Linden Lab Acquired by Investors

Linden Lab Acquired by Investors After Months of Rumors, Layoffs & Sansar’s Sale; Second Life to Still Expand, Official Announcement Promises

 

I’ve heard rumors by various insiders that Linden Lab was looking to be acquired for the last few months, and now that prim-based shoe has finally dropped:

 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.

This announcement follows fast upon the recent acquisition (in March) of Linden Lab property Sansar by a little known turnkey operation called Wookey. In fact, that’s when I heard rumors of Linden’s coming acquisition — just as I did when Linden Lab made a round of layoffs last February. In retrospect, both moves appear to be in preparation for this purchase.

However, the overall gist of this announcement is very much: Don’t worry, Second Life will continue and grow. Which may or may not be true, but that’s definitely the intended theme:

 
“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.”

Read the rest here. As with the corporate executives of Wookey, neither Oberwager or Waterfield have any apparent experience in game development, so it’s unclear as yet how they plan to implement the “bright future” the announcement speaks of.

I have of course reached out to Linden Lab about this, and hope to update this post soon.

Update, 3:50pm:  As a possible hint of Linden Lab’s future, Randy Waterfield is the Chairman and CEO of the Waterfield Group, which has this its business mission:

The Waterfield Private Equity Fund(s) I, II, & III; as well as The Waterfield Family Office, invest in conservatively run companies with strong free cash flow, proven management, and a platform we believe can add value to the global economic community. We prefer basic businesses with a few years of proven, conservative growth. We avoid companies that are growing too fast. We believe slow and steady makes the race… We strive to be a good partner to existing management, are passive with regards to general managerial issues, and work hard to help our CEOs and their families’ realize their vision. We have no defined exit plan, and tend to own companies for generations. 

I.E., translating the business speak: We buy companies that make a decent profit and help keep them running for years and years, and that’s basically it.

So I’d speculate — and this is only my speculation — that Linden Lab’s original investors pushed for this acquisition to finally have Linden’s long-awaited liquidity event. I.E., “We invested in you over 15 years ago, you’ve been profitable for about 13 years, so now where’s the return on our fricking investment already?”

Have a good week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands

Afraid To Edit Your Registry? Don’t Be..

In many tech troubleshooting articles you’ll find a way to fix a problem that involves “editing the Windows registry.” There’s always a dire warning attached, along the lines of, “Do not attempt to edit the registry unless you know what you’re doing! One wrong registry edit can render your machine unusable!” That’s true, but with a bit of caution, you can safely edit the registry. (Just beware of the hives.) Here’s what you need to know…

 
 
 

What is the Windows Registry?

It’s always good to start with a definition. I like to call the Windows registry “a hideously complex ball of string, rubber bands, duct tape and bailing wire that’s supposed to keep track of Windows system settings, your hardware configuration, user preferences, file associations, system policies, and installed software.” It was intended to be an improvement on the simple text-based INI files that stored Windows configuration settings, but apparently too many pocket protectors were involved in the design.

One advantage of the registry is that it enables each user of a machine to maintain his/her own settings; each user can have a unique theme, speaker volume setting, set of apps, and so on. But the registry can also apply settings to all users, or a group of users specified by the system administrator (e. g., “adults” and “kids”). The registry is one of the most important files on your hard drive.

It may be necessary to edit the registry to correct an error or corruption; to add a setting that is not part of the original design; or to prevent some system activity that is undesired. The registry is a very powerful tool, and if it’s used incorrectly, YES, it can wreak havoc on your system. But with a basic understanding of how it works, and some simple precautions, you need not fear.

The first rule of editing the registry is, “backup your registry!” You can make a backup of your registry by creating a System Restore point. To do so, click Start, type create a restore point, press Enter, and follow the prompts. Another method is to use the Export function in the Regedit utility. (See below)

Even if your Windows installation becomes unbootable, you can recover your old, working registry using the tools on the System Recovery USB drive that you created. If you have not created one yet, here is a link for how to do it on Windows 7, 8, or 10.

Regedit.exe is an app included with Windows to help you edit the registry. Type regedit in Windows start/search box, then press Enter. You may see a popup that says “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?” Click YES, no changes will be made at this point. The open Regedit window will look something like the screen shot below:

Windows Registry Editor

A few paragraphs earlier, I mentioned that you can make a backup of the registry by using the registry editor. Let’s do that now. Click File, then Export. In the lower left corner of the new window that opens, select “All” under Export Range. Enter a filename, and click the Save button. It will take a minute or so to create the backup. Don’t be surprised if the lights flicker, or if you hear a deep, guttural moan, followed by a hissing sound emanating from your computer.

Returning to the registry editor window, at the top left corner we see link containing the word “Computer” — think of that word as the trunk of a tree. Beneath it, in the left-hand window pane, we see the names of five branches: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, etc. Click on any of these brahch names (called “keys”) to see what further branches lie below it. Keys can be nested up to 512 levels deep. We won’t be going that far!

The prefix “HKEY” indicates a registry “hive,” the top level of this hierarchical database. “CLASSES_ROOT,” “CURRENT_USER,” etc., are names for hives, each of which contains more levels of data that are all logically connected to the hive’s subject. “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” is a hive that contains settings which apply to whoever is currently logged in to the computer. If you click on that hive name to expand the tree below it, you will see familiar names like “Control Panel,” “Printers,” etc., along with mysterious labels of system resources that most users don’t need to know about.

You may recall that I mentioned hives in the opening paragraph of this article. A weird thing happened as I was typing this up. I opened the registry editor, and a wasp flew into my office and stung me on my finger! I’m not saying it came from a registry hive, but it’s 2020, and stranger things have happened.

What you do need to know is that it is critically important to make edits in the correct hive and the correct sub-branch of that hive. A change to HKEY_USERS instead of HKEY_CURRENT_USER may have unintended consequences for all users of a machine, not just you. Navigating the tree structure of the registry must be done with the utmost care.

Fortunately, there are lots of helpful geeks who provide exactly the right paths to take you where you need to be in the registry. In my articles, you may find instructions such as “navigate to \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows…” Just highlight the path name, copy it, and paste it into the address bar at the top of the regedit window.

Once you are in the right place, most registry tweaks involve enabling or disabling something. The “something” may have a key at the end of a registry path like the one above, or you may need to create one for it. The instructions provided by your friendly geek should tell you what to do, step by step. For example, to change the border width of your windows, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics. Set the values of Border Width and Padded Border Width to 0 to eliminate the borders. Or increase the numbers to make the borders fatter. Valid values for Border Width are 0 to -750, but any number larger than 100 will be produce unusable results. Valid values for Padded Border Width are 0 to -1600. Padded Border Width should be larger than Border Width. For some reason, both of these numbers must be negative. The more negative, the fatter the borders. A reboot is required for the changes to take effect.

It’s also possible to make changes to the registry with a REG file that someone else has coded for a specific task. For example, you can add a new option “Open with Notepad” to the context menu that appears when you right-click on a filename. This is handy when you want to quickly edit a file that doesn’t end with the .TXT extension.

Download this ZIP file file, click to open it, and then double-click on the Open-With-Notepad.reg file. Click your way through a few “Do you really want to do this?” prompts, and it will add a key to your registry. Now you can open any file (regardless of the extension) with the Notepad editor, using the context (right-click) menu.

So now you (sort of) know what you are doing in the registry. Just make sure you always start by backing up your existing registry, even if you don’t plan to change anything but are “just looking around.” And watch out for wasps.

Have A Great Week From ALL of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands.

Railroads Made in Second Life

Railroads Made in Second Life – A Five-Part Mini-Series & LiveRailroads Made in SL.png

This year’s theme for our SL17B celebrations is “vacations and road trips” – and, in this spirit, we are pleased to debut today a five-part mini-series dedicated to the unique history, culture and communities surrounding one of the most popular modes of travel in our virtual world – railroads in Second Life.

Our virtual journalist Draxtor Despres recently took a ride on the rails of SL to travel across miles of virtual railroad tracks spanning across the grid. Along the way, he makes multiple stops to meet a wide variety of colorful characters and creative communities.

In episode one, Hrdtop75 Deluxe of the Virtual Railroad Consortium joins Drax for a look back at the origins and history of the Second Life Railroad (SLRR) system which originated in 2003 within the northwest part of the Sansara continent before eventually expanding to more than 80 regions including the Heterocera (or Atoll continent). 

Episode two focuses on the Bay City Short Line and trolley developed under the guidance of SLRR co-founder Athos Murphy (formerly known as Michael Linden).

In episode three, both Drax and Hrdtop75 explore the ONSR (Okemo Nakiska & Southern Railway), located in the snowland regions of the Sansara continent. The ONSR spans across 13 regions and serves 10 stations for a roundtrip averaging about 22 minutes.

Episode four highlights the communities surrounding the ZZR (Zany Zen Railway), which was built by Zen Swords-Galway. As you travel the ZZR, you’ll discover a variety of quirky communities and unique attractions including the small Welsh seaside town Little Coverston.

The series concludes in episode five featuring an interview with VP of Product Operations Patch Linden, who discusses the important role of railways within the expansive infrastructure of the massive Bellisseria continents (where thousands of Residents reside within Linden Homes).

Drax will be joined by many of the interview subjects featured in the series during a special SL17B Q&A and screening event held inworld June 23 at noon SLT. You can also watch the event live or archived on YouTube.

CREDITS:
Video Production: Draxtor Despres
Narration & Research: Hardtop75 Deluxe
Sets & logo: Marianne McCann
Special thanks to Patch Linden, Squeaky Mole and Joshu Philgarlic
Trains used made by Hardtop75 Deluxe, Zen Swords-Galway, Atomic Infinity and Brit Balogh

Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands.

Splash Into Summer with Virtual Sailing

Virtual Sailing

When it comes to Summer 2020, smooth sailing might not be the first phrase to come to mind. However, with Summer Sailstice coming up, we have a virtual event to help turn this ship around. Second Sailstice, the annual worldwide celebration of sailing, will take place in Second Life the week of June 13th-20th and just might be the largest virtual sailing event to date!

SL resident Dale Irata [David Bloch in RL] originally came up with the idea, and it has grown immensely due to the abundance of creative energy among SL residents as well as his belief that “There are no limits on us here.” 

The real world Summer Sailstice always takes place on the Saturday closest to the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice, but there is also a weeklong Nautical Exposition with events and live performances.

Summer Sailstice in SL is an official Sailstice event and has been featured in their promotional channels to the RL sailing community. This is of particular importance this year, since many people do not have the ability to attend in person due to coronavirus restrictions. All experience levels of virtual sailors are encouraged to participate. For any newbies feeling shy or hesitant, the Second Sailstice Novice Regatta competition is even offering free boats.

This year’s event will also feature a “Sails and Tails” party, and the mer community will be making appearances in the water and around the boats. There will be races, cruises, boat shows, and parties.

Click here for more information on sailing in Second Life. If you’d like to practice stretching your avatar’s sea legs, take a peek at the Sailing & Boating regions in the Destination Guide.

Come check out the events and #raiseyoursail!

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Summer Sailstice in Second Life

Summer Sailstice is the annual celebration of sailing that happens every year on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice; this is their 20th year! The idea is simply to get as many people around the world out on a sailboat on the same day. In 2020, because of the pandemic, it is safer to move to virtual sailing! Summer Sailstice in SL is officially registered as a Summer Sailstice Event. If you’re already a sailor in SL, visit this location to find out how you can register and join the inworld group to participate in this event on June 20th. For more information, visit: sailvirtual.com

Visit in Second Life
 
Please Visit Fruit islands and the North Sea for more sailing adventures..
Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands..

Last Call for These Last Names – Get ‘Em While You Can!

Last Call for these last names.png

We have been very pleased to see the response to the return of last names back in April. The response thus far has been mostly positive, with some residents opting to wait for names that feel more personal to them. 

Much as we did with the original legacy surnames, we plan to update and change the available last names regularly. That way, a good variety of first and last name combinations are available at any given moment. We are taking a number of factors into consideration on making the decision about when to change up the names, most importantly how popular, or unpopular, a name is.

Today, we are announcing the retirement of some of the last names from the first round.

Effective Thursday, June 25 the following names will no longer be available for purchase:
Alpaca
Covfefe
Damballar
Float
Jazzhands
Mainsail
Nimble
Piggins
Plumday
Yeetly

All residents that have purchased name changes using these last names will retain ownership of the name, but no more additional purchases of these names will be available. 

If you wish to claim one of these last names for yourself, now is your last chance! Be sure to do so no later than Wednesday, June 24th, as the names will no longer be available for purchase. 

Simultaneously, ten new last name options will be made available for purchase. These new names will be announced upon release, so stay tuned!
 

Have a great day From all of us at Zi and FI

Exploring Black Lives Matter in Second Life

As a follow up to Linden Lab’s statement in support of Black Lives Matter, this week’s “Second Life Destinations” video takes a closer look at some of the people, events and experiences bringing attention to Black lives in both the physical and virtual world.

Featured in the video (in order of appearance) are 

As mentioned on the Stand for Justice website, there are several events and projects currently underway that are worth a visit, including the We Will Be Heard – Black Lives Awareness Event (scheduled for July 4-11), the ongoing art build Walls of Freedom and the aforementioned Stand for Justice event and The Black Excellence Project. There’s also the ongoing exhibits at the Virtual Black History Museum.

CREDITS:
Video Production: Draxtor Despres

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Stand for Justice – In Support of Black Lives

Stand for Justice is a fundraising effort within the virtual world Second Life dedicated to raising funds for Black Lives Matter, Black Visions Collective, Campaign Zero, the National Police Accountability Project, and a Split Bail Fund benefiting 38+ bail funds nationwide. 

Visit in Second Life

 

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Walls of Freedom

Walls of Freedom is based on the book of the same name portraying the first three years of the Egyptian revolution that began on January 25, 2011, told through striking images of art that transformed Egypt’s walls into a visual testimony of bravery and resistance. This is an ongoing build where fiction meets nonfiction or is it where nonfiction meets fiction? This platform is all about art, politics, and religion!

 

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Virtual Black History Museum

The Virtual Black History Museum invites everyone to explore the timeline of African-American history from the heartaches to the victories in a park-like and welcoming environment.

Have a great week From all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands.