Lab Gab preview: Philip Rosedale

via Linden Lab

Lab Gab returns on Friday, August 7th, 2020, with a very special guest in the form of Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life and co-founder of Love Machine Inc., and Coffee and Power – which would become High Fidelity.

In 1995, Rosedale created FreeVue, an Internet video conferencing product, which was acquired by RealNetworks in 1996, with Rosedale joining that company as a Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. He later left RealNetworks to form Linden Lab, initially working in virtual reality before moving to focus on a virtual world platform with the goal of demonstrating a viable model for a virtual economy or virtual society.

Philip Rosedale

We don’t see this as a game. We see it as a platform that is, in many ways, better than the real world.

– Philip Rosedale, Google TechTalks, March 2006

As well as founding Linden Lab, Rosedale served as CEO and / or as a member of the Board until 2009, when – having already handed over the CEO reins of the company to Mark Kingdon – he announced he was stepping away from the board to focus on other projects (Love Machine Inc.). In 2010, he briefly returned as interim CEO through until Ebbe Altberg was appointed to the role.

Contrary to the rumour mill, Philip will not be discussing the recent announcement about Linden Lab putting itself up for acquisition (as this process is still on-going and cannot be publicly discussed beyond what has already been said by way of the announcement), but will be talking to Strawberry Linden about the history of Second Life, what he is up to now and his views on the future of virtual worlds.

The session will be livestreamed as follows:

Venesha: an enchanted twist of Venice in Second Life

Venesha, the enchanted isle, August 2020

Once upon a time there was a place called Venexia. A full region, it offered a taste of Venice in something of a Gothic twist, largely built with role-play in mind – although it was a highly photogenic region – it was open to Second Life users between 2011 and 2015, when it and it’s “companion” region – as in, designed by the same people – closed (see: The passing of places in Second Life, June 2015).

In 2018, the spirit of Venexia returned when Zee9, one of the original region’s designers, created a Homestead region based on Venexia that she called Venesha. Referring to it as a “stripped down” version of Venexia, Zee9 nevertheless imbued much of what had made Venexia special within the mesh and prims of Venesha.

Venesha, the enchanted isle, August 2020

To be honest, I’ve no idea how long that iteration of Venesha remained in Second Life – I stopped by in something like August or September 2018, IIRC, but never wrote about it – and by the start of 2019, Zee9 had moved on to her futuristic 2019-XS city design, itself a recasting of her Drune build (which it was also to morph into over time (see Time at 2019-XS in Second Life, January 2019 and Drune IV: an Aftermath in Second Life, August 2019).

Now, with Venesha, the enchanted isle, Zee9 has brought all the magic of Venexia back to Second Life – and more. Once again occupying a Full region, Venesha, the enchanted isle has given Zee9 to completed rebuild the original and enhance it to offer a setting that is utterly captivating and rich in nuance and style.

Venesha, the enchanted isle, August 2020

Situated as a sky build in order to make use of the better performance people can oft experience with the viewer (no pesky Linden Water to render, which can affect viewer performance, particularly for those running EEP-capable viewers),  Venesha offers an enticing mix of classic Venice with canals, gondolas (some of which act as site-to-site teleports within the build), humpbacked bridges, waterfront houses, narrow terraces, inner courtyards and one broad square that takes its lead from the famous Piazza San Marco.

But mixed with this is much more – the aforementioned Gothic element for example, together with something of a steampunkian edge, like the clockwork elevator that will take you up the inside of the clock tower, and the street lamps that look like they might be gas-powered. The docks, meanwhile are strong Renaissance period in styles (and shipping). Meanwhile, the taverns and tea houses look as if they’d fit into any period from the Renaissance through to the present day, whilst the preferred (but not enforced) dress-code is Victorian / Edwardian.

Venesha, the enchanted isle, August 2020

If all this sounds a bit of a hodge-podge, rest assured, it isn’t. Thanks to the architecture of the region, everything naturally flows together from waterfront to streets, to island gardens, going by way of theatre, churches, clubs, taverns. Rather, Venesha the enchanted isle is a genuinely immersive setting that suggests a place cut-off from time, and where role-play opportunities abound throughout. Those with a Gothic / supernatural bent will find places like the Tomb Garden and the great basilica to their liking; the interior of the latter is certainly not what you might expect from a house of God – but who said churches have to be places of worship in one particular direction?  Across the region, the dungeons may similar offer opportunities for some role-play scenarios, whilst the island gardens and the library sit as quieter retreats.

Those with an interest in magic can always enrol in the local magic school, tucked away behind the Basilica and occupying a little island of its own. For the adventurous there is the ride to the top of the clock tower and a zip line ride down to a nearby tower, where a treat of wine and cheese awaits those who dare – just down drink too much, as the way back t the ground is via a pair of ladders!

Venesha, the enchanted isle, August 2020

As noted above, some of the gondolas found along the canals offer the means to teleport around Venesha, but I really recommend talking your time and walking around; there a lots of little corners and terraces that might be missed otherwise, as well as one or two secrets. Can you find the hidden entrance to the catacombs, for example?

Currently there are no plans to re-introduce formalised role-play into Venesha, Zee9 preferring to leave things open to visitors who wish to do so to engage in free-form RP. She does note, however, that any of the old Venexia RP groups that might still be active are welcome to hop over and try the region on for size.

Venesha, the enchanted isle, August 2020

Zee9 describes Venesha as her best build to date – and while I have always enjoyed her region designs, I’m not going to dispute her on that point: Venesha is fabulously designed and executed, and perfectly recaptures everything that made Venexia so popular. The default environment settings are recommended for maximum enjoyment, but with care, others also work well with the design.

SLurl Details

Intentional Creativity in Second Life

Kultivate Signature Gallery: KismaKSR

Currently on display at the Kultivate Signature Gallery, curated by Johannes Huntsman, and running through until the end of August 2020, is an exhibition of art from the physical world painted by KismaKSR – or Kisma K. Stepanich-Reidling as she is known outside of Second Life.

Defining Kisma isn’t easy, as she is a woman of many talents – artist, published author, curator (notably working with Reiner Schneiber, head curator for various worldwide Biennales), gamer, therapeutic art life coach, immersive 2D / 3D artist, and currently a creativity teacher-in-training! As an artist, she works in a range of mediums including acrylics, watercolours, gouache, pastels, coloured pencils, graphite, texture paste, stencils, and more. 

I paint what I see inside. I love working in art journals, creating altered book art journals, and taking my creations from the page to the canvas… and on occasion from the canvas to the page! My creative journey is based in watercolours but has taken me into so many mediums that I believe I love acrylics the most. 

I love working in layers… lots and lots of layers, distressing paintings, vibrant colourful paintings, collage paintings and sketch paintings. I also work with encaustic wax and fibres, throwing in the making of journals and fibre weaving to create embellished covers. 

– Kisma K. Stepanich-Reidling

Kultivate Signature Gallery: KismaKSR

For her exhibition at Kultivate’s Signature gallery, Kisma presents 16 reproductions of her physical world art that fully embody her approach to her subject: all richly expressive, some offering hints of expressionism, others perhaps leaning a little towards surrealism and still others more abstracted in nature. Every piece speak of Kisma’s Intentional Creativity approach to her work: the act of being aware of thoughts, ideas, feelings, and of self, and allowing all of this to inform and shape whatever task is being undertaken – be it making a soup to writing a musical score or – as in this case – producing works of art.

These are pieces that also include subtle cultural undertones to them that can be form in form, style, colour and symbolism. These touches add further depth to Kisma’s work, infusing them with a sense of of humankind’s cultural heritage through the ages – something we tend to too easily lose sight of in the modern age of technology and bustle.

You can find out more about Kisma’s work via her website, and about Intentional Creativity at MUSEA, the Intentional Creativity Foundation.

Kultivate Signature Gallery: KismaKSR

SLurl Details

2020 Simulator User Group week #32 summary

**[Dream]** Village, June 2020 – blog post
The following notes were taken during the Simulator User Group meeting of Tuesday, July 28th, 2020.

Simulator Deployments

Please refer to the server deployment thread for news and updates:

  • There was no deployment to the core SLS channel regions on Tuesday, August 4th, leaving the majority of the grid running on server maintenance update 544832, designed to resolve issues with some internal service updates, chat range improvements and capability improvements.
  • There should be two RC deployments on Wednesday, August 5th:
    • 545722 comprising internal changes.
    • 545966 updates to assist with the cloud uplift work.

SL Viewer

There have been no official viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.4.543157, dated June 11th, promoted June 23rd, formerly the CEF RC viewer – ROLL BACK.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
    • Custom Key Mappings project viewer, version 6.4.5.544079, June 30.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, November 22, 2019.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17, 2019. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16, 2019.

Region Crossings

As noted in my previous SUG meeting update, Simon Linden has created a fun challenge people can take to test region crossings on Aditi, where the Blake Sea regions have been cloned and are running on AWS services.

However, ahead of the challenge being issued, changes were made in how region crossings are handled by the simulators, and these have seen significant improvements in crossing performance (with the exception of corner-to-corner crossings). As a result, the same updates are to be deployed to an RC channel in week #33 (the week commencing Monday, August 10th, 2020).

A video documenting region crossings using the updated code  / handing on Aditi has been published on You Tube by the MIRAI group.

Note: If you still want to try Simon Linden’s Aditi region crossing challenge, go to secondlife://Aditi/secondlife/Morris/200/207/34 on the BETA (Aditi) grid and click on the red egg-shaped thing. It will give you the “Blake Sea Challenge” object which should be worn so it can give you instructions for sailing / flying / motor-boating around the 46 regions. See if you can make it without doubling back!

Rock Your Rack 2020: calling all artists!

via Rock Your Rack

Rock Your Rack, the annual fund-raiser organised by Models Giving Back (MGB) in aid of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), will again take place between Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 18th, 2020, inclusive.

Officially endorsed by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Rock your Rack celebrates its eighth year of fund-raising in Second Life. Each year it brings together music, art and entertainment into a 14-day event that both raises for for, and awareness of the work carried out by, the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Activities at the event include designer booths, fashion shows, entertainment, an art show, and auctions and hunts.

Registrations for creators / designers, bloggers and DJs / live entertainers all closed on on July 31st, 2020. However, on August 1st, the organisers opened applications for 2D and 3D artists who would like to participate in the event, displaying / selling their art and help raise money for NBCF.

Requirements and allowances for participation comprise:

  • Donation requirements:
    • 2D artists are required to have two new and original art pieces for sale with 100% of proceeds going to Rock Your Rack.
    • 3D artists will be required to have 1 new and original piece available for sale with 100% of proceeds going to Rock Your Rack.
    • Vendor scripts will be supplied by the event organisers.
  • Artists who wish to make larger donations to Rock Your Rack can do so by either:
    • Using the donation script in additional art pieces to donate 100% of proceeds to Rock Your Rack, or
    • Use the official 50/50 split script to donate 50% of proceeds of sales to Rock Your Rack.
  • All items must be placed for sale for at least L$250.
  • Artists must keep within the LI limit set for their display area (including all decoration):
    • 2D artists will be allowed 30 LI.
    • 3D artists will be allowed 75 LI and a 10×10 metre area.
  • All items must follow the Second Life TOS and Community Standards, and must be General or Moderate rated – adult themed art is not allowed.
  • The following cannot form part of a display: particle machines, hovertext, auto group joiners, chat spammers, or announcers.
  • Touch group joiners are allowed.

Artists wishing to join the event should complete the Rock Your Rack Artist Registration form. Applications will remain open through until the end of Monday, August 31st, 2020 (SLT), unless all spaces are claimed before that date.

Successful applicants will received a note card confirmation and invitation to the Rock Your Rack Artist group, and should remain a member of that group through until October 21st, 2020.

About Rock Your Rack and Models Giving Back

Rock Your Rack is the annual fund-raiser started in October of 2012 by Jamee Sandalwood and the team at Models Giving Back. MGB is the grid leader in trusted charity events. Jamee takes care of everything from Designers, to bloggers, to musicians, to models. This way any confusion is avoided and no one has to wait to check with anyone else before things are getting done. Rock Your Rack provides full transparency: all of the event’s documentation from screenshot totals, to Lindex transactions, to donation receipts account for every penny that was earned and donated all being posted to the Rock Your Rack website. The event has also, in previous years, obtained formal approval from the NBCF – see the 2018 approval letter for 2018 as an example.

Models Giving Back is the professional team of elite models in Second Life who have dedicated themselves to supporting the efforts of verified RL charities. This team of models gives tirelessly to the events we are involved with always giving of their time and talents to promote those designers involved in our events. For more information on Models Giving Back an how you can become a part of the team, visit the Models Giving Back Facebook Page for information about casting dates and times.

Related Links

River journeys, music, a cat, and a P.I. in Second Life

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s home at Holly Kai Park, unless otherwise indicated. Note that the schedule below may be subject to change during the week, please refer to the Seanchai Library website for the latest information through the week.

Monday, August 3rd, 19:00: Voyage to the City of the Dead

Gyro Muggins reads the 11th volume in Alan Dean Foster’s Humanx Commonwealth series, first published in 1984.

The Humanx Commonwealth is an interstellar ethical/political entity created and administered by the two major sentient species within it – humans and the insectoid Thranx. It spans multiple star systems, allowing both species to work together not just in a beneficial manner, but also symbiotic.

Within the Commonwealth are many inhabited worlds, but one of the most unique is Horseye, being the home of three alien cultures and having the most spectacular river valley anywhere in the known galaxy. It is both the cultures and the river that draw scientists Eitienne and Lyra Redowl to Horseye, and after months spent in quarantine, they are now ready to embark on a voyage to the source of the 12,000 long River Skar, and study it and the peoples living on its banks.

Veterans of exploration and discovery, the Redowls believed they were ready to face anything. But how can you prepare for things like treachery, lies and greed? For a local legend would have it that at the source of the Skar lie a great treasure – and the locals who appear to be willing to help the Redowls in fact plan on finding it for themselves.

Assuming, that is, the treasure is in fact something at can be regarded as offering wealth…

Tuesday, August 4th:

12:00 Noon: Russell Eponym, Live in the Glen

Music, poetry, and stories in a popular weekly session at Ceiluradh Glen.

19:00: TBA

Check the Seanchi Library website for updates

Wednesday, August 5th, 19:00: Whittington

Caledonia Skytower reads Alan Armstrong’s 2006  Newbery-Honor winning tale.

Whittington is a roughneck tom cat who arrives one day at a barn full of rescued animals and asks for a place there. Present at the barn is a menagerie of animals and young Ben and Abby, whose grandfather owns the barn and does the rescuing.

To earn his place, Whittington tells the tale of his famous ancestor, the nameless cat who brought Dick Whittington to the heights of wealth and power in 16th-century England. In telling his story of how his ancestors saved and elevated Whittington, this tom-with-a-chip, elevates another little boy above his fear of learning to read.

Thursday, August 6th, 1900: Philip Marlowe’s The Finger Man

With Shandon Loring. Also in Kitely – from the main Seanchai World grid.kitely.com:8002:SEANCHAI.