2017 in review part 2

The Mill; Inara Pey, December 2017, on FlickrThe Mill, December 2017 – blog post

The end of the year is once more approaching, which is often a time of reflection as we look back over the old before pausing to await the arrival of the new. It’s become something of a tradition in these pages for me to look back over the articles and coverage of the year’s events I’ve managed to write-up, and offer a chance to revisit the ups and downs and the good and the bad the last twelve months have brought us.

To keep things digestible, I’ve broken this year’s review into two parts. This one covers July through December. January through June can be found here, and a look at SL’s technical developments through the years is available here.

July

Second Life

The month opened with Jayjay Zifanwe contacting me to give me the (then) exclusive news that UWA’s regions would be remaining in Second Life for a further two years, albeit it on a reduced scale, rather than closing as anticipated. A celebratory Art of the Artists machinina challenge followed the announcement. The lab launched their “Bento equipped” starter avatars, and issued updates to the Terms of Service, while some purchase notifications were also updated. Nicky Perian announced he would be retiring from Kokua development in October 2017 to enjoy a well-earned rest, in the hope that someone else would take up the reins.

Sansar

The end of July saw the Creator Beta launch, with the platform opening to anyone wishing to join. The run-up through the month was marking with an increase in Preview invitations, plus profile videos featuring Ria, Blueberry and London-based Unit 9, all of which I reviewed and added some thoughts around vis Sansar’s reach and marketing. With the Public Beta openI did a quick getting started guide.

VR and AR

CastAR sadly closed and AltspaceVR gave notice they would be closing. On a brighter note, it was revealed how Google had been re-inventing Glass over the last two years.

Space and Astronomy

July 2017 marked 20 years of continuously studying Mars from both the surface of the planet and from orbit, and also marked the anniversary of the first lunar landing. Remarkable images of Betelgeuse were revealed, and further traction was gained for NASA’s Deep Space Gateway while Elon Musk walked back some expectations around the first flight of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

Voyager mission: 40 years on. Credit: NASA/JPL

Personal

Wouldn’t you just know it – I revised the island home again!

Travel and Arts

July Travels July Art Reviews
Stony Hill Vineyard Artful Expressions: Cecilia Mode, Lawrence Pryce, Rosy Hanry Jarom
Gale Storm Retreat Wintergeist: Pieces of a Whole
Collins Land Solo Arte: Terrygold’s Reflected on Black
Ash Falls Karma Avedon: One Tree Hill
Welcome to Somewhere Commonwealth Village: Inara Pey
Follow Your Bliss Commune Utopia: Cybele Moon
Solo Arte: Boudicca Amat and Inara Pey
MetaLES: Harbor Galaxy
Serena Arts: aldiladeisogni – Picture of Oh
Bailywick Gallery: August 2017

August

Second Life

It’s a quiet month for me, reporting-wise, the focus being on my weekly series of SL user group meeting reports, although Bay City does announce the 2017 Hot City Nights event, which takes place towards the end of the month.

Sansar

With the Public Beta open, I offer some initial hints’n’tips and suggestions of places to visit, following by a more detailed look at the Runtime Desktop Mode. I also look at what the media is saying, and offer my own thoughts on the opening.  Three visits to Sansar experiences launch my Exploring Sansar series, while also taking a look at some of the Creator Challenge winners before starting my series of reports on Sansar Product Meetings.  Keeping with the spirit of competitions, the Lab co-sponsors an avatar design competition, and Bjorn and Widely Linden discuss the new platform (with audio), while there’s a further official Creator Profile video.

Secrets of the World Whale; Inara Pey, August 2017, on Flickr Sansar: Secrets of the World Whaleblog post

VR and AR

AltspaceVR announces a reprieve from closure may be in the wind, and there’s a look at VR and AR in the wake of Sansar’s public Creator Beta while High Fidelity reveals currency and IP protection plans.

Space and Astronomy

There’s another anniversary to be celebrated – this one marking 40 years of the Voyager mission. Curiosity celebrates five years of Mars surface operations, and exoplanets once more step into the spotlight, while the 2017 total solar eclipse is tracked across America.

Travel and Arts

August SL Travels August SL Art Reviews August Sansar
Banana Bay Battle of the Little Liars Seven Wonders
Wimberly (2) Cica Ghost: Future LOOT Interactive
Yasminia Dathúil: Welcome to My Brain Secrets of the World Whale
Cocoon Split Screen: Creator Challenge winners
Fine Art Gallery and Jungle No Life Without Art
Yamagata Club LA and Gallery: Burke Bode and Twain Orfan
Les Reves Perdus  Anibrm Jung – Art by Nature
Long Journey Kultivate’s Black and White
De*cid*u*ous Nitroglobus: Marie (mariajo60)
Cica Ghost: Fairy Tale

September

Second Life

Hope After Harvey in support of victims of Hurricane Harvey, opened its doors, as did Spoonful of Sugar, supporting  Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).  Linden Lab launches a new grid-wide game, although plans to roll it out to private regions and parcels subsequently seem to stall. A Drax Files special celebrates  the 10th anniversary of Nonny de la Peña and Peggy Weil’s Gone Gitmo, and a new iOS client for Second Life arrives. The month was rounded out by Rock Your Rack.

The Lab issued warnings about in-world phishing scams and an annoying Windows 10 issue, and notice that non-US users might have to re-enter their payment details via the Second Life website dashboard.

Sansar

The Lab launches the second Sansar competition to feature a US $10,000 grand prize. A change to the Sansar Store policies is announced, although feedback causes a part of them to be held over until 2018. Voyages Live: Egypt, the first Sansar “tour” is announced, in conjunction with Insight Digital.

Space and Astronomy

I looked at plans to study the icy worlds of the solar system and an idea to send a clockwork rover to Venus. The NASA / ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn came to an end. The USAF enlisted SpaceX to launch their super-secret X-37B mini shuttle, and SpaceX took the mickey out of themselves with a video short.

Personal

Caitinara Bar was completely remodelled, with inspiration from Bar Deco and Keleland.

Travel and Arts

September SL Travels September SL Art Reviews September Sansar
Savor Serenity Dilligraf (M8TY) and Norton Lykin Reverse Perspective Gallery
Brand New Colony Haveit Neox: Elastic Garage Zen Garden
Route 66 DaphneArts: Lilium Digital Arts Gallery
~Neive~ Solo Arte: CioTToLiNa Xue
Gentle Breezes Gem Preiz: Five Years of Fractals
The Mill – Autumn Itakos Project
Bar Deco and Kekeland
Mitsumi Town – Tokyo
Calas Dark Moon

October

Second Life

Rally to Rescue supporting Operation Delta Dog opened. A fund-raiser to help SL’s Maxwell Graf and Lyrric Fei also opened, and eventually raised L$1 million. I got to preview a Drax Files special doocumentary which will air in 2018. The SL “Moonshine” RC brought with it a WORN tab in inventory and cache size changes, and Burn2 took place. In the media, Ars Technica offered a well-rounded look at Second Life.

Sansar

I looked at the Sansar Discovery release, and the competition winners were announced as was more news about the Fashion Release, while the first in a series of special live events – a tour of Egyptian sites of antiquity – took place.

VR and AR

It is confirmed AltspaceVR had been acquired by Microsoft.

Space and Astronomy

A look at the updated plans for SpaceX to reach Mars and Lockheed Martin’s plans to work with NASA to put humans on Mars and followed by a look at the announcement that America will be returning to the Moon … some time, as another solution for the mystery of “Tabby’s Star” is put forward. Both cause me to look at the issue of radiation exposure for deep-space missions. We also get a good look at what happens when neutron stars collide, and I round out the month with a look at Ceres’ ancient ocean and the first positively identified extra-solar visitor.

Personal

I had the honour and pleasure of interviewing friend and artist Gem Preiz for Kultivate Magazine.

Travel and Arts

October SL Travels October SL Art Reviews October in Sansar
Oh Deer DiXmiX: elorac Paule, Maloe Vansant & Uma Sabra  Spinnervale
Tavana Island Artful Expressions: ZaynIanLutz  House of Woe
La Vie – Autumn The Galleries  Picnic at Mr. Darcy’s
Pandora Resort Exodus: A Trip for Life  Through the Waterfall and Miner Difficulties
Sol Existence Milly Sharple: Creations  Stasis Interrupted Chapter 1
Khodovarikha Melusina Parkin: Mysteries  Darkwood Forest
The Well  Cica Ghost and Bryn Oh: Floating
The Silent Mind  Myra Wildmist: Transitions
 Santoshima: Elemental
DiXmix: Purple, (JurisJo & Imani Nayar
The Vordun: Federico Sosa -Dementophilia
Split Screen: Theda Tammas – Dissected Soul
Cica Ghost: Land of Owls
Out of the Looking Glass

November

Second Life

The Lab blogged about updates to their web properties, while the support site was updated, although there were a few hiccups. VWBPE put out a call for papers for their 2018 conference. The Atlantic offered one of the most comprehensive write-ups on Second Life from both the viewpoint of someone relatively new to the environment and that of established users, although it came in for somewhat unfair push-back from some who felt the viewpoint from a “new” users perspective was perhaps too harsh. I previewed the 2017 edition of The Dickens Project, and looked at initial entries in the UWA machinima challenge.

Gallant Estates; Inara Pey, November 2017, on FlickrGallant Estatesblog post

Sansar

I offered a Friends release overview and looked at why Alice Bonasio, guest judge in the Sansar’s Scariest competition selected the winning experiences before visiting the Sansar Hall of Materials resource. At the AWS:Invent conference, Tara Hernandez, Senior Director of Systems and Build Engineering at Linden Lab, discussed running Sansar in Amazon’s cloud, and touches on the future for SL in the cloud.

VR and VR

Amazon announced the beta of Summarian, their VR / AR app building platform.

Space and Astronomy

I looked at plans to study the icy worlds of the solar system and an idea to send a clockwork rover to Venus. The NASA / ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn came to an end. The USAF enlisted SpaceX to launch their super-secret X-37B mini shuttle, and SpaceX took the mickey out of themselves with a video short.

Personal

I test flew some of the CLSA aircraft range, after they were reduced to L$10 per aircraft.

Travel and Arts

November SL Travels November SL Art Reviews November Sansar
Garden of Absentia Giovanna Cerise: Allergories Mininalisms
Gallant Estates La Maison d’Aneli Hall of Materials
Malal Gem Preiz: Chaos Felsenmeer – Silas Merlin
Borneo DaphneArts: CioTToLiNa Xue – Dum Spiro Spero Skye Naturae Virtualis
Seagull Islands A Night To Remember Paranormal Investigation
Aspen Fell Artful Expressions: Jes Mode
Lapprock Lighthouse Blue Orange: Art Project 3
Hollywood Highlights 2LEI: Respect
Groenland Kangamiut Serena Imagine; The Argument
The Outer Garden
Cherishville

December

Second Life

A server-side update requiring users to have verified e-mail addresses with the Lab in order to continue to receive IMs when off-line goes grid-wide. The Kultivate Winter Showcase and Art Show to aid Team Diabetes of SL opened, and I was invited to watch a piognant Christmas machinima. There was an upset over IP infringement notices, quickly retracted by the Lab. The Christmas Shop and Hop / Shop ‘Til You Drop event took place. Gabrielle Riel announced her semi-retirement from Second Life, and the closure of St John estate.

Sansar

Linden Lab announced a new venture with film producer Greg Aronowitz – the Hollywood Art Musueum. Ebbe Altberg dropped into some of the December in-world meetings, including one of the Product Meetings and the Sansar Fashion release arrived.

Sansar: Hollywood Art Museum – “Use the Force, Luke … Let go!”

VR and MR

Magic Leap announced their first product – sort of – due to launch in 2018.

Space and Astronomy

Elon Musk announced the first payload for the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will be … his car, and Voyager 1 fired its motors for the first time in 40 years. Reusability, habitability and survivability became the themes of one Space Sunday report. An 8-exoplanet system, rounded-out my weekly updates, slightly delayed due to Christmas, with a look at the WFIRST space telescope and other upcoming events.

Travel and Arts

November SL Travels November SL Art Reviews November Sansar
Calas Home for Christmas 1928 Polo Nord Anu
The Mill at Christmas Paris Metro: Mystery of Nature Hollywood Art Museum
Holiday Trace Nitroglobus gallery: Monique Beebe – Sensuality Jay Salton Art Museum
Snefnug Cecilia Nansen: Within the Voice of Björk The Violin Tree and Optical Illusions Arena
D O X Artful Expressions: Panteleimon Aeon – Behind the Avatar Paranormal Investigation
Tranmore MetaLES: Nevereux Journey ino Communication
ISM Steampunk Moods
La virevolte TerpsiCorps: Five Artists
Tralala Diner  The Haze
Wimberly (3)
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