Monday, July 15, 2019

Cats Museum


In real life, cats have proven popular pets, having lived with man for thousands of years and with over 95 million kept as pets in the United States and over eight million in Britain. In Second Life, you can find pet virtual cats in many places. Selena Alexandre has a tribute to our four-footed feline companions, the Cats Museum. Gemma Cleanslate, a cat owner herself, went to have a look.

Read Gemma's article in Places.

The Kultivate 4th Annual Anniversary


Kultivate Magazine, a publication that focuses on the artistic side of Second Life, is celebrating it's fourth anniversary. As they do every year, they're celebrating with both an art show and music events every day this week. Marcel Mosswood of the Newser was there, and wrote about the event.

Read Marcel's story in Design.

Linden Lab Still In Talks With Djehan Kidd Over Hangars Liquides


Last Friday, the Newser reported on the five region Hangars Liquides urban sci-fi sims in danger of being shut down at the end of the month. This weekend, I had a few words with the builder and owner Djehan Kidd about the area, and it's situation.

Djehan told me it's looking unlikely Linden Lab will allow Hangars to rent out apartments and still remain a nonprofit. She felt it's not because they don't want to, but in her opinion they're "monitored" by the US Government more today than in the past. She's also gotten numerous offers of help to keep the sims afloat. But she feels their best chance lies with the Lab's sim preservation program, "So far I didn't get a no or a yes. All I know is that a commitee will visit (the sims) and decide."

Meanwhile, others are spreading the word about the sims. A concerned resident created a thread on the official forums about Hangars Liquides, and it quickly grew to numerous pages, some people posting pictures of the area. There were numerous pleas for the sims to be given a break and allowed to stay on. One commented, "I don't think I have been there before or if I had I didn't spend long there because the scale of it whilst immersive is also bewildering. Spent 30 minutes exploring it again and it is undoubtedly a work of art. Despite all its complexity it is well optimised, I had none of my usual problems with textures and objects not bothering to load. It is a fine example of what is possible to do here."

There's also a Flickr page full of screenshots of the sims (caution, not all safe for work).

The full interview with Djehan will appear later this week in the Newser.

Image Credit: Lawrence Celestalis

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: "Headline Apollo by The Beckridge Gallery"


THE BECKRIDGE GALLERY PRESENTS "HEADLINE APOLLO"
A POP UP EXHIBIT BY DIAMOND MARCHANT


An exhibit of front page print journalism by the Fort Worth Star Telegram during the Apollo 11 moon mission

July 15 thru July 28, 2019 at The Beckridge Gallery, Bellesseria, Second Life
Free and open to the public

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission has brought forth numerous books, films, and exhibits that offer different perspectives on this unique human achievement. In this vein, the "Headline Apollo" exhibit presents what the readers of a north Texas newspaper saw over this 10 day period in July, 1969. A newspaper of that era covered this history making mission with great detail and emphasis, but simultaneously reported on other issues of the day, such as Vietnam, Chappaquiddick, Luna 15, Nixon, hospital taxes, local crime, and baby names.

The exhibit also includes NASA archival photos of the mission, magazine covers, and a tip of the hat to the first visit to the moon by humans, Apollo 8.

The newspapers presented in "Headline Apollo" (except for July 21 morning) were collected and archived in 1969 by a young diamond Marchant and photographed in 2019.

About the Beckridge Gallery

The Beckridge Gallery of Bellesseria, Second Life is a small indoor gallery that hosts one exhibit at a time. Exhibit topics include art, science, and history and may concern the real world as well as Second Life activities.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Beckridge/198/136/25

Media Contacts

diamond Marchant
diamond.marchant.sl@gmail.com

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Funny Picture of the Day



Taken at the SL16B

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries


Check out the stories and the storytellers at www.seanchailibrary.com .

All stories told in open voice unless otherwise noted. All times SL/PT

*SUNDAY, July 14th at 1:30pm: TEA TIME with JEEVES.  Our new series continues, featuring P.G. Wodehouse's unforgettable characters: Bertie Wooster, and his valet Jeeves. THIS WEEK: "Jeeves and the Hard-boiled Egg" with Da5id Abbot, Kayden Oconnell, and Caledonia Skytower, live on Stream in Ceiliuradh Glen.

*MONDAY, July 15th, at 7pm:  Patricia Wrightson's THE ICE IS COMING continues with Gyro Muggins.  
*TUESDAY, July 16th, at 7pm:  Jeanne Birdsall's THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING continues with Caledonia Skytower, live on stream.

*WEDNESDAY, July 17th at 7pm: Selections from Rebecca Solnit's THE FARAWAY NEARBY  with Caledonia Skytower, live on Stream in Ceiliuradh Glen.

*THURSDAY, July 18th a7pm: Bernard Evslin's MONSTERS and MYTHS: The Sphinx - Concludes with Shandon Loring (Also in Kitely!  Find teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI)

All sessions held at the Seanchai Library in Second Life unless otherwise indicated. Schedule subject to change, because that is just how life rolls sometimes.  

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Trader Whiplash Diagnosed With Cancer


For one noted Relayer, Trader Whiplash of T1 Radio and the Relay Rockers team, the fight against cancer just turned personal. Yesterday on the Relay Rocker's blog, he announced he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Now is the time when we say the ‘OMGs’ and ‘OH I’m so sorrys’ and ‘Oh I will Pray for Yous’ right?

NO IT IS NOT

Now is when we as ACS Volunteers, who have grown from Cure Cancer Do Gooders of RFL 2005, turn into a vibrant and passionate Army who go forward armed with the tools and information that Saves Lives Celebrates Lives and Leads the Fight For a World Without Cancer. 

Now is the time when we say We’ve got you back! 

We’ve got a plan for this! 

We can Treat This!

WE WILL BEAT THIS!

And that is just what my oncologist said this afternoon.  The man who has treated my leukemia for 16 years looked at me and said “OK, so make an appointment for Friday and lets get the pathology and figure out how we are going to beat this!”

And you know what.. That is just what I am going to do, what he is going to do and what we as a community are going to do.  

And by God THAT is how We Cure Cancer!

In both the Relay for Life Volunteers group in Second Life and their Discord server, there were numerous well-wishes and words of encouragement for Trader. "You got this Trader!!!" "I think cancer got stupid and picked a fight with the wrong person." "Keep fighting cause your not alone."

SL Video: "Hello"




(Click here if the video does not play)

From Furry Alex on June 2

Friday, July 12, 2019

Hangars Liquides Cyberpunk City Set To Close Soon



Some sad news for fans of sci-fi themed sims. According to New World Notes, the "Hangars Liquides" sims will be closing at the end of the month.



The area, now consisting of five sims of tall buildings high in the sky with a gritty, run-down theme, what owner and creator Djehan Kidd called "Cyberpunk City, Technopunk, Dystopian Noir," has been in Second Life since 2007. In 2014, it was featured in a video in The Guardian. But unfortunately, a change in the Terms of Service mean that as a nonprofit, the sim can't rent spaces to help pay for it's upkeep. “As a cultural nonprofit organization,” Djehan explained to Hamlet Au, “Second Life has become unsustainable for me. Several months ago, I was told that the new Terms of Service for nonprofits did not permit us to offer rentals anymore; as a result, the city couldn't pay for itself any more.”


According to Hamlet, Djehan has been in contact with Linden Lab, and there is talk about making Hangars Liquides an exception to their new rules. But as of now, there's nothing agreed upon. Unless something changes, the city will close at the end of the month.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Hangars%20Liquides/136/138/2226

Source: New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

Town Hall About Tilia Today




At 1PM today, Linden Lab will be holding a Town Hall event to answer questions on the new Tilia Service. For those who can't get into the area, click on video above, or the link on SL4Live's Youtube channel.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Town%20Hall%20Island1/251/5/26/


While the Lab has tried to calm the confusion about the new service for Second Life residents, such as with the Town Hall meeting and a Q and A thread in the forums, this hasn't been the end of it. Activity in the "Tilia Takes Over" thread picked up following allegations Linden Lab was deleting some posts. While there were posters wondering if the Lab was simply deleting redundant questions, others felt this smelled like censorship. It would appear that whatever happens at today's event, it will not be the end of resident concerns.

Hat Tip to Oldesoul Eldemar for the Youtube link

High Fidelity in Trouble


With so much going on in Second Life, it's easy to miss what's going on with other virtual worlds. But there have been reports that one particular one that a number of residents have heard of has been having serious troubles: High Fidelity.



For those of you not familiar with the virtual world, after Philip Rosedale, the founder of Linden Lab, left the company, he went on to found High Fidelity in 2013. Despite having raised over seventy million from investors, it hasn't been doing well. In a community meeting in early April, Rosedale had some bad news. All company owned domains in the virtual world would be shut down, except for the orientation room for new users, and instead of focusing on VR headset experiences they would be concentrating on those from desktop computers. The reason for the latter was slow VR equipment sales. Hamlet Au remarked, "I can't emphasize enough how huge a blow this is to social VR and consumer-facing VR in general." In May came another announcement, a quarter of the workers would be laid off. The company would also be changing it's direction more to businesses.

As part of the changes in April, the General Assembly meetings were replayed with monthly Developers Discussion. When blogger Ryan Schultz looked at the video for the June discussion, he noticed a significant drop in attendance compared to the April meeting. "what happened to all the people who were active supporters of High Fidelity and who used to come out to meetings?" he asked. He then noticed on the forums some longtime members had their "trusted member" status downgraded to standard, which did not sit well with some, "Wow, after being here for 5+ years, I guess I never was trusted at all." Schultz's reaction was, "Is it just me, or is there a general overall sense of HiFi turning off the lights, shutting down various systems, and in general just downgrading services to their loyal userbase?"

If those weren't enough signs of trouble, in late May High Fidelity began offering it's office in San Francisco up for rent. All of this point to signs that of a company, and virtual world, in jeopardy. The name of Schults's blog post "Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" might have been a pessimistic assessment, but hardly unjustified. Despite Philip Rosedale's success with Linden Lab and Second Life, he's been unable to recreate it with his new company and virtual world, leading one to comment, "Second Life must have been a strange anomaly, that neither its founders nor the current Linden Lab appear able to replicate."

Sources: Wikipedia, New World Notes, Ryan Schultz, Crunchbase

Bixyl Shuftan

Raglan Map Funnery



Screenshot of the map over the Raglan Shire sims. Not sure what bear is being referred to here, but the word "stinky" is almost never used to describe a waffle in the most noted community of tinies.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Spanish With Eugenia


While a small majority of Second Life's residents come from English-speaking countries, others come from countries where it's not so commonly spoken. Plus in real life many people from other lands move to those countries. So it's often a good idea to try to learn a little about another language. Among the various exhibits at the Second Life Birthday was that of "Spanish With Eugenia," a language class by Eugenia Calderon. The Newser met up with her and had a few words with her about it.

Read the story in People.

Want More SL16B Photos?



For those who want to see more pictures of the Second Life Sixteenth Birthday, we have some good news. While we may or may not have the time to do another article, there are other pictures out there.

There's a Flickr page for SL16B screenshots: https://www.flickr.com/groups/secondlifebirthdaycelebrations/

One photogrpaher, Aevalle Galicia, has been especially busy with the camera, taking a lot of pictures such as of the "Postwar Prosperity" exhibit above: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aevallegalicia/

Enjoy

SL Video: "What Living In a Virtual World For Seven Years Taught Me About It (Second Life)"




(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Luca on July 4, "Second Life for me began with curiosity which turned into something really fun for me to express myself that I enjoy a lot, then it became a platform of creativity and self-discovery."

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Feline Art Critic



Taken at the Newser office at HV Community. It seems our mascot Chilly isn't too impressed with our contest as none of the artists included his favorite subject.

Be sure and come by to vote on your favorite picture by Monday night at 11:59PM

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/HV%20community/152/90/25

Picture by Gemma Cleanslate, caption by Bixyl Shuftan

New Crux Avatars On The Way


Some avatars come and go. Others retain a following. Among the later is the Crux. Despite having been around in Second Life for over a decade, this unusual avatar retains a following among a number of residents. Sovereign Wolf (Angelina Shen), whom is skilled at mesh content making, decided to take it upon herself to update the avatar using mesh and bento. Cyfir heard about her efforts, and interviewed her about her project.

Read Cyfir's interview in Design.

Town Hall Event About Tilia This Friday


On Monday July 1, Linden Lab announced to the residents something called Tilia would be part of "Important Changes to your Second Life Account." The result was no shortage of confusion, residents asking how would this would affect them.

Want to learn more about Tilia, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Linden Lab? 


Second Life executives Grumpity Linden (Senior Director of Product) and Patch Linden (Senior Director of Product Operations) will be answering questions about Tilia from the community at a special “Tilia Town Hall” event held inworld this Friday, July 12 at 1 p.m. (SLT/Pacific). 
 

As announced on July 1, Tilia will soon be handling certain aspects of the Second Life service that will help us comply with U.S. laws and regulations via enhanced regulatory compliance protocols. We’ve been taking questions about Tilia in our official forum all week, so please join us as we continue to listen and respond.

 The structure is at a meeting point of four sims to accommodate a larger crowd. Still, some residents may need to adjust their Preferences on their viewers to make up for the lag. 

As stated in the announcement, the meeting will be at Town Hall Island On Friday July 12 at 1PM.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Town%20Hall%20Island1/251/5/26/



News and Commentary: Reflections on the SL16B


After seven years, Linden Lab is back in charge of "The Birthday."

It was a surprise in Spring 2012 when Linden Lab announced it would not be organizing any Second Life Birthday celebration in June that year. The result was disappointment, followed by a group of residents getting together to organize it on their own. The overall result was a success, and a collective sigh of relief to all involved. After a few years, the Lab would gradually began to be involved once more. There came presents from the Lab, such as it's robot, bear, and dinosaur avatars. There were the Music Fest. There were the "Meet the Lindens" events. There came the shopping events. And last year there was the Swaginator Hunt. Still, it was the resident-run team that was in charge.

This year, the Lab assumed full control of the Second Life Birthday. The volunteers were still there, but the Lab was in charge. I heard one resident express disappointment, saying that the Lab should have just given the volunteer group the sims and let them run it. A few expressed disinterest in the whole thing, "My bank is important to me too, but I don't celebrate it's anniversary." But the general feeling I got was most were okay with or happy that the Lab was in charge again. Why was the Lab back in charge? One Linden stated that over time, they were analyzing what worked for The Birthday and what didn't. So apparently they felt they were confident they were up to the task again.

A man once stated with change inevitably comes loss. And with the Lab back in charge, a couple traditions from the resident-run Birthdays came to an end. Gone was the "Cake Stage," in it's place a much simpler Festival Stage that could handle the traffic of four sims. Also gone was Stage Left, which in the past few years had wowed crowds with it's detail. One volunteer told me that The Birthday was probably just as good without the fancy builds as while they looked fantastic, all that detail meant extra lag. Others however missed the Cake and the fancy builds that Stage Left offered.

One detail about this year's Birthday that raised a few eyebrows was the 1950s theme of "Sweet Sixteen." Some residents felt "why celebrate the past when Second Life is about the future." Others disliked it as they felt it was a decade with backward values. But most were fine with the theme. Between a decade that saw a world war that killed tens of millions worldwide and about 400,000 Americans, and another decade that saw a great deal of social change and anxiety and a war that seemed to drag on and on without any end in sight, the Fifties were seen by many as a quieter and more innocent time. It was a time when there was a great deal of optimism of the future, and (most) Americans were enjoying economic prosperity like never before. Plus this was the decade that a number of things we take for granted came about such as transistors, affordable televisions, passenger jet service, the popular concept of the teenager, and of course the birth of rock and roll music. As Linden Lab put it, "It was an era that rocked and rolled."

The exhibitor builds as usual were, as a whole, well done. While some seemed to have little or nothing to do with the overall theme, the majority fit in it. There were a few 50s style diners and drive-in theater areas. Some builds were made to educate about certain aspects of the time, such as the "Postwar Prosperity," Korean War, and 1950s Britain exhibits. And some made clever use of the theme such as the Fantasy Faire Literature Festival's exhibit, which was a tribute to a number of Fantasy novels published in the decade. There were people and groups I hadn't noticed before at the SLB, such as Rocket City and All Fur Radio. 

Two events took place that put a small damper on the festive spirit. Just a few weeks before The Birthday was when the Lab announced price hikes to Premium accounts and a doubling of the cashing out fee. A week ago, they announced that at the start of next month, residents cashing out Linden dollars would be required to use the new Tilia service. The announcement of the former following the success of the new Linden Homes encouraging people to sign up for Premium accounts at first could have been seen as the Lab getting greedy for money. But with the announcement of the former, it looks like the recent fees are needed at least in part to pay for and upkeep Tilia. Indeed as there was a paper published in early May by the US Governments Financial Crimes Enforcement Network about online applications possibly qualifying as "money transmitters" under US law, it could be seen as Linden Lab getting nervous about Uncle Sam and deciding to play it safe, though it would cost money that it decided to pass on to it's customers.

One other thing that made the SL16B different was beyond Linden Lab's control. In past years when the Birthday wound down, residents still had one more big event in the summer to look forward to: The Relay Weekend. This year however, the Relay's big event had taken place a few weeks before. With the Second Life Birthday over, the next big event is Burn2 in October. So perhaps this year a number of residents will be making plans for their real-life summer a little early.

It was quite a party, and the Newser was happy to be a part of it. Special thanks to the volunteers, the Lindens and moles for running things smoothly, Silvia Ametza for her first-class exhibit that she made for us, the other exhibitors, and of course the residents who made it possible.

See you at the SL17B.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Events This Week at the Sunweaver, Montecito Bay, Furry Fashion, and CDS Clubs


Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs, Lyuba's Game and Dance Center, and Furry Fashion's Furscape.

Club Cutlass: Best in 'B'?, Green and Yellow, Toon Time

The Happy Vixen: Plantigrade vs Digigrade, Wolves and Foxes, TBA, Fur and Scales, Orange and Yellow, Sports, Bunnies and Feathers, Intimate Wear, TBA

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Montecito Bay: TBA

FF Furscape: CAYA, Disney, Ferals, Musicals, Yellow vs Blue, Pool Party, Jungle, Late Night, Sea Life, Cute, Steampunk

Lyuba's Game and Dance Center: Apocalypse to Thunderdome

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.  

Farewell SL16B



As halfway expected due to the takedown announcement on Sunday, when I tried teleporting into the sims yesterday, Monday July 8, I was unable to do so. The sims had been closed. And so, the Second Life Sixteenth Birthday, "Sweet Sixteen," has come to a close.

The Newser will have one or two more stories, maybe more, about the SL16B later.

Do you the readers have any stories? Please send any you want printed to the SL Newser : bixylshuftan@gmail.com

2020 Relay For Life Season Theme Announced


In the Relay for Life Volunteers group, there was a brief but noteable announcement, one concerning the theme for next year's fundraising season.

With 70% of the vote (166 votes), our 2020 Relay For Life of Second Life theme will be:

GAME ON, CANCER!
The Cure Starts Here!


Stay tuned for details on the season's Kickoff and Relay Weekend dates.