Friday, August 21, 2020

Second Life Mainland Pod Service Closing After Ten Years

The Newser was just tipped off to a sad announcement. After ten years of taking residents around the mainland, the Yavascript pods made by Yavanna Llanfair will be shut down after today. The reasons are a lack of communication with Linden Lab following a 24 hour ban, and her recovery from a Coronavirus infection that has had lingering effects on her body.

Dear pod riders,

Today is the 10th anniversary of the first road pod - "YavaScript Pod V5.0 (MCT)" - MCT standing for Monowai Constant Tour, which I put on the road in the morning of Saturday 21st August 2010. I have set that pod running again; it will run until it is swallowed by some random event (like a sim restart or a crash).

 However, I am sorry to report that it is also the last day of the pods as we know them today. I have made the decision to suspend all services as of later today. The reason is as follows:

For the entirety of the running of the pod service, I have said I will only run the service where I considered I had the approval of the Lindens and the community. Whilst there have always been a few who would criticise (sometimes quite vocally), they have been a very small minority. And I have always felt that the Lindens have tacitly approved of them, though they would never say so directly. Certainly a number of moles have expressed their approval, and to them I am very grateful.

On 27th July, my account was suspended for 24 hours because of a pod crash in Mieum (on the Wellington Road). At least, that is what I traced it to, because the Linden who suspended me would not tell me of the reason - merely that the object was returned to me. I explained that it is impossible to avoid crashes in all circumstances. I raised a ticket to the LDPW asking them to let me know if this meant my pods were no longer welcome on the roads. I said that I would take anything other than a positive to be a negative. My ticket was closed without comment.

It would have been a shame for the pods to have fallen short of their 10th anniversary, and so I have continued the service until today. And for now, I will merely suspend all operations by flicking a switch on my server. This means that the road pods will still rez, but de-rez shortly after (within 5 minutes). Pods will also still be available from the pod stations by clicking on the rezzer. But this is not a sustainable situation, as the vast majority of people come to know about the pods by seeing them pass on the road, so without that, the service is far less likely to be sustainable in the longer term.

I announced back in June that I was stepping back, due to a long Covid-19 recovery. That recovery is still not complete; whilst I have made progress, I still have some issues, mostly neurological. And stress is therefore something I have to avoid at all costs. Therefore I am not willing at present to fight anyone on this. Maybe one day I will. If the Lindens wish to get in contact to ensure me that the pods are welcome again, I will of course re-instate them. But I suspect that is not likely to happen.

I will continue to support pod owners who run their own systems.

Thankyou to each and every pod rider for coming along on the journey with me. It has been exciting and a lot of fun. It isn't necessarily over, but for now autonomous vehicles from the YavaScript stable will no longer be on the SecondLife mainland roads.

Yavanna Llanfair

For those wishing to check out the pods one last time, head to the main station at Durango (154/188/118). You can also join the Pod riders group (link here) for a list of her other stations.

Yavanna would list the following as her reason for coming up with the rides.

Why do I make these tours? Well, I believe that mainland should be enjoyed and appreciated. Yet there is so little on mainland as a whole which attracts people, simply because they don't know about it. Most people don't travel around and look to see what is there; they go from landmark to landmark in their inventory, without taking the time to look around them. But mainland has so much going for it; beautiful areas, historic locations, educational establishments, rail and sea transport, which most people probably don't know exist. Mainland should be alive, it should be a community. We should all care about it, and then maybe we would take more pride in it and in our buildings. The road network is extensive (though not always as complete as it might be). It is there for using, and should be used as a way to help fulfil this need.

Going about, there was a lot to see while taking a ride. It was an effortless way to cover a lot of ground and see how much was on the mainland. It is a service that will be missed.

Remember, after today, the pods will probably no longer work.

Update: As of Sunday, the pod service as a whole is still working

Hat Tip: Sandie Loxingly

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. so sad ! exploring mainland on the pods has always been one of my favorite activities

  2. That's sad. While I only rode the pods twice, myself, it was always fun to see one pass by in my own travels. This is something that LL really needs to address.

  3. Oh no! And i was just working on a blog for the pod tours. I wasted many hours for that.
    Is there a way to bring back these tours, maybe with a new owner?
    If it isn't too complicated, i could host some tours.

  4. I've been taking the pod tours for almost 10 years. I take a few every year, recommend them to people, and they've become a staple of SL life. And in fact, the pod tours were used in the Linden SL17B sims, so... yeah... the Lindens approve of them. Who is this probably new and doesn't even LIVE in SL LL employee who suspended HER account over a pod crash?! WTH!

  5. Ebbe has been posting on Twitter that this isn't correct.

    Twitter, 23rd of August - "Nobody is stopping them from running."