Tuesday, February 18, 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 'N' ?, TBA, TBA

Happy Vixen: Tree and Underground Dwellers, Silks, TBA, Oceanic, Angels and Demons, Ribbons and Lace, Pants, Best in White and Gold, Boots and Booty, TBA

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Montecito Bay: TBA

Furry Fashion Lounge: CAYA, Wasteland, Video games, TWI Deer Release Party, Hybrids, Tails, Good vs Evil, Late Night, Monochrome

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

"EARN IT" Bill In Congress Could Mean Bad News For Internet Freedom

By Bixyl Shuftan

There's another Internet bill in Congress that could have potentially dire consequences for privacy expectations people online take for granted. Introduced "to establish a National Commission on Online Child Exploitation Prevention, and for other purposes," the "Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of  Interactive Technologies" Act, or EARN IT, "opens the door for the government to require new measures to screen users’ speech and even backdoors to read your private communications."

According to an article in Bloomberg, "The bipartisan measure, ... would affect a wide range of social media companies, cloud service providers, email and text platforms and other technology services. It could put Facebook in the government’s crosshairs for its plans to encrypt all of its messaging apps and undercut Apple’s refusal to create back doors into its devices and services." The article would go on to say, "The Justice Department has tentatively scheduled a Feb. 19 meeting on the future of the immunity known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act ... The provision protects platforms from responsibility for content posted by third parties. Although the measure doesn’t directly mention encryption, it would require that companies work with law enforcement to identify, remove, report and preserve evidence related to child exploitation -- which critics said would be impossible to do for services such as WhatsApp that are encrypted from end-to-end."

Companies would have to "certify that they are following the best practices set by the 15-member commission." If they don't to its satisfaction, "they would lose the legal immunity they currently enjoy under Section 230 relating to child exploitation and abuse laws. That would open the door to lawsuits for 'reckless' violations of those laws ..."

Supporters of the bill insist the ability to read encrypted messages is necessary, saying efforts to protect encryption, “will make it harder to detect -- and stop -- child abuse and similar crimes." Elliot Harmon of the Electronic Frontier Foundation retorted that if the bill became law, "the Attorney General could unilaterally dictate how online platforms and services must operate. If those companies don’t follow the Attorney General’s rules, they could be on the hook for millions of dollars in civil damages and even state criminal penalties. ... It opens the door for the government to require new measures to screen users’ speech and even backdoors to read your private communications.

"EARN IT undermines Section 230, the most important law protecting free speech online. Section 230 enforces the common-sense principle that if you say something illegal online, you should be the one held responsible, not the website or platform where you said it. Section 230 has played a crucial role in creating the modern Internet. Without it, social media as we know it today wouldn’t exist, and neither would the Internet Archive, Wikimedia, and many other essential educational and community resources. And it doesn’t just protect tech platforms either: if you’ve ever forwarded an email, thank Section 230 that you could do that without inviting legal risk on yourself." Harmon would call the bill an attack on Internet Security, entrepreneur innovation, and just plain unnecessary.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerburg has stated his company will continue to be “standing up for encryption, against those who say that privacy mostly helps bad people.” Senator Ron Wyden has openly spoken in protest about the bill, "a tired, debunked plan to blow a hole in one of the most important security features protecting digital lives of the American people."

The website fightforthefuture.org/ has a petition calling on Congress to reject the bill. As of the writing of this article, it has over 8660 of the 12,800 signatures it set as a goal.

The Justice Department is currently led by Attorney General William Barr, whom lately has been the target of calls to resign for interfering with the trial of an ally of President Trump.

Sources: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Reuters, Bloomberg, Ron Wyden

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Relay Hard Cafe's "Last Bash"


Team Shadow will be closing the Relay Hard Cafe after one last bash!!
 Gem and Sasha will be splitting the DJ duties, so no telling what you will
 hear, Best in Purple Contest with 2000L$ on the board. Vendors, Raffles
 and Kiosks, OH MY!!!!

 Tuesday, February 18th
 5:00-7:00 PM SLT
 @Relay Hard Cafe


 All donations benefit The American Cancer Society


by Gem Sunkiller

Monday, February 17, 2020

FrannyDJ's Mardi Gras Parade

Valentines Day is over, but there's another holiday coming soon: Mardi Gras. For those who can't make it to New Orleans in real life, there's a Fat Tuesday parade here in Second Life. For the sixth year in a row, FrannyDJ is running her floats down the street high above the Angels of Desire sim. Gemma Cleanslate dropped by and was able to more than just watch, but become part of the event.

Read the story in Events.

Update on Montecito Bay

It's been about a month since the discount motel in the eastern part of Montecito Bay was seized by the mysterious Azucar entity under eminent domain laws. While there's no new information on who or what Azucar is, another property has come under their ownership. This time it's the Quality Used Cars lot on Palm Street. The cars are all gone and the building cleared out. There's not a great deal left besides the business sign and the "googly eyes" glued on it.

The car lot and the motel may be coming down soon. On another street, I saw a bulldozer and a excavator (or steam shovel/power shovel) parked next to one another. So it seems the razzing of one or both buildings can begin most any time.

For the most part, the seizure of the two places doesn't appear to have affected life in the community. Dropping by a club over the weekend, the people were talking about a furry wrestling league, not Azucar. Then again, used car salesmen don't exactly have the best of reputations. There was one place however that was making an slight extra effort to show others they were still in business. The S-Mart Express convenience store at the corner of Venetia Blvd. and Palm Street, which is near both the car lot and the motel, put up a sign, "I assure you we're open." The sign was hastily-painted words on a cloth. Although the place looked well-stocked, there was no clerk on duty when I stopped by. Maybe the worker was taking a bathroom break, but outside the store trash was piling up.

So will Montecito Bay soon be minus a motel and car lot? Will there soon be a "Rumble in the Bay" as furry wrestling comes to the community? Stay tuned for more information.

The preceding was written as a "fun article" for Montecito Bay

Bixyl Shuftan

A Very Busy Weekend

Saying the weekend was busy would be an understatement. Friday had the Hug-A-Liuden and One Billion Rising events, alongside numerous Valentines Day parties. Saturday had the Kickoff of the Relay for Life in Second Life's 2020 fundraising season (pictured above). On Saturday and Sunday were numerous smaller events by Relay teams. And over all three days was the Home and Garden Expo.

Stay tuned for articles on these, and more.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Cupid Dance

Taken at Club Cutlass' Valentines Day dance. Just what happens if two cupids end up dancing?

By Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted: The RFL Home and Garden Fireworks

Last night (Friday February 14) I went to check out the opening of the Home and Garden and Breedables expo for the SL Relay for Life at the HOPE 1 sim. My timing via a group chat invite was perfect as I arrived just before the fireworks show was to begin.

It Was a wonderful display, no lag at all, at least from my perspective, which I found wonderfully refreshing and I floated high in the sky and cammed around the display. The display was synchronized to the music stream, and for me the timing was spot on, making for a wonderful performance.  The smoke clouds in the shape of the RFL Logo was a nice touch as well.

I tip my hat to those involved in putting that spectacular display together. If this was any indication of things to come, then he 2020 Relay For Life season is gonna be superb! I look forward to relaying with you all!

Game on!

~Matt Carlton~

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries

SO IT BEGINS, the build up to our 12th Anniversary and we have some fun plans for March!  In the mean time, there's stories, fairy tales, and poetry await while our boots are still wet with February.  Join us on an adventure this week.

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, February 16th, at 1:30pm: TEA TIME Special - Death On the Nile. Corwyn Allen, Da5id Abbot, Gloriana Maertens, Kayden Oconnell, and Caledonia Skytower in Episode 3 of this series featuring Dame Agatha Christie's 1937 classic. This week - MURDER! live on stream.

*MONDAY, February 17th, at 7pm:  C. S. Lewis' OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET continues with Gyro Muggins.

*TUESDAY, February 18th, at 7pm: A Selection from Ella Young's AT THE GATES OF DAWN with Willow Moonfire, live on stream.

*WEDNESDAY, February 19th at 7pm: POETRY THIS YEAR. Caledonia reads from the poems selected for recitation by the students in the program she coordinates in her state, live on stream.

*THURSDAY, February 20th, at 7pm: A POCKETFUL OF CROWS Continues, 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.   

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Relay For Life Season Kickoff Today 10AM

After months of waiting, the 2020 Relay for Life fundraising season is about to start.

"It's finally here! The 2020 Relay For Life of Second Life season! ... We will be at two different stages this year! How exciting is that?  If you are unable to get into the regions, you can always listen in at T1Radio.com."

Stage 1 : Home and Garden Expo Stage

Stage 2: Bellisseria Fairgrounds

The event starts at 10 AM today

SL Video: "I'd Give My Heart"

(Click here if the video does not play)

From Furrex on Dec. 3, 2019

Friday, February 14, 2020

Update on Mieville

Some good news for the residents, and fans, of the Mieville steampunk community. For several weeks, the people there have been worried about their landowner, Perryn Peterson, after he checked into a hospital and not a word was heard from him since. That is, until earlier today, when a resident spotted him online. Miss Mattie Puss (MatildaRigby Resident) would describe the encounter.

[11:29] Perryn Peterson wabes to da Kitteh hoping not to frighten her half to death.
[11:32] Perryn Peterson: I is back.  Sort of.  Not in the best of health but back.  You won't believe all that happened.  I hope to see you soonly.


Mieville chat was promptly full of comments, "Linden Labs prob called him up and said you know you got these people panicing and they wont leave us alone." "It's a Valentine miracle.  I can't wait to hear what happened.  Soooooooo relieved.  Wonderful news." Miss Mattie would add, "He left me a message and I cussed him. I love him and wanna smack him for being gone. ... hope he comes back on tonight so I can hug hims and bite hims for being gone and hugs him again."

Talking to Assistant Mayor Wyvern Dryke (Wyvvy), he told me couldn't give me 100% confirmation the emergency was over, but "It's safe to assume he's paying his tier.  I don't think you would be going out on a limb for saying that."

So it would seem Mieville's crisis is coming to a close.

Bixyl Shuftan

One Billion Rising

Today, the One Billion Rising in Second Life takes place. This isn't just an inworld event, but part of a global demonstration in support of the rights of women. Gemma Cleanslate took a look at the exhibits of the sims, and talked to some of the women involved.

Read Gemma's article in Events.

Update on the Sansar Layoffs

Yesterday, the Newser reported on a number of layoffs in the Sansar team that included Kona Linden whom had been with Linden Lab for close to 16 years. While CEO Ebbe Altberg made a short statement in Sansar's Discord channel, there wasn't anything else from the Lab at the time. Yesterday afternoon, the Lab posted the following on the official blog.

There’ve been quite a few rumors about changes at the Lab and their possible effects on Second Life and Tilia. The truth is that we have made a few operational and personnel changes to ensure that we continue to stay strong for the next decade and beyond. This means that we had to say goodbye to a few employees, but at the same time we also strengthened our team by bringing back some heavy hitters who will help make Second Life better than ever.  

So, Second Life is still here and still strong. We’re continuing to invest in its future and you’ll see the results of our commitment this year as we roll out a new mobile companion app, new Linden Home themes, performance and usability improvements, and a number of other new features and enhancements. The ability to change names will be available in the next few weeks, too.  

These changes reflect our commitment to making SL strong for many years to come. To infinity and beyond!

There would be more. In the forum thread "Linden Lab CEO Confirms New Round of Layoff," Soft Linden would speak in response to "hopefully this means they'll have more time, money and effort to spend on SL"

100% what this was about! Second Life has THREE rock star graphics devs now, an engineer with a proven track record for asset optimization to make texture delivery and management fast and reliable, and so much more. The various teams will have more to say in coming months, or just watch the viewer and server release notes. Right now, some of them are literally re-learning to get dressed. They missed the era between Bento bodies and Bakes on Mesh. :)

It was a painful adjustment. But a lot of the old timers and hardcore off-hours SL users here believe these changes are important. It's part of the strategy for breathing many extra years of life into our favorite world.

There was some speculation of who were these "three rock star graphics devs" were. But so far, no confirmations. In any event, it seems much of the effort that was going to Sansar will be now focused into improving Second Life, at least for now.

Bixyl Shuftan

One Billion Rising, Hug A Linden, Today

Today is Valentines Day, and the day two events take place in Second Life. The bigger one is the One Billion Rising demonstration inworld in support of women's rights worldwide. The event takes place until Midnight tonight at four sims, OBR Dance, OBR Rise, OBR Resist, and OBR Unite.

(Click here if the video fails to play)

On February 14th, men and women in Second Life will join people across the world to Rise to protest violence against women, as a show of unity, individual strength, and the need for change. The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can come together to dance, surrounded by an area of art installations, an arena for poetry, a stage for dance performances, informational exhibits and free gifts. For more information, visit onebillionrisingsl.wordpress.com.

Strawberry Linden will be doing her "Lab Gab" show from the four sims of the event, touring them with Kess Crystal.

Join our host, Strawberry Linden, as she tours One Billion Rising with Kess Crystal. On February 14th, men and women in Second Life will join people across the world and Rise to protest violence against women, as a show of unity, individual strength, and the need for change. The Second Life event will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can come together to dance, surrounded by an area of art installations, an arena for poetry, a stage for dance performances, informational exhibits and free gifts. Kess Crystal will be giving Strawberry a tour of the four regions. 

The show starts at 8AM SL time, and can be viewed on Youtube.


Also going on is the "Hug a Linden" Linden event at the Isle of View

Party with us at the Isle of View on February 14th from 12pm to 2pm (Pacific). Meet your Valentine, enjoy music, and don’t miss the Dunk-a-Linden and Hug-a-Linden booths! 

Head to the Isle of View via Portal Park or head to http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Isle%20of%20View%202/84/79/107

Update: the event with the Lindens takes place from 12 to 2 PM SL time

Bixyl Shuftan

Love Made in Second Life : Meet Ruby & Adam

Yesterday on the Linden Blog was the first of this year's "Love Made in Second Life" stories, "Meet Adam and Ruby."

Meet Adam and Ruby - two Residents who met four years ago at the Sexy Brits club in Knightsbridge within the London Sim in Second Life. Strangely enough, it was a song request that brought them together! At the club, Ruby noticed that one of her favorite songs “Crucify My Love” by X-Japan had been requested -- so she had to find out who was behind it. 

“I had to know!” she says. 

When told it was Adam, she was surprised as she had assumed that his avatar was just a bot. So, she reached out to him in chat.

“I thought it wasn’t really a person because he was dancing in the same corner all the time,” says Ruby. “I absolutely thought he was a bot!... I never would have started talking to him if it wasn’t for that song.” 

 Read the rest of the story Here.

Announcement: This Saturday at The Science Circle - "Fire and Rain"

"Fire and Rain"

Saturday February 15

8AM to 8:30 AM SL time

“Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain,
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end,
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,
But I always thought I’d see you again.”

In 2019, too many places on Earth suffered extreme drought and horrible wildfires while other places were deluged by severe rainstorms and floods.  We all hope that none of us ever experiences a fire maelstrom for real, or intense rainstorms that damp them. Yet having at least a touch of a visceral sense of what these would be gives more meaning and understanding to data such as those that Dr. Keith Grant shared with us in his excellent presentation a few weeks ago.

One of the unique qualities of Second Life is that we can construct immersive spaces that provoke a sense of being there, of experiencing. For this purpose we have build a fire burnout. Dramatic experiences inform thinking and conversation. Please join me on Saturday, February 15, don some fire fighting equipment and let’s get started.

Linda Morris Kelley (Delia Lake in SL)

To read more, Click Here


Thursday, February 13, 2020

More Sansar Layoffs, Kona Linden Among Those Cut

For the second time in three months, Linden Lab is laying off a number of Sansar's already small staff. Following a report by Ryan Schultz on his blog, CEO Ebbe Altberg would confirm on the Sansar Discord channel that some of the virtual world's staff were dismissed.

Yes, there were layoffs today. A truly wonderful group of people. But as you can see, Sansar is up and running. We are still in discussion about next steps. Including with the wonderful group of people. More to come. Don't give up yet. Go create and have fun. Not much point in speculating until we can tell you more.

Schultz had originally written that "a very reliable source" had told him "there were over 40 people laid off, and a small number of software developers were moved from Sansar to Second Life." The source had also told him that further development of Sansar had been shut down, though not the virtual world itself. This number of those laid off, as well as the claimed state of development have not been confirmed by other sources. What has been confirmed is one name among those dismissed. Kona Linden (Kona Gurion in real life), would contact Hamlet Au and inform him he was among those laid off. Hamlet would call Kona's layoff particularly sad, "With his layoff, Linden Lab loses its last known link to Second Life during its founding, and glory days of 2006-2008."

Sansar was already reportedly operating under a "skeleton crew" following the previous round of layoffs. Inara Pey would state that Sansar will still be running events in March. But with this latest round of dismissals, the long term future of Linden Lab's next-generation virtual world has become more uncertain than ever.

Sources: Ryan Schultz, New World Notes, Modem World

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Second Life Home And Garden Expo Opens Today, Noon SLT

**OPENING !!  SL HOME AND GARDEN FOR RFL - Feb 13th at Noon**
Wed, Feb 12 2020 7:19:41 PM PST

12pm SLT - Welcome to the SL  Home and Garden Expo - where our merchants will be donating their hard work  for ACS of SL.  Our performers will bring their creation to our stage

1pm SLT Baz (Avantgarde Frequency)

2pm SLT Jak (Jakbnimble)

3pmSLT Songbird Sorbet

4pmSLT  Lantern Release 

5pmSLT - Imperial Arts Dance Troupe will present Daydream

6pmSLT - FIREWORKS - with Crito Galthier , Henri DeCuir , Gem Sunkiller.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Late Cupid

Taken at HV Community. Sorry it took a little longer for the "grey matter" to come up with a joke for the winged white mouse.

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Crown of Leaves: An Interview With Lins And Grimm

Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich Resident) recently interviewed the two people behind "The Crown of Leaves," an interactive adventure story. In the tale, a writer of "scientific magic articles" has to leave behind the place he's lived for ten years and returns to his homeland to start life anew. He ends up getting a job that promises good money, but then things take a turn for the unexpected.

Read Cyfir's interview in Other Grids, MMOs, and Games.

Mieville in Trouble Due To Missing Landowner

The Mieville steampunk community is facing a crisis: the disappearance of the landowner, Perryn Peterson. After a tip, I joined the community group, and in a notice from February 3, read the following.

As many people know Mieville is facing a challenge. Our beloved Mayor went into hospital at the end of December and has not returned. There is a lot of uncertainty about how we should respond but some careful evaluation of where we are right now may help us plan what to do if the unthinkable has happened.

The rest of the notice talked about coming up with a plan about what to do. A later notice discussed about talking about the situation with a Linden.

I ended up contacting Wyvern Dryke, also known as Wyvvy. "Perryn is on extended medical leave," he told me, " Other than that, we have no news.  He left for the hospital on Dec. 28, 2019. He was sick with a severe flu for six weeks prior. We never heard anything after he went to hospital.  For all we know, he's in some rehab center on a drip tube. No one, including his partner, has any RL information to contact him."

So what are the people doing? Wyvern told me they were in the middle of making a backup plan. How much time did they have and how much slack would Linden Lab give them? "We have no idea how much time. LL won't tell us. But they said they'd be wiling to 'work with us' once the rent dries up. In the meantime I am keeping everything going forward like it was before: all events, Social Night, feeshing, etc." While some residents had left the estate grounds, others were staying. The local church was making plans for Ash Wednesday. Wyvern added, "We have Steam Hunt and Steam Expo 2020 opening on March 1. Lasts until March 31. Then in May we have Anxiety Awareness Art Festival." They were still accepting merchants for the Steam Expo, of which info can be found at Mieville Shelley (65/64/1035).

Overall, the mood was optmistic, "Everyone in Mieville is putting forth great effort.  Our meetings on Monday are crowded with concerned citizens willing to discuss Mieville's future.  We all miss Perryn and wish for him to return, but in case he doesn't, we are willing to figure out a new future."

Hat tip: Laraa Short

Bixyl Shuftan