Thursday, October 31, 2013

Classic SLN Cartoons: Happy Halloween

From Second Life Newspaper in Oct 2009. 

Sometimes Halloween can be such a "pain in the neck." ;-)

Luskwood's Halloween Party

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Satuday, October 26, Luskwood held it's annual Halloween bash. To begin with, it was just a week since the community's ten year anniversary. So the staff didn't have much time to rest before getting things ready for another show.

Luskies party hard! Our annual Halloween party is this coming Saturday Oct 26 starting at 6pm SLT. Start thinking about your costumes, we have a great evening of entertainment lined up! Hope you have your spooky costumes at the ready! Come join us for some spooktacular entertainment for Halloween!  See you there!

Once again, the party would not be held at the "Big Tree," but at another location in Luskwood. The LM that was given out in a group announcement took me to a place way over the ground. The place, a kind of treeclub that was partially platform and partially inside the trunk, was set to midnight on default, and gave it a dark and foreboding look. Besides porting or flying, one could make their way out by going down on a rickety spiral staircase. The place was packed, and it took a while for the place and the residents there to rezz. It didn't help that I crashed a number of times. There was a cash prize of ten thousand Lindens for the best Halloween look. DJ Halley, dressed as a cartoon villain's minion, spun the tunes for the party.


If the crashes and lag were a trick, the treat available for the residents was set up in a nearby hut, reachable by either flying over or walking down a rickety-looking series of bridgeworks. Inside the place were three free avatars that were billed as being there only for the night. These were cartoony werebeast looking vas, one stitched up and pale as if it were made up of dead beasts various parts sewn together. Next to the party area were a couple Halloween avatars for sale: a black gryphon and a bloody wolf. Founder Michi Lumin was there wearing the gryphon.

Eventually the party came to an end. But that wasn't all for the night. Over the radio stream, some spooky stories were told, with some listening while on a large plush on the floor. One had a Lovecraft bent to it, dealing with things Man Was Not Meant To Know.

Luskwood's "Spook-tacular" event went quite well.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

A zombie-skunk couple at a party. While I thought of a "smell" joke, zombies and skunks are noted for a couple other things.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Sha's Thoughts: Sha Anouki

In her latest column, Becky wanted to write a little about a place, and decided instead of going across the Grid to describe a far off location, she would describe her own little corner of Sunweaver Bay where she makes her home.

Read Becky's column in Places.

Burning of "The Man"

Last Saturday, the beginning of the end of the Burn2 festival took place: "The Burning of The Man." Many dozens of residents came to see the event, each of the three times it took place that day. So how did the fiery fun-filled occasion go? If one judges by the reactions of the Burners, it went spectacularly.

See the pictures in Events.

"Good and Evil" Night at Club Zero Gravity's "Haunted Woods"

Among the clubs in Second Life having special Halloween events in late October was Club Zero Gravity. To begin with, the space club decided to have it's events from mid-October to Halloween not at the station, but in the "Haunted Woods," a platform created by Jasmine Dawn Shuftan. Last night's party was "Good vs Evil Night, with partygoers dressed up as angels, devils, heroes, monsters, and more.

Tonight at the Haunted Woods, it's "Good vs Evil." Do you see yourself as a perpetual good guy, always wanting to do good and be righteous? Or are you the bad guy, taking delight in acts of villainy and just being bad? Pick a role, and choose a look to go with it, such as an angel or night in shining armor, or a devil or barbarian raider? Or maybe someone "evil in a good way" like a seductress. Whatever role you wish to be, wear it with pride and fly on over.

DJ Reactor spun the tunes for the party, at one point about 20 present and dancing away, "Welcome to the Haunted Woods," visitors were greeted, "Be careful about venturing too far into the forest, as those who go too far often vanish, waking up later on the beach with no memory how they got there."

The party went on for two hours, and eventually it was time to decide the winner. Skylark Lefarve was the one who got the most votes for the 500L prize.

The next party at Zero-G's Haunted Woods is on Thursday, Halloween night, which is sure to be filled with fun, dance, and another prize to give out to the best costume. The party's at Purrfection Estates Hautned Woods (216, 39, 1314).

For those looking for a Halloween party tonight, check out Club Cutlass at 6PM at Sunweaver Space (176, 62, 125).

Bixyl Shuftan

Halloween Party at the National Space Society on Nov 1st

"Have a howlin' good time celebrating Halloween with the National Space Society and Friends in the Great Pumpkin Space BALLroom at Earth-Moon L1!  And please feel free to pass along the invitation. "

Friday Nov 1, 6PM to 8 PM

National Space Society (128, 152, 1260)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Events This Week October 29 to November 4

Burn2 is gone (the exhibits are still up for a few more days), but here comes the most spook-tacular of holidays: Halloween! There are so many haunted places on the Grid and costume parties around, that we can't begin to list them all. But we can list a few here. And of course there's our regularly scheduled DJ and live music parties, book and poetry readings, races, discussions and talk shows, and church services.

Read more in Events this Week.

Vampire Bat Sighted in Steelhead

 This Halloween season, the Steelhead community was visited by a darkwinged visitor: a man-sized vampire bat.

There have been scattered reports across Steelhead, though the "Scamps Ball" at 5PM Sunday Oct 27 had the most witnesses. The adults at the party were discussing recent chatter about the night-flying being, when someone noticed a dark shape hovering near the window, "THE BAT!!"

And there was the flying chiropteran, black with reddish eyes. It appeared humanoid, with dark red hands and feet, and what looked like dark red head hair. It made no aggressive moves, just looking in at the activity. Then one of the children went up to the window and tapped on the glass. The bat's reaction was to give what seemed like a friendly wave.

The adults in the party debated what to do. It didn't seem aggressive, so it was suggested to perhaps invite it in. Another felt it would be best to keep a weapon handy. It was at the mention of weapons that the aerial intruder flew off, heading off into the dusk. Needless to say, the bat was the talk of the party for a while.

Besides the sighting at the Scamps Ball, there have also been reports of a mysterious dark shape seen flying near a local slaugherhouse and blood missing from collection containers. There are no reports of anyone getting badly hurt, although there is one story of a woman who claimed the bat led her out of the woods after she got lost and had what appeared to be a bite mark on her neck.

There were similar sightings at Steelhead two years ago, with no serious incidents. But having a flying creature around with a taste for blood is making some residents a little nervous.

Note: The preceding story is based on a freeform roleplay that took place in Steelhead.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Flesh Dreams" at Burn2 by Ub Yifu

Gemma Cleanslate's been busy with her ranger duties at Burn2. But she did have enough time to write about one exhibit that stood out: "Flesh Dreams" by Second Life artist Ub Yifu. In his work, Ub took Burn2's theme of "Cargo Cult" and gave it a different perspective. While the events ended on Sunday, the exhibit will still be up a few more days.

Read Gemma's article in Design.

*Addition* An error kept the article from loading earlier. It works now.

Linden Lab Responds to Content Creators in E-Mail

By Bixyl Shuftan

Last Friday, there was finally some word from Linden Lab regarding the ToS controversy. On Tuesday Oct 22, The United Content Creators of Second Life group sent an open letter to Peter Gray, Linden Lab's Communications Director. They asked for a meeting with people from the Lab in order to "resolve these issues and concerns … regarding the August 2012 Terms of Service, specifically Section 2.3." On Friday August 25, Kylie Sabra, the leader of the UCCSL announced they had received a response.

In Peter Gray's email, the Lab stated "we greatly value Second Life's content creators" and "we remain committed to providing Second Life as a platform on which residents can create and profit from their creations." They insisted, "the revision of the Terms of Service was made in order to further extend the ability of content creators" to sell their wares through other means owned by Linden Lab, notably their Desura distribution platform, "not just within Second Life."

However, there would be no meeting with the content creators, "We believe that it would be more fruitful to avoid further debate of the assertions made to date regarding the intent and effect of our updated Terms of Service, and instead focus on whether there may be an approach to address the concerns that have arisen in the community." A statement that could be seen as aimed at criticism of the ToS as a whole.

The Lab stated they were "currently reviewing what changes could be made that would resolve the concerns of Second Life content creators," with the intent of allowing content creators to sell content with Linden Lab acting as their "agent," but there would be no "reverting to the prior wording" of the ToS, "We are optimistic that we will be able to arrive at a mutually agreeable and beneficial way forward, and ask for your group's continued patience as we work to do so."

In a letter to the members of the UCCSL, Kylie saw the Lab's response as basically good news, "I see this as a positive, an opening for ongoing dialoug … They admit that the current ToS does not serve both them and the client base well. It is a tough issue, the protection of content creators' rights and giving Linden Lab the latitude they need to work across multiple services." Kylie did caution, "Bear in mind, this is a business, and they have no obligation to disclose their business plans. And speculation about the whys and wherefores is not productive." But she and the UCCSL "will continue to assert pressure on Linden Lab until we reach a resolution." Kylie also sent an article to the Sim Street Journal. In the article she was critical of Linden Labs for their stand, departing from her usual cautious optimism in recent days.

Gone is Rosedale’s concept that content creators own their work and should even share in the value that is created. Rather, the originating ideology of Philip Rosedale is laid waste with the scythe that is the August, 2013 Second Life Terms of service. This sweepingly destructive tool fells both pride of ownership and pride of creation with sharpened tines of shredding words.

While Kylie appealed for calm (outside her SSJ article), others remained skeptical. Several people responded to Daniel Voyager's post on his blog about Peter Gray's email. All expressed some level of skepticism about Linden Lab's intentions. Skepticism was also rife at the Sunweaver Estates where the SL Newser office makes it's home, with a few residents in IMs expressing doubt about Second Life's future. A hint the Lab's message may not be changing many minds on the issue.

The UCCSL group (blog at http:// unitedcontentcreatorsofsl. is currently at 458 members, and has been organized in several sections, or guilds, for different kinds of content, artists and filmmakers, fashion designers, musicians, scriptmakers, etc. The group has a headquarters at Angel Manor (131/134/4002).

Sources: UCCSL, Sim Street Journal, Daniel Voyager

Bixyl Shuftan

Wounded Warriors Raises 100,000 Lindens at Veterans Isle

Last night on October 27, the US Military Veterans Group held it's monthy Wounded Warriors benefit. From 5PM SL time to just after 9PM, four musicians performed for the crowd, which was more than two dozen avatars in size at times.

 US Military Veterans Group  and Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life announce the Wounded Warriors benefit  October 27th. A Wounded Warriors concerts feature premier Second Life Talent monthly at Veterans Isle.  The concert is scheduled from 5-9 PM PST.

PomDman Haalan was the first musician at 5PM. At 6PM, Pete Mroz was the one making music. From 7 to 8PM, it was Frets Nirvana himself "making waves" with his music. And at 8PM, Amforte Clarity took the stage. Wearing a cloth covering over her mouth, Amforte called her performance "ninja style." The dance area was a bit Halloweeny as well with a pumpkin patch set up in the middle, and some in the audience in costume.

While Amforte was performing, Frets announced he would notate twenty thousand linens to the amount donated, the cash in two tip jars resembling upside down helmets. The amount raised then was 80,000 Lindens. When there was about five minutes to go, the amount had risen to 90,000. When the masked musician was playing her last song, there was about 1,500 left to go. And when the time reached 9PM SL time, the total raised had finally hit 100,000 Lindens.

Chatting with Dahlea Milena, she explained that there would be two events on Veterans Day next month, " Club Vet is having a Veterans Day event on Veterans Day, Checkers Firelight is handling that. We're having our 'Veterans Day' event here on the 10th in conjunction with the Marine Corps b'day ball." Checkers was looking for people to help out with a 21 gun salute for Club Vet. The event at Veterans Isle was Toby Keith's Tribute Concert at 8PM Sunday Nov 10.

Bixy Shuftan

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Valkyrie McGil showing off her "green demoness" avatar.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Gracie Kendel's "Goodbye to Second Life Stuff"

Last weekend, Second Life artist Gracie Kendel closed her "Binge and Purge" exhibit, inviting people to drop by before deleting virtually everything from her inventory. With so many of us having quite a bit of junk on us, the exhibit was a reminder of that. But with Linden Lab's recent change in the Terms of Service, the exhibit had taken on new meaning.

Read more in Design.

SL Video: "VP Hallowen Dance"

(Click Here if the video fails to load)

From VanessaVixen Yifu, "My first video made on SecondLife for Halloween 07 at the club Vixen's Paradise. Was inspired by a friend finding the dance animation based off of Michael Jackson's Thriller."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Burning of "The Man" and Temple Burn at Burn2 This Weekend

This weekend marks the high point of the Burn2 art and music festival: the burning of "The Man" and the Temple builds. To make sure people across different time zones have a chance to see the burnings, the structures are not burned once, but are re-rezzed twice, finally burned down for good on the third event.

The Burning of "The Man" will take place on Saturday, Oct 26. The times are 4AM, 12 Noon, and 8 PM SL time.

Burning Man-Elko (17/249/24)

The Temple Burn will take place on Sunday, Oct 27. Like "The Man," the times are 4AM, 12 Noon, and 8 PM SL time.

Burning Man-Opal (9/194/25)

Sunday Oct 27 is also the last day of the Burn2 festival. After that, the builds will remain up for a few days, but every exhibit will be leveled by Sunday November 3rd at latest.

Sha's Thoughts: Ancient Furries

Becky "Sha" Shamen's latest column was inspired by thinking about the few places in Second Life that do not allow furry avatars. She reveals a bit about her philosophy and worldview as she looks into the history (and pre-history) of anthromorphic beings. Among other reasons that prejudice against residents preferring furred avatars doesn't make sense, Becky suggests another reason. "Furry" characters have long appeared in human history.

Read Becky's column in Extra.

The Oldbie Project: Malachi Petunia

At the time of Second Life's Tenth Birthday, DrFran wrote about the virtual world's first sims. She was planning something else, and began getting in contact with residents of those early days. Today has the first of her interviews of "The Oldbie Project," lifetime member Malachi Petunia. He had quite a few things to say about Second Life's first days.

Read more of DrFran's article in People.

Luskwood's Tenth Birthday Party

On Saturday Oct 19th, Luskwood celebrated it's tenth anniversary party. Sometimes called the LWXB, the event was a day long party from about Noon SL time to late in the night, taking place on a  platform specially made for the event. The party offered freebies, prizes, live and DJed music and dance, and of course lots of fun.

Read more in Events.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Philip Rosedale (Philip Linden) No Longer on Linden Lab's Board

Hamlet Au of New World Notes reported yesterday that Philip Rosedale, Second Life's founder and also known here as Philip Linden, confirmed that he was no longer on Linden Lab's board of directors.

"I left the board around the start of the year [as] I was starting High Fidelity, but on great terms -- both Mitch [Kapor] and Linden are both investors in High Fidelity, and I'm still a big shareholder in Linden."

No longer on the board, Rosedale "no longer has any more input on company management decisions, overall direction, or policy formation." Hamlet saw this as a milestone in the history of Second Life as it means for the first time, "no Linden board member has direct day to day experience with Second Life as a product or personal memory of it's development of its hardcore user base." Most of it's current board comes from the gaming industry, which "suggests a very different direction for the company" than it's founder. "Veterans of the traditional game industry tend to take a very aggressive view on intellectual property," Hamlet noted, suggesting that might in part explain the recent Terms of Service controversy.

While he still has shares in Linden Lab, this news means the last "old hand" has truly left. How this affects the residents remains to be seen.

Source: New World Notes

Press Release: Disability and Virtual Worlds - New Frontiers of Appropriation

 PRESENTERS: Tom Boellstorff, Donna Davis, Gentle Heron (panel at AoIR)
SATURDAY October 26, 9:30-11:10 am SLT
Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island

Virtual Ability (54/170/23)

Three SL researchers will present a panel at the Association of Internet Research (AoIR) conference titled "Disability and Virtual Worlds: New Frontiers of Appropriation." The panel will occur in both real life and SL simultaneously.

After the 3 panelists present, there will be an opportunity for the "live" and SL audiences to interact. You won't want to miss this opportunity to chat and answer questions from Internet researchers.

Tom Boellstorff is the author of Coming of Age in Second Life, and co-author of Ethnography and Virtual Worlds:
A Handbook of Method.
Donna Davis is doing research with the Creations group, for people with Parkinsons.
Gentle Heron is the head of the Virtual Ability community in Second Life. She is a former educational researcher,

Voice + text transcription.

Eye On The Blog: Second Life Haunted Highlights and L$10,000 Snapshot Contest

Second Life is holding a contest for the spookiest picture. Linden Lab is sponsoring the "Fa-BOO-lous Halloween Snapshot Contest," in which those sending pictures can win up to 10,000 Lindens. Pictures are submitted, and displayed, in the Second Life Forums.

Every day is dress up day in Second Life, but now is your chance to win some cool prizes for it.

The Second Life Fa-BOO-lous Halloween Snapshot Contest is here! Get your avi ready and show us your best Halloween/Dia de los Muertos themed images.

You could win L$10,000, L$3000, L$2000, or L$1000 for your snapshot!

The contest runs from 10am PT on October 15, 2013 untilt 5pm PT November 8, 2013. Winners will be voted on by the community! Check out the full rules and submit your snapshot here.

There was also a list of several haunts that Linden Lab thought were worth mentioning.

The Haunted Pirate Mystery Hunt

It's a murder mystery and hunt! People have died from a variety of unnatural causes. Can you discover what happened? Explore this magical island, looking for fifteen clues. Find the clues and solve the mystery.

Yes (210/90/26)

Dark Dharma Haunted Manor

Welcome to Dark Dharma Haunted Manor, they've been waiting... Built in the 1880's, this haunted Victorian manor is an imposing structure, never mind the broken windows and wandering souls. It might even be charming, if it wasn't for what happened. What happened to the last occupants? Come visit, if you dare!  

Benten (87/221/28)


Aged elegance is re-animated in DeadPool, a new experience ripe for exploration. Watch as the bygone disco days rise again! Zombies roam the overgrown and wistful spaces of a forgotten amusement park, see the old roller-disco flash and strobe while amazing DJ's pump dance-worthy beats. Skate around the fringes of the party if you're too afraid to chance in the park. Remember, zombies hate fast food, so get those wheels greased and ready to go.

Fantasies III (71/226/22)

Halloween Town

Halloween Town is full of shops for all of your Halloween needs. From party, food, costumes and more. Be sure to enter their spook house where you'll turn from spectator to participant as they pay tribute to the greatest horror of all time.  

Elizabeth Town (117/106/99)


Welcome to Havenhollow, an interactive neighborhood featuring a door to door trick-or-treating experience. Trick or be treated, leave no corner turned unexplored. This town is packed with fun, mystery and excitement for friends to experience together. Days of mischief, haunted woods and surprises galore await you in this fog-lit town.

 Purgatory (148/240/110)

RMK Halloween 2013

"Happy Halloween!" booms from a pumpkin-headed boy from a dark alcove. "Trick or Treat and welcome to RMK Gothic. I am Jack, the ghost living in this town!" It must be the Halloween season at RMK Gothic, come visit for spookily-themed quests, stores and more.

RMK Gothic (154/152/495)

The blog post in full can be read (Here).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

Taken at the Podex Exchange

By Bixyl Shuftan

Sha's Thoughts: Second Life and ESP

With Halloween this time of year, talk is more likely to turn to subjects that give some residents the jitters, such as the paranormal. Among these subjects seemingly beyond the reach of science as we know it are ESP and psychic powers. Becky Shamen talks about the subject, and how they might not be limited to real life, but also in the virtual world. Could it be that the "feeling" you get from someone when first meeting them comes from ESP somehow making it's way through Second Life?

Read Becky's Thoughts in Extra.

Tales From Podex: Going Bats

By Bixyl Shuftan

It was a fairly easy day at the Podex Exchange. Things had long settled into a new routine since the move earlier in the year. Customers had found the place again and were coming back to trade various world currencies for Lindens. And the art gallery the new place had was continuing to draw visitors, not to mention a nice place for the tellers to relax when on break. Between customers, they chatted amongst themselves about goings on. This being October, there were many spooky happenings around from Areo Pines to London, to Betham Forest, and others. And of course people were buying up spooky costumes, which meant more business for them.

 It was one moment in the late afternoon while they were talking when a flapping noise was heard near the front door. They looked over, and saw a figure step though the doors. He was batlike, covered in a thin coat of black fur, with some occasional areas of dark red, with huge ears and folded wings on his back that seemed connected to his arms. His eyes were a shade of red, which gave some tellers a bit of a shiver when he looked their way.

"Um, can we help you?" One teller asked.

"Yes," the dark figure spoke in an accented voice, "I am in need of some Lindens. Vould you mind explaining how I get them here."

"Um, certainly Sir. Just fill out this short form, and we'l make the trade through Paypal, Ukash, direct bank transfer, Bitcoin Wallet, and a number of other means."

The figure raised an eyebrow, or seemed to as it was about as black as the rest of the fur, "Bitcoin Vallet?"

"Yes, Podex has recently began offering customers the choice of buying Lindens with Bitcoins. In case you don't know, they're an independent virtual currency not issued by a central authority."

"Yes, I know vhat a Bitcoin is. I have some. I just heard on the news that they vere at a record high, so I do vant to deal vith them before the price goes down."

"Certainly. Just press this button, and we'll be ready to begin."

"Um, vhy is it giving me a value in Euros?"

"Don't worry, your payment will be in Bitcoin. Just choose the amount of Lindens you want to buy."

It took only a few minutes to go through the form to make the transfer, and it was done in just a few minutes."

"There you are, Sir. Anything else you might need?"

"Vell," the dark figure doddered, "might you know of some dance clubs?"

"Oh certainly Sir. There's Cutlass and Club Zero Gravity and others. Looking for  music and friends?"

"Oh yes, and maybe a date." He grinned in a way that seemed very unnerving, "I understand some of the girls are into, necking." He chuckled in a wicked manner, as a number of the tellers shivered.

The dark figure then waved, and headed out the front door, taking flight and headed up into the sky already starting to darken from the setting sun.

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

Steelhead's Hallowe'en Dance and Contest

On Friday, Oct 25 at 7PM, Steelhead holds it's Hallowe'en Dance, in which things for the wild group of mad scientists, elves, fairies, and others gets even wilder.

"Our yearly costume dance. So dust out the costumes unless they already have cobwebs in them and celebrate with us!"

Besides the Halloween bash, there's also the "Spookiest House Contest" going on for Steelhead's landowners, with all taking part needing to fill out an application for TotalLunar Eclipse. On Tues Oct 29, a map with all locations in the contest is sent out to the Steelheaders to judge who has the spookiest place, "Top three spookiest locations will receive a trophy. Prizes sponsored by Ladies Pleasure and Bad Bella."

Also this weekend is the "Scamps Ball," on Sunday Oct 27. The time of the kid avatar-themed event is from 5-7, so not to interfere with Willow Leafstorm's show (or the kids' bedtimes).

Press Release: Univ Hawaii Astronomy Presents "A Thousand Worlds"

Dr. Marcelo Emilio, Astronomy Amphitheater:

There is now what scientists are calling a zoo of planets. Some planets are so different from our own that they resemble the fictional planet Star Wars Tatooine, which had two suns. In this talk Dr. Marcelo Emilio will explain the main detection methods used to find exoplanets and describe some characteristics of the almost thousand worlds discovered.

Friday, Oct 25th at 9:30 pm PDT

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Events This Week October 22 to October 28

It's a week full of events in Second Life. First and foremost there's the Burn2 festival, the largest art and music festival in Second Life, which takes place every year. Besides the Burn, there are various Halloween happenings, like the Epilepsy benefit Horrorfest. And of course there are the regularly scheduled events, such as the book and poetry readings, live and DJ music events, discussions and talk shows, races, and church services.

Read more in Events this Week.

SL Enquirer: The Abyss Earth Sciences and Marine Life Observatory

Imagine you were intrigued by a documentary in your youth and seeked a career that would allow you to advance a field of science similar to what was presented in that favorite show you saw years ago.

Yan Lauria has been able to do just that, having seen the Jean-Jacques Cousteau ocean exploration documentaries in his childhood. He is now working as a project manager at JAMSTEC, “Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology”. He is also the main force behind Abyss Observatory, the oceanographic earth science sim on Second Life © (SL). Stareyes Galaxy had the opportunity to interview him and take a tour of the sim.

Read more of Stareyes' Article (Here).

SL Video: "Draxtor Destinations: Escapades @ BURN2"

(Click Here if video fails to load)

"BURN2 is happening from NOW to the 27th of October in the virtual world of Second Life and the residents of Escapades have a plot this year you should not miss: loads of surprises and possibly even wisdom to pick up..."

"So hop in and meet the team at Burning Man-Elko (145/214/24)

"All content made by Loki Eliot, Jimmy Branagh, Richardus Raymaker, Tepic Harlequin, Flokers, Nat Merit, Matthew Querrien, Lui Ashland, Arminatsifira Resident, Cody Tebaldi, Sven Homewood, David Thurman, Myrtil Igaly and Avariel Falcon, anime avatar by Ulitizator Mode"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Qarl Fizz Announces Closing of Sim, "Goodbye Second Life"

Qarl Fizz, the former Qarl Linden, announced in his blog that he had deleted his sim, citing Linden Lab's new Terms of Service in regards to content creators. He also stated he had been ignored when asking for info about his mesh deformer project.

i just deleted my sim. i’ve had it for what, eight years now? i am forced to. i have no choice. because the second life terms of service, as it is currently written, lets LL steal all of my intellectual property.
shame on you LL. shame on you. shame on you. shame on you.

i can imagine nothing more despicable. truly, you have become the most craven of the internet low life. i can hardly imagine where you might go from here - nigerian scam spams to your users, perhaps?

nor am i comforted by your statement “oh dear me, no, this is all just a misunderstanding.” there is zero chance your legal department is so incompetent. even if you retract your “misunderstanding” tomorrow, it is impossible for me to believe your behavior here is an accident. instagram nearly went out of business less than a year ago on an identical scheme. you guys don’t read newspapers?
literally disgusting.

meanwhile, with the deformer project - you have begun completely ignoring my requests for information. it’s been two years, and a company of 200-ish employees can’t find the time to review a couple hundred lines of code? or answer an email asking about it? nice.

fellow citizens of the virtual world: next time we do this, we absolutely must be more careful. no matter how cute and earnest our rulers appear in the beginning, we cannot accept their promise “trust us”. we need DEMOCRACY. we need it in the foundation. and we need it in writing.

see you on the other side.

Qarl worked for Linden Lab until August 2010. Since then, he came in Second Life as Qarl Linden, working on a "mesh deformer" to help mesh clothes better conform to avatar shapes.

Hat Tip: Daniel Voyager

Legal Discussion of Second Life's ToS by SL Bar Association Pannel

By Bixyl Shuftan

Second Life Bar Association members Kylie Sabra (under her alt Agenda Faromet) and Tim Faith, lawyers in real life, discussed Second Life's new Terms of Service in regards to content creators and their rights. As it turned out, so many people were turning out for the discussion, the setting was moved from the Justitia Virtual Legal Resource Village to the Rose Theater in the Angel Manor sim. The sim was packed with over seventy residents, and the only way more people could get in was if room was made by someone inside crashing. Fortunately there was a livestream available though AView TV. Over most of the discussion over 150 people were viewing the broadcast.

Kylie and Tim made a number of points during the discussion. The problem with "exclusive" rights over your content when you need Second Life as a platform for your content means one has to give some permissions.  In Kylie's opinion, the problem with the new ToS was that they were poorly written She compared it to Yahoo's terms, in which their permissions were "solely for the purpose for width such content was submitted," and Facebook's which demanded an unlimited license and if you shared your content with someone it's license would never end, Twitpick which required anyone requesting someone else's content to contact the company instead of the content creator and give credit to Twitpick instead of the owner, and LinkedIn which also reserved the right to "commercialize" one's techniques and ideas. So what's going on in Second Life, she reasoned, wasn't new.

Something that bothered Kylie more than the terms regarding content rights was another change elsewhere, "the worst change," in which the Lab could sue a third party in your name, and they would be your attorney. "Do I want the person who wrote these terms of service to act as my attorney? Hell no."

She asked people not to be "freaked" by the language of sell and resell, calling the language "sloppy drafting." How to improve the terms in question? Limit the purpose for which content can be used, limit the term of the license, and limit the scope of the license. What could happen? Kylie mentioned what happened when Instagram faced an uproar of it's own after changing it's terms of service, and within a month half it's users had dropped out. Instagram then changed the terms in question back, but no for long. A month later came new terms which essentially allowed them to do what the controversial language did, so "all of the gain was for nothing." She also mentioned the possibility of a "hostile solution" such as taking the matter up with the FCC or a class action lawsuit, "which isn't going to get anywhere because of the arbitration clause." A peaceful solution with Linden Lab, she felt, would be best.

Further in the discussion, Tim Faith felt Linden Lab was not as friendly to Second Life's users as it used to be. He encouraged the residents to "stand up for yourselves" if they thought something was wrong. Kylie felt Linden Lab wasn't really trying to make a power grab, but had structured the ToS so it appeared they could be. They also discussed California law, which Linden Lab fell under. While normally very consumer friendly, in recent years they have been more friendly to arbitration agreements. So she felt a lawsuit was less likely to succeed.

As the discussion in the Rose Theater went on, those residents still in Justitia talked about it and the issue. Eleanor Medier, the owner of the Sim Street Journal, felt it was good the matter had become a hot topic. Others were less cheery, irritable about Linden Lab, "I'm not handing them over two years of work!" "To leave is letting them win," Eleanor reasoned, "you loose (it) all anyway." "I'll lose if I stay too." "Not if changes can be made." A third resident commented, "It was a 'creative friendly' ToS before. (Then) they pulled a bait and switch... " Eleanor then looked my way, and I joined this separate discussion, bringing up Will Burns' (Aeonix Aeon) article and my interview of him.

For a recording of the discussion and Q and A, which lasted a total of about three hours, you can find one on There's also a youtube of the event. And one can still find the livestream recording on AView TV's recent archive.

*Addition* A transcript of the conversation at Justitia con be found in the Sim Street Journal in its Monday Oct 21st's article.

Image credit: Livestream 

Bixyl Shuftan

Scenes From Burn2 - "Where Pigs Fly"

While attending a party at Burn2, where DJ Quark was spinning the tunes, people began pointing up. I took a look, and there was this low flying pig just above with several people on it. But it didn't stay around for long. It soon picked up speed and sped away.

There's a lot going on in Second Life right now, so a full story will be in a few days. For more, you can check our Press Day article, or Daniel Voyager's Blog and his Flickr site.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cartoon of the Day

By Bixyl Shuftan

Minecraft: Building Around Angels Villiage

While Nydia Tungsten's been experimenting with Minecraft maps for her friends to game on, the players on her new Angels Village on her servers have continued to build after the village took shape. Quite a few statues and other things were built. Including a tribute to the players.

Read more in Extra.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Club Fur in InWorldz

While exploring around InWorldz, I came across one notable build. Alynna Vixen has been among the residents of Second Life making accounts in this virtual world. But she did more than just that. She built a satellite location for Club Fur in InWorldz's Amber sim.

The club is not a perfect copy. Some of the finer features in the Second Life club are not there. And more obvious it's a double-copy with one on top of the other. And there was no music playing. There was no one else around, or any sign of people coming here.

Club Fur is Second Life's oldest Furry club, and possibly the oldest club still around. It was in Furnation Prime until the sim closed, after which it spent a few years in Kitsuhana before it's old home sim reopened and the club once again moved.

Club Fur InWorldz is at Amber (230, 148, 1927)

On another note, Someone mentioned on Facebook a list of the number of active residents of the alternative virtual worlds to Second Life. InWorldz had certainly benefited from the ToS controversy in Second Life, having an active population of about nine thousand. While twice that of Avination, which it was once roughly equal in number's it's still far short of Second Life's.

Winter Wardhani wrote on her blog while she liked exploring, what kept her in virtual worlds the most was the people, and without them there wasn't much reason to stick around. Thanks to Tuna Oddfellow's Odd Ball, and others such as the Relay for Life, there is some additional activity in this alternative virtual world. But will it be enough for places like Club Fur InWorldz to be more than just backup locations, sitting empty?

Bixyl Shuftan

SL Video: "Second Life's Got Talent Contest 2013 - Part 2"

(Click Here if the video doesn't show)

Part Two of the Second Life's Got Talent competition in Sept. 2013.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Press Day at Burn 2

Yesterday on October 17, the Burn2 area was briefly open to the press and media of Second Life. And this included yours truly. So I went about seeing what was around. The artists there were more than happy to show me what they created for this year's festival. There was quite bit to see, and there were a few questions answered, such as "Who is John Frum?"

Read more in Events.

The Forest

Becky recently wrote about a popular meditation spot. Today, she writes about another with less traffic, "The Forest." Here, one can explore around, as well as meditate, and a few other things. But for Becky, the sim has a history and a story, one that became part of her own in Second Life.

Read more in Places.

Legal Pannel of Lawyers to Discuss Second Life's New ToS

As the ToS/ content creator rights controversy continues, the number of opinions on the matter has become legion. But what do those who make their living practicing law think? Vaki Zenovka, a blogger in Second Life whom in real life is an attorney at law, announced that there would be a discussion on the issue with a panel of lawyers knowledgeable on Internet legal matters, "We’ll take a close, detailed look at exactly what the controversial section of the new ToS means, how it affects content creators (and regular users), what changed from the old terms, and why people are so upset. More importantly, we’ll answer your questions and discuss how the Terms of Service affects your rights now and in the future."

The meeting will take place on Saturday Oct 19 at 10AM SL time (1 PM EST) at the Justitia Virtual Legal Resource Village at Justitia (126/120/954)."We will try to record the event, and we hope we will also be able to reprise the panel on a second date if the demand is high enough." The pannel will conduct the discussion in Voice.

Source: "Insert Funny Name"