Fantasy Faire: my King and Queen of the Fairelands

One of the new features at Fantasy Faire this year is the opportunity to vote for the King and Queen of the Fairelands and their (strictly non-human) Chancellor.  The winners will be crowned at the Fantasy Faire May Day Masked Ball, which will also see their Chancellor announced.

Since the Faire opened, residents have been invited to nominate their favourite characters from the worlds of fantasy whom they would like to see crowned king and queen, or appointed to the role of Chancellor (a role for strictly non-human characters).

The nominations have now closed, and voting for the  top five nominees in each category (King, Queen and Chancellor) is underway.

And the Nominees for King of the Faire are:

FF-KING1-BKWulf FF-KING2-GILGA FF-KING4-HAVELOCK
FF-KING3-LEGOLAS FF-KING5-TYRION

Quite an interesting selection there. Orlando Bloom has a lot going for him, and given I’m a Lord of the Rings aficionado, you might think my vote would be for Legolas. But actually no, I confess that as a character, Legolas has never had that much appeal to me,  and I don’t lose hobbits often enough to need his assistance in tracking them down.

No, I confess that my vote goes to Tyrion Lannister; not because A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones is all the rage right now nor even because Lannisters always pay their debts (a promise I’ve always found to be more threatening than hopeful). Rather, Tyrion is simply one of the most delightfully, honourable rogues yet to walk out of the pages of a book. so he gets my vote, as you’ll always know where you stand with him.

So, on to the nominees for Queen of the Faire:

FF-QUEEN3-AGATHA FF-QUEEN4-GALADRIEL FF-QUEEN2-GRANNY
FF-QUEEN5-MALEFICENT FF-QUEEN1-ZANTA

Once again, you might think that as a LOTR fan, I’d be placing my vote with Galadriel. Had the nominee been Arwen  – or better yet, Lúthien Tinuviel from Tolkien’s Middle Earth, then perhaps that might well have been the case. As it is, the who gets my vote here is the magnificent Maleficent.

And to whom might I give my vote for Chancellor?

FF-CHANC4-GENIE FF-CHANC2-GREEBO  FF-CHANC1-KROSP
FF-CHANC3-TREEBRD FF-CHANC5-VONPINN

Well, this is really hard for me – oh look! Kitties! 🙂 .

To vote for your favourites, visit the kiosks which can be found in one of the beautiful underwater art galleries in Poseidons Abyss. Simply make a donation of your choice to cast your vote (yes, this election is one that can definitely be bought!). Voting will remain open in-world through until the end of the first hour of the May Day Masked Ball.

If you prefer, you can also voting on the web via the RFL Convio page for Fantasy Faire – although you’ll have to hurry; “postal” voting in this way closes at 11:59 SLT on Thursday 30th April. After that, you can still donate – but your vote may not be counted!

For full details on voting, visit the vote registration page of the Fantasy Faire website.

So don’t delay – vote today!

Further Information and Related Links

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The Colder Water: sunset on the lighthouses three

The Colder Water; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr The Colder Water, April 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

One of the most hauntingly beautiful regions is Second Life is due to close its doors today, April 30th, 2015, and there are many in Second Life who will miss it.

As I wrote in August 2014, following my first visit there:

The Colder Water, located on the homestead region of Daydreams, is without a doubt one of the most atmospheric and evocative regions I’ve visited.  Both minimalist in one direction, yet rich in content and imagery in another, Jordan Giant’s design has an immersive attractiveness that is quite breathtaking.

The news of the closure came via a message Jordan posted in Flickr earlier in April, to to which Ziki Questi alerted me. Truth be told, I had hoped to get an article out on the closure a lot earlier than now to give people time to pay a visit. Unfortunately, I’ve been going in several directions are once of late, both SL-wise and in the physical world, and haven’t had the time I would have liked to devote to writing something sooner.

Instead, I offer a new video of The Colder Water, and hope that it helps us all remember the land of Daydreams and the Lighthouses Three.

Thank you, Jordan, for sharing your vision and your creation with us.

SL projects updates week 18/1: server, viewer

UNIA launches at 12:00 noon on Monday, April 27th
MadPea’s UNIA is now open for those of a brave disposition, and uses Experience Keys / Tools

Server Deployments Week 18

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest news.

  • There was no Main (SLS) deployment on Tuesday, April 28th.
  • On Wednesday, April 29th the three RC channels all received the same sever maintenance package. This comprises Internal server logging changes  and a new flag for llGetObjectDetails()  – OBJECT_LAST_OWNER_ID; plus new data which can be requested  via llGetEnv(). These are:
    • “agent_limit”- get the maximum number of avatars normally allowed on the region (teleport home, and login to last location, are allowed to exceed this).
    • “estate_name”- returns the name of the estate (e,g, “mainland”, “Linden Homes”, “My Happy Estate”, etc. )
    • “region_cpu_ratio”- returns the number of regions per CPU for this region type (i.e. “1” or “4”)
    • “region_product_name” – returns the type of region this is: “Estate / Full Region”, “Mainland / Homestead”, “Estate / Openspace”, “Estate / Full Region – Skill Gaming” etc.
    • “region_product_sku” – returns the region’s product number as a string
    • “region_start_time” – returns the time the region was last (re)started, in llGetUnixTime format
    • “simulator_hostname”  – returns the simhost running this region. Same as llGetSimulatorHostname but without the script delay.

Commenting on the llGetEnv() updates at the simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, April 28th, Simon Linden, who made the updates, said, “these are all pretty simple ones … I went for the easy pickings.  Basically, information we already  sent to the viewer, or was readily available, and thus not a privacy issue.”

He continued, “There was one [further option] for the max number of agents that was in the original list but that one got skipped … not part of a sinister plot but I overloooked it.  want to do some other things with that limit sometime soon as well 🙂 … I’d like to see how the region and viewer performs with bigger numbers. Things go bad with many AVs for a variety of reasons … the server has more updates to send to more people, all wearing more scripts and AOs and HUDS [and] the viewer gets overwhelmed with too many complex avatars and too many textures in the download and graphics pipeline.”

SL Viewer

The Avatar Layer Limits RC viewer updated to version 3.7.29.301305 on April 28th, bringing it to code parity with the current release viewer. This RC allows users to wear up to 60 wearable layers (jackets, shirts, tattoo, alpha, etc.) in any combination – so you can wear 60 tattoo layers with it an nothing else, if you want – rather than being restricted to wearing a maximum of 5 of each type of layer.

Other Items

Online / Offline Indicators

People are noticing that the group chat list (the list of group members in the Group panel), is now much slower to update as people’s status changes (i.e. whether they are on-line or off-line). This is intentional, and comes as a result of the recent improvements made to group chat.

In particular, and as I reported in these pages as work on group chat commenced in 2014, the volume of people logging-in to and out of SL can generate a huge amount of updates for the group chat service (given your status has to be sent to every group of which you’re a member, and to over member of that group who is online to update the group list in their viewer with your new status), meant that more time was being consumed by the group chat servers in handling these update messages than in handling actual messages.  The fix for this problem means there is a natural delay in group list updates, as they are now processed differently to reduce the impact they have on message handling.

However, some people have started noticing that some group chat lists with 20+ members seem to take a very long time to update – times of 5-10 minutes have been mentioned, and this is causing some confusion when seeking things like assistance from group owners / moderators (as they can appear to be logged-in long after they have logged-off). It’s also bee reported that at times the list seems to get stuck with no updates until the group chat itself is closed and re-opened, although this appears to be somewhat intermittent.

Bright Canopy: first user group meeting notes published

Bright CanopyBright Canopy, the planned new streaming service for Second Life and OpenSim, hosted its first user group meeting on Saturday, April 25th.

The meeting drew interested parties and beta testers from SL and OpenSim, and was hosted by Bright Canopy founder, Bill Glover (known in-world as Chaos Priestman). As Bright Canopy will be running on technology provided by Frame (who are putting considerable effort into helping to get the service up-and-running and ensuring it can meet users’ expectations), they were represented at the meeting by Carsten Puls (Carsten at Frame in SL).

Held in text chat to allow those running on SL Go to join the session, the meeting was mainly focus on questions and answers to give people a chance to learn what they wanted to learn about the service, and ran to just over an hour.

The notes from the meeting have now been posted on the Bright Canopy website. Rather than presenting a formal transcript (because some questions were asked a number of times), the meeting notes group questions and answers in to subject groups.

While those interested in potentially moving to Bright Canopy when it does launch should read the notes directly in order to get the most complete picture of things, I’m providing a high-level key point summary below from the major topics discussed (note questions were asked about supporter viewers, please refer to the meeting notes for these):

Chaos Priestman, aka Bill Glover, Bright Canopy’s founder, at the in-world meeting

When will Bright Canopy be ready?

  • Bright Canopy is in closed beta,  right now. The plan is to move to an invitation-only pre-launch as soon as possible, to allow for more widespread testing; when this happens depends on getting a few more technical issues dealt with and sorting management and billing issues

How does it work?

  • Bright Canopy is like SL Go, but accessed via a web browser. Initially, for the pre-launch this will be Chrome, but support for other browsers will be there for the launch. Essentially, if your device can run a modern browser and is capable of viewing a streamed video, you should be good to go
  • Bright Canopy will provide the service, Frame will managed the underlying technology and Groove will provide support assistance

Accessibility and performance

  • Bright Canopy will initially be hosted in the USA. However, Frame utilises Amazon WAS G2 servers, so the aim is to support Bright Canopy as widely as possible. Frame already utilises Amazon data centres in Ireland, Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore, as well as both the east and west coasts of the USA
  • There may still be legal restrictions that prevent people in some countries from using the service (as we the case with Germany and SL Go); these will be looked into
  • In terms of connectivity, a bandwidth of at least 3 Mbps is required and latency of under 100 ms

Price and Payment Options

  • Pricing is not currently available. The idea is to make the service as cost-effective as possible while obviously meeting the costs involved in supplying the service
  • Stripe is being used for back-end payment processing
  • Payment options will initially be credit card and bitcoin for the pre-launch. linden dollars will be added after pre-launch, and PayPal may be offered as well.

For the rest, as noted above, please refer to the Bright Canopy blog.

If you have any questions on the service, please be sure to ask them on the Bright Canopy blog, not here, so that they can be fully addressed.