Friday, June 24, 2016

Lindens at the Cake Stage

There's been a lot going on at the SL13B, and a little time to write it. One event that stood out was called the "The Roleplay Mashup Meetup," which took place on Monday. But for many residents, the name was a little confusing as it was intended as a costume party and not a roleplay, and to many the costume part got lost in that it was a chance to meet up with a number of Lindens. Some were Lindens whom were familiar faces, such as Xiola and April Linden. But others were less than familiar. There were also a few other notable personalities, and no shortage of avatars.

See the pictures in Events.

Announcement: RFL Harmony of Hope 3rd Annual Halloween Weekend Event

WhenFriday, Jun 24, 2016
Harmony of Hope’s 3rd Annual Halloween Weekend Event  Live Entertainment, DJ’s. Pumpkin and Scarecrow Contests. Haunted Houses, Haunted Rides. Costume Contests, Prizes, Roller Coaster and MORE!”
June 24th 6-10pm SL time
June 25th 10am-10pm SL time
June 26th 10am-10pm SL time
Contact Dianna Wycliffe for information

SL Video: "It's SL13B"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Hexapoda on June 23

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Correction: Sansar Won't Require Users to Use Real-Life Names

By Bixyl Shuftan

A the Tuesday "Meet the Lindens," I showed up and listened as Ebeb Linden, the CEO of Linden Lab,was interviewed by Jo Yardley. The event being held in voice, I took down notes on paper the best I could, and after logging off I wrote about the event. The notes I had taken suggested Ebbe had been leaning toward having residents use their real-life identities in Sansar.

This caused me to scratch my head, but from my point of view this wouldn't be the first time the Lab had made a questionable move. So I went ahead and wrote the story, confident I hadn't missed anything important. Later in the week I saw some transcripts on Inara Pey's newsletter, and it seems I had only written down part of the information (link).

Second Life is on, I would say, the far spectrum of the anonymity side; and on the other side you have what we call real names, real identities, like probably the most successful real system on planet Earth is Facebook. 

And there’s a reason why they’ve been extremely successful with that; and there’s probably a reason why 100% anonymous networks like Twitter and Second Life run into some really interesting challenges. And there are pros and cons; and we’re trying to think of ways of potentially mixing these models, but we have not made final decisions yet.

I have a preference, some other team players have slightly different preferences, so we’ll see where it ends up. But I think what would be best for Sansar would be real names, and then the ability to have personas underneath that.

so I could go into a role-playing, or into an experience as an anonymous user in that context. But to the platform, I am not anonymous. And so, without making that too complicated and confusing, is that the right answer? We’ll see. But I think to, it would certainly help with griefing and other things. And it also supports a lot of interesting use-cases where anonymity is actually just really confusing, and actually gets in the way.

You can think of a lot of professional use-cases where there are teachers and students and professionals having meetings where these anonymous identities makes things really confusing; “I know Bob, I want to talk to Bob. Who the hell is this Jumping Jack guy?”

So we’re still debating this, and I’m pushing in one way, and people are pushing in different ways, and we’ll see where we end up. I mean, unfortunately, to implement real names is also really complicated. Do you hitch a ride with Facebook, or do you have to somehow build your own real name system.

And building a real name system is incredibly difficult. Facebook did it in an extremely clever way, by basically relying on the social graph to ensure real names. Because just having everybody having to put a credit card down, or identification to prove their real identity is super cumbersome. So, interesting topic. 

Taking a look at the transcript, there's room for interpretation. But it seems while pondering briefly how certain parts sounded, he was asked about the question of anonymity, being identifiable to the Lab through Paypal, though anonymous to everyone else.

If we have to reply on like, for some it’s PayPal, for some it’s this, for some it’s that, it gets really complicated for us to do that.

It’s definitely something we’re thinking a lot about. but do I want that people in Sansar should be able to walk around anonymously? Absolutely! You can in the physical world. I don’t have to have a name tag on myself and show my ID to every person I approach on the street. not that I’m trying to hide anything, but I also don’t think everybody should know what the hell I’m doing all the time. It’s none of your business; it’s my business.

So I totally want to have that mix of, we know who you are but you can also be whoever you want to be, and still have a somewhat functional society going on within that. So we’ll see where we end up.

So it seems by brief inattention caused me to miss an important line.

I apologize for the error, to you the readers and to Ebbe Linden, and resolve to be more careful in the future.

 Bixyl Shuftan

Review of "Brain Mechanism Linking Stress and Illness" at Virtual Ability

Gentle Heron started the Virtual Ability's 2016 Mental Health Symposium with a warm welcome and an introduction to nine presentations.  She then turned the podium over to the first introducer, PedroLevy Indigo.  PedroLevy Indigo introduced himself and explained that he was diagnosed in 1999 as a carrier of Bipolar Disorder.  PedroLevy also explained that he is trying to cope with the new drugs as the old ones do not have effect on his brain. 

PedroLevy then introduced us to Dr. Vanja Duric.  Dr. Duric is an Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Des Moines University in Iowa, USA.  Dr. Duric started the session wtih explaining what stress is.  He explained that there are several different types of stress.  Dr. Duric went into details about the neurological and psychiatric disorders.  He talked about depression and people in chornic pain.  He did add something positive.  "On a positive note, there is some hope in treatment of depression." said Dr. Duric.  He talked about Ketamine, the new antidepressant. 

When the session was over, Dr. Duric did his best in answering some questions.  He did leave the contact information.  That way, if any one of us want further information, he can be contacted.


Veterans Isle Fundraiser Nets Over 121,000 Lindens

Sunday June 19 saw more than just the opening of the Second Life Birthday celebrations. That evening also saw the monthly "Homes Four Our Troops" benefit at Veterans Isle. Frets Nirvana, who helped organize the event, performed for the audience along with three other musicians, Noma Falta, Melinda Yarrowroot (McBride Mikue), and Krysania Kjeller Marville.

Over four hours, the fundraiser would collect Linden dollars from the audience, donated into two house-shaped kiosks on either side of the stage. When the event ended shortly after 9PM SL time (Midnight SL time, they had raised a total of 121,075 Lindens.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cartoon of the Day

ShadowRene's been "hanging around" again.

By Bixyl Shuftan

More on the Clinton HQ

Earlier this month it was discovered that the Trump HQ and Manor at the Lionheart Ahadi sim had been closed down. It it's place was a Hillary Clinton HQ owned by Candace Larganta. Candace offered to share a few words about what gave her the idea to build the place, and some of the reactions it's been getting.

Read the story in Extra.

Ebbe Linden at the SLB

At 3PM SL time at the SL13B Auditorium all this week, "Meet the Lindens" events have been taking place. On Monday, Brett and the popular Torley Linden were interviewed. On Tuesday, it was the turn of Ebbe Linden, Ebbe Altberg in real life, the CEO of Linden Lab. The interview was carried out by Jo yardley, with help from Zander Green, with Saffia Widdershins taking questions from the audience. Yours truly was also in the audience, taking notes the best he could.

Ebbe at first talked about what he did before coming to Linden Lab, stating he had worked with "technologies that empower people," having worked at Yahoo. He described himself as being involved with Linden Lab since almost the beginning, a man he had known since college whom was working with the Lab had approached him "back in the day" when Second Life had barely started, eventually meeting Philip Linden. He got the overall concept of the virtual world, which was further sharpened by his oldest son becoming a user. He saw it as "an incredible opportunity for someone to go online and create ... do business." When he was approached with the offer to lead the Lab, it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down.

Ebbe Linden stated he wanted the residents of Second Life to be "passionate" about their virtual world. He was impressed with what artists and others were doing, and the "sheer complexity of user creativity," calling the place a "complex ecosystem." He called virtual reality a "huge opportunity," albeit one with a "huge number of problems to be solved." As none of the bigger corporations were involved, in some ways it was "uncharted territory." He gave praise to the builders and roleplayers whom were in "lots of communities" with "lots of reasons for being here." He emphasized the diversity of the virtual world where the residents could "learn from each other, share with each other ... incredible blend of things, awe-inspiring to me."

"I can't take much credit for Second Life. I've tried to do good things in the past couple years ... have had a good team with me."

Ebbe would then answer some questions. On Oculus Rift, Ebbe stated that integrating it with Second Life properly had been a "huge effort" as the virtual world hadn't been designed with it in mind. In contrast, Sansat had been designed with the virtual headset in mind. But he did say that some video cards had just come out that would be of help with using Oculus Rift in Second Life.

Asked about when proper mirrors could be available in Second Life, Ebbe stated he couldn't answer that question as there was no signs of the technical problems involved being solved.

When asked about recent fluctuations in the value of the Linden dollar, Ebbe answered the problem was between the users of Second Life and Linden Lab was staying out of it, at least for now, "we're on the sideline's watching it." He stated the Lab could get involved if it wanted to, such as increasing the supply of Lindens, "but we're trying to be passive and let the market go where it wants to." As to how it started, Ebbe felt as the number of users of Second Life had remained very stable, it was possible the value fluctuations could be related to some decisions made by Linden Lab such as discontinuing third party currency exchangers and the chance for residents to gain grandfathered pricing levels.

Asked about Sansar, Ebbe stated it would have a "different feel" than Second Life. While like Second Life there would be a great deal of freedom on what one could do, it was still under development and until it had been developed more, "we don't know quite hoe it's going to be. ... Sansar is not trying to be the same thing as Second Life. It's supposed to be a different product. ... For some, it will not be as good as Second Life." While there would be some "overlap" with what could be done in Second Life, there would be differences.

Asked about Sansar's avatar controls, Ebbe stated that they were still being worked on, "we can't fly, yet." But there was the option for either a first person or third person point of view. As now now, avatar customization options were very limited, but this too was still being worked on.

Ebbe was then asked if users of Sansar would have the option to chose their own names for their avatars, or would they be having to use real-life identities. Ebbe answered he was leaning to the latter, "I think what's best for Sansar is real names. ... anonymous identities makes things confusing."

After the interview was done, Ebbe got up, and those in the audience were invited to walk up to say hello, or pose for a picture. One girl posed in front of him with a "selfie stick," much to the amusement to a few.

On Wednesday today, Landon and Oz Linden will be interviewed. On Thursday, Pete and Xiola Linden get their turn. Finally on Friday, Patch and Dee Linden will close the "Meet the Lindens" events.

Addition: Inara Pey later put some transcripts of the event on her newsblog (here). Among what the transcripts shown was an important line of dialogue that I had missed.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Singularity Viewer Updates For First Time in Over a Year

By Bixyl Shuftan

Some good news for Second Life residents whom prefer to use the Singularity viewer. For the first time since March 2016, the third-party viewer has finally updated.

While most users of Second Life use the Firestorm Viewer, the official viewers from Linden Lab having fallen out of favor from experienced residents since it gave them an overhaul in 2009 with the less than popular V-2, there one of a number of viewers available to go about the virtual world (some of which can also be used for InWorldz, Opensim, and others). In the past, Singularity was the second most popular viewer. But recent statistics on it's current popularity are unavailable. The viewer was developed with the goal of preserving the general "look and feel" of the classic Linden viewer. Inara Pey classified it as a "V-1 Style Viewer" along with Cool VL on her list of Second Life Viewers.

Singularity was updated every few months up to February 27, 2015 with a "minor patch." But then the team was hit with problems. The big one was the death of one of it's engineers, Latif Khalifa had died, word reaching Second Life's residents in early March 2016. Singularity also stated another developer had left to "pursue other interests." So the team was "hampered in our ability to update and test the viewer by a lack of infrastructure and hardware issues." While they were able to get another engineer, Mika-Pyon, and they managed to solve most of their hardware issues, they had a long list of things to update. They are still in need of someone who can update their Macintosh computer viewer.

After downloading the upgrade and trying it out, the most noticeable improvement to me was that I no longer had problems listening to others over voice. While there were still problems seeing mesh items at a distance, I didn't notice the worst of the problems I had been having. It's fair to say the mesh problem on my viewer could be due to the old graphics card.

More details about Singularity version 1.8.7, and what was updated, can be read (here).

Source: Modem World , Singularity 

Bixyl Shuftan

Events This Week at the Sunweaver Clubs

While the Second Life Birthday is the big event this week, the Sunweaver clubs are still having their events. At Club Cutlass, it's a "Night" for a "Nice" time as the club has it's "Best in N." Then things get a little flighty with "Take Wing," and the club ends the week on a dark note as they have their "Blackest Black." At the Happy Vixen, the beach club starts things off with a night of good and evil with "Angels and Demons." Then things get a little on the skimpy side with "Dare to Bare." And finally it's time for the towels and suntan oil as the club ends things with it's "Beach Party."

Read the schedule in SL Clubbin'.

Announcement: This Week at the Science Circle

Thursday,  June 23th  8 AM PDT
"Thoughts on an Educator Specific Orientation in SL"
Presentation by Greg Perrier    

There is need for an orientation specific for people who wish to conduct educational activities in Second Life (SL). One of the main obstacles to educators becoming active in SL is the steep learning curve needed to feel proficient enough to work with students in world. Making this process easier is one way to increase educator participation in SL.

In addition, through both experience and studies we have greatly improved our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of education in a virtual world environment.

These lessons need to be gathered and shared so mistakes are not repeated and successes can be further advanced.

Medium: Presentation in Voice, supplemented by text chat. Discussion in text chat.

Greg Perrier, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biology


The Science Circle (139/206/95)


Saturday, June 25th  10 AM PDT                  

"Nitric oxide: A little goes a long way."
By Dr. Michael J. Shaw – Shawza Tunwarm   

Abstract: The small diatomic molecule NO is a reactive species  In the presence of air, it converts to NO2 and normally does not persist in high concentrations.  It is a key player in processes that generate ground level ozone in smog, may affect the ozone layer, yet plays a vital physiological role as a neurotransmitter and in blood-pressure regulation.  This talk will introduce bonding concepts in NO and in metal-NO species, will explore atmospheric chemistry, and will describe the key enzymatic players in the generation, detection and management of nitric oxide in living systems.

The Science Circle (114/206/30)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Leona Kitty: "My Experience With Cancer"

It's been several months since Leona Kitty Last wrote an article for the Newser, saying she needed to take some time for real life business. She recently contacted the paper again with some bad news: she had cancer. Despite the best efforts of doctors, the cancer has been an especially aggressive one that has progressed to the point curing it is no longer their goal. Leona decided to write about her experiences with the disease.

Read Leona's story in People.

Victorian Clothing For Second Life by Zan

By Grease Coakes

Zantyago Mannonen a badger/goat in Second has an excellent shop with a historic twist. Victorian and steampunk themes are a neat niche here on the grid. And Zanty's place at Port Babbage (77/217/106) is an excellent place to shop if tea parties and brass are your thing in spring.

The owner himself looks very dapper with a cane. Zanty doesn't rely on pre-made textures. For his suits and dresses, he uses a program to create mesh called 3ds Max. He also made the radio in the corner to add more atmosphere to his small shop. The wall itself looks retro as plain bricks. He gave me a free sample of his suit. I must say it looks rather dashing on me. Even in my mutant retro avatar It looks good. Zantyago does do custom work and he's willing to give out discounts if you spread word about his business/shop to others. He's now adding furry boots to those who don't like to hoof it barehooved or pawed.

I asked Zanty what he likes about Victorian clothing and he had this to say, "I love the aesthetics. And Steampunk is Victorian but can be more playful and creative, I don't have to be a carbon copy." He also added, "I still think that for something to be Steampunk, should reference Victorian stuff and (unless given context) not to be too  revealing." He believes strongly in temperance and modesty, "basically not being an all out animal, and the meaning of animal in this context is up to you."

You can also check out his suits and dresses on the SL marketplace here:

I asked him how much he would charge for a custom job as he answered Zantyago Mannonen: custom is much more expensive about 10k and up,  or a big chunk of the earnings if its intended for commercial use. I agreed on a pilot suit for 16k. 10k sounds about $40 worth in US dollars.

Be prepared to save and save ether linden or the real life currency to buy the job.If you ever want a new look or style for your SL avatar by all means visit Zantyago Mannonen at his shop Zan's. He has attire for both sexes. And he does excellent custom work. Just be sure to tell him Grease Coakes sent you

Grease Coakes

The SL13B Opens

At 12 Noon yesterday, the Second Life Thirteenth Birthday celebrations officially opened to the general public. And with that, hundreds of residents descended on the seventeen sims. This included the SL Newser's exhibit in SL13B Electrify (40/10/20).

Next door, the Second Life Coast Guard's exhibit also got some attention. Several of the sailors and officers were around.

At the stages, various DJs and live singers performed for the audiences.

At the Auditorium at 5PM SL time, Saffia Widdershins interviewed Zander Greeme of the Fantasy Faire.

There were a few just outside the building panning in and listening from there, but most sat in the ausience.

The SL13B continues tomorrow and all week until next Sunday. Don't forget to stop by.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Second Life Thirteenth Birthday Celebrations Start Today

It's been weeks since the preparations began, and this is the day it all begins. The Second Life Thirteenth Birthday Celebrations start today at 12 Noon SL time (3PM EST). While one can TP anywhere onto the grounds, by heading to the official entrance at SL13B Impressive (156/154/118) and making one's way down, one can pick up a list of landmarks, and a few goodies such as fancy glasses for the event.

And once you've made your way down, there's seventeen sims of exhibits and stages to explore and enjoy events in.

There was some last-minute work being done on the Cake Stage, but it will be ready come heck or high water.

There are many dozens of exhibits around, representing places such as Bay City, and repeat favorite builders such as Loki Elliot.

And while you're there, don't forget the Second Life Newser's own exhibit at SL13B Electrify (40/10/20).

For more information, check out the SL13B blog. You can also read the entry in the Linden Blog, and check various screenshots of the SL13B grounds in Flickr

See you at The Birthday.

Bixyl Shuftan

Cartoon of the Day

With Skylark Lefavre in her Judy Hopps avatar. Looks like this feral fox is just realizing it made a big mistake.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Medieval Faire by RFL Team "Unmasking a Cure"

Yesterday was the start of the Relay for Life's week-long Medieval Faire, organized by team "Unmasking a Cure." Following the opening ceremony, Wadl Schridde performed live for an audience at the Village Square.

Taking place in the Carima Stadt sim, from now until Midnight on Sunday June 26, there will be a number of events. These include musical performances, jousting, melee combat, magical duels, discussions and talks, horse racing, and more. The schedule can be found (here).

For more information, check the event's website at: ,

SL Video: "Lighthouse"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Dragonflyhum on Aug 2009, "A short SL movie"