Brad is still working on his paper for school, but in the meantime he's been working on some cool LJ features that I am pleased to announce:
The directory (search) is up and running for paid users! For everyone jumping at the chance to use the directory, please remember that it is only running on 1 (!!) server, so it is prone to crash due to the amount of traffic that we anticipate. Also remember that this is just the first phase of its return; Brad has only optimised about a 1/4 of the feature, and if it still isn't running as smoothly as planned, we can always dedicate more servers to it.
Permanent accounts are still on sale, but they've been selling a lot faster than anticipated. We originally planned to keep the sale open until the end of the month, but if the rate of sales continues like it has, then we might have to shut it down by Saturday. Don't worry -- any checks we receive in the mail after the cut-off will be accepted. We'll only be shutting off web sales on Saturday probably.
The username rename service is still in the works, as we're trying to determine the best course of action. You can read the technical details at this lj_dev post.
The 500,000th account was created on Monday, the same day as LiveJournal's 3rd birthday!
The rest of the UTF-8 changes have been submitted for review, so after it's taken care of, you can expect the focus to change to the new style system, S2.