Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cyberbullying and Linden Lab

By Tiddily Winks

    Cyberbullying is something that is becoming an increasing problem.  It is happening all over the Social Media.  This has happened to people on Facebook.  Because of the bullying some people on Facebook were experiencing, they committed suicide.  The bully(s) have since been arrested.  It is something that any social network should be aware of and do something about.  So why did it take Linden Labs being threatened with a lawsuit before they would act? 

    A good friend of mine was being bullied on Second Life.  He reported the person to Linden Lab (LL).  All LL would say is it was against their Terms of Service, TOS, and Abuse Policy to do anything.  The person who was bullying my friend was spreading lies about him and telling everyone not to trust him.  The bully would also spread half truths about my friend.  This caused my friend some issues. He once again contacted LL and again they would not do anything about it.

    The bully would insult my friend in different groups for a period of over three weeks.  She would tell any group she was in.  The friend had to defend himself against the bully during this time.  He also posted several complaints about the bully.  He filed over 60 AR’s on the bully and others who had seen her lies also filed AR’s against her.  Linden labs still refused to do anything about this bully.

    My friend soon found out about the cyber harassment and cyber bullying laws for the social media.  Since Second Life is a social media, the friend contacted LL about these laws and that the laws set aside the TOS and Abuse Policies that LL had set.  LL still refused to do anything.  The friend turned to lawyers in California.  He sent out emails to 10 large lawyer firms in California.  He also sent the email to Linden Labs Corp Office and their legal division.  He presented his evidence and the notes about LL refusing to anything about the bullying because of the TOS and abuse policy.  He also cited the legal statutes.  Two days after sending out these emails, my friend received an email that the bully had been suspended for a period of time and was warned that if they did anymore bullying they would be banned from SL permanently.

    It took threatening legal action before LL would do anything.  This sounds like they do not care about their users as long as they can make money off of them.  LL should not see themselves above the Federal Laws just because they do not fit their TOS and Abuse Policy.  This bully has now lost all of her friends because she disgraced herself to everyone.

    My question to you is: Should it have gone this far or should LL just change their TOS and Abuse policy to fit the federal laws?

Tiddily Winks

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Philosophy Class: "Why Science is Right"

By Gemma Cleanslate

Tuesday the 2nd of September the Philosophy Class of Professor Herman Bergson gathered for the first time this semester. However, this is Lecture 534. With all the past themes we have completed over the years, Prof  Herman always comes up with a new one to keep us all from graduating. 

This semester will be devoted to the theme "Why Science is Right." The introduction on Tuesday was enticing and evoked a lively discussion as usual. We looked at the facts of where the Sciences developed through the ages. “This project is meant to investigate, whether these are big words indeed or not. What is really science? How should we look at science? How relates science to reality? Is science describing THE reality? What position does science take in our society?” Herman postulated in his lecture. 

Will we all agree that Science was right or will we come to our own conclusions at the end? I know each session , held every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:00PM SL time will be most interesting. Already our discussion is open and thoughtful among the participants. As usual, most of us veterans believe at the end of the term we will have more questions then we began with, but the journey will be fun. Some of us have been here a long time, some come and go, some are new.

If you would like to see the past topics and discussions you can visit the blog page which goes back to class One. You are invited to visit the class and join the Philosophy Class Group by touching the Thinker statue in the front yard of the building. Visitors and new members are most welcome. This is Professor’s home and classroom.

Gemma Cleanslate

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Interview with Brace Coral, Founder of New Citizens Incorporated

By Wesley Regenbogen

This summer, Wesley wrote about New Citizens Incorporated. Recently, he had a chance to interview it's founder, Brace Coral.

Wesley Regenbogen: Hi Brace. You are a NCI Helper. What does a Helper do in NCI?
Brace Coral: A Helper at the New Citizens Inc/NCI is usually a staff person. They greet Newbies who come by our main campus. They answer questions and help New Folks with things like avatar appearance, UI basics and so on.

Wesley Regenbogen: oh, you are the Founder. So change of the question: When did you create NCI?

Brace Coral: Well I had some pretty basic ideas when I started NCI. There was a void in the "official" helper situation set up by Linden Lab, and I wanted to make sure that Newbies didn't fall through the crack because of it.

The official start date is somewhere in 2005, but the real skinny is I started in 2004, within my first year of being in Second Life.

Wesley Regenbogen: So you basic task is to help newbies. That's a noble cause. How do you help them?

Brace Coral: That's a big question! There are so many ways you can help a new person. The most important thing is to LISTEN. Most new folks will tell you what they want and need. What they want to do, why they've come into Second Life.

You help them attain their goals, and at the very least, you've given them a detailed crash course in the basics of SL.

Wesley Regenbogen: NCI also has different locations. Does each area have a owner or manager. Or is there only one person that manages all the areas of NCI?

Brace Coral: We have three campuses, each has a Coordinator who oversees things in each area. Makes sure the everything is up to spec, and all the information presented is up to date for example. They also help with making sure the Instructors have what they need at each location, and are there to help out in general.

Wesley Regenbogen: So, you give the newbie all the information he needs to adapt to the Second Life environment?

Brace Coral: Yes! For example. Someone might come in wanting to be a vampire. But they don't know how to make their avatar look like a vampire, or know where the vampires hang out, and all the different kinds from hardcore roleplay to more casual types. And we help them with that. From learning how to walk, sit, fly, manipulate their avatar appearance and clothing. Everything they need to help them achieve their goals.

Wesley Regenbogen: how many NCI Helpers are there?

Brace Coral: a lot :) I'd say 25-50 active helpers, but I don't have exact numbers. Instructors/Event Hosts/Helpers - there is a lot of overlap in the staff personnel. Many people have multiple roles. And they are all volunteers. We all are.

Wesley Regenbogen: So, all volunteers are doing it free without getting virtual payment. How is NCI getting virtual money to stay alive then?

Brace Coral: The NCI, and indeed most Helper organizations and groups, survive on resident donations. There are sponsorships via people buying ads at our campuses, donating lindens, donating land tier, buying items at our newly set up NCI Store and so on. I hold a weekly fundraiser event every Saturday evening 5pm SLT. Its a fun time for people to come meet, mix and mingle and donate & dance! Every little bit helps.

The honest truth is that many have had to also rely on their own real life money to keep things going. We had more support in the past from Linden Lab, but times have changed. So we rely on each other and donations from residents to keep on truckin(smile).

Wesley Regenbogen: Is the NCI places created by residents or is there someone that created all this?

Brace Coral: The NCI used to be just me, my SL family and some friends. We would help out at the main landing area for New Folks, that used to be Ahern. Then I created a group and got more people involved. The core of the NCI is the main New Citizens Inc group. I then rented a small plot of land, that grew into the huge NCI Main Plaza at Kuula sim. With multiple sandboxes and a bigger area for freebies. It was during Carl Metropolitan's tenure running the NCI that it really took off and became something more firmly established. Those who have been at the helm since and now have also contributed to make it what you see today. Amazing!

Those are residents who stepped up and used their skills to make the NCI something beyond my wildest dreams. I just wanted to help folks, but never thought it would become something so huge and varied as it is now.

Wesley Regenbogen: Is following classes with NCI really free and do you need to be part of a group before joining a class?

Brace Coral: All classes and events at NCI are free. You don't need to be in the group to participate. Just come as you are, have fun learning and be sure to ask lots of questions (smile).

Wesley Regenbogen: I'll surely will do. Thank you for this little interview. And I wish you all the luck with future of NCI in general!

Wesley Regenbogen

Monday, September 1, 2014

Meeting Furs For the First Time

By Tiddily Winks

Being new to the Newser group, I thought I would take the time to give you some information about myself.  I am a neko kitty who has a wonderful darkling Mistress and a wonderful pet/wife who is a purple wolfess. 

But when I first came to Second Life, I did not know much about furries.  Truth is I did not know about them, except for what I have seen in shows that I watch which did not prove to me that they existed.

 I came to Second Life by request of my wonderful darkling Mistress.  At first I found furries creepy (sorry to all furries who read this).  They made me think of what little I knew about them from the television shows.  It took some time and I slowly got used to seeing furries since they are everywhere.  I mean I could not go shopping without running into at least one furry. 

    The very first furry I met, I did not meet in a good way. Let’s just say it was a very uncomfortable situation.  Later, this same furry contacted me and asked if there had been something wrong.  I told her about my discomfort with furries and she apologized for it.  If she had known she would not have had me there at the time.  I have since gotten to know this same furry and she is now my Second Life wife.  She has introduced to me to many other furries and now they do not bother me at all.  I have even gone to Club Cutlass and met a large number of great furries.

Some people still bother me because of their attitudes, but I have found that furries are great people.  I started out as human but now have a furry avatar that I sometimes wear myself.  

The moral of this story is, do not judge a person by their looks take the time to get to know them.  Another moral is, do not believe everything you see on television which I am sure all of you know that already.

Tiddily Winks

Friday, August 29, 2014

Interview With a Wrestler: Crazysam Sorrowsong

Due to questions about the accuracy of the information of the person interviewed, this article has been taken down until further notice.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Curt Bombastic Speaks About The Ice Bucket Challenge

For the past several weeks, the "Ice Bucket Challenge" has been going on in real life. In this unusual fundraiser for ALS (Lou Gerigh's Disease), people record themselves announcing they're taking up the challenge and nominate three others to either take it or donate an amount to ALS research, then dump a bucket of ice water on top of their heads. Started on television, it soon went to social media and quickly went viral, inspiring a long list of personalities from politicians to businessmen to musicians and more to record themselves getting the cold water treatment. The event is not without it's critics, calling it gimmicky or a frivolous use of water. But the result has been the ALS Association receiving much more in donations.

It was just a matter of time before the Ice Bucket Challenge came to Second Life. One place where one can take it is the SL Wrestling Community Building in the Alpha Centauri sim. Dropping by on Saturday August 23, Lilian Bombastic (lilian.stoneshield) was there, telling me, "you need to get the bucket near the sign but to be recorded we need to have out staff with the programs here to do it." A few moments later, Curt Bombastic appeared, "Hi Bixyl. Good to see you Again. Welcome to the SL Wrestling Community HQ."

"So the Ice Bucket Challenge has come to Second Life?" I asked. Curt answered, "Yep. Debora Stine Creator of MUSCHI Fashions Created The Bucket and was good enough to put one here at the HQ. So far we've had people from all over come by, from the wrestling community, to the roleplay community, even members of the CFL."

I asked, "About how many would you say have taken part?" Curt replied, "Oh ... lets see ... I'd say a good 50 to 70 people have come by so far and grabbed it and donated. We've even had some people come by and get recorded by Wildfire Productions in getting "iced" and issuing out challenges too. We put this up yesterday afternoon and already we've raised almost $7,000L as you can see. I think Its Great ... and I can't thank Debora Stine enough for coming over here and putting one out (laughter)."

I mentioned the video by Tahisha Fairplay that I found (and would go up on the Newser the following day). Curt laughed, "Oh yes, I recall her. I thought that was cool and she had fun with hers. (laughter) We also added the 'I'm Freezing' animation that people can grab after they ice themselves. But all proceeds go directly to, so it's been pretty good."

I then asked Curt about any jokes about the event. He answered, "Oh there's been a few ... One person will be coming by later and putting on FRAZZLED hair after she ice's herself. One did it from the Titanic and got thrown into the water. Horses Morriesy instead of getting iced punt-kicked her mascot teddy bear into the sea. There's been some creative ones. As a community, we challenged the CFL Community and so far they've seem to respond in kind .... Its been fun so far."

I then asked, "At this rate, how much do you expect to have raised?" Curt answered, "Good question ... I'm surprised at its only been up for a day and a half so far and we've raised the amount we have. We intend to keep this up for all of September and maybe even October and see where we go from here. But I heard that in real life, they reached the $50 million mark and I think Thats AMAZING ... This time last year they reached something like over 1 million and they've more than tripled obviously cuz of this .... It's pretty cool."

"This has taken a life of its own. But the SL Wrestling community, oh hell, the SL community in general has really come out for this, so I think that its great. Next Month there are plans to host an ALS Charity Wrestling Event, maybe at APW Arena, or maybe here, still up for debate ... but it'll be a multi fed joint Super Event for ALS."

I asked Curt how fast word seemed to be getting around. He answered, "Definitely. We've had people from the CFL, roleplaying communities, club goers, I saw a Linden here earlier as well ... Word is getting out there."

"Oh? Which Linden was this?" I asked.

"I don't know," Curt answered, "(I saw him) as I was logging out but the dot on the mini map was blue, so I knew it was a Linden. I never caught the name.  I've been trying to find out."

Curt then turned his attention to a lady who has written about wrestling a number of times, " By the way, tell Charlotte I'd LOVE to see her come on down and give the Ice Bucket Challenge a try too. She's MORE than welcome." He then laughed out loud, " ... The more the merrier I say. I recently challenged Zarrakan Productions as well. She has an office set up here.  And I'd LOVE to see how Camera Kitty (as we call her) responds (laughter) ..... I challenged her last night at a VWE wrestling show ... so we'll see how she does this," he laughed again, "No doubt it'll be pretty good."

"But yeah, this has been a lot of fun so far. We've been advertising outside of the Wrestling community and lots of people have shown up and tried or grabbed the bucket and donated which is GREAT.  We Just opened the SL Pro Wrestling Community Headquarters two weeks ago, which I find is a great place here .... a place where we can promote the ENTIRE community to ALL of SL .... and this just helps I admit."

"It certainly draws attention," I commented,

Curt continued, "But its GREAT that the community has come together For a GREAT cause and its been a LOT of fun to do as well."

"Anything else you want to mention about the challenge?" I asked.

Curt thought for a moment, "Ummm ... other than we challenge the SL community to come on down, take the challenge. You can contact Lyra Phoenix on our staff board out front to get it recorded and donate. Let's spread awareness of this and hopefully find a cure for ALS."

Curt told me he might have some more information on the charity event soon. He then told me he had to go, and we told each other goodbye and we went our separate ways.

One can find the SL Wrestling Ice Bucket Challenge at Alpha Centauri (164/173/28).

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Interview with Hope Dreamscape and Kammie of The Full Circle Club

By Wesley Regenbogen

Earlier this month, the Full Circle Club hosted one of the last events of the Relay for Life's fundraising season, which officially closes this Sunday August 24. 

Wesley Regenbogen: Hi Kammie and Hope.
  σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Hi there.
Kammie (kamaniya): Hello.
Wesley Regenbogen: So, you are hosting an event today for the Relay For Life in your club called The Full Circle Club. How did you decide to host this event ?
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Well, see, the other owner as well as I have cancer and we truly believe in this event. And I have been battling it for five years.
Kammie (kamaniya): I have family that has had cancer as well.
Wesley Regenbogen: Ah, that's sad to hear. So, it's a personal thing to host this event here in your club in Second Life. Have you raised much by hosting this event yet ?

Kammie (kamaniya): So far (with) our other owner, who is afk at the momen.t we have raised a total of 234,696 L$ so far.
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): And after today we are hoping for the Gold.
Wesley Regenbogen: Linden dollars, right?
Kammie (kamaniya): Yes.
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Yes.
Wesley Regenbogen: Is the ammount given to the Relay For Life directly?
Kammie (kamaniya): Yes
  σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Yes
Wesley Regenbogen: That's quite a lot for an single event. What other things have you done for the Relay For Life?
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): We have had bands play here.
Wesley Regenbogen: Which bands have played here so far?
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Oh, that is not for a single event.
Kammie (kamaniya): It's not for a single event, sorry. We just started this event.  We had other events at a previous club we worked for.
Wesley Regenbogen: Ah, okay.
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Yes and the dj put some of their tips in there.
Kammie (kamaniya): We just had our grand opening for club last night, and this is the first Relay For Life event for us.
Wesley Regenbogen: That's cool. Are there other events during the next days in the club?
Kammie (kamaniya): Yes till the end of August.
Wesley Regenbogen: Cool, so the club has just opened and you host an event, that's nice. Who created this club?
Kammie (kamaniya): We all did together.
Wesley Regenbogen: cool. This club is nicely decorated. I must admit this is a nice club to visit, it's the first time I've visited it.
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Thank you so much, we have worked very hard. Please tell all your friends.
Wesley Regenbogen: I will soon. Just one more question. You mentioned there are other events for the Relay For Life in this club. Can you tell me what events are on the calendar?

Kammie (kamaniya): We leave that to our other owner, Christopher410. He's our event coordinator.
σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): And dj and host. (He) put part of (his) tips in there as well.

Wesley Regenbogen: Cool. It's nice to see that so many people are donating for the Relay For Life events. I wish you all the best for your events and also wish you luck with your health and hopefully you will get better soon.
  σpє Đяєαмѕcape (hope4ever43): Thank you very much.
Kammie (kamaniya): Thank you (smile).

 Wesley Regenbogen