Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rua Whitepaw's Keyboard

Sometimes builders make things with the intention of getting a lot of attention. Other times, they don't seek attention, but it finds them anyway. The editor was recently informed about a shy neighbor of his, Rua Whitepaw, whom had been quietly building a piano keyboard that impressed her friends to the point one thought it deserved news attention. So what's so special about the keyboard?

Read about the musical instrument in Design.

Quicktips - "Finding Interesting Places and Recent Highlights from the Second Life Destination Guide"

This week's Quicktips talks about using the inworld "Search" function, and the Destination Guide on Linden Lab's Second Life website.

Looking for something to do in Second Life? With thousands of places to visit, how do you find the one you’re looking for? This week’s QuickTips video tutorial provides tips on using Search, Events and the Destination Guide to seek and find the cool places you want to explore. Watch our newest QuickTips video tutorial here

Every week our Destination Guide editorial team pores through the many awesome submissions for new locations and events. Below are a few of the newest Destination Guide entries that stuck with us. They could be an alien invasion through darklit corridors, an intricately detailed fantasy setting or even a surreally romantic metallic swamp. So if you’re looking for something to stimulate that creative spark, why not take a look below? Or join in the fun and submit your own?

There are other ways to discover new places on the Grid. One can do a websearch ong Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. for the numerous Second Life realted blogs and websites. And of course there's the Second Life Newser's Places section.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Jasmine and I were looking around in a video store when to residents in horse avatars walked in. It made for a rather amusing scene, and I couldn't help but wonder what a horse with human-level intelligence would be looking for.

By Bixyl Shuftan


Gemma Cleanslate recently went to an exhibition by artist Betty Turead: The UFO. She created it with the intention to be thought-provoking. But with bright colors, and designs that change as the visitor walks through, this display of art promises to be a visual treat as well.

See Gemma's account in Design.

"Six Strikes" Internet Rule Likely Installed Monday

By Bixyl Shuftan

Internet Privacy activists expressed worry when on Monday February 26, the "Six Strikes" rule was set to go into effect. Devised last year, the rules involve the "Copyright Alert System" set up by the following Internet Service Providers: AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon.

Under the system, copyright owners are supposedly alerted to people downloading their content without permission, and they can alert the ISPs to the people targeted by the system. The first alerts are warnings. After a few warnings come "mitigation alerts" which depending on the ISP results in temporary reductions in Internet speed, a downgrade in the service tier, redirection to a page for a period of time, or other measures. After six alerts, there are no more, but each supposed violation is recorded in case the matter is taken to court.

Critics point out that the system is imperfect, that in wireless Internet "hot spots" that an innocent user could potentially be tagged as illegally downloading even if he/she wasn't as open wi-fi signals allow for their IP address to be used by others. Also, there are methods for determined pirates to avoid the system, such as cyberlockers, streaming sites, offline swapping, and others. Then there are privacy issues. Electronic Frontier Foundation director Corynne McSherry called Six Strikes, "just a great big expensive system to snoop on and intimidate people" whom she felt were mostly behaving themselves. She called it's recording of violations, "a private copyright system, and it doesn't have the protections and balances that the public copyright system has." It has also been noted that the system's software to identify copyright violations was inspected and approved by a former lobbyist of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

In early 2012, RIAA was among those trying to get the US Congress to pass the SOPA bill, which alarmed critics who stated it's vague language threatened to shut down the Internet as we know it. It was in the months following it's defeat that the Copyright Alert System and Six Strikes was set up. It was supposedly to be enacted in late 2012, but was delayed by the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Sources: The Guardian,,

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Fashion for Life 2013

Fashion for Life 2013: It’s not just about fashion…

Every year, hundreds of people in Second Life ™ give their time, creativity and money to help raise funds and awareness on behalf of the ‘American Cancer Society’ at FASHION FOR LIFE.

This year from March 9th – 17th, an incredible 9 sims built by some of the grids best artists and builders will open to the public based on the theme of ‘The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.’

But it’s not only the very best fashion you can expect to see this year but also dazzling art, beautiful buildings and a schedule of live events and fashion shows produced by SL’s top fashion agencies!


▪ Great Pyramid of Giza - Built by Thoth Jantzen - Sponsored by Chop Zuey Couture and Jewellery

▪ Hanging Gardens of Babylon - Built by Patch Thibaud - Sponsored by Tres Beau Designs in honor of loved ones lost.

▪ Statue of Zeus at Olympia - Built by KarlinJames Zepp - Sponsored by Sonatta Morales *8* Vintage Couture

▪ Temple of Artemis at Ephesus - Built by nexuno Thespian - Sponsored by Leri Miles Designs, Quality mesh fashion for men and women.

▪ Mausoleum at Halicarnassus - Built by  Kaya Angel - Sponsored by LAZURI

▪ Colossus of Rhodes - Built by Rebeca Bashly - Sponsored by .:EMO-tions:.

▪ Lighthouse of Alexandria - Built by Bryn Oh - Sponsored by [sYs] Design

▪ FASHION FOR LIFE - Built by Eshi Otawara - sponsored by Miss Mundo Virtual Organization

▪ FFL Event Sim - Built by Eshi Otawara - Sponsored by Christianraven Resident

▪ Tjake Kearny

▪ Giz Seorn



The week will also host a schedule of live entertainment, music and catwalk events and each scheduled fashion show will reveal different outfits from the all new ‘Fashion for Life 2013’ collection.




▪10:00 AM SLT - FASHION SHOW - Produced by: KV Dream Agency


▪4:00 PM SLT - FASHION SHOW - Produced by SOLO EVANE


▪4:00 PM SLT - FASHION SHOW - Produced by AVENUE


▪4:00 PM SLT- FASHION SHOW - Produced by Elegance Agency





▪12:00 PM SLT - CHANGHIGH SISTERS FIRESHOW of Light, Life and Love







*BOSL Radio will also stream across all 9 sims in partnership with SL club ‘The Velvet’.

* There will be a public ‘BEST FFL PHOTO CONTEST’ for the duration of this event. The winner will receive items from participating FFL designers.

“When I saw the amount of new and beautiful creations being made for FASHION FOR LIFE 2013, my head span like Linda Blair's in her best moment. How could we possibly showcase all this new fashion in one week while organizing the event at the same time? Thank God for SL FASHION AGENCIES! They all graciously jumped in to give us a hand. I am forever grateful.” Frolic Mills, BOSL & Co, CEO

Fashion for Life Flickr:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Events This Week in Second Life Feb 26 to March 4

The week brings a new month as February changes to March. And with it come some new events. Two Moon Paradise has "Alice in Wonderland," Tribute City starts their St Patricks celebrations, live musician Allesandra Eberlain performs at Staatsoper Berlin, and more. And there are the reguarly scheduled, live music and DJ events, book and poetry readings, talk shows, races, and church services.

See the list in Events this Week.

Tales From Podex: The Love Bandit

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was mid-February at the Podex Exchange. And as usual the tellers made deals with customers coming in, and chatted among themselves between clients. Some talked about the Mardi Gras events, such at the one at New Toulouse. One mentioned a friend going to a church service on Ash Wednesday. And then there was the day that was bringing in quite a few clients: Valentines Day. People talked about going to Valentine events, such as those at Areo Pines Park or the Zero Gravity and Happy Vixen Clubs, the themed Valentine Town, or just taking a sweetheart to a secluded Romance area.

While they were talking, someone stepped in. He wasn't dressed in much, just a pair of red shorts, and had a quiver and bow on his back behind a pair of white wings. But his appearance was  grey and black fur with a ring pattern on his tail and a black mask over his eyes.

"Hello," spoke the visitor in a meek-sounding voice, "I'm here to get some gold arrows. I was flying overhead, and they fell into your vents over the vault area. If I don't get them, well, I won't be able to help certain couples fall in love."

One of the tellers finally chuckled a bit, "You really thought you could fool us with that flimsy disguise, Clumsy Cooper?"

"Who is this Clumsy Cooper? I'm Cupid, here to get my arrows back that fell here."

"I'll have to hand it to your persistence, but not your intelligence. Now go away before we call the police."

"Okay, be like that!" Clumsy's voice went back to normal as he drew the bow, "Now hand over the Lindens, and no one gets hurt."

The teller laughed, "Don't kid yourself. You expect that cheap freebie to work here?"

"Why you … " Clumsy reached for an arrow, then drew the bowstring back. But the result was a "creeeaaaak" noise, distracting Clumsy. Then the bow broke with a SNAP, a taut string released striking his hand. He dropped the broken bow and reflexively stuck the sore area of his hand into his mouth, "Owwwwww!"

"Get 'im!"

Realizing his latest heist had failed, Clumsy ran out the building. He quickly scrambled down the steps, then ran down the beach. He jumped into the water, and began swimming away, loosing the fake wings and quiver. He saw a boat, got on it, and began sailing off. But the water was colder this time of year, so he ended up doing more shivering under a blanket than sailing. He was soon picked up by the SLCG, then turned over to the police who arrested him, charging him with attempted griefing.

But even if Clumsy Cooper's scheme had worked, there was no way he could have gotten away with any ill-gotten gains. “All our exchanges are done through electronic transfer,” a teller later explained to the SLPD, “He wouldn’t have walked away with a single Linden.”

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).

Note: The preceding is a fictional story, written for the dual purpose of advertisement and entertainment.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, February 25, 2013

Interview With Wrestler Honey Bluntz

Charlotte Williams is back with the next of her wrestling intervews. This time she interviews one of the women wrestlers: Honey Bluntz. So what did Honey have to say about Second Life wrestling, and how it is for the girls?

Read the interview in People.

Traveling Circus in Tombstone

Gemma Cleanslate was recently invited to the Tombstone Wild West RP sim for a special event. The town was hosting a traveling circus, which did quite a performance. With all the sights, Gemma was busy with her camera, and took lots of screenshots.

See the pictures in Events.

Two Wounded Warrior Benefits Raise Almost 250,000 Lindens

By Bixyl Shuftan

Usually, there's only one benefit a month in Second Life for the Wounded Warrior Project. This weekend, there were two, in Friendly Airport and Veterans Isle.

On Friday evening Feb 22, there was a Wounded Warrior benefit at the Friendly Airport in the Firespire sim. The event was publicized by Vickster Khun of New Bastogne, and singer Frets Nirvana, whom performed for the event. The event went from 6 SL time to about 9 SL time.

Tonight, Friendly Airport is hosting 4... count 'em 4 LIVE performances back to back. HELVIS will rock your socks off with 50's and Elvis tunes 5-6pmm Jimmyt49 Dukes, Anek Fuchs and Frets Nirvana will perform benefit concerts for the Wounded Warriors Project, starting at 6pm SLT. So bring a friend or two and party with the NAS at their home base at Friendly Airport!

Vickster Khun was among those in the audience., which numbered about thirty avatars. When Frets Nirvana took the stage at 8 SL time, about 15,000 Lindens had been raised. By the time the event ended, the total had risen to 23,700.

On Sunday came the main Wounded Warrior benefit. As usual, it was on the last Sunday of the month. But this time it was in a new sim, Veterans Isle. Dahlea Milena and others from Patriot Island were there, and the hours were the same, 5PM SL time to a little after 9PM. Frets Nirvana and GJackie Winklerannounced the event in a few groups after Kitzie Lane started things up.

 Hi folks! We have this month's Wounded Warriors going on tonight right now. Kitzie Lane is filling in for Waya. Up next is Pondman Haalan. Come on out and support, and enjoy some great music!

Wounded Warriors program has developed significantly over the last several years to include advocacy, benefits counseling, caregivers retreats, coping/family services, peer mentoring, warriors to work and many others.  Veterans Isle (70,216,23)

Shannon Oherlihy was the performer at 6PM When Frets took the stage, guitar in hand, at 7, the total amount raised was close to 80,000 Lindens. Dahlea welcomed those dropping in. GJackie Winkler thanked people as they donated Lindens in the two helmets on either side of the stage. Frets promised that if the amount raised reached 128,000, that he would donate an extra 50,000. By 7:30 SL time, the amount had gone up to 87,450 Lindens. In three minutes, it jumped to 100,000. By 7:45, it was up to 108,200L. At 7:52, it was 112,000. Finally when Frets finished his set it was at 115,500. Not enough, but Frets told the crowd as musician Von Johin took the stage, "Folks, if we can get it to 175K while Von plays, I will put in 50K, still got it!"

The minutes ticked by, and at 8:58PM the amount was 166,800 Lindens. Someone donated 5 thousand Lindens, and others made up the difference. And with 175,000 raised, the crowd cheered as Frets added the extra 50,000. The final amount was 225,171 Lindens.

There had been a woman whom offered to striptease to encourage the men to donate, but Daliah told everyone that couldn't be permitted, "we are required to maintain certain standards here for the good of our vets all the time, due to RL legalities for non-profits."

Dahlea had nothing but praise for Frets, "He's amazing, and all the work he does to coordinate & schedule these wounded warrior benefits, he's tireless in his passion for this cause."

And so with two events this weekend, the Wounded Warrior Project has raised about 250,000 Lindens. Stay tuned for the next fundraiser on March 31st.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Congratulations Bain and Panza

On Saturday Feb 23 at 5PM SL time, Bain Finch and Panza Eilde were wed at a ceremony, followed by a reception. Both are noted participants for the Relay For Life, so the event was well attended by many Relayers, such as Fuzzball Ortega and Lomgren Smalls. The event had a "Three Musketeers" theme, so many appeared in outfits of the period.

More pictures can be seen in Red Ryder's Flickr.

Congratulations to the happy couple.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Robstock" Music Event This Weekend

This weekend, there's a three day live music event at the Wild Ones sim: Robstock. The event is to raise money for "Doctors Without Borders," a Geneva-based organization " best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic diseases." The event promises "three days of life music, poetry, and DJs." This is the sixth annual event of it's kind in Second Life.

The event is at Wild Ones, (197, 49, 22)

SL Video: "TV.wmv" by Bryn Oh

Noted SL artist Bryn Oh came up with this machinima a few years ago, but waited until this week to publish in on her blog at .

"I made this machinima about three years ago and I didn't get around to actually ever sharing it with anyone, so I thought I might today as I don't really have much else to talk about. It is perhaps my quietest video and was made at a time when I was a bit overwhelmed by people always wanting something from me, and the desire to put up barriers. I kind of liked the idea of making something very still and quiet that might also be able to capture the imagination and create a distinct emotion. It is housed within a beautiful song by Radiohead. Perhaps my favorite ever done by them."

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Visit to East Gallery

Gemma Cleanslate recently dropped by Studio 33 at East Gallery. She was impressed with what she found, a large variety of artwork, of both photographs of picturesque real-life scenes and vivid graphic arts. She also learned a little about a few of the artists.

Read Gemma's article in Design.

Ask DrFran: Grief Caused By Grief

DrFran Babcock's latest column deals with a letter from a new resident. Having been on the Grid for a short time, the moments he remembers the most are attacks by griefers. So what can he do to avoid them and enjoy Second Life more? DrFran had a few answers.

Read DrFran's column in People.

Linden Lab Releases Versu, But Are They Going Too Fast?

By Bixyl Shuftan

Last week, Linden Labs introduced it's latest product, "Versu." Subtitled "Living Stories," Versu is an interactive fiction application. The press release described it as "an interactive storytelling platform that builds experiences around characters and social interaction." Versu differs a bit from other "choose your own adventure" platforms in that the applications artificial intelligence allows for characters to react differently based on the reader's choices. Characters react with emotions as well as actions.

The artificial intelligence was designed by Richard Evans and Emily Short. The two designers, Evans was noted for his work on "Black and White" and "Sims3," had founded "Little Text People," which was purchased by Linden Lab last year. There are plans for the platform to allow users to write their own interactive stories in the future, of which the writers can either make them available as free or for sale. In the latter, Linden Lab takes a percentage of the sale. Versu is available at Apple's iTunes App Store, and has four interactive stories available, including a short tale intended as a tutorial. 

In Gamasutra, Rod Humble had in mind what he saw as lacking in games, "when you go into a bookstore or look at an ebook reading list, the top sellers are almost invariably romance and drama. And then you look at what games make, and there's no romance, no drama. … Romance is going to be a mainstay in the games business. Someone is going to do it, and I'd sure love it to be us."

New World Notes' Iris Ophelia took a look at Versu. Describing herself as a fan of interactive fiction, the ability to act and react when she wanted to appealed to her, calling it "the choice to choose … it contributes to a much stronger sense of agency, which is the whole point of interactive fiction …" She thought it had the potential to be a great tool to use with children and teenagers, "as a teacher or parent. It's the sort of tool I would personally look for any excuse to work into a lesson or activity because it has a lot of potential to engage users with the content."

The problem, Iris felt, was considering that Linden Lab had released Versu so soon after Dio, which did many of the same things. She wrote, "it feels like one more clever and creative little thing that just isn't going to go anywhere, even though it absolutely could and should." While there was a market for interactive fiction, interest "probably higher now than its been a decade and a  half at least," there were already numerous devices and applications out there with devoted followings. And with Linden Lab seemingly "throwing things out to see what sticks," she felt Versu and Dio would not be able to attract sizable followings.

At the end, Iris wondered if Linden Lab might have been better off concentrating their efforts with Second Life, "If they're going to keep launching these indie-esque projects and just leaving them to rot without fostering any of the functionality or community endearment that makes all the other projects like these that came before actually work, they are probably wasting their time." 

Hamlet Au took a look at how much Versu, and Linden Lab's first of it's apps Creatorverse, had been downloaded. Versu's had a good start so far, but not many are buying the pay books yet. If the trends of Creatorverse are an indication, it may be in trouble. It began as among the top 5 downloaded apps, but "has since dwindled to ranks in the mid-hundreds."

Among those commenting on Iris's article was Shockwave Yareach, "The Lab wants to operate like Ford and give their dealers the job of interacting with the customers. Trouble is, the dealers don't have the powers they need to be able to do that. And quite frankly, Linden Lab sells Yugos instead of Fords." Also commenting was Ciaran Laval, whom thought it was too early to say where Versu was headed, "it's not unusual for a new player to enter an existing market and prosper."

Sources: Linden Lab, Gamasutra, New World Notes 

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Changes in the FCA

Second Life's clubs are a fun place to go and listen to a little music and chat with friends. But they can also be a lot of work, finding DJs, setting themes and schedules, etc. And with so many clubs, sometimes some end up having to share audiences. The FCA club alliance has offered clubs where all types of avatars are welcome a chance to avoid conflicting schedules and an easier time for DJs and club owners to set up events. In recent weeks, the organization has gone through a busy time, and more than a few changes.

Read more in Extra.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Life Cycle of an Island

SL Newser writer Grey Lupindo has had her home in the Syzygy community for a few years. She's seen the community expand and grow, and came to reside on the island of Corvus. Unfortunetly, the past few months have been trying times for this corner of the Grid, with the danger of the whole region vanishing into the virtual nether. And eventually, Corvus faded away. Grey looks back at her old home, and explains the latest news on the fate of Syzygy.

Read Grey's article in Places.

Reader Submitted: Club Mardi Gras is Back

YuliaV Resident, also known as DJ Yulia, sent this picture of the grand-reopening of Club Mardi Gras. Originally in FP Proteus, it had to be taken down when the sim was closed a few weeks ago. It's owner Nydia Tungsten found a new home for the club. And on Monday February 18th at 8PM SL time, the club and the people there were ready to party with a 5000L prize.

A sim-straining 35 residents were at the club at times. A regular schedule will soon be determined.

"President's Day" Snail Race

Some things that go on in the Grid are quite literally "only in Second Life." Among them are the Giant Snail Races, run by Racer X Gullwing every week. These whimsical events consist of huge snail avatars navigating an obstacle course that consists of bouncing on mushrooms, avoiding a giant frying pan, catapulted by springs, bouncing on balloons over a shark tank, etc.

Each event has a different theme, and on Saturday Feb 16, the race's theme was "President's Day," with the track and snail shells dressed up in red, white, and blue. One snail also sported a large copy of Abe Lincoln's stovepipe hat.

Four races took place that day. The first was won by Kirkland Coba. The second by Tindallia Soothsayer. The third by Oodlemi Noodle

The races take place every Saturday at 11 AM at Devon Dream (150, 102, 777), although you may want to arrive a little early for everything to load. You can also see past races on the archives at:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Events This Week in Second Life Feb 19 to Feb 25

Valentines Day and Mardi Gras came and went. But that doesn't mean there's no new events. If you like shopping hunts and puzzles, check out "Global Domination," a challenging game that takes you to a number of different cultural settings from around the world. And of course there's our usual selection of church services, races, talk shows, book and poetry readings, and DJ & live music events.

Read the list of happenings in Events this Week.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The ZeroG Skydancers – Staying Power for a Reason

DrFran Babcock had a chance to watch a group of performers in Second Life known as the ZeroG Skydancers. They've been on the Grid for a while, but their shows continue to be spectacular. DrFran writes about the group and their performance.

Read about the ZeroG Skydancers in People.

Flickr Posting Has Little-Known Restrictions

The Flickr photosharing service is very popular among Second Life residents. Many use it to record pictures of Second Life events, such as Daniel Voyager's screenshots of the "One Billion Rising" event last week. But how often do people think about it's rules. That one doesn't use it to post images showing graphic sexuality and violence is obvious, or copy others without giving credit. But as it turns out, there are others not that many are aware of.

Iris Ophellia found out about Cory Edo, a builder and the owner of a furniture store whom ran afoul of Flickr's management. They restricted her account and a number of images were blocked. Unable to "get a straight answer from support after two requests," she checked the Flickr forums, and found "it's not enough to not link a sales site - you can't have pricing, you can't link to your blog."

As Iris pointed out, rules "that almost every other designer, blogger, and photographer in SL" are breaking because they "aren't exactly shared openly by Flickr to begin with."

Cory wrote details on her Plurk account, "and if you get a notice from support about your account, don't bother asking them for details b/c they just give you a c/p response that doesn't clarify any of the above additional stipulations ... keep in mind this is what the forums people on Flickr are telling me, its not in the TOS, I was told to respect the 'ethos' and I guess figure all this out myself. ... I was told that linking to my wordpress blog (that I do not sell anything from directly) was still advertising. Bloggers usually link to the stores that they're featuring, sooo ... "

Cory got some feedback from other Flickr users, Damien Fate commenting, "Well I only use flickr FOR advertising, and I pay for a pro account. If that's not allowed then their loss, I'll remove my pro subscription." Luna Jubilee wrote, "This comes up and around through the sl community every year or so ... flickr reserves the right to remove that photo or set ... up to your entire account. with or without warning." Daphne Klossovsky wrote, "Yeah, we had this problem before too. Someone flagged something and the mods also flagged us for commercial. So I just deleted all text (we don't have prices on our posters). They seemed satisfied with that, But I don't see why you can't link to your blog."

Cory made the decision to go from a pay to free account, "I've just been contacted by another Flickr user (not support) who offered to tell me the secrets of what violates Flickr's TOS and I don't even care. I'm dropping the Pro account and deleting most of the pix ... if I'm paying a company I expect to talk to their support and not a bunch of self-righteous hall monitors in their forums. ... I've gotten the impression they barely tolerate SL users in general, again that whole 'we're a real photography site' attitude. ... "

So what to do? Ophelia wondered if Second Life residents should start looking for alternatives, mentioning "Tumblr" and "Pintrest." One of the people responding to Cory wrote, "I used photobucket before SL...but then switched since flickr was where everyone was hosting." As Ophelia put it, "But unless there is a major shift in where the SL community at large wants to be, most of us will probably cling to Flickr for as long as possible, even if the service is ill suited for our needs."

Sources: Iris Ophelia's NWN article, Cory Edo's Plurk

Bixyl Shuftan

Quicktips "Connecting With Second Life Communities"

In the latest of Linden Lab's "Quicktips" videos, Linden Lab shows how to find and join up with a community.

Millions of people have registered for Second Life -- so chances are pretty good that there’s a community that shares your interest or hobby inworld. Connecting with people who share your interests is easier when you know how to efficiently explore the thousands of Groups and Destinations inside Second Life.

To learn more about how to find friends and connect to conversations that share your interests, watch the QuickTips tutorial video at:

There are other ways to find communities. Some have their own blogs, or have a prominent resident whom makes the community the main focus of his/her blog, such as Lunar of Steelhead. They can also get attention such as being a presence at a major Second Life event, such as Second Life Birthdays and Relay For Life fundraisers. And of course they can get the attention of Second Life Newser.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cartoon of the Day: Cupid's Mischief

Besides a bringer of romance, Cupid was also known as a mischief-maker. Here though, someone else has an idea who to bring it on.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, February 16, 2013

And The Surprise From the Lab: 10 L

Yesterday on the Linden blog, the Lab told readers that those logging in Second Life by 7:30PM would be getting a "surprise" gift. Unless your account had few to no Lindens, or you checked your transaction history, you probably would have missed it unless someone told you. The surprise gift was not a Valentines Linden bear or any other object. It was ten Linden dollars added to your account.

10L. That's a small amount to established players. And in both the official forums and the SL Universe forums, longtime residents expressed their disappointment, some saying they felt insulted. One resident commented, "It's not about the gift or $L. It's about the complete lack of even a little last minute imagination." Some residents did express some support, saying newcomers would benefit a little from the gift, especially since there was no shortage of near-free items costing just one Linden. One resident felt Linden Lab was in a no-win situation. No matter what they did, he commented, there would be no shortage of complaints.

On the blog, Linden Lab did offer suggestions on how to spent the 10L, as well as some suggestions on where to go for Valentines Day.

We hope you’re all having a lovely Valentine’s Day in Second Life! If you logged in during the period to be eligible for the special gift from Linden Lab, today you’ll find an extra L$10 from us in your account by midnight (PT) tonight - it’s just a little something that we hope will brighten your day.

Looking for a last-minute gift for someone special inworld? There are lots of options for less than L$10 in the Valentine’s Day category on the Marketplace - you can see them all here. And, of course there are thousands of items in the entire Valentine’s Day category, which you can browse here.

If you don’t yet have any plans for Valentine’s Day inworld, we’ve got you covered! The Destination Guide team has been sifting through the many and varied recent submissions to highlight a few things you might want to check out today:

The Lab then listed several locations, a shopping hunt, a club, a romance area, the Nortre Dame Cathedral, and the One Billion Rising demonstration.

There were numerous suggestions on the forum posts on what else the Lindens could have done, such as offer a deduction from landowner's tier, one commenting ten Lindens would pay for his land for just seven minutes. But over and over, the "Kiss a Linden" Valentines Day events that went on to 2011 were also brought up, several residents saying the return of the event would have been a much better surprise gift. 

Linden blog, Linden forums, SL Universe

SL Video: "Arcade Series III In SecondLife "

From Aeonix Aeon of the Andromeda Media Group, his latest series of video arcade games, "A quick video showing off the Arcade Series III arcade cabinets in Second Life. Only Polybius is available on Marketplace, but I'm willing to trade it in-world for the others. Some are playable in-world while others are just videos on the screen. All have outbound playable links for your browser. Marketplace Listing: All arcade cabinets are modeled in mesh with an average Land Impact of 8. Realistic dimensions and cabinet plans were used, as well as extensive work for the graphics. Currently, they are being prepared for a free-play arcade soon to open in Second Life, recapturing some of that 80s arcade feel when opened. A custom building is being created for this purpose and is current a work in progress. For more information or the current Series III Arcade list, contact Aeonix Aeon in Second Life. Custom orders and projects are also considered upon review."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Scenes from "One Billion Rising"

 On Thursday Feb 14th, the "One Billion Rising" took place in Second Life. A demonstration for womens rights across the world, the event took place in four sims, OBR Rise, OBR Strike, OBR Dance, and OBR Walk. The Second Life event was part of a larger global event with demonstrations across the planet.  At this exhibit sponsored by Madpea, there were numerous images of avatars with protest signs, such as "In Guatemala, there are two women murdered each day. Stop the violence!!"

 There was a walkway around the four sims with various exhibitions. At the intersection was a stage where large numbers of people could dance. Among the musicians performing there was DJ Quark Allen, who played from 12 Noon SL time to 1PM.

The event was quite packed at times. At the time I dropped by, there were about a total of a hundred and forty residents attending. The lag made for some slow going at times, as well as some crashing. But morale at the "Rising" was very high, and those demonstrating were determined to get their point across.

*Update (Feb 18)* Check out more pictures of "One Billion Rising" on Daniel Voyager's "Flickr" page.

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Doing the Harlem Shake in Second Life"

In recent days, it seems a new Internet dance video craze has been catching on, the "Harlem Shake." How to describe it, well, Wikipedia's as good a source as any, "Normally, each video begins with one person (often masked) dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, surrounded by other people unaware of the dancing individual. When the bass drops, the camera transitions to the entire crowd doing the dance for the next 15 seconds, often wearing a minimum of clothes or crazy outfits or costumes while wielding strange props." For several amusing examples, Click Here.

As with many other things in pop culture, it seems it was just a matter of time before it made Second Life.

"Doing the Harlem Shake in Second Life By Kinky Anatra.... Special thanks to Jessie for all the help. Also to Sengir, Dark, Nirrad, James, Aleesa and everyone else "

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Check Out "One Billion Rising" Today

Part of a global demonstration for womens rights,  the Second Life Rising "will feature a four-region stage where 200 people can dance together, surrounded by an area of art installations and informational exhibits. A variety of performers will play over the 24-hour period, enabling people all over the world to attend this virtual event no matter their timezone."

The event takes place all day until 11:59 SL time tonight.

OBR Walk (180, 180, 25)

EOTB: Valentines Day Surprise From Linden Lab, But ...

In the Linden blog yesterday Feb 13, there was a promise of a surprise for Second Life residents. All they had to do was log in by 7:30 SL time that evening.

Valentine’s Day is big in Second Life - whether you’re planning on buying something special for your sweetheart on the Marketplace, finding a romantic place to explore together, or just celebrating with friends inworld, Second Life is a great place to enjoy the holiday. To help you have even more fun in Second Life this Valentine’s Day, we have a surprise gift for you! You must log in by 7:30pm PT today to be eligible, so don’t wait! What is it? Well, it wouldn’t be any fun if we spoiled the surprise here - you’ll just have to log in before 7:30pm PT today to find out. 

Logging in though, there was nothing in my inventory from the Lab, no Valentine surprise. Not even a notecard. Perhaps the Lindens had goofed and posted the blog post a day early. On the official forums, some residents had their ideas, one deciding it was best to wait until Valentines Day and see what was up.

Taking a look at the post again, it turned out the Lindens had made an update. Although all one had to do was log in, the surprise wouldn't arrive until later. The Lab stated that residents who logged in on time would get the surprise, but it might not arrive until 11:59PM Feb 14th. For those on the East Coast, that's way in the middle of the night. So for some, its more like an after-Valentine Day surprise.

It does seem things were simpler in the past when the Lab held their "Kiss a Linden" events.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday Forehead Mark

"After the reverly, time to reflect." At least that what comes to mind with the contrast between Mardi Gras or "Carnival," and Ash Wednesday. For those who don't know, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. For Catholics and more recently some Protestant denominations, the day offers church services in which the observers have their foreheads with a cross-shaped mark made of ashes.

Second Life Marketplace offers several forehead cross marks. Among them, a free one from Edd Thor, whom on his profile described himself as Episcopalian, "Ash Wednesday is observed by some denominations as the beginning of the time of preparation for Easter. A cross made of ashes may be placed on the forehead, perhaps with the words, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." To the best of my knowledge, the church clip art from which these crosses are derived are public domain."

The item can be found on the Marketplace Here.

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan


In the SL9B By Us1 sim, there's a build that can make one think his or her world turned upside down. And maybe it did as one can walk upside down on the place. Visit the "Citysphere," where one can navigate the streets of a small world, and have one's senses, and viewer,  put to the test.

Read about the location in Design.

At a Tail Sale

Grease Coakes wrote about his recent experiences at a Tail Sale at a furry club. What is a tail sale? It could be described as like a bachelor / bachellorette auction, but there's often more to it than companionship. Grease describes just what goes on at this kind of event.

Read Grease's account in Extra.

Preview of "One Billion Rising"

By Gemma Cleanslate

Today I got a chance to go check out the four sims that will give you lots of room to roam and dance and rise at One Billion Rising.Their names are OBR Walk, OBR Strike, OBR Rise and OBR Dance.  Since the huge Dance floor is in the center on the corner of four sims it will help with lag and allow more people to enjoy the event. Remember this is a 24 hour event beginning at midnight on Valentines Day so you have plenty of time to get there and enjoy. There is an information kiosk on each sim to guide you .

The art installations circle along the edge of the sims, so you can just start in one corner and move all along the outer area to see them. At each exhibit there is a post containing the bio of the artist. Each exhibit in its way acknowledges the theme of the event. Some are celebratory, some define the reason for protest against aggression toward women. Some of the pieces are so subtle and thoughtful.  I recognized several of the artists as soon as I approached the piece. There were many that are new to me and I will be looking into their works. You can read all about these artists on the blog pages. 

There are still preparations going on as final touches are being There are a couple of installations that are disturbing in their content but that is the whole point of the event: to recognize the extent of severe treatment of women all over the world. I hope you saw the SL version of the "Break the Chain" video as well if as the original in real life. Here is the event list and you will find both videos on this page . Watch the One Billion Rising blog to get the entry points for Thursday or use the map with the names above. Join the Rising.

All those who did so much preparation for this event are to be congratulated as well as the  many sponsors who helped make it all possible. You will recognize them as you see the posters on the sims.  

It is going to be great!     

Gemma Cleanslate

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Events This Week in Second Life Feb 12 to Feb 18

Second Life has two holidays this week, in addition to a major demonstration. Tuesday offers a day of revelry, Mardi Gras, which offers both Jazz and masquerade parties, in addition to some more recent "traditions" involving adult themes. Thursday is Valentines Day, in which for most the revelry gives way to quiet romance and special times for couples. Some singles though would prefer to poke fun at the event in "anti-Valentine" parties.  Also on Valentines Day is "One Billion Rising," part of a worldwide demonstration in support of womens rights and against violence to women. And there is the usual list of DJ and live music parties, book & poetry readings, church services (maybe Wednesday Lent events), talk shows, and races.

See the list of happenings, holiday and otherwise, in Events this Week.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Laura Liberty’s Valentine Town

Valentine's Day is almost here. And that means getting some gifts for a loved one, or perhaps just walking around in a place with a romantic atmosphere. DrFran Babcock found one such place at Builder's Brewery: Valentine Town. There, one can get some candy & flowers, or a card, or just browse around the sights where love truly is in the air.

Read DrFran's article in Places.

Mardi Gras Parade at New Toulouse

Mardi Gras isn't until tomorrow, but the residents of the New Toulhouse sim celebrated a little early. This weekend, they held a parade, complete with floats. Second Life Newser was there, and took a few pictures.

Se more in Events.

Update on "Creations For Parkinsons"

In October, Second Life Newser did an article on the "Creations of Parkinsons" sim, ran by Barbie Alchemi. She was inspired to create the place due to her mother, known in Second Life as Fran Seranade, whom had the illness. Recently, Hamlet Au interviewed Fran, which can be seen Here, in which she talked about how her journey in Second Life has helped her recover much of her physical ability.

Speaking to Barbie, she was happy for the attention this new article brought, and informed the Newser there would soon be some new developments at "Creations." In the meantime, they were still running events there, in addition to the Sunday night "Demo Derby" in Random.

Stay tuned for more.

Image credit: New World Notes

SL Video: One Billion Rising in Second Life

"Tena Clark & Tim Heintz have given us the incredibly powerful song, "Break the Chain," that we hear in this video. As women from around the world in Second Life, we wanted to do our part too. Gorgeous settings, amazing women-behind the avatars, and a bit of fantasy make our video a beautiful addition to the tide of support that's sweeping the globe. Visit our blog, "One Billion Rising in Second Life" to find out more!" 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "QuickTips - Shopping in Second Life"

In the second of the "Quicktips" videos aimed at newer residents, Linden Labs features shopping in Second Life. The introduction on the blog refereed to the first video, suggesting perhaps the newcomer might want a more unique look, and stated one could shop for one.

Our first QuickTips video focused on the simple process of changing your avatar in less than 60 seconds using the free avatars built into the Second Life Viewer. That’s a great skill to have as a newcomer -- but many users want to stand out in style or perhaps just look a bit more unique. Why look like everyone else when there are thousands of fashions and avatar accessories to choose from?

This week’s QuickTips video introduces new users to the fundamentals of how to shop like a pro in Second Life. Watch this clip to learn the basics on discovering places to shop, as well as transaction tips and even unpacking your items.

The video is narrated by the popular Torley Linde, who got a few complements on the youtube page, "Thank you Torley for staying with SL/LL through all these changes. You are a constant that oldtimers can rely on and trust."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Car Show at ZZ Studios

Last week on Feb 2, the adult media company ZZ Studios hosted a car show on it's sim. There were a number of entries, from dung buggies, to replicas of famous cars such as "Ecto 1" from "Ghostbusters, tanks, muscle cars, classic cars, motorcycles, and more. Brandi Streusel, who runs a motorcycle custom painting business from Angel Estates, entered one of her bikes. Company owner Cindy "Zig Zag" Babi was also seen at the event.

Many of the cars were quite detailed. Among them was a police car marked with the company logo (a cop's car with a porn studio's sign?), and there was quite a bit of effort to get the interior realistic, with it's dashboard, steering wheel, radio and "laptop" display, etc.

Between the cars and the avatars, there were over two dozen people at the event, the place could get pretty laggy. Yours truly crashed a number of times while covering the event.

Bixyl Shuftan