Lab adds “Latest Photos” to the SL blog

Latest Photos Inworld - the new addition to the blog contents page of the Second life website
Latest Photos in Inworld – the new addition to the blog contents page of the Second life website

Ciaran caught this ahead of me, but there is a new addition to the Second Life Community website Blogs tab. Entitled Latest Photos in Inworld, it displays – as the name suggests – thumbnails of the photographs selected by Xiola Linden from the Second Life Flickr pool to appear as the Inworld blog Second Life Pic of the Day.

The pictures can be seen in a number of ways.You can, to start with, either click on an individual image or on the View All link in the lower right corner of the banner. Both of these options will open a pop-up window which displays either the selected image or (View ALL) the most recent image posted as the Pic of the Day. You can then use the thumbnails under the main image to display other photos in the window, or use the arrow buttons on either side of the thumbnails to step chronologically backwards (right) or forwards (left) through all of the selected images contained in the blog.

Clickin on a photo (or the View ALl link) in the banner display of images will open a pop-up featuring the photo / the first photo in the series. You can then use the lower section of the window to step forward and backwards through the available images, or use the Inworld link, top left, to display the images as they are listed on the Inworld blog page

In addition, with the pop-up is displayed, you can click on the Inworld link in the top left corner to go directly to the InWorld blog, where you can scroll through off the selected pictures, or you can click on the “Second Life Pic of the Day” link to display the selected image in its original blog post.

Also, in the lower right corner  of the pop-up window are three buttons: a thumbs-up, allowing users to register their liking of a picture, together with a moderation button and a download button. Obviously, you have to be logged-in to the Community website to use the buttons, but the thumbs-up is a nice way of showing appreciation for the images shown.

Right now, the capability is only available on the Blogs tab, but while chatting with to Xiola about it, I learned that the capability to display images in this way might be extended elsewhere within the Community website. “We’re hoping to turn it on in forums as well,” she said. “But we have some technical points to address, so I am looking into work-arounds for them.”

Quite how this will work will be interesting. I imagine that trying to order and stream images so that they make some semblance of sense when displayed in forum headers or the main Forums tab of the community website (if that is where they’ll appear) isn’t that easy. But if it could be done, it might be a visual means to help draw people to forums threads on things like in-world destinations, fashion, etc. In the meantime, why not check the SL Blogs tab and have a look for yourself?

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Bright Canopy: in-world meeting and service resumption

Bright CanopyBright Canopy have announced they’ll be holding an in-world meeting at their home island in Second Life on Saturday, September 5th at 11:00 SLT.

The meeting will feature an update on the current status of the Bright Canopy streaming service, together with the decisions the company is facing to move forward.

“I’d like to invite those interested in an update on the status of Bright Canopy and its future to attend,” Bright Canopy founder Bill Glover (Chaos Priestman in SL) said.

“The goal is to share what we have learned with the launch and this past week of down time and to have a discussion with the community about what is needed to make this service sustainable and what our options are going forward.”

Those who have been using Bright Canopy will be able to catch up on events following the official launch of the service, and which forced the company to re-evaluate its pricing mechanism, prior to technical issues combining with pricing concerns and forcing the company to suspend subscriptions while matters were worked on.

Bill Glover: meeting to discuss matters and update Bright Canopy on Saturday, September 5th at 11:00 SLT at Bright Canopy Island
Bill Glover: meeting to discuss matters and update Bright Canopy on Saturday, September 5th at 11:00 SLT at Bright Canopy Island

The technical issues have now been resolved, and Bright Canopy have indicated that in theory, the service could be back up and available on Monday, September 7th.

However, they are emphasising this is the earliest point at which the service might be up. The company has also indicated whether this in fact happens may depend in some degree on the decisions reached during the meeting.

As I recently explained, part of the issue Bright Canopy has faced is with the Amazon Spot instance pricing model. Generally the most cost-effective means of supplying services through Amazon’s infrastructure, this has been incredibly volatile over the past several weeks.

In the last few days, Amazon’s US Spot Instance prices have come down somewhat and are showing a little more stability, although the prices for Ireland remain volatile and unpredictable.

Given this, one possible option for Bright Canopy might be for them to split their service between the US West and East coast POPs they are using, and drop Ireland for the time being. However, this is also not without potential issues. There is no guarantee, for example, that the US pricing will remain stable – as Bright Canopy are only too aware; for another it could be months before Ireland has reached a point where operating through the Dublin POP is a viable option once more.

Thus there is a lot to be discussed, and so all those with an interest in the service are being encouraged to attend Saturday’s meeting. There will be plenty of scope for questions to be asked, and a transcript will be provided through the Bright Canopy blog for anyone unable to attend.

For those who would like to submit a question in advance, either because they cannot attend the meeting in person, or to guard against being unable to access the Bright Canopy region if there is a large turn-out, they can do so by e-mailing  Jerri Glover (jerri-at-brightcanopy.com/).

Second Life project updates 37: Server, viewer

Tranquility Dreams; Inara Pey, September 2015, on FlickrTranquility Dreams September 2015 (Flickr)

Note: Due to a lack of concentration on my part, I managed to originally publish this article in Private mode, and only realised when looking to obtain the details of BUG-9504 for the Week 38 update! I’ve now flicked it to public for completeness of reports.

Server Deploys – Update

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information / updates.

  • On Tuesday, September, 1st, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package deployed to all three RC channels in week #35, comprising:
    • A fix for BUG-9504 “Clicking on any object that affects the navmesh while in Mouselook dirties the navmesh”
    • Internal simulator fixes
  •  On Wednesday, September 3rd, the BlueSteel RC received an updated version of the server maintenance package first deployed (and subsequently rolled back) in week #34, which comprises internal fixes aimed at improving inventory performance.

BlueSteel Issues

The BlueSteel deployment was followed by issues with note cards and scripts, including issues trying to create / save scripts and note cards created on BlueSteel regions and when trying to open scripts / note cards created on other channel regions while in a BlueSteel region (see BUG-10183).

As a result of these problems, and following investigation by the Lab, the BlueSteel deployment was rolled back on Thursday, September 3rd.

SL Viewer

The Quick Graphics project viewer, comprising the new graphics presets capabilities and Avatar Complexity options updated on Thursday, September 3rd to version 3.8.4.304761. An overview of the capabilities can be found in this blog, and official information on Avatar Complexity can be found in the SL wiki.

A cruise ship, a gathering and a mole with a wand in Second Life

A short notice announcement of a get-together aboard the SS Galaxy marks her official return to Second Life
A short notice announcement of a get-together aboard the SS Galaxy marks her official return to Second Life

The invitation was somewhat low-key, and the date subsequently changed from the scheduled September 1st, for Reasons Unknown (well, at least to me!), but the message did get through:

Join us in-world at the newly re-opened SS Galaxy and explore the decks of this historic Second Life cruise ship! We’re meeting up near the pool, and will be taking pics and enjoying a little casual relaxation time! See you there!

I would actually have been none the wiser of the event, had it not been for Vick Forcella whispering in my ear via IM  – he is ever the gentleman! But, as the message was received, and despite the need to be in several places at once (Happy anniversary, Firestorm! Sorry I missed it!), I hopped over the Galaxy to sea  what was going on (see what I did there?).

I’d been fortunate enough to cover the return of the SS Galaxy to Second Life waters ahead of any official opening after Frost Mole kindly pinged me about the ongoing work aboard the ship and invited me for a look around as she sits at her new location, just off the Honah Lee estate south of Blake Sea. However, I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to mark her “official” return to our waters.

Given this was the first time a crowd had been aboard the Galaxy since the commencement of her refit, Vick and I undertook took it upon ourselves, and purely in the interests of our fellow passengers' safety - to test the poolside bar
Given this was the first time a crowd had been aboard the Galaxy since the commencement of her refit, Vick and I  took it upon ourselves, and purely in the interests of our fellow passengers’ safety – to test the poolside bar as Frost and Xiola arrived

On arrival, I found Vick to already be there and – where else?  – at the poolside bar. Climbing the steps, I demanded that as he was the barman, he pour me a drink – only to discover I was actually standing behind the bar and so should rightfully be serving *coughs*. Following an embarrassed silence broken only by my attempted soft shoe shuffle (you try being quiet when in heels on a wooden deck) to a bar stools, Vick graciously handed me a drink without commenting on my faux pas. (see, I said he was a gentleman).

Abnor Mole takes in the sun while Frost Mole enjoys people enjoying the fruits of her labour
Abnor Mole takes in the sun while Frost Mole enjoys people enjoying the fruits of her labour

Fortunately, folk quickly began to arrive, including several Lindens – Patch, Keira, Dee, Guy, Xiola, Shaman, together with moles, and a celebratory mood quickly ensued – helped, no doubt by the hourly firework display going off as well. In short order, people were enjoying the pool (some fully clothed!), wandering the decks, admiring the view or … propping up the bar.

The conversation was soon full and flowing, Shaman took over bar duties, Keira found a sun lounger and Abnor Mole followed suit, Patch dodged cameras and Xiola and I talked chocolate. Then the buffalo arrived.

“What on earth are buffalo doing on board a cruise ship?” you might well ask. I know I did. Problem was, I was too distracted by the sudden onset of a fish shower and then being struck in the small of the back by a large, speeding train…

No, we weren’t hit by a griefing attack; merely a mole (in the form of Michael Linden) with a wand (and a fit of the giggles). Not just any wand, mark you, but a Starax wand. What’s more, it transpired that Shaman had been slipping him cocktails – a mix of (and I quote) “scotch, scotch, scotch… and, oh, scotch!”

Thus the pandemonium rolled on, amidst further gleeful (and high-pitched) giggles of a furry variety. At least until the word “water!” was uttered by said wand wielder …

“Water!” a certain wand-wielder proclaimed. Then rather wished he hadn’t, having forgotten to scamper out-of-the-way as the giant faucet, in full flow, materialised over him…

After that, things quieted down (well, a little!) as Michael was handed a towel, and the conversation resumed a little more placidly (no, I’m not going to mention the shark. Or the dolphin, OK?).

Joking aside, this was a very pleasant get-together, smaller in size than previous events of this nature, and that may well have contributed to the amount of fun being had. I’ve no idea if this low-key approach will be used at times for future get-togethers, but I do hope that this one is merely the first of many and varied events we’ll see staged at the SS Galaxy in the future.

My one suggestion would be – to echo a comment left on my last piece on the ship – that some of the helipads are returned to their former use (and made short-term rezzing areas?) as it would be fun to be able to fly to the ship for an event and then return home the same way afterwards 🙂 .

In the meantime, welcome back, SS Galaxy!