Back at the end of January, I posted instructions on how to verify your e-mail address. I did so, because the Lab was indicating that in future, outgoing e-mails (including IMs-to-e-mail, Merchant and information from the Marketplace) will only be sent to those e-mail addressed that have been verified by the owners. So, failure to verify would mean no more off-line IMs delivered to you (among other things).
While it’s taken slightly longer to get officially announced that anticipated at the time I wrote that report, on Wednesday, April 19th, the Lab did finally post notice of the upcoming change see Making Email From Second Life (More) Reliable) explaining the reason behind it pretty much as I did back at the end of January:
One of the most important reasons mail doesn’t get through is that many Second Life accounts have bad email addresses – when something in Second Life sends to one of those bad addresses, it generates errors. The number of those errors causes many network providers and spam detectors to block even perfectly good email if it comes from Second Life. To fix that, we need to cut down on the bad addresses, so… over the next few months we will be converting all the sources of email in Second Life to not even try to send to an address that has not been verified.
On Thursday, April 20th, Fantasy Faire will open for 2017, and will run through until the end of the month. As always, there will be many things to see and do – and deep within the Fairelands lies a special place where the magic of the spoken word will weave tales of wonder, relate stories of great adventure and daring; where talks by authors, discussions, creative writing sessions and performances will all take place.
Celebrating its third year, the Fantasy Faire Literary Fest – LitFest for short – is now an established staple of the Fairelands. It will bring together a number of storytelling and creative writing groups together, who will share their programmes of events. There will also be special sessions in which Fairelanders far and wide will be encouraged to participate, such as the Writing Challenges, wherein those who enjoy writing can put their Fantasy Faire experiences into words; there will be Open Mic sessions led by well-known poets and writers, and sessions which open with reading but which invite the audience to contribute too.
And of course, there will be the LitFest tours. These will take three times a day – 12:00 noon, 17:00 and 20:00 SLT – and depart from the LitFest base in Kakushi Pasu to tour a different region of the Faire each day, seeking out hidden secrets and seeking to inspire those on the tour to write about what they see and discover.
The Tours for 2017 will be as follows:
Thursday, April 20th
Region 1 – Mudrana
Friday, April 21st
Region 2 – Raven’s Perch
Saturday, April 22nd
Region 3 – Dawn’s Priomise
Sunday, April 23rd
Region 4 – Egregore
Monday, April 24th
Region 5 – Fallen Sands
Tuesday, April 25th
Region 6 – San Mora
Wednesday, April 26th
Region 7 – The Hill
Thursday, April 27th
Region 8 – Chaddul Ro
Friday, April 28th
Region 9 – The Spirit Pool
Saturday, April 29th
Region 10 – The Rose
After each tour, there will be the opportunity to return the Literary Festival base to lay down the words inspired by the tour (or you can do this wherever you like), and later share you work – if you desire – directly via open microphone or via in-world note card or e-mail submission. Note that all sharing is voluntary, and you retain the creative ownership of your work.
A special guest will be in attendance at the LitFest this year – Seanan McGuire, author of – among other things – the October Daye, Incryptid and Wayward Children series. She will be taking part in two events:
Monday, April 24th, 13:00 SLT
An interview with Seanan McGuire
Friday, April 28th, 13:00 SLT
Seansan McGuire reads from her own work
Vedui’ Lindari, Mae Govannen!
Each LitFest features the works of a particular author. In 2015, it was Terry Pratchett, who sadly passed away just before the event. In 2016, and to mark the 400th anniversary of his death, the LitFest featured William Shakespeare.
This year, on Tuesday, April 25th, LitFest will honour the life and works of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the true Master of Middle Earth and keeper of tales of the Eldar Days.
More details on this will be announced soon – but as I have heard through Faireland grapevine that Hobbits are involved, you can be sure it will involve a party – Unexpected or otherwise!
As Merry As The Day Is Long
The Faireland Players will also be returning this year, this time presenting Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The play will be staged on Sunday, April 23rd, from 13.30 to 15:00 SLT, and on Sunday, April 30th, from 10:00 to 11:30 SLT. You can read more about the play and the Faireland Players on the Fantasy Faire LitFest pages.
Find Out More
While I and many other bloggers will be covering Fantasy Faire, the best place to keep abreast of all the new is the Fantasy Faire blog and the full LitFest schedule – just select the AGENDA view for ease-of-reading!
Magnum looks set to receive a new “secret” update, which has been under testing on the Snack channel (and will likely have Snack reabsorbed into it).
There have been no viewer updates thus far this week, leaving the viewer pipeline as:
Current Release version: 184.108.40.2064435, dated March 13 – snapshots to e-mail hotfix
Release channel cohorts :
Project AssetHttp project viewer version 220.127.116.115368 dated April 12th – This viewer moves fetching of several types of assets to HTTP / CDN – overview
Maintenance RC viewer version 18.104.22.1685124 dated April 3rd – avatar rendering and other updates
Project Alex Ivy (LXIV), 64-bit project viewer version 22.214.171.1243537 dated March 17th
360-degree snapshot viewer version 126.96.36.1991712 dated November 23, 2016 – ability to take 360-degree panoramic images – hands-on review
Obsolete platform viewer version 188.8.131.520847 dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.
Differences Between Teleporting and Physical Region Crossings
As we know, whether you teleport between one region and another or physically cross the boundary between two regions, you are performing a region crossing. However, there is a slight different in how they are handled. Rider and Simon Linden described the processes involved during the Simulator User Group meeting, which makes for interesting reading if you weren’t previously aware of the processes involved.
In referencing teleporting between regions, Rider said, “Teleport packs your avatar into a big ball of data and throws you at the destination.” It’s then left up to the destination region to determine whether or not you actually get in. Hence the teleport progress bar.
Simon then said of a physical region crossings, “They do a bit more pre-crossing checks to see if you go into the neighbour[ing] region than TPs do.” Rider Linden then added, “If the regions are adjacent, the sim you are on checks to see if it should smush you into that ball before it does.”
These pre-crossing checks are handled through your child agent on the neighbouring region, allowing the simulator running the region you’re currently in to “see” if you’re able to access the neighbouring region. If it believes you can’t, it won’t bother creating the ball of data about your avatar (and everything attached to it), reducing its workload.
When is a Region Not a Region?
A curious topic came up at the meeting: when is a region not a region? The simple answer is probably “when you can’t see it”. But what about if you can – apparently – see it, at least on the map, and it doesn’t appear to have a name.
Whirly Fizzle spotted this phenomenon on the World Map with a region apparently adjoining The Epiphany, although her curiosity was piqued as it was apparently without a name. The mystery deepened when most of those at the meeting reported they couldn’t see any such region on their maps – although two or three besides Whirly could, on both TPVs and the official viewer (ruling on an issue in how a specific viewer is handling the map data).
What was equally mysterious, was that those who were able to see the unnamed island on the World map could also see it on the web SL map – while those who couldn’t see it on the world map also couldn’t see it on the web SL map.
Several theories were put forward for the phenomenon, including it being a non-updated map texture; a potential error in map tiling and loading; an old texture loaded and stuck at the wrong LOD; and so on. Running a quick check, Simon Linden couldn’t find any evidence for a region ever having been placed in any of the eight grid areas surrounding The Epiphany. He did, however, offer a possible explanation of what might have happened:
I do know the support team will do some interesting tricks sometimes … they will move one of their regions next to another to do some sort of work, then move it away. Perhaps that got captured there.
Either way, a curious little anomaly.
Mesh UUID Flipping via Script / UUID
Back in the mists of time as mesh support was being added to Second Life, there was the ability to change mesh assets via UUID / LSL. However, the ability was used most frequently as a means of animating meshes – putting considerable stress of the rendering system in the process. Because of this, a wiki page on the subject was raised, and the ability to change mesh UUIDs via script was eventually removed altogether.
The Lab is currently considering implementing a means to animation meshes (something routinely discussed at the Content Creator’s User Group meeting). This would be a far more efficient and less stressful means of animating meshes where it to be taken up as project, and completely negate the need for animation via UUID flipping.
However, while allowing meshes to be changed through scripts / UUIDs has other potential uses, it is unlikely to be re-introduced even if animated meshes are introduced to SL, because anyone obtaining the UUID for a mesh could potentially download the “mesh” as a vnd.ll.mesh file from the CDN, and could then theoretically reconstruct the original mesh item from that data (thus effectively stealing it).