Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Events this Week in Second Life from May 31 to June 6

It's a week full of events as the month of May ends and June arrives. And with it the Summer. We have a list of club events, talk and game shows, live music. And of course the one year anniversary of Second Life Newser, which will be having a celebration all are invited to.

Read more in Events.

My Little Brony

Xymbers Slade does some "horsing around." As he checks out "Bronyland," a sim for fans of the "Brony" avatars, modeled after the "My Little Pony" dolls. He takes a brief look at the avatar, and has an interview with sim owner Twinkie Swizzle about the overly-cute pony avs and how they caught on.

Read more in People.

Bank Bazooka Burglary Bungled

In March, the Podex Exchange was the scene of an attempted robbery that was thwarted due to the bandit’s choice of a popgun as the holdup weapon. A couple months later, Podex was the scene of another bungled burglary. This time, with a different weapon.

Security cameras showed a suspicious character walking up to the back of the building carrying something. An analysis of the recording suggested it was a bazooka. He went over to the rear wall, and pointed the rocket at it. He was preparing to blow a hole into the back.

Then came a voice from behind, “What do you think you’re doing?”

The thief turned, and found himself looking up at a huge dragon, covered in gray scales. Even on all fours, it was over twenty feet high.

The bandit emitted a high-pitched squeak, and swung the bazooka to the dragon, his knees shaking with fear. The dragon tisked, “Oh come on! Do you really think that will hurt me?” The burgular seemed to shake more intensely, closing his eyes, and pulling the trigger ...

And the round fired, hit the dragon’s leg, and harmlessly bounced off the thick scales.

The robber’s eyes widened, and frantically began loading another round. The dragon then grunted, and leaned closer. The bandit then screamed, dropped the bazooka, and ran away into the nearby bushes. The dragon then shook his head, and walked around to the front of the building to conduct some business. It wasn’t after he exchanged some Euros for Lindens that he mentioned the would-be bazooka burglar. But by this time, the culprit had slipped out of sight.

The SLPD investigated, examined the rocket, and concluded it was a freebie weapon, harmless to both human and dragon avatars, “It would have peeved someone off, maybe sting them a little, but not blow them away any distance. Let alone half a sim.” So there was no threat to the continuing service of the exchange. There is currently a warrant out for the culprit for attempted griefing.

The Podex Exchange has a record of being one of the safest Linden exchange services in Second Life, the data processing done outside the exchange, and has a record of thousands of satisfied customers. Transactions can be done at their website, or their location inworld at Moonberry (26, 223, 34).

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, May 30, 2011

"What is Second Life" Page for Newcomers

I've had a few friends and coworkers asking me about Second Life. Plus some have expressed their opinion that a Q & A page would be useful for answering questions for those new to the Grid. So we now have a "What is Second Life" page for those whom haven't heard of it and want to know a little about it, and for newcomers whom have some basic questions. These are questions of which I've been asked both in real-life, and suggestions by some resident friends.

I can see some trying to figure out which ones are which.

Those Magical Meeroos

Grey Lupindo takes a look at the newest breedable pet in Second Life: the Meeroos. They're cute, they're cuddly, and they're the talk of the Grid. Our intrepid reporter talks with one beta owner to see if the little critters live up to the hype.

Read the story in Design.

Memorial Day in Second Life

Memorial Day is here, and for Second Life residents in the United States, time to take a few moments to remember the fallen Veterans of its wars, past and present.

Among the places with memorials, Southern Colorado sim has one, built by owner Daaneth Kivioq.

"Memorial day is upon us, and it is time to honor those who have selflessly served America - especially those who have fallen fighting in her honor. Several years ago I created a small memorial to them in Hope Gardens. I invite you to come visit it, and spend a few minutes remembering those who have sacrificed so much."

At the memorial, a plaque reads, "My angel, his name is Freedom - choose him to be your king. He shall cut pathways east and west, and fend you with his wing." - Ralph Waldo Emmerson

"Dedicated to all those whom have given life or limb in service of the Angel named Freedom."

Southern Colorado (129, 42, 25)

Probably the best known veterans' memorial in Second Life is the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. Created by Meme Science, modeled after the real life wall, it has over 58,000 names of those killed and missing from the Vietnam War. More information can be found at it's website: http://www.thewallsl.com/

To get to the Vietnam Wall, Click Here.

The Patriot Island sim is the home of a Veterans' group. Naturally, it has it's own memorial, one for those soldiers whose remains were never identified: The Tomb of the Unknowns.

The memorial is located at Patriot Island (111, 123, 29).

These of course are just a few memorials. Look for more.

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Xymber Slade's Hororscopes for June

Xymbers Slade has his horoscopes up for June, done via tarot. What do the cards have to say? Xymbers has a few answers.

Read Xymbers' Horoscopes in Extra.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Artistic Fimicloud Memorial Dance

This Thursday May 26th, members of the Sunweaver Estates and the Passionate Redheads got together to remember one of their ranks who passed away a few years ago that day: Artistic Fimicloud. After a time of quiet reflection at her exhibit at Park Galleries, some music, including some of her favorite tunes, were played in her honor.

Read more in Events.

Back Again

And back. I never expected a storm other than a hurricane to make such a mess.

The weather forecast that day was "Thunderstorms." What happened was 20 minutes of 60-70 mile an hour winds. Trees and power lines fell. Quarter-sized hailstones pelted some places. 170,000 lost power. One man was killed.

Ended up spending a couple nights without power. It finally came back at 5PM SL time yesterday. Just in time for an event (which I'll write later about). In the meantime, I had been planning to take the computer to the Apple place. Fortunetly the place did have power, so I was able to have the OS updated. The result for SL? Well, Viewer 2 *still* won't run. But one a friend kept telling me about, Singularity, does. So far it looks good, but I still have yet to take it to a crowded sim or a dogfight in New Fallout.

With a few days out of the picture, some things aren't going to get the look-over they would have, but at least I'm back in the news business.

Can it get any better? Yeah, around June 20th when I can be my usual foxy self for good. Fortunetly there's an event coming up, June 4 and 5, in which I can be my usual appearance then. ;-)

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Time For an Upgrade

Today, the computer which has gotten me in Second Life and produced the paper is in the shop, and if all goes well, later in the day of this post I'll be able to recover it with little trouble to our newspaper schedule.

As some of you are aware, there's been some chatter about Linden Labs "pulling the plug" on Viewer 1, blocking it's use as the much anticipated Mesh update won't work for it. I consider that unlikely, as the Lab probably feels Mesh will be so popular, users will adopt Viewer 2 on their own. But I probably should get the machine looked at, and maybe be able to handle the lag better.

Keep your fingers crossed, everyone. Things can still go wrong.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Power Outtage

If this message is up, it means the storm messed things up worse than I thought.

Dark clouds rolled in, and knocked out the power. Fortunately, I had the cartoon already done, and the surge protector had a small battery. Unfortunately, I didn't have any finished article all ready. Regrettably today's news is postponed.

Cartoon of the Day: WW2 RP Area

Not exactly "Russian" to get into a fight. ;-)
By Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Events this Week in Second Life from May 24 to May 30

It's the last full week of May, with Memorial Day coming up next Monday, so keep an eye out for any related events, as well as stopping by a memorial to give a note of thanks. And besides the holiday events, we have our usual selection of dances, talk shows, readings, and more.

Read more in Events

Facebook Cracking Down on Second Life Users?

Late last week, Some of my friends in Facebook began talking about the social networking site erasing a number of accounts. How many is unclear, Hundreds, maybe thousands. But the statistics meant little to those whom couldn’t find their friends, or found their account vanished. The reason, Facebook’s dislike of members using anything but their “real names.”

Reactions among the posters varied. Some went ahead and changed their account names, “I changed it myself because I will NOT allow Facebook to delete my archive. It is making me physically ill to see my RL name here, but if that's what it takes.” I also saw some react with anger, “So, it seems Facebook is ‘ banning ‘ anyone who isn't using a ‘ real name ‘ or a ‘ real face ‘. As I refuse to use ... a name I despise and have planned to change in favor of the one I have spent 25 years existing under, I might be targeted.” "my name and pic is real so leave me the f*** alone FB" While a few may have given up in frustration and leave Facebook once and for all, it seems most simply started new accounts, either under their real names or continuing to use their Second Life Names.

Of social media sites, Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla. As of January 2011, it had 600 million users, which include more than 40% of the United States’ people as users. Compare this to Second Life having a total of 20 million, and among those, only a fraction regularly log on. Second Life’s page on facebook has 144,000 “likes,” and for some time pages on the official blog, as well as Marketplace have options to share. Facebook became too big for Second Life to ignore a long time ago.

Unfortunately, the two have different ideas about Internet aynominimity. Second Life fully embraced it at it’s beginning, and although there is now a little subtle encouragement to provide real-life information, people are known by their avatar names. In contrast, Facebook encourages users to post information about themselves, and reserves the right to boot anyone who gives it anything but their “real name.”

Facebook is not very consistent about disabling Second Life accounts. It seems to go by for long periods without doing much, then gets rid of a number at once. Indeed when I first signed on, I had the impression this rule of theirs was not enforced. Now, it looks to me like some kind of “bait and switch.” They encourage people to sign up, giving those attached to Internet Aynomonymity the idea they don’t need to compromise it, then weeks, maybe months go by before applying the banhammer, intimidating those who’ve grown attatched.

People have had various ideas about what to do. One friend told me she would move on from Facebook if banned, but it seems most are prepared to stick with them either by changing their Facebook name away from their Second Life one, or starting over if booted. There was a statement from the Second Life page suggesting people instead of using their Second Life names on Facebook instead make a tribute page for their Second Life account. This idea seemed to fall flat with most. Someone in one group chat suggested convincing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerman to use Second Life and develop an appreciation for it.. But others didn’t think he would be up to it, “he probably thinks SL is so last decade.” Then there are alternate social networks. But I have my doubts they’ll catch on unless these mass deletions happen more often.

Myself, I got on Facebook to help spread the word about the newspaper, but it’s my Second Life name connected to it, not the one I use away from the computer. So for now, the account name stays as it is.

I may put up another picture soon, though.

For more, check out comments at Daniel Voyager's Blog, and Kim Randal.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, May 23, 2011

Remembrance: An Artistic Homage to AM Radio

Gemma Cleanslate recently attended an artistic "Homage" to AM Radio, the noted Second Life builder noted for his artistic sims that have become classic places on the Grid. With AM Radio having announced the closure of his sims later this year, a few artists got together to do a tribute to him and his builds.

Read the story in Design

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trek Sim Holds RFL “Jail and Bail”

It's been an eventful time for the Relay for Life, with a number of events taking place. Among them is one being run by a Trek RP sim. Today, we take a look at the UFS "Jail and Bail."

Read more in People.

Sunday Cartoon

Picture from Brandy Maltus, caption from Phoenix support chat.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

RFL “Bid Me Human” Event Nets 29,000 Lindens

That was, unexpected. I never expected the event to bring in so much.

The “Bid Me Human” event in Southern Colorado took in much more than I expected. Passionate Redheads team captain Sabine McGettigan thought 5,000. I thought 10,000. It netted 29,000!! The initial goal of five thousand Lindens was reached within twenty-four minutes. Sabine herself called it one of the biggest events for the Redheads this season.

The consequence, since I had stated I’d be in a human av a day longer for every thousand raised, the result was no "foxy" look for almost a month.

Well, most of the time. From the start, I had stated I’d be back to fox at the club I do some occasional hosting at, as well as the combat RP I’ve joined up with. I also explained I’d have to return to my usual appearance for any interviews, plus the special event happening this June 4th and 5th. So while there will be the occasional short break, I’ll be having this look for a while.

And why an ethnic human look? Well, griefers usually hate it as much as furball appearance. So why let the trolls have any fun. ;-)

Already having to go through a few shaved jokes from my furred friends. I’m sure the next few weeks will be interesting to say the least.

Bixyl Shuftan.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad Compound in Second Life

Recently, I heard of a re-creation of Osama Bin-Laden’s hideout, known to locals as the Wazirstan Haveli (mansion), here in Second Life. Built by the Avitarian development team, “to the proper scale and orientation of the RL compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.” It was considered largely complete after five days, but “still an on-going work.” Google Earth maps were used in planning the build, in addition to TV footage.

Although the insides are unfinished, the building exteriors, grounds, and walls are well-detailed. The walkway from the main entrance nearly splits the compound in two, the residential building on the left side of the gate. On the right, a helicopter sits inside the compound, the wreckage of another next to the wall with the tail rotor hanging outside. Smaller buildings hold the satellite dish and water tower. The high outer walls are topped with barbed wire. Around the compound lies a wraparound picture of nearby Abbotabad, with the stream playing Arabic music to add to the atmosphere.

Founded by Chenin Anabuki, Avatarian plans to continue to improve the build over time, and film Second Life movies there. The compound is open to the public, but keep in mind the Avatarians can drop in at any moment to recreate a raid, “We prefer avatars with kevlar vests and camo pants as bullets tend to fly around the area. Visit at your own risk!”

More pictures can be found at Avatarian’s Flickr page, and they’ve released one film.

“This film ... demonstrates rapid-development capabilities in the Second Life platform and only shows a loose re-enactment of the SEAL raid operation on the compound. It is not meant to portray actual events. ... It is very important to point out though that whenever we produce a machinima, we are always faced with the classic project triangle of fast, good, and cheap. We can only pick two out of three. In the case of this particular machinima, we opted for fast and cheap because it is an internally funded project."

According to news bulletins, Pakistan plans to eventually level the compound. So virtual recreations such as this one may be the only way to visit it in the future.

The compound is at Avatarian Central at (123, 151, 3502).

Sources: Avatarian Home Page, Second Edition, Dateline Zero, CNN, Wikipedia

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, May 19, 2011

“A Future of Hope” at Club Zero Gravity

For four hours on Sunday May 15th, the space club Club Zero Gravity was the scene of the "Future of Hope" fundraising event for the Relay for Life, organized by owner Nydia Tungsten and the RFL "Passionate Redheads" team. It was an event full of music, dancing, and fun. And of course, hope.

Read the story in Events.

Relay For Life "Bid Me Human"

It was a couple years ago in which Daaneth Kivioq voulenteered for a "Bid Me Furry" event for the Passionate Redheads in which he offered to join the ranks of the furballs if people donated enough. 10,000 Lindens were raised, and he took on the look of a feline for a little while. Also about that time, another group did a "Bid Me Human" event in which a kitty offered to shed his fur coat and go human. Not as much was raised, though the girls at the event donated enough cash to make him furless.

With the Redheads needing a little more help after their recent troubles, I brought this up to some officers, and they liked the idea. Since it was my idea, well, guess it was only fair to volunteer.

Yep, that's right. "Fox News" is offering to be not so foxy for a little while.

The event will be at the Southern Colorado sim at (159, 36, 25) , Friday May 20th from 6 to 8 PM SL time.

For details on the Relay for Life in SL website: Click Here.

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Youtube: Bay City Promotional

Remember the Bay City Third Anniversary Event? There happened to be a promotional film for Bay City by Marianne McCain, showing off the sights and activities of the SL urban experience.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan (with help from Xymbers Slade)

Mystery Celebrates Fifth Anniversary with Week of Events

For years, the Mystery sim has entertained crowds from it's Queen of Hearts riverboat club. Now, having reached it's five year mark, it's staff and musicians are celebrating with a week of anniversary events, which started this Sunday with a bang, with a loved regular singer and another returning after an absence.

Read more in People.

Second Life Home & Garden Expo

The 4th SL Home & Garden Expo is happening now at Home Expo 5 (119, 148, 21). The Expo opened on May 13 and continues until May 22. I stopped by for an hour or so and saw only a fraction of the event. It is huge, spanning 10 sims, and containing over 100 exhibits.

The landing spot was crowded when I arrived, and things were a bit slow to rez. However, as soon as I left the landing area, the lag disappeared. Every decor was represented here, from fantasy castles to realistic contemporary and period homes. I found a small western town, and a couple of barns to explore. There was even a windmill house.

One of the great things about the Home & Garden Expo is that some of the proceeds are supporting Relay for Life. Every exhibitor has made 2 new items, and the proceeds from these items are going to Relay for Life. The items are clearly marked with Relay for Life signs.

KittyCatS has created breedable kittens especially to support Relay for Life, too. You can buy one--or more--at the Expo.

The Expo has something for everyone. Gardens, houses, furniture—everything you could need or want can be found here. I found food for sale at the Kitchen Nibbles exhibit, and one of their Relay for Life items is a sandwich tray. So even if you can’t use a house or any furnishings, you can still have fun and support a great cause.

KONA radio is the official station of the Expo. In addition, there is DJ music and other entertainment, including some live performances. Builder’s Brewery is also having classes and competitions, too. The schedule can be found at http://slhomegardenpatioexpo.wordpress.com.

The Expo is open around the clock until 10 p.m SL on May 22. Home Expo 5 (119, 148, 21)

Grey Lupindo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Events this Week in Second Life from May 17 to May 23

It's an event-filled time this week on the Grid. Next Monday the 23rd, Book Island will be having a "huge launch party" for the book "Notes from an Alien." Before that, the Mystery sim will be celebrating it's fifth anniversary with special music events throughout the week. And we have our usual variety of talk & game shows and book readings.

Read more in Events.

(corrected May 18th)

Meet the "Seasons of Hope" KittyCatS!

Relay For Life® of Second Life® is thrilled to announce that KittyCatS! has created a special RFL of SL ‘Seasons of Hope’ breedable KittyCatS! collection to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Looking adorable and cute, the special ‘Seasons of Hope’ themed kitties were presented at the Home Expo on Saturday May 14. They will be on sale right through to Relay weekend in July.

Callie Cline and Equinox Pinion of KittyCatS presented the new kitties on the Home Expo’s Main Stage at 12:30pm SLT on Saturday May 14, followed by a live music concert with Mankind Tracer.

This marks the first time that RFL of SL has joined in a partnership of this type and the RFL of SL committee looks forward to the KittyCatS’ presence at Relay team events, at the Home Expo, and at Relay weekend, right alongside the Linden Bears.

"We’re really honoured to have been asked to partner with RFL and to be a sponsor at the Home Expo," says Callie Cline. "It’s very exciting for the pet and breedables community as a whole, as well.

"Creating these cats was a really touching experience for me as I have had a lot of people in my life die from cancer and in making these cats I thought of them and how they had impacted my life. So in each of these cats is a bit of some pretty amazing people who truly were with me during many seasons of my life and given me a lot of hope."

"People love animals and they bring so much joy into the world. We hope our contribution will provide meaning and help RFL of SL with its goals," says Equinox Pinion.

Home Expo coordinator, Nikki Mathieson said: ‘It’s exciting when talented, creative people come together to put their very best work out there for others to enjoy, while benefiting such an important cause.

"KittyCatS! have grown quickly in popularity since their launch in February. I’m confident that the RFL of SL KittyCat will bring a diverse and new group of visitors to the Expo and help us to expand its reach to a larger variety of Second Lifers."

Relay For Life of Second Life Event Chair MamaP Beerbaum added: "I cannot wait to get mine! Thank you so much Callie, Equinox and Dennis for partnering with us. I am so grateful to you for supporting our efforts in SL with such enthusiasm and generosity!"

This year marks the fourth anniversary of the Home Garden & Patio Expo benefiting Relay For Life of Second Life. The 2011 Expo opened on Friday, May 13 at noon and will remain open 24 hours each day until it closes on May 22 at 10pm SLT . This year’s Expo spans TEN Second Life sims, with over 100 exhibits, more entertainment and more ways to benefit Relay For Life, too!

For more information about KittyCatS! visit www.KittyCatS.biz

To find out all about this year’s Home & Garden Expo, visit http://slhomegardenpatioexpo.wordpress.com/

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bay City Celebrates it’s Third Anniversary

The place in Second Life designed by the Lindens to reflect the urban experience in it's heyday celebrated three years on the Grid. There was a parade across several sims, and a music concert attended by dozens.

Read about the celebration in Events.

Bryn Oh's "Anna's Many Murders"

Anna was an enigma to me on my first visit, so I went back several times. Anna is a creation of the SL and RL artist, Bryn Oh, who imagines and dreams many, many things.

Her book about Anna will lead you through fields of grasses, to a dark house where you will begin a journey to see what Anna is all about. Bryn offers you a notecard to help you find the lighting that is most effective for the viewing along the way. Take the time to adjust the settings . It is worth it. The way is not an easy one so be careful as you open doors to pass to the next page, or whatever you may see. Look at everything or you may miss some things as I did on my first visit.

Bryn was greeting people as they arrived at the house. After I finished the trail I wondered how she got this idea . She told me that once on a subway all was silent in the car and as she looked around at all the people, each was either on a phone, a blackberry, or some such instrument. Then she saw them all with attachments to their human body.

“So this story is about people adding to their own body until they are no longer human in a way,” She told me, you will see Anna adding things to people, opening them up and adding a leaf or something she thinks of as nature.” But, as you will see, Anna is also losing something of herself, her mind.

This was a creation that Bryn made to rest from the emotional completion of the Rabbicorn stories. I found it to be not as relaxing as she did, but she said “I like blue humour.”

Visit and follow the story along to the watery end. I plan to visit one more time at least.

Bryn Oh (69, 209, 186).

Gemma Cleanslate

Over 12,000 Raised at Club Zero

It was a tremendous success at Club Zero Gravity yesterday, with over 12,000 Lindens raised on two seperate kiosks. Here's the moment when the one put up just for the event reached five zeroes.

More details to come.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Cartoon

By Bixyl Shuftan

Second Life Wiki Loses About 80 Pages in “Clean-Up”

According to an article by Tateru Nino, a number of pages were removed from the Second Life Wiki.

... nearly 80 currently employed and ex-Linden Lab staff were mass-deleted ... along with related meeting transcripts, modification histories, revisions and the like. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the deletions. Some are still there while some are gone, and whether the staff-member in question is currently employed or not doesn’t seem to be a major determining factor.

Tateru contacted Linden Lab, and got the following statement:

After a careful review of the content, we’ve removed a number of pages from the Second Life wiki as part of an ongoing clean-up effort, designed to make that resource more current, more helpful, and less confusing than it has been in the past. Where appropriate, we’ll move valuable content (relevant tutorials, for example) to other pages.

Checking the comments following Tateru’s article and those in Daniel Voyager’s blog, a few people were in favor of Linden Lab’s actions, “The wiki is huge and very poorly linked. For a wiki it is hard to use. There are a massive number of pages with no incoming link. If I did not have a reader tracking the changes to the wiki there are tons of stuff I would never see. Unless I bookmark it, I can’t return to it.” The majority, however, were unhappy, “What?? They got rid of Blue Linden’s page. I want to smack them.” “Ya’ gotta love bureaucratic jargon. ‘..careful review ..’, ... ‘Where appropriate ..’. All good words and phrases for avoiding actually explaining anything.” A few wondered why the Lab didn’t archive the pages instead, even if it would make them less accessible, one wondering if the newer Lindens had no appreciation for “the investment people have made in SL for years and the value and affection people have for the history and culture that has developed."

A list of what’s been deleted can be found Here.

Sources: Dwell on It, Daniel Voyager’s Blog

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, May 14, 2011

RFL Event: "A Future of Hope"


Passionate Redheads

a Relay For Life of Second Life team


A Future of Hope

RFL Passionate Redheads Event: A Future of Hope

Sun May 15, 2011

12:00 PM SLT


Sun May 15, 2011

4:00 PM SLT

Being held at Club Zero Gravity: Purrfection Estates (228, 11, 3365)

A future of hope, celebrating the future friendships, families and bonds we all share as survivors and friends.

"Come dance the night away in outer space at 'Club Zero Gravity' From noon to 4PM slt this is hosted by the 'Passionate Redheads' but all are welcome to beam aboard and have a good time, there will be music from four fantastic DJs 1) DJ Sexi Lexi 2) Naughty Nydia 3) DJ Shockwave and the ever popular DJ Dusk, as well as games and contests, so come help us make this cancer free future come true on Sunday May 15."

Meanwhile, Back in Azeroth

We take a look at the wild wonderful world of Azeroth as having leveled high enough to get a flying mount, yours truly takes to the air. Plus we look at two recent holiday events in World of Warcraft, with the changes in the most recent expansion giving them new twists.

Read more in Extra.

Friday, May 13, 2011

We're Back

That was, unexpected.

Second Life Newser has a policy of updating every day, and as the editor I try to have something up every weekday morning. Even if it's a note saying something more will appear later that day. So why nothing yesterday Thursday May 12th? Well, checking blogspot that day, this message came up:

Blogger will be in read-only mode while we resolve some maintenance issues. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Blogspot was down due to glitches, for an unknown time period.

This was a shock. In all my time as editor for the Newser, as well as manager for Second Life Newspaper before that, blogspot had never had such a long period of downtime. And so for the first time, we missed a day.

Sorry for the inconvenence, especially for being unable to show the update on zFire Xue. But we're back in action. Hopefully it'll be a long, long time before this happens again.

Bixyl Shuftan

Update on zFire Xue

Two months after being banned from Second Life, zFire Xue, the creator of the infamous Redzone alt-detector, is apparently facing real life judgment in a court of law.

In an article written by Avril Korman (known as Axi Kurmin in Second Life), Mike Prime, once known as zFire Xue in Second Life, is stated as being under probation for past doings, and was also doing some things in real life besides collecting a list of IP addresses. His parole violations related to his activity on the Grid currently are refusing to allow his probation officer inspect his computer, and not informing him of the money he was making in Second Life.

A warrant had been issued for his arrest, and on May 2, he turned himself in. Appearing before a judge, he denied all charges against him. A hearing is scheduled for May 18th.

Discussing the article with a friend, she hoped the Feds would make an in-depth investigation of his RedZone activities, feeling that would add racketeering, violation of privacy, and password trafficking to the charges. Avril herself commented, “I do not know which federal investigative agency is still digging. I have two guesses though, and neither one of them sound like a lot of fun for zFire. Either one could be rummaging rather thoroughly into his activities within Second Life, and I don't think that will go well for him.”

Avril called the mess part of a larger issue of “Security and Responsibility on the Virtual Frontier.” By all means the article is worth reading for it’s questions and comments on security issues. She called this part of the article “The RedZone Epilogue.” It may be the beginning of the epilogue, but as he’s gotten in trouble before and failed to learn his lesson, it may not be the last we hear from Mike Prime.

Source: searchenginewatch.com

Special thanks to Treminari Huet.

Bixyl Shuftan

Linden Labs Running “Dream Home Sweepstakes”

Courtney Linden recently announced a contest to help publicize the Linden Homes, the “Linden Dream Home Sweepstakes.”

There’s no place like home. Especially when it’s spacious, luxurious, and rent-free! We’ve got just the place for you to rez your hat. Imagine living in a home with an open floor plan, seaside views, and a sparkling pool just steps away from your property. Now envision having L$5,000 to spend on furnishings, lush landscaping, and a new wardrobe for your new, luxurious lifestyle. Sound good? Now is the time to enter our “Linden Dream Home Sweepstakes”—where you could get a Linden Home, a L$ furnishing bonus, and free Premium membership for a year!

To enter, one has to complete a “land survey.” The survey will be open until 10 AM SL time May 16th. The winner will be randomly selected the next day. The winner gets a “Grayson” Linden Home “on a double parcel with 234 prims” with free premium membership for a year, and a 5,000 L bonus to help furnish the house. Readers were invited to check out a couple pages on Second Life Marketplace to get some furnishings of their own.

Only one winner will be chosen, but it’s likely that the sweepstakes will attract attention to the Linden Homes, and a number of those signing up will get a taste for owning land.

To view the Blog post: Click Here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

He's feeling a little, "boxed in."
by Bixyl Shuftan

The Passionate Redhead’s Cinco de Mayo Party

On Thursday May 5th, the Passionate Redheads held a dance party in Southern Colorado. As it was the Mexican-American holiday Cinco de Mayo, that was the theme of the party. Beginning at 5PM Second Lite time at the Enchanted Forrest, team officer and DJ Dusk Griswold cranked up the tunes with a selection of mariachi music. There were a few decorations setup, including a band wearing sombreros and a green liquor glass next to limes and a salt shaker.

A number of Redheads showed up, the total number showing up probably close to three dozen. The sim had a diverse crowd too, a mix of furred folk and normal human avs. Builder Lomgren Smalls and club owner Nydia Tungsten were among those attending. Not long after 5, someone else showed up: Daaneth Kivioq. His first event since returning from the hospital, he greeted everyone in voice, and the crowd greeted him warmly with a mix of voice and text, “Welcome back Daan.” He didn’t have a problem reading, as once feared, but couldn’t respond with type of his own.

At one point, Daaneth crashed. He soon got back on, but was ruthed! Going into “Appearance” didn’t help, nor did relogging. Amused, the girls in the crowd began kidding him about his ruth shape with bosom jokes and “boobies!” gestures. Finally, Daan changed to his feline av from the “Bid Me Furry” event a couple years ago. It worked, though changing back to human his skin remained gray for a while. Someone joked it took time for the fur to shed.

During the event, some special news was announced. The total amount of cash raised by the Relay for Life in Second Life since it’s beginning had reached one million US dollars. The news flash was greeted with cheers.

The event officially ended at 7 SL time, and Dusk had to leave. So Nydia invited those remaining to the Little Dove zeppelin club flying over the sim. There, they danced and joked for a while until they had to retire for the night.

Bxyl Shuftan

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Events this Week in Second Life from May 10 to May 16

Mystery, the Romance sim, is closed this week for rennovations. But there are still plenty of other events on the grid from dance parties, to talk and game shows, to poetry and fiction readings, and more.

Read the list of happenings in Events.

(subject to updates)

Sothern Colorado Turns Purple

On Monday May 9th, I got a message from Daaneth Kivioq to meet him in Southern Colorado. Getting there, I was met by him, micro Lomgren Smalls, and my bunnygirl neighbor Sabeen. Moments later, we were greeted by a blonde lady thr group called “Kitty “ for short.

As the sim rezzed, I noticed something was different. Daaneth then greeted me in voice, saying in honor of “Turn the Grid Purple” week, he had his Southern Colorado sim colored purple.

It was, strange, almost surreal, the colors at sunset and sunrise fairly striking. Daan and we talked for a little bit. Daan reminded us he was slowly getting beter, and looked forward to being at another event.

The sim will presumably return to normal after Friday the 13th.

To get to Southern Colorado: Click Here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

“Fight Like a Girl”

At the invitation of Samantha Nightfire, I went to one of the wrestling matches at the UWS Metrodome. I hadn't seen a wrestling match on the Grid before, nor a match on TV since the 1980's, and wasn't quite sure what to expect. Arriving in time to see the women's match, I expected rough, and witnessed rougher.

Read the article in People.

From Redhead to Purple

There was a RFL music marathon this weekend, though sorry to say I never did get a chance to see the Passionate Redheads take their turn. Among the Redhead DJs was the normally reddish-sandy Dusk Griswold, whom is shown here living up to the RFL pledge to "Paint Second Life Purple," starting with herself.

Purple fennecs "For the Win." ;-)

Rock on Dusk.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Cartoon

By Bixyl Shuftan

PookyMedia: Time Travelers (Complete)

From Pookymedia, this is the completed film of the "Time Travellers."

"The future and the forces which shape it. Three teens journey forward to meet their future selves, finding excitement and danger."

Pookymedia is headed by Pooky Amsterdam, noted for her game show "The 1st Question."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"The SL Grid is Turning Purple!"

From May 7 to May 13 the Second Life grid will be turning purple!

Thousands of Second Life residents will be painting their stores and houses purple, wearing purple clothes, purple hair, even purple skin, in order to show their support for the Relay For Life of Second Life and to spread a purple Message of Hope.

Relay For Life® is the signature fundraiser of the American Cancer Society. Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL) is an annual activity that takes place in Second Life® in July each year. Volunteers form or join teams to have fun while fundraising and raising awareness from mid-March through mid-July. In July teams build campsites and walk a track, just like in a real world Relay.

Paint SL purple!

Bailey Dazy, 2011 Relay For Life Special Events Chair and ‘Paint SL Purple’ lead, explains: ‘In 2008, a real life Relay in the United States began holding an event called Paint the Town Purple in support of their local Relay.

‘During the American Cancer Society summit in 2008, Stingray9798 Raymaker (American Cancer Society representative in Second Life) and Trader1 Whiplash (then the Mission Chair for Relay For Life of Second Life) heard about the real life event and discussed how this concept could work in Second Life, and very enthusiastically brought the idea back with them and introduced it to the Relay For Life committee.

‘The rest is history ... in 2009 ‘Paint SL Purple’ was developed and introduced to the Second Life community as a one-day event.

‘But, given the creativity and wonderful things that can be done in Second Life, we came to realize that one day was not enough and that it was over too quickly. In 2010 we extended the event to a full week.

‘We’re keeping the tradition going in 2011 with another week filled with Purple Pride from May 7 to May 13 to show Second Life what we Relay for!’

We’re nearly halfway there!

‘Paint SL Purple’ week culminates in the halfway point between the start of fundraising and the main Relay event.

After nearly two months of fundraising, and with another two months to go, 2011 Event Chair MamaP Beerbaum reports that SL relayers have already raised an awesome US$125,650 -- over half the total amount raised last year!

To mark the halfway point there will be a Halfway There Fair on May 14-15 where relayers can relax and celebrate before embarking on another two months of fundraising, culminating in Relay weekend on July 16-17.

All Second Life residents are invited to show their support for Relay For Life by turning their space or their avatar purple on May 7. Contact Bailey Dazy in world for a ‘Paint SL Purple’ toolkit or grab a pot of purple paint from the American Cancer Society island -- (http://slurl.com/secondlife/American%20Cancer%20Society/126/55/22)

Poppy Zabelin, Relay For Life of Second Life PR and Marketing Chair, added: ‘Help us document this event by sending your pictures to our Photography Chair IshtarAngel Micheline (ishtarskiss@gmail.com) or upload them directly to our Flickr stream www.flickr.com/photos/ishtarskiss/.’