A second helping of Cheeky Tiramisu

Cheeky Tiramisu
Cheeky Tiramisu

One of my favourite places for meeting people in-world is the Cheeky Tiramisu café, owned and operated by Yasyn Azemus. I originally blogged about it way back in December 2012, and while I’ve met with many friends and interviewees since then, I’ve never actually written any more about it, except in passing. This being the case, I set out recently to rectify matters.

The region in which the café sits has divided into a number of islands, around the between which lay open water, all of which is enclosed by surrounding off-sim mountains. As was the case when I first blogged about the region, it is currently in the grips of a snowy winter; however it does change through the year to match the seasons.

Cheeky Tiramisu
Cheeky Tiramisu

The café itself occupies the largest of the islands, occupying the south-east quarter of the sim. here you’ll find a welcoming places to sit and chat with friends and acquaintances, either inside the beautiful brick-and-wood café building (designed by Yasyn), or out on the front terrace or the rear deck, both of which are warmed by blazing braziers. For those seeking a little more privacy, there are a number of seating spots and cosy areas to be found with the café‘s grounds, including a reading nook beside a warm spring.

Follow one of the paths through the grounds, and it will take you down a set of steps to the water’s edge and a floating deck complete with a pedalo you can use to explore the island from the water (you can also rez a rowing boat at a little wooden pier on one of the waterways dividing the islands). Or, if you follow the path onwards from the steps and across a rope bridge, you’ll find a sheltered garden with shine and, beyond it, a Japanese bath house

Cheeky Tiramisu
Cheeky Tiramisu

Walk inland from the café, and a series of bridges in varying styles will lead you to the other occupied islands. While these may at first appear to be residential in nature, all are in fact open to the public. The water mill, for example, houses a small tavern specialising in wine (and with dancing on the porch), while Kio’s little house built out over a pond offers another warm welcome to visitors.

Rezzing is allowed with the region (15 minute auto return), and those wanting to use a few props for photography are welcome to do so – but do please clean-up behind you, auto return notwithstanding.

Cheeky Tiramisu
Cheeky Tiramisu

As noted at the top of this piece, Cheeky Tiramisu is a quiet favourite of mine; so if you are looking for a little P&Q while in-world, why not pay it a visit?

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Oculus VR: of debuts and acquisitions

The Oculus Crescent Bay prototype showing the Samsung Gear-type head harness with motion tracking sensors on the back and the integrated headphones
The Oculus Crescent Bay prototype showing the Samsung Gear-type head harness with motion tracking sensors on the back and the integrated headphones

As is to be expected, Oculus VR are attending the International Consumer Electronics Show 2015, which is once again being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, through until January 9th, 2015, where the latest headset prototype  – Crescent Bay  – is undergoing its “public debut”, and the company’s CEO, Brendan Iribe took time out to discuss the prototype and more with Techcrunch’s Darrell Etherington.

“Crescent Bay is a huge leap from Oculus Rift DK2,” Iribe informs Etherington at the start of their 6-minute discussion. “And it increases all the different parts, whether it’s resolution, precision, the positional tracking, the latency, the optics themselves, everything really takes a big jump, and it really finally delivers what we’ve been talking about for a long time, this pursuit of presence. It finally delivers on that presence that we feel is good enough for consumers.”

So, does that mean he’s revising his comment at November’s Web summit conference about the consumer version of the headset being “many months” away?

Oculus is again a major presence at the International CES in Las Vegas
Oculus is again a major presence at the International CES in Las Vegas

Well, probably not. While no outright statement on time frames is given, it’s fair to say the the company is still putting a consumer release as some way down the road.

For one thing, the next immediate target is getting an audio SDK to developers to allow them to get to grips with the capabilities of Crescent Bay’s 3D immersive audio system. However, it’s liable to be another “few months” before that happens. For another, while the company feel they are now “close” to having a headset that is, technology-wise, to being consumer-ready, Iribe also notes the audio is at a “minimum” the company requires of a consumer product, and also that no decision on what they’ll actually be shipping as a consumer product as yet been made: it might be “just” the headset, or it might be the headset and an input system / device.

When speaking to Peter Rubin at the Web Summit in Dublin in November (linked to above), Iribe made it clear that input had become a “big focus” for the company, which they were “R&Ding”. He restates part of this to Etherington, which suggests they may still be leaning towards headset + input system / device, although he also noted that the company is not yet ready to discuss matters of input in public.

In terms of a suitable software library being available in time for any launch so – another consideration in determining when to launch the consumer product – Iribe indicates the company is “very happy” with the progress that is being made, suggesting this is less of a concern as they gradually move towards a consumer release.

Continue reading “Oculus VR: of debuts and acquisitions”