The Linden Lab logoFor a very long time now, Linden Lab’s corporate information only listed three people. Rod Humble, CEO; Jeff Petersen, VP of Engineering; and, Lisa Berry (General Counsel).

There’s been an update, and the management team’s line-up looks far more comprehensive now.

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A group of Second Life avatarsOkay, I’m a bit taken by surprise on this one, but let’s quickly take this from the top. Firstly, Linden Lab has added a simplified reporting form for Second Life JIRA issues. That part is pretty okay (and some might say that it is many years overdue) being that it is the sort of bug-reporting form that you might see for many major pieces of software, but that increases the triage-level workload on reports significantly. Now, that triage process has so far been split between the Second Life JIRA users and Linden Lab.

There’s a couple problems with bug triaging though. The first is that the Second Life JIRA users do it badly. The second is that Linden Lab do it badly. Okay, so issue triaging becomes more complicated now. So, ouch, right there.

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A group of Second Life avatarsBob Komin, Linden Lab’s CFO and COO has departed Linden Lab after a more than two-and-a-half year stint through some pretty tough times at the company.

Komin turned the company around from Q2 2010 to Q1 2011, reversing the company’s high cash burn-rate and guiding it to record profitability as the head of the Global Technical Operations, QA, Customer Support, IT, HR, Legal, Finance and Accounting teams.

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A LinkSys WRT54G wireless/wired routerYes, your home router could indeed be letting your Second Life experience down, and a couple quite common series of routers are among the most culpable.

I’ll start by pointing out that the IEEE 802.11 networking standards aren’t the easiest set of networking protocols to implement correctly in device firmware. It’s all too easy to get them almost right, resulting in wireless access points and routers that work just fine for some kinds of workloads and that fall down spectacularly for others. As a bonus, RFC-2663 IPv4 Network Address Translation is also a commonly poorly-implemented feature in many network devices.

In my experiences from 2000 to 2005, the vast majority of wireless access-points/routers of that period – while just fine for Aunt Tilley and her Facebook habit – turned out to be duds (ranging from extraordinary failure to far more subtle symptoms) once you hooked up a power-user or a small three or four person office. They might choke and die, they might toss stations off at random, they might just run some connections very slowly, or some might unpredictably stall, leaving you wondering.

Finding good hardware during that period was a chore, and it hasn’t gotten that much better since, in my opinion. Often the best you can hope for is “just good enough” (if you’re lucky) unless you use something like a dedicated Linux system as a firewall and router.

Even such networking giants as Cisco Systems has gotten them wrong on occasion. Few (if any) manufacturers seem to be entirely exempt from glitches in these particular standards implementations.

All that said, Linden Lab has recently been performing somewhat extensive testing of consumer routers as a part of Project Shining, and come up with two common series that are already problematic with Second Life.

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