Linden Lab provide tax and account information FAQs

secondlifeAs many are aware, and as I’ve blogged about several times recently, Linden Lab are required to collect various items of documentation from Second Life users that meet certain transaction thresholds.

When the announcements were first made, it is fair to say that they resulted in confusion for a lot of people.

As a result of this, the Lab has put together a set of resources to help people to understand why the information is being requested, and what they need to do in order to comply with any request for information, should they receive one.

The new resources, in the form of two wiki FAQs, have been announced in an official blog post. Peter Gray, the Lab’s Director of Global Communications, dropped me a line to help spread the word of their existence, and I’m only too happy to do so.

The blog post reads in full:

As we’ve blogged about in the posts linked below, US law requires that institutions like Linden Lab collect documentation from Second Life users that meet certain transaction thresholds:

These documentation requests can sometimes be confusing, and so to help the users who receive them better understand what’s needed and why, we’ve created a list of FAQs about these requests here:

As noted in the FAQs, if you receive a request for documentation from Linden Lab and have additional questions, please open the request in your Case History in the Support Portal and reply to the Case.

Advertisements

Fitted Mesh formally released

secondlifeLinden Lab have announced the formal release of Fitted Mesh. The announcement came as the former Fitted Mesh release candidate viewer was promoted to the de facto release viewer on Monday February 10th.

The blog post making the announcement reads:

Today, we’re happy to announce that Fitted Mesh is available in the main Second Life Viewer! As we’ve previously blogged, Fitted Mesh gives Second Life content creators the power to craft mesh garments that make avatars look their absolute best. We’d like to thank the vibrant community of creators for their thoughtful feedback and help testing this feature.

For more information, check out the video below, then update your Viewer to the latest release and get creative with Fitted Mesh!

A video narrated by Torley is included with the post.

For those unfamiliar with Fitted Mesh, it is a technique adopted by the Lab to help make worn mesh garments fit avatars more correctly. I was fortunate enough to be allowed a preview look at the technique when it was first announced, and you can read my report in this blog.

The code, which is not the same as the mesh deformer (again, see my preview post), is also starting to appear in TPVs as well, with several already having adopted it into release or pre-release versions. Those that have not (as yet) release versions of their viewers incorporating the code can be expected to do so over the coming weeks.

Related Links

“Dear Ebbe”

Colins Land, September 2013Collins Land, September 2013

Dear Ebbe,

As today marks your first official day at the helm of Linden Lab, I’d like to formally welcome you to the hot seat and wish you every success!

Thanks to Twitter, you’ve already seen that we’re a pretty passionate bunch – which can be good and bad when it comes to company / user relations, as you’ve no doubt experienced in the past!

Crystal Oak Falls, December 2013Crystal Oak Falls, December 2013

I’m not about to offer-up sage (or otherwise!) advice on what needs to be done with regards to “fix” Second Life and its direction. You’ll be aware of what the board is seeking, and I appreciate you need time to gain familiarity with everything that is going on at the Lab and with its partners in terms of products and services before determining courses of action. However, I would like to say a little something, if that’s OK?

Through those Twitter messages, you’ve likely also already caught-on to the fact that company / user community communications are a concern to many.

Black Basalt Beach, August 2013Black Basalt Beach, August 2013

Truth be told, there are areas within the Lab – most notably within the technical teams managing the servers and the viewer – where communications are excellent, and the people responsible deserve thanks and recognition. However, over the years, broader communications have been left to wither on the vine. This has led to frustrations, upsets and misunderstandings which could so easily have been avoided with a positive, outward communications policy. So, with this in mind, I’d like to encourage you to:

  • Encourage the board to see broader outward communications as a positive thing which helps both company and users
  • Get a team together who can drive positive outward communications through the SL blogs, the forums and e-mail in a consistent, open, and informative manner – and who can listen as well!

Colins Land, September 2013Calas Galadhon Park, December 2013

We don’t need to know absolutely everything that’s going on, but even a monthly round-up of news is better than prolonged (and painful) silences which have been the hallmark of the Lab’s attempts for the past few years. And if folks in the Lab tell you the blog isn’t used because no-one reads it; then rest assured, if posts are provided, and Twitter, Facebook, Plurk and the SL feed, etc.,  are used to promote them, people will come and read. The same goes for an e-mail newsletter (and how better to reach and woo those who have perhaps stopped visiting SL?).

We’re a supportive bunch at heart, and we want SL to continue to thrive and grow. Just give us the word, and we’ll be ready to help. We might even have a few ideas to help with some things; we just need to know someone is listening!

Looking forward to seeing you in-world on occasion – and if you want a guide to some of SL’s wonders, feel free to give me a call!

Best regards,

Inara

... and as I know you enjoy Formula 1, here's a Ferrari (sorry, couldn't find a Merc or McLaren) from 2010 by SL user Timmi Allen
… and as I know you enjoy Formula 1, here’s a Ferrari (sorry, couldn’t find a Merc or McLaren) from 2010, by SL user Timmi Allen

Viewer release summaries 2014: week 6

Updates for the week ending: February 9th, 2014

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, a list of  all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version: no change (version 3.6.13.284995, formerly the PackageFix RC)
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Fitted Mesh RC updated on February 5th to version 3.7.0.286015 – core updates: latest updates to the Fitted Mesh project (download and release notes)
    • Google Breakpad RC version 3.6.14.285686 released on February 4th – core updates: update to Google Breakpad and restructures the crash reporting mechanism to support out of process crash reporting (download and release notes)
    • HTTP RC updated on February 3rd to version 3.6.14.286010 – core updates: DNS look ups changed; improvements to mesh uploads / downloads (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • Sunshine / AIS v3 project viewer version 3.6.14.285190 released on February 4th – core updates: removal of old viewer-side baking code, stability and performance improvements (download and release notes)

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.3.9.3 on February 9th – core updates: merge with recent LL code release, including Fitted Mesh; merge with latest RLVa, improved game controller button mapping, right-click rotate cam/turn avatar (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL:
    • Available for: Windows, Linux
    • Stable version: 1.26.10.10 – February 8th
    • Experimental version: 1.26.11.10 – February 8th
    • Legacy version: 1.26.8.47 – February 8th
    • Release notes (all) – core updates: sim map texture tiles and 3D (relief) sculpt maps saving; improved watchdog timeout code; improved algorithm for the login screen login credentials; backport of crash bug fixes from LL’s viewer-interesting branch; code cleanup and unused code removal

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Exploring an enchanted forest

Toru, The Enchanted Forest, February 2014Toru: The Enchanted Forest – “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit…”

Update July 2014: Toru appears to have closed. 

I was first drawn to Toru, Waynenz’s homestead region, back in September 2013. At that time, it was openly inspired by Wendy Xeno’s Hazardous. Since then, it’s been through a couple of transformations and is now “an enchanted land dedicated to NZ and the Hobbits” – and the last part of that description was bound to get my attention.

Now called Estesil Lega, the Enchanted Forest, the region is precisely that; a mist-shrouded forest set between the shoulders of steep-sided hills and surrounded by mountains. Paths wind through the trees and over bridges of wood and stone, leading the explorer around and through the forest to reveal its secrets in turn.

Toru, The Enchanted Forest, February 2014Toru: The Enchanted Forest

Chief among these is a hobbit hole – although sadly, no hobbits were to be seen when I visited. But then, they are shy folk and tend to hide when they hear us Big Folk coming – which they can do from a good distance away.

As we know, hobbit holes are neither nasty, dirty, wet holes, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor are they yet dry, bare, sandy holes with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat. They are hobbit holes, and that means comfort.

Toru, The Enchanted Forest, February 2014Toru: The Enchanted Forest – “Remember! do not stray from the path!”

This one is in slight disarray, it must be said; books scattered over the floor, the bed unmade, the pantry strangely lacking and a meal unfinished. It’s almost as if the occupant found him or herself taking An Unexpected Journey …

The design of the region is such that it is clearly intended to be explored on foot; flying isn’t disabled, but if you opt to do that, you’re likely going to miss the various little treasures scattered under bough and branch. The default windlight gives considerable atmosphere to the place, although I confess, I’ve opted to most use alternative settings for my snaps here and on Flickr.

Toru, The Enchanted Forest, February 2014Toru: The Enchanted Forest

Keep your eyes peeled as you do explore – some of the trails and paths may not be as obvious as others, so take your time. Do make sure you have sound on as well, as the ambient sounds really give the forest even greater depth and texture.

Definitely recommended.

Related Links

Given the nature of the region at the moment, here’s an interpretation of some of the music from The Lord of the Rings from Stephen and John.