Monday, June 30, 2014

Reader Submitted: Goodbye SL11B (Or Maybe Not)

Zia Larnia, whom was among those attending the last performance at the SL11B Cake Stage by Laz Dresler from 10PM to Midnight SL time on Sunday June 29, took these pictures of the fireworks show that started at 11PM

While some rockets made it outside the stage area, the real treat was inside. Everyone was dancing amongst the lights.

And so, the Second Life Eleventh Birthday Celebrations officially came to a close. But this is not the end. The exhibits will still be up for several more days. Some exhibits will also have their own smaller parties this time, including the SL Newser Exhibit, which will have one today at 2PM SL time at SL11B Fascinate (78/87/21/)

Pictures by Zia Larnia

My Take on SL11B, By DrFran Babcock

The Second Life Eleventh Birthday Birthday is over, at least officially. The sims however will still be up for a few more days before cleanup begins. So which exhibits stand out? DrFran Babcock went around the SL11B grounds, and found some that stood out quite well.

See DrFran's article in Design.

Commentary: An Anxious Community Awaits A New Grid

By Bixyl Shuftan

"Happy Birthday Second Life, you're being replaced," was how many residents took the news of Ebbe Linden's announcement of the new virtual world being developed. It seems every major change by the Lab seems to prokove somebody into saying "SL is doomed!," but residents adapted and Second Life went on, (with one change, the third party Linden exchanger ban last year, the Lab made a quick partial reversal). But this time, the change is an entirely new virtual world being developed.

While Ebbe has made an effort to be more open to Second Life's community about what the Lab is doing, unfortunately years of saying little but canned responses in response to questions about a number of it's decisions isn't so easily forgotten. Coming here because of one another, not because of faith in Linden Lab, many residents fear that all they have created here will soon be nothing but memories. Many feel Linden Lab is about to pull the plug on the virtual world that has been their outlet for creativity, their means of communicating with friends that they found here, or both.

Perhaps some found it more than a coincidence that Ebbe chose a third-party viewer developer meeting to announce the news. Team Firestorm, the most popular of the viewers, started out as Team Phoenix. What happened to Phoenix? Over time the team found it more difficult to upgrade to where it could still perform as before, and eventually the team ceased work on it to concentrate on the newer viewer. Might the Lab be doing the same?

The answer to that is no. The big reason is they have no choice if they want to stay alive as a company. Although Linden Lab has diversified somewhat in the past few years, the only other product of theirs that seems to making much money is Blocksworld. And it's income over the months has remained far short of what Second Life has been bringing them. And later on should this next-generation virtual world, called "SL 2.0" by some, become it's more profitable one. As long as the older Grid continues to make money, they'll keep it.

Though comes the question, how will the Lindens run this new world?

When Second Life was first created, the company was fairly idealistic, inspired by the possibilities of what people could create in virtual reality. The Lindens held regular meetings with the residents, some interacted with the residents, and there was a fair ammount of openness. "Your World, Your Imagination" was the slogan, and indeed it was with few rules around.

Today, not a single Linden from the early days remains. Although there are meetings with third party viewer developers, the regular meetings with residents have long been a thing of the past, and for quite some time until recently, Lindens fratenizing with the residents was discouraged. Over time have come a number of rules and changes in the terms of service, the Lab taking more control over the Grid back from it's denziens. Instead of "Your World, Your Imagination," the slogan is now the awkward-sounding "Shared Creative Spaces." The Lab has become more distant from it's residents, leaving them, especially the long term ones, feeling somewhat alienated and unappreciated. On occasion, I hear some wonder if the Lab feel deep down if they would be happier if the the old-timers just went away.

It's because of this distrust of Linden Lab's motivations, competence, or both, that many wonder what lies ahead.

That Linden Lab will be having more control over this second world is a given. They've already stated it will not be open source. No Third party Viewers here. You will either use whatever viewer the Lab gives you, or you don't get on the world at all. Hopefully the Lab will offer something easier to use than the "Viewer 2" so disliked by many longtime residents. If they don't, well, the "oldbies" are going to have difficult times from the start. Then there's the third party Linden exchanges. Many use them because they can't, or won't, use the Lindex. Assuming the new Grid disallows third party cash exchange services, unless the new grid's official currency exchange has more options, these residents won't be able to do much in the new Grid, if they come here at all. There's also the issue of content created and who owns it. Will the Lab state they have just enough control to maintain it on the Grid, or will they insist anything created here, or uploaded here not copyrighted by a corporation first, is theirs to do with as they please?

Will more adult-oriented content be allowed to exist? Although it's been profitable for the Lab as many residents buy Lindens to get lingere and animation poseball beds, it's also been someting of an embarassment as the masses outside the computer world sometimes see Second Life as a sexual playground more than anything else. That is, if they realize there is anything else. Those who come to Second Life to explore their friskier sides or to maintain a long distance relationship could find themselves frustrated in it's sequel if the Lab insists on keeping things squeaky clean.

Will residents be allowed to bring content with them from the older grid to the newer? Many residents have made some great and fantastic things here. The thought of what they've spent years making vanish and having to rebuild it elsewhere is just too much for some, whom would reluctantly let it fade if they can't maintain what they've made here. Assuming the new grid is mesh and prims won't be a part of it, only more recent items could be moved over. If so, will there be some procedure for this? If the Lab doesn't allow content to be transfered, will they offer compensation of some kind if they make a new place in the new grid?

Will residents need to buy new computers? Most likely many will, possibly most. This will cut down on what these residents can spend inworld for a while.

Of course there is the option of simply sticking around Second Life. Team Firestorm's Jessica Lyon predicted residents would be slow to move to the new world at first, that is, until the Lab continues to open up and talk with the residents about it, listening to them and accepting suggestions. And if residents simply go back and forth between worlds, this won't be a problem. But what if Linden Lab's move ends up being a big financial blunder? Suppose the Lab ends up making little to nothing from the new grid while on Second Life anxious residents slow down buying Lindens and virtual land?

Perhaps it was just a matter of time Linden Lab had to make a new virtual world. This one has been around for over a decade, the technology involved originating in the 1990s, and Linden Lab still has not found a way to reverse it's declining income.

But to many of Second Life's residents, especially those whom have invested much time and money, this is worrisome news. Linden Lab will need to keep talking to them, and listen to their concerns, if they want to avoid trouble.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tales From Podex: Computing Cash

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was a day in late June at the Podex exchange, and the tellers were busy making transactions with their customers. When things quieted down, they talked a little about goings on elsewhere on the Grid. Some talked about the Second Life Eleventh Birthday celebrations, and the activity at their grounds, saying they were going to drop by there after work. Another topic of conversation was the Relay for Life's events. And being summer, there was some talk about heading to the beach, especially since some customers had come here to get Lindens for that very purpose.

In the middle of their talk, an unusual figure walked in. He was all in metal and mechanical looking, with fingerless hands. Instead of a face, he had a camera, giving him a somewhat cyclopsian appearance. His only decoration was an "11" painted on his chest.

"Um, can we help you?" one of the tellers finally asked.


"Er, of course, Sir. We will provide you with Linden Dollars in echange for a number of international currencies."


"Well, you just fill out this form. Choose which kind of money you wish to exchange, and once the paperwork is filled out we'll transfer the Lindens to your account through electronic transfer."

The metal-plated visitor did so, taking a very short ammount of time, and the deal was soon done.


"Thank you. By the way, we don't get that many customers of, such an electronic nature. Of what purpose might those Lindens be for."


"I beg your pardon?"


The tellers had a chuckle, and the unusual customer went about his way.

The Podex Exchange is located at the Coda sim at (45, 218, 61), with a website at Jacek Shuftan is the CEO. Jacek recently began allowing the option to deal with Bitcions, wanting to support the independent currency.

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

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cartoon of the Day: SL11B

Nydia Tungsten and I checking out the Second Life Eleventh Birthday grounds. We came across this build that just invites humor.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Marianne's Saturday Night Fireworks

Two things Marianne McCann, the noted child resident of Bay City, likes are summertime and fireworks. So on some Saturdays around 8PM SL time on summer weekends, she'll shoot off a firework show. The location is at the school at "Kick the Can" in the Livingtree sim. GoSpeed Racer provided the music.

The event took place with a few picnic tables and blankets set up, for both seating and snacks, as the crowd watched the show with glee, "ooOOOoo!" "Wowww....that's amazin'" "I love dis!" "oh my GOD!" "Woooot!"

 For the school though, the fireworks might have been slightly too much, with the second floor smoke detector going "eee eee eee eee eee eee eee eee eee eee." "I fink da skool woold be on fire by now (grin)" one kid mused. "She hasn't even quite caught it yet," Pygar Bu mused, "but there's always a first time." "How can a kid set fire to so many schools," Uccello Poultry quiped, "and never get expelled?"

Eventually came the end of the performance, lights hanging in the sky for some moments as they glowed, looking like a rainbow. "Way to go, Mari !!!" "HooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo !!!!!!" "Bravo!" "Thank you!" "great show sis!" "That was WONNERFUL Mari, Robin an Pygar........super job!!!"

"Thanks all for coming tonight!" Maraianne told everyone, "and thanks, as always to GoSpeed Racer and KONA Stream for the tunes!"

Bixyl Shuftan

Party Time at Qwark and Gemma's

On June 21 at Noon SL time, Gemma Cleanslate and Qwark Allen threw a beach party at their house. They called it the last of the SL Newser celebration parties, though as it took place a week later, to me it was more like a "between the birthdays" bash, with the SL11B just a couple days later.

Those dropping by included Any1 Gynoid, the former CNN iReporter, and Chakat Northspring of Team Firestorm. The latter brought out her pet firekitty on her back after seeing Qwark's playing in the sand.

Besides dancing, one could pick up a drink at the bar, or a snack.

Grease Coakes shows off a colorful "pawsome" animation.

One last look at the hosts of the party.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Today in Roma

10am - Bellonalia Ritual
Our festivals begin with a ritual for Bellona, the Roman Goddess of War - sister of Mars, and Spiritual Mother of ROMA's Amazons. After the ritual, we will have chariot races in Bellona's honour, with prizes for the victors!

ROMA Subura Street, ROMA Subura (52, 112, 23)

12pm - The Bellona & Vesta Grand Feast
Our Festivals culminate with the Bellona & Vesta Grand Feast - our wind-down party from the hectic Bellonalia Chariot Races! Come dance with us to some wonderful  tunes by the wonderful Lyndon Heart and pleasant conversation!

Transtiberim Path, ROMA Transtiberim (177, 105, 21

1pm - Legion Relay Race
In honour of this month's festivals, the Legio has decided to conclude them with a relay race through Transtiberim! Racers will be organised into 3 man teams - which will gather items needed to bake bread for Vesta, prepare them, and present the baked bread at the finish line. This is a timed race, and the 3 best times will recieve cash prizes!

Legion XIII, ROMA Transtiberim (138, 187, 42)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Team Firestorm's Jessica Lyon Interviewed at SL11B

(Click here if the video fails to load)

On Thursday June 26, the head of Team Firestorm, Jessica Lyon gave a talk at the SL11B Auditorium about the concerns about the new Grid being developed by Linden Lab. Chakat Northspring recorded the discussion, "A talk at SL11B: The obvious fears and uncertainties currently circulating in SL as well as speculations 'for fun' on the new platform, its potential to succeed/fail and what we might expect. What is in store for us? What should we as residents do, think, how should we react to all this news?"

At first she wasn't sure whatEbbe meant, then he realised "a whole new platform," ... "This was a pretty big bomb to drop on everybody."

She felt Linden Lab "wants to make a whole new platform ... make you want to go to it."

Jessica compared the to a history program in which people remembered only one scene, where a witch was made to drown, "there ought to be a study" on why people seem so fixated on their view of one single event in a description.

Shefelt the panic could backfire by getting the lab to clam up again, saying this was "the first time since Philip we've had a CEO who's so open. One of the first things he did was to reverse the decision to keep Lindens from socializing ... I applaud him for being open."

While she hopes the Lab makes something so good it'll attract everyone from Second Life, she doubts they will.

Jessica stated she would be "Shocked" if they didn't at least allow Linden dollars to transfer over. She expected better tools for creating there, and guessed the new grid would most likely meshed based. So forget bringing prims over, even her signature ears and tail.

Did note Ebbe didn't say for sure there would be no content transfers ever, possibly some protocol for a content transfer system as time goes on.

Jessica saw SL being shutdown only of the new grid is so hugely popular, very, very, few residents are left, "As long as Second Life is popular, it makes no sense for them to shut it down."

One of her first questions to Ebbe was where was he putting his resources? The New Grid or SL. His answer was both.

Firestorm will continue to be developed, "As long as Second Life continues we're good."

Jessica noted "Second Life didn't start out as open source." It was a few years before it was. She guessed the Lab would be sure of the new grid before making it open source.

She had one suggestion to Ebbe - why was Firestorm so popular? The viewer was a byproduct of open community developlent, "we involve the community, we invite them to meetings" ask them for ideas, "it creates for the user a sense of ownership" "happy, proud, of the viewer ... created pride and a following." She felt the New Grid would not truly succeed, at least at first, because it was developed in private without any feedback from the public.

"I have very little worry about Second Life going anywhere. ... do what you always do, Second Life will be going for years to come."

Press Release: Swashbucklers for Life

Swashbucklers for Life is a collaboration between the various pirate/privateer/buccaneer groups throughout the Steamlands in support of Relay for Life; originally conceived as a (relatively) simple gathering of the Black Moon Marauders and Crimson Pirates of Caledon and the Winterfell Privateers, SFL quickly grew into a weekend-long event involving a number of different groups and spanning numerous sims.

Get buccaneered up and get ready for a day of fun and adventure on the high seas! Swashbuckling attire is encouraged, but not required. Come for as much of the weekend as you can (or for as much as you dare…) and show your support for Relay for Life in the Steamlands! There will be tall ships and epic battles. There will be dancing and drinking. There will be music, modeling, and mayhem. There will be comely wenches and dashing buccaneers. There will be rum. What more could ye possibly ask for?


Swashbucklers for Life 2014 Schedule (all times listed are SLT)

Quick Reference:

Friday, June 27th:

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Buccaneers’ Ball (Black Moon Marauders)


Saturday, June 28th:

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Treasure Island Literary Adventure (Mary Read Pirate Library)

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Tall Ship Race (Winterfell Privateers)

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Sea Battle (Trade Winds)

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Seahorse Water Polo (Scoundrel Fleet)
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Walk the Plank Fashion Show (Black Moon Marauders)

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Swashbucklers’ Ball (Crimson Pirates)


Sunday, June 29th:

9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Ship Mod Contest (Trade Winds)

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - TBA (Antiquity)

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Privateers’ Ball, SFL Edition (Winterfell Privateers)

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Mermaid Frolic (Alley Cats Alley)

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Belly Dancing

7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Burlesque Dancing and Silent Auction

SL Video: "Sweet Dreams of Second Life"

Another of Nydia Tungsten's videos, this one with her partner Brandi T. Streusel, Alleara Snoodle as her fellow dancers, and her friend Drac as the "dreamer," filmed at Mouse Hole Manor : "Are these girls what your sweet dreams are about? Dancers: Brandi, Alleara, Nydia. Hunky wolf on the bed is Drac (yes ladies he is unattached). Leave your opinion in the comments below."

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Letter From Pete Linden (Peter Gray) About SL 2.0

Xymbers Slade's old mentor group recieved the following message from  Pete Linden (Peter Gray)  in regards to the new virtual world Ebbe Linden (Ebbe Altberg) announced Linden Lab has been working on. He then forwarded the message to the Newser.

*  *  *  *  *

Here's what we've said:

Linden Lab is working on a next generation virtual world that will be in the spirit of Second Life, an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are king. This is a significant focus for Linden Lab, and we are actively hiring to help with this ambitious effort. We believe that there is a massive opportunity ahead to carry on the spirit of Second Life while leveraging the significant technological advancements that have occurred since its creation, as well as our unparalleled experience as the provider of the most successful user-created virtual world ever.

The next generation virtual world will go far beyond what is possible with Second Life, and we don't want to constrain our development by setting backward compatibility with Second Life as an absolute requirement from the start. That doesn’t mean you necessarily won’t be able to bring parts of your Second Life over, just that our priority in building the next generation platform is to create an incredible experience and enable stunningly high-quality creativity, rather than ensuring that everything could work seamlessly with everything created over Second Life’s 11 year history.

Does this mean we're giving up on Second Life? Absolutely not. It is thanks to the Second Life community that our virtual world today is without question the best there is, and after 11 years we certainly have no intention of abandoning our users nor the virtual world they continually fill with their astounding creativity. Second Life has many years ahead of it, and in addition to improvements and new developments specifically for Second Life, we think that much of the work we do for the next generation project will also be beneficial for Second Life.

It's still very early days for this new project, and as we forge ahead in creating the next generation virtual world, we'll share as much as we can.

If we had one message to share with Second Life users about this new project at this point, it would be: don’t panic, get excited! Again, Second Life isn’t going away, nor are we ceasing our work to improve it. But, we’re also working on something that we think will truly fulfill the promise of virtual worlds that few people understand as well as Second Life users.


Peter Gray | Director of Global Communications

Linden Lab | Makers of Shared Creative Spaces

Check out what we're working on!

*Correction* I had the impression at first that Xymbers had contacted Pete Linden before getting the message. That wasn't the case. Pardon the error.

Game Review: Sniper Elite V2

Nydia Tungsten recently found the game "Sniper Elite 2" on Steam for the very low price of "free." So she got it to see how good it was. The game has the player taking a role of a sniper in the closing days of WW2, taking out important targets. So was this a bullseye, or did the game developers need to spend more time in the shooting range.

Read Nydia's review in Other Grids and MMOs.

Reactions to the News of SL 2.0

It's been a week since Ebbe Linden casually announced during a third-party viewer developers meeting that Linden Lab had another virtual world under development, one with next-generation technology. Word quickly spread not just across Second Life, but across forums, bulletin boards, social media, blogs, and other places Second Life users had a presence. Far more has been spoken than we have time to write about, but here are some reactions.

Jessica Lyon, the head of Team Firestorm, was at the meeting where Ebbe made his remarks. Later on the Firestorm Blog, she stated what she knew so far:

The new platform will not be open source, at least not at first, and so no third-party viewers.

Linden Lab will continue and maintain Second Life for as long as they consider it profitable. Second Life will be continued to be improved, but on a smaller scale.

The new platform will be made "in the spirit of Second Life," and will focus on content creators.

The new platform is still in it's very early stages. She guessed (correctly) that no beta would be around for at least a year.

One detail Jessica was unsure about was objects and items people have in their inventories and on their sims. The Lab had originally stated that they didn't want to limit the new Grid with backwards compatibility with items from the old one. But she felt this wasn't stated with 100% certainly. So maybe one's content, so maybe some content would be allowed over she reasoned.

Jessica appealed to Second Life residents not to stop renting land or making purchases, but to keep on doing so. She also appealed to residents to come up with ways to make Second Life a better place, "Your opinion matters more than ever! Think of one thing, whether a feature, fix, improvement, or whatever ... We are looking for a magic bullet silver bullet to give Oz that can be introduced to SL to make it bigger and better than ever before!"

For Jessica's post, "Second Life Needs You," in full, click here:

Whitburn Blackburn of the 'SLikely fashion blog was anxious and worried about not just about the Lab having the best interest of it's customers at heart, especially longtime users whom have invested much in the old Second Life, but that in trying to change from one Grid to another for another it will end up stumbling "along with two nonviable platforms to an eventual descent into mediocrity." If the Lab fails, "it may well be time to move completely back to real life and spent my money on other things."

For Whitburn's "The End of SL?," click here:

Prokofy Neva had quite a few things to say on the issue in his "Second Thoughts" blog. Some moves he felt were good, such as not making the new Grid open-source. He wasn't impressed with Oz Linden as the choice to head the part of the Lab in charge of maintaining "Legacy SL," calling him "the main open-source cult guru ... watch the JIRA close again." But the main point was "What can you take with you to the next world?" What will happen with those whom have invested years and thousands of dollars into Second Life? Prokofy felt the Lindens had an obligation to compensate them for their losses in some manner, "no company wants to have a compensation policy, but they must, and large land-owners should compel them to as they are losing big."

Read Prokofy's post in full here:

Ciaran Laval talked about Ebbe Linden's own answer to the increasing questions on his post in the official forums, then went on, "People seem to be reading between lines that don't exist ... if Linden Lab wanted to force-migrate people to their new world, a lot of people wouldn't go because their virtual world love is Second LIfe. ... it would be extremely foolish of Linden Lab to close Second LIfe, in the next few years, and to be fair to Linden Lab, there are absolutely no signs whatsoever that they intend to close Second Life."

To see Ciaran's post "We Will Continue to Invest in SL" in full:

Tonya Souther, Team Firestorm's head of the Apple viewer developers, made a comparison with the Osborne Computer Company, of which after the CEO announced better computers were on the way, the sales of their existing ones took a dive and eventually the business went under. Tonya felt the announcement, calculated or not, put Second Life at "risk of triggering the Osborne Effect. ... the only thing that could make it worse is the user community bailing prematurely."

Tonya felt Linden Lab's release dates for the new Grid were optimistic, "I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't really viable until Christmas 2017. Until that happens, LL will need money. Guess where they're going to get it? They have no other source of income. ...LL will continue to support, and ... enhance SL. ... They're hiring a bunch of people to take on a big challenge that will take years to pay off, and whether it will pay off at all is very much an open question." She would go on, "I'm not aware of any company that made the transition from open source to closed source and survived. ... keeping (the new grid) closed source would be a big 'f**k you' to a large part of the user community, and community is what LL has to have above all."

"No, the sky's not falling yet. It could though ... fortunately there's lots of time between now and then."

For Tonya's post, "The New SL Announcement" in full:

Press Release: Wounded Warriors Fundraiser This Sunday at Veteran's Isle

Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announces the sixth of 2014 Wounded Warriors benefits!  The fourth year running!

Frets Nirvana, the premier songwriting and guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce the sixth of the monthly series of Wounded Warriors benefits in Second Life for 2014.  This effort is now in it’s fourth year!

Frets Nirvana states:  “As a result of the support of many in Second Life this effort raised over $13000 in 2013 for WWP and prior to that $12000 in 2012.  2014 will be the fourth year that we are maintaining this effort and hopefully with all the great support of the artists and others in Second Life we will once again do well.  What a great thing it is to help the wounded veterans whose sacrifices allow us the freedom to enjoy things like Second Life.”

More than 50,000 troops have been injured in recent conflicts, many of them suffering traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and severe burns.  Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) provides services and programs to ease their burdens and aid in the transition back to civilian life.

Wounded Warriors concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The concert on June 29, 2014 is scheduled from 5-9 PM PST.  Featured artists will be Zak Claxton, Voodoo Shilton, Frets Nirvana and Noma Falta.

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Second Life Airlines

With the ability to teleport around, the idea of a "Second Life Airlines" may sound archaic. But for some  flying fans, it's no joke. Theonlyjohnny Resident came across a number of airplane groups known collectively as "Second Life Airlines" or the SLA. He took a closer look to see just what's involved with joining one as a pilot.

Read Theonlyjohnny's article in Extra.

Happy 11th Birthday SL!

By Grey Lupindo

The birthday celebrations for Second Life are always special for me because my first visit, many years ago, led to me becoming a news reporter here in SL.   I always look forward to the creativity, beauty, and great people that I meet there each year.   This year’s celebration features 8 areas – Astound, Beguile, Enchant, Fascinate, Pizzazz, Spectacular, Spellbound, and Wonderous – with hundreds of things to do and see.   But it was fitting that I started my visit at the SL Newser building, located on Fascinate at SLNewser Office Building, SL11B Fascinate #20, SL11B Fascinate (78, 87, 21).
       We have a great view from the conference room floor.  Early Monday morning I met up with fellow reporter Gemma Cleanslate, and we chatted a few minutes about the sights of SL11B.  After you check out the views, you can look at the cartoons to start your tour with a laugh.   On the second and third floor you will find our pictures, which link to our favorite articles.   I’m sure you’ll want to re-read all of them. 
          I met Motoko (marisa.warrhol) while she was visiting the news office.   She recommended that I see The Blackened Mirror, a nearby build by Aisling Sinclair.   This build is a movie set that lets you become part of the action.    Motoko said the movie set was awesome, and I agree.    It is located at L11B The Blackened Mirror, SL11B Fascinate (97, 112, 23).   The notecard states that it is, “... an animated television series that brings together elements of film noir, steampunk, and classic Lovecraftian horror. “   The show is produced here in SL, and can be seen on Treet TV, Aview TV, or on YouTube.  A HUD is included in their gift box so you can view the show in world, too.  Season 3 will be released in the Fall. 
        Next I began checking out some of our neighboring builds, beginning with Eternal Realms at  SL11B Fascinate (68, 32, 23).   This build features a mesh replica of an 1830 Victorian train.  It was created by Tintin Tuxing, and it also features great gifts.  I received a Victorian lamp and a mermaid golden harp.
            SL11B has a great treat for all of us who love to hunt.    The hunt will cover all of the regions over four paths.    A large sign in front of participating builds lets you know to hunt here.    You can start anywhere, but HUNT SL at SL11B Fascinate (110, 38, 24) was my choice as a starting point.   In addition to lots of well-hidden prizes, the huge tower has information about many of the upcoming hunts.   I ran into fellow hunt-lovers ScouseGirl and Bee Sopor here.  
            If mazes appeal to you, be sure to check out Amazing Dreamz at SL11B Fascinate (69, 198, 31).   I found this to be a very difficult maze.  It was created by arniek Resident.    Inside are a tangle of colorful halls and ramps and many dead ends.   I finally gave up and cheated.  I flew to the rooftop patio where I could relax with Tai Chi and the soothing sounds of the waterfall. 
           My last stop for the day was at Relay For Life of Second Life, SL11B Fascinate (141, 189, 21).   This quiet spot is a beautiful garden with lovely music and places to relax.  They call it “A serene look into the future when the cure for cancer has been found.”   A lovely thought for a lovely place.

          A complete list of all the sights and events on Fascinate, as well as the other sims, can be found on the SL11B website at

Grey Lupindo

Press Release: Madonna Virtual History Tour to Hold Event For "Feed a Smile"

(Click here for the video)

- SATURDAY JULY 12, 1 PM SLT @ IGBC for the charity event FEED A SMILE
Rehoboth Park, IGBC Gay Rehoboth (219, 103, 800)
A special charity event in partnership with IGBC!

100% of donations will go to "Feed a Smile"
Feed a Smile is a project of Live in Learn in Kenya International. We raise funds to feed very poor children on the Live and Learn in Kenya Int'l program in Nakuru - Kenya. Become part of making the world a better and nice place to live in for hundreds of children on the program. A warm meal for a hungry child only cost 100 Lindens...

Make a difference and have fun doing it!

The event is one of three shows for the Virtual History Tour, "Each show will have some songs not performed in the others, so we'll play in 3 shows all our songs! We have also NEW SONGS, new and updated sets, so join us for this special Tour 'Love Makes The World Go Round' ! The revolution of Love is on!"

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cartoon of the Day: The SL11B

Taken somewhere at the SL11B. I'll have to credit Crap Mariner for this joke.

This is the first cartoon I've done without the benefit of the "Fototrix," which I used since Dana Vanmoer told me about it several years ago.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Racer X Gullwing's 10th Rezzday

Not many in Second Life can lay claim to being around for ten years. One whom recently made this milestone number is RacerX Gullwing, noted for being the organizer of the Giant Snail Races. Since one only celebrates their tenth rezzday once, he and his friends threw a party. And what a party it was.

Read more in Events.

SL11B: Tips For a Good Visit

 After weeks of preparation and work on the part of the staff, the SL11Birthday celebration is finally here! Remember the first week will be party, party, party! Three stages full of entertainment  , live and djs . The schedule for each is on the website. The delightful outdoor Auditorium will host a number of speakers on many various issues for residents so take a good look at that schedule also. There will be lag of course so dress accordingly and come with fewer huds and embellishments to your avatar for comfort. 

Since the 11 sims will remain open for a second week for viewing all the marvelous builds created especially for this event you should get a chance to see a lot. I caution you , though I have been there already for three weeks I have not seen everything and don’t expect to. Past experience tells me I won’t. There is so much to look at and investigate. 

Don’t forget there is a hunt going on in all the sims in various builds. You will see a sign at those sites and need to take the time to go in and find your gift. Some creators also have their own freebie gifts set out for you too. I made a special folder for items picked up there so I can be “organized “ (laughs out loud). 

I strongly recommend that you take a pod tour to see just what is there. There is a tour for the eastern sims and another for the western. It is narrated so you can see what you are passing by. Hop out anytime you want at a site. There are friendly greeters who can help you get around and pass out information. Don’t miss the vendors containing a special robot for the occasion and teddy bears and more

The best place to get all the information you need to move around the sims is the website. Keep this close and have a great time!!

Gemma Cleanslate

SL 2.0 To Be Out As Beta 2015, Completed 2016

A release date has finally been given for the next generation virtual world Ebbe Linden announced Linden Lab was working on. In  an interview with Roberto Baldwin of "The Next Web," Ebbe gave the release date of the beta as "expected to be launched in 2015 with the final version sometime in 2016. He told the internet magazine they would be hiring forty to fifty more people for its development.

Ebbe told Baldwin that this new virtual world will offer new and better toold for content creators, and everything that makes Second Life attractive for it's residents will be available in its successor. So why not just keep on updating Second Life? Ebbe's answer was, "We're not going to constrain ourselves with backwards compatibility."

Baldwin also talked about Oculus Rift and development for interaction with Second Life.

Source: The Next Web

Hat Tip: Jo Yardley

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SL11B Press Day

The day before the Second Life Eleventh Birthday was officially opened to the public, it was opened to the press. As an exhibitor, Second Life's editor Bixyl Shuftan had already been seeing exhibits. But he dropped by the press tour anyway. The result was some perspectives on a few places he hadn't noticed before.

See scenes from the Press Day in Extra.

Events This Week June 24 to June 30

It's a week full of events in Second Life. First on the list is The event of the year, the Second Life Eleventh Birthday celebration. Eight days and eleven sims of exhibitions, performances, and discussions at the Auditorium. The relay continues with events big and small, including the Second Life Editor himself on the line with one of the Sunbeamer team's events. And then there's the regularly scheduled DJ and live music parties, talk shows, book and poetry readings, and church services.

Read more in Events this Week.

Relay For Life Sunbeamers Team's "Bid Me Skunky"

It was spring 2011 when yours truly volunteered himself for the first of three Relay for Life Passionate Redheads' "Bid Me Human" events. The results were 29,000 Lindens raised, and I ended up "tall, dark and handsome," but bald and tailless for about a month. But the Redheads would on with two other "Bid Me" events that year, the third one was when the Sunweaver chief Rita Mariner put herself on the line and raised nearly 75,000 Lindens, although she was stuck furless until just before the Relay Walk. These would help pave the way for the Redheads' most successful season.

Three years later, the Redheads have been retired, and the Sunbeamers have taken their place. To help give the team a jump start in their fundraising, Rita once again put herself on the line with a "Bid Me Male." The result was her going about as "Pepe Le Pew" until close to the end of the Relay season. So a few others have taken a step forward as a result. Popular DJ and writer Perri Prinz has offered herself for a "Bid Me Human," as has Brandi Tungsten Streusel the owner of "Brandi's Intimates" (aka "Brandi's Panties"). Skylark Lefavre, whom was in a "Bid Me Human" event last year that raised 30,000 Lindens, has volunteered for another "Bid Me." Hers will have options to have her stuck as a mouse or a skunk for a month. All three will have kiosks up at Cutlass for the option of making them either change or remain the same.

And then, there's me. Against my better judgement, I once again stuck my hide out to possibly take one for the team.

Another "Bid Me Human?" Not this time as it's still fresh in my mind, as well as some questions I had concerning that particular avatar have been answered. So I offered to be stuck as an anthro skunk avatar until the Relay Weekend Track exhibits have been taken down. Besides being a fellow stinker for Rita, and possibly Skylark, "Stinky the Skunk" is still around with the Relay, so this choice has a few reasons behind it, in addition to the mephit's infamous bio-weapon.

Two relay kiosks have been set up at Club Cutlass, one for bids to allow me to remain my foxy self. The other is for those whom think I need to raise more of a stink when delivering the news. Since the bidding started, the team total has gone  to over 180,000, and last I saw the two kiosks were running close.

The kiosks will remain up until  Club Cutlass' party on Saturday July 5th, when at 8PM their totals will be compared, and the higher one determining my look for the next month.

To bid on one kiosk or the other, head to Sunweaver Space (176/62/125).

Bixyl Shuftan

Interview By The SL Enquirer's Lanai Jarrico

With the paper recently celebrating it's fourth anniversary, Lanai Jarrico, the editor of the Second Life Enquirer took note. About that time, she interviewed me for her paper. On Monday June 23, the article went up.

Lanai's article can be found (here).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pine Lakes

Theonlyjohnny's explorations recently took him to a place called Pine Lakes. This Roleplay community got his attention for a few reasons, the sim design, the first class deli, and more. But what truly got his attention was the people.

Read Theonlyjohnny's article in Places.

Book Island Open Mic

Among the events at Book Island is the Sunday Open Mic. Here, people can read segments of their story to a group of others over voice. Grease attended a recent once, reading a segment of a story from when he was "won" in an auction. So how did he do compared to the others?

Read Grease's story in People.

SL Video: " SL11B - Here We Go ... Almost!"

(Click here if the video fails to load)

From Canale di Pallina60Loon, "Some SL11B shooting video before opening to the public."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Classic SLN Cartoons

Once again, the website where I turn screenshots into cartoons is down. So here's another of my favorites from the now gone Second Life Newspaper, from Nov 2009.

By Bixyl Shuftan

The SL11B Begins Today

After all the preparing, the building, and general getting ready, it's time for the show to begin. The SL11B starts today. At Noon, head on over here to eleven sims of exhibits and events.

For more about the SL11B, check the event's official webpage:

The SL Newser office exhibit is at SL11B Fascinate (78/87/21/)

Firestorm Team Member Chakat Northspring Discusses Ebbe Linden Mentioning Development of New Virtual World

(Click here if the video fails to load)

Chakat Northspring (Panterapolnocy Resident) provided this recording of this meeting on Friday June 20 between Ebbe Linden and a few others from Linden Lab, and a number of Third Party Viewer team developers. Just after minute 58 begins, a conversation starts that leads to Ebbe Linden saying that Linden Lab has been working on a next generation virtual world. Word quickly spread in and out of Second Life, including the Second Life Universe forums.

I talked to Northspring a few hours later. She told me the "meeting was planned as usual, Noon-1 pm. Ebbe started to talk shortly before end, after dropping in late, and meeting ended at 2 pm. So, yes, Second Life next gen. And he didn't even announce it. He discussed it - as well as few other topics, like communication with TPV, users of SL, marketing etc."

I asked her if most of the Lab's development was aimed at this new Grid. She answered, "Some devs are allocated there, yes, but that team here is still leaded by Oz, and improvements for SL are on the way as well." Northspring added, "This SL 2.0 won't be even publicily available for some long time. Ebbe just gave insight on plans and things in progress. After all, Lab is a company, (a) business. Oz said, that as long as SL will be profitable ... they'll be developing it. So it's not like shutting down SL and forcing people to SL2."

"Sorry for my grammar," she commented, "I'm trying to wrap my head around this misinformation nonsense on blogs, reading all rumor posts."

I asked if this new Grid would be closed to content from Second Life, that content creators would be unable to upload it. Northspring answered, "Yes, Ebbe said that, actually. But as I've said, not in the content of announcement, rather loose thought. They want to make that "new grid" better, not flooded with old assets from 2007... but Ebbe actually said something about import/export. I can't recall now what exactly, probably that it's not too possible, but he's aware of the problem, that starting from scratch would be hard." She brought up Ebbe Linden's Twitter, "His answer actually answers your question better. They generally want new, good content - not old asset system. But they're thinking. That's how I understood it. 'Will we be able to upload any of our SL stuff? Maybe just mesh or nothing at all?' - 'Too early to tell. All I've said is that we don't want the next gen to be constrained to be less than what it should be.' Key is 'too early to tell.' He just shared an insight, and now SL is flamed up with drama."

Northspring went on, "And it's actually a good thing, that he shared it. Linden Lab was never so open for long time, and we can look in the future with them. Well... they've made Patterns. No one in SL died because of that. " She mentioned the blogs that were spreading rumors and panic, and rolled her eyes, "SLU and several blogs already, one hour after meeting finish."

Northspring went on, " About being profitable - Oz said, in content of  'how long (the) original SL would go.' that as long as it'll be profitable - 'months, years, forever - I don't know.' the word 'forever' suggests for me, that SL original and planned 2.0 can coesist, if they'll be both profitable."

"The fun part is, that this project was in development for 2 years and now people wake up, when Ebbe is starting to say about pre-alpha testing. And he just shared this info with us." Northspring then espressed worry, "I'm actually pretty afraid, that Ebbe will now stop to share any information with community because of this one reaction. After all, there goes his weekend. I hope they won't do it."

Northspring would later start a post on the forum, which you can find (here). "I admire (honesty)," she stated there, "Linden Lab's probably never been so open with respect to the members enough to communicate transparently with projects of this type and to respond to the unofficial forum (skipping that desire wystopowania panic). It is very good that Ebbe became the 'head' Linden Lab - and that is so honest, although its PR department is not necessarily (sharing) the same opinion."

"draw your own conclusions by the brain, rather than succumb to the general panic and rumors."

More on Ebbe's announcement can be found at:

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, June 21, 2014

SL Video: "Sexy Jalapeno"

Another video from Nydia Tungsten, "Hot girls dancing to a HOT topic, The Sauerkraut's "Jalapeno." This is just a silly song just thrown together so I can learn new software. Thank you Brandi abd Sawyer for joining me in this. I have been getting a lot of feedback about having skunks in the videos. If you want more, leave a comment, or if you want more of something else, let me know. "

Don't Panic

It's been crazy dealing with the "big news" that landed on our heads. And it's been a busy couple of days. We'll have something soon about it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Be A Work of Art and Buy a Work of Art: Relay Wizards Plan an Event

DrFran Babcock has been a bit busier than usual in Second Life. Recently, she has been helping the Relay for Life team she's a part of, the Relay Wizards for Spunky. This weekend, the Wizards are planning two events, an art auction that includes works by some noted Second Life personalities, and a costume ball. DrFran describes some about her team and the auction and ball.

Read DrFran's article in Events.

Interview with Fantasy Author Amehana Ishtari About "Castle and Wells Selkie Skins"

Grease Coakes recently interviewed Amehana Ishtari, a Fantasy writer whom got her inspiration for her recent story, "Castle and Wells Selkie Skins" from her activities within Second Life. Grease asked her about where the idea for her book came from, a few questions about the plot, and a few other things about writing, Second Life, and more.

Read Grease's interview in People.