Thursday, June 26, 2008

Island for sale

I have a small island on Soheil of 4096 m2. Due to certain circumstances I would like to sell the island. It is on the former Strawberry SIM with nice views on each side.
If you are interested, just visit the place at Soheil, and IM me.
Price is negociable, tier is 36$USD/month, and more than 1000 prims!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Open letter to Linden lab (part 2)

Shoshana Epsilon, Art Director of SL5B, who wrote an open letter to Linden Lab, concerning the ban of art pictures of "no adult in the same picture as a child"-nonsense, has now a new letter to the Lindens but this time, she will go a bit further, and organizing a "Resident-run initiative", with no interference of Linden Lab( is that possible?), on the sims of residents...
The letter is signed by Sho, SignpostMarv, who recently gave his job in SL5B back to the Lindens, Pyrii Akula and Will Web. These are indeed not the first the best...
I post the entire letter, so everyone who would not have seen the letter of Shoshana, will hereby be notified.

" To whom it may concern at Linden Lab,

In the interest of transparency and good will, I would like to inform you of a new Resident-run initiative. A Second Life fringe festival.

For several years, Linden Lab has graciously provided space for the Residents of Second Life to showcase their talents. For their part, the Residents receive recognition from their peers. (Due to my participation in SL3B, I was interviewed for Le Monde on-line magazine and asked to participate in the University of Texas at Dallas' first display of Resident art. Later, I was asked to be the art director for SL4B and SL5B. My continued presence has given me additional exposure to be asked to be curator and board member for several galleries.)

I understand the need to provide a squeaky-clean image to the "outside" world. Honestly, I want Second Life to continue and succeed as much as you do. However, many artists and exhibitors find the "squeaky clean" image that you wish to portray as being too restrictive. In truth, there are MANY aspects of Second Life, and the G rated version is only part of it.

In the image of the International Arts Festival at Edinburgh with its associated Fringe Festival, several of us from within the community wish to have our own fringe festival. The intent is that Linden Lab's Birthday event is to the Resident event as the Edinburgh International Arts Festival is to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival: the official, major event, and the supplementary smaller event. We would welcome your cooperation in coordinating these two separate events so that they can support each other and create a stronger whole.

We have yet to actually name our event, but I am rather fond of calling it the 'fringe festival' following a concept commonly used in Great Britain. (There are actually concurrent fringe festivals in many cities throughout northern England and Scotland.) The festival organizers will be meeting in the upcoming weeks and months to iron out these details, and we welcome input from all sources on how we can construct a truly wonderful festival to celebrate all the things we love about Second Life.

For 2009, we will be asking individuals and corporations, rather than Linden Lab, to donate the use of their sims to host a festival concurrent with Second Life's 6th birthday. In subsequent years, if this is successful, we may include other non-birthday events, especially if we can arrange long term donor support.

The intention of this event is not to take attention away from your primary event(s). It is to allow additional participation by people who love this place and see it as "home".

In thanks for your continued support,

Pyrii Akula
Shoshana Epsilon
SignpostMarv Martin
Will Webb"


Evanston, IL “ 06/18/2008 “

AVATRAIT, the leading advocate of the emerging genre of
"Digital Impressionist"art from the virtual world of
Second Life, is very pleased to announce that they've
been invited to be part of the Rinascimento Virtuale show
in Florence,Italy this fall.

Rinascimento Virtuale is an exhibit focusing on the art
of virtual worlds, which will be featured at the Museum
of Natural History of Florence from October 21, 2008
through January 7, 2009. This is a part of, and is
opening in conjunction with, the third staging of
the Festival della Creativita, an international art
event that will take place October 23-26, 2008 at the
historic Fortessa da Basso, and various satellite venues
around Florence.

Greg Houston (Track Hax in Second Life), the founder of
Avatrait, will be making a presentation during the
Festival, detailing the growth of "Digital Impressionism",
how the Avatrait Gallery arose as the premier site for
this emerging genre within S.L., and how they have bridged
the real and virtual worlds by bringing this new art
via high-quality framed prints sold through their web
site) to a wider real-world audience.

Avatrait artists will be both represented by framed
originals in the show and via a video production which
will be a program element of the art fest. All of the
Avatrait art featured in Rinascimento Virtuale will be
donated for a charity benefit at the conclusion of
the exhibit. In another first, a hardcover book will
be released which will both detail the birth of this
exciting new genre, and document the Avatrait artists'
works in this ground-breaking

The Avatrait Gallery is in Second Life at and on
the web at

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Once upon a time...there was a bank in SL®

It is probably a disease. You get it from one person to another. Will it become a virus?
I have been following the story of the Whitfield-Hastings bank for quiet some time now, as I had some money invested before the bank was banned from Second Life. I still had some change money in there, and it seemed that I could even recover those few Lindens, but now the truth came out, and what I was thinking all along came out. It is like a fairy tale, but then with no happy ending. It does not matter to me, but some people have invested big money, and they will never see one Linden back.
Who is to blame? Linden Lab for sure, but as I said in the beginning, it is a disease, the way of communication, or the lack of communication, and after that….the lies.

The story about the banks is known to everyone, this story is probably not.

The Royal bank of SL was founded by Cristopher Whitfield, and was one of the best banks in SL, as they looked professional in what they did, the interests were good (too high, but that was adjusted after a while). All went well until the decision of LL to close all banks, and give them only a few weeks to comply with the new rules. All accounts were closed, no one could withdraw money from their accounts anymore, until everything was cleared. Some people were mad, others were patient. We waited…..

Suddenly, the sad news came that Cris had died in RL. That would mean that the bank was automatically bankrupt, no existence anymore, no funds…nothing.
Most members were sad to hear the news and expressed their condolences on the website. After a few days, a new avatar came in the picture, the RL brother of Cris, Steffen Bolton. He did not know anything about SL, but wanted to pay everyone out, as that would have been the wish of Cris. In no time he was able to learn about Second Life, bank business and other stuff. It was amazing to see, how someone was trying to please all the shareholders of the former bank. There was a little hope for the big investors that they would see their money again.
New contracts were made; all shareholders had to agree to a loss of 30% of their total amount, as a cost to the WHJ bank. What alternative did they have?
After the contracts were signed, they tried to sell their sims, to find some money to pay all accounts. There was an agreement with LL that Steffen could manage all business that was started by Cris, because this was unusual….an avatar died in RL, with a lot of assets in SL.

This was what we had to believe.

On Friday, June 13th, what a date, there would be a statement from Steffen, because nobody knew what was happening, how long they had to wait for their money…….

The statement came…..a few days later.

Cris is very ill and not DEAD. It was certainly not a good idea to let him die in the real World
or in SL, but in the given situation it was the only idea we had to save the islands.
In retrospect, it turned out by the fact that it was no use.
The management knew about this situation, and I am not really happy about it, but the life of my brother
was more important than continuing the game here absurdly. He was no longer able to continue
the business and was so limited; he repeatedly has stayed for a longer time at hospital stays.
Until now, his health condition is critical, and he can hardly do his daily work.”

This announcement, what has happened in the past and what they were trying to achieve, felt like a bomb to all shareholders. Why did they play this comedy? Why didn’t they simply say that Cris was ill, and could no longer work at the bank…?

Is this story the only true one, or is this also a lie?
Although the website is shutting down after today, they still say that the shareholders will be paid.
It doesn’t matter to me, as I had only a few Lindens there, but there others, who are really depending on that money, and who were desperately waiting to see some of their money back.
Well, we knew it all along, before LL closed all the banks, but the way they communicated, seems very much like the Lindens would have done.
At the end of their statement, (I use the plural form as I think it is more than one avatar, or all are one and the same), they wrote: (this was translated from the German language by someone)


The WHJ belonged to ALL shareholders, and not a single person.
The WHJ went bankrupt, and it has enriched NOBODY here, on the contrary,
the responsible persons are now broke in RL LIFE too.
The money flowed into the daily interests and the monthly costs.
Everyone who signed the WHJ has to share responsibility.
NOBODY is guilty, it was simply a failure

The remaining debt:
Even if none likes to hear, but after a bankruptcy, actually none is entitled to money.
Since this is not clearly regulated by LL in SL, we still obliged to repay all./..."

Will this be the end of the story? Will it continue? Will everyone be paid accordingly?

I don’t think there is much hope, but as they use to say; you can not live without hope.;)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rustica, one marvelous build

I visited Rustica during this past weekend. I must say, one of the finest castles I have seen in SL®.
Just type "Rustica" in the search bar and you will be able to find the SLURL. As I am at work now, I am not able to give you the right address.
While I was looking for the right spot to take my pictures, the owner of the castle spoke to me. He told me he built the castle on his own, and has also made some furniture which are sold in the castle.
The castle is build between the rocks, a small creek is floating from above.....
I found this castle through an invitation of a flickr colleague, Kracht Strom.

I have made some pictures there, and post them here in this blog, just to give you an idea of what you are about to see, when you visit the sim.

Open letter for SL5B protest display

How far are they going? What are their intentions? What will the future bring us?
LL manage every day to draw their attention, only it is always with bad news, never with good news. How much are we going to take?
Shoshana reacted on the new rule of LL not to exhibit child avatars and adult avatars in the same picture on the SL5B. I know, I am not the first to write about it, nor will I be the last.
Shoshana is the Art Director of SL5B, and this is what she wrote on her blog:

"This letter was sent to Dusty Linden on 12 June 2008. As of now, there has been no response. (This is not to say that she is hiding anything, but most likely a finely crafted response is necessary from the corporate lawyer.)


I realize that you don't make the rules, you just have to tell us about them. This "no adult in the same picture as a child" rule is one I am very saddened about. I will not quit working for SL5B unless you tell me to step down, but I AM working on my own protest. You should know about it so you are not surprised. Furthermore, you (LL) can decide to shut it down if you feel that it is necessary.

I am soliciting RL pictures for my SL5B display. These will be pictures of RL families. They will all be G-rated. I will review each picture before it goes into the gallery. If you wish, I will thereafter submit them to you for review.

The fact of the matter is that I strongly disagree with LL's position on this. I trust that this form of civil disobedience will be seen in the light in which it is intended ... as part of my support for Second Life and its continued diversity.

-- Shoshana Epsilon, Art Director, SL5B"

I think it makes no sense, every friend I know agrees, but LL seems not to understand, or is frightened for the politicians. Who will say?
I know politicians can make quiet a good soup of ridicules rules, but that LL would take the same direction, was something I would never expect they would do.
Will they never learn from the past? Are they really tired of us? As I also wrote last week about the message with logging in, I think LL is making work of decreasing its population in SL®. I will never know why, but this last decision is really absurd. And not because Stephen Venkman, friend, colleague, and family man was involved in this.
I will support Sho, Venk and all the others who are protesting against this.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The end of free accounts?

Yesterday evening, after two days not have logged in to Second Life®, I wanted to visit the grid once again. I got the normal message: "login failed". Nothing the matter, I thought. Just give it another try, and you will see, it was a malfunctioning of the server, or something, I thought to myself.Big was my surprise, that after trying several times, I suddenly received the message , shown below.

This means that from now on, all residents must pay directly to the Linden's or they will be banned in the future from the grid. At least, that is how I see it.
What will happen to all companies, who thought that this was interesting to start doing business in SL®? Again they must realize that all is up to the Linden's and nobody else. If they want no one on the grid, than nobody will be there.
I kept on trying and after a while, I succeeded. What should I think about that?

Is it becoming time to explore another virtual world? Is this the end for the free accounts on Second Life?

Did everyone experienced this, when trying to log in?
I am certain, that Second Life will not be the coolest place anymore, when only paying residents are allowed on the grid. Or we all are going to pay them, in order to stay here, just before the SL5B celebrations. They surely know how to draw our attention.;))
Interesting to know what will follow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

AVATRAIT presents: HIO!!!!woot

AVATRAIT presents: HIO!!!!woot
Originally uploaded by H-I-O

There is a new exhibition at the Avatrait Gallery. Last Saturday was the opening in the well known Avatrait style. Lots of people, great party........

If you don't know Hio Taringa, or if you don't know Avatrait by now, please visit the gallery.
The exhibition of Hio is from June 7th till June 29th.

Friday, June 6, 2008

SL5B- a new beginning

I won't write about the Lindens, I just want to inform you that I decided to participate after all at the SL5B.
This decision has in fact nothing to do with LL, it is just in respect for my friends, Sho, Venk and Codie, who are working as volunteers to set up this event with all artists on the grid.
I went yesterday evening on the sim, to find me a spot. The best were already taken, but it doesn't matter where I will be showing my pictures, as long as I am part of the event. As long as we can show all residents who we are, what we do, and make new friends, which we already did.
This is the best support that we can give the organizers, just to be there, and not quitting.
I can understand if there are people not submitting their art this year for the well known issues, but the problem is, they will not hurt LL, only people who have "nothing" to do with LL and who are doing their utmost for this yearly event, which is a celebration for all of us, despite what they decide in San Fransisco.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

All about politics

You can read many blogs lately regarding the issue that Linden Lab is discriminating certain groups to the SL5B.
As I would think which is a proper way to react, is not to submit any art to SL5B, no exhibitions, as why are the Lindens doing that every time, over and over again? First they allow child avatars, they allow groups (GOR, BDSM), and now, at the anniversary, they refuse the builds/works/ participation of these groups.
I was not intended to write about this issue, but it seems to escalate as even the resident organizer of the anniversary celebration, SignPostMarv, who was working on the event through the whole year, has withdrawn, due to irreconcilable differences between him, Dusty and Everett Linden over ethical issues, and the degree of Linden Lab involvement in what is a Resident-ran event (and has been for at least the last 3 years).

"The SL Children communities in Second Life (adults who role-play children in a family-friendly, G-rated, wholesome, decent and fun way) had once again prepared one of their grand and enjoyable showcases -- indeed, at the third anniversary, the SL Children's displays and events were among the most popular -- but are being refused the right to participate for the first time in five years, apparently due to Linden Lab's fear of Mark Kirk and his ill-informed and unfounded assertion"
according Massively. And this assertion was described in next article

"The Chicago Tribune is carrying a story about Congressional Representative Mark Kirk of the district of Illinois. Kirk alleges that Second Life "is a risk for children, who could be sexually exploited" and has written a letter to the US Federal Trade Commission, urging them to issue a consumer alert to warn of this danger"

So, to summarize it all, Linden Lab is afraid,with the coming elections, that they (politicians) would close Second Life. And that is why they take precautions. But as in the past, they take sudden actions, without even consulting third parties, and thinking thoroughly what would be the results if they take such actions.

We did not see the last of it yet, and I would like to know where this all leads is not our second life anymore. It is even worse as our first lifes. It is no fun anymore.........
If politics is involved in what is suppose to be a distraction from real life than it ends right here.

I am thinking not to take part of this event, not to submit any pictures. I know....if I am the only one, who cares.......but if other artists would feel the same.........

One of my colleague bloggers, Raul Crimson, has wrote an article too about this issue, and posted the picture , which you can see next to this article, and also on his flickr stream.

Looker Updated

As I told before on my blog, there were some things coming up. Some new challenges has been proposed to me, which I accepted gladly.

From this month on I will be on the board of the Avatrait gallery, for the next 6 months. This means that I will be able to attend the board meetings and propose things that can help all the artists, not only the ones in the gallery.
As there is a future, and artists, just as myself, are continuously improving, there is an opportunity for all artists on SL® to be a member of the gallery. We see, on a daily basis, that the quality from the images are improving, and that pushes every artist to higher level.
I am glad that I am already more than a year on the grid, because I if I had to start only now with my images, I would have never be able to be amongst those fine artists that we all know. I am grateful for that. As it was always my goal to be closer to the artists, to communicate with them, to organize events, this job as a member of the board is one that I could not refuse.
Last month there was a contest on Avatrait, and the winners were announced yesterday. You can see the pictures in the gallery inworld, but also in the flickr group. You can see the picture of Belmakor Pintens on the right.

Also, I got the request to work, to write, to be a juror for the Twilight Magazine. If you remember well, there was an interview with me in the first issue.
This magazine is one of the finest, high quality magazine that I have seen in Second Life®. That is why I did not doubt to accept the offer. It is again in the same line as my boardmembership, to be close to the artists, and to see what is going on, because there are a lot of great artists out there, who I never met, and did not hear about yet.

Now since today, there is a new group on flickr, the Twilight Magazine submissions. Belmakor wrote this:
"This group was created as a sub-group for Twilight Magazine. Our Jury suggests and votes on the artists to be in the magazine. We have a widespread jury who spend a lot of time searching Flickr for possible article contents, BUT we aren't perfect. So we created a group to let you put in two of your best works a month.. works you think will be great for the magazine! Every month the pool will be cleared after the Jury looks through it. So after it is cleared you can put two more works into the pool for the next month! Now this isn't a promise you will be in the magazine... please understand this. We just are admitting we can't see the 100s of photos you all put up everyday and want you all to have an equal chance. -Twilight Magazine Staff"

So if you are interested, did not had an invite to the group yet, join it on flickr. It will help us to find the most beautiful shots that were taken by the residents, without spending hours and hours to find the best ones. Now they will be all gathered in one group, month after month.