Wednesday, July 3, 2019

LiaEx Freight Shipping


By Deaflegacy



I had a chance to meet up with Lia (female.winslet) recently to talk about her business, LiaEx.  My first question was about what LiaEx is about. “LiaEx is a leading freight delivery company here in Second Life," replied Lia, "We compete with GridEx and other freight carriers and we proudly serve much of the grid.”

I asked to know who is the creator of LiaEx and Lia answered that she is the creator. I wondered how long she had been running LiaEx.  Her response was, “Oh gosh. Probably close to a year. But it's only in the last two to three months that it has really taken off.”


I asked Lia if she is planning to make it a long term thing as in longer than a year or so. “Of course!," she answered, "Assuming that the SL economy remains strong and airports, seaports and other facilities continue wanting us to build facilities there, I see no reason we could not continue indefinitely.”

Lia (female.winslet) went ahead and gave me a tour of the place.  “Here is our list of services. Eventually(tm) is our equivalent of Priority Mail, FedEx Express, etc.” replied Lia.


In the customer service area, there was a stack of packages in front of the counter. But when I looked at the spot later, they were gone. In their place was a hole going to who-knows-where.


The next stop was the employee only area. Lia told me, “Freight coming into us departing to our interline partners or being picked up goes in and out here on this belt.  Hmmmm.... no wonder nothing has been going out lately. I think I see a slight issue.   I'm sure it will get fixed though.”

Lia went on to tell me, “Well, we are hiring. And if anyone else would like us to setup shop at their airport, seaport, or truck terminal, just have them reach out to me. We are hiring for our air, land, and sea divisions as well as back office operations personnel.”


“And, on a serious out-of-character note," Lia grinned, "I'm sure you've figured this out, but LiaEx only exists as a joke to parody real world companies. If anyone wants in on the joke or would like us to setup a disaster prone facility at their freight terminal, just have them reach out to me. (smile)”

Real life unfortunately came calling, so I had to go.  I did leave with a smile on my face after what Lia said.

The locations:

LiaEx Corporate Headquarters, Paneer (104, 19, 24) – Moderate

Janie's Landing, Avignon (23, 211, 66) - General

LiaEx : Eventually (tm) it gets there
When you absolutely don't need it there tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month.

Deaflegacy

Editor's Note: Jaine's Landing where LiaEx is doubles as a stop for the "Get The Freight Out" game. Lia would later say, "Janie is very kind and hosts LiaEx for free," and would add there will be a skit about LiaEx being performed on July 12 at Club Vipera.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Moonlight Ducklings, A Daycare In Second Life


by Marcel Mosswood

One interesting thing about Second Life is that it is a role-play game, where you can be anything and anyone you want. Being a child is also an interesting choice, especially with a variety of interesting tools to be explored as in the Moonlight Ducklings Daycare.

What is Moonlight Ducklings Daycare? Dreamer Kyrie, the owner, explained to SL Newser about the facilities she made for children in Second Life. "Moonlight Ducklings Daycare (MDD) has two missions, FUN and SAFETY! Learning and safety can be made fun, and we are here to prove that for the Littles of Second Life! We accept kids to 6 years of age and are open Monday - Friday from 12 - 4 PM SLT and please note that the hours of business is a recent change!"

She described the schedule of the daycare as the following:

Hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 12 - 4 PM SLT.
Daily activities may vary but if it’s a normal schedule day then the line up is as follows:
12:30 - 1 PM: Lunch Time
1:15 - 2 PM: Learning Trivia
2 - 4 PM: Play/Movie Time


"Although our hourly schedule may not be doable for every child in Second Life," Dreamer explained, "we also host events from time to time where which anyone, parents and children alike, may attend.We provide meals, naps if needed, movies, and of course, learning and play! There is a blackboard for our learning sessions as well as various activity tables. Here children are encouraged to bring toys as well with the stipulation of them being picked up at the end of play time! However, a child bringing their own pets probably wouldn't be a good idea seeing as they tend to cause lag if there are too many."

Dreamer explained more, "The main team behind MDD is my Mom, 'Mama Duck', who handles the finances of the Moonlight Ducklings Daycare and then me, 'The Main Helper', I am the one that operates the schedule hours and activities.

The daycare does charge some Lindens, weekly and monthly rates, with discounts for siblings in the same SL family.

Interesting? Here is the LM: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/HullaBaloo/211/211/23

Marcel Mosswood

Monday, June 17, 2019

Anbor Mole At Work


By Bixyl Shuftan

On Wednesday June 12, the Newser reported on new sims and Linden Home areas being set up at Bellisseria. That evening, I got a tip about someone there from my friend Ed (Edconnect Gufler). He sent me a TP over, though taking it, I ended up in the water. Swimming up, I noticed on the map a group of people on land to the west. So I went over, and among the group of people, and one squirrel, there was Abnor Mole, working away while an audience was watching, and chattering.

For the most part, Abnor just quietly listened as he worked on the houses and roads. But he would occasionally speak; "Feel free to watch from a distance all you like. (smile)"

When someone expressed a desire for a house to be next to some rocks, and another commented, "It would be cool if some waterfront homes were centered on the parcels so that the back of the house faced the water," Abnor answered, "Some of them have them, and some don't. But we can't make add or change them. The LI on the main parcel had to have enough remaining to always support the houses. The LI on the main parcel has been carefully calculated to allow for that. If we add more, we run the risk of not having enough LI for a house.. and that would be... 'bad'."

As there had been a talk about fences, Abnor commented, "But the fence is in the content pack, so she could add her own."

"Abnor, would there be like a little hang out area or park being added for the sims?" "That's what community areas are for... that red ring you see in the next region is where a community area is going to go."

More questions would be asked, and Abnor would answer. "Why are the LOD's so high?" "So they don't collapse into itty bitty triangles when you get more than 20m away."

"Are the houses and houseboats in this next release the same builds as the first ones?" "They look the same to me. (smile)"

"Oh Abnor, are we allowed to do shell's on the outside of the houses for more paint options, or would that be going against the look too much?" "Yeah... but if we start doing that then we'd spend all day just moving fences and trees and making sure the LI balances out... we'd never have time to make new houses."

When Abnor was asked about when the houses would be available, he answered, "The only person who can tell you is Patch. until he says something I know nothing. *winks*"

Someone brought up the green markers in the sims, "Did we already find out what the green spikes are for? If so I missed it." Abnor answered, "If people just type in the name of the region they teleport to the center. So from now on we are making it a point not to have that location be a resident's parcel."

There was also a little joking around. When Abnor was talking about when the moles built Nautilus, one resident responded, "Found the big eye under a bush (laughter)." The robot mole answered, "*whistles* I don't know nuthin bout no alleged 'eye.'"

Eventually, someone asked, "You probably  get asked this but why did you chose 'Abnor?'" Another resident promptly gave the answer, "Abnormal, Abnor Mole." "ABNORMAL ! (laughing) I just got it!" "Like Whacka Mole." "(laughter) A few of the moles have punny names." "(I) would completely get 'Guaca Mole' as a Mole name ..." Abnor mused, "I still like my name. (smile) Someone I worked with for years just finally got the joke."

"All playing aside Abnor, what you guys have done with this is incredible and such a great effort all around." "We appreciate it we really do." Abnor soon responded, "This is different because I invited everyone to come, but I do want to thank you guys for letting us work in peace for the most part. Everyone has been really good about it and I wanted to thank you all for that. It makes the job a lot easier." The residents were appreciative, "Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and show us the new ones, Abnor." "Thank you for the sneak peek Abnor...you all are doing such a great job!" "THANK YOU MOLES!" Someone then spoke, "Who wants a 'YAY MOLES' sign to hold?" Then the person started passing them around.

Abnor also revealed what the source of the pickle jokes of theirs around the new continent, "... people said (the original SSP area) Bellisseria looks like  a dragon sitting in a boot eating a pickle.. so... We took that pickle and were going to cut out the center. So we started calling it 'the squished pickle.' But instead I terraformed the whole inside. But the name stuck. So that became 'The Squishy Pickle,' and then the bar followed."

Abnor went on, "What we call a 'community center' is just public places people can gather, like the swimming pools, the Squishy Pickle bars... locations like that. Someone asked, presumably about the one to be built for this area, "is it a huge secret what you are doing with that?" The mole answered, "It's a surprise Patch has, and Patch doesn't like moles ruining his surprises. (smile)."

Abnor soon carved a river into the ground. One resident went, "Oh, I love rivers! Will like to live there." "Drawbridges for big boats!" someone else quipped. "Yes, I know. I've made them before," the mole responded, "They get tricky though." A couple people talked about when pranksters would open bridges when cars approached, or shut them when sailboats approached, and wondered if there could be a way to stop that. Abnor answered an ideal solution was unlikely, "Once you start getting into things to make it not work under XYZ conditions but always work under LMNOP, the scripting can get stupid complicated."

Eventually, Abnor had to go, "I think the refreshment I need now is sleep, and then I start back again in the morning (smile). But if you want to see regions in different stages of production... walk north from here over the bridge, keep going and hang a left at the big river." He then told the crowd goodbye, and called it a night. The crowd then dispersed, one getting a sailboat, and going up the river the little robot had just made.

So that was my chance encounter with Abnor Mole at the new Linden Home area. It was fun and informative, the kind of "abnormal" circumstances a resident of Second Life likes.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Interview With Marcel Mosswood


By Deaflegacy

Marcel Mossword began writing for the Newser a few months ago. To begin with, I had already known her some as not only is she a fellow reporter, but also my neighbor at Cape Heron. We recently met to talk about her time at the paper so far.

Passing  my congratulations to Marcel about becoming the new reporter for the SL Newser, Marcel told me,  “Thank you.  I like my new job.” She smiled, and went on to say she plans on writing,  “as long as I can have my SL account.”

I asked Marcel about her goal as a reporter.  “I like to let people know the news on Second Life,” she replied, “I want people to know the news in Second Life in depth, that's why I like to take one side of an event, not just the publication side.” Marcel went on to say she doesn't play on making this a real-life career, “I don't have a plan to become a reporter in real life.”


Besides being a reporter, Marcel is a skilled artist here in Second Life, “My main goal is to bring art to SL from our remote area and to learn about building and collaborate with people.” She also  considers Second Life to be a good place to learn to write and have collaboration with other writers.

Marcel currently has an exhibition at the sci-fi fair.  Her exhibition is mentioned on the sci fi blog:
https://art2048.blogspot.com

Marcel is an animal lover, who has three cats in real life. Her profile describes her in real life as a painter, illustrator, writer, and "homeschool mom." She is married to Iggy Tachikawa in both real life and Second Life.

Deaflegacy

Editors Note: Marcel would post the following in Facebook yesterday.

A month ago I joined this group of SL reporters, the SL Newser. I learned so much from my new job. I'm an RL writer since years ago, but I never did a reporter job who reports events or people. 

When I do my job, I combine my knowledge of various news reports with my interest in humanity (I'm a psychologist in RL ). So that I not only produce an article about the event itself, but also the human side of the event. Such as motivation, fatigue, teamwork, inspiration, emotion, etc.

I enjoy being among the SL Newser's media team, where the fellow reporters are very fun, creative and passionate.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Montecito Bay UFO: The Military Responds


By Bixyl Shuftan

It's been about six months since Montecito Bay was hit by a strange craft that resembled a flying saucer. Although the area was under guard by the police, Federal authorities delayed in getting the "UFO" out of there until shortly after the Newser wrote about getting a closer look at the saucer and what looked like the body of it's occupant. With the craft and remains taken away, a mystery tower suddenly springing up in place of the destroyed building, and an official speaking on condition of anonymity about what was going on in late March, that seemed like the end of the story.

Aside from the supposed aliens themselves however, there was one party that hadn't spoken up yet: the military. This week, the Newser received the following letter

To Mr. Shuftan

Regarding your reporting not long ago on certain incidents in the town of Montecito Bay, your articles did not go well within certain circles. Fortunately for you, your publication has made repeated efforts to help veterans. Because of this and the "understanding" you have with the local police department, there will be no efforts at prosecution.

However, your recent reports suggesting that the community of Montecito Bay was the subject of several activities of extraterrestrial origin, notably the crash landing of a craft of stated extraterrestrial origin, have forced us to declassify certain documents concerning an experimental craft sooner than planned in order to avoid unnecessary alarm.

As your investigations revealed, we have made efforts decades ago to see if a craft in the design of the "flying saucer" seen in vintage science-fiction movies was feasible, and were disappointed by the results. Today with more advanced computer technology, the decision was made to try again with a new design similar to the old one, but with the addition of computers not dissimilar to those aboard the B-2 bomber to help keep it stable. It was also decided to have the initial flights unmanned, and a mannequin placed in the cockpit in place of a human. As crewmen will do things for amusement, the mannequin placed was deliberately made to look like a green alien from classic science-fiction movies.

We did not anticipate our X-craft loosing the signal of it's controllers as we had two back-up signalers. But somehow all three failed, and the result was the X-craft drifting into the town of Montecito Bay, and smashing into one of it's buildings. When the mannequin was removed from the craft, for some reason it was decided by local servicemen to temporarily place it in the wrecked car in front of the building. No one anticipated local police going on "lunch break" to let in reporters they were on friendly relations with.

We would appreciate patience in the future in regards to any of our recovery operations, and allow us to declassify reports and parts of them at our own pace rather than give away our secrets so that the enemies of this nation will exploit them sooner..

General M.I. Black

The Newser tried to call General Black at the return address, but there was no response.

So it seems there's now an official reason other than "swamp gas," and a plausible one. That is, if that's all that happened. This explanation says nothing about the strange symbols with a resemblance to crop circles that were appearing on the city streets or the "Groundhog Day" incident in which half a city block was demolished with the only clue being what looked like a flying saucer zooming away. And of course no explanation of the "alien tower" that now stands where the UFO crashed.

It's also interesting to note that this letter has arrived in a period of relative calm for Montecito Bay, meaning while weird things still happen, they've all been under the radar. How long this will continue, we'll see.

Bixyl Shuftan

Note: The preceding was a fun article written for the purposes of entertainment.

Monday, April 8, 2019

VWBPE Behind The Scenes: Elli Pinion From The Volunteers Committee


By Marcel Mosswood

VWBPE Conference re:Vision has started. The Volunteers were so busy, full dedication they organized this event to be successful. Today I interview Elli Pinion, the avatar behind the success of the Volunteer committee. I believe it’s a hard job to manage all the volunteers, but it’s possible with the great and smart team.

Elli Pinion
Marcel: Is this your first time organizing volunteers for VWBPE conference?

Elli: No, I've been a part of the VWBPE Volunteer committee since 2011. I started as an Assistant to the Volunteer Chair, and have been Chair since then.

Marcel: Why are you interested in this job?

Elli: I've been working with Volunteers since I was a young mom in PTA. When I went into education, during my doctoral program in Ed Tech, I was introduced to Second Life. We were exploring online teaching and learning in Second Life and other Virtual Worlds and were fascinated at the interesting people connection, bridging Transactional Distance between students and instructors, students and students. Then I found this group that promotes educational strategies in Virtual Worlds and elsewhere, and I was so glad to be a part of helping with its success. And also giving others the opportunity to help.

Marcel: Are you alone on this job or have a team?

Elli: I have a small team, Bluebarker Lowtide and Edith Halderman are other educators that are my assistants. We have about 50 Volunteers that give time to the conference.

Marcel: What are the benefits of this job for you?

Elli: I would say getting to collaborate with other innovative educators that believe in offering educational opportunities to students who can join online.


Marcel: Do you have a quote that inspires you to work better for the VWBPE?

Elli: I truly believe that we are all better together. This year's conference theme uses: "re:Vision” is not just a concept, but a passion of those who seek to revive old ideas or innovate new ones into our modern extended reality.

Some words from Elli for educators everywhere:

As educators, we must be innovative to be the best educational experience possible.


By Marcel Mosswood

Monday, April 1, 2019

ApRiL fOoL!


Happy April Fools Day from the Second Life Newser!

May your April Fools Day be filled with joy, merriment, and general foolery.

For previous April Fool jokes, check out 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 20142013, 2012, and 2011.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Interview With Six String On Being An Aspiring Musician


By Deaflegacy

Six String (roleplayismylife) is more than just my Second Life partner, and real life boyfriend.  He is a musician on Second Life to happened to be an inspiration as well.  I was lucky to recently be able to have an interview with him about his career on Second Life as a musician.

My first question to Six was how long had he been a musician on Second Life.  “Well, I'm not really sure," he replied, "since I've only had a small hoofful of opportunities to perform for everypony in Second Life.”

Asking Six where he usually performs, he answered, “I've only performed at The Tipsy Cow." When I asked if there were other places he could think of, he answered he's done private performances for friends.

I asked Six String if he is going to continue performing on Second Life. He replied, “If I'm given a chance to, yes.  I have offered to other places, but was turned down without them even hearing one note from me.”

My next question to Six String was what is his dream.  “Well I did have a really crazy one last night where--Oh, you mean my goal in life," he answered, "To entertain people with my music, if possible.”

I asked Six how he feels about being a musical inspiration even through he doesn't usually play music on Second Life.  “ It's great," he told me, "I don't feel like I'm much of an inspiration, but someponies think that I am, which is good.”

My last question to him was what are his longtime goals on Second Life.  “Being able to get a steady job as a musician in SL, so that I can support my SL family, and help pay the cost of renting the lots here at Cape Heron," he answered, "It's a tough burden ... I should be helping out.”

I smiled at Six String.  I really do love Six String because he is my Second Life partner as well as real life boyfriend.  That's not all.  Six String works with me since he is an inspiration.

Deaflegacy

Monday, March 25, 2019

Tarot Reading by Grease Coakes


By Deaflegacy

I went to Grease Coakes' apartment for a tarot reading.  I was very curious to see how it turns out.  Grease said that the posters behind him are actual tarot cards from his deck dragon tarot.  Grease also mentioned that some of the art work is from his friend in Second Life, Amehana Ishtari.

I asked him if we could sit at the table, and it was okay with him.  So we sat down at the tarot table.

My question for Grease was if I would move to Langley. Grease told me that the reading he was about to do for me is called a Celtic cross.  Since we are friends on Facebook, he can show me the cards that he draws.  Grease would take pictures with his phone, and then send them to me via instant-messaging there. He then started drawing cards.

“So the first card is ace of swords reversed," Grease announced, "which means your question will you move back to Langley seems to be stuck at time.  You're thinking of a way or a how to move back there but you can't seem to find an effective way to move back there at this time.  Swords cards are about intellect communication and problem solving.  So right now you can't seem a way to solve your problem for the time being.” said Grease.  “This might be why this four of wands reversed.  This shows you don't have a strong foundation of plans to move forward on your quest, or perhaps resources or money for right now.  This is your challenge card and since this card is reversed, it means your objective is very hard for you to obtain right now.  But this is just for the present time.  Things could change later.  Don't get discouraged.”

“So this deck is all dragons," Grease explained, "Meaning the hanged man is going to be the hanging dragon instead.  Which for right now, you're stuck in a waiting period. Since you're a pony, your hooves are tied.  Nothing you can do but wait.  When the dragon wakes up, maybe then you'll have more control.  But for now, you're stuck, kiddo.” 

He drew once more, “Well this is a positive card.  The chariot how the dragon flies across the skies.  There was fast travel in your past.  You moved quickly up to a point.  But then everything stopped and stood still.  Like in a chariot race, all those chariots zoom by drawn by those horses.  Well in this card, other dragons.  But this looks good to the page of cups with the dragon hatching from an egg.  Maybe the start of a new friendship. Might it be you since you're a young person, right?  Make you think you're a water sign like Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces.”

I told Grease that I'm 42.  “Oh you fooled me since you're wearing a youthful pony avatar,” responded Grease.  I told Grease that I am young at heart.  Grease continued on with the tarot card reading, “For right now, thought your future does not look sunny for your move back to Langley.  The sun reversed is clouds covering your sunshine for the time being.  But I'm looking at the hanging dragon makes me think this is temporary.  Things should brighten up soon I would think.  Two of coins the two dragons sharing coins tells me the best bet you can do now is balance your finances.  Don't order a pizza every day or don't go clubbing every night.  Balancing and saving your money is your best bet for the time being.”  I told him that it sounds like a good idea.  “

Grease went on, Five of coins with the dragon looking over the maze for a safe way out of the maze to make sure he/she has enough coins to make it safely to the other side.  You're having a hard time with money but if you concentrate on the two of coins and balance everything, you'll do fine.”  At that point, I told Grease that I am having a hard time with money. Grease went on with the interpretation, “Judgment is coming your way to transform you and straighten everything out.  The dragon is coming with his hammer to smash everything and save the day.  Even if things seem bad right now, I think judgment will turn everything around for you. I have a good feeling about this card." He drew once more,  “But the last card looks pretty bad though.”

“Nine of swords where the dragon is covered in dog and surrounded by those swords.," he told me, "You're stuck in limbo for the time being and short on cash.  For the time being, things look bad.  The nine of swords is like a situation where everything seems horrible.  However, the good side is that it's upright.  Which means if you panic, things will be worse.  But if you keep your pony head high, you can rise above it.  And trot away from these swords to a brighter future.  Sooner or later, that hanging dragon will wake up, and you'll have more control of you life.”

After the tarot reading, Grease told me that his regular price is 300L.

Grease said that the best way to contact him is by email: grease711@yahoo.com or to send his avatar a notecard since IM's get capped all the times. Grease also said that they can stop by his apartment, too.  Grease usually try to park his avatar at the apartment. 

Grease's apartment is at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Randgrand%20Central/137/103/324

The tarot reading I just have was amazing.  I do have other questions I would like to ask Grease.  When the time is right, I hope to have another tarot reading with Grease.

Deaflegacy

Monday, February 25, 2019

My Alt And I : The Story of Bun Buns Bunsies


By Deaflegacy

I would like to tell you the story of my alt.  Her name is Bun Buns, but in real life, her full name is Bun Buns Bunsies, my stuffed toy rabbit.  I have known her for about three years when I decided to create an alt account in her name.  Ever since then, I have brought Bun Buns to life here in Second Life.

It is true that whenever I have a chance to bring Bun Buns to Second Life, she will come hopping to life, greeting her best friends, especially Bixyl Shuftan whom she adopted as an uncle.  I did ask Bixyl if it is okay that he would be an uncle to Bun Buns, and he said yes.  I'm glad that Bixyl gave it a chance at being Bun Buns' uncle.

But the reason why I created Bun Buns to start with is that during that time, I lost the actual doll.  I was told in real life that because the doll looked dirty, I had to throw her out.  I did everything to make her stay with me longer, but it was time for her to go.  With sadness, I threw the stuffed bunny in the garbage, but not before I made sure I would get another one.  At that time, I didn't know how, but I was determined to get another Bun Buns.

Sometimes later in real life, my two best friends surprised me with a new stuffed rabbit, which became the new Bun-Buns.  She is a green bunny, and is always in a good mood.  When I got the new doll, I immediately named her Bun Buns, and ever since then, she has been staying with me since.  Bun Buns the stuffed bunny would travel everywhere with me.  She is a small rabbit who could fit into my backpack with no problem.

I thought on the day I created the new alt account in Bun Buns' name, that it would means that Bun Buns would go on Second Life with me.  True enough, sometimes at night time, Bun Buns would come out into my living room here with me, and we'd have a talk with Bixyl as well as few other people. Among them, Bixyl's own alt Rezzdammit, whom has his own story about how he came to be here.

No, I don't regret making an alt account in Buns' name.  In fact, I'm glad that I got a chance to bring my favorite rabbit to Second Life. 

This is the story of how my alt, Bun Buns, came to life here on Second Life.

Deaflegacy

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

SLife and Times: Viewer Issues


"Is it just me, or is there something wrong with Second Life?" That's been a question I've been asking myself this week. One of the places I go to regularly, there's not usually any problem and I can cam around and chat to my hearts content. But twice this week, things began to slow down and freeze up to the point the screen would turn black. A few times I had to close the viewer and restart. The crowd wasn't that particularly big, about a dozen people. I managed to get around it by focusing on just myself, or some corner of the place. But that wasn't much fun.

This was the buggiest time I've had since November when a "Unscheduled Maintenance" at the time caused people to be knocked off the grid. But checking the Grid Status Report, while there were some rolling restarts at the time, there wasn't anything out of the ordinary mentioned.

Chatting with friends, a few have been telling me they've been having troubles as well. One wondered if it was Linden Lab's moving things to "cloud" servers. Another wondered if it was someone's avatar, or the avatars of a few people, that was so resource-intensive, it slowed everyone else down, an issue I touched on last month.

Does the machine need replaced? It is a few years old. But friends of mine have been able to get by on machines much older. Plus I don't have a lot of money to spend. And I recall a friend of mine once got a new computer, and her performance on Second Life actually got worse.

In any event, the issue went away after a while. Hopefully it was just a fluke and the problem, whatever it was, won't show up again. At least not for a while. Glitches and bugs have always been a part of Second Life. So we learn to put up with them when they're small and occasional. It's when things get out of the ordinary when we notice.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Viewer Developer's Remarks on Resource-Intensive Avatars Sparks Debate


By Bixyl Shuftan

Last month, Hamlet Au interviewed Black Dragon developer NiranV Dean about what the viewer maker felt was an underdiscussed cause of lag: avatars that use of a lot of resources to process. While it's no secret that the more avatars in an area, the worse the lag can get, some of the more popular mesh avatars are more taxing than others. He went as far as to state they used up far more processing power than characters in computer games.

"Maitreya starts with 80,000-100,000 — only the base body. Belleza was something like 200,000+ last time I checked. Modern games use roughly 20-40k for an entire character. A few games use more, obviously, but 20-40k is standard today. So with 100-200k you can imagine how much more straining avatars are. And they are just bodies — [not counting]  clothes, no hair, nothing."

NiranV's solution, he felt, was for users to refuse to buy these polygon-heavy avatars, and to look for ones that have less. One example he gave was the Snokra Snake avatar, which used less then 28,000 polygons, which could be reduced to about 15,000, while "the Maitreya body without hands, feet and head has 125.000 triangles. Belleza has even more." Hamlet himself felt that on average makers of popular furry avatars had done a better job of making quality mesh avatars that didn't use massive ammounts of polygons than makers of popular human ones.

There was no shortage of comments, especially in response to the first article. Some readers stated that high quality/low impact human avatars did exist, including one made by a furry product designer. But not everyone was on board for looking for an alternative. There were comments that decent human avatars had to have all that complexity to look good. And one felt "the barn door is open and the horses are out," saying these high complexity models for better or worse had become the standard and not many would "willingly use what they perceive to be a frankly less-beautiful product." Cassie Middles had a video with tips on how to improve performance either when wearing one of the avatars in question or being around them.



Between the links, there are a lot of remarks in the comments, including a few insults when the debate got heated and a few Not Safe For Work pictures. There's much information and opinions, but what there isn't is a clear-cut solution that satisfies everyone.

Among my friends in Second Life, one is proud of her appearance, and if it uses up a few more resources fine with her. At one point, she complained about people "jellydolling" her and not voting for her in party contests because of it, though no comments about it lately. Others have also mentioned using Maiterya for their avatars. I've also talked a friend who commented his screen would lag like heck, until derendering one particular avatar, then his frame-rate per second would shoot up to 20 fps. One sim moderator told me she had to deal with complaints about one renter's horses which were getting the blame for the lag, when it was really high-detail avatars hanging around at the social spot.

What do you the readers think? Feel free to comment below (but no insults please).

Sources: New World Notes, Black Dragon Viewer, Cassie Middles

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 28, 2018

Tiny Carolers At Grendels


By Bixyl Shuften


 Grendel's Children, at Avaria Tor (133, 134, 305) , has always been an interesting place. Long known for having avatars and accessories at bargain prices, it's owners Flea Bussy and Toady Nakamura have been known to do some fun things over the holidays. So on Christmas Day, I went over. Part of the mall had been given a wintery look. And there were other things to get my attention, like this dinosaur skeleton.


But as I was admiring it, a housefly ... yeah, that's it, landed on the thing and it came tumbling down. I had absolutely nothing to do with it *fingers crossed.*


Moving along, I noticed a Christmas tree full of decorations and some folks gathered in front of it.


The Grinch was there, and apparently doing a "Santa's lap" mall job.


Next to the Grinch was a sack of goodies. If this was his doing, he was being quite generous as it gave away a mess of Grendel's avatars. Perhaps slightly dated, but one can't argue with the price.


But not everything had been set up by the store owners and/or the Grinch. There was also a group of tinies near the tree, and they soon began singing some carols. Not exactly Christmas carols. They called them "Wootmas" carols. "We going to carol here, for you biggies? You will love our performance." "Come listen to us, everyone." "Merry WOOTmus!" "We gweat carollers!"


 ~*~ Happy Wootmas everybody, We hope you're having a nice time. We know we are!~*~
~*~ Um, there is Nooo way we're gonna be able to sing the entire song,'cuz we are so ADD that it makes us so hungry, Right? ~*~

 ~*~ So we're just gonna sing the end of the song which I'm sure you'll all agree is the best part so, C'mon Everybody! lets Sing! ~*~


~*~ On the twelfth day of Wootmas, My Drive -Through gave to me: ~*~
~*~ 12 bags of Pepto, ~*~
~*~ 11 pounds of blubber,~*~
~*~ 10 baked potatoes,~*~
~*~ 9 polish hot dogs,~*~
~*~ 8 bowls of chili,~*~
~*~ 7 pints of cole slaw,~*~
~*~ 6 chocolate milkshakes,~*~
~*~ 5 onion rings,~*~
~*~ 4 Egg McMuffins,~*~
~*~ 3 Biggie Fries,~*~
~*~ 2 Happy Meals,~*~
~*~ and A Big Bacon Classic with Cheese! ~*~


"BACON!!!!" "Rub some bacon on it!" "Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom........."


~*~ I'm Dreaming of a White Wootmas, Just like the ones I used to knowww ~*~
~*~ Where the Treetops Glisten & Tiny's, they listen, to hear, The Sleighbells in the Snow! The Snow! ~*~
~*~ So I Yai Yai Yai I'm Dreaming of a White Wootmas, With every Wootmas card I Wriiiiiiiite ~*~
~*~ May Your Days be Merry & Briiiiiighhhtttt, & May all your Wootmases.. Be Whiiiiiiiiiiiite! ~*~

"~*~ HEY!! So WOT DO YOU WANT FOR WOOTMAS?? ~*~" "~*~ HO HO HO!!! MERRY WOOTMAS!!!! ~*~"


~*~ It's beginning to look alot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ All across the shire you go! ~*~
~*~ Take a look at the village chalet, ~*~
~*~ The snowmen and the sleigh, ~*~
~*~ With candy canes and tinsel all aglow! ~*~ 


~*~ Its beginning to look a lot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ Tinies in every store! ~*~
~*~ But the nommiest site to see ~*~
~*~ Is the waffles that will be ~*~
~*~ Inside your own front door. ~*~

~*~ A pair of bunny hop shoes and lazors that shoot ~*~
~*~ Is the wish of Copper and Reign! ~*~
~*~ Dolls that will talk and go for a walk ~*~
~*~ Is the hope of Jillan and Jane! ~*~
~*~ And Kayak and Toady can hardly wait ~*~
~*~ Till Raglan U opens agaaain! ~*~


~*~ Its beginning to look alot like Wootmas ~*~
~*~ All across the shire you go! ~*~
~*~ Theres a great tree name of Steve, ~*~
~*~ That all the tinies can see, ~*~
~*~ He's GINORMOUS, and doesnt mind the snow! ~*~

~*~ Its beginning to look alot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ Soon the bells will start! ~*~
~*~ And the thing that will make them ring, ~*~
~*~ When all the tinies sing, ~*~
~*~ Is right within your heart!!! ~*~



~*~ The First Waff-EL, The Tinies did Say, Was to certain small critters at home as they Ate ~*~ \~*~ At home as they Ate, Licking their Paws, Wishing for NOMS Golden Crispy to Gnaw ~*~
~*~ Waff-EL, Waff-EL,Waff-EL, Waff-EL...Born is the Breakfast Treat that is WAFF-EL! ~*~

"Wall El is favorite breakfast for Kal El!" "Where for art thou Waffles?" "WAFFLES !!!" "~*~ And I want a Bike!! And a Waffle Iron!! And a Snowboard!! And a Ray Gun!!...~*~"

~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~
~*~ Happiness & cheer, ~*~~*~ Fun for all, the tinies call thier favorite time of year. ~*~
~*~ Snowflakes in the air, ~*~

~*~ Waffles everywhere,~*~
~*~ Chocolate cake will help us make,~*~
~*~ a feast for friends to share. ~*~



 ~*~ Sleighbells in the air,~*~
~*~ candy everywhere, ~*~

~*~ Bacon treats & festivities,~*~
~*~ & pastries made with care. ~*~
~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~

~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~,~*~
~*~ tinies drawing near, ~*~
~*~ Oh that we could only see, ~*~
~*~ such goodies through the year, ~*~


 "~*~ And I want a Remote Controlled Boat! And a New XBOX!  And a Big Box of Chocolate!!  ~*~" "~*~ And Some Sweet Shoes for My Paws!!! And I Want One of Those Things That Make those PYEW PYEW PYEW Sounds!!! ~*~"

~*~ Sleigh bells ring! Are you listening? ~*~
~*~ In the shire, snow is glistening! ~*~
~*~ A wootiful sight, we're happy tonight, ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


~*~ Gone away is the blue bird ~*~
~*~ Here to stay is the new bird ~*~
~*~ He noms on chocolate ~*~
~*~ With bacon on a stick ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


~*~ In the shire we can build a snowman ~*~
~*~ Pretend that he's a chef from outta town ~*~

~*~ He'll say 'Want some waffle?' We'll say 'YEAH MAN!' ~*~
~*~ Then he'll pour the syrup while we chow! ~*~


~*~ Later on we'll conspire ~*~

 ~*~ As we riverdance in the shire ~*~
~*~ Tiny faces alight ~*~
~*~ With all the presents in sight ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


 "WOOTCAKE!" "~*~ SAWCE!!! ~*~" "~*~ HO HO HO!!! MERRY WOOTMAS!!!! ~*~"


~*~ O' Little Sim of Raglan Shire, Where Tinies come to Playyyy ~*~
~*~ To run and chitter endlessly  and RiverDance all dayyyy ~*~
~*~ And in the Snow of Winterfest, Tinies are heard to Call.. ~*~
~*~ To Visitors of Biggie Height, Asked Why Are You So Tallllllll? ~*~

~*~ Hark the Tiny Critters Sing, Glory to the Waffle King! ~*~
~*~ Peace on the Grid & Syrup mild, Otters & Ferrets Reconciled! ~*~
~*~ Joyful with all your fur so slick, Raise up your Cookies on a stick! ~*~
~*~ And with upward paws proclaim, We shall RiverDance again! ~*~
~*~ Hark the Tiny Critters Sing, Glory to the Waffle Kinnnng ~*~

~*~ You Better Watch Out, ~*~
~*~ You Better Not Cry,~*~
~*~ You Better Not Pout, I'm Telling You Why, ~*~

 ~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming To Town,~*~

~*~ He's Making A List, And Checking It Twice ~*~

~*~ Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice,~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming To Town,~*~


~*~ He Sees When You Eat WAFFLES, ~*~

~*~ He Knows When You Eat CAKE,~*~
~*~ He Knows If You've Been Bad Or Good,~*~
~*~ So Be Good For Goodness Sake! ~*~


~*~ You Better Watch Out,~*~
~*~ You Better Not Cry, ~*~
~*~ You Better Not Pout, I'm Telling You Why, ~*~

~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming, ~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming,~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS is Coming To Towwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnn, ~*~ SANTA PAWS IS COMING TO TOWN! ~*~


~*~ Here we come A-waffling please feed us Breakfast Food! Here we come A-hungering so help our Starving Mood!~*~
~*~ Knives & Forks Come to Me, And a Warm Butter Patty, And please Serve us some Syrup &
Chopped up Pecans Tooooo...~*~
~*~ And Please Sprinkle some Berries on them Toooo! Here we come A-waffling please Feed us Tasty Treats!~*~
~*~ Here we come A-chittering so give us something Sweet!  Thanks to All for the Snax! Now we all can go Chillax!~*~
~*~And go about the things that we all Dooooo..... And Happy Holidays from All of Us to YOUUUUUUUUUU~*~

"~*~ I CAN HAZ MOAR WOOTNOG PLZ?? ~*~" " ~*~WAFFLE!!!!!!~*~"

~*~ Here we come A-waffling please feed us Breakfast Food! Here we come A-hungering so help our Starving Mood!~*~
~*~ Knives & Forks Come to Me, And a Warm Butter Patty, And please Serve us some Syrup & Chopped up Pecans Tooooo...~*~
~ And Please Sprinkle some Berries on them Toooo! Here we come A-waffling please Feed us Tasty Treats!~*~
 ~*~ Here we come A-chittering so give us something Sweet!  Thanks to All for the Snax! Now we all can go Chillax!~*~

~*~And go about the things that we all Dooooo..... And Happy Holidays from All of Us to YOUUUUUUUUUU~*~
~*~ Jelly Beans, Hunks of Cheese, Sugar Frosted Ham. All Deep-fried, Toast on the Side with Wootberry Jam.. ~*~
~*~ Chocolate Cake all wrapped in Bacon, Nachos on a Stick! Come Along, Let's eat some Noms & Hope we don't get Sick... HEY!! ~*~
~*~ Nomming Treats & Sweets, from Our Raglan Shire Buffet, Fills our little tummies, with Food this Holiday! ~*~
~*~ Just singing 'bout it now, Make's our Hunger Rise! We can't wait to grab a Plate & Stack it real High.. Withhh.. ~*~
~*~ Jelly Beans, Hunks of Cheese, Sugar Frosted Ham. All Deep-fried, Toast on the Side with Wootberry Jam.. ~*~
~*~ Chocolate Cake all wrapped in Bacon, Nachos on a Stick! Come Along, Let's eat some Noms & Hope we don't get SICKKKKKKK! ~*~


The "biggies" who were nearby listening applauded, "Beautiful bravo!" "You guys are great!" And the tinies were appreciative, "~*~ THANK YOO!! ~*~" "Merry Christmass every tiny!" "Thank youse." But it didn't take long for the tinies' mood to turn to something else other than singing, "NOW WE RIVERDANCE!!!!!!" "When do we riverdance?  Can we do it now?" And the tinies started doing their Riverdance move that would make Michael Flately proud, "I hope the floor can take it." But unfortunately, all that feet pounding had a predictable effect on the nearby Christmas tree, and it's decorations came crashing to the ground. "~*~ ZOE EM GEE! ORNAMENTZ!! ~*~" And the tinies scampered away, "Take care everybuddy!"

And so ended the tiny caroling at Grendels, at least at that time of day. Knowing Toady, she probably had some replacement tree decorations, and brought the tinies back later that day with promises of a waffle or two.

If you want to grab the freebies while they're still up, head to Avaria Tor (133, 134, 305).

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, December 13, 2018

What Happened to Aero Pines?


By Bixyl Shuftan

It's been months since we've reported about Areo Pines. This place in Second Life was noted for it's nature scenery, horseback riding, and holding special events across the year, such as it's 9/11 Stairclimb Tribute events and it's Superbowl parties. But over the years, the sims were slowly trimmed back until there were just a few left. It's sad to say that when I went to check up on the place during the Thanksgiving holiday, the place was gone from the map.

When I talked to Aero's former owner, Cindy Bolero, she told me she had turned the place over to someone else in 2015, "and early this year, January I think, she closed the park and redesigned the sims. I was out with eye surgeries n' stuff for a year, and this year been working on CERTsimulator, the FEMA disaster management and practice virtual world I've been working towards for five years."

Besides real life challenges, there were other reasons for her giving up Aero Pines. The money and management was one, "(It) was much work and great expense. ... So many different languages. It was a lot of work to do translations of all our information." But another was the change in the people who were coming over, "We were getting (a) huge amount of visitors in recent years, but it wasn't the same. ... it became mostly men preying on our endless supply of day old females. There was no more community feel, just a meat market." She does still hear from a few friends from previous happier times about the park, but times have changed, "Now I host private VWs profressionaly serving good causes, instead of just playtime."

But Aero isn't completely gone, "I never really announced it closed, but I have announced that its moved." She had gotten a place on the Sinespace grid, and duplicated part of the park there, but it hasn't been worked on in a while, "I haven't had a chance to upgrade it. It's still in winter from 2016. ... there may be a 12th annual Winter Festival if I get time to improve the sinespace version. I have to go on travel this week for a FEMA program management training. So many worlds, so little time. (smile)"

I did take a short trip into Sinespace to check out Aero Pines, or Winter Festival as it's called there. Going about on that virtual world is a bit different than Second Life, but I got there and was able to get a sled ride. But hopping off I was back where I started from. Sinespace takes some getting used to.

Sadly, it looks like a great area in Second Life has now become part of it's past, with that's left of it in another virtual world and pictures on it's Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aero_pines_park/

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mysterious Circles Appear on Montecito Bay's Streets


By Bixyl Shuftan

Just as Montecito Bay has been putting the slime and maw monsters behind them, there's a new mystery afoot. My first clue to what was happening was a group announcement by Becky Nostferatu on November 24.

I swear I just saw lights, guys. All over! And now, we're getting some weird circles on the ground... so strange. I wonder what it could mean for the sim? We better keep our eyes open!

But it wasn't until a few days later when I dropped by the sim. I talked to a few people, Moff (MoffettMephit Resident), Emorald Resident, Lem Aiko (LemonPledge Resident) just outside the Magnum Opus, the "MO" still under reconstruction with scafolding outside the building and the "Crux Construction Company" signs. Kardinal Klo (Klomonx Resident) was working on it, "Okay, I need to do the under colors, and the dome texture and move the windows out if they haven't yet." Lem, who was in his hard hat, might have been helping him but at the moment was taking a break.

As we talked, I noticed some markings on the road, like the "crop circles" seen on TV news and social media occasionally. I then brought their attention to it, "Say, what's that on the road?" Moff replied, "Oh, some degenerates playing a prank, or something. Street department hasn't had a chance to clean them off yet." Lem's answer was, "I dunno, they just appeared there. (I'm) pretty sure kids are spray painting them." Emorald answered, "We THINK some kids are just spray painting it. Not sure yet."

I looked to Emorald, "What do you mean 'we think?'" He shrugged, "That is the best guess I have honestly." "Cops couldn't prove it yet," Lem told me. "Why not just pressure wash it off?" I asked. Lem answered, "I ain't getting paid for it. It'll eventually wear off." Emorald told me, "It was done once, and was back the next morning." "Any more of these?" I asked. Emorald answered, "I have seen a few." Lem told me, "Yea, at every intersection. A lot of paint wasted, Must be a college prank." "But yeah Bix," Emorald commented, "who ever is doing this prank, A+ for effort."

Moff then had to leave for something. I then brought up Becky Nostferatu's group message, "Checking the Mont Bay bulletins, Becky says 'weird lights' showed up just before these circles." Lem told me, "As far as I know, the only cameras that caught anything was the ones at the gas station, they saw some sort of black shadow fly across the screen and then the ones facing the intersection went dead." "So that's all that was noticed before these weird shapes?" "I think the weird lights were kids playing with high power laser pointers. They will kill a camera very fast. It's all a big hoax, though a well put together hoax. Like I said, they get points for effort."

I then asked, "What are some of the (other) locals saying?" "There's a guy over on the east side who swears he saw some flying saucers," Lem answered, "I think he's on something." Emorald asked him, "Was that the same dude that got evicted from that one abandoned building Lem? I think he was living, next to the hotel?" Lem answered, "I don't know, but he snoops around my warehouse a lot too. The guy is a conspiracy theorist." Emorald added, "I know there was a guy living in that building, had to really clean the place up. Someone had a hell of a drug lab there." "Yeah, you wonder who was responsible, but innocent till proven guilty."

Not long afterwards, I bade farewell to the two, and looked around. Sure enough, there were more of these strange patterns on the asphalt in other places. Either they were done by a machine, or the painter had a very steady hand. I did notice one building with a few strange pictures. But before I could take a picture of it, a huge spider appeared, which freaked me out to the point I forgot about making the shot. Normally such enormous arachnids are found in the tropics. But considering the recent maw monsters and now these street circles, well, know knows?

And so Montecito Bay now has some more weirdness on it's hands. Or considering the Cruxes, additional weirdness. What happens next? Time will tell.

Bixyl Shuftan