Lab issues Required Account Documentation notice

secondlifeIn November, the Lab commenced e-mail users meeting certain criteria to submit tax documentation to the Lab. The requests were met with a certain amount of confusion, which the Lab attempted to clarify later that month via a blog post on the matter.

On Tuesday January 14th 2014, the Lab issued a new blog post indicating that they would once more be contacting users who again meet certain criteria with a request they provide required account documentation required by the Lab to fulfil its legal obligations.

The blog post, which appeared in the Commerce section of the SL blog (and thus avoided appearing on users’ dashboards), reads in full:

In addition to required tax documentation (which we blogged about in November 2013), US law separately requires that institutions such as Linden Lab obtain, verify, and record information confirming the identification of account holders who submit a certain volume and/or amount of Process Credit Requests.

We have recently begun emailing users who need to submit this information. If you receive such a notice from us, you will need to follow the instructions and provide the required documentation within thirty (30) days.

These emails are being sent through our Support system. If you are among those individuals who need to provide this information, you can verify the request in your Case History in the Support Portal and reply to the Case if you have any related questions.

There has already been some consternation on Plurk on the matter of required documentation, noticeably among merchants requesting to upgrade the Business Level of their account, only to find their ability to cash-out frozen while they supply the required information and who have yet to receive any e-mail from the Lab forewarning them of these requirements.  While perhaps a matter of unfortunate timing on terms of such requests being made and e-mail being sent out, it does also perhaps suggest that (again) the Lab need to rethink their approach to handling what might be regarded as critical communications with their users.

This could be handled simply by the Lab ensuring such announcements appear on the dashboard of people’s accounts (regardless as to how widely or not LL believe the dashboard might be used) and, given they have an “official” presence on both Plurk and Twitter, actually Plurked and Tweeted, particularly given the information given in such blog posts is of far more import to people than pointers to the Pic of the Day, at least until the supporting e-mail arrives in their in-box.

A ride into the universe of Gem Preiz

Gem Preiz: Ride the universe
Gem Preiz: Ride the Universe

Earlier in January I wrote about Gem Preiz’s remarkable exhibition of his fractal art, which can be seen at A Cathedral Dreamer, both in Second Life at LEA6 and in the Metropolis OpenSim grid, with elements of the exhibition also on displayed at his own gallery in SL, together with more of his work.

Now we have a new opportunity to appreciate and enjoy his creations at a new exhibition just opened at Angel Manor – and it is one you do not want to miss. Seriously.

Ride the Universe  is a joint undertaking by Gem and Angel Manor’s art curator, Kylie Sabra. It features both more of Gem’s fabulous fractal art and a unique way of really appreciating it to the fullest.

Gem Preiz: Ride the universe
Gem Preiz: Ride the Universe

The initial part of the installation appears straightforward enough: a traditional gallery environment with images of Gem’s art mounted on the walls which, which, together with the floor and ceiling, have been coloured black resemble deep space. Planet-like spheres hang overhead and coloured “stars” glow throughout the room, adding to the ambience of the setting. However, towards the far end of this space is a catalogue of Gem’s work, and just beyond that. a large rose, which is the secret sauce of this exhibition.

Sitting on the rose (double-tap ESC to set your camera correctly) will initiate a remarkable tour designed by Kylie Sabra. After a short pause following seating, the rose will carry you through a series of cubes, each of which presents a piece of Gem’s art, allowing you to experience it from the inside, so to speak. This is actually best experienced while in Mouselook, which greatly enhances the feeling of being a part of the art as you travel through it.

Gem Preiz: Ride the universe
Gem Preiz: Ride the Universe

If you do use Mouselook, try to avoid any excessive mouse movement and keep things focused towards the centre of your screen in order to really enhance the immersive feel to the ride. If you opt to remain in third-person view, again, try to avoid camera movement or chatting to maintain focus – and don’t forget to double-tap ESC should your camera show signs of skewing.

The ride within the exhibition is one of those experiences that, with a little tweaking here and there, would be ideal for the Oculus Rift, allowing the visitor to gain a full sense of immersion in each of the pieces – and quite possibly enjoy the 3D aspects of the paintings to a far greater degree. But even without a headset, this is not something to be missed, whether or not you’re into fractals.

When discussing Gem’s art with Honour McMillan, I mentioned how I’d love to be able to roam within his creations, if only they could be created in 3D within Second Life. Well, this exhibition offers an excellent means of experiencing what such explorations might be like.

Highly recommended, and kudos to Gem and Kylie.

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