30 December 2015

Motörhead Second Life Shirt

The Motörhead Second Life shirt freebie is now available at the Marketplace. I hope you enjoy it! Live wild and loud and don't suffer fools!

Farewell Lemmy!

Sad news about Lemmy's death. News like that always come too early and he was for certain somebody you would think would live forever. If you ask me, he certainly should have.

Anyway, lets celebrate his legacy and his life! He certainly won't have liked seeing everyone mourning and being upset!

I made a Motörhead bandshirt a while ago (with the cool full-perm mesh T-Shirt by Kat Fetisov) and I find this is a good moment to share it. The T-Shirt is only available for ladies (sorry guys!) and comes in standard-sizing XXS-L, so one of them should fit you!

The T-Shirt is right now available as Drow Science group gift and I will put it on the Marketplace too very soon (as soon as LL fixes it) - of course as freebie. I hope you enjoy it and show off your good taste for music!

9 December 2015

The Fun you have when you try to cash-out your L$ from Abroad

Being in Second Life and creating and selling my creations there always have been an enjoyable activity for me. It isn't like you are getting rich with it, but selling items is a nice way to get some positive feedback – simply that people like the things you make and appreciate your efforts.

As of lately though, Linden Labs showed a behaviour that makes me reconsider investing any more time and effort into SL. What did happen?

Since Christmas is coming closer, I wanted to cash-out some of my L$ to my account. Not a terribly large sum – enough to buy some presents and have some pocket-money.

I did the whole procedure a few months ago already, after reading Kat Fetisov's great posts about it. I was kind of prepared for a ton of paperwork to go through all the necessary required procedures, but after I filled in all forms, got my tax-ID and all that legal stuff sorted, the payout worked fine.

This time however, instead of receiving my payment, it seems I have unleashed a landslide of bureaucracy and anti-money-laundering and/or tax-evasion mechanisms.

I placed my order on thanksgiving day (not a great timing maybe, but we don't have that holiday in Europe, so what) and got a reply the week after, telling me that a support case has been created about my request and that Linden Labs is requesting further information. I got the slight feeling that this isn't going to work out like last time.

The first reply was requesting further proof of identity from me, with I provided with a scan of my ID (front and backside). Also they asked me three questions:

  1. About the status of my relationship to certain residents (the first is a close friend of mine, the second one is the account I used to pay my rent to)
  2. what the source of my SL-income is (you might have guessed right: its my SL sales) and finally
  3. my current residential status.
Fair enough, I did the cash-out order while being on holiday abroad and I guess my IP address was not matching the region of my residential address and hence the whole transaction got flagged in their system somehow. I didn't know that this would cause such a problem. Especially if the amount is way below any suspicious levels. We are NOT talking about ten thousands of USD here – my Airships are still not THAT popular^^

Anyway, I answered their enquiries and clarified the matter. At least so I hoped.

To be fair, I had so far rather positive experiences with the Linden Labs support. About two years ago, when I was victim of a copyright infringement, the labs replied promptly to my claim and removed the offending item within a few days.

One or two days later I got a reply telling me that they request me to send in proof of my residence in Germany. Specifically official letters, bank statements or rental invoices or whatsoever from the last 90 days where my current German address is written on.

Now this is the moment where my common sense felt a tiny bit insulted. Who goes on holiday with any of these documents in their luggage? I mean seriously, who takes their voting-registration or insurance certificates while going hiking and enjoying coastal sunsets?

Eventually I remembered that I set up an online account for my health insurance and managed to send them a PDF with my German residence written on.

I felt pretty disappointed and frustrated by the whole situation. And honestly, even after I sent in that document, I wondered if my cash-out would happen at all. I have full understanding that there have to security measures in international money-transfers and fully support according measures where they are necessary. I don't know how strict the laws and regulations for Linden Labs are with financial transactions, but in this particular case, with a rather petty sum and with an absolute transparent way my income has been generated, the situation is simply ridiculous.

1 December 2015

Professor Wickentower's Transmissions through the Aether - Part 4

Dear readers and everyone else who visits this blog,

it is a very special pleasure for me to publish a new episode of the Professor's Transmissions through the Aether. Today it is a quite mysterious one, but don't be afraid: you are in good hands here. So get yourself a warm drink, take a seat next to the fire and listen to the Professor's words through your receiving device:

As the winter nights draw in, I am reminded of a tale I once heard, while sheltering from a most tempestuous storm....
During the worst storm to strike the far off lands of Mirrormere, a most isolated region, which is a vast lake surrounded by jagged peaks and pitted with shadow filled valleys, a Dirigible bound for Never drift, found itself caught up in the 'Krakens breath' a term used by the Aethernauts of Old New Gate, meaning a storm strong enough to tear the envelope of an Airship and twist her structure to breaking point. And indeed the Airship was dashed on the rocky spires and all but three souls, were lost on board.
These three, a young couple and their year old daughter, found themselves lost and alone in the bitter encroaching cold, stumbling through the heavy pines rising up from the snow blanketed land and only compounding their dilemma by attempting to follow the frozen river, which ended abruptly at the edge of a precipice. Now cut off from any safe route, the slope to steep to return, all seemed lost...Until a figure emerged from the snowy night and beckoned to them, a lean almost thin figure, swathed in furs and glistening with hoarfrost, his long hair white as the snow which settled on it, and a beard bristling with frost. Without an alternative, the couple followed him, their precious cargo clutched tightly, for arduous hours they allowed themselves to be led by this would be rescuer, who never spoke, not a word, or sound from his lips emerged in that time. Finaly he paused at a mountain track which ran below the snow line, and placing his sack on the floor indicated the route they should follow to the village, which sprawled out below them, welcoming window lights in the gloom and the clattering of carts, more welcome sights and sounds than any, after such a chilly ordeal.
And then, without a word, the old man picked up his sack and climbed back up the mountain, beyond the tree line, up into the snow line and vanished into the clouds shrouding the peak...And was never heard nor seen from again.
The family now safe in the town below recounted the tail of this unspeaking guide and were met with some curious gazes from those gathered in the tavern. You see, in the most far flung and isolated corners of the world, superstition is abroad in all walks of life. The more level headed said it was just a kindly old Hermit, who lived up there high up in the ragged peaks who performed a charitable act. But some whispered of the Revenant of an old mountain guide, who perished above the snow line searching for a lost group of mountaineers, finally fulfilling his last promise to return the lost ones to safety...And some? well, some whispered that this was old Jack Frost himself, who for some reason, took pity on the man, woman and child, and in that moment, decided he would performed one kindly deed, and lead the family to safety...But as I say, there are places in the chilly furrows of the world where superstition is rife, or as some may say, older more intimate knowledge of the half seen world, we sometimes stumble across , as the shadows lengthen and the chill winds blow, in the dead of winter....
What do you think?...

Exert From
 'My further travels across the 35th Dimension and other places'