Private Estates Show 0.5% Positive Growth During 2019


According to the latest weekly report published on Sunday 15th September the year to date for net Private Estate growth now stands at 88 regions which equals 0.5% growth since the start of 2019. This is great news to report on for once because in previous years the grid had been declining for some time. 

There has been more interest in Private Estates this year than in previous years and that’s always a good thing. I think this has to do something with the reduced land prices in Second Life that the lab rolled out earlier in the year. It’s definitely helped from looking at the grid numbers below. Hopefully Private Estates will continue to show more net growth in the last three months of 2019. 

The total area of Second Life is now 1594.56 (KM). 

Stats as of 15th September:

  • Total Main Grid Regions: 24, 331
  • Private Estates: 16, 208
  • Linden Owned: 8, 123

Back in June 2019 I reported that most of the growth came from Linden Owned regions for the new Bellisseria continent which opened back in mid April 2019. More new regions are expected to arrive in the weeks and months ahead to complete the new Bellisseria continent. Probably around 50 – 100+ Linden Owned regions before the end of the year. If the lab shuts down the older Linden Home continents and the SSP continent it will effect the grid stats deeply. A big shock to say the least.    

Stats back on 2nd June 2019:

  • Total Main Grid Regions: 24, 147
  • Private Estates: 16, 130
  • Linden Owned: 8, 017

It will be great to see it go from 0.5% to 1% positive growth before the end of this year. For now it’s good to say the Second Life economy is healthy and it’s recovering at long last. 

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Lab Gab Epsiode 2 with Reed Linden


For anyone that missed yesterday’s Epsiode 2 of Lab Gab here is the full video which runs for 43 minutes and 49 seconds. Reed Linden was the special guest this time along with the two hosts Xiola Linden and Strawberry Linden.

Here are some of the main highlights…

  • SL Profiles will be returning to a dedicated floater. Profile feeds will become part of this floater with its own tab
  • Search is being strengthened. The Destination Guide / Events will be improved
  • SL Marketplace will be optimised for mobile use
  • Purchase notifications: store owners will receive a viewer notification of purchases made through their stores
  • The ability for Merchants to offer refunds through the Marketplace is being looked at
  • There are no plans for having Second Life on a console
  • Tier has been reduced this year already

Linden Homes

  • The lab are thinking about having a larger prim allowance
  • More Linden Home releases are coming soon
  • Big demand still for them

Last Names

  • Last Names is still being worked on. It’s a complex issue to resolve
  • It’s longer than expected

iOS Client 

  • No newer updates at this time
  • Mobile chat app – no ETA

Can’t wait for episode 3 of Lab Gab to air soon.

Bakes On Mesh Viewer & Simulator Release Channel Improvements


On Monday 26th August Linden Lab made two separate blog announcements via the Second Life official blog. The first announcement is the release of the Bakes On Mesh Viewer which is now live and is great news for everyone. Here are some of the major features and benefits of using the new Bakes On Mesh Viewer…

Bakes On Mesh is a feature that allows you to apply a server baked texture to a mesh attachment, similar to the way that standard system avatars currently work. Using this feature, you’ll be able to apply several texture layers to customise skin, tattoos, clothing, etc on your mesh object as a single server baked texture without the need for multiple transparent layers.

Major Features

  • Any face of a mesh object can be textured using any of the server baked textures.

  • The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if any attached mesh is using a baked texture.

  • New texture bake channels have been introduced to give more control over how meshes get textured.

  • A new “universal wearable” is now provided with support for the new texture channels.

Benefits

  • Avoid the need for appliers, leading to an easier customization workflow.

  • Avoid the need for “onion” avatars, leading to fewer meshes and fewer textures at display time.

  • Allow for customization of any mesh that’s set to use Bakes on Mesh by simply equipping the appropriate wearables, without needing to modify the mesh itself.

The second blog announcement was on Simulator Release Channel Improvements. Here are the key points in brief…

  • Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed
  • The server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site
  • Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole

The full blog announcement… 

For many years, we have introduced changes to the Region simulators by deploying updates first to one or more of our Release Candidate (RC) channels, and rolling them on the Wednesday following the main channel roll on Tuesday. We evaluate the performance and stability in those RCs before making the changes to the rest of the Grid. This is an essential element of evolving Second Life because the size and variability of our virtual world are so great that there is no way we can test (or even know about) all the ways in which you’re using it.

We’re working on a series of changes to this process designed to provide us with better data on the reliability and performance of each server update. These process changes have already begun internally with better tracking and monitoring of server performance and stability. Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed (it will only be on one or more RCs this week) the channel name displayed by the viewer or available to LSL will always be the main channel name (“Second Life Server”). This is simply to avoid spurious associations between the RC names (“BlueSteel”, “LeTigre”, “Magnum”, and occasionally other smaller ones); we hear interesting but incorrect assumptions that are made about those channel names, such as that one channel runs on better (or worse) hardware than another one does . For now at least, you’ll still be able to determine that your Region is on some RC by the fact that it rolls on Wednesday rather than Tuesday (it would be nice to get all rolls onto just one day or otherwise disassociate roll days from whether or not they’re on an RC … we’d like to get there eventually), and by comparing the simulator version strings (which are getting a small format change with this version) to the versions in the release notes. What’s really important is the simulator version, so be sure to report that with any problem (reporting the channel name alone today just means that we have to figure out when you were reporting for and look up the version you had at that time, since it can change).

Speaking of release notes, the server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site; that site has been used for viewer releases for some time now. The process which creates the notes on the new site more accurately reports when we fix a bug you reported or a feature you requested by using the externally visible BUG ids.

Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole. Support will continue to be able to accommodate Region owners’ requests that a Region be in the RC for a particular feature or fix they want as soon as possible, or that it be excluded from any RC. It is generally  better if Region owners do allow us to select Regions for RCs because it improves the chances that we’ll detect problems early – if your Region is unusual in some way, it may be the best place for us to detect a problem and avoid sending it to the entire Grid. The RC sandbox Regions will, of‌ ‌course, stay in the RCs, so you’ll always have somewhere to test the latest changes.

 

Hair Fair 2019 opens in Second Life


Hair Fair 2019 opened to the public on 17th August in Second Life and the last day for the event will be on 1st September 2019. Hair Fair is an annual event where hair creators from all over Second Life come together. It’s a great place to shop for all of the newest hair styles and trends.

There are six regions to explore with something different in every region. The shopping regions are Noirette, Redhead and Blonde. The cam shopping regions are Foils, Perms and Streaks. All regions are rated General.

Every purchase made at Hair Fair 2019 donates a percentage to Wigs for Kids. Bandana booths and Donation kiosks donate 100%.

Hair Fair 2019 Guide Map
Noirette
Hair Fair 2019 Regions Map

Teleport to the Hair Fair 2019 event here