Destinations Video: Escapades Island

Einstein is alleged to have once stated, “Imagination will take you everywhere.” We tend to agree! A sense of adventure is one of the most exciting things about Second Life. You can explore and experience so many places from the past, present, future, and from the imagination – and you can bounce from one to the other with a single teleport.

The element of journey and discovery that Creators in Second Life build and breathe life into is something that is difficult to replicate anywhere else – which is why we enjoy highlighting these destinations on the blogs, our social pages, and in these destination videos. There is so much to experience and see across the Grid!

This week, we’re highlighting Escapades Island – a conglomerate of fantastical and whimsical genres to tease your imagination. If you think you’ve seen it all – think again! Escapades Island has just undergone some new construction, and is now revamped and ready for daring and curious adventurers alike. You’re going to want to plan a trip with your best friends to embark together on this playful and whimsical trip.

Watch this small glimpse into what you can expect, then hop in for yourself and prepare to discover something exciting and new!

For more  Destination videos, check out our Destination Video channel on our official YouTube Channel.

Video production courtesy of Draxtor Despres

Have A Great Week From All Of Us At ZI

Try These Windows 10 Tips and Tricks

The latest versions of Windows 10 are chock-full of handy new features that are worth exploring. Some will improve security or privacy. Others will save you time or trouble. Here are few tips and tricks you should know about if you’re using Windows 10…

Windows 10: Did You Know…?

The Recycle Bin has been part of Windows since Windows 95. So you probably already know that when you delete a file or folder, it really doesn’t go away. Windows stashes it in the Recycle Bin, just in case it was an “oops” or you later decide you want it back. Similarly, Windows has a cache of temporary files that accumulate while your browse the Web. This enables you to quickly return to a web page without having to re-fetch all the text and images.

But both the Recycle Bin and the temp files can grow rather large over time. On a computer that’s short on hard drive space, this can be a problem. Storage Sense is a Windows 10 feature that empties your Recycle Bin and deletes temporary files automatically. To enable this handy feature, open Settings, then click on System, then click on Storage. Click the “Configure Storage Sense” link to enable the automatic cleanup options of your choosing.

Storage Sense will also show a report of how files are distributed across your hard drive. This can help you to quickly see which folders are using the most space, and identify possibilities for deleting large or unwanted files.

Dynamic Lock automatically locks your PC when a paired Bluetooth device moves out of range. To use this feature, you first need to pair your phone or another Bluetooth device that is usually on your person to the PC. Here’s how to do that:

  • On your PC, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
  • Turn on Bluetooth with the toggle switch. Enable Bluetooth on your phone, too.
  • Click on the + sign, and in the pop-up “Add a device” window select “Bluetooth.”
  • Choose your phone from the list that appears.
  • Prompts will appear on both your PC and phone. Accept them to pair the two devices.

Now you’re ready to enable Dynamic Lock. Open Settings, select Accounts, then click on the Sign-in Options link in the left sidebar. Scroll down the next page to Dynamic Lock and check the box next to “Allow Windows to detect when you’re away and automatically lock the device.” That’s it! Unfortunately, there is no “Dynamic Unlock” feature as yet. You’ll need to manually unlock your PC when you return to it.

More Windows 10 Tips

Microsoft has frequently taken good ideas from the shareware world and incorporated them into Windows, much to the dismay of shareware developers. An example of this poaching of ideas is the “Night Light” feature in Windows 10; it’s a rip-off of the popular f.lux app.

The light from a PC’s screen can be hard on the eyes after sunset. The Night Light feature adjusts the display’s brightness and color to more soothing settings after dark, and restores daylight settings at sunrise or at a time you specify. To enable Night Light, type “night” in the Windows search box and select “Night Light” from the results. On the Display settings page, move Night Light’s slider control to “on.” Click on the “Night Light Settings” link to change how this feature behaves.

A host of automated troubleshooting tools are built into Windows 10. Type “troubleshoot” in the search box and select that word in the results to open a long page of troubleshooters for common and uncommon problems. Some of the most popular troubleshooters fix problems with Internet connections, network adapters, printer setups, and Windows Update.

In case you missed it, the April 2017 Creators Update (finally) included a built-in “print to PDF” option, eliminating the need for third-party PDF drivers. You can select this virtual printer from within any app that supports printing, and save the current document in PDF format.

Battery Saver mode is enabled by default in Windows 10. When your battery’s power level drops to 20%, the Battery Saver kicks in to stretch the remaining power as far as possible. It dims your display. It also prevents Universal Windows Apps from running in the background and receiving push notifications. You can tinker with Battery Saver settings by typing “battery” in the search box and selecting “Battery saver” from the results.

Have a great week from all of us at ZI

Do You Know Your Computer’s Two Worst Enemies?

You may know that heat is the deadly enemy of all sensitive electronics, especially those inside your computer. But dust and other debris that gets inside of your computer is the biggest cause of overheating and other malfunctions. Read on to learn the three most important places that need regular cleaning, to keep your desktop or laptop running in top form…

Should I Dust My Computer?

Yes, but skip the Lemon Pledge. There are no polished wood surfaces inside the desktop system unit or your laptop case. It is important to get the grunge out of your computer to prolong its life. Dirt, dust, pet hair, food crumbs and even tiny insects (yuck) can affect your computer in a negative way.

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of compressed air. To minimize the amount of gunk that gets into your computer, thereby lengthening the time you can go without cleaning, here are a few things you can do:

Get the computer off the floor where most of the gunk is. Keep it on your desktop, or on a small table at least a foot above the floor. Your computer has one or more fans inside the case which draw in air to cool the components. You don’t want it sucking in air from the dirtiest place in your home or office.

Keep pets and their hair out of the room in which your computer resides. I know, cats love to sit on computer keyboards, or on your lap as you type. But your furry companions are no friends to your computer.

Don’t smoke around your computer. Tar and particulates from cigarette smoke make a sticky, smothering sludge on a computer’s components that traps more dust. (And also on the inside of your lungs, but that’s another topic.)

Control the air quality in the computer’s room. Keep windows and doors closed. Put passive air filters in the room’s ventilation grills, but not over the computer’s air intake vents. Consider a room air filter for your computer’s room. A HEPA filter is best. Do not use an ion-generating air purifier; the electrically charged ions remove dust from the air by causing it to stick to surfaces, including your computer’s innards.

If you do all of the above you can probably go a year without opening up the computer’s case to clean inside. If you’re careless about air quality, have pets, and smoke around your computer, you may need to clean its innards every three months. But it can’t hurt to do a cleaning more often.

Always unplug everything from your computer (desktop or laptop) before opening up its case; not just the power cable but also monitors, printers, USB devices, Ethernet cables, and anything else. Eliminate any possible path for static electricity to flow into your machine.

Computing in a Vacuum

Many geek websites say that you should not vacuum dust out of a computer. Instead, they recommend blowing it out with canned compressed air (which is not air, by the way, but denser, complex gases which are more easily compressed into dense liquid form, packing more gas into a can). The rationale for this advice makes no sense whatsoever.

“Vacuuming generates static electricity that can harm electronics,” they say. Well yes, rubbing air molecules rapidly against plastic surfaces can generate static electricity. But as far as static electricity goes, it doesn’t matter if the air is moving towards a vacuum or away from a high-pressure area!

After opening the desktop’s system unit case, a soft-bristled brush to loosen clinging dust and a mini-vac are my preferred tools. In addition to any visible dust, take a closer look for dirt on the fan blades and heat sink.

I think it’s preferable to lift dust out of a computer with a vacuum than to drive it deeper into the nooks and crannies with a blast of compressed gas. But to avoid generating significant static electricity, the suction should be no more than is absolutely necessary. A household vacuum cleaner, even a handheld Dirt Devil™, is more than adequate. You can even buy USB-powered mini-vacs with a variety of useful brushes for computer cleaning.

I’ve heard warnings that a vacuum cleaner might suck electrical components right off the motherboard. That sounds unlikely, but you don’t want to get the nozzle that close to the components anyway. Use your brush, and always hold the vacuum nozzle at an angle to the surface being cleaned.

Cleaning Your Laptop

If you have a laptop, clean dust and hair out of the air vents with a Q-Tip. Using compressed air will only send the dirt INSIDE your laptop, but a low-power vacuum can be used to draw out dust and hair trapped inside the vents. I recommend using a toothpick to keep the fans from spinning, as you can damage them if they spin too fast.

If you continue to have overheating issues after cleaning the vents, you may have dirt trapped inside the laptop case. Opening up a laptop can be tricky, because so many components are packed in so tightly. Wires, ribbon cables and electrical components can be damaged if you’re not very careful. For inside the case cleaning, I recommend taking your laptop to a service center rather than doing it yourself.

Cleaning the Keyboard and Mouse

Keyboards are another matter; they tend to collect larger, heavier crumbs of food, and insects. Using a high-power vacuum cleaner on the upper surface of a keyboard won’t do the circuit board inside any harm.

Keyboards also get liquids spilled on them. If you frequent humor websites while consuming coffee or soda, you might have this problem. That sticky goo can mix with dust to form nasty sludge between the keys. isopropyl alcohol (at least 60% solution) and a Q-Tip are best for cleaning such messes.

You may have heard that keyboards are dishwasher-safe; perhaps you’ve even seen YouTube videos demonstrating this technique. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’ve already tried other methods; you can get a shiny new keyboard for ten dollars. But apparently there’s no reason it won’t work if the keyboard is left disconnected until it dries completely. Try it if you can live without a keyboard (or use a dry spare) for at least 48 hours. Do not use any detergent, just plain water. Put the keyboard keys-down in the upper rack and whatever you do, do not use “heated dry” or the plastic may melt. Did I mention that you can buy a brand new keyboard for ten dollars?

Most mice use optical sensors these days, but if you’re still using a mouse with a rolling rubber ball, you need to open that thing up once in a while. If you’re moving the mouse, and the cursor stay still or jumps erratically, that’s a sign that gunk has accumulated on the ball or the rollers inside. Rotate the cover on the bottom of the mouse to remove it, then let the cover and ball fall into your hand. Clean the ball with a lint-free cloth and set it aside. Inside, you’ll see three rollers that are probably caked with gunk. Use your fingernail, and/or a Q-tip with a bit of isopropyl alcohol to clean the rollers. Before replacing the ball and cover, tap the mouse on a hard surface several times so that any dirt or crud inside will fall out. Clean the mouse pad when you’re done.

Consider treating yourself to an optical mouse for about $15, and you’ll never have to look at the dirty innards of a mouse again. To clean the optical sensor (the red or blue glowing “light bulb” on the mouse’s bottom), remove the battery and wipe the sensor window gently with a Q-Tip wet with isopropyl alcohol.

Have a great week from all of us at ZI

Second Life Is Plagued by Security Flaws, Ex-Employee Says

A former infosec director at Linden Lab alleges the company mishandled user data and turned a blind eye to simulated sex acts involving children.

A man plays second life as a hand comes out of the computer and steals money from his pocket
Elena Lacey; Getty Images

A lawsuit filed by the former information security director of Linden Lab—the company behind the online virtual world Second Life, which, yes, is still a thing—claims the company mishandled sensitive user data and turned a blind eye to simulated acts of child molestation and the potential for money laundering.

Paris Martineau covers platforms, online influence, and social media manipulation for WIRED.

In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court on July 30 and served to Linden Lab on Tuesday, Kavyanjali Pearlman, a security researcher who joined Linden Lab from Facebook in 2017, says that she raised these issues during her tenure, and was met with hostility. The suit alleges company executives retaliated against her for flagging cybersecurity risks and potential violations of anti-money-laundering laws, child exploitation, and data misuse.

Pearlman claims the company discriminated against her as a woman, an Indian immigrant, and a Muslim. “After making her concerns known, [she] was treated worse than similarly situated employees who were not immigrant women of color, who were not religiously Muslim and wore a hijab,” says the suit. “Instead of looking into Pearlman’s complaints, Linden Lab’s senior officers led a campaign of retaliation against her, painting her as an inept employee who has issues with communication, and ultimately terminating her employment in March of 2019.”

“While we will fight her alleged claims in court, we deny any allegations that the company has engaged in any illegal activity,” said Linden Lab spokesperson Brett Atwood. “Ms. Pearlman left the company on March 15 only after she was given the opportunity to improve her work performance. We look forward to all the facts coming out in a court of law,” he said, declining additional comment because of the lawsuit.

Linden Lab is best known for Second Life, the massively multiplayer virtual world launched in 2003, which boasted around a million regular users at its peak, and an estimated 800,000 active monthly users as of 2017. Those numbers are paltry compared with today’s social media giants, but it’s still a sizable chunk of people.

A decade ago, Second Life was populated mostly by futurists, brands, and, for some reason, embassies; today, the virtual world occupies a more niche space online. Much of Second Life revolves around the Linden Dollar, a virtual currency with real cash value that is used to buy and sell in-game items, virtual land, and operate or play at virtual “skill gaming” casinos. In 2018, approximately $65 million was paid out to Second Life users for a variety of virtual goods and services. Gaming—including both free-to-play games and “skill” games that offer payouts—was the most popular activity among users, according to Linden Lab.

Last October, Pearlman says she raised concerns with Linden Lab executives that the company was not complying with anti-money-laundering rules, including not required information about the operators of skill games, according to the lawsuit. She says her concerns were dismissed, and that the issues had yet to be addressed by Linden Lab when she left the company in March.

Atwood, of Linden Lab, declined to comment when asked about the accuracy of Pearlman’s description of events. “All Second Life skill gaming operators must provide and verify their identification as part of a rigorous application process,” Atwood told WIRED over email. “We are in compliance with all legal regulations and all skill gaming operators agree to our Terms & Conditions as part of the review and approval process for our Skill Gaming program.”

In the suit, Pearlman claims that the user payment information collected by Linden Lab and “Second Life customer data” wasn’t secure, and that her attempts to correct even the most glaring security issues were met with hostility. In September 2018, Pearlman says she alerted multiple members of the IT team and executive board that payment information was accessible by employees from other parts of the company, and that outside contractors were gaining access to support tools that gave them unfettered access to private user data, according to the lawsuit.

Pearlman says even more serious issues received similar treatment. Sexual roleplay is a popular activity among Second Life users; the virtual world features many so-called adult regions where users’ avatars can be nude, have sex, and engage in more niche sexual activities. Last fall, the suit alleges, Pearlman urged Linden Lab to review its age verification and consent review process, as she was worried the company could be erroneously collecting data on minors and enabling children to use the platform without the consent of a parent or guardian, which would violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and Europe’s GDPR.

Pearlman says that her concerns were only amplified by violations of Second Life’s “ageplay” rules, which prohibit users from engaging in virtual sex acts with users that present themselves as children. The lawsuit says that violations of Second Life’s ageplay policies “could be called simulated child molestation” as users’ avatars can resemble children; in an email to the chief operating officer in the fall of 2018, the suit says, Pearlman raised concerns that the company’s age-verification policies posed the “risk of underage kids being involved,” but was dismissed in favor of prioritizing the launch of a subsidiary company.

According to the lawsuit, in 2018 the manager of Linden Lab’s fraud team “presented information to Linden board members in quarterly fraud reports that acknowledged a high number of such Ageplay [sic] violations were actually occurring on a regular basis each quarter.” The suit says Pearlman “was concerned that Linden Lab was apparently allowing the users to violate ageplay rules, by not implementing appropriate procedures to prevent violations from repeating at the same levels each quarter.”

The lawsuit claims that Scott Butler, Linden Lab’s former chief compliance officer, wrote a memo to other executives in June 2018 “urging compliance with cybersecurity laws consistent with Pearlman’s repeated concerns” and recommending that she be appointed the company’s Chief Information Security Officer. A former high-level Linden Lab employee confirmed the contents of the memo. The former employee said the memo “indicated that there should be more scrutiny on the ‘skill gaming program,’” and recommended Linden Lab adopt a suggestion from Pearlman to determine why it “had not been able to prevent the seedy population of ‘age-players’ from returning to Second Life, time and again.”

When asked whether Pearlman’s description of events regarding ageplay violations is accurate, Atwood, the Linden Lab spokesperson, declined to comment.

“In accordance with Second Life’s Community Standards and Content Guidelines, real-life images, avatar portrayals, and other depictions of sexual or lewd acts involving or appearing to involve children or minors are not allowed within Second Life,” said Atwood. “If any such activity is detected, individuals or groups promoting or providing such content and activities will be subject to enforcement actions, which may include immediate termination of accounts (including all detectable alternate accounts), closure of related groups, removal of content, blacklisting of payment information and loss of land or access to virtual land.”

This article was posted on 8/16/2019 and is public knowledge. We at Zoha Islands in no way share beliefs or supports alleged accusations we are just a messenger to our readers. Have a great week from all of us at ZI

Try This, For Faster and Safer Internet

On occasion, I have recommended using alternative DNS as a means to a faster and more reliable Web browsing experience. But faster Web surfing isn’t the only benefit of switching your DNS servers. I know it sounds geeky, but I’ll explain it all in plain English and show you how to make Internet usage both faster and safer, for both adults and curious kids. I have also found this to be helpful when needing a faster reliable connection in second life and other gaming servers. Read on…

Speed and Safety

Let’s start by de-geekifying the DNS acronym. DNS stands for “Domain Name Service” and it’s a service normally provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Here’s why it’s necessary… Humans refer to websites by their common “dot com” names, but the computers that run things on the Internet know them only by numbers known as IP (internet protocol) addresses. When you tell your browser you want to visit a certain website, it must connect to a DNS server to translate that website name into an IP address.

Normally, that DNS server is operated by your ISP, but there’s no technical reason why that must be so. Alternate DNS services can be used to speed up web surfing, provide an additional layer of security, correct typos, or assign shortcuts to commonly-typed website names. Here are some free alternative DNS services you can try.

OpenDNS Home is one such service, used by over 30 million people at Fortune 50 companies, small businesses, schools, and homes. The free service doesn’t require you to sign up for anything, or install any software. By twiddling a few numbers in your router’s setup screens, you can speed up web surfing. But you can also filter out malware, phishing sites, botnets, If you also want to filter out adult content, use the OpenDNS Family Shield instead. It works exactly the same as the OpenDNS Home service, but is preconfigured to block sites that may not be appropriate for younger users.


OpenDNS includes one of the leading anti-phishing projects on the Internet. is a collaborate effort to identify and block phishing Web sites one bogus URL at a time. Any registered user can submit a suspected phish to PhishTank via email or the site’s “Add A Phish” uploading feature.

Each suspect URL is evaluated by a worldwide community of security consultants, academics, and registered users. When at least two users agree it’s a phish, the bogus URL is added to PhishTank’s database of verified phishing links. The number of votes needed to verify a phish varies depending on the reputations of the voters. Reputation is established by being right more often than you are wrong. Users who submit lots of false positives – URLs that turn out not to be phishing sites – and who, more often than not, incorrectly label others submissions as phish or not-phish, will have lower reputation ratings.

False positives – URLs incorrectly labeled “phish” by the community – can also be reported. PhishTank’s staff will review the classification and revise it if warranted. OpenDNS draws upon many resources such as PhishTank to decide which URLs and IP addresses to blocks for its users who have phishing protection enabled. It’s possible that a URL labeled “phish by the PhishTank community will not be blocked by OpenDNS.

Separately, OpenDNS Domain Tagging offers users the option to label websites with tags such as “adult,” “violence,” “social network,” “gambling,” and so on. Registered users can tag a domain, but it takes a consensus of the community to make that tag “stick.” OpenDNS users can use the tagging system to block selected categories of content, if desired.

But Does It Work?

You have options when it comes to selecting an alternate to your ISP’s DNS servers. Google Public DNS is similar to OpenDNS, promising increased security and better performance. Which is best? My answer is try them both! You can compare the speed of OpenDNS, Google and other DNS servers with the DNS Benchmark tool.

There’s really no downside to switching your DNS nameservers from the ones provided by your Internet Service Provider to the OpenDNS ones. Most users will see slightly improved page loading time, less “lag” when contacting a website,gaming servers and fewer errors with unreachable websites.

I am skeptical about the “wisdom of the crowd” method used by PhishTank and OpenDNS. Phishing sites come and go rapidly, and I can’t believe that a “committee” of tens of thousands can keep up with the bad guys on every front. But if it blocks the most common phishing attacks, there’s value in that. Just don’t assume it will protect you from EVERY known phishing threat, and continue to use caution about clicking links you see in emails.

The “parental controls” offered by OpenDNS are probably more effective; p**n, piracy and social media sites don’t change domain names nearly as often as phishing sites do. But like every parental-control program ever created, OpenDNS blocks some sites that arguably are not harmful to children. Also, its blocking applies to one’s entire network, so Mom and Dad have to give themselves permission to view “adult” sites like La Leche League, or shop at Victoria’s Secret.

If you configure your Internet router with the OpenDNS name servers, it’s important to remember that it can protect only the computers, laptops and other devices that are connected to your router, via a wired or wireless connection. When outside of WiFi range, OpenDNS can’t protect mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets. However, you also have the option to modify the DNS settings on individual devices, rather than (or in addition to) your router. This OpenDNS setup guide will walk you through the steps to make it happen. Just remember to record your current nameserver settings somewhere as a backup, in case you want or need to switch back.

Do you use an alternative DNS offering to boost your speed or security online?

Have a Great Week From all of us at ZI

Linden Lab Hit By Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

This post was made public a few days ago and with strong consideration we felt we should share the post as it was released. We at Zoha Islands have no intent to comment or have any opinion in this matter and suggest that our readers refrain as well. Read on.

Linden Lab Hit By Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination & Retaliation for Raising Concerns About Its New Payment Service, Tilia

Kavya Pearlman Linden Lab Tilia Lawsuit Second Life

Kavya Pearlman, an award-winning cybersecurity expert, just went public about a wrongful termination lawsuit she filed yesterday against Linden Lab, where she worked last year. A Muslim-American woman of color, Ms. Pearlman alleges the company discriminated against her, and retaliated against her after she raised security concerns related to Tilia, the company’s new payment service which all Second Life users are required to register with by tomorrow.

Ms. Pearlman shared the full text of her legal complaint with me, and it contains a number of highly serious allegations. For instance this passage, summarizing the red flags related to Tilia that she claims she brought up with senior staff:

In the last year of her employment with Linden Lab serving as the Director of Information Security, Kavya Pearlman raised concerns on multiple occasions to her supervisors, top company executives regarding security risks and possible violations of important laws she observed in Linden’s Second Life and Tilia currency program which prohibit money laundering, child pornography, pedophilia, compromise financial and data security, and other related laws.

She goes on to allege that the company did not respond to these issues, but went ahead with Tilia’s launch as scheduled:


Instead of looking into Pearlman’s complaints, Linden Lab’s senior officers led a campaign of retaliation against her, painting her as an inept employee who has issues with communication, and ultimately terminating her employment in March of 2019. Linden Lab proceeded with the timely launch of Tilia’s online token currency, and its expansion of the Second Life virtual reality platforms without taking seriously the risks identified in the realm of compliance and security that Pearlman had identified.

I have of course reached to Linden Lab about this lawsuit, and will update this post if they make a public reply. In any case, Ms. Pearlman has posted a summary of her perspective on Twitter, including a key passage which directly connects her allegations to current events.  Link to the start of her tweet thread below:

Obviously this is a highly explosive lawsuit, so I’m going to refrain from making any hasty judgements about it — and highly recommend to readers that they do the same.

Have a great week from all of us at ZI