Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Events This Week at the Sunweaver and Furry Fashion Clubs

 It's a week full of events at the Sunweaver and Angel clubs, and the Furry Fashion Lounge.

Club Cutlass: Best in 'M,' TBA, TBA

The Happy Vixen: CAYA, Around the World, Asian Flaire, Naughty, Cartoons and Anime, Hoof-It, Fire and Ice, Swimsuits, CAYA

Club Zero Gravity: Dragon Crew, Best in Pink, Dragon Crew, Best in Leather, Dragon Crew, Dragon Crew

Furry Fashion: Videogames, Sci-fi, BDSM, Neon, Memes, Goth, Space, Sea Life

Read the schedules in SL Clubbin'.

Raglan Shire Map Follies

About a year ago, The Raglan Shire region was the scene of some map madness. Last week, it started up again, with someone skywriting "Bears Smell" over the sim that "bears" the region's name. What local ursines had to say about the statement is unknown.

Yesterday when I looked, the message over the sim was gone, but over Raglan Galaxy was a new one: "Frog Gang Was 'ere.' Just who the "Frog Gang" would be is unknown, though Frogg Marlowe of "Jaycatt and Frogg" can be ruled out.

What mayhem on the map will be next, time will tell.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, January 15, 2018

News and Commentary: Sansar Newsblog on Hiatus After Dispute With Linden Lab

By Bixyl Shuftan

If Linden Lab has a theme song these days, it might be "Oops, I did it again."

In December, Linden Lab found itself in a public relations flap when Strawberry Singh was asked by them to remove or edit a video with Second Life's eye-in-hand logo. When the Lab later apologized and annouced their trademark policies would be revised to allow others to promote the virtual world, all seemed well. But recently there was a dispute involving a blog of Linden Lab's other virtual world: Sansar.

On January 8, Ryan Schultz posted in the Sansar Newsblog about the "Aech's Garage" location, a build of a place in the upcoming Steven Spielberg Movie "Ready Player One." Shortly afterwards, he was contacted by Linden Lab, and he was asked to take the pictures in the article down and apparently there was a problem with the blog's use of the word "exclusive." "Apparently, someone at one of the many companies mentioned in that blogpost is upset," he would later post in the comments of Inara Pey's article on the location, telling her, "you’d better be prepared for a request from Linden Lab to take down the pictures you posted to this blogpost." Besides Sansar Studios, the companies involved were Intel, HTC Vive, and Warner Brothers.

After some talks with more in Linden Lab, Schultz was able to repost the images without fear of trouble. But he was asked to take down the word "exclusive." And there seems to be some problem with the name "Sansar Newsblog." "I have asked Linden Lab for clear, yes-or-no answers," Schultz stated about the issue of the pictures and the name of his blog, and had only gotten one for the former. As a result, he is putting his blog on hold.

I don’t want to lose that tight focus on Sansar, on which I have worked so long and hard on with the Sansar Newsblog these past five months. ... I may not be a Warner-Brothers-size company, but my blog is important to me and, if I can believe the comments I have received in support, important to many others as well. Until I get clear, authoritative yes-or-no answers to BOTH of my two questions (Can I repost the pictures I took from Aech’s Garage? Can I keep the name Sansar Newsblog?), I’m not going to bother spending my time and money blogging for Sansar. Linden Lab can go find some other blogger to cover and promote their platform.

Right now, I have only a verbal okay from Ebbe Altberg at an in-world meetup months ago that the name Sansar Newsblog is acceptable to Linden Lab, but after this recent incident, now I want more. I want a clear “Yes” or “No” from someone official at Linden Lab that the company is not going to ask me to rename my blog.

Until I get clear “Yes” or “No” answers to BOTH these two questions, from someone at Linden Lab who is authorized to speak on behalf of the company, the Sansar Newsblog will remain on hiatus.

Schultz stated if he was told to change the name of his blog, he would stop his focus of Sansar and give more coverage to High Fidelity, VRChat, "and the other new VR-capable virtual worlds ... and the other new blockchain-based virtual worlds that are suddenly springing up."

He would later update his post. saying he had gotten an apology from Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab's CEO. "I do still have a lot of love and respect for Linden Lab. ...  However, I will wait for Linden Lab to issue new brand guidelines for Sansar before I start blogging again. I am really tired, and I need to take a break. ... perhaps two or three weeks at most. The blog will be back, either as the Sansar Newsblog, or under a new name with a new focus."

The incident has been starting to get attention from other blogs and newsletters. Nalates Urriah was reminded of the trouble with Strawberry Singh last month, " ... it looks like the Sansar team is going to have to go through the same learning curve. But, I had hopped the SL experience of the Linden support people, like accounting, legal, marketing…, would carry over. I suppose not, now that I see this second ‘take down’ call." Isabelle Cheren would write about it as well, "Be thoughtful to people who visit. Sansar needs the promotion and here you go and upset a person who promotes it daily, often a number of times a day?" Inara Pey, when asking the Sansar community team for answers, was told, "users are not discouraged from posting screenshots from any experience that is open to the public as long as there is no claim to exclusivity, early access, or other potentially misleading statements or claims that are untrue or could be construed as an official statement from Linden Lab or Sansar."

After Sansar was officially opened, it had gotten a lukewarm reception from most. I had gotten a number of comments asking for the Newser to focus on other subjects, notably when the Second Life Friends Facebook group told me any links to Sansar-related posts would be removed. With the Sansar Newsblog on hold, the next-generation virtual world is without a blog that promotes it with singular focus. It would seem once again, Linden Lab's heavy hand has backfired.

Sources: Sansar Newsblog, Modem World, Natle's Things, Isabelle Cheren  

Image Credit: Isabelle Cheren, Ryan Schultz

Bixyl Shuftan

Newser's Gemma Cleanslate Temporarily Offlined From Windows Trouble

Gemma Cleanslate messaged the Newser that her computer has been disabled and not able to connect to Second Life, at least for now. The trouble seems to be related to the Windows updates for recent computer chip flaws that we wrote about on Friday January 12. Hopefully, she will be back on soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Museum of Wizardry at Coniston

So what does one think when the terms "magic" and "wizard" come to mind? Dungeons and Dragons? Harry Potter? At Coniston, Salient Wizard offers to tell you at the "Museum of Wizardry," without the "hocus pocus" of Hollywood, "presented in an educational format for the common person." Klaus Bereznyak went there to look around, and talk to the man behind it.

Read Klaus's article in Places.

Valkyrie McGill Interviewed in Futurism Magazine

Valkyrie Ice McGill, a member of the Sunweaver community of which the Newser office is located in, was recently interviewed for part of an article in the online science news magazine "Futurism." Valkyrie, an advocate for "morphological freedom," was quoted in "Reproductive Tech Will Let Future Humans Inhabit the Body They Truly Want," dated January 9.

The article was about the possibility of uterine transplants for male to female transgendered, which are currently open only to women with damaged uteruses or without one. The subject is not without debate. In one survey, "nearly one in three obstetrician-gynecologists said they believe uterine transplants are unethical." One other person quoted stated, "A lot of people have questions about whether this is a valid allocation of health care resources." And some feel this level of surgery should be reserved only when someones life is on the line, not for quality of life.

But as surgery techniques improve and the risk becomes less, there very well may be some interesting possibilities. “We can rebuild every part of the human body: teeth, bone, just about anything,” Valkyrie was quoted as saying, “What we don’t know how to do at the moment is put all of this together into one single cohesive piece: the Da Vinci surgeon robot that takes a 3D map of your body and then plans a series of microsurgeries to slowly transform you from one thing to another.”

When I talked to Valkyrie, I asked her if anyone she talked to had reservations about her desire for people being able to change themselves on such a level on the grounds of being worried about "supermen," such as Khan and his followers in "Star Trek" and the gene-splicers in "Batman Beyond." She answered that hasn't really been the issue, "mostly it's been 'why can't you just be happy being what I feel comfortable insisting you be?'" One extreme example of this was recently when she had posted about the interview on Facebook, and someone responded with a death threat, "he basically said that my being transgender meant I was the problem with this country, that I was trying to tech his kids to be transgender, and that I should die. ... he claimed he wanted to (be) a girl as a kid, but 'wised up' and that I should too."

Valkyrie has quite a resume of online magazine writing, which include H+ Magazine, Acceler8or, IEET, and Transhumanity.net.

Bixyl Shuftan

Recent Windows Updates May Slow Down Your Computer

If you think your computer isn't running as fast as it was, you may be right. But it may not be hackers slowing it down, but measures to stop them.

On January 3, Intel and other makers of computer chips announced that two flaws had been discovered. Nicknamed "Spectre" and "Meltdown," they exposed the users of the computers with the chips to potential hacking attacks. The result has been both companies and individual computer users having to update their computer software. Unfortunately in the case of Windows updates, there are problems. The company "confirmed that some Windows 10, 8 and 7 adopters will face slower computers once the patch is installed."

While brand new machines with Windows 10 shouldn't see much of a slowdown, users of older computers with Windows 10, 8 and 7 would likely see a noticeable slowdown. One article stated the slowdowns would be from 5% to 30%. For computers with AMD chips, there was an unforeseen problem. The Windows updates were making these computers unable to reboot and making them "bricks."

There's also a report that the CEO of Intel sold the maximum amount of stock he could, about $24 million dollars worth, upon finding out about the flaws.

It is unclear when there will be further updates that allow computers back to their previous speeds.

Sources: Express, Tweaktown, BGR, Telegraph, CNN, Forbes 

Bixyl Shuftan

Announcement: This Week in The Science Circle - “The Common and Misplaced Racism of... "

“The Common and Misplaced Racism of David Duke, Hitler, and Darwin: The Value of Diversity in Human Interactions”

by Dr. Stephen L. Gasior

"Racism is the worst idea ever in its impact on the evolution of the human species and its longterm survival. Yet, it is a persistent and strong perspective that has early roots in our evolution that has continued through the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution, and modern day. This talk covers the biological basics of human genetic diversity as it pertains to race and some historical perspectives of notable individuals and how that has impacted culture. A more in-depth presentation on population genetics and interesting genetic traits will finish the discussion with a thought on how a rational anti-racism is beneficial in the continued evolution of Homo sapience."

January 13th 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PST

For more information, click here: https://www.sciencecircle.org/events/2018-01-13/

The Science Circle (61/126/32

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Announcement: Theater On The Hill Returns After Winter Break

Theatre On The Hill offers 3 vibrant shows this weekend to help quell your January Blahs
FRIDAY @ 1:00 SLT: "THE BLUES BROTHERS" rock the Cabaret with one of the most energetic shows you will ever see
SATURDAY @ 1:00 SLT: Mario2 Helstein returns with his incredible Winter Particle and Light Show...WITNESS the UNBELIEVABLE!
SUNDAY @ 12:00 SLT: Martin Terr's "EUROVISION" featuring all the prize-winning songs from the past 17 years returns to the Chetz Szondi Stage in all of its aural and visual glory

Pure Luxury (193, 128, 37)

Announcement: HFOT Fundraising in December 2017

Happy New Year folks! With our on-going efforts in Second Life to help wounded veterans through Homes For Our Troops, we were able to collect $570 in donations in the month of December 2017. This brings our total for 2017 to to right about $10485. As always we can only do this with the help of some dedicated people. Thanks especially to everyone who makes an effort every month to help with this cause. And then in December we had some great performers for our monthly benefit at Veterans Isle. Thank you Waya Snowpaw, Porter Paquot, Keeba Tammas, Qqquartzz and Maxx Sabretooth.

Due to some changes in the Linden Labs web site this last month it will not be possible to highlight all the dedicated supporters who always give up their time and effort. But I know there are many! Thank you for your kind hearts ....it makes a difference!

Let's keep this effort going folks. Our wounded veterans needs are lifetime and never end. We owe it to them to keep giving to help with those needs.

Frets Nirvana

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Raftwet Jewell, Co-Owner of "The A List" Has Died

On Monday January 8, Xavier Thiebaud, one of two co-founders of "The A List" group in Second Life had a sad announcement. His wife inworld, and fellow A List co-founder, Raftwet Jewell, was no longer alive.

With heartfelt tears. I wish to inform our members. Raftwet Jewell co owner of The A List! passed away from a heart attack. She was incredibly proud of what her and I created with the community we meticulously cultivated.

I will be organizing a celebration of 2nd Life on what is her 10th Rez day this 3rd of February. Any of you who knew her, knew how supportive she was helping. if you wish to assist in anyway. Please drop me a note card. Further information will be given soon

Raftwet Jewell , February 3rd 2008 - 2018

Grease Coakes wrote about "The A List" in 2012. It bills itself as "Second Life's premiere destination guide on being the first to know what is happening," and is a group where events in General and Mature-rated areas can be announced. Events in Adult areas cannot be mentioned there, even if there will be nothing lewd going on.

Skiing At The Linden Chalet

Christmas is over, but winter is still going on. With her explorations of holiday-themed places over, Gemma Cleanslate's travels took her to a place where people can ski any time of the year: the Linden Chalet. Located in the Voss/Wengen/Zermatt/Moritz area, the location offers more than skiing, both cross-country and downhill, but also skating, trails for horseback riding, train rides, and more.

Read Gemma's story in Places.

Announcement: Furry Fashion Changing Sim Rating to Adult

To Our Valued Patrons,

We have big changes coming to Furry Fashion and we want to make sure everyone is in the loop so things go smoothly!

2018 is bringing in a new Furry Fashion, we will be converting from a mature sim to an adult sim. So what does this mean for you?

It means more merchants, new themes, and new attractions!

Of course, it also means new rules. We want to be clear that we do not plan to be a "Yiff" sim, there are enough of them as there is. We will be welcoming adult attachments with some restrictions, and we will be having (private) adult attractions.

This also means we will be disallowing child avatars and products on sim as well. But fear not! We will have a separate FF branch for our merchants and patrons that enjoy these!

Thank you for taking time to read this, we hope 2018 will be a killer year for us and we look forward to working with you!

FF Management

Editors Note: Talking to owner Amethyst Crystal, she explained that the final decision was made only after lengthy discussion with the staff, including listening to the concerns of those with reservations about changing the sim rating. Certain behaviors are still not allowed, and the security personnel will still be enforcing those rules.