Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Events This Week April 30 to May 6

It's a week full of events as we ring in the Month of May. The Relay For Life continues to hold events to raise funds for cancer research. Raglan Shire begins it's yearly art show. The Happy Vixen holds its Music for Health event. London holds its May Fair, and there are the regularly scheduled live and DJ music events, book and poetry readings, races, church services, talk shows, and discussions.

Read the list of happenings in Events this Week.

Looking Back: The End of Second Life Newspaper

Before Second Life Newser, there was Second Life Newspaper. So what happened to the original? Well, it did have some problems near the end, but what pulled the plug were problems no one could solve. As it's Office Manager, here's Bixyl Shuftan's story on what happened to what then was the best newsletter in Second Life.

Read the article in People.

Tales From Podex: Moving Target

By Bixyl Shuftan

He'd get them this time.

Again and again, he had tried to rob that bank. And again and again, he had failed. While sometimes he had simply gotten away with nothing gained, others he'd been caught by the cops and tossed in the slammer for a while. Either way, he had no Lindens to show for all his work.

Well, it would be different this time. His plan would be foolproof. He'd hoodwink his way in, get access to the safe, then grab all the Lindens.

Nothing would go wrong.

He'd walk away vindicated as the master thief he was, and that Podex Bank would be humiliated. No more would they call him "Clumsy Cooper."

Reaching the Moonburry sim, he approached the bank's location, near the beach. He gleefully went over the steps of his flawless plans, then he stopped.

Something wasn't right. The bank wasn't supposed to look like that.

He continued forward, the closer he got, the more worried he got. "It, can't, be," he thought allowed. Finally, he reached the location.

The bank building was missing.

Podex was gone.


In it's place, there was a large green sign, "WE MOVED. We moved to new location. Podex."

"No! Noooooooo!!"

The furred thief dropped to his knees, "NO!! I spent weeks perfecting the perfect plan! AND THEY MOVE!! You can't do this to me Podex! You can't do this to me!! Why?! Whyyyyyyyyyy?!!"

He collapsed onto the ground, sobbing, "It's, not, faaaiiirrrrr …"

*  *  *  *  *

Meanwhile many sims away in Coda, the tellers worked away at the new Podex Exchange building. "Well," one spoke to the other, "how do you like the new office so far?"

"It's great," the other answered, "There's lots of room, and I love the boss's art collection."

"Yes, he does like to collect."

"So far, we've been getting most of our usual level of traffic."

"It does look like our customers are having no trouble finding us."

The second teller pondered, "Hmmm, I wonder."

"What's up?"

"That Clumsy Cooper who's always trying to rob us."

"Oh yeah, knowing him, he probably won't know where to look for a while," both tellers chuckled, "even if he did, no matter what he tries, he won't walk away with a single Linden. All business is done through electronic transfer. He'll never get his hands on our Lindens."

"Yeah," the second teller continued to chuckle, "he'll never learn."

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 now at Coda (45, 218, 61).

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

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, April 29, 2013

"Fallout Equestria" The MLP/Fallout Crossover Roleplaying Game

Have you ever heard of combining "My Little Pony" with "Fallout," the post-apocalyptic computer game? Neither had we at the Newser. Then Grease Coakes heard about a roleplay game that did. Called "Fallout Equestria," he decided to take a closer look at the crossover, including getting into the game himself. So how did Grease do? Well, see for yourself.

Read more in Design.

Cross-Country Giant Snail Race Takes Place

On Saturday April 27th, this month's Cross-Country Giant Snail Race was held on the Second Life Mainland. Taking place on the continent sometimes called Heterocera or Hererocera Atol, the race began in the Fillip sim in the north at a little after 11AM SL time, the course going west along the coast, and then south and east crossing a few dozen sims. It ended after about 40 minutes in Calleta, near the Hobo Railroad Infohub. Tindallia Soothsayer won, with Alden Cortes described as close behind.

The rankings of those finishing are as follows:

1     Tindallia Soothsaye
2     Alden Cortes
3     Gareth8 Albatros
4     Snurky Snoodle
5     RavenClaws Resident
6     Obvious Schism
7     Oodlemi Noodle
8     Cinders Vale
9     Mudbug Cooperstone
10   Crash Soulstar
The recording of the race will be shown on Treet.tv in about "a week or two." But the one of last year's Fillip-Calleta event can be seen.

The Cross-Country Snail Races are held every month during the Relay For Life fundraising season by RacerX Gullwing and his team, in addition to residents participating in the event. Donations go the Giant Snail Racing Team, which has raised over 48,000 Lindens this year.

*Update* The video of the race is now up: Click Here.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wounded Warrior Bennefit Raises Almost 200K Lindens

On Sunday April 28th, Veterans Isle hosted the monthly fundraiser in Second Life for the Wounded Warrior Project. The event was organized by singer Frets Nirvana, and took place from about 5PM SL time to a little past 9PM.

5 – 6: PonDman Haalan
6-7: Shannon Oherlihy
7-8: Frets Nirvana
8-9: FrankLee Anatra

In the two helmet kiosks a total of 197,000 Lindens had been collected.

ABOUT WOUNDED WARRIORS  - Wounded Warrior Project began when several individuals took small, inspired actions to help others in need. The resulting objective was to provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally. What had been initially viewed as a small contribution (compared with what the warriors had sacrificed while serving our country) has become WWP's signature program:"WWP backpacks delivered bedside to wounded warriors."  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 other programs for the benefit of United States wounded veterans.

To learn more about the Wounded Warriors Project visit https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,840/ 

Press Release: Music For Health

DATE: Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
PLACE: The Happy Vixen Beach Club,  Purrfection Estates (249, 61, 22)

TIME: 2PM to Midnight SL time

GUEST PERFORMERS: DJ Yulia, DJ "Naughty" Nydia, and more


 Music for Health is a big effort we are making. The Guest Djs and Guest Performers are together trying to raise enough money to finance the Medical Treatment of a little baby boy, MARCOS, (the son of Chalie Ashland, a friend of us) who is 1 year old, and he has been diagnosed with childhood asthma.

His parents are working real hard IRL to get the Medical care he needs, but they need to raise 100,000 $L to buy his medication for one month that is the time they estimate will take their government to authorize them to receive Free Medical Care for his condition.

 Our Djs will be giving us their awesome music we are going to have a donations Thermometer where you can donate any amount of lindens that come from your heart. We will also have great prizes for all the donators that come to help us to raise the money.

If you think you prefer to donate outside of SL feel free to do so!! We can accept Paypal donations too!! Make your cash transfer to Paypal Account: beauty_betty@hotmail.com . Any amounts are welcomed, everything is good !!

COME AND HELP US!! Let's show some linden love to this cute baby!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Back to Minecraft Part 2

Earlier in April, we reported on the continued activity in the Angels Village Minecraft server. Since then, the activity hasn't stopped but continued, such as the finishing of a long-distance tunnel. So here's a progress report on the digs in Nydia Tungsten's Minecraft realm.

Read more in Extra.

SL Video: "The SL Goonies Expedition Short "

From Estelle Pienaa, "I shot the scenes during an adventure of the Second Life group "The Goonies" on 31/08/2012. We visited two destionations that day and the material is from the last 30 minutes of our trip (maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Beguile/220/148/20). I shot the video in order to show how immersive Second Life can be. Hopefully you can grasp how I feel like really being in a fantasy world with other people. Funnily enough my own enjoyment of the tour was reduced because I could not participate in the chat with the other players - I had to concentrate on shooting the imagery."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hazardous: An Infinite Dream Re-Created

Gemma Cleanslate's travels took her to a place called "Hazardous." Hazardous is not a sim full of dangers, but rather mystery. Looking at the place, one wonders what happened here, and Gemma went looking for answers
Read Gemma's account in Places.

Club Cutlass

In the Sunweaver region, one club has been the community's favorite: Club Cutlass. After about six years, it continues to draw in crowds with some interesting personalities. Grease Coakes recently met up with owner Jenni Greenfield to discuss the club, and what makes it unique.

Read Grease's article in Design.

SL Enquirer: Change is Good – Even in Second Life

"Change something in your environment and watch how much that single change will uplift your personal vibration, boost your energy and improve your mood.  We don’t realize how much that overflowing Inventory that holds our possessions can block our ability to enjoy a Second Life existence without frustration, lag and system crashes.  Possessing an excessive inventory is the contributing reason to all of the above complaints. "

Read more Here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Press Release: Mental Health Symposium at Virtual Ability

Last year, the Virtual Ability Mental Health Symposium talked about overcoming the stigma of mental illness. This year we ask this question, "Do You See ME?"  Our focus is on mental health care - remembering the person in our interactions rather than the illness - and we'll explore different aspects of mental health care treatment. Please join us Saturday, April 27, between 7am and 5pm for a wide variety of speakers and topics.

You can check out speaker bios and extended information about the individual sessions on our blog:
Notecards for individual sessions are embedded at the bottom of this card.

Saturday April 27
**7am SLT- Jayme Nelson, RN, MS (SL- Jayme Xaris)- "Will you Treat ME?  Funding mental health care treatment - now and under the Affordable Health Care Act"- Sojourner Auditorium
**8:30am SLT- renda Bryan (SL- Brena Benoir)- "Meet Your Counselor: An Avatar"- Sojourner Auditorium
**10am SLT- Deborah Houston-Schrenzel (SL- Brede McDonnell)- "Sudden Violent Loss: Its Impact on Every Member of the Community"- Sojourner Auditorium
**11:30am SLT- "Poetry and Mental Health"- selections read by Eliza Madrigal, Zen Arado, Szavannah Resident- Healthinfo Island
**1pm SLT- Lissena Resident introduces the "Whole Brain Health Fair"- Sojourner Auditorium
**2:30pm SLT- Kara Bennett, Ph. D. (SL- Dancers Yao)- "Exploring New Ways of Evaluating Mental Capacity of Seniors"- Sojourner Auditorium
**4pm SLT- Richard Roth (SL- Farm Gartenberg)- "Herbal Medicine and Mental Health"- Healthinfo Island

The Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island


Image from Virtual Ability's Facebook page

Fantasy Fair 2013 Scenes

The 2013 Fantasy Faire for the Relay For Life is going on, and that means two things: detailed exhibitions with plenty of prims, and crowds. Unfortunetly, that can mean problems for those with older computers. Still, I got a few without too much grey.

As scene from the outskirts of the Faire from ACS Island. A ship floats above with the help from a dragon. At one point, I came across a party with Colossus avatar maker Ceri Quixote dancing from beneath the vessel. Unfortunetly, everyone stayed grey. So no picture.

From the official entrance at Fairelands Junction (128, 128, 23), there were portals to each of the sims.

Monty Linden was at the Faire, looking like an aristocrat/ Bring on the "Let them eat cake" jokes.

Numerous others have taken pictures, among them:

Bain Finch: http://advocacyexchange.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/ff2013-sneakpeak/

IshtarAngel Micheline: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ishtarskiss/collections/72157632966419998/

and Daniel Voyager: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielvoyager/

Stay tuned for more on the Fantasy Faire and other Relay events.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Relay For Life's Dwen Dooley, and his pet.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Springtime in Bronytown

The pony, or "brony," avatars and the community that sprung up around them made some news when they first appeared a couple years ago. Not much has been mentioned about them in a while. Recently, Bixyl Shuftan looked around the Bronytown sim just as the local ponies were getting ready for a festival, and saw quite a bit about the place and it's residents.

Read more in People.

CISPA Passes US House, Stalling in Senate

While the nation's attention has been on the Boston bombers and questions about their links to Islamic terrorism, computer users faced some other worries. On Thursday April 18th, the CISPA Bill passed the US House of Representatives by a vote of 288-127.

CISPA, officially named the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, was introduced supposedly as to help the government "investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyberattacks." But it has been heavily criticized for being a threat to the public's right to privacy. This includes permitting authorities to search databases without warrants, and Internet service providers would be banned from making "legally binding" promises to protect users' privacy.

Fortunately for privacy activists, the bill's future is iffy, at least for the short term. The Senate has been preoccupied with other issues such as immigration and the right to buy firearms. The White House has also threatened to veto the bill if concerns about privacy issues were unanswered, "Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable, and not granted immunity, for failing to safeguard personal information adequately … " This is a similar course to what happened in 2012, and the bill was never taken up by the Senate that year.

Sources: ABC News (Chicago) , CNet, Wikipedia

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Events This Week April 23 to April 29

It's a week full of events in Second Life. The Relay For Life holds it's Fantasy Faire this week. Also, Bay City is having it's Fashion Week. RacerX Gullwing holds a Cross-Country race across a few dozen sims. And there are the regularly scheduled DJ and live music events, discussions, book and poetry readings, races, and church services.

See the sample of happenings in Events this Week.

Press Release: New Second Life Gaming Group


How many games DON'T you play for the simple reason it is no fun to game alone?

There is a new group just starting: "The Furry Gamer." It is here to help find someone that, like you, HATES to play alone, or maybe just needs some help on that one part that ALWAYS seems to get you. So there will ALWAYS be sometime of interaction. We will help with raids of ALL kinds be it World of Warcraft, Star Wars The Old Republic, even in Minecraft.

Do you have to be furry to join? NEVER! (but it helps if you start out crazy)

Basically we're a group of like-minded people  that want to have fun. With that said here is a list of some of the games we do so far:

EvE Online
World of Warcraft
World of Tanks
Star Wars The Old Republic
Border Lands ( 1 and 2 )
Portal 2
D.C. Universe
War Thunder

Don't worry if you don't see your game here we are always expanding, maybe you can introduce us to a new one?

For an Invite please IM Nydia Tungsten or Ranchan Weidman

Monday, April 22, 2013

The First Sims: Stanford

DrFran Babcock's travels across the first sims of Second Life takes her to number four: Stanford. There, she comes across an annoyance she hadn't encountered in the previous three: ban lines. But she also comes across some unique places that exist thanks to the ingenuity of the early builders and features later sims lack.

Read DrFran's article in Places.

SL10B Update: The Sims Arrive

Last week, the sims for the Second Life Birthday arrived on the Grid. "However, they're not open yet." As of now, work is being done to divide them into plots for exhibitors, of which applications are currently being taken.

There's still two months to go until The Birthday, but a lot of work needs to be done before then. Stay tuned for more updates.

Facebook Second Life Page Hits 300,000

Second Life hit a milestone last week. It's official page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/secondlife) hit 300,000 fans, or "likes" as they're called on the highly popular social network page.

Daniel Voyager found some statistics on the page on PageData: "It seems there’s between 700 to 800 new likes/fans every week. The official Second Life Facebook page was created on 23rd April 2009 and reached 100, 000 during late 2010."

Hamlet Au felt Second Life's "active user base" is about 600,000. This would mean about half of Second Life's residents are also on Facebook. This is not a big surprise as about half the United States, and a number of other countries, have Facebook accounts. While many SL users go ahead with Facebook's insistence that they use their real life identities, others (including yours truly) use their avatar's name.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Bunny Paintball Fight, and other April 13-14 RFL Events

This weekend, the Relay For Life Fantasy Faire begins. But last weekend had it's own examples of Relay fun. There was a jail and bail, a formal dance, and a whimsical painball match in which one team dresses up in bunny suits. It was quite an active time.

Read more in Events.

SL Video: The Drax Files "Episode 4: Fantasy Faire/RFL"

(Click here if you can't see the video, or to see/leave comments)

For the fourth of his "Drax Files" series, Draxtor Despress interviewed Zander Green, one of the organizers of Fantasy Faire in Second Life. "When you come into this world and realize that how you present yourself is entirely in your hands - you presenting the best idea of yourself: there is a liberation that occurs there..." he told.

Designed as a fundraiser for Relay For Life, the faire offers top digital content of the magical variety, handmade by SL's top designers and merchants. A user-created universe full of ingenuity and passion: that could describe Second Life at any given day, but this long running event is certainly a prime example of how only a virtual world can truly transcend cultural and geographical boundaries. Thousands will come together this week in order to celebrate life, humanity and free expression while at the same time battling the dark forces of a deadly disease in a way that has tangible, measurable REAL WORLD impact!

Fantasy Faire runs through April 28th - more info here: http://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ask DrFran: "A Buddy Comes Out"

In recent real-life news, the topic of homosexuality has been making headlines over the issue whether or not the state should recognize gay partners as married. It's not an issue in Second Life as partners could be same-gender from its start. But there can still be problems. DrFran recently got a letter from a resident whom in the past a good friend of his "came out." So what happened, and what did DrFran have to say on the matter?

Read DrFran's column in People.

Eye On The Blog: Linden Lab Calls for Residents to Star in Ads

Want your avatar on webpages across the Internet? That's what Linden Lab is offering for their next ad campaign. They're asking for residents who aren't shy about showing both their real life and Second Life selves to star in their ads.

Banker by day, but intergalactic space cowboy in Second Life? We may be looking for you! We are now casting both humans and their avatars for a new promotional campaign that will be featured on SecondLife.com and across the web. For this campaign, we’re looking for people who are comfortable revealing their “human side” alongside their avatars in Second Life, like in the image above. Specifically, we are looking for those whose avatars do not physically resemble their owners. This promotion aims to spotlight the diverse and creative communities in Second Life, so please apply if you’d like to share your passion for Second Life with the world! 

Those residents interested are asked to fill out an application form by a minute before Midnight SL time on May 1st. Among the questions asked are why they're interested in being in the campaign and what they like about Second Life and what they do inworld. Linden Lab says "no personal information provided will be disclosed publicly" unless the person is chosen and agrees to take part in the ads.

To get to the blog entry and application form: (Click Here).

Do You Have a Story?


On occasion, Second Life Newser will print an article or picture submitted to us by one of the readers. And this new year, we're looking for more.

Have you seen a particularly well-detailed sim? Went to a great event? Found yourself in a hilarious "only in SL" predicament? We're very interested in what you the readers have to say. Send us a story or funny picture, and if we like it, we'll post it as a Reader Submitted. For pictures, jpg format is preferred.

PLEASE include your Second Life name, and let us know if you wish it included in the story. Also ask permission before using anyone's name or picture, or use an alias.

Mail submissions to bixylshuftan(at)gmail.com.

Second Life Newser reserves the right to post in the appropriate section and to investigate any names used in submitted stories.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Calas Galadhon Park Sims

In the wintertime, among the places Gemma Cleanslate visited was one called the Park Sims or Calas. This spring, she returned to see what the place had to offer now that the snow thawed. The area's New England charm was still there with plenty of relaxing country fields. But the region also offered water activities and more.

Read Gemma's article in Places.

Press Release: Bay City Fashion Week

The Bay City mainland community is hosting a select number of the top vintage, mid-century fashion designers for a Fashion Week from April 20-29 in the Bay City Fairgrounds in North Channel.

The designers featured were chosen based on their designs fitting within Bay City's theme: the American urban experience, between 1940 and 1965, perhaps best typified by Chicago circa 1950 and marked by a distinct deco influence.
Invited designers include Schadenfreude, Sonatta Morales, Misha Kerang Designs, FIN, Robin (Sojourner) Wood, Eclectica, Volstead, 1-800-BETTIES, Ingenue, Purplemoon Creations, Rhapsody, Vita Bella, Delicate Sensibilities, and Pure Poison.
Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab™ and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life™ and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.
For more information, contact Marianne McCann (marianne.mccann@gmail.com)

A Celebration of Life in Memory of the Fallen

On Monday April 15th, Boston's famous marathon was the scene of a massacre when two bombs went off, killing three and hurt well over a hundred. Some were so badly injured, they had to have a limb or two amputated. It was the worst act of terror in the United States since Sept 11th 2001.

As this was the day Americans are due to pay income taxes, Club Zero Gravity was scheduled to hold a "Working Stiffs" event the following night. But with this event with two young adults and a child killed and many with lifelong injuries, Nydia wanted to change the theme to "a celebration of life and love." So the party was changed to a memorial event with a Best in White dress theme.

DJ Megatherion was the DJ for the space station club that night, with a number of people showing up, including Club Cutlass' Jenni Greenfield.

Following the memorial event was a more cheerful beach party down below at Happy Vixen Club, with Nydia herself taking charge of the DJ booth with a large selection of lighthearted tunes. Among the guests was Alleara Snoodle, whom has been noted for a number of builds and her work at the Chilbo Community.

As Nydia called it, a celebration of life and love.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cartoon of the Day: WW2 Combat RP

Taken at New Bastogne, not all tanks were huge fifty ton hunks of steel. Some models at the start of the Second World War were small compared to what would roll out in a few years.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Black Hills Forest

Grey Lupindo's travels recently took her to Black Hills Forest. The sim owner is French, but the land is a tribute to America. One can see builds of the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore there. Plus there's a zoo, a number of historical photos on display, and more.

Read Grey's article in Places.

Fantasy Faire 2013 This Weekend

Draxtor Despres came out with a video of the grounds for the upcoming Relay For Life event, the Fantasy Faire (click here if you can't see it below).

On Saturday April 20th over 140 merchants will start selling their wares to thousands of avatars, fundraising for Relay for Life! Hop on into the virtual world next week and be mesmerized by immersive environments created by the best artists in Second Life. Every dollar spent goes to American Cancer Society like nothing you have seen...

 Daniel Voyager had a few things to say about the Faire as well, including this screenshot of the twelve sims making up the fairegrounds.

 The Fantasy Faire, the fifth one for the Relay, runs from Saturday April 20 to Sunday April 28.

Read more about the Faire at http://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Events this Week April 16 to April 22

It's another week of events in Second Life. From the "Here Comes the Sun" festival in London, to "EggaPalooza" in Areo Pines Park, to the Madpea Madness Fair, to the Krafties "Eggsie Hunt," to the Food Safety Game, and of course the Relay for Life events, there's no shortage of special events.  And of course there's our regularly scheduled book and poetry readings, live and DJ music events, races, church services, discussions, and talk shows.

Read more in Events this Week .

Back to Minecraft

Nydia Tungsten's been continuing to do things in Minecraft, along with a few other Second Life friends. Yours truly hasn't been there much as there's always something going on in Second Life. Then my partner Jasmine got into the build and dig game, and it was time to do an update on what's been going on.

Read more in Extra.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The First Sims: Zoe

DrFran Babcock continues her series of the oldest sims in Second Life. Today, we feature her third article: the sim of Zoe. Like the sim of Ritch, there wasn't much written about the place. So what did DrFran find when exploring?

Read about Zoe in Places.

Virtual Cash Makes Real-Life News with Bitcoin Crash

By Bixyl Shuftan

Last month, the US Department of the Treasury issued "guidelines" aimed at virtual currencies. While the Linden dollar will be affected by the Government's interest, another virtual currency with a larger distribution and volume was also targeted: the bitcoin.

Wikipedia defines the Bitcoin, abbreviated to BTC sometimes, as "an online commodity that is based on an open-source, peer-to-peer encryption protocol … creation and transfer is accomplished on an Internet-based network and is not managed by any central authority." Bitcoins are created through "miners" that automatically add new amounts by "adding codes to a decentralized log, which is updated and archived periodically." They're transferred electronically, either via computer, or through handheld devices like smartphones.

Computer geeks are sometimes drawn to it due to it's online nature. But as banks are not necessary in the exchange, and it is not created by governments, some people are attracted to it due to the lack of involvement by larger institutions. It's also gotten some skeptics because of the lack of involvement by larger institutions, and concerns that drug traffickers and other criminals use it as an easy way to sell illegal goods.

Bitcoin went through what some are calling a "bubble" recently when it's value jumped from about $90 in late March to a high of $260 on the morning of Wednesday April 10th. Then the value crashed, plummeting to around $130 in six hours. It regained some of it's lost value the following day, rising to $160. As of the writing of this article, bitcoincharts.com listed the value as $99.00.

The crash was linked to an unknown bitcoin owner who up and gave away $13,000 in bitcoins via the Reddit social website. But there have been other problems. There have been attempts by hackers to break into computers and make it mine bitcoins for the hijacker. News of this did cause a drop in the value of Bitcoins on April 4, but the price surge continued again. There was also an account hacking in which $12,800 worth of Bitcoin was stolen.

The crash has caused some to feel Bitcoins, or any other unregulated currency, is just too risky. But others are still trading them. Even as all this was going on, people in the US Treasury Department had already taken notice. In March, the Department of Treasury's FinCEN issued it's guidelines, defining Bitcoin as a "de-centralized virtual currency" with "no central repository and no single administrator, and … persons may obtain by their own computing or manufacturing effort." Like Linden Labs, Bitcoin miners in the United States will have to file anti-money laundering reports with the Treasury Department, in addition to registering with them. There is a "blurred definition" however between users of Bitcoin and "administrators." Could a miner be considered just a user as long as the Bitcoins created weren't traded for US dollars or other real-life money?

Already having caught the interest of the US Government, with the news of hacking attacks and the market volatility, bitcoin is highly likely to face additional scrutiny from both American and European authorities. It's laissez-faire days of being free from big business and government may soon be coming to a close.

For information on what a bitcion cost, check this April 14th article at techcrunch.com.

Second image from salon.com

Sources: Wikipeda, BBC News, CNN, verge.com, Modern Payment Systems

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Al Capone Party Foundation Organization For Life TEAM #51"

Another of OldLex's Relay For Life videos, The Brazilian team "Foundation Organization For Life's" Al Capone party, 5PM to 7PM SL time at Serena Gardena. As the name is translated from Portuguese, the team is sometimes called "Team 51."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Press Release: Lauren Weyland in RFL Jail and Bail Sunday

On Sunday, April 14th at 3 pm, please join Lauren Weyland and the Relay Wizards for SpUnKy, as we raise funds for RelayForLife of SL. What will it take to Release Lauren? Her Bail is 35,000L. Please break open your piggy banks and help BAIL OUT the incredible Lauren! Want to help but can't attend? The donation kiosk is already out and will remain for a few days after our event with Lauren. Look for the Wanted Poster with Lauren's picture on it, and donate to the kiosk below.


 For more info, contact Shawna Montgomery inworld

SL Video: "Relay For Life of Second Life 'Love's The Wharf Rat Blues "

Taken by OldLex at a Relay For Life event by Team Petuniia Gardens.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rust and the Goonies

One sim in the Linden Endowment of the Arts area that's gotten a little talk is "Rust." The artist Cica Ghost created a work described as "stunning." Dropping in, it wasn't long before I had some company. A group of SL kids, The Goonies, had shown up, and they wanted to explore as well.

Read more in Places.

SL10B: Registration Next Week

To anyone interested in being involved in SLB Community Celebration in June, April 15 is the opening of the application forms for exhibitors , volunteers and performers. Spread the word. Everyone has until May 20 to get their paperwork filed properly. The regions will open on May 27 for Exhibitors to get their places built. 

The preparation meetings are going on. The excitement is building. Today the sims arrived. Keep an eye on the blog! http://slcommunitycelebration.com/

Gemma Cleanslate

The Drax Files: World Makers "Episode 3: Eshi Otawara"

The third of Draxtor Despres' video series "The Drax Files," in which he interviews Eshi Otwara. An artist in real life, in Second Life she does art as well, in addition to designing dresses, "pushing the envelope" as Drax calls it.

"Second Life is too beautiful a tool for us to only be used for plain simple reality" says artist and painter Eshi Otwara. Having followed this motto for the last 7 years Eshi Otawara has been designing elaborate dresses in the virtual world that defy physical reality. And this classically trained artist from Zagreb, Croatia, has no problems merging virtual life with her physical identity - it is all dedicated to art you can either touch, look at or...well: wear! Whether Eshi is in her studio bringing dark dreams to life in oil, chalk or acrylic or floating high above the virtual clouds in avatar form, linking and texturing prim after prim until another unique piece of clothing emerges - Eshi embraces the expressive possibilities of both "realms" to the fullest.

Eshi's website can be found here: http://www.eshiotawara.com/ . You can also check out the comments on the youtube.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Podex Location

The Podex Exchange has moved. They recently moved to a new and larger office building. They now can be found in the Coda sim at (45, 218, 61).

Podex Exchange, sometimes called the Podex bank, exchanges Lindens for several world currencies. They are a sponsor of Second Life Newser.

Eye On The Blog: "Clear Pricing" For Land Services And The New Communications Hub

In the Linden blog, there are two recent entries for April. The first deals with services for private regions.

If you have a private region in Second Life, there are several special services you might occasionally need, like region moves and name changes. The charges for these services depends on the number of private regions you have, and to make it easier for all of our customers to understand the fee structure, we now have laid it out in this chart in the Knowledge Base:

The second blog update deals with the new Communications Hub, or Communications Hub User Interface aka CHUI as the Lab calls it. In an update, it was made part of the main viewer. It rearranges some features, as well as adding a few new ones. Among the changes, "Busy" becomes "Do Not Disturb," and the user is notifed of all IMs made once it's turned off. Local chat could be put on the same window of one's list of IMs.

DrFran Babcock reviewed the CHUI while it was being tested on a beta viewer last month (article March 4). While she liked it, she noted the majority of other testers didn't like it as well as the old interface. Checking the official forums, there were several threads on the subject, the longest one Here. Once again, the complaints outnumber those who like it, one person saying they were switching to the Firestorm viewer because of it. Complaints that yours truly has heard of the most are of bugs that interfere with one's Second Life experience, including crashing just after starting, freezes and crashes when IMing someone,  or just more frequent freezes and crashes altogether. Fortunetly, I have the Cool VL viewer to use, which has been starting up faster than the official one.

Bixyl Shuftan