resolved by early afternoon. All of our metrics looked good, and I and my colleagues were able to rez assets inworld just fine. It was at this point that we posted the first “All Clear” on the blog, because it appeared that things were back to normal.

It didn’t take us long to realize that things were about to get interesting again, however.

Shortly after we declared all clear, Residents rushed to return to the grid. (Sunday afternoon is a very busy time inworld, even under normal circumstances!) The rush of Residents returning to Second Life (a lot of whom now had empty caches that needed to be re-filled) at a time when our concurrency is the highest put many other subsystems under several times their normal load.

Rezzing assets was now fine, but we had other issues to figure out. It took us a few more hours after the first all clear for us to be able to stabilize our other services. As some folks noticed, the system that was under the highest load was the one that does what we call “baking” – it’s what makes the texture you see on your avatar – thus we had a large number of Residents that either appeared gray, or as clouds. (It was still trying to get caught up from the asset loading outage earlier!) By Sunday evening we were able to re-stabilize the grid, and Second Life returned to normal for real.

It’s really interesting to hear April’s perspective on what went on and April mentions at the end of the blog post “My team takes the stability of the grid extremely seriously, and no one dislikes downtime more than us”.

One of the things I like about my job is that Second Life is a totally unique and fun environment! (The infrastructure of a virtual world is amazing to me!) This is both good and bad. It’s good because we’re often challenged to come up with a solution to a problem that’s new and unique, but the flip side of this is that sometimes things can break in unexpected ways because we’re doing things that no one else does.

I’m really sorry for how rough things were inworld this weekend. My team takes the stability of the grid extremely seriously, and no one dislikes downtime more than us. Either one of these failures happening independently is bad enough, but having them occur in a series like that is fairly miserable.

See you inworld (after I get some sleep!),

April Linden

I remember the weekly downtimes Second Life had many years ago which lasted for hours and the old message “the grid is down while we bang on things”. Since then the grid stability has improved but things can still go wrong at any time and take everyone by surprise even after 13 years of Second Life being online.

Thanks to April Linden for explaining what happened during the weekend and apologising for the situation.

A visit to Eclipse Beach island in Second Life

Monkey adventures_013

Today I went to visit Eclipse Beach island in Second Life to have a look around and relax. It’s a lovely region for exploring and surfing. The Moai statue looks great, the white sand, the huge waves and much more. I recommend that you should come and visit during 2016.

The New Monkey Cove. A small place to surf and enjoy the peace that only the ocean can give. Surfing

Surf, sit on the Beach or hang out near the ship wreck. Just Relax

Monkey adventures_005
Camp area
Monkey adventures_007
Lovely views
Monkey adventures_012
My 2016 monkey adventures start 

Teleport to Eclipse Beach island

Firestorm Viewer version 4.7.1 will be blocked on 7th January 2016

Jessica Lyon who is the project manager of the Phoenix Firestorm Project announced on 4th January 2016 that Firestorm Viewer version 4.7.1 will be blocked on 7th January 2016. The 3 version rule commitment to Linden Lab will be continuing throughout 2016.

Version 4.6.9 will be blocked after the next release, so it’s best to stay updated with the latest Firestorm Viewer version.

As mentioned during our latest update and keeping with our 3 version rule commitment to LL, we will be applying a block to version 4.7.1 Public Beta on January 7th. This will leave only version 4.6.9 available to Windows XP / Mac 10.6 users, and that will be blocked after our upcoming release. If you are still on Win XP or Mac 10.6, please update your operating system now!

Useful Firestorm Viewer Links

Second episode of Lab Chat returning on 21st January 2016

Great news to hear is that Lab Chat is returning for a second episode on Thursday 21st January 2016 with Ebbe Linden answering questions from the Second Life community.

The second episode broadcast will start at 10.30am SLT in the LEA Theater (LEA2, LEA3 and LEA4) in front of a live audience. The event will be streamed on Second Life’s YouTube channel, AviewTV and SLArtist along with transcript/audio published later.

There will be a special Linden Lab forum set up shortly to submit your questions and then questions will be chosen by the Lab Chat team to be featured on the show. Submit your questions by Friday 15th January 2016.

Lab Chat Team: Draxtor Despres, Gentle Heron, LaPiscean Liberty, Marianne McCann, Elrik Merlin, Petlove Petshop, Inara Pey, Secret Rage, Aisling Sinclair, Arduenn Schwartzman, Lorin Tone, DevinVaughn, Saffia Widdershins, and Jo Yardley

First Epsiode of Lab Chat

More than 180 residents attended the first episode of Lab Chat back in November 2015 with Saffia Widdershins, Jo Yardley featuring Ebbe Linden. The success of the first episode was enough to bring it back for a second episode airing later this month.  Yay! 🙂

Lab Chat
First Lab Chat – November 2015

I can’t wait to attend and hear more about the second episode of Lab Chat.

2016 Second Life Grid Statistics Update

On 3rd January 2016 Tyche Shepherd posted up the final report for 2015 for the latest region counts for Second Life. It’s not good news really because the overall the Second Life grid apparently “shrunk by 746 regions (2.9% of total) but private estates were down by 825 (4.4% of private estates) a slightly larger loss than last years net loss of 696 regions”.

Grid Survey Data

2016 is going to be a challenging year I think for Second Life with the next generation platform launching in Q1 2016 and surely that will affect the grid numbers. It’s hard to tell if private estates will grow again or decline further this year ?. We will have to wait and see.

The highest recorded was 31,988 regions in Second Life back on 13th June 2010. Today it’s dropped down to 24, 886 regions. I hope someday there will be growth for the total amount of Main Grid regions otherwise by 2020 the grid will be a much smaller place like it being under 17, 000 regions if the trends continue.

Here are the stats between 2013 to 2016 at the start of the year for comparison. Now during 2016 I will be publishing regular updates on the latest region counts, so stay tuned for that.

On 6th January 2013

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 28, 036
  • Private Estates: 20, 921
  • Linden Owned: 7, 115
  • During 2013 private estates in Second Life decreased by 1, 719 regions which is a net loss of 8.2%

On 5th January 2014

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 26, 227
  • Private Estates: 19, 241
  • Linden Owned: 6, 986
  • During 2014 private estates in Second Life decreased by 673 regions which is a net loss of 3.5%

On 4th January 2015

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 25, 611
  • Private Estates: 18, 579
  • Linden Owned: 7, 032 
  • During 2015 private estates in Second Life decreased by 825 regions which is a net loss of 4.4%

As of 3rd January 2016

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 24, 886
  • Private Estates: 17, 775 
  • Linden Owned: 7, 111

What are your predictions during 2016 for region counts in Second Life ?