Exciting Newness in the Works for Second Life from Linden Lab

So today upon doing my daily email check I noticed a new one from Second Life, it looks like some exciting changes are in the works for this new along with added support from our friends at Linden Lab.

 

Dear Second Life Residents,

It’s been an exciting summer at Linden Lab. Second Life celebrated its 14th anniversary, and shortly thereafter we also opened Sansar’s creator beta to the world. In addition, we are thrilled to announce a set of investments into Second Life and its communities that will include enhancements to our engineering support, customer support, billing systems and upgrades, and customer acquisition outreach. In all, we’ve budgeted many millions (USD, not L$…) in the coming year to make SL even better, and we’ll keep everyone up to date on improvements as they roll out (or sooner).

This summer’s milestones have given us all another opportunity to reflect on just how strong the Second Life community is, what an incredible history SL has had so far, and what an amazing future lies ahead for the virtual world and its Residents.

For more than 14 years, you’ve created memorable experiences, diverse communities, close relationships, thriving economies, engaging art, exciting events, and amazing creations of all kinds. You’ve made the world, and we’re proud to provide the platform and tools that help you to do so. We at Linden continue to be impressed by what we witness from Residents every day, and we want you to know that we share that commitment to and love for Second Life.
Here are a few of the things you can look forward to soon:

• We are hard at work upgrading all of the SL infrastructure and moving it to the cloud, which will bring a wealth of opportunities to Residents near and far, and allow us, among many other things, to make SL more performant for Residents across the world from us. It may also allow us to introduce new products with more flexible pricing.
• We’re working on several features to increase the value of Premium subscriptions. Most recently we gave Premium members priority access to near-full events, and shortly, we’ll be ready to unveil another bit of exciting news for subscribers.
• We’re building out a series of great extensions to Windlight (code name: EEP!), which will give value, flexibility, and new marketability to land, and will make Windlight settings tradeable assets.
• We have an extension to the animation system in the works (code name: Animesh) that will allow non-avatar objects to use more powerful and efficient skeletal animations the way avatars can today, and even more changes planned for creators and merchants later in the year.
• We’ve also got new experiences and events coming. An exciting new grid-wide gaming experience is coming soon! The team can’t wait to share the details with you in just a few days. Also in the works for this fall is an updated Halloween Haunted Tour, with new spooktacular events to celebrate. Not to mention, we’re turning 15 next year – SL15B, baby! That’s an incredible milestone and we are looking forward to collaborating with you to produce an amazing celebration.

Long live Second Life and long live the creative process in the amazing worlds that you’ve trail-blazed! Thank you for filling SL with your creations and communities all of these past 14+ years, and here’s to many, many more together.

Best,
Ebbe Linden, CEO & the Second Life Team

Arcade ~ September 2017 Is Almost HERE!

Arcade is just around the corner – you know what that means….save those Lindens and get that tier paid up in advance for the carnage your SL wallet is about to endure!

Here is your preview of what is available this quarterly round at The Arcade!

ABOUT THE EVENT (credit: The Arcade Event site)

The Arcade was founded in September of 2012 by Second Life residents, Octagons Yazimoto, Katharine McGinnis, Emery Milneaux and Umberto Giano. Currently, the quarterly gacha event features 100 of the grid’s best designers and builders, each whom offer a collection of high-quality prizes sold at random from gacha machines within The Arcade’s build.

Set in a seaside build that evokes the whimsical feel of the penny arcades of early 1900’s Coney Island and Brighton Pier, The Arcade strives to present a nostalgic atmosphere that welcomes an audience seeking great gacha prizes, and continues to be a favorite destination for photographers and enthusiasts of vintage architecture.

With events planned in June, September, December and March, The Arcade features an eclectic mix of designers with proven quality. Content creators are invited because of their demonstrated commitment to the quality of their merchandise and unique perspectives as artists. The result is a well-rounded collection of must-have attire, goods and novelties to delight and enthrall shoppers. Guests will discover there’s something special for everyone at The Arcade.

Sarahah App Phenomena – Friend or Foe?

So as many of you with Second Life Facebook Accounts can see a sort of phenomena hit the timelines of residents across the grid.  It all started with an application that you can download and sin up for for people to post anonymous messages to you.

The application, Sarahah, can be downloaded via Google Play store or App Store.  While it opened a door of wonderful positive messages, constructive criticism and so many wonderful uplifting messages for many.  It became an instant internet troll sensation.  I saw some pretty gruesome posts going on all over, as many people were actually sharing the messages they had received, which of course is to be expected sadly anytime a sense of anonymity is ensured.  People get so tough behind a computer screen when they feel there are no consequences for said actions.  I saw things from just petty commentary to downright insane threats and violent commentary towards individuals.

I myself decided to give it a go as i have also seen some amazing acts of kindness and people just being sweet to one another…as you can see posted below – I must say some of the messages were extremely random.  Some absolutely made me laugh…even the one “mean” message I received was honestly just humorous to me as well.  I also posted one from my timeline that a friend had received that just seemed to restore my faith in the application itself for sure 🙂

 

Honestly, I do not think when the makers of this Sarahah App released their program I don’t think they had in mind to use it as a tool for people to use as a way to online bully others. As the week unfolded it quickly turned into an all week SL Secrets bash event. We have also had a previous posting here at Zoha about SL Secrets, feel free to read the perspective of another writer.  It makes me sad – online bullying is awful, and can really impact a persons mood, you never know what a person is going through in their day to day lives, and many come to Second Life to have a break from those hardships.

Be positive, be happy, and really who cares what other people think of you.

Know there are always people in your life who do truly love and care for you regardless of what a few bad apples think or say.  

Keep your head up SL!

WHY DO COMPUTERS CRASH?

It’s a real pain when your computer locks up, freezes, crashes, or displays the dreaded “blue screen of death” with some cryptic error message. This sort of problem can be devilishly difficult to diagnose, because many things can cause a computer to crash. Here are seven common causes of computer crashes and some tips on how to deal with them…

Why Do Computers Crash?

Often I’ll get people asking the question along the lines of ‘My computer is crashing, what should I do?’. As much as I’d like to help, that’s not enough information to diagnose the problem and suggest a solution.

A computer crash can take the form of a complete power down, an unexpected restart, the Blue Screen of Death, or a screen freeze. In some cases, just restarting the computer will get you going again. But chances are, you haven’t really solved the problem. Here are seven things that can cause your computer to crash:

HEAT: An overheated processor (CPU) will shut down without warning, to avoid damage. Heat can build up because a cooling fan is not working or is clogged with dust. Hard drives are also temperature sensitive, and I suspect that motherboards and RAM memory can become flaky when temperatures inside a desktop or laptop computer rise above normal

One of my computers used to experience random crashes every few months while using second life. I found that periodically opening the case and cleaning all the fans, heat sinks and components with a can of compressed air would solve the problem temporarily. Replacing the system fan (which was making loud buzzing noise) solved the problem.

There are free utilities  that monitor temperatures within your computer and fan speeds; some will even let you control fan speed. A few months ago, my desktop PC would just lock up or shut down at seemingly random times. I used a free temperature monitor program to determine that my graphics adapter was overheating. When I opened the case, I found that it’s cooling fan had seized, and was partially melted! Fortunately, it was designed to send a “Warning, Danger!” signal to the motherboard, which prevented it from catching fire.

SOFTWARE ERRORS: If crashes occur only when you’re using a specific software application, that’s the first place to look for problems. Sometimes a software bug causes a crash when a certain operation is attempted. Check the software maker’s Web site for any updates that may fix your problem. It’s also a good idea to scan your computer to ensure that all your software is up to date with the latest security patches.

Occasionally, software may become corrupted or “scrambled;” that can cause crashes too. If software updates and a disk check (see below) don’t fix your problem, you may have to remove and then re-install the corrupted software.

HARD DRIVE ERRORS are yet another potential cause of computer crashes. A problem with your hard drive doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be replaced. There are a variety of factors that can cause files, folders, or partitions to become damaged or lost. Human error, malware, and poorly designed software are all possibilities.

A drive error may be a logical error in the Master File Table, or a defective sector on the disk itself. Windows has a built-in utility that will detect and fix logical errors, and mark bad sectors so they are not used to store data.

MALWARE: Viruses and other forms of malware often causes computer crashes; in fact, some malware is written to do just that. Running a full scan with one or more good anti-malware tools is a good thing to do when crashes occur at random. If you want to replace or supplement your existing anti-virus protection with free alternatives. MalWareBytes and Avast Free anti-virus are my best picks to take care of these issues.

DEVICE DRIVERS: Outdated device drivers and (GPU) drivers can cause crashes. I’ve heard reports where simply plugging a device into a USB port caused a system crash. Drivers usually work fine until you install a new operating system or a major update to an existing operating system, such as a Service Pack. If you start suffering crashes after an operating system change, updating the drivers for your printer, scanner, CD/DVD drive, external hard drive and other peripheral devices may solve the problem. The best place to look for new device drivers is the vendor’s website. Stay away from “driver update” websites and downloadable programs that offer to scan your system and supply new drivers.

FLAKY MEMORY: It’s rare for RAM memory to go bad, but that can be a cause of computer crashes. Sometimes a RAM chip with a “bad spot” will work fine, until a software program attempts to use that portion of memory. Memtest86+ is one of several utilities that can diagnose problems with RAM and other hardware that may be causing computer crashes.

FAILING POWER SUPPLY: Unexpected restarts can also be a sign of a failing power supply. When someone has tried everything else, and their computer is still glitching at seemingly random times, I often recommend a new power supply. Fortunately, power supplies are cheap and easy to replace yourself.

If your problem is software-related, there’s a free program called WhoCrashed that you can run after experiencing a system crash, unexpected shutdown/reset, or “blue screen of death” event. WhoCrashed which will analyze your Windows system log files, report on the most likely cause, and offer suggestions on how to fix the problem.

Have a Great Week

Deuce Marjeta

 


Google Backup & Sync

 

Google Drive just got a lot more useful and user-friendly, with the introduction of an app called Google Backup & Sync. It combines features of the Google Drive and Google photos apps, and adds some finer controls over what is saved to the cloud and when. Let’s see how it works…

Protect Your Files With Google Backup & Sync

The new Backup & Sync app is one easy way to make sure that the documents and photos on your Windows or Mac hard drive are automatically backed up to cloud storage. If you add, modify or delete a file in your Documents or Pictures folder, that change will be reflected in your Google Drive storage in the cloud.

In addition to backing up your local files to cloud storage, Backup & Sync also works in the opposite direction, backing up your Google Drive storage to a local hard drive folder. If you use the cloud-based Google Docs word processor or Google Sheets spreadsheet, you’ll like that.

You can download and install Backup & Sync from this link. When installed, it replaces the Google Drive app on your computer, if you already had it. (It also made the Network icon in my system tray disappear, but it came back in a few minutes. You may or may not have a similar, temporary glitch.)

Google backup and sync app

Some users have noted that the Backup & Sync icon is hidden in the Windows system tray. To make it always visible in the system tray, click on the up-arrow that shows hidden icons and select “Customize.” Find the Backup & Sync icon and change its default to “Show icon and notifications.” Problem solved.

Click once on the Backup & Sync icon to open a small window. It shows current or recent backup and sync activity. On the menu bar are icons that give you access to Google Drive or Google Photos, and to the Google Drive folder on your local device. Click on the three-dots button at the far right end of the menu bar. Select Preferences.

Backup and Sync Preferences and Settings

In the left sidebar you’ll find the Google Drive folder that the app created on your hard drive. By default, everything in your Google Drive cloud storage is synced to a local folder on your computer. But now, you have the option to select subfolders from Google Drive cloud to sync to your hard drive. Click on “Google Drive” and then “Sync only these folders” to access that option.

You’ll also see “My Laptop” or “My Computer” in the left sidebar. If you install the app on other devices linked to your Google Account, they would appear here too.

In the center section of the control panel, you can select or deselect folders on the selected device (e.g., My Laptop) to be continuously backed up and synced with Google Drive and/or Google Photos. If desired, you can add other folders to be backed up.

Photo and video files can be uploaded to the cloud in their original sizes, subject to your storage capacity available in the cloud. But if you let Google compress your photos and videos, free cloud storage is unlimited. You should enable the option to upload photos and videos to Google Photo, to take advantage of the free storage deal; I don’t know why it’s at the bottom of the control panel instead of right up here. The files on your hard drive remain their original sizes. (Note: unlimited free storage is only available for photos and videos.)

Fine Tuning Backup & Sync

The “Removing items” options control what happens when you delete a file from your local drive. Options include deleting files from the cloud and all of your other devices running Backup & Sync; automatically deleting files only from your local drive; or being asked if you want to delete files everywhere when you delete them on your local drive.

Files stored on USB devices and SD cards will automatically be backed up to the cloud when they are plugged into a device that’s running Backup & Sync. You can turn this default off if you wish, using the link at the bottom of the Preferences window.

The Settings page (see link in the left sidebar of Preferences) is self-explanatory except for “Network Settings.” Click on that link to control how much bandwidth Backup & Sync uses. (Bandwidth refers to the amount and rate of data transferred over a network.) The default is “unlimited” but you may want to throttle Backup & Sync if its activity slows your other online activities.

I’ve only used Backup & Sync for a couple of days, but already I like it better than the old Google Drive app. Give it a try. And what does this have to do with Second Life? Anyone that builds or has a database, saved passwords, business spread sheets, ETC. knows this is valuable to back up all saved content for recovery.

Looking for your new land? Click here

Have a great week

Deuce Marjeta

Linden Lab TOS Updates Effective July 21st – 2017

 

On Tuesday, July 11th, Linden Lab issued an updated Terms of Service, which is due to come into effect on July 31st, 2017. As is the Lab’s usual practice, anyone logging-in to one of the Lab’s services for the first time after the new Terms have come into force will be required to accept them. As such, a read through is advisable beforehand.

The summary of the changes indicate them to be:

  • A restructuring of the Terms to include terms and conditions that apply to all Linden Lab products, with separate product-specific references (such as Linden Dollar and LindeX for SL) now contained within product-specific policies. The new Second Life Terms and Conditions contains all the Second Life-specific references that were previously in the Terms of Service.
  • Reference to the Lab’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Tilia Inc. and Tilia Branch UK Ltd., have been added. These companies will be handling payment services on our behalf under certain circumstances. I first wrote (albeit somewhat speculatively) about Tilia Inc in November 2015.
  • Minor text revisions to clarify that Linden Lab has discretion to undertake certain account actions.
  • An updated the arbitration provision in accordance with applicable law.

In addition to the updated ToS there is a new Intellectual Property Infringement Notification Policy and a new Content Guidelines document; both of which also take effect from July 31st.

The first of these bullet points sees the most extensive changes to the ToS, with the removal off sections formerly specific to SL, and the removal of references related to the Second Life (e.g. “inworld”) to more generic terms. These are all clearly part-and-parcel of adopting the ToS to encompass Sansar, and some of the amendments make for interesting reading – such as the definition of terms.

While the blog post refers to “the Second Life Terms and Conditions”, there is no actual link to such a document at present. There is a link to the Community Standards – which are still specific to Second Life. However, it is unclear if this is what is meant by “the Second Life Terms and Conditions” – and if so, they have not as yet been updated to reflect elements of the ToS specific to SL – such as the operation of “bots” or to Skill Gaming / for profit games of chance, Linden Dollars, the LindeX, etc. Nor are the ancillary policies to Second Life listed (e.g. the Machinima policy, Mainland Policy, etc.).

Excluding the changes specific to Second Life (i.e. removal of references and clauses). The most extensive changes to the ToS can be found in the following sections:

  • 1.1 – updates to defined terms
  • 2.2 – licences granted, specifically the section on “Linden Content”
  • 3 Eligibility To Use the Service
  • 4.3 – payment service providers (including Tilia Branch in the UK)
  • 7 – Infringement Notifications – now dealt with via the Intellectual Property Infringement Notification Policy
  • 9.6 – Unsolicited Ideas and Materials Prohibited; No Confidential or Special Relationship with Linden Lab
  • 10.2 – Exceptions to Requirement to Arbitrate (dispute resolution).