Last weekend on May 12, two Relay For Life teams had a little problem, being the subject of being "skunked" by the Relay's "Stinky the Skunk" campaign. So what they do? After the success of the "Skunk Aid" fundraising party earlier in the season, they decided to hold a second one.
From Fox Oxbar, "Here is an updated tutorial video on how to be a pony in Second Life. I
start with the login screen, show what a new player would see after
they first log in, show how to get to the pony area, and then show how
to get the basics of a pony avatar set up. There's a short fly-though
of the Canterlot server at the end, too (smile)."
Now, to give users more options and make it easier to purchase L$, we’re launching a pilot program of Authorized Resellers of L$.
These sites are authorized by Linden Lab to purchase L$ on the LindeX
and then resell those L$ using a variety of international currencies and
payment methods. To be clear: per the Terms of Service, these resellers
will not be allowed to purchase L$ outside of the LindeX (i.e. they
will not be able to buy L$ back from users and cash people out). The
list of Authorized Resellers participating in the pilot program is
So far, only five exchange services, now officially called Linden Resellers, have been approved by Linden Lab. They are AnsheX, Buildo, vForEx, VirWoX, and ZoHaIslands. As of the writing of this article, only two had operational ATMs, Bulido and ZoHa. ZoHa announced the news on their blog, "We are proud to announce that ZoHa Islands became today an Authorized Reseller of Linden Dollars," followed by a short description of what this means and the conditions.
The Podex Exchange, which was shut down early Friday morning, was not among the approved exchange services. On the Podex site, Jacek announced they had applied to become an official reseller, but were still stopped from doing business. On "Hypergrid Business," he stated, "Undoubtfully, it is a great news for residents who are not able to use Linden Lab payment methods. ... It will lower the profits of independent exchanges but gives a sparkle of hope that we can continue our virtual existence."
The new terms and conditions are more limiting for the exchange services than before. From now on, they can only get their Linden Dollars from the official LindeX Exchange, and nowhere else. They can no longer buy back Lindens from residents for US dollars or any other currency.
These new terms mean Linden Lab now has a more tighter rein on where it's Linden dollars go. It's very likely they were made with the US Treasury Department's FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) new guidelines about virtual currency in mind. Other conditions include resellers taking steps to "take commercially reasonable steps to prevent and deter credit card and similar types of fraud." They're also required to make sure no business is done with or anyone from any country with which the United States has an embargo with, such as Cuba or Iran.
The new terms have one serious weakness. With residents unable to sell Lindens to anyone but the Lab, Second Life business owners dependent on Third-Party exchangers to convert Lindens to real currency are still out of luck. It's possible that there may be changes in the terms and conditions in the near future to allow this.
So why didn't Linden Lab offer something like this earlier? A few residents in forum threads and article comments thought the Lab was genuinely surprised by how many expressed anger at the move and how many were dependent on the Third Party Exchanges. Other posters expressed suspicion that all this was really about FinCEN, feeling profit was their main motive, noting everyone would have to use LindeX, including the resellers, one poster on SL Universe commenting, "This is a brilliant plan to let Anshe stay in business … ACS and the other land barons have all this L$ they get directly they can sell. Everyone else has to buy it on the Lindex, mark it up, and resell it."
Residents are breathing a sigh of relief, but Linden Lab has once again shaken the confidence of Second Life's users.
In a stunning development to the Third-Party Exchange crisis, Linden Lab has apparently suspended the account of Podex Exchange owner Jacek Shuftan, in effect shutting down the business.
Tonight at 2.00 o’clock all my accounts related to Podex Exchange were put on hold by Linden Lab. I
really believed that the new ToS is meant to protect avatars from the
risk of fraud. That was my goal as well so I was looking forward to
cooperate with Linden Lab. I could not imagine that over one night they
would want to destroy our cooperation and everything what I built for 6
years of my virtual life. They did. I believed that they would answer my requests to start discussion. They did not. All customers whose transactions have not been completed are asked to contact our support. I personally promise that they will not lose their money. Podex is still working but its Second Life activity is now stopped.
DrFran Babcock continues her explorations of the Grid's first sims. Her latest article deals with Freelon, which in earlier days hosted a copy of the club from the novel believed to be a partial inspiration to Second Life. So what's there now and what remains from before?
In Steelhead, there have been rumors of mad scientist activity at Mt St. Helens. Rumor has it one of the local madboys plans to crash the birthday party of Tensai Hilra with a volcanic eruption. Sheriff "Fuzzball" Ortega assures nothing will go wrong, and even if it does Tensai's birthday party tonight at 7PM SL time will go on as planned.
The mountain is at the Steelhead St Helens sim (128, 131, 38)
Are you ready to celebrate the fantastic first half of the Relay For Life of Second Life 2013 season?!? This weekend, May 18-19,
we will be doing just that! The sim is being created as an “Alice in
Wonderland Mad Hatter Tea Party” celebration. The Halfway There Awards
Ceremony is planned for 4pm SLT on Saturday, May 18th.
will be two stage areas and the Events Area has offered the stage space
to the teams for fund raising in a unique setting and several have
the weekend, we hope you will drop by and enjoy walking through the
sim. Stopping to listen to the music, or just enjoying the build.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!!
Check the schedule at the Relay For Life blog Here.
Nydia Tungsten's a longtime friend and reader of the Newser. With all the article's she's read, she recently sent us a reader submission of her own. A lover of games, she sent us a game review: World of Tanks. This unique MMO stands out in a collection of "World of Warcraft" clones as they player controlling not a man, but a tank. So what is there to the game and what is there to expect?
This June, Second Life will celebrate its 10th birthday, thanks to users like you!
We have some fun things planned to celebrate the occasion
(keep an eye on this blog for more on that soon!), but we'd also like to
highlight your events. Like last year, we'll have a special category in
the Destination Guide
for Second Life birthday-related events. No one throws a better party
than the Second Life community, and if you're planning an event to
celebrate Second Life's 10th birthday, we want to know about it!
So far, there's been less discussion over the tenth anniversary than the ninth received last year. This seems a little odd as ninth anniversaries are usually more low key as people usually feel stronger about celebrating a decade. Then again, last year people were more concerned about the Lab having abdicated it's role. This time residents were ready and able to start organizing one a little earlier this year.
BAY CITY, SL (6nd May, 2013) – In May of 2008 the Linden
Department of Public Works unveiled its first project, the themed city
area on the Second Life™ Mainland known as Bay City. Now, as Bay City
turns five, its community invites everyone to join us in celebrating
Anniversary celebrations will kick off around noon SLT/PDT on
Sunday, the 19th of May, with a parade lineup at the bandshell in Bay
City – Harwich. The parade will make its way down Route 66 beginning at
12:30 p.m. SLT/PDT, concluding at the Bay City Fairgrounds in the North
A live concert will kick off at 1:30 p.m. SLT/PDT at the
Fairgrounds, featuring Christov Kohnke, CelticMaidenWarrior Lancaster,
and RoseDrop Rust, and including GoSpeed Racer of KONA Stream providing
music leading into the event.
All Residents of the Second Life grid are encouraged to
participate. Celebration goods are available at the Bay City Community
Center, in the Daley Bay region, for those who wish to be a part of the
parade, and able viewing area is provided. The music event is also open
to all who desire to attend.
Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab™
and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in
2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life™ and provide a venue
for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and
network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most
Residents of Bay City.
I finally made it over to the Mexico Gallery where I heard that there
is a wonderful exhibit of real life art brought into SL. The artist is AmandaT
Tamatzui, a professional artist in both real-life and SL.
There is such a mixture of
styles on the first and second floors of the museum. I was amazed at the
variety: Portraits, vivid Abstracts and so much more. One painting asked
“Art...what do you really see?” Think of that as you go from painting to
painting. One of my favorites I found tucked away on the back of post, a simple
white and brown sea shell.
On the second floor you will find more amazing pieces
and be sure to look for some gift pillows adorned with her art and inside one is
a most interesting biography of Amanda! It tells her story from her beginnings
in Indonesia to her present home in the United Kingdom. Be sure to
grab it. This gallery looks so interesting. I will look for more exhibits there.
Castle Dark Haven is a club that's been around for several years in Second Life. Taking place in a gothic-looking building, it's an adult-themed club with a mainly furry audience. A review of the place was recently written and submitted by reader Theonlyjohnny Resident.
Each sim has a different theme. Please take note of the theme of the sim you wish to rent from. RP and period clothing is not enforced but building code is. No modern buildings or gothic spire of doom. Read the covenant agreement for more details.
Land is parcelled as either residential/commercial/or mixed use. Parcels beside each other can be grouped together to create a larger parcel. If you have questions regarding zoning in Steelhead please feel free to IM TotalLunar Eclipse or Tensai Hilra.
Found the location you like? The rental boxes are locked. All land is in Steelhead group and you need to be in the Steelhead group to rezz objects and begin rent. IM either TotalLunar Eclipse or Tensai Hilra to unlock the rental pole and begin rent. Drop them a notecard if they are not online.
512 sq m 234 prims L$450 per week 1024 sq m 468 prims L$900 per week
From all of us in Steelhead city Welcome home, - TotalLunar Eclipse.
It's a week full of events in Second Life. In Madpea, go on an Indiana Jones style adventure and search for the Lost Treasure of the Inca Warrior. Trek through the an immersive story through the Ghost Forest. Attend a lecture on how social media can help everyone during disasters such as hurricanes. Check out the latest Relay For Life happenings. And many other special events await. And there's the regularly scheduled DJ and live music parties, book and poetry readings, talk shows and discussions, races, and church services.
Club Little Dove is back. After months in storage following it's departure from it's old location, Nydia Tungsten's airship club is up and flying again in Sunweaver Bay, southwest of HV Community where the SL Newser office is. Regular events are expected to be scheduled soon, with Kitacelia as one of the managers.
Often times, our busy real lives keep us from
our second lives. But what if you could take Second Life anywhere?
As we all know, mobile technology has really
taken off in the last few years. We can do virtually anything from ordering a
pizza, to making a bill payment online. Now that the tech world has advanced
even further, gaming apps are also readily available. As an avid Second Life
user with a busy real life, I needed a way to keep up with business clients,
friends and other activities in Second Life. As I recently switched from
android to Iphone, I was unsure of what I would find. I was thrilled to stumble
upon an app called Pocket Metaverse.
On Saturday, DrFran Babcock attended a Relay For Life event with a twist. Ultralite Soliel, the creator and 'Emperor' of the Tiny Empires game, volunteered to be among those in the dunk tank. And so, people took turns tossing balls to hit the target and send the imperial figure into the drink, eventually getting him to change his clothes into something else.
In the aftermath of Linden Labs changing it's Terms of Service concerning Third Party exchangers of Linden dollars, just about all have closed their doors. A number gave statements saying they were wary of the Lab's wrath, such as the DX Exchange, "the TOS gives us a 30 day period … However, we so realize that with blocking our avatars Linden Lab can disable our business within seconds. We also realize that we put our clients at risk to lose their Lindens in case we annoy Linden Lab." CrossWorlds stated that they would complete orders that had already been placed. But most were no longer making new transactions.
Two Third-Party exchange services remain. One is AnsheX, owned by noted Second Life baron Anshe Chung. Their only response from them on the matter was reportedly their support staff saying "nothing has changed" and they were buying and selling Lindens as before. The other is the Podex Exchange, owned and run by Jacek Shuftan. Jacek lives in Poland in real life, but has registered Podex as a business in Delaware USA. In a press statement over the weekend, Podex stated the following:
Despite the dark clouds over independent third party exchanges, Podex Exchange continues its normal work selling and buying L$. The only change is stricter security policy which can cause delays with some transactions. We are sorry for it. We also want to assure our clients that not only their real money and linden dollars are save with us but also their personal data. Our policy of not requiring any registration to use Podex services have always guaranteed maximum security. We just have nothing to be stolen. To remain in total compliance with Linden Lab regulations and The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) guidance our legal office started preparing application process to become officially registered money services business (MSB).
(a) Whoever knowingly conducts, controls, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of an unlicensed money transmitting business, shall be fined in accordance with this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
But would Linden Lab really have gotten in trouble because of unregistered Third-Party exchangers? It seems they're not taking chances. In the comments following his article, Kadochinikov didn't feel all the panic was necessary, "I really do not know why they (won't) just register and spend a few dollars in compliance with regulations." Hamlet Au expressed puzzlement as to why "the company hasn't specified this is the reason for it's policy change." A reader commented that the Lab doesn't normally explain things to the residents these days, "the company has abandoned any pretense at communicating with actual customers, so it may just be their usual stony silence."
Perhaps as time goes on, more Third-Party exchangers will register in compliance with FinCEN. But for now, two exchangers independent of Linden Lab remain open for business as an alternative to LindeX. So residents unable to get Lindens from the Lab still have two alternatives. And those reluctant to deal with Anshe Chung still have Podex.