As some of you located in the United States may know, it is tax season. Important documents go out to report sensitive information to the appropriate government agencies every year.
As a requirement to ensure that we are adhering to respective state laws for reporting taxes, some of you may be receiving a 1099-K form if you have reached a certain Linden $ sale transaction volume. This form collects information the IRS requires from US taxpayers. Please note that these are time sensitive documents that will need to be completed in order to meet these requirements.
If you are due to receive such a form, you will be receiving an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” with more information on how to complete this process.
For more information on tax forms in relation to Second Life, please view our Wiki article here.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at https://support.secondlife.com. Thank you for your patience and attention to this matter.
– Linden Lab
Indie comic artist and illustrator Danielle “Nylon” Feigenbaum documents dubious adventures in SL, VRChat, and online worlds beyond for New World Notes. Her work has also been featured in Old Pal and the book Blocked: Stories from the World of Online Dating.
Valenska’s image description contains quite a bit of information on the event in both worlds:
“Every February, we rise – in countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face. We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.”
One Billion Rising (OBR for short) began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.
Every February 14th, we rise – in hundreds of countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face. In Second Life, we rise through dance and art and poetry to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.
In Second Life we are a 24 hour festival of music, art, poetry, literature and dance where women, men and children can rise, explore, meet others, share their stories or be inspired by others.
Almost every year we have produced a video to celebrate the upcoming One Billion Rising in Second Life. Now in our 8th year we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to illustrate, through dance, the message of One Billion Rising. This years’ dance has been choreographed by the talented Brittainy Collins and filmed and edited seamlessly by the wonderful Chantal Harvey.
The dancers are volunteers, some who work within the OBR team and regular visitors and we’d like to thank everyone involved. There’s still time to get involved One Billion Rising in Second Life 2020 and you can find more information on how to on our information page.
We had an extra video made this year with a slightly different soundtrack. A Spanish version of the OBR theme song, Break the Chain! Check out the English/Spanish ‘remix’ below! This version is sung by Katherine Jamilka (Caracas, Venezuela). Katherine isn’t a Second Life resident but her father, Gilberto is and Katherine and Gilberto will be singing live at OBR at 5pm slt 14th February!
We look forward to seeing you all at One Billion Rising on the 14th February.
Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands will See you all there in support of One Billion Rising.
Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands offer a perfect place to fly and sail in our 220 sim community. So pop on over to one of our 4 airports or one of our many sailing harbors. You can Sail in one of the many Regattas and fly in one of our up coming pylon air races. Main harbor office for Fruit Islands , Main Airport
The latest edition of Made in Second Life, narrated by longtime Resident Marianne McCann, explores the many aviation communities taking flight across SL.
“I have a strong fondness for SL aviation and flying in Second Life,” says McCann. “I think the really fascinating thing about Second Life is that the people who created it and continue to run it may not necessarily have been able to foresee every possibility that Second Life has unlocked for people. It’s become something so much greater than what may have been envisioned.”
Interest in aviation has grown organically over the years, and McCann credits many of the pioneers who made key contributions to the evolution of flight across the grid.
“Garth FairChang made some of the first airplanes with the idea of traveling from the telehubs…and then that led to Cubey Terra – a great pioneer in SL aviation,” she says.
Getting started isn’t difficult, but it helps to join a community or group of existing virtual world aviation enthusiasts.
“The easiest way to fly even without a plane in Second Life is to join a group called Passengers of SL created by Laben Core,” says McCann. “You’ll find pilots there who want to ferry people around just for the fun of having passengers in their plane. They’ll go from Second Life airport to airport. You’ll also find that there’s a lot of demo rezzers in the various aviation stores that are out there where you can take one of their planes out on a free ride.”
While there are plenty of free rides to be had, there are also several options for those who are willing to splurge.
“If you are going to buy a plane then it is going to cost you a bit of money so if you want to get a decent helicopter (like one from Shergood Aviation) you’re gonna lay out about L$5,000,” says McCann. “For that, you’ll have working dashboards on them so you can get the complete feeling of traveling by your instruments with a lot of mesh detailing.”
Not all flights need to be conventional. Some modes of travel are designed more for humor and fun than aerodynamic efficiency.
“With Second Life, you can fly around in a paper airplane,” says McCann. “Perhaps, even a bacon sandwich [that] you could take to the air?”
So, where’s the aviation action?
“Flying in SL really focuses on the Mainland thanks to the large landmass. Most of the airports are actually located on the Mainland and most of the flying goes on there because you can go for great distances,” she says.
Some aviation communities even specialize in story-based play and/or situational exercises such as search-and-rescue. “There’s a lot of roleplaying that happens in SL aviation,” says McCann. “Things like the SL Coast Guard where people will stage accidents to fly out and rescue people.”
The SL Coast Guard has over 150 members who train daily in sophisticated roleplay scenarios, involving safety training. Many members are first responders in the physical world as well.
“You’ll even find people that will take out large air tankers that are used for refueling in the air and they’ll do refueling for combat missions,” she adds.
Ready to get started? Whether you are flying in a conventional plane or a bacon sandwich, you’ll find plenty of places to explore in the Airplanes category in the Destination Guide.
CREDITS: Video production by Draxtor Despres
Logo courtesy of Marianne McCann
This post is about how to fix slow rezzing issues in the firestorm and SL viewer.
If things around you remain grey for a long time, or attachments take a long time to pop into position (clothing or other items float around you), this is essentially because the data has not yet been sent to your viewer. There are a number of possible causes, and a number of solutions or at least work-arounds:
If you have Webroot SecureAnywhere antivirus installed, refer to this page.
Power down your router and/or modem. This generally means unplugging it from the power source. Leave them disconnected for at least a full minute before reconnecting. Wait for them to complete the power up sequence, then reboot your computer.
Teleport out, then back in.
The region is badly lagged (many avatars present, too many scripts running, etc.) and so the region server is using all its time processing and has very little time left over to deliver textures and other data to you. The best way to cope with this is to reduce the demand you make; in other words, reduce your draw distance, even to 12m or less, and wait until textures and objects have loaded before you increase it again.
You are experiencing packet loss or, more generally, have a poor network connection. Or your bandwidth slider may be set too high. Bring up the stats bar with Ctrl-Shift-1 and check Packet Loss and Ping Sim. Ideally, packet loss should be 0.0%, and Ping Sim under 200ms.
You can also try to have less textures draw all at once by reducing draw distance when you teleport. You can do this manually, or make use of the built in Progressive Draw Distance function.
HTTP fetching may be overloading your router; please try the suggestions given here; if they do not help, revert the changes made then return to this page and continue.
Another possibility is that DNS look-up is failing. Try changing DNS to google; see this page for details.
Some other program on your computer might be interfering with your viewer’s connection to SL, like a firewall or anti-virus. Try disabling them temporarily, to see if things improve. If they do, you have isolated the problem. Whitelisting the viewer and cache folder would probably help.
It has been reported that on Windows, the Aero background theme will also lead to textures refusing to rez, due to how much memory this feature consumes. Uninstalling that should help.
If textures remain blurry or grey, make sure that Preferences → Graphics → Hardware Settings → Enable Lossy Texture Compression is off.
If mesh items, specifically, never rez, see Mesh Issues.
Several creators recommend specific settings in order for you to be able to better see their products. Sadly, some of these recommendations will lead to many people crashing more or having other issues, including very slow rez. Please see this page for more.
To rez an object is to create it using the build tools or make it appear inworld by dragging it from your inventory. If you are having trouble rezzing an object from your inventory, there may be several possible causes, addressed in this article.
No build land
If you are unable to rez an object, the land you are dropping the object may not allow building. Note that building restrictions may be set by landowners on a per-parcel or per-region basis.
When you are on no build land, a small icon appears in the Viewer’s location bar: . If you see this icon, try moving to a different parcel or region that does allow building.
Download queue for region stuck
When you drop an item inword from your inventory, the object is placed in a queue to be downloaded from Linden Lab’s central file server. If the size of this queue is very large, downloads may be extremely slow or altgteher interrupted. To see the size of the download queue:
Enable the Advanced menu: World > Show > Advanced Menu.
Select Advanced > Performance Tools > Statistics Bar.
Click Advanced in the STATISTICS bar and scroll down to Pending Downloads (in the Simulator section).
If the Pending Downloads number is high, try moving to another region. If the number falling, or zero, this is not the problem.
Some scripted objects do not appear if you are too far away, even if they are within your viewer’s draw distance. If the object you are trying to view has a script in it, try moving closer to it until it appears.
Here are a few more things to try if you cannot see inventory objects inworld:
Choose Me > Preferences. The PREFERENCES window opens.
Click the Graphics tab.
Click the Advanced button.
Move the Draw distance slider all the way to the left.
Increase the Second Life Viewer’s cache and bandwidth
Choose Me > Preferences. The PREFERENCES window opens.
Click the Advanced tab.
Increase the Cache size.
Click the Setup tab.
Move the Maximum bandwith slider to the right.
Important: Setting Maximum bandwidth too high can have adverse effects on your Second Life experience. Try increasing maximum bandwidth a little at a time.
If you are running anything other than Windows 10 remember Linden Labs will not support it anymore and you Must UPGRADE. January 14 2020 was the ‘end of support’ date for Windows 7. The last ‘official’ day to get a free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was July 29, 2016. Many of us chose to let that opportunity pass, for a variety of reasons. Maybe you saw no need to upgrade, maybe it was reports of bugs in the new OS, or perhaps you just got busy and missed the deadline. Or did you? Now, over three years later, there is still a path to upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 for free. I tried it, and successfully upgraded a Windows 7 computer. Here’s the scoop…
Free Windows 10 Upgrades From Windows 7 or 8.1
You’ve probably heard that Windows 7 reached “end of life” on 01/14/2020. That did NOT mean that your Windows 7 computer stopped working on January 15, 2020. It does mean that you won’t receive any further Windows security updates, and that’s a very good to say goodbye to this 10-year-old operating system.
So can you still get Windows 10 for free? Why yes, you can. Microsoft, by design or accident, has left open a path to a free, legitimate license of Windows 10 for users moving from Windows 7 or 8.1. (This assumes you have a legal, activated version of Windows now.) We’ll go over the steps, but there are a few preparations to make.
First, make a backup. It’s not likely, but when doing a major system upgrade, things can go wrong. Or you might not like the brave new world of Windows 10. A full image backup will give you the option to “turn back the clock” and restore your computer to the exact state it was in before the upgrade.
Next, temporarily disconnect any external storage devices, such as external hard drives or USB flash drives. You can plug them back in after the upgrade, but in some scenarios, having them connected can cause problems.
You can initiate the upgrade at the Download Windows 10 page on the Microsoft website. On that page is the Media Creation Tool, which you can use to install Windows 10 using a DVD or USB flash drive. Click the blue “Download tool now” button. When the download is complete, run the Windows 10 setup program and select the “Upgrade this PC now” option. Follow the instructions, and you’ll end up with Windows 10.
There’s no need to dig up your Windows license key, or pull out your credit card. After the upgrade, you can confirm that you have a valid digital license for Windows 10 by going to Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
As I mentioned earlier, I tried this method on a computer of mine that was still running Windows 7, and it worked fine. I did notice one minor glitch. One of my third-party programs didn’t work, but after installing the latest version of Bitwise SSH Client, all was well. I found that the Windows 10 interface was quite similar to Windows 7, and didn’t require much of a learning curve. And Windows 10 does have a boatload of security improvements, including ransomware protection.
This method of upgrading to Windows 10 for free does not seem to be an oversight by Microsoft, because it’s been available for three and a half years. However, it may stop working without notice. My belief is that Microsoft would be pleased if you paid $119 for your Windows 10 license, but they’ll be content to have you continue as a Windows user. That gives them the opportunity to sell you other services, such as Microsoft Office 365 or One Drive cloud storage.
If you’ve been thinking about moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10, but the cost was holding you back, give this a try.
The end is near for Windows 7 – here’s what you need to know
This guide will explain how you can prepare for Windows 7 End of Life.
The Windows 7 End of Life is nigh. Come January 14, 2020
– or sooner for those who don’t download a recent security update – Microsoft will no longer update or provide support for Windows 7. This means that Windows 7 users will need to start thinking about finally moving on from their favorite Windows operating system.
This decision by Microsoft isn’t surprising. The decade-old operating system, which launched in July 22, 2009, may have been incredibly popular – and it still is with recent reports from Netmarketshare suggesting that Windows 7 is still being used on 39% of all PCs. However, in the shadow of Windows 10’s success, it only makes sense for Microsoft dedicate all their time and effort in improving the new OS.
If you’re one of those people, this guide will explain how you can prepare for Windows 7 End of Life. We’ll look at why the end of support for Windows 7 is so important, as well as the options you have, and how you can go about moving to Windows 10, Microsoft’s most recent operating system, as well as alternative software.
Windows 7 End of Life: when does Windows 7 support end?
Windows 7 End of Life begins on January 14, 2020. Up until that date, Windows 7 is in an ‘extended support’ phase.
As with all operating systems, after a while it doesn’t make sense, both from a financial point of view and in terms of time and effort, to keep old software patched and updated, especially when there are newer versions of the software out there.
Microsoft actually ended mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015, which meant new features stopped being added, and warranty claims were no longer valid.
However, during the extended support phase, which Windows 7 entered after the end of its mainstream support, the operating system has still been patched and updated to make sure security issues and bugs are fixed.
When Windows 7 enters its End of Life phase, this support will end as well.
With the Windows 7 End of Life date now rapidly approaching, Microsoft is keen to make sure people know that support for the operating system is ending, and wants to encourage people to move from the operating system.
So, the company is releasing an update to Windows 7 – KB4493132 – which will display notifications reminding Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 before the End of Life date. This update is optional, but anyone with automatic updates turned on will receive it.
Microsoft also promises that the notification won’t be too obtrusive, and you can prevent it from appearing again, but it shows how seriously Microsoft is about getting people to stop using Windows 7.
Windows 7 End of Life: what happens next?
When Windows 7 reaches its End of Life phase on January 14, 2020, Microsoft will stop releasing updates and patches for the operating system. It’s likely that it also won’t offer help and support if you encounter any problems.
However, that doesn’t mean Windows 7 will stop working on January 14 2020 – you’ll still be able to use Windows 7 for as long as you want. So the good news is that you’re not going to wake up on January 15 to find your Windows 7 PC no longer boots up.
But just because you can continue to use Windows 7 in its End of Life status, it doesn’t mean you should.
The biggest issue with continuing to use Windows 7 is that it won’t be patched for any new viruses or security problems once it enters End of Life, and this leaves you extremely vulnerable to any emerging threats.
What’s more, if a large number of people continue to use Windows 7 after the End of Life date, that could actually be a big incentive for malicious users to target viruses and other nasties at Windows 7.
So, while Windows 7 will continue to work after January 14 2020, you should start planning to upgrade to Windows 10, or an alternative operating system, as soon as possible.
Windows 7 End of Life: what should you do?
So, if you still use Windows 7, what should you do? There are a number of things we’d recommend you do in preparation for Windows 7 End of Life, and the first is to consider upgrading to a newer operating system.
While you have a number of choices when moving operating systems, for many people, the obvious and simplest option is to upgrade to Windows 10.
Windows 7 End of Life: upgrading to Windows 10
Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 has a number of benefits. For a start, because both operating systems are made by Microsoft the upgrade process is relatively easy, and in many cases you can keep your files on your PC.
This means you’ll experience the minimum of disruption when upgrading to Windows 10. Most programs you use will have been updated to work on Windows 10 as well, and the layout and interface are similar to Windows 7, so you shouldn’t find it too hard to adjust.
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10, then you can buy a copy, download the installation file and run it to start the process.
It’s nice and easy, and you’ll be asked if you want to keep your files. However, we’d recommend that you still back up all your files and folders just in case.
While upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is the easiest solution, there are reasons why it won’t be right for some people. For a start, you’ll need to buy a Windows 10 license, and these can be quite expensive – if you were hoping to manage Windows 7’s End of Life without spending any money, this isn’t the way to do it.
Also, while Microsoft has done an admirable job of making Windows 10 able to run on older hardware, it’s still a modern operating system that might struggle to work well on your old Windows 7 machine.
Here’s the minimum specification for Windows 10:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit.
Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS.
Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
Display: 800 x 600 resolution
If your Windows 7 machine doesn’t meet these specifications you won’t be able to run Windows 10 – and even if your machine just meets the requirements, Windows 10 won’t run that well. We’d recommend at least a 2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM (8GB ideally) and a 160GB hard drive for Windows 10 to run well.
If you don’t have the required hardware, but still want to upgrade to Windows 10, then you could upgrade your PC. This is a cost-effective approach, as you may only need to upgrade a few components on your computer to enable it to run Windows 10. Of course, upgrading your PC can be rather fiddly, and there’s only so much you can upgrade before it becomes easier (and more cost-effective) to buy a new PC.
Buying a new machine is another option, and Windows 7’s End of Life could be a good excuse to spoil yourself with a new and more powerful PC, with Windows 10 installed. You can quite easily move your files and folders to your new machine using an external hard drive.
One last thing – don’t be tempted to save a bit of money and upgrade to Windows 8. Although it’s more recent than Windows 7, it’s not going to be too long before that version too enters its End of Life stage, so you’re better off saving further hassle down the line by getting the newer (and let’s be fair, better) Windows 10.
Windows 7 End of Life: moving to Linux
The most cost-effective way of preparing for Windows 7 End of Life is to switch operating systems altogether, and install Linux on your machine.
Linux is an open-source operating system that’s completely free to use. It’s also regularly updated by a community of enthusiastic developers, so you can use it safe in the knowledge that it has new security patches applied to protect you from the latest threats.
There are a huge number of versions of Linux available, which are known as distributions or distros. While this wide range of distros can be overwhelming at first, it also means it’s easy to find a distro that’s right for your needs.
One of the most popular distros is Ubuntu, and it’s ideal for people who are moving from Windows to Linux, as it’s easy to use and is supported by a lot of apps.
Another excellent option we’d recommend is Linux Mint. This uses a similar user interface to Windows 7, so you won’t find the transition too difficult, and most of the tools you need are included when you install it.
Another good thing about switching to Linux is that there are a number of distros that are specifically designed to run on older hardware. These distros can give your hardware a new lease of life, allowing it to run better than ever. Check out this pick of the best lightweight Linux distros.
Some Linux distros can also be run off a CD or DVD – known as a live CD – which means they don’t need to be installed. This is also a good way of trying out a Linux distro before you commit to it.
There are downsides, though. First of all, as Linux is a completely different operating system to Windows 7, it means that some of your favorite apps, such as Microsoft Word, won’t be available.
The good news is that thanks to Linux’s popularity, many popular free programs are available for the operating system. And if a particular program isn’t available, there’s also usually a free and open source alternative that does the job just as well, if not better – for example LibreOffice is a popular open source alternative to Microsoft Office.
If there’s a Windows-only program that you can’t live without, and there’s no viable alternative, you can consider using WINE, a tool that allows most Windows programs to run in Linux.
No matter which distro you go for, there’s no denying that Linux is quite different to Windows in a number of ways, and that can create a bit of a culture shock. If you do go from Windows 7 to Linux you’ll need to spend some time learning how to use the new operating system – and that’s why it’s best to start looking now, rather than waiting until Windows 7’s End of Life deadline.
Also, while there are many professional-looking distros (check out Elementary OS for an example of how classy Linux can look), there are also some that aren’t quite as polished as Windows.
Windows 7 End of Life: switch to Mac
Finally, you could use Windows 7’s End of Life as a reason to dip your toe into Apple’s ecosystem. Apple has a well-deserved reputation for building gorgeously-designed hardware that uses its macOS operating system, which is both easy to use and secure against internet threats.
Most programs that you can use in Windows are also available for Mac, although you may need to buy them again. There are also plenty of alternative programs, and you can use an emulator as well.
The downside of moving to Apple is that it’s the most expensive option. Apple’s products are notoriously expensive, so expect to pay a lot if you make the switch. However, Mac computers tend to age better than Windows PCs, so while you may spend a lot now, your new Mac should last you a long time.
Windows 7 End of Life: back up your documents
No matter which route you take, you should make sure that your documents are safely backed up. If you’re upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 on the same machine the transfer of your files is part of the process, but it’s best to back up just in case something goes wrong.
If you’re moving to Linux or a Mac device, or to a new Windows 10 machine, you’re going to be either formatting your hard drive or moving to new hardware, so you’ll want to back up your data so that you can transfer it your new device/operating system.
There are a number of ways to do this. You could copy your files to an external hard drive – or you could use a cloud storage service, which uploads your data to the internet, then allows you to download and synchronize the files on your new device.
Dropbox is a good choice for this, as it works with Windows, Linux and macOS, making it easy to move your files from one machine or operating system to another.
If you’re going to live life on the edge, and continue to use Windows 7 once it enters its End of Life phase, then we’d still recommend backing up your documents regularly. You’ll be more at risk from viruses, and if there’s an issue that prevents your Windows 7 machine from booting, Microsoft might not help, so having regular backups of your important files will potentially save a lot of time and stress later.
Windows 7 End of Life: sticking with Windows 7
If you run a business that still uses Windows 7, then you have a dilemma. Upgrading all your PCs to Windows 10, and retraining staff, might prove tricky before Windows 7’s End of Life on January 14 2020.
However, you don’t want to risk running an operating system that doesn’t get security patches. The good news is that Microsoft will be offering Windows 7 Extended Security Updates, which will continue to deliver updates and patches for Windows 7 business users after January 2020.
However, these extended security updates will cost money on a per device basis, and it’s now been revealed just how much these Windows 7 extended security updates will cost.
For support for Windows Enterprise users using Windows 7 for the first year after the End of Life date (January 2020 – January 2021), the cost is $25 (around £20, AU$35).
This rises to $50 per device (around £40, AU$70) for year two (January 2021 – January 2022), and $100 (around £80, AU$140) for year three (January 2022 to January 2023). It appears that at the moment that Microsoft is hoping by 2023, Windows 7 use will be small enough to stop offering the extended security updates.
As this is a per device cost, businesses with numerous PCs running Windows 7 will soon find this very expensive.
If they are using Windows 7 Pro, then those prices are even higher, with $50 (around £40, AU$70) for year one support, $100 (around £80, AU$140) for year two and $200 (around £150, AU$280) for year three.
If you’re a non-business user who wants to keep using Windows 7, then you could theoretically sign up as an Enterprise user, as there’s no minimum purchase necessary for the Windows 7 ESU, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands