Linden Lab Confirms SL Sim Crossing Improved

Due to Code, Not Cloud

SL Sim crossing update Linden Lab

Linden Lab has a blog post that almost seems like a direct response to the one New World Notes posted yesterday, wondering whether the improvements to SL sim crossings in the test grid were a temporary, unintentional side effect. But as April Linden writes, they are real, and a result of changing some code in order to optimize how SL worked once it’s deployed to the Amazon cloud:

When you crossed from one region to another, the regions were putting a lot of information into large packets and sending them across our network. This was usually okay because our network was purposefully built to run Second Life. Then, as soon we tried to do this on someone else’s network (in the cloud), things didn’t work quite right. The problem was most noticeable when crossing from a region in our data center to one in the cloud…

[O]ur engineering team decided to use another way to send the data across the network, using the same protocol and method we use for other types of data. Most importantly, it is faster and more reliable. That did the trick! We’re still collecting statistics on the impact this change has, but things are looking very positive.

Once this new code was written, the performance when going  from region to region got a lot better, and it worked between our data center and the cloud! The improvement was so dramatic that we decided to not make our Residents wait for uplifted simulators, and rolled the changes out right away. That code is what rolled out to the grid this week.

More intensely geeky details here. So the improvements are based not so much on cloud deployment itself, so much as they are based on improvements made to the code base in order run well on the cloud.

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

Second Life Founder Philip Rosedale!

Lab Gab Streams this Friday at 10:30am PT/SLT – Second Life Founder Philip Rosedale!

Strawberry Linden


“Lab Gab” is a live-streamed variety show that showcases events, destinations, and different talents across Second Life. 

Join our host, Strawberry Linden, as she speaks with the founder of Second Life and co-Founder of High Fidelity, Philip Rosedale! Strawberry will be asking Philip questions about the origins of Second Life, what he’s up to now, and what he sees in the future for virtual worlds.

Tune in on Friday, August 7th at 10:30am PT/SLT. Watch us live on YouTube, Facebook, or Periscope!

For full episodes of Lab Gab, click over to the Lab Gab YouTube Playlist

Have a great weekend from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands.

Firestorm 6.4.5—EEP Public Beta!

It’s Here Folks Finally! But In Public Beta Release..

EEP—Linden Lab’s Environmental Enhancement Project—is here.  The EEP Firestorm viewer is now available as a public beta viewer. Linden Lab is hoping to get feedback from our user community and the Firestorm team highly encourages you to file bug reports on LL’s Jira here.

Before you ask, this is NOT a required update. It is a beta viewer and will not count against Firestorm’s 3-available-versions rule. You do NOT have to uninstall your current Firestorm, and in fact we suggest that you keep it. The beta viewer will install alongside your existing Firestorm on a separate channel (on Windows).

Download the viewer here: Firestorm EEP! Beta Downloads.

About EEP

As many of you know, Linden Lab’s Environmental Enhancement Project has been in the works for a long time and reached the grid in 2019. While the official SL viewer has had EEP for a few months, Firestorm has been working to eliminate bugs in our own implementation and streamline/improve the interface. While we don’t feel that EEP is ready for full release—in fact, it has not passed our QA yet—Linden Lab wants all SL users to have access to it, and many of you have been clamoring to use it.

EEP is a new environmental lighting system, a change from the previous Windlight system. Sky, Water, and Day Cycle settings are now saved as inventory items (assets), and can be created, copied, transferred, or sold the same as other inventory assets.  EEP settings can be applied to the land by parcel or region owners, or to yourself as personal settings visible only to you. 

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).

Note: Windlight still works in viewers 6.3.9 and older, with a few bugs due to server changes.

For additional information:

Additional Viewer Features

 This viewer also includes

  • LL’s new cam controls with the ability to create camera presets.
  • Updated viewer translations in many languages

See for the full list of new features.

Bug Fixes

Even though it hasn’t been long since we released Firestorm 6.3.9, this one comes with a lot of bug fixes. Below is a list of just a few key things we feel folks will appreciate. For a more thorough list, please see our 6.4.5 PRE-RELEASE NOTES.

  • A fix for the AO crash in Firestorm 6.3.9.
  • A fix for Macs affected by MacOS – Blur When HiDPI Support Option Not Used
  • A fix for skin failing to load for Bakes on Mesh while editing shape.
  • A fix for attachments to dismissed notices going to trash.

Known Issues

As an entirely new environmental system, EEP still has bugs to be worked out. You may see strange lighting glitches. Some have experienced reduced FPS. We hope that everyone trying this beta viewer will review the list of known issues and file bug reports to help us improve the viewer for you.


Download the viewer here: Firestorm EEP! Beta Downloads.


For OpenSim users, there are 3 key points:

  • The viewer incorporates Windlight <—> EEP interoperability, allowing EEP viewer users to visit legacy Windlight regions.
  • The viewer supports the new OpenSim 0.9.2 with EEP—code-named “Ugly Sky.”
  • There is now a fast-entry grid feature on the login screen—simply enter a URI to add a new grid.

In addition, our last OpenSim Release had a bug that caused crashes when rezzing items. This bug was responsible for 70% of all reported FS OpenSim crashes on the 6.3.9 version, and it has been fixed.

Have a good one from all of us at Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands

The First Feature-Length Cyberpunk Thriller Shot Entirely in Second Life!

Watch Here: STÖMOL, The First Feature-Length Cyberpunk Thriller Shot Entirely in Second Life!

Update: Bumped up for weekend viewing!

As promised, New World Notes is very proud to debut the feature-length machinima by Huckleberry Hax. Put your headphones on, dim the lights, and press play. And join me below for director’s comments (with potential spoilers) and running comments from the audience in the aisle!

STOMOL SL Machinima cyberpunk

“Filming started in February 2019. Since then I’ve shot in 12 different sims as well as a couple of stand-alone sets, one of which I built… a mixture of animations and static poses were used, from over 40 different content creators.”

“One of the most challenging aspects of creating the movie was the short lifespan of many sims – often as brief as a month,” as Hax explains. “For example, I was filming at ‘Kun-Tei-Ner’ (by Lotus Mastroianni and Fred Hamilton) right up until the hour before they started dismantling it. It’s a huge barrier to the creation of longer, story-telling machinima in SL. Of course I understand why sim creators do this — they have money for one sim and they want to move on and do something different.

“Another barrier is the dearth of quality animations that are not dance animations or adult animations. This surprised me – I imagined that, over the lifespan of SL, there would be pretty much any animation I could think of somewhere on the Marketplace, but actually sourcing animations became one of the most time consuming aspects of the movie.”

“The main character – Epi Stömol – is looking for two coders,” he tells me. “One is a deepfake scripter, the other is able to retrieve old media files. The woman in the scene – Istinito – used to be room mate to one of the missing coders. In the future the movie is set in, old media has been rendered unreadable through corporate software infrastructure, making it hard to work out actual history. It’s an Orwellian sort of situation, where there is only official history. The movie as a whole is about truth and the triumph of ‘fake news.'”

Enjoy From all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands

Want to Understand What Linden Lab’s Acquisition Means for Second Life?

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