Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cartoon of the Day



Taken at the Green Fairy. Who knows why this visitor looking like a Lovecraft fan showed up like this. It's been stated that any mortal whom had the misfortune of seeing the face of the Old God would go insane. But there are things in real life that many wonder if someone could easily go insane trying to understand them.

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Philosophy Class: Looking for Spinoza


While school is usually associated with childhood and young adulthood, education doesn't end there. People self-teach in libraries and bookstores all the time. But sometimes an instructor is necessary, and so people go back to college or attend an adult education class. Such classes also exist in Second Life, including Professor Bergson's Philosophy Class. For nine years, Gemma Cleanslate has been attending, and a new semester is about to start. This year, the theme is "Looking for Spinoza." So who was Spinoza and why does the Professor consider him important?

Read Gemma's article in People.

Club Carnage “The Ultimate Phoenix of SL Clubs”


Clubs come and go in Second Life. Many fade away after less than a year. So when a club has lasted more than a decade, somebody is doing something rights. Recently Majikvixen took a look at Club Carnage, which turned ten years old last December. Having gone through three owners and troubled times that would have killed most clubs, the venue has endured and continues to enjoy a good following. Majikvixen had a few words with it's owner Caemlyn Witherspoon about Carnage.

Read Majikvixen's article in SL Clubbin'.

Beach Party at Sunny Beach


Last weekend, the Newser crew took the time to relax with a beach party, and invited it's friends to come by. Taking place in the Sunny Beach sim just west of the Newser office, the party went on for three hours with lots of music and dance from Tantari Kim and Grease Coakes. A number of pictures were taken at the party.

See the pictures in Events.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Furry Fashion Clubs


It's another week of events at the Furry Fashion Lounge and the Sunweaver/Angel clubs.

Happy Vixen: Dare to Bare, Comedy, Candy and Chocolate

Club Cutlass: Best in "B". Creepy-Crawly, Labor Day

Furry Fashion Lounge: Crux, Metal, Las vegas, Red/Prog Rock, Rainbow Colors, Steampunk, Birds, Musicals

Read the Schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Edited 9:30 AM SL time

Fundraiser at Veterans Isle Raises Over 120,000 Lindens



 On Sunday August 28, Frets Nirvana held his monthly benefit at Veterans Isle. The event is to raise funds for the veterans charity Homes For Our Troops. The event took place from 5PM SL time to just after 9PM (Midnight EST), and besides himself included singers Zak Claxton, Srv4u Conacher (Da Bluez Preacher) and Hogan Baily.

Come out, support and help us by helping our severely wounded veterans through Homes For Our Troops. To learn more about the Homes For Our Troops visit https://www.hfotusa.org. We have another great lineup of premier talent from the Second Life musician community.

The money was donated into house shaped kiosks on either side of the stage. Frets would throw in some Lindens of his own once certain levels of fundraising were reached, at one point dropping in 10,000 Lindens. Zarah Dawn offered, "Anyone donating 2k message me and I'll make you a custom jewelry set." Dahlea Milena, the hostess for the event, told people she had served in the military for twenty-two years, "I had friends still serving, and children old enough to serve or almost old enough. At least one of my child's school friends is no longer with us because of their service after 9/11."

A total of 121,250  Lindens was raised that night. Although Frets does a few HFOT fundraisers at other venues, the monthly benefit at Veterans Isle is still his best known and usually most successful one.

"Thank you again Frets for helping to organize all this."

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fundraiser For Frank at Furry Fashion



Tonight, the Furry Fashion Lounge will be having a special event tonight. At 6PM SL time, there will be a fundraising event to help raise money for Frank to help him get a new pair of hearing aids. DJ Moff will provide the music with BeckyD and Travail hosting. Donating 50 Lindens or more you get an exclusive gift. The theme for the event is "Best in Ears."

"You definitely don't want to miss out on this event! You get to help someone out, listen to awesome music, be around awesome people, join in an awesome fun event, get exclusive gifts! Its gonna be a HUGE EVENT!"

Furry (32, 52, 31)

Gofundme Page For Frank


What do you do if your friend can't afford hearing aids and his insurance company refuses to cover the cost for a pair, calling them "cosmetic?" For Frank, one of the staff at Furry Fashion, this was a real question he had to deal with as one of his hearing aids had stopped working and the other was soon to follow. Fortunately, his real-life boss decided to start a gofundme page for him, one that Furry Fashion began spreading the word about. Deaflegacy went to interview Frank about his problem, and the gofundme page.

Read Deaflegacy's story in People.

Pokemon GO Numbers In Decline


Pokemon GO was the game of the summer. The number of users of the mobile ap augmented reality game skyrocketed since it's release on July 5th to close to 45 million in about two weeks. But that's as far as it's numbers got, and it late July and August was steadily getting smaller. More than 12 million have stopped playing, "Data from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia," stated Luke Kawa in Bloomberg, "show that Pokemon Go's daily active users, downloads, engagement, and time spent on the app per day are all well off their peaks and on a downward trend."

So why the decline? Over the weeks there have been a number of cautionary stories in the news about careless Pokemon players getting into accidents or getting robbed. But the real reasons for the decline appear to be shortcomings in the game itself, not much you can do with critters once they're caught, no quests, no way for players to duel, the gameplay seemed to be centered on capturing "gyms" that were held by monsters that were of a level unrealistic to reach by casual players. There have also apparently been server issues that have been quite irritating to players.

Hamlet Au predicted that eventually the userbase will settle to a dedicated core of about fifteen to five million. Certainly not a bad number for a game, but he felt Pokemon GO's decline would have a negative impact on the augmented gaming market that it had earlier sparked interest in, To succeed in a truly massive way, an AR game needs to be linked with a massive, well-established brand that has a 'fantastic, invisible parallel world' premise well-integrated into its branding."

Kawa suggested that over the long term, the augmented reality market would remain smaller than the one for virtual worlds, citing one analyst, "The Google Trends data is already showing declining interest in augmented reality, whereas interest in virtual reality remains high."


Sources: New World Notes, Bloomberg, Yahoo, PC Mag, Arstechnica 

Bixyl Shuftan

Advertise in the Second Life Newser


Maybe you're starting your small business and want to get the word out. Or maybe you already have a business that's doing okay, but you think you could do better if more people knew about you. Maybe you you're a club owner whom is finding it harder to attract crowds than you thought and you need more people to know about your place and what makes it special. Maybe you're an aspiring DJ whom is looking for top clubs to ask for your services. You need a way to get the word out.

Why not advertise in Second Life's leading newsletter, the Second Life Newspaper. We're a talented team with years of experience with writing about the people, places, and events about the virtual world, and can help get the word about you to the thousands who read our publication. For the price of 1000 Linden dollars, we will do an advertorial article and show what your location and/or business has to offer. We have had numerous satisfied clients over the years, and will be happy to include you among them.

For better value for your money, why not consider a sponsorship? For 15,000 Linden dollars, your name will for three months appear on a banner near the top of the front page where readers will see it when they get their first look at the paper. The banner will link to the webpage or article of your choice. Secondary sponsorships are also available. For a 5,000 Linden dollar fee, the banner will appear near the top of one of the other sections besides the main page, such as "Places," for a three month time period.

While we do occasional advertising for adult-themed vanues, all advertorials must be "workplace safe," and we cannot show nudity or use profane language. Charity events, such as the Relay for Life, are normally written about free of charge.

We look forward to doing business with you, and helping you spread the word about what you have to offer to the exciting wider world of Second Life.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Announcement: "Farewell Skull Island"



The Skull Island build at LEA9, which Gemma Cleanslate wrote about earlier, will soon be fading into the mists of the virtual nether. On Tuesday August 30, there's a farewell party planned for one final celebration for the home of the famous movie monster King Kong.

A celebration of Skull Island, featuring Babypea von Phoenix and friends a dance show tribute to King Kong! we say good bye to Kong and Skull island , and hello to Water World .  Followed by the King Kong Ball with music, DJ, and dancing .then Adventure to Skull Island to explore a fantastic sim-wide build that is full of surprises and magical discovery, so much to see and do!  Excellent photo opportunities.This project was made possible in part by a grant from Linden Endowment for the Arts. With builds by Oldlex. 

The event starts at 6PM SL time.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/LEA9/115/112/30

Announcement: This Weekend's Festival at Roma


Saturday, 27th August
10am - Nemoralia Ritual & Fantasy Costume Contest
This month's festivals begin with a ritual for Diana & Trivia (Hecate, to you Greeks) honouring these Goddesses of the wild and the darkness. After the ritual, we'll be having a party with dancing, music, and a costume contest -- the costume theme is Woodland Fantasy Creatures, and the prize is $L1000 for the winner!
Transtiberim (106, 29, 30)

12pm - Nemoralia Treasure Hunt
Diana and Trivia have scattered treasure across ROMA Transtiberim for Their faithful worshippers to find! Come join us in seeking to discover the hidden bounty! Finding yourself in need of a few Linden? Perhaps the Goddesses will provide! Come hunt with us and fill your purses!
Transtiberim (58, 34, 45)

1pm - Vinalia Rustica Gacha Party
The ancient Vinalia Rustica was a celebration of the grape and the fruits of the Earth - and we'll be gathering together to drink and swap/sell all our extra gacha items! Do you have unwanted gachas cluttering your inventory? Here's your chance to get rid of them, and pick up some new swag in the process. We can't guarantee your inventory will be lighter afterward, but at least you'll have new things to treasure!
ROMA Vinovium (93, 114, 24)

************************************************

Sunday, 28th August
10am - Vulcanalia Ritual & Build Contest
Our second day of festivals begins with a ritual to honour Vulcan, the God of the Forge, and asking His blessing on all our crafts. Since He was also the God of Volcanos and fire, we will also have a building contest -- The theme is Metalcraft, and you can create anything which fits within that limit: weapons, silver tea service, jewelry, even artistic works reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower! All contestants will have 1 hour to build, and all are welcome, regardless of building skill-level!
ROMA Vinovium (35, 138, 4020)

12pm -  The Fires in the Night Grand Feast
Our festivals begin to wind down with the Grand Feast in honour of Diana, Trivia, and Vulcan - come dance with us as the flames flare into the night! Live music by FrankLee Anatra -- don't miss it!

ROMA Transtiberim (199, 194, 29)

SL Video: "Little Shop of Horrors Starlite Dancers"




(Click here if the video fails to play)

From Foxie Dinzeo in July 2016, this SL adaptation of "Little Shop of Horrors" doesn't quite end like the movie.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Join The Newser Crew For a Party



After our beach party last month, the Second Life Newser crew received some requests to have another soon. Well, our neighbor Erik Mouse (Erik Mouse (ErikMouse Dawid) of Sunny Beach/Mythica Woods offered us his hangout there, "Surf City," for such an occasion. So we're taking him up on it.

The event will be tomorrow, Saturday August 27, at Noon SL time at Sunny Beach. Don't forget your swimsuits.

Sunny Beach (200/144/22)

Scammer Alert: Unauthorized Full Perm Item Resales Reported on Marketplace


By Bixyl Shuftan

Strawberry Singh recently wrote about an apparent problem on the Second Life Marketplace after being contacted by the maker of full permissions, or Full Perm, items which he sold on Second Life's Marketplace. Unscrupulous individuals are taking such items, and placing copies up for resale on Marketplace, not bothering to get permissions or give any kind of compensation to the content creators. Unless the offending party agrees to take down the items themselves after being contacted, the only recourse for the creators is to file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown request with Linden Lab "over and over until they are taken down, but then they must also DMCA items that are being sold by people who have bought these illegal full perm items and are selling them in their stores thinking they have a legal copy of the item."

Unfortunately, while sometimes this is the end of the ripoff, sometimes it continues, "A DMCA take down usually takes a week to be taken down, but the next day, that account puts it right back on that same Marketplace as a new listing."

Strawberry offered the following suggestions of "some of the things that you should look for and be aware of before making a purchase."


Before purchasing look at the seller’s other listings. If there is a hodgepodge of brand names and the vendors all look different, they are most likely an illegal seller.

Purchase the items from the inworld store of the full perm creator instead of the marketplace, to ensure that you are not purchasing from an illegal seller.

Most of the illegal sellers have blank profiles. Real full perm sellers usually have a full profile filled with links to their websites, mainstores and marketplace stores.

Most Full Perm sellers have started using water marks on the vendor ads which say the name of the avatar that is supposed to be selling it. The illegal sellers are still using those ads, even with the watermark. So it is important to look at the name of the creator on the watermark, and if it isn’t that person selling it, don’t buy it.

Try to find a way to report these items, either to Linden Lab by flagging the listing or to the original creator of the items.



That among her suggestions is not using Marketplace to purchase these items, Hamlet Au, who also wrote about the issue, called this, "Ironic, because a key point of the Marketplace existing at all is it makes online shopping for virtual content much more convenient than having to go rooting around for items in the full 3D client." Hamlet would go on to say Strawberry felt Linden Lab's options for dealing with this problem were limited.

"I honestly don't think they can because for them it would be hard to tell who is a valid seller without someone informing them at first and that's why the DMCA needs to happen." She was quoted as telling Hamlet, "If they went around closing accounts of people they suspect might be doing this without someone claiming it first, then they could potentially close some innocent accounts."

One possible solution, Strawberry suggested, was closing the accounts of those DMCAs had been filed against. But the Lab would need to be careful about unfairly shutting down creators whom are the target of false reports. Doing to would take time and resources (and money)by the Lab. But as Hamlet put it, "doing that would cut into Second Life's steadily shrinking profit margin. Then again, alienating content creators by not giving them a secure market also is also a profit-limiting move."

Among those leaving comments after Hamlet's article, one resident compared the problem to selling real life goods if they were easily duplicated in a fast-operating and extremely cheap to operate 3D printer. The person felt if someone was selling something completely Full Perm, rather than copyable but not transferable or transferable but not copyable, the seller was taking a chance, except perhaps if such items were useful only as parts to make a more detailed good.

Sources: Strawberry Singh, New World Notes, Modem World

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: Free Dance Lessons at LEA1


Dances in Real Life offer Free Dance Lessons; Dances in Second Life should too!

The essence of our Dance 101 class is to recreate that same social experience, educational experience, and just plain fun experience.   Our class is self-guided 24x7, but the real fun comes with our Live Instructor classes.

New LIVE INSTRUCTOR Dance Classes have been scheduled at LEA1 for Thursday, September 1, at 7PM SL time, Tuesday Sept. 6 at 2PM SLT, and Monday Sept. 12 SLT.  They will be held at our 1940s themed venue, CP Swing, located in the heart of Swing City - our 1940s themed city within LEA1.

These FREE Dance Classes have a new LIVE class format featuring two songs per dance, and an additional break between songs to allow for costume changes.  We have been delighted to see some of our participants wanting to change costumes along with the instructors, which has added a new dimension to the class experience.   Come learn six of the most popular dances in SL, meet new people, and dance with them!

While you are here, be sure to check out our other exhibits.  Jardines de Baile offers a Dance 101 classroom next to Club Nocturno, recreating a Mexican seaside resort experience.  Gardens Park provides a beautiful setting to practice your dances.  And our Education Center provides an overview of our 2LDance.org mission and vision, and what went into creating our LEA1 venues.

CP SWING 40's-Era Dance Hall, in Swing City - LEA1 (65, 71, 25)
    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA1/65/71/25
   
   
Clase de Baile, at Club Nocturno (Jardines de Baile)  - LEA1 (84, 221, 22)
    http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/LEA1/84/221/22

Find out more at: http://2LDance.org

Thursday, August 25, 2016

April Linden Explains Tuesday's Grid Problems, "We're Sorry About This Outage"


As some of you already know, there were some problems with the Second Life Grid on Tuesday. For a while around Noon and the early afternoon, residents were unable to log in and some were being logged out. At the time, Linden Lab posted an "Unscheduled Maintenance" notice at 11:03 AM stating this, and asking residents to temporarily stop making purchases inworld and buying Lindens.

We are aware that some users are currently being logged out, and all users are currently unable to log in to Second Life. Additionally, please refrain from transacting on the LindeX on in-world as purchases are likely to fail. Some regions are also unavailable at this time, and teleports to other regions may fail currently. We have identified the issue causing this situation and are currently working to resolve it. Please monitor this blog for additional updates.

It was 2:49 PM when they finally gave the all-clear. A few residents I talked to later mentioned the downtime. One would later tell me adjustments she had made at the time while she was going through a number of sets of clothes had been undone, and wondered if what was going on with the Grid had something to do with it.

Several years ago, downtimes happened regularly. With the sometimes self-depreciating humor of the days of Philip Linden, they'd post a picture parodying the monolith and apes scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey, "The Grid Is Down While We Bang On Things." Today, downtimes are much less frequent. And this time, April Linden decided to make a statement the following day explaining what happened.

Shortly after 10:30am, the master node of one of the central databases crashed. This is the same type of crash we’ve experienced before, and we handled it in the same way. We shut down a lot of services (including logins) so we could bring services back up in an orderly manner, and then promptly selected a new master and promoted it up the chain. This took roughly an hour, as it usually does.

A few minutes before 11:30am we started the process of restoring all services to the Grid. When we enabled logins, we did it in our usual method - turning on about half of the servers at once. Normally this works out as a throttle pretty well, but in this case, we were well into a very busy part of the day. Demand to login was very high, and the number of Residents trying to log in at once was more than the new master database node could handle.

Around noon we made the call to close off logins again and allow the system to cool off. While we were waiting for things to settle down we did some digging to try to figure out what was unique about this failure, and what we’ll need to do to prevent it next time.

We tried again at roughly 12:30pm, doing a third of the login hosts at a time, but this too was too much. We had to stop on that attempt and shut down all logins again around 1:00pm.

On our third attempt, which started once the system cooled down again, we took it really slowly, and brought up each login host one at a time. This worked, and everything was back to normal around 2:30pm.

My team is trying to figure out why we had to turn the login servers back on much more slowly than in the past. We’re still not sure. It’s a pretty interesting challenge, and solving hard problems is part of the fun of running Second Life.
Voice services also went down around this time, but for a completely unrelated reason. It was just bad luck and timing.

We did have one bright spot! Our status blog handled the load of thousands of Residents checking it all at once much better. We know it wasn’t perfect, but it showed much improvement over the last central database failure, and we’ll keep getting better 

My team takes the stability of Second Life very seriously, and we’re sorry about this outage. We now have a new challenging problem to solve, and we’re on it.

"We're sorry." Not words that we hear from Linden Lab every day. But this time, it's on the record that they spoke them.

Hat Tip: Inara Pey

Bixyl Shuftan

New Furry Fashion Lounge



On Monday August 22, The Furry Fashion Lounge revealed their latest redesign. Unlike the previous one used until Sunday, this one was at ground level. So those who didn't have the LM didn't have to fly up to it. As Furry Fashion does not normally have Monday events, this was a "Come As You Are" with a 6000 Linden prize. A number showed up in Crux avatars, a favorite dress-up avatar for several in the mall and lounge's group.


Amethyst Crystal, the owner of Furry Fashion, was there. Rather than dancing, she was making subtle humorous remarks to the patrons' various puns.

Furry Fashion is at the Furry sim.

Press Release: "Homes For Our Troops" Benefit At Veterans Isle


Frets Nirvana and US Military Veterans Group announces the eighth 2016 benefit for Homes For Our Troops in Second Life! 

Frets Nirvana, the premier guitar artist in the virtual world Second Life and the US Military Veterans Group announce a benefit on August 28, 2016 in Second Life for the Veterans Support Organization for Home For Our Troops . 

Frets Nirvana states:  “HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these Veterans are multiple amputees, paraplegic, quadriplegic or suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).  These homes restore some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed defending ours, and enable them to focus on their family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives. Since its inception in 2004, over 90 cents of every dollar spent by Homes for Our Troop has gone to directly support Veterans. ”
Home for Our Troops benefit concerts feature premier Second Life talent monthly at Veteran’s Isle.  The concert on August 28, 2016 is scheduled from 5-9 PM PST.  Featured artists will be Zak Claxton,Frets Nirvana, SRV4U Conacher and Hogan Baily.

ABOUT HOMES FOR OUR TROOPS  - HFOT builds homes as a departure point for Veterans to rebuild their lives, and once again become highly productive members of society. Despite their life-altering injuries, many Veterans have embarked on new careers, completed their college degrees, or started families. Empowered by the freedom a mortgage-free and specially adapted home brings, these Veterans can now focus on their recovery and return to their life’s work of serving others. Many have embraced their roles as motivational speakers, sharing their messages of persevering through tragedy with groups and classrooms around the country; others take to a national platform to promote awareness of veteran suicide, homelessness and PTSD. Their incredible stories are the driving force for the work for HFOT.

To learn more about the Homes For Our Troops visit https://www.hfotusa.org