Virtual Currency Transactions, Real Tax Compliance: Inspired by a True Story

Virtual Currency Transactions, Real Tax Compliance: Inspired by a True Story

SL comic Linden Dollar tax

 

SL comic transaction Linden Dollar tax

Inspired this actual announcement and this actual message sent by Linden Lab:

Tax-Related Documents from Linden Lab

Linden Lab

Hello Residents!

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 “secondlife-support@lindenlab.com” 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 are from the state of Massachusetts, you may find more information regarding their most recent updated tax reporting requirements 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.

Have a great week from all of us at ZI And FI

One Billion Rising Campaign Protesting Violence Against Women

Second Life Community Joins Worldwide One Billion Rising Campaign Protesting Violence Against Women

Cajsa Lilliehook covers the best in virtual world screenshot art and digital painting

“SL: One Billion Rising Campaign” is an emotionally evocative image created by Valenska Voljeti as a reminder of the coming One Billion Rising Campaign protesting violence against women that happens in Second Life as the worldwide event happens throughout first life. It will take place on February 14th — details for the SL event on the Facebook page here.

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.

Have a great week!

 

Aviation Made in Second Life

Taking Flight Across the Virtual World

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.”

Another option is a special Marianne McCann limited-edition version of the Sopwith Camel WarBug biplane made by Arduenn Schwartzman.

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.

Aviation Made in SL-Logo.png

CREDITS:
Video production by Draxtor Despres
Logo courtesy of Marianne McCann

Enjoy your Second Life and like us on Facebook     Fruit Islands

Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands And Fruit Islands.

How to fix viewer slow rezzing issues.

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.
  • Determine optimal bandwidth: refer here.
  • 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.
  • SecondLife Viewer

    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: no build icon.png.  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:

    1. Enable the Advanced menu: World > Show > Advanced Menu.
    2. Select Advanced > Performance Tools > Statistics Bar.
    3. 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.

    If your download queue is high and never falls, please file a support ticket.

    Scripted objects are too far away

    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.

    Other solutions

    Here are a few more things to try if you cannot see inventory objects inworld:

    1. Choose Me > Preferences. The PREFERENCES window opens.
    2. Click the Graphics tab.
    3. Click the Advanced button.
    4. Move the Draw distance slider all the way to the left.

    Increase the Second Life Viewer’s cache and bandwidth

    1. Choose Me > Preferences. The PREFERENCES window opens.
    2. Click the Advanced tab.
    3. Increase the Cache size.
    4. Click the Setup tab.
    5. 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.
    Don’t forget to check out our deals and discounts
    And Like Us On Facebook Zoha Islands
    Have a great week from all of us at Zoha Islands and Fruit Islands.

Yes, You Can Still Get Windows 10 For Free

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.

Have a great week from the staff at ZI and FI

Why Desktop PCs Just Won’t Die

Tablets and smartphones seem to be taking over the computing world. Tech pundits have been predicting the death of the personal computer for almost a decade, and there were predictions back in 2012 that within a few years you wouldn’t be able buy a desktop PC. Are PCs inevitably going the way of buggy whips? Here’s my take on why that’s that’s not going to happen any time soon…

The Desktop is Dead. Long Live the Desktop!

It’s true that mobile computing devices are gaining market share at the expense of desk bound PCs. But the number of PCs sold per year has remained remarkably stable for the past few years. This chart from Statista shows PC shipments worldwide from 2009 to 2019. There is a definite drop from the peaks in 2011-2012, but the last few years have shown little change in the total number of units sold.

There is steady demand for PCs — to the tune of about 250 million yearly — and it’s unlikely to go away. Here are five reasons why desktop PCs will not die:

Ergonomics: Tablets and smartphones literally cause pains in the neck when used for extended periods. They’re harder to use for typing than a desktop with an expansive keyboard. Their displays are smaller than those of typical desktop PCs. Fine cursor control is difficult or impossible on tablets and smartphones. Have you ever created a spreadsheet, presentation, or a 10-page document on a smartphone? When faced with a choice between mobility and comfort, mobility often wins. But when people don’t need mobility, they usually choose comfort over saving space.


Compute Power and Storage: Desktop PCs can accommodate faster, more powerful processors than mobile devices, and can control more peripherals simultaneously. They are almost infinitely expandable. If you need several terabytes of storage in a PC or Mac desktop, it’s not a problem. Tablets and smartphones can’t even come close, in either raw power or storage capability.


Work habits: When you really need to buckle down and crank out work, a desktop PC helps you get into the groove. It stays in a specific space called a “workspace” at home or office; just going there and sitting down at your “workstation” helps put you in a productive frame of mind. Conversely, when it’s time for a break you can escape your immobile desktop PC easily. You needn’t take time to pack up it and its cables, and you don’t have to lug it around while you’re not using it. But the mobile gadgets, with their incessant pings, beeps, and notifications will constantly demand your attention and distract you from getting things done.

One of the must-haves in my computing environment is dual-screen capability. Mobile devices are designed to be small and portable. So you’re never going to replicate a dual 24-inch monitor setup on a smartphone or tablet. Once you’ve had the experience (and productivity boost) of working on dual screens, you’ll find a single monitor setup (even with one large screen) very restrictive. I typically work with a web browser on one screen, and a word processor or spreadsheet on the other. Programmers benefit from having source code one monitor and the actual running program on the other.


Expand ability/Repair ability: If your desktop PC needs more RAM, you can open the case and pop it in. If you’ve outgrown your hard drive, you can swap in a larger one or just add a second one. Desktop and laptop computers use mostly commodity (off the shelf) parts, so if one component fails, you can find replacement parts and fix it yourself — usually with just a screwdriver. Hard drives, RAM memory, video cards, power supplies, monitors, the CPU and even the motherboard can be replaced without too much hassle. You can even use a different brand if you like.

But mobile devices such as your iPhone, iPad, or Android device are typically sealed up tight. You can’t replace or upgrade the SSD hard drive in your mobile device. If the screen cracks on your smartphone or tablet, you can’t just buy a new one. If any component breaks or fails, you’ll have to send it away for repairs, which may be more expensive than buying a new one. You can’t even replace the battery in most smartphones.

Finally, consider external peripherals. Try connecting a scanner, or an external hard drive to your mobile device. What about a second monitor? Where are the USB ports? Heck, it’s a hassle just to print something from a mobile phone or tablet.


Cost: Miniaturization is always more expensive. You will never see a tablet that costs as little as a PC of comparable capabilities. And as I mentioned before, getting a PC serviced is cheaper than comparable repair of a tablet, or even a smartphone.


I know I promised five reasons, but it’s always good to exceed expectations right? So here’s one more I thought of while putting together my thoughts on this topic.

Security: Have you noticed how many news reports of hacking and data losses involve mobile devices? Public WIFI is a security risk that most users don’t even understand. And it’s much easier to lose a smartphone than a desktop PC. Many employers restrict the loading of data onto mobile devices, and constantly struggle with network-connected mobile security risks.


Desktop PCs still have an important role in both home and business environments, and I just can’t see that changing for many years to come. For many, a good laptop is the ideal compromise between mobility and the advantages of a desktop PC. Of course, nothing prevents you from owning a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone — except your budget.

Have a great week from all of us at Zi And Fi