The following notes are taken from my recording of the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, February 5th, 2020. These meetings are held monthly, generally on the first Wednesdays of the month, with dates and details of the meetings available via the Web User Group wiki page.
When reading these notes, please keep in mind:
- This is not intended as a chronological transcript of the meeting. Items are drawn together by topic, although they may have been discussed at different points in the meeting.
- Similarly, and if included, any audio extracts appearing in these summaries are presented by topic heading, rather than any chronological order in which they may have been raised during the meeting (e.g. if “topic X” is mentioned early in a meeting and then again half-way through a meeting, any audio comments related to that topic that might be included in these reports will be concatenated into a single audio extract).
- The work transitioning SL services to the cloud is very much a daily task for the Web Team, who appear to be the focus at the moment in the drive to get SL-related web properties and services transitioned to provisioning by AWS.
- This work is also impacting a lot of cycles of QA and engineering work.
- It is believed that the initial benefit for SL web services following their transitioning will be in performance.
- It was reiterated that the focus of the work is just on making the transition to AWS provisioning; and other work (such as possible regional localisation of servers where it makes sense to do so) will not come until much later.
- Still no confirmation of likely deployment date. However, and as per my week #6 Simulator Group summary, the necessary server-side support for Name Changes is being deployed to the grid.
- The final tally of entrants in the Last Names competition is 2,300, with the majority all entering their allowed three choices, so somewhere in the region of 6,900 suggestions (some of which might be duplicates of one another).
- Work is in-hand to select the winners that will be included in the first batch of available last names.
- Some additional blockers have been encountered that are delaying the deployment of the capability.
- End-to-end Localisation of Marketplace pages is continuing, with the side bar now being shown in Spanish for users selecting that language, and with all the categories, etc., displaying correctly.
- Landmarks can once again be included in land sale listings.
- Ongoing back-end work to support the upcoming new Premium Plus subscription option.
- It has been noted that the new search filters (demos and limited items) has highlighted a large number of demo items on the MP that are not linked to actual products – which is against the listing guidelines. Those coming across such items are asked to flag the items, and if no action is seen to be taken after a period of time, to raise a support ticket.
- There are reports that some who have items de-listed from the MP are not receiving an advisory e-mail that their items have been de-listed.
- Should it be noted that this is the case, make sure the any supplied e-mail address you use with Second Life has been correctly verified (see Important: verifying your e-mail address with Second life).
- If the e-mail is apparently verified, the advice is to contact support, who will try to help determine why e-mails are not being received.
- Additionally, the Web Team are going to follow this up to see if there are any reasons which the notifications are not being sent from their end.
- There has been an issue of items No Copy items being wrongfully obtained / re-sold via the Marketplace. Accounts found to be doing this are held for assessment, but it is hard for LL to arrange the return of the items to the original creators, as very often the items are moved between multiple accounts, requiring extensive and time-consuming back-tracking through MP listings, etc.
- However, it is acknowledged that the assessment process is unfair to merchants using the MP, and the process is under view with the aim of the Lab trying to “do better” for merchants hit by these issues.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) – this has oft been requested for Second Life log-in processes, and it is on the road map. However, there are “many hurdles” in implementing such a system, which LL are trying to overcome.
- For those unfamiliar with the concept of 2FA, it is a method of confirming users’ claimed identities by using a combination of two different factors, e.g. something they know, something they have, or something they are. For example, using a bank card (something a person has) and a PIN number (something they know) to withdraw money from an ATM¹.
- Whilst the complications of 2FA are being investigated / addressed, the Lab may implemented additional account security safeguards in the nearer-term road map, which are seen as easier to achieve
- An example of this might be a user receiving a notification if a log-in to their account is made from a new location or from a different device / computer.
- It is expected that when initially introduced, any 2FA process is introduced for Second Life will be opt-in by users.
- Details of the Premium Plus offering are unlikely to be made available until such time as Linden Lab is ready to make it available, and this will not be until some time after Name Changes has been deployed.
- Recurring Events has seen good take-up among Premium users, and further updates are in development.
- Adding the ability to include events in your personal on-line calendar (e.g. Outlook, Google, etc.), is currently targeted for a Q2 (April – June) or Q3 (July-September) deployment.
- Password Reset Changes – whenever a user changes their SL password, they will now get a full notification e-mail about the change.
- The site defender used to protect Second Life web properties was updated during January 2020. A side benefit of this work is that various web pages from the Lab – notably those on the Marketplace – load faster. The Web Team estimate the performance gain to be at least 11%.
- There is no date for when resident-to-resident Mainland land auctions will be returning. These were suspended in 2019 fulling the system being abused.
- Linden Homes:
- The “collection page” (the page seen when you have selected a Linden Home through the web and which provides the SLurl to the house) has been updated to obfuscate the personal e-mail address, which had been previously exposed in full. This is part of a on-going effort to prevent user’s personal data from being exposed in the event of someone else accessing their account.
- The “next batch” (presumably a new type, given all current variations are now part of the weekly “rolling” deployments) of Linden Homes is being targeted for the end of Q1 (so late March), barring any unforeseen issues.
- Windows 7 has been removed from the Second Life System Requirements page, following the official ending of support of that version of Windows by Microsoft on January 14th, 2020.
- As I noted in Linden Lab announce end of support for Windows 7, users can still use systems running Windows 7 to access Second Life if they so choose, but will not receive any support from the Lab for issues directly related to that version of the OS.
Date of Next Meeting
The next Web User Group meeting will be on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, commencing at 14:00 SLT.
¹ Note that this example should not be taken to mean it is how any form of 2FA implemented by the Lab will be implemented; it is purely an easy-to-understand illustrative case.
7 thoughts on “February 2020 Web User Group: Name Changes, MP updates and 2FA”
I hope that their implementation of 2FA doesn’t follow the definition listed above, where the possibly-stolen password is backed up by another possibly-stolen piece of information. Throwing to a seeded number generator, such as Google Authenticator or Duo, or requiring use of a code that is texted to a mobile device would provide greater security.
No specifics have been given – I just provided a “standard” example for 2FA.
I did almost include an example of 2-step authentication – the approach you use in your example (which is a different approach to 2FA), but as it is unclear whether LL is looking at “classic” 2FA or 2-step authentication (and I was away from my PC when 2FA was being discussed in the meeting, so didn’t get to ask for a clarification), I opted – possibly wrongly – not to confuse matters by also giving an example of 2-step authentication.
I’ve yet to see any MP enhancements that really justify the increase in levies imposed on merchants cashing out L$ and then withdrawing $ to Paypal recently. Do you have an idea what they actually will be and when they will arrive?
The increased fees shouldn’t be seen as “just” in reference to MP improvements. As LL have indicated on numerous occasions, there are additional factors driving fee changes. Two of the primary reasons being:
In terms of MP improvements, as hopefully indicated in these summaries, the work is broad-ranging on the part of the web team, although some of it might currently be slow to surface due to the focus on the AWS transition work that is currently in progress.
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They’ve made many improvements to Marketplace prior to the fee increase. Things like being able to add a Manager, adding categorys, making search better, reducing enhancement charges, getting rid of a whole lot of out-of-date products/stores, fixing sorting errors, fixing user prefs, etc. And at least 8 years of no Marketplace fee increases. And the improvements to Second Life have been huge = people forget too soon things like adding 33% more prims for no extra charge, or when they reduced land tier costs.
Also – “Premium Plus” is officially called “Premium Boost” – when I mentioned that “Premium Plus” is what we’ve been calling it, they agreed it was a better name for it, but too late to change it now.
Insofar as “official” names are concerned, it was originally announced at the October 2019 Web User Group meeting, that the new Premium subscription level would likely be called “Premium Elite”.
However, this name drew unfavourable feedback from those attending the meeting due to the suggestion of exclusivity / superiority contained within the use of “elite”, and various alternatives were discussed at that meeting, including “Premium Plus”.
Subsequently, at the November 2019 Web User Group meeting, Grumpity Linden indicated that after internal discussions at the Lab, “Premium Plus” had been settled upon as the public name for the new subscription level.
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