Linden Research, Inc. to Be Acquired

Blatantly stealing the headline from the Linden Lab website.
Short version. The parent of Second Life and Tilia, Linden Research Inc., will be bought by two investors, Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager.

Please read the original publication and let it sink in.

Reading Inara's blog it looks like these two are Good (tm) people.

So, what will they do?

First lets see what it will mean to us, the residents of Second Life?
Short and simple, nothing!

From here on remember, I have no documentation! I am 100% guessing!!

It's not like we see Mitch Kapor banging on doors all around Second Life so there is no reason to expect any different from Randy and Brad.

Linden Research Inc. is the investment vehicle for Linden Lab. That is why most of us have never heard of it. When Philip Rosedale wanted to start Second Life he walked door to door to find investors. He found a few and with that capital he could buy stuffs and rent a poor peoples apartment on Linden Street, San Francisco.

Of the original investors, I think there were five, Mitch Kapor is the one best known. (There was a Judy?) Philip had some cash with him coming from RealNetworks. The capital was combined and legal things were documented.
It's a private company. The capital was divided into owner shares and based on that the investors would receive a percentage of the profit. The shares can not be freely traded, if an investor wanted to un-invest the only way to do that is to sell the shares back to Linden Research Inc.

When profits began to flow in and the break even point was passed the employees received, besides pay, shares in the company. These shares are more limited as the investment shares. They pay out, but don't give any voting rights.

Linden Research Inc. (the money) appoints the Board of Directors of Linden Lab. These define the strategy, check accounting and appoint the CEO.

The value of the company roughly can be divided,
5% Offices
10% Hardware
15% IP rights (protected software)
70% Clients and goodwill
Add to that the value of the potential of Tilia.

Who owns the stock
80% original investors
20% (former) employees

How well is Second Life doing? There are two answers to that.
1/ The investors are making profit, they have received more as their original investment.
2/ Second Life is no longer the money maker as it used to be. Income has dropped significantly but is stable the last few years. It is making good profits.

So why then sell off to two investors?
The answer could be as simple as. A few of the original investors want their stock converted to money.
Problem is, the (book) value of Linden Research is so high that the other investors can't match that and can't (or don't want to) increase their investment. Getting a normal loan from a bank would not be a good idea.

Another, more exciting, answer could be. There are plans to do something that costs a lot of money. For instance, set up an owned cloud.

There is a risk that Randy and Brad will be doing the hedge fund thing. However, when you look at the (assumed) distribution of value, there isn't much that can be sold off and rented back (since that is what the hedge funds do, and then let it die).

Sure it's possible to sell up the competencies (IP) of running Second Life and Tilia. But that would create competition reducing the value.
Sell off Second Life as a whole would be possible. But that would scare away clients and goodwill. Nobody wants an ad during log-in or while exploring the world. Nobody wants their userdata to be exploited by some sugar mountain.
Sell off the servers, well, that will happen when our bunny knows how to tweak things and puts us all in the cloud. The servers could be rented out to Amazon and become part of the AWS cloud, or be sold to them. It's just a bunch of machines with cables around them.

What will be sold to Randy and Brad? Not sure. I find it hard to believe that all original investors will hand over their stock. Philip selling off his stake in his brainchild? No way. Can they get their hands on the stock owned by (ex) employees? Unlikely.

I have to assume that Randy and Brad will get a majority stake in Linden Research because of the word acquired and the regulatory things. They will not get complete ownership, as is reflected by the board of directors that doesn't change except that Randy and Brad will be part of it. If they had full ownership they could/ should push them out.

They key words in the publication are "to help Linden Lab achieve new heights in distribution, scale, and quality while remaining true to the original vision, creativity, and community that makes Second Life unique and special" also "continue growth and expansion".

I am sure things will change. I find it unlikely that those changes would hurt the community. It could be possible that a localized Second Life could spring up, only for one language/country on a localized, faster, cloud. Would create competition and would break up the communities but it could be a specialized world, for education, museum or training ground separate from Second Life but controlled by Linden Lab, from a distance.

From my point of view, no time to call it quits. I'm not selling of my lands.

Randy and Brad will get an account. Be Lindens, and we, as a community, will make sure they will only do good for us. We are the value of Second Life, that won't change.
Reporter Vick Forcella

Bay City Post, Edition 89

Welcome to the eightyninth edition of the Bay City Post!
Keeping you updated on the best city on the grid!

Your reporters went out through hail and rain, thunderstorms and tsunamis, sunshine and droughts, to bring you the news and latest gossip from our Fine City.

In this edition we have for you,

Second Life 17th birthday
SL17B is open till July 10. Now is a great moment to visit. Not many visitors so less lag.
We have visited many places but had to make a selection on what to report about.
Thank you Fenix for helping out!

The previous edition is available in our archive.
RacerX Gullwing, the one and only, has made a video of the parade of the 12th anniversary of Bay City. Enjoy!

Draxtor has given special attention to the SL railroads. He made 5 videos one of them featuring Bay City and the Bay City Post.

Screenshot, no need to click play
A complete list of all the videos can be found here.
Railroads Made in Second Life 5 parts and an interview between Draxtor Despres and Patch Linden, Athos Murphy (fka Michael Linden), Hrdtop75 Deluxe, and Zen Swords-Galway.
Sheree Honeyflower challenged the SL gods and entered the Hairy Hippo's Lollercoaster.

Editor Vick Forcella

Tear and tier are pronounced the same
Tear and tear are pronounced differently
Read the Bay City Post!

Strict No Machinima Policy Eyed By City Council

Mayor supports new privacy laws.

The Bay City council has been discussing the current machinima policy that allows people to create machinima in our Fine City. After several video directors created machinima in our Fine City there has been a call from fractions to tighten the current policy only allowing to make machinima after consent from the land owners.
They motivate this policy change with the argument that machinima can invade the privacy of people and homes and that machinima creators make profits from house and landowners.
They proposed a contract between the citizen and the machinima creator before machinima is made. In that contract it should be made clear what percentage of profit will flow towards the citizen.
Without a contract machinima creators should defer making machinima at that place.

As expected the Mayor supports the implementation of such strict rules.

During the discussions between the different fractions it became clear that a policy change is only possible after implementing a city wide covenant for all the regions with the help and support of city workers.

After long lasting elaborations it was decided not to change the current policy. To change it would be nearly impossible.

Right after the council meeting the mayor was asked what the consequences would be.

"I'll have to remove my toys" was the reply as the mayor quickly moved away from the microphone.
Shortly after this explosions were heard.

More information about the machinima policy can be found here.

This article might have been inspired by the image of the Bay City Post in one of Draxtor his videos.
Reporter Vick Forcella

Police and Fire Blotter

June 12th
Bay City Police and Fire responded to reports of an accident along Route 66 after traffic was backed up for regions. After arriving on scene, the First Responders discovered the backup to be caused by a massive flock of seagulls. Police discovered that a resident had mistakenly tried to feed a single seagull, and was not prepared for the onslaught of the rest of the flock from the Bay.

June 20th
A team from the Sansara National Guard was seen inspecting the Lollercoaster at the Hairy Hippo Fun Land after receiving reports of the ride being dangerous. City officials declined to comment, though an anonymous source cited regular testing using Moles.

June 27th
Bay City Police encountered several individuals who were seen impersonating police officers. An undercover BCPD officer followed the suspects from a distance, though lost track of them when they crossed into Nova Albion. It is believed that the suspects may be related to the incident with another impersonator during the Bay City Anniversary. The investigation is still ongoing.

June 27th
During a routine patrol, a Bay City Coast Guard helicopter experienced engine trouble. The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing at the Bay City Municipal Aeroport. The Bay City Fire Department quickly responded, and was able to extinguish the engine fire before any avatars were harmed. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
BCCG helicopter on fire after emergency landing
Reporter Thomas Hooker

Our Emperor Needs A Face

Michael the First, Emperor of Bay City, also known as Emperor Michael, also known as Michael the Moleman, also known as Your Highness, has so far shown that his heart is in the right place with his statements and proclamations.

Since his crowning he has called for the abolishment of security orbs and ban lines, he ordered the installation of public safety shelters, he reached out to the city workers Xiola and Strawberry, he shared his worry about the Arch District, he expressed his care about the Bellisseria community and he loudly requested (nearly demanded) to receive a Bellisseria content pack.

I have yet to meet a citizen of our Fine City that doesn't have feelings about Emperor Michael I. Most have met this scruffy man with his feathered hat, scribbling his lists, listening to upset citizens, selling prim boxes, smelling like an open sewer.

Despite him being well known he manages to evade the equipment to make snapshots. Even distant methods to make a snapshots have so far been unsuccessful.
No idea how he does that.

Since so many have seen him, since we have in our Fine City so many talented creators, I call upon the citizens to send me an artist impression of Emperor Michael the First.

Your sketch/ painting/ drawing will be used for future publications about Emperor Michael the First in your favourite newspaper, the Bay City Post.

Since it is quite hard to motivate volunteers to do something I (Vick) will personally donate L$10.000 to Child's Play (through our local Bay Resident) in the name of the artist that makes the best impression of Emperor Michael the First.

Send me your artwork! vickforcella (at) gmail -dot- com

If your artwork is chosen you will receive eternal bragging rights and will become absolutely famous, since it will appear here in your newspaper with almost each publication about Michael I.
Small print. If you send your artwork you know the above and agree with it.

Send in your artwork! Give Michael I a face.
Reporter Vick Forcella

Bay City Cruis'n

Some days I think to myself, "I need a new car."

Which is usually followed by, "I need a new car?"

After a bit of back and forth in this manner I typically give in and wander about "window shopping" to see what is available.

What's on the other side of these windows?
Who: sumire Papp
What: SUMI Vehicles
Where: Bay City - Mashpee

Two wheels. Three wheels. Four wheels. Amphibious. Somewhat military. I like the Boogie Buggy the most.

The manufacturer promises high quality, low land impact and smooth cross-border performance.

And there's a rezzer for test drives, along with a small cafe in the back so you can have a place to calmly decide which vehicle suits you.
The SUMI Vehicles cafe provides mostly donuts. However, I was looking for something else to help my thought process. What's this nearby? Ah, just the thing!
Who: Naughty Mole
What: Talpa's Ice Creams
Where: Bay City - Mashpee

This is an LDPW (Linden Department of Public Works) municipal structure, providing vital services to our fair city.

Vital ... I could not agree more ... Banana Sundae, Raspberry Ripple, Strawberry Surprise ... Mint Chocolate Chip. Sold!
That's it for this cruise through Bay City.

I hope to see you on the road. Happy motoring!
Reporter Dakota Schwade

CEF, New Media, and Old Videos

Recently (June 23rd), the Linden viewer released with an important update to "CEF" - the Chromium Embedded Framework that's used for viewing web pages and -- crucially -- media. At the time of writing, only the Linden viewer has this support, but third party viewers will likely adopt this feature very soon.

Support for the new CEF version first surfaced in a project viewer that used streaming media for the Adult Swim "The Shivering Truth" event, in May.

But there are broader benefits of the enhanced media support. Notably, other video services and formats are now supported that before would give a blank screen (at best). One such service is Vimeo, fairly widely used in entertainment and, specific to SL, the home of an exhaustive archive of old Designing Worlds videos that were once hosted by Treet TV.

Unlocking these Vimeo-based archives needs a bit of tweaking on in-world video players. It's actually possible to play these videos on either "Shared Media" surfaces (aka "Media on a Prim") or Parcel Media. Both will use a custom URL that embeds Vimeo's proprietary streaming player to see the video directly instead of a web page surrounding the player. The basic player URL is offered as a way to "Share" the video from the regular Vimeo web page, but there are a lot of confusing options. What I've found to work best is to copy the number in the Vimeo webpage URL (call that VIMEO_NUMBER), and splice it into an address as follows:
which sets it to autoplay and loop by default. (Note the "player" in that address.)

Both Shared and Parcel media also face a quirk of the Vimeo player: it displays the video in the center 56.25% of the vertical surface texture - a huge "letterbox" effect. To get around this, a script can scale the texture to stretch out that strip to span the whole height of the surface, or you can do this manually in the editor. (To get a black letterbox, include "&transparent=0" in the URL.)

When presented in Shared Media, the user can interact directly with the viewer by clicking on it (or using the keyboard with the surface selected), so you'll likely want to turn off the Shared Media control options that hover above the display. Unlike Shared Media, Parcel media has no means of interacting directly with the viewer, so using "&controls=0" will hide the Vimeo player scrollbars, etc. (Some Parcel media players have their own controls, *some* of which will operate the Vimeo player stream.)

Here's a little script that does what's described here for both Shared and Parcel media, using a couple different Designing Worlds episodes of personal interest.

Vimeo Media Script

string VIMEO_NUMBER = "427716338";
integer MEDIA_FACE = 1;
mediaError(integer num)
[ STATUS_MALFORMED_PARAMS, "Function was called with malformed parameters"
, STATUS_TYPE_MISMATCH, "Argument(s) passed to function had a type mismatch"
, STATUS_BOUNDS_ERROR, "Argument(s) passed to function had a bounds error"
, STATUS_NOT_FOUND, "Object or other item was not found"
, STATUS_NOT_SUPPORTED, "Feature not supported"
, STATUS_INTERNAL_ERROR, "An internal error occurred"
llWhisper(DEBUG_CHANNEL, "Shared media error encountered: "
+ llList2String(MEDIA_ERRORS, llListFindList(MEDIA_ERRORS, [num])+1));
integer errNum = llClearLinkMedia(LINK_THIS, MEDIA_FACE);
if (errNum)
string html = ""
+ "?autoplay=1&loop=1";?
llScaleTexture(1.0, 0.5625, MEDIA_FACE);
errNum = llSetLinkMedia(LINK_THIS, MEDIA_FACE,
if (errNum)
// parcel
// return; // to prevent setting PARCEL media
html = ""
+ "375405889"
+ "?autoplay=1&loop=1&controls=0&transparent=0";
llParcelMediaCommandList([ PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_STOP]);
llParcelMediaCommandList([ PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_UNLOAD]);
llParcelMediaCommandList([ PARCEL_MEDIA_COMMAND_PLAY]);


All the scripted operations can be done manually, too, and may work in existing in-world media players. Note that a parcel media script must be owned by the landowner, so on group owned land it must be deeded to the group. And remember that you'll need a viewer supporting the CEF updates to actually watch the videos.
Reporter Qie Niangao

SL17B Bay City

Vacationland: Bay City
Your destination for fun, community, exploration, shopping, role-play. Come see what the Best City by the Bay has to offer!
Dedicated to the memory of Uccello Poultry, forEver.

Created by Pygar Bu and Marianne McCann
with contributions by various residents of Bay City (see images).

Bay City is represented by a bus station, as the beginning of a journey towards Bay City. Residents describe the reasons why people must/ should visit Bay City.
You can read about the SL16B contribution here.
Reporter Vick Forcella

SL17B Virtual Escape

Virtual Escape
SL is a getaway to meet up with friends or make new friends from around the world. At times like this, we are bombarded daily with stress and bad news.
Choose positivity ~ choose SecondLife
Created by Aurie Elton

Aurie gives a personal description of what Second Life does to her.
Shown is a generic house, transparent, we can look inside.
There stands a TV showing pictures of the confused world of today. Dark thoughts hover, in a random way, around the TV in the form of spheres.
dark, stress, loneliness, despair, fear, anxiety, bullying, illness, poverty

Next is a computer running Second Life.
On an even pane coloured thoughts hover around it
colours, togetherness, diversity, creativity, humour, love, friendship, hope, respect of the earth

From the computer comes a strong beam ending in two arms and hands that hold the world that emits a rainbow.

Reporter Vick Forcella

SL17B Rocket City

Rocket City
Rocket City is a G-rated community that's safe and welcoming to everyone. It's run by a group of furries, but it's welcome to anyone and everyone.
Created by Bunny Mickley (Bunny Halberd) and Erika Fuzzbottom (Erika Wemyss)

We have seen Rocket City last year at SL16B.
This year the contribution of Rocket City is more laid back. A campfire and some logs around it. Oh, and a rocket.
Beware, there can be dragons! (friendly beasts)
Reporter Vick Forcella

Where Could Dakota Be?

The question is easy!
Where could Dakota be?
Send your answers and bribes to the usual addresses.
Last time we asked this question there was only one good answer and one that is also good...

Who: Ben Linden, Glamorous Mole, Michael Linden, Smokey Mole
What: Bay City Municipal Wading Pool
Where: Bay City - Morton

Where: Bay City - Maddequet

Two locations, the result of the 2011 merger of Bay City with the Teen Grid version of Bay City.

Courtesy of the Linden Department of Public Works. Ahoy there!
The slightly more correct answer, by a few inch, the placing of the tube, was Morton as identified by our sleuth Tish.

The tubes were placed on request by Uccie many moons ago.

Reporter Dakota Schwade


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