Many of us will be celebrating the ringing in the New Year at a party in real life. For others, we'll be celebrating at home. If you're among the latter (or have SL GO on a tablet and want to check up on your inworld buddies during a break in the party), among the places you can say goodbye to 2014, and welcome in 2015 in Second Life is Club Cutlass as it throws it's New Year's Eve bash.
And just for coming, you get free party favors. Just click on the platter on the right side of the DJ booth, and pick either a hat, tiarra, or a horn. All three come in a choice of gold, silver, and changing color.
Would you spend nearly five thousand Lindens, close to twenty US dollars, for an avatar? For his final avatar review this year, Xymbers posed the question as he came across a huge mesh dragon by DreamCrawler with a price that was even more huge by Second Life standards. So was the avatar worth spending a hoard of gold for, or were the creators just blowing smoke?
It was a fairly typical late December day at the Podex Exchange. The month had brought in many residents coming in to buy Lindens for presents to give friends and virtual family. This wasn't all, though. Some had bought them also for the Relay for Life Christmas Expo.
Between people coining in, the staff would talk about the numerous Winter and Christmas displays they had heard of and talked about seeing those they hadn't yet.In the middle of the conversation, a figure walked in. He was dressed in formal whites, with a black top hat with a "Happy New Year" sign on it. He himself was covered with black and white fur, with a large bushy tail with white in the middle of black.
The tellers looked his way, one saying, "Can we help you?"
"Yes, spoke the visitor, "I've had to spend my Lindens on Christmas presents, and before I can get any money back, I get talked into hosting a New Year's Party, decorations and all. So I need a bit more cash."
"Of course Sir, we sell Lindens for a variety of international currencies. We've also began accepting Litecoin and Dogecoin virtual currencies, in addition to Bitcoin."
"I did pick up a few Dodgecoins after some talk about them at Luskwood. I could use those to pay."
"Certainly Sir. Just fill out these forms and you'll get your Lindens."
"I've been traveling to InWorldz time to time. Is it true you have an office there?"
"Yes Sir we do, we also have offices in Avination, Virtual Highway, Zandramas, Adult Grid, Lost Paradise, and Mobius Grid."
"Neat, though at the moment, my income in InWorldz is higher than my expenses."
"Well Sir, in InWorldz we can now buy it's local currency, also known as 'Izzies,' from you there. Regulations prevent the direct trading of Izzies for Lindens, but you can use the US dollars, Euros, or several other International currencies, as well as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin, from any transaction there to buy Lindens here."
"That's good news! Though in the meantime, there's the party."
It only took a short ammount of time to fill out the paperwork, and the exchange was soon made.
"There you are Sir. Thank you for your business."
"You're welcome. I guess my Dogecoins helped me 'doge' a bullet."
They had a good chuckle, and the visitor went about his way.
The "Man of the Year" will be an article we hope to be doing this time of year from here on. We've gotten a few complements on it (thank you). Though there was a question raised: Who would have won if the Newser had done this from it's first year?
For 2010, the winner would likely have been people whom sadly had lost their jobs. The news that Linden Lab had given 30% of their workforce, including some popular Lindens, shook the Second Life community like few things ever had. People began wondering if the Grid was on a downward slump it couldn't recover from. That some popular Lindens such as Blue and Teegan were given pink slips gave others the impression the people in charge were sending a message to the others: "No fraternization with the masses." So the title would probably have gone to "The 30%." Others whom would have been in the running include Jessica Lyon for organizing Team Phoenix which created what would be Second Life's most popular viewer, Team Emerald for demonstrating how *not* to run a Third Party Viewer team with their hacking of a critic's website and the outright defiance against Linden Lab that led to the banning of a number of members. and Philip Linden / Philip Rosedale for coming back for a few months as interim CEO.
For 2011, the probable winner of the title would have been the new CEO Rodvik Linden / Rod Humble. His arrival with years of experience in the computer gaming industry gave many residents hope that Linden Lab was back on track. Others whom figured large in the news included zFire Xue for his controversial RedZone that raised many privacy fears, and for being among the few whom went to prison as a result of his activities inworld, Battlestar Galactica roleplayers for successfully negotiating with the real-life Universal corporation and being able to continue their games and therfore providing a precedent for similar groups in future years, Ozimal and Ammaretto for the lawsuit filed by the former on the latter (pointless in the opinion of the writer) which Ammaretto would eventually win, and Second Life's "pony" fans for introducing a new type of avatar and a new community that despite their first sims being taken down due to griefers soon bounced back and was on the Grid to stay.
2012's most influential newsmakers, and therefore whom would have been the collective "Man of the Year," were probably the SL9B team. When Linden Lab announced that they would no longer be sponsoring the event and suggested the various communities hold their own celebrations, various residents refused to take the news lying down and instead banded together to organize it themselves. Second Life's Ninth Birthday proved that while Linden Lab may have provided the software and the sims, it was the residents that truly made Second Life what it is. Other newsmakers included Crap Mariner for his publicizing SL9B with his series of videos, Rodvik Linden for his decisions such as new games and platforms for the Lab such as the "Patterns" game, Qarl Fizz (formerly Qarl Linden) for his work on the mesh deformer, and the Star Trek Community for successfully negotiating with Paramount to be able to continue their roleplays in Second Life.
2013 was dominated by two controversies, both about Second Life's Terms of Service. One was about third-party Linden exchangers, which Linden Lab tried to ban. While most folded, the Podex Exchange headed by Jacek Shuftan remained open, saying they had a duty to their customers and tried to talk to the Lab. But the Lab would not listen to him and temporarily gave him the boot. It was ultimately up to the Second Life masses whom rose up at once in protests, many threatening to leave, who got Linden Lab to partially back down and allow third party exchangers to remain (but not buy Lindens back). So for his work Jacek Shuftan would have gotten runner-up. The second controversy was the longer lasting Terms of Service Content creator controversy, of which the opposition was organized under the United Content Creators of Second Life group, founded and headed by Kylie Sabra. Despite that Linden Lab wouldn't budge until the following year under a new CEO, Kylie Sabra's efforts would have gotten her "Woman of the Year" for 2013. Others in the running would have included Tuna Oddfellow for his protesting the ToS issue by moving his performances to the InWorldz Grid, which spurred numerous others to take a look at the alternative virtual world, the SL10B team for organizing the effort to celebrate the Grid's tenth anniversary, and the Relay for Life volunteers for their "100 Years of Hope" season which celebrated the American Cancer Society's centennial.
Just as we take a look back to see whom made a difference in Second Life in the past, the Newser team looks forward to spreading the news about who does so in the future.
Happy New Year to our Friends and Supporters. We thank you for another amazing year.
We are thrilled to let you know we have reached our donation goal of 2,500,000 Linden ($10,000 US Dollars) again this year. That brings our grand total to over 6,250,000 Linden ($25,000 US Dollars) in 2 1/2 years!!!! This would not be possible without your love and support of the wonderful work we are doing here in SL!
We want to assure you that our family continues to personally covers all tier and other expenses out of our own pockets so that 100% of ALL donations go to The Micheal J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research through Team Fox. And we are so thrilled that Team Fox has a private donor who covers all their expenses also!
As much as the residents don't like to admit it at times, without Linden Lab, there would be no Second Life. And it's most visible member, if not always it's most important, is the CEO. And this year, Ebbe Linden was appointed as Linden Lab's fourth CEO.
When Ebbe Linden took over in February 2014, a number of residents were questioning Linden Lab's priorities. While the big issue was the Terms of Service in regards to content creators due to the questionable language, as well as the lack of a clear response from the Lab. But this wasn't all. The confidence of the residents had been further shaken by the temporary ban on Third party Linden exchangers, and over time the Lindens themselves had seemed to becoming more distant from the residents. Also the Lab had developed a number of other products over time, but only one, Blocksworld, seemed to be making them much money.
Ebbe Linden would make an effort to improve visibility and relations with the residents. He first met with a group of bloggers a few weeks into his term, and would continue to have more meetings, as well as interviews. It would be a couple months before Ebbe would speak about the ToS issue, but when he did he spoke more in five minutes than the Lab had spoken in five months. It would be a few more months before the matter was finally resolved with the terms changed to the satisfaction of most residents, but changed it was.
Under Ebbe Linden, the policy of discouraging the staff from fraternizing with the residents was relaxed some, and there were a few instances of Lindens appearing at public events such as the Bay City parade and after-party. Also, the policy of the previous CEO of diversifying Linden Lab's product line was somewhat reversed, with all of the new products shut down or sold, save for Blocksworld which was bringing in a good profit. But the development of one important product was announced: Second Life's possible successor. This next-generation virtual world, dubbed SL 2.0 by some residents, has yet to have an official name, and there are still many more questions than answers about it. It's beta release is not until 2015 at least. But it clearly fell in line with the new CEO's policy of concentrating on virtual worlds.
For his changes in Linden Lab's policies, the Newser chooses Ebbe Linden as Second Life's Man of the Year for 2014.
Late last year, the burning issue among residents, especially builders, was Linden Lab's change in it's Terms of Service regarding content creators. Although it began in September 2013, it would continue into 2014. And the one person whom did the most about this issue was Kylie Sabra, the head of the United Content Creators of Second Life group that was organized in response to the controversy.
By March 2014 though, Kylie was ready to move on, due to both personal reasons and Linden Lab's lack of a response over the past several months. But a few weeks later, the new CEO Ebbe Linden would speak on the matter, and a few months later the controversial wording was changed.
Except possibly for the development of "SL 2.0," the Terms of Service issue was Second Life's most controversial issue. And for leading the effort to confront it Kylie Sabra gets the Runner-Up for Second Life's Man (or woman in her case) of the Year.
Other people whom were suggested were, Draxtor Despress for his "Drax Files" videos about the people helping to make Second Life what it is, Barbie Alchemi for leading the Creation for Parkinson's group, and the Relay for Life volunteers for continuing their work on the most successful online fundraiser.
BAY CITY, SL (27th December, 2014) - Bay City is one again preparing for their annual "Prim Drop" on 31st December, with festivities commencing at 11:30 pm SLT: Festivities will take place at the Bay City Fairground in North Channel with a brief music set presented by Marianne McCann as well as fireworks and other fun. Food and drink will be provided.
The event is themed as an outdoor, wintertime soirée, and black tie attire is recommended. Nevertheless, all Second Life® Residents are welcome to attend and mingle with Bay City's high society.
This will also be the last event in Bay City this year for donating to Child's Play Charity (www.childsplaycharity.org) . Child's Play is a 501c3 non profit organization offers online communities such as ours an opportunity to help seriously ill children around the globe during their hospital stays with the purchase of games and gaming equipment.
As of the 24th of December, Bay City has raised a staggering L$355,273 for Child's Play Charity through their annual silent auction and tree lighting concert, a Christmas tree sale, and other events.
Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.
For more information, or to participate in the event, please contact Marianne McCann.
From Nydia Tungsten, "I would Like to thank Eva for joining me and thank Barbie Alchemi for the use of her parks and sims if you haven't been to Creations park yet I would HIGHLY recommend it for its diverse beauty and attractions, and if your not careful you may end up learning something again...Thank you Barbie.Now this Video was spur of the moment to test my software after my HDD's were messed up, but I think it went well, look for more productions to come soon."
Earlier this week, Second Life Newser found out the Phaze Demesnes sim was closing down. While we didn't have time to write about it then, we were able to take a short look during Christmas and time to pick up our pen while the place still had a few days left. While there are freebies available, is there anything else to attract people there? As it turns out, plenty.
Saffra Nitely recently invited Bixyl Shuftan to her Devon Dream sim. There, the sim was given a picturesque Christmas winter look, with numerous decorations and builds, and at least one ride. She also held a party for her friends, which provided everyone there with plenty of Christmas cheer.
Locke Esgal posed a certain question for his latest article: "What is Christmas really about?" Is it the giving and receiving of presents? Is it going to church for the special Christmas services? Locke had his own opinion on the issue.
Wesley Regenbogen recently interviewed Lestat Zalivstok, who owns the Winter Ice Rock Fest and Rebel Yells Concerts area along with two co-owners. Lestat explains how the sim came to be, and why it's particular design, in addition to what one can expect there during and after the Christmas season.
While the Newser has been busy reporting on Christmas-themed events across Second Life, Linden Labs has not been inactive. They've posted a few goings-on in their blog, most recently about a New Year's Eve photography contest.
Winter has arrived — and the spirit of the season is evident in every
sense — from the snow on the ground in many parts, to the merriment and
joy and observances across the world. We want to know how you celebrate the coming of the New Year in our
New Year Snapshot Contest. If it’s a whole new look for your avatar, or
an inworld party to celebrate — share your snapshots for a chance to win
L$10,000, L$5,000, L$3,000 or L$1,000. Visit the contest in our Official Forums for details and to enter.
There's also a Christmas present from the folks of Linden Lab, just go over to Portal Park 1 and find it.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth — come by one of the Portal Park
locations to pick up a free holiday gift. Look for the red gift box and
click it to get your copy — and enjoy the seasonally decorated Portal Park while you’re there.
The prize wasn't far from the Portal Park 1 (133/119/23) location provided, just beyond the arch labeled "Social Area." I (as my alt) got a copy of the present, and rezzing it at the office had a gingerbread house, "Happy Holidays from the Linden family!"
... a new Viewer Release Candidate makes it easy for you to manage
all your experience permissions in one place. This new Viewer makes it
easy to Block, Unblock, or Reset experiences. Additionally, an Events
Tab logs the objects and scripts you encounter in an experience, so
every action performed on your avatar will be saved or recorded. Have a
problem with an experience? We’ve also integrated a new reporting
feature to make it easy to flag bad experiences to our Support team for
review. Search is also available in the new Viewer, so you can explore
all of the growing number of available experiences that use this
What’s the one thing Linden Lab could do that would have the biggest impact on further improving your Second Life experience? Many Second Life users have thoughts on this - from different
approaches for the way things are done today, to brand new features that
could dramatically improve their experiences, to seemingly small things
that could have a big impact. Today, we’re launching an easier way to
share your ideas with us, a new “Feedback & Suggestions” page on SecondLife.com. You can also find this page by going to Help and finding New Feature Suggestions in the drop down.
"Here's what happens when a Second Life creator gives away an otter avatar for Christmas. So
when your relatives bug you over the holidays about what you do in
Second Life, you just shrug and say, 'Oh, I dunno. Stuff like this.'"
"Christmastime Is Wunnerful" by Jonathan Coulton "Joy to the World" performed by Three Dog Night, composed by Hoyt Axton Otter avatars by Abramelin Wolfe of Abranimations
Gemma Cleanslate continues her winter explorations with a review of two places. Areo Pines has once again changed it's look for winter, and offering new activities for the season in addition to the scenery. Icewater Village also has more to offer than just a picturesque sim, with fishing contests, sleigh rides, and more.
Last weekend, the Newser crew for their Christmas beach party. For them, it was a chance to relax and have a little fun after so much time writing about Second Life. They would be joined by various friends as they had some fun at the Sunweaver's Happy Vixen club.
If you're a user of Facebook in addition to being a user of Second Life, you're most likely aware of it's policy telling users to use real-life names only for their accounts. Those who don't face the threat of having their accounts deleted. It's been stated by some that sometimes including a real-life picture of oneself on the page may be enough to get the staff to look the other way, and often people get a warning to change the name before the account is taken down. But still, for those whom are known online only by pen names and other pseudonyms, this rule is downright irritating.
Bay Sweetwater announced a few days ago that the Phaze Demesnes sim, owned by Ferd Frederix (Fred Beckhusen) and Wavingirlsav Voom (Debbie Edwards), would soon be closing. And with it will go a number of freebies out for the taking. By the time the writer got a good look at the place, it was too late to write much about it, but we should have more about the place later this week. For those whom don't want to wait as there's probably only a week left, use the SURL here:
Elenia stated much of their donation came from the owners of a historical roleplay sim that caused a stir among some in InWorldz but the founders continued to allow them to stay. The owner of the sim eventually decided to close and head elsewhere in Opensim, but gave the founders the money that would have gone to tier for sticking by them.
Funds will continue to be accepted by the kiosks until 11PM PST December 24. The exhibits should be up for a few more days afterwards. Hat Tip: Bain Finch
Not long ago, Wesley Regenbogen interviewed Brace Coral, the founder of New Citizens Incorporated, a helper group aimed at educating newcomers about Second Life. Recently, Brace contacted Wesley again. There were some changes in the group that she wanted to get the word out about.
Grease Coakes recently took a trip to the Trotsdale Library. One might expect libraries to be more than a little dull. That wasn't quite what Grease had the impression of. There's a schedule covering most of the days of the week, and the library itself boasts some book readings.
The well-known TIME magazine recently issued it's annual "Man of the Year" edition, as it has for decades, the person whom it feels made the biggest impact in news events for the past year. It's not always a man, as women have won it. It's not always a good guy, as it's been awarded to dictators. Sometimes it's awarded to a group of people, as it was this year collectively to the doctors on the front lines of the Ebola epidemic. And it's not always a human, as one year it was awarded to "The Computer."
So who should be Second Life's "Man of the Year" for 2014?
Second Life has had it's share of newsmakers in the past year. One is Kylie Sabra for her work in addressing the Terms of Service issue which continued to irritate content creators into early this year. Another is Draxtor Despress for his "Drax Files" videos about noteable people across Second Life. And there's Ebbe Linden, the new CEO of Linden Lab.
So which of these deserves the title of Man (or Woman) of the Year, or can you the readers think of someone else?
On Wednesday December 17 at the Sunweaver Estates, instead of the usual mid-week bash at Club Cutlass, the community held a wedding that evening. Mark Leewind, known as the local firefighter, partnered with his sweetheart Nana Pelazzi. The ceremony was held at Mouse Hole Manor in Sunlight Bay.
In place of our usual event, we have something special tonight. It's the wedding of Mark Leewind and Nana Pelazzi. Dress up for a wedding and come help celebrate their happy event. Reception follows the ceremony. Remember... That's 5:30 PM.
The event was a little late, but that allowed more of the locals to drop by. Becky "Sha" Shamen was the one whom conducted the ceremony. Rita Mariner was the Maid of Honor, and Skylark LeFavre served as a bridesmaid.
Reporter Locke Esgal is back with a Christmas story. This one is with a gaming twist. In his latest article, he writes about the Pokemon-themed Ravenlock sim's own holiday area. So just what does one catch when you mix Christmas with Pokeman?
Wesley Regenbogen came across an event in a Dutch club that got his attention, "Serious Request." In real life, the event has taken place every year since 2003, raising money for the Red Cross. This year, it's also taking place at the Glass House club. The objective of the event is to bring attention to the issue of women and girls being sexually assaulted in certain war zones, such as Boko Haram's kidnappings for sex slaves in Nigeria. Wesley gives his review of the Second Life event.
Next on my’ love to visit for the winter season’ list, is the gorgeous
Christmas and Winter Holiday Village. I was thrilled to see it since the owner
had moved her prime business elsewhere after the holidays last year. The skating
here is on an extensive pond and river area that winds around under bridges and
through a crystal lined tunnel. The penguins stand on their island observing
the skaters as they pass. On the main pond there are always people using the
skate balls. There are several types of skates available for sale too.
good parties take place there too. Santa and Mrs Santa appear at the parties
however Santa has a lovely home spot where he sits and listens to the requests
of visitors and promises them the world! It is lovely and has some of his elves
and other helpers sitting taking notes. The shop here offers many choices for
decor and clothing for the season.
A sleigh ride is a must to see the lovely
region. The ride winds through the woods over the bridges and takes you
right by the ski lift. Here you have a choice, take the lift high up into the
ski area, or, you can tp there from that base point. When you arrive you have
another choice : take an air tour of the sim above and below on Santa’s
flight feather , or put on skis and take off. I know you are going to love this
Okay, the first date for our beach party didn't go so well, the event having to be called off due to technical difficulties. So we rescheduled. If all goes well, the fun starts tomorrow, Saturday December 20, at Noon SL time. DJ Grease will be playing the tunes. The event takes place at the Happy Vixen Beach club in Sunny Beach, one sim over from the SL Newser main office building.
Come join us in celebrating the Winter Solstice and the holidays with ice skating, spacey conversation, and the winter holiday playlist now playing on our music stream in the National Space Society region. A poster giving out a notecard with the track listing and lyrics will be set up in the BALLroom in the next day or two. Happy holidays!
The Great and Powerful Trixie (none other than Tursilon) will be visiting Exmoor to perform. All are invited to attend. There is a sign placed down to show where the next scheduled show is to be and when. A copy of this is attached which updates with the when and where of each show. The show is expected to run around 20 minutes, so don't be late if you want to catch it all.
With Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah) taking place this time of year, a religious friend suggested I could try to find something related to the holiday. As it turns out, there happens to be a synagogue here on the Grid, the Second Life Synagogue.
The place looked colorful, built in the style of the earlier mainland days of the Grid. There were some chuckles, such as a flying fish cake, and a couple cutouts explaining the inspiration for the Vulcan salute. On a more serious note, one could also pick up some notecards explaining about Judaism.
Outside the building was a menorah with three candles lit. So somebody was lighting it as the days went on.
Next to the synagogue was where the "Torah Talk" discussion group met. A sign on the wall read, "Torah Talk is a discussion group made up of a very diverse group of individuals. We come from many countries. We speake many languages, and We observe differently. Some of us have studied for years, and some of us are taking our first baby steps into Torah Education." There was dreidel toy spinning around there.
Hanukkah did not originate in the days of the Old Testament. What happened was several years after Judea was taken over by Syria around 200 BC, it's new ruler began outlawing Judaism and it's practices. When it was ordered that pigs, an animal considered unfit to eat by the Jews, be sacrificed at the Temple of Jerusalem, the result was rebellion. Despite being outnumbered, the rebels succeeded, and the temple was to be cleansed and rededicated. But they needed kosher olive oil to burn throughout the ceremony, and only a day's worth was found. According to belief, somehow the oil burned for eight days, which was the time needed to prepare a fresh supply. To celebrate the miracle, an eight day festival was declared.
The Second Life Synagogue is part of the TMA Jewish Neighborhood , in the sim of Nessus.
Taken at Furry Fashion. One night in Second Life, a few friends and were talking about how clueless some guys seem to be when it comes to getting a girl. I was thinking about that when looking at this picture of a well done candy cane look for a party. I imagine for her, the solution to such cat-calls was quite literally in hand.
Longtime readers from JamesT Juno's Second Life Newspaper may remember several years ago when Bixyl Shuftan wrote about the Germania sims, one of them being Germania Seagull. Recently, he was invited back by one of Seagull's owners. The place has changed much, it's neighbors gone and the place given a whole new look, renamed Seagull Island Park. So what does the place look like now?