Tuesday, April 16, 2019

FLASH! New Linden Homes Go Live!

Big news for Second Life today.

Last year, LL increased the amount of Mainland a Premium member could own without being charged a monthly tier fee from 512 square meters to 1024.  That was great, but it still meant that residents had to pay the initial purchase price of the land.

Of course, many Premium residents already owned a free Linden Home.  But these were on 512 square meter parcels, and only had a land impact allowance of 175.

Over the past few months, LL constructed a whole new continent of about 350 regions, with lots of inlets and waterways.  Last month, they moved this new continent to lie between Jeogeot and Sansara.  See the map image below:

 This continent is probably not complete yet...a lot of the land in the south of it is simply described as "Protected".  Here's a little closer look:

There's obviously a huge amount of interest, judging from all the green avatar dots in the northern part of the new land...and that's undoubtedly due to today's blog post from Linden Lab, announcing the availability of two new Linden Home styles...a Traditional home, and a houseboat type home. The houseboats are in marina areas, which you can see in the upper left and right corners of the above picture.

Both from LL's blog post, and the un-terraformed straight edges visible in the new continent's coastline, they plan to continue to enlarge the new Linden Homes areas.

We've speculated a long time about how LL would offer this new benefit...perhaps it would be only offered to a new, higher cost, type of Premium membership.  But LL is offering the new homes to existing Premium members at no charge!  (And to new Premium members, too, of course.)

So now you can get an updated Linden Home, on up to a 1024 square meter parcel, and a land impact allowance of 351...for free, and with no monthly tier!  And just maybe, that continent will be extended in a way that will allow explorers to directly travel much further along the Mainland waterways between continents.

See LL's official announcement here: Fresh New Linden Homes...

If you currently have a Linden Home and want to move to one of the new ones, let's review the procedure.
  • Go to your current Linden Home.
  • Delete or Take all your objects to inventory 
  • Click World > Parcel Details, and then click the Abandon button
  • Sign up for one of the new homes using the same procedure you did for your old one
EDIT (April 19, 2019).  It took less than two days for all the new Linden Homes to be snapped up!  LL will be making more, but they haven't announced any schedule for when the next batch will be available.  Please keep a close eye on the official SL blog!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Internet Privacy

Hi, faithful readers!

Today, I'm writing about something I really don't understand.  So, all of you wireheads and techies, feel free to correct me...but keep it at kindergarten level, please!

Can you be private on the internet?  No, not really.  If someone wants your personal information, and you have any sort of online presence, they're going to be able to get it.

But, you can take some steps to at least make it harder for them.

  • Don't use Google Chrome as your web browser.  It's almost impossible to totally avoid Google and still be online, but at least don't use their main products - Chrome, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger.  I switched to Firefox for my browsing.  You may want to go further and look into the TOR browser.
  • If you must have a Google account, consider using a false name, and don't link it to your main email account.
  • Ditto for social media.  Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Don't give out your main phone number online either.  Consider getting a "burner" phone and use its number for your online activities (Note, I haven't done this personally...but I'm thinking about it!)
  • Don't use Google Search as your main search engine, either.  Try Duck Duck Go.
  • Get a Virtual Private Network (VPN).  Your ISP can collect all sorts of information about you and your browsing habits...but not if you channel your connection through a VPN.  I recently signed up for NordVPN, and found that it was not that hard to set up and use!
  • Try using an encrypted messaging service.  You can't trust WhatsApp any longer...Facebook now owns it, and if they aren't mining your data now, they probably will soon.  I switched to Signal.
Will using a VPN hurt my online performance with Second Life?  I have, I think, noticed a small decrease in performance, using NordVPN and a US-based server...but it has been a very small impact, only a few frames per second.  I think the added protection is worth it.

I have noticed that there are a few websites that won't let me access them while using my VPN.  I understand that some sites do this because spammers and scammers use VPNs too.  It's not a big problem...if I absolutely must visit that site (usually to buy something that only they sell) I'll turn off the VPN.

When signing up for any "free" service, remember:  If they're not selling you something, then you're the commodity.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

New Way to Sell Land - Auctions

There have been land auctions in Second Life for a long time.  Land would be offered by Linden Lab for auction, and the auctions worked rather like an eBay auction.  You put in the maximum amount you're willing to pay, and then the current bid price is raised until it exceeds anyone else's maximum bid, and you become the current leading bidder.  Or, if another bidder's maximum is larger than yours, until the current bid just exceeds your maximum, and you're told you've been out-bid.

Linden Lab used the Auctions in two ways.  Auctions denominated in $L were used to sell off parcels that had been Abandoned by their last owner, and others denominated in $USD were used to auction off whole regions, when LL created a new Mainland continent.

Over the last few months, Linden Lab did an extensive re-vamp of their Mainland Auctions.  The Auctions page has moved to the Place Pages.  (See: ).

(Wait! I hear you say.  What are Place Pages?  For more on that, see here.)

Part of  the reason for the update was to include a new capability: Resident to Resident auctions.  LL just announced that this new method of selling Mainland is now available.  (See:  Official Blog Post)

There are, as you might expect, some fine points to keep in mind.

  • Only Mainland can be auctioned, not private estate land
  • The land cannot be group owned
  • Linden Lab takes a 15% cut of the auction proceeds
If you have some Mainland to sell, and don't know what price you should set, selling it at auction could be a good alternative to simply setting it for sale in the usual way.

Oh...and if you are selling land, by whatever method, please do remember to take down your ban lines!  Nothing is more annoying to a potential buyer than to arrive at your land and be confronted by yellow police tape telling them they're not welcome.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

FLASH! Four Days Left on this Incredible Deal

Hello again!  If there are any readers still out there after this long hiatus, I'd like to alert you to a really great deal on a Bento mesh head and body!

"Romeo" and "Juliet" are available for $L1 each, plus a group join fee of $L50 at Altamura...but only for four more days.  This Valentines' Special ends on Feb 27.

Here's a post from another blogger, Ryan Schultz, with more details:

Or, if you just want to hop in the car and rush down there, here's Altamura's location:

See?  I'm NOT dead.  And still shopping!

EDIT (Feb 25):  Well, darn it.  Altamura removed the gifts.  It's certainly their right to do so, but I'm disappointed.  I wanted to get one for my long-suffering alt.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Marketplace Update

Hi, faithful readers!  It's been a while.  Today's post is very short...I just want to pass on a small improvement that Linden Lab has made to the Marketplace: Wish Lists.

There have always been two ways to set aside items that you like, but aren't ready to buy just yet; you can just stick them in your Shopping Cart, but not buy them.  Or, you can add them to your Favorites list.  Now, there is a new option under Favorites...a Wishlist.

How is that different from Favorites?  Your Wishlist can be seen by others, and you can share it on social media.  You can see other people's Wishlists too.  So now you can use this to let your friends know what you want for Christmas!

There's a new option in Favorites, too.  In addition to simply adding specific products you like, you can also add a creator's Store to your Favorites.  Opening up a Favorite Store will show a feed of their most recent new items.  This should make it easy to keep track of the latest and greatest creations.

One small caveat:  You can't add free items to your Wishlist.  This makes sense to me...if something is free, and you want it, why would you put off buying it until later?

Here's a link to LL's blog post about the update: