Updates from the week ending Sunday, May 1st, 2022
This summary is generally 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 Current Viewer Releases 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. This page 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.
By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.
Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.
Official LL Viewers
Release viewer version 184.108.40.2060575 – formerly the Lao-Lao Maintenance RC viewer, promoted Monday, April 18 – No change.
Release channel cohorts:
Makgeolli Maintenance RC viewer (Maintenance M) viewer, version 220.127.116.110983, April 26.
Update, June 20th, 2022: Speaking at his Meet the Lindens session at SL19B, Patch Linden, VP of Land Operations, indicated that the fee for Event regions will remain at US $599 a month & no set-up fee. Summary notes with link to the video available here. However, the comments and thoughts originally offered towards the end of this piece remain unchanged, as they are historically relevant.
The number of avatars a region can support has often been a headache for those wishing to hold large-scale events – and something the Lab has long been aware of itself. Traditionally, to host a reasonably large number of avatars at a single event in comfort (e.g. 75+), it has often been necessarily to have two or four regions, with the stage space effectively straddling them.
However, during recent months, the Lab has been testing a new region type, capable of supporting relatively large numbers of avatars. This testing has included providing the new region product to a number of events in Second Life that have high numbers of avatars passing through them.
Most recently, when speaking at the VWBPE 2022¹, event, Patch Linden indicated that the new region type – called Event regions – were definitely on the product development roadmap.
On Monday, May 2nd, the Lab officially launched the Event region type via an official blog post, stating:
Have you ever dreamed of being able to hold large scale events in Second Life? Have you ever wished you could keep the lag monster at bay during large events? Perhaps you just want your scripts to all go vroom? Well wonder, wait and wish no more! Sporting the latest upgrades in grid technologies that have been enabled by our migration to the cloud, these regions have been tested running large events in real-world scenarios such as those really big monthly shopping events, and live performances! Our tests saw nearly 200 avatars successfully able to shop and party in these regions.
The post lists the capabilities / options that come with the new Event region product as:
A maximum avatar limit of 175 per Event region.
Up to 30,000 land impact.
While this region type will support up to 30,000 Land Impact, during testing, LL identified a few cases where exceeding 20,000 Land Impact will degrade performance with a large number of concurrent visitors.
Extended chat ranges upon request, allowing chat to travel further across the region.
RaaS: Rollbacks as a Service – Request to restore your region to a previous state as needed – some restrictions apply.
IaaS: Instancing as a Service – Request to have your region duplicated to another region.
Pricing for these region types is somewhat surprising:
From now until June 6th, 2022, Event regions will be available at US $599 per month, with no set-up fee.
After June 6th, 2022, the fee will be:
US $999 for the first month (including a $100 set-up fee, which is slightly less than that for a Full region’s $120).
US $899 per month after the first 30 days.
I say “surprising” because while the initial “offer price” of US $599 does not sound entirely unreasonable given the added capabilities / support options, the $899 month tier most certainly does. Certainly, in terms of events, this latter price-point will likely place the cost of these regions well outside the budget of many events they might otherwise be well suited towards handling (e.g. a one-off weekend concert, for example).
Conversely, the US $599 price point, whilst high, is a lot more comfortable than US $899, and could encourage more widespread adoption of the new product across a range of potential uses over a much longer period of time among users (corporate partners, obviously, may not find the pricing an issue, if it encompasses them).
Even so, and in terms of pure events, I would have thought something along the lines of a pro-rata system based on the proposed length of use might have been more all-encompassing.
And turning to the capabilities and options offered with the new Event region product, there is one element in the bullet list that could do with further exposition: “Instancing as a Service” – as I enquired on the forum thread related to the announcement:
Does this genuinely mean simultaneous instancing, on an on-demand basis (e.g. I can simply request another instance of my event to be spun-up based on the demand I’m seeing – and request it is taken down when demand drops below the level where it is no longer required)?.
Is it limited to just the one instance (as the wording perhaps implies), or multiple instances?
Is instancing covered by the “original” region’s tier, or is a surcharge applicable? If so, how much?
Those with a similar interest in this aspect of the product should keep an eye on the thread for any official response.
In the meantime, complete information on the launch can be found in the official blog post.
On Monday, May 2nd, 2022, Linden Lab announced it has added two new leadership roles: those of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) – the first time that either role has been embodied within the company.
Interestingly, the news came not from the Lab (at the time of writing, the press release had yet to be officially posted) but via prnewswire.com. Both roles will embrace Second Life and Tilia, the Lab’s virtual economy payment processing platform.
Both roles will span across Linden’s full portfolio of businesses to support growth driven by the rapidly expanding consumer interest in metaverses and the technology platforms necessary to support them as well as other virtual worlds and marketplaces.
– Linden Research Inc.
Taking on the role of CMO is Steven Feuling, a 30-year marketing veteran and former CEO. He has worked with and for some of the world’s best known brands including Microsoft, Bloomberg LLC, The Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Fox, E*Trade and General Motors, as well as several successful start-ups.
Having held senior roles with clients, agencies and media partners, most recently as President of MDC Partners’ Assembly, he offers a unique perspective to support both Second Life and Tilia. In his role as CMO, Feuling will oversee all marketing and communications efforts across the Lab’s portfolio.
Peter Capraro, joining the Lab as the new CISO, has spent nearly half of his career focused on financial services cybersecurity. Most recently, he was the deputy CISO at fintech start-up, Akoya, a spin-off from Fidelity Investments, and held security roles at Bank of America for 10 years.
Capraro’s wealth of experience within the cyber security space is seen as “instrumental” to the Lab’s information security and compliance initiatives, which span both Tilia and Second Life. In his role as CISO, he will serve as the strategic leader responsible for maintaining a corporate-wide information security programme to protect information assets, and ensure security for the company and it users.
Steven and Peter are filling critical roles for Linden Lab, as the virtual world landscape takes front stage again. Each of their respective expertise at both successful start-ups and world-renowned companies will have a tremendous impact on our leadership teams for both Second Life and Tilia.
– Brad Oberwager, Executive Chairman of Linden Research Inc