Firestorm 6.4.5 EEP Public Beta Now Available


On Tuesday 28th July 2020 the Firestorm team released a EEP public beta version of the Firestorm Viewer (6.4.5.60799) which comes with support for the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP). The viewer includes new camera controls with the ability to create camera presents. The viewer translations have been updated in this beta version.

EEP is the new environmental lighting system where the sky, water and day cycle settings are now saved as inventory items. EEP settings can be applied now to the land by region owners or by parcel or for personal use. Learn more about EEP here.

What you can do with EEP…

You can use your own sun, moon, and cloud textures.

You can customize the length of the day (yes—you can now have 24-hour day cycles!).

You can set different skies at various levels on your land. 

Visitors to your parcel will be able to see all your customized settings.

You can import your old Windlights as EEP settings (many have already been imported).

This version is not a required update and you do not have to uninstall your current Firestorm viewer. This new beta Firestorm viewer will install alongside your existing Firestorm viewer.

For OpenSim users the viewer incorporates Windlight allowing EEP viewer users to visit windlight regions. The viewer supports the new OpenSim 0.9.2 with the EEP code “Ugly Sky”. There is now the ability to enter a URL to add a new grid on the login screen.

Linden Lab is hoping to get feedback from the community and the Firstorm team highly encourages you to file bug reports on the Linden Lab Jira. EEP has been in the works for some time now and it went live back in 2019 on the main grid.

The Second Life viewer has actually had EEP for a few months or so now. The firestorm team have said recently that they don’t feel that EEP is ready for full release. It has not even passed the QA yet. Maybe later this year EEP may be ready for full release.

Useful Links

What do you think of this new beta version ? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

Main Grid Regions Drop Under The 25, 000 Mark


As of 26th July 2020 the total amount of main grid regions in Second Life has dropped under the 25, 000 mark according to the Second Life Grid Survey. Mainly through Private Estates and some Linden Owned regions have been showing signs of decline during the past month.

The total region count has actually been lower than this in previous years like back when there were 23, 298 regions back on 18th March 2018. At the moment there is no need to panic but if trends continue like they are then the decline will sadly get worse before the end of 2020.

The first six months of 2020 there have been signs of positive growth in Second Life and hopefully soon the grid growth will return. See below for the grid numbers counted for January, June and July.

Main Grid size as of 26th July 2020

  • Total Main Grid Regions: 24, 947
  • Private Estates: 16, 662
  • Linden Owned: 8, 285

Main Grid size – 7th June 2020

  • Total Main Grid Regions: 25, 160
  • Private Estates: 16, 902
  • Linden Owned: 8, 258

Main Grid size – 20th January 2020

  • Total Main Grid Regions: 24, 147
  • Private Estates: 16, 036
  • Linden Owned: 8, 111

What To Expect Next ?

  • Once the migration to the cloud has been completed in early Autumn then the region capacity will increase again. The lab have not released any dates yet. This will effect the private estate numbers.
  • The Bellisseria continent will start to grow again after the cloud move is finished. This will increase the Linden Owned regions.
  • Hopefully during 2021 Linden Lab may lower the land costs or do something to help the Second Life community.

How does OpenSim compare ?

If you put the OSgrid and Kitely regions combined together it will surpass Second Life regions by a huge margin. There are now over 1, 572 public accessible opensim grids now. The total OpenSim land area expanded by more than 800 regions. Is everyone switching to OpenSim now ?

There are now roughly 80, 000 regions on OpenSim which is a huge amount. Second Life has 24, 947 regions in total. From the looks of things OpenSim is still growing in terms of regions and active users.

See July 2020 report

Hypergrid Business Data – July 2020

I will blog about the grid numbers in October and then again at the end of 2020. Hopefully by then the grid numbers will be positive. If there is any big changes or announcements then I’ll share them on my blog.

Log Homes Expansion Map Comparison – March 2020 vs July 2020


Back in mid March 2020 I blogged about the new mass of regions added east of Bellisseria which turned into the log homes expansion. Since then the Moles have added thousands of new Linden homes along the new road networks, new relaxing areas, new waterways and a railway line that is still being worked on.

The log homes were released back in early April 2020 where Patch Linden announced that 4, 828 new Linden Homes were ready to claim. This was the biggest release to date spreading over 230 regions.

If you look at the comparison maps below you can hopefully see the differences between the both of them. The gaps are getting smaller and smaller it appears now. Hopefully in another three to six months the whole log homes continent will be completed.

Mid March 2020
24th July 2020

It’s actually been interesting to watch this log homes continent grow in size and see the development of it all since March. Four months later and work is still continuing around the log homes continent. Good progress is being made with loads of different project goals happening all at once.

First regions arrived back in mid March 2020

Going forward it’s going to be interesting where the new upcoming themes will be placed either to the north or down in the south. More regions are expected to arrive later this year when Second Life moves into the cloud. The lab have already started moving regions into the cloud (AWS).

I will post more updates very soon on the latest Bellisseria developments.

Blake Sea now in the Cloud


Blake Sea on AWS

Good news this week is that the well known Blake Sea on the Second Life Preview Grid (Aditi) is now in the cloud (AWS). Linden Lab are now expanding the number of regions running in the cloud in the weeks and months ahead. 

Preview Grid 

Just log into the preview grid, teleport to the Blake Sea regions and rez your boat or aircraft. Mazidox Linden posted this announcement on the Second Life forums on Monday 20th July 2020. 

Feedback 

If you have any issues or suggestions then leave feedback here. Check the Server section of the Second Life Forums for the latest developments. 

Latest News 

Hi there everyone!

As you may have noticed in my previous announcement, some of the regions we recently brought back online on Aditi are in the cloud! We’ve now expanded the number of regions we’re running in the cloud on Aditi to include the entirety of the Blake Sea mainland regions. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Blake Sea, you can use the following entry points to log in on Aditi and rez a vehicle to start exploring. If you’re not familiar with Aditi itself, you can learn more here.

Entry points:

Blake Sea – Japan (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Japan/207/248/22)
Blake Sea – Beagle (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Beagle/207/208/13)
Blake Sea – Mainbrace (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Mainbrace/211/241/16)
Blake Sea – Atlantic (secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Atlantic/245/219/16)

Objectives:

Test region crossing code (particularly using vehicles) between cloud simulators on the same host, and cloud simulators on different hosts.

Known Issues:

  • Some regions cause you to “bounce off an invisible wall” at the region border, even though you are able to see into them. Please report instances of this occurring in this thread, with the region you were in, the region you were trying to enter, the date, and the time.
  • Some regions will not show up at the edge of your current region, even though they are adjacent. Please report instances of this occurring in this thread, with the region you were in, the region that failed to appear, the date, and the time.
  • HTTP-out for LSL scripts is disabled on cloud-based regions. Please don’t report this, as it is currently working as intended.
  • Sending email via LSL scripts is disabled on cloud-based regions. Please don’t report this, as it is currently working as intended.

Regions in the cloud as of 22nd July 2020

  • Ahern – now in the cloud
  • Morris – now in the cloud
  • Blake Sea – now in the cloud 

More AWS updates soon. 

Linden Lab acquisition deal “will take some time due to regulatory process.”


On Tuesday 19th July I asked Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab on Twitter on when we will hear more from Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager on the Linden Lab acquisition. I asked if there is a town hall event or a lab gab event planned.

Ebbe Altberg kindly responded back on Tuesday evening saying this “Hold on everybody. The deal first has to close. Will take some time due to regulatory process. Sit back. Wait. Relax. All is well“.

As it stands the deal isn’t done yet and it will take some time due to the regulatory process. This could mean it could be some months until we next hear anything more official. I’m probably thinking before the end of the summer.

On July 9, 2020, Linden Lab announced “[…][that] it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Closing of the acquisition issubject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc.[23][24][25]

Once the process is complete then I think Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager should come inworld and chat live to the Second Life community. Either by the lab hosting a special town hall meeting or through the successful popular lab gab series. Maybe a special blog announcement would work too.

Don’t forget this is an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life along with the money services business Tilia. I hope this is the case for positive change and not something in 3 – 5 years which will be a disaster for everyone. As usual time will be the judge. Whatever happens I will be blogging about it.

If this acquisition fails or if Second Life did have to shut down later down the road then you can expect a massive move towards OpenSim grids. I don’t think anyone wants this to happen. Second Life is best virtual world out there today.

It will be nice to hear something more official sooner than later. In the mean time everyone needs to relax and wait. Enjoy the summer.

SL17B Regions Remain Open Until Sunday 19th July 2020


SL17B regions open until Sunday 19th July

This weekend is the last opportunity to visit the SL17B regions in Second Life before they all go offline very soon. The Linden homes preview region is still open at SL17B showing the new Stilt homes. The actual release of these new homes will available hopefully in the next few months or so.

Please spread the word one last time and explore the SL17B regions if you have time this weekend. To all those that made SL17B possible and run smoothly thanks so much.

Can’t wait for SL18B next year.

First Beta Grid Regions Running On The Cloud (AWS)


Morris and Ahern are the first beta grid regions that are now running on the AWS in “the cloud”. Dore and Bonifacio are still vo-lo based at the moment. Simon Linden this week at the Server User Group meeting on Tuesday 14th July said this in local chat “I do have some minor news … if you log into the beta / Aditi grid, the Ahern and Morris regions are running on The Cloud”. 

Yay, great news! 🙂

Second Life Beta Grid Map – 17th July 2020

To access these beta regions running in the cloud select the Second Life Beta Grid option on the Second Life login screen page or on the Firestorm viewer. It’s worth pointing out that AWS is a huge and complex system. The lab are learning as they go in terms of building servers, getting them deployed, setting up networks and security etc. 

Hopefully more regions will be running in the cloud before the end of 2020. 

Morris running on AWS

Have you been on the beta grid ?

Do you notice any differences while being on AWS ?

Ebbe Altberg And Brett Linden Responds To Company’s Acquisition


Since the announcement last week about Linden Research, Inc being acquired by the investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager there has been some responses from Linden Lab. On the Second Life Forums there has been mixed responses about it. Ebbe Altberg has been responding on Twitter over the weekend and Brett Linden responding back on the Second Life Forums. 

Most Second Life residents are still worried and concerned about the future of Second Life. It’s clear from the lab responses that the specific details about the deal won’t be announced just yet. There is talk now of one or both of the investors being featured on a future Lab Gab episode or a townhall meeting. I think this is a good idea and I hope the lab will host it before the end of the year. 

I think the main message from Linden Lab right now is that these two investors have a great deal of awareness of what Second Life is and they are excited to help Second Life/Tilia grow. I don’t think there will be any major changes in terms of the end user before the end of 2020 and it will probably continue as normal. 

To be honest time will tell. Let’s wait and see what happens next. 

Ebbe Altberg Responses 

To early to speculate. But Tilia is signing up and onboarding more and more customers. Its a unique and very relevant service.

No plan for drainage here. Great to remain independent. Everybody motivated to build and grow.

We’re remaining independent. Not getting mangled into some Borg

Uh, that’s not what any motivated operator of a profitable business world do. That would be like throwing away money for no reason. We’re excited.

 

Nobody has any interest in hampering SL. We all want it to grow and continue to be the wonderful world it is. We’re very happy with this path. Can’t say much until deal is closed.

 

That would be a horrible way to run a business. We’re not partnering with idiots here.

Brett Linden Responses

Good day, all!

Just jumping in to respond to a few of the comments…

A few folks are speculating that this is the end of SL and nothing could be further from the truth. Any talk of dismantling or radically changing the fundamentals of SL that we know and love is inaccurate. While we can’t get into specific details about the deal itself, I want to emphasize the fact that this keeps Linden Lab as an independent venture led by two investors who have a great deal of awareness about what SL is and isn’t. They are excited to join and help us grow both SL and Tilia while also respecting and recognizing the needs and sensitivities of the existing culture and community. 

Great question! We look forward to sharing more information as soon as possible, and I know that Brad is looking forward to meeting the community as we near the completion / approval deadline

This is a great idea. I can’t make commitments on dates because there is still a long process of reviewing the regulations, but we will discuss internally as this seems to be a” no brainer “and I think that most of the community is interested in what they have to say. I could imagine that we will attract one or both investors to “Lab Gab” or some other form of town hall meeting. 

Grumpity Linden Response

In all seriousness — this really really is a good thing. We’re excited for the opportunities it presents and we’re rock solid sure of the bright future of SL. And with that… NFC

We’re really not able to comment very much in terms of details for now, but we are quite earnest in the Press Release

I will post more when new information becomes available. 

Logs Homes Continent Railway Map (V1.0)- July 2020


Logs Home Railway Map – Version 1.0

The Moles have been busy recently adding more railway tracks and new railway bridges to the new extension of the Bellisseria continent. Today I have highlighted the new log homes extension railway line in blue (part open) and in red (closed). This is version 1.0 and I hope to have a new updated map soon.

At the moment you can only travel by train from the west of Bellisseria up to the Hawesblood station. There are more planned railway stations coming soon. The north line highlighted in red will be continued later this year or perhaps sometime in 2021.

Here are some of the new predicted upcoming railway stations…

What’s Up Ahead

The Moles are still adding more log homes, roads, new areas and railway connections. The central areas and outside areas are now in development. It’s going to be amazing when the whole expansion is completed later this year.

New railway bridges in SSPE1190

The long green line on the world map is where the soon to be railway tracks will be created. The railway line goes through the mountains, water lakes and nearby log homes which is very neat indeed. I can’t wait to take a train and explore all of it.

The green line marks where the new railway track is

Another new railway bridge built recently

Linden Research, Inc. to Be Acquired


Linden Research, Inc announced today it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Apparently Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc very soon.

“The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions”.

The lab will continue to operate normally on a day to day basis including all Second Life operations. I don’t think there will be any immediate visible changes at the moment. I would imagine now there could be more speculation, concerns or even fears as to the future of Second Life.

This will be a new chapter, an new opportunity and another expansion for Second Life along with Tilia. Check out this statement made by Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab.

We’re excited for this new chapter to begin. We see this as an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life and our money services business Tilia. We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our community, business partners and investors. Now more than ever, there is increased recognition of the value and utility of virtual worlds to bring people together for safe, shared, and social on-line experiences.

Who are they ?

Mr. Oberwager has spent his entire career in technology and consumer-focused companies. Mr. Oberwager is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jyve, a Silicon Valley based technology company. Prior to Jyve, Mr. Oberwager owned Bare Snacks, acquired by PepsiCo. Mr. Oberwager is an advisor to several technology start-ups and sits on the boards of several technology and CPG companies.

Mr. Waterfield is the Chairman and CEO of the Waterfield Group. The Waterfield Group has invested in over 100 technology, financial, insurance, bank and other companies.

Linden Lab have released this press release below…

LINDEN RESEARCH, INC. TO BE ACQUIRED

2020-07-09 00:00:00 UTC

New Growth & Expansion Opportunities on the Horizon for Second Life and Tilia

SAN FRANCISCO, July 9, 2020 — Linden Research, Inc. announced today it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc.

“We’re excited for this new chapter to begin. We see this as an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life and our money services business Tilia,” says Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg. “We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our community, business partners and investors. Now more than ever, there is increased recognition of the value and utility of virtual worlds to bring people together for safe, shared, and social online experiences.”

“Both the company and its virtual world community have a unique culture and creative energy that remain important to the long-term success of Second Life,” says Brad Oberwager. “There’s a bright future for both Second Life and Tilia and we’re excited to help fuel these growth opportunities.”

“Since its inception 17 years ago, Second Life has been a pioneer in the concepts of virtual societies, land and economies,” says Second Life founder Philip Rosedale, who is now CEO of High Fidelity. “I’ve known Brad for 14 years personally and professionally, and I’m confident he will bring his passion and proven strategies to help Linden Lab achieve new heights in distribution, scale, and quality while remaining true to the original vision, creativity, and community that makes Second Life unique and special.”

Mr. Oberwager has spent his entire career in technology and consumer-focused companies. Mr. Oberwager is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jyve, a Silicon Valley based technology company. Prior to Jyve, Mr. Oberwager owned Bare Snacks, acquired by PepsiCo. Mr. Oberwager is an advisor to several technology start-ups and sits on the boards of several technology and CPG companies.

Mr. Waterfield is the Chairman and CEO of the Waterfield Group. The Waterfield Group has invested in over 100 technology, financial, insurance, bank and other companies.

ABOUT LINDEN RESEARCH, INC.

Linden Research, Inc. dba Linden Lab develops platforms that empower people to create, share, and benefit from virtual experiences. Founded in 1999, the company first launched Second Life, the groundbreaking virtual world enjoyed by millions around the globe, in 2003, which has since gone on to boast nearly two billion user creations and a vibrant $500 million (USD) economy. For more about Linden Lab, its products, and career opportunities, visit its website.

For more information, contact presscontact@lindenlab.com