Is “Patterns” the title of one of LL’s new products?

Not too long ago, Linden Lab committed a bit of a faux pas when they registered a new trademark – Dio – which was quickly linked to what appeared to be a beta site for a new product that had been inadvertently exposed on the web.

Something similar appeared to happen again earlier today. It started when Rocky Constantine dropped a link in a Tweet:

The link lead to a couple of images which appeared to show that the official Linden Research website is about to undergo a facelift. One of the images showed the revised page on which people can sign-up to participate in LL’s new product beta testing (which I covered here), and the other a snapshot of an updated home page.

The images themselves were credited to one Amber Xu, whose Behance and LinkedIn profiles reference her as working for Linden Lab.

Amber Xu’s Behance and LinkedIn profiles – note Linden Lab references

However, it was Botgirl Questi who noticed the really interesting thing about the home page image – a reference to something called “Patterns”, under the section entitled “Products”.

Linden Lab products: “Patterns” prominent to the left of Second Life

Now, the whole thing could be a hoax – but it seems unlikely; the images would appear to be a genuine re-working of LL’s rather bland corporate website. What’s more, almost as soon as people started Tweeting on the images, they were removed from Behance, in much the same way the Dio website was closed-off as soon as LL realised what had happened. Although the thumbnail of the main page remained on Amber Xu’s Behance pages for a while after the main images had been removed, it also now appears to have been pulled.

If the home page image is genuine, then it is interesting to speculate as to whether “Patterns” is a genuine name or a placeholder – although one suspects the former. It is also interesting to speculate as to where it might sit in relation to Dio and its associated website.

While “Patterns” and “Dio” may well be one in the same, it is worth pointing out a couple of things.

  • At the time the Dio Trademark and the leaked website hit the news, they were seen as being related to interactive fiction and thus linked to LL’s acquisition of Little Text People (LTP), owned by Emily Short and Richard Evans.
  • However, in response to speculation elsewhere related to the LTP acquisition and LL’s product development, Rod Humble did pass comment that LTP’s work was separate in nature to the work already under way on a product specifically aimed at content creation and what we come to refer to as “share creative spaces”.

The tagline for “Patterns”, Build something amazing in Patterns (I’m ignoring the rest as I confess to cringing when I read it) does suggest it is perhaps more aimed towards shared creative spaces than it is interactive fiction – which would suggest it is separate from anything Short and Evans are developing, although not necessarily divorced from the overall Dio brand.

It’ll be interesting to see if anything more comes of this. In the meantime, have fun speculating!

A closer view of the relevant section of the image

With thanks to Botgirl Questi for the use of the redesigned Linden Lab web page screen capture.

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AdMiRe-ing the SL music scene

Given that it is now unlikely that this year’s Second Life Community Convention will take place following the announcement by AvaCon that they have declined organising it, it would seem the Music Jams  – gradually growing in ascendency – are set to become the de facto means of bringing about SL users getting together in appreciable numbers in real life.

In fact, given the reach of virtual entertainment, it’s entirely possible Music Jams could serve to build bridges between the various virtual worlds in bringing together music lovers and entertainers from across the grids to hear their favourite performers and to discuss the virtual music scene.

This being the case – and while it is a little late in the day for me to be getting to it, my apologies for that – it seems only appropriate that I make mention of AdMiRe 2012, which was brought to my attention last week by SL resident and friend, Explorer Dastardly.

AdMiRe – Adorable Mixed Realities – has been hosting a live get-together in the Netherlands since around 2009, featuring artists participating live from around the world and with streaming in-world to Second Life. In 2011, over 100 musicians and SL users attended the event and 2012 promises to be at least as big.

AdMiRe 2012 will be taking place between August 3rd and August 5th in Heiloo a municipal town north of Amsterdam, and it sounds like fun. Things will kick-off on the afternoon of Friday August 3rd, and will comprise a mix of live performances and master classes for those wishing to get involved in the virtual music scene. If possible, the event may also be streamed in-world to SL as well; details on this are still very much up in the air, however.

The venue for the weekend is the Fletcher Hotel in Heiloo, a first class hotel with comfortable rooms, an excellent restaurant and which is only a half-hour bike ride from the nearest beach. The venue offers two wonderful performance areas – an intimate music bar that runs all weekend plus a large stage for the all-day music-event on Saturday.  Both stages are run by professional sound engineers for exceptional sound quality. There will be an AdMiRe desk for check-in and help on-site should you have any questions on your arrival.

I’ve summarised the core details below – please also see the AdMiRe blog and you can contact members of the AdMiRe team in-world with any questions ahead of the event (see Related Links, below).

General information

  • Venue: Fletcher Hotel Heiloo, Kennemerstraatweg 425 1851 PD Heiloo
  • Heiloo is approximately 40 minutes from Schiphol Airport by rail, with a one-way fare costing around 8 Euros. The hotel is some 1.5km from the Heiloo train station. Train times are available on-line
  • Start-time: 15:00 (local) Friday August 3rd, with music sets finishing at 01:30 on the morning of Sunday August 5th
  • Two venues for live performances appear to be available for the event, one of which is described as an “intimate music bar”, while the other is the main stage which will be used for the “all day” aspects of the event
  • Confirmed artists: Kaycee Drayman, Wannahave Ferraris, Xander Nichting, Allergra3 P, Inchino Melson, Tim Anadyr, Franck Molko, Nadine Morani, Ian Bleac and his daughter Ruthy, Babba Ballyhoo, Thera Nayar, Mar Biddle, Bara Jonson, Free Balan, Laralette Lane, Lefty Unplugged, Yip Jannings and Hannes Breda.

Registration and Hotel Booking

Hotel Heiloo
  • Event registration:
    • Weekend general admittance: 25 Euros
    • Friday general admittance: 10 Euros
    • Saturday general admittance (midday onwards): 20 Euros
    • Artists’ registration fee: 15 Euros
  • Hotel room rate: 154 Euros (incl. taxes) plus a 5 Euro booking fee
    • Rate is inclusive of dinner on Friday / Saturday and buffet breakfast on Saturday / Sunday
    • Lunch is not included in the rate, be will be available in the hotel’s a la carte restaurant (or you can BYO)
    • A single supplement of 15 Euros will be applied if you require a single room.
  • Check-in / check-out times:
    • Check-in 15:00 onwards on Friday 3rd August
    • Check-out must be by 11:00 on Sunday 5th August
  • Non-hotel residents can join those at the hotel for dinner on both Friday and Saturday for a cost of 29.50 Euros each (payable to the hotel directly). Dinner places must be booked on arrival at the hotel on Friday, and no later than 15:00 on Saturday
  • Hotel bookings – make sure you make it clear you are booking for AdMiRe 2012:
    • By phone: (+31)725052244
    • By fax: (+31)725053766
    • By e-mail: banquet-at-fletcherhotelheiloo.nl
    • Faxes and e-mails should be for the attention of  Moira Bosch

Related Links

  • AdMiRe blog
  • Facebook group: AdMiRe-NL
  • AdMiRe team:
    • Inchino Melson (a bit of Everything)
    • Kaycee Drayman (Bookings / Music Coordinator)
    • Mar Biddle (Local Coordinator)
    • XanderNichting Writer (Sound Coordinator)
    • Wannahave Ferraris
    • JoJa Dhara (Community Manager)
    • Sas (Fairy Vita)

With thanks to Explorer Dastardly and Kaycee Drayman.  

AvaCon declines SLCC 2012

Update July 11: Fleep Tuque has posted commentary on the SLCC situation. The post is not an official commentary on the situation from AvaCon, but Fleep does have a valid perspective on matters, having been on the board of AvaCon and worked on previous SLCC events. Some may not agree with her views, but even if this is the case and some feel a need to respond, I would ask on her behalf that they do so reasonably and politely. 

There has been much speculation on Twitter and in blogs recently as to what is happening vis-a-vis this year’s Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), originally slated to take place in Boston.

SLCC events are usually held in August each year and have been organised by AvaCon on behalf of Linden Lab. I managed to cover SLCC 2011 in some measure last year and had been one of those looking forward to this year’s convention. However, with August fast approaching and no news from AvaCon or Linden Lab, speculation was rising that the event would not be taking place.

Today AvaCon have spoken up on the matter, posting a statement on their blog which reads in part:

Due to changes in the terms of the contract offered by Linden Lab this year, AvaCon has declined to organize a Second Life Community Convention in 2012.  We continue to pursue our overall mission and are focusing our attention on other activities and events that promote the metaverse.

Doubtless there will be much speculation as to what the changes to the contract may have been and why AvaCon felt unable to agree to them. But for now, and unless another organisation is willing to step into the breach and organise something at a later date, it would seem as though SLCC-2012 is officially dead. Whether this is true for SLCC as a whole, remains to be seen.

With thanks to Crap Mariner.

Viewer release summary 2012: week 27

The following is summary of changes to SL viewers / clients (official and TPV) which have taken place in the past week. It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, which provides 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 being in adherence with the TPV Policy.

This summary is published every Monday, and by its nature will always be in arrears. Therefore, for the most up-to-date information on viewers and clients, please see my Viewer Round-up Page, which is updated as soon as I’m aware of any changes, and which includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., for Viewers and clients as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.  

Updates for the week ending: 8 July, 2012

  • SL Viewer updates:
    • Development: rolled to 3.3.5.261334, July 8th
  • Dolphin rolled through two releases 3.3.12.24704 on July 6th, which had an issue with broken shadows and so was followed by 3.3.12.24707 on July 7th – core changes (taken from the release notes for both): FIRE-913, FIRE-6551 & FIRE-6823, FIRE-6774, FIRE-6862 all incorporated from Firestorm; “Return to last in-world position” inventory option removed as the functionality has been broken server-side by LL; CTRL-SHIFT-P to activate or deactivate the “Places” window; ALT-SHIFT-P to activate or deactivate the “Picks” window; bug fix for shadows issue  (24704 release notes; 24707 release notes)
  • Niran’s Viewer rolled to 1.44 a little after this summary was published on July 9th – core changes: use of LL’s Viewer rendering code; performance improvements; faster rendering of shadows, local lights, occlusion, etc.; integration of tone mapping from the Exodus Viewer
  • Zen Viewer rolled to release 3.3.5.1 on July 3rd after version 3.3.5.0 was rolled-out and removed due to bugs – core updates: Updated Spell Checker with Auto-Replace and Dictionary Import; Texture Compression Checkbox Graphics/Hardware Pref. Panel; Banlines Extended to 5000m; Cleanup for Texture Picker and IM Panel (release notes)
  • Cool VL Viewer rolled to 1.26.4.21 on July 8th – core changes:  New “Object Weights” floater that can be opened from the Inspect floater; Improved Build floater; Improved avatar picker; Added the pathfinding related LSL functions and constants; Added a setting to disable default pose when opening the “Appearance” floater (Preferences->”Cool features->Miscellaneous); bug fixes and code improvements  (change log)
  • Lumiya rolled through release 2.1.0 on July 5th and then 2.1.1 on July 6th to fix crash issues – core updates: improved 3D view performance; OpenSim support; multiple account support; highlighting selected objects in 3D view; teleport home and close chat options added (release notes)

Related Links

Charting the growth of Second Life

With over 20,000 regions currently active on the grid, it is sometimes hard to picture just how big Second Life is, much less under how all the various component parts – continents, famous regional groups, places like the Blake Sea and Bay City – look and fit together. Harder still is to picture exactly how SL grew over the years.

Maps of Second Life

So, if you do have an interest in the physical growth and development of Second Life, or are curious about SL cartography, Maps of Second Life is well worth a visit.

Brought together and curated by Juliana Lethdetter, the exhibition features maps charting the history of Second Life from 2002 onwards, and features maps supplied by groups such as the Historical Society of Second Life, the SL Coast Guard, and individuals such as Carl Metropolitan and Marianne McCann.

Together, the maps present a fascinating portrait of Second Life over the last decade, not only tracing the growth of the main and beta girds, but also providing insight into regions such as the Steamlands, Blake Sea, Nautilus and Bay City. The SL roads and railways are also represented here with a series of maps, and there are a number of unique maps from residents and LL on display as well.

Carl Metropolitan’s famous maps of the SL continents (2009)

The exhibition also delves into the legend of Magellan Linden, who has been credited with the discovery of much of the historic landmass of the grid and documenting many of the pre-Linden artefacts found in these regions. Magellan himself mysteriously vanished in 2006, but an expedition formed by the intrepid Salazar Jack found evidence that Magellan was continuing his explorations as late as 2008, although his whereabouts today remains unknown.

Magellan Linden

The exhibition opened on June 30th, and is described as a “limited-time exhibit”. If you’ve not already done so, take time out and go and visit – you won’t be disappointed.

Historic Maps
New Babbage

Related Links