Lab ramps-up for SL14B celebrations

The SL14B Shopping Event, organised by Linden Lab and open through until June 26th

Second Life’s  2017 anniversary celebrations are on the horizon, with builders all over the SL14B Community Celebration regions are busy brewing prims, moulding mesh and gluing things together in what will be a carnivalesque week of celebratory activities starting on Sunday, June 18th. And believe me, as I’ve been able to get around the regions to grab photos for the SL14B website, a lot of imagination has gone into many of this year’s builds to match the theme.

To mark the forthcoming celebrations, Linden Lab have blogged about some of the activities they are and will be running to mark SL’s 14th anniversary.

In-world Shopping Event

Currently in progress is the 14th anniversary shopping event, which runs through unto June 26th. Set out across three regions which form a huge shopping mall like environment, which wide open halls lined with shop spaces some have used very creatively (Cube Republic’s  walk through a cavern is a particularly clever use of space) the event features 60 participating merchants and creators.  In case you haven’t been, the SLurls to the regions are:

SL14B Music Festival

The third SL Birthday Music Festival, organised by Linden Lab will take place over three days of the SL14B Community Celebration, featuring everything from Italian Opera to full on Psychedelic Rock!

The dates and times (SLT) for the event are:

  • Friday, June 23rd 2017, 11:00 – 15:00
  • Saturday, June 24th 2017, 20:00 – midnight
  • Sunday, June 25th 2017, 16:00 – 20:00

The SLurl for the festival, together with the line-up of artists, will be announced soon.

Celebratory Parties

The Lab will also host two special parties at SL14B’s Cake Stage during the course of the celebrations, with a prize of L$5,000 up for grabs at each.

The Lab is hosting two parties for SL14B

The Masquerade Ball – Monday, June 19th 11:00 13:00 SLT. Be part of the mystery and intrigue of the Masked Ball. Dress to the nines, don that harlequin mask (or other suitable facial disguise) and  join your fellow celebrants at this special event. The L$5,000 will go to the person judged The Best at the Ball!

Come as You Were – Wednesday, June 21st 18:00 – 20:00 SLT. We all enter tour virtual lives as newbies, and this party looks back to those innocent days, whether yours was last week, last month or a decade ago. Simply put your best Ruth forward, as the Lab says (and also indicate your age by knowing who / what Ruth was!) and go along in costume for a chance to win L$5,000.

Celebratory Gifts

In addition to these events, the Lab will have vendors located at some of the SL14B regions, offering a special commemorative avatar and bonus gift. 

SL project updates 24/1: server updates

Le Sixième Sens, Le Sixième Sens; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Le Sixième Sensblog post

Server Deployments, Week 24

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

  • There was no deployment to the main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, June 13th. Nor, as the channel was updated in week #23, was there a restart.
  • On Wednesday, June 14th, the server RC channels will be updated as follows:
    • LeTigre should receive a new server maintenance package (#, comprising additional internal logging and features and improvements to region start
    • BlueSteel should receive a new server maintenance package (17# containing internal fixes
    • Magnum should receive an update to the new operating system update (#, which includes a fix for BUG-100737 “Shoutcast receivers unable to relay on RC Magnum” – see below for more.

Shoutcast Issue

The original OS deployment to the Magnum RC channel resulted in breakages to scripts used by various streaming service DJ boards (as noted in BUG-10073, above). This week’s deployment to Magnum fixes this issue, but it will require all scripts affected by the problem will require update.

The fix means the server will no longer allow newlines or other characters that don’t belong in URLs in the url parameter, but there will now be a new option HTTP_USER_AGENT that will allow a specific agent value to be added to the one generated by the server. The wiki documentation will be updated to reflect this update.

SL Viewer

There have been no updates to the LL viewers in the various pipelines. This leaves the list as:

  • Current Release version, dated May 18th, promoted May 23rd
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Maintenance RC viewer version dated June 1st
    • Voice RC viewer, updated to version dated May 31st
    • Project AssetHttp viewer updated to version dated May 26th
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Alex Ivy 64-bit viewer, version, dated on May 11th
    • 360-degree snapshot viewer updated to version dated November 23, 2016
  • Obsolete platform viewer version dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Windlight environmental enhancements

At the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, June 13th, it was confirmed that the Lab is starting work on a set of environment enhancements, including parcel windlight support. For the  fully details, please refer to my separate article. The informal name for this work is EEP – Environment Enhancements Project (!).

Lab announces updates to LindeX and credit processing fees

On Tuesday, June 13th, Linden Lab announced updates to LindeX and credit processing fees, which will come into effect from Monday, June 19th, 2017.

These changes will see an increase for those purchasing Linden dollars on the LindeX and some of those paying out higher volumes Linden dollars. Specifically:

  • The fee for purchasing L$ on the LindeX will increase from $0.40 (USD) to $0.60 (USD) per transaction.
  • The fee structure for process credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into PayPal or Skrill accounts) will remain as a 1.5% fee with a $3 (USD) minimum, but the maximum fee per transaction will increase from $15 (USD) to $25 (USD).

The blog post explains the reasons for the increases as:

Underlying SL’s successful user-to-user L$ economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering.

Investing in improvements to these processes and the ongoing compliance work required comes at a cost to Linden Lab, and we will be making some LindeX fee adjustments in order to share a portion of those costs with Residents active in the SL economy.

As there have been various reports of issues being experienced by some trying to cash-out, the news of the increases is unlikely to be welcomed, whatever the reasons for any delays being experience or however valid the reasons for increasing the charges.

Lost dreams in Second Life

Le Sixième Sens, Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus – click any image for full size

Les Reves Perdus (“Dreams Lost”) is a public homestead region designed by Chanell (zaziaa), which Caitlyn and I were drawn to visiting after seeing a photo by Wurfi, a fellow photographer and blogger. Described as “an original world of dreams and creativity, with the atmosphere of nature,” it is a place visitors are invited to enjoy and photograph, and it does indeed present a relaxing landscape in which to wander and spend time.

Placing the region is a little hard; there is a touch of provincial France about it, together with a little twist of Tuscany, thanks to the villa occupying part of the region. The low-lying parts of the island, however, could be representative of just about any temperate coastal / marshland area in the world. Nevertheless, the theme works, and everything comes together to create a charming, photogenic scene.

Le Sixième Sens, Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus

A visit starts on the low-lying part of the island, at the end of a dirt track which gently undulates along an avenue of trees, leading the way to a set of stone steps which rise to the highland reaches of the region, of which more anon.

Mostly grass-covered, this lowland is home to grazing sheep and horses, with the greenery broken up by bright splashes of rapeseed and wild flowers.  It is also split into two, linked via stone and log bridges, with some marshy outlying areas sitting a short distance across the water to the north and north-west. Over the bridges, the land is more divided between grass and sand, the former giving way to a widening arc of the latter, offering plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view out over the open waters to a sailing ship lying off the coast, or inland over a shallow bay, fed in part by a horseshoe waterfall, to the cliffs of the highlands.

Le Sixième Sens, Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus

A lone outcrop of rock rises from the south-eastern end of the beach, a wooden cabin sitting on its flat top. A rope bridge spans the narrow neck of water separating it from a promontory on which sits another cabin, the two offering a cosy place for couples. From here, it is possible to climb up onto the higher ground – but I don’t recommend it: there is neither a path for doing so, nor is the immediate landscape designed to be seen from this side.

Instead, the best way to appreciate the upland area is via the track and stone stairs near the landing point. These will take you up to a broad, largely flat plateau where the Tuscan villa sits, a tide of wild grass and rapeseed washing around it and held at bay from reaching the pool in front of the villa by bushes and bright flowers. Deer roam this wild garden, while the villa’s dining room is set for a formal meal, and its outhouse offers a lounge area with light refreshments. Climb the stairs of the villa, and you’ll enter the realm of an artist, whilst beyond the walls of the villa, the land grows wild on one side, and offers a small orchard on the other, an old pick-up truck offering another place for couples to snuggle.

Le Sixième Sens, Les Reves Perdus; Inara Pey, June 2017, on Flickr Les Reves Perdus

Les Reves Perdus makes for a charming visit, and the default windlight offers plenty of scope for photographs and the region as a whole presents plenty of scope for those who like to use their preferred windlights or like to experiment. This is an ideal place to visit if you’re seeking some quiet time on your own or with a friend. Caitlyn and I took certainly found it relaxing to sit on a hammock chatting, while looking out over the water to where the little folly sits amidst the pinks and greens of the marshy outlands.

SLurl Details