LEA announces successful AIR applicants

LEA_square_logo_60After extending the application period deadline from midnight SLT on the 19th February, the deadline has been moved to midnight on Sunday February 24th, the Linden Endowment For the Arts council has announced the successful applicants for the next round of the LEA’s Artist-in-Residence programme.

They are: Solkide Auer, Ambi bimbogami, Vaneeesa Blaylock, Marx Catteneo/Krakassus Jigsaw, uan ceriaptrix, Ole Etzel, Cica Ghost, Mac Kanashimi, Seraph Kegel, Ginger Lorakeet, Sowa Mai, Yooma Mayo, Johnas Merlin, Jack Mondegreen, Mantis Oh, Morlita Quan and Noke Yuitza, Sniper Siemens, thingiwishihadsaid, Betty Turead, and Newbab Zsigmond.

I'am standing on a part of AIR Round Three winner Chic Aeon's
Standing on a part of AIR Round Three winner Chic Aeon’s excellent Machinima Open Studio Projectread my review here

Commenting on the applications for this fourth round in the AIRS programme, the LEA announcement reads in part:

The LEA received nearly 50 high-quality applications, and it was a difficult decision, but those selected submitted truly outstanding proposals that represent a diverse range of virtual art. While a handful are artists returning for a second round, the majority will be exhibiting at the LEA for the first time. Projects range from full-sim immersions, to innovative builds geared specifically for multimedia works such as sound and machinima projects.

The successful applicants now have up to four months in which to establish their installation, which must be open to the public for a minimum of two months during the six month run of the region allocation. It is anticipated that many of the works will open in advance of the four-month build deadline. All openings will, as usual, be announced in the LEA blog.

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Even a robot can have a memory lapse

CuriosityOn Wednesday February 27th, after some 200 days of near-flawless operations on Mars, Curiosity had its first major malfunction. Up until that point, the rover had been operating using one of its two on-board computers – the so-called “A-side”, to process all command instructions and manage its activities on Mars.

The problem was first noticed by mission planners when the rover failed to send any recorded information during routine uplinks to Earth, instead only sending current status information. On examination, this data revealed the computer had failed to enter its usual “sleep mode” as planned during the overnight period on Mars. Diagnostic work using one of the test rigs at JPL indicated that the problem appeared to be a corruption in the A-side computer’s flash memory module.

As a result of this finding, all science work on the rover – including the analysis of samples obtained from inside the “John Klein” bedrock were suspended on Thursday February 28th, as the rover was instructed to switch-over to the “B-side” computer, which was powered-up into a “safe mode” of operation in order that the rover’s functions could be maintained while investigations as to the cause of the corruption on the A-side could be further investigated.

“We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations,” Richard Cook, project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project at JPL, commented at the time of the switch-over.

Mars Odyssey: swapped computer "sides" in November 2012
Mars Odyssey: swapped computer “sides” in November 2012

Memory corruptions aboard space vehicles are not uncommon, so the majority of NASA’s space missions carry redundant computer configurations. Corruptions can be the result of several things; recently, for example, the Mars Odyssey orbiter vehicle had to switch-over from its “A-side” to its “B-side” due to 11 years of constant operation finally taking its toll on the “A-side”; wearing it out. High-energy solar and cosmic ray strikes can also cause problems, even when the vehicle is shielded (as Curiosity is).

What made the problem with the MSL rover critical is that it occurred with the memory module which acts as the “table of contents” for accessing the computer’s memory, preventing data and instructions from being accessed and causing the computer to enter into an “endless loop”.

Also commenting on the switch-over, Magdy Bareh, leader of the mission’s anomaly resolution team at JPL said, “While we are resuming operations on the B-side, we are also working to determine the best way to restore the A-side as a viable backup.”

Continue reading “Even a robot can have a memory lapse”

Lumiya: now you rez it, then you take it

lumiya-logoLumiya, the SL / OpenSim viewer for Android has seen two further updates since my last review. Version 2.4.3, released on February 16th, primarily saw the addition of flexiprim support in the 3D view, and the option to teleport to an avatar as well as some nips, tucks and tweaks.

Version 2.4.4, release on March 7th added object rezzing options and inventory-taking option to Lumiya as well as the ability to create landmarks. Taken together, both updates significantly add to Lumiya’s capabilities, and as I had a little free time, I took version 2.4.4 for a spin to try all the updates out.

Teleport to an Avatar

Teleporting to an avatar using Lumiya is a simple matter of selecting them from your Friends list, the Nearby list using a long touch and then selecting Teleport To from the pop-up menu. You’ll be asked to confirm the action – note that Yes is on the RIGHT of the confirmation dialogue; clicking it will teleport you to the avatar (or any landing point near them, if one is set at their current location).

Creating a Landmark

To create a landmark at any time, display your inventory, then click on the Landmark icon displayed in the bottom right of the inventory window (portrait display) or top right (landscape display). If the icon isn’t displayed in the latter view, tap the Menu button on your device and select Create Landmark from the displayed menu.

Use the Menu button on your device when displaying the inventory window to display a list of options of the Create Lanmark icon isn't already displayed
Use the Menu button on your device when displaying the inventory window to display a list of options of the Create Landmark icon isn’t already displayed

Note that you can access inventory either from the Lumiya Suitcase icon when in text view or in the 3D world view. If the icon isn’t visible in the latter, tap the menu bar on your device to display a list of options – inventory access should be at or near the top.

Tap the Menu button on your device to display all available menu options when in 3D world view
Tap the Menu button on your device to display all available menu options when in 3D world view

Rezzing Objects and Unpacking

Rezzing an object in-world in Lumiya is a simple matter of locating the object in your inventory and then long-touching it to display a pop-up menu. Tap Rez on the menu then confirm you wish to rez the object in-world in response to the dialogue displayed.

Objext rezzing from inventory & copying / moving the contents of an object back to inventory
Object rezzing from inventory & copying / moving the contents of an object back to inventory

Assuming you have object entry / rezzing rights for the parcel you are on, the object will be rezzed in-world. To display the contents, long-touch it (note that you may have to adjust your camera position to select the object, particularly if it is rezzed on another touchable object), and select the Open option from the displayed menu. An inventory-like window is opened to display the contents of the object, which can be copied / moved to your inventory by tapping the Copy button at the top right of the contents window.

Other Bits and Feedback

Lumiya supports flexiprim motions in the 3D world view as of version 2.4.3
Lumiya supports flexiprim motions in the 3D world view as of version 2.4.3

Versions 2.4.3 and 2.4.4 see improved handling of large meshes, improved notification settings and assorted bug fixes.

The flexiprim support in the 3D world view works well, although rendering things like flexihair when in motion may result in slight oddities; for example, when walking, my hair tended to all but vanish at times, but would quickly come back once I stopped, and Lumiya reproduces SL’s signature “hair flair”  – long hair flairing out behind your avatar like a comet’s tail – very well :).

Overall, these have been two somewhat “low-key” updates for Lumiya compared to recent passes (mesh support et al). However, I know that 2.4.3 marked another milestone for Alina, as she’s been working on getting flexiprims to work for the last several months – so it’s good to see she’s succeeded.

The ability to rez / open objects adds another fundamental capability to Lumiya, as does the ability to create landmarks. All-in-all, another good set of updates which once again increase Lumiya’s attractiveness as a very capable means of accessing Second Life and OpenSim while on the move.

My only real issue with the viewer is that if Alina keeps developing Lumiya, I’m going to have to go out and buy a Tablet just so I can really enjoy using it! :D.

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SL project updates: week 10 (3): viewer, CHUI, SSB and HTTP work

SL Viewer Beta and Viewer Development  and CHUI

There have been updates to both the beta and development viewers. The beta viewer moved to release, and development to Both releases were focused on CHUI, and according to Oz Linden, “Right now they are almost identical; different only in the viewer number I believe.” He went on to say, “There is significant uncertainty as to when CHUI will come out of the beta channels, and it’s very likely that will remain true for a while yet – that is, that the two will remain pretty similar.”

With one CHUI update having just gone to the beta viewer, the Lab anticipates there will be at least one more update for the project while in beta before it makes any more to the viewer release channel.

Server-side Baking (SSB)

Server-side Baking saw the release of a further viewer update – – on March 7th, which was partially in response from information gained from the first public pile-on / load test for SSB, held on Thursday February 21st.

Commenting on the ongoing work to integrate SSB into TPVs at the TPV Developer meeting on Friday March 8th, Oz linden thanked the TPVs for their work to date on trying to integrate the viewer-side SSB code into their offerings in order to keep the project on track. “I’m very pleased to say that right now it does not look like support for it [SSB] in third-party viewers is going to end up being the limiting factor on when it can be deployed,” he said, although he did caution against showing any complacency in getting the code to a deployable condition.

Merge with CHUI

Also at the TPV Developer meeting, Nyx indicated that overall, the project viewer for SSB is becoming more and more stable, and that his team now has and initial merge with the CHUI code, which they are going to be “hammering on”, prior to pushing it to the internal Sunshine branch. As such, the most recent release of the SSB project viewer is possibly the last push prior to CHUI appearing in the viewer.

Given there are concerns over the merger and its possible impact on TPVs, Nyx is going to see if it is possible to maintain a side branch of the SSB viewer code which does not include the CHUI merge, which could continue to receive fixes and make it easier for TPVs to obtain them, however, until this has been looked into in more detail, he is unwilling to commit to how easy it would be to achieve and maintain – or how long for.

Second Pile-on  / Load Test

Serer-side baking - further testing on March 14th
Serer-side baking – further testing on March 14th

Attending the Server Beta meeting in week 10, Nyx Linden announced that the updated viewer will be required  for a further pile-on / load test, which has been scheduled for Thursday March 14th. The test is liable to be in much the same format as the first test, and those wishing to participate are advised to attend the Server Beta meeting on Aditi ahead of time (the meeting commences at 15:00 SLT on Thursdays).

Those wishing to take part in the test should also ensure they are using the latest version of the SSB project viewer linked-to above, as this as this has been specifically set-up to enable correct logging of data, etc., for the test. Nyx hopes that the latest updates to the logging parameters, coupled with the recent inventory fixes applied to Aditi should do much to both lessen the impact of Aditi issues should they occur and make them easier to identify when analysing feedback. However, Nyx suggested that those who have experienced Aditi inventory issues and who wish to join-in the test on March 14th should log-into the Sunshine test regions ahead of time and confirm that they can access their inventory using the project viewer.

Continue reading “SL project updates: week 10 (3): viewer, CHUI, SSB and HTTP work”