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Vanity Fair

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  1. I think this pandemic will have far-reaching impacts on all of society, all around the world. I am lucky that I live up here in the frozen Canadian prairie hinterlands, relatively far from other cities, so we only have 12 people in our hospitals so far with COVID-19, a little over 200 cases in total, and only 3 deaths. I cannot imagine what life must be like in places like New York City. As a blogger, I have heard anecdotes from a number of social VR platforms and virtual worlds that are seeing an uptick in business (one company I know is working overtime right now!). Many real-world conferences have shifted to a virtual conference model. For example, the Educators in VR conference spanned six days over five different platforms (mostly in AltspaceVR, but also in Mozilla Hubs, Somnium Space, rumii, and the educational social VR platform ENGAGE, which has been profitable to quite some time). Things will NOT be going back to "the way they were". The pandemic is exposing more and more people to virtual worlds (and bringing a few people back, too). A rising tide lifts all boats, as the saying goes. Many companies are going to pivot to support remote workteams (and there are dozens of software products out there already that support this to some degree). And (of you can get your hands on a VR headset despite the factory production interruptions in China), there might be new business for social VR platforms. I have coined an acronym that I dearly hope catches on: YARTVRA (Yet Another Remote Teamwork Virtual Reality Application): EVERYBODY is jumping on the bandwagon now during the pandemic: https://ryanschultz.com/2020/04/02/nathie-looks-at-yartvra-apps-nineteen-virtual-reality-apps-for-remote-work-and-education/ Even Zoom is getting into YARTVRA, although what they have so far is actually one of the worst things I have seen: https://ryanschultz.com/2019/10/07/zoom-goes-vr-yet-another-remote-teamwork-virtual-reality-app-avatars-who-needs-avatars/ I have a short list of YARTVRA platforms here last August, and since then the list has easily doubled in size: https://ryanschultz.com/2019/08/13/immersed-a-brief-introduction-yet-another-remote-workteams-vr-application/ Linden Lab would be smart to seize every opportunity to host conferences (like the recent MuseWeb), non-profits, and educational institutions. They lost a lot of business and a lot of goodwill when then abruptly and without warning cancelled the educational/non-profit discount for sims between 2011 and 2014. Most of those users never returned, and I doubt they will now, even with a significant discount. Once burned, twice shy.
  2. Me too! I now have three Premium accounts in total (I added one to take advantage of the name change—her avatar name is Bumbly Rumpler—and I wanted to snag one of those lovely Victorian Linden Homes for myself). Bumbly Rumpler. *sigh* I don't know what the hell I was thinking at the time...but at least she looks good. I'm still patiently waiting for name changes to be launched, since I didn't win the recent contest...
  3. This is a perspective that I had not considered before, thanks Molly! Yes, I do think SL has been a sanity-saving outlet for quite a few people lately. I am worried that the coronavirus pandemic will trigger a severe recession, perhaps even a Great Depression. Many people are losing their jobs, and many companies (small businesses in particular) are shutting down in response. In some ways, Linden Lab is a "small company", and I also worry about what the impact of a recession/depression would be on them.
  4. I agree with what Scylla says here. Ebbe Altberg has sent out a strong message in recent interviews that Linden Lab is now a profitable company, now that they have sold Sansar to Wookey: https://ryanschultz.com/2020/03/30/engadget-interview-with-ebbe-altberg-why-linden-lab-decided-to-sell-sansar/ I have found that the traffic statistics for my blog have risen over the past two weeks, and my WordPress statistics tell me that most of that traffic is because of my coverage of Second Life (which is, far and away, the most popular content on my blog, particularly my coverage of freebies).
  5. Well, Second Norway has already experienced significant problems, and I expect that other landlords may be struggling as well: https://www.blog.baldelf.com/post/second-norway-and-sailors-cove-east-changes People are going to have less cash to spend, and if you have to choose between that Premium account or food and rent, you know what's going to get cut first...
  6. Update: If you go to the Caramelo de Fresa store, you can join their group for free and pick up a couple of dresses designed for Altamura mesh bodies: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bluecoast/215/27/25
  7. Damn! Well, THAT would certainly explain all the spam email I keep setting up filters to automatically delete in Gmail.
  8. None of the freebie Altamura bodies(Including Robert) will allow you to remove the head to replace it with another one. Sorry!
  9. I can only assume that because of the coronavirus pandemic, the long-promised ability to change your avatar's first and/or last name has again been postponed? Can anybody from Linden Lab give us some sort of official announcement on when we can expect that to be released to us? Thanks. And, if you haven't seen this yet...
  10. There are now freebie clothes specifically designed for Altamura mesh bodies in two locations: - The freebie store at UniHispana Crea has free outfits for female Altamura avatars: https://ryanschultz.com/2019/08/31/second-life-steals-deals-and-freebies-unihispana-crea/ - The Freebie Megastore at London City has free outfits for both male and female Altamura avatars: https://ryanschultz.com/2018/08/30/second-life-steals-deals-and-freebies-london-city-freebies/
  11. I just wrote an update about this. Back in November, I had quoted directly Linden Lab, who had originally aid: "Soon it will be possible to change the name of a Second Life account. This is one of our Residents’ most requested features and we’re working furiously to make it available by the end of January." So in my November blogpost I said it would arrive by February 2020.(I added a month just to be on the safe side.) Well, February has now come and gone and there is *still* no announcement.I am getting a little fed up at this point. I blogged most recently about it here: https://ryanschultz.com/2020/03/03/editorial-why-is-the-second-life-avatar-name-change-feature-taking-so-long/
  12. BrightCanopy shut down late last year, I believe. More info on SHADOW can be found at https://shadow.tech/int/ It's only available in certain countries.
  13. How have I been in SL for over 13 years and never heard of findom before? Well, actually, I had heard of it, but not the name "findom" or financial domination.
  14. I didn't realize before this video that Moles were actually Linden Lab employees.
  15. Good Sources of Information on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 In RL I am an academic librarian at a science library, and here is my updated list of good, credible, authoritative resources to learn more about the Wuhan coronoavirus (formerly called 2019-nCoV and now officially called SARS-CoV-2; the disease the virus causes is now called COVID-19): the United Nations World Health Organization the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Personal Health Preparedness information from the U.S. CDC Pandemic information from Ready.gov (U.S. Department of Homeland Security) Health Canada, including an FAQ and a fact sheet Public Health Canada Information for the Public from the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England (U.K.) the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (new!) Public Health Ontario (Canada) Coronavirus Information for the Public (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control; see also this series of tweets) University of Chicago Medicine 2019-2020 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak (Wikipedia) Dr. Roger Seheult is posting short videos to his YouTube channel, explaining the medical concepts behind the Wuhan coronavirus in an easy-to-understand way Another instructive YouTuber to watch is Dr. John Campbell, a British nurse educator who very clearly explains what you need to know If you prefer to get your information via audio, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has started a weekly half-hour podcast on SoundCloud, called COVID-19: What’s Happening Now. If you want a credible list of people to follow on Twitter, epidemiologist Dr. Ellie Murray has compiled a curated list of coronavirus experts that you can subscribe to. If you want a quick, up-to-date overview of the current situation, here are three good places to check: 2019-nCoV Global Cases (by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University); other good statistics dashboards can be found here and here. Tracking coronavirus: Map, Data and Timeline by BNO News the Wikipedia article on the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is constantly updated by an army of volunteer editors, and provides a good overall summary of the situation Stay informed, get prepared, and stay healthy!
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