Tier lowered… on the mainland.


Most people in SL have been saying it for a long time and it has even become a bit of a, what kids these days call a “meme”;

The Tier is too damn high!

Well, today Linden Lab announced they are lowering the tier by 10%… but only if you have land on the mainland.
Which makes this news not quite as exciting for this landowner.
I can’t help wonder why only mainland land owners get this bonus.
I guess it is because there is so much empty space there, but it being crowded and lack of land management powers is the reason many of us decided to move to a private region ages ago.
Personally I felt I didn’t have a choice, being surrounded by lots of strange builds that ruined the immersion in my sim but also desperately needing full admin powers to deal with grievers and other sim problems, I needed to move 1920s Berlin to a private region to make the place even remotely bearable for my tenants.
This however meant much higher tier and thus much more work to make a sim pay for itself or even profitable.
Just to get access to tools I think all land owners deserve.

Now I am famously horrible at math, but that would reduce the monthly tier for a full mainlandregion with $17.50, so from $175 to $157.50.
Which is of course still quite a lot and as many will say is still “too damn high” but it is a  step in the right direction and something I welcome.
It is of course a fact that this change will help everyone who currently has land but will this amount make a difference to aspiring land owners?
Would the 10% reduction change your mind?

According to the LL announcement this reduction is effective immediately.

Another nice bonus is that mainland allotment is doubled for premium members.
I remember getting my first land as a premium member and starting 1920s Berlin on it and I know this change would have been very welcome back then.

We, well some of us, get this improvement a few months ahead of SL’s 15th birthday.
I hope we can expect more bonuses like these when the birthday celebrations begin and I hope that private region owners and those of us who have left the mainland and live elsewhere on this virtual planet are not passed by this time and also get a reduction in tier.
I reckon we’ve deserved it.

You can read the official announcement by clicking here.





I’m leaving Second Life!

Yes, I am leaving Second Life… for a few days.

Ha, sorry, I couldn’t resist the ‘clickbait’ title.
Did I scare you or were you ecstatic with joy?

Anyway, as some of you know, my RL dream for many years has been escaping the big cities I’ve lived in all my life and move to the countryside and now this dream has come true.
My family has rented a little farm in the North East of the Netherlands with a bit of land and lots of surrounding fields and I am moving there tomorrow!

I’m very excited of course, I love nature and animals and especially peace and quiet and can’t wait to leave Amsterdam behind me for ever.

But this also means that it may take a few days, and with new years eve coming up soon, perhaps even a week, before I get an internet connection up and running on the farm.
And internet will be VERY slow there so even when I get it, SL may be a bit tricky for me at first.
Luckily it has already been confirmed that I’m getting fibre optics internet installed in 2018 so I’ll have super fast internet soon, faster than you can get in Amsterdam!

So you will have to manage without my complaining, snarky comments, euphemisms and rudeness towards the drunks in my 1920s Berlin bar for a bit.

I’m not abandoning Berlin and Time Portal, managers and sim police will be around to keep an eye on visitors and deal with naughty ones.
If you’re a tenant or have other urgent issues, try asking in group chat for help or send me an email, contact info is in my SL profile.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year’s eve and a fantastic 1929.

See you on the other side.



The end of my new garden

New benefit for premium members; longer transaction history

Recently LL announced a new benefit for premium members, in stead of the 1 month of records for your transactions, they now can look back 3 months.

This is very handy and a great little bonus but I have to admit I can’t help looking this gift horse in the mouth a bit.
With all these servers and super computers Linden Lab has access too, that can render huge virtual worlds and send countless terabytes all over the globe, I always found it odd that they couldn’t put a side a little bit of server space to keep all these records for us.

Surely it would only take a few gigabyte to save EVERY transaction EVER made by ALL avatars?

Of course I really don’t know much about the space this takes up and perhaps effort to keep it all running, but still, I’m surprised we can’t already look back in our transaction records all the way back to the day we got our first Linden from that nice stranger who felt sorry for a noob, or from that chair we sat in for hours or that person we kept bothering.

After all, its just zeros and ones right?

Having said that, any bonus is a good thing of course.

You can read the official announcement here;

SL changes, good & bad news

Linden Lab just announced a few changes, good & bad.

The buying Linden Dollars & process credit fees are going up;

  • Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$’s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged.
  • On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum.

This means SL is getting more expensive for most of us and those of us who (try to) make a living from SL need to find a way to balance out the extra costs.
Say you manage to make 700$ a month from SL, in the olden days it would cost you $10.50 to send this money to your Paypal account, in the future that will cost $17.50.

Luckily it is not just bad news.
There will be more improvements coming to SL, lots of money (millions of dollars!) are being put into our virtual world to make it even better.

The most interesting thing (for me anyway) is the animesh;

New creative tools. We recently released Animesh in beta, enabling creators to use skeletal animations with non-avatar objects – like wild animals, pets, vehicles, and scenery objects. Coming soon is EEP!  (Environmental Enhancements Project), a series of extensions to Windlight that enable you to trade or sell your own environment settings. EEP will also allow Parcel-based environment settings and an extended day cycle too!

This could bring realistic moving NPC’s to SL that are less laggy than current options and also look better.
They can also replace bots.
I hope the EEP! includes the 24 hour day cycles!

Also very exciting;

We continue to make progress in the massive upgrade to SL infrastructure and move to the cloud (we call this project Brave New World). This move will (among many other things), help make SL more performant for Residents around the world, and may also enable us to introduce new products and more flexible pricing in the future.

SL performance and high tier is something many of us would like to see improved upon so this is going in the right direction.

You can read the full official announcement here;


How to shut Jo up when she complains about her old computer

I feel really uncomfortable about asking people for financial support, or asking people for any kind of help really.
But after months of struggling along with my 2011 computer that it literally being kept together with sticky tape and no real change in my dire financial situation on the horizon, I realised something had to be done.

It is really hard to work in SL and I can’t even start visiting Sansar or trying out headset VR without a new computer.

I had a long think about it and several people suggested I’d try gofundme.com.
I didn’t really want to but let them convince me.
In a way it is not that different from me rudely reminding guests at my bar of my tip jar and threatening them if they don’t tip me.

But  as I still don’t like the idea of asking for help, I am looking at it in a different way.
Half of SL is getting sick an tired of me complaining and going on and on and on about how bad my old computer is and how badly I need a new one.
Now you can shut me up!
Or at least make me stop talking about my bad computer.

Simply follow the instructions on this gofundme page;


Of course inworld tips are also an option.


Why I still hope LL will improve ‘My SL’


, ,

In 2015 Linden Lab announced they would not be developing the “My Second Life” part of the Second Life Website any further.
I think this is a mistake and hope they will change their mind.

I have written about this before but after having FB block my account just recently and it’s been 2 years since LL stopped development, I thought I’d bring it up again.

I think there is a huge need for a social media tool for Second Life residents, a need that the current  “My Second Life” (that name really doesn’t work), can’t fulfill.
So countless of us can be found on Facebook, where we find the tools we need even though we know we risk being spotted and have our accounts deleted.

MSL is more like Twitter than like Facebook I reckon, you see  few posts with pictures or links and that is about it.
I must confess I never use it.

So lets imagine, Linden Lab FINALLY hires me because I am so brilliant and have answers for everything, am witty, polite, gorgeous and modest.
What would I do to improve MSL?

Integrated chat system

I would add the option to chat with other people via MSL, click their name, choose chat, little window opens and you can talk, in private.
I’d also, here it comes, connect this chat option with chat INWORLD.
Can you imagine?
You want to talk to a friend who is inworld in Second Life and just start chatting with them without having to start your SL viewer or even use a computer, as this would easily work from the browser on your phone or tablet.

Community Pages

I’d give every SL group their own page, a little bit like we now have Places Pages for each parcel.
If you have a group in SL, you automatically get a page.
Here you’ll find information, people can chat on the “wall”, share pictures and above all; there is an event’s calendar.
You and group admins with the right permission, can create events for your group (which generally is also related to a sim, club or community in SL) and all members get an invite, a reminder when the event is about to begin and can accept or decline the invite.
This way on your own page you will also see a calendar with all the events you’ve been invited to.

Now why would LL spend money and time on developing MSL pages?
I think that an improved MSL with some of Facebook’s best features added, would be a good tool to make SL even better.
It will make it easier for residents to build and be part of communities, stay up to date on events that are happening, stay in touch with friends and share their adventures.
They can even be active members of their inworld communities when for some reason their computer stops working (someone buy me a new one!) or they can’t be online (damn those pesky RL jobs), they can chat with friends, share pictures of events, invite friends to events, etc.
All those things that make communities work better an makes it more appealing for people to spend time in SL.

Just look at how much many SL users use Facebook and how many communities in SL have groups there.
There clearly is a need for  social media tool with the options FB has but MSL is missing.

On top of that, we could perhaps even connect MSL with the Places Pages!

So please Lindens, take another look at My Second Life and consider adding a few extra tools.
Just a few improvements could be enough for many of us to stop using Facebook, google+, twitter, etc. and start spending way too much time on the SL website.

What do you think MSL needs to become better?


Strawberry Singh’s Sansar videos



Since she was allowed into Sansar well known blogger Strawberry Singh has been making videos about her explorations and experiences in this new virtual world.
Because of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) she couldn’t share these video till today.

In this videos you can see Strawberry try out things in Sansar and see how things changed over the last couple of months.

Make sure you also read her blog about her Sansar experiences by clicking here.


Linden Lab’s new virtual world Sansar opens to the public in creator Beta


, ,

Today Linden Lab made its new virual world Sansar open to the public, yes you can go to the Sansar website right now, create an account and start exploring.


Up to today the Beta testing was only available for those people who were invited after applying for access, mostly talented and experienced builders.
They’ve been working hard and creating experiences for months.


But now anyone can sign up and join.
This is of course still a Beta, Sansar is not yet what it will one day be.
Especially if you’re used to the crazy amount of freedom and possibilities of Second Life, you may miss those options and the ability to do all those things you’ve been doing for years, at least for a while.
We’ve been spoiled!
But it is early days.

Although I was invited months ago, I could not try Sansar out because my computer is too old and needs replacing but nobody want to buy a kidney and I’m broke.
But from what I’ve seen and heard Sansar looks fantastic and of course it is made to also be used with a VR headset, something that hasn’t always worked out so well in good old Second Life.

So go ahead, create your account and go check things out.
Let me know what you think here in the comments section or on the unofficial Sansar Facebook Page or unofficial Sansar group.

I wish I could join you.
Sorry, until I get a new computer, no virtual schnaps for you guys in Sansar.
At least not proper schnaps, everyone knows I sell the best schnaps in virtual reality.

Below you’ll find the official press release Linden Lab send out and also costs & specs and some LL released screenshots.

As promised, things will be a lot cheaper, at least when it comes to “land”, if we can call it that.
Here we pay per experience and for fast support.
What the limits are and what one experience exactly means, if and how we can compare it with regions in SL, I guess we’ll find out soon enough as people start populating Sansar.

So go in and share pictures, videos and stories.
The Terms & conditions have been updated an the non-disclosure agreement part has been removed so you’re now welcome and encourage to share everything.
For instance to the Sansar flickr group or the Sansar Facebook group.



The official press release;

The Metaverse’s Next Chapter:
Sansar Opens to the Public in Creator Beta

New Platform Simplifies Creating and Publishing Social VR Experiences,
Empowers Creators to Earn Money with a Robust Marketplace

SAN FRANCISCO – July 31, 2017 – SansarTM, the world’s leading social VR platform, today opened its creator beta to the public. Sansar empowers individuals, communities, schools, studios, corporations, brands and others to easily create, share, and ultimately sell immersive 3D social experiences for consumers to enjoy on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows PCs. Developed by Linden Lab®, the company behind the groundbreaking virtual world Second Life®, Sansar is a brand new platform built from the ground up to enable everyone to become a creator.

At opening, Sansar’s Atlas directory already features hundreds of engaging virtual experiences, including multiplayer games, recreations of historic sites and landmarks, art installations, movie theaters, museums, narrative experiences, jungle temples, 360º video domes, sci-fi themed hangouts, and much more. Creators invited to the platform during a limited-access preview have published thousands of amazing public and private experiences, and with the opening of beta today, the world is now invited to join them.

“Sansar democratizes social VR,” said Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab. “Until now, complexity and cost has limited who could create and publish in this medium, and Sansar dramatically changes that. It’s been inspiring to see the thousands of virtual creations that have already published with Sansar during our limited preview, and I’m looking forward to the explosion of creativity we’ll see now that we’ve opened the doors in beta.”

Sansar Capabilities

Simplified Creation & Cross-Device Distribution
Intuitive drag-and-drop editing makes it easy to create a scene with assets imported from common 3D modeling tools or purchased from the Sansar Store.

With the push of a button, creations become hosted multi-user experiences that can be enjoyed by consumers using VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) as well as in desktop mode on PCs. Every Sansar experience has a unique link that can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, email, blogs, and with whomever the creator wishes. Each instance of an experience is currently set to allow 35+ concurrent avatars, and automated instancing will enable creators to reach unlimited audiences.

Convincing Social Interactions
With detailed customizable avatars, Sansar provides rich social interactions, without requiring additional hardware like cameras and trackers. A unique integration with Speech Graphics’ technology provides accurate avatar lip-syncing and facial animations, driven in real time as users simply speak into the microphones on their HMDs or audio headsets. With the use of VR hand controllers, users’ hand and arm movements are accurately and realistically mirrored by their avatars, thanks to an integration of IKinema’s powerful RunTime middleware, the world’s leading full-body inverse kinematics (IK) technology.

Robust Marketplace & Earning Opportunities
With Sansar, creators can earn from their virtual creations by selling them in the Sansar Store. In the future, creators will also be able to sell, rent, or charge for access to their experiences. At the opening of beta, the Sansar Store features thousands of items for sale from creators around the world.

A relationship with TurboSquid provides creators with access to hundreds of additional high-quality 3D models in the Store today, with thousands more being added in the coming months. Planned integration with TurboSquid’s StemCell initiative will make it easy for TurboSquid’s community of 3D modelers to immediately upload and sell their creations in the Sansar Store, further augmenting the assets readily available to Sansar creators.

Sansar is free to use, with additional capacity and customer support available to creators through paid subscriptions, starting at $9.99/month.

About Linden Lab
Founded in 1999, Linden Lab developed Second Life, the largest-ever virtual world filled entirely by the creations of its users. In 2013, the company expanded its product portfolio with Blocksworld, a lighthearted build-and-play system for kids and grownups alike.

Linden Lab is currently developing Sansar, a new platform that empowers people to create, share, and ultimately sell their own social experiences that are accessible with VR headsets and via PCs. Sansar is free to use and available now in creator beta at Sansar.com.

For more about Linden Lab, its products, and career opportunities please visit LindenLab.com.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Second Life record breakers


, , , , ,

Second Life is 14 years old, that is very old.

Running around the excellent 14th anniversary community celebrations and having just celebrated the 8th anniversary of my 1920s Berlin sim and the 6th anniversary of Berlin’s Eldorado Cabaret, I started thinking about the facts and figures, the numbers and records of our old virtual world.

And to this purpose I thought I’d try and collect a few records.
But I’ll need your help gathering all the data.

What kind of records do we want to collect?
As many as we can.
The oldest still active avatar, longest running club, private region owned by the same person, oldest roleplay sim, oldest shop, best selling item on marketplace ever, oldest item still for sale on marketplace, longest partnered couple, oldest blog, etc, etc.

You name it!
If you think you know of something in Second Life that is breaking some sort of a record, share it in the comments and I’ll make a list out of it.

Just for fun and to give some of these oldtimers something to brag about!

According to Wikipedia, the first and thus oldest avatar in Second Life was Steller Sunshine, it looks like she was last online just a few days ago, so I guess we’ve found the oldest and the oldest still active avatar!

The first region was called “Da Boom”.
It too still exists, if of course this is the same one as the original.

So I guess we have 3 entries on our list already;

  • Oldest avatar; Steller Sunshine
  • Oldest still active avatar; Steller Sunshine
  • Oldest still active region; Da Boom

Let’s see what else we can collect!

And… happy birthday Second Life!


24 hour day cycles are coming to SL!



After years of bothering Lindens about it, trying to threaten and blackmail them, hiding in the Linden Lab HQ and jumping out during meetings demanding it, after hiding in Ebbe’s garden and shouting at his house with a megaphone about this (some of these situations may have been made up) it is finally happening;

24 hour day cycles are coming to SL!

And that is a bit of an understatement as the masters of time and weather have decided to tweak it all a bit more and added some other fun toys as well.

For years I’ve tried to mimic the time of day in RL Berlin in my 1920s Berlin sim, but as day cycles had a 4 hour setting, I had to manually turn the sun on or off, twice a day… rather drastically… for years…
Just so I could give visitors to the sim a realistic experience.
One they could always overrule and set to day light on their own viewer if they didn’t like it, but at least the option for realism was there.

So now finally I can stop doing this and program a realistic 24 hour day cycle for my sim based on if it is day or night in RL Berlin.

These changes are officially called The Windlight Extension Project.

So they are planning a day cycle setting that is set between 4 and 168 hours and this can include multiple sky and water settings per day.
This means I can finally create a 24 hour day cycle starting with sunrise, going on to noon, sunset and ending with night.
And this cycle can even be programmed for an entire week!

Some more interesting things that come with this huge pack of improvements;

  • Create your own windlight settings and keep them in your inventory
  • PARCEL BASED environment settings!
    This is a huge one, finally we can set custom day cycles and environment settings separately from the region settings, something we could already sort of do in Firestorm but not without using up precious parcel description space with a line of code.
    This is fantastic for my multi-zoned Time Portal sim as part of the sim is situated in sunny 1930s New York while another part is foggy Victorian London!
    Imagine the time of day and windlight changing when you step through a portal back in time… exciting!
    And it is of course also extra interesting for people who rent out land on their region as they can give their tenants the freedom to set their own windlight.
  • Experience based environment settings, make the setting change per individual depending on what they are experiencing in your sim!

For more (and better) technical details, check out Inara Pey’s blog by clicking here.

This is EXACTLY what I’ve been hoping for, it will give my sim more realism without me having to manually tweak this stuff and turn day into night and the other way around.

Once more big improvements come to Second Life!32615791260_decccf97ec_k.jpg