Following the success of the first Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) Office Hours, which took place on Friday 25th July, 2014, Honour McMillan, writing in the LEA blog, has announced that the event is now to be a weekly affair.
The meetings will retain the 10:30-11:30 SLT time slot (that’s AM, as I use the 24-hour notation), and will take place at the LEA Gateway every Friday, commencing on Friday August 1st. Meetings are open to anyone interested in art in SL and the work of the LEA, and committee members will be on-hand to answer questions on LEA grants, procedures, future plans, use of the LEA sandbox and anything else of relevance to the LEA and its work. So if you are curious the work / purpose / structure of the LEA, why not pop along to a meeting? conversation is warmly encouraged!
About to celebrate its 8th year in Second Life, Jamm for Genes is set to take place over the weekend of the Friday August 1st through Sunday August 3rd inclusive.
Jamm For Genes is a part of the Jeans for Genes annual event organised by the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) of Australia, in which people are encouraged to wear jeans on August the 1st each year and help raise money for research into birth defects and diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, and a range of genetic disorders. Al funds raised goes directly to research undertaken by the CMRI to discover treatments and cures, to give every child the opportunity to live a long and healthy life.
Jamm For Genes will see a weekend of music and entertainment taking place at The Pocket in Second Life, commencing at midnight SLT on Friday August 1st, and continuing on through until the final set commencing ay 09:00 on Sunday August 3rd.
Subject to last-minutes hitches or problems, the event schedule is as follows (all times SLT):
Friday August 1st
00:00 (midnight) – OhMy Kidd
01:00 – Tommy Scorpio
02:00 – blueboi
03:00 – Wread Writer
04:00 – A surprise live from Canberra!
05:00 – Alienspeaking
19:00 – Bronze8020
20:00 – Joaquin Gustav
21:00 – Rara Destiny
22:00 – Senjita Witt
23:00 – Freestar and Quai
Saturday August 2nd
00:00 (midnight) – Krysania Eramos
01:00 – OhMy and the Kidds
02:00 – Tpenta Vanalten
03:00 – Barry White
04:00 – Billy Thunders
05:00 – OhMy and Saraine
06:00 – Angelica Svenska
07:00 – Rock Doghouse
08:00 – Rosedrop Rust
09:00 – Mimi Carpenter and Max
10:00 – Max Kleen and Mimi
11:00 – Mas Roade
12:00 (noon) – Blindboy Gumbo
13:00 – Pmann Sands
16:00 – Naga Flow
17:00 – Beth Odets
18:00 – Bronze8020
19:00 – Larrie Quixote
20:00 – Griff Bamaisan
21:00 – Xiara Fiasco
22:00 – Bamboof Stillmorning
23:00 – Tom 2.0
Sunday August 3rd
00:00 (midnight) – Chip Takacs
01:00 – Myst
02:00 – Russell Eponym
03:00 – Theresa Nayar
04:00 – Whirli
05:00 – Reallymad Morpork
06:00 – Kevin M. Thomas
07:00 – KatRose Serendipity
08:00 – Laidback Celt
09:00 – Bara and Free
Since its inaugural event in 2007, Jamm for Genes in SL has raised $10,000 for the CMRI, and it is hoped that 2014 will see the event raise around L$500,000, which equates to about AU $2,000. The event is also officially sanctioned to raise money for the CMRI through Jeans for Genes.
I’ve been an admirer of Asa Vordun’s work ever since I happened across her Caprice and Easy A, which I first wrote about in November 2013. As Caprice Village, I returned there in April 2014, again dawn by Asa’s creative eye. So when I saw some beautiful pictures taken by Hans Inshan of a new design by Asa, I had to hop over and take a peek.
When I initially arrived at L’Arc-en-Ciel, it was clearly a work-in-progress, although Asa wasn’t around at the time. So I grabbed a couple of quick shots before scampering off, promising myself I’d pop back for more. I did so a couple of more times, bumping into Ziki Questi on one occasion, and did catch a few changes and additions since my initial drop-in. Indeed, even with the visit which preceded this blog post, Asa was still adding some final touches!
Just as the rainbow from which the region takes its name is defined by its bands of colours, so L’Arc-en-Ciel is defined by the multiple islands which make up its whole. There are five in all, bordered by an off-sim surround of rolling hills and pine trees.
Each of the islands might be a chapter in a book, or possibly a standalone short story, as each has a little tale of its own to tell. walk along the wooden pier which forms the arrival point to the region and descend the steps, and you’ll find a discarded dress and shoes, as if their owner has decided to take a little skinny dip … but look closer, and the journal lying beside the dress, the nearby suitcases and the little Jack Russell staring out at the departing schooner might suggest another story … perhaps that of runaway lovers….
Follow the pier in the other direction, and it’ll lead you to one of the islands, this one with a distinct agricultural feel, with wheat growing across the hilltop and horsed grazing on the far side. A bridge from here leads to the largest of the islands, which offers several points of exploration both at ground level and up on the rocky outcrops which rise from its grassy-sandy base.
Here are many stories awaiting their chance to suggest themselves to the observant visitor. Just who is the tin man, apparently camped on the shore and looking somewhat dejected before his painting? What of the house at the end of the track? Are the people there just back from vacation, packing to go on vacation, or are they holiday-makers, newly arrived…? And what of the white house on the rocky headland?
Two more bridges provide links to two much smaller island. On one stands a lighthouse and on the other a small folly. The final island is reached by crossing a shallow band of water. On it, the rain of a summer shower beats on the roof is a run-down cafe which, despite its decrepit state, still appears to be offering someone a home – but who?
Perhaps the key to the stories here lies in the dedication for the region, borrowed from The Story of Life by Jim Hendrix:
The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.
I found the Hendrix connection somewhat appropriate; wandering the island put me in mind of Catch the Rainbow by Rainbow, a song in part inspired by Hendrix’s Little Wing. This being the case, it seems only right that I should leave you with a video featuring that song. Given some of the imagery within the region, maybe it’ll help you cast your own stories amidst the beauty of Asa’s delightful L’Arc-en-Ciel.
Whenever SL private islands are mentioned, it is usually in terms of unthemed full, homestead and openspace regions. However, the Lab has, for some time, offered “themed private islands” for anyone who would care to lease one.
These offer pre-terraformed regions (full or homestead) available in one of four themes: “Baronial Castle”, “Conference Centre”, “Theatre” and “Moonbase”. Each of these themed island types comes at a slight premium in terms of set-up costs (an extra $29 applicable to full regions and $20 on homesteads – both ex VAT), although tier is the same as for “regular” full and homestead regions.
There are SLurls leading to in-world samples from the various website pages offering these regions. However, as it’s been a few years since I last looked at them (which was around the time of the whole openspace / homestead fiasco – which is about when they first appeared, if I recall correctly), I decided to pay them a refresher visit.
The first up was the Baronial Castle, which is described on the website as an “imposing mountaintop residence, complete with tavern, boat and dungeon. Host the royal ball or role-playing fantasy game you’ve been waiting for, or have your friends over for an intimate chat in the tavern.”
The tavern forms the landing point for visits to the sample castle. This is located at the base of the hills atop which the castle sits, alongside a small cove wherein a large ship (all 246 prims of her) sits with sails unfurled, a smaller sailing skip sitting close by.
From the tavern, one can follow the path, lit at night by Ye Olde Iron Lampposts (must be powered by magic…), up the hill to the bridge spanning the divide between hilltop and castle. The castle itself offers a great hall, complete with hidden passage down to the dungeons (why hidden? Wasn’t a dungeon pretty much expected with castles, a sort-of medieval equivalent of today’s games room found in many upmarket homes?). A ramp leads to the upper levels, where sit a couple of bedrooms and a very narrow tower. In difference to the lampposts lighting the way up to the castle, everything within it is lit by wall-mounted torches (which some people might recognise as Ryan Linden’s handiwork and available from the Library folder in inventory).
A short hop across the water from the castle lies the Conference Centre. This offers two main venues and a smaller offshore island with an open-air venue. The landing point for this region is between the two main buildings, and connected to both by a paved foot path.
The nearer of the two buildings to the landing point, which has its own built-in waterfall, offers a large ground floor conference area and a mezzanine area for informal meetings as well as rooftop access for those needing additional space.
Across from this, the second building offers a reception area, a couple of meeting rooms and an upstairs seating area. One of the meeting rooms has positionable tables. The small offshore venue area offers open-air seating, and the design is finished-off with simple landscaping, non-functional video screens and an offshore wind farm.
Another short hop from the Conference Centre is the Theatre. This is the only themed region which is solely available for full regions, there is no homestead option. The reason for this is that the theatre is designed to accommodate up to 100 avatars at a time.
The landing point drops visitors in the plaza directly in front of the theatre, which is perhaps the largest of the themed region structures in terms of volume, and the one demonstrating a degree of appreciated humour: the film posters can hardly fail to raise a smile, and include The Little Molemaid, Moletropolis, Dances With Moles, and such Moleywood stars as Mole Gibson and Worm Hanks.
The theatre interior is pretty much what you’d expect: a foyer area (with the aforementioned posters on display), a lot of banked seats facing a stage / screen area, and box seats on either side. At the back of the theatre, with a good view of the stage area is a control room, complete with a scripted panel for operating the stage lights and curtains, etc., and controller for displaying the various foyer movie posters. Backstage is the dressing room, reached via hidden doors in the stage wings.
Kelly Yap Art Gallery is hosting two exhibits, both of which opened on Saturday July 26th, 2014. On the ground floor of the gallery is a series of sculptures by Neeks Karu, while upstairs is Betty Tureaud latest installation.
I confess that Neeks Karu is not a name that rings bells with me – which on the strength of this exhibit, really is to my loss. On display are a dozen free-standing and wall mounted sculptures, all but one of which include a degree of moment, and many of which appear to be founded on geometry – several of the wall-mounted pieces in particular are mindful of fractal progressions.
There are no descriptions accompanying the individual pieces – or at least, none I could find in clicking, but the names are evocative: “Exclusion”, “Web”, “Safety”, “Quest” and so on. Each piece is also somewhat hypnotic in its influence; or perhaps mesmerizing might be a better term, drawing the observer into them, encouraging close-in camming in order to watch the changing forms and patterns.
Providing you’re not completely hypnotised by Neeks’ work, make your way upstairs and you’ll find Betty’s latest work, rendered in her hallmark rich colours. This also uses geometry and movement in a piece which is quite deceptive when first perceived, and actually requires a little time (and perhaps a little careful camming) to appreciate fully.
Floating in the multi-hued space are five brightly coloured frames. These wash back and forth along the length of the space, as if to the ebb and flow of the tide – or tides, as each frame can move both faster and slower than the others in a seemingly random pattern, and can suddenly reverse direction or pause. Depending on the rate of motion and speed of change, every so often the frames come together to brief nest one within another within another, largest to smallest. Or, if not all of them, then perhaps three or four of them, while the remaining frames slide away in one direction or the other, as if unwilling to be a part of the orderly gathering.
Careful camming is in order because when viewed from certain positions, such as either end of the room in which they sit, the frames use distance and perspective in an optical illusion familiar to all of us, but which is nevertheless fascinating to witness. Depending on their positions relative to one another, their sizes appear to be reversed: the largest may appear to be medium-sized, a medium-sized frame appears much smaller and the smallest suddenly appears to dominate the rest. Only when they reach their nested equilibrium as they slide along their shared path, is the truth of their relative sizes revealed.
All told, two interesting and complementary exhibits.
There will be no Release Candidate channel deployments in week 31. This means there is unlikely to be any main channel deployment in week 32 (week commencing Monday August 4th), although RC channel deployments are anticipated for that week.
There is a little more news on the Experience Keys beta, which Oz Linden, attending the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday July 29th, indicated was going well. A possible extension to the beta had been sort-of hinted at in previous meetings, but Oz indicated that whether this will or won’t be the case has yet to be decided.
It was also indicated at the meeting that the idea fees which may be associated with the use of Experience Keys by creators may also have had further discussion within the Lab.
The idea of charging creators a nominal fee for the use of Experience Keys was first discussed at the Experience Keys preview during a TPV Developer meeting. A nominal fee or some restriction on accessing the tools (e.g. such as having to be a Premium member) was seen as a means of perhaps discouraging those who might otherwise use the capabilities with intent to grief harass others. While at the time it was admittedly an exploit of the original Advanced Content creation permissions system, the June 2012 incident did demonstrate how someone with access to the tools might use them to cause upset.
Commenting on the likely charges (if any) which may be levied and whether they have been agreed internally, Oz Linden said at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday July 29th, “We don’t discuss pricing here… not our area. I believe they have, but I don’t know details.” Simon Linden then added, “We can’t talk about any details like that until they’re officially announced.”
llSetLinkAlpha Updates Issue
BUG-1786 has been around for over a year, and takes the form of multiple prims in a linkset randomly failing to update correct when using llSetLinkAlpha. For example, you have a cube made up of a number of smaller cubes so that when clicked, the entire linkset should switch from solid to transparent or back again, but only some of the prims in the linkset appear to change on being clicked. with some remaining solid when they should be transparent. The problem has been reported as being more noticeable on linksets of 34 or more prims, but has also been reported on smaller linksets.
The problem seemed to first occur with the 26th February 2013 server deployment 13.02.15.270481, and the issue has been thought to be server-side. However, the problem seems to be more prevalent with lower bandwidth settings (e.g. 500 or lower – 500 being the SL viewer default), and can vanish with higher bandwidth settings (e.g. around 1200-1500), suggesting the issue might be related to packet loss, particularly if there are a lot of simultaneous updates going on, or a possible race condition within the viewer. A sample object has been passed to the Lab to let them poke at things further.
The group chat test which suffered cancellation at the July 24th Server Beta meeting may get to be run at the upcoming meeting on Thursday, July 31st.
The Next Simulator UG Meetings
Simon Linden is on vacation next week, and may not be able to attend the week 33 Simulator UG meeting either, due to other commitments. He’s hoping to get someone at the Lab to cover for him at both meetings.