Team Diabetes Winter Art and Showcase preview

Winter Showcase
Winter Showcase

The first Team Diabetes of SL Winter Art and Showcase event launches on Monday, December 7th, and will run through until Sunday, December 13th. Occupying a single, winter-themed region, the event offers something for everyone: shopping, entertainment, activities, and art, all within easy reach of one another.

Over the course of the weekend of the 5th and 6th December, bloggers have been able to access the region and explore what’s on offer for themselves, with stores and artists offering little goodies along the way.

The Winter Showcase, sponsored by Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions, features 22 merchants, including, but not limited to, Tayren’s Fantasy Fashions, Zuri Rayna Jewelry, Kittycat’s Creations, Hearthaven Photography, Meshopotamia and Chop Zuey. The showcase is located in the north-west quarter of the region, with stores neatly arranged around a central square, which offer seating from those needing a rest from shopping and well as Santa’s gazebo!

Winter Art Show
Winter Art Show

The south side of the region is devoted to 2D and 3D art, with 21 artists and photographers offer their work for viewing, including Bryn Oh, Wicca Merlin, Cica Ghost, Kayly Iali, Bluesrocker Resident and Skip Staheli. The art show is sponsored by Windlight Magazine, and all of the participating artists have contributed a winter themed image for inclusion in the special 2015 Postcards from the Winter Art Show book, which will be on sale throughout the event, with all proceeds being donated directly to Team Diabetes of SL!

Throughout the week, visitors to the Art and showcase can enjoy daily activities, including the Santa hunt, the raffle, gingerbread house building contests, the ugly sweater photo contest, the  winter giveaway and the advent calendar. Music and entertainments will also be on offer throughout the week – check the event schedule for details; however, of particular note during the week are (all times SLT):

  • Tuesday, December 8th, 14:00-16:00: the formal opening of the winter Art show, featuring live performer Cassi Ansar
  • Friday, December 11th, 16:00-18:00: Red and Green Ball with DJ John
  • Saturday, December 12th, 10:00-Noon: dancing on ice with DJ Gem Sunkiller
  • Sunday, December 13th, 13:00: Solaris Winter Queen Fashion Show.
Winter Art Show
Winter Art Show

While only in its first season, Team Diabetes of SL has already raised almost L$323,000 for the American Diabetes Association – which is no mean feat for a new charity team to achieve. Hopefully, the Art show and Showcase will see that total pushed higher. Knowing the team behind it as I do, there really is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy – so why not check out the event schedule and hop along to a few of the events? And do be sure to keep an eye on the Team Diabetes of SL website for the latest news and updates!

Additional Links and SLurls

 

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Bright Canopy now a part of Frame

Bright CanopyBright Canopy, the streaming service which allows users on low-end computers to access both Second Life and OpenSim, has announced it is effectively being absorbed by Frame, the cloud service provider which has been a technology partner with Bright Canopy from almost the beginning.

Bright Canopy came into existence after the demise of the SL Go service provided by the former Onlive games streaming company, after that company opted to offer itself for sale, only to have Sony Computer Entertainment buy out its IP and patents, ending the company as a going concern.

However, the going has been a little rough at times for Bright Canopy, particularly as no-one has attempted to provide access to Second Life and OpenSim in quite this way before (OnLive utilised their own dedicated servers and data centres), so it has been a journey into uncharted territory.

The most important things to note is that under the new arrangement, Bright Canopy will continue uninterrupted as a service for both Second Life and OpenSim, and the company’s founder, Bill Glover, will be joining Frame as Product Manager for Virtual Worlds.

Bill and Jeri Glover: creators of the Bright Canopy service
Bill and Jerri Glover: creators of the Bright Canopy service

Bright Canopy largely came into existence as a result of a partnership between Bill and Frame. At the time of SL Go’s demise, I ruminated on the potential of a streamed service for accessing Second Life being provided through Amazon Appstream. This time was enough to get Bill seriously thinking on the idea and looking into ways of achieving it. A follow-up article  prompted an invitation from Frame’s founder, Nikola Bozinovic, to try his service as a means to deliver a streamed viewer solution, and so the partnership was born.

Already with the technical expertise to manage and deliver high-end applications on a streaming basis through Amazon’s cloud services, and with the potential to leverage Microsoft’s Azure services in the future, Frame were an ideal partner for Bright Canopy. The synergy between the two companies allowed Bill to quickly establish a proof of concept for streaming the Second Life viewer. This rapidly developed into a closed alpha, which in turn rolled into a pre-lunch test beta. Thus, in just four months, Bright Canopy went from nascent idea to a service ready for launch.

Nikola Bozinovic, founder of Frame, has remained convinced of Bright Canopy's viability since extending his initial invitation to use Frame's infrastructure in April 2015.
Nikola Bozinovic, founder of Frame, has remained convinced of Bright Canopy’s viability since extending his initial invitation to use Frame’s infrastructure in April 2015.

Unfortunately, and as I reported at the time, a combination of very positive response to Bright Canopy’s launch and some drastic and unexpected fluctuations in Amazon’s Spot Instance pricing, meant that the original pricing model planned for the service could not be maintained, and Bill and Jerri had to reluctantly had to suspend Bright Canopy operations while alternatives were considered.

Although the service was relaunched in September 2015 with an alternative pricing model, both Bright Canopy and Frame have been seeking ways and means to make the service more appealing to users, particularly in the area of cost.

It is these explorations which have late to this latest situation, as Bill notes in the press release:

After brainstorming about some of the many things we could do together, I have accepted an offer to join Frame as Product Manager for Virtual Worlds.  The Bright Canopy service will continue uninterrupted as it already runs on the Frame platform, and we will be looking to expand and improve it with new options and flexibility.  Jerri will also continue supporting Bright Canopy as a community volunteer.

The news will not see any immediate change in Bright Canopy pricing – those avenues are still being explored.

However, one immediate benefit is that Bright Canopy’s support activities will be folded into those provided by Frame, streamlining issue management. What’s more, the move should also allow the Bright Canopy service to extend its reach into mobile devices: Frame already has a native iOS client, and can provide services to a number of Android devices through Chrome. Finally, the move might also allow further viewer options to be added to Bright Canopy’s stable alongside the Second Life viewer and Firestorm.

Running Bright Canopy on my Asus PCEE 1201N notebook with the graphics turned up to Ultra and everything enabled. The FPS was admittedly hovering just under 20, but given the Asus normally only manages low single-digit FPs nowadays with everything turned-off in the viewer - this is impressive
Running Bright Canopy on my Asus PCEE 1201N notebook with the graphics turned up to Ultra and everything enabled. The FPS was admittedly hovering just under 20, but given the Asus normally only manages low single-digit FPs nowadays with everything turned-off in the viewer – this is impressive

As well as announcing Frame’s direct involvement in Bright Canopy, which will see Jerri Glover continue her involvement in the project as a community volunteer, the press release also confirmed that there will be a special celebratory party at the company’s in-world location in Second Life to both celebrate the re-launch of the service back in September, and this latest news:

To celebrate, we will finally have that big relaunch party we’ve been promising with awesome gifts created just for the event. Come join us to celebrate.  Where: Bright Canopy Island. Time: December 12 at noon SLT (That’s 12/12 at 12:00).

For my own part, and having been privileged to have played a small role in Bright Canopy’s initial start-up and development, I’d like to offer my congratulations to Jerri and Bill, and also to Nikola.

You can read more about Bright Canopy, as I’ve covered developments in this blog, by following this link.

Christmas tales with a sprinkle of sci-fi and a helping of Dickens

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, December 6th, 14:00: Tea Time with Trolley

MiracleCome to Dr. Coppelius’s
Where all is bright and warm
And There’s no fear,
For I am here
To keep you safe from harm.

What happens when a man finds he’s taking the child of his date to a toy shop when he’d rather be going to a ball game – a child he didn’t even know his girlfriend had ?

What happens when he really doesn’t like kids at the best of times, and his girlfriend’s kid is intent on exploring the store, leading to them getting separated?

And what happens when the man discovers all really all it seems with the store?

Join Trolley Trollop as she reads two of Connie Willis’ seasonal tales from Miracle and Other Christmas Stories: In Coppelius’s Toyshop and The Pony.

Monday December 7th, 19:00: Mr. Dingle the Strong

Rod SterlingGyro Muggins concludes his reading of  Rod Sterling’s 1961 story for The Twilight Zone, Mr. Dingle The Strong.

Luther Dingle, vacuum-cleaner salesman and perennial loser, finds himself given the gift of super-strength by a curious Martian scientist. Returning to Earth to see how his subject is using his gift, the Martian finds Mr. Dingle is doing little more than gaining celebrity status through feats of super-human strength.

Taking back the gift, the Martian encounters a passing Venusian science team looking for a human test subject. He points them towards Luther Dingle…

Tuesday December 8th 19:00: Immovable Feast

Derry McMahon brings us a tale of Christmas in Paris.

Wednesday, December 9th 19:00 A Celtic Christmas

Faerie Maven-Pralou reads a selection from A Celtic Christmas, edited by Mairtin O’Griofa. Bringing together tales from early 20th Century Ireland, each unique in tone and style, be it humorous, tender, sentimental or a little bit spooky. This is an anthology right for the season, the tales a crammed with superstition and lore, ready to delight and charm.

Thursday, December 10th

19:00: Shandon Loring

A cabin. A cabin in the woods. Of it I have written before, and of it I write again. The same great fireplace piled high with logs fiercely ablaze. Again on either side of the fireplace are the hounds gazing meditatively into the fire. The same big table, and on it the same great book, leather-bound and worn by the hands of many generations. And at the strong table, bending over the sacred book, with one huge finger marking a sentence, the same whitened head, the same man, large of limb and large of feature–John Norton, the Trapper.

So begins William Henry Harrison Murray’s John Norton’s Vagabond, the second of two stories from Holiday Tales – Christmas in the Adirondacks, Originally published in  1897.

21:00 Finn Zeddmore

With Seanchai Late Night.

Saturday, December 12th

12:00 Noon: An Irish Country Christmas at Seanchai InWorldz

With Shandon and Caledonia – check the Seanchai blog nearer the date for LM details.

13:00 Second Life: The Dickens Project

Join Caledonia Skytower as she opens the 2015 season for The Dickens Project bringing us the story behind a Christmas classic – a look behind the story that had a profound effect on shaping the Christmas that we know, as well as revived an author’s career.

The dickens Project returns to Second Life
The Dickens Project returns to Second Life

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for October – December is Reach Out and Read, one of the most highly rated literacy charities in the USA which reaches 4.4 million children annually and distributes 1.6 million books.

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