Monday, October 19, 2020

Linden Lab: "We Apologize For Recent Service Disruptions"

Glitches are more or less a part of the Second Life experience. But if it seems they've been getting worse lately, it's not your imagination. And even Linden Lab is admitting things are buggier than usual. In the Tools and Technology blog on Friday October 16, Oz Linden stated in the "Uplift Update" that while there's been overall improvement in the Second Life infrastructure, "it’s the bumps in the road that are most noticeable to our residents. We apologize for recent service disruptions ..." He would point out several "rough spots."

Region Crossings
One of the first troubles we found was that region crossings were significantly worse between a cloud region and a datacenter region. We did a deep dive into the code for objects (boats, cars, planes, etc) and produced an improvement that made them significantly faster and more reliable even within the datacenter. This has been applied to all regions already and was a good step forward.

Group Chat stalls
Many users have reported that they are not able to get messages in some of their groups; we're very much aware of the problem. The start of those problems does coincide with when the chat service was uplifted; unfortunately the problems did not become clear until moving that service back to the datacenter was not an option. We haven’t been able to get that fixed as quickly as we would like, but the good news is that we have some changes nearly ready that we think may improve the service and will certainly provide us with better information to diagnose it if it isn't fixed. Those changes are live on the Beta grid now and should move to the main grid very soon.

Bake Failures
Wednesday and especially Thursday of this past week were bad days for avatar appearance, and we're very much aware of how important that is. The avatar bake service has actually been uplifted for some time - it wasn't moving it that caused the problem, but another change to a related service. The good news is that thanks to a great cross-team effort during those two days we were able to determine why an apparently unrelated simulator update triggered the problem and got a fix deployed Thursday night.

Increased Teleport Failures
We have seen a slight increase in the frequency of teleport failures. I know that if it's happened to you it probably doesn't feel like a "slight" problem, especially since it appears to be true that if it's happened to someone once, it tends to keep happening for a while. Measured over the entire grid, it's just under two percentage points, but even that is unacceptable. We're less sure of the specific causes for this (including whether or not it's Uplift related), but are improving our ability to collect data on it and are very much focused on finding and fixing the problem whatever it is.

Marketplace & Stipend Glitches

We've had some challenges related to uplift for both the Marketplace and the service that pays Premium Stipends. Marketplace had to be returned to the datacenter yesterday, but we'll correct the problems that required the rollback and get it done soon. The Stipends issues were both good and bad for users; there were some delays, but on the other hand we sent some users extra stipends (our fault, you win - we aren't taking them back); those problems are, we believe, solved now.

So why all of the glitches and bugs? Oz called the Uplift to move Second Life's data to cloud servers "a massive, complicated project that I've previously compared to converting a steam-driven railroad to a maglev monorail -- without ever stopping the train." He would later try to reasure the residents, "While this week in particular has seen some bumps in the road, it's actually going well overall. Lots of the infrastructure you don't interact with directly, and some you do, has been uplifted and has worked smoothly." He would go on to say almost all of the Beta Grid's sims were in the Cloud, and "we've uplifted around a hundred regions on the main grid. Performance of those regions has been very very good, and stability has been excellent." He would go on to say more sims would be uplifted over the weekend and that "Uplift of the Release Candidate regions, which will bring the count into the thousands, will begin soon."

Oz would say the Uplift to the Cloud should be completed, or at least be close to it, by the end of the year.

To read the blog entry in full, Click Here.

Bixyl Shuftan

Weekend in Brief


Quite a bit happened this weekend in Second Life. The last official events of Burn2 took place, including the Burning of The Man (above) on Saturday October 17 and the Temple Burn on Sunday October 18. Also on Saturday, the annual "Scare Me Silly" Halloween-themed event by Team Diabetes began. On Sunday was the Tenth Anniversary party of Team Firestorm. The weekend would also see events for the Relay for Life's "Making Strides."

More on these and other events later.

Press Release: "Scare Me Silly" by Creations for Parkinson's


Join us from October 16 to 23, 2020 for the 5th Annual Scare Me Silly Event! This event will feature shopping, 2 hunts, live music, tricks & treats, and an art asylum where you can purchase art from some of your favorite artists, all in one location to benefit Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team of the American Diabetes Association! Participation is 100% free for all merchants and artists!

For more information, Click Here.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: AFK Pokeball

 Taken at the Happy Vixen. The problem with taking a couple moments away from keyboard to take care of something, you never know what someone will throw your way.

By Bixyl Shuftan


Friday, October 16, 2020

Burn2 Exhibits And Other Builds


The Burn2 festival has been going on this week. And as always, the builders have gone all out with some great builds. And this weekend, the Burning of the Man and the Temple take place. Gemma Cleanslate, whom is doing duty as a Burn2 Ranger as well as a reporter, was on the scene to write up about what to see.

Read Gemma's story in Design.

Kayly Iali, CDS Artist


The Confederation of Democratic Simulators is home to a number of creative residents. Among them is artist Kayly Iali, whom paints in real life and shows it her in Second Life. Recently, the Newser had an interview with her. She would describe how she came to Second Life, and how she came to be an artist here.

Read the interview in People.

Firestorm 10th Anniversary Party This Sunday


After being delayed for about a month, Team Firestorm, the volunteers behind the Firestorm Viewer, is ready to throw it's tenth anniversary bash. It's real anniversary was actually last month, September 3 2010 being when the team (known then as Team Phoenix) was formed. The event starts at Sunday October 18, Noon SL time, and will last for three hours to 3PM SL time. Each hour offers music from three big-name musicians.

We’ve lined up 3 BIG names to bring us live performances through our 3-hour party!

Savannah Rain opens up the party for us, 12–1 pm! ...

Maximillion Kleene rocks the second show from Canada, 1–2 pm. ...

Keeba Tammas and the Tiny Maniacs performs the finale show, 2–3 pm. ...

As with most of their anniversary events, Team Firestorm is offering presents to it's fans. One is a tiger from Wild Kajaera. The other, appropriately enough, is a pet phoenix made by Rezz Room.

Rezz Room is celebrating Firestorm’s anniversary by donating an incredible, animesh, fiery Phoenix companion pet. It can be worn or rezzed and can be set to a radius or to follow its owner.

The SURL of the location hasn't been officially announced yet, the team asking you check their blog an hour before the event. Though a search for Firestorm-owned places revealed a likely location high above their sims.

Once again, the party is on Sunday October 18, from Noon to 3PM SL time.

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Saturday at The Science Circle - "The Dragon’s Smile"


"The Dragon's Smile"

Saturday October 17
10 AM to 11 AM SL time

A presentation by Dr. Mary Anne Clark.

Snooping in the Databases:  Amelogenin in the Komodo Monitor

I love browsing the databases when new genome sequences are published.  I’ll be talking about looking for the gene for amelogenin in the genome fragments of the Komodo monitor, whose genome was published in 2019.  I’ll describe how I found the gene, how you can do your own snooping in the databases, and what I learned about lizards in the process. 

For more information, Click Here

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Apple Says No To IOS SL Mobile Client


As you may know, Linden Lab has been working on a Second Life app for mobile devices. Last month, it looked like one would be soon be available in beta. But it appears the wait will be a little longer. In the Web User Group meeting held on Wednesday October 7, it was revealed that a beta version of the IOS (iPhone Operating System) version of the SL mobile app had been submitted to Apple to appear in it's app store, and was rejected. The reasons for the rejection were not revealed, only that the Lab is working to correct the issues.

For now, the IOS app remains in closed alpha. The Android version is described as behind the IOS in development.

Unrelated to Second Life but of note to gamers,  Apple has been at odds with Epic, the company behind the popular Fortnite game, over what both sides claim is unreasonable behavior. Apple took Fortnite off it's app store over what it called violations of the agreement between them and Epic. A week ago on October 9, a judge ruled that Apple didn't have to put the game back.

Sources: Daniel Voyager, Modem World, CNN, Forbes

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: September 2020 HFOT Donations


Here we are folks, the final quarter of our efforts to help extremely injured veterans through Homes For Our Troops.  And we are starting this off right!  In the month of September we sent $1650 to HFOT.  This is because of some extra efforts by kind folks in Second Life. So the tally for 2020 is $11050 ….and we know now that we can surely beat 2019’s tally of $14000.     

On hearing about the donations in September Jamie Crossman, Manager of Individual Giving for Homes for Our Troops stated:

"Another great month of supporting HFOT!  We are so grateful for your efforts I am running out of ways to express our thanks.  September was a milestone month thanks to your generosity combined with all who believe and support our mission.  On September 12th we presented our 300th Home to a deserving Veteran and their family in Hillsboro, MO. This would not have been possible without your support.  Although this is an incredible milestone, our mission is not complete.  There are still more than 1,000 severely injured Veterans who need our help!  With your continued support together, we can continue to change lives for so many who have sacrificed for our freedom.”

Once again we should thank several folks for their help in achieving September’s results. Let’s stand up and salute these hard won gains through the efforts of the following:

To the performers and DJ’s:....Thank you…

DJ Waya Snowpaw
Nina Setner Bing
Amforte Clarity
Hogan Baily and
DJ Hale Compton

Everyone of you used your talent and made an extra effort to help us generate donations in September.  Thank you!

Then we had extra efforts put forth by the following:

Lainey Thorne, DJ Hale Compton, all the folks at Sanctuary of Rock and all of their supporters
EastbayRay, Cattleya Lovette LadySmack Gears and the Legion of Vets MC
Tammaryon Galicia and all the folks at Dandy’s place
J.J. Fired Roseblood and all the folks at Roseblood Rogue Nation MC
JulesA Flow, Salonios Koolhoven and DOOWOPS FOREVER at Gigli  Isles
Fire Bonfire and everyone at Boots and Lace Country Rock Club
Cayleen Linette and everyone at Cay's at Woodland Lake
Kyle W Forrester and all of his DJ efforts

And we are very appreciative of those consistent supporters who keep helping through the kiosks that they have placed throughout the grid.  Thank you:

Ashley Steele and all the folks at Saddles Live Music Venue & Retreat
All the folks at Southern Fried Country Club
Bixyl Shuftan and  Purrfection  estates

There are many others who have recently joined this fight by placing donation kiosks.  We are looking forward to your ongoing help with our effort.  Thank you!

Lastly thank you Gjackie Winkler and Bri Mcmahon for your help with our monthly benefit at Veteran’s Isle.  

With that said we once again ask all to please say some prayers for our good friend Dahlea Milena who is now fighting cancer.  We pray she beats this and is back with us soon.

If we can maintain the momentum we have going through this last quarter of 2020 we can surely beat the $14000 that we achieved in 2019.  Let’s help Homes For Our Troops build another 300 homes for our extremely wounded veterans!

God Bless and stay safe and well,

Frets Nirvana

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Cartoon of The Day: Rave Ball Or Giant Jawbreaker


 Taken at Club Cutlass' "Rave Night."

Punch line by Shockwave Yareach

By Bixyl Shuftan


Scenes From Burn2


Burn2 is going on. This yearly art and music festival is a virtual counterpart to the real-life Burning Man event which was a partial inspiration for Linden Lab to come up with this virtual world, is taking place to Sunday October 18. Among the "Burners" helping out is Gemma Cleanslate, taking part as a Ranger. She had a good position to look at things from within, and had a few things to say.

Read Gemma's story in Events.

Commentary: A Few Words on "My Little Pony"


As a cartoon, "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" was a highly successful one, going on for nine seasons, given numerous award nominations, and of course a huge fanbase that goes behind the show's intended audience of girls and young women. Some of the fans are here in Second Life, including pony communities living in sims made in the style of the cartoon. Nydia Tungsten recently decided to take a look at the cartoon, which made her think some about how the show's fans are sometimes ridiculed. She had a few things to say about it.

Read Nydia's commentary in Extra

Sci-Fi Expo Starts Today

The Sci-Fi Expo, a twice a year event that raises money for the Relay for Life's "Making Strides", officially starts today. The opening ceremonies take place at 12 Noon SL time at the Main Stage in SE3 Utopia (192/192/75). The theme this year is "To Boldly Go!"

Now more than ever is the time to be bringing people together, and so we are thrilled to announce that the 2020 SciFi Expo will be taking place from October 14th to October 28th, 2020. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic it is important for people to come together to share their common love of a genre that has brought so many beloved franchises which has allowed us to create and expand on them in ways that are truly unique.

This year we’ve decided to go bigger than ever before and are bringing 5 regions in the shape of a medical cross in celebration of those who are currently or have worked throughout the medical industry, and anybody who has been affected by Cancer or the COVID-19 virus. We hope that this event can help to bring people together who may have been affected and give them a place to let their imaginations roam free.

Our main theme this year is “To Boldly Go” paying tribute to the ideals that SciFi brings to us about being able to go out and explore the unknown. Our four exhibit sims have the themes of The Void, Cloud City, Manaan, and Gallifrey while our hub sim will be based on a Utopian colony world.

The SciFi Expo will be open to the public from October 14th to October 28th. The SLurl to the expo will be available on our website on opening day. We hope you will come and join us on this new adventure!

There will be plenty to do and see, with events such as DJ parties, numerous exhibits by various stores and roleplaying groups, plenty of cool stuff, to get, and more.


There was also this promotion video.

For more information, check of the Sci-fi Expo blog: .

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay Clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and Furry Fashion Lounge

Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.
Club Cutlass: Best in 'G', Dark Colors, Pirates

Happy Vixen: Asian, Gone Nuts, TBA, Kitsune and Nekoes, Mice and Ponies, Night Creatures, Orange and Black, Dragons, Creepy vs Cute, TBA

 Club Zero Gravity: TBA
Montecito Bay: TBA, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge: Fantasy, Gothic, Scalies, Anime, Monsters, Late Night, Forest Animals

Deathlands Fallout Shelter: DJ Wolfy

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.