Second Life says, “Happy Birthday Star Trek!” in Trek for a Cure

The iconic starship - and you can celebrate Star Trek's 50th anniversary at Trek for a Cure through to September 11th, 2016
The iconic starship – and you can celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary at Trek For a Cure through to September 11th, 2016

Fifty years ago on September 8th, 1966, a new science-fiction show started airing on American television. Called simply Star Trek, it started as a humble weekly series which had already been through a difficult gestation period (1964-1966) and eventually lasted just three seasons – but went on to become a world-wide phenomenon, almost instantly recognisable in most countries and spawned a host of follow-on films and series, up to and including the re-imagining of the original under the guidance of J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin.

I’m an unbashed Star Trek fan. I wasn’t around when the Original Series first aired, but I did discover it in my teens, and was instantly attracted to the multi-cultural message aboard the Starship Enterprise and to Kirk’s buffness, Spock’s sexy-cool logic, and McCoy’s irascible nature and deeply human caring for others.

Trek For a Cure - celebrating 50 years of Star Trek
Trek For a Cure – celebrating 50 years of Star Trek

More than just science-fictiony drama (which at the time was pretty much summed up by The Monster Of The Week), Trek dared to challenged people to think. It offered commentary on events of the time – discrimination on the basis of race and / or colour, the dangers of military intervention, and so on. At the same time it offered a vision of the future where humanity really is a multi-cultural society driven by the ideals of tolerance, discovery and hope. Messages and ideals which are still very much relevant today as we see a world around us increasingly fragmented and divided.

Such is the show’s influence over the decades, that it is fitting to mark its anniversary – and for those of us who enjoy Trek and science fiction in-world – that the Second Life Sci-Fi Alliance is hosting a special Star Trek centric event for Relay for Life of Second Life. Trek For a Cure is taking place across three regions, each named for a famous planet from Trek lore: Vulcan, Qonos, and Risa, with the latter reflecting its role as a shore leave environment in The Next Generation by being the hub of Trek For a Cure’s entertainment.

A Galaxy class starship cruises by Trek For a Cure
A Galaxy class starship cruises by Trek For a Cure

Running through until Sunday, September 11th, the event is home to over 80 booths set up by residents to promote their Trek and sci-fi groups, content made in world  and services, with the added bonus of visitors being able to support RFL of Second Life.

The event schedule can be found at the SL Sci-Fi Alliance website, and the main teleport hub can be found at the centre of Risa – most of the facilities are on the ground, but the ballroom and the starships battle area are up in the sky.

So – if you’re a Trek fan, a sci-fi fan or simply want to support RFL of SL, why not head over the Trek For a Cure and celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary?

SLurl Details

All regions rated moderate.

Yasminia: pastoral peace in Second Life

Yasminia; Inara Pey, September 2016, on Flickr Yasminia – click any image for full size

“The plan was to close it, but I don’t mind people coming to see it really,” Busta (BadboyHi) says of Yasminia, his homestead region. He’d originally opened it to public access for a limited time, the original intention being to close at the end of August. However, When I dropped in recently, it was still accesible and Busta indicated there was no immediate plan to close. “So yes, you are welcome to come see :)”, he told me.

I’d actually come across Yasimina via Loverdag’s fabulous photos of the region back in August, and dropped in shortly before the end of the month to have a look around for myself. I didn’t blog then because of the word it would be closing. However, Following Busta’s confirmation, I jumped back for another explore and a round of picture-taking.

Yasminia; Inara Pey, September 2016, on Flickr Yasminia

This is a simple pastoral region, offering a landscape idea for wandering and escaping the world and which rolls from rocky hills to low-lying pastures cut by waterlogged land and channels spanned by wooden bridges; a place where trees offer shade from the sun and rutted tracks lead the visitor onwards and the air is vibrant with nature’s many sounds.

A farmhouse sits on a ledge of rocky land on the east side of the region, where the sails of a windmill turn in a gentle breeze, and ducks, geese and chickens wander the grassy yard. Down a path and a track from here – visitors have a choice of routes – fields sit alongside the calm waters, horses grazing contentedly. A tractor is parked to one side of the tracks, speaking to this being very much a working farm.

Yasminia; Inara Pey, September 2016, on Flickr Yasminia

A footpath to one side of the tractor offers the way down between fences and onward over a small bridge to where apples are being plucked from their trees. A second bridge – this one of stone – then provides the means to reach a little gathering of chairs and sofas at the water’s edge – a place, perhaps, where those from the farm come to sit at the end of a long day’s work. It is one of several little posts visitors might find in their wanderings where they might sit and rest, and if so minded, enjoy a little cuddle.

The beauty of Yasminia is in its simplicity; beyond the farm, the region lies uncluttered with signs of living, yet has enough to offer the curious or those seeking a place to relax with a friend. The trees grow tall, the cuddle spots are widely separated to ensure some privacy, and the footpaths and tracks make for an amiable walk, accompanied by the region’s soft, natural sound scape as the surrounding hills beyond the region give it a feeling of intimacy.

Yasminia; Inara Pey, September 2016, on Flickr Yasminia

The region has a neutral windlight, but the design is such that it offers itself to most settings with equal beauty, making it an ideal location for photography, as I hope my efforts here show, all of which were intentionally taken using a different preset, suitably adjusted.

Many thanks to Busta for offering his creation for us all to enjoy – and a belated happy rezday as well!

SLurl Details

2016 SL project updates 36 (1): server, viewer

Little Yoshiwara
Little Yoshiwarablog post

Server Deployments

There was no main (SLS) channel deployment on Tuesday, September 6th.  On Wednesday, September 7th, all three RCs received the same new server maintenance package, defined as containing “minor internal logging changes”.

Commenting on the update at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, September 6th, Simon Linden indicated the updates might help with some of the problems occasionally seen with estate bans; at a minimum the Lab will be able to gather more information on them.

SL Viewer

There have been no significant changes to the SL viewer channels since the end of week #35. A further RC update to the VLC viewer had been expected following comments at the August 27th TPV Developer meeting, but has yet to materialise. As such, this leasing the viewer channels as follows:

  • Current Release version: (dated August 8), promoted August 11 – formerly the Maintenance RC viewer download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Visual Outfit Browser viewer,  version, dated August 30 – ability to preview images of outfits in the Appearance floater
    • VLC Media Plugin Viewer RC, version, dated August 15 – replaces the QuickTime media plugin for the Windows viewer with one based on LibVLC
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Bento (avatar skeleton extensions), version, dated August 25 – avatar vertical position update; SLM files are by default not created or used; show bones display uses colours differently; animation of collision volumes fixed
  • Obsolete platform viewer version dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Other Items

Windows 10 Performance Issues Due to KB3176938

As noted in BUG-37795 and my related article, some windows 10 users are experiencing issues after installing the Microsoft Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB3176938, with reduced FPS after tabbing between other applications they may be running and a Second Life viewer. The issue appears to be related to how Windows 10 handles OpenGL. Linden Lab are apparently going to (/already have) contact(ed) Microsoft on the problem, which also affects a number of PC games. Please refer to the JIRA for further information.

SL Wiki

The SL wiki remains closed for user editing.