LL August blog update

Linden Lab today issued the second in their “monthly updates”, covering August. I’m still not sure I like this monthly approach to keeping us informed on things – particularly as most of the “news” is once again somewhat stale.

The new social aspects of web profiles get prominence in the update, unsurprisingly. I’ve nothing against the new system, but I do still wonder at how popular it will prove, compared to the likes (and convenience) of Twitter. I’ve used the Feed aspect a few times, but few of those on my Friends list appear especially captivated with the new toys.

The new-look Viewer 2 (2.8 onwards) log-in / splash screen gets a section as well. There are some things missing from this, as I’ve mentioned in my review of the new screen, and will be poking LL on the matter as well.

The new server-side controls that allow a region’s environment to be better controlled are also reviewed, as are the new privacy capabilities (“Hide Avatar”), which operate at parcel level. Passing mention is made on the work to improve payment methods, and mesh just about gets a look-in with the recent call for further Main grid volunteers.

There are also some shiny new avatars for those to choose from when signing-up to SL / creating additional accounts:

New Avatar choices (image courtesy of Linden Lab)

Personally, the one piece of news the update contained – and most welcome it is, concerns e-mails from LL:

If you’ve unsubscribed to optional news and promotional emails in the past, you can now resubscribe to emails by category. It’s important that you enter the email address that’s connected to your SL account. These subscription options don’t affect the emails you receive for transactions, instant messages from friends and/or customer service responses.

The ability to opt-out of specific e-mail categories from LL has long been a failing of the system, and something I’ve critiqued in the past; that we can now do so on a more granular level is most welcome, and kudos to LL for listening to those of us who have complained over this lack of flexibility in the past.

As a round-up, the blog post is not bad, as an “update” for the month of August its, frankly, disappointing, containing very little that users most likely aren’t already aware of.

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Final countdown for SLCC 2011

This coming weekend will see SLCC 2011 takes place in Oakland, California. The event starts on Friday morning, and continues through to Sunday evening, and will feature in-world events as well and the actual conference event itself.

Keynote speakers for the event are:

  • Rik Panganiban – “We Built This City: Creating a Better World” 08:00 Saturday 13th

  • Rod Humble – “The Future of Second Life” 13:00 Saturday 13th
  • Aliza Sherman – “FutureMobileGeekyTech ~ Our Virtual Lives” 08:00 Sunday 14th

  • Sunday Linden Keynote panel: John Laurence (SL: Durian Linden), Senior Director, Consumer Product; Jeff Vogt (SL: Vogt Linden), Senior Director, Business Product; Sarah Kuehnle (SL: Esbee Linden), Senior Producer at Linden Lab responsible for Viewer optimisation; and Michael Gesner (SL: Gez Linden), Executive Producer, Consumer Product responsible for in-world experiences; moderator: Peter Gray (SL: Peter Linden), PR Manager at Linden Lab.

Keynote events will be interspersed with other events and breakouts, including features on Mesh and a look at the fascinating From Kansas to Cairo Project which is also the subject of an entry in this month’s Month of Machinima. There will also be screenings of the films, Deep Down‑A Story From the Heart of Coal Country and My Avatar & Me. As I reported recently, an in-world experience associated with Deep Down is currently nominated for an Emmy award. The full conference schedule details all that is on offer – all times SLT / PST, obviously.

For those unable to attend, events will be streamed (via ustream) both in-world (Slurl) and to the SLCC website, as Dirk McKeenan reports:

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Duran Duran competition in SL

Coming via Pete Linden is news of an competition being run on behalf of Duran Duran to further celebrate their presence in Second Life.

Entitled “Your avatar at the DDU” (Duran Duran Universe), the competition  will see the winner’s own photo signed by the group.

The competition was announced via a notecard which reads:

“Your avatar in the DDU” contest!

Get creative and take a nice, cool, crazy or whatever mood you are in snapshot of your avatar in your favourite location in the DDU. The winner will get his/her  avatar photo  signed by the band.

Simply add your entry (one per person only) from August 8th 2011 until August 22nd 2011 to our  flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/youravatarintheddu/ . People can vote your picture as their  favourite  until September 5th 2011. The 10 pictures with the highest count of favourite votes will be forwarded to the band to choose the winner. So head out  right away and keep your cameras klicking. Good luck!

Nick, Simon, John, Roger

The DDU is location on the Khanada region (Surl). So, if you’re a Duran Duran fan – teleport in and try your luck!

SpotON3D put themselves on the spot

Today, those behind SpotON3D attempted to host an Q&A session concerning their plans to patent code they use to to display the Viewer through a number of popular browsers.

I say attempted because, as Maria Korolov explains, things didn’t turn out too well. Part of the problem is that the event was announced at very short notice for many, although I actually received notification by way of a comment on this blog at 07:53 BST (23:53 PST Saturday), some eight hours prior to the event being held; unfortunately – and possibly due to the links included in it – WordPress fed the comment to my spam folder without issuing any notice to myself & I failed to see it until several hours after the meeting had taken place. Had I managed to see it ahead of time, I would have certainly posted and Tweeted about it.

The announcement / comment in full read:

This is an official statement from SpotON3D

Due to the reaction of the OpenSim community about our World on the Web plug-in and the pending patent, we’ve decided to take the debate to another level and give everyone – BOTH SUPPORTERS AND NON-SUPPORTERS, the chance to bring their ideas and questions directly to us one-on-one. Our goal here is not to win anyone to a particular way of thinking, but to try answer the biggest questions and at least understand each other’s POV. And who knows? Maybe this can help start a continuing dialog between the OpenSim community, SpotON3D and the many other grids out there.

Stevan and I will try and answer as many questions as possible in a 1-1.5 hour period of time. Due to a previously schedule business trip, Stevan will most likely only have one hour. I will be staying an extra half hour or more if necessary. I can not answer any legal questions, because … well, I’m not a lawyer! Any questions about the legal aspects of the patent, plug-in or other legal matters not answered at this event can be addressed directly to Stevan via email at Stevan@spoton3d.com.

THE VENUE< TIME< DATE – August 7th at 8 am PDT/SLT/MVT
The meeting place will be in SpotON3D in a Quad MegaSim called OUTREACH. Any and all voice chat in the main sim will be relayed over all four sims, so please be patient and fair to everyone else. This mega sim will hold about 150 people, so it will be on a first come first serve basis. Below you’ll find some general guidelines

This event will be filmed, archived and uploaded to our media page, as well as the usual web sites for everyone, so that everyone will have something to review and point others to.

We are looking forward to this being a productive event for both SpotOn3D and the community. You can teleport directly into OUTREACH ISLAND, if you have the World on the Web Plug-in installed on your Windows PC, (sorry MACers and Linux guys … that’s next on our to do list) and just click on the 3DURL below – works just like a SLurl. http://3durl.com/map/veesome/Outreach%20Island/135/126/22

Thank you!
Tessa & Stevan

Quite why other announcements appear to have been issued much later is unclear; Maria reports some did not receive notice until just four hours ahead of the event, or 05:00 EST / 02:00 PST – times hardly conducive to gaining someone’s attention.

SpotON3D put the short notice for the event down to wanting to hold it before Stevan Lieberman had to depart for a week to attend a conference; however, given their press release responding to community concerns on the matter went out on Wednesday, and has continued to garner negative feedback in the interim, one cannot help be feel the company could have worked to ensure more advanced warning could possibly have been given.

Another problem with the event, apparently, was that SpotON3D opted to host it on their own grid, rather than a “neutral venue”, which put some of their critics off, with some suggesting that SpotON3D might seek to censure their views / comments. As a result, they refused to attend; others actively called for a boycott. Therefore, whether their attendance at the meeting might have resulted constructive dialogue taking place was sadly rendered moot.

That said, SpotON3D appeared unwilling to move beyond the position they’ve established through Wednesday’s press release, nor discuss much in the way of specifics – thus rendering the stated aim of the meeting, “to try answer the biggest questions and at least understand each other’s POV”, also somewhat moot.

The controversy is set to continue.

Addendum

The video of the meeting is now available on the SpotON3D livestream; unfortunately, not all questions can be heard (thanks to Maria Korolov for the link).