Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Update on Linden Lab and the Third-Party Linden Exchangers


By Bixyl Shuftan

It's been two weeks since Linden Lab announced that it was ending it's deal with Linden Exchange services, essentially telling them they could no longer buy Lindens after June 30 (today) and had until August 1 to sell their inventory of Linden dollars and then shut down. When they told the Linden exchangers to shut down two years ago, as word got around in just a few days, the result was an uproar, especially among residents outside the US whom had problems with using Lindex, the official Linden exchange service from Linden Lab. Eventually, the Lab partially relented, allowing the exchangers to join an "authorized reseller" program to stay in business. But they could no longer buy back Lindens for real world currencies.

This time the response has been a little less vocal, possibly because of the timing of the announcement with the Second Life Birthday. Linden Lab's decision wasn't mentioned in New World Notes this time. Though it was in some blogs such as Inara Pey's Modem World, Daniel Voyager's Blog, and Across the Grid with Lindal Kidd. Lindal was particularly critical of the Lab's decision, "In my opinion, the move us ... yet another attempt on the part of LL to appropriate a Second Life revenue stream developed by the residents for themselves. ... when clever residents come up with ways to make money in SL, it smacks of bullying for LL to usurp those income streams by fiat." She felt the Lab had "shafted the residents and merchants that support Second Life and shot themselves in the foot into the bargain."

Hypergrid Business' Maria Korolov has written some about the issue, on June 15 and 27. It reported that one exchanger, Crossworlds, announced it would be folding on June 30 (today). "There is nothing else to do," Crossworlds owner Tony Bastianelli was reported as saying, "Linden Lab has left all exchanges with no options." RUExchange was stated as saying (in Russian), "Unfortunately, the official payment methods, Paypal and Skrill, do not satisfy the majority of our users. ... At the moment, we are negotiating with Linden Lab about the future of the Russian community, and unfortunately our technical support can not give you a comment on the situation."

Korolov stated that the Podex Exchange was planning on staying up, quoting it's CEO Jacek Shuftan as saying, "Linden Lab is not stable in it's decisions, as history taught us before, so I do hope that their decision would be changed in the future, as it happened before with 3rd party resellers closure. ... The motives of present shutting down are completely unclear," he added, "Last time we could suspect FinCen influence. But as far as I know, there were no big changes regarding virtual currencies last days in American law, so I do not understand why Linden Lab made such (a) decision."

Jacek felt "the Lab is only shooting itself in the foot," stated Korolov, quoting him, "Payment methods wich they offer are not accessible in many countries, so they will not only lose profit but also their best clients who invest real money in (the) grid, and now will not be able to do it."

Jacek predicted that Linden Lab's move would encourage people to head to Opensim worlds. Since the first time the Lab threatened to drive away his business, Podex has diversified by expanding to InWorldz, Avination, and other grids besides Second Life. On June 29, it announced it had set up an exchange service on it's 16th virtual world. "Linden Lab('s) decision will affect the Podex Exchange, as well as all other currency resellers, but Second Life is only one of the 16 grids which we serve, so we only lose part of our profit."

There is a petition for Linden Lab to keep it's Authorized Reseller Program , started by a Norman Zimmerman. As of the writing of this article, it had over 660 signatures.

As the deadline for the exchange services is a month away, what happens next is uncertain. But as Jacek stated, the Lab has changed it's mind before.

Podex is a sponsor of Second Life Newser.

Source: Hypergrid Business

Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted: Mount Raglympus Bowling Lanes


By Liam Metaluna

A bowling alley sprung up at Raglan Shire this summer to go with an "OOL" (no P in our OOL) and theater, all with a Greek theme. A perfect 300 score soon followed at the lanes, which astounded all because it's hard to break 150. Umiko Juriya put up the 12 straight strikes. The shire was all abuzz about the score, so this panda tracked down the hatchie, who gave a few clues on how to bowl better.

"I LOVE the bowling alley here. It's lots of fun.," Umiko said. "I'm quite glad that Kage (Stratten) put it up."

The aquatic dragon.said she's only bowled a couple times in real life. "I only recall bowling once or twice in my real life, and I don't think I did very well. ^_^;;;"

In Second Life, she's got plenty of shooting experience. "I do combat, elsewhere in SL and it's a bit easier to aim at stationary pins than at people running around all over the place. -^_^-"

She also gave this tip for a good score: "If you find the spot you got a strike from (and you're not in the way of other bowlers, hehe), then you probably shouldn't move."

Umiko displayed her winning bowling ball, which she's texture special for her use. "I texture a lot of my things," Umiko said. "With this one, I like the swirly, styled-rainbow colors. I don't know if it has any real effect on my bowling. I couldn't change it to help my game. (Though I would if I could! XD)."

Asked if being a dragon had an advantage for bowling, Umiko said, "It's just the way our avatars look, hehe. I don't think we have any more or less of an advantage."

Umiko did break a smile towards the end of the interview about her perfect game. "Eeps! that was silly cheatings hehe," Umiko said, "My computer can handle having two viewers open. So I had my other character at the end of the aisle knocking down the pins, and then I would throw the ball. XD If you cross that (approach) line, it nulls the score. XD."

Still, quite the sporting achievement, the use of two screens, two characters and the timing to get all the pins knocked down in a short time span for each frame.

Finally, Umiko's take on a bowling league: "It would be fun, especially since it's easier in Second Life than it is in real life."

The official name of bowling alley is Mount Raglympus Bowling Lanes, and is at Raglan Shire (200/164/23)

Liam Metaluna

SL Video: "What Second Life Means to Me: Loki Eliot"




(click here if the video fails to play)

From Loki Eliot on June 28, "Created as part of a challenge to the Second Life community to capture in video form what Second Life meant to us."

Monday, June 29, 2015

Meeting the Lindens at the SL12B


Last Friday June 26, the last of the "Meet the Lindens" events for the Second Life Twelfth Birthday took place. Here, the CEO himself of Linden Lab, Ebbe Linden, would be interviewed. Gemma Cleanslate was among those in the audience, and wrote about the happening, in which one of her concerns about Second Life was answered.

Read Gemma's story in People.

Second Life Birthday Celebration Officially Ends



Last night in the Second Life Birthday sims, the last of the official events took place (Sunday schedule). At 5PM, Saffia Widdershins interviewed the last guest at the Auditorium:  Raglan Shire's leader Zayan Till. At 10PM began the last of the DJ performances.


While Yamata36 DJed for the Ixtlan Stage, at the Cake Stage, Laz Dresler spun tunes for the crowd.


 One girl in a Colossus avatar danced with the crowd, somehow avoiding stepping on anyone. No word on if she had to deal with anyone trying to peek up her skirt.


There was also a fireworks show by Bewell Ormega, throwing some pyrotechnics in the air.The Birthday quite literally ended with a bang.


There were a number of personalities there, such as Mikati Slade, Catboy Qunhua, Daniel Voyager (his picture above), iSkye Silverweb, and others. As the minutes ticked down, there were many well wishes, "Happy birthday!" "Happy Birthday SL!!" "HAVE A GREAT SL!"

And at 12 Midnight, Laz finally got off the stage. The week-long celebration was officially over.

While this was the official end of the SL12B, the exhibits will still be up for several days. The schedule shows that the sims will be open at least until July 4. So until July 6 to July 8 when "the breakdown" takes place, feel free to continue to explore the exhibitions.

The sims finally go offline on July 9. Only then will the event truly be over.

Happy twelfth birthday Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

YadNi's Junkyard Closing Down


For newcomers to Second Life looking for free items, one of the top places to go to, if not *the* top place, was YadNi's Junkyard. Run by YadNi Monde, his profile states he started it about April 2004, and was the first freebie "store" in Second Life. After running for eleven years, it retained it's popularity, recommended by both websites and residents' word of mouth. Gemma Cleanslate wrote about the place in September 2012.

On June 23, YadNi announced via Google Plus that the days of his Junkyard were over. He had taken it down.

YadNi's Junkyard has closed today.

After 11 years of helping thousands (of) new residents with REAL freebies, full perms for free, and one of the longest lasting money trees, I had to close the place today.

I hope you have good memories of that place.


His post was followed by sad comments, people remembering how important the place was, and wishing him well, "The Junkyard was a vital part of many, many, people's Second Life experience. As a relative latecomer in 2007, it created a connection for me with the history and culture of SL it would have been impossible to gain otherwise." "This is sad news, one of the first places I visited and would take people to when they joined.  Thank you for giving everyone this place for so long. Your dedication is noteworthy and it will be truly missed." "Thank you YadNi Monde . Your Junkyard changed my SL experience for the better. I taught myself how to build by looking at how the freebies were put together and textured. Building is the main reason I still do this. I brought so many friends to the Junkyard over the years and we all appreciated your generosity. You are a huge part of everyone's SL."

YadNi was humbled at these comments, "Thanks a lot guys, i am touched by your words, and very sorry i had no other choice."

Heading to it's location in the Leda sim on the Second Life mainland, I found the place was already gone. Nothing was left but a depression in the rocky ground.

And so, the first and best known freebies place is fading away into the virtual nether.

Source: Daniel Voyager

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "What Second Life Means to Me - Willow Dion Willow Dion "




(Click here if the video fails to play)

Posted n June 27, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cartoon of the Day: At the SL12B



From the SL12B Auditorium. No, Catboy Qunhua didn't *really* say that.

Bixyl Shuftan

Team Sunbeamers Reach Gold Level



Yesterday, the Relay for Life in Second Life's Team Sunbeamer passed the 250,000 Linden mark in the amount of cash it has raised this year, the equivalent of one thousand US dollars. And so achieved Gold rank among the Relay teams fundraising levels. The milestone was reached at the tail end of the Sunbeamer's "Road Rally" event in the Pacific Waters sim in the Sunweaver Estates, the community behind the Relay team.

The announcement was made in Relay chat at about 3:44PM SL time, "Ladies and Gentlemen , Team Sunbeamers has just passed 250,000 Lindens raised, we have now hit Gold rank." There was quite an enthusiastic reaction among the Relayers, "WOOT!! The Sunbeamers just hit GOLD!!!!" "Congrats!" "Congratulationsss !!!" "NICE!!!" "YAY Sunbeamers !!!" "GOOOOOOOOO SUNBEAMERS!!!!"

"Looks like cancer is having a really bad day again, something I love." "And one day hopefully it will have such a bad day that it is nothing more to fear then a common cold."


And for yours truly, it mean that a certain "avatar challenge" of mine had been met. Instead of a "Bid Me" event, like the "Bid Me Human" I did a few years ago when Team Sumweaver was the Passionate Redheads, I instead told the Relayers if my team reached Gold Status, I'd wear a purple otter avatar for a week when in public, unless doing Newser related things such as interviews. And so with the challenge met, I changed over.

So why the purple otter? Purple has been a rather important color for the Relay. And like skunks a couple years ago, there seems to be a thing for otters in the Relay this year, notably among Team Strange Journey. Cuddly Waffle here in the picture with me was happy with the "Urple otter" as she called it, her persona being that of a young child.

And so for Team Sunbeamers, an important milestone has been reached, heading into the last month of the Relay before the weekend walk with their heads held high.

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Something Amazing" And Other SLB 12 Exhibits


Across the Second Life Birthday grounds, there are many exhibits. Some stand out, due to detail, interactivity, or both. Bixyl Shuftan took a closer look at some which were recommended by others. In the case of one, "Something Amazing," the builder Kenny Luckless was interviewed about his exhibit.

Read more in Places.

SL Video: "What Second Life Means to Me - Stephanie Meyer




(Click here if the video fails to load)

Uploaded on January 20, "I wanted to make a contribution to the celebration of Second Life's twelfth birthday. This is my first machinima, and it is pretty choppy, but I wanted to show some of the things I enjoy in Second Life. In spite of the claims that 'Second Life is a wasteland' one of the reasons the machinima is so jagged is because people kept dropping in - Because of privacy concerns, I had to crop out everything that identified residents by name. If I had had more time I would have tried to get people's permission to include them.

"I used a trial version of Camtasia for Mac to make the machinima. The software was relatively easy to use and I recommend it for anyone who wants to try making a machinima. The upside-down house is a freebie from the Linden Library. The sailboat was a past gift for premium members, as was the dinosaur avatar; however, if you join Second Life soon I think you can get a free dinosaur avatar of your own even if you are not a premium member. Come see!

" Filmed in the River Run Annex in Cecropia, Linden Botanical Gardens, Falmouth Hotel, Chalet Linden* and surrounds, Premium Jungle, a Sandbox, Linden Seas, Tiny Isle of Mists, and River Run in Mocha.
*I called it 'Chateau Linden' in the machinima, sorry."

Scenes From the SL12B



Friday June 26 was the start of the SL12B "Music Fest" sponsored by Linden Lab. Taking place at the Ixtlan Stage at SL12B Dazzle, among the performers were Jaycatt and Frogg at 12:30 SL time. Taking place in a packed sim, a friend who requested a teleport from me was blocked from coming in. Among those who were there was Xiola Linden. With the lag, not everybody rezzed on my viewer, such as performer Frogg, whose amphibian av was showing only his head, hands and feet.


 Friday at 1PM was the "Meet and Greet" with Ebbe Linden, the last one for the SL12B. While I got there early, there was a sim restart, so had to hop away. But by the time I tried to teleport back, both sims were full. The best I could do was listen in from the outskirts, which a number of others had to as well. Others with me included Pygar Blu, Catboy Qunhua, and Kenny Luckless.

Gemma Cleanslate was there, so her article about Ebbe's interview will be available later.

Saturday and Sunday mark the last two days, officially, of the Birthday. As it turns out, yours truly has to work in real-life, so that cuts down on time for both exploring, seeing, and writing. But the sims will be up for a few days afterwards for both those whose computers couldn't handle the lag, and those wanting to see what they missed.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, June 26, 2015

Feeling a little Fantasy


Syndra's Fashion review for today takes a turn to the lands of elven and fairy folk with her visit to the Fantasy Collective. She looked around, and found a few items of special interest. So what got her attention?

Read Syndra's article in Fashion.

The Girls Who Can’t Do Math – Relay Wizards for Spunky Speed Build


While the Second Life Birthday has been the big draw this week, the Relay for Life events continue. Among them has been the "Speed Build" at Builders Brewery for the Relay Wizards for Spunky team. On Wednesday June 24, a number of builders took part in the competition in which they had a short amount of time to come with what they felt would be the best build. DrFran Babcock was there, and wrote about the competition.

So who won? Read DrFran's story in Design.

Official SL12B Music Fest This Weekend


Although Linden Lab is no longer sponsoring the Second Life Birthday exhibitions, it has backed one of the events. This weekend, the SL12B Music Fest, backed by the Lab, is taking place, featuring performers such as Jaycatt Nico and Frogg Marlowe.

Last month, we had a blast at an inworld showcase to audition performers at the Lavender Field. It was great to not only see the talent, but also the incredible support this community has for one another. Thank you to Brique Topaz - who heads up and operates the Lavender Field - home of the wonderful Feed a Smile initiative - who let us take over the field with hours of music. Selecting the final artists for this Official SL12B Music Fest was near impossible - a task made all the more difficult by the sheer volume of talented and exciting acts we saw. Thank you to everyone who came out to audition and those who just came to show their support. After much deliberation, we reached our final list of artists and are pleased that each and every one of them was able to come play the big show!

Over two days, we’ll feature an amazing line-up of those artists, across many genres of music, and we hope you will come join us. It’s all the fun of a music festival without the over exposure to the sun, the grueling sludge through the mud, or the long haul and long lines of those questionable public bathrooms. It’s a bring your own refreshments and get ready to dance your pixels off kind of event - check out who's playing, then grab your ride to the festival below.

The schedule was given as follows:

Friday June 26th, 2015
11 - 11:30 AM
Alazarin Mondrian
11:30 - 12 PM
The Pink Vampire
12 - 12:30 PM
Tamra Hayden
12:30 - 1 PM
Effinjay
1 - 1:30 PM
Amforte Clarity
1:30 - 2 PM
Isabella Rumsford
2 - 2:30 PM
Tempio Breil
2:30 - 3 PM
Phoenix J

Saturday June 27th, 2015
8-8:30 PM
Mavenn Resident
8:30 - 9 PM
Oblee
9 - 9:30 PM
Collin Martin
9:30 - 10 PM
Taunter Goodnight
10 - 10:30 PM
Donn DeVore
10:30 - 11 PM
Zak Claxton
11 - 11:30 PM
LuvofMusic
11:30 - Midnight
Ren Enberg & Quai Franklin

The event will take place at the Ixtlan stage at SL12B Dazzle (153/105/22)

To see the post in it's entirety, Click Here.


SL Video: "What SL Means to Me - Patch Linden "




(Click here if the video fails to play)

Published by Linden Lab on June 23, "Patch Linden discusses what Second Life means to him in this insightful video. Second Life is an online 3D virtual world imagined and designed by you. From the moment you enter Second Life, you'll discover a universe brimming with people and possibilities.

"Create and customize your own digital 3D persona, also known as your avatar. Be a fashion diva, a business-savvy entrepreneur, or a robot or all three. Changing identities is quick and easy, so if you tire of your avatars outfit or body, shop for a new one in Second Life or from your web browser. Then switch it in seconds.

"Every minute, Residents assemble buildings, design new fashion lines and launch clubs and businesses. There's always more to see and do."

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Multi-Team Relay Party at Silver Creek


Last night high above the Silver Creek sim, there was a Relay party that was originally intended to raise funds for Team Shadow, but they invited other teams to put up their kiosks, and a number of others did, including the Steelhead Salmons, which at 195,000L are closing in on the 200K mark, and the Sunbeamers.


Besides yours truly, other Sunbeamers included Shockwave Yareach, Cynthia Farshore, and chieftess Rita Mariner. Rita made a rare appearance in her custom-made fox avatar, looking a bit like a harem girl as it was dressed in silks. Other notable Relayers included Oldesoul Eldemar, Cuddly Waffle, Madonna Daehlie, and others.


The Sunbeamers made a few thousand Lindens that day, at 217,000 Lindens raised are the third highest of the Silver ranked teams. With the Road Rally Sunbeamer event in a couple days, Gold status is within sight.

Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: "The Art & History of the Microscope"


University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy Presents:
"The Art and History of the Microscope"

By Gary Greenberg
Friday, June 26th at 9:30 PM PDT
Institute for Astronomy - U. Hawaii Astronomy Amphitheater: 

Web: http://ps1puka.ps1.ifa.hawaii.edu

In the year 1600, the existence of a microscopic world was utterly unimaginable.  A few years later, Robert Hooke published his famous book, "Micrographia: Or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquires Thereupon". This was the world’s first best seller, and it revealed for the first time the hidden world that exists beyond our everyday perception. Since its invention, visionaries have used microscopes to save lives and reduce human suffering. Today, microscopes can image individual molecules and atoms, and have spawned the burgeoning field of nanotechnology.

Alliance, Chaminade University (49, 205, 4002)

SL Video: "What Second Life Means To Me - Snowhawk Przhevalsky"




(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Snowhawk Przhevalsky on Jun 17, 2015, "Yeah, I did a thing...Oops, forgot to save my edited description: This is for the 'What Second Life Means to Me project. :) https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Your-Avatar/The-What-Second-Life-Means-to-Me-Video-Share-Project/td-p/2941693

Edit: Also, since I get asked about it in world a lot, my outfit is a custom recolor from Shiro Tsuki. I have a blog post up with information and links and such: http://damantru.blogspot.com/2015/03/sl-sailor-snowhawk.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cartoon of the Day



At the Cake Stage at the SLB, DrFran Babcock's avatar gets a slight glitch that makes her "above it all" so to speak.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Oz Linden at the SL12B


On Monday was the first of the "Meet the Lindens" events at the auditorium at the Second Life Birthday. This would be an interview of Oz Linden by Saffia Widdershins and Jessica Lyon. The meeting was not without technical glitches as Oz crashed a couple times. Still, a number of questions were answered.

Read more about the interview in People.

SL12B: The Welcome Area and Station


 By BloodyKitty

There is an event going on, the SL12B that runs from June 21st to the 28th of June. The information has also included that the sim is also open on the 4th of July for residents to explore the particular location. This event is celebrating the birthday of Second Life, but in a cool way with tons of events. When you first arrive you are greeted with a spooky scene, but also a beautiful one if you change your lighting (or the sun settings). 
There were two people greeting (at the moment I was there) that go by Londyn2, as well as another girl but she had left before I got a chance to see her name. What was a positive for me right away was that they instantly helped me and asked if I needed any information on the sim and the event, I said I do.

Upon getting an info card if you request one by one of the fabulous hosts, it tells you on what's going on, as well as that you get two gifts which include a party hat and a flag. Aside from that there is a map of the whole place via a texture sort of file, landmarks to the major venues, and a schedule for the events going on around the land. It is when you go down from where you are greeted that the fun begins. There are teleports to different locations to different places in the sim to help people easily get around, which is a plus for me. 
What I found the best part in my opinion of the experience was that they had a train station and an actual train. It totally reminded me of Harry Potter, which unfortunately the train does not move, but it doesn't totally take away a good experience. If you look closer though you can see the station is in ruins as well as that the back of the train is all messed up. Just use your imagination on what may of happened!

Overall the world is large in itself if you take time to explore it, and there are different activities to enjoy while searching around. Because of it being a large sim and how many locations there are to teleport to, I haven't had the opportunity to exactly explore everything like I'd hope before this was put up. I believe that just touching base on the important details helps people who'd love to visit and check the place out. Have fun! 

BloodyKitty

SL Video: "What Second Life Means to Me - Caitlin Tobias"




(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Caitlin Tobias on Jun 16, 2015, "My contribution for the project for Second Life's 12th anniversary on 'what second life means to me', see more here:  https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Your-Avatar/The-What-Second-Life-Means-to-Me-Video-Share-Project/td-p/2941693