Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A second revolution in Second Life?

by Lord Lisle

After reading the bad news about the Openspace sims issues and the possible impact on the long term, I talked with numerous SL citizens on this matter. Sin Trenton pointed me at the Massively website: in which Tateru Nino wrote:

Second Life users are already calling it Second Life's second revolution. Outside of Linden Lab's in-world Land Team offices, capacity crowds of users have been gathered through much of the day, though there's been nary a Linden Lab staffer in sight. People are cursing, newcomers are asking for protest signs, and there's angry chatter in over a dozen languages. There are a lot of Europeans here, which is not unexpected. They have to pay VAT on top of any additional costs.
There is talk about switching the signs and banners for flaming torches and pitchforks, because, if nothing else Second Life users find value in tradition. There are even discussions about picketing Linden Lab's Battery Street office in San Francisco.
All of this started yesterday at 6PM SLT (US Pacific time) when Jack Linden, head of Linden Lab's land team,
announced a price-rise to void simulators (known to Linden Lab as Openspace sims). The reaction since then has been ... robust.

I lost no time in having a look at the Linden Lab's inworld Land Team offices and was not disappointed: dozens of citizens posting with protest signs, in the mean time loudly discussing the matter.

At the main entrance of Linden Lab's inworld Land Team offices.

I heard of similar actions being organised shortly; one thing is certain: LL won't get away this this issue so easily. See YOU at the Land Team offices entrance!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Linden Lab - The big scam?

by Yolanda Hirvi
The dream is over folks.. I am too angry to even write about this so I have gathered quotes from the blog by Atashi Toshihiko owner of Waikiti Island -estate. She really says it all.
This move from Linden Lab is killing SL economy. Not just affects to ALL.
Is this a scam? Or just a huge mistake from Linden Lab.. It is up to you to decide.

Atashi Toshohiko writes:
Linden Lab has a history of making sweeping policy changes without any consultation with their customers, and seemingly without any concern for the consequences. They have a history of deceit, misrepresentation, and general mismanagement. By now, I've come to expect that - it's part of the "Second Life Experience."

In March 2008, Linden Lab announced huge changes to their Open Space region policy. Originally, OpenSpace regions were only available in blocks of 4 at a time. They had to be anchored to an existing sim. They only had 1875 prims (1/8 the prims of a regular region, but at 1/4 the price.) Now, you could be them in onesies. They would have 3750 prims. They didn't need to be attatched to anything.

The OpenSpace market exploded. In the first 6 weeks, they were selling thousands of these sims, at $425 each. We bought three of them. It seemed like a great deal.

Then in April 2008, Linden Lab suddenly announced that they were cutting the price of buying a private island. From $1675 to $1000. And Openspace from $425 to $250. The already-flooded land market, was about to get flooded some more. The number of private estates skyrocketed. Now in addition to vastly increased competition on a level playing field, we had to contend with yet more competition, where all our new competitors had a 35% advantage on us in terms of startup fees. Waikiti started to see occupancy drop, and not recover.

Meanwhile, they continued to pump out more and more mainland - including themed areas like Bay City and now the new Nautilus. The price of mainland continued to drop lower and lower, while the map got bigger and bigger. Concurrency however, remained the same. 60,000 people and 30,000 regions.


Yesterday, Linden Lab announced another policy and price change: See the blog entry here.

In a nutshell, they a) cut all the big barriers to ownership of Openspace regions, b) doubled the prim allotment for openspace regions, and c) encouraged their use as standalone islands by not requiring them to be anchored to anything. Now they are blaming their customer base for using openspace regions "too much". They claim that they never thought usage of openspace regions would double. This from the people who doubled the prim allotment and cut the purchase price - they doubled the prims and didn't expect usage would double.

So instead of either throttling performance to be inline with expectations, or raising service levels to meet the demand, they have opted to simply increase the monthly fees by 67%, from $75 to $125 / month. Unlike the price increase in November 2006, there will be no grandfathering of rates. Indeed, for holders of already-grandfathered openspace sims, their monthly fees are going from $50 to $125 - a 150% increase.

Somehow, according to Linden logic, this will magically make the problem go away. Of course, the problem will go away with all the estates that go bankrupt or abandon their openspace regions.

You can read the original post here

Friday, October 24, 2008

Taking snapshots in Second Life or A Few Hints To Improve The Quality Of Your Pictures

by Lord Lisle

This is not a complete guide for enhancing your snapshots but just a few hints in the direction to obtain far better results with just a bit more effort. Although you may find the number of settings and sliders in the Advanced Sky and Advanced Water menus complicated at first (and you ARE right, they are confusing!), it is really worthwhile to play with them. As an alternative you can try the presets which give in many instances a dramatic effect to your snapshots.

Start with Edit, Preferences and check the Custom box. Set the Quality-Performance slider to Ultra. (Whilst taking pictures we do not need high speed….) Set the Draw Distance to about 256 m (at a later stage you may want to alter this in order to filter out distant objects) and click on OK. These steps will already give an improvement.

Assuming that you have already found a good object for your snapshot, go to World, Environment Settings and Environment Editor. End here the real fun starts: with the three sliders provided you are able to set the daytime, cloud cover and water fog.
Just experiment with these sliders, it’s just a small sample of the contents of the two next menus: Advanced Sky and Advanced Water. In both menus you find lots of sliders, each with the ability to set the time, sky, water, weather to your liking. EVER wanted to see the sun go down at a certain place? No problem with the East Angle slider and Sun Position slider.
As mentioned earlier, you may first want to try the Sky presets and Water presets.
Needless to say that taking a snapshot in this mode takes much time, but the results will be astonishing.

When your photo session is done, do not forget to reset the presets to Default and set the Quality/Performance and Draw Distance to their original (lower) value.
No doubt you find in experimenting with these powerful features a new challenge, although initially taking some time.

I conclude this entry with a few examples I took recently in Hirvi Estate, Fatimas Cherished

'Standard' initial settings

Ultra high quality settings

Manual setting: Sunrise

Manual setting: Sunset

Sky Preset: Gelatto

Sky Preset: Blizzard

Sky Preset: Ghost

Sky Preset: Incongruent Truths

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The magic of AM Radio or Talented Creators of SL (6)

by Lord Lisle

Whilst roaming around in ‘Burning Life’ I came across a fascinating build: ‘Beneath The Tree That Died’, a touch of surrealism (inspired by the work of Dali?) in a wonderful setting with highly detailed objects.
Set under the soil there is a telescope projecting through the grass to the outside world. A long legged chair (this detail reminded me very strongly to Dali) gives you the opportunity to look to the stars in the ’other world’.
It is really a pity that this fantastic build lasted only for such a short while. Therefore I took a quick search for AM Radio to see whether he has created more similar builds. I was not disappointed and the next hours I spend in awe behind my screen, wandering around and taking many snapshots in the wonderful world of AM Radio. As one picture can tell more than 1000 words, I take you into AM Radio’s world by just providing landmarks and associated snapshots
Is it AM Radio’s topics (vintage radio receivers, astronomy, radio astronomy, old books, wide landscapes, surrealistic paintings; all having my personal interest) that caught my eyes? I do not know as I have had not yet the opportunity to have a conversation with this great creator. I really wonder what he had in mind creating these pieces of his world.

Inside the build 'Beneath The Tree That Died', sitting at a table and admiring the detailed telescope, hidden behind the roots of the dead tree. On the table a vintage valve radio receiver and a pair of headphones, objects I noticed in many of AM Radio’s other creations.

Beneath The Tree That Died’ as seen from the Other World. An observant eye may see me sitting in the high legged chair gazing stars. Unfortunately this part of AM Radio's world was an entry for 'Burning Life' and lasted just for the occasion.

The Far Away - Dreamworld North (220, 130, 22) - Wheat fields

In the centre of the wheat fields you find another surrealistic element: a rusty old steam engine.

Going ahead to AM Radio’s The Refuge and Expansion, Imperial Court of Wales, Welsh Cove (24, 126, 24) you find a similar theme.

The petrol station in The Refuge and Expansion as seen from the other side of the road. Do not miss exploring AM Radios den, located in the house further on the road opposite the water tank.

AM Radio’s virtual den in The Refuge and Expansion. Note the wonderfully build telescope, a microscope and other small objects on the desk.

Radio Imperial Court of Wales, Radio, Welsh Lakes (135, 129, 24)

The Quiet Terraform By Poid Mahovlich then Very Finely Tuned by Am Radio, Princeton Academic Services, Princeton West (152, 174, 26)

Husk Reboot An NMC sim reserved for large scale art experiments. NMC Arts Lab (154, 121, 21)

Radio Welsh Lakes (135, 117, 267)

I am very certain that you will not regret exploring AM Radio's builds.
Look at what others wrote about him:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Grand Opening of Caer Blanco Today

By Darleez DeCuir

Caer Blanco is a special sim, created specially for Halloween by Second Life's top designers. There is a fully furnished haunted castle, a witch's cottage, a ghostly ship and a ruined monastery to explore - and more!

All this will raise funds for a small clinic in Lesotho, Southern Africa, through the charity Partners for Others.

And we are planning a series of exciting events too - starting this Saturday - and YOU are invited by Prim Perfect to the Grand Opening!

Date: Saturday 18th 2-4pm SLTDJ: Kiralette KellyTheme: Grand Opening - Dark Victorian ThemeMusic: Dark Victorian and Gothic music.

We'll see you there!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Pumpkin Hunt October 11.-12.

by Yolanda Hirvi

It has started and goes on until Sunday October 12th Midnight in Metaversal Arts. Search for Treasure Pumpkins..they all contain a prize..but that is not all, when you have found all 12 of them you will get a BIG PUMPKIN prize; that is a huge collection of Oblonski furniture and other stuff from our merchants and my creator friends. Welcome and good luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Autumn in Second Life

By Lord Lisle

It's Autumn in many places in Second Life. For some of us the end of a bright Summer and the start of cold and dark days. But would it not better to look ahead and remember what Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) told us in his 'Ode to the Westwind':

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being—
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

According to Shelley's note, "this poem was conceived and chiefly written in a wood that skirts the Arno, near Florence, and on a day when that tempestuous wind, whose temperature is at once mild and animating, was collecting the vapours which pour down the autumnal rains. They began, as I foresaw, at sunset with a violent tempest of hail and rain, attended by that magnificent thunder and lightning peculiar to the Cisalpine regions'. The complete poem can be found at many sources at the internet for example at

A bit of the Autumn atmosphere can be found at places in Second life. I can recommend the following two (both by the talented hand of our own Yolanda Hirvi): Metaversal Arts Office and Theatre and Hirvi Estate

The Metaversal Arts Office and Theatre

A typical Autumn day at Hirvi Estate at Fatimas Cherish. The sea beats the quay whilst the storm already has taken a ship aground

The secluded harbour at the other side of Hirvi Estate in the late afternoon

Whilst still at Hirvi Estate, located on Fatimas Cherish, one the Fatima Ur islands, you should not miss an exciting journey over the many waterways of this cluster of wonderful Victorian islands by two person canoe or motorboat. Both can be rezzed for free at The Victorian Village of Fatimas Desire .

If you feel rather lazy, there are free sailing boats at The Victorian Sail Boat Tour at Fatimas Smile sailing a guided tour, giving you ample time to look around.

During this journey you may see Nessie, but beware when it is hungry...