Wednesday, May 5, 2021

CDS and Sunweaver Communities At the MoCA Fimi Exhibit Opening

   

How many people in Second Life are remembered after over a decade since they left? For the Sunweaver community, Artistic Fimicloud, artist and Relay for Life volunteer, is still well remembered thirteen years after her passing last month. A few days ago, an exhibit at the Confederation of Democratic Simulator's art museum with some of her paintings (and two other artists) opened. The opening party was attended not just by locals, but by members of Fimi's home community as well. It made for no shortage of conversation.

Read more in Events.
  

Reader Submitted: May The Fourth Be With You


From Toady Nakamura. She was teaching a class on how to make a lightsaber in Second Life, and had a whimsical build next to her. I doubt there were and takers of the challenge offered in the stone.
     

News Later Today



It's been a busy day, and yours truly needs to rest up before working on the paper. Sorry about the inconvenience.

Bixyl Shuftan

Happy Star Wars Day


Yesterday, May 4, was "Star Wars Day," a day fans of the franchise's movies and books take the time to celebrate it. The date is a play on "May the Force be with you," fans often saying "May the Fourth be with you." On Google, typing "may the fourth be with you" in search then pressing "Return" resulted in confetti and various pictures flying across the screen momentarily. A little search engine funnery.  
  

Atlantis Underwater at Creations for Parkinsons

 

For the merfolk in Second Life, one event aimed at them is the weekly party at Atlantis Underwater. Part of the Creations for Parkinsons. I was over recently, and there were a number of mermaids dancing away.  This included Creations owner Barbie Alchemi, whom had taken on a mer form herself. The music was from Liferose.

The event takes place every Tuesday at Noon SL time. There's a theme and a contest. Donations are accepted for Team Fox, a charity that funds research to treat Parkinson's Disease.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Creations%20Park/183/169/2
 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay Clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and Furry Fashion Lounge


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

Club Cutlass: Best in 'M', Shades of Blue, Evil Genius

Happy Vixen: Orange and White, Star Wars, Pink and Blue, Swimsuits, Gypsy/Bohemian, Horned and Dangerous, Notoriously Naughty, Mythology

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Bouncing Bunny Beach Club: Cowboys, Raccoons and Wah

Montecito Bay: CAYA, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge:  Fantasy, Disney and Star Wars, Blue, Insects, Pool Party, Late Night, Video Games

Deathlands Fallout Shelter: DJ Shapes, DJ Wolfy

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.
  

Angels Beach Land Rentals

   

At the Angels Beach Land Rental Agency, you can find a great new home in Second Life. With many sims to choose from, in the Sunweaver Estates, Hidden Valley, and Purrfection, you can choose from a variety of environments.

We offer places with friendly and interesting neighbors. Some places have a tropical island look, others more temperate. Some of the sims have access to enough water to boat around in. And there are plans later on for an open water sim for even more water activities. The sims are home to a number of quality clubs, such as Cutlass and Zero Gravity and the Bouncing Bunny Beach Club. In one sim alone there are two quality clubs that work together so there is no lag from them. There are also some small shopping areas available.

The sims range from Mature to Adult, but the purpose of the adult rating is for a relaxed atmosphere in which couples can relax. The places do not allow for harassment, and while there are vendors that cater to mature tastes they are discreet about it. Spaces available range from small plots to a full homestead that will rent out for only $30,000L's per month. Most of the sims break the parcels down into 512 Sqm parcels and and most have a sliding rent scale, so the more you rent the cheaper it gets. Our prices are VERY competitive here in Second Life.

And if you bring a friend to an Angels Beach area, you get more than just a good neighbor. Anyone that refers a renter to us and they rent land, they will receive 10% of the first months rent. And if someone you know needs help renting out land on his/her sim, bring them to us. Renters who bring in a sim owner needing administration, we will give 10% of our first check.

To learn more, please contact Nydia Tungsten, Brandi Streusel, Jasmine Dawn (Jasmine Knickers), or Matoazma Kazyanenko.

"We pride ourselves on on not just renting land but renting our customers the land you want. We listen to what you tell us on what you are looking for."
  

Scenes From the Fantasy Faire


The Fantasy Faire continues with plenty to see and do. Among the sightseeing was this guy on the floor. How did someone get so big and how did he end up bones in the rock? Who knows. 

For more information about the Fantasy Faire, check out the blog: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/
  
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fairelands%20Junction/61/101/34
   

Monday, May 3, 2021

Commentary: Is Linden Lab Getting Good Results For It's Money?

 
In real life in Washington DC, the new President has proposed a new plan for the government to improve things, as well as how it will be paid for, tax increases. How many Americans, perhaps most, see them depends on which political faction they support. But some regardless of which party is in charge just see "The Man" reaching for their wallets while providing little in return.

Here in Second Life, among the things being talked about is it's own "taxes" going up. Or to be specific, it's fees for buying Linden dollars are no longer being charged a flat fee per transaction, but a percentage that means anyone buying more than $20 US worth at a time will be paying more. While it appears the majority aren't complaining too much about it, a few have expressed their displeasure. Kitacelia, a resident struggling with a fixed income, could only conclude the Lab made the move out of greed, pinching pennies and lowering quality while charging residents more just to fatten their wallets, and wrote a commentary explaining her position.

The last time the Lab rose the fee to buy Linden dollars, I called them out on it. Just after a lot of people had snapped up Linden Homes, some getting Premium accounts just to do so, it made them look a bit greedy from my point of view. This time, greed isn't what it's looking like, but needing money to pay bills after some decisions that didn't turn out as planned.

In their announcement on the blog, the Lindens gave several reasons for the price increase:

Investing in our infrastructure to further improve speed and cadence of updates
Overhauling the onboarding experience for the newest Residents
UI cleanup
Developing new marketing initiatives and entertainment partnerships to fuel growth
Preparing for SL18B
Less glamorous but no less crucial is our ongoing and growing work to ensure compliance with multiple regulatory requirements


Presumably they're still working on the changes for the new resident experience as I haven't heard much of anything for a while. "Multiple regulatory requirements" may mean more work behind the scenes on Tila, which in itself came about because of concerns about how the US Government was viewing Linden dollars with all the publicity going around about Bitcoin. How much this would cost is unclear, but if the Lab is having to hire some people, lawyers and technicians, and pay them overtime, it wouldn't be cheap. The Second Life Birthday, presumably that wouldn't cost them much. But a couple things in the news did bring to mind the "investing in our infrastructure" and Developing new marketing initiatives and entertainment partnerships" parts.

The announcement about the price increase came on the heels of the Second Life map being fixed after months of being glitched. The problem, and others, were due to the move of the Grid's data from it's old servers to Amazon Cloud servers. The Lab had been saying the move would both improve performance of the Grid and eventually lead to price savings for the residents. But instead while a few details are smoother, such as some residents having fewer problems with sim crossings, the move has also resulted in more and longer to fix glitches that it appears the Lab did not think would happen.

Soon afterwards came the new front page of the Second Life website of which the image at the top brought back discussion of a "behind the scenes" look at production of a commercial for Second Life that has yet to be aired. From what one person was saying on the Second Life forums, this is something that happens with some real-life companies, "The marketing folks come in with 'tweaks' that will 'reap great rewards'. ... So my friend's company does the tweaks --- which costs the company he is working for a lot of money because what seems like a small thing to the Marketing people is often not a small thing at all.  In the end it doesn't work and my friend's company puts thing back (more money gone) and then the next great sales person comes along === and it all repeats." And in the case of Second Life, well, it's something that even it it's golden age people had a hard time understanding, let alone today. So it's likely the company Linden Lab partnered with wasn't sure of the best way to advertise it, and the commercial was either stopped before it was finished or never aired. Of the picture that started the discussion, it seemed someone in the Lab decided since they spent all that money already, they might as well make use of it and took a single image from the film and photoshopped it. If this is the case, while it might not have been a *complete* waste of money, it's still a lot of cash to spend for what in the end amounted to a single image.

If it turns out Amazon ended up selling Linden Lab a lemon in regards to the Cloud Servers, only so much can be done about it. Since the old servers are gone, getting new ones will cost money, and likely mean even higher fee increases. As for advertising Second Life, finding someone in the advertising business who really understands our virtual world for what it is and what it can do is going to be a challenge. From the point of view of many, Second Life, IMVU, and VRChat are pretty much the same thing, just another place online where people can dress up their "dolls."

So does this mean that Linden Lab's only options for advertising is to try to do it on it's own or hire people whom can only do poor commercials? Not necessarily. They could take a hint from the plotlines of many of their games and have the residents give it a try. Longtime residents clearly know what makes Second Life different from other places online and know what will attract other people in spite of the lag and other issues that will frustrate newcomers. Some already have some experience with advertising, either the products of others or their own. The Lab could easily make a contest out of it, with the winner or winners given a prize (and perhaps employment if the ad turns out to be really successful).

Even if a resident-written ad isn't a blockbuster hit, it would certainly go better with the Second Life userbase than a photoshoped picture from a canceled commercial. While the Lab may be stuck with cloud servers that will take some time to iron out all the bugs, they have more options for advertising than agencies that know little about it's product.

Bixyl Shuftan
  

Looking Back: Osama Bin Laden’s Abbottabad Compound in Second Life

 

It was ten years ago from yesterday, on Monday May 2, 2011 that the news came out about the death of terrorist leader Osama Bin-Laden, the planner behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC, killed by a team of US Navy SEAL troops. Soon after a build of the Abbottabad compound where the battle took place appeared here in Second Life. The build would remain for several months, and no doubt was the scene of some reenactments, such as the one filmed and shown on Youtube. But like the real-life location, eventually the virtual location would be demolished.

The death of the infamous mass-murderer and arch-criminal was greeted with cheers across the United States, including crowds waving American flags in front of the White House in Washington DC. Ten years later, Washington DC still has extra police patrols and barriers around the Capitol building, which a few months ago was attacked by a mob, killing and injuring a number of policemen, a reflection of the worsening political divide in the country that would have been unthinkable in the days after 9/11,
  
Bixyl Shuftan
  

Weekend At A Glance

 


Plenty happened this weekend in Second Life. The Fantasy Faire was going on, including the dance event of the FF roleplay group Society of Extraordinary Explorers (SEE) in The Amethyst Rift (above) which raised a whopping one and a half million Lindens! This is believed to be the largest amount raised at a single event. Other events included the art exhibition opening party in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators featuring the work of Sanjeewa Kumara and Sujeewa Kumari of Sir Lanka and the late Artistic Fimicloud of the Sunweaver community, the fourteenth anniversary party of Furry Fashion, an episode of the Odd Ball featuring DJ Tantari Kim, and more.
  
More on some of these events later.  

Bixyl Shuftan
  

Announcement: This Week at the Seanchai Libraries

   

THIS WEEK: We've taken a deep breath of fresh, spring air, and we are back with new stories, old stores, and stories we love. Join us for stories all week long, presented LIVE in Second Life, on Seanchai Library's properties in Second Life.

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

All events at Nowhereville (203/43/26) , unless otherwise noted.

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

* * * * *

 **MONDAY, May 3rd at 7pm: Robert L. Forward's SATURN RUHK begins with Gyro Muggins.

**TUESDAY, May 4th:
Both sessions in The Glen : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Nowhereville/194/131/21

    ~ at Noon: RUSSELL EPONYM, Live! with music, and poetry in Ceiluradh Glen, live

    ~ at 7pm: JUST HAND OVER THE CHOCOLATE AND NO ONE GETS HURT: selection from author Karen Scalf Linamen's collection of essays, focusing on two topics that are rising to the top-of-minds these days: Gardens, and Vacations.

**WEDNESDAY, May 5th at 7pm: Tae Keller's WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER. This year's Newbery Medal-winner continues with Caledonia Skytower

**THURSDAY, April 22nd:

   ~ at 7pm: MONSTER'S & MYTHS: Antues, Part 1, Shandon is back with the legend of this monster, anti-hero from Bernard Evslin's compendium of lore. (Also in Kitely)

   ~ at 9pm: SEANCHAI LATE NIGHT, late night contemporary Sci-Fi-Fantasy with Finn Zeddmore.

***
    

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Cartoon of the Day: Two Right Feet

Taken at Club Cutlass. 

By Bixyl Shuftan

   

Call For Candidates For CDS Elections

It will soon be election time in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators. Unlike most communities, the CDS chooses it's leaders, and has a procedure to do so. 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Announcement: 13th Annual Wulfenbach Walpurgisnacht, Noon Today

   
Due to circumstances beyond our control, you are invited on short notice to the 13th Annual Wulfenbach Walpurgisnacht celebration, to be held in the Spooky Grove ... at Noon.  Wear your spookiest fancy dress to fool the dark spirits!   

Europa Wulfenbach (111,97,3680)
  

SL Video: "Fantasy Faire 2018 in Second Life an Epic Walk Round"

 (Click Here if the video fails to play)

From Pryda Parx on April 2018, "I took a walk through the whole of Fantasy Faire 2018, all 15 regions. I saw lots of wonderful places and a dragon, some unicorns, a dinosaur, a tigers giving a ride and had a mishap in a library and got quite cross! But it was all worth it.

"The timeline: 0:00:00 - Falls of Hope, 0:03:01 - Pools of Ethuil, 0:07:13 - Astrid’s Nemeton, 0:11:39 - The Bazaar Dungeon, 0:18:15 - Sanoria, 0:21:34 - Erstwhile, 0:26:08 - Athenaeum Arcana, 0:34:27 - The Story Well, 0:40:10 - Severina, 0:43:42 - The Halls of Story (got the caption wrong in the video, sorry) 0:46:41 - The Willows of Nienna, 0:49:55 - Tiny Town, 0:54:50 - Aetherea, 1:02:14 - Fairelands Junction, 1:06:36 - Ardessa, 1:13:46 - Falls of Hope"
   

Friday, April 30, 2021

Robin Sojourner's Memorial Service

   

Earlier this week on Sunday April 25, Friends and well-wishers of Robin Sojourner met to remember her passing. For sixteen years she had been in Second Life and accomplished much, in addition to her artistry in real life. A number of people had something to say about her, and much was spoken.

Read more in People.
  

DJ Matt At The Fantasy Faire


On Wednesday April 28 at 4PM SL time, the Relay had a DJ event at the Fantasy Fair. The show took place in the Featherfall sim. The DJ was Matt Carlton of Team Sunbeamers.

DJ Matt (Mattie) grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. Having lived near Branson and spending a lot of time there seeing shows and also having some distant relatives that performed for Silver Dollar City, shi was raised on country music, blues, bluegrass and classic rock. Shi still has a great passion for these genres, country being her favorite. Music has always gotten hir though some of the worst times in hir life, and now shi loves to share some of these wonderful tunes with folks here on SL as a Tiger striped 9 tailed fox.

Matt was in a pirate outfit for the event, which was both a "One Team" event as well as a "Bring Your Own Kiosk" one. The event saw avatars of all kinds, humans, furs, nekos, tinies, a gryphon, and a giantess. There were also various antics going around, such as one girl walking around on stilts and occasionally breathing fire. One tiny in a nurse's avatar was walking around with a syringe with a purplish fluid, asking to vaccinate them from the "Purkle Pox."

After about two hours of playing Matt had raised a total of 28,970 for all of the teams involved, including several thousand for Team Sunbeamers. But people continued to chip in. After fifteen more minutes, the amount passed 35,000 Lindens. 

Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan
   

Announcement: Artistic Fimicloud Exhibit at CDS Museum of Contemporary Art

    

Please join us on Sunday, May 2 from 12 noon until 2pm for the opening of 3 new exhibitions.

Ground Fl: Retrospective of Artistic Fimicoloud's work
"Fimi" was the avatar for the real-life artist and cancer survivor, Stephanie Koslow. Her subject matter was her beloved Hudson River Valley, rendered in pastels.

"My art, my life, is about looking forward, never looking back – looking back serves no purpose but to break one’s heart when you’re walking a path as difficult as some of us do. So instead I look forward – to that next beautiful sunset on the river."
Artistic Fimicoloud

1st Floor: 2 Sri Lankan Artists, Sanjeewa Kumara & Sujeewa Kumari
We have the honor of presenting the work of these well-known Sri Lankan artists in Second Life, courtesy of Asmita Duranjaya. Kumari explores a dreamy surrealism, while Kumara is fascinated by earth and sky.

2nd Floor: 7 artworks from MoCA's Opening 2006 Exhibition

Music by Fimi's longtime friend, DJ Shockwave Yareach

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Neufreistadt/186/136/181
  

Announcement: This Saturday at The Science Circle - "Big Data, Machine Intelligence, and the Human Cognition"

  

"Big Data, Machine Intelligence, and the Human Cognition"

Saturday May 1

10 AM to 11 AM

There is an interesting convergence of three major technological trends: big data, AI, and virtual humans.  Big data are transforming science, scholarship, and virtually every other aspect of the modern society.  AI may be the most transformative technology ever, and it can help us discover complex phenomena hidden in the big data, that humans alone cannot grasp.  Finally, virtual humans operated by AIs may be the most intuitive and natural ways for the human-AI interactions.

Presentation by Professor George Djorgovski

For more information, Click Here.
 
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Science%20Circle/67/129/32 
  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Furry Fashion's 14th Anniversary Celebration


Furry Fashion is having an anniversary celebration, it's fourteenth, this Saturday May 1. The first event starts at 2PM SL time , and goes on all afternoon and into late at night with the last event going on to at least 10PM (but will likely go on a little longer).

"Techincally FF's birthday is the 5th," Amethyst Crystal, the owner of Furry Fashion explained, "but the 1st is on a weekend allowing more people to join the contests. Every contest will have the usual linden prize (tho a bit bigger) and there will be mystery raffles all the way through every event. The prizes will range from GiftCards to stores not just FF but to places like Half-Deer, Nomad, DRD and Lore and other prizes will include Mods I'll buy the winner directly from Marketplace. They won't know what they're winning until it's announced to keep it more fun! Fort and I are teaming up for the first event (2pm SLT) to kick everything off.

"If someone had told me I'd still be running FF 14 years later I'd have told them they're dreaming but here I am. I didn't expect to honestly with all the health issues in the past couple of years but here I still am, mostly in thanks to my awesome staff supporting me and keeping things going."
   
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Furry/211/42/29 
   

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Cartoon of the Day


 Taken at a Relay event. I never did find out why the pig was dressed the way it was, but it looked like a case of "green legs on ham" to me.

By Bixyl Shuftan

  

Fantasy Faire's Faireland's Quest Now Active


One of the fun parts of the Fantasy Faire, the Fairelands Quest game, is now live and ready to play.  This year's theme is "The Language of Birds."

They lift our spirits. They adorn our world. They are revered as the messengers of heaven. Yet, you might not know that birds and their beautiful songs have long been deep in the fight against the Unweaver.

And now, the Bard Queen is worried.

The Unweaver’s latest bit of malice is taking its toll across the realms. And an ancient deterrent created by birds has fallen victim. Unless an intrepid adventurer steps up to help, the result could be heartbreaking.


To play the game, head to one of the locations in the Fairelands sims it's available, such as Fairelands Junction (71/134/35). You can either get just the basic version for 250L, or the deluxe version which includes an outfit for 350L. Once you get it, you then "add" it, and the container will appear in your hand. Touch it to receive the HUD, your companion Joyus, and if you got the deluxe package you'll get the male and female outfits. "Add" them as well and touch the square that appears on your screen to get the outfit. 


To play the game, add both the HUD and the companion. Once it starts, your first task will be to find the Bard Queen.  So what is she worried about and what does it have to do with birds? Play the game and find out.

The second part of the quest is scheduled to be available to start Thursday April 29, though there have been minor delays in some past years.

Happy questing,

Bixyl Shuftan
   

Focus Photograhy Fair This Friday

    
Focus Magazine and Art Gallery will soon be starting their Photopgaphy Fair. "We will have two entire weeks of vendors, entertainment, and workshops, ALL geared toward the needs and interests of Second Life photographers."

The event starts Friday April 30, with music parties at 12 Noon and 6PM SL time. The event itself will continue to Friday May 14.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Holly%20Kai%20Estates/107/107/3801
  

SL Video: "Fantasy Faire 2021 ~ The Fairechyle Takes Sail"


From Bain Finch on April 25 , “Fantasy Faire’s Live at the Fairechylde series is made possible with support from Spyralle, by Kerryth Tarantal. And our beautiful, new Fairechylde fleet was built by Ketsui Naidoo of Novus Ascending, and Grimoire Hexem. We want to say a very special Thank You to these three Fairelanders for helping us bring our parties to life!”
    

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay Clubs, The Fallout Shelter, and Furry Fashion Lounge

   

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

Club Cutlass: Best in 'K and L', 60's Flashback, Night Life

Happy Vixen: Africa, Angels and Demons, Pink and Purple, Wolves and Huskies, Barely There, Horned and Dangerous, Canines and Mice, Martial Artists and Fighters

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Bouncing Bunny Beach Club: Kitsunes and Nekos, Avians (Birds)

Montecito Bay: CAYA, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge:  Canines, Paws vs Hooves, Pink, Creepy vs Cute, FF Birthday, Wings

Deathlands Fallout Shelter: DJ Shapes, DJ Wolfy

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.
  

Veterans Isle Raises Over 150,000 Lindens For Charity

   
On Sunday April 25, Veterans Isle held it's monthy fundraiser concert. The event, organized in part by Frets Nirvana, took place from about 4:40 to 9 PM SL time.

Here we are kicking off our fourth month of benefits for Homes For Our Troops, and Chapman Zane is already performing to help us get started!  Chap said let me get in some overtime since he is such a hardworking guy ….and dedicated to helping our extremely injured veterans, so we said yes!


Chapman Zane was on stage until 6PM. Then it was Somewhereintime's turn to play for the crowd. At 7PM, Anj Gustafson started his performance. And last but not least was Hogan Baily at 8PM. As the musicians sang, people donated money to two house-shaped kiosks on either side of the stage. At the end up the event at 9PM SL time, a total of 150,435 had been donated to both kiosk combined, or about $600 US dollars.

The concerts usually take place on the last Sunday of every month, though will probably be early in May due to Memorial Day weekend.

For more information on Homes For Our Troops, read the website at https://www.hfotusa.org.

"Thank you everyone for your support."

Bixyl Shuftan
   

Scenes From The Fantasy Faire


Taken at Khol Dracys. This mostly prehistoric-looking sims had lots of dinosaurs. But this one looked like a snow-sculpture from "Calvin and Hobbes." Made out of snow with button eyes and carrot teeth, it looked like it was more dangerous to snowmen than people.

But with the melting snow, would it be a "Snowasaurus Wrecks?"

For more information about the Fantasy Faire, check out the blog: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/
  
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fairelands%20Junction/61/101/34  

Bixyl Shuftan
  

Book Discussion: "The Little Ice Age - How Climate Made History"

  
"The Little Ice Age - How Climate Made History, 1300 - 1850"
Author Brian Fagan traces the influence of Earth's 500-year "cold snap" on historic periods and events in human culture.
PRESENTED: in Voice
Location: New Kadath Lighthouse Art Gallery Reading Room

8:30 PM SL time

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/New%20Kadath/52/36/46
  

Monday, April 26, 2021

Reader-Submitted Commentary: Linden Lab's Continued Greed

  
Due to the recent increase in purchasing lindens an added 7.5 percent, which is higher than the sales tax in my state which is neither zero or low, I am forced to cancel my premium account. They cap it at $9.99 however, all this does is make it so those who buy over $150 USD lindens aren't charged more who could probably more afford it.  This mostly effects those who buy between $100 USD and $140 USD, which is what I think a lot of regular users may purchase. Buying more frequently in smaller increments won't help as you are charged $1.49 per purchase on top of this new charge.  


I know Linden Lab seems to think that most people who play Second Life are some kind of at least middle-class pay pigs with huge sums of expendable income. But the truth is, many of us are in fact either working class, unemployed, or like me on a low fixed income due to disability, retirement or similar.   They have raised the cost of premium in the past 2-3 years. They have raised the cost of buying lindens for the 4th time in five years, and they raised the cost of selling them at least once. They have also raised the cut of MP sellers that they takem forcing them to raise MP prices.

I feel that in addition to just plain greed, we are being forced to pay for their failed projects (Sansar) and poor choices moving the servers to Amazon business cloud servers, not even the gaming ones, to save money, which has resulted in a number of bugs and issues. To those whose stores or groups I left, please understand I had no other choice.  

Linden Lab gets away with this kind of horrid move and generally poor customer service to a large degree because they are somewhat of a monopoly in complex immersive adult virtual worlds.  IMVU is geared more towards teens and not really competition.  Avakin seems similar to IMVU.  Inworldz is long dead.  I have tried some other grids but never logged in more than a few times.  I have too much time, relationships and money invested in Secondlife anyway to start over unless forced to do so.  Many people they know who have been here for years almost daily are in a similar position so the Lindens know they can charge whatever they like.   

Oh and the increase on buying lindens comes  right at the beginning of the annual Fantasy Faire, which benefits Relay For Life, an organization that raises money to fight Cancer. So I hope that doesn't affect them raising money.

Kἶէმƈεlἶმ Lմἶղƈօɾἶმlօէε Kεlνმɾl (Kitacelia Resident)
  

DJ Matt's Date Auction For Team Sunbeamers

   
Just after her highly successful hour at the Relay for Life's DJ Competition by the Relay Rockers team in which she raised over 110,000 Lindens, DJ Matt is stepping up once again to raise more for her own team. She's taking part in a charity date auction for Team Sunbeamers.

Team Sunbeamers has another fundraising event. DJ Mattie is volunteering for a date auction. To take part, head over to the BBBC. The auction board is in the back of the club to the side of the DJ booth. To make a bid, pay the board. If someone makes a higher bid, you get refunded.

Instead of Relay kiosks, as the notice says the bids will be made on an auction board. The board is at the Bouncing Bunny Beach Club in SunWaterThree. From the entrance, it's in the back of the club to the right of the DJ booth. There are two amounts listed on the board, the current highest bid and the minimum bid needed to beat it. As this is a Relay date auction, there can't be anything more than PG/PG=13 about it, "I do enjoy Movies, Cuddles, Dances, Parties, Music, Photos, Beaches, and of course Table Games." Matt is also in the time period of her "Bid Me Pink," so if the date is anytime soon, she'll be in pink fur.

The board is open to bids untl Thursday May 13. On that day, DJ Matt will be having a special Relay party at 4PM at the BBBC for the Sunbeamers in which instead of tips, people attending are asked to donate to the Relay kiosks, or bid on the date auction. The auction board will close just before 6PM, and no more bids will be accepted. The winner will then be announced, and notified.

DJ Matt will be DJing this week not just at the BBBC, but at the Fantasy Faire on Wednesday, at 4PM.

Go Sunbeamers! Go Relay!

https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SunWaterThree/75/56/25

Bixyl Shuftan
  

Weekend At A Glance

 


A number of events happened this weekend in Second Life. The Fantasy Faire had it's first weekend, and there were numerous smaller events that were part of it. There was a memorial service for Robin Sojourner (pictured above), whom it was announced last week had passed away. Veterans Isle had it's monthly fundraiser. And more.

More on these events later.
 

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Cartoon of The Day: Bubblegum Bigness

 Taken at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory in River. Years ago, there were bubblegum commercials saying how their gum could blow bigger bubbles. But what if one lived up to the claims.

By Bixyl Shuftan

   

Scenes From the Fantasy Faire


Among the sighs at FF Valhalla are a pair of huge statues at the mouth of the river there, well over a hundred feet high. They would dwarf most other avatars. But this giant lady stands tall over them.
 
The huge avatar was easily seen from all the way on the other side of the sim. I usually see giant avatars at least once at the Faire. A reminder it isn't just the landscape that's the attraction. Some of the other visitors' avatars can be too.

For more information about the Fantasy Faire, check out the blog: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/
  
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fairelands%20Junction/61/101/34  

Bixyl Shuftan 

   

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Announcement: Memorial For Robin (Sojourner) Wood, Sunday April 25, 6PM

   
Robin (Sojourner) Wood

24 November, 1953 - 19 April, 2021

It is with a heavy heart that we must report that Robin (Sojourner) Wood passed away after an extended struggle with cancer (phyllodes tumors). She will be remembered for a long history of artwork and instruction.

“She who is remembered, lives”

We hope that you can join us for a memorial for Robin (Sojourner) Wood on her island, Livingtree, on Sunday, the 25th of April, at 6:00 p.m. SLT. We will encourage you to share your stories about Robin’s works in Second Life and beyond.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Livingtree/117/71/24

We understand the timing may not be the best for all Second Life users, and for that we apologize. We encourage you to visit Livingtree at a time of your choosing, and follow the luminaria path for your own reflection and exploration.

Livingtree Island and her stores will remain open for some time.
   

Scenes From the Fantasy Faire


 Been going about the Fantasy Fair sims a little. I've only been to a few sims so far, but have seen some interesting scenery.


Once again, the sim designers have gone all-out. 


And coming across some interesting things. What magic has this roving reporter come across? Explore the sims and find out.

For more information, check out the Fantasy Faire blog: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/
  
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fairelands%20Junction/61/101/34  

Bixyl Shuftan 
   

"Second Life Music Video"

 

 From Musicanimate on Jan 2009, "Song by Seth Breitman about finding your path in life inspired by his studies of wisdom of Kabbalah. The clip was filmed in the 3D virtual world of Second Life ."

 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Questions Raised About Second Life's Redesigned Homepage


The Second Life website has gotten a new look. Those going to secondlife.com will see the above image (you may need to log off if you're already logged in), an elven girl with bluish skin and glowing blue eyes and hands with a white dress and gold jewelry. "Explore, Discover, Create," it says next to the woman, "A new world is waiting ... "

Going down the page, there was more:

Expect the Unexpected

With thousands of virtual experiences and communities, you'll never run out of places to explore and people to meet. Music clubs, roleplaying communities, virtual cinemas and more. Second Life is always wonderful, sometimes weird, and 100% wow-worthy. 

 Remote Meetings Redefined

Make meetings fun again with virtual hangout spaces, classes and conferences. For over a decade, leading companies and educators have trusted Second Life for branded social spaces for events and remote meetings. 

Imagine the Possibilities

Shop the Second Life Marketplace to discover millions of items including virtual fashions, home decor, and more. Create and monetize your own creations to earn real profits in a virtual economy powered by Tilia.  

There was a thread about the new page in the Second Life forums. The overall tone of those commenting was mixed to negative. It was noted that the top image didn't really look like an avatar, but was likely the blue girl in their "Behind the Scenes" Youtube made in December about doing a commercial in partnership with Levitate Media (1:14). 

There were a few comments about the filming not being cheap, and wondering where the money came from. One woman commented, "I can see it is really a human. I could not believe it. What has it to do with SL? ... I think how much that video had to cost. The studio, models, rigging, light, makeup and costumes. Where the bleep did that money come from? And for what purpose? Making people logging in to get an avatar, that is impossible to get. I feel like I do in RL when it is discovered that some politician has used money we had paid for taxes, and thought it was going to infrastructure, schools and such. Not to give politicians all sort of luxury. How many new regions has people have to buy, only to cover the cost of making that bleep video?"

Another woman reflected her friend worked at a big company, and over the years they'd made marketing campaigns that didn't do much except burn money, and this reminded her of his stories, "The marketing folks come in with 'tweaks' that will 'reap great rewards'. Sometimes there is a new look involved but that is the domain of another long time employee so not many changes there.   So my friend's company does the tweaks --- which costs the company he is working for a lot of money because what seems like a small thing to the Marketing people is often not a small thing at all.  In the end it doesn't work and my friend's company puts thing back (more money gone) and then the next great sales person comes along === and it all repeats."

This week, Linden Lab changed it's fees for buying Linden dollars, making it slightly more expensive to buy larger amounts. Among the reasons stated was "Developing new marketing initiatives and entertainment partnerships to fuel growth." While this is almost certainly not the sole "new marketing initiative," if the comments in the forums are a guide, it's not raising confidence among the residents.

Hat Tip: Daniel Voyager  
 
Bixyl Shuftan
  

Announcement: This Saturday at The Science Circle - "Panel: Robots And Drones"

   

"Panel: Robots and Drones"

Saturday April 24, 

10AM to 11 AM

From toys to surveillance to autonomous flight on another planet, robots and drones are becoming a part of life in the 21st century. We are on the threshold of advances in AI and universal surveillance that will bring benefits and risks to society. It is time to discuss the implications of these new elements in our world.

 

A 16-minute YouTube to get you started: Why do Boston Dynamics Robots dance? And could Elon Musk be right that superhuman AI is only around five years away?

Mathew Burr

For more information, Click Here

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Science%20Circle/67/129/32
   

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Fantasy Faire Opens


And it's begun. The twenty-one sims of the Fantasy Faire are now open to the general public. Already some of the sims, such as Fairelands Junction where the main entrance is at (61/101/34), are a bit crowded. So expect some lag. You can find the SURLs to the other sims here (link).

Of the Fairelands Quest, the first part should be available in a few days, "Part 1 of the Quest opens Monday, 26 April and Part 2 starts Thursday, 29 April." 

For more information, check out the Fantasy Faire blog: https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/
  
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Fairelands%20Junction/61/101/34  

Bixyl Shuftan
  

Boardgame Beach

  

There's a lot to do and see around Second Life. You can explore around sims. You can take a leisurely sailboat ride down the ocean. You can relax to the music and socialize at a club. But sometimes you just want to sit back and play a game. There's many kinds of games in Second Life, En Garde, Greedy, and more. But there's a place in the virtual world with dozens of many different games: Boardgame Beach. Yours truly had a talk with Aries Oh who owns the area, and she talked about what's there.

Read more in Places.
  

Press Release: HFOT April 25 Benefit

  

Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announce 2021’s April benefit for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life for April 25, 2021!  

Frets Nirvana, longtime supporter and contact for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life in conjunction with the US Military Veterans Group, announces the 2021 February benefit for the Veterans Support Organization Home For Our Troops at Veteran’s Isle .  


Frets Nirvana states:  “HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic or suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. DURING THAT TIME HFOT HAS BUILT 313 SPECIALLY ADAPTED HOMES NATIONWIDE FOR EXTREMELY INJURED VETERANS.”

In 2020 the community in Second Life sent  $15,750 to Homes For Our Troops, thanks to many kind hearts and great Second Life performers. THIS PUT SECOND LIFE’S DONATIONS EFFORTS IN THE TOP TEN OF HOME FOR OUR TROOPS DONORS IN 2020!  

23 Veterans and their families received the keys to their forever homes in 2021 and the donations received in Second Life were part of that effort.  Currently HFOT has 62 projects underway for extremely wounded veterans.

Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The April 25 concert for 2021 is scheduled from 4 PM to 9 PM PST.  Featured artists will be DJ Waya Snowpaw, Chapman Zane, SomewhereinTime, Anj Gustafson and Hogan Baily.

Sponsored by Frets Nirvana and the U.S. Military Veteran’s Group of Second Life.  To learn more about Homes for Our Troops visit https://www.hfotusa.org

Waya Snowpaw 4-5 PM
Chapman Zan 5-6 PM http://us2.ishout.net:8341
Somewhereintime 6-7 PM  http://207.38.89.21:8134
Anj Gustafson 7-8 PM  http://38.96.148.39:9566/
Hogan Baily 8-9 PM  http://us2.ishout.net:8341
   

SL Video: "Giant Relay For Life Cross Country Race from Abitibi to Noyo"


From RacerX Gullwing on March 21, the video of the Cross-Country Giant Snail Race for the Relay for Life the day before, Saturday March 20. Number 647 of the Snail Races, this is different from most as it took place on the mainland over many sims, 40 for this one, and passed by some old but interesting scenery, "In second life, the good players from various corners of the globe band together and run across the second life world to raise money for cancer. Check it out, also we race every week at Gulwingcoast at 10:30am SL/pST on Saturday so come join us! Join us!"

The order of the racers was: Oodlemi Noodle 1, Loopy String 2, Alden Cortes 3, Soaphia Resident 4, BrianTopp Resident 5, Cinders Vale 6, Lobbie Riggles 7, Tindallia Soothsayer 8.