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Monday, July 27, 2015

Using the Lindex

As most of you probably know by now, the various third party $L exchanges are going away at the end of this week.  As of August 1, the Lindex will be the only means of buying and selling Linden Dollars.

This has upset a lot of people, especially outside the United States in areas not served by PayPal.  However, LL has added the Skrill online payment system (a service similar to PayPal) as an accepted payment method.  MOST people should still be able to buy $L.

Of course, some people have objections.  They don't want to give LL a credit card number.  They don't want LL to have their actual personal information (despite the fact that they supposedly entered it when they signed up, some people (shock!) enter false personal data to protect their privacy.)  They don't trust PayPal.  And on and on...

People, stop whining.  Giving your account information to LL is no riskier (and no less risky) than making any other online purchase.  There are enough payment methods available that one of them should work for you.

Remember, though:  LL won't accept debit cards or prepaid cards.  These can run out of money, and LL insists on immediate payment.  You can link your PayPal or Skrill account to either a credit card or a real world bank account...but if you choose the bank account option, you must be SURE to keep enough money in the online account to pay your Second Life bills.  Linden Lab will not wait patiently for money to be transferred from your bank to your PayPal account, then to them.

My personal preference is to use PayPal, linked to a separate bank account from my main account.  This gives me exact control over how much money I make available to Linden Lab, and it limits my risk should my account be hacked.  Also, by using PayPal, if I make money in SL, I can sell $L and transfer the funds out of Second Life and back into my bank account.  You can't do that with a credit card.

Here are some useful links:

PayPal

Skrill

LL's accepted currencies and payment methods

If you have a problem and want to take it up with the Lab, call Billing at one of these numbers:

US/Canada: 800-294-1067
France: 0805-101-490
Germany: 0800-664-5510
Japan: 0066-33-132-830
Portugal: 800-814-450
Spain: 800-300-560
UK: 0800-048-4646
Brazil: 0800-762-1132

Long distance ( not free, but you can use Skype to save some cost ) : 703-286-6277
**Note: Support is offered only in English


What is the Meaning of (Second) Life?

Today I was asked a very deep question by a newbie:  "What is the purpose of Second Life?"  Lots of newcomers ask this, although it's usually worded so as to be a lot more limited:  "How do you play this game?"  Both are really asking the same question, although the first query at least shows that the person asking it isn't wearing the philosophical blinders of thinking of SL as a game.

My first response is another question:  "Well, what is the meaning of life?"  Second Life is a virtual world, full of real people and their works.  In this, it is like the real world.  The purpose of life, whether First or Second, is whatever the individual decides it is.

What's YOUR goal in life?  To get a good job?  To become famous?  To do something better than anyone else?  To become rich?  To find true love?  To teach?  To explore?  Do you like to tinker with things and try to make them better?  Do you want to live in luxury?  You can do all these things in Second Life, just as you can in Real Life.  And in the virtual world, the risks and consequences of failure are much less...so you can take chances that you never would in real life.

Or perhaps your goals are less laudable.  Maybe you are out to take what you can, and to hell with anyone else.  Maybe you are bitter, and have decided to try and make everyone around you as unhappy as you are.  The consequences of getting caught are less in a virtual world, and so Second Life can bring out the darker side of people every bit as much as it gives others unequaled chances to succeed.

It's not a "purpose," but it is a characteristic of the virtual world that it acts as a magnifier.  The good become better, and the bad become worse.

Linden Lab gave us a world, and the tools to shape it.  They did NOT give us a purpose.  What some people see as LL's failure to provide a goal for the "game" may in fact be the very best thing they could have done.  Whether it is or is not, it is in any case a grand social experiment.

But back to our original question.  My dear young noob:  Second Life has no purpose!  Shock!  Horror!  Confusion!  You must find your own.  That can be pretty scary, I know...but you know what?  That's called "freedom."

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hair Fair Is Here!

It's time again for the annual Hair Fair in Second Life.  Here's the official website, right up front: https://hairfair.wordpress.com/



I have very mixed feelings whenever I go to one of these huge annual fashion extravaganzas.  On the one hand, the shopper in me squeals with glee and jumps up and down.  On the other hand, the Old Second Life Resident sighs in anticipation of another huge lagfest.  And on the third hand...

Tell me, what IS it about Mesh?  Why must EVERYTHING nowadays be made out of Mesh?  I absolutely HATE most mesh hair, and especially any long styles.  They look laquered in place with five cans of hairspray.  And nowadays, it is getting harder and harder to find any hair designers that are still making flexi hair.  Sure, flex hair penetrates your shoulders sometimes.  Or your forehead, or your eye.  But it moves much more realistically than Mesh hair.

If you want to avoid the lag, there's a great Shop At Home alternative.  You can join the Hair Fair Demo group (it's free!) and then check the group notices to collect demos from ALL the exhibitors.  Just paste this link in local chat, then click the group link that appears, and join the group.  Then look in the Notices tab.  secondlife:///app/group/2e30d166-f3e5-e2de-ff72-b3da2d06ded2/about

One good thing about Hair Fair:  You have the opportunity to see offerings from many more creators than the "usual suspects" that you, like me, probably have in your landmarks folder.  Some of these have some very lovely creations on offer.  Others...well, I will never understand what SOME women are willing to do to their hair to look...er, unique.

Another REALLY good thing about Hair Fair:  A percentage of every sale goes to support Wigs For Kids, a very worthy charity.



This year, Hair Fair occupies four regions, dubbed Blonde, Red, Noirette, and Brunette (not the actual region names.)  The regions have huge signs all over them, so you can tell when you are camming into another region and need to move over to grab gifts and demos.  The building theme is shopping bags...the individual stores all look like gigantic shopping bags, I kid you not.

When you go, go low-lag.  Take off high prim clothes and jewelry.  Wear a hairbase tattoo and a hat or a bandanna.  Wear simple shoes.  Take off scripted HUDs.  The sims are often full and you may have to bump around outside for a while before someone leaves and you can get in.

If you forgot the landmark, just search Places for "Hair Fair."  All the regions, plus low-occupancy "arrival" regions will be listed.  Click any of them and teleport to the Fair!

Here are a few more pictures of my visit.  I have not specifically included any pictures of any of the hair styles on offer.  For one thing, there are far too many.  For another, my taste may not be the same as yours.  Try the demos, or make a visit, and set your own style!  Hair Fair 10 runs from now until July 26.

Four Sims of Hirsute Extravagance


The Giant Shopping Bags
Young Matron Shopping With the Kids