Friday, February 28, 2014

The Oldbie Project: Caliandris Pendragon

Today, DrFran Babcock continues her Oldbie Project with a new article. Her latest interview was with Caliandris Pendragon. Having been in Second Life for over nine years, Caliandris has seen and done a lot, including a position as one of the Department of Public Worlds moles. Some residents might also remember her for being one of those interviewed by the online magazine "TheVerge" when they wrote about Second Life. She talked with DrFran about her Second Life journey began, some misadventures, and other things about life on the Grid.

Read DrFran's interview in People.

Seraph City and Dryland, to Close

Yesterday came some news that two places in Second Life would soon be closing their doors, Seraph City and Dryland.

Seraph City was made in the style of the early 20th Century view of the urban experience of the future, or "Dieselpunk" as it was branded. There were numerous buildings, such as shops, as well as a train and a couple cars. The main buildings were the town hall, located next to the SURL I came across, and the "Seraph Club," a place that could easily hold a crowd  and was made with live events in mind.

 There was quite a bit to see. The old fashioned advertisements and signs added to the feel of the place.

Seraph City was one of the locations in "The Blackened Mirror" Second Life show, as well as where one of the characters came from.

It is still unknown as to why Seraph City is closing, which is set for mid-March. The group for it's fans has been closed to new entries. It did state, "Please direct any questions to Bromo Ivory or Edward Pearse."

More pictures of Seraph City can be found on Daniel Voyager's Flickr. There is also a Seraph City blog (link), but it hasn't been updated in a while.

Seraph City (113/149/106)

*  *  *  *  * 

"Dryland" is located in the Mado sim. In January, Second Life Newser was here when the "Lost Second Life" (link) exhibit by Ziki Questi was set up here. And now irronicaly this sim itself will soon be lost.

Designed by Anita Witt, a notecard I picked up stated she was, "Inspired by the man-made disaster that is the giant dried out Aral Sea in Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan" caused when the body of water shrank after rivers feeding it were diverted by the Communist government for collective farms. The result was that towns and villages that once depended on the sea were abandoned when their source of livelihood dried up.

The sim has a sense of being an abandoned wasteland, with scattered abandoned ships and buildings, and numerous other wrecks and debris. A lighthouse was still running, providing light for sea traffic that no longer existed. Not far from what was left of the water was a small carnival of some kind.

Inara Pey says the sim will most likely close in late March, quoting Anita, "I thought I’d give you all a fair warning in case you have photos or machinimas to make that requires a Dryland background, or if you’d just like to hang out one last time before it’s all gone."

Mado (125/172/38)

Brooke Denimore, RFL Voulenteer, Dies

The Relay for Life Volunteers group got some sad news on Wednesday February 26. They were told one of their own, Brooke Denimore (Brooke Saiman) had passed away.

Hello Relay family, I need to let you know that I got word last night that Brooke (Saiman) Denimore,  2 wks after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, lost her battle on Feb 15th.  Brooke relayed with us for a long time and was on the Pure Heart team, as many of you know.  She loved Relay and her friends, in SL, knew to look for our group to let us know.

Our hearts go out to her partner Zach and all her friends and Relay family.  We'll remember her throughout the season and fight back even harder.

Brooke was a DJ in Second Life and a member of the Pure Heart team for Relay for Life.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Caledon

Caledon, one of the larger Steamland areas in Second Life, is turning eight years old. So one of their social spots, the Gold Dragon, threw a party to celebrate on Wednesday Feb 26. "Wearing the Caledon tartan or colors is encouraged, or just put on something festive with a touch of red, gold, green, or black." The party was well attended, with over two dozen showing up.

Tales From Podex: Dressed to Thrill

It was a typical day in late February in Cutlass. Earlier in the month, people had kept coming in to get Lindens to get something special for Valentines Day. With the holiday gone thought, people still came in, such as guys whose sweethearts were busy at the time. But Valentines Day wasn't the only reason people were getting things. And of course there were other events.

The tellers had a number of customers coming in to do business, and between people coming in found time to chat. They talked about various Valentines Day events and places, such as the Island Isle of View being available for visitors again and the various romantic-themed hunts. There were also people starting new businesses, a little more confident after Linden Labs had gotten a new CEO, and needed capital to help fund their efforts.

While they were talking, a visitor came in. This was a female with dark hair and blue, almost purplish, eyes. She was dressed in overalls, as if planning to do some work that day. Seeing her, one of the tellers spoke up, "Hello, can we help you?"

"Yes," she spoke, "I'm going to be heading to a New Orleans place this Tuesday with some friends for the Mardi Gras, and well, I need some cash to get something a little more ... partyish than this."

"Oh, well we can certainly help with that. What currency will you be exchanging for the Lindens?"

"Oh, just good 'ol American dollars."

"Certainly. Just fill out these forms here."

She went up to the desk, and began taking care of the paperwork, "Maybe there is one other thing. My friends want me to check out this place called 'InWorldz,' but I don't want to be without spending money there as Lindens won't be good there."

"No problem. We recently opened an office there. Just head over there to exchange global currencies over there just as people come here to exchange them for Lindens."

It didn't take long to process the paperwork, and soon the Lindens she wanted were hers, "Thank you for your business, please come back again soon."

"You're welcome. It'll be nice wearing a party dress for a change. Oh, the guys tell me half the girls are going topless anyway, that bare breasts for beads stuff. But that stuff ain't me. If I want some northern exposure, I'll head to a Canadian area."

They exchanged a few chuckles, and the woman went on her way.

The Podex Exchange is located at the Coda sim at (45, 218, 61), with a website at Jacek Shuftan is the CEO.

Note: The preceding is a fictional story, written for the dual purpose of advertisement and entertainment.

Bixyl Shuftan 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cartoon of the Day

This T-Rex is having a little problem with his gear

By Bixyl Shuftan

The 2014 Roma Lupercalia Weekend

Last weekend, the Roma community held it's Lupercalia Festival. Lupercalia was an annual event in Rome, with a ritual followed by naked young men flogging women with goatskins, which would supposedly grant them fertility. Second Life's Romans did the ritual, with their own special twists, plus a number of other events over the two day period.

Read more in Events.


Becky "Sha" Shamen is back after having to take care of some matters in real life. For her first story after getting back online, she talks about her trip to "Prehistoria." The sim offers a couple freebie avatars, plus a trip down below to a land that time (almost) forgot.

Read Becky's article in Places.

Steelhead's Muppet Dance

Friday February 21 had something different for a theme at Steelhead's Friday Night dance. This time, it was a salute to Jim Henson and his Muppets. The event took place at Club Gearz.

Fuzzball, playing the part of Sesame Street's "The Count," DJed for the event. Unlike the children's TV show puppet, he was able to avoid compulsively counting things, though took the time to thank everyone who tipped, "Vunderful, ha-ha-ha!"

Muppet avatars were a bit few and far between, so others showed up as sock monkeys, wearing Muppet and Sesame Street shirts, shoulder pets, and the like. There was also a sugar glider whom made the party.

A good time was had by all.

Word is, the upcoming Friday Night event at Steelhead will be "Dr Seuss."

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Events this Week February 25 to March 3

It's a week full of events in Second Life as February changes to March. Stop by the Winter Safety Game, and test your knowledge of how to avoid disaster on a drive through cold weather. Keep an eye out for early Mardi Gras parties this weekend. And don't forget the Grid's regularly scheduled events from DJ and live music parties, book and poetry readings, races, talk shows, and church services.

Read more in Events this Week

Monday, February 24, 2014

Game Review: Borderlands & Borderlands 2

Second Life Newser has a new reporter on it's staff. Nydia Tungsten, whom regular readers will remember for her several reader submissions, has officially joined the newsletter. In her first article, the self-professed "Jill of all Games" reviews two favorites: Borderlands, and Borderlands 2. "There Ain't No Rest For The Wicked," and there may be no rest for you either as you find yourself unable to take yourself away from the 'puter if you get this game.

Read Nydia's review in Other Grids and MMOs.

A Special SL Kid: Marianne McCann's Rezzday

Many residents whom go about in child avatars tend to be shy and quiet. Not so Marianne McCann. This little girl has made a big name for herself, both in Bay City where she frequents, and in Second Life as a whole. Recently, she had a rezzday party, which drew a number of friends. Among those showing up was Second Life Newser reporter Gemma Cleanslate, whom wrote about the event, and reflected on how Marianne has been over time.

Read Gemma's article in People.

Wounded Warriors Raises Over 50,000 Lindens at Benefit

On Sunday Feb 26 from 5PM to about 9PM SL time (Midnight EST), the monthly Wounded Warrior Benefit took place. The music concert, organized by singer Frets Nirvana, took place at Veterans Isle.

Tonight, Sunday Feb 23, is the second of 2014's Wounded Warrior's monthly benefits in Second Life. We will do our best to exceed last year's donations of $13000 ….hoping for $14000 in 2014! Freedom comes at a price ….paid by few for many. Come and help support those who have made that sacrifice. Enjoy good music and help a great cause.

Four musicians took part in the fundraiser.  Pondman Haalan (Alton Rex) started things off. Reggierookswood Sunset (Andy Frost) took the stage at 6 PM. At 7, Frets Nirvana himself took the stage with his guitar. Donn Devore (Edward Kyomoon) performed for the last hour.

About $51,500 had been raised at the close of the event. Talking to Frets Nirvana afterwards, "We gave it all we could." Asking him whom was likely to be on stage for the next event, "let's see ... PonDman, Maximillion Kleene, Franklee anatra ... and of course me."

The next Wounded Warriors Benefit at Veterans Isle is scheduled to take place Sunday March 30th, Veterans Isle (116/206/23)

Bixyl Shuftan

Cloud Party Shuts Down

On January 24, Cloud Party announced that they had been acquired by Yahoo, and would be closing down on February 21. Daniel Voyager was there, and took a few pictures that he posted on his Flickr and his Facebook page. Regular and infrequent users of the virtual world had gone online to say goodbye.

Earlier, Hamlet Au had commented that Yahoo's acquisition of Cloud Party's team was a strong hint that it would soon be going into the virtual world market (link), "given that Yahoo! is one of the very largest consumer-facing sites on the Web, we could soon see a massive growth in virtual worlds."

Someone posting in Daniel's Flickr comments suggested, "Hopefully, much like Glitch, it will find a way to be reborn! CP had too much promise to simply disappear." If not however, the image just above will be the last moment of "the Cloud" ever shown.

Image credit: Daniel Voyager

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cartoon of the Day: "Superman's Bad Day"

Taken at Club Gears at Steelhead, a sugar glider gets tummy troubles at a most inopportune time.

By Bixyl Shuftan

SL Poetry: "Script Help Workshop"

Give me your timers, your sensor,
Your muddled scripts yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your script folder.
Send these, the hopeless, error-filled to me,
I'll debug them on the Dockside Floor!

April Looming, Builders Brewery Instructor

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ebbe Linden (Ebbe Altberg) Sits Down With Second Life Bloggers

On Tuesday February 18, Linden Lab's new CEO Ebbe Altberg, also known inworld as Ebbe Linden, met inworld with several Second Life bloggers. Pete Linden was also at the meeting. The bloggers were from left to right Saffia Widdershins. Daniel Voyager, Mal Burns (known as Aeonix Aeon in the past), Draxtor Despres, Inara Pey, and Jo Yardley. The meeting was a little more than an hour from 9:40 AM to 10:55AM SL time. Ebbe showed up as the robot avatar available to newcomers just starting out.

Most of the bloggers have already made their comments, Daniel Voyager (link), Inara Pey (link), Jo Yardley (link), and Mal Burns (link). Presumably Draxtor Despres will make his comments on his radio program later today (link).

The meeting was a friendly one, with some minor disruptions reported due to some bugs. Jo Yardley wrote that Ebbe asked if this was normal. Questions (prepared ones) were asked, and Ebbe answered. Among the things discussed were the new user registration, of which Ebbe thought the one he went through was lacking and needed improvement. Of how it is now he stated he needed to know more before making a decision. He was interested in meeting up with the leaders of educational sims and communities. He also wanted to learn more about sports in Second Life. He felt Second Life was the beginning of something big, "I have a huge belief that Second Life is just the beginning of something that can be much, much, much bigger," and wanted it more accessible to users.

He stated people in Linden Lab were interested in bringing back the JIRA, and were looking for a way to do it. He had been a user of Second Life in its early days, as was his teenage son before he was booted due to his age and went to the Teen Grid. He understood that the mainstream media did not see Second Life like it used to, and Linden Lab had lost control of the image of itself it wanted to deliver to the masses.

The writers were overall impressed with Ebbe, and expressed cautious optimism about him. This included Mal Burns, whom has been quite critical of Linden Lab in the past, "... I do feel differently than I have about all other predecessors for a number of reasons. I get a different 'vibe' off of this guy. I’m almost willing to say that he 'gets it.' Almost ... " The biggest beef Mal had was the setup of the press meeting, eight writers each having been privately invited by the Lab. Mal thought this kind of arrangement was bad because it would encourage sucking-up among bloggers, and discourage asking hard questions and critical writing about problems about the Grid.

No one from Second Life Newser was at the meeting. Neither was Hamlet Au, Linden Lab's onetime imbedded reporter. 

Daniel Voyager has a transcript of the meeting available on request, as well as a number of pictures on his  (Flickr).

Bixyl Shuftan

2014 ROMA Lupercalia Festival

On the weekend of February 22 and 23, the Roma region will be having it's Lupercalia Festival. The main event takes place on 10AM SL time: Lupercalia Ritual and The Running of the Luperci

In celebration of this most ancient of festivals we will be performing a Roman ritual for Faunus Lupercus, the God of Wild Things and Lupa, the she-wolf who nourished the founding fathers Romulus and Remus. After the rite, we will have the Running of The Luperci - half-naked youths who bless the citizens of the city. The citizens will run ahead of the Luperci, who will lightly flog them with the goatskin floggers in hopes of fertility (both of mind and body). Following the ritual, we will have our traditional Lupercalia Feast - and clothing is optional!

The event takes place at ROMA Transtiberim (68, 200, 54).

Other events are the Wolf Hunt on Saturday at Noon SL time, and "Venus' Truth or Consequences" at 1PM, Sunday's events are the "Name That Quote Trivia" contest at 10AM SL time, the Grand Feast at Noon SL time, and a game of Harpastum, an ancient form of football, at 1PM SL time.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Linden Lab Stops Development and Support of Three Non-Second Life Products

Linden Lab is trimming it's product line. In a statement made yesterday, they announced that they would no longer be developing or supporting three less successful goods, Versu, Dio, and Creatorverse.

After careful consideration, Linden Lab has decided to cease development and support for dio, Versu, and Creatorverse. We’re grateful for those who took the time to experiment with these products in their early days, but ultimately we have determined that due to a number of factors, we and our customers will be best served by focusing our efforts on continuing to provide exceptional service and compelling new experiences for the users of our other products.

Creatorverse was an iPad application launched in Sept 18, 2012 that drew comparisons to another app, "Crayon Physics Deluxe," which was made several years ago. Dio was announced in January 27, 2013 as a "creative and social experience" in which people could "create places by adding text, photos, videos, and interactive objects into interconnected 'rooms' " that people compared to a MUD or MUSH with pictures. Versu, released on February 14, 2013, was an interactive fiction (aka choose-your-own-adventure) product that gave the reader options on how the story would proceed. While some thought it was a good application, it was noted there were already a number of interactive readers with established markets that Linden Lab would have to spend effort and money to break into.

The end of these applications leaves Linden Lab with just three products other than Second Life. These are "Patterns," which has gotten comparisons to Minecraft, "Blocksworld," a child-friendly application where players can build things with blocks, and "Desura," a digital distribution service much like Steam, but with an emphasis on smaller, independent games. Of these, only Patterns was developed by Linden Lab. The other two were acquired.

(edited later) When Hamlet Au interviewed Ebbe Altberg, he stated “We’ll do some clean-up, there’s some things that are not as aligned." So this seems to be Ebbe's first major decision as Linden Lab's new boss.

Bixyl Shuftan

Eye On The Blog: Hello from Linden Lab’s New CEO

As Linden Lab’s new CEO, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you all - I’m Ebbe Altberg, aka Ebbe Linden in Second Life (although I’ve been advised by many of you to use an alt when cruising around). You can find my official bio on, and there’s a nice piece with a bit more about my background and experience over on Inara Pey’s blog, Living in a Modem World (I offered a few clarifications in this comment there).

Why did I choose to take this on? I did it because I love the idea behind our products, what you can do with them, and the potential for what we can become. I studied fine arts and computer science, and I find creating digital products and services a creative blend that I absolutely love. For me then, the creative and empowering technologies and marketplaces Linden Lab are creating are just incredible materials to work with. I have a huge belief that we can do great things together. Great for you, for Linden Lab, and for our investors. Linden has learned a ton that few companies have ever had the opportunity to learn when it comes to empowering people to contribute in creative ways and collaborate with a global online community. It’s unique.

I don’t really consider myself a ‘gamer,’ but I also don’t think that ‘game’ would describe Second Life either, and I’ve found Second Life intriguing for a long time. In addition to having personally explored the virtual world a bit back when it first started (of course I’m diving in more now), my son was a very active Resident as a teenager, and I’ve been consistently impressed by the incredible things the Second Life community creates. I’m proud to be joining the team that enables this level of creativity, and as I said in our press release, I’m committed to supporting our customers to help you become even more successful.  
Many of you have been very kind in welcoming me via Twitter (I’m @ebbealtberg there), and I’ve read quite a few thoughtful blog posts and forum threads offering advice and raising some issues to my attention - thank you for that! I’ll continue to read all that I can (although I won’t always be able to respond to everything), and I’m looking forward to getting more familiar with Second Life and its communities through both personal experience inworld and communication with you and my colleagues.  
There are big opportunities ahead as we further improve and grow Second Life, and I’m looking forward to our future together.

See you inworld!

Ebbe Linden

*  *  *  *  *

From the Linden Blog post Here.

For the discussion thread in the official forums, Click Here

Image Credit: LaFlecha via Inara Pey 

Press Release: Wounded Warriors Bennefit, February 23

Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announces the second of 2014 Wounded Warriors benefits!  The fourth year running!

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the second of the monthly series of Wounded Warriors benefits in Second Life for 2014.  This effort is now entering it’s fourth year!

Frets Nirvana states:  “As a result of the support of many in Second Life this effort raised over $13000 in 2013 for WWP and prior to that $12000 in 2012.  2014 will be the fourth year that we are maintaining this effort and hopefully with all the great support of the artists and others in Second Life we will once again do well.  What a great thing it is to help the wounded veterans whose sacrifices allow us the freedom to enjoy things like Second Life.”

More than 50,000 troops have been injured in recent conflicts, many of them suffering traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns.  Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) provides services and programs to ease their burdens and aid in the transition back to civilian life.

Wounded Warriors concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The concert on February 23, 2014 is scheduled from 5-9 PM PST.  Featured artists will be PonDman Haalan, Reggiesunset Rookswood, Frets Nirvana and Donn Devore.

ABOUT WOUNDED WARRIORS  - Wounded Warrior Project began when several individuals took small, inspired actions to help others in need. The resulting objective was to provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally. What had been initially viewed as a small contribution (compared with what the warriors had sacrificed while serving our country) has become WWP's signature program:"WWP backpacks delivered bedside to wounded warriors."  Wounded Warriors program has developed significantly over the last several years to include advocacy, benefits counseling, caregivers retreats, coping/family services, peer mentoring, warriors to work and many other programs for the benefit of United States wounded veterans.  To learn more about the Wounded Warriors Project visit,com_frontpage/Itemid,840/

For more information, contact Frets Nirvana

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Neo Machina Gallery

Last weekend, Gemma Cleanslate was invited to the opening of a new art gallery: Neo Machina. Besides the music, there was of course the gallery and it's exhibits. Plus Gemma had a chance to talk to the owner. So what did Gemma have to say about the place?

Read more in Design.

Scenes from the Krewe Bayou Parade in New Toulouse

Mardi Gras is still half a month away. But the New Orleans-themed sim of New Toulouse decided to throw a Carnival-themed parade a little early. Over a few dozen took part in the parade, which consisted of all sorts of avatars from a "Trombone Creature" to a pink vixen to a Roman charioteer, and more. Bixyl Shuftan was there to cover the French-Quarter festivities.

See more in Events.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Events this Week February 18 to February 24

It's a week full of events in Second Life. Valentines Day may be gone, but there are still some places open if your honey was out of town last week. Or you could check out artistic exhibits like the Surreal Complex. And don't forget the usual live music and DJ parties, book and poetry readings, discussions, talk shows, church services, and races.

See the list of happenings in Events this Week.

"What (Do) You Want to Ask Ebbe Altberg, New CEO of Linden Lab?"

It looks like Linden Lab's new CEO will be meeting up with one of Second Life's residents for a discussion, Jo Yardley of the 1920s Berlin Project, and more recently one of the people behind the Drax Files Radio hour. She posted about it on her blog, and invited readers to offer questions to ask (link).

I’ve been invited to have a chat with Ebbe Altberg, the brand new CEO of Linden Lab.

I have of course a big pile of questions and there probably is not enough time to ask them all, but I wanted to give the readers of this blog a chance to ask him some as well.

So, leave your question to mr Altberg in the comments section below and if I get the chance I’ll ask it.

So, what would you ask the new boss of Linden Lab?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Scenes from One Billion Rising 2014

Besides Valentines Day, Friday February 14 was also the day of the One Billion Rising event. Across the planet, men and women demonstrated in support of the rights of women against abuse. Second Life was also the scene of demonstrations in form of artistic exhibits, music, and readings in the four sim OBR region. Gemma Cleanslate was there as a greeter, and took a number of pictures while she was there, along with a few from Bixyl Shuftan when he dropped by briefly.

See the pictures in Events.

Commentary: Ebbe Altberg, Don't Forget the Oldbies

Recently in New World Notes, Hamlet Au had three suggestions for Linden Lab's new CEO Ebbe Altberg (link) in regards to Second Life. Two were excellent ones, that he go about in the Grid not as a Linden but a regular avatar, and that there should be more communication with the residents. But he made one that in my opinion would be a mistake.

 ... the existing userbase is never going away. .... So don't worry about them overly much ...  they'll basically be fine. (Yes, they'll keep complaining like crazy, and say horrible things about you and the company, but that's just their way of saying, "Baby, I can't live without you".)

Hamlet ended up getting a number of comments chastising him for that bit of advice, as Luskwood's Michi Lumin put it, "It's ludicrous to ignore the power of a happy userbase recruiting more users." And there have been times large numbers of people considered leaving the Grid, most recently last years two major changes to the terms of service. When third party Linden exchangers were shut down, many residents outside the United States seriously considered leaving. Even those able to use the official Lindex exchange didn't trust it. If the Lab hadn't backtracked, we could have, correction - would have, seen a sharp drop in the number of residents.

This is not a problem unique to Second Life. Businesses of all kinds strive to attract new customers from automobiles to soft drinks to radio stations. Once while yours truly was listening to one talk show, a host described his time as a disk jockey at another station during a staff meeting, in which the new guy in marketing suggested they stop playing the classic rock tunes they were currently playing and start with more modern pop. The DJ looked at him and commented that would make them loose their old audience while there would be no guarantee new listeners would arrive.

Unlike radio listeners, Second Life's residents have invested more than just time. They've made friends here. They've rented virtual land here. They've run businesses here. So change isn't as simple as turning a dial. But longtime residents, the oldbies, do have their limits. Even having friends here isn't a preventive measure as some communities, such as the Sunweaver/Angels, get together in games outside Second Life, even other virtual worlds.

Granted there are people whom see any change at all as bad. But this isn't the mindset of most longtime residents. And sometimes the reason for the complaint is a lack of confidence in Linden Lab due to it's history. Such confidence takes time to rebuild, and one way to further strain it is to ignore.

And even if a disgruntled resident stays, he won't necessarily keep on as he has. A few years ago, Linden Lab did an about-face to the owners of homestead sims, and suddenly many owners now had to pay a lot more money. Faced with what many called a "bait and switch," many instead chose to let their land go, even though they stayed. And so the total number of landholdings decreased. Even long after this controversy died down, residents less than happy with their Second Life experience are less likely to invest in it further with money purchases. They're also less likely to encourage people outside Second Life to come here. Word of mouth (or mouse) still remains how many new users find out about the Grid.

Ebbe has quite a challenge ahead. It isn't just to bring in new residents to Second Life while reassuring the older ones. It's also to encourage the oldbies to invest more here, more time, more money. A happy longtime resident population will help the Lab by spending more and encouraging friends to come to the Grid. But if the Lab decides they don't need to listen to them, the oldbies will respond by cutting back on spending, and for some deciding it's time to move on, continuing to meet up with best friends in other places.

Bixyl Shuftan

Image Credit: Kirby Crow.

Meanwhile, Back in Rust ...

I didn't plan on writing about Rust again so soon, but my partner Jasmine's been extra busy with this game. Seems lately there's been some concerns about PvPers, so Nydia and the Angels had the idea of making a new main base in a new location. Jasmine was among those who scouted for the place, and then started building, and building, and building.When this picture was taken, it was six stories high. Since then, at least three more have been added, matching the height of the old base. Jasmine has done most of the work.

This stronghold has a few security features, such as the posts meant to prevent "siege ladders" from being built. So *if* it is found, it'll be too tough for saboteurs to crack.

As for the old base, we may not have a lot of time to empty it. The last update accelerated the "decay" feature, so lone wolves who are busy for a few days may find their base in Rust has, rusted, away.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

"Journey On A Pixelated Road"

About four months ago I came across a website for Minecraft called Far Lands or Bust, where a man named Kurt began to walk across the length of one Minecraft world. For the record, that's roughly 32 *billion* meters (where one block is a meter). Technically, that would only take about 820 straight hours of nonstop walking, but I learned that Kurt has been doing this since 2011 and has only gone about 700,000 meters from spawn. Because the "Far Lands" (a place where the graphics get screwed up due to variables being overwritten) were removed a few versions ago, he's continuing to use an "outdated" version of Minecraft (Beta 1.7.3 where the current version is Minecraft "official version" 1.7.4 --- quite far apart in developments)

He is doing it for the charity Child's Play as he explains on his website ( and in his youtubing of the episodes (currently at 327 episodes and counting). He's raised over $170,000 for it. I thought to myself "Y'know, that looks really fun. But they're episodes, they're taped, edited, and a far out of date version of Minecraft. No pyramids, no jungle temples, no trading with villagers, no nothing." So I thought I'd try and do the same, only I'd do my episodes live.

Thus was born "Journey On A Pixelated Road."

Come join me (Xymbers Slade) and give me something to talk about whether it is SL related or not as I attempt to waltz across the length of one (up to date) Minecraft world, updating snapshots and release versions as they happen. I'll be livestreaming from 9 PM to midnight my time (6 PM to 9 PM SLT) and continue to do so every monday, wednesday and friday if the idea takes off. I tried to do something similiar a weekend or two ago and got no visitors (when you advertise to 4chan and not even THEY show up to troll, something's not right) --- there's a 20 second delay in the streaming, but I'll pay attention to the chat as best I can.

Xymbers Slade

WoW Music Parody, "Darn I'm Dead Again"

From Mel White, this World of Warcraft machinima is featured as it has the voice of Shockwave Yareach (Alan Kitchen in real life), known for his music parodies.

"My friend, Alan Kitchen, came up with this hilarious filk after hearing his daughter howl in outrage about how much trouble it was to stay alive on Timeless Isle -- and I couldn't resist using it for my second machinima.

"Felinos is a Holy Priest, and leveled as Holy -- because I like challenges. Don't try that "leap across the bridge" unless you -- like Feli -- are raid geared and have the epic quest cape from the Black Prince. Otherwise it won't work. Trust me on this."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Crew Meeting Pics

 A couple pictures of last week's crew meet-up. Grey and Becky/Joshua couldn't make it, and Gemma was held up until later in the day. So that left DrFran (the dark catgirl in pink to the right), Xymbers Slade whom has been writing again,  the paper's friend Nydia Tungsten, whom was interested in writing regularly for the paper, and myself.

Talking about the Relay for Life, talk turned to "Stinky the Skunk" and joking around with skunk avatars. Xymbers did a change with a wave of a magic gesture. But then the outfit suddenly felt a bit tight around the chest and hips. Guess magic comes with unintended consequences (grin).

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: The Great Mama Allpa Picture Contest

We are pleased to announce the Great Mama Allpa Picture Contest. This is a "rolling event" with prizes awarded to the top 3 pictures every two weeks. Every two weeks we will publish a new "theme" and announce the winners of the previous contest.
The theme for the first "run" is Spring". After all, the weather is grey and chilly so it's time to think about Spring! Sunshine - daffodils - bunnies - ducklings - trees in blossom - sap rising!
1. The theme of your picture must be "Spring" - use your originality and creativity to capture whatever this means to you!
2. Pictures must be taken in world at the regions Glint or Mama Allpa and should *not* be post-processed using Photo Shop / Gimp etc.
3. You *can* use the photo-tools some viewers offer - so get creative with Windlight, or shadows, or vignetting - whatever feels right for you!
4. Photos should be Moderate or PG - please no explicit sex - appropriate nudity is fine though :-)
How to submit
1. Submit your picture on Flickr to the "Mama Allpa" group - and tag your picture with "Mama Allpa". Please make sure your have your profile name in the picture description, or in your Flickr profile.
2. Submissions will be closed on Wednesday 26 Feb and the winners announced on Thursday 27 Feb - along with a new theme for the next 2 weeks.
3. You can submit as many entries as you like, but only one picture per artist will be awarded a prize (so, for example, you cannot win both First and Second prize).
Selecting the Winners
1. The winners will be decided by a judging panel: YT Recreant, Winterthyme Resident, slut (xx.reyes), village bike (Brianna Aldridge) and Ava (AvaAdore Cabassoun) and the judges' decision is final.
2. IMPORTANT NOTE: Prizes will *only* be awarded if 10 or more people have entered the contest - so encourage your friends to participate too!
PRIZES - awarded every 2 weeks!!
1st Prize - 2,000 Lindens
2nd Prize - 1,000 Lindens
3rd Prize - 500 Lindens
Good luck and get snapping! In two weeks (27 Feb) we will announce the theme for the next "run" and the winners of the "Spring" contest.

SL Video: "RFL of SL -- Paint SL Purple Public Service Announcement"

From Cody Pason, "Thanks to Trader for doing the voice over!!"
Relay for Life of SL Website:
Relay for Life of SL Facebook page:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Krewe Bayou Parade this Weekend in New Toulouse

Tomorrow on Saturday February 15th,the New Orleans-themed sim of New Toulhouse will be starting up it's Carnival season with a parade.

Krewe Bayou will parade in the city this Saturday starting at 12:00 noon SLT. The theme of the parade, which will begin at the riverboat dock area, is “Wild and Wonderful Creatures,” and the public are invited to show up and second line—dancing umbrellas are available at the French Market freebie stall—or just make merry, cheer on the krewe, and call for beads and other parade throws. Music will be provided by the Oh Lord What Is That marching band.

 Chatting briefly with Nikita Weymann, she told me, "Carnival season began on Twelfth night, but this will be New Toulouse's first parade this year. There is another scheduled for Samedi Gras, Saturday 1 March." I asked what Samedi Gras was, and was told, "Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday, 4rth of March this year. Samedi Gras is Fat Saturday, a better time for an event involving residents in widely different time zone. ... The idea is to have as much fun as possible!" So what should one expect, "Organized chaos, dogs and cats living together ... mass hysteria!"

The main event, Mardi Gras aka "Fat Tuesday" is on Match 4


Bixyl Shuftan

DrFran’s Alt Finds the Best of the Hunts

DrFran Babcock was on the lookout for a good Valentines Day hunt in Second Life, or rather her alt was. Some hunts were better than others, and some of the best didn't always come with pink hearts all over. What did the good Dr recommend?

Read DrFran's article in Fashion.

Scenes From One Billion Rising

For 24 hours starting at 11PM, February 13th, the One Billion Rising event will take place in Second Life. The event is actually one of a number events across the planet as part of a demonstration in support of womens' rights. On Thursday, Feb 13th, The OBR staff invited members of the press to the four sims people will be gathering at, and there were a number of artistic exhibitions up.

 The sims the event will take place at are:

OBR Rise (186/186/24)

OBR Release (68/68/24)

OBR Dance (168/68/24)

OBR Justice (68/186/24)

For more information, check the following links:

Facebook Page:
Second Life Group: One Billion Rising
Twitter Stream:
Flickr Group:
Main One Billion Rising for Justice page:

Pictures from Gemma Cleanslate