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