Jul 312015

Portal Park Entrance

PaleoQuest is Linden Lab’s latest adventure game in Portal Park and they have blogged about it – Brave Dinosaurs & Win Prizes in PaleoQuest! :

Magellan Linden put the moles to work building a theme park on the latest hunk of land discovered in Second Life… but something’s gone horribly wrong!

Uncover the mystery of a menacing plan and explore six exciting regions teeming with dinosaurs and valuable collectibles in PaleoQuest. The evil Dr. Talpa has mangled space and time – colliding past, present, and future into a single point in time – which happens to be at the PaleoQuest Theme Park. Are you the dashing hero the world needs to stop Dr. Talpa from taking over? The rewards are great – but so is the risk! Dare the treacherous obstacles that lay in waiting, and uncover a wealth of hidden tools and items that will aid you in your quest for fame and adventure. 

Please read the blog post in full for full details about the prizes and any restrictions. Inara Pey has posted a very good blog post about PaleoQuest : Experiencing PaleoQuest, the Lab’s latest adventure in Second Life.

I haven’t yet delved deep into PaleoQuest, but I have briefly visiting the opening area. Starting in Portal Park follow the sign for PaleoQuest, go down the path, accept the experiences request and you’ll soon be on your way, complete with a funky hud that has information regarding the game.

Welcome Centre

The welcome centre has a lot of useful information, including videos that are well worth watching, I’ll embed a couple in this post, starting with the trailer for the game. Which isn’t actually in the welcome centre, but more on that later.

Continue reading »

Jul 302015

More information for Second Life Marketplace merchants, Linden Lab have blogged Magic Box and Xstreet Shut Down Dates. No, you haven’t read that incorrectly.

The launch of the Viewer Managed Marketplace has erased the last remaining reasons for Magic Boxes to exist inworld. No copy items are no longer a problem. Once everyone has been migrated, they will serve no purpose, other than taking up a prim of land. Therefore the blog post informs us :

Merchants who are still using Magic Boxes to sell their items will need to manually migrate their listings by August 17, 2015, when Magic Boxes will no longer appear on Marketplace.

Hopefully this won’t be an issue for too many merchants. August 17th is not that far away. The news about XStreet is odd. The blog post informs us :

We will leave Xstreet up until August 27, 2015, so that interested Merchants can pull their data before the site is shut down for good.

This news is odd for a few reasons. New merchants might be wondering what XStreet is. Older merchants might be surprised to learn that XStreet is still running. First let’s go back in time, to January 2009 when Linden Lab announced :

Linden Lab®, creator of the virtual worldSecond Life®, today announced a key milestone in its expansion of the Second Life platform: acquiring two Web-based marketplaces for virtual goods, Xstreet SL and OnRez. These acquisitions join several other recent strategic initiatives, including enhancements to the experience for new users, which will enable Linden Lab to reach a broader global audience for Second Life in 2009. Linden Lab is consolidating the two marketplaces on the Xstreet SL platform, offering one online shopping experience for customers and merchants. This will make it easier for Second Life Residents to find virtual goods to purchase and will provide merchants broader channels to sell their products.

XStreet and OnRez were created by Second Life residents, not Linden Lab. However in 2009 Linden Lab made both online marketplaces an offer they couldn’t refuse (No horse’s heads were involved) and they were eventually merged under the Second Life Marketplace banner.

Continue reading »

Jul 292015

Hurry Up!

So I fired up my PC when I got home from work and checked my notifications, to find Windows 10 was on its way. This was all rather exciting, I could hear the voices in my head :

Hurry up and get it installed“.

However the voices on Twitter were a different matter :

No no no“.

Insane in the membrane

You must be marbles and conkers“.

However I resisted the urge to stop the update, again my own voices speaking, although at times conflicting :

One Windows to rule them all“.

My precious, my precious“.

Turn back Dick Whittngton“.

Umm I think you’re confusing stories now and need to stop this!

Eventually, files had been downloaded, updates had been run, apps had been configured, settings had been configured and I logged in.

Windows 10 Success

Hurrah! Success. Now I should say at this point that this is not my suggested method of upgrading an operating system. I’m a big fan of the clean install. However I decided to let the Microsoft process do its work and I was rather impressed to discover that the apps I largely use seem to be working fine, without any need to reinstall them.

Continue reading »

Jul 282015

Merchant Outbox RIP

Hopefully many Second Life Marketplace merchants have received an email like this :

We have finished upgrading the listings in your store to work with the Viewer-Managed Marketplace feature. You must use a Viewer that supports VMM (http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Release/, and will need to restart the viewer if you had it open during the migration. Your stores should now be fully functional.

If you would like more information on the upgrades and how to manage your Marketplace inventory items from here on, please see the Knowledge Base Article on the Viewer-Managed Marketplace https://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Viewer-managed-Marketplace-Beta/ta-p/2854226.

Thank you for using the Second Life Marketplace

That should indicate that everything has gone smoothly with your migration to the new Viewer Managed Marketplace, then you’ll just need to get your head around how everything works with the Viewer Managed Marketplace, but fear not, Linden Lab have provided plenty of helpful assistance there. A really good place to start is with the comprehensive knowledge-base article linked in the email.

I haven’t seen too many complaints about the migration, some people have reported that they’ve received an email stating there was a problem with the migration and that Linden Lab are investigating. In those circumstances you will still need to manage your Marketplace listings as you usually would.

Continue reading »

Jul 272015

Sea View

The Amputee Coalition National Conference took place between July 22nd – 25th in Tuscon Arizona and one of the presentations involved a discussion about support and education in Second Life, with Dr. Sandra Winkler of Nova Southeastern University in Florida leading the presentation :

Virtual Support and Education Through Second Life – Sandra Winkler, PhD, OTR/L; Jim Mercier;Eme Capalini

Tucson C

This presentation will:

(1) Demonstrate a virtual world environment that provides amputees with evidence based knowledge about amputation and prosthetics – including a virtual prosthetics museum.

(2) Launch the collaboration of this project with the Amputee Coalition. Participants will experience how daily activities, such as exercising and conditioning, can be learned as an avatar in a virtual world. Amputee presenters will discuss the potential of this virtual world for distant – even international – peer visitation, education, and socialization and support activities.

Unfortunately I do not have a full transcript of the presentation.


However a report on Healio by Shawn M Carter does have some quotes from Dr. Sandra Winkler :

This tool could strengthen awareness and self-management of a user’s specific disability, Sandra Winkler, PhD, OTR/L, lead researcher of the project, said during a presentation.

“The trend in health care is managing your own care, rather than relying on a provider to tell you what to do,” she said. “Managing your own care provides access to knowledge … then you can start problem-solving what is best for you.”

Recreational activities are easiest to understand when engaging in the activity, according to Winkler, who believes this program provides that opportunity.

Dr. Sandra Winkler’s work can be further investigated on the Virtual Health Adventures website, or, if you prefer, you can visit Virtual Health Adventures in Second Life.

Continue reading »

Jul 252015

Stage For Concerts

Unfortunately I don’t speak German, so details here are going to be a tad sketchy. However, the SL Planetarium are holding an event, you can read more about it here : http://buktomblog.blogspot.de/2015/07/sos-kinderdorf-griechenland-das-event.html.

The above link goes to a German site, you can try and use Google translate as I did, but that didn’t help me that much.

Viewing SL Planetarium

The event is described on The Destination Guide as :

Experience live music and contribute to a good cause in this multi-day German language charity event, held through Aug. 3. Unter diesem Motto veranstaltet das SL – Planetarium und die Freie Bibliothek PEGASUS ein Benefiz – Event. buktomblog.blogspot.de/2015/07/sos-kinderdorf-griechenland-das-event.html

So what we can work out is that there’s an event in Second Life that is raising money for a good cause. The event is being held on a German speaking region, hence why the information is in German. Second Life is a global virtual world, so it’s fair enough that there are regions who speak in languages other than English.

Continue reading »

Jul 252015

Le Quartier Francais

There are plenty of shopping locations in Second Life. Some of them are very well presented and Le Quartier Francais definitely falls into that category. The region is the home of the MoDANNA mainstore, which sells apparel for males and females.

There are also other stores with a presence here, including Ariksea, Serenity Style, Glamrus and Wolf Fram.


The region is very picturesque and is described on The Destination Guide as :

This beautiful French-inspired sim is decorated with taste and harmony for all the photography lovers, shoppers and fashionistas. Explore beyond all the little details and discover the hidden details in this magnificent shopping environment.

The region certainly has a European feel to it, I wanted to sit down outside a cafe and eat a baguette.


The owner of MoDANNA is  Lisanna Lauria and she has done some fine work in creating a fun and interesting environment. I’m not sure exactly what the story of the creation of the region is but the theme is very well done. The streets are spacious and you can roam around without feeling like you’re treading in treacle.

Barber Shop

I stopped outside Wolf Fram and considered getting a haircut and a beard trim, but time was against me.

Time Travellers

However it seems that visitors in this region come in a variety of modes of transport. These Police Boxes turn up in a lot of regions in Second Life, maybe I should invest in one and see if that helps with my issues with not having enough time!

Le Quartier Francais is well worth a visit even if you’re not a fashionista or a shopaholic, it is a very photogenic and impressive region.

Le Quartier Francais

This beautiful French-inspired sim is decorated with taste and harmony for all the photography lovers, shoppers and fashionistas. Explore beyond all the little details and discover the hidden details in this magnificent shopping environment.

Visit in Second Life

SLURL to Le Quartier Francais : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Le%20Quartier%20Francais/128/133/24/

Jul 232015

Second Life Image - Futuristic Guy

Scientists have announced that they have found “The closest twin to earth outside the solar system“. The name of the planet is Kepler 452b and it’s considered Earth’s older and bigger cousin. However that’s not really what this blog post is about. No, this blog post is about me finding “The closest article to the article I found yesterday about Project Sansar, outside this blog“.

I have discovered the article at none other than Variety. The article in question is Second Life Maker Linden Lab Wants to Build the WordPress of Virtual Reality by Janko Roettgers, Senior Silicon Valley Correspondent for Variety.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, yesterday I blogged Ebbe Altberg And Peter Gray Talk To MMORPG About The Future Of Online Experiences, which was based on an article on MMORPG by Neilie Johnson entitled “Linden Lab Looks to the Future of Online Experiences“.

The article in Variety covers a lot of the same ground but it also has some additional and rather interesting information, for example, when it comes to how many people may be able to visit a build in Project Sansar, the Variety article states :

Why spend a lot of money to build a presence in Second Life if it could only be visited by only 70 people at a time? Project Sansar wants to solve this issue by allowing for unlimited copies of an experience. In other words, instead of just opening one restaurant, McDonalds could open hundreds or even thousands of eateries in the new virtual world, and open and close them based on customer demand.

This does indeed mean instancing! Now if you’re not familiar with instancing, imagine a Second Life region that is full. Instancing would address this by creating pretty much a copy of that region on demand, to allow more people to enter the experience. The obvious issue there is that you may not be in the same instance of the region as your friends, but we can worry about things like that later because instancing is a bloody brilliant concept.

Continue reading »

Jul 222015


First things first, some readers may find the website of MMORPG a little garish, it’s a bright site and very busy. I mention this because this post is about an article by Neilie Johnson on MMORPG; Linden Lab Looks to the Future of Online Experiences. The article is based on an interview with Linden Lab’s CEO Ebbe Altberg and Linden Lab’s Senior Director of Global Communications, Gray Of The Lab From San Francisco (AKA Peter Gray).

Whereas there are no ground breaking secrets revealed in the interview, it is worth looking at some things again. Firstly the proposed land model for Project Sansar, or what is known about it so far. The article reiterates that the plan for Project Sansar is to have much lower land costs than the USD$295.00 a month region cost in Second Life, with sales tax on the increase compared to the 5% Marketplace commission. There are no figures provided but I think it’s fair to say that this has been mentioned enough times now for it to be a reality.

The article also touches upon the fact that Linden Lab have learnt a lot from Second Life. Although the minimum age requirement will be 13, Linden Lab feel that they will be able to segregate content so that minors aren’t running into unsuitable content.

One of the things I’ve seen said about Project Sansar when comparing it to Second Life is that the Project Sansar development team will look at the way some things are done in Second Life and decide they would not want to start from there to achieve that in Project Sansar. Content and land restrictions are areas where Project Sansar can take a new approach and one that could very well deal with some of the problems we’ve seen in Second Life. The experience of the issues that have been raised in Second Life are an advantage here.

Continue reading »

Jul 212015

PC Mag have an interesting article by Sophia Stuart : Inside NASA’s Version of the Holodeck. What makes this article interesting is that NASA’s version of the Holodeck looks like OpenSim and it seems like there may be a very good reason for that.

The crux of the article focuses around an interview with virtual world and virtual reality legend Dr Jacquelyn Ford Morie, founder and chief scientist of All These Worlds LLC. I’ll use just part of Dr Morie’s bio to exemplify her credentials :

Dr. Morie has 25 years experience in developing innovative techniques for rich, emotionally evocative virtual reality (VR) environments. As part of this pioneering work, she invented a scent collar to bring the emotional power of smell to immersive experiences, and developed new types of functions for VR, such as connections to multiple sensor and feedback systems to make VR more effective. Dr. Morie spent 13 years as a Sr. Research Scientist at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), which she helped found. While there, she created novel VR telehealth care activities using her deep understanding of art, computer animation and human behavior to enhance patient engagement with these programs.

Impressive stuff, and from the PC Mag article we learn about some things that are a little closer to home for this blog. Dr Morie is quoted as saying :

“In the early 90s, I was participating in networked VR like Dactyl Nightmare, BattleTech, and Virtuality, but they weren’t totally open worlds, they were applications. But I could see the potential, even then” Morie explained. “So, the first virtual world that I really took part in was Second Life.”

However Second Life is of course closed in many ways itself, so, yes I’m getting there, OpenSim comes into the equation. Dr Morie’s work had came to the attention of none other than NASA. They asked Dr Morie to write a technical document on how virtual worlds could be used in space. Two companies were asked to work on a prototype of this. One was Dr Morie’s All These Worlds LLC and the other was Smart Information Flow Technologies (SIFT). However they didn’t just build a protoype, they built the whole damn thing.

Continue reading »