Lab updates SL’s Terms of Service

secondlifeThose logging-in the Second Life on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 were confronted with the need to accept the platform’s terms Terms of Service (ToS) once more. An official blog post on the matter states:

When you log in to the Second Life Viewer today, you’ll be asked to accept an updated Terms of Service. As with any legal document, it’s important to read in its entirety before accepting, but we wanted to highlight one of the changes we’ve made in this update: to better protect Second Life users against fraud, the updated Terms of Service make it clear that trading of Linden dollars (L$) on exchanges other than the LindeX, Second Life’s official L$ exchange, is not authorized or allowed.

 As the official exchange owned and operated by Linden Lab, the LindeX is the best place to buy and sell L$ for use in Second Life. It consistently offers the best rates for both buyers and sellers, and by limiting L$ trading to the exchange we operate, we are better able to protect users against fraudulent activity.

 The majority of Second Life users who purchase L$ do so through the Second Life Viewer by clicking on the “Buy L$” button. There will be no change to that function, as these orders are placed directly through the LindeX. Similarly, shopping on Marketplace will not be impacted.

The post also includes a link to the Knowledge Base article on the LindeX and the Quick Tips video on getting and spending Linden Dollars.

The core change to the ToS is section 5.3, which has been revised to read:

Third party exchanges are not authorized by Linden Lab and Buying or Selling Linden dollars on third-party exchanges are not authorized transactions. Third party exchanges are wholly distinct from both the LindeX exchange and Linden Lab and they have no affiliation with Linden Lab. We do not endorse or otherwise guarantee the legitimacy of the Linden dollar transfers offered on them, and we are not liable for purchases of such Linden dollars. Buying or Selling Linden dollars anywhere other than the LindeX is done so solely at your own risk. If you Buy Linden dollars that are traced to unauthorized credit card activity or other fraudulent activity, we will recoup these Linden dollars from your Account. The only authorized exchange is the LindeX.

All reference to any third-party exchanges using the Lab’s “Risk API” tool has been removed from the ToS, and the Risk API wiki page has been removed from the SL wiki, although the deletion log is retained for reference purposes.

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Bay City at Five

Bay City Fifth Anniversary PosterBay City reaches its fifth anniversary this year and the community there is inviting everyone to join in the celebrations!

The very first project undertaken by the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW), Bay City was officially unveiled in May 2008 and has since grown into a thriving and vibrant community.

Celebrations will kick-off around midday on Sunday May 19th, 2013, with a special parade which will line-up at the bandshell in Bay City – Harwich prior to setting out along Route 66 at around 12:30 and making its way to the Bay City Fairgrounds in the North Channel region.

A live concert will then be held at the Fairgrounds, starting at 13:30 SLT and featuring Christov Kohnke, CelticMaidenWarrior Lancaster, and RoseDrop Rust, with GoSpeed Racer of KONA Stream providing music leading into the event.

All Residents of the Second Life grid are invited to participate. Celebration goods are already available at the Bay City Community Centre, in the Daley Bay region, for those who wish to be a part of the parade, and able viewing area is provided. The music event is also open to all who desire to attend.

About Bay City and the Bay City Alliance

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab  and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialise and network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.

With thanks to Marianne McCann

Cloud Party art contest offers $1,000 prize

logo-CPI’m not that active in Cloud Party, although I do log-in from time to time, largely because Claudia222 Jewell has a workshop there and I love slipping in and seeing what she is doing, and also because Maxwell Graf tends to be busy there as well.

Nevertheless, Cloud Party appear to be very much aware of me, as I discovered they’d e-mailed me about their first art contest. Entitled the “Monumental Work of Public Art”, it is being held to mark the platform’s first first anniversary, and it is open to anyone to enter.

On offer is a $1,000 USD prize for the overall winner, and a 2,000 Cloud Coins prize for the “Community Favourite” entry as judged by Cloud Party residents. In addition, all artists entering the contest will receive an in-world studio workspace in which to create their entry.

Claudia222 Jewell is one of a number of well-known virtual world artists active in Cloud Party
Claudia222 Jewell is one of a number of well-known virtual world artists active in Cloud Party

The e-mail announcement reads in part:

Cloud Party is pleased to announce a very exciting community event to celebrate our first year. In collaboration with Ben Davis, editor of Artinfo Magazine, we are sponsoring an Art in Cloud Party contest. Our theme is “Monumental Work of Public Art” with a first prize of $1,000.00 (USD)! The Community Favourite prize, as voted by our community, takes home 2000CC (Cloud Coins virtual currency).

If you decide to enter, you’ll get access to your own virtual studio space for a month to create your masterpiece. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Originality of concept
  • Personal voice
  • How well it takes advantage of the virtual environment
  • Overall coherence of vision.

In addition, the Cloud Party blog provides further information, stating in part:

The rules for what you create are pretty wide open. It can be visual, interactive, collaborative – whatever you come up with that meets your definition of art and reflects our theme. Since this is a subjective topic we intend to be pretty open-minded, but do keep our Terms of Service in mind and that this is a 13+ website.

Key Dates for the Contest

  • The contest opens at 12:00 noon PDT on Wednesday May 8th, 2013
  • Last of contest and first day of community voting: 17:00 PDT Wednesday June 12th, 2013
  • Official winner and Community Favourite winner announcement: 12:00 noon PDT Friday June 14th, 2013.

The overall winner will be judged by Ben Davis, editor of Artinfo magazine.

How To Enter

  • Those wishing to enter must submit Art in Cloud Party Entry Form after the competition has formally opened at midday PDT on Wednesday March 8th, 2013 – any entry forms received before this time will be ignored
  • Entrants should receive confirmation of their application and be granted access to their Cloud Party studio workspace within 24 hours of their entry form being received
  • Once an entry is completed, an Art in Cloud Party Submission Form must be submitted in order for the piece to be considered in the formal judging and Community Favourites contest.

As always, there are also Official Contest Rules which should also be read through.

So, if you’ve ever wondered what Cloud Party might offer you as an artist – now might be the time to take the plunge – and perhaps be rewarded for your efforts!

Related Links

SL projects update week 19 (1): server releases, SSB/A, materials

Server Deployments Week 19

Second Life Server (Main) Channel

On Tuesday May 7th, the Main channel should receive the maintenance package which has been running on Magnum. This project brings some new minor features to LSL, and fixes some crash modes and well as additional LSL HTTP support – release notes.

 Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday May 8th, all three Release Candidate channels (BlueSteel, LeTigre and Magnum) should receive server-side support for experience permissions which was running on BlueSteel in week 18. The update, as usual, will also include the changes which are going to the Main channel on May 7th – release notes (BlueSteel).

I was somewhat confused by the release notes for package, as on the one hand they suggested the new LSL AO capabilities would be absent from Agni following the RC deployments (“Changes since … Removed changes introduced by Second Life Server”), while on the other, the line originally following this comment suggested otherwise.

I contacted Maestro for clarification, and he confirmed that the AO capabilities will be present on the RC channels following the deployment, and that the release notes have been revised to prevent any further confusion.

As always, there is a discussion thread in the forums for the deployments.

Server-Side Baking / Appearance

SSB/A - further viewer-side updates expected. No published timeline on testing as yet
SSB/A – further viewer-side updates expected. No published timeline on testing as yet

As noted in the last part of my week 18 report, there will be at least update to the viewer-side SSB/A code, which Nyx referred to at the Content Creation meeting on Monday May 6th as being, “Mostly reliability and some related polishing”. From the TPV Developer meeting on Friday May 3rd, the release will be addressing some additional ways in which baking can fail as well as addressing stability in general, although as Nyx noted at the TPV Developer meeting, “Nothing that we know of right now that would be mandatory for the system to work.”

The question of when constrained testing would commence again came up at the Content Creation meeting. This will see a number of regions across the main grid have the server code for SSB/A enabled in order for LL to carry out further load tests on the system ahead of the “switch being thrown” and SSB/A enabled across the entire grid. All Nyx would say on the matter is, “We don’t have a timeline to announce today.”

Whether this means there will be a formal announcement when testing does commence, remains to be seen. However, the Lab is still intending to make a formal announcement on SSB/A, mostly likely via a blog post, ahead of the service being enabled across the grid in the hope of further communicating the change, and the need to upgrade to an SSB/A-capable viewer to as many users as possible.

Outfit Changes

During her tests with SSB/A on Aditi, Kitty Barnett noted that when changing a wearable or reordering the layers of an outfit, the updated bakes could take a while to come through. Concern that this might be the case when SSB/A is enabled on the main grid prompted her to ask:

For server-side baking, would there be any issue with turning on local baking to make getting dressed more pleasant? it could be Aditi, but [when] wearing something it takes a very long time before the server bake comes through, particularly reordering clothing or taking something off … I actually just turn local baking on as soon as there’s a wearable change and it seems to be working nicely and turns itself off when the server bake comes through… but I was wondering if that would cause any undesirable issues [if the same was done on Agni]?

Local bakes already occur when using the Editing Appearance options, so Kitty’s question appears to be more broadly aimed at general outfit changes (people simply swapping individual clothing layers directly from inventory, and (possibly) using the capability in some TPVs to re-order clothing layers directly from inventory, rather than going via the appearance editor).

Responding to the question, Nyx said:

I’m not certain how you’re turning on local baking, and can’t really speak to whether there are undesirable behaviors as a result. The code to switch between the different types of bakes is rather complex and sometimes fragile, and bugs in that area can be subtle … Proceed with caution and best of luck :). Report back if it works well (or if you find interesting bugs!)

Whether such a delay will be noticeable enough to be an irritant on Agni is hard to say as we’ve yet to see the server code up and running on the main grid, so it’ll be interesting to see what further tests on Kitty’s part reveal as testing commences.

Continue reading “SL projects update week 19 (1): server releases, SSB/A, materials”