2015 viewer release summaries: week 12

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, 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 adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version: 3.7.25.299021 February 24th – no change
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 3.7.26.299845 on March 18th – multiple fixes and improvements (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • CtrlAltStudio Alpha for Oculus Rift updated to version 1.2.3.42797 on March 18th – core updates: recommended alpha update for windows & crash fixes (release notes)
  • Kokua updated to version 3.7.26.35224 on March 16th – core updates: parity with LL 3.7.25 code base and RLV 2.9.6.8 (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer
    • Stable branch updated to version 1.26.12.36 – March 21st
    • Experimental branch to 1.26.13.4 – March 21st
    • Release notes

Mobile / Other Clients

  • Mobile Grid Client updated to version 1.22.1241 on March 20th – core updates: fix for chat/IM tab highlighting in Android 5; improved IM channel highlighting on new messages (release notes).

Additional TPV Resources

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OnLive: Firestorm now on Android and iPad

SL go logoImportant note: The SL Go service is to be shut down on April 30th, 2015. For more information, please read this report.

On Monday, March 23rd, OnLive, the company providing the SL Go service, announced the release of Firestorm Mobile for SL Go, bringing Second Life’s most-used viewer to Android devices and the iPad.

Commenting on the launch to me, Dennis Harper, OnLive’s Product Manager for SL Go, said “Since the launch of Firestorm on SL Go in December 2014, one of the questions we’ve most frequently been asked has been, ‘when will Firestorm be available for mobile?’ With this release, OnLive is delighted to again fulfil a request from users and provide them with the service they desire.”

However, due to technical constraints, the launch does see a change to the mobile side of the service, where OnLive is only able to provision one viewer to users. Given the huge popularity Firestorm for SL Go has already achieved since its launch on the SL Go service, it will, for a time, be the only viewer available to those using the service on Android devices and the iPad. Hopefully, this will be a short-term situation, and OnLive will again be able to offer a choice of viewers to mobile users in the near future.

This will not affect SL Go users on PCs and Mac computers, to whom OnLive will continue to offer a choice of the Lab’s Second Life viewer or Firestorm when running the SL Go service.

OnnLive have released Firestorm for SL Go running on Android devices and iPads - and for the time being, it is the viewer for such devices
OnnLive have released Firestorm for SL Go running on Android devices and iPads (note the SL Go screen overlay in the image) – and for the time being, it is the viewer for such devices

If you are already using SL Go on either an Android device or an iPad, you do not need to do anything. As soon as you log-in to SL Go, Firestorm will launch automatically.

New users can continue to join the service in one of two ways:

  • Via subscription, complete with a 7-day free trial of the service: simply visit the SL Go web page and sign-up (credit card or PayPal required)
  • By in-world payment (minimum of L$650 for one week) via the SL Go in-world payment service (no name and no credit card are required) – you can also read about this service here.

 

A City, inside and out

City Inside Out, LEA 20
City Inside Out, LEA 20

Officially opening at 13:00 SLT  on Thursday, March 26th at the LEA, is Haveit Neox’s newest full region installation, City Inside Out.  It’s a breath-taking and, at first look, bewildering build, huge in size, confusing in complexity and powerful in narrative.

The simplest way to describe the theme of the installation is to take the description from About Land:

Walking into any interior reveals only exteriors. The sense of personal space is absent. How is a city experienced when there are no comforts for the soul, no home?

City Inside Out, LEA 20
City Inside Out, LEA 20

The description of the build, found close to the landing point adds a little more detail:

To someone without a home living on the streets, the bustling city becomes one united exterior. “City Inside Out”, explores a world that lacks interiors. Some pedestrians throw coins into the beggars’ hats, others bark insults to their faces. Joggers, dog walkers, groups of boisterous friends, clean people in new clothes, romantic couples, cell phone conversations, shiny traffic, wash their daily tides of health and prosperity past the homeless.

And thus the world around us starts to take shape: this is a city we’re asked to see through the eyes of the homeless, the dispossessed; those who have nowhere to be, nowhere to go. For these people, the city is a very different place to the one we know. It’s a place where everything is strange, alien, and threatening. A place bad enough in daylight, but as Haveit further explains, becomes much, much worse at night…

City Inside Out, LEA 20
City Inside Out, LEA 20

Late each night, the people living on the streets are confronted by another kind of crowd, dangerous as the sharp knife and gun. They are defenceless, even within their own bodies. Sensations abound, prickly as lice and poisonous insect infested clothing, blurry as sight without glasses, with ringing ears of imaginary voices, and resignation to untreated illness. The survival test is administered without consideration for those who will see the next day.

Armed with this narrative, it is possible to make your way down and through the installation, crossing bridges, descending ladders and – in places – flying – and see various elements and aspects as they are meant to be seen: as a frightened, forgotten nameless … lurker … in a city were “ordinary” life passes one either side of you and renders you invisible. A place where, when you are noticed, it can feel terrifying or threatening.

City Inside Out, LEA 20
City Inside Out, LEA 20

Witness, for example,  the portrayal of the man taking his dog(s) for a walk; is it really a pack of hounds he’s struggling to control, is is that home the mind of the lost, homeless individual conceives it, when in fact to the rest of us, it is simply one man and his dog? And, nearby, look how the figure dropping small change down towards you literally towers over you, massive hand outstretched, face a mask…

Then there are the horrors of the night and of living and sleeping rough, portrayed in nightmare images of bottles and guns and more with insectoid legs climbing towards you, or seemingly skittering around or even looming over you; parasitical, ready to suck the life from you.

City Inside Out, LEA 20
City Inside Out, LEA 20

If all this sounds dark, it’s not; there is a magnificence about this build that is enthralling – and such is its size, I doubt a single visit will suffice to appreciate it all. Time is needed to explore the various levels, the heights and depths and to appreciate all the imagery and metaphor that is layered throughout this amazing city. And do be prepared to play with your camera position and rotation; this is a city where gravity knows no constant in places.

From high in the air to below the water, City Inside Out is an incredible build from an incredible architect of cities of the mind. Not to be missed.

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