Monday, September 30, 2013

Reader Submitted: "What is Second Life?"

It wasn't that long ago in which Second Life got a good amount of coverage in the mainstream media, television and newspapers in addition to news websites. Today the coverage is more limited, and the reaction of many of those unfamiliar with it is that people go there just to act out their baser desires. Nydia Tungsten had a few things to say about this misconception, and above that answer the question: "What is Second Life?"

Read Nydia's article in Extra.

Perri Prinz and her Spectral Shadows Story Series

Grease Coakes recently interviewed Perri Prinz, a resident of the Sunweaver Estates where SL Newser makes it's home. Perri's known for being a DJ with an ample collection of 60s and 70s tunes. But for the interview Grease asked about her "Spectral Shadows" series. A serial with many plots and subplots that she's written for many years, Perri talked about a few of it's influences.

Read more in People.

Wounded Warriors Raises Over 200,000 Lindens

On Sunday night, September 29, Frets Nirvana and three other musicians performed for a an audience at Veterans Isle at a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project.

It's that time again folks... for the Wounded Warriors Project benefit sponsored by Frets Nirvana and hosted by all the fine folks at Veterans Isle.  ... The program has developed significantly over the last several years to include advocacy, benefits counseling, caregivers retreats, coping/family services, peer mentoring, warriors to work & many other programs for the benefit of U S wounded veterans. Sponsored by Frets Nirvana, & US Military Veterans Group

The schedule for the four hour event went PonDman Haalan from 5 to 6, Denny Mac from 6 to 7,  Frets Nirvana from 7 to 8, and Noma Falta  from 8 to 9.

A total of 212,100 L raised was raised that evening in the two helmet-shaped kiosks on both sides of the stage.

To learn more about the Wounded Warriors Project visit 

Commentary: Linden Lab Continuing to Destroy Residents' Trust

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was about a year and a half ago in which I wrote a commentary questioning Linden Lab's decisions in March 2012 after what had been a period of competence in which the residents were largely pleased with its performance. A week of questionable moves, such as saying there would no longer be quarterly economic reports and stating third party viewers could no longer have unique features, eroded the confidence that had taken months to rebuild.

But those moves were less Grid-shaking than two decisions by Linden Lab this year.

In May, Linden Lab ordered the third party Linden exchange services shut down, stating their LindeX would be the only way residents could buy Linden dollars. It was possible the Lab was worried by the attention the US Treasury department was giving virtual currency following controversy over Bitcoin. But Lindex could be slower, some residents saying it took days to a week at times. More importantly, a number of residents outside the United States preferred methods of payment that third party exchangers accommodated while LindeX didn't. There was talk that many of these residents were going to leave Second Life.

Then the Lab finally relented, at least partially. The exchangers could continue to sell Lindens, BUT only the LindeX could buy them back. While the residents were largely satisfied, I ran into a couple residents who lived overseas saying they had no easy way to convert Lindens back into the currency of their home countries.

Just a few weeks later was the Second Life Tenth Anniversary, and the controversy was largely forgotten as the residents celebrated. People were talking about what the next ten years would bring, and what they would be doing at the SL15B and SL20B.

I felt like writing a commentary then about why Second Life was most likely to still be around ten years in the future, but decided to wait a few months, given Linden Lab's history.

Today, the long term future of Second Life is looking a lot less brighter.

Earlier this month, Linden Lab changed it's Terms of Service with no announcement. Earlier, Linden Lab had rights over content within Second Life, but that was it. And it was accepted it was for the purpose of keeping things on the Grid stable. The new terms basically stated anything uploaded was the property of Linden Lab to do with as they pleased, including publishing and selling it elsewhere.

This was a move many content creators saw badly. For texture websites whose own terms of service stated their goods could not be resold, so far two have stated Second Life residents can no longer use them. For Second Life content creators themselves, they had a decision to make. Would they stop building, or would they accept the Lab's statement assuring they would continue to respect their rights, even though the new Terms of Use remained unchanged?

For Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Suntzu, the creators of one of Second Life's more unique performances, Linden Lab's move was nothing short of an unjustifiable power grab, "you just broke the social contract with me as a creator in Second Life BIG TIME." Their performance was meant to entertain the residents of Second Life, not to be potentially taken and sold without their permission, "I actually do sign contracts … that sign away perpetual rights to work I do … But they PAY me!"

And so Tuna and Shava never held another performance in Second Life once they found out about the new rules. Instead, they picked up and moved their act to the virtual world of Inworldz. And with them they took one of Second Life's unique shows.

Since their decision, there's been much talk and speculation across Second Life's residents. And it's not just by the peanut gallery on forums by residents I don't know.  I've seen residents from the Steelhead and Sunweaver/Angels Estates discuss the matter in both Facebook and inworld chat. People have decided to stop producing goods for a while, unless this move is reversed.

Shockwave Yareach commented, "Other companies manage to sell digital merchandise without making the artist surrender their rights to their creations - the only thing they actually own. If LL cannot accomplish the same thing, then not only do they forfeit the right to claim to be a visionary tech business, but they will forfeit the right to be in business at all. Another exodus has just begun, with creators abandoning their parcels and heading to Inworldz. And these people are the ones who make the stuff which makes SL fun. And just like all the others LL has pushed out, when they are gone, you will NEVER get them to come back and lose more money with LL again. This TOS mess must be corrected immediately! Not in a few weeks. Not even in (a) few days. Immediately. If you thought you were losing lots of sims per month, you haven't seen anything like what has just started."

While it was Linden Lab that created Second Life, the actually content has been almost entirely built by residents. It's the content creators that made it from empty virtual land to the landscapes, cities, castles, and more that have attracted the masses. And with them comes money that keeps the Lab going. Linden Lab has in effect bitten the hand that feeds it.

Compared to Second Life, Inworldz has just a tiny population. But that could easily change now. The issues before were worse lag, not as much content, fewer options for avatars, or in the words of some friends, "I don't want to look like a Ken (or Barbie) doll!", and less people. But my visit to Inwordz was actually less laggy than typical days in Second Life in the days since Project Sunshine. And if content creators migrate over, this will mean more goodies, and more options for what your avatar can look like, including nonhuman avatars for any of my neighbors who wanted to give the place a look.

Several years ago, the Microsoft corporation began replacing it's successful "Windows" software with "Vista." As it turned out, "Vista" was a highly buggy product that PC users reviled, and a number of computer owners found themselves switching to Macintosh computers. The running joke was "Vista was the best commercial for Mac ever made."

The Second Life ToS controversy is turning out to be the best advertising ever made for Inworldz. That grid very well may end up with a population explosion because of it.

In the meantime, Linden Lab has stated nothing new since it's statement following the announcement by CGTextures. While they've been called drama-shy in matters such as these, making anonymous announcements from their "bunker," their silence is only encouraging more people to join the skeptics, encouraging people to stop making content, and encouraging people to go from giving alternative grids a look to making their virtual home there.

 Just what is Linden Lab trying to do?

The opinions I've heard are numerous. Some feel these were simple power grabs by Linden Lab. Their objective was strictly short-term profits, greater control over the Grid, or both.  I've also heard people wonder if this was a sign Linden Lab was preparing to sell Second Life, or getting ready to close it down months down the road.

Other opinions suggest something less conspiratorial. As I mentioned, the third party exchange ban came shortly after the Department of Treasury took a greater interest in virtual currency. So perhaps the Feds knocked on Linden Lab's door, and the reaction of the company was panic. The ban, some residents reasoned, was a hastily done move with no intention of ill will, just to keep the Feds from auditing the company, or worse.

And their recent change in their terms stating they could do what they wanted with uploaded content, even distribute or sell outside Second Life? I've heard opinions that this wasn't done out of ill will, to make money from the content should Second Life end up having to close, but rather a "cover your butt" move done by Linden Lab's lawyers. The new ToS was done to help insure against a lawsuit.

Still, if the intention was to help against a lawsuit, this could have been handled a lot better.

Linden Lab, it's past time to admit you goofed up, and change the Terms of Service back.

And if you answer "don't let the door hit you on the way out" like one of you told a third party viewer team member when he suggested he might take his services to an alternative grid, you just might find a LOT of residents stepping through it.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Taken a few years ago at a Second Life club, I came across this while looking at old pics. I thought of my old friend "Hortmage" of the "Freefall" and "Cross Time Cafe" online comic buliten boards whom in the past was subject to repeated jokes after he posted about his daughter's reaction to a frisky cartoon someone installed as wallpaper on his computer as a joke, "Mom! Dad's looking at naked foxes again!"

While this dancing girl isn't naked, I still thought of old Hort.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, September 28, 2013

SL Video: "String Me Up"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From April 2010, "LANCE Rembrandt's newest song, 'String Me Up,' videotaped in Second Life by Flimsey Freenote, set design by Kristine Kristan."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Interview With Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Suntzu

Bixyl Shuftan traveled to Inworldz this week to interview Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Suntzu about their move there following the closing of their show the "Odd Ball" in Second Life. They talked about why they made the decision to move their performance, and why other residents should take heed about the content creator property rights in Second Life issue.

Read the article in People.

DrFran’s Alt Goes Shopping – Autumn Hunts & Gacha Madness

DrFran Babcock, or rather her alt, has been on the shopping scene again. She checks out two hunts, Autumn Effect and PURE Perfection, and the Arcade Gatcha. She found some great freebies at the hunts, and special deals at the Gatcha.

Read DrFran's article in Fashion.

Sunweaver Bay Fire Department

Recently the Sunweaver Estates, where the Second Life Newser office makes it's home, had a fire station built. As it turns out, the owner of the location is a fireman in real life, and had been encouraged to make the place in Sunweaver Bay the estate's own Fire Department by our very own Becky "Sha" Shamen. In her story today, Becky describes how she met the man, and how the firehouse came to be.

Read Becky's story in Places.

"SLShare" Post to Facebook Feature Now Available

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Linden viewer would soon have a Facebook integration feature. On Wednesday September 25, Linden Lab announced on it's blog that it was now available, at least to some residents.

Today, we’re introducing Second Life Share or SLShare for short. It’s a new feature that makes it easy to share things from Second Life with your friends on Facebook.

SLShare is a new, 100% opt-in Viewer feature that will allow you to easily update your Facebook status, share photos, and check-in from Second Life locations to your Facebook wall.

Whether you’re at a great inworld event and want to let your Facebook friends know where to join you, want to show off a photo of your avatar modeling your latest Marketplace purchase, or just share a thought inspired by your inworld explorations, SLShare makes it easy to share pieces of your Second Life experiences with your Facebook network.

The Lab stated the feature wasn't available to everyone yet, only to "a certain percentage of users." It stated it would be available to all at a later date.

(Click here if the video fails to load)

Among those able to use the feature is Daniel Voyager,  who posted some pictures of it on his blog. Hamlet Au felt SLShare was lacking an important feature: a privacy option. For those following Facebook's guidelines about real names, one couldn't post the pic via a Facebook page other than one's account, "Hopefully that's added to this release candidate ..."

Sources: Linden Lab, Daniel Voyager, New World Notes

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rederosity Website Bans Use of Its Textures in Second Life

On Wednesday September 25, Renderosity, a website for 3D artists, announced that its textures would no longer be allowed to be used in Second Life.

In the past, we have allowed a Buyer to use Renderosity products for their use in the Second Life virtual world, as long as the Buyer does not sell or give away the files. However, the new TOS at Second Life gives Second Life the complete ‘rights’ over anything uploaded at their site as of the date of their new TOS. Second Life’s new TOS conflicts with our Renderosity license … Our license “grants the Buyer a…NON-TRANSFERABLE license….[Buyers] may not distribute the Product or any of the Product’s files….in any format for sale or free.” Given Second Life’s new TOS, any Renderosity product uploaded there (even for personal use) is in violation of our license because their TOS is ‘transferring’ the rights them. This is a very disturbing TOS for the rights of anyone uploading items to use on Second Life. 

Renderosity joins CGTextures, which earlier this month also barred the use of it's textures within Second Life due to Linden Lab's change in its Terms of Service concerning the ownership rights of uploaded content. With Tuna Oddfellow closing the Odd Ball over the issue this week, Renderosity's action is likely to deepen the controversy

Hat Tip: Kylie Sabra

Bixyl Shuftan

In Memory of Eilis Pessoa

Gemma Cleanslate and Qwark recently lost a friend. Eilis Pessoa was someone they met one day, and became friends with inworld. But the good times did not last forever. Gemma writes a little about Ellis' Second Life, and how it came to a close.

Read Gemma's article in People.

Press Release: Confederation of Democratic Sims Turns Nine

The Confederation of Democratic Simulators invites all Citizens and Friends of CDS as well as all residents of Second Life to Oktoberfest! 

This year the CDS celebrates nine years in Second Life.  All of you, citizens, friends and SL residents, have made our historic regions an important part of your Second Life experience.   It is with great pleasure that CDS can offer these events for your enjoyment as repayment for your support. 

Most importantly, just have fun.

The Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are at the Neufreistadt Marketplatz Stage.
All times are Pacific Daylight Time, or SLT.
Neufreistadt (159, 181, 172)

Saturday, September 21

11:00 AM SLT Parade through the Sims -- Starts near the Colonia Nova Theater
12:00 - 2:00 PM SLT (TIM SCARBOROUGH, DJ - German Folk)

 Sunday, September 22,

12:00 PM SLT  (Jaynine Scarborough)

Thursday, September 26

Friday, September 27

12:00 to 3:00 PM SLT (REITZ TORRANCE-KIDD, German Rock)

Saturday, September 28:

12:00 PM SLT (TBA)
Sunday, September 29:

12:00 SLT Octoberfest Ball, NeuSchloss, Neufreistadt.
Neufreistadt (245, 142, 203)

Watch for additional events that may be added. 

Let's have a wonderful Oktoberfest, Ein Prosit. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

First Impressions

Among the first things someone does in Second Life once they've gotten around a little is to fill out one's profile. This is what people will look up if they want to know more about you. And the first thing they'll see is the picture. You could just take a quick picture of yourself and post it. Or, you could take some time and effort to make a quality one for a better impression. How do you make a great profile pic? Becky Shaman has a little advice on the subject.

Read Becky's article in Design.

Press Release: IDRAC Disability Rights Conference at Virtual Ability

The time for Virtual Ability's annual International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference is upon us once again. This year the theme is "Let Me In" and the dates are Friday and Saturday, the 27th and 28th of September on Virtual Ability Island.

We are so excited! We invite you to attend the conference if you can, and tell your friends about it - bring them along! 

The slate of presenters is broad and varied. We'll have:

- Panels talking about disability rights around the world
- A keynote address about how young children with disabilities can learn through play
- Another keynote presentation about the World Report on Disability
- A discussion about making buildings more accessible
- Empowerment medicine
- Autism in India
- Reproductive health literacy in Ghana
- Emergency preparedness
- And more

Presenters hail from places as diverse as Germany, South Africa and the Netherlands. Panelists come from places as widespread as Brazil, Italy, Japan, Ecuador, and Denmark.

You can find more information about the conference, the speakers and the schedule on Virtual Ability's website at and the blog at

Join us on the 27th and 28th as we celebrate successes, identify issues and re-affirm the rights of people with disabilities across the world.

International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC)
September 27 & 28, 2013
The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island

Virtual Ability (53/172/23)

*  *  *  *  *

Daniel Voyager had a list of panellists on his blog:

International Panel #1- FRI Sept 27, 5:30pm SLT
Moderator- Svea Morane (US)
Panelist from Brazil- Roth Grut
Panelist from Ecuador- Losairam
Panelist from Denmark- Jens Nerido

International Panel #2- SAT Sept 28, 7am SLT
Moderator- Tom Bukowski (US)
Panelist from Germany- Letty Pienaar
Panelist from Portugal- Winter Wardhani
Panelist from Australia- JayJay Zifanwe

International Panel #3- SAT Sept 28, 1pm SLT
Moderator- Blu Heron (US)
Panelist from Italy- Slatan Dryke
Panelist from Greece- Libido Siemens
Panelist from Egypt- jihan wonder

International Panel #4- SAT Sept 28, 5:30pm SLT
Moderator- Kopilo Hallard (Australia)
Panelist from Canada- LifeSkillsWorker
Panelist from Malaysia- Loquacia Loon
Panelist from Japan- Kiremimi Tigerpaw
Panelist from United States- Zsuzsa Tomsen

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Events This Week September 24 to September 30

This is the last week of September, and the last chance to enjoy some summer themed events. Or you could head to Futurist Town to check out some art in three dimensions. And of course there's our regularly scheduled live and DJ music events, book and poetry readings, races, discussions and lectures, talk shows, and church services.

Read more in Events this Week.

The "Odd Ball" Closes in Second Life Due to New ToS

Shava Nerad, known as Shava Suntzu in Second Life, made a post on Google Plus on Monday Sept 23, which Tuna Oddfellow shared on Facebook. It seems due to Linden Lab's new Terms of Service concerning ownership of content rights, Oddfellow Studios, and therefore the Odd Ball, has closed the curtain on it's performances, possibly for good in Second Life.

"Dear Linden Lab -- it's been a nice eight years," her post begins, "but you just broke the social contract with me as a creator in Second Life BIG TIME." Then listed the new part of the Terms of Service in question.

This means that not only +Tuna Oddfellow's art, but the way we present it and the methods of the Odd Ball and the Cathedral Effect that we present as entertainment and therapeutics in Second Life are conceivably Linden Labs' property if we present them in Second Life.  We didn't see this until today, and it wasn't presented to users in any prominent way.  Please consider any presentations we've done since the change in TOS as lacking due notice.

This is heinous and contrary to every aspect of creator centered culture that #lindenlab  and #secondlife  has promoted, and if you don't pull back on this policy I'm going to actively encourage creators in SL to pull out.  

Even if we trusted you (which, frankly, LL has given us reason to not hold perfect trust over the years -- I'll remember the purge that lost us Pathfinder and many other of the Lindens, for example, and gutted support), the company could be sold with our assets as part of the deal and you would have no control over it.

Shava described Oddfellow Studio as having been made "gone pitch dark, with nothing but a notecard giver with this essay on it." She also encouraged other Second Life residents to do the same, telling the Lab, "You really blew it."

She would later make a second post, saying the decision by her and Tuna was a sad one, and one they hoped they could reverse, "We are very much hoping some inexperienced and/or clueless lawyer at LL made a mistake in revising the TOS and it will be revised and we will be able to unpack our stuff back into SL." She, and Tuna on Facebook, stated they would be moving their performance to Inworldz.

There were a number of comments to Shava's second post, including one from Aeonix Aeon, suggesting the ToS change was part of Linden Lab's "long-tail exit strategy for Second Life as a product/service. That doesn't mean I think Second Life is going to shut down tomorrow, but what it looks like is that they are circling the wagons and preparing the lifeboats." There was also a long thread posted in the official forums (Click Here).

The "Odd Ball" has been a one of a kind performance in Second Life, run by Tuna Oddfellow and Shava Suntzu. It's been described in many ways from dancing in a kaleidoscope to a psychedelic trip without the drugs. After several years of wowing both regulars and people just finding out about it, the show is coming to an end in Second Life. Perhaps that will change if Linden Lab changes the controversial part of it's Terms of Service back.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chest Treasures

Becky "Sha" Shamen's latest article features a new shopping mall, Chest Treasures. The place specializes in goods aimed at the well-endowed lady, but you don't need to look like Dolly Parton to shop here. And besides the shopping, one can stop by the number of lucky chairs.

Read Becky's article in Fashion.


Earlier this month, a warning was sounded in the Angels and Sunweaver groups. Brandi Streusel, one of the more popular members, noted for her "Brandi's Panties" line of outfits, had been hacked. An amount of Lindens were swiped from her account, a number of items on her were compromised, and the most visible example of what happened, Castle Mousehold was wrecked. The possessed avatar deleted about half the place.

As soon as she realized what was happening, Nydia sounded the alarm in the Sunweaver and Angel groups, in addition to several other groups, urging the account be barred from their places until it was confirmed she was back. And above all, not to click on links she was sending out.

As you all probably know by now, Brandi's account has been hacked, I have banned her where I could, but not before the castle was destroyed, right now...our home is gone. I have asked Rita for a roll back that should fix that, as for when we get Brandi back ….I don't know.

Unfortunately, someone else did click on a link sent by the hacker before word got around, Dusk Griswold. So word went out about the second hacked account, warning that if they clicked on anything sent by them, "you need to change all your passwords NOW, and anything your account is linked to."

If  you are ever sent a website link that tries to be something from Second Life.  Make sure that it is actually from

This   IS NOT from Second life.  Never click on a link, or log into a page that isn't an Actual Second Life web page.  If you're not sure,, be safe and just don't. 

Eventually, Brandi and Dusk were back. Linden Lab didn't give Brandi the Lindens she lost back, and she had to go through her inventory to examine what might have been compromised. But the sim rollback was carried out and the castle restored. Dusk reported the hackers tried to rob her, but the Lab took care of the details.

Just wanted to let everyone know LL has restored my account after the hacking incident. The person first tried taking all my Lindens, then buying Lindens. They did succeed in making a few small transactions on Paypal, but they have been notified, and I should get credit for those. The Lindens they took from me here have been restored, and all my passwords have been changed.  

And so the hackers were stopped. Thanks to the community spreading the word, no more found themselves locked out of their accounts. But this was a warning to all about "illicit links and the problems they cause."

" …. people will understand the peril they put themselves in if they don't take 5 seconds to simply check links. They can lose everything and not even be here for it, everything including their own financial holdings. A hacker if they can get your account and log in, they can get access to your personal money line account numbers, and that leads to things far far worse than this world. I know... it's happened to me. I fought tooth and nail to get everything back … "

Words of warning to listen to. And of course, a reminder if one suspects anything funny, don't hesitate to change your password.

Press Pass Media also wrote an article recently on the subject of phising scams (click here). 

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "The Drax Files - World Makers - Episode 11: Dwarfins"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

"I am in debt to SL for giving me an outlet. Yes, it may not be for people with a short attention span but it is perfect for creative people!"

This seems to be programmer Dante Spectre's mantra for engaging in the digital realm.

He together with his wife Judy Chestnut and artist Jaimie Hancroft created a universe within a universe: behold the realm of Dwarfins, little Lord-Of-The-Ring[ish] type beings who can replicate in a myriad of variations simply by carving magic stones.

When a Dwarfin arrives in the world of SL they do so with different skills and traits : wizards as well as peasant farmers may appear out of shiny rocks, barbarians and mighty warriors, fishermen and the odd monstrous looking misfit, they all populate and shape a fantasy role-playing community where every little details is user-created by a three-employee global micro-corporation based in Hawaii and Belgium.

Yes, immersing oneself into a fantasy world within a virtual world may not be everyone's cup of good-time tea, but it could very well be argued that the passion and persistence that drives this monetized labor of love is what we need more of in a world where most people dread their daily routines...."

 Inara Pey wrote more about this Drax Files episode in her blog (Click Here).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at the Mardi Gras Club

By Bixyl Shuftan

Minecraft Ship Battle

Besides Second Life, there was piratey fun other places online last week. World of Warcraft for instance had it's "Pirate Day" at Booty Bay. But there was also Minecraft. Nydia Tungsten was able to set things up for a ship to ship battle, and it was "cannons away." That is, if you knew how to fire the contraptions.

Read more in Extra.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New SL Newser Office in Minecraft

Nydia's new Minecraft server, mentioned here, has continued to develop. Yours truly was invited to build a new office building near the Angels Village, though I answered as busy as I was, it could be a while before it went up. So Skylark Lefarve built one on her own, using a skyscraper template.

A Visit to the Yamato

Miyuki Naidoo, the hostess of Club Zero Gravity, at the Yamato memorial. When hearing about the battleship in Second Life, she wanted to pay a visit. She ended up going with a group, including one Japanese animation fan interested in seeing the ship behind the "Star Blazers" sci-fi anime. Miyuki's choice of wear was a kimono, her feeling it would be more respectful.

SL Video: "Continental Navy Versus Pirates Ship Battle in Second Life"

Continental Navy versus Pirates Ship Battle in Second Life, Sept 18, '13 from Angelic Helling.

 "Within Second Life there is a few of 1700s themed areas where Pirates abound and sail the seas in search of plunder. Standing in the way are the many Navies of the world including the formidable Continental Navy. Join us from a Pirate Captains perspective as she sails her ship into battle against the Continentals! This is the first of two rounds held in the Trade Winds Region on Sept 18th, 2013"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Taralyn Gravois – Art Collector and Artist

There are a number of artists in Second Life who are unique in one way or another. Taralyn Gravois stands out to the point of impressing other artists. Her talent led her to develop a unique method of creating art on the Grid. DrFran Babcock took a look at Taralyn's exhibition in the Pyramid Cafe as part of a group, and had quite a few things to say about her work

Read DrFran's article in Design.

Castle Quest - Looking For Love in All the Strong Places

Becky Shamen's explorations of the Grid took a stony turn for the latest article. She decided to check out a few of the castles across Second Life. Castles certainly leave a strong impression. What tale of Fantasy or of old Europe would be complete without one. One doesn't always have to go far to find one, as there's one not far from the SL Newser office in the Sunweaver Estates. But not all places that call themselves a castle in the destination guide left much of an impression on our intrepid reporter.

Read Becky's article in Places.

Press Release: Exploring Mars and Discovering Earth Space week 2013

 Space Week 2013 is taking place on Second Life! The theme this years is Exploring Mars and Discovering Earth. The National Space Society in conjunction with the International Spaceflight Museum is holding celebrations for all to attend Oct the 5th and 6th.  They plan to kick off the party with Best Dressed on Mars, sporting a contest for the trendiest and best dressed Best Dressed Martian In-Habitat Wear, and the Best Martian Surface-Wear, with prizes to be awarded! The Event will take place On Oct the 5th at 3PM SLT at Yuri’s Night Party Place ,  this is a GA sim so please keep that fashion conscious mind for all audiences!  After the festivities DJ Emileigh Starbrook will continue the party from 6PMSLT to 8PM SLT.  On October 6th There will be presentations given on the theme Exploring Mars and Discovering Earth by varies speakers starting at 3pm SLT on the Spaceport Bravo sim .  Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact for more information on how to be a presenter or questions for the Best Dressed Martian in-habitat wear, and the Best Martian Surface-Wear.

Spaceport Alpha (140/151/23)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Yamato Memorial

A few years ago, among the big ships rebuilt in Second Life was the Imperial Japanese battleship Yamato. Om March 2012, the ship and its sim were found to have have vanished. But recently, the Yamato was discovered to be once again on the Grid. Grey Lupindo went over to the sim to take a look at this huge warship.

Read Grey's article in Places.

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

"Arrrrr! Tis be 'Talk Like a Pirate Day.' So ye landlubbers be on th' lookout fer some buccaneer happenins. Clubs 'cross th' Grid be havin' pirate parties, includin' Club Zero Gravity, where ye gents can meet a saucy lass, an' ye lassies can fine yerself a manly man o' the sea (6PM at Purrfection Estates 232, 35, 3340 ) Anotha place t' check out be Blake Diego (214, 51, 36) where ye can join th' manly pirates or th' scurvy navy as they take their fightin' ships inta th' Blake Sea an' scrap fer honor an' victory (Join the Trade Winds group for more info, and some hilarious chat). An' Luskwood be sure to have pirate fun at sputs theraught th' day (and lots of other social spots which are always occupied."

Ah, talking like that's hard on the throat. Anyway, to those asking how this crazy fun holiday came about? It seems a couple friends, better known today as "Captain Slappy" and "Ol' Chumbucket,"  sent a letter to a syndicated newspaper humor columnist about what until then had been a joke between them, and the rest as they say is history.

So no time to "Arrrrrr"gue, go have some piratey fun.

Bixyl Shuftan

Pirate Speak

By Becky Shamen

In preperation for International Talk Like A Pirate Day, here is a glossary of pirate terms, gathered from the internet.

Ahoy! - "Hello!"
And ye may lay to that! - "You betcha!"

Arrr! - This is often confused with "arrrrgh," which is, of course, the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. "Arrrr!", like "Aloha," means variously, "yes," "I agree," "I'm happy," "I'm enjoying this beer," "My team is going to win it all," "I saw that television show, it sucked!" and "That was a clever remark you or I just made." And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

Avast! - derived from "hold fast". Stop and give attention. This word, like many pirate words, has multiple meanings, so it can also can be used in place of, "Whoa! Get a load of that!" "Check it out," "No way!" or "Get off!"

Aye! - "Yes!"

Aye aye! - "I understand what you said and I will carry out your order!"

Be - "Am, is, are." As in "I (or Me) be goin' t' get more grog, he be goin' t' get more grog, and they be goin' t' get more grog." This will also avoid confusion between "are" and "arrr" or "arrgh."

Beauty - The best possible pirate address for a woman. Always preceded by "me," as in, "C'mere, me beauty," or even, "me buxom beauty," to one particularly well endowed. You'll be surprised how effective this is.

Belay - To immediately cease or stop. Usually used in a disgusted context such as "Belay that landlubber talk!!"

Bilge rat - The bilge is the lowest level of the ship. It's loaded with ballast and slimy, reeking water. A bilge rat, then, is a rat that lives in the worst place on the ship. Pirates, just like their modern-day counterparts (regular guys), love to joke and jibe with their buddies. By all means, pirates will call their buddies "bilge rats."

Booty - Anything of value a pirate can plunder.

Bung hole - It's the hole in a wooden barrel, usually sealed with a cork. To get what's in the barrel out, usually, the cork is pried out, opening the bung hole. Saying, "Well, me hearties, let's see what crawled out of the bung hole" will often be accompanied by the sound of 21st century citizens running for their lives. Yay! Dinner for one, coming up!

Colors - See also, "Hoist the Colors!" The Pirate flag, with many variations. Designed to strike terror into your opponent, many times they would not even fight back, immediately surrendering.

Davy Jones' Locker - Where the souls of drowned pirates go.

Grog - An alcoholic drink, usually rum diluted with water and lime juice, but in this context you could use it to refer to any alcoholic beverage other than beer, and we aren't prepared to be picky about that, either.

Hoist the Colors! - To raise the Pirate flag before attacking. Also a rallying cry for pirates before they go into battle.

Hornpipe - Both a single-reeded musical instrument sailors often had aboard ship, and a spirited dance that sailors do. The common term for being filled with lust is "horny," and hornpipe then has some comical possibilities. "Is that a hornpipe in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me? Or both?"

Hearties or Matey - Shipmates or friends.

Keel haul - A grisly death indeed. The pirate is tied by a rope at the front of the ship at full sail. He is then kicked off and made to drag along the keel, or bottom spine of the ship, usually through the sharp barnacles clinging to the hull. It would act like a cheese grater. "Ye'll be keelhauled!" would strike terror into any pirate.

Lass - A name for a woman, usually more polite and romantic.

Lassie-Lucy - A nickname for an attractive woman, more polite than using 'wench'; often used speaking about the woman rather than directly to her.

Lubber - (or land lubber) Where a lubber is a poor seaman, a land lubber is an exceptionally ignorant seaman. [1] In a room where everyone is talking like pirates, lubber is always an insult.

Motherload - refers to when the largest amount of booty is successfully located.

Savvy - Ok or understand. As in, "Savvy?" meaning "Do you understand"

Saucy - Sexy. "Ye be a Saucy Wench!"

Scrumpet- A name for a women, not the most polite term but not rude either.

Smartly - Do something quickly. "Smartly, me lass," you might say when sending the bar maid off for another round. She will be so impressed she might well spit in your beer.

Scurvy - Well, of course, it's an awful affliction that used to bedevil buccaneers in days gone by; that's one reason there was lime juice added to the rum in the water, making grog. So calling someone a "scurvy bilge rat" is even worse than calling him a "bilge rat."

Shiver me timbers! - "Well, I'll be" or "Is that so?". Originating from when a cannon ball hits a ship and the planking shatters into splinters.

Show a Leg! - Phrase to wake up a sailor. "Show a leg!, it be dawn, you scurvy lubber!".

Wench - Woman, girl, or waitress. It can also refer to a peasant girl.

Yardarm - Not just convenient framework to hang the sails, but often times used as a holding post for the disobedient ol' salts, as in, "Tie that dawg to the yardarm".

Becky "Sha" Shamen

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at the "Sharknado" party at Steelhead earlier this month.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Preparations For Burn2

Gemma Cleanslate reports from the location of next month's Burn2, one of the major yearly events in Second Life. The various volunteers are hurrying to make everything ready for the festival of art and music. And if you're interested in joining, there are a number of positions you can take.

Read more in Events.

Becky Beholds Beauty - Finding Art in Second Life

Becky "Sha" Shamen, in her explorations of Second Life, decided to switch from looking at it's sims to looking at it's art. Some places looked better than others, but she found five places that she felt were quite artistic. And so she got her virtual pen out to describe what the virtual brush painted.

Read Becky's article in Design.

The Metaverse Journal Folds

Earlier this month, the Metaverse Journal, once a noted newsletter covering Second Life, officially closed. Lowell Cremorne (David Holloway in real life), the Journal's founder and main writer, stated he no longer had the time to update, it had been months since his previous article, and rather than leave people uncertain about it's fate decided to make it's shutting down official.

I’m not sure how many people will see this post, but I thought I’d jump in to state the somewhat obvious – that The Metaverse Journal is pretty much no more. It hasn’t been regularly updated in well over a year – not because my interest has flagged but because I plain don’t have enough time to devote to this site AND work on my further studies that involve virtual worlds. I still have 3-4 years of that study to go, so I’d rather draw a line in the sand rather than leave things hanging.

This site has been live since 2006 and was initially launched as (Second Life Oz) and SL was our sole focus. We then widened coverage to virtual worlds more broadly. It’s been a hell of a fun ride ...

Lowell gave thanks to Tateru Nino for her "encouragement over the years," in addition to Feldspar Epstein, Graham Sabre, and Wolfie Rankin who also contributed articles.

Lowel started the Journal in November 2006, saying it was for "bringing an Australian perspective to virtual worlds," but reported on Second Life events, places, and issues in general.

One can still read the Journal's stories at Lowell stated he will occasionally post on his Metaverse Health blog: .

Hat tip: Daniel Voyager

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Events This Week September 17 to September 23

"Talk Like a Pirate Day" be tis week, an' so th' laddies n' lasses ah-cross th' Grid be in happenin's big n' small ... er-um. So besides the Skull and Bones Pirate Hunt, keep an eye out for pirate parties like those at Club Zero Gravity and Cutlass, and perhaps pirate ship battle sims like Blake Diego. And don't forget the regularly scheduled events at DJ and live music clubs, book and poetry readings, races, discussions and talk shows, and church services.

Read more in Events this Week.

The First Sims – Clyde

DrFran Babcock continues her series on Second Life's first sims. For her latest article, she stopped at the Clyde sim. Clyde was originally a combat sim, then became a spot to live on, as well as listen to live music. In her previous "First Sims" article, the place had much of it's history still intact, and offered much for those interested in seeing it. So did DrFran find a similar story with Clyde, or has time been less than kind to this original sim?

Read DrFran's article in Places.

Facebook integration Coming to the Official SL Viewer

Daniel Voyager reported last week that looking at the Second Life Wiki about Linden Lab's upcoming 3.6.6 viewer, it will have Facebook integration built in. The feature is called "Second Life Share."

The Post to Facebook window is part of the Second Life Share feature, which allows you to post to Facebook from Second Life. Second Life Share is an opt-in feature that requires your permission before sharing any information with Facebook.

A number of Second Life users post pictures of their activities on Facebook. Facebook is a little less than happy about some Second Life users using their SL names as their profile names, in addition to some residents refusing to use the service to due being concerned about the social network's privacy policy and other reasons. So the relationship between residents and Facebook is occasionally a bit strained. But with so many Second Life users using Facebook, an example of this being the official Second Life Page having 321,075 "Likes" at the time of the writing of this article, it's a feature that promises to get much use.

Hamlet Au remarked this kind of feature should have been installed much earlier, "six years ago was actually the time to do this, but better late than (never)."

Source: Daniel Voyager's Blog

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, September 16, 2013

Commonalities LEA6

Gemma Cleanslate went to a new art exhibit in the Linden Endowment of the Arts sims. Made by artist Secret Rage, Gemma found the place ideal to pause and reflect. The artist also had a certain message about her beliefs.

Read more of Gemma's article in Design.

The Sha Shop Redemption

Becky "Sha" Shamen designs outfits and clothes. But that doesn't mean she doesn't go out and shop on her own when looking for a good buy, or even better a good freebie. She wrote about her favorite places to shop, with some smaller stores in addition to major ones.

Read Becky's article in Fashion.

Rita Mariner’s New Beach Apartments

By Grease Coakes

Rita Mariner has always been the head honcho of the Sunweavers and the community has been around for a long while. Everyone enjoys being around the legendary Rita Mariner as she runs the "Sunnies" group and sims with a fair hand. When I was DJing at club Cutlass one Wedsday, Rita mentioned she had new apartments on her sim by the water. It always seems like I DJ every Wednesday for the Jenni Greenfield’s Club Cutlass. I think the Sunweavers and Rita herself really enjoy my music and djing.

Rita is a busy bunny it seems as I had to wait a while before she got back to me in giving me a tour in her new apartments. Her new rental property is at Sunweaver Bay (113/77/102). And from what I saw her new development is pretty snazzy. At the ground floor she hopes to add vendor space for the renters and any shoppers who happen to stop by.

There’s also a teleport system instead of an elevator to warp to your floor or to visit a friend. There are several floors along with a pent house up at the top floor. Each floor allows 70 prims for 600 per month. The floors are nice with wonderful ceiling textures. The Penthouse is an extra 100L per month for 700L for more room and a view of the Sunweaver club the HMS Little Dove, where DJ Yulia performs a few events a week late at night.

I asked Rita a burning question as the Sunweavers is a mainly, though not all, furry community and group. "I'm guessing humans are welcome at your apartments just like us furries?"

Rita Mariner, "Oh yes, we love humans; they go get great with BBQ sauce!" *laughs*

Grease Coakes, "Hahaha!"

Rita Mariner, "Well, I like to get all my renters to stay long term, however I can keep them."

Rita doesn’t do everything by herself though. She has her trusted friends Shockwave and Nydia to help her manage her sims. Shockwave also does movie night every Sunday at 6pm SLT at Sunweaver Space (253/175/451)

Rita had this to say about Nydia and Shockwave as estate managers,  One, because I trust them.  Two, because they enjoy it. Three, I am lazy." *laughs*

Grease Coakes: I think everyone has their lazy days.

Later in the interview, Sha came from nowhere and decided to fly inside. She had this to say about Rita’s apartments, "They (are a) good price, if you don't need many prims. I would love to have more neighbors. My house is always open." Sha’s quote speaks for itself as she owns the Arabian house on the hill.

Afterwards Rita showed me a coffee house which had an animated steampunk themed coffee maker. Rita said the theme was steampunk around that rental area. For a small fee of 25L you pay the coffee maker and for a process of a few minutes it prepares coffee for you with various visual and sound effects.

Rita is a beloved bunny as has been the queen of the Sunweavers since its inception back in early Second Life. For a low price per month come check out one of Rita’s apartments if you just need a small place to entertain your friends or maybe need some alone time with a special someone. As Rita said Shockwave Yareach and Nydia Tungsten help out Rita by managing her sims so if you ever have a problem Rita’s friends are there to help you out.

Grease Coakes

Celebrating Mexican Independance Day

At the Instituto Español last night, there was a party celebrating Mexico's Independence Day on Sept 16. People attending, both from the Institute's group and visitors, were passed handheld Mexican flags, and invited to dance. Some people showed up in ethnic fashion for the event, and there was much music to dance to.

The Instituto Español offers lessons in Spanish for Second Life residents, and helps inform about cultural events in Spanish-speaking countries.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Jenni Greenfield as a cheerleader at Club Cutlass.

By Bixyl Shuftan

"Feed The Beast" and The Minecraft Building Contest

Nydia Tungsten and her friends in the Sunweaver and Angel Estates have continued to have plenty of fun in the popular "Minecraft" game. With the players having fun with the "Feed The Beast" version, Nydia decided to put a new server to the test by holding a building contest. So what was build and who won? And what's next in store for Minecraft's Angels?

Read the story in Extra.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Section: Fashion

Today, Second Life Newser has a new section: Fashion. Read here to check out where to find some great outfits, great stores and great deals, and interviews with first class clothing and designers.

Read the new section here.

This Week at the Sunweaver and Angels Clubs

DJ Cynthia Farshore at Club Zero Gavity's Military Night. Earlier in the week, the club had a Police and Firefighter's theme in honor of the first responders on Sept 11th, and then it was the turn for those in the armed forces. Cynthia played a number of military-themed songs, starting with one composed at the time of the American Revolution and a few from the Civil War such as "Goober Peas." There were a few from the Second World War, such as "Der Fuhrer's Face." And later in the party were ones from the "War of Terror," such as "Al Qaeda," a parody sung to the tune of "Elvira," and "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue."

Oh, justice will be served and the battle will rage:
This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage.
An' you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A.
'Cos we'll put a boot in your a**,  it's the American way.

Club Zero Gravity has events on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 PM at the Purrfection Estates, (232, 35, 3340)

After some months in hiatus, Club Little Dove was back in business. The Zeppelin club flies high over Sunweaver Bay, offering a few events a week in the evening, usually at 8PM, and some games between events. Here, DJ Yulia (center) performs with a few of the crowd around her.

Sunweaver Bay (130/137/77)

In contrast to Club Zero Gravity, Club Cutlass' events this week were more lighthearted. Here's club owner Jenni Greenfield as a "Pink Beret" bunny at the "Pretty in Pink" party, which naturally had mostly females dressing in theme. DJ Shockwave was performing that night. Because a few males dressed in theme, we couldn't show a pic of the crowd without embarrassing them.

Club Cutlass is over a hundred meters high in the Sunweaver Space sim at (176, 62, 125).

SL Video: "AM Radio"

(Click here if video fails to play)

By Pyewacket Bellman, "A sampling of the art of Second Life® resident, AM Radio," done in 2009. Sadly, this exhibit was taken online when AM's sponsors stopped funding.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Muertos Okawa and Her New Book

After having published a couple children's books, Grease Coakes recently came across another writer in Second Life: Muertos Okawa. Muertos' story, while fantasy, certainly isn't kid stuff. Grease took a little time to chat with the new writer to hear a little about her story, and what was involved in writing it.

Read Grease's story in People.