Oriental promise in Southern Marvel

I’ve received a number of suggestions for places to visit and blog about. Some have come from people who have enjoyed visiting the places they recommend, some have come as an invitation from the creators to pay a visit.

As I’ve mentioned before, all such requests / suggestions are always welcome. I can’t honestly say everything will end up being blogged about (I might fall under a bus before I get to a sim!), and I certainly can’t say how quickly I might get to a particular region, but I will take a look at all the suggestions that come in, and hopefully work my way through blog posts on them.

Nagare
Nagare

A couple of suggestions which came my way recently were as a result of people picking-up on my own love of the orient, as reflected in blog posts such those for the Moonlight Teahouse,  Taka no Sakura and Kusanagi. Coincidentally, while the suggestions came from different directions, they were both pointing to combat-themed regions. I wasn’t sure which one to visit first, so it came down to a coin toss.

Nagare is the home of the Blue Lotus Clan and occupies one-quarter of Southern Marvel. The work of Lila Aquacade and Ryansilver Philipp (Ryuan), it is a dojo for the Blue Lotus Clan who use the C:si combat system, and in addition to a combat and training centres, it’s a home, a garden and a meeting-place.

Nagare
Nagare

The main combat areas are up in the sky – a teleport system offers access to them – while the ground level has been beautifully and richly landscaped. Here you’ll find a temple, a training area, walks, a small beach for relaxation and even a seafront club house with modern DJ equipment and room to dance.

From the arrival point, you can cross a bridge over a stream to a  training area, or take a short walk to a walled house with its own local rainstorm in the garden. Inside, a warm cup of tea awaits, as does a game of Ban-soguroku (or Shuanglu, as the Chinese originally called it), a form of Backgammon.

Nagare
Nagare

A path leading away from the arrival point, following the stream as it tumbles down to the sea, leads you past a temple to the waterfront. Here sits an old oriental house-boat, which clearly isn’t going anywhere given the tree growing out of the middle of it, and a small restaurant facing the sea and offering a filling meal for those seeking sustenance after a morning’s training.

The beach is just across another bridge next to the restaurant. Here people can let their hair down, forget the disciplines of the day and relax around the open fire or listen to music in the beach house.

Nagare
Nagare

Nagare really is beautifully put together, and given the majority of the arena space is up in the sky (all the better to avoid the lag), there’s little chance of accidentally walking into a combat / training sessions and making a nuisance of yourself. For those who get particularly bitten by the oriental bug, the Tsunami Japanese/Chinese Creations store is right next door, where you can pick-up a few things to decorate your own land.

Nagare is well worth the visit, particularly if you have a katana and fancy a little combat as well as pleasing walk in inviting surroundings. In the meantime, and as it’s been a while, here’s another piece from The Piano Guys I’ve been listening to of late, and which fits the oriental theme, given the setting.

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ToS changes: a user-led legal panel discussion announced

ToS-Legal-Meeting

Venue change: This meeting will now take place at the Rose Theatre, Angel Manor.

Following the concerns raised over the 15th august changes to Linden Lab’s Terms of Service (ToS), and specifically Section 2.3 therein realting to rights granted to Linden Lab in respect of user-generated content uploaded to their platforms, products, and services, a panel of real-life legal experts is to meet in open forum to discuss the changes, and concerns held by creators within Second Life.

The panel has been organised by Vaki Zenovka, who is a real-life attorney, who announced the meeting on her blog on Tuesday October 15th thus:

Please join me (as my alt, Agenda Faromet), Tim Faith, and VIPO’s Juris Amat — all of us IP attorneys in real life — as we discuss the latest changes to Second Life’s Terms of Service. We’ll take a close, detailed look at exactly what the controversial section of the new ToS means, how it affects content creators (and regular users), what changed from the old terms, and why people are so upset. More importantly, we’ll answer your questions and discuss how the Terms of Service affects your rights now and in the future.

The meeting is schedule for 10:00 SLT, and will take place at the Justitia Virtual Legal Resource Village  Rose Theatre, Angel Manor. The meeting may be recorded, and if demand is sufficient, a second session may be held in the future.

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With thanks to Mona Eberhardt.

Lab launches Halloween / Dia de los Muertos photo contest L$16K in prizes

secondlifeLinden Lab gets into the Halloween  / Day of the Dead mood with a photo contest which opened to entries at 10:00 SLT on Tuesday October 15th, and will remain open until 17:00 SLT on Friday November 8th.

On offer is a total of L$16,000, with a L$10,000 Grand Prize, and further prizes of L$3,000, L$2,000, L$1,000.

The blog post announcing the contest reads in part:

Every day is dress up day in Second Life, but now is your chance to win some cool prizes for it.

The Second Life Fa-BOO-lous Halloween Snapshot Contest is here! Get your avi ready and show us your best Halloween/Dia de los Muertos themed images.

The post goes on to list some venues where photos for the competition may be taken, as drawn from the Destination Guide.

A photo contest  for Halloween ... but be careful what you wish for!
A photo contest for Halloween … but be careful what you wish for! (picture taken at Veil of Darknessblog post here)

Those entering the competition should submit their snapshots via the contest web page. Winners will be voted on by the community.

The competition page also includes a link to the full competition rules, which people are advised to read prior to entering.

SL projects update week 42 (1): Server, viewer updates, misc news

Server Deployments – Week 42

As always, please refer to the week’s forum deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

Second Life Server (Main Channel) – Tuesday October 15th

The main channel received the server maintenance project previously on all three RC channels in week 41. This project includes a fix for a group notice delivery issue, introduces a missing JSON operation to LSL, and includes preparatory work for an upcoming viewer with scene loading (interest list) improvements.

Second Life RC BlueSteel, RC Magnum, and RC LeTigre – Wednesday October 16th

All three RC channels should receive a new server maintenance project.  However, at the time of writing, it is unclear whether the RC deployment will occur due to a last-minute bug being identified. Speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting, Andrew Linden indicated that while it had been fixed, it has yet to pass internal QA.

Assuming it does go ahead, the deployment includes fixes for the following issues:

  • “Group member access to parcels fails when ‘Sell passes to’ is enabled” (BUG-3992)
  • “‘Ghost’ avatars and vehicles sometimes appear to an observer at the sim border” (BUG-3872)
  • “Vehicles which exit a region with a passenger are incorrectly auto returned and become ‘ghost shapes’ in the physics engine” (BUG-4024)
  • A performance issue with avatar loading speed in the experimental ‘viewer-interesting’ viewer.
Simulator User Group meeting, Tuesday October 15th 2013
Simulator User Group meeting, Tuesday October 15th 2013

In addition, extremely high Avatar Render Weights reported to the server are now capped at 500,000 (BUG-4010)  – so the server will take any report over 500k and treat it as 500k.  Simon explained that this cap had been arrived through a process of observation and data-gathering he undertook himself or resident supplied to him, all of which suggested the average for ARW among users is around 100K. In describing the cap in general, he went on:

You should consider anything close to 500k as just “way too high”. The system is a compromise that’s needed because some people will try to game it You should not trust the values too much. They are from viewers, which (don’t take this personally, anyone) cannot be trusted to be accurate 500k is at the very high-end of usage.

Really, anyone near that in a public place is hogging your viewer display power if you’re up by 500k – you’re using roughly 5x the viewer render resources as everyone else Also remember that SL is not doing anything with this data. It’s up to scripters and land owners to react.  So I can imagine a popular club maybe sending a warning IM to someone who’s really complex.

 I hope some people can find it useful within its limitations.   As it currently works, it should give scripts a good idea if some people are extra-costly.   It’s up to the scripter to handle that well or not.

SL Viewer Updates

Two new release candidate viewers were deployed to the release channel on October 14th and 15th. These are the Catalyst Viewer and a further Maintenance Viewer.

Maintenance Viewer

Release on October 14th, Maintenance RC 3.6.8.282335 includes:

  • finer access control for estate/parcel owners
  • CHUI: toggle expanding Conversations by clicking on icon
  • clean up messaging & notifications
  • fix crashes & hangs
  • GPU table update

Catalyst Viewer

Release on October 15th, the Catalyst RC, release 3.6.8.282367, is intended to address a start-up crash on latest AMD Catalyst drivers: 13.9, 13.10, 13.11.

Interest List

Not much to report here, the viewer-side code has yet to emerge as an RC, but Andrew Linden has been working on comparisons with scene loading in the hopes of producing a film to demonstrate the improvements. He’d recorded the “before” footage a while ago, and has been focusing on the “after” footage.

“I brought the regions up on some old simulator code from before any of the latest interest list work… from Dec 2012. Andrew Linden: and I was reminded as to how poorly the scene used to load;  everything arrived in mostly random order,” he said during the simulator User Group meeting, “I found a very small room in one of my test regions. So I logged out while standing in this closet, cleared my cache, and logged back in… On the old simulator code you could see the world streaming in and then BAM! the walls of the room would obscure everything. On the new code… the walls are there as soon as the login curtain raises. Not that the scene loading is perfect now, but some of you may remember… it used to be much worse.”

Hopefully we’ll be able to see the video soon, and Andrew will be able to avoid further plays on him coming out of the closet…

Group Ban List

Again, not a lot to report at the moment. Appearing at the Simulator User Group meeting, Baker Linden said:

I wanted to give an update on group bans:  I’m currently working through the bugs found by internal QA testing, trying to fix them as quickly as I can. Later today I’ll be doing another round of code reviews, and hopefully everything there will go smoothly.