Linden Lab has just added a new flock of non-human avatars to SL. See: July Update
These avatars and vehicles are in your Library folder in your inventory, now. They will soon appear in the Basic Mode viewer.
They Lindens are saying chat lag has been greatly reduced. I haven’t heard of any new technical details since my last update on the subject. So, I’m assuming it is just old news making it to the forum.
I think we are going toward some larger social network system. Whether this sill be a Facebook connection I don’t know. I hope not. It might be aorking its way toward Google+. But, that is probably a si, possibility. The big NEW THING may be that SL is going to do its own social network. Now wouldn’t that be a big SLCC announcement?
The Viewer 2 Beta Search is going gold soon. I suppose it is better to have a partially working search over a totally borked search.