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In a surprise to all who witnessed, a new Vulture Air ATX 72 ran out of fuel on approach to Honah Lee Field just a few meters from the runway. As the waves crashed over the plane, the pilot and crew escaped uninjured. Fortunately, the plane was being ferried and had no passengers aboard.

water-landing

The pilot, whose name was not released, was seen drying off his blue feet and wringing out his socks. “I swore I thought I could make it on five bucks,” he said sheepishly.

This is the second such mishap for Vulture Air in as many weeks, the first being a new 727 recently delivered that went down over Second Norway. This new event has forced stockholders and industry pundits to speculate that Vulture Air has lost its edge as the market leader. With smaller, younger airlines joining the fray, has the golden age of aviation closed for the venerable airline? Only time will tell.Stock prices on the WSE for Vulture Air (VULA) closed yesterday at 90.23 up 2.03

Adventure travelers and combat groups are flocking to several destinations to fulfill their combat needs. Waterbank News has selected a few for its readers to watch for.

TulagiComb 1
Mentioned often in adventure travel brochures is the multi-sim area of Jeogot Gulf, a WW2 era combat area with airfields, multiple battlegrounds, and a new naval warfare component. It is currently VICE oriented, though has some MCE arenas.
Link here (or at right): Jeogut

LuschSSOC 2
SSOC has been covered a bit in the Waterbank News, but this beautiful Tokyo inspired site should not be ignored. The site has it’s own meter, as well as support for MCE (link to MCE article here). Upper levels of the city are drivable too, and the whole city is detailed and luxurious, a perfect spot for combat, roleplay, or just sightseeing. A second sim is under construction. Windhill City SSOC (link)

GH 3
Newest on the list with a soft opening is the Green Hell (link), a four sim WWII combat area hosted by none other than Aeon Voom, brainmeister for Amok Dynamics. Packed with freebies and the MCE HUD, this jungle combat region uses a clever tactic to separate ground from air combat – a triple jungle canopy. Join the group Green Hell first to get admission.

SnapTuriAmok 4
An urban battleground in the war torn city of Turia (link), this MCE sim is exactly what urban combatants would want for ground combat. The city grid has lots of places to hide and even a few extras, like a GFS gas station. Two teams to choose from and one of the finest combat systems devised, MCE (link to MCE article here).

MotherRuck 5
Eight sims and an immersive environment, Mother Rucker (link) is a rare combat sim with the theme of of the Vietnam Conflict (’54 to 1975 if you allow for some French occupation). Airfields, firebases, and thick jungle recreate scenes from history. Freebie uniforms and VICE HUD are available at the base.

SnapCaen6
A long standing WWII sim, Bastogne/Caen (link) has several VICE sims with the tricky combat of occupied France. Airfields, a town, and fields. Groups, period combat role-play, and a community have kept this combat site going.

PiratesnassauTown 7
Mixing role-play with 1700s pirate life, this nine sim set of islands will have enough to keep landlubber and sea salt occupied. Combat is SPD and only approved vessels are allowed (intro notecard tells you). Financial system and lots of extras there too. Nassau (link) may just surprise you too, with action under the water too.

Some other VICE locations:

Garifuna Vice Combat Sim (Palenque Mexico, Baghdad, Iraq)

2142nd Regiment – Grangemouth Refinery http://2142sl.info

Additional allegations of stolen designs and impropriety are affecting the aviation industry and leaving consumers unsure about purchases.

“I don’t know if I can buy a plane right now,” one pilot told us anonymously at Honah Airfield Cafe. “There’s so much mud slinging and who knows what’s genuine? I’m just a pilot, you know?”

Buyers at an aircraft vendor board with multiple manufacturers were equally confused. “I have a good idea about this one and this one,” one buyer said, pointing to two long standing companies, “but I just can’t be sure of these guys.”

Her friend agreed. “I’ve even looked under the hood of (name deleted by legal dept.), and I can’t tell if it was taken from another plane. A turbine is a turbine, and a bolt’s a bolt.”

The lack of consumer confidence has resulted in a drop in sales across the industry. One company which makes cup holders has said that even they are feeling the change. “The way it is now everyone suffers. No one knows what to buy and people -makers and buyers – are getting upset.”

Consumer groups agree that the burden of originality should be on the creator to prove that they did the work, or have permission. The WBA has printed a few things creators can do:

Show your work
Be transparent about how you created it, and take screenshots and videos. Create a blog if you like. Have a place (in world) where people can see the work in progress. Some companies may want to keep these private, but if a few trustworthy people can verify it, then the product can be accepted.

Model for likeness not exactness
It’s true that buyers like the thrill of flying something they could not fly in RL, but there’s nothing saying that your model has to have the same name or be an exact replica. Change what you need to, or…

Do something original
If you look for “wheel” on Marketplace you’ll see that you get over 1800 hits. That’s right, that’s a lot of people recreating the wheel. The easiest way to avoid charges of copying is to make something original. Like the 747? Why not create your own and change what you like? People will still buy an airliner, and even more people might enjoy its unique features.

A list of known creators of original content after the jump –
Read More

MapsExhibitKanathTo the pleasure of cartographers and map lovers, maps of different times and purposes are presented with captions in the gallery.

A new exhibit of maps at the New Kadath Lighthouse Art Gallery in New Kadath has been drawing in crowds and getting rave reviews. The exhibit, which features charts, maps, and descriptions from every corner of Second Life has two floors of images and plenty to discover.

The collection and curation of the exhibit is from Professor Lethdetter (juliana.lethdetter), who has done such an excellent job of explaining the chronology of the world through maps, that Waterbank University has made the exhibit a requirement for all students and faculty.

“I could only marvel at some of those rare maps,” said WBA President Sketch Sun, “and the insights offered as captions were very enlightening. I think it’s a ‘must see!'”

Visitors looking to visit the exhibit can do so by this link: Map Exhibit, New Kadath Lighthouse Art Gallery

SimCreators

It’s a question that comes to me often when I roam in Second Life; are sim owners and builders having the communication they should?

In most cases it seems no. Though there are builders that have worked hard to create all the necessary facets of a specific environment (NTBI, Quandry Industries, and Amok come to mind), sim owners often shop for what is available, piecemealing their sims as best they can.

Where this works, it still falls short of what is possible, and in the immersive roleplay sims, often means a less engaging sim. Less engrossing = less traffic, a condition that no one likes.

My suggestion would be to encourage sim owners and builders to talk more, whether it be directly, by forum, or even this blog (you can always leave comments and ideas).

Both builders and sim owners can use a simple matrix like the one below (I use the example of an urban sim here, but it could be used with any theme) to isolate what you need or what the market niche is.

SimMatrix

Sadly, Marketplace and Primbay are of little help to us here. While many products exist on the platforms, many excellent products by skilled builders are left off, only visible in world. Marketplace, despite repeated calls for streamlining, remains a time consuming burden for sellers and a primitive search engine for buyers.

From a building perspective, builders have two things to think about when they design a product:
– Is it worth building?
– Will it satisfy my desire to create?

I would argue that the questions can both be answered “yes” when it is an item in demand, and that finding niches in the market is more profitable. I’ll drop out of the discussion here, and encourage those interested in continuing the discussion in the comments.

SCOl1prepSOCL’s specially prepared Amok craft practices sea rescues and landings. The expedition is likely to cross hundreds of kilometers of open water.

In a rare public announcement, the Secret Order of the Crested Lotus, a secret society which is headquartered in Waterbank, has announced an expedition. “We, members of the SOCL, will undertake an expedition across the world to recover artifacts and benefit Waterbank industry. In partnership with business interests, we will begin the expedition from Aztral’s Airfield and use our considerable strength to cross the distances” the announcement said.

The Order has set aside a number of vehicles to support the expedition, which will primarily be in the skies. “We’ve gutted an MH-14 and outfitted her with extra fuel tanks and research equipment” said a mechanic for the expedition, “and we’ve got a Twin DHC, a special research vehicle from Spyker, and a fleet of support vehicles. It’s gonna be a big trip.”

The Secret Order of the Crested Lotus has eluded the public eye, though it is suspected that many powerful people are members of the Order. “Secret societies are secret, of course,” said the author of “Secret Powers, the Truth Behind Waterbank’s Secret Societies,” “yet we know that some big people are high in the SOCL.” Pressed on who, the author laughed. “Well, if you buy the book you’ll see more, but it’s safe to say that we know that the ex-President of Waterbank Airlines, Sketch Sun is a 36 degree member of SOCL. There are some people who say that Mayor Anthony of Danger Point is high ranking member, and that there are members among Gold Team Two too.”

Kowloon2The sight when the gate opens is a feast for the eyes, and mysteries unfold slowly…

A long standing favorite of travelers looking for immersive environments, the walled city of Kowloon has nooks and crannies filled with mysteries and humor. Expressly non-combat, the Kowloon sim features builds and items for sale that are as imaginative as the space itself, which is modeled after the infamous former district in Hong Kong.

Tunnels, secret passages, and a Blade Runner-worthy backdrop keep this a wonderfully immersive place to visit. To visit – contact Anamoly Travel or follow this link:

Second Life Kowloon