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A virtual land dispute in Second Life will be resolved in federal court after a judge's ruling. A lawsuit filed in May of 2006 by Pennsylvania attorney Marc Bragg accused Linden Lab and its CEO Philip Rosedale of wrongfully seizing his virtual land and unilaterally shutting down his Second Life accountintellectual property that Bragg says is worth thousands of (real-life) dollars. Linden Lab filed two motions to dismiss the suit, arguing that Bragg came into possession of his land wrongfully, but the Pennsylvania judge denied those motions.
Linden Lab has long maintained that virtual "property" owned by its residents in Second Life belongs to the players. Therefore, things like virtual clothing, buildings, and land all legitimately belong to the residents who created or purchased them, and the burgeoning trade of such is legitimate. Linden Lab sells "land" to residents directlywhich translates in real life to server space for the land and things that are built on itand does so through online auctions. Bragg purchased the land in question through an auction offered by the company, which he argues is the company's fault for selling it to him if he wasn't supposed to have it.

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NASA Ames Research Centre has created an online 3-D virtual world called "Second Life"; complete with synthetic space shuttles, a space station, planets, and launch pads.
Ames centre director Simon Pete Worden is publicly promoting the project, which has been developed by Worden as an open source software package called Cosmos Code.
Using his avatar (image of someone in virtual reality), called Simon Pete Raymaker, Worden recently spoke at the 26th annual National Space Societys 2007 International Space Development Conference (in Dallas, Texas).
Worden talked about returning to the Moon, future missions to the planet Mars, asteroids, and other objects within the solar system. His counterpart, Raymaker, spoke of being teleported up to low Earth orbit, riding a space shuttle, viewing our planets, interacting with up to 5 million avatars (characters, such as Raymaker), and going to the NASA Internet website CoLab (for Collaborative Space Exploration Laboratory).

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An employee of Second Life publisher Linden Lab has apparently backed off demands that a blogger remove from her site chatlogs copied from conversations in the virtual world or face being banned.
That's what Second Life Herald blogger Prokofy Neva told me late Monday night after Neva earlier that evening had posted an entry on the Herald claiming that Linden Lab had made the demand of Second Life blogger Honey Wendt (Warning: links to blog entry containing non-explicit banter suggesting sexual behaviour involving people claiming to be minors).
This charge is concerning to some because, if true, though the Linden Lab employee was seeming to be demanding the takedown of offensive discussions from Second Life, the employee was claiming the company has control over how users express themselves outside of the virtual world.

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German authorities are trying to uncover the identity of a person who's offering child pornography in the virtual world of "Second Life."
A German, whose avatar - or online character - is a 13-year-old girl, has been offering to provide real photos that contain child pornography to other denizens of the online service.
In its blog, Linden Lab said Wednesday it had identified a 54-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman as the owners of the avatars in question.
"Both were immediately banned from Second Life," the company wrote on the blog. It gave no further details.
In the case of the distribution of real child pornography, prosecutor Peter Vogt said it is almost certain there are more people out there using the game for similar purposes, and that Linden Lab was working on ways to crack down.

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If you've been by Second Life's International Spaceflight Museum, you've probably seen one of Jimbo Perhaps' creations. He built more than half of the 100 or so historic spacecraft on display, ranging from the Soviet N-1 moon rocket to the space shuttle.
Right now, Perhaps is working on the piece de resistance: a space shuttle model with engines that fire, payload bay doors that open and hundreds of other moving parts. The virtual contraption is being constructed in Perhaps' floating hangar from more than 1,000 "prims," or virtual building blocks. That makes the shuttle so heavy in Second Life's computer universe that it can't actually fly.

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As the virtual world Second Life has grown and grown, with its total number of users heading into the several hundreds of thousands and concurrent users nearing 40,000, it has been going through some very visible growing pains.
Now many of the most visible members of the Second Life community, including land baroness Anshe Chung, as well as many others, are circulating an open letter to the virtual world's publisher, Linden Lab, spelling out their concerns and clamouring for positive action.
Among the problems identified are regular issues with grid stability--that is, that the virtual world's performance is suffering in many ways; inventory loss--that through successive new versions of the Second Life software people are losing items they've bought and can't get them back; build tool problems--that the basic design elements break too often; and more.

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NOAA Lab Opens 3-D Earth Site in Online Virtual World
NOAA's virtual world takes advantage of a platform known as "Second Life". This platform is a 3-D online world with a rapidly growing population from 100 countries around the globe. Residents themselves create and build everything from homes, vehicles, stores, and landscapes to educational areas like the map.
On NOAA's island, one can soar through a hurricane on the wing of a research aircraft, rise gently through the atmosphere atop a weather balloon, or search for a hidden underwater cave on a side trip from a NOAA submarine.
More information on how to access this virtual world is available at NOAA's Second Life website.

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 Entropia Universe is an online virtual universe designed by Swedish software company MindArk. It advertises a unique "Real Cash Economy (RCE)" in which Entropia Universe currency (PED - Project Entropia Dollars) can be redeemed back into real world funds at a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar, where 10 PED = $1 USD. This means that virtual items acquired inside Entropia Universe have a real cash value, and a participant may, at any time, withdraw their accumulated PEDs back into real world currencies according to the fixed exchange rate.

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Second Life interview Saturday April 21 at 4:00 Pacific
The Bad Astronomer will be doing an interview with his friend Aaron Price from Slacker Astronomy on Second Life.  
Go to NASA Colab 209, 29, 45 and to be there April 21 at 23UT, or 4:00 p.m. Pacific time.
You can get more info at Slackerastronomy.org

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U2 in SL Virtual Concert in Second Life



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