Monday, March 19, 2018

Ebbe Linden Speaks at the VWBPE

On Thursday March 15, Ebbe Linden (Ebbe Altberg) spoke at an event for the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference. This was the fourth year he had done so. Unlike the first two times, he did not speak live in front of an audience at the conference, but did so in a livestreamed interview in front of a small number of people. Also there answering some questions was Bret Linden (Bret Atwood).

Ebbe described the topic of education as "core to the idea of what Second Life is." Sansar was mainly focused on "revenue and user growth. And so education would be a tough area for us to spend money on ..." but still wanted educational areas to be part of their new virtual world. Ebbe brought up places such as the Apollo Museum and virtual replicas of an ancient Egyptian tomb. Of ease of use for the disabled, Ebbe conceeded that, "Sansar actually has a ways to go, and might actually be way more restricted with accessibility for some time to come, compared to Second Life."

Ebbe stated that Linden Lab was still putting money in Second Life, "we’re still really serious about our investment in Second Life, and the team is very motivated and dedicated to get growth .... So it’s not something that we’re just letting run its course or milking for revenues, or anything like that." He admitted that the price of virtual land was high, and would shift revenue from Second Life away from that and toward other fees, comparing them to "consumption taxes." He went on to say that this shift would benefit nonprofits as they would be paying less for land, of which they already get a 50% discount.

Of the topic of building in Sansar, Ebbe stated that unlike Second Life, Sansar builders would have to continue to rely on third-party platforms, "because we have to do so many things, we chose specifically chose not to focus on the creation of original content, if you will. There’s so many great third-party tools ..." Sansar also differs from Second Life in that if no one is visiting a region, after a few minutes it shuts down. If someone wants to visit it, it only takes a few seconds to turn it back on. He wondered if it might be possible to do something similar with Second Life someday.

Improvements in Second Life itself would include animesh and weather control. Ebbe also hinted there would also be better ways to combat griefers. Some questions were asked after the stream was done. Of the Teen Grid, Ebbe stated there were no plans to bring it back, though the issue could be up for discussion "later next year."

To watch the discussion, one can still see the recording on Youtube Gaming. There is also a transcript provided by Inara Pey.

Bixyl Shuftan

Linden Lab Updates Linden Realms Game: The Wrath of Ruth

The first of Second Life's big games created by Linden Lab is getting an update.

Linden Realms now looks ablaze. Buildings and trees are now on fire. The once blue skies have an orange hue. Just what happened here? It seems that the antagonist in the "Tyrah and the Magical Glytches" game, Ruth, has used Magellan's coffin to knock a comet off course and sent it into the Linden Realms area.

(Click here if the video fails to play)

The gameplay itself remains the same, go to Tyrah's base to accept missions, collect crystals, and avoid dangers such as fireballs, poisoned water, and all of those rock monsters. And you'll be getting a few Linden dollars for doing so.

For more details, check the official Second Life blog.

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Relay Registration Opening Today

Registration will open this morning, March 19th at 8 am SLT.

If you need help, one of these amazing volunteers will be glad to help you:

Prettykitty Gumbo
TS Darrow
Spook Maroon
Gem Sunkiller
Oldesoul Eldemar
Lyrica Dawnfire
MamaP Beerbaum

Go Relay!

Press Release: VWBPE Announces 2018 Thinkerer Award Recipient: Vallibrarian!

In 2014, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Organizational Committee instituted a new personal achievement award to recognize an individual who has provided outstanding service to both the field of education and the virtual world community at large.

The Thinkerer Award is presented to an individual whose deeds and actions have shown a consistent selfless service towards the promotion of learning, community, educational practices, and who exemplifies the spirit of cooperative development within immersive environments.

Recipients of this award are not simply outstanding professionals in their field. Award recipients must characterize transformational leadership qualities to:

- envision and guide change;
- enhance the motivation, morale, and performance of both peers and pupils;
- promote best practices and continuous improvement; and
- inspire others through their words and actions.

Dr. Valerie Hill – Valibrarian in virtual worlds – is the director of the Community Virtual Library in Second Life and Kitely. Dr. Hill served as a school librarian for twenty years and has taught literature and information science at all grade levels from kindergarten through college. As a National Writing Trainer, Dr. Hill specializes in connecting literature to writing. Her research focus centers on the intersection of information literacy and libraries with virtual worlds and digital culture.

Valibrarian believes digital citizenship is essential to learning in today’s metamodern post-Gutenberg era. Virtual worlds provide persistent spaces to help learners navigate learning landscapes in all forms: physical, virtual or augmented. A passion for literacy and learning has led Val to champion virtual worlds through connecting educators, learners and learning communities in virtual worlds.

Val was presented with the Librarian of the Year for Lewisville ISD in 2010 and Texas Computer Education Association Librarian of the Year Finalist in 2007.

After serving as a school librarian and professor of library and information science, Valibrarian, along with her Community Virtual Library colleagues in Second Life, Kitely and web-based Cybalounge, strive to share best practices of education in virtual worlds. Through sharing both the highest quality immersive simulations and educational virtual communities of interest, learning opportunities not found in physical classrooms or online platforms can be accessed for critical thinking and collaborative learning.

It is for all these reasons, and more, that the VWBPE Organizational Committee proudly confirms Valerie Hill, our Valibrarian, as the VWBPE 2018 Thinkerer Award recipient.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Dance at Andrea's Place in Caledon

Many places are having St. Patrick's Day events, including Club Cutlass today. But on Tuesday March 13, a few nights before the holiday, Andrea's Place at Caledon would have it's themed event that evening.

A number of Caledonians, and friends of, were part of the event. This included Cynthia Farshore, who was playing the music, and Shockwave Yareach.

It 'twas a merry event with plenty o' music n' dancin'.

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Kokomo"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

By Chini Roo in Nov 2011

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nydia Tungsten's Daughter Gives Birth to Baby Boy

Nydia Tungsten has been called many things, DJ, club owner, sim estate manager, community leader, writer, published author, and more. But now you can add another to the list: grandmother.

Her daughter, nicknamed "Bug," was at the local hospital in delivery yesterday. Nydia would give occasional updates in both Discord and in group chat. Finally, she gave the following announcement:

Welcome Gideon Xavier
12:53 am 16 March 2018
8 lb's 12.9 oz 20.5 in

Welcome to the newest member of Nydia's family. 

Announcement: The Goblin Cave Brings Movies Back to The Sunweavers

    The Goblin Cave is happy to announce that movies will resume being shown. The screen provided by Cynthia Farshore will run movies from youtube while in the meantime her partner Shockwave Yareach repairs a sever for increase selections and performance. The movies will be shown on Sundays starting at 6PM SLT. This time the movies will be functioning differently than pervious times. The movie starts at 6PM SLT however if you arrive after that time you will still see the beginning of the movie. This is the nature of running from youtube. This will mean that the ones who come in earlier will be seeing the movie more advanced. Please realize that commenting during the movie will be confusing if you are not aware of this. We hope this corrects in the future when the system can run on it's own server but till then at least you have a movie to watch! Since those who come in later will still be seeing the movie the player will be allowed to remain on till all have left the cave. may the ones of the earlier not tell what happens. Also of note, there is a remote monitor on the lower level next to the hot tub so you can relax and watch. The first movie running this Sunday March 18th will be Operation Petticoat.

Cynthia Farshore

Barney Helps Alien Invasion at Zeta Valley

Remember when the Zeta Valley Club had to deal with an alien invasion? It seems the aliens came back and they had an ally: Barney the Dinosaur.

 "Bix, you missed the epic Barney battle," Geerkil told me. "Yes what a war," LS Raccoon added. "Happens when you are not here to cover it. the aliens came back." Apparently Clockwork Jackal and his friend Biohazard were dealing with a second force of aliens, smaller than the first one that hit a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, more trouble showed up. "Then all hell broke loose," Geerkil told me. What was the form of the hell? It was Barney.

Yep, the purple dinosaur who sings songs that brainwash little kids into loving him and sends adults running away screaming came to the club as the fighting with the aliens started up. The purple horror would be a nightmare in itself. The good news, no one had to deal with the accused music that works on the brains of adults like sandpaper and has proved an effective interrogation method at Guantanamo Bay. The bad news, he was sporting a weapon, and joined the fight by firing at the club's defenders.

"Barney armed with a grenade launcher took on two foes," Geerkil told me, "Barney was defending the aliens." "Yeah, he was battling Biohazard and Clockwork," JB Raccoon added.

Clockwork and Biohazard might have been able to repulse the aliens with firearms alone. But with the dreaded purple monstrosity added to the assault force, it was decided there was no choice but to use their weapon of last resort: a mini-nuke. So like the first battle with the aliens a few weeks ago, this battle ended with a mushroom cloud over the club. When it cleared, the aliens, and the purple nightmare were gone. By morning, the radiation levels were back down, and all damage was repaired.

While these particular aliens may have been disposed of, Barney is assumed to have survived the nuke. Such abominable evil has a way of surviving to strike again.

Image Credit: Tech Adams

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Come Celebrate SL Women With Us!

We ran a little late for International Women's Day, but we're making up for it by celebrating 10 Second Life women who have, through their work, have made SL a better place.

The celebration is this Sunday, March 18 from 10am to Noon SLT at The Art Cafe in Locus Amoensis, a region that is part of the Confederated Democratic Simulators.

We will have a poster honoring each woman, a small women's art exhibit, food, dance and music by pianist Sandia Beaumont.

We look forward to having you present for this occasion.

Our 2018 honorees are:

Bryn Oh
Nuala Marcus
Strawberry Singh
Caryl Meredith
Marianne McCann
Rosie Gray
Sudane Erato
Robin Sojourner Wood
Treacle Darlandes

Announcement: Univ of Hawaii, Astronomy Presents: "The Interest in our Stars II"

By Lucas Lavin, Jordan Vaughn, Zain Jabbar
Friday, Mar 16th at 9:30 PM PDT
Institute for Astronomy - U. Hawaii Astronomy Amphitheater: 

And on the web:

Maui is one of the best places in the world to study the stars. Several local students, who identify as "minions," have started journeys to understand the Universe. Four of these students will share their interest in our stars. Lucas Lavin will look at when star's don't quite collide. Jordan Vaughn will talk about the search for a new home; is there another Earth out there? Zain Jabbar talks about holes in the atmosphere of our sun. Finally, Celeste Jongeneelen will talk about using the Gaia satellite to look for the fastest stars in the galaxy.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

VWBPE List of Events

The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education starts today. For three days, starting with the opening ceremony at 8AM, there will be a number of discussions and other events, including one with Ebbe Linden at 1PM SL time. A list of them has been provided, too big for the main page, so they're placed in the "Events" section.

To read the schedule, head to Events.

Press Release: Labor Tech Discussion at Virtual Ability

Labor Tech discussion
Hosted by Tom Boellstorff and Winifred Poster
FRIDAY March 16, 8-10am SLT
Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability

Join us on Friday, March 16, 8AM SLT for an informal discussion about labor and technology. Some members of an informal group of researchers studying labor and digital technology (for instance: call centers, “sharing economy” things like Uber and AirBnB, uses of social network sites like Facebook and Instagram for earning money) are going to make brief presentations about their research, and we’ll have a couple of brief presentations about some research about labor and disability in Second Life too. There will be plenty of time for open discussion. Please join us!

Tom Boellstorff is an anthropology professor from the University of California at Irvine. He is the author of the book "Coming of Age in Second Life."

With support from the National Science Foundation, Tom and Donna Davis (University of Oregon) are engaged in an SL research project “Virtual Worlds, Disability, and New Cultures of the Embodied Self.” How is the internet changing how people think of themselves as individuals and interact as members of communities? For this project, they focus on the disability experience in virtual worlds  where disabled persons can appear any way they choose and do things they may not be able to do in the physical world.

Since some early human first picked up a stick to use as a cane, people with disabilities have been at the forefront of technology innovation. What can their creative uses of and adaptions to online social interaction teach us? Tom and Donna explore this question by collaborating with disabled persons as they create and interact socially in virtual worlds, and discover how they use different kinds of devices in their homes to experience these online environments.

This research will have implications for improving health care and social support. But it also will use the insights of disabled persons to better understand now new online technologies influence how we think about our bodies, how we think about social interaction, and how we think about the role of the internet in everyday life.

Winifred Poster is a professor in the International & Area Studies / International Affairs Program at Washington University, St. Louis. She is the author of "Invisible Labor: Hidden work in the contemporary world" and "Borders in Service: Enactments of nationhood in transnational call centres."

Her areas of interest are feminist labor theory, digital globalization, and Indian outsourcing.  For the past two decades, she has been following high-tech firms from the US to India, both in earlier waves of computer manufacturing and software, and more recent waves of back-office work and call centers.  Her focus is on the intersection of post-colonial computing with the political economy of service labor.  She's curious how information communication technologies are changing the meaning of work, dispersing it transnationally, incorporating new types of workers, and reshaping identities.

Presented in voice with text transcription.

Reader Submitted: Trailer Trashed

While at one of Montecito Bay's parties, Lem Aiko (LemonPledge Resident) handed this picture to me, "Bajo wrecked my car into the roof of my trailer and it caught fire!"

DrRedRedWine Resident, who was nearby and knew what was going on, remarked, "He's remodeling Lem's trailer!"

Hopefully Montecito Bay's insurance company pulled through on the replacement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Breaking News: Mainland Tier Reduced By 10%, Premium Residents' Free Land Doubled

For those who say "the tier payments are too darn high," some good news, at least those who live on the mainland. Earlier today, Linden Lab announced "Effective immediately, we’ve reduced Mainland costs by over 10 percent." They have also doubled the small amount of free land that Premium accounts get, from 512 square meters to 1024 square meters, or about a quarter acre.

This news does not directly affect those on private sims or free accounts. What it looks like is Linden Lab is trying to encourage people to buy up mainland parcels, of which much is empty land, and encouraging more residents to go Premium. How successful will it be? Time will tell.

Bixyl Shuftan

Cartoon of the Day

From Zeta Valley

By Bixyl Shuftan

Ark Survival Evolved Update: New Map, New Version, and Lots of Mods

It's been a little over a year since I last wrote about Ark Survival Evolved. In that time, quite a lot has happened. Mods have been introduced to the game to give it interesting and helpful twists. There's a new official map: Ragnarok. There's a new version of the game out: Aberration. And of course there's more dinosaurs to fight or tame. But the game itself remains the same: survive hostile dinosaurs, and in certain servers hostile players, and improve yourself, your tools and weapons, and your home base.

Read more in Other Grids, MMOs, and Games.

Update: Five New Sims in Project Elemenoh Cluster

 On March 5, the Newser reported on thirteen new sims that Tyche Shepherd called part of "Project Elemenoh." These thirteen sims were part of a cluster of sims that were closed to the public. On March 11, Tyche posted in the SL Universe forums that there were more sims that had joined those in the group.

Curiously, Tyche stated that there were four new sims, but there was a fifth that wasn't there before as well. The apparent oldest sim is SI B, and the other four are SI QA LDPacksA, SI QA LDPacksB, SI Build LDPacksA, and SI Build LDPacksB. Exactly what these five sims will be used for is unknown, though Tyche commented, "All has a whiff of mole if you ask me," referring to Linden Lab's moles.

Nothing new has been learned about the previous sims yet. Stay tuned for further updates.

Hat Tip: Hamlet Au

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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

It's a week full of events, St. Patrick's and otherwise, at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in "W," TBA, St. Patrick's

The Happy Vixen: Long Tails and Ears, Gods and Goddesses, Canines and Canids, Best in Green, Celtic, TV Shows, Anything But Clothing, CAYA

Club Zero Gravity: TBA

Montecito Bay: Cyberpunk, Electro Mashups, Gamers, 70s - 90s, After Dark, CAYA

Furry Fashion Lounge: Disney, Leather, Lace, and Latex, Monsters, Goth vs Punk, Barely There, Best in Green, Wings, CAYA

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'

Reader Submitted: Unintended Performance

Jasmine Dawn had an interesting story to tell the other night. "You know what Umbra did the other night?" She had been at one of the Happy Vixen Beach Club's events, which is not far from her cottage, "I was up on the roof of the club dancing around (next to) Geer, nodded off, (and) woke up to still dancing back in my house. He (Umbra) had pushed me off the roof, across the land, down the dock, up the stairs, in the house, placed himself at my oriental string instrument, and recorded me dancing while I was afk."

So here you are Umbra. With Jasmine's okay to the Newser, here's her unintended performance.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education

The 11th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education event, sometimes called the VWBPE for short, will be in a few days. It describes itself as a "global grass-roots community" with the purpose of demonstrating how virtual worlds, notably Second Life, can and are being used for the purpose of education. Gemma Cleanslate was recently at the VWBPE grounds, and took a look around.

Read Gemma's article in Events.

Press Release: VWBPE 2018 Kick-Off: “VRevolutions”

March 15 starts the three-day Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, with an amazing line-up of speakers, workshops, sim demonstrations, poster presentations, open discussions, and more.  The conference will cover a wide range of subjects concerning virtual worlds and their use for education, virtual reality, smart games, arts and science, and the future of technology.

This year's keynote speakers are Dr. Mark Childs and Dr. Bryan Alexander ( They will help us consider the future of virtual worlds and virtual reality in education.

Each VWBPE conference keynote speaker and their respective presentations is featured on the conference website (, along with a calendar of exciting presentations, social activities, and networking events that will set extraordinary discussions in motion. 

We have Immersive Experiences happening before and after  the conference. Our Passport to the Metaverse Quest ( is the ticket to all of our extra-conference activities including wonderful applications of Second Life, Kitely, and World of Warcraft in education.

Additionally, this open and free conference would not be possible without the generous contributions of our VWBPE sponsors (

The Rockcliffe Registration Portal is open for people to register new avatars and find out more about the VWBPE conference in-world. Go to and all the instructions are there to get your friends started.

The full conference schedule is online here: You can also view presentations live on YouTube ( All of the conference events will be in Second Life this year, and the locations are included in the listings. When you click on a conference event and click Add to Calendar, you can add the event to your own calendar (Google+ and more).


VWBPE Main Auditorium

Keynote: Identity, literacy, immersion and presence; joining together the building blocks of virtual world learning
Dr. Mark Childs
TEL Designer, Open University
Thursday, March 15, 2018
9:30 – 10:30am SLT/US Pacific Daylight Time
VWBPE Main Auditorium

Keynote: The VRevolution calls for a new digital literacy
Bryan Alexander
Education Futurist
Friday, March 16, 2018
11:00am – 12:00pm  SLT/US Pacific Daylight Time
VWBPE Main Auditorium

**Above the Book**

Above the Book at the VWBPE 2018 Conference will feature Ebbe Altberg (SL: Ebbe Altberg). This session will be Livestreamed.

Rockcliffe Registration Portal:

Beth S. O’Connell
VWBPE Communications Chair
Avatar: Beth Ghostraven

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cartoon of the day: Switcharoo

Taken at the Happy Vixen. When a furry has a pet monkey around, one wonders.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, March 10, 2018

SL Video: "She Wolf by Shakira"

(Click here if the video fails to play)

By Mystic Sabreonic on October 2009, "Ever since I heard this song I wanted to put together a video with Mystic cause she is in fact, a She Wolf. xD Mystic (c) me, other characters (c) their owners, avatars (c) their makers, song (c) Shakira!"

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Yamato Memorial

Some battleships live on in history, such as the Missouri and the Bismark. For Japan, the one that lives on in their memory is the Yamato. The vessel is noted for two things. It was the the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleship. But it is also remembered for it's final voyage, a one-way mission which was a last-ditch attempt to defend it's homeland. The ship has been in and out of Second Life a few times over the years. Recently, it came back after an absence of several months. It's not the only warship in the area, but there are others worth seeing.

Read more in Places.

SLife and Times: Instant Judgement Misconceptions

You may have come across them before, people whom when Second Life is mentioned think it's weird. But a few of you may have run into someone who thinks it's more than that, but downright mentally toxic. And then there are those inworld whom will have nothing to do with a particular group of residents, such as those in furred avatars, because of one incident with one errant individual that gave them the impression every single person with his kind of appearance acts like him. Some time ago, I had a confrontation with one of the former, and recently a talk with one of the latter.

Read more in People.

Announcement: This Week At The Science Circle: "Punctuated Equilibrium, Neoteny, and Evolution"

"Punctuated Equilibrium, Neoteny, and Evolution: A tribute to the late Dr. Stephen Jay Gould"
Saturday, March 10 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST     
by Dr. William F. Schmachtenberg (Dae Miami SL) 
"Stephen Jay Gould was undoubtedly one of the most influential scientists of the 20th Century who along with Niles Eldredge published the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium. He was a prolific author of many articles on Neoteny, and other ideas that revolutionized biologists ideas of evolution. I had the fortune to attend several of his lectures as well as interview him at Harvard University before his untimely death in 2002. I will be sharing my personal reflections on this great scientist as well as sharing unpublished correspondence with Dr. Gould."

Read more information here.

The Science Circle (61/127/32)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Announcement: Jill MacKenzie Has Died

For those who who have not heard the news, Relay For Life lost a long time friend today with the passing of Jill MacKenzie.  Jill was instrumental in Relay, AviChoice and many of the creative aspects of our world.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and her friends. She will be missed not just by all who were graced by her friendship but Second Life as a whole.

From RFL Volunteers

Press Release: Bay City Reaches a Milestone Anniverary

First Mole Project Hits the Decade Mark.

BAY CITY, SL (6 March, 2018) -

Bay City, the first project undertaken by the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works, turns ten years old this May, and in honor of this achievement, residents of Bay City will once again host an annual parade through the city, followed by a live music event in the Bay City fairgrounds.

Bay City opened in May of 2008 to initial viewing, with parcels being auctions throughout the city soon after. In 2011, it's land mass doubled, as it absorbed the copy of Bay City that existed on the former Teen Grid. It has developed into the largest community-focused virtual urban area in Second Life.

Parade participants are asked to gather at noon SLT/PDT on Sunday, the 21st of May, to lineup at the band shell in Bay City - Harwich. The parade will wend its way down Route 66 beginning at 12:30 p.m. SLT/PDT, and will conclude at the Bay City Fairgrounds in the North Channel region.

A live concert will kick off at 1:30 p.m. SLT/PDT at the Fairgrounds with DJ GoSpeed Rasere of KONA Stream providing music leading into the event until 1:30 p.m.SLT/PDT , followed by Parker Static from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. SLT/PDT, Erika Ordinary from 2:30-3:30 p.m. SLT/PDT, and Stratus Mactavish from 3:30-4:30 p.m. SLT/PDT.

All Residents of the Second Life grid are welcomed to participate. Celebration goods, including parade float bases and ideas, are available at the Bay City Community Center, in the Daley Bay region for those who wish to be a part of the parade. Ample viewing areas are provided. The music event is also open to all who desire to attend -- not only Residents of Bay City

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab™ and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life® and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest Bay city group, and home to most Residents of Bay City.

For more information, contact: Marianne McCann

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: ET Not Phoning Home

Taken at "The Pen" in Bay City

By Bixyl Shuftan

Tranquility Health Care

Last month, Kimiko Kanagowa (FoxytheJamie Resident) raised the question of where to find help for mental wellness in Second Life. A few months ago, the Newser wrote about one place that's been known for a while: Survivors of Suicide. But are there other groups? The answer is yes. Among them is the Tranquility Health Care clinic in Sorens. Kimiko met up with the founder, Steffi Sugabum, to talk about the group.

Read more in People.

Annoncement: RFL Carnival is Open

We are starting early here, the Carnival is up and open for everyones' enjoyment, Come on over and ride the rides, play the games. Keep an eye on upcoming events! Including several auctions with some really cool items from Doe, Fapple and other places! Auctions will include Gacha Rare items and sets.

(Disclaimer - this is an adult sim. Nudity and Sex are NOT allowed at the beach/Carnival)

"Dead Space" Sci-Fi Horror Game Being Given Away

For gamers looking for a deal, Origin is offering the sci-fi horror first-person shooter game "Dead Space" for free. The only catch is downloading client software and accepting their terms of use, that and for this particular game not being too scared of half-alien zombie monsters.

In the game, the player takes on the role of Issac Clarke, who is among those sent to investigate a distress signal on what looks like an abandoned ship. Unfortunately, the ship's crew was killed and the corpses mutated into "Necromorphs," creatures whom just shooting the head won't work, but have to be completely dismembered. This game is definitely not for the faint of heart, and can be quite unnerving to even some otherwise hardened gamers. The game may scare you, it may frustrate you, but it's unlikely to be boring.

"Dead Space" was developed by EA Redwood Shores (Now Visceral Games) in 2008. It sold over two million copies in two years, and several sequels followed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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

It's another week at the Sunweaver and Montecito Bay clubs and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in "U and V," Golden, Fancy Ball

The Happy Vixen: Zombies and Hunters, Scalies, Secret Agent Man, Good and Evil, Fancy Pants, Flowers and Spring, Tigers and Tigerstriped

Club Zero Gravity: Hippies, Best in Stripes, Dragon Crew

Montecito Bay: Cassette Furturism, Electro Freaks, Disney, CAYA, After Dark

Furry Fashion Lounge: Fantasy, Cyborgs and Robots, Ladies Night, 80s, Angels and Demons, Equines, Wild Animals, Hooves vs Paws

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'

Reader Submitted: A Clockwork Alien Hive

Remember the "Alien Invasion" that hit the Zeta Valley Club? It seems Clockwork Jackal whom managed to fight back the xenomorphs and tentacles found another alien incursion at Solaris Space Station. So he donned his armored space suit and headed over.

Exactly what his actions were in the "bug nest" as he called it following this picture isn't clear. But getting to the space station myself, there was the sound of something creepy as I approached his coordinates. It seems if his intentions were to get rid of the aliens, he didn't quite succeed.

Will there be further adventures of Clockwork and the aliens? Time will tell.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Breaking News: New Project Elemenoh Sim Region, Second Life Birthday Sims, Appear

Tyche Shepherd's weekly Grid update in the SL Universe forums had some interesting news. Among the 66 new sims on the map were those for the Second Life Birthday. Each with "SLB" and "Build" as parts of their names, there are 21 in all from SLB 1 Build to SLB 21 Build. A few already have water, and roads or other builds on them. As time goes on, there will certainly be more. As of now, the Newser has heard no announcements by the Second Life Birthday organizers, but no doubt there will soon be a call for volunteers, performers, and exhibitors. The sims are closed to all but a few, and are just south of the Paleoquest game areas, which are far to the southwest of most other sims.

There was also a group of 13 sims that Tyche called part of a new project by Linden Lab: Project Elemenoh. Twelve of the sims are labled "Elemenoh 1 Build" to "Elemenoh 12 Build," with a "Elemenoh Dev" seperate and a little to the northwest. Aside from their appearances on the map, which are varried, not much else is known about these sims. There are two groups of 12 sims each nearby, Build LR 1 to Build LR 12 and Staging LR 1 to Staging LR 12, which Tyche didn't mention. Also nearby was a four sim group each with "Snuffle" in it's name and two other sims. It's unclear if they're part of Project Elemenoh, or are part of something else is working on.

The sims, along with the Portal Partk Winter Build just south of them, are south of most sims on the map, with the Black Rose sim some distance to the east being the closest open to all I could find.

Stay tuned for more information on both when it becomes available.

Hat Tip: Daniel Voyager 

Bixyl Shuftan

Later: The Yamato

About five years ago, the Newser reported on the inworld replica of the Japanese battleship Yamato. Recently, we were informed that the ship is apparently back in Second Life after having been gone for about a year. We'll have more information, and pictures, later today.

If you can't wait, head to Yamato Mamorial (25/222/21).

Addition: Due to breaking news, story postponed until later this week.

Commentary: Is Linden Lab Leaving Second Life Behind in Favor of Sansar?

Recently Will Burns, known as Aeonix Aeon in Second Life, took a trip to Linden Lab. He got to meet Ebbe Linden, and they were all to happy to show him Sansar, putting him in an Occulus Rift, and giving him a show. He mentioned one of the areas in Sansar that's been getting the most attention, Ache's Garage of the upcoming movie about virtual reality "Ready Player One." And he could understand why companies such as Warner Brothers would prefer working with Sansar over Second Life as Sansar is more controlled while Second Life to them, in Burns' words, "is like the inmates running the asylum." So he felt both virtual worlds had a place with Linden Lab.

But from his point of view, for all the attention Linden Lab was giving to Sansar, he felt Second Life was being ignored. Or in his words it was "treating it like the wicked red-headed step-child."

While I was at Linden Lab, I definitely got the feeling that SANSAR was the main focus with a near total avoidance of discussing Second Life or its future. It’s technology evangelism at its peak. As far as Ebbe is concerned, he’s all-in for SANSAR while Second Life is … somewhere in the basement level with the engineers. On one side of the equation I can see why Ebbe would be all-in for SANSAR. I’d assume Linden Lab spent a stupid amount of money developing it and couldn’t afford to pull the plug, and so he was likely told to produce an ROI come hell or high water. ...  Right at this moment, he’s showing qualities of Captain Ahab, in the blind pursuit of SANSAR (Moby Dick). But I believe he’s intelligent and an overall great guy. Smart enough not to sabotage his own efforts and company. After all, Second Life is still the goose that laid the golden egg. It didn’t die, it’s just being actively starved and strangled by the aforementioned organizational changes and CEOs. Which is really unfortunate, because I also believe Linden Lab also has some brilliant and creative people there with their hands tied, and who absolutely love Second Life and want to make it better.

Burns would later talk to Hamlet Au, whom later brought it up in New World Notes, "Here's the vibe I get. When I was there, Ebbe was of course wearing the Sansar hoodie, and keen to steer conversation back to Sansar whenever possible. Whenever I did bring up Second Life related things, I got the vibe that he was politely listening and waiting to go back to Sansar discussion and show it off." Burns would also cite the Newser's February 23 article of Linden Lab laying off twelve employees in which one former worker stated, "Company is too focused on its new product; those who work on the mainstay feel set aside and taken for granted."

While Linden Lab is still maintaining and improving Second Life, as Hamlet put it, "the overall shift in corporate cultural focus, away from Second Life and toward Sansar, seems undeniable." Granted it's natural a company would want to showcase it's latest product. But why leave out it's tried and true moneymaker out of any attention and exposure? Could it be the tendency in the tech industry to focus on what's new? Could the Lab think Second Life has been "tainted" by the seedy side of Second Life, the tales of cyber-affairs, flying penis attacks by griefers, and interactive porn? That the streaming service Twitch continues to have the virtual world on it's banned list alongside "Porno Studio Tycoon" is not exactly one of Linden Lab's finer moments. Or perhaps the Lab simply thinks Second Life's time has come and gone?

It's been hinted at before that the release of the movie "Ready Player One" could rekindle interest in virtual reality. But as Burns notes, "opening the floodgates to SANSAR right now ... would be very, very, bad" for the virtual world as it is still in it's early stages and "the public would compare it harshly to other more polished systems." Perhaps Linden Lab could compare Second Life to an early version of the movie's "Oasis," not as flashy as some MORPGs, a little buggy, a little laggy, and often chaotic. But it's got a solid fanbase that uses it in many ways. Some of those ways are truly grand, from great works of art to large online communities to raising thousands of dollars for charity. And that is certainly worth drawing attention to.

Burns' article can be read in it's entirety in his Andromeda blog.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Henry's Bait Obsession

Picture from Gemma Cleanslate. How the dog ended up on the 7Seas bait booth is unknown. But considering how many real life canines seem to have an attraction for anything that really reeks for the noses of those on two legs, it didn't take long to think what the reason could be.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, March 2, 2018

The 2018 Roma Lupercalia Weekend

Second Life has a number of historical roleplay communities. Probably the best known one, Roma, entertains both residents and visitors with monthly festivals. For the month of February, their festival was based on ancient Rome's Lupercalia. The festival back then was best known for naked men smacking women with thongs made from hide. But the residents of Roma did more for the Second Life version.

Read the story in Events.

Newser Gets 50,000 Reads Last Month

While there's no doubt the Newser is the number one newslettter in Second Life, our readership does go up and down a little. Usually, it's around 25 to 30,000 readers a month. In December 2016, we had a good month, about 45,500 reads. Last month, we finally beat our old record, with 50,224 reads for February 2018.

And it's not just English-speaking readers who view the Newser. Last month, we had over 8500 readers from France, over 6,000 from Brazil, almost 4800 from Belgium, almost 3800 from Russia, and almost 1800 from Kuwait.

The Newser hit it's one million mark in total reads in October 2016, and currently has a total of over 1,400,000.

Keep on reading, and we'll keep giving you the best news of the people, places, and events of Second Life.

Announcement: This Week At The Science Circle: "Copernicus’ Epicycles"

“Copernicus’ Epicycles”
Saturday March 3 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM SLT
by Rob Knop

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) is sometimes called the father of modern astronomy. He’s famous for introducing to Western Europe a thorough and worked-out model of the Solar System with the Sun at the center. At the time, nearly everybody accepted Ptolemy‘s Earth-centered model, with planets riding on celestial spheres, and riding on epicycles inside those spheres. Many of us carry the idea that Copernicus simplified it all by moving the Sun to the center. It turns out, however, that Copernicus’ system is not appreciably simpler than Ptolemy’s — he, too, had epicycles in his model! Nor was Copernicus the first one to think about Sun-centered models of the Solar System, as that idea goes back at least to ancient Greece.
  In this talk, I will outline the history of our understanding of the Sun-centered model of the Solar System, and give some detail about how Copernicus’ model worked, and why it took the work of others later for us to really accept that his basic idea was right.

Read more information here.

The Science Circle (61/127/32)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Crowbar Blues

While most everyone in Second Life loves music, we're not always in the mood for the latest pop tunes. Sometimes we're feeling the blues. One such place you can here this music is the Crowbar Blues club in Business District Kilo. The place is run by Danno (Affa Crazyboi), a blues DJ in real life, and welcomes blues fans of all types of avatars.

Read the story in SL Clubbin'.