Monday, July 13, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Too Much

Taken at Club Cutlass. Gil Otaared's always good for a chuckle. In this case, having come across a rather large container of Chinese-American take-out. Hopefully she had a very big discount.

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Second Life Seventeenth Birthday Event Ends

And it's over. For almost a month since Friday June 19, the Second Life Birthday has been going on. The official music events ended on Sunday June 28, but the sims remained up for people to see. Now, the sims are closed to the general public.

For some however, they can stick around for a few more days. Missy Mole (Mischievous Mole) posted the following in the exhibitor's group:

The Estate is open through Sunday, July 19th for people to come in and continue to explore. The practical side of this is DON'T take down your exhibits yet! You can clean up your parcels July 20-22. Thanks everyone for a great Birthday! I hope everyone had a good time. I would love to hear any feedback you have about how things worked and what you thought of the layout this year.

So yours truly has a little more time to take pictures. Though there's always at least one whom takes down his place early.

Bixyl Shuftan

Reader Submitted : The Rusty Garter Saloon

From Cynthia Farshore. Taken at the Rusty Garter Saloon in Caledon, where DJ Poppy aka Autopilotpatty Poppy would play music for the crowd.

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries

THIS WEEK: Murder continues at Tea Time, and the week containing a Newbery Award-winner and Ray Bradbury! 

Join us this week for stories, presented LIVE in Second Life, and on Seanchai Library's properties in Kitely.

All events at Holly Kai Estates (215/44/27) , unless otherwise noted.

All stories told in open voice unless otherwise noted. All times SL/PT

 * * * * *

*MONDAY, July 13th, at 7pm:  D.F. Jones' COLOSSUS continues with Gyro Muggins.

*TUESDAY, July 14th

    ~ at Noon: RUSSELL EPONYM, Live in the Glen with music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen, live on stream.

    ~ at 7pm: Selections from Ray Bradbury's THE ILLUSTRATED MAN with Willow Moonfire

*WEDNESDAY, July 15th, at 7pm: Alan Armstrong's WHITTINGTON, begins with Caledonia, live on stream.

*THURSDAY, July 16th

   ~ at 7pm:  POETRY BY REQUEST Caledonia Skytower hosts in The Glen

   ~ at 9pm:  SEANCHAI LATE NIGHT: Contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy from such online sources as Light Speed, Escape Pod, Clarkesworld, and more with Finn Zeddmore.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Memorial Service For Autopilotpatty Poppy This Saturday

There was some sad news for Caledon and other steampunk communities in Second Life this weekend. It was announced that Autopilotpatty Poppy, sometimes known as just Poppy, had passed away a few months ago in May.

It  is with great sorrow that I announce the passing of a former Captain of RFL, Dame Autopilotpatty Poppy this past May. Patty was a resident of the Steamlands since 2006 with land and venues in Rosehaven, New Babbage, Caledon and other estates. 

The "Steamlands Wiki" had this to say about Poppy in an entry presumably last updated several years ago:

Dame Poppy has been a resident of Second Life and the Nation of Caledon since November 2005. She has owned a several fine art galleries over the years including: The Gallery Tamrannoch, Sea Song Gallery, Poppy's Place Galleria, and Thistle Hill Marketplace to name a few. She has offered free gallery space to dozens of new and established artists in SL since her first gallery opened in January of 2006. She is a photographer in RL as well as in SL. In SL she specializes in unique portraiture work. She has had work on display in permanent exhibits in the AHO gallery at the NMC campus and at the 2nd Louvre Museum. She has a gallery on the ruins of Caledon Moors and on the Scotland sim of Loch Lomond Balloch. Lady Poppy is from the Pacific Northwest. Her rl floral close-up photography remarkably brings to mind the works of Georgia O'Keefe. 

Dame Poppy was Knighted on her 6th Rez Day on November 25th, 2011 by Caledon's Guvnah, Desmond Shang, for her exemplary work for the Independent State of Caledon. 

Lady Poppy devotes a large amount of her time to volunteer work for the Caledon community and is a friend and mentor to many new citizens of SL. She is devoting much of her time in 2012 as Co-Captain of Team Caledon's Relay for Life fund drive. She devoted her time in 2011 as Co-Captain and in 2008 assisting Erasmus Margulis, Captain of Team Caledon's hugely successful RFL fund drive for the 2008 season. (Team Caledon came in 2nd overall with more than 3.04 million $L in 2008.)

 In 2017, the Newser would write about the Rusty Garter Saloon, which Autopilotpatty played music at as DJ Poppy. A page in the NAS blog stated she had been DJing there as well. Her passing was listed as May 9.

The notice about her passing also stated, "There will be a memorial dance celebration in her honor on Saturday, July 18 from 2-4pm at Chateau Trikassi in Rosehaven. More info to come."

Sources: Steamlands Wiki, NAS 

Bixyl Shuftan

Last Day For The SL17B

It's been a lot of fun, but the Second Life Birthday event is about to come to a complete close. After Midnight SL time tonight, the SL17B sims will be closed to the public. So now's your last chance to see any exhibits you might have missed.

There have been no more official events since Sunday June 28. But there have been some impromptu ones, notably the several on Tuesday July 7. There might be a few DJs playing on stage sometime today, though no guarantees.

Enjoy this last day of the SL17B.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

SL Video: "Who Will Fix Me?"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Rosie Helendale on April 2, 2020. "Filmed on location at Green Story."

Friday, July 10, 2020

News and Commentary: Mixed Reaction to Buyout of Linden Lab

Well, that was a surprise.

Occasionally, there's a rumor that Linden Lab is talking to someone behind the scenes in negotiations to sell Second Life or be bought out. This was especially the case in 2010 in the months following the layoffs of a third of the staff. But while the Lab has made deals with other companies, the last time having sold Sansar to Wookey, there have been no negotiations about either the ownership of itself or Second Life (at least officially). That is until yesterday when in a Press Release, Linden Lab announced it had been "Acquired" by a group of investors.

It didn't take long for news to spread, and there's been no shortage of comments, such as the thread in the official forums. There's no shortage of predictions of doom, "Second Life is dead." "We're so screwed." "Damn I cannot believe it, after 13 years its time to say good bye, I guess, that sucks. I mean you put 13 years of your life into something and wham its gone just like that."

And there's more than a little pessimism, "But after being let down by Blizzard, Bioware and Bethesda, I'm usually not rooting for any company to get investors on board nowadays." "This is worrying indeed, I've always been more in favor of a company remaining independent from outside influences, and this is basically... the opposite." "Investment groups are typically parasites that contribute very little while sucking companies dry."

Some others were more optimistic, such as those pointing out Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale quoted as saying, "I’ve known Brad for 14 years personally and professionally, and I’m confident he will bring his passion and proven strategies to help Linden Lab achieve new heights in distribution, scale, and quality while remaining true to the original vision, creativity, and community that makes Second Life unique and special.” And then there was the track record of Oberwager, "My ... thought was that this fellow buying the outfit seems to have more business success (with this sort of better Task Rabbit thing called Jyve) and more experience than the past lab technicians, and that's a good thing."

And there were those suggesting it was too soon to make conclusions, "I need to wait and see what Ebbe has to say from his side on this to us the users of SL before I get overly excited." "I've worked for several companies that got taken over by investment companies.  What happens next falls into two categories ... Things run smoothly for a year or so, then the investment company starts asset stripping piece by piece. ... The investment company...invests.  They take a loss on the initial purchase, a loss on the initial investment but have a road plan to regain that investment back in 2 to 5 years. ... THIS is the kind of investment company we can hope has taken over Linden Research, the type of company who are in it for the long haul. We will find out (probably by the beginning of next year) if the investment company who took over is path 1, or path 2." "After careful consideration, I have decided not to freak out just yet."  "Hope for the best. Plan for the worst. Expect nothing.That's it. Speculation is lovely and all but being panicked will not help whatsoever."

And of course there was humor, "I guess that guy that's been perving us all and IMing with only 'hi' all these years finally got the money to buy the thing."

It was also suggested that the negotiations for the buyout were the reason that there were no big revelations in the Meet the Lindens event at the Second Life Birthday this year.

Ebbe Altberg/Ebbe Linden would try to answer these concerns from residents on Twitter, saying Linden Lab was free to make it's own decisions, "No plan for drainage here. Great to remain independent. Everyone motivated to build and grow."

Brett Linden would finally step in the thread with his comments, "A few folks are speculating that this is the end of SL and nothing could be further than the truth. Any talk of dismantling or radically changing the fundamentals of SL that we know and love is inaccurate. While we can't get into specific details about the deal itself, I want to emphasize the fact that this keeps Linden Lab as an independent venture led by two investors who have a great deal of awareness about what SL is and isn't. They are excited to join and help us grow both SL and Tilia while also respecting and recognizing the needs and sensitivities of the existing culture and community. " When asked when more information was forthcoming, he answered, "We look forward to being able to share more as soon as we can and I know that Brad (Oberwager) is eager to meet the community as we get closer to the closing/approval date." Bret would go on to say that Oberwager would get an avatar and come inworld, for the Lab Gab show and meeting people elsewhere inworld. A couple Lindens, including Grumpity, would poke fun at the doom and gloom by wearing signs proclaiming "The end of the world is coming!"

My own opinion? In short, I tend to agree with those whom argue "wait and see." After being part of this virtual world for over thirteen years, I've seen my share of people of people predicting the end whenever something big happens. But I do see signs of optimism. That Oberwager is planning to come inworld to discuss things is a good sign. So are the Lindens with their "End of the world" joke signs. If they weren't optimistic, I doubt they'd be kidding around. Of the two people, one a member of Mensa, the other whom has an interesting success story with Jyve, it's obvious they're smart businessmen. That one plans to come inworld shows at least he wants to talk to his new customers.

On the other hand, there are enough acquisitions that went badly, or had mixed results. So those with dim outlooks don't have to look too deeply for evidence to support their conclusions.

So why did Waterfield and Oberwager's group of investors buy out Linden Lab when the company couldn't find a buyer in 2010, assuming the rumors were true? Well, Second Life's glory days were from 2006 to 2008. By 2010, it was clear the place wouldn't be drawing as many people as it once did for quite some time to come. Today, the world is under a global pandemic that has send many places into lockdowns and quarantines, and even in places that aren't people are discouraged from meeting up or going to crowded areas. The result is people are spending more time online, and more are coming here. Our future, at least for the near term, is looking brighter. And this is what financial investors are looking for.

In a sense, this sale marks Linden Lab finally becoming a success story in the eyes of the tech world. It's been commented on that one of the reasons Second Life wasn't considered one was it was never bought up by a larger company. And now, Linden Lab has been bought out under what look like generous terms. Not that Second Life's residents/customers cared much about what those people thought.

In any event, Linden Lab, and Second Life, are entering a new era. How it turns out, we'll need to wait several months at least, maybe over a year, before we can really say it was for the better or worse.

Image Credit: Whirly Fizzle

Source: Techcrunch

Bixyl Shuftan

EOTB: Lab Gab Today at 11AM - "Interview with Rosie Helendale"

Today, Friday July 10, is another episode of Linden Lab's livestreamed show "Lab Gab." Host Strawberry Linden will be interviewing Second Life vlogger Rosie Helendale.

The interview can be seen on Youtube at 11 AM SL time.

Announcement: This Saturday at The Science Circle - "Science Cafe, Life Outside The Earth"

"Science Cafe"

Saturday, July 11

10 AM to 11 AM SL time

"Life Outside the Earth"

At the Light House Cafe.

 For more on the event, Click Here.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Linden Lab Has Been "Acquired By Investment Group"

In a surprise move, earlier today Linden Lab announced in a press release on its website that it was now under the ownership of investors, with Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager as it's leaders.

 Linden Research, Inc. announced today it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by financial regulators in the U.S. related to Tilia Inc.’s status as a licensed money transmitter as well as other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, Mr. Waterfield and Mr. Oberwager will join the Board of Directors of Linden Research, Inc.

Randy Waterfield is described in his Linkedin page as "the Chairman of Waterfield Group, a diversified financial services holding company" with holdings in "technology, real estate, and asset management." The man is also described as a member of Mensa and a graduate of Harvard. He also worked at Goldman Sachs as an asset manager.

Bradford Oberwager  had this to say in his LinkedIn, "I have founded and/or run five tech/CPG companies—Jyve, Bare Snacks (acquired by PepsiCo), True & Good! Snacks, Acumins/ (acquired by HealthCentral), and Blue Tiger/Open Webs (acquired by CarParts). Of course, I founded more than these five, but I have had my share of failures as well. Learned a lot from them. These companies were built in partnership with spectacular executive teams and based on strong cultures. My father always said, 'The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.' At each of these companies, our 'main thing' is culture. We are obsessed with it. These teams believe diversity of thought is essential to success and understand with diversity comes conflict, which we wholeheartedly embrace. We have complete trust—in each other and in the certainty that in working through the conflict in a healthy way, we’re going to get someplace good."

The press release did quote Philip Rosedale, the founder of Linden Lab, as saying, "I’ve known Brad for 14 years personally and professionally, and I’m confident he will bring his passion and proven strategies to help Linden Lab achieve new heights in distribution, scale, and quality while remaining true to the original vision, creativity, and community that makes Second Life unique and special.” So the Lab is trying to put a positive spin on the change.

It's too soon to tell what effect this change will have on Second Life. But there's already discussion brewing about it, in various groups inworld and a thread in the official forums. Do you have any comments? Feel free to leave them below.

Stay tuned for more information on this breaking news.

Bixyl Shuftan

Cartoon of The Day

Taken at the Happy Vixen. Why this guy was lying down on the floor, he didn't say. But it made for a good cartoon

By Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release : Resolution Exhibition


Kultivate’s latest gallery, Dene Gallery, presents the Resolution Exhibition! This special three day exhibition will feature some of the top talented photographers and artists that can be found on Flickr. The exhibition is curated by photographer and artist,  Tempest Rosca (Huntsman) and will feature 3 days of live music.

ParticipatingArtists Include: Beuanna Banana, Brian2 Werefox, ByrneDarkly Cazalet, CalebBryant Resident, Giselle Chauveau, INARA PEY, Ivyana Szondi, Johannes Huntsman, Kacey Macbeth, Kalina Sands, ladycharis, Lam Erin, LawrenceD, Morgaine Blackrain, Myra Wildmist, nugget ichibara, Paradox Mercury, PinkRayne, Reya Darkstone, Rockcail Resident, Roman Godde, serenaelia, sirspanking, Skip Staheli, Skye Fairywren, Sugarfairy88 Resident, Tempest Rosca, TrishaSrose, Whata Conundrum, and Wicca Merlin

The following live performers will provide entertainment throughout the exhibition: Samuel James, Steph Sinatra, Mavenn, Wolfie Starfire, Jesie Janick, Max Kleene,  and Samm Qendra.

About Dene Gallery and Kultivate:
Dene Gallery is part of the Kultivate family of galleries and is located in Rosehaven. The gallery is curated by Tempest Rosca (Huntsman) and highlights one artist each month. Kultivate consists of Kultivate Magazine, Windlight Art Gallery, The Edge Gallery, Kultivate Loft Gallery, Kultivate Signature Gallery, & Kultivate Select Gallery. The goal of Kultivate is to promote and support the cultural aspects of Second Life. Kultivate is proud to be the official sponsor and media partner of Team Diabetes of Second Life, an official and authorized team of The American Diabetes Association.

For More Information:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Late Night Grid Issues

 If you were trying to log in late last night and couldn't, it wasn't just you. The Grid became not accessible to those whom weren't already on, eventually showing up in the Grid Status Report.

Second Life is currently unavailable. Our engineers are working on correcting the issue as quickly as we can. Please check this blog for future updates as we have them.

According to the Grid Status Report, the issue was found at 2:30 SL time, and fixed almost an hour later.

Online Comics: Five More Strips

So what do people do when they're not reading the Second Life Newser or exploring around Second Life? Among the popular Internet activities are reading online comics. In March, we ran a review of five popular serial online comics. Some readers responded by requesting more. So yours truly found five more, including one in which the cartoonist made a little real-life news, and another with a good following in some Second Life communities.

Read the reviews in Extra.

One More SL17B Stage Event, And A Carnival

Tuesday July 7 had one big impromptu, unplanned, event at the Second Life Seventeenth Birthday grounds. At the Auditorium, a number of musicians got on stage. Due to the lag, I couldn't get much of the audience in a picture before crashing. Among the performers was Golan Eilde, a longtime SLB volunteer, whom DJed for a time.

The events went on for some hours, going on to about 6PM SL time. The last performer was singer TJ O. Joubert (TJ Jenipe).

Dropping by after the events, with the lag mostly gone I saw that around the Auditorium was a carnival area. There was a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, a water slide, a drop tower, and much more.

There were a number of food stands, such as a pizzeria whose pizzas looked so real, one of them steaming, they had a friend of mine drooling over them. There were also some desserts. One big dessert was a destructible version of Nance Clowe's cake. Press the button, and after an ominous tune the cake would start to shake itself into pieces. One person dubbed it the "Shake and Cake." Nance joked that for a more intense experience, one could always hop in as the cake parts fly.

The carnival is at the meeting point of the four sims SL17B Imagination, Fantasy, Astound, and Awesome. People have until Sunday July 12 to drop by and join in the fun.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: June 2020 HFOT Donations

This past weekend we celebrated the birth of our great country and with that celebration I am excited to announce that we sent Homes For Our Troops just over $960 in June, 2020.  So now our total for 2020 is just over $6650.  We can exceed 2019’s $14000 with this kind of effort…let’s do it! 

Upon seeing June’s donations, Jamie Crossman Manager of Individual Giving at HFOT stated:

"On behalf of HFOT and the Veterans we serve,  I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend and reflected upon the journey of freedom and independence our country has traveled.  Thanks to your generosity every time we present a severely injured Veteran with their HFOT home, they experience a new meaning of freedom of independence.  This would not be possible without your support and belief in our mission.  Coming together as one nation despite our individual differences and challenges to support those who have sacrificed for our freedom sends a powerful message of thanks to our Veterans.  Please know how grateful we all are for your efforts.-Jamie"

This country was built on hard working and generous people with a can-do spirit.  I feel strongly that the HFOT family in Second Life is doing just that.  Delivering positive results and overcoming obstacles for the greater good.  This is the true American spirit and the following folks truly have it.

Special events and extra efforts were held by the following contributors to this June’s donations.  Thank you:

EastbayRay, Cattleya Lovette LadySmack Gears and the Legion of Vets MC
JulesA Flow, Salonios Koolhoven and DOOWOPS FOREVER at Gigli  Isles
RGHangnLo Resident DJ efforts with Pop's Crue
Ashley Steele and all the folks at Saddles Live Music Venue and Retreat

And the performers who sang and played their hearts out for this cause last month were:
Waya Snowpaw DJ
Max Kleene, Turner Harbrough and their manager Kat Vargas
Harmonia Trefoil and SS Gasser
Jack Slade and his management team LaurieC and Keys Management Group
Toxie Darkmatter

Then there are those that keep providing that true American “steady as you go” support with donation kiosks placed at many area in Second Life.  Thank you:

Fire Bonfire and everyone at Boots and Lace Country Rock Club
Cayleen Linette and everyone at Cay's at Woodland Lake
Wizard2016 Resident  and Midnight Renegade Country Club 
Devil Loordes and Shooting Star Entertainment
DJ DL Skytower and The Hacienda Club
Bixyl Shuftan and  Purrfection  estates
Joi Shepherd and all the folks at Runaround Sues
All the folks at Southern Fried Country Club

To the many others who have started to support this cause we salute you as well.  Welcome and we look forward to all of your increased support.

Keep up the great work folks.  Let’s make 2020 another year that we can be proud of making a difference in our severely injured veteran’s lives.

It is an honor to be associated with all of you,

Frets Nirvana

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay Clubs and Furry Fashion Lounge

Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver, the Montecito Bay clubs, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in "N", Brown and Tan, Good vs Bad

Happy Vixen: Dog Days of Summer, Dog Days of Summer, Biker Babes, Australia, Fairy Tales, Summer Colors, Cats and Dogs, Foxes, Bearskin Rugs, Pajama Party

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Montecito Bay: TBA

Furry Fashion Lounge:Ears and Tails, Neon, Monochrome, Under The Sea, Metal, Late Night, Celtic

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Autism Spectrum Meeting

A few weeks ago, I dropped by an Autism Spectrum group meeting in the Dreams East sim. They talked about things from their doctors, "The best doctor I think I ever had took me off ALL my medicines so he could evaluate me," to how potential employers seem to regard them, to comments about the Coronavirus crisis, and more.

The meetings take place on Wednesdays at 5 PM

Monday, July 6, 2020

Three More SL17B Exhibits

The events of the Second Life Seventeenth Birthday may be over. But the exhibits are still up and will remain so for a few more days. And with most of the people gone, there's noticeably less lag. While there's not enough time to write about them all, we can put a spotlight on a few in three different SL17B sims to give examples on what's here.

Read the story in Design.

RFL Team Sunbeamer Off-Season Tip Jar

With the Relay for Life fundraising season all but over, the Sunbeamer team is concentrating on next year. Team captain Rita Mariner set up a tip jar at Club Cutlass to collect money for next season.

Since the RFL Season is now over, I have turned on the Off-Season Tip Jar for the collection of Donations for next years RFL. The Tip Jar is located at Club Cutlass, next to the dance floor.

Team Sunbeamers raised a total of 780,001 Linden dollars this year inworld. Counting money raised on the Internet, it netted $3,185.63 US dollars.

Sunweaver Bay (114/117/757).

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries

THIS WEEK: A new Monday night series, and Diversions in The Glen, and more! 
Join us this week for stories, presented LIVE in Second Life, and on Seanchai Library's properties in Kitely.

All events at Holly Kai Estates (215/44/27) , unless otherwise noted.

All stories told in open voice unless otherwise noted. All times SL/PT

 * * * * *

*MONDAY, July 6th, at 7pm: D.F. Jones' COLOSSUS begins with Gyro Muggins.

*TUESDAY, June 7th, at Noon: RUSSELL EPONYM, Live in the Glen with music and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen.

*WEDNESDAY, July 8th, at 7pm: Kerry Greenwood's THE PHRYNE FISHER MYSTERIES, concludes with Corwyn Allen, live on stream.

*THURSDAY, July 9th, at 7pm: "WHAT WE WANTED TO DO" & Other Short Diversions, Caledonia Skytower presents live on stream, in The Glen

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July from the Second Life Newser

World Peace Flag Garden

This Fourth of July, there are a number of places one can get an American flag. But there's one that not only allows you to get one for free, but also flags of most of the nations of the world, each of the fifty United States, Canada's provinces, and some international and movement flags. It's the World Peace Flag Garden, and it offers them for free.

Free  flags of all nations.  Hand-held, modifiable for your build.  Free patriotic swim trunks, gym shorts, speedos, shirts.  Camping for world peace.  In Second Life, good people of all nations meet in friendship.

Most every nation is represented here. There's also flags for a number of territories and islands. Some places in the news in recent years, such as Kosovo and Hong Kong, are represented. Some are not recognized by all, such as Taiwan and Northern Cypress. And there's Nepal's double-triangle. There's also a box with a modifiable flag and various textures of American Indian flags. Another box has various "Pride" flags.

The place is owned by Edd Thor, whom also owns the Thor's Oak Christian Men's Center (aka Men's Recreation Center and Chapel) next to it. There, one can pick up some free clothes, skins, and jewelry.

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Michael Jackson Black or White"

(Click here if the video does not play)

From Chrristtine Miller on August 2017

Friday, July 3, 2020

SL17B Swaginator Hunt

Like other Second Life Birthday celebrations in the past few years, this one has a gift hunt by Linden Lab. Called the "Swaginator," the objective here is to go from one destination after another, collecting the gifts, or "swag," along the way.

To get the gifts, you'll need the HUD. The SL17B Swaginator HUD is at the entrance area of the Birthday grounds at SL17B Beguile (16/117/53) , a short walk from where you TP in. Finding the sign, touch it to get your LDPW - SL17B Swaginator HUD.

Wearing the HUD, you get a clue to where the first gift is, as well as a location to port to. Getting to the first spot, the Swaginator both won't be immediately in sight, but some distance away on another side of the structure next to you. The second one, the gift will be inside a place some distance away, but still on the island you're at. The third gift was the hardest for me to find, but eventually I did (it's not in a different sim). The ones afterward were easier to find.

There are a total of six gifts to grab in the SL17B Swaginator hunt. The gifts consist of three "floaties," including one that's really a raft, and three mole garden gnomes. There's no bonus for finding all six. Just the challenge of a little game, and a few items you're likely to find some use out of this simmer in Second Life.

Don't forget to check the SL17B grounds, notably the gift shop area, for some more gifts.

Bixyl Shuftan

News and Commentary: Reflections On The SL17B

Different Second Life Birthday events are remembered for different things. The previous one, the SL16B, was "Sweet Sixteen," when Linden Lab got back into full control and had a 1950's theme, and the ending of some traditions such as the "Cake Stage," at least for now. The SL15B was our "Crystal Anniversary," and the first of the "Swaginator" gift hunts by Linden Lab, and would turn out to be the last resident-run anniversary event, and the last of the Cake Stage and Stage Left builds. The SL14B, "Carnivalesque" will be known for it's "Dragon Island" and "Stage Left" two-sim "Guardian." "Unlucky Thirteen" was lucky in some ways with Loki Eliot's tribute to a kids' game show and Madpea's "Mad Monster Island," and it's "Stage Left" then, sometimes called The Librarian. The SL12B had it's "party velociraptor" gift avatar from Linden Lab, and Linden Lab was starting to step back in the events with "Music Fest" and "Meet the Lindens."

For people, age seventeen is thought of as the last year someone's a "kid" and the year before they get some of the privileges and responsibilities of being an adult, at least in Western developed countries. "One more year and Second Life gets to vote" I would hear more than once. Maybe it's with this in mind Linden Lab chose as it's theme "Vacations and Road Trips," or "Road Trip" as I heard it called for short a few times. And this is what helped distinguish this year, allowing the resident exhibitors more freedom to build what they wanted. And people made a variety of things from the playground of Rocket City's community to Fiona Fei's "Conversation with a Stranger" art exhibit. to Suika Manamoko's Bleriot XI exhibit that was a tribute to an early aviation pioneer, and of course Silva Ametza's tropical vacation island build for the Newser's exhibit, there were many examples.

In this birthday party, the residents had more than a few gifts. The gift shop area had a number of things from clothes to a toy airplane. And there were gifts in the exhibit areas as well. The GTFO game people had a place one could get a gift car. One wasn't so much a lasting gift as a free ride rental. Teegle set up a place one could get a temporary horse or horse and carriage and ride it for as long as they wanted until they detatched it (or crashed).

One difference between this anniversary event and others in recent years was this one was taking place at a time Second Life's numbers have been rising instead of slowly falling. So there were likely more people at the SLB this time than in the past few years. This may have been the reason for some residents complaining about more lag.

At the "Meet the Lindens" events, there were no revelations that were particularly earth-shaking. There was some talk about the move of Second Life data from existing servers to Cloud servers. It was also mentioned the number of Moles in the Linden Department of Public Works was increased from about twenty to thirty due to work on Bellissaria. Work on a mobile device continues. Sansar is no longer really an issue, save for those Lindens that returned from working on it (some such as Torley apparently stayed). There are no new games in development, though it was mentioned the Paleoquest game *might* get an upgrade in the future. And new user experiences are still being examined for what works and what doesn't. The effect the Pandemic has had on day to day Linden Lab operations has been described as "minimal." The revelation that got the most attention seems to be the latest kind of Linden Home, the stilt houses. But they won't be available for some time to come.

There was much greenery and other natural scenery around, such as the forest area around the main stage. The auditorium was also different as it was a stage with an open seating area. Some liked it. Others didn't, and while I didn't personally hear it, there were likely some whom wondered if there was a connection between this and perceived greater lag. Was it really greater? I seemed to have more trouble going about the Meet the Linden events and concerts more than walking the Relay Weekend this year, crashing a lot. So my personal answer is "maybe."

And of course, there were the residents whom missed "The Cake." Nancy Clowes personally came up with a partial solution with her own SL17B birthday cake. With no Cake Stage for two years in a row, perhaps next year we'll see some cakes of some kind among the exhibits.

In any event, it was quite a "road trip." And the Newser was happy to be part of it. Special thanks once again to Silvia Ametza for her well-done exhibit. And of course thanks to the Lindens and Moles for making sure things went smoothly. And now that our "busy season" is coming to a close (we still have some things to write about), we can get back to topics that were left on the back burner.

See you at the SL18B.

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Saturday at The Science Circle - "Science Cafe"

"Science Cafe"

Saturday July 4,

10 AM to 11 AM SL time

In the months of July and August, our weekly presentation hour is replaced by the Science Cafe.

Text chat conversations

Subject selected by means of a Poll on the calendar page of our website.

How do we improve science communication in the social media era? (6 votes)
Big Data and AI: the two heads Janus of our time (9 votes)
Plastic debris is found everywhere on the planet. How do we clean up and ecologically dispose of that debris? How do we keep plastics under control? (11 votes)

 For more information, Click Here.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Homes For Our Troops Raises Over 126,000 Lindens

On Saturday June 27, the monthly benefit concert to raise money for the Homes For Our Troops charity took place. The concert took place at Veterans Isle, and was organized in part by musician Frets Nirvana.

Next week we celebrate the birth of our country.  And tonight we will be honoring those who have suffered so much for our freedom.  We are conducting our monthly benefit for Homes For Our Troops tonight with a great lineup of performers who are donating their time to help this great cause.

A number of performers, one DJ and several live musicians, took part. The event started at 4PM with DJ Waya Snowpaw. At 5PM, the popular Max Kleen took to the stage with his guitar. It was Harmonia Trefoil's turn to sing to the audience at 6PM. 7PM was when Turner Harbrough had his turn. Last but not least at 8 PM was J Lively. As the musicians played for the crowd, people donated to two house-shaped kiosks on either side of the stage. Occasionally someone would challenge the others to donate a certain amount, throwing in an equal amount of his or her own when the challenge was met.

At the end of the event, a total of 126,100 had been raised in both kiosks combined.

To learn more about Homes for Our Troops, check the website at

Bixyl Shuftan

EOTB: Second Life Destinations - Vive La Paris

While the Coronavirus crisis has mostly shut down world travel, one can do some virtual vacationing here in Second Life. This week in the Linden Blog, the latest Second Life Destinations is a tribute to a favorite global tourist spot: Vive La Paris.

Designed by longtime SL resident Trouble Dethly Crystal, Vive La Paris was built as a special gift by the creator for his girlfriend in Argentina.  

“Whether it is her favorite song posters adorning the walls of the music store, the outdoor gallery of some my favorite images by her, to the cheese and flower shop and everything in between, the region is my love letter to her,” says Dethly. 

Highlights of the region featured in the video include the Eiffel Tower, shops, cafes, and an outdoor exhibit of Second Life photography. 

“Initially, the region was only meant to be rented for two weeks like the other date experiences I have taken her on, where I would hire a couple of live singers for a private show...This time I even had a friend roleplay as a waitress so we could experience a full-service dinner. It was after this date that Ara and I decided to keep the region to share with others to explore, to use as a backdrop for their photographs, or even take their partner or friends for a full-service roleplay dinner.”

There was also a video made by Draxtor Despress.

Accouncement: "We Will Be Heard" Discussion Panel

"Join us for a lively panel discussion. July 6, 2020, 6PM SL time." (Sempiternal Cult Land)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Sheepish Trouble

Taken at the Happy Vixen

By Bixyl Shuftan

Playstation 5 vs XBox Series X : Which is Better?

Many Second Life users, probably most, don't spend all of our screen-time here, but will occasionally play games. Some of us will play them on the computer as well. Others prefer game consoles. Two of the most popular brands have been Playstation and XBox. Playstation recently revealed their latest in their line, the Playstation 5. XBox's latest, the Series X, won't be around until later this month, but some information about it has been revealed. So which is better? Cyfir (Cyfiremmerich) takes a look at the two and compares.

Read Cyfir's story in Other Grids, MMOs, and Games.

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day, from the crew of the Second Life Newser

From Sky View (135/231/22)

SL Video: "Railroads Made in Second Life - Part 5"

Part Five of the "Railroads Made in Second Life" series from Draxtor Despress and Hrdtop75 Deluxe, "The series concludes in episode five featuring an interview with VP of Product Operations Patch Linden, who discusses the important role of railways within the expansive infrastructure of the massive Bellisseria continents (where thousands of Residents reside within Linden Homes)"

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay Clubs and Furry Fashion Lounge

Here's what's going on at the Sunweaver, the Montecito Bay clubs, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in "M", Stripes and Spots, 4rth of July

Happy Vixen: Sparkly and Flashy, TBA,  Horned, Scales and Skins, Long and Fluffy Tails, TBA, Leather and Latex, Bikinis and Boots

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Montecito Bay: TBA

Furry Fashion Lounge: Celtic/Best in Green, Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Red, White and Blue, Metal, Late Night, Retro

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Reader Submitted: SL17B Fireworks

 From Nisha Flamefeather. She took pictures of the fireworks over the SL17B grounds in the last few hours, and sent them to the Newser.

More of her pictures can be seen on her Flickr page.

SL Video: "Railroads Made in Second Life - Part 4"

(Click here if the video does not play)

From Draxtor Despress on June 23, the fourth in a series of videos on Second Life railways. The episode, "highlights the communities surrounding the ZZR (Zany Zen Railway), which was built by Zen Swords-Galway. As you travel the ZZR, you’ll discover a variety of quirky communities and unique attractions including the small Welsh seaside town Little Coverston."

Monday, June 29, 2020

Exhibits at the SL17B, "Conversations With A Stranger" And One Billion Rising

The events of the Second Life Birthday, at least the official ones, are over. But the exhibits will be up for a while longer. As busy Gemma Cleanslate was with her volunteer duties, she had the chance to check out two. One was "Conversations With A Stranger" by noted artist Fiona Fei. The other was the one by the women's rights group One Billion Rising.

Read Gemma's story in Places.

The Last SL17B Events, Officially

The Second Life Birthday had a lot of events. But this past weekend were the last ones that were planned. Friday at 2PM was the last of the Meet the Lindens events, "Meet the Moles." For those who missed it, you can check out the video of it here.

You can also check out the other "Meet the Lindens" videos: Ebbe Linden, Patch Linden, Oz Linden, and the Marketing Team. We may do an in-depth look at one or more of the discussions later.

Besides the discussions at the Auditorium, there were music performances at the DJ booth. On Saturday June 27, DJ Tantari played her music for a crowd.

DJ Tantari's been in the Newser a few times, such as her 2015 interview, and her guide on how to DJ.

 And there would be live singers at the Main Stage.

Nance Clowes would also have a larger version of her SL17B Cake by the stage.

In the last few hours of official events, there were fireworks at the DJ booth.

Some left, but others hung around to the end.

Some of the fireworks formed words. They were too blurry for me to make out with the lag. But  Cayenne Republic posted a link to a picture in the birthday group chat.

While the official events are done, the exhibits are still there, and will be there until July 12. And with most of the people gone, this is when the lag is less, and those with older computers or otherwise have difficulty with Second Life can have less trouble sightseeing. It should be noted that this isn't necessarily the last of the events. There will likely be an unofficial final farewell party shortly before the sims are truly closed down.

Stay tuned for a few more articles about the Second Life Seventeenth Birthday.

Bixyl Shuftan