Monday, March 30, 2020

New Sponsor: The Deathlands


The Newser has a new sponsor today: The Deathlands. The place is a roleplay area described as "an isolated post-apocalyptic island community where a handful of hardy survivors desperately cling to what passes for life after the nuclear winter." The place is run by Rebel Wolf (HermitBlue).

All species of visitors are welcomed, though please mind the rules, notably no flying, no laggy gestures and light shows, and above all no child avatars.

For more information, check out the article in Places (August 2019).

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Paradise%20Kingdom/88/35/22

Online Comics: Five Longtime Running Strips


With the Coronavirus quarantines, more people than ever are looking for their entertainment online. Some are turning to cable TV and Netflix. Others are hitting up Youtube more than ever. And more people than ever are playing online games. But this is not all that can be done over the computer. Since the start of the World Wide Web, artists have been putting pictures up. And it wasn't long before artists began putting up online cartoons, not just one-shot pictures but serial strips that were regularly updated. There are thousands to read, but here's a look at five that have been going for years (and have large archives so those bored by having to stay at home can keep themselves occupied for a while).

Read the story in Extra.

Image Credit: Freefall

Great Canadian Grid Owner Announces Closure


In December, the Great Canadian Grid, an Opensim world, went offline. The reason was a dispute between it's owner, Roddie Macchi, and that of Digiworldz's, Terry Ford, which handled the other grid's management services. Macchi started a Gofundme to raise money to get it going. But it was not enough. On the grid's webpage, Macchi has announced the Great Canadian Grid will be closing for good.

I enjoyed my virtual travels and managing GCG in the last 7 years. But it is time to move on.

Since GCG started out as a hobby I decided not to sell the grid but to close it permanently.



Machi went on to say those people who had a place on his grid could get the oars from gevolutionworld.com, "I have made arrangements with Cliff Hopkins aka Shadow to be sure to hand over only those whose names were owners ... He has an entire list of who owns what, and if successful on the corrupted database ... he may also be able to retrieve your .iars." Machi stated he no longer had the database, as "the new hosting company maintains it in their servers," so people would have to contact gevolutionworld.com.


I hope you all find your way and enjoy the opensim world like i did.

Thank you all for supporting GCG and me,

Roddie Macchi


The final line was another swipe at Ford and Digiworldz, whom he has blamed for the grid's closure.

There's been a great deal of chatter on the "Hypergrid Explorers and Creators" Discord thread (link) in the "Great Canadian Grid" channel. "The level of drama in OpenSim just boggles the mind." "Well so much for being nice on opensim. ... time to ruin hypergrid." "i seen this from the very beginning when he started begging for money .. having folks pay tier ahead of time and the go fund me ?? i feel for each and every one of you .. its like a old Inworldz nightmare all over again." One person was particuarly angry, accusing Macchi of stealing his virtual property. It was also stated that the recovery effort of the grid had been 70 percent complete when Macchi made the announcement, and due to accusations of theft the handing over of oars files would be suspended.

And so, another virtual world fades away.

Bixyl Shuftan

A Busy Weekend



Quite a bit happened this weekend. Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, saw the second and third days of the VWBPE conference. The RFL Second Life Cheerleading Squad got together with the Safe Water foundation and had a fundraising event at Union Passage (above). Veterans Isle held it's monthly benefit for Homes For Our Troops. Musician Mankind Tracer returned to Second Life to take part in a concert that raised funds for the World Health Organization to help fight Coronavirus, and more.

More on these events later.

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries


THIS WEEK: Journeys, Adventure, Language

No Foolin'!  Share the joy of stories this week, presented LIVE in Second Life, and on Seanchai Library's properties in Kitely.

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

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

 *MONDAY, March 30th, at 7pm:  Isaac Asimov' THE UGLY LITTLE BOY continues with Gyro Muggins.

*TUESDAY, March 31st, at 7:10 pm:  DREAMS IN THE SAND: Words and Images with Ktadhn Vesuvino, live on stream.

*WEDNESDAY,  April 1st at 7pm: THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH continues with Finn Zeddmore.

*THURSDAY, April 2nd, at 7pm: Anthea Sharp's REAL CHALLENGE: a Spark Jaxley Tale with Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely!  Find teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI).

All sessions held at the Seanchai Library in Second Life unless otherwise indicated. Schedule subject to change. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Cartoon of the Day



Picture, and most of the dialogue, from Anne Brightstar. In real life, even pet items are starting to get hard to find in places thanks to the Coronavirus-induced panic buying. So what's a kitty to do when even litterbox filler is in short supply?

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Announcement: MoCA Event in CDS Today, 1 PM



Come enjoy the singing and stories of Maggi Morpath in the midst of the Museum of Contemporary Art Spring Exhibitions.

It's a chance to gather and celebrate a bit, while many of us are self-isolating.

Today, March 28

1 PM to 2 PM SL time

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Neufreistadt/186/135/181

GROUND FLOOR: Women Artists in SL
on loan from The New Art Cafe Collection.

1. Kerupa Flow" Waterdragon
2. Winter Nightfire: Nightfall: The Plains
3. Byrn Oh: Butterflycycle
4. yumi: We are Closed
5. Janine Portal: The Gypsy Circuit
6. FionaFei: Bamboos
7. DJ SILKY: Bathroom

FIRST FLOOR
"Reflected Feelings" (curated by Delia Lake)
Works from Delia Lake's and the MOCA collection

SECOND FLOOR
Five artists from interstellART (selected by Kyoko Furse-Barzane)

ROOFTOP

Adam Ramona: Infra Assemblage
Feathers Boa:  Alive in Wild Paint
Sun Fairlady: Alesta GIFT -  Thinking Man Statue
Elie Maurice: TVFather&TVSon

The MoCA Cafe & sculpture Garden

Announcement: RFL Team Fundrasing Totals, Week Six


This list is for the first  6 weeks with totals as of Monday 03/24/2020.

Keep an eye out on those Headhunters!! MC - Headhunters went from Silver to PLATINUM in one week!!!!

Keep up the awesome work y'all! Love love love seeing the numbers move!

Congrats to everyone who has hit a Fundraising Club Level!!!! We are definitely saying "Game On, Cancer!"

Bronze

Harshlands, Second Life Cheerleading Squad, Mieville Steampunks, MC - Cobras MC World, Relay for Christ, MC - Highway to Rock, Team Bobbi Sue, MC - Legends MC, Purpose SL Homes, MC - DARK ANGEL REBELS, United Artists of SL, Team Sol Existence, MC - Thunder Demons MC, Foundation For Life, Southern Nights Country Club, SOUL SISTERS n FaMiLy, Sisters in SL, Giant Snail Races, RFL Evenstarr's, Cruz4Life, GridPlay, Team OD, Team Live Wire, Steelhead Salmons, Feed Your Soul - Find A Cure , Slatanic Mechanic, UFS Metamorphosis, PawZ! For the Cause!, Sail For Life, We are Dragon's, Bluzsters For Life, Team Core Charities, The Krazy Korner Team

Silver

Stormy's Stars, MC - Relay Goes MC, Relay Rockers, Esalinus, LOW GEAR AUTO RACING, Seekers of Hope, Inspired Dreamwalkers, Sanctuary Rockers, SHB Gems, Meli's Maniacs, Supernaturals For A Cure, MC - Outlaws KY MC, Nightfall RFL Burners Without Borders in SL, B - Bellis Blues and Djs

Gold

MC - SISTERS OF MAYHEM, Aether Chrononauts Tiny Steps, Cancer Gets Stung, BlueWaters Plaza, RGF Estates for RFL, Free Spirit Hippie Brigade, Goreans in Relay For Life, Roos With A Dream,Friends For A Cure, Spirit of the DragonRFL, Attention on Cancer

Platinum

MC - The River of Life, MC - HeadHunters, The Grove Country Club Estates RFL Team, Gull's Wing Sailing Club, Team Shadow, SUNBEAMERS

Jade

Cure Chasers

Sapphire

Camping for a Cure
Bellisseria for RFL

Ruby

Harmony of Hope

SL Video: "They Came For The Cavorite"




(Click here if the video does not play)

From Aevalle Galicia  on April 2012, "Short silent feature film done in Second Life as part of the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education MOOC, theme 'Cowboys vs. Aliens'."

Friday, March 27, 2020

Patch Linden Says Sim Owners in Financial Trouble Can Ask For Help, Ebbe Linden Says Linden Lab "Very Healthy"



Yesterday was the start of the Virtual  Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. And at 2 PM, Mal Burns interviewed Ebbe Linden and Patch Linden. Among the topics discussed was the sale of Sansar and the cutting back of the tier in educational and nonprofit sims. In the latter part, some questions were asked by the audience.

Near the end of the discussion (at 1:11 in the video), my question was brought up. With the Second Norway estate announcing it may be closing, due to the economic effects of the Coronavirus, might the Lab help out some sim owners whose real-life income was coming to a halt due to the crisis? Patch Linden answered, "Region owners are encouraged to approach my support team if you find yourself in a situation of difficulty because of what's going on. And specifically for Second Norway, we are working with Ey (Ren) on that situation and actually I think we're going to see a really good outcome there."

Patch didn't say whether email or contact inworld would be fastest, or whether to contact him or someone else on his team.

A little earlier in the discussion (1:04 in the video), Ebbe Linden talked about Linden Lab's economic health, "We're devoted to the long-term health and success of Second Life. You can expect us to be around for a long time ... company is in a very healthy position. We're profitable, we're very very lucky in this very very crazy time because we have an organization that is extremely nimble to work with remote people working. So the transition for us to work from our homes. ... we can continue ticking away as usual except some people have to take care of kids at the same time ...  we're working on products that are intended for remote use and people to come together socially and do things without having to get together in physical space so we're seeing very great traction right now with a big uptick in users and concurrency and registrations. All numbers are up ...  we're in a very healthy place, we're very excited about the future."



So it seems the eastern part of the Blake Sea may be saved, and sim owners in trouble due to the economic shutdown might get a break from the Lab. And Linden Lab is healthy enough to weather the storm ahead, at least that's what the CEO is telling us.

More on the VWBPE later.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Homes For Our Troops March 2020



Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announce 2020’s March benefit for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life! 

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the 2020 March benefit in Second Life for the Veterans Support Organization Home For Our Troops. 


Frets Nirvana states:  “HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic or suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. DURING THAT TIME HFOT HAS BUILT OVER 295 SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOMES NATIONWIDE FOR WOUNDED VETERANS.”

In 2019 the community in Second Life sent  $14,000 to Homes For Our Troops, thanks to may kind hearts and great Second Life performers.  HFOT built 34 homes for extremely wounded veterans in 2018. 

Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The January concert on March 29, 2020 is scheduled from 12pm to 5 PM PST.  Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, Toxie Darkmatter, Aaron Cabott Jones, Savannah Rain and QuadRadiX.

Sponsored by Frets Nirvana and the U.S. Military Veteran’s Group of Second Life.  To learn more about Homes for Our Troops visit https://www.hfotusa.org .

Contact Frets Nirvana in Second Life for questions.

Announcement: This Friday and Saturday at The Science Circle - "Global Fires"


"Global Fires"

Saturday March 28

10 AM to 11 AM SL time

Host: Mathew Burr

For more information: Click Here

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Science%20Circle/122/137/3002

SL Video: March 21st Cross-Sim Giant Snail Race




(Click here if the video fails to play)

From RacerX Gullwing on March 22, "In second life, the good players from various corners of the globe band together and run across the second life world to raise money for cancer. Second life is crazy and very glitchy game so you be in SHOCK over the chaos of 20+ people trying to cross one map to another. Check it out, also we race every week at Gulwingcoast at 10:30am SL/pST on Saturday so come join us! Join us!"

The cross-sim race that lasted close to an hour was won by Lendani Resident.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

VWBPE Starts Today, Ebbe and Patch Linden Speak



Today, March 26, is the start of the Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education event. From this day to Saturday  March 28, there will be various discussions and talks. Things start off with the Kickoff at 8AM at VWBPE Gateway Pyxis (97/128/24). Among the discussions this day are when Mal Burns (Aeonix Aeon) interviews Ebbe Altberg/Ebbe Linden and Patch Linden at 2PM at the auditorium.

For more information, check out the VWBPE website at https://www.vwbpe.org/  If you haven't checked out Gemma Cleanslate's article, check it here.

Luskwood Founder Michi Lumin Dealing With Impostor


Michi Lumin, one of the founders of Luskwood, Second Life's oldest active community, has a problem. Someone has been trying to fool others into thinking it's her.

Someone impersonating me on Discord and Twitch - maybe elsewhere There’s a “Michi Lumin #5428” on Discord and a twitch.tv/michi_lumin/ - out there… Neither of these people are me.

They are using my icons and images. It seems there’s nothing I can do about it but make people aware..

I have absolutely no clue whatsoever why someone would pretend to be me - complete with persona and everything, but it's happening and, I have no clue whatsoever what their intention is, but Discord and Twitch certainly won't do anything about it.


Hopefully the spoofer will soon be stopped.

Linden Lab Announces Sansar's Sale to Wookey


On Saturday March 21, it was noticed that Sansar didn't have Linden Lab mentioned as an owner, but Wookey. But there was no announcement from the Lab right away. On Tuesday, there was finally a press release from them about the sale.

Linden Lab has had some inquiries from the public and media about the current happenings of Sansar. We are very excited to witness the unfolding of Sansar getting a fresh opportunity to thrive under the ownership of Wookey Project Corp., a San Francisco-based technology company that has assumed all operations without any interruption to operations or the Sansar community.

We are proud to have given birth to this amazing platform for creativity and live events, and encourage our community to continue the process of supporting Sansar as it shifts to new ownership. We’ve assembled a quick FAQ to address key inquiries about this transition.


There was little information that wasn't already known, though of the people still on the Sansar team, "As for Linden Lab, many members of the Sansar team formerly employed by Linden Lab are staying with Sansar as employees under its new ownership."

On the Sansar blog, they tried their best to make the change look like good news.

Together, we’re turning a page on Sansar’s most dynamic chapter yet, and we’re excited to take you with us. We’re also grateful to Linden Lab for their many years of support, and we look forward to building on the work we started there.

What does this mean for you? More of the amazing events you know and love! More cosplay karaoke, more zero-gravity game nights, more of the massive interstellar shows that Sansar’s known for - thousands joining from anywhere in the world for one-of-a-kind live performances. You can also expect more features for meeting, socializing and hanging out with friends from around the world. Possibly even more ways to experience Sansar across different devices (more on this in weeks to come!). Nothing will change in your day-to-day.

Considering Wookey is a much smaller company than Linden Lab, and Sansar has a much smaller user base than Second Life, it's difficult to imagine them doing much of anything revolutionary in regards to virtual words in the future. Much has been spoken about if Sansar, which has been estimated to have cost the Lab 50-60 million dollars to develop, should never have been tried, or if they should have tried but their mistake was not having been smarter about it. But in any event, it is now no longer part of Linden Lab except as a chapter in it's history.

Source: New World Notes 

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Cartoon of the Day



By Bixyl Shuftan (with help from Umbra Gardenvale and Jasmine Dawn)

Second Norway In Trouble, Economic Effects of Coronavirus Blamed


Sad news. It appears the Second Norway area, the easternmost part of the Blake Sea could be closed soon. The Newser was tipped by a user on Facebook, Karasu Ravinbyrd Tori, whom stated she received the following notice in one of her groups.

I am sorry to inform that due to year of deficit and the current corona crisis, job loss and failing krone exchange rate, Ey Ren are no longer able to keep the ship afloat. LL has closed his account. Ey has contacted LL and the other owners of Blake Sea in hopes of reaching an agreement for further existence of SN and SCE. Make sure that you pick up your no copy objects. I don't know the timeframe when the region goes offline. Unfortunately, I have no more information at this time.

Checking the Second Norway group, there was a similar notice:

Hello everyone, as you might have heard the SN estate is closing. This is mainly due to the current financial situation you see all around now a days. The owner is in contact with LL and other estate owner around to see if there is a possibility to keep some regions down in SCE, We do not have an exact time frame when things will go down yet. We will give out more information as we learn it.

I would like to thank everyone who has rented and enjoyed the estate, we have had a blast hosting


As it turns out, the value of Norway's currency has gone down quite a bit in the past few months. According to Wikipedia, "as of October 2019 is worth about 9 NOK. During the corona crisis 2020, the NOK fell heavily, making one USD cost 12.00 NOK on 19 March 2020."

Second Norway is located at the east end of the Blake Sea area, consisting of a little more than forty sims.

Tori wondered that it might not belong before there would soon be more estates closing, "My advice is... DO NOT pay your tier more than a week or two ahead at a time so as to cut your potential losses if they tank on you." With the shutdowns around the world due to the Coronavirus, with people out of work and businesses closed, this very well could start to happen in places in which the owner was already in trouble or didn't plan ahead.

Bixyl Shuftan

News and Commentary: Can Second Life Replace Real Life Events Amid the Coronavirus Scare?


By Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich)

With the advent of the global breakout of Coronavirus (COVID-19), major events are being canceled left and right. Many have joked that the year 2020 is canceled, but does it have to be? It would seem that Second Life has indeed seen a resurgence since the pandemic started. Linden Lab has even set their sights on the corporate sector since many businesses have had to halt business travel plans.

So can Second Life be a valuable alternative to group gatherings? First, I’ll provide a possible example of a large scale event: The Electronic Entertainment Expo was one of the big events that were canceled this year. The event itself is no different from a car show or computer fair. You have vendors there showing off their products to the public, explaining why they should buy them, and letting the public try out their hardware and software. Would this work in Second Life?

No. This wouldn’t work in a virtual world like Second Life. This large trade show had 66,100 attendees last year. A Second Life sim would fill up pretty fast with that kind of crowd. Most big events in Second Life only can hold 60-80 people. You could try to spread out the crowd amongst multiple sims but even then there would be issues. There’s also the problem of there being no real way to try out the products. People want to touch and feel a new video game controller. They want to play and experience a new game. They want to sit in a new car. They want to do these things so they can write about it or spread the word through other means. You can’t do that in Second Life. You could maybe stream a conference, by why not do that on YouTube?

What about smaller events such as corporate meetings? Why bother? There are much cheaper options than renting a sim just so everyone can have their own virtual avatar. There’s also the problem of everyone having to learn how to use Second Life. Can you imagine Jill from accounting trying to figure out how to dress her virtual avatar? GoToMeeting would be a much better option in terms of cost and time investment which is what companies look for when choosing such services.

Second Life only is an option for very niche events; the kind of events that already take place on the platform. What Second Life can do in this time of turmoil is provide a unique social platform as well as an escape. What do you think? Are there other events that could take place in Second Life that I haven’t thought of? Sound off in the comments.

Sources: New World Notes, Skift

Cyfir

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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


Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver, the Montecito Bay clubs, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.
 

Club Cutlass: Best in 'U' and 'V', Sci-Fi Night, Hippies

Happy Vixen: Quads and Mods, Foxes and Wolves, TBA, Doctors and Nurses, Squirrels and Skunks, Cats and Fennecs,  Bikers and Babes, Work Uniforms, Sheer and Clear, TBA

Club Zero Gravity: TBA,

Montecito Bay: TBA

Furry Fashion Lounge: Paws vs Hooves, Cartoons, Natural Colors, Piercings and Tattoos, Pajamas, Silks, Late Night, Scalies

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.


A Look At The VWBPE Grounds


The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) event starts in a few days. From Thursday March 26 to Saturday March 28, numerous discussions will take place, in the past few years Ebbe Linden saying a few words. Some days ago, Newser reporter Gemma Cleanslate was invited to a Press Day event, and got to take a look at the various exhibits.

Read Gemma's article in Design.

More Landmass Next to Bellisseria



When we last checked on Bellisseria about two weeks ago, over a dozen sims had been added to the north of the 21 added in February. In the past few days however, a few more scattered sims were added to the east, which yesterday became a huge land area worthy of being called another continent.

The huge new area is currently inaccessible. But the sims just off Bellisseria are continuing to be developed, with Victorian style Linden Homes, streets, and special places such as designated "Party Area"s.

What the new land mass will contain, we can only speculate. But it's looking like Bellisseria may soon no longer be called the "new continent."

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, March 23, 2020

Reader Submitted: A SL Surf Battle Royale


With much of the world going into isolation due to the Coronavirus, people are going into Second Life to enjoy what they couldn't otherwise in real life. But you can also enjoy activities in which it would otherwise be too cold or would require traveling too far, such as surfing. Shiny Journo (NarayanRaja Resident) recently sent in a reader submission about  "a SL surf battle royale." Twenty contestants will compete in three events in three sims in an event that he called "the Triple Crown of surfing."

Read Shiny's article in Events.

RFL Sunbeamers Now Platinum, Bid Me Results



On Saturday March 21, the Relay For Life's Team Sunbeamers reached a milestone for this year. The season total crossed the 250,000 Linden dollar mark, putting them in Platinum level fundraising.

Later that evening a 8PM, the totals of the team's first three "Bid Me" events were made final, and the totals announced.



Beamers:  Here are the results of the voting for the first three BID MEs of the 2020 RFL Season.

BIXYL: Fox:         7.756L
             Bunny: 15,100L , goes Bunny for 6 weeks
            
LISKA: Fox:              50L
            Purple: 15,200L, goes Purple for 6 weeks
           
RITA:    Bunny:    8,884L
             Mouse: 12,500L, goes Mouse for 5 weeks

TOTAL RAISED: 59,490L   
     

So this means for five weeks, the team captain goes about on little mouse feet. Liska, usually a red vixen, will be purple for a month and a half. And yours truly will be going about with long ears and a cottontail for six weeks.

And then there's my little tradition of doing something whenever the team hits Platinum. So the first week of the period, I'll be going about as a purple bunny, purple being the color of the Relayers. Perhaps not as flashy as some other times the team reached Platinum, but it is keeping with tradition.

There is still one Bid Me event going, Matt Carlton's "Bid Me Feral." Those interested in making him go on for feet for a while can heat to Club Cutlass at Sunweaver Bay (114/117/757).

As of now, the Sunbeamer team has raised almost 256,000. But the team won't be resting. It has a game almost ready for others to play. And then there is the air show. The next fundraising level is Jade, which is 500,000 Linden dollars.

Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Cartoon of the Day : TP Hoarder



Taken at the Builders Brewery sandbox. When the Coronovirus started to hit English-speaking countries, one reaction by some was to buy up as much toilet paper as they could. Which leads one to wonder, if they were anticipating not being able to buy any more tush tissue for six months, how much of other things that were more important were they getting?

By Bixyl Shuftan

Sansar Bought By Wookey


Sansar, the next generation virtual world created by Linden Lab a few years ago, has been sold.

There has been no announcement by Linden Lab, other than Ebbe Linden saying on the Lab Gab show last month that they were looking to either find someone to co-own Sansar with, or sell it to them. But yesterday it was noticed on Sansar's main page that Linden Lab was no longer mentioned, and at the bottom was "Wookey." It's also mentioned on the Terms of Service page. Sansar bucks have apparently been renamed Wookey Marks.

Wookey does have a webpage, www.wookey.com, but there's not a great deal of information on it. It does list the CEO as Mark Gustavson. It is based in San Francisco, the same city where Linden Lab is. Presumably the company is named after a town in England, though the resemblance to the name of the tall furry humanoids in Star Wars should be obvious to most anyone on the Internet.

Comments have already started on a thread in the Second Life forums.  One can also check out the Sansar Discord channel for more comments (and there have been plenty there).

Hat tip: Daniel Voyager

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries


THIS WEEK: The Celebration Continues!

Join us as we celebrate 12 Years! A Round Dozen years, sharing thousands of stories and poems, hundreds of authors, and building community across divides of global space. And more!  Share the joy of stories this week, presented LIVE in Second Life, and on Seanchai Library's properties in Kitely.

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

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

 *SUNDAY, March 22nd:

~ at 1:00pm: VOLUME 12: Seanchai Library Celebrates 12 Years, with Stories and Poems in Seanchai Library's Ceiliuradh Glen at Holly Kai Park. Shandon Loring, Da5id Abbot, Elrik Merlin, Corwyn Allen, Kayden Oconnell, Caledonia Skytower, and Aoife Lorefield, live.

~ 2-5pm: RADIO RIEL DJ CHALLENGE #4: "Celtic" Music & Dancing in Ceiliuradh Glen as three DJ's take three different views of the theme, broadcasting from The Glen on Radio Riel - @ 2pm: Elrik Merlin; @3pm: Ktadhn Vesuvino; @4pm: Gabrielle Riel, all live.
Both events at Ceiliuradh Glen - Holly Kai Estates (220/60/2966)

~ at 6:30pm: MAGICLAND STORYTIME: "The Secret Garden" Continues. Caledonia Skytower reads from Frances Hogsdon Burnett's first published book (1911). Live on Stream. That which seems neglected and withering can still thrive with caring and hard work - whether they be flowers and trees, or even people. The New Golden Horseshoe Bracket (181/57/30)

*MONDAY, March 23rd, at 7pm:  Isaac Asimov' THE UGLY LITTLE BOY continues with Gyro Muggins.

*TUESDAY, March 24th, at 7:10 pm:  Michael Swanwick's GOBLIN LAKE with Willow Moonfire, live on stream.

*WEDNESDAY, March 25th at 7pm: THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH continues with Finn Zeddmore.

*THURSDAY, March 26th:

    ~ at 7pm: Jenna Elizabeth Johnson's BANE & BALM: A Fae Tale of Eire  with Shandon Loring. (Also in Kitely!  Find teleport from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI)

    ~ at 9pm: SEANCHAI LATE NIGHT, Contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy with Finn Zeddmore featuring stories from sources including Escape Pod, Light Speed, and Clarkesworld online magazines.


****

THIS SUNDAY! Seanchai Library Celebrates 12 Years!


Friday, March 20, 2020

Three Shopping Events


There are a number of events this weekend. Two have been going on all week, and are ending soon. The third will go on to the end of the month. One is the "Art Walk 2020 At Gulls Wing Sailing Club." This is a Relay for Life event in which the money goes to the Gull's Wing Sailing Club team.

Art Walk 2020 At Gulls Wing Sailing Club starts on the 15th of March and runs through the 22nd of March. 100% of sales go to Relay for Life in Second Life!

36 (added 2 more!) RFL Limited Quantity kiosks featuring some of SL's best Artists have donated their art to find a cure for cancer. Come by and see Art in The Park gallery while you are deciding which artwork you have to have.


Dropping by, the artwork was not framed and on easels or on a wall, but in kiosks. One has to pay the amount of Lindens in to get the artwork. Clicking on the poster near the crosswalk one gets a booklet that tells you a little about the event. Among the artists whose works are for sale are Anibrm Jung, Slatan, and Silvermoon.  The event ends Sunday March 22.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gulls%20Wing%20Marina/154/106/23

Another event going on, one featured in the official blog and Destinations Guide, is the Cyber Fair.

Transport yourself to the future with CYBER Fair by ACCESS, open March 5th to 25th. You will find sci-fi, tech, robotic designs, and cyberpunk items by amazing content creators in Second Life. The future is now at CYBER fair! For more information, visit: www.access-sl.com/cyber-fair-by-access.

There are numerous futuristic/cyberpunk-themed items up for sale. This includes a few gachas. With real life news full of stories about an epidemic and viruses, no surprise that among the items are a number of respirators and masks. The event ends Wednesday March 25.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Galactico/128/133/1001/

And for lovers of gacha sales, the Gacha Guild spring event is taking place. The theme is "Spirited Japanese Festival."

Gacha Guild is back again this Spring, themed to honor one of the greatest Studio Ghibli movies of all time, Spirited Away! Get whisked away to a whimsical world in mythical Japan. Grab some gachas and even some gold when the bathhouse opens. Surely someone in there will trade you something good for it. Event is open from March 1st to March 31st. The hunt begins on March 14th!

The place has numerous avatars and accessories up for sale. As before, people can sell vouchers, rare ones sometimes selling for quite a bit, or giving them to friends. There is also a Halftime Hunt event that opened a few days ago. Getting the HUD for it, one looks for piles of gold which are worth points which can be exchanged for prizes. You can do this while exploring the area outside the market stall place, which has some trails and caves (which will tp you to other spots on the sim). Going about, I also found a mahjong table which looked playable. Although the sim is rated adult, the organizers have asked people to hide any exposed genitals. The event is open until the end of the month.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dew%20Drop/74/171/68

Bixyl Shuftan 

RFL Anouncement : Nance Clowes Offering Haunted Mansion Ride


Need a BIG Item to fundraise with?  Try this:

 THE 10-year famous, 100,000+ visited Haunted Mansion Ride is available to any one team can use it to raise RFL funds. Winner would get it exclusive at their sim for several months, time to be determined. Send a notecard to me, Nance Clowes , if your team is interested. The mansion attracts 7000-9000 visitors annually in recent years.

Announcement: This Friday and Saturday at The Science Circle - "VWBPE 2020" "Jurassic Period of USA and Switzerland"


"VWBPE 2020"

Friday March 20
6:00 AM to 7:30 AM SL time

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education 2020

Pre-conference Immersive Experiences

One of the amazing things about virtual environments is how easy it is to travel to interesting locations. Who else wishes they could teleport in the physical world? It is so easy to take a tour and play anywhere in virtual environments…

The Science Circle (SC) provides immersive experiences and focuses on Science & Education; Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Art, and current events like wildfires. Areas on and above the island are accessible via a teleport system and multi-lingual, explanatory signage.

Past Science Circle presentations are available via mini-theatres.

Includes a 30 minute “Question and Answer” about the Corona Virus in our auditorium at 7 AM PDT
Come play a game, solve a problem, and engage in hands-on learning with virtual world education leaders.

No need to sign up, simply come and learn!
 
 
Read more Here 

* * * * *

"Jurassic Period of USA and Switzerland"

Saturday March 21

10AM to 11AM SL time

A comparison of the Jurassic Period of USA and Switzerland: A case study in international collaboration

by Bill Schmachtenberg, Kass Lapidar, and Darien Bradley

Abstract: Schools are currently encouraging global collaborations. There are advantages to this collaboration, but there are issues that need to be addressed. In the presentation, Bill Schmachtenberg will present the collaborative research he has been conducting with Kass Lapidar in Switzerland on the geology and palaeontology of the Jurassic Period of Switzerland and Como Bluffs, Wyoming, USA. A high school senior, Darien Bradley also helped prepare this presentation.

 https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Science%20Circle/67/129/32

 Read more Here.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus Info Center at Inspiration Island



For those wanting to know more about the Coronavirus, and want more than just news reports and Facebook posts, there's an information center at Inspiration Island. Here, you can read some basic facts and statistics. It was made by Briellr Coronet.

A special information area on CO-VID has been set up at the HEALTH HACIENDA on Inspiration Island by Brielle Coronet, RL Medical Librarian at a major U.S. teaching hospital in NJ,  with contributions by Veronica, a RL Consumer Health Librarian in Connecticut.

It will be kept up to date as Brielle attends daily official briefings. If you have questions, leave them for her in the Dropbox here:


http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Inspiration%20Island/68/242/701

"A Message from our CEO: Coronavirus and Second Life Operations"


With the Coronovirus continuing to spread and make news, Ebbe Altberg/Ebbe Linden issued a statement yesterday on the issue. It was to state that measures were being taken to ensure the crisis would not disrupt service, and asking them to show patience, and welcome, to new and returning residents.

* * * * *


As concerns about the current coronavirus outbreak continue, we want to assure the community that we have taken steps to ensure that the Second Life operations stay steady while also helping our employees stay safe through this public health crisis. Our hearts and thoughts go out to those who have been affected by this unprecedented event. 

Second Life will continue to be available without interruption as we get through this tough time together. Due to our previous crisis contingency planning and the flexible nature of our distributed workforce, we are not expecting any changes to response times for support inquiries and payment processing. 

We know that Second Life serves a great purpose for our community as people seek ways to stay in touch with their friends and co-workers, as they grapple with new social distancing protocols, mandated remote work requirements, and other precautionary measures. 

With the closure of many universities and displaced conferences and events, Second Life also continues to be an option for disrupted organizations looking for new remote work, classroom or event solutions. To help, we recently implemented a reduction in pricing to a flat $99/month per region for qualified education and nonprofit organizations.

We are seeing an increase in new registrations and returning residents during this outbreak. Please be kind and welcoming to those who may just need a friendly conversation to escape from this crazy world for a moment or more. If you have a friend or colleague who is looking for a safe place to socialize online during these tough times, we encourage you to help them discover how Second Life can enable them to feel less isolated by connecting them to your favorite communities or experiences.

Like many companies across the globe, we’ve put into action new remote work policies for our employees to ensure that they can take care of themselves and their families while continuing to work from home. Prior to this incident, a large percentage of our company was already working from the “Moonlab” (that’s what we call remote employees’ locations), so we have been able to transition quickly and efficiently to a fully remote setup. 

For the past 17 years, Second Life has been a special place that brings people across the world together -- and we appreciate your trust and support as we get through this rough time together.

Ebbe and all the Lindens


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Cartoon of the Day



Last month, I wrote about a friend getting the boot from a place because they didn't like his nonhuman appearance. So when some friends and I went to a pub while exploring around, and I saw the owner had put a bunny mask on the bartender, my imagination went to work as how that could have come about.

By Bixyl Shuftan

How To Second Life : A Guide For Those Who Are New - Part Two


Last week, Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich Resident) wrote some helpful hints for those brand new to Second Life. Today, in his second part of the series, he has some more tips for newcomers whom are familiar with the basics (and a few whom have been around a little longer whom haven't figured them out yet). One is the Caledon Oxbridge University area which is full of help for new residents. The rest are about the viewer's Preferences menu, which can help you get to more places and make lag less of a problem, the Search function, and how to handle griefers and trolls.

Read Cyfir's story in Extra.

News and Commentary: Will The Corona Crisis Mean More People Using Second Life?


With the Coronavirus epidemic having reached around the world, life has changed greatly. For Americans, there hasn't been anything quite like this since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 2001. Countries around the world are erecting travel bans. There are numerous stories about panic buying and hoarding in the US, Canada, and Australia. Major events are being canceled. Schools and colleges are being closed. People are being encouraged not to gather in large groups. Businesses are having more people work at home.

With more people staying home, some have been asking a question. Will this mean more people coming to Second Life?

In my opinion, there will be a few new users. But we'll likely see more infrequent users spend more time here.

In the golden age of the virtual world, we had plenty of people coming here as it was the talk of tech media and even in TV shows such as CSI. Today, advertising and word of mouth (or word of mouse) draws some here, though not as many. There's also that in addition to online games, people have simpler places to go to online such as Facebook and Netflix. With the high learning curve, only those with friends already here and the curious are likely to stay beyond a few visits.

Will more people from colleges and universities come here? Maybe a few. But I don't see more than a possible tiny few institutions joining those already here. Probably none. After Linden Lab discontinued it's educational/nonprofit discount in 2010, many places of learning responded by leaving and never coming back, not even when the Lab brought it back a few years later.

People from charities and support groups may start making more use of Second Life. With real-life "Relay for Life" gatherings being canceled, supporters will likely look to donate online and find out about the Second Life chapter. Members of groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have met in Second Life before. With the epidemic, we'll likely see many such support group meetings of these and others inworld. A number of veterans have continued to use Second Life for years to meet up. It's likely we'll see a few more of them as well.

But what about those residents already here?

Not everyone with accounts comes to Second Life every day. Their main interests and/or group of friends may be elsewhere online, so come here only occasionally to check up on someone or somewhere they like. They might have been too busy with a job with long hours, or perhaps working two jobs. And other reasons. It's on the record that there are a few people whom drop by once a month or so just to pay the tier on their virtual homes, maybe spend a few minutes to look at the scenery, then leave. These are the kinds of people we'll be likely to see more of.

Eventually, the crisis will pass. And many of these people will go back to their old schedules. But others will have found some reasons to stick around here. Maybe a club where a DJ plays tunes they hadn't heard for years. Maybe a place that appeals to them deep down. Maybe a group of people that gives them a sense of purpose (such as the Relay for Life). So out of the crisis, Second Life very well could get a few new users, and some more active users.

Bixyl Shuftan

RFL Team Sunbeamer "Bid Me" Update


This is the last week for the Relay for Life's Team Sunbeamer's Bid Me events. "Bid Me Mouse," "Bid Me Bunny," and "Bid Me Purple" have been joined by a fourth volunteer: Matt Carlton. In "Bid Me Feral," the country music DJ is offering to go about on four legs for a little while as a multi-tailed feral kitsune fox.

Like the others, there are two kiosks, a default one for those whom would rather stay her current looks, and another for those whom would like to see her quadraped for a while. For every 2500 (no fractions) in the change kiosk, she has to go through a week of two left feet jokes.

All three events will go on until Saturday March 21 at 8PM, at the close of the party at Cutlass that night. The fundraising totals will then be final, and how much time each volunteer has to stay in their new look will be decided.

As of the writing of this article, all four Bid Me events had raised almost 40,000 Linden dollars. The team total for his season is almost 218,000 Lindens.

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sunweaver%20Bay/114/117/757

Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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


Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver, the Montecito Bay clubs, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.
 

Club Cutlass: Best in 'T', Blue Night, Earth Colors

Happy Vixen: St. Patrick's Day, Next to Naked, TBA, Raccoons and Wah, Africa, Pool Party, Oddities,

Club Zero Gravity: TBA,

Montecito Bay: TBA

Furry Fashion Lounge: Celtic/Green, Ferals, Fantasy, Memes, Rainbows vs Gold, Avians, Late Night, Canines

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.


Reader Submitted: Happy St. Patrick's Day



From LS Raccoon, whom is all dressed up, and dyed up, for the holiday of "th' wearin' o' th' green."

Happy Saint Patrick's Day


It's Saint Patrick's Day, the day that celebrates everything Irish. And there are a few Irish-themed places in Second Life.

One such place is Castle Blarney. It's where the Blarney Stone is located. Just head to the top, lay on the floor where the stone is, and kiss it. Will you receive the gift of gab (or be "full of Blarney")? Who knows.

Castle Blarney is in the Wilde sim at (150, 110, 33).

Another appropriate location is the Castle Blarney Pub in the Dublin sim. This location has been in Second Life for years, and always draws a crowd this time of year. So be prepared for lag. "Come visit the lively, always-exciting Blarney Stone Irish Bar in Second Life. Social events and live DJ music occur daily. Live music concerts are also held three times a week."

Dublin (82/82/25).

A favorite among shoppers this time of year is St. Patrick's Town. It's in Laura Liberty's Townies sim. There are shops you can get green outfits, as well as props such as rainbows and pots of gold. There's also a rainibow slide you can zip down, into a pile of gold coins. There's also a beer dunking booth, and a gold mine where you can find gold bars with gifts inside.

Townies (127/27/25)

 In the Celtic Mist sim is Finian's Dream. The Destination Guide describes it, "A mystical and beautiful land, based on old Celtic Ireland. Come discover the secrets of the forest as you explore the misty woods, stop by the tavern, see the countryside, and visit a castle. The region was designed by Noralie78. "

Celtic Mist (97/45/28)

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Monday, March 16, 2020

International Women's Day at The CDS


A little more than a week ago, the Confederation of Democratic Simulators had an event celebrating International Women's Day. There was a "Making Waves" exhibit showing the progress made with women's rights over the years. But there were also performances, such as DJing, and live music.

Read more in Events.

SL17B Applications For Exhibitors Open


On Friday March 13, Linden Lab announced that it was accepting applications for exhibitors for the Second Life Seventeenth Birthday celebrations.

In Second Life, you can explore the (virtual) world from the safety and comfort of your own home -- and that’s why we’ve selected  “vacations and road trips”  as this year’s SL17B theme. Whether you teleport directly or travel to your favorite SL destinations by plane, train or automobile, we hope to see a wide variety of community exhibits and experiences that celebrate the spirit of Second Life escapism and travel.

Residents interested in setting up an exhibit need to fill out an application form and send it. Those interested should read the SL17B Exhibitor Policies set up by the Lab. While the exhibits won't be required to hold to the theme as strictly as previous years. there are still plenty of rules to follow, such as needing to be a new build not seen in previous years, limited to 468 prims, limited to a 32x32 parcel (may have tree branches over sidewalk that do not hinder movement), under 75 meters (can request permission for higher), should not sell items, and others. The deadline to submit an application is May 22.

The announcement also reminded residents that applications for musicians interested in taking part in auditions for the Music Fest were being accepted. The deadline for this is May 18.

The SL17B is scheduled to take place from Thursday June 19 to Friday July 10.

To read the blog post in full, Click Here.