Tag Archives: Second Life

Grandfathered buy-down contributing to Lindex fluctuations?

The Lindex has been in a state of flux of late, something that has been the subject of discussion and speculation on a number of fronts. Reader Ample Clarity first pointed things out to me earlier last week via IM (I’ve been rather focused on other things of late, so haven’t been watching the broader news as much as I should), and I’ve been dipping in-and-out of conversations and reports on things since then.

The fluctuations started towards the end of 2015, and were perhaps first discussed on the pages of SL Universe. The discussion resumed in April, when further swings were noted,  causing additional concern among those looking to cash-out L$ balances, while sparking some of the more widespread discussion.

Lindex fluctuations (with thanks to Eku Zhong for the screen capture)

Lindex fluctuations (with thanks to Eku Zhong for the screen capture)

Various theories (and not a few conspiracies) have been put forward to explain what has been happening – although determining precisely what the cause is, is pretty much anyone’s guess. But purely in terms of the more recent fluctuations, New Worlds Notes (NWN) is promoting a theory which might just be plausible: that one (or more) large land estates have been liquidating L$ stocks in order to realise additional US dollar funds to take advantage of the Lab’s grandfathered buy-down offer.

The theory actually comes from Plurker T-Kesserex, who is quoted by NWN as saying:

I think it’s people cashing out to get capital for the $600 dollar sim price reduction … If you own 10 sims you need $6000, so that’s not easy without some cashing out.

At the start of the buy-down offer, Tyche Shepherd, of Grid Survey fame, estimated that around 85% of Homestead regions were already grandfathered, but only around 11% of full-priced regions of all types, leaving enormous potential in the market. During the first month, this figure increased to almost 21%, with the number of grandfathered full-priced regions rising from around 1,039 to 1960, demonstrating a thirst for conversion. Thus, the idea that one or more large estates might be liquidating L$ stocks to cover the cost of further conversions isn’t an unreasonable speculation.

But even if it is a fair assessment of the situation, it doesn’t offer any hint as to what  – market forces or otherwise – has been pushing at the Lindex since late 2015. Nor does it offer any comfort to those concerned about cashing out at a reasonable – or at least stable – rate. All that can be said for certain is that, if you have the need for L$ in your account, buying them hasn’t been this attractive in a good while.

Lab: update your viewer and browser to ensure secure payments

secondlifeOn Wednesday, May 4th, the Lab issued an important announcement to Second Life users that as from Wednesday June 15th, 2016, anyone wishing to use the Second Life cashier service to send, receive, or exchange L$, must be using either a web browser or version of the viewer which supports TLS 1.2.

This is because, as I’ve reported several times in these pages (see here and here for background notes), the Lab is updating secure access to their cashier functionality to TLS 1.2, to comply with applicable US regulations.

As the official blog post posts out, the latest updates of most modern browsers should be TLS 1.2 complaint, as is the official SL viewer. All actively maintained Full Third-Party Viewers should also be TLS 1.2 complaint. However…

Again, as the official blog post states, the safest way to ensure you are using a compliant browser and viewer is to check for yourself by visiting How’s My SSL? through your web browser and via the internal web browser built-in to the viewer. The Version section in the top left of the web page will indicate whether or not your browser / viewer is using TLS 1.2.

Use How's My SSL? to confirm whether the versions of the web browser and SL viewer you are using are TLS 1.2 compliant.

Use How’s My SSL? to confirm whether the versions of the web browser and SL viewer you are using are TLS 1.2 compliant.

If either your web browser and / or current viewer version is not TLS 1.2, you will not be to send, receive, or exchange L$ after Wednesday, June 15th, 2016.

For further information, please refer to the official Lab blog post.

Young Film-maker wins People’s Choice with a little help from Second Life

Radheya Jegatheva

Radheya Jegatheva – #MyFreoStory peoples’ choice winner, thanks to the help of Second Life users

In March 2016, the city of Freemantle in Western Australia launched the #MyFreoStory video competition. The challenge was for budding film-makers to produce a short video, promoting what the city means to them.

Run entirely on-line, the competition was intended ” to showcase the many different aspects of Freo through the eyes of locals, visitors and anyone else with an interest and passion for Freo.”

Films could be entered into one of two categories, adjudicated and People’s Choice. One winner in each category would be awarded Aus $2,250 in cash and a further Aus $1,250 in prize vouchers, with the winning entry in the People’s Choice category being decided on the highest tally of likes and comments received though social media platforms such as Titter (hence the hashtag title of the competition), Facebook, Google+,  and so on.

In April, I was one of a number of people friend and colleague Jayjay Zinfanwe contacted concerning his son’s entry in the People’s Choice category of the competition. Having previously witnessed Radheya Jegatheva’s narrative and film-making skills through his excellent Journey, I was immediately intrigued and, having watched the film, more than happy to show my support. 

I wasn’t alone. People from Second Life and around the world were liking and praising the video as word spread. Even so, as Jayjay reports, writing in the University of Western Australia’s SL blog, Radheya faced an uphill battle. His entry came just four days before voting closed, and the leading contender for the Peoples’ Choice award, Virtuosity by Harry  Jones & Jordan Swindell had been gathering points for some two weeks. Nevertheless, My Journey Through Freo – entirely filmed using an iPhone, I might add – quickly gained traction.

“In the first day [it] had cut the lead by half,” Jayajay comments. “This swift rise by the newcomer was quickly noticed, and the ante was upped by other contenders with varied posts on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google+ and Instagram, among others, and the battle was on.”

Even so, it was a close-run thing between the two top entries, again as Jayjay relates:

A surge of support from Twitter then pushed Virtuosity in front, by a seemingly insurmountable margin one day before the close of voting. Twitter votes seemed to surge by the hundreds with every Twitter post. However, steady support across the following 24 hours a great number of which came from Second Life saw the lead change hands again leading to a tense final 12 hours where it remained close enough to go either way.

In the end, My Journey Through Freo pipped Virtuosity at the post, allowing Radheya to deservedly take #MyFreoStory People’s Choice prize.

In commenting on his son’s winning entry, Jayjay is convinced that it was the input from Second Life residents which gave Radheya the win. More particularly, it is interesting to now that throughout the voting process, Second Life users appeared to demonstrate greater involvement with the film than was perhaps witnessed through other social media channels, providing Radheya with a lot of direct support through comment and feedback.

This has led Jayjay to ponder whether research is warranted into the nature, strength and responsiveness of the various communities built via the various social media channels. It would certainly be interesting to see how effective a medium Second Life is in terms of providing a social platform on which to share news and information.

For now however, I’ll leave the closing words to Radheya himself, while congratulating him on a great little video and a great win. And who said Second Life users don’t have a voice?🙂

A journalist’s voyage of discovery in Second Life

Second Life has again been getting some fair press coverage, both directly and directly, of late. I’ve already written about the platform either being the focus of, or looked at as part of, two interesting articles published in Motherboard. Also during the week, Second Life was written about on this side of the Atlantic, as first reported by Ciaran Laval.

On April 28th the on-line edition of France’s Le Monde carried an article focused on Second Life, written by  Morgane Tual.  Carrying the delightfully French title Absurde, créatif et débauché : dix ans après, « Second Life » est toujours bien vivant (Absurd, creative and debauched: ten years later, “Second Life” is still alive), it weaves a wonderful introduction to the platform which cannot fail to have those of us immersed in this digital world smiling and / or nodding in agreement.

Morgane Taul: an engaging article on Second Life

Morgane Tual: an engaging article on Second Life

 

This is very much a hands-on, through-the-eyes look at Second Life, good and bad, written with an unabashed honesty and wonderment. Opening with a description of her initial time in Second Life and a (first?) encounter with another resident, Ms. Tual quickly informs her readers where she is and why she is there – and hints that what she has to say might come as a surprise for who might have heard of the platform at some point:

Like me, some haggard and clumsy beginners landed on this strange beach to discover what remains of this game that occupied the headlines there about ten years. I expected to find, a decade later, a deserted world, ageing technology and a few cobwebs in the corners. It was exactly the opposite.

From this set-up we are lead on what is very much a personal voyage of discovery through Second Life. In it we encounter the realities of the platform – good and bad in equal measure,  each presented to us as they are encountered.

So it is we share in her wonder as she hops from place-to-place; her confusion (and that of others newcomers) in finding herself unceremoniously dumped at an infohub; the embarrassment that can occur simply as a result of clicking the wrong button, or in awkwardly accepting the help of another. We share in her delight in her discoveries of the music scene and in finding a place were she makes a new friend, Patti, a fellow French woman. From here we join her on a whirlwind tour of Second Life which take her to Hogwarts and thence via Star Wars, 221B Baker Street and a nightclub, to the Petit Trianon, Tatiana Dokuchic’s wonderful build in the Duché de Coeur, and a conversation with Tatiana herself.

Petit Trianon by Tatiana Dokuchic, featured in Absurde, créatif et débauché : dix ans après, « Second Life » est toujours bien vivant

Petit Trianon by Tatiana Dokuchic, featured in the Le Monde article by Morgane Tual

Interspersed with this are the assorted facts and figures from the Lab – the 900,000 monthly log-ins, the broad demographic, the economics of the platform, and so on, together with the usual potted history of the platform, all of which paints one of the clearest pictures of Second Life I’ve had the good fortune to read; one with a personal narrative free from the need to fall back on cliché or dogged by mocking observation.

Such is the narrative, we’re drawn directly into Ms. Tual’s experiences, all of which are related without judgement, but often with a real sense of joy and / or wonder. Of course, the sex is also there, but so too is the discovery that contrary to belief, Second life isn’t necessarily “all about the sex”, a point of view Ms. Tual fully embraces.

The breadth of possible engagement in Second Life is touched upon in other ways as well. Through the conversation with Tatiana, readers are introduced to the richness of opportunity for creativity in Second life. Art and entertainment are referred to – the latter supported by the inclusion of some hand-picked videos.

We also witness the tales of others, such as the guy who initially mocked the activities of SL users, regarding them as “losers”, only to himself become engrossed in the platform and all it offers. We are also – movingly – introduced to the way in which Second life bridges the physical / digital divide, very genuinely bringing people together when entire continents might otherwise separate them.

With videos and in-world images, personal tales, a frank narrative, Absurde, créatif et débauché : dix ans après, « Second Life » est toujours bien vivant is one of the most engaging pieces on second Life it has been my pleasure to read. Recommended.