Linden Lab amongst tech companies who filed immigration legal brief opposing Trump

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After a public statement of disapproval regarding Donald Trump’s immigration policies, Linden Lab is now on the list of 127 Tech companies who have signed a legal brief.

The so called amicus brief argues that Trump’s immigration order is illegal and mentions the important contributions immigrants have made to the tech economy.
It also mentions that the policies will make it harder and more expensive to hire new employees from abroad or to do business there because of travel restrictions.
In short, it is bad for business.

Some of the other companies on the list are Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, Paypal, Ebay, Tesla and SpaceX.

If I understood correctly, the legal background of an amicus brief is that it is an official way of supporting a lawsuit without being a party to it.
Although of course this might still change if the companies decide to step up their involvement.
But it’s a bit complicated and it has been years since I’ve dated a lawyer.

News was first reported by Bloomberg, you can read their story here.

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1920s Berlin machinima reaches 20.000 views

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Last March Pepa Cometa, well known machinima maker, made a wonderful video in my 1920s Berlin project.
It was so popular that it didnt take long to get over  10.000 views and it had even been shown on a very popular German television program!

Recently it has gotten some attention again and was shared on Italian and Russian websites, which made the view counter jump up again and just now it reached 20.000 on Vimeo alone!

That is quite impressive for a video that isn’t about trolling, people having babies or doing the hanky panky.

I’ve written before about how I think we need to make more Music Videos made in Second Life because I think they are an excellent bit of publicity for our virtual world.
And this video has proven that point.

20.000 views, that is a great excuse… for another view!

Enjoy!

Linden Lab versus Trump

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Much to my delight, Linden Lab released a statement regarding Trump’s Immigration policy yesterday;

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LINDEN LAB STATEMENT ON TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON IMMIGRATION

2017-02-02 00:00:00 UTC

We at Linden Lab are extremely disappointed in and adamantly opposed to Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. We reject racism, intolerance, and xenophobia.

We are proud to include immigrants among our leadership, colleagues, and customers, as well as our families, friends, and communities. We value diversity, compassion, and understanding, and we are proud that our products enable people to come together and form meaningful connections regardless of differences in their offline lives.

Trump’s order is counter to what we value and antithetical to American ideals. We join the many voices calling on the US government to remove this restriction as quickly as possible and to refrain from imposing additional barriers that threaten opportunities for immigrants, under-represented minorities, and women.

Well done Linden Lab.

New SL feature; Place Pages

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Linden Lab just announced that they are rolling out yet another feature for Second Life, one I’m very excited about and have been, in parts, suggesting for a while; Place Pages.

They basically give every region and parcel in Second Life a page on the Second Life website where you can find out more information about them.

It is a bit like the information page you see when you use search inworld before you teleport to that sim, but bigger & better.
And all you have to do to visit these pages is click ‘visit this location’ and the teleport window in SL opens.
No more visiting the, if I may say so, confusing map first.

To make such a page your parcel and/or region needs to have “Show in search” activated in the land setting.
Go to https://places.secondlife.com/places to see a list of all these pages and click “my places” to see a list of your sims that you can make a page for.
The rest is self-explanatory.

And rather exciting; you can use 360 degrees photos and even stream LIVE via youtube from inworld!

But it gets better.
Place pages right now is still in the Beta testing phase, so it will get better and how we are going to use these could influence what will happen next with them.
Linden Lab promises future improvements and features, such as an event calendar!

I’ve written before (click here to read) about making more use of ‘my-sl’ profiles and perhaps creating pages for groups in SL.
Finding a way to allow us to stop using Social Media for all these things and start using the official SL website more for this.
Giving us online events calendars for our sims is a huge step towards this.

I hope that in the future the Place Pages for communities will include perhaps also a forum or place where people can chat with each other, an online photo album (or widget that allows us to show our Flickr pictures there),  contact options that allow you to chat directly with admins and managers or at least send them a message, etc.

But above all; an events calendar.
Right now we have to send reminders, have a Facebook calendar, google calendar, etc.
I’d love to have a calendar for a sim that shows you right away ALL the events in that sim, region, all parcels in that region or just selected parcels in that region but that also gives you the option to subscribe to this calendar so you get IM’s when these events are about to begin.
And please, also the option for us to create recurring events so we don’t have to create a new calendar event for those daily or weekly events.

Can you think of more improvements and additions?
Let Linden Lab know, you can follow their forum post by clicking here and file a Jira about bugs or for your ideas and suggestions.

Either way, I’m getting busy making pages for all my parcels and sims!
Starting with this one for 1920s Berlin.

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Sansar Dollar introduced

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Hot on the heels of the youtube video news a few websites have already published articles on this latest footage but also on Sansar in general.
It looks like Linden Lab played their cards right and kickstarted the publicity in advance of the announcement, making sure a few websites got their interviews ready.

These articles also included new screenshots and interesting news.

A website called Tom’s Hardware announced that Linden Lab introduced the Sansar Dollar today, the currency for Sansar.
Or the S$, I assume.
The creators who have been allowed to take part in the preview can start buying them now and use them to sell and buy things on the Sansar Marketplace.

In an interview Ebbe also says that they will continue to allow new users in throughout the first quarter of 2017.
Which probably means that the official opening in January was a bit too optimistic.

Ebbe also explains that they want to do things differently with Sansar, the hosting fees (tier) will be much lower and that Linden Lab will in stead try and make more money on the G.D.P.
So LL is changing from High property tax and almost no consumption tax in Second Life to lower property tax and higher consumption tax.
Ebbe has explained this before but some people still seem to think we’ll get high tier in Sansar.

You can read the entire article by clicking here, there are also new screenshots.

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Sansar Youtube channel opens with impressive new video

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Today the official Sansar youtube channel was officially opened with a brand new video made by Draxtor Despres.

The video shows Loz Hyde (of Meshworx fame) who was invited to join Sansar before its official opening and who has been working on a location he calls The Grand Hall.
And grand it is!

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I’ve seen probably all the Sansar footage Linden Lab released, what was leaked here and there and all the screenshots I could find but to be honest, so far most of it didn’t look that different from what you could see in Second Life.

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But with this video, for me at least, this all changes.
What we see is stunning.
The building is not new, not specifically made for Sansar, it also exists in Second Life
This means that we can actually go inworld to check it out and then compare it to what it looks like in Sansar.
You can find the building inworld by clicking here for a slurl.
I think it looks a lot better in Sansar, the light, the textures, the reflections, the effects, it is all absolutely amazing.
Of course much of that is thanks to the talents of Mr. Hyde, but you can see that the technology of Sansar is clearly superior to that of Second Life and pretty much any virtual world out there at the moment.

I’m the first to admit I’m a little behind on what is going on in the gaming world (the joys of owning a MacBook) but I would even say that the way Sansar looks in this video comes very close to the kind of big commercial games people are playing today.

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In short, for a first official Sansar video, they’ve done rather well and placed something online that is rather impressive.

Drax told me this is the first of a series of Sansar videos he’s making so watch this space.

You can see the video here;

 

TODAY is Primsmas!

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At 3pm SLT Linden Lab announced the Rolling restarts of all Second Life sims, it had been rumoured for a while that these restarts would be the moment when the entire grid  would have their prim limits raised, as mentioned in my blog before that you can ready by clicking here.

I can now confirm that this is indeed the case!
If you own a region or homestead, you can restart it and check if your Region Capacity has gone up.

An official announcement is expected later today and the restarts are happening as we speak, so give it some time.

A reminder;

New allowances:

Mainland;

  • Full region  -22500 (was 15000)
  • Homesteads – 5000 (was 3750)
  • Openspace – 1000 (was 750)

Private estates (Islands);

  • Full region – 20000 (was 15000)
  • Homesteads – 5000 (was 3750)
  • Openspace – 1000 (was 750)

Thank you Father Primsmas but of course also all little Linden Elves who worked on this.

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Ebbe demonstrates Sansar at Web Summit

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Recently Ebbe Altberg (CEO of Linden Lab) gave a Sansar demonstration at WebSummit together with Bjorn Laurin (VP of product at LL).

A big screen in a brightly lit room was used so it is rather difficult to get an idea of how good (or not) everything really looked.
On top of that this was all filmed by a member of the audience, so far from ideal.
Nevertheless there were some interesting things to see.
It is also incomplete but till another (official) comes out, this and twitter pictures is all we’ve got.

Also something went wrong it seems, thank you windows…

The “Scottish Highlands” (the most wonderful place in the rl world) was a scene I had not yet seen before.

They also demonstrated the Video dome, something I think will appeal to a lot of people as it is quite a novel way of watching 360 videos, especially if you have a headset of course.

Also new was a view of a window called ‘Atlas’, which appears to be the new ‘search’ or ‘destination guide’.
On the screen we see several destinations that we already know;

  • WSJD conference stage
  • Egyptian tomb
  • Mars outpost Alpha
  • Origin Cinema
  • Toppleton Toy Town
  • Can’t see, probably the bridge.
  • Another WSJD stage
  • The video dome
  • The Highlands
  • One I can’t read.

Loading of a scene is real fast, of course they use a top of the line computer and don’t have to share a sim with a bunch of laggy avatars and I can only compare it to my MacBook  which sometimes takes a little time to load textures and so on.
But if Sansar loads this quickly on regular computers and with other people in the same sim, it is quite an improvement.

The Mars sim we’ve seen before, but now we see Toppleton Toy Town “live” and it looks like fun.
Everything is set to physical (to speak in SL terms) and by bumping into it you destroy the place.
Now this looks nice but is not that earth shattering to us in SL, we can already do something like this.
Although probably not so detailed as it is quite tricky to build something with prims set to physical and are a bit jumpy.
However something that is interesting is the Zeppelin.
No I do not just say that because I’m obsessed with these majestic airships, but because it appears to be hanging from a string and reacts realistically to being bumped into.
I may be mistaken, it may just be a prim set to float and be physical at the same time without falling, but the movement makes it seem like it is hanging.

The next stop, Origin Cinema, takes a little longer to load.
Ebbe is about to explain that perhaps this place wasn’t loaded into the cache yet when it loads.

Ebbe explains they use teleporting by pointing and clicking, which is something that is used a lot in VR at the moment as we don’t really have a good walking simulator device in RL yet.
I wonder/hope that they’ll add a walk to option in stead of teleporting.
Even with a headset I can imagine that teleporting all those little steps can be a bit peculiar but for others it can perhaps ruin the illusion/immersion if you’re trying a realistic roleplaying scene and people just vanish and then appear again further down the road.
One of the unspoken etiquette rules of (RP) SL is that you don’t teleport away in sight, but go around a corner first.
For Sansar I’d like to see an option where your avatar physically walks/runs to the spot you click in stead of teleporting.
Sounds like more fun but also more realistic for people near you.

Watching a video in VR is nothing new to us in SL of course, but for outsiders who have forgotten about our virtual world, it might be impressive.
After all, virtual cinemas are still being described as something new and none (as far as I know) of those allow you to actually (re) design that cinema or watch movies there together with friends from all over the world who all have their own individual avatar and can dress up for the occasion.

Next Bjorn takes us to the editor, this is where the “building” happens.
We get a quick short look at the screen but then we move on to the next location.
Which is a shame because of course the editing is most interesting for most of us.
So far all we have is still just moving stuff around build outside of Sansar.

A few pictures from Twitter;

Nice to see the familiar looking rotate arrows.

Next a visit to the Tomb, great example but nothing new for those of us who’ve been following Sansar news for a while.

Anyway, what we see looks pretty good but, on this screen, without headsets, there doesn’t seem to be much there that we can’t also replicate in Second Life today.
It is difficult to judge how different Sansar is or isn’t without actually having had a chance yet to try it myself.

Here is the video;

 

“(Second) Life changing” news revealed; more prims for everybody

Today at 2pm SLT the “(Second) Life changing news” was finally officially revealed after days of speculations.

In a ‘Designing Worlds’ special Patch Linden confirmed that the prim allowances are going up across Second Life.

New allowances:

Mainland;

  • Full region  -22500 (was 15000)
  • Homesteads – 5000 (was 3750)
  • Openspace – 1000 (was 750)

Private estates (Islands);

  • Full region – 20000 (was 15000)
  • Homesteads – 5000 (was 3750)
  • Openspace – 1000 (was 750)

 

Patch could not yet confirm when this limit is going to be handed out grid-wide but hopefully within a few months, as long as everything is working properly on the mainland first.
In group chat he said he hoped it could all be done before Thanksgiving.

Of course it is not very nice that us islanders do not get as many prims as mainlanders.
Patch explained this by saying that LL feels that mainland owners deserved extra benefit as we estate owners already had the tier reduction option a few months ago and generally people who own private estates get many other benefits as well.
This is of course true but that also means that we had to spend a lot of money on decreasing our tier and although living on the mainland of course has many “challenges”, we estate owners have plenty as well.

But on top of that estate owners are given an extra option;
Islanders (private estate owners) will be given the ability is to increase their prim allowance on a private region with another 10.000 prims to 30.000 but the fee to change this tier allowance will cost $30 and then a following  $30 extra tier per month for this.

This is indeed huge news, effectively we estate owners can double our land impact for an, I think, very reasonable fee.

For more information check out the Designing Worlds website by clicking here.

Also check out Inara Pey’s blog who (as always) has the technical details and also more information from the horse’s mouth, click here to read.

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Official LL announcement regarding Prim allowance changes

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And here it is, the official LL announcement regarding the prim allowance going up;

New Perk! Prim Limit Increase

Premium members are entitled to a Linden Home and can own parcels on the Mainland. Now, we’re raising the limit on the number of prims you can use in those spaces. This means you will have more prims and creative flexibility to decorate and customize your own space.  Land impact (object) capacity on Mainland Regions will go from 15,000 to 22,500 – that’s a lot more building capacity!

In addition to this, we will further carry the prim limit increases to the private estate regions shortly.  Keep your eye on our blogs for more information!

An episode of Designing Worlds comes out later this afternoon which talks more in-depth about this new perk. We’ll update this blog once it’s available.

I left out the other stuff about extras you get for becoming a premium member, make sure to read the full announcement by clicking here.

I can’t help thinking that by linking this news to the special premium member deal some people may wonder if the prim allowance will only go up for premium members.

Either way, this explains why you, poor islanders, living far away from the mothermainland, might still not have seen a change in your prim allowance.

Anyway, we’ll know soon.
Today at 2pm there shall be a special Designing Worlds broadcast possibly followed by another post by Linden Lab and Inara Pey blog.
Little bird has told me that there will be more interesting news there.

You can also try and be live at the Designing Worlds broadcast with Patch Linden, more about that can be read by clicking here.

See you on the other side.

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