Those Who Do Not Remember the Past Are Condemned to Repeat It

Police unit at BerMax café in Winnipeg, 2019 (image from CBC News)

The BerMax café on Corydon Avenue in Winnipeg, which I have visited quite a few times in the past year, was the target of a vicious anti-Semitic attack on Thursday night. CBC News reports:

A woman was assaulted and a Winnipeg restaurant was spray-painted with hateful graffiti Thursday, police say. Police were called to BerMax Caffé and Bistro, on Corydon Avenue just east of Kenaston Boulevard, around 10:45 p.m. The woman was taken to hospital in stable condition, treated and released, police say.

Police say the entire restaurant was “severely vandalized” and spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti. Police are investigating whether a robbery also took place. The inside of the restaurant was almost entirely destroyed, with plates and glasses smashed to pieces, tables and chairs flipped over and other items scattered across the floor, according to police. The same restaurant has been targeted with similar crimes four times in the past five months, Const. Rob Carver told reporters at a news conference Friday. 

Disturbingly, this attack has echoes of Kristallnacht. Both my mother and my father had the great misfortune to be born in Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s, and while neither was Jewish, my family was still significantly impacted by fascism. So I was shocked to my core to see this happen in Winnipeg, a city I call my home, which I had always considered to be diverse, friendly, welcoming, and highly supportive of multi-culturalism (it is home to Folklorama, the world’s largest and longest-running multicultural festival).

We cannot let our guard down. We must continue to fight anti-Semitism and all other forms of racism, xenophobia, and fascism wherever we encounter them, even if (especially if) it is in our own backyard. We must stop it, and we must act NOW. We must root it out. We cannot afford to ignore the lessons of the past. As George Santayana said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Kristallnacht, shop damage in Magdeburg, Germany, 1938 (Wikipedia)

Sansar Now Accepts PayPal

Linden Lab announced today that they are finally accepting PayPal as a payment method, in addition to credit cards:

You spoke! We listened! And we’re making a change!

Starting today, Sansar will support Paypal as an official payment service provider!

What this means for you: You’ll now be able to purchase Sansar Dollars, store items, and tickets to events using Paypal. All you’ll need to do is select “Paypal” from the dropdown menu that appears at checkout!

In-client, you can confirm your Paypal account by clicking on the email address you entered for billing.

According to this updated article:

To add a PayPal account to your Sansar account:

1. Visit your Account Billing information page on the Sansar website. You may need to provide your Sansar login information to proceed.

2. Under the Payment methods heading, click Add PayPal.

3. Provide your login credentials to log into PayPal.

4. Choose a way to pay, then click Continue.

5. Confirm your information, then click Agree & Continue.

6. Your PayPal account now appears as a payment method and process credit method on your Sansar account.

Or, if you prefer picture instructions:

Please note that a PayPal account may not yet be used to purchase a Sansar subscription, but may be used to purchase Sansar dollars.

Also, if you signed up for Sansar using you Steam account, your Steam Wallet is used as your payment method for purchasing Sansar dollars. For information about how to link your Steam Wallet to Sansar, see Steam integration – Steam Wallet integration.

Second Life Fantasy Faire 2019

Fantasy Faire is back! The popular annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society runs from April 18th to May 5th this year. In addition to the shopping event, there is a literary festival, a quest, silent and live auctions, roleplay, arts and entertainment, and a masked ball. You can get all the information on these and many other events from the Fantasy Faire 2019 website.

The Faire has dozens and dozens of vendors participating, presenting exclusive products created just for this event. The talented Solas NaGealai and Bee Dumpling of Silvan Moon Designs have released the beautiful Aetheria gown in three colours: lapis, sand, and crimson, for only L$400 each, as an American Cancer Society Relay for Life fundraiser:

Vanity Fair is wearing:

Gown: Aetheria gown in crimson by Silvan Moon Designs (on the Midas sim)

Necklace: Tibetan necklace by JUMO (I can’t remember when I picked this up, but it goes with this gown perfectly!)

Shoes (not seen): Amy flats by KC Couture

Hair: Meadow hair by Magika Hair

Vanity is also wearing:

Picture taken at the Silvan Moon store on the Midas sim, Fantasy Faire 2019

VRChat Is the Victim of DDoS Attacks

In a recent message posted to Medium, VRChat has revealed that it has been the target of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks by hackers.

Actually, VRChat and other social VR platforms have always been the targets of hacker attacks. But the last two weeks have been exceptional:

For approximately 2 weeks, VRChat’s real-time networking partner has been experiencing intermittent DDoS attacks. These attacks seem to have been specifically targeted against VRChat, and have been timed to coincide with our historical daily and weekly concurrent user peaks. If you were visiting VRChat this weekend, you may have experienced a room “lagging” to the point where all other users in the room froze, followed by disconnection and reloading to Home. That behavior indicates an attack.

This is another example of the growing pains VRChat has experienced since its livestream-fueled surge in concurrent users early last year. With increased popularity come the attendant risk from hackers who will try to bring the service down, just for fun. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a fact of life for any online service.