As part of Linden Lab’s continued risk management process, we are now introducing monthly Process Credit limits.We anticipate that few, if any, Residents will be negatively affected by these adjustments, and will persist in monitoring any impact these changes may cause.
You can review your existing limits on this page; your Process Credit limit will be listed there, as well as your Buy and Sell limits.
You can request a tier limit review through our support system. Simply submit a ticket –> Billing –> LindeX Billing and Trading Limits Review Request (for basic accounts) or Billing and L$ -> LindeX Tier Review ticket options (for premium accounts).
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.
We’re now just a week from the opening of Filling the Cauldron, and everything is starting to fall into place. Our marketplace slots are all filled, several of our artists are all set up and ready to go, the entertainment slots are filling up. There’s a fair bit still to be done, but we’re getting closer and closer to being all ready to open the gates!
Cerridwen’s Corner, Elicio’s shop for the event is now complete, with lots of vendors and the opportunity to enjoy his fabulous creations. Elico has also provided a Welcome Area gazebo for us, which will have information givers, teleport maps (also located throughout the event areas), and more. Just follow the crystal stairway from the main landing point (SLurl coming soon!).
The teleport board, designed by Vecchio Barbosa is also available as a handy HUD – just grab it when you arrive, give it permission to teleport you, and you can hop around the event areas at your convenience – although signs and gates throughout the region will hopefully guide you around as well and offer a pleasant walk from place to place!
We’re not going o give too much away on the entertainment front, other than there will be music throughout the week, and we’ve also got two special dance performances being planned. On Sunday, April 2nd, the Night Theatre will perform for us – watch for more details in this blog! Then, on Saturday, April 8th, the Monarch Dance Troupe will be giving a special performance of Amnesia – and we’ll again have full details on that in an upcoming post.
We also have a lot going on with out auction, with some very special items up for grabs. Saffia will have more to say on these this week, so keep an eye on the Filling the Cauldron blog for more very soon.
The full event schedule will be available via a Google Calendar soon, and we’ll have a breakdown of entertainment alongside that in the blog to help make finding out what’s going on easier.
And don’t forget – the photo contest is still going, with some great prizes up for grabs – just get your entries in before April 3rd.
We’ll have more for you throughout the week, so keep checking back!
Ever wondered what it would be like to actually fly over Mars? I have – although I admit, I’m utterly entranced by that red world and the potentials it presents. Finnish film-maker Jan Fröjdman has as well – only he’s taken the idea a step further and produced a remarkable video, A Fictive Flight Above Real Mars. Last just over 4.5 minutes, the film takes us on a flight over some of the must remarkable scenery imaginable, using high-resolution images and data returned by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
It’s a stunning piece showing many of the more intriguing features of Mars: the recent impact crater see in the still at the top of this article; the ice walls and melt holes of the Martian poles; gullies and cliffs rutted and marked by RSLs – recurring slope lineae – which might or might not be the result of liquid activity; the ripples of sand dunes, and the winding forms of channels which might have been shaped by the passage of water.
To make the film, Fröjdman used 3-D anaglyph images from HiRISE (the High Resolution Science Imaging Experiment aboard MRO), which contain information about the topography of Mars surface. The work involved manually picking more than 33,000 reference points in the anaglyph images, and then processing the results through six pieces of software to achieve a sense of motion and panning across the surface of Mars.
In putting the film together, Fröjdman wanted to create a real feeling of flying over Mars and of recapturing the feel of video footage shot by the Apollo astronauts as they orbited the Moon. To help with the latter, he overlaid the video with image cross-hairs of the kind seen in some of the Apollo footage, and added little bursts of thruster firings to simulate a vehicle manoeuvring in the thin atmosphere. The film concludes with a main engine firing, presumably to lift the vehicle back into orbit.
NASA and SpaceX Consider Red Dragon Landing Site
And staying with Mars: NASA and SpaceX have started the process of selecting a landing site for SpaceX’s planned Red Dragon mission to Mars in 2020. The ambitious mission will see the company attempt to land a 10-tonne Red Dragon capsule on Mars purely by propulsive means. While paid for entirely by the company, the mission will feature a science suite provided by NASA.
There are two major criteria governing any landing site location: scientific interest, and the potential for colonisation – the 2020 mission being the first of a number which SpaceX plans to uses as precursors for human missions to Mars. As such, it had initially been decided that any landing sites put forward must be near the equator, for solar power; near large quantities of ice, for water and at low elevation, for better thermal conditions.
NASA initially identified four potential locations on Mars’ northern hemisphere which meet the broad criteria for the mission – but examination of three of them using the HiRISE system on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showed they are rocky enough to pose a threat to landing a vehicle the size and mass of Red Dragon. This currently leaves a short-list of one, in the shape of Arcadia Planitia, a smooth plain containing fresh lava flows and which has a large region that was shaped by periglacial processes which suggest that ice is present just beneath the surface.
However, negating this is the plain’s relatively high northern latitude (40-60 degrees north), which would reduce the amount of sunlight a base of operations there would receive in the winter months. While Amazonis Planitia to the south offers a similar youthful surface, much of which is relatively smooth, it is largely volcanic in origin and unlikely to harbour sub-surface water ice which can be easily accessed.
Given both of these point, it is likely other possible landing sites will be proposed in the coming months.
Curiosity Reveals More Wheel Damage
It’s been a while since my last report on NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity. This is mostly being the updates coming out of JPL have slowed mightily in recent months.
At present, Curiosity is examining sand dunes on the lower slopes of “Mount Sharp”. Once finished, it will proceed up higher to a feature known as “Vera Rubin Ridge”, inspecting a layer that is rich in the mineral hematite. From there, it will proceeded to even higher elevations to inspect layers that contain clays and sulphates. This will require a drive of some 6 km (3.7 mi) uphill, and so will require time to complete.
A recurring area of concern for the mission – albeit not serious at this point – is the wear and tear on the rover’s wheels. In 2013, Curiosity suffered greater than expected damage to its six wheels while traversing some exceptionally rough terrain. Although the damage was nowhere near severe enough to impeded the rover’s driving abilities, it did result in engineers keeping a much closer eye on the condition of Curiosity’s wheels using the imaging system mounted on the rover’s robot arm.
The latest of these checks was performed on Sunday, March 19th, 2017, and it revealed two small breaks in the raised treads (“grousers”) on the rover’s left middle wheel. These seem to have occurred since the last wheel check at the end of January, 2017. These treads perform two major tasks: bearing the brunt of the rover’s weight and providing most of the traction for a wheel.
Following the 2013 damage, testing on Earth suggested that significant breaks in three “grousers” on a wheel would indicate it has passed 60% of its expected lifespan. However, the mission team emphasise the rover has already driven more than 60% of the total distance needed for it to make it to all of its scientific destinations. As such, while the breaks will be monitored, they are not a cause for immediate or grave concern.
Overall, confidence remains high that Curiosity will achieve all of its expected science goals and will likely make an extended traverse up the side of “Mount Sharp”.