New Avatar Limits for Regions

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit New Avatar Limits for Regions for original post.

This week, LL posted some upcoming changes to how Second Life regions will manage avatars.

Since the dawn of time, SL regions have had a maximum number of avatars that they will support.  For full regions, this is 100.  It’s less in Homestead or Openspace regions.

Access has always been first come, first served.  Anyone can get into the region, but if it reaches its capacity, no one else can get in until someone who is there leaves, making room.

But Linden Lab is making some changes to that.  First of all, region owners and managers will always be able to get in, even if the region is at its maximum capacity.

Second, and perhaps more significantly, the maximum capacity of regions is being increased.  Instead of 100 avatars, now full regions will allow up to 110.  Homestead regions go up from 20 to 25, and Openspace regions from 10 to 12.

But there’s a catch.  The new higher capacities are only available to Premium members.  If you are a Basic member, and a region you want to get into already has 100 people, you will still get the “Region Full” message.  But your friend who’s a Premium member will be able to get in.

Probably a fairly minor Premium benefit, but they do add up.

Read more about this change in the official Linden Lab blog post:  https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2145-improved-region-capacity-and-access/

Place Pages – A New Way to Advertise Your Land

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit Place Pages – A New Way to Advertise Your Land for original post.

Last week, Linden Lab mainstreamed a feature that they’d been experimenting with, called Place Pages.

If you own land in Second Life, you can go to a URL for this.  Clicking My Places will display all the parcels you own.  If you have elected the “Show in Search” feature for a parcel (this costs $ L30 per week, per parcel), you can display a “Place Page”.  On it, you can include a description of the parcel, an ultrawide “Hero Image”, and up to three additional images.  If you want, you can use a Project Viewer that incorporates the new spherical panoramic photo function to create the Hero Image.  If you choose this option, the image can be panned by the visitor to show a complete all-around view.

The Place Page includes a SLURL link so a visitor can teleport directly to your Place.

I have found what appears to be a minor bug in the system.  Although my land is Moderate, in the window where I view my Places, the parcels are listed as “Adult: Yes.”  However, in the actual, viewable Place Page, the Moderate rating of the area is shown correctly.

This is a great way to give a little bit more advertising exposure for your store, club, or scenic spot in Second Life!

See the official blog post about Place Pages here: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2138-personalizing-your-place-page-is-now-available-to-all-landowners/

Here is a Knowledge Base article about Place Pages:  https://community.secondlife.com/knowledgebase/english/place-pages-r1420/Section_.1.1

Visit your own Place Page page here: https://places.secondlife.com/

Here’s the Place Page I created for Masocado:  https://places.secondlife.com/parcels/59945/masocado-resort

The Return of the Neverending Thread

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit The Return of the Neverending Thread for original post.

Hello, gentle readers!

As you probably know, I spend a lot of time on the Second Life forums.  A long time ago, when the forums used a very different software engine, one of them was called “Resident Answers”.  It was unmoderated, and besides providing a lot of very helpful answers, the “regulars” on this forum engaged in quite a lot of frivolous, but fun, badinage.

Somewhere around 2008, one of the regulars, Lexxi Gynoid, posted a question.  She found her own answer almost immediately, and edited her post title to “Just Ignore and Let This One Die,” figuring that it would quickly fade into obscurity.

Well, the other regulars were just contrary enough to NOT ignore it and let it die.  Instead, it became what was to be called the Neverending Thread, or sometimes just “The Thread.”  People would post in it to say hello, to tell jokes, or to riff off of other people’s comments.  It ran on and on and on for YEARS.  With occasional exceptions when people would get involved in arguments (some of them deliberately provoked and maintained by a few troublemakers) it was a source of fun and community, and considerable amusement.

When LL changed the forum software, the unmoderated “Resident Answers” forum became history.  The new forums were moderated to an extent that did not permit the continuation of the Neverending Thread, although a few abortive attempts were made.

Now, LL has changed the forum software again…and the Neverending Thread has risen from the ashes, as a thread in the General Discussion forum.  Many of the old regulars have already rediscovered it and have gathered to say hello.

The forum regulars don’t limit their community to the forums, either.  There is an in-world group, open to everyone, called The Forum Cartel, and the group maintains a clubhouse in world.  You can visit it here: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Allana/217/34/27

Won’t you join us?  https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/32554-just-ignore-and-let-this-one-die/

LL Changes Rules for Cashing Out of Second Life

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit LL Changes Rules for Cashing Out of Second Life for original post.

Warning!  This is a bit of a rant.

This week, Linden Lab imposed a new financial limit.  There have always been limits on how many Linden Dollars you could buy or sell within a 24 hour or a 30 day period.  These limits are generous, and I have never even come close to hitting them.  The only time they bother most people is during the first week or so that someone wants to begin buying or selling $ L.  During those early days, the limits are quite low, as a fraud prevention measure.

Last Monday, LL imposed limits on the amount of money you can take out of SL via a Process Credit transaction.  In this type of transaction, you transfer money from your $ USD balance on your Second Life account to your PayPal or Skrill account.

Unfortunately, the limit they set for this is fairly low.  In my case it was set at $ 999 USD.  (That’s LOW?  Come on, Lindal!)  Yes, it is low.  I have considerably more than $ 1,000 invested in SL, in the form of land and $ L accumulated from renting it out to tenants.  If I decide today to sell my land and cash out, it would now take me well over a month to do so.  What’s more, I would have to pay fairly hefty transaction fees on several Process Credit transactions.

It’s those transaction fees that annoy me.  Only a few months ago, LL increased the amounts they collect on Process Credit transactions.  Now it appears they are trying to increase their revenue in this area, by forcing residents to break up large transactions into smaller ones, and collecting several fees in the process.

For LL’s unctuous blog post on this development, see this link: https://community.secondlife.com/blogs/entry/2136-new-adjustments-to-monthly-process-credit-limits/

FLASH! SL Community Forums Are BACK!

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit FLASH! SL Community Forums Are BACK! for original post.

Yes indeed.  And they are…um, well, according to Linden Lab…new and improved.

New they most certainly are.  The new organization and interface are VERY different from the old forums.  I’m not going to say anything bad about them here, at least not yet.  We’re all going to need some time to explore them and get used to the new layout.

No, I take it back.  I will make one complaint now:  The various Search functions seem to be VERY wonky.  However, I’m hoping LL will be able to fine tune this over the coming weeks.  They managed to fix a lot of problems with the recent Search update to the Marketplace, which is encouraging.

Second Life Community Forums Offline

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit Second Life Community Forums Offline for original post.

Many of you have probably noticed this, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.  The week before last, Linden Lab announced that they were updating the Forums on the Second Life website for a “new and more user friendly” experience.

That’s (maybe) good news…for years, residents have complained about the shortcomings of the current forums (which replaced a set of forums that MOST of us rather liked and were comfortable with.)  Of course, until we actually see and use the new setup, we won’t know for sure whether it’s really good news or not.

Anyway, the plan was for the forums to be down for just three or four days while the new software was put in place and the old content migrated over to the new platform.  But, as is often the case, that estimate proved to be over-optimistic.  LL posted a notice saying that the switch would be complete by Friday…and that deadline was missed too.

The forums are still down as I write this, with a blog post by LL apologizing for the delay and asking us to be patient…

I wouldn’t have believed that I’d miss the opportunity to tell someone, for the umpteenth time, to reboot their router and do a clean install of the viewer.

Are You Buying on the Marketplace with $US Dollars? Don’t!

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit Are You Buying on the Marketplace with $ US Dollars? Don’t! for original post.

Hello, gentle readers!

Most of us use the Second Life Marketplace from time to time…some of us even do ALL of our shopping there. And no wonder, there are over 2 million items for sale on the Marketplace.

The vast majority of us use Linden Dollars ($ L), the currency of Second Life, to make our Marketplace purchases. However, there’s an option to use $ USD if you prefer, or if you don’t have any $ L.

But, if you’re doing this, you should not be. Things on the Marketplace cost quite a bit more if you buy them with $ USD instead of $ L. Here is what Linden Lab has to say about it:

Charges and Costs When You Use US Dollar Pricing:
We Set the “US Dollar” or “USD” Price For Each Sale In Our Discretion
SL Marketplace merchants may select the price of their virtual goods in L$ , at their own discretion. However, regardless of that L$ price, Linden Lab provides SL Marketplace buyers an additional “US Dollar” or “USD”  option, as a convenience to buyers and sellers. Buyers may select, on a per-transaction basis, whether they wish to pay using the L$ option or the USD option.

It is important to note that the USD price we charge for an item that is also listed in L$ is not based on the US Dollar price that the L$ would cost on the LindeX exchange. Rather, the USD price is generally between ten (10) and fifteen (15) percent percent greater than what a user would pay, were the user to make that same purchase with L$ already purchased on the LindeX — and at any given time, the USD price may in fact be greater than that. For the exact exchange rate (i.e., how many L$ are provided per US Dollar) at any time, please see the “*Rates” disclosure that appears in your shopping cart.

In addition to this, we charge buyers who use the USD purchase option an additional $ .30 “Purchasing Fee” per checkout. We may increase (or decrease) this Purchasing Fee in our sole discretion. If we increase this Purchasing Fee, it will be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in the user interface. Thus, buyers seeking the best value should purchase L$ on the LindeX for use on the SL Marketplace, in order to obtain the best price.   (emphasis added.)
Set up a payment method and buy some $ L before you go shopping on the Marketplace!  

If you are looking at a Marketplace page and saying, “What is she talking about?  I don’t see a $ USD option,” here is where to find it.

Go to your cart, click the Check Out button

Click “More Payment Options”

Click the PayPal (or Skrill) Option.  You must first add one of these to your Payment Methods

Notice the Price Difference!  Almost $ L100 More!

A New Marketplace Fraud

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit A New Marketplace Fraud for original post.

Just when you think that you’ve seen it all, someone comes up with yet another nefarious scheme.

This one takes advantage of LL’s policy of tracking down transactions made with fraudulent $ L or by phishers who have gained access to a person’s account through trickery.

Here’s how it works.

  • The scammer creates two accounts, Avatar A and Avatar B (or, there may be two scammers working as a team.)
  • Avatar A purchases an item on the Marketplace, and sends it to Avatar B as a gift.  He may do this several times, hitting a number of merchants, or buying multiple things from one merchant.
  • Avatar A then files a support case with Linden Lab, claiming his account was stolen and that the transactions were not made by him.
  • Linden Lab investigates.  If they ask Avatar B if they know Avatar A, who sent them a gift, Avatar B says, “No, I don’t know him…I have no idea why he sent me a gift.”  This supports Avatar A’s claim that he didn’t make the purchases, it must have been someone who stole his account.

Linden Lab then takes the money that Avatar A paid to the merchant back from the merchant, and returns it to Avatar A.  They tell the merchant, “we reversed the payment because it was a fraudulent transaction.”

So, in the end, Avatar A pays nothing, Avatar B has some nice freebies, and the merchant is stiffed.

LL takes this stance because most merchants who sell their creations on the Marketplace have an unlimited supply…so according to their logic, the merchant isn’t really harmed.  But this is not true; the merchant IS harmed, in at least one of two ways.

In all cases, a free copy of his creation, which ought to have been paid for, is now out there in the world.  And if the merchandise is a limited edition or one-of-a-kind item, he is also robbed of the item itself, as well as the payment he should have received.

I have always had my reservations about the Marketplace, for many reasons.  This is just another one to add to the scales.  Sure, I think the MP is a great place for creators who only sell a few items, or who are just starting out and can’t afford to pay for land for an in-world store.  But as soon as you can, you really should set up a store in world.  It’s a lot safer, as well as a lot more fun.

I hope that Marketplace merchants will be on the lookout for this latest scam, and carefully report instances of it to Linden Lab.

All Hail the Resident Geek

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit All Hail the Resident Geek for original post.

Some of you who follow my blog and Second Life forum posts may have heard me mention the “Resident Geek.”

He’s my husband, my love, and my IT Department.

Recently, the Resident Geek has been messing about with our home network, trying to set up a video server so that we can watch media on any computer or device in the house, or even when away from home.

As a result of this, he’s become very grumpy.  It seems that my main computer, the one I use to access the internet and Second Life, isn’t doing what it should.  He diagnosed one problem, a bad cable between my computer and the FIOS internet router in the hall closet, and fixed that.  But it seems that even though my computer says it’s connected correctly to the network, and I can use the internet just fine, videos from our home theater PC won’t play on my machine.

I explained that I don’t really need that.  I use this machine to get into Second Life, to type entries for this blog, and to read my email and do photo and video editing.  I don’t need to watch TV at my desk.

He just grumped at me and said, “But it’s SUPPOSED to be able to do that!”

He’s obsessive about things like that.  The other day, he showed me a picture that he’d made of our home network.  I had no idea we had all that Stuff, and that it was all connected!  When I said that, he smirked and said, “And that doesn’t even show all the Smart switches and appliances!”

I am worried that he’s going to kick me out of my office and start rummaging around inside my computer (again!)  But if he does, I can console myself with the thought that when he’s done, my machine will be faster and better than ever.  He takes a while to get there, but the man can produce miracles.  At least until the next power outage.

Or maybe a power outage would be a GOOD thing…it might keep my refrigerator from telling me I need to go buy it some eggs.

You Can’t Please Everybody

By – Across The Grid With Lindal Kidd!. Visit You Can’t Please Everybody for original post.

Way back last April, I found that Meike Heston had left a full perm, free version of her excellent Hug & Kiss 2.0 “hugger” HUD with us in Second Life when she left SL.

I put up a vendor in world in the lobby of my apartment building, and another on the campus of Caledon Oxbridge University, so everyone could enjoy this excellent little gadget.  And I blogged about it: http://acrossthegridwithlindal.blogspot.com/2016/04/free-hugs.html

A few months later, I became aware that a large number of people were selling versions of Meike’s HUD on the Marketplace, for a very wide range of prices.  Regardless of price, all of these were no more than Meike’s original HUD, which was available for free.

So, I made a Marketplace listing of my own and offered the hugger for free: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Meikes-Hug-Kiss-202/9714182 .  Sales have been pretty constant, with about six or eight people a day grabbing a copy.

But one person wasn’t satisfied.  She left me a one star review, claiming the product was not full permission, as I’d stated, because the animations in it were No Copy.  Well, that’s quite true.  Once you wear the HUD, the animations DO become No Copy.  Not only that, the scripts at the heart of the HUD are both No Copy and No Modify.  You can’t see them to copy or alter the code.  This is pretty standard practice for the makers of HUDs and other devices that contain content that’s valuable in and of itself.

However, the HUD itself IS full permissions.  You can give a copy of it to anyone, and keep a copy in your inventory.  The animations transfer right along with the HUD.  And the HUD is modifiable; you can take animations out, and you can add your own.  You can change the textures and colors of the buttons.

I must admit that I’m miffed.  Here is a great product, for FREE, and I went to quite a bit of trouble to create the Marketplace listing and put it out for sale…and I get a one star review and a complaint.  Some days you just can’t win.