2015 viewer release summaries: week 35

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, August 30th

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Restrained Love updated to version 2.9.13 on August 30th – core updates: VMM, Experience Tools, increased texture memory allowance (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer updated on August 29th, the Stable branch to version 1.26.14.5 and the Experimental branch to 1.26.15.4 – release notes (both)

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Space Sunday: of selfies, sprites, and black holes

CuriosityCuriosity, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover has departed “Marias Pass”, a geological contact zone between different rock types on the slopes of “Mount Sharp”, some of which yielded unexpectedly high silica and hydrogen content.

As noted in a recent space update in these pages, silica  is primarily of interest to scientists, because high levels of it within rocks could indicate ideal conditions for preserving ancient organic material, if present. However, as also previously noted, it may also indicate that Mars may have had a continental crust similar to that found on Earth, potentially signifying the geological history of the two worlds was closer than previously understood. Hydrogen is of interest to scientists as it indicates water bound to minerals in the ground, further pointing to Gale Crater having once been flooded, and “Mount Sharp” itself the result of ancient water-borne sediments being laid down over repeated wet periods in the planet’s ancient past.

Curiosity actually departed “Marias Pass” on August 12th, after spending a number of weeks examining the area, including a successful drilling and sample-gathering operation at a rock dubbed “Buckskin”, where the rover also paused to take a “selfie”, which NASA released on August 19th. It is now continuing its steady climb up the slopes of “Mount Sharp.”

A low-angle self-portrait produced from multiple images captured by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera mounted on the "turret" at the end of the rover's robot arm. The images were taken on August 5th, as the rover was parked at the "Buckskin" rock formation from which it gathered drill samples

A low-angle self-portrait produced from multiple images captured by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera mounted on the “turret” at the end of the rover’s robot arm. The images were taken on August 5th, as the rover was parked at the “Buckskin” rock formation from which it gathered drill samples

As it does so, initial analysis of the first of the samples gathered from “Buckskin” is under-way. It is hoped with will help explain why the “Marias Pass” area seems to have far higher deposits of hydrogen bound in its rocks than have previously been recorded during the rover’s travels. This data has been supplied by the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN) instrument on Curiosity, which almost continuously scans the ground over which the rover is passing to gain a chemical signature of what lies beneath it.

“The ground about 1 metre beneath the rover in this area holds three or four times as much water as the ground anywhere else Curiosity has driven during its three years on Mars,” said DAN Principal Investigator Igor Mitrofanov of Space Research Institute, Moscow, when discussing the “Marias Pass” DAN findings. Quite why this should be isn’t fully understood – hence the interest in what the drill samples undergoing analysis might reveal.

A stunning vista: the slopes of "Mount Sharp" as seen by Curiosity as it commenced the upward drive away from "Marias Pass". Captured by the rover's Mastcam systems, the image shows an intriguing landscape, with the gravel and sand ripples typical of much of the terrain over which the rover has passed in the foreground. In the middle distance sit outcrops of smooth, dust-covered bedrock, above which sit sandstone ridges. On the horizon sit rounded buttes, rich in sulfate minerals, suggesting a change in the availability of water when they formed - click image for the full size version

A stunning vista: the slopes of “Mount Sharp” as seen by Curiosity as it commenced the upward drive away from “Marias Pass”. Captured by the rover’s Mastcam systems, the image shows an intriguing landscape, with the gravel and sand ripples typical of much of the terrain over which the rover has passed in the foreground. In the middle distance sit outcrops of smooth, dust-covered bedrock, above which sit sandstone ridges. On the horizon sit rounded buttes, rich in sulfate minerals, suggesting a change in the availability of water when they formed – click image for the full size version

The drilling operation itself marked the first time use of the system since a series of transient short circuits occurred in the hammer / vibration mechanism in February 2015. While no clear-cut cause for the shorts was identified, new fault protection routines were uploaded to the rover in the hope that should similar shorts occur in the future, they will not threaten any of Curiosity’s systems.

A Flight over Mars

With all the attention Curiosity gets, it is sometimes easy to forget there are other vehicles in operation on and around Mars which are also returning incredible images and amounts of data as well – and were doing so long before Curiosity arrived.

One of these is Europe’s Mars Express, the capabilities of which come close to matching those of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Mars Express has been in operation around Mars for over a decade, and in that time has collected an incredible amount of data.

At the start of August, ESA released a video made of high resolution images captured by the orbiter of the Atlantis Choas region of Mars. This is an area about 170 kilometres long and 145 wide (roughly 106 x 91 miles) comprising multiple terrain types and impact craters, thought to be the eroded remnants of a once continuous ancient plateau. While the vertical elevations and depressions have been exaggerated (a process which helps scientists to better understand surface features when imaged at different angles from orbit), the video does much to reveal the “magnificent desolation” that is the beauty of Mars.

Continue reading

Of ghosts, disembodiment, sundry thoughts and sages

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, August 30th 15:30: The Cold Shot Players

The Cold Shot Players return to Seanchai Library once more for another of their dramatic presentations focused on the delights and drama of classic radio shows. This month, they present an early start in the run-up to the Halloween season with Ghostly Horrors on the Highway to Nowhere,  original Halloween tale about a 1940s radio ensemble and their brush with the macabre, directed by Bhelanna Blaze.

Monday August 31st, 19:00: Solis

solisGyro Muggins commences a reading of Alfred Angelo Attanasio’s 1994 thought-provoking novel Solis.

What happens when you gamble your own future on the far future, and opt to have your head and brain frozen in the hope that one day, perhaps centuries to come, it  – you can be revived?

That’s exactly what Charles Otis decided to do – only things don’t turn out so well. Found discarded but still in a cryonic state, his brain is purchased- sans head – and installed in a deep space ore carrier as its primary processor.

Until, that is, he is discovered and rescued by those sympathetic to his plight. And so the story takes a turn to matters of the legal status of a disembodied brain, restored for a specific purpose and of unknown origin; paid for, and – at least they would have it – owned by the corporation that purchased the brain, and which has little interest in any past identity the brain might have had.

Tuesday September 1st,19:00  Not That It Matters

AA Milne by Howard Coster, 1926

AA Milne by Howard Coster, 1926

Corwyn Allen continues to read AA Milne’s 1919 collection of humorous essays. Best known for his tales of Wnnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and the 100 acre Wood, Milne in fact wrote widely in bother fiction and non-fiction.

Here he passes observation on wide range of topics, starting with a reflection upon his own writing, “Sometimes when the printer is waiting for an article which really should have been sent to him the day before, I sit at my desk and wonder if there is any possible subject in the whole world upon which I can possibly find anything to say.”

With considerations ranging from why a gentleman’s collar might squeak, or the fact that Isaiah most certainly didn’t carry a notebook, with assorted thoughts on goldfish and daffodils along the way, this is a book of essays wide-range in topic and content. Some of it may, nigh-on a century since the essays first appeared in this book, appear dated and as solidly dated and trapped forever in the opening decades of the 20th century. Other are perhaps as relevant today in their insights and commentary as they were when freshly written. All of them come with Milne’s familiar humour and jovial observations.

Wednesday September 2nd 26th, 19:00: The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

PenderwicksCaledonia Skytower opens the pages of Jeanne Birdsall’s 2014 volume about the Penderwick family, the second in the series.

When the four Penderwick sisters learn that, encouraged by his sister-in-law and the wishes of their late mother, their father is going to start meeting other women, they fear the worst, and so enact the Save Daddy Plan. They set their Dad up with dates he won’t get on with, while he, also not overly convinced of things, goes out on pretend dates.

However, things start to change as the sisters meet and get to know Ben from next door, and his mum, Iantha. Added to the mix the adventures and challenges each of the four sisters face, and it turns out to be quite a series of events and changes for the Penderwicks – one of them very much turning out for the best.

Thursday, September 3rd

19:00, The Sage of Theare

Shandon Loring reads Diana Wynne Jones’ short story, which has been published in a number of collections of her works, including Mixed Magics: Four Tales of Chrestomanci, linking the characters and events in the stories with her Chrestomanci series of novels.

Within the city of Theare, neatly ordered and overseen by its pantheon of gods, is a prophecy. That prophecy states that one day a sage shall be born within the city, who will question everything, and in doing so, ruin the order of the Heavens and cast the gods into turmoil and disorder. Obviously, the gods cannot let this happen, and so the stage is set, awaiting only the sage to arrive, for conflict to ensue.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for August / September is Water for People, “When one person or one family has clean, accessible water, their lives are changed. But when entire regions and countries have water, the world is changed.”

Additional Links

ROMEA Country, Rock and Folk Festival in Second Life

Ciaran Laval pointed me towards the Romea Country, Rock and Folk Festival which will be taking place on the Meva store home region over the course of Saturday, August 29th and Sunday, August 30th, 2015 (although I’m admittedly a little late in getting this post written and out).

Organised by the Meva team of Rock (TheRock Guardrian) and Mea Carnell, who together form Romea and own the Meva brand (although the Festival is part of their Romea Musics activities), the event will take place in a very country-ish environment and across times that suit audiences on both side of the Atlantic.

The full schedule is is follows, and my thanks to Mea for passing the information over to me. Note that in keeping with Mea’s format, times are given in SLT, with their UK and European equivalents in brackets.

If the dancing get too much - cool off and refresh yourself in the barn - the Romea Country, Rock and Folk festival

If the dancing get too much – cool off and refresh yourself in the barn – the Romea Country, Rock and Folk Festival

Saturday, August 29th

10:00 (18:00 UK / 19:00 CET)
Live Singer – Jeffah24
11:00 (19:00 UK / 20:00 CET)
Live Singer – Jade Berry
12:00 (20:00 UK / 21:00 CET)
Live Singer – Clyde Barrow
13:00 (21:00 UK / 22:00 CET)
Live Singer – Nance Brody
14:00 (22:00 UK / 23:00 CET)
Live Singer – Zoree Jupiter

Sunday, August 30th

05:00 (13:00 UK / 14:00 CET)
Live Singer – Mimi Carpenter
06:00 (14:00 UK / 15:00 CET)
Live Singer – Garth Lannock
07:00 (15:00 UK / 16:00 CET)
Live Singer – Lisa Brune
08:00 (16:00 UK / 17:00 CET)
DJ – Onisa Lundquist
10:00 (18:00 UK / 19:00 CET)
Live Singer – Donny Collazo
11:00 (19:00 UK / 20:00 CET)
Live Singer – NormReynolds Genesis
12:00 (20:00 UK / 21:00 CET)
 Live Singer – Russel Eponym
14:00 (22:00 UK / 23:00 CET)
Live Singer – Katiaportugal Genesis

So, if country, rock or folk musics is your thing, why not hop over and engage in a little line dancing or enjoy the music?

SLurl Details