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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Here Comes the Big One - SL14B!

Every June, Second Life celebrates its Birthday.  This year marks the 14th year of Second Life, and it looks like the celebration will be one of the biggest and best yet.

I'm not going to go into details here.  I would either have to leave out a whole lot of stuff (and probably the one thing YOU would be most interested in!) or this post would go on for pages and pages.

But for those of you who haven't been to a Birthday before, here are the basics:

Every year, Linden Lab sets up a number of special regions.  On those regions, Residents create what is essentially a World's Fair of Second Life...hundreds of exhibits, games, and attractions.  There are also nearly continuous live performances on several stages throughout the area.  One of these has traditionally been the "Cake Stage"...a venue in the form of a gigantic birthday cake.  At the end of the Birthday Week, the Cake is destroyed...and it's quite a sight to see such a large structure come apart.

This year's theme is "Carnivalesque".  That should tell you that you are in for a real mind boggling, colorful, surreal experience!  Maybe even more so than usual, and I will tell you that every time I've visited the Birthday sims, it's definitely a case of Sensory Overload.

So mark the week of June 18-25 on your calendars, and be sure to share in Second Life's biggest annual celebration.

Here's the link for more information: http://www.slcommunitycelebration.info/


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Two Bits of Bad News

Normally I like to be upbeat in these pages, but today I have to report a couple of pieces of annoying news.

First, there's a poorly implemented feature in your Inventory that could cause you to permanently lose thousands of items if you aren't careful.

There is a helpful notice that now will pop up if there's a large number of items in your Trash folder, saying "your Trash is overflowing".  It's not, really...there is no set limit for how many things you can put in there.  But this helpful reminder to empty your Trash can combine with a bug or with user error (we're not sure yet if it's just one or the other, or both).  In any case, folders that you had no intention of putting in Trash can wind up there.  There can even be subfolders inside them, and the total number of items can be very large.

If you get this notice, and empty your Trash without taking a VERY careful look at its contents, you could easily lose major amounts of your inventory!

For more on this, see this Forum thread: https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/405425-warning-dont-let-this-happen-to-you/

Second, Linden Lab posted a notice that they re-set everybody's Place Pages to the default values by mistake.  If you have Place Pages, re-visit them and reload your settings and photos!  For LL's official "I'm sorry" post, see: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2167-re-experience-the-fun-of-customizing-your-place-page-a-tale-of-oops-from-ops/

Don't know what a Place Page is?  Check out: http://acrossthegridwithlindal.blogspot.com/2017/04/place-pages-new-way-to-advertise-your.html

Saturday, April 8, 2017

New Avatar Limits for Regions

This week, LL posted some upcoming changes to how Second Life regions will manage avatars.

Since the dawn of time, SL regions have had a maximum number of avatars that they will support.  For full regions, this is 100.  It's less in Homestead or Openspace regions.

Access has always been first come, first served.  Anyone can get into the region, but if it reaches its capacity, no one else can get in until someone who is there leaves, making room.

But Linden Lab is making some changes to that.  First of all, region owners and managers will always be able to get in, even if the region is at its maximum capacity.

Second, and perhaps more significantly, the maximum capacity of regions is being increased.  Instead of 100 avatars, now full regions will allow up to 110.  Homestead regions go up from 20 to 25, and Openspace regions from 10 to 12.

But there's a catch.  The new higher capacities are only available to Premium members.  If you are a Basic member, and a region you want to get into already has 100 people, you will still get the "Region Full" message.  But your friend who's a Premium member will be able to get in.

Probably a fairly minor Premium benefit, but they do add up.

Read more about this change in the official Linden Lab blog post:  https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2145-improved-region-capacity-and-access/

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Place Pages - A New Way to Advertise Your Land

Last week, Linden Lab mainstreamed a feature that they'd been experimenting with, called Place Pages.

If you own land in Second Life, you can go to a URL for this.  Clicking My Places will display all the parcels you own.  If you have elected the "Show in Search" feature for a parcel (this costs $L30 per week, per parcel), you can display a "Place Page".  On it, you can include a description of the parcel, an ultrawide "Hero Image", and up to three additional images.  If you want, you can use a Project Viewer that incorporates the new spherical panoramic photo function to create the Hero Image.  If you choose this option, the image can be panned by the visitor to show a complete all-around view.

The Place Page includes a SLURL link so a visitor can teleport directly to your Place.

I have found what appears to be a minor bug in the system.  Although my land is Moderate, in the window where I view my Places, the parcels are listed as "Adult: Yes."  However, in the actual, viewable Place Page, the Moderate rating of the area is shown correctly.

This is a great way to give a little bit more advertising exposure for your store, club, or scenic spot in Second Life!

See the official blog post about Place Pages here: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2138-personalizing-your-place-page-is-now-available-to-all-landowners/

Here is a Knowledge Base article about Place Pages:  https://community.secondlife.com/knowledgebase/english/place-pages-r1420/Section_.1.1

Visit your own Place Page page here: https://places.secondlife.com/

Here's the Place Page I created for Masocado:  https://places.secondlife.com/parcels/5393/masocado-resort

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Return of the Neverending Thread

Hello, gentle readers!

As you probably know, I spend a lot of time on the Second Life forums.  A long time ago, when the forums used a very different software engine, one of them was called "Resident Answers".  It was unmoderated, and besides providing a lot of very helpful answers, the "regulars" on this forum engaged in quite a lot of frivolous, but fun, badinage.

Somewhere around 2008, one of the regulars, Lexxi Gynoid, posted a question.  She found her own answer almost immediately, and edited her post title to "Just Ignore and Let This One Die," figuring that it would quickly fade into obscurity.

Well, the other regulars were just contrary enough to NOT ignore it and let it die.  Instead, it became what was to be called the Neverending Thread, or sometimes just "The Thread."  People would post in it to say hello, to tell jokes, or to riff off of other people's comments.  It ran on and on and on for YEARS.  With occasional exceptions when people would get involved in arguments (some of them deliberately provoked and maintained by a few troublemakers) it was a source of fun and community, and considerable amusement.

When LL changed the forum software, the unmoderated "Resident Answers" forum became history.  The new forums were moderated to an extent that did not permit the continuation of the Neverending Thread, although a few abortive attempts were made.

Now, LL has changed the forum software again...and the Neverending Thread has risen from the ashes, as a thread in the General Discussion forum.  Many of the old regulars have already rediscovered it and have gathered to say hello.

The forum regulars don't limit their community to the forums, either.  There is an in-world group, open to everyone, called The Forum Cartel, and the group maintains a clubhouse in world.  You can visit it here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Allana/217/34/27

Won't you join us?  https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/402851-just-ignore-and-let-this-one-die/

LL Changes Rules for Cashing Out of Second Life

Warning!  This is a bit of a rant.

This week, Linden Lab imposed a new financial limit.  There have always been limits on how many Linden Dollars you could buy or sell within a 24 hour or a 30 day period.  These limits are generous, and I have never even come close to hitting them.  The only time they bother most people is during the first week or so that someone wants to begin buying or selling $L.  During those early days, the limits are quite low, as a fraud prevention measure.

Last Monday, LL imposed limits on the amount of money you can take out of SL via a Process Credit transaction.  In this type of transaction, you transfer money from your $USD balance on your Second Life account to your PayPal or Skrill account.

Unfortunately, the limit they set for this is fairly low.  In my case it was set at $999 USD.  (That's LOW?  Come on, Lindal!)  Yes, it is low.  I have considerably more than $1,000 invested in SL, in the form of land and $L accumulated from renting it out to tenants.  If I decide today to sell my land and cash out, it would now take me well over a month to do so.  What's more, I would have to pay fairly hefty transaction fees on several Process Credit transactions.

It's those transaction fees that annoy me.  Only a few months ago, LL increased the amounts they collect on Process Credit transactions.  Now it appears they are trying to increase their revenue in this area, by forcing residents to break up large transactions into smaller ones, and collecting several fees in the process.

For LL's unctuous blog post on this development, see this link: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2136-new-adjustments-to-monthly-process-credit-limits/

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

FLASH! SL Community Forums Are BACK!

Yes indeed.  And they are...um, well, according to Linden Lab...new and improved.

New they most certainly are.  The new organization and interface are VERY different from the old forums.  I'm not going to say anything bad about them here, at least not yet.  We're all going to need some time to explore them and get used to the new layout.

No, I take it back.  I will make one complaint now:  The various Search functions seem to be VERY wonky.  However, I'm hoping LL will be able to fine tune this over the coming weeks.  They managed to fix a lot of problems with the recent Search update to the Marketplace, which is encouraging.