Lab announces Linden Homes Chalet Theme released

The Linden Home Chalet Theme and a public space

Tuesday, March 30th saw Patch Linden announce the release of the Chalet style of Linden Homes for Premium members.

First unveiled in December 2020, this latest style of Linden Home has something of an Alpine edge to it, with the official forum post noting:

Chalet theme homes are modelled after stylized European alpine wood-timbered houses (fachwerkhaus), of a type that you might expect to find in mountains of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, or northern Italy. These are not rustic buildings, but contemporary homes ready for 21st century living.
The Linden Home Chalet Theme and a public space

As with the majority of the Linden Homes releases, these houses come with 1024 sq metre parcels (only the Campers and Trailers have thus far diverted from this footprint size). However, unlike previous Home releases, there are effectively eight variants that are available for rezzing, something Patch originally indicated to me when I previewed the theme back in December.

In short, the the chalets come in four exterior styles, each one of which is offered with either a “complete” set of rooms, or an “open plan” layout with minimal pre-built internal walls. The latter is intended to offer those who like designing their homes more flexibly with interior design. Each of the eight variants is distinguished by a unique name:

  • Matterhorn: 2 large ground floor rooms, linked by a rear hallway with back door, and a central front hallway / reception area with stairs to the upper floor. This has two large rooms, one with gabled windows to the front and rear, the other with large windows to one side aspect.
    • Moritzburg: open plan version of the Matterhorn: fully open plan on the lower floor other than three walls supporting the central stairway. A single separate upper floor room with large open-plan space at the top of the stairs.
  • Alpenrose: a two-storey house with offset front entrance with vestibule, three ground floor rooms, one with a side door to the garden. Stairs from the entrance hall provide access to three upstairs rooms, each with windows to a side aspect and either the front or rear.
    • Albus: open-plan version of the Alpenrose, featuring a single large lower-floor area partially divided by a stairway supporting wall. Two upper floor rooms, one with door door access from the stairs.
Linden Homes Chalet Theme – the path and road leading to an inebriated rodent 🙂
  • Reizend: a single-storey cottage-style chalet with two open-plan rooms, the front porch opening directly into one of them, with doorways serving the remaining two rooms.
    •  Ravensburg: open-plan version of the Reizend offering a single individual room and a large open-plan space combining the remaining three, with partial dividing walls.
  • Edelweiss: a two-storey house with front entrance to one side serving the stairs to the upper floor and giving access to the single open-plan ground floor room, which also includes a side door to the garden. A landing upstairs provides access to two bedrooms, each with widows to a front or rear aspect, and to the side aspects of the house.
    • Eikelen: open-plan version of the Edelweiss with the same ground-floor design, with and open-plan, door-less approach to the upper floor spaces.

The setting for the Chalets isn’t “Alpine” mountainous, but it is ruggedly hilly with plenty of changes in elevation that keep the landscape rolling. The roods are paved, with rez zones (where available) clearly marked. The footpaths are finished in red brick and a nice contrast to the concrete road surface, while the coniferous flora helps with the higher altitude feel to the regions.

Die Betrunkene Maus

Those who visited the demo region back in December may recall it featuring a windmill – and several examples are scattered about the new Chalet regions, together with open public spaces with parasol shaded seating. Those fancying a more noisy time out might try a visit to Die Betrunkene Maus (“The Drunken Mouse”), the new community centre and hostelry for the Chalets. When I dropped in, Xeno Mole was suitably attired in a feathered cap and giving it a bit of wellie on an accordion.

With the regions stretching up to Satori, the Chalet homes form the bridge between that continent and Bellisseria, forming the much requested contiguous access to the major southern continents – Satori, Sansara, and Jeogeot, with Bellisseria sitting in the middle.

The Chalets and their regions are an attractive addition to the Linden Homes range – each iteration of the homes tends to be an evolution, and I particularly like the idea of adding open-plan variants of designs into the mix – hopefully we’ll see more of this in the remaining themes that will be appearing through the year.

Linden Homes Chalet Theme

But that said, I have to admit these aren’t for me – although I’ve nothing against the theme or style. It’s just that it took me a fair while to finally make the jump from a Houseboat to a Stilt Home, so I’m not about to leap elsewhere!

As with other Linden Homes, the Chalets can be obtained by Premium account holders through their secondlife.com dashboard and the Linden Homes page available from it. Those who do fancy one of the Chalets are asked to note the following request from Patch:

As a general reminder and to help facilitate the release process, please do not play “game of homes” by taking and releasing homes during the initial phases of launch. Also it is extremely helpful to refrain from rapidly switching through different home styles to give the regions time to settle and not overload the back-end systems.
We hope everyone enjoys the latest additions to the Belliseria continent and community!

Patch Linden talks Linden Homes and more

Patch linden appeared at a Home and Garden presentation session,on Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

On Wednesday, March 10th, 2021 Patch Linden attended the home and Garden Expo to talk about his role, Linden homes and other aspects of SL  and Linden Lab, and to answer questions from the audience.

The following is a summary of the session covering the core topics raised. The notes provided have been taken directly from the official video of the session, which is embedded at the end of this article. Time stamps to the video are also provided for ease of reference.

Notes:

  • This is a summary, not a full transcript, and items have been grouped by topic, so may not be presented chronologically when compared to the video.
  • The last 20+ minutes of the session is a general Q&A session where Patch was addressing questions and comments put into local chat, which is not visible in the video. Some of these are highly specific questions based on an individual’s experience, other more generic – please refer to the video directly for this part of the session (commencing at 56:50).
  • In places, information that is supplementary to Patch’s comments is provided in square braces (.i.e. [ and ]) are used in the body text below to indicate where this is the case.

About Patch

  • Originally a Second Life resident and business owner who joined the platform in 2004, and became a Linden in 2007.
  • Initially worked as a support agent and then as a support liaison. From there he moved to the Concierge team, eventually becoming that team’s manager. From there he took on the role of Operations Support Manager for a year, then moved to the Product group, the team responsible for defining the features, etc., found within Second Life.
  • In 2019 he was promoted to Vice President, Product Operations, and joined the Lab’s management team (see: Linden Lab’s management team expands: congrats to Grumpity, Patch and Oz).
  • In this role, he has two major departments reporting into him: those of Support and Product Operations, the latter of which comprises the Lab’s internal content creation team (which includes the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works) and the Land Operations team, which he originally established whilst working within the Product group. Together, these make up the largest teams at Linden Lab.
  • Together with Grumpity Linden, who is Vice President of Product and Acting Vice President of Engineering since Oz Linden retired, he oversees Second Life’s continued development.
  • He is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and was responsible for establishing the Lab’s support office there.

Linden Homes And Bellisseria

Linden Homes

[Video: 6:38-23:06]

  • The “new” Linden Homes, as launched in 2019, came about in part because of the Premium “free” tier being upgraded from 512 sq m or 1024 sq m. They were also driven by the “ageing” design of the original Homes themselves (i.e. using older capabilities, being non-mesh, etc), together with their relatively high density tending to make them less appealing over time.
  • Developing the new Homes has been both a learning process and an exercise in incorporating additional capabilities within the different themes.
  • The release of the Silt Homes (see: Linden Stilt Homes released in Second Life), the first release to be made following the move to AWS services, did bring with it a number of issues (e.g. the infamous “blue window” issue), but most of these have now been resolved or have fixes in the works.
  • The release of the “Alpine” – or fachwerkhaus, as Patch would prefer them to be called – theme is now “just around the corner”, and may be occurring in the “next couple of weeks”.
    • Preparations for the release have seen an large extensive in Linden Home regions to the north-east of Bellisseria beyond the Silt Home / Houseboat regions, such that the estate now almost reaches Satori.
    • While the regions containing the fachwerkhaus theme will have hilly / mountainous areas, they will not be “snowy”. The Lab has learned through various channels that predominantly snow-covered regions tend to be polarising: people either love them or hate them, so prefer keep it seasonal.
    • However, were there a demand to make such regions “snowy” in theme, it may be something the Lab could look at doing in the future.
The fachwerkhaus theme of Linden Homes could be released within the next 2-3 weeks
  • Right now the overall drive with Linden Homes is to get all the planned themes – fachwerkhaus and beyond – released by the end of 2021.
  • Once this has been achieved, it is likely that the retirement of the “old” Linden Homes will commence.
  • There are currently no plans to directly replicated the themes found in the “old” Linden Homes beyond what has been seen (e.g. the Log Homes offering a similar environment to the Tahoe theme).
    • This is something that might be contemplated some time after all the currently planned themes have been released, but no guarantees.
    • In terms of the “old” styles, only one – the Meadowbrook (the “suburban” style 1- and 2-storey homes) – proved to be particularly popular, beating the other three styles by “leaps and bounds”.
  • There have been requests to allow groups of people to select Linden Homes that are located close to one another, so that they might establish little communities of friends, etc. This is actually difficult to achieve, but might be something that could be looked at some time after the roll-out of Home themes has been completed.
  • [33:20-34:55] The next NEW theme for Linden Homes (to follow the fachwerkhaus theme) will be previewed at SL18B in June.
    • It is promised that it will “Blow your socks off” and be the “most impressive theme released to date”.
    • It will have “unique” capabilities not previously seen in Linden Homes
    • It is unlikely the theme will actually be released during the SLB event, but will likely be available some time afterwards.

Bellisseria and Community

[Video: 23:15-32:49]

  • It was anticipated that some form of community would develop around Bellisseria,  if only going by lessons learned from Bay City. However, the speed with which it developed and grew has been surprising to Patch.
  • Has been watching the growth of the many sub-communities with the continent, which now cover all interests and social aspects – boating, flying, merfolk, LGBTQ+ – even Adult.
  • While it was not with a specific aim of building “community”, having public spaces to visit and explore within Bellisseria and venues that could be used was key part of planning the estate.
  • These remain a focal point of effort through seasonal events and activities – such as those in Millbank such as the Halloween build there.
  • There is a dynamic between the community and the Lab – the latter listen to the former, may adopt ideas from the former, and the former may take ideas and facilities from the Lab and run with them (as with the use of the Bellisseria Fairgrounds), etc.
    • An example of this is the adoption by the Lab of the house number system introduced by the community.
    • Also, the Bellisseria Bureau of Bureaucracy “passport” system will be adopted, with the Lab providing their own kiosks within the various locations within Bellisseria they maintain, allowing visitors to have their passports uniquely stamped.
  • There are no plans to name roads in Bellisseria – it is hard enough to come up with fresh region names [although I admit to having an amused groan over the likes of Salmon and Gillfunkel, OccupenSea (together the neighbouring xxxSea regions), Lone Shark, Miniature Gulf and so on!].

AWS Migration

[Video: 37:07-48:22]

[Note: details on several of the issues relating to the AWS migration and the on-going follow-up work on it can be found in my weekly Simulator User Group meeting summaries and on my notes from the February Lab Gab AWS update.]

  • The move to using AWS services that was completed at the end of 2020 was just that: relocating services to AWS without making significant changes to them, unless absolutely essentially to their smooth running [what Oz Linden and his teams referred to as “lift and shift”].
  • Unfortunately, this met that certain services (e.g. the Map tile generation and the Land Store) did break.
    • [The major cause of these breakages was down to the code having certain assumptions about the operating environment “baked in”, which are no longer true within the AWS environment.]
    • The Land store issue is now fixed, and the Map tile issues are well on their way to being fixed [there are still issues around the “stitching” and rendering process when zooming out from the Map].
  • With the migration work completed, the emphasis is not on performance tuning and on bug fixing.
  • Broader issues – such as Search  (notably People search) are also problematic, and these issues are also on a priority list for fixing.
  • As always, if people come across a specific technical issue (particularly if it can be reproduced using the official viewer, please raise a bug report.

SL, the Lab and the Pandemic

[Video: 46:28-56:50]

  • SL has seen numerous examples of increased activity during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In particular, merchants across markets are seeing increased sales; charity events are seeing increased fund-raising, etc.
  • The Lab remains sensitive to the issue, particularly around issues of people who may have lost loved ones or are struggling with increased financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
  • Obviously, the Lab is pleased that Second Life has provided a positive outlet for people, and they have noted upticks in “old” users returning to the platform an in “new” new user accounts being created.
    • The latter is particularly being noted through the use of the platform by the likes of the education, business and non-profit sectors, which has in turns spurred renewed media interest in the platform.
  • Patch [and others at the Lab?] appreciate the greater freedom using Second Life gives them over other other business tools they use – Zoom, Google Meet,  etc. – simply because it offers the chance to have a change of surroundings and relax into their avatars.

Oz Linden announces his forthcoming departure from Linden Lab

Oz Linden, circa 2014

On Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, and in a surprise to Second Life users, Linden Lab’s Vice President of Engineering, Oz Linden (aka Scott Lawrence in the physical world) announced his forthcoming departure from the Lab.

Oz joined Linden Lab in 2010, taking on the role of Director of Open Development. At that time, the viewer was in something of a state of flux; the “new” Viewer 2 had not long been launched, the development of which had largely excluded the user community and, particularly, developers who had long been associated with viewer development through the submission of code contributions.

As a result of this and other factors, users and developers alike were at the time feeling alienated and disenfranchised – facts that Oz immediately recognised and sought to address.

In the first instance this was done by replacing the open-source viewer Snowglobe project with a new Snowstorm project, intended to bring as much of the viewer development out into the open as possible – an approach Oz continued to push for throughout his time at the Lab, thus bringing order and surety out of a time that might be best described as having been “chaotic”.

The most obvious areas in which this was demonstrated was his adoption of weekly Open Source Meetings, initially held on Mondays before moving to their current Wednesday slot. These meetings continued alongside other technical in-world meetings such as the Server and Scripter meeting(now the weekly Simulator User Group), which took place even during the drought of other office hours meetings. He also implement the fortnightly Third Party Viewer Development meetings, allow Third Party Viewer developers to discuss all matters relating to the viewer directly with him and members of the Lab’s viewer engineering team.

In 2013, Oz oversaw the complete overhaul of the Lab’s internal viewer develop process, officially called the Viewer Integration and Release Process, which greatly simplified viewer update and viewer feature development. This project also brought me into my first direct contact with Oz when I offered a summary of the new process.  It marked the start of a long and informative acquaintance that I’ve continued to appreciate over the years.

As well as direct contributions to the viewer, Oz also helped open the door to user-led projects aimed at providing broader capabilities for the viewer. While constraints on what could / could not be accepted would always have to be enforced, this approach nevertheless resulted in the adoption of materials in Second Life, and helped to encourage project-based contributions to the viewer that have included capabilities such as the hover height slider, and graphics and camera presets. This approach also included major lab-led projects such as Project Bento also encompass direct user involvement pretty much from their outset.

While it has always been the Lab’s policy to try to recruit personnel from the ranks of users as and when there is a suitable “fit”, in his time at the Lab, Oz has become perhaps one of the most enthusiastic proponents of this approach, frequently seeking – and often succeeding – to recruit qualified users into technical positions under his management.

Oz in his human form. Credit: Linden Lab

As the Lab opted to start work on Project Sansar, Oz decided to pro-actively campaign to take on the work in continuing to develop Second Life, drawing to him those within the Lab who also wished to stay engaged in working on the platform. It is not unfair to say this resulted in one of the most intense periods of Second Life development we have seen, interrupted only be the need to focus on the work of transitioning all of Second Life and its services to run on AWS.

In 2019, Oz – together with Grumpity and Patch Linden – officially joined the Lab’s management team, taking on the role of Vice President of Engineering and putting an official seal on what Grumpity refers to as the Troika: the three of them being largely responsible for determining much of the product and feature direction for Second Life.

In announcing his departure, which sees his last day with the Lab being Friday, February 26th, 2021, Oz states that it has been something he’s been considering for a while:

Some time ago, I reached the point that I could afford to think about retiring but decided to stay to finish moving SL to its new cloud platform. I can’t imagine a better last act in my working life than ensuring that Second Life has this better platform for its future growth. Now that project is done (well, except for a few loose ends), and it’s time for me to move on to the next phase of my life.

He also emphasises – hopefully to prevent the rumour mill turning its wheels – that his decision to leave the Lab is not in any way connected to the company recently being acquired by new investors:

I want to emphasise in the strongest possible terms: my decision has nothing at all to do with the change in ownership of the Lab; the timing really is a coincidence. If anything, I regret that I have overlapped with them for only a few weeks; in that time (and in the time leading up to the change) I have come to respect and appreciate the skills and energy they bring to the company.

For my part, I cannot claim to know Oz as well as I would like to – but I’ve always found find his enthusiasm for Second Life never to be anything less than totally honest and infectious, and his high regard for users utterly genuine and sincere.

As such – and while his actual departure from the Lab is still more than a week away,  – I’d like to take this opportunity to offer him a personal and public “thank you” for all the times he’s provided me with insight and / or encouraged me to get involved in various projects, all of it has been greatly appreciated. I am, and will be, genuinely saddened to see him leave the Lab; we are all losing something in his departure, and the void left will not be easy for the management team to fill.

Linden Lab’s board of directors: snippets of news

Linden Lab’s new board of directors (l to r): Brad Oberwager, J. Randall Waterfield and Raj Date

Back in January, I provided a piece on the Lab’s new owners / board of directors, including their biographical notes as posted by the Lab (see: Meet Linden Lab’s new board of directors).

Since then, user interest in the new owners has remained fairly high in some areas, with questions being asked on social media, in-world, during user group meetings (the most recent being the Web User Group), etc.

Some of the more common questions that have been answered by Lab staff (and that I’m aware of) comprise:

  • Have they been in-world? – Yes, they were in-world prior to the deal being finalised, and still hop in as needed.
  • Do they understand SL? – Yes, they are enthusiastic about the platform and have already been contributing thoughts / ideas.
  • Have they seen any Adult regions? – Yes, they have.
  • Will they be talking directly with users (e.g. via a Town Hall)? – There have been no direct discussions as yet about this.
  • Do they have specific aspirations regarding SL / LL? – None that have been directly discussed; it’s been more a case of gaining a deeper familiarity with the platform and its potential.

For my part whilst writing Meet Linden Lab’s new board of directors I ruminated on Raj Date possibly being involved in Tilia Inc, the Lab’s micro-currency transaction management service, commenting:

His background with consumer affairs, finances, and his post-CFPB founding of Fenway Summer would appear to help lend significant weight to Linden Lab’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Tilia inc; while he is not currently listed as a member of Tilia’s board, his background and expertise could be used in an advisory capability, and his name certainly brings a further level of gravitas to Tilia.

Since then things have moved forward.

In particular, Tilia’s Meet the Team page has been updated to reveal that both Raj Date and Brad Oberwager have joined the board, whilst former “non-Linden” (so to speak) board member Ben Duranske is not longer listed as being directly involved in the company. Both Mr. Date and Mr. Oberwager now hold seats on the board alongside of the Lab’s Chief Financial Officer, Anton Waldman, who has held both the position of Tilia Inc., CEO and Director and Treasurer on the board since taking over as the Lab’s CFO some time ago.

This is a move that makes a lot of sense, as it ensures a continuity of board oversight across both Linden Research and Tilia  Inc., potentially helping with the growth of both entities.

Meet Linden Lab’s new board of directors

Linden Lab’s new board of directors (l to r): Brad Oberwager, J. Randall Waterfield and Raj Date

Following confirmation early this month that the the acquisition of Linden Research Inc., (to give Linden Lab its formal name) has been completed (see the second half of 2021 Update: Life in the Cloud from the Lab and also my own Linden Lab gives cloud migration update & new ownership announcement (updated)), the Lab has updated the Board of Directors section of the About page on the official Linden Research website.

The acquisition, sees three new board members replacing Jed Smith, Bill Gurley, Dina L. Evan and Bing Gordon. Two of them have been previously mentioned: Brad Oberwager and J. Randall (Randy) Waterfield (you can read my own notes on these two gentleman here: Linden Lab announces it is to be acquired). However, what may come as news is that there is a third member of the Lab’s new board: Raj Date.

The following are the biographies for all three as found on the Lab’s About web page:

Brad Oberwager

Brad Oberwager has spent his entire career in technology and consumer focused companies as an entrepreneur and board member.
Currently, he sits on the board of two public companies, Asure Software (NASDAQ: ASUR) and Better World (NASDAQ: BWACU). He is the chairman of two companies he founded, Jyve and Sundia and is also on the board of TEGSCO (aka AutoReturn). He owned Bare Snacks, acquired by PepsiCo in 2018.
Brad was Vice-chair of YPO International, a global organization of 25,000 CEOs.
Brad received his BS from Georgetown University, his MBA from the Wharton School and lives in San Francisco. 

J. Randall (Randy) Waterfield

Mr. J. Randall (Randy) Waterfield, is the Chairman of Waterfield Holdings, which traces its origins to 1928. After selling the largest private mortgage company in the US and largest Indiana based bank in 2006 and 2007 respectively, he diversified into technology, manufacturing and other industries.
Randy holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a graduate of Harvard University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Red Oak Partners, Waterfield Technologies, Linden Research, Inc. and has previously served on the boards of YPO (and was the 2017-2018 Chairman of YPO), Asure Software ( NASDAQ: ASUR), SMTC Corporation (NASDAQ: SMTX), RF Industries (NASDAQ: RFIL), among others. He is also the Co-Chairman of Missouri Cobalt, LLC, the largest cobalt mine in North America.
Randy supports various education, environmental and community development charitable causes through the nonprofit Waterfield Foundation and J. Randall Waterfield Foundation.

Raj Date

Raj Date was the first-ever Deputy Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As the Bureau’s second-ranking official, he helped steward the CFPB’s strategy, its operations, and its policy agenda. He also served on the senior staff committee of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and as a statutory deputy to the FDIC Board.
Before being appointed Deputy Director, Raj acted as the interim leader of the new agency, serving as the Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury. He led the CFPB for most of the first six months after its launch.
Currently, Raj is the Managing Partner of Fenway Summer, an advisory and investment firm focused on financial services and financial technology. In that capacity, he chairs the investment committee of Fenway Summer Ventures, a fintech venture capital fund, and works with clients of FS Vector, the fintech advisory firm. He also serves as a Director for a number of innovative firms in financial services: Prosper, the marketplace lender; Green Dot, the bank holding company; Circle, the digital asset firm; Grasshopper, a de novo bank; and College Ave, a private student lender.
He is a graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley (highest honors) and the Harvard Law School (magna cum laude).

Without wishing to take anything away from Mr. Oberwager and Mr. Waterfield, Raj Date’s credentials are especially impressive for a relatively small company like Linden Research; having joined the CFPB in February 2011, on what he thought would be a 2-3 month tenure, he was asked by Elizabeth Warren, who oversaw the establishment of the CFPB as a Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury, to lead “the guts of the policy apparatus” within the Bureau. When Warren sought to (successfully) run for the U.S. Senate later in 2011,  Date was nominated to succeed her as the CFPB’s Special Advisor to Treasury, and (as the Lab notes), its first Deputy Director, under Richard Cordray.

His background with consumer affairs, finances, and his post-CFPB founding of Fenway Summer would appear to help lend significant weight to Linden Lab’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Tilia inc; while he is not currently listed as a member of Tilia’s board, his background and expertise could be used in an advisory capability, and his name certainly brings a further level of gravitas to Tilia.

Thus far, the acquisition and arrival of the new board has been handled in a relatively low-key manner. While some might be tempted to see the negative in this, it’s likely more a case of the Lab wishing to demonstrate that, from their perspective and that of the incoming board, things are very much “business as usual” rather than being indicative of any kind of radical change.

Linden Lab gives cloud migration update & new ownership announcement (updated)

The former co-location cage used to operate Second Life and its services. Credit: Linden Lab

Update: since this post was published, Linden Lab have clarified the fact that the acquisition process is in fact complete, revising their comment on the acquisition process.  I have therefore revised the end of this post to reflect the updated comment on  the acquisition. See also: Meet Linden Lab’s new board of directors.

On Tuesday, January 5th, Linden Lab provided a short update on the cloud migration work and on the current situation regarding the company’s acquisition.

The physical move to AWS services was completed at the end of 2020, and the blog post expands on some tweets made by April and Soft Linden over the Christmas period.

In her December 23rd tweet, April Linden confirmed that the last of the Lab’s services had been migrated to AWS services, and that the remaining systems within the Lab’s (now former) co-location facility in Arizona had been powered off.

April Linden confirming the migration of the last of the SL services to AWS

In discussing the fate of the data held on the old hardware in late 2020, Oz Linden had indicated that Linden Lab had arranged for all of the hard drives from  the co-location facility would be shredded – and on December 31st, 2020, Soft  Linden tweeted that the work had been completed by a professional data destruction company, with a total of 10,588  hard drives and solid state drives that had been contained within the Lab’s old hardware had indeed been shredded.

Soft Linden on the shredding of the Lab’s old disk drives

The January 5th blog post builds on both of these tweets by providing a photograph of the cleared-out cage at the Lab’s former co-location facility, and a short video of drives being shredded, both of which I’ve included here.

Linden Research Acquisition Complete

Turning to the July announcement that an agreement in principle had been reached with an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager to acquire Linden Research Inc., (as Linden Lab is formally known), the blog post confirmed the acquisition process has been completed, and Linden Lab is now under new ownership:

Another noteworthy development for the new year is that Linden Lab has new owners! As announced in mid-2020, an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager signed an agreement to acquire the company subject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. We are pleased to share that the regulatory review has been completed and Linden Lab is now under new ownership.

At the time of writing, the official About Linden Lab page had yet to show any changes in the board structure to reflect the acquisition completion – I expect that will come in due course.

Read the official blog post for more.

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