Around The Grid News
Around The Grid News Week 5
This is ATG Grid News.
I am Zack Haiku.
Our top stories:
– BonnieBots updates and news
– Valentine’s Shop and Hop now open
– Wednesday maintenance rolling restarts cause chaos
Hello and welcome to ATG Grid News
The BonnieBots discussion continues, as the data collecting website has been the target of multiple attacks by the community, in regards to user privacy.
Since our last report, Linden Lab has convened with the BonnieBots team in order to discuss user privacy, resulting in the latter introducing an opt-out for both Merchant listings and Avatar search.
BonnieBots is a recent website tracking genuine Second Life activity, and the homepage is an incredibly useful guide for finding Second Life sims with real, active users, as opposed to traffic bots used by many sim owners to artificially appear popular.
In regards to the complaints about user and information privacy, BonnieBots had to say:
“Information about Second Life should be freely accessible by all. We intend to make previously obscured information available to all residents, enable open use of the information, and expand available toolsets to further content creation. All information collected and made available is publicly accessible and is not, and never will be, utilized for any monetary gain. We support individual privacy and will never attempt to obtain information not contained within or relevant to Second Life.”
“We understand there are people upset about us releasing our data publicly. However, people need to understand there are individuals and groups collecting this data secretly. Anyone with a little effort can easily collect this information and include it in seemingly harmless objects. The concern shouldn’t be over us releasing this information publicly but who else is privately maintaining such databases and not informing anyone.”
On this matter, Linden lab has also released a statement, on “Balancing Initiative and Privacy” :
“We know there has been quite a bit of discussion about Scripted Agents/NPCs lately. Linden Lab is committed to continuing its excellent track record of keeping your personally identifiable information safe and secure. We understand that there is a certain amount of information a “bot” service has been collecting and displaying on their third party website that is causing unease in our community, and we’re working on the best way to address these concerns.”
As of February 3rd, the Avatar Search function has been removed from the website, with more updates expected to come soon.
On Monday, January 30th, the national Space Society Sim observed “Space Remembrance Day”. A number of space-related topics were discussed, though the main subject were those astronauts, NASA engineers, and others with accomplishments linked to space who had passed away in the past year, such as Gemini astronaut Jim McDivitt.
Not far from the convening spot, a monument to 18 lost in space missions, and 11 lost in accidents was erected, and can be visited.
The 2023 Valentine Shop and Hop has opened on Friday, February 3rd. The Linden based event counts with 280 participating merchants across 14 shopping regions.
Every store has at least a 20% discount on all items and a free non-group gift for shoppers, or a gift certificate valued at L$300 or above.
To visit the 2023 Valentine Shop & Hop, you can start at any one of the Regions, but be sure to visit them all to see everything that’s available.
The event goes on until Sunday, February 19th.
If you are interested to know what you can find at the Valentine Shop and Hop, remember to folow our own Katheryn Llewellyn at Adventures SL, who is doing a series of videos on the event.
Linden Lab has released their annual tribute to all things romantic, The Isle of View, four regions filled with forested walks, cozy nooks for cuddling, and romantic swan boat rides.
Residents can visit one of the Love Pavilion gift kiosks to browse through a variety of gift selections that can be sent to friends and loved ones on Valentine’s Day.
This year’s selection includes heart lollipops and balloons, a teddy bear, a chocolate box with rings, cupcakes, love lanterns, and romantic roses.
To select and send your free gifts, follow the directions on the sign adjacent to the kiosk.
On Tuesday, February 14th, starting at 12pm Second Life time, the Moles will be running trolleys all along the Eastern Loop of the Bellisseria Railway, as the Love Train.
The primary departure point is Muehlenbach Station, but residents can hop on from any station as the trolleys go by. The trolleys will run in both directions along the route, stopping in Allrutti Station just outside of Newbank for residents to disembark.
You can collect your map of the route and the landmarks from one of the kiosks in-world.
At the end of the ride and a short walk to Newbank, you can take the teleport to Isle of View and join The Lindens and Moles for the Hug & Dunk a Linden event, where you can show your love, or friendly aggression, for the makers of Second Life. The annual Dunk & Hug a Linden or Mole Event will be held this year on February 14th from 1pm to 3pm Second Life Time, at the Isle of View.
Anyone who wishes to rez their own train for the trip is also welcome to do so. If they do, the Lindens only ask Residents follow a few guidelines if they decorate their train:
– Please keep it within the General maturity rating only.
– No political signs or themes.
– Please keep all decorations in a Valentine’s theme.
The Valentine Season brings us also, as usual, new last names to pick from.
This year, the names available are:
These are seasonal names for the Valentine season, as usual, are available for a limited time only.
Second Life has one less breedable pets company. Last weekend, the BioBreeds company closed down due to a dispute between the co-owners.
On a notecard in the BioBreeds Advertising Group, owner Ozzie Drucker writes:
“I have always been as transparent with you all as possible from the start, so let me explain what has happened.
Our provider last fall informed us that we needed to “migrate” our server to the cloud. And needed to do so by the end of the year. At that time they would no longer provide service if we failed to do so. Our coder, Bytecode Republic, who also is an owner, refused to do so. He also refused to move us to another provider. Since then I have attempted a variety of ways to convince him that it was necessary so that we could continue. Then, after I took some additional steps to force a migration, and without entangling you in technical jargon, he shut us down on Friday. And in a way that it cannot be undone. Up until late yesterday I was hopeful that somehow this could be resolved.
But he refuses to re-establish us.”
At this moment, the BioBreeds sim and marketplace page are closed.
The Farm, now has available for free some food and medkit packages for all BioBreeds pet owners to pick up, in order to continue feeding their pets.
Boo Rojyo, the CEO and Founder of the Bellisserian Bureau of Bureaucracy will retire from the BBB at the end of this month. In announcing this to his colleagues, Boo said;
“My RL has changed quite a lot in the last year. The time I can dedicate to the BBB, or SL for that matter, has become quite limited. I’ve really loved all the BBB projects and activities, and the friendships it has brought, however it’s time I moved on. I have tried reducing my BBB responsibilities, but I can’t stop myself getting involved. I’ve decided therefore to make a complete break from the BBB. My plan is to cease activities as the ‘boss’ by the end of February.”
Boo’s Personal Assistant, Fiona Jogiches, will also leave at the same time.
At a meeting of the BBB Board this week, Bel (jezebel.bailey), the former CEO, was reappointed to that role, ensuring the bureaucratic work of the BBB continues.
The Bellisserian Bureau of Bureaucracy is celebrating their 3rd year this month in its own way.
If you visit BBB Headquarters you will find a special event stamp terminal on the garden terrace to the rear where you can obtain an elegant commemorative BBB3B stamp for your passport.
You can also collect different celebratory stamps at each of the Continental Embassies.
The BBB is working with the team behind the Bonniebots to use their systems to track stamp terminals in-world.
The new system is now live, making all stamp locations available at an easy to find webpage, so you can fill your passport with the stamps you want.
New updates coming out of the February 2023 Second Life Web User Group meeting.
The new Land Portal has been launched. The Land Portal is intended to be a central hub from which you can get to all aspects of land “ownership”, such as purchasing regions, renting land from a private estate, renting or purchasing Mainland and obtaining a Linden Home.
Translations for the Portal and the Land pages will come in due course.
The deployment of the Marketplace Search updates has been further delayed, as indexing all searched to date is taking longer than anticipated to complete.
All other work is completed, the code is in place and ready to go, but Linden Lab want to ensure that search and order histories all remain in place when the switch is thrown.
Once fully deployed, the new Marketplace Search will have a close parity with the updated web search deployed in 2023, including its own relevance engine.
Second Life resident Berry Bunny, a longtime developer who’s been working on various Second Life projects for well over 15 years, has started a new project.
Crystal Frost is a new third party Second Life viewer that runs on Unity.
This means Crystal Frost should, eventually, work on mobile, displaying Second Life on a smartphone.
If Berry succeeds in her endeavour, Crystal Frost would also offer a substantial leap in graphics quality for Second Life.
Bunny has even greater ambitions than better graphics:
“Having a modern graphics engine that’s multi-threaded, easier modability, implementing ray tracing and proper VR is super easy. I have ideas about how to implement VR and make it feel like VRChat. But I need to make the client stable and get rigged meshes working before I even attempt it. Also, theoretically better performance than the Linden Lab-based viewers, if I do it right.”
If you are interested in helping Berry with her development, and have experience in Unity, feel free to reach out to her in world as Berry Bunny.
Last February 1st rolling restarts did not go as planned by Linden Lab,
A slew of outages and script errors caused a bit of chaos on Second Life, as users were unable to log in, rez or move objects, and several RC based sims were taken down for a period of around 4 hours.
Marketplace and the Second Life user page were also affected by the outage.
As usual, the Lab jumped into action on the issue, and by end of day February 1st everything was stabilized.
This has been ATG Grid News, you can find me at twitter, @HaikuZack.
Enjoy the grid!