Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meet Afsaneh Metaluna: Artist, Filmmaker, and Storyteller

Our reporter Grey Lupindo recently met up with Afsaneh Metaluna. A resident of Elf Circle in the Falathrim sim, she has proven to be a great storyteller, artist, and filmmaker in real-life. Now she brings those talents to Second Life.

Read the story in People.

"Naruto" Roleplay, Kohona Villiage in Shinobi to Close After "Nearly 5 Years"

About two years ago for Second Life Newspaper, I wrote about the Naruto roleplay at the Kohona "Hidden Leaf" Village in the Shinobi sim. It was an RP with a sizeable group, where they could practice combat in and out of the game, or just hang out in places on neutral ground. There was also a large martial arts shopping area that catered to both those in and out of the area.

Recently I heard the Roleplay and Konoha were finally coming to a close, shown in a notecard passed to me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

TO all Konohanians. Konoha has a very proud and inventive mass of villagers, friends, lovers, dreamers, etc. For most of us, we have seen this Village go from amazing, to bad, to good, to worse, etc. This village has been open for nearly 5 years, and in SL time, that seems like a century. We think its time for a change in scenery.

With this being said, we are no longer, and probably never again going to do a RP based around Naruto, And Konoha will shut its doors soon, we will give you guys a few days (3 max) to end or stop your RP's that you have left unfinished, if you do. But you can transfer your Characters to the new RP if wanting too.

Please be understanding of this, we know you all have worked quite hard and have pushed to make it through the ranks here. It's just ... we'll we're tired of the same old same old for what seems like a century.

If you can look past this sudden ending of the village, you are more than welcome to stay for the next RP venture that we will offer.

Best regards,

The Administrative Team.
Lisa Jester, Takiro Ushimawa, Obione Magic, Brittany Wildcat.

PLEASE Do not yell or scream at us about this matter. We know some of you will be entirely pissed, and have every right to be. Yelling at us will not make a difference, we have already made up our minds, and have been planning this for a matter of months. If you choose to yell at any of us, then you might be subjected to temporary ban, or in serious cases, permanently banned.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Taking a look at the sim, construction on the new setting has just begun. It appears to be an urban setting of some kind, though most of the work has yet to be done.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, August 30, 2010

Battle of Britian, 70th Aniversary

While most in Second Life were buzzing about the Emerald mess, some took the time to honor those who fought and died decades before. Tuesday August 24th marked the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the London Blitz. Residents gathered across three places on the Grid to remember those killed.

Read the story in Events.

More Burn2 Preperation

Well, this morning Emcee Widget, on her way to Burning Man in real life, took time to let us know that the Theme Camp Applications are available on the Burn2 Blog. She also closed the lottery location. All those who have paid 100L are in the lottery for a plot.

In order to get a theme camp you must have a “compelling description“ of the site proposed and activities planned there. There are 12 plots available so you have to be really creative. Emcee suggested that you take a look at the Burning Man website for some ideas of a theme camp. Visit http://www.burn2.org/theme_camps for more information on the Burn2 camps.

The theme camps can be any theme not exactly in keeping with the overall theme as I read it. The judges will see what you have to offer and make a decision. Deadline is 12:00 Noon SLT Sunday, September 5. Winners will be announced Sunday, September 12.

Good Luck to all!!
Gemma Cleanslate

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Breezes Thoughts

I know I don't walk so well , but hey I do love SL for keeping me dry even underwater.

I met a clam, oh really ... guess what? It was a male avatar trying to get my attention. Whoa there Nellie! He got his mouth smacked and is now encased in his shell like a clamman oughter be.

I suggested to myself that I invest in a pair of glasses, and I think I need me a bikini. Mmmmm yes.

Breezes Babii

Second Life and the Disabled on YouTube

Debbi Latte, a singer in Second Life, came across this YouTube of how Second Life can aid the disabled, "I'm so excited that Second Life is getting some GOOD press for being helpful for someone."

Many readers here are probably familiar with how those with disabilities are better able to interact with others, entertain themselves, and more importantly to some, do something useful and feel a sense of purpose. For one woman with multiple sclerosis in this video, she found something unexpected: an offer for a job in real life.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Why I Became a Child Avatar by Pygar Bu

Gemma Cleanslate's series on the Kids of Second Life comes to a close with our fifth and final story. Pygar Bu, a twelve year old angel, describes how he came to Second Life, a little on what he does here, and why he'll never grow up.

Read Pygar's story in People.

And so our look at the Kids' Community comes to a close. We hope this has been entertaining and informative. If a reader has a suggestion on another group of people whom to write about, please, drop us a line.

More Developments on “Emeraldgate”

In the days following Linden Labs taking the Emerald Viewer down from its list of approved viewers, and the decision of Fractured Crystal to resign on Sunday August 22nd, the controversy has yet to die down.

Probably the most clear example of this was the “Tonight Live” talk show that evening. The show was plagued not only by technical difficulties, but there were also a number of likely griefers at the sim, judging by both Paisley’s observations of day-old avatars with replicating scripts, and my own when I got there of seeing what at times resembled a peanut gallery. Paisley ended up having to do the show in a secret location, with the studio audience facing a gray wall on the set labeled “REHEARSAL.” This was an action Paisley and her staff hated to, but as the hostess stated, “the show must go on.”

On Tuesday, Linden Lab finally ended its silence about Emerald since removing it from it's third-party viewer list without explanation. In it’s “Malicious Viewers and Our Third-Party Viewer Policy,“ It clearly labeled the action on Emerald’s rival a denial-of-service attack:

We have removed Emerald from the list of third-party viewers, and are now in touch with the Emerald team to discuss what can happen next. We did this to do our best to protect the safety and security of Second Life users. We will not tolerate a viewer that includes malicious code, nor will we tolerate development teams with a history of violating users’ trust or disrupting their lives.

We take privacy, safety, and security very seriously, and we will act to the best of our abilities to protect it. We have not yet disabled logins via the Emerald viewer, but will do so if we feel the software and the team behind it is not able to meet the standards we’ve set. ... The third-party viewer directory is designed to be largely self-policing, but we take our responsibility to act very seriously when problems come to our attention.

Contrary to some of the rumors flying around, Emerald users will still be permitted to use their viewers, at least for now. At worst, Linden Labs will block the use of Emerald viewers. Tales of users under threat of suspension for using Emerald are false.

Despite the problems, some residents continue to use Emerald. Others have switched to the new 2.0 viewer, but some of them doing so reluctantly and open to alternatives. One such alternative that keeps being mentioned is the “Imprudence” viewer, available in Windows, Mac OSX, and Windows. It’s been described as more useful to builders than the new LL Viewer, though not perfect. LordGregGreg, the ex-Emerald developer whose exit marked the beginning of the controversy, recently offered an alternative of his own, “produced in a way where all binaries are either provided from a well known trusted source (such as linden lab or openjpeg), or myself,” the “Emergence Viewer.”

Ex-Linden Qarl Fizz, who joined the Emerald team just before the denial-of-service attack, gave no response to a request to be interviewed by SL Newser. On New World Notes, he described himself as being “pleasantly surprised with how the Emerald people are handling the mess.”

Modular Systems, the creators of the Emerald Viewer, stated, they “received a large list of requirements and conditions from LL. ... At this point, I can safely say that we fully intend to address and fulfill ALL of them as soon as we possibly can. ... Although some of these conditions will be very difficult, we feel they are reasonable considering recent events. Due to that difficulty however, some will take more time than others to fulfill. It is a big list of things that we need to do and we will be providing LL with a time frame on each individual item ... Once we have completed these items to the full satisfaction of Linden Lab, we intend to re-apply.”

Sources: Linden Blog, Tonight Live, New World Notes,

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why I Too Became a Child Avatar

Our series on the Kids of Second Life by Gemma Cleanslate reaches Part Four. Everest Piek describes how he came to Second Life, and some of his journey along the way, from his friends to his in-world family. And he talks about some of the projects he's gotten involved with.

Read the story in People.

Horsenet Horse Rescue

Reporter Grey Lupindo came across a place in Second Life devoted to helping out horses in need in real life: the Horsenet Horse Rescue. Laura24 Kiranov tells about exactly what her organization does, and what it needs, both in real life and Second Life.

Read the story in Places.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why I became a Child Avatar

In part three of our series on the Kids of Second Life by Gemma Cleanslate, we have a few words with Patty Wylie. "Lil' Patty" describes a little about her life as a child here, a little on how she came to be one, and a little on what keeps her coming back.

Read the story in People.

Apperance at Cypress Rosewood's “When Worlds Collide”

On Monday evening at 7 PM SL time, I made an appearance on the “When Worlds Collide” talk show, hosted by Cypress Rosewood. Cypress is a musician in Second Life, playing his unique style in a tall elven avatar, but he also does this talk show once a week. His normal routine, first he plays another musician’s music or have the musician play it himself. Then he reads an article about Second Life or the Internet in general. And finally, interviewing his guests.

Cypress does his show on a set in front of an audience in the Native Lands sim. It’s also broadcasted on Radio Free Nashville 107.1 WRFN-LP (http://www.radiofreenashville.org/). It’s a “100-watt station” covering the Nashville Tennessee suburb of Pasquo. The show runs from 9 to 10 PM local time.

I can’t remember whose music was playing, but the article was from the “Guardian” about how computers and the Internet may be rewiring people’s brains. Then it was my turn. Cypress was polite and friendly as an interviewer, the questions ranging from how I got here, to how I got to be an online journalist, to some of what I’ve covered. All in all, I would say things went well despite my having “a voice for newspapers,” and I got to mention a few certain people and places (notably the reporters here).

Cypress has had some hard luck in recent months. First a robber broke into his home, stealing thousands of dollars worth of goods. Then came the Nashville floods, which hit both his home and business. Despite these blows, Cypress has come back and continues to perform in these two different roles in the media.

The “When Worlds Collide” set is at Native Lands (232, 140, 29). The show runs Mondays on 7 PM SL time.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Goodbye Kim Trefusis

Readers from Second Life Newspaper may remember Kim Trefusis, whom covered events in 2009. Like many reporters, he covered quite a number of places around the Grid. Although many of his articles are no longer available for viewing due to being in closed sections, there are still some available for view in the still-open main section of SL Newspaper.

We were recently contacted, and told that he had passed away.

Our condolences to his family. Rest in Peace, Kim.

Sage Kostenbaum

In Part Two of Gemma Cleanslate's series on the Kid avatars of Second Life, we look at Sage Kostenbaum. Sage explains how she found out about child avatars and why she became one.

Read the story in People.

Burn2 Preperations

The Burn2 Blog is posting the Volunteer application . For those interested you can fill out the application checking the job(s) you would like to do and submit it. There are many positions to be filled and you will have fun whether you have lots of time or just a few hours to dedicate. You can check some of the duties by clicking on various departments. The playa is alive during the Burn2 with activities going on all the time and magnificent builds to view.

To go to the volunteer application, go to http://www.burn2.org/volunteer-signup

Artists and creators this year, you can purchase a plot ahead of time for 8000L assuring you of a place for your build. The full explanation is there with directions. The information is on the blog at http://www.burn2.org/node/70

You can also enter a lottery for a 100L fee, which is all explained on the blog also at http://www.burn2.org/node/69 Read the page carefully! Good luck to all!

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, August 23, 2010

Club Zero Gravity, Illusions, Team Up For a Month, Offer Beachhouse in Contest

Nydia Tungsten, the co-owner of Club Zero Gravity, recently announced that Club Zero Gravity was teaming up with Illusions. Club Illusions is the new club in the Purrfection Estates, which Club Zero Gravity resides in.

Nydia also announced the two clubs were having a contest. A beach house in Purrfection worth about 12,000 Lindens would be given rent free to the winner for a month, “We will be giving it away on the first Saturday of September until the the 4th of October. If you would like a chance to win, be available on that Saturday.” The contest will be held at Club Zero Gravity on Saturday September 4rth, and the winner chosen at 1:45 PM SL time.

The beach house is four rooms in size, and has a teleport to a three bedroom skybox high above, “the home is open if you would like to look around it, as is the the skybox, and you are welcome to do so.”

Club Zero Gravity regularly has parties on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 PM SL time, and occasional parties on Saturday. Illusions had it’s Grand Opening on Friday, August 21st. Rhayne Tungsten, the owner and Nydia's SL sister, was the DJ for the crowd that night.

Illusions is at Purrfection Estates at (63, 38, 1505). Club Zero is at (224, 11, 3365)

Bixyl Shuftan

Have You Ever Wondered? The Kids of Second Life

Those who have followed my articles on SL Kids (adults role-playing kids in SL) know I am a great fan of all the kids. I first saw the talents they were sharing at the SL5B. I met some then and wondered why would they would want to be kids. That is when I began to talk to them and visited the sims of various kid places and wrote about them. I got it, I understand it.

I have a hard time with those who do not understand their desire to be kids in Second Life. Oh, I know it can be annoying sometimes to some to encounter one in an odd place and hear the cutesy stuff, but maybe if you play along you will understand. I would like you to hear from some of them their reasons for opting to be a kid. Maybe it will explain it to your mind and your heart. I have asked some kids to share their stories with you so that maybe you will get it too.

The paper will be printing them every day in People section beginning today. My thanks to Marianne McCann for helping with this project. (she has the best fireworks I have ever seen in SL and is a great kid!)

Read and learn about Marianne in People

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Alleged DoS Attack by Emerald, Development Team Member Resigns - UPDATE: Emerald Removed from Linden Labs' Third Party Directory Page

In recent days, Modular Systems, the developers of the popular Emerald Viewer, has come under the spotlight. Last week, one of their team, LordGrerGreg, resigned, citing abuses by the team, notably slipping in code that made the viewer vulnerable to intrusion, “Emerald is no longer what it was to me. I have been dedicating ... my time to the project for nearly two years now, and it’s been difficult to see it go the way it has.”

This news got less attention after a few days when Qarl Fizz, the former Qarl Linden, joined the team. With Qarl’s impressive resume, one of Second Life’s more enthusiastic supporters on the Linden Team and having worked on big-budget movies, this helped Modular System’s claim that LordGregGreg was simply a “minor ex-developer” whom had been unable to agree with his teammates, “You can be assured that Emerald will maintain it’s high standard of integrity, honesty and ethics that have contributed to it’s development.”

Then on August 20, news spread about the website of a rival viewer getting shut down because of action by Emerald viewer’s makers. People began charging Modular Systems of engaging in a Denial of Service attack, involving everyone online whom was using their viewer by using vulnerabilities in the code to make the unaware users’ computers part of the attack. Such a move would be clearly be a violation not just against the terms of service of just about every Internet service provider, but also against the law. Wikipedia stated, “they can be a serious federal crime under the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996 with penalties that include years of imprisonment.”

Modular Systems admitted to “shenanigans” on “a blog owned by a creator of a malicious viewer,” by denied they did such a move, “The method for doing this was to add links to the Emerald log in page linked to said blog. Each time anyone logged in, our page loaded up and also the other page loaded up – simply to show off our volume of traffic. This was not a DDoS. This was a poor attempt at boasting that failed miserably. Once we discovered this, these links were deleted and the dev concerned was disciplined.”

Today on Sunday August 22, Fractured Crystal made an announcement on the Modular Systems blog, admitting to supporting the code that made Emerald vulnerable and calling what happened on “this most recent incident” the result of tinkering with the viewer due to boredom and then forgetting about it.

Fractured Crystal had been scheduled, along with Emerald teammate Arabella Steadman, on the treet.tv show Tonight Live this evening at 6 PM SL time.

Events concerning Emerald have been developing quite rapidly. Second Life Newser postponed writing about earlier developments either due to time constraints or waiting for more news.

* * * * * * * *

UPDATE: Checking Linden Labs' Third Party Directory, Emerald is gone from the list.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday Cartoon

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eye on the Blog: Teen Grid to Close December 31st

Yesterday, Friday August 20th, Terrence Linden finally gave Linden Lab's statement about "the difficult decision to discontinue Teen Second Life." Some of the information was a repeat of what Philip Linden has stated at SLCC, "supporting and developing for two separate grids has been a challenge for us, and has slowed progress on improvements that benefit all Residents." But there was also some new information, "Teen Second Life will be closing on December 31, 2010, and we plan to begin accepting 16-year-old Residents to the Main Grid on or before that date."

Of those younger than sixteen, Terrence stated there was a possibility that younger teens might be given very limited access to the grid in the future. But because of safety concerns, it might never happen, "We are evaluating if there are ways to allow 13 -15 year olds to have safe access to limited locations on the Main Grid with appropriate controls at some point in the future. However, there is no guarantee that we will be able to do that, or when, as we weigh it against other company priorities at this point."

Terrence stated that the Lindens would be "
talking to teens, parents, and educators about the needs of younger users" and "be setting up inworld meetings in the coming weeks to learn more about those needs."

Read the full post Here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Breakers Coffeeshop Debate on Political Correctness

Most of us do our best to use courtesy in the way we talk and write, though there are complaints from some about pressure to make them go out of their way from potentially offending someone by the use of unnecessarily complex language. And it's not just speech, but even in whether or not someone gets a job because they're not of the "right" label that has little if anything to do with how the job is performed. I went to the Coffeeshop in the Breakers sim where the people asked themselves: "has political correctness gone too far?"

Read the story in Events.

48 Hour Film Project : Calling All Machinimatographers!

Press release on the 48 Hour Film Project for machinima, 2010.

CALLING ALL Machinimatographers!

The 48 Hour Film Project, the oldest and biggest time filmmaking competition, is looking for machinima! In a wild, sleepless weekend, you and a team will make a movie ---- write, shoot, edit and score it. From scratch. In 48 hours. On Friday, September 17, you'll get a character, a prop, a line of dialogue and a genre, all to include in your movie. By Sunday, September 19, the movie must be complete and uploaded to our server in California.

Each completed film is guaranteed a screening in Twinity, Inworldz and Second Life.

Winner ánd runner up will be screened at MachinimaExpo 2010.

Meet other machinimatographers, spend 48 hours in intense movie making, have your film screened in several virtual worlds, and compete to represent machinima against the other 90 48HFP cities! Come on out and make a movie!

To be part of the 48HFP, register online at: http://www.48hourfilm.com/machinima

Registration costs $48 per team. Space is limited, so register today!
The events in 2010 are held in Second Life, which is a free download at: http://secondlife.com/support/downloads/
Teamleaders are expected to be present at kickoff and screening event, if you need any help at all in entering Second Life; please contact Chantal Harvey, and you will be coached step by step. It is also possible to come to the events in a ready made account. (talk about it being easy.)
Communication can be through using skype @ chantal.harvey, and by email: machinima@48hourfilm.com

The UWA_BOSL Theater in Second Life

This SLurl will take your avatar to the 48HFP theatre : http://slurl.com/secondlife/UWA/6/248/1638
Some dates to remember: (all times are SL/Pacific times)

September 14: Meet and greet the 48HFP teams - 3 pm

September 17: Kickoff event at 5 pm, genres/prop/line/character handout and start of contest

September 19: Dropoff event at 5 pm, end of contest is 6.30 pm

September 23: Screening of the films, awards and winners announced

Dont miss the change to bring your machinima to the World, the winner will be screened at our Filmapalooza Festival, and winners there will go to Cannes!!

Chantal Harvey
Machinima Producer 48 Hour Film Project

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grey's New Land

Between news stories, Grey has been a little occupied with getting a new home. She got what she thought was a hot deal on some "new islands" on the estates where she lives. But as this picture shows, the islands were a little too new, or in her words about the deal, "it's hot hot hot!" Hopefully she's wearing some heat-resistant shoes.

Fortunately with water already starting to flow, the place should soon be fit for human (and foxette) habitation.

Mad about Hats

Our reporter Breezes Babii is back with another fashion story. Today, she writes about the “Mad About Hats” store, of which her visits make her feel a little, mad about hats herself.

Read the story in Extra.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

The USS Helena (CA-75)

In the Trees sim, by a peir a US warship floats proudly, the CA-75 USS Helena. The ship isn’t owned by just anyone, but by a sailor who once served on it, Henry Borgnine, whom was stationed on the ship during the Korean War. Most of the building has been done by a vet of the Afghanistan Campaign, Bobcatt Neilsen. Together, they have planned, and built, and although not quite finished, the ship is already a spectacular sight.

To read the story, go to Places.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Teen Grid Closing, Part Two

It’s been a few days since Philip Linden’s August 14th announcement during his address to the SLCC convention in Boston in which he stated that that the Teen Grid would be closing, and the residents there 16 and 17 years of age being moved to the main Grid in Second Life. Philip Linden obviously knew this would run into a great deal of resistance, calling it “probably the most contentious thing” in his speech. And from the SL forums to resident blogs to Twitter to chats with residents themselves, there has been no shortage of comments.

In his keynote address, Philip began talking about the issue 36 minutes into this video. He stated Linden Labs’ “long term goal is to unify activities on the main grid.” Of launching the Teen Grid, Philip Linden felt “we made a mistake,” commenting on how the two grids were completely separate, unable to share content. With two separate grids, Philip remarked Linden Labs was in a position in which it “could never win.” He also mentioned the educational activities in the main grid, currently unavailable to those on the teengrid.

“In the coming months,” Philip stated, those residents sixteen and seventeen years old in the Teen Grid would be “given notice” and “allowed to transfer” to the Main Grid. He talked about working with educators on the transition for these users, “we’re going to be careful.” Philip was fairly confident about their plans, saying “the content filtering and protections are adequate” saying the 16 and 17 year olds should be able to handle the main grid.

A couple issues are still a guess in how Linden Lab will act. Will those under 18 be limited to G-rated (General) sims? The Wiki’s Maturity Ratings page states a club with "burlesque acts," aka topless dancers, can fall in Mature (Moderate) sims. The thought that 16 year olds can slip into such clubs is enough to chill those who run them, one club manager I talked to saying, “this is gonna to screw ******* and any other club!”

Of those younger than 16, Philip told, “the younger part of the grid we are basically going to turn off.” What happens to them? Will their accounts be dormant, or will they be erased. Being thrown means that whatever Lindens put into those accounts will essentially be thrown out for no fault of the youngster’s own.

Overall, the comments I’ve noticed are mostly negative. In a sense, Linden Labs has managed to offend all parties concerned, the adults whom wonder if they will no longer be able to have the fun they used to, the younger teens whom at best are suspended from any Second Life experience for a while and at worst facing their deletion, and the older teens whose old home will be gone and their status in their new one uncertain.

Not all the comments have been negative. A few of the adults felt it was simply not fair that the younger teens would be thrown out of Second Life for a while. And a few others felt Linden Labs was simply taking off the veil of the misconception that the Main Grid was completely free of adolescents. Aeonix Aeon of Pixel Labs commented, “I don't think it's gonna really change much of anything. Teens were always on the main grid to begin with. They're just acknowledging it and stopping trying to fight it. Probably a major resource drain. ... that’s what a combination of parenting and ratings are for. Just like the Internet itself. There isn't a separate internet just for kids. Instead it relies on ratings, and parental control. But that doesn't stop kids from checking out porn sites. Most parents are lazy when it comes to that. All shutting down the teen grid means is that LL is no longer wasting tons of resources to babysit kids when its really the parent's responsibility.”

As logical as this argument is, it’s doubtful it’ll hold up to the court of public opinion should then teens manage to sneak into a clearly adult area. As Tatero Nino put it, this is “a whole PR mess waiting to happen. And even with the most zealous enforcement, it probably will.”

I can’t help but ask why couldn’t this be done better, maybe simply halt new memberships to the Teen Grid and let attrition take care of the problem, at least that of the younger teenagers. I also recall my old guild in World of Warcraft. Even though teenagers could play the game, my guild didn’t like bringing them in. If someone under 18 wanted in our guild, one of us would have to vouch for his/her good behavior.

Could something like this be done here? For a teenager to be allowed into the main grid, someone here having to confirm he or she will behave? Hardly perfect, but it can only help.

In any event, Philip did state, “in the coming months.” So for now, we have time to debate the issue, and perhaps get Linden Lab to change it's plans.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tatero Nino’s "Dwell on It" post

Linden Lab Community forums, with threads such as “Grid Merger, Opinions” and “What Philip Actually Said About The Teen Grid Closure

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tellaq Avatar Creations

One can find just about any kind of accessory for your avatar in Second Life, though some things can be harder to find than others. One kind of item that some residents complain they can’t seem to find are ethnic avatars. Highly detailed dark skins can be even harder to come across. Among the places that does sell them is Tellaq Avatar Creations.

Tellaq is really two stores, one for male avatars, and one on the opposite side of the small clearing between them for female. The men's’ building has a much larger selection of skins. Most of the skins are black, but there are some white, and one Asian. Both stores have a lucky chair, giving people an opportunity to win one of the skins for free.

The store is owned by Tellaq Guardian. Talking to him earlier, he called himself a graphics designer in real-life. Why he chose that particular first name, he did it as a yuk, “ ‘Tellaq’ means a cleaner guy in a Turkish bath. He cleans the customers (grin), helping them to clean their shoulders and (places on) their back where they can’t reach.” He first began making skins several months after entering Second Life. His main reason for creating the business, “I couldn’t find any good black skins for myself. As you can see in the store, there are many Afro skins.”

The men's’ store was packed with skins, dozens of them, all over the walls and on panels on the ground. Each were given names, such as “Eddie,””Pier,” “Ronald,” and others. There were a few accessories for sale, such as gold chains and tattoos, but the store was almost all skins.

While taking a look at the place, I ran into a Damian Drammond. He praised Tellaq for his work, “He does the best skins in Second Life. If you want realism, this is the place to come. He comes up with a new skin every day. He needs a bigger shop (laughter).” I thought he worked for him at first, but it turned out he didn’t. “I do avatar makeovers for guys,” he told me, “But I’m a sucker, help out the newbie population. I usually do ‘em for free (laughter).” Because of the detail of the skins, he was sending people here, “I think he has about 60 -70 skins in here alone. I know I own about 10-15. I am hooked on his skins.” He felt several were particularly good, but the “Eric” was his favorite, “he’s realistic enough but not over the top.”

Checking the building for the females, it had much less of a variety, just about a dozen, “I think he needs to start looking after the women now. ... He could make a bomb if he concentrated on the girls.” To help fill the wall space, there were a number of accessories and clothes up for sale here, “not sure about the clothes up here. ... I think skins and tatts are his game.”

Tellaq Avatar Creations is at the Tropical Breeze sim at (39, 61, 23).

So if you want a quality ethnic look, Tellaq is one place you will want to check out, or as someone put it, “If you want to look good in black, head to Tellaq.”

“I like what he does, and we need more of it. His customer service is second to none.”

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Cartoon

By Bixyl Shuftan

BREAKING NEWS: Teen Grid to Come Down, 16 and 17 Year Olds to Join Mainland

On Saturday August 14 at the SLCC conference, Philip Linden gave his keynote address about future plans for Second Life. Among them was a change which has been around in rumors for years but never brought about until now.

The Teen Grid will be closed, and some of the minors, the 16 and 17 year olds, will be moving to the main.

There's no official post in the blog yet, the news coming from SLCC. But residents certainly have been making comments, some of which can be read: Here.

Developments are still coming in as to what is another major change in Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Music Event at China Tang

This is a clip of "Live n Kickin" recently filmed at the China Tang sim, which we recently did an article on.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

United Way Fundraiser Held for Oil Spill

On Sunday August 8th from 3PM SL time to about 1 AM, a music benefit was held to raise funds for people affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The money was sent directly to the United Way, whom would them aid those in need. DJs performed from 3 to 5 PM and 10 PM to about Midnight SL time. Live musicians performed the rest of the times. The event took place at the Java Serenity sim.

By coincidence or design, the stage and floor were set up at the beach shore, the same environment shown on some of the images on television news.

Dropping in at 6 PM, Tribbs Nirvana was playing her guitar for the audience. She played songs such as “Starfish and Coffee.” She also made a few occasional comments, “so many people lost their livelihood and their income because of the spill ... BP and the government are no help ... keeping Americans alive and well.” She was followed by Grateful Stryker, whom also strummed his guitar for the crowd.

Chordslinger Carstensz, who helped organize the fundraiser, told me the singers were in the following order, “Mance Moonwall, Tribbs Nirvana, Grateful Stryker, Jasher Faith, ChelseaMarie Noel, and Jana Jana Kyomoon. She had a song of her own, “Who’s going to clean up BP” played by the DJs.

“Remember everyone, the devastation created by the BP oil leak put so many families out of their family business and have no assistance! ... Please donate to help them!”

A few days later, Chordslinger told of getting a message from Kurt Cassady, an SL resident affected by the spill, very appreciative of the fundraiser, “... thank you for being a part of it. Although I have been partially reimbursed by BP through claims, they only give about 50% of what was lost. Many still haven’t received anything from them….. Anyways, glad some peeps in Second Life still care.”

Source: Afk, But Not For Long

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, August 13, 2010

China Tang

Our reporters continue their exploring of Second Life. Today, we look at Gemma Cleanslate's trip to China Tang. This beautifully designed sim is so detailed, it took multiple builders to build it. Join Gemma as she finds a sample of what the sim has to offer.

Read the story in Places.

The Odd Ball on Video

While giving the Odd Ball a quick trip, a friend of the owners greeted me hello, and recommended this Youtube of a show taken several months ago by Leni Foxtrot.

The Odd Ball is run by Tuna Oddfellow and Shave Suntzu, and is one of the more unique places in Second Life to dance, the special effects looking quite surreal.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Our reporter Grey Lupindo goes exploring again, this time in a sim called Syncretia. Join her as she surveys this strange land, a bit difficult to classify, but with it's airplanes and unusual features a lot of fun.

Read the story in Places.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Breeze is Back

Some of you remember Breezes Babi from Second Life Newspaper. Her "Breezes Thoughts" certainly were a fresh breeze. We're pleased to now post her articles here as well.

Read her "Virtual Impressions" in Places.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Luskwood Skunk Update Party

Luskwood is a popular place, though some see it as one where not a lot happens. That wasn’t the case on Saturday August 6, in which to celebrate the upgrade of their skunk avatar, the Luskies threw a big party.

For the story, click on Events.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Shoes, Shoes and More!

If you have a yen for the latest styles in foot wear don’t miss the Shoe Fair going on in four sims. The fair is sponsored by N0Core, Slink, GOS and R2 Fashion.

There are shoes, boots, sandals, and so much more. There is a sprinkling of jewelry, outfits and many poses in the barns that house the creators. By shopping there for your fall footwear you are also supporting a wonderful cause, Soles4Souls, an organization that distributes shoes to people who need them, all over the world.

Be sure to wear your lowest lag outfits and hair and perhaps go shoeless because you can then try on many of the demos before buying. I went to check it out for our readers and am sorry to say I spent a bundle of lindens!! People with shoe fetishes will love it! You can begin your shopping here until the 22nd of August.

To get to the Shoe Fair, go Here. The event takes place in Iridium, Osmium, Ruthenium, and Rhodium.

Gemma Cleanslate

Jamm for Genes

From Friday August 6PM SL time to Midnight on Saturday, “The Pocket” club hosted the “Jamm for Jeans” marathon live music event. “Jamm for Genes 2010 at The Pocket!” Delinda Dyrssen, the owner of the Australian club advertised, “Come on down for 30 hours of SL's best musicians and singers all performing for a common cause, Genes! here at The Pocket! ”

"’Jamm for Genes’ is part of the annual ‘Jeans for Genes’ fundraiser for the Children's Medical Research Institute, an Australian charity with global benefits," singer Cellandra Zon explained, “ ‘Jamm for Genes’ is all about live music raising money, for research into cell biology that helps with both prevention and cure of childhood, congenital and genetic diseases.”

The day and a quarter event offered a variety of singers in Second Life. Besides Cellandra Zon, there were Truelie Telling, Lyn Carlberg, OhMy Kidd, and many more. There was also a wide variety of styles. At one point, OhMy played as part of a pop music band, The Kidds. ZeroOne Paz offered more relaxing, ambient, music with his xylophone. Alienspeaking, whom spoke in a voice that sounded like “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” had a strange series of odd tunes that one might describe as an acquired taste. Delinda commented, “Someone in Second Life once told me that a venue cant mix rock and roll next to ambiant or country or whatever ... but you know what, music is music. It’s all good!

On Saturday at 9PM SL time, “Jamm” finally reached the 200,000 Linden mark. The final tally at the end was 241,399 Lindens, with a last second 1000 L donation arriving just in time. Delinda felt the event had the potential to be higher, “definately see the economic impact. Three years ago I did a 36-hour non-stop and by now we had 400,000. That was Unday for thrombosis research. And AngelAid we did two 8 hour days. We hit over 1 million in 16 hours. That was three years ago, though. And this event always falls shortly after Relay for Life, and people are burned out.”

Still, a quarter million Lindens had been raised for genetic research. Another example of Second Life aiding people in real life.

Source: Afk - But Not For Long

Bixyl Shuftan