Friday, July 31, 2015

Commentary: Windows 10's Dark Secret

Microsoft is releasing their latest version of Windows: Windows 10. In development for over two years, Microsoft calls it, "the best Windows ever." And the company is giving it out for free. So what's the catch? It seems the Operating System collects quite a bit of your data that gets sent to Microsoft. Nydia Tungsten had a few things to say about it.

Read more in Extra.

Angels Calendar Auction Ends Today

If you want a chance to be in a picture with a calendar girl, you better hurry up. Tonight Nydia Tungsten's Calendar Auction comes to a close and  the last bids made final.

The time is counting down for your chance to be in this years Angels calendar, final bids starting so check back often for your chance to pose with your favorite model.

Every year, the Calendar events take place to help raise money for the Angel Estates sims to keep rents down. This year's calendar auction has 18 models of which the 13 with the highest bids will appear in the calendar with the bidders in the calendar. Also up for bid is a spot in a video of Nydia's with the 13 girls. So far, most of the models have bids of at least 1000 Lindens, with two at over 5,000.

The auction bids are made at the Happy Vixen club and hangout.

Press Release: RFL ABBA Tribute Concert

Brightest Day Productions & Willow Springs Auction House proudly present . . .


In concert, Saturday, August  1, at 4 p.m. SLT, at the Star Dream Annex!
Serena Baia (69, 129, 22)

Come hear Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn, and Anni-Frid--ABBA--perform their greatest hits . . . "Dancing Queen," "Mama Mia," "SOS," "Honey, Honey," "Fernando," "Waterloo," and more! Experience the top vocal group of the '70s in a special thank you party for RFL! It's ABBA as you've never seen them before!

A Brightest Day Productions tribute event!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Classic Rock Club "The Vinyl" Goes on Hiatus

The Sunweaver Estates is known for it's clubs. But one of them has gone inactive, at least for now. This week, it was announced that the Vinyl Museum would be indefinitely closed to regular events.

Until further notice from Perri, Vinyl is semi-closed. The club is still open for use there just won't be any events until Perri comes online and is able to stay online to handle issues. We can't run with no Managers and DJs. We apologize for this inconvenience and hope this won't make you give up on us.

Opening in May 2009 as Club Xanadu, a classic club with the design based on the Pan Pacific Auditorium which in the movie "Xanadu" was turned into a club. with Perri Prinz and RECoyote Mindes as co-owners and Perri the regular DJ. Perri had a reputation for being a good DJ, with one of the best selections of 60s and 70s classic rock. Even though the club was later renamed "Green Meadows," and then "The Vinyl Museum," people have continued to call it "Perri's Xanadu," and more recently just "The Vinyl."

The club has temporarily closed a few times in the past, last reopening in December 2013. Taking the Tuesday and Thursday time slots that were done by Club Zero Gravity before it closed, the club has continued to do well until recently, being among those taking part in Second Life Newser's anniversary parties. But Perri has had to take an indefinite break from Second Life to help out family in real life. That led to the decision to put regular events on hold until the Sunweaver's popular bunnygirl DJ can return.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Grand Opening of Windlight Magazine’s Art Gallery

DATE: August 1, 2015


Windlight Magazine, Second Life’s newest magazine about the arts, will open it’s brand new Windlight Art Gallery with a group exhibition on August 1, 2015. The opening reception will be on August 8, 2015 at 1pm slt and feature live performer Anek Fuchs. A closing reception will be held on August 23, 2015 at 3pm slt and will also feature live performer Anek Fuchs.

The exhibition will feature August 2015 Windlight Art Gallery Fellows Artemis Greece Resident, Richie Narstrom, Seb Arkright, Bones Delicioso, Ozymandi Resident, Ilrya Chardin, Sandi Benelli, Myra Wildmist, SereneDean Resident, Roffellos Resident, Bluesrocker Resident, ChrysteRox Resident, and Wicca Merlin. Many of the works are original pieces by each artist in a variety of scenery and art mediums.

About the Windlight Artist Fellowship Program:
The Artist Fellowship program will provide free gallery space to both new and established artists for a period of 30 days. This program is open to both new and established artists in Second Life. The goal of the program is to provide promotional and artistic resources to artists in Second Life.

About Windlight Magazine:
Windlight Magazine is a publication about the art and photography world of Second Life. The goal of Windlight Magazine is to support artists, photographers, galleries, and related events. John nee Johannes1977 Resident is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor in Chief of Windlight Magazine and Gallery. The magazine is published on a monthly basis.

For More Information:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Kiss" Tribute Concert at Primal Passions for Post-Walk Relay Event

Although the Relay Walk is over, there are still some Relay for Life events taking place. One was the Kiss tribute concert at Castle Primal Passions in the Sunweaver Estates. Taking place Sunday July 26, it was held in front of a packed crowd, whom cheered on the hard rock musicians.

Read more in Events.

Cartoon of the Day

From the Relay for Life Weekend Opening

By Bixyl Shuftan

Podex Exchange Closes Operations in Second Life

With their deadline for currency exchangers to close due to orders by Linden Lab just a few days away, I went to check on the Podex Exchange to see if any information was posted there. I found their ATM disabled and with a message in Polish over it. It took a translation program to figure out what it meant, "Sale of Linden dollars is temporary suspended - for more information, visit Podex ."

Checking their English language page at, I noticed that among the icons for the virtual worlds they cover, the Second Life symbol was no longer among them. There was no new information on their English Language blog. On the Polish page's blog however, there was. I again used a translation program for it.

As a result, the company Linden Lab's decision that restricts the sale of Linden dollars through intermediaries are forced to temporarily suspend the service. Please do not make payment, and do not send SMS.

Although Podex owner Jacek Shuftan used the word "suspend," what it means is the place has de fatco closed to further business. After being in business for several years in Second Life, the Podex Exchange in Second Life has shut down.

For Second Life's resident's, it means a currency exchanger with a good reputation and record of service is now closed, making it more difficult for those having difficulties with Lindex, the official Linden Lab Linden dollar currency exchanger, to get Linden dollars. For the Second Life Newser, it means it's longest running sponsor whom has been listed as one for most of it's history starting in November 2010, is now gone.

The Newser thanks Jacek Shuftan for all those years of support.

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Two New LEA Exhibitions

After her time at the Relay, Gemma Cleanslate is back looking at art exhibitions. Hearing about two new ones at the Linden Endowment of the Arts regions, she went over and checked them out. One was designed bu Circa Ghost, the other by Livio Korobase. So what did Gemma think?

Read more in Design.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Busy Weekend

With the Relay Walk over, some might expect that this weekend would have nothing going on. That was not the case. There continued to be Relay events after the walk. Team Strange Journey held a party at the Shadowmoon roleplay area. Castle Primal Passions held a music concert featuring a "Kiss" Tribute band with over 5,000 Lindens raised going to Team Sunbeamer. The Roma sims held a weekend festival with the Roman god Neptune as the theme, with a few water-related events.

There's always something going on, somewhere, in Second Life.

Commentary: Linden Lab Continues to Shoot Itself in the Foot

By Bixyl Shuftan

With the Relay for Life now over, time to focus more on other issues, such as Linden Labs and its recent blunders.

When Ebbe Altberg took over as CEO of Linden Lab, at the time a number of residents were having serious doubts as to its commitment to the residents of Second Life, the content creator rights controversy being the big issue at the time. When the new leader of the Lab spoke more on the issue in five minutes than the company had in five months, many residents became hopeful things were changing for the better. When the controversial section of the new terms of service that had created the mess was rewritten, more felt certain better times had arrived. A few longtimers held their enthusiasm in check though, commenting they'd seen hopeful signs followed by disappointment before, saying chances were, this was just a honeymoon period for the new CEO.

It would seem the honeymoon has ended.

A few months ago in April, residents were surpised to hear about the closing of the SS Galaxy, the three sim ocean liner which had been around for over eight years, the largest build on the grid. It came as an even greater shock as to what led to the closing: a severe griefing assault followed by Linden Lab telling the ship's managers they would get only one sim rollback to repair damage, and then no more. All that money spent by a longtime customer, and when they asked for customer service were essentially told to stuff it. No surprise the owners decided they could no longer promise the experience they offered to Second Life's cruise liner fans before, and announced they were closing.

Sadly, the closing of the SS Galaxy would not be the only Linden blunder in recent weeks. In June, Linden Lab announced they would be calling off the deal they made with third party currency exchangers two years before, telling them after July to leave Second Life. They stated they had improved their Lindex and solved the problems people complained about the previous time they tried closing down the exchangers two years earlier. However, Second Life residents, notably those outside the United States, have complained about problems with Lindex, saying their ability to buy Linden dollars will be compromised, if not outright shut down, once the third party exchangers are. Despite two petitions totaling over 1200 signatures, Linden Lab shows no sign of backing down from it's course, leaving those dependent on third party exchangers with an uncertain future in Second Life.

This month, Linden Lab almost had a public relations disaster when the noted Grendel's Children store was almost taken down along with it's sims because of it's co-owner Flea Bussy, the one who paid for the virtual land, being locked out due to a technicality. Flea and his partner Toady Nakamura are topnotch builders whom recently got attention with Toady's exhibit at the Second Life birthday. Bussy so impressed Philip Linden, he was quoted as saying, "As goes Grendles, so goes the Grid. Imagine what it would have looked like if the store once seen as symbolic of Second Life had been shut down due to a technicality?

Incidents like this are nothing new. One friend told me she once lived on a Fantasy roleplay community of which the sims suddenly went offline, and when they didn't go backup, the owners suspended payment. After two months, Linden Lab told the sim owners they were ready to bring them back online, but demanded the teir for the two months the sims had been offline. They refused, and the sims were reopened just long enough for the community members to gather their items before the land went down for good. Granted this didn't happen recently, the sims in question going down a few years ago, but it was a reminder of Linden Lab's "customer no service," to borrow an expression from financial commentator Clark Howard.

Linden Lab, what is going on?

Despite some raised eyebrows of your announcement of SL 2.0, or Project Sansar as you insist on calling it, your reputation had recovered from the messes you'd gotten into earlier. And now with two high profile failures plus a strategic move that will make it more difficult for residents outisde the US to purchase Linden dollars, once again you're looking like the uncaring, incompetant beast criticss accused you of being. Such incidents do not make you look well when people think about whether or not to buy a sim or renew one, or purchase Linden dollars to help their Second Life experience.

You've worked on bells and whistles to improve how things look around here, to try to get things to rezz more smoothly, to get the items closer to someone to rezz first to him. her. This of course is great, but how good is it if residents can't be sure the Lab will help if something goes wrong?

There's more to this then just Second Life, but your planned sequel to it, Project Sansar. You say you're going to make it "so good, people will want to leave Second Life for it." But if they see you as goofing up with Second Life, why will they trust you with it's sequel?

I've stated it before in previous commentaries. For businesses, trust is a valuable commodity. Trust that you will honor your commitments. Trust that you have the competence to run your business and manage your product well. It cannout be gained quickly or bought, only earned over time.

And right now, the trust you're regained over the course of a year is being lost.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Jaycatt and Frogg's Tenth Anniversary

Almost but not quite forgotten, while the Relayers were busy walking the track last Saturday July 18th, one of Second Life's best known musical duos was celebrating their tenth anniversary as singers. Jaycatt Nico and Frogg Marlow, whom the Newser recently interviewed, did a special performance at their venue in Lingmell.

At their skybox theater straddling two sims over 270 meters in the air, "Effinjay," as the two are called sometimes, performed for a sizable crowd. This would be the fourth and main performance of theirs this week.

Jaycatt will be away on real-life business next week, though Frogg will be giving two solo performances.

Scenes Posted From the Relay For Life Volunteer Group

In the final days of the Relay Track, a few Relayers posted a few scenes.

 "In memory of the Daleks. Who says Dr. Who fans don't have a sense of humor?"

Lominola Rehula had an avatar challenge in which if a certain amount was donated into her kiosk, she'd don one of RacerX Gullwing's giant snail racer avatars for seven days for the second year in a row. It was met, so she posted about it, "I'll be a giant snail again for one week. :-) "

On Friday July 24, the Giant Snail Racing team made Gold Level.

 Another Dr. Who picture, this one from one of the team.

Wildstar Beaumont posted this picturesque farewell scene, "See you next year."

SL Video: "Chichén Itzá Mexico "

(Click here if the video fails to play)

From "Planet Video" August 2007, "The recreation of the ancient world of Chichén Itzá in Second Life. Part of the (successful) bid to become one of the Seven Wonder The recreation of the ancient world of Chichén Itzá in Second Life. Part of the (successful) bid to become one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World."

Friday, July 24, 2015

Commentary: New Health Group, The International Blood Disorder Community

It's been a while since Wesley Regenbogen sent in an article. This was due mainly due to certain events in real life. But he was also looking into creating a group for those with blood-related illnesses. After some talk with people at Virtual Ability, he went ahead and created the Second Life group: the International Blood Disorder Community.

Read Wesley's commentary in Extra.

The Relay Track Comes Down

"All good things must come to an end." And so, the camps and track for last weekend's Relay Walk came down yesterday, Thursday July 23.

Just a reminder tomorrow is the day your builds should be torn down to prepare for the region return to Linden Labs. It is our practice to return items to builders by 9pm slt to ensure you don't lose your objects because when the regions are taken back, so are any remaining items! Lindens don't return them to you! Try to set aside time to gather up what you're most concerned about losing, if not all of your objects.  We are not responsible for lost  or missing items.

Camps had been coming down as soon as the night before. Throughout Thursday, the camps were taken down, and by early evening most were gone. Sections of track were taken up as well, with only the luminaria, and the occasional team sign of kiosk, to mark where they had been.

 Across the track, some people were still around, looking at what was left, or recollecting the fun and activity the sims had held earlier, now a part of the Relay's past.

Not all was somber though. There was one bit of last minute fun when someone replaced the T1 Radio sign with the "Team Stinky" one from previous Relays when "Stinky the Skunk" was a motivation to raise more cash.

Someone else passed around a kind of wheeled duck, which people rode upon across part of the grounds.(picture by Screaming Violet)

The one sim that in the end wasn't desolate was the American Cancer Society sim, part of the track  during the event, now returning to normal.

In the Relay chat were a number of comments, people looking back at the fun they had and looking forward to the future.

Thank you for making my first go as full captain of a team so awesome, everyone was so helpful and just plain out awesome!  Let's make the off-season and 2016 just as incredible.  Cancer knows no season--neither should we!

And so, one of Second Life's biggest yearly events truly comes to a close, with hundreds of participants. It's not the end of the Relay, the official close being Sunday August 16. And there will still be a few smaller Relay events in between, such as the Shadowmoon Dance tonight. But the Relay Walk was the high point of the season, with nothing quite like it.

For the Newser, it's also been an especially busy time, with our Fifth Anniversary, followed by the Second Life Birthday, and now the Relay. The busy time isn't over as there's still the Relay Walk article or two to do, along with a few other things that got postponed due to the event. The news never ends.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Relay's Flood Party

Yesterday evening, the sims of the RFL Activities sims of the Relay for Life were looking a little damp. The water level had risen a few feet, covering the walkways and ground. It was the time of the "Flood Party."

The flood party isn't an official Relay event, but started in 2010 a few days after the weekend walk when a sim manager rose the water level in his place on a whim, and people flocked over, spontaneously starting a party. Since then every year, there's been a flood party around midweek after the Relay Weekend. And this year was no exception, people gathering at a spot in the RFL Activities sims at 5PM SL time when it was announced the water level there was rising.

There were a number of team captains and other Relay personalities there, such as T1 Radio's Trader Whiplash, Debi Dastardly, and DJ Madonna.

People danced in the shin-deep water, or floated on rafts and rested on the nearby purple couch.

With a number of shark attacks making real-life news, a few got nervous when one showed up at the flood party. But he just joined in the dancing, shaking his fins.

After a few hours, the party thinned out as people went to bed, or went to explore the other sims on the track a little longer before the teardown the next day, Thursday. It was a fun flood party.

Bixyl Shuftan

Press Release: Team Strange Journeys Presents ...

Team Strange Journeys Presents
Shadowmoon Valley Roleplay Dance Night

Friday July 24 2pm-8pm
Featurijng DJs, Bid Me Bald and a trivia contest!

Come visit... check out the sim in the meantime!
Maison dair dAlliez (45/188/58)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cartoon of the Day: The 2015 Relay Weekend

From the Steelhead camp on the Relay Track. The Justice League decided to cheer the Relayers when this T-Rex avatar showed up. While Superman may have delt with his share of prehistoric beasts, a scene with a giant sugary treat in a dino's maw would be a new one.

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Manga Fair

Are you looking for an anime style outfit, or just a fan of anime and manga in general? Then one event you might want to check out is the Manga Fair. Going on until August 9 in the La Isla Hispana sim, the event offers a number of items for sale, some in gachas, from outfits, to masks, to plush dolls, and more. Bloodykitty took a look to check things out for herself

Read Bloodykitty's article in Events.

Relay for Life Flood Party Expected Sometime Today

The Relay in Second Life has a few traditions. Some are official, such as the opening and closing ceremonies and the awards given out. Others aren't part of the official program. This includes the "Flood Party."

In 2010 in the days after the Weekend Walk with people looking around the sims and holding impromptu parties, one of the track sim managers decided to have a little fun by raising the water level. People nearby noticed, headed over, and began swimming around in it. Word got around by word of mouth (or word of mouse), or people noticed the clump of green dots on the map, and headed over, whooping it up with inner tubes and swimmer AOs.

As this event isn't part of the official program, there's no set date. It could happen at any time today. And there's no guarantee that there will be one. Sometimes there are twists, such as the "drain party" last year as the Track already had a few flooded sims. But every year, there's been a flood party. So keep an eye on the Relay group chatter, and an occasional peek at the map over the RFL sims.

* * * * *

Some statistics about the Relay are available. had the following

 Avatars:     1229
Laps:     2370
Distance:     20,016,523 meters
Minutes:     123,240
Course Length:     8,448 meters

There were also three lists of whom completed at least one lap, and qualifying for recognition by the Relay for awards. On the first list, yours truly was counted as having walked "2.33" laps, and a Turtle Award. Twenty-one avatars were determined to do at least twenty laps, including Newser writer DrFran Babcock, and will get the "Roadrunner Award." But only twenty will get awards. The one whom did more than thirty was disqualified from getting any official recognition.

 The date for the "Relay Wrap-Up" event was also released. It will be on Sunday August 16 from 9AM  to about 1PM SL time, with several more awards given out, including the Spirit of the Relay team and individual awards.

Hat tip: Daniel Voyager

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Moon Landing Anniversary Celebrated at the National Space Society

It was 46 years ago on July 20 1969 in which the Apollo Moon Landing took place. Celebrated by space fans across the world, Second Life was no exception, a party being held in the event's honor by the National Space Society's Second Life group. The party was held in the sim of the same name.

Celebrate the anniversary of the first humans from now until ‘one small step’ at 17:56:15 SL time at the party pavilion on our recreation of Tranquility Base.  We have dancing to a special Moon Music playlist, along with the discussion of the past present and future of space exploration and development (and how about that Pluto flyby, too?)

A number of avatars of all kinds, furs, robots, ponies, and of course a few alien-looking avatars joined the normal human ones in dancing and chatting at the pavilion.  There were a few space-related freebies one could get, such as a scruffy-looking "Hobo space suit." There was also a video screen showing footage of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, in addition to playing some recordings related to the recent Pluto space probe.

There was a build of the Moon Landing there, celebrating the "one small step" Neil Armstrong made, in addition to several other builds, including a rocket that would occasionally launch from the pavilion.

There was much space-related chatter among those in the group, at one point the question being posed what would come first, a moon base, a landing on Mars, or a permanent space colony? Each has it's challenges, that of a trip to Mars being cosmic rays being bad for brain tissue over time.

The National Space Society sim has a number of exhibits, and the group meets once a week on Monday at 3PM SL time.

Bixyl Shuftan.

Relay For Life: A Survivor's THANK YOU!

Words cannot describe how after I did my survivor lap last night and upon getting back to my campsite the most beautiful sight I ever witness and for me to just let go and cry at those who were there to greet me on my return.

I am still in quite a bit of shock at the outpouring of love that awaited me and with all the tears of joy that I had, it was well worth it.

As you know I was bound and determined to get my walk in one way or another and believe me, just like cancer TRIED to stop me, so was sim crashes and lag trying and failed to last night (except for one crash) again.

For me, it was not an option for me to forgo my walk, it just wasn't gonna get by me without me doing it. I was that determined that I could and would do my walk one way or  another.  The end results was needless to say another moment in the history of our relay, another moment in time that will be recorded on my site after I have some time to let it all sink in and to relish what's become a HUGE success in my over coming obstacles and AGAIN showing cancer who is BOSS around  HERE!!!

I guess in retrospect for me to say thank you to each and everyone who met me would take a much longer notecard LOL, but in all sincerity I do want to say thank you to;

Catalina Stalheli, who behind the scenes gathered friends and love ones together for what was so important to me. I had told Catalina I wanted to finally do my lap and told her I would be in to do it.

I was just totally unaware of what was to happen as we made our way around the track, Having Lom on my shoulder and Catalina and another relayer in tow, we walked, even members of the Second Life Cheerleading Squad and even a committee member joined as we got closer back to the campsite and as the transcript that was sent earlier, the rest they say is history!

In closing, again THANK YOU to Catalina Stalheli for doing this and bringing closure to a relay season I won't forget for a long time to be, and to the ENTIRE relay community a big BIG HEARTY HEALTHY THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

As my team motto says, we are "Strong! Together!"

Vickie Maidstone,
Friends Fighting Cancer RFL Team Captain 2015.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hair Hair Everywhere

A few days ago, the Hair Fair, a shopping event in which numerous hair and headgear designers contribute designs to sell for charity, opened in Second Life. Our fashion writer Syndra decided to check it out to see what was available. So what did she think?

Read more in Fashion.

The Relay Weekend

 And it's over, at least officially. Over the weekend of July 18 and 19, The Relay for Life Walk took place. From the opening ceremonies at 10AM Saturday to the declaration of the victory lap at 11AM Sunday, hundreds of avatars took part in the walk.

Team Sunbeamers, the team of the Sunweaver community which is the home of the SL Newser office, was one of many teams that took part, whether it was cheering on Relayers from their camp ...

 Or going on the track themselves, both as individuals and as a group.

Although the team had reached Gold rank last month, it's total raised has continued to climb. Over the event, it reached the 300,000 Linden mark.

More pictures will be available soon. For now, one can look at the Relay for Life Flickr page, which includes screenshots from Relayers such as Wildstar and Ishtarkiss.

Bixyl Shuftan

Relay Weekend Awards

During the Closing Ceremonies, a number of awards were given out to various teams.

Cancer Education Awareness Award

1st Place: Inspired Dreamwalkers
2nd Place: Foundation For Life
3rd Place: Aether Chrononauts Tiny Steps

Inventive Creative Fundraising Award

1st Place: Dreamin’ In Purple
2nd Place: Meli’s Maniacs
3rd Place: Harmony of Hope

Best Theme-Decorated Campsite Award

1st Place: Foundation For Life
2nd Place: Meli’s Maniacs & Harmony of Hope
3rd Place: Aether Chrononauts Tiny Steps

Designer Sim Award

1st Place: Beq Janus
2nd Place: Luna Barak
3rd Place: Eclair Martinek

Exhibition Sim Award

1st Place: Julia Zhangsun – Survivor Region
2nd Place: Elizabeth Tinsley – Fantasy Faire
3rd Place: Nevar Lobo – Fashion For Life

New Team Participation Award

1st Place: TwoMoonParadise Dreamers & Phoenix Wave Team Mentors
2nd Place: Holy Walkamolies & Hoot for a Cure
3rd Place: Civil War RP

Returning Team Participation Award

1st Place: Aether Chrononauts Tiny Steps
2nd Place: Team Shadow
3rd Place: Second Life Cheerleading Squad & Goreans in Relay For Life

More awards will be given out at the Wrap-Up party sometime in August.

Source: RFL website