News Bits III 2018 w09

Skin Fair 2018

This is always an interesting fair. It runs from March 9 to 25. For a list of participants look here Website. The location of the fair is not yet accessible. Event organizer.

Skin Fair 2018

You can advertise there, on a billboard (PG only), by purchasing board space starting March 1 for L$3,000. Ad Office.

Blogger applications for early access are here.

Fashion Bloggers

I’m not that much into fashion review. My GA.EG Jennifer mesh head article provides the type of information that interests me. That article is like 1,500 words. I don’t see that in most fashion reviews. The amount of information normally provided by the hundreds of fashion sites popping up on iHeartSL is a picture and a list of stuff worn. It is sort of customary to include a link to where an item can be purchased, but not always. Continue reading

DDoS Attacks of February 2018

The previously reported (Second Life DDoS Attack) DDoS is mostly over… for now. Oddly, I am having to search for news of the attack(s). It is there, but the media does not seem interested. On the net, you can find information. Like:

I suspect the reason for the lack of coverage is this type of information is too techy for most newscasters and writers to handle… maybe even understand.

Warriors... come out to play

Warriors… come out to play

From Internet searches, we can see a lot of people knew this type of attack was coming way before it happened. But, those that failed to protect their servers from misuse apparently didn’t. This failure of people to prepare for a known possibility is rampant in society.

Those of us that want solid Internet connections can take some steps to mitigate the impact such attacks have. The attacks often target the DNS servers, the units that translate into something the computer can use, IPv6 = 2001:578:3f::30 or IPv4 = The bad actors get the most impact for their clicks by taking down DNS servers as without them your computer can’t find the machine addresses and cannot connect. Fail. Continue reading

Second Life News 2018 w09

The last few days we have had some people complaining about login issues. I’m one of them. But, the problem is so erratic and apparently random I can’t put any useful information in a JIRA.

This morning there was some issue with logins. Only 17,000+ were on when I logged in at 10:45 Am SLT. On my trackers next update, 19,000+ were on. That 17k is an extraordinarily small number. The low for the day is about 7,000… but it may have been zero. My tracker only grabs data every 10 minutes. A lot can happen in the computer world and RL in 10 minutes.

Lauressa - Close-up

Lauressa – Close-up

I currently show 3,000 to 2,000 people logging in every 10 minutes. This is indicative of some grid wide problem.

Status only says they are investigating intermittent login issues.

Update 11:00 AM SLT – Seems the problem is a DDOS attack. See Unscheduled DDoS. This is not a Linden Lab specific attack. Early indications, often wrong, suggest it is possibly an attack on America. I would not be surprised to trace it back to North Korea. They will likely react to the sanctions just placed on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. So, appease them now and face a nuclear attack later or deal with them now?

Did you know the average duration of a mass shooting is three minutes? What is the response time of the police in your neighborhood, to your sports arena, movie theater, or school? Continue reading

Second Life Bits 2018 w07

Dance – Crap Mariner has an article about dance in the One Billion Rising event. You’ll find it on Inara’s blog: Who Puts the Dance into One Billion Rising? Long, interesting.

Happy Valentine

Happy Valentine

Restarts – When the simulators are restarted it usually takes just a few hours. Some are experiencing way long times for restarts. Caleb Linden is looking into it. If you have specific information on a long restart, email it to Caleb or file a JIRA Bug Report and mention Caleb’s name.

Interesting – There is a huge 220 page, and growing, thread in the SL Forum, How does your avatar look today? A resident by the name of Nostoll started the thread in May 2017. With about 26 posts per page that is almost 6,000 posts residents have made.

A variety of avatars are portrayed with varying quality. I suppose we could consider the images a representation of a cross-section of SL users. If that were accurate then we could draw conclusions from what see, like hardware in use and graphics settings, whether or not ALM is in use… Continue reading

AvaStar – Infected Download

WARNING UPDATE:2/9 – OK The original post is not quite right. Original:

The AvaStar people (wrong – wasn’t reading closed enough) have posted a warning about recent downloads of AvaStar being infected with a Trojan or computer virus. They aren’t clear on what it was just that it was a bad thing. See: AvaStar – infected download.

If you downloaded their version 2.3-2 update in the last 2 or 3 weeks… you are at risk. Get a new copy and replace it. Scan your computer…  Type DEFENDER in the ‘Ask me anything‘ or Search Windows field and run Windows Defender. Click Virus & threat protection. In place of a Quick Scan choose Custom Scan and point Defender to the place you keep your downloads.

Gaia commented below. Also, the original warning came from Casper Tech, not Machinimatrix. Also, the Casper Tech post has changed since I first read it.

Gaia and the Machinimatrix people seriously doubt the AvaStar code or package was infected.

Thinking about it, the programming code for Blender is Python. Blender add-ons, at least all those I have, are delivered as text files written in the Python language. So, the malicious code would have to be written in Python making it a specialized case, which is outside the normal pattern of malicious code for a web hack. So, I suspect Gaia and crew are right, the AvaStar programs and package were NOT compromised.

Doing some research this morning, I find that it is possible to embed malicious software in Blender files (.blend) and place executable code (.exe) in Python programs, but the Python has to call them and Windows intercepts the call and asks if it is OK to run it. Neither case is conducive to hackers. So, possible but unlikely.

However, Casper Tech is pointing out that the website hacks were sending people to a third-party site. They were attempting to inject malicious software into computers arriving at the site. But, a manual virus-scan of your computer will reveal any problem.

Photoshop Version: 19.1.0 20180116.r.238 2018/01/16

This is the newest version of Photoshop as of today. A few days ago I pointed you to the video showing the new Select Subject feature. That makes selecting some things WAY easier. That is nice but the surprising part is the apparent improvement in Decontaminate Colors.

The Select Subject tool drops you into the Select and Mask… tool, where you find Decontaminate Colors. I use the feature often when clipping out part of an image. (example) I don’t know that it has changed, but it certainly seems to work better.

New Select Subject Tool January 2018

Clipping me out of the green screen in the above image was very quick and easy. May a couple of minutes.

Notice the hair along the left side and where it overlaps the right arm. I would usually have to spend some time working on those areas. Not this time.

If you have the new Photoshop, check it out.

January Windows Update

You may have noticed your Windows machine installing a large update. This update is MOSTLY said to be in prerelease. But, I’ve seen some machines update. Also, there is some confusion as what the actual release build is named, 17083 or …

Here are some of the changes.

My main machine has not updated yet. I’m still on something.

Nothing Earth shaking.

Internet Speed Tests

Answering a question in the SL Forum Answers, I found that I needed to update an article I wrote on testing your Internet connection to Second Life™. It is creatively titled: Troubleshoot Your #SL Connection. I posted it in October 2011.

At the time allowed one to test to a destination of their choice. has changed. Now one can only test to a nearby server from a list provided by I suppose the idea is one only need test from your computer to your ISP. I suppose that works for most people. For our testing purpose, it is now useless.

Speed Test – Image by Lunchbox Larry @ Flickr

The article is about specifically testing your connection to an SL server. So, I need a new speed test. I started looking for a good choice to add into the article. I came across LifeWire, which has a list of speed test sites. It shows as having updated 1m/2d/2018.

Those freaking out about being splashed with freedom from the repeal of Obama’s socialist pretend Net Neutrality, you’ll need these sites to see if your connection is being throttled.

From reading the page you’ll see the main interest is in testing the speed your ISP is providing. The question they are answering is, “Are you getting what you are paying for?” So, these sites do not really answer the question we are asking, “How good is my connection to an SL server?”

There is no way to actually get these tests to download a file from an SL region server. But, you can probably find a server in the city where the SL region servers live. Pulling the geolocation of a region server from the viewer’s HELP->ABOUT… ( I get San Jose, California.

A site named will let me select a server to test to. That is as good a bandwidth test to SL as we are going to get. You’ll have to check to see which servers your viewer is using, geolocate them, and then find a testing service with a server in that city.

You may have to work through the LifeWire list to find a service that will let you test to the city you want.