December 20, 2013
The new Linden Lab Bot Policy has been published on Dec 11th. If you did not see the new policy yet, you can view it here (or view the changes by comparing policy revisions).
Free-to-spam group IMs and notices
The changes make bots which use free-to-spam groups prohibited. Although they are able to send messages to smaller groups, bots will only be able to send a few messages to groups with a few thousand members and completely unable to message groups with 5,000+ members.
Please note that it is not allowed to own multiple bots to bypass this limit. Even if your bots are operating under SmartBots control, this restriction remains in effect, even if you try creating multiple SmartBots accounts. Linden Lab takes this very seriously, and so do we.
Group inviters, greeters and support bots are not affected (unless they send more than 5,000 invitations per day). We will continue developing SmartBots Support Bot and alive bots to enhance your environment. SmartBots group chat monitoring and group moderators are also not affected.
As you may see the new policy mostly restricts the functionality of spam bots. Bots which enhances the Second Life experience, NPCs, support bots and other helpful tools are not affected. We will try to get permission from Linden Lab to allow sending individual messages even to large groups (for example, moderator warnings to group chat, automatic chat translator messages etc).
December 13, 2013
The maintenance issue that happened a few days ago has been successfully resolved yesterday. We were monitoring all systems during the last 12 hours and consider the problem fixed.
What happened? There was an overlap of several factors, both technical and managerial:
10th: We started adding a new server and began migrating some bots from one of our existing ones which was 100% full. The transfer had been completed but the old server did not receive the shutdown command so both servers launched at the same time, logging in bots simultaneously.
This attracted the attention of Linden Lab who quickly blocked the affected servers from accessing Second Life. The bots accounts were not affected, only the servers’ addresses were blocked. We immediately contacted LL and received a list of questions to justify the situation. A reply has been sent to LL.
11th: We got a reply from LL requesting us to implement several adjustments to our system. LL has been immediately notified that we’ve started adjusting our system. These adjustments were done within a few hours.
Since the server block was not lifted yet, we distributed as much bots as possible to our other servers. Unfortunately we were going to install a new server, so there were very few empty bot slots on the other machines.
12th: LL replied and lifted the existing blocks. All servers are up and running now. There are still several adjustments required by LL for a better customer experience, we are working to implement them.
13th: We added a compensation subscription week to all bots that were offline during the outage. Thank you for understanding, we really appreciate your business!
December 10, 2013
One of our servers experienced issues a few hours ago and some affected bots went offline. All information and settings are backed up, but launching a new replacement server is taking more time than expected.
Our technical crew is online and trying to fix the issue as soon as possible.
The outage period will be compensated by adding a complete week to your bot’s subscription. The problem caught us in the middle of setting up a new server, so we’ll also present you with a special Christmas offer as soon as we solve the issue.
The complete report will be posted in the blog as well. We appreciate your understanding, thank you for staying with SmartBots!