A group of Second Life avatars in a variety of outfitsOne year and one week ago, Second Life’s age-verification was changed to asking you your date-of-birth. This week, there’s been a tiny tweak. It only asks you once, instead of twice.

Technically, it isn’t “age-verification” anymore, either, and that terminology seems to be on the way out.

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Today, Second Life went through … well, a bad patch. Logins stopped working for many. Then they were shut off “until further notice.” The Web-site stopped working for a while, and for twelve whole hours, the system was either inaccessible, partially online or just plain unreliable.

Users were frustrated and demoralised. Scheduled events, meetings and presentations were mooted. A number of us lost expensive or difficult-to-replace content.

And that’s not actually the bad news.

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Direct Delivery for the Second Life Marketplace clearly isn’t going so well. After a unicode bungle (why does almost every major feature include a unicode bungle?) that prevented merchants being paid for their sales and problems with viewer support (eg: The official Linux viewer’s Received Items folder simply not functional at launch), there’s another wrinkle.

That wrinkle is currently called WEB-4587.

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At present there seems to be a moderately serious problem with the central “presence” service in Second Life. Either some user logouts are not being properly recorded, or the serialising and storing of their attached assets or scripts is not working as it is supposed to.

This is leaving quite a few Second Life user accounts in a Limbo state, where the system “cannot log you in” until some future date, that never actually arrives.

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