Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Events this Week in Second Life from Jan 31st to Feb 6th

January changes to February this week, and there are more events coming with the new month, such as the whimsical "Give Peas a Chance" at Madpea and the surreal Mausoleum at the LEA sims. And this week is the special Friday broadcast of the "1st Question," with Will Wright among the contestants. And of course there's the usual variety of live & DJ music events, poetry & fiction readings, and talk shows.

Read more in Events this Week.

Bagpipe Funeral for Lavendermist McTeague

On Saturday January 28th, friends and acquaintances of Lavendermist McTeague gathered to say goodbye at a memorial service in her honor. A few friends gave speeches describing their experiences with her, then a special song was played in her memory.

Read more in Events.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sabine McGettigan and her Passionate Redheads

Grease Coakes recently sat down with the leader of the Passionate Redheads Relay for Life group: Sabine McGettin. Sabine had a few things to say about the Redheads' accomplishments, as well as a few of their challenges.

Read the interview in People.

Passionate Redheads Pre-Season Team Meeting

On Friday Jan 27th, the Passionate Redheads held their first meeting of the year. The official start of the Relay fundraising season “Time for a Cure” isn’t until March 10th, but it wasn’t too early to plan. Team leaders Sabine McGetting and Daaneth Kivioq presided over the meeting, of which about a couple dozen showed up in the hour-long gathering.

A number of ideas were discussed. Themed dances such as 40’s jitterbug and 60’s rock were suggested. Daan told there would be more “Bid Me or Not” events, referring to the three “Bid me Human” events last year that culminated with Rita going around in a human av until the Relay weekend after 75,000 Lindens were raised. He suggested he might put himself on the line again in a “Bid Me Bunny” event, the mention of the av being a pink bunny getting a few chuckles. Rita mentioned that with Sunweaver Air changing hands, Club Cutlass would be remodeled, “When it is done, we can do a grand reopening and donate the proceeds to the RFL.” Also suggested was a fishing tournament and a pony fundraiser.

There were also a few recommendations. One was supporting other teams, such as the Steelhead Salmons. Another was getting events on the Linden Lab SL events calendar. Also mentioned was Bryanr Rickena’s RFL Passionate Redhead’s Museum in the Precious Dragons sim at (96, 32, 22), and that there would soon be a changing of Relay groups. The new chat group was “Relay for Life Volunteers,” the old SL Relay for Life being discontinued.

To read Sabine McGettin’s account of the meeting, go to her post in the Passionate Redhead’s Blog.

Top picture from Sabine McGettin

Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted: Say No to ACTA by Polish Gothic

I am writing to you due to the current signing ACTA document. I will try to explain it the best that I can with my English skills, I hope you will understand.

ACTA with it actual rules can be highly dangerous for freedom of citizens and for small companies all around the world. As it states, there won't be possibility to produce substitute parts for electronic supplies and planting seeds which are branded just imagine how big disaster can it bring for people and how many will loose their jobs.

As for censoring internet - this way of fighting with piracy is highly wrong. Researchers say that most of people actually buying artistic products as music, movies and so on are the ones who downloaded it from the net before. If they won't have the way to download files automatically sales will fall since we will not now what to buy. You should realize most of such things are over expensive for common citizens, so they will buy only things they like, if they don't know if they like, they won't buy.

If you want to fight with piracy make a way to lower the prices of software, music and all the staff which is downloaded from the net now - as there is carrot and whip method of controlling - you should first try to use the carrot, not the whip. using the whip right now will only cause bigger uproar.

Before voting for ACTA, consider a word from citizens and their rights.
Our residents from Polish Gothic made a protest against ACTA at 23-01-2012, you can watch movie from this protest on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmQk-6VhFP4

You can find more information on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=citzRjwk-sQ

You can vote on ANTI-ACTA petition here: https://www.accessnow.org/page/s/just-say-no-to-acta

Thank you for hearing out a voice from ordinary citizen. Also I want to tell you from private, if there won't be net on the way it is now, I would not be able to write this message to you because most of my English skills along with knowledge comes from using tool called Internet.

Best regards,

Pandemonium Anton

Saturday, January 28, 2012

SL Youtube: Dranopia Quest

A youtube from Timi Allen, of the upcoming Dranopia game in Second Life.

"Are you brave enough, you plunge into the depths of the canyon of lost souls? Grab a dragon and rescue the souls from the evil dragon monsters, the Groms. Be there from 26 January 2012, then starts the first flight event of Dranopia. Be brave, become the protector of the dragon souls. Win the grand prize and have fun. We look forward to you."

Special Event at the WW2 Combat RP in New Fallout

This weekend will have a special event at the WW2 New Bastogne RP. This battle will be going on all weekend, starting in Saint-Quentin. Both sides are more than happy to take in new players, but it is asked they take a few minutes to check the rules before storming in. Certain equipment provided for free is required to take part. For details on the real-life battle, Click Here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Petite Gallerie

Gemma Cleanslate recently went to the place of Mistyowl Warhol, where she had set up a small art gallery. She and two other photographers have their images up in an exhibition, including Gemma's philosphy teacher.

Read more in Design.

The Cocktail NightClub

A new club recently moved to the Purrfection Estates, the Cocktail Nightclub, also known as the Cocktail Lounge.

The club is on a small island in the southern part of the sim, separating it from the rest of the land, accessible by bridge. Originally, the place was a dark building like a city nightclub, with separate dance floor, cocktail lounge, and a couple private rooms. More recently, the place has been rebuilt with a more “open air” look. The walls are gone, giving the impression of the place being open to the breeze, with overhead tarps to shield patrons from the sun. The dance floor makes up the center of the club, with the DJ’ booth opposite from the entrance. The private rooms are gone, but there are three corner areas where visitors can relax on the couch while chatting, plus the bar in a fourth corner where people can order drinks from the bot bartender.

The club is owned by Rich Mordly, with DJ Firefox Doghouse as a co-owner. It is one of the clubs in the FCA, but unlike most of the other club owners in the “Furry Club Alliance,” Rich usually sports a normal human look. Talking to Rich, he had worked at another club some months ago, before opening the Cocktail lounge. In it’s first locale, it offered a number of themed events, notably neko and rave.

On Wednesday December 7th at 6PM SL time, the Cocktail Lounge had it’s Grand Opening party. DJ Firefox was spinning a variety of music. About two dozen people attended durring the two hour event, a mix of furred, neko, and normal human avs with no one group making up the majority. Besides the contest for the best-looking avatar, there were also trivia contests up the whole time.

Talking with Rich and Firefox after the party, they were satisfied with the turnout, “today's Grand Re-Opening event was a huge success.”

Currently, the Cocktail Nightclub has events regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 SL time, with some special events on Sundays. Rich eventually plans for the club’s hours to be on a daily basis. DJ Firefox says he plans to DJ on every day as well, “I have fun DJing here. ... Everyone here is nice, easy to get along with.” Fire explained teammate Niterider could serve as backup if he was ever held up in real life. And of course they could always call on the FCA alliance. They plan a number of themed events in the future, such as “Best in Cyber,” “Best in Dragon,” and a special Crux avatar event, “I got quite a few.”

Rich and Firefox are still hiring staff, such as hosts. Those interested are asked to send Rich (or Firefox) a notecard saying which position they want and what hours they can perform. Those on the team are expected to be courteous toward patrons of the club and maintain a fun-filled atmosphere for all.

Their goal is to have a first class club everyone will want to come to, “If you want a good nightclub experience, head on to the Cocktail.”

Purrfection Estates (85, 76, 21)

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Memory of Lavendermist McTeague

In my days hanging out at the STA sim as I was starting out as a journalist, one of the rougher-looking characters there was OtisDriftwood Vollmar. Following the end of the sim, I didn't see him as much, and eventually we lost track of each other.

Fast-forward four years. He was now known as Ote Underwood, and had gotten together with someone else known to visit the STA. Known once as Zola Nightfire, she became known as Lavendermist McTeague. They were happy together for a time. Unfortunetly, tragedy struck, as he announced on his profile:

My partner Lavendermist McTeague passed away
quite suddenly while sleeping Jan 20. 2012 :-(
Miss you dearly Kathleen - thank you for these over 4 years.

Seeing me online, he asked me to teleport over where he was. There in a skybox next to a now empty house, a small memorial had been set up with Lavendermist's avatar picture, with a few flowers around. The man whom I remembered as a tattooed "gangsta" now sported a scruffy-looking child avatar. People continued to arrive over, mostly women whom were Lavendermist's friends. They soon held an informal wake, chatting about her and their interactions with her, one saying she had chatted with Lavendermist the night before she passed away.

Otis/Ote told me the memorial would still be up at least until this weekend, and invited anyone else whom might have known her to come by. Until then one can still see it at Dallas Highlands (29, 36, 3014)

Bixyl Shuftan

Wounded Warriors Benefit Concert on Jan 29

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the first Wounded Warriors benefit for the year 2012.

More than 30,000 troops have been injured in recent conflicts, many of them suffering traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) provides services and programs to ease their burdens and aid in the transition back to civilian life.

Frets Nirvana states: “As a result of the support of many in Second Life this effort we raised over $9200 in 2011 for WWP. We hope to meet a target of $12,000 in 2012. We are going for 12 in 12!”

Wounded Warriors concerts feature premier Second Life Talent monthly at Patriot Island. The concert on January 29, 2012 is scheduled from 4-9 PM PST. Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, PonDman Haalan, TerryLynn Melody, Frets Nirvana, and Avantgarde Frequency.

Patriot Island (162, 122, 29)

Press Release

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Rez Day Party for Samantha Glume

Grey Lupindo had a little celebration to report on from her home region Syzygy. The owner of the land, Samantha Glume, had her 5th rezzday in Second Life, and her friends threw a big party for her in the Syzygy Space Station.

Read more in Events.

Cartoonimals Sim to Close

One whimsical simwide store will sadly be closing it's doors soon. Cartoonimals, a place with a number of cartoonish critters and a number of amusing novelties, will be closing in February, and residents have until then to see the funny sights for themselves.

Read more in Places.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Events this Week in Second Life from Jan 24th to Jan 31st

It's a week full of events in Second Life as we close out the month of January. From the Ski Trail Gift Tour to the Caledon Quest, there are a number of special events. And of course we have our usual variety of regular events from parties at clubs to live music, to book and poetry readings, to talk shows, and more.

Read more in Events this Week.

Interview with DJ Aurora Avila

Second Life Newser has a new writer, Grease Coakes. For his first article, he wanted to honor a favorite DJ at a club he hung around with. So here's his interview with AX DJ Aurora Avila.

Read the interview in People.

"What's Cookin'?" at Netera's Coffee Lounge

On Saturday January 21st, Netera Landar held a cooking show at her coffee lounge, "What's Cookin?" Chef Jorden Andrew used the Grid and virtual ingredients to show the audience how to cook up a great dish.

Jorden had gotten her start with Second Life cooking a few months before at KK Food & Pastries, " I always wanted t odo something like this," and when she saw the announcement, she auditioned. As it turns out, she used to cook at a San Francisco restaurant. But she doesn't cook so much in real life at the present time. Nor does she grow ingredients, "I don't have a green thumb."

Jorden cooked for a while, both meals and desserts for a diverse audience. "What's Cookin" plans to be a frequent feature, but may not be on every week. Some events will also have different chefs.

Check the schedule at Netera's Coffee Lounge for event times at Terric (43, 137, 28).

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sunweaver Air to Change Hands

On 3PM SL time yesterday on Sunday January 23rd, The Sunweaver Estate's owner Rita Mariner called a meeting at the Cutlass Club to discuss a problem. There wasn't enough income coming in to cover the costs of the sim, and the one with the most unrented space was Sunweaver Air. She couldn't afford to hand onto it.

The good news, someone had stepped forward to take on the sim. "Shelly" Kit Repine would be taking charge of Sunweaver Air in a couple weeks. No one would have to move, and this includes the office of Second Life Newser, which sits on the land of Ranchan Weidman.

It was noted that the Sunweaver group was much larger than the current number of renters, "Please, if you're going to enjoy our club (Cutlass), consider renting out a spot to help keep the place going."

Podex Exchange Plans ACTA Internet Censorship Protest

By now, most readers have heard about the SOPA and PITA bills in the US Congress. Their sponsors claiming the intent was to stop Internet piracy, the bills were badly written, and would have left the Internet subject to severe censorship. Fortunately what began as scattered protests online soon grew and became too much for the politicians to ignore. So the bills were shelved, at least for now.

Unfortunately, there is more trouble on the horizon, and not just for the United States. A number of countries, including the US, Canada, the European Community, Japan, and others. Described as a response "to the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works," the agreement also takes aim at at the Internet. Although the entertainment and software industries were in on the negotiations, “citizens and public interest groups have been largely left out.” The agreement targets "legal safeguards that protect Internet Service Providers from liability for the actions of their subscribers," and the result would be severe compromises on Internet freedom, very much like what the SOPA and PIPA bills threaten to do with the United States.

Jacek Shuftan of the Podex Exchange decided to do something about ACTA by joining the protests against it, “I want to announce that Podex joins the international protest movement about government attepts to censor freedom of speech on the Internet.” Today, Monday January 23rd, several pages on the Podex site, plus his new secondmovie.com and second-bay.pl would go dark, replaced with a page denouncing the censorship, “Keep the Internet free!” After 24 hours, the pages would return to normal.

For more information, one can look up the Wikipedia entry on ACTA, as well as what the Electronic Freedom Foundation and Canada’s CIPPIC have too say. Plus there’s also youtubes on the issue, such as the one below, and another from “Anonymous.”

Sources: Wikipedia, Podex

Bixyl Shuftan

Bryn Oh’s Immersiva's Crowdfunder-Style Fundraiser a Success

While SOPA and PIPA made headlines last week, there were other events of note on the Grid. Among them was news about noted artist Bryn Oh and her artistic Immersiva sim. A Crowdfunder - type project to fund the place reached it’s goal after only a day after it began.

To begin with, the Immersiva sim was closed in December when her patron ran out of money. She with Kiana Writer of Madpea wrote a joint letter to Linden Labs to try and convince them to let her keep the sim. It was rejected. Following that, she decided to try a crowdfunder style prioject at Indegogo.com. Set to run for sixty days, with larger donations would come gifts. A donation of fifty dollars would get one a rabbicorn scultpure for one’s Second Life account. A hundred dollars would get one five sculptures “and the private use of Immersiva on your rez day.” $500 would get one an ink drawing. $1000 an oil painting. $3,000 a commissioned painting. $500 and up would also get one listed in Imersiva as a sponsor.

To everyone’s surprise, Bryn got a large donation from film director Peter Greenway. As it turns out, Greenway’s a sponsor of art in Second Life. He donated six months worth of teir for Immersiva. Hamlet Au quoted him as saying, "In the exciting new arena of immersive Art which offers so much to the future of communications, Bryn Oh is an important, fascinating and innovative pioneer and should definitely be supported."

Not only have the donations continued, but she raised over $6,000 in a single day! This is more than the original goal of $5400. Only a few hundred more has come in since then, but the massive start ensures the fundraiser is a success.

For those who want to contribute: Click Here. Among those who’ve donated are Crap Mariner and Thinkerer Melville.

Sources: Bryn Oh, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, January 21, 2012

SL Pictures: Two Micros

A not too common sight: two kinds of micro avatar right next to each other. For those not in the know, a "micro" is an avatar even smaller than a "tiny," about a foot high or less. On the left is the MK Microfox, on the right a LomTech "MicroPaw" made by Lomgren Smalls. The Lom is actually half the height of the microfox, but the picture was taken at a certain angle so they appeared to be the same height.

For a comparison to how they look near larger avatars, Click Here to see one at a friend's party.

A case of "sizing up" the little guys (and girls).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Timber Wilds

Xymbers Slade recently took a look at the Timber Wilds area. Besides being the main location for the Timber Wilds Industries feral avatars, the two sims are well detailed and visually pleasing wilderness areas and the setting for some roleplay for those enjoying taking the part of feral wolves.

Read more in Design.

Live Singer Debi Latte Returns to Second Life's Music Scene

This Sunday at Noon SL time in the Mystery sim, the moment that a number of live music fans finally arrives, the return of Debi Latte to the "Queen of Hearts" at Mystery

Debbi had been a regular at Mystery, singing every other Sunday, until real life matters forced her offline. Today, everything is all better, and she's back with her velvet voice to sing again.

Debi sings a number of songs noted by certain artists, such as Lionel Richie, Dan Hill and Sarah McLachlan. And of course she sings what's sometimes called the club's theme song, as well as club owner Tygeria Mirabeau's, "Queen of Hearts"

Once again, the event is Sunday January 22nd, Noon SL time.

Internet Protests Widespread, PIPA Opposition Growing

Wednesday January 18th saw a number of websites protest SOPA and PIPA, by both organizations and individuals. Sopastrike.com billed it as “the largest online protest in history,” claiming ten million signatures had been collected and over three million emails sent in response to the two bills in Congress. They claimed over 115,000 various websites took part, some of which they showed pictures of from Reddit to Wired to BongBong and more. Not all of the protests were on the Internet. People also got on the streets in New York City to voice their opposition.

The most famous website of the protest was most likely Wikipedia’s. After they took down their blackout page, they put up a link to a “Thank you” page:

The Wikipedia blackout is over — and you have spoken. More than 162 million people saw our message asking if you could imagine a world without free knowledge. You said no. You shut down Congress’s switchboards. You melted their servers. Your voice was loud and strong. Millions of people have spoken in defense of a free and open Internet. For us, this is not about money. It’s about knowledge. As a community of authors, editors, photographers, and programmers, we invite everyone to share and build upon our work.Our mission is to empower and engage people to document the sum of all human knowledge, and to make it available to all humanity, in perpetuity. We care passionately about the rights of authors, because we are authors. SOPA and PIPA are not dead: they are waiting in the shadows. What’s happened in the last 24 hours, though, is extraordinary. The Internet has enabled creativity, knowledge, and innovation to shine, and as Wikipedia went dark, you've directed your energy to protecting it.

We’re turning the lights back on. Help us keep them shining brightly.

And the protests had results. Over a dozen Senators publicly announced their opposition to the PIPA bill that day, including five former co-sponsors, bringing the total opposed to nineteen Senators (as of January 17th). Most of the new opponents were Republican. Arstechnica.com suggested this was the result of conservative media such as the Heritage Foundation and redstate.com declaring their opposition to SOPA and PIPA. Redstate.com went as far as to promise to work to defeat supporters of the bills in their reelection bids.

This battle is so important — and is one of those rare fights where the left and right are united against Congress — that I suggest the left and right unite and pledge to defeat in primaries every person named as a sponsor on H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. ... Congress has proven it does not understand the Internet. Perhaps they will understand brute strength against them at the ballot box. If members of Congress do not pull their name from co-sponsorship of SOPA, the left and right should pledge to defeat each and every one of them.

It isn’t just politicians who are facing backlash. Among the supporters of SOPA is the Entertainment Software Association, or ESA. The ESA runs the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo. One company, Red 5 Studios, which makes the popular “Firefall” game, pulled out of the yearly show. They used the money it would have for promotions there to start a new organization, the ”League for Gamers.” Red 5's CEO appeared in a Youtube with other gamers to express their point of view.

The Motion Picture Association of America responded to the blackout by calling the protests “irresponsible” and a “stunt.” Their main supporter in Congress, Senator Chris Dodd, called the blackouts of major websites an “abuse of power,” adding, "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information," calling the protests, “yet another gimmick.”

The debate took another turn on Thursday January 19th when Megaupload, one of the world’s top file-sharing websites, was shut down on charges of copyright violations. Besides rhe debate of whether this was right or wrong, people asked if there were already procedures to take down websites, what was the purpose of SOPA and PIPA?

PIPA is up for a vote in the Senate Tuesday January 24th. The House Judiciary Committee will go over SOPA again in February.

Page Source: Wikipedia

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Steelhead Shanghai Events this January

In Steelhead Shanghai, the theme is month is the Chinese New Year. On Friday the 13th, they released numerous paper lanterns into the air. This upcoming Friday is Squirrel Appreciation Day (what the deal with squirrels is, no one at Steelhead had an answer). And Friday the 27th is a celebration of the Year of the Dragon.

All Dances are 7PM SL time at Steelhead City.

Several Clubs to Protest SOPA/PIPA by Closing for a Week

Nydia Tungsten, whom has been helping to run several clubs in Second Life, posted the following in several of her groups:

To bring attention to the SOPA/PIPA bills in congress the following clubs would like you to know what SL will be like if they pass

Club Zero Gravity
The Happy Vixen
Club Fur
H.M.A.S. Little dove
Castaway Cove Beach

will all have NO events for 7 days
and KVXN will go silent for 24 hours on Thurs Jan 19.

Talking to Nydia, the following song would be played at her clubs during the KVXN blackout, "The Day the LOLCats Died," a song parody written against SOPA and PIPA.

Inworldz Reaches 50,000 Users, OpenSim Shrinking

According to a recent post by Daniel Voyager, the virtual world Inworldz recently hit the 50,000 mark in the number of it's registered users. Considering this is double what it was thirteen months ago, reaching 25,000 in Dec. 2010, this would suggest the future of the alternative virtual worlds is a bright one.

Hamlet Au's recent article on OpenSim, however, suggested this was not necessarily the case, at least with all of them. In June 2009, this original of the alternative virtual worlds based on Second Life's open source code had nearly over 33,000 total users, close to 10,000 whom had been active in the past month. Today, OpenSim has a greater number of regions and their total number of accounts has more than doubled. But, the number of those active within the past thirty days is just under 3,300. A shrinkage of active users by about 66%.

Exactly why this many have stopped using OpenSim one can only guess, although this place lacks an inworld currency, and therefore has a limited economic potential. It should be noted that OpenSim is just one of a number of worlds that fall into the list of "Open Simulator" based worlds, including Avination, which although is currently the second-largest of these grids is thought to have a stable, if not growing, population. And this world, like InWorldz, does have an in-game currency, as well as boasting combat systems, and has been attracting events. And there's that Avination's viewer has a Macintosh version. One needs a PC to get to OpenSim.

Hamlet Au thought OpenSim's decline was important to pay attention to. With people looking at ways to get around their high tiers, particularly during the persistant bad economic times, some have suggested OpenSim. But to paraphrase Hamlet, such a move would shrink one's potential market of users. While one can (and some are) making accounts in both Second Life and one of these other virtual worlds, not a great deal many are doing that.

Although InWorldz is still growing, its success is not being repeated in most other open virtual worlds. And even then, it's number on at any one time remains small compared to Second Life, which will continue to be dominate other Grids in users for the forseable future.

Source: Daniel Voyager's Blog, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cartoon of the Day

Some people can really go "bats" over "Tiny Empires."

by Bixyl Shuftan

Forgotten City

Gemma Cleanslate recently took a trip to a interesting Steampunk sim. It's not truly Victorian, but rather Central European. The place is maintained by mechanical men, and there are a number of things to do from games, to shopping, and of course exploring.

Read more in Places.

SOPA Down But Not Dead, PIPA Still Up in Senate, Internet Companies Protest

With the White House coming down against SOPA a few days ago, it was no surprise that the bill was finally shelved. While some have declared victory, “Ding-dong, SOPA’s dead,” others are more hesitant. As it turns out, SOPA’s co-founder Lamar Alexander plans to bring it back in February, "due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks.” So the bill is still out there.

And it isn’t just SOPA people on the Internet are worried about. Like many other bills in the House, a similar bill was sent to the Senate, the “Protect IP Act” or PIPA. Considered just as big a threat to the Internet and Second Life, it is due for a vote in the Senate this January. Sponsored by Patrick Leahy, the bill is described as having bipartisan support among 40 Senators. Senator Ron Wyden has spoken out against the bill, as has the “Tea Party Patriots” organization.

For these reasons, a number of Internet companies, groups and individuals are protesting in a number of ways. Many, including Wikipedia, blacked out their websites in protest today. Others, including Google , blacked out their logo. Facebook remains up, but a number of people are replacing their profile picture and sometimes gallery images with images symbolizing censorship.

For US readers wanting to contact your legislators to oppose SOPA & PIPA, Click here.

Sources: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Wikipedia, Techdirt, Forbes, Dailytech

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Events this Week in Second Life from Jan 17th to Jan 23rd

It's a week full of events on the Grid. From book and poetry readings to music and dance parties at clubs, there's no shortage of things to do. This week brings the return of a live music singer to Second Life. Debi Late returns to Mystery after a long hiatus.

Read more in Events this Week.

Xymbers Slade's Horoscopes

Xymbers Slade has his horoscopes up for. What do the stars have in store for us? Xymbers has a few answers.

Read Xymbers' Horoscopes in Extra.

End of "The Path"

Gemma Cleanslate just got a note that "The Path," a multiple artist build, is about to come down, "Visit 'The Path' in LEA2 soon if you have not seen it, or to revisit it before it is lost."

To read her story on "The Path," Click Here. To visit the place, head to LEA2 (178, 178, 23)

Monday, January 16, 2012

An Interview with Owly Indigo of Indigo Aviary

Grey Lupindo went to a place in Second Life that is truly for the birds: the Indigo Aviary. This location has more than a hundred virtual birds. She met up with the owner, Owly Indigo, and talked about her interest in birds and how the aviary came to be.

Read more in People.

SOPA on the Defensive, Opponents Plan Blackout Protests Jan 18th.

There’s been still more developments on the SOPA bill. More and more people have been speaking out on the issue. Some of the people haven’t really been known for computer issues before, such as the comic critic “That Guy With the Glasses.” Others are, such as the social media website Reddit by blacking out their site for 12 hours on Wednesday January 18th, some of the people having opinions on the matter short and to the point (image not safe for work). The games Firefall and Minecraft are also planning protests by shutting down their websites that day. Wikipedia “appears to be very close to announcing a blackout or something like it.” Google is supposedly planning some kind of protest other than a blackout.

As the protests mount, the backers of SOPA find themselves on uneasy ground. Senator Lamar Smith, the co-author of the bill, was found to be in violation of SOPA himself. An image on his website failed to give credit to it’s creator, “maybe I could petition the court to take action against texansforlamarsmith.com.” So perhaps it’’s no surprise the other co-author, Patrick Leahy, was willing to remove one segment of the bill.

Also, the White House seems to be finally tilting to the side of the SOPA opponents, at least on the surface. Whitehouse.gov made a lengthy statement, which stated “we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” However, it encouraged all sides involved to work together to pass “sound legislation.” Whether or not this “sound legislation” acceptable would be SOPA with just a piece or two removed or changed is unclear.

So what can Residents do? Click Here for information on how to contact you senators and Congressman on the matter.

Bixyl Shuftan

Vietnam Wall Builder Would Help Bring Back Momument if Sponsor Comes Forward

In November, The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial was found to have vanished. Contacting the head of Meme Science, Evian Argus, which built "The Wall" sim where it was, he told me someone had been sponsoring hit, but must have decided to suddenly up and stop paying the tier. He would try to help bring it back if there was someone else offering to sponsor the Memorial.

So who can help bring back this replica of the memorial to the 58,000 soldiers who gave their lives in the Vietnam War?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Nuts about Ballet"

After my visits to Virtual Ability and the set of "The 1st Question" on Sunday Jan 8th, I stopped to check out a Second Life rendition of "The Nutcracker" I got a bulletin about, "Nut about the Nutcracker" by Ballet Pixelle.

The show was well received by the audience, a few of whom looked more like they were headed for a biker rally than the ballet. There's no shortage of fans on the Grid of high culture, or at least those whom appreciate talent in any form.

The show was at the Quat sim (42, 20, 108).