My Pinkney Portrait


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Nylon Pinkney is a well known Second Life artist who makes clothes, skins, accessories and wonderful portraits of avatars.
Click here to check out her flickr page.

She also has a great sim called Tableau where you can go and have a look at some of her art, shop and go exploring.

When I saw the Drax Files episode about her, I was very impressed and wanted one of those portraits.
You can see the episode at the bottom of this article.

Today I received it and I love it!

If you want an original Pinkney portrait, check out her website by clicking here.
I reckon they make great presents for the coming holidays or perhaps a rezday or sim anniversary!


show #95: lab chat

Jo Yardley:

A Drax Files Radio Hour show about our first Lab Chat episode!
Missed it? Hear it here.

Originally posted on the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley]:

show #95 show #95

we are broadcasting a the premiere of a new show on this show to simply show that sl is vr and sl culture is alive and well.

enjoy and congrats to jo, saffia and ebbe for an engaging conversation:

and if you want to get your questions in for the next show, keep watching the forums, read on the official lab chat blog, like the show on fb and follow on twitter.

below a few snaps made during the broadcast [ebbe looks good in his new av!]:

torley in audience disguised as crazy cat lady torley in audience disguised as crazy cat lady

lab chat streaming in lab chat streaming in

lab chat logo hanging on battery street lab chat logo hanging on battery street

audience through the looking glass audience through the looking glass

behind the scenes are glitches behind the scenes are glitches

another nice one from torley another nice one from torley

torley shot this wide one torley shot this wide one

green dots green dots

lab chat full house lab chat full house

lab chat logo testing for intro sequence lab chat logo testing for intro sequence

the drax files radio hour [with jo…

View original 81 more words

Linden Lab decreases land setup fees!


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Today Linden Lab announced that they have lowered the land setup fees!

I quote from the announcement on the SL website;

Decreased Land Set-Up Fees and Changes to Transferring Regions

by Community Manager on ‎11-17-2015 08:00 AM

We are pleased to announce two changes that make it less expensive to get your own Private Island in Second Life!

Price Drop for Land Set-up Fees

Effective immediately, all new Private Island set-up fees are up to 40% cheaper! Whether you’re looking to expand your estate or just getting started with your first Private Island, it’s a great time to buy.

Here are the new, reduced set-up fees:

  • Full Private Island  – previously $1000, now $600
  • Developed Full Private Island – previously $1029, now $629
  • Homestead Private Island – previously $375, now $225
  • Developed Homestead Private Island – previously $395, now $250
  • Openspace Private Island – previously $250, now $150

Qualified educational and nonprofit organizations will continue to receive a 50% discount off the applicable set-up fee (as well as 50% off ongoing maintenance fees). For more information about our discount program, please visit this page.

If you have paid a region set-up fee in the past 14 days, you will receive the difference in fees back as a credit (in US Dollars) to your account balance.

I think this is a very, very good idea.
The costs of land have in the past stopped me from expanding my project and I am sure it has kept many from even starting one.

It will make things just a bit more attractive for people to take that big step and start their own sim.

I have suggested lowering and even scrapping these setup fees in the past and am happy this is now happening.

I  don’t want to be rude and look a gift horse in the mouth but I still think it is too expensive,  $600 bucks is a lot of money especially as the tier remains the same and we still don’t have the option to for instance buy half or even a quarter of a sim, or maybe sims that are only online in the weekends.
Something I’ve also suggested in previous posts here and here.

But nevertheless it is a great step in the right direction and it makes things a lot more attractive for those of us owning sims and wanting to expand and those who are thinking about starting their own sim.

And who knows, maybe more news like this will follow and other prices might start going down as well.
I for one am keeping my fingers crossed.

Let’s see if the amount of regions, which dipped below 25.000 recently, will now go up again.

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show #94: what happened in dublin…

Jo Yardley:

Another Drax Files Radio Hour episode, from Dublin!

Originally posted on the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley]:

show #94 show #94

back from the dublin web summit, where vr was just one tiny portion of this gigantic and [for exhibitors] pricey pitch-fest.

while many “solutions” of the alpha crowd seem anachronistic and in the worst case bizarre, there were fabulous panels, great guinness and free wifi on the public bus.

there was also, ebbe linden, a sansar clip and a great browser based vw called beloola.

enjoy and make sure you listen until the very end of the show:

and now watch and read some more:

web summit at royal dublin society web summit at royal dublin society

drax' imagined ride to and fro the summit drax’ imagined ride to and fro the summit

drax' rl ride to the summit drax’ rl ride to the summit

  • one cool startup from israel = roadwarez [separate interview coming soon]
  • video from web summit is available on the web & palmer luckey starts…

View original 366 more words

The Guardian podcast about Web Summit, with Ebbe Altberg


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The Guardian newspaper published a podcast about the 2015 Web Summit under the title; ‘Is Virtual empathy the ghost in the machine for AI?’.

The subject is quite interesting, presenter Nathalie Nahai and her guests Oren Frank from Talkspace; Rana el Kaliouby from Affectiva and Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab, talk about;

Could machines ever understand us emotionally? How much is technology already affecting our cognitive abilities, mental wellbeing and emotional lives? And as our personal and emotional experiences migrate to alternate platforms, VR, mobile, and others, will empathy be lost in an AI world?

You can listen to the entire 35 minute podcast on the Guardian website by clicking here.
Ebbe’s chat starts at 17.30

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 22.56.59

Lab Chat, a talk show with and about Linden Lab is coming!


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No matter how many blogs are written, interviews are done and stories are published, it seems that there are always questions about Second Life, Project Sansar and Linden Lab that people can’t find the answer to and want to ask.

During the 12th birthday celebrations of Second Life several talk shows were organised, well known VR TV host Saffia Widdershins and co-hosts interviewed several Lindens and it was very interesting to notice how many questions the audience had to ask if they were given the chance.
Clearly the people of Second Life have lots of things they want to ask the Lindens themselves and even though they sometimes show up on the forums and at inworld meetings, it seems that we do not all get as many chances to ask them things face to face as we would like.
So every time a Linden was interviewed there at SL12B, lots of people showed up and when the public was given a chance to ask their questions things often got very interesting.

This made me think of a famous UK tv show called Question Time where regular members of the public get a chance to grill their politicians.
I love this show and I don’t even live in the UK!

So I thought that it might be fun to have a similar show in Second Life but with Lindens in stead of politicians and I wrote this blog about it (click).

Not much later I was one of Saffia’s co-hosts myself and we interviewed Ebbe Linden (aka Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab) together.
When the interview was about to end Ebbe mentioned that he rather enjoyed the chat and that we should have one more often.
This made me think back to my Question Time idea that I also had talked about with Saffia before the show.
And so the plan was made.
You can read how it all exactly happened in this blog I wrote about it (click).

So behind the scenes we’ve been working on this idea and now it is going to happen!

We’re going to try and keep it as basic as possible, just like Question Time, you ask the questions, one or more Lindens answer them.
The show will be recorded live in front of a studio audience and then broadcast later.

We will pick 4 questions from the SL forum but if time allows it, we will also open up the floor to people in the audience to ask theirs.
We are not selecting questions as a way to sensor out the negative ones or tricky ones, but to make sure things aren’t asked that are already common knowledge or should be if you bother to ask around.
Also it is sometimes important to give the Lindens a heads-up, just so they can bring some facts and figures with them or so they can make sure they have the latest news from their colleague working on that very subject.
And we also do this because not everybody is interested in that personal issue you have with someone else in SL regarding a dress you bought but somehow the texture didn’t look as good as on the picture, etc.
We want questions everyone wants to hear the answers to!
We also pick questions for technical reasons, we need to get in contact with you for the show, see if you’re willing to use your voice for the recording or if we need to read the question for you, etc, etc.

But remember, if we have time left, we will, just like during SL12B, take questions from the audience text chat.
So even if your question wasn’t selected, bring it along to the recording.

The show will be recorded Thursday, November 19th at 10:30am SLT at the Linden Endowment for the Arts Theatre, Saffia and I will be hosts and our guest will be Ebbe Linden — CEO of Linden Lab.

You can read the official Linden Lab announcement here (click) and leave your questions on the forum here (click), make sure to ask it by Friday the 13th (!!) of November.

The Lab Chat logo, made by Marianne McCann

The Lab Chat logo, made by Marianne McCann

Grid dips below 25.000 regions for first time since 2008


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Tyche Shepherd, who has been keeping an eye on all the numbers, facts and figures of Second Life, yesterday announced that for the fist time since 2008 when she started keeping these records, the amount of regions on the Second Life grid dipped below 25000 for the fist time since June 2008.

We all know that the amount of sims in Second Life has been declining for a long time so this isn’t really a surprise.
But still, it must be unwelcome news at Linden Lab.
Or maybe extra motivation to keep making Second Life and Project Sansar better.

Of course 25.000 areas of land the size of 65,536 m², is still a gigantic virtual world.

Since December 2014 there were a few small signs of growth, but generally we’ve just seen decline.


You can read the full report on the SLUniverse website by clicking here.

Make sure you also check out her excellent website;

TNW website publishes interview with Ebbe about Second Life and Project Sansar


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Today an interview with Ebbe Altberg (aka Ebbe Linden, CEO of Linden Lab) was published on ‘The Next Web‘ website.
It has over 600.000 ‘likes’ on Facebook and over 1.6 million followers on twitter.
So no small fry.

It has a very catchy title, or as those pesky young kids call it; “Click Bait” worthy;

Think Second Life died?
It has a higher GDP than some countries

The audio was recorded at the Web Summit in Dublin and lasts about 10 minutes.
You can hear all of it by clicking here.

There isn’t much said we didn’t already know and no new exciting facts about Project Sansar were leaked, but it is a nice interview and once more Ebbe shows that he is pretty good at making people realise that Second Life is still doing well and has provided the people at Linden Lab with a lots of experience on running a virtual world, one that gives them now, on the eve of the Virtual Reality Renaissance, a very interesting position.

Sadly they used a rather dull picture to illustrate the article; a screenshot showing all the avatars that were replaced by nicer ones just the other day.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 23.03.50

New classic starter avatars for Second Life now available


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Linden Lab has just given us 16 brand new classic starter avatars for Second Life.
I’ve written about the starter avatars and some of the problems involved here; “The ongoing trouble with the new mesh avatars” and here; “An alternative to starter avatars”, also suggesting that they replaced and improved the old starter avatars in stead of those full mesh avatars.

Last year brand new full mesh avatars were released but many users (especially noobs) soon discovered that they looked nice but sadly were a bit static (no mouth opening when talking for instance) and it was very difficult to adjust them or  even change their clothes.
Full mesh avatars are something even advanced SL users sometimes have problems with so you can imagine that they didn’t make things easier for people new to our virtual world.
And of course making sure they feel at home asap is very important to keep them from leaving.

So these new avatars are the good old ‘system avatars’ we know and love (and hate) but with mesh attachments.
In a way, the best of both worlds…?

I think these new avatars look pretty good, especially the one in the 3 piece suit, even though he needs a haircut.
He is ready to start exploring 1920s Berlin, maybe I’ll even put a box with that outfit as a freebie at our teleport area.
Sadly none of the ladies have 1920s suitable clothes.
Seriously though, of course there are a lot of people who’ll find that a certain type or kind of avatar is missing from this selection.
The one thing I dislike about these new avatars is that they are all young and pretty.
I would have liked people a little older, a little fatter and perhaps a little uglier.
You know, like real life :)

Anyway, quite an improvement on the old system avatars, at least at first sight.
I haven’t tried them yet.
But it is a shame that after all these years apparantly it is still so difficult to create avatars that look good, are all mesh, are animated and not so complicated to modify or dress.
Something that seems so easy in games.

But I still think that it would be even better to allow new users to create and already personalise their avatars right there on the website before they even enter Second Life, letting them have some fun and giving them an avatar they’ve already started bonding and identifying with before they’ve even put virtual feet on the virtual ground.
I’ve written more about that idea here; “Starting your Second Life” and here; “Starting your Second Life is still not easy”.

You should be able to try out these new avatars now.

You can read the official Linden Lab announcement here; “New Classic Avatars are Now Available in Second Life!”.

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Road to VR talks about Sansar


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The website Road to VR is one of the most active and up to date websites on the subject of Virtual Reality.

Today they published a short article on Sansar and in it Ebbe said a few interesting things.

Such as;

We’ll do a lot of things to help users understand how to create performant content. There’s a lot of work yet to do, but we have plans for things like automatic optimization of content, polygon reduction of content that preserves quality at the same time, including showing users that create content some sort of visual indication of how performant their content is going to be across various platforms… I’ve already see stuff in Sansar that I know you’d never see in SL.

I like the sound of this.

Giving users the tools to build whatever they can imagine is crucial for Sansar to succeed and be something more than all those other VR worlds that are and will be popping up.
One of the problems with SL is that we have those tools and can build whatever we want but as many of us aren’t that experienced, this sometimes results in corners of our world that don’t look very good or take a long time to load.

So the golden formula for Sansar will be easy creation tools + automatic optimisation = great VR.

Please read the entire article on the Road to VR website by clicking here.

road to vr logo


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