Wednesday, May 4, 2016

News and Commentary: Political Opposition Against Trump HQ Continues

Last week, the Newser wrote about the problems a group of supporters of the US Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was having with another group supporting the candidate Donald Trump, the latter admitting they were having a little fun at the other's expense, and some outright trolls griefing in the brash candidate's name, at times wondering if the two were one and the same. Since then, the incidents of griefing have continued, and are drawing attention from both Second Life media, and media from outside which has taken a renewed interest in the virtual world because of the political drama. One noted figure in Second Life media has stated things have gone far enough and it's time for Linden Lab to swing the ban hammer on the Trump HQ. But if they wanted to, could the Lab do so without alienating much of it's user base.

Read more in Extra.

Cartoon of the Day: Silent Typer

Taken at the Happy Vixen. One of the people dropping by sported an "Undertale" avatar. But what really made him stand out was a "typer" that resembled the chat dialogue boxes in the game. However, what was being typed in the typer couldn't be "heard," or rather seen, outside it. So anyone not looking at him wouldn't be able to "hear" him.

Of course one can't truly "hear" text (at least not without a special program), though to simplify explaining things about virtual reality, one adopts certain terms.

Bixyl Shuftan

Madpea's "Unia" Game To End on July 31

It was about a year ago in which the Madpea gaming team and location released "Unia," an inworld horror game. The product of more than two years of development, Madpea was very proud of the game, and the public group chatter has been full of people playing and asking for hints for many months. But all good things, and scary things, come to an end, and earlier this week Madpea announced the game would be closing on July 31.

UNIA was a dream come true for us at MadPea but every dream has an ending and UNIA’s end is nigh! July 31st UNIA will close and the zombie chickens will be returned to their pens, the sandworms will bury themselves forever and the Dreamers will drift off to restful sleep forever more. UNIA was the biggest game to hit Second Life and has been keeping players captivated for over a year. Until the closure in July we have slashed the price of the gold hud to 500L$ and removed the Silver and Bronze options. Play UNIA from now until then with your friends before this piece of Second Life history is no more.

Those interested in playing, it's not for free but the full package is now cheaper. The Bronze and Silver HUDs, which were 400 and 750 Lindens respectively, have been discontinued while the Gold HUD, which has three colors of uniform, a "triple shield," and a lockpick for an axe and gun, is now 500L.

Madpea has a long history of making games within Second Life, going back several years, some of which the Newser has reported on. Their most recent game is "The Interview."

Instructions on how to play Unia

Madpea blog

Madpea website

Hat Tip: Inara Pey

Bixyl Shuftan

Sansar Open to Applications For Content Builders

In a recent Press Release, Linden Lab announced that it was now accepting applications from content creators to test out their next-generation virtual world under development, Project Sansar. Called a "Creator Preview," the Lab states they will began inviting over "later this summer" the first of those applying.

“Creating social VR experiences is too hard and expensive today, and that limits the value and growth of this incredible new medium,” said Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab CEO. “Creating your own VR experience shouldn’t require an engineering team, and Project Sansar will make that possible. Over the past few months, a small number of creators have already made an impressive variety of awesome social VR experiences with Project Sansar, from virtual versions of real-world locations to fantasy worlds and stylized game-like environments, and more. We’ll soon be ready for many more creators to join Project Sansar, and we can’t wait to see what people will create.”

The application itself is a short one, asking for name, email, any website, what type of content the person intends to create, what tools they use to make it, what computer operating system they use, what type of headset they use, if any, and if they use Second Life.

There have been only occasional  peeks into Sansar so far. On the Project Sansar News Facebook Page , one Israeli user posted two screenshots following a post by Daniel Voyager, which were later reposted on his blog,"On the right hand side there appears to be Sansar user interface buttons seen for the first time."

As of now, Linden Lab states Sansar will not be available for the general public until "at the end of 2016."

For the Linden Lab press release, Click Here.

For the Sansar application, Click Here.

Bixyl Shuftan

Computer Update

Some good news concerning my computer. The folder of many months of screenshots which was seemingly lost in March is now opening again. Exactly why it opened just now is as unclear as to why it closed to begin with. But in any event, thousands of screenshots (yours truly can take over a hundred in events like the Relay Weekend) and notes, a fraction of which have ended up in the newsletter, are now back, and this time backed up in a working external drive.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Events This Week at the Sunweaver Clubs

It's the first week of the month of May, and another exciting week of events at the Sunweaver Clubs. At the Happy Vixen, It's "hats off" to the crowd as they have their "Silly Hats" night, followed by the funny side of medicine with "Hospital Hilarity, and ending the week with going to the dogs with "Canines and Canids." At Club Cutlass, it's a "Great" and "Grand" time as they hold their "Best in G," followed by having a ball with "Sports Night," and they end the week with a look back at the era of Reagan and Rubiks' cubes with "The 80s."

See the schedule in SL Clubbin'.

Team Sunbeamers hits 50,000 Lindens Raised

It's been a bumpy season for Team Sunbeamers. The successor team to the top-ranking Passionate Redheads, the team has never enjoyed the numbers of it's predecessor. And this season, a number of it's more active participants have had to deal with problems of one kind or another. Rita Mariner finally addressed this matter in an announcement in the Relay group the other night.

Hi All:  You may have wondered why the Sunbeamers have been quiet regarding the RFL this year, so far.  Well, we are a small team and three of our core members have suffered tragedy this spring.  Nydia Tungsten lost both her mother and her computer, Cynthia Farshore lost her dad and Becky Shamen lost her mother.  Along with several members being sick, it has been a rough spring for us.  but we are still here and still relaying!

Rita herself didn't mention her recent car repairs, which run into the thousands.

Despite these problems, Team Sunbeamers have made slow, steady progress, in part due to some money donated from members of other teams. Last night, the team finally hit the 50,000 Linden mark. In the past, this would have been enough to reach Silver rank. But this year, it takes 75,000 just to reach Bronze. For now, the Sunbeamers are in the newly created "Rising Star" rank, along side the noted teams "Giant Snail Races" and "Relay Wizards for Spunky."

To view the totals of all the teams: Click here.

Announcement: Furry Fashion Birthday Hunt 2016 Has begun

Furry Fashion Turns 9 years old, which means a FF birthday hunt!

30th April - 7th May

30 cakes to find.

You will find them on ALL the FF parcels on sim (Main store, mall, lounge, sandbox, artist's alley,

avatar den and gacha store)

There are NONE in the air or in anyone else's parcels.

All cakes are set to 0L and will give contents in a folder.

FF Staff do NOT know where they are.

As usual no cheating, landmarking, using huds or giving away locations is allowed. Security will ban

people who take advantage of the hunt and spoil it for the rest of the hunters for the duration of the

hunt (which means you'll miss out on the FF birthday parties too!)

Have fun and good luck!

=^.^= Furry Fashion =^.^= Main Store, Lounge, Avatar Den and Mall, Furry (167, 190, 59)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Final Trip to the 2016 Fantasy Faire

Last week, Grey Lupindo wrote about the Relay for Life's Fantasy Faire, of which the final official events were yesterday. She continued to check out the sims and their events. Among them was a merfolk spot, connected to the Safe Waters Foundation. Other locations were truly reflections of places in tales of Fantasy, buildings seemingly made out of clouds and mists. And there were the art and statues up on display, and the castles up for sale, allowing one to take a little bit of Fantasy to their own place in Second Life.

Read Grey's story in Events.

Some Events This Weekend

The weekend saw a number of events across Second Life. The biggest one was the Fantasy Faire, of which the last official events were Sunday, including a "Jail and Bail" that attracted a crowd (pictured above). Also talking place were various other Relay events, the monthly festival in the Roman community, the Walpurgisnacht party in the Steamlands, and more.

More details to follow when we have the time.

The Death of Bin Laden, Five Years Later

It was five years ago yesterday in which the infamous terrorist Osamo Bin-Laden finally met his end. A team of US Navy SEALs stormed the three story compound in Abbottabad Pakistan at night, killing him and three other men, and one wife of one of the terrorists. Taking place almost a decade after the massive terrorist attack that murdered almost 3,000 people in New York City, Arlington Virginia, and Shanksville Pennsylvania, Bin Laden is believed to have slipped out of his hideout in Tora-Bora during a casefire when US and allied forces attacked. Bin-Laden's body was disposed of at sea, a controversial move some saw as proof of a cover-up. But Islamofacist broadcasts about his death and threats to avenge him helped quell conspiracy theories.

Shortly afterwards, a group of builders, the Avatrian Development Team, constructed a replica of the compound, which the Newser reported on, and was the scene of some reenactments. It is unclear how long the build remained, but in late February 2012, the Avatrian Central sim where it was located vanished, taking away whatever remained. The group is believed to have ceased all activity in Second Life, it's final act to recreate the final launch of the Space Shuttle later that year in July 2011.

Ironically, the Pakistani government had began demolishing the compound. Officially, the action was to prevent the location from being a shrine for radicals. But Bin-Laden having been found in a place less than a mile away from a military academy was an embarrassment to the US ally, which has been accused of double-dealing and deception.

With the rise of ISIS, Bin-Laden's organization has been eclipsed as the main target of US anti-terrorism efforts. But with questions about possible Saudi involvement of Bin-Laden's 9/11 attacks, of which most of the hijackers were from the country, it's shadow continues to haunt America and the Middle East. While over time some locations in Second Life which had been doing 9/11 memorials every year have either scaled back or halted their observances, other places in the virtual world continue them.

Bixyl Shuftan

Responding to Readers: There's No Terrorism Here

By Bixyl Shuftan

I get a few messages in my email and Facebook about places that deserve a look, or concerns that the reader feels they need attention. With the five year anniversary of the death of Bin-Laden about this time, one certain email got my attention. The writer claimed there were Islamic extremists causing trouble in Second Life, his message containing part of a chatlog dated from mid-November.

Secondlife gamings sites are were the terrorist find kids and are recruiting; there is a need for actions.

[2015/11/15 09:03]  *****: Haha

[2015/11/15 09:03]  *****: Stupid Kahfir

[2015/11/15 09:03]  *****: Allah Ackbar!

[2015/11/15 09:07]  *****: Haha, continue playing your game little boy

[2015/11/15 09:07]  *****: Soon, your country will spills with blood

We need to close down Linden Lab, Head Quarters, 945 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA94111, as they are supporting terrorist by coving up that they do use the sites. and the terrorist attacks in the EU countrys could have been stop if they had took action.

As it turns out, there's no record of the name the reader gave in the Second Life database. But to me, this looks less like a terrorist, and more like a troll trying to stir people up. There wasn't a record of the person who mailed me earlier; when I asked him about it, he told me the Lab wouldn't listen and banned him.

As it turns out, Federal agents have investigated Second Life. as well as World of Warcraft and other MMOs, after concluding they were "potentially 'target-rich environments' in which suspected terrorists 'hide in plain sight.'" (Techdirt article) But "experts and developers of games like these have found no evidence that terrorists are using their services to communicate or recruit new members." “For terror groups looking to keep their communications secret, there are far more effective and easier ways to do so than putting on a troll avatar.”

It is true that supporters of Islamic Extremism have been on Second Life before. A few years ago, there was a place in the Jordan River sim supporting Hamas with many displays of pro-Hamas propaganda against "the Zionists." But eventually the sim vanished. While there are are places in Second Life built to attract Arab users, such locations are the scene of people engaging in idle chatter and games and not terrorism.

So no, there is no ISIS in Second Life, unless you mean builds of the Ancient Egyptian goddess of life, or perhaps an "Opposing Force" group for a combat sim (somebody has to be the bad guy in one).

Sources: Techdirt

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at Nevar Lobo's birthday party, Babypea sports a Twi'lek avatar, one of the near-human alien racers from "Star Wars." Actually called "headtails," some people just can't get past the tentacle jokes.

By Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Dinkies Fantasy Faire Dance "

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Lorin Tone, April 28, in the middle of the 2016 Fantasy Faire

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Scenes From The Relay

The past week has been the scene of many Relay events. Not all of which yours truly could be at, but there were some, such as last Saturday's "Nevar Lobo's Birthday" party.

It is that time of year that we come together to celebrate my birthday by having a huge Relay For Life Party!  Each year, I use this time to dedicate my year and passion for celebrating more birthdays without cancer.  So This year ... A Team Strange Journey Event is starting at 2pm !!!! 2 PM - Lark Bowen will be taking the stage Live! 3pm - DJ Amethyst will take over and spin some of  my favorite tunes and yours!!!! Come join us !!!

Among those there was a girl in a Twi'lek avatar. But instead of "Star Wars" jokes were jokes about his age, "I need to dust off the walker!" "Don't forget the adult diapers" "You will be seated in the geriatric strap in chair and fed puree'd food and prune juice." "... not sure on the expiry date on the bengay" Nevar looked over to me, "SEE what I have to put up with Bixyl?"

One event that got some talk for some days before it happened was PrettyKitty Gumbo's "Bid Me Bald" event.

Oh the travesty of it!! Oh no... Relay Rockers want me to go bald!!  They are putting the kiosk out tomorrow.. I beg of you do NOT bid me bald. I like my hair!!   Oh why did I agree to do it.. I like my hair.  I repeat do NOT big me bald..  more on this tomorrow. ..sniff sniff. Please I beg of you do not bid me bald. Those Rockers have a kiosk up and they will cut my hair next week.. Oh I love my pretty hair... So please do not bid me bald!

And at 4PM on Wednesday April 27, PrettyKitty Gumbo was with Trader Whiplash and others at the beach on the Arinultra Cay sim. Trader was playing the "Hair" song, which is associated with "Fuzzball" Ortega. Someone thought "When You Get a Haircut" by Ray Stevens would be better.

Ertina Loopen, whom was bald herself, handled the scissors for the event, "... mmmmm maybe a little off the top, then the side? ... Trader said I have to start at the bottom. ... snip snip - Ooops that was close to the ear, but I missed. ... here's a towel to catch the bl... hair."

And eventually the deed was done, Ertina saying she needed to apply a little "Turtle Wax" at the end, "Man that sun does reflect off your head so nice." People were complementing her, "You look beautiful, Kitty!" "Thank you Kitty! Looking good." "Woot way to go Kitty!" PrettyKitty was saying it wasn't so bad in the end, "Thank you everyone! I think." She would later say, "I had people think I was really dreading it. ... They were sweet."

Keep on the lookout for more events by the teams of the Relay for Life in Second Life

Bixyl Shuftan

Minecraft Video: "Val-Halla 2 by Valkyrie"

(Click here if the video fails to load)

By Valkyrie McGill on April 28, Normally the Newser doesn't post videos from outside Second Life, but this was from Sunweavers' Valkyrie Ice/ Valkyrie McGill, whom has been building in Skylark Lefavre's "Feed the Beast: Infinity" mod of Minecraft. Here, she shows off "A hi-def walkthrough of Val-Halla 2 ... my underground city complex. Not quite finished."

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sunnny Awards Night at Cutlass

Last Friday, it was a night for the Sunweavers to honor five individuals whom had helped out the community. The reason for the event was one individual whom had recently stepped up several times to help out certain individuals, in addition to helping Rita Mariner and Nydia Tungsten with paying the fees to Linden Lab to get tier reduced, and therefore lowering the rent for everyone. But as the person was starting to feel a little embarrassed for feeling singled out, instead of just honoring him only, four others were also named to share the stage with him in an award ceremony.

Read more in People.

Facebook "Bitstrips" No More

Users of Facebook may be familiar with "Bitstrips," cartoons that some used posted on their pages, and would appear on their friends' public feed like other posts. Unfortunately, it seems the Bitsrip fun is over. Someone who was a regular user posted this on her page on April 25.

Yesterday, there were questions out of surprised confusion about the BitStrips situation.. the BitStrips app on Facebook has been stopped and it's over.. to dispel any doubt, and to provide a promised update, here is the picture that greeted me when i tried to access new BitStrips yesterday. sorry, folks.. and thanks for following with me. I hope you got as much enjoyment out of seeing them as i had making them.

But the bitstrip pictures she had already done and saved as pictures were still in her pictures section, as were those done by SL Enquirer editor Lanai Jarrico. The one she did of me as a joke was still on my page.

Bitstrips were created by Jacob Blackstock, whom described himself as having a "lifelong passion" for comics. He came up with the idea for Bitstrips in 2007, and launched it as a mobile app in 2008. With it, people can create "avatars" of themselves, then put them in customized comic-strip scenes on the Bitstrip site to create their own cartoons, with no drawing skill needed, "We kind of saw it as a Youtube for comics." Originally for mobile devices, when the Facebook application was made available in October 2013, the number of users jumped from 2 million to 30 million in a month. Bitsrtips user were at first able to create avatars of their friends, but after Facebook changed it's Terms of Service in regards to privacy, after April 2015 they were no longer able to do so.

Last month, Snapchat bought up Bitmoji, the company that owns Bitstrips, for $100,000. It's possible that the company is integrating the technology in it's own products rather than let it continue as a separate app on Facebook.

No doubt Facebook's bitstrip fans will miss doing the comics. Perhaps They could continue to do so using Second Life and MORPG screenshots using graphics programs.

Sources: Facebook, The Guardian, Techcrunch

Bixyl Shuftan

Dusk Griswold's "Bid Me" 2016

With yours truly's "Fox Avatar Challenge" up in a few days, another of the Sunweavers has stepped up for another "Bid Me" style event: Dusk Griswold. Once again, a number of kiosks have been placed in the Club Cutlass lounge, a total of five, one for each of the five avatars in which the highest one determines what look she'll have on for at least a week, depending on how much is raised.

DUSK GRISWOLD has put herself for a BID ME!  She will transform for a minimum of 1 WEEK, into a RED FOX, GAZELLE, BUNNY, FENNEC, SQUIRREL!  Any bids that go over 5K get another week and for 20K, she stays stuck that avatar until RFL weekend.  So if you want to pick DUSKs' PLUMP avatar, get bidding!  Kiosks located in CUTLASS lounge area. 

Dusk on occasion wears each of these avies, though the gazelle is the most recent one, popular among the Sunweavers due to the singing character of the same name in the movie "Zootopia."

The kiosks are in the lobby of Club Cutlass, at Sunweaver Bay (114/122/157).

SL Video: "Giant Snail Race #419 16 April 23 Star Wars Tribute"

(Click here if the video fails to load)

By RacerX Gullwing, The Farce was with him and his Giant Snail Racers as they had their Star Wars (and Spaceballs) Tribute on Saturdya April 23, "Star Wars tribute and Space Balls a little bit too. Some wonderful creations out on the track today.

"Announcers RacerX Gullwing, Mae Best, Oodlemi Noodle, Shayna Paine, Tindallia Soothsayer, Shayna Paine

"Giant Racing Snail Pros, Tindallia Soothsayer, Oodlemi Noodle, Alden Cortes

"Giant Racing Snails, Queeniepromise, LittleAbs (Abby Black), Lobbie riggles, Babypea, Lulee Babenco, Caleb Kit

"Some of our music we use during the race is by my good friend ,Alazarin Mobius, Credits music by Alazarin "

Announcements: The Science Circle

TODAY Friday 29th April
Title: Natmoud Island
Presenter: Benny Rigaux-Bricmont – Twilight Rhode
Time: 9 AM PDT
NOTE: Advance registration via IM to Jes or Nymf

Saturday 7th May
Title: The Role of The Elders in the Climate Change Dialogue
Presenter: Lynne Berrett – Lissena (Wisdomseeker)
Time: 10 AM PDT
Abstract & Location

More information Jes Cobalt & Nymf Hathaway              

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Misty Acres Amusement Park to Close, Sim to Be Sold

RacerX Gullwing yesterday contacted the Newser with some sad news. Tindallia Soothsayer, a valued member of his Giant Snails Racing team, would be losing her sim. And what a sim it was, having been in her hands for a decade, "Another long time sim is about to be gone. Misty Acres by Tindallia Soothsayer is in the process of being sold after 10 years. It's the home of an amusement park. Tindallia could tell you stories of when Lindens came in and made a ramp to get the bumper cars loose."

I contacted Tindallia, and she confirmed the place was indeed being sold, "I just can't afford to keep my sim any more. But after 10 years, (it) had a decent run. Lots of places in Second Life don't last half as long." Of it's origins, "I bought the sim in 2006, mainly as a home sim for myself. But after building the house, I had a ton of land left over. So I built a park. But still had room left, so I built the amusement park. (I) set everything there to free, because when I first started Second Life, I saw all this amazing stuff I wanted to do, but most were pay to play. And back then I had nothing. So when I built my park, I figured, no matter how much or how little anybody had, they'd have a place to come and enjoy. ... Plus I'd started sl as a child av. And back then, there weren't a lot of places like it nor safe places. So in building the park and amusement park I wanted to provide a safe place for children, families and all visitors to come and play in."

The number of visitors, "varied from time to time. Sometimes a lot would come, sometimes just a few. There were always people visiting though." The biggest gatherings were, "usually when I had changed the season on the sim to winter, changed everything to snow and ice, had ice skating and such. Or after I'd decorated the sim for Christmas, but it's generally around the same time and more people showed up then." No events in particular stood out, "just had ones centered around seasons and holidays."

The sim itself will not be vanishing as she has an offer. But the park will not be remaining, "completely changed, nothing I've done there will remain. ... There has been some reaction. Most are sad to see it go, as am I. It has had a definite positive impact on those that have visited. n the years I've had it, I've enjoyed providing a place people could come and play, I hope they enjoyed it too. I think they did. That I put a lot of work, a lot of heart and a lot of love in to it, and I will most definitely miss it."

(Click here if the video fails to play)

RacerX Gullwaing did a 25 minute video of the place, but you can still drop in until the place is transferred to see the park for yourself.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Announcing Windlight Magazine’s New Literary Journal, The Quill and Pen

Windlight Magazine is continuing it’s commitment to the arts and is pleased to announce the formation of The Windlight Quill and Pen Literary Journal. The Windlight Quill and Pen aims to highlight the voices of gifted and innovative writers in both real life and Second Life.

The first edition of The Windlight Quill and Pen will be released on June 15, 2016 and the second will be released on December 15, 2016. The publication will be released on the Windlight Magazine website and will be published in ebook format, so that all participants will have the chance to become published.

Categories in the journal include nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. Mini shorts also known as flash stories can also be submitted. Interested participants can find category guidelines and submission information at the following link:

Windlight Magazine’s founder, owner, and publisher Johannes1977 (John) Resident will be the editor in chief of The Windlight Quill and Pen. Co-Editors are Windlight Chief Operating Officer and The Edge Editor in Chief Eleseren Brianna and Windlight Lead Contributor and Living in a Modem World owner, Inara Pey.

About Windlight Magazine:
Windlight Magazine is an award winning publication about the art, cultural, and photography world of Second Life. The goal of Windlight Magazine is to support artists, photographers, galleries, and related events. Windlight achieves its mission via the Windlight Artist Fellowship Program and by providing free ebooks, photography and art tutorials. Windlight Magazine consists of The Windlight Art Gallery, The Edge (fashion division of Windlight Magazine), and 30/31 (artistic shopping event).

For More Information: