It’s Time to Celebrate Second Life – SL16B is Officially Open!

SL16B is now officially open! Second Life is turning “Sweet Sixteen” — 16 years of an incredible community and creative history that makes “SL” so unique. Of course, there is always cause for celebration on the Grid – but this is an opportunity to call out all the stops. This year’s celebrations will last longer than ever before! From today through July 8, we have packed SL16B with parties and events to mark this momentous occasion.

Here’s a “first look” preview of this year’s event:

With so much going on this year, we’ve assembled some highlights that you won’t want to miss:

SL16B Destination Guide & Over 170 Community Exhibits!

Community builds, events and celebrations are one of the biggest and brightest parts of the birthday celebrations. With over 170 community-created exhibits this year, there is a lot to see – so plan more than one trip to catch it all! To get started, check out the Community Exhibits category in our dedicated SL16B Destination Guide.

In addition to the community builds, there are several birthday events happening all over Second Life. Our Destination Guide also features an SL16B Featured Events category chock-full of places that are celebrating with us – make a point to join your fellow Residents in the festivities.

Shop & Hop – 100 Merchants. 100 Gifts. 5 Regions

We’ve brought back one of the biggest shopping events in Second Life and gathered one hundred of the biggest Merchants across five Regions, to offer some of their best products at incredible prices. Each Merchant has also provided a free gift in honor of the birthday of Second Life. Drop by each Region to shop and grab your gifts. A full list of participating Merchants is available on the blog.

Music Faire!

Second Life is full of talented musicians and you’ll find the live music community pulsing throughout the Grid each week – in clubs, venues, and cafes. We’ve got some of that talent together to take the stage at SL16B’s Music Faire – a full two day line up of feel good vibes. The full line up in SLT is available on our blog.

Slap on some virtual sunscreen and head out for the music.5d03ebfed9d37739582728.jpg

SL16B Music Faire 1

Meet the Lindens  

It’s also a tradition at SL16B to spend some time with some of the folks behind Second Life. On June 24th through 27th, our Meet the Lindens event connects Lindens to the community so that you can ask questions and get to know us a little better. Participants this year include Patch Linden (June 24), Oz & April Linden (June 25), Ebbe Linden (June 26), and Xiola & Strawberry Linden (June 27). All events at 2 p.m. (Pacific).

Meet the Lindens


Free SL16B Gifts & Avatars

What good is a birthday party without free gifts? Several cool retro gifts are scattered across the SL16B regions. Can you find them all in the SL16B Swaginator Gift Hunt?

SL16B Swaginator Gift Hunt

There’s also free themed avatars exclusive to SL16B!


Free SL16B Gift – Complete Avatars

Full Event Calendar


You’ll also want to catch the many DJ performances and other special events. To keep on top of what is happening each day, visit the full SL16B event calendar or our SL16B Landing Page.

We are so excited about celebrating with you – and look forward to more great Second Life Birthdays!

Sorry this post was late minor malfunction. Have a great week from all of us at ZI.

Time For a New Computer?

I get asked all the time: ‘My computer is three years old, and my teenager says it is obsolete. He wants us to buy a new computer with more speed, more memory, and a bigger monitor. Can you give me some pointers on how to determine if I really need to buy a new computer?’ And when playing in second life it does seem we tend to think our investment is lost after a year or two but there are options and solutions.

Is Your Computer Obsolete?

Many years ago I saw a cartoon of a guy proudly driving home with his brand new state-of-the-art IBM 386 computer in the back seat. In the background was a huge billboard advertising the 486. The message: his computer was obsolete before he even got it home.

Technology is always changing… it’s hard to be sure if the system you have will support the newest software, operating system and peripherals. So how do you know when it is indeed time to buy a new computer, or when it is best to ignore the commercials that tout the latest “gotta-have” technology?

You May Need To Buy A New Computer If…

• …your processor speed is less than 3.0 gigahertz (GHz). Most operating systems and application software these days demand a lot from your system. A speedy processor will help you browse the Internet, run your word processor and play games with ease. On a Windows PC, click the Start button, type system information and press Enter. If the speed is listed in megahertz instead of gigahertz, see if any friends need a new anchor for their fishing boat.

• …your computer has less than 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM memory. Again, the System Properties window will show how much RAM is installed. I recommend a minimum of 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM for smooth performance. Go for 8GB of RAM if you use more than one program at once, or have multiple browser tabs open.

    • …you are running a version of Windows that begins with a “3”, “9”, “V”, or “X” (Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Vista or Windows XP). These obsolete versions lack the security features and technological advances required for safe computing and protection from identity theft. Windows 7 is still serviceable, but official support will end in January 2020. If you have a Mac that’s NOT running somer version of OS X, the same applies.

• …you have a monitor that’s 14-inch or smaller. Most websites will not display properly on an old 14-inch monitor, and larger 20-inch models are now standard. (I have dual 22-inch widescreen monitors on my desk!)

• …you try to install a program and you get the error “Operating System not supported.”

• …you try to upgrade the Operating System and get an error message that the hardware is not supported.

• …your computer has no USB ports. Most peripheral devices such as the mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner and external hard drives now use USB connections.

• …your computer has a 5.25 inch disk drive! Actually if you have even a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, you may qualify. Software has outgrown the floppy disk, and the mere presence of a floppy drive on your machine may indicate that it’s time to take it out back and shoot it.

Radio Shack TRS-80…your computer says Radio Shack anywhere on the packaging. I had lots of fun on the TRS-80 we had in high school, but that was almost 40 years ago. I actually owned an HP Model 33 Teletype (pictured above), which was the first computer terminal I used. It could go online with a 300-baud modem (about 10,000 times slower than broadband today) and saved programs on paper punch tapes.

All of the above scenarios warrant shelling out the dough for a new computer. There are cases however, where you might have a relatively new computer, (less than 3 years old) and it is acting up enough to make you want to replace it with a new one. Before you do that, let’s look at a few ways you can “soup up” a fairly new machine:

Your Computer Is Running S-l-o-o-o-w-w

This is probably the number one complaint heard by Help Desk techs worldwide. If your computer is less than 3 years old, there are a myriad of reasons for the slowdown in performance. For instance, you may not have all the latest security software installed. Operating Systems, device drivers, anti-virus programs and other applications have frequent updates releases to their original product. Keeping up with the latest releases or patches of any software you are running, is a good way to keep your computer free from viruses and spyware that can slow it to a crawl.

Hardware also has updates, called firmware updates. Check with your hardware vendors to make sure that your computer, wireless router, cable modem, printer, etc… all have the latest firmware updates. A cable or DSL modem that’s overheating can throttle your Internet speed. If you find that turning off the modem and then waiting an hour or so boosts your surfing speed, you may need to replace it.

Sometimes a slow running computer is one that is lacking memory. As applications get more feature rich, more memory (RAM, not hard drive space) is required to run them. A lot of times, computers will be sold without the maximum capacity of RAM that they can actually run. Again, check with your computer’s manufacturer. Find out if the memory is expandable, and how much RAM you currently have intalled. Upgrading RAM is a fairly easy and inexpensive way to speed up your computer.Does Your Computer Need More Memory?

Your Computer Is Running Out of Space

You are noticing degradation in your computer’s performance, and you are also noticing “Running low on disk space” messages. Low disk space can slow a machine down, and also cause problems running applications. Hard drive space is getting cheaper and cheaper these days; the newest computers often come with 500 GB or 1 terabyte (1000 GB) hard drives as a standard. You don’t have to buy one of these new computers though; you can replace a smaller hard disk drive with a larger one, or upgrade to an SSD drive.

Your Computer Has Less-Than-Great-Graphics and So-So-Sound

The characters in that cool, new game you installed, have herky-jerky movements or maybe there’s a tinny sound when you blast the bad guys. Or perhaps the photos you download from your digital camera have a grainy, dull look when opened on your computer. On a relatively new machine, these problems can often be remedied by multimedia upgrades. Upgrading your graphics card or sound card can add a whole new level to your computing experience. A newer monitor will make everything look crisper.

It’s important to know when to let go of an old clunker of a computer. It’s just as important to realize when your computer needs a “tune-up”. The goal is to find a happy medium between being able to experience the latest that technology has to offer, but not being pressured into throwing a perfectly good system away because of slick sales ads, feature envy or industry hype.

Have a great week from all of us on the ZI Staff

Nonprofit Events in Second Life & Sansar: Relay for Life & World Oceans Day

One of the best things about our community is its unwavering support for good causes. Fundraising events and designer fairs that give back to nonprofit initiatives are so ubiquitous that they are now part of our common virtual culture. That’s why we’re excited to call attention to and support both Relay For Life and World Oceans Day – both events take place June 8.



For a limited time, you can grab your free virtual t-shirt promoting one or both causes in the Second Life Marketplace.


In Second Life, the annual Relay for Life event is packed with events on June 8 including the survivor/caregiver walk and Luminaria Ceremony.  Login, show your support and help raise funds for an important cause. Your presence and contributions do make a difference – over $3.5 million USD have been raised by these efforts over the past decade!


There’s a big event happening June 8 in Sansar, too. This World Oceans Day, you don’t have to leave home to make a difference.


Help clean a virtual beach in Sansar on Saturday, June 8, from 12 to 5 PM PT, as we celebrate the world’s oceans and raise money for EarthEcho International!

To join, simply log into Sansar if you have an account (or download it if you haven’t yet), pick one of 4 shark avatars for yourself, and meet us on the beach, where we’ll be picking up virtual trash, bouncing around, and playing games. As more trash gets collected, amazing sculptures will begin to form in the experience.

For every shark that joins, we’ll be donating $5 to EarthEcho, along with an additional $5K if we complete the sculpture before the event ends. As a bonus: The Roddenberry Foundation will be matching up to $5K!

It’s a one-of-a-kind fundraising event and all you need is a PC to experience it. Don’t miss out!

Have a great week from all of on the ZI Staff

Applications are open for SL16B Live Music Faire!

Applications are open for SL16B Live Music Faire! SWEET 16! Can’t believe its already been 16 years and still going strong, so if you are wanting to be a part of the best birthday celebration in second life read on.

                                Pic is from inkie Pixelstyles.

This June, Second Life turns 16 and we’re planning some fun ways to celebrate the Second Life community as a whole, as well as the incredible live music community within SL.

In recent years we’ve taken the popular idea of music festivals and brought them into the virtual world – all the music, merriment, and good times without the sunburn. Last year marked the 4th Music Fest, and this year, things are going to be a little different! We do have a Music Faire that we’re very excited to announce! Like Music Fest, Music Faire is a way to enjoy a ton of live music within Second Life as part of the birthday celebrations.

We’re holding an audition showcase to highlight some of the musical talent in the Second Life community. Many of you have been performing for years in virtual venues all over the grid, and we’d love to have you come showcase your talent. All genres are welcome! From bands to solo acts, rock and roll to electronica – we encourage anyone to sign up for consideration.

The Second Life Music Faire is an opportunity to perform at one of the biggest celebrations in Second Life and will be held on June 21st and 22nd this year from 10 am until 4 pm SLT.

To sign up for an audition, please complete and submit the submission form no later than June 1st, 2019. While we encourage everyone to sign up, it is not a commitment on your part and does not guarantee a spot at the auditions. We will review all submissions and extend audition invitations via email and/or notecards to the designated contact. Each invited act will have a short audition time (5 minutes max) to play.

All Residents are welcome to participate in the auditions as audience members. Again, I can’t stress enough what a great time it is to see so many musicians perform and support one another! For those who are interested, the audition location will be shared in a future blog post. Showcase dates and times are as follows:

May 27, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
May 28, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
May 29, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
May 30, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
May 31, 2019 6 AM – 3 PM (SLT)
June 3, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
June 4, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
June 5, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
June 6, 2019 6 AM – 6 PM (SLT)
June 7, 2019 6 AM – 3 PM (SLT)

See you inworld!

Please note that applications for Exhibitors and Performers have been extended through the end of the month and the applications for Merchants for the shopping event are open until June 1st.

Exhibitor Application – Applications close on May 31st, 2019 (Exhibitor Policies)

Performer Application – Applications close on May 31st, 2019 ( Performer Policies)

Merchant Application – Applications close on June 1st, 2019

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The Biggest Brand to Officially Appear in SL in Many Years

Sanrio Reportedly Licenses Hello Kitty-Branded Content in Second Life; By Far the Biggest Brand to Officially Appear in SL in Many Years

Hello Kitty Sanrio Second Life AstraliaVia Astralia’s Flickr page

Hello Kitty, the ubiquitous kawaii brand from Japanese conglomerate Sanrio, is the second highest-grossing franchise of all time, with $80 billion in total retail sales, and Hello Kitty branded content available in 12,000 locations around the world. And now, reportedly, there’s another location where you can get Hello Kitty licensed content: The virtual world of Second Life.

Starting mid-last month, SL brand Astralia began promoting Hello Kitty-branded virtual fashion and housewares, and selling them in-world on the flagship store: Direct teleport here. Second Life’s official online shopping site also features re-sold copies of Astralia’s Hello Kitty content won in gachas — you can, for example, buy an Astralia x Hello Kitty Bedroom set with Onesie for L$194 (i.e. less than one US$).

This is by far the biggest real life company authorizing licensed, virtual versions of its brand in Second Life in many, many years — well over a decade ago, during the 2006-2008 hype wave, when Armani had an official SL store, as did Mini Cooper, among many others. But even back then, no real life brand as big with consumers as Hello Kitty appeared in Second Life — and certainly not a brand as family friendly as Sanrio, given the virtual world’s very adult reputation.

I say “reportedly”, by the way, because despite asking twice, I haven’t been able to confirm this licensing agreement from Sanrio’s United States media rep. However, Astralia’s brand owner, who goes by the avatar name “Astralia Resident” in Second Life, insists she has a contract with the company:


“Astralia is a real life registered company and we made an agreement for the use of the Sanrio characters in Second Life,” she tells me, but declines to discuss details beyond that. “The terms of the agreement are under NDA.” She also encourages me to get in touch with Sanrio to confirm the deal.

I am still seeking a confirmation from Sanrio since that is in itself would be newsworthy — and also, because non-authorized use of RL brands in Second Life is rampant. (There’s even a Hello Kitty tattoo in the Marketplace that doesn’t appear to be official.)

“I understand your concerns because IP infringement in SL is sadly very common,” Astralia acknowledges. “Mine is an established brand, I have a reputation, and there is a difference between just using a Hello Kitty image or shape or pattern on the products, and claiming to have an official collaboration, with a license logo on the vendors.”

This is true. And from what we know now, Astralia has scored quite a coup .

Have a great week from the ZI Staff

Philip Rosedale Interview

Listen: Philip Rosedale Interviewed by Linden Vet About Building Virtual Worlds

Here’s a great podcast interview of Philip Rosedale on the podcast show Stayin’ Alive in Technology hosted by Melinda Byerley, former Head of Marketplaces at Linden Lab, and known in SL as Pink Linden. And because she is a Linden vet, this is a much more substantial, in-depth interview, and brings up some points I’ve not heard Philip discuss before. (Streamable above.) It’s also an important companion piece to the recent bombshell video where Philip announced scaling back High Fidelity content and making it more desktop client-focused.

Byerley is now founder of Timeshare CMO, a data marketing firm where Catherine Smith, another Linden Lab veteran, also works. “It’s a recap of Philip’s history, his thoughts on the 3D web and the future of VR,” Catherine told me, when sending over the podcast. “What he’s learned over the years. It was very Philip and made me laugh and smile and miss working for him!” So this is an interview with the founder of Linden Lab, speaking with a Linden, which was promoted by a Linden, and is now being blogged by a Linden.

Here’s the key highlights — my favorite being what he says about “the 3D web” as a term — with my biggest point of contention being what he says about the original goal with Second Life:


  • Philip Rosedale Linden Lab High Fidelity Social VRWhat he first wanted to be when we grew up (spoiler: astronaut)
  • Majoring physics as opposed to computer programming, and how that influenced Second Life, which started by simulating waves on water between multiple servers.
  • How creating virtual worlds became his life’s calling: A desire to simulate a world that were “equally real and detailed in comparison to the real world”.
  • Why no one else has attempted this goal. Online games simplify experience, but a high complicated virtual world does not: “It’s tough to say what a new world is for… I still think that’s one of the challenges of virtual worlds.”
  • How the desire for simplification is essential to human consciousness, and how that fuels the desire for simplified, predictable games. “Frankly, real life, being what it is… is a little more stressful than we like.”
  • The very first origins of Second Life “which followed a Biblical creation cycle” and was known as LindenWorld, then gradually emerged to include human avatars and the “aha” moment of dynamic, collaborative, user-created content.
  • User-generated content and Minecraft vs. Second Life/High Fidelity. “People always say to me: ‘We just gotta do Minecraft the size of the planet’, and I look at them and say, ‘How much do you use Minecraft?… There’s something limiting about these colored cubes where adults won’t use them.”
  • The unique diversity of the Linden Lab workforce in terms of race and gender and background. Philip relates that to the diversity of the user base of Second Life. “If you run into someone [in SL] that’s demographically identical to you, there’s not much to be learned… we would be best served as being as diverse a company as we think our users would be.”
  • The use of Second Life by the disabled, as featured in this documentary short.
  • Linden Lab’s early non-hierarchal management system and its pros and cons.
  • What he’s learned about creating virtual worlds over the last two+ decades: “If you think you’ve come up with the best possible world, you probably haven’t.”
  • Philip’s thoughts on building the 3D web, and why calling virtual worlds “the 3D web” is the wrong terminology. “I’m a little down on ‘the 3D web’… I have as yet never seen a way to make a web page into a 3D thing that I thought was useful for a human.” He argues instead that we will one day consume 2D content within a virtual world.
  • The ultimate goal of social virtual reality: “I believe that VR, voice, sound, and headsets, done correctly in 3D worlds… will enable two people that are 2000 miles apart, will be able to stand face to face, make eye contact, hug, in a way that is identical as standing face to face [IRL].”
  • Best advice he’s gotten over the years: While at Linden Lab, when Philip fretted about having executives all over the world, famed Silicon Valley executive coach Bill Campbell told him: “Do you want executives all over the world? Then just make it work.” Another piece of advice, especially for young entrepreneurs: “Despite all this data, you still have to follow your heart. Are you working on something that’s genuinely interesting?” He goes on to talk about the importance of emotional intelligence when running companies.

Philip’s point about “3D web” is really well taken, and it’s surprising how often that’s the goal of many virtual world developers. But I’m a bit sad that he talks so much about how in the beginning, the focus was on making Second Life a living, breathing world with a simulated ecosystem and realistic ocean, sun and moon cycles, and so on. That’s still a great, exciting, goal — that both Second Life and High Fidelity, which now look, feel, and operate far more like interconnected 3D chat rooms, rather than dynamic, simulated worlds, have moved far away from. You can make the case that Minecraft back in its heyday and now Dual Universe are much more genuine heirs to that vision.

Have a great week from the ZI Staff