Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: EXMACHINA Sascha

O.K., this is not a freebie, but it is a great deal, especially when you compare it to the alternatives for a full-body male mesh avatar!

I first blogged about the EXMACHINA male mesh avatar head and body package back when they still had a free, wearable demo version. Well, today I paid a return visit to the EXMACHINA male mesh avatar store in Second Life, and I instantly fell in love.

I fell in love with the Sascha special edition of the EXMACHINA Davide avatar (version 6). I mean, look at him. LOOK AT HIM!

EXMACHINA Sascha with the Alpha HUD and Eyes HUD

And the best part is the price! You get everything you see here—the Bento mesh body, the Bento mesh head, the eyes, the gorgeous Sascha skin, the gym shorts, everything but the hair—for only L$2,900! Now, compare that with the competition:

  • The Jake Belleza mesh body will set you back L$2,999 and doesn’t include a Bento mesh head. Add a Catwa Bento mesh head for L$5,000, but the head and body skins won’t match, so you need to buy a skin from Stray Dog (L$590 for the head applier and another L$490 for the matching body skin applier). Grand total is L$9,079.
  • The Signature Gianni and Geralt mesh bodies cost L$3,500, and don’t include a Bento mesh head. If you want the Gianni or Geralt heads, they are L$3,500 each, for a grand total of L$7,000, which would be your cheapest option. If you add a Catwa head at L$5,000, then your grand total is going to be higher, and you’re also going to have to buy a skin applier for the head and body to get them to match.

So, for less than half the cost of the popular Belleza/Catwa and Signature mesh head and body combos, you get a really good-looking male mesh avatar, with nine built-in skin tones, and a complete set of alpha selections (see top picture). Here’s a look at the skin tone and nail tone selections on the included HUD:

I have not adjusted any of the face sliders, except to make his ears bigger (the default ears were ridiculously small for some reason):

Just drop by the store, and the vendor for the EXMACHINA Davide version 6 (Sascha special edition) is right behind the front desk (here’s the exact SLURL):

Pay the vendor L$2,900, and this handsome stud is all yours! Seriously, it’s gotta be the best deal for a complete male mesh avatar on the grid (aside from the Altamura freebies and the Altamura Romeo group gift from last Valentine’s Day). The wide variety of alpha selections on the included HUD means that you can wear just about anything and make it fit (and you can take some of your savings and apply them towards clothing designed for the EXMACHINA Davide avatar, located in the same store where you bought the body).

The only problem I have found so far with this body is that the alphas sometimes glitch out, but that can easily be fixed with a few clicks. Other than that, he’s perfect!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that this body does support Bakes on Mesh. There’s a free BoM applier available at the EXMACHINA store, just click on the sign near the entrance.

Linden Lab Wants to Hire an Anti-Money-Laundering Expert for Second Life and Sansar

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Wagner James Au of the long-running blog New World Notes picked up on it first:

Linden Lab is hiring a Senior Compliance Analyst for Sansar, and the job description vividly illustrates just how deadly serious a job like that has become. Used to be that a role like this might focus mainly on everyday consumer issues like credit card fraud/misuse (i.e. kids secretly using their parents’ cards to buy virtual gold). Nowadays, however, it reads like a job description for someone in the FBI.

The official position description from the Linden Lab website reads as follows:

The ideal candidate for this position will be responsible for supporting and maintaining various compliance activities and programs, including the Customer Identification program and associated vendor management processes. Responsible for monitoring and assessing compliance issues concerning the patterns and trends associated with money laundering and other potential compliance-related risks. Assist with mitigating money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud related risks, and gathering data and documents for state exams. 

This posting comes about six months after a woman who was Linden Lab’s information security director, Kavyanjali Pearlman, was let go by the company. Ms. Pearlman later filed a lawsuit against Linden Lab (according to a WIRED article on the lawsuit):

A lawsuit filed by the former information security director of Linden Lab—the company behind the online virtual world Second Life, which, yes, is still a thing—claims the company mishandled sensitive user data and turned a blind eye to…the potential for money laundering.

In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court on July 30 and served to Linden Lab on Tuesday, Kavyanjali Pearlman, a security researcher who joined Linden Lab from Facebook in 2017, says that she raised these issues during her tenure, and was met with hostility. The suit alleges company executives retaliated against her for flagging cybersecurity risks and potential violations of anti-money-laundering laws…

“While we will fight her alleged claims in court, we deny any allegations that the company has engaged in any illegal activity,” said Linden Lab spokesperson Brett Atwood. “Ms. Pearlman left the company on March 15 only after she was given the opportunity to improve her work performance. We look forward to all the facts coming out in a court of law,” he said, declining additional comment because of the lawsuit.

Well, it would now appear that Linden Lab is choosing to throw some more resources at the potential misuse of its products, Second Life and Sansar, for money laundering purposes. You might remember that this is one of the reasons why Linden Lab recently instituted new regulations regarding the cashing out of money from Second Life, citing the need to respond to new U.S. financial laws.

Which leads me to wonder: how are the other metaverse-building companies responding to the same issue of potential money laundering happening on their platforms, using their in-world currencies? Particularly if they are based in the United States, they are subject to the same American regulations as Linden Lab. How are they responding?

The more I monitor all the social VR and virtual worlds I cover on this blog, the more I realize that any company building a social VR platform or virtual world has got to be able to juggle an overwhelming number of technological, political, and legal issues, all at the same time. I’m quite sure that a few of the newer platforms have probably never even stopped to consider money laundering and other financial compliance risks. It’s time they woke up to a new reality, before federal agents come knocking on their doors.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

A Sansar First: A Virtual Town Hall with Comedian and 2020 Presidential Candidate Ben Gleib

Well, here’s something you don’t see very often: an honest-to-God 2020 presidential candidate holding a virtual town hall in Sansar!

Image taken from Ben Glieb’s campaign website

The comedian, TV host, political commentator, activist, and yes, Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 U.S. federal election is coming to Sansar for a town hall at 7:00 p.m. Pacific time/Sansar time today, October 29th, 2019.

According to the event listing on the Sansar Events calendar:

If there’s anything comedian Ben Gleib knows, it’s how to command a stage and speak truth to power. Which is why he’s ready to take on his biggest stage yet: the American presidency.

On Tuesday, October 29, join Ben, a presidential candidate in the 2020 election, for a historic first: a fully virtual presidential town hall – co-hosted by fellow ComGlad alum Steve Hofstetter! Hear stories from the campaign trail, get Ben’s take on the issues, ask questions, and enjoy some comedy in-between. It’s time to take our democracy back. Be there.

You have the admire the chutzpah of someone to:

  1. Actually make a run for the U.S. presidency; and
  2. Make themselves available in a virtual town hall and face God knows how many hecklers and trolls. It reminds me of similar, long-ago political campaign events in the past in Second Life, some of which did not turn out so well.

So yes, I think I will be going to this event tonight, just to see what happens. In the meantime, you can check out Ben Gleib’s campaign website for more information on the candidate and his platform.

Ben Gleib addresses his supporters (image from his campaign website)

UPDATE: I checked, and yes, there’s even merchandise in the Sansar Store for you to buy and wear to show your support for the candidate!